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INSIDE VOL. 32, ISSUE 04 / JUNE 12 - 25, 2013

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Suitable Attire Models Simon and Malek wear some of the hottest swimwear fashions of 2013 amidst stunning views of the Los Angeles cityscape.

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INSIDE

VOL. 32, ISSUE 04 / JUNE 12 - 25, 2013

LEADING BY EXAMPLE Chris Richey ....................................................16 NEWS News Briefs ......................................................18 Villaraigosa Leaves Office But Not His LGBT Friends............................22 Anxiety Reigns Awaiting the Supreme Court Ruling on DOMA and Prop. 8 ........24 SOCAL EVENTS GUIDE Calendar ..........................................................43 SnapShots ......................................................44 ENTERTAINMENT Film Reviews ..................................................54 Music Reviews................................................56 Theater Reviews ............................................60 COLUMNS Billy Masters ..................................................62 Little Miss Know-It-All ................................63 Out & About ..................................................64 Gossip Gay ......................................................65 HEALTH Off the Couch ................................................66 CITY GUIDES West Hollywood ............................................67 Orange County ..............................................68 Long Beach ......................................................69 Palm Springs ..................................................70

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FRONTIERS MARKETPLACE Listings..............................................................76 Business Profile ..............................................77 FRONTIERS4MEN Adult Classifieds............................................78 Sex Ed ..............................................................84

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PHOTO BY:

JOHN FALLON FACEBOOK.COM/JOHNFALLONSTUDIO MODEL:

SIMON GROOMING BY:

NATE COOPER NATE@SOLARNOISE.NET

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Frontiers magazine is published by Frontiers Media, LLC., 5657 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 470, Los Angeles, CA. 90036, and distributed throughout Southern California. Up to the first three copies of any single issue are free; additional copies are $10 each. Violators caught stealing or destroying issues will be prosecuted under California Penal Code 484. For magazine subscriptions, please call (323) 930-3220. The contents of Frontiers may not be reproduced in any manner, either in whole or in part, without permission from the publisher. All rights reserved. Letters to the editor, artwork, photography, manuscripts and other correspondence may be submitted to Frontiers at the above address. We cannot acknowledge or return material unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Allow at least three months for processing. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles or advertising in Frontiers is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation or the HIV/AIDS status of such person or organization. Copyright Š 2013, Frontiers Media, LLC.


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FEBRUARY 19, 2013

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ONLINE

ON THE FRINGE By Mike Ciriaco

Find these articles exclusively at

facebook.com/ frontiersmagazine

twitter.com/ frontiersmag

Now in its fourth year, spanning June 12-30, the Hollywood Fringe Festival encourages freedom of expression and collaboration within the performing arts. Participants range from international arts companies to local performers, and venues include professional theatres, black box studios, clubs, restaurants, parks and even churches. Check out what we think are this year’s must-see shows. FrontiersLA.com/Features

youtube.com/ frontiersweb

LAUGH OUT LOUD By Michelle McCarthy

Frontiers chats with Judy Gold, who garnered two Daytime Emmy Awards for her work as a writer and producer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show and is now starring in The Judy Show! My Life as a Sitcom, a play that reveals all the funny aspects of her life story by way of some of her favorite childhood sitcoms. FrontiersLA.com/ ExclusiveInterviews

FIND US ON

INSTAGRAM! Follow Frontiers on Instagram @frontiersLA and we’ll follow you back! Also, share with us your favorite L.A. photos by tagging them with #whyilovegayla. We’ll be picking our favorite images and posting them online at FrontiersLA.com!

BOOK REVIEWS by The Bookworm

In need of a good read? Check out our review of American Savage by Dan Savage. FrontiersLA.com/ BookReviews

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THREE DAYS OF ADVENTURE IN NEW ZEALAND By Frontiers Staff

TNT took adventure to a whole new level with its premiere of the exciting new competition series 72 Hours. The June 13 episode features past Frontiers cover model Michael Holtz. Dropped into a 90km stretch of untamed coastline, Holtz has 72 hours to find a briefcase of cash. FrontiersLA.com/ExclusiveInterviews

ELVIS IS BACK! by Victor Barreiro

Elvis Crespo is back on the music scene. This Puerto Rican is no stranger to the spotlight, as he endured his first taste of success with the immensely popular “Suavemente” in the late '90s. Before that, Elvis belonged to Grupo Mania, until he decided to pursue a solo career in 1998. Clearly, the move proved to be a wise one. FrontiersLA.com/LatinFrontier


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JUNE 25, 2013

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FrontiersLA.com Volume 32, Issue 04 5657 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 470, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Phone: (323) 930-3220 Sales Fax: (323) 857-0560 Administration Fax: (323) 848-2058 Accounting Fax: (323) 857-0503

Publisher / CEO / Editorial Director David Stern Creative Director Ed Baker Managing Director of Integrated Media Dustin Tyner Editor-in-Chief Stephan Horbelt News Editor Karen Ocamb Associate Editor Brenden Shucart Senior Art Director Garett Yoshida Associate Art Director George Skinner Graphic Designer Michelle Aguirre Jr. Graphic Designer Shannon O’Brien Editorial Intern Aaron Batts Advertising Directors Kevin Browne, JC Gardiner, Vic Gerami, Frank Morales, Randall Ross, Brenda Stevens, Cristian Valencia, Billy Wright Palm Springs Advertising Directors Vic Gerami

National Advertising Representatives Rivendell Media (212) 242-6863 Art Traffic and Distribution Manager Hope Dunn Classifieds Manager Frank Perez Accounting Merrill Franks, Frank Perez

Advertising Inquiries salesmanager@frontiersLA.com Editorial Inquiries editors@frontiersLA.com Advertising Artwork Trafficking art@frontiersLA.com

To contact our staff Email address format:

firstname.lastname@FrontiersLA.com Contributing Writers Aaron Batts, Jackie Beat, Salvador Camarena, Dr. Greg Cason, Mike Ciriaco, Peter DelVecchio, Gossip Gay, Greg Hernandez, Stephan Horbelt, Gary M. Kramer, Jim Larkins, Dan Loughry, Billy Masters, Michelle McCarthy, Dana Miller, James F. Mills, Paulo Murillo, Karen Ocamb, Dominik Rothbard, Brenden Shucart, Les Spindle, Kevin P. Taft, Paul V., Duane Wells Contributing Photographers and Illustrators C. Lou Adler, Gabe Ayala, Jackie Beat, Brenden-John Photography, Jim Cox, John Fallon, Kyle Froman, Glen Hanson, Jonathan Moore, Paulo Murillo, Karen Ocamb, Radius-TWC, Rolling-Blackouts.com, Craig Schwartz, Jonathan Sirand, Tom Whitman Presents

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

IN MEMORY OF BOB CRAIG, FOUNDING PUBLISHER

©2013 Thanks to the dawn of the information age, we believe distribution/circulation not only encompasses hard copies printed and the pass-on rate of those hard copies, but web browsing and electronic copies being downloaded by our growing online readership. This has become a substantial boost to the number of readers of our magazine. Currently, an average of 30,000 hard copies are printed biweekly. Studies have shown each hard copy has a probable “pass-on rate” of two to three, meaning each hard copy taken will be seen by two to three additional readers. With the pass-on rate alone, estimated readership can conservatively average 55,000 to 90,000, not encompassing visitors who visit us online at FrontiersLA.com.

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JUNE 25, 2013

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BUILDING COMMUNITY

Leading by Example

Chris Richey Fights to Erase the Stigma of HIV By Michelle McCarthy

Remember when Paris Hilton spouted off about the gay community last year? Saying “Gay guys are the horniest people in the world. They’re disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS. I would be so scared if I was a gay guy. You’ll like, die of AIDS.” The Stigma Project took those as fighting words. Founded in 2012 by Chris Richey and Scott McPherson, the organization aims to lower the HIV infection rate and neutralize stigma through education via social media and advertising. The Stigma Project quickly created a meme with Paris’ exact quote, which was shared more than 5,000 times and had a reach of more than 1 million. By the end of the night, the celebrity-by-way-of-a-sex-tape sent out a press release apologizing for her words. We spoke with Chris about The Stigma Project’s innovative methods of getting its message heard. Why did you start the Stigma Project? I always thought of myself as a very progressive individual, and then when I was diagnosed [as HIV-positive], I realized how much internal stigma I had toward HIV. I saw everything in a whole new light. I had even seen HIV organizations that were using HIV-positive people as prevention mechanisms. It felt dehumanizing to me. My self-worth felt very low. I knew we could do better as a community about how we treated HIV-positive individuals. I wanted to empower HIV-positive people and teach people what HIV is today. But people have to know their status. The barrier to that is HIV stigma. That is what is perpetuating the infection rates. Fifty-two percent of new infections come from 21 percent of people who do not know their status. What are some of the common ways in

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which this stigma manifests? The reason why people don’t know their status is they’re not getting tested. Why are they not getting tested? Because they’re scared of a label. The Sero Project came out with some interesting numbers—50 percent of the public find it reasonable to avoid testing because of fear of prosecution. There are cases where people have spit on a police officer and once the D.A. found out they were HIVpositive, they were prosecuted for assault with a deadly weapon. Why is HIV treated any differently than diabetes or cancer? It’s because it affects communities that are marginalized—the African-American community, the gay community. The biggest barriers to ending the epidemic are racism and homophobia. How do you work to neutralize the stigma of HIV? Through education and smart and effective advertising. We use smart graphic design that’s targeted toward certain demographics that reels them in. We use social media and platforms that are effective to get the message out there. Once we target that community, whether HIVpositive or negative, we use education. We boil down the reports the CDC puts out and put them in bullet points in a smart and effective means. I read your article in The Advocate about the Tyler Perry film Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. How does pop culture propagate the stigma of HIV? In Temptation, the lead character is a woman who cheats on her husband with a man who symbolizes the devil. The punishment for her sin is to get HIV. Well, what kind of message does that send? You make a mistake and you become HIV-positive? We all make mis-

takes. Hell, we’re all products of unprotected sex one way or another. The idea that we need to use HIV as a mechanism to prevent more HIV is absurd. We need to educate the public about what HIV is today versus what it was in 1984. To do that, we need to tackle this issue creatively, strategically and collaboratively, because no one organization is going to solve this on its own. And Hollywood needs to set an example and quit perpetuating the stigma by using television that reaches the masses as a way to demonize HIV. How can those not affected by the virus help change the stigma? They can get educated. The first step is to get tested and learn your status. Then learn how to talk about HIV. It’s HIV, not AIDS—there’s a difference. Learn some of the terms, like ‘viral load’ and ‘undetectable.’ Learn what it means to be a healthy HIV-positive man. Learn what it means to have safe sex. And learn what all the different prevention mechanisms are—condoms, PrEP, an FDAapproved pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is groundbreaking. A lot of people don’t know about that. There are so many different ways you can get involved. thestigmaproject.org


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JUNE 25, 2013

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NEWS By Peter DelVecchio and Karen Ocamb

LGBT Immigration Protections Still Possible? The bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that cleared the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee May 21 does not include the protections for binational LGBT couples that activists and certain legislators had sought. Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., had proposed an amendment that would essentially require that same-sex couples be treated the same as their straight counterparts, but the amendment was withdrawn when it became clear that Republicans would torpedo the entire package if it were included. Immigration Equality and the Human Rights Campaign, two groups working on the issue, have asked Sen. Leahy to offer the LGBT protections as an amendment when the bill goes to the Senate floor, probably on or about June 10, the Washington Blade reports. To date, Leahy has not committed to offering an amendment on the floor but did vow to continue to fight against immigration discrimination when the amendment was withdrawn in committee. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a long-time LGBT ally who has taken considerable heat for having gone along with the amendment's withdrawal, seemed to offer more hope. “I've been a lead sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) for a number of years, and I believe and desire that its principles should be included in the immigration bill,” Schumer wrote, apparently on his Facebook page. “There will be an opportunity to add it to the bill on the Senate floor.” It seems questionable at best, however, whether a UAFA amendment could garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a near-certain Republican filibuster. In fact, while Schumer has predicted passage of the immigration bill by July 4 with roughly 70 votes, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., lead Republican author of the package, said on June 3 that he now doubts the measure will muster 60 votes in its current form, without the LGBT protections.

Trans Man Attacked, Beaten in Hollywood A 22-year-old man who identifies as both transgender and gay was savagely beaten in Hollywood the night of May 30, CBS reports. Victor Diego was jumped from behind by a group of men on Hollywood Boulevard near the Metro station after leaving his job as a barista at Beso Restaurant, a Hollywood hotspot owned by Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria, according to his sister. Diego was hospitalized after the incident. He was reportedly kicked in the head and suffered two broken ribs, a broken cheekbone and a broken jaw. “Sometimes men try to talk to him and they get humiliated in front of their friends when they realize it’s a man,” Diego’s sister said. “He was basically left for dead just because of who he is.” The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the attack as a hate crime, Diego’s sister said.

SPEAK OUT “Part of our reason for spearheading this ballot initiative was to open up a frank public conversation about the shortcomings of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.” —June 4 AIDS Healthcare Foundation release on the certification of a ballot measure that would probably appear on the June 2014 ballot and would establish a separate City of Los Angeles Department of Health.

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“If I had gone back to public school, there is a great possibility that I would have taken my own life.” —11-year-old Marcel Neergaard, whose parents now homeschool him because of anti-gay bullying attributed to Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. Marcel's petition succeeded in getting StudentsFirst to rescind an education award to the anti-gay Tennessee legislator.

“Instead of having a fair chance to get ahead, LGBT workers and their families often are held back by bias, fewer workplace benefits and higher taxes.” —Executive summary of A Broken Bargain, Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers, a new report on LGBT workers by the Movement Advancement Project, the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for American Progress.


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JUNE 25, 2013

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NEWS By Peter DelVecchio and Karen Ocamb

Former Navy SEAL Comes Out as Transgender A former member of the U.S. Navy’s elite special operations force, the SEALs, has come out as transgender. Kristin Beck, formerly known as Chris, served as a SEAL for 20 years but always felt she was a woman and had “consolidated that identity very early on in childhood,” said Anne Speckhard, who coauthored Beck’s just-released biography, Warrior Princess. Beck came out to friends online, saying “No more disguises,” before the book’s release. She is undergoing hormone therapy and intends to have sexual reassignment surgery in the future. The purpose of Beck’s book is “to reach out to all of the younger generation and encourage you to

live your life fully and to treat each other with compassion, be good to each other, especially in your own backyard (whether it be high school or your community),” she writes in the preface.

