A cozy, cool Saturday afternoon at The Blazing Saddle in Des Moines

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WHAT: Saturday Afternoon Bingo WHERE: The Blazing Saddle, 416 E. 5th St., Des Moines WHO: A packed house featuring a crowd of attendees playing bingo, watching TV, or hanging out. The weekly bingo events raise money for charity. WHEN: June 26, 2021 WHAT ELSE IS COMING UP THERE: Bingo today (starting 2 p.m.) and every Saturday; Gear Night for Iowa Leather Weekend tonight; The Graveyard drag show Sunday. (This photo gallery is part of Long Live Community, an ongoing showcase of community gatherings and events at LGBTQ-affirming, intersectional and progressive…

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“Letter to Lori:” transgender man reaches back in time to former self

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Dear Lori, I know things are rough right now. I know that every day carries such an overwhelming feeling of dread and confusion. I know you’re afraid to go to school, that you feel sick every morning and think it’s hopeless, like it’s never going to stop hurting. I know it seems like the taunts will never stop, the things other students, even teachers, say to you. Things like “Amazon,” dyke, freak, linebacker, or lezzie. Like they’ll never stop asking you things like,  “Why can’t you just stop trying to…

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Surviving and thriving: a new family within the Leather family

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I have been to quite a few away-from-home events over the last couple of years and often have seen my Leather family posting about their “event drop.” But I’ve never really experienced it. I thought maybe I was broken, or maybe didn’t have my heart in it. Maybe that was why I was completely fine upon returning home from most events, ready to go with house duties, mom duties, work, and “let’s get it done.” This time is different, so very different. This time, I was helping kick off a…

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“Starting With You:” your proactive journey to compassionate self-investment (NEW COLUMN)

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My sister used to tell me I was “weird.” She’d make fun of me, and I’d go to our mom, in search of a solution. “Stop being so sensitive,” she’d respond. This would have been a perfect opportunity for my parents to teach me conflict resolution and communication skills, but that’s not what happened. My parents didn’t have their own skills of emotional regulation, so they weren’t capable of teaching those skills to me. In my family, good communication skills and emotional literacy were hard to come by. My parents…

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LGBTQ pride in one of the ‘Trumpiest’ counties in Iowa

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WHAT: Humboldt Diversity & Inclusion Pride Celebration WHERE: The VFW Hall in Dakota City, Ia., pop. 843, town seat of Humboldt County, pop, 4,753, and a county that voted 73 percent in favor of Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election WHO: About 200 residents, mostly allies plus a handful of LGBTQ people. Coordinated by Mark Henderson, John Grause, and Humboldt County Pride and LGBTQ Awareness. WHEN: June 25, 2021 PHOTOS BY: TRM Team

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“Tell me if I’m missing something:” minimum wage a hidden boon for corporate interests (COLUMN)

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Increasing minimum wage won’t help workers. But it will increase prices, especially for items that those very workers consume. For those people making minimum wage, their real costs of living will stay about the same. But when their salary doubles because of minimum wage, so will the cost of everything they consume. Consider my straightforward reasoning, using the example of a fast food worker making a cheeseburger. A cheeseburger made by someone earning $15 an hour costs more than a cheeseburger made by someone earning $7.25 an hour. The only…

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“The Prophets Never Saw It Coming” (SHORT STORY)

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Max Brash stood in a bubble on the moon, ready to launch the most epic gender reveal party in the history of the human race. In front of him were nearly a hundred transparent monitors linked to his mission control – which was really just one person, his buddy Dave. The rest of the screens were reserved for the feed from dozens upon dozens of drones, to capture every angle of this event. On the center monitor were his aging parents, broadcasting live from Sweetwater, Texas. “Hey buddy!” Dave’s voice…

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Happy headspace, with or without a handler, is the heart of human pet play

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I have a pet. A Pup. His name is Pup Who, and I adore him. I’m not talking about a normal pet, like you might have. Though I also own the kinds of pets YOU might own (cats and dogs), I’m talking here about the pets in my kink and Leather world. I’m talking about human pets. Like your pets, they are beautiful, loving creatures. They want to play, to be stroked, to cuddle, to be mischievous, to be kept safe. They are loyal and often full of service for…

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