Houston’s Pride festival and parade are back! 7 Montrose Star.com Houston Rainbow Herald ........
Foodie Diaries .......................
OUT IN HOUSTON™
Wednesday June 1, 2022, Vol XII, Issue 12
With ‘Queer as Folk’ and ‘Hacks,’ Johnny Sibilly keeps
What A World .........................
ascending to new career heights
INDEX editorial crossword guide to the clubs
5 21 26
PAGE 2 | Wednesday June 1, 2022
IMPORTANT FACTS FOR BIKTARVY® This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.
MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BIKTARVY
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF BIKTARVY
BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:
BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:
Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Your healthcare provider will test you for HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months, and may give you HBV medicine.
Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section.
Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY.
BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. Do NOT take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains: dofetilide rifampin any other medicines to treat HIV-1 BEFORE TAKING BIKTARVY
Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that may have been hidden in your body. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.
Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%).
Tell your healthcare provider if you: Have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis infection. Have any other health problems. Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.
These are not all the possible side effects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.
Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:
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Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-thecounter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.
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BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Ask your healthcare provider and pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all your other medicines.
Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food.
This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more. Go to BIKTARVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 If you need help paying for your medicine, visit BIKTARVY.com for program information.
BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, and KEEP BEING YOU are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. Version date: February 2021 © 2022 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. US-BVYC-0086 02/22
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Wednesday June 1, 2022
HIV TREATMENT * *Source: IQVIA NPA Weekly, 04/19/2019 through 05/28/2021.
CHAD LIVING WITH HIV SINCE 2018 REAL BIKTARVY PATIENT
KEEP BEING YOU. Because HIV doesn’t change who you are. BIKTARVY® is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in certain adults. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.
Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you. ONE SMALL PILL, ONCE A DAY Pill shown not actual size (15 mm x 8 mm) | Featured patient compensated by Gilead.
Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the previous page and visit BIKTARVY.com.
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Scan to see Chad’s story.
5/16/22 2:58 PM
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A Friend of Dorothy forever by j ohnny t r l ica
ommentary: It was a hot Sunday afternoon in Rosenberg, Texas on June 22, 1969. I, along with my four siblings and some neighborhood kids gathered Publisher in the playground at Robert E. Lee Elementary School for LAURA M. VILLAGRAN a friendly game of baseball. After an hour or so in the scorching south Texas heat, Business Development Scene Writers we took a water break near the entrance of the school Manager JIM AYRES where water fountains were available. Someone had RANDALL JOBE brought a transistor radio and tuned it to KILT-AM, the JANICE ANDERSON Production “Big 610,” a top 40 station at the time. RAFA ESPINOSA FOREST RIGGS After cooling off while listening to a couple of songs like “Spinning Wheel,” by Blood, Sweat and Tears and News Features Distribution “Good Morning Starshine” by Oliver, the news came. JOHNNY TRLICA MIRIAM ORIHUELA The biggest news of the day floored me, and I never Copy Editor forgot it. “Judy Garland, child star of the 1939 classic ELIZABETH MEMBRILLO NANCY FORD The Wizard of Oz, was found dead today in her London apartment. She was 47,” the reporter announced. My 12-year-old self had only known Judy Garland as TH E STAR C O NT R I B U T I NG W R I T E R S Dorothy, a naïve farm girl with weird friends who killed witches. Hearing about her death had a lasting impact and sent me on a quest to discover more about her. JIM AYRES by day is an employee benefits She is the star of the most loved film in Hollywood and human resources writer. By night he history. A ballad from that movie was awarded the turns his creativity toward the local food and American Film Institute’s best song of the 20th century and restaurant scene. Do you know of a restaurant that needs a review? Info@ “Over the Rainbow” became her signature song. She was montrosestar.com the greatest concert performer of her era and, to this day, any discussion of gay icons must include her contributions. NANCY FORD has enjoyed a front row seat She was born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, to the most remarkable and sparkly Cultural Minnesota on June 10, 1922. By the age of two, she was Revolution in the history of mankind. “What a world!” She reflects appropriately. After singing with her older sisters in vaudeville, pushed moving to Houston from Ohio in 1981, Ford by an extreme stage mother, who years later Garland became a highly visible player in Texas’ LGBT referred to as “the real-life Wicked Witch.” publishing circles as an editor and contributor to myriad other local and Judy Garland’s status as a gay icon was forever statewide LGBT magazines and newspapers. cemented by the phrase “Friend of Dorothy.” It’s originated from Garland’s portrayal of Dorothy Gale, a girl RANDALL JOBE has been a fixture in the trying to find her role in society, in The Wizard of Oz. Houston LGBT Community for several “Gay men’s recognition of a fellow outsider certainly decades in marketing and promotions for top nightclubs, as an actor/director/writer refers to the woman who is the Momma of all gay for dozens of theatrical productions, and is icons — Judy Garland. It’s no coincidence that ‘Friend also known for his whimsical art pieces. He is of Dorothy’ has long been a code for being gay, as the author of the 12-part series “This Old Queen”, which summarized his many the phrase indicates gay men’s veneration not only of experiences living in the gay Mecca, Garland, but particularly of the early role that brought Montrose. her so much attention. Dorothy Gale’s journey from Kansas to Oz mirrored many gay men’s desires to escape FOREST RIGGS is no stranger to the the black-and-white limitations of small-town life — adventures of life, he bills himself as a “raconteur with a gypsy spirit.” A former where puny minds like the Ms. Gulches of the world educator, public speaker, hospital dictated acceptable behavior — for big, colorful cities administrator, counselor and gay owner, he filled with quirky, gender-bending characters who was instrumental in the formation of OFFICE 713-942-0084 EMAIL TheMontroseStar@gmail.com
OutSmart Magazine in the early 1990s. He has written for several newspapers, magazines and other publications. Recently he completed a collection of short stories about his beloved Galveston and is working on a novel. He currently resides on the island where he can be found wasting bait and searching for the meaning of life. JOHNNY TRLICA has called the Houston area home all of his life. Four years ago he founded and still edits the Houston Rainbow Herald and has worked in the apartment leasing industry for the past two years. His passion is keeping the battle for LGBT rights at the forefront of today’s headlines and fighting complacency in the LGBT community.
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would welcome them,” wrote Steven Frank. In the film, Dorothy immediately accepts those who are different, including the Cowardly Lion (in a very camp performance by Bert Lahr). The lion sings about being a “sissy” and exhibits stereotypically “gay” (or at least effeminate) mannerisms. To some, the lion is seen as a coded example of Garland meeting and accepting a gay man. It has been said that Garland’s death and subsequent funeral, held in New York City on June 27 and attended by more than 20,000 mourners, helped inspire the Stonewall riots that occurred later that night — the beginning of the modern Gay Rights movement. Time magazine would recap decades later: “The uprising was inspirited by a potent cocktail of pent-up rage (raids of gay bars were brutal and routine), overwrought emotions (hours earlier, thousands had wept at the funeral of Judy Garland) and drugs. As a 17-year-old cross-dresser was being led into the paddy wagon and got a shove from a cop, she fought back.” A riot ensued as gays fought back in ne of the first times in history. Garland was known to frequent gay bars with openly gay friends Roger Edens and George Cukor, who had directed her in A Star is Born. She openly accepted and respected gay people, giving them a visibility they did not often enjoy. I’ve probably seen The Wizard of Oz more than one hundred times and it never gets old. My 25 years of an annual “Judy Garland Christmas Party” are legendary. It was my way of sharing what I enjoyed about the star, especially with younger people. Sometimes when I’m feeling a little low, I’ll listen to Judy at Carnegie Hall, or watch one of her interviews from the 1960’s. Garland had an incredible wit and was often called the funniest woman in show business. Lucille Ball said, “I was only funny because the writers gave me funny things to do. You know who was really funny? Judy Garland,” Ball added, “Judy Garland was the most naturally funny woman in Hollywood. In fact, Judy Garland made me look like a mortician.” In a world where good friends are hard to find and lifelong friends even harder, Judy has always been there. From the first time I saw her on our black and white TV screen, through 25 years of Christmas parties to today. Judy, thank you for being a friend and happy 100th birthday. ¶ The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of MONTROSE STAR. Johnny Trlica is the administrator of the Houston Rainbow Herald Facebook page. Reach him at HRHeditor@gmail.com.
