Well, I have to say 2010 has started out with a bang for me. From partying with my friends in Miami and getting my first actual speeding ticket, to facing near-record lows in the “Sunshine State,” I’m interested in what the New Year will bring. Forget resolutions; this year I have more of a wish list: finding a good, sane man, getting my finances in check, getting in shape and working on my time management. Not totally unrealistic goals, but will they all work out? Probably not. However, I’ve decided to make it a point to try and be realistic in what I expect out of life, especially in situations where I have little control (ex. finding a guy). We often beat ourselves up for not being where we’re “supposed” to be in life, or for things not going as planned. But remember, there’s a certain challenge and excitement to be found in dealing with the curveballs that our thrown our way. It’s not always easy, fun or pleasant, but more often than not, these setbacks and reality checks are what make us stronger and who we are today. Yea, this is easier said than done. Do I wish I hadn’t gotten caught speeding on my way to Miami? Of course. But it was bound to happen sooner or later, and I had to swallow the difficult fact that, yes, shit does happen. Even to me. So this year, do your best to make that extra effort. Don’t be afraid of change or of taking reasonable chances. And most of all, keep your head up, stay positive and buckle up for the ride.
No Love for a Gay Sherlock Holmes Robert Downey, Jr. had fun drumming up publicity for the new Sherlock Holmes movie, but it raised the ire of the executors of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate. Andrea Plunket, who owns the American rights to the late author's stories, said that she would block any sequels if homosexual undertones between Holmes and Jude Law's Watson were played up. In a statement, Plunket said, "I hope this is just an example of Mr. Downey's black sense of humor. It would be a drastic thing to do, but I would withdraw permission for any more films to be made if that is a theme they wish to bring out in the future ... I am not hostile to homosexuals, but I am to anyone who is not true to the spirit of the books." Is this a case of gay suppression? I don't think so. Plunket is right; it violates the spirit of the books, which were written over a century ago. We can't rewrite history, and it's tasteless to rewrite beloved historical fiction. Moving on!
WRITTEN BY MIKE HALTERMAN
Yes Maâ€™am! Our politics section discussed Annise Parker a few months ago. At the time, she was in a contentious runoff for Houston's mayoral seat. Since then, not only has she won, but she was sworn in on national television via CSPAN. As discussed before, Parker is now the mayor of Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country; no LGBT person before her has been elected to serve a city of comparable size. In her inauguration speech, she said, "I understand what this day means to you. I can feel your excitement and your joy, but I can also feel your apprehension and your longing for acceptance. I will gladly carry you forward, but today is simply one day toward a tomorrow of greater justice. And when the time comes I will gladly pass the torch to the next in waiting, and I will cheer for them as you do for me. Your bravery in the face of threats, your bravery in the face of insults sustains me. We will support each other ... Face the world with dignity and integrity. I promise you, the pain is worth the reward." Let's give a hearty "You go, girl!" to Mayor Parker!
Gay Sex Scene Makes it to Daytime TV, Yay! It's getting a little hot in Llanview! After soaps' handsdown most eventful year in terms of LGBT romances and storylines, the ABC soap opera One Life to Live followed through with its vow to have two gay characters, Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell) and Oliver Fish (Scott Evans), consummate their relationship ON-SCREEN! Since it's soaps, the scene was done the same way straight love scenes are done, with lots of kissing, a switch to another scene and then another switch to find the two post-coitus, but the fact that it was done at ALL is a big step, considering other soaps have had LGBT characters a lot longer than One Life to Live. Now that As the World Turns is going to be ending in September, when can we see the same scenes from Luke and Noah? We're WAITING!
WRITTEN BY JORGE ALVARADO
FACE FACE FACE You know when they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, they can be saying that about your face. All one thousand of those words may not be all that nice, and of course all this is done behind your back. It goes to show that sometimes it just doesn’t matter what how high your heels are, whether it’s leather or pleather, or how much it cost; it just simply boils down all to face, face, face. You only get one (naturally that is), so if you’re not going to keep an esthetician on retainer or make a trip to Colombia and have a plastic surgeon slice, dice, smother and cover your face while sipping on a Piña Colada, then I suggest you take care of it. Here are the basics. And NO, taking care of your face will not have an impact your masculinity Miss Lady. Start by drinking water! You can flush out all those toxins and impurities you have orally ingested and moisturize your face from the inside. Eight glasses of cold water a day can help you keep the wrinkles away, and you will begin to notice a healthy glow. As a bonus, water acts like an appetite suppressant and has zero calories!
Moisturize! Thank God I grew up watching my mother moisturize. Ever since I was kid, I would watch her take care of her face and didn’t know why, but her face always looked fabulous! Moisturizing is vital in face care, especially during the winter months in Florida when you never have a clue as to what temperature it’ll be on a daily basis. If you pay attention, your skin will tell when it’s time to moisturize. If you feel a sudden tightness, then hit it. Use hypoallergenic products, and be careful not to over-moisturize. You will end up clogging pores, and that just turns into a busted-up situation. One more thing, if you work outside or even spend a lot of time driving in the car during the day, use a moisturizer with SPF protection. The sun can do some serious damage to your visage, so unless you want to be cast as the new face of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, use a moisturizer with sunblock. Now if this doesn’t help, then see you in Colombia. Remember there is no place like your FACE!
May the Fierce Face be with you!
