Happy Holidays from ION Arizona Get Ready for the Ride of Your Life
My life is never dull or boring. Good and bad. It’s like riding a roller coaster but it never stops and I can’t get off. Here we gooo ...
Despite the rain and wind, this year’s Phoenix Pride was ION’s best ever. I’ve seen Pride grow and I’ve seen it’s growing pains. The staff, managers, board members and volunteers are the hardest working, most talented and enthusiastic team I’ve seen. They make me proud to be an openly gay man in Phoenix. Thank you Mark, my awesome assistant, Fiona the Hippo, Rob at BS West, Sergio, the sexy Sinful Studs dancers and everyone who marched with us. Check out all the photos throughout this issue.
Also in October, we had our delivery vehicle was stolen with all of the magazines inside. Fortunately, we re-printed and delivered quickly. This delay allowed us to return to our monthly format. We will now be on newsstands around the first of every month.
As you all know, we had a crazy mid-term election. Fortunately, most liars, cheaters and haters lost, and equality, love and freedom won.
Last month our community experienced another tragedy. This time at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ bar in Colorado Springs. There is nothing I can say to help healing. Let’s try a new approach: Love, peace and living together in harmony.
Sit back, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life this month. Enjoy this issue, get out, celebrate life and please be careful out there!Jack M. Tesorero Rollercoaster Enthusiast(ic)
Helix Studios Introduces Kai TaylorBy John Stein Photo credit: Alejandro Palomares Photos courtesy of Helix Studios
Kai Taylor has quickly become one of the break-out stars at Helix Studios. The 20-year old was raised in Arizona by his single mom, excelling in sports, especially gymnastics. He was 13 when he came out to his family and close friends, and dealt with his fair share of homophobia, especially from the administration at the Christian school he attended, but it became less of a problem when he became captain of his school’s cheer team. “People thought I was cool ‘cause I could do flips,” he laughs. They still do. Living in small town Arizona, how were you able to come out at 13?
Kai Taylor: I came out to my best friends first, kids I had known since 4th grade. I was transferring schools and I thought I might not ever see them again. They were incredibly supportive and we remained inseparable with sleepovers, late night phone calls, and camping trips.
Was your mom supportive?
KT: Somewhat. I think my mom always knew. I mean, I’d ask for Barbies and Bratz for Christmas. I think she was more scared for me than anything else. She didn’t exactly know how to help me. When did you start dating?
KT: I started dating at 15. I met my first boyfriend through Facebook. I met my second boyfriend off Grindr, four months after I turned 18, but I don’t claim his weird ass. What led to your decision to explore a career in the adult film industry?
KT: I dreamed of being a porn star since I was 16-years-old; I started my freshman year of university during the pandemic and I wasn’t having fun or doing well mentally. I realized I didn’t want my early twenties focused on academics. I needed to shake things up.
What do you envision for your adult career with Helix Studios?
KT: Shooting more short films and movies. I have the most fun on set with everyone. I love acting and bringing erotic stories to life. I hope to do more.
In three words, what makes you stand out from the rest of the Helix crew?
KT: My off-the-wall personality, my solid dance moves, and my laugh.
How will you put your gymnastics training to work at Helix Studios?
KT: I think it’d be cool to do a short film about a cheerleader and a football jock. I could show off some tricks I have up my sleeve, in and out the bedroom. What’s left to do on your bucket list?
KT: Walk in NYC, Los Angeles, and Paris Fashion Week!
You want to be a fashion model?
KT: In five years, I see myself financially and somewhat emotionally stable, living in New York City, pursuing acting, music, and modeling.
As a young guy who is living life on his own terms, what is your message to fans?
KT: As long as it’s not hurting anyone else, you can do whatever you wanna do. If you invest, put in the work, and trust in the universe, there’s nothing in this world you can’t do.
Learn more about Kai at HelixStudios.com
Drag Queen Christmas
It’s that special time of year … Sleighbells. Gifts. Eggnog. And drag queens. Don’t count on a silent night when Nina West and Trinity the Tuck host some of the greatest queens from RPDR to bring their jingle balls to the Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 W. Washington St. in Phoenix. Tickets at DragFans.com
Friday, December 9 at 8 p.m.
Share in the Airing of the Grievances around the Phoestivus Pole. It’s Phoestivus for the Rest of Us! It’s a great chance to do your holiday shopping with 200 small vendors plus food, beverages, food and art. 720 N. 5th St. in — you guessed it! — downtown Phoenix. Free! Visit PhoenixPhoestivus.com for details.
