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Central Florida Edition August 2018

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on the inside

Central Florida Edition August 2018

Sean Hayes “Oh, I just have to be me, kind of, a heightened version of myself.”

content: • What’s Hot Central Florida • Hot Bodies

this month’s features: • Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 10 Finale • Cirque Du Soleil Crystal • Celebrate Orlando’s Culinary Scene • Interview with Sean Hayes • Estevez Swimwear Collection

hot shots • Cristoph’s Tampa • Around Tampa Bay with Amy De Milo • Southern Nights Tampa • Parliament House • Balance Tampa

What’s HOT ...everything you need to plan your month

and looked at the facts (stats) it was pretty clear that Aquaria was going to win. Having said that, I cannot speak more highly of Eureka and Asia who were both incredible contenders and kept this season exciting and very close. “This season will go down as one of the most competitive in 'Drag Race' herstory. And still, Aquaria's many talents distinguished her from the field of amazing queens,” said executive producer and Emmy Award-winning host RuPaul. “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquaria. I can't wait to see what she does next.” The day after the finale it was a pleasure to sit down with all three of them, for this exclusive Hotspots interview:

By Scott Holland


Well I hate to pat myself on the back (ok, sometimes I like it…LOL), but I did predict in writing that Aquaria would win Season 10 of RuPaul's Drag Race. However, if anyone pulled themselves away from who their favorite was

AQUARIA: At what age did drag become an interest & how did you pick your name? I first got interest in drag after watching Season one of Drag Race. I wish I had a better story on how I picked my name, but I am an Aquarius, so I simply picked Aquaria. How many times did you apply to be on RPDR and how did it feel when you found out you got chosen? I applied once and it felt crazy. I started losing my mind when I got the call, and then I kicked

“I cannot speak more highly of Eureka and Asia who were both incredible contenders and kept this season exciting and very close.”

everything into overdrive. Do you think there is more pressure on the Queens now that Drag Race has been on so long? Absolutely, as we see every year the bar gets raised higher and higher. In addition, the fans expect more and more, so you have to come as close as possible to perfecting every aspect of your drag. Tell us about your Drag Race experience?

It was the most wonderful experience of my life. It was so fulfilling, and was a challenge every day. It tested me as an entertainer and a human being, but I love a good challenge. u have a keen eye for fashion and are very fashion forward. Where did this come from, and how would you describe your fashion sense? For me I grew up online from style blogs and online publication. I explored the internet, and I think that was the key to grow my fashion sense… I would describe my fashion sense as diverse, colorful, and exciting and never the same! From the Finale we see you seem to have a very special relationship with your parents, was it always like this? Yes! They have always been very supportive and helpful in my life and career. As long as I love what I am doing and do it well they are in my corner 100%! Going into the finals, if you knew you couldn't win who would you have wanted to win and why? Any of the 3 would have been fantastic options, but Asia O'Hara is one of the greatest people oi have ever met in my life and an amazing example for drag and our community. What are you going to do with the $100,000? I'm going to invest it back into my drag. My purpose for doing Drag Race was to take my drag to the next level. I want to be in control of my drag and elevate it to the highest level. What's ahead for Aquaria? I just released my first song, “Burn Rubber,” which is now available on iTunes, so please buy it. In addition, I will be doing lots of touring, as I have a pretty packed calendar. To find out where I will be or for any information check out my website at:

EUREKA O'HARA: At what age did drag become an interest & how did you pick your name? I started going to the bar before I turned 17 and had a fake ID. When I turned 18 the fake ID expired and I couldn't get into bar, so I decided to dress up in drag, and they let me in. Other drag queens convinced me to do the talent show. I kept doing it and never stopped doing drag My biological mother's name was Eureka, so I modeled myself after her. O'hara is my drag

father's last name. His picked the name O'hara from “Gone With The Wind.� How many times did you apply to be on RPDR and how did it feel when you found out you got chosen? I applied for 4 year s and it was life changing when I got chosen, and even more life changing when I got to come back. As a returning queen do you think it was easier or harder for you? Harder, so much harder. There was a level of anticipation and a standard that was already set. I felt the judges were harder on me, and I had to prove more and more why I should be there.

Tell us about your Drag Race experience the second time and how was it different? This time I was there a lot longer and I got to experience it in a different way. Last time I was gone from home only 2 weeks and this time 6 weeks. The further into the season, the scarier it get and the more anxious you are. It also gets more exciting. What's your marital status? If single, what are you looking for in a man? I am single and I am looking for a man that has a job and can take care of themselves. That man also has to be emotionally strong so they can deal with not being around me all the time. I also love romance. Going into the finals, if you knew you couldn't win who would you have wanted to win and why? Asia, because she is a leader, and she is inclusive and sees all sides. Seeing your family in the finale, it seems like you are very close to them. Tell me about that relationship? I am very close with them. My Twin and I have a connection that you cannot describe. We are so much alike. My mom is now sick, but always took care of us as a single mom. My older sister has 3 kids and is living with my mom and sister and they all rely on me to eat and have their bills paid. They are my strength, and the reason I fight and work so hard. What's ahead for Eureka? Ideally I want to be on Saturday night

Live...tell Lauren Michaels! I just released the song “Big Girl” (available on iTunes)m, and I am working on a one woman show, which will be entitled “Pretty Hot and Tasty.”