Take the time and actually wash and scrub your face. Soap comes to mind, but bar soaps can be a little harsh and can leave your skin dry because they strip away the natural oils of your skin. So invest in a cleanser, easily picked up at any drug or grocery store. Wash daily and scrub (exfoliate) twice a week. Exfoliating will remove all the dead skin cells and other pollutants you expose your face to. Stay away from overly abrasive products – this is your face we’re working with.
SOUTH KOREA GRANTS ASYLUM TO GAY PAKISTANI
WRITTEN BY MIKE HALTERMAN
ow that we start a new decade, we look forward to the future in the hope that social and cultural boundaries can be broken across the world. For one man, there is hope; for his native land, things look bleak.
However, Sharia law was implemented starting in December 1978 by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who overthrew Bhutto and oversaw his trial and execution. From there, death by stoning became an option for those found in violation of Pakistan's "unnatural offenses" law, which remains on the books to this day. Pakistan is one of only eight countries in the world that reserves capital punishment for homosexuality-related cases.
Just three days into the New Year, a court in South Korea granted asylum to a Pakistani man who had been living in the capital, Seoul, as a legal alien since 1996. Last year, he filed for permanent residency, citing his homosexuality as a potential catalyst for retribution should he be sent back to There are no reliable numbers from the government as to his native Pakistan. The Yonhap News Agency quoted court how many people are actually stoned for their crimes, but affidavits in which the asylum-seeker sociologist Badruddin Khan has obsaid, "My family and relatives were "My family and relatives were my served that the law is rarely enforced my enemy. They said I was insulting enemy. They said I was insulting to such a level. Khan believes the law my family, Islam and my country and is on the books to intimidate gay Pakthreatened that they would report me my family, Islam and my country istanis to comply with intrusive police and threatened that they would re- orders, and to blackmail them for a to police." variety of different reasons. General port me to police." Understanding the situation in PakiZia's "Islamization" of Pakistan was stan requires one to visualize the widely successful, turning the social implementation of political Islam. Pakistan is an Islamic climate even colder to discussing issues like homosexualrepublic, and a lot of the laws curtailing social freedoms ity, which was blamed on the "decadence" of Europe and were introduced by the country's most recent constitution, the United States. drafted by noted statesman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1973. The document is a mixture of the state's promotion of Islam and One glimmer of hope is that the advent of the Internet has Islamic social mores and updates on British colonial law; made it easier for gay Pakistanis to find one another and Pakistan was a part of British India until the Crown granted make new friends. The South Asian blogosphere has even independence to India in 1947, allowing Pakistan to secede commented on the plight of gays. However, as long as the same year. Pakistan's Islamic republic model continues to label homosexuality as anathema to Islam, dialogue will not start on a Public statement of homosexuality and sexual acts between national level. Before gay rights can be accepted, the idea two people of the same sex were therefore punishable by of homosexuality has to be, and Pakistan is unfortunately a a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, with no fewer long way off from either. than two years in the sentence before the possibility of parole. It became known as the "unnatural offenses" law in the English translation of the Constitution.
HEALTHY EATING FOR THE NEW YEAR AND FOR LIFE How many of you made the resolution to lose weight this year? Well, I’ve heard it from almost every one of my personal training clients over the past couple weeks … they are going to start eating better. And I say “great!” Healthy eating is just as important as exercise for a healthy lifestyle. But just as with starting an exercise program, it’s not as easy as just saying you’re going to do it. You actually have to change your behavior when it comes to eating. Doing this will help you reach your resolution as well as creating a lifetime of good eating habits. Now that you made the resolution and are committed to changing your behavior, you need to figure out how and what to change. Here are a few suggestions that can put you on the right path.
Keep a journal
The best way to get started is to figure out what your eating habits are. To do this, you need to keep a food journal. You need to record everything you eat or drink and when you eat or drink. It is a lot to do, but it is very important. In reviewing your eating routines, you can see the good habits you have and will keep as well as those that you need to change, because they are high calorie, low nutrition choices. It can also show your bad behaviors like skipping breakfast. Studies have shown that if you eat breakfast, you eat fewer calories the rest of the day. Also, keeping an ongoing food record while trying to establish better eating patterns can keep you on track and discourage overeating. Another item you need to regularly record is your weight. Do this at least once a week, if not every day.
Getting rid of temptation
Eat your veggies
Most of us don’t have a strong enough willpower to resist those chips or cookies that are sitting in the cabinet, so why are they even there? When retraining your eating habits, it’s better to avoid the temptation rather than resist it. That's why it's important to keep only healthy foods in your home. Make sure you have fruits, nuts and veggies around the kitchen that are easy to grab when you do feel like snacking.
Recent studies show that consuming plant foods can play an important role in weight loss. High in water and fiber, veggies create a feeling of being full without giving you the big-calorie load of high-fat foods. Trying roasting or stir frying your veggies as well as steaming for variety. If you begin to slide into your old eating patterns, don’t give up. It takes persistence and patience. And don’t go it alone. Get help from a personal trainer, nutrition counselor, or anyone you think can help you get — and stay — on the right track.
