Page 1

PLUS: Phoenix Pride Preview

The Pride Pages

Echo proudly presents your 2017 Community Directory


WHO | Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce WHEN | Friday, April 14th, 7:30am Shotgun Start WHERE | Arizona Grand Resort Golf Course


HOW | Register online at

Happy PRIDE! Standing With You Since Day One

inside this issue Issue 691 | Vol. 28, #7 | April 2017

features NEWS 8 Letter From The Editor 12 News Briefs 16 Datebook 22 Pride Run Phoenix hits its stride March 25 26 Möda Provocateūr hits the runway to benefit SAAF 29 LGBTQ exhibit offers a glimpse at Arizona’s past 34 Aunt Rita’s rolls out the red carpet for RED is the Night 38 Royal Black Sheep: Local model launches new clothing line


40 Join the celebration of celesbians at The Dinah

Phoenix Pride Preview From festival stages to parade’s grand marshals, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s festivities.


The Stars of the Show Echo caught up with some of the local and touring acts – including Ninel Conde – for a sneak peek at this year’s entertainment.

PREVIEWS AND REVIEWS 92 Without Reservations 94 At The Box Office 98 Between The Covers COMMUNITY 100 All Over The Map 101 The Right Side of History 102 Money Talks 104 Talking Bodies

PLUS: Phoenix Pride Preview


Competing for the Crown It’s an honor to introduce you to the 2017 Phoenix Pride Pageant contestants and share more about the upcoming pageant.


The Pride Pages Echo proudly presents the Phoenix edition of your 2017 Community Directory, a listing of local groups and organizations.

The Pride Pages

Echo proudly presents your 2017 Community Directory



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inside this issue web exclusives PHOTO GALLERIES Did the Echo cameras catch you out and about at this month’s events? Find out at gallery/2017-photos. COMMUNITY CALENDAR

Erotic World We go behind the scenes to find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about Phoenix Pride’s adult-only attraction.

Belinda Carlisle Find out what The Go-Go’s lead singer told Echo the last time she was in Arizona to take a Pride stage.

From pageants to advocacy, this is where the community goes to find out what’s going on in the gayborhood. community-calendar COMMUNITY DIRECTORY Looking for a local group to join? Have a group that’s seeking new members? Either way, this is the place to connect. community-directory MARKETING SOLUTIONS Find out why Echo is the publication your future clients are already reading. marketing-solutions

76th Street Local indie pop power duo is bringing their dynamic harmonies back to the Phoenix Pride Festival’s Bistro Stage April 1.

online now

Daniel Diaz This New York native, and Valley transplant (who’s also a father and husband) will make his Phoenix Pride debut April 2.


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letter from the editor By KJ Philp



n behalf of the entire Echo family, I’d like to be the first to wish you a happy Pride! As you may have guessed, we have so much to celebrate this month and we’re excited to share it with you! The most appropriate place to start is by sending a big congratulations out to all the 2017 Echo Readers’ Choice Awards finalists! And, of course, thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate their favorites – this year’s participation was off the charts (find out more in “Cast Your Vote,” on page 13). We also want to remind everyone once again that there will be no Readers’ Choice Awards ceremony this year. Instead, we’ll be revealing the winners in all 28 categories in our next issue, which comes out April 20. One benefit that comes with this change is that voting is open through April 7 at So, we encourage you to spread the word while you’re out and about at this year’s pride festivities. Good luck to all the finalists! Our next big update, as you may have noticed, is that you’re holding “The Pride Pages” in your hands. This is the Phoenix edition of our new annual printed directory (our entire digital community directory can be accessed at community-directory) and we have our Northern and Southern Arizona editions in the works for their respective Pride celebrations. How did “The Pride Pages” come about? After such significant events posed threats to our community last year, Team Echo resolved to sharpen up our resources and use them to open more doors and build more bridges among our readers. We hope you find this tool useful and we’re looking forward to watching it grow with your valuable input. For anyone interested in having a club or organization added to our community directory, you’ll find all the details on page 90.


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Next up is our annual Phoenix Pride Preview. This season kicks off with the 2017 Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride pageant March 19. We invite you to meet all of this year’s contestants in “Competing for the Crown” on page 72. We’re wishing every pageant participant the best of luck and we look forward to sharing more about the winners with you in our May issue. Then, as an official “10 Days of Pride” event, the Phoenix Frontrunners are back with the 2017 Pride Run Phoenix March 25. We have all the race day information in “On Your Marks. Get Set. Pride!” on page 22. As for Pride weekend celebrations, we have the 2017 Pride Parade preview, including interviews with this year’s grand marshals, in “Taking It To The Streets” on page 48. Last, but not least, we caught up with some of Phoenix Pride’s key volunteers for a sneak peek at what they have in store for us at this year’s festival. From art and performances to vendors and VIP, we’re proud to deliver everything you need to know ahead of the Phoenix Pride Festival in “Stand Up, Stand Proud” on page 50. And don’t forget to check out our entertainer interviews, too! As usual, you can expect to see Team Echo – from photographers and writers to our staff members and intern – out in full force Pride weekend, so please stop by the booth to say hi and let us know how we’re doing. One of our favorite parts of every Pride festival we attend is getting to meet and celebrate with the readers and advertisers who continue to support the work we do. Thank you for that! We look forward to seeing you in person, but if we don’t, have a safe and happy Pride! KJ Philp is the managing editor of Echo Magazine. He can be reached at

EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR: KJ Philp CONTRIBUTORS: Anthony Costello Tia Norris Hans Pedersen Tamara Juarez Laura Latzko Terri Schlichenmeyer Art Martori Richard Schultz Liz Massey Michael J. Tucker Rachel Verbits Devin Millington Megan Wadding Melissa Myers ART DEPARTMENT SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Jake Rojas PHOTOGRAPHY: Devin Millington, and Tony Contini ADVERTISING DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING: Ashlee James ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES: Gregg Edelman Randy Robinson NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE: Rivendell Media, 212-242-6863


MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 16630 Phoenix, AZ 85011-6630 PHONE: 602-266-0550 NON-PHOENIX METRO: 888-echomag EMAIL: Copyright © 2016 • ISSN #1045-2346


Echo Magazine is pub­lished by ACE Publish­ing, Inc. Echo is a registered trademark of ACE Publishing, Inc. All rights re­served. Written permis­sion must be obtained in advance for par­tial or com­plete re­production of any advertising ma­terial contained therein. Opin­ions ex­pressed therein are not necessar­ily those of the pub­lisher or staff. ACE Publishing, Inc. does not as­sume re­sponsibility for claims by its ad­vertis­ers. Publication of a name, photograph of an individual or or­ganiza­tion in ar­ticles, ad­ver­tisements or list­ings is not to be con­strued as an in­dication of the sexual ori­en­ta­tion, unless such ori­entation is specifically stat­ed. Manuscripts or other ma­te­ri­als submit­ted re­main the property of ACE Publishing, Inc.

news briefs

Yelp Introduces Gender Neutral Restroom Feature Yelp, the the crowd-sourced company specializing in online reviews that serves as “your local guide to finding the perfect place to eat, shop, drink, relax and play,” began rolling out a new business attribute March 3 that helps users identify businesses that offer gender neutral restrooms to patrons. Gender neutral restrooms, as defined by Yelp, are accessible to persons of any gender and are a locking, single-stall bathroom. On desktop and mobile versions of Yelp, users are now able to see whether or not a business offers gender neutral restrooms under the “more business info” section of the profile.

According to a March 3 Yelp blog post made by Rachel Williams, head of diversity and inclusion, Yelp will also be rolling out the ability to search for businesses on Yelp by the Gender Neutral Restrooms attribute in the weeks to come. Yelp will collect this information from users and business owners in two ways, she explained. “We will begin asking users who check into or review businesses like restaurants and retail shops if those establishments offer restrooms that are gender neutral,” she explained. “Additionally, business owners can edit the gender neutral restrooms

attribute from their business owner account.” This move comes a day after Yelp announced its participation in an amicus brief supporting trans student, Gavin Grimm, who filed suit against his local school board for denying him use of the boys’ restroom at his school. (Read more on Yelp’s steatement on Grimm at yelp-stands-gavin-grimm.) “Yelp has previously taken a stance on related issues

because we believe it’s important for the business community to speak up in support of equality for all,” Williams stated. “At Yelp we thrive on inclusion and acceptance, and we hope that our support for Gavin’s case and the addition of this new business attribute will help our friends in the LGBTQQIA community.” For more information on Yelp’s new feature, visit now-use-yelp-find-genderneutral-restrooms.

#ClaimYourRights GLSEN and PFLAG Relaunch Campaign in Support of Trans Students Photo courtesy of

GLSEN and PFLAG joined together to re-launch the #ClaimYourRights Campaign Feb. 23. Originally launched in 2009, the #ClaimYourRights Campaign began a new phase of advocacy and dialogue with the Department of Education that eventually led to the issuance of the clarifying Title IX guidance that was rescinded Feb. 22. In the wake of rescinding guidance on Title IX protections for transgender students, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a statement that said, in part: “At my direction, the Department’s Office for Civil Rights remains committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment against those who are most vulnerable in our schools.” Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN, and Beth Kohm, interim executive director of PFLAG National, issued the following statement in response: “Secretary DeVos has caused completely unnecessary fear and confusion among transgender

students and their families by rescinding the Department’s guidance, and calling into question whether they will receive the help and support they need from Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Last year OCR received a record number of complaints, including many from trans students and their families. Those families and students need to know that they have the same rights today under Title IX as they had yesterday. It remains to be seen if OCR will give them the help they need and deserve.” Both organizations have re-launched the campaign with the intent of helping anyone affected by or witnessing anti-transgender discrimination in schools file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education. To learn more about how to #ClaimYourRights with the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, visit claimyourrights or claimyourrights. news

Cast Your Vote

Echo reveals 2017 Readers’ Choice Award finalists


ach year, the Echo Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards recognize community favorites, chosen by you! From local leaders and performers to staged productions and places to wine and dine, we want you to tell us who is deserving of these honors in 2017.

counting on you to cast your

With more than 16,000 nominations, collected between Jan. 19 and Feb. 28, we’re proud to reveal the top five finalists in all 28 categories. For a complete listing of our 2017 finalists, see pages 43-45.

to spread the word via social

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit nominations and congratulations to each of the finalists– now they’re

vote! Here’s how: Visit echo-vote and select your favorites once per day per IP address through April 7 (duplicate vote by day, or IP address will automatically be filtered out). And don’t forget media and use #EchoMagAZ. Winners, as determined by your votes, will be revealed in the May issue of Echo Magazine, which comes out April 20. So, mark your calendars and may the best finalists win! For more information on this year’s categories, visit

Cast your vote at

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OUT & ABOUT Human Rights Campaign Gala Feb. 25 at Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, Phoenix. Photos by

For more Echo photos visit


APRIL 2017


datebook march 19

april 1-2

The 2017 Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride Pageant will begin at 6 p.m. at The DoubleTree by Hilton Tempe’s Fiesta Ballroom, 2100 S. Priest Drive, in Tempe. (See story, page 72.)

The 2017 Phoenix Pride Festival will take place from Noon-9 p.m. at Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, in Phoenix. (See story, page 50). april 2

march 25

The 2017 Pride Run Phoenix, presented by Phoenix Frontrunners, will kick off with race day packet pick-up and onsite registration from 5 to 6:15 a.m. (See story, page 22, for race and starting line details.)

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, will take place at 6 p.m. (doors and raffle open at 4:30; VIP dinner and pre-show start at 5 p.m.) at Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave., in Tucson. (See story, page 26.)

through april 7

As part of the nomination phase for the 2017 Echo Readers’ Choice Awards we invited you to vote for your favorite finalists in all 28 categories.

march 16-19

Aunt Rita’s presents its first-ever RED is the Night fundraiser, which will begin with a VIP reception from 6-7 p.m. followed by dinner, silent auction and entertainment at 7 p.m. at Warehouse 215 @ Bentley Projects, 215 E. Grant St., in Phoenix. (See story, page 34). march 26

Art Detour 29, a signature celebration of Phoenix’s arts and culture, will feature a diverse slate of activities created by local artists and art venues to celebrate the growing, vibrant Phoenix arts scene throughout downtown Phoenix. march 18

The ASU Alumni Association’s LGBT Devils’ Pride Chapter presents the 5th annual scholarship benefit dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Old Main, 400 E. Tyler Mall, on the Tempe Campus. march 19

The 14th annual Möda Provocateūr, a runway fashion show benefiting the 16

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march 29

Gay Skate Arizona presents Pride Skate, an all ages event benefiting the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund, from 8 to 11 p.m. at Great Skate Glendale, 10054 N. 43rd Ave.

march 24

The 2017 Phoenix Pride Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Third Street and Thomas Road and runs to Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, in Phoenix. (See story, page 48.)

march 30

Out @ SMoCA presents a discussion on social justice and equality with punk legend, author and human rights activist Henry Rollins at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. Second St., in Scottsdale. april 6-13

Desert Overture, Phoenix’s premier LGBT and ally wind symphony, presents “True Colors: A Concert Celebrating the Rainbow Flag” beginning at 3 p.m. at Glendale Community College’s Performing Arts Center, 6000 West. Olive Ave., in Glendale. march 27 – april 22

LGBTQ: Rights and Justice: An Alwun House Foundation Exhibit, which explores the history of the Arizona LGBTQ community’s pursuit for equal rights, will take place at Burton Barr Central Library’s North Gallery, 1221 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. (See story, page 28.)

The 2017 Phoenix Film Festival, which will screen more than 150 films and host filmmaking seminars, parties and events, will take place at Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Blvd., in Phoenix. mark our calendars To have your event considered for Echo’s print and online calendars, submit your event details to echomag. com/communitycalendar. All submissions are subject to Echo’s discretion. events

Echo’s 2017 Pride Celebration Guide to the Southwest

may 20-21

Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride’s annual festival and parade will descend on the city for a weekend-long celebration. The festival grounds are located at 450 E. Shoreline Drive, in Long Beach, and parade runs from Ocean and Lindero Avenues west along Ocean Blvd. to Alamitos Boulevard. june 5-11 The 2017 LA Pride celebration, produced by Christopher Street West, will include a music festival, parade and other festivities at various locations throughout West Hollywood. june 9-10 In its 41st year, Albuquerque Pridefest, a celebration of art, music, dance, expression and diversity in the LGBTQ community, will take place at Expo New Mexico, 300 San Pedro Drive. june 16-18 The 13th annual Bisbee Pride, featuring a weekend filled with events, vendors, performances and a parade, will take place at various locations throughout downtown. june 17-18 As part of the 2017 Denver Pride Fest, celebrating and supporting the GLBT Community Center of Colorado, exhibitors, vendors, three stages of entertainment and the conclusion of the parade route will descend on Civic Center Park, 101 14th Ave., downtown Denver. june 24 The Northern Arizona Pride Association presents Pride in the Pines, its annual day-long Pride festival celebration, at

Thorpe Park Ball Field, 600 N. Thorpe Road. Check future issues of Echo for additional details on the event-filled weekend. july 14-16 The 2017 San Diego LGBT Pride festivities (pictured), including a music festival, exhibitors, rally, parade, 5k run and more. sept. 30 Join Tucson Pride in celebrating 40 years of Pride in the Desert at the annual festival, featuring entertainment and vendors, at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way, Tucson. Check future issues of Echo for details on Tucson’s 17th annual Pride on Parade. oct. 20-22

The Las Vegas Pride weekend will kick off with its night parade (Oct. 20, downtown), followed by the annual twoday festival at Sunset Park, 2601 E. Sunset Road. oct. 21-22 Phoenix Pride presents Rainbows Festival 2017, a free two-day street fair with exhibitors and entertainment, at Heritage Square Park, 113 N. Sixth St., in Phoenix. nov. 4-5 Greater Palm Springs Pride presents Pride Week, which includes a festival throughout the streets of downtown, an equality concert and its annual parade (all free).


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OUT & ABOUT Fresh Brunch 2017 Feb. 19 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix. Photos by

For more Echo photos visit


APRIL 2017


OUT & ABOUT The 32nd Annual Arizona Gay Rodeo Feb. 18 at Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds, Laveen. Photos by KJ Philp.

For more Echo photos visit


APRIL 2017



Brian had his HIV under control with medication. But smoking with HIV caused him to have serious health problems, including a stroke, a blood clot in his lungs and surgery on an artery in his neck. Smoking makes living with HIV much worse. You can quit.



HIV alone didn’t cause the clogged artery in my neck. Smoking with HIV did. Brian, age 45, California

Photos by Bill Gemmill.

On Your Marks. Get Set. Pride! Pride Run Phoenix hits its stride March 25 By Anthony Costello


t’s almost time for runners to take their marks at the 2017 Pride Run Phoenix starting line.

Produced and hosted by Phoenix Frontrunners, Inc., the annual run includes timed half-marathon, 10k and 5k races that recognize and celebrate equality, inclusion, diversity and acceptance for everyone. As an official “10 Days of Pride” event, the run was recently recognized by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who proclaimed March 25 Pride Run Phoenix Day for the second year in a row. “There’s plenty of other noteworthy events out there that deserve recognition,” said Dan Shabra, Phoenix Frontrunners member and Phoenix Pride Run race director. “It’s an honor that the city supports an organization for equality for everyone, so that’s another huge step for the city and community.” For Shabra, the event isn’t just about celebrating pride personally, but celebrating it with fellow Phoenicians. “To bring Pride Run to Phoenix is great because it brings people together in a healthy environment, [to] engage in a healthy activity … where we can celebrate the pride we have together in our community,” Shabra said. In light of recent, divisive political 22

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policies and government regulations, Shabra believes Pride Run Phoenix has the potential to bring different communities together. “The goal of Pride runners is to bring about equality for everyone, an obvious first goal, and [to] bring it about in a fun way – other than going to charity dinners and such,” Shabra said. “Bringing awareness to the issues at hand is our biggest strength.” The run, which includes half-marathon, 10k and 5k courses, will take participants through uptown, midtown and downtown Phoenix. “This year we’re slightly expanding upon last year’s event. The course is changing a little bit but otherwise remains the same,” he confirmed, adding that runners will circle around Spectrum Mall and continue on to the finish line near the Phoenix Art Museum. The races will conclude with an award ceremony, which will include medal presentations to the top three finishers in division and age groups for each race. Additionally, the Pride Run Phoenix Fitness Expo, which will include exhibitors, entertainment and a beer garden, will take place from 7 a.m. to noon at the intersection of east Coronado Road and north Central Avenue (next to the

finish line for all races). Ultimately, Shabra said he would like to see this event become continue to grow and draw new participants, both locally and from outside of Arizona. “I’d like to see it evolve into an annual major event within Phoenix, or the state of Arizona as a whole and play a larger role in bringing in travelers from other states or countries,” he said. “We currently have participants and sponsors from 12 states and two countries so far, and I’d love to see that continue to grow.” For more information on Phoenix Frontrunners, Inc., including details on the group’s recurring runs, visit

Pride Run Phoenix March 25 Race day packet pick-up and onsite registration, 5-6:15 a.m. Half-Marathon Start Line: 1600 block of west Montebello Avenue 6:15 a.m., lineup; 6:30 a.m. start 10k Start Line: 600 block of west Montebello Avenue 7:15 a.m., lineup; 7:30 a.m., start 5k Start Line: west Palm Lane just west of North Central Avenue 8:45 a.m., lineup; 9 a.m., start Anthony Costello is an award-winning writer, a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a fraternity brother of Sigma Phi Beta, a gay, straight, bisexual and transgender fraternity. news

OUT & ABOUT Melrose Street Fair March 4 along Seventh Avenue in Phoenix. Photos by KJ Philp.