Wednesday June 1, 2022
| PAGE 5
CREEP OF THE WEEK:
Politics by d’a n n e wi t kows k i
n Buffalo, New York, a white supremacist terrorist went to a grocery store 200 miles from his house specifically to murder Black people. Which he did. I’m not going to name the terrorist here, because f*#@ that guy. But I am going to call white supremacy terrorism, because that’s exactly what it is. What happened in Buffalo is a logical extension of what happens in a country that has rampant public health crises of racism and guns as well as the Republican Party fanning the flames of terrorism with their incendiary rhetoric about “Critical Race Theory” and “white replacement theory.” Not to mention Fox “News,” devoted to propaganda that supports the GOP’s warped view of this country (Hello, Tucker Carlson, et al!). But I caution anyone who thinks this all started with disgraced former president Trump. It did not. Republicans have been pro-racism for a very long time. Trump just showed Republicans that the overt racism and ugliness they’d been trying to hide so as to not alienate voters can come right out into the open. Fuck You Conservatism kicked Compassionate Conservatism’s ass. (By the way, conservatism was never actually compassionate. That was just a term slapped on it to make it palatable to voters who might otherwise object to hurting people.) And then there are the Democrats. It is maddening to feel like everything’s on fire
and not see decisive action coming from D.C. major parties give a damn about them? They have the majority in the U.S. House, Democrats are the party of government: Senate, and White House, and yet here we “Hey, look, government can actually work and are. Abortion is about to be criminalized in do good things!” and Republicans are the party the majority of states, LGBTQ+ rights are in against government: “Hey, look, government the sights of the same conservative Supreme sucks and will never help you, but we can use Court, climate change is ravaging Earth, our power to hurt people you don’t like!” police are still executing Black people in The problem is that, as abhorrent as it is, broad daylight, we still have mass incarcer- the Republicans’ message works better because ation, we still punish the poor for being poor Republicans are doing exactly what they say while making the very rich even richer as a they’re going to do. They govern terribly, but matter of policy, and on and on. they are very good at cruelty and being divisive. It’s pretty gross. So when I hear people say The Democrats, on the other hand, are they don’t see much difference between the moving in slow-motion at a time that calls parties, I have to stop my knee jerk response of, for warp speed. I’m still going to encourage “Of COURSE there is a difference!” because you to vote for them, because the Repubfor far too many people in this country, their licans are hell bent on fascism. But I’m actual lives are not made better and their also saying to those who aren’t convinced it actual suffering persists regardless of the party matters: It does, but I get it. You can only be in power. And if that sounds absurd to you, let down so many times. This is the system we have, like it or not. then congratulations on your privilege. It really does matter who gets elected. I saw a meme on Twitter recently, that The big picture can be incredibly hard to broke down the number of people who voted in 2020 for Biden, the number who voted for see, especially with so much ugliness and Trump, and then those who did not vote at all. hatred on display. But there are many, many Guess which number was biggest? The meme good people running as Democrats at every called these folks “people who better start level of government across the country. If giving a damn.” It’s such a simplistic, not to you feel discouraged or helpless or frustrated, mention antagonistic, way to look at people especially at what’s happening at the federal who are registered to vote but don’t. For one level, find a state or local candidate you can thing, it doesn’t take voter suppression into support and work to get them elected. If account. We’ve got people who want to vote but, you’re engaged, then you know that giving for many different reasons, can’t (a problem up is not an option. Otherwise, hate wins. ¶ Republicans want to make much worse, by the way, and one that Democrats seem to feel little urgency about at the federal level). Also, D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing perhaps it would be more useful to look at the about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. non-voters as people who don’t feel like the Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.
JUNE 1, 2022 | VOL XII, ISSUE 12
COOKING WITH PAULA DREAM Take pride in your sweet tooth
POSITIVE THOUGHTS Take pride in being polite, Millennials
CONTENT HRH Report............................................... 4 Community .............................................. 6 Celebrity Feature .......................................... 8 Cooking with Paula Dream ........... 12 Foodie Diaries...................................... 13 Opinion.................................................... 14 Across the Causeway........................ 17 Review..................................................... 19 In My (Judgmental) Opinion ........... 24 What a World ........................................ 24 Guide to the Clubs............................. 26 ©2022 GLYP MEDIA All Right Reserved Montrose Star™ Newspaper is owned by GYLP Media, a Texas minority-certified company est. in 1990. Published the first Wednesday of the month. Subscription rate: $54/year. Postmaster: Send address change to the main office. Montrose Star | 1712 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
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2021-2022 SEASON EXPERIENCE IT.
An AIDS drama for the millennial generation by david-e l ija h na hmod
June 30 - July 17, 2022 BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.com
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hree Months, a new film by Jared Frieder now streaming at Paramount+, is an AIDS drama for the millennial generation. Set in Hollywood Florida in 2011, the film stars gay actor/singer Troye Sivan as Caleb, a young gay man graduating from high school who may have been exposed to HIV during a one-night stand with a foreign tourist. As he waits for his final test result over a period of three months, Caleb hangs out with his lesbian best friend Dara (Brianne Tju) and has a summer romance with a closeted young man from India (Viveik Kalra). He also watches The Real World: San Francisco, an MTV produced reality series from the 1990s featuring the late Pedro Zamora, an HIV positive young man who may have been the first out gay person to appear on television and to get a national spotlight. It’s an important film for younger generations to see. Frieder’s screenplay underscores the fact that AIDS is no longer the death sentence it was thirty and forty years ago, and that it is possible for people to live
full, rich lives while living with HIV. In an interview, Frieder admits that the film was inspired by events in his own life. Like Caleb, Frieder is “a nice Jewish boy” from Florida, and, also like Caleb, Frieder is openly gay. ›› 20
Wednesday June 1, 2022
| PAGE 7
COMMUNITY Danielle Houston, MSPH/ally; Juliann Losey/non-binary, non-conforming; Isabel Longoria/female identifying; and Travis Torrence/male identifying.
Houston’s Pride festival and parade are back! by j o h n n y tr lica
he beat goes on! The streets of downtown Houston will be fabulous once more. After two years of Covid-induced cancellations and restrictions, the Bayou City’s Pride Parade returns this month for a festival and parade. The 44th annual Houston LGBT+ Pride Celebration will take place downtown at Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby St, on Saturday, June 25, 2022. Festival hours are 1 pm to 6:30 pm. Later that evening, beginning at 7:30 pm, hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ people, their friends and allies will jam the streets for the return of the Pride Parade. Houston’s Pride celebrations are among the largest in the country with crowds topping 700,000 by some estimates. The theme for the 2022 festival and parade is “The Beat Goes On.” This year’s Grand Marshals were announced in April at a kickoff ceremony at JR’s Bar and Grill in Montrose. Four were selected in online voting. They are:
And the two Grand Marshals selected by Pride Houston Board of Directors are Brandon Wolf/Honorary Grand Marshal, and Hatch Junior, Montrose Center/Trendsetter. Until 2015, Houston’s parade took place in the gayborhood of Montrose. The first few parades were frequently sparsely attended affairs on hot Sunday afternoons. As LGBTQ+ people became more and accepted in the country, the parade was moved to Saturday evenings. The crowds continued to grow and eventually the parade surpassed Montrose’s capacity to host and was relocated to downtown. With growth comes change. Pride Houston is now Pride Houston 365. Their updated website reads: “Historically, Pride Houston is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit that has organized the official Houston LGBT Pride Celebration® every year in Montrose or downtown Houston. As of 2022, no longer will we only celebrate in June. “Introducing Pride Houston 365. We will continue to strive to promote equality and inclusion through celebration and plan for numerous LGBTQIA+ events all year long to support our community. “Why rebrand? Full transparency coupled with a goal of celebrating Houston’s LGBTQIA+ community year-round, raising critical funds for youth scholarships, and offering ongoing health and wellness education takes time. “And it equals a 365 days-a-year commitment.” Happy Pride! ¶
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PAGE 8 | Wednesday June 1, 2022
Here’s Johnny! With ‘Queer as Folk’ and ‘Hacks,’ Johnny Sibilly keeps ascending to new career heights by ch ri s a zzo par di
f you think you’ve heard the name Johnny Sibilly, you have. Or at the very least you’ve seen him, whether on FX’s groundbreaking trans-focused series “Pose,” where the 34-year-old actor had a three-episode stint as Costas Perez, or on HBO’s “Hacks,” appearing alongside Jean Smart in one of last year’s best new shows. That series is currently in its second season (and still just as deliciously queer). But the show guaranteed to give Sibilly’s profile a generous boost is his role on the reboot of “Queer as Folk,” where he plays Noah, a smoke-and-mirrors lawyer. Groundbreaking when it premiered in the U.K. in 1999 and then in the U.S. in 2000, the show was one of the more authentic representations of LGBTQ+ life when it premiered, spotlighting important political and cultural LGBTQ+ issues alongside frank depictions of queer sex. Peacock’s new “Queer as Folk” understands what the show was then and what, in 2022, it has to be now. So, naturally, there’s sex. And lots of it. Orgies, toys, full-view anal. Sex that looks real enough for it to appear to be unsimulated. But this self-proclaimed “reimagining” also knows that being a queer person in our modern day means, in some ways, what it did in 2000: homophobia, fear and acts of
It sounds like the producers of “Hacks” just called you. Or Jean Smart personally called you.
