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James Fanizza

Meet the local filmmaker who’s bringing LGBTQ characters, content to the big screen LGBTQ NEWS, VIEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT | VOL. 28, #10 | ISSUE 694 | JULY 2017 | COMPLIMENTARY


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inside this issue Issue 694 | Vol. 28, #10 | July 2017

features

NEWS 8 Letter From The Editor 12 News Briefs 14 Datebook 16 Meet Danielle Robinson, the Phoenix Mercury’s new secret weapon 24 Royal couple takes the throne as the Imperial Court’s new Emperor and Empress 26 Sonja Jae Savage earns ticket to Miss Gay USofA At Large pageant

Photo by John Breggar.

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PREVIEWS AND REVIEWS 60 Without Reservations

Introducing James Fanizza A local filmmaker who’s bringing LGBTQ characters and storylines to the big screen.

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Pride in the Pines Northern Arizona Pride Association invites you to Flagstaff for its 21st annual Pride celebration.

62 At The Box Office 63 The Small Screen 66 Between The Covers COMMUNITY 68 Talking Bodies 70 All Over The Map ON THE COVER Phoenix-based actor/ filmmaker James Fanizza. Photo by John Breggar.

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From Cuba, With Love LGBTQ journalist returns to the Caribbean island 20 years later. Plus: Take a tour with Brand g Vacations.

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The Pride Pages, Part II Echo proudly presents the Northern and Southern Arizona edition of your 2017 Community Directory.

inside this issue


echomag.com web exclusives

PHOTO GALLERIES Did the Echo cameras catch you out and about at this month’s events? Find out at echomag.com/ gallery/2017-photos. COMMUNITY CALENDAR From pageants to advocacy, this is where the community goes to find out what’s going on in the gayborhood. echomag.com/ community-calendar

The Pants Project Bestselling British author tackles transgender topics and more in new coming-of-age book. echomag.com/pants-project

Rough Night Echo’s film expert Hans Pedersen caught up with Colton Haynes to find out more about his latest role. echomag.com/rough-night

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. echomag.com/ community-directory MARKETING SOLUTIONS Find out why Echo is the publication your future clients are already reading. echomag.com/ marketing-solutions

The Pübes in the Pines Phoenix’s queercore rock band is proud to play the Pride circuit. echomag.com/the-pubes

online now

Hit Me With Your Best Shot For all the Out & About photos in this issue, visit Echo’s online photo gallery. echomag.com/gallery

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letter from the editor By KJ Philp

LGBTQ NEWS, VIEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT PUBLISHER: Bill Orovan ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Bill Gemmill

W

elcome to summer, Arizona! It seems surreal that we’ve just completed our July issue, meaning that 2017 is more than half over. But let’s not get caught up in semantics, it’s still Pride month and we still have festivities to cover! Up first is the Phoenix Mercury’s Pride Night, June 16 versus the Chicago Sky. In honor of this fourth annual event, our team correspondent caught up with Danielle Robinson for a little one-on-one (interview, that is). Find out more about the team’s hottest new addition in “Meet Danielle Robinson” on page 16. That same weekend, Arizona’s mile-high city will host the 13th annual Bisbee Pride, a communitywide celebration taking place June 16-18. Get the full itinerary and more at echomag.com/bisbee-or-bust. From there, Northern Arizona Pride Association invites you up to Flagstaff for the 21st annual Pride in the Pines June 24. You’ll find everything you need to know before hitting the road in “Pride in the Pines” on page 42. As promised, we’ve also launched “The Pride Pages, Part II,” the Northern and Southern Arizona edition of our 2017 Community Directory, beginning on page 55. We timed this resource with the hopes of reaching as many of you as possible through the Pride month celebrations in the furthest corners of our state. Of course, our entire digital community directory can be accessed at echomag.com/ community-directory. As we shared in our April issue, “The Pride Pages” is the result of a commitment Team Echo made to use our resources 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 the help of your feedback. For anyone interested in being added to our community directory, you’ll find all the details on page 59. Before we’re finished celebrating, we have new titleholders to introduce you to: As promised, we caught up with the Imperial Sovereign Empire 8

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of Arizona’s monarchs of Reign XII Dave McQueen and Akasha Knight. The royal couple dishes on their upcoming year as Emperor and Empress in “Reign XII” on page 24. We also got press time with Miss Gay USofA At Large 2017 Sonja Jae Savage to find out more about her new title and her upcoming trip to nationals. Find out what she had to say in “The Pageant Savage” on page 26. Congratulations are also in order for both Savannah Stevens, Miss Gay Western States America 2017, and Barbra Seville, Miss Gay Tennessee America 2017, who will both be heading to the national pageant later this year. Find out who else will be joining them at the Miss Gay Arizona America 2017 pageant June 25 at Tempe Center for the Arts. Last, but not least, you may have noticed the handsome face of a local filmmaker gracing the cover of this issue. We couldn’t be prouder to introduce you to James Fanizza, the writer, director (and actor!) behind the new film Sebastian, which just made its world premiere at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto. Before heading back to Canada for the red carpet, James gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the film and details on what he hopes to accomplish with this project. We invite you to get to know a little bit more about him and his work in “Introducing James Fanizza” on page 36. As Pride month formally comes to a close, we’ll leave you with a friendly reminder to take Pride in yourself and your health, too! Yes, we’re talking about the importance of knowing your status! National HIV Testing Day is June 24 and you can get tested for free from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Stacy’s @ Melrose, courtesy of Ignite Your Status and the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. Mark your calendars and we hope to see you there! KJ Philp is the managing editor of Echo Magazine. He can be reached at editor@echomag.com.

EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR: KJ Philp CONTRIBUTORS: Hans Pedersen Seth Bracken Mark Seagal Tamara Juarez Laura Latzko Terri Schlichenmeyer Liz Massey Nikole Tower Devin Millington Michael J. Tucker Melissa Myers Rachel Verbits Tia Norris Megan Wadding ART DEPARTMENT SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Jake Rojas PHOTOGRAPHY: Alyssa Avilla, DePoy Studios, Devin Millington and nightfuse.com ADVERTISING DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING: Ashlee James ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES: Gregg Edelman Randy Robinson NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE: Rivendell Media, 212-242-6863

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

MEMBER:

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.


Our Community, Together. Blaise Caudill, Governor, Human Rights Campaign Brad DeBiase, Arizona Commission on the Arts

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news briefs

Lyft App Celebrates Pride Month with Round Up & Donate Option Lyft, the app-based transportation network, announced June 7 that the beneficiary of its latest Round Up & Donate partnership will be the Human Rights Campaign. “There’s still a long way to go to achieve equal rights for all, and how we get there matters. So this Pride, we’re focusing on the power of small, meaningful action,” the company revealed via blog post. “In an effort to end stigma and discrimination, Pride celebrates LGBTQ+

identity, visibility and diversity. And while every Lyft ride is a place to be yourself, share your stories and ride out loud, Lyft knows that’s not the case for everyone, everywhere. So this year, we want to harness our community’s potential in support of the Human Rights Campaign with Round Up & Donate.” As the company’s newest program, Round Up and Donate, allows customers to round up fares and donate the difference to various

organizations. For the remainder of June, which is also national LGBT Pride Month, proceeds will benefit HRC, America’s largest civil rights organization. “The Human Rights Campaign mirrors Lyft’s commitment to creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, comfortable, and respected – both in and out of the car. As a company, Lyft is donating $100,000 in the next 12 months to support LGBTQ+ causes,” the

announcement concluded. To opt in, Lyft instructs customers to find “Round Up & Donate” under settings in the latest version of the app or online at lyft.com/ round-up/causes. Once the option is turned on, fares on all subsequent rides will automatically be rounded up and donated. For more information, visit blog.lyft.com/ posts/2017/6/5/this-pridesupport-equal-rights-foreveryone.

SAAF honors local trailblazers at 2017 Out Brunch As part of this year’s Out Brunch, The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation honored the recipients of the 2017 Godat, Steve Hall and Dr. Jean Baker Community Ally awards. The event, presented by title sponsors Centra Realty and TEP, took place June 10 at the Tucson University Park Hotel. Out Brunch is also the new iteration of what was known as Tucson’s Wingspan Dinner for more than 25 years. Meet the trailblazing community members who were selected as 2017 award recipients for their impact on the local LGBTQ community.

Dea Brasgalla, The Steve Hall Volunteer Award Dea Brasgalla has shown commitment to Tucson’s LGBTQ Community over the past 12 years. She has sustained her participation in Wingspan and Senior Pride through many changes, economic crisis, and the aqcuisition of Wingspan by SAAF in 2014. She continues to commit herself to visibility, participation, equality, and respect for LGBTQ Seniors 12

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and for all LGBTQ people. She serves on the board of Senior Pride as a commissioner on the City of Tucson GLBT Commission.

Miki Odawa, The Godat Award Miki Odawa is an extraordinary human being who has changed the lives of hundreds of trans folks here in southern Arizona and across the country. She is highly accomplished and could have moved to the Sonoran Desert and relaxed and retired. Instead, she took the reigns of SAGA to ensure that trans folks were supported and understood. Miki is quietly assertive and gently persuasive. She is content to work hard behind the scenes. When she does speak, she tells the powerful truth about the community, about all of us and never stoops to a self-serving soliloquy. Laura Alexander, Dr. Jean Baker Community Ally Award Laura Alexander is one of the outstanding allies of Tucson’s LGBTQ

Community. Laura’s support of our community started almost as soon as she moved to Tucson from Madison, Wis. She noticed an appeal posted in Antigone Bookstore for volunteers for a newly formed LGBT Domestic Violence Project being organized by Lavina Tomer. She offered her help which was gratefully accepted. Previously, Laura served as the executive director of the Madison Women’s Center and brought experience and talent in community organizing and fund development to the DV Project (now the SAAF AntiViolence Program). Fast forward through the decades and Laura has continued to be a staunch supporter of Tucson’s LGBTQ Community. Laura is an outstanding choice to honor the legacy of one of our most treasured allies, Dr. Jean Baker.

For more information on the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, visit saaf.org. Source: Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. news


datebook june 16-18

june 24

The 13th annual Bisbee Pride, featuring a weekend filled with events, vendors, performances and a parade, will take place at various locations throughout downtown.

The Northern Arizona Pride Association presents Pride in the Pines, its annual day-long Pride festival, at Thorpe Park Ball Field, 600 N. Thorpe Road, in Flagstaff. (See story, page 42).

bisbeepride.com

june 17

Trans Queer Pueblo will host Queer Artivismo, a night of drag, theater and poetry performances benefiting TQP, from 8 p.m. to midnight at 1726 E. Roosevelt St., in Phoenix. facebook.com/transqueerpueblo june 21

You’re invited to cocktails, connections, conversation and a tour of the construction site of the new one•n•ten Youth Center from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, 1101 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix.

flagstaffpride.org

recipients, beginning with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. (ceremony begins at 7 p.m.) at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. phoenixpride.org JUNE 24

The Protecting Arizona’s Families Coalition – an inclusive and nonpartisan alliance of health and human service agencies, faith-based communities, and advocacy networks – presents the We The People Summit, including workshops, organizations and activists, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N Third St. pafcoalition.org JUNE 25

The Miss Gay Arizona America 2017 pageant, a preliminary to Miss Gay America, will begin at 5 p.m. at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 E. Rio Salado Parkway, in Tempe.

RSVP to hero@onenten.org june 21

Join host Christopher Tong for The Sound of Music Big Gay Singalong, a night of costumes, giveaways and all your favorite songs, at FilmBar, 815 N. Second St., In Phoenix. filmbar.com June 21 & 28 | July 5, 12 & 19

Chatterbox Storytelling Open Mic is a live storytelling event where everyone is welcome to share their personal stories (no experience necessary, check website for weekly themes) from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at The Grand Central Coffee Company, 718 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. facebook.com/chatterboxaz june 23

Phoenix Pride invites you to Night at the Museum, a celebration in honor of the ninth annual Community Spirit Award 14

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The Phoenix Mercury will tip off against the Minnesota Lynx, Washington Mystics, New York Liberty, Atlanta Dream, Minnesota Lynx, Indiana Fever and San Antonio Stars (respectively) at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., in Phoenix. (See story, page 16.) mercury.wnba.com/tickets july 7

The 2017 Diamond Crystal Awards, presented by arizonadrag.com and honoring the best of drag in Arizona, will take place from 7-9 p.m. at The Rock, 4129 N, Seventh Ave., in Phoenix. arizonadrag.com july 15

missgayarizonaamerica.com june 30

The 2017 Phoenix Gay Idol finale, determining which contestant will win $1,000 and the coveted title, will take place at The Rock, 4129 N, Seventh Ave., in Phoenix. phxgayidol.com June 30 | July 5, 9, 12, 14 & 19

The Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce presents its ninth annual Biz Bowl – featuring an ’80s themed party, costume contest, bowling awards and raffle – beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Let It Roll Bowl, 8925 N. 12th St., in Phoenix. gpglcc.org 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


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Meet Danielle Robinson One reason summer just got hotter for the Phoenix Mercury Story and photos by Devin Millington

D

anielle Robinson, or DRob, is one of the most noteworthy additions to the Phoenix Mercury’s roster this season, and she’s bringing a lot of sizzle to a team in need of her kind of heat. The Mercury have not had a point guard with her speed, drive and dish abilities or defensive tenacity, ever. As Diana Taurasi put it, “We’ve always had a slow white girl, like me, running the point.” And by bringing the heat on the court, DRob frees up Taurasi, Griner – the only players returning from last year– and everyone else to do what they do best. A month into the season, the Mercury is already rising as the nearly all-new team seems to be gelling at a rapid pace.

The Early Years Robinson was born in San Jose, Calif., into an athletic family. Her father, Albert, played some football and both her mother, Denise, and brother, Jonathan, played basketball at Hampton College in Virginia.

her basketball skills to grow, but also her mind. “I got a lot of support academically. I loved how much help we got and how organized it was,” she added. One aspect of her decision-making process, Robinson admitted, was the fact that the team was graduating two senior point guards – an opportunity that worked in her favor on the court. Robinson didn’t waste any time racking up awards and setting records at the collegiate level – bookended by being named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and earning the NCAA Today’s Top VIII honors. Robinson also finished her college career as one of only four players in NCAA history to cross the 2,000-point, 700-assist and 300-steal benchmarks in a career. She was also the top scoring guard in Oklahoma’s history.

