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No. 20 • August2, 2018 •

Arts and Entertainment Special Issue

Spencer Day Will Make Your Day page 9

Outword California Staff PUBLISHER Fred Palmer A RT DIRECTOR/ PRODUCTION Ron Tackitt GRA PHIC DESIGN Ron Tackitt EDITOR Charles Peer A RTS EDITOR Chris Narloch SA LES Fred Palmer


federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that tried to dismantle protections for transgender students in Dallas, Oregon. The lawsuit sought to overturn the Dallas School District’s policy of allowing students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

A small group of parents and students, acting through the organizations “Parents for Privacy” and “Parents Rights in Education,” filed a complaint against the Dallas School District and other state and federal officials for the district’s policy of protecting a transgender student from discrimination when using the locker room. The court wholly

rejected their claims, finding schools are not only permitted, but required, to treat transgender students equally under the law. The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon) intervened in the case earlier this year on behalf of Basic Rights Oregon, a statewide

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Emily DeSanto Kristy Harris Mark Hinte Diana Kienle Chris Narloch Charles Peer

Goodbye Federal Perkins Student Loan Program

PHOTOGRA PHY Charles Peer Ron Tackitt

he Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with a low interest rate of five percent. The school is the lender and the loan is made with government funds, and each school contributes a share.

ON THE COVER Spencer Day. Photo courtesy of Feinstein’s at the Nikko.

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

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Federal Judge Tosses Lawsuit Targeting Transgender Youth in Rural Oregon School

Outword California

by Emily DeSanto


On September 30, 2017, the Perkins Loan expired. However, there was bipartisan support to keep the program running until 2019, only allowing schools to decide whether they want to continue funding it until then. Supposedly, getting rid of the Perkins Loan program would help to free up operating costs and federal allowances that could be used for other programs. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin and Republican Senator Rob Portman both fought for the bill to keep the program, yet Republican Senator Lamar Alexander objected, which then stopped the bill dead in its tracks. He stated, “It is time for our country, through legislation by this Congress and attempted to pass it through an expedited process requiring unanimous consent, to move on to a simplified federal student aid program, that has only one federal loan for students, one federal grant for students and one work-study program for students.” Many members of the Senate made the remarks that the Perkins Loan Program added to the extremely complex federal loan system. Also, even though he objected to the bill, he and Senator Baldwin are working together to come up with a long-term solution to make college more affordable for everyone. As of now, there is no timeline

to when they will establish this new solution. As a student who utilized the Perkins Loan, the cancelation hit me personally. I had to reevaluate my choice of school and money spending. Also as someone who works in an admissions office, I had more opportunities than most to learn about other options and ways to compensate for the loss of $5,500, such as other loans, scholarships and grants. Now if you are reading this and it all seems familiar to you or you feel as if you’ve heard of this ending already, it’s because it has. The program was originally scheduled to expire back in 2014, but it received an automatic one-year extension until October 1, 2015. Then, in 2015, the program was given a two year extension with the hope that in those two years, Congress would reauthorize the Higher Education Act and address all types of federal student loans. Currently, legislation has been introduced to allow for another extension of the program, but no action has been taken so we must assume the program will officially end. Emily DeSanto is a writer and a student at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN studying communications and marketing.

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LGBTQ group, to defend the rights of transgender and nonbinarystudents in school. Similar lawsuits have been rejected by other courts around the country. For more information about the decision, visit this ACLU webpage: field_documents/07252018_parents_ for_privacy_opinion_order.pdf.

The Price for Making a Profit – Patients Sue Drug Company


n late July, two Louisiana men living with HIV filed personal injury lawsuits against Gilead Sciences Inc. The patients claim they were harmed when the San Francisco Bay Area drug company put profit ahead of patient safety. By doing so, the lawsuit states the business allegedly suppressed a safer version of the drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), and failed to properly warn the men about the risks – including, kidney damage and bone density loss. The cases are similar to those filed in California earlier this year. Both sets of civil cases assert that Gilead tried to maintain and maximize profits at the expense of the health and wellbeing of its customers taking TDF, which the company allegedly knew had issues since 2001.

EJAF and PEPFAR Reaffirm Commitment to HIV Support


t the 2018 International AIDS Conference, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are reaffirming their commitment to and investment in reaching key populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, with lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services.

