No. 1 • January 5, 2017 • OutwordCalifornia.com
Extraordinary Things Happen page 12
Celebrities Made Waves page 15
David Byrne Discusses “Here Lies Love” page 19
Outword California Staff PUBLISHER Fred Palmer A RT DIRECTOR/ PRODUCTION Ron Tackitt GRA PHIC DESIGN Ron Tackitt EDITOR Charles Peer email@example.com A RTS EDITOR Chris Narloch SA LES Fred Palmer CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Diana Kienle Colt McGraw Chris Narloch Bonnie Osborn Charles Peer PHOTOGRA PHY Charles Peer Ron Tackitt ON THE COVER Autocamp Russian River photo by Ron Tackitt
A DVERTISING SA LES (916) 329-9280 Fred Palmer firstname.lastname@example.org National Advertising Representative
Rivendell Media (212) 242-6863
Outword California Office
372 Florin Road, #133 Sacramento, CA 95831 PHONE: (916) 329-9280 FAX: (916) 498-8445 www.OutwordCalifornia.com email@example.com
Welcome to Outword California
from the Publisher, Fred Palmer
ello my name is Fred Palmer, and I welcome you to Outword California, a new, statewide LGBTQ news magazine for the entire community.
I have spent the majority of my life as an LGBTQ activist and businessperson fighting for equality and participating in that process in any way I could make an impact while inspiring others to do the same. For those of you who know me, you know the history of Outword Media Marketing and Events and all that we have achieved in our 22 years in business in Northern California. We just published our 567th issue of Outword Magazine, as we begin to also publish issue number one of Outword California. I have personally served on numerous boards of directors in our community and volunteered much of my time to support local and regional nonprofits. Outword has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to numerous organizations both in and outside of the LGBTQ community, including several regional Pride organizations, Queer youth programs, suicide prevention, PFLAG, film festivals, HIV/AIDS services, LGBT chambers of commence, scholarship funds, domestic violence and sexual assault programs and much more. Also worth a mention, is that more than $150,000 has been raised and donated to a variety of nonprofits from our local Drag Queen Bingo, which was started in Sacramento by Outword, but is now run by the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. Usually, I am not a person that likes to toot my own horn, or be in the spotlight, but for those of you who do not know me, or our history, I invite you to get to know Outword, all that we stand for and the organizations we support. Our dedicated team of staff, writers, editors, art directors and all the moving parts that make up Outword, work hard to inspire, educate, enlighten and inform our readers everyday. The past few years we have watched as some of our long battles for equality resulted in some wonderful successes and celebrations as new laws were put into place in many states, and the entire nation. However, as we celebrated, we found that our enemies were ready to attack in any way that they can and continue to create new
Fred Palmer (on the right) with husband Peter
ways to try to block us. This past year many of us watched as anti-LGBTQ laws, hiding under guise of religious freedom laws, have become a familiar battleground, and the results from the November election made these upcoming battles all too real, for all of us. No matter what side you are on politically we can agree that the results of this past election will, obviously, affect us for decades to come. As we prepare to get ready to fight all too familiar battles, once again, many of us, including myself, are growing tired of working so hard and donating so much of our time and money. I will have to do a lot of soul searching and somehow find the strength to be prepared for any challenge that might be coming our way. I have to continually ask myself what power do I have, and how can I make a difference? It is my job to inform, educate and inspire our readers, as the Publisher and as an activist. Now more than ever we must work together as a community and utilize our voice, our time, our actions and any other power we have, including our significant buying power. California is the 6th largest economy in the world, and is home to a very large LGBT population. California-based businesses like; the film and television industry, high tech, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, wine production as well as travel and tourism all benefit from the power of the LGBT dollar. According to Witeck Communications, the collective buying power of the LGBTQ community is now almost one trillion dollars
January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 â€˘ No. 1
($917 billion), and we can, and should, utilize that power to support the businesses that support our community and ask for our hard earned dollar. I am extremely proud to introduce you to Outword California, a monthly, statewide publication that is available online, for free, that will service the LGBT community throughout the entire state of California. I hope that you will enjoy what we have upcoming in the pages of this new monthly publication. Outword California will tap the experience of the 21-plus years that Outword Magazine has gained from servicing the Sacramento community to bring you LGBT news, unique stories, arts and entertainment, as well as celebrations of our community and our culture, each month, and in each issue. Outword California is a free, online-only publication that does not require any registration, secret passwords, shot records and anything else. Just click, read and enjoy. So, if you would, please take a moment to share us, like us and sign up, for free, to our email notification list, hosted by Constant Contact. (click here) Members of our email list will automatically be entered to win fun, statewide prizes, like travel trips, concert tickets and other fun giveaways from our advertisers and supporters! Also, feel free to drop us a note and let us know your thoughts, ideas for future coverage/content, or to just simply let us know how we are doing. And now, welcome to Outword California! OutwordCalifornia.com
There’s Gays in Them Thar Hills!
America’s longest continuously-published and highest circulation LGBTQ newspaper congratulates Fred Palmer and team on the January 2017 debut edition of
by Jack Gorman
f you’ve never heard of, much less been to Amador County, you aren’t alone. I know that when I started working for a small winery nestled here in the Sierra Nevada foothills three years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Jack Gorman and Kyle Peppers on their wedding day at their home in Amador. Photo by Lauren Lindley..
