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LOCAL

04 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

TimesUp is working More women coming forward with sexual harassment complaints By JOHN PAUL KING Three thousand women have contacted the TimesUp Legal Defense Fund seeking help in addressing sexual harassment and abuse in the six months since its inception, says Sharyn Tejani, the organization’s executive director. Speaking at a Power Women Breakfast on June 13 in Washington, D.C., sponsored by TheWrap, Tejani also said that over 700 attorneys have joined its network.  Founded on Jan. 1, 2018 by more than 300 women in Hollywood, including high-profile leaders like Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Shonda Rimes, TimesUp was created in part to honor the #MeToo movement’s efforts to give voice to the victims of sexual abuse and misconduct. Its defense fund, managed by the National Women’s Law Center, is the most successful GoFundMe campaign of all time, collecting $21 million in only two months. It offers free consultation for low-income and underprivileged women from all professions seeking redress for harassment claims. The event featured a panel discussion, at which Tejani was joined by TimesUp cofounders actress Amber Tamblyn and out activist, Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen.  “TimesUp really was created as an organization for empowerment for gender equity in the workplace, for changing behavior in the workplace,”  Rosen said. “Every single day, I pay homage to these privileged women in the entertainment industry whose gift was really to figure out how to help low wage workers.” “For me, TimesUp exists so that no woman or man ever has to say #MeToo again, that’s the fundamental soul of what we’re doing,” Tamblyn said. While the progress described by Tejani and her colleagues seems promising, a new  report published on June 12 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine indicates that the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace may require a deeper solution than is offered by holding individual perpetrators accountable

‘TimesUp really was created as an organization for empowerment for gender equity in the workplace,’ said co-founder Hilary Rosen. Photo by SKDKnickerbocker; Courtesy Wikimedia

for their actions. The study was authored by 21 experts after more than two years of research and looks specifically at academic sciences, engineering, and medicine—but its findings can be applied to workplaces within the private sector as well.   An overview of its conclusions states: “Attending to an organization’s climate is crucial to preventing and addressing harassment because organizational climate is the greatest predictor of sexual harassment.  Organizations with tolerant, or even perceived tolerant, climates show higher rates of sexual harassment than those seen as intolerant.” In the words of Lilia Cortina, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan and one of the report’s co-authors, “It’s not about rooting out the bad apples; we need to focus on the whole barrel.” The study also found that the second greatest predictor of sexual harassment is a higher ratio of men to women, particularly in the top levels of an organization.  Within the Hollywood entertainment complex, that ratio remains significantly lopsided. For 2018, the New York Film Academy’s annual study of gender inequality in the motion picture industry found only 25% of

producers and 19% of executive producers were women. In creative positions such as directing, writing, and cinematography, the numbers were even lower. These findings seem to reflect patterns seen in the high-profile cases of sexual misconduct that have emerged over past months. The multiple accusations that came to light against such figures as producer Harvey Weinstein and TV broadcaster Matt Lauer were for incidents that occurred over a period of years within organizations dominated by men. On June 15, longtime HIV/AIDS advocate and LGBT ally actress Judith Light said the #MeToo movement reminded her of the early days of the LGBT community’s fight for equality.  “I am so relieved and grateful and joy filled that these stories are being told,” Light, an Emmy and Tony award winner, told TheWrap editor in chief Sharon Waxman during the Power Women Breakfast NYC. “It goes back to the thing I was talking about the LGBTQ community,” Light said. “Who will you be? Who is your authentic self? If you have secrets you need to tell them. You need to talk about them and that’s what’s happening and that is something that really thrills me.” “Women need to be heard, their stories need

to be told,” she said. “I feel a difference in the way I am relating to the women that I know.” Light, who stars in “Transparent” and Ryan Murphy’s recent series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” was featured at TheWrap event looking at her long career and advocacy work. For instance, on Jan. 16, 1989, Light portrayed Jeanne White, AIDS hero Ryan White’s mother in the ABC TV movie “The Ryan White Story,” in which Ryan White made a cameo appearance; he died 15 months later. Light credits her long LGBT advocacy for getting the “Transparent” role. “[Talking about the LGBT community] was my audition, I didn’t read the script,” she said. “The community which I think is the most inspiring and extraordinary community was being shoved away, shoved in the closet. There was a level of homophobia that still runs deep in this country.” The public will have an opportunity to weigh in at the box office on July 17 when disgraced gay actor Kevin Spacey returns in “Billionaire Boys Club,” which was shot before sexual harassment complaints about him expanded the #MeToo movement to gay men. If there is pre-release promotion, the film’s young stars—Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Emma Roberts and Billie Lourd— may lend their voices to the cause, as well.


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LOCAL

06 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

BARBARISM AT THE BORDER No policies in place for detained LGBT immigrant children By MICHAEL K. LAVERS President Trump’s manufactured immigration policy of family separations on the U.S. border has prompted calls for swift action from California’s Democratic members of Congress. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed a new bill, the Keep Families Together Act; Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Judy Chu, among others in an official congressional delegation went to a detention facility in San Ysidro along the border with Mexico in San Diego County and met with 62 children and juveniles from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador; and  Sen. Kamala Harris called for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen after Nielsen defended Trump’s zero-tolerance policy that takes children away from their parents as a “deterrent” for asylum seekers. “We will not apologize for the job we do, or for the job law enforcement does for doing the job that the American people expect us to do,”  Nielsen told reporters at a news briefing June 18.  “The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart,” Harris said in a statement. “And the government should have a commitment to transparency and accountability. Under Secretary Nielsen’s tenure, the Department of Homeland Security has a track record of neither. As a result, she must resign.” Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) on Tuesday said there is no policy in place that specifically addresses the needs of LGBT immigrant children the Trump administration has separated from their parents. Cicilline told the Blade he asked Southwest Key Programs CEO Juan Sánchez if such a policy exists when he visited Casa Padre, a facility in Brownsville, Texas, in which nearly 1,500 boys are currently living. Southwest Key, which is based in Austin, Texas, operates the facility that was once a Walmart supercenter. Cicilline told the Blade that Sánchez “indicated there were no policies in place that address the needs of LGBT youth.”

U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) on June 17 speaks with reporters outside the McAllen Border Patrol Processing Center in McAllen, Texas. Photo courtesy of Richard Luchette/U.S. Rep. Cicilline

“That’s all he said,” said Cicilline. “They did say they attempt to address issues raised by the kids.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement oversees Casa Padre and other detention facilities in which immigrant children who have been separated from their parents are being held. The agency did not respond to the Blade’s request for comment about whether it has LGBT-specific policies in place. An Immigration Equality spokesperson on Tuesday said their organization is “not aware of any policies” that specifically address “how to treat or help LGBTQ youth or minors living with HIV.” Statistics from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicate 2,342 immigrant children since early May have been separated from their parents under the White House’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The Associated Press on Tuesday reported the Trump administration has opened at least

three “tender age” shelters in South Texas to house babies and young immigrant children who have been separated from their parents. Cicilline on Sunday traveled to South Texas with U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (DMd.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Filemon Vela (D-Texas), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Vicente González (D-Texas) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). The lawmakers visited the McAllen Border Patrol Processing Center, the McAllen Border Patrol Station, the Hidalgo Port of Entry and the Port Isabel Detention Center. Cicilline told the Blade he and his fellow lawmakers met with 10 women who were being held at the Port Isabel Detention Center, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operates. Cicilline said a woman said her son was taken from her when she asked for asylum at a U.S. port of entry. Cicilline on Twitter said he saw dozens of “kids by themselves in cages” inside the

McAllen Border Patrol Processing Center. No photos allowed inside detention center in McAllen, Texas. Saw dozens of kids by themselves in cages. Met a woman who hasn’t seen her daughter in two days. This is not America. #NotInMyName #FathersDayofAction #KeepFamiliesTogether — David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) June 17, 2018 “What is underway is a barbaric system of literally ripping children from their mothers’ arms,” Cicilline told the Blade.

Trump faces worldwide criticism The Trump administration’s policy has sparked condemnation in the U.S. and around the world. Attorneys general from D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, California, New Mexico,


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 22, 2018 • 07

Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington in a letter they sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen on Tuesday urges the Justice Department to “immediately cease these draconian practices.” U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Bill Cassidy (RLa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have sent a similar letter to Sessions and Nielsen. Cicilline is among the co-sponsors of the Keep Families Together Act, which would ban the Department of Homeland Security from separating migrant children from their parents, “except in extraordinary circumstances.” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is being challenged by U.S. Rep. Beto Rourke (D-Texas), has introduced a bill that seeks to “limit the separation of families seeking asylum in the United States and expedite the asylum process for individuals arriving in the United States with children.” Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday said they would pull their respective states’ National Guard troops from the border. Trump has continued to defend the policy in spite of these condemnations. The Associated Press on Wednesday reported Nielsen — who left a Mexican restaurant in downtown D.C. the day before after members of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America heckled her — is drafting an order that would end the policy. It was not immediately clear at deadline whether Trump will support it, but the Associated Press reported he said at the White House that he would sign something “in a little while.” Cicilline bristled at the notion that Trump is using immigrant children as a bargaining chip to convince Democrats to support his immigration agenda. “The idea that you would enact a policy to rip children from their mothers’ arms is disgusting,” Cicilline told the Blade. LGBTI activists are among those who have also criticized Trump over this policy. “As a nation of immigrants, the United

LOCAL

Andrea (left) a trans woman who lives in El Salvador, eats lunch at a restaurant in the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador on Sept. 23, 2017. She asked the Blade not to use her real name and disclose her identity because of anti-trans violence in her hometown. Rampant violence has prompted many LGBT people in El Salvador and neighboring countries to flee. Blade Photo by Michael K. Lavers

States has stood as a beacon of hope for people around the world fleeing persecution, violence and oppression,” Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy told the Blade on Wednesday in a statement. “The Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees is an affront to our values,” he added. “Like the vast majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle, we are appalled by this administration’s policy of ripping away children from their parents at the border.” Equality California National Policy Director Valerie Ploumpis on Tuesday said these families “have already faced such suffering, poverty, discrimination and hardship that they left everything behind for the hope of a brighter future.” “Too many members of our LGBTQ community know that pain,” she added. “That the Trump-Pence administration would further traumatize children by ripping them from their families — perhaps never to be reunited — truly shocks the conscience.” OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern agreed. “There is no justification for systematically taking children away from their families,” Stern told the Blade. “There is also no justification for systematically denying

migrants entry to the U.S. who in many cases are fleeing violence, persecution and even economic devastation.”

