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The top national and world news since last issue you should knowBY CRAIG OGAN
Bakers still in court
Custom bakers in California and Colorado are still fighting in court over whether a busi ness can refuse to “commit art” based on the artist’s personal beliefs. In California, Tasties Bakery was sued by a lesbian couple for refusing to create a cake for their wedding. The state Department of Fair Housing and Employment ruled the bakery discrim inated against the couple in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. The baker claimed she cannot be forced to create “art” for an idea with which she disagrees.
The Kern County Superi or Court ruled that Miller acted lawfully, upholding protection for her beliefs in Bible teachings, though not specifying which of the con tradictory biblical passages passed muster. Colorado cake artist, Jack Phillips, got a U. S. Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a gay couple’s wed ding cake a decade ago. He is now being sued for refusing to make a cake celebrating a “gender transition.” Not much about transgender people, other than angels, in the Bible, but he is still “agin it.”
‘Don’t Say it,’ says Florida court
The Florida law which re stricts classroom instruction
about sexual orientation and gender identity, called “don’t say gay” law by opponents, was allowed to go into effect by two different federal judg es. Both U.S. district judges ruled those who brought the suit did not have legal stand ing to challenge the law. The judges encouraged plaintiffs to file an amended suit. The former director of Equality Utah and one-time Utah state senator, Scott McCoy, who is now interim deputy legal di rector at the Southern Poverty Law Center, is part of the suit. He opined, “The callous disre gard towards increased bully ing based on gender identity and the removal of anti-bul lying guidance shows exactly why we must keep fighting.”
Qatar cuts protest short
Activist Peter Tatchell, of the eponymous Peter Tatchell Foundation, went to Doha to protest the mistreatment of gay men, lesbians, transgen der people, and other allied sexual minorities in Qatar. The Persian Gulf country will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Tatchell protested at the National Museum of Qatar claiming, “Qatar arrests, jails, and subjects LGBTs to ‘conversion’.” For good measure, he wore a tee shirt emblazoned with the hashtag, “#QatarAntiGay.” The foun dation’s YouTube page shows that Tatchell was standing in a pedestrian area when a securi ty officer approached him and who folded up the sign. The video ends when the guard walks away. Tatchell claimed he was seized and detained for 49 minutes. After he was “freed” he went to the airport and flew out. The Qatar au thorities said he had not been arrested but was asked to leave. Former Qatari national team player Khalid Salman and World Cup Ambassador
told a German reporter that being gay is “haram,” or for bidden in Islam, and that he has a problem with children seeing gay people. Other British “Futbol” fans have ex pressed concern that alcohol consumption is restricted in Qatar. This will significantly affect an important aspect of the fan experience. “Getting pissed and fighting makes the game watchable,” said one fan.
Oregon camp busts up
Camp Tamarack in Oregon is an annual three-day outdoor experience for 5th and 6th graders. This year’s camp was interrupted by complaints by one school district’s objections to non-binary and transgender camp counselors. The district superintendent brought the district’s students home early. The district said it would, “err on the side of caution” and withdraw stu dents home shortly after their arrival because “some students expressed discomfort with the arrangements.” Camp officials said they would have liked to give objecting parents the option of separate housing not supervised by objectionable counselors, but Oregon’s nondiscrimination policy, according to the camp, says, “an individual’s gender identity is protected under state and federal guidelines and is not information we share with others.”
Murphy wanted gay Dahmer tag
Ryan Murphy produces dig ital entertainment like “Nip/ Tuck,” “Glee,” and “American Horror Story,” which include gay, lesbian, and transgen der themes. He produced “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” for Netflix. Originally it was giv en an “LGBTQ” search tag by the streaming service. The tag
was protested by LGBTQIA pressure groups claiming the story was not appropriate for the tag. Netflix removed the tag over Murphy’s protest. He told the New York Times he wanted the tag because racism and homophobia prevented authorities from bringing the killer to justice for so long. “It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen that really sort of examines how easy it is to get away with things with the white privilege aspects,” he explained. Murphy says he discussed the removal with the company to be told, “People were upset because it was an upsetting story.” Murphy’s response was, “Well, yeah. But it was a story of a gay man and, more importantly, his gay victims.”
Relationship certificates in Toky0
Gays and lesbians in Japan see a move by Tokyo’s city government to begin issuing “partnership certificates to same-sex couples” as a step toward marriage equality. The certificates allow the couple’s unions to be recognized for services such as housing and health care but do not confer any rights when it comes to inheritance, adoption, or spousal visas. Japan is the only country in the Group of 7 association of econom ically “developed” countries that does not have marriage equality. Polling indicates that a majority of Japanese citizens support marriage equality, but politicians are hesitant. Courts are mixed. In Osaka, the nation’s ban on same-sex marriage was upheld while a court in Sapporo ruled the ban un constitutional. Tokyo, with a population of 37 million citizens has had almost 200 certificate applications so far.
SNL hosted by Chappelle
Trying something new, Sat urday Night Live producers decided to hire someone who is funny. Unfortunately for some, that someone is controversial comedian Dave Chappelle. He has been the center of controversy for jokes he made about gays, lesbians, and transgender people in two Netflix pro grams. In one riff, Chappelle defended J.K. Rowling for her comments on transgender females being in “women’s safe spaces.” Chappell’s com ments describing himself as a
TERF led to criticism and to Netflix employees staging a walkout. The Twitter mob has called on SNL staff to boycott the show and flooded social media with pics of other SNL hosts wearing t-shirts with transgender-supportive slogans. SNL has had stars and guest hosts in cross-dress ing sketches, most famously John Belushi as Elizabeth Taylor choking on chicken and Dan Ackroyd as cooking show host Julia Child. These portrayals were in the early years of the program before comedy became so serious.
‘No!’ to genderaffirming therapy
Florida’s state medical boards approved language restricting “gender-affirming care” for transgender minors. Children currently in medical care were “grand-parented” and can con tinue with the therapy. The rule regulates the prescription of puberty blockers or hor mone therapy to new patients who are minors, and it forbids gender-affirming surgeries. The Florida Board of Medi cine said during the hearing that the rule proposes “ethical,
Methodists elect gay bishop in Salt Lake
At its annual Western Juris diction Conference, held in November at Christ United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City, a married gay clergyman from California was among 13 new bishops elected by delegates. This marks only the second time that an openly gay bishop has been elected.
Rev. Karen Oliveto was unanimously elected bishop of the UMC Mountain Sky Area, which includes Utah, in 2016, setting off a firestorm that has threatened to split the denomination. The United Methodist Judicial Council ruled her election as invalid in 2017, but Oliveto remains in office despite the ruling.
The Jurisdiction voted to elect the Rev. Cedrick D. Bridgeforth as the Califor nia-Pacific Conference bishop, which has about 50,000 mem bers in churches in Southern and Central California, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, Guam, and Saipan. He received nearly 80 percent of the vote.
Oliveto embraced Bridge forth after he was named bishop and gave him a warm welcome on Twitter.
“Another new colleague in the Western Jurisdiction!” Oliveto tweeted. “Welcome,
Cedrick Bridgeforth!! Oh, my brother! So glad you are here.”
Some within and with out the Methodist church immediately cried foul that Bridgeforth was elected, saying its rules prohibiting openly gay people from being elected as candidates, as stated in the UMC’s Full Book of Discipline. The Book states that “The prac tice of homosexuality is incom patible with Christian teach ing. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates.”
Efforts to change the church’s rules haven’t been formally adopted, but many church leaders have refused to follow the enforcements when considering new leader ship, including leaders in the UMC Western Jurisdiction, whose website advocates for being open to “correc tional lenses” to better serve “changing demographics.”
“Thus, our vision is an emerging vision, moving us to become ever more nearly the church God would have us be,” the website says.
Many local denominations within the Methodist Church have adopted LGBTQ-affirming stances, including conference host Christ United Methodist
Church, downtown Salt Lake City’s First United Methodist Church, and Central City’s Centenary United Methodist Church. Christ United hosted the Pride Interfaith in 2019.
compassionate psychother apy that respects the child’s experience.” Equality Florida said this rule will be the only restriction of gender-affirm ing medical therapies for minors instituted by a state medical board in the United States. Some legislatures in other states including Utah are considering legislation for restrictions. Florida doesn’t have a state-wide policy on “gay conversion therapy.” Palm Beach and Broward counties have local regula tions, which are currently under court review. Q
Over 300 U.S. denominations had left the church and anoth er 1,000 are expected to do so soon. The church currently has 30,000 denominations in the U.S. and 13,000 abroad.
Bridgeforth noted the controversy in his
“Reconciling Ministries Net work celebrates that LGBTQ+ persons are a good expression of God’s diverse creation and exists to advocate for the affirmation of all of God’s children in the Church and the world,” reads their website. This spring, conservatives launched a new Global Meth odist Church, which would accept denominations leaving the United Methodist Church system and would ban openly LGBT pastors, and would deny same-sex marriages.
“It is the church where I found purpose — even when it felt like it was chewing me up and spitting me out. I still couldn’t let it go,” Bridgeforth said, with his husband, Chris topher Hucks-Ortiz, standing next to him. “It wasn’t about the institution; it wasn’t about its rules or its regulations. It was about the call of God upon my life, to be bigger, to be better, to open doors where possible, and to chart new ground where we have to.”
‘Bub bye’ Red Wave, Hello Rainbow WaveBY CRAIG OGAN
As the vaunted “Red Wave” petered out on election night, a “Rainbow Wave” seemed to rise. Of nearly 1,200 public ly acknowledged LGBTQ candidates that ran in the 2022 midterms, 340 were successful. The LGBTQ Victory Fund said candidates who identify as queer ran for office in all 50 states.
NBC news reported there are 1,043 LGBTQ elected officials serving in offices nationwide in 2022. That number more than doubled from 443 serving in 2017. There are currently 11 members of the U.S. Congress who identify as LGBTQ.
There were many firsts and wins in unexpected places. There are many other winners in county, school board, and other local elections not reported here. In addition, many standing members in national, state, and local offices were not up for reelection this year.
Here is a partial list of declared winners in the midterm election:
Governors and other state executives:
OREGON : Oregonian Democrat Tina Kotek made history as one of two out lesbian governors in the United States elected this year. Kotek was the lon gest-serving House speaker in Oregon history and the first to be an out lesbian.
COLORADO : Jared Polis (D) was reelected as governor. He was the first gay man elected as a U.S. state chief executive four years ago after representing Boulder, Colo. in the U.S. House of Representatives.
MASSACHUSETTS : Democrat Maura Healey is one of two out lesbian gover nors in the country, as well as the first elected woman governor of her state. Healey was Massachusetts state attorney general before her election this year.
CONNECTICUT: Democrat Erick Rus sell won his election for Connecticut treasurer, making him the first Black and gay statewide officeholder in the U.S.
MICHIGAN : Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel won reelec tion. with 52.4 percent of the vote.
