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FEBRUARY 23, 2012 H ISSUE #118 H FLORIDAAGENDA.COM A MULTIMEDIA PLATFORMS COMPANY TM

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ALMOST NEWS! Orange County Domestic Partner Registry is almost a “sure thing.”

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Rainbow Business Coalition Takes “Pride” Both Annual Gay Pride Events Now Hosted by Business Associations By CLIFF DUNN FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - On Monday, Feb. 13, the Wilton Manors City Commission approved a motion to allow the Rainbow Business Coalition (RBC) to host the city’s annual Stonewall Street Festival on Sunday June 24. The RBC was launched in 2010 as an association of LGBT businesses and

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THROUGH THICK & THIN This Fresh & Savory Vegetarian Risotto Recipe Demands that You be Inconsistent! PAGE 28

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DEAN TRANTALIS Up-Close-AndUnedited with An LGBT Activist and Advocate PAGE 22

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community leaders to serve both residents’ and merchants’ interests in promoting sustainable economic growth as well as market reach and share for its members. The Stonewall Pride event, in one form or another, has taken place in South Florida every year since 2000, when the not-for-profit Pride of Greater Fort Lauderdale (PGFTL) was formed to produce the first local Stonewall Street Festival. The event and its yearly sequels recall the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, which represent the beginning of the fight for LGBT rights in the U.S. Reece Darham, co-chair of the RBC, says the organization and its members take the heritage event with which they have been entrusted very seriously. Darham says that the community’s businesses are also uniquely positioned to make the event a hoped-for success.

“Wilton Manors is a unique setting, and the businesses here—bars, restaurants, and the numerous vendors and merchants who support them—have hands-on experience in knowing what works and what doesn’t work to attract both locals and visitors to a major event of this undertaking. Darham and the RBC cut their collective teeth last year in event planning and management when the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) held its annual global convention in Greater Fort Lauderdale, with Wilton Manors serving as “ground zero” for many of the largest social events and activities, including an outdoor concert at the city’s Hagen Park. “The business leaders of our community did a superlative job in bringing world-class entertainment to our little corner of paradise, and after 12 years of local Stonewall events, we know and understand ‘PROUD TO STEP IN’ continues on Page 3

Anti-Gay Conservative Group Urges Defeat of School Prayer Bill By RORY BARBAROSSA TALLAHASSEE - One of the state’s most influential anti-gay and anti-abortion rights organizations is urging lawmakers to defeat a measure which would permit prayer for Florida students grades K-12 at all school events. In an example of “politics makes for strange bedfellows,” the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), which successfully led the 2008 campaign for a state constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions, is urging Florida House members to defeat the school prayer bill, which has already passed the state Senate. Sen. Gary Siplin (D-Orlando), the bill’s Senate sponsor, is

spearheading efforts to get the bill passed in the Republican-majority House of Representatives. The FFPC is the Sunshine State affiliate of the Washington, DC-based Family Research Council (FRC), which has a long record of anti-homosexual policies and statements. In 2004, FRC Senior Researcher for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg was widely criticized for stating that consensual gay sex should be outlawed and that government should enforce “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.” In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the FRC as a hate group. ‘ANTI-PRAYER’ continues on Page 22


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A Letter From The Publisher New Magazine to Launch in Wake of Markslist Sale Greetings to all, It is with great pleasure and excitement that I announce that Multimedia Platforms, LLC has sold its interest in Markslist Media, LLC, the owner of www.jumponmarkslist.com. As a result of this sale, we will be renaming our South Florida men’s entertainment magazine and launching a state-of-theart website—the most innovative in LGBT media history! We have spent the last six months creating this new web platform and look forward to making it available to you on March 8th. It is our goal to provide all of our online friends with a fun and exciting social media experience, a place to discover everything entertaining in South Florida. I think you will be quite impressed.

I look forward to personally greeting all of you at our Pride party on March 8th at the Manor Complex at 7 p.m. I also hope to see you at our multimedia media booth a few days later on PrideFest weekend. The world is a fast-changing place, and we have much to be proud of. Having said that, there is much work yet to do to ensure equality and opportunity will continue to grow for our LGBT family today and for future generations to come.

Your support of our print magazine, newspaper and online platforms is your way of doing your part to ensure that the voice of the media can fight for you, while at the same time keeping you informed and entertained. That is what we love to do at Multimedia Platforms, LLC. We thank you for providing us this opporOn March 8th at 7 p.m. in The tunity and responsibility 52 Manor Complex in Wilton weeks a year. Manors, we will be hosting a Pride party—and you’re invitBest regards, ed! It’s our special thank you to the readers and advertisers of Bobby Blair both our magazine and newsPublisher paper, the Florida Agenda. It is vital that we have this community voice throughout the state of Florida, as well as online around the world. This way, Multimedia Platforms, LLC can ensure that we continue to support those issues that change lives for the better in the LGBT community today and for years to come. Our trademark will remain hard-hitting editorial content and fair reporting of facts with no hidden agenda.

LOCAL NEWS IN BRIEF

Island City Honors “Ed Lugo Day” WILTON MANORS, FL– On Monday, Feb. 20, Mayor Gary Resnick presented local businessman and resort owner Ed Lugo with an official proclamation to commemorate “Ed Lugo Day” in the Island City. The proclamation and designation honored Lugo’s contributions to the economic development and success of the city, and cited Lugo and his Ed Lugo Resorts “for its most deserving award as a Top 5 winner in the Best Service category by Trip Advisors in its 2012 Travelers’ Choice Awards.” The proclamation also noted that “Ed Lugo Resort is a cherished business and provides a perfect example of the success our business community constantly strives for in our community.” H

Multimedia Platforms, LLC Plans Changes to Publications, Web Content WILTON MANORS, FL - In an announcement this week, Multimedia Platforms (MMP), LLC, publisher of the Florida Agenda newspaper and MARK magazine, reported that it has sold its interest in Markslist Media, LLC, the owner of Jumponmarkslist.com. This sale, effective last week, will result in the launch of a new men’s entertainment magazine in addition to a new, state-of-the-art website. Bobby Blair, publisher and managing partner of Multimedia Platforms, called the upcoming launch “the most innovative in LGBT media industry.” “We have spent the last six months in the creation and investment of this new web platform and look forward to making it available to you on March 8,” Blair said. “It is our goal to provide all of our online friends with a fun and exciting social media experience…I think you will be quite impressed,” he added. MMP will continue to publish the Florida Agenda as well as the new men’s entertainment magazine, which will have a new name and look, in addition to the new web platform and the extant FloridaAgenda.com. The launch party for the new brands will take place on Thursday, March 8, at The Manor Restaurant and Entertainment Complex in Wilton Manors, to coincide with PrideFest weekend. H

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Turnabout: Orange County Mayor Will Support Domestic Partner Registry ORLANDO, FL – After weeks of oftenpublic reflection, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has announced her decision to support creation of a domestic-partner registry which would benefit all residents of the county, which includes some of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations. Approval by county commissioners would result in a county-wide system that mirrors one already established by the jurisdiction’s largest city, Orlando. That city approved a domestic partner registry last year that offers visitation rights to LGBT couples who are not legally permitted to marry in Florida. It also extends rights to other unmarried couples in such institutions as hospitals and corrections facilities, as well as end-of-life decisionmaking options in medical centers and funeral homes. In adding these rights, Orange County would join the ranks of Florida metro areas including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Jacobs, a Republican, told reporters that she would like to offer a parallel option for couples who do not cohabitate. The first-term mayor presented her proposal this week to Orange County commissioners, a majority of whom have expressed support for a system similar to the one in effect in Orlando. Jacobs would like to expand the existing Orlando registry to accommodate any county resident. Same-sex couples say the registry is needed because they are often barred from seeing their partners during medical emergencies because state law doesn't recognize them as family. Gay people are sometimes unable to make medical or funeral decisions for the same reason. Jacobs’ supporters say her initial hesitancy had less to do with opposing the registry than with concerns about conflicts with state laws. Some of these concerns included forcing private and religious schools to honor the registry, as well as funeral home ordinances which require mortuaries to consult with next-of-kin relatives in disputes concerning cremation requests, irrespective of the rights of a potential domestic partner. In spite of these concerns, Jacobs said optimistically, “I don't see any deal killer here.” Jacobs said that, barring unforeseen circumstances, all Orange County residents will be eligible for the list by late spring or early summer. She acknowledged the rollercoaster ride—psychological as well as political—which has surrounded the public debate over the registry. “Maybe there's no right way to deal with issues that are both complicated and emotional,” Jacobs offered. H


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BACK TO THE FRONT

‘PROUD TO STEP IN’ Continued from COVER the demographics of these things, as well as how they positively—and negatively— impact the community. One example of the kind of operational changes that Darham, RBC co-chair Jason Tamanini, and their colleagues are bringing to bear is the organization’s negotiations with liquor brand representatives to develop a price-point for the sale of liquor at outdoor “satellite” bars during the event, which will be called Stonewall Summer Pride. “The advantage of RBC dealing with liquor vendors for the street bars is that the prices in these satellite bars will be consistent, as will the product they will sell,” Darham explains. This means that if Bar X has a street-side, satellite bar during the Sunday festival, it will be selling the same liquor brands as Bar Y and Bar Z, and at the same prices. These brands will be consistent with the event sponsors’ brands, but won’t impact what an establishment sells inside their permanent locations, or the pricing. “We want people—customers as well as hospitality vendors—to know that whosoever is selling to the public from street side will be doing so from the same page as everyone else,” Darham added. One result will be the bars will only be competing with each other, rather than with each other and the event’s organizers. Another advantage of this business model is that it encourages the participation of smaller establishments, as well as those businesses that are not located on Wilton Drive. “Let’s face it,” Darham adds, “there are many terrific businesses, hospitality and otherwise, that participate in the joys and sorrows of our community which aren’t located in the ‘downtown’ area. Ken and Lloyd from Scandals Saloon and The Stable were especially ‘key’ in ensuring the success of the IGLTA convention last summer. They and many others are very much a part of what makes this such an amazing place to live and work. We want them to get the same benefit from this heritage festival as will Jackson and Mark [of Bill’s Filling Station and Georgie’s Alibi], Craig [of Boom], and our city’s other bar owners and restaurateurs. And the bars on Federal Highway like Mona’s, Cubby Hole, The Depot—just ask their customers: they are as gay as any bar on the Drive,” he adds with a laugh. The organizers plan for Stonewall Summer Pride to take place on Wilton Drive as well as at the city’s Hagen Richardson Parks between 12 p.m. and 10 p.m. on June 24. Committees have been established to oversee marketing and publicity, logistics and site planning, sponsorship opportuni-

ties, vendor relations, as well as the parade, which will take place from NE 20th Street to Five-Points and be held around dusk, with the exact time to be determined. Something else that’s new for 2012 is the organizers’ desire for Stonewall to be a truly community-wide affair. “This is not going to be solely a ‘Gay’ Pride event,” Darham notes. “This is a ‘Community’ Pride occasion, and to that end we want to encourage the participation of the traditionally ‘straight’ bars and nightspots to help promote our entire community.” Krishan Manners, President and CEO of Wilton Manors Main Street, Inc. couldn’t agree more. “This community is turning a page in its maturation,” he notes. “We have such a unique mixture of talented individuals, gay and straight, who have shown time and time again that they can come together and build memorable and lasting creations, whether it’s a park or an annual destination-event.” Manners adds that the RBC has some Aces up its sleeve. “When you have the support of bars and business owners as well as that of the city, you have two key components for organizing and holding a successful event on the Drive.” Darham and his RBC associates have hopes that success for Stonewall Summer Pride will resonate in the months after the event is finished. “A profitable Stonewall means that RBC will have sufficient funds to hold future community events, as well as paying for things like closing the Drive for ‘Wicked Weekend’ on Halloween, and New Year’s, as well.” What about a plaque to honor the group’s first chairperson? “Get out,” Darham says, only half joking. “I have work to do.” H

In times past, Stonewall Pride sustained businesses in the summer. Now we may get to see if the reverse is also true.

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H FEBRUARY 23, 2012 NATIONAL NEWS IN BRIEF

Obama Administration, Justice Department Support Equal Benefits for Gay Armed Forces Couples WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama administration announced last week that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of laws that prevent samesex spouses in the U.S. armed services from receiving marriage benefits, including such rights as survivor benefits, burial in military cemeteries, and military hospital visitations. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., in a letter to the Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), announced that the Justice Department believes, like the plaintiffs in a Massachusetts suit contesting these laws, that they are unconstitutional. The statutes also include those that govern veterans’ benefits and portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “The legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex spouses of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans,” the attorney general wrote. “Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that could warrant treating these provisions differently from” DOMA. Last year, Holder announced that the Obama administration will no longer defend portions of DOMA that ban federal recognition of marriage equality that are recognized at the state level. Boehner and Republican leaders criticized the action, saying that the Justice Department has a responsibility to defend federal laws. H

Outed AZ “Border Hawk” Sheriff Resigns from Romney Camp FLORENCE, AZ - Pinal County (Arizona) Sheriff Paul Babeu resigned this week from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s state campaign committee amid allegations of misconduct made against the sheriff by a man with whom he formerly had a relationship. At a press conference on Saturday, Babeu promised to continue his own campaign for the GOP nomination in Arizona’s 4th Congressional District. He denied allegations that he had threatened the man—known only as “Jose”--a former campaign volunteer and immigrant, with deportation if the details of their past relationship were revealed. “I’m here to say that all the allegations…were untrue--except for the instance that refers to me as gay,” Babeu stated. “That’s the truth-I am gay.”

