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The Best Will Get Better A New Year, New Beginnings, New Hope.
s an eternal optimist, I always think every year gets better and better. If we’re grading on a curve, 2020 won’t be hard to beat. But we push on. We learn, improve, and at the end of the day, we make a difference.
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As I’m writing this, the state of Georgia has just elected two Democrat Senators. Congress is certifying each state’s electors for President-Elect Joseph Biden. The U.S. Capitol is being overtaken by Trump supporters. Arizona now has the highest COVID infection rate per capita in the world. The facts are: Democrats will have a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, and the Presidency. The virus will be diminished and the economy will be restored. ION is doing its part to help to get through these uncertain times by offering $1,000 to one lucky ION APP user. Did I say $1,000? We just doubled it to $2,000! To enter go to the ION Arizona APP and click “ENTER.” You can only enter once. To DOUBLE your chances, write a review of the APP on the Apple and Google Play stores. Drawing will be held on April 11, at 5 p.m. on Facebook live. Good luck! There is one organization which helps many non-profits, helped educate, entertain, test and treat our community. For over 16 years the Aunt Rita’s Foundation’s mission has been to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Arizona. They host some of the most exciting fundraisers including Red is the Night Gala, Red Brunch and AIDS Walk. What better way to get involved, make a difference and help raise money for your community safely than at this year’s virtual AIDS Walk Arizona? They’ll celebrate the big day virtually on Saturday, February 20 at 12 noon. For more information, go to AuntRitas.org. Now more than ever, they need your help. Feel free to start a group or donate directly. Every dollar helps change people’s lives for the better. New year, new beginnings and new hope. The best is yet to come.
BE SAFE: Wear a mask Social distance Wash your hands
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AIDS Walk Arizona It’s a new, socially distanced kind of AIDS Walk. This year it’s different: you set your course and dates. Track your fitness and ask friends and family to pledge a donation for every mile you walk or run from now until Saturday, February 20. Proceeds benefit 14 community partner agencies that provide critical HIV/ AIDS services. Register online at AuntRitas.org
The Barbra Seville Show
The Blonde One is back! The one and only Barbra Seville takes the stage once again! She’s COVIDfree, disinfected, her roots are touched up, and she’s rarin’ to go! (Socially distanced, of course.) You can get your double-process on with Babs and a superspecial guest star every Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. at The Rock, 4129 N. 7th Ave. in Phoenix.
Kenny Thames at Bunkhouse The jazz is hot and the booze is cold! Join Kenny Thames and the Messengers for some cool vibes. Like Louis Armstrong said, “You blows who you is.” Think about that! Jazz hands optional. Sundays at 6:30 p.m. at Bunkhouse. 4428 N. 7th Ave. in Phoenix.
IBT’s - Tucson The fun never stops at Tucson’s favorite gay bar! Don’t miss karaoke, the Sunday Funday Brunch, or the Tallest Drag Queen in Captivity, Jannée Starr and the Starrlettes every Saturday night, Viva la DiVa on Wednesdays, Flawless Fridays with China Collins, and many more queens! 616 N. 4th Ave. Visit IBTsTucsoncom for a full schedule. 10
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uPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 winner, Miss Yvie Oddly, has released her debut album Drag Trap. The 10-track album is available across streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services.. Known for her avant-garde looks and killer lip-sync battles, as well as someone who is constantly pushing the boundaries of drag performance art, Yvie displays exactly that in the videos that Drag Trap is home to: Gigging”, “Hype,” featuring Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, as well as the title track, “Drag Trap.” Yvie shares, «My inspiration for Drag Trap comes from all sorts of places. When Season 11 aired and my life changed drastically, I began writing raps to help me navigate my emotions. So the songs range from the pressures of fame, to my health, sex, and being a queer, Black American, and just everything I needed to get off my chest.”
Yvie Oddly is an (r)evolutionary drag queen performer, rapper, and fine artist from Denver, Colorado. New York Magazine named Oddly one of the most powerful drag queens in June 2019 because of her ability to push the boundaries of drag performance art. Yvie’s creative, outrageous and unconventional looks—which range from gorgeous fashion model to terrifying alien creature—combined with her signature loud cackle make her instantly recognizable. Yvie’s flexibility, strength, long limbs, and charismatic personality always give the audience something they’ve never seen before, an energetic other-worldly performance. This up and coming fierce artist force is a social justice warrior and elevates drag performance, music and fine art to new heights with captivating narratives, impeccable skills, and a presence unmatched by anyone. Drag Trap is out now. For more information, please visit Oddlyyvie.com.
