N OVE MB E R 12, 2021 • VO L U M E 05 • ISSUE 4 6 • AMERICA’ S LGBT Q NEW S SO U R C E • LO SAN G ELESB LAD E. C O M
Lines redrawn – gayborhoods divided into new legislative districts
Commission considering maps that would separate LA’s LGBTQ+ community By BRODY LEVESQUE
Every ten years the United States Census is conducted, the results of which directly impact the apportionment measurements of populations to determine how Americans will be represented in the U.S. House of Representatives. A fair percentage of voters are wellinformed and understand this subject matter, but what many don’t realise is the impact the Census also has on the macro levels of representation in state governments. “Every ten years, after the federal census, California must re-establish the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts The Voters FIRST Act gave this power to California citizens ensuring that new and fair political boundaries are drawn without special interests, politics and political
to replicate and scale that success, working with local community partners in the same historically LGBTQ+ regions, as well as emerging LGBTQ+ communities in the East Bay and Silicon Valley. The 2021 Citizens Redistricting Commission — which draws new lines every 10 years for congressional, state legislative and Board of Equalization districts — has been receptive to the groups’ arguments, once again recognizing the LGBTQ+ community as a “community Indeed, both the California Constitution and the
such communities of interest be taken into account when states draw new district boundaries, and the California Constitution extends the requirement to local redistricting processes. website. Despite this commitment by the 14-member California’s 14-member nonpartisan Citizens commission to help empower LGBTQ+ Californians Redistricting Commission, has led the nation in using by keeping geographically connecting communities the redistricting process to enfranchise LGBTQ voters. In together in single districts, the Commission is now 2010, Equality California and Redistricting Partners led considering draft maps that would divide the heart of Los Angeles’s LGBTQ+ community in Hollywood and and congressional districts that keep LGBTQ voters West Hollywood between multiple state assembly, state together in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, Long senate and congressional districts — threatening to Beach, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Palm dilute the community’s voting power in any one district. Springs, giving LGBTQ+ neighborhoods the political Hollywood and West Hollywood — which are currently muscle to elect LGBTQ+ leaders and pro-equality allies. united in a single district at all three levels of government — are home to one of the densest LGBTQ populations in the nation. Their connected business districts feature LGBTQ-owned bars, restaurants and retail businesses. The communities share culture, character and in citywide at-large elections. It was only when the city recreation, with only an invisible municipal boundary transitioned to district-based elections that voters in separating neighbors and small business owners on the Castro — LGBTQ people, artists and immigrants — opposite sides of the street. By using this city boundary to divide the united Board. community among multiple state legislative and Map showing concentrations of LGBTQ population in LA County. (Image courtesy EQ Calif. & Redistricting Commission) congressional districts, the 2021 Citizens Redistricting together and advocated for a city council district uniting Commission threatens to undo the hard work of the LGBTQ communities around Hillcrest and Balboa their 2011 predecessors, who worked diligently to Park — a district that has since elected an unbroken line consolidate — and thereby empower — LGBTQ Angelenos a decade ago. And they’re of LGBTQ trailblazers like Christine Kehoe, Toni Atkins, Todd Gloria and Chris Ward, all of considering similar divisions right through the hearts of historic LGBTQ communities at the congressional level in Long Beach and the state assembly and senate levels in San Diego. On the Westside of Los Angeles, the LGBTQ community helped elect Sheila Kuehl the LGBTQ people may not have their sexual orientations and gender identities counted by the U.S. census, but organizations like Equality California are doing the hard but necessary work to count LGBTQ+ residents and identify their geographically connected communities. in Los Angeles County history in 2014. “It would be a colossal failure for California’s redistricting commissioners to disregard These are just a handful of examples of how redistricting — the one-every-decade and disempower the LGBTQ community by arbitrarily and unnecessarily dividing dense process of redrawing district boundaries for local, state and federal politicians based on LGBTQ neighborhoods between multiple congressional and state legislative districts — new census results — can empower historically marginalized communities like LGBTQ whether by splitting Hollywood and West Hollywood or carving up the LGBTQ communities people. When communities are kept together and united in a single district, they have greater opportunity to elect “ As of Wednesday, Los Angeles’ primary ‘Gayborhood’ remains divided with the newly are responsive to their LGBTQ+ constituents’ unique economic, health and social needs. redrawn Assembly and Senate districts. Over the last 11 months, Equality California and Redistricting Partners have sought
02 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
U.S. Navy supply ship USNS Harvey Milk launches ‘For far too long, sailors like Lt. Milk were forced into the shadows’ By BRODY LEVESQUE
The United States Navy christened and launched its replenishment oilers Saturday as the U.S. Naval Ship Harvey Milk slid down the ways at the General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, NASSCO, shipyards into the waters of San Diego Bay. The ship is named after slain gay LGBTQ rights activist and former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, who along with LGBTQ ally Mayor George Moscone was assassinated by disgruntled former Supervisor Dan White, City Hall on Nov. 27, 1978. The time-honored christening ceremony with a bottle of Champagne broken over the bow was executed by Paula Neira, the Clinical Program Director for John Hopkins Center for Transgender Health. Also in attendance at the ceremony was Stuart Milk, the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk’s nephew, Secretary of the Navy Carlos USNS Harvey Milk christening and launch ceremony Del Toro and California State Senate President pro Tem, Senator Toni Atkins, whose Senate district includes the area of San Diego where the U.S. Navy’s sprawling naval base is located as well as the NASSCO shipyards. Dignitaries also included out San Diego city and county commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, San Diego’s gay Mayor Todd Gloria, Supervisor Milk’s campaign manager and adviser Anne Kronenberg and Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Nathan Fletcher. Addressing the audience of attendees, Secretary Del Toro told them, “The secretary of the Navy needed to be here today, not just to amend the wrongs of the past, but to give inspiration to all of our LGBTQ community leaders who served in the Navy, in uniform today and in the civilian workforce as well too, and to tell them that we’re committed to them in the future.” The secretary then directly spoke to Milk’s sexual orientation and his being forced from naval service. “For far too long, sailors like Lt. Milk were forced into the shadows or, worse yet, forced out of our beloved Navy,” he said. “That injustice is part of our Navy history, but so is the perseverance of all who continue to serve in the face of injustice.” to be built would be named after civil and human rights leaders.
