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JUNE 23 - JULY 20, 2016 | VOL. 35, NO. 05/06



HAIL A JET TO SEATTLE. We’re expanding our Delta Shuttle® from Los Angeles to now include 10 daily flights to Seattle on peak days. With a dedicated check-in counter and complimentary wine, spirits, and craft beer served in flight, you can make flying your big ideas to SEA even easier than getting across town.


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Must be 21 or over for alcoholic beverages; please drink responsibly. Schedules listed according to peak days

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Turning Personal Tragedy Into Great Comedy


A Tale of Murder, Money & Gay Porn


17 Reasons You’ll Find Us at Outfest 2016





JUNE 23 - JULY 20, 2016 | VOL. 35, NO. 05/06


ON THE COVER Designed by Ed Baker JULY 20, 2016



JUNE 23 - JULY 20, 2016


12 15 15 16

HRC Sets Its Sights on the NRA The World Reacts to Orlando in 25 Images Portrait of a Gay Killer Obama in Orlando Datebook Thoughts From a Middle-Aged Lesbian on the Orlando Tragedy

11 37

THE GAY AGENDA 19 20 20 22 22

Moët & Chandon’s City Bottles American Apparel Gets Really Gay Yamashiro Says Sayonara Don’t Ghost Me, Bro What’s New, L.A.?


26 28

25 45

Our 3 Favorite East Coast Beach Destinations Andy Cohen Spoofed 5 Gay Parties Worth Traveling For

CALENDAR 31 32 32 35


Where to Celebrate July 4 GMCLA’s Oye Mi Canto Snapshots Faultline's New Owner on What’s in Store for the East Side Bar San Diego Pride

31 68


Grey Gardens at the Ahmanson 5 Songs for Your Gayest Summer Ever Logo’s Trailblazer Honors Set Your DVR

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Robert “Bobby” Blair Founder & Chairman of the Board






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HRC Sets Its Sights on the NRA As lawmakers fail to act, LGBT organizations throw their weight against the gun lobby By Dominic Preston

297 The number of Americans shot every day (on average) in murders, assaults, suicides, unintentional shootings and police intervention. Every day, 89 people die from gun violence; 31 are murdered*



he Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT advocacy groups are turning their attention to guns and the NRA in the wake of the tragic Orlando shooting—the importance of which has been underscored by news that the U.S. Senate has failed to pass four separate proposals relating to gun control. The HRC announced it will support and advocate for “common-sense gun safety reform,” after President Chad Griffin blamed the Orlando violence on “a toxic combination of two things: a deranged, unstable individual who had been conditioned to hate LGBTQ people, and easy access to military-style guns.” That puts the organization—and other LGBT advocacy groups taking similar positions—in direct opposition with the NRA, which has long been a powerful lobbying presence when it comes to gun control bills. It’s sparked hopes that the LGBT movement might have the weight to drive real change, as it has on a number of LGBT rights measures, but HRC faces stiff competition in the NRA, which has seven times its operating budget. That was emphasized by the U.S. Senate on June 20 when it blocked the passage of four separate gun control measures as Senators voted mostly along party lines. The proposals were to require criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private sales and at gun shows; ban suspects on terror watch lists from buying guns; alert the FBI to terror suspects buying guns without blocking the sale; and allow the U.S. attorney general to delay gun sales to terror suspects within a three-day window. The first two measures were proposed by Democrats, the latter two by Republicans. Each was defeated, falling short of the 60 votes required for passage. Sen. Chris Murphy, who held a 15-hour filibuster on gun measures last week, said the votes confirmed “the NRA has a vice-like grip on this place.” “We are deeply disappointed in each and every Senator who failed to stand up for commonsense gun violence prevention legislation,” said HRC Government Affairs Director

David Stacy. “For decades, LGBTQ people have been a target for bias-motivated violence, and easy access to deadly weapons has compounded this threat. The volatile combination of animosity towards the LGBTQ community and easy access to deadly weapons exacerbates the climate of fear and the dangers faced by LGBTQ people.” “Slightly more than a week has elapsed since the worst mass shooting in history, in a country where the regularity of mass shootings horrifies the world. The U.S. Senate has followed the now-predictable pattern of proclaiming that their ‘thoughts and prayers’ are with the victims, while denying those same victims any meaningful action on their behalf,” echoed Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California, which supported two of the measures. “We had tangible hope that thoughts and prayers would this time result in real protections—for the LGBT community, which has suffered staggering rates of violence long before Orlando—and for all Americans who want to be able to leave home to see a movie or send their child to school without fear that that kiss goodbye will be final. We are disappointed.” At the time of printing this issue, there was slightly more hope for a measure to be expected from Republican Susan Collins that would bar people on the no-fly list (significantly smaller than the terrorist watch list) from purchasing guns, though even that isn’t expected to pick up enough bipartisan support for passage.

“I don’t think democracy allows for this Congress to be so out of step with the American public for long.” Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut responds to the Senate’s vote on Monday, June 20, in which the congressional body voted down legislative amendments aimed at reducing gun violence, including expanded background checks

*According to the Brady Campaign’s Key Gun Violence Statistics,

JULY 20, 2016




25,000 WORDS From Stonewall to South Korea, Berlin to Moscow, these 25 powerful photos capture the world showing its support post-Orlando

























JULY 20, 2016



Portrait of a Gay Killer By Dr. Greg Cason


hy did Omar Mateen commit the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at a gay club? It will take months of investigation by FBI profilers to draw conclusions, but there are some clear indications of what may have been driving him. At first it was clear that this appeared to be an act of terrorism, with the killer even pausing during the massacre to declare his support for ISIS and pray to Allah. Then we heard about his long-standing mental instability, anger problems and hatred of others from co-workers and his battered ex-wife. Then we found out a his troubled childhood, never quite fitting in, being relentlessly bullied and finally placed in a high school for kids with behavioral issues where he cheered the fall of the twin towers during the Sept. 11 attacks. At this point he neatly fit the terrorist mold. But perhaps the most shocking to us all is that this man was most likely gay, having gone to gay bars and events and used gay dating apps frequently. Why would a gay man turn on his own kind? Negative attitudes toward gays, according to scholar Gregory Herek, PhD, primarily come from three sources: (1) Experiential sources, based on one’s past interactions with LGBT people; (2) Defensive sources, which project personal conflicts about sexuality and gender onto LGBT people; (3) Symbolic sources, based on ideological concepts from reference groups like religion, family, culture—even heroes. It’s not difficult to see that Mateen had difficulty with all three. Experiential sources for Mateen are vague at this point. We do know he had significant contact with other gay people for years. He frequented Pulse and other gay nightclubs and utilized gay apps including Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam. Undoubtedly, most will be reluctant to admit they knew him, but considering his pattern of anger problems, mental instability and expressed prejudice, it is unlikely that he was able to make or keep many friends. Though he may have wanted desperately to make connections, they were likely temporary and ended in the perception of failure, which he is likely to see as their fault, not his own. Defensive sources of negative attitudes toward gays are more apparent. Mateen was witnessed visiting Pulse nightclub several times, drinking, dancing and making conversation with other patrons, as well as his other gay contacts. But he had an internal struggle: on one hand he was attempting to make connections at gay clubs and on apps; on the other he was telling straight co-workers of his hatred of gays. His father also reported that Mateen exploded with anger after seeing two men kissing. Mateen was likely simultaneously attracted by biology but repulsed by ideology. But the real culprit in this murderer’s fragile identity came from symbolic sources: his religious, familial and cultural beliefs. These symbolic sources of hate make internal struggles worse by adding harsh judgments. Mateen’s sources clearly come from his family, which includes a father who hosted an internet TV show that expressed pro-Taliban and anti-gay beliefs. Mateen also had an attraction to extremist organizations like ISIS and watched videos of Islamic extremists. But, lastly, Mateen had adherence to a religious belief system, Islam, that is condemning of homosexuality. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a vocal critic of the Muslim religion, offers in the June 14 Wall Street Journal that, like many Western Judeo-Christian religions,



Muslim homophobia is institutionalized. Mateen’s adherence to an extreme form of the Muslim religion may be a key factor in his crime. One can only imagine the internal conflict and self-loathing as Mateen writes in a Facebook post, “The real Muslims will never accept the filthy way of the west.” Islamic law, according to Ali, not only condemns homosexuals but also prescribes cruel punishments, including death by stoning, the sword or by throwing someone off of a building. Though most American Muslims may not share these beliefs—especially in regard to cruel punishments— Mateen likely did. His own sexuality, combined with such a condemning belief system, meant a serious personal Jihad was happening inside of his own head. Mateen’s inner turmoil only provided kindling to his already paranoiafueled personality. A look at his history reveals a long-standing suspicion of others and hypersensitivity to any slight. He tended to see his problems as caused by others rather than his own actions, and he saw himself as a victim (something also demonstrated by his fa th e r). I t i s no wonder he was attracted to jobs in security—where he could represent strength, since he didn’t feel that inside—and that he was attracted to extremist g r o u p s (a n d possibly a wife) that validated his paranoid perceptions. That yearning for group membership is innate in all of us. To become part of a group, you must adopt the group’s ideologies. Sometimes that includes the adoption of punitive and self-loathing ideas that could lead to hate crimes. To gain praise, respect and acceptance of that group, a person may commit a hate crime, but in this case the hate crime was against people who represented the thing he most hated about himself. Mateen was at once pleasing the groups that meant most to him—his religion and his family—and putting an end to the people who brought out his tortured sexual desires. This was a hate crime, defined by the use of violence against someone because of his or her race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability. This was also a terrorist act—a calculated use of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political, religious or ideological in nature. It was also the act of a mentally disturbed individual with an assault rifle. It was all three. And now our country mourns at least 49 people who died needlessly because of one depraved act.

“His own sexuality, combined with such a condemning belief system, meant a serious personal Jihad was happening inside of his own head.”

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IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION The following is a brief summary only. See complete Prescribing Information at or request complete Prescribing Information by calling 1-844-347-4382. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your medical condition or your treatment. What is EGRIFTA ® (tesamorelin for injection)? • EGRIFTA ® is an injectable prescription medicine to reduce the excess in abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy. The impact and safety of EGRIFTA ® on cardiovascular health has not been studied. • EGRIFTA ® is not indicated for weight loss management. • It is not known whether taking EGRIFTA ® helps improve compliance with anti-retroviral medications.

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THU. | JUNE 23




Multi-talented performer Rita Moreno will be honored with the very first Excellence in the Performing Arts Award at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Grand Park event. Moreno is one of the world’s 12 “EGOTs,” having received all four major U.S. entertainment awards.

WED. | JULY 20


West Hollywood’s local gay men’s discussion group meets at the WeHo Library’s community meeting room for its monthly event, the purpose of which is to foster internalized dignity in gay men.

THU. | JULY 28


The L.A. Dodgers Foundation’s annual event will include its blue carpet and pre-show party before paying special recognition to legendary broadcaster Vin Scully before a live show by Fleetwood Mac on the field of Dodger Stadium. Tickets start at $1,500.

MON. | AUG. 1


The Hammer Museum’s “Conversations” series will bring the Emmy Award-winning writer, director and producer (Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck) to the museum’s Billy Wilder Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Obama in Orlando: ‘Our Hearts Are Broken, Too’ The president renews calls for gun control as he meets Orlando’s grieving families By Dominic Preston


resident Obama has renewed calls for gun control legislation after meeting with grieving families in Orlando, offering his consolation and support for the local LGBT community. After arriving in Florida on June 16, Obama held a series of private meetings with victims and their families, police officers, doctors and staff of the Pulse nightclub, where in the early hours of Sunday, June 12, Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 with an AR-15 assault weapon. It has since been called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and the worst domestic attack since the events of September, 11, 2001. “As you might imagine, their grief is beyond description,” Obama said, placing 49 white roses at a memorial for the victims. “Through their pain and through their tears, they told us about the joy that their loved ones had brought to their lives.” “Those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon,” Obama said as he turned to the issue of gun control. “The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass killers in Aurora, or Newtown. But the instruments of death


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were so similar. Now another 49 innocent people are dead. Another 53 are injured. Some are still fighting for their lives. Some will have wounds that will last a lifetime.” “I truly hope that senators rise to the moment and do the right thing. We can stop some tragedies. We can save some lives. If we don’t act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this,” he said. Obama also raised the homophobic nature of the June 12 attack, calling for an end to anti-LGBT violence. “It’s a good time for all of us to reflect on how we treat each other, and to insist on respect and equality for every human being,” he said. “We have to end discrimination and violence against our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community—here at home and around the world.” “Our hearts are broken, too. We stand with you,” Obama said. “We are here for you.” Funerals for deceased Pulse victims began in the week following the attack, attracting the attention of the notoriously anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church, which travelled to Orlando to protest funerals with ‘God Hates Fags’ signs—only to find themselves blocked by a ‘human chain’ that was organized to physically block their access.

“Yeah, no.” Hillary Clinton responds via Twitter to Donald Trump’s (extremely awkwardly stated) comment “LGBT is starting to like Donald Trump very much lately, I will tell you”—despite the presumptive GOP nominee’s opposition to gay marriage and a plan to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges

JULY 20, 2016


This Was Never Supposed to Happen to You Thoughts from a middle-aged lesbian on the Orlando tragedy Editor’s Note: The below essay—at once powerful and poignant—was penned by an individal who goes by the name “supergrover” on Twitter (@fuzzlaw). Told as a series of short tweets, at the time of printing, nearly half a million people had seen her story, and some of her tweets had been retweeted upwards of 2,000 times.


’m an aging dyke, so I’m just going to get this out of my system: kids, y’all 35 and under, this wasn’t supposed to happen to you. The generation ahead of us knocked down the wall: Stonewall. Initial visibility. Standing proud. Being out. They suffered the consequences. Backlash. Violence. The Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans. Guns fired at the places they dared to gather. Then AIDS swept in and devastated the community. Reagan and his ilk laughed at our suffering. They closed ranks. Cared for one another. Tended the dying and buried the dead. There’s a reason why most 60+ gay leaders are women. See the genocide underneath the demographics. Then, the mid-’90s. Anti-retroviral drugs came along. Our men started surviving. We began to flourish, stand up, stand out more strongly. Here and there, we fought for ‘gay’ marriage. Folks started coming out. Melissa. K.D. George. Ellen. Each was huge and life-affirming. Reveling in our newfound life and out-ness, Matthew Shepard’s death cut us to the core. It was 18 years ago. 1998. As a community, we threw it down. HELL no. We didn’t survive AIDS for this. We mobilized. Flexed our muscles. Change came. With every step of progress came backlash. But we pushed. And we pushed. And there weren’t any Upstairs Lounges. No Matthew Shepards. We won. We won the right to marry, to have our employment rights protected, to live as fellow citizens. Fights remain, of course. But we were winning. Then, Pulse. 50 dead. 50 wounded. Babies. Kids. The ones we fought so hard to protect from the backlash. The backlash we knew all too well, but that the post Matthew Shepard generation has never known. We never wanted you to know about this. We never wanted you to experience this. It’s why we fought, and fight, so hard.