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nce upon a time far away in America’s Dairyland, there lived a sissy little white gay boy named Joey Jay. He loved to dance. He learned how to dress up, wear lipstick, but he hated wigs. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he practiced and practiced. One day RuPaul picked him to compete on national TV in her Emmy ™ award winning reality show to be America’s Next Drag Superstar and win $10,000. She’s plucky, lucky, and a little bit clucky. This is Joey Jay’s exclusive fairytale interview with ION Arizona. ION: You competed in male talent pageants before drag. What made you make the switch? Do you enjoy performing in drag more?
ION: If you had a traditional drag name, what would it be? JJ: When I decided to do drag, I thought, “What is my drag name gonna be?” I could not marry one. The one I remember the most was “Adrenna Lynn.” No shade to any queen with the last name “Lynn,” but it just doesn’t sound like a high power, energy name to me. So I thought, “I don’t feel any different when I’m in drag, I feel like I’m still Joey; this is just another facet.” I’d been going by “Joey Jay” since middle school, so I decided, “I’m just gonna keep this.” ION: You auditioned for RPDR twice before. Why do you think that this third time was the charm?
Joey Jay, Phoenix’s vers tippity-top, bippity-bottom does it all like you’ve never had it, and now you’re gonna get it on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
JOEY JAY: I used to choreograph, edit music and back-up dance for other queens, but I didn’t want to do drag. But being in that circle, I was exposed to male pageantry—which was the next best thing. Someone asked me, “When are you gonna do drag?” because I wasn’t the stereotypical boy-next-door/jock who usually does a “Mr.” competition. Hip pads were terrifying. Fast forward, I ended up going to a pageant; the prize package was extraordinary—it was a lot of money. The competitors and they were not that great. I was, like, “Hold on a second … one of these girls is gonna get all of this shit? I can do this!” So I dropped $400 on makeup and just started painting for six months. It’s a little awkward in the beginning. You can’t escape the “booger phase” but at least you can contain it and keep it indoors.
JJ: The first time I auditioned four years ago was just for the process. I was nasty, I was ugly, I was not good at makeup. We made a tape and sent it in. It’s rough. It will never be exposed. You’d have to pay me thousands of dollars. I still have it to watch every now and then just to stay humble. Two years ago I thought, “Okay, let me hit this hard.” I was really proud of that tape but I never got a callback, and thought, “Okay, that’s fine.” When I did this audition it was inevitable. I manifested the shit out of it. I had a vision board with “Drag Race” written on it. I had a play list in my head. I didn’t tell anybody. I wanted to see how much I could do on my own. I knew who I wanted to see when I walked in the workroom. I knew who hadn’t been on who I wanted to compete against. It wouldn’t make sense for me not to be on this season. It’s happening. It had too. January 2021
ION: What was it like being judged by RuPaul? JJ: Amazing! RuPaul saying your name is very validating. Even if she tells a girl she doesn’t like her outfit, they’re still there. RuPaul still picked these girls. You got the job. It erases any negative comment you heard in the past—anybody who didn’t like you’re outfit, or that you don’t wear wigs, everything ever said does not compute because I have RuPaul telling me what to do. Now I can do my own thing, I have this on my résumé, I’m gonna have a bigger platform, a bigger income, I can take my drag and amplify it to the level I want, and no one can say anything. ION: Okay. About the whole “no wig” thing. Some RPDR pundits are expecting Michelle Visage to come for you. JJ: Michelle’s always been a stickler for makeup, hair, costumes, body. I know there’s gonna be some kind of disagreement about me not wearing wigs. But rewind, look at Ongina. Sasha Velour won her season and she doesn’t wear wigs. April Carrion shaved her head. Drag has is so fuzzy with the rules. To me drag is more “queer” now, not just pageant drag or comedy queen. If Michelle happened to tell me she didn’t like anything about my wig I’d tell her, “The beauty of drag is you can do drag however you want to do drag. I can do drag however I want to do drag.” So here’s my style, but I did bring ammunition: I brought wigs. I knew this was gonna be a hurdle walking in. Let me play the game for a little while. ION: Production took extra safety precautions due to COVID. You were quarantined for 12 days upon arrival. What was it like filming during a pandemic? JJ: You know you’re going to give your cell phone away, you’re not gonna have access to internet, no one’s allowed to know where you, you’re not supposed to tell anyone or know who else is cast. They tape over the peephole to your room. 26
joeyjayisgay January 2021
You can’t open your door. With COVID, quarantine, the bubble—only certain people were allowed to touch us, you have nothing. You’re locked in your hotel room with your inner-saboteur. I brought a DVD player with some movies. In fact, I thought, “I’m gonna go crazy; I’m a gay man” so I stopped at OffChute on the way to the airport and grabbed some porn. ION: Is the hotel nice? JJ: No. We were at some podunk hotel in Burbank. Every time I looked out the window I saw this Uber driver with four cats living in this car that never left the parking lot. ION: You had to “Lip Sync for your Life” on the very first episode. What went on in your mind?