Not Just Yet for Illinois Marriage Equality An Illinois marriage equality bill widely expected to pass and be signed into law was withdrawn in the Illinois state Senate May 31 by its openly gay sponsor, who appears to have believed it would fail, the Chicago Tribune reports. The bill had passed the Democratic-controlled Illinois House, a previous version had passed the Democratic-controlled Senate and the state’s Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn had pledged to sign the bill. But Rep. Greg Harris pulled the measure, conceding he did

not have sufficient support in the face of vigorous opposition by Catholics and conservative AfricanAmerican Christian groups. Harris said he was withdrawing the bill as a concession to colleagues who wanted more time to talk with constituents. “I apologize to the families who were hoping to wake up tomorrow as full and equal citizens of this state,” a tearful Harris said. The bill is expected to be put up again next session.

Quick Pic Representatives of right-wing anti-gay groups, including Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and Mission America, protest Pride Month in front of the Human Rights Campaign’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on June 4.

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Federal LGBT Protections Proposed in Senate

The Democratic chairman of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee introduced a reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act, ESEA, on June 3 with provisions designed to prohibit bullying of and discrimination against LGBT students, the Washington Blade reports. The bill, called the Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013, introduced by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, includes language similar to that in the Student NonDiscrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, two as-yet passed-on pieces of federal legislation addressing bullying and discrimination. “Because every child deserves a safe and healthy place to learn, we have included the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act in this year's reauthorization of ESEA,” Harkin said. “These provisions will help to ensure that all students, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, are treated fairly and afforded equal opportunities to succeed in the classroom.” Harkin’s bill would recognize LGBT students as a protected class and prohibit discrimination, which would be defined to include failure to prevent bullying. The bill is expected to clear committee easily given the committee’s majority of Democrats, all of whom are cosponsors of the bill. It is unclear whether any Republicans will support the measure. Also on June 3, Sen. Al Franken, DMinn., introduced the SDNA as stand-alone legislation. “No child should dread going to school because they don't feel safe,” Franken said. “Our nation's civil rights laws protect our children from bullying due to race, sex, religion, disability and national origin. My proposal extends these protections to our gay and lesbian students who shouldn't ever feel afraid of going to school.” Franken's measure has 30 co-sponsors, all Democrats. SNDA has already been introduced in the House by out Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.


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APRIL 2, 2013

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NEWS

Villaraigosa Leaves Office But Not His LGBT Friends BY KAREN OCAMB

PHOTO: KAREN OCAMB

Before and after his enthusiastic participation in the LGBT Heritage Month/L.A. Pride kickoff weekend, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa engaged in intense “friendship diplomacy” with new Chinese President Xi Jinping. Chinese TV reported that Villaraigosa’s visit to Beijing last month was “to lay the groundwork for President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Barack Obama in L.A.” The two presidents met in Palm Springs June 7. Villaraigosa told CCTV that President Xi “called Los Angeles the epicenter of the sub-national relationship between the United States and China.” China is the top trading partner for the Port of Los Angeles, which sees imports and exports to the tune of $120 billion, according to the Daily Breeze. And yet when reporting on that business trip— paid for by the Port of L.A. and the Los Angeles World Airports—KPCC’s blog headline read: “Lame duck L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa travels to China on a trade mission.” That headline is an example of how the press has often derided Villaraigosa since his 2007 affair with a Telemundo reporter and the subsequent end of his 20-year marriage. Villaraigosa has often acknowledged that affair as a personal “failure,” and he is aware of how much it hurt people who expected more from him as the tough kid from Boyle

Calif. Assembly candidate Antonio Villaraigosa and his children ride with Stonewall Democratic Club President Eric Bauman in the CSW/L.A. Pride Parade in 1994.

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Heights who got elected in 2005 as L.A.’s first Latino mayor in 130 years. Many in the LGBT community were also disappointed, and some even agreed with critics who claimed the mayor had been seduced by the glamour of Hollywood. But when Villaraigosa’s legacy is finally written in the context of the worst economy since the Great Depression and the disinclination of President George W. Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to help cities, his accomplishments may find greater acclaim. “We grew our police force, tackled our gang problem and made L.A. safer than it’s been since the 1950s,” says Villaraigosa’s gay senior advisor and deputy chief of staff Matt Szabo. “We doubled the size of our rail network and are putting 410,000 people to work over the next 30 years. We cleaned up our port, greened our city and opened 650 acres of new parks. We took on education reform and have seen tremendous improvement. We pushed for changes at LAUSD and have doubled the number of schools reaching the state's academic goals." So far stories about Villaraigosa’s legacy have not included his substantial work on behalf of the LGBT community. He came to LGBT attention in 1994 as a candidate for the California Assembly seeking the Stonewall Democratic Club endorsement. Once elected, he and Shelia Kuehl—the first openly gay person elected to the state legislature—joined forces to form the

PHOTO: ROLLING-BLACKOUTS

first Gay and Lesbian Legislative Caucus. That year he also announced his support for the freedom to marry and subsequently became one of the LGBT community’s fiercest advocates, battling Prop. 22 and Prop. 8 and leading Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. In a 45-minute interview at City Hall on June 3, Villaraigosa told Frontiers that his profound commitment to social justice is attributable to his mother. “I’ve been involved in the movement for social justice since I was 15 years old,” Villaraigosa said. “My mom was a very embracing, very progressive woman for her time. In the 1950s and early ‘60s, we would have whites and blacks, Japanese-Americans—and, looking back, a gay couple—over for dinner pretty frequently. ... My mom taught us about sexism and racism and homophobia. I think that sense of humanity—that sense of right and wrong, those values of tolerance and understanding—were inculcated in us when we were kids.” Villaraigosa says he may be leaving the mayor's office, but he is not ending his support for the LGBT community. Please go to FrontiersLA.com for a longer version of this story, in which Villiaraigosa speaks very candidly about himself, his relationship with the LGBT community and his future.


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JUNE 25, 2013

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NEWS

Anxiety Reigns Awaiting the Supreme Court Ruling on DOMA and Prop. 8 BY KAREN OCAMB David Boies thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will issue its ruling on the constitutionality of Prop. 8 by late June, though it could come any Monday before then. However, like most Americans, Boies— the prominent liberal Democrat attorney who joined prominent conservative Republican attorney Ted Olson in fighting Prop. 8 under the auspices of the American Foundation for Equal Rights— doesn’t know how the Supreme Court will rule. There is confusion and anxiety, too, over how the court might rule in the constitutional challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act brought by Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay a $363,000 estate tax bill when her wife Thea Clara Spyer died—considerably higher than a married heterosexual widow would have to pay. New York State recognized their 2007 legal marriage in Canada (after being together for 40 years), but the federal government did not, just as it does not recognize more than 1,000 other federal benefits denied same-sex couples under DOMA. Will the court bow to the antiquated anti-gay (Catholic-infused) values of Justice Antonin Scalia and uphold federalism and the states’ right to define marriage, or will the court recognize the trend toward more individual freedom for America’s gays and lesbians and the basic fundamental right for individuals, not the states, to choose whom they might marry? As the brilliant legal journalist Linda Greenhouse pointed out in the New York Times last April, federalism was also at issue in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, when the Supreme Court overturned the law banning interracial marriage in Virginia and 15 other states. Greenhouse wrote, “But Chief Justice Earl Warren’s unanimous opinion didn’t buy it (the federalism argument). ‘Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man,’ the court said. ‘The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.’ The right, in other words, belonged to the individuals involved, not to the state.” Greenhouse noted that during the March 27 oral arguments in the Windsor/DOMA case, U.S. Solicitor General Verrilli refused to com-

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The Prop. 8 plaintiffs with David Boies (far left) and Ted Olson (far right) ment on federalism, saying the case was purely about discrimination. “I think it’s time for the court to recognize that this discrimination, excluding lawfully married gay and lesbian couples from federal benefits, cannot be reconciled with our fundamental commitment to equal treatment under law. This is discrimination in its most very basic aspect,” he said. But Greenhouse also wondered if the case might turn out to be “a constitutional Trojan horse,” bringing an end to the “spiteful federal statute, enacted by an opportunistic Congress and signed into law 17 years ago by a cowardly Bill Clinton”—and give a boost to federalism. “A ruling that left the states to their own devices when it comes to marriage would take the equal protection guarantee out of the picture. It would, of course, provide the full benefits of marriage to those living in states that chose to recognize same-sex marriage. But it would snatch away the promise for those living elsewhere, particularly if the decision was based not only on the asserted

absence of federal authority but on exaggerated notions of state sovereignty anchored in the Tea Party’s favorite constitutional amendment, the 10th. (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”)” Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, is nonetheless positive. “Having Section 3 of DOMA off the books would dramatically hasten the day when we do have marriage equality in all 50 states—it would still take some time but would provide such a huge incentive for states to stop discriminating,” he told Atlanticwire.com. Some analysts suggest that the court might be more interested in preserving the states’ initiative process than eliminating discrimination, and others have questioned whether the court might restrict its ruling to the two couples—Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami— who brought the federal challenge with AFER.


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JUNE 25, 2013

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NEWS

Anxiety Reigns Awaiting the Supreme Court Ruling on DOMA and Prop. 8

DOMA case Plaintiff Edith Windsor AFER offers six possible outcomes for how the Justices might rule: 1. 50-State Ruling: Prop. 8 and all other state marriage bans are unconstitutional. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in all 50 states. 2. 7-State Ruling: Civil unions and domestic partnerships are separate and unequal. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in California and the six other states with relationship recognition, in addition to the 12 states currently with marriage equality (and Washington, D.C.). 3. 1-State Ruling: California cannot eliminate marriage equality. Gay and lesbian couples will once again be able to get married in the state. 4. No Standing: The Court could conclude that it does not have jurisdiction to decide the case because the proponents of Prop. 8 do not have standing to defend in place of the governor and attorney general of California, who agree with AFER that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and have refused to defend it. If this happens, the August 2010 decision of the federal district court that struck down Prop. 8 is made permanent, and marriage equality will be restored in California. 5. Dismissal: The Court could decide that it should not have granted review. If this happens, the February 2012 decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down Prop. 8 is made permanent, ending four years of marriage inequality in California. 6. Prop. 8 is constitutional. States may exclude gay and lesbian couples from the institution of marriage.

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“No change in the issuance of marriage licenses can occur until action is taken by the appellate court,” says Elizabeth Knox, Public Information Officer at the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. “We have a contingency plan in place to accommodate any potential volume increases.” Knox also notes that marriage licenses can be obtained online (at marriage.lavote.net/OMLS). There is more information at lavote.net. Meanwhile, some observers foresee “an administrative nightmare” if Prop. 8 is overturned in California alone and DOMA is narrowly struck down—neither of which expands the federal right to marry. “Given the combination of these two cases,” Douglas NeJaime, law professor at Loyola University, told Atlanticwire.com, “if the outcomes are what was hinted at, we're going to have a very administratively difficult situation that's going to produce a lot of political and legal conflicts.” For instance, Minter explained, if a same-sex couple is legally married in New York and then moves to Florida, which does not recognize marriage equality, and one of the spouses dies, the survivor would not be eligible for Social Security benefits. And what of all those same-sex couples who don’t have the means to move to a marriage equality state? The Williams Institute just published a new report (tinyurl.com/kkwrhqz) indicating that “post recession, LGB Americans are more likely to be poor than heterosexual Americans,” especially women, children and African-Americans. And those couples probably live in states without discrimination laws to protect LGBT workers from being fired at whim, without the federal protections that would

be provided by the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. But when it comes to official federal secondclass citizenship, rich and poor gays share the same boat of humiliating discrimination. This was eloquently pointed out by entertainment attorney Steve Warren as he accepted his GLAAD Media Award in April. “Every American has the right to a life of meaning with the liberty to choose who we want to spend that life with and to pursue happiness through our sexuality and soulfulness,” Warren said. However, despite having been born five years and 60 miles apart in northern New York, both sharing the same backgrounds—Ivy League schools, Harvard Law School, the Harvard Law Review, building a thriving private practice and spending their lives protecting family, friends and clients—Warren’s “greatest joy” is his adopted daughter Katie with George, his partner for 26 years; Roberts has two adopted daughters—their lives are vastly different because Warren is gay. “Only one of us,” Warren said, “was told by their state that their home was not fit for a child! Despite all the childproofing and security measures in the world, only one of us was subjected to the humiliation and the degradation of being forced to appeal to a family court judge with a power to overturn that hate-filled judgment mandated by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. How did this happen? It happened because Chief Justice John Roberts was accorded the protections of the U.S. Constitution and I was not. He was allowed to marry the person of his choice and adopt the children who rightly belong in his care. No one could stop him and his wife from their pursuit of happiness. A narrow decision in June by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning DOMA and Prop. 8 but not extending the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to protect against the hatred and prejudice that still exists in so many states throughout our country will perpetuate this gross miscarriage of justice over and over, leaving tens of Katies and Stevens and Georges vulnerable to the whims of the states in which they live their lives—irreparably harmed. It is not acceptable for LGBT Americans to live in 50 different Americas while the John and Jane Roberts of the world live in one America. Crossing the border from California to Arizona should not mean that I lose my civil rights.” The old website DayOfDecision.org has been revived to encourage people to act when the Supreme Court decision comes down to let the court and the world know that the fight is not yet over.


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Suitable Attire

Nury Martinez

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Far left top: Simon (left) wears Charlie Lifeguard Brief, $115, available at charliebymz.com; Malek wears 1324 Bio Pepa Brief by ES, $112.50, available at L.A. Jock, 8915 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo. lajock.com Far left bottom: Simon wears Charlie Trainer, $210, available at charliebymz.com. This page: Malek wears Bora Bora Short Pant by ES, $112.50, available at L.A. Jock; Simon wears Coralrif Striped Swim Shorts by Diesel, $60, available at L.A. Jock.

Photography by John Fallon

JUNE 25, 2013

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Simon wears Charlie Lifeguard Brief, $105, available at charliebymz.com. Inset Box: Simon wears Jibe Stripe Surf Short by Maui & Sons, $65, available at Brick and Mortar, 8713 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo. bricknmortar.co; Malek wears Madeira Short Pant by ES, $97.50, available at L.A. Jock.

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Above Left: Simon wears Swish Imperial by Aussie Bum, $52, available at L.A. Jock. Above Right: Simon wears Track Swim Short by Team 8, $69, available at L.A. Jock; Malek wears Dash Pink by Team 8, $49, available at L.A. Jock. Bottom: Malek wears League Gold by Aussie Bum, $61, available at L.A. Jock; Simon wears Charlie Lifeguard Brief, $55, available at charliebymz.com.

