United Church of Christ
Miss Fritz Ann Presents Night of a Thousand Stars
Photos: Pompano Bill
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g wh ha at’s n o ppe n w in
The TOP 10 Things We Love This Week
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GALA - EQUALITY FLORIDA MIAMI
presented by PNC Bank, and takes place on Saturday, March 10 from 6-8p.m. at Nobu Hotel Eden Roc (4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach). The Gala will feature live music, open bars and delicious food. This year’s event will also include an update on equality from their CEO Nadine Smith. They will be honoring SAVE and Huizenga Family Foundation. To RSVP and purchase tickets go to EqualityFlorida.org/Miamigala or call 305-244-6702.
MOVIES - A WRINKLE IN TIME
After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him. This Adventure/Family/ Fantasy/Sci-Fi film is 109 minutes in length, rated PG and stars Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling.
AMIGOS - STEVE MARTIN & MARTIN SHORT
Expect non-stop laughs from this hilarious duo in An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life that includes stand-up, film clips, musical numbers and conversations about their lives in show business. Martin and Short will also be joined by the Grammy-winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko. Taking place at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, March 10 at 2 & 8:30p.m. with tickets ranging from $69 - $250. COMEDIAN - JIM BREUER
The freewheeling, comic storyteller first gained national attention as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 1995 to 1998, and is currently appearing alongside Kevin James on the CBS sitcom “Kevin Can Wait.” Catch him live at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek on Saturday, March 10 at 8p.m. with tickets ranging from $35 to $150. CONCERT - JASON MRAZ
Since his start in San Diego coffeehouses, the troubadour has been known for his positive messages and soulful, folk-pop sound. The double Grammy-winner’s hits include “I’m Yours” and “I Won’t Give Up.” Here he performs a solo acoustic show. Catch Jason performing at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, March 14, at 8 p.m. with tickets ranging from $61.75 to $82.75.
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DANCE - FLAMENCO FESTIVAL MIAMI: BALLET NACIONAL DE ESPAÑA
it is the greatest exponent of Spanish dance, showcasing all of Spain’s dance styles on the most important stages in the world, through very different shows ranging from classic to the avant-garde, as in “Suite Sevilla”. Director, Antonio Najarro, takes on new choreographic projects featuring young choreographers with very different personalities and dance aesthetics with the main aim of propagating and preserving Spanish dance and reaching the widest possible audience. Catch them at the Arsht Center from Thursday, March 8 Saturday, March 10 with tickets starting at $35. OPERA - ALL THAT GLITTERS: THE BEST OF OPERA
The Florida Grand Opera’s Studio Artists perform a hit-filled program exploring the jewels of the operatic and art song repertoire as part of the Opera Concert Series. Taking place on Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30p.m. at the + Add to CalendarMiramar Cultural Center with tickets only $5. AGELESS - THE ORIGINAL FLORIDA FOLLIES
presents Age Is Just A Number on Sunday, March 11 at 2p.m. at the Parker Playhouse. Don’t miss this show-stopping performance for people of all ages! Comprised of former New York and Las Vegas dancers and other show business professional’s ages 60 to 90- plus years young, The Original Florida Follies performs for its 18th year in this high energy musical review. Tickets range from $29.50 - $31. DIVA - AUDRA MCDONALD
The winner of six Tony Awards, two Grammys and an Emmy Award, brings her luminous soprano and incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling to every performance, be it on Broadway, concert and opera stages or in film or television roles. McDonald and her trio will perform her trademark mix of show tunes, classic film songs and selections written expressly for her by many of today’s leading composers. Don’t miss this one performance on Sunday, March 11 at 6p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $25-$145.