Clockwise from top: Men in San Francisco’s Castro crowd around a homemade flyer outside Star Pharmacy with photos of KS lesions and the words “Gay Cancer”; Matthew Shepard, beaten, tortured and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming on October 6, 1998; police officers guard the street after the mass shooting at Pulse; Ellen DeGeneres exited the closet in 1997 on TIME’s cover Opposite page: The 49 victims of the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando

Yes, it’s for our generation, but really ... it’s for you. For us, this violence is ... not unexpected. We know it’s possible. We’ve seen it. But you all ... dammit, you’ve never had to worry about it, not collectively. We never wanted this for you. We thought we had protected you. But ... clearly, the past is not even past. Welcome to being GLBTQ* in America. There are people who want us dead. And that’s no exaggeration. And it’s not just the nuts with the guns. It’s the politicians who sacrifice us on the altar of hateful rhetoric to score political points. It’s the churches that won’t ordain us, won’t celebrate us, who insist on continuing to “love the sinner and hate the sin.” It’s the nonsensical fight over who can use which bathrooms. The inability of Congressmen to mention that it was GLBTQ* people who died. It’s the families who turn GLBTQ* teenagers on to the street instead of just fucking loving them. Schools who expel them. It’s every bully who teases an effeminate boy and harasses a masculine girl. Every man who tells a lesbian she just needs the “right dick.” It permeates our society. It is SO much better than it was, yet remains SO awful. It’s why our generation kept fighting, and keeps fighting. But it’s time for our generation to teach the next. Welcome to the fight for your lives, kids. We’re with you. We’ll guide you. We’ll teach you everything we know. We’ll stand on the front lines until you can do it. We’ll be the cannonfodder. You’re not alone. But the college-environment-creating-changekumbaya-all-is-well-everyone-has-to-bow-to-whatwe-say approach isn’t reality. The world is not a safe space, and it only gets safer when you fight like hell for it. We weren’t given the spaces we have. It’s a fight. So get prepared. Read your history. Talk to your elders. Listen, and learn. And show up. We need you. Your energy and ideas. We’d still take a bullet for you, literally and figuratively. You were just never supposed to have to take a bullet for us. RIP, my nieces and nephews and sons and daughters in Orlando. I’m so sorry we didn’t protect you.

For more coverage, public response and resource information, please visit 16



JULY 20, 2016






Champs and the City W

hether you find yourself mingling at a swanky party in the Hills, in too deep at a Burbank backyard barbecue or on a DTLA rooftop stealing a sip all by your lonesome, the champagne you choose to toast with this summer should be one worthy of our fine city. That’s what led Moët & Chandon to pay homage to Los Angeles—and, sure, nine other U.S. locales—with its Moët Nectar Imperial Rosé, the country’s top-selling rosé champagne. Ten limited-edition bottles (running $70 each), all featuring a gold crest and emblazoned with a map of city landmarks, will be available to imbibe come late July. The true traveler can opt for the full set, packaged in a custom wood case, gold-latched and painted with a map of Paris, this delicious coral-colored concoction’s city of origin. —Stephan Horbelt

JULY 20, 2016







Let’s Gay Things Up L.A.-based retailer American Apparel’s latest collection pokes fun at Donald Trump by putting a homo twist on his calling card


ride Month may have come and gone, but wearing your queerness on your sleeve—literally—has never been more stylish. In early June, the good people at American Apparel released a new collection featuring a familiar saying, but with a gay twist. Teaming up with the Human Rights Campaign and the Ally Coalition, the L.A.-based retailer launched its “Make America Gay Again” campaign, poking fun at Donald Trump’s insipid promise to “Make America Great Again.” The label is no stranger to promoting equality, long known for its “Legalize Gay” collection, and the “Make America Gay Again” line was launched alongside personal stories and videos from various celebrities, including Alex Newell and Jack and Rachel

Antonoff. American Apparel is donating 30% of sales from these limited-edition tees and tanks to support the Equality Act and end discrimination for LGBTQs nationwide. Not only are these shirts a fun way to display for your pride all summer long (maybe during the canal parade of Amsterdam Pride come Aug. 6?), but thumbs up for also mocking one of our biggest opponents in the fight for liberty and justice for all. America is already pretty fabulous, but the thought of making it even gayer is a notion we’re totally OK with. Shop American Apparel’s “Make America Gay Again” collection at local stores in Mid-City, Los Feliz, West Hollywood and Little Tokyo, or online at —Alexander Kacala

COOL AS F#CK IT’S NOT UNCOMMON for us to refer to the latest nifty gadget making the online rounds as “the coolest,” but now we mean it. Really. And not just because this time it’s a product actually called Coolest. What is it? Well, what isn’t it? The most amazing cooler we’ve ever laid eyes on does more than keep your bottles of bud at an ideal temp while you’re showing off your new Slick It Up suit on the sand. Included by TIME on a list of top inventions, Coolest also has a blender that will make 16 pitchers of frozen margs on a single charge; you can blast the latest Calvin Harris tune from its waterproof Bluetooth speaker; you’ll keep your iPhone charged and ready for the boys on Scruff with its USB charger; open bottles—wine, beer, whatever—with its bottle openers; chop up lime wedges on its built-in tray; and, oh yeah, hold enough drinks in its 55-quart cooler for a full day at the beach. When it comes to coolers, Coolest ($450 on is the gold standard. —S.H. 20


une 12 was a sad day in Hollywood, as Yamashiro, the Hills’ “mountain palace” that offered diners some of the best views in the city—sold to Chinese conglomerate JE Group for $40 million earlier t h i s y e a r— m a r k e d its very last day as a restaurant. When the Japanese spot’s new owners upped its rent to $100,000 per month, the announcement was made that Yamashiro would have to close. In a letter published on Facebook, its owners thanked more than 3 million L.A. residents and visitors for 50 years of weddings, birthdays and special dinners, “thankful for the opportunity to restore and shepherd this beautiful venue with its spectacular view, authentic architecture and lush gardens for such a long term. Now it is best for us to say ‘sayonara’ and move on.” No one is sure just yet what its Chinese owners have in store for the venue, though rumors have been circulating that it might be converted into a nightclub. Interestingly, the building hasn’t always been used as a restaurant, as LAist reports. In the past it has been an apartment building, a private home and even a school. —S.H.


JULY 20, 2016






AIDS WALK MAKES A MOVE “We were drawn to Grand Park because of its versatility, size and easy accessibility by public transit,” says Craig R. Miller, founder and senior organizer of AIDS Walk Los Angeles, about the event’s move to DTLA from its previous West Hollywood digs. This year’s walk will coincide with a series of Día de los Muertos art installations placed throughout Grand Park. AIDS Walk will take place Sunday, Oct. 23. More info at

Don’t Ghost Me, Bro

More men than ever currently sport facial hair, and while it’s apparent that no guy wants a Brillo pad front and center on his face, many are surprisingly in the dark when it comes to proper beard maintenance. According to Kiehl’s Since 1981, beard-related searches account for nearly half of men’s grooming Google inquiries—a fact that has led the leading label to craft its Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil, a blend of sandalwood, cedarwood and eucalyptus oils, with a shot of Pracaxi oil (an Amazonian oil that acts as a natural conditioning agent) plus salicylic acid, which acts to keep your skin underneath from becoming flaky. Tame your unruly beard while exfoliating your precious cheeks, all while forgoing the greasy feel of some other products. You’ll find this beard oil ($27) at local Kiehl’s boutiques inside The Grove and on Robertson. —S.H.



HIM: ARE YOU STILL AWAKE? He sent the message to me three ways, including via text and a Facebook message to my business page. But when I read it five hours later, at 6 a.m., I found myself blocked on each and unable to respond. I actually laughed, as this was the same HR professional who had unblocked me one night to “hang out” but immediately reinstated the block when I revealed I was drunk and unable. Our latest exchange really took the cake, though. ME: Are we still doing coffee or whatever? HIM: Hey. Yeah, I just haven’t found the time. My response of, “OK, well just let me know” turned green immediately. Blocked. The technique is a more evolved version of what we all know as “ghosting.” And though I’m the king of ghosting at parties and events, I make an outsized effort to never do it in a relationship. “It’s about respect,” I told a friend as we headed down New York’s West Side Highway, him scrolling through his Growlr messages. Though my own profiles were long deleted, when I did have them, I’d find myself going through as many as 30 new messages at a time while traveling, responding to each and every one. Sure, sometimes I got the occasional sassy reply to my customary “Thanks for the message man, but I’m not interested,” but the racial slurs and “Nobody wants you anyway” said a lot more about them than it did about me. Some will say our generation’s tendency to dip out on each other has to do with how easy it is to do so now that our lives are mostly digital. But that seems too easy a response; I’ve heard more than one story of people slipping out of dates in real life with fake emergencies. What makes it all the more incredulous? Studies have shown (as does a quick sampling of my own friends) that a majority of people appreciate the closure of a


negative response in the long run as opposed to a disappearing act. When I spoke to a female friend about it, her response was simple: “I don’t want to have to explain myself to anyone.” And while that’s a conversation for another time, it’s true with men-loving dudes as well as breeders; when you definitively tell someone you’re not interested, there’s the chance you’ll get the “Why?” response, possibly digging into an unwelcome, awkward back and forth that belabors the inevitable. But I think there may be another, more self-interested reason people let things linger. A few months ago, I met up with a hotel manager I was seeing and told him, “You’re a really cool guy, but I don’t think we should see each other anymore.” The reason? He would go in and out of periods of texting and ghosting, messaging only when he was in the mood to hang or talk, ignoring me any other time. Contrast my approach to ending things with the policeman who drifted out of my life two years ago, only to drift back in a year later. One signals a clean break that, while providing closure, seems hard to come back from. The other is explained away with a “Sorry” or “I was really busy.” Before the last time this HR professional and I were off again, we had dinner. It was slightly tense, and by the end of it, we’d both admitted we just weren’t a match. It was a clean break (block included), yet four months later we were cuddled up in bed exchanging apologies, decidedly ‘on’ again. It wasn’t painful to admit that no matter what we said before, we wanted to try things again. It didn’t cause a cosmic shift, nor did it put either of us at a disadvantage. As love is ever-convoluted and ever-complex, what’s the harm in acknowledging when you’ve put your heart on the table and when you’ve taken it off?

JUST BEACHY Malibu is no longer only for its well-off residents, as a new staircase—for the first time in two decades— allows the public access to a certain part of the coast. Whereas previously surfers and beachgoers would have to navigate down boulders to reach Malibu Colony Beach, a 30-foot stairway is now constructed at 24038 Malibu Road, allowing the public to enjoy a mile of beach at low tide. But note: parking is limited and there are no bathrooms on-site.

THE ART OF THE BREAKUP Ever had your heart broken so bad that you wanted to curate an entire museum dedicated to the trinkets and artifacts of that failed affair? Well, the Museum of Broken Relationships—at 6751 Hollywood Blvd. near Hollywood & Highland— beat you to it. Opened in early June, it houses anonymously donated items that encapsulate painful ties, from ticket stubs and mix tapes to other odd items.


It seems that ‘ghosting’ in and out of gay relationships 3 is all too trendy right now, but why? By Mikelle Street



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The eclectic beauty of Provincetown



3 Favorite East Coast Beach Destinations


A flight across the country is all that separates you from the gay, sand-filled summer vacation of your dreams By Alexander Kacala & Michael Cook JUST IN TIME FOR beach season, and more than 40 years after Steven Spielberg made us think twice about dipping our toes off the dock, Sperry ( has launched a line of Jawsthemed shoes that pay homage to Bruce the Shark. Among the men’s designs available are an authentic boat shoe ($85), laceups ($70) and two versions of a more casual slip-on ($70)—all of which come neatly boxed in blood-soaked tissue paper. Each pair is a colorful combination of blood red, ocean blue and sharktooth white, sure to invite second glances while tea-dancing at the beachfront resort of your choosing. —Stephan Horbelt

Provincetown, Massachusetts

A promised land at the tip of Cape Cod where LGBTs of all stripes can find their refuge, Provincetown (or P-Town as the resort town’s regulars refer to it) is more artistic and tranquil than its main competitor, Fire Island, and as opposed to the New Yorkers who spend a few weekends in the Pines each summer, gays from around the country typically opt to vacay in P-Town for a week or more. Peak season is July through late August, and planning ahead is a must. The Crown and Anchor ( is P-Town’s largest entertainment complex, consisting of club space Paramount, video bar The Wave, leather bar The Vault, small theater The Cabaret Room and restaurant/piano bar Central House. The two performance venues boast incredible headliners all summer long, including drag favorites Miss Richfield 1981 and Dina Martina. New parties at The Crown and Anchor include Black Out, an underwear party that will take

place every Thursday, and Testosterone Gear, a ‘dress code enforced’ uniform night on Saturdays (both of which are guaranteed to thwart obnoxious bachelorette parties) for which names like Vinny Vega, Boomer Banks and Seth Fornea are sure to draw the boys in. While the most popular P-Town accommodation options are house rentals, there are also great hotel properties. The hotel at The Crown and Anchor boasts 18 rooms—11 standard and six waterfront suites with private balconies overlooking the water. The Brass Key ( and Crowne Point ( are also great guesthouses offering mixing and mingling with fellow guests in upscale digs. During the day, you’ll find that many stake their claim at the area’s best beach, Herring Cove. (Stay to the left for the gay-friendly and clothing-optional area.) The Cove is the perfect spot for couples looking JULY 20, 2016






Clockwise, from top left: The bartenders of Rehoboth’s Purple Parrot Grill, a Provincetown pool party, the Asbury Park boardwalk

Movie Theaters



Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

With a population of more than 50,000 at the peak of tourist season, Rehoboth has long been a draw for gays of the East Coast—especially D.C., Philly and Baltimore—many of whom will stay for a week or more. Located within walking distance of the town’s nightlife, The Shore Inn ( is one of Rehoboth’s few exclusively gay B&Bs, featuring 14 bright and vibrant rooms, a clothing-optional hot tub, sun deck and loaner bicycles for cruising around town. Right across the street is Double L (, a leather bar that reopened for its 19th season this year. Its Saturday night party, Mandance—which resumed its raging back in May—is always packed. Poodle Beach is where the beautiful boys, masculine men and everyone in-between go to frolic during the day. You’ll find it by going south, down to the end of the boardwalk at Queen Street (which can’t be a coincidence), turning toward the ocean. Get there by noon to claim prime beach real estate, as by 2 p.m., it’s jammed towel-to-towel. After a day spent lounging in the sun, cool off at a local gay watering hole like Aqua Grill ( or Blue Moon (—bars that bring all the boys out for day-drinking and late-night cruising. The Purple Parrot Grill ( is a mixed spot known for its popular Sunday night drag show featuring Tara Austin and the Birdcage Bad Girls. —A.K.