NATIONAL NEWS

The state’s 4th Congressional District is comprised primarily of conservative Republican voters. The unmarried Babeu, a first-term sheriff, gained national attention because of his strong opposition to illegal immigration. He is locked in a three-way primary race for the congressional seat, and said the accusations are an attempt to hurt his political career. Babeu told the threedozen uniformed officers who were present on Saturday that his relationship with Jose ended sometime before September, and that the man, who ran his campaign website and Twitter account, posted derogatory information online beginning after their breakup. H

Whitney Houston Scheduled to Promote Anti-Bullying Campaign on Night of Her Death LOS ANGELES, CA – On the night of her death last week, Whitney Houston was scheduled to take part in an antibullying campaign that hopes to end homophobic abuse with the assistance of celebrities. US Weekly reported this week that the late performer was due to be photographed on the night of Feb. 10 for the “Stop Bullying Now: Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil” campaign. Houston gave the campaign permission for her image to be used. The campaign’s mission is to end bullying based on color, sexual orientation, and weight, with the help of celebrity endorsement. “Stop Bullying Now” is run by Houston’s friend, entertainment consultant Raffles van Exel. In a press release to announce the campaign, van Exel recently wrote “We, as celebrities, have a unique opportunity to show children and teenagers that WE DO CARE, and that THEY have the POWER to stand up for themselves.” H

Gay Combat Vet. Dan Choi Joins ‘Occupy’ WILMINGTON, DE – Former Iraq War veteran Dan Choi, whose coming-out pronouncement helped end the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, attended an “Occupy Delaware” event this week, praising the movement’s members and offering a poem of his own composition to encourage protesters to continue their fight for inclusiveness. Addressing participants at the “Tent-Raising and Rally” on Saturday, Choi, a former U.S. Army lieutenant who was discharged after he announced he is gay, said: “On this very special day, I wrote a poem-about tents. So, this is an ode to our tent.”

He then read to the approximately 100 people assembled: “Tents usually keep heat inside. But our fire has spread all around this country. A tent is usually a place where we can hide. But what we are doing in these tents is exposing the reality of our country and our economy.” H

Jury Selection Begins in NJ Webcam Suicide Case NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Jury selection began this week in the trial of a former Rutgers University student who is charged with employing a webcam to spy on his gay roommate's intimate encounter with another man. The trial could reveal some heretofore unknown facts, including the name of the unidentified man in the video. The roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide in 2010, just days after the alleged spying occurred. Dharun Ravi, the suspect, is not charged with the death of Clementi, 20. Instead, Ravi is charged with bias intimidation, a hate crime that is punishable by 10 years in prison. Ravi, 19, is also charged with invasion of privacy, as well as tampering with evidence and witness tampering. That doesn’t mean the suicide won’t be on the minds of jurors: trial Judge Glenn Berman told prospective jurors last week that Clementi had killed himself.

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The other man depicted in the video—who has been publicly identified only as “M.B.”—may be brought to testify, which could become key to conviction or exoneration. Attorneys for both sides argued over publicly identifying “M.B,” with Judge Berman eventually ruling that lawyers for Ravi could, indeed, reveal his identity. Should the man testify, it is expected that his full name will be used. The crime with which Ravi is charged occurred in September 2010, a few weeks after Clementi and Ravi, newlyassigned roommates, moved into their dorm room at Rutgers. Clementi is alleged to have asked Ravi to leave their dorm room so that Clementi could have privacy when a friend of his stopped over to their room. Investigators say that Ravi used his computer’s webcam to spy on Clementi. Ravi posted a Twitter message: "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay [sic]." Two nights later, authorities allege that Ravi attempted to do the same thing when Clementi asked him to stay away from the room. The next day, Clementi killed himself. He jumped from the George Washington Bridge, after writing a short Facebook status update: “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.” H


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California Marriage Ban Supporters Ask Appeals Court to Hear Prop. 8 Case SAN FRANCISCO, CA - This week, sponsors of California’s Proposition 8 asked a federal appeals court to uphold the state’s ban on marriage equality. Citing the “exceptional importance” of the case, attorneys for the law’s sponsors wrote “Californians draw the line at redefining marriage to include same-sex couples not because they disapprove of gays and lesbians as a class, but because they believe that the traditional definition of marriage continues to meaningfully serve society's legitimate interests.” The attorneys asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to empanel 11-judges to reconsider--and then overturn--the Feb. 7 decision of a three-member panel that struck down Proposition 8. In that 2 to 1 decision, the judges ruled that the 2008 voter initiative violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment. The Feb. 7 ruling has been suspended pending appeals. The 9th Circuit’s rules allow the same-sex couples an opportunity to file their opposition to the sponsors’ petition. Should any of the 25 active judges of the Circuit call for a vote the entire court will decide whether to rehear the case. If a majority votes to reconsider, the appeal will be heard by a panel of 11 judges. The three-judge panel upheld the 2010 decision of nowretired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, which struck down Proposition 8 completely, although the appeals court ruling applies just to California. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, “By using their initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed, without a legitimate reason for doing so, the people of California violated the Equal Protection Clause.” Whether or not the full 9th Circuit grants the rehearing, the next step would be apossible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.H


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WORLD NEWS

CANADA: National Prevention Bill Acknowledges High Rates of Gay Suicides By PHOEBE MOSES LONDON, UK – Last week, members of parliament (MPs) crossed party lines in support of a sweeping national suicide prevention bill, passing legislation by a vote of 285 to 3 in the House of Commons on Feb. 15. “At the heart of this bill is a clear call for national leadership, a coordination of the great efforts of many community groups across Canada, suicide prevention groups already doing all they can to bring hope,” Conservative Party MP Harold Albrecht, the bill’s sponsor, told the House of Commons. The measure will “create a framework for suicide prevention,” Joe Comartin, an MP from the opposition National Democratic Party, said during debate on the bill. “It would recognize suicide as both a mental health and a public health issue.” “Suicide deaths and attempts cost the Canadian economy over $14.7 billion annually,” Liberal Party MP Hedy Fry told members. “If we are not moved by the human problem here, we should know that the $14.7 billion could go to other parts of health care to help all kinds of problems, including

via measures for prevention, promotion, and setting up of community clinics, et cetera.” A physician, Fry detailed the startling statistics: “The national rate of suicide in Canada is 15 out of 100,000 people,” she noted. “Now, in 2012, it is 73% higher than it was in the 1950s. For every suicide, there are 100 failed attempts.” “The rate of suicide is higher among men. We know that 23 out of every 100,000 men will attempt suicide as

der persons have a seven times higher rate of suicide than heterosexual youth,” Fry reported. “We all know someone whose sense of hope was overcome by emotional pain and despair and consequently ended his or her life by suicide,” offered the bill’s Conservative sponsor, Albrecht. “The big problem is that suicide does not end the pain. It simply transfers it to family and community.” “We as a Parliament can and must do more to protect this sacred gift of human life,” he added. H

Aussie Prime Minister Hosts Gay Couples for Dinner Still Personally Opposes Marriage Equality By RORY BARBAROSSA

Liberal MP Hedy Fry, celebrating Gay Pride in Vancouver with festive attire. PHOTO: Jason Hargrove - JasonHargrove.com

UK: Former Archbishop of Canterbury Leads Attack on Marriage Equality By PHOEBE MOSES LONDON, UK – The former ordained head of the Church of England called attempts to legalize same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom an effort to “undermine” the traditional family. George Lord Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told the Daily Mail that “The ideal is for children to be raised by a mother and father who are married,” and said that marriage equality is merely a “power grab” by a secular government to control an institution it does not own. “The honorable estate of matrimony precedes both the state and the church, and neither of these institutions have the right to redefine it in such a fundamental way,” Carey said. “I do not believe the British public wants any of this,” he added, saying that the “move to legalize same-sex marriage is undemocratic.” Carey told the British newspaper that a new group, the Coalition for Marriage, had been formed to oppose the government’s plans to change the nation’s marriage laws. Carey’s comments were met with strong opposition from Britain’s gay

opposed to 6 out of 100,000 women, although women are three to four times more likely to attempt as opposed to actually complete suicide,” she said. “It is the second leading cause of death among Canadian youth aged 10 to 24. In fact, the suicide rate for Canadian youth is the third highest in the industrialized world.” Fry also pointed out that certain population groups have a higher incidence of suicide. “Those in the armed forces have a three times higher rate of suicide than the general population; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgen-

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rights groups. “Coalition members are entitled to believe that same-sex marriages are wrong, but they are not entitled to demand that their opposition to such marriages should be imposed on the rest of society and enforced by law,” said British LGBT rights advocate Peter Tatchell. “The coalition is out of touch with public opinion. Most British people now support marriage equality.” In fact, all three of Britain’s major political parties—Conservative, Labor, and Liberal-- support same-sex marriage. Speaking last year at the Conservative Party’s national convention, Prime Minister David Cameron was clear about his stand on the issue: “To anyone who has reservations, I say this: yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative.” H

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who personally opposes marriage equality, hosted three same-sex couples for dinner this week at The Lodge, the official residence of the island-nation’s head of government. The event was arranged by the LGBT rights groups Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and GetUp!, which won the dinner as part of a charity auction prize. AME national coordinator Alex Greenwich was optimistic about the evening’s results. “When you talk about issues like this across the dinner table, you're really able to engage with people in a meaningful way,” Greenwich said. Sharon Dane, 54, a social scientist from Queensland—known as Australia’s “Sunshine State-- said prior to the evening that she was encouraged to be able to make the case first hand for marriage equality. “It's very simple," she told The Australian. “Talking about love is not a difficult thing.” Dane, who married her partner in Canada, said she asked Gillard why their marriage could not be recognized in the land of their birth. “Apart from the sex of the people we're attracted to, our feelings of love and commitment is not different to anyone else's,” Dane emphasized. “We own a business and a property together and my name is not on any of that,” offered John Dini of the Prime

Minister’s home constituency of western Melbourne, who, along with his life partner Steve Russell, discussed the business and financial implications of the same-sex marriage ban with Gillard. "Marriage is the easiest way to cover all that,” Dini suggested. The couples who dined with Gillard claim the Prime Minister said the tides of history are in their favor, and that legislative changes that will permit marriage equality are inevitable. Gillard added that her own position on samesex marriage remains unchanged. The 50-year-old Prime Minister was born in Wales, but moved to Australia with her family when she was five. A member of the Australian Labor Party, she became Prime Minister in 2010. Gillard, who has never been married and has no children, resides in the Prime Minister’s official residence with her longtime partner, Australian realtor Tim Mathiesen. She does not support the legalization of same-sex marriage, saying that Australia’s “Marriage Act is appropriate in its current form: that is recognizing that marriage is between a man and a woman,” which she believes “has a special status.” However, at the Australian Labor Party conference last December, Gillard negotiated an amendment on marriage equality which will allow a conscience vote for members of parliament. H

Australian P.M. Julia Gillard (left), and President Obama, at the White House, 3/7/2011 (Photo: UPI/Kevin Dietsch)


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The Dream Within the Dream Or, The Rise of the “Jim Queer” Law I woke up this morning and realized that I had experienced a dream-within-adream thing last night, but with a twist: the dream that Iwas-dreaming-I-was-dreaming was somebody else’s dream. In one of those Jungian (or is it Freudian?) glitch-in-theMatrix deals, I can’t recall precisely if the second party whose dream I was “experiencing” was Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann (and, honestly, it could have been Ron Paul, who in certain light has an “aging Judy Garland”-thing going on). Anyway, the gist of the dream was this: in the midst of a 9/11-style terrorist attack, the Republican Whose Name Shall Not Be Known was faced with certain annihilation in the streets of a large U.S. metropolis unless he or she was able to take shelter with a group of—wait for it—LGBT Americans who had crafted a makeshift refuge. Truth be told, I was pulling for whomever the Unknown Candidate was, as this was still technically my dream, and so I got to experience all the raw emotion associated with a borderline nightmare: accelerated heart rate,

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS Correction: In the past three weeks Dining columns, we neglected to list addresses of the following dining establishments: Checkers Old München on the Boulevard 2209 E Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33062 954-785-7565 Matty’s Deli-on-the-Drive 2426 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 954-564-1799

increase in blood pressure, more perspiration than usual (as witnessed later on my pillow), etc. And you can imagine his/her/my despondency when the leader of the queer survivalists (played in this dream sequence by Tony “Paulie Walnuts” Sirico of “The Sopranos”) refused the request for shelter, saying simply, “There’s no margin,” which is a quaint New York/New Jersey way of saying “no profit margin.” In other words, in the minds of these post-apocalyptic gays, there was nothing to be gained by according Bachmann/ Santorum/Paul/Whomever the same treatment as they would have, say, a dog (ironic, Senator Santorum, no?). I am not sure if my subconscious was giving me a few stolen, pre-dawn laughs, but it did put me in mind of the rights and privileges we are still denied, under the guise of Judeo-Christian values, or conservative principles, original intent, states’ rights, strict constructionism, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. This weekend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defied the will of the people’s representatives in vetoing a marriage equality bill that would have extended the same rights and benefits enjoyed by their straight fellow citizens and taxpayers. The governor reaffirmed his public spiel about letting the voters decide whether to change the definition of marriage in the Garden State. He did this with a “straight” face (pardon my pun) nearly 150 years after citizens of his state fought and died to “redefine” what it means to be a “full” American person (as opposed to the threefifths, pre-1865 definition advocated by that generation’s “strict constructionist-,” “states’ rights-” types). Tropics 2000 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 954-537-6000 The Agenda regrets the omissions. Please visit our website, FloridaAgenda.com, to read more about these great restaurants. Did we get it wrong? Every publication makes the occassional mistake. Feel free to “speak your truth” to Florida Agenda. You can contact our editor, Cliff Dunn (editor@floridaagenda.com) or call us at 954.903.4771 any weekday by 5PM. Thanks for helping us to stay #1 in our community for news and entertainment.

