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ISSUE #21 | JUNE 2016

CHICAGO | IBIZA | COSTA RICA

#Proud2BMe


A LLOVE W A Y WINS


Connexting CONTRIBUTORS

Connextions Magazine Issue 20: Deluxe Life, features luxurious destinations. We traveled all over the world and had lots of fun photo shoots in Oslo, Norway, California, Maui, Connecticut, Lima, Peru and Florida where Connextions Magazine visited the Diplomat Resort & Spa for an unforgettable photo shoot with Lithuanian Model Paulius Paražinskas. And on location aboard the Starlight Charter with French Model William Rootpeter.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Manny Velasquez-Paredes CREATIVE DIRECTOR Xioger Sandoval FEATURED WRITER David Duran CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lilly Chris Ross Christianson H. Luiz Martinez Carlos Mayorga Aaron Paiva Leyton David Perry JJ Vega Manny Velasquez-Paredes Sarah Stanley-Evan

Cover Photo by: Xioger Sandoval Model: Martina Marić Location: Xioger Sandoval Studios in NYC Croatian Model Martina Marić is the muse for our annual PRIDE issue and the #Proud2BMe campaign, which is the theme of this year’s international calendar of pride events and parades.

Read Connextions Magazine online: ConnextionsMagazine.com Write to us: Have a question or comment regarding this issue or future issues of Connextions Magazine? We would love to hear from you! E-mail responses and press releases are always welcomed.

We take a look at the First Amendment and the so-called religious-freedom laws, as well as what has become to be known as the bathroom-laws.

mvp@connextionsmagazine.com

What is the meaning of PRIDE and why do we celebrate it as a community?

All submissions become the property of Connextions Magazine.

Read #Proud2BMe article on page 60.

The views and opinions stated throughout this magazine are not necessarily the opinions of staff at Connextions Magazine. Connextions Magazine, LLC publishing mailing address: PO Box 242 Calverton, NY 11933 Connextions Magazine and Connextions Magazine en Español will not knowingly publish or advertise text which is fraudulent or misleading. The publisher reserves the right to edit, limit, revise, or reject any text without cause. Connextions Magazine assumes no financial responsibility for typographical errors. If any errors are found, please notify Connextions Magazine immediately. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. ISSN 2160-4347 (print) ISSN 2160-4355 (online)

Find us, Follow us, Like us, Tweet us, Pin us, Share us on all social media sites @ConnextionsMag #ConnextionsMag

Connextions Magazine, the Travel & Lifestyle magazine for the LGBTQ Traveler since 2010, is a proud member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, Gay European Tourism Association & National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, as well The travel Media Sponsor of HRC Greater New York.

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Letter from the Editor

#Proud2BMe, Connextions Magazine issue #21, analyses the meaning of freedom of religion and we also tackle the so-called bathroom-laws and their implications. While travelling through the city of Baltimore, we take a behind the scenes tour of a NOH8 photo shoot, featuring Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley, who created The NOH8 Campaign, and my family (proudly pictured above) become the subjects for this campaign. Our Featured Writer and Gay Travel Expert, David Duran takes us to Ibiza to experience the world’s most expensive restaurant, as well as introduces us to Gay Polo in The Palm Beaches. In addition, we introduce you to 4 hotels in Los Angeles that will make you want to experience for yourself! Our Travel Lite Expert, Ross Christianson, takes us on a New York State of Mind tour where we experience and sip through the many options available in the city that never sleeps. We also GetFork in Westchester, New York and get lost in a sea of 5 fishes! You’ll notice this issue features new technological advances and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it for you. Don’t forget to follow us on all social media channels under our handle @ConnextionsMag. PS: The #Proud2BMe issue has been altered to include a tribute in memory of the victims of the horrible tragedy our community faced on June 12, 2016 at Pulse gay club. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Orlando, FL, specially to the families and friends of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives. #WeAreOrlando MVP

Editor In Chief

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Contents June 2016 “The World’s Most Expensive” Restaurant Chef Paco Roncero Presents Sublimotion

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GetForkd! The Premier LGBT Food, Wine & Cocktails Show

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The Food Trail 5 Fishes

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TRAVEL The Palm Beaches: More Than Yachts The Beach and Gay Polo - What’s Not to Like?

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NYC: Through Innocent Eyes It’s a New York State of Mind

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Fort Lauderdale: Hello Sunny! Because Who Doesn’t Love It?!?!?

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Los Angeles: 4 Hotels Location, Sophistication & Fun

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LGBT Family Travel: Baltimore NOH8 Photo Shoot Behind the Scenes

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CONNECT Transcending TRANS-forming Bathrooms: Policing Pee & Poop

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#Proud2BMe Pride Events From Around the World

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The Lost Boys Chicago Pride Events

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La Marcha de la Diversidad Costa Rica Pride Events

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PAN & TINK - Photographer Adam Ouahmane and Graphic Artist Kyle Krueger

LIVE


Letter from the Editor

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#Proud2BMe Annual International Pride Events Calendar 7


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LEVITY & JUSTICE for ALL A C O M E DY B E N E F I T F O R

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9 hysterical lesbian & queer comics plus one special musical guest equals a night of EPIC entertainment The Town Hall • NYC • 6.16.16 • 7:30 pm


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Capturing Your Love

Gay Polo in The Palm Beaches, FL Photo by: David Duran Connextions 10 Connextions Magazine Magazine | | Deluxe Deluxe Life Life | | December December 2015 2015 10


More Than Yachts The Palm Beaches Are Calling


Travel: The Palm Beaches Written & photos by: David Duran

David is a culinary, hospitality and travel writer who focuses on both domestic and international travel destinations for several different markets. His love for discovering cities and travel spots is evident as he is away from his favorite place and home base of New York City the majority of the time.