The WNBA In 2011, the San Antonio Silver Stars drafted Robinson in the first round with the sixth pick overall and she immediately made an impact on the team as well as the league. Her rookie season, she was unanimously selected to the WNBA AllRookie Team and she set the franchise rookie record with 36 points late in her first season. In 2012, she earned WNBA All-Defensive second team honors and was named to the Silver Stars All-Decade Team. In 2013, she was named to the Western Conference All-Star team and was the WNBA assist leader. But it’s the relationships Robinson built during her time in San Antonio that she cherishes the most. “I learned so much from Tully Bevilaqua and Becky Hammond in my rookie year,” she said. “Also, I’ve built

“Athletics are in my genes,” Robinson asserted. “I have an older brother and basically whatever he did, I wanted to do. And basketball was the first sport I saw him play and so I followed in his footsteps. I went to all his practices when I was young and actually jumped into them – no matter how small I was – and just fell in love with the game.” After excelling at basketball in high school, universities started recruiting Robinson, which afforded her the ability to travel to several college towns throughout the country to see which one would suit her best. She ultimately chose the University of Oklahoma and wore the Sooners uniform from 2007 to 2011.

More than OK “Everybody talks about this feeling you get when you know it’s the right school and when I stepped on campus, I knew Oklahoma was it,” she said. “The vibe there was amazing!” Robinson found that the university not only provided a positive environment for 16

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basically a second family in San Antonio. I was there for six years. My church home, outside of my California church home, is there. To this day, I still have relationships with the fans, too.” On the other hand, Robinson admits that not everything was great in San Antonio. “Every organization has its ups and downs,” she explained. “The worst part was not being treated like the Spurs, because they get a lot of stuff and we weren’t given that same consideration – and that was unfortunate.

The Globetrotting Guard Most players in the WNBA also play overseas, and Robinson is no exception. “Until you start earning a veteran’s salary in the WNBA, I think it’s hard to live on just that,” she explained. “Stack it all up, as much as you can.” While she acknowledged that playing overseas initially is a necessary evil for financial reasons, she admitted the global game comes with certain perks, such as the ability to “travel the world on someone else’s dime.” Robinson has competed in Europe the past five seasons: first with Maccabi Ramat Hen (Israel), then with Tarsus Belediyesi (Turkey) and with ZVVZ USK Prague (Czech Republic), where she helped her squad capture the 2015 EuroLeague

championship. After beginning the 20152016 season with USK, she sustained an injury that caused her to sit out the 2016 WNBA season. Upon full recovery, she returned to Mersin Büyükşehir Belediyesi S.K. (Turkey) ahead of her 2017 Mercury training camps. Still, she recognizes the toll this schedule takes on players. “Playing overseas is tough. After playing four grueling months in the WNBA, heading overseas and having to participate in ‘two-a-days’ is tough on the body. Thus, playing year-round, year after year really starts to take its toll. More and more players are taking time off because the year-round schedule is so brutal.”

so there’s nothing for me to change. I think I make it easier for both of them.” The addition of Robinson – not only an outstanding player, but an exceptional human who is devout in her beliefs, , infectious with her laughter and undeniable as a leader – promises a defensive tenacity the team was desperately in need of as it continues its quest for a fourth championship title this summer.

Welcome To Phoenix To say that Robinson is happy to be in Phoenix is an understatement, and the team is equally happy that she’s here. After being top dog in San Antonio for six years, one might assume that coming to a team like Phoenix, with two top dogs, there’s no room for a third. However, Robinson brought the same swagger and mindset that’s served her so well thus far, and it was welcomed by all. “I am so honored to be here! It’s such a blessing,” she beamed. “Sandy told me not to change anything: ‘do what you do and be who you are.’ After I was traded, Taurasi told me ‘I want you to lead this team,’ and

Devin Millington is a retired teacher-turned-freelance writer and photographer. He is also the web designer and accomplished portrait artist behind devinmillington.com.

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OUT & ABOUT Phoenix Mercury 2017 Season Home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix. Photos by Devin Millington.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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OUT & ABOUT The Equality March/Rally for Unity and Pride June 11 at Heritage Square, Phoenix. Photos by Bill Gemmill

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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OUT & ABOUT The Equality March/Rally for Unity and Pride June 11 at Heritage Square, Phoenix. Photos by nightfuse.com.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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NIGHT AT THE

MUSEUM


Be a part of the ARTS!

Each year, Echo dedicates its annual Arts Issue to local galleries, theaters, venues and artists, including a snapshot of what the upcoming arts season has in store. This year’s Arts Issue is already in the works, but there’s still time to be included.

To place your ad in this premium issue, call 602-266-0550 by Aug. 30.


Photo by Ron Comstock.

Reign XII Royal couple takes the throne as the Imperial Court’s new Emperor and Empress By Laura Latzko

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ithin the Imperial Sovereign Empire of Arizona, Akasha Knight and Dave McQueen have held many complementary titles over the years. Now, the couple will take on a new challenge together as Emperor and Empress of Reign XII. During this year’s coronation ceremony, which took place May 6 under the theme 24

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“Geeks Gone Glam: A Soiree at the Comic Book Store,” McQueen and Knight became the court’s newest monarchs as Sophia Sinclair and SeaJay Moser stepped down. Although the emperor and empress both ran unopposed, they each received the 50 percent plus one of the community votes to win their respective crowns. The Imperial Court of Arizona, part of the

International Court System, is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for a variety of local organizations and scholarships. And, according to Sinclair, she and Moser raised $38,000. During their reign, Knight and McQueen will serve as the faces of the court as well as mentors and leaders. According to the royal couple, they hope news


to guide others in the same way previous monarchs have mentored them. “When you see that in someone, you want to nurture it because without that, the court is going to stagnate,” McQueen said. “We were mentored … We have been given the opportunity to grow. That nurturing helps, and that’s why we want to really focus on our lines.”

Meet the Monarchs McQueen and Knight, who have been together for 10 years, are following in the footsteps of Julie Craig and Michael Gaffney who ruled together during Reign II. Originally from New York, the Empress has a background as a flight attendant. While she’s been performing in drag for about four years now, Knight said she isn’t interested in competing in pageants or becoming a show queen. For her, she explained, drag is all about charity and she enjoys any opportunity to combine fundraising and the art of drag. “To go from a man to a woman and [have] friends who haven’t seen me in years [not] know who I am, she said, “it’s the whole illusion thing that I like about it.” Unlike most drag queens, Knight doesn’t do her makeup on her own. She and her husband work as a team on painting her face. The Emperor, a native of Vermont, works for a marketing firm and newspaper doing graphic design, which has allowed him the opportunity to contribute design work to the Imperial Court and other local organizations. With a background in rock music, McQueen also has been a drummer for local cover bands, including the alternative group Downward Dog. When performing for the court, McQueen said he tends to stick to a similar rock style but has recently made some new developments as an entertainer. “I’m coming into my own as a performer, but I’m also trying not to copy what I see out there,” McQueen said. “If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it my way.” The Monarchs agree that Knight is more of the social butterfly, while McQueen is the more reserved one. But McQueen credits Knight with helping him to be more outgoing over the years. When they each made the decided to run this year, there were no guarantees that they would end up serving side by side as emperor and empress. Now that they both have been crowned, both admit that they can’t imagine serving beside anyone else. “I never thought of myself as being Emperor without her [as my Empress],” McQueen said. “It would be very difficult if we had to reign with another person.” news

Ascending the Ranks Knight and McQueen joined the court together during Reign VIII, serving as count and countess. They went on to hold the complimentary titles of prince and princess and prince royale and princess royale. Knight has also served a baroness and McQueen as viscount. Still, holding the titles of Emperor and Empress has a deeper meaning for both of them. “To me, it hasn’t absorbed in all the way,” Knight said. “When I go out into a bar establishment, and we’ve got friends we’ve known for years coming up and bowing down to me, I’m like, ‘You don’t have to do that. I’m still Akasha.’ They really believe in us, that we’re going to make changes in the community. It’s a big pair of shoes to put on.” Holding previous titles together not only helped to prepare them both for their duties as Monarchs, but has also made them stronger as a couple. “Becoming emperor and empress, to me, has brought me and Dave closer together,” Knight said, adding that they have both continued to learn as they have moved up the ranks in the Arizona court. “We’ve worked very hard these past four years … to prove ourselves worthy to take on this challenge of being emperor and empress.”

An Inclusive Pair

hope to bring more diversity to the court and bridge the gaps between different groups within the community – an effort they’ve already jumpstarted by bringing more diversity to their lines. “We really want to be more inclusive and be more approachable,” Knight said, adding that court has been seen by some as an exclusive or cliquey organization in the past. According to Knight said, the couple wants to show the community that the court is open to anyone. The Monarchs said they are especially interested in reaching out to younger community members to get them involved and interested in the court. Additionally, the Monarchs hope to get different organizations and members of the community, including families, involved in the court by holding events outside of bars. “There’s a lot of things we’re trying to do that’s maybe not what’s been done in the past but will hopefully increase our visibility in the community,” McQueen said. For more information on the Imperial Sovereign Empire of Arizona, including opportunities to become involved, visit imperialcourtaz.org.

The slogan Knight and McQueen decided on for Reign XII is “strength in unity,” and the theme for their reign is a “year to be G.R.E.A.T., a year of growth, rejuvenation, accountability and teamwork.” During their reign, McQueen and Knight

Former Monarchs of the Imperial Sovereign Empire of Arizona Reign XI: Sophia Sinclair and SeaJay Moser Reign X: Olivia Gardens and Steve Marino Reign IX: Bill Mitchell and Miss DeMeanor Reign VIII: Tom Bledsoe and Vanilla DeLishus Reign VII: Kenneth Anthony and Paula Sha Reign VI: Jerry Heitman and Lady Christian Reign V: Zsa Zsa Dublois Reign IV: Regine Rochelle Reign III: Joseph Brumley and Justice Prevails Reign II: Michael Gaffney and Julie Craig Reign I: Steve LaFata EchoMag.com

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Photo by Deora Michelle LeBlanc.

that celebrated full-figured queens? Savage: I’ve always been big would probably be the best way to put it … The At Large division has always appealed to me. However, I am on this venture of eating healthy and getting in shape. So, I figured while I have the weight on me, I might as well utilize it. Echo: Do you feel like your experiences with other pageants, especially Newcomer, helped to prepare you for this title? Savage: With Newcomer, I was able to learn the system … the expectations … [and] what the system is looking for … Newcomer has sculpted me to be ready for the At Large nationals, to the point where my national package was done before I even won state. Echo: At thus point in your career, do you feel like you fit into the “pageant queen” category or have you tried to avoid that? Savage: Of course, you always try to avoid stigmas, but unfortunately, it is kind of inevitable in this situation. I absolutely love pageants. I feel like I’ve learned the most from pageants, so for me they are kind of like home. Echo: What type of preparation went into getting ready for the At Large pageant? Savage: A lot, in regards to [everything from] having hair designers from across the country do my hair and spray tanning to making sure that my mesh matched my gowns and flying friends in from Minnesota to help with my talent.

The Pageant Savage

Echo: Tell me a little bit more about your talent number during the pageant. What inspired that talent?

Sonja Jae Savage earns ticket to Miss Gay USofA At Large pageant

Savage: I do a Karen Walker impersonation, from “Will and Grace” … It’s basically a comedy skit. I talk a lot of trash to the judges and pick on them a little bit. I really like Karen. She’s my favorite. She’s kind of funny. She’s kind of, I don’t want to say rude and crude, but she is. Sonja doesn’t hold back, and she says what’s on her mind. Sometimes, it’s rude and crude. It just fits. That was Sonja in a nutshell.

By Laura Latzko

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ompeting on the national stage at the Miss Gay USofA At Large pageant in Dallas this September won’t be an entirely new experience for Sonja Jae Savage. The newly crowned Miss Gay Arizona USofA At Large Title previously competed in the Miss Gay USofA Newcomer Pageant as an alternate for Miss Gay Supernova USofA Newcomer and as an alternate for Miss Gay Minnesota USofA Newcomer. She’s also competed nationally at the Miss Gay United States Pageant. But what makes this shot at a national title different for Savage is that being crowned Miss Gay Arizona USofA at Large May 7 at BS West marked her first major state title since her first pageant, competing for the title of Miss Phoenix Gay 26

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Pride, just over four years ago. Echo Magazine caught up with Savage to find out more about her experiences in pageantry, her evolution as a performer and her new title and here’s what she had to say. Echo: What did winning the title of Miss Gay Arizona USofA at Large mean to you? Savage: It means a lot for multiple reasons. One, I stepped out of Arizona, so it’s kind of my acceptance back into the Arizona community. That was a big deal for me. Two, it’s my first state title. And three, it’s my first USofA title. Echo: After having participated in the Newcomer system, what made you go on to the USofA system? Specifically, the At Large division,

Echo: At what point did you realize who wanted to be as a performer? Savage: That’s come over time. I had an idea of what I wanted, but of course drag evolves. Every time I did a pageant or did a show in a different place, I learned more about myself.

READ THE REST For Echo’s full interview with Sonja Jae Savage, visit echomag.com/sonja-jae-savage.

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. news


OUT & ABOUT Miss Gay Western States America Pageant May 27 at Phoenix Theatre. Photos by nightfuse.com.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

OUT & ABOUT #MoreThanBars Picnic June 3 at Encanto Park, Phoenix. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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OUT & ABOUT Splash Bash 2017 June 3-4 at Hotel 502, Phoenix. Photos by nightfuse.com.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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OUT & ABOUT Speak Easy, A Night For Life Event May 13 at The Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, Phoenix. Photos by DePoy Studios.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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OUT & ABOUT Ignite’s Monthly Mixer May 17 at Bliss/ReBAR, Phoenix. Photos by Jeremy Bright.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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Introducing James Fanizza A local filmmaker who’s bringing LGBTQ characters and storylines to the big screen By Laura Latzko

Photos taken on the set of Sebatian, September 2016.

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ocal filmmaker James Fanizza doesn’t want to make stereotypical LGBTQ films. His goal, instead, is to shape the film industry by bringing queer context, including realistic storylines and relatable characters, to life for his audiences. As an actor-turned-filmmaker, Fanizza has written, directed and starred in three short film projects – Sebastian, You Are Free and Jackie – before getting to work on his first feature-length film (also named Sebastian), which is an expansion of his first short. Fanizza wrapped shooting on the set of Sebastian late last year and he spent the spring editing the project. Then, on May 26, the film made its world premiere at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto – the ultimate homecoming for Fanizza, who is originally from “Hollywood North,” but relocated to Arizona with his husband of two-and-a-half years in February of 2016.

The Prequel According to Fanizza, his interest in acting developed while he was attending York University. It was there that he took his first acting classes, a collective experience that shaped him in such a profound way that he changed his major from law to theater.