04 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Del Toro told Mabus, who attended the christening, that it was a courageous decision. will be assigned the tasks of replenishing fuel oil and dry goods to U. S. naval vessels at sea. The Milk is the second ship in the new John Lewis USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) , is named for the former civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman, and is also under construction at NASSCO San Diego. named after prominent civil rights activists and leaders, in addition to the USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) are; USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) – LGBT activist Harvey Milk; USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207) – Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren; USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208) – U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) – Women’s rights activist Lucy Stone; USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) (Photo courtesy of General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company) – abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. Also addressing those in attendance, Stuart Milk, the co-founder and president of the Harvey Milk Foundation referring to his uncle’s naval service said: “He has a less-thanhonorable discharge. He was forced to resign because he was gay,” Stuart Milk said, adding that “we have to teach our history to prevent ourselves from going backwards and repeating it.” Milk told the audience that although there is a process for reversing such discharges, he said it was important to not do that for his late uncle in order “to keep the memory of how we did not honor everyone in this very honorable service.” in Newport, R.I. By 1954 he was a lieutenant (junior grade) stationed at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, which during Milk’s tenure of service was the Naval Air Missile Test Center near Oxnard, California. He was serving as a diving instructor. As the Bay Area Reporter wrote in an article in February 2020, Milk was given an “other than honorable” discharge from the U.S. Navy and forced to resign on February 7, 1955 rather than face a court-martial because of his homosexuality, according to a trove of naval records obtained by the paper. It contradicted an archival document housed in the San Francisco Public Library’s San Francisco History Center that authors of several recent biographies of Milk had used to claim that Milk was honorably discharged from the Navy.
ISN’T IT TIME?
TO EXPLORE THE CARIBBEAN WITH YOUR BETTER HALF—HALF OFF"
This winter, treat yourselves to the Caribbean getaway you deserve. Our award-winning ships surround you in luxury, with stunningly designed staterooms, delicious restaurants featuring menus by our Michelin-starred chef, and entertainment unlike anything at sea—all while you visit the world’s most breathtaking tropical destinations. Simply book by December !" to take advantage of our incredible offer.
CALL !-%%%-&%"-'%()* | CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR | VISIT CELEBRITY.COM
11_02_SW_PRC_10x10_LA Bade_50-Off-2nd Guest3.indd 2
10/28/21 2:09 PM
Equality California Safe & Supportive Schools LGBTQ survey launches Communities need policies that address equitable education FROM STAFF REPORTS
As students across California settle back into the routine of in-person learning, Equality California Institute sent its second Safe and Supportive Schools Survey to each of
youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide
Backed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and with pro bono support from Latham &
experience higher rates of violence, harassment and bullying, contributing to decreased school attendance and higher
school districts to implement laws and policies that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (LGBTQ+) students; to develop programs to protect LGBTQ+ students from bullying and violence; and to serve at-risk LGBTQ+ Results from the survey will be published in Equality California Institute’s second Safe and Supportive Schools
making it more likely that they will experience poverty, ill-
(Graphic courtesy of the Grant Halliburton Foundation)
“We created the Safe and Supportive Schools Survey to help shine a light on the successes and challenges that California schools say they are experiencing when implementing LGBTQ+ inclusive programs and policies,” said Equality California Institute Executive “Equality California has sponsored a number of laws in California achieve schools that are safe and supportive and that give every student — regardless of Across California, LGBTQ+ people are experiencing a crisis in health and wellbeing,
Through January 24
Getty Villa Museum FREE ADMISSION | getty.edu Image: The Calydonian Boar Hunt (detail), about 1611–12, Peter Paul Rubens. Oil on panel, 59.2 x 89.7 cm. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Text and design © 2021 J. Paul Getty Trust
06 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
To ensure the future success of LGBTQ+ youth in schools and the workforce, our communities need policy and programming that addresses equitable education, increases LGBTQ+ acceptance through cultural competency, promotes youth leadership and prevents bullying and harassment for
The survey, which is comprised of 88 questions, gathers critical information on school climate, teacher training, curriculum, anti-bullying, suicide prevention and other policies
Card will serve as a resource to all community members who seek to advocate for inclusive
Pilot program for homeless student overnight parking launched FROM STAFF REPORTS
ISO 12647-7 Digital Control Strip 2009
40 70 40
70 40 40
40 70 40
40 70 40
70 40 40
Campus Parking Structure (Photo courtesy LBCC)
100 100 60 100 100
100 100 60 100 100
100 100 60 100 100
10 40 40
20 70 70
70 70 40
70 40 40
3.1 2.2 2.2 10.2 7.4 7.4 25 19 19
50 40 40
75 66 66 100 100 100 80 70 70 100
we believe This year, there’s an extra $3 billion to help Californians afford brand-name coverage. Many can now get covered for no monthly premium. Every plan we offer covers the important things, from mental health to emergency care. Get free, expert help finding a plan that’s right for you.