ASIA O'HARA: At what age did drag become an interest & how did you pick your name? Drag became an interest at about 20. I picked my name as I have a family member whose name is Asia. It was a last minute thought as most of my friends had boy names in drag. How many times did you apply to be on RPDR and how did it feel when you found out you got chosen? I auditioned 3 times, and when I got the call it felt great. It was very exciting that I finally made it. Do you think there is more pressure on the Queens now that Drag Race has been on so long? Absolutely as the bar is raised every year and there is more pressure to be greater. The talent and the fashion level continually gets raised. Tell us about your Drag Race experience? It was absolutely phenomenal. I got to meet incredible people and build relationships with girls I would have never met. I got to learn a lot about myself, and found some great qualities I didn't know I had! From the Finale we see you have a handsome boyfriend. How did you meet, and since you mentioned you were getting married, when?

We aren't officially getting married yet. I just felt the need to let people know it's serious. We met at a pageant I was judging in St Louis. The second I met him I knew he was the person. Other than Drag Race, what is the best thing that has happened to you in drag? People coming up to me and telling me how I inspired them or changed their life. In those moments you realize that what you are doing is not going unnoticed. Going into the finals, if you knew you couldn't win who would you have wanted to win and why? All of them for different reason. I felt Aquaria was the most deserving based on the competition. But I felt Eureka had some of the best qualities for people to emulate. What's ahead for Asia? I am definitely looking forward to creating new art from scratch. I am very excited for the future.

For more information on Eureka or Asia, follow them on Instagram at: EurekaOhara or AsiaOharaLand.

hot shots photos by tony fowler

Bear Soup Cristoph’s Tampa

what’s hot everything you need to know

to plan your month


Welcome once again to the What's Hot column, where we keep you in the loop with lots of important nightlife events in Tampa Bay, Orlando, and points in between. We're also your connection to many activities and events organized by local LGBT service organizations and chambers of commerce. Want to know What's Hot this month? Read on! Wednesday, August 1 The Amway Arena presents Cirque Du Soleil – Crystal from today until August 5. This new show explores the artistic limits of ice for the first time in the company's 34-year history. This unique production pushes boundaries of performance by combining stunning skating and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination. Tickets start at $45. Amalia Arena presents

Panic! At The Disco at 7pm. The tour is in honor of their sixth studio album, Pray For

The Wicked. Pray For The Wicked follows Panic! At The Disco's critically acclaimed fifth album, Death Of A Bachelor, which was released on January 15, 2016 via Fueled By Ramen/DCD2 Records. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart and was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2017 GRAMMY Awards. Ticket prices start at $26.00, and go to $66. Thursday, August 2 Starting today and going

through Sunday, the Flamingo Resort presents the 5th annual Florida Puppy Contest: The Year of the Dog. The weekend will also feature classes, mosh, leather themed drag shows and male entertainers. For more info go to: Friday, August 3 Southern Nights Tampa presents NeiBEARhood Takeover: Mancakes. Tis will feature an all you can eat buffer of men and fetish gear is strongly encouraged. There will be a performance and games hosted by Bearonce.

This is a 21 and over event and there is no cover before 10pm. Saturday, August 4 The MBA presents their annual Pride Gala Business Awards from 6-10pm at the Hard Rock Live Orlando. The 2018 Pride in Business Awards Gala presented by PNC Bank will honor our region's stellar performers in business within our LGBT community. With the awards

presented by distinguished community leaders and business professionals during an incredible full course dinner, the Gala also includes an awesome silent auction, a special VIP pre-dinner reception, and an epic after party in City Walk! VIP Reception begins at 6:00pm (open bar and light bites), Cash bar, auction and general reception begins at 6:30pm with the Gala dinner and awards beginning at 7:30pm. Tickets are $150, with VIP $250 at Balance Tampa Bay presents Avant Garde, their 4th Annual Masquerade, complete with open bar, unparalleled ambiance and entertainment by world class DJ Toy Armada! The best part is the proceeds benefit Epic / Empath Health. They want your creativity to be at the center of this event, so wear anything you want, but they hope you'll have on a mask.