[Laughs.] She’s like, “I don’t know who you are, but I think you’d be great.” Yeah, no. “Hacks” was interesting, because it wasn’t... I auditioned for it, but it was a Sunday night [when] I got a call asking for my availability, and they asked if I could put something on tape that night to film on Wednesday that week. And then, we got a call on Monday that said I got it. It was pretty quick. “Queer as Folk,” not as much… What was the process for “Queer as Folk”?
For “Queer as Folk,” for me, the process in my head started when I found out that there was going to be a reboot made. Back in 2018... I always tell this story, but I put out a tweet when I found out that they were maybe doing a reboot, and I was like, “Who do you guys think they would cast in the reboot?” People said names like Billy Porter and a lot of the actors that are known in the community. Flash-forward to the actual thing getting launched and the auditions happening, and I messaged my team, as I usually do when I see something that I really like. I was like, “I got to be a part of this somehow.” The audition came through, and it was funny, because I was sick with a cold when it came through. I was like, “Oh my gosh, can we push it a day or two?” And they were kind enough to do it. But yeah, it was that same thing, where you audition, and then you get the call back, and then you do the chemistry session. But it’s a month to two months of your time just waiting to know. And for me, as an actor, I’d rather know right away if it’s a yes or a no, so I can, in my head, deal with that rather than waiting and waiting. Because you build up all these things of like, “My life could change,” or, “This would be so exciting.” But it worked this time. When I watched “Queer as Folk” as a teenager, the big draw for me then, as a closeted gay kid, was watching guys on screen have sex. And clearly, that’s still a big part of the show. Is gauging sexual chemistry an important part of the audition process?
anti-queer violence so horrific they hurt your heart. The trailer doesn’t hide the fact that the first episode is a hard, gutting and emotional watch: reminiscent of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in 2016, there’s a shooting at Babylon, the local gay club. Here, Sibilly talks about the importance of threading that hard-to-watch narrative into this reboot, the detailed conversations the “Folk” crew had about queer sex onset, and why he’ll continue to play queer characters. How have you been doing? You’ve been really busy.
Yeah. With the pandemic and everything, and being so busy, it’s been truly a blessing. I’m so happy to be working and to be doing this. I’m really grateful. During the beginning of the pandemic, were you afraid of work drying up?
It’s funny. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was like, “Ha, now the rest of the world knows what it feels like to be an actor or an artist, where your job isn’t guaranteed.” And then, after a while, it was like, “Oh, wait. OK. What’s going on?” But then, I remember I got the call for “Hacks,” the first season, and I was like, “Oh, yes. Yes, we’ll do this.” [I filmed] that in the height of the pandemic, and then “Queer as Folk” when things were tapering down. But then, all the variants were another journey, but here we are. Find us on
The sexual chemistry, not so much. My only chemistry read was with Devin [Way], who plays Brodie. And it’s funny, because when I saw him pop on the screen, I was like, “That’s him. That’s the one,” whereas he did a couple of chemistry reads with a couple different Noahs. But it is interesting, because we were doing it on Zoom, too, so you’re not in the room. You don’t feel the vibes of what it would feel like. But I’d seen Devin before somewhere, and I was like, “I know this guy, I just don’t know where to place it.” And, come to find out, it was years before. He had come up to me on the street and told me that he liked my Instagram videos, because I used to make character Instagram videos. When he told me that finally, I was like, “That’s where I know you from.” But anyway, it was just such an easy little flirty scene, that, when you meet a new gay, you’re just like, “Hmm...” We clicked, and I guess that’s the point of a chemistry read, because I’ve done chemistry reads before where I was like, “Oh, this isn’t really clicking.” But it clicked with Devin and I. What has it been like to be a part of “Hacks” knowing that it treats its queer characters so matter-of-factly?
It’s a dream, because the show itself is very much queer-coded, in that there’s a strong female character that is rich. So many things Facebook.com
that we grew up loving [about] strong female characters, and then to add in the queer characters, not only the ones that worked with her, but just peppering the universe of “Hacks” with these characters was super exciting and important. Because maybe years ago, if a show like this was made, that wouldn’t have been the case, but it feels like a very real world. I feel like Deborah would have queer people around her, and it’s been so exciting not only to play these characters in a way that feels real and authentic, but not just feel also like we’re just thrown in because they needed to fit a quota, or because a lot of things these days get called out for being too woke, or whatnot, which is crazy in and of itself. But I do love that this show feels like a reflection of what the world looks like.What’s your earliest memory of wanting to be an actor?
I was always a little rascal, I will say. I loved doing impersonations. When I used to watch “Forrest Gump,” I used to go around the house and be like, “My name’s Forrest, Forrest Gump,” and whenever we’d go out, my mom’s like, “Do the Forrest Gump. Do it.” And she’d always push me to do it. I remember one year, I was signing up for classes for seventh grade, and she’s like, “Why don’t you do drama?” And I was like, “I want to do French,” because all the cool kids were doing French. And she’s like, “Yeah, but you’re always doing characters and things. You should do drama.” And I’m glad that she said that, because it really took me to a place that I needed to be, especially at that point in my life, when sexuality started playing a role in my confidence. I was a very vibrant little kid, and then as I started realizing I was queer, I became the shy kid. Acting and drama really allowed me to spread my wings and show myself in a way that didn’t feel like I was attached to my sexuality and hiding that anymore. Did you find yourself finding a community within the acting and drama worlds?
100%. I never was that kid that played in the street with friends. I was in my room watching Joan Rivers on the red carpet, and I knew everything there was to know about celebrity culture, but I wasn’t one of these kids that played hide-and-seek in the neighborhood. Drama really offered me a place and a space to create friendships and camaraderie and family with people that were like me. Not only queer people, but artists as well. Where did you go to drama school?
I did a little bit in college. I grew up mostly in Miami, so all of my drama club and theater stuff I did in middle school and high school. And then, in college, I was like, “I don’t really need to have a degree in order to be on TV,” so I did two years of college in Miami, and then I moved to New York City at the end of 2012 and started just hitting the pavement, doing extra work, all those reenactment shows that you see on Discovery. It was just a steady climb, for sure. It wasn’t an overnight “Here’s the keys to the kingdom” kind of situation. If you look at your Wiki page, it’s like an episode here, an episode there, an episode here, and then three episodes on “Pose.”