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ave you ever seen the movie Heartbreakers with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver? You know, the one where they are in Palm Beach and trying to con their way into fortunes by marrying rich billionaires who live in the area. So basically, that was my only reference of Palm Beach I had when I decided to fly down for the Gay Polo League’s 7th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament. I didn’t even know gay polo was a thing, and when I heard it was in Palm Beach, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to see what the hell it was all about. I mean…gay polo? What’s not to love? I arrived to West Palm Beach airport, super convenient FYI, and came in a few days prior so I could explore the Palm Beaches. I didn’t even know the Palm Beaches was a thing, so I was content to explore a few of the cities that made up said Palm Beaches, before hitting up the tournament in Palm Beach. Still with me? My first stop was Boca Raton and my hotel, the Waterstone Resort & Marina. This place was awesome; it’s actually a Double Tree by Hilton, so they give you those fresh warm cookies at check-in, although this place was in a category of its own when it came to Double Trees, as it was more of a boutique property, doing its own thing but using the Hilton branding. No complaints here at all, the views from the room, which are standard in every room, are fantastic. The décor ConnextionsMagazine.com

was minimal but that was welcomed, as the water views are the main focal point. After check-in, I headed to The Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa because who doesn’t need a welcome massage after flying in? This place was over the top, and the spa here is all about indulgences, which was evident by pre-massage champagne and brownies. I didn’t want to leave afterwards, but alas, dinner at The Farmer’s Table was calling, and it was great. The farm to table concept has been overdone now and it’s becoming the standard everywhere, but this place did it better than anywhere I had been lately, and the cocktails that accompanied dinner were just as amazing. My second day in the Palm Beaches, I wanted to immerse myself and well, when I read about The Wick Theatre & Costume Museum, my gay self couldn’t resist. The theatre has been presenting musicals for years and the costume theatre, which is curated and changes, currently had original costumes from over 35 Broadway productions and revivals. After my musical geek-out, I headed over to Delray Beach for a little beach time and city tour, by golf cart, nonetheless. And dinner that night was my first introduction to Palm Beach itself, with a visit to The Colony Hotel’s Royal Room Cabaret. The hotel itself is a landmark and has some pretty amazing history and rumors attached to it. That night was also gentleman’s night at the bar, so it was fun to take a few laps around the bar and check out what Palm Beach was serving up before the cabaret dinner. The cabaret itself was definitely a Palm Beach rite of passage and it was brilliant and exactly what I would have expected from a cabaret dinner show in Palm Beach! Day three took me to West Palm Beach, where all the non-billionaires reside. Here, I did a walking

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More Than Yachts food tour and was pleasantly surprised by the amazing street art I saw. I also met the amazing owners of Pizza Girls, a married lesbian couple, who have been dominating the pizza scene in West Palm Beach for decades. After the tour, I swapped hotels and hit up the Kimpton Tideline Resort & Spa where again, my expectations were exceeded. The rooms were great, but it was the open-air restaurant located feet from the sand that won me over. The turquoise blue umbrellas were a perfect compliment to the white sand and blue waters in the distance and made for a killer Instagram image, because that’s really what it’s all about. The rest of the weekend was spent attending the Gay Polo League’s events and the actual tournament, which by the way, was probably one of the most fabulous outdoor events I’ve ever attended, and I am so glad I brought the right hat to wear! The champagne was flowing and everyone was dressed up and ready to be photographed. The polo tournament itself was almost as entertaining as the tailgates that were created on the sidelines – people went all out and spared no expense to try and stand out among the rest. Before departing, I spent some time with Leslie Diver (www.islandlivingPB.com), who took me on a walking/driving tour of Palm Beach and her insider’s look at the history, architecture and residents was probably the best part of the entire experience because beyond all the fun gossip she relayed, I got to understand a bit more about the area and make sense of it all. I didn’t know what to expect from the Palm Beaches and really didn’t know much about them, but after this trip, I learned that not only are they welcoming to all travelers, but the locals are lots of fun, and the destination isn’t just for the rich and famous. I mean it is, but they are willing to share it with the rest of us.

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Capturing Your Love

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New York Through Innocent Eyes

Written & photos by: Ross Christianson Ross’

biggest

desires

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learn more everyday and to teach people how to make their dreams come true. Residing in Minneapolis, MN, Ross seeks to discover the world and show everyone else how easy it is, especially on a tight budget. Whether traveling or not, he is fun loving, outgoing, optimistic, adventurous, and a risk taker. Some of his favorite memories include skiing in the Austrian Alps, scuba diving in Thailand, and hitch hiking in Colorado. Ross has traveled to 25 countries thus far and cannot wait to experience what comes next!


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Travel: New York

t’s a New York state of mind.... “The wanderer in Manhattan must go forth with a certain innocence, because New York is best seen with innocent eyes. It doesn’t matter if you are younger or old.” Pete Hamill, award winning Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Editor and Educator

It was 11am and I was on my flight from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport. I had a knot in my stomach all morning because I realized earlier that day that I didn’t have any plans whatsoever, with the exception of where I was staying and which friends I hoped to see during this trip. I sat in my seat on the plane stressing and regretting my lack of preparation. Then seemingly out of nowhere, the skyline of Skyscraper National Park faded into view. It was a foggy morning, and

the sun was glowing through the mist as the skyline poked through the mist to stand defiant, strong, confident, and unfazed. This view struck a chord and started a never-ending process in my mind, body, and soul that screamed, “I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME AND I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE.” By the time I left the airport and headed to my friend’s apartment, I was already sorting the things I wanted to do and very quickly my schedule for the week was filling up and I began contemplating moving my return flight back a few days, which I ultimately did. The countless restaurants, bars, museums, Broadway shows, sites, parks, and everything in between; and it began to overwhelm me yet I don’t think I ever felt more excited and alive. I think French Writer, Simone Beauvoir, said it best when she stated, “there is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” That is what I find so exciting about New York. There is never a shortage of things to do, and it always leaves me wanting more.


I found that traveling to the city that never sleeps can be enjoyed whether you are alone or with friends, and that both possibilities have its pros and cons. One reason I like traveling in New York alone is that you have free rein to do whatever you like. You can go to museums, to the top of the World Trade Center, get a bite to eat at an upscale Italian restaurant just blocks from Central Park, and the possibilities are endless. The downside to traveling alone is that in environments that require socializing, such as nightlife activities, it’s a little more awkward when you don’t know anyone. However, when you are with friends you get to share experiences, and those experiences often come with more laughter and more hilarious photos. The downside to traveling with people in New York is that you can have trouble in agreeing what to do. This can especially be true if people travel differently. For example, if one person loves museums while another only wants to go to cafes, you will certainly butt heads if neither party is flexible. With that said, I recommend planning a little time for everyone to be together, as well as having time for everyone to go off on their own or in smaller groups. For daytime activities, I recommend checking out museums and beautiful views. New York has no shortage of museums, and I have found the best place is along Fifth Avenue on the east side of Central Park. There, you will find the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and just a few blocks south of Central Park is The Museum of Modern Art. These are my top recommendations, but you should personalize the research since there are many more options to choose from. For beautiful views of the city, a must-visit is the top of Rockefeller Center, the top of One World Trade Center, or simply walking across Brooklyn Bridge. One of my favorite views of the city, however, is the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street in Brooklyn, right next to Dumbo Park. Here, you get a unique view of the Manhattan Bridge that is sure

