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No. 18 • June 7, 2018 •








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Located Inside | 707-320-6900 1600 Soscol Avenue, Napa, CA 94559

Outword California Staff PUBLISHER Fred Palmer

LGBTQ Pride Is Sprouting Up Around the Globe article courtesy of the IGLTA


he LGBTQ rights movement has made tremendous strides over the past few decades and much of the progress in visibility is thanks in part to LGBTQ pride parades and marches that have taken place in cities around the world.


Why Visit a Destination During a Local Gay Pride Event?

SA LES Fred Palmer CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Diana Kienle Colt McGraw Chris Narloch Bonnie Osborn Charles Peer PHOTOGRA PHY Charles Peer Ron Tackitt

A DVERTISING SA LES (213) 295-3180 (415) 200-4965 (916) 329-9280 Fred Palmer National Advertising Representative

Rivendell Media (212) 242-6863

on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. This series of events was a turning point for the LGBTQ community and marks one of the most significant events leading to the modern gay rights movement. The following year in June, organized demonstrations took place in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. As the years went on, additional cities in North America and Europe began to hold their own public demonstrations or pride day, eventually leading to what we know today as a gay pride parade, march, celebration or festival.

From a protest on Christopher Street in NYC at the Stonewall in in 1969, Pride celebrations have grown to be worls-wide events. Photo by Sasha Charoensub.

The global landscape for LGBTQ rights, protections and acceptance varies tremendously by location, with some destinations attracting millions of visitors to their events like Madrid Gay Pride, Sao Paulo Gay Pride or San Francisco Gay Pride, while more than 70 other countries have laws that allow discrimination or persecution of LGBTQ people.

What is Gay Pride?

Gay pride events, including gay pride parades and festivals were started in major urban centers to improve the visibility, acceptance and legal protections for LGBTQ people living in those communities. While the aim of pride day started with a political nature, many cities around the world have

such wide acceptance and legal protections that many events have become a celebration of pride for the local LGBTQ community. Depending on the country or city where the event is being held, the marches and parades often campaign for recognition and acceptance of same-sex marriage, legal protections for couples and families, antidiscrimination laws or trans rights. Although there are still obstacles in achieving full acceptance and protections for the LGBTQ community, the progress made just over the past few decades has been significant.

A Brief History of Gay Pride

In June of 1969, a group of LGBTQ people in New York City rioted following a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located

Visiting a destination during a pride event is a great way to not only see the city, its landmarks and learn its history, but also to immerse yourself in the local LGBTQ community. Most gay pride parades and events also occur during a peak season of the year when the weather is most ideal, yet another reason to book your trip during the event. Whether traveling alone, with friends or family, visiting during a gay pride event can be a fun way to experience a new destination and IGLTA can help you find LGBTQ-friendly business in almost any location to help make you trip memorable, safe and exciting.

What is IGLTA?

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is the world’s leading network of LGBTQ-welcoming tourism businesses. They provide free resources and information for LGBTQ travelers including this list of global gay pride events. IGLTA’s members include LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in more than 75 countries. Visit

Campaign Aims to Elevate Voices of HIV+ Trans People Outword California Office

372 Florin Road, #133 Sacramento, CA 95831 (213) 295-3180 (415) 200-4965 (916) 329-9280 Fred Palmer

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Outword California


he Transgender Law Center’s Positively Trans project has launched #ACApositive, a campaign to shift the conversation about health care and the Affordable Care Act towards a focus on the life-or-death stakes for transgender people living with HIV.

Launching just a week after news broke that the Trump administration plans to attack the Affordable Care Act’s protections for transgender people, the campaign seeks to amplify the experiences and voices of transgender people of color living with HIV in federal health care policy. “By undermining the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is undermining the survival of transgender people of color living with HIV,” said Cecilia Chung, senior director of strategic projects at Transgender Law Center and founder of Positively Trans. “Yet so few advocates, policymakers, or media outlets covering these attacks on health care are talking about the stakes for my community. By saying we are #ACApositive, transgender people living

they need it. Everyone deserves for their life to be saved, and that’s what the Affordable Care Act means for transgender people living with HIV. It’s a matter of life or death for us.” Learn more about #ACApositive at with HIV are demanding that our voices and experiences be heard and respected.” The digital campaign will feature the stories and perspectives of dozens of transgender people living with HIV, including through a Twitter town hall on Monday, May 7th, at 11 a.m. In a national research study, Positively Trans found that 44 percent of trans people living with HIV surveyed had faced discrimination in health care because of their gender identity, and 41 percent had gone six months or more without medical care since their HIV diagnosis. Evonne Kaho, amember of Positively Trans, said, “We are launching the #ACApositive campaign because everyone should be able to get medical care when