COMEDIAN - ROBERT KLEIN
will be appearing at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center on Friday, March 9 at 8p.m. For more than forty years, Robert Klein has entertained audiences, and he continues to have an acclaimed career in comedy, on Broadway, on television, and in film. Klein is a pioneer in modern standup comedy who inspired heavyweights like Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. Klein was nominated for a Best Actor in a Musical Tony Award for 1979’s They’re Playing Our Song, and has appeared on many talk shows including more than 100 appearances on The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman. He was nominated twice for Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Album of the Year” for his albums “Child of the Fifties” and “Mind Over Matter.” Tickets range from $55 to $100.
THE TOP 10 THINGS WE LOVE THIS WEEK
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YOU BELONG IN
OF THE YEAR! MARCH-APRIL-MAY
Out of Hibernation | Miss Gay USofA | Gays for Patsy | Broto Nauticon | Memorial Day JUNE
PRIDE | Cabaret Fest | ASGCC Benefit | Provincetown Film Festival JULY
4th of July | Bear Week | Secret Garden Tour | Family Week GLAD Summer Party AUGUST
Carnival: Mardi Gras by the Sea SEPTEMBER
Labor Day | Celebration of Life Concert | Swim for Life Afterglow | Gay Pilots Classic | Tennessee Williams Festival Mates Leather Weekend OCTOBER
Columbus Day Weekend | PAAM Annual Gala | Fantasia Fair Halloween NOVEMBER
Day of the Dead Performing Arts Festival | Mr. New England Leather | Lighting of the Monument & Lobster Pot Tree Festival Tis the Season for Giving (ASGCC) DECEMBER
Holly Folly | Outer Cape Chorale Concert First Light Weekend & Fireworks
You belong here! ptowntourism.com
Facebook: Provincetown Twitter: @PtownTourism YouTube: PtownTourismâ€™s channel Instagram: Ptowntourism, #MyPtown
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GeorgieÂ’s Alibi/Monkey Bar
Florida AIDS Walk Fund Raiser
Photos: Stephen R. Lang
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EATING OUT A SAMPLE OF FORT LAUDERDALE’S FAVORITE
RESTAURANTS ASIA BAY 1111 E. Las Olas Blvd. Fort Lauderdale asiabayrestaurants.com 954-848-9900 Elegant riverfront dining with a menu of Japanese and Thai dishes including creative sushi rolls. BEEFCAKES (at Boardwalk) 1721 N. Andrews Avenue Ft. Lauderdale BoardwalkBar.com 954-463-6969 Open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The best burgers and chicken wings in town. BONA ITALIAN RESTAURANT 2468 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors bonaitalianrestaurant.com 954-565-7222 Under new ownership! Fresh made Italian food. Signature dishes include Fazzoletti, (pasta purses with fontina cheese, cream sauce, peas/bacon), Chicken Cyriac or traditional Eggplant Parmigiana. CEVICHE BY THE SEA 2823 E. Oakland Park Blvd. Oakland Park CevicheByTheSea.com 954-999-0751 Intimate seafood and Peruvian cuisine. Recommended as
a “truly remarkable dining experience.” Reservations recommended. Open for lunch. Happy Hour M-F, 5-7 p.m. EAT 2150 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors Eatinwiltonmanors.com 954-626-0722 Menu offers everything from salmon to Chef Rosario’s meatloaf. Great $10 specialty drink menu. FLIP FLOPS DOCKSIDE EATERY 3051 NE 32nd Avenue Ft. Lauderdale FlipFlopsDocksideEatery.com 954-567-1672 Relax on the dock while sipping a specialty cocktail or eating a fresh, made-to-order item from the menu. GEORGIE’S ALIBI & MONKEY BAR 2266 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors AlibiWiltonManors.com 954-565-2526 Relaxed patio atmosphere with a full menu offering awardwinning burgers, wings, hot & cold sandwiches, sliders, flat bread, pizzas and fresh fish, shrimp and chicken entrees. Full bar. Check web site for weekend brunch entertainment schedules.
