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04 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

LOCAL

Franklin Graham ramping up evangelical GOTV in California Trump pal using anti-immigration policies to spur Christian voters By CHRISTOPHER KANE Controversial evangelical leader Franklin Graham is traveling through California to drum up support for socially conservative candidates ahead of the state’s primary election on June 5. The message of his threebus caravan, 10-rally tour: “Progressive? That’s just another word for godless.” “The church just has to be wakened,” Graham told the New York Times. “People say, what goes in California is the way the rest of the nation is going to go. So, if we want to see changes, it is going to have to be done here.” Churches need to “suck it up” and vote. In his version of what Jesus would want, Graham said Californians must fight for President Trump’s immigration policies and against abortion, same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ-inclusive curricula in public schools. “The gays and lesbians have their people run for politics and win,” Graham said. “Christians, we are just being stupid.” As one of Trump’s most ardent defenders, Graham has also used his religious bully pulpit in advocating for the president’s travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries and supports Trump’s cruel treatment of undocumented immigrants, including separating mothers and children. Other faith leaders and religious denominations have denounced Trump’s immigration policies as anathema to biblical teachings. Evangelicals, once the moral arbiters of “family values,” continue to support Trump despite widespread outrage over reports that nearly 1,500 immigrant children taken into custody at the southern border are now “missing.” Even Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has been critical of the lack of accountability by U.S. Health and Human Services in the mishandling of immigrant children. In one case, federal officials reportedly handed over eight minors to human traffickers. Meanwhile, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has moved to destroy records related to the agency’s detention facilities, including reports and documentation of abuse. Nonetheless, evangelicals continue their

Franklin Graham and Beki Falwell pose with Donald Trump (and his Playboy magazine cover). Photo Courtesy Twitter

solid support for Trump’s policies. In fact, new polls show he is now stronger than when he first assumed office. And Graham hopes to use those harsh immigration positions popular with Trump’s evangelical base to elect candidates who will fight against California’s sanctuary cities that refuse to hand undocumented immigrants over to ICE for detention and deportation. A May 24 report by Pew Research Center found white Evangelical Protestants, by more than two-to-one, believe “the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept refugees.” Additionally, 68 percent of Republicans share that view, which marks a decline in both groups of support for accepting refugees into the United States since Pew’s last poll in Feb. 2017, just after President Trump took office. Support for Trump’s performance among Evangelicals and among Republicans is

often nearly twice the President’s approval rating with the general public. During the same time, Democrats moved in the opposite direction with their support for the U.S. accepting refugees climbing from 71 to 74 percent. Trump’s tenure in office appears, therefore, responsible for the drop in the total support for refugee acceptance from 56 to 51 percent. Many faith leaders have pointed out the discrepancy between the evangelicals’ position and biblical tenets that encourage believers to “treat refugees the way you want to be treated.” The Washington Post contrasted the findings from the Pew survey with a Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) story that listed nine biblical passages that each urge followers to welcome and love immigrants. The Post included a comment that represents the backlash CBN received from its conservative audience: “Shame on

CBN for this very poorly written article full of political rhetoric. This is not a Biblical issue.” Another critic wrote: “You have taken scripture and misapplied it to reference people who are bringing in false gods, who want to bomb and kill us, rape our children and change our laws to sharia law to accommodate themselves.” Pew identified differences between older and younger evangelicals on attitudes toward immigration more broadly. Only 13 percent of older evangelical Protestants agreed with the proposition that the “growing immigrant population is a change for the better,” compared to 27 percent of Millennial evangelical Protestants. The poll also noted stark differences between white and black Protestants—a majority of the latter group, 63 percent, agreed the U.S. does have a responsibility to accept refugees, compared to only 25 percent of white Evangelical Protestants. Some of the most interesting findings, though, concern the attitudes of American Catholics vis-a-vis Protestants. In Pew’s survey, 62 percent of Catholic respondents opposed President Trump’s travel ban vs. 22 percent of white evangelical Protestants). As NPR host David Greene explained, the two denominations were historically divided, politically speaking, but came together under the banner of pro-life and traditional marriage movements. Now Trump’s presidency has divided Catholics and evangelicals, especially in regard to immigration. The immigration issue has become a priority concern among Catholics, particularly in California, which has become a battleground state over policies related to sanctuary cities. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez told NPR: “Mystics and missionaries, martyrs and immigrants, refugees and exiles—they came from everywhere to share their gifts and make this country what she was meant to be.” Several California counties have joined Department of Justice efforts to overturn laws in sanctuary cities that the DOJ considers an affront to the Administration’s plans to increase border security. Evangelical leader Frank Graham told The Times, “You are beginning to see a groundswell of revolt out here. Orange County, San Diego County are beginning to take on Governor Brown. It’s good for Christians to capitalize on that. So yeah, we could help turn the tide.”


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06 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

Vote as if your life depends on it – because it might Not just a civic responsibility but a critical action By KAREN OCAMB kocamb@losangelesblade.com MSNBC’s Brian Williams opened his late night news show on May 29 with a staccato: “Day 495 in the Trump administration,” immediately moving on to identify the top Donald Trump news stories of the day. But the opening lingered like an old familiar lyric. It sounded reminiscent of the opening Nightline’s Ted Koppel made famous counting down the days during the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979. “America Held Hostage: Day 434.” Was MSNBC hinting that America is being held hostage by Donald Trump? Trump has been president since Jan. 19 and his greatest achievement so far has been boosting employment for fact-checkers. On May 1, the Washington Post reported that in the 466 days he had held office, Trump made 3,001 false or misleading claims—“That’s an average of nearly 6.5 claims a day.” Each lie led to a rabbit hole, with often humorous results. In Nashville, Tennessee May 29, ostensibly to fluff up the candidacy of GOP Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Trump spent an hour onstage trumpeting old campaign themes, such as Mexico paying for the border wall. “They’re going to pay for the wall and they’re going to enjoy it,” Trump said. To which Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto replied in a tweet: “President @ realDonaldTrump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).” It’s that kind of public international embarrassment—and so much more not even connected to “collusion” or obstruction of justice in the Mueller Russian investigation—that has so many Democrats champing at the bit to win back the House and Senate in the 2018 elections. Democrats are waxing their boards to ride a #BigBlueWave. But waves can peter out, polls can be wrong, messages can deflate, the significance of issues can be overlooked— and voters’ expectations can be so high, some may just stay home. The 2018 midterms are a different matter, however. Voters in California and

Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom is hoping for a depressed Republican voter turnout in November. Photo by S_Buckley; Courtesy Bigstock

the country are faced with an existential question that could determine the survival of compassion and American democracy as it has been understood since the Declaration of Independence. Right now, American tolerance for Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the Mexican border where ICE agents are literally tearing screaming babies from mothers desperately seeking refuge from the violence in their home country suggests a pervasive Stockholm syndrome where people once of good character turn a blind eye to consequences of cultish authoritarianism. “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold....The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/ The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity,” wrote William Butler Yeats in “The Second Coming,” as if eyeing today. As if real lives are on the line Republicans in California, in particular, are struggling with a political identity crisis.

According to a report released May 29 by Political Data Inc., Republicans in the state have fallen behind “No Preference” by about 73,000 of the state’s 19 million registered voters. “At the close of regular registration, 15 days before the June primary, there were 4,844,803 no-party-preference voters, according to Political Data Inc., compared with 4,771,984 Republicans. Both make up about a quarter of the California electorate, trailing 8,436,493 registered Democrats, about 44.4 percent,” reported the Sacramento Bee. “Republicans finally succumb to independents in California - they now trail by 76,000 - Democrats hold steady, with slight increase in registration. #BigBlueWave,” tweeted out California Democratic Party Chair @EricBauman. But nothing is ever easy with Democrats. Gubernatorial frontrunner Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom has been pitching Trump

supporter, Republican businessman John Cox as his preference to win the second spot in June 5 top-two Primary to ensure himself a likely easy victory in November. “Newsom has frustrated Democrats who believe the party would be more likely to beat the vulnerable GOP House members if Republicans are shut out of the governor’s race. That, the critics argue, would depress GOP turnout, partly because Republicans are already virtually certain to be excluded from the U.S. Senate race,” Ron Brownstein writes for CNN. Many Republicans agree that GOP turnout could be devastating without a top of the ticket candidate. Newsom doesn’t believe Cox would be harmful, with his spokesperson, Nathan Click, telling Brownstein that a Newsom versus Antonio Villaraigosa match would be so costly, it Continues on Page 8


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LOCAL

08 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

Democrats need California’s help to retake U.S. House Continued from Page 6 would take donor money away from downticket candidates and would also likely exacerbate internal party divisions. Besides, Click says, “Regardless of what’s at the top of the ticket, Donald Trump and the national dynamics are going to define what happens in those House races.” Maybe. But low GOP voter turnout in the seven key Republican seats Democrats hope to flip are essential for Democrats to win the 23 congressional seats they need in November. Continued control of Congress by Republicans means for erratic cruel policies; control by Democrats at least puts a check on Trump’s nuclear trigger finger. Everything depends on who turns out to vote in both the June 5 primary and again in November. Here are key congressional elections to watch. GOP incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham in Congressional District (CD) 10 in the Central Valley. An Air Force veteran seeking a fourth term, he’s running against Michael Eggman, a farmer trying to unseat Denham for the third time. He’s endorsed by Equality California but there was a “no Consensus from the California Democratic Party (CDP). Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has that as a tossup, as does Charlie Cook’s The Cook Report. In 2016, Denham beat Eggman with 51.7 percent of the vote, but Hillary Clinton won the district with 48 percent. The Latino vote could determine victory. GOP incumbent Rep. David Valadao, CD 21, Central Valley. He’s a rancher running against businessman T.J. Cox, endorsed by CDP and EQCA. Cook has this Lean Republican; Saboto has Valadao as Likely Republican. Clinton beat Trump in this district with 55 percent. GOP incumbent Rep. Steve Knight, CD 25, LA County. This is an election that matters to LGBT people since Knight is the son of infamous anti-gay hater Pete Knight. Lawyer Bryan Caforio is going for a second try after Knight beat him with 53 percent of the vote in 2016. CDP has No Consensus in this primary, possibly because of the strong grassroots pull for bisexual Katie Hill, who heads a non-profit focused on homelessness. Cook has this as a toss up, as does Sabato. Clinton won the district with 50 percent of the vote. Open CD 39, Orange County with the

Rep. Devin Nunes is running for re-election amid harsh criticism over his handling of the Russia investigation in Congress.

retirement of longtime Republican Ed Royce. This is a free-for-all that Democrats are concerned might be a jungle primary victory for two Republicans with a bunch of Democrats competing. EQCA and CDP have no endorsement between wealthy philanthropist and pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran. Sabato calls it a Toss up, as does Cook. Clinton won with 51 percent of the vote. GOP incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters, CD 45 Orange County. Walters is a Trump supporter so this could be a test of how Trump plays in the field. But this is a real slugfest between Democrats. Both EQCA and CDP want UC Irvine law professor Dave Min, who better fits an Asian voting bloc in the district. But consumer lawyer Katie Porter, also a professor at UC Irvine, has the backing of popular Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Sabato has it as Leans Republican, as does Cook. Clinton won here with 49.8 percent. GOP incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,

CD 48, Orange County. Rohrabacher is a Russian and Julian Assange-lover, an ardent Trump backer and a serious anti-LGBT official. He has a primary challenger, Scott Baugh, and two Democrats, businessman Harley Rouda, backed by EQCA and biomedical researcher Hans Keirstead, backed by CDP. Cook has this as a toss up, as does Sabato. Clinton won with 48 percent. Baugh is a well-known Republican and by not coming to a consensus on one candidate, this could be a top-two Republican outcome. Open CD 49, Orange and San Diego Counties, with retirement of Rep. Darrell Issa. This is another free-for-all with Democrats fielding a bunch of candidates. EQCA has endorsed former Clinton foreign policy adviser Sara Jacobs; the CDP has no consensus. Cook has it as a Toss up, Sabato has it Lean Democrat. Clinton win with 50.7 percent. GOP incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter, CD 50, San Diego County. Hunter is facing an investigation for improper use of campaign

funds and the San Diego Union-Tribune even editorialized “50th District: Anyone but Duncan Hunter.” This anti-LGBT son of another anti-LGBT hater, his father Duncan Hunter, led the way on the transgengender military ban in Congress. He has two Democratic challengers, former Navy Seal Josh Butner and former Obama White House fellow, Ammar Campa-Naijar. This is big Trump country, he won by 54.6 percent but Hunter is seriously disliked. Cook has it as Likely Republican. Interestingly, while Trump errand boy Rep. Devin Nunes, CD 22, is considered Likely Republican, some in his very red district are getting anxious about Trump’s trade policies and how they are impacting their crop sales. If all politics is local, Nunes may need Trump to stump for him—or change his China policy until after November. Voter turnout in the June 5 primary will help determine whether Californians fall sway to the Stockholm Syndrome or resist.