June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18


Outword California

June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Supreme Court Reverses Colorado “Cake” Decision


he Supreme Court on June 4, the beginning of Pride month, reversed earlier decisions in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, widely know as the Wedding Cake Case, in which a Colorado baker refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Finding a silver lining in the decision, the ACLU maintained that the Court reaffirmed the core principle that businesses open to the public must be open to all. “The court did not accept arguments that would have turned back the clock on equality by making our basic civil rights protections unenforceable, but reversed this case based on concerns specific to the facts here,” the ACLU said in a released statement. The American Civil Liberties Union argued the case on behalf of Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who were refused service at a Colorado bakery because they are a same-sex couple. In 2012, Mullins and Craig visited the Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their wedding. After the bakery turned the would-be customers away because they were a same-sex couple, Mullins and Craig filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. “Today’s decision means our fight against discrimination and unfair treatment will continue,” said Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in a released statement. “We have always believed that in America, you should not be turned away from a business open to the public because of who you are. We brought this case because no one should have to face the shame, embarrassment, and humiliation of

being told ‘we don’t serve your kind here’ that we faced, and we will continue fighting until no one does.” The commission found that the bakery had discriminated against the couple in violation of Colorado law, a decision the Colorado courts upheld. The Supreme Court today (June 4th) found that members of the Commission had made statements evidencing anti-religious bias, and thus had not given a fair consideration to the bakery’s claims. “The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people.” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU. “This case was never just about a wedding cake. It was about all people– no matter who they are – having the right to celebrate their love without facing discrimination,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “The Democratic Party believes that no individual has a license to discriminate. We believe in the dignity of every human being. And we will continue to fight for equality for LGBTQ people in all areas of our society – from housing and health care, to bathrooms and boardrooms, to bakeries and the ballot box.”

Don’t Miss The 2018 Tony Awards by Chris Narloch


stellar revival of Tony Kushner’s landmark gay play Angels in America, starring Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane, could sweep the show this year when the 72nd Annual Tony Awards are handed out on June 10, 2018 during a ceremony hosted by Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles.

Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield star in the Tony-nominated Broadway revival of Angels in America.

The ceremony, which recognizes achievement in Broadway productions during the 2017-2018 season, will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and will be broadcast live by CBS. Ordinarily, Tony fever surrounds the musicals in competition, but this was not a great season for new Broadway musicals. Nevertheless, Tina Fey’s Mean Girls and the musical version of SpongeBob Squarepants managed to rack up 12 nominations each, tying as the most-nominated shows of the season. The other potential winner for Best Musical is The Band’s Visit, starring Tony Shalhoub, which received 11 Tony nominations. (Disney’s Frozen, which was

poorly received by critics, fills out that category but is unlikely to win.) There are only three nominees this year for Best Revival of a Musical, but all are highly acclaimed: Carousel, My Fair Lady, and Once on This Island. The real excitement, however, is over in the play categories, where Angels in America broke the record for most nominations for a play in Tony Awards history with 11 nominations. Also thrilling are the nods for another epic, two-part play, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which seems likely to do very well with Tony voters, thanks to its ten nominations. For a complete list of this year’s nominees, visit June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Outword California 7

Bay Area

A Theatre Bonanza In The Bay Area Two New World Premiere Musicals by Chris Narloch


ans of musical theater can enjoy two new high-profile shows, both of them opening this June in the Bay Area. A Walk on the Moon is a world-premiere musical coming to A.C.T., and Soft Power has its Bay Area premiere this month at San Francisco’s Curran.