Trans woman dies in ICE custody Violence associated with gangs and drug trafficking have prompted LGBT and intersex people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to flee their respective countries. A lack of access to education, employment and health care have made trans migrants in particular susceptible to discrimination, violence and exploitation. Roxana Hernández, a transgender woman from Honduras with HIV, was one of 25 trans women who were part of a 300-person caravan that traveled to the U.S. border earlier this year. U.S. Customs and Border Protection took Hernández into custody on May 9 when she asked for asylum at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego. An ICE press release said Hernández entered its custody on May 13 and was being housed in a unit at Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M., for trans detainees. The press release notes Hernández was

admitted to the hospital with “symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration and complications associated with HIV” on May 17. Hernández died from cardiac arrest on May 25. “She is the transsexual girl who died in the hands of the U.S. government,” said Erick Martínez, an LGBTI rights advocate in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. LGBTI rights advocates in El Salvador with whom the Blade spoke this week also reiterated their criticism of Trump’s immigration policy, which includes his continued support for a wall along the U.S.Mexico border. “It’s sad,” said Bessy Rios, executive director of Asociación de Familiares y Amigos de Población LGBTI de la Mano Contigo. “Our people from the Northern Triangle — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — are being mistreated, discriminated against, forced to migrate and they are forced to return when they arrive to the border.” William Hernández, director of Asociación Entre Amigos de El Salvador, agreed. “The segregation that is occurring with the people who arrive — and above all with children — is a serious violation,” he told the Blade. Ernesto Valle in San Salvador, El Salvador, contributed to this article.


LOCAL

08 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

What’s next for LA Pride? CSW’s new intergenerational leaders want to hear from you By KAREN OCAMB kocamb@losangelesblade.com The annual Los Angeles LGBT Pride celebration has threatened to go off the rails at several junctures during the past few years in a roller-coaster ride of internal conflict, public discord and political machinations. But Christopher Street West survived, enabling tens of thousands of people to come together for three days in June to proudly, authentically and safely celebrate LGBT uniqueness in the world. Perhaps one of CSW’s proudest moments came two years ago when organizers summoned the courage and determination to defiantly and joyously march anyway, despite the horrendous Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando the night before and knowing a man with a car full of guns had been arrested in Santa Monica on his way to West Hollywood for the parade just hours earlier. The #ResistMarch last year was the colorful political LGBT reflection of the #WomensMarch. Organized by Brian Pendleton and friends when CSW seemed too crippled by ego to remember their larger responsibility, the march felt like a 21st century homage to Stonewall and Black Cat, only this time with Hollywood stars and some of America’s most powerful political allies marching, too. What would CSW do for an encore? Would they carry on behind closed doors, bound by curious Non-Disclosure Agreements to remain silent about internal operations? Or would they engage with the community as activist caretakers of both a legacy and a dream? The 2018 LA Pride parade and festival will probably best be remembered for the surprise appearance by singer Christina Aguilera at a drag competition, the large transgender contingent leading off the parade before the Dykes on Bikes and the upset over the first-ever Saturday night festival ticket sellout. CSW apologized for that surprise overcrowding and said it is issuing refunds by emailing help@seetickets.us. The refund request will be processed by their ticket vendor, See Tickets.

CSW co-founder Rev. Troy Perry, his husband Phillip Ray DeBlieck with Estevan Montemayor and Madonna Cacciatore Los Angeles Blade Photo by Karen Ocamb

“Historically, CSW has sold more tickets because what we have found is people will come to the festival for a few hours and they will leave. They don’t stay for the whole day,” new CSW Board President Estevan Montemayor told the Los Angeles Blade. “For the first time in CSW’s history, people got there right when the gates opened and they never left….I think that positivity and the thirst to be around like-minded people and to celebrate us, to be proud of us, was really necessary for a lot of people.” But, he adds, “We need to do better and we are working already to insure that next

CSW Board President Estevan Montemayor with wedding cake on June 10. Los Angeles Blade Photo by Karen Ocamb


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 22, 2018 • 09

year none of this happens again. But I don’t want it to be missed that more people want to be at Pride and that’s a good thing.” There were political notes, too, notably, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and others encouraging prominent trans businesswoman and Grand Marshal Michaela Mendelsohn to cut a huge wedding cake with two grooms and two brides on top, a sugary middle finger to the recent Supreme Court decision favoring a Colorado baker who refused to bake a samesex wedding cake. The Gays Against Guns contingent signaled the significant shift in attitude towards the NRA after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman  Douglas  High  School in Parkland, Florida with signs like “NRA, Sashay Away.” And this year, longtime LGBT ally attorney Gloria Allred offered an amusing bit of ironic self-promotion for her Netflix documentary by having a bevy of look-a-likes (including many in drag) wearing all red outfits and carrying #MeToo signs. Despite some missteps, there was a sense LA Pride was bouncing back under Montemayor’s smart and savvy new leadership. The 27-year old’s unanimous election by the CSW Board of Directors on May 10 followed their decision to hire Madonna Cacciatore as the organization’s first full time executive director. She officially starts on July 1. Montemayor, the Director of Communications and External Affairs for LA Councilmember David Ryu and a former West Hollywood public safety commissioner, told the LA Blade that he and Cacciatore will go on a “listening tour” to engage with the LGBT community on a grassroots level. “There has been so much negativity lately in our world,” he said. “I think people are tired of fighting, people are tired of the constant negativity in the news cycle. I think people wanted to be uplifted and that’s what Christopher Street West was seeking to do— create those environments where everyone is welcomed and everyone is accepted…. This year was back to the festive mood that I think a lot of people are accustomed to and were hungry for.” Montemayor, who worked for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) in the federal fight to overturn Prop 8, noted the importance of kicking off the parade with the symbolic cake. “CSW was birthed out of the

commemoration of Stonewall,” he said. The “Pride parade is reflective of all of our community, all of our history, our future as well, all the young people that come. That’s an enormous task but it’s a task that we have to fulfill and it’s something that we’re excited about.” The LGBT community has “won significant victories but there’s so much more to do. And CSW has had a role in that in the past and I think as a board and as a part of our mission statement, we want to continue to play an activist role moving forward,” he said. “We are a non-profit. That being said, we will continue to be activist and we will continue to create those opportunities….We believe that we should have our cake and our equal rights, too. We can have a good time, we can come together to celebrate but we also have to be clear about where we still need to go and that’s what CSW will continue to do.” The next step is figuring out CSW’s vision. “We believe in Pride 365 days a year, not just one weekend in June. And what that means—we will continue to discuss that as a board. And we will also continue to discuss that with the community,” Montemayor said. “Madonna and I plan to go to various organizations, various community leaders— anyone who is willing to have a conversation with us—sit down with them and figure out what are the concerns that they have with Pride, with CSW, what can be improved, what do they love, and then how can we play a role together in partnership with others throughout the year.” Additionally, CSW board meetings are open with a period for public comment. “Folks are welcome to come and if they’d like to speak and present something to the board, they can email me directly and it can be agendized,” he said. Montemayor said board members still operate under non-disclosure agreements but CSW’s financial statements are on the website and available to the public. “As Madonna and I begin to have conversations with the community—and we are calling this our listening tour because we really want to listen to the community— we are very open about other ways that we can best be transparent. And so if the community wants to offer additional ideas, we will be open to those and see if they’re feasible or not,” he said. “Then we can figure out how to best move forward.”

Montemayor got emotional talking about CSW co-founder Rev. Troy Perry, with whom he watched the parade. He recounted a long conversation before Pride weekend. “I learned so much from him and I learned about his motivations and his desires, his hopes and his dreams for our community,” Montemayor said, adding that Perry reminded him of “the many people who have come before, all the members of our board who have fought for our right to celebrate and to be ourselves.” Perry told him “the work [CSW does] is important—the visibility that we create for our community—because there are young people around the world that look to us and see that we are marching, that we’re in a parade, we’re in a festival, we’re waving our rainbow flags, being ourselves. The message that sends to those people is very powerful.” But what brought the LGBT community

LOCAL

together 48 years ago to commemorate the Stonewall Riots does not motivate this generation. “For this generation, it’s different. It’s a different experience,” he said. “A lot of victories have been won but there are different challenges today than there were then. There’re a lot of questions about how people identify and we want to be a part of that education process.” Montemayor thinks his strong partnership with Cacciatore can help create new ways to share. “It’s quite incredible that a young Latino gay man is serving as board president and a lesbian woman who has gone through several of the most important moments of our LGBT history is serving as our executive director,” Montemayor said. “I think together we will bridge the divide that has been created generationally. Our community is stronger together and that’s what’s most important.”