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to fill your heart as you turn the corner and set your eyes on it. I would include this stop on a walk across Brooklyn Bridge, and then get pizza at Front Street Pizza, which is just a couple blocks away! Let us not forget all of the time that can be enjoyed outside, weather permitting. Just picture yourself sitting on a blanket with picnic food and drinks, surrounded by other people enjoying the time, and seeing skyscrapers poke up from the tops of the trees. The sun beaming down, you hear laughter, you make conversation with your friends or make new ones, and soak up the moment that you are in because nothing else matters right then and there. From there you can head to any of the various restaurants and cafes around the city. If you are coming from Central Park, I recommend trying The Bar Room just a few blocks East of the South East corner of Central Park. This restaurant has ConnextionsMagazine.com

a delicious and adventurous menu with great cocktails to match. I had the Korean BBQ Salmon with Bok Choy, as a Korean BBQ lover, I was very satisfied. I also recommend going to the various famous streets and avenues around the city. There is a certain feeling you get as you walk around and next thing you know you are standing in the center of Times Square or in front of One World Trade Center. This is the feeling of seeing something that you have only seen in images your whole life, and now it is right there in front of your face, you can touch it! This feeling is one of my favorite parts of travel and continues to fuel my need to get out and see the world. Once we head into the evening and nighttime, my selection of activities alters drastically. Museums are swapped out for Broadway shows. Lunch and picnics are swapped out for upscale dining. Neighborhood walks are replaced by late nights spent at the bars, which are open much further into

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the evening than back in Minneapolis. For cheap Broadway tickets, check out TKTS Times Square. You should arrive about an hour before the show startss and be prepared to split up if you are in a large group. This isn’t the most reliable method, so if you are very flexible it’s a nice option. However, if you are dead set on a particular show, I would recommend buying tickets in advance to ensure your seat. In terms of restaurants and nightlife, there is absolutely no shortage of options. Figure out what you are looking for, and you will surely find it. Whether you want to sing karaoke, dance the night away, go to a drag queen comedy show, or sit in a German beer hall and sip the night away with a pint of beer and your friends, you’ll find it. One of my favorite Wednesday night spots is Therapy Bar to see the weekly drag queen comedy show “The Help featuring Pixie Aventura and Bob the Drag Queen,” winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 8. There is really something

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for adults here and I promise you will find your memorable evening. New York is truly the city of opportunity. According to author and journalist Tom Wolfe, “One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” I couldn’t agree more. From the first moments I entered the city I was filled with excitement, joy, and a sense of adventure. This city took my mind, body, and soul upon first sight and left me wanting more to this day. I hope one day soon you can go to New York, whether for the first time or for a return visit to this captivating city, and have a getaway that will exceed all of your expectations and fill your entire being with excitement and happiness. “I didn’t know the city at all, but I was so happy to be in New York I cried. I was so excited.” Greta Gerwig, Actress & Filmmaker

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The Photographer’s Portrait

Your What, When & Where For NYC LGBTQ Events, Arts, Entertainment, Culture & More!

NYCUpAndOut.com ConnextionsMagazine.com

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Capturing Your Love

Airboat Ride in Sawgrass Recreation Park, FL Connextions Magazine 22 Photo by: David Duran

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Capturing Your Love Who Doesn’t Hello Sunny! Because Love Fort Lauderdale!?

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fter a good few days in the Palm Beaches, I couldn’t resist but to jump in a car and head over to one of my favorite cities, Fort Lauderdale. Gay polo was an exhausting experience so I really needed a second trip to recover from the first, and really, the two are so close, it would have been wasteful not to extend and enjoy it. I checked in to the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale and was looking forward to experiencing their new facelift, which included a new restaurant, and updates of the spa and public spaces – plus it’s a Ritz-Carlton and I was all about indulging for a few days, especially since Sebastian Beach, directly in front of the hotel, is kind of the gay beach.

Written & photos by: David Duran David is a culinary, hospitality and travel writer who focuses on both domestic and international travel destinations for several different markets. His love for discovering cities and travel spots is evident as he is away from his favorite place and home base of New York City the majority of the time.

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Dinner on the first night was at one of my favorites down the road, S3 at the Hilton, and I remember ordering a sampler, but instead of sushi, it was a

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Travel: Fort Lauderdale

drink sampler. That was a great way to kick off the trip indeed. After sleeping in the next morning and then enjoying breakfast in the Club Lounge of the hotel, I met up with a friend and drove out to Sawgrass Recreation Park for an airboat ride with a reptile expert.

We went, we saw, we spun in circles drifting in an airboat and then we returned back to the park. Our guide wanted to show us a few of the animals up close and when I saw the big yellow Britney Spears boa constrictor, I knew that this was my opportunity to recreate a classic music video. When he took out the boa, I stood back and watched little children run up and pet the snake while I cowered behind the crowds. Missed opportunity, yes, but one less freak death by Britney-boa, averted. I did hold a baby alligator though…

After that exhilarating day of roughing it with nature, I was ready to carb load, so we went over to Louie Bossi for lunch where the Italian cuisine was to die for, and the outdoor patio was something out of a movie set – hard to describe but worth the visit. I didn’t hit the food heavy because I knew that night we would be headed to an outstanding culinary experience. So after a quick beach layout between meals, I jumped in an Uber and was off to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, just a few minutes away. I love Hard Rock hotels and I love slot machines, so this was a win, win. Dinner at Kuro was one of those meals that you just will never forget. Our cute waiter asked if we had any dietary restrictions and then proceeded to create a tasting menu for the table. One after another, the dishes just kept getting better and better, which


was hard to do since everything was so good! At one point, I didn’t even care to know what it was I was about to put in my mouth as I knew it would be just fine, so I stuffed myself, and ate everything. The only way to make myself feel better after over-indulging was to play some slots and I was happy with my return on investment that night, as I’m pretty sure I walked out with $8 dollars more than what I came in with. The next morning I was able to do something I consider one of my favorite aspects of my job, and that was a private hardhat tour of a new hotel! The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is set to open later this year and it’s going to be out of this world. It’s unlike any other hotel in the area because the room categories are all massive, as

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they were built to be residential living spaces. The pool deck might be one of the most unique I’ve seen and the décor will most definitely grace the pages of many editorial publications. I’m pretty sure the new Conrad will set a new standard for Fort Lauderdale and up the luxury market game up big time. Coincidentally, next door to the new Conrad, The Four Seasons has begun laying dirt for their new development, proving that the strip is soon to be home to more upscale options. Greater Fort Lauderdale is always a good time. Whether I am there to party in Wilton Manors, or just relax on the beach in front of my hotel for a weekend, I’m never disappointed.

