RAGE MONTHLY LGBTQ MAGAZINE JULY 2022

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA JULY 2022

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL

SO RACY!

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL

A LOOK BACK AT GAY PULP FICTION

BROADWAY SUPERSTAR ADAM PASCAL SHINES

SAN DIEGO PRIDE HILLCREST’S LARGEST SUMMER CELEBRATION IS BACK LIFESTYLE

EVENTS

FASHION

ENTERTAINMENT

IGGY AZALEA

LONG BEACH PRIDE GETS “FANCY” NIGHTLIFE

COMMUNITY




THE MUSICAL EVENT OF THE SEASON SEE IT BEFORE BROADWAY!

(L-R): Eden Espinosa and Amber Iman in Lempicka, photo by Rich Soublet II.

A breath-taking musical about Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka, a woman ahead of her era — and an artist whose time has finally come. LISTEN NOW

LISTEN TO TWO SHOWSTOPPING NUMBERS FROM LEMPICKA, PRESENTED BY SONY MASTERWORKS BROADWAY! "Woman Is" sung by Eden Espinosa (Tamara de Lempicka) "Perfection" sung by George Abud (Marinetti)

NOW – JULY 24 GET TICKETS!

LaJollaPlayhouse.org (858) 550-1010


SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS presents

JULY 5–17 July 16 at 2 pm

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PUBLISHER Jay S. Jones jay@ragemonthly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Brad L. Hart brad@ragemonthly.com EDITOR editor@ragemonthly.com ART CONSULTANT art@ragemonthly.com COPY EDITOR Ken Williams DISTRIBUTION Pride In Media

RAGE MONTHLY INC. 3911 Cleveland Ave #34462 San Diego, CA 92103 Phone 619.906.RAGE (7243) CONTACT US ON THE WEB - RAGE.LGBT - twitter.com/ragemonthly - facebook.com/theragemonthly - instagram.com/theragemonthly ADVERTISE WITH US 619.906.RAGE(7243) sales@ragemonthly.com NATIONAL ADVERTISING REP Rivendell Media 212.242.6863

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tom Andrew, Bill Biss, Chris Carpenter, Hanz Enyeart, Brad Hart, Jay Jones, Lisa Lipsey, Tim Parks, Tony Reverditto, Freddy Saluna, Cutter Slagle, Andrew J. Stillman Cover Photo & Table of Contents MULTIPEDIA SUBSCRIPTIONS – One year (12 issues): $45.00 Direct all editorial and subscription orders to our office or website. Rage Magazine inc., dba The Rage Monthly. The Rage Monthly is a registered trademark. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers or staff. Reproduction of any article, photo, listing or advertisement without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. The people, businesses and organizations appearing in The Rage Monthly are supportive of the gay community. Mentions or photographs of any person, business, or organization are not a reflection of their sexual orientation. The Rage Monthly is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. PRINTED IN THE USA

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JULY 2022 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 2

CONTENTS 14 COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT LONG BEACH PRIDE 16 COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT SAN DIEGO PRIDE 20 PRIDE DANCE PARTIES 22 QUEER HISTORY THE HELPERS 26 HOLLYWOOD GAY PULP FICTION 30 STAGE SPOTLIGHT MICHAEL FEINSTEIN 34 STAGE IN THE LIMELIGHT 36 THEATRE SPOTLIGHT ADAM PASCAL IN PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL 42 MUSIC SPOTLIGHT THE POWER OF LGBTQ MUSIC REPORT 44 RAGE RECOMMENDS JUST DANCE 46 FILM CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF OUTFEST LA 50 TRAVEL SYCUAN CASINO RESORT 54 FITNESS GET THAT BEACH BOD 56 MILLENNIAL MATTERS SEX POSITIVE OR JUST PLAIN CRASS? 59 ARTRAGEOUS PROUD+ 5TH ANNIVERSARY

12 www.rage.lgbt www.rage.lgbt | MARCH 12 | JULY 20222022


IGGY AZALEA

Urban Soul Stage

July 10th @8pm

NATALIA JIMENÉZ

Fiesta Caliente Stage

July 9th @7:30pm

PAULINA RUBIO

SATURDAY + SUNDAY

Fiesta Caliente Stage

July 10th @6pm

JULY 9TH - 10TH Artist line up

(FIESTA CALIENTE STAGE JULY 9TH @ 4:00PM)

YO YO

(URBAN SOUL STAGE JULY 9TH @ 6:00PM)

NIRA

LEAD SINGER OF AMOR PROHIBIDO BAND (FIESTA CALIENTE STAGE JULY 10TH @ 3:00PM)

GIA BANKS (URBAN SOUL STAGE JULY 10TH @ 5PM)


by brad hart

photo courtesy lucas gordon photography

community spotlight

LONG BEACH PRIDE SETTING A NEW STANDARD

First held in 1984, Long Beach Pride attracts more than 75,000 people during the three-day celebration. This year’s festival, parade and festivities will take place from Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10. The weekend will kick off with a free Teen Pride celebration on Friday, July 8. The waterfront festival featuring musical headliners Iggy Azalea, Natalia Jiménez and Paulina Rubio will offer live music, community programming, sponsor activations, and food and drinks from local eateries. The annual parade will take place on Sunday morning. A Circuit Dance pavilion, powered by the renowned music brand Reload, has been added to this year’s event. Scheduled powerhouse entertainers will include DJ Alexander, DJ Alex Acosta, DJ Kidd Madonny, DJ Nina Flowers and Grammy winning producer DJ Tony Moran. ”This year’s Long Beach Pride will be our biggest and will become the gold standard for Pride festivals across the globe,” said Elsa Martinez, president of Long Beach Pride. “In order for us to tell our story in a way that honors the struggle, celebrates the community, and captivates new generations while showcasing our history, we will engage our audience in a variety of ways. In addition to the stages and musical entertainment, we will be creating activations and attractions that will entertain, educate, and inspire our audience.”

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In addition to performances by Azalea, Jiménez and Rubio, the festival stages will also feature Sonora Tropicana, Amoro Prohibido Band (a Selena Tribute Band), Gia Banks (of the hit TV show Legendary) and hip-hop singer and actress YoYo. Activations at this year’s event include: Community Walls — Spaces for reflection and interaction, where guests can write inspirational messages. Many Voices, One Spirit. Drag Make-up — Didn’t come in full face? A drag diva glam squad will give you the business. Step up for a sprinkling of glitter and quick lip pop. Or book a sit-down session and emerge completely transformed. Family Fun Zone — Enjoy a family-friendly area to relax and play alongside interactive activations that celebrate diversity and individuality at all ages. Roller Rink — The centerpiece of attractions will be a fun new feature for the whole family. A rainbow-powered roller rink will celebrate our collective joy! Meet at the rink for a session of self-expression, all set to a pulsing soundtrack of iconic dance anthems through the decades. Senior Fun Zone — Enjoy activities including music, karaoke and bingo.

Silent Disco — Dance to your own beat in this disco DJ dome. Strap on your headset and find your freedom with fellow revelers. We’re here, we’re queer, get down with it. S&M Playground — Leather dominates at this adult fun zone. Kink and body confidence are the order of the day, so strap in for a titillating adventure with one of the most vibrant LGBTQ communities. Artist Walls — Don’t miss the artist walls, spaces for reflection and interaction, designed by local community artists who bring the lived experience to Long Beach Pride in bold, inspiring statements of purpose and promise Transcendence Dome — Celebrate the trans community and the trans women of color who pioneered everything Pride is through protest for survival and human rights. The reason that we have a Pride parade today is thanks to those who came before and fought with their lives. This pop-up museum shares the historical context to our growing movement and highlights the work still to be done. Werkshop Ballroom — Meet at the main stage between musical acts and watch the dance competition get lit. Every category will be fierce. Watch the most awarded houses battle it out on center stage or werk it out in the crowd sessions, showcasing your own special style of sashay on the runway. longbeachpride.com


IGGY AZALEA LONG BEACH PRIDE’S “FANCY”HEADLINER What made you decide to pursue a career in entertainment? It was never a conscious choice. I’ve always been drawn to entertaining people and artistry of all kinds — since I was very little! I viewed it simply as doing what brought me happiness . . . somehow it turned into a pretty great career. For those who may not know, how would you describe the music that you typically create? I would describe the music I make as rap! Tell us about your favorite performance in your career. I genuinely don’t have a favorite. I just want to not fall over on stage! As long as that doesn’t happen it was a great show! What has been your greatest musical achievement? Probably being nominated at the Grammys or having a No. 1 song. What are you looking forward to most at your Long Beach Pride appearance? I’m looking forward to Long Beach Pride a lot because it’s very close to where I live and it’s one of those rare occasions, I can bring my friends along to watch the show. I rarely get to do that and I’m excited to not just do the concert but enjoy pride with friends. Can you give us a sneak peek (what to expect) for your performance at Long Beach Pride? Probably some amazing wigs and even better dancers on stage with me. The girls in my show really kill it! Why are your LGBTQ fans important to you? The LGBTQ community has always supported me, defended me and even at times educated me. Not just in my career, but as a person and I’m extremely grateful for that. I owe the community a lot and I’m genuinely honored every time I’m invited to be a part of Pride. Catch Iggy Azalea live on the Urban Stage on Sunday, July 10 at 8 p.m. iggyazalea.com instagram.com/thenewclassic

JULY 2022 | @theragemonthly

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community spotlight

by brad hart

SAN DIEGO PRIDE

CELEBRATE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN BALBOA PARK San Diego County’s biggest summer party is calling your name. More than100 entertainers will perform across five stages at this month’s San Diego Pride Festival on Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, in Balboa Park. The all-LGBTQ lineup will feature headliners Snow Tha Product, Daya, Ashnikko and Baby Tate. Other notable acts will include Mila Jam, Ballet Folklorico Trans Proyecto, Chulita Vinyl Club and TRANSVIOLET. This year’s theme is “Justice with Joy,” inspired by San Diego Pride’s decades of LGBTQ-centered philanthropy, alongside the joyous return of in-person Pride celebrations. “Our goal at this year’s Pride Festival is to predominantly feature our fiercely talented local LGBTQ community,” San Diego Pride executive director Fernando Lopez said. “We are thrilled to come together again for our first in-person Pride Festival in three years, where our artists and entertainers help us be seen, be heard, find family, raise funds, build capacity, and carve out the space for us all to be unapologetically our true, authentic selves.” The two-day festival will showcase local LGBTQ and BIPOC artists, educational and art exhibits, local businesses, interactive cultural presentations, local food vendors, HIV testing, children and youth areas, and more.