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

HRH The Duke of Sussex, Sir Elton John and Ndaba Mandella. Photo courtesy of International AIDS Society/Matthijs Immink/IAS

As part of these broader commitments, today EJAF and PEPFAR jointly announced the initial results from the LGBT Fund, which launched its first grants at the 2016 International AIDS Conference. The $10 million fund, created to address human rights violations, stigma, discrimination and violence faced by LGBT people and strengthen local organizations, has since reached nearly 60,000 LGBT people in several sub-Saharan African countries and the Caribbean through targeted, communitylevel projects. Sir Elton John commented: “Since I founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation a quarter of a century ago, an article of faith for us is that no one gets left behind. Our LGBT Fund in partnership with PEPFAR is part of that spirit. The LGBT community has suffered discrimination and isolation in many parts of Sub Saharan Africa which have added to HIV vulnerability and left too many people behind in accessing treatment. I am proud of what we have achieved with this Fund and hope its work can continue.” “PEPFAR’s commitment to key populations’ access to critical HIV prevention and treatment services remains strong,” said Ambassador

Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “Our over $360 planned million investment for key populations in the next 12 months will expand nondiscriminatory access for the most vulnerable individuals to quality, lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services, restoring health and dignity and advancing progress toward achieving HIV/AIDS epidemic control.” Pending Congressional approval, PEPFAR’s planned investment for expanding key populations’ access to HIV prevention and treatment services over the next year will include nearly $100 million previously committed for its Key Populations Investment Fund, which will primarily support indigenous organizations reaching key populations with HIV services in communities. Collectively, these combined efforts in collaboration with community leaders and civil society will save and improve the lives of key populations in countries with high HIV‐burdens and contribute to the global goal of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

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Outword California 5

New Transgender-focused Music Label Launched


andmates James Pertusi and Lenny Zenith, formerly of Jenifer Convertible, and currently of Lenny Zenith’s band, announced on June 18 launch of XYYX RECORDS (XgenreXgender) on the eve of the highly-touted release by Lenny Zenith.

After trying to find appropriate outlets for Lenny Zenith’s first solo record, Lenny approached longtime friend and collaborator James Pertusi with the idea of working together on a label dedicated to highlighting music especially, but not exclusively, by transgender, gender variant, non-binary artists, and in the LGBTQIA community in general, and their allies. The first release is Lenny Zenith’s record What If The Sun. The first single, “Sunday Dress”, was recently premiered in magazine who called Lenny

“one of the genre’s first true transgender rock stars.” The album was featured in major media outlets during Pride month, in June. XYYX Records are already negotiating with another international transgender artist for a late-summer/early-fall release, and are committed to being artist-centric, giving artists as much creative control over their releases as they desire, and being studiously transparent in the process of promotion and royalty distribution. Visit

Brotherly Love Asks “Which Call Do You Answer?”

The one you feel from God or the one you feel about your authentic self? This is the dillemma at hand for Brother Vito (played by writer/director Anthony J. Caruso) as he must decide between becoming a Brother or declaring his love for Gabe (Derek Babb). Shot entirely in Austin, TX and with a local cast and crew, Brotherly Love is a fresh take on the traditional gay love story. Available Aug. 7th from and DVD/VOD. You can watch the trailer at

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Outword California 7

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Bay Area Entertainment Spencer Day Will Make Your Day At Feinstein’s


exy Spencer Day, a multitalented #1 billboard charting jazz singer and songwriter who has appeared at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the Hollywood Bowl, makes his return to Feinstein’s at the Nikko for two performances only, on Friday, August 24 and Saturday, August 25, both shows at 8 p.m. Bringing plenty of spontaneity that feels new and fresh while simultaneously embracing the classic mood of a bygone era, Day will showcase his eclectic original songs, as well as interpretations of classic tunes ranging from Cole Porter to David Bowie. Located within Hotel Nikko (222 Mason Street, San Francisco), Feinstein’s at the Nikko presents a wide range of entertainers from stage and screen, all within an intimate 140-seat cabaret setting. Tickets for Spencer Day range in price from $37.50–$70 and are available now by calling 866-663-1063 or visiting For additional information on Spencer Day, visit: For additional information on Feinstein’s at the Nikko, visit: www.

Spencer Day. Photo courtesy of Feinstein’s at the Nikko.

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Outword California 9

Bay Area Entertainment Sunday In The Park With Stephen Sondheim


by Chris Narloch

acramento’s own Nanci Zoppi plays Dot in the current SF Playhouse production of Stephen Sondheim’s masterwork “Sunday in the Park with George,” and you can catch the musical through September 8th.

Zoppi is a veteran of countless Sacramento productions who has been working steadily in the Bay Area recently. This is your chance to see her on stage again and in a terrific role, as the muse to painter Georges Seurat. In the final days before the completion of his masterpiece, ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’, Georges Seurat is torn between making meaningful art and maintaining a relationship with his lover, Dot.