Chris Alberts Independent ACSM Certified Personal Trainer 727.542.9716 www.SoHoHealthandFitness.com Other locations: Powerhouse Gym, Channelside and Elite Training Center, St. Pete
MLK Soon after the House vote failed, Dr. King's widow, Coretta Scott King, and her non-profit organization, The King Center, turned to the public for support. With the help of musician Stevie Wonder, a national grassroots PR campaign took hold, and ended in 1981 with 6 million signatures on a petition requesting that the government recognize Dr. King's work with a national holiday. Two years later, the bill passed both houses of Congress in a veto-proof majority and was signed by President Reagan, who proclaimed that the holiday would be legally observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. After some resistance from state governments, in 2000 all 50 states had signed bills recognizing the third Monday in January as a holiday in Dr. King's memory. Since 1994, federal legislation has also honored the holiday as a day of service, imploring people to give back to their communities. The city governments in Tampa and Orlando help sponsor their respective Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Service. United Way's Miami chapter sponsors the same in South Florida.
his year marks the 25th-annual observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Meant to honor the famous civil rights leader who was slain after a rally in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, the day took 15 years to reach fruition. In November 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill designating the third Monday in January as a federal holiday for King, allowing Americans to reflect on his struggles for equal rights and freedom for all. Here's a history of how the holiday was created. Representative John Conyers (D-MI), who introduced our current hate crimes legislation (The Matthew Shepard Act), first brought the bill to the floor of the House of Representatives in 1979. It fell just five votes short of moving to the Senate, with the majority citing two reasons for its failure at the time: the 1970s was a time of deep recession for the United States, and some lawmakers did not believe a paid holiday for federal workers was the right thing to do in such troubled economic times. Still others noted a tradition that had been unbroken: no holiday had ever been commemorated to honor a man who had never held public office.
One promising development for LGBT rights is the creation of Harvey Milk Day in California, which will be recognized for the first time on May 22 and honors the late gay-rights activist (the first of its kind for an openly gay person). As we look forward, the following quote rings true for many of us concerned about our own version of the Civil Rights Movement. "If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from “The Drum Major Instinct Speech”; February 4, 1968.
OFF TO A GOOD START
HAPPY 2010 EVERYONE! Well we made it, another year down and a new beginning. I can honestly say 2008 and 2009 were not the best years of my life, but 2010 is already looking up. I feel more secure with my life and myself, and I pray that it continues in a positive direction. Last issue we discussed some of the ups and downs of 2009, so this time let’s chat about some of the new beginnings in 2010! Last year we lost the one of my favorite places ever, Waterside Landing. Well 2010 has brought a new venue in Pasco County. Manilow's opened on New Year’s Eve in Holiday, FL. Manilow's is brought to us by Chris Chagnon, who was the man behind Club Mercedes, Valentines, Christopher Street, The Viper Room and Chelsea Nightclub. He has a great track record of opening businesses that become very popular in the community. Although not owned by Chris anymore, Valentines is on its 8th or 9th year in business, which is almost unheard of in the gay world. Chris has a full week of events planned at Manilow’s, including talent shows, a Latin night, karaoke, strip contests and a large cast of entertainers. This includes entertainers such as the beautiful Faith Taylor, Roz Markell, Alexis Mateo, Lady Janet, Kamden Wells, the "First Lady of Ybor City," Joey Brooks, and myself! He has a lot of great things going on at Manilow's, so make sure you check it out. Another new gig that everyone should check out is the monthly Gay Bowling Night at Dunedin Lanes in ... yep you guessed it, Dunedin. Ran by an amazing couple, Matt and Tom, the Gay Bowling Night is held the first Thursday of EVERY month from 10:00 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. It includes unlimited cosmic bowling, a full bar, a hot DJ and a fun show with Melanie Minyon and myself for only $10. I was there for the last one and it was a blast. It is a great alternative from the traditional bar OMG 24
scene. My bowling buddy, Justice, and I are practicing up for our next match, even though I kick his ass every time, but I guess someone has to be last, huh Justice? lol. Does anyone know where I can find a pair of high-heeled bowling shoes? ...And last but not least, Hamburger Mary's Ybor is open and doing very well. Our full menu is in play and the shows are every Saturday night at 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm. The cast will feature a rotation of some of the hottest in female impersonation, and we will have a monthly "La Cage"-style celebrity illusion show. Some of the confirmed entertainers will be Desiree Demornay, Divinity, Crystle Chambers, Robyn Demornay, and Esme Russell. Also don't forget that on Sunday, January 24, Ybor City’s Honey Pot will be hosting the Miss Gay Florida USofA pageant. The who's who of the drag world will be there, competing and entertaining. Owned by Bob Taylor, this is his third year holding the pageant, and it truly has become one of the social events of the year. It is a preliminary pageant to the Miss USofA contest in Dallas, Texas and I have heard a few of my favorite entertainers may be competing. Check out the next issue of OMG! for my rundown of the event.
ver the summer, I mentioned my inability to deal with cold weather. Now that the cold weather is here, I am right on schedule with losing my shit, freaking out and mostly refusing to leave the house. There’s a reason I live in Florida, and it involves not scraping ice off my windshield. Still, there’s an interesting beauty in a sparse lawn covered with dazzling bits of frost. And thanks to the wonders of social media, I’ve seen first hand what a deck covered in four feet of snow looks like. Let’s just say I don’t want to go to there. For now, I’ll run to my car, flapping my hands like a displaced bird. I’ll crank up the heater, throw on the seat warmers and whine that my iPhone doesn’t work when I’m wearing mittens.