Asbury Park, New Jersey

Located on the Jersey Shore and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area, the gays are actually the ones responsible for turning this sleepy spot into the bustling resort town it is today. The perfect add-on to your upcoming stay in Manhattan, it’s one of New Jersey’s best beaches. With six full bars and weekly events, Paradise ( is currently one of the best gay nightclubs on the East Coast. Don’t miss the famous Sunday afternoon Tea Dance, with DJs spinning poolside. Connected to Paradise, the Empress Hotel ( is located directly across from the Asbury Park beach. Rooms offer views of either the Paradise pool or the ocean, and Copper Bar and Grill is located on-site. Best of all, after a night of partying you won’t have to stray far to reach your room. Another accommodations option, The Hotel Tides (, brings a touch of boutique to Asbury Park. With a retro-meets-current vibe—and killer martinis—the Tides is the perfect spot, several blocks from the sand, to get a touch of quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the beach and boardwalk scene. The rooms are quiet, and the in-house restaurant offers American cuisine, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. The self-proclaimed “Gay Cheers” of Asbury Park, Georgies ( is a well-known watering hole with weekly events where everyone (including the friendly staff) knows your name. One of the bar’s biggest events is Tuesday “stripper night,” when gorgeous boys dance for your pleasure ... and tips. —M.C.

BRAVO’S ANDY COHEN SPOOFED NEW YORK-BASED performer Ryan Raftery has made a name for himself by embodying the names of others to hilarious effect. The writer/singer/actor follows up his acclaimed 2015 hit Ryan Raftery Is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion—in which he brilliantly spoofed Vogue editrix Anna Wintour—with Watch What Happens Live Onstage, a musical tale that places current WWHL late-night host Andy Cohen and his Real Housewives in the spotlight. Opening at Manhattan’s Joe’s Pub on July 12 with dates through September, this new show utilizes the format of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, though instead of ghosts, the reality TV mogul is visited by Nene Leakes, Teresa Giudice and Kim Zolciak (a much more terrifying thought, indeed). Raftery’s Wintour show eventually made its way to L.A., and here’s hoping this one follows suit, as his New York dates are nearly sold out. —Stephan Horbelt



ATHENS Sure, L.A. does outdoor film screenings well, but this open-air theater comes with striking nighttime views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon. It’s open from April to October, prime months for visiting the Mediterranean.



BANGKOK The seats in this technologically advanced cinema are motorized to recline, but that’s just an added perk to the free snacks and complimentary foot massage you’ll find in the VIP lounge. —S.H.


for a romantic getaway, with whale-watching and sunsets that seem to melt right into the ocean. —A.K.

AUSTIN Now in several cities throughout Texas (and coming to DTLA), the Alamo is great for its indie selection and stateof-the-art surround sound, but it’s even better thanks to microbrews and Tex-Mex eats delivered right to your seat.

JULY 20, 2016




Clockwise, from left: A snapshot from Fag Bash; the crowd at Philly’s Holy Trinity; Neverland’s Animal Farm theme for IML 2016; the new D.C. Eagle Below: SF’s Heklina

Worth the Trip

Frontiers International Travel (no relation) has announced an 18-day journey across Asia by private jet, slated for Oct. 9-26. Travelers will cover cities, mountains, jungles and beaches, from the Great Wall to tent camping among Bengal Tigers in Ranthambore. Starting price: only $63,888 per person!

From Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, we profile five fêtes that are worth a little air travel


e all need an excuse to get away, right? Couple that need with the desire to cut loose and you have the perfect weekend jaunt in store. These ragers—which take place in cities across the country—are all incredible excuses for an unplanned getaway this summer. Take a bus up to San Francisco or catch a flight over to Chicago to find that one-night stand on the dance floor you’ll actually be able to leave far behind.

town, Fag Bash—the brainchild of DJ Mark Louque—is not to be missed during P-Town’s high season. The always-themed, Wednesday night party moved last year from the basement of the Governor Bradford to the basement of the Porch Bar (claustrophobics beware), and it’s a pumping, vibrating bacchanal that sees the resort town’s sexiest fellas strip off their shirts (it gets pretty hot down there) for dancing and the occasional performance.

Chicago: Neverland

San Francisco: Mother

This dance party—“Chicago’s most notorious, creative gay dance party”—is put on by a collective of designers, fashion photographers and lighting specialists, which means you can expect to walk into a living, breathing art exhibit. The May event (for the city’s International Mr. Leather competition) had a fully realized Orwellian Animal Farm theme. Next up: its unique take on the summer pool party, held July 2, just in time for Independence Day.

Formerly known as Trannyshack, SF drag legend Heklina’s weekly party—held at the very SoMa bar she owns, Oasis—is a Bay Area institution. A full night of dancing and drag performances, the party rotates between hosting special guests (most recently Cazwell, Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls) and staging tribute nights to legends like Madonna, The Cure, Stevie Nicks, “Ladies of the ‘90s” and the like. It’s literally the mother of all drag shows.

Philadelphia: Holy Trinity

Washington, D.C.: Distrkt C

Sometimes you just want to hear divas on the dance floor, and for those moments, Dolphin Tavern (usually on the last Saturday of the month) is your best option. Created by DJ Dame Luz last October, the dance floor is a mixed crowd of gays, straights, punks, femmes and masc guys, with a ‘come as you are’ attitude. Last month’s Beyoncé, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj dance party (those three make up the “holy trinity”) let the city’s queens have it. It hits capacity every month, so show up by 10:30 p.m.

Provincetown: Fag Bash

A subversive night of debauchery in this otherwise idyllic Cape Cod 28


Every second Saturday of the month, hot men gather at the new DC Eagle, where the party begins at 10 p.m. and goes through the wee hours. (We’re talking 8 a.m.) Expect men in gear (it’s encouraged), porn star appearances (hey there, Rocco Steele) and go-go dancers who get down and dirty with the audience. Any preconceived notions of a preppy D.C. scene will be dissolved after walking through the door. “It’s worth the trip, because the party is sexy and raw in the hottest venue on the East Coast,” promoter Bruce Yelk tells us. —A.K.

Exactly how big a fan of Saved By the Bell are you? Enough to travel to Chicago for a meal at Saved By the Max, a diner inspired by those TV teens’ favorite hangout and featuring eats by the Michelin-starred chef Brian Fisher? Don’t pass up the A.C. Sliders, washed down with a Lisa Turtle Milkshake.

Fire Island is getting an official dress code change, as signs that read “Clothing Required” have popped up on the beach between Cherry Grove and The Pines, more commonly referred to as the “Meat Rack.” Enforcement, on the other hand—not likely at all. —S.H.


July 21-24 The mother of nerd recruitment camps returns with more comics, more celebrity panels and more spoilers for in-theworks TV and film projects. One thing we’re excited for: an event with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, producer of the upcoming Archie show Riverdale.

NERD CON Escondido

Aug. 26-28 Taking place at the California Center for the Arts, Nerd Con is the ultimate safe space for the geekier among us. Included in the weekend of activities: a ton of cosplay (and appearances by cosplay’s biggest names), merchants, music and media companies galore.

GAYMERX Santa Clara

Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 This annual convention is focused on games and gaming culture in the queer community, but all are welcome. You’ll play a mix of retro, modern and indie games, sit down with a massive selection of tabletop games and enjoy music, panel discussions and parties. —S.H.

JULY 20, 2016






TUESDAY, JULY 19 • 5 –9PM Join us for our annual tasting event featuring the finest culinary delights from throughout the Market. This year, we’re “All Fired Up” as the evening will support the First-In Fire Foundation and the brave firefighters from Station 68 and Station 61—our neighborhood firehouses. Try their “Firehouse Chili” (veggie & meat lovers).

NEW! CHILD’S TICKET: $10 (10 tastes for 10 and younger)

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE AT FARMERSMARKETLA.COM OR AT THE FARMERS MARKET OFFICE (upstairs, above Gate One until 7pm daily) Ticket price includes: food, beer & wine tastings, and two vouchers good for non-alcoholic beverages.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: • Over 50 tastes from your favorite Market merchants • Includes 2 drink tickets for non alcoholic beverages and beer & wine tastings. • Live entertainment—strolling musicians & surprises








■ Thu. | June 23 DOLL PARTS Broad Museum

Reframing the museum’s current Cindy Sherman exhibit as a feast of international films, artists’ tapes and music videos, Sherman’s Office Killer (1997) is paired with, among other things, Hole’s 1994 music video for “Doll Parts.”


The Center’s “Out Under the Stars” outdoor film event returns with a look at the insane world of beauty pageants. ■ Sat. | June 25 A SAFE PLACE WITH YOU BOOK SIGNING Book Soup


In partnership with L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell during Pride month, this is an informative retrospective of LGBT images in film and television, with highlights from Transparent, The Danish Girl, Cabaret and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Through Sept. 4.

Pop, Boom, Fizz

Celebrate Independence Day at one of these local spots serving up fireworks on July 4 By Patrick Rosenquist


■ Thu. | June 23 GOD OF CARNAGE James Bridges Theater

■ Thu. | June 23 REEL TO REAL Hollywood Museum


■ Fri. | June 24 DROP DEAD GORGEOUS Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Gay, deaf, Latino author César L. Baquerizo will sign copies of his latest book, a fictional tale that takes place at a (real) gay conversion center in Ecuador.

A pair of parents meet to resolve a playground scuffle between their boys, but a civilized evening unravels into a brutal contest for dominance. Starring Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg. Through June 26.


■ Sat. | June 25 L’ENFER: AN INFERNAL DISCOTHEQUE Superchief Gallery

Drunken Devil, a local producer of live horror events and bar experiences, presents a one-night-only disco-meetsgrindhouse themed party, a hellish version of Studio 54.


■ Sat. | June 25 FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL Old Zoo, Griffith Park

In its 22nd year, the film fest showcases 327 films, including 46 world premieres, 63 North American premieres and 13 U.S. premieres.

The festival’s 13th year begins with a production of Richard III, playing through July 24. This year will also feature opening acts, a salon series and workshops.

ot sure what to do this Fourth of July? L.A. is holding a number of events to celebrate the holiday, with an official fireworks show called the 4th of July Block Party held in DTLA‘s Grand Park ( For the best view of fireworks—a new addition to the city‘s official celebration of Independence Day—you‘ll want to head to the mainstage, near City Hall. The event is sure to be crowded, and organizers are urging people to arrive early and enjoy the entertainment offered beforehand to secure a spot once the show starts. Other than fireworks at the free event, a host of performers are scheduled to appear. Entertainers include Jenny O., a SoCal-based singer-songwriter, and Kotolan, an indie-pop group formed in Los Angeles. Beyond the mainstage, two other arenas around the park will be hosting entertainers; the Back Yard stage and the Event Lawn stage are nearby, turning the heart of Downtown into a huge festival. The party begins at 2:30 p.m. and lasts until 9. There will also be food trucks, other live music acts and family-friendly entertainment. Over in Hollywood, the Bowl will host Grammy Award-winning band Chicago, who will mix their ‘70s and ‘80s hits with patriotic tunes and orchestral music. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra will be performing alongside the group before its legendary fireworks show ( In Pasadena, Americafest at the Rose Bowl provides classic entertainment—a motorcycle stunt show, rides and a fireworks display

beginning at 9 p.m. The event is free, but parking costs $20 ( Elsewhere, the sprawl of Los Angeles hosts a number of fireworks displays and celebrations: Studio City will hold its annual fireworks show, hosted at the CBS Studio Center ( ‘Merica Fest at Angel City Brewery in the Downtown Arts District will feature lawn games and ice cream, as well as two mainstays of Americana: beer and BBQ. That event begins at 4 p.m. and goes 'til 10 ( Beyond L.A., the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is hosting a BBQ and special late-night walk-through of its exhibits. Geared toward families, the event will feature both upscale eats and traditional fare like hot dogs and hamburgers. The event runs $59 for adults, $25 for kids. It starts at 9 a.m. ( Also in Long Beach, the Queen Mary will host its annual fireworks show. The boat will be sectioned off into different themed regions of America. There will be Nashville line-dancing, a Coney Island-inspired circus, Texas Hold ‘em and a Hawaiian Luau. Entrance is $44 online, $49 at the door ( Last but not least, Marina del Rey offers yet another chance to catch fireworks, beginning at 9 p.m. at Burton Chace Park, where they will happen over the water and be synced to a live stream of KXLU, Loyola Marymount University’s radio station. There will also be viewing stations at Fisherman’s Village and Mother’s Beach ( JULY 20, 2016


■ ■ ■ ■

■ Sat. | June 25 OC PRIDE Downtown Santa Ana

■ Tue. | June 28 OMO CHILD: THE RIVER AND THE BUSH Skirball Cultural Center

The “All-American Boy” himself, Steve Grand, will headline the festival’s mainstage, located at Yost Theatre, while a parade will march through Downtown Santa Ana. ■ Sat. | June 25 NEWFILMMAKERS LA AT&T Center

NFMLA celebrates indie cinema spotlighting LGBT stories from around the world and right in L.A. Its InFocus shorts program boasts six shorts, including three world and L.A. premieres. In between films, audiences can check out filmmaker Q&As or meet and mingle over cocktails.