For more Echo photos visit


APRIL 2017


Photo © CreatistaChristian Griessel.

Each salon produces their own fashion segment for the show, which includes their interpretation of how HIV impacts them and how they are hoping to impact the epidemic. This year’s participating salons, many of which are returning participants, include Spirit Salon, Beauty Brands, ÂME Salon featuring Studio X, Toni & Guy and The Industry Hair Studio. “This means they select designers to work with, they select their music and video and they design hair and make-up,” Jones explained.

Creating Community BreakOut Studios, which has been involved with Möda Provocateūr for the past seven years, will both open and close the fashion show with performances by the company. “We are so excited,” said Todd Wilson, BreakOut Studios owner and Möda Provocateūr co-founder. “Our performers are members of our Life Moves Adult Company, a 18 [and over] diverse, multilevel community performance dance company. Each piece will be extremely high energy and sassy combining music, video and live performance. We look forward to another amazing show.”

Möda Provocateūr

Annual Tucson runway show to benefit SAAF By Megan Wadding


he show is billed as “not your grandmother's fashion show,” the 14th annual Möda Provocateūr: A Celebration of Style, Fashion and Compassion will hit the runway March 19 at the Tucson Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom. The first Möda Provocateūr took place in 2004. In the years since, the event has not only steadily grown in attendance, but also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the care services, prevention programs and LGBTQ initiatives of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF).

Project Möda

best of each of the following categories: The Red Dress, Repurposed with a Purpose and Femme Lace. “The judges will [evaluate] the original designs and select 25 designs to be featured at Möda Provocateūr,” said Lindsey Jones, associate director of development for SAAF.

On To The Runway Each year, Project Möda culminates with Möda Provocateūr, a fashion contest that showcases each designer’s creations on a 77-foot runway as they compete in best in hair, style and fashion categories.

Project Moda is a fashion design contest open to local budding designers who are looking to test their skills and creativity against other talented designers, according to the

“Young designers have the chance to showcase their designs … in the three categories,” Jones said. “[Then] at Möda Provocateūr, the Project Möda designs will walk the runway and be judged by the audience.”

Project Möda consists of three challenges or categories. Judges from throughout the community vote on the

The Möda Provocateūr audience, which will likely exceed 900 attendees, get to vote for the overall Best in Show garment.


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Additionally, the event will include a performance by Artifact Dance Project, a raffle, a VIP dinner and more. “The community comes together to show support for all of these talented artisans and, in turn, all of those individuals give their time energy and talent to provide a medium to get folks involved in HIV care and prevention in ways they may have not in the past,” said Jai Smith, a SAAF staff member who has attended the event for the past eight years. An “amazing experience” is how Smith described the event. “Attendees can expect to … see a variety of performance, fashion and artistic expression and to leave the space wanting more,” he added. “No two salons are the same and no to segments will be the same. It makes for an exciting and engaging night.”

The 14th Annual Möda Provocateūr Doors open and raffle begins, 4:30 p.m. VIP Dinner and Pre-Show, 5 p.m. General admission, 5:45 p.m. Show begins, 6 p.m. Tucson Convention Center, Grand Ballroom 260 S. Church Ave., Tucson Megan Wadding is a freelance writer and travel addict with a degree in journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganWadding. news We offer expertise in both elective and reconstructive procedures. With a focus on providing patients with care that is compassionate and highly skilled, Elite Plastic Surgery treats you with the level of care you deserve.


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out & about The Second ABC Charity Drag Show March 9 at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

For more Echo photos visit

MARK OUR CALENDARS To have your event considered for Echo’s print and online calendars, submit your event details to


APRIL 2017


“LGBTQ: Rights and Justice”

Exhibit and event series offer a look at LGBTQ rights throughout Arizona’s history By Laura Latzko


he fight for rights within the LGBTQ community has not been confined to such places as California and New York. Arizona’s part of that history is now on display as part of “LGBTQ: Rights & Justice, An Alwun House Foundation Exhibit” from March 27 to April 22 at Burton Barr Central Library’s North Gallery (second floor). The exhibit explores the continuing struggle for the Arizona LGBTQ community to gain equal rights. According to Kim Moody, exhibit co-coordinator, the display is meant to not only educate people about LGBTQ history but inspire them want to get involved. “You are part of a history and you are the next step,” said Moody, also the founder of the Alwun House art gallery. “What are you doing? Because it’s not over.” Through art, Moody said he show will engage people with Arizona’s LGBTQ rights history. “This is going to be a remarkable opportunity to really, in a personal way, get familiar with that history. It’s not something that you’re going to have to read. It’s not going to be a documentary you see on Channel 8,” Moody said. “It’s live. It’s us. It’s our community.” Allied and LGBTQ artists submitted

paintings, sculptures and other mediums of artwork for the juried exhibition. Three jurors – artist Annie Lopez, art history professor and private art consultant Ted Decker and FOUND: RE Phoenix’s cultural curator Mike Oleskow – decided on the artwork for the show. Along with art, the display will feature personal photos contributed by community members, which will including images of weddings, families, protests, pride celebrations and personal achievements. The incorporation of personal images, Moody said, allows the community get involved and share their stories. Fliers, newspaper and magazine articles and artifacts from the Bj Bud Memorial Archives and other artifacts sponsored by Arizona State University’s Hayden Library Arizona Collection will also be displayed as part of the exhibition. According to Lee Franklin, Phoenix Public Library community relations manager, the downtown library offers a space to expand on concepts such as the history of LGBTQ rights. “We can take a theme like this, and we can really go in depth and explore it and bring a lot of elements of the community into it,” Franklin said. Through complex exhibitions, Franklin said the library tries to educate by engaging in conversations and giving various groups an opportunity to be heard. “Our mission is to connect people with information and knowledge, and to make sure voices across our community have a platform in which to be heard,” Franklin said. In the past, the library has featured

other LGBTQ-themed exhibits, including a western history/gay rodeo display and a traveling holocaust exhibition with a section on the Nazi treatment of LGBTQ people. Additionally, the library recently hosted a series of drawings from LGBTQ writer Maurice Sendak, best known for the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. According to Luis Alonzo, a library assistant in the adult services section, the library staff is continually making efforts to showcase diverse groups by highlighting them with its programming. “I’m really hoping that people will realize we are here for them,” Alonzo said. “We’re happy to be supported by the community, and in turn, we want to show support as well.”

Mark Your Calendar The exhibit will also be accompanied by an events series in the library’s Pulliam Auditorium that further explores the concept of LGBTQ rights throughout history. A poetry and open mic night, sponsored by the Arizona Consortium for the Arts, will kick off the series of events from 2 to 3 p.m. March 25. Panelists, including Moody, Arizona’s Hip Historian Marshall Shore, Ron Wilcox from Nu Towne Saloon and former Miss IGRA and Miss AGRA Scott Tickler, will discuss achievements and other memorable events in Arizona’s history as part of a symposium from 6 to 8 p.m. April 4. A screening of Upstairs Inferno, a documentary about a 1973 gay bar arson in New Orleans that killed 32 people, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. April 5. The film will be followed by a Q&A with director Robert Camina and Skip Bailey, an artist whose uncle died during the 1973 attack. A First Friday reception, from 6 to 8 p.m. April 7, will feature performances by the Phoenix Metropolitan Men’s Chorus adult and youth choirs and a resource fair with LGBTQ rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the LGBTQ Consortium, Trans Queer Pueblo and Native Health. “LGBTQ: Rights & Justice: An Alwun House Foundation Exhibit” March 27-April 22 Burton Barr Central Library North Gallery 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix Laura Latzko is a Phoenix-area freelance writer, originally from Michigan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English and communication studies from Hollins University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.


APRIL 2017news 29

Rolling Out the Red Carpet Aunt Rita’s presents the first-ever RED is the Night fundraiser By Tamara Juarez


unt Rita’s Foundation, Arizona’s leading HIV/AIDS advocacy group, is rolling out the red carpet for its first fundraiser of the year: RED is the Night, an evening of entertainment that will make you feel like a Hollywood celebrity. The inaugural event, set for March 24, will include a special appearance by six-time Emmy Award-winner Bruce Valinch, the internationallyrenown troupe Scorpius Dance Theatre, local “auctiontainer” Letitia Frye and Phoenix’s own “Hip Historian” Marshall Shore. “RED is the Night is all about fantastic entertainment,” said Glen Spencer, Aunt Rita’s Foundation executive director. “We wanted to entertain our donors and the people who are coming to our event with quality performances.” The evening will also include a silent auction featuring a wide variety of autographed items, many of which have been autographed by noteworthy actors and actresses. Proceeds from RED is the Night will be divided equally among Aunt Rita’s 16 partner agencies, which include the Bill Holt Clinic, McDowell Healthcare Center, HEAL International, Chicanos Por La Causa, Ebony House and one•n•ten among others. Each organization provides a variety of critical services for HIV/ AIDS patients, such as medical care, treatment services, case management, HIV prevention 34

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education, counselling and HIV testing. According to Spencer, RED is the Night, and similar fundraising events that take place throughout the year, are critical. “Federal funding for HIV and AIDS support is not growing, and the HIV-positive population is ...,” he said. “It’s very important that these events exist to keep the awareness around the HIV epidemic in the forefront of people’s minds.” Since 2013, the number of identified HIV/AIDS cases has increased by 1,551 total patients, and a total of 17,349 Arizonans have HIV/AIDS, according to the latest report by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Last October, the Phoenix City Council unanimously voted to join the United Nation’s Fast Track Cities “90-90-90” Initiative, which aims to strengthen HIV/AIDS programs and end AIDS as a health threat by the year 2030. The three-pronged initiative focuses on achieving three goals: Getting 90 percent of HIV patients diagnosed, 90 percent of diagnosed patients medicated and 90 percent of treated HIV patients to safely suppress the virus. “At a time when the city of Phoenix has … become a UN FastTrack City and adopted the 90-9090 goal,” Spencer explained, “this event, as well as other HIV and AIDS funding events, become an additional opportunity for outreach and awareness.”

Scorpius Dance Theatre


ith its unique blend of aerial acrobatics, contemporary dance, theatrical elements and original stories, Scorpius Dance Theater has captivated audiences for more than 17 years. Each performance is sexy and elegant as it explores a wide array of human emotions and experiences with a style that’s distinctly their own. For its exclusive performance at Aunt Rita’s RED is the Night, Scorpius Dance Theatre has prepared a 30-minute repertoire from its most-recent productions: Rock, Kick-A Showcase and Catwalk. “We, as artists, are very supportive of this community, and we wanted to reach out and share our art with them,” said Lisa Starry, Scorpius’ artistic director. “It’s great to work with Aunt Rita’s and help raise as much money as possible for other nonprofits.” Gavin Sisson, Scorpius dancer and assistant director, said he is excited to partner with Aunt Rita’s. “As a gay man who has a few HIV positive friends, and lost some friends due to the AIDS epidemic, it’s important for me to be involved in the community as an artist,” he said. “I think our mission coincides a little bit. We are both nonprofits and are always reaching out to the community.” Scorpius and its members have been involved in numerous charity projects and received a variety of recognition for their advocacy work and contributions within the local community. Scorpius Dance Theatre will take the RED is The Night stage beginning at 8 p.m. For more information, visit news

Bruce Vilanch to bring signature brand of comedy to HIV/AIDS benefit


eteran Academy Awards writer, TV personality, Broadway actor and all-around funny guy Bruce Vilanch has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS support and education for decades – a cause that he holds dear in his heart. In addition to his service as a board member for the nonprofit organization Aid for AIDS in Los Angeles, Vilanch just partnered with Aunt Rita’s for the first-ever RED is the Night fundraiser. “We’re thrilled to have Bruce Vilanch headline the event and deliver his unique brand of comedy,” said Glen Spencer, Aunt Rita’s Foundation executive director.

Echo Magazine caught up with Vilanch ahead of his visit to the Valley and here’s what he had to say. Echo: What motivated you to participate in Aunt Rita’s RED is the Night event? Vilanch: I have done 150 million AIDS events by actual count. When the epidemic started about 30-something years ago, we started doing benefits because the show business community was being so heavily affected. We were all losing friends and we didn’t [know] what it was – it hadn’t even been isolated then, the virus. We just knew the government wasn’t doing anything about it, and that the nature of the thing was turning the gay community into a pariah, and we had to take steps to correct that, and we also had to take steps to save our loved ones. So what do we do when something like that happens in show business? We do a show! We … started doing these fundraisers and, as a result, I wound up doing a lot of shows for a lot of volunteer organizations like Aunt Rita’s Foundation.

thing. It’s a phenomenon ... In the past, I’ve written for 23 of them, so I have quite a lot of experiences. I’m writing a book also about all of that so I can put all those experiences between covers … Echo: What advice would you give to an aspiring professional writer? Vilanch: You just have to follow your muse. Writing is something that your body tells you it wants to do, your soul tells you it wants to do it, it’s the way you express yourself. So I think the people who are really writers don’t need to be told to write, but I think they need to be told not to give up when they don’t get acceptance ... If you really want a tip, a writerly tip, I’ll give you a tip that Neil Simmons gave me, which is, never leave the writing table without something to write tomorrow. Echo: You write for a lot of different people, but how would you define your brand of humor? Vilanch: Funny. [laughs] It’s very important for a brand of humor to be funny. A lot of people don’t hit funny. They do comedy, but they never get funny. They’re conceptual, but they’re just never funny. I like to be funny. I like the humor that actually makes people laugh. Echo: What message do you have the people of Phoenix? Vilanch: I hope they will come to the show. We will laugh, have a good time and raise money for a good cause.

Echo: Why are these types of events important to you? Vilanch: When you grow up gay and Jewish in America, you learn three things: a lot of people hate you, no one’s going to help you, and so you have to do it for yourself ... As a community, this is how we survived for almost 6,000 years. We take care of our own, and this is a great mantra for the gay community. Once we adopted it, things got better when we realized we had to do it for ourselves. Echo: What advice would you give to young people, in general and about the virus? Vilanch: Well, in general I would tell them, “you have the most fabulous source of information, literally at your fingertips! Go online and start googling your history and see what came before you and what people did about it and how you can be a part of it.” ... It’s very important now that people get a historical sense of what’s going on, because otherwise it’ll sneak up on you and bite you in the ass. And unless you enjoy being bitten in the ass, which many do, it’s not the most wonderful sensation in this regard. There is no safe word. Echo: What projects are you currently working on? Vilanch: I’ve written a musical, which we did at a theater in Connecticut last summer, and it was a big hit. We’re going to bring it to Broadway, and it’s all the music of Patula Clarke, who was a big star in the ‘60s and had a lot of songs you still know today: “Downtown,” “I Know a Place” and “Call Me.” It’s an original story, not about her but with all her music, so think “Mama Mia.” Please think Mama Mia, because that ran 12 years. [laughs]

RED is the Night March 24 6 p.m., VIP Reception 7 p.m., cocktails, dinner & silent auction 8-10 p.m., entertainment Warehouse 215 @ Bentley Projects 215 E. Grant St., Phoenix

Echo: What is it like writing for the Oscars? Vilanch: It’s a wonderful show to write for. It’s like playing in the Super Bowl every year. In fact, sponsors say it’s the Super Bowl of female appeal. It’s always fun to write for, because it’s a big show and it’s live. People who never go to the movies watch it. Even people who never watch TV watch it. That’s the most amazing news

Tamara Juarez is a student at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. During her spare time she loves to read, hike and make bad puns.


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out & about LGBT Devils’ Pride Chapter Spring Social Feb. 16 at Pizza People Pub, Phoenix. Photos by KJ Philp.

For more Echo photos visit

out & about The Consortium Cares LGBTQ Resource Fair March. 11 at Burton Bar Central Library, Phoenix. Photos by Devin Millington.

For more Echo photos visit


APRIL 2017


Amy Smith Montoya Board Chair

Tom Simplot President

Celebrating Diversity in Apartment Living for over 50 years!

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Royal Black Sheep Local model-turned-entrepreneur launches new line By KJ Philp


ashion explains who we are before we open our mouths,” according to Shimeon J. Mattox, a Winslow, Ariz., native who started selling high fashion vintage clothing – ranging from Chanel bags to Oscar de la Renta jumpsuits – out of his Phoenix home in 2007. A decade later, Mattox is throwing a red carpet event celebrating the launch of his new autograph collection under his brand Royal Black Sheep. The runway show is set for April 7 at the FOUND:RE boutique hotel in Phoenix.

Echo Magazine caught up with Mattox to find out more about his blossoming brand and his new line, and here’s what he had to say. Echo: Congratulations on Royal Black Sheep; what’s the story behind the name? 38

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Mattox: Royal Black Sheep is what I have called myself since my senior year of High School … Never fitting in to a clique and or crowd, I guess you could say … I learned to embrace me to the best of my ability, and … embrace a “this is me, take it or leave it” attitude … and that empowered me. This is me, either you love me, and or hate me ... either way I will no longer give people the power to build me up, as I found if you allow others to build you up they can tear you down … This experience, my friends, is how Royal Black Sheep came about.

is on target to start a foundation for hungry children around the world.

Echo: What does the brand Royal Black Sheep encompass?

Mattox: Absolutely! Royal Black Sheep is about beating notions of what the world says one should be. How does an African American person act? What is masculine or feminine? What does a child of God look like? In fashion, one says because you wear a skirt you are girl, or when a woman wears a suit it’s being a tomboy

Mattox: Royal Black Sheep is much more than a clothing brand, it consists of motivational speaking geared toward seeing the love of the creator of our universe for mankind through my daily experiences. Also Royal Black Sheep

Although Royal Black Sheep is my fashion brand and clothing company, I am not the hands-on designer. I choose fabrics, styles and prints for creations to be executed. I use separate designers, including Natalia Acosta, Anna Millinery, Vane Russo and Brand X as the ghost designers and contributors to the RBS house. Echo: Do you think breaking stereotypes in fashion is important?


or wearing a stacked heel – that I love so much – makes you a drag queen. But there are people before us who have broken these barriers, such as David Bowie, New York Dolls, Kiss and Prince. Echo: Androgynous fashion is something we’ve been talking about for a while now; would you say there will be gender nonconforming pieces in your upcoming line?

something you would wear, understand the story that is being spoken. Echo: How would you describe your event to our readers? Mattox: If you want to see something innovative, theatrical, dramatic, chic and sleek, please come out to this show. It is going to be buzzworthy and stimulate your eye.

Royal Black Sheep April 7 5:30-7 p.m., Cocktail Hour 7-9 p.m., Fashion Show FOUND:RE Hotel 1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 310-424-0132

KJ Philp is the managing editor of Echo Magazine. He can be reached at

Mattox: Yes! ALL of my pieces are [gender nonconforming] – what determines men and women’s clothing anyway? Echo: What is Royal Black Sheep bringing to the Valley’s fashion landscape that it was previously missing? Mattox: Royal Black Sheep is a clothing company geared toward men and women who are opposed to the typical, but can appreciate the lifestyle of being unique, glamorous, artistic and cool … I want to bring the world of fashion to Arizona … I want to bring Paris, Milan, and London to the desert … and be a part of an experience that will inspire … I want to give lux, trash and class all in one, which, to me, makes fashion. Echo: In your estimation, what is the connection between Royal Black Sheep and the LGBTQ Community? Mattox: How I connect with the LGBTQ community is that we are all human and have feelings, emotions and are all miracles. Echo: What message do you have to anyone who picked this issue up at pride and knows nothing about the local LGBTQ and/or fashion scene? Mattox: The best way to travel and still be in your living room is to look at fashion from around the world in fashion blogs that open your mind to what fashion can be. Step outside your comfort zone. Even if the fashion is not news

Photos by Tajji Sharp. Courtesy of Royal Black Sheep.


