Page 1

COMSOLE Magazine

JUNE 2018


COMunidad If one looks at the fate of Lot’s wife in the Biblical story of Sodom and Gamorrah, one finds that she did not heed the warning, not to look back, as she fled with her husband from the burning cities. She was turned into a pillar of salt. This is the personal tragedy of many within society. They are constantly looking back, often unconsciously, at their past hurts, their grief and their guilt. They cannot forgive others or themselves, they cannot forget, let go or move on; their emotions and their unshed tears crystallize into a pillar of salt, and they suffer alone. Many times, we drown in the waves and tides of our emotions. And others can become aloof, impersonal and, very often harsh or even violent against those who are deemed different or lower. COMSOLE does not seek to mother or spoil, the mission is very clear: teach the marginalized how to fend for themselves and encourage their independence by providing them with the necessary tools to achieve this. We chose COMSOLE as the name for our magazine because it represents what COMMUNITY is: to find the pain and provide healing, to help through education, information and resources those who have been marginalized by society and see no hope. Because we share a human experience and a common space: like a barrel of apples, not one can be let to spoil.


Content 4

How To Talk About Suicide In A Way That’s Actually Helpful


AQUI: Placemaking & the LGBTQ Community


HIV Meds & the LGBT Elders


Maintaining Dignity: A Survey of LGBT Adults Age 45 and Older


Tel Aviv Pride


Boqueron Pride 2018


Francisco Victoria has something to say


Pedro Sánchez & the New Gay Spanish Government


Temporales: The Dance of Fear 2


Temporales: The Dance of Fear 2

Mental Health

How To Talk About Suicide In A Way That’s Actually Helpful

Suicide isn’t just someone else’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. HOFFPOST - 06/08/2018 12:24 pm ET By Lindsay Holmes


Deaths by suicide, like the ones of designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain this week, are tragic reminders that mental health issues don’t discriminate based on success. Mental health problems can hide in plain sight sometimes to loved ones or even to the person who suffers from them. A new study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that suicide rates are climbing, having increased by more than 25 percent since 1999. What’s particularly alarming is that 54 percent of people who died by suicide in 2015 had no known mental health condition, meaning that they were likely going untreated or dealing with acute issues like relationship problems, money troubles or other personal crises. All of this means there needs to be a better dialogue surrounding mental health, and not just one that only occurs after public tragedies when it’s already too late. Chances are when you’re at brunch with friends or at dinner with family, you’re not discussing fatal self-harm freely over your meal. Suicide can be an ugly and uncomfortable topic to bring up. But it’s a conversation that needs to happen regularly. Below experts break down how to actually have a productive talk about suicide with your loved ones and why it’s important to not avoid it, whether they’re in crisis or not. One chat could just save a life. Realize that self-harm can happen to someone you know. Many people believe that suicide and self-harm is a distressing topic, but also one that will likely never affect them, so they avoid discussing it, according to Dan Reidenberg, executive director of the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. “The best way to talk about suicide is openly and honestly. People are often afraid of the word and they won’t bring it up,” Reidenberg said. “They have preconceived notions of what they think about it and they believe it will never happen, so they don’t talk about it.” The reality is that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming almost 45,000 American lives per year. The rates of suicide attempts and acts of self-harm are even higher. Suicide isn’t just someone else’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem.

Título de la revista

Talking about your difficulties may encourage others to do the same. Know that bringing it up isn’t going to make things worse. Talking about suicide only helps the problem. It doesn’t exacerbate it. “The most important advice is to have a caring conversation. The evidence has clearly demonstrated that talking about suicide does not cause suicide,” said Colleen Carr, the deputy director of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. “Instead, talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can increase hope and help someone on their journey to recovery.” Talk about the topic of suicide like you would any other health condition. Discussing ful. Suicide

any other health problem isn’t shame should be treated with the same consideration.

“Whether someone struggles with a mental illness or engages in self-harm, or even for the person who does not, we need to be able to talk about the topic of suicide no different than talking about diabetes even when the person you are talking to does not have it,” Reidenberg said. “Think of the breast cancer or diabetes 5k races ― hundreds of thousands across the country attend them whether they know someone with one of those disease or not.” Open up about any difficult experiences you might be going through. Talking about your difficulties may encourage others to do the same. And if you know someone is going through a difficult time, let them know you’re aware and you care. Conversation starters or topics like, “What are you doing to get through this crisis?” or “You don’t seem like yourself lately, what’s going on?” can help, Reidenberg said. “Suicide is a complex issue and not caused by one factor [like mental illness] but rather a range of factors such as relationship, substance use, physical health, job, financial and legal problems,” Carr added. “We can reach out to support friends, loved ones and others who are going through a tough life event or struggling with mental illness, just as we do our friends and family who are struggling with a physical illness.”