So much of Amador feels like a step back in time and, as many of us do, I made assumptions about what that meant about the people and culture. Then I met the residents of Amador. Colleagues turned into friends, acquaintances turned into confidants and without exception I was welcomed with open arms. It didn’t take long for my husband, Kyle, and me to begin to explore Amador’s amazing countryside. As we drove around the county we saw golden grasslands turn into rolling hills dotted with manzanita and mighty oaks, green and lush in the winter and spring, gold and majestic in the summer and fall. I am still in awe when I drive to work everyday. We’ve fallen so in love with this area that we take every chance we have to share it with family and friends. This winter we finally have the opportunity to spread the love even further. This March, Kyle and I are proud to announce the first Come OUT to Amador weekend, a three-day experience dedicated to showcasing the best food, wine and culture Amador county has to offer. Elevations in Amador climb from 900 feet to nearly 9,000 feet, with most of the population nestled in the hills among a string of small towns, each a mix of rich California history and modern culture and cuisine. Established in the 1840-50s, these towns served as the focal points for commerce and culture during the Gold Rush, much as they still do today. Outside of these “thriving metropolises” is an outdoor playground. Kayaking, fishing, hiking and just enjoying the scenery are activities available within a short drive from Amador’s towns. Bring bicycles for rides that January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
provide a terrain challenge or hiking boots for trails with inspiring views. A major source of these views, (coincidentally where we work and live) is the Shenandoah Valley. Here, the rolling hills are soon covered by row after row of grape vines. Many of those wineries are still family run, with owners so passionate the only way to truly understand their work is to taste the fruits of their labor – literally. While I have nothing against my wine brethren from other regions, tasting wine in Amador is just a different experience. We’ve been lucky enough to meet many of the people who make wine in Amador and hear their stories of what brought them to Amador or how their family history goes back generations in the County. Chances are when you come to visit Amador you will get this same opportunity. About three hours from San Francisco, two hours from Lake Tahoe and an hour from Sacramento, Amador is an easy drive but feels worlds away. To entice you, the weekend of March 24-26, we’ve got a fantastic way for you to experience Amador for yourself. We are hosting “Come OUT to Amador.” This curated weekend of intimate experiences is a great way to experience Amador and something you will be talking about for years to come! Visit comeouttoamador.com for more details. Jack Gorman is the General Manger of Scott Harvey Wines in Amador County. He and his husband, Kyle, were married at their Amador County home in May, standing under a mighty oak tree, surrounded by rolling vineyards and tons of love. OutwordCalifornia.com
Will Trump Take Away Your Right to Marry? Unlikely
by Rich Vaughn
s many fellow family lawyers and assisted reproductive technology attorneys work to wrap our heads around the results of the presidential election, many of our clients are turning to us for answers to their most urgent questions and concerns.
One of the most frequently asked questions has been, will LGBT people in the United States lose the right to marry under a Trump administration? And if so, will my same-sex marriage still be valid? According to the experts, the U.S. Supreme Court is unlikely to reverse its two recent decisions upholding same-sex marriage, even with a Trump appointment to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, and is virtually certain to uphold the validity of existing same-sex marriages. In fact, the greater danger to your family’s security under a Trump presidency may be legislative efforts to defund and weaken our societal safety nets such as Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. As governor of Indiana, Vice Presidentelect Mike Pence enacted and defended a “religious freedom” law that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religion, although he later backpedaled. And Trump has paid lip service to supporting a national law that would protect states’ rights to enact such discriminatory laws. Arguably, these and other issues are of more immediate concern than the loss of marriage equality. Shannon Mintner of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and other constitutional lawyers assure us that the U.S. Supreme Court is unlikely to revisit its 2015 decision that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry, at least not immediately. True, Donald Trump, encouraged by a Republican Congress, will undoubtedly move with all due speed to appoint a replacement for the late Justice Scalia, who died unexpectedly in February, leaving a potentially tied eight-member Supreme Court. Traditionally, sitting Presidents have filled court vacancies with Congressional ratification; however, the Republicanmajority House refused to ratify Obama’s selection of moderate jurist Garland Merrick, running out the clock on the presidential election — a strategy that now appears prescient. With Republican control of both houses, Trump’s nominee will face no such obstacle. Even with the seating of a new Trump OutwordCalifornia.com
appointee, the same 5-4 Supreme Court majority that prevailed in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in June 2015 legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 U.S. states, will still be in place. The court also ruled that states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and must treat same-sex marriages the same way they treat any legal marriage. Therefore, there is no reason for same-sex couples to fear losing the benefits or protections of legal marriage in the near-term. Likewise, there is strong legal precedent that says a marriage cannot be invalidated by subsequent changes in the law. For example, when California voters passed Proposition 8 in 2008, there were already some 18,000 same-sex marriages that had taken place between May 2008, when the state Supreme Court overturned California’s
ban on same-sex marriage, and November 2008, when Prop 8 passed. Those marriages remained intact, with all the rights and privileges of any legal marriage, during the ensuing four-and-a-half years, until a federal appeals court ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme court upheld the lower court’s decision in June 2013, with the same 5-4 majority that later legalized same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. Now, could a shift in the balance on the Supreme Court were one of those five majority justices to resign or die during Trump’s presidency lead to a revisiting of the decision legalizing same-sex marriage? That it is a possibility. However, before you run out and marry the first guy or gal you meet on the street, keep in mind that the wheels of justice turn slowly. Confirmation of a
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Supreme Court justice can take months or years, particularly should the balance of power in Congress change at the midterm elections in two years. Timing is everything. Also keep in mind that, shielded from political pressure by lifetime appointment, Supreme Court justices don’t always end up mirroring the values of the president who appoints them. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, was among the five justices in the majority on the 2015 samesex marriage decisions. President George H.W. Bush appointee David Souter, who retired in 2009, began his Supreme Court career as a conservative, but three years in began voting frequently with liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The inherent impartiality of the high court is a tangible demonstration of the Founding Fathers’ wisdom.
Outword California 7
The Russian River Is Now Airstream Cool
words and photos by Ron Tackitt
et’s face it, Airstream trailers are cool. They are iconic in their exterior design, and are a truly timeless embodiment of the American ideal of freedom and mobility.