APRIL 2017


A Celebration of Celesbians

World’s largest girl party returns to Palm Springs By Megan Wadding


lub Skirts presents The Dinah, an annual music festival and pool party event, will once again take over Palm Springs for in what is billed as the largest girl party in the world. Marking its 27th year, the star-studded weekend will kick off at the close of Women’s History Month and promises a five-day celebration at various locations throughout Palm Springs, including host hotel Hilton Palm Springs. Mariah Hanson, the event’s founder and producer, said she is excited for the musical talent that will be taking the stage at The Dinah this year. “The Dinah has always been primarily a party, but we have added some stellar music offerings since that was the perfect complement,” Hanson said. “We have some amazing musical talent this year, a strong cross connection of the familiar, showcasing ground-breaking artists of the ’90s [and] a group of emerging artists, [of which] we think at least one has a shot of becoming the next big thing.” Attendees can expect performances by Lady Cultura, Cece Peniston, Tish Hyman, Lizzo and Black Box – to name a few. The weekend, which includes the White Party March 31, the Hollywood Party and the Dinah Comedy Show April 1, as well as numerous pool parties, celebrity meet and greets and water games, has become a desert oasis for women from around the world. Numerous “celesbians” are always on-hand at The Dinah, and this is shaping up to be no different. According to Hanson, 40

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the stars expected to make appearances this year range from actors and reality television stars to filmmakers and screenwriters – both gay and straight. Expected celebrity attendees include Jamie Babbit from Itty Bitty Titty Committee, Marlene Forte from “The Fosters,” Bridget McManus from Tello Films’ “Maybelle” and Liz Vassey from “CSI” and “Nikki and Nora” the web series. “We have a lot of celebrities coming this year to do a meet and greets,” Hanson said. “Mindy Sterling from Austin Powers, Elizabeth Keener from ‘The L Word’ and many more. We’re excited to have a variety of artists joining us this year. Everyone is coming together to celebrate the community and honor our womanhood.” Each year, The Dinah takes place the first weekend in April. This year, the fact that it begins just as Women’s History Month comes to a close, was a lucky coincidence, according to Hanson. “It’s the perfect segue for us, since this year we are making a powerful statement about women empowerment,” Hanson said. “What we are doing differently this year is using The Dinah to make a wonderful political statement to the world that even when we take our breaks and enjoy life for five days, we are still ever-vigilant.” This year, Hanson said the event will use its star power to try to help give back. “Several us of are going to do a matching fundraising ask at The Dinah and give our attendees the opportunity to help us raise a lot of money for [The National Council of La Raza] and other watchdog groups,”

Hanson said. “Since we need this more than ever, and The Dinah is in a position to help.” Additionally, Hanson is expecting to see the largest attendance on record for The Dinah. “We’re excited to have this many women coming this year, as it feels like an incredible opportunity to show the world our might and out dedication to a better America,” she said. The single aspect of The Dinah experience Hanson said she is most looking forward to is everyone coming together to celebrate unity. “I think the community needs a break from the madness,” Hanson said. “We experience [unity] when we are all together celebrating our lives, living out loud and being who we are, proudly and with a vision of a better tomorrow.” Club Skirts presents The Dinah March 29-April 2 Palm Springs, Calif.

READ THE REST For Echo’s interviews with The Dinah Comedy Night stars Julie Goldman and Erin Foley, visit

Megan Wadding is a freelance writer and travel addict with a degree in journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganWadding. news






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Cast your vote for the 2017 Echo Readers’ Choice Awards before April 7.

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11. The Star of the (Drag) Show The Barbra Seville Show, The Rock Celia Putty’s Freaky Friday, Plazma Elements, BS West The Garden Variety Review, Kobalt High Heels and Halos, Charlie’s Phoenix

12. Down For The Crown Arizona Entertainer of the Year Miss Gay Arizona America Miss Gay Copper City Miss Gay Scottsdale America Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride Pageant

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APRIL 2017


2017 Phoenix Pride Preview presented by

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APRIL 2017


Taking It To The Streets

Pride Parade aims to enhance community visibility and solidarity By Liz Massey

Photo by


hat started out as a march for political activism, it still serving the Greater Phoenix LGBTQ community – as well as allies and visitors – as a display of freedom, equality and pride. This year’s Phoenix Pride Parade, presented by Bank of America, will take place April 2. This event is free and open to the public. Paradegoers will see as many as 120 floats and walking units, as well as VIPs in automobiles, horse-powered units from Charlie’s and Wells Fargo, and the thunderous display of the Gay Sportsbike Riders who will lead the parade. Many of the entries will configure their presentations to align with the theme for Pride 2017: Stand Up, Stand Proud. According to Justin Owen, Phoenix Pride executive director, the theme was chosen after last November’s elections and reflected the tenor of the current political climate. 48

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“In the face of potential political adversity, we need to be proud of who we are,” he said. “Pride is an opportunity to unite and come together.” Owen added that was excited with the way in which the parade helps bring the Valley’s LGBTQ community together year after year. “It’s the opportunity for us to unite as one,” he said. “We are there together to stand up, and stand proud.” The community grand marshals for the parade, Owen explained, were selected for demonstrating their ability to be a powerful force for good during difficult times. Both the individual honoree Stacy Louis, owner of Stacy’s @ Melrose, and the group honoree, the Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, are well known for their fundraising activities to benefit a variety of LGBTQ and other causes.

“We’re happy to celebrate what our community grand marshals do and the money they raise for so many agencies,” Owen said. Louis, who frequently hosts fundraisers at his bar, did a special event after the Pulse Night Club mass shooting in Orlando to the assist victims. He said acting on the impulse to help others was just who he is. “I love everyone – straight, LGBTQ, white, black, yellow, etc.,” he said. “If there’s something I can do to make this world better, I will do my best to help!” Garry Hedgcoth, Abbess (in the persona of Sister Sugar Britches) of the Grand Canyon Sisters, explained that fundraising was at the heart of the organization. In 2016, the Grand Canyon Sisters raised money for Logan’s Playground, which provides free childcare for clients at Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS and the McDowell Healthcare Center, and hosted Arizona Mr. Prime Beef, a pageant for males phoenix pride preview

Photo by

over age 50 that raised more than $1,000 for the charity Bikers Against Child Abuse. In response to the Grand Canyon Sisters being named grand marshal, Hedgcoth replied, “It is an honor, and I feel very blessed, somewhat overwhelmed and very proud of my sisters.” As always, the parade will kick off at third Street and Thomas Road and run to Steele Indian School Park (at Third Street and Indian School Road). Additionally, announcer stages will be located at Third Street and Osborne as well as third Street and Clarendon Avenue.

Photo by

2017 Phoenix Pride Parade 10 a.m. April 2 The parade kicks off at third Street and Thomas Road and runs to Steele Indian School Park. Liz Massey has been involved in LGBTQ community-building activities in Kansas City and the Valley of the Sun, and is a former managing editor of Echo Magazine. She can be reached at

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Belinda Carlisle

Go-Go’s lead singer to headline Phoenix Pride Festival

phoenix pride preview


APRIL 2017


Stand Up, Stand Proud

Phoenix festival offers a diverse variety of ways to celebrate Pride By Liz Massey

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hile one of the goals of the Phoenix Pride Festival is to bolster the unity of the LGBTQ community, instead of creating one giant homogeneous queer “universe” for attendees during the two-day event, it is perhaps more accurate to describe the festival landscape as a series of interconnected mini-universes, each with a unique appeal to various parts of the LGBTQ community and its allies. According to Justin Owen, Phoenix Pride executive director, the diversity of experiences available at the festival – which will take place April 1-2 – is no accident. “We like to be an all-inclusive space,” he said. “LGBTQ people have been treated so differently for so long that we try to find a way to include everyone.” With such a rich geography of excitement packed into one of the largest outdoor event venues in the city of Phoenix, it’s helpful to have a map to guide the way. Here is an overview of the major stages and event areas you can expect at this year’s festival.

Festival 411 The Phoenix Pride Festival will stretch over most of the available space at Steele 50

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Indian School Park, with the entrance located at Third Street and Indian School Road. The festival, Owen said, is one of the largest events hosted at the park. And attendance at the two-day event is, again, expected to be around 35,000.

in lieu of festival passes for individual volunteers.

Ticket prices are $15 advance/$20 at the door for a single-day pass and $30 advance/$35 at the door for a weekend pass. Children under 12 are admitted at no charge and discounted tickets are available for youth ages 13-17.

The Community Stage is the first stage that festival-goers encounter as they enter through the main gate, and stage manager Mike Fornelli said that the main focus of this area is to showcase the best of Phoenix’s local talent.

Tickets for Pride’s VIP Experience are $75 and include a weekend pass, preferred seating at the Bud Light Main Stage area, and access to an air-conditioned VIP tent with plenty of seating, a private bar and upgraded restrooms. To operate such a complex undertaking, the Phoenix Pride relies on the assistance of more than 500 volunteers, who are directed by 18 volunteer managers and Phoenix Pride’s small, but dedicated, staff. Additionally, Owen explained that many nonprofits supply volunteers in order to participate in Phoenix Pride’s Beverage Grant Program, in which organizations staff beverage booths in return for credits translatable to charitable donations from Phoenix Pride, or its Volunteer Grant program, in which nonprofits receive charitable credits from Phoenix Pride

Stage by Stage Community Stage

“We have invited local show directors from Phoenix and Tucson to put together entertainment segments featuring entertainers from their bar, organization, or troupe,” Fornelli said. Drag entertainers will command much of the time on the community stage, officially named the Tish Tanner Community Stage after one of the Valley’s favorite drag queens of the 1980s and 1990s. The first day of the festival there will be performances by Afeelya Bunz & Friends, Divas Tucson and a sampling of Latin diva performers. The following day, the incoming Phoenix Pride 2017 royalty and the Arizona Drag Stars will perform. Fornelli, who has managed the community stage for the past four years, said that visitors have appreciated seeing the diversity of local talent, as phoenix pride preview


well as the fact that the venue offers fully shaded table and ground seating, a small dance floor and provides sign language interpretation. “Everyone always has a great time there, and it is so fun to see how happy everyone is,” Fornelli said. “I love seeing the audience interacting with the performers, the kids’ awestruck faces when they tip a performer, and the amazing sense of community that the stage exudes.”

Bistro Stage The Bistro Stage, managed by Dawn Bowman, is the place to go for celebrating the arts. Intended to provide an intimate, coffeehouse atmosphere, the stage will again be located against the scenic backdrop of the park’s 2.5-acre lake. The stage will feature “indie” style musical artists and small ensembles from a variety of genres, including alternative rock, folk, jazz, blues and R&B. The touring pop/rock band Edison will play April 1, alongside such acts as 76th Street (see story at, indie guitarist Sarah Chapman and the jazz/R&B band House of Stairs (see story at The following day, local singersongwriter Jane Murdock will lead off the entertainment, followed by acts such as guitarist/pianist Adam Smith, Daniel Diaz (see story at and the Johanna Chase Duo. Besides the music on tap at the Bistro Stage, the area will also host several visual arts displays. Bowman said festival goers can contribute to the “Recycle Pride,” a sculpture/light display, which will be built next to the stage throughout the weekend. “Large wire sculptures will be on the

phoenix pride preview

grass near the lake, and the community will be using plastic water bottles recycled from the festival itself to build the outdoor sculptures,” Bowman explained. “We will light them up at night, and they will fill in as the festival proceeds all weekend. It should be a great visual display at the end!” The stage will also be the home of the Arts Expo, which allows artists to showcase their work in small booths underneath the tent. Visitors will be able to browse the photographs, jewelry, handcrafted soaps, fine-art paintings for sale, or experience body art or a henna tattoo. The artists will contribute items to a live art raffle that will benefit the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Program. Bowman compared the atmosphere at the Bistro Stage to that of Phoenix’s best arts venues and encouraged festivalgoers to stop by. “The Bistro/Arts Expo is like finding that cool hang-out or local popular club ... you can hang out and listen to great musicians, relax and buy some great art,” she said.

Dance Pavilion For some members of the LGBTQ community, the freedom to dance as they please and with whom they please is a expression of pride and acceptance. According to Edward Castro, assistant entertainment manager in charge of the Dance Pavilion, this venue provides 10,000 square feet in which to boogie the day and night away, with music provided by DJs from a variety of genres. Dancers can groove to the beats provided by DJ Aris, DJ Vince Urban, DJ Kinkyloops, and DJ Image April 1, and Weston Parish, DJ Lady Staliet, Musa Mind and Astony April 2. “The purpose of the Dance Pavilion is to

provide our guests with a club/party style atmosphere,” Castro explained. “Every DJ we will feature has their own style, and presents something different in every set. You will hear a variety of music from Top 40, dance hall, Latin, country and hip-hop all in the mix.” If you’re at the festival and feel your sense of pride flagging, Castro asserted that the Dance Pavilion was a great place to stop for an energetic boost. “The Dance Pavilion is the life of the party at the Phoenix Pride Festival,” he said. “If I weren’t backstage volunteering, I’d be at the Dance Pavilion all day long.”

Bud Light Main Stage If your taste runs to big name musical artists and national headlining acts, this is your hangout. While the evening slots are reserved for top national acts, Natalie Cianciola, Phoenix Pride entertainment director, said there will be great entertainers on stage all day long each day of the festival. Barbra Seville, an Echo Readers’ Choice Award finalist for 2017, will co-emcee the stage both days. DJ Jay Pea will open the Main Stage April 1, and will be followed by appearances by Phoenix Pride Royalty, the Arizona Drag Stars, Virr., Latin songstress Ninel Conde (see story, page 60) and Los Chicos del 512, a Selena tribute band (see story, page 62). Beyond the excitement of the musical performances, Cianciola said one the best parts of her job over the years has been overseeing artist meet and greets with festival-goers. “I’ve been the fan waiting in line for hours to meet my favorite artist,” she said. “I love seeing how excited attendees are, knowing they are seconds away from


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meeting their favorite artist. It’s always exciting to being able to pass out last minute meet-and-greet wristbands from the Main Stage – truly making someone’s day and watching them ‘fangirl out’ as they snap a photo backstage with the headliner.”

The Rest of the Fest While the four stages at the festival attract numerous fans, there are several other major attractions at the event that are worth visiting.

Erotic World According to Owen, the festival’s Erotic World, an area strictly for those 18 and up and filled with all manner of adult delights, continues to grow every year (see story at Visitors, who will need to present ID to enter the area, can purchase adult merchandise from a bevvy of specialized vendors, watch demonstrations by BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) practitioners and erotic dancers – all in a private, air-conditioned tented space. “People can come to Erotic World to learn about the dark and mysterious parts of our community that are embraced and loved, but not often showcased,” Owen said. 52

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vendors themselves.

This children’s play area, located near the festival entrance and the Community Stage, has been created especially for families with children ages 4 to 12 years old. Kids and family members are invited to participate in crafts, creative activities and games from noon to 5 p.m. on both days of the festival. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

“Exhibitors play a major role in ensuring the festival’s success,” he said. “Our attendees enjoy strolling through the marketplace getting to know the different businesses and services that support our community; in turn, our exhibitors are building relationships within our community. Plus, who doesn’t like swag!”

Owen said he was pleased with the development of KidsSpace.

In the end, Owen said, one of the biggest benefits of attending the festival is the opportunity to connect with the entire LGBTQ and allied community all in one place, and to help a lot of organizations.

“We’ve seen so many families blossom in our community, and a lot of them want to come to Pride,” he said. “The KidSpace allows them to bring their younger kids to Pride and enjoy it.”

Vendor Tents If you’re the type to never pass up a “shop-ortunity,” then you’ll want to make a pilgrimage to some of the 300 corporations, local businesses, and organizations that will have booths in the vendor areas at the festival. According to Victor Avila, Phoenix Pride program manager and staff liaison for the vendors, this year’s vendor roster will include well-known local and national names. The open market atmosphere in the vendor area, Avila said, is a win-winwin for Pride, festival goers and the

It’s all about commUNITY

“Our grants provide funds for many nonprofits, all year round, and our scholarships help people go to school,” he said. “The festival is one big community support event.” 2017 Phoenix Pride Festival Noon-9 p.m. April 1-2 Steele Indian School Park 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix Liz Massey has been involved in LGBTQ community-building activities in Kansas City and the Valley of the Sun, and is a former managing editor of Echo Magazine. She can be reached at phoenix pride preview

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Phoenix Pride Festival Schedule of Events Community Stage April 1

Dance Pavillion April 1

1-2 p.m.

Pride Contestants

Noon-1:25 p.m.

DJ Aris

2-3 p.m.

Afeelya Bunz & Friends

1:30-3:55 p.m.

DJ Vince Urban

3-5 p.m.

Arizona Entertainer of the Year Royalty Hour and Femtastic

4-6:25 p.m.

DJ Kinky Loops

6:30-9 p.m.

DJ Image

5-6 p.m.

Diva’s Tucson Hour

April 2

6-7 p.m.

Latina Diva Hour

April 2 1-2 p.m.

Stars Choice

2-3 p.m.

Elements feat. Illusions

3-4 p.m.

Arizona Drag Stars

4-5 p.m.

Ruby Reynolds Latin Hour

5-6 p.m.

H.O.K (Haus of K.U.N.T.)

6-7 p.m.


Noon-1:25 p.m.

Weston Parish

1:30-3:55 p.m.

DJ Lady Staliet

4-6:25 p.m.

Musa Mind

6:30-9 p.m.


Bistro Stage April 1

Bud Light Main Stage April 1

Noon-12:45 p.m.

House of Stairs

11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

DJ Jay Pea

1-1:45 p.m.

Sarah Chapman

2:30-2:50 p.m.

Phoenix Pride Royalty

2-2:45 p.m.

Sam Tolson

3-4 p.m.

Arizona Drag Stars

3-3:45 p.m.

The New Treasurefruit

4:15-4:50 p.m.


4-4:45 p.m.

Karen O’ Brien Band

5-5:45 p.m.

Ninel Conde

5-5:45 p.m.

76th Street

6-7:30 p.m.

Los Chicos Del 512

6-6:45 p.m.


8-8:45 p.m.

Belinda Carlisle

Jacob Acosta Band

7-7:45 p.m.

April 2

April 2 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

DJ Shorty feat. Leztourage

Noon-12:45 p.m.

Jane Murdock

3:30-5 p.m.

Phoenix Phollies

1-1:45 p.m.

Adam Smith

4:45-6 p.m.

2-2:45 p.m.

Pearl Ridge

Superstars of House feat. Barbara Tucker

3-3:45 p.m.

Bridget Lyons

6:15-7 p.m.


4-4:45 p.m.

Daniel Diaz

7:15-8 p.m.

Brian Justin Crum

5-5:45 p.m.

Johana Chase Duo

8:15-9 p.m.

Aaron Carter


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phoenix pride preview

Photo courtesy of Belinda Carlisle.