One of the most acclaimed musicals of our time, ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ won the Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The show features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (“Sweeney Todd,” “Into The Woods”) and a book by James Lapine. Tickets for the SF Playhouse production of “Sunday in the Park with George” can be purchased at sfph/2017-2018-season/sunday-parkgeorge.

Christmas in July - Tickets for LeAnn Rimes You and Me Christmas Tour On Sale Now


he winter holidays are just five months away! What better way to get into the holiday spirt than seeing LeAnn Rimes on stage during her You and Me Christmas Tour.

The Scandalous Scotty Bowers Tells All


by Chris Narloch

n the tradition of Tinseltown tell-alls like “Hollywood Babylon,” the new documentary “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” is the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidante, aidede-camp and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest male -and female -- stars. In the 1940s and ‘50s, Scotty ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots where he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities for fear of police raids at gay bars, societal shunning and career suicide. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities -- straight and gay -- for decades. In 2012, Scotty finally spilled his secrets in the New York Times best-selling memoir “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars,” which revealed a dramatic, preStonewall, alternate history of

Hollywood. While the studio PR machines were promoting their stars as wholesome and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling the true desires of many of the biggest names in Hollywood. This cinéma-vérité documentary by director Matt Tyrnauer (“Valentino: The Last Emperor”) tells Scotty’s story and presents eye-opening takes on icons from the Hollywood Golden Age, including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more. Look for “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” in Bay Area theaters this August. For more information, visit https://www.

LeAnn Rimes. Photo credit Stephanie Conlon.

Visiting 11 cities along the West Coast, Rimes is making a stop at the Luther Burbank Center For the Arts in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m. She will perform her holiday classics, career hits and new songs from her “It’s Christmas Eve” soundtrack,” a new original Hallmark Christmas movie she stars in, premiering November 10. Rimes’ Christmas projects continue to be staples for holiday music collections, and she recently revealed

a new EP titled “Re-Imagined” that features five new versions of some of her record-breaking hits, including an epic duet with music icon Stevie Nicks. Enjoy the ultimate holiday experience! Tickets for the You and Me Christmas Tour range in price from $49–$65 and can be purchased online at, by calling (707) 546-3600 or at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts ticket office in Santa Rosa. August 2, 2018 - September 6, 2018 • No. 20

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A Trip Back in Time Bodie, California and the Wild West words and photographs by Mark Hinte


s a kid, I often found myself, sitting in front of the TV watching the good ole days of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. During this time, the Wild West came alive and old western towns like Bodie, California filled the imaginations of young and old alike. The gun slinging, square-jawed cowboys were imitated by young kids grabbing a broomstick as their horse and galloping around the front yard. Hollywood even capitalized on stories such as Bodie launching many successful Wild West careers. Today, westerns are few and far between, however, ghost towns like Bodie are still thriving, and now attract people from around the world.

Located just 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe, in Mono County, a prospector by the name of W.S. Bodey originated the town. In a search for gold, Bodey and two other prospectors struck gold “in them thar hills” and eventually drew the attention of prospectors all over the United States. As more people found their way to California hoping to make their fortune, the town expanded into a thriving boomtown in the late 1870s reaching populations of over two thousand residents. At its height, the town was complete with 65 saloons that stretched over a mile down the 12 Outword California

main street. The town had a diverse culture of residents, making it the home to immigrants that worked in nearby mines. Bodie eventually went into a decline after the town faced a severe epidemic. Homes were left as is, and in some cases, leaving behind dishes, furniture and remanence of a town that once was. As an avid photographer, I did some research on Bodie before packing up my gear. I knew a ghost town that carried the tagline “a state of arrested decay” would be filled with incredible opportunities. Bodie continues on page 13 August 2, 2018 - September 6, 2018 • No. 20