They are increasing the scale of Masquerade this year by hosting the event in the spectacular Armature Works, which features elegant décor, an amazing view and an unrivaled visual experience. To purchase tickets or for more info, go to: Kevin Hart's Irresponsible Tour comes to the Amalia Arena at 7pm. Hart's last multi-city domestic and international WHAT NOW comedy tour sold out large venues all over the world, including being the first comedian to sell out an NFL stadium, selling over 50,000 tickets in one show at Lincoln Financial Field. Internationally, he sold out over a dozen arenas in the European market, selling over 150,000 tickets, and sold out arenas across Australia, selling 100,000

tickets. Hart's hit comedy tour grossed over $100 million worldwide. Ticket prices range from $35 to $125. The Parliament House presents “Orlando's 80's Ball” with guest judge Dominique Jackson (Elektra from Pose). Wednesday, August 8 Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce August Social will be held at Punky's (3063 Central Avenue North, St. Petersburg)

from 6:30 to 8pm. As always they have complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. There will also be BINGO at 7:30, benefiting the Diversity Chamber's Foundation. For more info go to: Friday August 10 Black Haüs is invading Stonewall Bar Orlando with another fully immersive event, and this time they want you to join the CULT at 10pm. Imagine a dystopian future where the club scene has moved back underground and a resistance is gathering. Stonewall will be transformed into a rebel speakeasy quarantined off to only those who join the CULT; an abandoned underground filled with industrial music and art. They encourage leather and fetish gear, or come in your best cult attire...They will be waiting! Southern Nights Orlando presents Carmella Marcella Garcia, as the Grand Ol' gai

from the south returns for one night. Show times are at 11pm & 12:30am with Roxxxy Andrews, Tasha Long, Maya Andrews, Sassy Devine & CARMELLA GARCIA! NO COVER before 11pm 21+ (18+ Welcome). Saturday, August 11 The Ms. World America takes place at the Dr. Phillips Center and the pageant seeks to provide a unique opportunity for all contestants to network, develop, and share their skills and talents while creating impact in their own businesses and communities. The pageant starts at 7pm and tickets start at $30. The Straz center for the Performing Arts presents the annual Pole for a Purpose pole dance and aerial arts showcase features performers from around the United States in this spectacular demonstration of alluring athleticism. Prepare for an evening of sultry thrills and intoxicating acrobatics on fourteen feet of chrome. The best part? All the fun is for a great cause - Pole for a Purpose has raised over $28,000 for charitable organizations. Tickets start at $42.50, and for more information, visit Tuesday, August 14 Amway Arena presents Shakira's El Dorado World Tour (this is the Orlando tour stop originally scheduled for January 9, and all original tickets will be honored). The concert begins at 7:30pm with tickets starting at $47.50. Don't forget that every Tuesday, is FREE Pool night at

4 year anniversary. Tonight will feature, direct from Ru Paul's Drag Race Season 10, finalist Eureka O'hara.

Barcodes Orlando where there is never a cover! Wednesday, August 15 From today through September 9, the Straz Center for the Performing Arts presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The gold glitter standard of queerglam rocker musicals, follows German immigrant-turnedtransgender-Kansas-trailerpark-wannabe-rock-goddess Hedwig Robinson during one life-changing night of her musical act. Full of TMI,

towering go-go boots and cult hits “Exquisite Corpse,” “Wig in a Box,” “Tear Me Down” and more, this campy romp reveals the blistering realities of self-acceptance that defy gender identity. Tickets start at $18, and for more info visit Thursday, August 16 Starting today and going through Saturday, Southern Nights Orlando presents their

Friday, August 17 Actor, writer and producer David Koechner will be appearing at the Orlando Improv from today until August 19. He stars as Tush on CBS's "Superior Donuts." He's also well-known for his roles as Todd Packer on “The Office” and Champ Kind from “Anchorman” and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” On the small screen, he appears in Showtime's "Twin Peaks," Comedy Central's “Another Period,” ABC's “The Goldbergs” and voices reoccurring characters on FOX's “American Dad” and Netflix's “F is for Family” and “All Hail King Julien.” When not filming, Koechner performs live stand-up comedy across the country and creates original content videos for his YouTube channel, “Full On Koechner.” Tickets start at $20. The Flamingo Resort presents teir annual Turnabout at 11:30pm at the main bar. The night will feature your favorite bartenders and staff members dressed up with all proceeds benefiting Metro Wellness.