Belinda Carlisle Phoenix Pride Festival Bud Light Main Stage 8-8:45 p.m. April 1

phoenix pride preview

Aaron Carter Phoenix Pride Festival Bud Light Main Stage 8:15-9 p.m. April 2

Photo courtesy of Aaron Carter.

phoenix pride preview

Photo courtesy of Brian Justin Crum.

Brian Justin Crum Phoenix Pride Festival Bud Light Main Stage 7:15-8 p.m. April 2

phoenix pride preview


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KORR-A Phoenix Pride Festival Bud Light Main Stage 6:15-7 p.m. April 2

Photo by Nicky Jaman,

phoenix pride preview

Photo courtesy of

Virr. Phoenix Pride Festival Bud Light Main Stage 4:15-4:50 p.m. April 1

phoenix pride preview


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feature story

Photos by Alex Cordova, Media Concepts PR. 60

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Latin Flavor Ninel Conde to make debut Pride performance in Phoenix By Tamara Juarez


hoenix Pride will be adding some Latin flavor to its festival, once again, with a mix of cumbia and music norteña by Mexican singer Ninel Conde. The award-wining artist will take the Bud Light Main Stage from 5:50 to 5:45 p.m. April 1, where she’ll perform songs from her latest album, Ninel Conde con Banda, and a variety of her most popular hits, including “Bonbón Asesino,” “Ni un Centavo” and “Te Pesará.” Conde is a long-time advocate of the LGBTQ community and is currently working in a partnership with Club Papi Productions to sing at pride events in major cities across the United States and Mexico. This will be Conde’s first time attending Phoenix Pride. “I’m excited to take part in this festival,” Conde said in an email interview with Echo. “My relationship with the gay community is amazing. Not only are they my most loyal fans, but they are also an important part of my life – as friends, as my working team and as part of our society. We always have so much fun together.” The Latin Grammy-nominated singer has been outspoken about her love and support for minority groups, and is excited to continue her international tour with Club Papi to promote new music and to thank her LGBTQ fans.

least see some improvement. This year, more than ever, you must all be united.” Conde is taking a break from filming the new telenovela “Tierras Salvajes” in Mexico City to participate in Phoenix Pride, but the mother of two said she will return to the country’s capital after a much-needed vacation from her busy schedule. “My days right now start very early, and they end very late. I have to divide myself in many Ninels to make the day count,” she said, adding, however, that she doesn’t have any regrets. “I decided to take part on this job after been gone for five years from the TV screen. People everywhere kept asking when I was returning, so I decided that it was now the right time.” The 46-year-old singer and actress has been in the business for well over two decades, and has no plans of retiring any time soon. She has appeared in such popular Mexican shows as “Rebelde,” “Mar de Amor,” “Fuego en la Sangre” and

“Porque el Amor Manda.” “I always knew what I wanted to do, singing and acting are part of my life. I started winning beauty pageants, and from then on, I keep looking for new opportunities and for people that believed in my dream,” she said. “I didn’t stop when people told me no, even if I got discouraged, I insisted until finally I got my big opportunity.” Partnering with Club Papi Productions is another big opportunity, she said, and one that she is extremely thankful for and will always cherish. For more information on Ninel Conde, like her on Facebook at ninelconde or visit Tamara Juarez is a bilingual student at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. During her spare time she loves to read, hike and make bad puns.

Ninel Conde Phoenix Pride Festival Bud Light Main Stage 5-5:45 p.m. April 1

One of her biggest goals as an artist, she said, is to create music that her fans can enjoy and that fosters a sense of community in a fun and upbeat way. At this year’s event, Conde hopes her performance will encourage people to dance, sing and connect with other individuals. “The unity and the way that society comes together [at LGBTQ events] is great,” she said. “I know we still have a lot of work to do, but I’m happy to at

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Los Chicos Del 512 Arizona-based Selena tribute band to honor the Queen of Tejano music By Megan Wadding

Photos courtesy of


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entertainment feature

Los Chicos Del 512 Phoenix Pride Festival Bud Light Main Stage 6-7:30 p.m. April 1


omo la Flor” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” are among the most recognizable Latin hits of our time. When the music starts, there’s no mistaking the signature Selena sound. This is exactamente what the members of Los Chicos Del 512, a Selena tribute band with local roots, aim to recreate each time the take the stage. The band includes Evelyn Molina on lead vocals, Martin Peralta on the acoustic and electric guitars, Jesus Cordova on the bass, Alex Yanez on the timbales, Jimmy Arce on the congas, Ricardo Madrid on the keyboards and Mario Hernandez on the drums.

Echo caught up with Molina, a San Luis, Ariz., native who starred on “La Voz” season 4, ahead of the band’s performance at Phoenix Pride Festival’s Bud Light Main Stage from 6-7:30 p.m. April, and here’s what she had to say. Echo: Did you all grow up in Arizona? What can you tell me about your hometown? Do you still live in Arizona? Molina: The band is based out of San Luis, Ariz., in Yuma County. Although we were born in different cities, we all grew up in Arizona and everyone still lives in Arizona, except me. I currently live in Los Angeles. Some of the Chicos live in Yuma. Yuma County is a beautiful place. Others [live] in Somerton and San Luis. Echo: Who all is in the band and how do you all know each other? Molina: … We all have known each other for many years now. We have shared stages in different projects along the years. Somehow, we ended all together in this awesome project. Echo: Where did the idea for a Selena tribute band come from and how did everyone get involved? Molina: Mario had the idea of making this project more than just a tribute. He had the vision of recruiting great

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musicians to be able to make this project an experience, rather than just a tribute … We will bring you the best Selena tribute out there. You see, many of us never got to see a Selena concert live. So, it’s not a just a concert. It’s an experience that you won’t forget.

mariachi. Also we have some surprises that we cannot say. For this particular event, we’re doing a 90-minute [show]. All we have to say is, be ready to live the best Selena experience of your life.

Echo: Did you emulate Selena in your performances prior to joining this band?

Molina: We will perform all Selena’s greatest hits. I will sing both English and Spanish songs. Our show is bilingual. It’s a complete Selena experience. We do more than just singing songs. You have to see the show to understand!

Molina: … I never emulated Selena until I joined Los Chicos Del 512. I sang Selena songs for decades, but in my own natural style … Selena was, and still is, unique. Now it is a challenge for me to emulate her moves, gestures and voice. It is a great responsibility to perform this Selena experience [for] Selena fans. We all do it with great respect and honor to the Queen of Cumbia and Tex-Mex. Echo: Do you put together your own Selena-inspired outfits? Are they replicas? Molina: Her outfits are so unique that it’s hard to put them together. Finding the right fabric, accessories can be a challenge sometimes. I have lots of fun during the process. I make my own bustiers, for example.

Echo: What Selena songs will you sing at Phoenix Pride?

Echo: Do you plan on catching the other shows at Pride, or walking around the festival? Molina: We’d love to hang out around for a while, meet and take pictures with people. And eat! For more information on Los Chicos Del 512, like them on Facebook at, follow them on Twitter at @loschicosdel512 or visit

Echo: What kinda of reactions do you get from longtime Selena fans? Molina: [We get] all kinds of emotions and reactions! Keep in mind that a lot of these fans never got to see a Selena concert live. They’re filled with joy, love [and] excitement, and at times, they shed a tear or two. As for the band, we get pretty emotional, too. We love what we do and we love pleasing the Selena fans. What amazes us every time is the unbelievable amount of kids who love Selena … Echo: What can attendees expect of your show? Molina: They will have a blast. They will get to hear the very best of Selena, [including] cumbias, [Tejano], pop [and]

Megan Wadding is a freelance writer and travel addict with a degree in journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganWadding.


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DJ Lady Staliet Local DJ brings international experience to the dance floor By Megan Wadding

Photos courtesy of


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entertainment feature

DJ Lady Staliet Phoenix Pride Festival Dance Pavillion 1:30-3:55 p.m. April 2


rom calypso to Latin and hip-hop, to dance-hall, DJ Lady Staliet has a passion for international music and the stories it tells from a young age. As an Arizona transplant, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, this selftaught DJ is making her Pride debut on the turntables from 1:30 to 3:55 p.m. April 2 at the Phoenix Pride Festival’s Dance Pavilion.

Echo Magazine caught up with DJ Lady Staliet ahead of her first-ever Pride appearance and here’s what she had to say. Echo: Can you tell me a little about your background? What were you were like as a child? DJ Lady Staliet: I was born and raised in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and I now reside in Phoenix. As a kid I was definitely talkative, chatty, sometimes loud and, believe it or not, a bit shy. You would always find me outside running around, dancing to my native soca music or playing soccer. When I wasn’t doing that, I would be organizing little concerts and shows for my little cousins and neighbors to perform in.

its different genres from as early as I can remember. In Trinidad, we have our own genres of music like calypso, soca, chutney, just to name a few, but our radio stations definitely mixed it up and played hip-hop, reggae, dance-hall, pop, rock, jazz, gospel – you name it … Echo: How did the idea to become a DJ come about? DJ Lady Staliet: [When] I was 13, my two older cousins were DJs. So, I would sit and watch them practice for hours. They would use a mixer and two portable CD players. One day, I asked one of them if I could try it out. Learning to DJ took me a while, but I eventually got it and I am proud to say that I’m 100-percent selftaught. Echo: What is the story behind your DJ name? DJ Lady Staliet: After my cousin saw how serious I was about the craft, he gave me the DJ name DJ Black Stallion, because he said I was always running around in the yard like a wild horse. I accepted the name, but later changed it to DJ Lady Staliet after my 14th birthday to symbolize my coming of age.

Echo: Was anyone in your family into music?

Echo: Who are some of your favorite artists currently?

DJ Lady Staliet: My dad is a professional musician, a drummer, so I grew up around a lot of music. I come from a big family of music lovers. So, no matter whose house I visited, the radio was always on and everyone listened to something different. Music was just always around me. I guess you can say I was a musical kid.

DJ Lady Staliet: My favorite songs and artists usually depend on what mood I’m in or vibes that I’m feeling. These days, I’m really into Afro-pop, tropical house, dance-hall and a little bit of trap music. Some of my favorite artists [that] I’m listening to right now are Migos, Rae Scremmurd, Runtown, Mr. Eazi, Yemi Alade, Bunji Garlin, Voice, Maluma, Alkaline, Popcaan and Chronixx.

Echo: What music did you like growing up? DJ Lady Staliet: With my father being a musician, I would say I definitely got my musical genes from him. But I have always been fascinated by music and

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satisfies me more than pleasing my crowd and knowing that they had a great time. So, I try to show the audience that I am here to play for them. Not [for] myself, but for them. Echo: Have you ever performed at a Pride before? What can attendees expect of your show? DJ Lady Staliet: No, I have never performed at [any] Pride before ... I am definitely looking forward to attending Pride this year [and] I’m most excited about taking the stage and making the people get up and dance … I really like dropping new remixes and mashups of what trending or hot at the moment. For more information on DJ Lady Staliet , like her on Facebook at or visit djladystaliet.

Echo: What do you try to communicate to the audience through your vibe? DJ Lady Staliet: I really just like to see people enjoy themselves so as a DJ there’s nothing else in this world that

Megan Wadding is a freelance writer and travel addict with a degree in journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganWadding.


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DJ Kinky Loops San Diego-based DJ adds Phoenix Pride to her sizzling-hot resume By Megan Wadding

Photos by thurrty3degreez.


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entertainment feature

DJ Kinky Loops Phoenix Pride Festival Dance Pavilion 4 to 6:25 p.m. April 1


or the past five years, she’s spent her Fridays nights as the resident DJ at the No. 1-voted women’s bar on the West Coast, Gossip Grill. It’s an upbeat nightclub that offers her the flexibility to play all styles of music. But DJ Kinky Loops will be leaving the San Diego in her rearview mirror to taking the stage at the Phoenix Pride Festival’s Dance Pavilion at Phoenix Pride from 4 to 6:25 p.m. April 1.

Echo Magazine caught up with DJ Kinky Loops ahead of her Arizona debut and here’s what she had to say. Echo: How did you get started with DJing? DJ Kinky Loops: … when I had free time between [college] classes and homework, I would drive to Guitar Center and spend hours in the Pro Audio section experimenting with equipment and making friends with the workers there who would eventually let me bring in music to mix and play around with. I knew then that this was a “hobby” I wanted to pursue at home, putting paychecks aside to eventually buy my own DJ set up, piece by piece … I just loved the music, the thrill and energy I felt from the live DJ sets, and was so curious to know what they were doing behind those decks and how they were able to work a crowd like that. I never had any training, I am literally all self-taught. Echo: Who are your musical idols? DJ Kinky Loops: I’ll never forget the first time I saw DJ Donald Glaude perform. His energy was through the roof and he genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself while playing and that energy was projected onto his crowd and sets. From there, I started following him throughout the West

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Coast … He always made the time to say hi to his fans and was always smiling and having a good time. I’d say, he is the reason for me being the type of DJ I am today. Echo: Have you ever been to Arizona before? DJ Kinky Loops: I have actually never been to Arizona, I am excited. I heard that there is some great hiking, I am very active and plan to take a couple days off after Pride to head to Sedona for a hiking trip. If anyone sees me at Pride, I would love a suggestion on what to do in Arizona. Echo: What have your past experiences DJing at Pride been like? DJ Kinky Loops: I am thankful I have been able to DJ San Diego Pride every year and, some years, DJ on a float – which is the coolest way to see the parade. I have done Palm Springs Pride and now Phoenix! … I am not going to lie, I think the gays always bring the energy. I love playing for mixed crowds though. I don’t like to be labeled as only a “gay” DJ or even as a “female” DJ. I am an entertainer and I love and respect all of my audiences equally. I feel truly grateful to be able to play for so many different types of people.

this year at Phoenix Pride. Echo: What do you try to communicate to the audience through your vibe? DJ Kinky Loops: It’s important to me that my crowd is letting loose and having fun. My favorite saying … is “Dance like no one’s watching!” Echo: Do you plan on catching the other shows at Pride, or walking around the festival? DJ Kinky Loops: Absolutely! I fly in Saturday morning, so I plan to head straight to the festivities and see how you celebrate Phoenix style. Also, I plan on walking in the parade Sunday with one•n•ten … I am really excited to be a part of your community this year! For more information on DJ Kinky Loops, visit

Echo: What can attendees expect of your show at Phoenix Pride? DJ Kinky Loops: During my set you can definitely expect energy, full force! I am told I am animated during my set. Sometimes I don’t realize when I’m in the moment! You will most likely be sure to see me bouncing around and having a good time along with you guys. I love interacting with my crowds. You will have to stop by to see what music I decide to play for you

Megan Wadding is a freelance writer and travel addict with a degree in journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganWadding.


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PLUS: Phoenix Pride Preview

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The Pride Pages

Echo proudly presents your 2017 Community Directory

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Echo proudly presents your 2017 Community Directory


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ALL BALANCHINE May 11 – 14, 2017 at Symphony Hall

An evening of invigorating works by the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Travel back to an old west saloon in Western Symphony Folk dance is combined with classical ballet in Square Dance Choreography set to Stravinsky’s landmark score in Agon

Tickets start at $25

Ballet Arizona dancers in Western Symphony. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

TOPIA May 23 – June 10, 2017 at Desert Botanical Garden Performed on a custom-crafted, 80-foot-wide panoramic stage with the Desert Botanical Garden serving as the ultimate backdrop. Don’t miss! Last year’s weekend shows sold out. Dinner and drinks at sunset. Table seating and general admission available.

Ballet Arizona dancers in Topia. Choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

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Competing for the Crown Meet the 2017 Phoenix Pride Pageant contestants Courtesy of Phoenix Pride


he Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride Pageant is a community event supported by local community organizations and numerous female and male illusionists. As a recipient of the title Miss or Mister Phoenix Pride, the winners will become the faces of the Phoenix Pride organization during their reign. The 2017 Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride Pageant will take place at 6 p.m. March 19 at The DoubleTree by Hilton Tempe’s Fiesta Ballroom, 2100 S. Priest Drive, in Tempe. For tickets, visit But first, let’s meet this year’s contestants.


Alexus Montoya, Miss Supreme 2017 In 2011, Alexus Montoya made her drag debut on the stage of Stars of Tomorrow at BS West, finishing in the top 3. As Miss Supreme Pride 2017, Alexus’ goal is to serve as an out and proud example of what it means to be a gay leather queen in America today.

Eva Angelica Stratton, Miss BS West 2017

Miley Mitchells, Miss Charlie’s 2017

Originally from Michigan, Eva Angelica Stratton has been performing and competing since 2006. Additionally, she came out as transgender in 2010. This is her first year in the Phoenix Pride pageant system and she’s very excited to be a part of this amazing cause.

Miley Mitchells has been entertaining Valley audiences for over four years. Being a female impersonator means a lot to her and is something she takes very seriously. Becoming Miss Charlie’s is her biggest accomplishment to date and she’s excited to show the judges and audience what Miley has to offer.

Naomi Glam, Miss Cash 2017

Stella Prince, Miss Kobalt 2017

Naomi Glam began her drag career in 2009, when she first saw a drag show in California. She was absolutely intrigued by the beautiful and talented entertainers and was inspired to explore the art of female impersonation. With family and friends pushing her, she will continue to reach for the stars.

Stella Prince is the female illusion brought to you by Gavin Sisson. Stella’s creation was inspired by legendary Broadway divas such as Liza Minnelli, Gwen Verdon and Ann Reinking. Stella is grateful to be participating in the Phoenix Pride pageant as Miss Kobalt 2017.

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Daynah Rivera, Miss Rock 2017

Deborah K, Miss Arizona Drag 2017

Five years ago, Daynah Rivera fell in love with the art of drag. And from there she decided to always work with, and for, her community – sharing, enjoying, learning and improving. She describes stepping on a stage as “the best experience ever” and can’t wait for you to get to know her.

Deborah K (Edgar Higuera) has been performing for six years and is very enthusiastic and eager to represent Arizona Drag as she competes and interviews for the title – and role – of Miss Phoenix Pride 2017. She’s exited to give back to the community and fundraise money for this cause.

Mi$hal Mi$hal, Miss Krazzy Latinos 2017

Mulani Shay, Miss Crusin’ 7th 2017

Originally from Hinesville, Ga., Mi$hal Mi$hal moved here in 2007. She was in band and chorus growing up and, in 2005, she auditioned for “America Idol” and later performed with Clay Aiken. In 2011, Mi$hal Mi$hal was born. If it weren’t for drag, she says she wouldn’t have family in Arizona.

Mulani Shay, from Yuma, first got in touch with her drag side in 2014. If she wins Miss Phoenix Pride she promises to conduct herself with elegance, class and grace in order to set an example for youth to stay in school, never give up, follow their dreams and be proud of who they are.

Té The Diamond, Miss Twisted 2017

Tyra Marie, Miss Imperial Court 2017

Té the Diamond grew up on the Fort Apache Reservation in Northern Arizona and moved to Tempe in 2010 to attend ASU. With a little over a year of drag experience, Té is the pageant’s first openly transgender Native American and she is representing the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Tyra Marie (Isak Hernandez) is a Lake Havasu City native who has been involved in the art of female impersonation for more than 11 years. She is an ASU graduate who currently has held several local and state-level titles and has been involved with various community organizations.