Really listen when someone is talking during the discussion. It’s not only vital to ask people to open up, it’s crucial to actively listen to what they’re saying and reflect that in your response. “It is also really important to convey your care and concern for them, with the key to it by being genuine,” Reidenberg said. “If you really care, make sure they know that and don’t think that you are just asking without any real intent to listen and be helpful.” Ask direct, pointed questions. It’s important to be straightforward with your friends or loved ones if it sounds like they’re at risk, according to Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer at the mental health organization The Jed Foundation. “If someone does seem to be struggling, it is OK to ask them if they are having thoughts about self-harm,” Schwartz said. “If they are, it is useful to ask whether there is a specific plan and are they feeling like they might act on it. It is also useful to ask about what things might be making the person feel hopeful about the future.” Check any bias at the door. Debates about the validity of mental illnesses and their subsequent consequences aren’t productive, according to Reidenberg. (Nor do they have any real merit.) Regardless, all of those biases should be left behind when discussing a life-or-death topic. “When talking about suicide to someone who might be suicidal, leave your biases and moral beliefs about it elsewhere,” he said. “This is not the time to preach to someone who is struggling with a disease that feels their life is in crisis.” Accept that you will feel uncomfortable — and that’s OK. A little discomfort is better than the alternative of leaving an important conversation left unsaid, Schwartz said. “Being open to hearing about someone’s pain and struggles and helping them find help can save lives,” Schwartz said. “This conversation will never not be difficult. It is frightening to sit with someone who is in serious distress. It is not possible to normalize this conversation ― but we can accept the discomfort and understand that it is still the right thing to do.

Título de la revista

Speak up over staying silent. If you’re ever debating whether or not you should bring up suicide, always err on the side of saying something, Reidenberg stressed. “If everyone is willing to start the conversation about suicide, we can begin to create a comprehensive system to saving more lives,” Reidenberg said. “Asking about suicide is not going to put a thought into someone’s head or lead them toward it. In reality, it can help reduce their anxiety, distress and potentially save their life.”

AQUI: Placemaking & the LGBTQ Community

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

Making a Difference

On the afternoon of June 11, Dr. Regner Ramos, a vivant-avant-son-temps personality, welcomed the curious and the brave into his studio within the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture. There he held a workshop on designing and creating posters destined to be exposed to everyone. The subject of this posters? First one must place oneself in time in Dr. Ramos’ shoes (neon-green sneakers in this occasion). Several days ago, it was reported that Dr. Ramos had been the victim of various acts of homophobic bullying within the school and this prompted him to act upon the assault and create something beautiful from such ugliness. The workshop was his reaction: a discussion on homophobic behavior, the emergence of queer and how architecture behaves in associating with the LGBTQ experience.

It is difficult to tell which was livelier, the discussion part of the presentation, or the actual poster making. As it turns out, a bit of bullying was experienced during the discussion itself (mostly due to ignorance and the strong feelings on certain subjects by the participants), but that only resulted in proving the point that even a little bullying is wrong. The rest of the conversation proved thought provoking and friendly. By the end, friendships were made and the room was filled with a sense of camaraderie.


Nonetheless, Dr. Regner proved to be the perfect host. He guided the participants through a very intriguing exercise which posed questions as important as “Do you feel represented by the parks and other public spaces around town?” And “Do you feel you and your partner can be yourselves in open spaces?” Once the exercise was complete, even more revelations came out, these, however, lead to the purpose of the workshop: to create a poster that would express your thoughts as provoked by the afternoons’ discussion.

Beautiful colors and designed emerged from the participant’s hard work. Like open doors leading to spaces filled with answers and more questions, the posters will hopefully allow students of the School of Architecture stop and think about those who may feel bullyied or uncomfortable behaving free within this society and in the spaces created by the architects who have been vested with the responsibility of producing spaces available to everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identification. Título de la revista

A magnificent achievement by Dr. Ramos. We hope he continues to invite everyone to this kind of workshop. And we invite everyone to initiate change as Dr. Ramos has done for a long time.