CALIFORNIA : Corey Jackson made history Tuesday when he was elected to represent Calif. District 60, which is in the Riverside area and Moreno Valley. He will be the first gay man to join the California Legislature’s Black Caucus and the first African American to join the LGBTQIA Caucus. According to Equality California, the legislature will have 10 percent of its membership com posed by LGBTQIA-identifying people.
SOUTH DAKOTA : Kameron Nel son, a gay man, will represent SD-10, centered on Sioux Falls, the state’s largest city. Nelson is the first gay man in that state’s legislature.
NEW HAMPSHIRE : James Roesener is the first transgender man elected to a state legislature in the United States, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
MONTANA : Democrat Zooey Zephyr of Montana first transgender woman elected to the Montana state legislature. The district includes the Missoula Area.
MINNESOTA Leigh Finke of Min nesota becomes the first transgen der woman elected to the state legislature representing St. Paul.
MINNESOTA : Voters elected Alicia Kozlowski to the state House. They are the legislature’s first nonbinary member.
ALASKA : Jennie Armstrong, Andrew Gray, and Ashley Carrick — all Dem ocrats — made history to become the first openly LGBTQ lawmakers elect ed to the Alaska State Legislature.
UTAH AND OTHER STATES : Though Utah voters have seated gays and lesbians in the legislature since the 1970s, the de feat of Sen. Derek Kitchen by Jen Plumb leaves the statehouse unfabulous. Two other states — Louisiana and Mississippi — have never elected someone ascrib ing to LGBTQ designation to the state legislature, though there are some queer ducks in those states’ political cultures.
United States Congress:
CALIFORNIA : Robert Garcia is the first gay man elected to Congress who is a naturalized citizen. He will
represent California’s 42nd District. Garcia, who immigrated from Lima, Peru, in the early 1980s at the age of 5, is the current mayor of Long Beach.
COLORADO : Early ballot counting gave hope that the “NRA Barbie,” Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, would lose to Democrat Adam Frisch in a close race. He led by 64 votes until mail-in ballots inched Boebert past him by 1100 votes. The “Mouth that Roared from the Rockies,” posed in tight jeans, uplift bras, and AR-15s in campaign literature. Frisch sits on the Aspen City Council he defeated Alex Walker, a married, gay man in the primary to face Boebert.
ILLINOIS : Eric Sorenson will represent Illinois District 17, making him the state’s first out gay man elected to Congress.
KANSAS : U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, the first gay Native American in Congress and the only Democrat in Kansas’s con gressional delegation, has been reelected.
NEW YORK : In the head-to-head of gay men in New York’s third Congressio nal District Republican George Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman and turned the seat from blue to red. He will also become the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress since Arizona’s Jim Kolbe in the 1990s
VERMONT: Becca Balint, President Pro Tem of the Vermont State Senate, was elected to U. S. Congress. Vermont has just one Congressional Representative and in 2023 they will be a lesbian.
Utah GOP leaders urging ‘Don’t Say Gay’ governor DeSantis to run for president
Utah elected officials, led by state Sen. Todd Weiler, Woods Cross, are encouraging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to open an exploratory committee to con sider running for president of the United States in 2024. Sen. Dan McCay, Sen. Todd Weiler, and Sen. Mike McKell wrote in a statement: “Our na tion stands at a crossroads. We recog nize the need for a strong leader to guide and direct our nation, someone with a prov en track record, strong conser vative foundation, and who understands the operations of state government. We need a leader who will strength en and unify the nation.
“Gov. Ron DeSantis serves his country and state well and skillfully navigated the many challenges Florida faced during his first term.
“As elected officials in Utah, we call upon Gov. DeSan tis to form an exploratory committee for President of the United States in 2024.”
Eighty-six Utah GOP elected officials signed onto the letter.
DeSantis pushed for and signed a controversial bill titled “Parental Rights in Education” that banned Florida public school teachers from holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity.
The law now reads, “Class room instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender
identity may not occur in kin dergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-ap propriate or developmentally appropriate for students in ac cordance with state standards.”
During a press conference ahead of signing the law, De Santis said teaching kindergar ten-aged kids that “they can be whatever they want to be” was “inappropriate” for children.
DeSantis referred to efforts to educate students about LGBTQ issues as part of “woke gender ideology.”
Disney and celebrities across the country decried the bill, hoping that it will be struck down in the courts.
DeSantis was defiant in the face of critics, “I don’t care what Hollywood says. I don’t care what big corpo rations say. Here I stand. I am not backing down.”
Two attempts at lawsuits challenging the legisla tion have been dismissed by a federal judge.
“The students and families at the heart of this case have experienced more bullying in the months since the law went into effect than ever before in their lives, but the court dismissed their expe riences of bullying as ‘a fact of life,’” said Kell Olson, staff attorney at Lambda Legal, a civil rights group focused on LGBTQ rights. “The court’s decision defies decades of precedent establishing schools’ constitutional obligations to protect student speech, and to protect students from targeted bullying and harass ment based on who they are.”
DeSantis was in Utah stumping for GOP can didates before the mid term elections.
Burgess Owens signs on to national ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
House Republicans introduced a bill that would ban any entity that receives federal money from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with children under 10, going far beyond Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Thirty-two House Republicans, includ ing Utah Rep. Burgess Owens, signed on as co-sponsors of the bill introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.). The “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act” would cut federal funding to libraries, school districts, hospitals, government entities, or other organizations for “hosting or promoting any program, event, or litera ture involving sexually-oriented material.”
The bill defines “sexually-oriented material” as “any topic involving gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgen derism, sexual orientation, or related topics.” This could include an elemen tary school teacher keeping a picture of their spouse on their desk or a rainbow flag sign at a hospital if kids enter the hospital. It’s unclear if simply allowing an LGBTQ person to work in a role where they interact with children would be considered a violation of the law.
The bill would also ban “any lewd or lascivious depiction or description of human genitals.” Rather than defining what exactly the bill prohibiteds, it allows parents to sue if they believe a government entity violated the law.
“The Democrat Party and their cultural allies are on a misguided crusade to im merse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology,” Johnson said in announcing his bill. “Planned Parenthood, for example, is encouraging legislatures and school boards around the country to implement sexual education curricula that teaches radical gender the ory to children under 10. Children should be learning about reading, writing, and mathematics, not radical gender theory.”
Johnson said the bill also tar gets family-friendly drag shows and drag story hours.
Opponents of “Don’t Say Gay” bills say that they isolate LGBTQ youth and the kids of LGBTQ parents, teach ing them that they and their fami lies are too shameful to discuss in public, contributing to the outsized suicide rate among LGBTQ youth.
“Last year, nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth contemplated suicide, but that didn’t stop 33 of my GOP colleagues from introduc ing a federal ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill today,”
Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) wrote on Twitter. “I’m confident the people intro ducing this bill are more likely to go to Hell than the kids they’re causing harm.”
With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House, this bill has no chance of passing. Instead, it was likely introduced just before the midterm elections to make it an issue for Republicans to campaign on and drive their base to the polls.
of Utahns support same-sex marriage
A Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey found that 72 percent of Utah residents agree that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional mar riages. The poll shows 23 percent disagree, and 5 percent are unsure.
“For a state that less than 20 years ago passed laws and a constitution al amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, there has been a seismic shift in opinion,” Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah told the DeseretNews
In 2004, Utah voters passed a con stitutional amendment to define marriage as between “one man and one woman” by a 2-1 margin.
In 2014, shortly after Judge Rob ert Shelby ruled that Utah’s laws and constitutional amendment were un constutional, the same polling group found that 57 percent of Utahns were against same-sex marriage.
“Now, it has majority support from nearly every group across the political, demographic and re ligious spectrum,” Perry said.
Nearly all poll respondents who identified themselves as Democrats support same-sex marriage, at 94 percent, while a majority of Repub licans also agree, at 61 percent.
Forty-two percent of those who identified themselves as “very conserva tive” say all marriages should be treated the same, while 69 percent of “somewhat conservative” voters say the same.
Of LDS Church members, the poll found that 76 percent of “somewhat active” and “not active” and 58 percent who are “very active” agree that mar riages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid.
Younger Utahns showed 89 percent support, and no age category was under 50%. Seventy-five percent of women and 70% of men support same-sex marriage, according to the poll. Q
St. George, Utah, tells city manager to ‘sashay away’ over drag show approval
A group of ultra-conservative city residents and leaders were successful in ousting St. George City manager Adam Lenhard from his position over his refusal to reject an application to hold a drag show to be recorded for HBO’s “We’re Here.” In his announcement in early October, Lenhard said he was leaving “to pursue other opportunities.” Recent revela tions, however, show that he was pushed from his position in a hastily called “emergen cy closed-door meeting.”
The Salt Lake Tribune received an anonymous 5-page letter written with details of the closed-door meeting where the council negotiated a 6-figure settle ment to have Lenhard leave his position on Nov. 1.
The brouhaha started May 25, when “We’re Here” producers Buckingham TV turned in a special event permit application for the June 2–3 event. St. George has a requirement that permits must give 45 days’ notice before the event, but that requirement is almost always waived. The city manag er instructed city staff to approve the application.
City staff drew up a rental agreement on Thursday, May 26, for all parties to sign. That night, Councilwoman Mi chelle Tanner went after Len hard on her Facebook page.
“WE THE PEOPLE should be running this city, NOT unelected bureaucrats. WE THE PEOPLE elect a legislative body to represent us,” Tanner wrote. “I do not trust any staff member who
wouldn’t look at a permit application for an HBO TVMA rated production being held at a children’s venue and think to themselves “hmm rather than revising contracts, breaking ordinances, and pushing this through in re cord time, maybe this should be a decision for ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF WE THE PEOPLE to make.”
An emergency closed-door meeting was held Friday, May 27 at 9:40 p.m., where Lenhard was ordered to cancel the permit for the show.
The next day, Saturday, May 28 (the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend), Lenhard emailed the mem bers of the city council. The email was made public by Tanner-supporter Dana McCabe on her Facebook wall, which she shared with a number of ultra-conservative groups through Facebook.
“I was unable to fulfill the assignment given to me last night to cancel the rental agreement with the produc tion crew behind the “We’re Here” HBO television show,” Lenhard wrote. “I realize that allowing this event to take place on City property may generate criticism from some members of our community. This is a tough spot to be in.”
Lenhard wrote that the crew had a First Amendment right to use Town Square Park and that it would be discrim inatory to deny the permit.
“I cannot knowingly act in a way that could bring liability to our organization, nor can I ask my staff to do it,” he continued. “It would violate my professional commitments
to protect the rights of all members of our community.”
The show went on, draw ing around 2,000 people who started filling the park at 6 p.m. for the 9 p.m. start. An anonymous email was sent the day of the show, stating, “I hope things like this become mass casualty events because that’s what it’s going to take to purge this sickness. Keep pushing your perversions.” A call to police said that “100 drag queens” in masks showed up in buses and were chasing kids at the park.
Controversy continued after the event was packed and headed to the next town. St. George citizens were calling for Lenhard to resign over the “fast-track” he and his staff approved the event permit. Comments on McCabe’s Facebook wall said that people told Lenhard “to his face” to resign, to which he told them he would not.