The Mandate By creating quality LGBTQ content that explores deeper issues, Fanizza hopes to make an impact on the film industry – and society as a whole. “I will definitely always make LGBT[Q] films. That’s my mandate as a filmmaker, to add as much queer content to the world as possible,” he said. “I think the world needs more LGBT[Q] films … There’s still a lot of people who don’t accept queer people, and there’s still a lot of people struggling with coming out. I think the more content we can put out, particularly in the mainstream media, the more that will change.” With ongoing issues of violence and prejudice toward LGBTQ people, Fanizza said it is important to promote tolerance and acceptance of one’s self. He tries to play his part in achieving this by presenting multifaceted characters with which members of the LGBTQ community can identify. “Creating safe spaces for LGBT[Q]

people is not only physical, it’s creating mental safe spaces as well, through mediums like film and television,” he said. “… how do we do create this mental safe space? How do we reach out to that boy scared to come out of the closet? How do we reach that trans woman who is afraid to use a public restroom? We do this by creating a film with [LGBTQ] characters in the spotlight that portrays them as normal, complex characters; by not shying away from issues that pertain to the queer experience; by creating characters that are not afraid to stand proud.”

The Cast of Characters Fanizza’s experience auditioning for films also sparked his desire to develop more diverse and complex LGBTQ characters. “I found there wasn’t a lot of queer content, and when I did audition for one of those roles, it was very stereotypical stuff, almost borderline offensive,” Fanizza recalled. “I was kind tired of seeing onedimensional characters, particularly queer characters, in the media.”

“It just really spoke to me,” Fanizza said about his initial introduction to what would become his craft. “I also felt like I was naturally pretty good at it … I just really like the feeling of being onstage and stepping into character, and just being creative.” Growing up, Fanizza admits that the closest experience he had to performing on a stage was playing sports. And the closest thing to film influence he received from his family was watching such classics as The Godfather: Part 2 with his dad and grandfather. By his third year of college, however, Fanizza was auditioning for commercials and films. As a result, he’s appeared in several short films, local and national commercials and a TV series – most often as “nerdy guy next door” type of character. “That’s kind of how people get frustrated and end up quitting,” he explained. “They are just waiting around for other people to give them work as opposed to finding the joy and freedom in [their] own work.” Eventually, the young actor began to make his own films and create parts for himself therein. “I decided to take my career in my hands and make my own movies,” he said. Fanizza credits every on-set experience, including those for his own films, with refining his skills as an actor and his voice as a filmmaker – a journey that he’s only just begun. cover story

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or had a similar story,” Fanizza said. Sebastian, as described by Fanizza, is more than just a lighthearted LGBTQ romantic comedy because it can appeal to different audiences. “It’s the story of two people meeting and falling in love, and I think this happens to a lot of people when they travel,” Fanizza said. “It doesn’t stray away from its queerness, and it’s very representative of the LGBT[Q] community, but it is also a very universal story.” Additionally, the movie looks at larger societal issues, including language and cultural barriers, through the lens of two characters who don’t have a lot in common and often miscommunicate, but are able to overcome these obstacles and find love. “I think sometimes those differences don’t have to be a negative thing,” Fanizza said. “They can be a learning experience and actually bring people closer together.”

Leah Doz, has appeared in a number of Fanizza’s film projects. Doz, a mixed race actress, portrayed an art gallery owner and the main character’s good friend in Sebastian and an overprotective sister to Fanizza’s character in You Are Free. “We don’t necessarily look alike, but he envisioned a family where it was possible that we had the same parents,” Doz said. According to Doz, short film projects such as these have allowed her to take on more diverse and complex roles. “The independent projects that I’ve done have given me the parts where I’ve gotten to explore the most of myself and exercise my craft on complicated roles,” Doz said. As an actress, Doz said she often feels more invested in a project when a director makes his cast and crew a part of the creative process. “We are working on tight budgets and tight schedules, but it does feel more down to earth because everybody knows that, to get the best thing on tape with the resources that we have, we all have to work together,” Doz said. “I think the magic of making a film, especially on an indie budget, is being open to suggestions from other crew members, even other actors. It’s more of a loose environment on set. It’s not stick to your department and don’t talk to someone else. Everybody’s collaborating together.”

pageant contestants in You Are Free; and Argentinian actor Alex House who plays the title role in Sebastian. In each of these examples, Fanizza explained the ways in which the individual cast brought real-life experience to their roles – a critical element that some filmmakers overlook or underestimate. In Sebastian, Fanizza added that House provided valuable insight into many aspects of the project, from common Argentinian voice inflections and hand gestures to editing the Spanish parts of the script. “He just brought a certain authenticity that I wouldn’t have been able to write in,” Fanizza said.

The movie follows the pair’s affair – from the time they meet to the close of the weeklong vacation – and touches on the idea of “what if,” which many have experienced when having a brief affair during a trip abroad.

Some examples of this, he cited, include transgender actress Judy Virago who plays a transgender woman in Jackie; Toronto drag queens who star as

“I was getting a lot of messages from people around the world who had seen it at a festival and were inspired by it

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For more information on Sebastian, visit sebastianthemovie.com or follow @ sebastianthemovie on Instagram and Facebook.

With his first feature-length film Sebastian, Fanizza has been able to expand the story of Alex, a Toronto man (played by Fanizza) who meets and has a brief relationship with Sebastian (played by House) who is visiting Toronto from Argentina.

The positive response to his short film (by the same name), which has played at film festivals around the globe, is what pushed Fanizza to elaborate on the storyline.

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“When you break up with someone for long-distance reasons, there’s not a ton of closure. [Sebastian] was kind of a way to get that closure for myself,” he said, adding that his ultimate hope is for audiences walk away with an understanding that he is “someone who’s interested in telling real, genuine stories, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”

The Feature Presentation

Within his films, Fanizza’s goal is to always work with actors and actresses who fit the role initially and also bring authenticity to it throughout the duration of the project.

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Fanizza admits that he originally set out to make a bilingual short film, but the project ultimately gave him a chance to reflect on the relationship he had with an Argentinian man while living in South America for a little less than eight months.

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Echo: How has this experience inspired new cinema ambitions? Katya: I would love to be in more movies and I would love to direct one some day! Echo: One of James’ goals is to create safe spaces for LGBTQ people through such mediums as film and television. From your vantage point in the industry, why are these spaces so essential still? Katya: Growing up, I never really saw the gay experience portrayed on film, so it’s important for LGBTQ folks to see their lives represented. Echo: With your multimedia platforms, do you feel a sense of responsibility as a role model? Katya: Not really, but luckily I happen to have pretty high moral standards for myself. Echo: What advice would you offer drag queens aspiring to star on the big, or small, screen? Katya: Shave really well and wear lots and lots of makeup.

A Conversation with Katya “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star lands role in new film By KJ Philp

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ou know her as Katya from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but she also goes by Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova, the stage persona of Brian Joseph McCook. In recent years, she’s become famous for her unique style of drag, which fans can catch regularly in several gay nightclubs in her hometown of Boston or via her YouTube channel, “We Love Katya.” However, it’s her role as Xenia in Arizona-based filmmaker James Fanizza’s first feature film, Sebastian, that is generating all the buzz these days.

Echo Magazine caught up with Katya ahead of the world premiere of Sebastian at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival May 26 in Toronto, and here’s what she had to say. Echo: How did you and James Fanizza meet? Katya: We met in the frozen food section of a supermarket in Toronto. He helped me pick out a healthy brand of hotdogs and then lent me $5. Echo: What was it about Sebastian that made you want to be a part of it? Katya: Sebastian was the name of my family’s first pet, a cat with an attitude problem that hissed and scratched you if cover story

you tried to touch him. Echo: Describe your character, Xenia, and what she’s all about. Katya: She’s basically me but with a different name. She’s all about free love, fast living, and saving a lot on car insurance.

Echo: How has your background, specifically studying video and performance art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, influenced your career move into film? Katya: It got me comfortable performing in front of people and in front of the camera, which at first was completely terrifying. Echo: How has it influenced your YouTube channel, “We Love Katya”? How much of that glorious material do you write ahead of time? Katya: Most of that stuff is improvised and it’s a collaboration with my friend, Avi Weinstein, who went to MassArt with me. It’s a great way to reach a global audience – anybody can watch at any time for free. Echo: In terms of acting, who are some of your inspirations?

Echo: How much of the Katya that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans have come to know and love do you bring to this role?

Katya: My approach to acting is basically that I just don’t want to humiliate myself too badly.

Katya: There’s a performance scene that will look familiar to fans of the show, but they’ll be in for a treat when they see how much my acting has grown to resemble Meryl Streep.

Echo: Do you have any future plans you can share with us at this time?

Echo: In what ways was shooting Sebastian different from your experiences on “RuPaul’s Drag Race”? In what ways was it similar? Katya: It was only similar in the sense that there were cameras – everything was different. No pressure and all encouragement. It was a welcome change. Echo: Any surprises on set that you hadn’t expected? Katya: I was waiting for Jude Law to show up, but he never did. For some reason I thought Jude Law was in every movie, but it turns out that’s not the case.

Katya: I’m working on shooting videos for a stage show that will be presented later in the year and I’m working on another web series. Echo: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Katya: I’m a woman and I won’t be taken for granted. For more from Kayta, visit welovekatya. com or like her on Facebook at @ welovekatya or follow her on Twitter at @katya_zamo. KJ Philp is the managing editor of Echo Magazine. He can be reached at editor@echomag.com. EchoMag.com

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June 12, 2016

In Memory of: Akyra Monet Murray, 18 Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 Amanda Alvear and Mercedez Marisol Flores, 25 and 26 Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 Antonio Davon Brown, 29 Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 Cory James Connell, 21 Darryl “DJ” Roman Burt II, 29 Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 Enrique L. Rios, Jr, 25 Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, 36 Frank Hernandez , 27 Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 Geraldo A. “Drake” Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27 Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25

Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37 Juan Ramon Guerrero and Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 22 and 32 Kimberly Morris, 37 Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 Luis Daniel Conde , 39 Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 Luis S. Vielma, 22 Martin Benitez Torres, 33 Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 Oscar A. Aracena-Montero and Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 26 and 31 Paul Terrell Henry , 41 Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 Stanley Almodovar III, 23 Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24


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 echomag.com. Team Echo’s goal is to continue to be the go-to destination for local lifestyle and entertainment coverage throughout Arizona.

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Photo by Bill Gemmill.

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Flagstaff invites you to its 21st annual Pride celebration By Tamara Juarez

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ach year, as the country kicks off national LGBT Pride Month observations and celebrations, Arizonans turn their attention to the cooler temperatures of Northern Arizona for Flagstaff’s annual Pride in the Pines festival. Now in its 21st year, the Northern Arizona Pride Association (NAPA) event will be bigger and more inclusive than ever before, with two days of events and entertainment for the entire family. Once again, the celebration will take place at Thorpe Park, located just a few blocks away from the city’s historic downtown district, and feature a mix of locally and nationally recognized performers, including ’80s Latin/hip-hop icon Lisa Lisa, the fabulous Raven from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and Arizona’s own queercore rock band The Pübes. In support of its mission to promote and support diversity and human rights by creating a safe environment where people can come together and celebrate various cultures and sexual identities, NAPA president Kathryn Jim promised that there’s sure to be something for everyone at this year’s event. “We want to make Flagstaff Pride inclusive not just for LGBT[Q], but also for allies,” she said, adding that “about 28 percent who do attend are allies.”

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Families are also encouraged to attend and visit the new children’s area, which will include face painting, a balloon specialist and arts and crafts. This latest addition to Flagstaff Pride will be sponsored by the Living Christ Church, an open and affirming church, and managed by 24 members of its congregation. “The range is just amazing,” Jim said. “We have 8-year-olds all the way up to 65-year-olds attending with their families ... If you ever attend Flagstaff Pride, you would be shocked by how many parents bring their children and it’s absolutely amazing.” This will be the fourth year the festival is held at Thorpe Park, which has allowed the event to grow since its move from Wheeler Park in downtown Flagstaff. Jim is expecting more than 6,000 people from across Arizona, as well as surrounding states, to attend this year’s celebration. The festival will also feature 40 to 60 vendors, ranging from arts and crafts and food offerings for purchase to nonprofits and local business that are looking to connect with attendees. According to Jim, the annual event is for the whole community “especially those who have supported us through all that we have accomplished, when we passed ordinances protecting the LGBT[Q] community, and also now when we’re focusing on implementing, that we protect

... those who identify as transgender ...” Bringing in Lisa Lisa to headline this year’s event played right in the objective of inclusivity. As a self-described straight ally, the queen of Latin hip-hop offered, “Just to celebrate gay pride is wonderful … Anything I can do to help the community, I’m so very proud to be a part of it!” Lisa Lisa, who has been playing the pride circuit for the past three years, added that she has more than a few LGBTQ-identified relatives. “I have a lot of family that is in the LGBT[Q] community, and my little niece just came out, so I’m just so happy to be able to celebrate with her,” she said. “Anything that has to do with me being on a stage and performing for the people, I love dearly, but I have to say, [Pride attendees] treat me so very good. They are so sweet and appreciative of [my] music.” Flagstaff pride attendees can expect all the Lisa Lisa classics mixed with a sample of her newer music, too. “We’re going to give them a good show,” she said. “They’ll feel like they’re on that stage with me – back in the ’80s.” Pride in the Pines Noon-9 p.m. June 24 Thorpe Park Baseball Fields 191 N. Thorpe Rd., Flagstaff flagstaffpride.org feature story


Pride in the Pines Event Schedule June 23 Pride Cosmic Bowling Join Flagstaff Pride attendees at Starlite Lanes from 3 to 6 p.m. for free Cosmic Bowling for all ages. Please RSVP directly with Starlite Lanes at 928-526-1138 by June 22 and mention “Pride Comic Bowling.” The Official Pride Kickoff Party

The Pübes in the Pines Phoenix’s queercore rock band is proud to play the Pride circuit

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he Pübes is everything you could wish for from a queer rock band, plus everything you didn’t know you wanted.

The three-member group of lady-loving musicians is famous for such songs as “Cameltoe,” “Oops, I Caught the Gay,” and “8,000 Miles for Bootie,” and on June 24, you too can sing along with The Pübes at Flagstaff’s 21st annual Pride in the Pines. This will be the band’s fifth time performing at the event, and certainty not its last, said Baretta Lynn, The Pübes’ lead guitarist and contributing vocalist. “Every time we go, we get to play for our people. It just feels good to shout lyrics like ‘I like girls’ and have people be like ‘yeah man, me too!’” As a queer rock band, The Pübes has grown very popular within the Arizona’s LGBTQ community and has kept a busy tour schedule by traveling around the state to perform at various Pride events. In June, the trio will perform both at Bisbee and Flagstaff prides, as well as other local venues. The band is known for its honest and witty lyrics, which Pluchya said is a conscious decision. “The freedom to not take ourselves seriously lets us have fun and not worry about anything – not be afraid to perform and laugh with our friends and our audience,” explained Ivana Pluchya, The Pübes’ bassist and contributing vocalist. The Pübes’ songs cover a wide range of topics – from the high and lows of dating to the most embarrassing experiences that come from being gay – and it takes a certain amount of bravery and self-confidence to sing about

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these topics, Pluchya admitted. It’s difficult to find LGBTQ songs that are universally relatable, but the band’s goal is to keep it simple by creating music that celebrates life with a good amount of humor and a couple rounds of beers, which fans have welcomed with a smile since the trio formed in 2009. At pride events, said Roc Smith, the band’s drummer and contributing vocalist, there is a strong sense of camaraderie between the band and the audience. “If we’re making a joke about something, they actually get the joke compared to other audiences who think they get the joke but not really. When you’re playing in front of an LGBT[Q] audience, they understand a bit more and that lets you have a little more fun.”