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The Photographer’s Portrait

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Capturing Your Love

O

k, so it might not be the most expensive, but it’s on the list for sure. The difference here is that I really wouldn’t consider this place to be in the same category as restaurants, only because it’s so much more than that. I knew when I was headed to Ibiza that I was going to indulge. I mean, the parties, the yachts, the people…the options were limitless.

“THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE” RESTAURANT Written & photos by: David Duran

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What I didn’t think I would be doing was carving out a chunk of my evening to be a part of a dining experience so exclusive that it requires reservations well in advance. So you are probably wondering where this place is and why it’s so over the top, right? If you’ve ever been to Ibiza, and were fortunate enough to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel, you know that the cloth wristbands there are pretty much everything. They Connextions Magazine

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identify you to hotel staff but most importantly, differentiate you from other hotel guests, I mean, if you have the VIP one that is. You might have noticed that some guests had a special one on their wrist but weren’t really sure what it said or meant. Sublimotion. That’s what’s printed on that very special wristband, and that’s the most coveted souvenir on Ibiza. Hidden inside the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza is Sublimotion, an experiential dining option that seat 12 guests each night. It truly is a production from start to finish beginning with a cocktail at renowned Chef Paco Roncero Estado Puro restaurant, located within the hotel. Chef Roncero is also the mastermind behind Sublimotion so it’s only fitting you begin at his more accessible Spanish cuisine restaurant. Guests are then escorted to the front entrance, where a fleet of Range Rovers with drivers is parked out front to take guests to

Travel: Ibiza

the next part of the evening. It’s quite a show and a very mysterious one for onlookers to witness as the Sublimotion branded Range Rovers almost demand envious looks. When we arrived to the private entrance, it mostly looked like the exit of a stage door at a Broadway theater or something. It was bizarre but in retrospect, fit perfectly into the evening of theatrics that would ensue. When the group entered, we were greeted with a personal invitation of sorts, a ticket sealed inside an envelope. When we were instructed to eat said ticket, as that was our first official course, I knew I was in for something I could have never imagined.

After years of research into the world of emotions in fine dining, 2 Michelin star Chef Paco Roncero presented Sublimotion to the world. The unique space he and his team created is a combination of culinary art and technological innovation coming


World’s Most Expensive Restaurant together to create a complete and unprecedented emotional experience. Guests are left clueless as to the experience unless they have heard details from previous diners. Going in blind was the way to do it and although you might see these images and think, “oh, I’ve seen what it is now,” take it from someone who once felt that way, you haven’t. Each of the many, many courses is a complete set redesign and costume change. The table looks different, the visuals on the walls transport you to someplace else, and your wait staff take on a whole new persona. From underwater adventures to Italian pastures to a carnival course that had me so confused, in the best way possible, beyond what you see and feel…what you taste will pretty much blow your mind when combined with this incredible setting that was purposely created to do just that. The reality is, yes, it’s expensive, but you are paying for a lot more than just a meal. When I try to explain to friends what this place is all about, I find myself lost in my thoughts and memories. I have flashbacks of farming for my own vegetables, massive balloons leading me to Ferris wheels placed on the table, a disco party and a virtual reality course that still has me confused as to how it actually worked… among other memories. It’s something that just can’t be unseen. It’s a dining experience that can’t really set a new standard for dining because there really is nothing else out there that comes close to being like it.

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Capturing Your Love

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LA Hotels That Will Make You Want To Book a Trip Now

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By: David Duran Photos provided by: W Los Angeles Andaz West Hollywood Mama Shelter Millennium Biltmore ConnextionsMagazine.com

ith so many hotel options in Los Angeles, which one is the one to visit? In LA, it’s all about location and being in the midst of everything. When we travel to LA, we imagine sophistication, a hip vibe and a fun scene to take in. There are a ton of hotels all throughout Los Angeles to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our favorites. From an iconic landmark property in the downtown area (which is quickly becoming the new gay hotspot with the opening of three new gay bars), to a smaller international boutique property that steps up the game for boutiques by providing guests with a space they will surely miss when checking into another hotel elsewhere. We’ve also included the original G of lifestyle brand hotels and a property with a history that’s sure to cause a riot. LA isn’t a one visit destination, so don’t fret over picking your favorite – you can always stay somewhere else the next time!

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Travel: 4 LA Hotels W Los Angeles

http://www.wlosangeles.com/ Located in West Beverly Hills, the W Los Angeles has recently undergone a $25 million renovation. The modern brand that set the standard for other lifestyle brands has always been the original and the renovations at the Los Angeles property prove that the brand is still setting standards with its overly modern design and fashion forward design choices. The property has 297 re-imagined suites including an Extreme WOW suite that comes equipped with a state-of-the-art screening room. The trendy LA hot spot is also best known for its evening DJ scene at The Living Room, which boasts a sophisticated nightlife scene with inventive cocktails and nightly DJ’s, something seen throughout all W Hotels.


Andaz West Hollywood

http://westhollywood.andaz.hyatt.com/ Originally opened as Gene Autry’s Hotel Continental in 1963 and later renamed the Continental Hyatt House, the hotel also was known as the “Riot House” during its 1970’s rock star-studded heyday. The hotel was a hangout for rock n’ roll legends and partying rockers. Since it’s rock star days, the hotel has been completely gutted and re-imagined. The 14-story, 239-room landmark property is now a chic and modern Andaz, Hyatt’s hip lifestyle brand that has slowly been taking over the world opening up hotels and resorts slowly, but strategically as to keep the integrity of the brand intact. Andaz West Hollywood is situated directly on Sunset Boulevard in a centric location. The rooftop pool at the hotel also gives one of the best views of the strip and is a frequent hangout for young Hollywood. Although the hotel is no longer the rock hangout that it use to be, the property pays tribute to it’s past with its Riot House bar and restaurant, as well as through some of the incredible art that hangs on the walls. Currently, the Jimmy Steinfeldt rock history photography exhibition is dominating the walls in the best way possible and reminding guests of the epic rock history of the hotel.