Saturday, August 18 Hamburger Mary's Brandon presents “Paint Nite” from 13pm. Paint Nite features everything you need to create a one-of-a-kind painting. They will guide you and your friends through two lively hours of creativity, drinking, and laughing 'til your cheeks hurt. The best part? You don't have to be an artist to have an amazing time. Hamburger Mary's is an open-air bar & grille for open-minded people, serving a full menu of tasty items… Big and juicy gourmet burgers, yummy apps, soups, salads and entrees, and an extensive bar menu featuring craft beers and cocktails. Food and drinks are not included, but are available for purchase from the venue. No outside food or drinks allowed. This Paint Nite Event is 21+ Neema's Upscale Latin night, Amor, at Stonewall Bar Orlando presents "Melina Leon" live in Concert at 12 midnight. The show will also

feature Rochelle Mon Chéri, Rakell Riviera, Yeisa Jovovich, and Saphyre L'Sweet Cardoza. Doors open at 9pm and there is $10 cover till 11pm, and $15 thereafter. The Parliament House presents “Vegas Night: Celebrity Edition!” where they invite everyone to try their luck at Poker, Blackjack,

Roulette with some tables with celebrity dealers. The Footlight Players will feature a “La Cage” celebrity Revue at 10pm and 12am. Proceeds to benefit Bliss Cares! Amalia Arena presents two of the world's greatest rock bands – Journey and Def Leppard. They are teaming up for a massive co-headliner with an arsenal of their hits such as “Pour Some Sugar on

Me,” “Lights,” “Photograph,” “Don't Stop Believin',” “Rock of Ages” and “Faithfully.” The concert takes place at 7pm, with tickets ranging from $45.75 to $175.75. Monday, August 20 Jill Sinclair presents the annual Miss Daytona Beach F.I Pageant, an official preliminary to Miss Florida F.I. pageant. Miss Daytona Beach will be held at Hamburger Marys Daytona Beach at 8pm and star the current reigning Miss Florida F.I. Kalah Mendoza, the current reigning Miss Daytona Beach, Susan Whitney, as well as Natalie Nayles (Miss Heart of Florida Newcomer), Rachel Summers, Brittany Moore (Miss Florida F.I. 2014 and the current reigning Miss Duval), and China Bell. For more information call Jill at 386307-7944.

Thursday, August 23 The Orlando Improv presents Josh Wolf from today until August 25. When he's not filming his top rated web series College Experiment for, Josh Wolf's unique, honest, and high energy style of storytelling has made him a favorite at comedy clubs across the country. Josh wrote for many shows like Yes Dear, Will Smith's All of Us, and Cuts starring Shannon Elizabeth. Years ago, he was cast on Last Comic Standing and was on the season finale as one of the Last Comics Downloaded. Since that time, he has had a recurring role on My Name is Earl, Raising Hope, played the role of Jack in the musical version of Sideways, and done several hosting type jobs for E! Josh currently is writing a feature film for Adam Sandler's company. You can also see Josh on the road most weekends either opening for Chelsea Handler or Larry the Cable Guy, with the Comedians of Chelsea Lately. Tickets start at $20.

Email to have your event considered for “What’s Hot.”

Friday, August 24 Magic Mike Tour comes to Hamburger Mary's Brandon, with doors opening at 9pm and the show at 10pm to 12:30am. Magic Mike Tour All Star Male Revue. We are the

and inclusion on the Time 100 list. Leslie has covered the most recent summer and winter Olympics for NBC and was the host of The 2017 BET Awards. She is currently recording one of the lead roles in Angry Birds 2, for Sony Pictures. Jones also starred in Paul Feig's reboot of Ghostbusters, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon. Her other film credits include Chris Rock's Top Five, Judd Apatow's Trainwreck, and the animated film Sing. Tickets tart at $50.

hottest male revue in the nation. To date, 3 million women have witnessed our first class stages hunks, live and in the flesh! Appearances include VH1, Fox News, GQ, International Male magazine, and countless others. The ultimate Vegas experience is coming to perform for one night only, so plan to be part of the biggest ladies night ever and come out to see the 2018 Magic Mike Tour! Guaranteed to entice and intrigue women of all ages!! This hard body team is ready to bring you the most electrifying show that you don't want to miss! Grab your girlfriends and plan to have a girls night out like no other! Ladies, buy your tickets early to beat the crowd at the door! Tis is a 21 and over event, with tickets ranging from $25-$50 at /1726251. The Tampa Improv presents Leslie Jones of Saturday Night Live fame from today until August 26. Her work on the long standing sketch show has garnered her an Emmy Award nomination

