Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 4, 2019

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J A N U A R Y 0 4 2 0 1 9 • V O LU M E 0 3 • I S S U E 0 1 • A M E R I C A’ S LG B TQ N E W S S O U R C E • LO S A N G E L E S B L A D E . C O M



Rose Parade queen makes history First to wear glasses — and first LGBT person to preside By KAREN OCAMB The TV announcers commenting on the 130th Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena noted that Rose Parade Queen Louise Deser Siskel of San Marino, California represents a lot of “firsts” for the New Year tradition: first Queen to wear glasses, first member of the Jewish faith – and first member of the LGBT community to preside over the Parade. LGBT folks have another word for it: history! “Once the exclusive bastion of a narrow segment of society, the traditions of the parade have changed gradually. The first African American Rose Queen was named in 1985. The Tournament of Roses had its first female president in 2006. The first African American president, Gerald Freeny, is serving this year. And in 2026, the association will be led by the first president who is part of the LGBTQ community. With

Rose Parade Queen Louise Deser Siskel waves during televised parade. Screen grab from KABC

each passing year, the Rose Parade and Royal Court look a bit more diverse, a bit more like America,” Siskel wrote in a Dec. 31 op-ed for the Los Angeles Times entitled “I am Jewish. I wear glasses. I am bisexual — and I’m the Rose Queen.” The future scientist, now a senior at Pasadena’s Sequoyah High School, told the Pasadena Star News: “What was important

to me throughout the interview process was that I was completely transparent about who I was, about the things that I value, and about the things that I advocate for.” There have been numerous LGBT “moments” during the internationally televised Rose Parade—from ACT UP/LA stopping the parade to protest the lack of attention to AIDS to AIDS Healthcare

Foundation featuring an annual float devoted to a person such as actress Elizabeth Taylor to causes, such as this year’s focus on LA’s critical housing shortage. While there was no official explanation from organizers as to why they chose Siskel over other contenders, in at least three ways she represents hope for the New Year in a difficult political climate. As Queen, she represents for young girls (and boys) a triumph over schoolyard bullies—the mean kids who make fun of someone wearing glasses or who grow up to be anti-Semites or homophobes. “I encourage everyone to stay engaged and active within your community, advocate and fight for the things you believe in, regardless of whether other people respond or care about those things in the way you do,” she told the Pasadena Star News. “I think it can be easy to get discouraged when people don’t share the same passion for your values or for the things that you care about, but I hope that people continue to fight for the things that are important to them, regardless of the support they see from others.” Troy Masters contributed to this story.

A Golden night for ‘Boy Erased?’ Film highlighting harms of ‘conversion therapy’ up for two Globe awards By STAFF REPORTS “Boy Erased,” the 2018 biographical film based on gay author Garrard Conley’s memoir, has garnered two Golden Globe Awards nominations—Best Actor for Lucas Hedges and Best Original Song for “Revelation” by out singer Troye Sivan. The 76th Golden Globe Awards will be held on Jan. 6, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The film has also received 10 other prestigious film nominations from the Critic’s Choice Awards, Satellite, and The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. Premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Sept. 1, 2018, the film, written and directed by

Théodore Pellerin and Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased. Photo courtesy FOCUS FEATURES

Australian Joel Edgerton, charts the story of Conley’s journey as the son of Baptist parents forced to take part in a so-called gay “conversion therapy” program. The film was theatrically released in the United States two months later to mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast, which

included Nicole Kidman, winner of an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes. Kidman’s husband in the film is played by fellow Australian actor, Russell Crowe, also an Oscar winner. As of Dec. 31, Boy Erased has grossed over $7 million worldwide and star Lucas Hedges is expected to win an Oscar nomination, as well. “Set in the early 2000s, the movie follows Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), the son of Baptist pastor Marshall (Russell Crowe) and Nancy (Nicole Kidman), as he enrolls in a two-week intensive program designed to purge him of homosexual impulses,” writes David Sims in The Atlantic. “At age 19, he’s been cruelly outted to his parents while still reckoning with his sexuality; his father sends him to Sykes’s camp partly to preserve the family’s reputation at church.” “Boy Erased” and another film about “conversion therapy,” “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” touched off a larger discussion over so-called “conversion

therapy,” the practice of which is banned as “psychological child abuse” involving minors in California. Recently released new estimates from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law find that 1,000 LGBT youth ages 13 to 17 will be protected from conversion therapy by a licensed health care professional in the five U.S. states that passed bans on the practice in 2018—Washington, Hawaii, Maryland, Delaware, and New Hampshire. On Jan. 2, 14 states and the District of Columbia, plus 40 localities, have banned health care professionals from using conversion therapy on youth. “These statewide bans protect LGBT youth from a practice that numerous professional health associations consider harmful and ineffective,” said Christy Mallory, the state and local policy director at the Williams Institute in an emailed statement to the Los Angeles Blade. “Public opinion polls show overwhelming support for ending the practice of conversion therapy on young people.”



Meet the candidates for West Hollywood city council

Jack Cline fights for healthcare as a human right, and occasionally dons drag, as Jackie OMG.

John D’Amico, seen here being sworn in as Mayor Pro Tempore (May 2018), wants to maintain a “consistently high level of social services for residents in need.”

Tom Demille wants on-demand bus transportation, and micro-units for young people.

Photo via jackieomg.com

Photo by Jon Viscott

Photo via facebook.com/ElectTomDemille

11 hopefuls — including incumbents — seek 3 seats By SCOTT STIFFLER From affordable housing to public safety to transportation, progressive platforms are par for the course among the crowded field in the West Hollywood City Council race — but with the March 5 General Municipal Election looming, eight challengers and three incumbent candidates are looking to distinguish themselves. They’ll have that opportunity, when the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce hosts a Candidate Forum on Jan. 29. Below, the Blade takes a look at their similarities, and stark contrasts. JACK CLINE ( jackieomg.com) | No campaign contributions or pay-to-play politics are the promises of RN, NP Cline, who notes, “I fight for healthcare as a human right, and support single-payer healthcare.” (He’s served as a union negotiator for the California Nurses Association, which has endorsed his candidacy.) In addition to health and safety, his other platform points are: Quality of life in West Hollywood, affordable housing, the elimination of wasteful spending, voting for nurses’ values, and advocacy for renters, low-income residents, and seniors. Fun Fact: Dressed for success, and certainly campy fun, Cline can also be found, on occasion, werking the drag persona of Jackie OMG (Oh My Goodness!!!). JOHN D’AMICO (ourweho.com) | Incumbent D’Amico says his nearly three decades of living as both a renter and owner “on the eastside of West Hollywood and on the westside, above the Sunset

Strip and below Santa Monica Boulevard” has given him a “unique perspective of the challenges and opportunities of living in our city.” During his time with the affordable housing developer, Los Angeles Housing Partnership, the trained architect “was responsible for overseeing the renovation and construction of well over 300 affordable housing units.” Sustainability and protection of existing housing stock are top priorities, along with achieving an appropriate balance between development and livability, while maintaining a “consistently high level of social services for residents in need.” The one-time co-Director of Policy and Planning at AIDS Project Los Angeles (during the height of the AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles) also notes the need to create a safe environment in which “our community supports people in their individuality — in being themselves.” Fun Fact: D’Amico registered as domestic partner to Keith Rand in 1992, married him in 2008, and currently resides with Rand, along with their two dogs, Mr. Big and Dodger. TOM DEMILLE (facebook.com/ ElectTomDemille) | An accomplished actor who has lived with AIDS for 20 years, Demille is a frequent presence at Council meetings, where he’s been “the conscious of the community.” As a candidate, his eyes are on their finances. “All the money belongs to the residents,” Demille notes, “and they aren’t even listening to them anymore. I think we should go back to basics.” On matters of public safety, Demille says, “We need to light up the City and put CCTV up.” He also wants to triple the social services budget “in order to fend off the inevitable, which is, most of our community is going to become 65 and older in the next five

Brendan Hood would institute a vacancy tax, and invest in colored bike lanes.

years.” Part of that money, he says, should “go to a food bank, for people who are foodinsecure.” Transportation “should be used more efficiently,” by establishing bus service as on-demand. Fun Fact: Demille played a Klingon on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and multiple roles in the 1996 TV movie, “Mrs. Santa Claus.” BRENDAN HOOD (brendanhood.com) | Nine-year resident Hood’s passion for progressive causes manifests throughout his platform. In housing matters, Hood wants to lower the affordable housing requirement to from 20 percent to 10-15 (“making larger developments more economically feasible”), and institute a vacancy tax. In matters of transportation, he’d like to bring the Crenshaw line to Hollywood within the next decade (“saving residents thousands of dollars on transportation costs and boosting sales for local businesses”). Investing in colored bike lanes, he asserts, would “increase visibility and safety for cyclists and drivers and encourage greater use of bikes as an alternative to driving.” Hood also ties high housing costs and poor public transportation to homelessness — naming financial stress as one of its root causes, and noting the need to “follow the lead of Los Angeles and work with non-profits like Lava Mae to offer mobile showers and other basic necessities for the homeless within West Hollywood.” Fun Fact: Hood is a longtime member of West Hollywood Dodgeball and Varsity Gay League. LINDSEY HORVATH (lindseyhorvath. com) | Incumbent Horvath was elected in 2015, having previously served as a councilmember from 2009 to 2011, and as Mayor from April 2015 to April 2016.