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“We are still fighting for justice and that takes away from our joy. We need each other now more than ever to stand strong and see liberation through,” said Mila Jam, a Saturday performer who is a Black and transgender advocate. “As a queer, trans Latinx, it is super important to have access to this type of platform; it has been on my bucket list to perform at the San Diego Pride Festival for years now,” said MUXXXE, a Mundo Latino Stage performer on Saturday. “I’m beyond excited to represent all my queer/ LGBTQI+ Latinxs out here.” “With all that’s going on in the world right now I can’t wait for a moment of good vibes and peace while bringing people together. Remember to always be true to who you are,” said AZJAH, a Movement Stage performer on Sunday. Also returning this year will be the massive Pride Parade on Saturday, July 16 starting at 10 a.m., which is free and open to the public. The San Diego Pride Parade is one of the nation’s largest, annually attracting over 250,000 people worldwide. All proceeds from the festival and parade will support San Diego Pride’s philanthropy and its year-round education and advocacy programs. As of 2022, San Diego Pride has donated over $3 million to local, national and international LGBTQ-serving organizations. sdpride.



san diego pride

by brad hart

PRIDE WEEK FUN & FESTIVITIES SHE FEST

STRIKE A POSE: PRIDE YOGA

KICKOFF BUSINESS MIXER

SPIRIT OF STONEWALL RALLY

Saturday, July 9 The flagship event that kicks off Pride week will return to the Hillcrest Pride Flag site at Pride Square. She Fest is a woman-centered party that celebrates and supports the talents of LGBTQ women while fostering meaningful connections within and between the LGBTQ and larger San Diego communities .

Thursday, July 14 The first-ever Pride yoga event hosted by the San Diego Symphony at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park will include an hour-long sunset yoga class and dance party hosted on The Rady Shell lawn. This will be an excellent opportunity for yogis (and non-yogis) to enjoy all the park amenities free of charge while celebrating Pride.

Monday, July 11 Mix and mingle at San Diego’s LGBTQ business mixer. San Diego Equality Business Association (SDEBA) will move this year’s event to Gossip Grill, with double the capacity compared to 2021’s mixer. Admission will include your first adult beverage, light bites and opportunities to network with professionals from all over the area. SDEBA will also unveil its 2022-23 Business Directory.

Friday, July 15 San Diego traditionally launches Pride weekend with a celebration that recognizes leaders working hard to preserve LGBTQ gains and meet the many challenges facing our collective community. The Spirit of Stonewall Awards will honor individuals who contribute significantly to the LGBTQ community through their leadership, activism and fundraising efforts.

LIGHT UP THE CATHEDRAL

PRIDE 5K WALK AND RUN

Wednesday, July 13 Light Up the Cathedral will bring together LGBTQ and affirming faith leaders, clergy, tribes, synagogues, churches, mosques, people of faith and faith-affirming folks to celebrate faith, resilience and the LGBTQ community. After the service, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral will be lit in rainbow colors.

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Saturday, July 16 San Diego Front Runners Pride 5K Run & Walk will return live instead of virtual. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best rainbow gear. Every year, money raised at the event will generate significant donations for San Diego Pride and the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Youth Housing Project.


Special Presales on select EVENTS: Visit BroadwaySD.com On July 16 & 17 for more info!


san diego pride

by brad hart

AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A PRIDE PARTY PRIDE AT RETREAT

Sunday, July 10 Sycuan Casino Resort will kick off San Diego Pride festivities with an afternoon pool party. The expansive deck is furnished with pool chairs, oversized daybeds and cabanas, so you can choose your own adventure and experience. Fresh, seasonal fare can be found on the daily menu alongside signature cocktails and refreshments. Take a cruise along the lazy river. Local queen Mz Perez will host a drag show featuring performances by some of San Diego’s fiercest and finest queens.

UNITE! MUSIC FESTIVAL

Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15 The two-day extravaganza is now an all-ages event. Celebrating its 10th year, the Pride of Hillcrest Block Party will feature a diverse lineup of local and international talent. The party will include a cocktail bar and beer garden, food trucks, drag shows starring international drag superstars Violet Chachki and Gottmik, go-go dancers, a Ferris wheel and a DJ dance party.

Friday, July 15 through Monday, July 18 The supercharged sixth anniversary of UNITE! Music Festival will be among the official parties of San Diego Pride. It features a diverse, international musical landscape spanning the electronic music spectrum from deep and progressive house and tribal to progressive trance and techno. From start to finish, this audible journey will promote connection, healing and growth through dance-floor therapy. Throw in the infamous festival-style “PLUR vibes” for unity, a friendly and diverse crowd, and cutting-edge technology in lighting, laser shows, video artist and LED production and Funktion-One sound. This makes UNITE! Music Festival a one-of-a-kind, not-to-be-missed annual event. The festival includes three massive, high-quality main nighttime events by OVERDRIVE, Masterbeat and WÜF! at Spin Nightclub. Plus, the return of the well-received #UNITED WE GROOVE sunset harbor cruise on board the largest yacht in SoCal, the Inspiration Hornblower. UNITE! will donate a portion of proceeds to the San Diego Pride organization and the Sunburst Youth Housing Project for LGBTQ youth in San Diego.

SUBWOOFER

QUEERGXRL PRIDE PARTY

PRIDE OF HILLCREST BLOCK PARTY

Friday, July 15 Bear it all at SubWOOFer. Returning to The Merrow in the the heart of Hillcrest, Chris Vance’s epic dance party is a place to celebrate, cruise and dance with the friendliest crowd. Get nuts-to-butts on the dance floor with DJ Neon The Glowgobear from Atlanta and the woofy go-go Bears. SubWOOFer will take over the parking lot to create an outdoor playground complete with bars and FimFim’s hot dogs, burgers and lumpia.

LAUNCH

Friday, July 15 The Rob Benzon Dan Ferbal Foundation will celebrate more than two decades of giving with its annual San Diego Pride kickoff party. This “party with a purpose” has become one of San Diego’s premier events, returning 100 percent of the ticket sales back to supporting the LGBTQ community. This first-class fete will be at the beautiful grounds of the historic Burnham House near Balboa Park. Enjoy more of San Diego’s top chefs and restaurants serving up their unique creations for your enjoyment, a silent auction, a VIP Lounge offering tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, decadent treats, and a hosted bar serving premium liquors and wine.

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Friday, July 15 QueerGxrl Events will take over the Andaz nightclub in downtown San Diego. DJ Lotus Banks and DJ Alex D will bring high-energy trap, hip-hop and EDM vibes to create the ultimate queer womxn Pride party of 2022.

FURRAGEOUS

Saturday, July 16 Things will be getting hairy in Little Italy. Join hundreds of men for the woofiest, burliest party of the weekend. DJ Jon Williams will headline this Pride dance party at the Music Box, a three-level music venue with audiophile-quality acoustics, a spacious floor plan, outdoor patios, two VIP experiences and general admission.

EDEN MUSIC FESTIVAL

Saturday, July 16 This is San Diego Pride’s largest party for women who love women, and their friends. The indoor/outdoor mini music festival and femalefocused queer Pride concert will have high-energy live music, DJs, dancers, LGBTQ vendors, and surf + skate activations.


CHRIS VANCE

PROMOTER OF BEAR NIGHT, FURRAGEOUS AND SUBWOOFER How did you become involved in party planning and promoting? I moved from Nashville to San Diego in 2006, and although there were fun bars here, I felt like something was missing. The dance clubs mainly catered to twinks, which alienated our community. There was a large, tight-knit Bear community and an untapped audience. One night a friend of mine took me to [the now defunct] Bacchus House, and I immediately fell in love with the bar. It wasn’t big, but it reminded me of New Orleans and the bars in the South. That’s when the light bulb went on in my head. I thought, this is it, so I asked my friend to introduce me to the manager. From there, I met DJ Jon Williams and the rest is history. What’s the formula for a successful party? It starts with knowing your audience. And music, music, music! If the music ain’t hitting, the party ain’t kickin’. Plus, if you’ve been to one of my events, I am obsessed with lasers and lights! When I first heard Jon Williams spin back at Bacchus House, I knew he was the one — he reminded me of the DJs back in Nashville that would spin the soundtracks to my life. FYI, DJ Jon Williams has a 100% attendance record in the 14 years of Bear Night. What traits make a superb promoter? It’s all about attention to detail and understanding your audience. You also need to be outgoing and able to engage with people as you ensure guests have the best experience. Plus, a knowledge of marketing, social media, décor, lights, sound, a great team and DJs. Do you have an all-time favorite party that you attended that someone else planned? Oh yes! My most impressionable and memorable party was always Corbett Reynolds’ annual Red Party in Columbus, Ohio. As a new gay in my 20s, his parties were over the top with the best DJs and themes, including life-sized elephants and 10-foot-tall stallions and seahorses he made himself. Look him up on the Internet; he was legendary! From your perspective, how has Bear culture evolved over the years? It has evolved from a subculture of hairy men who did not fit the traditional gay mold to a mainstream community of acceptance and inclusion. Now everyone wants to be a Bear or love the heck out of them. This is evident with the vast array of bars, parties, events and cruises catering to this furry, lovable, fun-seeking demographic. Like any species, the Bear community has adapted to our everchanging society and continues to thrive while contributing to our LGBTQ community. Why have your parties been hugely successful for over 14 years? Well, I’ve been a part of the Bear culture for as long as I can remember. I’ve lived it and enjoyed it, so I could tap in on what I liked and what I felt would work best. I’ve stayed consistent with my core audience from the beginning. Bear Night was hugely successful from the first night at Bacchus House. That momentum and energy have continued over the years, and it’s been awesome! No matter what curves came my way — like the first two bars closing — I have been able to adapt, learn and flourish. While we were closed during the pandemic, I didn’t know if we would open back up with the same success or if I wanted to continue doing events. I was wrong on both accounts. San Diego has been thirsty, and we relaunched with lines down the street. Everyone has always supported me, and I have a very loyal following. I am grateful for them. People always ask me when I get to have fun, and my answer has always been, “Who says I’m not?” Is Bear Night your full-time job? No, I have been an art director at Sycuan Casino Resort for the past seven years. Have you thought about taking Bear Night to other cities? Yes, that is in the cards! You never know where Bear Night or FURRAGEOUS might pop up.

JULY 2022 | @theragemonthly

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queer history

by hanz enyeart

THE HELPERS

The early days of the AIDS epidemic were filled with terror and uncertainty. No one was sure what the disease was, how it was spread, or who was at risk. Because the majority of early cases affected gay men, it was first known as “gay cancer” and later “gay-related immune deficiency” (GRID). Though health authorities discovered that the virus could not be contracted through touch, it did little to quell public panic and ignorance. The virus was gasoline on the already-colossal fire of homophobia. Societal fear was so great that some healthcare professionals would even refuse to treat patients with HIV/AIDS or perform a post-mortem. Many men who were either not out to their families or had been abandoned by them died alone in their hospital rooms. The virus was rampant and catastrophic. A friend of mine living in New York City at the height of the crisis once tearfully confided that she was burying friends every weekend.