KALUZ KaluzRestaurant.com 3300 E. Commercial Blvd. Fort Lauderdale 954-772-2209 Modern American dining with spectacular waterfront views from an elegant dining room or from a more casual patio and outdoor bar. LIPS 1421 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park Fladragshow.com 954-567-0987 A restaurant/cabaret that “dresses up” to entertain its guests! Fabulous drag and tons of fun! MIND YOUR MANORS 2045 Wilton Dr.,Wilton Manors 754-223-2172 MindYourManorsPub.com A fun, relaxing garden pub and wine bar serving comfort food and hospitality. Enjoy a wide range of creative cocktails, craft beers and a very unique wine list. NABU AMERICAN FUSION BUFFET 3485 N. Federal Hwy. Ft. Lauderdale 954-568-2208 NabuAmericanFusionBuffet.com This place offers it all: Japanese,
HOTSPOTS READERS ENJOY DINING OUT!
To advertise or be listed in this section, call 954-928-1862 Hotspots.LGBT | 57
EATING OUT American, Italian and Chinese. Incredible buffet. Q BAR 2362 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale qbarfl.com 954-565-2229 Live jazz & blues acts perform at this gastropub serving gourmet burgers & Creole-type dishes. ROSIE’S BAR & GRILL 2449 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors rosiesbng.com 954-563-0123 A Wilton Drive favorite, this place is known for its non-stop party every “Sunday Funday” with live DJs playing great music. Great burgers, fresh seafood and amazing Sunday Brunch10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
RUMORS BAR 2426 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors RumorsBarWiltonManors.com 954-565-8851 Full bar, restaurant and entertainment venue serving fresh, local ingredients in delicious dishes by awardwinning Cutthroat Kitchen chef Robyn Almodovar. SAGE 2378 N. Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale sagecafe.net 954-565-2229 Chic, intimate bistro delivering French country cooking in a romantic locale with patio seating. SHOOTERS WATERFRONT 3033 NE 32nd Avenue Fort Lauderdale
ShootersWaterfront.com 954-566-2855 Popular, spacious dining with a comprehensive menu and dining right on the Intracoastal. TEE JAY’S THAI SUSHI 2254 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors teejaythaisushi.com 954-537-7774 Casual locale for Thai & Japanese eats with Asian decorative touches and some traditional low tables. THAI SPICE 1514 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale thaispicefla.com 954-771-4535 Voted the “Best Thai Restaurant in South Florida 2015” by the Sun-Sentinel, this gem dishes up Thai
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EATING OUT Continued classics and specials by owner/chef Michael Tatton on a huge menu that includes Pan-Asian fare & steaks in a soothing space. Happy Hour with half-off appetizers and drinks from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. ZUCKERELLOâ€™S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 3017 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale zuckerellos.com 954-776-4282 Familiar Italian pastas and flavorful mainstays (plus early-bird specials) are offered up in this warm, inviting restaurant.