“Pose” was funny, because I had just moved to L.A. and they called me back to film the three episodes of “Pose,” or two episodes of “Pose” in the first season and then one in the second. But that was my first big thing. It’s so nice that my first big series regular role is also
Wednesday June 1, 2022
another queer show, because a lot of times, as queer actors, people are like, “Oh, I don’t know if I want to pigeonhole myself…” and I’m just like, “Oh, thank god we have more opportunities to play gay characters.” It seems like you might be happy playing queer roles for the rest of your acting career.
For the rest of my days. Because, if I do get to play queer characters for the rest of my days, that means that there are queer characters being written and created. The whole point of this thing is to continue to move the needle forward, because three, four years ago, we were all fighting for it. It’s nice that they’re opening space for us. I always think, when I interview a queer actor who plays queer roles, what it must be like to connect with your younger self, thinking, “What would this have meant to 14-yearold Johnny?” Do you ever think that way?
All the time. And what’s that like for you?
I was watching “Heartstopper,” and I just had a moment where I had to pause it, and I was like, “Wow, if I would’ve had this as a kid...” Because it is also a very childfriendly show about sexuality, whereas there hasn’t really been a lot of that. “Love, Victor” is one of them, but usually, a lot of queer shows are sex-forward, and that’s important, because that’s part of the community as adults. But I do definitely think about that 100%, especially with “Queer as Folk.” I remember being petrified of this even being on TV in front of me, and now, I am so unafraid, and so unwilling to go back into the closet in order to present art, that I am very excited to even think about where I started versus where I am now in telling these stories. And I can only hope that, by me being onscreen, whoever is watching can be like, “Oh, yeah. I’m absolutely unafraid to be myself after this.” Did you watch the original
“Queer as Folk” growing up?
I watched it in hiding. I wasn’t an avid, weekly watcher when it was on Showtime, or before, when it was on in the U.K. But I did go back and watch a lot of it after the fact in 2018, when I found out it was getting rebooted. And then after, when we finished wrapping our season that we just shot, I went back and started watching the Showtime episodes again, because I missed it. I missed telling the queer story, so I was like, “What can I watch that’s going to bring me that same kind of feeling?” And it just happened to be “Queer as Folk.” What were the conversations you had with the cast and crew about how to honor the show’s legacy while also moving the needle forward?
I can’t really speak for anyone else, but I think it was important for me to acknowledge how important “Queer as Folk,” both of them, were at the time that they came out. I think it’s also important to honor the actors that portrayed these characters at a time when it was not popular, or sometimes even safe, but it was also really important to separate myself from all of that, because even online, when it was announced that we were going to be the cast, you have a lot of pushback from fans of the first two original shows that are like, “Why would you redo this? It’s perfect the way it is.” And a lot of times you read the comments, you’re like, “OK, I don’t know if ‘perfect’ is the word, but I understand your love for this show.” But I think it was important to put all of that aside, to know the legacy that it has, and to also be willing to create something new that hasn’t been seen before. There’s definitely Easter eggs, and little things here and there, that people will be like, “Oh, he’s like this character, and this character, and this character combined, if they were one character,” which is what I love too, because it is throwing it back to the older versions. But these are queer people that exist in this time,
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in this space, and I think it’s important that we honor the legacy of other queer people, but also showcase that we still very much exist as a very different kind of people now. With Noah, who would you say that he would most identify with from the original series?
I’d say Noah has a little bit of Michael from the American version. He’s got a little bit of Brian in him in certain respects. He does feel a little bit like all of the lead male characters, except for Peter Paige’s character, because he is a little more fun, and Noah’s getting there, but I feel like Noah’s a little more of the daddy of the group. Even now when I see queer sex on screen, I’m still marveling at the fact that it exists. I definitely watched this and had a lot of appreciation for the fact that they didn’t shy away from the sex. What was it like knowing that you were signing up for a show that would mean that sex was pivotal?
You see “nudity required” in the breakdown for the audition, and as an actor, I think it’s important for me to push myself and move out of my comfort zone, but I also think it’s important that we tell authentic queer stories, and queer people have sex in those stories, just like if we were to watch “Euphoria” or any other show on TV that has cis, heterosexual people. It’s very sex-heavy, and we should be able, and have the space, to do the same. And also, doing it in person, and choreographing it, and filming it, it was very important for me, and Stephen Dunn, the creator, and all the directors we’ve worked with, to show queer sex in a way that felt authentic and real, even so much as, lube was a conversation. Would we have enough time for lube in this? Would we use spit in this? And I am so grateful that we’re having this conversation, because there’s been times where I see queer sex onscreen, and I’m like, “Mm, OK. I don’t know if that’s how we get down, but...” It was really nice to have a collaborative situation when it came to that.
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Yeah. I still don’t know how Jack and Ennis were able to do it with just spit in that tent.
[Laughs.] Yeah. I’m sure it was very dry in those mountains. As you know, the whole show is centered on a Pulse-like shooting at Babylon. And for me, admittedly, it was really hard to watch, though I have a real understanding that it’s dealing with trauma and working through that. What did it feel like when you got to that part in the script?
I remember when I first read the pilot, I was shocked. I was like, “Oh my god, I did not know that this is where we are going.” And then, the more I thought about it, the more I thought how important it was to show something like that. One, because I think there is a responsibility for us as queer people to acknowledge the things that our community has been through, whether it be HIV/AIDS or all of the [other] things our community has been victim to. I think it’s important to present that as truth, and I also think it’s super important that we show stuff like that now because we are still undergoing a lot of fire from not only legislation, but bars getting broken into and potentially burned down. We are under attack, and I think it’s important that, while we celebrate a lot of queer representation, we also take a moment to understand where we still are in this time. I really am grateful to the creators for creating space for this story, and not only in a way that shows the tragedy as it is, but also makes it about so much more than the tragedy: makes it how queer people are incredibly resilient and come together in times of strife, as we always have and always will. ¶ Chris Azzopardi is the Editorial Director of Pride Source Media Group and Q Syndicate, the national LGBTQ+ wire service. He has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, GQ and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.
PAGE 10 | Wednesday June 1, 2022
DEEP INSIDE HOLLYWOOD
It’s another Celine Dion movie! performer. And not incidentally, during World War II, she used her fame to become a document-smuggling spy for the Allies and the French resistance against the Nazis. The project starring Monáe is called “De La Resistance” and will focus specifically on those war years. Oh yes, and Baker was queer, too, having had relationships with author Colette and artist Frida Kahlo. Now that’s an icon. No word yet on when the series drops or on which platform, but keep your spying eyes open for it.
by ro m eo sa n vic e nt e
Janelle Monáe to play Josephine Baker for A24 ueer singer-actor Janelle Monáe, who recently came out as non-binary, has
‘Physical’ lunges into Season 2 with ‘Looking’ star Murray Bartlett Physical,” the Apple TV+ series starring Rose Byrne, is readying its second season, and it drops on June 3. If you missed the first season – we get it, there’s too much TV these days – because you believed it was all campy outfits and Jazzercise, then you missed out on a shockingly resonant story of a woman who battles troubles both personal and public on her way to building a fitness empire in the early 1980s. The second season seems to promise more obstacles for Byrne’s character as she meets a fitness coach played by Murray Bartlett. Bartlett was the Mustache Daddy in “Looking” who opened a jerk chicken business. After that he was the Mustache Daddy in “The White Lotus” who… uh… well, let’s just say he did some things and then some things were done to him (we so dislike spoilers, especially the kind of spoilers one finds
t’s a scientific fact that everyone loves Celine Dion (and if it’s not then it should be). Her repeated Las Vegas residencies pack in audiences and she’s currently on her first world tour in years. She was the subject of a delightfully goofy concert documentary called “Celine: Through The Eyes of the World.” There’s another official documentary currently in the works. And the French film “Aline” was just released to U.S. theaters (call it not-exactly-a-biopic but do call it bonkers, because it is). And as if all that weren’t enough, Celine will act in the upcoming rom-com “It’s All Coming Back to Me.” Written and directed by James C. Strouse (“The Incredible Jessica James”), it’s about a woman (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) whose partner dies in an accident and who deals with grief by texting his old phone number. The man on the other end of that number (“Outlander” star Sam Heughan) begins texting back, and somehow Celine Dion shows up as herself to guide these two lonely people on the path to love. “Looking” star Russell Tovey figures in all this, too, and we trust that it will all make more sense when it opens in February 2023. And if it doesn’t make sense then we don’t care. Go Celine!
