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No. 3 • March 2, 2017 •


Amsterdam page 15

Take a Gaycation

Mendocino Film Festival

Visiting Historic Solvang

Six LGBTFriendly Hotels

page 9

page 10

page 13

page 16

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 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Diana Kienle Colt McGraw Chris Narloch Bonnie Osborn Charles Peer PHOTOGRA PHY Charles Peer Ron Tackitt ON THE COVER Amsterdam at sunset. Photo by Adrian Sanchez

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EQCA Endorses Two LGBT Candidates for West Hollywood City Council


he Equality California Political Action Committee has endorsed of two LGBT candidates for re-election to the West Hollywood city council, John Duran and John Heilman.

John Duran helped found Equality California in 1999, served on its board from 2001 to 2008, and was board president from 2004 to 2008. A civil rights attorney, Duran began his legal career in the 1980s representing ACT UP protesters demanding treatment and medications at a time when most attorneys refused HIV-related cases. “John Duran is one of Southern California’s veteran leaders of the LGBT civil rights movement and efforts to fight for people living with HIV,” said EQCA Executive Director Rick Zbur. “He has fought for the LGBT community in the courtroom, city council chambers and on the streets. He has worked energetically for the past 30 years to make Southern California a better, safer and more equal place for LGBT people. He helped build

many of the organizations serving the LGBT community, including Equality California, that we rely on today. We simply wouldn’t be where we are as a community without him.” John Heilman was active in the incorporation of West Hollywood as a city in 1984 and was elected to its first city council. By the end of the 1980s, he had already participated in making West Hollywood a global leader in LGBT civil rights, helping to draft and enact the country’s first ordinance prohibiting discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as leading the city to create the first domestic partner registry in the country. “John Heilman is an LGBT pioneer in every sense of the word,” said Zbur. “He

was one of the city founders who created West Hollywood as a safe haven for LGBT people. He went on to keep the new city at the forefront of LGBT civil rights and social justice, implementing policies that protected LGBT people and advanced the city of West Hollywood as a model for other cities, our state and our nation. He continues to fight for the most marginalized members of the LGBT and broader community, championing measures to combat poverty and create affordable housing in West Hollywood.” The Equality California Political Action Committee endorses viable candidates for federal and state office who have a proven track record of supporting equal rights and legal protections for LGBT Californians, as well as outstanding LGBT candidates at the local level.

LA Women to March for Your Voice, Your Vote


omen’s March LA Foundation has announced Mayday — Your Voice, Your Vote, a public event celebrating democracy and the power of the vote that will spearhead a national movement to encourage citizens to register to vote.

The event will also offer other opportunities such as educational information regarding legislative process and instruction in how communities and individuals can become involved in the causes that directly affect them and their neighbors. The organizers of the nation’s largest Women’s March have created the Women’s March LA Foundation to continue the critical effort to highlight the struggles of marginalized communities and assaults on human rights and civil liberties. The Foundation will unveil in the Mayday — Your Voice, Your Vote campaign tools for voter registration and provide channels for those already registered to get involved in the election

process. The event will also include the implementation of a Civics University. The Civics University will involve community

looking for ways to become active and involved to effect change,” said Emiliana Guereca, an organizer of Women’s March LA.

leaders and organizations with the goals of providing education and producing demonstrable, tangible actions and pathways for individuals to make significant changes. “Since the incredible success of the Women’s March LA, we have been often asked; ‘I marched, so what I can I do now? What is next?’ Mayday — Your Voice, Your Vote will be the next opportunity for those

The 2018 midterm elections take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. American citizens 18 years of age and older at the time will be eligible to vote. The Women’s March LA Foundation wants to hear your voice and empower citizens to vote on issues that support human rights and civil liberties. For more information, visit

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

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West Hollywood Puts Out the UNwelcome Mat for Trump


t its regular meeting on Tuesday, February 21, West Hollywood’s City Council approved an item directing city staff to take steps prohibiting city hall from doing business with entities providing financial or other benefits to the President of the United States or his revocable trust.

The City’s Finance Department will review the financial institutions, hotels, real estaterelated companies, investors, and direct affiliates with which the City does business and develop a list in order to evaluate next steps. “Ultimately, this is an ethics issue and a legal issue,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “We’re addressing public concerns that President Trump continues to benefit from his business interests while in office. The Domestic Emoluments Clause clearly states that the President shall not receive any gifts or benefits other than his compensation — no other President in this country’s history has so blatantly disregarded protocol and the Constitution. As Councilmembers, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution.” Related to the action, the City Council

approved a motion that directs City of West Hollywood staff to develop socially conscious banking policies rooted in the City’s Core Values. The development of such policies will include evaluation of the City’s banking relationship with Wells Fargo. The City of West Hollywood, in December 2016, reaffirmed its commitment to its core values and is working diligently to defend the fundamental rights of its community members. The City is monitoring Federal proposals and is responding to policy changes that may have a harmful effect on West Hollywood’s residents, including LGBT residents, people with disabilities, seniors, people of color, immigrants, women and others. For more information and details about the City’s Legislative Affairs efforts, please visit

West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister

Hate Groups Increase for Second Consecutive Year


he number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second year in a row in 2016 as the radical right was energized by the candidacy of Donald Trump, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations. The most dramatic growth was the near-tripling of anti-Muslim hate groups – from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year. The SPLC also released an in-depth profile of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an anti-LGBT hate group. Leaders of the legal advocacy organization and its affiliated lawyers have regularly demonized LGBT people, falsely linking them to pedophilia, calling them “evil” and a threat to children and society, and blaming them for the “persecution of devout Christians.” The group also has supported the criminalization of homosexuality in several countries. The growth has been accompanied by a rash of crimes targeting Muslims, including an arson that destroyed a mosque in Victoria, Texas, just hours after the Trump administration announced an executive order suspending travel from some predominantly Muslim countries. The latest FBI statistics show that hate 4

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March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

crimes against Muslims grew by 67 percent in 2015, the year in which Trump launched his campaign. The report, contained in the Spring 2017 issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, can be read at Online readers will also find an interactive map showing the names, types and locations of hate groups across the country.

