September 2013 Newsletter


LGBT Grant County |
September 2013

From the Prez

by Ted Tufaes


Well, as you have probably noticed, much has been happening around the country and in The Land of Enchantment concerning “gay” rights and equality. We are pretty excited as are several couples who have made the trip to Las Cruces to “tie the knot!!” We congratulate them and wish them the very best. Stay tuned because we are planning a Wedding Reception for all our LGBT friends who have recently wed.

Much has been happening in Silver City too!! LGBT Grant County has forged ahead and finally opened your “community center.” Although not officially open we are open. Just three days a week to start out. We do have Wi-Fi and a laptop for anyone to use. Our House Warming is on September 13th starting at 5 p.m. 301 W. College Ave, Suite 5. Stop on by and help us name the center.

The HIV support group meets here every Monday. We will soon be offering anonymous HIV testing and counseling. The space is being used by other groups as well. We are very good at sharing.

Watch for other upcoming events. You are more than welcome to join in the fun. Even though you personally may not need what is being offered, there are many in our LGBT community that do. They are why we are here. We are currently seeking out ways to help the “couch surfing” LGBT youth (that’s another word for homeless) as well as others who are shut-ins.

Yes there are some “quiet” needy LGBT folks here in Silver that need the care and support of us “old-timers.” There are many ways you can help. Sometimes just showing up means a lot to me personally. Show your support, have fun and attend our events.

I want to personally thank all of you who have given your time and in some cases your resources. All of the members of the board are totally committed to meeting the needs of the LGBT community and the work of LGBT Grant County.

Thanks for your time and see you around. Ciao.


Marriage Equality

Getting Married in Las Cruces

by Tyler Connoley


When Rebecca asked me to write something for the newsletter about our experience of getting married in Las Cruces, I thought I didn’t have anything to say. However, as I reflected on the past few days, I realized I wanted to share about the kindness and decency of our fellow New Mexicans. I love living in the Land of Enchantment. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, and this experience has made that fact even more real.

First of all, I love the way in which marriage equality is coming to New Mexico. It’s happening in a very New Mexican way, with people across the state simply doing what they know to be right — the Roundhouse be damned. This is who we are as New Mexicans, people who don’t worry so much about the building codes, or the proper channels, or even what the Legislature or the Supreme Court has to say. We read the codes for ourselves, and we do what we think is right. Period. It’s part of what makes us New Mexicans. Why would marriage equality be any different?

I’ve also been impressed by all the well-wishes. Whether it was the office personnel at the County Clerk’s office, or the bailiff at the courthouse, the cashier at Let Them Eat Cake, or the accounting department at the hospital (no more paying taxes on Rob’s insurance premiums!), everyone has been happy for us. We had literally hundreds of ‘likes’ on Facebook, from New Mexicans who were overjoyed that their state has finally recognized our marriage. We had people stopping by at both of our places of employment, just to say, “Congratulations.” We’ve definitely felt the love, and we had no grumps to spoil the fun.

One more thing: I thought this was going to just be filling out some paperwork. Rob and I will always consider August 12th, 2000 to be our wedding day, and August 26th, 2013 as the day we finally made it legal. However, I was surprised to find that legal marriage made a difference. When Rob and I got married, I said, “It feels like we’re making piecrust promises — easily made and easily broken.” When we married in front of Judge Marci Beyer, I knew the promises would not be easily broken. Now, we have the force of law holding us together. If for no other reason than this, legal marriage makes our families stronger, and I’m glad New Mexico is finally valuing all families.


Upcoming Events

House Warming and Name our Community Center

That’s right folks, we are calling on you to come up with a name for our LGBT Grant County Community Center (LGBT Grant County Community Center is just too long, right?) Come up with an idea and email it to Be sure to include your name too unless you want to be anonymous. We will announce the winner at the Center’s HOUSEWARMING PARTY on Friday, September 13. Join us for fun, food, drinks, live music, a new name and raffles. 301 W. College Ave (College Street Plaza) Suite 5, starting at 5 pm. Be there or be square everyone!