10 • JUNE 22, 2018

QUOTES

Photo Courtesy Facebook

Eric Bauman, the out chair of the California Democratic Party, pulled together top Democrats for a “Unity Ticket” rally at CDP headquarters in Sacramento on June 13. Standing with outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who will face Republican John Cox in November, as well as out State Sen. President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Sec of State Alex Padilla, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and others, Bauman announced that as Brown passed the baton to Newsom, the governor noted that, “This will be the first time since 1887 that a Democrat will hand off the keys to the Governor’s Office to a fellow Democrat.” “There are now more than 1.5 million more Democratic votes for Governor than in either 2010 or 2014. #BlueWaveComing - and this Unity Ticket will be leading the way!” Bauman said June 15. Catching the wave is David Vela, who was appointed to the LA Community College Board of Trustees to fill the unexpired term of now-Assembly member Sydney Kamlager-Dove. Vela is the first out LGBT Trustee. He served 8 or 12 years as the first out LGBT person elected in Montebello, on the Montebello Unified School District Board of Education. “Equality California is proud to congratulate David on his unanimous appointment — and on breaking an important glass ceiling as the first gay or lesbian trustee. Throughout his career, David has fought to make sure every member of his community has a shot at the American Dream — and we’re excited to see him continue that fight in this new role,” said Equality California executive director Rick Zbur.

Join us on May 22 for a kickoff reception and staged reading of Dear Harvey

“[O]ur schools all across the country have ticking time bombs in them.” - Zachary Cruz, 18, brother of accused Parkland shooter Nicholas Cruz, announcing a national anti-bullying campaign on June 14 in Washington, D.C., via the Washington Blade.

“I am bi your side.”

– Line from “Love Poem to the LGBTQ Community” from singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, which many are taking as his coming out as bisexual, via Towleroad June 19.

“We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They strutted through a brick wall so we wouldn’t have to.” - Lena Waithe accepting her Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards and thanking LGBT pioneers, including legends from the “Paris is Burning” documentary.


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12 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

NATIONAL

Trump admin adopts Obama-era goals in fighting HIV/AIDS Progress achieved for trans women, but not gay and bisexual men By CHRIS JOHNSON The Trump administration has gained a reputation for repudiation of policies enacted during the Obama years, but has adopted the plan of the Obama White House in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of HIV/AIDS & Infectious Disease Policy issued a 69-page progress report indicating the Trump administration has “affirmed its support” for the 2010 National AIDS Strategy, which was issued during the Obama administration and enumerated gay and bisexual men as groups vulnerable to the disease. “At the start of 2017 there was uncertainty about how the Trump administration would approach HIV and whether the NHAS would continue to guide our nation’s response to HIV,” the report says. “The Trump administration has affirmed its support of the NHAS and its goals, recognizing that adaptation and flexibility may be required. This is necessary in order to respond efficiently and effectively to scientific advances, changes in the needs of people living with and at-risk for HIV, and other factors that drive the response to HIV and AIDS.” The report also indicates the Trump administration will issue either a new or updated report by 2020 that will reassess the epidemic domestically and make new goals in combating it. According to the report, work on that updated strategy will begin this year. “In 2018 we will begin work on a new or updated NHAS that carries forward the theme of a national plan developed with the input of individuals living with HIV and at risk for infection, community groups and national organizations, the faith community, providers from various disciplines, researchers, federal, state, and local governments, and so many others,” the report says. “The new or updated NHAS will also build upon existing knowledge and experiences, set new goals and targets and guide us beyond 2020 to the end of HIV in America.”

President Obama’s National AIDS Strategy from 2010 remains the guiding document for combating the epidemic. Blade File Photo by Michael Key

The report also includes a timeline of the Trump administration’s effort to combat HIV/AIDS. Starting with the inauguration of Trump in January 2017, the report notes milestones such as an executive order renewing the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS for another two years and new funding from the Centers for Disease Control for state health departments. Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of the AIDS Institute, said his organization is on the whole “very pleased” the Trump administration has affirmed the Obama-era National AIDS Strategy. “We’re pleased that they adopted this,” Schmid said. “We know it was approved by the secretary’s office and that they’re moving forward. Commitment to ending AIDS was in there, which is really important and that they want to also start the process of drafting a new strategy.” The progress report itself enumerates gay and bisexual men among other groups as a population disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as transgender women. While progress hasn’t been achieved reducing HIV among gay and bisexual men, the report says the goals have been met in reducing the viral loads for transgender women in HIV care. • For the goal of reducing the percentage of gay and bisexual men who have engaged in HIV risk behaviors by 10 percent, the report found the number climbed from 34.1 percent in 2013 to 35.2 percent in 2015. The annual target was 33.3 percent.

• For the goal of reducing the disparities in the rate of new diagnoses by at least 15 percent among gay and bisexual men, the report found the disparity steadily climbed from 20.5 to 22.7 in 2015. The annual target was 19.7. • For the goal of reducing the disparities in the rate for new diagnoses by at least 15 percent among gay and bisexual men, the report found the disparity escalated from 109.4 in 2010 to 118.5 in 2015. The annual target was 105.3. • For the goal of increasing the percentage of transgender women in HIV medical care who virally suppressed to at least 90 percent, the report found that number steadily increased from 62.2 percent in 2010 to 73.9 percent in 2015. The annual target was 71.9 percent. “Indicators measuring disparities in new HIV diagnoses did not meet the annual target among gay and bisexual men overall, young Black gay and bisexual men, and among persons living in the southern United States,” the report says. “In contrast to these results, new HIV diagnosis disparities were reduced among Black women and the annual target was met.” The report indicates goals among gay and bisexual men aren’t met, while progress is made on other goals, such as increasing the number of people who know their HIV status and reducing the number of new diagnoses overall by at least 25 percent. The number of new diagnoses was 43,806 in 2010, but that number fell to 40,040 in 2015, according to preliminary data. Despite the enumeration of this data, Schmid said the report wasn’t without faults, decrying how it excluded affirmation of the Affordable Care Act. Another absence was information on young gay Latinos, whom he said is another population where HIV/AIDS is “actually going up.” Schmid also credited the Obama administration for laying the groundwork for the report. All the data, Schmid noted, goes until 2015, which was before Trump took office. “The data is always lagging, so it doesn’t represent the actual work of progress under the Trump administration,” Schmid said. “They’re just reporting out on what occurred.” Schmid said the report was expected on World AIDS Day on December 1, but it was only issued recently around Memorial Day. The report since that time has yet to receive

significant attention in the media or elsewhere. But it wasn’t a surprise the Trump administration affirmed the National AIDS Strategy. Assistant Secretary of Health Brett Giroir, Schmid said, informed Congress the Trump administration would continue the Obama-era plan during his confirmation hearing. “We’ve been hearing positive things from the administration on HIV,” Schmid said. “So, I was obviously pleased...I think it’s important for the community to know that they are moving forward.” The Trump administration adopts the Obama-era strategy against HIV/AIDS as much of the internal infrastructure against the disease found in the previous administration is not in place. For starters, Trump has yet to appoint a director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, which was a position consistently filled in the Obama years. The President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS has gone without any member for nearly six months after Trump in December terminated the tenures of the Obama-era members, as first reported by the Washington Blade. Trump fired the remaining members of the council after six resigned in June 2017 over objections to the lack of an HIV strategy. The most recent budget from the Trump administration for fiscal year 2019 also proposed modest cuts to domestic HIV programs, while making significant cuts to global programs. Congress is expected to unveil its own budget proposal in the coming days, which will address whether they’re affirmed or rejected. Schmid said he’s heard from the Trump administration they intend to replace members of the President’s Advisory Council “soon, soon, soon.” “I hope it’s very soon because we need to have that check and that involvement with the community and the administration, and frankly, to keep the pressure on them,” Schmid said. As for the appointment of a White House AIDS czar, Schmid said the Trump administration seems to have a general practice of decentralization to Cabinet departments. “As long as the assistant secretary of health has the authority, has the leadership to implement these plans, to convene the different agencies, Cabinet agencies, we’re comfortable with that,” Schmid said.