December 14 & 15, 5-10 p.m.
The Dolly Disco
After workin’ 9 to 5 you’ll want to git yer giddy-up on to Orville Peck, Tina Turner, Cher, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow and more! It’s a Dolly Parton inspired CountryWestern Disco Dance Party at The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren St. in Phoenix. Need tickets? They’re only available at TheDollyDisco com
Friday, December 16
New Year’s Eve Parties
Forget that Auld Acquaintance! 2023 is right around the corner, baby! Celebrate at Charlie’s Blacklight Party (so bleach your teeth!) hosted by the Charlie’s House Queens. Ring in 2023 at BS West with a Masquerade party with go-go dancers, a DJ, and 2-41 drinks. Complimentary champagne at midnight, of course! Happy New Year!
Aubrey Ghalichi Presents the ION Arizona Holiday Gift GuideEdited by: Deon Brown Photography by: LeakedGlass
Judy: A Garland Fragrance
Remember the the enduring legend of Judy Garland with this clean, modern, all-inclusive and gender-neutral, unisex fragrance. Certified Nose and Cosmetic Chemist, Vincenzo Spinnato created a fragrance that incorporates a “garland of accents” invoking the essence of the entertainer with a hint of the Judy Garland Rose, dark orchid, coriander, plus a medley of spicy notes. An alluring and captivating scent that sings while evoking emotions and memories of the great Garland herself. 3 oz. $185. Keepsake box: $40 JudyGarlandFragrance.com
Puzzle time is sexy, selling sensual 500-piece puzzles for adults 18+ to enjoy at Happy Hour, or sharing an edible on the patio. A Peach Puzzle is empowered, sex-positive, body-positive, and cheeky, licensing artwork exclusively by queer artists, paying them upfront and also sharing 15% of the profit of every puzzle sold featuring their work. “Peach Puzzles are for people who fuck,” as the like to say. That’s so Portland (where they’re made.)
Finished puzzles are 18” x 24” $34 + S&H PeachPuzzles.com
peace on earth and Goodwill towards everyone. And we need it now more than ever! Gifts always help. ION Arizona and Aubrey Ghalichi present our annual Holiday Gift Guide to help give you a few ideas we think you’ll love. Theres something for everyone!
Fisher-Price Little People Collector
The Golden Girls
It looks like a kid’s toy, sure, but you’ll still be playing with this soon enough once you’re put in Shady Pines. Give a little bit of 6151 Richmond Street, Miami, Florida, to your favorite person to say, “Thank you for being a friend.” No filter Sophia, easy Blanche, guileless Rose, domineering Dorothy, they’re all here in their famous living room. Cheesecake not included. MSRP $24.99 $19.99 Amazon.com & BestBuy.com
Queen Elizabeth II Ornaments
God Save the Queens! This gorgeous glass figurine ornament of the late Queen Elizabeth II of England with her signature Launer black patent leather handbag, coat & floral hat. Choose from a rainbow of colors. These are created by an American designer and a perfect addition to your Holiday decor, or for year ‘round. Measurements: 6.5” T x 2”, $28 each or all six for $168 + S&H. * Pre-order, not guaranteed for Holiday deliver.
“Long Live Montero”
Call me when you want. Call me when you need. Inspired by Lil Nas X, this exclusive limited-edition box of M&M’s® pays tribute to the artist’s music and style. With a custom color blend of blue, pink and purple, every tiny treat features images curated by Lil Nas X including a butterfly, hearts and a photo of the singer. With each purchase M&M’s® donates $5 to SingForHope.org, dedicated to creating a better world through the arts. Available for a limited time. 16 ounce box 7.25”L x 5.2”w x 1.6”h, $39.99 MMs.com
Mamma Mia! Non is credo! Nothing says pure luxury quite like a gift from the exclusive Atelier Fornasetti from Milan, Italy. The luminous face of opera singer Lina Cavalieri graces the box of this towering, buttery, Christmas bread speckled with raisins, citrus and almonds. A splurge? Absolutely! But they’ll be talking about it for years and saying, “Non dovevi farmi un regalo così costoso. Sei fuori!” (“You shouldn’t buy me such an expensive gift! You’re outta your mind!”) They ship to the U.S. in 3-5 working days. Ready for this? $150, + $40 S&H
Big Fat Gay Ass Christmas
Tom Goss rings in the gayest Christmas ever in his brand new holiday EP album featuring original songs like “Santa Slay,” “Put that Ass in Christmass,” “Sassy Santa,” and “Ho Ho Homo.” Joining Tom are some of the biggest names in gay hip hop, gay rock-and-roll and gay country music including Benjamin Koll, Big Daddy Karsten, Keith Lawrence, and de ROCHE. Mix in a little Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore and this makes a perfect Merry Bear-y Christmas party soundtrack.
