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SUNSHINE STATE Accused Ponzi Schemer Elia Pleads Guilty
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FORT LAUDERDALE — George Elia—the investment adviser charged with masterminding a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that victimized members of Wilton Manors’ LGBT community—reversed his plea, entering an admission of guilt during the third day of his federal fraud trial. Prosecutors had accused Elia, 69, of engineering an investment fraud that bilked nearly $10 million from three dozen investors, some of whom invested their life’s savings with the man. Elia was charged with 10 fraud-related counts, including criminal charges of wire fraud, stemming from false claims he made to investors about his track record as a day-trader, and his doctoring of statements to reflect inflated profits. Several of Elia’s victims were introduced to the day-trader by Wilton Manors resident Jim Ellis, who pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Ellis used a phony history as a trust fund brat to dupe the unsuspecting into investing in Elia’s scheme. Ellis will be sentenced on April 12; he faces up to five years in prison. As we first reported last year in the Agenda (April 12, 2012, COVER, “Federal Authorities Detail Complaint against Oakland Park man charged in $11 Million Ponzi Scheme: ‘Rainmaker’ alleged to have Bilked Million$ from Wilton Manors Residents”), many of Elia’s victims were gay retirees living in Wilton Manors. Elia will be sentenced on May 14 by Judge Kathleen Williams, with nine of the fraud charges each carrying up to 20 years in prison.
World AIDS Museum Exhibit to Open at Stonewall Museum FORT LAUDERDALE—The organizers for the planned Worlds AIDS Museum will hold a reception and presentation at the Stonewall National
Museum and Archives’ Hester Gallery on Thursday, March 21 from 6 to 8 p.m., to kick off the museum exhibit, which will run from March 18-30. The creators hope to find a permanent home this year for the nonprofit museum in the Wilton Manors-Fort Lauderdale area. They say they have raised about half the $50,000 they think is needed to operate the museum for a year, relying on an all-volunteer staff. The group initially has been interested in finding a place on Wilton Drive, but will also consider other locations in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.
Actor James Franco to Attend MGLFF Screening MIAMI — Actor James Franco will attend a screening of his new film, “Interior. Leather Bar,” at the 15th Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which runs April 26 to May 5. Franco will also be honored during the festival with an Ally Award. The movie, which re-imagines more than a half hour of explicit gay sexual content that was cut from the 1980 Al Pacino film “Cruising,” was written and directed by Franco and Travis Mathews, who also star.
Equality Florida Gala Honors Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, Activists MIAMI — On Sunday, March 17 the Bass Museum of Art will host the Equality Florida Institute’s annual gala, held to honor the recipients of the organization’s Voice for Equality Award, Richard Blanco and Robert Loupo, and to present David Bloom with the Service and Leadership Award. “Our honorees have led the way in their respective fields as pioneers in giving voice and visibility to the LGBT community,” said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida, of the recipients, who will be recognized for their steadfast support of South Florida’s LGBT community.
Adam Lambert to Headline Miami Beach Gay Pride MIAMI BEACH — Performer Adam Lambert has been confirmed as headliner of this year's 5th Annual Miami Beach Gay Pride, which takes place over the weekend of April 13-14. The singer/songwriter and “American Idol” finalist will perform free on Sunday night, April 14, on the main stage at Lummus Park, just off Ocean Drive, between 11th and 12th Street. Last year, Lambert performed at the Home for the Holidays concert in New York cITY, which raised money for homeless LGBT youths.
Miss Richfield 1981 Returns to The Manor WILTON MANORS — The hilarious Miss Richfield 1981 returns to The Manor Complex March 22 and 23 (8 p.m.). Her new show, “Sweet & Sour Richfield—Made in China!” is a comedy send-up to outsourcing. The all-new production features colorful videos, sing-a-longs, and lots of audience interaction. Her live performances have received critical acclaim, with critics calling the performance “the must-see act,” and “Garrison Keillor meets Mary Tyler Moore.”
Pridelines Youth Services Launches “10 in 10” Campaign for Gay Youth MIAMI SHORES — Pridelines Youth Services announced the launch of its fourth annual “10 in 10” fundraising campaign, which seeks to raise $10,000 in donations in 10 days, from March 11 through March 21. Donations secured during the “10 in 10” campaign will help South Florida’s oldest LGBT youth-serving agency expand its dropin center services to meet the emerging needs of the local community. “This year, the success of this
campaign is essential to our success as an organization. We face an alarming rise in the youth we serve who are homeless or victims of bullying,” said Victor Diaz-Herman, executive director of Pridelines. In addition to housing, the money raised during the “10 in 10” campaign will allow the organization to provide daily hot meals to youth and emergency services for at-risk youth such as HIV/ STI testing, suicide prevention and career services. For more information, visit pridelines.org.