SF Mass Transit Ad Campaign Encourages Employers to Hire Transgender Workers


he San Francisco LGBT Center has launched #HireTrans, a mass transit PSA campaign aimed at encouraging employers to hire transgender workers. The campaign — conceived and designed by the Center’s Trans Employment Program — will run on SFMTA Muni buses and trains, and in Muni and BART stations platforms until the end of March. “We are launching this much-needed campaign because trans and gender nonconforming (GNC) people face enormous challenges when we are looking for work or advancing in our careers,” said SF LGBT Center Director of Economic Development Clair Farley. “The numbers are startling. As trans people we are twice as likely to have a college degree, but three times as likely to be unemployed. Nine out of ten of us have experienced workplace harassment and discrimination. The campaign highlights these harsh realities and asks employers and allies to hire, respect and support trans people.” “We explicitly named the campaign #HireTrans because we want trans and GNC people to use social media to share their own experiences in the job market and in the workforce. We want them to feel empowered, that they’re not alone, and that there are people that care about them,” Farley continued. This first-of-its-kind educational campaign — which is the next phase of the online #HireTrans campaign launched last year — highlights the challenges transgender 6

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March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

jobseekers face when searching for employment and finding workplaces that are inclusive and value diversity. The ads feature seven transgender individuals working in a range of industries: Alic (he, him), a pediatric oncology nurse; Caleb (he, him), a lawyer; Candy (she, her), a supervising coordinator; Frida (she, her, they, them), a health outreach worker; Mia (she, her), a director at a youth advocacy group; Miss Peaches Montrace (she, her), an entertainer; and Sophie (she, her), a data scientist. SFMTA is donating all the ad space and BART is providing reduced-rate pricing. The campaign, photographed by Samantha Cooper and Bob Stafford, leads up to Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) on March 31, a day to celebrate trans and GNC people’s lives and bring attention to the staggering rates of discrimination, homelessness, underemployment, and unemployment experienced by the community. The Trans Employment Program is holding a special event on March 31, at SOMArts in collaboration with community partners.

Ending an Unwelcome 80’s Flashback


by Rick Zbur

n 1988, Ronald Reagan was in the White House, “Faith” by George Michael was topping the charts, and fear and ignorance about HIV were at a peak. It was also at that time, that lawmakers enacted California’s first law criminalizing and stigmatizing people with HIV. Much has changed since the 1980s, but in 2017, 35 years after AIDS was first identified as a public health threat, California still has a number of laws on the books that, instead of promoting public health, criminalize people living with HIV. These laws impose draconian penalties on people living with HIV even for activities that carry no risk of transmission. By treating HIV differently than other serious communicable diseases, these laws increase the sense of shame and isolation attached to HIV. Since they were enacted, potent HIV medications have given people living with HIV normal lifespans and made them noncontagious to others. But state laws that continue to criminalize HIV take none of this into account and have never been shown to prevent HIV

transmission. Instead, they increase shame and stigma surrounding HIV and reduce the probability that people will get tested, seek treatment or stick with medications that reduce viral loads and the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others. A bill recently introduced in the California Senate would modernize the state’s laws targeting people living with HIV with criminal penalties and bring them in line with how we treat other serious communicable diseases. Senate Bill (SB) 239 incorporates current scientific understanding of HIV, treating HIV in the same manner as other serious communicable diseases, and eliminating extra punishment for people living with HIV who engage in consensual sexual activity. The bill is cosponsored by the ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Equality California, Lambda Legal and Positive Women’s Network - USA.

The organizations are part of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals dedicated to ending the criminalization of HIV in California.

Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur

HIV-related stigma has many roots, but laws that criminalize HIV and stigmatize people living with it are among the worst offenders. These laws, as they are currently written, are not only outdated and ineffective, but they are actually dangerous because they create a climate of fear and discrimination that lead to more HIV infections. They are also dangerous to the health and well-being of men, women and children living with HIV. SB 239 is not a partisan or political issue, nor is it a matter of conflict in medical science. This is a basic issue of public health. The proposal to revise and modernize these laws is crucial to achieve our shared goals of reducing new HIV infections and helping those living with the virus to be safe, healthy and empowered. Rick Zbur is the Executive Director of Equality California. he can be reached at March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Outword California 7

Take a Gaycation from U.S. Politics in Buenos Aires


f the seemingly constant arguing in the U.S. over politics, LGBT and women’s rights among others, a vacation to Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, is highly recommended for quick relief to ease away the stress.

It should be no surprise that Buenos Aires, the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, is one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world. Strung along the Rio de la Plata, this city brimming with Latin sensuality and European sophistication has much to offer the LGBT traveler, from luxurious, welcoming hotels and restaurants where beef reigns supreme, to exciting nightlife where visitors can dance to techno or learn the sultry tango. Buenos Aires is especially inviting now with the recent announcement that foreign visitors will now be refunded the VAT (value added tax) paid on hotel services using foreign debit or credit cards throughout Argentina. Here’s a breif rundown on what this beautiful city has to offer:

busy during the Sunday Feria de San Telmo Street Fair, PrideCafe is a great place for a snack and to chat with locals.

Visitors are welcomed to Buenos Aires with a huge BA, decked out here for Gay Pride celebrations.