Get the weekend started with the official Pride Kickoff Party, hosted by Mya Mckenzie, featuring music by DJ Harper and starring Tyra Marie and Eva Angelica Stratton. The Orpheum Theater, 15 W. Aspen Ave., opens at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $6-$10 and tickets are available at orpheumflagstaff.com.

June 24 The Official Pride After-Party Join Raven from “RuPaul’s Drag Race, along with Dee Jae Galaxy, China Collins, Eva Angelica Stratton and Coco St. James, for an evening hosted by Mya McKenzie with music by DJ Soulece. The Orpheum Theater opens at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $11-$21 and tickets are available at orpheumflagstaff.com.

When it comes to the vibe at the band’s shows, Lynn agreed that the audience is everything. “The reaction from the crowd is different when it’s a bunch of lesbians and gay folks than a bunch of straight dudes,” she said. “We have straight fans who we love, but it feels different because [at pride events] we get a wink and a ‘yeah, you wrote a song about that,’ and we’re like ‘yeah we did, and you’re dancing to it, aren’t yah?’” For more information on the The Pübes, visit thepubesaz.com or like them on Facebook at @ thepubesaz.

READ THE REST For Echo’s full interview with The Pübes, visit echomag.com/the-pines.

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Photo courtesy of Corbis Images.

also covered a wide variety of genres, so how do you categorize your music? Lisa Lisa: I have always considered our music to be hop/hip-hop. I don’t like to put myself in a genre, because, except for country, I have done it all. I think we were put into freestyle, because when our music first came out, it was what the freestyle dancers were dancing to in the clubs and in the streets .... whatever you want to describe me [as], girl, I’m happy! [laughs] Echo: What are you most looking forward to the weekend of the Flagstaff event?

Lisa Lisa The queen of Latin hip-hop to headline Pride in the Pines

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s part of this year’s Pride in the Pines festivities, Northern Arizona Pride Association (NAPA) announced that Lisa Lisa, of ’80s pop group Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, will headline the Main Stage June 24. Echo Magazine caught up with the “Queen of Latin Hip Hop” to find out what she’s been up to since dominating the airwaves in the ’80s and ’90s, and here’s what she had to say. Echo: Have you been to Flagstaff before? Lisa Lisa: Yes, I have. Many years ago, but I have not been to their pride festival, so I’m looking forward to this. I have been doing a lot of pride events for the past three years. Echo: What’s your touring/recording schedule like these days? Lisa Lisa: I haven’t stopped. I’m all over the place. Thirty plus years and whenever someone calls, I’m there. As a matter of fact, since last year, we’ve been on three different tours. It’s nonstop! Echo: What is it like to have such an incessantly busy schedule for so many years? Does it ever get tiring or is it always exciting? Lisa Lisa: Not only is it my job, but it’s my love. It’s my blood flow and what I thank God for allowing me to do. It’s never going to be tiring for me. I want to be the Puerto

Lisa Lisa: I want to be able to enjoy the celebration. That’s going to be my goal. To sing on stage and be able to bring them back to the ’80s, and given them a platform. I also love watching the drag queens perform. It’ll be great. I’m going to have so much fun. Echo: What message do you have for your fans, specifically Flagstaff Pride attendees?

Rican Lena Horne on the stage. My fans make me who I am – they make me proud and happy and keep me young for my kids. I have to be running around after them, so I need that exercise.

Lisa Lisa: Believe in your dreams. Master your craft. Then go full force and kill it. You’ll make it ... Stand up and stand proud.

Echo: Are you working on any new projects currently?

READ THE REST

Lisa Lisa: Yes, we’ve been working on some stuff for about two years now, so hopefully we’ll get it out soon. I released an album independently about four years ago, and it did well. I really focus on it being the right time and the right flavor, but I’m also doing a lot of acting, so look out for some good Indies. Echo: How does it feel to be labeled the “Queen of Latin Hip-Hop”? Lisa Lisa: If I opened doors for anybody, I thank you for acknowledging that, I’m honored. If I have little girls following me and looking up to me, then I appreciate it and do whatever possible to be a good mentor, but I don’t really think about it. I honestly just love to perform and sing. To be on a stage has always been my dream. I don’t want anybody to be a leader or a “queen” or “king” because there are just so many of us out there – so many different styles of music …

For Echo’s full interview with Lisa Lisa, visit echomag.com/lisa-lisa.

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

Photo courtesy of facebook.com/lisa-lisa.

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travel feature

From Cuba, With Love LGBTQ journalist returns to the Caribbean island 20 years later Story and photos by Mark Segal

A

s I was standing in Havana’s Revolution Square, looking at the giant silhouette of Che Guevara, I smiled, recalling the Che Guevara Café I once visited in Beirut where I watched a male belly dancer as I was reporting on Lebanon’s first LGBTQ organization. It then occurred to me that the relationship between the United States and the Middle East is easy to explain compared to the relationship our country has with Cuba, as well as Cuba’s position on LGBTQ issues.

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It was 20 years ago when I last reported on the state of LGBTQ life in Havana. The difference could not be more apparent than it was in the procedure to make travel arrangements. In 1997, as an out LGBTQ journalist, I received no assistance from the U.S. government, except the warning that I could have trouble re-entering the U.S. since our government might not recognize LGBTQ reporters as legitimate journalists. As for Cuba, its embassy refused to return calls. It was almost a clandestine trip. I had to travel via

Cuba’s 10th annual Inte rnational Day Against

Mexico and arrange hotel and other necessities through third- and fourthparty connections. At times, it was cloak and dagger. And there was reason for Cuban hesitance in having an LGBTQ journalist in the country: Life for LGBTQ people at that time was like 1950s America, or worse. (Read more about that trip at bit.ly/2q46XUQ.) Twenty years would bring some surprises and a brush with the past, both in the U.S. and Cuba. Modern U.S. travel protocol made the arrangements slightly easier than two decades ago. The Cuban Embassy not only sped up my visa, they arranged for me to have official Cuban press credentials, which they also did for other U.S. LGBTQ media on the same trip. This is an amazing fact that should not be overlooked, as it makes the point clear that Cuba is attempting – with baby steps – to open its society and go after the lucrative worldwide LGBTQ tourism market. The timing could not have been better, since Cuba was about to commemorate the 10th annual International Day

Homophobia & Transp hobia (IDAHO/

DAHOT).


end the embargo and we’ll buy our own Bibles.” Things have changed. But faith and that embargo influence almost all aspects of Cuba today, as its youth look to the future with a skeptical eye. But Perry’s church has a distinction. It is the first official non-government LGBTQ organization in Cuba, a distinction that has plagued individuals who have tried to organize independent LGBTQ organizations. Perry takes pride in stating that Cuba now becomes the 34th nation with MCC churches. “We even have one in Kuala Lumpur,” he notes.

ly lesbian minister. Elaine Saralegui, Cuba’s first open

Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17), spearheaded in the country by the Cuban National Center for Sex Education. CENESEX is headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of the current president of Cuba and niece to its former president, Fidel Castro.

Separation of Church and Sexual Preference My first evening’s dinner proved that Cuba had changed but, at the same time, had become more complex than ever. That meal was spent with an old friend and U.S. LGBTQ pioneer the Rev. Troy Perry of Metropolitan Community Church, who was scheduled to receive an award from CENESEX. We dined with members of his Cuban church, headed by Elaine Saralegui, an out lesbian from Matanzas, Cuba. Their work begins to explain the story of the culture of the Cuban people and how change occurs. It’s an eyeopener for many in our country since when we speak of socialist/communist Cuba, many often think of a godless society, but indeed the last three popes have made it a point to visit Cuba. Now, about 40 percent of Cubans identify as Catholic while others follow the African Caribbean Santería faith. In order to understand Cuba and Cubans, you must know that religion is a large part of their culture, and religious views on the LGBTQ community are intertwined with the country’s politics. Example: As the country opens its doors even further, U.S. fundamentalists are looking for influence and to apostolize. A story that’s making the rounds is that American fundamentalists offered to bring in a million Bibles and the Cuban religion minister (yes, they have a religion minister) stated, “Let the U.S. travel feature

Perry’s Cuban church was conceived when he visited the island two years ago as an invited speaker for a religious conference. A local Baptist church was sponsoring a small LGBTQ meeting group, but after those in attendance heard Perry and his story about the battle to form MCC in the U.S., and how his faith community is LGBTQinclusive, they asked and received permission to form MCC Cuba. The distinctions and progress don’t end there. Perry tells me that the Catholic Church in Cuba imports its priests from other Latin countries and that all [Cuban] MCCs will have Cubanborn ministers. The first is Saralegui, making her the first independent out lesbian activist in Cuba who tells me with a grin that she identifies as an LGBTQ Christian activist. She’s one of those individuals who was in the audience two years ago when Perry spoke and said that “The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay.” Saralegui, who was in the seminary at the time studying to be a minister for Cuba’s Baptist Church, was inspired by the address and asked her bishop about creating a church for LGBTQ people. A few disagreements later, MCC Matanzas (a city that considers itself Cuba’s art capital) became Cuba’s first out church.

international transgender ministers from Brazil, Canada and the U.S. When I ask her if she’s had any issues from members of the LGBTQ community about her activism, she smiled broadly and states, “Some don’t believe you can be Christian and gay.” If you bring up the issues of the trans community in Cuba, people will reference CENESEX and its program to support gender reassignment surgery. They’ll proudly point to Clinico Quirurgico, a government-run hospital that specializes in such operations, and explain that like all medical needs in Cuba it’s free, and like most things in Cuba, you can’t get exact numbers.

Remembering the Past While Celebrating the Future Cuba’s past often clashes with its present. The convoluted connections and disconnections when you attempt to explain how open or repressed its LGBTQ community can be is displayed by looking at a part of its shameful past – then realizing it’s something that is very present in the U.S. Meet Louis. Now 74, he survived one of Cuba’s labor camps for gay men in the 1960s. When you ask him what it was like when, at 16, he was taken to a camp, he smiles and says, “Everyone in my neighborhood said I was that way.” If you ask him how bad it was, he’ll tell you that “the second day they yelled and yelled at me, ‘Be a man, be a man.’ All day.” And when asked if they ever physically harmed him, he says, “They

When she’s not tending to her own church, which varies between 20 and 40 members, Saralegui travels the country performing liturgies for LGBTQ Cubans and anyone else who wants to hear her message of inclusion. “I want our community to be proud,” she says with a smile through a translator. Saralegui has already tackled some major issues. A week ago, her church held a service officiated by three Mariela Castro, CENESE

X director, at the IDAHO/

DAHOT rally.


Louis, age

Louis, a labor camp survivo r, holding his papers from 19 64. mp. ca or lab a to nt se s wa he en 16, wh

never hit those of us in the camps; they only spoke at us.” On most days, the men had to sit through what today we’d call re-programming. “They had signs everywhere: ‘The revolution needs men.’ And they kept telling us we had to be men and gay people were not men.” When I ask what it was like each day, he tells me that, aside from listening to the psychologist camp officials brought in from Havana, the men were put to work. I try to ask him about the harshness of that work but fail and he notices, smiles and shakes his head. According to Louis, there were many camps and each had about 120 men in it. No physical harm, but hard work that allegedly attempted to make you a hard (read: real) man. The government used to attempt to deny it ever had such camps but before his death, Fidel Castro admitted it and apologized. Louis, a short, jovial man, wanted a personal apology and he eventually received it from another Castro: CENESEX’s Mariela.

settled into life. When I ask what he thinks the future holds for Cuba’s LGBTQ community, he shrugs and says he’s “hopeful.” And you can see he wants people not to forget their history, but he doesn’t want that connection to the past to impede progress. It’s a hard line he walks, but he does it with a joyous style. It amazed me a couple days later as I watched him dancing at the CENESEX rally, doing a rhumba with his friends. Louis was enjoying life and its new freedoms, but never letting go of those memories of a different time. Americans, especially LGBTQ Americans, use the camps as a hammer

“My old life was no more and I couldn’t go home or get work so I went to the capital [Havana],” he recalled. “I told them I lost my papers and was given new papers; they never knew about my past life.”

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The reality is that you can’t judge Cuba on its treatment of LGBTQ people in the past. Louis wants to live for today, and in today’s Cuba, at least for the LGBTQ community, things have changed. It’s not all about weekend dance parties that are now all the rage.

LGBTQ Tourism in the Imperfect Paradise My tour guide, Leandro Velazco, explains a bit about LGBTQ tourism, “We have bars, nightly ‘inclusion’ parties, a couple of good restaurants, a state-run LGBT[Q] organization, occasional festivals and even Grindr.” When I look quizzically at him, he tells me about something called Planet Romeo, which was the first LGBTQ social-networking site to hit Cuba several years ago, he says. His business, gaytourshavana.com, like many in Cuba, is adjusting to the ’Net, hoping that the promise of LGBTQ tourism in Cuba becomes a reality. Before leaving for Cuba, it was handy to google Amnesty International to see what it had on Cuban repression. The background states: “The re-establishment of relations between the USA and Cuba in 2015 led to increased trade and tourism between the two countries in 2016. For example, commercial air services from the USA to Cuba resumed after more than 50 years.” (To read the full report, visit amnesty.org/en/ countries/americas/cuba/reportcuba/#.)

Louis is not clear on how he left the camp but he’s clear about what he did afterward.

He studied and became a technical draftsman. He found love, and

against Cuba, but while Cuba has moved on, the U.S. still has its equivalent: conversiontherapy camps. And some of those camps do hand out corporeal punishment. As to numbers, Louis tells me that several-thousand gay inmates were housed in a section of Cuba far from Havana. In the U.S, conversion therapy is still flourishing and is associated with that word again: religion. If you don’t get the theme, think about Uganda and its “Kill the Gays” legislation. Again, it’s fundamentalism.

IDAHO/DAHOT march and

EchoMag.com

rally participants.

