Los Angeles Blade, Volume 06, Issue 13, April 01, 2022

Page 1

(Washington Blade photo by Micheal Key)


LA Blade to celebrate 5th anniversary with Abbey party FROM STAFF REPORTS anniversary on April 7 with a splashy VIP event produced by JJLA at The Abbey Food & Bar, an event that will also introduce the news outlet

and international level.

Festival (May 22 to June 30) (www.weho.org/ “I am deeply honored that as we celebrate

creating experiences that grow audiences, The Abbey

corporate brand events says, “The Los Angeles Blade is an outstanding Pride



as she was sworn in Friday Crowley garnered the dis-

Garcetti said in announcing Crowley’s nomination on Jan. 18. “She’s also shown this city her heart, with her tireless commitment to helping students access life-changing educational opportunities. There is no one better equipped to lead the LAFD at this moment than Kristin. She’s ready to make history, and I’m proud to nominate her as the department’s next chief.” During her 22 years at the department, she rose

ment. Chief Crowley was nominated by Garcetti in January

“I am humbled and proud to have earned the oppor-

Surrounded by her wife and other family members with the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles Eric GarcetLA City Fire Department was sworn in as the city’s 19th Crowley made history within the LAFD when she be-

the top 50 scores out of 16,000 applicants, according to the department. “Throughout her distinguished career, Kristin Crowley has proven her brilliance, determination and bravery on the job again and again,”

strong civilian and sworn personnel of our department. They are truly dedicated, hard-working and committed to meeting and exceeding the mission to preserve life and property while promoting public safety,” she remarked after swearing in. BRODY LEVESQUE

Newsom names trans judge to Calif. court Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced eight judicial aptransgender individual appointed to the bench in California – who will serve as a judge on the Sacramento County Superior Court. She follows in the path of Alameda Superior Court Judge der judge after being elected in 2010. “Andi Mudryk is a great appointment and will be a wona trans colleague on the bench in California.” The Governor nominated Justice Maria E. Stratton as Presiding Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight, and Martin N. Buchanan as Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One. The Governor announced his appointment of six Superior Court Judges, which include one in Contra Costa County; two in Riverside County; two in Sacramento County; and

one in Siskiyou County. Andi Mudryk, 58, of Sacramento, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Mudryk has served as Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Rehabilitation since 2020, where she served as Chief Counsel from 2018 to 2020. She was Director of Litigation and Policy Advocacy at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County from 2017 to 2018 and Executive Director at Disability Rights Advocates in 2017. She served in several positions at Disability Rights California from 2006 to 2017, including Deputy Director, Director of Litigation, and Managing Attorney. Mudryk was Director of Litigation and Advocacy at the

ated by the retirement of Judge Benjamin G. Davidian. She is a registered Democrat. “We are thrilled to be celebrating another historic milestone today for California’s LGBTQ+ community in Governor Newsom’s historic appointment of Andi Mudryk to the Sacramento County Superior Court. A seasoned civil rights advocate, Mudryk brings almost twenty years of experience in disability rights and rehabilitation to the court,”

earned a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School.

statement. “As governors and state legislatures across the country attack the trans community, we applaud Governor Newsom’s continued commitment to increasing trans representation across appointments and on the bench. California continues to remind the rest of the country that LGBTQ+

pointed to the bench in California. She is a person with a



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Garcetti’s nom as ambassador to India on hold: KTLA KTLA’s Sandra Mitchell reported for the station’s Morning News at 11 a.m. broadcast on Thursday,

During a hearing on his nomination by President Joe his police bodyguards, an allegation that’s at the cenLos Angeles Mayor ERIC GARCETTI



Possible exposure to hepatitis A at WeHo juice bar

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is working with Sunlife Organics Juice Bar in West Hollywood to alert consumers of a possible hepatitis A exposure. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health iden-

ing, abdominal pain, dark colored urine and jaundice (yel-

worked at this location.