Lindsey Horvath wants West Hollywood to be an age-friendly community, and equally hospitable to bikes and pedestrians. Photo via facebook.com/lindsey.horvath.82

Her website notes her “long history of civic and social justice advocacy” in the form of, among other things, making West Hollywood an “age-friendly community.” Brought forward while a Transportation Commissioner (2011-2015) were efforts to reduce traffic and parking problems, and make West Hollywood friendlier to bikes and pedestrians. She was appointed to the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board in 2007, and, in that capacity, “collaborated with community leaders and organizations in successfully advocating for the full funding of the backlog of untested rape kit evidence in the City and County of Los Angeles.” As an LGBTQ rights champion, Horvath served as a Board member of the Victory Fund, and a founding Board member of the NOH8 Campaign. Fun Fact: The entertainment-advertising executive has created award-winning campaigns for movies and television. JAMES DUKE MASON ( jamesdukemason.com) | The Los Angeles native and self-professed “young, persistent voice of the new generation” promises to provide the “vigorous leadership that we need to seize the opportunities in front of us.” After becoming the first openly gay president of his international high school’s student council, The Advocate Magazine gave him a spot on 2010’s Forty Under 40 list. At the age of 22, a 2015 run for West Hollywood City Council was unsuccessful, but Mason “achieved a surprisingly strong result in a crowded field of candidates,” his website notes. He served on the Board of Directors of the West Hollywood Community Housing Continues on Page 10


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*Offer applies only to single-receipt qualifying purchases. Ashley HomeStore does not require a down payment, however, sales tax and delivery charges are due at time of purchase if the purchase is made with your Ashley Advantage™ Credit Card. No interest will be charged on promo purchase and equal monthly payments are required equal to initial promo purchase amount divided equally by the number of months in promo period until promo is paid in full. The equal monthly payment will be rounded to the next highest whole dollar and may be higher than the minimum payment that would be required if the purchase was a non-promotional purchase. Regular account terms apply to non-promotional purchases. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms. Promotional purchases of merchandise will be charged to account when merchandise is delivered. Subject to credit approval. ‡Monthly payment shown is equal to the purchase price, excluding taxes and delivery, divided by the number of months in the promo period, rounded to the next highest whole dollar, and only applies to the selected financing option shown. If you make your payments by the due date each month, the monthly payment shown should allow you to pay off this purchase within the promo period if this balance is the only balance on your account during the promo period. If you have other balances on your account, this monthly payment will be added to the minimum payment applicable to those balances. ††Ashley HomeStore does not require a down payment, however, sales tax and delivery charges are due at time of purchase if the purchase is made with your Ashley Advantage™ Credit Card. Offer applies only to single-receipt qualifying purchases. No interest will be charged on the promo purchase if you pay the promo purchase amount in full within 18 Months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the promo purchase from the purchase date. Depending on purchase amount, promotion length and payment allocation, the required minimum monthly payments may or may not pay off purchase by end of promotional period. Regular account terms apply to non-promotional purchases and, after promotion ends, to promotional balance. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms. Promotional purchases of merchandise will be charged to account when merchandise is delivered. Subject to credit approval. §Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. See store for details. ‡‡Previous purchases excluded. Cannot be combined with any other promotion or discount. Discount offers exclude Tempur-Pedic®, Stearns & Foster® and Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid™ mattress sets, floor models, clearance items, sales tax, furniture protection plans, warranty, delivery fee, Manager’s Special pricing, Advertised Special pricing, and 14 Piece Packages and cannot be combined with financing specials. Effective 1/1/2018, all mattress and box springs are subject to a $10.50 per unit CA recycling fee. SEE STORE FOR DETAILS. Stoneledge Furniture LLC. many times has multiple offers, promotions, discounts and financing specials occurring at the same time; these are allowed to only be used either/or and not both or combined with each other. Although every precaution is taken, errors in price and/or specification may occur in print. We reserve the right to correct any such errors. Picture may not represent item exactly as shown, advertised items may not be on display at all locations. Some restrictions may apply. Available only at participating locations. ±Leather Match upholstery features top-grain leather in the seating areas and skillfully matched vinyl everywhere else. Ashley HomeStores are independently owned and operated. ©2019 Ashley HomeStores, Ltd. Promotional Start Date: December 27, 2018. Expires: January 14, 2019.



Spacey lawyers claim 2016 groping incident was consensual Judge says disgraced actor must appear at Jan. 7 hearing By SEAN SHEALY Disgraced gay actor Kevin Spacey disputes the old adage that any publicity is good publicity. On Dec. 31, Nantucket, Mass. District Court Judge Thomas Barrett denied a motion filed by Spacey’s legal team asking to waive his Jan. 7 arraignment appearance on one count of felonious indecent assault and battery. Through his attorneys, Spacey argued that, “my presence will amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case.” The motion also indicated that Spacey intended to plead not guilty to the sexual assault allegation. If convicted, the actor faces up to five years in prison or up to 2½ years in jail and a requirement to register as a sex offender, according to court documents. In response, Cape and Islands Assistant DA Michael K. Giardino argued that under rules for criminal procedure, Spacey’s appearance is required at the arraignment. More details about the case and Spacey’s legal strategy emerged during the initial 36-minute “show-cause” hearing Dec. 20 before the Clerk magistrate to determine if probable cause existed to merit a criminal charge. Spacey defense attorney Alan Jackson, a former Head Deputy District Attorney for the Los Angeles County DA, claimed that the 2016 groping incident was actually a consensual encounter initiated by the then-18-year-old alleged male victim. Spacey’s other legal team members include Bryan J. Freedman, a top-rated LA-based Entertainment & Sports attorney, and Juliane Balliro, a criminal defense attorney based in Boston. During questioning, Jackson focused on the report by Massachusetts State Police Trooper-Detective Gerald F. Donovan that serves as the basis for the assault charge. In the police report, the still unidentified alleged victim, who worked as a busboy at the restaurant, told detectives he was the one who first approached the actor inside the bar area of the Club Car, a Nantucket restaurant, in July 2016. He admitted that he lied to Spacey, telling him that he was a 23-year-old college student, when he was actually 18 and not in college.

Kevin Spacey posted a bizarre video as his House of Cards character. Screen grab from YouTube

According to Donovan’s report, the alleged victim said he drank between eight and 10 alcoholic drinks (a mix of several beers and whiskey) in roughly an hour and a half. He also acknowledged he was intoxicated and that he may have blacked out shortly after Spacey allegedly groped him. He also told Donovan he smoked a cigarette with Spacey and later exchanged phone numbers with him. Jackson asked Donovan to verify that the alleged victim had told him that the groping went on for approximately three minutes without the alleged victim moving away or telling Spacey to stop. “That’s an incredibly long time to have a strange man’s hands in your pants, correct?” Jackson noted to Donovan, according to an audio recording of the hearing obtained by The Boston Globe. “I would agree with that. Yes,” Donovan replied. According to Donovan’s report, the alleged victim said he was texting his girlfriend at the time of the encounter with Spacey and he sent a video to his girlfriend

over Snapchat to prove he was telling the truth. The teen’s girlfriend confirmed to detectives that she had received the video at the time. Jackson noted that both the prosecutor’s office and the defense team had copies of the brief video, which he noted shows an unidentified hand touching another person’s shirt, but does not show anyone being groped. The alleged victim claimed that it was tough to move away in the crowded bar. He told investigators that he tried to shift his body away from Spacey and to push away Spacey’s hand, but “Spacey kept reaching down his pants,” according to the police report. Jackson noted that investigators were unable to find anyone who witnessed the actual alleged groping, though Donovan’s report says other people confirmed seeing Spacey and the teenager together at the bar that evening, including one person who said they noticed the teenager at one point turned “pale, blank, a bit frightened.” “After the alleged assault, which the victim claimed he was frozen with shock

throughout, the actor went to the restroom at which time the young man left. He told investigators Spacey texted him ‘I think we lost each other,’ shortly thereafter, according to the complaint. The alleged victim did not respond,” The Wrap reported Dec. 27. Donovan’s police report also notes that the alleged victim told detectives that he ran home after the incident and told family members about being groped that night. “[The alleged victim] said the whole thing was embarrassing and has had a ‘profound emotional effect’ on him,” Donovan reported. “[He] called the police because he doesn’t want what happened to him to happen to anyone else.” According to the court documents, the teenager first contacted the Nantucket Police on Oct. 31, 2016 reporting the assault. That’s one year before actor Anthony Rapp told Buzzfeed in a shocking Oct. 2017 interview that Spacey made sexual advances to him when he was a 14-year-old boy. Spacey, then aged 26, is alleged to have invited Rapp to his New York apartment for a party where