Special Guest at Sunday Brunch September 15
by Lupe Cano

Please join us on Sunday, September 15, 2013, as we will have a special guest at brunch. State Representative Bill McCamley (Dist 33, Dona Ana) will be joining us. Rep. McCamley is responsible for having passed the first piece of LGBT-related legislation in New Mexico in over ten years during the 2013 legislative session. He was also instrumental in getting his County Clerk to lead the state and start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A tireless ally, Representative McCamley will report on what has happened so far and what is next in the fight for equality in New Mexico. Please bring any questions you might have. Brunch begins at noon at our community center.

HIV Counseling and Testing Training – October 29 & 30 
by Hugh Epping
Our HIV Coordinator, Hugh Epping, has learned from the Region 5 HIV Specialist, Dave Daniels, that HIV Counseling and Testing Training will take place October 29th & 30th in Las Cruces. The state DOH is eager for us to be able to test but various requirements must be met. Training is one and a proper facility is another.
A site visit to our center will be made along with the training. This should allow LGBT Grant County to administer the OraSure test at no cost to the testee. Results would take two weeks but no additional testing would be needed as it would automatically be performed by the state contracted laboratory.
Anyone interested in receiving the training should contact Hugh at The state would like at least three certified counselors.

LGBT Grant County Sponsors Median Strip 
by Hugh Epping
We have adopted a median. It is the second one past the bridge on Highway 90 going south out of town. The sign is being made and its cost covered by a very generous sponsor. We are in need of volunteers who are willing to dig in the dirt, trim plants and bring the area up to snuff. The biggest need for the space is just cleaning it up and removing dead plants, limbs and a lot of brown and rotting prickly pear. There is also a large crop of weeds that need to be pulled and eliminated.
This strip is the first to welcome travelers and locals approaching from the south. It will be our way of making a good impression for our town and a positive statement about LGBT. J&J Signs are making both the sign and frame. The sign will be our logo and our phone number. This is an opportunity to show our pride in our community and to raise our profile. Call the new center at 575-519-5562 or email to get on the volunteer list.

World AIDS Day

by Hugh Epping
In honor of World Aids Day – December 1, LGBT Grant County will be hosting a twilight memorial service for those lost and those fighting. Please inform all that have been touched by HIV/AIDS that they are welcome to attend and share and/or reflect on family, friends, lovers, colleagues and others that have touched our lives. The vigil will be held at the WNMU Alumni Garden, a serene and meditative place on the campus of WNMU. Candles will be available as will tissues and some seating. We are working with WNMU President, Dr. Shepard, to secure an appropriate area to display panels of the Names Quilt. The quilt will be here for a period of five days around the December 1st Memorial.

Meet Sam
Sam is a child of the universe with a little bit of knowledge about many things and a need to help people with their issues. Although Sam has no formal training the desire to answer questions combined with Sam’s good will toward the human race makes for an interesting interpretation on issues coming up. Please support Sam’s efforts to provide you with some comfort and a few laughs concerning your deepest, darkest secrets and fears or just make up a letter for fun. It is all good.
A Question for Sam


Dear Sam, My girlfriend doesn’t like ANY of the things I like. We have completely different taste regarding movies, books, sports, music – the works. But she is a wonderful, loving, presence in my life and I don’t want to give her up. Please help me.




My Dear Opposite,


You did neglect to provide your loving Sam with some of the information I need to fully answer your query. Do you fight about it? Do you force one another to participate in activities you don’t enjoy? Sam is feeling a very loving vibration from your letter. I am getting it is not necessarily a bone of contention between you and your sweet love.

Children, please listen to your loving Sam. Love is always good. If the love is present and shared in a respectful, open, honest way it will not matter who is a little bit country and who is a little bit rock ‘n roll. You are traveling the same love path. It is a wonderful, beautiful thing. But you absolutely must take your own side roads at times. Sam has found when following a love path with someone, it is easy to assume you must spend all your free time doing the same activities. Too much togetherness is not a good thing, my darlings. Each of us must be free to travel our own paths.

Sam lives in love. It is everywhere and we must approach people with love at all times (unless they do something that REALLY pisses us off). You love people by letting them be who they are, being honest about your needs and expectations in the relationship and being respectful of others’ feelings. Sam realizes this is not easy. I can sit here on my fairy throne and tell all of you what to do but truthfully, my loves, it ain’t always easy but it is always worth it. A truly equitable love partnership is pure heaven. It isn’t going to be perfect 100% of the time. We sometimes have minor collisions with others on our paths but it is all part of the fun.