Red wagons with big tires make getting your luggage to your trailer simple.
So, given that, and the dream of hitching one up and setting off to see the country, who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of nights in an Airstream while on vacation? This is just what Autocamp is hoping to help you with. Autocamp has just opened their second Airstream trailer park hotel, this one in the Russian River area, their first being in Santa Barbara. They are hoping you will enjoy, and pay for, the opportunity to experience the mysticism and romance of Airstream camping for yourself at one of these great locations. Their Northern California campus is located just on the edge of town in Guerneville, which makes it about a two and a half hour drive from Sacramento. The campus has 23, large Airstreams specially designed for their job as luxury accommodations, featuring marble and glass walk-in showers, hardwood floors, rolling barn doors to the bathroom area and fun and unique tungsten lighting throughout the cabin. I say cabin because even though these trailers are fairly long, they are pretty compact as hotel rooms go. As in a cruise ship cabin, storage is tight, especially hanging space, and there are certainly compromises with regards to head space. But those are hallmarks for efficient travel-oriented spaces, right? What most ordinary cabins don’t have are some of the aforementioned luxuries and flat-out stunning design — even where you can’t immediately see it. For instance, the bed is a Casper queen size, memory foam mattress. None of those flimsy, cruise ship twin pads pushed together. The linens are top notch, 300 thread count cotton sheets. There are also beautiful, thick white cotton towels and even sustainable, Earth-friendly woven cotton blankets to make your stay truly comfortable. Just outside the front door of each trailer is an outdoor seating area with a table for four and a fire pit with two lounge chairs. Autocamp supplies you with three fire logs (burning real wood is not allowed) that are good for just gathering around, or even
cooking food over. This could be an important fact if you intend to make your meals in your trailer, because there is no stove inside. There is everything else you need, but they have chosen to keep things tidy by leaving a messy stove on the outside. For most of us, this will not make us pause but for a moment. Autocamp clients are not here to stay for as little money as possible, they are here to enjoy the experience. There is a large clubhouse on the property, but not much else. There are several fire pit areas, but no pool or hot tub. The clubhouse is a great, open space that is perfect for social gatherings, but also has several seating vignettes for small groups wanting to socialize, play a board game or just enjoy the beautiful fireplace. Autocamp does provide bicycles for riding into town, or down to the river. Also there are a couple of big-tired red wagons for use when you are unloading your car. I couldn’t help but wish that Autocamp’s compound was just a little closer to the center of town. Although it’s really not that far of a walk, it is alongside of a twisty mountain road, and at night there are no streetlights or sidewalks. There are still a couple of LGBT establishments in Guerneville, namely the long-standing Rainbow Cattle Company and the revamped Triple R. The entire Russian River area has become quite the destination for wine lovers and those wanting to escape the big city, so while it might not be the gay Mecca it once was, there is still lots of fun things to do. My two day stay at Autocamp ended way too quickly. I really loved the grounds, clubhouse and, of course, the Airstreams. My every encounter with the staff was wonderful, friendly and efficient, just like you would expect from a wonderful resort hotel, only campier. Autocamp also offers pet-friendly accommodations, at very reasonable rates. For more information, and to book a stay, check out their website which services both locations. autocamp.com
more photos on next page 8
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The clubhouse is perfect for a summer gettogether.
Right around the corner, you will find a great sandwich place.
It’s a beautiful sight, seeing so many lovely Airstreams.
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Beautiful hardwood floors, marble tiles in the bathroom, great light fixtures and more help make this a true “Glamping” experience.
Outword California 9
Why Are River Cruises More Expensive Than Ocean Cruises?
Contributed by Eric Poole
iver cruising is the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry, and for good reason. It’s a great way to travel if you love cruising, but are looking for a more intimate option, free of many of the pitfalls of the ever-increasing size of ocean-going vessels. River cruising brings you closer to the destinations you want to visit — in style, without large crowds, and without constantly reaching for your wallet. Yes, river cruises are a bit more expensive. However, river cruise fares include many of the things that are extras on ocean cruises. These days, almost everything is extra on an ocean cruise, unless you’re traveling on one of the super-luxury lines. Perhaps the biggest reason for the added cost is economy of scale. On an ocean cruise, there may be anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 passengers – which you generally notice while waiting in line for food, or the bathroom, or the lifeboat. Since river ships aren’t buying cucumbers by the cargo container, costs like food and drink are higher. (Of course, on a river cruise, the food is almost always locally sourced, which is fresher, healthier, and globally more responsible.) So, yes, there is a slightly higher cost, but FOR that cost, here’s what you get: • Better rooms — because many river ships are often much newer than their oceangoing counterparts, they feature all the latest innovations and décor. No plastic molded bathrooms here! • Better service — a higher staff to guest ratio ensures that not only will the staff be available, they’ll often even learn your name. Whether they’ll learn more than that about you is none of our business. • Better food - because food is being made for 100 people instead of the population of a small nation, the quality and presentation is often much better. • There are no $200, 3-hour journeys just to get from the port into the city to sightsee. River ships dock right in the center of town. You walk off, you’re THERE. • River cruises go where big ocean ships can’t. Instead of only seeing cities and towns along the coastline, you get an intimate look at the extraordinary places INSIDE a country. • Shore excursions are included. In OutwordCalifornia.com
every port, a guided walking tour (with audio headset, so you can always hear the guide) is included. Also, any optional shore excursions are FAR cheaper. You won’t see $200 or $300 – or generally even $100 – optional excursions on a river cruise. These excursions, where offered, tend to run about $30-50 per person. • Wine and beer at lunch and dinner are often included, and free-flowing. The staff loves to roll you out of the dining room. • No waiting in line to embark or disembark, and no queuing up for shore excursions. You just walk off, holding your arms up like Eva Peron. • No fighting for a table at dinner or for a seat for the show. Unless you’re into hair pulling. There’s plenty of room for everyone on board. • With smaller groups of passengers, and ones that tend to be well-traveled, you’re infinitely less likely to encounter those annoying guests who think they’re all that. And finally – you make friends. Quickly and easily. This is one of the biggest surprises to most river cruise guests. By the end of their cruise, even the shyest guests find themselves in the middle of a group hug. So, yes, river cruises cost a bit more. But it’s an experience unlike any other, and one we promise you will want to repeat again and again, on rivers across the world. Especially true when you travel on an all-LGBT charter with a company like Brand g Vacations. Specializing in small-ship vacations allows Brand g to focus on unique destinations and develop deep relationships with the best local operators in the business. By their level of involvement, they are truly accountable to be sure you have an unforgettable vacation. Their goal is that you feel like part of a family, and make lifelong friends while exploring some of the most fascinating and lesser-traveled corners of the world. Give it a try and find out firsthand why river cruising has become so popular. January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
photos courtesy of Brand G Outword California 11
Extraordinary Things Happen When We Follow Our Dreams
by Craig Smith
wenty years ago I left a law practice in San Francisco and moved to Miami to follow my dream of finding work that I loved. I found that dream and I’d like to share with you the dream that is Source Events.