Bodie continued from page 12

as though eyes are upon you is a constant while glancing in windows and open doors. Tumbleweeds are a common element as you walk Grabbing the Nikon and a couple of lenses, the husband and I headed out through the town, along with an abundance of outhouses. The school, for a week-long vacation in the Wild West. Cutting through the Sierras, we located in the center of town, still shows desks that once held the town dropped down into Mono County, children. Abandoned carriages and at the foot of Mono Lake. Traveling south, cutting back and forth through cars show the time period of Bodie’s the Nevada and California state lines, existence, reflecting the range of 1870 to 1950 when the last town we found ourselves catapulted back in time viewing mountain ranges and resident left dropping the population to zero. abandoned wooden houses in the The mines located on the top of middle of prairies. The opportunities the hill, reflect a historic moment to shoot some of California’s most in time when gold ruled California extreme views came through in offering new opportunities to those Mono County. who could find it. The old red-light Coming up to the destination, Bodie State Park begins at the end of district is marked with wooden road three mile dirt road at an elevation signs with names like Virgin Way and of 8,379 feet. Entering the park, the Maiden Drive. The town jail is located town opens with rows of wooden at Bodie’s furthest point allowing buildings, beginning with an old photographers to capture huge wooden church. The town, which skylines and an old wooden barred is frozen in time, allows visitors to shack that once held the town’s walk through abandoned homes and derelicts. old businesses. Plates on counters The old town cemetery is located covered in dust and debris still on the north side of town. It holds remain set while furniture and other many families that were lost during niceties show the wear of the towns the town’s epidemic. As illness spread extreme climate changes during through the town, families fled Bodie winter months. An eerie feeling to avoid death. Faced with a shortage

of care, the town madam tended to the remaining families suffering from illness. Succumbing to the illness herself, the madam was buried outside the fence of the cemetery, showing a lack of forgiveness by the town people during that time. Today, her grave is viewed by more visitors than the residents located inside the fence. As we started to wrap up the day, I

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noticed night photographers setting up tripods on the top of hills and around buildings to capture some of the breathtaking views of Bodie at night. Snapping my last shot, I packed up the camera and took a glance back at the town. I realized that Bodie is a moment in time that reflects the important roles that our forefathers played to get us where we are today.

Outword California 13

First Major U.S. Music Festival Celebrates Cannabis Culture


utside Lands is adding something new to its gourmet music festival. This year, the event will include Grass Lands, an area focusing on the celebration, education and integration of cannabis products into daily life.


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Taking place at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on August 10 – 12, Grass Lands will explore the different uses of cannabis and the wide array of products that are available. The area will feature a town square with “budtenders” (cannabis product specialists) on hand sharing educational information, The Confectionery featuring tasty treats, a lemonade stand, The Flower Shop offering flower crowns, a cannabis-themed Farmers Market, and an interactive Smell Wall featuring botanical August 2, 2018 - September 6, 2018 • No. 20

terpenes. Although, there won’t be any cannabis or cannabis products for sale or consumption at the festival this year, a home-delivery service offering a variety of cannabis products will be available. Outside Lands will feature music performed by The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, Janet Jackson, Odesza, Future, Beck, Portugal, The Man, DJ Snake and more. For more information about the event, visit


Bourdain and His Impact on Me


ike so many people across the world, I am still processing Anthony Bourdain’s untimely death. Honestly, I feel a little strange to be mourning someone I never met: it bothers me that I am so sad about a celebrity’s passing. However, Bourdain was not just a celebrity, but a kind of ambassador to all nations, reaching out and breaking bread to make a deeper human connection with all cultures and ethnicities. Anthony Bourdain made me excited to see the world outside of the small town of Franklin, Ohio (my hometown). Even though he was no longer working at Les Halles, I traveled to New York in 2002 to dine at the restaurant. I also tried Dim Sum for the first time in Chinatown (though I skipped the chicken feet that time). Suddenly, I was a developing (though I loathe the word) “foodie”. “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” -Anthony Bourdain In 2003, I traveled to Boston, Washington D.C., and to Honolulu, as well as San Francisco, the Napa Valley, and to the city I would eventually call

home: Sacramento. Sacramento? Hey, it is close to San Francisco and to Napa Valley, two cities I love but could not afford to live in at the time. Not to worry, there would be several jaunts to the City and to Napa or Yountville. There were also restaurants of all cuisines to be found right in Sacramento! I also fell in love with wine around the same time and frequently visited regions like Amador and El Dorado in addition to my beloved Napa to try all the wines I could. All the while, I lived vicariously through THE travel guru, Anthony Bourdain, eventually tuning in to No Reservations in 2005 and sometimes downloading the episodes to watch on my computer in patches when I did not have a TV or cable. In September of 2010, Anthony Bourdain came to Sacramento and I

Anthony Bourdain. Photo credit: Travel Channel website, Mozambique journal. by Kristy Harris was lucky enough to see his show as a media guest. During the show, there was a small audience Q & A session, but I felt like I would not even be close to coming up with a question interesting enough. My guest and I left after the show instead of creeping outside the venue waiting to meet him. The first time I saw Parts Unknown, I also happened to be traveling. I didn’t fully understand the concept and I was surprised the show was a little darker (than his other shows), as Bourdain began traveling to places that had been/ still are going through poverty, war, and overall turbulent times. I confess, I had never really given Myanmar a second thought, and never considered Libya on my bucket list. I thought he would be around forever, and I guess that’s why I am so sad. I won’t soon forget the shock of seeing my iPhone screen on the morning of June 8 filled with “RIP Anthony Bourdain.” How did this even happen? I am sorry he was feeling insurmountable pain and so alone. None of the details that have emerged about his death have