Nightlife: This “South American City That Never Sleeps” has some of the world’s best nightlife, including an unparalleled nocturnal LGBT scene. Gays and music loving straights mingle at Amerika, one of the city’s largest clubs. Contramano, popular with bears and a mature crowd, was established soon after Argentina’s military dictatorship ended, heralding the country’s emerging freedom. Living up to its name, Glam in Barrio Norte offers an elegant scene with beautiful men throughout its several spaces. Sitges offers

Hotels: Almost every hotel in Buenos Aires is gay friendly, including the city’s most luxurious in the Recoleta neighborhood, from the gilded marbleAlvear Palace, where concierges know everything gay in the city, to the Four Seasons, where Madonna stayed during the filming of Evita, using the hotel mansion’s balcony to practice her Don’t Cry for Me routine. Trendy Palermo has small boutique hotels like the Fierro, known for its gourmand-friendly atmosphere, and Home, with its cozy spa, grassy backyard pool, and DJ’d lobby bar. El Lugar Gay, Spanish for ‘the gay place’ is the gay-owned, men-only hotel just off Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, with a rooftop patio offering weekly gay tango lessons.

Restaurants: Beef rules in Argentina. Get a juicy slab of it at La Cabrera in Palermo, an Argentine parrilla or steakhouse. Visitors who want to splurge on a formal experience head to Cabaña Las Lilas overlooking the Puerto Madero waterfront. Argentine beef is on the plate and all around in gay bar and restaurant Pepo Pepona in Palermo, with male dancers and hunky waiters with pepper grinders, spicing up the service. Especially

Floralis Generica, or the Steel Flower, by Eduardo Catalano, is located in United Nations Square and offers a friendly respite while touring the city. One of the fascinating features of this sculpture is that it acts like a real flower in that its gigantic petals are open during the day and then close for the night with a red glow emanating from within.

a humorous drag show along with dancing. Lesbians flock to Bach Bar, and Casa Brandon in the Villa Crespo neighborhood is a unique gay cultural space offering art, talks and other cerebral events. Nothing says Buenos Aires like tango, and two LGBT choices of milongas, or tango halls, are La Marshall and Tango Queer, both offering lessons for beginners.

Festivals: There’s something year-round for the

LGBT community in this vibrant city. During the southern hemisphere’s summer season, November is the gayest month, honoring 1967’s pre-Stonewall founding of Argentina’s LGBT rights group Nuestro Mundo. Manuel Puig, author of Kiss of the Spiderwoman, was an early member. Argentina’s national LGBT rights march, known as Orgullo — Spanish for Pride — takes place in Buenos Aires the first or second Saturday of November. That same month, dance the gay

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Argentine way during the Tango Queer Festival, or watch gay films during Asterisco, Argentina’s International LGBT Film Festival. The city government of Buenos Aires throws its own gay festival, BA Diversa, full of events, talks, sports, art exhibits and more each August, timed with the G-Networks gay travel and business conference. For more information, visit turismo. Outword California 9

Don’t Miss The Mendocino Film Festival


by Chris Narloch

ast of Eden, Summer of ’42, Same Time, Next Year, Cujo, and The Russian Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! are just a few of the great movies that were filmed in and around the beautiful city of Mendocino, on the coast of Northern California.

Today, Mendocino isn’t just a great place to shoot a movie. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy watching some of the finest cinema from around the globe, at a world-class yet cozy film festival. In 2006, the late, great American movie director Sydney Pollack (Tootsie, The Way We Were, Out of Africa) helped found a film festival in this gorgeous seaside town, and the Mendocino Film Festival was born. You’ll spend a fortune to attend the Cannes Film Festival or Sundance, but Mendocino is equally beautiful, more affordable, and right in our backyard. 2017 will mark a dozen years for this gem of a film festival, and you can join the fun this June 1-4 for one of the most unique and scenic film events anywhere. If I had to list all of the great movies I saw last year during my first visit to the Mendocino Film Festival, it would be considerably longer than the list of titles at

the top of this article. A rare screening of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie’s classic concert film from 1973 by the great documentary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker was probably the highlight for me. The schedule of movies for this year’s festival won’t be announced until this spring, but you can bet it will include another great collection of independent features, foreign films, documentaries and more, all selected by this year’s Program Director Claudia Puig, who is also the president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The uniqueness of the Mendocino area allows the festival to celebrate not only film but also food and wine, with exciting programs such as the popular Cinema in the Vineyards, which showcase agrarian and country living, sustainable farming, and the farm-to-table movement. This celebration of the community

explores the future of food and the history of wine, featuring films from around the world paired with special events that highlight the best of the Anderson Valley. Last year’s 11th Annual Mendocino Film Festival featured 66 films total, including two Academy Award winners, three Academy Award nominees, three California premieres, and one U.S. premiere. Five cities hosted events last year, including Mendocino, Fort Bragg, Willits, and Point Arena, at eight different venues, including an enormous white tent that housed one of the most memorable screenings I attended. Equally memorable was the beautiful North Cliff Hotel, on South Main Street in Fort Bragg, where I enjoyed breathtaking ocean views from my very comfortable room, which was a short drive from all of the Festival venues. Over the years, the Mendocino Film

Festival has established a reputation for presenting award-winning international and independent films and has become renowned on the festival circuit, drawing filmmakers and attendees from around the world while maintaining its commitment to the local community. Featuring special events, filmmaker Q & A’s, and panels, the festival offers the unique opportunity to meet filmmakers and film aficionados in an intimate setting while enjoying the striking natural beauty of Mendocino, which has inspired generations of artists. For more information, please visit www.