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Cruz Carter, Mister Cash 2017

Ish, Mister Krazzy Latinos 2017

Cruz Carter is the middle child out of three boys who all identify as part of the LGBTQ family. His favorite colors are purple and gold – the colors of royalty. Cruz would like to thank those who helped and supported him along this journey, including his family, friends and sponsors.

Since Ish (Ismael Ramirez) became a male performer in 2010, he has earned several local and state-level titles. He is honored to represent the Krazzy Latinos in the Phoenix Pride Pageant. He would like to thank his sponsors, especially AJ Barnes for being the most supportive fiancé.

Jae Krawford, Mister Arizona Drag 2017

Javier K. Flores, Mister Twisted 2017

Jae Krawford has been performing as a male entertainer for five years. He’s representing Arizona Drag because of his love for the work that Edward Michael does within the community. He credits his success to his friends and family who have supported and pushed him to do what he loves.

Javier K. Flores, who has been performing as a male entertainer for a little over two months now, was born in Santa Anna, Calif., but has lived in Phoenix for the past 27 years. He’s a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute and he is excited to see where this new journey takes him next!

Kristofer V. Lee, Mister Imperial Court 2017

Roman Holiday, Mister BS West 2017

Kristofer V. Lee has been performing as a male entertainer for two years. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Kristofer has lived in Phoenix for nearly 11 years. He is extremely excited to be a part of this year’s pageant and would like to thank his friends, family and sponsors for their support.

While Roman Holiday began dancing and performing at the age of 13 and graduated from the California Institute for the Arts, he made his debut only four years ago. He thanks Savannah Stevens, Olivia Gardens and China Collins for his first introduction to the pageant scene as a backup dancer.

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feature story

OUT & ABOUT Arizona Entertainer of the Year Pageant March 4-5 at AQUA Night Club Phoenix. Photos by

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SATURDAY, APRIL 1 Show your support in style! Drinks, food, live music, raffle prizes and more! Pre-Show Cocktails: 6:30pm Showtime: 7:30pm After-Party: 9:30pm Tickets: $75 -$90 After-Party only: $40 ($50 at the door)

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Echo proudly presents your 2017 Community Directory


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hether you’re looking for LGBTQ-specific support or are in need of the services provided by a community-based organization, Echo Magazine has the information and we’ve decided to put it all in your hands. In the pages ahead you’ll find the most valuable resource in town: Not only a listing of Phoenix’s organizations and groups, but also hundreds of ways to become better connected to your community. The best part is that this is a complimentary resource that Echo Magazine offers year-round at As part of our annual Pride observance, we decided to celebrate as proudly as possible and deliver our Community Directory to you in our first-ever installment of “The Pride Pages,” your 2017 Phoenix Edition. Not to worry, the Northern and Southern Arizona installments of this resource will be released in conjunction with those respective Pride celebrations, so stay tuned for more! Editor’s Note: Because Echo Magazine’s style is LGBTQ, any differing styles of our community acronym appearing in these pages have been indicated by the associated third party.

While the Community Directory and “The Pride Pages” rely on selfsubmitted information from LGBTQ groups and organizations throughout Arizona, Echo Magazine reserves the right to edit submissions based on internal style guidelines and/or deny inclusion based solely on our discretion. Echo is not responsible for any outdated or inaccurate information and does not endorse or promote any of the following groups and organizations in these pages. Please direct any concerns to

ADVOCACY Arizona Advocacy Network secures electoral justice, political rights and full civic participation through voter education and outreach to achieve government for the people. Aunt Rita’s Foundation hosts fundraising events that have helped provide more than $1.5 million to 16 local HIV/AIDS Service Agencies since 2005. Democratic Party LGBT Caucus works with LGBT community to elect Democrats who are LGBT and those who support the LGBT community. Equality Arizona works to make Arizona a state where LGBTQ persons are valued as full and equal members of society whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression are viewed with legal and moral neutrality, and sexual and gender diversity are seen as something to celebrate. HRC Arizona fights for LGBTQ equality in Arizona alongside state and local groups and lawmakers. The Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an order of queer nuns, have the vision to unite, elevate and empower the GLBT community throughout Arizona. Our primary role and pledge is cooperative support of every facet of the GLBT community through fundraising, entertainment and education throughout Arizona. | Imperial Sovereign Empire of Arizona (Imperial Court of Arizona) is a non-forprofit organization striving to unite the GLTB and heterosexual communities through charitable fundraising events to meet the needs of all.


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Log Cabin Republicans of Arizona are proud members of the GOP who believe inclusion wins. LCR-AZ works to build a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party by promoting the core values of limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, free markets and a strong national defense while advocating for freedom and equality for LGBT Americans. Phoenix Pride unites and engages individuals and organizations to empower, educate and support the Arizona LGBTQ Community; and promotes a positive image in the Valley of the Sun and throughout Arizona through community activities and services. The Phoenix Police LGBT Citizen Advisory Committee provides service, shares information, addresses concerns between the LGBT community and the Phoenix Police Department. Search “Phoenix Police Citizen Advisory Board Meeting” on Facebook. 602-262-7658 Trans Queer Pueblo is an autonomous LGBTQ+ migrant community of color who works wherever we find our people, creating cycles of mutual support that cultivate leadership to generate the community power that will liberate our bodies and minds from systems of oppression toward justice for all people.

HEALTH & WELLNESS is a collaborative, webbased database of HIV/AIDS resources throughout Arizona. Joshua Tree Feeding Program is an all-volunteer, nonprofit program that provides meals as well as medical and community resources persons living with HIV/AIDS in Maricopa County.

community directory

Ignite Your Status is the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS’ outreach project to encourage and support the sexual health of gay men and the gay community in Phoenix. LGBTQ Consortium LGBTQ Consortium is focused on supporting the health and wellness of the LGBTQ/GSM communities of Arizona by eliminating health disparities and injustice. Planned Parenthood is the largest sexual health organization in Arizona. It serves more than 90,000 women, men, teens and parents through its health care, education, outreach and advocacy efforts. planned-parenthood-arizona Project Hard Hat is a not-for-profit HIV/AIDS prevention and education organization that provides services for sexually active adults. Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS is a research and resource center in Phoenix that is home to the largest clinical trial, education, behavioral health and nutrition support center dedicated to fighting HIV and AIDS in the Southwest. is Maricopa County Public Health’s STD Program, provides confidential testing, treatment and follow-up care to people at risk for developing STDs. Terros is a healthcare organization that provides integrated behavioral, medical, family and community services.. The Phoenix Shanti Group provides housing, education and direct client services to those living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in Phoenix.

community directory

LEATHER & FETISH APEX (Arizona Power Exchange) is a not-for-profit corporation that provides education, social opportunities and support for adults who are interested in Bondage and Discipline; Dominance and Submission; and Sadomasochism (BDSM) who value individual responsibility, integrity, confidentiality and respect for self and others. Arizona Men of Leather (AML) is a male-identified Leatherman’s Social Club consisting of individuals who seek or live the leather/SM/fetish lifestyle, providing opportunities for friendship, mentoring, education and support of our community. The Mr Phoenix Leather Contest, which takes place each January, serves the only Arizona preliminary contest for the International Mr. Leather contest. Phoenix Boys of Leather exists to help that boy in you to come out, to flourish, to serve, and to find a safe haven for expression and exploration. Membership is open to anyone who self-identifies as a leather boy and is over 18 years old, without regard to gender, orientation or appearance. Southwest Leather Conference is an annual event that includes workshops, the Southwest Bootblack and Southwest Master/Slave contests, a bootblack lounge, nightly dungeons and more.

PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING City of Chandler Diversity Office works closely with the community and the Chandler Human Relations Commission to develop diversity programs and events. default.aspx?pageid=23

City of Mesa Diversity Office works to foster an awareness, understanding and respect for the differences that make us each unique human beings. residents/diversity-office City of Scottsdale Office of Diversity ensures that there is fairness in organizational diversity, reviews and evaluates prejudice or discriminatory concerns and celebrates and educates one another about who we are and our significance in our world. City of Tempe Office of Diversity promotes a fair, equitable and accessible environment for the City of Tempe community and workforce.. Gay Business Owners is a Phoenixbased group of gay business owners who are working to balance their business and personal lives, specifically meaningful relationships, through meetups with others in the same boat then join this group. The Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (GPGLCC provides an inclusive business environment by fostering growth, visibility, outreach and professional development opportunities within the LGBT and allied communities. Maricopa County Community College District Diversity Office supports a diverse and inclusive environment where mutual respect and equity are encouraged and valued. One that actively seeks to understand and incorporate views from dissimilar frames of reference. ONE Community has evolved into member-based coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals who support and promote diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans.


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Pride @ Work, Arizona Chapter is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies. We are an officially recognized constituency group of the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) that organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ community to further social and economic justice.

RELIGIOUS GROUPS & CONGREGATIONS RELIGIOUS & SPIRITUAL GROUPS ALL Arizona – LGBTQ Mormons, Friends and Family is a community of local Arizona members of the LDS Church, including LGBT/SSA Mormons, their families and those who desire to better understand and love them. AVIV of Arizona is a spiritual and social organization for the Arizona Jewish LGBT community. Catholics Can Come Home is a free facilitator-lead, seven-week discussion group – intended for individuals who feel alienated from, or hurt by, the Catholic Church – that meets at The Franciscan Renewal Center. Congregation Merkaz Ha-Iyr is a welcoming Phoenix congregation that follows a progressive, reform-style, and inclusive path, while maintaining a healthy respect for traditional Jewish practice. Dignity: Arizona, a fully inclusive faith community serving LGBTQA Catholics, their families and friends, is located in North Central Phoenix. Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Spiritual Development provides gay and lesbian psychic development and spiritual healing. Classes are taught by a


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professional psychic with over 30 years of experience. Rainbow Spirits is the LGBT community of the New Vision Center for Spiritual Growth.

CONGREGATIONS Casa De Cristo Church and Apostolic Center God is equipping members of our congregation as leaders to present the Ministry of the Gospel from Casa de Cristo to our LGBTQ community and beyond. Celebration of Life Presbyterian Church works for the full participation of LGBTQ people in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in society.

all people, regardless of their age, sex, race, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity. We are a reconciling church and affiliated with the Center for Progressive Christianity. provides a list of welcoming churches in Arizona (affirming church directory). list-churches-by-state Grove of the Rising Phoenix – ADF is an international neo-pagan organization devoted to creating a public tradition of Neo-Pagan Druidry. We walk an earth-based, polytheistic and spiritual path modeled after the practices of the ancient Indo-Europeans. MCC Phoenix is a faith community crossing the frontier of God’s unconditional love by celebrating God’s love for LGBT people.

Community Church of Hope is a diverse group of people who are God-centered and Christ-driven to provide God’s hope and love to all.

National LGBTQ Task Force provides a map to find welcoming congregations in Arizona.

Dayspring United Methodist Church exists to create disciples of Jesus Christ who touch and inspire people through an open and diverse community. Dayspring is a reconciling congregation.

ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans For Full Participation is a national website for supporters of LGBTQ people and families who are not the minority in our Lutheran church, but are the growing majority.

Faith Lutheran Church welcomes all people, extends God’s loving mercy and nourishs all who seek God’s strength and support. First Christian Church Glendale welcomes all people to be an active part of the body of Christ, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, social-economic status, faith heritage or ability. First Congregational United Church of Christ is an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ’s Southwest Conference. The Fountains United Methodist seeks to model Jesus’ radical inclusivity and hospitality by welcoming and affirming

Solomon’s Porch is a small independent church on a journey into Celtic Christianity. Worship takes place at Mount of Olives Lutheran Church, 3546 E. Thomas Road, in Phoenix. Soulforce is an LGBTQI organization that sabotages Christian Supremacy through radical analysis, spiritual healing and strategic direct action. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix was the first liberal faith community in the Phoenix area, and has been a beacon for free minds, tolerance, and social justice for over half a century.

community directory

Via de Cristo United Methodist Church promises a friendly congregation, a worship experience that is casual, relevant and always inspiring, and a welcome to all people.

STUDENT & SCHOOL GROUPS Delta Lambda Phi at ASU, an international social fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, is one of the fastest growing fraternities, with more than 35 chapters and colonies internationally. Devils in the Bedroom is a student organization that teaches sexual wellness in a sex-positive manner with a strong emphasis on sexual violence prevention. Estrella Mountain Community College’s P.R.I.D.E. works to create a safe space within the EMCC community for GLBTQ students through an alliance of GLBTQ and straight students. students/student-life/clubs Gamma Rho Lambda, ASU is an allinclusive women’s social sorority that exemplifies tolerance, diversity, unity and trust while providing a network of assistance in the areas of scholastic guidance, emotional support, and community service. Gateway Community College’s Gay Straight Alliance welcomes ALL students regardless of sexual orientation, identity, religious background, ethnicity and ability. Glendale Community College LGBT+ is an alliance that brings together anyone who is interested in bettering the world, speaking as a group on personal trails, and educating others about being a member or ally of the LGBTQ community. GLSEN Phoenix seeks to create safe, healthy and respectful K-12 schools,

community directory

regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, by offering safe schools resources and training. Volunteers are always welcome. inQUEERy at ASU is an interdisciplinary collaborative that aims to enhance the fields of study related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression by building a community of scholars who are invested in queer research and sharing resources with people interested in queer studies. LGBT Devils’ Pride, a chapter of the ASU Alumni Association, strives for PRIDE: Promoting Respect, Inclusiveness, Diversity and Equality while having a good time. lgbt-devils-pride LGBTQ Support Club is an ASU studentled organization that provides a safe place for ASU students, alumni and their family or friends to come and discuss the issues related to the LGBTQ community. lgbtqsupportclub73948 Mesa Community College Friendly Color is an LGBTQ Alliance that promotes and supports the LGBTQ community while raising awareness on campus and beyond. National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Arizona & ASU, is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. Out at ASU fosters an inclusive and affirming academic and campus environment for LGBTQQIAA students and their allies. Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ASU (oSTEM) is a national society dedicated to educating and fostering leadership for LGBTQA communities in the STEM fields.

Paradise Valley Community College PRIDE (People Respecting Individuality Diversity and Equality) is a gay-straight alliance of the Maricopa Community Colleges that meets weekly. Phoenix College Rainbow Spectrum connects and celebrates all Phoenix College students to support diverse sexual orientation and gender identity. Q High School provides LGBTQ and allied youth a welcoming and safe space to attend school and earn their high school diploma. Q High is a partnership with Arizona Virtual Academy, which is a public online charter school. Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity ASU promotes equality and respect by providing queer and allied men in college with a uniquely diverse safe space within the traditional Greek fraternity system. South Pride, South Mountain Community College LGBTQI group, hosts monthly meetings during school months. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Steve Fountaine. 602-305-5648. Spectrum ASU West is a gay-straight alliance that provides a safe space and supportive community to all LGBTQ people on campus. Search “Spectrum ASU West” on Facebook. The Rainbow Coalition is an umbrella organization at Arizona State University that serves LGBTQIA students and their organizations. Ubiquity, ASU’s LGBT staff and faculty organization, supports anyone concerned with LGBT issues.

FINANCIAL AID LGBT Financial Aid, one of the most comprehensive scholarship listings exclusive to the LGBTQIA community, lists several dozen scholarship and financial aid offers to LGBTQIA students and families.


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Fastweb lists scholarships available specifically for LGBTQIA students as well as students who demonstrate active involvement in promoting equal rights and involvement with the LGBTQIA community. u-lgbtq-students

promoting awareness, fluid visibility and overall health and wellbeing. Contact: Greg Ward

GO Financial Aid is a resource directory that lists organizations that offer scholarship funds and grants for LGBTQIA students or families. types/lgbt-financial-aid

Arizona Gay Couples and Friends is a group that invited gay couples and their friends to come together and establish friendships with other gay couples.



Arizona Polyamory, the largest and most active polyamory community in Arizona, offers opportunities for the poly community meet other people who share the same interests and concerns about love and romance through educational and social activities.



5MM: A Social and Support Group for Men provides like-minded guys a confidential and safe space to talk openly and honestly without fear of being outed. Applicants will be screened to ensure they are compatible with the rules of the group.

Arizona Nude Dudes, a group of gay and bisexual men who focus on true nudism, enjoy being naked with other men while accepting and enjoying our bodies in their natural state. Nudity is mandatory at our events and overt sexual activity is prohibited.

Aces of Arizona is a group that invites anyone who falls under the asexual orientation spectrum and resides in Arizona or visits frequently to be a part of meetups and events.

Bears of the West is a social club for bears, cubs and their admirers that welcomes all to its events.

Bisexual Ladiez in the Valley is a social and entertainment-focused outing group for cisgender bisexual women who are having a hard time meeting other cisgender bisexual women. Bisexual Men Meetup is a safe environment to chat and get to know othert bisexual men, and explore with each other through stories, experiences and meetings. Fluid Arizona is an online community for fluid men, women (cisgender and transgender) and intersex people age 18 and up to interact, share interests and support one another, while also


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Black Tie of Phoenix/Scottsdale is a social club for gay men that plans two black-tie events per year and monthly informal events. Deaf Queer Men Only is a biennial event that provides a safe space for deaf queer men to socialize, network and celebrate their identities, and to enrich knowledge on such topics health, civil rights, leadership, community and identity. Get Out! Adventures for Gay Men is for those who crave adventure, love nature, value health and fitness, have fun outside bars and clubs and enjoy meeting like-minded guys.

Girth and Mirth of AZ is an organization for big men and their admirers. Nude Dudes Social Get-Togethers is a group of HWP and generally fit males (age 21 and up) who like to be nude and participate in non-threatening meetings, social activities, outings, and male bonding with other nude males. nude-dudes-social-get-togethers Phoenix Gay, Bi, and Transgender Men’s Discussion Group gives all within the GBTQ community who identify as men (age 18 and up) a safe place to get together, socialize and discuss a variety of issues and topics. Phoenix Men’s Phallic Brotherhood is looking to bring together men from all walks (hetero, bi, homo, trans and asexual) of life to share masculine energies and the power of communal eroticism by exploring ourselves and our bodies. Nudity is expected, but not necessarily required. Initial interview required. Prime Timers of Phoenix is a group of mature gay and bisexual men and their admirers (age 21 and up).

LGBTQ & ALL-WELCOMING Desert Adventures is a social activities group for everyone age 21 and up. Dumbledore’s Army and Allies, a group of LGBTQ individuals and allies, meets every other Friday to chat about their week’s adventures. Fierce Friends of Phoenix, a LGBTQ social group, brings people together to form new fierce friendships through various types of events. groups/ 1140823855978769 FranGays, a social group for gays and lesbians who enjoy French culture, meet several times a month for conversation in French, potlucks, outdoor activities, wine tasting and more.

community directory

Gays Do More Than Bars, an inclusive group opened to all, is committed to providing a safe space where we can be ourselves and have fun outside of the bar scene. Joys of Self Pleasure, for anyone (age 18 and up) who enjoys the art of selfpleasure and masturbation, gathers to discuss new methods/techniques, toys and see demonstrations by sex therapists and ED professionals. We ask all members to please respect each other’s privacy. Laveen Meetup is group that meets for drinks, introduction to the gay community, help with self exploration, movies, art, dining out and cooking. Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular is for anyone who seeks out the weird, the wonderful and the obscure treasures from our past, as well as the semiforgotten people, places and events that made Arizona what it is today. Melrose Toastmasters is for those who enjoy public speaking or want to improve their public speaking and leadership qualities. Open Doors AZ is a social activity group for the for the young and young at heart whihin the LGBT and ally communities. OUT Arts Alliance is a social group of artists that meets once a month. groups/OUT_Arts_Alliance Phoenix Gay Professionals Meetup Group, a group of local gay Professionals, men and women, who meet for networking and discussion with like-minded individuals. Phoenix Outers – LGBTQ is a group of LGBTQ community members who want to meet other people and explore the best of the city while promoting respect and building long-lasting relationships.

community directory

Rainbow Phoenix, an LGBTQIA inclusive group for singles, couples and families, 0comes together to build community and friendships. The Rainbow Geeks of the East Valley is a group for gay geeks, lesbian nerds, bisexual intellectuals and transgender techies who are living in the East Valley area and are interested in meeting for social gatherings. Valley of the Misfits is an all-inclusive social group that plans a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including movies, hiking, dining out, games and road trips West Valley LGBT’s Together offers occasional gatherings for West Valleybased community members of all ages, backgrounds and dating statuses can get to know each other.