Two years after the Pulse tragedy, we continue to remember the 49 innocent lives taken and send our love and support to their families and the survivors.

Older People Often Have Conflicts Between HIV Drugs and Other Meds A recent analysis of a group of HIV-positive individuals age 50 and older found that nearly half had potential conflicts. From June 9, 2018 HIV-positive people who are past their 40s commonly have potential conflicts between their antiretrovirals (ARVs) and other medications they are taking, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of 744 people age 50 and older who received care for HIV in 2016 and who took ARVs as well as at least one other non-HIV medication. The researchers analyzed the participants’ medications according to the University of Liverpool Drug Interaction Checker, which categorizes drug pairings according to a “traffic light� grading system: amber indicates that the pairing should be closely monitored or that there should be adjustments in dosing or the timing of when individuals take either of the medications; red indicates that there is a contraindication between the drugs and that they should not be taken together. Ninety-six percent of the participants were white and 74 percent were male. The median age was 56. Eighteen percent were 65 years old or older. The participants were on a median of two non-ARV medications. Sixty-eight percent of them were on five or more non-HIV medications, a phenomenon known as polypharmacy. Forty-seven percent of the participants had one or more amber warnings for their medications, while 6 percent had one or more red warnings. Those age 65 and older had a higher proportion of each warning than the younger participants. Factors associated with a higher likelihood of potential drug-drug interactions included polypharmacy and the use of blood thinners, calcium channel blockers, anti-BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) drugs, anti-osteoporotic drugs and sedative-hypnotic drugs. Factors linked to a lower likelihood of potential drug-drug interactions included being male and taking a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or integrase inhibitor compared with taking a protease inhibitor.


Maintaining Dignity: A Survey of


Maintaining Dignity: A Survey of LGBT Adults Age 45 and Older BY ANGELA HOUGHTON, AARP RESEARCH, MARCH 2018

Insights on Concerns and Preferences of Mid-Life and Older LGBT Adults Three out of four adults age 45 and older who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender say they are concerned about having enough support from family and friends as they age. Many are also worried about how they will be treated in long-term care facilities and want specific LGBT services for older adults. These were among the findings of a recent national AARP survey, “Maintaining Dignity: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans.�


Partnering Patterns and Support Networks May Affect Future Same-sex couples do not “partnerâ€? at the same rate by gender. Survey data shows gay men age 45-plus are far more likely to be single (57%) and live alone (46%) than lesbians, 39% of whom are single and 36% live alone. When asked about their social support network, gay men report being less connected than lesbians on every relationship type tested, from friends, to partners, to neighbors. This may put gay men at greater risk of isolation and potentially influences the types of services they will need later in life. Transgender or gender expansive individuals are also less likely to be connected to sources of social support. Although more than half (53%) of transgender or gender expansive survey respondents have children or grandchildren, this group is least likely to say they consider gay or straight friends, family or neighbors part of their personal support network, putting them at increased risk of isolation now and as they age. In Search of LGBT-Friendly Communities Older LGBT Americans live in cities and towns of all sizes. Just under one-third of those surveyed live in big urban cities, while the rest reside in suburbs, medium-sized cities, or small towns and rural arTĂ­tulo de la revista

Maintaining Dignity: A Survey of

The survey found high demand for long-term care providers who actively welcome the LGBT community and demonstrate awareness eas. Survey responses suggest that community size is less important than LGBT-friendliness when it comes to living in a supportive community. munity size is less important than LGBT-friendliness when it comes to living in a supportive community. Nevertheless, the share of residents with access to LGBT community resources is significantly higher in bigger cities compared to smaller and more rural areas, but health and senior services still lag everywhere. Just 48% of big city residents surveyed and as few as 10% of rural and small town residents say they have access to LGBT senior services in their community. Housing access is another dimension

and knowledge of the specific needs of LGBT adults as they age. significantly impacted by the LGBT-friendliness of the community. Survey respondents living in what they describe as very unfriendly communities were seven times more likely to report recent experiences with housing discrimination due to their LGBT identity (14% vs. 2% in LGBTfriendly communities). When asked if they are worried about having to hide their LGBT identity in order to have access to suitable housing options as they age, 34% of all LGBT


survey respondents reported being at least somewhat worried, as did half (54%) of transgender and gender expansive participants. These data underscore the importance of federal and state anti-discrimination laws to protect all LGBT Americans wherever they live as well as the desire for safe housing. The survey found very high levels of interest in LGBT-welcoming older adult housing developments: 90% of respondents were extremely (35%), very