Advocates Lobby Lawmakers for LGBT Rights TALLAHASSEE — On Monday, March 11, and Tuesday, March 12, lobbyists and stakeholders descended upon State Capitol, there t take part in Lobbying Days, an opportunity for interest groups and interested individuals to take their agendas to state lawmakers where they work and legislate. Organizations including Equality Florida, a nonprofit organization that fights for LGBT rights and related advocacy issues, and political alliances such as the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Democratic Caucus, brought their members and viewpoints before lawmakers, not all of whom shared support for their initiatives or goals. After one session, Michael Rajner, Legislative Director for the Caucus, reported on Facebook that State Rep. Clovis Watson (D-Alachua) told him and other activists, “There is no way I would vote for the rights for anyone to be discriminated against. I support the rights of all people.”H
On Sunday Morning Talk Shows, Jeb Fuels Presidential Speculation WASHINGTON, DC — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made the morning talk show rounds on Sunday, March 10, fueling speculation about his presidential ambitions. Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, was pitching his new book, “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution,” which offers his take on immigration reform. The former governor, who served from 1999 to 2007, has faced criticism from Republicans who may oppose a potential 2016 White House run by him. On CBS News “Face the Nation,” Bush said that his ideas about immigration reform are “absolutely” in line with those of Florida’s Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, his former protégé and a possible candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Last year, Bush told PBS host Charlie Rose that although he personally opposes same-sex marriage, “if [gay] people love their children with all their heart and soul and that’s what they do and that’s how they organize their life that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it. We desperately need it and that can take all sorts of forms, it doesn’t have to take the one that I think should be sanctioned under the law.” Asked on “Face the Nation” about his plans for the 2016 nomination, Bush replied, “I’m not thinking about it. We just had an election.”
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Last week, the leaders of the Illinois Republican Party backed away from efforts to force out state party chairman Pat Brady, who
LGBT loved ones to suicide. Crane, who started mountain climbing as a teen, said he founded the Rainbow Summits Project in memory of a 16-year-old high school friend who committed suicide, and for Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutgers University student who committed suicide in 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge, following a court case that drew international attention to cyberbullying cases. Through his efforts, the Princeton student has already raised $80,000 for the Trevor Project. Crane has already scaled the highest peaks of Africa, Australia, Antarctica, Europe, and South America. He will leave for Mount Everest, in the Asian country of Nepal, at the end of this month, with a planned June climb of his final summit: Mount McKinley—also called Denali— in Alaska, the highest mountain in North America and the final goal of his Seven Summit odyssey.
Princeton Student Plans New Mexico Supreme to Be First Openly-Gay Court Hears Appeal from Climber to Mount Everest Anti-Gay Photographer
PRINCETON, NJ — Next month, Princeton University student Cason Crane plans to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the second-to-last stop on a year-long odyssey to become the first openly-gay person to scale the seven tallest peaks on the seven continents, known as the “Seven Summits.” More than 200 people have died trying to reach the summit of Everest, and Crane would be one of just a few hundred people to complete the Seven Summits. Crane, 20—who began his mountaineering quest, called the Rainbow Summits Project, as a means to raise money for the Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about preventing suicides among LGBT youth—will carry with him to the summit of Everest Tibetan prayer flags, each covered with messages from LGBT youth who have experienced bullying because of their sexual identity, and from friends, parents, and siblings who have lost
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—A religious rights group told the New Mexico Supreme Court this that a photographer who refused to take pictures at a same-sex commitment ceremony was exercising her rights exercise free speech and artistic freedom. According to her attorney, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the photographer, Elaine Huguenin from state laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2006, Huguenin was approached by Vanessa Wilcock, who wanted to obtain photography services for a commitment ceremony between Wilcock and another woman. When Huguenin refused the job, Wilcock filed an anti-discrimination claim with New Mexico’s Human Rights Commission, which found that Huguenin and her studio had violated state law. The Commission ordered Huguenin to pay $7,000 in attorney
fees, a ruling appealed by the photographer. Both a state district judge and the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld the ruling.
Openly-Gay NYC Council Speaker Launches Mayoral Bid NEW YORK CITY, NY—On Sunday, March 10, openly-gay New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn officially announced her candidacy for the office of Mayor of New York. Announcing on Twitter, “It’s official. I’m running for mayor to fight for the middle class,” Quinn, 46, launched her candidacy, which is supported by the city’s outgoing Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg, completing 12 years in office, was elected as a Republican in 2000, but has been an Independent since 2007. Quinn, who is seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, was elected to the 51-member City Council in 1999, and became Speaker in 2006. She would be the city’s 109th mayor, as well as being its first female, and first openly gay mayor.H
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Illinois GOP Backs Down from Efforts to Oust ProEquality Chairman
had been targeted by members of the organization’s social conservative wing after he spoke out earlier this year in favor of a bill before state lawmakers to end Illinois’ ban on gay marriage. Central Committee members had scheduled a meeting for March 2 to consider firing Brady, but the meeting was canceled last minute, in part because there weren’t enough votes to oust the chairman. Party leaders voiced concerns that ejecting Brady on the grounds of of his support for marriage equality might damage Republican efforts to appeal to moderates and supporters of LGBT rights. Last month, more than 75 prominent national Republicans, including advisers to former presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush and seven former governors, signed a legal brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California’s Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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was reading a story last night, a pastiche of superhero tales that spans the era from the “Golden Age” of comics (roughly from the 1930s through the early 1950s), the “Silver Age” (the post-atomic 1960s and 70s), and more modern comic book fare. In the story, the main character—a loosely adapted version of Commissioner Gordon from the “Batman” comics—reviewed old photographs of himself through various eras (standing next to a World War I Sopwith Camel aeroplane in one, shaking hands with FDR, and Richard Nixon, in others), all the while looking the same (steely gaze, rock-hard jaw, welltrimmed mustache) through the passage of the decades (although his mustache did alter to account for the sensibilities of different epochs, resembling variously Douglas Fairbanks’, Clark Gable’s, and Dennis Hopper’s). The story made me laugh for a few reasons, not the least being that it reminded me of how we human beings like to see ourselves as moving largely unblemished through various changes and times. A look at the montage reel for the old “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” shows the “late” late night host sporting conservative Eisenhower/Kennedy Era gray flannel during the 1960s, followed by psychedelic patterns from the 70s, then the atrocious all-blue polyester suits of the 80s, and finally the steady knits of the early 90s. Throughout all eras, Carson’s face stays largely the same, like a latter-day “Zelig” (or “Forrest Gump”), observing radical changes in the culture and world around him, but
generally remaining untouched, unaltered, forever in amber. If only. I think LGBT Americans are standing at the precipice of a very exciting time, one filled with promise and recognition of our full rights under the law. It is with irony that I consider not every gay rights activist may be happy with the results of our mutual struggle, especially if it results in the GOP benefitting from the recent “outing” of many national Republicans as not being hostile, at least in principle, to marriage equality, and a mainstreaming of “the gays” into all political walks of life.