The queer community struggled to process this incredible trauma, grief and homophobia. Then out of tragedy came something beautiful. Lesbian women, a demographic at low risk for contracting the virus, started organizing in support of their gay brothers dying from AIDS. One man who survived the early epidemic recalled, “Suddenly, hospitals were full of lesbians who were volunteering. Volunteering to go into those rooms and help my friends who were dying. I remember being so moved by them because gay men hadn’t been too kind to lesbians. We’d call them ‘fish’ and make fun of the butch dykes in the bars — and yet, there they were.” They also gave their blood. Batteries of blood tests and experimental treatments left those with HIV/AIDS severely anemic and in need of regular transfusions. And in 1983, men who have sex with men (MSM) were banned from giving blood in the U.S. in an effort to prevent HIV being spread through blood transfusions. Seeing their brothers were in need, lesbian community leaders in San Diego established an account with a private blood bank that would allow donors to designate who would receive their donation — in this case, those with HIV and AIDS. Dubbing themselves the Blood Sisters, they planned their first blood drive for July 16, 1983. When the manager of the San Diego Blood Bank asked organizer Barbara Vick how many people she thought might show up, she guessed 50 or 60. “Well, there were 50 or 60 women there at 10 a.m. when the blood bank opened, waiting,” she remembered. By the day’s end, 170 women had donated their blood. The blood drives grew into large-scale community events. “Sometimes we’d have ‘The Little Brothers of the Blood Sisters.’ The men came out and would show their support, like giving massages in the park across from the blood bank, so it really became expanded to the men supporting the women who supported the men.” Word caught on, and lesbian women in cities across the country started organizing similar blood drives, which continued into the 1990s when antiretroviral therapies became readily available. Once spelled GLB, we now put lesbians at the front of the LGBTQIA+ acronym (the T and others were added later) to honor those who defied overwhelming stigma to comfort and care for their community devastated by HIV/AIDS. Not only did they literally give part of themselves, but they also became primary caretakers as many medical professionals refused to be near HIV/AIDS patients. Their selflessness and compassion ultimately brought about a solidarity between gay men and lesbian women that didn’t exist before. When we put lesbians at the front of the “alphabet mafia,” we remember their withstanding presence at a time when gay men were abandoned by most everyone else, including the government. We honor their compassion at a time when the rest of the world was apathetic. We remember a time when we looked for the helpers, and we didn’t have to look farther than our sisters.

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Hanz Enyeart is a queer-history maven who grew up in Mobile, Alabama. He works in philanthropy, and you can catch him on weekends at HUMANITY! on University Avenue in Hillcrest, San Diego

photos courtesy lambda archives

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” — Mister Rogers



SAN SAN DIEGO DIEGO PRIDE PRIDE

J U LY 16 - J U LY 17, 2 0 2 2 • BALBOA PARK • SAN D I E GO, CA

ASHNIKKO • DAYA SNOW THA PRODUCT • BABY TATE • HONEYLUV MILA JAM • AZJAH TRANSVIOLET • STARMAXX SD PRIDE PRESENTS: BASELINE HQ • BABY WEIGHT DREW G • MYYLO • GLASS BATTLES • JAI RODRIGUEZ • NISHI LA TREMENDA Y SUS ALIADOS • DISCO DOLLIE

ALEJANDRA SANDOVAL CON SU AMIGAS • ANGEL FARRAH • BARBIE Z’S DOLLHOUSE • BEANS • BIZZY BALBOA BLACK GIRL MAGIC SAN DIEGO • CHI CHI FUERA • CHULITA VINYL CLUB • CULTURE SHOCK • DEJA RE DJ ALMOND EYEZ • DJ BARBAROSSA • DJ DAN DIEGO • DJ FARIBA • DJ HEABNASTY • DJ HEVROCK • DJ HI-FI DJ JALIL • DJ JULIAN RAMIREZ • DJ K-SWIFT • DJ LATINA • DJ RICK BETTA • DJ TERRY JASINTO • DJ VINCE DELANO DJ ZAREEN • FIERCE GRACE-THE SAN DIEGO QUEER COLORGUARD • FRIDAE • GENESIAH • GUILIANA GRUPO FOLKLORICO HERENCIA MEXICANA • JAHIDA SKY • JANEL ACAN • JAYE NAIMA JNAV JN • JON DOSS KHALIL BLEUX • KING STEPHON • LOTUS BANKS • MAATI MAKEE • MADDY MOKES • MAI MAI MATT EFFECT • MATT HARKENRIDER • MATTHEW PERNICANO • MICHAEL CARRERA • MISS LADY D • MUXXXE • PETE T PROYECTO TRANS LATINA • PURFLO • PURSUASIAN NATION • SABROSAS LATIN ORQUESTA • SEBASTIAN MADRID TBD SAN DIEGO • THE AFTERNOON UMBRELLA FRIENDS - JOVELLA, KALE, AND PRINCE S • TRUE COLORS REVUE UKEIM ORTIZ • UNITY FELLOWSHIP CHURCH • VANITY JONES • ZION

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CHRIS VANCE PRESENTS

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BURLIEST PARTIES OF SAN DIEGO PRIDE!

FRIDAY,

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DJ NEON THEATLANTA GLOWGOBEAR Outdoor Lounge with Bars • FimFim’s Hot Dogs, Burgers & Lumpia • Coat Check Available

25 Day of Event

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dj jon williams Three Levels • Two VIP Experience Options • Full Food Menu • Coat Check Available

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— VIP Opera Boxes for Six with bottle service available at MusicBoxSD.com or call 619.836.1847 —

Early Bird and Presale tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite.com. | 21+ @BearNightSD


GAY N O I T C I F P L U P

hollywood

by tim parks

A few months ago, I attended the Oddities and Curiosities Expo, and there was a lone table with a vendor selling rather risqué items for such an event — a 1980s sex toy, anyone? No, I didn’t buy it! However, among the porn-store wares was a collection of gay pulp novels, and I gladly scooped up all four that the seller had to offer. I’ve long been fascinated with their mere existence during such a closeted time in gay history. I wasn’t immune to the irony that they were for sale at that particular event, as they are something of an oddity and or curiosity from then to now.

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During the 1990s, I had amassed quite the collection of refrigerator magnets with the illustrated cover images sure to entice those who could crack the not very difficult code of what was inside the pages of these pulp novels. I mean, they usually featured some muscle-bound beefcake or a flamboyant type, along with a fitting title to accompany said book cover. And it was there that my interest began; thinking at first, they were just a campy relic of days gone by, until I was intrigued by what they had meant for their readers in a time when oppression was the name of the game.


HIS AND HER STORIES

The first gay pulp novels — or what could also be termed as gay pulp friction, given their salacious plots — were first published during the 1950s, the era of conformity with Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt and the bellwether for change with the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and the Beat generation. With the latter two signaling that a rebellion against the norms was beginning to bubble, and to borrow from my favorite recipe phrase, was thickening upon standing on the front burner of society, as the counterculture movement came into play. During this time frame, these tomes glorified sex, drugs and alternative lifestyles — oh my! However, it was our Sapphic sisters that seemed to gain the most traction, in terms of readership. And it wasn’t just the ladies, uh, lapping it up, as large numbers of hetero men enjoyed reading about women experiencing same-sex relations. These books were found in the fiction sections of your local drugstore, train stations and dime stores, which were probably the equivalent of the modern-day dollar store, what with inflation and all. But like many movie depictions of the past, the characters in the books did not have what would constitute as a happy ending, usually suffering a horrible outcome by novel’s end. The gays didn’t fare much better, both on the page and in crossover appeal. Straight women didn’t seem to have the same fascination about what happened behind closed doors with man-on-man action. The explicitly pornographic plots were printed by small-time gay presses, such as Greenleaf Classics, Publisher’s Export Co. and the Guild Press, some of which had their roots in distributing beefcake, or male physique, magazines. Soon, other publishing houses decided to cash in on the market. However, there were fewer than 300 pulp novels published by mainstream publishing houses that featured gay male characters and themes. And, unlike their lesbian literary counterparts, the books were not featured on shelves, so readers had to visit the pornographic back room of a store to retrieve the steamy stories. The books that portrayed gays and lesbians in a positive light as, gulp, normal and capable of having loving relationships and, double gasp, being mentally stable, were often the target of censorship laws that proclaimed them obscene. That’s crazy talk!

But what’s more insane is that the post office could seize these works of fiction, leading to the production of the book in question being shut down completely. In turn, and in an effort to continue publishing them, the powers-that-be had to guarantee that the characters would be killed off by a heterosexual lover or by their own hand or committed to a mental hospital for their deviant behavior, as homosexuality was considered a mental disorder until 1973. In the decade before this happened, the emergence of the gay rights movement was coming into its own, replacing the secret handshakes — which let community members know who a friend of Dorothy was — with raised fists for equality. This spilled over into the world of gay pulp books, with a demand of “and they lived happily ever after” that was prevalent in heterosexual fiction and saw censorship laws loosen. Written fantasy scenarios went out of style during the 1990s, given the readily available nature of porn becoming available on the worldwide webs. The modern-day equivalent would be the advent of fan fiction, in which sexualized scenarios of TV and fictional characters bump uglies. Brown University houses some 5,000 of these gay pulp fiction books offsite, making it both the largest collection of these torrid tomes and a way to preserve the way that LGBTQ folks made art and explored their identities before mainstream acceptance. Probably a good idea to not have them on the shelves at their library, as that may result in a sticky situation. And nobody wants an “Irv! Clean up on aisle 5” scenario while perusing the stacks. But I can’t speak for everyone. And you know who you are.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Many of the gay pulp novels had extremely salacious titles with Big Mouthful, Meatslinger and Put It In! leaving very little to the imagination. There are tales that feature “the gay as a tragic figure” trope, while others are prone to cause the church giggles. So, here’s a look at some of the sad takes on gay life of the past, the more laughter-inducing titles, some that gave a different take on established genres, being both a drag and a queen, while others proclaimed that the devil made them do it! Rodney Manlove is Gay But Not Happy — maybe it has something to do with his surname? Alas, what’s making Rodney an unhappy homosexual is that he’s a former hustler, liberated from a life on the streets by an