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10 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

Family of injured gay passenger doesn’t believe Amtrak Railway police claim upbeat Aaron Salazar was suicidal By KAREN OCAMB kocamb@losangelesblade.com There’s a story the late comedian Richard Pryor told in the film “Live on the Sunset Strip” about how his wife caught him with another woman. He insists nothing is going on, asking her: “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” Though the circumstances are considerably more dire, the incredulous Salazar family believes the Amtrak chief of police want them to make a similar leap of reason about their beloved 22-year old gay son Aaron, a passenger on the Amtrak Zephyr, who was found beaten and broken by the railroad tracks near downtown Truckee, Calif., on May 15. Amtrak insists Salazar was suicidal. Everyone who knew him insists he was full of life. At a press conference in Truckee on May 29, Amtrak’s Chief of Police Neil Trugman explained that Amtrak investigators interviewed 300 people during their investigation and found witnesses who described Salazar as “distraught” and experiencing “life issues.” “[Salazar] shared with them a number of life concerns he was having,” Trugman said. “A fall from a moving train would cause significant injury. There is no physical evidence or witnesses statements to (indicate) a physical altercation occurring on the train. There’s nothing to suggest he involuntarily was removed from that train…. There’s nothing to suggest criminal intent in this investigation.” Salazar “was very distraught,” Trugman repeated. “All indications right now appear that it was an attempted suicide.” Not so, say Salazar’s friends and family. “Someone who is suicidal does not constantly talk about their future. Aaron had big plans to graduate from Portland State with his degree in economics and continue his education through graduate school in Denver,” Morgan Patterson, a friend of his from Portland State University, told the Los Angeles Blade. “He wanted to be able to make decisions and change the world. Not once did Aaron display any type of behavior that makes me feel like he would

Aaron Salazar was found beaten near the railroad tracks in Truckee, Calif. on May 15. Photo Courtesy of the Salazar Family

Robin Putnam, 26, a junior at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, disappeared around July 7, 2012 while riding an Amtrak train to Grand Junction, Colo. His remains were found by Union Pacific Railroad employees on Aug. 25, 2015. Photo Courtesy of the Putnam Family

want to take his own life. He has so much to live for and has such a close bond with his family and friends. We would know if Aaron needed help.” Despite the national interest prompted by revelations that Amtrak has responded poorly over the years to other families of missing or mysteriously dead passengers, Salazar’s parents remained silent—until Trugman’s press conference. “First and foremost, Amtrak is a for-profit company that is currently investigating its own case to prevent any liability,” the parents wrote in an email to the LA Blade and investigation partner, Bob Conrad of ThisIsReno. “From the very start, they ruled this case an attempted suicide.

Their investigators gave us misleading information, including telling us that they had a witness who saw Aaron jump out a window on the train. When we fact-checked their claim and confronted the detective, he simply backpedaled his statement. Amtrak’s investigators only investigated the case as an attempt at suicide.” Secondly, Salazar’s injuries are inconsistent with Amtrak’s theory. “For one, those burns that were supposedly from jumping out of a train are not consistent with the facts because Aaron’s jeans were not damaged and his injuries themselves do not match jumping out of a train. We are also surprised by this false theory because they have never had medical experts examine his

body to determine the cause of his injuries. Their form of investigation has been little more than a smear campaign to sweep Aaron’s story under the rug like Robin Putnam’s case a few years ago.” Salazar ended up in extremely critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit of a Reno, Nev., hospital. He has since been upgraded to Guarded Condition but is still unable to communicate. Robin Putnam, to whom Salazar’s family referred, was not so lucky. In a case that mirrors what happened to Salazar, Putnam, 26, a junior at the California College of the Arts in Oakland who was perceived to be gay, disappeared around July 7, 2012 while riding an Amtrak train from Emeryville, Calif., to Grand Junction, Colo. His remains were found by Union Pacific Railroad employees on Aug. 25, 2015 in a riverbed that had gone dry near Wells, Nev. Elko County Nevada Coroner, Dr. William Webb, listed the cause of death as “Undetermined.” Putnam’s family is still seeking answers. They, too, claim Amtrak investigators lied to them, insisting that Robin Putnam had committed suicide. “He was quiet, fastidious about his appearance—well manicured and soft spoken. But he was happy and he had friends,” his mother Cindy Putnam said, adding, “Not suicidal.” Frustrated, Douglas Putnam filed a Freedom Of Information Act request with Amtrak in October 2016 and while several sections were redacted, he did discover that their son’s wallet ended up at the Amtrak System Lost and Found at the end of the route in Chicago nearly a week after Putnam had gone missing. “We’re very sorry that Aaron’s family has to deal with those people,” the Putnams told the Los Angeles Blade. “Maybe the pressure being brought to bear on Amtrak may finally give us some answers as to what happened to our son.” The joint Los Angeles Blade/ThisIsReno investigation discovered that issues with Amtrak’s veracity could be much deeper than these two incidents. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior FBI official with a working knowledge of Amtrak police operations, procedures, and policies noted to the Blade that Amtrak police have long had a reputation for being difficult and less than transparent with families regarding incidents with their loved ones. The source


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 01, 2018 • 11

noted that he is not directly connected to the Salazar matter. “Amtrak is about 30 years behind in technology and operational knowhow procedural wise — especially forensically,” the FBI official said. “Another problem is Amtrak tends to keep investigations inhouse, rarely asking for assistance from other agencies, including the Bureau, that could provide the answers those families are looking for.” Framing the state of affairs within the Amtrak system, an Amtrak employee who has worked on the California to Chicago lines and is familiar to the Los Angeles Blade said on condition of anonymity that security at Amtrak “is next to zero.” “We often face hostile passengers. Often times they are not removed for fear of being reprimanded by management. A dining car

LSA [Lead Service Attendant] was punched. Did security measures change? No. A conductor was shot because he would not let a passenger off to smoke at a stop that was not a smoking stop. Did security measures change? No. A conductor was stabbed in the head. Did security measures change? No,” the Amtrak employee said. “A passenger was attacked by another passenger with sledge hammers we keep on the train in case of an emergency and they are easily accessible by passengers. Did security measures change? No,” the employee continued. “Congress also allowed for guns to be checked in the baggage car. Is the baggage car locked? No. Can passengers get to it? Yes. A padlock is the only thing that keeps the guns locked. Every day we go to work we anticipate something happening because it’s a fact of life for us. It’s very

LOCAL

much like the Wild West still.” On May 25, Oregon’s congressional delegation sent a pointed letter to Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson requesting a thorough investigation into the mysterious injuries sustained by passenger Aaron Salazar in Truckee. “We write today in great dismay at the news that Salazar, a Portland State University student, is fighting for his life in a coma, with serious injuries to his brain stem and a broken pelvis,” they wrote. “This incident may have been a hate crime,” they said. “We … urge Amtrak to utilize all available resources to promptly investigate this case. We expect a full report on the investigation of this crime, to our federal delegation and to Aaron’s family.” The letter was signed by Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici, and Sens. Ron Wyden

and Jeff Merkley. Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve expressed dismay at the ThisisReno report that found a number of similar, unexplained incidents of injury and death of Amtrak passengers. “I couldn’t be more disturbed by this investigation into @Amtrak. Thank you @ ThisIsReno for demanding answers for these families,” Schieve tweeted. “(It’s) shocking to read about similar incidents to those of Aaron’s. We continue to pray for him while he clings to life in a Reno hospital.” The Salazar family has set up a GoFundMe account, Justice for Aaron, to help defray medical and legal costs. This story is the result of a joint investigation by Bob Conrad of ThisIsReno, and Christopher Kane and Karen Ocamb and staff at the Los Angeles Blade.

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14 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

LOCAL

‘She came to the U.S. to find death’ Activist Bamby Salcedo calls ICE a ‘murder machine’ after trans woman dies in custody By JAKE FINNEY Activist Bamby Salcedo has organized far too many vigils for her murdered trans sisters, shed too many tears and shouldered too many burdens of dashed expectations to think progress has come quickly or easily to the transgender community in Los Angeles. On May 29, as president and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition, Salcedo called for a vigil to mark the death of Roxanna Hernandez, one of 25 trans women who travelled from Central America to the U.S. border as part of a 300-person caravan seeking refuge from the violence in the countries they fled. Hernandez had AIDS and turned herself in seeking help. “Jeffry Hernandez, 33, entered ICE custody May 13 in San Diego. Two days later, ERO San Diego transferred her to ERO El Paso, and on May 16 Hernandez arrived at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico, where she was housed in the transgender unit,” the May 25 ICE press release says. “On May 17, Hernandez was admitted to Cibola General Hospital with symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration and complications associated with HIV. Later in the day she was transferred via air ambulance to LMC, where she remained in the intensive care unit until her passing. LMC medical staff pronounced her deceased May 25 at 3:32 a.m. (MDT), and identified the preliminary cause of death as cardiac arrest.” The press release also notes that, “Hernandez is the sixth detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2018, which began Oct. 1, 2017.” The agency also insisted it followed proper medical care service protocols, adding: “Pursuant to our commitment to the welfare of those in the agency’s custody, ICE annually spends more than $250 million on the spectrum of healthcare services provided to detainees.” “Roxana was one of those 25 trans women, who came to seek a better way of life,” Salcedo told a group of about 25 demonstrators outside the US Citizen and Immigration Services field office in Downtown LA on May 25. “And now because she was trying to get

Roxanna Hernandez Photo via ICE and Bamby Salcedo

a better life, and because she was running away from the violence she experienced in Honduras, she came to the U.S. to find death. The system is the one that killed her.” Salcedo wasn’t buying ICE’s explanation. “This news release by ICE is trying to diminish and devalue the life of our sister Roxana!! The fact is, ICE let Roxana die while she was detained,” Salcedo said on Facebook. “ICE could have sent her to receive treatment and care. People do not die from AIDS complications now days. People die because of denial of treatment

and the institutional red tape that has been set up for us to not be able to receive the help and support that we need in order to save our lives. The processing standards that ICE has (are) just one more obstacle that impedes for us to be able to receive the assistance that we need while we are in the horrific hands of ICE detention.” Salcedo assailed the inhumanity of the system. “ICE and immigration detention is a murder machine!! They do not care about who we are and why we are running away from our countries. We come here because

they say that there is hope in this country. What hope is there when ICE and Homeland Security kill us?” she asked. “ICE separates us when we disclose that we are HIV+ and Trans. That is what they did to Roxanna—they isolated her to let her die. They did not care for what she needed, the kind of treatment that she could have gotten, because ICE do not even have doctors who know and understand HIV/AIDS. It takes many weeks for one of us who discloses that they are HIV+ to be able to receive the treatment that we need and deserve. ICE is a killer machine! The current administration is creating assassins for pay—that is exactly what ICE does to our community!!!” Salcedo says Hernandez was isolated “and died by herself, with no one to hold her hand and tell her that she was loved. This exact same experience happened to Victoria Arellano in 2007 when she was murdered by ICE. Eleven years later, history repeats itself. ICE is a murderer! This administration are murders! We remember and honor Roxana, because #RoxanaVive en nuestros corazones!” When she’s not challenging ICE or anything or anyone else with anti-trans attitudes or actions, Salcedo runs the first transled organization in the country to provide direct services and advocacy to LA’s trans and gender non-conforming population through The Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness. Studies have long shown a disproportionate impact of discrimination and violence against trans and gender non-conforming individuals, resulting in high rates of unemployment, violence, suicide, homelessness, and incarceration. “We decided that in order for us to empower our community directly, we needed to move into doing direct service provision for our community,” says Salcedo. With a budget just over $1 million and a staff of 10 employees, she has already outgrown its new space at 3055 Wilshire Center. Salcedo’s first grant for her new endeavor came from the Elton John Foundation in January 2016 for a re-entry program providing emergency support services to trans people being released from prisons, jails and immigration detention. Subsequent funding has come from the State of California Workforce Development Continues on Page 16


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16 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

LOCAL

Salcedo slams ICE after trans woman dies in Continued from Page 14 Board and the City of Los Angeles to connect trans people with skills and training needed for a variety of jobs in California’s hospitality industry as well as develop opportunities for trans people in existing work resource centers throughout the City. At the start of 2018, the State of California’s Office of Emergency Services began funding support services to transgender victims of violence and Salcedo’s organization is most likely the first trans-led organization to receive such funding from the state. The staff will provide case management and victim advocacy, including court accompaniment, assistance reporting crimes to police, and medical visits to clients. They are also in the process of setting up a free hotline for victims of violence to be staffed by a cohort

of ten people who will be trained on how to answer calls and provide rapid response. Until the hotline is set up a “warm line” will be in place where victims can leave a message and expect a return call from staff within 24-48 hours. Vital services also include a Drop-In Center that provides daily lunches; support to survivors of immigration detention and incarceration; leadership development; computer lab; ESL courses and employment and workforce development. The primary reason Salcedo founded the organization is to respond to the daily discrimination trans and gender nonconforming people experience when attempting to access basic services, oftentimes within the larger LGB community, and to step up and be proactive in addressing these issues.