This way to health insurance. D24418_4c_CCA7362_OE22_Print_10x4_625_Jayden-R3.indd 09.29.2021 EPSON hn
HEALTH INSURANCE SHOULD COVER MORE AND COST LESS.
Enroll by December 31 to be covered by January 1.
CoveredCA.com | 800.375.8355 LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • 07 A24418x15H_CR_1225_240News_Darken_10x5_75.tif
Proof of full vaccination and photo ID for indoor entry into bars, breweries, wineries, Angeles County last week. Patrons now need to be fully vaccinated to be indoors at any of these establishments.
they can enter the indoor area to use the restroom, or order, pick up or pay. Otherwise, the unvaccinated patrons will have to be turned away.
movie theaters, shopping malls, and entertainment and recreation venues. This includes service centers.
order. indoor venues, a negative coronavirus test result is not considered an alternative to
People can also show a photocopy of their vaccine card, or a photo of it on their phone. If a business is found to be not verifying vaccination status of all patrons, the violation will be documented and the business will receive a compliance date. FROM STAFF REPORTS
After completing the online application, candidates will need to sign
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Lesbian couple killed trying to aid pregnant daughter What started as an ordinary Wednesday night in Norfolk, Va., turned to tragedy when a
three and injuring two. Among daughter.
“ NICOLE LOVEWINE and her partner, DETRA BROWN.
“ Gauthier said. “
(Screen capture via CBS3 WTKR Norfolk, VA)
“ ZACHARY JARRELL
Politics guru for LGBTQ Victory Fund declares run for Congress
SEAN MELOY, political director for LGBTQ Victory Fund, has declared his run for a seat representing Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district.
10 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Business experts split on criticism of Buttigieg over supply chain issues Right wing attacks as ships stack up outside port cities By CHRIS JOHNSON | firstname.lastname@example.org
Amid images of goods stranded on ships near America’s ports and notable price increases in basic commodities, including food and gasoline, right-wing critics are lambasting Pete Buttigieg in his role overseeing the supply chain as transportation secretary, although over whether that criticism is valid. Business experts who spoke to the Blade — and whose own views may be
Experts say Transportation Secretary PETE BUTTIGIEG should work with the trucking industry to address supply chain issues.
break down in the supply chain, such as a sharp increase in demand among American consumers, the coronavirus pandemic, and a shortage of truck drivers responsible for transporting goods, which led to (Blade photo by Michael Key)
U.S. Senate for a Cabinet position, was responsible. Daniel Innis, a professor at the University of New Hampshire Peter T. College College of Business and Economics and who specializes in marketing and logistics and is a board member of Log Cabin Republicans, said criticism of Buttigieg is “certainly warranted” because he isn’t showing leadership in bringing stakeholders to the table. “Pete can help by sitting down with the trucking industry, the railroads and so on and saying, ‘Look, this is a crisis that we have to solve,’” Innis said. “Eventually, you know, we’re going to get to a place where things that are really important aren’t available to us, and this As a result of supply chain issues, consumers are seeing increased prices for goods, including basic necessities like food and gasoline. With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, experts say prices for turkey could be the most expensive in history for American consumers. down, the whole thing collapses,” said the problem he’s hearing is on the receiving end at terminal hubs where truck drivers are supposed to pick up goods. seeing about 20 ships on the coastline waiting to come into the port. Such a port, Innis said, hubs, where truck drivers then pick it up. “That’s where it’s breaking down,” Innis said. “Things are not getting picked up. And being picked up. So it seems to me based on my observation that we’ve got a real problem up the entire system, and it’s backed up now all the way to the ocean.” why there is an such an acute truck driver shortage and what could be done to address it, including whether or not to change hours of service limiting the number of work hours truckers can drive each day, at least in the short term. Other ideas Innis brought up, amid a national discussion about making community college free, was whether or not to make truck driver training free or giving 0 percent loans for the cost of school. Additionally, Innis said regulations prohibiting truckers under age 21 from driving across state lines should be scrapped.