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Simon wears Swish White by Aussie Bum, $52, available at L.A. Jock; Malek wears League Trunk by Aussie Bum, $61, available at L.A. Jock.

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Malek wears 1382 Madeira Short Pant by ES, $97.50, available at L.A. Jock. Inset Box: Simon wears S01-01 Icon Swim Shorts by 2eros, $84, available at Brick and Mortar.

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Suit Yourself 2013

As the summer approaches and you’ve (hopefully) achieved your ideal pool party bod, it’s time to splurge on some great suits to show off all your hard work. Here are some of our favorites for the new season.

By Salvador Camarena

Old Navy

Zara

Green Palm Print Board Shorts $15, oldnavy.gap.com

Neon Swim Shorts in Neon Yellow $35.90, zara.com

H&M Swim Shorts in Gray $17.95, hm.com

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Diesel

Patagonia

Aerial Brief $50, diesel.com

Minimalist Board Short $59, urbanoutfitters.com

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Gap Rugby Board Shorts $39.95, gap.com

Saturdays Surf NYC

Saturdays Surf NYC

Horizon Big Dots in Navy $75, saturdaysnyc.com

Marble Notebook Printed Board Short $75, barneys.com

Theory Kosmor Striped Swim Trunks in Orange $122, neimanmarcus.com


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Parke & Ronen Angeleno Swim Trunk $125, barneys.com

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Gant by Michael Bastian The MB Safari Print Athletic Swim Trunks $125, bloomingdales.com

Mr. Turk Malibu Beach Shorts $132, mrturk.com

Marc by Marc Jacobs Simon Swim Short in Electric Blue $148, marcjacobs.com

Vilebrequin

Vilebrequin

Limoland

Jellyfish Print Swim Trunk $160, barneys.com

Shark Print Swim Trunk $160, barneys.com

Camo Dogs Swim Shorts $220, shoplimoland.com

Limoland

Orlebar Brown

Dolce & Gabbana

Louis Vuitton

Private Jets Swim Shorts $220, barneys.com

Geometric Print Bulldog Swim Trunks $250, barneys.com

Gingham Swim Trunk $475, barneys.com

Multi Color Beach Shorts $690, Louis Vuitton Beverly Hills

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By Mike Ciriaco

The East Side

ROCKS ON

Leather and sex have enjoyed an association with rock music since the genre's inception in the 1950s. It was only a matter of time before an event like the Off Sunset Festival—an LGBT music event here in L.A. that will focus primarily on leather culture—sprang up in Southern California. On Sunday, July 7, the inaugural iteration of Off Sunset Festival, running a half-mile down Santa Monica Boulevard between Sunset and Hoover in Silver Lake, will include live bands, dancing, food and drink. The Off Sunset Association, the organization responsible for conceiving this fetish-themed street fair, hopes the festival will give the leather community greater visibility. “There are many LGBT festivals amongst hundreds of music festivals, but only a handful of leather/fetish festivals,” says Hunter Fox, a member of OSA. “Our goal is to bridge the leather/fetish, LGBT and music spectrum to create an extraordinary event.” Fox's aspirations for success may very well be achieved, judging by the caliber of musical talent already attached to the festival. As Frontiers goes to press, the Off Sunset Festival lineup includes bands like Local Chanel, BC, Black Sabbitch, Hunx and His Punx and Imperial Teen. The festival will also feature DJs of both local and international renown, such as Steve Cunningham, Critter Control duo Chris Bowen and Victor Rodriguez (Bears in Space, Cub Scout), Megawoof London's Leonardo Glowvibe and the San Francisco-based John LaPage. With an estimated 5,000 attendees expected at the festival, it'll take more than a series of killer bands to satiate the crowds. Fortunately, Off Sunset Festival will offer food vendors and a fleet of gourmet food trucks serving up great eats—and as the event is adults-only, there will obviously be a wide selection of beer and liquor. While the Off Sunset Festival will provide plenty of indulgences, don't write the event off as some

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leather-clad, booze-soaked, rock ‘n’ roll bacchanal. As part of the Off Sunset Association Community Grant Program, OSA will be awarding a series of grants to selected nonprofit organizations that offer services and programs in Silver Lake and surrounding areas. Other organizations the Off Sunset Association is working with include the L.A. Rebellion rugby team, The Trevor Project, Friends of Project 10 and Project Angel Food. This spirit of philanthropy is at the core of the organization's mission: “We spend time in this incredible section of Los Angeles, and we want to give back. It is our goal to support beautification, art and youth programs with an emphasis on the LGBT community. Not only will this new street fair be an exciting day of music, culture, art, food and fun, but it will also bring a way for us to offer our support for the place and people we love.” In this respect, the Off Sunset Festival is a love song to its beloved Silver Lake. Over the decades, L.A.’s East Side has served as a haven for the LGBT community. On New Year's Eve 1967, a police raid at local gay bar The Black Cat Tavern resulted in the first gay riot in America, predating the Stonewall Riots by two years. Several days

later, a demonstration was organized by a group called PRIDE, Personal Rights in Defense and Education, which also created its own publication, known today as The Advocate. It’s for these reasons that Kim Sharp, another member of OSA, feels Silver Lake is the ideal setting for such a unique LGBT event. “There is so much history in the Silver Lake area with music and the LGBT community. From the premise behind Sunset Junction to the Black Cat being declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, we have seen much strife and progress in our community. We want this to be a celebration of who we are, where we live.” An issue with all street festivals, particularly here in Los Angeles, is the potential for chaos that comes with street closures. Thankfully, it’s an issue of which the Off Sunset Festival is well aware. “Our goal is to present as little inconvenience as possible to the neighboring community,” says Sharp. “We accomplish that by asking our attendees to respect the local community hosting the festival and by creating as few traffic obstacles as possible. But realistically, anytime you close a major street such as Santa Monica Boulevard, there will always be a bit of frustration. We have worked hard to insure the major roads surrounding the festival footprint are open, therefore creating as little impact as possible.” As for next year, according to Fox, Off Sunset Festival already has charitable aspirations. “We would like to enhance our musical lineup, which will increase our attendance and thus allow us to donate a greater amount of money to local nonprofits and the community of Silver Lake itself.”


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EVENTS

NIGHTLIFE

THEATER

EXHIBITS

go to FrontiersLA.com/Entertainment for more listings Wed. | June 12

Thu. | June 13

RINGO: PEACE & LOVE Grammy Museum The Grammy Museum, in cooperation with Ringo Starr, will debut this one-of-a-kind, limited-run exhibit. Features include an unprecedented, in-depth look at all aspects of Starr’s musical and creative life. It will also aim to propel Starr’s universal message of peace and love. Through 2014. grammymuseum.org Wed. | June 12

ZELDA AT THE GREEK Greek Theatre As part of the global The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses 2013 tour, this acclaimed concert will capture the hearts of video game enthusiasts and music lovers. Concertgoers in L.A. will journey to Hyrule and enjoy breathtaking new material exploring chapters from the Zelda franchise, in addition to the beautifully orchestrated four-movement symphony from last season. zelda-symphony.com Wed. | June 12

BOOMERANG EFFECT Zephyr Theatre Del Shores’ romantic comedy consists of five interrelated short plays peeking into the sex lives of couples in various bedroom scenarios. It explores the many universals that occur in every relationship while examining the trickier issues that can test a couple’s durability such as secrecy, infidelity, power struggles, miscommunication and sexual incompatibility. Through July 27. tix.com

BFD Fubar It’s hard to believe that Mario Diaz’s weekly party BFD started bringing raunch to WeHo more than a full decade ago. Celebrate the party that just wouldn’t die—known for its infamous photo competition— with DJ Riley More and the BFD Go-Go Brigade. Free. fubarla.com Thu. | June 13

AMFM FEST Coachella Valley The mission of the AMFM (Art, Music, Film and More) Festival is to bring communities together through the power of story and the art of laughter while showcasing emerging talent in art, music, film, photography and comedy. Festival directors have added rock group Gram Rabbit to the extensive programming slate. Through June 16. amfmfest.com Thu. | June 13

L.A. DESIGN FESTIVAL Los Angeles The third annual festival features highlights including everything from home tours to exhibitions, screenings to receptions, and even a ping-pong party and design caravan. This year's lineup of events reflects the rich diversity of L.A.'s creative communities across all design disciplines. Through June 30. ladesignfestival.org Fri. | June 14

DIRTY POP Micky’s Taking place every Friday at Micky’s, this is a party made for dancing. You’ll be on your feet all night long, well into the wee hours of the morning. (The bar stays open til 4.) The party’s free ‘til midnight, and you’ll find drink specials all night long. mickys.com

WEHO’S VOCAL CHAMELEON Known for his legendary vocal tributes to artists including Barbra Steisand, Adele, Cher, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Nicks, Shirley Bassey, Liza, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday and Eartha Kitt, Jimmy James is a Billboard-charting recording artist. A regular staple of Provincetown and cabarets the world over, James originally made a name for himself as the world’s premier Marilyn Monroe impersonator. Starting this June, James comes to WeHo’s Café La Bohème for a monthly show. Don’t miss it. Tell me about how the idea of a monthly show at Café La Bohème came about. I was hired to perform at La Bohème for a private party of over 100 people, and it went really well. The management approached me about doing a once-amonth dinner and show. To be honest, I love doing gigs close to my apartment in WeHo. No packing and traveling! What can our readers expect from the show? Besides the great dinners and cocktails, I'm keeping it very intimate, casual and funny. I'll be doing some pop culture comedy, too. I'm doing a blend of comedy and music—classic voices and some modern voices. Also, a couple of my own original songs. And I'd like some of my performing friends to come in to do a number or two. Do you plan for the show to be different each month? Yes! I have so much material I don't ever have to repeat the same show. I'm planning some things that no one in L.A. has ever seen me do live. You originally made a name for yourself as the world's best spitting image of Marilyn Monroe. How did you originally get into that line of work? I was a really good makeup artist with a secret dream to perform, but the dream seemed too far away. Until one day in the early 1980s— I came across a certain picture of Marilyn and

something struck me about the shape of her face being similar to mine. After tons of research and makeup tests, I took it out in public and began to get hired in small clubs and private parties. After years of struggling, eventually my big break came in 1987 when I appeared on Donahue. After that, I was booked like crazy for the next 10 years on TV and in clubs until I retired the Marilyn part of my show in 1997. Overall, I had been doing Marilyn for almost 20 years. I wanted to evolve and create more things and do music. I now have lots of music on iTunes. And I'm working on a documentary about my “Marilyn Years.” And the other vocal impersonations? Have you spent years and years practicing them to perfect them, or is it something that comes naturally to you? Part of it comes naturally, but they all need work and upkeep. I constantly go back to hear their voices to refresh my memory. Catch Jimmy James’ show at Café La Bohème on June 27 and monthly thereafter. cafelaboheme.us

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Fri. | June 14

Sun. | June 16

OUTLAUGH

TOM’S BAR

WeHo Library

Faultline

The Lavender Effect presents Outlaugh, an evening of gay and lesbian stand-up comedy. The dynamic Sandra Valls, known for her appearances on Showtime and Logo, will headline the show along with a lineup of comics including Andre Kelley, Shawn Pelofsky and Ivy Bottini. brownpapertickets.com

Celebrate Daddy’s Day with Tom of Finland! Come out and honor the esteemed illustrator at Tom’s Bar, an annual event since 1992. From 2-7 p.m., the lot party will feature artists, a silent auction, contests, prizes and giveaways. $10 donation. faultlinebar.com

» SIZE | HERE LOUNGE |

Photos by Tom Whitman Presents

Mon. | June 17 Fri. | June 14

REVOLVER Celebration Theatre This final production of Celebration’s 30th season—and the final production in its current venue—circles through six scenes displaying the aftermath of emotional and physical violence, set in the gun-shaped city of West Hollywood. Through July 21. celebrationtheatre.com Sat. | June 15

BEASTLY BALL

ALAP GAY PLAYREADING FESTIVAL: FULLLENGTH PLAYS Celebration Theatre As part of its Fifth Annual Gay Play Reading Festival, the Association of Los Angeles Playwrights will present a reading of a new full-length play titled The Incredible Life and Wondrous Exploits of the Amazing Fabulous Fred, written by Dan Berkowitz. Free. 7:30 p.m. laplaywrights.org

L.A. Zoo The Greater L.A. Zoo Association’s 43rd Annual Beastly Ball is set under the stars of the zoo. Wells Fargo and actress Pauley Perrette are being honored at the event, known as “one of L.A.’s biggest and most popular fundraisers” and “one of the best parties in Los Angeles.” The Beastly Ball traditionally attracts over 1,000 attendees and raises more than $1 million annually. lazoo.org Sat. | June 15

DRAGULA

Tue. | June 18

EVITA Blok Luke Nero and Andres Rigal of Mr. Black L.A. have brought this new party to the masses, taking place in a different Hollywood venue but showcasing the same hedonism and joie de vivre you’ve come to expect. Past parties have featured guest appearances by the likes of Amanda Lepore and more. Free. facebook.com/evitalosangeles Tue. | June 18

THE JUDY SHOW: MY LIFE AS A SITCOM Geffen Playhouse

Faultline A new monster is born with this depraved dance party celebrating drag, filth, leather and glamour, brought to you by the Boulet Brothers. Don’t miss the midnight drag pageant (with a $200 prize). Soundtrack by The Men’s Club Soundsystem and Squeaky Blonde. $5, but free until 11 if you’re in drag. facebook.com/dragulalosangeles Sat. | June 15

CMG SHORT FILM FESTIVAL West Hollywood This festival features the world debut of We Are Animals, an alternate history fable of how the AIDS crisis of the ‘80s might have played out if right-wing extremists had prevailed. This year’s festival offers four programs of short films, a majority of them by local filmmakers. Content is primarily LGBT and includes comedians, animation, musicals, short documentaries and episodes of locally produced web series. thecmg.org/film 44

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Judy Gold, your favorite 6’3” Jewish mother of two, brings her big, critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit to L.A. A nonstop 90-minute ride, The Judy Show is Gold’s chance to broadcast her hilarious life story through the sitcoms we all knew and loved. Through July 28. geffenplayhouse.com Wed. | June 19

MAKING LOVE LETTERS WeHo Library Actors will read fan letters expressing praise for Making Love, one of the first mainstream gay-themed films ever made. These letters reveal the impact the film had on viewers, when public representations of homosexuality were almost nonexistent. Filmmakers A. Scott Berg and Barry Sandler will be present for a Q&A. $20 general admission. 7 p.m. tinyurl.com/bp63jbk

Find more photo albums — and additional photos from these events — at FrontiersLA.com/Entertainment.