On July 14, at the end of a regularly scheduled city council meeting, Coun cilmember Jimmie Hughes made a motion to adjourn to a closed session to “discuss character and professional competence or physical or mental health of an individ ual and potential litigation.”
During that meeting, May or Michele Randall asked for a non-binding vote to see where the councilmembers were on Lenhard’s continued employ
ment. The council voted in favor of asking him to leave.
What followed was an investigation into whether Lenhard could sue the city, and whether Lenhard would prevail if he did so. A media tor drafted a settlement letter that would allow Lenhard to resign rather than be fired.
In the council’s regular Sept. 1 meeting, an item on the agenda with no descrip tion, titled, “Consider approv al of a Confidential Settle ment Agreement,” was voted on and passed with a 4–1 vote, with Tanner voting no.
In early October, Lenhard announced he would leave his $275,000 job on Nov. 1 “to pursue other opportunities.”
“I love St. George. This is a world-class city,” he said during a goodbye speech in his last city council meeting. He said he would stay in St. George and was looking forward to some “fun opportunities.”
“The City wishes Mr. Len hard all the best in his future endeavors and would like to publicly thank him for the ser vice he has provided the City over the past four and a half years,” a joint release from the mayor and city council read.
Tanner has made at least three separate statements saying she’s not homophobic or even against drag queens, because she has a gay brother and a friend who does drag.
Utah Gay Football League brings home national championship title
For the first time in its 16 years, the Utah Gay Football League brought home a national tournament championship title.
This year UGFL’s tournament team, The Utah Fire, traveled to Gay Bowl XXII in Honolulu, Hawaii, along with 50 other teams from across the U.S. and Canada, and won the Division C title.
Nearly 1,000 flag football traveled to the island of Oahu October 7–9 for the National Gay Flag Football League
tournament, making it the largest LGBTQ+ event ever in Hawaii. It was the kick-off to Honolulu Pride Month. Planning for the 12-field event began years ago. Honolulu was chosen as the host city for 2020, but all that excitement ended when the pandemic forced the Hawaii Gay Flag Football League to cancel. “We were super disappointed about it, but we also took it as an opportunity to kind of reset ourselves and use this as a learning base,” Gay Bowl XXII Tour
Sarah Prollem (Carter Bryant)
Utah’s LGBTQ+ and drag communities mourn the loss of our sister, Salt Lake’s biggest problem child, Sarah Prollem, who departed this world suddenly Friday, October 21, 2022.
Sarah was the drag persona of Car ter James Bryant, brought to life in the Spring of 2019 with the purpose to entertain people of all ages, inspire others to live unapologetically, and to be Carter’s creative outlet for his passion for art, beauty, and performance. Sarah’s brief life accentuated Carter’s best qualities: charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.
Throughout Sarah’s life, she produced, choreographed, hosted, and performed in countless shows and benefit fundraisers all over the state of Utah and Colorado. In addition to her own weekly show at Milk+ every Friday night, she also hosted and performed for countless JRC Events alongside many talented local
nament Director Ty Law said before the event. “Now we can take it to the next level and complete it for this one.”
“Playing right next to the beach in front of Diamond Head, like, it’s amazing,” Law said.
In all, 135 games were played over the three-day event.
UGFL was formed in Salt Lake City in 2006. It is made up of people from the LGBTQ+ community and allies.
In 2019 the Utah Fire team made it to the final game against Washington, D.C., and fell just short of claiming the title that year.
“Honolulu proved to be our year,” said John Maznicki. “The team had been practicing for this since the spring. Finally, we played seven games in three days.
The Utah Fire rematched the D.C. team in the semifinals, beating them, and went on to face San Diego, one of the consistently top teams in the tournament, for the championship.
Ralph Ingersoll, the Utah Fire cen ter and linemen, said, “This is one of the best tournaments I’ve been a part of since our beginning.”
“We all are looking forward to taking this win for Utah and bringing it to the Sin City Classic in January, our local league play this spring and summer, and back to Gaybowl 2023 in Seattle,” Maznicki said. Q
performers and contestants from the Emmy Award-winning show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. She founded her own dance troupe, Sarah Prollem and the Solutions, and held guest spots with many other local shows like Marrlo Suzzanne and the Galaxxy Band, Quorum of the Queens, and Wigs ‘N Brunch at WB’s Eatery.
Sarah found passion through her annual fundraiser show, ‘Drag Me To Life,’ which raised thousands of dollars each year for DonorConnect, a non-prof it organ donation service that played an integral part of Carter’s life after his mother became an angel to 5 individuals by donating her organs after passing at Carter’s birth. Sarah continued her mother’s legacy, becoming other peo ple’s angel through organ donation.
Sarah is survived by her dad, sisters, extended family, her Salt Lake City drag family, and the many future pioneers of LGBTQ+ service, rights, and enter tainment. Rest in Power and Peace, Sarah Prollem, and may the solutions you shared live in our hearts forever.
A Celebration of life was held in Sarah’s honor on November 12.
Salt Lake City Council, mayor proclaim Nov. 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance
The Salt Lake City Council joined Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall in a resolution to recognize Nov. 20, 2022 as Transgender Day of Remembrance. The date coincides with a worldwide annual observance that honors the mem ory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. The resolution reads:
JOINT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING NOVEMBER 20TH AS TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE IN SALT LAKE CITY
Whereas, in 1998, Rita Hester, a transgender woman of color was murdered in Allston, Massachusetts; and Whereas, the following year, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, created the first Transgender Day of Remembrance in honor of Rita Hester and other trans gender people who have lost their lives to violence; and Whereas, Transgender Day of Remembrance is ob served annually to memorialize those lives that have been lost as a result of transphobic violence; and Whereas, according to the Human Rights Cam paign, at least 32 transgender or gender non-conform ing people have died due to transphobic violence in the United States in 2022, as of November 4; and Whereas, the true number of victims is unknown because of intentional misgendering and the difficul ty identifying the bodies of many victims; and
Whereas, transgender individuals — especially transgen der people of color — continue to be disproportionately affected by education discrimination, employment discrimi nation, bullying, limited access to healthcare, domestic vio lence, homelessness, economic instability, and poverty; and
Whereas, the transgender community has been particularly hard hit by the continuing ef fects of the COVID-19 Pandemic; and
Whereas, since 2006, Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah has organized a vigil in Salt Lake City every year; and Whereas, Salt Lake City values the lives and contribu tions to our community by transgender people; and
Whereas, Salt Lake City has the responsibili ty to promote equality and prosperity for all mem bers of the transgender community; and Whereas, Salt Lake City is proud to stand against the discrimination of transgender people.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Salt Lake City Council and Mayor of Salt Lake City strongly value the lives and contributions of transgen der people; honor those lives that have been lost as a result of transphobic violence throughout the United States of America and the world; and formally recognize Saturday, November 20, 2022, as Transgender Day of Remembrance.
this 5 day of November 2022
Making customers happy since 1984!
“I don’t think any state or anybody should have the right to [ban gender-affirming healthcare] — as a moral question and as a legal question. I just think it’s wrong.”
“I feel very, very strongly that you should have every single solitary right, including use of your gender identity bathrooms when public.”
— President Biden
“Day 74 of being a girl … and I wore this outfit shopping today. I thought that these might be my new shopping shorts, but I was walking around and everyone was starring, and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, what’s going on?’ And they were all staring directly at my crotch. And I went, ‘Oh, I forgot that my crotch doesn’t look like other women’s crotches sometimes because mine doesn’t look like a little Barbie pocket.’”
— Trans rights activist and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney
“I cannot imagine the strength and courage it took for my baby to do this, but I’m extremely proud of him and I want everyone to understand that love doesn’t change in these situations. It’s unconditional love.”
“Real Housewives of Orange County” alum Alexis Bellino announcing in October that her son Miles is transgender
“Come and live a day with my daughter. Come and see how it is to walk through this world as her.”
Former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade talking about his transgender daughter Zaya
LGBTQ gifts for the familyBY CHRISTOPHER KATIS
when I was
five, my big brother John gave me a doctor’s kit. It had a stethoscope, a blood pressure measurer, and a fake syringe. For the entire holiday break, I examined and diagnosed everyone and anyone who would let me. It was the perfect gift. To help you get the LGBTQ+ par ents and their kids on your list some thing great this holiday season, Who’s Your Daddy researched these ideas.
Café Press has a couple of fun choices. Why not an “I’M NOT GAY BUT MY DAD IS” HAT or a “PRODUCT OF TWO MOMS” COF FEE MUG? To help pass those cold winter nights how about playing Go Fish with PRIDE PLAYING CARDS: ICONS OF THE LBGTQ+ COMMUNITY which includes queer parents like Neil Patrick Harris and Wan da Sykes? Then there is STORY
TIME GIFT SETS , offering various options — from swaddling sets to sleep sacks — that come with the book IF YOU’RE A DRAG QUEEN AND YOU KNOW IT by Lil’ Miss Hot Mess. This is a collabora tion between MiliMili and gay dad Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s non-profit PRONOUN, which receives 100% of the proceeds.
Any baby would rock a MY MOMMIES ARE HOTTIES ONESIE or an I LOVE MY MOMS TEE SHIRT. And what kid wouldn’t look dashing in a shirt de
claring IT TAKES TWO DADS TO LOOK THIS GOOD? You can also find these at Café Press.
Zazzle offers some oldies but goodies like a cute tee-shirt sporting three bears and declar ing PAPA AND DADDY LOVE ME , a onesie emblazoned with MY DADS ARE DINO-MITE (featuring, what else? A dinosaur!), and baby blankets saying ALL BECAUSE TWO GIRLS FELL IN LOVE or JESUS HAD TWO DADS
A company called Teepublic has other fun tee-shirts and hoodies like those announcing WHAT’S BETTER THAN ONE DAD? TWO DADS! , OUR KID HAS TWO MOMS AND ALL WE GOT IS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT, and MOM2
Books for Kids
I’m a big fan of giving books as gifts. For the kids:
STELLA BRINGS THE FAMILY by Miriam Fischer, about a girl with two dads during a Mother’s Day school event.
MY TWO COOL MOMS by Kristine Ebona explores the dif ferences in every family.
MY DADS AND ME, HOW LUCKY ARE WE by Cheramy Has san tells the story of the common denominator in families: love. MY
MOM MY, MY MAMA, MY BROTHER, AND ME: THESE ARE THE THINGS WE
FOUND BY THE SEA by Natalie Meis ner relates the early days of the author’s
own two-mom, two-son family.
TWO MOMS AND A MENAG ERIE by Carolyn Robertson tells the tale of a two-mom family and their ever-growing animal clan!
Books for Parents
Since moms and dads also like to read: LGBTQ FAMILY BUILDING by Dr. Abbie E. Goldberg offers a great guide to LGBT+ parenthood.
HOW WE DO FAMILY by Trystan Reese is a first-person account of parent hood from adoption to trans pregnancy.
JOURNEY TO SAME-SEX PARENT HOOD: FIRSTHAND ADVICE, TIPS AND STORIES FROM LESBIAN AND GAY COUPLES by Eric Rosswood includes per sonal stories about LGBT+ parenthood.