POSITIVE COMMUNITY For Positive Men (ForPM) is an independent peer social and support group that encourages growth, knowledge, self-esteem and acceptance for all positive (HIV+) men age 18 up. Poz Social Phoenix is a safe and fun place for people of all orientations and genders who are HIV+, as well as their friends and supporters. Scottsdale HIV Meetup, a social group for people living with HIV/AIDS and their friends and family, is working to destroy the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

SINGLES Gay Single Professionals Happy Hour is an informal weekly happy hour that offers opportunities to network, socialize and unwind at the end of a long work week. Bring business cards and a smile. All are welcome.

Phoenix Professional Gay and Bisexual Men Meetup is intended for professional bisexual and gay single men, who have friendly predispositions, to meet and socialize.

WOMEN Fun Rainbow Rebels Phoenix is one of the largest lesbian meet-up women in Phoenix. Search “Rainbow Rebels Arizona Lesbian Open Group” on Facebook. Gay Golden Girls if you are a lesbian and middle age is in your rear-view mirror, you are a GGG and we’d like to meet you! We’re based on the Northeast side but welcome older lesbians from all over the Valley. Ladies of Lesbos, a group for lesbian and bisexual women age 18 and up, meets to playing board and card (old fashioned) games, building friendships and more. This is not a hook-up group. Lesbian Who Tech is a community of queer women in or around the tech industry, and the people who love them. events/city/phoenix Lezbcool is a group for 30- to 45-yearold lesbians looking to make friends, network and have fun! Lezfinity invites lesbian/gay couples and singles get together in comfortable settings – dinner, movies, day trips and weekend getaways in an effort to expand their base of friends and community. The Missing Puzzle Piece Social Network is open to women wanting to meet other professional women to network and socialize.


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Phoenix Women’s Gay Friendly Poker is open to lesbians in the Phoenix area who enjoy a friendly game of Texas Hold’em. Beginner to advanced players welcome. The Lesbian Social Network (LSN) is the alcohol-free alternative to meeting women at the bars. West Valley Fun Lesbian Social is a lesbian group with monthly activities, including game and movie nights, happy hours, picnics, hikes and possibly weekends away.

SPORTS Arizona Gay Volleyball Association is an outdoor volleyball league that, when in season, hosts games on Monday and Tuesday nights at Steele Indian School Park. Cactus Cities Softball League is a LGBT slow-pitch softball league in Phoenix that also hosts the annual Saguaro Cup tournament and sports festival. Cactus Tennis Alliance promotes the sport of tennis within the Phoenix metro gay and lesbian community, and promotes the gay and lesbian community within the sport of tennis.

golf and want to play more often and see more courses. LGBTQ Yoga is a group for LGBTQ community members who want to practice yoga in a safe and welcoming space with like-minded spirits. We honor and celebrate all body and gender types and expressions. Our Gang Winter Bowling League is a GLBT (straight friendly) Bowling League that meets at Let It Roll Bowl & Entertainment. People & Persons Bowling League is a Sunday morning bowling league that meets at Let It Roll Bowl & Entertainment. Search “People & Persons Bowling League” on Facebook. Phoenix Fire Kickball League an LGBTQ league open to all, who like beer more than rules. They offer structured games with rules, but pursue fun as their No. 1 priority. Phoenix Gay Flag Football League provides members of the Phoenix LGBT and allied communities a safe place to experience personal growth while pursuing their athletic aspirations during two structured season per year. Phoenix Frontrunners is a running and walking nonprofit organization that hosts events for LGBT identified individuals and allies.

welcomes all regardless of size, race, age, fitness or sexual orientation, and is a member of IGR, the Arizona Rugby Union, and USA Rugby. Phoenix Unified Gay Bowling Alliance offers six leagues throughout the Valley for bowlers of every experience level. Saguaro Cup Sports Festival which began with 28 teams in 1994, is the premier gay softball tournament in the Southwest, consistently ranking as one of the largest gay softball tournaments in the country. Sunday Women Golfers play different courses throughout the Phoenix area the first Sunday of each month.

HOBBIES & ENTERTAINMENT AUTO & MOTORCYCLE Fenders & Friends is a group of Phoenix-area friends who share an interest in cars. Open to automotive enthusiasts regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation. groups/fendersandfriends

Desert Volleyball Alliance is a nonprofit organization that offers indoor volleyball for the LGBT community and its supporters.

Phoenix Men’s Nude Yoga is a meet up group for men who enjoy practicing nude yoga in a non-sexual, accepting and open-minded group setting. Search “NakedYogi” on Facebook.

GLMRAZ fka GSRAZ (Gay/Lesbian Motorcycle Riders of Arizona) is Phoenix-based group for LGBT motorcycle riders and enthusiasts and their friends. All types of motorcycles/ trikes are welcome, along with safe riders that have a motorcycle endorsement.

Gay and Lesbian Association of Darts (GLAD), founded nearly 30 years ago, this league’s purpose is to unite the LGBT community and raise money for charity.

Phoenix Phantomz is an all-women’s full contact football team that’s a part of the Independent Women’s Football League.

Hell’s Fairies is an LGBT scooter club with chapters in Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Search “Hell’s Fairies Phoenix” on Facebook.

Ladies Fore Golf is open to gay professionals who have a passion for

Phoenix Storm Rugby Football Club is a nonprofit adult men’s rugby team that

Lambda Car Club is the largest collector car club for LGBT and LGBT-friendly


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community directory

automobile enthusiasts in North America. The Central Arizona Region (CAR) is Arizona’s premiere LGBT automobile club with members from all walks of life.

DANCE Desert Valley Squares, a member of the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs, hosts Sunday dance parties. Phoenix Arizona Gay Square Dancing is reviving GLBT Square Dancing in Phoenix with classes for new dancers as well as Sunday evening club nights. No dress code. Singles and couples welcome.

Phoenix Metropolitan Men’s Chorus is the flagship of Grand Canyon Performing Arts and presents a full subscription concert series. All members of the chorus are dues-paying volunteers who donate over 32,000 hours annually to rehearsals, service projects and benefit performances. Phoenix Women’s Chorus presents four full-length concerts each year and offers chorus members opportunities to participate in a wide variety of community activities. Voices of the Desert is the Valley’s LGBT and allied mixed chorus that welcomes anyone with a passion for singing.

SUPPORT GROUPS Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope so that they may solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery. Arizona Coalition Against Domtestic Violence works to end domestic violence in Arizona by dismantling oppression and promoting equity among all people. Hotline: 1-800-799-7223.



Desperado LGBT Film Festival is an annual event that features movies with LGBT themes at Paradise Valley Community College. desperadolgbtfilmfestival

Arizona Gay Rodeo Association is a nonprofit organization that organizes the annual Road Runner Regional Rodeo, an International Gay Rodeo qualifier better know and the Arizona Gay Rodeo, each February.

Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction to crystal meth.

Phoenix Gaymers, Arizona’s largest gay gaming group, provides a safe environment for the LGBT community and friends to come together to play games, socialize and support each other.

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem.

Phoenix Movie Bears is the largest movie social group for Arizona’s LGBT and allied community that meets in Phoenix and surrounding areas on Wednesday nights (and occasionally on weekends) to see a movie at a local theater. Phoenix LGBT Scary Movie Lovers Meetup meets once or twice a month to watch the latest horror flick at the cinema or a classic scary movie at a group member’s home.

MUSIC & INSTRUMENTS Desert Overture is a Phoenix-based community wind symphony comprised of LGBT and ally musicians that is a member of the Lesbian & Gay Band Association.

community directory

Rainbow RV is North America’s largest gay and lesbian recreational vehicle camping club. Search “” on Facebook. Valley of the Sun Pink Pistols is a group that gathers regularly to practice shooting, and to acquaint people with firearms. We will help you select a firearm, acquire a permit and receive proper training in its safe and legal use for self-defense or recreation.

Hospice of the Valley provides compassionate end-of-life care, including supports for patients and families and relief from suffering in all realms – physical, emotional and spiritual. Healing Rainbows is a LGBT bereavement group. Narcotics Anonymous is a nonprofit fellowship/society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.


APRIL 2017


Native Out is a nonnprofoit organization that offers educational resources and multimedia to Native American LGBT/ Two-Spirit. NORM Phoenix provides information, instruction and support to any man who is circumcised and wishes to make his penis more fully functional through nonsurgical foreskin restoration. Phoenix LGBT Police/Fire/EMS Personnel Support Group works to unite, empower, and protect the interests and the general well being of active and retired GLBT police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel. Pride TLC offers recovery to LGBTQ addicts and alcoholics through a 90-day recovery program. 749 W. Second St., in Mesa. 480-307-1836 Stonewall Institute is a licensed outpatient behavioral health agency providing LGBTQ-affirmative counseling and other services for youth and adults.

TRANSGENDER ADVOCACY & LAW Arizona TransAlliance promotes the equality and equity of Trans (transsexual, transgender and gendervariant persons) throughout Arizona. Search “Arizona TransAlliance” on Facebook. Black Trans Advocacy is a national social justice organization working to advance social equality for all disenfranchised people, with specific focus on inequities faced in the black and transgender human experience.


APRIL 2016


The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people. Transgender Law Center changes law, policy and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. Transgender Law & Policy Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for transgender people in our society. Trans-Queer Pueblo is an autonomous LGBTQ+ migrant community of color that works wherever we find our people, creating cycles of mutual support that cultivate leadership to generate the community power that will liberate our bodies and minds from systems of oppression toward justice for all people. 480-849-3797

SOCIAL & SUPPORT GROUPS Arizona Transgender is a social and support group for the transgender community and its supporters that gathers together for meetups, events and outings at bars, clubs, private residences, restaurants, special events and other venues. We are here to make friends; this is not a dating site. Arizona Trans Youth and Parent Organization (AZ TYPO) is a Phoenix-based support group that provides parents, family, friends and caretakers of transgender children a common space to share struggles and successes, discuss challenges and concerns while providing emotional support and guidance through monthly meetings. Search “Arizona Trans Youth and Parent Organization” on Facebook.

Dating for Mature Trans Women and Mature Cross Dressers answers the question: Where do I go to date? This group is open to straight, bisexual and questioning trans women looking for friends to talk over worries and fears together as we re-enter the dating scene. We ask only that you are either a mature (age 50 and up) trans woman (pre-op, post-op, no-op, never op) or a confirmed cross dresser. Phoenix Area Trans & Out is for transgender/transsexual people who are committed to living an out and authentic life and looking to meet others with similar experiences. TransMentors International provides support and assistance to transgenderidentified men, women and youth; mentoring, resources, emergencies, safe housing, local support groups and more. TransWomen of Color Collective is a grass-roots funded global initiative created to offer opportunities for trans people of color, families and comrades to engage in healing, foster kinship and build community. TransYouth Family Allies empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities, to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected. info@imatyfa We Exist Phoenix is a movement for non-binary gender identity awareness and equality.

community directory

YOUTH, FAMILY & ADOPTION ADOPTION Project Jigsaw, a collaborative effort by Equality Arizona and Arizona’s Children Association, is a grassroots campaign is focused on building a diverse coalition of Arizonans who are committed to working together to create an environment where all couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are provided the opportunity to build a loving family for amazing children.

FAMILY LGBTQIA Phoenix Families is for all parents and families facing unique challenges and in need of a little extra support from others who share this similar experience.

Native PFLAG works to keep families together and foster the traditional teachings of being LGBT/Two-Spirit. PFLAG Phoenix provides support, education and advocacy for parents, families and friends of LGBTQ people, which is critical to the health and wellbeing of our community.

YOUTH Mulligan’s Manor is a nonprofit group home dedicated to at-risk GBTQA and heterosexual adolescents ranging from 12 to 17 years old. one•n•ten serves LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 14-24 through its empowering social and service programs that promote selfexpression, self-acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices. |

Teen Lifeline provides a safe, confidential and crucial crisis service where teens help teens make healthy decisions together. Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development works to provide a safe space for collaborating with youth and young adults in our community who are vulnerable or experiencing homelessness. These safe spaces will allow access to caring relationships, resources, and programs that offer opportunities for young people to develop their individual potential.

Attention Businesses! Echo Magazine invites any for-profit businesses, big or small, looking to connect with our readers on a regular basis to get in touch with our sales department at 602-266-0550 to find out which of our marketing solutions will best suit your needs.

Become a part of Echo Magazine’s Community Directory!

To have your LGBTQ group or organization added to our Community Directory, email with the group or organization’s name, a short description, link to website and/or Facebook page and any additional contact information.

community directory


APRIL 2017


Save the Date to Dine Out!

Thursday, April 27


Dine Out to support Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS! Find a list of participating restaurants at Proceeds Benefit

Proud Host Sponsor

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Commanding its own corner at Grand and 13th avenues (in the original Bragg’s Pie Factory), Gran Reserva offers a blend of signature sabor de barrio Phoenix – and the rest of the culinary world has come to love, with an upscale twist.

without reservations

As the newest member of the Barrio familia, Gran Reserva expands on chef Silvana’s approach to pushing the boundaries of what Mexican food can be. Upon arriving at Gran Reserva, it was clear that good, GREAT rather, things come in small packages. This restaurant’s intimate dining room has only eight tables and two seats at the bar (facing an impressive wall of tequila selections and adjacent to the open kitchen), so reservations are highly recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. The best way to describe Gran Reserva is a combination of some of the classic and most-loved Barrio dishes and exquisitely executed new offerings all wrapped up in a fine dining experience.

Barrio Café Gran Reserva Story and photos by Rachel Verbits


n honor of this year’s Pride issue, we decided to pay a visit to a Phoenix restaurateur who could easily be described as Phoenix’s proudest. And, in return, we’re proud to have her as part of our community. Of course we’re talking about the famously outspoken Barrio jefa herself, chef Silvana Salcido Esparza. With five nominations for the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious award for Best Chef Southwest to her name – including 2017 – we knew we were embarking on an award-winning culinary experience that we would not soon forget.

Editor’s Note: The finalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards will be named March 15 and the winners will be announced May 1 at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago. However, it was her decision to close Barrio Café, Barrio Urbano and Barrio Café Gran Reserva Feb. 16 as part of the “day without immigrants” protest that’s landed her in the news most recently. Not only does this year mark the 15th anniversary of the original Barrio Cafe’s grand opening, but June marks one year since she brought us her most recent project: Barrio Café Gran Reserva.

We took our seats in the windowencircled and art-adorned dining room where the contrast of freshly cut flowers and candles against the white tablecloths added an unmistakable vibrance to the space’s ambiance, and right away we were greeted by warm bread with savory roasted olives for topping – for anyone who thought this was going to be a stereotypical Mexican food experience, here is your evidence to the contrary. At Gran Reserva the coveted Menu de Gustacion (tasting menu) reigns supreme. However, a small selection of chef Silvana’s most iconic dishes is also available. One thing comiga chingona fans will recognize right away, is that the signature Barrio guacamole has not been left off the menu here. As much of an experience for the eyes as it is for the mouth, each order – which includes fresh avocado, onions, jalapenos, tomato, cilantro and pomegranate seeds – is mixed and mashed right at your table.

Left to right: Cochinita Pibil, Mole du Jour, starter salad and Infladita de Hoja Santa.


APRIL 2017


dining out

Barrio guacamole.

The starter salad, which is a slightly less decadent version of the Ensalata de Barrio, was a mix of mixed greens that also boasted the every popular pomegranate seeds.

chiles, delicately fried pearl onion and potato puff. Truly a demonstration that will – and did – turn heads, the hot mousse soaked into the veggies as it was poured right before our eyes.

I should also add that, if you’re ready to try something new but don’t quite know what to order, putting your trust in your server will certainly pay off. This is the approach we took and we couldn’t have been more pleased.

Then there’s the mole du jour, which changes as often as the days of the week, featuring different meats that highlight a rich, thick mole sauce that’s simmered to perfection. Our visit offered chicken thighs, which were tender, filling, and holy mole (pun intended), mouthwatering. Served alongside a blend of roasted seasonal vegetables, the dish is simple yet powerful for the taste buds. With the daily and seasonal options, chances are, the mole you tried last time won’t be the mole you get next time, making the flavor possibilities endless.

Always a Barrio favorite, chef Silvana’s Cochinita Pibil can also be found on the menu here and comes highly recommended. Wrapped in a banana leaf, pork shoulder is marinated in achiote and sour orange, then slow roasted over night to the perfect tenderness. By the time it’s garnished with sour orange pickled red onions and is served alongside homemade corn tortillas, the flavorful pork is ready to just melt in your mouth. We also decided on the Infladita de Hoja Santa (on the tasting menu), which was a culinary experience we savored almost as much as the dish itself. A decadent Oaxaca queso mousse is artfully poured over a bed of fire roasted cherry tomatoes and Anaheim

Dining tip: If you’re interested in just some aspects of the Menu de Gustacion, without committing to the entire experience, each item is available as a larger portion served a la carte. So, if you spot something you want as an entrée, it’s available! Well worth the time they take to prepare and enjoy, each of the Menu de Gustacion’s six courses have been thoughtfully created and tell their own story through flavor combinations, preparation and tradition. The menu also offers wine and beer pairing options to uniquely elevate each of the courses as well.

landed in the “Top 100 Restaurants 2016” by Open Table. And since the restaurant only seats 27, we recommend planning ahead by making a reservation before your visit. In the meantime, buena suerte chef. We say the fifth time is the charm!

Barrio Café Gran Reserva 1301 W. Grand Ave., Phoenix Hours: 5-10:30 p.m., Tues-Fri 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun Closed, Mon Reservations: 602-252-2777

Rachel Verbits is a published writer and a selfproclaimed foodie who spends her time exploring all the amazing eats Arizona has to offer.

The Menu de Gustacion is absolutely the way to go for the full Gran Reserva experience – just be sure to plan accordingly, as the six courses can last about an hour and a half. But starting at $44, it’s a steal for an array of concepts from the mind of a chef that’s considered one of the country’s foremost authorities on bold, regional Mexican cooking. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. When it comes to food, tasting is believing – which is why within mere months of opening, Gran Reserva Dining out


APRIL 2017


at the box office

By Hans Pedersen

Before I Fall Now playing in theaters | Rated PG-13 | 99 minutes | Drama, Mystery

Paris 05:59 Théo & Hugo DVD release April 18 | 97 minutes | Drama, Romance

Opening with some explicit sequences, the French film chronicles how two men make a love connection during a gay orgy in an underground Paris sex club. Directors Jacques Martineau and Olivier Ducastel allow events to unfold in real time, so after getting the graphic sex out of the way, they let us follow the two men as they wander empty streets in the City of Lights and explore the possibility of falling in love. Winner of awards at several LGBTQ festivals, this daring and exquisite film has been praised as “character-driven” and “big-hearted.”