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Thu. | June 20

RENT

BLAST OFF

Lee Strasberg Theatres Directed by Troy Rintala, this interpretation of La Bohème has been a favorite for musical lovers for years. Tickets $10. 8 p.m. Through June 23. losangeles@strasberg.com Thu. | June 20

INTERNATIONAL SURFING DAY See Website

Now a summer tradition, Bears in Space hosts its very first lot party of the season on June 23. Housed in the parking lot of Silver Lake mainstay Akbar, it’s an afternoon (and evening) of cheap beer, drag performances and one of the sexiest crowds to get together on L.A.’s East Side. Past years’ lot parties have included food trucks and ever-popular ‘bouncy house’ setups. This very first lot party will be hosted by recent SF transplant queen Ambrosia Salad and the East Side’s very own wretched diva Fade-Dra. DJs Chris Bowen and Victor Rodriguez will be providing the day’s all-vinyl soundtrack—along with special guest DJ Conor of San Francisco— and performances will begin at 6 p.m. before the sun goes down. Whether you’re a scruffy East Sider at heart or a Westside queen who occasionally dabbles in Silver Lake debauchery, this is a party for the masses that shouldn’t be missed. Don’t forget to pile on the sunscreen!

Now in its ninth year, International Surfing Day continues to unite surfers around celebrating the sport while raising awareness and showing appreciation of our coastal environments. As in previous years, the Surfrider Foundation will organize various surf sessions, beach cleanups and coastal restoration events. intlsurfingday.com Fri. | June 21

GAY OLD TIME The Complex Hollywood This one-man show is about a gay man who wonders and dreams what the world would have been like back in the ‘50s and ‘60s if the world’s funniest comedians—like Red Skelton and Lucille Ball— tackled gay topics with gusto. The show also features the characters of Jackie Gleason, Victor Borge and The Three Stooges. bryanleecomedy.com

Bears in Space: An Afternoon Lot Party Blast June 23, 2 p.m. Akbar, 4356 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake akbarsilverlake.com

IMAGE BY IAN O’PHELAN

Find more photo albums — and additional photos from these events — at FrontiersLA.com/Entertainment.

» JOHN | FAULTLINE |

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BURLY & BEAUTIFUL John Grant is a hulking tree trunk of a gay man who looks more like Paul Bunyon than a pensive, emotionally honest songwriter. His latest disc, Pale Green Ghosts, is a gorgeous blend of lush, orchestral sounds and understated electronic beats anchored by his alluring vocals. Grant plays Echo Park's The Echo on Monday, June 17, and I chatted with him from his new home in Iceland. You’ve said that some of Pale Green Ghosts is inspired by early '80s New Wave club music. Who were some of your favorites or influences? There are so many! I loved the Eurythmics, Blancmange, Visage, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Missing Persons, Tears for Fears, Cabaret Voltaire, Scritti Politti, the first three Devo records. All the 4AD records—stuff like Cocteau Twins—were huge for me. They are all still really important to me today, actually. You are kind of a sex symbol for the queer bear community. What is the most funny or crazy story about a gay fan or groupie?

BY PAUL V. BY PAUL V.

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that! [Laughs] But I guess my big sort of ‘rock star’ moment was with a really sexy Danish reporter. We ended up kissing and doing it right there on the cold dressing room floor. However, I got super sick two weeks later, and found out that encounter is where I got HIV. And that dichotomy of highs and lows is definitely reflected in some of my songs.

What iss the best thing or the worst thing about being an openly gay artist/musician? Honestly, I can’t think of anything bad about it. I mean, maybe it makes it more difficult for me to spend time in Russia? [Laughs] But I really haven’t lost any sleep over it. It’s just another fact about who I am, really. However, it’s also something I want to talk about in my music.

You revealed that you are HIV-positive onstage at the 2012 Meltdown Festival. What was going through your mind in deciding to do that? It was definitely a bit of a mindfuck! I was in my ‘labrynthian’ state of mind pondering my motivation for doing it, which was showing that I wasn’t ashamed about it. What mattered most to me was that it was my truth, and knowing that my audience could benefit from my honesty. My song "Ernest Borgnine" is about forgiving myself for getting into that situation, especially after working so hard to get sober before that.

What do you want the take-away to be when people experience Pale Green Ghosts, particularly younger gay people? What I want for them is what I had when I was younger, wherein music becomes an important backdrop for a particular period in your life. If nothing else, I hope my music can be uplifting or can help people escape during really difficult times.

PHOTO CREDIT: HÖRDUR SVEINSSON

Have people treated you any differently since revealing that? Nothing negative, really. I spoke to Elton John on the phone the other day, and he thought it was a really great thing to do and he was behind me 100 percent. Hearing that from someone like him and from so many fans is pretty incredible.

Find the extended interview at FrontiersLA.com/ExclusiveInterviews, and don't miss John Grant at The Echo on June 17. theecho.com; johngrantmusic.com

Find more photo albums — and additional photos from these events — at FrontiersLA.com/Entertainment.

» FRESH CLASSIC FRIDAYS | ELEVEN NIGHTCLUB |

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Fri. | June 21

Fri. | June 21

Sat. | June 22

AZIMUTH

TRANS PRIDE L.A.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

The Village at Ed Gould Plaza

LILY TOMLIN

The 10th anniversary season of Dance at the Music Center continues with Hubbard Street + LINES Ballet. These two renowned dance companies present the Southern California premiere of Azimuth, an inspiring new work by LINES Ballet Artistic Director Alonzo King. Through June 23. musiccenter.org

Trans Pride L.A. 2013 is a two-day event celebrating the vibrancy and uniqueness of L.A.'s trans and genderqueer community. The celebration is hosted by the Center and co-sponsored by Gender Justice L.A., Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival and Transgender Law Center. It’s a free event, and everyone is invited to attend. tinyurl.com/kspl47n

Segerstrom Theatre Comedienne Lily Tomlin returns to the stage for an unforgettable night of sidesplitting laughter as she takes her audience on a howlingly funny trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Sister Boogie Woman, Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann. scfta.org

Sat. | June 22

Fri. | June 21

LAS ESTRELLAS DE ARSENIO Museum of Latin American Art

Fri. | June 21

Sat. | June 22

CONNIE LOVES JUICE

HOOKER CASINO Here Lounge

Connie Loves Juice is John Cantwell's second full-length musical extravaganza, coming off a three-year run of Love, Connie, which debuted in 2010 before going off to Provincetown’s Afterglow Festival and New York. Imagine Grease, Roller Boogie, Saturday Night Fever, Carrie and Rosemary's Baby edited together by a blind man, and you'll get why audiences love Connie! Through June 29. cavernclubtheater.com

From the team that brought you Stripper Circus, Here Lounge is transformed into the dirtiest casino in the world. Drink, dance and find someone to rub up against. 696 N. Robertson Blvd., WeHo. herelounge.com Sat. | June 22

NOT ENTIRELY WICKED Saban Theatre The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles wraps up the season with this show, featuring the music of Broadway legend and Disney com-

ON THE FRINGE If there's one thing gays have even more than a flare for drama, its a sense of community. Fortunately for LGBT theater fans, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is back and serving up heaping helpings of both. Now in its fourth year, spanning June 12-30, the festival encourages freedom of expression and collaboration within the performing arts. Participants range from international arts companies to local performers, and venues include professional theatres, black box studios, clubs, restaurants, parks and even churches. In addition to these diverse, self-produced shows, the festival will also be bringing back a number of popular programs, many of which emphasize the festival's fraternal undertone. With its multitude of show titles, venues, dates and times, the festival can be mind-boggling for both neophytes and veterans alike. Thus, we've taken the liberty of breaking down the festival's returning programs, and you 50

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BOWL OPENING NIGHT

Sun. | June 23

BOWLING FOR EQUALITY Palm Springs Lanes This sixth annual HRC event includes two games of bowling, shoe rental, pizza, unlimited fountain drinks and a one-year HRC membership. “Mad for Plaid” is the theme, so come support equality while sporting your favorite plaid attire. Prizes, opportunity drawings and other activities maximize the fun. hrc.org/ palmspringsbowling Mon. | June 24

Hollywood Bowl

Cavern Club Theater This all-star ensemble of today’s top L.A. and New York musicians came together for the first time in 2011 to pay tribute to Arsenio Rodriguez, the Father of Salsa, on his 100th birthday. Now, for the first time on the West Coast, you can enjoy these talented artists at the Museum of Latin American Art. molaa.org

poser Stephen Schwartz and the voice of Emmy Award-winner Liz Callaway. Follow them on a journey down memory lane of songs and medleys from Wicked, The Baker’s Wife, Children of Eden, Godspell, The Magic Show and Pippin, along with screen favorites Enchanted, Pocahontas and others. gmcla.org

Versatile vocalist/ entertainer Patti Austin and critically acclaimed recording artist John Legend will be inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame at this year’s Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl. Following inductions, the season’s inductees will perform with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by Thomas Wilkins. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the L.A. Phil and its education programs. hollywood bowl.com

PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES: HILLARY Gibson Amphitheatre The American Jewish University continues its long and distinguished Public Lecture Series with this evening featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Having recently stepped down from her role as America’s chief diplomat and President Obama’s principal foreign policy advisor, the timing of hearing from Secretary Clinton could not be better. aju.edu/hillary

BY MIKE CIRIACO

can go to FrontiersLA.com for suggestions on must-see LGBT productions. RETURNING PROGRAMS: Fringe Central Station If the Hollywood Fringe were the Super Friends, this would be the Hall of Justice. The official festival hub, this location acts as a casual clubhouse where participants and patrons can shmooze and booze, and it also houses the Opening Night Ceremony and Closing Night Awards. Amenities include food trucks and Bryan's Bar. 6314 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd. Fringe Family While the Fringe tends to skew towards the edgy and taboo, this program reminds patrons that the festival can be accessible to audiences of all ages. Kid-friendly activities include children’s theater, puppets, balloon animals and crafts. Free. Sundays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 6314 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.

FringeTV Tune into FringeTV's coverage of the festival's latest activities, featuring participant interviews, event coverage, venue spotlights and other special features. Find episodes at the festival's website, as well as on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. hollywoodfringe.org, youtube.com/user/HollywoodFringe Fringe Zero Waste Days In an act of environmental consciousness, the festival will enact several Zero Waste Days in an attempt to divert 60 percent of its materials from local landfills. It is also partnering with Repurpose Compostables to provide eco-friendly cups and containers for distribution at Bryan’s Bar. June 12, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28-30

Student Fringe Fringe believes that children are our future—treat them well and let them lead the way. The festival has assembled a group of Fringe artists with educational experience to participate in a morning of free performances, workshops and Q&A opportunities for middle school theater and film students. June 6, Bancroft Middle School.

For a list of the must-see shows of this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, go to FrontiersLA.com/Features.


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» FRONTIERS NIGHT OUT:

PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT PANTAGES THEATRE | Photos by Rolling-Blackouts

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ENTERTAINMENT

FILM

REVIEWS 20 FEET FROM STARDOM Starring Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger Opens June 14

***** There may be better documentaries released in 2013, but there will be none more rousing than Morgan Neville’s 20 Feet From Stardom. Neville—a music freak whose other docs include Johnny Cash’s America and Search and Destroy: Iggy & the Stooges’ Raw Power—offers us the history of background singers and, in a way, the last 50 years of popular music as well. He opens the film with Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”—with its infamous line “and the colored girls go ... doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo...”—which could serve as the movie’s theme. From Darlene Love, who altered the course of background singing from the white bread Barbie dolls of the pre-rock era, to Merry Clayton’s historical work with The Rolling Stones (“Gimme Shelter”) and Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Sweet Home Alabama”), to Judith Hill (Michael Jackson) and the sublime Lisa Fischer (Sting, The Rolling Stones), 20 Feet From Stardom is a celebration of the singers who harmonized on some of the greatest tracks in rock history. There is darkness as well—many singers attempted solo careers and failed—but the film’s an audience-pleasing love letter to the powers of universal harmony. —Dan Loughry

CALL ME KUCHU

VEHICLE 19

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Opens June 21

Starring Paul Walker, Naima McLean, Gys de Villiers Opens June 14

Starring Joel Edgerton, Felicity Price, Anthony Starr Opens June 7

***** In the incendiary documentary Call Me Kuchu, directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika ZouhaliWorrall, we are witness to the infancy of gay rights activism in Uganda, where homosexuals have no rights whatsoever. The film introduces us to David Kato, known as Uganda’s first openly gay man, and a cadre of activists working to overturn a 2009 antigay measure that proposed death for HIV-positive gay men and prison for any citizen who failed to turn in a known homosexual. The film follows Kato from the beginning of his activism, through his murder in 2011 and on into its aftermath. What begins as a local story of conflict between the LGBT community, politicians and religious leaders becomes a story about activism on the ground and internationally. It’s tough stuff, for sure, and heartbreaking on too many levels to itemize. Yet there’s also a sense of uplift here, especially when watching these oppressed, beaten-down outcasts locate the power of their political voice during Kato’s funeral. (The advent of social media also plays a significant role in communicating their plight.) Call Me Kuchu is one of the most moving and infuriating documentaries I’ve seen in years, but also absolutely necessary viewing. —Dan Loughry

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***

Shot entirely from inside the title minivan—a rental car Michael (Walker) picks up in Johannesburg— Vehicle 19 is more akin to Walker’s Joy Ride—a disembodied voice controlling the action—than his Fast and Furious. In this modest thriller, Michael is on his way to reunite with Angelica (Leyla Haidarian). However, a series of delays—getting stuck in traffic, getting lost and finding a woman tied up in the trunk(!)—sidetrack him. When Michael encounters his unexpected and unwelcome passenger Rachel (McLean), he learns that she has information on a sex trafficking ring led by a local cop (de Villiers). She insists he deliver her—and her information— safely to the city’s only uncorrupt judge. If this innocent man embroiled in misadventure has some exciting chase scenes and shootouts, it also has an equal number of dumb and dull stretches. Michael’s actions in this talky film strain credibility at times. If Angelica works at the embassy, why doesn’t he alert her to his criminal situation? And a suggestion that he entered South Africa illegally is underdeveloped. McLean’s subtle performance outshines Walker’s penchant for trying too hard when his character expresses anger and frustration. Nevertheless, this ‘B movie’ generates enough tension to override its flaws. —Gary M. Kramer