a new role coming to a streaming platform near you. They’ll portray legendary performer Josephine Baker for a series produced by A24. Baker was the African-American singer-dancer-actress who left the U.S. for Paris in the 1920s and became a celebrated
in “The White Lotus”). Created by Annie Weisman, “Physical” is a vintage-set wellness journey that is decidedly unwell, which kind of makes it about our current moment, something great television aims for. Put on the opposite of workout gear and binge it before June. Felicity Jones and ‘Bridgerton’ star Jonathan Bailey sign on for ‘Maria’ ueer actor Jonathan Bailey is a fan favorite on the hit Shonda Rhimes series “Bridgerton,” and he’s about to take a minor holiday from Shondaland to take a role in a comedy called “Maria” with Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”). Simon Amstell (“Benjamin,” “Carnage”) wrote the script and will direct, with Jason Isaacs attached to co-star, and production is scheduled for this fall. Jones stars as a young woman dealing with a boyfriend (Bailey) she’s not sure about, an indifferent father (Isaacs), and a hot new stepbrother who keeps turning her attention away from that boyfriend. Hot stepbrother hasn’t been cast yet, but that might change by the time the project hits the buyer’s market at the Cannes Film Festival. Look for this one sometime in 2023, and, in the meantime, root for Bailey’s rising profile to hook him up with a gay role sometime soon. Not a demand, merely a request.¶
Romeo San Vicente is near, far, and wherever you are.
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LEGACY COMMUNITY HEALTH PROUDLY SUPPORTS HOUSTON PRIDE 365
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PAGE 12 | Wednesday June 1, 2022
COOKING WITH PAULA DREAM
Take pride in your sweet tooth by pau l a dr e a m
( a k a k a l e h ay g o o d)
Ladies of Lafitte’s
“Judy Judy Judy” Robert’s Lafitte
2501 Avenue Q, Galveston, Texas 77550
Sunday, June 12, 4 p.m.
ell friends, May is gone and, from the feel of the heat, early summer is here. And, the newspaper articles are telling us that we are in for an active hurricane season. Yay, that means lots of hurricanes parties and other things going on the next several months. In this issue I am appealing to your sweet tooth. Just as a hint, when you make the Sad Cake, don’t be alarmed at the way it turns out — it’s very tasty, but very ugly! All three desserts are worth the making, but please note: Don’t touch that oven! See you next issue.
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix 1/3 cup instant chocolate pudding mix 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped 3/4 teaspoon vanilla In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Pour in to pie crust and sprinkle with chopped pecans. In another small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for two minutes. Allow to sit for two to three minutes until set. Spoon over pecans. Refrigerate at least four hours. Top with whipped cream and pecan halves for serving.
Celebrate icon’s 100th birthday at legendary bar by j o h n n y tr lica
une is not only Pride Month but also marks the 100th birthday of the biggest gay icon, Judy Garland. Tributes and acknowledgements are happening all over the world, including the oldest gay bar in Texas. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating the artistry of singer and actress Judy Garland by making her the Star of the Month of June. On June 10, the cable channel will feature a day long marathon of Garland classics including, Meet Me in St. Louis, For Me and My Gal and The Wizard of Oz. Speaking of Oz, movie goers can take a trip down the yellow brick road when the 1939 classic returns to the big screen. “In celebration of what would have been Judy Garland’s 100th birthday, join fans across the country for a special showing of The Wizard of Oz — featuring an exclusive deleted musical number,” reads Fathom Events’ release notes. Revisit the Emerald City in theatres on June 5 through 6. To mark 100 years of Judy Garland, Vince Spinnato, cosmetic chemist, and president/chief executive officer of TurnKey Beauty, Inc., was chosen by Lorna Luft, Liza Minnelli and The Judy Garland Heirs Trust to develop a fragrance in honor of the late legendary actress. The unisex fragrance, “Judy – A Garland Fragrance by Vincenzo Spinnato”, will be released June 10. Garland’s daughters Luft and Minnelli have worked in conjunction with Spinnato to develop “Judy” which will be reminiscent of their mother’s favorite scents, aromas, and perfumes with a modern twist. In Galveston, Robert’s Lafitte will present “Judy Judy Judy,” on Sunday, June 12. The 4 p.m. show will feature performances from some of the Island’s favorite drag performers. The oldest gay bar in Texas’ show director, Chachie Pedraza Van Wales, has assembled an all-star line-up that is sure to take everyone over the rainbow. Pedraza, reigning Miss Island Goddess, says he did not really know that much about
Judy Garland before putting the tribute show together. He’s learned, “She was a triple-threat performer. She could sing, dance and act. I love how she brought joy and raw emotion into her performances.” Pedraza plans to perform a rarely heard tune of Garland’s. “I heard her do ‘One Eyed Purple People Eater’ and loved it and knew I had to do it,” he said. Cristina Andrews started her drag career in New Orleans about 15 years ago and has been performing in Galveston and Houston for the past four years. She loves doing illusions of singers like Tina Turner and Cher. While talking about Judy Garland, Andrews frequently uses the word “elegant” to describe the star. “Judy was just so elegant. She was an icon. I feel so honored to be asked to do this show,” he said. Andrews plans to perform “The Trolley Song,” saying “I once saw an entertainer do it and she was having so much fun. Like she was having a party in her head.” No Judy Garland tribute is complete without a mention of Liza Minnelli, so Andrews plans on infusing “Cabaret” into the show. She especially likes the line, “When I saw her laid out like a queen.” Galveston drag legend CC Ryder recently broke two ribs after a fight with cancer but keeps a cheerful outlook, “—just like Judy always did,” he says. “What gay man isn’t a fan of Judy Garland? After all, doesn’t everyone want a pair of ruby slippers?” Ryder, who won her first pageant in 1988, is looking forward to “really belting it out” with a performance of “The Man That Got Away.” He says the song touches him with its take on pain and loving the wrong man. Misty Valdez, a legend in her own right and performing since 1986, insists she will make it to the stage despite a recent medical scare. Known as “The Island Diva,” Valdez is constantly The Ladies of Lafitte’s never disappoint and promise to make Judy proud. ¶ Find us on
» • SAD CAKE 2 cups baking mix 2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar 4 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup flaked coconut 1 cup chopped pecans 1 teaspoon vanilla Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except pecans. Mix well. Stir in pecans. Pour batter in to baking dish. Bake 35 to 45 minutes.
» • POSSUM PIE 6 ounces cream cheese, softened 3/4 cup confectioners sugar 1 Graham cracker crust 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1-3/4 cups cold milk Facebook.com
» • MILLION-DOLLAR CAKE 1 package yellow cake mix 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice 2 cans (8 ounces each) mandarin oranges, drained 1 package (3.5 ounces) instant vanilla pudding 1 (8 ounces) container frozen whipped topping, thawed Bake cake according to box directions, using two eight-inch greased and floured cake pans. Allow to cool and then remove from pans. Horizontally slice cakes in half, creating four cakes. In a large bowl whip cream cheese until soft and fluffed, and then gradually add confectioners sugar. Stir in pineapple with juice, and then add drained mandarin oranges, reserving five slices for garnish. Mix in pudding mix. Fold in whipped topping. Frost cake one layer at a time until complete. Refrigerate overnight. ¶ Paula Dream, AKA Kale Haygood, owns Beyond Service, a Montrose-based home-cooking catering company. For more information, call 713-805-4106 or email email@example.com.