JULY 2022 | @theragemonthly

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elderly man, only to wind up in an “uncompromising position” in his employer’s firm. His Sex, His Problem involves murder by strangulation, as the book’s tagline explains: “He had to do it, or everybody would find out that he was a homosexual …” Sounds like a lighthearted read. As does Born to Be Gay, which finds its protagonist Terry Cabot tormented by “depraved individuals” in his quest to find acceptance. OK, now that our doom-and-gloom portion of the show has concluded its broadcast day, here are some of the titles that scream camp. Let’s start with Gay Whore, because why not? The story is set on Fire Island and sees Jack Barstow seeking gainful employment at an exclusive brothel. Do what you love, and the money will follow, indeed. Meanwhile, a bisexual jazzman — is there any other kind, really? — named Brando “Sax” Saxon headlines Hot Pants Homo and chronicles his discovery that he would also like to give the skin flute a go. Holmes, Jackie Holmes took its cue from the Bond films and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series of the 1960s as a gay secret agent who was also known as The Man from C.A.M.P. Holmes uses his male wiles throughout 10 books as he goes up against the archenemy B.U.T.C.H. (Brothers United to Crush Homosexuality) and its nefarious leader Tiger Bey. Guess the moniker Dick Galore was already taken. Oh, and he also had a poodle named Sophie that he trained to kill with her razor-sharp choppers, as well as a friend-with-benefits relationship with Rich, who is described as being “a 6-foot 5-inch-tall man, rugged and built like a bull.” Olé! Donnie and Clyde turned the real-life and cinematic events of notorious bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow into a tale of “bullets, banjos, baskets, buddies.” Queens in Drag reads like a drag version of All About Eve, with Veronica Cake showing that she has charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent as a drag superstar with a killer instinct! She ends up dispatching a younger rival with a stiletto heel to the back of the head! I would say that you can’t make this s**t up, but it’s fiction. So, there’s that fact to take into consideration. As the old saying goes that it’s “better the devil you know” and apparently, Beelzebub knew a lot of the gays or was one of them! Such is the case with the tale of poor Dave, who gets caught up in a Satanic cult, complete with animal sacrifices, and winds up as Satan’s Stud. Remember Dave, kitten blood is not a lubricant. Just sayin’. Two other books take liberties by invoking the Dark Lord in name only. The first for instance comes in the form of The Devil Is Gay, whose main character really isn’t the Prince of Darkness so much as a horny — see what I did there? — college student named Ralph Cleveland. Yeah, that’s a hot guy name; it just screams Lothario! Good ol’ Ralph has the goods to

bed any co-ed but is engaged in a clandestine relationship with Vern. One of the most notorious titled tomes, Satan Was a Lesbian, also has nothing to do with Lucifer, but details “hot and hungry hellcat” Charlene and her sexual conquests, which include Cynthia, who melts Charlene’s cold heart. Aww, I love a happy ending! Sniffle. And speaking of lesbians, here’s a smattering of titles that were available about the Sapphic set. And those of the lipstick variety seemed to be a prevalent theme. Case in point is Women’s Barracks, in which soldier Ursula falls for a comrade with a real purty mouth resplendent with the colorful makeup. College gal Laura uses lipstick as a way to convince herself that she’s too pretty to be entertaining same-sex desires and that she’s not the Odd Girl Out. The uglier side of the mirror is reflected in Flying Lesbian — not to be confused with the Sally Field sitcom The Flying Nun — that sees its main character as a victim of her “twisted passion” that drives her to “evil deeds” by seeking out “pleasures in the arms of women.”

AUTHOR, AUTHOR!

Many of the authors wrote under pseudonyms to avoid anti-gay laws and sometimes the publishers put out a call with advertisements in the books, seeking new writers to flesh out the taboo subject matter, so to speak. One of the most prolific authors, Victor J. Banis, is considered “the godfather of modern popular gay fiction.” Little did he know when he published his first short story in the Swiss gay journal, Der Kreis, in 1963 that he’d receive that moniker by writing over 160 books. These novels ranged from pulp fiction, porn, queer and straight fiction, as well as non-fiction, under his own name and pseudonyms such as Victor Jay, Don Halliday, Jan Alexander and Lyn Benedict. His works included all the aforementioned Man from C.A.M.P. series, which are credited with providing readers with characters that weren’t on the dark side of the rainbow, making for a more positive and entertaining reading experience. Banis considered himself an activist for taking this approach to the written word. Can I get an amen?

CUT. PRINT. THAT’S A WRAP! Sure, this walk down the memory lane of how things used to be is fraught with humorous aspects on the surface, but that would literally be judging a book by its cover. At its core there is a seriousness of how far we’ve come as a society. These gay pulp novels play an important part in preserving our collective history. And speaking of, I’d like to thank Dana Wiegand and Joyce Gabiola of the Lambda Archives in San Diego for their kind assistance. Until next time, that’s all the news that’s fit to print.

.

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Tim Parks has been a freelance writer for 21 years, a columnist for 16 years, and part of Team Rage since 2009. He is the award-winning author of The Scheme of Things, available on Amazon.com.


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stage spotlight

by bill biss

Get Happy! MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL WITH ‘ORCHESTRAL PREMIERE’ AT THE RADY SHELL

Spectacular! With “Miss Show Business” aka Judy Garland in the house and Michael Feinstein celebrating the Judy Garland Centennial, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park in San Diego is going to be touched by her spiritual presence and revel in the showmanship of Feinstein and the San Diego Symphony. My goodness! This kind of show only happens once every 100 years . . . think about it. On Saturday, July 16, the audience will be “stomping at the Shell,” so to speak, and this jitterbug got the lowdown from the Ambassador of American Popular Music himself . . . Michael Feinstein. “Starry, Starry Night” is so right. Is this your debut performance at The Rady Shell in San Diego? This is indeed my debut performance at The Rady Shell. I’m very excited about it because I love performing with the San Diego Symphony. I love the feel of playing outdoors and I’ve watched the construction process of The Shell over the last several years. So, it’s gratifying and exciting to finally have the opportunity to perform there. It’s also being described as an “orchestral premiere.” Can you tell me about that? The Judy Garland show is something I’ve been performing for the last six to eight months. This will be the first incarnation of the show with a symphony orchestra, and I’m most excited about that. This is the debut of the full orchestral version of the show. I haven’t been there since it was built but I heard the new

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acoustics are terrific . . . and it’s with Ted Sperling conducting the San Diego Symphony. I too have heard that the new acoustics of The Shell are wonderful. I know it’s going to be a particularly resonant evening because it is always the connection with the audience that makes the performance of any given artist heightened by that energetic exchange. So, this will be particularly exciting for me. What’s the rehearsal aspect like in putting together the Get Happy: Celebration of the Judy Garland Centennial for all of you? The rehearsal aspect has been a very long process. After I came up with the basic idea of what I wanted to say about this icon, I started assembling different songs and anecdotes, and working with Elliott Forrest on the visual media that would accompany it. All of that makes it much more complex than doing a simpler show that isn’t as finely formed. It was no small feat in deciding what to include in a concert that celebrates Judy Garland because of the formidable nature of all that she accomplished. The specific rehearsal with the orchestra will be on the day of the concert. But all of us will have had contact with the music prior to that. I’m also planning on rehearsing with Ted Sperling and Tedd Firth, who is the pianist for the show and also orchestrated the entire program for symphony. So Tedd Firth will be on hand to make sure all the orchestrations play well and without issue. Just to make sure all the elements are smooth for all of us.


Another amazing facet is in the multimedia aspect. Will you share a glimpse of that? The multimedia part of the show is particularly exciting because I was given permission from the Garland family . . . her three children with whom I’m friends and happily close to make this a broader celebration. Using photographs that they supplied and home movies. So, it is something that is truly personal for me because I not only care about doing what I can to give a sense of who Judy Garland was and why she is still important, but also to please her family . . . to please her children. The body of photographs on which we were able to draw between those supplied by her family and the historian John Fricke, number in 7,000 images. It was from that vast library that we very carefully chose the ones that will accompany the different aspects of her career. The dazzling thing about Judy Garland is that her life is documented so thoroughly in photographs, sound recordings, newspaper interviews and such. There was a dizzying amount of material to choose from, which made it all the more difficult but all the more gratifying when we were able to settle on a particular image that we felt that resonantly accompanied a musical performance or an anecdote. “Just Judy and Michael” at the piano . . . how about that? Just how fun was it to pick the songs to sing for her in preparation? For me, the highlight of the program includes my accompanying Judy Garland singing a song that she never publicly performed . . one

that turned up in the last couple of years. Just when I thought that we had heard every Garland recording possible, I found this home recording of her singing the song, “I’ll Be Seeing You.” It would seem like a no-brainer that she would have sung that song when it became popular in the early 1940s. It was never documented that she sang it anywhere. The particular recording and how I found it is kind of an eerie story. I was visiting a house that Judy Garland use to live in in the 1940s. I felt drawn to a wall in one of the rooms in the living room of the house and I touched it. It turned out to be a fake wall and behind that wall there were unlabeled home recordings. I was able to take those discs with me. It wasn’t until I got home and put them on my special archival turntable that I heard the voice of a 20-something Judy Garland singing “I’ll Be Seeing You.” It was spectacular, and I was gobsmacked. The thing that was amazing about it as well is that it was sung a cappella with no accompaniment, which made it possible for me to accompany her at the piano. So, it’s a world premiere of Judy Garland singing “I’ll Be Seeing You” and I get to play the piano while she does it! Now, that is absolutely amazing! Sounds like this whole concert is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. Thank you so very much Michael, and I’ll be seeing you and the symphony on July 16. Thanks, Bill, and it was a pleasure talking with you. theshell.org or 619.235.0804

Bill Biss has been writing since 2000 about the people who create magic in music, film and book. His knowledge of the entertainment business has even impressed gossip columnist Liz Smith. He has been a member of Team Rage since its inception in 2007.