“May you live in interesting times.” -Chinese curse The death last month of C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General under Ronald Reagan, took me back 30 years, to the days when HIV/AIDS was spoken of only in whispers, and then often in tones that evoked judgment and recrimination. Koop—who likewise mobilized national awareness of the dangers of tobacco, leading to the smoke-free restaurants, airports, and workplaces we enjoy today—threw his own personal religious convictions (which favored sexual abstinence until marriage) by the wayside and released a controversial and life-saving report about the epidemic that acknowledged
the importance of condom-use in slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Koop, who eschewed the pomp of the Surgeon General’s office (it still makes me shudder to think of Clinton’s Joycelyn Elders and her official Public Health Service admiral’s uniform; girl…), was every American’s Surgeon General, gay and straight, in a way that his boss, the genial but largely empty-suited Reagan, could never be, especially for LGBT Americans who knew what the support of the newly-minted Religious Right for Reagan really meant for them in the status quo of the time. And when officials within the Reagan Administration dragged their feet in response to the AIDS pandemic, Koop took matters into his own hands, mailing literature about HIV/AIDS directly to 100 million households. In the years to come, Koop may come to represent that steady quality—call it Forrest Gump-like, but it is definitely an American trait—of not reacting to the hysteria of the moment (say “Dan Quayle” and “family values” in the same breath, but try not to barf ), but responding with deliberation, sobriety, and a wellgrounded sense of right and wrong. I imagine, too, that in the years to come, the seeds planted in recent weeks by national Republican leaders with respect to overturning the Defense of Marriage Act will result in just as many LGBT Americans bitching about the Democrat in the White House (whoever it is at the time), while decrying the welfare state and “special privileges” given to interest groups of which they themselves are not a part. Now that’s progress.H
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BY MICHAEL EMANUEL RAJNER
ast December, Florida's former Republican Governor, Charlie Crist, told a group of reporters who asked if he regretted signing a petition banning same-sex marriage in the state constitution, "I think the best way to judge where my heart is, is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general [or] as governor..." Since last September's Democratic National Convention, I've been eagerly awaiting Charlie Crist to prove that he has a compassionate heart, and clearly argue his position on marriage equality. I have also been waiting for the Democratic National Committee and President Obama to make things right with LGBT Convention delegates, and facilitate a meaningful dialogue with Crist on issues important to LGBT Floridians. Both the DNC and President
Obama have fallen flat on their faces and failed miserably to ensure such opportunities existed between Crist and LGBT activists. In the days leading up to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, I publicly raised the issue as the only openly-gay elected delegate (out of eight delegates who were representing DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's congressional district at the Convention). Officials from the DNC shamefully berated me when Steve Rothaus of the Miami Herald published a blog post entitled “Gay Democratic Delegate: Convention Speaker Charlie Crist ‘the Ultimate Political Whore’.” On March 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). LGBT activists have been applauding the leadership of many Democrats and Republicans
who signed on to amicus briefs arguing DOMA's unconstitutionality. Remarkably, no amicus brief was submitted by Charlie Crist, who is reported to be employed by the Orlandobased mega-law firm of Morgan & Morgan. Crist is said to be earning an annual salary of $1,000,000, and I find it mind boggling that given all the resources of that law firm, Crist decided instead to audition for the hybrid role of the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion (from the “Wizard of Oz”), choosing to remain silent on the DOMA arguments before the Supreme Court. It was a missed opportunity for Crist to prove he has a compassionate heart, as well as an opportunity for the DNC and President Obama to make amends for their insensitivity concerning Crist's speech last year at the Democratic National Convention.