February 23, 2012

Cliff Dunn

“I am adhering to what I’ve said since this bill was first introduced: an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide,” Christie bloviated with the fire of a civil rights supporter, preBrown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (anyone recall separatebut-equal?). This kind of rhetoric is populism for the lowest-common-denominator, “Jim Crow” regurgitated for the Tea Party Generation. Perhaps most malignant about this kind of political talk is that it is couched in the language of reasonableness and the spirit of compromise. In vetoing the bill, Christie proposed creating a state office to oversee compliance with the state’s civil union law, which New Jersey’s same-sex couples say is flawed and promotes discrimination. Christie, like Ron Paul--another “populist” who appeals to the mouthbreathing set—would have us believe that he is defending the conservative values upon which America was founded. Maybe so. But some of those values originate in the spirit of discrimination and exclusion that permeated much of colonial America. True, the Mayflower pilgrims and others came here to practice their religion in an unfettered manner. But the reverse (and largely forgotten) side of that coin was that most felt that the England they were leaving was too permissive in its religious freedoms. In short, they wanted the “freedom” to establish a religious theocracy where intolerance—and certainly a lack of religious freedom for non-believers--was the order of the day. Their cultural descendants likewise practiced an institutional bigotry that mandated segregation of public schools, public transportation, and public places, including restaurants, restrooms, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. “I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change. This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state,” said Christie, who could just as easily have been speaking in the Alabama, Mississippi, or Arkansas of the 1960s’ segregationist south, channeling the spirit of George Wallace, Ross Barnet, or Orval Faubus, preservers of conservative values one and all. No matter how well-meaning the supporters of civil unions and domestic partnership legislation may be, they must understand that for LGBT Americans, we cannot, we will not, endure an era of “Jim Queer” laws and be thankful that things are “starting to move our way.” That’s just plain un-American. H

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Brian Neal Foundation Kicks Off 2012 Next “Dancing with the Stars” in the Works By CLIFF DUNN Last month, the Brian Neal Fitness & Health Foundation announced the beginning of its 2012 curriculum. The Foundation, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization seeks out financiallychallenged local persons who are living with HIV/AIDS or other life-altering conditions, providing free gym memberships at Island City Health and Fitness in Wilton Manors, as well as an hour-long group workout once a week, along with biweekly lifestyle education classes. The curriculum covers important aspects of daily living, from diet and exercise, to making positive life choices. “There are a number of terrific service organizations that assist our community,” acknowledges founder Brian Neal. “I established the Fitness & Health Foundation to fill a rare but critical void in the community to help people live a healthy lifestyle through exercise combined with nutritional and life coaching.” After a successful career as owner of an Atlanta fitness facility, Neal moved to Fort Lauderdale six years ago and opened his own personal training gym. “I realized my motivation for training people solely for profit was misplaced. Instead, I wanted to train people who did not access our programs for various reasons.” The Foundation was quickly conceived and after discussions with business and nutrition advisors, along with future members of the non-profit’s board of trustees, it was launched in April 2011.

“Broward County has one of the highest rates of new HIV cases in the country. Here was an opportunity to help people less fortunate and HIVpositive,” Neal recalls. “Medications are expensive. With government cutbacks on funding, there is an extreme need to support those people within our community, by offering tangible services in the fitness, nutrition, and life coaching areas of life.” Garry Smyth is COO of the Fifth Street Counseling Center and a Foundation board member. “The Foundation promotes a healthy lifestyle to people who otherwise may not have the opportunity or access to it,” says Smyth. Initially, it was the Foundation’s intention to enroll 20 grant recipients for the Winter 2012 curriculum. That was before the organization received an avalanche of requests from applicants. Although Neal and the trustees were gratified by the overwhelming response of need from within the community, a crisis quickly developed in which the numbers of applicants—a literal embarrassment of riches—overwhelmed the available grant resources. The decision was made that 41 grants—more than twice the original target—would be extended, with an additional 100 participants being enrolled in the online Health and Wellness Management Program and the Foundation’s Weekly Walk on Wilton (Drive) each Saturday at noon.

Brian Neal Fitness & Health Foundation Services Available • • • • • • •

Saturday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Group Workout Saturday, 10:15-11:15 a.m. Group Workout Island City Health & Fitness gym membership Online Health & Wellness Program Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. Biweekly Nutrition Class, Pride Center at Equality Park Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. Biweekly Life Coaching Class, Pride Center at Equality Park Saturday, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Weekly Walk on Wilton (Drive)

Reece Darham, managing director of Island City Health and Fitness, applauds the mission of the Foundation and the strides it is making to improve the health and wellbeing of the community. “I can’t stress enough what an excellent opportunity this is to introduce people into a healthy lifestyle,” Darham emphasizes. “Brian and the Foundation are doing excellent work, and the whole community is the beneficiary.” The Foundation has likewise done extensive community outreach to raise awareness of its mission and to put a face on the important work in which the not-for-profit engages. In December 2011, Neal and supporters of the Foundation organized “Dancing with the South Florida Stars,” billed as a “night of music, merriment, and tripping-thelight-fantastic” to support the organization’s fitness, nutrition, and life coaching programs. The event was held on Monday, December 12, at The Manor Nightclub and Restaurant complex in Wilton Manors. Using a format familiar to fans of the hit television program “Dancing with the Stars,” ten partnered teams trained for over a month in the dance and aerobics studio at Wilton Manors’ Island City Health and Fitness to ensure they were at peak performance. The teams, which were culled from a “Who’s Who” of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s “gay-lerati,” included entertainers as well as business and community leaders. The couples were, in numbered order: Jesse Durko and Andrea Lytle, John Zieba and Nicholette, Bobby Blair and Deja Devonair, Michael Driscoll and Cashetta, Bruce Bogan and Electra, Sean David and Dimitri, Reece Darham and Velvet Lenore, Billy Bowser

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and Misty Eyez, Dean Trantalis and Michelle Verdi-Knapp, and Vince Clancy and Liene Dilorenzo. Afterwards, Trantalis, a former Fort Lauderdale city commissioner and the Foundation’s attorney, echoed the sentiments of other present. “The people! The energy! The fun! And of course the Brian Neal Foundation cause. The generosity of our community is overwhelming. And we all had a great time being a part of it.” The next “Dancing with the South Florida Stars” fundraising event is scheduled for Monday, May 21 at 7 p.m., to coincide with the season finale of ABC’s hit television series “Dancing with the Stars.” Moving forward into 2012, founder Brian Neal has announced that Felix DeBruin, who helmed the not-for-profit Pet Project as that organization’s executive director for six years, has been brought aboard to serve as executive director for the Foundation effective this week. “With Felix’s experience and in-depth understanding of the grant application process, we are extremely confident that more deserving persons will be able to benefit from the Foundation’s curriculum this year and for many years to come,” Neal offered. H For information about the Brian Neal Fitness & Health Foundation, and about making tax-deductible donations, visit:

www.BrianNealFitness.org

Team work: Life Coach Markus Lutrzykowski (left) and Holistic Health Coach Melissa Binkley (right) bring years of experience and a willingness to share their talents with a grateful, and in-need, constituency.


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OPINION / EDITORIAL

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Candidly:

Dean Trantalis During the 19th and early-20th centuries, intellectuals and community leaders shared their ideas and thoughts in the form of a parlor game that spoke, truthfully, about the innermost them. This week, we speak CANDIDLY with former Fort Lauderdale vice mayor, Dean Trantalis, Esq., who is a practicing attorney in Wilton Manors:

Your Favorite Virtue. Honesty.

Your Favorite Qualities In a Person. Loyalty.

Your Chief Characteristic.

A Person You Would Be, If Not Yourself. Someone smarter.

A Place You’d Like to Live. I’m fine right where I am.

Willing to make a decision.

Your Favorite Color.

What You Appreciate Most In Your Friends.

Authors You Love.

Favorite Names You’ve Heard.

How You Wish To Die.

[Leo] Tolstoy; [Christopher] Hitchens.

“De Luxe” and “Carte Blanche.”

Old and at peace.

That Thing You Hate the Most.

Your Present State of Mind.

Your Heroes in Fiction.

Hate.

Young and Restless.

Your Favorite Occupation.

There are no heroes, just heroic efforts.

A Reform You Admire.

The Fault You Can Least Tolerate.

Equality for LGBT persons.

Violation of trust.

Political engagement.

Your Heroes in Reality.

A Food and Beverage You Like.

Your Motto.

No Aggravation.

Those who try to succeed on behalf of others despite all odds!

Watermelon. And I’m addicted to Diet Coke®.

No matter how convincing it sounds, there’s always another side. H

Your Idea of Misery.

Historical Figures You Dislike.

A Talent You Should Have.

Dealing with aggravating people.

Destructive people.

Clairvoyance.

Their humor.

Your Main Fault. Laughing at dumb jokes.

Your Idea of Happiness.

Chinese Yellow.

‘Anti-Gay/Anti-Prayer’ Continued from COVER During the 2008 constitutional amendment fight, the FFPC’s president, John Stemberger, an attorney, released a statement that raised the specter of “homosexual recruitment,” a strategy that critics called a scare tactic. “Failing to ban gay marriage in the state constitution could result in the indoctrination of schoolchildren into a gay lifestyle,” Stemberger wrote. “Florida schools might have to teach that gay weddings are the same as traditional unions if the proposal fails at the polls. The school prayer legislation has also been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the ACLU of Florida, which have cited the measure’s unconstitutionality. In a statement this week, the ADL—acknowledging its traditional opposition to the FFPC and FRC “on issues of religion in the public schools”— announced: “When advocacy groups as divergent as ADL, ACLU, Florida Family Policy Council and Liberty Counsel all agree that the bill is unconstitutional – the legislation must be inherently flawed.” The statement added that the ADL “urge[s] the [House] Judiciary Committee to oppose this unwise measure and save taxpayers the

completely unnecessary litigation expenses that will undoubtedly be incurred should CS–SB98 become law.” The FFPC’s Feb. 17 Insider’s Report: echoed the ADL statement: [Matthew] Staver of Liberty Counsel who is also Dean of the Law School at Liberty University and one of the leading Religious Liberty experts in the country has recently come forth and publicly opposed the bill and asked the legislature to defeat it. Our own President and General Counsel John Stemberger has many of the same concerns. Both these lawyers believe the bill has major constitutional problems and is likely to get struck down under the current case law and only after many years and legal expenses has [sic] been invested trying to defend it.” In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Matthew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University Law School, said that he is ”an advocate of student speech, but this bill will run into constitutional problems and I don’t think it’s right to make school districts litigate this issue again--and they will have to.” H


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Cross-Eyed

The Climb by A.J. CROSS Imagine that you are losing your home to foreclosure, and have just found out that you are about to be dismissed from your job because your employer can no longer afford you. With very little money saved, and a mountain of bills so high that you could paper your walls with them, you find yourself searching for a way out. How did you get here? You were financially responsible, worked as hard as anyone, and now find that you are losing everything. To top it off, you realize that people once eager to see you socially aren’t interested in hanging out with you in your home, because you simply can’t afford to go out. Loneliness takes over quickly and unexpectedly. You are not alone. Millions of Americans are going through the same dilemma. Here comes the scary truth. You will more than likely lose your home. You will more than likely lose your car as well, unless you are able to find enough money to hold on to it for one month longer. I do not tell you to this to bring you down, but to prepare you for what needs to be done. You are going to have to make the “Climb.” You are going to have to step out of your comfort zone and consider possibilities for generating revenue that you never would have before. Harder still, you will have to let go of your ego and pride and put that nerve-shaken hand out and ask for help. Now more than ever, with so many people experiencing similar circumstances, people are showing compassion, empathy and humanit--and someone will likely help you. They may help you to find a job, or put you in contact with someone that perhaps has helped them in prolonging the foreclosure and eviction process just a little bit longer. Ignore the letters in the mail from socalled help-with-foreclosure companies. Find out if you qualify for any governmental relief (but don’t hold your breath on that). Fannie Mae may be an option, but the process is long, and the bank

that holds your mortgage may not even work with Fannie Mae. The first part of the climb is to get money back in the bank. Do odd jobs: clean toilets if you have to. Do whatever it takes to get money—legally--because you are going to need it. The next part of the climb is to create a budget. First write down everything you buy, from gum to cigarettes, social activities, bill, children, lovers, etc. When you have that completed, you will need to start eliminating expenses. Take out what you “like” or what you “want,” and leave only what you “need.” Stay away from get-rich schemes and casinos or scratch-off tickets. Avoid asking for loans, because you will only have to add that to the very expenses you are trying to minimize. The key to the climb is to do exactly that: climb. Climb out of your self pity. Climb out of your financial stress. Climb out of your fear and rise above your situation. You are the same intelligent, motivated and talented person you were before everything started to change for the worse. The only thing that you need to change is your circumstances. You may end up being the only Doctor at McDonalds, but you will at least be making money. Just believe that you are not bound by your situation and that you can rise from the ashes like a phoenix, and you will shine brighter than ever before. H

A.J. Cross is originally from Montreal and has written the “Cross Eyed” column for seven years. He lives in Fort Lauderdale where he serves as budget advisor to the City Commission.