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The overshadowed LGBT fight for ‘normality’ Upcoming doc examines protests against the American Psychiatric Association By CHRISTOPHER KANE For decades, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) labeled homosexuality a mental illness, thereby justifying the criminalization of homosexuality and permitting discriminatory practices against gay men and lesbians by government agencies, businesses, schools and churches repulsed by those branded “sick” and “perverted.” But homosexuality was also believed to be a deviant behavioral choice that could be “cured” through medical and psychological treatments such as electroshock, chemical castration, ice pick lobotomies or aversion “therapy” akin to the torture in “A Clockwork Orange.”  Not all mental health professionals thought gay people were degenerates. In 1953, with Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy in his prime demagogically chasing down and destroying communists (the “Red Scare”) and homosexuals (the “Lavender Scare”), Evelyn Hooker, Ph.D., sought funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to research “normal homosexuals,” prompted by her close friendship with a former UCLA student, Sam From. Through him, she gained access to LA’s secret gay subculture and volunteers from the Mattachine Society. Hooker’s presentation  at the APA’s annual convention in 1956 was groundbreaking— there was no scientific data on gay people who were not incarcerated or in mental wards. The bottom line result: expert clinicians could not distinguish between gay men and straight men, findings that were soon validated by other researchers.   But the APA did not remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III  (DSM)  until 1973.  “Cured,” an in-production documentary  directed by award-winning filmmakers Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer, details the story of how LGBT activists joined forces with other minority groups and allies to take on the psychiatric establishment in the late 1960s and early 1970s to change the DSM.  As befitted the time of upheaval with students protesting the war in Vietnam and civil rights groups morphing into liberation movements, the fights against the APA were

Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny and John Fryer, who’s in disguise.

not quiet. One of the first demonstrations was staged in San Francisco by 20 members of the Gay Liberation Front and Women’s Liberation Movements. “It put the psychiatrists on notice,” Sammon said, “that gays and lesbians were fighting back. It really was the start of the outside activism that put attention and pressure on this issue.”   From California, protests spread to other cities, like Chicago and New York. “The interesting thing about this is there was no coordinated strategy, in terms of one person deciding what would happen. It was a grassroots effort,” Sammon. “That was an important piece of the equation that we discovered during the research process.” But there were pioneering leaders with vision from Barbara Gittings of the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, Frank Kameny, co-founder with Jack Nichols of the Washington, D.C. branch of the Mattachine Society, and Morris Kight and Don Kilhefner, co-founders of the Gay Liberation Front/LA, who disrupted APA conferences by stealing the emcee’s microphones and challenging the participants. In 1972, gay psychiatrist Dr. John Fryer had enough and spoke out—albeit with his face disguised in a mask and voice distorted over the microphone. Nonetheless, “Dr. Henry Anonymous,” as he presented himself, gave such as impactful speech, history has often credited him with getting homosexuality delisted from the DSM in 1973.    Sammon believes that much of the progress

in the struggle for LGBT rights—for social, legal, and political equality—was made possible by this victory in 1973 over the APA. While still largely overlooked in LGBT history, the campaign challenging the APA represents a remarkable story of diligence and courage in the face of powerful institutional resistance. Singer also notes that “Cured” looks at how the modern LGBT rights movement continued after Stonewall. “How did the spark that was ignited at Stonewall and other uprisings around the country get channeled? What was the next stage of activism?”  Sammon hopes older LGBT audiences will see an accurate reflection of their lived experiences, of the pain caused by the message from scientific and medical institutions that they were sick. “If from the age of 12 or 13,” he told the Los Angeles Blade in a June 19 interview, “everything you read or everything you’re told is that you’re mentally ill, that starts to impact you. That starts to affect your self-esteem. It causes internalized homophobia.”    In the years since, leading organizations representing scientists and physicians have uniformly denounced treatments intended to change a patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity. More recent progress on this front includes the decision by the World Health Organization to remove gender incongruence from the mental disorders listed in its  International Classification of Diseases (ICD),  the eleventh revision of

which was released June 18. However, despite this, disproven pseudoscientific ideas about the mental health of LGBT people are still used to support socalled “conversion” or “reparative therapy,” religious-based counseling and other harmful sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).    The campaign against the label of mental illness chronicled in “Cured” is not “a relic from history,” Singer said. “People are still clinging to this junk science that’s being held up to give LGBTQ people this bogus sense that they can change, that they should change, and that homosexuality is a choice.”    Sammon agreed: “The roots of this mental illness label are ideas that are still parroted by people who believe in conversion therapy,” he said. “Hopefully, this film—while not specifically about that issue [of conversion therapy]—can help illuminate that ongoing discussion, while weakening this argument that LGBT people have chosen to be the way that they are.”   “There’s still a learning curve when it comes to these fundamental issues,” Singer said. “We’re seeing it with the attempt to roll back the Pentagon’s policy on trans service members, with ongoing opposition to marriage, with bathroom bills…many of these positions come from prejudice based on junk science and religious belief.” “Cured” is a warning that the fight for equality is ongoing—that progress can be ephemeral. It is also an homage to the


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activists who sacrificed much but recognized the importance of the fight. “I hope older audiences, through the film, will receive some appreciation for the work they did to get us to the point where we are now,” Sammon said. “There are so many people who helped in so many ways, and this is a way to honor them.” Charles Francis, president of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., told the LA Blade that they decided to sign on as financial sponsors of “Cured” because the film debunks the myth that the LGBT community has won the battle against those who wish to call them mentally ill.    “It’s a myth,” Francis said, “because not only was it hell to accomplish this thing [striking homosexuality from the DSM], with real community activism, but even today the debate is not over. Our enemies are making the case they we are somehow spiritually or

psychologically broken, even now in 2018.” At the Mattachine Society, Francis is engaged in historical research about the institutionalization of LGBT people in places like St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Washington, DC where the APA’s mental illness label and legislation like the District’s Sexual Psychopath Act of 1948, resulted in people being subjected to “treatments” that included icepick lobotomies, hysterectomies, and castration.    Even today, Francis warned, mythical ideas about LGBT mental illness have lead to young LGBTQ people being put in harm’s way.  Among the most troubling recent examples  are reports of young people who have died as a result of abuse incurred at residential programs associated with the billion dollar “troubled teen industry”—a sexual orientation change efforts into which youth are sometimes enrolled by their parents. 

“This movie is not just for gay history geeks,” Francis said. “I think all activists, all audiences, all people concerned with the Trump-Pence Administration would do well to see this movie and to see how old school community activism works. Getting out into the streets, into the communities, convincing people, making the arguments… this is an early example of passionate, community-based activism. I think it’s a movie for everybody, especially in these challenging times.” After its 1973 decision, the APA came out against discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment (1988) and in the armed forces (1990). Then, in 1998, the organization issued statements that opposed psychiatric treatments that (1) are based on the view of homosexuality as a mental disorder, and (2) are administered to “change” the patient’s sexual orientation. 

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The mainstream medical establishment is now allied with efforts to protect young LGBT people from conversion therapy, which marks a significant step forward. Interestingly, science and medicine have recently been harnessed to oppose these practices from a different angle. A bill spearheaded by Equality California and introduced by out Assembly member Evan Low would include, among the business practices outlawed under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the sale of therapies that constitute sexual orientation change efforts because research indicates they are ineffective. “The bill does one thing and one thing only;” said Low, in a press release, “it declares conversion therapy (for money) for what is, a fraudulent practice. The directors hope to release “Cured” in 2019— the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. 


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Trump destroys families and facts U.S. faces self-inflicted humanitarian crisis

PETER ROSENSTEIN is a LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

Donald Trump believes ripping children away from their mothers is the right thing to do. He is a disgusting lying SOB excuse for a man. What other way can you describe the person responsible for what is happening on our border and how his administration and Justice Department are enabling it? We in the United States now have a selfinflicted humanitarian crisis on our hands. We are taking young children away from their mothers and warehousing some in an old Walmart. The administration is talking about setting up a tent city to house these children apparently learning how to do this from the refugee camps in Gaza and Syria. The difference here in the United States is we are setting up these tent camps for children who will be in them due to our taking them from their mothers. The Trump administration has determined mothers running away from violence and fleeing their homes for safety and a better life in the United States are criminals and punishing their innocent children is appropriate. To justify this, the attorney general quotes the Bible. Aside from a blatant disregard for

the separation of church and state he asks people to believe God supports this atrocity. Adding fuel to the fire, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president’s spokesperson, lies about the basis for what is happening and insults a reporter who dares ask her “as a mother what do you think about what the administration is doing?” Sanders’ lies include blaming Democrats for not passing legislation to stop this cruelty the Trump administration is inflicting on these children. She knows the White House can stop it immediately and that both houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans. She and Trump are trying to turn this into a political issue rather than a humanitarian atrocity of his making. My question to Americans is have we fallen so far in our country people will not cry out demanding it stop? Have Evangelical Christians who support Trump become a cult and refuse to speak up when he rips apart families? Is Trump their Jim Jones? Would they be willing to replay the scene from Jonestown, Guyana “where at Jim Jones’ direction, 909 members of the People’s Temple died, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in a revolutionary suicide that included over 200 murdered children?” They must know this heinous act of ripping children from their mothers is Trump’s policy not law. Just as it is Trump administration policy to deport Dreamers even as he tries to deflect and blame others for it. Have we fallen so far we will accept Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) castigating the few remaining Republicans with enough decency and spine to question the despot in the White House? Yes I am calling him a despot. This man who makes friends with our enemies and enemies of our friends. The man who calls Kim Jong-un, the most brutal

dictator in the world, a fine man and lauds him for what he is doing for his people. This brutal dictator who has put 100,000 of his people in gulags; rules with an iron fist by intimidation; and murdered members of his own family. This is the man our president befriends and admires. For sure the world is turned upside down and there will be no righting it until we rid ourselves of this madman in the White House. Whether he is taken down by the justice system or the voters, we must make sure he is stopped. The hate in our country is not new but Trump has enabled it to come out in the open. He encourages it. Trump watches a candidate like Corey Stewart in Virginia spew hate and stand with a white supremacist to receive his endorsement before adding his own full-throated endorsement. One must pray the god I have always considered fair and decent will enter the conscience of those who continue to support this disgusting, vile man in the White House. That his daughter Ivanka, who believes it is OK to share a picture of herself hugging her daughter while her father rips other daughters from their mothers will open her eyes to this outrage her father is inflicting on innocent children. That Sarah Huckabee Sanders who claims to be religious, will realize defending a policy, not a law, that rips a baby from their mother is a vile and horrendous thing to do. That Mike Pence and his wife who claim to be so religious will actually follow the tenets of the Bible and love they neighbor as thyself and protect the children.  My fervent hope is Americans will wake up from this nightmare in time to make amends and reclaim our position in the world among our friends.

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When ‘free’ isn’t really free Juneteenth marks the 165th anniversary of emancipation

David J. Johns is executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, nbjc.org.