Chris Narloch is Outword’s Arts and Entertainment Editor. You can reach him at

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10 Outword California

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Hot Stops in Santa Barbara for Some Great Wine

by Diana Kienle


ineries of the middle and southern Central Coast of California are mostly casual visits and offer a very down to earth experience. Many are small family operations with simple tasting rooms. This may well be attributable to the late development of wineries in the area. It was not until the 1980s that viticulture took off here and in 1970, there were only 171 acres of grapes in Santa Barbara County. By 1998, there were 16,500 acres generating great revenue. During a day of wine tasting with friends, we visited Stolpman Vineyards and Beckmen Vineyards. Both are great examples of family wineries making a mark in the Santa Barbara area. Stolpman was a very pleasant surprise! Knowing the climate and the varietals that do best in that area, they have a great line of Sangiovese. The line-up included three

tasting room was big, bright and airy with an outside patio area that I wanted to visit since I had previously enjoyed their Grenache. On this day, we were greeted and served by the Tasting Room Manager and he walked us through their line of wines from the estate. The wines showed depth and richness with excellent fruit. I was impressed with the Syrahs and walked away with several wines to add to my collection. While the Santa Barbara area is young, it shows great promise for the future and many talented winemakers are calling this area home. It is worth your time to visit this

Stolpman’s tasting room. Photo by Cathy Schwamberger.

different bottles that vary in price and complexity. Inspired, we bought all three for different occasions. They also produce some deep and rich Syrahs, which I also purchased. Chris, whose business card title is “Passionista,” orchestrated our visit and stated that this title best describes his work at Stolpman, because he loves the wine and enjoys talking to folks about it every day. Beckmen Vineyards was a bigger property with a very extensive line of wines, yet they are also family owned. The winemaker is Steve Beckmen whose original training was in archaeology. The 12 Outword California

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beautiful area. If you’re looking to really treat yourself, you could stay at the Bacara Resort for a peaceful time to relax and enjoy the area, which includes quaint towns like Solvang and Los Olivos. While we were there, we had a chance to explore Los Olivos and enjoyed lunch at Sides Hardware and Shoes, where I had the best hamburger I’ve ever had! But, I digress… Enjoy!

Diana Kienle is a freelance writer and blogs about wine at www. She can be reached at

Take a Trip to Denmark By Visiting Historic Solvang


o, you’d like a European vacation yet don’t want to leave the Golden State? Then discover Solvang, known as “California’s Denmark,” just four hours south of San Francisco and two hours north of Los Angeles in the heart of Santa Barbara County wine country. In 1911, three Danish-Americans educators discovered a place on the sunny Central Coast of California where land was plentiful and their culture could prosper — and founded Solvang (sunny field in Danish) adjacent to the 1804 Old Mission Santa Inés (now a National Historic Landmark District). Solvang thrived and settlers carried on Danish traditions of language, folk dancing, music, and cuisine. Learn more at the not-to-be-missed Elverhoj Museum of History & Art or the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature. In 1947, idyllic Solvang was “discovered” by the media and described in a Saturday

With many TAG-recognized LGBT-friendly hotels, restaurants and shops, you’ll be welcomed with genuine hospitality. A Solvang getaway vacation is your ticket to relaxation, rest or perhaps even your wedding or vow renewal. See details: weddings/lgbt-gay-friendly/ The Taste of Solvang food and wine events every March are delicious (this year from March 15-19); Danish Days commemorate Solvang’s heritage during the third weekend every September and Julefest (Yule-fest) happens throughout December. You’ll also want to enjoy the outdoors, and

Solvang’s picturesque streets offer great shopping and tasty restaurants.

Evening Post feature as a “spotless Danish village that blooms like a rose” and enticed travelers to experience it for themselves. In 2016, USA Today named Solvang one of the “10 best Historic Small Towns in America” for its authentic hospitality. Let yourself be drawn into Scandinavian architecture and culture strolling Solvang’s flower-lined streets with mild climate yearround, where you will find five authentic Danish bakeries and more than 35 restaurants and cafes — featuring not only Danish cuisine but also gourmet wine-country, international and traditional American favorites. Dozens of wine and beer tasting rooms, wine bars and gourmet food shops tempt palates with the bounty of nearby vineyards and farms, and be sure to stop by Bacon & Brine restaurant, helmed by Chef Pink and her wife Courtney Rae, profiled on the recent LOGO-TV documentary Hungry for some hyper-local fare. You also wont want to miss Ingeborg’s for authentic Danish chocolates and the Solvang Restaurant for delicious aebleskiver (Danish pancake balls).

you can golf in style at The River Course at The Alisal situated against a spectacular Santa Ynez Mountains backdrop. Or choose easy, moderate or challenging hikes with postcardperfect scenery with bird-watching and spring wildflowers in the adjacent Los Padres National Forest. If pedal power is your favorite mode of transportation, bicycles or four-wheeled “surrey cycles” are available for rental daily. You can also hop aboard the Solvang Trolley for a two-horse powered tour in a historic wooden streetcar and check out nearby OstrichLand USA to see and feed the largest and fastest birds in the world. Get your retail therapy in Solvang within the seven-block downtown and delight in an array of colorful items such as clogs, clothing, ironwork, porcelain, collectibles, beautifully crafted imports, vibrant arts and crafts, and furnishings in more than 150 one-of-a-kind stores, art galleries and antique centers. Solvang is a vacation destination you don’t want to miss in the Golden State! Start planning here: March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Outword California 13

This Trip Was Born as a Mileage Run


needed about 20,000 miles on a combination of Star Alliance carriers to maintain my allimportant status when flying “the friendly skies.” The internet search took a lot of patience.