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Q-Point

Partisan Paige Spiels Liberal-Left Pundits by ANDY EDDY

Once again a columnist who’s a liberal-gay Democrat demeans gay/gay-friendly Republicans in a form once considered by some as “yellow journalism.” In Marc Paige’s column (Florida Agenda, Feb. 9, 2012, “Q-Point: Thanks for Nothing, Mitt”), no mention was ever made of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a cosponsor of the recent Congressional legislation that rescinded the Clinton-Nunn-Frank DADT gay ban authored by then-Sen. Sam Nunn (DGA) and subsequently codified by a Congress and Presidency controlled by Democrats. You likewise didn’t hear a favorable spiel flowing from Marc’s pen about the oncerenowned gay-friendly Sen. Barry Goldwater, who boldly stated to Conservatives and his constituents that, “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.” Paige attacked Romney especially on gay marriage but you didn’t hear a peep about the

codification of the anti-gay DOMA bill which was also signed into law by President Clinton and set the guidelines for many anti-gay marriage laws and in some cases civil unions in many states. Paige appears to warmly welcome you with his right hand,

then reverts into a quill-holding “Left-Handed-Pundit Transformer” who seemingly has little affection and/or appreciation for gay or gayfriendly Republicans. In his attack on Stone and allies, Paige never once mentioned that when Candidate Obama campaigned in black Florida churches, he proudly proclaimed that marriage was established as a union between “one man and one woman.” Little was discussed about Father Flager, or the president’s long-time family friend and spiritual advisor, the Rev. White, who is as anti-gay as another Obama supporter, Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the radical Nation of Islam. We also didn’t hear about the DADT Supreme Court challenge brought by Log Cabin Republicans or its defense by Obama-appointee, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. While gay- and gay-friendly Republicans don’t work in beds of roses--as do those Democrats who live in a gay-left vacuum and oneway-mirrored-glass houses--they are heroic partisans in a “5th column” movement who fight an internal fight that many others ran from when the challenge became too rough for them to handle as fiscal moderates and conservatives. Indeed, men and women like Nick Stone--who Paige attacks as a “Stone-Wall[er]”--are not simply “walled in” Republican activists but men and women working inside the halls and back rooms of the Republican Party to create positive change through outreach and education. Marc and his “Media Matters-ilk wallow in the pleasure of pouring salt into the wounds of front-line troopers like Stone who deal on a daily basis with the headon challenge of defending against hard-line anti-gay bias. Log Cabin Republicans and their friends are here for the long run. They appreciate and understand the Constitutional guarantee of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” for all citizens of this great country and work hard in a truly growing and diverse political arena. H

Editor’s Note: Marc Paige’s column was itself a response to an earlier Agenda column (Jan. 26, 2012 “Q-Point: The Big Tent GOP”), written by conservative pundit Nick Stone, who is referred to in the letter. When the late Barry Goldwater famously opined in favor of LGBT armed servicemembers in 1992 (“You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight”), he had been out of the U.S. Senate for more than five years. The history of the loathsome and un-American “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” policy has been well-documented, but it has its “modern” roots in the 1947 Defense Department creation of the "undesirable" discharge classification, under which a servicemember who was found to be gay but who hadn’t committed sexual acts would be discharged. (Those who were found guilty of actually engaging in homosexual conduct were “dishonorably” discharged.) The reprehensible U.S. Navy “Crittenden Report” of 1957 actually dismissed the charge that homosexuals constituted a security risk—and then turned around and called for strident anti-gay policies on the basis that “Homosexuality is wrong, it is evil, and it is to be branded as such.” The policy as we recognize it was introduced by President Bill Clinton (his wife being “Goldwater Girl” Hillary) in 1993 as a compromise measure. Clinton had campaigned on a promise to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of their sexual orientation. The Democratic-controlled Congress—running scared because of strong pressures from its conservative wing--overrode Clinton by including text that required the military to abide by regulations that were essentially identical to the 1982 absolute ban policy. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, was passed by a Republican U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

- CD


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Cinema | Fitness | Nutrition | Travel | Dining | Bar Guide | Recipe | Classifieds

WHAT’S INSIDE:

T

ypical for this time of year, we are starting to feel winter’s last grip (not that the whole affair lasted more than five minutes anyway). It’s your last chance to enjoy this cool weather until the real swelter starts to set in around late-March, so enjoy some of the many outdoor activities SoFla has to offer this weekend—South Beach Food & Wine Festival, Beach Bear Weekend, and the Florida Renaissance Festival, to name just a few. The “Oscars” have been a gay old time and a gay old tradition for decades. But have the shows lost their appeal since that first ceremony in 1929 (when “Wings” won for first “Best Picture”—and, no, I do not remember Clara Bow’s acceptance speech)? Warren Day draws some comparisons between this weekend’s Academy Awards show and another American icon that may have lost its luster, inside in Cinema. Upscale and approachable: that’s how locals and visitors alike describe Fort Lauderdale’s Michele’s Dining Lounge, and Richard David Chamberlain has fork and notepad in hand for a tour of menu and ambience. Read more, inside Dining. He’s such a familiar face, one has trouble remembering a time when he wasn’t hip-deep in SoFla’s scene—and he barely into his 30s! Writer Bob Kecskemety shines an up-closeand-personal Spotlight on a young Lord of the Manor, Jason Tamanini. South Florida audiences love her and she will be thrilling Chicago crowds in April as the reigning Miss State of Florida Continental Elite “lip-synching for her life” to win the coveted national crown. Friends salute the multitalented Diva this Monday, Feb. 27, at Lips, for “A Night of 1,000 Divas.” There’s more, in this week’s Scene. It’s a Tale of Two Castles this week with writer Paul Rubio, who takes you inside two Auld World spots where they know what the original words to “Auld Lang Syne” mean. Ashford and Inverlochy reveal—some of— their secrets, in Travel. Chef Jean Doherty offers another worldclass Recipe with which to explore your inner gourmet and Dr. Arlen Leight offers some Reflections on an alternative to divorce. March is just around the corner, so make the most of this 29-day February! CD H

LORD OF THE

MANOR A Closer Look at The Manor’s Jason Tamanini

Profiles PAGE 44

THIS DIVA NEEDS YOU! Find out why Diva of Lips needs your help

Scene PAGE 38 MICHELE’S DINING LOUNGE: Serving up an elegant Sunday brunch

SAVORY VEGETARIAN RISOTTO

Dining PAGE 29

Recipe PAGE 28

Chef Jean serves up the recipe


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PHILIP ALEXANDER

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PHILIP ALEXANDER Soulfully, and Full of Soul By CLIFF DUNN

(Full Disclosure: I have had the pleasure of singing a “duet” of the Frank Sinatra classic “All the Way” with Philip Alexander, whose true “gift” in my estimation is the generosity of spirit and craft with which he makes his performing partners sound so damned good! But I digress…)

P

hilip Alexander is a familiar face to South Florida’s LGBT community. Whether he is jogging on Fort Lauderdale Beach prior to a personal training session, or shaking the rafters during local open-mic and karaoke nights in the Gayborhood, the 6’5” Alexander is a ubiquitous presence with a signature smile, style, and voice that are very much his own. MARK Magazine Editor Cliff Dunn spoke with Alexander about his Gospel music roots and why the artist loves to be in love. MARK Magazine: Trace the path that your music has taken, personally and career-wise. Philip Alexander: I was singing before I could speak. I believe it’s something I was born to do--THE ONLY THING I was born to do. I sang gospel growing up, [laughs] with a little Whitney Houston and Anita Baker mixed in for good measure. I was very sheltered as a young kid. My mother is very religious, so my music selection was very limited to artists in the Gospel scene. It wasn’t until I was 10, when I moved to Turkey with my father, that I learned about “secular” music. The first artists I was exposed to were Tevin Campbell and the girl group “Xscape.” After traveling all over Europe, we moved to Guam. That’s when I fell in love with Brian McKnight and basically most love ballads. We moved back to the U.S. for my last year and a half of high school, to Panama City, Florida. It was there that I came out of the closet, and the artist that helped me do that was Celine Dion. During that time, I sang every song she made. MM: Who would you not like your style to be confused with? PA: You know, I don’t really know or care who people confuse or compare me to. [Laughs] I think it’s kind of hard to mistake me once I hit the stage: I’m a 6’5” “Blatino” with blond hair. At this point in my career, I think to be compared to an artist who has already made a name is an honor.

MM: This is a year of great change in the music industry, some of it quite sad, including the loss of Whitney Houston and Etta James. But great change brings great opportunity, as well. What do you think 2012 holds for you professionally? PA: Along with my team—my manager, Brian Ferber and my agent, Corri Boyd—I believe that 2012 has already been a BIG year for me. I’ve been approached by Broadway producers, I sang with Brian McKnight’s music director, and I am in talks with a big R&B producer. It all seems like a lot of “hurry up and wait” right now, but it will undoubtedly bare some fruit. MM: From where do you find your “artist’s voice?” PA: It comes from a deep desire to fall--and stay--in love. My close friends would say, “Philip falls in love every three weeks.” But actually I don’t. I want my music to make people feel real, raw emotion. I think that we are seriously deprived of genuine emotion today. Everyone has a guard or wall up of some kind. And this defensive layer displays illusions of emotions, until we find out whether or not the object of our attraction is true. The problem is that by the time we relax and let our guard down, it’s too late. So when I sing, it’s my raw emotion, my true desire

that you hear. I put myself in that “what if” place. “What if” I didn’t have my guard up all of the time? “What if” my true love was sitting right before my eyes? “What if” everyone listening was falling in love with someone right now? This is where my artist’s voice comes from. MM: Where would you like people to see Philip Alexander’s career in five years? PA: Five years from now I’d like to be touring. I plan to start opening up for major artists within the next couple of years, so five years from now I want it all! H


RECIPE

28 H FEBRUARY 23, 2012

THIS WEEK’S RECIPE: Vegetarian Risotto

FLORIDAAGENDA.COM

Friends Enjoying Great Food at

Le Patio!

By JEAN DOHERTY

R

isotto is an Italian dish made of rice and cooked in a broth to a creamy or maybe “sloppy” consistency. The broth can be meat, fish, or vegetable-based. This is why I love this dish…you are the chef!! Play around and experiment. Many types of risotto contain Parmesan cheese, butter, and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Risotto is normally a primo, or first course, served on its own before the main course, but if you use, for example, a fish bouillon and then add shrimp…well there you go, you have a main course! This recipe is for a vegetarian risotto. • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 3 small onions, finely chopped • 1 clove garlic, crushed • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms • 1 cup whole milk • 1/4 cup heavy cream • 1 cup rice • 5 cups vegetable stock • 1 teaspoon butter • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the

onion is tender and garlic is lightly browned. Remove the garlic, (you can discard it) and stir in the parsley, the salt and pepper and add the mushrooms. Reduce heat to low, and continue cooking until the mushrooms are soft. Pour the milk and cream into the pan, and stir in the rice. Heat to a simmer. Stir the vegetable stock into the rice one cup at a time, until it is absorbed. Stir and stir. When the rice has finished cooking, stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese, and remove from heat. Serve hot. Please feel free to alter and add to this recipe…. HAVE FUN for as I always say you are the chef!! H

2401 NE 11th Ave. • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 954-530-4641 www.LePatioWiltonManors.com

STAY TUNED... BIG CHANGES ARE COMING SOON!