Wednesday June 1, 2022
| PAGE 13
A rising star in the Montrose Collective by j i m ay r es
armo, in the new Montrose Collective mixed use development on Lower Westheimer at Grant, is quite a pleasant, sunny L.A.-style restaurant. Once they tighten a few screws, it will become a great one. Marmo’s website calls it an “…Italian chophouse concept. Marmo, meaning ‘marble’ in Italian, features fresh hand-rollvved pastas, house-made charcuterie, and hand-cut prime steaks.” A friend and I didn’t sample all that during a recent lunch, but we did order a feast and enjoyed most of it. My arrival had a few rough edges. There’s complimentary valet parking, but while you drop off your car in front of the restaurant, you’re told you must pick it up at another location. (I cajoled them into making an exception for me.)
ˆ Marmo’s bread service
ˆ Marmo’s lobster salad
ˆ Flower Child turkey avocado bowl
Upon entering, the host station had been ghosted. They were looking for someone who could use the “system.” It took a few minutes. Not much of an inconvenience, but at Marmo’s considerable prices, the welcome experience should have been smoother. We chose two starters. Polpette (meatballs) are served with tomato sauce and ricotta melting over from a carefully placed breadstick. They were also served cold. (Revenge? Non per me!) These were whisked away and replaced immediately. Once bitten into, we savored the lush beef with its abundant herbs. Tuscan Fried Chicken was the only real bump in our meal. The nuggets were greasy with a poorly seasoned breading, the accompanying artichokes touted on the menu went incognito and the garlic aioli was bland. This
appetizer is best left unordered. Both of our salads were excellent. In the Roasted Carrot Salad, Marmo gives the tender carrots a fall-like treatment with hazelnut vinaigrette (OMG), truffle honey (OMG again) and smoked ricotta. The mix of flavors is sublime. If that salad is hearty, then the Sicilian Lobster Salad is as refreshing as a cool front in May. A generous amount of lobster chunks tasted as if they’d been netted that day. The advertised arugula morphed into Boston lettuce, which was fine, but the fennel, Mandarin orange slices, olives and basil-avocado vinaigrette complemented everything perfectly. We left room for one entrée. Squid Ink Campanelle, that shimmering black pasta,
came with blue crab and an Uni (sea urchin roe) cream sauce. There’s a chili kick to this dish, and it’s so buttery and rich and satisfying that a little goes a long way. Bread service, a not-too-heavy-on-the rosemary focaccia, is available on request and is great for sopping up Marmo’s wonderful dressings and sauces. At dinner Marmo adds a couple of Crudi options, some additional pastas and a quartet of dinner-only mains. What sets it apart, though, is live entertainment. The lounge has a baby grand piano where Houston’s best known singers perform nightly. Parking options are plentiful (as are Marmo’s wine choices, which I’ll peruse next time). You can valet, use the parking garage, or choose an open spot in the back. But do plan to park at Marmo soon! ¶
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832-626-3400 M A R M O I TA L I A N .C O M
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PAGE 14 | Wednesday June 1, 2022
‘Roe v. Wade’ expected to be overturned by col by e t he rton
leaked Politico report recently revealed that five of the nine sitting Supreme Court justices (Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Cavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch) privately voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that deemed abortion a federally protected constitutional right. While initial votes on cases sometimes change before the final draft, given the makeup of the court, it seems likely that these votes will stand, overturning what has been a protected right for nearly fifty years. Many states have trigger laws on the books, laws that, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, would immediately go into effect that ban abortion outright. Texas included. Although several of these justices said that Roe v. Wade was “precedent” in their confirmation hearings, it was clear that this was a veiled answer meant to dodge their actual opinions on Roe and whether it should be overturned. What’s clear is that this case being overturned isn’t actually going to prevent abortions. Rather, them being outlawed in over a dozen states will simply make them less safe. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, has gone on record saying that if Republicans came into power, a nationwide ban on abortion would be a possibility. What’s tragic is that many conservatives label themselves as staunchly pro-life, but you can see in Republican policies that that’s hardly the case. Where is healthcare as a guaranteed right for everyone in our nation? Comprehensive education reform, including universal kindergarten? Paid family and medical leave? It’s rare that any of these issues are supported by conservative politicians. Rather than being pro-life, it
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comes off as simply being pro-birth. Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term, and hardly any agenda to care for it after the fact is about control, and it’s naive to think that no abortions will happen in a post Roe world. Those with money and resources will still be able to access it. This leaked report puts into perspective how fragile our rights are. Society doesn’t always progress in a linear line, and rights that are won aren’t guaranteed to be in place forever. With conservatives having a supermajority on the Supreme Court, something like Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that federally guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, feels a lot more fragile. A lot of the court packing during the Trump administration, and even the denial of a confirmation process for current Attorney General Merrick Garland when former President Barack Obama had the opportunity to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s passing, has lead up to this moment. Roe v. Wade being overturned has been a chief objective of the conservative movement for decades. On May 18, President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Protection Act to ramp up production of baby formula and address the shortage being felt across the country. Part of the shortage has been tied to Abbott Laboratories, a massive producer of baby formula in the U.S., shutting down amid safety and sanitation concerns. Congress has also passed the Access to Baby Formula Act, which makes it easier for lower income families to purchase formula with benefits through a federal program known as the Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) program. ¶ The opinions expressed in this article are entirely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of MONTROSE STAR.
Wednesday June 1, 2022
We’ve expanded our team. Welcome Maggie White, FNP!
James Carroll, MD
| PAGE 15
Maggie White, FNP
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PAGE 16 | Wednesday June 1, 2022
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≈ Crossword Queries .................
Amazing Grace & Frankie Montrose Star.com
OUT IN HOUSTON™
Wednesday June 1, 2022, Vol XII, Issue 12
ACROSS THE CAUSEWAY
There’s no place like home by for est rigg s ecently I hosted houseguests, a BOI (born on island) brother and sister team. The siblings (now living in Phoenix, Arizona) grew up in Galveston and from all accounts shared a wonderful childhood on the Island. Because of employment requirements involving several relocations over many years, the two had been away from Galveston for over 50 years. Johnny, the older brother, was turning 75 on May 22 and his younger sister, Bernadette, decided to throw him a fabulous birthday party “back home” in Galveston. The hall was rented, food and music ordered, invitations sent out in advance, and transportation and accommodations were secured for the family group coming from Phoenix. Bernedette, ever the organizer and perfectionist, took care of everything, even the flights costs and accommodations. Over the next few months, more than 70 persons RSVP’d for the celebration. I learned a very valuable lesson while hosting my houseguest and his large and wonderful family: Don’t overlook all the great things that you have around you. For me, a
very proud IBC (islander by choice), I saw again, firsthand, how Galveston still holds a lot of charm and a magical appeal. These folks had been away over five decades, having moved away when the Island was “just a dirty beach in the backyard of Houston.” I watched as these “visitors” oohed and wowed over everyday Island things that I and locals tend take for granted, like the downtown strand area, the fine restaurants, the beach, Moody Gardens, museums, the Oleanders, Gulf breezes, the calling gulls and formations of pelicans. All things I take for granted brought great joy to these visitors. The were delighted to see the Lady Liberty at Heroes Square, the giant crab at Gaido’s, the beautiful, old buildings downtown and scattered around the island and the many beautiful old homes and neighborhoods where they rode bikes, played and enjoyed birthday parties for classmates and family. As I watched the returning islanders point and share stories with their children and grandchildren (even a new great-granddaughter!), I was touched by the excitement in their voices and their eyes. Coming home to “old Galveston” was great, but then so
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was seeing all the positive changes. A few empty lots stirred memories and stories of the “huge, old mansion that used to be there.” A walk through the City Cemetery, with its golden carpet of flowers, might as well have been Disneyland. Of course the mammoth cruise ships docked along the harbor site piers bought great excitement for all. Strolling through Calvary Catholic
Cemetery on 61st and stopping at graves of relatives brought tears and laughter to the visitors. It seemed that everywhere we went, places that I see every day and take for granted, for them, were reasons to snap pictures and capture memories. I watched all this over a five-day period and realized just how important any place can be to someone, to each of us. “Sleepy” ›› 18
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ACROSS THE CAUSEWAY old Galveston, the Galveston I ›› 17 see and “do” every day, is just that to me: “sleepy.” I admit that I don’t get out and visit all the great offerings and points of interest (old and new) that Galveston stands ready to share with everyone. I suppose when you live in a place, over time you just get so accustomed to it that the shimmer and thrill of it is gone. Friends in San Francisco, Colorado, Alaska and even Italy, have told me this. “Ah, its just Pike’s Peak” or “God, I take the Golden Gate Bridge every day, its nothing to me but traffic and a bore.” It’s a “bore” to them, perhaps, but to me and others it’s the beautiful, fantastic and glorious Golden Gate Bridge. Watching my visitors enjoy seeing Galveston again (and for some, the first time), I felt something inside of me change. As we walked, stopped and took photos,
sampled drinks and food and darted in and out of downtown shops, it no longer felt like “sleepy old Galveston” to me. It became a fun-filled escape. I began to see my “everyday world” through their eyes and hearts. I guess I share all of this to remind locals, Houstonians and others that come to Galveston, to really open your eyes and take in all that is here. Stuff we see every day and take for granted is actually quite stimulating and, in some cases, exotic, foreign and unique. Maybe we need to look at own backyards through the eyes of a visitor and see things again for the first time. I am grateful to Johnny and Bernadette Inclan, true BOIs, from being my friends and for “coming home” to celebrate a 75th birthday and to open my eyes to the amazing place I get to call home! ¶
A resident of galveston where he can be found wasting bait and searching for the meaning of life, forest riggs recently completed a collection of short stories about his beloved island and is working on a novel.