Popular high school senior Sam (Zoey Deutch) starts reliving the same day over and over again in this drama that can be cleanly boiled down to the concept: Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls. But director Ry Russo-Young’s young adult flick is also skillfully crafted. Sam learns, through the art of repetition, how her privileged suburban student clique is actually demeaning others, and her friends’ victims include a teenage lesbian. As Sam tries to change the minutiae of each day, she develops a big change of heart in this tightly-knotted, fantastical tale and realizes everything she’s in danger of losing.

Bromance DVD release March 28 | 93 minutes | Drama, Romance

Almost Adults Now playing on iTunes | 90 minutes | Comedy, Drama

Best friends – Cassie, who’s straight, and Mackenzie, who’s gay – are facing huge hurdles in life: one is breaking up with her boyfriend while the other is coming out of the closet. This quirky time of life when 20-somethings transition into adulthood is typically rife for comic fodder in both indie and LGBTQ cinema. But in this particular movie, despite some winning moments, over-rehearsed acting and clumsy editing seem to hamper the storytelling and the expression of fresh ideas. 94

APRIL 2017


In this coming-of-age feature from Argentina that’s directed by Lucas Santa Ana, a girl and three guys head to a secluded seashore for a vacation. Young men who wrestle and sunbathe nude are sometimes just being flirty, but in this group, two of the guys who keep grabbing each another realize it’s more than just male bonding and find they have the hots for one other. Javier De Pietro stars in this indie that contains homophobic epithets, which are mercifully balanced out with scenes of shirtless dudes making out on the beach.

Hans Pedersen is a freelance writer based in Phoenix. movies

Departure Director Andrew Steggall offers a behind-the-scenes look at new film By Hans Pedersen


rom the imagination of writer and director Andrew Steggall comes the thought-provoking and cathartic feature that’s centered around the simmering sexual tension between two teenage guys. Departure focuses on 15-year-old Elliot (Alex Lawther from The Imitation Game) as he befriends a mysterious young man, Clément (Phénix Brossard) and begins to express his sexual desire.

Starring Juliet Stevenson (Bend It Like Beckham) as Beatrice, a woman who’s shutting down her British family’s country home while consumed with her crumbling marriage. Steggall, an openly gay filmmaker who directed several short films before embarking on this feature film debut, recently spoke with Echo Magazine in a phone interview. Echo: Could you tell us a little bit about the origin of the project? Steggall: I had some friends who have a little holiday house in France … And it was probably a response to the forest, the reservoir and the feeling that it provoked. Sort of a mythical atmosphere, fairly reminiscent of what my schoolboy knowledge of what Freud was: the forest of the unconscious, and the water of sexuality and all of that. It felt like a place to explore a memory from what I had in my adolescence … It wasn’t so much I was “coming out” as recognizing being an adult was complicated, and contradictory, and that you don’t grow out of a complex life in the way only I thought I was capable of. Echo: How did you prepare the actor Alex Lawther for the role? Steggall: He’s incredibly intuitive and an instinctive actor. He has great emotional intelligence … I think he has empathy for Elliot, the character whose lines he read in the screenplay, whose story he really movies

identified with. Alex is a very thoughtful, poetic individual. He’s like Elliot in that way. We also had to delay shooting for a whole year, so Alex and I got a year to know each other better, read some of the same stories, watch some of the same films and evolve Elliot in a direction that means, in the end, he is a curious amalgam of Alex and me and the character in the screenplay… He worked very hard. Echo: Could you talk a little bit about that sexual tension between Elliot and Clément? It’s delicately done. Steggall: I think Clément stumbled into the situation, into the lives of these people, in a way, provoking a change in them. Would everything have happened without his presence? I don’t think so. But, like in life, sometimes things coincide. And Elliot’s readiness, and need for an object of his desire, and Beatrice’s realization about the nature of her marriage – the lie it was and the lack of sexual fulfillment for her – coincides with the presence of this virile, youthful, counterpointing Clément … Echo: Can you talk a little bit about the title Departure? Really there are a lot of different meanings, departure from childhood, from the country home from Beatrice’s marriage. Steggall: It’s funny, you come up with a title very early and, inevitably, people who came onboard the film say, “shouldn’t it be called this” or “shouldn’t it be called The Reservoir?” There was a time when it was going to be called Black Mountain because that was the name of the area where the film was shot. Departure felt, to me, to be relevant for all of the reasons you said actually: it’s the end of a marriage, it’s the end of a year, the end of the life of this

Juliet Stevenson and director Andrew Steggall on set. Photo courtesy of

house, the end of childhood for Elliot. Echo: Do you have a favorite scene in the movie? Steggall: I like it when Beatrice says “some people have sex, we bought houses, I was better at that.” That always makes me laugh … there’s some interactions that I really like: when Elliot grabs the metal. I love that feeling of wanting to cause yourself pain and to feel something. That’s like the nymph who’s reaching out wanting to feel the closest way he can get to experience what love and sex might be like, which is to grab the most painful thing you can find, and also the sense of wanting to punish yourself. And that kind of image and gesture seems really interesting ... Departure became available, OnDemand and DVD, March 7.

READ THE REST For Echo’s full interview with Andrew Steggall, visit

Hans Pedersen is a freelance writer based in Phoenix.


APRIL 2017


Kiki Documentary follows LGBTQ dancers on and off the dance floor By Hans Pedersen


iki is fierce, dazzling and sassy all at once. In this documentary Swedish director Sara Jordenö explores the lives queer youth of color who are living fearlessly and without compromise as voguing ballroom dancers in New York City. One could say Kiki picks up where the documentary Paris Is Burning left off a quarter century ago. But here, the subjects get more say over where the camera goes. Jordenö co-wrote the film with Twiggy Pucci-Garçon, one of the gatekeepers in the Kiki scene who helps incoming members, offering the director access to this subculture. With an inside look, Pucci-Garçon and Jordenö find fresh stories that reveal the dancer’s love for one another, their commitment to self-expression in the face of prejudice and also the familiar challenges the LGBTQ community has faced for years. Interviews with the queer youth are interspersed with footage of the Sara Jordenö. Photo courtesy of

voguing competitions, held in rented spaces where, under a strict set of rules, young people of color express themselves in dance-offs. What’s striking is how many of them continue to battle issues like violence against the transgender community, job security and homelessness. But their energy makes this film crackle, and it’s inspiring to see and hear how dancers rely upon and stand up for one another, despite discrimination based on their race, gender identity or sexual orientation. Each subject opens up by describing their fears, aspirations and challenges – from living with HIV to paying for hormone replacement therapy. More than one make the case that large segments of the trans community remain underrepresented and discounted. Gia Marie Love, for instance, is an outspoken trans woman who defends the choices that sex workers make amid the community’s continued marginalization. She questions how the same-sex marriage battle/victory ultimately impacts her life as a black trans woman in NYC who struggles to maintain employment in the face of ongoing transphobia and discrimination. She eloquently explains how the ballroom scene is an enriching one. Other subjects, including Chi Chi Mizrahi and Symba McQueen, also spread awareness and keep it real. The gay and trans dancers are truly a creative force in this inspired film. Glimmering in the ballrooms, the talented subjects stay true to themselves as they show how the vogue


APRIL 2017


scene – and their chosen families within it – that helps them endure. The movie is also a reminder of how few resources exist for such talented individuals who don’t conform to society’s antiquated rules. Judging from this documentary, our nation seems to have failed our trans community and yet their light is stronger than ever. But the film is not perfect: it can be uneven, lacking cohesion in the first act as the dancers’ stories seem to unfold haphazardly. Yet the electricity of the young people overcomes the movie’s early struggles to define a story arc. As the diaphanous and determined dancers share their craft and their stories, they prove they’re the real stars of the show. Music from the ballroom DJ collective Qween Beat and fabulous footage shot over the course four years help illuminate and carry the narrative along. Whether performing in public spaces or in scenes carefully lit by the director, the creativity and beauty of these performers is both engaging and enthralling. This revelatory documentary spotlights gay and trans youth of color who follow their paths and forge ahead to fulfill their dreams. It’s also an empowering reminder that we’re all in this together. Several members of this tightly-knit group appeared on-stage with PucciGarçon and Jordenö following the opening of Kiki at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. They hit the stage with an impromptu performance, treating audiences to a galvanizing dance routine that brought about a standing ovation. For more information and to find out where Kiki is playing, visit

Hans Pedersen is a freelance writer based in Phoenix. movies

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APRIL 2017


between the covers

Beast By Terri Schlichenmeyer


n its most basic description, it’s a muscle. Nothing computerized, no easy-to-follow instructions or list of parts. Nope, it’s a muscle – a dubthumping, miraculous group of cells that was beating when you were born, due to simple electrical activity. It’s just a muscle, although in the audiobook Beast by Brie Spangler (and read by Andrew Eiden), the heart knows who it loves. At six-foot-four-inches and 260 pounds, 15-year-old Dylan Ingvarsson was a beast. And he hated it. Not only did he tower over every single student and most of the teachers at St. Lawrence Prep, but he was also as hairy as a fake-fur blanket. You might get teased, but you don’t get bullied when you’re like that. You don’t have a lot of friends, either, and you don’t get girls. If it wasn’t for his best friend, JP, Dylan wouldn’t know what to do. They’d known one another since they were little and he

was everything Dylan was not: well-off, well-groomed and well-liked. Just walking the halls with JP made Dylan cool, though there was a bit of a dark side to JP’s friendship. Dylan hated that, too. He hated his entire life, come to think of it. So, he took risks. Big, stupid risks, which is how Dylan ended up on a roof, which was how he ended up falling and busting his leg, which was how he got sent to group therapy for self-harmers, which was how he met the girl of his dreams.

Her name was Jamie, she was the same age as Dylan, gorgeous, tall, smart, and she had the same struggles with the way her life was going. She only wanted to be friends, but he wanted so much Brie Spangler. Photo by June Lion. more – partly because Jamie was funny and he liked her, partly because she liked him, and partly because she would prove to JP that Dylan could get a girl by himself. But then everything fell apart. She said she told Dylan that she was transgender, but he didn’t hear that. Was she a dude? He wasn’t gay. She hadn’t hidden anything, hadn’t lied, but Dylan couldn’t get over the fact. And he couldn’t get over Jamie … Two minutes. Get past the preliminary tracks in Beast, and that’s how long it will take before you’ll be eager to know more about Dylan. Spangler gave him the right words with the right


APRIL 2017


Beast by Brie Spangler, read by Andrew Eiden. Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2016.

attitude, Eiden reads them perfectly, and you’ll genuinely like this kid with a tough exterior but a marshmallow center. Spangler and Eiden make Dylan come alive in this boy-meets-girl-whoused-to-be-a-boy story, by giving him more than just one dimension. He’s a warm, responsible and complex, wellcrafted character; with Dylan, Spangler beautifully tackles a could-be-thorny subject, wrestles with its conscious some and then lets it do its own soulsearching. That leads to a new-oldfashioned love story that really couldn’t be sweeter. Be aware that this audiobook includes a delicately-presented make-out scene that turns surprising, but not graphic. It might be controversial for some, but it fits, so don’t let it deter you. Start Beast, and you’ll *heart* it. Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm, lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 13,000 books. She’s been reading since age 3 and, to this day, she never goes anywhere without a book. books

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APRIL 2017


all over the map

Becoming Weatherproof By Liz Massey


any of us in the LGBTQ community we can divide the recent past into the world we knew before Nov. 8, 2016, and the world – particularly the America – we knew after that. The election of our current president changed everything for us, and indeed for all marginalized Americans. It’s not overreacting to be terrified by the political landscape we now face. So-called “religious freedom” acts are poised to sidestep decades of pro-LGBTQ legislation. The Affordable Care Act may change or disappear, taking with it a host of gay/trans-affirmative mandates. Most of Donald Trump’s cabinet picks have a record of hostility toward LGBTQ legal protections. And possibly worst of all, the new executive branch has already shown a scandalous disregard for our system of checks and balances, putting every American’s democratic freedoms in peril. We did not get to this juncture overnight, and we won’t get out of it rapidly, even if Trump stumbles badly enough that the GOP-dominated Congress becomes motivated to impeach him. This is going to be what has been called a “long emergency,” a sustained crisis that will take years to reverse and mitigate. The good news in this case is that much of the country – possibly even a majority – feels threatened enough to resist the new administration’s actions. The bad news is many of these new allies are first-time activists and extremely new to the dynamics of nonviolent social advocacy. There are already indications that many new protesters are running on adrenaline, anger, and not much else. Our opponents are counting on being able to wear us out, then intimidate us into submission. We can’t let that happen. To win this current battle for democracy, we must be every bit as determined and committed as those who oppose us. We have to weatherproof our minds, bodies and even our souls in order to do the work awaiting us. There are many ways to prepare ourselves for long-term advocacy and resistance. Those in our community who have been activists for decades


APRIL 2017


are already practicing these principles. Here are a few ideas for building the endurance each of us will need to survive.

Acknowledge just how bad things really are. It’s important to understand and feel the weight of what we’re fighting against (shredding of democratic norms, the scapegoating of marginalized groups and dissenters) as well as ponder the importance of what we’re fighting FOR (equality for all, democracy that works and reflects our values).

Connect with your superpowers. Now, more than ever, our political protests must be focused, strategic, and smart. That requires many different talents to direct all the moving parts that make resistance strategies work. Talents such as creating databases, writing, talking to people on the phone, effectively managing email lists, even knitting (think of those Pussy Cat hats at the Women’s March) all have a place in creating our future victories.

Find a group. Worrying by yourself will drive you crazy. Participating with local groups at live, in-person events are a great idea on many levels; not only can you impact your immediate environment, you will be surrounded by like-minded compatriots, and that can provide inspiration and opportunities for collaboration.

Ruthlessly evaluate your media intake. Learn how to be a savvy news consumer, and be intentional about your time on Facebook, Twitter and the like. Is your “screen time” helping you do your part for the resistance, or is it making you too discouraged to continue?

Read. Nourish your mind with books, magazines and newspapers. Visit the library and

your local bookstore to gain ideas and inspiration from social reformers of other eras. And support a free and independent press by buying a subscription to media outlets doing good work.

Cultivate a real life. Those of us doing resistance work need parts of our lives that tyranny cannot touch. Spend time with your friends and loved ones, enjoy and create art and music, engage in hobbies that provide you with pleasure. Mind your health with good self-care, and find a spiritual or philosophical niche in your life that sustains you.

Live and act with joyful hope. Hope may sound out of place in a column about survival, but Harvey Milk was famous for telling audiences at his speeches that “you have to give them hope … Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great.” Hope, when undergirded by the previous activities, can also be a more sustainable source of activist energy than anger or terror. During World War II, there was a phrase that was used to explain all manner of disruptive changes that were necessary to engage in a global conflict: “for the duration.” This concept is one that’s useful to ponder now. We each must consider what we will need to do to successfully endure the challenges posed by our present domestic crisis – and what actions we’re willing to take in order to survive and thrive.

Liz Massey has been involved in LGBTQ community-building activities in Kansas City and the Valley of the Sun, and is a former managing editor of Echo Magazine. She can be reached at COMMUNITY

The Right Side of History

Achieving Equality in Arizona By Kevin Patterson


e’re only a few months in to the new presidential administration and the LGBTQ community already has cause to be greatly concerned about issues involving safety and justice. President Trump has made previous promises to not harm our community. However, we have witnessed a handful of decisions so far that directly harm us, our brothers, our sisters and our children, which points out his failure to honor his commitments. For this reason, Equality Arizona (EQAZ) and Echo Magazine have teamed up to bring you a recurring column intended to alert you to local and national legislative updates that impact our community, share necessary resources and ways for you to get involved, while we continue our tireless work toward achieving equality in Arizona. For our introductory column, we feel it’s important to help you understand who EQAZ is. As the leading statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization for the state of Arizona, our mission is to achieve and maintain equal, legal rights and protections for the LGBTQ community in Arizona. Our vision is to make Arizona a state where LGBTQ persons are valued as full and equal members of society, and whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression are viewed with legal and moral neutrality, and sexual and gender diversity are seen as something to celebrate. To carry out our vision, her are the top five things EQAZ is doing on your behalf: 1. We’re advocating for local and statewide policies, practices and legislation that impact and protect the full and equal rights for the LGBTQ community. 2. We’re electing candidates to local and statewide public office who will fight for the Equality Arizona purpose, mission and the community we represent. 3. We’re providing support for any issue, question or challenge our community members face at work, at home or out in our community, by connecting them to essential resources and protections. 4. We’re educating on the importance of true and equal rights for every Arizonan, working to build and participate in collaborations and coalitions with advocacy organizations that share the values of, and align with the


purpose and mission of, EQAZ. 5. We’re hosting community forums where our community’s voices are heard, ideas are shared and opportunities for involvement are presented. 6. We’re sending biweekly legislative updates, in which we share updates from the Arizona Capitol and from Washington D.C. regarding LGBTQ statutes. If you’re looking for ways to become more involved, or looking for information and resources to equip yourself for the current political climate, here are three key avenues to do so: • Request to Speak at the Arizona Capitol. Make sure you go down to the Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St., in Phoenix, and sign up for the “request to speak” system in the House of Representatives or Senate buildings, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Once you sign up in person, you’re able to show support for bills from home and/or request to speak in person at a committee hearing at the House or Senate. • Find Your Legislator. From the Arizona Legislature website,, you can enter your home address to locate your local legislators. From there, you’ll find his or her contact information for which you can direct your questions and concerns. • Become a Member of Equality Arizona. Your membership to EQAZ, a 501(c)3, guarantees this nonprofit resources and sustainability to advance the important work of advocacy in this state. For more information, visit Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit about the work we’re doing in Arizona. If there’s a specific issue you’d like to see covered in the future, please send an email to and include a reference to this column, “The Right Side of History,” in Echo Magazine. Kevin Patterson , a proud father, husband, community leader and the board president of Equality Arizona (EQAZ), is relentlessly dedicated to the pursuit of equality and justice needed to make Arizona the ideal place to live and love.