JULY 2022 | @theragemonthly

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stage

by brad hart

IN THE LIMELIGHT THIS MONTH WAR ON THE CATWALK

Get ready, your favorite queens from around the world will sashay to Southern California for the fiercest drag show of the summer. Murray & Peter Present War on the Catwalk Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. The fabulous Brooke Lynn Hytes will host, with gag-worthy performances by an all-star cast. The queens of the catwalk will be Krystal Versace, The Vivienne, Kita Mean, Kornbread, Priyanka, Icesis Couture, Jimbo the Drag Clown, Kylie Sonique Love, Denali, Crystal Methyd, Heidi N Closet and Olivia Lux. dragfans.com

THE BEST OF TIMES: MEGAN HILTY SINGS JERRY HERMAN Megan Hilty, the beloved star of stage and screen, will bring her powerful voice and sparkling personality to The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park in San Diego on Friday, July 8. Hilty (Wicked, 9 to 5: The Musical, Noises Off, Smash) will sing cherished hits by Jerry Herman (Mame, Hello Dolly, La Cage aux Folles) and provide an unforgettable evening under the stars. Conductor Rob Fisher leads the orchestra in this special tribute to one of America’s most esteemed composers and lyricists. theshell.org

RICKY MARTIN

Global superstar Ricky Martin will make his Hollywood Bowl debut with a full orchestra for a once-in-a-lifetime concert. Prepare for an exhilarating night of “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and many other international hits with the King of Latin Pop on Friday, July 22. hollywoodbowl.com

REALITY GAYS LIVE! WITH MATTIE AND POODLE

Jake Anthony and Matt Marr are two hilarious Southern queens who can’t get enough of reality TV shows, especially those messy ones about L-O-V-E. They recap it all on their popular podcast and are hitting the road this summer with live shows. This will include a show on Sunday, July 10 at The Observatory North Park in San Diego. Marr is a clinical psychologist and Anthony is a life coach and teacher. And while love is 34

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rarely a laughing matter, they will have you rofl-ing at these lovebirds and their very unfortunate choices. But it’s all in good fun, because they get it: At the end of the day, aren’t we all just lonely-hearts, looking for love in all the wrong places? facebook.com/RealityGaysPodcast

THE CHICKS

The 13-time Grammy Award-winning, multiplatinum-selling global superstars are making their highly anticipated return to the road with The Chicks Tour. SoCal shows will be on Saturday, July 23 at North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, and on Monday and Tuesday, July 25 and 26, at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Earning universal recognition as the biggest-selling U.S. female band of all time, The Chicks have sold more than 30 million albums and are among an elite group of artists and the only female group to achieve multiple “diamond” selling (10 million copies) releases. thechicks.com/tour

GET ON YOUR FEET – AN 80S CELEBRATION

Join San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) in welcoming new Artistic Director Dr. Charles Beale to San Diego at their summer concerts on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 at Balboa Theatre. This will be a celebration of the music of the ‘80s including Whitney Houston, Journey, Queen, Pet Shop Boys and the Eurythmics. sdgmc.org

IMPRIDE

San Diego’s Diversionary Theater will host IMPRIDE, the nation’s first LGBTQ+ improv comedy festival. IMPRIDE will take place from Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10 and will feature three days of LGBTQ+ related improv comedy teams, featured shows, workshops, stand-up, sketch, drag performers, scripted shows and parties. Over the years, IMPRIDE has hosted hundreds of queer comedians from five countries. Founded in 2015 by Finest City Improv, IMPRIDE offers a welcoming and safe environment for the community and this festival celebrates that shared pride. diversionary.org



theatre spotlight

by tom andrew

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL

BROADWAY SUPERSTAR ADAM PASCAL STARS IN NEW SHOW BASED ON ONE OF HOLLYWOOD’S MOST BELOVED ROMANTIC STORIES

Just who is Adam Pascal? The answer is easy if you ask people who like musicals, or who are Rent-heads. The truth is Adam Pascal is much more than what most people think. Yes, Pascal was in the original Broadway cast of the now historic musical Rent, but he was also in shows like Aida, Cabaret, Chess, Hair and Chicago. Currently, Pascal can be seen in the first national tour of Pretty Woman: The Musical playing Edward Lewis, the role portrayed by Richard Gere in the iconic movie. Southern Californians can catch Pascal in the show from Tuesday, July 5 through Sunday, July 17 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa and Tuesday, July 26 through Sunday, July 31 at Civic Theatre in San Diego. Lately, it seems that many hit movies are being turned into musicals and not with much success. There are always many reasons for the lack of success for this, but with Pretty Woman the musical has at least a few reasons for its success: the talented Pascal, an original score by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and a book written by Garry Marshall. Still, one wonders what it was about this movie turned musical that caught Pascal’s eye. “There are a lot of factors,” Pascal said. “The first one being this is what I do for a living. I predominantly do musical theatre. It’s the dominate part of my career, and the trend has been, clearly has been adopting a movie into a musical. So, if I rule that out, if it’s conceptually something I don’t want to be a part of, I’m not going to work.” Pascal has other reasons as to why he decided to take on this show, even though other musicals like it didn’t have much success critically or at the box office. “They all clearly have varying degrees of success,” Pascal said. “Some work and some don’t work. It’s hard to say why one thing works and one thing doesn’t. Sometimes it’s maybe the songs aren’t very good. It can

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be a number of factors. With this particular show, first of all, I knew that it would be Bryan Adams music. It sits incredibly well in my voice and I knew that it would be a good role for me. I mean there’s not a lot of roles like this on Broadway or in musical theatre for a guy like me, a 50-year-old white guy. It ended up being the right decision and I haven’t always made the right decision. I knew that the producers were interested in me and had been for a long time, which is why I ended up doing it on Broadway. I had a relationship with them; it was the right chemistry.” Fans of the movie can rest easy. The musical doesn’t stray from the original story that made Julia Roberts a household name. “They stay pretty true to the story,” Pascal said. “That’s the point, the way they decided to make this movie adaptation. I think that they recognize there are a lot of the audience that are fans of the movie. That’s what they want; they want to see these iconic moments. They want to see what they remember, what made them laugh in the movie will hopefully make them laugh on stage.” Pascal wasn’t a musical theatre kid by any stretch. His focus, before Rent came along, was being in a rock band and going by the name Rain. Pretty Woman possibly being a musical would’ve never occurred to him. It was just a movie to him when he saw it. “Musicals where not even in my head when I saw Pretty Woman. I was playing in rock bands. I wasn’t doing theatre. I wasn’t an actor, so it would have never entered into my conscience, but also it’s not what they were doing back then. Movies weren’t being adapted into musicals like they are now but looking at it now, and of course I’m in it now, so it makes sense to me. It does work. So, any musicals like this are like Cinderella stories, that’s really what this is. It’s a romantic comedy where she is her own hero, they make her the champion she saves herself. It has all the elements; it’s a story that lends itself to a musical.” Many readers may not have seen the 2009 film Wild About Harry, but they should. It’s a true story written and directed by Gwen Wynn, and is

probably one of the best gay films out there that has been sadly overlooked. There are many reasons to catch this film, but the main one is to see Pascal disappear into the role of Tate Donovan’s lover. The film takes place in 1973 on Cape Cod and deals with two teenage sisters coming to terms with the fact that their widowed father is gay. “I am so glad that somebody has seen that movie,” Pascal said. “It took years to come out. It’s not getting a lot of attention. I really appreciate that the producers took a chance on me. Tate was such a great person to do that part with. The whole experience of being in that movie. It was a true story. To get to play someone who is a real person that she loved that was a huge honor and we filmed it in this beautiful place in Cape Cod . . . the whole experience was amazing.” To this day, Pascal said he kind of lives in fear that fans will realize that he’s a fake or a phony and that he’s really not as good as he truly is. That it’s possible he’ll never be hired again. “That’s the nature of who I am,” Pascal said. “It’s just that I’m neurotic and insecure. I can look at my career and say I’ve done well. I can consider myself a success. I love my career but anyone with a career in show business . . . you feel you’re only one job away from it all disappearing. That’s the nature of this business. You are constantly going from one job to the next and trying to find that job. That’s the emotional grind of this whole thing and yet for somebody like me who is naturally a neurotic, insecure person one thinks that wait a minute, maybe what I do or what people like from me might get tired of it or somebody might come along and do it better. Of course, now it’s I’m too old . . . it’s always something.” Pascal isn’t wrong about the fickle business called entertainment, but he has more than proved himself to be a great actor and singer. He is someone who can take on any role and make it his own. After all, isn’t that what acting is, to be believable in any character? Pascal has done that and continues to do so. scfta.org 714.556.2787 or broadwaysd.com 619.564.3000

JULY 2022 | @theragemonthly

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theatre

by jay jones

OUTSIDE SCR RETURNS TO ORANGE COUNTY

South Coast Repertory will partner with Mission San Juan Capistrano for the return of Outside SCR featuring a fully staged production of the smash hit musical Million Dollar Quartet. Outside SCR allows theatre-goers to gather safely outdoors and experience world-class theatre under the stars. On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins united for one night to play music and make history. This Tony Award-nominated musical takes us inside one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions ever recorded with four legendary musicians doing what they loved most: expressing life’s joy and sadness through song. Million Dollar Quartet will have you rocking down memory lane with more than 20 chart-topping hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Walk the Line,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Hound Dog.” Director James Moye will bring his million-dollar experience to the new Outside SCR production. “Jim has acted in 11 musicals on Broadway, including the offBroadway production of Million Dollar Quartet,” SCR Artistic Director David Ivers said. “He is part of a small handful of collaborators who’ve directed Million Dollar Quartet across the country. In addition to being an exceptional multi-disciplinary artist, he especially knows his way around a musical. I am certain our audiences will find his production of Million Dollar Quartet at Mission San Juan Capistrano a complete delight.” Performances will take place from Saturday, July 30 through Sunday, August 21.scr.org 714.708.5555

BROADWAY-BOUND LEMPICKA IS NOW AT LA JOLLA PLAYHOUSE This much-anticipated West Coast premiere musical is based on the remarkable true story of Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. Lempicka is now on stage at the Mandell Weiss Theatre at La Jolla Playhouse through Sunday, July 24. Amid the violence of the Russian Revolution, a young painter named Tamara de Lempicka and her aristocrat husband are forced to abandon their luxurious lifestyle and flee to the dubious safety of Paris. Relying on raw talent and relentless ambition, Tamara claws her way from penniless refugee to in-demand portraitist, earning a place among Parisian high society. Her world is upended once again when she meets Rafaela, a free spirit from the city slums, who introduces Tamara to a new world of decadence and passion. Torn between her new muse and her husband, and fighting to leave her mark on an ever-changing world, Tamara must discover the depths of her own strength to survive. Spanning decades of political turmoil and told through a thrilling, popinfused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come. “After a long pandemic pause, it is an honor to mount this stunning new musical at the Playhouse. Lempicka tells the story of a woman who defiantly sets her own course amid the political turmoil and cultural repression of 1920s Europe, and I cannot wait to see this stellar company share her fascinating journey on our stage,” said Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse. Madonna is known to be an admirer and collector of Lempicka’s work. The Material Girl has featured Lempicka’s work in several of her music videos. She also used paintings by Lempicka on the sets of her 1987 Who’s That Girl and 1990 Blond Ambition world tours. lajollaplayhouse.org 858.550.1010

A HOT SUMMER “FEVER” AT THE LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE Put on your boogie shoes and get ready for the hottest musical of the summer. Saturday Night Fever, one of the most loved dance stories of all time. It will be at The Laguna Playhouse from Sunday, July 3 through Sunday, July 17. ‘What Kind of Fool’ would miss this sizzling musical to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday and summer in Laguna Beach? It would be a ‘Tragedy’ if you missed this show that spent many ‘Nights on Broadway’ and is sure to be the theatre party of the season!” Executive Producing Director Ellen Richard said.The year is 1979 and Tony Manero doesn’t have much going for him on weekdays. He still lives at home and works as a paint store clerk in his Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood. On the weekends, however, he is the king of the dance floor at the local disco where he and his friends dance the night away. When a big dance competition is announced, he wrangles the beautiful and talented Stephanie to be his partner. As the two train for the big night, they start to fall for each other as well. Packed with disco classics including the Bee Gees’ hits “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever,” “Tragedy” and “More Than A Woman,” the musical is filled with explosive energy and sensational choreography. lagunaplayhouse.com 949.497.2787