A travel website is designed to get a person from A to B as quickly and economically as possible – not to plan mileage runs. I persevered. My options slowly began to download. Dubai? Too hot. Calcutta? Isn’t that where Mother Teresa did her thing? Dhaka? I don’t even know where or what that is! Johannesburg — I liked the sound of that! I’d heard South Africa was nice. Beautiful beaches. Lush wine country. Rich history with the likes of Mandela and Tutu leading the way. Friendly ties with our country (and no rogue mosquitoes) meant no visas or shots were required – just a valid Passport and I could be on my way. I booked my airline ticket – Sacramento to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Frankfort to Johannesburg – 57 hours in the air or in airports. But this routing contained the needed miles. OK – now what? I Googled “things to do in South Africa” and SAFARI was first on the list. Kruger National Park, larger in size than most New England states, would have required another flight. After 57 hours, I thought a nice drive

Considered one of the Big 5 must sees on safari, this pack of pachyderms seemed almost as interested in us as we were in them.

would be more my speed. After a few more internet searches I stumbled upon Entabeni Safari Conservancy. The images were stunning. It looked not at all unlike Sedona – red rocks, steep cliffs, other-worldly formations that seemed more like the set from a si-fi movie than real life. And animals!

The Big 5 is what you want to see when visiting Africa: Elephant, lion, leopard, cape buffalo and rhinoceros. Entabeni guaranteed to have all five in residence on 22,000 thousand acres of unspoiled savannas. They also boasted cabins for visitors. (With all those lions wondering around I decided early on I did not want to sleep in a tent, though I

by story and photos Clayton Whitehead would learn hippos kill more people every year than lions and elephants combined!) I booked five days which included the cabin; daily breakfast, lunch and dinner; two safaris daily at dawn and dusk; and transport to and from the airport. All this for less than the price of the plane ticket. It sounded too good to be true. And it was . . . Shortly after my arrival I met Jimmy Cricket, resident ranger and safari guide extraordinaire. His instincts were as welltuned as those of the animals. He could just sense where they would be. In total I would do eight safaris and we’d see the Big 5 along with zebra, giraffe, cheetah, impala, warthog, kudu, hippopotamus, gnu, monkey and baboon — just to name a few. The awesomeness of Africa is difficult to put into words. Imagine being deep in the bush, half a planet from home, completely surrounded by a pack of pachyderms. Or coming upon a pride of lions relaxing nonchalantly after a kill. Finding yourself in MILEAGE RUN continues on page 21

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March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3




story and photos by Adrian Sanchez

’ve traveled to so many places in Europe and whenever I’m asked about places that I’m embarrassed for not having visited yet I always think of Budapest, Munich and Amsterdam.

Now Amsterdam is no longer on that list and I’m so excited to write about this town, which has become almost my favorite city in Europe, just right after Rome. Even though Amsterdam is a “big” city, it still has that old-small-town feeling when you stroll down the streets and cross the hundreds of canals, yes hundreds. Second city in the world with the most number of bridges, after Venice. The best method of transportation is walking, like I always recommend, walk for miles, get lost and you’ll find the best hidden spots in town. Biking is so popular and polite-ish in the city, but don’t get fooled, look in every single direction when you cross the street because bikes have the right of pass and they take that very seriously. Eating was amazing, not sure why Amsterdam doesn’t get that reputation as we ate deliciously every single meal and definitely more affordable than San Francisco and NYC. There are so many bars to choose from, great Dutch beer including the famous Heineken. And the shopping was another great surprise as it has very unique styles and prices attractive. Lastly, of course you have to check out their coffee shops, which are not really coffee shops but legal cannabis shops where you can taste dozens of types and give you the fix that you need to keep experiencing the city. When in Rome …

and our home away from home in Amsterdam. Located right on Keizersgracht street, one of the main and most luxurious canals with the typical architecture from the Dutch Golden Age, with narrow and tall intricate buildings with the most picturesque windows lined up the walls.

What to see. Vincent Van Gogh Museum was my favorite museum. Book tickets in advance and skip the lines. The most impressive collection that I’ve seen, so colorful and so deep. Rijksmuseum is another impressive museum that was recently renovated and just re-opened a couple of years ago. Anne Frank House-Museum is a time

There are so many, and honestly picking any restaurant by walking by it will be good. Still here are some of my favorites: Dante Bar, Black and Blue steakhouse, Bleu Brasserie with the best desserts, Adonis and Venus for best burgers, De Belhamel with more of a classic Dutch cuisine. For special occasions

world. Prik is a small gay club with cool European pop music, good cocktails and the crowd is very friendly. The Eagle and The Cuckoo’s Nest are a little more alternative as they are more leather and S&M bars, still friendly and cool to have a beer and it’s up to you to explore beyond that. Totally safe, friendly and fun. Gay Pride is probably the best holiday to spend in Amsterdam, which is usually the first or second week of August, right in the middle of the summer and the entire town is a celebration-parade for a week. Check out the specific dates and book in advance as the place is party central for everyone. I can only imagine with warm weather and celebrations all over. Fun!


capsule that takes you back to World War II in Amsterdam and the way Anne and her family lived in the attic of that place. Humbling experience. Best to buy tickets in advance for a specific time and skip the lines. Flower Market is open year long and the Where to stay. best time to see it is Spring and Summer. Canal House. Definitely an elaborate small You can still experience the market in boutique hotel, part of the SLH collection, Winter with all the different tulip bulbs, souvenirs, and Dutch memorabilia. All laid out alongside the canal as this market is floating on the canal. Tourist spot but worth it.

Drinks and Eats.

check out Mr. Porter at W Hotel and Jansz at the Pullitzer Hotel, best restaurants on my list.