12 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
the things that he needs to be talking with the industry about, and maybe taking steps to address. And with just those little things, even if you pick up 10 or 15 percent of capacity, you have really moved things forward, maybe enough to start to gradually bring down the backlog.” But defenders of the Biden administration say the supply chain breakdowns are complications of the increased demand, not any mismanagement at the top. University Eli Broad College of Business, echoed the sense the blame for supply chain issues should be placed on increased demand and not Buttigieg. “The disruptions the import supply chain is experiencing are due to record demand for is nothing Secretary Buttigieg could truly do in such a scenario.” to data from the Census Bureau obtained from USA Trade Online. “This is why I like to characterize the import supply chain as strained due to record Innis, however, said ascribing supply chain issues to the simple increase in demand for goods — while valid in some respects — was over-simplifying matters, pointing out supply chain issues include goods produced and distributed domestically. nephew works at Whole Foods. He says they’re getting half shipments from companies. That is not sitting out on the ocean. And so, I’m not buying it across every category.” amid the supply crisis, concluding with respect to objections over his performance: “Unfortunately, the criticism is warranted.” Among the tasks Buttigieg should take on, Anderson said, are touring the ports, talking to truck drivers and owner operators to understand the constraints from the front lines, coordinating with groups such as the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, the center of ways to bridge government interests with business interests for the common good. “It is a complex issue and will require strong leadership, involvement, collaboration, innovation and new thinking (breaking the traditional thinking) to resolve,” Anderson concluded. Right-wing critics have seized on the supply chain issues and turned them into an indictment of the transportation secretary, who with his spouse Chasten Buttigieg, is a new parent, electing to stay on paternity leave for two months as the crisis unfolded. Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, in a segment last month calling Buttigieg missing in action breast feed,” which defenders of Buttigieg denounced as a homophobic attack (although the snide comment could easily be made of a man in an opposite-sex relationship opting action is only the reason Buttigieg has the role of transportation secretary, implying the position was given to the former South Bend mayor and presidential candidate simply because he’s gay. Innis, distancing himself from other critics in right-wing media despite his conservative leave, which he called “something that is a part of life.” The coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted livelihoods and economies from top to global supply chain, regardless of the administration in power. Continues at losangelesblade.com.
Jamaican minister expresses support for LGBTQ community Jamaican Health and Wellness Minister Christopher Tufton last week said people who access his country’s mental health care system should not experience discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. “Mental health services have been experiencing a number of reviews. For the LGBT community, clearly, I do not know what
Jamaican Health and Wellness Minister CHRISTOPHER TUFTON
as a blanket statement, that we promote the concept of non-discrimination in terms
(Photo courtesy of Jamaican Health and Wellness Ministry)
the population would include all segments of the population,” Tufton said on Nov. 3 during a forum the Jamaica Gleaner, a Jamaican newspaper, organized. “I think the whole issue of the LGBT community and non-discrimination has evolved, and frankly speaking, I think it is getting better,” continued Tufton. “In fact, there is more accessibility and more willingness to provide service without any prompting or punitive oversight measures.” The Jamaica Gleaner said Tufton made the comments in response to a question that Glenroy Murray, the interim executive director of Equality for All Foundation Jamaica, a Jamaican LGBTQ rights group, asked.
health services. The Washington Blade has obtained a statement from Tufton in which he applauds the organization’s work on the issue. “It is well recognized that mental illness is highly stigmatized, even at the primary care Tufton. “Due to this stigma, individuals will either avoid or delay seeking care for fear of relationships within family and friends.” “This, in turn, can result in poor health outcomes and the loss of productive years,” he added. “Persons from the LGBT community will have an additional layer of stigma due to sexual orientation or gender identity and are therefore at higher risk of poor outcomes than other persons living with mental illness.” Tufton in the statement also notes “this stigma is driven, at least in part, by a lack of knowledge among mental health practitioners.” Jamaica is among the dozens of countries around the world in which consensual samesex sexual relations remain criminalized. Violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity also remain commonplace on the island. An 18-year-old man last month was hospitalized in critical condition after a group of men in the resort city of Montego Bay targeted him on a gay dating app. Kelly West, a transgender Jamaican woman, was one of the 47 people who were living at Jardín de las Mariposas, a shelter for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the Mexican border city MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Alleged mastermind of Bulgaria LGBTQ center attack charged Bulgarian authorities have charged an ultranationalist presidential candidate in connection with an attack against an LGBTQ community center. the Oct. 30 attack against Rainbow Hub, an LGBTQ community center in the Bulafter they charged him in connection with the incident. The Bilitis Foundation says Rasate led a group of “about 10 men and women” who stormed Rainbow Hub while a group of transgender people were meeting inside. The mob vandalized the community center and assaulted Bilitis Foundacondemned the attack.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS
(Photo courtesy the Bilitis Foundation)
Mexico beach shooting prompts lockdown of LGBTQ event A shootout on a Mexico beach last week prompted the lockdown of a hotel that was hosting a weeklong event organized by an LGBTQ travel company. Mexican media reports indicate a group of 15 armed men who are members of rival drug gangs began to shoot at each other on the beach in front of the Hyatt Riva Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos, a town on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula that is between the resort cities of Cancún and Playa del Carmen. Vacaya organized the event at the hotel.