“We, as trans people, better understand our specific needs and issues,” she says. “So we wanted to make sure we address that and have a place where trans people can come and not only access services but also feel comfortable. We are building a safe place that is a family place, a safety net where people can come.” And why not, she notes, after all there are specific places for men, women, youth… so why not a transgender specific place?” A warm, family feeling permeates Salcedo’s office, with a comfortable room for clients to sit down, relax, eat and have conversations with one another and the friendly staff there to provide peer support and mentoring. Spanish monolingual immigrants will find staff members who are able to communicate with them and support and advocate for them, especially clients who may have just been released from

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immigration detention. Many of them have fled their home countries to escape antitransgender violence, including beatings and sexual assaults. One client, a 22-year-old Latina trans woman, learned about The Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness services through their volunteer pen pal program and financial assistance (money for calls, commissary, stamps) for trans detainees. She came there upon release from immigration detention last year, shattered from her experience and in search of support, which she found. Salcedo emphasizes, however, that non-Latina trans and non-gender conforming people are welcome, as well. The center is located at 3055 Wilshire Blvd, Ste, 350, in Los Angeles and can be reached at 833-847-2331 and translatinacoalition.org.


In adults with HIV on ART who have diarrhea not caused by an infection IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION This is only a summary. See complete Prescribing Information at Mytesi.com or by calling 1-844-722-8256. This does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment.

What Is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine used to improve symptoms of noninfectious diarrhea (diarrhea not caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on ART. Do Not Take Mytesi if you have diarrhea caused by an infection. Before you start Mytesi, your doctor and you should make sure your diarrhea is not caused by an infection (such as bacteria, virus, or parasite).

Possible Side Effects of Mytesi Include:

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Mytesi (crofelemer): • Is the only medicine FDA-approved to relieve diarrhea in people with HIV • Treats diarrhea differently by normalizing the flow of water in the GI tract • Has the same or fewer side effects as placebo in clinical studies • Comes from a tree sustainably harvested in the Amazon Rainforest What is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine that helps relieve symptoms of diarrhea not caused by an infection (noninfectious) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Important Safety Information Mytesi is not approved to treat infectious diarrhea (diarrhea caused by bacteria, a virus, or a parasite). Before starting you on Mytesi, your healthcare provider will first be sure that you do not have infectious diarrhea. Otherwise, there is a risk you would not receive the right medicine and your infection could get worse. In clinical studies, the most common side effects that occurred more often than with placebo were upper respiratory tract (sinus, nose, and throat) infection (5.7%), bronchitis (3.9%), cough (3.5%), flatulence (3.1%), and increased bilirubin (3.1%).

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Should I Take Mytesi If I Am: Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant? • Studies in animals show that Mytesi could harm an unborn baby or affect the ability to become pregnant • There are no studies in pregnant women taking Mytesi • This drug should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed A Nursing Mother? • It is not known whether Mytesi is passed through human breast milk • If you are nursing, you should tell your doctor before starting Mytesi • Your doctor will help you to decide whether to stop nursing or to stop taking Mytesi Under 18 or Over 65 Years of Age? • Mytesi has not been studied in children under 18 years of age • Mytesi studies did not include many people over the age of 65. So it is not clear if this age group will respond differently. Talk to your doctor to find out if Mytesi is right for you

What Should I Know About Taking Mytesi With Other Medicines? If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplements, or vitamins, tell your doctor before starting Mytesi.

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Rx Only Manufactured by Patheon, Inc. for Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. San Francisco, CA 94105 Copyright © Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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• Upper respiratory tract infection (sinus, nose, and throat infection) • Bronchitis (swelling in the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs) • Cough • Flatulence (gas) • Increased bilirubin (a waste product when red blood cells break down) For a full list of side effects, please talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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LOCAL

18 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

LA’s LGBT Center marks another pioneering first

The LGBT Center of Los Angeles continues to evolve from its first home in a rambling Victorian building on Wilshire Boulevard to its futuristic new home on Santa Monica Boulevard. Photos Courtesy LGBT Center of Los Angeles

New Anita May Rosenstein Campus scheduled to open on Center’s 50th anniversary By KAREN OCAMB kocamb@losangelesblade.com You can’t raise the roof over LGBT equality without first having a firm foundation. There is perhaps no greater visual symbol for that than the progress the Los Angeles LGBT Center has made from its first headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard in 1973 to the wide city block it has taken over in Hollywood today. On May 24, the Center took a moment for a sort of secular blessing as the final steel beam was positioned in the grand building of the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, a firstof-its-kind complex with comprehensive multi-generational services, including 100 beds for homeless youth and 99 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors, for whom there are already several programs, including an oral history project. The new two-acre Campus across the street from the Center’s arts, cultural and educational facility—The Village at Ed Gould Plaza—is expected to open in early 2019. The audacious project is a prime example of how oppressed and stigmatized minorities must often take care of themselves when shunned, ignored or diminished by the more powerful majority. That’s especially true for LGBT people, who have only recognized themselves as a distinct minority since Harry Hay’s “third gender” theories in the 1950s. “One of the interesting things about our LGBTQ minority is that where many

minorities grow up with people who look like them, who sound like them, who have the same experience and life experience as they do, for the most part, we don’t. It’s very isolating. A lot of us are runaways, many more are throwaways,” out LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl told The Chronicle of Social Change last January after the Board voted unanimously to direct the county’s child welfare, probation, and health agencies to better serve LGBT youth. A 2014 report from the Williams Institute found that LGBT youth are “overrepresented” in the county’s child welfare system and experience significantly worse harm than straight foster care youth. But homelessness for LGBT youth can be overshadowed by the massive homeless problem daunting LA. “A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in plain sight in virtually every corner of Los Angeles County: Nearly 58,000 men, women and children are homeless on any given night. Homelessness knows no boundaries and affects people of all walks of life,” says an LA County website devoted to the Homeless Initiative. The Center’s Campus is expected to better serve an estimated 6,000 youth experiencing homelessness—of which 40% in LA County identify as LGBTQ. And on the other end of the age spectrum, while Gov. Jerry Brown signed a “bill of rights” for LGBT seniors in long-term care, many seniors still face the indignity of possibly having to go back in the closet if they move into a homophobic low-income complex. While the Center cannot serve all LGBT youth and seniors in need, its new Campus is at least offering some respite from the cold reality of the Trump era. Additionally, when


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 01, 2018 • 19

the new facility is completed, the Center intends to officially move its administrative headquarters to the new complex, turning the McDonald/Wright Building into a health and medical center. Over all, the Center expects to serve about 65,000 LGBT people in LA County. The timing is ironic. The new modern complex is due to open on the Center’s 50th anniversary—and it’s providing services and fighting now as it did then. The Gay Community Services Center (GCSC) was founded in 1969 by Don Kilhefner and Morris Kight and other lesbian and gay activists, some of whom were also part of the LA Chapter of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). They rented a rambling Victorian building on Wilshire Boulevard where they espoused a post-Stonewall resistance movement and provided legal help for anti-Vietnam War protesters. They also provided peer rap

groups, and testing and shots at the STD clinic. At a time when homosexuality was a crime, the founders posted a huge sign announcing the facility as a “Gay” community services center. And according to co-founder Don Kilhefner, it was precisely the word “gay” that allowed them to incorporate as a non-profit in 1971. Government officials asked if their mission was to promote homosexuality. Tongue firmly in cheek, Kilhefner said they eschewed homosexuality (a government definition) and instead intended to raise gay awareness. The GCSC social service mission also extended to housing gay homeless in four bungalows they called “Liberation” houses, and in 1973, they facilitated the founding of the Van Ness Recovery House and the Alcoholism Center for Women. The Center moved to 1220 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood and in 1979, became one of

LOCAL

the first organizations to recognize what became the AIDS crisis when regular visitors to the STD Clinic appeared with strange Kaposi Sarcoma spots or lingering flu, then disappeared, then died. Rep. Henry Waxman held the first federal hearing on AIDS in that building. Just as the Highland building became synonymous with the painful and hard fight against AIDS, the building at 1625 N. Schrader Boulevard—ironically, a former IRS headquarters—signaled new political and financial power, as did the cultural complex at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. The significance of the arc of history is not lost on LA LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “As I stood in the midst of the construction site, surrounded by towering steel girders and watching donors sign the beam with such excitement, I realized that a number of us were on the verge of tears,” Jean tells the Los Angeles Blade. “We knew our Center was

achieving another pioneering ‘first’ for our worldwide movement. It was as if the span of nearly 50 years of organizational history was condensed into that moment.   “For centuries, our  people hid in the shadows. Then in 1971, the Center founders rented the first headquarters — an old clapboard house on Wilshire. They refused to hide, boldly putting our un-closeted name on the front for all to see (which some LGBTQ centers today are still afraid to do). Now we’re in the final stretch of constructing the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, which, combined with the Village, will occupy more than a city block. Moreover, it sits visibly and proudly along one of our nation’s most iconic boulevards: the famed Route 66. We were teary-eyed because we knew not only that  we were witnessing history being made, but that we were a part of it making it possible.”

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Photo Courtesy AIDS/LifeCycle

It seems almost unfathomable but this year marks the 35th anniversary of author and ACT UP founder Larry Kramer’s clarion warning in the New York Native—“1,112 and Counting”— about the coming AIDS crisis. “If this article doesn’t scare the shit out of you, we’re in real trouble. If this article doesn’t rouse you to anger, fury, rage, and action, gay men may have no future on this earth. Our continued existence depends on just how angry you can get,” read Kramer’s line about the 1,112 known cases of HIV/AIDs and 526 AIDS deaths. According to UNAIDS, there have been between 65 to 88 million cases of HIV worldwide since 1980, with 35 million deaths. As of 2016, there are just shy of 43 million people currently living with HIV. When the government failed to help, regular LGBT people stepped up to create organizations and services to help people with AIDS. They also came up with creative ideas and events to fund those services, including the early AIDS Bike-a-Thon in the mid-‘80s, then the ambitious San Francisco-to-LA California AIDS Ride, founded in 1993 as a signature event for the Los Angeles Community Services Center, and its successor, the AIDS/LifeCycle, launched in 2002. This year, the seven-day, 545-mile bike ride benefiting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center sets off from Cow Palace on June 3, with more than 2,300 cyclists and 650 volunteer “roadies” supporting them, arriving in Downtown Los Angeles in front of city hall on Saturday, June 9. Follow the event at aidslifecycle.org — KAREN OCAMB

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” - ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey announced May 29, despite Barr’s apology.

“muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj”

– Rosanne Barr on Twitter comparing LGBT ally Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama administration senior adviser, to an ape.

“These [system-wide] difficulties pose substantial challenges for the accurate and timely estimation of official all-cause hurricane-related mortality.” - A Harvard study published May 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine finding that death toll caused by Hurricane Maria is likely to exceed 5,000 after including “indirect deaths.”


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NATIONAL

22 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

LGBT candidates to watch in 2018

Chris Pappas

Lauren Baer

Christine Hallquist

Photo Courtesy of Pappas

Photo Courtesy of Baer

Photo Courtesy of Hallquist

Record number of out hopefuls seeks to rein in Trump’s attacks By CHRIS JOHNSON With high hopes for a change after nearly two years of President Trump in the White House, a record number of LGBT candidates are seeking election in the 2018 mid-terms for federal, state and local offices. With the general election a few months away and many candidates facing primaries before that time, the Blade reached out to several LGBT candidates who aren’t as high profile as Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) or New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, but are still running noteworthy campaigns. Below are the candidates’ responses to our questions about why they’re running and what their win would mean for the LGBT community:

CHRIS PAPPAS,

member of the New Hampshire Executive Council and gay candidate seeking to represent the state’s 1st congressional district in the U.S. House — Primary: Sept. 11 Why are you running for Congress? New Hampshire where I grew up, where I attended public schools, where I run a family business that just celebrated its 101st anniversary, and where I serve as an executive councilor. Through my time

serving the people of my community, I always have and always will fight for what matters most. I am running for Congress because I believe this election is about who we are as Americans. The America we know is more kind, tolerant, and more decent than the America that Donald Trump is seeking to create. We have to stand up loudly and clearly and make it known that we are going to fight for the values that make this country great. We are going to fight to stem the tide of corruption in our political system, fight for folks who work hard in life to make their American Dream a reality, and start putting the people of this country first. What would your win signify for the LGBT community? I’m proud to be the highest elected LGBTQ+ official in the state of New Hampshire and would be honored to serve as the first openly gay member of Congress from the Granite State. I believe we need leaders that will stand up for our community to show that when we come together to promote equality and respect one another for who we are, we will make our country a better place now and for our future generations.

LAUREN BAER,

an Obama administration State Department official and lesbian candidate seeking to represent Florida’s 18th congressional district in the U.S. House — Primary: Aug. 28 Why are you running for Congress? My mother has been chronically ill since

I was 12. She is one of the more than 74,000 constituents current Representative Brian Mast would have denied health care when he voted in May 2017 to repeal the Affordable Care Act. My daughter is not yet two years old, but I think every day about her future, her safety, and the world she will inherit. In this way, I am not terribly different from most people in my District, who simply want for their families what we all deserve: quality, affordable healthcare; equality under the law; a first-rate public education; a clean environment; a strong economy; common sense gun safety measures that protect our children; and a national security policy that does not beg for war by tweet. I believe that the people of my district deserve a representative in Congress who will vote in their interest, not for special interests, and who will work hard in Washington to make government work for them. What would your win signify for the LGBT community? I was proud to serve as an official in the Obama administration, and during that time, I watched our country, and Florida, change in ways that I previously had thought unimaginable, from the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, to marriage equality. But the election of Donald Trump has brought a reversal of so much of our progress—a new ban on transgender troops, a decision to stop counting LGBT people in the census, and a fight at the Supreme Court to allow individuals to use religious liberty as a pretext to discriminate against the LGBT

community. In this context, being elected as the first LGBT person to represent Florida in the U.S. Congress would signal that we will not be acquiescent in the rollback of our rights—or the rights of other Americans. As a member of the LGBT community, I have felt the sting of discrimination, but I also know that the fight for liberty and equality is a shared cause and that my election would be a victory not just for our own community, but for every person in this country who has ever been mistreated, or left out, or left behind.

CHRISTINE HALLQUIST,

CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative and a transgender candidate seeking election as governor of Vermont — Primary: Aug. 14 Why are you running for governor? I am a person who pulls people together to do important things. My goal was to solve climate change. I was in charge of a major Vermont electric utility and we successfully moved away from fossil fuels. Watching the events that have transpired since November 2016, both at the state level and the national level has called me to greater action. I saw a need for rural economic development, universal health care, solving climate change, and ensuring every Vermont child receives a quality public education. Most importantly I saw a need to move away from divisive politics. What would your win signify for the LGBT community? I will be the first transgender governor in one of America’s most rural states. This


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 01, 2018 • 23

NATIONAL

Ricardo Lara

Kate Brown

William Cunningham

Photo Courtesy of Lara

Photo Courtesy of Brown

Photo Courtesy of Cunningham

will be a positive signal for all LGBTQ people. Typically, rural communities have been viewed as less affirming. Marginalized communities have historically had problems with winning executive positions. For too long leadership has been associated with masculinity and the dominant culture. Vermonters choosing me, a trans-woman, as their governor, would expand the realm of possibility for generations to come. My success would mark a new milestone in acceptance.

RICARDO LARA,

winning election would say that Californians reject the politics of division and fear against people like me directed from Washington. My father was a factory worker, and my mother was a seamstress, and they raised me to believe that everyone has a fair shot - even when the facts say otherwise. I am honored to have the support of the LGBT community, immigrant rights groups, and Planned Parenthood, because it means that we are not alone in the campaign for equality.

KATE BROWN,

California state senator and gay candidate seeking election as California Insurance Commissioner — Primary: June 5

first openly LGBT person elected governor in the United States and bisexual incumbent seeking re-election

Why are you running for Commissioner? I am running for Insurance Commissioner because it is the largest and most important state consumer protection agency in America. With Trump letting the banks and insurance companies write the rules in Washington, it will be my job to stop predatory insurance practices that raise your premiums every time you make a legitimate claim. With climate change driving up insurance risk, it’s more urgent than ever that California has an Insurance Commissioner who will stand up for consumers and protect our state from the economic and environmental threats on the horizon. What would your win signify for the LGBT community? California voters have never sent an openly gay person to statewide office, and

What motivates you to seek re-election as governor? In Oregon, we know what leadership looks like. It’s called getting stuff done. We led the nation by passing the most comprehensive reproductive health bill, we led on automatic voter registration and we were first to commit to end the use of coal fired electricity – forever. And Oregon was the first state to act on gun safety following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. None of these things happened on their own. They all took strong leadership. We still have work to do, but in Oregon we know when we bring people together we can tackle the challenges ahead. Over the next four years, we need to fight to protect health care access for Oregonians from politicians that want to take that

care away. And we need to keep fighting to make sure that our economic growth is reaching every corner of our state and every one of us. To do that, we need to invest in career and technical education that will prepare Oregonians for good jobs that don’t require a college education, enabling small businesses to hire skilled workers. I’m running for re-election because I want Oregon to be a place where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. What would your win signify for the LGBT community? I’m honored to serve as governor and hope that my story can serve as inspiration for a new generation of LGBT leadership. I got into public service to be a voice for the voiceless and I have spent my entire career fighting for LGBT equality. I spent 16 years pushing to pass domestic partnerships, I was proud to sign legislation to end the practice of conversion therapy, and just last year I was able to sign legislation that allowed people a safe path to change their name on vital records to affirm their gender identity. And while we have made a lot of progress, when I talk to members of the LGBT community I hear deep concerns about where we are headed as a country. The tone and rhetoric that has imposed so much fear is now turning into federal policy. It’s more important than ever to have leaders in office who reflect the values of those they serve. I hope my election and the work I’ve done while in office will inspire members of the LGBT community to get involved, run for office and put their voice to work changing

our country.

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM,

former legislative aide to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and gay candidate seeking to represent New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district — Primary: June 5 Why are you running for Congress? I am a native of South Jersey. I was raised by a young single mother living paycheck to paycheck at an hourly wage job. When illness caused her to miss work, we were evicted - and eventually homeless for half of my high school career. Despite these obstacles - and with the help of teachers and mentors - I was accepted into Brown University. I made a promise to myself to always fight for vulnerable populations so everyone could access the same opportunities as me. Public service has been the conduit for me to pay my good fortune forward. I paid it forward by joining Teach for America and teaching in a low-income school. I paid it forward by crafting legislation to help everyday families as a policy advocate for Sen. Cory Booker. I paid it forward by calling out pharmaceutical companies’ price gouging as an Investigator in the House of Representatives. My desire to pay it forward is the reason I am running for Congress. What’s more, I’m running against an anti-equality candidate in my Democratic primary, NJ-2. A win in my district would signify: The gay community does matter, we can win anywhere - and this blue wave is actually a rainbow wave!


24 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

NATIONAL

Ros-Lehtinen talks retirement Florida Republican slams Trump’s trans military ban By MICHAEL K. LAVERS Retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) last week reiterated her criticism of President Trump over a host of issues that includes his effort to ban transgender people from the military. “We’re looking at Americans who want to sign up and serve our country,” RosLehtinen told the Washington Blade on May 21 during an interview at her office in the Rayburn House Office Building. “These are the bravest individuals, the most patriotic folks that we would want there.” “It just doesn’t make any sense when we are still fighting in so many parts of the world,” she added. “We need patriotic, committed, able to serve individuals, whether they are male, female, transgender.” Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Cuba, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989. She was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1982 and was a member of the Florida Senate until 1989. Ros-Lehtinen is the first Latina official elected to Congress. She currently represents Florida’s 27th congressional district that includes portions of Miami-Dade County and most of the city of Miami Beach. Ros-Lehtinen in April 2017 announced she will retire from Congress at the end of her term. She did not vote for Trump and pointed out to the Blade that she doesn’t “support him now.” Ros-Lehtinen nevertheless stressed Trump did not factor into her decision to leave Congress. “It was just time to go,” she said. “Like the Bible says, to everything there is a season and this was the time to say OK, let’s try something new.” Florida state Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach), who is gay, and University of Miami President Donna Shalala, the former Health and Human Services secretary during the Clinton administration, are among the Democrats running for RosLehtinen’s seat. Republican candidates include Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and María Elena Salazar. Ros-Lehtinen described Richardson as “a great guy” who is running “a great grassroots campaign.” She nevertheless told the Blade

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) speaks with the Washington Blade at her office on Capitol Hill on May 21. Blade Photo by Michael Key

she will support the Republican who wins the Aug. 28 primary. “The voters have a wonderful array of folks,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “They’re all great candidates.” Ros-Lehtinen in recent years has emerged as one of Congress’ most vocal supporters of LGBT rights. Ros-Lehtinen in 2012 became the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support marriage rights for same-sex couples. She is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights law. The U.S. House last June nearly unanimously approved Ros-Lehtinen’s resolution that condemns the crackdown against gay men in Chechnya. Ros-Lehtinen told the Blade that she has no plans to leave the Republican Party. She added, however, the GOP will lose the support of young people and women if it continues to oppose “equality, fairness” and nondiscrimination efforts. “We are in danger of losing the women’s vote and young people’s vote,” said RosLehtinen. “The issue of equality is the cornerstone of getting these folks back.” LGBT issues are also personal for RosLehtinen and her family. Her son, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, is trans. Ros-Lehtinen and her husband, Dexter Lehtinen, in 2016 appeared in a public

service announcement with Heng-Lehtinen that SAVE, a Miami-based LGBT advocacy group, produced. Ros-Lehtinen said it was “a shock” when her son came out, but “we dealt with it as a family.” Ros-Lehtinen described him as a “good man with a lot of integrity.” “Everything is getting a lot better, but it takes guts to come out,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “It’s not easy, so congratulations to him because it just takes a lot of courage.”