14 days after a known exposure to a person with infectious hepatitis A. Older adults and people with weakened


Organics in West Hollywood between March 14–17, 2022. be spread from person-to-person through the fecal-oral route (when contaminated feces from an infected person are somehow ingested by another person during close personal contact) or by eating or drinking contaminated

atitis A or the need for immune globulin, Public Health recommends that you speak to your primary care proassistance. Public Health will continue monitoring all known indiFROM STAFF REPORTS

$6 gas has drivers wondering when increases will end more than $6 a gallon in Los Angeles/Long Beach and Ventura this week, with reports of two Southern tion issues as the major factor for the increases, according to the Auto


regular gasoline in California is

(Screenshot via KTLA 5)

lower than a week ago and nine cents lower than the record price of $4.33 reached on March 11.

regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.03 per gallon, which is 14 cents




Millions of COVID tests sent as Calif. returns from spring break Over the past month, with roughly 7.2 million students

ing. county. Plan, the state has maintained the operational readiness





DeSantis says Disney ‘crossed a line’ denouncing ‘Don’t Say Gay’

Florida Gov. RON DESANTIS signed the anti-LGBTQ bill this week. (Screenshot/Florida Channel)


Bolsonaro launches re-election campaign

JAIR BOLSONARO addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021.

thousands of his


Last major independent Russia news outlet shuts down


By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Despite being hit with an unprecedented 300 or more anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in U.S. state legislatures over the past two years, the nation’s LGBTQ community at the same time has seen some important advances and there is reason for optimism, according to a March 19 LGBTQ State of the Movement address delivered by two key movement leaders. Kierra Johnson and Mayra Hidalgo Salazar, executive director and deputy executive director of the National LGBTQ

visibility and begun undoing the damage of Trump’s anti-LGBTQ policies – from protecting the civil rights of every

Bi and Lesbian and Gay matters,” added Johnson. “While we’ve had some setbacks in these sessions, the work you’ve

leaders at every level of the federal government,” Johnson said. “Together with you, we have successfully backed more

ence, which was held virtually March 19-20.

long-term sustainable power,” Johnson said. “Together we will use all the tools in our toolbox – from the streets to the courts to the pews and pulpits, to the media to the ballot box – to overturn and overcome these wretched attacks and take back our democracy from extremists who will do anything to sustain the status quo or worse, roll back the gains we’ve won,” according to Johnson. Following is the text of the full remarks delivered by Kierra Johnson and Mayra Hidalgo Salazar in their LGBTQ State

movement’s preeminent organizing, skills-building, and

Task Force:

House than ever before,” Johnson told conference participants.

stand today for LGBTQ people in the United States during

Johnson: Welcome to the State of the Movement 2022.

Johnson and Salazar said the political attacks on LGBTQ rights and other progressive causes coming in the midst activists to adopt new strategies for responding to the attacks. “We are doing this in the face of storms that have kept relentless attacks to gut voting rights, the right to protest, abortion access, and trans youth health and rights,” she

MAYRA HIDALGO SALAZAR helped deliver the National LGBTQ Task Force’s annual State of the Movement address.

ality that was more devastating than we thought possible. We saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and then swiftly the tunnel got longer, until the light was all but impossible to see. Johnson: We are now beginning our third year under the cloud of a global pandemic. While we’ve necessarily become pros at adapting to these changing conditions: moving the work forward, getting our kids to school, taking care of elders, navigating other health crises and wearing

“There have been 100 anti-trans bills and over 300 anti-LGBTQ bills considered in state legislatures across the nation,” she continued, adding that a record number of in the U.S. and abroad, and new and ongoing wars and and powerless.” Johnson continued those thoughts by saying, “We know that you are tired. Many of you are afraid and rightfully so…

Levine, who is serving as director of the U.S. Public Health Service at the Department of Health and Human Services

impact on our health and well-being and on our communi-

that these events, these feelings, they’re no reason to stop the work – anything but,” Johnson said. “These are the reasons we do the work. This is why what we do is so important, why you are showing up today, and tomorrow and it

man serving as White House Director of Priority Placement

of shouldering sickness, the passing of friends and family, and the frustration of dreams deferred.

LGBTQ person of color with the rank of ambassador in U.S.

sourceful, we also found new and beautiful ways of building and being in community - like virtual events with magical moments we only dreamed possible, became reality.

going out entirely and growing brighter and nearer for us and for generations to come.” Salazar cited what she called optimistic data showing that more people are coming out as LGBTQ than ever before at an earlier age, with young people identifying in greater numbers as bisexual and nonbinary. “Now some of you may be wondering, is there somethey identify has everything to do with the work you and we have done and do every single day to build a world where people can embrace themselves – and be embraced – in every aspect of their lives.” climate for LGBTQ people coming from the White House has changed for the better since January 2021.