Photo by Eddie Bugajewski on Unsplash
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“A lot of the experiences I’ve had I wanted to reflect in this film,” Frieder said. “But the real reason I wrote it is, this is the type of movie with a queer protagonist that I wish as a queer kid growing up in Florida that I had. It would have made me feel a little bit less alone and more understood. It’s important for me to tell stories like that so I can hopefully do the same for others.” And there is indeed a lot in the film that younger generations can relate to. Caleb, whose father had died of a heart attack some years ago, lives with his grandmother (Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn) and her live in boyfriend (Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr.). They accept Caleb for who he is, though his mother, an Orthodox Jew, does not. In a scene that bristles with intensity, Caleb reaches out to his mother after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. Mom, whose religious beliefs do not allow her to be tolerant of Caleb’s lifestyle, backs away when he begins talking about the fact that he may have contracted HIV. Frieder made a surprising choice when writing his screenplay. He does not let the audience know Caleb’s final test result. “For me, the whole message and the point of the film is that he’s going to be OK, no matter what,” Frieder said. “It’s one of the first things when I first started crafting the script that I knew would be a part of the story because I want to create that dialogue, that conversation. I want to get in the pool and splash around and say ‘Hey, look over here, let’s talk about this thing that we’re not talking about.” The auteur hopes that viewers will in fact talk about the fact that HIV is no longer a death sentence. “We need to fight the shame and stigma
and the deeply rooted homophobia around the disease,” he said. “I think that it’s also a movie about what it’s like to wait, and I think that’s never been more relevant than right now, as we’re all waiting in a Covid-19 pandemic for the world to resume. Yes, we have to wait, but we should fight for the things we want while we wait and continue to live life.” Burstyn’s role in the film is relatively small, but the veteran screen legend, whose acting career goes back more than fifty years, gives a strong performance as an old woman who struggles to be the mother that Caleb needs. Frieder has nothing but praise for the actress. “Sometimes I feel like it was a dream,” he said of Burstyn. “Am I going to wake up and I imagined all of this? She is one of the reasons I got into the art of making films.” Frieder named some of his favorite Burstyn films, such as Requiem for a Dream, The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, and of course, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the film for which she won her Oscar. “She’s inspired me since I was a kid,” he said. “And so to be able to work with her and to listen to her and to learn from her, and to watch how she inhabits character, how she humanizes these stories and operates as an artist is something I will take with me for the rest of my days.” Frieder had similar praise for his star, Troye Sivan. “He is such a talented actor, and I’ve always been a fan of his as a musical artist and a singer and musician,” Frieder said. “I love pop music. And so to be able to see him do his first lead role as an adult, where he’s literally carrying the film on his back, he’s in every scene, he has to express every emotion, and he does so in such a
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naturalistic, grounded authentic and honest way. But with a magnetism that makes you unable to move your eyes from him. I think that people are going to be truly astounded by his work in this film.” Frieder feels that it’s important for people to be out. As a Floridian he’s appalled by Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibits the word gay, or any discussion of homosexuality or gender identity, from being mentioned in schools. Homophobic Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill in March. “Luckily my parents are incredibly compassionate people who helped fight for my rights,” he said. “I’m so grateful to
have been in such an accepting family who celebrate my sexual identity. But I know all too well that there are so many people I grew up with who did not have that experience, and for me to be an out filmmaker who can be out and proud and show people there is nothing to be ashamed of — in fact, my sexual identity is one of my favorite elements of my identity — it brings me all my joy. I’m so proud of it, and hopefully that can inspire and help other people to come out when they feel safe enough to do so.” He hopes that his film will help to bring about some compassion towards LGBTQ people. “I really hope this movie gets to do that,” he said. Look for Three Months on Paramount+. ¶
Wednesday June 1, 2022
Amazing Grace and Frankie Across
48 Like some weights
22 Keep an
50 Dick that isn’t
1 It’s a good thing
23 Gomer’s Sgt.
6 Like a Marc
51 End of the quote
Carter, for one
54 “Star Trek”
24 Wll descriptor
25 Hart Crane work
55 What to have
28 “Dad” of some
15 Poet Adrienne
in the hay
16 Peace Nobelist
56 Lily Tomlin, for one
29 Pop of pop
60 Make money
32 Tendency to
17 Where a queen
61 Sexual desire, e.g.
62 Penetrating weapon
33 “It’s not only me
18 Think tank output
63 Alison Bechdel
who thinks this”
19 “A” in radio lingo
35 Tone of many
20 Start of why Frankie
64 Angry in., for
said she would never
36 Rainbow coalition?
get a hearing aid
65 Nuts don’t have this
37 Skin designs,
23 Milk dispenser
26 Nursery noisemaker
1 Cont. of Chad
41 Digits used to
27 Place for
2 Get a load of
“render unto Caesar”
3 ‘70s abductors
42 Chewed the scenery
4 Like the orbit
43 Bear the expense of
44 Busy in the office
30 Title for
5 Hot dish for
46 Sinking ship’s call
47 Performs self
31 It’s sold in bars
6 Manger, to Mary,
service, with “off”
32 Capital in the Andes.
49 German white wine
34 More of the quote
7 Be hard to find
50 The other Nemo
38 Spread out,
8 He plays with B.D.
Wong on “SVU”