The Club Car restaurant in Nantucket was the scene of the alleged assault. Screen grab from Google Earth

he allegedly assaulted Rapp. Spacey later apologized publicly and then awkwardly disclosed that he is gay. But Nantucket law enforcement apparently didn’t act in the 18-year-old’s case until his mother, former Boston WCVB news anchor Heather Unruh, held a press conference on Nov. 8, 2017 disclosing that her son had been sexually assaulted by the actor. “My son was not of legal age to drink alcohol. He told Kevin Spacey that he was of legal age. But whether he was over 21 or not, Kevin Spacey has no right to sexually assault him. There was no consent,” The Wrap reported Unruh as saying. “Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink and when my son was drunk Kevin Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him….We want to make it clear, this was a criminal act.” Unruh added: “The victim, my son, was a starstruck straight 18-year-old young man who had no idea that the famous actor was

an alleged sexual predator or that he was about to become his next victim.” Unruh told reporters that her son didn’t report the assault at the time because he was embarrassed and scared. Her family decided to come forward after others went public with allegations of sexual misconduct against Spacey and other celebrities, she said. The Nantucket investigation started after the alleged victim spoke with Donovan on Nov. 22, 2017. The news broke on Christmas Eve that Spacey would face one count of felonious assault. The Nantucket Police Department referred all questions from the Los Angeles Blade about the initial report to the Cape & Islands DA’s Office where a spokesperson for District Attorney Michael D. O’Keefe said the office had no comment. LA District Attorney spokesperson Greg Risling told the Los Angeles Blade that Spacey is still under scrutiny in a case that alleges he attacked a man in Malibu in October 2016.

This is the second sexual assault case against Spacey being handled by LA DA Jackie Lacey’s Entertainment Sex Crimes Task Force. Prosecutors declined to prosecute Spacey in the case of an unnamed adult gay man who alleged Spacey assaulted him in West Hollywood in October 1992—the gay man was not a minor at the time of the alleged assault. That case had been submitted to the DA’s office for review by the LA County Sheriff’s Department in August of 2018. “The reporting party alleged that he was the victim of a sexual assault,” Risling told the Los Angeles Blade. “The allegation is outside the statute of limitations, therefore, an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence is not warranted and prosecution is declined.” Spacey is also under criminal probe in Britain. London’s Metropolitan Police are probing six allegations against Spacey after more men have come forward. A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said the law

enforcement agency received three more allegations of sexual assault from February to April of 2018, in addition to the three made in late 2017. According to Vox.com, there have been allegations made by more than 30 individuals against the actor since Oct. 2017, ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault. Neither Spacey nor his lawyers have addressed the allegations publicly, but the actor released a bizarre video Dec. 24 in the voice of Frank Underwood, his character on Netflix’s “House of Cards.” In it he says: “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.” Some in social media questioned whether this was Spacey obliquely refuting the 18-year-old’s allegations or whether it was to portray Frank Underwood once again after having been ignominiously fired. Nonetheless—Underwood is a liar, cheat and murderer so it is unclear what message Spacey was trying to convey.

QUOTES “It was just one of those things. We caught each other’s eyes and started talking.”

- Mayor Robert Garcia to Long Beach Press-Telegram on how he first met Matt Mendez, whom he married on Dec. 22 before an exuberant crowd of 700 at historic First Congregational Church.

“She’ll cut your head off and you won’t even know you’re bleeding. That’s all you need to know about her.”

– Alexandra Pelosi on how her mother, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, handles meetings with President Trump.

“Have you seen the show ‘Veep’ on HBO? So, to me, this is like watching a really long episode.” – California Rep Ted Lieu to Politico on his Twitter pushback to Donald Trump.


Sailor Bryan Woodington, 33, didn’t know he’d won the lottery to disembark first and celebrate the ceremonial first kiss with his loved one after returning to port from his seven-month deployment. But he did know he wanted to re-enact the famous photo of the WW II kiss between a sailor and a nurse in Times Square so he asked Kenneth, 30, his spouse of one year, to dress in all white. Kenneth does yoga so the deep bend didn’t hurt his back, he told Yahoo Lifestyle. A Navy photographer took the photo on Dec. 21 when Woodington disembarked the USS The Sullivans at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Fla., one of 300 sailors returning from a tour in the Persian Gulf and Europe. But a feature on News 4 Jax caused both controversy and celebration. The station reported that it Bryan and Kenneth Woodington share the first kiss after Bryan returned home from was “bombarded” by a backlash from viewers: deployment. Photo: Facebook/Naval Station Mayport “I’ll never watch your news again!!!! So long, News4Jax” and, “I thought this was a ‘family friendly’ news channel.” But Yahoo reported that others were more positive on Naval Station Mayport’s Facebook page: “A new twist on an old favorite! Love it!” and “I wish my Husband would kiss me like this!” Others added their own twist: “This makes me sick to my stomach. White shoes after Labor Day” and “This is disgusting. The weather should be ashamed of itself looking all gloomy.” Navy spokesperson Bill Austin told News 4 Jax that a same-sex kiss is “not an issue” and that the Navy is “gender neutral.” – Karen Ocamb



House Dems see LGBT equality as priority Cicilline talks Equality Act in new role as senior LGBT House member By CHRIS JOHNSON Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) will become the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House as Democrats take the majority this week, but he’s more excited about the growing ranks of openly LGB people who will serve in Congress alongside him and finally being able to move long-awaited legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination. Asked by the Blade during an interview in his office Dec. 20 about his new distinction as the most senior out gay member of the House with outgoing Rep. Jared Polis leaving to become governor of Colorado, Cicilline said he’s “very proud” the chamber will have a net gain of two out LGB members in the 116th Congress and talked about the Equality Act. “It’s a great privilege to be a part of that group,” Cicilline said. “I think this year will be an opportunity for us to finally move forward on the Equality Act, which I think is the single most important piece of legislation to our community in terms of, once and for all, prohibiting discrimination against members of the LGBT community as a matter of federal law. And so, I’m honored to be the senior most member and really excited about the new colleagues that are joining this caucus.” (Although Cicilline is now the most senior openly gay person in the House, he’s not the most senior openly gay person in Congress. That distinction belongs to Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin who was first elected to the House in 1998, but moved to the Senate and won re-election last year.) The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, education, federal programs and credit. The bill also seeks to update federal law to include sex in the list of protected classes in public accommodation in addition to expanding the definition of public accommodations to include retail stores, banks, transportation services and health care services. Further, the Equality Act would establish that the Religious Freedom

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) will become the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House as Democrats take the majority this week. Blade photo by Michael Key

Restoration Act — a 1994 law aimed at protecting religious liberty — can’t be used to enable anti-LGBT discrimination. Although the ongoing government shutdown will likely be the first priority for the Democratic majority, Nancy Pelosi said advancing the Equality Act would be a personal goal and the legislation will receive a bill number between 2 and 10. And the lawmaker who’ll spearhead that legislation is Cicilline, who introduced the comprehensive non-discrimination measure in the previous two Congresses with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). For the first time, Democrats will introduce the Equality Act while controlling at least one chamber of Congress, which presents an opportunity for a floor vote on the legislation. Cicilline said the timing for introduction for the Equality Act in the 116th Congress is yet to be determined, although it’ll definitely coincide with Merkley’s introduction of the legislation in the Senate. The Rhode Island Democrat said conversations with Democratic leadership on the timing for the legislation haven’t yet taken place “other than knowing we’re moving forward on it.” “I know that the incoming speaker had made public statements about our intention to make the Equality Act a priority, which I’m delighted to hear,” Cicilline said. Cicilline said he expects committees with jurisdiction over the Equality Act — such as the Judiciary Committee and the Education & the Workforce Committee — to hold hearings on the legislation before moving forward in accordance with regular order before the floor vote.