The documentary’s director, John Rowe, and subject, Lale Labuko, will discuss their film, about a tribe in Ethiopia that deems certain children cursed and needing to be killed. One tribe member strives to save them by adopting them as this own. ■ Wed. | June 29 PALEYLIVE L.A.: 12 MONKEYS Paley Center for Media

Series creator Terry Matalas and the show’s cast (Aaron Stanford and Kirk Acevedo among them) will be present for a Season 2 finale screening, followed by a panel discussion.




OYE MI CANTO Alex Theatre June 25 & 26

L.A.’s Gay Men’s Chorus teams up with the gay chorus of Cuba for a show of Cuban, pop and soon-to-be classics


he Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will celebrate Cuban culture along with Mano a Mano, the island nation’s own gay chorus (pictured above), for two nights at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. The concert, “Oye Mi Canto” or “Hear My Song,” will feature interpretations of Cuban classics, newly minted compositions and pop covers. One of the songs set to premiere, “Havanasis,” is based on a poem by Richard Blanco, the first immigrant, Latino and gay person to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. “Performing with GMCLA is an absolute dream come true,” says Fermin Rojas, founder and executive director of Mano a Mano. “We LGBT people have had a long history of building bridges. This is also a personal journey of re-unification with my country of birth. Collaborating with fellow Cuban-American Chris Verdugo for the last year and a half to make this happen has made it all the more meaningful.” The celebration marks, in part, an improved relationship between the countries. “I think it also serves as another important moment in an era of reconciliation between the United States and Cuba,” says Rojas. “We are very grateful to Ambassador Jeffrey De Laurentis and his wife Jennifer for their gracious attention.” —P.R.

BIG FAT GRUNT | EAGLE L.A. Photos by Rolling-Blackouts


MR. BLACK L.A. | UNION Photos by Davide Laffe

■ Thu. | June 30 BAD JEWS Theatre of Note

A biting comedy about family and faith, when Daphna’s less observant cousin arrives to claim a treasured family heirloom, a battle of Old Testament proprtions ignites. Through July 24. ■ Fri. | July 1 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Montalbán Theatre

Rooftop Cinema Club begins its July slate of films by screening last year’s biopic that chronicles the rise and fall of the Compton, Calif., hip-hop group N.W.A.

Look how young! ■ Wed. | July 6 HARRY POTTER IN CONCERT Hollywood Bowl

The L.A. Philharmonic will perform every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone while audiences relive the magic of the film in high-def on a giant screen while hearing John Williams’ score. ■ Thu. | July 7 THE UNAUTHORZED MUSICAL PARODY OF THE BIG LEBOWSKI Rockwell Table & Stage

Running Thursday and Friday nights through the end of summer, it’s Kate Pazakis’ sixth “unauthorized musical parody” production, this time with a musical rendition of the Coen Brothers’ 1996 comedy. ■ Fri. | July 1 CUB SCOUT Eagle L.A.

One of the East Side’s most popular parties will once again gather the city’s sexiest hirsute gentleman for a night of drinking, dancing and beard-rubbing.

■ Fri. | July 8 FADE 2 CONNIE Cavern Club Theater

Your utlimate summer double-feature is here, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the basement of a Mexican restaurant. John Cantwell’s Fade 2 Connie and Fade 2 Connie: The Roxy Files return through July 17. ■ Fri. | July 8 L.A. FOOD FEST Exposition Park

■ Sun. | July 3 PTEROSAURS: FLIGHT IN THE AGE OF DINOSAURS Natural History Museum

The largest pterosaur exhibit in the United States showcases the incredible variety of prehistoric flyign reptiles, how they flew and surprising details from newly discovered fossils. Through October.

Back for its seventh year, this is three nights and two full days of L.A.’s best food, with more than 100 food, beverage, beer, wine and craft cocktail vendors. Through July 10.

JULY 20, 2016


■ ■ ■ ■


SUNSET TEA | 1OAK Photos by Garrett Bridwell

■ Fri. | July 8 STAR TREK: IN CONCERT Hollywood Bowl

J.J. Abrams’ re-exhilarated franchise, now 50 years old, is celebrated with a screening of his 2009 film, shown in HD on the Bowl’s big screen as Michael Giacchino’s thrilling score is performed live.

■ Sat. | July 9 PUTERIA Precinct

It’s a cock fight in DTLA as the city welcomes this brandnew Latin night with DJ Ernie Vee. Expect hombres calientes and cool drinks all night long. ■ Sun. | July 10 DREAMGIRLS REUNION Ford Amphitheatre

For one night only, the original stars of Dreamgirls— Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday—will reunite for conversation and song, a Broadway Under the Stars event. ■ Fri. | July 8 SELENA GOMEZ Staples Center

Part of the first leg of her worldwide “Revival” tour, the multi-platinum singer and actress comes to L.A. with tracks from her latest album. ■ Sat. | July 9 HAM: A MUSICAL MEMOIR Pasadena Playhouse

■ Sun. | July 10 GRAPES OF WRATH The Broad Stage

As part of the inaugural season of the Santa Monica Rep Play Reading Series, which began June 12, Frank Galanti’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s play will be read, followed by a post-show discussion.

Sam Harris’s musical comedy takes us from a conflicted childhood in Bible-Belt Oklahoma to the dizzying roller coaster ride of a life in show business and the precarious balancing act of fatherhood. Through July 10. ■ Sun. | July 10 LOUIS CK The Forum

The goal of this year’s annual AIDS benefit horseback trail ride and country BBQ, which supports the local programs of The Life Group L.A., is to raise $100,000. Don’t feel like riding? The BBQ costs $55 per person. 34


■ Thu. | July 14 TOUCH THURSDAY The Abbey

This party is “as gay as it gets,” with giveaways, sexy bottle service boys and specialty cocktails—plus, as always, world-class DJs and great tracks to keep you busy on the dance floor.


■ Sat. | July 9 SADDLE UP L.A. Griffith Park

This summer the comedian is going on an international tour, with shows across the United States and Europe. Don’t miss his two-day stop in Inglewood. Also July 11.


MEGAWOOF | PRECINCT Photos by Felix Moo

RAISING THE BAR Ruby Nuno, Faultline’s new owner, on what’s in store for the East Side staple


here’s a new sherriff in town, and her name is Ruby Nuno. She’s one of two new co-owners of Faultline, a big draw for East Side LGBTs seeking a low-key spot to imbibe stiff drinks, strut around in their underwear (Thursday is underwear night) and gawk at a bout of drag queen mud wrestling. (That’s right. Read on.) We sat down with Nuno to discuss her overtaking of the Silver Lake hot spot. —Stephan Horbelt

You purchased Faultline back in April. What was behind your decision? Although we took over the Faultline in late April, the process of buying the bar started many months earlier—in November of last year. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance to open or buy a bar. You really have to want to do it. When the opportunity came up to buy the Faultline, my business partner and I jumped at it. We didn’t want to see it go the way of so many other gay bars in L.A. We had dinner with Shawn Farnsworth, the bar’s founder, and we really appreciate what he created. It’s important to us to respect, continue and build upon that tradition. Did you find that a lot of people were concerned you’d make big changes to the bar? Maybe they thought you wouldn’t keep it a gay bar? We made our intentions clear from the beginning, going back to last November. The Fautline is going to remain one of the iconic gay bars in Los Angeles. That’s precisely why my business partner and I bought it, and that’s exactly what we told the staff when we first met with them.


What kind of changes are in store for the bar? We’ve made some improvements to key systems, like upgrading the beer-chillers and the wiring in the patio area; stuff like that. We’re thinking about adding another night to our schedule, maybe later this year. Currently we’re open five days a week. Right now we’re focused on staying the course and providing an awesome venue for our DJs, promoters, live entertainment and, of course, our great patrons. Faultline has always had a ‘neighborhood feel.’ Why do you think that is? That’s a really good question. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that everyone is welcome. The Faultline is the opposite of pretentious. You can roll in at 5:30 p.m., sit down at the patio bar and have a drink without feeling like someone is trying to guess when you last worked out. Then there’s the Sunday beer bust, which is an awesome way to meet up and have a great time with 600 guys. In your time as the bar’s new owner, what’s the craziest thing you’ve witnessed thus far? Six words: Boulet Brothers drag queen mud wrestling. Keep up-to-date with the party schedule of Faultline, located at 4216 Melrose Ave., by going to JULY 20, 2016


■ ■ ■ ■

■ Thu. | July 14 WEST SIDE STORY Hollywood Bowl

■ Fri. | July 15 FRESH FRIDAYS Flaming Saddles

In a concert performance conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, this emotionally powerful musical takes us back to the mid-1950s and New York’s Upper West Side, where racial and social tensions run high. Also July 19.

It’s one of WeHo’s most popular nights, with some of the city’s hottest man candy. Jeffrey Sanker’s and Paul Nicholls’ party features world-class DJs, dancers and performers. flamingsaddles. com ■ Sun. | July 17 THE KINSEY SICKS Renberg Theatre

■ Fri. | July 15 DIANA ROSS Hollywood Bowl

America’s favorite dragapella beautyshop quartet returns to L.A. for one night with the show Electile Dysfunction, a show of sharp-witted original songs and biting parodies in glorious four-part harmony.

The magnetic Motown legend returns to the Bowl, performing hits like “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I’m Coming Out.” Also July 16.





SAN DIEGO PRIDE Balboa Park July 15-17

Our neighbor to the south gears up for another year of LGBT Pride, an event renewed with importance of late


an Diego Pride will take over the city once more, marking the event’s 41st anniversary. Despite anxiety, peaked when an Indiana man was found June 12 with a cache of explosive materials heading to L.A. Pride, both organizers and police officers are adamant San Diego’s gathering will continue without interruption. “Although there are no known threats here in San Diego, we are working close with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure we remain safe as a region,” the San Diego police said in a statement distributed through social media. The event will kick off with the “Spirit of Stonewall” rally in Balboa Park on the Friday before the march begins. Other events will continue throughout the weekend, bringing a celebratory mood to gatherings recently renewed with importance. Along with the parade, which travels just over a mile through San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood and beyond, the Pride Music Festival will kick off Saturday evening with headliner Kesha. Over 200 musical guests are expected to perform, turning Balboa Park into an exuberant party. Beyond Balboa, events are scheduled throughout the city (the zoo on Sunday, Fete Accompli at the House of Blues that same day), uniting the city in its celebration of queer pride. —P.R.

BONKERZ! | PRECINCT Photos by Rolling-Blackouts


CUB SCOUT | EAGLE L.A. Photos by Rolling-Blackouts

■ Fri. | July 22 ART OF RAP FESTIVAL Hollywood Palladium

■ Mon. | July 25 MUSTACHE MONDAYS The Lash

Several masters of the hip-hop genre get together for an all-star show: Public Enemy, Ice-T, Naughty by Nature, Mobb Deep, The Sugarhill Gang and more.

Keep your weekend going at the home of resident DJs Total Freedom and Josh Peace. Dress up, drink and dance the night away. mustachemondays ■ Thu. | July 28 JULIETTE LEWIS The Fonda Theatre

She’s played several freaks on-camera, but nothing compares to Juliette Lewis’ ferocious rockstar persona when she takes the stage with a microphone.

Alright, alr ight, alright ■ Sat. | July 23 DAZED AND CONFUSED Montalbán Theatre

Rooftop Cinema Club continues its July programming with a screening of Richard Linklater’s 1993 film about coming of age in 1976 Texas. rooftopcinema ■ Sat. | July 23 MADELINE PEYROUX The Broad Stage

A soulful singer with a voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday, she’ll perform songs from her upcoming album, Secular Hymns, due out in September. ■ Sat. | July 23 JOHNNY RAMONE TRIBUTE Hollywood Forever Cemetery

At the annual tribute, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School will be screened to coincide with The Ramones’ 40th anniversary. After the screening there will be a Q&A with director Allan Arkush, Roger Corman and P.J. Soles. hollywood

■ Sat. | July 30 NONOBJECT(IVE): DOWNTOWN Broad Museum

It’s an evening inspired by the asphalt jungle. Television lead singer Richard Hell will stage a reading, while Ryan Heffington and Brontez Purnell will present a dance and visual art collaboration. ■ Sat. | July 30 KCON 2016 Staples Center

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, it’s the world’s largest Korean culture convention and music festival. Through July 31. ■ Through Aug. 7 FINDING DORY El Capitan Theatre

Before this special engagement of Disney-Pixar’s new film, The Bubble Guy will form bubbles beyond the imagination in a breathtaking “bubble extravaganza“ live onstage.

JULY 20, 2016


■ ■ ■ ■






SUMMER SIPPERS Surge and Frontiers Media held a private pool party, Sip & Dip, on June 11, and Beverly Hills BMW brought in the fully electric i3 and i8. It was where some of L.A.’s most handsome men came to celebrate an afternoon of LGBT Pride while enjoying unique cocktails by Roxx Vodka, Herradura Tequila and Bai antioxident infusion drinks. Also participating were JM Team Real Estate and Black Tai Salt Co.






HE HATED PIGEONS July 14 | 9:45pm | Harmony Gold




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Andrea Goss and the 2016 natioonal touring cast of Round Rou about TThea Th h tre Compa oompanny’s y s CA CABAR AR RET ET. T Pho P oto bbyy Joan Marcu Ph Marc arcus

With over 174 films, there is a story for everyone. For tickets and more information, visit

Riches to Rags


DTLA’s Ahmanson Theatre closes its 2015-2016 season with Broadway’s Grey Gardens: The Musical



A Jew, a lapsed Muslim, a black attorney and a white artist walk into a dinner party. This is the slightly self-conscious premise around which playwright Ayad Akhtar has fashioned his intelligent and provocative 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Disgraced, enjoying a sparkling staging at the Mark Taper Forum through July 17. The ambitious attorney Amir (a fantastic Hari Dhillon, reprising his Broadway turn) has rejected his Pakistani family’s Islamic traditions. But when he and his artist wife (Emily Swallow) host a dinner party for a museum curator interested in her work and his lawyer wife, the polite, liberal conversation quickly degenerates into a whiskey-fueled battle in which most participants show their ugliest selves. In the wake of San Bernardino and Orlando, Akhtar’s 2012 script feels more relevant than ever, and Kimberly Senior’s superb staging allows the play’s probing intelligence and surprising humor to shine on John Lee Beatty’s appropriately sumptuous Manhattan apartment set. —Christopher Cappiello

By Stephan Horbelt


hey are without a doubt America’s most famous shut-ins, made famous in the Maysles Brothers’ cult classic 1975 documentary, but Edith “Big Edie“ Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie“ will once again have their story spread far and wide when the Ahmanson’s Grey Gardens closes another season of stage productions. Having replaced Titanic: The Musical on the Ahmanson’s roster of 2015-2016 shows, Grey Gardens will see Broadway pillars Betty Buckley (Sunset Boulevard, Cats) and Rachel York (Anything Goes) reprise their same roles from last year. Together they will tell the story of the mother-daughter duo, reclusive relatives of former First Lady Jackie Onassis, who were high-society socialites through the 1940s (Act One is set in 1941) but by the 1970s (Act Two, 1973) called a crumbling, animal-infested East Hampton mansion their home. Grey Gardens first premiered on Broadway in 2006, receiving a total of 10 Tony nominations—including one for Best Musical—and took home wins in three categories. Grey Gardens opens at the Ahmanson Theatre July 10 and runs through Aug. 14. More info at JULY 20, 2016


Elle Fanning in Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon

5 SONGS TO MAKE THIS YOUR GAYEST SUMMER EVER By Dave Holmes As has been the case since time began, LGBT people are making the best music in the world, but what’s different about this time in history is that they’re doing it openly. Here are some gay jams I will be blasting at all of my BBQs.