**

This sincere Australian drama opens like a tourism advertisement, with two couples enjoying themselves on the beach, in the markets and on the streets of Southern Cambodia. But after the credits end, David (Edgerton) and his wife Alice (Price) return home while her sister Steph (Teresa Palmer) stays in Cambodia to deal with the disappearance of her new-ish boyfriend Jeremy (Starr). Soon enough, it is revealed that David slept with Steph (Teresa Palmer), causing his marriage to go into a tailspin. Is Jeremy’s vanishing related? Wish You Were Here judiciously considers how a couple copes with a marital crisis compounded by the aftereffects of a traumatic event. Both the past and present storylines address issues of complicity and cover-up, but the “What happened in Cambodia?” story is more intriguing than the soapy domestic drama. Alas, a clumsily edited sequence that brings both stories to a head comes off as more contrived than satisfying. The film also makes Alice the moral center and David the villain, when it should have made both characters more complex. Price gives a strong performance, but while Edgerton expresses the weight of guilt—as well as paranoia and frustration—he never quite convinces, and viewers will wish Wish You Were Here was better. —Gary M. Kramer


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ENTERTAINMENT

MUSIC

Alison Moyet the minutes (Metropolis Records)

REVIEWS

****

Musical heroes and heroines from our past often struggle to appropriate even a sliver of their past magic—not just against their most loved songs but, harder still, against our imaginations (which are often bathed in the golden and unforgiving glow of nostalgia). For someone like Alison Moyet, no matter how good she has often been as a solo artist, she’s always had to contend with our obsessive love of her work in Yaz. And while it may be true that we’ve never quite warmed to her as much as when she was the human foil to Vince Clarke’s icy and uptempo synthesizers (“Don’t Go,” “Situation”), it would also be churlish to deny her charms. On her latest release, the minutes, she generally surprises across the board. While the record is sprinkled with the synth-pop that made her name, it’s also sonically up-to-date with washes of modern hip-hop and R&B. She’s best on the alternative groove of “Changeling” and, better still, the club banging “Right As Rain,” as clear-eyed a death knell to love as could be imagined. And while she stumbles vocally on the straining “When I Was Your Girl,” her husky alto remains a marvel. —Dan Loughry

Camera Obscura

Future Bible Heroes

Sigur Rós

Various Artists

Visage

Desire Lines (4AD)

Partygoing (Merge)

Kveikur (XL Recordings)

Music From True Blood Vol. 4 (ATO)

Hearts & Knives (Blitz Club)

**

… Oh, excuse me, I was yawning. Soctland’s Camera Obscura has put out another album of twee, well-produced, lightly-referential-of-the-‘60s indie pop. In 2001, Camera Obscura’s debut album, produced by Belle And Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, sounded fresh, honest and quaint. The melodies, albeit slight, were catchy, and vocalist Tracyanne Campbell had a certain bookish charm. 2006 saw the band at its peak with hit single “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken.” Since then, it’s been diminishing returns for the band. Campbell sings with the emotional resonance of someone reading the instructions on the back of a Pop-Tarts box. A quick trip to YouTube will confirm any speculation that Ms. Campbell is dead behind the eyes. The songs? They’re banal. The few that show any spark—“Troublemaker,” “New Years Resolution,” “Do It Again”—just sound like retreads of former half-glories. They’ve basically made the same album five times over, and it’s just not cute anymore. What was likeable is now tired. What was interesting is no longer. It’s surprising that the band, now going on its 14th year, seems so reluctant to change. Album closer and title track “Desire Lines” adds a slide guitar to the mix, if that’s your thing. Ugh. —Dominik Rothbard

*****

Out of all of Stephin Merritt’s bands (he has four), Future Bible Heroes is the most consistent. It’s been 11 years since the beautiful Eternal Youth LP, and since then we’ve seen a host of Magnetic Fields albums that strayed further and further from the lofi electronica he’d become associated with. Another Future Bible Heroes album allows Merritt to temporarily disassociate from the increasingly morose Magnetic Fields and deliver one of the most fun albums of his staggering career. Partygoing is just as fun as it sounds—dancey, upbeat, filled with hilarious lyrics ... about the most depressing topics on the planet. The entire album is full of lines so heartbreaking yet so clever that you can’t help but cry and smile. And this is Future Bible Heroes’ hat trick. Songs like “Keep Your Children in a Coma,” “Love is a Luxury I Can No Longer Afford” and “Drink Nothing but Champagne” celebrate self-medicating in a thoughtful, danceable way. Claudia Gonson and Stephin Merritt swap lead vocal duties throughout the album before colliding on “How Very Strange,” a song that recalls Canada’s Stars as much as it does late ’70s-era Human League. It’s a standout track on an already outstanding album, and it sounds like nothing else out there. I pray it’s not another 11 years before we get another FBH album. —Dominik Rothbard

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*****

***

Now that it’s finally happened, it seems easy to admit it—I’ve been waiting for the Icelandic alternative superstars Sigur Rós to dirty up its pristine musical landscapes since the release of the band’s second record, 1999’s benchmark Ágætis Byrjun. It may be true the band has been inching closer to the mainstream for years, but this being Sigur Rós, it’s happened in minute increments. If this seventh release, Kveikur, is the band’s most accessible work, I believe that says more about how the band has changed the definition of “mainstream” than the music itself. (It will be great to read blog arguments about Sigur Rós selling out—a band that still primarily sings in the Icelandic language, has a vocalist that frightens dogs and has yet to record an EDM anthem.) The band is now a trio following the departure of keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson, yet the sound is fuller and more dynamic than ever. And while Sigur Rós’s breathtakingly slow exercises in modern ambience are still stunning on-record and live, you can hear the band’s relief in finally getting a chance to muscle up on tunes like the screeching “Ísjaki” and the pounding title track. There’s only one thing I would ask Sigur Rós for, and that’s more.

Calling all sexy vampires! We’ve got some fresh new blood—er, music—for you here. The popular HBO series is famous for showcasing both the new and the old eclectic sounds on the show, and Volume 4 for Season 6 is poised to do the same. This set sees the uniting of legendary rock hall-of-famers with indie darlings. The best of the lot features Iggy Pop with Bethany Cosentino for “Let’s Boot and Rally,” which is a hip-shaking snakecharmer, and The Animals’ Eric Burdon teamed with Jenny Lewis for a smoldering rerecording of his classic “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Of the newer artists, the standouts come from funk-rockers The Heavy with “What Makes a Good Man” and my favorite track, Bosco Delrey’s cover of John Mellencamp’s “Authority Song,” wherein he morphs the uptempo rock of the original into a lo-fi, smokythroated, wah-wah guitar jam. Conversely, though, My Morning Jacket’s rendition of The Byrds’ “Turn Turn Turn” is a lackluster waste of time. And the most likely sex scene soundtrack comes from The Naked & The Famous’ scintillating original “The Sun.” With other fangtastic entries from Alabama Shakes, Flaming Lips, Warpaint and Howlin’ Wolf, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into here.

—Dan Loughry

—Paul V.

***

Back in 1978, music from Roxy Music, David Bowie, Kraftwerk and more inhabited the dance floor at London club Blitz, where a randy, glamorous fellow named Steve Strange was created. Soon after, so was his seminal band Visage (featuring members of Ultravoxx and Magazine), and whose classic “Fade to Grey” would become the official anthem of the early ’80s New Romantic fashion/music movement. Fastforward past Strange’s now-kicked heroin addiction, and this is their first new set of music in 29 years! The good news is it’s quite a solid effort that doesn’t feel any pressure to update or change a thing about what made them great. As it was recorded using vintage analog electronics, “On We Go” is hugely inspired by Ultravoxx’s “Vienna” in both mood and sonics, while “She’s Electric” is the one most resembling “Fade to Grey.” And with the addition of vocalist Lauren Duvall, tracks like “Hidden Sign” and fab first single “Shameless Fashion“ will absolutely remind you of The Human League. Strange sings with renewed vigor, and though this is not necessarily a rehash, it could just as easily be an unreleased effort circa their breakup in 1984. And that’s exactly what their longtime fans (like myself) were waiting for. —Paul V.


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Documenting a

DIVA By Stephan Horbelt Merry Clayton is a living legend, a fact documented adeptly in the new film 20 Feet From Stardom, to be released June 14. In the fascinating and at times heartwrenching documentary, director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold stories of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest backup singers—the women (literally) behind some of our greatest modern musical icons. Finally, the trials, tribulations and inspiring tales of these talented women are able to take center stage, leaving you with quite possibly the most riveting film of the summer. One of the many talents appearing in the film—along with Darlene Love, Lou Adler And Merry Clatyon Claudia Lennear, Tata Vega and Lisa Fischer—Merry Clayton is known for her soulful work on Carole King’s Tapestry, as well as stints with rockers Neil Young, Joe Cocker and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Clayton is most well-known, of course, for her sensational studio work on the 1969 Rolling Stones track “Gimme Shelter,” a late-night recording session with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards—while pregnant—relived on-camera, providing the film’s pinnacle. Frontiers was thrilled to accept the opportunity to chat with Merry Clayton, during which time the allstar vocalist shared how she was approached to take part in the film, reminisced on that epic night with Mick and Keith and explained why the use of background singers in music today is an all-but-forgotten notion.

First off, congrats on the film. It’s really amazing. Oh, thank you so much! Have you received a good response so far? Yes, we’ve received really great responses. We’ve been very happy. Everyone that has seen it has ranted and raved about it. What’s it like seeing your story told in the finished product of this documentary? Well, it’s a little much for me, because it’s so true to life. I’m a bit overwhelmed—not only with my story, but Darlene’s story, whom I’ve known for years, and Tata’s story. Everyone’s story was just so wonderful and so wonderfully done. Morgan Neville did a great job. Do you remember how the project was initially described to you? When I was approached about the film, I got a call from a very dear friend of mine—a producer, Lou Adler—whom we affectionately refer to as ‘Uncle Lou.’ Anytime Uncle Lou calls, it’s best that you listen and have your ear very tightly 58

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to the phone to get the gist of everything he’s saying, because whatever it is he’s wanting you to be involved in is always wonderful. It’s been wonderful for 43 years, so why would it not be wonderful this time? So he calls and says, “You know what, Gil [Friesen, one of the film’s producers] wants to call you. He’s doing this film about singers,” and I’m thinking the film is about the singers who were at A&M Records. Then Gil called and told me, “Hi, I’m doing this project with Darlene and a couple other ladies, and we’d like to bring you to A&M to do an interview.” I’m thinking I’m just going to go and talk about who I recorded with there at A&M. When I got there, I got the whole story. It was, “What did you record in this studio?” We’d walk down the halls—Tapestry was in this studio— and we finally get to the last studio in the back, and they sat down and interviewed me, and everything just came together. After they interviewed me on this particular day, I got a call about a week later from Morgan. He said, “I’ve got a bit of an idea.” And before he could even spit it out, I said, “Oh, I see. I know

what’s going on here. You want me to be one of the prime targets in the film, don’t you?” We kinda chuckled and laughed about it, and he said, “Yeah, that’s true. We want to film you several times—several portions of your life. When would you be available again?” So I made myself available again, and then again and again—almost two years of filming—what’s transpired in my life, what’s been going on, what did I do, how did I do it, who did I sing it with and the whole bit. Then I knew we were onto something. For me, the highlight of the film is when you sit down and tell the story behind “Gimme Shelter.” Did you have to reminisce about that story before going on-camera or do you remember it vividly still? Oh, that will be etched in my memory for the rest of my life. I mean, that was an iconic evening. Even though I was pregnant and was like, why are you calling me this late at night? Of course, in the film I talk about what happened— I went in and did it a few times, I waved goodbye and I was gone. Is it even possible to think at the time

that you were making rock history, or is that something that comes later? That happened later. There’s no way at 11:30 at night when you go into the studio you’re gonna think about creating rock history. That didn’t even cross my mind. What crossed my mind was getting in, doing a great job and getting back to my warm bed next to my husband with my belly! [Laughs] After I sung the first part of the song, they said, “That’s great.” Then they put this lyric in front of me that said “rape, murder,” and I looked at them and said, “Do you really want me to say this?” They said, “Yeah, that’s part of the chorus.” I said, “This is kinda awful. Why are we singing about rape and murder?” But I said OK, and eventually I got the gist of the song and what they were trying to say—that with all the stuff going on in the world, if we don’t stop all of this, this is what it’s gonna end up being. It’s such an iconic song, and it defines an era of rock music in a way. That’s right, it did. I mean, it really, really did. Even though I was getting out of a nice, warm bed, I loved the


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track. I thought the track was wonderful, and I knew that I could wrap myself and my vocal around that and soar right over the music and what the Stones—Mick and Keith—were doing. I knew I could pierce right through that because I kinda heard it in my mind’s eye. I was thinking to myself, I’ve got to sing over this. If I don’t sing over this, I’m going to get lost in the shuffle, and there’s no way I’m gonna get lost in the shuffle with this song! I think you’d agree that the use of backup singers and the opportunities for singers in that capacity is much different today than it used to be. Why do you think that is? Well, the music has changed. Everything has changed in the industry. You don’t hear an “ooh” or “ahh” on anything now. We used to call it Doowop—now there’s no ‘doo’ nor a ‘wop’ on anything! It’s all electronic now, and you have singers doing their own background, which I could never understand. If you’re singing your own background, it’s you all over the record. Maybe that’s what they want—themselves all over the record. You don’t

see background singers anymore, and I have no idea why. A lot of songs need background singers. To me, background singers always enhanced whatever you did. We always enhanced the artist and made them sound fabulous. When you added those voices, it was a texture on the song, and then that feel—there was a spirit over the music during that time. A beautiful, precious spirit. And with all of us coming out of the church, we knew what we were doing because we sang in choirs every Sunday—our dads’ choirs, our uncles’ choirs. We knew how to bring it because we did it every Sunday. Of all the women profiled in the film, you perhaps enjoyed the most successful solo career. How difficult was the transition from background vocals to solo artist? To be honest with you, I didn’t really have an issue going from background to a solo artist. I always thought I was a solo artist. If you listen to anything I’ve sung on, you can hear my voice very plain and loud. [Laughs] I always thought I was a lead singer, but it was just getting that opportunity to be a lead singer. Background for me

just prepared me to be the artist I became. You’ve worked with so many legends of rock music, from the Stones to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Neil Young. How much of the crazy, hedonistic rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle were you exposed to? How much was I exposed to? Well, number one, you have to remember that I was married. I was married to the great Curtis Amy—a wonderful, precious man—a very serious man, who did not play about his family, his lady or his children. You acted like who you were, you did what you were supposed to do. I was exposed to a lot of things, but there were a whole lot of things that I did not and refused to do. I had been taught—I had been shown—that to be an artist you didn’t have to suck up cocaine and smoke dope until you were crazy to give your gift to the world. I saw what happened to the great Billie Holiday. I was exposed to what had transpired with other artists of color and how their lives were wrecked and ruined and how their youths were destroyed. When God gives you a gift, you’re supposed to take care of that

with all dilligence. I through the years have been able to really take care of my voice and my mind and my spirit. My husband was 19 years older than me, so he had been out there. He knew what it was all about. He stepped back and taught me what to do and what not to do—he along with Ray Charles. I had to hold onto my gift, and my gift was my voice. Congrats again on the film. I think it’s going to touch a lot of people. I’m so glad you like it. That’s fabulous. That’s what it’s all about—it’s about touching people’s lives. When you touch someone’s life, they don’t forget that. I hope that people go away and don’t forget us and don’t forget all the music they’ve heard throughout the years. Finally, to be able to put a face with it. For this to be documented on film like it is—people will have that forever. That’s really important to myself and Darlene and Lisa. It’s really important to us. Don’t miss 20 Feet From Stardom, in select theatres June 14, and pick up The Best of Merry Clayton, the first compilation of her musical work ever issued, out June 25.