WHO’S YOUR DADDY?: AND OTHER WRITINGS ON QUEER PAR ENTING edited by Rachel Epstein is exactly what you think it’s about!
All of these titles should be available at The King’s English Bookshop. If it’s not on the shelf, the staff is hap py to order it for you if they can.
I really loved that doctor’s kit, even if there was a shockingly limited sup ply of candy “pills.” Since I knew my parents would never buy me refills, I doled them out judiciously — at least nobody was getting candy-ad dicted at my medical practice!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
MOST FABULOUS RESTAURANTS
MOST FABULOUS Inexpensive Restaurant THE OTHER PLACE
A unique comfort-food restau rant that is family-oriented from bone-to-bone. Greek and American favorites in a warm, friendly space. See the Salt Lake Men’s Choir noshing Thursday nights, and don’t forget to grab your QSaltLake Magazine on the way out the door!
RUNNERS UP: THE MED, OH MAI!
MOST FABULOUS After-Hours Restaurant DEE’S
Dee’s has been a favorite after-bar hangout since Michael Aaron wasn’t even old enough to get into bars. So ... that’s like 100 years! Always open, locally owned. Friendly (mostly) and very inclusive staff. Let’s go to Dee’s! That’s what daddy says. And the FABBY voters agree.
RUNNERS UP: NACHO DADDY, BELGIAN WAFFLE AND OMELET INN
MOST FABULOUS Pizza PIE PIZZERIA
to six locations from Ogden to South Jordan, the home of the Zappi is just pure, gooey yum. Hand-tossed dough, in-house sauces and dressings, the same way they’ve done it for 42 years.
RUNNERS UP: SETTABELLO, NOMAD EAST
MOST FABULOUS Local Coffeehouse COFFEE GARDEN
Don’t forget to bring your laptop and backpack to this one-stop bean counter that’s been dazzling for decades. From across the street in its plant-and-lattice days to its swank, minimalist digs today. Sit inside or out, and don’t forget the scones, croissants, and quiche. And pick up a Q!
RUNNERS UP: SUGAR HOUSE, PUBLIK
MOST FABULOUS Contemporary Restaurant THE DODO
The Dodo was without doubt the largest strangest dove ever to have lived. Once a local favor ite on 9th East, the Dodo now
occupies a prime location on 21st South and 14th East over looking the tall pines and cot tonwood trees, flower gardens and wide green lawns of Sugar House Park plus a stunning sunset view of Mount Olympus. Oh! And the food, especially the desserts, are good too!
RUNNERS UP: EVA, STANZA
MOST FABULOUS Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant ZEST
Healthy plant-based, organic vegan, vegetarian and glu ten-free options and creative, delicious cocktails. Casey says, “dining with us will delight the eyes, tantalize the nose and dazzle the taste buds, from the first bite to the last. Fresh fruits and vegetables burst with vi brant colors. aromatics permeate the air while layers of complex flavors meld to perfection on the tongue.” Wow!
RUNNERS UP: VERTICAL DINER, SWEET HAZEL & CO
MOST FABULOUS Sandwiches MOOCHIES MEATBALLS
From the back of a pottery studio to four locations from downtown to Lehi, Moochies is about meatballs and a damned fine Philly Cheesesteak. Oh, and the gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with a side of mac and cheese. Holy hell. Don’t bypass the international salads. Guy Fieri says the meatball sub will ‘’knock your head off.’’ But don’t worry. No heads are truly harmed at Moochies.
MOST FABULOUS Asian Restaurant SHANGHAI CAFE
This once all-vegetarian Chinese food restaurant is now carni vore-friendly and has added Thai food as well. Best beef and broccoli in the state, and among the best pho you will find in the city.
RUNNERS UP: TAKASHI , KYOTO
MOST FABULOUS Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant LAZIZ
Remember the days when Laziz was only at the Farmers Market? Then they got all fancy and opened a restaurant off Harvey Milk Boulevard. And NOW they have a THIRD one opening on 2nd South, complete with a bar behind it. Mediterranean wraps, bowls, and platters, along with burgers and baba ghannouj.
RUNNERS UP: OTHER PLACE, THE MED
MOST FABULOUS Italian Restaurant STANZA ITALIAN BISTRO
The re-envisionment of Faustina on Third South now boasts an ultra-modern interior and contemporary menu rooted in Italian classics. From Wagyu sourced in Utah to small plates to a pecan-crusted rack of lamb, this is dining on the highest level with a fantastic wine selection.
RUNNERS UP: CAFFÉ MOLISE, SICILIA MIA
MOST FABULOUS Wine Selection
When BTG opened, Michael Aaron thought he had died and gone to Heaven. Our favorite thing to do is to go for the flights with tastes of three to five wines. How else can you enjoy a $50 bottle of wine if not an ounce or so at a time? Also serving food, this is a great date night, or a “where should we go now?” night. Downstairs from Caffe Molise.
MOST FABULOUS Steakhouse RUBY RIVER
Peanut shells and movie stars at this local “rustic” favorite. Ye haw! Start with the 1-pound onion explosion — a work of art. Reasonably priced steaks in a world where steak is not reasonably priced. Gorgonzola New York Steak. Do I need to say more?
MOST FABULOUS Beer Selection THE BAYOU
Buzzy eatery and bar offering Cajun-inspired fare and pub grub plus over 7 million beers you could spend a week deciding among. Seriously, we counted them. Just pick one and get out of our way.
RUNNERS UP: SLACKWATER, TF BREWING
MOST FABULOUS Barbecue PAT’S BARBECUE
Another Guy Fieri favorite. Who says great barbecue is reserved for the South? At Pat’s BBQ in Salt Lake City, Pitmaster Pat Barber is what Guy calls a “culinary gangster” because of his unbeatable briskets, chickens and sausages that he smokes for 10 hours at a time.
RUNNERS UP: SUGAR HOUSE, CHARLOTTE-ROSE’S CAROLINA BBQ
MOST FABULOUS Soups SOUP KITCHEN
So, another category which we need to just go ahead and name for the winner. Most locations are in the worst places anyone would put a restaurant, but they still have a line out the door. Over 30 years of serving bread sticks. Oh, and soup and sandwiches.
RUNNERS UP: DODO, LITTLE SAIGON
MOST FABULOUS Ogden Restaurant NO FRILLS DINER
A cute, kitschy place that used to be on 12th St. in Ogden is now a bustling 25th Street diner. We’ve gone a dozen times since it opened last December in its new digs. Perfectly located to nosh during Ogden Pride, the Farmers Market, or just a jaunt up to Ogden on Frontrunner.
RUNNERS UP: UTOG BREWING, ROOSTERS
MOST FABULOUS Restaurant for Breakfast PARK CAFE
I’ve been going to Park Cafe since the day it opened. In 1982. Even then there was a line out the door on the weekends. It might be the French Toast Foolishness, but I really thing it’s that I giggle to think that the gays at the Park Cafe would even know what “The Single,” “The Double Play,”
RUNNERS UP: THE OTHER PLACE, LEFT FORK, PIG AND A JELLY JAR
MOST FABULOUS Restaurant for BRUNCH EGGS IN THE CITY
I was worried when Eggs in the City moved to Millcreek. But, frankly, because it’s right off the freeway, I can get there faster than when it was on 13th South. I always go for the Eggs Benedict, though the Mexican Skillet some times grabs me. But to me, it’s the people there who draw me.
RUNNERS UP: MARKET STREET, GREEN PIG
MOST FABULOUS Bakery/Pastries
It all started in downtown Salt Lake 30 years ago on 300 East. A bakery with a new name we couldn’t pronounce, but pastries and cakes we couldn’t resist. Now also in Draper, American Fork and the SLC Airport.
RUNNERS UP: FILLINGS & EMULSIONS, TULIE
MOST FABULOUS Mexican Restaurant RED IGUANA
You can’t leave Salt Lake without eating at Red Iguana, or you haven’t experienced Salt Lake. Red Iguana is so popular, they had to open a Red Iguana 2 just two blocks away to keep the lines from reaching the airport. Owners Bill and Lucy are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Holy mole!
RUNNERS UP: EL CHIHUAHUA, TAQUERIA 27
MOST FABULOUS Seafood CURRENT FISH AND OYSTER
I may be the only gay person in Salt Lake who hasn’t been to Current. I know! What is wrong with me?? I mean, the architec ture alone should draw me. And I love seafood! I have a 2023 resolution: Eat at Current.
RUNNER UP: MARKET STREET
MOST FABULOUS Brew Pub SQUATTERS
Whether your squatting at the airport, or downtown SLC, or in the Park City area, the Squatters Mug Club is a must. The best beers in town served with the best food in the surroundings of a beautiful historic building. We go for brunch and the $3 mimosas and bloody marys. But that’s just how we are.
RUNNERS UP: RED ROCK, PROPER
MOST FABULOUS Salads JIM’S FAMILY RESTAURANT
Somehow this Den ny’s-Dee’s-wannabe restaurant has snagged three FABBY Awards over the years for their salads. Frankly, I’ve look at the menu and, yeah, they make sal ads. Someone message me about why it wins this award.
MOST FABULOUS Burger Joint LUCKY 13
If there is an award out there for best burger in Utah, Lucky 13 has won it multiple times. This is their 10th Fabby. Of course our favorite is the nut butter burger. Although one day we hope to wrap our lips around the Big Benny. If you can finish him off in an hour, they’ll give you $200. Is that prostitution?
RUNNERS UP: PROPER BURGER, APOLLO
MOST FABULOUS PARK CITY Restaurant HIGH WEST
The Saloon at High West is known for pairing whiskey with heavy victuals (pronounced “vittles”) As you would ask which glass of wine should be paired with your meal, ask your server which whiskey will pair well with your food selection.
RUNNERS UP: RED BANJO PIZZA, FLANNIGAN’S
MOST FABULOUS New Restaurant SWEET HAZEL & CO.
All-day “Brekkie,” and “Brunchie” weekends, or “Lunchie.” This one-time vegan candy store has expanded into a vegan bistro as well, serving avocado toast to herbivorous pastrami Ruben, to salads and kombucha. Head to Midvale for their candy bars!
RUNNERS UP: EGGSBURGH, ENCIRCLE CAFE
MOST FABULOUS BARS & CLUBS
MOST FABULOUS All-Gay-Every-Day Bar CLUB TRY-ANGLES
Club Try-Angles is run by a can tankerous man and his husband. We’ll let you decide who is whom. The bar is celebrating its 21st Christmas dinner this year, welcoming patrons who might not have a place to go, or choose not to so they can be with cho sen family. With themed Friday nights and Underwear Night on the 3rd Saturday, plus Beer Church Bingo on the first Sun days. There’s always something going on at Try-Angles.
MOST FABULOUS Afternoon Bar THE SUNTRAPP
Ever had a day that just starts out bad and goes down from there? Or, you just want to hang with the LGBTQs and day drink. No judg ment. Sun Trap opens at 1pm most days, and at 11am Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Get your drink on in the afternoon with your friends.