Travel: 4 LA Hotels Mama Shelter

http://www.mamashelter.com/en/los-angeles/ If you haven’t heard of Mama Shelter hotels, you probably haven’t been to France. It was only a matter of time before the brand, which can’t be described as hip or cool because those descriptions are not worthy of the awesomeness of Mama Shelter, came to the U.S., and they couldn’t have picked a better city to debut in. Although, the LA property is a bit different from the others because the designers recognized the particularities of what makes LA special and really did a killer job incorporating touches of LA throughout the small 70-room property. Don’t forget to check out the rooftop bar as it’s kind of unforgettable.


Millennium Biltmore

https://www.millenniumhotels.com/en/ los-angeles/millennium-biltmore-hotel-los-angeles/ Since it’s opening in 1923, this historic hotel has welcomed everyone from presidents, dignitaries, celebrities and even some closeted male celebrities – allegedly. The Millennium Biltmore Hotel’s bar was one of the only places that gays were allowed to gather openly, and that worked out well for LA gay men since Pershing Square which is nearby, served as a stomping ground for LA gay men throughout most of the 20th century. Today, the hotel is still as glamorous as it always been and has even been designated as a historic-cultural landmark. The massive hotel has a whopping 683 guest rooms and suites and is right in the heart of LA, near to the Historic Core, on the Financial district.


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Capturing Your Love

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Capturing Your Love NOH8 in Baltimore

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e were invited by the City of Baltimore to experience an LGBTQ Family event they were calling “Modern Family Trip.” We hopped on a train from New York City and about 3 hours later we arrived in Baltimore.

Written by: Manny Velasquez-Paredes Photos: Kimpton Hotels & Manny Velasquez-Paredes Manny Velasquez-Paredes (MVP) is a social media junkie and avid traveler, who brings the traveling LGBTQ family’s perspective to Connextions Magazine. MVP has visited 5 continents, lived and studied in three of them. MVP and his family enjoy traveling and creating memories.

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Upon arriving, we checked in to our hotel, The Monaco Baltimore Hotel, which is a breathtaking place and part of the Kimpton Hotels family, known for its unique boutique hotels. Upon entering The Monaco, which was built in 1906, we were greeted by history, architecture and luxury. The 202-room boutique hotel used to be the headquarters for B&O Railroad, yes the same one from the board game Monopoly. How cool to actually set foot on a property I have owned several times while playing as a kid. The luxury look and feel of this hotel is experienced from the time you walk in until you close your eyes

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at night. Each room is beautifully decorated by mixing modern and classic styles with rich gold and blue tones. The kids/guest rooms feature bunk beds, video games and an accent wall with kid-friendly murals. The award-winning Hotel Monaco Baltimore is pet-friendly and in the perfect location, centrally located from shopping, nightlife, family/kid-friendly venues and historical and architectural beauties. Located within walking distance from many sights for the entire family, we were able to fully enjoy lots of the nearby adventures and took in some history lessons as well. The National Aquarium, which is in the Inner Harbor and just a few blocks away from the hotel, welcomed our families and provided us with a guided tour, along other museums, but my family decided to experience Baltimore on our own and we “got lost� in the city – we visited buildings that


were part of the fabric of our nation and our kids, who at the time were 4 and 6, found it “cool” to see some “really old buildings.” We make it a point to always add a touch of educational activities for our kids, even when on vacation. While we were in Baltimore, The Monaco, aside from hosting “The Modern Family Trip,” was also hosting celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley, who created The NOH8 Campaign which is the photographic silent protest on Prop 8 and similar legislations around the world, who were there to photograph the people of Baltimore. So, we were lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time and were able to attend a behind-the-scenes NOH8 photo shoot! As you may be familiar, The NOH8 Campaign features people from all walks of life and from

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across the globe, where the subjects appear with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced and “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest. The NOH8 Campaign has grown to over 55,000 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate. The campaign began with portraits of everyday Californians and soon rose to include politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, my family and many more from across the globe. Overall, this was one of the coolest things we have ever done! Meeting Adam and Jeff and being one of their subjects truly made me feel like a major fan-boy and we were thrilled to be a part of this great campaign. Thank you City of Baltimore and The Monaco Hotel for making that happen.

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Live: GetForkd!

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Robert Mintzes Photography | robertmintzes.com

Hopefully, you can join Forks, Corks & Cocktails in 2017 & step onto the culinary stage!

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Forks, Corks & Cocktails is a community event that gathers the LGBT community for a night of fun, dancing and culinary overload from all over New York and even the world. Connextions Magazine was invited to take part of the event this past May, and our team experienced the promised “culinary overload!”

Produced by Björn & Company | bjornandcompany.com

Created in 2013, Forks, Corks & Cocktails is an annual food and wine event with an LGBT twist in NY. This event provides a ticket to sample the best of what New York Restaurants have to offer. With personally selected guest Chefs and vendors to showcase what is current and in style in the culinary world.


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Live: The Food Trail

5 FISHES

Written & photos by: H. Luiz Martinez

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or special days and romantic evenings, I like to create “The Five Fishes” menu for my beautiful partner, Henry. The actual (best-quality) seafood costs me around $75 and while that may sound costly to some, think about how much an evening out may cost a couple. On average for eating out, dinner can run a couple anywhere from $150 $200 but that may just be in NYC. Add to the meal, the cost of champagne, wine, or cocktails and your total will really start to add up. We bypass all those extras and create this amazing tasting menu for half the price! My tasty menu is modeled after the Traditional Italian “7 Fishes” made during Christmas. My family used to make homemade gravy (tomato sauce) with the 7 fishes cooked in it. I’m talking tilapia, shrimp, mussels, clams, crab claws, oysters, and bacalao (salted cod). It’s way too much for a child to handle but as an adult, I bypassed the gravy and chose 5 seafood dishes that I actually enjoy to eat. Presenting each as a separate course, gives it a special feel- a tasting menu makes it more of an