The next iteration of the Equality Act will have “pretty much” the same language as its previous iterations, Cicilline said. He added every time he reintroduces a piece of legislation “it’s another occasion to kind of look at the bill and see if there’s anything to change.” “So we’ll go through that process, but it’ll be essentially the same bill,” Cicilline added. Asked whether he had anything in mind that would make the Equality Act not the same in the 116th Congress, Cicilline replied, “No.” In the previous Congress, all members of the Democratic caucus were co-sponsors of the legislation, except for two lawmakers: Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), whom LGBT groups sought (unsuccessfully) to oust during the Democratic primary last year for not backing LGBT rights, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio). Cicilline said he expects the same level of support in the Democratic caucus as it takes the majority in the 116th Congress. “I’ve talked to a number of my new colleagues about the Equality Act, a number of them have already contacted me about wanting to be co-sponsor, so I expect will have the same kind of overwhelming Democratic support,” Cicilline said. “Hopefully, every Democrat will be a co-sponsor.” Republicans however, are a different story. Only two Republicans co-sponsored the Equality Act in the last Congress. One of them is Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), known for being the most pro-LGBT House Republican, who retired after 24 years in Congress. The other Republican cosponsor, Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.), was voted out of office in the Democratic “blue” wave. Cicilline said he’s had conversations on

the Republican side of the aisle about the Equality Act and is “going to continue those because I want to do everything I had to make it bipartisan. “I think it’ll be really important to have some of our Republican colleagues, but I don’t have any yet that are committed to it,” Cicilline added. Asked whether there were any Republican possibilities he could name, Cicilline demurred. “If I name them, they become less possible,” Cicilline said. “I’m going to explore with as many Republican colleagues as I can and get them on board.” But the Equality Act also faces concerns among civil rights supporters. Many civil rights groups, including the Leadership Council on Civil & Human Rights, have said they support the goals of the Equality Act, but have stopped short of a full endorsement of the bill. Fudge, who was considering a leadership challenge to Pelosi after Democrats won their majority, has expressed concerns about opening the Civil Rights Act to amendments on the House floor, where the landmark legislation could be watered down. “What I opposed was including the Equality Act in the current Civil Rights Act,” Fudge said in a statement. “The Civil Rights Act is over 50 years old and isn’t even adequate to protect the people currently in it. I want us to do a new and modern civil rights bill that protects the LGBTQ community and updates protections for this era. I do not believe it is appropriate to open and relitigate the current Civil Rights Act.” Cicilline said the Leadership Council on Civil & Human Rights made “a very strong statement of support of equality for our community” in regards to the Equality Act. As for Fudge’s concerns, Cicilline said he understands them, but doesn’t share them. “I understand the argument advanced by Congresswoman Fudge,” Cicilline said. “I disagree with it. I think that we can’t have full equality by having a separate but equal civil rights bill.” Cicilline said barring discrimination against LGBT people by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has significant benefits that a different bill couldn’t accomplish. Among these benefits is applying more than 50 years of jurisprudence of the landmark law to anti-LGBT discrimination. Continues at losangelesblade.com



Meet the candidates for WeHo city council James Duke Mason promises to provide “vigorous leadership,” in the pursuit of housing affordability, homelessness, and aging in place.

Lauren Meister, seen here with her rescue dog, Spike, prioritizes policies to save affordable housing stock and local neighborhood-serving businesses.

Shawn Davis Mooney has been a soldier in the U.S. Army, business owner, and entertainer for the last 20 years.

Eric Jon Schmidt wants to “rotate the crops on the City Council” in favor of “fresh, diverse, energetic leadership.”

Iranian American immigrant, attorney, small business owner, and LGBTQ Civil Rights advocate Sephi Shyne has lived in West Hollywood for over a decade.

Marquita Thomas seeks to bring “creative and innovative solutions” to homelessness, affordable housing, mental health, and substance abuse.

Photo via jamesdukemason.com

Photo via Meister4weho.com

Photo by Shawn Christopher Mooney

Photo via wehoeric.com

Photo via sepishyne.com

Photo via marquitaforwesthollywood.com

Continued from Page 04 Corporation, and spent the last three years as a city official on the West Hollywood Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, where he was CoChair from 2017 to 2018. While there, Mason “gained critical experience in the workings of municipal government” and spoke up on “critical challenges that must be addressed by our city, including housing affordability, homelessness, the tough climate for small businesses, and aging in place.” Fun Fact: The veteran freelance writer and public relations consultant is the son of pop icon and LGBT ally Belinda Carlisle. LAUREN MEISTER (Meister4weho. com) | Elected in 2015, the incumbent notes her West Hollywood roots and commitment to public advocacy were planted as a neighborhood watch captain, who took the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training, attended the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Community Academy, and “went on to lead the largest neighborhood association in the city, representing residents on issues such as public safety, traffic circulation, parking and development.” Meister seeks to further her efforts to save affordable housing stock and local neighborhood-serving businesses, advance public safety and social issues, protect parks/green spaces, and advance fair parking advocacy. While a member of the Council, she worked on initiatives to strengthen the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, provide social services for homeless people, create a Small Business Task Force, develop socially conscious banking policies, and establish West Hollywood as a safe haven for

LGBT asylum seekers. Meister is the sole proprietor of her locally-based marketing research firm. Fun Fact: Her parents, sister, and rescue dog, Spike, all call West Hollywood home. SHAWN DAVIS MOONEY (facebook. com/shawndavis.mooney) | Mooney has been a soldier in the U.S. Army, business owner, and entertainer for the last 20 years. He developed his desire to “look out for all seniors and the disadvantaged” while working as General Manager of two retirement communities. Mooney would work to “care for our seniors, especially our LGBT seniors, who may not have anyone to care for them. Together we can ensure that not only do the seniors of West Hollywood have affordable housing, food, and healthcare, but every resident calling West Hollywood home has access to these basic human dignities.” Having moved to West Hollywood in 1993, he “knew it would be a lifelong love affair,” and says his current presence in the neighborhood makes him “think about how can we preserve these qualities for future generations while embracing growth and change.” As a councilmember, he assures, “I will be a steward of West Hollywood and preserve its eclectic history.” Fun Fact: The name of Shawn Mooney’s husband is Shawn Mooney. No confusion with the cat’s name: It’s Jade. ERIC JON SCHMIDT (wehoeric.com) | “It’s time to rotate the crops on City Council,” Schmidt says, “and get some new, fresh, diverse, energetic leadership to represent us.” Having decried the City Council’s “reckless spending and petty infighting,” he says they are “tired, indifferent, ineffective, bought and paid for by developers, and they

don’t listen to the concerns of the residents.” Citing the rising crime rate, a lack of sufficient public cameras, and the danger posed to pedestrians by scooters, bikes, and skateboards on the sidewalks, he’s calling for the Director of Public Safety to be replaced. Schmidt also wants a Sheriff’s Substation on the East Side, emergency phones across the City, and a “Deputy foot patrol on the major streets, to better interact with residents and visitors.” Relief from traffic congestion and over-development, and strong advocacy for renters, are front-and-center concerns, as is his motto/mantra: “Accountability, integrity, and transparency.” Fun Fact: Schmidt’s Chihuahua, Peanut, and Shorkie, Joey, are service and companion dogs in training to visit hospital and hospice patients. SEPI SHYNE (sepishyne.com) | Iranian American immigrant, attorney, Reiki Master, small business owner, and LGBTQ Civil Rights advocate Shyne has lived in West Hollywood for over a decade, with her wife and “furkids.” An appointed member of the City’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board who received a B.S. in Accounting and MIS from San Jose State University, and a Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, her work as Co-President of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles saw Shyne “lead a fundraiser where we raised $10,000 for ‘No on Prop 8’ — and I advocated against hate crimes and Prop 8 on CNN.” Seeking equality and engagement of under-served communities including lesbians, the transgender community, the bisexual community, and communities of color, Shyne seeks to be “a voice for renters,” via preserving and strengthening their rights. Fun Fact: A daily walk with her dog, Chloe, gives Shyne pause

(paws?) to contemplate the need for “more stop signs and enforcement to protect pedestrians,” as well as “more lighting to deter crime.” MARQUITA THOMAS (marquitaforwesthollywood.com) | Noting a “commitment to serving her community through service,” the 23-year West Hollywood resident cites a stint on the Lesbian Visibility Board for the City, her contribution to planning and programming the West Hollywood Dyke March, and serving as Cochair of the Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board. She also served on the board of Christopher Street West. Thomas seeks to draw on her experience as Executive Director of the LA Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to “bring creative and innovative solutions” to homelessness, which she call “a humanitarian crisis that requires more practical solutions and less rhetoric.” On the matter of affordable housing, Thomas urges us to “plan ahead for transit-oriented development along the proposed Metro light rail line” — and, regarding mental health and substance abuse, she notes, “Options continue to be a woefully overlooked necessity in a City that has so much nightlife.” Fun Fact: The founder of Out & About Events for Women, for which she creates programming for Los Angeles’ “under-served lesbian community” prepared for her career in advocacy and community organizing at the same college as Barack Obama. The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce hosts the Candidate Forum, Tues., Jan. 29, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM, at the City’s Council Chambers. More info at weho.org/Home/Components/ Calendar/Event/19631/15. Watch it live, at weho.org/wehotv.