Gay Amsterdam. Did anyone doubt Amsterdam is gay friendly? This was impressive even for me as one of the friendliest cities with tons of things to do for gays and lesbians. I’m not usually about narrowing options to gay alternatives, but there’s no difference here and you can find the spots all over the city. The city has an openness to lifestyles, no judgment and embracing diversity that is really hard to compare to other cities in the

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

The Heineken Experience is something that everyone should try. Touring the oldest brewery in town, learning about its history and why it’s considered a landmark was fascinating. Not to mention the brewing process, tasting and all fun experiences that they have throughout the tour. Special tip: go there on your birthday, get in the contest of chugging a beer and get your own Dutch birthday beer mug. Priceless. There is o much to see, do, experience  in this amazing city, so make sure you spend a few days there. Adrian Sanchez is a passionate Travel blogger that spends most of his trips in Northern California, U.S., Mexico and Europe. For more about him visit his blog He can be reached at Outword California 15

Six LGBT-Friendly Hotels You Should Bang In Before You Die


by Mikey Rox

e can debate endlessly what constitutes a great hotel room, but there are only three criteria that matter: A comfortable bed so you can catch all the Zs, a clean bathroom to wash your bits like they’re receiving a medal of valor, and an ambience of well-insulated relaxation and romance to bang with reckless abandon. These six selections, inviting of LGBT travelers, receive our seal of approval.

The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina San Diego, California Bro out like you’ve never bro-ed out before in this ultimate whisky lover’s retreat that combines two of life’s supreme pleasures – booze and naked man butt. The moodlighted Macallan Suite, inspired by the celebrated Scotch, emphasizes a Lavazza espresso machine; mini-bar with grown-up bottles of its namesake hooch; copper-gilded Morpheus Jacuzzi tub; and an intimacy kit with massage oil, candles, and handcuffs that you’ll put to good (but perhaps sloppy) use once you’re sufficiently tipsy. High-fives afterward.

Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast Santa Barbara, California Indulge your deepest, darkest fantasies at the Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast – which National Geographic calls one of the “quirkiest hotels around” – smack in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. Quench your already thirsty loins with tastings in the area then return to this oasis of intimate imagination (pack costumes for an even more satisfying experience) and your suite decked out to the nines in 1950s, Egyptian, Roman, pirate, gypsy and French themes. Refuel at sunrise with a hot gourmet breakfast delivered bedside via private butler – which, coincidentally, is the perfect time to put your pants back on.

16 Outword California

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Inn of the Dove — Bensalem, PA There’s something to be said about nostalgia – and a touch of tackiness every now and then – and if you’re the type who embraces counterculture like a long-lost cousin, the Inn of the Dove’s “Love Shack” is likely what your getaway dreams are made of. Taking its design cue from the porn VHS you kept hidden under you boxer-shorts drawer in high school, this every-shade-of-red respite includes a heart-shaped bed with mirrored headboard, in-room hot tub, gas fireplace, and more Formica than you can shake a dick at. But, hey, it’s a worth shot.

Hôtel Gaythering — Miami Beach, Florida Thoughtful implementation of industrial aesthetics dot Miami Beach’s only “fully gay” hotel – like concrete-colored walls, aluminum drop pendants, and untreated wood headboards in the rooms (how butch!) – but it’s the nontraditional amenities and sleeping arrangements that truly set Hôtel Gaythering apart. After a dip in the Jacuzzi at the men’s self-spa and a cocktail at the bar, guests can retreat to their whatever-happens-behind-closed-door quarters, the options for which include classic suites; double king rooms for groups; or a “crate” shared room for especially social travelers, which is kind of like an all-counselor camp cabin with an identical amount of sexual tension.

Kimpton Rouge Hotel — Washington, D.C.

The Ivy Hotel — Baltimore, Maryland Located in historic Mount Vernon – the epicenter of Baltimore’s LGBT community and steps away from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore Symphony, and Mount Vernon Marketplace – the Ivy Hotel (a retrofitted mansion designed by architect Charles Carson in the 1890s) features 18 individually designed rooms given a mid-century modern makeover by interior designer Joszki Meskan. The Tower Suite, the magnificent two-story sex-cape, features a living area, fireplace and powder room on the first level – because foreplay – while the second story, with its vaulted ceiling and platform bed plus bathroom are ideal conduits for finishing each other off in comfort and luxury.

Trade in your fifty shades of gray for a kaleidoscope of crimson during a stay at the fashion-driven Kimpton Rouge, equidistant (just a couple blocks) from D.C.’s LGBT epicenters Dupont and Logan circles. Subtle nods to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, beauty and frisky fornication, pepper this palace of playfulness – including statutes at the hotel’s entrance and custom-made Grecian-inspired bedside pedestals – the heart of which is enriched by flowing red draperies, floor-to-ceiling faux leather headboards, and colorful pop art indicative of a soul dedicated to sensuality. Plus, there’s a massive mirror next to the king bed. Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Outword California 17

#ILoveGayPalm Springs Because…

Alfie Pettit, aka Arial Trampway, says “#ILoveGayPalmSprings because…” By Nicholas Snow

March in the Palm Springs Oasis

“The Queens!” That’s Alfie Pettit’s immediate response when asked to complete the phrase, #ILoveGayPalmSprings because…

By Brad Fuhr, e-publisher, GayDesertGuide.LGBT

Ce Ce Peniston

The proverbial “in like a lion and out like a lamb” describing the month of March certainly doesn’t apply to the Greater Palm Springs area this year. We just got word that Ce Ce Peniston and Black Box will raise the Palm Springs temperature at Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend on Friday, March 31st. It will cap off a month of full on frontal fun and frivolity in the desert.