FLORIDA’S TIN MAN: IF ONLY CHARLIE CRIST HAD A HEART
Throughout Crist's political career, he always hid in the closet or pandered to religious conservatives when a controversial issue demanded a real leader to step forward. Charlie Crist, I'm following your advice: I'm judging you on your past action for supporting a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Florida, and for the absence of your leadership in the argument about the unconstitutional nature of DOMA. Michael Emanuel Rajner is the Legislative Director for the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Democratic Caucus, and serves on the Broward County Human Rights Board. A slightly different version of this piece originally appeared at The Bilerico Project.H
JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY: THE SUPREME “X-FACTOR”
BY JOE HARRIS
ination laws based on sexual identity. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Kennedy voted to strike down sodomy laws in the Lone Star State (and 13 others). But if they read the fine print on these rulings, those hopeful eyes would see that neither of the decisions concerned marriage, and Kennedy himself sent the owners of some of those eyeballs scrambling for the Visine last week, when he told reporters in California that he has concerns about the Supreme Court taking cases that deal with political issues including health care reform, immigration, and—wait for it—same-sex marriage. Noting that there’s nothing democratic about nine unelected judges, each possessed of a “narrow legal background,” making the major legal decisions for a great nation, Kennedy opined, “I think it's a seri-
ous problem.” Kennedy, who was appointed to the high court in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, and his fellow justices are set to hear the historic cases— Hollingsworth v. Perry (which deals with California’s Proposition 8, the state’s voter-approved law that bans gay marriages in the Golden State) and U.S. v. Windsor (which concerns the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that defines marriage for federal purposes as between one man and one woman)—on March 26 and 27, respectively. Some LGBT activists warn that Kennedy’s comments signal that he may restrain himself when it comes to making new law from the bench, at least in case of marriage equality. That restraint could lead to him favoring a narrow decision in the Hollingsworth/
Prop 8 case, which could allow for gay marriages to be performed in California, but not in the rest of the country. Despite his opinions in the Lawrence and Romer decisions, Kennedy has historically favored states’ rights arguments, and he may prefer a ruling that is mindful of the will of the 30 states that have amended their constitutions to prohibit marriage equality. The bold approach by Kennedy— or any of the other Supremes, for that matter—might result in recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, which would trigger the striking down of all those laws. In the end, the question hinges on whether or not Kennedy or the other justices can be convinced that samesex marriage is a constitutional right. An X-Factor to be sure.H
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ater this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases that will immeasurable importance to the future of same-sex marriage (and possibly plural marriage, but one thing at a time) in America. Although in theory all of the justices—excepting maybe the Chief—are created “equal,” many eyes (especially gay ones) are being turned in the direction of Justice Anthony Kennedy, and how this swinging-est of swing jurists is most likely to vote. Many of those gay eyes are filled with hope, at least in part because Kennedy’s name appears on two landmark high court ruling concerning LGBT rights. In Romer v. Evans (1996), he ruled to strike down a Colorado law that prohibited its cities from passing municipal anti-discrim-
THE SUNSHINE STATE’S BIG GAY WEEK Lobbying Days for Florida Gays, and Domestic Partnership Bill Gets Senate Hearing
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By CLIFF DUNN
ALLAHASSEE — It was an eventful week for Florida’s LGBT rights advocates and straight allies, as activists and other stakeholders arrived in Tallahassee for two days of lobbying the state’s lawmakers in support of legislation that would create domestic partnerships for unmarried couples, regardless of their sexual identity. (See full story in this week’s SUNSHINE STATE, Page 8). On Tuesday, March 12, a new, reworked version of the legislation (SB 196) was read before the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, chaired by State Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood), the measure’s sponsor. The bill would create a statewide domestic partnership registry, permitting registered couples to visit their partners in hospitals, nursing units, prisons, and mental health treatment facilities. It would grant partners the right to be notified in case of an emergency and to serve as their health care proxies, much as a spouse or other next-of-kin. In instances where there is no will after the death of a partner, the surviving partner would have custody of their remains for final need purposes. Opponents of marriage equality say called the measure is a thinlydisguised effort at creating recognition for same-sex relations and bestowing spousal rights upon gay couples and an attempt to circumvent Florida’s 2008 constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex marriage and similar unions. As we reported last month (Agenda, February 20, 2013: “State Senate Committee Stalls on Domestic Partnership Protection”), Sobel withdrew a more sweeping version of the legislation during the committee’s last session after the votes came up short. The Hollywood Democrat has since limited
Sen. Sobel (center) with LGBT activists on Capitol Hill
its parameters in an effort to garner wider support in the 10-member committee, which includes four Democrats and six Republicans. Last month, State Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) said she would vote against the legislation in committee, but as of Monday, March 11, Demert had apparently been satisfied enough by the new language to add her support, which would bring the vote to an even tie (5-5). Sobel’s revised bill was written to bring it in line with existing local ordinances that permit domestic partnership registries, including those which apply in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Opposition to the bill has been strong among religious and social conservatives. On Tuesday, the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) released “An Open Letter to the Florida Senate Children and Families Committee Regarding Domestic Partnerships,” which was addressed to Sobel and the committee members. It said, “In summary, domestic partnerships are unnecessary, bad public policy, and are dangerous for a number of reasons that may not be immediately obvious.” The letter said that “Domestic
Partnerships are not merely unnecessary, but are affirmatively dangerous because they are used as legal weapons by gay rights activists to advance samesex marriages.” It noted, “Historically, activist courts, at the urging of gay rights activists, have used domestic partnerships as a legal precedent for overriding traditional marriage laws and legalizing same-sex marriages.” The letter, which was signed by FFPC President John Stemberger, railed against “homosexual marriages” that “deny children the right to either
a mother or a father and are therefore not in the best interest of children. Same-sex marriage laws also force all other statutes in a state to become gender-neutral and impacts children’s educational curriculum and textbooks where homosexuality is promoted as natural and morally acceptable alternative to heterosexual marriage.” Regardless whether the bill clears the Senate committee, it must pass muster through four more stages in the upper house of the legislature. Meanwhile, the State House version of the measure (HB 259), sponsored by State Rep. Mark Pafford (D-West Palm Beach) has yet to be brought before any relevant lower house committees. A source close to the legislative process and intimate with the bill’s language told the Agenda that the vote would be “very close,” and the measure would likely either pass by a vote of 6-4, or “die on a [5-5] tie.” The source, who asked not to be identified, said that at press time, support was being sought from two Republicans, State Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne), and State Sen. Miguel de la Portilla (R-Miami). H
HEALTH AGENDA Study: Bee Toxin May Help in HIV Prevention BY PHOEBE MOSES
new study published in the journal Antiviral Therapy notes that when a toxin found in bee venom is bound to nanoparticles, it can pop the outer coating of HIV particles without harming normal cells. According the results of the in vitro study, the nanoparticles were developed as part of a prophylactic vaginal gel that was designed to
help prevent HIV infection before it takes. The bee venom toxin melittin was used to coat the particles in order to strip away HIV on contact. Lead author Joshua Hood said, “We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn’t any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus.”H
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‘Rivers’ of Plastic Surgery, Art Walk, and an Equality Gala
now through March 29. Cutie Packard has worked with the hottest names in the entertainment biz, and he brings his choreographic magic to the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s concert venue. At 9 p.m., at The Pavilion (5550 NW 40 St., Coconut Creek).