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ENTERTAINMENT

THEATER REVIEWS THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS AHMANSON THEATRE | 135 Grand Ave., Los Angeles Through June 30 | centertheatregroup.org PHOTO: CRAIG SCHWARTZ

Kander and Ebb know how to create iridescent musicals out of controversial situations. They tackled WWII in Cabaret and the mob in Chicago. Their latest— and sadly last—is a true story told in a way that many might find off-putting. The Scottsboro Boys is the true story of “The Scottsboro Nine”—nine AfricanAmerican men aged 13-19 who were falsely accused of rape on a train that was carrying them to new lives. The resulting conviction and numerous appeals became a national charade and ruined the lives of all of the boys involved. The catch here is that Kander and Ebb tell this tale by setting it as a story told by the cast of a minstrel show. For the uninitiated, minstrel shows were popular American entertainment that parodied black people as lazy, buffoonish, carefree and foolish while incorporating those ‘traits’ into skits and musical numbers. Originally performed in blackface by white people,

after the Civil War they consisted mainly of black people in blackface. By using this conceit, Kander and Ebb harken back to the style of Chicago, where they used vaudeville to illustrate the media circus that resulted from an act of violence that created a celebrity out of a murderess. Here, the buffoonery that became the endless trial(s) against the Scottsboro Boys is commented on by using the qualities of a minstrel show to illuminate that. As directed by Susan Stroman (Young Frankenstein, The Producers), the show itself is told very simply with a handful of chairs as props and an askew proscenium around the stage to frame the action. After an enigmatic opening involving a lone black woman on a bus holding a package, we move swiftly to the minstrel show, where we meet The Interlocutor (Barney Miller’s Hal Linden)— the sole white cast member—who runs the show. He introduces us to Mr. Bones

(Trent Armand Kendall) and Mr. Tambo (JC Montgomery) who represent the ‘fools’ of the company. Once the cast begins to tell the tale of the Scottsboro Boys, these two traverse all of the white characters that make a mockery of the entire situation. Once the nine boys are thrown in jail, each cast member has his moment that allows us to get to know him. This is effective as it subtly moves away from the ‘show’ of it all and allows us deeper into their truths. Haywood Patterson (Joshua Henry, reprising his role from the Broadway cast) is the standout here. From his powerfully tender ballad “Go Back Home” to his arc as a young man learning to read and write, we are allowed inside his rage, fear and strength, which becomes the backbone of the boys and the heart of the show. Musical numbers are many, and despite a very serious storyline, the zippy tone of the songs is an odd fit. This is

done on purpose, but also doesn’t make every song the most memorable. They are sung well and fairly engaging, but the most compelling aspect of the production is the story itself and the amazing cast. While every member of the ensemble shines, and Henry is in many ways the star, Christian Dante White is also memorable as one of the Boys who— at times—plays the role of one of the Southern white women who accused the boys of rape. It’s not a perfect musical, and for those going expecting Chicago, you might be disappointed. But if you know what you are going to get, there are many pleasures here. For some audience members, the tone and style might be an odd and uncomfortable fit, but in opening your mind and heart, you allow yourself to experience a part of history that is a shame to us all but important for us to remember—and never to be repeated. —Kevin P. Taft

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE—THE MUSICAL PASADENA PLAYHOUSE | 39 S El Molino Ave., Pasadena Through June 23 | pasadenaplayhouse.org In recent decades, musicals based on popular films have ranged from inspired (The Full Monty) to fatally misconceived (The First Wives Club). Finding a creatively effective way of telling a cinematic story in a new medium is a tricky proposition, and questions sometimes arise as to whether there was truly a musical style suited to telling the story in the first place. In its world premiere run at the Pasadena Playhouse, Sleepless in Seattle—The Musical is by and large a listless affair. Its attempt to infuse a 1993 rom-com with the zest and charm of a contemporary Broadway confection largely falls short. In roles that introduced Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks as the Rock Hudson and Doris Day of the 1990s, in Sleepless in Seattle, Chandra Lee Schwartz and Tim Martin Gleason make a likeable romantic duo and are in strong voice. As recently widowed Sam and his 60

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love-to-be Annie, whose one scene together comes at the end of the show, each performer elicits easygoing humor and moments of poignancy. The production’s other key strength is young Joe West (who was highly praised on Broadway last year in A Christmas Story) as Sam’s precocious son Jonah, who is wise beyond his years. Robert Mammana sings sweetly and makes a good effort in the primarily bland role of Annie’s clunky fiancée Walter. Beyond this, the pickings are slim. The book by Jeff Arch, who was among the collaborative team on the screenplay, is essentially faithful to the film, adding little in the way of nuance or inspiration, in relating this familiar story about two star-crossed lovers destined to connect. An attempt to capture the ethereal themes of the fanciful love story come courtesy of John Iacovelli’s sprawling set design and the lighting and projections by Brian

PHOTO: JIM COX

L. Gale. Unfortunately, these elements don’t always support lucid storytelling. The specific settings where the scenes take place within three separate cities (Seattle, Baltimore and New York) aren’t always clear. A large chorus of nameless lovelorn characters periodically enters, pining as they sing the refrain, “Out There.” This device feels repetitive and not integral to the show, as if somewhere along the line the creators were reminded

that this was a musical and felt compelled to include this device. The score (music by Ben Toth and lyrics by Sam Forman) boasts a few appealing ballads, notably Anne’s solo “Look at Me Now” and Sam and Annie’s “It Might Be Magic.” David O’s music direction is excellent. Director Sheldon Epps elicits good performances, but by and large, this vehicle feels a few drafts away from musical divinity. —Les Spindle


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“Without naming names, I certainly think there are a couple of people out there who have not come out in the spirit of protecting their careers and livelihoods. It's probably a little bit more difficult going that way.” —Michael Douglas talks about gay actors who remain in the closet.

I recently declined a close friend's invitation to see the remake of The Great Gatsby, saying that I've always had problems with Leonardo DiCaprio's believability in a period piece. “I don't know, I thought he was really good in The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Yes, dear readers, these are the people in my life. I patiently pointed out that it was Matt Damon and Jude Law in that film. My friend sniffed, “Matt Damon, Leo DiCaprio—same thing.” Sigh. Matt Damon turned up in a period Matt Damon and Michael Douglas in Behind the Candelabra

piece of his own, courtesy of HBO's Behind the Candelabra. In the Liberace biopic, we're introduced to the character of Scott Thorson in a gay bar. Oozing all the raw masculinity of a young Kristy McNichol, Damon neither looks 17 nor a resident of 1977. Although I've often thought he came off as gay in numerous films (including the aforementioned Ripley), I didn't buy it here. That feeling of artifice extended to Michael Douglas, but I found this more acceptable, since Liberace often came off as a caricature of himself. (Personally, I found Victor Garber's interpretation from the 1988 made-for-TV movie far more satisfying.) I didn't dislike the film; I was just never fully engrossed. Part of that blame may lie with Steven Soderbergh, who directs with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. But at least I was entertained—as were the 2.4 million people who watched the premiere (the highest ratings for an HBO film in over a decade). In my opinion, the film was handily stolen by the dashing Cheyenne Jackson. Yes, this is curious praise for someone whose dialogue consisted of six words. (“Like anyone would give a shit.”) But throughout the first portion of the film, his presence is palpable, and he says more with his attitude, eye-rolling and lip-curl (perfected during the Broadway 62

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run of All Shook Up) than he could with pages of dialogue. I've always been perplexed by Jackson—a stunning man who I've felt has never exuded the star quality I believe his gifts warrant. This tantalizing glimpse gives me hope that he may be fulfilling his promise. Another television biopic is heading our way, but I suspect it will be met with somewhat less critical acclaim. Lifetime decided to turn the story of Anna Nicole Smith into a film, which will air June 29. This one stars Agnes Bruckner, who you'll recognize from dozens of TV series but likely never knew her name. This film may not help. But I'm intrigued by the supporting cast, which includes Cary Elwes as Anna's stepson F. Pierce Marshall, Martin Landau as her hubby J. Howard Marshall and Virginia Madsen as her mom Virgie. As with many of Landau's films, this could go either way. It could be Ed Wood or it could be BAPS! You may know sexy swimmer Michael Holtz as a champion athlete and a former Mr. Gay USA. But he's also helped raise over $1 million for a variety of community organizations. For his latest challenge, he's out to conquer television. Holtz is participating in TNT's new com-

Michael Holtz

petition series 72 Hours. He's in the second episode, entitled “Lost Coast of New Zealand,” which premieres June 13. Three teams of three have to follow clues to locate a briefcase filled with $100K in under 72 hours. So it's kinda like a lowbudget Amazing Race on a tighter schedule. Good luck, Mikey! Last week, I went to the L.A. premiere of The Scottsboro Boys. This

Broadway musical from Kander and Ebb (who also wrote Cabaret, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman) is a flawed piece— but most provocative shows are. Certainly a musical about nine young black men falsely accused of rape in 1930s Alabama isn't going to be a laugh riot, even when set within a minstrel show! But the musical does have some marvelous moments, and the performances of this cast were superb—especially that of original cast member Joshua Henry, reprising his Tony-nominated performance as Haywood. Catch it before it closes on June 30. June may be Gay Pride Month, but Long Beach got the jump on the Pride celebrations near the end of May, and I had a great time hosting their festivities for the first time. Our climactic lineup included a host of former contestants from American Idol and The Voice. Since I've worked with many of these singers before, it was a fun reunion for everyone. Frenchie Davis not only showcased her magnificent instrument with high-energy dance songs (like her hit “Love's Got a Hold On Me”) but also by opting for guitar accompaniment on a stripped-down version of Katy Perry's “Firework.” Likewise, Kimberly Caldwell showed both sides of her range—from rocker chick to pop princess. Paris Bennett is a third-generation diva—her grandmother is Ann Nesby (from “Sounds of Blackness”) and her mom is Jamecia Bennett. For Long Beach, mom joined Paris for “It's Raining Men.” Although I've met hunky David Hernandez before, this was our first time working together. His pop sound is as appealing and smooth as his good looks. Jamar Rogers strikes me as a genuine and unique artist, who wants not only to entertain but also help others by sharing his own story of crystal meth addiction and his HIV-positive status. Then there was Beverly McClellan, who blew me away with both her spirit and her voice. She's the real deal and was a joy to work with. At the end of the show, I couldn't help but note that it was great for Long Beach Pride to feature some truly beautiful women who are not only talented but also proud to say they love the ladies. Bravo! Since we haven't heard anything about Nick Gruber in a while, I thought

Nick Gruber and Calvin Klein

I'd do some poking. I discovered the former porn pup broke up with his latest paramour, John Luciano. Since then, he's been back in touch with his ex, Calvin Klein. Sources say CK recently flew Nick to Mexico for a private vacation at a resort. Does this sound familiar? Liberace met Thorson when he was underage, showered him with gifts, paid for plastic surgery and soured on him after drugs became involved, leading Scott to write a tell-all. Could be a case of history repeating. Could it be that a recently married man has not left his same-sex escapades behind? So say sources close to the bad boy, who tell me that his restlessness resulted in leaving his spouse to fend for herself at a charity event while he spent the night in the company of not one but two of his ex-roommates. While this might have simply been a pleasant guys’ night out, people who saw the trio felt they were more than a bit chummy. Well, boys will be boys. When we've got an item that's not only blind but dumb, it's definitely time to end yet another column. But let's wrap things up the way we started—with a quick story about Leonardo DiCaprio. He was responsible for raising quite a bit of money at Cinema Against AIDS, which was an amfAR benefit at the Cannes Film Festival. Someone bid $1.5 million to go on a Virgin Galactic space trip if they were seated next to Leo. I'll go one better— I'll pledge the same amount if they leave Leo up in space! To find out if I'm successful, keep an eye on BillyMasters.com, the site that's always looking to the stars. If you've got a question (like where on Earth I'll raise $1.5 million if someone takes me up on my offer), feel free to send a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com. I promise to get back to you before HBO announces their next flick, Behind The Briefs: The Calvin Klein Story. Until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's Bible.


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ILLUSTRATION BY

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SAY CHEESE! Do you want to see the world in a different way? Get yourself a camera! Chances are that fancy, futuristic cellular telephone you’re holding right there in your hand has one inside it. (By the way, I absolutely adore saying things like “cellular telephone” instead of “cell phone.” I also like saying “luncheon” instead of lunch, “memorandum” instead of “memo,” “dungarees” instead of “jeans” and “marijuana cigarette” instead of “joint.” It’s how I think Joan Crawford probably spoke, but that’s another column.) Back to that teeny tiny little camera inside your cellular telephone. Since my bilateral hip replacement surgery, I’ve been walking around my Highland Park neighborhood lately for exercise. Not far, mind you, just a 20 or 30-minute walk around 7 p.m. each night. On these casual walks I have encountered lots of everyday beauty that, were it not for my camera, I may not have noticed—fabulous flora, fierce fauna and don’t even get me started on the magnificent murals. Now, I am no Diane Arbus or Francesco Scavullo (um, they were famous photographers—Google it, bitch!), but I do enjoy immortalizing

moments, both mundane and magical, thanks to my iPhone. And then I share them with people, friends and strangers alike, via Facebook and Instagram. Like I said, I ain’t no Ansel Adams, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an “eye.” And I bet Mr. Adams’ superior artistic eye didn’t feature glitter or liquid eyeliner, not to mention upper and lower false eyelashes that would put most Venus flytraps to shame. So, even though I have been known to get annoyed every time I see someone snap-snap-snapping away with his or her smart phone, I say go for it. Looking at life through a lens really can help you “focus on” beauty, majesty, humor and irony in unexpected places. And now, here are a few of my favorite photos from recent walks.