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5 Fishes event. Also, by portioning the food in this way, it saves on costs and leaves room for dessert and other romantic extra-curricular activities, if you know what I mean. Sometimes “The Five Fishes” menu varies, but it’s pretty much the same 5 seafood. You will need 2 scallops, 4 shrimps, 2 crab-cakes, 2 small pieces of fish (or 1 large cut in two) and 2 lobster tails. Preparation is simple and quick. I make a sauce of herbs and butter, make my garlic oil, get some herbs ready for flavor & plating and slice some lemons. Along with some canola oil, Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, you’re all set but use what flavors appeal to you. For a special occasion, I buy or make marinades and sauces like a coconut-mango marinade for extra yummy goodness. It also helps if you get your plates ready beforehand. Since these are just “tastes,” use your salad or smaller plates. Dress your table simply and elegantly and have your guest(s) seated because your cooking time is about 4-6 minutes per course. Remember, presentation is everything and believe me, it will pay off in large dividends later! Have a Romantic Day!! ConnextionsMagazine.com

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Connect: Transcending

TRANS-FORMING BATHROOMS POLICING PEE & POOP

Editorial written by: Tom Verni Originally published on May 31, 2016 in Verni’s website: http://offbeatcop.com/ Tom Verni is a Law Enforcement Consultant, Trainer & Community Relations Strategist. While working as a detective in the NYPD, Verni made real, tangible, positive change in people’s lives. In his law enforcement career, he worked as a patrol officer, some undercover work and Community Policing Officer effecting arrests and improving the quality of life in neighborhoods in Manhattan. Verni worked as a police academy instructor, supervising and teaching recruit officers and as the citywide liaison to the LGBT Community in New York City for the Chief of Community Affairs. In that role, he helped report and aid investigations around bias related hate crimes including assault, robbery and murder. He is often seen on Fox News and CNN as a Professional Commentator.

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am not transgender. I am not someone pretending to be transgender or someone who fully understands all the nuances of the gender identity spectrum. I am however what some would call a “trans-ally” in that I have advocated for equal rights of transgender people, and I don’t believe transgender folks should be harassed, beaten, or killed for trying to live their lives and certainly not for trying to pee or poop in a public restroom.

assistance to transition from one sex to another. Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, bigender, pangender, gender fluid, or agender). Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or conceptualize transgender people as a third gender.

For the purposes of this post let’s quickly look at the “Wikipedia” definition of Transgender: people who experience a mismatch between their gender identity, or gender expression, and their assigned sex. Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical

For many years as a member of the NYPD, I was involved in different aspects of training and I did become educated on the subject, particularly after 2003 when I was working for the Chief of Community Affairs and one of my main assignments was to act as a liaison to the

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TRANS-forming Bathrooms Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community. I had for many years conducted the “Gay 101” class as part of the cultural diversity course the NYPD had in their recruit Behavioral Science curriculum, as well as executive training courses. The big difference between doing that class circa 1993 and now is that while some officers still have certain issues with gay, lesbian, and bisexual aspects of sexual orientation, many of them in 2016 know someone personally and/or have been exposed enough to know that relationships are relationships and whatever people in mixed gender relationships fight, laugh or cry about is very similar to what same-sex couples are doing and the biggest difference is the obvious one (about who they are having sex with). So it would seem that understanding, tolerating and even accepting differences in sexual orientation is more of the norm now than ever before. Understanding, tolerating, and accepting differences in gender identity, however seems to be a gorilla of a task as even some who are gay, lesbian, and bisexual don’t get “the whole trans thing” sometimes as cisgender (non transgender) folks. In 2008 in response to a series of complaints from the LGBT community about how officers were treating members of the LGBT community, specifically transgender individuals, I had a meeting with my chief in which we agreed that there is likely a training issue to be addressed and that I should meet with the Deputy Commissioner of Training to discuss it. I did, and I suggested that we have an immediate review of the student reading of the LGBT portion of the “Policing in a Multicultural Society” lesson, but to have it reviewed by a cross section of the LGBT community well versed in such trainings. So I coordinated a work group of a ten or so LGBT organizations from ConnextionsMagazine.com

all 5 boroughs of New York City, including the NY chapter of the ACLU and Amnesty International. This grouping of organizations to my knowledge was unprecedented, but necessary. Why try to reinvent the wheel and spend untold numbers or hours trying to research when the knowledge we were seeking was within the members of this work group sitting around the table? We reviewed the 3 pages of reading on the LGBT community, which was about 20 years out of date and very light on “trans” language and content. Within 6 months, we rewrote about 90% of the LGBT portion of the reading, which now spans almost 3 dozen pages. The information is much more current, concise, factual and after being screened through the NYPD legal bureau, it now provides a much better understanding of the ABC’s of LGBT. During the process of rewriting that material it was discovered (although already known to me, and reported to deaftone ears), that the NYPD was in violation of NYC Human Rights laws of 2002, in that transgender people were supposed to have been treated based on the gender they identify with versus their genitalia. So an offshoot of our workgroup was formed to work with the police commissioners office and the Office of Management and Planning to work on revising the NYPD patrol guide to be more transgender inclusive. That process took 4 years and in the spring of 2013 a dozen procedures were altered to include transgender language where none had existed to date. The following was reported recently by Casey Harper of the Daily Caller in regards to the recent national attention given to the “transgender bathroom use” issue suggesting the Supreme

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Connect: Transcending Court could very well hear this case at some point: “The transgender bathroom issue grabbed national attention when the Department of Justice sent a letter to North Carolina officials telling them their newly passed LGBT law violated the Civil Rights Act and put hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding in jeopardy. The North Carolina law requires people use the restroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate and bans local governments from making LGBT ordinances. The law has been the source of national debate and multiple boycotts. The Department of Justice said the law violates Title IX and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title IX bans educational discrimination on the basis of sex, and Title VII bans employer discrimination. If the state refuses to comply, it could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds…” University of Richmond Law Professor Carl Tobias told The New York Times that because there are multiple transgender cases in different federal districts (North Carolina and Texas), they could have conflicting rulings. That would make the Supreme Court more likely to take up the case. “The Fifth Circuit has been pretty amenable to lots of arguments by Texas,” he said. “It could set up that kind of situation where the Supreme Court may want to take it.” The uproar over some businesses trying to be all inclusive of their customers has spawned a backlash of protests and outright boycotting of those businesses. Performers like Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen, among others, have since boycotted North Carolina by cancelling planned concerts until they change their laws to be more inclusive of LGBT people.