14 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
while others indicate they were told to shelter in place. Puerto Morelos is located, in a tweet said the shootout left two gang members dead. members’ target.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS
is a former Air Force intelligence analyst, longtime LGBTQ activist, an alumnus of Queer Nation and Act Up NY, and a regular columnist for
LGBTQ people have a right to public sexuality ‘I don’t mind gays who don’t throw it in my face’
“I don’t mind gays who don’t throw it in my face.” Somebody who seems to think of himself as tolerant wrote that to me yesterday. I’m familiar with the sentiment, hearing it quite often. It’s what people say who AREN’T tolerant of LGBTQ people. What they really mean when they write those things is that they want us to stay in the background, keep our boyfriends, girlfriends, or other family a secret — or at least a very, very private subject, spoken of in hushed tones. And please, not when clients are around! Now, before you all gasp and clutch your pearls, I don’t mean the right to HAVE sex in public. I mean we should have and MUST have the same right to publicly celebrate our sexuality as straight/cis people. The reality, though, is that the public police LGBTQ people get in on the policing. Ever hear this? Gay sex is icky and disgusting. Two men having sex is so icky and gross that I can’t believe you’re even making me think about it. If only you gay people would stop being so damn open about your sexuality, we straight people would like you better. I don’t go to Pride because it’s all about sex. If it weren’t all about sex, straight people would stop dissing us. They hate us because we throw our sexuality in their faces. If only we were more respectable and ordinary, they’d chill. We have all our civil rights already. The only thing holding us back now is how freaky and nasty so many of you are. I get it from a lot of straight people, and I get it from some LGBTQ people — mostly gay, white, relatively wealthy men. There’s a lot to unpack in that sentiment, and I write on the topic frequently. I don’t want to address everything in one column, especially since I’d just be rehashing. won, and that Pride parades are all about nasty sex, let me refer you to my young gay friend Gerald — he of the picket-fenced bungalow and middle-class white privilege. I’ve had to point out to Gerald that Pride isn’t mostly about sex. That’s a construct of sensationalized reporting that overlooks what our parades are overwhelmingly about — while highlighting Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fasching, or St. Patty’s Day. I’ve also had to point out to Gerald that our rights are far from won. In fact, equal human and civil rights for LGBTQ people are the exception rather than the rule in most of the United States. Let’s not even talk about places like Malaysia, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East. Setting Gerald and his issues aside for a moment, what I want to focus on today is the idea that we LGBTQ people throw sex and our sexualized lifestyles in people’s faces, that we emphasize it and and make it a big problem for ourselves. When I was a young college student, I partied pretty hard. My were seriously wild. Kegs. Beer bongs. Lots of girls. Lots of sex. We were ‘cooler’ than most of the rest of the engineering
students because we were studying how to kill people and blow shit up. Plus, we had a clubhouse with a fully stocked bar that non-military faculty and admin never laid eyes on. Sometimes, it seemed like every man on campus wanted an invite to our keggers. Can you say bacchanalia, boys and girls? After we graduated and started active duty, the parties continued to roar. Think Tail Hook scandal. After a few years, though, my buddies chilled on the casual-sex-with-random-girls schtick and started settling down and getting married. I attended their weddings. I was in wedding parties. I danced with many a bride. lives. They sent me pictures of their hot wives, and sometimes I got to hold their newborn babies. Evidence of their straight sexuality surrounded me. When I put on my uniform and went to work, even after I got a little older and the roaring party days had faded into the past, what did all the guys still talk about? Sex. Hot women. Tits. Asses. Who’s banging whom. Constant, never-ending background buzz. I’m in my late 50s now, and you know what? None of that ever changed. Whenever I work closely with straight men, sex is a primary topic of conversation a good deal of the time, and that conversation often focuses on tales of sexual derring-do and misadventure. (When women aren’t around, of course.) Let’s not go there and say we did. The movie trope of the oversexed (straight) business traveler is based in hard reality. So, would you say the straight people I’ve known all my life have been bent on throwing their sexually charged lifestyles in my face? Frankly, as an openly gay man, it has felt like that sometimes. I mean, they know I’m not straight. Why should they force me to and not throw it in my face? their lives and sharing parts of their lives with me. Instead, I often celebrate WITH my friends, because love and sexuality is such a wonderful part of being human. Just ask St. Valentine. Or Cupid. story.) Just like my friends cause me no problem when they kiss their wives or tell romantic stories, I should cause no problem when I walk arm-in-arm down the street with my boyfriend, or run up and kiss him passionately at a train station because I missed him. I have every bit as much right to live it in public as any straight person has to live theirs. If I have to hide my ordinary life, I’m not free and I’m not equal. Still, many folks insist that we LGBTQ people will win respect if only we learn to be more discreet. If only we wouldn’t throw sex in their faces. Here’s something to chew on: We’ll know we’ve achieved respect when we enjoy the undisputed, casual right to the same displays of public sexuality that everyone else in our society enjoys.
