Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, February 03, 1984, Page 14, Image 14

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Zucchini bread
and a game
of killer Scrabble
by Garcia Phelps
Since joining Black Lesbians and Gays
United a friend of mine has mentioned that
he doesn't think I like him as much as I used
to. His statement came as a bit of a surprise to
me as I felt that I had always liked him too
much for my own good. I would have been
pleased at my ability to move him from one
region of my affections to another had his
distress seemed less genuine and had
B.L.G.U. had anything to do with it It hadn’t
His concern, however, that an attitude that
would prompt me to join B.L.G.U. might also
encourage a distance between us is shared to
varying degrees among some other friends
of mine and I find this notion puzzling. My
friend’s reason is that he thinks, based on our
name and membership, B.LG.U. is a sep­
aratist and antagonistic organization. He sees
in my membership a part of me not open to
him or not willing to make peace with him as
white or straight There is for those who have
loved me for my race a hard recognition of
the fact that they cannot own blackness and
that the experience, even if lived through me,
is closed to them.
What consolation I can offer comes simply
to me. Instead of being a brand of easy re­
assurance, ("There, there. I still think you’re
swell.’’), I point out a simple fact B.LG.CJ.
meets once a month on a Sunday afternoon
for the most innocuous and traditional of
functions — a potluck supper and social. The
unlikely vision of people planning revolution
or encouraging terrorist acts over zucchini
bread and a game of killer Scrabble is
enough to correct nearly anybody's notion of
what B.L.G.U. is.
However out of friendship and a desire for
understanding I am moved to continue. We
do have serious discussions. We are aware of
what our position in society can be and are
not quite pleased with it. Yet the atmosphere
at the meetings is no tainted with resentment
toward the world. The common reasoning
that we ar an antagonistic organization as­
sumes that a group of Black people meet
only to design some punitive move against
society at large. This thinking gives me the
same impression as the sight of a man racing
desperately for the wrong train. There is such
a sense of misguided fear in it — misguided if
only because I have never left a meeting of
B.LG.U. eager to dissent with whites. Rather I
feel an emphasized union with Blacks. The
focus changes from people bound together
by a com m on oppression to people coming
together through common experience and
AQ UARIUS The Water Bearer
The Sign of the REFORMER
January 2 0 - February 18
A Transpersonal, Fixed Air Sign
Keynote: Originality
“I’m Different”
by Douglas Bloch
Aquarius the water bearer creates a new
order through shattering the forms and
structures established in Capricorn. In devi­
ating from the norm, the nontraditional
Aquarian assumes many roles — as the
progressive reformer, radical revolutionary or
the philanthropic eccentric. Aquarius’ m oti­
vation for prompting social change is simple:
he wishes to improve the lives of his fellow
human beings. Aquarius, therefore, identifies
with the com m on man and government by
democracy just as Leo symbolizes the king
who rules in a monarchy.
IRA's: How good
are they?
by Diana Plunkett
T am ak
Fragrance Specialists
There is still time to open or add to an
individual retirement account for a 1983 tax
deduction. Unlike most tax deductions,
January 1 st does not close off your opportun­
ity to contribute to an IRA. We have until the
due date our tax returns, including exten­
sions, to make the decision on a retirement
An IRA is a savings plan that lets you set
aside money for your retirem ent Payments
to it are tax deductible and earnings of your
IRA are not taxed until they are distributed to
you. Anyone who has earned income is eligi­
ble to set up an IRA. Earned income includes
wages, salaries, professional fees, commis­
sions and net earnings from self-employ­
m ent If you earn $2,000 or more, you can
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An inner city
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a coytr for wrl/nos-—
embracing through a shared culture.
The people at our monthly gathering echo
those of family and past neighbors. The dis­
cussions proceed not so much through
shared politics as through a shared under­
standing. A recent ad in another local gay
newspaper, whose intent was belligerent, was
understood immediately. We all knew what it
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meant and knew that the cords it was meant
to pull in us were generations old. We under­
stood the author and his generation. And to
this degree we did not receive its/his power
and did not let it inappropriately move us.
This com m on knowledge is the reason for
B.LG.Cl.’s existence, and is the source of our
Aquarius is an air sign and thus social by
nature. Hence, many Aquarians work with
people in group projects, especially those of
a humanitarian bent You’ve no doubt met
the idealistic water bearer who joins dozens
of philanthropic societies from Greenpeace
to the Grey Panthers. When his involvment in
causes becomes excessive, however,
Aquarius can get lost in his transpersonal
ideals, relating to you not as an individual, but
as an abstraction. His impersonal, detached
mode of relating is especially frustrating to
the water signs who desire intimacy and
closeness. Thus, while Aquarians make great
friends and colleagues, they usually leave the
romance and passion to Leo and Scorpio.
Aquarius is the sign of the scientist/
inventor, and for good reason. The Aquarian
m ind is independent, unorthodox and
innovative. It uses logic, and yet transcends
logic. Ideas appear in lightning-like flashes.
The inventor Thomas Edison used his Aqua­
rian ingenuity to patent more than a hundred
inventions in his lifetime. Foremost of these
was the light bulb, whose sudden illumina­
tion symbolizes the mental processes of the
intuitive thinker.
contribute a maximum of $2,000 each year
even if you are covered by a qualified retire­
ment plan.
Consider an IRA versus a regular savings
program. Assume a 30% tax bracket and that
30% o f both principal and interest would be
lost to income taxes. If contributions of
$2,000 per year were made for 25 years to a
savings program where 12% was com ­
pounded continuously, the value of your ac­
count at the end of 25 years would be
$127,155.40. If you contributed $2,000 per
year for 25 years to an IRA where 12% was
compounded continuously, the value of your
IRA at the end of 25 years would be
$348,650.49— a difference of $221,495.09!
An IRA should be considered only as a
retirement program not as a temporary sav­
ings account Should you withdraw your con­
tribution before you reach age 59 Vi or are
permanently disabled, you have to add it
back into your income and pay federal and
state income taxes plus an additional tax
equal to 10% of the premature withdrawal.
12-6 MON-SAT
20% O FF
Just Out February 3-February 17