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power is performing at the Curran June 20 - July 8, 2018. Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography

A Walk on the Moon

In the summer of ’69, America is on the brink of change. In the cities, crowds are protesting the Vietnam War. In the skies, Apollo 11 is speeding towards the first moon landing. And at a Catskills resort near Woodstock, NY, Jewish housewife Pearl Kantrowitz is busy balancing her rebellious teenage daughter, her overworked television repairman husband, and her daily mahjongg game. When Pearl meets a freewheeling traveling salesman, she undergoes a unique transformation, awakening a newfound spirit of exploration and sexuality. Under the direction of Tony Award nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall), A Walk on the Moon features a book and additional lyrics by Pamela Gray (screenwriter of the 1999 movie starring Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen), music and lyrics by composer Paul Scott Goodman (Bright Lights, Big City) and choreography by Josh Prince (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical). Fusing the spirit of ‘60s folk and rock with today’s singer-songwriter sound, this stunning new musical captures a moving journey of self-discovery and the thrill of a generation in revolution.

A Walk on the Moon, starring Jonah Platt and Olivier Award winner Katie Brayben, performs at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater June 9 — July 1, 2018. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Soft Power

With Soft Power, a contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia with the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Flower Drum Song) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Caroline, or Change). Directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet) and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812), Soft Power rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved Eastmeets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election. Soft Power, with a cast that includes Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue, will perform at the Curran in San Francisco June 20 — July 8, 2018. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Outword California 9

San Francisco Broadway Bares S.F. Returns This June T

he Bay Area version of Broadway Bares, New York City’s famous fundraiser for BC/EFA (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS), will return to San Francisco’s DNA Lounge this June 17 for another wild evening of sipping and stripping.

Broadway Bares San Francisco Strips III - Top Shelf COCKTAILS: Tales of Sipping & Stripping. Photo by Gareth Gooch.

Broadway Bares is a good old-fashioned burlesque-style strip show featuring dozens of hot dancers stripping to raise money for HIV and AIDS services. The 2018 Bay Area edition, Top Shelf Cocktails: Tales of Sipping and Stripping will follow its performers on an imaginary, merry romp around many of San Francisco’s favorite watering holes to celebrate their signature cocktails. The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF) was instrumental in creating a West Coast version of Broadway Bares, collaborating with Broadway Bares NY to launch Broadway Bares SF: Tech Tails in 2016 at Club Fugazi, home of Beach Blanket Babylon. That first year of Broadway Bares SF featured over 50 singers & dancer/strippers, and it was followed by Broadway Bares SF ManuSTRIPT: Literary Tales with Happy Endings, at DNA Lounge in 2017. Broadway Bares was originally conceived and produced by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell and has been an annual AIDS fundraising event in NYC for 27 years, raising over one

million dollars annually. Mitchell, a Broadway dancer at the time, began to raise funds for Broadway Cares by getting his dancer friends together to put on a strip show in a local gay bar as a fundraising event. His modest efforts have grown dramatically, and now Broadway Bares is one of the largest annual fundraisers in NYC. The Bay Area collaboration was spearheaded by former Broadway Bares dancer Deb Leamy, who moved to SF from NYC in 2014 and conceived the idea of creating a West Coast version of this unique benefit show. Leamy teamed up with REAF’s event producers, Ken Henderson and Joe Seiler, to create the San Francisco version, focused on a tongue-in-cheek series of theme-based dances where one or more of the dancers strip or get stripped by the end. Tickets for the 2018 edition of Broadway Bares SF are available online at

For more information about the important work of the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, please visit June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Outword California 11

Cool Queer Movies In Sacramento & S.F.


by Chris Narloch

hile we wait for the Sacramento International LGBTQ Film Festival to return to the Crest this October 12-14, here are some queer movies you can see this June.

Verge Center for the Arts

Don’t miss a ride on the historic Sacramento Southern Railroad. Trains run weekends through September. Purchase tickets today at CaliforniaRailroad.Museum.