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Report documents anti-LGBT killings in Chechnya By MICHAEL K. LAVERS The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe released a report just before the holidays that documents extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses against LGBTI people in Chechnya. The report, which the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights wrote, notes the first anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya, a semi-autonomous Russian republic in the North Caucasus, took place between December 2016-February 2017. A second crackdown against LGBTI Chechens began in March 2017 and ended in May 2017. The report notes international outrage “largely stopped” a third crackdown, but “there are still new cases as recent as September and October 2018. “The detentions followed a certain pattern,” reads the report. “Persons suspected of being homosexuals were picked up without any particular reason at their homes or work places or on the road by police officers and military personnel.” The report says members of Chechnya’s Special Division of First Responders who wear black uniforms were “particularly involved” in the detentions. The report notes detainees were taken to a police station before they were sent to “incarceration places, some of them unofficial prisons,” including one in Argun, a town that is outside the Chechen capital of Grozny. “On the way and at the detention place they were humiliated with words like, ‘You were brought here because you are faggots. You bring shame on your people. You shouldn’t exist,” reads the report. The report notes detainees were “taken to interrogation rooms and beaten with police sticks, plastic tubes and cables, which resulted in severe injuries like broken ribs, jaws and bruises. Some were also treated with electric shocks, usually at the fingers” in order to confess they were gay and to provide authorities with the names of other people who were gay. The report says Chechen Parliament spokesperson Magomed Daudov “took part in some of the torture sessions.” It also notes the conditions in which detainees were kept. “They usually were not receiving food, in some cases even not water, except if relatives of other inmates brought food, which was shared,” it reads. “In some cases, they were not allowed to wash themselves or clean the

HRC on July 15, 2018, projected an image onto the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, that urges President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to publicly denounce the crackdown against gay men in Chechnya. Photo courtesy of Ty Cobb/HRC

wounds. No medical assistance is reported. Some had to do certain works like washing the floor or cleaning cars. They were mistreated and tortured on a daily basis mostly for about two weeks or until they made and signed a confession or reported others or expressed their willingness to cooperate.” The report also documents allegations that detainees were killed. “Persons who could not stand the torture because of their age or other reasons or could bring shame on the authorities or administration allegedly were killed,” it reads. The report notes authorities told relatives of those who were released from custody to find “a proper solution” or “to get rid of the sick members of the family.” “It was said that they could be killed as terrorists in the forest but it would be better if the parents took care of them,” reads the report. “One witness formulated the message of police officers to relatives like this, ‘Either you kill your kid or we will do it for you.’ There were cases where the victims were asked to kill themselves. In many cases victims have been forced to marry in order to save the family honor.” The report also says, “females with nonheterosexual orientation” were “unlawfully detained and underwent beatings and pressures to produce confessions.” “In extreme cases, they were raped and killed,” notes the report. “But the main punishment seems to have been psychological,

in cooperation with their male relatives who were put under pressure to wash away the shame from the family. There are documented cases of girls who escaped from Chechnya, but were abducted and brought back by their families with the help of the authorities.” The report notes the relatives of some of those who were detained brought them to the Center for Islamic Medicine in Grozny for “a kind of Islamic exorcism procedure.” The U.S. and 15 other countries that comprise the OSCE on Nov. 1 invoked its “Moscow Mechanism” that authorized a factfinding mission to investigate the anti-LGBTI crackdown and other human rights abuses in Chechnya. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Kremlin have repeatedly sought to downplay the reports or have simply dismissed them. The U.S. late last year sanctioned Kadyrov and two Chechen officials under the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law named after a Russian lawyer who died in a Moscow prison following his investigation of a $230 million tax fraud scheme. Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, who President Trump has tapped to succeed her, have both publicly condemned the anti-LGBTI crackdown. Trump, who is under increased scrutiny over his potential involvement with the Russian government’s interference in the

2016 presidential election, has yet to publicly comment on the issue. Deputy State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino on Thursday in a statement said the OSCE’s “expert report concluded that Chechen authorities committed torture and other appalling human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial killings of LGBTI persons and others, and describes a worsening ‘climate of intimidation’ against journalists and civil society activists.” “The report observes that the Russian government ‘appears to support the perpetrators rather than the victims’ and has ‘not lived up to its responsibilities’ to address the ‘grave situation’ in Chechnya,” said Palladino. Human Rights Campaign Global Director Ty Cobb in his own statement said “the Russian government can no longer deny the existence of these barbaric anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity in Chechnya.” “World leaders, including the Trump-Pence administration, must take action to hold Russia and those responsible for the crimes accountable and to ensure these atrocious crimes have been stopped and never happen again,” said Cobb. The report contains a series of recommendations for the Chechen and Russian government. These include “an immediate shut-down of all unofficial detention facilities” in Chechnya and for the Kremlin to “express a commitment on the highest levels of the executive branch of the Russian Federation to fully investigate the allegations and to bring to justice the alleged perpetrators, including those belonging to the local security forces.” The report notes the majority of the 135 LGBTI people the Moscow-based Russian LGBT Network has evacuated from Chechnya are now living in Europe and Canada. The report recommends to OSCE member countries that they “grant protection under the Geneva Refugee Convention to refugees from the Chechen Republic, in particular persons with a non-heterosexual orientation (LGBTI) fleeing on grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity and take special care with regard to the fact that they might be threatened also in their host countries.” “It’s crucial that Russia follow the report’s recommendations and launch a serious investigation, and that the world community — and especially the United States — welcome refugees escaping these gross human rights abuses,” said Cobb in his statement.

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New year, new pro-equality laws in California State is protecting LGBTs from the Trump administration By RICK ZBUR California once again adopted its own “New Year’s resolutions” this week, as hundreds of new state laws took effect at midnight on January 1 — including many that protect, empower and support members of the LGBTQ community and our allies. Equality California has been busy at work fighting in Sacramento, fighting to pass pro-equality legislation and sponsoring 11 of these new laws.

Transgender Equality Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Senator Scott Wiener’s Gender Recognition Act of 2017 (SB 179) ensures transgender and nonbinary Californians have access to state-issued identification that accurately reflect their gender identity. The new law allows for a nonbinary gender marker on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, identity cards and gender-change court orders, and it also helps to streamline the process for changing the gender marker on state documents, removing unnecessarily complicated and costly barriers. Assemblymember Todd Gloria’s (D-San Diego) first-in-the-nation Gender Health in Foster Care Act of 2018 (AB 2119) will now explicitly guarantee access to life-saving, gender-affirming health care for youth in foster care. LGBTQ youth, and transgender youth in particular, are overrepresented among California’s foster youth, and are too often deprived of such care.

Education California teachers will soon have access to greater tools and training to prevent bullying and suicide — both of which disproportionately harm LGBTQ youth. Assemblymember David Chiu’s (D-San Francisco) AB 2291 now requires public schools to provide online training annually on preventing bullying and cyberbullying to teachers and school staff. And while school districts are already required — under a law that Equality California and the Trevor Project passed in 2016 — to provide teachers with suicide prevention training, AB 2639 by Assemblymembers Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Patrick O’Donnell

(D-Long Beach) will now require districts to regularly review and update their policies. Students at California charter schools will now be guaranteed access to comprehensive, inclusive sex education programs — including instruction on LGBTQ people and families — thanks to Assemblymember Shirley Weber’s (D-San Diego) AB 2601. This legislation expands the California Healthy Youth Act of 2016, which already applied to traditional district-run schools and was authored by Weber and co-sponsored by Equality California. Unfortunately, Governor Brown’s veto of legislation authored by State Superintendentelect Tony Thurmond and sponsored by Equality California means school districts won’t be required to provide teachers and school staff with the tools and comprehensive LGBTQ training they need to support LGBTQ students who are facing bullying at schools or lack of acceptance in their homes or communities. But Equality California will introduce — and pass — that bill again in 2019, and we look forward to working with Governor-elect Newsom to get that critical legislation signed into law.

Homelessness Four out of ten young people experiencing homelessness in California’s major cities identify as LGBTQ. The Establishing Services for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Act of 2018 (SB 918), authored by Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), will now help provide resources for housing, services and supports for youth experiencing homelessness. Many Californians experiencing homelessness live in counties that are not the county of their birth, and some may be unsure of their county of birth. LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness often travel to major California cities to find acceptance. Assemblymember Chiu’s AB 2490 eliminates fees charged to people experiencing homelessness seeking to obtain certified birth certificates directly from the state.

Gun Safety Through Equality California’s “Safe and Equal” campaign — started in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting — we’ve supported commonsense gun safety legislation, including Assemblymember Gloria’s AB 2103, which now requires Californians to undergo gun safety

training before obtaining a concealed weapons permit. Under two other new gun safety laws, Californians under the age of 21 are no longer able to purchase a rifle or a shotgun in California, and there is a new lifetime ban prohibiting anyone who has been convicted of serious domestic assault from owning a firearm.

Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice LGBTQ people face higher rates of hate crimes and incidents, bias-based violence, harassment at the hands of law enforcement, and discrimination within the criminal justice system compared to the general population. Assemblymember Evan Low’s (D-Cambell) AB 2504 now requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to develop LGBTQ-specific training for law enforcement officers. Improving the law enforcement community’s ability to serve and protect members of the LGBTQ community will help to ensure they respond appropriately to situations that involve LGBTQ people. With growing rates of hate crimes in California — including those against LGBTQ people — Assemblymember Phil Ting’s (D-San Francisco) AB 1985 now provides guidance for local law enforcement agencies to update and strengthen their policies on hate crimes.

LGBTQ Older Adults Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin’s (D-Thousand Oak) AB 2719 now recognizes LGBTQ older adults as a population in need of special attention and ensures that they can access the services and support they need to maintain their health and live their lives with dignity.

Tax Equity Thanks to Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) and Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang, AB 2663 provides retroactive relief to LGBTQ Californians who were registered as domestic partners in municipal jurisdictions and may have had their property taxes increased due to the death of a partner.

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Make 2019 your year to get finances in order 401k, IRAs, power of attorney, joint filing all issues for LGBT population By ALEX GRAHAM

As we begin the new year, now, more than ever, is a good time to make a resolution to improve your financial situation. As I write this from 38,000 feet in the sky, my husband and I are doing something the LGBT community loves to do: travel and, subsequently, spend. Before we begin this mimosa-sobering discussion, it’s pertinent to recognize the challenges our community faces, as opposed to our straight peers. According to studies by Prudential and Experian, LGBT adults tend to spend more than we save and that many of us tend to be underpaid compared to our counterparts, due in part to the lack of workplace protections and indirect discrimination. Unfortunately, it means that it’s easier to control your costs than increase

your salary. It’s easy to want to spend less, but spending less in our experience-focused (e.g. traveling, social events, etc.) community is difficult. The first, true and tried way to do it, is set a budget. Unlike our federal budget, when setting a personal budget, one should start with how much money is brought in. From there, subtract fixed or required expenses, like rent, and the balance is what you get to play with. Before we start dividing up that balance, we need to make sure we’re maximizing other “free money” that we may be ignoring. A sobering statistic is that many LGBT community members do not take advantage of employer 401k matching programs. While

401k plans are notoriously poor retirement vehicles, they still offer pre-tax deferrals and most employers offer an employer match. It’s important to always max out that match before putting a discretionary budget together. Don’t walk away from free money that you can rely on decades from now. As you develop your budget, use an app like Mint to better understand how you spend. If you prefer to retain some level of privacy, many banks offer their own version of “spending trends” that you can use to put together a simpler budget. This is where the challenge comes into play — you’ll most likely have to alter something in your life. It could mean fewer happy hours, dropping a sports league, travel more economically, etc. I’ll be

1 6 • V O LU M E 0 3 • I S S U E 0 1 • A M E R I C A’ S LG B TQ N E W S S O U R C E • LO S A N G E L E S B L A D E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 0 4 2 0 1 9

It’s never too early to begin thinking about your long-term financial goals.

upfront — it’s not easy or fun to choose, but every dollar you can save today will make choices easier down the road. What to do with your savings is always dependent on your circumstances, but the general rule is to pay “bad debt” first, especially credit cards. I recommend making weekly payments to your cards to more accurately reflect your financial status. It can take months to really get good at managing your money, so don’t get discouraged if you miss your goal. Once your budget is set and you’ve successfully begun to save money, you should start looking at moving this money into an IRA or other investment vehicle for the long run. Many firms have roboadvisors that offer

lower fees and are largely self-service, but do not hesitate meeting with a human. It’s the mission of most financial firms to serve as many people as possible. Just do your research and confirm that you are the right match with your advisor. There is no harm in meeting with multiple advisors. Finally, while the Obergefell v. Hodges decision dramatically equalized and simplified many LGBT couples’ financial situation, there still remains a need to discuss legal concerns, such as wills and power of attorney. I normally recommend that when you begin your mid- to late-30s you should start discussing with your significant others, especially if you’re not married. It’s important to decide who gets what when you die, but it is equally important to

have a well-rounded set of trust documents, including various powers of attorney (medical, financial) that help reinforce your right to have someone you trust make decisions on your behalf. This may be more pertinent depending on where you live and subsequent state laws. Your financial adviser should be able to refer you to a local attorney that can help make sure your documents are appropriate for your state of residence. ALEX GRAHAM is a principal at Graham Capital Wealth Management, a registered investment adviser in D.C. He can be reached at 202-780-7726 or alex.graham@grahamcapitalwealth.com. Information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or recommendations. Advice may only be provided after entering into an advisory agreement with an adviser.

J A N U A R Y 0 4 2 0 1 9 • V O LU M E 0 3 • I S S U E 0 1 • A M E R I C A’ S LG B TQ N E W S S O U R C E • LO S A N G E L E S B L A D E . C O M • 1 7



Make 2019 your year for fitness Classes, tracking devices, food journal all good steps to a better you By JESSE JOHNSON

You get an opportunity every Jan. 1 to rewrite the health and fitness page in your life story. The New Year is here. Last year might have been your best health year or maybe one of your worst. Either way, as the year wraps up it’s time to focus on your 2019 “healthy you.” Here are some tips to jump start the new year:

If you bite it, write it Begin your new year by tracking your nutrition. I’ve trained about 20,000 sessions and there isn’t a secret exercise I give my clients to lose weight or gain muscle. It all starts in the kitchen. Write down everything you consume (eating and drinking) and you may be surprised by what you see. Food can be a pretty intimidating subject for most of us, so seeing it all written down is a great start to making one or two changes. We are the result of our own habits, so take a good, hard look at your nutrition tracking and take action.

Wearable technology We have so many tech toys in our daily lives, why not have one for fitness? Having a piece of equipment that tracks the number of calories you burn, the distance you’ve run or the heart rate zones you’ve maintained while working out is extraordinarily motivating. You have trackable progress. Most heart rate monitors have an app and many reward for your hard work. Use it as a “barometer” for your efforts in the new year.

Be part of the group Exercising by yourself is great “you” time, however, when it’s bitter cold and the workday has dragged on and on, having a workout partner or a class to attend keeps you motivated. The accountability of simply “showing up” is 80 percent of the fitness battle. Working out with a friend or spouse is a simple, effective and socially beneficial method to nailing your workouts. And remember if you and your workout partner don’t feel confident on a weight room floor, take a class. From pilates to yoga to spin, the options are endless. You’ll walk out of the class healthier than when you arrived and maybe make a friend in the process. Jesse Johnson is a personal trainer. Blade photo by Michael Key

Deadline time Imagine starting a race but not knowing where or when the race concludes. Sounds crazy right? Your “healthy you” race began Jan. 1 but when are you going to hit your goal and complete that race? The sun will rise and set every day, so there needs to be a firm date that you give yourself to aim for. Don’t worry if you have some hiccups along the way, it happens to the best of us. Just remember to pick yourself up and continue working out to get to your goal. It’s often said “We miss one 100 percent of the shots we don’t take” so write down your deadline somewhere you can see it daily and stand firm with your intentions. Don’t be afraid of messing up here and there along your race. Write it down and stick to it.

What’s your reward? Working out is hard work. There’s no denying that a significant effort is needed to physically change. In addition to being healthier (and happier, of course) by hitting your goal, what is your prize for getting there? Is there a getaway trip planned where you might be in a bathing suit showing off a little skin? Did you buy a fabulous outfit that you can only fit into if you hit your goal? How about running your best time in an event because you’ve dropped those extra pounds? There isn’t a bad reward to give yourself for putting in the effort and doing something that you may have never done before. You have to believe that this change in 2019 is worth it. However “dangling a carrot” in front of you as you’re working hard is another reward to get you closer to your goal. Now is the time for change. Take a moment to do a mental exercise and realize that with the changing of the year, you are going to make changes. Incremental or massive, change is always worth doing. Sweating is worth doing. Responsibly eating is worth doing. Being proud of who you are becoming in this process is worth doing. It’s 2019, so go do it!


Prediction No. 1.

Politically in the United States government in 2019, the first tarot card I pulled was the Four of Pentacles, which when upright represents control, stability, security, conservatism and possessions. What this means is that this prediction is about our government’s position on matters that pertain to the physical realm (which is basically what Pentacles are about in general in tarot). In this case, the following prediction will be about the government’s role in providing humanitarian needs to common American citizens in terms of what will actually pass as legislations. This card suggests cooperation and collaboration in Congress between the two parties in passing legislations that pertain to humanitarian needs of common American citizens. I predict that more humanitarian-type bills will, eventually, after some resistance from the right (as indicated by a reversed Wheel of Fortune card), be passed (as indicated by the Justice card) through effective and sustained negotiations between the House and the Senate that will result in passing more similar bills. And they will include similar bills that may have been set aside or forgotten in the past several years. It won’t be easy but I see a very thorough and sustained effort by the left to promote this particular legislation. And I see plenty of funding for these (as indicated by the Nine of Pentacles). I also see a very important woman as the catalyst for all this personified by the Queen of Swords who will personally take the lead and ensure that these legislations pass.