1. “Boyfriend” by Tegan and Sara

2. “1994” by PWR BTTM PWR BTTM are a queer punk duo who met in one of those artsy East Coast colleges Bret Easton Ellis used to write about. This song makes me want to grow a very long beard just so I can put glitter in it.

3. “Youth (Gryffin Remix)” by Troye Sivan Confession: I slept on Troye Sivan. I knew he was a YouTube phenomenon, and coming as I do from the crumbling world of TV, I wasn’t having it. I was wrong. Dude has chops. Also, singing “my youth is yours” very loudly is a fun activity for me and my gay friends as we live out our second adolescence—our mid-40s.

4. “Dope” by Fifth Harmony OK, Fifth Harmony are not technically gay, but five gals put together on The X Factor singing dance jams in booty shorts can be grandfathered in to homosexuality, don’t you think? Their entire new album is pop perfection. You will want to listen to it front to back in a convertible. Saw the top off your car if you must.

5. “Celebrated Summer” by Hüsker Dü Bob Mould is one of the greatest of all time—a queer guy who fronted the hardest band in the homophobic ‘80s and has crushed it consistently ever since. There‘s no wrong place to start with Bob, but this one from 1985’s New Day Rising is one to revisit as the weather heats up. It rocks, and serves as a reminder to make this summer your celebrated summer. Get out. Socialize. Look up from your phone. Talk to your elders. Read some Edmund White and Susan Sontag and Larry Kramer. Go see Rhea Butcher and Brent Sullivan and Sam Jay do stand-up before you have to pay $50 to do it. Hold a hand in public. Wear a pink triangle button. And kiss, and dance. These are acts of political provocation now, my brothers and sisters. Instigate. Currently our favorite read, Dave Holmes’ Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs—the story of an outsider, with music of the ’80s and ’90s as its soundtrack—is available June 28 from Crown Archetype. 40


A New Study in Narcissism “BEAUTY ISN’T EVERYTHING; IT’S THE ONLY THING.” These words, spoken by an impervious fashion designer halfway through Nicolas Winding Refn’s cautionary tale The Neon Demon, are the film’s cold, barely beating heart. The line got quite a chuckle from the Hollywood premiere crowd, who understood that it was being levelled at them; yet they laughed, perhaps unknowingly, about their complicity in the culture of narcissism. The director may well be a narcissist himself. After making his reputation on the back of the gritty Red Riding Trilogy, the crime tale Bronson (featuring an unrecognizable, oft-naked Tom Hardy) and the L.A. dark noir of Drive, he’s in the enviable position to do whatever he wants. And, oh, does he ever. The primary color-blocking—the incendiary shades of red—has been a hallmark of his work for years (a result of his colorblindness). “That’s why all my films are very contrasted,” he has stated. “If it were anything else, I couldn’t see it.” This distracted in the underdeveloped pulp of Only God Forgives, yet he uses it strikingly in The Neon Demon, wherein a seemingly naïve 16-year-old beauty, Jesse (Elle Fanning), navigates the shark-infested waters of the modeling world. Though obviously inspired by David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Refn’s hero Martin Scorsese and the cool alienation of Michelangelo Antonioni, the director is quickly becoming his own master. The film doesn’t cohere, though. With Lynch’s best work, you don’t question the surreal expressionism; with Refn, you do (while admiring his audacity). The Neon Demon also never goes where you’d expect, though where it does go is often surprising. Love it or hate it—and there will be many viewers in both camps after the film’s June 24 release—there’s no denying you will have witnessed a singular, intoxicating vision. —Dan Loughry


WITH A PACK OF big-name LGBTQ celebrities that rivals only a Tony Awards telecast, Logo’s third annual Trailblazer Honors—celebrating pioneers who sit at the forefront of LGBTQ equality—is set to air on Saturday, June 25. An official part of NYC Pride, the one-hour event’s big recipient is none other than playwright, writer and actor Harvey Fierstein (right), who has crafted a legacy out of bringing openly gay characters to the stage and screen, whether in his Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles, Kinky Boots, Casa Valentina or his turn in Mrs. Doubtfire. Among those who will offer personal accounts of working with him are Judith Light, Matthew Broderick, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Edie Falco, Joel Grey, Matthew Morrison, Michael Musto and Tony Kushner. (Not bad, eh?) Also being recognized is pioneering publication The Advocate, for which Troye Sivan, Cheyenne Jackson, Tegan and Sara, Jason Collins, Alex Newell and former editors-in-chief will speak to the magazine’s nearly 50-year history. —S.H.


Is it sung from the point of view of a lesbian talking to her down-low hetero love interest? One gay man to another? Joey to Rachel? Who knows, and who cares? We’re all kinds of fluid this year, and Tegan and Sara are giving us hot queer summer pop music. Get into it.





You may have just finished crying Hodorsized tears, but Game of Thrones isn’t done pulling at your heartstrings just yet. The sixth season comes to a close with a supersized 69-minute episode. Coy producers aren’t giving any details away, though they promise it’ll be the most exciting finale yet. (Sunday, June 26, HBO)


You didn’t think you were done with Patti Stanger, did you? No such luck, I’m afraid. Patti and her team pack up their database of desperate losers and make the big move from Bravo to the WE network for a brand-new show with a suspiciously familiar title. We wonder what that’s about. (Friday, July 8, WE)




You didn’t watch Angel From Hell when it aired after Big Bang Theory, so it’s not very likely you’re going to watch it now that it’s on Saturdays. CBS resurrects this season’s first casualty for a back-to-back burn-off run, weekly in July. Don’t say you weren’t warned. (Saturday, July 2, CBS)


Now that Teresa Giudice’s out of the clink, she can go back to filming and fighting as usual. Last season’s new housewives have been dumped, and Jacqueline, Kathy and Rosie are expected to return in full force alongside ’Tre and Melissa, making last season feel like some kind of meatball-scented fever dream. (Sunday, July 10, Bravo)





If you’re not watching this show, what’s wrong with you? It’s the unsung jewel in Hulu’s crown. Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner have undeniable chemistry, and the supporting cast is just as hilarious. If you’re an asshole or have asshole friends, here’s your show. (Tuesday, July 12, Hulu)



Project Runway

English trifles

Gowns and dresses

Polite bakers with bad teeth

The Great British Baking Show, Season 3 premiere, July 1, PBS

Not content with having the most popular true-crime miniseries of all time (Making a Murderer), Netflix continues on that path with a scripted crime miniseries. Set in 1983 and starring Matthew Modine and Winona Ryder, it’s the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. (Friday, July 15, Netflix) —Dominik Rothbard JULY 20, 2016



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17 reasons you’ll find us at

OUTFEST 2016 by Dan Allen, Stephan Horbelt, Jeremy Kinser, Gary Kramer and Patrick Rosenquist


utfest is back, once again committed to highlighting the many facets making up the LGBT experience. From Bound—a film created by two transgender sisters about a same-sex romance tinged with violence—to BearCity 3—a comedy about, well, bears—there’s no end to the different ways our community expresses itself. It’s a unique event that sees different segments of the queer population brought to the forefront; those touched by LGBT-ness create and showcase films which shine a light on how their role in the community shapes the wider gay experience and our world at large. What can you expect from L.A.’s LGBT film festival this year? Frontiers has highlighted 17 reasons to hit up the fest this summer, from its celebration of historical gay flicks to some of the newest series you’ll find streaming online. There’s the David Bowie vampire film The Hunger and a high-definition restoration of controversial Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s directorial debut, No Skin Off My Ass; but Outfest also looks forward, premiering Season 2 of Difficult People, starring Billy Eichner, and Season 3 of Jill Soloway’s Transparent. This year, the festival also celebrates a newly renovated Ford Theatre in Hollywood, set to host a special advance screening of the all-female Ghostbusters reboot and more. Beyond the revival of historical spots, Los Angeles itself will also take center stage at the festival, thanks to films like Spa Night, in which a gay Asian-American man becomes involved in the hookup culture of Koreatown spas. If anything, Outfest 2016 is a celebration of the infinite ways the gay experience can manifest itself. In the past few weeks, as we’ve learned, representations of gay culture can be subject to needless violence and misinterpretation, but Outfest allows all corners of the LGBT world to come together and share, on our own terms, slices of the world—authored explicitly, and emphatically, by members of our courageous queer community. —P.R.

For the full slate of films at this year’s Outfest, go to

JULY 20, 2015






utfest’s approach to the film festival doesn’t just mean that the world’s best and brightest new LGBT films are headed to L.A. for an exciting 11 days. It also marks the return of the hottest LGBT party of the summer, its Opening Night Gala, when a couple thousand of the city’s hottest, most creative and most successful LGBT folks will once again head to Downtown’s Orpheum Theatre for an evening of festive networking and cinematic celebration. A schmoozy VIP pre-party kicks things off, followed by presentation of the Outfest Achievement Honor and the festival’s opening screening. Capping the night off, as usual, will be the energetic afterparty, featuring bites from more than a dozen of the city’s top restaurants, an open bar sponsored by Angel City Brewery and Finlandia Vodka and the annual silent auction. “Outfest’s Opening Night Gala has been a summer staple for the local LGBT community for decades now,” says Christopher Racster, the festival’s executive director. “It’s incredibly powerful to sit with almost 2,000 people and have the shared

The Intervention

July 7 | 8 p.m. Orpheum Theatre

experience of watching a queer story on-screen. We then get to celebrate that moment with an incredible party out under the stars. It sounds contradictory when you have 2,000 people attending, but it’s truly an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience.” Appropriately for one of the city’s best parties, the theme this year will be L.A. itself. “We’ll focus on the food and art of Los Angeles that reflects our diverse culture,” says Racster. “And as an organization that focuses on film, we want to underline the fact that Los Angeles remains the global center for film and television production.” The evening’s centerpiece will naturally be the opening film itself, which this year is the touching and often hilarious ensemble dramedy The Intervention. “It’s a truly joyous, affirming comedy that appeals to everyone, something that’s even more poignant in the face of the tragedy in Orlando,” Racster says. “It’s also filled with beloved queer actors like Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall, and allies like Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter. It’s Clea’s directorial debut, and we’re thrilled to see yet another woman helming a movie.”

Just before the film, this year’s Outfest Achievement Honor will be presented to John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival. “It’s a privilege to be able to honor John with this year’s Achievement Award,” says Racster. “He’s been a part of the Outfest family since 1995, when he was our director of programming. Between that and his tenure at Sundance, he’s championed innumerable queer filmmakers, not only assuring our voices are heard but propelling these writers, directors and producers on to high-profile careers in the industry. Few have had such an important impact on LGBT filmmaking.” For Racster himself, the gala’s festivities always have a special meaning. “I have the great good fortune of having experienced Outfest’s Opening Night Gala from multiple perspectives,” he says. “I have been an attendee and a filmmaker—my film Save Me was the opening night selection in 2007— and now I’m part of the team that creates the event. And, always, my favorite part of the evening is sitting together with 2,000 queer people and feeling a part of something bigger than me, belonging to a true community.” —D.A.


THE 2016 OUTFEST ACHIEVEMENT HONOREE: JOHN CO If Outfest and Sundance have become two major launching pads for indepen cinema, the courageous vision and unfailing good taste of John Cooper has p essential role in shaping these film organizations. After serving as Outfest’s D Programming from 1995 to 1998, he went full-time at Sundance, where he w their Director of Programming in 2003 and then Festival Director in 2009.

As Sundance Festival Director, Cooper oversees creative direction of the Fest ventures in London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. He previously led the develo Institute’s online presence, which garnered two Webby Awards. More recently create IGNITE, a program to nurture a new generation of filmmakers and inde enthusiasts ages 18 to 24.