TĂ­tulo de la revista

(27%) or somewhat (28%) interested in that option. One More Reason to Worry about Health Care – Especially for LGBTs of Color While many respondents share the same trepidations about aging as all older Americans, those in the LGBT community have the added worry about the potential for discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in the areas of health care and longterm care as they age. Concerns within the LGBT community about long-term care are great, particularly for gender expansive individuals. Majorities cite concerns about neglect, abuse, refused access to services, or harassment. The possibility of being forced to hide one’s identity as a condition of receiving care is a concern for just under half of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents and for 70% of transgender and gender expansive respondents. Gay men, lesbian women and bisexuals of all racial and ethnic groups are about equally likely to worry that their sexual orientation and age may have a negative impact on the quality of care they receive from health care providers as they age. However, for black and Latino community members, they are also far more likely to be concerned about their race or ethnic identities, as well as gender identity, putting them at risk for poor quality of care. Rather than one type of discrimination out-ranking others, black and Latino members of the LGBT community carry additional reasons to feel vulnerable in the health care system.

Houghton, Angela. Maintaining Dignity: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans. Washington, DC: AARP Research, March 2018.

Finding Suitable Health Care Providers Despite concerns about prejudice affecting future quality of care, most LGBT survey respondents are relatively satisfied with their current health care. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of respondents have at least a good relationship with their health care provider. Finding suitable providers by mid-life and beyond may have taken some trial and error that included a negative experience; such experiences, in fact, could be a source of their concerns about the quality of care they would receive in an emergency health situation or if they find themselves in need of long-term care in the future. The survey found high demand for long-term care providers who actively welcome the LGBT community and demonstrate awareness and knowledge of the specific needs of LGBT adults as they age. More than eight in ten survey respondents say they would

feel more comfortable with providers who are specifically trained in LGBT patient needs (88%), use advertising to highlight LGBT-friendly services (86%), have some staff members who are LGBT themselves (85%), or display LGBT-welcoming signs or symbols in facilities and online (82%). These findings are based on data collected from October 27 to November 12, 2017 through an online survey of 1,762 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans age 45 and older. The national sample includes n=627 lesbian or same gender loving females; n=680 gay or same gender loving males; n=162 bisexual or pansexual women and men; and n=264 respondents who identified as one of the following “gender expansive� categories: transgender, trans woman, trans man, gender nonbinary, genderqueer, gender fluid or intersex. Gender expansive participants were intentionally oversampled to allow for analysis and data reporting of this segment

Waterpark Tel Aviv


Waterpark Tel Aviv

A look at a fun PRIDE 2018 celebration brought to us through photos by Shaul Alfiah


TĂ­tulo de la revista

About Town Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Cecilia Pagan

photo by

Photo by Lobas VIP Photo by Myosoty Perez Photo by Alter

Photo by Mary Zone Ochenta

Photo by Shirley Ann Alejandro

Photo by Nitza Ivette Baez

Photo by Omarjadhir Flores

Foto por Esteban Vargas

Francisco Victoria has something to say


“Marinos”, the first song chosen by Francisco Victoria (fictitious name), showed us a sensual, intense boy who has a lot to say. At 21 he has left the pot to spill on his strong fans one issue after another that defines not only his person but the whole generation. Francisco sang as a young man in the choir of his church, which he rejected because he found it violent and enormously unreal. At 18 years of age he left his house in southern Chile, the Araucanía, to live in Santiago. And he has been writing songs since he was 14 years old. While his schoolmates called him a queer, Francisco found an escape in his music. From his family home, he wrote to Alex Anwandter, who asked him to move to Santiago and, once there, he became his teacher. “Marinos” seems to have been the cry that brought francisco from the countryside to the city, taking out everything bottled and uncovering a being that shines among the noise of the media. “’Marinos’ is all that translated into a song. I like to think of ‘Marinos’ as a crystal that in each of the sides has a very personal part of me: how I feel about my relationships, how I feel with Santiago, how I feel with who I am and where I come from ... I think that’s why it was also a bit logical that it was the single, that it was the first thing that was heard, “Francisco told Noisey magazine in an interview in 2017.