What’s in the cards for the year ahead Congress will come together, Chinese pandemic among ’19 predictions By RON EVANGELISTA

Prediction No. 2. Internationally, I see China as indicated by the Justice card, which Spirit identified as being China. According to the cards, some kind of communicablebased pandemic illness (as indicated by the Death card) will rise in 2019 possibly during one of the scheduled Mercury retrogrades to occur in 2019 (as indicated by the Magician card which is ruled by Mercury). If not contained millions could die in China alone, possibly spread to Hong Kong and into the United States. Tens of thousands could die in the U.S. if not contained. According to the cards, it could take up to six months before a cure can be created. This pandemic may rise sometime during one of the following scheduled Mercury retrogrades: March 5-28 (in Pisces sign) July 8 (in Leo sign)-Aug. 1 (in Cancer sign) Oct. 31-Nov. 20 (in Scorpio sign)

Prediction No. 3. As far as outer space is concerned, the cards revealed that sometime in 2019 a known anomaly on the moon near an area that’s on the visible edge of our moon’s dark side, will have been confirmed as actual “structures” versus rock formations as described by NASA, mainly due to the geometrical shapes of these supposed “rock formations,” that these structures were either built by man from earth’s very distant past or by some other intelligence beyond earth. I predict that rovers or manned missions may actually be scheduled or planned in 2019 just to confirm the idea that there was a time when our own moon was colonized either by man or by other intelligence that precedes both the Apollo missions and possibly even before the dawn of early civilizations on earth. Once confirmed that these are not “rock formations,” they would lead us to question the legitimacy of other structural anomalies discovered so far on our moon and other places in our solar system such as Mars and other planets. Challenging these findings which the cards show will take place in 2019 will most likely prompt future expeditions to be scheduled or planned to have a closer look and, once confirmed and validated by future expeditions, these discoveries will most likely rewrite earth’s history as we know it. Editor’s note: Ron Evangelista is a gay psychic/tarot reader based in Maryland who provides services such as psychic readings, tarot readings, spiritual counseling, spiritual courses and more. For more information, visit ronsspirtualreadings.com.

Tarot cards are a useful tool for helping you think of things in a new light.



12 must-see queer films at the 2019 Palm Springs International Film Festival Kingmaker of a festival for LGBT-themed mainstream hits By DAN ALLEN

It’s one of America’s most esteemed film festivals—and this year, as usual, it’s decidedly queer. The 30th Palm Springs International Film Festival kicks off this week, with a mightily impressive 12-day schedule that’s overflowing with the best in LGBTQ-themed cinema from across the globe. On Thursday, Jan. 3, the festival’s annual Film Awards Gala honored some of the biggest queer blockbusters from 2018, including “The Favourite,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The main screening portion of the PSIFF begins on Friday, Jan. 4, with showtimes continuing through Monday, Jan. 14 at numerous venues in the greater Palm Springs area. Here are our picks for the queer movie gems not to miss at PSIFF 30.

“Anchor and Hope”

Oona Chaplin (“Game of Thrones”) stars as Eva, whose carefree bohemian London life with girlfriend Kat is upended by Eva’s decision to become a mother, and to let Kat’s womanizing Spanish friend Roger be the sperm donor. Chaplin’s own mother, actress Geraldine Chaplin, plays her on-screen mom. Oona Chaplin in attendance; Jan 6, 5:30 p.m., Regal Cinemas; Jan. 8, 10:30 a.m., Regal Cinemas.

“The Angel”

The true story of baby-faced 1970s Argentine teen serial criminal Carlitos comes to vivid and queerified life in this brutal but gorgeous Pedro Almodóvar-co-produced feature, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. Jan. 7, 7 p.m., Mary Pickford (Cathedral City); Jan. 9, 8:30 p.m., Regal Cinemas.

“Carmen & Lola”

Another Cannes Film Festival pick, this young Spanish romance set in the marginalized Roma community on the outskirts of Madrid is the tale of teen bride-to-be Carmen, who finds real (though due to their strict patriarchal society, very secret) love with graffiti artist Lola. Jan. 9, 10:30 a.m., Mary Pickford (CC); Jan. 13, 7pm, Mary Pickford (CC).

“Giant Little Ones”

Some of Hollywood’s brightest stars from around the world descend on the gayest town in America for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Photo courtesy PSIFF

Popular high school swim team star Franky faces both internal and external crises after an unexpected drunken encounter with his best friend Ballas. Compounding the situation are Franky’s hostile feelings toward his father (Kyle MacLachlan), who left his mother (Mario Bello) for another man. Director Keith Behrman and producer Allison Black in attendance; Jan. 5, 2:30 p.m., Regal Cinemas; Jan. 8, 1:15 p.m., Palm Springs High School.


Easily the most controversial queer-themed film of 2018, “Girl” follows 15-year-old Belgian trans girl Lara—played brilliantly, if contentiously, by young male actor Victor Polster—as she’s accepted to a prestigious dance academy, and the often brutal physical, social and mental challenges that befall her in her dual quests to become a woman and a ballerina. The film won both the Queer Palm (for best LGBTQ film) and the Caméra d’Or (for firsttime director Lukas Dhont) at the Cannes Film Festival. Jan. 7, 1:30 p.m., Annenberg Theater; Jan. 8, 8:30 p.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center); Jan. 13, 10 a.m., Palm Springs High


“The Heiresses”

Ana Brun won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival for her portrayal of faded Paraguayan aristocrat Chela, who’s forced to leave her hermetic ways behind when longtime girlfriend Chiquita goes to jail. As she returns to the world, Chela meets the sensual Angy, who helps her come out of her shell. Jan. 7, 9 a.m., Regal Cinemas; Jan. 9, 1 p.m., Regal Cinemas; Jan. 12, 9:30 a.m., Mary Pickford (CC).

“The Ice King”

Olympic gold medalist John Curry, the first openly gay person figure skater, is profiled in this fascinating and uplifting documentary by James Erskine, who also directed the 2013 doc “The Battle of the Sexes.” Jan. 9, 5:30 p.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center); Jan. 11, 10 a.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center); Jan. 12, 2:30 p.m., Regal Cinemas.


In this hot and steamy thriller directed by gay indie favorite Yann Gonzalez, French superstar Vanessa Paradis plays a late 1970s producer of Parisian gay porn, whose actors begin falling victim to a leather-masked killer. Jan. 5, 6 p.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center); Jan. 6, 5 p.m., Regal Cinemas.

“Making Montgomery Clift”

Monty Clift’s nephew Robert co-directs this uniquely intimate look at the iconic but troubled star, as seen through the eyes and archives of his own family and longtime partner Lorenzo James. Directors Robert A. Clift and Hillary Demmon in attendance; Jan. 10, 7 p.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center); Jan. 11, 11:45 a.m., Annenberg Theater.

“Papi Chulo”

In this darkly funny and tender dramedy, Matt Bomer is lonely LA TV weatherman Sean, who hires Latino migrant worker Ernesto—in theory to paint his deck, but in reality to be his friend and therapist. Jan. 6, 4 p.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center), director John Butler in attendance; Jan. 8, 1 p.m., Regal Cinemas; Jan. 11, 6:30 p.m., Regal Cinemas.


Australia’s real-life LGBTQ rights movement is the backdrop for this sweeping and inspiring drama, which follows the lives of key characters in the country’s “Stonewall” moment during Mardi Gras 1978. Jan 11, 9 a.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center); Jan. 13, 7 p.m., Camelot Theatres (PS Cultural Center).

“Vita & Virginia”

One of history’s great literary love affairs—that of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West in 1920s London—is brought to life in this sensuous British drama, seen here in its American premiere. Jan. 10, 4:30 p.m., Annenberg Theater; Jan. 13, 1 p.m., Palm Springs High School. For more info about the 2019 PSIFF, go to psfilmfest.org/2019ps-film-festival.

A visually stunning and surreal pageant that grapples with the meaning of life, the mystery of death, time, destruction and reconstruction.