The films he has curated for both festivals — and the number of filmmaking helped to launch — are innumerable. But as we chart the history of LGBT film from the New Queer Cinema and onward, it’s impossible to imagine this rich Cooper’s championing of young writers, directors and producers, and the spo provided for these formative works.



s Opening Night Gala is known as the best LGBT bash of the summer, and this year's will be no lebrate LA! VIP Pre-Party ticket holders will schmooze with the stars and filmmakers of this year's movie, everyone gets into the After-Party! Shannon Swindle, Pastry Chef at Tom Collichio's Craft, has


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here are many venues that get press and accolades in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Bowl is our premier spot, the Greek is for mind-blowing shows and the Fonda (among many others that sit east of its Hollywood location) a place to see new talent. The Ford Theatre, nestled in the heart of the Hollywood Hills, is a venue almost as old as the city itself. Founded in 1920, the amphitheater developed because its Southern California landscape—as well as its acoustics—meant the area lent itself well to performances. In this regard, it has a lot in common with the Hollywood Bowl—a natural amphitheater— and now it’s receiving the same attention. Its long renovation—begun nearly two years ago—was meant to both preserve and highlight the ingenuity of our city’s original residents. “We have taken on the complex challenge of restoring a historic cultural jewel in a difficult urban hillside setting, while carrying out the first new construction at the site in more than 75 years in order to expand


rejection and the struggle to live proudly as forces in constant battle. Over a quarter-century later, the fact that these same themes are shaping lives shows that although we face a more welcoming landscape, there are those who haven’t benefited from the progress of the gay rights movement. Directed by Sara Jordenö and co-written by her and Kiki star Twiggy Pucci Garçon, the film won the Teddy Award for best documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, an award reserved for the best of queer cinema. The world of kiki d a n c i n g— i n s o m e ways an evolution of Kiki voguing—shows the July 14 | 8:30 p.m. struggles of gay men Ford Theatre in New York as they dominate and refine a distinctly queer venue of expression. —P.R.

visitor amenities throughout,” says Adam Davis, the theater’s managing director of productions. Outfest 2016 will mark the first time this refashioned space meets a wider audience, at a wide range of film screenings that include this year’s documentary centerpiece, Kiki; a pre-premiere screening of Ghostbusters’ all-female reimagining (rumors are circulating about members of the cast making an appearance); the world premiere of BearCity 3, which sees its hirsute cast pitch tents at a rural resort; the Anthony Rapp and Jonathan Bennett-starring Do You Take This Man?; and the festival’s closing night gala, Other People. The Ford sees the newly renovated digs as a continuation of its original mission. As Davis says, “This is an exciting time for the arts in Los Angeles, and for the special way the Ford supports its growth.” After this year’s festival, Outfest expects to complete its “Under the Stars” series, with shows focusing on the history of gay cinema, in this unparalleled arena. —P.R. JULY 20, 2015



chris kelly turns

personal tragedy into

#04 great comedy W

hen Chris Kelly decided to make his first feature film, the writer for sketch comedy hits such as Saturday Night Live and Broad City opted to follow that sage advice to “write what you know.” Rather than create a raucous comedy set behind the scenes at a television series, he chose a more catastrophic event from his recent past—one that saw him break up with his boyfriend and move from New York City to his family home in Sacramento to help care for his terminally ill mother. But don’t get the idea that Other People is a 180-degree dramatic departure from his night job, which to date has garnered him five Emmy Award nominations for some of the most memorable moments in recent SNL history, including the uproarious skits “Back Home Ballers” and “The Beygency.” That was never Kelly’s intention. “I wasn’t setting out to make a documentary,” he announces pointedly about his film, which contains as many well-earned laughs as it does genuinely heartbreaking moments. “The subject matter of cancer and death and moving back home is very dramatic, but my personal experience with it wasn’t non-stop sobbing. There are moments of levity in sickness.” He comes by his renowned sense of humor honestly, disclosing that he thinks his parents and sisters are all very funny people. “I remember funny moments,” he adds. “I wouldn’t know how to write a script about it that was harrowing. That wasn’t my experience.” To help the audience effortlessly segue between laughter and tears, Kelly made the



Despite Kelly’s background in writing short surprising but brilliantly fitting choice to cast sketches with broad characterizations, one of comedy icon (and SNL vet) Molly Shannon in the standout elements of Other People is its a revelatory turn as the dying mother, Joanne. remarkably vivid and multi-dimensional gay Kelly explains that finding the right person to characters. This includes a ridiculously confiplay a character based on his late mom and who dent gay young boy played by Glee’s J.J. Totah, exhibited some of her facets was as challenging who effortlessly snatches every scene in which as one would imagine. he appears. Kelly loops back to the “write what “You don’t want to fall into a trap where you know” adage. you find an actress that looks like your mother,” “I’m gay, and the character based on me is he shares, but suggests there are similarities gay, and obviously his boyfriend is gay, so I didn’t between the two women. “I was lucky that Molly give it another thought,” he reveals. “They’re does remind me of my mom in some ways. She’s just human being characters, and I wrote them very obviously absolutely hilarious. There’s a as human beings. We need gay characters that warmth to her and a general niceness.” are interesting and complex and who aren’t just To further drive home his point, the writerthe funny friends.” director offers a story about being invited to a After nabbing the coveted opening night taco party at Shannon’s home along with hunslot at this year’s Sundance Festival and quickly dreds of her friends and neighbors. “Everyone being purchased by Netflix for streaming rights, I met just went on about how amazing she was Other People has been booked as the equally and how she knew all their names and stories,” prestigious closing night gala selection at this he recalls. “My mom had that essence, too. It year’s Outfest. Kelly is elated, of course, but made me feel like I had cast the right person.” notes that since David’s sexuality isn’t the focus For his own surrogate character in the film, of the movie, he sometimes forgets to think David, Kelly turned to busy TV actor Jesse of Other People as a gay movie. Plemons. Best known for memorable “It’s nice to go to a festival like turns in Breaking Bad, Fargo and Outfest, because I am gay and Friday Night Lights, Plemons was therefore my work is inherently eager to sign on to expand his gay, and it’s nice to be reminded résumé of diverse roles. While other people of that,” Kelly says. “I remember the two men are polar opposites July 17 | 8 p.m. that the writer (me) is gay, the physically and temperamenFord Theatre director (me) is gay, there are tally, Kelly says he’s fascinated many gay cast members and many by the way the actor embodied gay characters in it, and I step back David. “He really turned into the and think, oh right, it is a gay movie. character, which is a weird version Fuck yeah!” —J.K. of me, and made it his own,” Kelly says.

Clockwise from top: Other People stars Jesse Plemons and Molly Shannon; Chris Kelly; Shannon

JULY 20, 2015






this spotlight on

riter/director Andrew Ahn’s Spa Night is a minor masterpiece. David (Joe Seo in an extraordinary performance) is a closeted teenager who takes a job at a Korean spa unbeknownst to his parents, Jin (Youn Ho Cho) and Soyoung (Haerry Kim). As his gay desires start to stir, he slowly finds some independence. Ahn and Seo spoke to Frontiers about making Spa Night. While the actor admits he “hates hot rooms and humidity,” and had visited spas in Korea, Seo had never been to a Korean spa in Los Angeles until he made the film. In contrast, Ahn went to a spa after he had heard about them from a friend. “I had to see it for myself,” Ahn says, mischievously, noting that the cruising “really does happen in a blatant way that is shocking. I had to prove it to people while I was trying to make this film. I took my DP to a cruisy spa. It’s a really insane kind of environment, and what makes it crazier is it can be very erotic and the next minute can be Korean cultural. The space continually changes

5 koreatown favorites by

andrew ahn 48


HAN BAT SUL LUNG TANG “This restaurant’s famous oxtail bone broth is my go-to hangover cure!” says the Spa Night director. 4163 W. 5th St.


“The space itself, we were gunning for the locaand morphs, and that fascinates me.” tion and the fantastical quality—the blue neon is Ahn visited 15 Korean spas while researchvery evocative. Many of the spas in Koreatown are ing the film, ultimately shooting in three and later beige. They are calming, relaxed spaces, and this stitching them together. The hothouse atmosphere one felt electric.” informs the characters in Spa Night, and Ahn made Seo indicates that while he had nude deliberate decisions about how much skin scenes in Spa Night, Ahn and the rest of and/or sex to show in each sequence. the crew made him comfortable in those The filmmaker explains, “When moments. What was difficult for him we wanted the Korean spa to be a was “the emotional, mental part” of cultural space, we would see a lot spa night playing David. “For me, as an actor, of nudity, in a very matter-of-fact July 11 | 7 p.m. you have to look beyond the nudity. way. As the film got more sexual, DGA My objective with this was to show we would see less and less and less, something Korean-American.” and more from a subjective point of Ahn concurs. “I wanted David to be view: parts of bodies, looks, or we’d a real person, and I feel that means having see things through steam. We wanted sexual desires and urges and being a son and to suggest a lot, and I think that strategy wanting to do right by your parents,” he says. “I love helped in many ways.” that juxtaposition that he’s having dinner with his “It allowed us to craft these moments and play family in one scene and then being cruised in the with the pacing and make sure the erotic moments spa in the next.” —G.K. could stretch the time, so it stands still,” Ahn says.

AROMA GOLF RANGE “I love parking my car underneath the nets at night and watching the golf balls zip through the air.” 3680 Wilshire Blvd.

WESTERN DOMA NOODLE “My favorite place for Korean comfort food, like rice cake soup and seafood pancakes.” 429 N. Western Ave. # 10

CGV CINEMAS “I come here to watch new Korean films,” he says. “Thankfully, they have English subtitles!” 621 S. Western Ave.

KOREATOWN PLAZA “A Koreatown institution. Go shopping for clothes and groceries and then stop by their epic food court.” 928 S. Western Ave.

this year’s crop of films focusing on ...and

#06 LOS ANGELES Ovarian Psycos






Do You Take This Man?



Jewel’s Catch One

f there’s one thing that Los Angeles film buffs love, it’s a mirror reflected back at themselves. With millions of stories to be told in the City of Angels, there’s no shortage of L.A.-centric films at Outfest to whet the most discerning appetite. Foremost among them is Jewel’s Catch One, a nonfiction look at the seminal black disco that shuttered last year after more than four decades, and its indefatigable proprietor, activist Jewel Thais-Williams, who served as L.A. Pride’s grand marshal this year. Directed by C. Fitz, the film offers a very timely portrait about the necessity of queer nightclubs as safe havens for LGBT people of color. Fitz wants viewers who see her film to ask themselves, “What can I do next to make my community—my world—a better place to live in?” Madonna, Sandra Bernhard, Sharon Stone and Thelma Houston are among the celebs who share their admiration for the lamented club and its fierce owner. (July 10, 5 p.m. at Harmony Gold) The city’s multicultural LGBT communities will also be at the forefront of Outfest’s “Focus on L.A.” showcase. Among the films featured are Andrew Ahn’s insightful Spa Night and Kerem Sanga’s First Girl I Loved, a Sundance hit, which chronicles a high school-set lesbian love triangle. (July 8, 7 p.m. at DGA) Carly Usdin’s smart dark comedy Suicide Kale was made entirely by a team of women and follows a young lesbian couple who find a suicide note at the home of their seemingly happy lesbian pals. (July 15, 9:45 at DGA) Once titled Modern Love, Joshua Tunick’s matrimonial-themed rom-dram Do You Take This Man? stars Mean Girls’ Jonathan Bennett and Rent’s Anthony Rapp as a couple who experience a life-changing crisis on the threshold of their long-awaited wedding. (July 16, 8:30 p.m. at Ford Theatre) Ovarian Psycos, a doc by Kate Trumbull-LaValle and Joanna Sokolowski, celebrates the brave real-life bicycling brigade made up of women of color who fight against oppression in Boyle Heights. (July 9 & 16 at REDCAT) —J.K.



dmit it, you sometimes avoid foreign films because you don’t want to read while watching a movie. Yet some of the strongest entries in this year’s Outfest lineup come from Spanish-speaking countries. Since Hispanics and Latinos make up nearly half of the population of Los Angeles, these films don’t arrive with the subtitles stigma that often greets foreign language movies. In other words, man up and check them out. Many of the most vibrant storytellers from south of the border are front and center during Outfest’s “Focus on Latin America” series. For viewers who love to surrender to a romance that will haunt them for months to come, you can do no better than Esteros. Chosen as the prestigious International Centerpiece, Papu Curotto’s gorgeous first feature has already been likened to poetry on film. It follows Matias and Jeronimo, two handsome men who are reunited as adults after nearly having a romance as teens. Will history repeat itself, or will the guys follow their destinies? Despite its aggressive title, I Promise You Anarchy from director Julio Hernández Cordón offers a stylish examination of a bromance that transcends across social boundaries as middle-class Miguel and barrio-dwelling Johnnie find they have more in common than just their skateboarding pastime. The Cult is set in a Brazilian city of the distant future when the wealthy have abandoned the planet for space colonies. One young man becomes bored of celestial life and returns to Earth, where he soon discovers the existence of a secret cult. André Antônio’s striking debut feature calls to mind the works of cinema genius Stanley Kubrick and queer icon Kenneth Anger. The Nest, co-directed by real-life couple Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon, is adapted from a popular Argentine miniseries. It chronicles the journey of a young man who finds an unexpected home while searching for his long-missed brother. If Outfest handed out awards for most breathtaking cinematography, Ingrid Veninger’s He Hated Pigeons would be a shoo-in. The film takes an elegiac look at a doomed gay relationship as a man travels through Chile’s stunning landscapes trying to come to terms with his late love. —J.K. JULY 20, 2015








this year’s tribute to



ay homage to the Thin White Duke when the festival screens The Hunger, a vampire thriller that was originally met with tepid the hunger reviews. In the 1983 movie, July 10 | 9 p.m. Miriam and John (Catherine DGA Deneuve and David Bowie) initiate a relationship with the mortal doctor Sarah (a pre-Bernie-stumping Susan Sarandon). Famously decadent, the film has aged into quite a provocative look at queer identity. Bowie may be best known, on film, for The Man Who Fell to Earth, but this look at liberation and its consequences during the advent of AIDS is seen as a very rare—and highly codified—take on the personal anxiety inherent in Reagan-era carnality. —P.R. 50



ans of HBO’s two-season peek inside the love, sex and relationship drama of San Francisco gay men will reunite with the characters of Looking when it wraps up at this year’s Outfest. Set more than a year after the series’ Season 2 finale, Jonathan Groff’s Patrick returns to the Bay Area from his new Colorado home, ready to reunite with friends Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez), Dom (Murray Bartlett) and Doris (Lauren Weedman), but—oh, look!—here come ex-lovers Richie (Raúl Castillo) and Kevin (Russell Tovey). Screening at the Ford Theatre before its July 23 premiere on the cable giant, this series closer hints that Patrick is no more well-adjusted than he’d been in the show’s 18 episodes, even hinting at a possible matchup between he and Dom. Regardless of who looking: ends up with whom, the fact that the film The movie was penned by creators and EPs Andrew July 9 | 9:30 p.m. Haigh and Michael Lannan ensures fans DGA will get the much-needed closure they’ve been seeking. —S.H.