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The biggest misconception I have seen, even in the number of debates and arguments on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets is that transgender people are all pedophiles and allowing them to go to the bathroom with which they identify will somehow put America’s children at risk. According to the FBI, 80% of child molesters are white men, who mostly identify as heterosexual and cisgender (non-transgender). In nearly 22 years of policing in New York City, which has one of the largest transgender populations on the planet, I couldn’t even think of the last time I heard of a transgender person being arrested for child molestation, never mind in a bathroom. I am not saying it doesn’t happen, but I do not believe the narrative that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choosing is putting anyone at risk. Will there be times where opportunistic sexual deviant mutants will use this to their advantage, claiming to be transgender to spy on or go after women and children in bathrooms? Absolutely, and while my punishment for that behavior might make even ISIS cringe, I think we need to keep in mind that there is a huge difference between someone using a bathroom for it’s intended purposes and those who are using the bathroom and these inclusive bathroom laws to their sick, twisted advantage. If someone is in the bathroom for some illegal, twisted reason other than to use the bathroom they should be arrested and have the highest punishment allowable levied against them. Period. Two of the biggest transphobic comments I’ve seen is along the lines of “if the person has a dick, then they should be in the mens room,” and “what would my daughter think/say if some dude in a dress was in the women’s room.” When revising the

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TRANS-forming Bathrooms NYPD materials a few years back I was told, at that time, that only about 20% of transgender women (male to female) go through sexual reassignment surgery and only about 5% of transgender men (female to male), so clearly not everyone is going to have the body parts one would expect of someone identifying as a transperson. There are a number of reasons for that, but usually cost is among the biggest factor, as multiple surgeries are required, which are tremendously expensive. It is important to remember it is not the body parts that identify the gender of a person. For the average person, it can be a very confusing concept because they have not had to struggle with their own gender identity as transgender people have had to do. Being confused by this concept is not the problem, it is what people do when they are confused. If they educate themselves on the subject and/or choose to treat people with dignity and respect then that is what

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is really needed so transgender people are not targeted, at Target, or anywhere else. If anyone needs to be targeted, it is those mutants within our society who are sexual predators and choose bathrooms or other places to go after others. THAT is where the (societal) policing should be focused, not going after folks who are already being kicked to the curb because they are different, and not yet fully protected under the laws thus being treated like second class citizens. If we are supposed to be setting the standard for the world, then we need to act more like it, which includes being inclusive of peoples differences, not outcasting people due to their gender identity, sexual orientation or any other reason. It flies in the face of the very principles of why this country was created to begin with, and a “divided states� of America is not something that will serve us well with the challenges of today and the future.

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Martina Marić, Model Xioger Sandoval Photography


Connect: #Proud2BMe

2016 PRIDE AROUND THE WORLD SPECIAL

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Editorial by: Manny Velasquez-Paredes

hy do we celebrate PRIDE? Simply because if we hadn’t shown PRIDE back in 1969 during the Stonewall Riots - then we wouldn’t have achieved ALL of the things we have as a community. Last year, the United States Supreme Court reached the decision that Marriage Equality is now the LAW OF THE LAND. Yaaaay for us! But what happened afterwards was a monsoon of several states trying and sometimes succeeding in passing so-called “religious laws,” which aim to protect the religious rights of the people and aims to protect them from having to “deal” with groups of people their religion does not approve of, in other words, DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ANYONE THEIR RELIGION TELLS THEM IS BAD. Of course, at the core of these laws are pure unadulterated hatred, bigotry and homophobia. They also neglect to take into consideration that as a nation, we ALREADY HAVE FREEDOM OF RELIGION, as per the First Amendment. Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Now, I am not – nor do I intend to be – a lawyer BUT I am an educated person with an MBA and multiple awards and I have a clear understanding of the First Amendment, and nowhere within the First Amendment does it say – nor subliminally suggest – that the Freedom of Religion means that people can FORCE their individual religious beliefs unto others. Our political leaders CANNOT …. they are PROHIBITED …. from creating any laws regarding any religious organizations and are also PROHIBITED from denying anyone the right to practice their chosen religion – HOWEVER – this DOES NOT give anyone the right to FORCE their religions and religious beliefs unto others, they CANNOT FORCE others to live how their individual religion tells them to live. Personally, I believe if a bakery refuses to take my order because I’m gay, then I would rather spend my money on a bakery that wants it. However, that bakery should have the balls to place a sign on their front door which clearly states they “DISCRIMINATE BASED ON RELIGIOUS BELIEFS” that way, I, along with others who hate discrimination, can just move on to the next bakery and give them our money. And don’t get me started on the RIGHT TO PEE! For centuries, we have shared public restrooms with transgender people and no one cared. But suddenly, some moronic political “leader” decided that people “needed to be safe” in the bathrooms. If safety is such an issue, then put cameras in the bathrooms, of course not inside the stalls – but in the hallways, by the doors, by the mirrors, by the sinks and hand-driers, put them everywhere you can legally put a camera, even put cameras on the floor that can record under the stalls. But of course, these laws are NOT to “protect the children” they are to keep the trans-community in the closet and we are glad to join the #JustPee, #LetThemPee movements and any others that aim to be inclusive, which is why we’re PROUD and we ask you to join us in this movement to be inclusive and let’s celebrate PRIDE with #Proud2BMe!

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Croatian Model: Martina Marić Xioger Sandoval Photography XSPhotographer.com Mirella Fatelli Make Up Artist Accessories: Anima Macrame Handmade Healing Jewelry Instagram.com/animamacrame


Chicago Pride’s NEVERLAND - Photographer Jennifer Catherine


#Proud2BMe - Pride Events Around the World June 2016

Tel Aviv Gay Pride Orlando, One Magical Weekend Boston Pride ZĂźrich Pride Aarhus Pride Key West PrideFest Washington DC - Capital Pride Detroit - Motor City Pride Philadelphia - Philly Gay Pride Sitges - Gay Pride Gay Pride New Orleans Shanghai Pride Skeive Dager - Oslo Gay Pride Rhode Island Pride Vienna Gay Pride Chicago Pride Gay Pride Fest Denver Gay Pride Houston NYC Gay Pride Gay Pride / Orgullo Madrid Gay Pride London Pride Toronto Gay Pride Paris San Francisco Pride Seattle Pride Minneapolis - Twin Cities Pride Helsinki Pride Costa Rica, Marcha de la Diversidad ConnextionsMagazine.com

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CHICAGO PRIDE’S NEVERLAND “THE LOST BOYS”