This super-cool arts space on S Street in Sacramento also shows the occasional film, and this June’s title is the steamy drama Tom of Finland, about the famous 20th Century Finnish artist of the same name. The proudly erotic drawings of artist Touko Laaksonen, known to the world as Tom of Finland, shaped the fantasies of generations of gay men, influencing art and fashion before crossing over into the wider cultural consciousness. But who was the man behind the leather? Dome Karukoski’s stirring biopic follows the artist’s life from the trenches of WWII and repressive Finnish society of the 1950s through his struggle to get his work published in California, where he and his art were finally embraced amid the sexual revolution of the 1970s. Tom of Finland’s story is one of love, courage and perseverance, mirroring the gay liberation movement for which his leather-clad studs served as a defiant emblem. Perfectly timed for Gay Pride Month, Tom of Finland will be shown at Verge, one time

only, on the evening of Thursday, June 21st. For more information, visit www.vergeart. com/attend/movies-on-the-verge-presentstom-of-finland.


Better known as the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, Frameline42 will fill several Bay Area theaters this June 14-24 with eleven days of gay pride and great films. Frameline is the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema, and this year’s Festival includes 25 world premieres among its 153 narratives, documentaries, and short films. Attendance at this year’s films is expected to top 60,000, and 39 countries are represented, with 52 percent of all movies directed by women. Among the high-profile pictures scheduled this year are films about Emily Dickinson and Robert Mapplethorpe, and other titles will star such famous names as Paul Rudd, Chloe Grace Moretz, Vanessa Redgrave, and Isabelle Huppert. For a complete list of films and more information, visit

Larger-than-life engines, hands on fun, and Old Sacramento’s only historic train rides all come together to bring railroad history to life every day at the California State Railroad Museum. 125 “I” Street Sacramento, CA 95814 www.CaliforniaRailroad.Museum 916-323-9280 12 Outword California

June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Finding Love at the Circus by Emily DeSanto


was born on the circus. Yes, my parents are professional circus clowns. We called Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus our home since I was six weeks old. I grew up around elephants, clowns and showgirls. In May of 2017, hearts shattered around the globe when Feld Entertainment announced the circus was ending. Circus was our home. It was our family and our version of the “real world”. It’s now been one year since the closing of the circus. I ran off to attend college, but I wondered what life after the circus was like for my circus family. Taylor Albin and Dean Kelley found more than just a home while working on the

everyday that gives you opportunities to explore places like Sacramento and the food and downtown and there are so many opportunities that Ringling allowed. It’s difficult to prioritize the options and sit down to realize what is best for us and our time. Thankfully, we are both in positions of loving what we do. Yes, we have achieved the dream that we had then we had to sit down and go “Okay, the show is closed, where do we go from here. What is the new dream.” Taylor: Ringling Brothers was our dream. Being a gay couple on the show, most people in the “outside world”, would deem parts of our lives very difficult since we were always going places that weren’t as accepting, but we experienced nothing but love everywhere we went. I think it’s because we poured out love in every performance. How would you describe your time on the show? Dean: I wanted to do it ever since I was a kid. It’s one of the last true american dreams, I ran away and joined the circus. I was 22 when I joined the show and in Taylor Albin and Dean Kelley that time, I became a man. You learn about yourself. You’re put in circus together, they also found love and I an environment to be tested in the best was very happy to connect with them to ways. I am so thankful for my time that I share their story. had there. I would not trade it for anything As openly gay men, how has your in the world. My family is so supportive of transition been from circus, which is a my choices and my life and my engagement very accepting and open environment to Taylor. All of my success today has been been to the “real world” so to say? Dean: On the circus, we were welcomed as because of the circus. Taylor: My family took me to the show a same sex couple and that is a testament to every year. I watched Tom and Tammy how the circus is. The circus is this band of Parish, Greg Desanto, David Keiser(all “misfits” that are people that are gifted and talented from all over the world. It truly is a famous clowns). I idolized them. They were doing something that I dreamed of doing. mini united nations. They were allowing themselves to be Taylor: What the circus allowed us to do was to be open and respected. Moving from vulnerable and to be in an audience of that to “the real world” was a challenge. We thousands of people bringing joy and had to create our own oasis in what city we happiness to young and old. Helping them forget their worries for a few hours. If people were living in and we had to create that were to look at the circus and understand family environment and that home in Fort Myers after we got off the road and now we the real meaning of the it, the world would be a much better place. At the end of the are still creating that now that we have day, I even met the love of my life, Dean. I moved to Orlando. Luckily, We have a don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t fantastic community here filled with joined Ringling. It brought so much good in performers and travelers and are receiving my life and the Feld family allowed me to that family environment. What are some of the biggest difficulties be apart of their show and give back. Emily DeSanto is the daughter of famous that you have faced in the last year? Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Dean: When you’re on tour, yes you have circus duo Karen and Greg DeSanto. She responsibility, but not that much. Now we grew up with an atypical lifestyle, traveling have to deal with “real people” the country and knowing how to throw a responsibilities such as bills and mortgage. On the circus, we never had to worry about mean pie to the face. All of her fellow circus that. Our schedules were wake up, go do the people became her family. She is currently in college at Augsburg University in show, entertain families, make memories, and get paid. The real world is a lot different. Minneapolis, MN studying communications and marketing. Going and doing this thing you love