So where’s the repression? Each time I asked someone to name a famous LGBTQ person, they all said the same. They’d mention a name and say, “We know, but they keep it to themselves.” I thought of that as I marched in the travel feature


International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia rally, along with almost 1,000 Cubans. They shouted socialist slogans peppered with “End Homophobia and Transphobia Now.” There were no corporate sponsors, which reminded me of our first gay Pride in the U.S., and indeed this looked more like a gay Pride celebration than a march of defiance. At the rally, there were a few speeches and then a dance and festival. CENESEX used the time and event for HIV education, condom distribution and testing. So, Cuba is open. How open, and to what kind of travel? Once you work out the political dissertation, you can then try and unravel the country’s views on LGBTQ tourism. There’s no question that Cuba wants to get in the game. There are at least four LGBTQ tour guide websites and numerous individual and group travel outfits in the U.S. who specialize in LGBTQ tourism to Cuba. And, surrounding the 10th-annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the government gave official press credentials to several LGBTQ media outlets. Cuba is home to great weather, beaches, mountains, incredible colonial

architecture and some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet, but at times due to that touchy subject of the U.S. embargo – which some claim is keeping this country in economic turmoil while others say it is the government’s political repression that stifles Cuba – it seems the country is in a time capsule. That can be a curse or a charm. The old U.S. Buicks and Chevys are an example. They’re charming but their prevalence points out that new cars are at a premium – although that has begun to change, as has the hospitality industry, which languished for years. On the way to the airport, you’ll notice parking lots full of new taxis and tour buses waiting for the explosion of tourists. Cubans call their country “The Pearl of the Caribbean,” but that pearl is trapped by the U.S. embargo, which wreaks havoc on tourism. There is no way to write about Cuba and not elicit strong views on one side or the other. What I can say after speaking with Cubans themselves is that they want change.

LGBTQ Cuba Timeline 1997: Cuba fully decriminalizes homosexuality. 2008: Cuba begins granting free gender-reassignment surgeries to qualifying Cuban citizens and also holds its first-ever pride parade. 2010: The country begins supporting gay rights at the United Nations. 2012: The island nation electes Adela Hernández, its first transgender member of parliament. 2015: Cuba achieves the world’s lowest HIV rate and becomes the first nation to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Mark Segal is the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News and the author of the recently published memoir “And Then I Danced.” He can be reached at facebook. com/marksegalpgn or twitter. com/philagaynews.

phobia (IDAHO/DAHOT). Day Against Homophobia & Trans Cuba’s 10th annual International


travel feature

Rollin’ On the River LGBTQ tourist shares rare look at Myanmar, courtesy of Brand g Vacations Story and photos by Seth Bracken

V

isiting Myanmar is taking a step back in time. Somehow the country, bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand, has remained nearly untouched by time. Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is beginning to open to tourism. Last year, about 2 million people visited the country’s archaeological sites, relaxed on the pristine beaches and met the welcoming locals. But that number is already projected to more than triple this year. So, now is the time to explore the ancient sites and experience the entirely unique culture of this Southeast Asian country. I recently spent two weeks on a river cruise with Brand g Vacations, a tour company that specializes in unique and small LGBTQ group tours to exotic and fascinating locations around the world.

A World Away Before departing for my fourth trip

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with Brand g Vacations, I had some trepidation about the trip as it’s technically illegal for people of the same sex to have intimate relations here. The country was under dictatorial military rule for more than 50 years and progress, in nearly all senses of the word, was stalled. The infrastructure is tenuous at best, the education system is flailing and the health care system is nearly nonexistent. Last April the democratic party took control of the parliament and the government is working on coming into the 21st century. But where do they start? Do they begin by improving a crumbling road and train system to allow for cross-country travel and trade? Or perhaps they start by building hospitals and schools? The list of improvements the country needs is daunting. But Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the government’s inaugural state counselor, is inspiring her people and instilling a sense of optimism

for the future. She has been fighting for democracy since 1988 and was even under house arrest for more than two decades. When locals acknowledge the many improvements that need to be made, it’s almost always followed with a smile and a comment about how “The Lady” (Suu Kyi) is working on fixing it. That was exactly the case when we had the opportunity to meet with a local LGBTQ activist and pick his brain about what he sees as the future for the community. “We’re very optimistic about the future. We’re making progress and it’s hard to imagine where we’ll be in five or 10 years,” he said at a lunch organized by Brand g Vacations. He went on to explain how members of the LGBTQ community have met with Suu Kyi and she has expressed unwavering support for advancing LGBTQ rights and protections in the country. It’s just that the list of priorities is already gigantic and overcoming 50 years of an oppressive and militaristic government doesn’t happen overnight, he added. But progress is already being made by the people. For example, the third annual LGBTQ film festival took place this January. The laws against LGBTQ people don’t come from local religious pressure, but

travel feature


are actually holdovers from when the British colonial government ruled the country until 1948. The vast majority of the country – nearly 90 percent – practices Theravada Buddhism, the oldest form of the religion, which focuses mostly on doing good deeds in this life in order to be rewarded in your next reincarnation until one reaches the state of nirvana. The long history of Buddhism makes the country a fascinating visit. There are thousands of gold-plated pagodas (religious shrines) dotting the landscape – ranging from ancient to recently constructed.

An Immersive Itinerary Our tour started in the most populated city, Yangon, where were stayed in a luxurious 4-star hotel that met and surpassed most Western standards. We visited the same stunning 2,600-yearold, 325-foot Shwedagon Pagoda that President Barack Obama and thenSecretary of State Hillary Clinton visited in 2014. After getting a taste of the hurried metropolitan life of the city with 5 million residents, we met the boat we’d be staying on for the next nine nights as we worked our way up the countryside on the Irrawaddy River. By cruising along the river, we were outside the major tourist paths and we stopped at several villages where foreigners were still quite the spectacle.

travel feature

As a white man with blonde hair, a red beard and a belly, everywhere my boyfriend (who also fits into the bear community) and I went, we were a sight to see. Walking down the streets, people would come out to stare or greet us with a handshake or hug. Some wanted photos with us, and others candidly snuck them with their phones as we walked by. When we entered local markets where women were most frequently the vendors, they would stare and giggle, especially after we made motions and acknowledged that we were, in fact, much larger than them and it was OK to laugh.

watch the sunset over the valley was one of the most singularly beautiful moments of my life.

Despite being a bit of a circus act that’d come to town, we never once felt ridiculed or threatened. On the contrary, the people of Myanmar are the friendliest, most welcoming and open group of people I’ve ever met. In a village with no electricity or running water, my boyfriend and I were invited into a home to be introduced to a great-grandmother who was 90 years old, and had never seen anyone who looked like us before. When we visited a village that was famous for making nearly all the pottery that is used around the country to store and haul water we were welcomed to try our hand at the human-powered pottery wheel and shown around the open-air kilns.

The amazing exchange rate, stunning archeology and the amiable people are just a few pieces of the puzzle that makes this country an undiscovered treasure. Now is the time to visit; before Myanmar takes its rightful place as one of the most-visited countries in the world and begins catering to the droves of tourists who have added this must-see destination to their travel bucket lists.

Another highlight was spelunking in what’s known as the painted caves. Nearly 1,000 caves were carved into a sandstone hillside and filled with stunning paintings and Buddha carvings that date as far back to the 14th century. But what made this experience so unique was being able to wander aimlessly through priceless artifacts without the typical restrictions that would normally accompany such a true archeological treasure. This area is also populated with small monkeys. Our tour company paid local “monkey minders” to distract the animals so we could explore the caves without being disturbed. But the same monkey minders would also help you feed and get to know the monkeys for 1,000 Kyat (around 70 cents).

For more information on Brand g Vacations, visit brandgvacations.com.

And when we visited an elementary school where Brand g Vacations had previously sponsored a fundraiser to replace a roof, we were greeted with a school-wide chorus singing a song to teach the children English. We left the kids with two oranges and a bar of soap each, and I’ve never quite felt anything like I did when I saw the kids happily smelling their bar of soap as they went running and skipping home.

Historic Highlights One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Bagan Temple Valley. The raw, rustic nature of Bagan immediately draws you in to a world where nearly 2,500 thousand-year-old temples cover an area of 27 square miles. Dirt roads, no entrance fees or restrictions make walking through this ancient city feel like an Indiana Jones movie come-tolife. Climbing to the top of a 50-foot-tall temple built nearly 1,000 years ago to

READ THE REST For more photos of Seth Bracken’stour of Myanmar and Brand g Vacations, visit echomag.com/myanmar.

Seth Bracken, is passionate about traveling and writing, especially at the same time. He’s also mildly obsessed with good food, red wine and hoppy beer. EchoMag.com

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travel feature

From Cuba, With Love LGBTQ journalist returns to the Caribbean island 20 years later Story and photos by Mark Segal

A

s I was standing in Havana’s Revolution Square, looking at the giant silhouette of Che Guevara, I smiled, recalling the Che Guevara Café I once visited in Beirut where I watched a male belly dancer as I was reporting on Lebanon’s first LGBTQ organization. It then occurred to me that the relationship between the United States and the Middle East is easy to explain compared to the relationship our country has with Cuba, as well as Cuba’s position on LGBTQ issues.

It was 20 years ago when I last reported on the state of LGBTQ life in Havana. The difference could not be more apparent than it was in the procedure to make travel arrangements. In 1997, as an out LGBTQ journalist, I received no assistance from the U.S. government, except the warning that I could have trouble re-entering the U.S. since our government might not recognize LGBTQ reporters as legitimate journalists. As for Cuba, its embassy refused to return calls. It was almost a clandestine trip. I had to travel via

Mexico and arrange hotel and other necessities through third- and fourthparty connections. At times, it was cloak and dagger.

end the embargo and we’ll buy our own Bibles.” Things have changed. But faith and that embargo influence almost all aspects of Cuba today, as its youth look to the future with a skeptical eye. But Perry’s church has a distinction. It is the first official non-government LGBTQ organization in Cuba, a distinction that has plagued individuals who have tried to organize independent LGBTQ organizations. Perry takes pride in stating that Cuba now becomes the 34th nation with MCC churches.

And there was reason for Cuban hesitance in having an LGBTQ journalist in the country: Life for LGBTQ people at that time was like 1950s America, or worse. (Read more about that trip at bit.ly/2q46XUQ.) Twenty years would bring some surprises and a brush with the past, both in the U.S. and Cuba. Modern U.S. travel protocol made the arrangements slightly easier than two decades ago. The Cuban Embassy not only sped up my visa, they arranged for me to have official Cuban press credentials, which they also did for other U.S. LGBTQ media on the same trip. This is an amazing fact that should not be overlooked, as it makes the point clear that Cuba is attempting – with baby steps – to open its society and go after the lucrative worldwide LGBTQ tourism market. The timing could not have been better, since Cuba was about to commemorate the 10th annual International Day

“We even have one in Kuala Lumpur,” he notes.

Elaine Saralegui, Cuba’s first openly

lesbian minister.

Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17), spearheaded in the country by the Cuban National Center for Sex Education. CENESEX is headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of the current president of Cuba and niece to its former president, Fidel Castro.

Separation of Church and Sexual Preference My first evening’s dinner proved that Cuba had changed – but at the same time, more complex than ever. That meal was spent with old friend and U.S. LGBTQ pioneer the Rev. Troy Perry of Metropolitan Community Church, who was scheduled to receive an award from CENESEX. We dined with members of his Cuban church, headed by Elaine Saralegui, an out lesbian from Matanzas, Cuba. Their work begins to explain the story of the culture of the Cuban people and how change occurs. It’s an eyeopener for many in our country since when we speak of socialist/communist Cuba, many often think of a godless society, but indeed the last three popes have made it a point to visit Cuba. Now, about 40 percent of Cubans identify as Catholic while others follow the African Caribbean Santería faith.

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Cuba’s 10th annual Internation al Day Against Homophob ia & Transphobia (IDAHO/DA

In order to understand Cuba and Cubans, you must know that religion is a large part of their culture, and religious views on the LGBTQ community are intertwined with the country’s politics. Example: As the country opens its doors even further, U.S. fundamentalists are looking for influence and to apostolize. A story that’s making the rounds is that American fundamentalists offered to bring in a million Bibles and the Cuban religion minister (yes, they have a religion minister) stated, “Let the U.S. HOT).

Perry’s Cuban church was conceived when he visited the island two years ago as an invited speaker for a religious conference. A local Baptist church was sponsoring a small LGBTQ meeting group, but after those in attendance heard Perry and his story about the battle to form MCC in the U.S., and how his faith community is LGBTQinclusive, they asked and received permission to form MCC Cuba. The distinctions and progress don’t end there. Perry tells me that the Catholic Church in Cuba imports its priests from other Latin countries and that all MCCs will have Cuban-born ministers. The first is Saralegui, making her the first independent out lesbian activist in Cuba who tells me with a grin that she identifies as an LGBTQ Christian activist. She’s one of those individuals who was in the audience two years ago when Perry spoke and said that “The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay.” Saralegui, who was in the seminary at the time studying to be a minister for Cuba’s Baptist Church, was inspired by the address and asked her bishop about creating a church for LGBTQ people. A few disagreements later, MCC Matanzas (a city that considers itself Cuba’s art capital) became Cuba’s first out church.

international transgender ministers from Brazil, Canada and the U.S. When I ask her if she’s had any issues from members of the LGBTQ community about her activism, she smiled broadly and states, “Some don’t believe you can be Christian and gay.” If you bring up the issues of the trans community in Cuba, people will reference CENESEX and its program to support gender reassignment surgery. They’ll proudly point to Clinico Quirurgico, a government-run hospital that specializes in such operations, and explain that like all medical needs in Cuba it’s free, and like most things in Cuba, you can’t get exact numbers.

Remembering the Past While Celebrating the Future Cuba’s past often clashes with its present. The convoluted connections and disconnections when you attempt to explain how open or repressed its LGBTQ community can be is displayed by looking at a part of its shameful past – then realizing it’s something that is very present in the U.S. Meet Louis. Now 74, he survived one of Cuba’s labor camps for gay men in the 1960s. When you ask him what it was like when, at 16, he was taken to a camp, he smiles and says, “Everyone in my neighborhood said I was that way.” If you ask him how bad it was, he’ll tell you that “the second day they yelled and yelled at me, ‘Be a man, be a man.’ All day.” And when asked if they ever physically harmed him, he says, “They

When she’s not tending to her own church, which varies between 20 and 40 members, Saralegui travels the country performing liturgies for LGBTQ Cubans and anyone else who wants to hear her message of inclusion. “I want our community to be proud,” she says with a smile through a translator. Saralegui has already tackled some major issues. A week ago, her church held a service officiated by three

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Mariela Castro, CENESEX

echomag.com/echogram.