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BRIAN BROWN BY D’ANNE WITKOWSKI
hen I was a kid I knew of Bermuda only from songs, specifically “Bermuda Triangle” by Barry Manilow, a mysterious love story of sorts that includes the lyric, “Lying with my woman on the island sand.” Ha ha ha. It’s funny Because Manilow is gay. In fact, after hiding their relationship for decades, Manilow married his husband Garry Kief in 2014. But Manilow did not marry Kief in Bermuda. In fact, he couldn’t have because there was no legal marriage for gay couples in Bermuda in 2014. In fact, there was no marriage equality at all in Bermuda until a 2017 ruling by the country’s Supreme Court. And then, on Feb. 7 marriage equality was gone again with the passage of the Domestic Partnership Act, which basically tells same-sex couples they can’t get married, though they can form domestic partnerships which will have rights similar to marriage. And wouldn’t you know it, the National Organization for Marriage is very excited about Bermuda’s divorce of gay marriage. In a Feb. 9 fundraising plea, NOM’s president Brian Brown crowed, “The country of Bermuda became the first nation in the world to repeal gay ‘marriage’ this week!” He then claimed credit for it. “NOM played a significant behind-the-scenes role in the tremendous victory in Bermuda,” Brown writes. “Our team advised pro-marriage supporters there on strategies to preserve marriage and I travelled there twice to meet with activists from Preserve Marriage Bermuda to discuss potential strategies.” Well, how nice of him. Brown is especially excited about this Bermuda “victory” because he claims it exposes the “lie” that the arc of history bends toward justice. “The biggest lie about same-sex ‘marriage’ is that it is inevitable,” Brown writes. “LGBT activists and their partners in the media regularly trot forth with falsehoods such as gay
marriage is somehow part of an ‘arc of history,’ and that everybody needs to embrace it if they want to be ‘on the right side of history.’” And yet Brown sees marriage equality not as civil rights and functioning to strengthen bonds in families and the communities those families live in, but as a tyrannical imposition on “people of faith.” As if there aren’t LGBTQ people who have faith. As if having faith is a prerequisite for equal rights. According to Brown, backers of same-sex marriage “want people to accept the lie that since the U.S. Supreme Court imposed gay marriage on the nation in 2015 with their illegitimate and anti-constitutional Obergefell decision, that the issue is resolved for all and that it’s time to accept it - no, more than accept it, everyone must openly embrace and celebrate it.” Here Brown is right, but only partially. Gays most definitely want acceptance and celebration, which is why it’s the ultimate goal of the LGBTQ Shadow Government to make gay marriage mandatory for everyone as soon as President RuPaul and Vice President Latrice Royale are elected in 2020. You have to admit, “RuPaul/ Royale” has a great ring to it. The arc of history is fierce, honey, and eventually people like Brown who are on the wrong side are, sooner or later, going to have to lip sync for their lives while the rest of us serve up equality realness.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.
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Twisted Broadway Wednesdays
Photos: Stephen R. Lang
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Smile... and the whole world smiles back!
Celebrating our 7th Year on Wilton Drive!
Comprehensive Exam, Digital X-rays & Cleaning* *In the absense of gum disease. Not applicable to insurance benefits.
General & Cosmetic Dentistry
954-565-7666 New, State of the Art Facilities•Always Plenty of Free Parking Located Conveniently on Wilton Drive Most PPO Insurance Plans Accepted
No Insurance? No Problem! Ask About our In-House Plan Dr. David K. Warner, DDS, FAGD Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
1946 Wilton Drive •Wilton Manors • FL 33305
WELCOME TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD URGENT CARE CENTER
FAREWELL FLU Once flu season hits, anyone can catch it. And when you’re sick, you just want to feel like yourself again. For our neighbors, we’re bringing quality care closer to home — so you can get back to being you again.
Open Every Day, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Country Walk 13707 S.W. 152nd Street Miami, FL 33177 305-585-9200
Keystone Point 13120 Biscayne Boulevard North Miami, FL 33181 305-585-9210
Our charges for medical services are less than the charges for comparable medical services at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Cutler Bay 18910 South Dixie Highway Cutler Bay, FL 33157 305-585-9230