Foto por Valentina Palavencio

“I do not want my life anymore If my life is not having love I do not want destiny anymore If destiny is not wanting to be me I have a marine fear I’m afraid to split in two If you take with you The beat of my heart” -Marinos

Foto pot Esteban Vargas

Foto por AgustĂ­n LeĂłn

foto por Esteban Vargas Roa

The career of Francisco Victoria is one that must be watched, because this boy has taken control of the wheel within his gender and the environment and does not seem to want to stop very soon.


Pedro Sanchez & the New Gay Spanish Government

For the first time in Spain, has there been such a large LGBT representation in the government’s cabinet office.

Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, a Spanish economist and politician who is also Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) is serving as Prime Minister of Spain since 2 June 2018. Sanchez had been the party’s candidate for prime minister in the 2015 and 2016 general elections but had lost on both occasions. But he finally gained power by filing a motion of non-confidence on May 31, which passed and eventually led to the resignation of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. On the following day, he was officially sworn into the office before King Felipe VI. Sánchez is married María Begoña Gómez Fernández and they have two daughters, is an atheist and speaks fluent Spanish, French and English. And now, to shake things up a bit more, Sanchez has appointed two openly gay men as cabinet ministers.


Temporales: The Dance of Fear 2 Temporales or hurricanes, have been such standard fare in Puerto Rico that songs have been written about them: “Temporal, temporal, allá viene el temporal. ¿Que será de mi Borinquen, cuando llegue el temporal?” (The storm, the storm, the storm approaches. What Will happen to my Borinquen when the hurricane arrives?). The plena is music born during the early 1900s in the southern part of the island, from very humble origins in the barriadas. This one, characterizes the fear of a coming storm and resonates as a horror movie sound bite, a prelude to pending disaster. Like the plena, a hurricane has humble beginnings. It starts with a few basics: a very warm ocean that serves as its source of energy, and some kind of disturbance in the atmosphere (a front, a depression, or a wind change), lots of moisture and a trigger. These create a tropical storm that has the possibility of becoming a hurricane, much like the plena grows from a rhythm played on a cuatro, drum, güiro, accordion and pandereta into a frenzy of dance moves orchestrated ironically to provoke laughter and joy. The winds inside a hurricane form a ring around a calm center referred to as the eye of the hurricane. Winds are at the strongest as they get closer to the eye of the storm. But slower and constant winds and rain can surround and follow the storm as it drags itself along its path. Last year, when Hurricane Maria hit the island, the winds and rain caused such havoc as throughout its path across the island that almost one year since then, Puerto Rico is still recuperating from that blow.

In 1876, Hurricane San Felipe, a category 4 storm, scored a direct hit on the island and San Juan reported sustained winds of 144 mph. records show that 312 people died, and damage to property was estimated at $50 million, certainly not a dancing matter at all. Since 1980, over 12 hurricanes have passed close to Puerto Rico. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo crossed over the eastern side of Puerto Rico with winds up to 120 mph. Hugo was responsible for 5 deaths and it was reported that damages to property in Puerto Rico and the USVI was over $1 billion. As sure as winter brings Christmas to the island, summer brings hurricanes. We may never know how many people really died because of the effects of Hurricane Maria. But every Puerto Rican now speaks of a time before Maria and a time after it. The storm made landfall on Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 20 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph and by the time it was gone, it had destroyed the electricity grid having left over 3 million people without electric power in their homes for weeks on end. By September 24, Puerto Rico’s governor estimated that the damage from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was surely over the $8 billion damage by Hurricane Georges. If there is one lesson to be learned is that we should not hope that another hurricane doesn’t hit the island. Everyone needs to prepare because Puerto Rico is located right on the center of Hurricane Alley. And, there is no guarantee that we will not be hit for another 30 or 100 years.

Image from Bodegón con Teclado


June 5 celebrates and honors long-term survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and raises awareness of their needs, issues and journeys.

Doing It is a new national HIV tes-

ting and prevention campaign designed to motivate all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status. As part of the Act Against AIDS initiative, Doing It delivers the message that HIV testing should be a part of everyone’s regular health routine to keep ourselves and our community healthy. He’s doing it. She’s doing it. We’re doing it. YOU should be doing it, too.