OT rally. director, at the IDAHO/DAH


Northern & Southern Arizona Community Directory

The Pride Pages, Part II EchoMag.com

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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 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 echomag.com/community-directory. As part of this year’s Bisbee and Flagstaff Pride observances, we decided to celebrate as proudly as possible and deliver our Community Directory to you in our Northern and Southern Arizona edition of “The Pride Pages,” your 2017 Community Directory. For our Phoenix edition, which ran as part of our 2017 Phoenix Pride issue, visit echomag.com/archives. 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 self-submitted 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 editor@echomag.com.

NORTHERN ARIZONA

th pages. Please direct any concerns to e

FLAGSTAFF Flagstaff Pride educates, celebrates and increases acceptance and awareness of the LGBTQ community of Flagstaff and northern Arizona. flagstaffpride.org facebook.com/flagstaffpride Northern Arizona University’s LGBTQIA Commission is organized to promote acceptance of lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer intersex and ally diversity, and to foster respect and appreciation for each member of the NAU community, including extended campuses students, faculty and staff. nau.edu/lgbtqia-commission NAU LGBTQA Resources work to foster an inclusive and affirming campus environment for all gender identities and sexual orientations through programs, resources and support. nau.edu/lgbtqa Northland Cares, and HIV specialty care clinic, provides a full range of outpatient services for people living with HIV/AIDS in northern Arizona. northlandcares.org PFLAG Flagstaff formally disbanded in 2015; however, area LGBTQ information is still disseminated via its Facebook page. facebook.com/pflagflagstaff flagstaff.pflag@gmail.com PEAKS Pride is a nonprofit organization that offers volunteer community services to the Flagstaff and Northern Arizona Area under the mission of Promoting Equality through Acts of Kindness and Service (with pride and dignity). peakspride.org

SEDONA/VERDE VALLEY PFLAG Sedona/Verde Valley promotes a healthy, tolerant local community that celebrates diversity and respects every person by dispelling negative myths about LGBTQ people and communicate the truth about our loved ones. pflagsedona.org facebook.com/pflagsedona Sedona/Verde Valley Pride is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving for the LGBTQ community of in central Arizona through events, education, cultural awareness and support. sedonagaypride.org facebook.com/sedonapride Sedona/Verde Valley LGBT Community Center is a Facebook page that serves as an online community for the area. facebook.com/sedonaverde valleylgbtcommunitycenter

PRESCOTT NAZGEM, Northern Arizona’s Gender Mentors Network, hosts free monthly transgender support meetings and shares resources, support and information all month long. gyccinfo@gmail.com PFLAG Prescott, works to create a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression through support education and advocacy. facebook.com/prescottpflag Prescott LGBT CommUNITY is an online group designed to engage area’s LGBTQ community and supportive allies through activities and events that keep members connected. meetup.com/prescottlgbtq Yavapai LGBTQ Coalition connects the LGBTQ community at large to resources, support, information and activities. (identifying as LGBTQ is not required to become a member). facebook.com/ lgbtqyavapai yavapailgbtqcoalition@gmail.com

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WINDOW ROCK Navajo Nation Division of Health’s HIV Prevention Program plans and implements prevention, screening and counseling services on the Navajo Nation with the goal of reducing the incidence of HIV to no more than the national average. nndoh.org/nhephiv.html

SOUTHERN ARIZONA BISBEE Bisbee Pride, established in 2004 by a small group of LGBTQ friends, draws hundreds of people from around the country to its annual festivities and supports the local community in various ways throughout the year. bisbeepride.com

SIERAA VISTA PFLAG Sierra Vista promotes the health and well-being of LGBTQ persons and their families and friends. pflagsierravista.org

TUCSON AIDS Ribbon Tucson is Southern Arizona’s interactive public memorial to remember the millions of men, women and children lost to AIDS, and anyone HIV-positive who died from other causes. facebook.com/aidsribbontucson aidsribbontucson@yahoo.com

ASUA Pride Alliance is a resource center available to LGBTQ and ally individuals – students, faculty, and staff – that serves as a safe place for anyone seeking advice and/or support from the interns and the program director for LGBTQ Affairs. pride.asua.arizona.edu Bears of the Old Pueblo is a Tucsonbased social organization for bearish, gay and bisexual men and admirers (ages 18 and up). botop.org | 520-829-0117 facebook.com/bears.of.the.old.pueblo Crossroads Collaborative is dedicated to advancing research, graduate training, public conversation and, ultimately, social change in the areas of youth, sexuality, health, and rights. mcclellandinstitute.arizona.edu/ crossroads Desert Dominion is Tucson-based pansexual and pan-fetish alternative lifestyle organization that welcomes everyone – regardless of sexual orientation, age (age 18 and up), kink (legal activities involving consenting adults), race, creed, religion – to a variety of monthly events. desertdominion.org Desert Voices, Arizona’s premier LGBTQ chorus, is committed to promoting the ongoing and positive LGBTQ presence in our community by advocating for understanding, cooperation and peaceful coexistence through song. desertvoices.org facebook.com/desertvoiceschorus Eon Youth Lounge is a substance-free drop-in youth center that offers a safe space for LGBTQ and straight allied youth, ages 13-23, to hang out and receive a wide range of comprehensive services. facebook.com/eonyouth | 520-628-7223

Alliance Fund has awarded more than 142 grants to 57 different LGBTQ organizations since 1999. alliancefund.org/wp

G3 is a social event for gay men and their friends that takes place the second Friday of every month at a different location each time. tucsong3.com | facebook.com/g3tucson

Alternative Theater Company is an allvolunteer theater group renowned for producing award-winning LGBTQ plays that engage audiences in conversations relating to and reflecting the LGBTQ community. alternativetheatreco.org

GLSEN Tucson strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. glsen.org/tucson facebook.com/glsentucson

community directory

Institute for LGBT Studies at University of Arizona fosters curriculum, promotes research on gender and sexual diversity and presents public programming that addresses the histories, politics, and cultures of LGBT people. Search “Institute for LGBT Studies - University of Arizona” on Facebook. lgbt.arizona.edu JPride, formerly known as the LGBT Jewish Inclusion Project, is a platform with which Southern Arizona’s LGBTQ Jews and their allies can explore issues and ideas of importance to their community through social and festival gatherings, community events, LGBTQ interfaith work, social action initiatives, and educational programs for adults and youth (located at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona). 520-577-9393 x128 | lgbtinfo@jfsa.org jfsa.org/get-involved/jpride LGBT Grief Support Group, sponsored by TMC Hospice, is an informal and relaxed group for anyone grieving a loss of any kind, no matter how long ago it was. Contact Judith Keane for meeting information. judith.keane@tmcaz.com LGBTQ Integrated Health Coalition of Southern Arizona’s mission is to advocate for culturally appropriate services for LGBTQ individuals and their families, and work to eliminate the stigma of LGBTQ stereotypes within the Southern Arizona behavioral health community. facebook.com/lgbtqbhcoalition Living Out Loud LGBTQI Health & Wellness Center is a safe, welcoming environment where everyone is celebrated for who they are and is invited to check out the services and resources. facebook.com/livingoutloudaz livingoutloudaz.org Lostboys is a group where you’re free to be yourself and enjoy motorcycling in the company of others who share your passion. meetup.com/lostboys-southernarizona Meander in Tuscon invites you to meet with other members of your local LGBTQ women’s community through various activities (self-identified women ages 18 and up only). meetup.com/meanderintucson

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MedPride, U of A promotes awareness of and sensitivity to LGBTQ issues in healthcare, including topics that affect LGBTQ patients, medical students, residents, physicians and their allies. medpride@gmail.com

Reveille Men’s Chorus is an internationally recognized men’s chorus, is in its 21st year of changing lives through music. facebook.com/reveillemenschorus reveillemenschorus.org

Men in Birthdaysuits, formerly Get NAKED with TNT MEN, hosts up to seven events each month. Nudity is required and moderator must approve all new members (must be age 18 and up). groups.yahoo.com/neo/ groups/tntucsonmen

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) is the only community-based organization in southern Arizona providing case management and ancillary support services for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families; culturally appropriate prevention and education programs to reduce the rate of infection; and LGBTQ community outreach and engagement. facebook.com/saaforg | saaf.org

Men’s Social Network (MSN) offers gay men in southern Arizona opportunities to socialize, participate in activities and support each other in alcohol-free settings. facebook.com/menssocialnetworktucson menssocialnetwork.org OUTreach, an organization formed by University of Arizona’s LGBTQ faculty, staff, graduate students and supporters, works to achieve a campus climate that fosters the careers of LGBTQ faculty and academic professionals and students. out.web.arizona.edu PFLAG Tucson promotes the health and well-being of LGBTQ individuals, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy. pflagtucson.org Pride Alliance, U of A strives to maintain a drop-in resource center that offers a supportive social and academic environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning, as well as allied, students at the University of Arizona. pride.asua.arizona.edu/ pride/welcome.html Pride Law, U of A works to improve the legal status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Membership is open to all students in the College of Law. arizonapridelaw@gmail.com Rainbow Riders is a group of LGTBA cyclists dedicated to the enjoyment of all types of bicycling and promoting the health and environmental benefits as well as the social aspects of cycling. facebook.com/pages/ rainbow-riders/103728733053182

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Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation Anti-Violence Project works to prevent, respond to and end all forms of violence against and within the LGBTQ communities of southern Arizona. saaf.org/care-services/ anti-violence-programs Southern Arizona Gender Alliance is a nonprofit organization that supports and advocates for southern Arizona’s community of trans identities by providing support groups, advocacy, community education and training for businesses, service providers, and community members. facebook.com/groups/SAGAgroup sagatucson.org/wp anti-violence-program Southern Arizona Senior Pride is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that supports and unites LGBTQ seniors of southern Arizona. soazseniorpride@gmail.com facebook.com/soazseniorpride soazseniorpride.org The Anchor Project (Accessible Network for Coordinated Housing, Opportunities and Resilience) is designed to provide culturally responsive and affirming services to young adults who identify with the spectrum of LGBTQ and straight ally communities. Search “The Anchor Project” on Facebook. anchorprojectarizona.org

Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority promotes leadership, multiculturalism and self-improvement through academic excellence, involvement in and service to the campus and community, as well as being living examples of sisterhood across different races, cultures, religions, backgrounds and lifestyles. tnxmuchapter.wixsite.com/ magnificentmuchapter/mu-chapter Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce promotes the success and growth of the GLBT, and allied business community in southern Arizona through education, networking and advocacy. facebook.com/tucsonglbtchamber tucsonglbtchamber.org/wp Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), as individuals and faith communities, works to build bridges, reduce stigma and sustain hope through education and support. facebook.com/ tucson.interfaith.hiv.aids.network tihan.org Tucson Men’s Social Network offers gay, bisexual and straight allied men (ages 18 and up) opportunities to get together in alcohol-free settings to socialize and support each other. facebook.com/ menssocialnetworktucson menssocialnetwork.org Tucson Pride is a nonprofit organization that produces and promotes educational, cultural, and recreational events for the LGBTQ and allied communities in Tucson, including the annual Pride in the Desert festival and Pride on Parade. facebook.com/tucson.pride tucsonpride.org Tucson Prime Timers is a not-for-profit social organization with a mission to serve older gay and bisexual men, as well as younger men who enjoy their company. tucsonprimetimers.org Tucson Queer Strategic Partnership is a partnership of organizations collaborating to enhance support and services to the queer community. Search “Tucson Queer Strategic Partnership” on Facebook. bit.ly/2qHV4RK

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Tucson Twist, southern Arizona’s LGBTQ news and entertainment magazine, was established in late 2016. facebook.com/johnnysmag tucsontwist.com University of Arizona LGBTQ Affairs creates a safe space on campus for thousands of students every year through programs, training, events and the LGBTQ Resource Center in the Student Union. facebook.com/groups/16943607437 lgbtq.arizona.edu

Out Reach, a networking organization for LGBTQ faculty, staff and graduate students at the University of Arizona works to achieve a campus climate which fosters the careers of LGBTQ faculty and academic professionals and the education of LGBTQ students while striving to be inclusive and professional with respect to sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity. out.web.arizona.edu

YUMA Arizona Western College’s Safe Zone is part of a nation-wide program committed to assisting colleges and universities in creating a safer, more welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBTQ individuals. azwestern.edu/student-life/ health-and-wellness/safe-zone PFLAG Yuma is committed to providing support while seeking to change attitudes and creating an environment of understanding so that our LGBTQ family members and friends can live with dignity and respect. facebook.com/pflagyumaAZ pflagyuma.org The Yuma Voice is “Southwest Arizona’s No. 1 gay news source.” aj27football@yahoo.com gayinyuma.com/theyumavoice.html Yuma County HIV Services, Ryan White Part B Services/Outpatient Services, provides HIV/AIDS awareness,

resources, and education to diminish the spread of the infection and improve the health care of the community. yumacountyaz.gov/government/healthdistrict/divisions/nursing/hiv-services gayinyuma.com, home to the Yuma Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Yuma area GLBT-friendly business directory and the gay date and event guides, is the No. 1 gay news source serving Yuma, San Luis, Dome Valley and Somerton. gayinyuma.com/index.html

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 editor@echomag.com with the group or organization’s name, a short description, link to website and/or Facebook page and any additional contact information.