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“It’s our four year anniversary and we’re finally doing a Neverland-themed Neverland,” proclaims Anthony DiFiore, Neverland’s founder and Creative Director. “Our parties are always a tribute to big imagination, so for this year’s Chicago Pride, our production team is building extravagant Peter Pan and Hook elements to the main stage. Instead of traditional sets, we’re producing the night as more of a storyline with dancers and performers dressed as the famous characters. “All the weekend’s events will be even more theatrical than ever before,” he promises. The first NEVERLAND took place July 2012. Billed as a costume party with club music, it was kind of like Halloween in the middle of the summer. In 2013, NEVERLAND introduced themes to the events, along with more elaborate production. At “Walt Disney is Dead”, Brazil’s DJ Ana Paula dressed up as Maleficent while she was spinning. For the “Ratchet Ball”, producers brought in a graffiti artist from Michigan to create graffiti on large canvases hanging from the walls of Hydrate Nightclub. “Today’s Neverland is like a Studio 54-style party,” says DiFiore. Even the crowd gets in on the act, with many of the attendees arriving in full costume. “Revelers are always welcome to wear whatever they want,” says DiFiore. “Some will come in simple jeans and tees, and that’s fine! I’m excited to see lot of Pans, Hooks and of course, Tinkerbells.” For tickets and additional information, visit www.neverlandpride.com.

GAY PRIDE IN COSTA RICA “GRAN MARCHA DE LA DIVERSIDAD”

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ach year the LGBTI population of Costa Rica prepares to celebrate gay pride month in the city of San Jose the capital of Costa Rica, bars, clubs and hotels prepare their floats to parade around the Paseo Colon. Thousands of “Ticos” of all ages and social strata come together to participate in this celebration with pride. This year is the first time the Diversity Chamber of Commerce is involved and its main objective is to create a sense of belonging and unity among all organizations that promote respect for rights and equality for all. Their job as an organization is to make Costa Rica an inclusive country that respects diversity, creates different opportunities in Central America for LGBTI tourists and investors alike. For more information on tourism services, consulting and customized services, visit www.ccdcr.org.

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CROC & HOOK - Photographer Adam Ouahmane and Graphic Artist Kyle Krueger

everland, the Chicago-based dance producer renown for its elaborate themes and production, is celebrating its fourth anniversary this year with its biggest Chicago Pride event ever. NEVERLAND PRIDE 2016 will take place Friday, June 24th through Sunday, June 26th with three spectacular events including the main event, Saturday night’s “The Lost Boys” at Metro.


Pride by

My first memories of pride are abou thousands of people. People covere unanimous in a celebration of life. D person brings a presentation from d world. That event is the first union of n with their native flags, with their na rainbow flags. Many people dress in even come nude. During this celeb commonality and that is they are p concerns, no doubts, no fea their of existence proudly bei other classifications that exis within each person; they be than them, a feeling o achieved withi

Pride by Seba

Pride represents toge removal of a layer, fr that separate us from in common: we are My first Pride experien it was a day I reme happy. I remember the amount of peop by the diversity of ev the cele


JJ Vega

ut an event of a city blanketed by ed in different colors, full of laughter, During this pride event every single different countries from around the nations that come out to celebrate ative clothing and intertwined with what their hearts desire, some may bration of pride people have one proud to be living the moment, no ar of their love and no fear of ing gay, straight, bi, trans and st within society. Pride exists elong to something greater of belonging that only is in a family unit.

astian Duque

ether-ness through the rom the many layers m what we all have e all human beings. nce was in NYC, and ember as bright and being impressed by ple present and also veryone who shared ebration.


#Proud2BMe - Pride Events Around the World July 2016

Cologne Gay Pride Munich Pride Luxembourg, GayMat Gay Pride Gay Pride Barcelona Fetish Week London Frankfurt Pride Berlin, Gay Pride Week Stuttgart Pride Stockholm Gay Pride Belfast Gay Pride Festival Vancouver Gay Pride

1-3 2 - 10 4-9 8 - 10 10 - 17 15 - 17 22 - 24 22 - 31 25 - 31 27 - 7 Aug 31

August 2016 Amsterdam Gay Pride / Europride Brighton Gay Pride Prague Gay Pride Antwerp Pride Gay Pride Copenhagen Glasgow Pride Wรถrthersee, Pink Lake Festival Manchester Gay Pride Calgary Gay Pride Austin Gay Pride Hamburg Pride New Orleans Southern Decadence

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4-7 5-7 8 - 14 10 - 15 16 - 21 20 - 21 25 - 28 26 - 29 26 - 5 Sep 27 30 - 7 Sep 31 - 5 Sep

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The Photographer’s Portrait

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The Photographer’s Portrait

LET’S STAND WITH AMERICA’S NEXT GENERATION, SO THEY CAN STAND ON THEIR OWN. In America, it is estimated that up to 1.6 million youth are homeless each year. Up to 40% of them identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Yet, just 7% of the general youth population identifies as LGBT. The True Colors Fund is working to reduce that disproportionate percentage from 40% to none. Visit www.truecolorsfund.org to learn how you can make a difference.

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Pride by Tony Loria PRIDE to me means having the respect and integrity to be true to who I am. And by not only embracing, but celebrating, who I am, I exemplify to the world the value of diversity and I help to foster an appreciation for everyone’s differences. My first PRIDE was in NYC six years ago and it was such an eye-opening experience. I hail from a less-than- accepting southern state and to see first-hand how different things could be, well, it was like my world changing from black and white to awe-inspiring Technicolor.


#Proud2BMe - Pride Events Around the World September 2016

Benidorm Gay Pride Gay Days Las Vegas Miami, FL - Hispanic LGBT Pride Dallas Gay Pride Curacao Gay Pride Los Angeles, Gay Days Anaheim

5 - 11 6 - 12 15 18 26 - 2 Oct 30 - 2 Oct

October 2016 Texas, Forth Worth Pride Orlando Pride Atlanta Pride France, Disney Paris Magical Pride Central Arkansas Pride Winston-Salem Pride Las Vegas Pride Georgia, Savannah Pride Amsterdam Leather Pride Taipei, Taiwan LGBT Pride Australia, Canberra Queer Festival

3-5 8 8-9 13 - 16 16 16 – 17 21 - 23 22 27 - 31 29 29 – 20 Nov

November 2016 Palm Springs Pride 1 - 6 Australia, Adelaide 14 Pride March

December 2016 Manila 6 Metro Pride


The Photographer’s Portrait

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Issue21 #proud2bme  

Connextions Magazine Issue #21: #Proud2BMe analyses freedom of religion and the so-called bathroom-laws. While travelling through Baltimore,...