Saturday, August 25 Barcodes Orlando presents their monthly Leather night (last Saturday of every

month) with sexy leather men, free parking and never a cover! Star Wars in Concert continues with Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in Concert at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Featuring the iconic fulllength film on the big screen with The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performing John Williams's legendary score live. In the spectacular climactic sixth episode of the Star Wars saga, Darth Vader readies the second Death Star to unleash the final blow to the Rebel Alliance. Luke Skywalker joins his droid allies R2-D2

and C-3PO, along with Princess Leia, to free his comrade Han Solo, imprisoned by the vile crime lord, Jabba the Hutt. Reunited, the Rebels race to the moon of the planet Endor where they launch a desperate attack upon the entire Imperial Fleet.But the ultimate battle is between father and son, as Luke faces Darth Vader one last time, for the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance. This event takes place at 7:30pm with tickets $49.50. The Parliament House features RuPaul's Drag Races Season 4 star Willam with the Footlight Players at 10pm and 12am. Monday, August 27 Hardrock Orlando presents the 23rd annual k92.3 all-star jam presented by jasper contracting. Taking place from 8-11pm, the event features music by: Chris Young, Lauren Alaina (American Idol), Chris Janson, Kip Moore, Jimmie Allen, Jordan Davis, Dylan Scott, Lanco, Danielle Bradbury and Morgan Wallen. Tickets are $90 Reserved Balcony, and $300 VIP Meet & Greet Balcony.


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around tampa bay by amy demilo

Boys dripping at the Honey Pot!

The gangs out in Ybor

Corey giving Mary some attention

Kandy Ho

By Scott Holland


Cirque du Soleil returns to Orlando with Crystal, a brand-new arena creation. This unique production explores the artistic limits of ice for the first time in the company's 34-year history and pushes performance boundaries by combining stunning skating and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination. Crystal performs at Orlando's Amway Center from Wednesday, August 1 through Sunday, August5forsevensshows. In Crystal, gymnasts and skaters perform acrobatics on the ice and in the air, seamlessly combining multiple disciplines for a world class audience experience. Synchronized skating, freestyles figures, and extreme skating are featured alongside traditional circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial traps and hand to hand. The result is an adrenaline-packed show for the whole family that pushes the boundaries and surpasses all expectations! Watch world-class ice skaters and acrobats explore their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics.

Follow Crystal, the lead character, on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the adrenaline as she soars through this surreal world at high speed to become what she was always destined to be: confident, liberated, and empowered. It was a pleasure to sit down with one of the out gay skaters, Shawn Sawyer, for this Hotspots exclusive interview: When was the first time you put on a pair of Ice Skates, and how quickly did you know you loved the sport? The first pair of ice skates were a pair of hockey skates, and I did immediately like skating because I am Canadian. When I was 9 and put on my first pair of figure skating skates, I fell immediately in love. What was your first professional gig? For my first gig at 12, I got a free painting instead of money. The painting was by Toller Cranston who introduced art into figure skating. He was very famous and now the

After the first week they approached me and said they were interested in keeping me on board. It felt really great, as it was the next step in my evolution as an artist. What's the best part of traveling with Cirque? The best part is the family bond that is created with all my co-workers. We spend so many hours together that they truly become your family. What's has been your favorite city on the tour? So far my favorite city, other than Montreal, is San Diego, because I was surprised of the feeling of the west coast. It was definitely on my bucket list, and I loved it.

PHOTOS: Matt Beard.

Shawn Sawyer

painting is probably worth more than any amount of money I would have been paid. When did you start competing? I pretty much started competing a couple month after lacing up my first pair of Figure skates, so at age 9. By the age of 12 I was doing international competitions. Who did you or do you look up to in the Figure skating world? Throughout the years I did have a couple people I looked up to. Basically they were world champions from Canada‌. Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, etc. What was the best contest/medal you won and why? It was never about the medal, it was about how well your competition went. So it was the national medal I received when I qualified for the Olympic team. It was the most important medal, as it allowed me to go to the Olympics. How did you get hired at Cirque and how does it feel working for the iconic Cirque Du Soleil? I am now based out of Montreal where the Cirque headquarters are. I was brought into their workshop and they were testing me out.

What should the Central Florida Audiences expect from the production of Crystal? This is the first production, from Cirque, that is playing with the element of the ice. They definitely put everything in line in order to give everyone who buys a ticket a great experience. There are times you forget about the ice and are enraptured with the artists. Everything in this show moves in a much faster pace than Cirque has ever done before.

For more information on Shawn: For more, visit

hot shots photos by tony fowler

Leather Masked Ball Southern Nights Tampa

Celebrate Orlando's Amazing Culinary Scene Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month


Beginning August 24 during a special preview week, and continuing through September 30, select Orlando restaurants will offer three course, prix fixe dinners for just $35. So call friends, family or co-workers and start making plans now. Through Visit Orlando (website below), one dollar from every meal served during Magical Dining Month benefits local nonprofits that help children in need. And, thanks to continued growth of the program, they are able to help two organizations again this year. In 2018, Magical Dining Month will benefit Best Buddies and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida; two organizations that work tirelessly to help children and families living with disabilities in Central Florida. Best Buddies Central Florida - is the world's largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities. With programs focusing on friendship, jobs, and leadership, Best Buddies helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities create lasting relationships, find employment, live independently and develop communication skills. In Florida alone, Best Buddies has more

than 11,000 e-Buddies and volunteers in public schools, colleges and communities, allowing Best Buddies to impact more than 100,000 people with and without disabilities in Florida. The BestBuddies Friendship Program, which exists in various schools and communities, creates social opportunities to build one-to-one friendships between peers with and without disabilities. Visit Best Buddies website at Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida – was founded in 1991, and has touched the lives of more than 12,000 individuals with Down syndrome and their families by offering hope, acceptance, and empowerment through advocacy, education and awareness. With the help from more than 17,000 friends, professionals, volunteers and other supporters, DSACF creates a Central Florida community dedicated to guiding individuals with Down syndrome through life so that each may realize their potential.