There is ‘no real equality’ in Cuba Ros-Lehtinen and her family fled Cuba after the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. Ros-Lehtinen remains a vocal critic of the Cuban government, even though Miguel Díaz-Canel last month became the country’s first president from outside the Castro family in nearly 60 years. Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro who spearheads LGBT-specific issues as the director of the country’s National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), during a May 4 press conference in Havana said her organization is planning to submit proposals to the National Assembly that would extend marriage and other rights to LGBT Cubans. The press conference took place ahead of

CENESEX-organized marches and other events in Havana and in the city of Pinar del Río that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Ros-Lehtinen was quick to dismiss Mariela Castro and her organization’s efforts, noting gay men were among those who the Cuban government sent to labor camps in the years after the revolution. Ros-Lehtinen also pointed out the Cuban government until 1993 forcibly quarantined people with HIV/AIDS in state-run sanitaria. Fidel Castro in 2010 apologized for the camps, known by the Spanish acronym UMAPs, during an interview with a Mexican newspaper. Cuba in 2015 became the first country in the world to eliminate motherto-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Cuba since 2008 has offered free sexreassignment surgeries through its national health care system, but only a few dozen people have been able to receive them. Mariela Castro, who is a member of the National Assembly, voted against a 2013 proposal that sought to add sexual orientation to Cuba’s labor law because it did not include gender identity. “They had so much backlash that now she is the one who wraps herself in the gay flag . . . and says that Cuba is very forward thinking and very accepting,” said Ros-Lehtinen, referring to Mariela Castro. “There’s no real equality (in Cuba,)” added Ros-Lehtinen. Ros-Lehtinen spoke with the Blade three days after a gunman killed 10 people at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. She said Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), in March “defied” the National Rifle Association after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., when he signed a bill that raised the minimum age to buy a gun in the state from 18 to 21 and banned the sale of bump stocks. Ros-Lehtinen said she supports “commonsense” gun control efforts, including “red flag” laws that allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from people who show signs they may be about to carry out an act of violence. The Blade asked RosLehtinen whether Scott, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and elected officials in general have done enough to address the issue. Continues at losangelesblade.com


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 01, 2018 • 25

NATIONAL

Harvey Weinstein arrested, Morgan Freeman apologizes Visa suspends TV ad featuring Freeman’s voice-over By JOHN PAUL KING A series of major developments in the ongoing Hollywood sexual harassment scandals culminated May 25 when former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was arrested and arraigned in New York City. He was charged with first- and third-degree rape and with committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree. Weinstein smiled broadly walking out of the New York police precinct in handcuffs. He was released after surrendering his passport, posting $1 million in cash on a $10 million bond and agreeing to wear an ankle monitor. Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, later told reporters outside the courthouse that the disgraced film executive plans to plead “not guilty” to the criminal charges. “Mr. Weinstein did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood,” Brafman said. “To the extent that there’s bad behavior in that industry, that is not what this is about. Bad behavior is not on trial in this case.” The arrest comes after months of investigation by New York prosecutors into multiple allegations of sexual assault dating back to 2004. The charges filed May 25 stem from incidents involving two separate women that allegedly took place in 2004 and 2013, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office. A source told CNN that the criminal sex act charge stems from a case involving Lucia Evans, a once-aspiring actress who claims that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in his Tribeca office. Evans spoke out about the alleged incident in New Yorker magazine in fall of 2017. The alleged victim in the rape case remains anonymous, and further details of that investigation are unknown. A grand jury continues to hear testimony in the state’s case and more charges are expected. (On May 30, Weinstein was indicted by the grand jury on rape and criminal sex act charges.) Weinstein’s arraignment comes after dozens of women came forward following 2017 reports in the New York Times and New Yorker. Those women – and Bill Cosby’s accusers — gave courage to numerous others to come forward alleging sexual

Harvey Weinstein and Morgan Freeman. Weinstein Photo by Excelentphoto, Freeman Photo by S-Bukley; Courtesy Bigstock

harassment and abuse, including men alleging harassment by other men, including actor Kevin Spacey. Weinstein is also under investigation for alleged sex crimes in Los Angeles and London, and the Wall Street Journal has reported that federal prosecutors in New York have also begun a sex crimes investigation involving the former studio head, who has been accused of rape, assault and other sexual misconduct. Weinstein has said through a representative that he sought treatment after the accusations, and that he “unequivocally denies” any allegations of non-consensual sex. Developments in the Weinstein case come on the heels of allegations by eight women of sexual misconduct by actor Morgan Freeman that took place on movie sets, during film promotions and at Revelations Entertainment, the actor’s production company. These accusations include stories that the 80-yearold Freeman looked at them in a sexual way and made comments with “sexual undertones” about their bodies or clothing. One of the allegations comes from a woman who said the actor had “repeatedly tried to lift her skirt,” and stopped only because a co-star had said for him to “knock it off.” Another accuser claims she was the victim of “repeated unwanted touching”

while working with Freeman on a recent film. The eight women’s stories are supported by eight witnesses who have also come forward; however, due to fears of repercussions in their work, only one of these accusers – CNN reporter Chloe Melas – was willing to go public with their identity. Melas says her encounter with Freeman took place during a press junket last year for the film “Going in Style.” She claims that he continued to hold her hand after shaking it, looked at her in an obviously sexual way and made various sexually provocative comments. She was pregnant at the time, and the actor repeatedly said that he “wished he was there” when it had happened, she said. Melas later reported the encounter to her supervisor at CNN. In a statement released May 24, Freeman apologized for his behavior, saying, “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.” In the wake of these revelations, SAGAFTRA said that it is reviewing the possibility of “corrective actions” in relation to Freeman’s lifetime achievement award, which was presented to the Oscar-winning actor

at the SAG Awards ceremony in January. On May 29, Visa credit card company said it was suspending its contract with Freeman. The #MeToo movement has given voice to hundreds of women and men who have been victims of harassment and worse at the hands of employers and others who have abused their positions of power to engage in inappropriate sexual behavior. The resulting scrutiny has led to the downfall of dozens of powerful figures within the entertainment industry, from executives like Weinstein to news personalities like Matt Lauer and actors like Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor. Last year’s wave of sexual misconduct stories brought viral attention to the decade-old #MeToo movement – which began (without the hashtag) in 2006, when social activist Tarana Burke used the phrase in support of a grassroots campaign to promote “empowerment through empathy” among women of color who have experienced sexual abuse. This awareness reached its height during the early 2018 awards season – when many ceremonies, including the SAG presentation, actively sought to project solidarity with the movement. Weinstein’s arrest and the Freeman revelations demonstrate that female empowerment is working and the #MeToo movement is not going away.


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Anti-LGBT activists see golden opportunity in California Franklin Graham leads three-bus caravan to turn out evangelicals

Gabriel S. Hudson, Ph.D., a democratic theorist, teaches at George Mason University’s Graduate School of Education and The Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of ‘Christodemocracy and the Alternative Democratic Theory of America’s Christian Right.’

It seems quaint now, but it was not that long ago that the culture war appeared to be concluding. Some time between the first black president being elected and his White House being lit with rainbow spotlights, a shift was signaled in the zeitgeist that seemed permanent. There were pockets of discontent and room for progress, but LGBTQ civil rights seemed assuredly enshrined in federal law and constitutional interpretation. So, too, did other civil rights and core principles of democratic institutions. When Donald Trump brazenly challenged the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, few took him seriously. And his religious right backers, once mighty under George W. Bush, were reduced to rubes on Hoverounds and easily dismissed as having lost on “the wrong side of history.” On Nov. 8, 2016, much changed, including progressives’ delusion that much had changed at all. Long-settled debates of the 20th century roared back into the discourse. Equal treatment and equal justice again became debatable. The bloodthirsty horror movie monster that LGBTQ rights advocates thought was defeated got back up. Anyone that has not noticed the resurgent political power of conservative evangelicals is paying too much attention to porn stars. The religious right is reinvigorated under Trump,

not because he embodies their values or because the culture has experienced a tectonic shift to make their views palatable again—but because their willingness to selectively temper their moral judgment and turn out the vote gives them political power. That is what’s happening now. Many national religious right stalwarts have turned their focus locally with great success. Oklahoma and Kansas just passed state legislation permitting adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples. Iowa’s governor just signed a “heartbeat bill” severely restricting access to legal abortion. We are all biting our nails to see if the Colorado Civil Rights Commission can compel wedding cake equality. The shift in focus makes perfect sense. Federally, even with retirements on the Supreme Court, it is unlikely abortion will be prohibited. Aggregate opinion on marriage equality has continued marching toward unanimity. But districts and counties retain trenchant resistance and it is in these arenas that conservative evangelical leaders see the possibility of actually impacting policy long-term. At this moment, Franklin Graham is on a multicity rock star revival tour of California. His missionary message is religious, but inexorably political: he sees no meaningful distinction between saving souls and turning out voters. He and other conservative evangelical leaders are specifically eyeing successfully progressive California to capitalize on their new moment in the sun. They believe there is still work to do and battles to be won. Back in 2003, a religious right organization was not a serious opponent of gay rights if it did not submit an amicus brief in Lawrence v. Texas. In that case, two men in Texas were arrested in their home for having sex and faced jail time and the sex-offender registry. Every religious right group sided with the state. They put their reputations behind arguments in favor of jailing consenting adults for having sex in their own homes. In light of so many gay rights victories in the interim, it is easy to forget that these groups have not changed their minds. Each would still like to do move society in that direction. The religious right is infamous because it quite literally seeks to place the power of the state in the bedroom. Given its policy preferences, state and local governments

are ideal venues. The political agenda of conservative Evangelicals seeks to use authority to coerce their theology into public accommodations, education, and voting. Of course the focus is on state legislatures, school boards and election boards. National debates soak up all the attention. But local level governance has the potential to directly impact a citizen’s life precisely in the areas the religious right targets. That precision is why Californians need to be vigilant, vocal and voting. California is a blue state, but it has not been immune to attacks on marginalized communities. Like the country, California retains reactionary and racist rubbish we thought was safely swept into the dustbin. Within its populace resides a revived rebellion against gay rights. They are galvanized and demonstrably effective. Take them seriously. The march of progress can be reversed even in the Golden State. Public accommodations, curricula and textbooks, commercial enfranchisement and, yes, even marriage equality can be undermined by a thousand ordinances, board votes and Assembly bills. Graham and his cohorts say they are squarely focused on California because of its cliche predictive power over national policy. I hope he is wrong. But, just in case he is right, just in case California is producing the sequel to America’s anti-gay horror movie, I also hope its victims are sufficiently frightened. Bias and bigotry have ways of seeping into bureaucracy. There are enough deep red communities in California to manifest an interpretation of religious freedom that is really a license to discriminate. Graham’s revival actively recruits a zealous faithful in theology and politics. In contrast to progressives’ penchant for complexity and pluralism, they march with metaphysical certitude, confident in their righteousness and ultimate victory. In the summer of 2016, there was no way the UK would vote in favor of Brexit. In the fall of 2016 there was no way Donald Trump could become president. What other unthinkable outcomes wait around the corner? Fair-minded people dismiss populist uprisings at their peril. The religious right has chosen California as its new frontier in antiLGBT prospecting. Let’s hope the territory is well defended.