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Outword California 13

MUTUAL HOUSING CALIFORNIA SUPPORTS THE LGBT COMMUNITY Each of our 19 housing communities is welcoming to all.

by Ashley Lawrence


s a fifteen year old girl, I can safely say I do not know what I am doing in life and I am constantly in a state of “Wait…. What?” But I can also say that anyone who has been fifteen would probably say the same thing.

Ashley Lawrence with Michelle Visage, a judge at the Fourth Annual RuPaul’s DragCon, and her Mom.

14 Outword California

A Teenager Learns Quite A Bit From A Bunch Of Drag Queens

So, with this knowledge, I took a trip to the Fourth Annual RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles along with 50,000 other attendees. Over the course of three days, I got the opportunity to interview some of my favorite queens and I asked them: “What advice would you give to a fifteen year old?” Some of the advice is helpful for anyone like Trixie Mattel’s “Don’t do crack, yeah, just don’t do drugs,” but other than that, there seemed to be a common thread of finding an outlet and do something that makes you truly happy. There are a few things that the girls said that really stood out to me, for instance, “The advice that I would give to a fifteen year old is to just stay true to yourself even if it is a little different,” Laganja Estranja recommended. “Never stop dreaming and never stop believing”, thank you for that, Blair St. Clair. “Just be yourself, stop trying to fit in,” very helpful from Yuhua Hamasaki, and personality my favorite from Farrah Moan, “The world really opens up to you as you get older and you’re not confined by the walls of a high school and the sky is truly the limit and if you really believe in yourself and you really believe in what you’re doing you can really accomplish anything.” Drag Queens at first glance don’t seem like the best place for advice, but if you think about it, they’re a great resource. These queens have truly found a way to become

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accepting of themselves and they put all their time and energy into something they love and many have found success. Growing up and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or all of the above and questioning everything as teenagers do is amazingly hard; so, taking advice from people who grew up just like us and have grown to put themselves in a position for change is an honorable and brave decision. Who’s ready to attend next year? ME!

Ashley Lawrence with Trixie Mattel at the Fourth Annual RuPaul’s DragCon.

Palm Springs | Coachella

Palm Springs Is a Cool Place To Be in the Summer by Ed Walsh


escaped the Palm Springs midday desert heat earlier this month in a UFO. Okay, not a real UFO, but in the dome-shaped quirky desert landmark known as the Integratron.

While it kind of looks like a 1950s Sci Fi spaceship, the 38-foot tall white cupola was constructed by ufologist George Van Tassel in 1959 to attract extraterrestrials and was funded in part by billionaire Howard Hughes. While ET never paid a visit to the Integratron, desert tourists regularly pay to take a “sound bath” in the wooden building