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Can You Flash That on Broadway? Before she was on “The L-Word,” Jennifer Beals danced onto movie screens and into our hearts in the popular 80s dance movie “Flashdance,” which has been transformed into a musical. Slide on your leg warmers, toss on a cut up shirt, and catch the “maniac” welder Alex Owens as she proves that “Feeling’s believing” (what a feeling). At 8 p.m., at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW 5 Ave., Fort Lauderdale).
Paint the Town
The Week 3/14/2013 to 3/20/2013 BY GRANT JAMES Madame Laqueer, at The Manor, Wilton Manors
Oy Vey! The Battle of the Plastic Surgery Disasters Joe Posa as Joan Rivers and Thirsty Burlington as Cher) bring a performance of epic proportions to the Village Pub. Get there early for Trivia Nation at 8 p.m., and a chance to win a bar tab, and stay for the show with performances starting at 9:30 p.m. (2283 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors).
Night for a special Harlem Shake Edition. Come down and participate in a 30-second shoot for a local edition of the extremely popular viral trend, the Harlem Shake. Come with the most ridiculous outfit or costume you can find and dance around like an escaped mental patient for 30 seconds. Sounds easy, no? At 7 p.m., at The Manor Restaurant and Entertainment Complex (2345 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors).
Harlem Shake It at Men’s Night Out Glenn Douglas Packard Presents The Knockouts The popular Men’s Night Out event is a thinly—a funly!—disguised excuse for gay men living in South Florida to socialize and network face to face. We say: More! More! More! This time, it coincides with The Manor’s Trivia
Dancing entrepreneur and choreographer par excellence (not to mention Brooke Hogan bestie) Glenn Douglas Packard presents The Knockouts, a fun burlesque review that runs Fridays
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Island City Art Walk returns for your monthly chance to support Gayborhood artists. In addition to this month’s outstanding featured artists and exhibits, local body artist Jamie Murcia will be painting live models (who will be almost nude; underwear will be provided by Andrew Christian), a little something to whet your appetite while you walk around and drink in the arts and culture (and libations). At 7 p.m., at venues and locations along Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors.
Ultra es La Ultima Ultra Music Festival kicks off this year’s premier two-weekend electronic event with the likes of Swedish House Mafia, Afrojack, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Paul Van Dyk, Crystal Castles, and oh-so-many more. The party continues all weekend, and return for an additional 3 days the following weekend. Tickets for the second weekend are already sold out, yo, so get yours for the first weekend before they’re all gone. At 5 PM at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami).
Ru Who? It’s Madame Laqueer Straight—so to speak—from “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” Season 4, Madame Laqueer performs at this special event for Noche
Latina Saturdays. The selfdescribed “Great White Mami” calls herself “a weird and gay man dressed as a woman,” and says that the ‘La’ in her name “was added before Queer, because it made it sound cuter in French. Voila!” Sounds good to us. It’s also a last chance to say buh-bye to hottie bartender Josh, who is NYCbound. At 10:30 p.m., at The Manor (2345 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors)..
Sláinte! It’s St. Patrick’s Day Equality Florida Puts the “Gay” in Gala
The fundraiser for Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBT community, will also celebrate the efforts of this year’s award honorees: 2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, co-founder and Executive Director of Safe Schools South Florida Robert Loupo, and community volunteer David Bloom. Enjoy a fun evening, celebrate an important cause, and honor these heroes. At 5:30 p.m., at the Bass Museum of Art (2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach).
Diplo and Friends
What’s That Under Your Kilt?
Diplo (real name Thomas Wesley Pentz) is one of the world’s biggest DJs/producers. He’s worked with everyone from Beyoncé to Usher, and is one half of the Jamaican dancehall duo, Major Lazer. Join Diplo and some of his nearly-endless roster of A-list friends, listen to some good music, and be ready for some surprises. At 10 p.m., at Grand Central (697 N. Miami Ave., Miami).
The award-winning Lord of the Dance celebrates Celtic dance
and music in both traditional and modern forms. Described as “a showpiece extravaganza” and “fascinating, rewarding, and above all, entertaining,” the production spans nearly two-dozen scenes, and features the folkloric story of good vs. evil as told through dancing. Those crazy Irish. At 8 p.m., at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach).
Mos’ Def(tones) The alternative metal band Deftones have been making music since 1988 (releasing their first album in 1995), and they’ve have gained a pretty devoted fan base. The band has released seven albums, and rose to critical acclaim after their third LP, “White Pony,” in 2000. They’re known to put on an amazing live show, packing the room with rocker fans who’ve followed them for years and will continue for years to come. The reason? Lead singer Chino Moreno’s impressive vocals, which go from melodic tenor to screaming rocker in 0 to 60. At 8 p.m., at the Fillmore Miami Beach (1700 Washington Ave., Miami).
She Loves Rock ‘n’ Roll Can you $#@%ing believe that Joan Jett is 54? The “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” singer is still belting out those angsty notes and shredding the guitar like you couldn’t even imagine. Most recently, she was nominated as an inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (how is it even possible that the Queen of Rock isn’t already in there?) At 8 p.m., at Hard Rock Live (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood).