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DINING

FEBRUARY 23, 2012 H 29

MICHELE’S DINING LOUNGE

The Most Elegant Sunday Brunch in Fort Laudrdale By RICHARD DAVID CHAMBERLAIN

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ichele’s Dining Lounge, a haven of fine food and jazz music that recently celebrated its first anniversary on Oakland Park Blvd., has added a classy Sunday brunch to its assortment of weekly culinary events. With a single stroke of his wideblade spatula, Executive Chef Michael Kridlow has re-written the stylebook for allyou-can-eat Sunday Brunch in the “Venice of America.” The atmosphere at Michele’s is refined sophistication—the beige and chocolate seating mixed with its soft lighting and dramatic water wall. Jazz music wafts through the place, caressing the mind into cool fantasy, removing any suggestion that you are still in Oakland Park, Florida. Think upper-Eastside Manhattan and you’d be closer to the truth. There is no denying that stretched before you is a colorful and elegant display of taste temptations. The Caesar and Mixed Green salads alone are so garden crisp that we were tempted to check under the serving table to make certain the lettuce wasn’t still rooted in the ground. While a smoked fish dip with flat sesame crackers was too light on the smoke and the fish to create much of an impression, any disappointment was quickly replaced at the first taste of the colossal shrimp (the size of small lobsters) with a cocktail sauce that smacks of homemade and delicious. You’ll want to grab a plateful, since no one is counting—but save yourself. This is only the start of the foodarama second-to-none. There are delicious bowls of penne pasta tossed with spinach, red onion, tomatoes and olive oil, in a mix so delicate as to demand seconds. Three chafing dishes are keeping watch next in line, and are

tempting your taste buds with flat sausage, bacon, pork links with peppers, ham and onions, plus delicious potatoes, light and roasted in a secret seasoning that dares you to fill your plate. But don’t. After all, you have to save some room for the smoked salmon, sliced paper thin (with chopped egg and capers on the side), or the oysters on the half-shell, wet with flavor and just-shucked freshness; the cheese platter with an assortment of imports; and assorted fresh fruit. We returned to our corner table in time for our server Darren to ply us with

and expect to receive a portion that is big enough to split three ways. Lest we forget: for the truly gluttonous, there is also Eggs Benedict on the menu— or rather, a menu just for Eggs Benedict. In this case, the regular (with Canadian bacon), Michele’s (with beef tenderloin— our favorite), Country (with a sausage patty) and Blackstone (with tomato and bacon). To be honest, the Hollandaise sauce overpowered the dish, so if Eggs Benedict is on your wish list, order yours with light sauce and you’ll be very pleased. An assortment of chocolate mousse,

complimentary champagne, mimosas and some bloody Marys that may just be the best we’ve ever tasted (it’s the celery salt, we’re told). No sooner had we convinced ourselves that we had died and landed smack in heaven, then we spotted the “real” menu. No kidding. The feast had just begun. Chef Kridlow, it seems, had been marinating his prime rib for the past two days, in expectation of Sunday brunch. Add that to your plate and plan on moving right into the kitchen—it’s that good, served medium rare and drizzled with au jus. And as if that’s not enough protein, order from the omelet menu: ham, ham and cheese, Western (with ham, pepper and onions) or vegetable (a scrumptious mix of broccoli, mushrooms, peppers and onions)

whipped creams, strawberries and assorted pastries complete this indulgence, leaving only the belt to be loosened and the check to be settled. Yes, there is a price to be paid for this pleasure. In this case, it’s $29.95. That’s a healthy chunk of change for an extended lunch, to be sure. But, take it from us, it’s the best deal in town—and the most elegant. Enjoy it from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and tell them Florida Agenda sent you. H

MICHELE’S DINING LOUNGE 2761 E Oakland Park Blvd. Oakland Park FL 33306 954-533-1919


30 H FEBRUARY 23, 2012

FORT LAUDERDALE/WILTON MANORS ALIBI 2266 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors Gayborhood tradition since 1997. Comfortable, inviting atmosphere with indoor video bars, outdoor drinking and dining. Drink specials all week, with mammoth 22-ounce Long Island Iced Teas for $3 on Thursdays.

BAR GUIDE

PJ’S CORNER POCKET 924 N Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale Friendly neighborhood interracial bar with drinks specials every night of the week including, “In the Biz Mondays” at 9 p.m. with 2-4-1 drinks and $3 Cosmos and Apple Martinis, “Splash Friday’s” wet underwear contest, and Sunday’s pool tournament, both with a $50 cash prize!

BILL’S FILLING STATION 2209 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors Videos, pool tables, dart boards, dance floor, happy hour, live shows, Tuesday and Thursday karaoke – and great burgers, to boot. Fun and friendly truck-stop-themed bar.

RAMROD 1508 NE 4th Ave., Fort Lauderdale Voted World’s Favorite Leather Bar. Pig Dance first Saturday of the month – South Florida’s Busiest, Craziest Monthly Party (with caged hunks at Midnight on Saturdays – is there a downside to this?).

BOARDWALK 1721 N Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale Over 100 of the sexiest men from all over the world. Go-go dancers, cages, billiards, 2-4-1 Happy Hours. Drag emcees and did we mention the Boys?

ROSIE’S BAR & GRILL 2449 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors Nexus of the A-Gay List. Be Seen in the Scene (without making one). Food, folks, libations, and a killer Sunday Funday.

BOOM 2232 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors The bar with two names features a dance club and Gayborhood bar. Drag Bingo on Mondays, karaoke Mondays and Tuesdays, dance music Fridays and Saturdays, and (indoor) Sunday T-Dance.

SCANDALS SALOON 3073 NE 6th Ave., Wilton Manors A line-dancin’, tight blue jeans-wearin’ good time. Country and western music, two-steppin’, three-steppin’, pool tables, and themed events year ‘round. Cowboys and Indians was never this much fun, Pilgrim.

CORNER PUB 1915 N Andrews Ave., Wilton Manors Friendly atmosphere, unpretentious clientele and staff. Next to Island City Pizza (so you can get your drink AND your slice on).

SIDELINES 2031 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors Where Sports come first. Nationally known destination sports bar with TVs streaming NFL, MLB, NBA and college games. Pool tables, dart boards and large indoor (and now smoke-free) facility. Outdoor patio features area for smokers. Mixed crowd of gay men and women (who would have thought?). Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek and recommended by LOGO.

CUBBY HOLE 823 N Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale Butch bar and grill with a rockin’ daytime crowd (and a fun nighttime one, too). Fifty cent pool, 2-for-1 drinks all day every day, video games, hot movies on HDTV and DirecTV. Thursdays it’s Bare Bear Chest Night, and every Friday and Saturday the fur flies with Hot Bears on Poles (where their Grizzlies Grind)!

STABLE 205 E Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale Levis-and-leather neighborhood bar, where the bears line dance and the cowboys are VERY friendly.

DEPOT CABANA BAR AND GRILL 2935 N Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale Adjacent to the America’s Best Inn and Suites. Pool open daily – No Cover or Day Pass. Great food, daily happy hour, Sunday afternoon T-Dance Poolside. Karaoke and live music. Open daily at 11:30 a.m.

SMARTY PANTS 2400 E Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale Cozy neighborhood bar with daily happy hour, and regular patrons. Show night Thursdays at 9 p.m. Karaoke Friday and Saturday nights, and with matinee on Sunday afternoon.

DUDES 3270 NE 33rd St., Fort Lauderdale Men dancing for men. Hot go-go boys in an upscale atmosphere, piano lounge for more quiet interludes. Steamy shower shows.

TORPEDO 2829 W Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale Dance, shoot pool, drink til 4 a.m., 7 nights a week. Doors open at Midnight; dance til Dawn.

JOHNNY’S 1116 W Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale Club, bar, lounge. Male dancers and the men who love (to ogle) them. Sunday amateur strip contest (and karaoke!). LIPS 1421 E Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park The Ultimate in Drag Dining. Dinner and shows six nights a week. Sunday Gospel Brunch with the Sisters of Sequins. THE MANOR 2345 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors WeHo vibe (think: LA’s The Abbey) in the heart of the Gayborhood. Dine, drink, dance, play, mingle. Theme rooms (salsa and merengue every weekend in the Latin Quarter!). Live dancing and dining. MATTY’S ON THE DRIVE 2426 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors Drink specials, billiards, and a chill gayborhood vibe. 75 Cent drinks on Wednesdays. No Drama, No Smoking. MONKEY BUSINESS 2740 N Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale Cozy neighborhood bar. Karaoke, drag shows, Patio Bar – and open at 9 a.m. daily. MONA’S 502 E Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale Cocktail Lounge in the heart of Searstown. Fun customers, fun bartenders and fun proprietor (the Legendary Jerry). Outside patio. Wednesday karaoke, Thursday Speedball Tournament. NAKED GRAPE 2163 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors Relaxing, friendly, hip, unique – the alternative gathering place on Wilton Drive. Wine tastings and events. Tuesday and Wednesday Late Night In the Biz.

WHISKEY BLUE 401 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale In the W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach, downstairs it’s the elegant Whiskey Blue, upstairs the luxe Living Room: hot dance and social settings in a distinctive atmosphere with signature cocktails and upscale patrons. Indoor and outdoor lounges. WILTON’S BIER GARDEN 2245 Wilton DriveWilton Manors German cuisine meets Der Gayborhood, in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Upstairs dining, downstairs outdoor patio and bar, DJ music, and a fun staff make one of Wilton Manors’ newest venues a good time to be had by all. MIAMI/MIAMI BEACH ­ CLUB BOI 777 NE 79 St., Miami With an urban vibe on the weekends, a diverse crowd and a diverse musical format, including Hip Hop, R&B, House, Reggae, Soca, Latin and Old School. Go-go bois and drink specials. CLUB SUGAR 2301 SW 32nd Ave., Miami Gay Latin scene, with Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, Hip Hop and House music always playing. DISCOTEKKA 950 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Hot music, hot scene, hot bartenders, and hot patrons in the hot heart of Downtown Miami.

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Deco District. Mouth-watering burgers, boys (and girls!). Weekend cabaret shows Thursday through Sunday.

mainstays of the recently bloomed Florida Avenue flower! Neighborhood bar, pool tables.

SCORE 727 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach Dance, drink, party all night on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road. Tons of events throughout the year, including fundraisers for Winter Party, White Party, and Miami Beach Gay Pride.

Baxter’s Lounge 1519 S Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL Tampa Happy Hour Tradition. Serving up some of the hottest dancers Wednesday thru Saturday nights at 10PM.

SPACE 34 NE 11th St., Miami Mingle and mix with gays and str8s in the heart of Downtown Miami. Indoor dance floors and outdoor rooftop bar, spectacular light show. TWIST 1057 Washington Ave., Miami Beach Great music, friendly staff, hot tourists and locals. Never a cover, always a groove. Bungalow Bar = Hot Men. In SoBe’s Art Deco District. JOHNNY’S MIAMI 62 NE 14th Street, Downtown Miami Club, bar and lounge. Johnny’s Miami boasts the best sound system in town! Plenty of safe, secured parking. Open 5pm to 5am daily. Hot male dancers and daily drink specials. ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA Hanks 5026 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL Friendly local bar with a cruisy attitude. One of Orlando’s oldest and friendliest Gay bars. Beer and Wine. Pool Tables, Video Games and a Large Patio area. Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grill 110 W Church St., Orlando, FL Eat, Drink & Be Mary! Tuesday BINGO with Miss Sammy & Carol Lee, Wednesday Trivia with Doug Bouser and Leigh Shannon’s Cabaret Dinner Show is every Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Parliament House 410 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL All gay entertainment complex with 130 newly-remodeled hotel rooms. Cruisy Hotel, Nightclub, Pool Bar, Bear/Leather Bar. New Phoenix 7124 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, FL Winter Park’s ONLY Gay & Lesbian Bar. Been There Forever! Karaoke every Tuesday and Friday at 9 p.m. Drag shows every Saturday night. Home of the $1 Jello shots. Pulse 1912 S Orange Ave., Orlando, FL Orlando’s Premier Gay Bar & Nightclub with Ultra Lounge, Jewel Box Dance Floor, and Adonis Dancers. Twisted Tuesdays with $10 All-U-Can Drink, College Wednesdays (18+) and 2-4-1 every Friday for Happy Hour. Savoy Orlando 1913 N Orange Ave., Orlando, FL “The hottest” gay bar and nightclub in Orlando. The MEN OF SAVOY Dancers from 6 p.m. til 2 a.m. every night in the main bar! Video Bar, Pool Tables. Wylde’s 3557 S Orange Ave., Orlando, FL Neighborhood bar South of Downtown Orlando. Jukebox, Video Games, Pool Tables and Dancers. Paradise Orlando 1300 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL Orlando’s casual Gay & Lesbian bar and nightclub. Patio, Tiki Bar and Pool Tables. Happy Hour 4 til 9 p.m. and drink specials every day til 9 p.m. Bar Codes (Formerly Bear Bar) 4453 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL Friendly Bar, Real Men and Bears... Oh My! Beer and Wine. Tends to attract the after work Happy Hour crowd. TAMPA BAY

MOVA LOUNGE 1625 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach On Miami Beach’s famed Lincoln Road, never a cover. Drink specials all week long, live DJs, high energy music and a fun crowd getting their dance on til late.

2606 2606 N Armenia Ave., Tampa, FL Tampa’s favorite Levi/leather bar has two floors (dimly lit), with the upstairs being the more cruisy. There’s Hog House shop on-premises, and the 2606 is home to the Tampa Leather Club. Monday is Underwear Night, Tuesdays are $1 drinks and on Wednesdays, Longnecks are just $1.50.