Maybe the cold snap is a blessing. Like a giant slap in the face from the universe saying, “It’s a new year! Do something different today!” Explore a new bookstore. Find out what it feels like to jog in cold air (I think it makes it feel like your insides are rapidly constricting, but that’s just me). Does the cold make you feel different? I know it makes dogs act crazy. They run out into the cold grass, dive, roll and run in circles until everything but the tips of their ears and tail are warm. We could learn something from dogs. It could be the hypothermia talking, but maybe the cold is growing on me a little. After all, I get to wear my “winter” boots. And I get to enjoy the loving warmth of a little space heater under my desk. And the sky is a little bluer and clearer than usual.
This New Year, let that blast of cold air push you in a new direction. Even if it’s just for one day. Vary your routine. Go to a different grocery store. Try a different radio station. Go get coffee with an old friend. Find a hot tub and hide in the water with a hot toddy and something warm to hang onto. Wear a scarf (get creative with the scarf later). Create friction. Before we know it, we’ll be melting away in the Florida heat and blasting our air conditioners and counting the days until the weather cools down. I’m going to go make some fun while the crazy weather lasts.
WANT MUSCLES? DO IT THE RIGHT WAY It’s 2010, a new year with new resolutions to be sworn, and hopefully kept! If you’re like many OMG! readers, you’ve publically professed your plans to join the gym and mold a figure that would make the hunkiest homos turn heads! A common topic I like to address with my muscle-maniacs is that of anabolic steroids. Here’s the buildup and breakdown of steroids and the inherent risks they pose to your health. I hope by the end of this article, you’ll agree to reject the "roids" in favor of a safe and effective health plan to get your booty beach-ready. Anabolic steroids are chemicals that mimic the naturally occurring male hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. The effects of these substances increase protein synthesis, aiding in the growth of muscles and tendons. Anabolic steroids also have androgenic and virilizing properties, including the development of masculine characteristics such as hair growth and deepening of the voice. While most people report significant increases in muscle size, strength and reduction of body fat, these chemicals are not without potentially life-threatening risks. Anabolic steroids are notorious for increasing levels of unhealthy LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as raising blood pressure and increasing the incidence of heart disease and heart attack. If you’re still deaf to the “socially silent” side effects, consider what the mirror might show you. Steroids can cause horrible acne, baldness and the development of female-appearing breast tissue. Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone and estrogen in the
human body – increasing the supply of unnaturally occurring testosterone will make these side effects more likely. Still stubborn and want to “juice up” to cheat your way to your goals? Consider the boys ... your testes I mean. Anabolic steroids inevitably cause testicular atrophy (decreased size), so if you enjoy your most prized possessions as they are, I’d pay attention! So who’s crazy? You might be if you decide to shoot-up with any of these sullied serums. A 2005 review determined that some (but not all) randomized controlled studies have found that anabolic steroid use correlates with hypomania and increased aggressiveness. The typical "roid rage" generally occurs with long-term use, though there are reports of acute mania and psychosis with only a few doses. Allow me to strong-arm you into a healthier approach that will preserve your mind, body and spirit. First, allow yourself plenty of time. Set realistic and measurable goals for yourself and your body-type. Six weeks is generally enough time for most people to notice encouraging changes. Your goals will dictate your personalized training schedule and activities. I encourage you to read the Fitness section of OMG! Magazine for tips. In many ways, you are what you eat. If your goal is to increase muscle size and strength, consume roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of body-weight. Protein should come in the form of lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, pork, fish and eggs. Make sure that you do consume cheeses and dairy for the
medium chain fatty acids and “healthy fats” that actually promote leanness and proper metabolism. Finally, heed your mother’s advice to “eat your greens”; I know you’ve licked your chops over the Jolly Green Giant more than once. Unless medically directed, I would have to frown on injecting yourself with any foreign substance. Whether “natural” or not, hormones are highly active biological agents with certain and predictable side effects. Be patient with your resolutions; persistence will pay off in time. I hope 2010 brings everyone happiness and health. I look forward to your questions and concerns in upcoming issues.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ORLANDO! B
ANG, a new decade has started. To usher in the New Year, people flocked to their favorite nightclubs, counting down the last seconds of 2009 and welcoming 2010, while quietly wishing for health, love, and prosperity in the New Year. 2010: a new beginning, where we cast off the baggage of the past and patiently fortify ourselves for the baggage of the future. I hope the New Year will bring something special and profound in your life, and that whatever the challenges are, you’ll be able to STAND. As for myself, I’m looking forward to finally coming out to my entire family. Of course my immediate family knows that I’m gay and of Ms. Darcel, but not those high-minded, God-fearing, bible-carrying cousins of mine. This year’s location for the family reunion is Orlando, FL, so what a perfect opportunity to introduce Ms. Darcel and her beautiful Gays to my relatives. I personally feel most will be kewl about my lifestyle but who knows, and do I really care? Listed on the reunion’s itinerary for Saturday night – The Parliament House Resort! To support their favorite Uncle, Uncle Nell (that’s what they call me), many plan to party at the P-house and watch the shows. So hold on tight Orlando, over 300 wild, black folks from around the USA will converge on The City Beautiful for three days of remembrance, prayer, food, and massive partying! I’ll be one nervous, proud, fat, son-of-a-bitch that night, when the Chestnut family meets my Orlando Gay Family. I’ll keep you posted; it’s going to be wild. Nina Flowers will converge on The Parliament House during the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday weekend, Saturday, January 16. She’ll join the fabulous Footlight Players for two electrifying shows, at 10 p.m. and midnight. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made the morning of by dialing (407) 425-7571. A contestant on Season 1 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nina’s fierce club kid look, diva personality, and awesome talents made her an instant favorite and the most sought-after show personality. A native of Puerto Rico, Nina resides in Colorado where she is an accomplished makeup artist, DJ, and recording artist. Her debut single, “Loca,” is quickly rising up the Billboard music charts; to listen to a sneak peak, do a quick
search on YouTube. Also, keep your TV channel tuned to Logo for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2, because Orlando sensation Tyra Sanchez is a contestant. She’s young, talented, and drop dead gorgeous, and I personally think she wins Season 2. No, I have no inside scoop on who wins, I just know this bitch is FIERCE and comes from excellent stock (Angelica Sanchez and Stasha Sanchez). Congratulations to Armani and Chrissy for raising over $1,300, a result of their Lady GaGa concert/ticket charity drawing. All proceeds went to the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida, a locally based charity that provides free healthcare to Central Floridians living with HIV/AIDS. Hope and Help Board of Directors President, Thearon Scurlock, accepted the donations onstage at The Parliament House, where he personally thanked Armani and Chrissy on behalf of the agency. Check out Armani on Mondays for Hot Monday’s $100 Strip Contest featuring DJ Brianna, Blade Mathews, and Chrissy. It’s wild, unpredictable, and full of hot, young sexy men and women. Free door cover till 11 p.m., $1.00 draft beer, and $2.00 wells & Long Island Iced Teas. Finally, lots of love and well wishes go out to my sister and friend, Sierrah Foxx. Sierrah Foxx and I have been friends for nearly 20 years, and she’s one of the few people who brighten my day and make me smile just by walking into the room. She’s a former Miss National at Large, Miss FL USA at Large, Miss FL Continental Plus, Miss FL at Large, Miss Southern Nights and a host of other titles. What I love most about Sierrah is her one-of-a-kind talent. If you’ve ever seen the Foxx in action, you know she has a way of conveying a song like no other, with her rhythmic shuddering, head shakes, and soulful dance that transcends you to pure joy. Wow, what an entertainer! Sierrah is that rare breed of entertainer who has the ability to entertain all audiences, regardless of gender or race, and boy, she does it so well. Sierrah values her family and her friends most, whom she shares all aspects of her life with. To catch Sierrah Foxx in action, simply YouTube her name, and you’ll see what I know to be a magnificent entertainer. “I love you and miss you Fat Ass, hurry back home!” Until next time, Ms. Darcel
-Ms Darcel (http://www.facebook.com/darcel.stevens) OMG 33
HAVE YOU SET YOUR NEW YEARS FINANCIAL RESOLUTION?
WRITTEN BY MATT SIENK
So the beginning of the year gives us the ability to wipe the slate clean and start over with a new resolve. 2009 has taught many of us valuable lessons on living within our new financial means. Creating a budget is something that many people talk about doing, but very few actually follow through with. I thought that this issue would be a great time to provide you with a quick and very effective method to set a budget in 2010. Know what you are dealing with The first step to a good budget is to know how much money you have each month in income. This is easy for people who are paid hourly or are salaried. All you need to do is look at your last month’s take-home pay and set this as your income. For those who are commission based, the best method is to take your median (middle) month’s income for the last 12 to 18 months. Remember that you are working with what you take home after all of your taxes, insurance and other deductions are taken out. Determine your fixed expenses Fixed expenses are those things that you pay every month that do not change. This is typically your car payment, rent, insurance, student loans, and other set payments. You should also add savings into this category. It is important to always remember to pay yourself first. You should try to put away 10 percent of your gross income away each month. Determine your variable expenses This part is a bit more difficult, but looking at your debit/ credit card statement or keeping a tally of receipts can help with this. Variable expenses are things like groceries, eating out, clothing, entertainment, alcohol, and pretty much anything that varies from month to month. Try to figure out what you average over a 2-3 month period. You will be shocked at how much you really spend on these things.
This is going to be a bit painful… Now you need to compare your expenses to your income. You ideally need to set what is called a zero-dollar budget. This means you set your expenses to match your income. If you have more expenses than income, you will need to find places to scale back. Start first on your variable expenses (I told you it would be painful)… Think about things you really don’t need that you seem to be spending money on. These are things like drinking, entertaining tricks, excessive shopping, and wasteful convenience items. If that still isn’t enough… Consider reducing your fixed expenses. I suggest reviewing your cell phone plan, cable packages, and shopping around for auto/life/homeowners insurance. If you have extra income available, increase your savings rate (and call me… I will gladly be an extra expense). Track and reward yourself The second most important aspect of a good budget is to track and update as needed. If you stick to your budget and have some extra funds available, then by all means reward yourself. I like the idea of a cheap weekend cruise as a reward for a job well done.