I knew it was work that would be fun, challenging, and would make a difference in the community – I envisioned producing events that would bring people together while raising money for good causes. My path led me to working with non-profit foundations, one of which produced the Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach. It was rewarding to bring people together from around the world to celebrate, dance, and raise funds for LGBT causes. After having the experience of producing non-profit events for several years, I was working with a life coach who asked me what would be the next dream. I wondered whether it would be possible to create new events that took the best of the spirit of local celebrations – the friendship, the celebration, the sense of discovery and adventure, and begin traveling the world. Why not live the dream of sailing to exotic islands on tall ships, hike into rainforests
12 Outword California
and explore the mysteries of Machu Picchu. What about those faraway lands like Myanmar, Egypt and Africa: what would we discover in those places about ourselves, each other, and the world we live in? Through conversations with like-minded friends who shared a vision of crafting unique and inspiring experiences, Source Events was born. Since 2001 (the past 15 years has gone by quickly), we have been a creating extraordinary travel adventures around the world in 34 countries on five continents. I think of Source Events as an “Experience Company,” a producer of travel, events and memories, designed and customized for our gay community and friends. People who are adventurous, imaginative and freethinking. Travel at its best has a way of connecting us with our source, giving us the opportunity to see ourselves and our world from a different point of view. When we travel with
an open mind and heart, new possibilities reveal themselves that we never could have imagined. Over the years, many of our ideas for travel experiences have come from our guests. As Kurt Vonnegut said in Cats Cradle, “unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” And yes, we’ve had some unusual suggestions over the years, including the creation of a festival over New Year’s in Cape Town to raise money for HIV/AIDS and creating clothing optional cruises. On one occasion, we discovered one of our full moon sailing adventures coincided with a total lunar eclipse. Since that time, we have timed many of our adventures during celestial events, when Mother Nature reminds us that the world is full of beauty, surprises and unforgettable experiences. Probably the most rewarding part of following my dream, has been supporting
January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
others in making their dreams come true. I believe we live in an extraordinary time, where we have a unique opportunity to create our experiences. To go anywhere and do anything, and create the life of our dreams. If you have dreams of new travel adventures with like-minded friends, I’d like to personally invite you to live your dream, and join our family of Source Events travelers. I think that Mark Twain summed up our philosophy at Source Events best: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So throw of the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. To find out more, visit www. SourceEvents.com or call 888-768-7238.
Debbie & Carrie – R.I.P.
by Chris Narloch and Colt McGraw
he shocking news came just after Christmas that both Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, had died, back-to-back and long before anyone was prepared to hear the sad news.