16 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
V O L U M E 05 I S S U E 46 ADDRESS 8237 Blackburn Avenue Ste. 201, Los Angeles, CA 90048 PHONE 310-230-5266 E-MAIL email@example.com INTERNET losangelesblade.com PUBLISHED BY Los Angeles Blade, LLC PUBLISHER TROY MASTERS firstname.lastname@example.org 310-230-5266 x8080 (o), 917-406-1619 (c) SALES & MARKETING SALES EXECUTIVE CHRIS WILMORE email@example.com 310-230-5266 x9461 NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-242-6863 MARKETING DIRECTOR STEPHEN RUTGERS email@example.com, 202-747-2077 x8077 EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTING WRITER KAREN OCAMB firstname.lastname@example.org NATIONAL EDITOR KEVIN NAFF email@example.com, 202-747-2077 x8088 INTERNATIONAL EDITOR MICHAEL K. LAVERS firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR AT LARGE BRODY LEVESQUE California CONTRIBUTORS TINASHE CHINGARANDE, ERNESTO VALLE, YARIEL VALDÉS GONZALEZ, PARKER PURIFOY, CHRISTOPHER KANE, AUSTIN MENDOZA, JOHN PAUL KING, JOEY DIGUGLIELMO, CHRIS JOHNSON, LOU CHIBBARO JR., MARIAH COOPER, REBEKAH SAGER, JON DAVIDSON, SUSAN HORNIK, CHANNING SARGENT, SAMSON AMORE, CHRISTOPHER CAPPIELLO, MICHAEL JORTNER, DAN ALLEN, SEAN SHEALY, SCOTT STIFFLER, RHEA LITRÉ
CREATIVE DESIGN/PRODUCTION AZERCREATIVE.COM DISTRIBUTION CHRISTOPHER JACKSON, 562-826-6602 All material in the Los Angeles Blade is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Los Angeles Blade. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Although the Los Angeles Blade is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Los Angeles Blade, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. A single copy of the Los Angeles Blade is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within a 50-mile radius of Los Angeles, CA. Multiple copies are available from the Los Angeles Blade office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 26-week mailed subscription for $195 per year or $5.00 per single issue. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Phil Rockstroh at email@example.com. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Los Angeles Blade, PO BOX 53352 Washington, DC 20009. The Los Angeles Blade is published bi-weekly, on Friday, by Los Angeles Blade, LLC. Rates for businesses/institutions are $450 per year. Periodical postage paid at Los Angeles, CA., and additional mailing offices. Editorial positions of the Los Angeles Blade are expressed in editorials and in editors’ notes as determined by the paper’s editors. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Los Angeles Blade or its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words; commentaries should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Send submissions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2021 LOS ANGELES BLADE, LLC.
KIMBERLY M. ZIESELMAN
, JD is executive director of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth and author of ‘XOXY: A Memoir.’
U.S. begins issuing passports with ‘X’ gender marker The Biden administration is on a roll when it comes to intersex rights. Late last month the White House convened and issued a public statement providing the nearly 2 percent of Americans like me born with physical variations of sex anatomy, or “intersex” traits, promises of protection from the discrimination and harm we’ve endured for more than half a century. In August, the Department of Justice formally interpreted Title IX to apply “with equal force to discrimination against intersex people” based on their sex characteristics. The U.S. Civil Rights issued a new fact sheet, “Supporting Intersex Students: A Resource for Students, Families and Educators” and the State Department an “X” gender marker. In foreign policy bodily autonomy and condemning harmful medical interventions during the 48th U.N. Human Rights Council. Intersex people aren’t that rare; more prevalent than identical twins and just as common as redheads. Yet, until recently we’ve been invisible due to decades of medical erasure and
17 • NOVEMBER 12, 2021 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
intersex people and their families have been the victims of tragically misguided physicians attempting to “normalize” the healthy bodies of children with hormones and irreversible surgeries including vaginoplasties, clitoral reductions and gonadectomies. These medically unnecessary procedures conducted without the patient’s consent have been deemed human rights violations by the United Nations and every other human rights and legal organization to consider the issue. A recent survey by the Center for American Progress found intersex patients experience discrimination in healthcare at a rate more than four Thankfully, there are some promising signs of change. Three former U.S. surgeons general issued a statement condemning these surgeries and last year, two major pediatric hospitals announced an end to some of the most harmful infant surgeries. This summer, the New York City Health and Hospital System announced plans to end unconsented intersex surgeries on children. But we’re not done. While we’re at a tipping point for intersex rights in the United States and have achieved so much, neither the American Academy of Pediatrics or the American Medical Association have been willing to issue strong policy condemning the practice of intersex genital surgery. We need the power and engagement of the Biden administration to continue growing in order to hold the medical community to their own oath to “do no harm.” The health and wellbeing of the intersex community depends on it.
‘Mayor Pete’ emerges as a likable enigma in new doc By JOHN PAUL KING
‘Mayor Pete’ is out now via Amazon.
18 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 12, 2021
(Image courtesy Amazon)
LEGACY AWARDS GALA BRINGING FANCY BACK
S AT U R D AY, N O V E M B E R 1 3 , 2 0 2 1 ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES HONOREES
ROBIN DE JESÚS TERRENCE MCNALLY AWARD
BIL BERTINI & JOSE MALAGON
OUTFEST LEGACY AWARD
& MARISSA ROMÁN GRIFFITH OUTFEST JONATHAN HOWARD LEGACY AWARD
GARRETT CLAYTON • JAMIE CLAYTON • STEVEN CANALS
L I M I T E D T I C K E T S A V A I L A B L E AT
Diana’s disaster By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO | email@example.com Diana Ross’s solo albums are almost always inconsistent. This isn’t unusual among R&B/pop divas; start wading past the hits and the same could be said for the album tracks of Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, et. al.
saccharine or an easy listening musical bed too insipid. Winehouse’s band), who produced the bulk of the tracks here, as Ross’s
works even with its campy title cut, they’ve never been huge sellers or featured any of her trademark hits. ½ out times), but her studio work had ground to a total halt.
vocal work here, her range is truly impressive and the pitch never wavers. Some and impressive interpretive abilities in a wide gulf of genres. She was never a
highest register and she kills it. Stylistically, while varied, the album as a whole is numbingly mellow. Three legitimately be dubbed easy listening. There’s cascading string work, decent melodies, never comes close to reigniting despite Ross’s conviction. It’s like seeing for her, but you’ve spent most of the outing wincing. One might argue saccharine and Ross have gone hand in hand back to the
Diana Ross’s new project ‘Thank You,’ while hopeful and optimistic, opening cuts.
count on me/count on me.” Siedah Garrett, a respected songwriter who might have momentarily elevated the proceedings, delivers one of the album’s worst cuts with the nauseatingly I could go on, but you get the idea. this weak and the thought of what this album could have been in more daring, imaginative hands, it’s downright frustrating.
from year to year and her vocals were occasionally pitchy.