Photography by John Revisky OMG 38
WRITTEN BY ALAN PHILLIPS
"I don't like relationships. I just like cock."
his is the conversation I walked into upon my return from the bathroom a few months ago. The line was delivered by my best girlfriend of nearly 15 years. We met in high school and before long, we became almost inseparable. As time passed, however, our lives went in different directions. She moved to Tennessee, got married, and settled down in the suburbs. The marriage didn't work out, and about a year after her divorce, I convinced her to move to Tampa. In the years since we reunited, I have seen my beloved friend evolve into a strong, self-sufficient, independent woman. I have seen the role of men in her life also evolve from caregivers and support systems to fun-but-unnecessary additions to an already-complete life. When I heard my friend's declaration about her new found distaste for relationships, I was admittedly torn between emotions: equal parts pride and dismay. I love knowing that she realizes she does not need a man to complete her life. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between not needing a partner and not wanting one. While I thought my sadness was on her behalf, in reality, I was sad about the reflection of myself that I saw so clearly in my friend. I, too, feel that I have reached a point where having a man in my life may actually get in the way of my life. OMG 42
Recently when a nice man asked me on a date, I actually checked with my friends first to see if there was something better to do that night. It isn't that I didn't want to go out with him. I really did. But the fact is, my life is in a very enjoyable rut, and introducing another element into the mix may throw everything off track. I'm having fun, and I don't want to rock the boat. Where I once asked myself questions like, "Is this the person for me?" "Could we be soul mates?" â€œCould I spend my life with him?" I now ask myself, "Would this person's participation in my life be an unbearable inconvenience?" As naive, insecure twenty-somethings grow into strong, self-sufficient, independent thirty-somethings, have significant others become â€Ś insignificant? We have our own homes wherein we can be exactly what we want to be without consideration of others. We have dependable modes of transportation to and from professional places of employment. We have dug through the mess of casual acquaintances and identified a solid group of true friends. When it comes to getting laid, let's be honest: it just ain't that hard to do. Since my friend's public anti-relationship/pro-cock discourse, she has fallen in love. My knee-jerk reaction was skepticism, and I realized my rut, although fun, may be quite unhealthy. I do want a significant other, but the fear of my "wanting" becoming "needing" makes all options remain insignificant.
Photographed by Michael Downs OMG 44
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eatured in a new book by Jenettha Baines, 100 of the Most Influential Gay Entertainers (to be released in early spring), this showgirl is not stopping anytime soon. Poised to celebrate 32 years in show business on January 30 at Hamburger Mary’s Orlando, Florida’s “Leading Lady” shows no signs of slowing down. He runs a full, mainstream and gay-friendly retail store, Ritzy Rags, in Orlando that has been in business since 1990. He produces a Cabaret show at Hamburger Mary’s every Saturday in Orlando. He hosts his famous celebrity, female impersonation “Illusions in Revue” in clubs, restaurants and corporate events as Bette Midler, and he also impersonates Elton John from time to time. Leigh has a lifetime partner, Joey, with whom he’s shared more than 20 years of his life.
plastic surgery, I can no longer wear nice shoes, or look the way what fans expect, I will be forced to retire. I love performing and hope to somehow stay in the business so that I may keep active.” Leigh’s quick comic relief keeps the mainstream audiences packed at his Cabaret show at Hamburger Mary’s Orlando. And to the surprise of many, the mainstream hetero crowds love him too.
When asked who inspired him the most, he said that Miss P, Michael Andrews, Carmella Marcella Garcia and Dana Manchester were major influences as far as female impersonators go. However, he credits his look to Dolly Parton the most. He feels that the hair, glitz, and personality are why he loves to become the persona of Leigh Shannon. Leigh’s impersonation of Bette Midler has been the most fun for him, and he “Touching lives on a performance level is explained that “Bette is the wonderful but addicting. I hope that when I only person who can say leave this business, I can continue to touch ‘FUCK’ and no one cares, people in other ways. But for now, I hope to even the preachers! So I love that blue character.”
Leigh’s first home was in Orlando at The Parliament House, and he was also show director at Southern Nights and Cold Keg over the years. The Parliament make them laugh, scare the hell out of them House recently brought and then we all go home!” Leigh has won over 20 major Leigh back in a show he titles in the Midwest and the created, called Studio South. His recent win was 55, which has proven to be one of his favorite perMiss Metropolitan Continental Elite 2009, which is for formances. the 40-and-up impersonators. He will be passing along that title on Sunday, January 31 at Revolution NightWith the trials of everyday life and performing, Leigh club in Orlando. still takes the time to do charity work, whether it’s through the show business aspect or helping to serve Despite his sassy, diva exterior, Leigh said that people who battle cancer. His store is unique in that “touching lives on a performance level is wonderful no one would really realize Ritzy Rags Wigs & More but addicting. I hope that when I leave this business, services many women who are battling cancer. He I can continue to touch people in other ways. But for said that owning the store is very special and he loves now I hope to make them laugh, scare the hell out of what he does. His mother, who died of breast cancer them and then we all go home!” at the young age of 43, lingers in his mind often. You can catch up with Leigh on his Web site www. “I know that if my mother had cancer today, she leighshannon.com and at his business site www. would have made it,” Leigh explained. “She died 23 ritzyrags.com years ago and she was a comedic woman and was beautiful. My dad was a country music singer who Don’t forget to check out his special anniversary/ passed away very young. With the young deaths of birthday show at Hamburger Mary’s Orlando on Satmy parents, I am surprised to still be here.” urday, January 30. It’ll be one event you won’t want to miss! When asked about how much longer he would like to perform, he said, “I feel when I can no longer have OMG 59
of you who are attending school or working it at a new job, I gotta give you props! For all you women and men still struggling, DON’T GIVE UP! I know that the “time to shine” is taking its sweet-ass time, but you’ve got to have patience. Yea, I confess ’09 wasn’t my greatest, despite the fact that I was able to complete college and overcome the worst situations I’d faced so far. But they helped me get where I’m standing today. We’ve suffered the ups and downs, but we always manage to get on our feet. I believe this new, fresh start is going to be tremendous. Have more confidence with the next job you apply for, fulfill that extra effort in your relationship and don’t let the love fade, chase that dream, and if a prayer helps you, don’t stop!