Available on Spotify and Apple Music
Euphoria: seasons 1 & 2
Don’t subscribe to HBO? Now’s your chance to bing on the Emmy®-winning, mind-blowing dramatic series starring Zendaya puts a compelling spin on the coming-ofage narrative. Drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship. And lots of peen. It’s all here in this fivedisc set featuring all 18 one-hour episodes of seasons 1 and 2, with over two hours of bonus content that goes behind the series. Loaded with special features not available anywhere else. $39.99
Digital purchase allows viewers to stream and download anywhere. Also available on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and others platforms.
TITAN by KIIROO™ is the top of the line in male masturbation toys. It’s a handheld stroker with touchsensitive vibration technology featuring a realistic feeling sleeve and houses 9 bullet vibrators, intensifying your experience. Play alone and enjoy the many modes and speeds or connect to one of over 4,000 interactive videos on a range of different content platforms. Connect to your partners’ devices from anywhere, controlling the speed and intensity of the vibrations or strokes. This interactive male masturbator is fully $149
The Aviary Cocktail Book duo
Bartender! Make it a double! The Aviary Cocktail Book has over 440 pages of innovative, delicious recipes, stunning large-format photography, whimsical illustrations, and beautifully printed. This 12” x 10” x 2” book weighs in at a whopping 8 pounds & also features low- and no- alcoholic drinks plus creating flavored ice. A beautiful addition for your bar.
Holiday Cocktails has over 100 pages of more than 25 fun recipes crafted especially for this time of year. 8.5” x 11.5” softcover, lay-flat. We’ll drink that! Beautifully packaged. Holiday Bundle: $99 TheAviaryBooks.com
They Both Die At The End
Two teen boys get a call alerting them that they are going to die within 24 hours. Mateo and Rufus are strangers, but meet to make a last friend for their final day. They have one goal: live a lifetime of romantic adventure in one single day. Author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. Christmas-y? No, but a beautiful Young Adult LGBTQ read for everyone. 384 pp. $13.99 Amazon.com
Marvel Comics Library
These Hulk-sized volumes about the early history of Earth’s mightiest superheroes in the Marvel Universe, revolutionary for their flaws and complexity. The earliest comics from 1963-1965 are presented here, meticulously reproduced in their original glory, in extra-large format. The library offers collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lay their hands on the world’s most desirable comic book heroes. Each volume includes an essay by a comic book historian along with hundreds of photos and artifacts, including rare original comic book artwork. Hardcover, 11” x 15”, approx. 10 lbs ea. & about 700 pp. Collector’s editions available. $200.
Designer Fang Guy joins the conversation by expanding menswear as a means of liberated gender expression. The collection focuses on the body in its natural form, incorporating traditionally feminin shapes, silhouettes, and fabrics for its sensual knits and shapewear, creating a diverse offering for queer and queerminded people. FANG celebrates the contemporary male experience through an inclusive lens. There’s a women’s collection, too. Available with a variety of affordable price points.
Casa Decor Plus
are just a few of the reasons to choose from the handmade, unique accessories, custom exclusive furniture, and original, handmade artists’ work from Puebla, Mexico. A variety of mirrors, lighting, sinks, rustic doors will make your home extra special. Custom made pieces can be commissioned, too. Visit their two convenient locations in Cave Creek and Tempe and find something special for yourself or someone else.CasaDecorPlus,com
Desert Candles & Wares
Shane and Gregory Lehmann own and operate their pop & pop business in Laveen, Arizona, making and selling their 100% soy wax, environmentally friendly candles with 50hour wood wicks. These entrepreneurs will be peddling their waxy wares at RipplePHX Loteria every Thursday at Thunderbird Lounge in the Melrose District at 8 p.m. through Christmas. Check out their market stops at First Fridays and other market spots by searching for Desert Candles on Facebook. $16 each. DesertCandlesAndGoods.shop
Naughty Sweary Canister Set
How rude! And we love it! This vulgar canister set is sure to offend and delight the chef of the cleanest prim & proper kitchens anywhere. But you might not want to give this to Granny. Or maybe you will. You be the judge, f!ckf%ce. Available with a selection of colored vinyl lettering. Other crude canisters available, too. About $45. Ships free worldwide from Nottingham, England. Search Etsy.com for BoomCustomDesigns
Colsen Fire Pit
Make your holiday open house a real barn-burner! Bring a little warmth and ambience into your home this season (and year ‘round!) These eco-friendly fire pits are smokeless, easy to light and extinguish. Simply use their odorless, clean burning fuel—just be sure to have proper ventilation, obviously. A variety of styles & prices to suit you. $45 - $150 ColsenFirePits.com
Christmas at Pemberley
Holidays at Pemberley are always an adventure. Taking a page from Jane Austen, the Bennet girls, and the servants all get tangled up in a holiday scandal, plus the madness that is Lydia Wickham’s marriage. Arizona Theatre Company at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St. Phoenix. Tix: 833-ATC-SEAT or go to ATC.org Pride Night is Thurs. Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. See ad for discount on tickets any night!