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without reservations

Story and photos by Rachel Verbits

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or most Valley residents, the secret to surviving Arizona’s sweltering summers is carefully timing cool jaunts out of town. And we couldn’t agree more. However, our expertise in the way of food and beverage has proved that there’s another way to skip town that’s particularly pleasant this time of year and it’s a little concept we like to refer to as destination dining. For this issue we set our sails for The Hamptons, sort of. Our trip took us to a little piece of paradise that’s located right in the heart of downtown Scottsdale: The Montauk. Located at the southwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Stetson Drive, you’ll find the brainchild of the owners of the Original ChopShop Co. But what makes a dining experience at The Montauk unique – especially this time of year – is that the menu selections and the aesthetics and the vibe will actually transport you to the sandy beaches of the East Coast. Inspired by the famous beach town, The Montauk invites diners into a laidback environment, complete with twinkling lights and ivy adorning the building’s exterior and region-specific decor set against the rich wooden touches and light wicker furniture on the inside. Similarly, The Montauk’s menu offers a

number of appetizers and entrees that pay homage to some of the most popular East Coast classics. Specialty cocktails, such as the Rosé Sangria and Watermelon Mule, are reminiscent of summers down by the shore and are the perfect seasonal sips no matter what’s on your trip itinerary. Fittingly enough, The Endless Summer caught my eye. With rosé champagne, Veev Acai, muddled strawberry and orange peel blended together, this naturally sweet and bubbly drink is so good it might just leave you wishing summer was truly endless – even in Arizona. Visit The Montauk for happy hour (weekdays, 3-6 p.m.), and you’ll find refreshing drink specials as well as deeply discounted shared plates to pass around the table – which was exactly what I was there to do. The shared plates menu offers a myriad of fun and familiar New American favorites, most with a unique twist. The crispy-on-the-outside, tenderon-the-inside fried chicken sliders came topped with jicama slaw that provided a sweet crunch to the trio of bites. Our order of deviled eggs with bacon truffle oil were creamy and flavorful, and proved to be a perfect selection for sharing (six half eggs per order). However, it was the crispy rock shrimp with sweet aji amarillo chili sauce

Left to right: Deviled Eggs, Crispy Rock Shrimp, Clam Chowder, Kale Salad and Lobster Roll.

that deserves a trophy in our completely professional opinion. The plump shrimp are tossed in a spicy/sweet sauce that creates a mouthwatering combination, and despite the healthy portion, one order simply is not enough. These are a must try! Still searching for the dish to transport me to the Hamptons, my final selection from the starter menu was the clam chowder. And this piping hot bowl of New England-style homemade chowder – loaded with veggies, potatoes and a serious amount of the star of the show (clams, of course) – was it! While the shared plates provide more than enough food for a satisfying visit, the rest of the menu is definitely deserving of some attention, too. From fish and chips and grilled kebabs to the prime rib sandwich and mac ‘n’ cheese with Kobe beef hot dog crumbs, the tantalizing choices had me wishing I was at a summer picnic potluck so I could try a little of everything. One dish, however, saved me from my indecisiveness and called out to me: The lobster roll. When it comes to the king of


crustaceans, The Montauk offers the famous lobster roll two ways, warm and cold. Opting for Connecticut style, I ordered mine warm. The roll, while petite, boasted huge chunks of buttery lobster topped with potato chip crumbs for a crunchy component, which melted my taste buds along with the subtle brown butter aioli immediately. Taking the detail to the next level, fresh lemon and additional melted butter were provided on the side, so I had the option to customize the dish to my liking. The lobster roll, as well as the rest of the entrees, comes with your choice of a few carefully crafted side dishes, including the house potato chips or crispy Brussels sprouts. I ordered the kale salad, which perfectly complimented my lobster roll and was nearly a meal all on its own (if you’re interested, it’s available as a main dish). With generous amounts of almonds, currants, bacon and Parmesan, and tossed with lemon vinaigrette, this salad was packed with the trifecta of nutty, sweet and tangy flavors. However, if you’re looking for an option that’s a little heartier than seafood or salad, the ribeye tacos are a good way to go, as it would be an understatement to say steak is plentiful in this dish. As just one example of the subtle Southwest influences at The Montauk, our tacos boasted ribeye that had been cooked to

The Endless Summer.

a perfect medium and came topped with guacamole, lime radish slaw, queso fresco and grilled onion. But never mind the Southwest, we’re on vacation. And if you’re the type of traveler who still enjoys sending postcards of your travels home via snail mail, you’re in luck! When your check arrives, look for the “Greetings from The Montauk” postcard. Fill it out before you leave and the restaurant will mail it ”home” for you, free of charge.

The Montauk 4360 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon & Tues 11 a.m.- midnight Wed & Thurs 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Fri 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Sat 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun Brunch: 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sat & Sun themontaukaz.com Rachel Verbits is a published writer and a selfproclaimed foodie who spends her time exploring all the amazing eats Arizona has to offer. dining out

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at the box office

By Hans Pedersen

Political Animals Now available on DVD/iTunes | 87 minutes | Documentary

Beguiled In theaters June 30 | 94 minutes | Drama

Sexual taboos abound in writer/director Sofia Coppola’s new film about a stranger who upends life at a girls’ boarding school in 1860s Virginia. The sexual tension in this Gothic thriller is almost stifling: Edwina (Kirsten Dunst) and Martha (Nicole Kidman) play two teachers holed up in their school with five students as the Civil War rages on. A wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) invades this feminine domain, triggering jealousy and passions, but the women have a wicked punishment in store for the man who crosses the line. The acclaimed film, also starring Elle Fanning, was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival.

This award-winning documentary by Jonah Markowitz profiles four prominent lesbian politicians in California who have shaken up the State Capitol while working to achieve equality for all. Interviews with the four female lawmakers are interspersed with powerful archival footage of demonstrations, and an examination of the calculated anti-LGBTQ lies promulgated by members of the right wing decades ago. Check out this profile of these amazing women who helped to shape LGBTQ history by making a major push to introduce anti-discrimination laws and working to craft policies that promote social justice.

Esteros Now available on Netflix | 83 minutes | Drama, Romance

Laerte-se Now available on Netflix | 100 minutes | Documentary

Tracing the life of Brazilian cartoonist Laerte Coutinho, who came out as a transgender woman at the age of 60, this documentary features animated scenes lifted from her own drawings. A national treasure who has raised three children, Coutinho allows cameras into her home for a laid-back visit as she speaks frankly about her life in this slice-of-life portrait. This documentary about the popular artist responsible for dreaming up countless cartoon characters also includes interviews with journalist Eliane Brum, who co-directs the film with Lygia Barbosa. 62

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After sharing their first sexual experienced together prior to beginning high school, Jerónimo (Esteban Masturini) and Matías (Ignacio Rogers) wind up reconnecting 10 years later. Matias and his girlfriend return to his old hometown to take part in a traditional carnival, and the man dressing him up in zombie makeup turns out to be his old friend, Jeronimo. This chance meeting revives old feelings for both parties. The action shifts back and forth between their free-spirited youth and their pressurized adult lives in this uneven, but picturesque, Argentinian drama.

Hans Pedersen is a freelance writer based in Phoenix. movies


that going in … Wonderful filmmakers, that for us are just a treasure to meet, let alone to direct, right? And they come in, and they’re not coming in because of JJ and Tai. We’re anonymous filmmakers. That’s part of the story too … It’s a true Bob Hawk documentary if he goes to anonymous talent and tries to give them a break ... So, you look at our documentary, warts and all, that’s the way it’s supposed to be …

Bob Hawk. Photos courtesy of facebook.com/film-hawk.

Film Hawk New documentary’s creative team offers behind-the-screen insight By Hans Pedersen

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ased on the life of producer and film consultant Robert Hawk, the new documentary Film Hawk is now available on tribecashortlist.com. Hawk has been praised for recognizing impeccable storytelling, and has been credited with making a big impact on independent film. He’s a regular at the Sundance Film Festival, so it’s seemed appropriate that our first encounter occurred while standing in line for the first screening at the 2016 festival, in Park City, Utah. Five days later, as I was walking into an interview with the documentary’s creative team, he exclaimed effusively, “Oh, we’re old friends aren’t we?!”

Gregarious and charming, Hawk helped jump-start the careers of such actordirectors as Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) and Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen), who both appear in this documentary. He’s also a gay activist who helped director Rob Epstein (Howl, The Celluloid Closet) shape the landmark 1980s film The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. Echo Magazine caught up with Hawk and the documentary’s two directors, Tai Parquet and JJ Garvine, and here’s what they had to say. Echo: How did the idea for Film Hawk come about? Garvine: Tai and I made a documentary called Keeping the Peace and Bob was signed on as creative consultant, so he helped us with shaping the story … And as

we got to speak with him more … we just knew what a great subject he became. He has such wonderful stories, he has such a great history in independent film, and we just thought this would be a fantastic film. So, we pitched it to him. Hawk: … I got to know the boys and I trusted them. So, I said, I’ll just talk and talk, and these are the people whose careers I helped. If you want to interview some of them, fine. And they did of course … And, as you know, I do talk about virtually everything – some things not everybody could – and I knew that I could be uncensored. And I trusted them to respect the story. I liked them from the beginning, before they started making the film. But in making the film, we became very close friends. So, it became very easy, even though the whole concept of the documentary about me was weird, because I’m the man behind the curtain. But if you’re going to go for something, go for broke! Parquet: … I think if you know Bob for five minutes you know that nobody articulates enthusiasm as well as Bob. That’s just something that had to be given wide berth to. Not to mention the fact that through his unheralded role in shaping the careers of different filmmakers. What he’s kind of done is, very subtly, influenced a generation of independent film. I think JJ and I didn’t realize the depth of

Echo: What do you think about LGBTQ-themed films nowadays, compared to 20 years ago? What do you all think has changed?

Hawk: I was here at Sundance when there was the first queer cinema panel. It was a landmark in gay film history. There was Todd Haynes, Christine Vachon as a producer … This was very important in the ’90s, we were coming closer to protease inhibitors, but we were reeling from the AIDS epidemic. It was a death sentence, where we lost so many people. So, there were early films about AIDS, Longtime Companion, Gregg Araki’s The Living End … But that was in the last century. Now, so much has changed. And film, there are still these silly gay romantic comedies, and very frothy. But we are also getting films like Weekend ... We are finding more films where being gay is a given … We are getting more of these films where coming out is not the issue. It’s more accepted.

READ THE REST For Echo’s full Film Hawk interview, visit echomag.com/film-hawk.

Hans Pedersen is a freelance writer based in Phoenix.

Directors Tai Parquet (left) and JJ Garvine. EchoMag.com

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the small screen

has been one of my favorites. I did a show called “Legit,” and I played a mother. And that was one of my favorite roles to do. I also did a show called “Con Man.” Those have been a joy. I’ve loved doing “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” too. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve had some great roles to play. Echo: Was Frau, of Austin Powers, originally written as a lesbian or bisexual character? If so, did that change how you played her? Sterling: I don’t think in his mind, when [Mike Myers] wrote it, that it was something he fleshed out. I don’t [know] if it was something I did or something he thought would be fun to play. He never came to me and said, ‘What do you think?’ I just kind of went along with it. Whatever Mr. Myers wants me to do, I do!

“secs & EXECS” Mindy Sterling dishes on her role in new tello Films web series By Megan Wadding

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indy Sterling (pictured below), who is best recognized as Dr. Evil’s loudmouth, right-hand lady, Frau Farbissina from the Austin Powers films, is starring in a new web series. “secs & EXECS,” a six-episode comedy that debuted on tello Films in January, also stars lesbian comedian Sandra Bernhard, Olivia D’Abo (Karen Arnold on “The Wonder Years”), among other noteworthy names.

The series is set at Kathletics, a women’s wear company owned by Bernhard’s character, Kath Fairchild. The series follows four bosses and their assistants, shifting points of view between the two very diverse sets of coworkers. Echo Magazine recently caught up to Sterling to find out more about the show and what else she’s been up to since we last saw her infamous Frau character, and here’s what she had to say: Echo: How did you get involved in “sec & EXECS” and what can you tell me about your character on the show? Sterling: I had worked with the writer, Stan Zimmerman. [He] wrote it and directed it. We’ve done several projects, mostly plays. When he told me about this, I thought it was a great idea and something different. So I said, ‘Sure, count me in!’ Echo: The show has an amazing writing team! How much freedom did you have to integrate your own ideas and was any improv allowed? Sterling: No, I think [Zimmerman] kept it pretty much to the script. We also had a very short amount of time to get all of this done. It was kind of set up like a sitcom, in a way, where it moves pretty fast. Echo: You’ve kept your career interesting by taking on a wide range of roles. Which has been your favorite? Sterling: There are definitely several. Frau

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Echo: Besides “secs & EXECS,” what other projects are you currently working on or involved in? Sterling: I just did a play that was co-written and directed by [Stan] Zimmerman, called Yes, Virginia. We closed a couple of weeks ago and we are going to try to reopen it in December, I think. I do voice-over stuff, too. I’m always busy doing little things here and there. Echo: You’ve taken on a few LGBTQ characters and been involved with a couple LGBTQ projects. What draws you to the community, and to certain roles and/ or projects? Sterling: I think being in the business, a lot of your friendships and a lot of the people are gay. I work with a lot of gay men. Some of my dearest friends are gay, and they’re lovely. I [officiated the wedding of] a friend and her wife and I’m the godmother to their son. I actually officiated their wedding. I just really love the community. They’re creative and talented, and I’ve always lived my life being open. It was never an issue for me. I just love people. Echo: Do you have any idea yet if there will be more seasons of “secs & EXECS”? Sterling: I’m not sure. I do know that they’re trying to get nominated as a webseries, which would be incredibly lovely and flattering. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes. For more information on “secs & EXECS” and tello Films, visit tellofilms.com/ series/secs-execs.

READ THE REST For Echo’s full interview with Mindy Sterling, visit echomag.com/secs-and-execs.

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


A Valley native with 17 years of experience & knowledge And a Top Producer with over $125 million sold in real estate, Dan is your Urban Specialist in Phoenix, Scottsdale & Tempe!

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution.

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between the covers

The Ada Decades By Terri Schlichenmeyer

T

ick. Tick. Tick. Your grandmother used to warn you not to wish your life away. The years pass quickly enough, she said, so hold on to each minute. Savor what you have. Enjoy your days, months, years and The Ada Decades by Paula Martinac.

Ada’s daddy needed help around the house. Once, that was Clay Jr.’s job but he was busy with high school things, so 12-year-old Ada fetched daddy’s tools – which was what she was doing when she found an envelope with naked-lady pictures and a postcard of black men hanging from a tree. She took those pictures from the toolbox, even though she knew she shouldn’t, and she approached the only person she could trust: her school’s librarian, who explained how things were before the War. Ten years later, things were still that way. It was 1957 and, as Central Charlotte Junior High’s new librarian,

Ada watched, paralyzed, while police escorted the school’s first black student down the halls. Ada embraced integration, but she hadn’t known what to do. She wished she’d had the selfconfidence of the English teacher, Cam Lively, who’d welcomed the frightened girl with a smile. Ada understood fear, that was true. She’d always known she was different, but women weren’t supposed to be that way about other women. She didn’t know exactly how to say what she felt, but she knew it was wrong – that is, until Cam invited Ada to a “book club” that was really just a gathering for gay men and lesbians. There, Ada found friends, a tribe and someone to love. But Ada was from the wrong side of the tracks, her parents were poor, and she felt it. Cam came from money, and neither woman’s family approved of the relationship. The pressures they felt in 1962 – the need to hide and keep quiet - were almost unendurable; indeed, some friends couldn’t take it anymore. How much easier their lives would be if they could just be themselves! Readers may notice the word “romantic” on the cover of The Ada Decades, but that’s one of the lesser aspects of this novel. Yes, there’s a bit of a love story here, but it’s more fictionalized history than anything. Beginning with a young girl’s early understanding of

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The Ada Decades by Paula Martinac. Bywater Books, 2017 | $15.95.

racial discrimination, Martinac tells a multilayered tale from the perspective of an often-humorless, rather prudish and complicated character. Spanning nearly 70 years, the story is appealing, surprisingly chaste and based within accurately-told historical events. But there’s no Forrest Gump here: for Ada and Cam, the outside world is there for commentary, but not always for participation. Instead, Martinac’s characters are everyday women, living pleasantly normal lives, and their story ends in a satisfyingly quiet way. The cover of this book is no grabber and that’s too bad because the story itself is, starting on its first page. If you’re in the mood for a nice, gentle surprise of a tale that lacks drama and graphic scenes, The Ada Decades will tick all the boxes. 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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talking bodies

Heat Training 101 By Tia Norris

L

ove it or hate it, the summer sizzle is upon us. With seasonal temperatures soaring to 120 degrees and beyond, Phoenix is regularly one of the hottest metro areas in the country. And, unfortunately, heat plays a huge, unavoidable role in all parts of your training program. Here are the facts: Heat causes our core body temperatures to rise, and is compounded if you’re outside in the sun. Our bodies attempt to cool off by expanding our blood vessels to bring more blood toward the surface of the skin. As more blood is transported to the surface for cooling, less blood is available to internal organs and processes. In short, this can turn into a medical disaster! This is how heat exhaustion turns into heat stroke. And remember, heat stroke is extremely dangerous. Keep your cool this summer by not only learning what the heat does to you, but also how you can work with it. Here are the biggest effects heat will have on your diet, fitness and lifestyle in the coming months, and how to prepare accordingly.