of trying to stay focused on how we show up in our work to

Salazar: We are doing this in the face of storms that have

of the Biden administration. also made progress in the states,” Johnson stated in her remarks. She and Salazar pointed to bills providing various types of LGBTQ supportive services or protections that

less attacks to gut voting rights, the right to protest, abortion access, and trans youth health and rights. There have been 100 anti-trans bills and over 300 anti LGBTQ bills con-

State, and New Mexico in the past two years.

wasn’t enough to overwhelm us, the record deportations of immigrants under the Biden administration, the barrage of

to stop the devastating bills ravaging their way through your state legislatures and making their way to the desks of your governors,” Johnson said. kids matter, that Black Lives Matter, that saying Trans and

experiencing changes moving at an unbearable pace.



recently condemned for speaking at a conference hosted by white nationalist weekend for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten bathrooms.” “And you know what?” Greene said at a


recent comments urging American drivers to consider alternative fuel vehicles in response to concerns about rising gas prices.

ing ugly, dumb statements is her profession, and rewarding ugly, dumb statements is the

remarks to the Trump-supportive crowd.

“Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycles and he and his husTaylor, who lost her committee assign-

his husband have any direct relationship to the issue of access to bathrooms by transgender people.

“The reason you hear somebody like that making nonsensical, literally nonsensical com-

that can divide and demonize and demoralize, and through that capture attention.” CHRIS JOHNSON

Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

love of the rule of law and perspective would be invaluable in ensuring the federal judiciary


Biden signs Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act In a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed H.R. 55, the “Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act,” into law making lynching a federal hate crime. The president was joined by civil rights leaders and members of Congress, including mala Harris, who co-sponsored a version of the bill when she served in the U.S. Senate.

without objection. In his remarks at the signing, Biden said: “In 1898, in order to make a case for the antnamed George Henry White — the son of a slave; the only Black lawmaker in Congress dreds — hundreds of similar bills have failed to pass. Over the years, several federal today.”




TROY MASTERS is publisher of the Los Angeles Blade.

Haas Fund’s tone-deaf message to the LGBTQ community Ending its funding programs will harm many grassroots groups

In state legislatures across the nation, LGBTQ people are under attack as never before. Hundreds of bills have been introduced to sanction anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, hurt trans kids and athletes, ban books with LGBTQ content, and even prohibit the discussion of LGBTQ Gov. Ron DeSantis. program!

ADDRESS 8237 Blackburn Avenue Ste. 201, Los Angeles, CA 90048 PHONE 310-230-5266 E-MAIL tmasters@losangelesblade.com INTERNET losangelesblade.com PUBLISHED BY Los Angeles Blade, LLC PUBLISHER TROY MASTERS tmasters@losangelesblade.com 310-230-5266 x8080 (o), 917-406-1619 (c) SALES & MARKETING SALES EXECUTIVE CHRIS WILMORE cmwilmore@losangelesblade.com 310-230-5266 x9461 NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA sales@rivendellmedia.com, 212-242-6863 MARKETING DIRECTOR STEPHEN RUTGERS srutgers@washblade.com, 202-747-2077 x8077 EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTING WRITER KAREN OCAMB karenocamb@losangelesblade.com NATIONAL EDITOR KEVIN NAFF knaff@washblade.com, 202-747-2077 x8088 EDITOR AT LARGE BRODY LEVESQUE California CONTRIBUTORS

equality (a big chunk of which went to work here in California), pushing litigation leading


federal nondiscrimination protections.



Beyond the staggering number of hateful bills now under consideration, murders of trans health and economic disparities for LGBTQ people of color remain shockingly high.

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

to push back against attacks by well-funded right-wing forces.

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So why did Haas, Jr. pull out now when its help is needed the most? It can’t be money

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 tmasters@losangelesblade.com.



Kathi Wolfe

a writer and a poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade.