Along with emotional and financial support to those with Down syndrome and their families, DSACF offers various resources and programs to every age and stage, from baby playgroups and parent workshops for new and expecting parents to helping adolescents plan for their future as they transition into adulthood.

Visit the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida website at For more information in Magical Dining month or a full list of participating restaurants go to:

Love where you live.

Skyline Fifth. On the corner of hip and cool. 727.327.1444

By Chris Azzopardi


Where would our queer world be without Will & Grace? That's where my head was just before Sean Hayes phoned, recalling my lonely teen years, when gay white men on TV alone — here's to evolved representation! — was unprecedented and life-changing for people like 15-year-old, closeted me.


It's not enough, then, to say Hayes, 48, portrays Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom, because some roles become legend, upstaging even the actor giving him life. Jack is one such character. And so, a call from Hayes is like being a kid and spotting your fifth-grade teacher at the grocery store: It doesn't quite feel real. And yet Hayes is a real man with a real life and even a real husband, music producer Scott Icenogle. But to the late-'90s TV landscape, it was the actor's half-fiction as Jack and his exploding-rainbow persona that cut through heteronormative programming with gay jokes even your grandma could get down with. And then, there's Karen. You obviously don't need me to needlessly ramble on about Jack's socialite best friend (played by Megan Mullally), who never met a martini she didn't like. You know her, you love her. And together they truly make all of our friends out to be absolute fucking bores. The sitcom's recent revival reinstated #friendshipgoals when the snarky pals, along with titular housemates Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing), came swishing back to NBC in September 2017 for a ninth season after ending its initial 1998–2006 run. Hayes isn't Jack, exactly. But you might be fooled if he called you, too. His usuallyunflashy voice sometimes picks up wind and takes on the kind of rapid-fire cadence his famous Cher-worshiping alter ego is known for. With Season 10 premiering October 4 and Season 9 now available on DVD and digital, I caught up with Hayes to talk about those who've long criticized Jack for being “stereotypically” gay, the history of the legendary Karen-Jack slap fights, and who helped him be OK with being gay. It's hard to put into words exactly what it feels like to talk to the man who gave me such an iconic gay character when I

needed it most. Oh my god. That's so sweet. I really appreciate that. And you just answered the reason why when people ask me what's the best part about playing it— that's the best part. Is it? One-hundred percent. When did you first realize Will & Grace had impacted the LGBTQ community the way it has? Just a couple of weeks ago! [Laughs.] No, I'm joking. You know what's so funny — first of all, you have no idea how much that means to me, you saying how much I mean to you. It means equally as much to me, so thank you. So when did I know I had an impact? I think

when I was young and doing the show I was so wrapped up in myself, in acting, in getting the part: “Am I going to get fired? Am I gonna learn my lines?” I was just happy to have a job. It's such a fascinating thing to discuss, and I'm so glad you asked. I felt normal growing up, so when I got a job, playing a gay character on a television sitcom I just thought, “Oh, I just have to be me, kind of, a heightened version of myself.” I didn't think it would have that much of an impact because of the bubble I grew up in. I surround myself with people who are accepting of me, so naively I was like, “The rest of the world must be OK with it.” I mean, I knew the stories [about homophobia] out there. I grew up and knew [being gay] wasn't accepted, but I just didn't think on any big level it was any big deal. So, that gave me the confidence to play Jack as outrageously as I could because, again, I'm surrounded by writers and actors —

“Look at Jim Carrey, look at Robin Williams. There are lots of straight people who are exaggerated as well.” everybody else — who embrace this, so I felt loved, I felt supported and I felt confidence. So, I wasn't heading to work thinking about how this is going to affect anybody. [That] was a wonderful byproduct later, and I was like, “Oh, ohh!” And once it started, and all the press and blah blah blah, and we never got any backlash for being political in that sense, meaning how they politicized gay people, which is wrong. That's another interview. Over the years, people have criticized Jack for being “flamboyant.” How aware were you of that concern when the show returned for its revival season? Oh, I never heard that. This is the first time hearing it. So, you're saying people were worried, but I was playing him — I call it “outrageous” because “flamboyant” means a certain type of gay person, I think, and that's another conversation to have. I was playing him as outrageously as I was before. So, people were concerned that I was playing him a certain way? People wondered if Jack was too stereotypical for TV in 2018 and expressed some concern over what the straight community might think of us. I think that's [internalized] homophobia. Because I know people like Jack, because one part of me is like Jack, and so if you're saying people in the gay community were concerned that I