“Until all of us are free, none of us are free.” You will seldom hear me speak without noting this fact, but the truth is, it has historical context. You see, slavery was formally abolished Jan. 31, 1865 with the passing of the 13th Amendment, but it was not until June 19, 1865 — almost five months later — that this news reached slaves in the state of Texas, thus beginning the emancipation of enslaved Black people throughout the South.  Fast forward 165 years to present day America, many in this country continue to keep Black people in bondage, and this is compounded if you are Black AND lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL).  With each passing day our news tickers seem to report incidents of breakdowns in race relations, really everyday interactions where the humanity of Black people is

disregarded or called into question, bringing forth the realization that what our ancestors hoped was settled more than a century ago is still hotly contested today. Take Roseanne Barr’s recent racially charged tweets about Valerie Jarrett  (former senior adviser to President Obama), which led to the cancellation of the “Roseanne” sitcom reboot. It is baffling that we live at a time when anyone would think it acceptable to publicly refer to someone — an accomplished and wellrespected Black woman at that — as “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”  In today’s political climate, supporters of President Trump like Barr flex their free license to carry their racism, stigma and bias proudly while  blatantly, and in their own minds justifiably, violating basic human rights —  especially of those individuals who live at the intersection of being Black and LGBTQ/SGL. As if the fight for racial equality was not enough, now the fight for sexual-oriented freedoms makes it even more of an uphill battle for individuals in our community.  Individuals like Anthony Wall, the 22-year-old Black gay man who was assaulted by police in May at a Warsaw, N.C., Waffle House — one of too many acts of violence by police against young Black men that we have seen recently. Wall was placed in a chokehold and slammed against the concrete by an arresting officer following an incident in which a Waffle House employee hurled racist and homophobic comments at Wall! 

Wall’s incident happened just weeks after Chikesia Clemmons was violently arrested and exposed by police officers at a Waffle House in Alabama after being charged for plasticware - a fee none of her fellow white patrons were assessed. And in the past week, another instance of racial bias, at a Florida Waffle House this time, that led to the unwarranted and unnecessary arrest of a Black couple was brought to light. Despite what can now be reasonably deemed as a trend within the popular southern food chain, the corporation’s leadership refuses to denounce the egregious behavior of its employees, therefore, enabling their racially discriminatory practices, reflective of those seen in the Jim Crow south. Yet and still, over Memorial Day weekend, Deja Smith, a Black transgender woman and celebrity makeup artist, was denied service at a Texas Chicken and Burgers restaurant in Harlem, New York — a community that despite aggressive gentrification remains Black in occupants and culture. While we are fortunate to have evidence of onlookers and patrons affirming the discrimination that Ms. Smith and her colleagues experienced, I find it beyond frustrating that far too often we see tepid public demonstrations of support for the Black trans - community — and often, it is only in instances in which Black trans women are murdered.  We rarely see support provided during day-to-day injustices that challenge the core of one’s lived experiences.  How unfortunate that in the same month

that we celebrate both LGBTQ Pride and the emancipation of slaves in the South, we also witnessed the sanctioning of legal discrimination by the Supreme Court with its decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission  case — a decision that can make the aforementioned offenses OK.   The irony that businesses like the Waffle House chain, which already has a record of discrimination resulting in unwarranted arrests of Black people, while the Supreme Court was deciding if businesses have the right to discriminate on the grounds of religion cannot be missed.   Juneteenth is a day that we should be celebrating freedom and access to basic civil liberties for all, but unfortunately, that is not something we are all afforded.  We have much more work to do to improve cultural competence in ways that make space for every member of the Black and LGBTQ communities. And while we work to challenge and change systems and laws, it is important that allies speak up and out against every day acts of discrimination and injustice experienced by the members of our communities that are most marginalized and too often rendered invisible.   After all, the  Emancipation Proclamation  states that “the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, [must] recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons … in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”


Lena Waithe is the first black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Photo Courtesy CBS

Lena Waithe takes queer color to the world MTV honors trailblazer committed to making a difference By SUSAN HORNIK

Lena Waite is the lesbian belle of the ball this year. The Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, producer, and actor is the best kind of celebrity, one that is committed to making a difference in the world. During Pride week, she was one of the honorees at a gala for the Trevor Project, the largest nonprofit crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. “I’m really moved by the stories I’m hearing and the faces I’m seeing and all the love,” she told the Los Angeles Blade after TrevorLIVE. “But don’t treat each other like this just in this room. We need to take it out into the world. “It’s our job to make sure all queer people are human. They weren’t born to be perfect. They were born to be whole,” she added. Whether she’s onscreen or behind the camera,

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in a relatively short amount of time, Waithe has proven herself to be a badass tour de force. Starting as a writer for the hit FOX series, “Bones,” she was then cast as Denise in the much loved Aziz Ansari Netflix series, “Master of None.” Emmy recognition came when Waithe cowrote “Thanksgiving,” her character’s coming out episode, which was based on personal experiences in her life. Riveting scenes between Waithe and guest star Angela Bassett, earned the veteran actress her first Emmy nomination for comedy as Denise’s mom. Waithe and Ansari won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, making her the first black woman to achieve this recognition. She was also one of the producers on the breakout film, “Dear White People.” On Sunday, Waithe received the Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards. And with

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nominations just around the corner, there may well be an Emmy this September too, as Waithe created and co-executive produced her first series for Showtime’s “The Chi.” Based on her childhood living on the south side of Chicago, Waithe’s deft expertise is in showing the human condition. “I wanted to make sure there was a lot of levity in the show,” Waithe said at the TV Critics Press Tour. “And there is such, because the truth of the thing about black people, is that we are masters at finding joy in the midst of pain and sorrow…because we have seen our fair share of it in this country.” “I think we know how to find a smile, even in the midst of sadness … we never want to paint a picture of us as all dark, because there’s so much light in our community.” Because of her struggles as a kid, Waithe

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Lena Waithe on the set of her acclaimed show, ‘The Chi.’ Photo Courtesy CBS

talked similarly to the children on the show. “I was cursing like a sailor at 8 and 9, but it’s because I was ear hustling my family. You know what I mean? I grew up in a house with a lot of women in the house who cursed like sailors, and I was trying to be like them….You learn how to cuss from your family and TV. And also, you hear about things you shouldn’t hear about.” Waithe’s deceased father suffered from substance abuse. “Things like that that my family couldn’t necessarily keep me away from as much,” she said. “So there were things that I knew about, that I heard and I saw probably a little bit too young. But what it did was it did grow me up a little bit,” she acknowledged. That kind of “growing up too soon” upbringing impacted the way Waithe writes about black children from the area.

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“I just know that they’re these little adults,” Waithe said. “And the thing is, they think they know everything, and also know they don’t know much about nothing. To me, it was really interesting to show that gut innocence, but also the maturity that kids have in inner cities that they are forced to have. But they are still kids.” For the most part, television critics love the series, which has been picked up for season two. “I love ‘The Chi.’ It’s a sympathetic and authentic look at life in the black community told through a universal lens,” said Mekeisha Madden Toby, senior reporter at CoBird News, a startup news site geared toward millennials. “It’s refreshing to see (the character) Kevin thrive in a household with two moms — a world rarely explored when portraying everyday black people.” Noted NPR television critic Eric Deggans wrote,

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“This is a show that started slow, but gained momentum and became one of the year’s most intriguing new dramas. Ultimately, Lena Waithe succeeded in her goal of humanizing the people and culture of black folks on Chicago’s South Side, though ultimately this first season felt like the story of very specific characters, rather than a look at the lives of average folks from those neighborhoods.” Deggans is also a media analyst and contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. “Lena has said she wants to craft more stories featuring gay characters and The Chi includes a lesbian couple who were mothers to key characters, which is great. But the series didn’t spend a lot of time fleshing out their story. One of the things I’m looking forward to seeing next season is whether we’ll see more of those characters or characters like them.”

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QUEERY 20 GAY QUESTIONS FOR JORGE GUTIERREZ

Photo Courtesy Gutierrez Winter

By SUYAPA PORTILLO

Jorge Gutierrez packs a lot of punch in his small, tight, brown body. I first met Jorge during a protest action of young activists marching at a May Day Trans Queer Contingent (MDTQC) in downtown Los Angeles in 2015. It was a transformative event for Jorge; he felt compelled to organize a similar march in Orange County and so he set about organizing, eventually establishing Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, a national LGBTQ Latinx organization working at the intersections of LGBTQ and immigrant rights, and racial justice. This was exactly what organizers of MDTQC had hoped would happen. Similar events sprouted up in other cities around the country, demanding that LBGTQI migrants be considered both by immigration reform groups and by our very own LGBTQI movement leaders. His organization led a public campaign to shutdown a transgender ICE detention facility in Santa Ana, California and won. They organized important actions in DC and throughout the country calling for the closing of these detention facilities, abolishing ICE completely and mobilizing the LGBTQ Latinx community across the country. Jorge is first and foremost a strategist, a tactician, always analyzing and breaking down the political climate, thinking through how the collective can approach and pressure the system best.

He is part of a bold, fresh crop of organizers ready to take the streets with his leadership. His willingness to discuss strategy and his appreciation for organizing a base has touched a cord with a community under fire. In an age where millennials spend more time on social media than organizing and talking face to face, Jorge has helped spark an activist immigration policy movement focused on local and national issues, debate with attorneys and politicians, average people and other immigrant workers. I have seen Jorge take on the white establishment, even among the LGBTQ movement, challenge leaders and elected officials and do the nitty gritty work of raising up a national organization. Jorge instinctively knows when to step back and retreat and let LGBTQ Latinx community members lead. When Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement shut down West Hollywood for May Day one year, many white middle class LGBT residents reacted poorly and almost in fear of these trans and queer brown bodies blocking the street. But for Jorge and Familia: TQLM this was all in a day’s work. “Part of my work and Familia: TQLM’s work is to move LGBTQ and immigrant rights organizations to engage in grassroots organizing and direct action. Our people are ready and want direction so it is our duty to step up to the challenge and be movement builders,” he says.