said, “You guys are gonna lip sync. One of you is gonna go home.” We hadn’t met the other girls. We were really caught of guard. It was intimidating. ION: Who was your biggest competition? JJ: Being on that show is kinda like “Drag Camp.” You’re exposed to so many different styles of really well done drag. This might sound cheesy, but I wouldn’t be able to say any one girl was competition, it was my inner-saboteur. The biggest competition was just surviving. You’re alone a lot. When the cameras are off you’re not kiki’ing with the other girls. We’re not allowed to talk to each other for continuity and the storyline. The days were so long, and there’s not a lot sleep. On camera I decided to just be kooky, say the weirdest shit and get that screen time. “Filler Queen” is a joke; it’s when you got cast only to be eliminated early on. It’s not about injections. If you slay the competition then this Filler Queen is kicking everybody’s ass.
“I think it’s really cool that we’re embracing a gay whose really feminine and comfortable with his sexuality and we’re idolizing that as really attractive, and not just another muscle queen.”
JJ: They told us everything we needed to prepare—the runway themes, the names of challenges so you can prepare. They said you need a signature look. I had one prepared but that entrance was not my signature look! I haven’t seen another person in over a week. I had a plan: I’m gonna walk into the workroom with a wig on, some big, draggy costume, get some attention with that, meet all the girls, and then when we walk onto the runway, do a look with no wig to introduce the aesthetic and show versatility. That idea went into the garbage because that alarm went off and RuPaul’s saying, “Competition has started, meet me on the main stage now” but there were hours in between. Me and Kandy were back in the trailer. We weren’t even allowed to look or talk to each other. They
ION: You’re being singled out as one of the hot “pin up” boys of the competition. JJ: (Laughs) I don’t see it but I’ll take it! I’m definitely not my type; I think being “trade” and “hot” in the gay community has been “boy next door” or “masculine, jock” and I’m this little fairy gay boy who runs around. I think it’s really cool that we’re embracing a gay whose really feminine and comfortable with his sexuality and we’re idolizing that as really attractive, and not just another muscle queen. January 2021
ION: What do you want the viewers to remember most of all about you on RPDR? JJ: That I’m a little gay boy from the Midwest who loves to dance in the shower, cross-dress, put on makeup and get paid for it and embrace my femininity. This is a reality TV show. Just watching it doesn’t make you an expert. Let these people live their lives, we’re doing it for fun, we’re doing it for entertainment and we’re doing it to entertain you. This is people’s hobbies, their career, their passion. Just remember when you watch it if someone loses a lip synch to go easy on them; it’s just a TV show. ION: Can you give us little nugget of gossip? JJ: Oh, yes! Utica has probably the biggest penis! Ironically she doesn’t know what to do with it. ION: Final thoughts? JJ: I always believe in supporting your local drag. You never know what’s gonna happen to one of these girls. It’s so cool to watch their journey, because when it happens for them, you’ll look back when it happened and then say, “I remember when I first saw them! And now they’re conquering the world!”
See Joey Jay conquer the world without a wig, starting with RuPaul’s Drag Race, Fridays at 9 p.m. MST on VH1. Viewing parties are at Kobalt , 3110 N. Central Ave. at Park Central, 7:30 p.m. Arrive early. joeyjayisgay
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RuPaul’s Drag Race Happy Ru Year! Lucky season 13 premiered on New Year’s Day 2021 on VH1. Four NYC queens are Ru’s typical “teacher’s pets” plus a couple of LA bitches, but we’re excited to see Phoenix gal Joey Jay’s TV debut after his mysterious “disappearance” this summer. Get it, girl!
A different kind of “Rue” (Emmy winner, ex-Disney kid Zendaya) brings us up to date in two “bridge” episodes called ‘F**k Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob.’ Trans bestie “Jules” (Hunter Schafer) stands out. Season 2 might air late this year, COVID permitting. Catch up with season 1 for the parade of 30 teen peens, guys.
Big Mouth Matthew MacDell, (voiced by Andrew Rannells) is the bitchy, flamboyantly gay teen who a crush on Aiden (Zachary Quinto). They’re more than friends: they’re “baking partners.” Season 4 expands Matthew’s character with his hilarious, yet poignant, coming out journey.