Photos: Stephen R. Lang
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Wrestling with Pride at The Manor
Photos: Stephen R. Lang
genre latino / Culturízate, Culturízame
CURIOUS Gallery W10 Florida International University 11200 SW 8th St. Miami, FL 33199
Lista de artistas:
Allen Joseph, Anell Gomez, Anne Woungly Massaga, Juliana Barrius, Kim Moore, Laurel Baker, Lisandra Valdes, Maricel Ruiz, Salene Watson y Sonia Gonzalez-Park |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Con: Adora & Teddy Behr | Fotos: Eddie Arroyo
Adora: "Wow, me encantó el espectáculo en FIU sobre la curiosidad; el arte fue muy divertido ... y se sintió ... curioso también ". Teddy: "Mmmmm / .... Se basa en una teoría sobre la curiosidad llamada 'Curiosity 92 | Hotspots.LGBT
Drive Theory', que suena complicada pero no lo es. Todo lo que realmente propone es que a la gente le gusta entender las cosas y que cuando no lo hacen, es probable que hagan preguntas o profundicen para asegurarse
de que entienden lo que sucede a su alrededor ". Adora: "He asistido a algunas exposiciones de arte que tratan sobre teorías que me dejaron más confundido que curioso, pero este parece más sensato y el arte era un tanto lúdico y fácil de conectar ... Supongo que es por eso que me gustó mucho." Teddy: "Sé lo que quieres decir: hay tantas cosas incomprensibles pasando, tiroteos escolares y sobredosis de opiáceos. Son difíciles de entender, pero la idea de que la gente puede tener una mente abierta y seguir siendo curiosa es algo tranquilizador por sí mismo. Mucho del trabajo tiene un sentimiento de niño, y me recordó lo abiertos que pueden ser los niños sin prejuicios ". Adora: "Sí, a veces, cuando veo las noticias o las redes sociales, siento que hay muchas más críticas que curiosidad. Quiero decir, sé que también he criticado, como el pelo y el maquillaje del presidente ... ¿y nunca me ha llamado la atención el POR QUÉ? Entonces, creo que tal vez todos somos un poco culpables. Tal vez si pienso en lo que hay detrás del pelo, llegaré a algunas conclusiones y me sentiré más tranquilo ... como dice la teoría ... Eso sería genial ". Teddy: "Creo que ese es un punto de partida tan bueno como cualquier otro ... Quiero decir que el cabello del presidente es definitivamente misterioso, pero prefiero el sentido del misterio en algunas de las pinturas del programa. Quizás el punto es que hay cosas que realmente no se
pueden entender. Simplemente se quedan misterios que nos siguen preguntando. Algunas de las piezas del show son así para mí. Como el pelo y el maquillaje del presidente, supongo ... Adora: "Así que supongo que la teoría sobre la curiosidad también significaría que si tenemos curiosidad por algo y no podemos resolverlo, sigue siendo inquietante. Eso parece demostrar que la teoría es correcta ... Quiero decir, entre el cabello y todas las demás cosas, tengo que poner un poco más de esfuerzo, un poco de humor extra y un poco de brillo extra en mi maquillaje, así que todo lo que no entiendo no me molesta demasiado. ... Tal vez sea mejor que ponga un lápiz de labios brillante en este momento ... me hace sentir un poco mejor ... “
Adora: “Wow, loved the show at FIU about curiosity; the art was really fun…and it felt… curious too.' Teddy: “ Mmmmm/…. It s based on a theory about curiosity called 'Curiosity Drive Theory', which sounds complicated but isn't. All it really proposes is that people like to understand things and that when they don't, they 're likely to ask questions or dig deeper to reassure themselves that they get what's going on around them.” Adora: “I ve been to some art shows that are about theories that left me more confused than curious but this one seems more down to earth and the art was 94 | Hotspots.LGBT
kind of playful and easy to connect to… I guess that's why I liked it so much.” Teddy: “I know what you mean: There's so much incomprehensible stuff going on, school shootings and opioid overdoses. They are hard to figure out, but the idea that people can have an open-mind and continue to be curious is kind of reassuring all by itself. A lot of the work has a child-like feeling, and it reminded me of how open and non-judgmental kids can be.” Adora: “Yes, sometimes when I see the news or social media, I feel like there's a lot more criticism than curiosity. I mean, I know I've criticized too, like the president's hair and make-up, ..and never really got curious about WHY? So, I guess maybe we're all a bit guilty. Maybe if I think about what's behind the hair, I'll come to some conclusions and I'll