was playing Jack a certain way and people would “worry” that gay people act like that, they do act like that. And there's people who act like Will. There are people on all spectrums of human behavior in the gay community, just like there are people on all spectrums of human behavior in the straight community, so I nix that, and I say “bye” to that — I say, “Bye, Felicia!” — because that doesn't make any sense to me. Similarly, the character of Cam on Modern Family was criticized for being an overthe-top and exaggerated version of what a gay person is. And I'm like, what exactly is a gay person supposed to be in 1998 or 2018? Yeah, exactly. What are they supposed to be? And by the way, they are exaggerated, some of them. And so are straight people. Look at Jim

Carrey, look at Robin Williams. There are lots of straight people who are exaggerated as well. I hate that argument — no, I'm glad you brought it up. I'm just saying I love talking about it, because it's ridiculous. As a kid coming to terms with being gay, who was your person? If you're talking about a famous person, Andy Bell [of Erasure]. Because I was in college and I was 17, 18, and I was shocked that somebody was out and proud, making a living in the arts or in pop culture by being who they are and not apologizing for it. I thought that was mindblowing. “A Little Respect” was the No. 1 song on the radio, and I was like, “Wait, the guy is gay, and everybody is OK with that?” The truth is, not a lot of people knew [Bell was gay] because we didn't have the internet. But I knew, and all my gay friends knew. And I was like, “That's amazing.” So that was inspiring to me, that you could be gay and make a living by singing, acting, whatever.

“Everything is not OK. There are still gay kids being bullied…. It just doesn't end.”

What has it been like to be a part of a show that has existed during two very different times, culturally and politically, for the LGBTQ community? First, I feel very fortunate and lucky to be part of the chorus of the movement. I may not be a single voice, but I'm enjoying being a part of the chorus. And I think we're lucky to have the voice and the representation for people to talk about it again, because I don't think it should ever stop being talked about because everything is not OK. There are still gay kids being bullied. Look at that [gay] couple [that was assaulted] in Florida in the bathroom during [Miami Beach Gay] Pride. It just doesn't end. The hate doesn't end overnight. So, we have to keep doing things, and again, my contribution may not be as an activist, because I just don't feel comfortable doing that, it's not who I am. It's not in my blood, it's not in my DNA to stand at a podium and speak in sound bites about how we need to prevail over the government and the system. I leave that to people who are good at it — I'm not good at it. What I'm good at is being comfortable in my own skin and showing people that I have a husband, and we make stupid Facebook videos and try to show people that we're as normal as any other human. I try to do my best at that. So, I'm happy the show is back because

“My contribution may not be as an activist, because I just don't feel comfortable doing that. It's not who I am. It's not in my blood.” there's still tons of work to do. The power of comedy is so incredible; that's why we broke so many boundaries the first time. And hopefully we can continue to do that. Megan Mullally has said that you're her “second husband,” after her real husband, Nick Offerman. How does your chemistry with Megan after all these years compare to the first time that you stepped onto set and shot the pilot? It's so funny that she calls me her second husband because Nick and I were born on the exact same day, same year, about 30 miles apart. Isn't that hilarious? But it's like working with your sister. There's a shorthand that nobody else would understand. So, it's like, “I'm gonna do this,” and she's like, “I'm gonna do that,” and then we just do it together. And there it is. So, we now know how to cut through all the stuff that you need to [cut through] to get to a comedic moment in a scene. And that's what's great about all this time that's passed: I understand her, she understands me, we understand each other, so the chemistry has only gotten hotter. Tell me the history of the slap fights between Karen and Jack. There's an episode called “Coffee and Commitment,” where Jack is trying to get off of coffee and Karen's trying to quit alcohol. That was the first time we slapped each other. On paper, it was just, “Karen slaps Jack, Jack slaps Karen.” But of course, [Will & Grace Director] Jimmy Burrows, who is incredible at physical comedy, said, “Let's make a dance out of this.”

So, we rehearsed the rhythm of it. I think that's what makes you laugh — that's what makes me laugh: the pauses and then the slapping again and then the pause and the slap-slap. It's music, so you have to rehearse the beats and the rhythms in order to get that. [Laughs.] It makes me laugh even thinking about it. What do you envision for Jack's future? Well, I don't want him to change too much because our friends are our friends from high school because they never change, right? Maybe get married, but still remain Jack somehow, or find a long-term relationship. Or maybe — maybe! — there's someone close in his own life that might be a suitable partner for life. Who knows? Will? I have no idea. Could you see them together? Could I see Will and Jack together? Maybe! You've said you want to see him with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Just so you know, I'm here for it. I think that would be a hilarious episode, and I hope Dwayne comes to his senses and comes to the Will & Grace [set] to play and have a good time.