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CHARLES KAISER, ALAN MILLER, TIM MILLER, MAER ROSHAN, HOLLY HUGHES, KIT WINTER, BRAD LAMM, DAVID EHRENSTEIN, STEVEN ERICKSON, LILLIAN FADERMAN, ORIOL GUTTIEREZ, SETH HEMMELGARN, ROBIN TYLER, CHRIS AZZOPARD, ALLEN ROSKOFF, JOHN PAUL KING, JOHN MCHUGH-DENNIS, MELODY MUNDY, ROBERT WILLIAMS, DAN ALLEN, BRAD FUHR, WINSTON GEISEKE, RICHARD ANDREOLI, DREW MACKIE, JOEY DIGUGLIELMO, CHRIS JOHNSON, LOU CHIBBARO JR., MARIAH COOPER, ABBY DEES, REBEKAH SAGER, JOHN MCHUGH-DENNIS, MIKE CIRIACO, JON DAVIDSON, SUSAN HORNIK, MILES SAGER

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LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 01, 2018 • 27

In defense of trans service members I was discharged for being gay and am ready to speak out — lives depend on it By BRAD PEACOCK This past year, we have all seen the disgraceful instances of discrimination emanating from this president and his White House. One such instance of division has now come to fruition as President Trump has moved to ban most transgender troops from serving in the military. This immediately brings me back to the pain and shame I felt when I was discharged from the military for being gay. I was 18 years old when, without my parents’ knowledge, I voluntarily enlisted to serve my country. I remember that day vividly, as I couldn’t have been prouder to be following in my grandfather’s footsteps, a man I idolized and who also served in the Air Force. I grew up in a poor family, in a rural area in the southwest corner of Vermont. Like many young men and women in my community, college was not an option for me, and so I thought my greatest possibility for a higher education and brighter future would be through the military. My plan was to serve my time, and utilize the benefits of the GI Bill, thus fulfilling two dreams: service to my country and eventually graduating from college. Off to basic training I went, where I was under no illusion of the difficult transition ahead. I remember how scared I was that first night, ushered off the plane in Texas, placed on buses in complete silence until we arrived on base. Then nothing but yelling, and picking up and putting down our bags until we moved in total unison as a team. I won’t bore you with more details of training, but suffice it to say it was a rapid period of growth. In that short time, I gained confidence and purpose, while connecting with my fellow brothers and sisters from all across the nation—every race, religion, and culture coming together to grow as a team and defend this country. I had proven I

I will not sit idly by while this president and many Republican members of Congress attempt to shame trans people who have signed up to make the ultimate sacrifice. could make it on my own. Directly after basic, I went to tech school for my security forces education. During this time, I began to change. What I had suppressed for so long began knocking on my soul. My service, my brotherhood, my bond to the people around me grew stronger, yet I couldn’t confide in anyone, because if I did, everything I had worked so hard for would be taken away. I started feeling depressed. I graduated tech school, but before heading to Shaw Air Force Base for my first tour, I was granted 30 days of well-earned leave. I was so proud to have earned the security forces badge and beret, and I remember arriving at the airport feeling three inches taller in my dress blues, with a sense of accomplishment I had never felt before. I was greeted at the airport with a hero’s welcome by my entire family with a huge sign that read, “Welcome home, Brad! We are so proud of you.” Back in Vermont, I remember feeling like I was contributing to something larger for both my country and community. When I arrived in South Carolina, things quickly deteriorated. I became further depressed and most nights couldn’t sleep. I would wake up at 1, 2, 3 in the morning, and go out to the track and run, sometimes for hours, just to suppress the pain. Here I was,

surrounded by people who genuinely cared for me, in a stable environment for one of the first times in my life, and having to hide who I was. I finally started seeing a therapist on base, and my life changed forever. I came out as a gay soldier. The reaction was swift. Because of the disastrous policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I was released from the military for being gay, though they labeled it an “anti-social personality disorder.” Discharged from the family I had created, and for simply being who I was, rejected and sent home, I felt like a disgrace. After volunteering to serve, after raising my right hand and swearing to defend, protect and give my life for this country, I was discriminated against by my government. There would be no GI Bill for me, no support system; there would be no hero’s welcome home this time. Only lots of questions, concerns, lies, and so much shame it almost made me pull the trigger and end my life. How could I face my family, my friends, my community, as a failure? How many brave men, women and trans people have taken their lives because of the shame our government has placed upon them, for simply being who they are? Now, after 18 years of carrying around this pain, I am speaking out to ensure no trans

soldier will end their life because they feel rejected by this government. I will not sit idly by while this president and many Republican members of Congress attempt to shame trans people who have signed up to make the ultimate sacrifice. I will not sit by to watch this disgraceful, disqualifying discrimination happen again. Lives are at stake. Now is our time, America, to stand strong and rise united, embracing each other for all of our differences. Now is the time to open our arms and strengthen our communities, so that we all have a place to belong and call home, where we are celebrated and loved for exactly who we are. I know firsthand the power of an open and loving community, where people still wave, still stop to say hello, in an acknowledgment that you exist in the world—you matter. These are the connections and simple acts of kindness that can and do save lives. I know this to be true, because my community opened their arms and helped save mine.

Brad Peacock is a U.S. Air Force veteran. For the past 12 years, he has worked as a farmer at Clear Brook Farm. He lives with his husband in Shaftsbury, Vt., and is running as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate.


Christopher Street West gets a reboot just in time for LA Pride 2018 LA Pride wants you to #JustBe By REBEKAH SAGER

Kehlani

Tove Lo

Superfruit

Photo Courtesy LA!PRIDE

Photo Courtesy LA!PRIDE

Photo Courtesy LA!PRIDE

This year’s LA Pride isn’t so much about resistance or a generally unwanted millennialfocused music festival, but it is about change. This year represents a hoped for return to the community’s roots, as the hashtag of the event denotes, it’s a #JustBe celebration of your life. Last year’s #ResistMarch, LA Pride was exactly what it needed to be – focused on politics and the shock and horror of the election of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, both clearly out of touch with the LGBTQ+ community and determined to tear down any progresses made. And the 2016 LA Pride was a dramacluster, prompting some to use the hashtag #NotOurPride and even threaten to boycott the weekend-long event, ending with a march that defied everything after the terror attack in Orlando that killed 49 LGBT people. But, in the 48 years since its inception, Pride has come a long way. Born out of a response to and in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion on Christopher Street in New York City, LA Pride Parade and Festival has historically been the place to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community – both the work that’s been done to elevate people and unite those for all the work still needed to be done – and God knows with the current administration,

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there’s a lot of work. This year, big changes are in store for Christopher Street West (CSW). Starting with a newly elected board president, Estevan Montemayor, and for the first time in more than a decade, CSW will have a full-time executive director, in Madonna Cacciatore. Montemayor, a WeHo resident for six years, succeeds former board President Chris Classen, who stepped down from his role as president after three years of service. In his ‘day job,’ Montemayor is director of communications and external affairs for Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. And he has served in senior management positions for numerous political and advocacy campaigns and started his political career as a legislative assistant to LA Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. “I look forward to working with Madonna and the entire board to continue evolving our organization, create new and engaging programming, and grow our fundraising efforts while still being inclusive, transparent and representative of our community in everything we do. That is at the heart of our mission,” Montemayor said. “This is an exciting moment in CSW’s storied history,”  said Classen. “I’m confident that Madonna will help propel this amazing

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organization forward in a big way.” This year’s LA Pride Parade on Sunday, June 10, will be hosted by Grand Marshal Michaela Ivri Mendelsohn. She’s a trans activist, CEO of Pollo West Corp and the founder of TransCanWork. Under Mendelsohn’s leadership, El Pollo Loco has been committed to hiring transgender people (mostly women of color) in their restaurants.  And of her work with TransCanWork, she says it is her chance to use what she does as a longtime CEO and business person to change the landscape of hiring in the U.S. and to encourage those in the restaurant industry to begin accessing the often untapped resources of talented people in the transgender community. “We are thrilled to have Michaela Mendelsohn – a long-time activist and respected trans woman in business today – as this year’s LA Pride Parade Grand Marshal,” Montemayor said. “Michaela has been a strong LGBTQ+ advocate, especially by working to boost the hiring and inclusion of trans people in the workplace. She embodies the spirit of our  #JUSTBE campaign  and is the perfect person to lead this year’s LA Pride Parade.” Mendelsohn says she’s excited and deeply honored to be named the grand marshal for this year’s event, particularly in a year when

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Laith Ashley

Saturn Rising

Icona Pop

Photo Courtesy LA!PRIDE

Photo Courtesy LA!PRIDE

Photo Courtesy LA!PRIDE

“self-expression, female empowerment, and trans inclusivity is at the very heart of this year’s #JUSTBE  message.” Adding that, “LA Pride has cultivated a rich, 48-year-old history as a bold and provocative voice for the LGBTQ+ community across Los Angeles County.” Everyone knows you can’t show up at Pride not looking fresh. So, this year, LA Pride Festival and Parade is offering the first-ever collection of limited-edition merch. Partnering with Flavour Gallery,  a festival merchandise design and production company based in Los Angeles and Nashville, the LA Pride capsule collection is available for pre-order and on sale at 2018 LA Pride Festival. Prices for the tanks, tees, hats, totes and bandanas range from $15 to $28 dollars. “We loved how the team at Flavour Gallery really harnessed the spirit of the #JUSTBE campaign to bring this collection to life and can’t wait to see  everyone  sporting their LA Pride gear this year,” Shayne Thomas, CSW board member said. Alfredo Malatesta, founder of Flavour Gallery said, “As a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, this was a no-brainer for us. We’re proud of the work that’s come from this collaboration and look forward to partnering with the LA Pride team on future collections.” For music, this year’s festival will be headlined

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by R&B sensation  Kehlani  and international pop star Tove Lo. All three stages will feature diverse artists, including some seriously fierce women and a number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender performers. The Park Stage sees such superstars Eve, Allie X, Leland, Lauren Sanderson, Jessica 6, Saturn Rising, Kim Petras, Lauren Ruth Ward, Superfruit, Jesse Saint John and Icona Pop. The Boulevard Stage offers Keri Hilson, Keke Wyatt, LeiKeli47, Cece Peniston, JessLove, and LA’s own cutie pie Laith Ashley. On the Plaza Stage are Tom & Collins, Natalia Jimenez, Oscar Velasquez, Karol Posadas, Gio Bravo, Kid Madonny, Karisma and Crista Bella. The festival will run on Saturday, June 9 from noon-1 a.m. and on Sunday, June 10 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. VIP tickets, called the “Backstage Experience,” will include backstage access to the LA Pride Park Stage where attendees can “mingle with performers, influencers, and friends in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.” Guests will also receive a daily afternoon meal, two complimentary cocktails per day and  access to the “media pit” which gives front stage access to all Park Stage performances. Single-day VIP tickets are $250

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and weekend VIP passes are $400. General admission single-day tickets are $25 and general admission weekend tickets are $35. Discounted $15 passes will be offered for ADA, military and seniors. Pride kicks off June 2, with an “invite only” Trans Brunch at Flaming Saddles and for those Universal Studios fanatics; the park will be open from 9 p.m to 1 a.m for the second annual “Pride is Universal” night at Universal Studios. Each ticket gets you all-day access to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park – gates open at 9 a.m.– plus exclusive afterhours park access from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. for “Pride is Universal” ticket holders only.  The unique experience includes live DJs, dance clubs, cash bars and character meet-n-greets. The event also doubles as a fundraiser for CSW. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit community-wide programs such as Casa del Sol, a joint project with APLA Health that provides low-income housing to people living with HIV/AIDS. So, get out and enjoy LA Pride Parade and Festival, and support your Los Angeles LGBTQ+ community – there’s work to be done, but this event is a time to celebrate the history, change the present and demand a better future and #JustBe..

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LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

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30 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

QUEERY 20 GAY QUESTIONS FOR OLIVER LUKE ALPUCHE

queery OLIVER LUKE ALPUCHE How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I guess I would say I’ve officially been out since I was 19 years old. I think the hardest person was my college roommate because he didn’t know me very well, it was a new friendship and I had to actually tell him in order to feel comfortable bringing my boyfriend over without pretending to be straight. Who’s your LGBT hero? Harvey Milk.