AKA Arial Trampway, Alfie is a humanitarian and entertainer (he’s behind and headlining the new DRG BRNCH, Sundays, at the Hard Rock Hotel), and has had multiple brushes with film, television, and pop stars. In fact, “Alfie’s of Hollywood” became a trusted source for photographs, autographs, memorabilia and anecdotes. Alfie was himself featured on nationally syndicated television shows including Leeza Gibbons, American Journal, Hard Copy, CNBC Money, as well as international TV appearances in Italy and Japan.

One of the most social and liberating LGBT charity events of the season is the LGBT Center’s Red Dress/Dress Red Party. It’s such a gas to see friends and newcomers alike wearing outrageous garb for one night. Our thrift stores sell out of red-anything quickly, so if you’re planning to go it is best to plan your outfit well in advance. We’ll be there and invite you to hashtag #ILoveGayPalmSprings in their photos. You’ll see them on our Instagram page @GayDesertGuide and on the website.

About “The Queens!”, Alfie adds, “We have the most concentrated queen-per-capita coverage and it shows. If you want drag, baby, we got it. Virtually any day, any time of day, you can find a local show with amazing performances by local and imported drag queens and kings.”

On the other end of the fashionista spectrum is Palm Springs Life Fashion Week on El Paseo. Opening Night features Milan’s award-winning men’s fashion designer Christopher Bates, America’s luxury women’s sportswear designer Adam Lippes, and international red-carpet designer Mikael D on Saturday, March 18. The Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival happens the following weekend – March 24-26. The event features two days of Grand Tastings, featuring delectable morsels from more than 40 restaurants, created by renowned chefs from all across California and the country. More than 60 premium wines and champagnes will be offered as well.

He continues, “As a queen myself, the opportunities are boundless. I’ve been blessed enough to don my heels for numerous performances, promotions, and charities throughout the years here. …Most queens here are extremely involved in local charities. It’s a place of pride for us. And I promise you, you’re not going to find a more supportive community of drag queens anywhere. We know we are all in it together.” “Arial” has raised money for countless charities, including Desert AIDS Project, Angel View and Animal Samaritans. Alfie works closely with ACS, helping support their Desert Spirit Awards. Arial was the show opener for Carnival Cabaret, and could be seen jetting around on his Segway promoting the show during Palm Springs’ Gay Pride Parade and other local events. Thank you, Alfie, for keeping the glamour factor high and pocketbooks open!

The month is teeming with great theatre and concerts. From an intimate evening with big band legend Stanley Paul for AAP to the Desert Winds Freedom Band, there’s music for everyone’s tastes. Dezart Performs’live radio theatre “On the Air” is one of my favorites and features Peter Marshall and Mariette Hartley this year. The McCallum is in full swing as is the Annenberg. We at GayDesertGuide.LGBT have been helping Cathedral City build its LGBT Days and are happy to help make it happen again this year on the weekend of March 24-26. Leslie Jordan is set to be a part of the Bed Race on Saturday and Martha Wash headlines Saturday afternoon after the parade. Jordan will perform at the Mary Pickford that evening. Our complete Events channel on GayDesertGuide is the place to search for events by category or view This Weekend, next week or any date you’re looking for something to do.

18 Outword California

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Arial Trampway

Bongo Johnny’s

214 E. Arenas Road, Palm Springs (760) 866-1905

2017 “Save the Date” Coachella Valley Events

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. 6-19 BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament Mar. 8-April 2 Coachella Valleys Repertory’s “Disgraced” Mar. 11 LGBT Center’s Red Dress/Dress Red Party Mar. 17-April 2 Dinner At My Place benefiting D.A.P. Mar. 18-19 California Desert Chorale “We’ve Got Ritmo” Mar. 18-25 Fashion Week on El Paseo in Palm Desert Mar. 24-26 Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival Mar. 24-26 Cathedral City’s LGBT Days Mar. 25 Palm Springs Art Museum Gala Mar. 26 Desert Winds “Music and the World of Sound” Mar. 29-Apr. 2 Club Skirts Presents The Dinah, Palm Springs Apr. 1 The Living Desert’s Brew at the Zoo Apr. 2 L-Fund 3rd Annual Gumbo Gala


@ Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs New weekly Drag Brunch is the brainchild of Alfie Pettit springing from his love of all things Rock and Glam. Seating at 11 AM. $35 includes bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and Bellinis. Call 760-325-9676 or book on Open Table.

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

Apr. 8 Palm Springs Pride Pet Parade Apr. 9 19th Annual Opera in the Park Apr. 14-16 Coachella Music Festival –Weekend #1 Apr. 21-23 Coachella Music Festival –Weekend #2 Apr. 22-23 PSGMC “Palm Springs Pops” Concert

#ILoveGayPalmSprings @Destination PSP! 170 N. Palm Canyon Dr. 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).

Apr. 27-30 Blatino Oasis Apr. 27 Desert AIDS Project’s Dining Out for Life Apr. 28-30 Stagecoach Music Festival 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 19 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at PSCC Nov. 3-5 Palm Springs Pride 2017

Visit DestinationPSP in downtown Palm Springs.

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

For More Info & Events visit GayDesertGuide.LGBT

Outword California 19

Lifestyle Apps:Springs Making Palm Life Better by Bobby Ciletti


he “App Life” is strong thanks to a steady stream of new lifestyle apps aimed at those who want to do the most by taking advantage of what offers the most. Depending on your interests, you can curate your own lifestyle suite of apps to make life easier, more enjoyable and a little more fashionable.

However, in 2016 it was estimated that an average of 1,000 new apps were submitted to the Apple App Store each day. Download and delete may work as a strategy to finding the best of what supports you and your lifestyle but our guide saves you the effort. It does all the work for you and who doesn’t love that.