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theatre

by jay jones

SAN DIEGO JUNIOR THEATRE PRESENTS NEW MUSICAL COMEDY

CYGNET TO REMOUNT ONE OF ITS BEST-SELLING HIT MUSICALS A dark, daring and provocative musical, Cabaret is an eight-time Tony Award winner featuring music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Joe Masteroff. Cygnet Theatre’s new production will run from Wednesday, July 13 through Sunday, August 21 and will feature Karson St. John returning to her role as Emcee, for which she won a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award in 2011 (Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical). This comes full circle for St. John, who took a hiatus from acting shortly after playing the Emcee in 2011, so reprising this role will mark her return to the stage after nearly a decade. Cygnet Artistic Director Sean Murray, who also received a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award in 2011 for Cabaret (Outstanding Direction of a Musical), said “Cabaret is the innovative1966 inspiration for all concept musicals. Through several revivals it has adapted and morphed over the years and remained a visceral warning as to the subtleties and dangers of rising extremism. Famous for its brilliant score, it is both entertaining and thought provoking, qualities Cygnet values in the plays we choose for our audience. I have returned to this show again and again over the years and each time it reveals new insights and perspectives. I truly love this musical.” 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Bob Fosse’s Oscar winning movie adaptation of the 1968 Broadway musical. The film won eight of the 10 Academy Awards for which it was nominated, losing only Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay to The Godfather. The film also proved to be groundbreaking for Liza Minnelli, giving the young actress her first opportunity to sing on screen, eventually winning the Academy Award for Best Actress. On Wednesday, July 20, theatre-loving members of the LGBTQ community are invited to join Cygnet for OUT Night. Enjoy a pre-show mixer with an extended happy hour on Cygnet’s beautiful Elaine Lipinsky Patio. Everyone is welcome. A theatre ticket for the evening’s performance of Cabaret is required to attend. cygnettheatre.com 619.337.1525

San Diego Junior Theatre, the nation’s longest-running youth theatre program, will present the San Diego premiere of the laugh-out-loud love story set to the music of the iconic hit songs of the 1980’s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s. An inspired mash-up of posh and punk, Head Over Heels is an unpredictable Elizabethan romp about a royal family that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom. To save their beloved kingdom, the family embarks on an extravagant journey where they are faced with mistaken identities, love triangles and self-discovery. This fearlessly fresh new musical comedy includes the hit songs “We Got The Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Vacation.” Since 1948, Junior Theatre’s mission has been to provide engaging, innovative, high-quality theatre education and productions for children of all cultural heritage, ages, abilities and levels of interest. Junior Theatre training fosters creativity, imagination and independent thinking that helps a young person face life’s challenges and discover themselves and their place in this world. Head Over Heels will run from Friday, July 29 through Sunday, August 14 in Balboa Park’s historic Casa del Prado Theatre. Recommended for ages 12+ for mature content and themes. 619.239.8355 juniortheatre.com

RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE STAR JACKIE COX JOINS GREASE Don’t be a “beauty school dropout” this summer. This exciting, transformative production of Grease, one of the world’s best-loved musicals, will run on select dates from Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 24, at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach. Show-goers are encouraged to dress in their best 1950s-era outfits. Jackie Cox of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame will come to the Musical Theatre West stage for multiple fabulous roles within the talented and inclusive cast. The “Persian Princess” will showcase her range as the sassy and savvy Teen Angel, serenading Frenchy to stay in school with the fan-favorite song “Beauty School Dropout.” Jackie will also steal the spotlight with her shushing of the rowdy Rydell High students as no-nonsense English teacher Miss Lynch. “I’ve loved Grease since I was a kid but never saw myself in the show, so I’m beyond thrilled that we have a new more inclusive vision for Grease,” Cox said. “My drag is very much influenced by that era, and I can’t wait to pay homage to Eve Arden (amongst other iconic divas) in my portrayal of Miss Lynch.” Paul Garman, executive director of Musical Theatre West, added, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jackie Cox in our latest revival of Grease. It is important to us that all theatre-goers can see themselves on-stage and feel represented, especially in our beautifully diverse community of Long Beach. Jackie is an extreme talent whom we can’t wait for audiences to experience this summer, along with the rest of our amazing cast and creative team.” Cox will present a new take on the iconic Teen Angel character, adding, “Drag was underground in the ‘50s and ‘60s but it certainly existed. In the way I see my Teen Angel, I’ve come up with a backstory where Frenchie met some queer people in beauty school who introduced her to whatever underground drag shows are happening near Rydell. So, her vision of Teen Angel just happens to be a fabulous drag queen!” musical.org

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music spotlight

by chris carpenter

THERE’S NO MUSIC WITHOUT

US

Madonna may have said it best 20+ years ago: “Music makes the people come together.” Well, new statistics show that music definitely makes the LGBTQ+ people come together! A recently published study titled The Power of LGBTQ Music Report 2022 reveals a number of interesting facts about our community’s relationship with music in its various genres and forms. The study was commissioned by Luminate, a collection of brands that have supplied music and entertainment industry data for decades, with support from Billboard magazine and Queer Capita. “Queer music fans are exceptionally valuable to the industry — spending disproportionate amounts of time and money on the music we care about. We shape trends. We create trends. And in the case of queer artists, we are the trend,” said Matt Yazge, Luminate VP, head of research.

The final study is divided into five sections: · LGBTQ+ Audiences are Valuable · LGBTQ+ Audiences are Influencers · LGBTQ+ Artists are Valuable · LGBTQ+ Genre Landscape · LGBTQ+ Audiences are Not a Monolith

As the study states: “While in decades past LGBTQ+ audiences may have been looked at as a fringe demographic within the larger context of the music industry, data shows that today, queer and trans audiences are more likely to spend their dollars on music — buying physical albums, artist merch(andise), concert tickets and more — at a higher rate than other averages would suggest.” Indeed, it was discovered that LGBTQ+ listeners spend an average of $72 more per year on music than the average music listener. While modern artists like Tyler, the Creator, Lil Nas X, Halsey and others dominate when it comes to streaming, two older LGBTQ+ acts continue 42

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to consistently outperform younger artists: Queen and Elton John. The band, formerly fronted by Freddie Mercury, still sits atop 2021’s total consumption data among LGBTQ+ acts, with 1.6 million units accounted for, while also consistently ranking somewhere in the top three among total streams, audio streams and video streams. Elton John, similarly, is ranked No. 6 in total consumption among LGBTQ+ artists with over 956,000 units, while remaining in the top 10 for categories like total streams and audio streams.

Some other key takeaways from this study include:

· LGBTQ+ consumers are 20% more likely than the general population to purchase merchandise like T-shirts, posters and stickers from their favorite artists. · Queer-made entertainment properties, such as RuPaul’s Drag Race, have a strong level of influence on mainstream culture. On average, songs featured in Drag Race lip sync segments see an impressive 138% increase in streaming the week after the show airs. · For non-LGBTQ+ identifying artists, J Balvin currently holds the highest-concentrated queer fanbase, with 29% identifying as LGBTQ+, while other non-LGBTQ+ acts like Charli XCX (28%), Chloe x Halle (27%), Blackpink (25%) and Lana Del Rey (25%) also maintain significant attention from queer audiences. · Due to the increase in vinyl sales from younger audiences, data shows that LGBTQ+ Gen Z listeners, on average, spend more per month on physical copies of their favorite music than LGBTQ+ Millennials ($15 vs. $10). FYI, I’m Gen X and still buying CDs! Perhaps the bottom-line conclusion of this study is that LGBTQ+ audiences are anything but stereotypical. As stated: “They consistently break the mold and deviate from the trends set before them — and even within the community itself. While queer audiences tend to place a high value on an artist’s activism, other preferences — such as physical music consumption — are far from set in stone across the community.” Just don’t get me started on Broadway cast recordings!

Chris Carpenter has been writing about entertainment since 1996 and a member of Team Rage since 2012. He is a founding member and vice president emeritus of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics.



rage recommends

JUST DANCE!

Do you have IT? No, I’m not talking about COVID-19 or AIDS, and most certainly I’m not asking if you have an attitude. Some of you probably do, and I don’t blame you in the least. If you do, check it at the door as this San Diego Pride special edition of Rage Recommends is truly all about “IT!” You know, that “extra, extra read all about it” sort of thing. The definition in my dictionary of “IT” is: That singular sensation of individuality and uniqueness that makes each and every one of us special and important. “IT” can’t be bought, and it is that certain something we all have… especially now during the summer of 2022’s Pride season. Some may say, “I’ve HAD it!” Some may say, “I’m over it!” And even some may say, “Get over it.” Jeff Chandler says, “Revel in it, as ‘seasons change, people change,’” and there ain’t nothing you can do about it. The club kid in me, or “nightclub queen” if you prefer, lives by my slogan, “Play safe, party smart and be true to your heart.” One thing that is a known fact is there will always be new music, favorite music and music to make it even better. Here’s some new music making it hot this Pride summer. Don’t burn yourself on fireworks, barbecues or the hot pavement this month of July . . . It just wouldn’t be fittin’. Paging Ms. Liz. Uhm, paging Ms. LizZO! “Grrrl, I heard you two years ago and look at you now! Fierce is right, and the songs are tight. ‘Cuz, I luv you . . . right?” Some people have IT and Lizzo has it in spades. The new release is especially titled Special, and God knows she is all that and a bag of chips. I’ve got one word to say: Fun. If you want smiles for miles and grooves that make you wanna shake it like it’s hot, turn that girl loose and let Lizzo out on Friday, July 15. Take her along for ear candy as July 15 is the official release