MOST FABULOUS Night Club MILK+
MILK+ is likely the largest LGBTQ+ focused bar in Salt Lake with an open floor plan and large outdoor area. Special events and themed nights and a full kitchen serving tasty food,not your av erage bar fare. The Mexi Bowl is food elevated. Open Wednesday through Saturday 5pm to 2am and Sunday 3pm to 2am.
MOST FABULOUS Bar for the Buck CLUB TRY-ANGLES
The coldest and cheapest beer in all of Salt Lake City, not to mention all of their cocktail prices. If you go broke here, you have a problem.
MOST FABULOUS Irish Pub PIPER DOWN
Bangers and mash, a bloody mary bar, Saturday and Sunday brunch with buck-fitty mimosas, taco Tuesdays, how can you go wrong? There’s an event damn near every single day. And as LGBTQ friend ly as they come. May the road rise up to meet you.
MOST FABULOUS Sports Bar GREEN PIG
This establishment makes your tail curl (just go with it!). Great food, great mingling, and great community watching: LGBTQ and all other walks of life. From Sunday and Monday football to karaoke to trivia. Or just sit back with a cocktail on the rooftop bar.
MOST FABULOUS Lounge, Cocktails THE RUIN
We are combining two Fabby Awards in this writeup. The Ruin is a chic cocktail bar with comfy leather seating, a laid-back, ele gant vibe and cocktails you will scream about. But please go out side. This is not a screamy bar. Steps from Eccles Theatre, it is a great pre- or post- show stop. A cocktail for charity, non-alcohol ic cocktails and more.RUNNER-UP: LAKE EFFECT
MOST FABULOUS Wine Bar BTG
When BTG opened, Michael Aaron thought he had died and gone to Heaven. Our favorite thing to do is to go for the flights with tastes of three or four wines. How else can you enjoy a $50 bottle of wine if not an ounce or so at a time? Also serving food, this is a great date night, or a “where should we go now?” night. Downstairs of Caffe Molise.
MOST FABULOUS Beer Bar BEER BAR
Isn’t it kind of cheating to name yourself after a Fabby category? Well, it’s about love, they say. “Beer Bar is a love letter to the beer of the world. Our goal is to bring some of that world, and that love, to you all.” Well, that says it all.
MOST FABULOUS Bar that Gives Back to the Community
Love is always in the air at Try-Angles, and Gene, the owner, is not only driven to support the community in very special ways, but he will also take the Cookie Monster T-shirt off his back for you. But please have him leave it on.
MOST FABULOUS Monthly bar event BEAR NIGHT AT TRY-ANGLES
The nicest people you might meet in the LGBTQ community would be the Bears. Likely larger. Likely hairy. And Likely with a smile on their face, waiting to give a great big ... wait for it ... bear hug. Bear night is like that. First Fridays at Club Try-Angles.
MOST FABULOUS Park City Bar THE CABIN
One of Main Street’s most popular haunts for cocktails and live music. Located in the heart of Old Town on historic Main Street. Occupying two levels of completely remodeled space,
patrons can experience dining in a modernized space while enjoying live music. Park City’s local personalities, the relaxed mountain town vibe, and The Cabin’s welcoming family will make you feel right at home.
FABULOUS Ogden Bar FUNK & DIVE BAR
You like good cheap drinks, classic beers and cocktails, unique food in an amazingly cool venue? Ogden’s only 5-star dive bar was originally built as a Prohibition speak easy by then-mayor of Ogden Ora Bundy in the basement of the Ogden Courthouse. Cheap drinks, amazing cocktails, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and a vegan menu. Also winner of coolest bar sign in Ogden.
MOST FABULOUS Dive Bar COTTON BOTTOM INN
For more than 50 years the property at 6252 S. Holladay Boulevard has been the site of the iconic Cotton Bottom Inn, a small, cozy bar known for its no-frills environment and garlic cheeseburgers. The Bar X Group is taking it over and giving it some zhuzhing. They say they want to preserve its iconic name and feel while bringing new life, amenities and patrons to the area, including a larger outdoor area and 3,000 new square feet of dining. We hope they don’t polish it up too much.
MOST FABULOUS Shopping
MOST FABULOUS Local Shop for Clothing MOST FABULOUS SHOES MOST FABULOUS UNDERWEAR
A triple award for Spark! Shop sustainably and locally at this gay-owned, FABBY-winning clothing boutique. From undies to ties, shoes, cuff links, and more, Spark has everything you need to dress for success, and/or a hot date. Club-wear to board room chic, there is nothing more sparkling than Spark. They’ve expanded into a second space for women’s clothing as well. And while you are there, don’t you have a VCR head that needs some cleaning?
MOST FABULOUS Book Store UNDER THE UMBRELLA
In its first year and it wins a FABBY Award from QSaltLake Magazine readers. Well, with a tagline of “A queer little bookstore,” of course it did! Every kind of book your queer heart could desire. Pay attention to staff picks (5% of proceeds are donated to an Indigenous healing garden in the city), and a community-curated shelf. Watch for the many events taking place there. Hours are 5–9pm Tues–Friday and 11am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.
RUNNERS UP: THE KINGS ENGLISH
MOST FABULOUS Consignment/Gently Used Clothing ICONOCLAD
Do you love cast-off fashion? Well, then check out Iconoclad, where you will find old-school fashion-wear plus locally made art and accessories. A must for anyone who loves Burning Man.
RUNNERS UP: DECADES, COPPER HIVE
MOST FABULOUS Place to Buy Drag/Halloween Attire PIB’S EXCHANGE
Swimming in all types of wigs, knee-high boots, naughty nurse costumes, and, occasionally, used clothing with a 20-dollar bill in a pocket, Pib’s is posh!!
RUNNER UP: DECADES
MOST FABULOUS Nursery/Garden Center MILLCREEK GARDENS
For over 65 years, Millcreek has been your favorite garden center. The sprawling nursery has ev erything that a Utah garden can grow, and then some. They also have extremely knowledgeable people wandering about to help. Now is the time of year to bring the outdoors in and make the house smell all piney.
MOST FABULOUS Antiques
Home Again has been offering affordable home furnishings and decor since 1997 in Sugar House and 2007 in Midvale. Their con signment items are hand-picked by their staff with quality, char acter, and style in mind. They’re picky so you don’t have to be.
MOST FABULOUS MOST FABULOUS Jeweler
9TH & 9TH JEWELERS
Joe the Jeweler at 9th & 9th Jewelers designs custom rings, especially engagement and wed ding rings, for everyone. He’s right in the heart of 9th and 9th, open by appointment. He offers free digital CAD renderings, price quotes, and any changes you want to your design within 24 hours. Now that deserves a Fabby!
You know something’s a little off when you walk into Cahoots and blush. And that’s before you get to the adult sec tion. From risqué calendars to cards and games you’d probably not show your mother... unless you have THAT mother.RUNNER UP: WARD & CHILD
MOST FABULOUS Adult Toy Store
Mischievous is large, but not like that impersonal warehouse large of some national chain stores in. A friendly staff can help you with the needs of your ... staff. Or whatever you have “down there.” Also a huge selection of underwear and swim wear, risqué cards and a stack of QSalt Lake Magazines
RUNNER UP: CAHOOTS, ALL FOR LOVE
MOST FABULOUS Florist LUX FLORAL & DESIGN
LUX Floral & Design calls themselves Salt Lake’s best boutique floral atelier. Of course we had to look the word up because we’re not as fancy as all that. Atelier means “an artist’s or designer’s studio or workroom.” Cool! They are part of LUX Catering and Events, which has won more awards from more places than any seven businesses should. They’re that good.
RUNNERS UP: NATIVE FLOWERS , THE ART FLORAL
MOST FABULOUS SERVICES
MOST FABULOUS Attorney CHRIS WHARTON
Chris Wharton donates much of his time to helping the community and those in it. He represents people in our com munity who otherwise may not be able to find representation. He’s also my city councilperson and had the pothole on my street fixed. Okay, that last part wasn’t true. But I’m sure he’d try!
MOST FABULOUS Flea Market URBAN FLEA MARKET
This monthly market is as much event as it is fleas. Wait. That’s wrong. The year-round
market lets you shop, browse and enjoy the experience of a (second) Sunday in downtown Salt Lake City 10am–4pm.
MOST FABULOUS Place to Get Pierced KOI PIERCING
Koi has been punching holes in human bodies since 1997 and would have been winning FABBY Awards back then if our prestigious publication had existed then.
MOST FABULOUS Tattoos CORY HARRIS, LOYALTY TATTOO
The reviews are rave for the talented Cory Harris. Most talk about how it’s great to be zapped by such a nice guy. And, he wants to do more dog tats.
MOST FABULOUS Barber GOD SHAVE THE QUEEN
WHAMbarber George Michael Duven (get it?) burst onto the scene and can be found supporting many community charity events offering prizes of a free haircut. He also offers manscaping services to keep all your regions tidy. All that and he’s no to hard to look at, as well. Fabby!
RUNNERS-UP: PUCK THE BARBER, FRIAR TUCKS BARBER SHOP
MOST FABULOUS Insurance Agent JON JEPSEN, SENTRY WEST
Jon Jepsen is a doer in this com munity. He volunteers on boards, was on the first Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission, and is just a nice guy. He has part nerships with so many insurance companies that he will surely find one that fits your needs.
MOST FABULOUS Veterinarian ANIMAL CARE CENTER
The first time I walked into Ani mal Care Center it was the week after Pride and a huge standard poodle with rainbow fur greeted everyone at the door. It’s true what they say, They care about your pets as much as you do.
MOST FABULOUS Real Estate Agent
BABS DE LAY, URBAN UTAH
Babs was selling homes in Salt Lake before the Mormon pioneers climbed through Emi gration Canyon. She’s on every city commission there is. She basically runs this town. And she knows her shit when it comes to buying and selling in Salt Lake.
MOST FABULOUS Church FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
The host of the Salt Lake Men’s Choir and the Matrons of May hem, as well as many other LGBT events, is also a great place to visit on Sundays. Pastor Curtis, when the Rona wasn’t around, loved to head down to the Utah Pride Center just to chat with the people there. Same-sex marriage became legal? Pastor Curtis was their marrying people. Beware of his dad jokes though.
MOST FABULOUS TV News
FOX 13 NEWS
Don’t let the word “Fox” in “Fox 13 News” scare you. This group is the hardest-working news team in the state and regularly reports on Utah’s LGBTQ com munity … in a good way.
When selling real estate, you don’t want any part-�me agent working homes as a side hustle. You want a professional who’s versed in 1031 Exchanges, when to sell to avoid capital gains, taxes, and who works well with your lawyer, CPA and re�rement plan. With 38 years experience and broker/owner of my own ﬁrm, I’ve been in the top 10% of sales agents for decades. And I was the ﬁrst ‘out’ LGBTQ agent on the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. Your money is important and I don’t charge high fees to provide you outstanding service.