Cheers! A Holiday Concert Celebration
Keep those chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Desert Overture LGBT Ensemble and Desert City Jazz ring in the season with a variety of nostalgic holiday classics, plus a little bit of red hot jazz to keep your toes tapping, baby. It all happens at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy. For more info and tickets go to DesertOverture.org or DesertCityJazz.org
Sunday, December 18, 3 p.m.
’Twas the Night Before Christmas with Phx Gay Men’s
Catch the spirit of the holidays and the magic of the season with traditional favorites and hilarious sendups of iconic carols. A concert full of surprises that’ll make you smile, bring a laugh, and fill your heart with joy. Celebrate with holidays with the harmonizing homos! Paul G. Galvin Playhouse at ASU, 51 E. 10th St. in Tempe. Get your tickets at PhxGMC.org
December 17 at 8 p.m., & December 18, at 2 p.m.
Indoor Boys season 3
“I’m about to let you top! I don’t think you appreciate how generous I’m being!” Now in its third season, this Emmy nominated, quirky (and sexy) comedy series about two gay guys who never leave the apartment, follows Nate and Luke as they navigate their no-boundaries friendship. Check out IndoorBoys.TV for more past episodes of the series. HereTV subscription also available on Amazon Prime TV..
We’re Here season 3
The HBO series co-creator calls this “the most important season to date” as Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela, and Eureka travel the country fighting antiLGBTQ hatred in this Emmy-winning, road-tripping makeover docuseries as they gussy up straight and gay folks across the USA. Activism in high heels is the new pink!
Set in 1950s Brighton, a gay policeman, Tom Burgess, marries schoolteacher Marion Taylor. Simple enough. But wait … he’s also in a relationship with Patrick Hazlewood, a museum curator. The secret they share threatens to ruin them all. Singer and “is he/isn’t he?” queerbaiter Harry Styles stars as the cop.
Spoiler Alert is the Perfect, Weepy, Gay Rom-Com for the Holidays!
Based on a true story, talented “out” actor Jim Parsons stars as Michael, an entertainment journalist who wants to live out a rom-com fantasy lifestyle with Kit, his new boyfriend and a photographer. The two lovebirds tragically end up on borrowed time together after Kit’s terminal diagnosis, and the film will take audiences through their 14-year journey together, culminating in Kit’s tragic death at the age of 41 from neuroendocrine cancer. So much for the “Com” part of “Rom-Com.”
The film will follow the relationship between Michael Ausiello (Jim Parsons) and Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge), focusing on the couple’s meeting and their early days together, the growth of their relationship, and the final year of Kit’s life following his terminal cancer diagnosis. Told from Michael’s eyes, Spoiler Alert will be more of a tear-jerker than a laugh-out-loud rom-com. That’s not to say that there won’t be moments of joy for the duo as they begin their lives together and deal with Kit’s wacky parents played by Sally Field and Bill Irwin. Also set to appear in the feature are Antoni Porowski (Queer Eye), Nikki M. James (Broadway’s The Book of Mormon), Jeffery Self, Tara Summers, and Paco Lozano. Parsons is best known for his Emmy-award winning role as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory on CBS, as well as Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood and a number of other roles. Aldridge is a British actor who currently portrays Thomas Wayne in the comic book adaptation Pennyworth, and has also appeared in Fleabag and the feature film The Long Call.