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made me feel any better or more resolved. The world has lost an iconic storyteller, a son, a father, a brother, a spouse, a comrade. The time we have on Earth is so precious and finite. Hug the ones you love tightly and remind them how much they mean to you. If you are lucky enough to have one or both of your parents alive, call him/her/them… you’re probably overdue for a hello. Now, I am going to watch some more Parts Unknown episodes. I am looking forward to the future and traveling with my husband as much as possible…just thinking about Spanish pintxos makes me giddy. Anthony Bourdain, thank you for your contribution to the world. May we all be a little less ignorant about/ afraid of people who don’t look or live the same as us, and perhaps in the process, sit around a table of delicious food and enjoy amazing conversations. Kristy Harris is author of the food, wine, and travel blog She has been writing about food since 2005 and currently has a cookbook in the works.You can follow her food and wine adventures on Twitter and Instagram @cavegrrl. Outword California 15

The Boys in the Band & Bette on Broadway by Chris Narloch


ne of the gayest Broadway seasons in recent memory continues to pull in the New York City crowds thanks to the star power of gay icon Bette Midler and openly gay actors Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, and Andrew Rannells.

16 Outword California

Robin DeJesus, Jim Parsons, Michael B. Washington, Zachary Quinto, Tuc Watkins, Charlie Carver, Matt Bomer, Brian Hutchison and Andrew Rannells

Those last four actors form part of the cast of The Boys in the Band, a landmark 1968 play by Mart Crowley that is currently receiving its first Broadway production, through Aug. 11 only. Bette Midler is also wowing audiences on Broadway, returning to the lead in Hello, Dolly! for six weeks (along with David Hyde Pierce) to close out the record-breaking New York run of the musical before it begins its national tour, which will star Betty Buckley. Midler and Pierce had left Dolly in the capable hands of Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber but were wooed back to the Shubert Theatre by producers to finish out the show, which will play its final performance on Aug. 25. The Tony-winning Broadway revival of playwright Tony Kushner’s queer classic Angels in America, which starred Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane (another openly gay actor), recently closed, on July 15. For tickets to Hello, Dolly! and/or The Boys in the Band, visit

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The Boys of ECHO V Reach For The “Rainbow”


ike, Jay, Randy, Devin and Gama are ECHO V, five guys with distinct, echoing voices that combine to create one beautiful sound and that by all outward appearances seem to be the typical boyband with good looks, lush harmonies and killer choreography. But they have one important difference: they’re all gay. Their debut single, “Rainbow,” reflects their decision to be out about their sexuality. While it is a fun, high energy pop anthem with an explosive hook that will get listeners dancing and singing, it also has an important message. “Be proud,” explains Jay. “Our hope is that the song inspires people to stand up and claim their truth, be happy with who they are and find comfort in the fact that they are not alone.” ECHO V’s “Rainbow” is available via the band’s website. The music video is on Youtube. “The narrative in ‘Rainbow’ is personal,” Jay continues from the Los Angeles studio where the band recorded the song. “It kind of came from a place deep within that was filled with despair and even frustration. The first few lines of the song are about finding yourself. It then continues with

called ‘Rainbow’ show a rainbow of people,” he explains. Says Mike, “I hope listeners find something fresh in ECHO V. Something

different.” Visit and follow ECHOV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @echovmusic

how the struggle to conform to society’s standards can be harmful to some. In the second verse, there is a moment of acceptance and defiance where we come to terms with how this one life is for us and not for them.” Mike helped to conceptualize the music video for “Rainbow,” along with videographer Chris Greenwell and editor Adam Amore. They drew inspiration from The Wizard of Oz in terms of color scheme and the switch from black and white to color. (Sharp listeners will notice the lyrics of the song also draw inspiration from The Wizard of Oz.) The video cuts back and forth between ECHO V singing and real people of all different shapes, sizes and colors marching in Pride parades. Mike felt it important that the video show the personalities of each boy in the band but also show something bigger than ECHO V: the diverse world around us. “It seemed only fitting that a song

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Outword California 17

20 outCA arts and entertainment 2018  

Yes, arts. Yes entertainment. But, oh so much more.

20 outCA arts and entertainment 2018  

Yes, arts. Yes entertainment. But, oh so much more.