With them passed a large cornerstone of Hollywood royalty although, thankfully, the multi-talented pair’s enduring legacy will live on in the many projects and scores of films they made, including two of the most beloved movies in Hollywood history. Fisher, of course, played the feisty Princess Leia in the blockbuster Star Wars franchise, while Debbie was the ingénue who somehow kept up with hoofers Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, considered by many critics to be the finest American movie musical ever made. Their rocky, real-life mother-daughter relationship was made even more famous when Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine portrayed the pair on the big screen, in the hit autobiographical comedy from 1990, Postcards from the Edge. It’s not hyperbole to say that Reynolds was a hero to an older gay generation who remember her terrific performances in classic movies such as The Unsinkable Molly Brown and How the West Was Won, while younger LGBT fans idolized Fisher for her work in funny films from the ‘80s and ‘90s like Soapdish and When Harry Met Sally but mostly for creating the iconic character of Princess Leia. Reportedly, Fisher had already finished her scenes for the next Star Wars film, 2017’s Episode VIII, and if you haven’t seen it yet, she has a very clever cameo at the end of Rogue One – the stand-alone Star Wars story currently in theaters — that is now a bittersweet reminder of her cinematic legacy. That legacy includes Fisher’s very first film, Warren Beatty’s Shampoo, in which the actress famously and bluntly propositioned Beatty’s studly hairdresser character while she was still a teenager. In addition to that classic comedy, you should check out the funny films Fisher’s mother made later in her career, such as 1996’s Mother, in which the actress hilariously played the meddling mom of Albert Brooks’ character, and In & Out, a queer-friendly comedy starring Kevin Kline from 1997. Reynolds also gave skillful dramatic
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Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
performances on film, most recently as the tough Polish mother of Liberace in 2013’s Behind the Candelabra the excellent Steven Soderbergh-directed biopic of the flamboyantly ‘closeted’ pianist. Reynolds was in fact a triple-threat talent – she could sing, dance, and act – and, until her death on December 28, was one of the last remaining legends from the Golden Age of Hollywood still alive. I was lucky enough to see Reynolds’ nightclub act once, locally, a few years back – she continued to perform live on stage and screen until late in life, traveling 40 weeks a year – and found her to be a gracious and talented performer with a wicked sense of humor. I had a slightly more personal connection – a moment, really – with daughter Carrie in which Fisher essentially ‘outed’ me from the stage of a crowded theater in Berkeley, CA. Fisher was performing her very funny, autobiographical one-woman show Wishful Drinking at Berkeley Rep in 2008, and she needed a male volunteer to help her out with a bit on stage. The catch was that the guy had to be ‘straight.’ Since my press rep had hooked me up with second row seats and I guess because I am tall, Fisher pointed right at me and
asked, “What about you?” I shook my head from side to side to indicate that I was not in fact ‘straight’, and Fisher registered genuine shock, grilling me further and saying, “You’re gay? Really?!” (I like to tell myself that I was Fisher’s ‘type’ and that she was disappointed in my confession, because that makes the story better, but in truth the actress probably only called on me because I was laughing my head off during her show.) In addition to her memorable work on stage and screen, Fisher was a talented author and a sought-after (and often un-credited) Hollywood script doctor. The double-whammy deaths of Fisher and Reynolds hit their fans and Hollywood hard, especially since Fisher was only 60. (Reynolds was 84 at the time of her death.) It hit me hard too, since I felt like I knew both women, through their work and their very public ‘private’ lives. I am sure that I wasn’t the only gay man who could relate to the pair’s sardonic sense of humor and their bad luck with men. The lights of Hollywood will be a little dimmer now without the brilliance of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, but luckily we have their wonderful work to remember them by.
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Remembering those who Died in 2016 Liz Smith (Vicar of Dibley); Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Attorney General Janet Reno; Singer Prince; Golf legend Arnold Palmer; Actor Abe Vigoda (Barney Miller); Actor Ron Glass (Barney Miller); Singer and cabaret performer Gayiel Von; Singer and actor Florence Henderson (Broadway’s Fanny, The Brady Bunch); Singer Merle Haggard; Actor Gary Shandling (The Gary Shandling Show); Actor Dan Haggerty (The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams); Ice hockey legend Gordie Howe; Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel); Noel Neill (Superman’s Lois Lane): Producer Grant Tinker (Mary Tyler Moore Show)Baseball announcer Joe Garagiola; Actor Alan Young (Mister Ed)Author Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird); Women’s college basketball head coach Pat Summitt; Actor Robert Vaughn (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) Actor Alan Rickman (Harry Potter); Actor Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker, The Patty Duke Show); Actor Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond); Singer Songwriter Glenn Frey (The Eagles); Henry Heimlich (inventor of the Heimlich maneuver); Journalist & political commentator Gwen Ifill; Actor Alan Thicke (Growing Pains); Transgender Actor Alexis Arquette (Last Exit to Brooklyn); Actor & director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, Happy Days); Singer David Bowie; Cuban President Fidel Castro; Singer Leonard Cohen; Political commentator John McLaughlin; California First Dog Sutter Brown; Actor Kenny Baker (Star Wars’ R2-D2); Journalist & political commentator Morley Safer; Actor William Schallert (The Patty Duke Show, Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles); Actor Gene Wilder (Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory); Boxing legend Muhammad Ali; Singer George Michael (Wham!); Actor Zsa Zsa Gabor (Moulin Rouge); Astronaut & U.S. Senator John Glenn; First Lady Nancy Reagan; Actor Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Trek Beyond); Actor Peter Vaughan (Game of Thrones and British stage); and Singer songwriter Lenny (Lemmy) Kilmister (Motorhead). OutwordCalifornia.com
Celebrities Who Made Waves By Coming Out in 2016
by Alma Carranza
veryone who comes out makes a difference, but those who live their lives in the public eye have the unique opportunity to influence the global conversation on LGBTQ acceptance by sharing their stories and elevating the voices of others from their unique and individual platforms. This year saw many famous faces coming out. Below, in chronological order, are a few notable celebrities who did just that. In January, Charlie Carver, best known for his role as gay werewolf Ethan in MTV’s Teen Wolf, came out as gay himself in a five-part Instagram post. In the same month, Rowan Blanchard (currently starring in Disney’s Girl Meets World as Riley Matthews) confirmed she identified as queer on Twitter, in response to a fan calling for “#BisexualRileyMatthews2K16.” Another young actor, Amandla Stenberg, initially came out as bisexual through Teen Vogue’s Snapchat in January — later, in a September interview with Elle, they clarified that pansexual felt like a more accurate label. American Idol finalist Rayvon Owen came out in February alongside the release of his new music video “Can’t Fight It,” which ended in a kiss shared with his real-life boyfriend Shane Bitney Crone (Bridegroom). He says of the song, “This is the perfect song to say there’s nothing you can do about that, accept who you are, and when you love someone, that’s OK.” Jordan Raskopoulos, lead singer of Australian comedy band Axis of Awesome, came out as a trans woman in a video posted online, where she discussed her struggles with dysphoria. In March, Lilly Wachowski, after threats to out her against her will by tabloid reporters, officially released a statement in her hometown LGBTQ media outlet The Windy City Times confirming that she is trans. “GLAAD is thrilled that Lilly Wachowski is able to be her true and authentic self today, however, she should not have been forced to disclose her transgender identity before she was ready to do so. Journalists must learn that it is unacceptable to out a transgender person, in the same way it is unacceptable to out a person who is gay, lesbian, or bisexual,” said Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Programs for Transgender Media.