o how wasted were you guys/gals? Did anyone do some last-minute activities before that clock struck 12? Well, as long you did your thing and held those drinks up cheering to the past and welcoming the future, it’s all good. I wish all of you the best! Now that we got that out the way, how are you single ladies doing? 2009 was stressful, full of BS, drama, car payments, and broken hearts from the last bitch. Get your booty up and get out there! Go shopping and replace some of that horrible wardrobe in the back of your closet! Basically, go do “you,” and take care of your priorities! My heart goes out to the ladies who are patiently looking for that special girl, the next wife-to-be. It’s another day, so live it to the fullest with a positive attitude, and keep improving your personality. Now, I have a question for you. Before ’09 ended, did you ever think of telling someone you’re sorry or of making a confession? I’m talking about holding onto words, feelings, guilt, and not taking that shot to express your emotions. Maybe you can take five minutes to write “sorry” for some of those opportunities we couldn’t face (but don’t try to make your own mix of “I’m sorry 2009!” lol). I’m willing to openly say sorry on certain parts in my life. With things like this, however, we often ignore or walk around it, thinking it’s not a big deal – but it is. Promise this year, to yourself and forever on in your life, to not let opportunities or other blessings pass you by. The New Year gives all of us the possibility to do what we didn’t get to do in ’09. Please appreciate not only yourself, but also the ones you dearly love. For those
Everything is in place to change for the better, and we’re counting on our president and other officials to help us, and to uphold their promise of ensuring equal rights to gays and lesbians. Our eyes are surely waiting for new and better things, and let’s not forget – more money. So support your family and friends who need that boost. In 2010, we’re gonna do our best to make it our time to shine. I wish our readers wealthy lives and forever happiness. Single ladies: heads up, attitude, looking good? GO SHINE! Questions, comments, concerns? Have a topic you’d like to see covered? E-mail me at LOL@omgmag.com
THE SOULFUL HOUSE SINGER STOPS BY TAMPA BAY The soulful voice behind such club hits as “Nasty Girl,” “Horny,” “Breakaway,” “Stand by Me,” “Natural High” and more, Inaya Day has found herself atop the dance charts year after year. With beginnings in musical theater, Inaya quickly found herself hooked on house and dance music and hasn’t let up since. After recently performing at Georgie’s Alibi in St. Pete, Inaya took some time to speak with OMG! about her career. How did you enjoy performing at Georgie’s Alibi?
course, Michael Jackson. Every little kid lis tened to Michael Jackson and kind of imitated the little squeaky voice … Those are the three that I kind of emulated and patterned myself after when I was a kid. As I grew up, I incorporated my own little flavors into it. How long have you been singing? Well, technically since I was 4, but I’ve been making money at it since I was about 11 or 12 … I’m lucky and blessed. Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with?
I had a blast! My road manager and I were talking about it all the way home. We had so Bootsy Collins, Stephanie Mills, Ashford & much fun, everybody was so cool. It was alSimpson, Puffy [Diddy] Combs, Missy Elliott, most like I just went MC Lyte, Randy Crawto sing for some of my “House music, to me … it’s so up- ford … that’s a few of friends or something them. lifting … a lot of people don’t go to like that. church or whatever, and going to hear Do you think people Do you often come to some good ole house music sometimes would be surprised Florida? When can is their church. A lot of the lyrics are to learn that you’ve we expect you back? provided background inspirational, even if they inspired you vocals for a number of Yea, I’m there quite to dance and just feel better. I adore mainstream artists? often during the year. it because it’s always uplifting to me.” Usually I’m down at I think a lot of people The Parliament House would be surprised. or something like that. I don’t have my schedI’m not the kind of person that likes to be ule for summer yet … I’m off to Australia … so out there, even though a lot of my friends and I’ll be gone for two months. After that … reprimand me for it. I like chillin’ [and] takis when my spring/summer schedule for USA ing it easy, so I don’t really announce many and Europe will start to develop. of the things I do. My agents get upset with me because they say, “ok, we need an updated How did you get your start in house music? bio,” and I’ll give them a few lines and they’re like “that’s it?!” I’m like “nobody cares, who I was doing musical theater in Germany. cares?” [laughs] So I was living there for a while, and a mutual friend of mine and [producer] Boris How would you describe the trend of reDlugosch’s asked me to come to Hanover … making older songs into dance tracks? Do they had a little skeleton track, which later we you feel like it gives it new life or a new auknow now as “Keep Pushin,” and I just sang dience? some stuff from the top of my head, and it hit. We did the follow up, “Hold Your Head Up Yes, I think it gives it a new audience for sure, High,” and that hit, and then we did the next because with “Nasty Girl,” when I remade [it], one, which was “Horny,” and that hit so I figmany of the people thought that I wrote it. I ured I was “in it.” [laughs] So I figured there said, no I can’t take the credit, that’s Prince was something to this thing called “house.” and Vanity 6. They had no idea, they totally thought it was my song … it does find a new Who have been some of your inspirations? audience … I think that’s a good thing. It gives the old version a boost too; it makes them go, Ella Fitzgerald. Chaka Khan. Those are my “oh lemme listen to it then.” And I respect primary influences from childhood … and of those artists, so that’s a good thing.