Most Fabulous Radio Station KRCL FM 90.9
KRCL is northern Utah’s only non-profit, member-supported community radio station dedi cated to broadcasting a well-cu rated contemporary eclectic mix of music and community information 24 hours a day.
MOST FABULOUS Kennel/Pet Boarding Dog Grooming THE DOG DEN
Brand new to the valley and already winning awards. Maybe because they care enough to have supervised playtime, sepa rate play areas, and webcams so you can check up on Phydeaux. While their place is new, the staff have been taking care of four-legged friends for dozens of years.
MOST FABULOUS Car Dealership MARK MILLER SUBARU
Mark Miller has been a proud Pride sponsor for many years. They know love is love and love makes a Subaru. They have the national awards to prove it. They also save homeless dogs in a big way, which is huge in my book.
MOST FABULOUS Caterer LUX CATERING & EVENTS
Lux has donated thousands of dollars worth of food and services to Utah’s LGBTQ community over its many years. They are the most environmen tally-aware caterer in the state. They are also a certified LGBT Business Enterprise.
MOST FABULOUS Wedding Officiant CHRISTOPHER SCUDERI
Christopher may be the hardest working minister in the valley. He even gets up for an Easter service in Park City at the crack of dawn. He’s been doing samesex weddings since before it was legal. He also takes care of funerals and healing blessings.
MOST FABULOUS Financial Planner HANS HEATH, LGBT FINANCIAL
Hans’s background, experience, and commitment to providing clients with the resources need ed to make financial decisions, can help make your financial future as successful as you need it to be.
RUNNER-UP: DAVID REICHERT, REICHERT WEALTH
MOST FABULOUS Wedding DJ DJ PAULY
While most DJs just focus on music, DJ Pauly focuses on your experience. From the first plan ning meeting, to the last dance of the night, he works with you to deliver an amazing, stress-free party that you and your guests will never forget.
MOST FABULOUS Financial Institution MOUNTAIN AMERICA CREDIT UNION
Nearly a million members and $13 billion in assets, Mountain America Credit Union assists members on the right path to help them identify and achieve their financial dreams.
MOST FABULOUS ARTS
MOST FABULOUS Theater Company SALT LAKE ACTING COMPANY
Fifty-one years of “Joyfully Radical Theatre” is a great tagline for the season. The best theater venue in the valley, an old onion-domed LDS church in the Marmalade District, is a great backdrop to a community theatre that takes risks and entertains.
RUNNERS-UP: AN OTHER THEATRE COMPANY, PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY AND PLAN-B THEATRE
MOST FABULOUS ART MUSEUM
UTAH MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
UMOCA was started by Alta Rawlins Jensen as the Art Barn Association. It was housed at the
adorable building near the UofU until 1979 when it moved to the center of downtown in the Salt Palace building. They believe in the power of the art of our time.
RUNNER-UP: UTAH MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
MOST FABULOUS Dance Company BALLET WEST
This world-renowned dance company is as old as Michael Aaron. Started in 1963, it began as the first ballet department in an American university at the University of Utah. Artistic Director Adam Sklute energized and expanded Ballet West’s remarkable repertoire since 2007. “The best Nutcracker in the United States” (New York Times) is running Dec. 2 through 24.
RUNNER-UP: RIRIE WOODBURY, RDT
MOST FABULOUS Music event of 2022
LOVE LOUD FESTIVAL
The music festival headed up by Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds
donates to 29 local and national LGTBQ+ charities. This year was widely anticipated after a twyear haitus. The lineup included Dan Reynolds, Willow, Anitta, Neon Trees, David Archuleta, The Aces, and many more.
RUNNERS-UP: TWILIGHT CONCERT SERIES, RED BUTTE GARDEN CONCERTS
MOST FABULOUS Local Musician TALIA KEYS
Self-described activist-musician Talia Keys has been busy this year, DJing a weekly Saturday night show on KRCL 90.9 FM, releasing a new album with her band, the Love, named “Lessons,” and a new Pride-related song and music video. The video and song, titled “We’re Here” are making and winning awards in the queer film festival circuit.
RUNNER-UP: MARLO SUZZANNE AND THE GALAXY BAND
MOST FABULOUS Local VISUAL ARTIST CORY HARRIS
You may remember him from page 21 under Most Fabulous Tattoo Artist. He also puts his skills to walls as a grafitti artist for weddings, memorials, and businesses as well as partici pating in arts festivals and art shows. If you’ve ever been to Club Try-Angles, you’ve seen his work..
RUNNER-UP: CAT PALMER
MOST FABULOUS Organizations
MOST FABULOUS Political Group EQUALITY UTAH
The sharp minds at Equality Utah keep our issues upfront and center in the eyes of Utah citizens and legislators. The nation looks to how EU does things to model their own campaigns.
MOST FABULOUS Group for Youth
Encircle is a non-profit organi zation with the mission to bring the family and community to gether to enable LGBTQ+ youth to thrive. They provide drop-in hours for 12–25-year-olds, daily programs, friendship circles, and therapy services.
MOST FABULOUS SOCIAL GROUP UTAH BEARS
Possibly the busiest LGBTQ social group in the state. Weekly Bear Coffee and Dinners, monthly Bear Night at Club Try-Angles, brunches, bowling nights, Lava Hot Springs trips, and an annual Jam-Bear-Ee cam pout. Whew!
Most Fabulous Sports Group STONEWALL SPORTS
Founded in 2018 to create an inclusive community that has fun through playing sports and giving back with a philanthropic heart, Stonewall Sports is an LGBTQ+ organization that celebrates allies and people from all walks of life. Find a sport that you love and join.
The new film starring Cate Blanchett raptly observes its powerful lesbian lead — then asks what her power meansBY GEORGE ELKIND
In writer-director Todd Field’s latest film, “Tár,” there’s a sense of intoxication in play, an air of fasci nation in the treatment of his leading character as a kind of monument — albeit one shadowed with foreboding.
The film introduces Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár, a contemporary classical conductor and composer at a career high, soon to restage Mahler’s fifth symphony with the Berlin Philharmon ic; given that we encounter her at the absolute top of the heap, it’s unclear how much higher her star could rise.
From the artful silhouettes of Lydia’s suits to her collection of fine books and records to her marriage to Sharon, her
orchestra’s first violinist (played by the brilliant German actress Nina Hoss), her life seems to unfold in a kind of walled garden appointed with grand, well-cho sen features. Even as the film renders her career achievements as monumental — so much so that her status as an EGOT is tossed off as an aside — the matter of her lesbianism is framed both in her words and the film’s portrayal quite casually, making the question of what being les bian means to Tár (and to “Tár”) as much a mystery as the nature of the dizzying array of works she must have scored.
Blanchett, probably known best to queer audiences for her starring role opposite Rooney Mara in Todd Haynes’ 2015 romantic drama “Carol,” recently told Variety that the character’s lesbian status is “not the headline or the issue,” adding that she admired the role’s matterof-fact treatment. And Blanchett’s right, at least about that casualness: Lydia’s life as a lesbian, her position as a prominent
woman in a male-dominated field, and her mothering of a daughter, Petra, are all treated as natural facts of her life. Instead of these features serving as primary features of her identity, her life seems defined by her discipline, privilege and prowess; she expresses skepticism even of her gender having impacted her career, and at one point suggests scuttling the identity-based parame ters of a charitable fellowship aimed at supporting female musicians. A girlboss who’s transcended making a fuss about it, she luxuriates in a position of power countless women could only dream of.
And they do. For the women in the field who surround her — none enjoy ing anywhere near her level of celeb rity — Lydia’s way of being provides a tantalizing spectacle, arousing a sense of professional aspiration that becomes bound up in more traditionally charged forms of desire. And as the film pro gresses, the feeling only grows. For Lydia’s assistant Francesca (played with a watchful reticence by Noémie Merlant, just as splendid as in “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”), Lydia’s position — as her boss, a key gatekeeper and a model for her own wants — stands as a defining feature of her life. For Francesca, and for others, and especially queer women, Lydia’s pow er — alongside, surely, her charisma and her craft — are understood to generate both an attractive and a repellent charge.
But it’s more than incidental that Lydia knows and plays on this, bringing the
Tár centers a staggering lesbian success story. But whose success is it?
movie to a place of meditation, as she barrels into a web of scandals, on what female pow er means. For Lydia is a kind of womanizer, an egocentric and casual abuser in more than one classic male sense, treating men and women alike who surround her as dispos able, and all but the same — even if the nature of her exact misdeeds are something the film is often guarded about.
With its rash of #Me Too-style allegations of professional misconduct eventually ensnaring its protagonist, “Tár” makes itself contemporary through its coy engagement with the histri onic dramas of “cancellation,” sure — but especially through
Considering this, Field and Blanchett’s work on the char acter feels like something that wouldn’t have been possible even a handful of years ago. Treating identity not as magical but as a factor which could be either formative or not in one’s life, the mov ie’s queer depiction is torn between admiration and fear of its leading character’s charisma and accomplish ments. But what it’s not, to its credit, is congratulatory toward her, knowing her to possess not just a queer identity but to have levels of wealth and white privi lege so staggering as to be, for most LGBTQ+ people,
its casual treatment of Lydia’s lesbian identity. (In this, a German setting surely helps). With Lydia as the film’s guiding force and ever-flexing primary subject — as well as the object of its supporting cast’s desires and fears — treatment of the character shows her holding power flippantly enough to harbor the easy potential to abuse it.