#10 AND it’s not all



THERE ISN’T A SOUL alive unfamiliar with hit series Transparent (first launched at Outfest in 2014!), for which Jeffrey Tambor has won the Emmy and Golden Globe as Maura Pfefferman, a woman who transitions late in life. Outfest serves up a sneak peak at Season 3—July 10, 1:30 p.m. at the DGA—and creator Jill Soloway brings along some special guests.



outfest knows how to keep things

SHORT COME JULY 9, 2 p.m. at the DGA, Outfest will exclusively screen the Season 2 premiere of Difficult People, which stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner as best-friend comics living in New York who are loyal to each other but hate everyone else. Do they learn lessons from their missteps? No. But are they hilarious? Yes. A post-screening Q&A will follow.





he secret to a good short is that it hooks viewers, carries them through the story and delivers a nifty payoff. One advantage short filmmakers have is that audiences don’t need too much character development; shorts are more about creating emotions, or a feeling. While many short filmmakers use the format as a calling card for a feature, sometimes shorts are perfectly packaged gems. Here are six of our favorite scary, sexy and seductive shorts playing at this year’s Outfest. Tonight, It’s You has the attractive and horny CJ (Jake Robbins) meeting up with the mysterious Hunter (Ian Lerch) at a dark, isolated farm one night. After a hot hookup, things turn sinister when CJ discovers something unsettling—and quite bloody—taking place. (Part of “Scared Stiff,” July 9, 9:45 p.m. at Harmony Gold) Likewise, the cleverly titled Sauna the Dead has gay guys being bloodied as a handsome Brit’s visit to a spa gets increasingly less relaxing when the showers are overrun by zombies. While this cheeky short is a fairy tale in the guise of a horror movie, those viewers expecting skin will be disappointed. (July 9, 9:45 p.m. at Harmony Gold) In G O’Clock, Alex (Phillip Weddell), a paramedic, attends a chem-sex party where he monitors gay youth, like Nik (Mark Rovira), to make sure they

take drugs responsibly. But is Alex being responsible? The ending of this sharp, sexy, cautionary tale is a corker. (Part of “Skin,” July 10 & 17 at DGA) The title character (Karel Fernández) in the affecting short Alfa is a Cuban porn star still grieving over the loss of his on- and off-screen partner. Trying to get back into the business proves difficult as he realizes the difference between sex and love. In 18 minutes, the short generates significant emotion; it is hardly skin deep. (July 10 & 17 at DGA) For the more romantically inclined, Say U Will is an engaging story about two strangers, Marcus (Cole Woods) and Ray (Elliot Montague), who meet while clubbing on New Year’s Eve in L.A. As a situation forces them to spend the night together, there is a spark, a hesitation and the burning question: will they meet again? To say anymore would destroy the magic of this terrific entry. (Part of “Boys Shorts,” July 9 at DGA & July 10 at REDCAT) The delightful Spoilers is a magical-realist comedy depicting the romance that may develop between two strangers, Felix (Tom Mumford) and Leon (James Peake), if the guys would only listen to their hearts and not their heads. It’s a charming comedy about how gay men can be their own worst enemies when it comes to love. (July 9 at DGA & July 10 at REDCAT) —G.K.

HER FILM TIG MARKED the opening night of last year’s Outfest, and now Tig Notaro returns when July 9, 4 p.m. at the DGA, sees a screening of One Mississippi, the dark new comedy inspired by her own life. The show, written by Notaro and Diablo Cody and EP’d by Louis CK, sees the comedienne return to her home town of Bay Saint Lucille, Mississippi.

SLATED TO AIR ON TBS, Search Party stars Arrested Development alum (and Ilana Glazer doppelgänger) Alia Shawkat as a privileged twentysomething Brooklynite who takes it upon herself to solve the crime of a missing co-ed, dragging her boyfriend and friends down a twisted rabbit hole. Watch the first few eps July 9, 11:30 a.m. at the DGA. —S.H. JULY 20, 2015



#12 this year’s

T legacy project screenings get




he Outfest Legacy Project—an archive of LGBTrelated cinema maintained through a collaboration between the festival and UCLA—holds screenings of works integral to the history of queer film, highlighting classics as well as films emblematic of the gay experience. One film set to screen this year is Bound, the directorial debut of Lana and Lilly Wachowski. Released in 1996, the neo-noir focuses on the romance of Corky and Violet (played by Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly) as they steal $2 million from the mob and attempt to start a new life. Bruce LaBruce’s 1990 debut, No Skin no skin Off My Ass, set the tone for his controversial off my ass career. A mix of hardcore sex and left-field July 16 | 8:15 p.m. politics, it’s an exploration of Toronto’s REDCAT Gen-X queer culture. Its new restoration was completed to celebrate a cinematic retrospective of LaBruce’s work at our favorite subversive DTLA gallery, Lethal Amounts. —P.R.

who doesn’t love a madonna-adjacent



July 12 | 9:30 p.m. DGA


n the surface, it doesn’t sound like the most riveting documentary fodder: a “Where are they now?” of the backup dancers of a superstar’s tour, a quartercentury after the fact. But of course this wasn’t just any superstar; it was Madonna. And this wasn’t just any tour; it was her seminal Blond Ambition World Tour, which also served as the focal point for her own provocative Truth or Dare documentary. Nor were these just any dancers; they were the hyper-talented panracial voguing youth she’d handpicked from oblivion, without whom, arguably, the phenomenal success of that tour never would have been possible. For anyone who remembers or reveres Madonna circa 1990, these seven dancers will all be very familiar. Luis Camacho, Jose Gutierez, Gabriel Trupin, Kevin Stea, Salim “Slam” Gauwloos, Carlton Welborn and Oliver Crumes catapulted to fame as costars of the gorgeous video for “Vogue,” which became the world’s biggest-selling single of 1990. With the release of Truth or Dare in 1991, the dancers became even more famous, partly because the open gayness of most of them was something still quite foreign and even scandalous to mainstream audiences, especially at a time when AIDS hysteria was near its peak. Directed by Dutch filmmakers Reijer Zwaan and Ester Gould, Strike a Pose catches up with the six surviving dancers 25 years later as they now enter middle age. All still dancing but living very different lives and in strike a pose fairly rare contact with one another, they reflect on July 8 | 9:45 p.m. their year or so in the extreme limelight as early adults Harmony Gold in a makeshift family mothered by Madonna, the harshness of falling back down to earth, the ravages of drug addiction, the realities of HIV infection and the bond that will forever unite them. —D.A.

#14 outfest

proves asian men are SEX SYMBOLS


ames Chen, the American-born Chinese star of the fashion-set romance Front Cover, is looking effortlessly arty, dressed in jeans, boots and a long-sleeve black shirt as he waits at LAX for an early morning flight to New York. In the film, Chen plays Ning, a proud Chinese actor who arrives in New York to promote his new film, which is expected to make him a breakout star. Ning meets Ryan (Jake Choi), an openly gay fashion stylist, who will help craft his image for American audiences. The film sees the pair come into conflict before coming together. “As Ryan and Ning develop trust, they have more professional anxiety and obstacles in their careers, so they need to lean on each other,” Chen says to Frontiers. In one of the film’s key scenes, Ryan dresses Ning in silk pajamas for a photo shoot to show how sexy Asian men can be. The scene is notable not just because Ryan—who rejects Asian men and his Chinese heritage—finds the shirtless Ning attractive, but also because some racist comments by the crew on the shoot prompt Ryan and Ning to bond.

writing as possible.” “I am proud of that scene, because it addresses A recent New York Times Sunday arts cover an Asian, masculine image,” Chen says, admitting he story addressed the lack of Asian visibility in did extra crunches to work on his abs for the shoot. Hollywood. Hashtags such as #white“I think we need more!” he says with a laugh. washedout, #starring johncho and The actor relishes playing an Asian #myyellowfacestory have raised the man who is neither a computer geek point on social media. nor a gangster but a three-dimenChen acknowledges the chalsional character—even if it means FRONT COVER lenges of being an Asian actor. “I’ve being that rare Asian man who is July 14 | 7 p.m. been in the game, and it’s been sexually objectified. Chen is no DGA rewarding, but it’s hard, I won’t lie to stranger to being a sex symbol, you,” he says. “But what it has done though, having gone full-frontal is inspired an activism I didn’t know I onstage in a Philadelphia Theatre had. Most people don’t know that they Company production of Take Me Out. have activist bones in them until they become What Chen does not want to play is a marginalized and fight for equality. Every minority stereotypical Asian character. “I’ve never been in has its struggle.” a situation as awful or racist as the scene in Front Chen cites Daniel Dae Kim, Constance Wu Cover. No job is worth your dignity in that respect,” and the openly gay George Takei as actors becomhe says. “Actors have the power of saying no.” ing more vocal about Asian-American diversity “Being an actor, I identify with and empathize in Hollywood. “We haven’t had a critical mass of and sympathize with actors getting work,” says performers in the industry,” he says. Chen. “It’s hard to be judgmental of actors taking With his newfound exposure in Front Cover, stereotype roles. If anyone does this role, let it hopefully Chen will help to change that. —G.K. be me, so I can bring as much dimension to the JULY 20, 2015





ne of this year’s Outfest highlights is Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo—by gay filmmakers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau—a remarkable French romance that opens with an astonishing, explicit and nearly wordless 18-minute sequence set in an after-hours Parisian sex club. A passionate kiss between smitten duo Theo (Geoffrey Couët) and Hugo (François Nambot) prompts an erotic encounter, but Hugo, who is HIV-positive, kills their post-coital buzz when he realizes they had unprotected sex. This sweet, serious and enchanting romance follows the characters in real time as they bike through the streets, visit the hospital, share a meal and stare lovingly at one another on the metro. Couët and Nambot have fabulous chemistry and are quite sexy sans clothes. Co-director Ducastel discusses the film’s memorable opening sequence: “It was a lot of work, because we had never done a sex scene like that before. We knew what we wanted—that it wouldn’t look like a porno scene. We wanted to film the sex in a very direct and sincere way without porn grammar and close-ups. We had to



outfest’s own version of ‘making a


#16 its depictions of LOVE & LUST

put all this erotic energy together. But after the erections and some real-life sex acts. Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo also distinguishes itself first take, it was fluid and not so complicated. The two actors really wanted it to be perfect.” by the fact that these guys have sex first and fall in love after. Ducastel believes that narrative strategy He continues, “I asked everybody to allows the characters to learn a lot about each be sensual with each other. I wanted other initially without speaking. Once their to show the club like that. For peoconversation begins, Theo and Hugo talk ple who don’t go to sex clubs, about HIV, a topic featured in many of the there’s this idea that they are paris 05:59: directorial duo’s films. rough or unpleasant places. Of theo & hugo “We realized it has been 18 years course, there are all kinds of sex July 10 | 9:15 p.m. since our film Jeanne and the Perfect clubs, but it’s also a place where DGA Guy [which also has an HIV plotline],” you can find love. Since we made says Ducastel. “And in that time, attithe film, we regularly have people tudes toward HIV have changed. This film testifying they met their boyfriend is recording that.” in a sex club.” But equally important as the film’s HIV message Ducastel acknowledges there was a magneticism between the actors, who didn’t know is one about love. “I think the most important thing is that people can each other beforehand, from their first test together. Moreover, the two leads had to reas- forget how important love is in life. We say, ‘I’m too old, sure the film’s producer they were agreeable or too busy,’” Ducastel says. “Love is very important. to the film’s more risqué shots, which include You should never miss a chance to fall in love.” —G.M.K.



ne of this year’s most heart-wrenching documentaries, Southwest of Salem recounts the case of four lesbian women who were falsely accused of sexually abusing two young girls in 1994. Maintaining their innocence, the San southwest Antonio Four, as they are known, were wrongly convicted despite inconsistencies of salem and errors made in court testimony. Homophobia—by the police, in their trial, July 15 | 5 p.m. in the town and in the media—played a strong factor in 15-37-year sentences. DGA This agonizing retelling uses interviews with the women in prison to explain how the truth was ignored until the Innocence Project of Texas took on their case and fought for their exoneration. It’s best for facts that come to light to be revealed by the film, but Southwest of Salem is sure to outrage viewers as it raises serious questions about being LGBT in the United States. —G.M.K.


GAY PORN this tale of murder, money &


juicy little true crime story set in the world of gay adult films, King Cobra is highly enjoyable thanks to some fabulous performances and an emphasis that skews more toward identity and less toward sex. Sean Paul Lockhart (portrayed by Garrett Clayton, who before this film had made a name for himself after starring in Disney’s Teen Beach Movie) is first seen auditioning for producer Stephen (Christian Slater) on a casting couch. He’s sexy and adorable, and it’s clear Sean knows what Stephen wants, because he gives it to him. Stephen, in return, sets Sean up in his house, lavishing gifts on this young man—renamed Brent Corrigan—whom he desires and hopes to make the whole world desire. Before long, they do; Stephen’s videos of Sean sell like hot cakes, and rival porn producer Joe (James Franco) and his Viper video star/lover Harlow (Keegan Allen) want Brent’s value, seizing the opportunity when a scandal derails Brent’s career.

King Cobra wisely never judges its characters, presenting them as flawed but humanizing them in the process. This is writer/director Justin Kelly’s strength, and he gets a fantastic turn from Slater as a man who justifies his behavior in a revealing confessional video that explains why he desires young flesh. (Viewers will also spy turns from Molly Ringwald and Alicia Silverstone.) Clayton impresses as the sexy Sean/Brent, a lonely young man who may be wise beyond his years. In support, Franco overplays a bit as the calculating Joe, but the film’s story of power shifting between the characters reveals much about human desire. Also of note, Franco’s efforts in bringing LGBTQ stories to the silver screen will be honored by bestowing upon the actor-author-director this year’s James Schamus Award before the film’s DGA screening. Kelly and Clayton sat down with Frontiers to discuss the film’s deeper message and the unique task of playing characters based on real-life individuals. JULY 20, 2015


This page: Garrett Clayton as Sean Paul Lockhart/Brent Corrigan Opposite page, clockwise from left: Christian Slater as porn producer Stephen; Keegan Allen as Harlow; James Franco as rival porn producer Joe; Clayton






In the film, Stephen tells Brent/Sean, “It’s fun to play with who we are.” Justin, what attracted you to this story? JUSTIN KELLY: I’m pretty fascinated with stories about shifting identity and people who become someone else, or who play with who they are. Like my last film, I Am Michael, about an out gay activist who becomes an anti-gay Christian pastor. How does that happen, and what does that person go through? In this case, it’s what is going through the mind of an innocent underage boy who wants to become a gay porn star. Stephen is an unassuming, suburban guy who wants to become a gay porn producer. And Joe and Harlow want to become gay kingpins. All of the characters are playing with who they are.

you talk about creating that balance? JK: That was definitely my goal, as it was with I Am Michael. It’s hard for me not to judge a character who makes decisions that I don’t agree with at all. It was a big challenge, but I wanted to tell the story as it happened, and allow the characters to be sympathetic, because it’s fair. What if Stephen always dreamed of being a gay porn producer? Who cares, let him do it! James Franco observed how massive the porn industry is and how much money it makes. It drives the internet. Everyone harshly judges people who are in porn, yet everyone watches it. If people do want to do it, and they do like it .... I know there is porn where people are abused, but in Sean’s case, he really did want to do it.