20 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 12, 2021
have done something brash and daring, but this is called playing it safe folks and sadly it’s a yawnfest.
THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY! From: PAMALA STANLEY
I am so happy to be well again. Contracting Covid for me was challenging and scary. Getting your posts, prayers, messages, and texts were the highlight of my days. I just wanted to say thank you so so much. You can ask yourself, how do you measure gratitude? I was thinking left Santa Cruz CA. and bought a one way ticket to NYC. piano bar on West 46th St. called “Brothers and Sisters”…right across from Joe Allen. I loved that job and have continued relationships with friends to this day from that particular bar. The start of it all! that year, the gay community picked me up and embraced my scared little soul. They wined me, dined me, and took me all over that town. I was no longer alone and no longer afraid. I was back!!!!
Looking back on my career, my gratitude cannot be measured. I was discovered in that little piano bar and taken to Germany to be made into center of my universe at the time. I will always have the fondest memories from coast to coast and throughout the world of all the DJ’s, friends, Disco Acts, Nightclub Owners, Bartenders, Record Pools, DJ Associations, Independent Labels, Drag Queens, Gay Prides, Gay Magazines and Television Shows, the dance acts to the next level. I truly came into the business by accident and for some reason the gay community embraced me and stayed with me for the next 40 years. They have nurtured me, supported me, advanced me, and stuck with me through thick and thin. They have showed up for my shows and functions and promoted my venues, and featured me in parades. They have booked me at private parties and special events and so many places I could have been left out…But I never was. So today, I want to acknowledge and especially thank the entire LGBTQ Community for your constant love and support over the last 40 years. It is a true honor to have been inducted into the “Legends of Vinyl Hall of Fame” and to be voted the “Best Live Show” in Rehoboth Beach. I could not have done it without each and every one of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
56 Baltimore Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 | (302) 567-2726 | www.thepinesrb.com
Oscar Wilde comes alive in new book By KATHI WOLFE The life of playwright and queer icon Oscar Wilde was wittier and more tragic than most any dramatist could imagine. To capture Wilde’s life and spirit in a bio is a daunting task. Wilde, himself, may not have been up to it. Yet, in “Oscar Wilde: A Life,” Matthew Sturgis, an historian, makes Wilde’s story come alive. Maybe you don’t know that Wilde, born in Dublin, lived from 1854 to 1900; that, early on, he wanted to obtain “success, fame or even notoriety;” or that, while lecturing in America, he was kissed by Walt Whitman. Even so, you’ve likely heard of Wilde. In LGBTQ+ history, Wilde, who spent two years in prison for “acts of gross indecency with other male persons” is a hero for not denying his sexuality. If you’ve been to the theater, to a dinner party or to a Starbucks, you’ve likely encountered Wilde’s wit. “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast,” Wilde’s line from “An Ideal Husband,” is emblazoned on one of my fave T-shirts. “Oscar Wilde is part of our world,” Sturgis writes. One day, Sturgis went to the library at Columbia University to look at one of Wilde’s letters. On his way to Columbia, he encountered quotes from Wilde everywhere he looked. “I passed a chalkboard outside an Irish bar scrawled with the legend ‘Work is the curse of the Drinking Classes,’” Sturgis writes. “Opposite me on the uptown subway sat a girl whose mobile phone case carried the slogan ‘To live is the rarest thing in the world.’” It’s hard to think of an author, other than Shakespeare, Mark Twain or Charles Dickens, who is more omnipresent in the culture. “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “An Ideal Husband” and Wilde’s other plays are still performed and he’s been a character on stage and screen, Sturgis writes. Before Allen Ginsberg or Andy Warhol, there was Wilde. Before Gatsby, Wilde invented himself. In the 1880s, Wilde, because he’d become famous for being famous, went on a lecture tour of America. Louisa May Alcott and Ulysses S. Grant hung out with him. He drank whiskey with miners. Crowds came to hear him talk about art and to bask in his celebrity and eccentricity. Wilde was friends with the actresses Ellen Terry and Lily Langtree, and it was rumored that he’d walked about London with a lily in his hand. heresies, his political radicalism, his commitment to style,” Sturgis writes, “all conspire to make him ever more approachable, more exciting, and more relevant.” Ellmann, a literary critic, focused a great deal on Wilde’s work. Ellmann’s book illuminates his literary output. Wilde’s work ranged from the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” to fairy tales which, Wilde said, he wrote “partly for children, and partly for those who have kept the childlike faculties Sturgis, who had access to newly discovered transcripts and testimony from Wilde’s trials along with letters and early notebooks of Wilde’s, sheds light on Wilde’s life. It’s well-known that Wilde was sent to prison for two years, and that he died a few years later in Paris in poverty. But Sturgis makes it vividly clear what a cad Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred (Bosie) Douglas was. Sturgis makes you feel how awful it was for Wilde to be in prison where he was isolated, his hair was cropped and the food was gross. It’s heartbreaking to read how his wife Constance prohibited Wilde from seeing their two sons and changed the family name to Holland. It’s easy to forget that until his trials and imprisonment, Wilde led a rich, colorful, productive life. With Sturgis as guide, we’re with Wilde as he hangs out at Oxford, meets Andre Gide in Paris, chats with Sarah Bernhardt and lusts after rent boys. For a Wilde ride, check out “Oscar Wilde: A Life.”