Lilly appeared at the GLAAD Media Awards this year and accepted the Outstanding Drama Series award for Netflix’s Sense8, co-created with her sister, Lana. Trey Pearson, lead singer of Christian rock band Everyday Sunday, came out via open letter in May. Actor Colton Haynes came out as gay in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, explaining he was advised to “subdue” his sexuality early on in his career. Brianna Hildebrand, known for her roles in Deadpool and First Girl I Loved, confirmed on Twitter that she had a girlfriend, and has frequently posted about her since.
Lilly Wachowski appeared at the GLAAD Media Awards this year and accepted the Outstanding Drama Series award for Netflix’s Sense8, co-created with her sister, Lana.
Mara Wilson, the writer and former child actress best known for her role in Matilda, confirmed on Twitter that she identifies as “bi/queer.” Aubrey Plaza came out as bisexual during an interview with The
Advocate, explaining that “I fall in love with girls and guys. I can’t help it.” Stephanie Beatriz, best known for her role on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, came out as bisexual herself in response to Plaza’s statement. Rebecca Sugar, creator of the wildly popular queer-inclusive Steven Universe animated series, came out as bisexual during a panel at San Diego Comic Con. Actress Bella Thorne also came out as bisexual over the summer, and tweeted several times during Bi Week. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, confirmed in a Facebook post that she divorced her husband and was in love with Rayya Elias, her longtime best friend. Gilbert explained that Elias’s double cancer diagnosis helped her realize her true feelings, and she has “no more time for denying that truth.” Gigi Gorgeous, a transgender YouTube star, came out as a lesbian — she had previously posted several videos of herself with her then-girlfriend, Nats Getty. Lauren Jauregui, a singer and member of Fifth Harmony, came out as bisexual in an open letter to Trump supporters. Bex Taylor-Klaus, who currently has a lead role in MTV’s Scream and Netflix’s Voltron, came out as gay on Twitter. Sara Ramirez, an actress best known for Grey’s Anatomy, came out as bisexual while addressing the True Colors: 40 to None Summit, a two-day seminar on LGBT youth homelessness. Alma Carranza is the Entertainment Media Intern at GLAAD. She can be reached at GLAAD.org
Actor Colton Haynes came out as gay in an interview with “Entertainment Weekly”. Photo courtesy of his Facebook page.
January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
Outword California 15
f you’ve forgotten to replace that refrigerator calendar, it’s not too late to spice things up for the rest of the year. Here are some calendars that we think you might love. and you can find them all on Amazon.com or Ebay.com
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January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
DOMOREPROJECT.ORG 408.673.1745 @DOMORELGBTQ
January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 â€¢ No. 1
Outword California 17
Chris Rolczynski - Dudes with Dogs
founded Dudes With Dogs Feb. 1st, 2014 after being a dog dad for less than 2 years. Frankie, my fox terrier chihuahua had become so special to me I wanted to share my love for her with others who felt the same. I knew a lot of gay men have dogs so I thought it would be fun to create a place to share this part of our lives. Also, dog lovers have instant rapport with one another so I was pretty sure it would be popular but I had no idea it would be as big as we are today at close to 50,000 members globally. There are a number of reasons we're as big as we are, but I think the most important is the fact that people are proud to be a "DWD" because of what we stand for. We also have a great volunteer admin team that keeps the group positive. We look forward to a day in the near future when we'll have our own mobile app as well! David Isljamovski with Rascal, his pomeranian, at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on their recent crosscountry roadtrip. dudeswithdogs.com
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David Byrne Discusses Seattle Rep’s Production of Here Lies Love by Peter Milinazzo
n its first production outside of New York and London, Here Lies Love, the critically-acclaimed disco musical about the rise and fall of Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos by David Byrne (of The Talking Heads) and Fatboy Slim, is being presented by Seattle Repertory Theatre this spring. The “popera” is a multi-media, “immersive” musical theater experience where lines between audience and cast members are blurred on a dance-club like set surrounded by projections of live and pre-recorded video. Outword recently had a conversation about the show with David Byrne and Braden Abraham, Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre. “I always wanted to create a show for a dance club setting,” Byrne explained, regarding the musical’s impetus. “I’m old enough to remember the Marcoses, and I learned at some point that Imelda loved disco — that she had a dance club on the roof of her palace, and that she had a disco ball installed in another home; she seemed to be enveloped in music, and I thought, ‘there’s got to be something here.’” He spent a year doing research on Imelda, and much of the lyrical content is made up of actual quotes from the “steel butterfly” herself. The show’s title, Here Lies Love comes from a statement once made by Marcos regarding her desired epitaph. When he set about writing the music for Here Lies Love, Byrne realized he was feeling challenged in a new way. The musician’s diverse body of work has incorporated African rhythms with his art-rock band Talking Heads, eclectic electronica with Brian Eno, Latintinged and Brazilian music on various projects, and film scores for The Forest and The Last Emperor (the latter earned Byrne an Oscar). Although he had certainly written dance music before, Byrne realized he needed help incorporating disco aspects into the score. Enter Norman Cook, AKA Fatboy Slim, the British DJ known for the hits “Praise You” and “The Rockefeller Skank,” among others. “So I called up Norm — I had never even met him — and explicitly asked for his involvement,” said Byrne. “He didn’t quite know what he was getting himself into; an album of work turned into 24 songs!”