As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars. You can reach him at or on Twitter @chrisazzopardi.

hot bodies By Tom Bonanti


Annoying Gym Habits You Should Stamp Out Right Now

Every gym is home to a colorful cast of characters. Some are inspirations, many are there just to get the work done, and then there are a few who make you cringe every time they scuttle out onto the gym floor. What makes these guys so unpleasant is their complete lack of gym etiquette, which renders them a nuisance, or even a danger to themselves and others. If you think you might be one of these folks, here are some basic rules you can follow to avoid the most obnoxious gym habits.

Share. Don't treat the gym like your own personal property. Remember that you share the equipment, the locker room, juice bar, even the parking lot with every other paying customer. Stop hoarding the

Unless someone asks you for friendly pointers — or you see somebody in imminent danger of hurting themselves or others — you're better off attending to your own workouts. Chances are your own routine could use a little tweaking and a few adjustments.

Limit the jaw workouts. Stop talking so much and

Sweating is healthy and natural, but make sure your gym clothes are freshly laundered before each workout. weights as if they belong to you exclusively. If you're on the phone, surrender the machine you're working on to someone else who is waiting.

get down to work. The gym is full of Chatty Cathys. They chatter on the treadmill, they engage the instructor during spinning, and they're not even quiet in yoga class. Too much talking can lower the intensity of a workout by pulling focus. Excessive yakking can even be dangerous if lack of attention leads to injuries caused by poor form. Socializing is fantastic, and you want to catch up with your buddies at the gym, but save the bulk of the chitchat for in between exercises or after your workout.

Pipe down. Drop the sound effects. By far the most annoying character in the gym (for me) is the boor who's constantly grunting and yelling, either by himself or with others. While a little groaning, huffing, and puffing is just a part of the weight training process, excessive noise and yelling is just a bad-boy cry for attention. Be more considerate of your fellow gymgoers who would definitely prefer you keep the Neanderthal sound effects to a minimum.

Keep it clean. Return dumbbells, barbells, and other equipment to their proper places when you're done using them. Wipe down benches and machines after your sets. Don't spit in the drinking fountains. Toss trash and recyclables into the proper receptacles. Keep in mind that the locker room is a public space and not your home bathroom. Sweating is healthy and natural, but make sure your gym clothes are freshly laundered before each workout. Courtesy is something you teach by your example, and it is contagious.

Hold the pointers. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice. Even if you've got the best intentions, a know-it-all busybody is an annoyance to other members. Most gyms employ certified trainers who are there to assist clients who want expert advice and supervision.

Tom Bonanti is a certified fitness trainer and licensed massage therapist with his own gym and studio, Pump'n Inc. (, in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact Tom at with questions or to schedule a free consultation.

hot shots photos by pat o’rourke

Parliament House Orlando 43rd Anniversary Show

Invoke . Provoke . Evolve . Join the tribe and fight the spread of HIV. Embark on a journey filled with HOPE and HELP. The island is calling. EVO...EVO...EVO... Are you listening?


Saturday, September 8th, 2018

Rosen Centre Hotel on Interna onal Drive 6:00pm Registra on & VIP Cocktail Recep on 7:30pm The Island Experience


General Admission $250

Open Sea ng Ticket

*VIP Admission $500

*VIP Pkg. Reserved Sea ng, �i� �ag and Cocktail Recep on

Presen ng Sponsor $60,000 Execu ve Sponsor $20,000 Director Sponsor $15,000 Partner Sponsor $10,000 Patron $5,000 Community $2,500

By Scott Holland

It was a beautiful day in May when we brought down a few of Central Florida’s hotties to South Florida to do this Estevez Swimwear photo shoot. We would like to thank Andres from Estevez, and Casey and Edward from The Grand Resort & Spa for letting us shoot there.

Sarape Red $55

Maxi bear Black $55 & Green Camo $50

Sarape Green $55

Superfesh Pineapple & Superfresh Lemonade $58 each

Bloom 04 & Sarape Green $55 each

Supernatural Red Honeycomb & Super Fresh Watermelon $58 each

Macho 2018 Tank Top & Unicorn Pink Tank Top $35 each

Sarape Blue $55 Beat Tank Top Summer 18 $35 & Bear Summer 18 Swimsuit $55

We would like to thank our models (top row, L to R): Keith, Luke (bottom row, L to R: David, Hunter, Anthony

hot shots photos by tony fowler

Balance Tampa Bay’s July Social CW Gin Joint

Hotspots Central! August 2018  
Hotspots Central! August 2018