52 Long-ago time,
9 Place to call for stats
10 Jane Rule’s “Desert
53 “Beginning With
11 Puts out
57 Maj. opposite,
45 Be a voyeur, e.g.
12 Shuffle method
46 Paths through
13 Stun with noise
leaves of grass
21 Came upon
59 Fair grade
40 However, in verse
O” author Broumas
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IN MY (JUDGMENTAL) OPINION
WHAT A WORLD
Celebrate Pride, but continue the fight by na ncy for d
Take pride in being polite, Millennials Millennial (n) mil-len-tee- uhl: a person born in the 1980s or 1990s, especially in the U.S. by ran dal l jo b e
f the 72.1 million Millennials living in the United States, I am fervently looking for any two, any day in the workforce who extend what for the generations before was considered “common courtesy.” Seriously, you sullen-faced, non-communicative, emojicrazy, semi slackers, would it kill you to take a little pride in your minimum-waged job sacking groceries at Whole Foods or refolding clothes at the Gap and make the decision to greet a customer with actual words of greeting! If you say “Please” and “Thank you” you get bonus credit! Of course, adding insult to injury, you frequently commit the ultimate crime against the consumer. After being met by your initial silence, you force said consumer to throw out a sharp “Thank you,” to which you deal a condescending “No problem.” “No problem?” OK, you socially inept, entitled little turd, to even consider that there was a
“problem,” and you in your infinite powers of forgiveness have decided to absolve me somewhere between throwing cage-free eggs in a bag while forgetting to remove the security tag from my sweater purchase sets my hair on fire! “No problem” is the appropriate response as you move your laptop from the second table you’ve commandeered to set up your virtual office in Starbucks when someone asks to sit. Now, as the Millennials age out, we’re awarded with Gen-Xers, right on their heels. Though they seemingly have stronger social conscious, like concern for the planet, feeding the hungry and protesting in the streets (hello ’50s, ’60s and ’70s) I pray that the adage that some traits “skip a generation” applies. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see lack of manners fall to the wayside along with male pattern baldness and promiscuity. Not likely, but one can dream. Of course, that’s just my opinion. ¶
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kraine. Monkey pox. Uvalde. What a year 2022 has been already, and it’s not even halfway over. Is it really time for Pride? Before we start blowing up balloons and jacking up our hair with glitter AquaNet, let’s do our perfunctory annual history lesson to remind us why we celebrate. The rebellion at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, which exploded June 28, 1969, is considered the event that kicked off Pride, that highest of gay holy days when LGBTQs claim and celebrate their power and right to be who we are and love who we love. It was that night that patrons of the seedy, Mafia-run dive bar fought back — hard — to reclaim their dignity and civil rights from police and society in general. Fifty-three years later, as demonstrated by ongoing discrimination, homophobia and various state-sponsored “Don’t Say Gay” efforts, the fight continues. It would be unthinkable to share this year’s Pride message without lowering our collective rainbow flags to half-mast to honor the life of one of our community’s giants. In the battle for LGBTQ+ equality, Urvashi Vaid was a five-star general. On May 14, the powerhouse activist passed on to that great Pride Parade in the sky. It’s impossible to accurately chronicle the role she played in the quest for LGBTQ equality. She helmed leadership positions in the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prisons Project that addressed HIV/AIDS in prisons. She helmed National Gay Lesbian Task Force, orchestrated its policy think tank, and co-founded the annual Creating Change conference, now in its 33rd year. She led the Ford, Arcus and Gill foundations. Beyond serving in these essential groups, Vaid also launched LPAC, which is considered to be the first lesbian Super Pac, in 2012. “I’m involved in starting LPAC because I want to create a fresh politics, one in which the lives of ordinary working women and men, LGBT people and people of color matter, and because I believe lesbians must step up and lead in solving our country’s challenges,” she said. Stepped up and lead, she did. Urvashi eventually founded her own
Urvashi Vaid, then-executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, protests at then-President George Bush’s address on AIDS in March 1990. Photo via Associated Press
think tank, the Vaid Group, a consulting group that works to reduce structural inequalities and advance social, racial, gender and economic justice. In her spare time (ha!), she authored the canonical Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation (1995) and Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics (2012). Her subsequent appearances on nationally televised talk shows consistently blew back the hair of anyone who tuned in. The woman stayed busy, but she was also a woman of balance, as proven by her choice of partner and spouse — the equally brilliant mother-of-lesbian-comedy, Kate Clinton. The two met at a conference (of course) in 1988. A couple of decades ago I briefly had the honor of being in the same room with them; the sheer power they radiated was palpable and not unlike the sensation of standing beside an open blast furnace (but in a good way). Spiritually, Urvashi defined herself as “a HindJew.” I’m not sure if that particular melding of religious affiliations has its own set of pearly gates and angels playing harps. I prefer to think of Urvashi’s version of nirvana places her at the head of a heavenly march, protesting that all petitioners receive the same access healthcare, civil rights and services, regardless of gender, class, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. Urvashi wasn’t at the Stonewall Rebellion that fiery summer in 1969. She was only ten years old at the time; she didn’t start her life of social activism until the next year at an antiwar protest, when she was 11. “The gay rights movement is not a party,” she said in a speech at the 1993 LGBT March on Washington. “It is not a lifestyle. It is not a hairstyle. It is not a fad or a fringe or a sickness. It is not about sin or salvation. The gay rights movement is an integral part of the American promise of freedom.” As we celebrate Pride this year, let’s stop and remember that without the influence and impact of Urvashi Vaid — and a handful of folks like her — there would be nothing to celebrate. Rest in peace, General. ¶
Wednesday June 1, 2022
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GUIDE TO THE CLUBS
HOUSTON n MONTROSE - MIDTOWN Barcode Houston
n MONTROSE - MIDTOWN
n NW HOUSTON
817 Fairview Ave, Houston (713) 526-2625 • facebook.com/barcode77006 Shows | Neighborhood Bar | CD/Trans
Moon Tower Inn
La Granja Disco & Cantina
3004 Canal St, 77003 (832) 969-1934 • damngoodfoodcoldassbeer.com Hot Dogs | Beer Gardens
5505 Pinemont Dr., Houston (713) 518-6753 • lagranjadisco.com Latin dance club
Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon
2409 Grant St Ste A, Houston (281) 310-1050 Cocktails | Beer | Karaoke |Pool | DJ’s
2006 Walker St, 77003 (281) 352-7456 • NeilsBahr.com Premier Nerd | Gamer
2312 Crocker St, Houston (713) 529-3355 Large Deck | Karaoke
George’s Country Sports Bar 617 Fairview Ave, Houston (713) 528-8102 Sports Bar | Pool & Darts | Patio
JR’s Bar and Grill & Santa Fe 808 Pacific St, Houston (713) 521-2519 • jrsbarandgrill.com Videos | Patio | Karaoke | Shows
Michael’s Outpost Piano Bar 1419 Richmond Ave, Houston (713) 520-8446 Neighborhood Bar | Pub | Piano
Papi’s Houston 570 Waugh Dr, Latin gay club (713) 524-3359 | Dancing Drag Game shows all week long!
2001 Commerce, 77002 713-227-8688 • toutsuitetx.com Bakery | Cafe | Pub
Voodoo Queen 322 Milby St, 77003 713-555-5666 • damngoodfoodcoldassbeer.com Casual | Po’ Boys | Games
n DOWNTOWN / WARDS 1-4 Tony’s Corner Pocket 817 West Dallas Street, Houston (713) 571-7870 • tonyscornerpocket.com Neighborhood Bar | Pool | Dancers
n HEIGHTS / WASHINGTON CORRIDOR Pearl Lounge 4216 Washington, Houston 832-740-4933 • pearlhouston.com Neighborhood Art Bar | Live Music | Women
n HOUSTON - NORTH SIDE Ranch Hill Saloon
202 Tuam Street, Houston (346) 227-8613 facebook.com/rebarhouston/
24704 Interstate 45, Spring (281) 298-9035 • ranchhill.com Country | Cowgirl | Neighborhood Bar
The Room Bar
715 Fairview St, Houston (713) 521-2792 • facebook.com/ripcordhouston Leather | Uniform | Fetish | Men
4915 FM 2920 Rd, Spring (281) 907-6866 • roombarspring.com Neighborhood Bar | Shows | Dance | Mixed
11410 Hempstead Highway Houston, TX 77092 (713) 677-0828 • neonbootsclub.com
Viviana’s Night Club 4624 Dacoma St, Houston (713) 681-4101 • vivianasniteclub.com Latino | Tejano | Dance
n SW HOUSTON Crystal Night Club 6684 SW Fwy, Houston (713) 278- 2582 • crystaltheclub.com Latin Dance | Salsa
G A LV E S T O N 23rd Street Station 1706 23rd St, Galveston (409) 443-5678 • 23rdstreetstation.com Piano Bar | Pub | Live Entertainment
Robert’s Lafitte 2501 Ave Q, Galveston (409) 765-9092 • galveston.com/robertslafitte Neighborhood Bar | Pub | Cruise | Shows
Rumors Beach Bar 3102 Seawall Blvd., Galveston (409) 497-4617 • RumorsBeachBar.com Beach bar | Shows
SOLUTION FROM PAGE 21
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