Historic Oscar moment wasn’t the slap The 94th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27 wasn’t just entertaining. It was historic! Especially for queer people and Deaf/disabled people. We’ve seldom seen ourselves portrayed authentically on the silver screen, and queer and/or Deaf/disabled actors have rarely been honored by Tinsel Town. At this year’s Academy Awards we saw ourselves among the Oscar winners. That’s a high greater than sex or booze. First, let’s get past The Slap. Unless you’ve exited this planet, you’ll know that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after the comedian told an ableist joke about his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Her head is shaved. She has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. It’s ironic that Smith hit Rock on the same night when Jane Campion won the best director Oscar for “The Power of the Dog,” a movie about toxic masculinity, based on a 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage, a closeted gay author. Campion is only the third woman to win the best director Oscar. Despite all the social media buzz, here’s what’s historic about this year’s Oscars. the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance as Anita in Steven queer woman of color to win an acting Oscar. I’m a queer white woman. I can’t begin to imagine how much DeBose’s Oscar win means to women of color. Yet I believe her historic Oscar moment CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement about DeBose, “heard her speak and recognize that they too should dream big.” “Imagine this little girl at the back seat of a white Ford Focus. When you

who found her strength in life through art,” DeBose said as she accepted her Oscar, “So to anybody who’s ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever or a place for us.” prefer that there would be no place for our community. another historic moment at this year’s Oscars. “CODA.” He won the Academy Award for best supporting actor. thrilling to we who are disabled! (I’m low vision.) Hollywood, historically, has represented us in inauthentic ways. Way too portrayals of disabled/Deaf characters. This is known as “disability mimicry” in the disabled community. “I can’t believe I’m here,” Kotsur signed in his acceptance speech. Kotsur dedicated his Oscar to “the Deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community.” “This is our moment,” he added. When I was a child, I thought I’d only live until I was nine or 10. Because the only disabled people I saw in the movies were either blind beggars or blind singers. These weren’t career options for me. I couldn’t sing and my parents would have frowned on my panhandling. As a teen who liked girls, I saw no girls like me on screen. (The girls in movies liked boys.) Thankfully, things are better than they were when I was young, though there’s a long way to go before queer, disabled, people of color, and others on the margins are represented authentically on the silver screen. We need to keep working for change. But let’s enjoy our moment!


For better and for worse, Oscar makes history again

We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet

By JOHN PAUL KING By the time you read this, the biggest moment from this year’s Oscars will already be old news – but no matter how tempting a distraction it might be to discuss Will Smith’s polarizing display of toxic masculinity, the more important story for us, here, is about the state of

ARIANA DEBOSE won Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘West Side Story.’

Granted, things have improved, at least in terms of allowing queerness to be on display

This year’s ceremony was not without its missteps, most of which had already blemished body has a chance to win if they’re not even nominated, and that’s where Oscar persistently

wins) for performers playing LGBTQ roles, only two nominees – neither of whom went on to

awards to a pre-show presentation, that manifested itself in the uncomfortable response

of industry hypocrisy, along with the willingness of the celebrities in the house to laugh about

Oscars for playing queer characters, there are no equivalent success stories for queer actors playing straight roles – indeed, only eight openly queer performers have gotten a nomina-

The topic of whether straight actors should be playing queer characters at all is a hotly debated one, with reasonable arguments – and queer voices to support them – on both Hollywood itself – has a deeply ingrained prejudice against queerness, regardless of how


yny, racism, and homophobia, it gets a pass to continue ignoring the growing demand from dominance, will prompt some soul-searching within the entertainment community over its

WeHo asks community to participate in Pride FROM STAFF REPORTS The City of West Hollywood proudly presents its inaugural WeHo Pride. For decades, West Hollywood has been home to one of the largest Pride celebrations in the nation and hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from across the region and around the world make the City their regular destination during Pride season.

More information and the submission form for applications from community groups that -

duce the news outlet as the publisher of the OFFICIAL WEHO PRIDE GUIDE, which will fea-

celebrate WeHo Pride in the City of West Hollywood. Together as a community, we will

“I am deeply honored that as we celegroup march contingents, and other cre-

the distinction of being named publisher of the OFFICIAL WEHO PRIDE GUIDE,” said the Blade’s publisher Troy Masters. “We made it through the pandemic together and we all grew stronger. Now it’s time to bring the party back.” The OFFICIAL WEHO PRIDE GUIDE will -

to be entertained and they will remember a unique, fun, colorful, and entertaining -

uted during the weekend of WeHo Pride

ed information about programming for

history of West Hollywood, notable stories, and the businesses and organizations that make WeHo such a special place to WeHo Pride will include:

West Hollywood has become one of the


No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy dis(WeHo City photo by Jon-Viscott)

residents in West Hollywood identify as

locations throughout West Hollywood, District.




restaurants, and retail shops, and the City consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation. For more information about WeHo Pride, please contact the City of West Hollywood


Celebrating and understanding Ballroom culture By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER You love Bette Davis. Always have, always will. Ever since Madonna vowed that she

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