APRIL 2017


money talks

Happily – and Financially – Ever After By Melissa Myers and Michael J. Tucker

Michael J. Tucker: We’re continuing to see same-sex couples who are weighing the pros and cons of getting married. Melissa Myers: Yes, we’ve noticed that a few couples aren’t taking into account all the benefits or disadvantages related to spousal status. Tucker: For folks who have saved for retirement in 401(k) plans, IRAs or similar programs, consider that leaving an 401(k) or IRA to a spouse gives him or her a lot more income tax deferral options than to an unmarried domestic partner. Myers: The income tax difference in the long run could be huge. Tucker: It could even be YUGE. Surviving spouses don’t have to start withdrawing the spousal rollover IRA until age 70 and a half! Myers: It can create a big income tax deferral opportunity for the surviving

spouse if the IRA owner dies at a relatively young age. Tucker: Probate law also helps surviving spouses more than it helps surviving domestic partners. Myers: Even if there’s no will, a surviving spouse is entitled to some or all of the estate, depending on who the other heirs are. Tucker: Whereas an unmarried domestic partner isn’t legally an heir at all in an estate with no will. Myers: Of course, in Arizona and other community property states, the surviving spouse already owns half of the community property of the marriage. Tucker: By contrast, unmarried domestic partners don’t have any automatic entitlement to what their partner earns or acquires during the relationship. Myers: Other benefit programs with safety nets for surviving spouses include government and military pensions, Social Security and many privateemployer pensions as well. Tucker: Social Security surviving spouse benefits alone could be a significant motivation to marry, particularly if one partner’s earnings record is significantly stronger than the others. Myers: That could be important for some couples. For example, if the one without a big Social Security retirement check is the one who lives longer. Tucker: That’s because everyone who is eligible for Social Security retirement benefits has their benefit calculated based on their own earnings


APRIL 2017


record. But someone whose spouse had a much stronger earnings record could get a spousal benefit based on the spouse’s earnings record that exceeds his or her own retirement benefit. Myers: With respect to their Social Security retirement benefits, as opposed to survivor benefits, some couples can get married to open up more flexibility and choice regarding which retirement benefits to take and when to take them. Tucker: Here’s another issue. Spouses also have rights to bring wrongful death lawsuits if their husband or wife is killed accidentally, whereas unmarried domestic parents do not. Myers: The analysis of whether marriage helps or hurts such couples is different from one case to another. Tucker: And an ever-popular reason to get married is to benefit from one or both spouse’s employer-provided spousal benefits, mainly employer-provided health insurance. Myers: Amen. Tucker: I don’t want to ignore the reasons why people might not want to get married. Myers: People should think twice before marrying someone with a lot of debt or risk. Tucker: Like the fiancé with $300,000 in student loan debt, unpaid taxes, YUGE credit card bills or with a lot of risk from their business or profession. Myers: Even though those risks can be minimized by prenuptial agreements, in many cases, we hope our readers will consider these factors when determining the decision that’s right for them.

Melissa Myers is a certified financial planner with Camelback Retirement Planners, in Phoenix, a registered representative with Commonwealth Financial Network and a registered investment adviser. Michael J. Tucker is an attorney with Michael J. Tucker, P.C., in Phoenix, and is a certified specialist in estate and trust law. For more information, see their ads in this issue. This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Investors should consult a tax or legal professional regarding their individual situation. Neither Camelback nor Commonwealth offers tax or legal advice. finance


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APRIL 2017


talking bodies

Fool Proof: Debunking Fitness Myths, 2.0 By Tia Norris


hen it comes to diet and fitness, the truth is that most people simply don’t have the body that they really, truly want. Now, in some cases, these people are just too lazy to invest the time and energy into achieving that dream body. But, more often than not, my clients are trying and still not succeeding. In my years of experience, I’ve come to realize that the difference between flab and fab really just boils down to just having the right information and the right plan. Knowledge is power! In honor of April Fools’ Day last year, I introduced “Fool Proof: Debunking Fitness Myths,” which you can read at echomag. com/talking-bodies-april-2016. This year, I’m bringing it back for a second installment of dispelling all the inaccurate gossip you hear circulating the world of diet and fitness. Here are some of the most popular diet and fitness myths I hear, followed by the real truths behind them:

1. Exercise (blank) is bad for my (blank). First of all, exercise shouldn’t hurt in a bad way. Yes, it’s supposed to be difficult, but it’s not supposed to injure you. Second, if something does hurt during exercise, use common sense, dumbass! You’re probably doing it wrong. Here are some common examples: “Squats hurt my knees.” Show me a client who hurts while squatting, and I will show you their poor external rotation in the hips and tight low back. “Running hurts my knees.” Show me a client who hurts while running, and I will 104

APRIL 2017


show you their weak glutes and terrible form. “Deadlifts hurt my back.” Show me client who hates deadlifts and I’ll show you a client who has piss-poor mobility and terrible movement patterns. If it hurts, there’s a 98-percent chance you’re doing it wrong, so hire a good trainer. And if you’re positive you’re doing it right, but it still hurts, go see a doctor you stubborn ass.

2. Eating “healthy” is terrible and is going to crush my soul forever. I’m going to let you in on a dirty little industry secret: No one in this industry has a perfectly pristine diet 24/7/365. NO ONE. It is shocking how many of my clients’ heads explode when I tell them that I too enjoy pizza, cupcakes, burgers and fries. The key with these lower quality choices is moderation. You can’t eat like a slob every day, you must balance your cheat days or cheat meals with otherwise higher quality choices for the majority of the time. Now, before you start fantasizing about what burger or pizza you’ll eat next, remember: every client and every program is different! Generally, there are two things that will allow you to get away with more cheat meals more often. 1) building more muscle and 2) working out more frequently will both allow you to enjoy a bit more dietary freedom. And, of course, it all depends on your goals, your fitness level, your current program, lifestyle factors and so on. Every single client that I work with must include cheat meals and “off the program” types of dietary choices eventually. The punchline is this: if you’re intimidated

by starting a diet, please know that you will not restrict or suffer forever! You will be able to have those lower quality, delicious foods again once you have built a solid foundation of muscle build and workout frequency. There are hundreds of different diet plans out there, but the most accessible in terms of quality is this: eat clean during the week, have a bit more freedom on the weekends.

3. I need to spend hours and hours in the gym everyday to get my goal physique. When it comes to workouts, the key is efficiency. Remember that intensity and duration are inversely related. Generally speaking, this means that the harder you work out, the shorter your workouts can be. I’m not big on CrossFit but they have really cornered the market on short, hard workouts – they work, for a reason! So for most people looking to save time in the gym, this means you can work out harder, rest less between tasks, lift heavier and get out of there a bit faster. Even if I wasn’t a trainer, I would tell you to hire a trainer. It is a trainer’s job to know what works fastest. It’s also their job to give you accurate information on what will transform your body more completely and more quickly. There’s a reason so many people are hooked on clean eating and regular fitness. It’s not nearly as bad as all of the myths suggest. Just remember: Don’t believe everything you hear! Tia Norris is the president and head trainer at FitPro, LLC, a local fitness company. Find out more at health & fitness

business cards For a complete listing of all Echo display advertisers, please see our Lambda Directory on page 114. To advertise your business here, call 602-266-0550.

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Meet the Echo Team ...

Bill Orvan | Publisher Bill traded the hustle and bustle of New York City for the sunshine of Los Angeles where he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California. After moving to Phoenix in 1971, he opened The Pavilion Art Gallery in Scottsdale and co-founded the Main Street Arts Association. He was a founding board member of many arts, AIDS and political organizations before founding Echo. In the years since, he’s received various community awards and honors.

Bill Gemmill | Associate Publisher

about us

KJ Philp | Managing Editor

Bill devotes most of his day to running the business end of Echo. Formerly, he marketed new homes for local builders, managed parking at Sky Harbor and spent 21 years in airline management. He also served as chairman of the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and spent 10 years with Phoenix Pride, in capacities ranging from board member to vice president of operations. Bill and his husband, Brian, were married in Mykonos, Greece.

KJ Philp is a U.S. Air Force Public Affairs veteran and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2016, he was named Most Inspirational [Individual] in Publishing by the Business Elite Awards, presented by Corp America. Originally from the Seattle area, KJ is a also die-hard Seahawks fan and an unapologetic iced coffee addict who can be found brunching at the hottest vegan spots with his puggle sidekick, Koa.

Gregg Edelman | Account Executive

Randy Robinson | Account Executive

Ashlee James | Director of Sales & Marketing

Gregg has been a part of the Echo family, from marketing and photography to graphic design and event planning, for many years. He has worked with the Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as a founder and former chair, served as chair to AIDS Project Arizona’s WOW Dinner, was on the board of Phoenix Pride’s Art Expo, spent several years on the City of Phoenix Arts & Grants Review Committee and is currently a co-chair for Aunt Rita’s RED is the Night.

In 2000, Randy moved to Arizona from Ft. Lauderdale. After 17 years, he left the corporate world and bought a dog training franchise that he successfully ran for 10 years. After closing that business, he began freelancing in a few different areas, including the arts. He serves as the film maker relations director for the Short Films category at the Phoenix Film Festival. Randy brought his corporate, small business and arts experience to the Echo team in 2015.

Ashlee has been a part of Echo’s marketing team since 2012. A true multitasker; today she’s meeting with advertisers, tomorrow she’s in strategic marketing meetings for our next campaign. When she’s not busy with clients and brand promoting within the LGBTQ community, this craft beer connoisseur and burger buff can be found out and about in Phoenix taking selfies with her favorite drag queens and partaking in 2-4-1s at one of her favorite watering holes.

about us

Jake Rojas | Senior Graphic Designer Jake has been passionate about traditional art since the age of 5 and went on to further develop his digital craft by earning a bachelor’s degree in multimedia arts from The Art Institute of Phoenix in 2003. He has more than 12 years of experience in multimedia and website design and has won 1st place in numerous art contests. When he’s not working on the next issue of Echo, Jake loves spending time with his wife and their two dogs, Tazz and Trixie.

About Us Echo Magazine was established in 1989 and has grown to be Arizona’s leading media outlet dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community. We deliver local news, events, sports, features, reviews, previews and photos, while informing and documenting our local LGBTQ communities about the issues that impact us in our monthly printed product and via Team Echo’s goal is to continue to be the go-to destination for local lifestyle and entertainment coverage throughout Arizona.


APRIL 2017


out & about SCRUFF Beer Bust: Phoenix Edition Feb. 26 at Charlie’s, Phoenix Photos by KJ Philp.

For more Echo photos visit


Located in the heart of the Phoenix LGBT Community in Melrose

Proud to add Bully Wear to our family The Southwest’s only LGBT Superstore

4111 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Enter off 6th Drive 602-274-1429 110

APRIL 2017




APRIL 2017



phoenix bar map Thunderbird



nd Gra 11



17 © 2016

8 p.m.-close: $2.50 Bud family products

Underwear night: $1 off all drinks if in skivvies! 8 p.m.-close: $2.50 Miller family products. 4 & 6 p.m.: Free-to-join

Tatum 32nd St.


2-8 p.m. 2-4-1 well & domestic bottles, $3 pitchers; 8 p.m.-close,


2-8 p.m. 2-4-1 well & domestic bottles, $3 pitchers; 2-4-1


2-8 p.m. 2-4-1 well & domestic bottles, $3 pitchers; $3 Three


2-8 p.m. 2-4-1 well & domestic bottles, $3 pitchers; 2-4-1 drinks


2-7 p.m. 2-4-1 well & domestics, $3 pitchers;

Super HH 4-7 p.m., $3 pitchers; $3 Long Islands open to close


cocktails & beer 8 p.m.- close Olives vodka, 8 p.m.-close

. Ave


open-close HH 7-9 p.m.; $1 well & domestics, $1 drafts 10 p.m.-




Noon-7 p.m. 2-4-1 well & domestics; HH 7-9 p.m.; $1 well & domestics, $3 Absolut & Bacardi 10 p.m.-midnight

27 202

4 Van Buren


9 p.m. Karaoke



McDowell 13 2

. Ave


16th St.

21 22 15 25 3 9 19

Indian School

Scottsdale Rd.




8 23 5 29 7 26 17

7 & 10 p.m.: Free-to-join poker. HH prices for participants.

1/2 off drinks for wearing underwear, $3 Jack Daniels

40th St. 44th St.





6, 8 & 10 p.m.: Free-to-join poker. HH prices for participants.


Lincoln 24th St.


C Northern 7th St.

Glendale 18 Bethany

Shea Blvd

e av


7th Ave.

27th Ave.

43rd Ave.

51st Ave.



$1 drafts & HH prices all day & night Winners get $10 Bunkhouse bar tabs

Greenway Pkwy





101 16


$1.50 Rolling Rock pints & well drinks until 10 p.m.


2-4-1 ALL DAY; $3 charity shots ALL DAY; live DJ, top 40 & dance


HH, 4-8 p.m.; $3 charity shots ALL DAY; $2 Kamikaze shots ALL


HH, 4-8 p.m.; $3 charity shots ALL DAY; $2 Kamikaze shots ALL

Karaoke, 9 p.m.-close; HH & $3 charity shots ALL DAY HH, 4-8 p.m.; $1 draft pint, $3 charity shots, $4 Mojitos & Caipirinhas ALL DAY; live DJ






Mesa Chandler

HH & $1.50 draft pint, 4-8 p.m.; $1.50 draft pint & wells, 8 p.m.midnight; live DJ, top 40 & dance, 8 p.m.-close DAY; live DJ, top 40 & dance, 8 p.m.-close DAY; live DJ, top 40 & dance, 8 p.m.-close

Your Neighborhood Community bar... 4428 N 7th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85013 (602)200-9154 MAP CODES:


APRIL 2017

Home of



ANVIL 2424 E. Thomas Road

M, D, L 602-956-2885


LOS DIABLOS 1028 E. Indian School Road

MF, R, N 602-795-7881


AQUA NIGHT CLUB 1730 E. McDowell Road

F, N, E, D 602-253-0689


NU TOWNE SALOON 5002 E. Van Buren St.

M, N, L 602-267-9959


BAR 1 3702 N. 16th St.

M, N, E 602-266-9001


OFF CHUTE TOO 4111 N. Seventh Ave

M, A 602-274-1429


BLISS REBAR 901 N. Fourth St.

N, R 602-795-1792


OZ BAR 1804 W. Bethany Home Road

MF, N 602-242-5114


BOYCOTT BAR 4301 N. Seventh Ave.

F, N, E 602-265-3233


PLAZMA 1560 E. Osborn Road

MF, N, E 602-266-0477


BS WEST 7125 E. Fifth Ave.

MF, D, E 602-200-9154


ROSCOES ON 7TH 4531 N. Seventh St.

M, N, G 602-285-0833


BUNKHOUSE 4428 N. Seventh Ave.

M, N, L 602-200-9154


ROYAL VILLA INN 4312 N. 12th St.

M, AO 602-266-6883


CHARLIE’S 727 W. Camelback Road

M, C, E, D 602-265-0224


STACY’S @ MELROSE 4343 N. Seventh Ave.

MF, D, N 602-264-1700



M, E


3702 N. Seventh St.



F, C, D 602-244-9943


DICK’S CABARET 3432 E. Illini St.

M, G 602-274-3425


THE CHUTE 1440 E. Indian School Road

M, AO 602-234-1654


FEZ 105 W. Portland St.

R 602-287-8700


THE ROCK 4129 N. Seventh Ave.

M, N, E 602-248-8559


FLEX SPAS PHOENIX 1517 S. Black Canyon Hwy

M, AO 602-271-9011



MF, N, E 602-267-8707



D, E 602-254-0231




5114 N. Seventh St.



KOBALT 3110 N. Central Ave., Ste. 125

MF, E, N 602-264-5307



4221 N. Seventh Ave.


MAP CODES: A Adult Retail & Entertainment M Mostly Males F Mostly Females MF Mixed Male/Female



Neighborhood Bar Full Restaurant Dance Club Country Dancing


Leather/Bears Entertainment (Karaoke, Drag) Go-Go Dancers Accommodations/Other phoenix bar map

OUT & ABOUT Brides of March Mar. 11 at Charlie’s, Phoenix. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

For more Echo photos visit


APRIL 2017


lambda directory Please support our advertisers who help keep Echo free. To find out more about advertising in Echo, call 602-266-0550.

ACCOUNTANTS/TAX PREPARATION Jeffrey J. Quatrone PLLC p. 103 Robert F. Hockensmith, CPA, PC p. 77 Steve Price, CPA p. 108



Building Blocks Counseling Stonewall Institute

Benefits Arizona p. 103 Edward Vasquez, Allstate p. 3

ADOPTION Arizona’s Children Association

James Kelly D.D.S My Dentist Open Wide Dental

p. 103

ADULT ENTERTAINMENT/ RETAIL Flex Spas Phoenix p. 113 Pleasure World p. 99 The Chute p. 111 AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING Valdez Refrigeration

p. 108

APARTMENTS Alta Filmore p. 49 Arizona Multihousing Association p. 37 East and West Apartments p. 106 Illuminate/Baron Properties p. 10, 11 Madison Grove Apartments p. 71 Proxy 333 p. 115 ATTORNEYS Jackson WhiteAttorneys At Law p. 17 Phillips Law Group p. 15 Michael J. Tucker p. 108 Tyler Allen Law Firm p. 5 Zielinski Law Firm, PLLC p. 77 AUTO SERVICES Community Tire Pros

p. 23

BAR & CLUBS Bunkhouse Charlie’s Stacy’s @ Melrose 114

APRIL 2017

p. 112 p. 9 p. 69, 78 |

p. 106 p. 97

DENTISTS p. 97 p. 103 p. 19

Maricopa County Community College District p. 45 EVENTS Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen p. 71 Ballet Arizona p. 70 Chamber Golf Classic p. 4 Dining Out 4 Life p. 90 Out at SMoCA p. 46 Phoenix Pride p. 58, 59 Phoenix Theatre p. 76 Red is the Night p. 76 Scottsdale Center for the Arts p. 77 FINANCIAL SERVICES p. 107 p. 107 p. 107

GALLERY Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art p. 106 HOME SERVICES Don’s Painting Service p. 106 Lyons Roofing p. 103 Rainbow Bug p. 107 The Mattress Man p. 99 HOSPICE Hospice of the Valley

ProActive Therapeutic Massage p. 99 Rainbow Massage Therapy p. 107

p. 97

Jeremy Schachter, Pinnacle Capital Mortgage

p. 3

p. 108

p. 107

p. 93 p. 91

p. 110

RETIREMENT PLANNING Calvin Goetz, Strategy Financial Group p. 3



CVS Specialty Pharmacy p. 103 Fairmont Pharmacy p. 99

Exodus Hair Studio

p. 106



p. 106

RETAIL Off Chute Too

PET SERVICES Pet Sit Arizona

Community Church of Hope

China Chili Hula’s Modern Tiki

MOVERS Two Men and a Truck





JW Advisors Inc. Paragon Credit Consulting Pawn 1st


Shawn Hertzog, West USA p. 3 Steve Fourie, Home Smart Elite Group p. 107

Phoenix Community Cruise p. 102

REALTORS Arizona Gay Realtors Alliance p. 3 Berney Streed, Re/Max Excalibur p. 107 Bradley B. Brauer, HomeSmart p. 3 David Oesterle, ReMax p. 3 Fred Delgado Team, Keller Williams p. 3 Jan Dahl, HomeSmart p. 3 Matthew Hoedt, Realty One p. 3 Melinda Murphy, Lifestyle Partners p. 97 Nicholas Yale, Realty Executives p. 3, 116

p. 13

WELLNESS Avenger Fitness, LCC p. 106 CDC p. 21 Central Phoenix Gym p. 105 Elite Plastic Surgery p. 27 Enhanced Image Medspa p. 106 FitPro, LLC p. 107 Gilead p. 41 IGNITE Your Status p. 2 JWW Fitness p. 107 Southwest Center for HIV/ AIDS p. 25 Spectrum Medical Group p. 45 TERROS Health-LGBTQ Consortium p. 71 Triumeq p. 30-33 Willo Medi Spa p. 108 lambda directory



LIVE TO YOUR OWN BEAT 602.666.6039

333 E McKinley St Phoenix, AZ 85004

Echo Magazine April 2017  

Echo Magazine – Arizona's leading media outlet dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community in news, views and entertainment. April 2017 issue....

Echo Magazine April 2017  

Echo Magazine – Arizona's leading media outlet dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community in news, views and entertainment. April 2017 issue....