Former teacher discovers artist inside

img src="breithaupt-cover.jpg" alt="sketches of Jimi Hendrix and Freddie Mercury"

CEDAR FALLS — For more than 30 years, Lisa Breithaupt poured herself into teaching kids and teens about living healthy and working as a team. But when she retired from teaching physical education in nearby Dunkerton, another part of her emerged: an artist who resonated without trying. Breithaupt turned to pencil sketches as a form of “meditative therapy” and to relieve her anxiety. She also used her sketches to express fandom of some legends: Prince, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Freddie Mercury and more. Then, some friends encouraged her…

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Body positivity the focus of Des Moines’ Zach Gillette and modern-day Bear culture

Zach Gillette, Mr. World Bear

Zach Gillette used to feel self-conscious and insecure about his weight, the lessening hair on his head, and the bursting hair all over the rest of his body.  Then he found the Capital Bears, where the motto is “bear is a state of mind.” “When I first moved to Des Moines, I was very timid. I wouldn’t take my shirt off in public,” he said. “After being involved in the Bear group, and the positivity that comes from this group, where it’s positive reinforcement all the time, now it’s hard…

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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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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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REMINISCENCE: An I.C. Kings Photo Gallery, courtesy of Hugh Jindapants

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Amanda Green (aka Hugh Jindapants) helped co-found the I.C. Kings of Iowa City 10 years ago. Here, their decade of performing as Jindapants — a crass, showy, sneering display of toxic masculinity — is captured along with several highlight group shots of the I.C. Kings. Enjoy this stroll through the memories — then check out Green’s tribute to the groundbreaking drag king troupe, where they reminisced, shared some joy and pain, and encouraged fellow drag performers to use their voice to support social justice in the way their character and…

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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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Quad Cities Community Happenings (NEW: Long Live Community!)

quad cities community

WHAT: Michelle Nixon Memorial Scholarship Brunch WHERE: Mary’s on 2nd, Davenport, IA WHEN: June 5, 2021 WHO: Community members, plus friends and family members of Michelle Nixon, honoring her for her community service as a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities and Quad Cities Pride Festivals. The event raised more than $5,000. PHOTOS BY: The Real Mainstream Team WHAT: OUTDOOR SERVICE AT METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH OF THE QUAD CITIES WHERE: Davenport, IA WHEN: Late April, 2021 WHO: Members of MCC of the QC, which is Iowa’s…

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