The film is an adaptation of the 2017 memoir of the same name written by Ausiello. With a tinsel-topped Hollywood background in the entertainment biz, Ausiello was a longtime writer for TV Guide as well as a commentary contributor for shows including Today, Good Morning America, and Entertainment Tonight
Spoiler Alert will be released by Focus Features in select theaters on December 2, followed by a nationwide rollout December 16
2424 E. Thomas Rd. (602) 334-1462 3702 N. 16th St. (602) 266-9001 4301 N. 7th Ave. (602) 515-3667 7125 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale (480) 945-9028 4428 N. 7th Ave. (602) 200-9154 1730 E. McDowell Rd. (602) 253-0689 202 N. Central Ave. (602) 254-8226 727 W. Camelback Rd. (602) 265-0224 3702 N. 7th St. (602) 212-9888 3432 E. Illini Rd. (602) 274-DICK 105 W. Portland St. (602) 287-8700 1517 S. Black Canyon Hwy. (602) 271-9011 222 E Portland St (Cambria) (602) 675-3500 5114 N. 7th St. (602) 265-8454 1724 E. McDowell Rd. (602) 254-0231 8925 N. 12th St. (602) 795-6007 3110 N. Central Ave. Ste 175 (602) 264-5307 3347 N. 7th Ave. (602) 277-4831 5002 E. Van Buren St. (602) 267-9959 1804
Neptune retrograde comes finally fizzles out on December 3.Take a long look inside and recognize the beliefs that you hold affect how you look at this crazy world. Your experience depends on how you acted throughout in the year. Did you take risks? Did you try new things? Did you kick old habits? Skip the randos on Grindr? Mercury Retrograde starts on December 29, joining forces with Venus. Look, you’re not a hot mess. You’re a human being. Fix shit. See? All better now!
ARIES Mar. 21 - Apr. 20
Start rockin’ around the Christmas tree! Saturn was snippy, but after the 18th everything levels out. A lot of your beliefs get a shakeup. Modify some, discard others, and keep an open mind. But there really is a Santa Claus.
TAURUS April. 21 - May 20
Reveal a new look and a major transformation just in time for 2023. None of this happens by magic. Detox isn’t the worst idea. Expect something special in your stocking. Spoiler: it’s not a Rolex.
GEMINI May 21 - June 21
Don’t bite off more fruitcake than you can chew. It’s all about sharing is caring. You’ll get a little “looseygoosey” this season, you rascal! Don’t forget to pay those bills you racked up shopping online.
CANCER June 22 - July 22
Expect a hectic month with lots of hall decking and “Fa la la la’s.” Holiday get togethers will see significant changes. Miss Rona’s making a comeback, so watch out who you kiss under the mistletoe.
LEO July 23 - Aug. 22
Be sure you stay within boundaries. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so watch out or you’ll wind up with a wounded ego. Don’t eat too many sweets, Oh, forget it. Go ahead! Eat! You look thin! It’s the holidays!
VIRGO Aug. 23 - Sep. 22
Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto give you an extreme makeover. Partly spiritual, partly physical, you’ll snap some necks at holiday Open Houses while making precious memories (and maybe naughty ones, too.)
LIBRA Sep. 23 - Oct. 22
Hark! The herald angels sing! You won’t be away in a manger, but you can look forward to domestic situations to expand and grow–with extra room at the inn! It’s kind of a miracle!
SCORPIO Oct. 23 - Nov.23
Three wise men—or women—will pay you a visit. (One might be your mom, so watch out!) Don’t expect anything flashy, but you’ll get a karmic gift that’s, well, fit for a king! (Or queen. It all depends. It’s your choice.)
SAGITTARIUS Nov. 23 - Dec. 23
Do you hear what I hear? It’s the cosmos, baby. The full moon on the 7th leads you toward a major transformative moment. Birthday Sags might have to sacrifice some creature comforts, but it’s so worth it.
CAPRICORN Dec. 23 - Jan. 20
Everyone wants your figgy pudding. Things have been a sleepy for you, but that changes on the Solstice. Birthday Cappies will be singing “In dulci jubilo” (that’s Latin for “In Sweet Rejoicing”) when a new burst of energy hits.
AQUARIUS Jan. 21 - Feb. 19
Visions of sugarplums dance in your head, but you’re always a kooky. The New moon on December 23 allows you to manifest the life you’ve been looking for. Want to one a power bottom? Now’s your big chance!
PISCES Feb. 20 - Mar. 20
It’s been a heck of a year, but the Full Moon on the 7th says, “Go tell it on the mountain” and stirs up your inner party animal. The best place to take this out in is with sex. Lots of it. You’ll be hollering from that mountain!