Adora: “So I guess the theory about curiosity would also mean that if we get curious about something and can t figure it out, it kind of remains unsettling. That almost seems to prove the theory correct…I mean between the hair and all the other stuff, I have to put some extra effort, some extra humor, and some extra glitter in my make-up so all the stuff I don't understand doesn't upset me too much. …Maybe I 'd better put some glitter lipstick on right now….makes me feel a little better…” feel more reassured…like the theory says…That would be great” Teddy: “I guess that's as good a starting point as any.. I mean the president's hair is definitely mysterious, but I sort of prefer the sense of mystery in some of the paintings in the show. Maybe the point is that there are things that can't really be understood. They just stay mysteries that we keep wondering about. Some of the pieces in the show are like that for me. Kind of like the president's hair and make-up, I guess…'
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Mixer at The Pub
Photos: Stephen R. Lang
LET THE PASSION FLOW
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Love Lessons with
Calum Scott British British crooner crooner talks talks coming coming out, out, falling falling for for straight straight men and learning learning to to love love himself himself
By By Chris Chris Azzopardi Azzopardi ritain's Got Talent” ritain's Got Talent” inalist inalist Calum Scott, who incited Calum Scott, who incited massive swooning on music massive swooning on music mogul Simon Cowell's reality mogul Simon Cowell's reality show in 2015, once thought show in 2015, once thought he'd be a counselor. He wanted he'd be a counselor. He wanted to ease people's troubled minds. Give them to ease people's troubled minds. Give them hope. But Scott, 29, has found you don't need an hope. But Scott, 29, has found you don't need an of of ice to help heal people – you can do that on a ice to help heal people – you can do that on a stage. stage. Following his Cowell-praised show run and a Following his Cowell-praised show run and a devastatingly gorgeous piano version of devastatingly gorgeous piano version of Robyn's “Dancing On My Own” that charted at Robyn's “Dancing On My Own” that charted at No. 93 on Billboard's Hot 100 (Robyn's original No. 93 on Billboard's Hot 100 (Robyn's original didn't manage to crack the list upon release), didn't manage to crack the list upon release), the honeyed-voice crooner wants his new the honeyed-voice crooner wants his new songs, some of which are personal re songs, some of which are personal re lections lections on coming to terms with his sexuality, to serve on coming to terms with his sexuality, to serve as a support system for those who also know or as a support system for those who also know or are currently weathering the struggle to live are currently weathering the struggle to live openly as a queer person. openly as a queer person. With his debut, “Only Human,” he's your out, With his debut, “Only Human,” he's your out, gay shoulder to cry on. And if you like them as gay shoulder to cry on. And if you like them as tenderhearted and impassioned as Scott, who tenderhearted and impassioned as Scott, who exudes a warm optimism in conversation, he's exudes a warm optimism in conversation, he's certainly the kind who will make you feel better certainly the kind who will make you feel better after a lengthy, enriching talk about the greatest after a lengthy, enriching talk about the greatest love of all. love of all. What's the motivation for wanting to move What's the motivation for wanting to move people with your music? people with your music? I've always wanted to help people. Since I've always wanted to help people. Since writing an album based on personal writing an album based on personal experiences, I've realized I can inspire people experiences, I've realized I can inspire people with my music and reach people on an with my music and reach people on an
emotional level. I love the fact that people are moved by my music. It's a dream come true, man. One of my all-time idols is Michael Jackson, because he said to the press that he wanted to change the world with his music. It kind of sounds a bit corny, I guess, but it's such a beautiful sentiment and I try to live by that. If I can inspire one person to come out and ind the bravery and strength to at least con ide in one person and lessen that burden on themselves, and inspire them to be who they were born to be, then I feel like everything I've gone through in my life is worth it.
Recently, I went to a conversion therapy protest here in Michigan. There's a church, Metro City Church, that is oﬀering these “unashamed identity” workshops for LGBTQ girls. That's ridiculous.