resorts Casitas Laquita, Queen of Hearts and its sister property Desert Hearts Inn, have been sold and have gone mainstream. If you have been to CCBC recently, you would have noticed room renovations and If you can getaway soon, the Greater Palm redone play spaces. But the resort’s big Springs area has another inducement: change will be unveiled in July when its Restaurant Week. It has become such a big brand-new restaurant and bar called Runway hit that it runs for over two weeks: June 1-17. will open. The bar will aptly feature a Over 100 participating restaurants are runway that will showcase drag shows and offering fixed-menu lunch and dinner deals other live entertainment. The resort plans to ranging from $15 to $49. offer all-inclusive options that will include all Some restaurants are also informally meals and beverages. continuing those specials all summer. For Plans are in the works to add 20 condostyle units in a five-story building on the back of the property where the waterfall is now. If the final plans are approved, that could be up and running in a couple of years. The hip new building will be lit up in Pride rainbow colors at night. New owners took over the La Dolce Vita resort last fall and they are continuing to make big improvements to the property that was already in good shape. Among the improvements, the owners completely remodeled the sauna that now bears a literal translation of its name spelled out in the tile: The Sweet Life.


Old timers will remember that gay nightlife in the desert was centered just south of Palm Springs in Cathedral City. But that began to change in the early 1990s when Street Bar, Palm Springs’ oldest gay

The Integratron in the high desert, about 45 minutes outside of Palm Springs. Photo by Ed Walsh.

that is billed as an acoustically perfect structure. For $30, participants lie on cushions on the floor of the upper level of the building and listen to a concert of sorts by someone playing a series of huge round glass bowls, using a wand around the inside of the glass to put out a series of tones. The Integratron is in the high desert, near Joshua Tree National Park, which stays about 10 degrees cooler than Palm Springs. The building itself has AC, making it comfortable no matter how hot it gets outside. The high desert, including Joshua Tree, is still doable in the summer, but hike before 11 a.m., bring plenty of water and avoid any long or strenuous walks. The summer nights in Joshua Tree are popular for stargazing. August is the best month for viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower. If you don’t want to drive the 45 minutes to get to the high desert, perfect summer hiking can be found around the summit of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Summer temperatures shed about 30 degrees in the ten minute ride to the top in the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Greater Palm Springs is seeing more summer visitors than ever before and businesses are not taking that for granted. Hotels, spas and restaurants are offering deals to entice you to head to the desert in the summer. 16 Outword California

details on participating restaurants check out LGBT businesses have banded together again this year to offer a “Summer Splash” program showcasing hotel and restaurant deals. The site palmspringssummersplash. com/ spells out the offers. It will be updated with the 2018 deals in early June. An example of some of the bargains include the fabulous InnDulge, which offers $99 rooms for weekday stays. InnDulge deservedly stays very busy throughout the summer. La Dolce Vita throws in free spa treatments with room stays. Escape Palm Springs has $99 rooms and if you pay for two nights, you get the third free. Palm Springs has more gay resorts than any place on earth and the biggest concentration of gay hotels is in the Warm Sands neighborhood. Coming up on Tuesday, June 5, “A Walk on the Warm Side” will include self-guided tours of the neighborhood resorts from 4-7 p.m. A suggested donation of $10 is asked and funds will benefit the Warm Sands Neighborhood Organization. Participants are asked to meet at the Jungle Red sculpture on S Warm Sands Drive at Ramon Road. Of the city’s 15 gay resorts, all are for men and clothing optional. All but Cathedral City Boys Club (CCBC) are in Palm Springs proper. Sadly, the city’s formerly lesbian

the restaurant and bar, BlackBook The video bar QUADZ, formerly Spurline,is a newly remodeled Streetbar’s beloved owner Dick Haskamp passed away in March but Haskamp left the business to a couple of employees who continue to run the bar in the same way that has made it a Palm Springs mainstay. The other popular bars on the block include Chill, Hunters, Score and around the corner on Indian Canyon, Tryst. Since the closing of Delilah’s years ago, there are no lesbian bars in Palm Springs, but all the Arenas nightspots are lesbian friendly. The leather/bear bar Tool Shed is on the edge of Warm Sands on E Sunny Dunes Road, next to the cool LGBT-themed store Q Trading and nearby Gear leather shop and Townie Bagels. Toucans Tiki Lounge continues to be very popular on N Palm Canyon drive, on the north end of town. It regularly hosts a lesbian party known as Velvet. For information on the next Velvet search on Velvet-PS on Facebook. By the way Toucans is next to the fabulously gay WorkOUT Gym. The facility is small but has all the equipment you need and has reasonably priced day, week and weekend passes, If you are staying at the Vista Grande, Bearfoot Inn, or InnDulge, you can work out there for free.