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COLUMNS

A SICK DAY FOR A PLAGUE What the hell is going on over at Cedars-Sinai? Last year it closed its psychiatry programs, eliminating 51 inpatient beds and sending 1,800 outpatient customers scrambling for psychiatric services. Now they have announced that on July 1, they will dismantle their Division of Infectious Diseases, thus decimating its research into HIV and AIDS. The nonprofit’s PR line is “it will be business as usual,” and there will be “some cutbacks,” however, eight jobs are being eliminated, including that of the division’s director, Dr. David Hardy. Two knowledgeable docs in HIV will remain to see patients, but both the experimental clinical trials on humans and the laboratory tests on mice will cease to exist. Almost 20 years ago Dr. Hardy and I both served on the board of directors of AIDS Project Los Angeles. Along with the late Dr. Scott Hitt, our APLA board relied on the expertise of the good docs to keep us in the loop of the everchanging treatment world of HIV/AIDS. I tracked David down the other day in D.C., where he was giving a speech. Since joining Cedars-Sinai 11 years ago, Dr. Hardy has worked in his lab on over 30 new and helpful anti-HIV therapies. The medical progress over the past two decades and even the last decade around AIDS has been miraculous. And by all accounts, this next decade will likely place us on the precipice of even greater breakthroughs. 2013 is just not the time for anyone to bail on that progress, especially a well-funded medical institution whose campus sits in part in a city that has been ground zero for AIDS for over 30 years. The division’s first director was former Time magazine Man of the Year, AIDS research pioneer Dr. David Ho. Before Dr. Hardy took over, the celebrated Dr. Eric Daar—known for his mindset-changing studies into the first stage of HIV infection—was director. This is a heralded and important division, and now is not a judicious moment to shut the research down. Dr. Hardy is also a Professor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, yet his is a teaching position. He is busy searching for a new location and lab to transfer his research work to. Cedars’ closing of the psychiatric programs and the elimination of 64

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an estimated 200 positions was deemed at the time economical. But Dr. Hardy insisted to me his Infectious Disease Division always broke even, if it didn’t in fact make a small profit. This for a nonprofit hospital that in 2010 reported an astounding $3 billion in revenue. A few years ago, when Dr. Hardy took on a few WeHo mucky-mucks as patients, his Cedars bosses asked him to “take care of them” as West Hollywood was “very important” to the hospital. A portion of their campus sits in WeHo. It is now a parking lot that they would like to grow into yet another massive medical building. All this would take an assist and approval from the city. When did Cedars stop caring about West Hollywood and the future of a great many of its citizens? Dr. Hardy has been told this decision comes “from the top”—presumably the board. Councilmen John D'Amico and John Duran have been in contact with Deborah Kallick, Cedars VP of Government & Industry Relations, on the hospital communicating with current resident patients about referrals to new HIV practices. Cedars has sent a letter with suggestions. Clearly a PR move. How can a cash-rich not-for-profit institution ostensibly dedicated to caring for the ill act so myopically? This seems punitive to me, again considering its location, its constituents and the division’s successful efforts that have translated in a rather short period of time to very real progress towards war on this pandemic. It seems they have lost their way. It’s clear Cedars is an ever-evolving world-class hospital charging customers, insurers and governments the very top of the fee scale. HIV and AIDS is just a niche they no longer care as much about. This likely won’t be reversed, and we need to hope that Dr. Hardy and his comrades find a laboratory home elsewhere. Caring people are making progress in the treatment of HIV and AIDS‚ perhaps even towards a vaccine. These trials and research are vitally important to our community and all affected by this plague. Cedars-Sinai apparently disagrees. It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy people can have. We sadly have now discovered we have a new one.


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Queersay A CREEPY CRIB First, let me begin by mustering up a hearty “Thank you!” to all y'all readers. After pouring out the tragic details of how my boyfriend tried to cheat on me with a roller derby squirrel mascot bottom-slut but failed because said squirrel got super stoned and vomited on himself in my bathrobe (Read last week's column online if you're at all confused!) I received well over 50 emails from my faithful QueerSayers, telling me to DTB! (Dump That Bitch!) Well, since you all seem to care, I've decided to press onward with this saga, because there is a Part 2 to the story, and it is all my dastardly doing. You see, The Gentleman Caller—that's what we’ll call my boyfriend of 10 years—and I have decided to “slow down” and “re-examine” the “state��� of our “relationship.” Translation: I am sleeping in the guest room and paying my own credit card bill this month. Shudder! Well, it just so happens the good ol' GC was out of town this week for work (probably whoring himself out to other barnyard animal mascots in the doldrums of Texas), and I found myself alone and single-adjacent for the first time in a decade. I asked my BFF Sean, a professional slut with a lifetime membership to The Zone and the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Glory Hole,” what I should do. Without hesitation, he set me up with my first-ever online sex profile—complete with X-rated body shots of myself from my manorexic circuit party days. Being fresh meat, I received over 25 smiles, winks, pokes and jabs within minutes. Most men were creepy personified, with little more to offer than a used butt plug and a mandatory post-copulation run to the free clinic. However, one caught my eye—Jerry. A 28-year-old little bottom, 5’5” and ever-adorable in his photo, squatting in a jock strap and giving an over-the-shoulder come-hither look with his pouty lips. Less than two miles from my current location, I mustered the courage to grow some hot top balls, do a couple shots of top-shelf vodka and meet this boy! I showed up at his door, ignoring the Pinto with Jesus fish bumper sticker in his parking spot, because I was on a mission—to make my Gentleman Caller jealous if it was the last thing my blue balls did! Jerry let me in, offered my vodka-intoxicated eyes yet another drink and immediately got down to business—rubbing my junk and asking for “it.” (What “it” is, this 10-year LTRer could not tell you, but needless to say, I was turned on.) A little under-the-shirt action commenced and all was well with my loins until I went for the bubble butt and soon discovered ... a diaper. Yes, folks! Jerry was in a diaper! Immediately he muttered (in full-on baby voice), “I want to call you Daddy, and I want to be your baby! Googoo gaga!” So anti-turned-on was I that my man-pacifier became an immediate innie and I bolted from the Burbank baby day care with statutory bells on! I returned home, deleted every one of the profiles created by slutty Sean, ordered a Papapun intended-John's pizza and watched the trainwreck that is Season 2 of Smash in my Juicy Couture pajama bottoms with my Persian cats. That’s about as asexual as it gets, folks! Drop me your at And despite what happens between dirty little secrets m. .co queersay@hotmail r give me and my Gentleman Caller, that's the ve I ne And don't worry, oat! way it's going to stay—until I meet up my deep thr Anderson Cooper, that is, and spin his y, go to For more Queersa . say 360 into my 180 reverse-cowboy. eer Qu m/ .co ersLA Fronti

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HEALTH

OFF THE VO TV OF BRA

COUCH

By Dr. Greg Cason

ESY COURT PHOTO

UNCOMFORTABLE IN A SWIMSUIT? YOU’RE NOT ALONE! If you've made it to this column you most likely have already been treated to a generous serving of beefcake. Not that I am complaining—I don't usually mind being dessert! But, after looking at all those gorgeous men with muscular bodies wearing next to nothing, I feel more like a serving of Lime Jell-O than the Zero-Calorie Hot Fudge Sundae you were probably hoping for.

Dr. Greg Cason is a licensed psychologist based in West Hollywood, specializing in cognitive therapy with individuals and couples, both gay and straight. He can be contacted at (877) 437-4734.

Maybe it started with the home delivery of the International Male underwear catalog, but seeing hot men in swimsuits always did generate a special blend of allure and anxiety. You end up both wanting to date these men and wanting to be just like them, and for most of us, both goals seem fairly unattainable. When I was doing therapy with gay men in Texas, the number one problem I encountered was religion. But here in L.A., the number one problem is body image. Let's face it—we live in a town obsessed with looks, and being gay men, we often catch ourselves between looking and wanting to be looked at. UCLA psychology great Anne Peplau and her esteemed colleagues published a study in 2008 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that looked at body image satisfaction in both gay and straight men and women. They found that about a third of gay men in an internet sample had a low appearance evaluation, and a quarter of them had a preoccupation with being overweight. (I strongly suspect these stats would be higher if the study participants were all from L.A.) Since this is a swimsuit issue, isn't it nice to know that 26 percent of gay men are uncomfortable in a swimsuit? That number jumps to a whop-

ping 59 percent if the men are obese. When sex was entered into the equation, things got worse. The study found that 42 percent of those gay men sampled said their body image had a negative effect on their sex life, and 39 percent of those men hid at least one body part during sex. Yikes! No wonder so many guys want to have the lights off or be some version of drunk, high or otherwise obliterated when having sex. Study Fun Fact: The body part that gay men are most likely to hide during sex is their stomach. In a strange showing of solidarity, lesbians had about the same incidence of low appearance evaluation and preoccupation with being overweight as the gay boys. (These gals were also stomach hiders.) But—and it’s a big ‘but’—they were far less likely to say their body image had a negative effect on their sex life! Only 27 percent reported such a problem, so most can leave the candles burning. All these factoids are well and good, but to paraphrase business professor Aaron Levenstein, “Statistics are like a Speedo. What they reveal is interesting. What they hide is vital.” What these statistics hide is why and what to do about it. We can only guess at the why, but swimsuit season is upon us, so what is more important right now is what to do! Tear up the swimsuit pictures? Pop a Xanax? Buy a Real Doll? No, no, and—unless your name is Lars—hell no!

If you are among the dissatisfied, here are five tips to keep you sane through swimsuit season: 1. Remind yourself you are not alone. Review the stats above and remember, L.A. is probably a whole lot worse. 2. Dress for what you've got. By all means, put on a swimsuit, but choose one that flatters rather than flabs. I'm partial to the maximum coverage of board shorts, myself. 3. Make improvements where improvements can be made. Power-walk, join Jenny Craig, get a new 'do. If you are not working to improve, you are probably letting things get worse. 4. Ditch the bitchy queens. Negativity is a virus. If you've got friends who hate their bodies or put others down, it is only a matter of time before you get infected. Find a group of like-bodied and positive-minded friends, pronto. 5. Get corrective lenses for your mind. You don't have to like your body, but you will be better off if you can accept it. A good therapist can help you change those negative thoughts and body images. A healthy view of yourself will end up making you more attractive to others, even if you change nothing else.

If you have any questions and/or comments, please direct them to: Frontiers, 5657 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 470, Los Angeles, CA 90036, or email them to feedback@frontiersla.com. 66

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CITY GUIDES

PHOTO: JONATHAN MOORE

CITY TO HOST WORKSHOP ON PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE MOBILITY PLAN UPDATE

WEST HOLLYWOOD PARK MASTER PLAN PHASE II MOVES FORWARD BY PAULO MURILLO Exciting improvements are underway for West Hollywood Park. The West Hollywood City Council recently approved moving forward with the West Hollywood Park Master Plan Phase II—Implementation Project. Unfinished business at a May 22 council meeting brought forth a presentation to discuss findings in a feasibility study. Some elements being considered for the park are demolition of the existing auditorium, park office, restrooms, sky room, swimming pool, tiny tot building and adjacent restroom building. Improvements include a new children’s area, additional park space, new park support facilities, a new lap pool and aquatic pool facility, as well as a rooftop recreation center/gymnasium. The plan is not to remove the old pool until the new pool is done. There are also talks of a National AIDS Monument to be located near the entrance of the West Hollywood Library, which will serve as an amphitheater and public

gathering space and incorporate three components—a memorial for those we lost, a tribute to those who paved the way for hope and recogniton of those who work to find a cure and inform the public of our current state, where we are headed and testing information. Staff reached out to frequent park users who were enthusiastic about the changes. West Hollywood residents, members of dodgeball leagues, basketball leagues, swim teams, families with children as well as passive park users gave the city thumbs up on the implementation of Phase II. The only concern expressed was the possible disruption of park use while construction was in effect. The next step is to select architectural and engineering teams for the project and then engage park stakeholders and the in the programming and design associated with the Phase II project. This process is expected to last 18 to 20 months. For more information, you can call (323) 848-6400.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENTS BEING MADE TO WEHO PARK? “I wonder if the money can be spent elsewhere. We can always invest more on community outreach regarding HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Drunk driving is also an issue. And what will happen to the recovery center? A new recovery center is way more important than a new fabulous park.” —James Farr

“I think the improvements to the park will be nice. The park is already a great place to hang out with friends, but improvement will encourage more people to use the park, which is the whole purpose of having a city park in the first place. I really like the new basketball courts.” —Kourtland Whitfield

West Hollywood is updating the city’s 2003 Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan. The city is calling for residents to take part in a dialogue reagrding the project, on June 15, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room. A series of community workshops, meetings and walking and biking tours are planned for the next coming months to identify what type of pedestrian and bicycle related improvements the community would like to see implemented. Do you feel safe using the crosswalks on Santa Monica Boulevard? The project will address safety and mobility in the city, review the Bicycle Task Force Report (2011), the General Plan 2035, Climate Action Plan and the Avenues Streetscape Master Plan. The update will build on the success of recent planning efforts and develop recommendations to make West Hollywood safer, more inviting and accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. This is an opportunity to meet the Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan project team and learn more about the project’s goals and outcome. This is also a chance to meet and share ideas with the West Hollywood commissioners, neighbors and other people who are interested in making the city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. To RSVP, email gsheridan@weho.org. For more information, visit weho.org/walkbike.