It's on my mind because it just happened. But there's a lot of conversation about the importance of queer representation for young people, and you are now a part of that team. What do you want the message of the music to be for young struggling queer people? Growing up for me was really dif icult. My sexuality ... I went through the phases that I know a lot of gay people have gone through: “If I could take a straight pill, I'd take it.” Sort of feeling ashamed and embarrassed, like I had to hide away. Feeling judgment. Those were all things that held me back from
being my true self. That took me all the way through my teens, all the way through my 20s, really, until I got into songwriting. And when I got into songwriting, the penny dropped for me. I started writing about the fact that I was terri ied of coming out to the press. I have a song on the album called “If Our Love Is Wrong” – it's right on the top of the album – and it's all about being terri ied of telling people about my sexuality. It terri ied me to the core, to a point where I didn't want to talk about it. I felt sick, like I'd rather be anyone else. I only told my dad three years ago, as a full-blown adult. My heart was in my mouth, and I felt sick. I was upset, and I just didn't know how to tell him. But when I started writing … that song actually developed into something empowering. Relating that back to what you said about conversion camps: It's disgusting that you could tell a person that what they feel is wrong, when they don't have any control over what they feel. So, the message behind this album is to embrace how you feel and who you are and who you love and to feel empowered by it. And you don't have to change who you are, and, in fact, you should embrace who you are and love who you are.
think. But as a nation and a globe going forward, we should be reassuring people there is love in the world, and hopefully with music you can inspire a generation. With music, we've got the power to move people.
I love how matterof-factly the two men who are casually holding hands in your video for “You
“I love the fact that people are moved by my music. It's a dream come true, man.”
Do you think queer public igures have a responsibility to be out for that reason alone? I think it's a dif icult one. If that had been said to me when I was in the closet, I'd be really upset. Not that I necessarily was condemning the gay community in any way – I just wasn't ready to come out. So, I feel like maybe that's the case with thousands of men and women. We have a shortage of out football stars, and I think it's because they're terri ied of what their peers might
Are My Reason” are treated. Yeah, it meant a lot to me to have that in there. Being a gay man, there needed to be that representation. I pitched it into the video because it re lects the message of the song, which is “Love is love, and love conquers all and love isn't heterosexual.” I said to our director, Frank Borin, “As a gay man myself, I want a gay couple in there because that's a representation of me.” It was the same reason why I didn't change the lyrics on “Dancing On My Own.” I wanted it to be from the perspective of a gay man. I've fallen in love with plenty of straight men and watched them have a relationship with a girl, and I wanted to make sure when I sang that version it wasn't me doing a straight cover of Robyn. It was me trying to say, “This is me,” and I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of LGBT community members who can appreciate where that voice is coming from. I'm not a lag bearer for the gay community, but I'm de initely an advocate of wanting people to be themselves and giving a voice to the LGBT community.
How do you end up falling for so many straight men? I think it happens to all of us in the gay community. There's no way of telling anybody's sexuality. I have a song called “Hotel Room,” about me meeting this guy while I was on the road. Great looking guy. Great personality. Got along really well. All the signs were there, and I was like, “Oh my god, this guy is maybe the one.” I really fell for him. And I took it a bit further, and he told me he wasn't gay. I was shocked. It's very much a song about the heartbreak, but it's about trying to put a positive spin on it. “Hotel Room” is one of the heartbreaking songs on the album where I suppose at the time I was like, “You bastard!” (Laughs) But I don't want to write with malice.