beyond imagination. Lydia, by contrast, can’t seem to even dream of not having those resources — and appears to believe they’re destined to be hers whatever she might do. It’ll be something to look forward to, the film seems to say, when a broader range of people can even be imagined to enjoy the same varieties of power and acclaim. Q
Hairy member of the Addams family
LGBTQ-Affirmative Psycho-therapists Guild of Utah
Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce
LGBT & Allied Lawyers of Utah
Utah Independent Business Coalition
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
YWCA of Salt Lake
ywca.org/saltlakecity 322 E 300 S 801-537-8600
HEALTH & HIV
Peer Support for Mental Illness — PSMI
Thurs 7pm, Utah Pride Ctr
Planned Parenthood bit.ly/ppauslchiv 654 S 900 E 801-322-5571
Salt Lake County Health Dept HIV/STD Clinic
660 S 200 E, 4th Floor Walk-ins M–F 10a–4p Appts 385-468-4242
Utah AIDS Foundation
* firstname.lastname@example.org 1408 S 1100 E 801-487-2323
Weber-Morgan Health Mon., Weds 1-4:30p 477 23rd St, Ogden Appt 801-399-7250
VOA Homeless Youth Resource Ctr, ages 15–21 880 S 400 W 801-364-0744
Transition Homes: Young Men’s 801-433-1713 Young Women’s 801-359-5545
Rainbow Law Free Clinic 2nd Thurs 6:30–7:30pm UofU Law School, 383 S University St
Equality Utah equalityutah.org * email@example.com 175 W 200 S, Ste 1004 801-355-3479
Utah Libertarian Party 6885 S State St #200 888-957-8824
Utah Stonewall Democrats utahstonewalldemocrats.org fb.me/ utahstonewalldems
First Baptist Church firstbaptist-slc.org
* firstname.lastname@example.org 11a Sundays 777 S 1300 E 801-582-4921
Sacred Light of Christ slcchurch.org 823 S 600 E 801-595-0052
1 to 5 Club (bisexual) fb.me/1to5ClubUtah
* 1to5club@ utahpridecenter.org
Men’s Kink/Sex/BDSM education, 1st, 3rd Mons. blackbootsslc.org blackBOOTS Kink/BDSM Men’s leather/kink/ fetish/BDSM 4th Sats. blackbootsslc.org Flaming Man menwhomove.org
OWLS of Utah (Older, Wiser, Lesbian. Sisters) bit.ly/owlsutah qVinum Wine Tasting qvinum.com Seniors Out and Proud fb.me/soaputah * email@example.com 801-856-4255
Temple Squares Square Dance Club templesquares.org 801-449-1293
Utah Bears utahbears.com fb.me/utahbears * firstname.lastname@example.org Weds 6pm Raw Bean Coffee, 611 W Temple Utah Male Naturists umen.org * email@example.com
Utah Pride Center
utahpridecenter.org * firstname.lastname@example.org 1380 S Main St 801-539-8800
Venture OUT Utah bit.ly/GetOutsideUtah
QUAC — Queer Utah Aquatic Club quacquac.org * questions@ quacquac.org
Salt Lake Goodtime Bowling League bit.ly/slgoodtime Stonewall Sports SLC fb.me/SLCStonewall stonewallsaltlakecity. leagueapps.com 385-243-1828
Utah Gay Football League fb.me/UtahGayFootballLeague Venture Out Utah facebook.com/groups/ Venture.OUT.Utah
Alcoholics Anonymous 801-484-7871 utahaa.org LGBT meetings: Sun. 3p Acceptance Group, All Saints Episcopal Church, 1710 Foothill Dr Tues. 8p Live & Let Live, Mt Tabor Lutheran, 175 S 700 E Wed. 7p Sober Today, 1159 30th St , Ogden Wed. 7:30p, Sober AF, Zoom mtg ID 748 896 1508, Password SLQ2020
Fri. 7p Stonewall Group, Mt Tabor Lutheran, 175 S 700 E Crystal Meth Anon crystalmeth.org Sun. 2:30pm Clean, Sober & Proud LGBTQIA+Straight Alano Club, 5056 Commerce Dr, Murray
Genderbands genderbands.org fb.me/genderbands LifeRing Secular Recovery 801-608-8146 liferingutah.org Sun. 10am Univ. Neuro psychiatric Institute, 501 Chipeta Way #1566 Sat. 11am, How was your week? First Baptist Church, 777 S 1300 E
LGBTQ-Affirmative Psycho-therapists Guild of Utah
Youth Support Group ages 10-14, 14-20 utahpridecenter. org/youth-programs/
Encircle LGBTQ Family and Youth Resource Ctr encircletogether.org fb.me/encircletogether 91 W 200 S, Provo, 190 S 100 E, St. George 331 S 600 E, SLC
Gay-Straight Alliance Network
The OUT Foundation
lgbtqtherapists.com * email@example.com
Men’s Support Group
Tues, 6pm utahpridecenter.org/ mental-health/mens-sg/ * Therapy@ utahpridecenter.org
Parent & Caregiver Support Group Mon 6:45pm utahpridecenter.org/ youth--programs/
Survivors of Suicide Attempt utahpridecenter.org/ mental-health/sosa/
Trans & Nonbinary Adult Support
Thurs, 6pm utahpridecenter.org/ programs/lgbtq-adults/ * tnbsupport@ utahpridecenter.org
TransAction Sun, 1:30pm utahpridecenter. org/adult-programs/ transaction/ Sundays 2–3:30pm
Women’s Support Group Wed 6pm utahpridecenter. org/mental-health/ womens-sg/ * womensupport@ utahpridecenter.org
Salt Lake Community College LGBTQ+ slcc.edu/lgbtq/
University of Utah LGBT Resource Center
lgbt.utah.edu 200 S Central Campus Dr Rm 409, M-F, 8a-5p 801-587-7973
USGA at BYU usgabyu.com fb.me/UsgaAtByu
Utah State Univ. Access & Diversity Ctr
Utah Valley Univ Spectrum facebook.com/ groups/uvuspectrum
Weber State University LGBT Resource Center
weber.edu/ lgbtresourcecenter 801-626-7271
Westminster Diversity Center
Bassis 105, M-F 8a-5p
Youth Activity Night ages 10-14, 14-20
Working Girls: Trixie & Katya’s Guide to Professional WomanhoodBY TRIXIE MATTEL AND KATYA
ZAMOLODCHIKOVA. C. 2022, PLUME. $28, 224 PAGES
You want stuff. A nice ward robe, say. Decent dishes, nice lamps, food, and drink. Somewhere to relax and a place to sleep. You want stuff, and a home to put that stuff in, but that generally takes money, honey, and it usually comes from a j-o-b. Fear not, though: help is on the way with “Working Girls: Trixie & Katya’s Guide to Professional Woman hood” by Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova.
DECEMBERBY SAM KELLEY-MILLS
ARIES March 20–April 19
Even if it takes time, get yourself back to a happy place. Focus on the things that make you really happy and do what you can to experience the best life has to offer. Treat yourself right.
TAURUS Apr 20–May 20
Find time for a loved one or family member who needs you right now. Even if the world is changing, you can be a rock for the emotional flow. The reward is bound to be worthwhile.
GEMINI May 21–June 20
Even if you can’t figure out The season of celebration is always one you look forward to. Don’t spoil your spirit by having high expec
If you must work, at least you should find a job that fits you, right? So grab Trixie and Katya’s guide and start with the career aptitude test. You might be surprised — or you might “qualify for 0 percent APR financing.”
Next, think about what you really want to do with your life. How about a career of service as a cleaner who removes “the carnage of lowly grifters, criminals, and monsters”? You might rather hang out with kids as a nan ny, or be a “tipped laborer.”
Remember, always tip the waitstaff.
You could work in pub lishing, “big tech,” financing, whatever you choose, always dress for the job. If that means drag, “grab a wig, some fabric, and two lashes… and poof!” You’re ready to hire.
But wait. First, you’ll have to go through an interview, so think about the skills you want to showcase, then “reel them in” with thoughtful
answers to those silly inter view questions. Once you’ve got a job offer in hand, be forearmed with the handy guide to the types of cowork ers you might encounter. Remember: work is not like college, where you can avoid “germs, viruses, and nones sential enzymes named Carol from Accounts Receivable.”
Know how to ask for a raise (do you even deserve one?). Be glad if they ask you to do a Zoom meeting from home. Know how to manage your time, know when it’s time to leave your job, and know how to be graceful if it wasn’t exactly your idea. Learn to recog nize work scams. And then prepare for retirement. Yeah, you do deserve that.
It should be crystal clear by merely looking at the cover of “Working Girls: Trixie & Katya’s Guide to Professional Womanhood” that this book pokes plenty of fun at the world of work. It’s funny,
saucy, and over-the-top… and it actually includes surpris ingly decent advice, too.
Just be willing to read between the lines, although that shouldn’t be a problem. Readers who are old enough to handle the theme of this book should be smart enough to know when authors Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolod chikova aren’t exactly trying for Dear Abby here; there’s an overload of snark and sarcasm in these pages, and it’s in neon. Still, the fact remains that there are usable nuggets inside this book — on working from home, on getting along with cowork ers, on asking for more money, and on how to quit. Bring your sense of humor when you tackle this book, but bring your resume, too. “Working Girls: Trixie & Katya’s Guide to Professional Womanhood” is funny and useful, and, well, you want it. Q
tations but be ready for some nice sur prises. Let go of control and have fun!
CANCER June 21–July 22
Explore the best parts of yourself and figure out what you’d like to do even better. The world is your canvas so don’t be afraid to create what you want. Happiness is yours to mold.
LEO July 23–August 22
A strange feeling should not be ignored, but don’t let it distract from the fun times either. Proceed with caution and deal with challenges as they come. In the end, you can trust yourself.
VIRGO August 23–Sep 2
There is a really neat thing going on with a partner or best friend and getting involved could be enthralling. Ask how you can get involved and don’t be afraid of rejection. It’s cool.
LIBRA Sept 23–October 22
Feel free to let your burdens go and enjoy the holiday spirit. There is much joy in both giving and receiving so be sure to do both! Spend time with those who matter the most to you.
SCORPIO Oct 23–Nov 21
You might need to feel joy more than you have been lately. If the temptations are there, then give in if you feel it’s safe. Always follow your gut and figure out what makes you tick.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 22–December 20
Don’t blindly trust that things will be okay, even if they are. The peace of mind that comes with caution will suit you well during this time. Don’t let faith guide you, but guide yourself.
Dec 21–Jan 19
The holidays may not always ring your bell, but you always end up having a good time. This year is no ex ception so let your hair down and sim ply surrender. Let the good times roll.
AQUARIUS Jan 20–Feb 18
You’re used to doing things in order, but sometimes it’s nice to shake things up. Spend some time re-inventing yourself and conquering the boredom you often feel. Get wild if you can.
PISCES Feb 19–Mar 19
Nothing feels better than letting go of an old pain. Even if the future is uncertain, happiness will have a chance. Enjoy the season and let go of anything bothersome. No one is judging. Q
The Bookworm’s Holiday Shopping GuideBY TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER
The tree looks magnificent. So you’re ready — almost — for the holidays, except for those few tricky gifts that you just can’t seem to figure out. How about books? Easy to wrap, happy to get, why not look for these great books…
For the person on your list who loves dark, gothic romancey-mys teries, wrap up “Mourning Light” by Richard Goodkin. It’s the story of a man who can’t let go of the guilt he feels since his lover died. Coinci dentally, that death happened on the exact same day he met another man that he can’t stop thinking about.
The person on your gift list who loves a good memoir will want to read “A Place Called Home” by David Ambroz. It’s a tale of homelessness, foster care, coming out, and how sheer determination put that all in one man’s past.
If there’s someone on your gift list who made a difficult decision this year, “Families We Keep” by Rin Reczek and Emma Bosley-Smith is a book to careful ly wrap up. It’s a look at LGBTQ individuals who have decided to stick with their families, though there may continue to be a struggle for acceptance or a total lack of it. It means work, and this book might help. Know your giftee well before giving this book.
Until recently, there really hav en’t been a lot of books about bi sexuality, which is why you might want to give “Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality” by Julia Shaw to someone special. There’s a lot to know about the subject, from genetics to legalities, celebrities to monogamy.
The trans reader on your gift list will want to own “Fat,
Crazy, and Tired: Tales from the Trenches of Transformation” by podcaster Van Lathan. who writes that being fat was harder than being Black. Needless to say, this book is funny and inspirational, and your giftee will love it. Pair it with “Side Affects: On Being Trans and Feeling Bad” by Hil Malatino. If your giftee sometimes struggles, this book is great acknowledgment.