We see you, w

Traditionally, the most common focus be rences. It may have taken a tragedy to ma

Understanding why we behave the way we do

Doing It is a new national HIV testing and prevention campaign designed to motivate all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status. As part of the Act Against AIDS initiative, Doing It delivers the message that HIV testing should be a part of everyone’s regular health routine to keep ourselves and our community healthy. He’s doing it. She’s doing it. We’re doing it. etween generations has been our diffeYOU should be doing it, too. ash us all together into one community.

we hear you

we are you

o will help us to get beyond our stereotypes.

Maybe you have been hiding under a rock lately, but for those who live the day-to-day and own any form of electronic communication device, the FIFA World Championship (the soccer big tournament, for the non-sports speakers) is upon us once more and this time it is taking place in Russia. Much fanfare has been made because of the location: Putin’s playground, giving hm a chance to show off. Indeed, the march of muscular men in colorful shorts should cause quite a stir worldwide. Below we offer the most intriguing question everyone should be asking about the World Cup: Messi or Rolando?

We’ll let you choose.



Portrait Artist Don Bachardy and Writer Christopher Isherwood Born in Los Angeles, California, Bachardy studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Slade School of Art in London. His first oneman exhibition was held in October 1961 at the Redfern Gallery in London. He met the writer Christopher Isherwood on Valentine’s Day 1953, when he was 18 and Isherwood was 48. They remained together until Isherwood’s death in 1986. A number of paperback editions of Isherwood’s novels feature Bachardy’s pencil portraits of the author. A film about their relationship, titledChris & Don: A Love Story, was released in 2008. Bachardy has had many one-man exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston and New York. More recently, he exhibited at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, in 2004–2005.

Bachardy and the novelist Christopher Isherwood in the early 1950s. Photograph by Zeitgeist Films/Courtesy of Everett Collection.

A 1968 portrait of Bachardy and Isherwood by their friend David Hockney. Courtesy of the artist.

His works reside in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum of Art in San Francisco, the University of Texas, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Portrait Gallery, London. Six books of his work have been published. His life and works are also documented in Terry Sanders’ film The Eyes of Don Bachardy. He collaborated with Isherwood on Frankenstein: The True Story (1973). His book Stars in My Eyes (2000), about celebrated people whom he had painted, became a number one best-seller in Los Angeles. Bachardy’s most haunting and eloquent published collection, “Last Drawings of Christopher Isherwood” in 1990 contains the dying and deceased Isherwood for the last time in his eyes. One of Bachardy’s most notable works is the official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown that hangs in the California State Capitol Museum.

Most recently, Bachardy made a cameo appearance in the movie A Single Man (starring Colin Firth) based on Isherwood’s book of the same name—he portrays a professor in the teacher’s lounge, to whom Firth says “Hello. Don.” Bachardy told Angeleno Magazine in their December 2009 issue: “Chris got the idea for that book when he and I were having a domestic crisis. We’d been together 10 years. I was making a lot of trouble and wondering if I shouldn’t be on my own. Chris was going through a very difficult period (as well). So he killed off my character, Jim, in the book and imagined what his life would be like without me.” Bachardy still lives in his and Isherwood’s Santa Monica home (his place of residence for more than 50 years), where he paints portraits for gallery shows and on a commission basis. In January 2010 he showed a retrospective of self-portraits (from 1959–2009) at Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica. In Fall of 2011, Bachardy exhibited portraits made over the last 40 years depicting artists from Southern California. All 33 paintings were purchased by a New York collector on the board of the Whitney Museum.

Don Bachardy, Shahin, 2005. Acrylic on paper, 22 x 29 in. Courtesy of the artist and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.


These are the recent creations by Simakai, hoodies with the colors of the LGBTQ flag. Each hododie is designed for a specific sexually oriented or gender defined group. Not only are the hoodies colored beautifully, but for every one sold, Simakai will donate $2 to the Fondation Emergence!, founders of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. (Photos by Bahamut Night Photography)


n more than half the country, LGBT Americans still live in fear of being fired from a job, turned away from a business, or being denied a place to live – all because of who they are. This video, developed by SAGE, Movement Advancement Project, and Open To All illustrates the devastating harms Americans face as a result of not having nondiscrimination protections. Stand with LGBT elders and take the pledge at

Marvel has revived gay solo superhero series Iceman for a new run. The series will be written by gay creator Sina Grace, who helmed Bobby Drake’s last solo arc. He will be joined by artist Nathan Stockman, a new addition to the series. Marvel Comics canceled the last solo series for Iceman, which ran for 20172018, blaming low sales.