SPEAK OUT “It’s an awesome idea. West Hollywood is a sporty community. Anything that inspires people to be more active is great. I wonder what the new gym will be like. It sounds like it’s going to take a ton of time to complete. I hope I’m still alive to see the finished product.” —David Minicucci

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ORANGE COUNTY

ANTI-GAY VIOLENCE ON THE RISE IN O.C. BY GREG HERNANDEZ Hate crimes against gays nearly doubled in Orange County in 2012, even as overall hate crime numbers were down by 21 percent. The crimes against gays—13 in 2012 compared to 7 in 2011—came as LGBT equality continued to make dramatic strides across the nation. The Orange County numbers are from a 12-month period before the current spate of antigay violence currently plaguing New York City, where a gay man was shot to death in Greenwich Village and several other alleged attacks occurred. In 2010 there were only five anti-gay hate crimes reported in Orange County after peaking at 16 in 2005. “When we see spikes, you can only make an educated guess as to why,” said Rusty Kennedy, chairman of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, which has issued the annual report for more than two decades. “As we see such a rapid change on such issues as gay equality and see acceptance growing in the general population, you are going to have some people on the fringes of society who are lashing out,” Kennedy added. “One hate crime is a huge number, and it's a shame. We need to all figure out what we can do to stamp this out.” Kevin O'Grady, Executive Director of The Center OC, agrees. “It didn't surprise me there was an uptick given how much news about marriage equality there has been, but I was surprised that they went up that much,” O'Grady said. “It's not just here, but in New York City and awful attacks in London.” He adds, ”The level of violence has 68

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to do with straight men trying to prove their masculinity over gay men. I wouldn't panic, but I would be careful.” Kennedy said that more than half of the reported attacks on gays were violent crimes of aggravated assault compared to one-third being violence against other groups such as blacks, Jews, Latinos and Muslims. One of the most disturbing anti-gay incidents occurred in March 2012 at a diner in Santa Ana where a group of men were eating. The men were approached by a man who used an anti-gay slur based on their perceived orientation. The man later confronted the group in the parking lot and one man was punched. Elsewhere in Orange County, another man was confronted on his bike by two men who used anti-gay slurs and punched him in the face. No arrests were made in either incident. O'Grady's organization has sent out email alerts about the increase in anti-gay attacks and encourages people to file a report if something happens to them. “Report. Report. Report,” he said. “The most important thing that people can do is to report. If they don't want to go to the police, then call The Center (at (714) 9535428). And don't just report hate crimes but also report hate incidents.”


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LONG BEACH

THE CENTER LONG BEACH EXPANDS SERVICES TO SENIORS BY GREG HERNANDEZ The Center Long Beach is hoping to see a lot of local LGBTQ seniors at a special mixer it is holding on Saturday, June 15, from 2-5 p.m. You don't have to be 55 or really any specific age to show up—you just have to consider yourself a senior. “We are affording members the opportunity to self-identify,” says Porter Gilberg, Administrative Director of the Center. “If they feel like they belong and want to attend, we are not putting any restrictions. Different people identify [as seniors] at different ages.” The event, which is free and will be catered, is part of an effort to expand services and activities for seniors in the area. Staff and board members will be on-hand to introduce themselves and hear feedback from the older adult community about the kinds of services and support they’re looking for from the Center. “With LGBTQ seniors, there seems to be a large demand for services that seniors can take advantage of that are open, affirming and culturally competent,” Gilberg said. “Because they are LGBTQ, the fear of homophobia from a service provider is quite real. Knowing they can access services from the local Center makes them feel more comfortable reaching out for help—they know they aren't going to face any discrimination.” “We've noticed overall that as the LGBT community in Long Beach begins to age, there is an increase in demand for direct services and programs,” Gilberg added. “We are looking at expanding our volunteer efforts to incorporate dedicated senior citizen volunteers in addition to expanding social and recreational opportunities. We'd like to create space for dif-

ferent older adults to get to know each other and make friends and make connections. A strong social support group makes it easier to maintain that.” There has been a great demand for basic in-home assistance for such things as mowing the lawn, going to the grocery store or even fixing a light bulb. People have also expressed interest in having someone to socialize with, to visit them or take a walk with them. In response to the increased demand, board member Ted Gottis formed a senior services committee to explore opportunities to engage older adults in the community. The goal is to help them remain independent in their homes and to reduce social isolation. “Once we announced we had formed [a seniors] committee, we've gotten more response from the community with that than we have for almost any other announcement this year,” Gilberg said. “So people are incredibly excited about the center taking older adults’ issues seriously.” Money to pay for additional senior services will come from the center's general operating account. “We're in a strong financial position and we are definitely looking into applying for funding to launch more direct services. In the meantime, we want to demonstrate to the community that we have a proven track record,” said Gilberg. The committee has met several times, and the mixer is its first official activity. The Seniors Mixer will be held at The Center Long Beach located at 2017 E 4th St. For more information about the mixer or senior services, contact the Center at (562) 4344455 or Ted Gottis at tgottis@centerlb.org. JUNE 25, 2013

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Headlong

INTERNATIONAL SHORTFEST RETURNS TO PALM SPRINGS BY JAMES F. MILLS With the summer heat upon us, here’s a chance to escape into an air-conditioned theatre and enjoy some new movies. Oh sure, Hollywood blockbusters are playing at the multiplex, but the Palm Springs International ShortFest offers the opportunity to catch some of the best new short films. Put on by the Palm Springs International Film Society—which also hosts the acclaimed Palm Springs International Film Festival each January—ShortFest comes to town June 18-24. Now in its 19th year, ShortFest offers more than 300 short films from 40 countries screening at the Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Road. This year, ShortFest includes 38 gay-themed films, among them a coming-of-age drama about a boy who learns it’s not OK to play with Barbie dolls (Barbie Boy), a romantic comedy about two gay lovers who attempt a reconciliation (Sabbatical), a romantic comedy about a lesbian stressing about her upcoming date (The First Date), a Belgian comedy about a high school

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teen who falls for his teacher (Atoms) and an animated anti-Prop. 8 musical (Sufferin’ Til You’re Straight). Among the gay-themed documentaries are a film following a straight college student who works in the gay porn industry (Gay 4 Pay), a look at children raised in same-sex households (A Family Like Mine) and a documentary about the Palm Springs High School Marching Band’s participation in the Palm Springs gay Pride march (The Pride of Palm Springs). Frontiers caught up with Darryl Macdonald, the film society’s executive director, to learn more about the festival. Are there special criteria for selecting films with gay content? The overriding criteria for selection here is really no different than the criteria for the non-LGBT films we play— storytelling excellence, whether they’re animated shorts, narrative shorts or documentary shorts. That doesn't mean technical slickness; it's all about how compelling the storytelling is.


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Were there any gay-related shorts submitted that were turned down? Yes, there were a fairly large number of LGBT shorts submitted that we turned down—either because they didn't get high grades from us in terms of script, characters, directing or acting, or because there was nothing distinctive about them. We don't select our LGBT films just because they embrace LGBT topics; they have to have something exceptional to offer an audience. To program films on any other basis such as quotas or subject matter would jeopardize both the audience support we've built over the years and the opportunities we can offer filmmakers through association with a lineup known for its excellence.

reins of both PSIFF and ShortFest. I founded the Seattle International Film Festival and was its director and director of programming for 28 years, and simultaneously was the director of programming for the Hamptons International Film Festival (1994-96). Additionally, I was director of programming for the Vancouver International Film Festival (1989-1993). So I guess you could call me a festival whore. I'm committed to the fact that film can have a profound effect on changing the world and the way people perceive their world. I think that film festivals are the perfect vehicle to shake people out of their social and political complacency, as well as entertaining them at the same time.

Any estimates on how many of the festival goers are LGBT? We haven't done demographic surveys that would answer that question definitively, but I can tell you that our LGBT programs are always among the most highly attended at ShortFest. The gay community here are huge supporters of ShortFest and attend all ShortFest programs in large numbers. This I base on personal experience both as someone who is in our venues through most of the festival and a member of the local gay community.

How have you seen the gay-related shorts evolve over the years in terms of content, production values, etc.? In terms of their production values, there's been a huge and widespread advance in the sophistication of LGBT films' storytelling and technical qualities, both aided no doubt by the increasingly easy/cheaper access to digital tools for filmmaking and the simultaneous rise of film schools. As for content, it's heartening to see the topics widen from traditional coming-out stories and AIDS stories to topics that encompass the entire range of human endeavor and characters. This evolution makes for a much more interesting gay cinema—a cinema that speaks to a much broader audience than the LGBT community alone.

What's your history with the film festival? Why do you like films in general? I was the director of programming for the Palm Springs International Film Festival for its first four years (19901993), returning in 2003 to take the 72

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CENTURY PALM SPRINGS REINVIGORATED BY JAMES F. MILLS The Century Palm Springs Hotel is back. After several years of decline before finally shutting its doors in January, the Warm Sands clothing-optional resort is making its comeback. New owners bought the nine-room hotel in March and immediately set about restoring it to its former glory. They’ve got new landscaping, new linens, new mattresses and redecorated rooms. “It was such a jewel, we decided to see if we could save it,” explains new owner Lou Sawaya. “The place had such a following, but it hadn’t been maintained to the proper standards it deserved, so we’re refurbishing it. We’re doing a really nice interpretation of a boutique hotel.” In just three months, under the guidance of Sawaya and his partner Jimmy Wilson, the hotel has already made a turnaround. “We’ve already had quite a number of former guests return,” says Sawaya. “We get a very professional clientele from all over the world. This is a place you can come be yourself and be amongst your peers. Our place is very discrete. It’s an under-the-radar, chic place.” Built as an apartment building in 1958 by architect William Alexander, the property was transformed into a resort in the 1970s. It went gay in the 1990s, going under the name Alexander’s. Then, in 2005, it reopened as the Century Palm Springs. 74

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Sawaya and Wilson stayed there in 2005 and fell in love with the place. When it went on the market in 2008, they tried to purchase it, but didn’t act quickly enough. So, when they learned it closed in January 2013, they didn’t hesitate to buy it, bringing in Shorty’s Barbershop owner Chris Bair as an investor. “It’s an absolutely beautiful property,” says Sawaya, a commercial real estate investor who worked in the hospitality industry for 25 years. “It’s a place that resonated with me the moment I set foot here eight years ago. It’s such a warm, friendly place and it has a beautiful unobstructed view of the San Jacinto Mountain.” Sawaya, who is on the property daily, is loving the hotel business. “I’m a people person. I enjoy entertaining in my home and making sure people are having a good time,” says Sawaya. “This is like having a big group of guests in my home. We’re giving people the treatment and pampering they want when they get out of town for the week or the weekend.” He hopes people who were disappointed by the Century in the past few years will give them a chance, as well as those who have never been before. “We kept all the great things about the Century and improved all the things that needed improvement” says Sawaya. “Come and let us pamper you.” centurypalmsprings.com


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PLACE YOUR FINANCES IN GOOD HANDS BY FRONTIERS STAFF Even though same-sex marriage may be right around the corner, the need for same-sex couples to manage and protect their assets and subsequently their futures will not subside any time soon. Moreover, whether we are single or coupled, as gay men and women we often have to think about our financial futures in different and more creative ways, particularly under existing law. Through his company, GLBT Financial Solutions, Domenick D’Ercole makes navigating financial issues ranging from life insurance and disability to 401(k)s and IRA Rollovers a less daunting endeavor for his clients. Prior to his current venture, D’Ercole had a successful 15-year run on Wall Street at Deutsche Bank that ended when the events of 9/11 brought down the building he worked in and closed a chapter in his life. Today, through GLBT Financial, which is a DBA of MetLife, D’Ercole artfully manages over $35,000,000 in assets from his offices in New York and Los Angeles. “I help the gay and lesbian community protect each other in case of catastrophic events including death and disability,” D’Ercole replies when asked to describe his current business. “I help them understand that we are just like any straight married couple—even if the federal government doesn't agree—and we need to protect our loved ones like a straight married couple would protect each other.” This latter part about teaching the gay and lesbian community to protect each other is not only a huge and important part of the work that D’Ercole does at GLBT Financial Solutions but also the answer to what he sees as the greatest misunderstanding—about financial issues in general and life insurance in particular—that

gay and lesbian couples face. “The gay community needs to understand that we need to protect our loved ones if we have property or kids together,” he explains. “If your partner dies, you are responsible for the mortgage. If your partner dies and you have kids, you have to raise those kids on your own, and life Insurance can help you with the bills while you are mourning. The last thing you want to do is mourn the passing of a spouse and have to deal with losing your house or apartment or not have money for the day-to-day bills.” On the surface, D’Ercole may seem like a run-of-the-mill financial advisor, but the character of his work and his commitment to it offers a more complex understanding of what he does. Asked to describe what separates him from his competitors on Wall Street and beyond, D’Ercole offers a succinct and clear response. “I am different because I am part of the community,“ he says plainly. “Many reps try to ‘work’ the community, but I am part of the community. I understand why many gay couples have two to four checking accounts, even if they have been together for 20 years. Sometimes it is better that way so you don't get in a fight with your partner trying to explain a new pair of Louis Vuittons. I also have realized ... we can actually benefit from the current unjust laws … [of which] … there are over 1,300. Once they understand what they own, they seem to want to save more and feel like they really can save enough for retirement.” Contact Domencik D’Ercole via email at ddercole@metlife.com or by phone at (310) 779-5166 in L.A. or in New York at (516) 426-2316.

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SEX ED

A BEAUTIFUL, SEXUAL MIND BY JIM LARKINS If you’ve been with your significant other for any length of time, it’s likely that the sexual spark you once shared has fizzled a bit. Like most of us, you may have tried to stoke the erotic fires with candlelit dinners, contortionist sex positions, a little role playing or even a short hiatus from sex. But the shortcut to flipping his sexual switch could be closer than you think. As a man, you may have been accused of thinking with your other head on more than one occasion, but of course that head located between your shoulders is where your sexual ideas should be coming from. So before you dim the lights and pull on your jimmy cover, make sure you put on your thinking cap. If there is any truth to the adage that the largest sexual organ on a man is his brain, then by all means, a mind really is a terrible thing to waste. Since we only use a fraction of our brain for all of our daily functions, it would be a shame to waste the portion allotted to our libidos. What we’re talking about here is simple psychology, and this mental magic works as well for the giver as it does the receiver. How can you not be turned on when you see his reactionary erection? The following are a few tricks that

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those of us who are ‘in the naughty know’ use to create mutual erotic excitement. Feel free to flirt. Those cheeky innuendos that once had you laughing all the way to the bedroom might have become a distant memory now that your relationship has seen a few years. So go ahead and unearth the sexual slapstick and you’ll soon be splitting more than his sides. When you look upon your lover’s unclad physique, make it a point to comment on just how exciting he is and just how turned on you are. Treat each tryst like it is your first. Devour him with your eyes as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen his body and it will create a virgin-like encounter for the both of you. Introduce the theory of ‘mind over matter’ into the bedroom. If there’s a game delay due to an erroneous erection, don’t be afraid to tell your man how exciting the appearance of his manhood is—even in a flaccid state. When he hears this, and sees how turned on and patient you are, chances are pretty good that he won’t remain boneless for long. Remember, you can triumph over most any carnal conundrum. You just have to put your mind to it.


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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Read your ad carefully when it initially appears. We are not responsible for errors or minor copy changes after first issue of publication. If an error is found, please contact the classifieds department immediately for corrections. Frontiers assumes no responsibility for error or omission of copy. The right to reject, edit, cancel and determine proper placement of a classified ad is the right of this publication. [00CS0000] [175SC0404] T02307

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Frontiers Vol. 32, Issue 04