Getting There

There are a number of connecting flights

The new Starbucks on S Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs. It opened last fall, replacing the old Starbucks that was just across the street. Photo by Ed Walsh.

bar opened on Arenas Road. There are still three gay bars in Cathedral City and soon to be four with the addition of CCBC’s Runway. Cat City’s other bars include the piano lounge bar, Studio One 11, the leather/bear bar Barracks, and Trunks, formerly Digs and with the same ownership as the WeHo institution by the same name. Almost all of Palm Springs’ nightlife is on Arenas Road. The newest bar is Stacy’s, with the same owner of the popular Stacy’s in Phoenix. It’s next to Bongo Johnny’s which is still closed after its kitchen was destroyed in a fire in March. Another newer Arenas Road addition is

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to the Palm Springs Airport from Sacramento International. Fares are running about $150. The Palm Springs Airport is very conveniently located about two miles from the heart of downtown. You could also fly nonstop to the Ontario Airport, which is about a hour’s drive away, or Burbank, about an hour and 45 minutes, or LAX which is about a two hour drive away in good traffic. Ed Walsh is a freelance journalist based in Northern California He writes regularly for the Bay Area Reporter and has contributed to more than a dozen other U.S. and foreign LGBT publications. He can be contacted at

Palm Springs | Coachella

PS Celebrates Harvey Milk with a Diversity Breakfast


he largest Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast in the country took place in Palm Springs on the 40th Anniversary of the Assassination of Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Mascone. It was a moving event with 300 high school students from throughout the Coachella Valley in attendance to hear and meet the LGBT activists Cleve Jones and Mandy Carter. Author and activist Jones was the recipient of the 2018 Harvey Milk Leadership Award. A personal friend of Harvey Milk, Jones began his activism in San Francisco and went on to co-found the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and The NAMES Project. In accepting his award, Jones said, “Let us never forget that Harvey Milk was an ordinary person who believed in fighting for equality. And,” he said, “the fight is not over, we must continue to speak out and work to protect the rights of all.” Carter, a black LGBT activist from North Carolina, has been working for social justice since 1968 when she worked on the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Poor People’s Campaign. She has continued her activism, speaking

18 Outword California

at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and the 2003 Lincoln Memorial Rally on the 40th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. In meeting with the students prior to the breakfast, she encouraged them to study the past, work locally and vote. This year’s Harvey B. Milk Outstanding Youth Award and Anthony Zarate Memorial Scholarship went to Raziq Noorali a student at the University of California Santa Cruz. In accepting his award and scholarship, Noorali said, “I want to be able to pave the way for other LGBTQ people so that they have someone positive to look up to.” One of the highlights of this year’s breakfast was a reenactment of the Candlelight March in San Francisco that took place on the night of the assassination of Milk and Moscone. Students from Rancho Mirage High School, along with others, came forward with signs and candles while local politicians recited Harvey Milk’s ‘You’ve Got to Give Them Hope’ speech.

More than $25,000 was raised during the event to benefit Coachella Valley youth

through Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs and LGBT youth-related programs.

High School students and local LGBT politicians reenact the Candlelight Procession following the assassination of Harvey Milk. Photo by David A Lee.

June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Palm Springs | Coachella Youth Power for Change is 2018 PS Pride Theme


nspired by and in support of youth-led movement-building efforts that are awakening critical conversations for social change, Greater Palm Springs Pride kicks off the 2018 Pride season under the theme of Youth Power for Change. Youth of Coachella Valley have also been named Grand Marshals of the 2018 Pride Parade. Empowered youth are at the forefront of building a national movement that can shape public policy for generations. While we believe youth who are empowered will change the world, we are reminded that youth have historically been on the frontlines of social change, ranging from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter. Recently, in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, youth leadership emerged across the country and created national marches to demand change and end gun violence. They have crafted powerful position statements, organized school walkouts, lobbied politicians and engaged in conversations with elected-officials. Greater Palm Springs Pride is committed to empowering youth in the Coachella Valley through mentorship, community engagement and by directly funding grassroots programs in support of youth development, team building and antibullying efforts. Additionally, Greater Palm Springs Pride creates safe and affirming opportunities for youth to participate in activities related to Pride and actively collaborates with Safe Schools Desert Cities to connect with youth and provide funding, through the Pride Youth Fund, directly to Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and LGBT youth programs. The Palm Springs Pride Parade is scheduled for November 4.

