WATCH: Holcombe Waller relives memories with his boyfriend in new video

With the snow days over the last week, we have lots of e-mails to catch up on. I’m so glad I was paying attention today before deleting a slew of people needing legal assistance.This video almost slipped through the cracks and it’s become my find of the day.

Despite an accomplished background, I had not heard of Holcombe Waller until today. Turns out, he’s had this pretty colorful life and career with three solo albums to his name and scored the documentary We Were Here: Voices from the AIDS Years in San Francisco which is a 2011 Sundance official selection.

His newest album, Into the Dark Unknown drops on Tuesday. But it’s his video for ‘”Bored of Memory” which I find rather enchanting — mostly from the P.R.’s write up:

For this video, Holcombe decided to recreate the first date he had with his boyfriend Blake in the summer of 2009. Waller and co-director Rose headed out to Rooster Rock State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. Lewis and Clark originally named the area “Cock Rock” because of the phallic nature of the basalt stone obelisk that stands on the Oregon side of the river.

To recreate the date, Holcombe and Alicia filmed two actors as they went to the exact locations that Holcombe and Blake visited on their first date. Alicia and Holcombe brought along with them some of the items from the day: a vacation camping blanket, a few apples, knitting supplies and a vintage copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám,” given to Holcombe by his grandmother.  The rhinestone necklace the actors find in the sand was also a family heirloom passed down from his grandmother from her days as a traveling dancer in the 1940s and 50s.

Holcombe said that it represents “the discovery of something both new and ancient, real and illusory, and as beautiful as you make it, much like new love.”

Romantic, right? I’m seriously kinda swept off my feet right now. The song is epic and languid, but the video accompanies it perfectly and perfect timing for V-Day. And, if you go here, you can download the song for free. Score!


—  Rich Lopez

Lesbian students enter to cheers at Minn. school

CHRIS WILLIAMS | Associated Press

CHAMPLIN, Minn. — Two lesbian high school students who fought for the right to walk together as part of a royalty court made their entrances Monday, Jan. 31 to the cheers of hundreds of classmates.

Sarah Lindstrom and Desiree Shelton wore matching black suits with pink ties and held hands as they entered the Snow Days Pep Fest at Champlin Park High School in Minneapolis’ northwest suburbs.

The reaction came as a relief to the couple and school administrators. The district has been stung by criticism of its policies toward homosexuality and the alleged bullying of a gay student who killed himself.

“It felt amazing,” said Shelton, adding that she was too nervous to notice dozens rise to give her a standing ovation as she walked in with Lindstrom. “I think we were too focused on getting to the stage.”

If there were any boos, they were drowned about by supporters. “I feel so much better,” Lindstrom said while surrounded by friends after the rally.

Sarah’s mother, Shannon Lindstrom, camera in hand, joined the other mothers of children in the royalty court after the rally.

“They had a lot of courage,” she said Shelton and her daughter. “Look how far we’ve come.”

Students voted onto the royalty court traditionally enter the assembly in boy-girl pairs. After Lindstrom and Shelton, both 18, were elected, school officials last week announced a change in procedure: court members would walk in individually or accompanied by a parent or favorite teacher.

School officials said they merely wanted to prevent the two from being teased. But on Friday, two human rights groups sued on their behalf.

On Saturday, in federally mediated talks, school officials relented. The two sides agreed that members of the royalty court would be escorted by anyone meaningful to them, regardless of gender or age.

“This is a new chapter for the district,” said Sam Wolfe, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which filed the lawsuit along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and local assistance from the Minneapolis law firm of Faegre and Benson.

Young women in evening gowns and young men in dark suits walked through a makeshift arch and to the stage during the Monday afternoon pep rally complete with cheerleaders, dance teams and the school band. So did two young women in suits, and the crowd cheered for each one.

“They did great,” said Principal Mike George. “I’m proud of our students.”

Several of the students in the crowd didn’t understand what all the fuss over the lesbian couple.

“Some people are against it, but they don’t care if they walk down a stupid runway,” said Maggie Hesaliman, 14.

Melissa Biellefe, 16, said, “We’re a pretty respectful school. Our rule is just let people be who they are.”

Champlin Park is part of the Anoka-Hennepin school district, Minnesota’s largest, which has been in the spotlight in the past year for its handling of issues involving gay and lesbian students.

It has been in the crossfire for its policy of “neutrality” in classroom discussions of homosexuality. It was reached in 2009 as a way to balance the demands of liberal and conservative families, but neither side has been completely happy with it.

The issues flared again last year after a gay student, Justin Aaberg, killed himself. His mother has said she heard too late from Justin’s friends that he had been harassed.

Aaberg was one of six students who committed suicide in the district since the beginning of the 2009-10 school year, and advocacy groups have linked some of the other deaths to the bullying of gay students.

However, the district said last month its own investigation did not find evidence that bullying contributed to the students’ deaths.

—  John Wright