PALACE BAR 1200 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach This bar and restaurant in the heart of South Beach’s Art

Azalea Lounge 1502 N Florida Ave., Tampa, FL Exposed brick, cold beverages and friendly staff are the

Flirt Nightclub & Showbar 1909 N 15th St., Tampa, FL (Ybor City) Get that hometown feeling. Amazing lazer shows, big headliners and has been around for 6 years. City Side 3703 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, FL Tampa Bay’s “Best Happy Hour” til Midnight every night of the week. GBar 1401 E 7th Ave., Tampa (Ybor City), FL Dance Club & Video Bar. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. til 3 a.m. No cover before 10 p.m., $5 after with ID. Valentines Nightclub 7522 N Armenia Ave., Tampa, FL Voted #1 Nightclub in Tampa. Open 7 days a week 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday, Latin Night, Tuesdays are Boys Night Out, Wednesdays are Karaoke Night, Thursdays, No Cover Dance Party, Fridays feature Hot Go-Go Girls, Saturdays are Latino Night “Uncut” and Sundays are Hip Hop Night. Ki Ki Ki III 1908 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL One of The Oldest Bars (beer and wine). A plain bar without pretention with its share of young regulars. Rainbow Room 421 S MacDill Ave., Tampa, FL A mix between a neighborhood bar and a community center. Main bar with pool, darts, jukebox. Outdoor Tiki patio has a full volleyball court and live bands. Beer & Wine. ST. PETERSBURG Georgies Alibi 3100 3rd Ave. North, St. Petersburg, FL One of the most popular gay bars in St. Pete. It’s always busy! Great VJ’s play Top 40 music. Mondays are Drag BINGO and Talent contest, Pool tourney Wednesdays, and the legendary Long Island Iced Tea nights on Thursdays. Ages 21 and over, never a cover! Flamingo Resort 4601 34th St. South, St. Petersburg, FL Florida’s “largest, luxury all gay resort.” Non-stop entertainment, great menu, and drinks served poolside at the Cabana. Weekly events and 2-4-1 Happy Hour daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday Happy Hour ($1 off) 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Gemini Lounge 2315 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL Gemini Lounge aims to serve a variety of tastes; music, karaoke, Internet access, poetry readings and sports on TV. Oar House Bar & Liquor Store 4807 22nd Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL Fun, friendly, laid-back atmosphere where you can get great drinks at cheap prices! Drama free! Happy Hour daily from 2 p.m. til 9 p.m. Haymarket Pub 8308 4th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL More of a Men’s bar. Showing hot videos, beer specials, Saturday Underwear Night, and different events each week. Hideaway 8302 4th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL The oldest Womyn’s bar in the country. Where music is always the main entree! Coldest selection of beer in town. Detour 2612 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL The hottest club in St. Pete. Daily specials, karaoke nights and gogo boys from Rico’s Men. Noted for it’s Saturday Drag shows and Karaoke nights. Full liquor bar. MELBOURNE/COCOA Cold Keg NightClub 4060 W New Haven Ave., Melbourne, FL Largest Gay Club in Melbourne Florida and the Premier Gay Bar & Nightclub in Brevard County. Ultra Lounge 407 Brevard Ave., Cocoa, FL Nestled in Cocoa Village, this bar has a full coffee bar,


FLORIDAAGENDA.COM

BAR GUIDE

serving espresso, lattes, cappuccinos as well as draft beers & wine.

over 30 years, and host Happy Hour specials daily from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

This is the only gay leather bar in Key West. Conveniently located behind 801 Bourbon Bar.

JACKSONVILLE

Aqua Nightclub 711 Duval St., Key West, FL Aqua features the “Reality is a Drag” show six days a week, followed by dancing. Monday is karaoke night and don’t miss the great happy hour specials from 3 to 8 p.m. daily.

La Te Da 1125 Duval St., Key West, FL An upscale hotel complex with 3 bars, cabaret and restaurant.

The Metro 2929 Plum St., Jacksonville, FL The Metro Entertainment Complex has been serving the GLBT community for 17 years. Features a total of 7 different venues under one roof to choose from. Lesbo-A-GoGo, monthly Tea Dances, special quest performers, female impersonators and live musicians. Boot Rack Saloon 4751 Lenox Ave., Jacksonville, FL Your Neighborhood Gay Bar - the place for men. Cold beer, music and a warm and cozy atmosphere. Hot men and cheap beer... We all know where that leads! AJ’s Bar & Grill 10244 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville, FL Annie and Janie invite you to stop by and see some old friends and meet some new ones! Great food, awesome service, delicious mixed drinks and live entertainment. Park Place Lounge 931 King St., Jacksonville, FL A fun and comfortable gay bar that’s accommodating to both gays and non-gays. A great place to watch your favorite game, or enjoy playing Wii while the liquor flows! The Norm 2952 Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville, FL A neighborhood bar. Everyone is welcome, but remember it is a girls bar! Beer and Wine only.

KWest 705 Duval St., Key West, FL Daily Happy Hour from 3 to 8 p.m., and a piano sing-along every Wednesday night. Men dancing for men after 10 p.m. Weekly drink specials and “Wet Jockey” contests on Fridays. Saloon One 801 Duval St., Key West, FL (Behind 801 Bar)

Pearl’s Patio Bar for Women 525 United St., Key West, FL Tropical themed women’s bar for gay women and gayfriendly women alike. Patio bar with a full bar featuring drinks like “Cosmopearlitans” and “Pearl’s Passion”. Bobby’s Monkey Bar 900 Simonton St., Key West, FL The gay Cheers style neighborhood bar of Key West. Happy Hour from Noon to 7pm, Karaoke on Sunday nights, pool tournaments on Tuesday nights at 7pm. Free Wi-Fi access.

FEBRUARY 23, 2012 H 31

Garden of Eden 224 Duval St., Key West, FL A Rooftop Bar with the BEST VIEWS in the city & “BEST Long Island Ice Teas made by Melinda!” Gay, straight, fat, or skinny... Doesn’t matter! Clothing optional - gay friendly! WEST PALM BEACH H G Roosters 823 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach, FL Dark bar that attracts a fun party crowd. Camp is in at H.G.’s, where drag shows and bingo nights pack in crowds looking for laughs and fun. The Lounge 517 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, FL Sushi, tropical views and tasty cocktails are accompanied by acclaimed resident DJ Daisy DeadPetals. Fort Dix Bar & Club 6205 Georgia Ave., West Palm Beach, FL Mostly local crowd looking to mingle and relax. The bar is a bit on the dark and dingy side, but who knows--that could be a plus. FORT MYERS Office Pub 3704 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, FL Oldest gay bar in South West Florida with a festive attitude. This bear-friendly Office likes to have fun with underwear parties, drag shows, Wii bowling! Check out their country and western music night on Saturdays.

616 Bar 616 Park St., Jacksonville, FL A warm and friendly atmosphere with a Patio bar. Karaoke on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays the Jax Bears are here for happy hour. Fridays and Saturdays enjoy the “Beer Blast.”

Tubby’s 4350 Fowler St., Fort Myers, FL Where men come to compete (in tournaments). “Never a cover... always a smile” Tubby’s is a no-frills video bar with a total of 10 TVs and two projection screens available for patrons to use as they wish. Add a six-hour 2-4-1 Happy Hour during the Wii tournaments on the big screen!

Three Layers Cafe 1602 Walnut St., Jacksonville, FL The name Three Layers comes from their large variety of delicious three layer cakes. An inviting loft style cafe located in Springfield. Enjoy a bistro style lunch or just stop in for your morning coffee.

The Bottom Line 3090 Evans Ave., Fort Myers, FL This gay entertainment complex is one of the longest running clubs in southwest Florida at over 20 years, The Bottom Line features 7 bars, pool tables, drag shows and occasional guest appearances by porno stars.

Bo’s Coral Reef 201 5th Ave. North, Jacksonville Beach, FL There are great shows Thursday through Sunday with the best of female impersonators. Pool tables, video games, and a large outdoor patio. The only gay bar on the beach!

VENICE

Incahoots 711 Edison Ave., Jacksonville, FL This club offers good crowds every night. Recently remodeled with three bars and a friendly staff. Everyday is a different special. A fun place anytime. Full Liquor bar. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except for special events. Kickbacks Gastropub 910 King St., Jacksonville, FL This is a top class venue serving over 600 different bottled beers, 84 beers on tap, breakfast, lunch and dinner 20hrs a day 7 days a week!

TOTI: Tavern on the Island in Venice 127 Tampa Ave. East, Venice, FL This South Beach inspired gay bar, boasts a dance floor and a game room with pool tables and dart boards. It’s clean, the music is mixed and the staff are friendly. A mixed crowd can be found most nights... younger, older (duh, this is Venice), gay and straight. Did you know that in the Caribbean, TOTI is slang for a beloved male appendage? How apropos. GAINESVILLE

PENSACOLA

Spikes 4130 NW 6th St., Gainesville, FL It is a laid-back kind of place, with friendly bar staff. The crowds vary depending on the night. The bar has a nice open air patio area that is rarely used, but would be nice if it was.

The Roundup 560 E Heinberg St, Pensacola, FL A neighborhood gay men’s bar... Pensacola’s Cowboy Bar. Open 2 p.m. til 3 p.m. daily.

University Club 18 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL This is a fairly average small college town gay bar. It is usually busy and crowded on Thursday nights.

Cabaret 101 S Jefferson St. #E, Pensacola, FL Not strictly a gay bar, the charming and friendly Cabaret is very much a fixture in Pensacola’s GLBT community, drawing a mixed bunch each evening for happy hour, karaoke, videos, comedy shows, live music, and all-around hobnobbing and socializing. KEY WEST Bourbon Street Pub 724 Duval St., Key West, FL Opened in October of 1995 and has continued to grow ever since, it is now part of the larger collection of gay action in The Bourbon St. Pub Complex. Hot Go-Go boy dancers and a busy crowd. “Where the boys are!” 801 Bourbon Bar 801 Duval St., Key West, FL Cabaret shows upstairs with nightly performances by famed performers Sushi, Kylie, RV Beaumont, Margo, and others. This legendary establishment has been around for

The Florida Agenda wants you to have fun while you are out with your friends and family, but remember:

DRINK RESPONSIBLY... DON’T DRINK & DRIVE!


32 H FEBRUARY 23, 2012

FLORIDAAGENDA.COM


FLORIDAAGENDA.COM

TRAVEL

FEBRUARY 23, 2012 H 33

CASTLES IN THE CLOUDS PART I: Ashford and Inverlochy By PAUL RUBIO

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prinkled along the Gaelic-rich countryside, historic relics and towering castles from the Middle Ages to the 19th century create fairy tale settings for reliving the histories of Scotland and Ireland. A number of these castles have been reinvented as hotels, doling out the Full Monty “Once Upon a Time” experience, combining “Harry Potter” scenery with moat-and-guard castle greatness, and some Clue and Scooby Doo-style mystery thrown into the mix (think: secret doors and passageways that lead to an entire underworld, face paintings with tracking eyes, and staff personalities that have you thinking, “it was Mrs. Peacock in the study with the candlestick”). From Inverlochy Castle, ambassador to the Scottish Highlands, to my personal favorite, Ireland’s 13th century Ashford Castle, venturing off Europe’s beaten path and heading to these remote pockets of living history brings a personal storybook to life.

dramatic exterior, a perfectly preserved architectural and cultural treasure. Ashford Castle embodies the medieval mystery and magnificence that has inspired literary and philosophical greats, recalling an exalted yet eerie age of societal evolution. A protective moat, sharp spires, raised watchtowers, creaky stairways, and secret passageways are just the beginning (Zoinks!). Dimly lit libraries, quiet drawing rooms, draped canopy beds and plush Victorian interiors exude traditional luxury while extensive, labyrinth pathways cut through dozens of verdant acres, leading to on-site centers for falconry, archery, fishing, spa relaxation, golf, and equestrian Ashford Castle endeavors. The seasoned and eccentric staff Once upon a time, in a reality of fairy take tremendous pride in facilitating an alltales and fantasia, medieval nobility and encompassing sojourn far back in time while majesty prevailed throughout the emerald dutifully attentive to the whims and wants green island today known as Ireland. During of today’s discerning and pampered traveler. the High Middle Ages, the Norman invasions gave way to settlements such as Ashford on Inverlochy Castle the island’s far west, peppering the landscape One of Scotland’s most exalted hotels, with towering castles that epitomized power Inverlochy Castle (inverlochycastlehotel. and period-appropriate ostentation. com, 1-888-424-0106), lies in the foothills Nearly eight centuries after its naissance in 1228, Ashford Castle (ashford.ie, 1-800346-7007) triumphs as a functioning hotel and historical link to Ireland’s tumultuous past, a splendid adaptive reuse of the fortified residence built by the AngloNorman de Burgo family following their defeat of the native O’Connors Connaught. (History lesson now over. Whew!) A top-notch hotel in every facet of design and service, Ashford Castle keeps history in style deep in the remote stretches of of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, western Ireland, about a two-hour drive amidst the inspirational, striking scenery from the nearest major airport, Shannon. easily recognized by avid “Harry Potter” The superbly manicured sprawling grounds, movie fans. Minutes away from the ruins of regal interiors, and touches of modern the original 13th-century Inverlochy castle, luxury bow down only to the original

the hotel dates back to mid-19th century, its former life as the private home of Lord Abinger and a resting spot for Queen Victoria on her travels to the Scottish highlands circa 1873. (Insert condescending accent here). Nowadays, this country castle home welcomes globetrotters from around the world and hopeless romantics to receive their own royal treatment. The castle’s formal common areas and seventeen rooms and suites honor the décor and opulence of the late 19th century, none more so than the exquisite dining room, where Chef Philip Carnegie doles out decadent Michelin-starred cuisine. Be prepared to dress to the nines for dinner, gorge over six courses, and whisper the entire time in a dining room where you can hear a pin drop! Lush landscaping and lichen-rich trees envelop the property, flanked by two small lochs and surrounding walking trails ideal for short afternoon ambles. While most high-end Irish and Scottish castles function as stand-alone experiences in remote swaths of Gaelic country, Inverlochy is conveniently located within proximity of Fort William, gateway to the Scottish highlands, and within an hour of the Inner Hebrides and Loch Ness. It’s a fantastic home base or gateway for exploring greater Scotland and is located a two-hour drive from Glasgow or a threehour drive from Edinburgh. Next week, Castles in the Clouds, Part II: Glenapp Castle and the Edinburgh stopover.H

Paul Rubio is a Miami-based travel editor who has visited over 82 countries in his quest to showcase the world. A graduate of Harvard University, Paul is the author of “Out Traveler: South Florida” and caters to both avid voyagers and armchair travelers.