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 22, 2018 • 21

QUEERY

queery JORGE GUTIERREZ How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I knew I was queer since I could remember but I remember clearly telling myself I was different when I was 7 or 8 years old. I came out to my mom when I was 15 and I was scared. My relationship with my father was violent and abusive because I was gay so I was scared my mother was not going to accept me. But she was loving and unconditionally supportive from the beginning. She’s my main girl, I have her back and she has mine. Who’s your LGBT hero? Some of the trans and queer folks I admire tremendously are Isa Noyola, Jennicet Gutiérrez, Mariella Saba and all the LGBTQ undocumented immigrant leaders and organizers in our communities taking care of our people, especially Zoraida Reyes. What’s Los Angeles’ best nightspot, past or present? My favorite spots were Circus and Arena but gentrification has once again pushed out LGBTQ people of color from our clubs, neighborhoods, etc. I miss those dance floors. Describe your dream wedding. I’d have a celebration by the beach with lots of booze (especially tequila and vodka), live mariachi and banda, dope DJ, lots of dancing and I’d invite all my friends and family. I want everyone drunk, looking glamorous, busting their best dance moves and living their best lives. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Immigrant rights and abolishing the systems that continue to criminalize, incarcerate, deport and kill people of color. Whenever I get asked this question I can’t help but think of Audre Lorde’s quote “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” What historical outcome would you change? The colonization of our lands, languages, art, culture and bodies. Capitalism, white supremacy and patriarchy have and continue to destroy the lives of indigenous tribes and people of color all over the world. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Watching Juan Gabriel perform traditional Mexican folklore music on TV and performing unapologetically gay as fuck across the stage when I was 8 years old. It gave me hope as a gay boy. #QueVivaJuanGabriel. On what do you insist? I continue to insist on love and engaging in meaningful friendships and relationships. I know I haven’t always been the

best lover or friend but I try everyday. There’s a lot of love in this little brown body. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? Reminding folks to donate to grassroots LGBTQ and immigrant rights organizations in this moment. If your life were a book, what would the title be? It would probably be titled “Brown, Jota, Bitter, and Fabulous.” If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? I’d run away and stay queer as fuck! What do you believe in beyond the physical world? I’d like to think that our energies travel throughout this earth and the universe. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Less ego, more organizing and more impact. What would you walk across hot coals for? My mother, friends, maybe love, and definitely for tacos. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? Hmmm, that we are the same as straight people or this whole notion of love is love bullshit. We are different and that’s what makes us shine and makes this world less dull. Ain’t no queer trying to be basic. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? Definitely “Moonlight,” in the last five years. The story, acting and the cinematography are gorgeous. What’s the most overrated social custom? Not showing emotions and being vulnerable, show it and feel it baby! What trophy or prize do you most covet? I have this bizarre dream that someone is going to invite me to be part of a film and I’m going to act for like 10 minutes, steal the entire damn film, and then win an Oscar. Just like Penelope Cruz did in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” What do you wish you’d known at 18? That even when I fuck up I still deserve to be happy and loved. Why Los Angeles? Mostly cause I love being around a lot of brown people.


22 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

OUT & ABOUT

Urban Pride celebrates a new generation of Black LGBTQ Pride but everybody is welcome Identity and the melting pot of modern Los Angeles By REBEKAH SAGER

Brandon Anthony’s Urban Pride event kicks off Friday, June 22 at the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood, with a special performance by Superstar Trina. Photo Courtesy Facebook

Brandon Anthony is an outside-of-the-box thinker. Urban Pride is his passion project, and as its event promoter, he wants to make sure everyone who loves urban culture and hip-hop music feels absolutely included. Urban Pride has become this year’s most highly anticipated LGBTQ event among young African American and Latino people and is one of the largest urban, hip-hop Pride events in Los Angeles and SoCal. Anthony has worked as a program and talent coordinator on the Christopher Street West, LA Pride for several years, and took over promoting Urban Pride three years ago. He says he chose the term Urban for the name with intention: he wants to remove race from the event and focus simply on a Pride based hip-hop culture. “Growing up I always felt I was too straight to be gay and too gay to be straight. I was too black to be white and too white to be black. I just adjust and adapt,” Anthony says. He says it’s important to him the event removes color because it’s more welcoming to everyone who enjoys urban culture. Also, the name “looks and sounds great for sponsorships,” he says. A local nightlife impresario behind some of West Hollywood’s big recurring club nights, including Starboy Sundays at Rage and ACCESS at Villa Lounge, Anthony grew up in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana. He’s a proud African American/Creole of Haitian descent, which gives him an intimate understanding of America’s melting pot. His plan for this year’s Urban Pride aka “Summer Bash 2018,” happening on the same weekend as the many Black Entertainment Television (BET’s) events, is to offer a place where the young, hip and often brown LGBTQ kids can come out and party. “BET weekend generally offers a lot of events that non-celebrity people can’t easily get into,” Anthony told the Los Angeles Blade. He says he’d like Urban Pride goers to have a place where they can go and celebrate their culture. Traditionally held on the Fourth of July, this year Urban Pride will kick off the Friday before, on June 22 as the 4th falls on a Wednesday. Anthony is well aware of the issues facing gay men, particularly gay men of color. He says it’s vital for the event to be fun, while still addressing the issues of HIV, it’s stigma and mental health. According to the CDC, African Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those who have ever received an AIDS diagnosis, compared to other ethnicities. In 2016, African Americans accounted for 44 percent of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12 percent of the U.S. population. “Racism, homo-negativity and the experience of violence and discrimination contribute significantly to mental disorder burden and morbidity in this community,” Louis F. Graham, lead study author and a Kellogg Health Scholars postdoctoral fellow in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor told Black Radio Network. Thirty percent of men in the study reported depression and 33 percent reported anxiety, which is higher than rates for people in the general population – with 95 percent of study participants experiencing them at least once in the last year. Anthony says, “You can enjoy urban culture, but let’s not forget why we do this. I may have not experienced racial profiling, but I have experienced friends passing away from HIV.” Jeffrey King, founder of In The Meantime Men’s Group, a South Los Angeles a 20 year old nonprofit community service organization for gay black men, says club promoters like Brandon are keeping things alive when it comes to providing a space for young, black LGBTQ to come and party. King says he believes Anthony is one of the few who’s been able to get in the door, represent the community effectively, and is doing a great job of getting black talent involved in Pride, and most importantly he’s bringing the kids into the mainstream Pride. Anthony says he just wants to create an event that “really means equality.” A place he says, where no one feels left out of experiencing the weekend. The event kicks off Friday June 22, with a party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood (6801 Hollywood Blvd.), with a special performance by Superstar Trina. For those early-bird folks, Urban Pride offers a “Day Party,” Saturday, June 23rd, at Boulevard3 (6523 Sunset Blvd.) from 2 pm to 6 pm. Saturday night, there’s a special performance by 702 at the Roxy Theatre (9009 Sunset Blvd.) from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Lastly, Sunday, June 24th, party kids can let loose at Rage (8911 Santa Monica Blvd.) in West Hollywood from 10 pm to 2 am, with a performance by City Girls. All Access passes for the entire weekend are $75 dollars. Individual Location General Admission Tickets are $20. Individual Location VIP Passes are $30. Day Party Tickets are $15.


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FILM

24 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

As Outfest sets to launch, here’s what to watch out for 11 must-see standouts in a massive lineup By DAN ALLEN

The 36th edition of Outfest is now just a few weeks away, and while its fearless programmers have done another fantastic job of pulling together the best and brightest in queer filmmaking from around the world, navigating the resulting massive lineup — 221 films spread over 11 days this year — choosing what to see can be decidedly daunting. So here’s our rundown of the top must-see standouts at Outfest 2018, which runs July 12-22. (And don’t wait — tickets went on sale this week, and will surely sell out for all of these gems.) “Studio 54” Thursday, July 12, 8 p.m. Orpheum Theatre 842 S Broadway, Los Angeles

What better way to kick off Outfest and its fabulous Opening Night Gala than with the eagerly anticipated documentary about the most dazzling disco of all time, Studio 54? Director Matt Tyrnauer explores the legacy of this nocturnal fortress of ‘70s hedonism, where Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and Michael Jackson were just a few of the regulars who rubbed body parts with New York’s most happening gays. As usual, the Outfest opener and its famed afterparty go down at the Orpheum Theatre in DTLA, and will include the presentation of this year’s Outfest Achievement Award, to director Angela Robinson. “Wild Nights with Emily” Saturday, July 21, 8:30 p.m. The Ford Theaters 2580 Cahuenga Blvd E, Los Angeles