Meditation – Headspace The creators’ goal for Headspace is to help everyone live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life. And they believe that the health of the mind is crucial to achieving that happy life. The app features meditation sessions for as little as 10 minutes designed to suit various moods and lifestyles. Headspace can be used on a computer, tablet or phone, thus making it accessible anywhere.

Fashion – Cloth

We speak LGBT (QQIP2SAA, too!) culturally sensitive content... social media campaigns... PR & marketing... event publicity... since 2004...

Decor – UrbanStems With a commitment to the environment, customer service and design, you can now send or receive fresh flowers that will last longer and cost less with this app that cuts out the middle man. Their fresh approach also brings better designs than the typical online florists. They even send you a photo confirmation of your bouquet. UrbanStems is currently expanding so look for more cities soon.

Network – Shapr It’s considered the Tinder of professional networking thanks to a swipe-right, swipeleft functionality that allows you to either pass or meet with potential professional contacts. Fueled by connecting to your LinkedIn account, the app chooses 12 potential matches for you every day based on your interests and location.

Bobby Says …

Let us help you reach your target audience!

Call or Email Today! 916-352-6767 Bonnie Osborn, President 20 Outword California

If you have ever said, “I have nothing wear,” maybe you just needed better organization and visuals. This app will help do just that. You may be surprised to find that you really do have something to wear after all. It also becomes your personal outfit diary.

typically take 30-mintes to cook. Choose from different plans starting around $9.99. Their endless recipes accommodate all tastes, even vegetarians, and with the subscription, delivery is free. Travel – HotelTonight At first this app was ideal for last minute travelers looking for deep discounts, for the “I need a hotel on a whim” desire. But the app has now expanded its reach into future reservations of up to a week away. You can also select multiple nights for longer stays.

When in doubt about an app, remember to check a few vitals before committing to a download. Reading the reviews and checking the number of downloads in the app store can be a first indication of its value to others. Grooming – Priv Also, find out if this is really a free app or This on-demand beauty app allows you to if it requires in-app purchases. And consider book everything from makeup artists, checking its social media presence to see manicurists, hair stylists and personal how the app engages with its community trainers who are all vetted professionals. and what kind of following and response it Whether it’s for you personally, as part of a wedding or a corporate event, the best part is has on different platforms, like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. You can always ask a they come to you! friend if they have heard of the app and Food – HelloFresh If you want to eat out less and cook more what they are using. Bobby Ciletti is a travel and lifestyle healthy meals at home, this app and expert for Compete Magazine and founder of subscription service make it possible. They Twitter @ deliver a box of delicious recipes with the exact amount of fresh ingredients needed to bobbyciletti. Visit Compete Magazine at cook them on a weekly basis. Recipes

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Palm Springs

Truth Awards Honor LGBTQ African-Americans & Allies


racey Norman, the first African-American transgender model, celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine and Emmy-winning actress Loretta Devine are among those to be honored for their work and contributions to the LGBT community at the third annual Truth Awards.

The black-tie affair will honor trailblazing African-American men and women whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ community, and will be held Saturday, March 11. Festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. with red carpet arrivals and a VIP reception. The event will be hosted by actress Angela Robinson of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, which airs on OWN. The special musical guest is two-time Grammy winner Ann Nesby, former lead singer of the R&B and gospel group, Sounds of Blackness. Actress, comedienne and daytime talker Sherri Shepherd (The View, and Trial and Error) will present the Media and Arts Award to executive producer Marcus Wilson Smith of KTLA-TV, who is a cousin of hers, and makes the evening a personal one for her. Other presenters include actors Renee Lawless, Gabrielle Dennis, Parnell Damone

Emmy-winning actress Loretta Devine will be honored at this year’s Truth Awards in LA.

Marcano, reality star and transgender model Isis King, Rodney Chester, Nic Few, plus journalist Tre’Vell Anderson of the LA Times, and two-time Emmy-winning hairstylist Kiyah Wright as well as Emmy winner celebrity makeup artist Valente Frazier. The Truth Awards will be held at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Los Angeles. Ticket prices range from $150 for general admission to $250 for premier seating. Tickets can be purchased on www.truthawards3.eventbrite. com The Truth Awards will benefit the DIVA Foundation and its partnership with BBLA, which has initiated several initiatives aimed at affirming and strengthening the African American LGBTQ community educationally, financially, physically and socially. For more information about the organization and its scholarship program, visit

Celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine will be honored at this year’s Truth Awards in LA.

Mileage Run continued from page 14 the middle of a herd of impalas so large you can’t see where they begin or end. Witnessing a female cheetah making her choice from two interested suitors, and eventually finding neither quite to her liking. Lying in bed and listening to the resident hippo rooting outside your cabin under a full moon. Every sensation in Africa is so immediate, so honest, so close. Some creatures are predators; some are prey. No judgment. No PETA protesters. No tears. That’s just the way it is. It’s the “circle of life” we learned about in The Lion King, only this was REAL. The human (me!) was simply allowed as an observer — as long as I didn’t get too close. Clayton Whitehead is a frequent traveler and travel specialist and Vice President of Sports Leisure Vacations. He can be reached at

March 2, 2017 - April 6, 2017 • No. 3

Outword California 21

3 Outword California Travel Issue 3-2-17  

For many of us, traveling and sight seeing is high on our list of desirable ways to spend our free time, and with this issue, we celebrate t...

3 Outword California Travel Issue 3-2-17  

For many of us, traveling and sight seeing is high on our list of desirable ways to spend our free time, and with this issue, we celebrate t...