We Think He’s Happy Singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen was described by Velvet Underground alum Lou Reed as “without question one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time.” Cohen’s works are known for their reoccurring themes of love, sex, depression, social justice, and religion. At his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Reed said that Cohen’s “body of work achieves greater mystery and depth as time goes on.” Hallelujah. At 8 p.m., at the James L. Knight Center (400 SE 2 Ave., Miami).
Art Fundraiser for Valyn Calhoun
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Green Room (formerly China White) will host a fundraiser for local gay artist Valyn Calhoun, who was diagnosed with AIDS earlier this year, and has been struggling to pay for his treatment and his hospital bills. Valyn will be selling selections from photographic art and other art pieces on the entire bottom level of the venue, with all profits from the night benefitting him. At 10 p.m., at Green Room Nightclub (109 SW 2 Ave., Fort Lauderdale).
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NEW RIVER GRILL AND PIZZA
By RICHARD DAVID CHAMBERLAIN
funny thing happened on the way to New River Grill & Pizza. The restaurant was dark, the lights were out, and we thought for the briefest of moments that this well-known neighborhood eatery had breathed its last gasp. That’s when we paused long enough to read the sign on the front door directing us to spin 180 degrees and look across the street. There on the corner of SE 7th Street and South Federal Highway glowed the NEW New River Grill & Pizza, now enlarged, packed and obviously thriving. The place had been one of our go-to restaurants during out brief stint living in Rio Vista, the neighborhood that New River Grill calls home. We admit that we’ve neglected our old friend lately, scouring Las Olas and points North for the latest in fooderies that have opened or scored on someone’s trend meter. The name itself has always been sort of a misnomer to us, since the restaurant is not located on the New River itself, which actually is multiple blocks away. And while the place does serve pizza, it is not the best item on the menu here, and never has been. What makes New River Grill & Pizza a standout are its subs, wraps, salads and burgers, in addition to several superb Italian dishes that manage to keep its loyal customers coming back week after week. Among those, our personal favorite is the Chicken Marsala ($13.95), a deliciously prepared rendition of the Italian classic that gains its flavor from the subtle reduction of Marsala wine over an ample chicken breast caressed by mushrooms. Excellent! In the burger division, it’s hard to not like the Black & Bleu ($8.95), a 10-ounce beef patty that is stuffed with bleu cheese and blackened on the outside, as if the charcoal was in the parking lot. Mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion, and ketchup are served on the side, so building your burger
according to taste becomes nearly as easy as eating it. You can ask for fries or chips, if such is your wont, but the burger itself is the star here. With an array of hot and cold submarine sandwiches to rival Subway, New River Grill is a popular pit stop for the local police and fire departments who need to often eat and run. Do not pass up the Chicken Cordon Bleu, served either as a hot sub ($6.95 in a 6” version, $9.50 for a 12 incher, or $17.25 for the I-can’t-believe-I-atethe-whole-thing 20” variety), or as a wrap ($8.95). In all of the above, breaded chicken is combined with sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and the sauce of your choice, all served with chopped lettuce, tomato, and onion. Chicken Wings are a big hit here as well, judging for the pickedclean bones left on yet-to-be-bussed booths. The wings are the meaty sort seldom served as bar fare. Here, you may choose from Garlic, Honey Garlic, Barbeque, Teriyaki or our favorite Raspberry. New River Grill gives you the unusual opportunity to select Boneless All White Meat Wings or Jumbo Bone-In Wings, each priced by quantity. Ten wings run $8.45 in any flavor of the boneless version, and $8.95 for the bone-in fare. Twenty wings will set you back $15.95 or $16.95. And up from there. New River Grill offers a fine selection of bottled wines and beers, and is often featured on Groupon giving away incredible deals for lunch or dinner, and it’s open until 4 a.m.! Check out the new décor with butcher block paper tablecloths and tell them Florida Agenda sent ya.H
NEW RIVER GRILL & PIZZA 701 S Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale FL 33316 954-618-7000
BEEF GUINNESS STEW By CHEF JEAN DOHERTY
elieve it or not, I first started to make Beef Guinness Stew after having already spent 15 years in France! We had just opened our Irish Pub and St. Paddy’s Day was coming up. It was a great success, the reason being that this dish is very similar to the French Boeuf Bourguignon. The difference is that the meat should marinate in the Guinness overnight for this stew. The “marinade” in the stout beer not only helps tenderize the beef, it also gives a rich malty flavor to this chunky and delicious dish. It is also flavored with onions, carrots, garlic, and thyme. The stew may be made on the stove-top or in the oven. (Note: We will be serving Beef Guinness Stew all this week at Le Patio in celebration of St. Patrick’s week.) Ingredients • 2 lbs of lean stewing beef or sirloin tip • 3 tablespoons of good olive oil • 2 tablespoons of flour • Salt and freshly ground pepper • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped • 1 large clove garlic, crushed (optional) • 2 pints of Guinness Stout • 4 carrots, cut into chunks • 1 lb of mushrooms • 2 pints of beef stock • Bouquet Garni Trim any fat or gristle from the beef, and cut the
trimmed beef into cubes of about two-inches. In a container, cover the meat with the Guinness and leave overnight in the refrigerator. The following day, drain off the meat, and reserve the Guinness. Heat the olive oil in a thick saucepan over a high heat. Add the onions and crushed garlic, and cook for about five minutes or until golden brown. Scoop out all this with a slotted spoon and set aside. Toss the meat in the hot pan, and brown the meat on all sides. Add the flour and stir. Add the stock, the Guinness, and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and with a wooden spoon stir and scrape to dissolve the caramelized meat juices on the bottom of pan. Add the carrots and the mushrooms. Simmer very gently until the meat is tender, about two-to-three-and-a-halfhours. Stir often. Top up with a little broth if you feel it’s needed. Taste and correct the seasoning. Stir and stir, taste, and add a little more salt if necessary. Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Garnish with lots of chopped parsley. You are an Irish chef!H Although born in Dublin, Ireland, Chef Jean Doherty spent most of her life in Lyon, France, the gastronomical capital of the world. Together with Vero, her partner of 25 years, Jean has owned and run multiple restaurants including Fort Lauderdale’s Le Patio.