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36 H FEBRUARY 23, 2012

ARTS

STEVE WALKER FUNERAL SET Iconic Artist Remembered

Internationally renowned gay artist Steve Walker, who died from a reported heart attack in his home in Costa Rica on January 4 at the age of 50, will be eulogized at a funeral service this weekend in Canada. The service will take place on Saturday, February 25, at Our Lady of the Visitation Parish, 5338 Bank Street in South Gloucester, Ontario. Walker was an Ottawa native. Walker’s paintings are immediately recognizable by both seasoned art lovers and novices alike, and some of them were completed in South Florida. The majority of his work depicts men interacting with each other or with nature. Fort Lauderdale Beach, including the famed Wave Wall, served as the setting for several of his pieces. Art consumed much of Walker’s earliest childhood. Friends say that he started drawing at the age of three or four. Self-taught, Walker began painting after a trip to Europe when he was 25, where he spent much of that time touring the great galleries and museums. It was the first time he was exposed to classic work, and the recognized the potential power of the art form. “As a homosexual, I have been moved, educated and inspired by works that deal with a heterosexual context,” the outspoken artist once said. “Why would I assume that a heterosexual would be incapable of appreciating work that speaks to common themes in life, as seen through my eyes as a gay man? If the heterosexual population is unable to do this, then the loss is theirs, not mine.” While recognized worldwide for his universal themes, Walker’s work has been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, Key West, Florida, and Provincetown, Massachusetts as well as Fort Lauderdale where his work is represented by Gallery XO. “Any minority wants and needs to find artistic voices that reflect their own personal situations,” Walker said, “and, in doing so, validate and record their lives and cultures for themselves and for the larger world.” The universal themes he depicted were done without respect to race, gender, socio-economic class, culture, or sexual orientation. However, his work is unique because he conveys these themes through the subjects in his paintings: young gay men. “Remove the gender of the painting’s subjects and what we have is human relationships in general, and one’s relationship to the world itself,” Walker explained. The focus of his paintings often depicted sadness and loneliness, to reflect the reality that much of life is sad and lonely. Walker often portrayed people in relationships as separate entities; that is the way he viewed them. He also used a small and consistent palette of colors with which he was comfortable and which became associated with his signature style. When news of Walker’s death reached art collectors, demand for his work increased, according to Tommy LaFashia, the owner of Gallerie XO, who has four Walker originals. Walker’s family, who initially wanted to keep news of the artist’s death a secret, has placed an embargo on further sales of his work until his estate is settled. Walker’s original pieces at Gallery XO are titled “Platano y Pipa,” “Sculpture Series No. 1,” “Two Umbrellas,” and “Vintage Twilight.” Walker is survived by his parents, Gloria and Gilbert Walker, his brother, Kevin, and sister, Marjorie. Another brother, Bruce, predeceased him. H

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LEIGHT REFLECTIONS

FEBRUARY 23, 2012 H 37

ALTERNATIVE TO DIVORCE The Marriage Sabbatical By ARLEN KEITH LEIGHT, PH.D.

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ust as individuals go through predictable stages of adult development, so do relationships. These stages precipitate conflicts as well as clashes of needs. Mature relationships often bring on a sense of boredom or a feeling that the individuals have “grown apart.” While commitment may be strong, communication may have deteriorated as a result of anticipated hurt and/or rejection. Often one or both partners feel trapped in the connection with strong ambivalence about staying together. Many couples end up resigning themselves to an unhappy or unsatisfactory marriage. Others simply split up, seeing no way forward. A little talked about, middle-of-the-road option, is the so-called “marriage sabbatical” in which the individuals take some time and space to help balance needs for intimacy and autonomy. The indications for such a break are either a flat-lining of the relationship “energy” or a heightening of conflict on a daily basis. The marriage sabbatical may also be in order after attempts at sustained couples-therapy appear to fail. The sabbatical is a trial separation of sorts, but it differs in that it is structured and purposeful. The sabbatical may take many different forms, depending on the needs, desires, and financial considerations of the specific couple. If a short time-out is all that is needed, separate vacations or a few weeks apart may do the trick. When the challenges run deeper, living separately for 3-to-12 months in order to assess one’s own path and his/her partner’s role in his/her life may be required. If it’s financially impossible to physically separate, try reorganizing your

household space, including taking separate bedrooms, and a reassessment of the time spent together. Whether living separately or not, agreements regarding how and how often to communicate, how and how often to see one another, whether to have sexual relations together or even whether

it is okay to experience sexual exploration outside of the relationship are all part of the sabbatical contract. The hope is to break dysfunctional relationship patterns, gain perspective on the relationship, realize what your partner really means to you, create a context for personal growth and change, and find a balance between autonomy and intimacy that works for you. Couples need to communicate. When this isn’t enough,

it is important to explore your options. This alternative to divorce may help couples who are “stuck” in dysfunctional relationships and need time for personal growth and development before making a recommitment to the marriage or moving on. When couples choose to stay together after a sabbatical, they do so with a new understanding of themselves and their needs and desires. The parameters for a marriage sabbatical are best negotiated and contracted with a well-trained and experienced couple’s therapist who understands the sabbatical process as an exploration, and not a separation. When couples decide to divorce, they usually do so more amicably because the partners truly know why they are separating. The decision to move on then is more likely by mutual choice and therefore less victimization occurs. It has been my experience that couples who are mature enough and secure enough to negotiate a temporary break find a renewed sense of self, and with it, an ability to re-engage more honestly and lovingly, as they work through differences and/or re-energize the connection more easily and completely. When couples choose to stay together after a sabbatical, they usually do so with a new understanding of themselves, their needs and their desires. H Arlen Keith Leight, PhD is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Board Certified Sex Therapist in private practice on the drive in Wilton Manors. He can be reached via email at DoctorLeight@aol.com, by phone at 954-768-8000, or online at www.DoctorLeight.com.


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SCENE

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A NIGHT OF A 1000 DIVAS

Impressive Cast to Show Diva Support

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AKLAND PARK —Diva is more used to throwing the party than being the reason for one, but the nationally-renowned entertainer will be

the cause for celebration this month as “Lips” rolls out the red carpet for “A Night of 1,000 Divas” on Monday, Feb. 27. The event will celebrate Diva’s recent “Miss State Of Florida Continental Elite” title victory, as well as raise funds for her chance to bring home the crown from the national pageant in Chicago. Diva, known to thousands as the lead hostess of Lips showcase every weekend, won the title of Miss State Of Florida Continental Elite in December, and now she will “lip-synch for her life” in April to win the coveted national title. “It takes a lot of money to look as cheap as we do,” says Diva as she entertains guests at Lips, the ultimate in drag dining. The reality is that to compete for a national pageant requires an investment to look the best, perform the best, and be the best to win. “I am much honored to represent Florida at the Miss Continental Elite pageant and I am going there to win,” said Diva. “’A Night of 1,000 Divas’ will be a great way for the community to embrace the best of drag in South Florida, while at the same time it will help me to compete to the best of my ability.” Miss Continental is an annual female impersonator beauty pageant founded in 1980. The Miss Continental Elite Pageant is held every year during Easter weekend in Chicago, and is one of the most coveted titles in the art of female impersonation for entertainers who’ve reached the age of 40 years of age and older. “A Night of 1,000 Divas” at Lips will be the talk of the town with good friends, abundant spirits, non-stop music, and show-stopping entertainment featuring an incredible cast of characters in support of Diva. Hostess Elaine Lancaster with Champagne Bordeaux will lead The Ladies Of Lips, Latrice Royal and Lashauwn Beyond of “RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 4),” Noel Leon, T P Lords, Nikki Adams , Erika Norell Misty Eyes, Twat LaRouge, and Philip Alexander, Mr. Continental 2011. Adult entertainment will be provided by FabScout Entertainment. Power Infinity, Kevin Aviance and Kitty Meow will also debut their new hit single “FreakWhenSee.” DJs Daisy Deadpetals and JC of Mobile Mixologist will get the party started for dancing and a show to remember. “It takes a village and we are very fortunate here to have such wonderful giving talent. I am grateful to Lips and everyone who is supporting this event and can’t wait to see my friends and fans there,” acknowledged Diva. H

The doors for the event open at 8 p.m. The suggested donation at the door is $10.


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YOUR LIFE PARTNER IN REAL ESTATE

SOLD IN RECORD TIME! There are so many reasons why Robert is “My Life Partner In Real Estate”. About 3 months ago I decided to move to England. I spoke to a friend about selling my home and he gave me Robert’s number. Robert gave me a complete education on the Real Estate market within my area. He also had his staging company “Florida Stage Hands” turn my home into one that stood out among all of the others! My home sold in less than 3 months! I would recommend Robert to anyone that wants to sell their home. He is the best! -Emily BANK-OWNED PROPERTIES AT AMAZING PRICES!


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FEBRUARY 23, 2012 H 41

WILL THE OSCARS GO THE WAY OF THE MISS AMERICA PAGEANT? By WARREN DAY

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t’s been called “the Super Bowl for the LGBT community,” celebrated along with Gay Pride and Halloween as a major touchstone of the gay calendar. The Academy Awards usually pulls in the biggest TV audience of the year for any non-related Super Bowl program, and yet there are signs that the Oscars may be going the way of the Miss America Pageant: sliding towards increasing irrelevance for both gays and straights. On Sunday, the 84th Academy Awards will be held in Hollywood, California at a venue that has been known for the last ten years as the “Kodak Theatre,” but which is now nameless since the Kodak Company has filed for bankruptcy after experiencing its own decline towards insignificance. Another uniquely American icon--the Miss America Pageant--was, from the late 1940s through the late 1960s, one of the nation’s most popular annual events, ranking particularly high among gays: after all, it was a kind of drag show--a high camp event before straights even knew what that meant. But with the changing role of women in society and the growth of feminism, Miss America increasingly seemed out of touch. In 2004, with its television audience just a third of what it once had been, the pageant went into the cable wilderness for nearly a decade before returning to network TV in 2011, with little notice or ratings. There are those in Hollywood--as well as those who live off of what Hollywood produces--who worry that the Academy Awards could be on the downward slide to obsolescence. Sadly, there are signs this could be happening: Sign 1: A Disparity Between the Movies the Public Actually Sees and the Ones the Academy Rewards Among the nine films nominated for Best Picture, only one ranks in the top-40 most popular films of the year, and it’s at number 13 (“The Help”). The next one, “Moneyball,” is at 41. The likely winner, “The Artist,” is at number 105, and earned just 7% of the box office receipts as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part II.” There’s a direct correlation to the size of the TV audience and whether any popular films are in the running, such as “Titanic” in 1997, or “The Return of the King” in 2003. It’s great that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences seeks to reward filmmaking excellence rather than popularity, but when there’s this much of a gap between films that interest the public and the ones featured on the Oscars show, there’s a serious disconnect for the audience. Sign 2: Academy Voters Are Very different

from the Average Moviegoer Whites make up 66% of movie-going audiences, but they account for a whopping 94% of the Academy’s 5,765 members. Women comprise 52% of moviegoers, but only 23% of Academy voters. Perhaps most revealing of all, 67% of moviegoers are under the age of 40, but only 2% of the Academy falls within this age group. Is it any wonder that moviegoers don’t always agree with the Academy’s choices? Sign 3: The Glut of Film Awards Shows When the Academy first started handing out Oscars in 1929, the show had the field pretty much to itself. But now there’s an avalanche of awards and

awards shows, beginning in May with the Cannes Film Festival, and eventually becoming almost a daily affair from early December until the end of February. Someone might be forgiven for thinking the Oscars had already been awarded by the time the actual telecast comes along. Sign 4: An Inability to Keep the Telecast to a Reasonable Length In a country with an A.D.D. affliction, any show that lasts over three and a half hours (well past midnight for the Eastern Time zone) that doesn’t involve easy-on-the-eyes Olympic athletes is going to be in trouble. There’s wide agreement that one answer is to reduce the number of awards presented on the telecast, but so far no workable consensus on what those awards should be. Sign 5: How Bad the Recent Oscar Shows Have Been Many people believe that it’s been at least eight years since the show had a great host (Billy Crystal, in

2004), with James Franco last year being considered one of the worst (he was upstaged by the 94-yearold Kirk Douglas, for crying out loud). The public is barely aware of the difficulty of putting together the Oscars show: one that balances the demands for an industry-insider evening with mass appeal for those outside that industry (while at the same time accommodating some of the biggest egos this side of Mount Olympus). Sign 5: Some Years, the Winners Are Predictable in Advance With the barrage of pre-awards events and the constant babbling of Oscar-predictors, oftentimes you don’t have to watch the show to know who will win, and with that lack of suspense comes a lack of interest (and audience). This year, it’s widely predicted that “The Artist” will win Best Picture, Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), and Best Director, with “The Help” winning Best Actress (Viola Davis) and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer). Christopher Plummer is expected to take home the statue as Best Supporting Actor for playing a gay man who comes out of the closet at age 72 (“Beginners”). Why Watch? With all that said, there are some excellent reasons to watch this year. Arguably the best Oscar host ever--Billy Crystal--returns. There are new producers who promise some real surprises. And no matter what the consensus on who will be the winners this year, there are always one or two upsets. A performance by Cirque du Soleil will do homage to the movies, with the largest cast they’ve ever assembled. One or two actors are sure to say something totally outrageous, and an equal number will say something that’s genuinely moving. Someone will wear a dress that will cause eyes to roll, and the “In Memoriam” segment on Elizabeth Taylor will cause many eyes to well up in tears. So let others bitch and moan, this once-a-year telecast is still the place where guilty pleasures come in abundance, where people who have everything can be observed losing something they desperately want, where people who are typically well-scripted become tongue-tied on their own, and where you can witness the rich and famous engaging in the sort of faux pas you would never do yourself. Most importantly, some good but neglected movies will receive some much-needed national attention. Sounds like a worthwhile Sunday evening to me. H


42 H FEBRUARY 23, 2012

The

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FEBRUARY 23, 2012 H 43

BRUTE FORCE!