Garrett, how did this film help play with your image? GARRETT CLAYTON: I think departing from Disney was a conscious decision of taking the role. I trusted Justin after I met him. This was a film I believed in. We had the same vision for the character—who we thought he was.

Garrett, what research did you do to prepare to play the role? How familiar were you with this world and what fears did you have delving into it? GC: I did as much research as possible. I read up on his life and on the case. I watched his first video. I tried to watch some interviews.

Justin, how did Garrett convince you he was Sean? JK: I think the way he approached the character—we were on the same page. I thought it would be fun because it’s scandalous, and gay porn, and a break away from the Disney past. He was exactly what I was looking for.

Your performance doesn’t mimic him; you just represent him. GC: That was specific, too, initially. When I got it, I called Justin and said, “I’m gonna Meryl this shit!” But he was like, no. Justin told me to make the character separate from him. Tell the story. It is his story. JK: We didn’t want his mannerisms and voice exactly like [the real Sean’s] because this wasn’t Milk or JFK or Malcolm X. For a story like this, that was not necessary.

Garrett, How did you find or develop Sean’s seductive mix of charm, sincerity and insouciance? GC: I think because of the timeframe of the story, we were dealing with someone who grew up in a crazy situation; he had this innocence about him because he was 17, but I think for someone who was as driven as he was and knew what he wanted out of people, it’s a very direct personality. He may not be telling everyone on the surface what he wants, but he knows the end game. JK: It was important for us to show Sean being naïve and innocent and at other times being calculating. When you see him trying on the hat in the mirror, or asking Stephen “How was I?” he’s obviously being manipulative to see what he can get out of the situation. When Stephen leaves the room, he rolls his eyes. It establishes his duality. I like that the film doesn’t judge the men (though it certainly creates empathy for all of the leads) and is more focused on identity than sex. Justin, can

Garrett, how did you identify with the character of Sean? GC: I’ve not worked in porn, and people want to demonize the porn industry and people who work in it, but my thing is that this young kid took the first chance he had to get out of a place, and I did the same thing when I became an actor. I got lucky when I started working in Detroit, and the first opportunity I got to move to L.A., I did. I sold everything I had and left home. Sean kind of did the same. He swept up his life and hoped for the best. Do you think this film might have a negative effect on your career? GC: Everyone is going to have a positive or negative reaction to any kind of film like this. You do Boogie Nights, and some people love it, some think it’s disgusting. It’s not up for judgment. For me, I think it’s a good film. Ego and jealousy are essential to the parallel story of Harlow and Joe. Justin, can you talk about that aspect of the film and the importance of this story? JK: I wanted to understand the characters, and why they do what they do. There wasn’t an agenda to show people the porn industry. It’s more to talk about the extremes people will go to in getting what they want or becoming who they are. They all want this thing, and they are going to fight to the death, or murder, or lie about being underage to get what they want.

Garrett, do you agree with Sean’s decisions? GC: It’s hard not to judge. Doing the film, I had to separate my opinions king cobra from fact. I don’t demonize him for July 16 | 9:30 p.m. his life or choices. I look at it as this is DGA what happened. It’s not my life.

There’s a power struggle between Stephen and Sean: to be desired, or to be in control. It’s different from the relationship between Joe and Harlow. Can you talk about the nature of these relationships? GC: That’s the manipulation we were showing. This young, smart boy doesn’t have power, but he uses what he has—his sexuality and young nature. He knows Stephen is attracted to him, so he can be in control in his own way, but when he wants to leave and actually have control of his own life, that’s when he doesn’t want to be with Stephen. We talked about every scene, even a small moment sitting on the bed—contemplating leaving and how it furthered the story, and does it feel natural?

How do you get into the mindset of playing someone like Sean? GC: There were a few times when I kind of freaked out, like during the montage of him becoming a porn star. It got overwhelming. I got back to my hotel that night and called my mom. I was like, “I don’t know if I can do this.” She told me, “If you believe in it, I support you.” She taught me not to judge, and said, “Now you know what it feels like to be wanted for nothing more than your body. Now you are better prepared for this character.” JULY 20, 2015


THE WORLD OF BILLY MASTERS From left: Jeremy Jordan, Nick Jonas, Noah Galvin, Prince William, Alexander Skarsgård


The Other Prince If Jonas is supporting the gays for selfish reasons, why is Prince William doing it? He just made history as the first member of the British Royal Family to appear on the cover of a gay magazine—the UK monthly Attitude. Does he have an “album” about to drop? If not, I have to believe he was genuinely interested in hearing from members of the LGBT community about bullying when he invited them to Kensington Palace. “The young gay, lesbian and transgender individuals I met through Attitude are truly brave to speak out and to give hope to people who are going through terrible bullying right now,” the prince said. “Their sense of strength and optimism should give us all encouragement to stand up to bullying wherever we see it. You should be proud of the person you are, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.” 58


A Bowl Full of Musicals This summer, the Hollywood Bowl is presenting two semi-staged performances of classic musicals. First we have West Side Story on July 14 and 19, featuring Solea Pfeiffer, Jeremy Jordan (the Broadway star, not the pop star or porn star) and Karen Olivo backed by the L.A. Philharmonic. Then we have A Chorus Line taking place July 29-31, starring Mario Lopez, Krysta Rodriguez and Spencer Liff. That production will be directed and choreographed by original cast member Baayork Lee. You can get tix for both at Stop the Insanity The aforementioned Jeremy Jordan has been in the news lately, as he was trying to get public support to force a “gay conversion center” to release his cousin, Sarah. Apparently Sarah is gay and wanted to go to the prom with her girlfriend, which led her parents to ship her off to a compound for a year of “ex-gay therapy.” According to reports, she tried to escape shortly after being admitted. Jeremy raised over $65K via GoFundMe to pay for lawyers needed to get her released. Because of his efforts, Sarah is no longer being forced to pray the gay away. The Really Real O’Neal Everyone has said almost everything there was to say about Noah Galvin, the kid from The Real O’Neals who gave that brutally honest (and somewhat hateful) interview and then took it all back. We now know he was under enormous pressure to retract his statements. Why? Because when you’re the star of a network show, oodles of people’s jobs count on you being a good boy and playing by the rules (which is why only a handful of you are reading this). The interview was arranged by Noah’s personal

publicist in a bid to get him an Emmy nomination. A producer then had to beg and plead the network not to reduce the number of episodes ordered for next season. An anonymous “insider” claims this was not the network’s first issue with Galvin; he had previously been warned about “ego and entitlement.” It will be ironic if Galvin ends up with an Emmy nod, though I’m not holding my breath. Speaking of Emmy nominations (which will be announced July 14), the Boston Globe ran a story entitled “If I Were an Emmy Voter,” which listed people who should get nods. I was pleased to note they included my Play Mama, Jenifer Lewis, in the category of Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Black-ish. From their lips... Ask Billy: Tarzan Boy In a brief but certainly not small “Ask Billy” question, Jack from Providence asks, “Who is the guy playing the new Tarzan? I just saw the trailer and couldn’t believe my eyes. Tell me he drops his loincloth at least once.” Clearly Jack is someone who doesn’t have HBO. If he did, he would be familiar with the pleasures that are Alexander Skarsgård. The latest Tarzan comes to Africa by way of Sweden, but is best known to domestic viewers as a lead on True Blood. While you won’t see all of him on the big screen, every inch of him is over on my site. When I’m actually looking forward to a Tarzan movie, it’s time to end yet another column. We certainly ran the gamut of stories this week. And you’ll find even more variety on, the site that (hopefully) gives you the will to live. Feel free to send your questions along to Billy@BillyMasters. com, and I promise to get back to you before Nick Jonas plays a straight character! So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.


Bait & Switch? While most people applauded Nick Jonas for speaking at a vigil outside of NYC’s Stonewall Inn following the Orlando shooting, others felt it was a self-serving publicity appearance and accused him of more “gay baiting”—a charge based on his choice of acting roles and personal appearances in gay clubs (usually shirtless). A writer for the Huffington Post said, “This is not the time for straight allies to take up space, especially if you’re an ally who just dropped an album three days ago.” First, are we still calling them “albums”? Second, I’m impressed that someone who is a worldwide star is willing to not only speak out but also show up. How many of those critics were there? And if he sells a few “albums” along the way, I’m fine with that, too. This controversy comes at a time when Jonas’ show Kingdom featured his character in a sexual threeway with a guy and a girl; I suppose he didn’t want anyone to feel left out. Perhaps you’ll see him in a more positive light after seeing the video on my site.


JULY 20, 2016




The owner of our all-time favorite Southern drawl, Leslie Jordan, brings his latest show to Palm Springs during July 4th weekend By Patrick Rosenquist





ow do you market a man like Leslie Jordan? That’s a question he’s wondered himself. “I don’t know anything about branding. Back in 2006, I wanted to go back to the stage, and I puzzled a lot of people. People would tell me I’d have to come up with an angle or a great title for my shows. I usually threw whatever’s on the top of my head out there and act like I thought a long time about it,” he says. The Emmy award-winning actor, comedian and writer didn’t have that problem when it came to his new show, Straight Outta Chattanooga, saying, “My management just told me that was the title. That was pretty easy!” But don’t think he was boxed into the show’s theme. Jordan, following the pattern he’s set during his long career, is talking about whatever he wants onstage. In the show, performed at Palm Springs’ Copa Room over July 4th weekend, draws upon his unique life. “It’s about being an openly gay actor that grew up with a general daddy. I always knew there was something different about me, and I think other people sensed it. My mom, she was a very Southern woman, and she didn’t want the embarrassment of having a son who was ‘different’; so one day when I was 17 she sat me down and said, ‘Your behavior is scandalous.’ I think she meant more of the drinking and drugs than being gay. She handed me money and said to get out of town.” Jordan quickly adds, in his trademark alto Southern drawl, “Did you know I was baptized 14 times?” That’s just the beginning of the stories Jordan includes in this new show. Now sober, Jordan’s youthful drug use has shaped his outlook on life. “I used to do shows, and afterwards, we’d do a bump of meth before hitting the bars. I think people like it because it’s the best antidepressant. It’s also the world’s worst drug. You can always tell who’s tweaking because they’re in the corner of the bar and they look like a horse that ain’t right—twisting up their mouths. And their breath always smells like cat shit.”

And, despite the relatively arbitrary title, Jordan was still able to incorporate it into the show. “Did you know I once lived in the same apartment as Tupac? Not just the same building in Hollywood, but actually the same apartment.” Jordan also recently served as grand marshal of the D.C. Gay Pride parade, and he threw out the first pitch at Night OUT, a gay-friendly Washington Nationals game. Jordan, who is both unusually honest and quick-witted—the man who famously hurled his drink at a man shouting anti-gay slurs outside a Starbucks—drew back and grew serious when talking about the event, which happened the very day after the Orlando shooting. “It was really moving, because they unfurled a giant rainbow flag in the stadium and honored the victims. It feels like we’re at war,” he says. Jordan also publicly performed his new one-man show for the first time in Washington, D.C. He accepted the gig before he had a chance to fine-tune the production, so he rehearsed a version in his living room in front of 25 friends. He wasn’t sure about his D.C. appearance, but it went over well. “I got a standing ovation. I like to think of the performances before Palm Springs as rehearsals. I’m working out the show.” After his upcoming stint in the desert, Jordan is taking the show to Bear Week in Provincetown and Lazy Bear Weekend in Northern California. “For some reason, I always get paired with the bears,” he says. Jordan, reportedly, will also return to American Horror Story for its sixth season, but he couldn’t comment on casting decisions per the studio’s request. He’s also returning to the web series Con Man, which stars former Firefly cast member Alan Tudyk. “We’re going to do a Hamilton parody, so I get to rap. Did you know that the first season crowdfunded over $3 million?” Jordan asks, adding, “And it’s mostly from people in their early 20s! When I was 23, I was passed out in a ditch. Where did they get the money for this? It’s amazing.”

PALM SPRINGS Fri. | June 24 PARTY Desert Rose Playhouse

Tue. | June 28 TRANS PRIDE Tolerance Education Center

David Dillon’s hilarious off-Broadway hit about seven gay friends playing a risqué version of Truth or Dare and the aftermath following plays through the end of July.

Presentations and talks about transgender issues, plus a meet-and-greet with bodybuilder Aydian Dowling, the first trans man to appear on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.

Sat. | June 25 RETRO T-DANCE Hunters

Wed. | July 6 OCEAN’S 11 Camelot Theatre

DJ Chub Jim spins disco hits from the ‘ 70 s , ‘ 8 0 s and ‘ 9 0 s every Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m.

The Rat Pack, plus Angie Dickinson, star in this original 1960 casino heist caper, screening at 8 p.m. as part of the Classic Hollywood Film Series.

Tue. | June 28 PRIDE OPEN HOUSE Stonewall Gardens

Fri. | July 8 SCOTT BRUCE AS ELVIS Purple Room

Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon speaks at 2 p.m. on the changes the LGBT community has experienced in the 47 years since New York’s Stonewall Riots.

Having an uncanny resemblance to a young Elvis Presley, Scott Bruce knows how to swivel his hips and woo audiences, starting at 7 p.m.


HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN THE COACHELLA VALLEY HAS some of the most impressive Independence Day fireworks displays in the region, but if you head up the San Jacinto Mountain, the show gets even more spectacular. AIDS Assistance Program presents you with the chance to do just that with its annual Fourth of July fundraiser at the O’Donnell House, one of the highest homes on the mountain. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, while the fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. Park at the Palm Springs Art Museum, as guests will be shuttled up the mountain. Tickets are $125 per person. “We are delighted that we will be able to offer our supporters the opportunity to watch fireworks across the entire valley from the grounds of the historic O’Donnell House,” says Mark Anton, executive director of AAP, which provides food vouchers to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. “This has been a special tradition for AAP, and we are extremely grateful to hold this fundraiser and fireworks viewing party from this amazing location.” —James F. Mills JULY 20, 2016




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Frontiers Vol. 35, Issue 05/06  
Frontiers Vol. 35, Issue 05/06