CAP UCLA in association with the Music Center presents


The Great Tamer Fri, Jan 11 Royce Hall


310 825 2101

@cap_ucla #capucla



Ricky Martin welcomes baby — and other New Year’s news Anderson and Andy are Eskimo brothers; Spacey faces charges By BILLY MASTERS

Ricky Martin and his husband, renowned artist Jwan Josef, welcome their daughter to the world on New Year’s Eve, Lucia Martin-Yosef. Photo via Martin’s Instagram

Will 2019 be the YEAR YOU QUIT? If you’re a smoker who drinks, you may be eligible to participate in a smoking cessation treatment study at UCLA 

Must be between ages of 21-65

Free Smoking Cessation Medication

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Call: (310) 206-6756 Or visit: www.UCLAQuitSmoking.com

“That we’re Eskimo brothers!” - Andy Cohen’s answer to what the public may not know about him and his good friend, Anderson Cooper. For those of you who don’t know, the term “Eskimo brothers” refers to men who have slept with the same person. In the case of women, I believe the term is simply lesbians. This is a strange column - one might even call it queer. If you’re reading it in print, it will surely be 2019. But if you’re reading it online - perhaps at BillyMasters.com - 2018 is likely drawing to a close. And to be honest, which of course I always am, I am writing this on New Year’s Eve. And yet, my 2018 wrap-up has already been published. So, in a way, this column falls between the cracks. One might even say it’s straddling years. Oh, I’ve been straddling things for years. Why, I could write a book. But for now, you’ll have to make do with this column. Given the timing, I can’t tell you all about my New Year’s Eve, nor can I in good faith review Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen’s sophomore effort in hosting the festivities. Mind you, not seeing it is no excuse - why, many of my colleagues regularly review things they haven’t seen. But, no, not your beloved Billy. Instead, I will extrapolate on last week’s news - that Andy Cohen will soon be a daddy. Oh sure, the cheap joke is, “Yeah, like scads of undergrads haven’t been calling him daddy for years.” Andy announced that his child will be born sometime in January and that he hired a surrogate. Certainly not the first time his semen has been inside someone he paid - and that’s the last cheap joke of the year. The marriage of Colton Haynes and Jeff Leatham is the gift that keeps on giving. They truly are the Liz and Dick of our generation - perhaps, more appropriately, the Dick and Dick. Which of them is the bigger Dick will have to be determined by a court of law. The last time they split up, I believe Colton did the leaving and Jeff did the pleading for reconciliation. This time around, we’re told that the divorce was filed by Leatham (why is it I continue to want to type “Leatherman”?). He served Colton with what is known as “preliminary declaration of disclosure.” Apparently, this is routine for all divorcing parties in the state of California. I’m no lawyer, but here’s my advice to Colton - don’t ask, don’t tell. I picked up that little tip from the documentary about the “Clinton Affair” on A&E. While Kevin Spacey is probably grateful to have 2018 behind him, he’s still got some daunting situations a-brewin’. First and foremost are charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a Nantucket bar in 2016. As you may recall, Spacey allegedly flirted with the 18-year-old busboy in a restaurant, bought him a drink (after the boy said he was of age), and began putting his hands down the lad’s pants...as one does when one flirts with a busboy. Unfortunately for Spacey, the boy is the son of a former Boston-area television news anchor. Unfortunately for the boy, he reported the incident to the police over a year after the incident. Something smells fishy to me, but that could just be Nantucket! I don’t question the boy’s account of the night, but I do question the motive. Spacey will be formally arraigned on Jan. 7. If Spacey is found guilty, he could be facing 15-20 years in jail. On the positive side, by the time he gets out, he’ll be able to hit on Andy Cohen’s kid! In one of those situations that you’d swear was made up, the same day the formal charges against him were announced, Spacey broke his online silence by posting an odd video in which he plays his character from “House of Cards.” In it, he condemns how the show ended, and how things are not as they appear in politics...and in life. Amazingly, this three-minute clip is one, single, perfect take, and it reminds us of two things: 1) what an extraordinary actor Kevin Spacey is and, B) that he’s batshit crazy. Darren Criss says he is done raping the gay community. Well, he didn’t say it like that. What he actually said was this: “There are certain roles that I’ll see that are just wonderful. But I want to make sure I won’t be another straight boy taking a gay man’s role.” Am I the only one who finds it amusing that he refers to himself as a boy...taking a role from a gay man? I mean, he’s 31 - I think the boy days are long gone, bucko. And riddle me this - if Criss stops playing gay parts, what exactly will he do for work? Ricky Martin rang in the New Year with a new addition to his growing family. Although he’d previously expressed the desire to have more children (he has 10-yearold sons Matteo and Valentino), Martin kept news of another child quiet until her birth. “We are excited to announce that we have become parents of a beautiful and healthy girl whom we have named Lucia Martin-Yosef”, Ricky announced on Instagram. Actually, his post was written in Spanish. In that case, Felicidades!



LAPD will host a recruitment day. See Saturday, Jan. 12.


Them Fatale Drag Kings is today from 5-9 p.m. at Redline Bar (131 East 6th St.). Stock up on emergency glitter because the Y2GAY Edition of Them Fatale is coming for your future non-binary babies. Join the Backstreet Butches, Bobby Dymorphia, Charmin Ultra, Greasy Bouffanti, Klaus, Peter Rabbit ,Prince Alarming, Prince Says, Salty Caramel Bae for a wild drag king show and fundraiser. Proceeds from this show will go directly towards production of The Sympathy Card, an unconventional lesbian rom-com about three women wrestling with living in the present, mortality and bad first dates. It is a hilarious, sexy, heartfelt indie comedy about the ridiculous lengths humans will go when faced with the unknown. Free.


Transitioning Partners Therapy Group is today from 2-5 p.m. at EVERYBODY (1845 N. San Fernando). A new, weekly therapy group for people of all genders and sexualities partnered with someone experiencing gender transition. Talk with others with similar experiences. Find therapy and support specific to your needs as an intimate partner of someone trans or gender-diverse. Sponsored by Gender Queer Revolution with therapy conducted by Alexander Yoo, Psychotherapist. Pay what you can at the door.


Resolve To Ride! AIDS/LifeCycle Open House is tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Los Angeles LGBT Center (1625 N. Schrader Blvd.). What’s your new year resolution? This one may have been on your list for years but this is the year to do it. Resolve to ride in 2019. It will change your life. AIDS/LifeCycle is hosting an open house to teach you all about the ride and how you can participate. Whether your resolution is to be healthier, do more for others, make more friends or give back to your community. AIDS/LifeCycle is the perfect event to keep your resolutions. They are offering healthy

snacks, beverages, and a raffle to win free gifts from our Community Partners. Bring a friend. Free.


The Children of Harvey Milk: 40 Years After Harvey Where Are We Now? is today from 6-7:30 p.m. at Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Renberg Theater (1125 N. McCadden Pl.). Forty years ago Harvey Milk’s iconic journey was tragically ended. The generation of out LGBTQ leaders he inspired went on to transform the world we live in, not only here in the U.S. but also globally. UNC-Chapel Hill Professor of Political Science Andrew Reynolds has documented this history through the epic stories of courageous political candidates and elected officials around the world who shattered stereotypes to transform politics and society. Join him for the launch of his new book, “The Children of Harvey Milk: How LGBTQ Politicians Changed the World.” Professor Reynolds will speak to the visibility of LGBTQ politicians, and will continue with a panel featuring West Hollywood Mayor John Duran, Irish Senator Fintan Warfield and other local elected officials. The panel will be moderated by Zackary Drucker, producer of the TV show “Transparent.” Tickets available through Eventbrite. The Self-Starters is tonight from 7-9 p.m. at WeHo Arts (625 N. San Vicente Blvd). Reflections from Motivators, Creators, Influencers & Change Makers is a very special evening with a dynamic group of lesbians and queer women leading the way into the future and inspiring others to achieve greatness featuring: CB Lee (Moderator) - Award winning young adult author, Michelle Badillo - writer/actress (“One Day at a Time”), Chris Baldwin –president/board of directors, L Project LA, Freya Estreller - co-founder, Coolhaus Ice Cream and Future Gin, Talonya Geary – author/speaker, Kirsten Schaffer – executive director, Women In Film Los Angeles. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.


LA Feedback Film Festival Event LGBT Series is tonight from 7-9 p.m. at L.A. Live (800 Olympic

Blvd.). Showcasing the best of LGBT short films from around the world, these multiple award winning short films. Last year the Los Angeles Blade called this “the best and most unique way to introduce your work.” Must see monthly “festival” for any film fan, while maintaining our audience feedback format. This is the festival where the audience is the main character. The audience gives producers, directors and actors great tips on how they understand the film. Free.


Mary Poppins Returns EXTRA is today from 9:3011:30 a.m. at El Capitan Theater (6838 Hollywood Blvd.). The El Capitan has transformed the entire theater into the set of the new Mary Poppins, the reboot of a beloved classic that turns out to be even bigger, better and more magical. And you can’t find a better place in the world to see it on the luxurious big screen. Grab a selfie on the streets of London and then lamplight your way into a magical wonderland of, well, Mary Poppins.


Los Angeles Police Department Hiring Event is today from 7 a.m.-noon at Elysian Park Police Academy (1880 Academy Dr.). If you love your community and want to be part of a dynamic city, there’s nothing better than joining the LAPD. Nominated by the readers of the Los Angeles Blade for most LGBT-friendly place to work (a miraculous turnaround), the LAPD is ready to meet you where you are. Join them for this day of recruitment if you think you have what it take to be one of LA’s finest. Attending will help speed you to the front of the class.

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





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