Here Lies Love at The Public in NYC, taken by Joan Marcus
The original incarnation of the musical was produced as a concept album in 2010, with an all-star line up of singers lending their voices to the work. These included Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Natalie Merchant, Sia, Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine), Kate Pireson (of the B-52s.) St. Vincent, Sharon Jones, and Santigold, among others, with Byrne himself on a couple of tracks. Byrne’s vision of merging dance club and theater was realized with the 2013 premier of Here Lies Love at the off-Broadway Public Theatre in New York City. The show was directed by Alex Timbers, choreographed by Annie-B Parsons, and starred Tony-Winner Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda. The musical employed a unique stage on the main floor of the theatre, requiring the removal of seats to incorporate a dance floor and runway where performers are surrounded by and interact directly with much of the audience, who dance alongside the cast throughout the show. Byrne described the interactive nature of the piece: “The audience goes from being the
members of a rally, to dancers at a club, to members of the general public, to being part of a mass demonstration.” Not only will they feel the euphoria, they will “feel the betrayal and inspiration,” promised Byrne. The show has invited many and obvious comparisons to Evita, the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical about Eva Peron, who also rose from humble beginnings to become the wife of a controversial political leader. Byrne acknowledged the comparisons in our brief discussion. However, to this writer, Here Lies Love seems more akin to Cabaret, which depicts a hedonistic Berlin complicit with the rise of the third Reich, a comparison concurred with by Abraham. When asked if he draws parallels between Here Lies Love and the current political climate in the U.S., Byrne responded emphatically, ”Yes, along with JFK, Ferdinand Marcos was one of the first to understand the power of the media” for political influence. Through the use of films he produced about himself and Imelda, “he created his own myth.” Regarding the inherent dissonance of a disco musical about the rise of
January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
a dictator, Byrne confirmed, “dissonance is the point.” Seattle Rep’s production of Here Lies Love will be helmed by the original directorchoreographer team behind the previous productions of the musical. “It will be like nothing we’ve done before,” says Abraham; so much so, that an engineer needed to be engaged to manage the theater’s transformation to accommodate the uniquely interactive production. The undertaking is so considerable, that San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre (ACT), with which the Seattle company originally partnered to bring the musical to the west coast, cancelled its run due to the prohibitive cost of mounting the show. This means that the Seattle production may be your only chance to catch this unique musical theater production. Here Lies Love, runs from April 7 through May 28, 2017 at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Tickets are on sale now from $75 at seattlerep.org or 206—443-2222 or 877—900-9285. Outword California 19
#ILoveGayPalmSprings Because… And All Shall Proclaim, “#ILoveGayPalmSprings Because”… By Nicholas Snow
A New Year in the Oasis
For years at GayDesertGuide.com I’ve profiled many of our favorite people in my “PS I Love You Because” column, learning what they love about living and/or visiting here. Here are some of my favorite responses over the years:
By Brad Fuhr, e-publisher, GayDesertGuide.com
As I write this, I am watching my holiday favorite, “The Sound of Music”. A new Trump administration looms, and I’m thinking about my favorite things coming up in the Coachella Valley so I don’t have to “feel so bad.” So let me give you a little preview of what’s to come in early 2017. We’re in “full season” with the next four months jammed packed with excuses for those from colder climes to visit the Coachella Valley. First, the stars are shining brightly for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. It opens the 2107 “Save the Date” Coachella Valley Calendar of Events found on Page 4 of this supplement. Be sure to consult our online calendar for a complete list by day, weekend or category so you’re always up on what’s happening in #ILoveGayPalmSprings. January is our month to celebrate fitness with the Tour de Palm Springs, the Palm Springs Health Run & Fitness Expo and the My City Everyday Livewell Festival in Palm Desert. We welcome the National Gay Pilots Association Conference, too. February brings the “bears” to town for the IBC — International Bear Convergence. One of our community’s top fundraisers follows as Desert AIDS Project welcomes the Pointer Sisters to the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Gala. Modernism Week spans the two middle weekends and the month ends with the Gay Men’s Chorus “Simply Sondheim” show.
Art in the subjective form is everywhere. So much talent in this beautiful town. From painters and photographers to singers and (of course) Drag Queens, there is so much inspiration at every turn. I am truly blessed. Marina Mac/Timothy McIntosh, Drag Performer/Makeup Artist The Dinah Shore Weekend …and it only happens here, in Palm Springs… I have always enjoyed the atmosphere of all the events and being surrounded by talented women…. Marie Elloso - Visual artist, Entrepreneur, Former Promoter Diversity and acceptance of others… regardless of race, color, gender or sexual orientation, Palm Springs is truly a place where people from all backgrounds can come together for the betterment of the entire community. Carolyn Caldwell, CEO, Desert Regional Medical Center Going forward, I’ll be going to many of the same people, and lots of new ones (perhaps you) to get them to explain, “#ILoveGayPalmSprings because…” Want to participate? Email me at PromoHomoTV@gmail. com. I can’t wait to hear from you! Xoxo… Nicholas Snow
March continues the frenetic pace of fundraisers, plus it’s the BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament, dress up time with the LGBT Center’s Red Dress/Dress Red Party, and LGBT Days in Cathedral City. Then we’re into April with Coachella Music Festivals, the Blatino Oasis ends the month and White Party moves to a later date - May 5-8. In the blink of an eye, the “season” will be over, but there will be no lack of things to do. We’re here to keep you in the know - subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on social media and visit GayDesertGuide.com.
Photo of the Month Our #ILoveGayPalmSprings Photo of the Month also comes from our 30th annual Pride celebration with two members of Cheer Los Angeles - #TeamValencap – Edwin and Marcelino Valencap, who were married in September. The photo was titled “Follow the rainbow brick road!” and appeared on Instagram. From their Facebook page: “Award winning Cheer LA is a dedicated group of volunteers seeking to promote spirit, unity and diversity in the community through dynamic Cheer, Dance and Stunt performances. Our objective is focused on raising awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS charities and organizations through our Cheer for Life fund.”