Forced Repititions Can Maximize Size and Power By TOM BONANTI

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ust when you think that you can hardly lift another pound for one more rep of your last set, that’s when you need to give it just a little more. This is the point when real muscle growth can take place if you are up for the challenge. That’s the idea behind forced repetitions – one of the best ways to power through a plateau and gain size. A knowledgeable spotter, workout buddy, or personal trainer can help you go the extra mile and assist you when you lift heavy weights. By far the best partner training strategy is forced repetitions. This mode of training is based upon the idea that when you lift weights, the final few repetitions of your last set, which you have to summon all of your energy to complete, are the most beneficial, because the muscles targeted are being pushed to exhaustion. While one guy does the lifting, his partner places his hands in the proper position to help him finish one or two more reps he couldn’t have completed on his own. If you’ve got a partner you can count on, try this program once a week. Using this strategy on a daily basis is too much and may result in overtraining and injuries like tendonitis. You’ll see gains in muscle size and strength in no time if you are safe and consistent. Here’s an example of a forced reps exercise for each muscle group. Barbell Squats: Grasp a barbell on the upper back, with feet shoulder width apart. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground, pause, then rise to starting position. At the end of your last set, have a partner stand behind you with hands around your torso and have him assist you in completing 2 more reps. Squats are one of the most

effective exercises for the lower body, but make sure to keep you back straight and your toes pointed outward as you squat down. Triceps Skull Crushers: Lie on a bench and grasp an EZ curl bar at arms length over the chest. Lower the bar to just above your forehead, pause, then return to starting position. For your last set, have a partner stand over you and help you raise and lower the bar for 2 more reps. Biceps Partial Curls: Grasp an EZ curl bar with arms bent at 90-degree angles. Curl up until biceps meet forearms, pause, then lower to starting position. For your last set have a partner face you and help you curl 2 more reps. Barbell Bench Press: Lie face up and grasp a barbell with arms bent at 90-degree angles. Press it overhead, pause, then return to starting position. At the end of your last set have your partner stand over you and help raise and lower the bar for one or two more reps. Pull Ups for Shoulders & Back: Grasp an overhead pull up bar and pull yourself up so that your chin is at or above the bar, pause, then lower yourself. At the end of your last set have your partner grasp your feet and help you do just a couple more reps. Forced repetitions once a week for each muscle group will really maximize muscle size and strength. Break through that plateau in 2012 and tap into your inner brute. Choose a partner and go that extra mile with your workout! For more workout tips, contact TrainerTomB@aol.com. H

Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and owner of Pump’n Inc Gym at 1271 NE 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale. For more tips on how to get bigger beefier arms by Christmas, give me a shout at TrainerTomB@aol.com


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JASON TAMANINI Lord of the Manor By BOB KECSKEMETY

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t the “tender” age of 31, Jason Tamanini, general manager of The Manor Entertainment Complex in Wilton Manors, already has an impressive list of accomplishments. And with ten years of restaurant, nightclub, and bar management under this belt, Tamanini has no intention of slowing down. A Philadelphia native, Tamanini took accelerated classes in high school, and graduated at the age of 20 from the University of Pittsburgh, with a major in psychology and a minor in business administration. At Pitt, Tamanini became vice president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the international Jewish fraternity; and during his senior year, came out to his fraternity brothers. “They were very accepting,” he recalls. “I was really nervous and I ended up coming out to everybody in one day. I just ripped off the bandage and, thankfully, everybody was accepting. Some of them said they weren’t surprised and were just waiting for me to say it.” As a summer job, Tamanini went to work at the Hilton in Key West, which gave him an opportunity to study their business model as well as to put his degrees to good use. They could come in handy again when he moved to the Boca/Delray area to attend FAU, to study for his Master’s. To earn extra money, Tamanini got a job at Dakota 624, an upscale steak house and nightclub where he accepted a management position at the age of 21. While Dakota 624 closed not long after, Tamanini barely paused to catch his breath, having been introduced to the owner of the about-to-open China White, a youth-oriented nightclub in downtown Fort Lauderdale. “It was a learning curve,” admitted Tamanini, “but I think he was impressed with my work ethic. Some people live to work, others work to live. I work to live. I enjoy setting a concept, a goal, and moving forward with it.” Tamanini believes his own youth at the time had something to do with getting the general manager’s gig at China White. “I was young. Older managers bring older habits with them and [the owner] wanted to start fresh, young, creative, and fun.” Tamanini started at China White in 2002 and remained there until 2006. Essentially a straight club, China White had a number of successful weekly gay nights. While still at China White, Tamanini was contacted by the management of Halo nightclub in Washington, DC., who convinced Tamanini to join them in opening their Miami Beach location on Lincoln Road in 2007. Tamanini remained at Halo for two years until October 2009. It was then that he was contacted by Paul Hugo, The Manor’s co-owner (with business partner Brett Tannenbaum), and offered the position of general manager at the soon-to-be-opened entertainment and dining complex. “I had heard about the project and found it interesting,” remembers Tamanini. “Rarely does a 16,000 square foot restaurant, bar, and nightclub open, and I knew it would be an interesting opportunity for me.” That opportunity has taken him to the present, with The Manor building an impressive following both from within and outside of Greater Fort Lauderdale where Tamanini serves on the board of the Rainbow Business Coalition (RBC) as its co-chair. Where does Tamanini see himself 15 years from now? He says he would like to own a venue that he can call his own, as well as have children—two of them, not for the legacy, but to help him settle down. “I would like to get them soon,” said Tamanini. “I don’t want to be in my 70s with two 18 year old kids.” H


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LICENSED MASSAGE RECESSION RELIEF -$40/90 MINS! Out calls higher. Swedish, Deep Tissue, Specialty Back and Lower Body & Feet. Couples discounts, seniors welcome. Delray Beach, 16 yrs experience. MA 18563. Dennis (561) 502-2628.

N.E. FT LAUDERDALE/WILTON MANORS AREA- Large efficiency, quiet complex, file floors, newer a/c and refrigerator, private patio, cable ready, pest control included, No Pets Please. $585/mo. By appointment 954-592-3772 FORT LAUDERDALE 1/1 APT- gated, very clean & well kept, laundry on site, small gay complex, $750/mo.- 731 NW 1st Ave. Call Nick (954)805-1195 OAKLAND PARK- 2/2 pool home plus 1 car garage! Newer Kitchen with SS appliances, hardwood floors, fireplace, private backyard with oversized deck, Newer salt water pool, great location, Close to Wilton Manors! Smaller pets ok. $1695/mo. (954)234-8759 Robert MacKilligan, Galleria Intl Realty LAUDERDALE BY THE SEA- Walk To The Beach! 4/4 pool home! PLUS oversized 2 car garage! Very large family room & formal dining room. Almost 3,000 Sq Ft! Best location! Home is currently being completely remodeled! Home is at the end of a Cul-De-Sac! Smaller pets OK! Call today before this one is gone! $2695/mo. (954)234-8759 Robert MacKilligan, Galleria Intl Realty OAKLAND PARK/PENTHOUSE CONDO! 2/2, Being Updated Throughout! Oversized bedrooms, New carpet and paint, pool, garaged parking, furnished or unfurnished. Great location, great views! Open balcony! Only $1795/mo. (954)234-8759 Robert MacKilligan, Galleria Intl Realty OAKLAND PARK- 3/2 home, updated kitchen and baths. Oversized fenced backyard, small pets ok! $1450/mo. (954)234-8759 Robert MacKilligan, Galleria Intl Realty WILTON MANORS 1/1 Tiled floors- 9 unit gay complex with clothing optional pool, patio, yard, laundry on site. NO dogs. Credit check, one year lease req. $750/mo.(owner pays water) Terms negotiable. 129 NW 25th St. (close to Wilton Dr.) Call (954)326-9096 SOLé in FT. LAUDERDALE 2/2, Balcony, Stainless, Washer/Dryer, Garage Pkng, Sole is a Lifestyle! Loaded with Extra’s. $1595/mo. Call Robin Passman at Henri Frank Group at REMAX, 954-604-9999. FUSION GARDENS, 2/2 loft style unit. What a great deal! Stainless, Washer/Dryer, Back patio, Great location. Pool. $1295/mo. Call Robin Passman at Henri Frank Group at REMAX, 954-604-9999. WILTON MANORS HOUSE FOR RENT- Beautifully landscaped, 2 bedroom 1-bath home with pool. Very private fenced yard, huge carport, central A/C, laundry, pets considered, tile floors, dishwasher. $1600. 2917 NE 1st Terrace. Great neighborhood. Call Nick (954)-805-1195 Available March 15 MIDDLE RIVER TERRACE 1/1 - Charming 1 BD with private yard in a 4-Plex. Gated, Laundry on premise. Close to Wilton Drive and the Pride Center, shopping and restaurants. Minutes to beach! Small dog OK! $695/mo. F+L+$300 Refundable Security Deposit. Call (561)900-6361

PET SITTING

FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH - Antioch Street- 2BR/1BA, Furnished, between A1A and the Intracoastal, walk to Sebastian Beach, restaurants, hotels, guest houses, electric and basic cable included, 6 month lease, on site laundry, midcentury, 20 Apt Complex, pool, $1250/mo. Call (401) 935-8186 SOUTH MIDDLE RIVER - 2/1 Apartment for rent. New floors, new hurricane windows, new zone control air/heat. New galley kitchen. Laundry facility & water included. Shared pool area. $1,200/month. e.hayek@hotmail.com

SPIRITUALITY THE PARISH OF STS. FRANCIS & CLARE 101 NE 3rd Street - just North of Broward Blvd. and E of Andrews Ave. Mass Times: Sat @ 5 PM; Sun @ 10:30 AM; Wed @ 7 PM. Where we welcome and appreciate diversity - a progressive community in the Catholic tradition. (954)731-8173; www.stsfrancisandclare.org DIGNITY FT LAUDERDALE - Roman Catholic Mass every Sunday 7 PM at Holy Angels CC 2917 NE 6th Ave, Wilton Manors. Monthly socials and more. There is always room at our table. Dignityftl@bellsouth.net. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU… DIVINE MERCY CHAPEL - The American New Catholic Church 2749 N.E. 10th Ave., Wilton Manors, FL, 33334 (954)567-1930 Sunday Mass 10:30AM, Friday Holy Hour 7:00PM www.newdivinemercy.org

RENTALS / FTL WILTON MANORS - CONTEMPORARY LIVING. New house with large 1 bedroom, & huge tiled bath. 850 sq ft, New construction, New solid wood kitchen, Granite, S/S, Beautiful concrete floors, TONS of storage & cabinets, Walk-in closetts - W/D, CAC. Hurricane impact windows & doors, Private lush landscape terrace, Gated, quiet neighborhood, Private parking. $1275/mo., Incl cable/hi-speed internet. Call Jim (954) 667-5447 or JimOnTime@hotmail.com

CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRITSONG Welcomes you to come and worship with us every Sunday at 10 am and every Wednesday night at 8 pm. We meet at the SpiritSong Worship Center at 2040B North Dixie Highway Suite 3 in Wilton Manors (Building B on Equality Park Campus, behind the Pride Center). God loves you just the way He made you. Come discover His purpose for you. For more info: (954) 418-8372, info@cohss.com, www.cohss.org.

UPHOLSTERY GOLD COAST UPHOLSTERY - Re-upholstering, Cushions, Throw pillows, Large selection of fabric to choose from or bring in your own fabric. Broward / Dade. Palm Beach. Call Edgar (954) 491-4937

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FLORIDAAGENDA.COM

Florida Agenda #118  

Florida Gay News and Events Weekly Publication

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