Photo Courtesy of Alpuche

By TROY MASTERS tmasters@losangelesblade.com

Oliver Alpuche is a Los Angeles native and a pioneer in the Downtown Los Angeles queer community, most famous for his role in creating DTLA Proud, the now massive Downtown LA Pride festival. His work establishing it struck a chord with a Los Angeles LGBTQ community that seemed to be in transition. As the historic population centers of LGBT life appear to be migrating and LA Pride briefly stumbled with its own purpose and identity, that shift gave opportunity to new Pride celebrations in LA, Oliver’s DTLA Proud being the most successful. Born and raised in Highland Park, Oliver moved to Downtown Los Angeles in 2009 and quickly noticed it was lacking spaces for the queer community to gather. Within three years he began the process of opening Redline, one of the three gay bars that would open in the summer of 2015, collectively nicknamed “The New Gayborhood”. From the beginning it was Oliver’s mission to provide a space that was not only queer, but welcoming to everyone within the LGBTQ community as well as its allies. It was his goal to open a neighborhood bar that the LGBTQ community could call “home.” However, it didn’t take long before Oliver began brainstorming ways in which he could reach the community beyond Redline. After roughly one year of Precinct, Redline and Mattachine being open, Oliver reached out to the fellow downtown bars to see if they would be interested in throwing a gay block party of their own; a grassroots movement for the community, by the community. In 2016 Oliver became the president and founder of the non-profit DTLA Proud and launched DTLA Proud festival that August, located at Pershing Square in the heart of downtown. The festival itself was such a success it expanded to a two-day event in only its second year doubling attendance. With Oliver’s leadership, DTLA Proud expanded to Night on Broadway, curating a gay block party that showcases all that the downtown gay scene has to offer, a capital campaign for a DTLA Proud Community Center, and this year partnering with AIDS/ Lifecycle for their Finish Line Festival at Grand Park. In the last three years, Oliver Alpuche has shown his dedication and passion to bringing safe spaces for the LBGTQ community to gather, celebrate themselves and tell their stories all while remaining the humble LA native he is. (Up until recently he hated having people know he owned Redline let alone spearheaded DTLA PROUD). As DTLA Proud heads into its third year, Oliver continues to tirelessly work towards creating a thriving and diverse LGBTQ community for Downtown Los Angeles.

What’s Los Angeles’ best nightspot, past or present? The old Ozz in Buena Park, it was a place were I learned to be comfortable with myself. I feel like I used Ozz as reference when building and programing Redline. Describe your dream wedding. I would love a backyard wedding in the house me and my partner decide to make home. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Housing - specifically high rental prices and the lack of new homeownership. I believe that we are losing the sense of communities because property ownership creates investment within the community and now only a select few can afford it. What historical outcome would you change? The last presidential election. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? When Madonna and Britney Spears (and X-tina) kiss. Sounds weird but it made me feel like other people would more easily accept me. On what do you insist? Equal rights. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? Probably a picture of my dogs. If your life were a book, what would the

title be? Not Again, Part 2. If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? I wouldn’t change anything because your sexual orientation does not define the person you are and I like the person that I am. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? That’s a hard one, I’m not a religious person but I do believe in a higher power. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? I believe that we need to champion for equal rights for everyone. There is no such thing as gay rights, trans rights or women’s rights: We are all fighting for equal rights because everyone should be treated equally no matter who they are. What would you walk across hot coals for? Ice cream. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? The stereotype that you have to be masc or femm. We’re all on a spectrum and wherever you fall, that’s the place you are meant to be. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “Beautiful Thing.” What’s the most overrated social custom? Holding the door for a woman; you should open the door for and be polite to everyone. What trophy or prize do you most covet? The jackpot at the local arcade. What do you wish you’d known at 18? Don’t be afraid of the the skin that you are most comfortable in. Why Los Angeles? I was born and raised in Los Angeles. This is my home. What’s special about it is that this city truly has a place for everyone.


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32 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

TELEVISION

Jim Parsons is taking New York by storm and Hollywood is watching The award-winning out actor eyes a new role By SUSAN HORNIK

Jim Parsons in ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Photo Courtesy ‘The Big Bang Theory’

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Every so often, Hollywood produces an actor who has that “it” factor; put them in any role and watch them electrify the screen. In the 1950s, it was thespians like Clark Gable, Cary Grant, James Dean and Gary Cooper that impressed audiences with their charismatic swagger. These days, watching Jim Parsons perform, you get a whiff of that classic Hollywood charm; it’s no wonder the Emmy, Critics Choice and Golden Globe Award-winning actor has been so successful. Parsons is that rare dude who blends authenticity with likability, evident in any role he takes on. And he’s non-stop busy, co-starring in the Broadway revival of “The Boys in the Band,” which also features Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, and Matt Bomer. The veteran actor stars as Sheldon Cooper in CBS’ hit series, “The Big Bang Theory” and executive produces the prequel, “Young Sheldon.” In the series, he also voices the adult Sheldon, as the story is told through the eyes of Sheldon at the age of 9, and follows him as he enters high school in east Texas. “I’ve never done anything like this,” he said during a set visit at the Television Critics Press Tour. “It’s very fun when we do put them together, though.” Parsons loves the process during the narration. “I love when they’re almost finished episodes. I’m going in and giving the reel tracks for them, because then we can really time it to the scenes, right as it’s happening. It makes me laugh a lot of the time,” Parsons said. If you have been a fan of “Big Bang,” you might have been surprised how nice young Sheldon is to his family, given how quirky adult Sheldon is. “I think the biggest thing is that, until this show, we’ve only gotten to hear about him through Sheldon’s point of view, which, as we all know, is obviously who knows the reason why he’s taking that point of view,” he said. Parsons felt his adult character may be “slightly protective,” like some of the things that go on in “Young Sheldon” could be viewed through the lens of his “intimate diary, something he wouldn’t say, and you wouldn’t have heard on the show.” “And it’s like this is really how it happened, even though, for whatever reason, he’s couching it in certain terms,” he noted. “This is the first time anyone has really gotten to explore him as a real fleshed out human. And so he’s revealing himself not to be such an ass, after all. I don’t know….I love what’s happening with it, though,” Parsons added. Veteran executive producer Chuck Lorre has loved working with Parsons. “It’s a magical ability to play as difficult a character as Jim plays and make him beloved,” said Lorre. “It’s a beloved character, you know, in the world of Archie Bunker and Danny DeVito, on ‘Taxi.’ There has been a handful of people who had that incredible ability of an actor to make an abhorrent human being beloved. But it’s very difficult to do. And, Jim, obviously, just has perfected it.” Parsons also has a new family drama out, “A Kid Like Jake,” with his production company, That’s Wonderful Productions. In the film, he and his wife try to figure out the competitive world of NYC kindergarten admissions while trying to care for their gender non-conforming son. Trans director Silas Howard loves Parsons’ sense of humor. “He’s no slacker when it comes to comic timing. But I love how he was so committed and never winking at the camera. I feel like it’s really grounded in character. So even though Jim comes from comedy, he’s never sacrificing any bit of his character for a joke,” Howard said. Parsons’ next project with his production company is adapting Michael Ausiello’s beautifully written memoir, “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies,” to the big screen. “It’s an incredible story of love and loss and it touched my heart,” Parsons told the Los Angeles Blade. If you are headed to New York check Parsons out in “The Boys in the Band,” which is being directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello and produced by Ryan Murphy and David Stone. “Boys” will play the Booth Theatre through August 12, 2018.


34 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

FILM

A month of movies, just in time for Pride New movies we recommend for June viewing By JOHN PAUL KING

‘Discreet,’ ‘The Fabulous Alan Carr’ and ‘Hearts Beat Loud”’ are your best bets for LGBT film viewing. Photos Courtesy Travis Mathews, Jeffrey Schwarz and Brett Haley

Pride month in LA is all about the festival and parade, of course, but it’s also an exciting time for LGBT movie lovers as it’s also now a tradition that several new queercentric film releases come our way in June, this year starting with a trio of titles coming out this week. “Discreet” (opening June 1) – From writer/director Travis Mathews comes this brooding thriller about a drifter named Alex (Jonny Mars), who copes with the trauma of his childhood sexual abuse through online-guided meditation – and by finding furtive, anonymous hookups with closeted men in the adult stores and seedy motels of rural Texas. When he discovers that his abuser (Bob Swaffar) is still alive, he enlists an unsuspecting local teen (Jordan Elsass) to aid him in a sinister plan for revenge. A meditation on the deadly consequences of internalized homophobia, Mathews’ film is a look into a closeted lifestyle in which the most meaningful encounters must always be “discreet.” Constructed in fragmented scenes, it eschews detailed depiction in favor of an impressionistic approach which only gives us glimpses of the ugly secrets at its core. It leaves much to the imagination – too much, perhaps, for viewers who prefer more concrete narratives – but this is by design; it’s more of a mood piece, meant to envelop the viewer in the disconnected darkness of its deeply damaged central character and evoke the jarring rhythms of his isolated existence. Though it manages to disturb without relying on graphic horror, the film is more successful at generating chills through political allegory – much of its unsettling tone is derived almost subliminally from the right-wing radio show that plays whenever Alex is in his van. This undercurrent of extremist hatred seems to connect directly to the grim events of the story, turning “Discreet” into a disturbing portrait of “alt-right” America and the mentality that gave rise to the Age of Trump. “The Fabulous Alan Carr” (VOD, June 5) – Jeffrey Schwarz, who has given us profiles of such gay icons as Vito Russo, Tab Hunter, and Divine – returns with a documentary about the self-made impresario and producer who rose from midwestern obscurity to glamorous Hollywood success before falling spectacularly from grace. Relying on the usual mixture of archival footage and on-camera interviews with friends and associates, it presents us with a portrait of a man whose love for the escapist fantasy of Hollywood combined with his life-of-the-party personality to propel him to the heights of professional success. Particularly interesting are the talk show clips revealing the ‘70s scenester at his flamboyant best, and the lengthy segment detailing his failure as producer of the Academy Awards – highlighting that notorious opening number that paired Snow White with Rob Lowe for a song-and-dance tribute to Old Hollywood. However, though Schwarz manages to generate some empathy for Carr, he can never quite overcome the inescapable shallowness of his subject’s persona. A showman who built his career on glitz and glamour, and seemed incapable of understanding why “Can’t Stop The Music” wasn’t as big a hit as “Grease,” Carr was the epitome of style over substance – and as result, the movie leaves the same inconsequential impression as the man himself. Still, it’s a fun trip down memory lane; full of the sights and sounds of the hedonistic‘70s scene of which Carr made sure he was an integral part, and deepdiving into the campy delights of the work he produced, the documentary is still a crowd-pleaser. Schwarz is a master of blending information with entertainment, and his approach is a perfect complement to the story he is telling here. “The Fabulous Alan Carr” may not be the director’s most satisfying work, but it’s definitely worth an evening spent watching on your couch. “Hearts Beat Loud” (opening June 8): In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) – a middle-aged widower whose once-successful record store is failing – has music in his blood. It’s a love he shares with his soon-to-be-collegebound daughter, Sam (Kiersey Clemons), and hoping to cement his connection to her before her eminent departure, he coaxes her to record a song during their weekly “jam” session and secretly uploads it to Spotify. When it unexpectedly develops a following, Frank sees it as a chance to finally realize his lifelong dreams of musical success; but Sam, despite a blossoming relationship with her new girlfriend (Sasha Lane), is anxious to leave Brooklyn and pursue her own dreams – which do not involve being in a band with her father. Continues at losangelesblade.com


36 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

GOSSIP

Stormy Daniels takes WeHo And Billy takes Matt Lanter (and other matters) into his own hands By BILLY MASTERS

Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels take the keys to WeHo. Photo Courtesy of The Abbey