The Undoing 90s rom-com leading man, Hugh Grant, (see him as closet case MP the on Amazon Prime’s 2018 A Very English Scandal) stars as a prominent NYC doctor accused of brutally murdering his mistress—the same gal who flirted with his wife (Nicole Kidman). So, whodunit? 36
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020 was a year leaving many of us a little bit bewildered, and wondering how to cope with quarantine, lockdowns and distancing. Make 2021 your year to shine. Life coach, and health and wellness instructor/advisor Hector Quiroz shares his own journey and offers suggestions about how to cultivate a full and enriched life of mental, spiritual and physical fitness including self-care. Ten years ago I decided to consciously embark in the personal growth and selfrealization journey. During this time, I’ve dedicated myself to learning about ancient sciences and arts and how they can be applied to our daily modern living. As a former personal trainer, I noticed there was a void even after people would reach their peak physical goals. The adrenaline of being in shape and seeing sexy in the reflection of the mirror became a superficial experience to many as they realized there was more to life than being—like Zoolander says—“really, really, really incredibly good looking.” The feelings of emptiness and satisfaction with life would creep up soon after the goals were crushed. Funny to say that I personally felt the same way. January 2021
Fitness was never about my physical appearance—it was all about taming the beast within. This is where Life became about being mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually fit for life. Being fit in all levels of life, and to find meaning in the purpose of our own life is big. Holistic Fitness is far more than being able to lift heavy weights. It’s more than being able to show off that sexy body at the next gay event. To understand what it means to be truly fit, we need to look deeper at our overall level of fitness. It’s a holistic approach to gaining physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness. Physical fitness is an important part of maintaining good health yet when we become mindful about our fitness, we notice there are many avenues to embrace our own wellbeing. The body follows when we tune into our healing process. Here are five ways everyone can practice mindfulness and embrace a healthy lifestyle at the same time. Meditation and prayer is my daily date with Spirit. The intention of meditation is to overcome distraction. Noticing one to three things you’re grateful for and why sets the tone for the day. No matter what’s going on around me, I know where I stand, and you can, too. Weightlifting sometimes provides me with the mental strength to move past what may seem like an obstacle in life. No matter how heavy or challenging a situation may be, we all have the strength within to push through. I can walk into the gym with a storm in my mind and walk out like a happy unicorn. Yoga places me in a space of surrender and curiosity. Yoga is the progressive settling of the mind into silence. When the mind is settled, we are established in our own state of unbound consciousness. Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind. The physical effect after letting go of all attachments, is 42
a restored and flexible body not to mention a youthful physical appearance. Hiking helps me to tune in and embrace my free spirit, escape reality by viewing it from a different space and dimension, find solutions and see the blessings. Sometimes I take a notebook and jot down ideas and thoughts. Sometimes I chant and sing. Sometimes I dance. Sometimes I just sit in silence. Art is another way to embrace beauty. I find it relaxing to express emotions using creative methods, or even by visiting the art museums to see what others have created. Choose your own path. Hopefully some of these suggestions that work for me will help you in your search for selfimprovement, self-care and awareness of what surrounds you in 2021. Hector works for a local non-profit as a Behavioral Health Navigator. He finds joy in helping others to find their own inner bliss and purpose through facilitating empowerment driven groups for LatinX MSM, African American MSM and our Trasgender community. HQLifeNow.com
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ooking for effective workout gear to help you get in shape? ION Arizona found the perfect fit to help with your New Year’s Resolutions for physical fitness. Check out AGOGIE Resistance Pants. Resistance bands are proven to strengthen muscle, burn fat, and rehabilitate tendons and joints. Help with improving your health, fitness, and athletic performance is as simple as, well, putting on pants. These one-of-a-kind pants from Agogie have eight resistance bands built-in adding constant tension to every movement. It’s easier to burn more calories, burn fat, and get stronger just by wearing AGOGIE pants during daily activities. AGOGIE activates your muscles to get you going, pushing you harder once you get there. The key is the resistance bands which compress against muscle. AGOGIE resistance bands are built inside the pants, stretching out to create an exoskeleton of wearable resistance. These force your muscles to constantly work to keep the built-in resistance bands stretched out. With your muscles activated and ready to perform, you’re challenged by a wearable resistance workout. These are not compression pants, instead, they feature eight resistance bands made with 100% natural rubber. Each pair is carefully stitched, fits-to-form tapered design with room in all the right places and expertly tailored, made out of breathable fabric that’s 86% polyester and 14% elastane. Go harder without even trying! AGOGIE Resistance Pants make fitness simple, practical, and efficient. They’re a convenient, comfortable way to boost any work(out). Best of all, they’re ION Arizona approved! AGOGIE resistance pants are available in men’s and women’s sizes at AGOGIE.com $129 + s&h Use promo code ION15 for $15 off.