Dehydration Most people don’t drink enough water, regardless of where they live. However, when you consider that we live in one of the hottest and driest places cities in the nation, our water intake – in particular – becomes even more critical. As we all know, the body’s first line 68

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of defense against heat is to sweat. And, of course, as you continue to sweat (which is made from water), your body loses water in the process. Less water internally, means less efficiency internally, and this can quickly lead to a hydration crisis. The bottom line is that hydration will allow all of your internal systems to work better, longer, and to slow the effects of the heat. My minimum recommendation is 100 ounces of water per day, with an additional 10 ounces per 30 minutes of activities outdoors. And don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink! Start first thing in the morning and stay ahead of your hydration to avoid a crash.

Elevated Heart Rate With heat exposure, your thermoregulatory systems must work much harder than normal to stay cool. To support this increased activity, the heart must pump more blood, more quickly, to all internal structures. On one hand, this means that you’ll burn significantly higher calories in the heat. This can be a powerful weapon for weight loss, but only if you are careful. Boxers, martial artists and bodybuilders all know the power of a “sauna suit” and the calorie burn that comes with heat. However, an elevated heart rate in response to heat can spiral out of control very quickly – particularly if you are outdoors (think: hiking in a remote area with little to no shade). Your best bet to combat this factor is to hydrate,

eat and try to not be a dumbass about hiking out so far that you’re hours from your car when your heart rate starts spiking. Always take your phone and/or a friend when you’re out for long hours in the heat because you never know when your body will react adversely.

Decreased Appetite Heat has been proven to significantly zap your appetite. This is a doubleedged sword: on one hand, most people would find eating less to be a GOOD thing; but on the other hand, considering that 80 percent of my clients don’t eat enough as it is, I would call this anything but good. Be aware of your caloric goals, and be sure to track your intake in some fashion. I always recommend the free tracking app, MyFitnessPal. Watch your habits and consider moving your heavier meals to the end of the day when it is cooler, or after your workouts when your appetite is highest. There are countless other factors that are worth considering in the heat – electrolytes and salts, productivity, sleep quality, skincare and sun exposure – just remember that awareness is power and planning is everything. So, don’t use the heat as an excuse to slack off – just be prepared! Tia Norris is the president and head trainer at FitPro, LLC, a local fitness company. Find out more at fitprollc.com. health & fitness


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ALL OVER THE MAP

believe facts will save the day. Nothing could be further from the truth. “You cannot win by stating the true facts and showing that they contradict your opponent’s claims,” he writes. “Frames trump facts. His frames will stay and the facts will bounce off.” So how do we start constructive conversations with conservatives that help us make progressive ideals a reality? Lakoff offers some good advice in relatively simple terms. 1. Show Respect Most Americans are a mix of strongfather and nurturant-parent worldviews. If you want to influence someone, embody nurturance by practicing empathy with their current point of view.

How To Talk To A Conservative By Liz Massey

I

f nothing else, last November’s elections taught us that the American “culture wars” are a literal, ongoing reality. The biggest and most destructive bombshell from the election, of course, was the ascendancy of a trust fund baby turned reality show star to the Oval Office. A lot of progressives are still recovering from the whiplash and asking, “How could things go so wrong, so fast?” Many of us in the LGBTQ community know that the ramp-up to this catastrophic turn of events started well before 2016. The modern conservative movement is just over 50 years old, and they’ve used most of the past few decades to pour substantial amounts of money and energy into perfecting their rhetoric. We have often played the role of scapegoat for the conservative right wing, with our relationships and identities being framed as a threat to everything holy, patriotic or moral. All too often during this era, the Democrats have, at best, countered conservative talking points with weak, tepid alternatives that mostly play off how conservatives have framed the issue. But, thankfully, cognitive linguistics professor George Lakoff has been churning out helpful books for more than 20 years that deconstruct the language the right uses to achieve their policy victories, and that propose ways in which progressives can catch up and win the idea-framing war.

Framing 101 Being able to frame issues in terms of progressive values matters because, especially in a state like Arizona, it’s impossible to avoid contact with conservatives. They are our neighbors, 70

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our relatives, our bosses and our elected officials. If we truly want to see things like full LGBTQ equality, universal healthcare, economic justice and environmental sustainability to come to pass, we will have to get our hands dirty and talk to people who think differently than we do. Lakoff, in his book “Don’t Think of an Elephant,” says that conservatives and liberals have distinctly different worldviews, and understanding how those worldviews influence their behavior is crucial. It will come as no surprise to any queer person who has experienced religious rejection to hear that conservatives believe in the “strong father” paradigm. It’s a patriarchal system that fights to preserve white straight male privilege (because they believe that is the “natural order of things”) and punish those who rebel against those rules. Life is unsafe and under constant threat in the strongfather mindset; being competitive and a “winner” is crucial to coming out on top. By contrast, the progressive worldview maps to a “nurturing parent” model, that emphasizes empathy, responsibility to self and others, and working together to achieve common goals. The bridge between these two divergent camps comes through the fact that many people have a worldview that is a mix of strong father and nurturing parent; those people Lakoff calls “bi-conceptuals,” and they are the people progressives can successfully influence.

How to frame the debate and win One of the key mistakes that Democrats and other progressives make over and over again, Lakoff says, is that they

2. Respond By Reframing ALWAYS take a political issue and present it through your values. Don’t spend your energy refuting the opposition’s talking points. Instead, start a reframing conversation with words like, “Wouldn’t it be better if ...” followed by your vision of what should be happening. 3. Think and Talk at the Level of Values As mentioned earlier, voters and lawmakers DO NOT change their belief system when confronted with facts. Facts matter, but staying true to one’s values and thinking in a way that remains consistent with one’s identity matter much more. 4. Say What You Believe Even if your position is not very popular, state your position based on your authentically held values. It can be very frustrating right now to tilt against the mighty windmills of propaganda that conservatives have built. But it’s worth it. As Lakoff reminds us, “Our values [are] the best of traditional American values. We win with civil discourse and respectful cooperative conversation. Why? Because it is an instance of the nurturant model at the level of communication, and our job is to evoke and maintain the nurturant model.” In other words, LGBTQ progressives don’t have to use tools that are in conflict with what the movement stands for in order for us to win; we just have to use the best of our values to the utmost of their potential. 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 lizmassey68@gmail.com. COMMUNITY


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business cards For a complete listing of all Echo display advertisers, please see our Lambda Directory on page 82. To advertise your business here, call 602-266-0550.

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HAIR STUDIOS

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Valdez Refrigeration All your heating and cooling needs Office 602.266.0812 E-mail ZOUCHAVALDEZ@hotmail.com All major credit cards accepted. K39-ROC177793 Res and Comm

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THE GAYBORHOOD

19 27 23

7

5 28

21

26

22

5th

8

16

18

25

10

15

6

3 1

20 9

e. Av

14

2

24

9

12 4 17 13

*MAP IS NOT DRAWN TO SCALE

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bar map


1

ANVIL

2424 E. Thomas Road

602-956-2885

M, D, L

2

AQUA NIGHT CLUB

1730 E. McDowell Road

602-253-0689

F, N, E, D

3

BAR 1

3702 N. 16th St.

602-266-9001

M, N, E

4

BLISS REBAR

901 N. Fourth St.

602-795-1792

M, N, E

5

BOYCOTT BAR

4301 N. Seventh Ave.

602-200-9154

MF, D, E

6

BS WEST

7125 E. Fifth Ave.

602-200-9154

MF, D, E

7

BUNKHOUSE

4428 N. Seventh Ave.

602-200-9154

M, N, L

8

CHARLIE’S

727 W. Camelback Road

602-265-0224

M, C, E, D

9

CLUB VOLT

3108 E. McDowell Road

602-267-8707

MF, D, E

10

CRUISIN’ 7TH

3702 N. Seventh St.

602-267-8707

M, E

11

DICK’S CABARET

3432 E. Illini St.

602-274-3425

M, G

12

FEZ

105 W. Portland St.

602-287-8700

R

13

FLEX SPAS PHOENIX

1517 S. Black Canyon Hwy

602-271-9011

M, AO

14

KARAMBA NIGHTCLUB

1724 E. McDowell Road

602-254-0231

D, E

15

KOBALT

3110 N. Central Ave., Ste. 125

602-264-5307

MF, E, N

16

LOS DIABLOS

1028 E. Indian School Road

602-795-7881

MF, R, N

17

NU TOWNE SALOON

5002 E. Van Buren St.

602-267-9959

M, N, L

18

OFF CHUTE TOO

4111 N. Seventh Ave

602-274-1429

M, A

19

OZ BAR

1804 W. Bethany Home Road

602-242-5114

MF, N

20

PLAZMA

1560 E. Osborn Road

602-266-0477

MF, N, E

21

ROSCOES ON 7TH

4531 N. Seventh St.

602-285-0833

M, N, G

22

ROYAL VILLA INN

4312 N. 12th St.

602-266-6883

M, AO

23

STACY’S @ MELROSE

4343 N. Seventh Ave.

602-264-1700

MF, D, N

24

THE CASH NIGHTCLUB & LOUNGE

2140 E. McDowell Road

602-244-9943

F, C, D

25

THE CHUTE

1440 E. Indian School Road

602-234-1654

M, AO

26

THE ROCK

4129 N. Seventh Ave.

602-248-8559

M, N, E

27

TICOZ LATIN KITCHEN

5114 N. Seventh St.

602-200-0160

R

CHEERS! Find out what’s going on at your favorite gayborhood bars at echomag.com/ community-calendar.

MAP CODES: A M F MF

Adult Retail & Entertainment Mostly Males Mostly Females Mixed Male/Female

bar map

N R D C

Neighborhood Bar Full Restaurant Dance Club Country Dancing

L E G AO

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

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bar specials

OUT & ABOUT Women Are From Venus May 12 at Boycott, Phoenix.

S M

Photos by Alyssa Avilla.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

T W T F S

S M

T

W

T F

S

S M T

W T

F

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OUT & ABOUT 2017 Chili & Salsa Cook Off May 28 at Kobalt, Phoenix. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

For more Echo photos visit echomag.com/gallery.

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ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION? Don’t trust your erection to just anyone, find a real ED specialist.

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Call 1–855–889–6286 to register or go to edcure.org/events Boston Scientific Corporation has sponsored funding for this patient seminar and accompanying educational material.

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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 Robert F. Hockensmith, CPA, PC p. 69 ADULT ENTERTAINMENT/ RETAIL Flex Spas Phoenix p. 81 Pleasure World p. 71 The Chute p. 80 AIR CONDITIONG & HEATING Valdez Refrigeration

ATTORNEYS Jackson WhiteAttorneys At Law Phillips Law Group Tyler Allen Law Firm

HOME SERVICES

Building Blocks Counseling Stonewall Institute

ADD/WES Roofing Don’s Painting Service Lyons Roofing Rainbow Bug The Mattress Man Wallbeds n” More

p. 72 p. 69

p. 71 p. 4

EDUCATION Maricopa County Community College District p. 65

p. 84 p. 71 p. 45

EVENTS Dancing for one•n•ten IGNITE National Testing Day IGNITE Chats Laughs For Life Local First AZ Night at the Museum Nightfuse LLC Phoenix Mercury

p. 72 p. 53

p. 67 p. 10 p. 35 p. 52 p. 13 p. 22 p. 74 p. 19

FINANCIAL SERVICES JW Advisors Inc. Paragon Credit Consulting Pawn 1st

p. 11

BAR & CLUBS Bunkhouse

COUNSELING SERVICES

My Dentist Open Wide Dental

p. 53 p. 5 p. 15

AUTO SERVICES Community Tire Pros

GALLERY

DENTISTS

p. 73

APARTMENTS Alta Filmore/Alta Midtown Arcadia Gardens Broadstone Arts District East and West Apartments El Cortez Apartments

Charlie’s p. 9 Stacy’s @ Melrose p. 75, 76-77

p. 77

p. 73 p. 73 p. 73

Melrose Collective

facebook.com/echomagazine twitter.com: @echomagaz Instagram: @echomagazineaz Linkedin: Echo Magazine 82

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p. 72 p. 72 p. 71 p. 73 p. 73 p. 83

INSURANCE Benefits Arizona p. 71 Edward Vasquez, Allstate p. 3 MORTGAGES Jeremy Schachter, Pinnacle Capital Mortgage

RELIGIOUS GROUPS p. 3

MOVERS Two Men and a Truck

p. 73

Community Church of Hope

China Chili Hula’s Modern Tiki

CVS Specialty Pharmacy p. 71 Fairmont Pharmacy p. 66

RETAIL

REALTORS Arizona Gay Realtors Alliance Berney Streed, Re/Max Excalibur Bradley B. Brauer, HomeSmart

p. 72

RESTAURANTS

PHARMACIES

Join the conversation with #EchoMagAZ.

p. 69

Daniel J. Nickles, PLLC, HomeSmart p. 65 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. 69 Nicholas Yale, Realty Executives p. 3 Shawn Hertzog, West USA p. 3 Steve Fourie, Home Smart Elite Group p. 72

Off Chute Too

p. 61 p. 61

p. 79

RETIREMENT PLANNING p. 3 p. 73 p. 3

Calvin Goetz, Strategy Financial Group p. 3 SALON Exodus Hair Studios

p. 72

WELLNESS Boston Scientific p. 81 Elite Plastic Surgery p. 2 FitPro, LLC p. 72 IGNITE PrEP p. 74 JWW Fitness p. 73 Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS p. 33 Spectrum Medical Group p. 45 Truvada p. 28-30 Willo Medi Spa p. 73 lambda directory


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