Naturally, my sweetest Opposite, you want your love presence to cuddle up next to you and share some kisses while you watch whatever it is you like on television. The things you love are important to you. You believe the music you listen to is part of what makes you, well, you. Darling, it is the same for your love! Accept that you don’t have to do everything together. Your partner is not your possession. They are not your iPhone. They are merely walking on your love path beside you. What could possibly be more beautiful than that?


With love and kisses,

Your Loving Sam


In This Issue

Board of Directors

LGBT Grant County
Board of Directors

Ted Tufares, President

Elizabeth Rockey, Vice President

Brian McHugh, Treasurer

Rebecca Martin, Secretary

Guadalupe Cano

Sue Christianson

Hugh Epping

Mark Karagas

Diane Marshall


Board Meeting

September 1, 2013, 1:30 PM
LGBTGC Community Center

House Warming
LGBTGC Community Center
September 13, 2013, 5 PM
301 W College Ave, Suite 5
Fun, Food, Drinks, Live Music
Name our community center! See article in this newsletter!

Sunday Brunch Special Guest: State Representative Bill McCamley
LGBTGC Community Center
September 15, 2013, noon
301 W College Ave, Suite 5
See article in this newsletter.

Wedding Reception
for all wedded couples
October 5, 2013
SAVE THE DATE details fortcoming

HIV Counseling &Testing Training
Las Cruces NM
October 29 & 30, 2013
See article in this newsletter.

LGBT Thanksgiving Dinner
Novemer 23, 2013


SAVE THE DATE details forthcoming


Lighted Christmas Parade
November 30, 2013


Volunteers needed to decorate float – contact or drop by Vibrations Gallery at 108 W Yankie Street


World AIDS Day
December 1, 2013
Vigil at Alumni Garden at WNMU.
See article in this newsletter.

LGBT Christmas Dinner
December 17, 2013


SAVE THE DATE details forthcoming


Sunday Brunch
every Sunday at noon
LGBTGC Community Center, 301 W College Ave, Suite 5, Silver City

HIV Support Group
every Monday
LGBTGC Community Center,301 W College Ave, Suite 5.
575-956-7359 for more info


Happy Birthday
Elizabeth Rockey – September 25

Just Married
Rita Mundine & Janie Valerio – August 20
Rob & Tyler Connoley – August 26

Match Your Passion

Thank you to those who signed up for Action Groups and for Help Line training. There are three Action Groups:
  • Marketing/Outreach/Publicity
  • Activities and Events
  • Fundraising/Membership
Pick one! Get Involved! Contact anyone on the board to sign up.
The world is changed by those who show up!

Recent Happenings

New Community Center!
Greetings friends! On August 1, we signed the lease for our community center in College Street Plaza (301 W College Ave, Suite 5, Silver City NM 88061, 575-519-5562). We have moved in and even held our first brunch there this past Sunday. Many thanks to all of you who have donated wonderful items to the community center. It is looking really great! Cozy, welcoming and just plain great. We just need a few more things to finish it all up. Here is our wish list for the community center. Please let us know if you are willing to donate any of these items.
Wish List for the LGBT Grant County Community Center
  • An apartment sized gas stove with oven

  • Shelving

  • Cutlery

  • Glasses

  • Mugs

  • Plates

  • Bowls of all sizes

  • End tables

  • Lamps

  • Filing cabinet with a lock for HIPPA sensitive documents

  • Games

  • Books on any topic you feel is relevant to the center

  • Folding Chairs

Democratic Party Forum on Civil Rights
Lupe Canos was on the panel for the forum on civil rights held at the Miller Library on the campus of WNMU. She presented the issues faced by the LGBT community and the vast number of benefits of marriage that is not available to all citizens.
The forum was well attended and the participation brisk and lively. Several student organizations prepared dinner afterward and provided an opportunity to further discuss issues raised by both speakers and audience.

Follow us on Twitter
Rebecca is now tweeting for us! Follow @LGBTGrantCounty on Twitter for the latest happenings and news sharing!

Submit stories for the newsletter
email for info:
LGBT Grant County | |
301 W College Ave, Ste 5
Silver City, NM 88061
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