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*Pets and the City is a charity fundraiser for Joshua Tree Pet Assistance Project. Submissions are free. A minimum $25 donation is requested if picked to be in the magazine and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll receive a digital portrait.
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2424 E. Thomas Rd.
2. Bar 1
3702 N. 16th St.
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4301 N 7th Ave.
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1517 S. Black Canyon Hwy. (602) 271-9011
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W eâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done it again! ION Arizona has created an easy to use informative guide to
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Tru Burger (Phoenix location) Centrico (Modern Mexican) Hula’s Modern Tiki Oven & Vine Mary Coyle’s Ice Cream Screaming Banshee
Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus Canyon Echos Omaggio Youth Chorus Phoenix Women’s Chorus Film Bar (downtown PHX) 59 Desperado Film Festival Arizona Broadway Theatre Valley Youth Theatre Arizona Opera Theatre Arizona Theatre Company Herberger Theatre Orpheum Theatre Phoenix Theatre AK Chin Pavilion Arizona Federal Theatre Marque Theatre Talking Stick Arena CB Live (Desert Ridge) Rick Branson’s House Comedy 53 Exposed Gallery Let it Roll Bowling 59 Big Surf Waterpark
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ig, strong Mars is the only planet brave enough to go out after dark through January because Saturn and Jupiter are basically pussies and hide. Be like Mars. We’re officially entering the Age of Aquarius, marked by progressive, forward-thinking energy. You’ll feel it in early February. The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, plus asteroid Pallas will all be canoodling together in the sign of Aquarius. While they’re all partying, Mercury goes into retrograde (again!) on January 30. New Age Enlightenment will astonish you!
VIRGO Aug. 23 - Sep. 22 Some serious flirtation during the waning crescent Moon on February 7 says, “Go, girl, go!” and gives you optimism and extra pizazz. A goal gives your life meaning. Pssst! It’s a good time to call in a favor. LIBRA Sep. 23 - Oct. 22 You might seem flighty, flitty and flirty, but you do anything to keep the peace. Jupiter is stationed in Aquarius most of the year, and this year brings you the option of Love. If you want it. Do you? SCORPIO Oct. 23 - Nov.23 The New Moon on January12 is joined by the Sun, Pluto and Venus, who’s in a direct angle with Uranus. That means you can expect a fabulous surprise. “Discretion” is the key. Shhhh!
ARIES Mar. 21 - Apr. 20 Mars puts you in the driver’s seat. Thanks to Jupiter conjunction with SAGITTARIUS Nov. 23 - Dec. 23 the Sun, January 28 is the luckiest day of the year for you. If you have a Be prepared. Uranus squares off with Aquarius. This happens around wish, make it happen then. every 22 years. Take a deep breath. TAURUS April. 21 - May 20 Communicate your needs and you’ll You do so many things unexpectedly get your famous mojo back. Dress up that people can’t call you “boring” or for it. So time to go shopping. “predictable.” (Well, that was kinda CAPRICORN Dec. 23 - Jan. 20 your reputation. Sorry!) Uranus Mercury retrograde makes lends you energy, so do some communication messy, causing zany experimenting. Wink, wink. mix-ups in your social life. Keep your GEMINI May 21 - June 21 friends separated and avoid policing Time for you to get organized. them. Birthday Caps can expect a You’ve had some mental SNAFUs, celestial “zing!” and heighten cosmic but you’re a Gemini, so there’s that. energy. Open the door for a golden Mars fuels for your madcap social opportunity. Trust the stars on this. life. Venus keeps you sexy. AQUARIUS Jan. 21 - Feb. 19 CANCER June 22 - July 22 Darling, the New Moon on January 13 Are you ready to get real in 2021? blows your celestial mind. Seriously, Like, really real? Because this is Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn, all in your your year, bitch. When the Moon House? At the same time? Holy shit! is full on January 28 you need to If it’s your birthday you can expect the trust your intuition. Don’t be afraid of New Moon to activate your clairvoyant what’s in your psyche. powers, you ding-dong! LEO July 23 - Aug. 22 PISCES Feb. 20 - Mar. 20 The Sun conjuncts with a Full Leo Keep your eyes forward. What are Moon on January 28. You love you staring at? I’ll tell you: the Future. melodrama, but don’t be a martyr Uranus pushes your communication just to make everyone around you skills three times this year. Don’t you happy. You’ll get the appreciation just love a pushy planet? you crave (and deserve.) 62
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