MOO-VING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION Our Love Affair with Meat By ANDY KRESS
ed meat consumption in the U.S. is declining, down to 166 pounds per person in 2012. Yet, that still represents a half-pound per day of red meat for every man, woman, and child in this country—nearly double the global average. As a result, our society is plagued with many detrimental health repercussions. COPD, heart disease, cancer and a wide array of other diseases are now commonplace, often due to people using primitive thinking about food for our evolved bodies. As time continues to pass, we are not learning to cut back our meat consumption as a nation. Our bodies do not need to hunt, track, wrestle, and take down this evening’s meal, so the need to eat such a heavy portion of any meat, but especially red meat, seems out of sync with evolution. Heath risks combined with the environmental impacts of feeding and caring for all of this livestock are a major concern. Raising cattle for America’s red meat
is the least efficient means possible for obtaining protein, especially when you consider what is required to produce just one pound of the stuff. Most beef cattle are corn fed, and the last time we checked, corn farmers used lots of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to produce the vegetable, at the same time feeding it a ton of water. The extra chemicals drain down into the rivers and waterways that often feed our reservoirs. Additionally, in times of drought, corn is more expensive, driving the size of cattle herds lower and the price of beef higher. Cattle herds are kept healthy with antibiotics. These antibiotics are then saturated into the beef that we eat. Studies suggest that over time, antibiotic resistance occurs in bacteria, which is becoming one of modern medicine’s greatest problems. Another serious byproduct of beef cattle is methane gas. Methane is many times more potent a greenhouse gas
than carbon dioxide will ever be, and is a major contributor to global warming. The primary source of methane gas in the world is from beef cattle emissions. But beef is hardly the only culprit here. Domestically-raised chicken or pork is also pushing the healthy envelope right along with beef. All of these animals are fed a horrific diet to maximize production and weight gain. While it may make good business sense to fatten animals up to get more money per pound when the animal goes to market, the fattening of these animals puts more saturated fat in the meat that we all are consuming on a regular basis. That fat, in turn, helps to bring about America’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease. America cannot afford to corrupt its healthcare system with the evergrowing amount of heart disease cases related to overeating meat. We as a nation need to take the time to recognize why all these diseases are
increasing, and stop them at the root of the problem. The easiest way to fix these problems is through education about food groups that allow our evolved species to remain at its healthiest. A proper diet is the best defense for preventing health problems in America. Remember, it is never too late to learn anything, especially when it comes to your health. Now that you have been enlightened to all the facts above, please take the time to think about your choice when binging on your next greasy burger, vat of killer chicken wings, or that deep fried pork roll. The choice is yours to make.H
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k o o L T OU
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PHOTOS BY BIG DEWITTE
The 2013 Pridefest at Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park and War Memorial Auditorium was a two-day celebration featuring non-stop local, regional, and national entertainment, an outdoor marketplace with over 150 vendors, and a commemoration of the struggle for LGBT rights and equality, through the present day. Marc Hansen, President of Pride South Florida and Co-Chair of Pridefest thanked the community and all those who took part in making the weekend a success and a celebration. “We had great entertainment and weather, and outstanding volunteers and Board members who worked hard to bring Broward County a fun and entertaining event,” he told the Agenda.