Director Madeleine Olnek (“The Foxy Merkins”) presents one of the funniest lesbian comedies in years, pulverizing patriarchal preconceptions about poet Emily Dickinson, and transforming her into a vivacious lesbian romantic — played warmly and beautifully by Molly Shannon — who’s forced to hide her lifelong romance with her best friend Susan for the sake of her literary career. “We the Animals” Saturday, July 14, 6:45 p.m. Directors Guild of America, Theater 1 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Hailed as “this year’s ‘Moonlight’” when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year (where it received the NEXT Innovator Award), “We the Animals” is the tough but tender story of three young brothers — half white, half Puerto Rican — who tightly bond as they navigate the fallout from their parents’ explosive relationship. Their close sibling unit is tested as the two older brothers begin to follow in the macho path of their father (“Looking’s Raúl Castillo), while the youngest, sensitive Jonah, is more drawn toward their mother — and boys. “Mapplethorpe” Friday, July 13, 7 p.m. Directors Guild of America, Theater 1

Award-winning director Ondi Timoner presents this appropriately full-frontal biopic about rebel photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, whose arrestingly

gorgeous black and white photographs became iconic ‘70s and ‘80s symbols of unflinching homosexuality — and then tragically, of the AIDS crisis and its fallout. English actor Matt Smith (“The Crown,” “Doctor Who”) plays Mapplethorpe, against the backdrop of New York’s highbrow art and down-and-dirty leather scenes. “Bad Reputation” Wednesday, July 18, 8:30 p.m. The Ford Theatres

Another ‘70s and ‘80s queer icon — rock bad girl Joan Jett — is profiled in this loud and loving documentary that explores the many stages of her career, from young founder of The Runaways to 60-year-old rock powerhouse. Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Miley Cyrus and Michael J. Fox are just a few of the celebs who share their thoughts on their friend and idol. “Postcards from London” Friday, July 20, 8:30 p.m. The Ford Theatres

Rising mainstream star Harris Dickinson (last year’s “Beach Rats”) headlines the sexy and arty tale of young Joe, who flees small-town Britain for the bright lights of London — where he promptly falls in with a posse of hip and highbrow sex workers, cherished by their patrons for their ability to carry on lofty postcoital conversations. Shades of Caravaggio, Derek Jarman and Pierre et Gilles permeate this heady homoerotic fantasy. “Game Girls” Sunday, July 15, 9:30 p.m., Directors Guild of America Theater 2 Sunday, July 22, 1:45 p.m., Regal LA Live 1000 W Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles

This gritty and moving documentary shines a spotlight on a side of LA queer life that’s rarely seen, following girlfriends Tiahana (who’s just out of prison on a drug-dealing offense) and Teri (who’s coping with mental health issues) as they face the grim realities of living on Skid Row, while navigating a relationship that’s alternately tender and physically volatile. “Mr. Gay Syria” Saturday, July 14, 9 p.m. Directors Guild of America, Theater 2

A big crowd favorite when it was shown at Outfest Fusion earlier this year, this riveting documentary follows a group of gay Syrian refugees as they struggle to both rebuild their lives as foreigners after the devastation of war, and to live authentically within a culture that condemns their sexuality. The film focuses particularly on two young men, Husein (who works as a barber and lives with his toddler and unsuspecting wife in Istanbul) and Mahmoud (who lives in Berlin, and is the organizer of the necessarily semi-secretive Mr. Gay Syria contest).


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 22, 2018 • 25

Rising star Harris Dickinson falls in with a pack of art-loving sex workers and bonds with Caravaggio in the gorgeous ‘Postcards from London.’ Photo Courtesy of ‘Postcards from London’

“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” Saturday, July 14, 1:45 p.m. Directors Guild of America, Theater 1

Matt Tyrnauer — who also directed “Studio 54”, this year’s Opening Night Gala film — presents this dishy and fascinating documentary about the life of Scotty Bowers, gas station attention turned paramour and pimp to the stars. The Golden Age of Hollywood comes to juicy life here, with queer celeb secrets about the likes of Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and George Cukor. “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” Friday, July 20, 7:15 p.m. Directors Guild of America, Theater 1

It’s cinematic queer nirvana as out gay hunk Luke Evans portrays real-life Harvard psychologist William Moulton Marston, who was inspired to create girl-power comic book icon Wonder Woman by the female sexuality and empowerment of his wife and their polyamorous lover, Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). Angela Robinson, winner of this year’s Outfest Achievement Award, directs.

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post” Sunday, July 22, 7 p.m. The Theater at Ace Hotel 929 S Broadway, Los Angeles

Outfest 2018 closes with this winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the bittersweet tale of young Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz), who — after being caught cavorting with her best friend — is sent to an ultra-religious gay conversion camp. Resistant to “treatment,” Cameron fortunately finds like-minded spirits in fellow campers Jane (Sasha Lane) and Adam (Forrest Goodluck), and the three form a bond that helps them rise above the intolerance surrounding them. This year’s Outfest will also include perennial favorites like the experimental Platinum section and Boys and Girls Shorts collections, and will mark the return of several outdoor screenings to the Ford Theatres, which had been closed for a severalyear renovation. Outfest’s Trans Summit will return for its second edition, this year featuring award-winning director and producer Yance Ford as the keynote speaker. And for the first time, Outfest will include a dedicated Episodic Programs section (highlighting the ever-growing realm of queer series), as well as a special Focus on Taiwan series, showcasing a selection of LGBTQ films from the queerforward country of Taiwan.

FILM


26 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

FILM

Sports doc highlights coming-out challenges ‘Alone in the Game’ features Rogers, Kenworthy, Rapinoe By MARIAH COOPER

A still from ‘Alone in the Game.’ Photo courtesy AT&T AUDIENCE

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Riley Tindol was the ideal student athlete in his small Alabama town where football isn’t just a sport but a way of life. His dedication earned him a spot on the Vanderbilt football team but despite reaping the success from his passion, Tindol found himself falling into a depression as he struggled to hide his sexuality for fear of losing everything he worked for. Tindol’s story is one of many that occur frequently in the world of sports and is one of the stories highlighted in the documentary “Alone in the Game,” which had its world premiere in Washington, D.C. on June 15. It debuts on the AT&T AUDIENCE Network on Thursday, June 28 at 8 p.m. David McFarland, creator and executive producer of the film, says he was inspired to create the documentary after working toward LGBT acceptance and equality for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. After meeting with advocates from around the world on the issue, McFarland decided to explore the deeply embedded homophobia-in-sports culture.  The film features interviews with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, former ESPN President John Skipper, former NBA center Jason Collins, former NFL lineman Ryan O’Callaghan, MLS Cup champion Robbie Rogers, Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy and professional soccer midfielder/winger Megan Rapinoe.  While McFarland was able to secure numerous interviews for the documentary, he says one of the biggest obstacles was getting “certain key power players” to actually show up.  “This just reinforces what we’re still doing today,” McFarland says. “It’s a subject matter some are comfortable talking about and many aren’t at the institutional level. This begs a very serious question for our leaders in sports across all the leaders, federations and governing bodies of sports … ‘Are we living in a time where equality and inclusion truly exist for LGBTQ athletes?’ For me, the answer is no. We’re not.” In comparison, Hollywood’s inclusivity has increased over the years with more actors feeling safe to come out as the culture of acceptance grows. Despite that trend, McFarland says sports culture is much further behind.  “They are tucked so far in the closet because there are real-life ramifications that can come back and squash their dreams of being an athlete,” McFarland says. “Imagine that collegiate or high school athlete that has the courage to come out to their coach. That coach may not be accepting. If that coach is not accepting, then all of a sudden the perception of that player changes. That can affect their playing time on the field, their position on the team. It can be as extreme as, ‘We don’t want you here.’ That doesn’t necessarily happen in Hollywood.” Those consequences are covered in the film, which showcases the importance of fitting in for both financial gain and social acceptance.  Rogers recalls overhearing from his teammates that being gay is “disgusting” and decides he can’t come out to his team because it would be “unhealthy.” Kenworthy says he earns the majority of his income through sponsorships, something he was concerned he would lose when he came out.  In one interview, a closeted NCAA Division 1 football player gives an interview with a blurred face and distorted voice as he says he doesn’t believe his teammates would be accepting and is certain his coaches would treat him differently.  Other stories explore the challenges of being a gay college athlete, similar to Tindol’s story. Haley Videckis and Layana White are former Pepperdine University women’s basketball players who tell of the discrimination they faced from the university for their sexual orientation and for being a couple.  Trevor Betts, a transgender student athlete, also gives insight into the transgender experience in athletics as a team member on a male high school wrestling team.   The theme of the film explores the challenges attached to coming out in such a homophobic culture, which leads many athletes to develop depression and suicidal thoughts.  They’re stories McFarland has heard time and again including from one closeted professional athlete who told McFarland he was afraid to come out, but at the same time, was ashamed of his silence. Continues at losangelesblade.com


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MUSIC

28 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

Xtina’s return? New album, her first in six years, continues musical tailspin By THOM MURPHY

Christina Aguilera’s musical funk — and not the good kind — continues on underwhelming new album. Photo Courtesy RCA