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by jeff chandler

date of Special and it just so happens to be the kick off of San Diego Pride weekend. Holla! I’m definitely one of those “Lizzbians.” Another trip ass beat for the walk of sounds is from the singer Bibbidibobbidiboo. (Hold up a minute, Jeff! Check your spelling dude.) I mean, singer Beabadoobee! This guitar chick is creating quite the buzz and wants to entertain you and does with her new release Beatopia hitting when? Friday, July 15, darling. You’ve got to have options Pride weekend is what I always say! “Bee bop a lulu, she’s my baby now” musically and once again “diversity is the spice of life.” Don’t be afraid to try new music, LGBTQ’ers.” I’m sure you can identify. Beabadoobee is one rainbow kitty to cuddle and scratch on your earbud. “She’s once, twice, three times a lady.” Look, I’m a man with a mind for business and a bod for sin, but I remember seeing Destiny’s Child open for Christina Aguilera! (Talk about letting that genie out of the bottle, Mr. Chandler!) Heck, when something hits me musically upside the head, I’m just a kid again. So, no July of any Pride season of any Pride would be complete without Ms. Queen Bey. The one and only Beyoncé wraps up the month with a BEY-U-TI-FUL set of music that is empowering, prideful, mindful and club “righteous” as can be. Can you pour me a tall glass of lemonade? Now, pass me a hot wing. Gulp . . . her new CD is titled Renaissance and even Michelle Obama hollers “She’s done it again.” So, make sure you listen up all you ladies and gents. New “Bey” arrives on Friday, July 29. Why do I think she’s going to drop it earlier? Remember that? Stay cool, don’t be a fool (unless it’s a good look for you) and make sure you have “IT” with you at all times. Happy Pride and “you won’t break my soul!”

beyoncé for british vogue photo by rafael pavarott



film

by chris carpenter

C E L EBRA TI NG 40 YE ARS OF O U TFEST LA

HeBGB TV

F

orty years ago, during the summer of 1982, I was between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. Ronald Reagan was president, ugh, and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial became the biggest movie of the year. I was slowly figuring out that I was gay, but sure as hell wasn’t ready to admit it to anyone! 1982 also produced three of the most LGBTQpositive movies up to that point: Making Love, Personal Best and Victor/Victoria. Before then, most big-screen depictions of homosexuality or queer love were downright condemnatory. The 40 years since 1982 have seen amazing progress for all of us in the LGBTQ community, and much of this has been achieved with the help of filmmakers representing us in a positive light. Not coincidentally, the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ film festival this month is celebrating its 40th anniversary and “40 years of changing the narrative.” Since its founding in 1982, Outfest has screened thousands of U.S. and international films for audiences exceeding half-a-million people. Outfest remains the largest and longest-running film festival of any kind in Southern California, and is also the leading queer media arts organization in Los Angeles, and a global leader. The fest is back in person in 2022 and also online. It will incorporate 11 days of LGBTQ films, television, special events, parties and more. In-person screenings will once again be

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held at the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood and at various venues across Los Angeles including festival-favorite outdoor venue, The Ford amphitheater. The full festival lineup was not available at press time so visit outfestla.org for tickets and information. Presented by Warner Bros. Discovery and IMDb, Outfest will run from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 24. Opening night at downtown L.A.’s historic Orpheum Theatre will feature Tony Award winner Billy Porter’s directorial debut, Anything’s Possible. The film follows a young trans student and her love interest as they navigate a romance during their senior year in high school. It stars Eva Reign, Abubakr Ali, Simone Joy Jones, Kelly Lamor Wilson and Broadway star Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton). Porter will be joined opening night by his cast and producer Christine Vachon, who will present Porter with a special Achievement Award for his creative contributions over the years. The fest will also feature appearances by actors Kevin Bacon and Julianne Moore, filmmaker Todd Haynes, author Clive Barker and Big Freedia. Outfest will conclude with a celebration at The Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The closing night world premiere will mark playwright and screenwriter John Logan’s directorial debut of They/Them. Oscarand Tony-nominated Logan has been highly acclaimed for his previous work on the James Bond epics Skyfall and Spectre. His new slasher

pic, set at an LGBTQIA+ conversion camp, follows the young residents as they band together against their counselors when an unidentified killer begins claiming victims. Several centerpiece screenings will also be presented. These include a 20th-anniversary screening of Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven with Haynes, Vachon and star Julianne Moore set for an in-person Q&A; Unidentified Objects, starring New Amsterdam’s Matthew Jeffers in a road buddy comedy about a self-described “college-educated, homosexual dwarf” and his alien-obsessed neighbor; documentary centerpiece Mama Bears, about a community of Christian mothers with an unwavering love for their LGBTQIA+ children; and platinum centerpiece HeBGB TV, described as a “high camp tribute to late-night horror television in the vein of Elvira in which a retro cable box begins programming queer killer content into the home of a brother and sister who’ve stayed up past bedtime.” Outfest executive director Damien S. Navarro gets the last words: “We’re excited to host audiences and fans across the city to celebrate just how far queer cinema and entertainment have come. The body of work we have curated from nearly every continent increasingly represents adventurous styles and genres, from vibrant romantic comedies — where the trans lead gets the boy — to horror films that balance the scares and the sexy.” outfestla.org


Anything’s Possible

AD They/Them

Unidentified Objects

Mama Bears

Chris Carpenter has been writing about entertainment since 1996 and a member of Team Rage since 2012. He is a founding member and vice president emeritus of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics.

JULY 2022 | @theragemonthly

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travel

by tony reverditto

HISTORY AND INTRIGUE AT SYCUAN CASINO RESORT

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L

ocated in the Dehesa Valley, Sycuan Casino Resort is a wonder to behold for so many reasons. For me, one of the most compelling aspects is the honorable and resilient history of how one particular Indian tribe brought a magnificent resort to fruition, after going through centuries of adversity. To fully appreciate the energy of this resort casino when you visit, I wanted to include their backstory. The Sycuan Band is a Kumeyaay Nation tribe, one of the four ethnic groups indigenous to San Diego County dating back over 12,000 years. Currently, there are 18 Indian tribes in San Diego, more than any other county in the United States. The 130 Sycuan tribal members proudly pass down many time-honored traditions and customs to keep their heritage alive. They are an independent, sovereign nation with their own democratically elected government, the Tribal Council, but they also adhere to all state and federal laws. For thousands of years, the Kumeyaay lived peacefully and prospered in San Diego’s temperate climate. Although much of their land was stolen and their population reduced 90% by smallpox, the Kumeyaay were among the most resistant of all California Indians to subjugation. It wasn’t until 1875, after over 100 years of unspeakable treatment of Native Americans, that President Ulysses S. Grant took the first step towards an Indian Peace Policy. He passed an Executive Order that set aside specific lands in San Diego County for the exclusive use by the Kumeyaay. The current 640 acre, one-square mile Sycuan Reservation was included in this order. The land given to Sycuan was remote, harsh and poor for farming. But the Sycuan people, through force of will, maintained their time-honored traditions and survived. In 1891, the U.S. finally recognized the sovereign status of California Indian tribes by passing the “Act for the Relief of the Mission Indians.” As a result, Sycuan had diversified as a business enterprise. To date, the casino has been the Band’s most noteworthy economic success of their many endeavors. Sycuan Casino was opened in 1983 by the Sycuan Tribe as an Indian bingo hall. Business was profitable and the bingo hall was expanded in 1990 to a 1,500-seat bingo parlor in a 68,000-square-foot building. It included 35 poker tables and 20 seats for off-track betting.

OVER THREE DECADES LATER, THEY HAVE GROWN INTO ONE OF SAN DIEGO’S PREMIER DESTINATIONS OFFERING SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE 21 OR OLDER. They recently completed a $260 million expansion project featuring a 12-story luxury hotel with more than 300 guest rooms and 57 suites. The casino floor now includes 2,200 diverse slot machines and 50 classic table games like poker, blackjack, craps and roulette. During our recent visit, we stayed in one of the balcony suites. Although the room layout was a little different, the bathroom was nice and roomy with a deep soaker tub (available upon request), as most of the rooms have showers. The views were spectacular. Our room’s scenery included the swimming pool and the mountains facing west, so we enjoyed the sunsets during our stay. We found the staff to be well trained and extra friendly, which set the tone nicely during our stay. The casino floors were expansive with slot machines everywhere. I found their slot machines to be looser than other California casinos, as I actually played on the same $80 voucher for six hours. My partner won a $1,000+ dollar jackpot for the first time in the few years that he has been playing slots. There were lots of jackpot winners announced throughout the day and various promotions. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. WITH OVER 15 BARS AND RESTAURANTS RANGING FROM CASUAL TO UPSCALE, DINING AT SYCUAN CASINO RESORT IS AN EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF. We ate at four of the restaurants and other than an above-average wait time for the food to arrive at the table, every meal we had was excellent. It is also to be noted that some of the eateries are only open Thursday through Sunday. On our first evening, a Wednesday, we ate at Viewpoint Neighborhood Kitchen, which had well-appointed decor, a stellar view of the mountains, and approachable cuisine served morning, noon and night. For an appetizer, we indulged in crispy and tasty calamari, with fried jalapeno, fennel accompanied with Meyer lemon aioli and cocktail sauce. For entrees, I couldn’t resist the Prawns & Pasta dish, fettuccine slathered in tomato pesto cream adorned with

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asparagus and fried capers, and topped with Parmesan. My partner had the honey glazed Wild Isles Salmon atop fennel salad, seared mushrooms and a delightful vegetable risotto. He very much enjoyed his dish. We were too full to order dessert, but the Limoncello Cheesecake and house-made sorbets and ice creams were tempting. After enjoying a hot bubble bath and a good night’s sleep, we decided to forego breakfast on Thursday and check out Double Down Grill for our next meal just shy of noon. The prices were affordable, which made me curious about the quality of the food being up to par. Well, guess what? It was absolutely delicious! My $12 cheeseburger was by far one of the best I have had in recent memory and my partner had the $9 Fish & Chips and was pleasantly surprised as well. They have sandwiches and such available for take-out only, so we went back to our balcony and enjoyed the view while we ate. As the evening rolled in, we dressed up for a fine-dining experience at Bull and Bourbon. It was an absolutely gorgeous upscale dining room with an amazing array of scotch and whiskey. The menu is specifically designed with steaks prepared on a custom wood-burning grill to be paired with hand-selected bourbon from the vast bourbon menu for flavor combinations that complement each other exquisitely. To start, we indulged in the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, grilled lemon, gribiche sauce and arugula salad. They were nice and crispy, and the filling was packed with tender, flavorful crab meat. There were signs all over the casino promoting the Wednesday Surf & Turf $32 special, and the lobster tail and petite filet mignon were as delicious as I hoped they would be. My partner had the Bourbon Lobster Pasta consisting of a half Maine lobster, Applewood-smoked bacon tossed in a lobster cream sauce and sprinkled with chives. The presentation was as lovely as the combination of flavors. One other alluring promo they offer is the Date Night $55 three-course pre-fixe menu available on Sundays. This deal includes two Caesar salads, your choice of a 16-ounce New York strip steak in the shape of a heart or vegetarian Pappardelle, ending in a classic crème brulée. After another exciting night of gambling, we sadly knew that we would be checking out the next day at 11 a.m. but wanted to visit the Pink Buddha on our way out. The menu highlighted an eclectic array of Asian-inspired dishes from a multitude of regions. My partner chose the Thai region with a classic Pad Thai that was cooked perfectly with just the right amount of heat. One of my favorite Asian dishes originates in Hong Kong and that is the Honey Walnut Shrimp, which has nice-sized tender shrimp with an authentic honey sauce with a side of steamed white rice. Other options include Custom Pho Soup, dishes in which Spam is the star, Dim Sum, Bahn Mi sandwiches and Korean fare — all at reasonable prices. Other restaurants to explore on our next visit include Rank & File, Elicit Restaurant & Lounge, Hangry’s, Lucha Libre and the Red Tail Bar & Grill, which is located at the golf course. SYCUAN HAS ALSO CREATED AN OASIS WITH TWO POOLS, A LAZY RIVER, A SWIM-UP BAR, LARGE JACUZZI AND CABANAS. For those in need of Zen time, try the full-service spa and salon that offers a wide array of wellness treatments ranging from facials to massages, plus sauna and steam rooms, and a complete hair salon. A fully equipped fitness center is always open. Other amenities include an 80,000-square-foot customizable meeting and event space. Their featured live entertainment is always a world-class guest experience, from A-list concerts and comedy shows to sports viewing parties and San Diego’s only country pool party. Sycuan Casino Resort is located at 5469 Casino Way in El Cajon. sycuan.com or 619.445.6002