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“BODY AWARENESS” WILL BLOW YOU AWAY
By RICK KARLIN
“Body Awareness” Empire Stage
1140 N. Flagler Dr., Ft. Lauderdale (954) 678-1496 islandcitystage.org empirestage.com smarttix.com Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 5:00pm, through April 7. $30.00
Photo Credits: Stefanie Howard
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t’s been a long time since I was blown away by an evening of theater. Empire Stage’s production of the 2009 Drama Desk Awardwinning “Body Awareness” is a perfect storm of excellent writing, a strong ensemble, and adept direction. Even the set design is perfect. The play is set in the fictional small town of Shirley, Vermont, where Phyllis, a college professor organizes Body Awareness Week (with topics that range from a dance troupe of refugee Palestinian children to an eating disorder seminar). She lives with her partner Joyce, a high school social studies teacher, and Joyce's 21-year-old son Jarod, from a prior marriage. Jarod, a self-described autodidact, shows several symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome (a form of autism), but he refuses to seek treatment. The family hosts Frank, one of the artists who is in town for the event. Frank is a middle-aged photographer whose artistic photos of nude women offend Phyllis. His presence exacerbates the already existing tension between the three family members, and when Joyce contemplates posing for one of Frank's pictures, it threatens her relationship with Phyllis. Meanwhile, Jarod asks Frank for advice on how to attract women. In a climactic scene, his misinterpretation of Frank’s advice puts the
family on the edge of crisis. Clay Cartland is exceptional as Jarod the man-child. His spot-on interpretation of a young man struggling to cope in a society he doesn’t completely comprehend is nothing short of breathtaking. Janet Weakly takes the role of Joyce, a familiar mother/wife who is trying to keep all the roles in her life spinning, and adds an inner strength and depth of character that a lesser actor might have over-looked. Merry Jo Cortada does an excellent job of adding a layer of vulnerability to her interpretation of Phyllis, a feminist lesbian college professor. A scene late in the play, in which she shares a snack with her damaged stepson, is almost heartbreaking as you catch a glimpse into the woman she hides from others. David Gordon as the visiting artist Frank, who triggers Jarod’s lifechanging decision, avoids the cliché of playing the role as a macho outsider. By taking the character in a subtler direction, Gordon opens up the interpretation of the other characters in the play. The Tony Award-nominated Michael Leeds’ direction is phenomenal, allowing each character to unfold like a flower, while keeping the action moving forward. Michael McClain’s set design is spot-on and makes excellent use of the small space. One of the themes in the play is how the artist as an outsider interprets his or her subject and how we, as the viewer, interpret the subject of an artist’s work. “Body Awareness” also reflects this. The characters to which you most relate will affect how you relate to the play. Playwright Annie Baker is an outsider observing these characters in a world she has created. It is a testament to her success in constructing this world that we as outsiders can relate to each character. The small theater seats maybe 30 people and if this production isn’t sold out every night there’s something wrong in this world. H
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Where Men Are Men, Even Dressed in Drag By ROBERT ELIAS DEATON
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t’s currently 38 degrees in Anchorage, Alaska. While there are those who appreciate a certain briskness in the air, we are not among them, and save our visits to this frontier outpost city until July, when the average afternoon sees plenty of sunshine and a high of about 76 degrees. Regardless of the time of year, however, Anchorage belies its reputation at nearly every turn. While Alaska in general is said to have an abundance of men, in Anchorage the split between male and female is 50-50. Think of it as rural, and be surprised to discover the 5th Avenue Mall (320 W 5th Ave.), a four-story, 440,000 square indoor shopping plaza with the town’s only Abercrombie and Fitch, Coach, Apple, Teavana, Banana Republic and bebe stores, as well as a branch of JC Penney and Nordstrom. Hotels in Anchorage run the gamut to be sure, but there is an amazingly convenient Embassy
Suites Hotel (600 E Benson Blvd.) which not only provides a separate bedroom, free breakfast, parking, Internet, and afternoon drinks, but is only two miles from the hub of gay life in the northern part of the city. Trust us when we say, you can pay a lot more and get a lot less when you are in the shadow of Mount McKinley (which is actually a five hour drive away, but is so high, it appears quite clearly in the distance). Speaking of driving, by all means rent a car during your visit. Even if you go in the winter months, you won’t need snow tires or chains since Anchorage is located on a glacier outwash plain, is fairly flat, and the roads are impeccably maintained. Travel during the summer, and you’ll definitely want to venture forth and see some of the glorious wide open spaces available in our 49th state. The gay clubs—yes, there ARE
gay clubs in Anchorage—are in the northern edge of the city, in the direction of the airport. Mad Myrna’s (530 E 5th Ave) is the biggest club in town, featuring the obligatory drag shows and very strong drinks, as well as a restaurant that is open until the wee hours. Nothing like a little food in the belly before staggering home. Close by you’ll find the area’s gay bears, Daddies, and cubs ‘round the bar at The Raven (708 E 4th Ave). Think lumberjacks-meet-Boardwalk dancers and you’ve got the picture. While smaller in size than Mad Myrna’s, The Raven has its share of diehard fans who wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. A half-mile away is Bernie’s Bungalow (626 D St.), which isn’t exactly a gay bar, but it’s included here because it’s close enough to the
real thing to qualify. Bernie’s has what would be known in any other city as a metrosexual clientele. In Sarah Palin country, they call it “tolerant.” Call it what you may, Bernie’s is a great place with rather fascinating customers. Enuff said. Getting to Anchorage from Fort Lauderdale is a one-stop 14-hour flight. The most convenient route is on American Airlines through Dallas/Fort Worth, where there is a three-hour delay between flights. It takes nearly seven hours to fly from Dallas non-stop to Anchorage, so bring lots of books or appropriate movies. The cost in coach is $656.00 round trip. A first class seat on the same plane is just over $4,000—including food—alas, a luxury you don’t get in coach unless you’re willing to spring $$ for your spring rolls.. H
Robert Elias Deaton is a world-traveling epicure who enjoys the finer things in life.
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ROOMATE/WILTON MANORS Private room w/private bed and all access. Non smoker prefered. Walk to Wilton Drive! $750/month includes everything. Call Jim (954) 563-3626 Sun-Thurs after 6pm. Fri/Sat anytime. ROYAL PARK Near Wilton Manors 1BR/1.5BA, $825$900/mo. 2BR/2BA, $950 - $1100/mo. Gated Security, Clubhouse, Pools, Gym, Sauna and Steam room. Pets OK. Cable/Water/Trash incl. Call Naim Naqi, Realtor RWSF Realty 954.565.2025. WILTON MANORS 2/2 Tile floors, central heating & air, pool - clothing optional. 9 unit gay complex. Small dogs ok. One year lease $875.00 mo. 201 NW 25th St. 954-326-9096 LARGE REMODELED 2BD/1BA Duplex w/ Central A/C, dishwasher, microwave,fans, tile, private patio, Ample Parking, No Pets, No Smoking, $975 / mo fls Call Ken 954-682-9428or 954-249-1181.
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