Christina Aguilera has been in a musical wilderness for going on a decade now. So underwhelming were her last two studio albums — the meager-selling, meager-charting “Bionic” (2010) and “Lotus” (2012) — that in recent years, she’s more widely known for her work on “The Voice” or her memorable guest appearance this year on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” So is Xtina back is the big question with new album “Liberation,” out last week. With its non-glam, super close-up cover image, is this an all-new Aguilera ready to compete with current pop acts? It’s getting strong reviews in some outlets. But other early signs are not good. First single “Accelerate” failed to crack the U.S. Hot 100. And despite numerous collaborations from artists such as Demi Lovato, Shenseea, GoldLink and 2 Chainz, the music struggles despite her best efforts toward innovation. The title track “Liberation” opens the album. Against a piano and string accompaniment, we hear the sounds of a child playing as Aguilera whispers, “Where are you/are you there/remember.” The title “Liberation” seems an odd choice for both the track and the album. If it is indeed liberation that Aguilera has in mind, it’s hard to see how the theme ties the album together in any coherent way. Aguilera resorts to similar interludes and filler tracks throughout. To introduce her song “Maria,” she sings a 30-second snippet of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Maria” (“The Sound of Music”), which she titles “Searching for Maria.” It’s delivered beautifully in Aguilera’s whispered soprano and one almost wishes she would have included the entire song. The song that follows, Aguilera’s own “Maria,” samples heavily from the Jackson 5’s “Maria.” Rather than liberation per se, the singer takes us on a reflective tour of what seems to be her early musical influences. Aguilera belts soulfully over the busy, repetitive musical landscape. Even with the interesting (if unoriginal) choice of samples, the final product is chaotic and messy. Similar criticism could be made of Aguilera’s cringeworthy “Sick of Sittin’.” In a painful faux rock style, it’s a confusing tirade against fans, among other unnamed characters: “Just be thankful I gave you this/‘cause I don’t need it” and “I survived the dark ages/but the former trailblazer took out the knife and cut ties.” But the real offender is the chorus. Aguilera repeats the phrase “I’m sick of sittin’” ad nauseam with only slight variations. The song has all the vices of an earworm but none of the virtues. And she seems to have forgotten the most important thing about musical tirades — they should sound good. Not every track is bad. Several are OK if forgettable. “Deserve,” a pleading, lovesick ballad, may find its way to radio. It’s most reminiscent of Aguilera’s classic sound. “Fall In Line,” featuring Demi Lovato, is cool, powerful ballad addressed to young women. Encouraging women to speak their minds, the duo sings: “And maybe it’s never gonna change/but I got a mind to show my strength/and I got a right to speak my mind.” The only downside is the annoying electronic male voice in the bridge that symbolizes society’s expectations for women and recurs a second time at the end. A couple songs stand out. The album’s lead single “Accelerate,” which features 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign, experiments playfully with multiple hip-hop beats. It sounds almost as though three different songs were spliced together, yet it works surprisingly well. It’s one of the few songs worth a second listen. “Like I Do” is another successful collaboration. Rapper GoldLink opens the track with a cooly flowing verse, full of short stops and starts and Aguilera gives the song a restrained, sensual energy. But the few happy exceptions on the album are hardly enough to justify the rest. It’s just hard to listen to and in the age of Spotify, one wonders if many of the songs were intended to be heard at all.


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CALENDAR

30 • JUNE 22, 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.

Campy movies under the stars in Hollywood Forever are in store from the Los Angeles LGBT Center Young Professionals Council as OUT Under the Stars returns on Friday, June 29 featuring “Best In Show.” Photo Courtesy Hollywood Forever

FRIDAY, JUNE 22

ShortFest runs today at 6:30 p.m. through June 25 at Camelot Theatres of Palm Springs Cultural Center, (2300 E Baristo Rd, Palm Springs). ShortFest is part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and each year receives thousands of short film submissions from over 100 countries around the globe. The festival is comprised of the best 325 selections which are screened in 90-minute programs. An Oscar, BAFTA and Los Premios Goyaqualifying festival, ShortFest has presented more than 100 shorts that have gone on to receive Oscar nominations and/ or awards. Mix and mingle with hundreds of filmmakers and industry professionals and 22,000 avid filmgoers. For more information, visit psfilmfest.org/2018-shortfest.

SATURDAY, JUNE 23

Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles presents “The Pink Carpet” today and Sunday, June 24 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Alex Theater (216 N Brand Blvd, Glendale). Y’all better get to downtown Glendale and listen to Hollywood’s favorite homosexual, Leslie Jordan. He will keep you in stitches as he burns stereotypes and exploits them. Hollywood has both portrayed and influenced cultural beliefs since the early days of silent films, and for decades filmmakers have perpetuated gay and lesbian stereotypes, pushed the boundaries of social norms, blurred the lines of gender roles and created groundbreaking queer films. “The Pink Carpet” will highlight many of these film. For tickets ($20 to $90) visit alextheatre.org. “Be You,” Orange County LGBT Pride 2018 is today from 10:30 a.m.-2 a.m. through Sunday, June 24 at Yost Theater (307 N Spurgeon St, Santa Ana). “Something Beautiful Is Coming Your Way,” says Orange County as LGBT Pride returns with 2018’s “Be You” Festival and the “Blaze Forward” Pride Parade. Organizers promise performances, music, art, comedy and a discovery exhibit. Very local feel and fun. For more information visit prideoc.com. Free.

SUNDAY, JUNE 24

Tom of Finland Foundation presents “Mein Schwules Auge” U.S. Book Launch today from 2-5 p.m. at Tom of Finland Foundation (1421 Laveta Terrace). A literary afternoon on the grounds of the famous TOM House, featuring a reading of „My Gay Eye / Mein schwules Auge,” part of the Queer Biennial 2018, “What If Utopia.” Discover treasures from an extensive collection of gay art, contemporary authors and artists present essays, interviews, short stories and artwork.

MONDAY, JUNE 25

Stonewall Democratic Club presents Jorge Gutierrez tonight from 6:30-9 p.m. at West Hollywood Library (625 North San Vicente). Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement works at local and national levels to advance liberation of trans, queer and gender non-conforming Latinxs, guiding activists in building community, organizing, advocacy and education. Executive Director Jorge Gutierrez presents his vision. For more information, visit familiatqlm.org.

TUESDAY, JUNE 26

New York Times presents Midterm Elections 2018 prospects for Los Angeles tonight from 7-8:15 p.m. at Korn Convocation Hall, UCLA (110 Westwood Plaza). New York Times’ bureau chief for Los Angeles, Adam Nagourney, moderates a discussion about the most consequential midterm elections. Join White House reporter Maggie Haberman, who was part of the team honored by a Pulitzer Prize in April for coverage of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election; Nate Cohn, domestic correspondent for The Upshot, a data-driven column that features a digital probability needle each election night and National Political Correspondent Alex Burns. For more information, visit timesevents.nytimes.com/electionLA.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28

Stonewall Humanitarian Awards Gala is tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Mary Pickford Theatre (36850 Pickfair Street, Cathedral City). The Transgender Community Coalition celebrates 50 years of the achievement for our community since the Stonewall Riots of 1969 with the Stonewall Humanitarian Awards. The event features entertainment by internationally known hip hop violinist SVET, a survivor of brain cancer and an advocate for cancer awareness, and from “America’s Got Talent.” Speakers include Shann Carr, Katie Ullman from L-Fund, Palm Springs City Council Lisa Middleton, Drag performer Alfie, Cathedral City Council, International Jazz Musician Jennifer Lietham and many more. Tickets range from $69 to $96. Tickets available at gvcc.org/stonewall-humanitarian-awards-gala.

FRIDAY, JUNE 29

OUT Under the Stars present “Best in Show” tonight from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Boulevard) Lay under the stars, a few dead ones and some living legends that is. The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Young Professionals Council presents one of the Los Angeles Blade’s favorite events; outdoor movies in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This year you will enjoy “Best in Show,” starring Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, John Michael Higgins, Eugene Levy, Michael Hitchcock, and Michael McKean, among others. Expect a special appearance from cast member, Michael Hitchcock. Presented by American Airlines, Out@WB, U.S. Bank; Directors are Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Producers are Crunch, Gilead Sciences, JustFoodForDogs, Superdry USA; In-kind: Acqua Panna, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Jersey Mike’s and Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water. VIP Package is $150 per couple. $25 at the gate. For tickets and more information, visit hollywoodforever.com.


LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JUNE 22, 2018 • 31

PHOTOS

Trans Pride 2018 in pictures By JAKE FINNEY

Several hundred people participated in the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Trans Pride L.A. festival, one of the oldest and largest trans celebrations in the world, held June 15 and 16, at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza in Los Angeles. For the seventh consecutive year, Trans Pride L.A. kicked off with the Center’s ongoing community forum series, Big Queer Convo, this year featuring Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins, the nation’s first openly transgender AfricanAmerican woman to be elected to public office. After Big Queer Convo, Trans Pride LA presented Let Me Show You Something Beautiful, an art exhibit at The Village’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries, featuring the photography of Academy Awardnominated filmmaker/photojournalist Kimberlee Acquaro. On Saturday, TransTribe LA hosted a gender nonconforming/nonbinary panel, followed by a resource fair featuring an array of services and programs vital to the trans community. The weekend included a Happy Hour event presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a catered dinner for more than 500 people, a special awards presentation and a “VarieTy: show featuring Transparent’s Alexandra Billings, RuPaul’s Drag Race vet Kelly Mantle, Sharon Brown, Billie White Acre, Jordan Balgat, Heather Barron, Ezra Michel, members of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, and Kai Gloger, a nine-year-old trans female who read her coming out essay. Trans Pride L.A. was funded in part by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, The Fight Magazine, Happy Hippie Foundation along with the Transgender Law Center and TransTribe Los Angeles.

Photo by Sabel Simone

Photo Courtesy Shane Ivan Nash

Photo Courtesy Shane Ivan Nash

Photo by Sabel Simone

Photo by Sabel Simone

Photo by Sabel Simone

Photo by Sabel Simone

Photo by Sabel Simone

Photo by Sabel Simone

Photo by Sabel Simone


Drag Queen Story Hour at the West Hollywood Library

Saturday, June 23 at 11 a.m.

Profile for Los Angeles Blade

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 16, June 22, 2018  

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 16, June 22, 2018

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 16, June 22, 2018  

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 16, June 22, 2018

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