David A. Lee Photography
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January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
The couple will receive a $50 restaurant gift card for submitting the photo. You can win January’s contest! Just post and tag a photo of yourself or something of interest about Palm Springs on Instagram or Twitter with #ILove GayPalmSprings and message us when you post it!
Palm Springs #ILoveGayPalmSprings @Destination PSP! Now available at DestinationPSP - new #ILoveGayPalmSprings merchandise. From t-shirts to coffee mugs, a credit card/cash holder for your mobile phone in every color of the rainbow and a unique wine tote (to keep the white wine cold and the red wine cool). Visit DestinationPSP in downtown Palm Springs and shop for the holidays!
2017 “Save the Date” Coachella Valley Events Jan. 5-16 Palm Springs International Film Festival Jan. 21 Tour de Palm Springs Jan 28 Palm Springs Health Run & Fitness Expo Feb. 9-15 IBC International Bear Convergence Feb. 11 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Gala Feb, 16-26 Modernism Week, Palm Springs Feb. 25 Palm Springs Black History Parade & Town Fair Feb. 25
Mizell Center: 40th Anniversary of Saturday Night Fever
Feb. 25-26 PSGMC “Simply Sondheim” Concert Feb. 26 AAP’s Hollywood’s Biggest Night @ Trio Mar. 6-19 BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament Mar. 11 LGBT Center’s Red Dress/Dress Red Party Mar. 18-25 Fashion Week on El Paseo in Palm Desert
The Southwest Arts Festival
January 26 - 29, 2017 The Festival is located at the spectacular Empire Polo Club and will be open from 10 AM – 5 PM daily Visit southwestartsfest.com
Gay Wine Weekend
We’ve moved to JULY so you can celebrate PRIDE & join us Out In The Vineyard! It’s a weekend of Wine & Celebration with new winemaker dinners, winery tours and events. Visit GayWineWeekend.com
Mar. 29-Apr. 2 Club Skirts Presents The Dinah, Palm Springs Apr. 1 The Living Desert’s Brew at the Zoo Apr. 9 19th Annual Opera in the Park Apr. 14-16 Coachella Music Festival –Weekend #1
Apr. 21-23 Coachella Music Festival –Weekend #2
214 E. Arenas Road, Palm Springs (760) 866-1905
Apr. 27-30 Blatino Oasis May 14 Desert AIDS Project’s Dining Out for Life
Bongo Johnny’s Patio Bar & Grille is one of the best neighborhood restaurants in Palm Springs. Located in the middle of the Arenas area, Bongo Johnny’s is fun and relaxing with GREAT food. The menu is fresh, but it’s not just about breakfast and lunch, we’ve got dinner too. Come dine with us inside, or out on the patio, and experience a mini vacation with crave-able food, signature cocktails, and stellar service. Get Fresh!
Mar. 24-26 Cathedral City’s LGBT Days
May 5-8 Jeffery Sanker’s White Party Weekend May 6 AAP’s Evening Under the Stars May 12-14 Palm Springs Hot Rodeo May 22 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Nov. 3-5 Palm Springs Pride 2017
For More Info & Events visit GayDesertGuide.com
January 5, 2017 - February 2, 2017 • No. 1
Outword California 21
Beartoonist of San Francisco Celebrates Gay Bears
new exhibition at the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco will feature the work of cartoonist Fran Frisch as a starting point for exploring the history of the bear community. Bears of San Francisco logo designed by Fran Frisch (1994). Courtesy of Bears of San Francisco (bosf.org).
A subculture that developed in the 1980s. the bear community celebrates older, larger, hairier, ruggedly masculine gay men who had been largely excluded from standards of attractiveness in gay popular culture. Beartoonist of San Francisco: Sketching an Emerging Subculture opens January 27. “Fran Frisch’s bears are both cuddly and sexual, playful and laid back, yet radical and subversive; his cartoons epitomize what it means to be a Bear,” says curator Jeremy Prince. “Frisch was a pioneering artist who helped define the Bear community through his designs, and his drawings brought humor into the mix as one of the vital aspects of bear masculinity.” Covering the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s, the exhibition will focus on San Francisco, one of the key places where the bear community first emerged before becoming an international phenomenon. The bear identity created positive self-images and an affirming subculture beyond the narrow concepts of gay masculinity and eroticism that prevailed at the time. On display will be archival materials from a number of Bay Area organizations and events for which Frisch produced promotional illustrations: Important aspects include: The Lone Star Saloon, widely considered the first bar dedicated to the bear community, that opened in 1989; BEAR magazine, published in San Francisco from 1987 to 2002 (and revived in 2008); Bears of San Francisco, a charitable organization of bears and admirers, established in 1994; International Bear Rendezvous, an annual bear weekend that ran from 1995 to 2011: and Lazy Bear Weekend, an annual weekend getaway for bears, produced by Harry Lit and Allan Eggman, starting in 1995 and continuing to this day. Frisch’s distinctive bear-centric cartoons offer a thread through which curator Prince traces the development of the bear community over the past three decades. The exhibition will include original art by Frisch, along with photographs, objects and ephemera from the collection of the curator and from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society. Beartoonist of San Francisco opens on Friday, January 27, with a public reception set for 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum at 4127 18th St. in San Francisco. The curator will make brief remarks to inaugurate the show. Wine, sparkling water and light refreshments will be served. Admission is $5.00; free for members. The exhibition will be on display in the museum’s Community Gallery through May 2017. For more information, visit www.glbthistorymuseum.org. 22 Outword California
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Published on Jan 5, 2017
Welcome to our Premier issue of Outword California. We will be publishing this online-only magazine on the first Thursday of each month. Ple...