DANCE DIVA What is your favorite part of singing house/ dance songs?
I’ve always loved house music, I mean from the beginning … my friends are house heads, so [if] we go to a club and they’re not playing house music, we’re like “uhh… thanks byee.” We all leave [laughs]. House music, to me … it’s so uplifting. I tell a lot of people this, [but] a lot of people don’t go to church or whatever, and going to hear some good ole house music sometimes is their church. A lot of the lyrics are inspirational, even if they inspired you to dance and just feel better. I adore it because it’s always uplifting to me. How would you describe your gay fans? I think they are quite zealous and faithful. I mean, they stick by you. Through these years and through all of the different manifestations of house, they’re still there. At shows sometimes, people yell out names of songs they wanna hear, that I totally forgot about … so I count on them to keep me goin’ and keep me on my toes. [laughs] If you could work with one artist/producer, who would it be and why? That’s always a difficult question, because I’ll work with an artist or producer that’s new as long as the music is good. I’m really not
seeking after one particular person. I do like Ne-Yo’s open-mindedness to music – that I do like. I wouldn’t mind working with him. I like that he’s not afraid to sing background vocals on a track and not have to be in the forefront, as he did with Chrisette Michele … I like him for his musical integrity. I would love to work with him. What are your plans for the near future? I am almost finished with two projects actually. One with DJ Mike Cruz, [which] is our first full project together. We’ve released so many singles and had like five No. 1s together on Billboard, so I figured, hey, we need to compile some of the best ones, and then add like six new ones … I’m also doing a deeper and more soulful project with Native Sons and we’re nine songs into that project … that’ll be ready probably for summer or so. Anything else you’d like to add? Yea, if anybody wants to see me live, I am at The Village Underground in New York City every Wednesday through Friday, and also you can watch us live online (we’re on at 9:30 p.m. [ET]) at www.thevillageunderground.com For more information on Inaya Day, check her out on the Web: www.inayaday.com
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Mar 20 - Apr 19 You are inventive and imaginative, which explains your habitual lying. Because you have little sex appeal, you are fortunate to have no sex drive. Your idea of fine food usually involves some form of hot dogs.
Sept 22 - Oct 22 You are compassionate, understanding, and sympathetic; that's why you are known among friends as a sucker. Always giving out favors that no one returns is going to get old. Save yourself the trouble and adopt a few cats.
Apr 20 - May 19 That New Year’s party was amazing. I’m glad your midnight kiss is now your new boyfriend, I’m glad the trick that followed you to the bathroom was just security making sure you were of age, I’m glad… Wait, why do you keep scratching your crotch?
Oct 23 - Nov 21 Scorpios are clever and able to achieve notoriety; that's why your friends regard you as a self-centered bore. No one ever thinks about you, so change it! And no, that does not mean bring attention to yourself by becoming a drag queen.
May 20 - Jun 20 You are loyal, hard working, and trustworthy, which helps explain why you are a minimum-wage flunky. It would help to get a special skill that doesn’t involve a broom.
Nov 22 - Dec 21 You are shrewd in business matters and can usually get your way with others. That's why everyone despises you. If you keep to yourself, it only gets worse, so go live life and Facebook request all your friends’ closest friends. That’ll teach ‘em!
Jun 21 - Jul 21 You are persistent and determined when striving for a goal, but have no clue how to achieve it. All your friends pretend not to notice your lack of intelligence – at least to your face. Look on the bright side: you’re acing all those online classes.
Dec 22 - Jan 19 You are optimistic, enthusiastic, and ambitious. Too bad you don’t have much talent. Most Capricorns end up in prison, and it has been documented that many Capricorns have husbands or wives who cheat. You should probably get your hands on some of those “… For Dummies” books.
Jul 22 - Aug 22 You are extraordinarily intelligent and articulate, and those around you appreciate intelligence in someone so plain. Leos are known to become more unattractive as they grow older, so sorry, the future looks kinda bleak if you don’t do something soon.
Jan 20 - Feb 17 You are artistic and imaginative, but that stems from your warped view of reality. All Aquarians are left-handed. If you are not left-handed, your mother has lied to you about your birth date as part of a cover-up.
Aug 23 - Sept 21 You are conservative and against taking risks. This makes you the dullest person in your circle of friends, especially considering your utter lack of ambition and/or imagination. Pull out some of those old Barney (the dinosaur) tapes.
Feb 18 - Mar 19 Pisces are often trained to be fairly good bus drivers and reasonably successful shoe sales clerks, but they cannot be taught to succeed at personal relationships. Don’t make plans for the weekend, because they will result in disaster, and your friends can’t handle that again.
Note: precise dates vary slightly from year to year, and from source to source. These are not meant to be definitive.
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