Marvel revives gay solo superhero series Iceman for new run Gay Star News

So it was a surprise to see the return of the gay mutant. The returning series introduces new problems for Iceman in the form of a mysterious villain who is hunting Morlocks for sport. Morlocks are the ‘underground mutants’, who’s ugly appearance and unusual powers force them to live in the sewers. Iceman will have to discover who is killing off the Morlocks if he hopes to prevent another Mutant Massacre. The first issue will also feature a guest appearance by Bishop. ‘While he’s fine enough running a team, he knows it’s not where his strengths are best put to use,’ Grace said in an interview with ‘He’s still sorting out how he fits in this world when he discovers that Morlocks are disappearing in the sewers. What he uncovers in the catacombs is far more terrifying than he could have imagined. From there? Things get really bad.’ Grace has said Iceman’s relationship with Kitty Pryde will evolve. ‘I think they’re gonna [be] fun to have next to each other given Bobby’s new context,’ Grace said. ‘Exploring identity is a huge theme in this series, and Bishop’s a perfect character to have bounce off Bobby… not only ‘cuz he’s kind of more straight-laced than Iceman, but because he’s also this guy trying to establish himself in a world he’s not from. That’s something Bobby can relate to after having to come out to every single human being in his life.’


The Ornithologist (2016) O Ornitólogo (original title) The Ornithologist (original title: O Ornitólogo) is a Portuguese film directed by João Pedro Rodrigues and released in 2016. The film stars Paul Hammy as Fernando, an ornithologist studying black storks, who is drawn into a series of incidents paralleling the life of Saint Anthony of Padua. Director João Pedro Rodriguez has described his film as a “purposefully transgressive and blasphemous re-appropriation of the saint’s life.” The film won awards for best film at the Denver International Film Festival and best director at the Locarno International Film Festival. The setting of “The Ornithologist” is that of a Portuguese forest. As Fernando, a bird watcher, travels to get back to civilization after a kayaking accident, his saga becomes that of an existential journey set within a lowkey survival movie narrative.

The movie begins at a place of stability. Fernando (Paul Hamy) has ventured out onto a river while looking for endangered storks; a couple of Chinese missionaries (Han Wen and Chan Suan) are traveling through the woods nearby have supposedly become lost, and are afraid of the spirits of the forest. When the two are shown at first, they are sharing blood from one’s scraped knees. Fernando’s kayak has capsized, and he has nearly drowned, but they revive him before demanding that he protect them and guide them out of the forest. After he refuses in order to go his own way, he wakes up the next morning tied up, told by the missionaries that they can’t let him go because they are cursed.

After thirty minutes into this movie, suddenly its tone changes drastically. The scenes move as chapters each depicting a stranger experience in Fernando’s forest excursion. While remaining in a large, open forest, we are driven into observing minute details that make us ponder what is going on. Hamy is built like an underwear model and has sexy-as-hell dep blue eyes. Yet, he is a victim that drags the viewer along a path of discovery and self-loathing. The scenery is amazingly beautiful, and the shots are exceptional, allowing us to enjoy the full beauty of the location and minimizing the importance of the humans partaking in this film. As Fernando travels through the scenes, we are shown how nature can survive without humans and in fact, overtakes anything humans dump on her – the broken kayak, the buildings.

By the end, if you do not know the story of Saint Anthony of Padua, you might not “get it.” For example, the part of the movie where Fernando is approached by the two lost women to help guide them, is derived from the fact that St Anthony’s (into whom we see Fernando turn by the end of the film) help is invoked for finding things lost or stolen by Catholics. According to the story, Anthony had a book of psalms that was of some importance to him as it contained the notes and comments he had made to use in teaching his students. A novice who had decided to leave took the psalter with him. Prior to the invention of the printing press, any book was an item of value. Upon noticing it was missing, Anthony prayed it would be found or returned. The thief was moved to restore the book to Anthony and return to the Order. The stolen book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna.

Anthony of Padua with the Infant Jesus by Francisco de Zurbarán.

João Pedro Rodrigues studied at the School of Theater and Cinema of Portugal and began his career as assistant director of Alberto Seixas Santos and Teresa Villaverde.

Since the beginning of time, it has been special people that have changed the world. You are one of those people. Never change.

“I don’t want people to laugh at me. They won’t believe me.”

Profile for COMSOLE

COMSOLE Magazine: The Pride Issue  

COMSOLE Magazine: The Pride Issue  

Profile for comsole