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” - I came across this quote during my month abroad. My attempt to live by it lasted 24 hours. On the second day, I was annoyed that my travelling companion didn’t take a photo of me giving spare change to a homeless woman. If I can’t prove how benevolent I am, what’s the point? Since I’m spending some time in Boston, I missed out on the May 23 festivities known as Stormy Daniels Day. While many criticized West Hollywood for honoring the porn star, I thought it was somewhat appropriate. After all, the ceremony took place in front of Chi Chi LaRue’s store on Santa Monica Boulevard, and was presided over by Mayor John Duran, who is partners with my husband, gay porn superstar Kurt Young (it’s very complicated, but also very WeHo). News of these festivities enraged Fox host Tucker Carlson. “She is not even gay!” Let me tell you, Tucker - just so you know and your children will someday know - West Hollywood has honored other non-gay persons such as Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, En Vogue, and others too numerous to mention. Intriguingly enough, the West Hollywood City Council considered honoring yet another “celebrity” back in 2015. Then-Councilman Duran said, “In my mind, Bruce Jenner has not earned anything by coming out as a transgendered person.” Now, three years later, Duran said, “Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of England to protest injustice and taxes, and we have our own Lady Godiva here in the city of West Hollywood.” And, Tucker, it turns out there is a gay angle. In her speech, Stormy said, “As a woman with two wonderful gay dads, Keith and JD, I feel especially at home here.” And because I know you’ll ask, Daniels’ hot lawyer Michael Avenatti was in attendance and earned more than his fair share of attention - as well he should. From Stormy Daniels Day to George Takei (it rhymes if you say it aloud). Remember last year when a former male model alleged that the “Star Trek” actor sexually assaulted him back in 1981? Turns out it may not have happened at all. Scott Brunton claimed that he fell asleep at Takei’s house and woke up with his pants around his ankles...if I had a nickel! “I know unequivocally he spiked my drink!” Now he’s changing his tune. According to Shane Snow of “The Observer,” Brunton slightly altered his story each time he recounted the incident. So he decided to get to the bottom (so to speak) of it. Brunton told Snow that he thought Takei just wanted to be friends; he was shocked when the actor hit on him. “He was 20 years older than me and short. And I wasn’t attracted to Asian men. I was a hot, surfer, California boy type, that he probably could have only gotten had he bought, paid for or found someone just willing to ride on his coattails of fame.” Oh, MY! Then Snow came right out and asked, “Did he touch your genitals?” Shane said, “You know... probably...He was clearly on his way to...to...to going somewhere.” I’m going to the next Caucasian surfer boy — and I ain’t payin’! If you were at one of the first previews of the Broadway production of “The Boys in the Band,” you got to see a bit more of Matt Bomer than usual. “My character takes a shower within the first five minutes. I realized that there was no towel when I got out of the shower. I had the choice to do the rest of the scene buck naked, which would not have made any sense, or there’s like a glass partition, so I had to coyly reach around and grab my tighty whities and put them on my soaking wet body and do the rest of the scene in wet tighty whities.” With these choices, I consider this a win/win. While we wait patiently for NBC to decide the fate of “Timeless”, I decided to take matters into my own hands — literally. There must be nude photos of Matt Lanter, who I have enjoyed ever since his brief stint in the White House as Geena Davis’ son in “Commander In Chief.” And then, as if a gift from the heavens, Lanter appeared in my lap. If people got to see these alleged nude shots of Matt, I suspect “Timeless” would have a long, throbbing run on the network. I’ll do what I can to help and post the pics on BillyMasters.com. Before ending, I’d like to acknowledge the passing of Broadway legend, Patricia Morison. The original star of “Kiss Me, Kate” was one of the loveliest and most gracious people I’ve been privileged to know. Up until her 100th birthday, she not only appeared at benefits to raise money for important causes (including HIV/AIDS), she also sang — and usually in the original keys! Fitting to remember her on Memorial Day. Of course, you don’t need any excuse to check out www.BillyMasters.com - the site that’s always willing to take a knee (although most simply kneel). If you have a question, send it to Billy@ BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Matt Bomer wins Broadway’s Wet Briefs contest! Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.


A Personal Letter from John Pérez

A S O N E C A L I F O R N I A N T O A N O T H E R , I know we are all deeply concerned

about the direction of our country and the challenges that we face here in California. I believe Antonio is the right choice to lead our state and build on these last eight years of progress.

There are many progressive reasons to support Antonio, but I have a very personal reason for supporting him.

In that moment, he made it clear that he was something more than my cousin: he was my champion.

In 1994, Antonio was running for the State Assembly for the first time, and he appeared before Stonewall Democrats to ask for our endorsement. I was a young labor organizer, becoming more active in the community and political life. Now, the fact that Antonio even asked for our endorsement was significant. This was 1994, where public support for LGBT rights was a fraction of where it stands today. Ideas like domestic partnerships were still years away and many Democrats saw LGBT rights as a third-rail issue.

Just like he’s always been a champion for immigrants. And working people. And the poorest, sickest and most vulnerable Californians.

During the question and answer portion, he very matter-offactly answered “yes” when he was asked if he supported same-sex marriage. That was such a meaningful moment for me. I felt chills down my spine.

Photo: Karen Ocamb

ANTONIO FOR CALIFORNIA

ANTONIO FOR CALIFORNIA

Antonio Villaraigosa (and children) at CSW Pride parade in early 1990s with Stonewall CALIFORNIA Democratic Club president Eric Bauman.

ANTONIO FOR

The first employment protections for LGBT Californians were introduced and passed by Antonio in the State Assembly. It would be another decade before most politicians had the courage to embrace a position that came to Antonio as naturally and quickly as any other issue of justice. And that’s because justice is the through-line of Antonio’s career. He’s fought for minimum wage increases time and again because he believes in worker justice. He believes that environmental justice means clean air, clean water and clean power for every Californian. And he believes in opportunity. I often think back to that Stonewall Democrats

Antonio Villaraigosa (left) with John Pérez

meeting. He was willing to risk his entire political career because he believed in what was then an unpopular truth — that LGBT Californians were deserving of equal rights. Progress is achieved when our politics and our government are aspirational. And progress is maintained when our leaders are prudent, focused and decisive. Antonio Villaraigosa has been fighting for justice and progress his entire life. He’s dreamed big, and he’s balanced budgets. He has the talent and tenacity to run our state, and he has the compassion and conviction to create the environment where our progressive values can thrive. For these reasons, I hope you will join me in supporting Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor. Sincerely, JOHN A. PÉREZ, SPEAKER EMERITUS

ANTONIO VOTE ON JUNE 5 OR WITH YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT. Learn more at AntonioForCalifornia.com FOR CALIFORNIA

Paid for by Villaraigosa for Governor 2018, 5429 Madison Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95841

Antonio Villaraigosa is a fighter for justice and progress


CALENDAR

38 • JUNE 01, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

E-mail calendar items to tmasters@losangelesblade.com two weeks prior to your event. Space is limited so priority is given to LGBTspecific events or those with LGBT participants. Recurring events must be re-submitted each time.

LA Pride takes West Hollywood as hundreds of thousands celebrate LGBT equality and visibility during the festival on June 9 and parade and festival on June 10. Photo by Dan Leveille; Courtesy Wikimedia

SATURDAY, JUNE 2

One City One Pride “Day of History,” is today from 1:30-9:30 p.m. at West Hollywood City Council Chambers (625 North San Vicente Blvd.). One City One Pride Festival presents a full day of screenings and panels. “I Remember” is the theme of this historic outline of the arc of our communities triumph. The day includes film and panels featuring “Genitalic,” Victory Yates’ take on life for older men living in WeHo; “Meet the Rainbow Flagmakers: Original Rainbow Flag Artists and their Friends” is copresented by the California LGBT Arts Alliance and Impact Stories History Project and brings together team members who helped create the first rainbow flag; “Light in the Water” is a sneak look at a documentary about WH20, the West Hollywood Aquatics Team; “AIDS DIVA: The Legend of Connie Norman,” is one ACT UP/LA members take on the late ‘80s and early ‘90s activism in Los Angeles. Admission is free but RSVP is required. For more details, visit weho.org/pride.

SUNDAY, JUNE 3

LGBT Pride Week at Universal Studios Hollywood (100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, Calif.) is tonight from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. LA Pride is teaming up with the legendary theme park again for this out of control fundraiser. You get tons of perks, including all-day access and exclusive after hours access to the spectacular Pride is Universal event. A portion of event proceeds will benefit community-wide programs like the CSW, APLA’s housing program Casa del Sol and others. General admission tickets are $95. Universal Express tickets, which gives express access to each ride, attraction and seated show, are $179. For more information, visit lapride.org/event/universal.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6

Outfest West Hollywood Series: Ideal Home is tonight from 7:30-9:30 p..m. at West Hollywood City Council Chambers (625 North San Vicente Blvd.). An exclusive pre-

release screening of director Andre Fleming’s new comedy starring Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd as Erasmus and Paul, a bickering gay couple whose life is turned inside out when a ten-year-old boy shows up at their door claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson. Neither Paul, nor Erasmus, are ready to give up their extravagant lifestyles to be parents, but maybe this little kid has a thing or two to teach them about the value of family. A Q&A with the filmmaker follows. Tickets are $10 and available through outfest.org.

THURSDAY, JUNE 7

Love Who I Am is today from 3 p.m.-2 a.m. at the Abbey Food and Bar (692 N. Robertson Blvd.). The event runs through June 11. Enjoy great company, great food and drinks and great dancing to some of LA’s most energetic DJs and go-go gods and goddesses. Ticket are $21. For more details, visit facebook.com/abbeyweho. West Coast Liberty Awards: Power of the Party is tonight from 6-9 p.m. at SLS Hotel (465 S. La Cienega Blvd.). Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund hosts its West Coast Liberty Awards in the beautiful garden terrace of the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. The evening celebrates equality and pays tribute to the individuals and organizations who fight with us for the rights of LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV. Without Lambda’s outstanding work, marriage equality and a host of other civil rights gains for LGBT might never have happened. Ticket info at lambdalagal.org. Women’s Night at the LA Sparks is tonight from 7-11 p.m. at Staples Center (1111 S. Figueroa St.). Celebrate LA Pride Week 2018 at the Staples Center with some serious girl power at the second annual LA Sparks Pride Night and post-game All-Women’s Party as the Sparks take on the Seattle Storm, a rivalry dating back to the start of the franchise. Post-game enjoy the second annual LA Pride Women’s Party right in the heart of all the action at LA Live (800 Olympic Blvd.) The event is a fundraiser for LA Pride and charities. More info at lapride.org/event/sparks.

FRIDAY, JUNE 8

The Dyke March kicks off today at Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial (8447 Santa Monica Blvd.). The City of West Hollywood invites all the dykes to bring the bikes to the the Dyke March. The event will begin with music by Claudette Sexy DJ during the traditional banner and sign making period before the speakers take to the stage and whip the crowd into a frenzy. Gloria Bigelow, the event’s emcee will welcome the West Hollywood City Council and Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board as they present the Etheridge Award, and many speakers, including LA Pride Grand Marshal Michaela Mendelsohn of TransCanWork. At 7:45pm it’s take to the streets time, led by Nasty Women’s Drum Circle and SoCal Motorcycle Contingency for Equality. For more details visit weho.org/pride Youth Pride Dance is tonight from 7-10 p.m. at Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza (1125 N. McCadden Pl.). LA Pride and the Los Angeles LGBT Center are once again hosting the free Youth Pride Dance for folks 24 and younger only to kick-off LA Pride Weekend 2018. This outdoor, glow-themed party will include food, drinks (non-alcoholic), giveaways and so much more. Please note that this is a 100 percent substance-free event. Admission is free. For more information, visit lapride.org/event/ youth-pride-dance. LGBT Night at the LA Dodgers is today from 5:30-11 p.m. at Dodger Stadium (1000 Vince Scully Ave.). Join LA Pride for a home-run evening at the sixth annual LGBT Night at Dodger Stadium. Now a Pride Week tradition, the LA Dodgers also honor some of the biggest LGBT names in sports, including U.S. Olympian Gus Kenworthy, Dale Scott – the first openly gay umpire in MLB history – and local entrepreneur Will Hackner, founder of the Varsity Gay League. The fun starts at 5:30 pm with the official 2018 LA Pride Weekend kick-off party in the Right Field Plaza Pavillion Bar and lasting until first pitch against the Atlanta Braves at 7:10 pm. See losangelesblade.com for a detailed update on LA Pride official events on June 9 and 10.


The City of West Hollywood's Arts Division presents the

2018 One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival Cel Celebrating pride in 2018 with the festival theme “I Remember” which honors our shared history, and the people and events which paved the way for the rights we hold dear today. Some highlights are: June 2: a full day of screenings and panels including sneak peeks at new documentaries on the West Hollywood Aquatics Team and Connie Norman, transgender AIDS activist June 13: composer Craig Hella Johnson presents a preview of Considering Matthew Shepard and Q & A as part of the 20th anniversary commemoration of Matthew Shepard's death June 20: Screening of ‘When Bette Met Mae’ June 22-23: New Stages present Heroic Lives, an original musical based on the life stories of, and performed by, LGBTQ seniors June 24: Summer Sounds concert with Mariachi Arcoiris, the world's only LGBTQ mariachi Adelaide Drive: Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy exhibition at the West Hollywood Library He Heroes and History of The LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement display at Santa Monica Blvd and Crescent Heights

More info at weho.org/pride or @WeHoArts and @WeHoCity


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Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 13, June 1, 2018  

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