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fitness

by freddy saluna

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO WORK ON A

BEACH BOD! Yep, we’re into the lazy, hazy days of summer here in SoCal. Every day is looking like a good beach day — remember the sun block. The “May Gray” and “June Gloom” conditions are (hopefully) behind us for another year. Why are you panicking, then? Are you absolutely NOT ready to show a single square inch of skin to the public? Fret not! First, who cares what other people think? Second, every day is a new opportunity to get to work on your beautiful self. So, let’s talk about some OH SO SEXY exercise and nutrition stuff, shall we? I know — OMG — he’s actually going to talk about stuff related to training. Yes, get your mind set first, because the stuff upstairs is the boss of everything from your neck down.

FIRST, BOOZE When it comes to that glassful of social lubricant — I see you peeps mimosa-ing! — one of the first things you should do is set a limit for yourself and then, puhleez sista, HOLD TO IT! No peer pressure. Need motivation? Alcohol is literally a poison; you can set it on fire, for sh*t’s sake! And please don’t dwell on alcohol’s possible effects on testosterone levels, whether or not carbs get digested, and so on and so forth. That’s for us fitness nerds. If you’re concerned about those things,

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then reread the prior paragraph and just set a limit. Now that you’ve cut a drink or two, odds are you may be able to control your overwhelming urge to consume the next street hot dog or carne asada fries you get a whiff of. How does that help? Being more sober equals making good or better choices. NEXT, FOOD Start cutting back a bit on your food intake. So, if you do get those carne asada fries — and you know you may eat the whole thing — try this: Save at least a quarter of the fries for later. How does that help? First, you’ve cut back on how much you’d normally eat, a strategy you can employ at EVERY meal. Odds are you have a pretty good idea of what your eating habits are like, so just trim a bit off your plate. Believe me, do this consistently and the reduced calories WILL add up over time. And since you’ve trimmed your portion sizes, you’ll have more to eat later, which means your meals will go further. In this age of inflation or supply-chain issues or whatever the buzz word is this week, your dollar will go a little further. WOO! Proud of you! Booze: Check! Food: Check! LAST — EXERCISE Honey, go take a 22-minute walk. Seriously. Just 22 minutes of a good moderate pace walk, every day. For cardio, that’s all it takes. It adds up to roughly 150 minutes weekly, the bare minimum. Walk from Number One Fifth Avenue to Flicks or Uptown Tavern or Hillcrest Brewing Company. Did you see what I did there? Gurl, showcase that gay power walk! You know, the one where you’re screaming inside your head “Bitch get out my way, can’t you see I’m in a hurry?!” Be like my old roomie Jeff who despite being a foot shorter than me can still walk twice as fast as me — even AFTER a few drinks. Pecs Bar, July 4, 2021. If walking from bar to bar isn’t your thing, then get it done during the week — first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, at the end of the day, on the way to/from Black’s Beach, wherever you are, get those steps in. MOVE MORE. Next, pick two days a week and go do some squats, lunges, pushups, rows, planks, side planks, and stretching — stuff that doesn’t even require a gym membership or gym equipment! I know, what a foreign concept, right? KISS — KEEP IT SIMPLE SASSY And there ya go! Does it all sound too simple to be true or doable? Here’s what I’ve learned as a trainer: Things are only ever as simple (or as complicated) as you make them out to be. Choose simple, your future self will thank you later. Happy Pride, San Diego!

Freddy Saluna, ACSM-CPT, ΔΣΠ is the founder of Level One Training and Fitness. After 10 fabulous years, he finally “came out” as thatgaytrainer.com. When not training, he dreams of Vallarta or agonizes over analytics, TikTok and his geriatric cat, Sugar.



millennial matters

by cutter slage

SEX POSITIVE OR JUST PLAIN CRASS? Today, sex is everywhere. In books, movies, music, TV, even in the restroom of your favorite bar. Hey, sometimes you get an itch that needs scratching — no matter where you are. No judgment! We’ve all been there a time or two before. Hell, maybe three times or more. If you think about it, the Internet is one big sex pile, too. So much, in fact, that if you don’t watch where you click, you’ll run the risk of getting something on you . . . something sticky. You should specifically heed this warning when engaging in social media. OK, so you know where this article is going, don’t you? If you’ve previously read my columns or blog, then you know I have a love/ hate (mostly hate) relationship with social media. Simply put, I don’t understand the constant need to show off online. And now, it seems that the “norm” isn’t showing off by sharing an innocent selfie, but by letting it all hang out. Quite literally. For example, I’m currently friends with this guy on Facebook, which is odd because I don’t think we’ve ever shared a conversation. A drunken make-out session, sure, but that’s pretty much the only work our tongues have done to get to know one another. Yet, that’s kind of how the bulk of social media relationships work nowadays, right? Adding, following and DM-ing people you may not know. So, I digress. Anyway, this tongue friend of mine regularly posts pictures of his bulge. A cup of coffee and his bulge. A sandwich and his bulge. A steering wheel and his bulge. Here’s the twist, though: the bulge, not that great. I mean, to be fair, was there once upon a time when I would have acted as if I were Indiana Jones and explored the depths of that bulge? Well, yeah! Actually, my tongue friend and I previously — wait! We’re getting off track. My point is this: I can’t help but wonder if it’s sex-positive or just plain crass that my tongue friend enjoys showing off his bulge online. The same goes for the dime-a-dozen, amateur porn stars flooding Twitter. Every Tom, Dick and Harry (or Luke, Ryan and Jackie) can — and does — post a crotch shot to prove . . . what? That they have balls? That these balls are intact and functioning? Does this type of behavior make these guys feel good about themselves? Does it give them an ego

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boost? Are they trying to earn money? Break into the porn industry? Or do they like to live life cock first? And what about the people in their lives who may eventually stumble onto these Twitter accounts? Even if the accounts are “hidden” in some way? We all know how the Internet works: Nothing is sacred. Aren’t these amateur porn stars worried about their mom seeing their junk? Their boss? Their kids? (If they have kids or plan to be a parent.) Don’t they have aspirations that go beyond sex and lust, and gaining attention for accomplishing something a little more impressive than knowing how to take off their pants and work a phone? Is the true problem here instant gratification? After all, that’s the world we live in now. Do these guys crave immediate likes and comments and retweets on their peter pictures in order to have a sense of accomplishment? Instead of working hard towards a goal, maybe it’s easier — quicker — to unzip and upload? But is this more satisfying? Does it increase self-worth? So many questions. Too many questions to unravel in only one column. Still, I want to know the difference between a sex-positive person and a sex-obsessed person. There is a difference, isn’t there? There has to be a line drawn somewhere. I understand and accept that I may come off as a prude for writing this, but my stance on the topic remains strong: Our community suffers from having an unhealthy focus on sex. There’s more to life. At least, there should be. What’s the cure? Is there a cure? Yes. More therapy for everyone! I guess, for me, what it comes down to is having some sort of divide between fantasy and reality. Logging onto a porn site and getting off to some random guy that you don’t have access to is not the same as knowing whether or not your Starbucks barista is uncircumcised. Further, what about the contrast of turning porn on and off versus constantly being glued to it (i.e. signed into a Twitter account and scrolling through it 10 times a day)? Does any of this matter? To anyone? Perhaps it should to those hoping to achieve a healthy relationship.

Cutter Slagle is the author of suspense, horror and crime-fiction works. cutterslagle.com


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artrageous

by patric stillman

PROUD+

MARKS 5TH ANNIVERSARY The PROUD+ 2022 visual arts exhibit, a coast-to-coast collaboration of LGBTQ+ artists, is celebrating a five-year milestone. This showcase of more than 60 works of art from diverse contemporary American queer artists and their longtime allies can be seen through Saturday, July 30 at The Studio Door in Hillcrest in San Diego. Curated with the support of Alyssa Nitchun, executive director of Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in New York City, the exhibition presents a spectrum of artworks celebrating our experiences and hopes. A majestic dress form made of tampon wrappers greets visitors as they enter the gallery exhibition. A spectrum of reassembled Barbie dolls, a baseball bat painted in pink text and handmade quilt printed with vintage porn are just a few of the exceptional works of visual art on display. Alongside of more traditional portraits, photographs and paintings, these works create a tapestry of our lives. Running parallel with Pride, the exhibition is similarly grounded in fundamentals of self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increased visibility of the community. “All throughout history, folks have pointed their cameras at ‘those they deem less than’ in society. Under the guise of photojournalism or fine art, they insert themselves into a narrative in which they do not belong, and then reap the rewards for doing so. But still to this day, rarely does our own work find a place on the walls of institutions or the pages of magazines,” said artist Jacob Clayton, whose selfportrait photograph “How Many Fifths of A Man Am I” explores his journey as a transgender man. “An exhibition like this gives much needed visibility. Our community isn’t just boas and glitter; we can be separated by miles and by our own divisiveness, and it can be hard for us to find each other. This show helps us see each other, and to know that we are not alone,” said artist Yvette Deas, whose painting “Ambassadors” along with Clayton was selected for outstanding expression of creativity in this year’s exhibit. By focusing on contemporary emerging and professional artists, the exhibition curators hope that the artworks speak to the present. “There is so much that needs to be shared intergenerational as well as from all corners of our community,” gallery owner Patric Stillman said. “One exhibition cannot cover everything but by building this annual tradition, we are growing the conversation through a visual language that I hope unites us in our struggles and joy.” The exhibition can be experienced firsthand or online. Exhibition catalogs for each year on posted on the gallery’s website allowing for viewers to flip through an array of astonishing artworks. thestudiodoor.com

Patric Stillman is founder of The Studio Door in Hillcrest and a visual artist.

JULY 2022 | @theragemonthly

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