22 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 12, 2021
Oscar Wilde: A Life By Matthew Sturgis c. 2021, Alfred A. Knopf $40 | 838 pages
CONTACT A SALES REP TODAY!
By TROY MASTERS PALM SPRINGS – Even the Palm Trees were sashaying last weekend as 35th Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival freed the city from the doldrums of a pandemic that, while not exactly over, certainly felt that way, at least for a weekend. Everything Pride — literally everything — the pandemic had robbed from us was
that life begins at conception, and ends at birth!” On Sunday, the
in California since January 2020 and people were ready to celebrate. Last year’s event was held virtually on Facebook. Thousands upon thousands of mostly maskless people of every stripe swarmed the city over the three days from one end to the other, something that seemed unimaginable even just a few weeks ago. Dan Bertin, 87, wiped a tear from his eye when the Los Angeles Blade asked him why he decided to attend Palm Springs Pride. “ with my son in London, he’s gay like me,” he laughed, “and he told me his husband
Palm Canyon Drive, slowly making its way to the entrance to the Pride Festival at Amado Road where thousands of smiling people, some still
am so happy, I just had to celebrate.” festival on Sunday. Mom told the Blade, at this point he says he is gay so I thought he should see this. Stanton, who was wearing a mask since he is not vaccinated, said he knew he wasn’t alone but he had no idea there were so many people like him. Pointing to other kid passersby he said, “Look, they are just like me.” His mom corrected him. “Don’t make assumptions about people, Stanton.” He laughed and ran into the bounce house Festival organizers had set up for kids and his mom followed. “I couldn’t sit this one out so we drove up from the border today. I’m so proud to be his mom.” Stanton, she said, was born Stacy. “I am so damned tired of all this isolating I could scream. I’m fully vaccinated and ready for some lovin’ so if you know any hot dykes you can hook me up with I also waxed just for Pride baby!” “We love Palm Springs and we love Pride so when we found cheap airfares on Alaska from Seattle to Palm Springs on Pride week, we jumped,” said Joel. “Yes, this bitch forget to book a hotel room,” snapped Randall. “So I made him splurge on $1,200 a night AirBnB and we have a mansion with a pool and are headed back now!”
their signage from the parade, drag queens decked out galore, young and old, Daddy’s and pups, lined the parade route. Dozens
merchants hawked their wares. Mary Rostow and her wife June watched the parade pass by waving at old friends. “I am seeing people I haven’t seen in years and it makes my heart sing,” Mary said. “We haven’t got that many Prides left and it really means a lot to me that they pulled this together. June, who was wearing a mask that said “Vaxed” said “We really have a lot to celebrate” Members of the Trans Chorus of Los
Jimenez and his partner, LA Blade publisher Troy Masters, saying “I can’t have a dog but I love them. I have too many PTSD’s and can barely take care of myself. But today, at Pride, surrounded by people willing to talk to me, I feel free and even the sudden loud noises aren’t triggering me.” Scott E. from New York says met a “Daddy” on Grinder who invited him to Palm “Honey, I booked that ticket and here I am, but he was a no show. It’ ” he said as he grinned and gestured at a man of a certain age, “ Evan Caplan, who visited Palm Springs Pride from Washington, D.C., said “Palm Springs Pride was an opportunity to get away from everything in D.C. and enjoy the
Fluid individuals) performed a stirring song about diversity and acceptance and empowerment after marching in the parade. Many other local businesses and organizations also had a presence in the parade; a group with Planned Parenthood received loud cheers as they marched by, while Wang’s in the Desert, a popular Palm Springs Pan Asian Cuisine
was a magical escape to party on the streets and feel welcome by everyone in the
dragon’s head on the back of a truck. Men in leather hawked drink specials outside downtown bars, and hundreds watched the event while eating on restaurant patios. Milling about the nearly 200 booths, the glow on people’s faces told the real story. “We have four bags of souvenirs, including the Los Angeles Blade,” said Drexel Simpson from Phoenix. “ to tell you how liberating it is to hang out with people, no masks on, hugging old friends, kissing them like old times and just getting back to normal. It’s like the Covid Liberation Pride. And I hope the world follows.”
came out during the pandemic and was too shy to attend Nashville’s Pride event, “ the desert or to SoCal. “I’m not sure I’ll ever be the same,” he said. main stage of the event on Friday night and brought the house down. Her favorite joke of the evening: “I met a man in Palm Springs who said he was from Texas. Texas,
IN B 2 EG W I EENS K S!
L.A.’S MOST LOVE-ABLE HOLIDAY TRADITION RETURNS! The Wallis & For The Record presents
1 2 0 2 , 1 3 C E D – NOV 27 “PITCH PERFECT!” –Entertainment Weekly THEWALLIS.ORG/LOVE
11/5/21 4:31 PM