How did your song about coming out to your dad take shape? The song you're referring to is called “Out at Sea,” which actually didn't make the album, unfortunately. It was de initely one of the songs I wrote initially, and it was one of the triggers that got me into really writing honestly with my music. It was about my fear holding me back,
106 | Hotspots.LGBT
“There are other emotions! (Laughs) I've written a lot about my sexuality, because it means a lot for me.” almost drowning me. I was going through that process with my dad, and when I told him, the burden that left me was just unreal. It literally felt like a physical weight had been lifted from my shoulders. And it's so liberating, and I felt euphoric after that. I had pins and needles in my face. I couldn't stop smiling. I was crying. I was on top of the world. It was the most liberating feeling. I wrote that in the song, about feeling tied down and drowned under the walls, and not being able to breathe from the pressure and judgment and fear of disappointing, well, everybody, I guess. But then casting it away and it actually turning out better than I thought it would. It didn't not make the album because it wasn't good enough. It was because I wanted to give
variety on the album. I wanted to showcase what kind of an artist I am – and didn't want to write a whole album that would make people cry. There are other emotions! (Laughs) I've written a lot about my sexuality, because it means a lot for me.
Of course – it was your catharsis. It was a journey, yeah. And it was something I put my heart and soul into. I wrote “No Matter What,” and the chorus is really beautiful. I think I'm gonna play it for my headlining show. It's about my mom saying, “I love you no matter what.”
You performed on "Dancing with the Stars" in May with two dancers: one male, one female. On tour, have you given any thought to possibly having two male dancers dance as intimately as that opposite-sex pair did? Makes sense, man. It's something I've thought about, either having two male dancers or running a short ilm, maybe. I'm always on the lookout to create with the intent of making an impact on my audience. Having two male dancers just shows that it doesn't matter who you are or who you love, you should love yourself, and that being gay, lesbian or transgender is just as normal and just as acceptable as being straight. There should never be a diﬀerence. There should never be boundary lines. We're all a human race, and that's what it should come down to.
Would you be open to singing a love song with another man? Yeah, of course.
Well, you're buddies with Sam Smith now, so you two could make this happen. Yeah, and do something. I know Sam is as much a believer in what we talked about as I am. He's very much an activist for letting people come out, so I would love to collaborate with him and do something like that.
Sam has been very vocal about weight and body image issues, and we talk a lot about body standards and the struggle for queer people to live up to an ideal prototype in the gay community, in particular. What was your motivation for speaking at the National Student Pride event in London on this subject recently? In this industry, there can be quite a lot of
body shaming. As soon as I got into the spotlight with my music, you have people all the time saying, “Isn't he getting fat? Hasn't he put on weight?” Instantly, I felt selfconscious and I felt ashamed of my body, and was like, “I'm not gonna be able to eat properly; I'm gonna have to really slim down.” It wasn't until I sat back and thought about it. I thought, “Why should I be dictated to by some anonymous hater online about how I should feel about my body?” Being gay and feeling ashamed at myself, I look back and go, “I should have loved myself a lot earlier,” because I tortured myself for so long. Now, I've inally got the con idence to say, “I'm gay and I'm out.” I've never felt so much support. The saying, “Love comes from loving yourself irst”? It's true. Hopefully this album is inspiring across the globe for so many diﬀerent reasons. I just hope that people are inspired enough that they can just love themselves a little bit more. As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Reach him via his website at www.chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi). Hotspots.LGBT | 107
Valentine’s Day Stack Your Partners’ Package Party
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118 | Hotspots.LGBT
MIAMI GALA Saturday, March 10th, 2018 • 6–8pm PRESENTED BY
at the Nobu Hotel Eden Roc • 4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach You’re invited! Please join us for an evening of entertainment, education, and celebration! Equality Florida’s 2018 Miami Gala will feature live music, open bars and delicious food. This year’s event will also include an update on equality from our CEO Nadine Smith, and we’ll recognize outstanding efforts in our community that are creating a better Florida for us all. JOIN US AS WE HONOR:
R.S.V.P. A N D P U R C H A S E T I C K E T S AT equalityflorida.org/miamigala or call 305-244-6702 Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. All net proceeds directly benefit Equality Florida Institute, a tax exempt 501c3 non-profit organization. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR EQUALITY FLORIDA INSTITUTE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES AT WWW.FLORIDACONSUMERHELP. COM OR BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN FLORIDA (1.800.435.7352). REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. REGISTRATION #CH7992.