June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Outword California 19

Kendra Erika Imagines an “Authentic” Social Media


op singer Kendra Erika and Grammy Award winning producer Damon Sharpe are together again this spring on “Authentic,” their dreamy, progressive track about the deterioration of social media. “What was once an important tool for inspiration, connection and freedom of speech has become an emotionally addictive breeding ground for bullying, jealousy, and fear,” says Erika. “All stimulated by mental synapses that project a fictitious depiction of what life should be like, making us feel like the true lives we are living are not good enough.” She wrote the song’s lyrics against music produced by Sharpe and Eric Sanicola, the same duo behind her hit dance singles, “Oasis,” “Sublime” and “Under My Skin”. Where their dance tracks were full-throttle club bangers, “Authentic” is a more cruise control pop single with a stronger message. “Authentic” is being released globally and is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and all other major retailers, as well as through streaming on Pandora and Spotify. “I stopped believing the hype of people’s posts and started seeing through the pageantry of it all two years ago,” continues Erika from her Miami-area home. “These days, social media is all about rank-related validation; the amount of likes you can get on phony pictures that have been filtered and on opinionated memes that aren’t your own. It’s all mass-manipulating and we are literally being brainwashed by the constant feed of disingenuous content.” Kendra Erika depicts the control that social media has on the world in the music video for “Authentic,” inspired by Black Mirror, the sci-fi anthology series that explores a twisted, high-tech near-future where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide. “I, for one, am tired of conforming to what the masses want me to be. I have come to learn that being authentic means not following an echo, but leading by my own voice, and that’s what I’m doing.” To learn more about Kendra Erika, visit

20 Outword California

Kendra Erika

June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18


don’t miss a thing.

Bianca Del Rio Brings New Comedy Show To Luther Burbank Center For The Arts



uther Burbank Center for the Arts (LBC) announced that Bianca Del Rio, season 6 winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” will bring her new stand-up comedy show, Blame it on Bianca Del Rio, to the Center later this month. Bianca Del Rio, the alter ego of seasoned comic Roy Haylock, is a self-professed “clown in a gown.” This hilariously hateful comic is known for her foul mouth and unapologetic humor, but her victims hardly have time to feel the sting before she zips on to the next topic. Besides, Bianca is quick to point out that she’s the biggest joke of all. The NY Times calls her “The Joan Rivers of the Drag World.” Her first two stand-up specials, “Rolodex of Hate” and “Not Today Satan,” are available on Vimeo OnDemand, and her first feature film, “Hurricane Bianca,” is available on Netflix. “Hurricane Bianca 2: From Russia with Hate” will be released in 2018. There are two VIP ticket options for her performance at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. “The Innocent” package ($125) includes a premium ticket in Bianca’s “Innocent” Section, an exclusive invite to the preshow VIP Meet & Greet with a photo opportunity, access to the merchandise booth before the general public and a commemorative Bianca del Rio VIP laminate and matching lanyard. “The Guilty” package ($205) includes a premium first-row ticket in Bianca’s “Guilty” section, an exclusive VIP gift, an autographed, limited edition tour poster and all of the features of the Innocent package. General admission tickets are $39.50. You can catch the show Saturday, June 30, at 8 p.m. Tickets are available now either online at, by calling 707-546-3600 or at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts ticket office.

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June 7, 2018 - July 5, 2018 • No. 18

Outword California 21

18 outca pride two  

Pride is happening all over the state, all over America and all over the world. We would like to wish everyone celebrating to have a wonderf...

18 outca pride two  

Pride is happening all over the state, all over America and all over the world. We would like to wish everyone celebrating to have a wonderf...