For the reader who loves histo ry, “The Women’s House of Detention” by Hugh Ryan could be the perfect gift this year. It’s the story of a prison in New York’s Greenwich Village which, for nearly 45 years, was the landing place/home/jail for thousands and thousands of women, gendernonconforming people, and transgender men. Angela Davis was there. So was Afeni Shakur. This book takes your giftee there, too. Wrap it up with “Manifest ing Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights” by Valena Beety.
For the giftee who likes novels with a twist, wrap up “The Storyteller’s Death” by Ann Davila Cardinal. It’s the tale of a girl who learns, at age 18, that she’s a “storyteller,” which is something that’s passed down through the women of her family. But this blessing turns out to be a curse when she “sees” a murder that happened long ago. Pair it up with “The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern” by Rita Zoey Chin, also a story of a young “fortune teller” and a vision she may or may not have wanted.
The person on your list who loves to people-watch and connect with, well, everybody will want “Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting” by Clare Pooley.
It’s the story of an advice colum nist who amuses herself during her commute by watching the other people on the train — until the day something happens and commuters suddenly become something more. Pair it with “Has Anyone Seen My Toes?” by Christopher Buckley, a hilarious novel about life during the pandemic when one’s health is the least of one’s worries.
The reader on your list who loves to laugh will thoroughly enjoy “Random” by Penn Jil lette. It’s the story of an almosttwenty-one-year-old who inherits a pile of debt from his horrible father, and it’s due to the (even more horrible) loan shark when the guy turns 21. Will a roll of the dice eliminate all his problems? Lucky is the person who gets this book, to find out.
The person on your list who is “Of a Certain Age” will absolutely love getting “Killers of a Certain Age” by Deanna Raybourn. It’s a thriller-mystery about four wom en who’ve worked as assassins for decades but suddenly, everyone thinks their methods are outdat ed. They’re sent “on vacation” but it’s really no vacation. How do they get out alive?
Lovers of short mysteries will love to find “Reader, I Buried Them and Other Stories” by Peter Lovesey. This book, in cel ebration of Lovesey’s more-thanfifty years of mystery-writing, is full of mayhem, and murder, and you know your giftee will want it.
The reader who wants a little diversity in their selection will love “Latino Almanac: From Early Explorers to Corporate Leaders” by Nicolas Kanellos, Ph.D. It’s a book that’s absolute ly filled with mini-biographies of Latino luminaries, heroes, and inspirations, and it’s perfect for any reader age 14 and up. Pair it with “Indigenous Firsts: A History of Native American Achievements and Events” by Yvonne Wakim Dennis, Arlene Hirschfelder, and Paulette F. Mo
lin. It’s a book that’s filled with fast facts about the achievements of indigenous Americans.
For the person who always embraces the good in life, “In citing Joy” by Ross Gay will be a welcome gift. It’s a collection of essays on the things that make us happy, that cause us to count our blessings, smile, and that gather us together. Wrap it up with “Happier Hour” by Cassie Holmes, Ph.D., and help someone decide what’s worth their joy.
If you’ve got a rabid current events fan on your gift list this year, then wrap up “The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Every thing” by Mike Rothschild. It’s an eye-opener. Wrap it up with “Seek and Hide” by Amy Gajda. It’s about our right to privacy throughout history, what it means, and how the demand for privacy today can be a good thing or a bad thing, or “Con spiracies and Secret Societies, third edition” by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger. How could anyone not want to own one of the last books by these two late, great authors?
Won’t your reader enjoy “Great Short Books” by Kenneth C. Davis this holiday? The answer is “yes”: this book is about books — specifically, more than fifty short novels by authors you know and don’t know. Wrap it up with a gift certificate to your favorite bookstore.
The music lover on your gift list will absolutely want “Loud” by Tana Douglas. It’s a memoir of rock & roll, working with the band (Douglas was the rock world’s first female roadie) and yep, there’s plenty of behind-thescenes. Your giftee won’t be able to resist.
Another adventure to find: “Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure” by Rinker Buck. The author built an oldtime wooden flatboat and sailed it down the Miss. You can’t miss what happened then…
The Hollywood watcher on your list will be so happy to re ceive “Garcelle: Love Me as I Am” by Garcelle Beauvais with Nicole E. Smith, a biography of the life, work, and Beauvais struggles and triumphs. Wrap it up with another great Hollywood memoir: “Wax ing On: The Karate Kid and Me” by Ralph Macchio
And for the art lover, put “Con/ Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger” by Tony Tetro and Giampiero Ambrosi beneath the tree and paint your giftee very happy.
AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES
The activist in your life will be very happy with “The White Allies Handbook” by Lecia Michelle. Yes, it’s a book meant to teach white readers how to eliminate racism within their own lives, but it’s also a good way to learn to help friends who are working on it. Wrap it up with “No Justice, No Peace” by Devin Allen, with images by Gordon Parks. It’s a book that’s filled with inspira tional messages and pictures from 60 years of activism.
What do you give the business person who’s also a “people per son”? You wrap up “The Human Side of Innovation: The Power of People in Love with People” by Mauro Porcini. This book shows why it’s best for a business to put people first, always, and unapologetically. Readers who want to know where the next trend is may find it here.
For the person whose dream is to head a corporation, “Leading Lightly” by Jody Michael could be the perfect gift. It’s a book that advocates for a gentler way of leadership, one that’s easier on the lead as well as the leader. Wrap it up with “You’re the Leader. Now What?” by Richard Winters, a book about being a good leader, from the Mayo Clinic.
If there’s a new grad or a newly-unemployed-just-looking
person on your gift list, look for “Sell Yourself” by Dr. Cindy McGovern and wrap it up. It’s all about making and promoting a personal brand that employers will find irresistible.
So your giftee is obsessed with The Godfather movies, eh? Well, then, you can’t go wrong if you wrap up “The Godmother: Mur der, Vengeance, and the Bloody Struggle of Mafia Women” by Barbie Latza Nadeau. It’s the sto ry of the women behind the men in the mob. Giving it to someone is an offer you can’t refuse. Sometimes, the setting of the story is everything. Case in point: “All That is Wick ed” by Kate Winkler Dawson In 1871, Edward Rulloff was awaiting execution for crimes committed — but several people wanted him released because of his intelligence. Was his brain too refined to belong to a killer?
Your giftee will be glad to find out… Wrap it up with “Killer Collections: Dark Artifacts from True Crime” by Paul Gambino, a loaded-with-photos anthology of items associated with murder.
There’s a foodie on your gift list who would love getting “Ten Tomatoes that Changed the World” by William Alexan der. This book weaves a long, juicy trail from South America and Mexico to the New World and around the world to show how one vegetable changed the way we eat.
Romantics with an inner streak of science-lover will be enthralled by “Wired for Love” by Stephanie Caciop po, who is a neuroscientist. It’s the story of her unlikely (but absolutely wonderful) romance, a devastating loss, and why we bother with love anyhow.
HEALTH, DEATH, AND GRIEVING
For the person who hates to exercise, hates eating healthy (let’s face it), and stresses about it all, you can’t go wrong with “The
Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care” by Rina Raphael. Doesn’t that title say it all? Wrap it up with “A Life in Light: Meditations on Imperma nence” by Mary Pipher, a book about aging, losing, and knowing that life goes on.
Your giftee who’s grieving might also appreciate “After Effects” by Andrea Giliat, on various kinds of grief; “When a Child Dies” by Claire Aagaard; “Letters of Note: Grief,” compiled by Shaun Usher, a collection of meaningful letters; or “All of This” by Rebecca Woolf, on losing a husband and regaining strength.
The reader who is still trying to tease out all there is to know about the Pandemic will want to unwrap “Breathless: The Sci entific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus” by David Quammen. Yes, it’s all true but it reads like a thriller. Wrap it up with “Plagues and Their Aftermath” by Brian Michael Jenkins, for a wider look through the history of that which affects us.
BIRTH TO SIX
The preschooler who loves polar bears will love getting “A Bear Far from Home” by Susan Fletcher and Rebecca Green. It’s based on the true story of a gift from Norway to England and the meaning of home. Wrap it up with “The Worst Teddy Ever” by Marcelo Verdad. It’s the story of another kind of bear and its love of a little girl.
The child who’s having a rough holiday may want to have “There Was a Hole” by Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrated by Carrie O’Neill read to them. It’s the story of a little girl who’s missing something, and she thinks she’s the only one. It’s a tale of loss and coping, and it’s pretty sweet. Pair it up with “Ev erything Will Be Okay” by Anna Dewdney, pictures by Judy Schachner, a comforting book for when nothing goes right.
SIX TO NINE
Seriously, who doesn’t like pizza? You know your young giftee does, and they’ll also like “Piz
za! A Slice of History” by Greg Pizzoli. It’s a cute, colorfully illus trated, fun book on everybody’s favorite food. Pair it with a gift certificate to… you know where…
For the kid who loves monsters, “Mythical Beasts” by Stephanie Warren Drim mer could be the right gift to give. It’s full of information about real animals that were somehow mythologized throughout history. Facts, monsters, and it comes from the National Geographic Kids folks… what’s not to love?
NINE TO FOURTEEN
The young environmentalist on your list will be so happy un wrapping “Meltdown: Discover Earth’s Irreplaceable Glaciers and Learn What You Can Do To Save Them” by Anita Sanchez, illustrated by Lily Padula. It’s full of ideas, information, pictures, and graphs, as well as a sense that kids really can save the world. Wrap it up with “Dinosaur Atlas” from the National Geographic Kids folks. This large-size book is all about dinos and where they lived. Your young scientist will love it.
YOUNG ADULT BOOKS
The social media-ob sessed teen on your gift list may need to read “The Facebook Narcissist” by Lena Derhally. It’s a book that may make them think twice before post ing and sharing. They’ll “LIKE” it.
Now for the housekeeping: like everything else in the world, books can change. Titles may vary, covers may vary, and you might be able to find some of these books in paperback versions, so be aware when you’re making out your book-lovers gift list. If you have any questions or need other sug gestions, please do lean on your favorite librarian or bookseller.
Seriously, they are like your favorite comic book superheroes, only better because they know books. Season’s Readings! Q
Kiersey Clemons is ‘The Young King’
We all know the queens. When do we get more kings? Soon, when Kiersey Clem ons, queer star of “Dope” and “Hearts Beat Loud,” joins “Euphoria” alum Barbie Ferreira and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon in the upcoming film “The Young King,” from queer filmmaker Larin Sullivan, making her feature film direc torial debut. Set in the 1990s Las Vegas drag king scene, it’s the story of aspiring performer Jules (Clemons) who moves to Las Vegas to locate estranged father Mick (Shannon) and take the stage in a drag king revue. Ferreira will play a dancer who finds herself an object of affection. Larin wrote the script and production is set for early 2023 on location in Nevada. No word yet on whether this will aim for big screen action or a streaming drop, but it’s high time.
Dan Levy gives Netflix some ‘Good Grief’
Dan Levy’s feature directorial debut has a title, a cast, and a home at Netflix. The “Schitt’s Creek” Emmy winner has writ ten “Good Grief” and will direct it for the streaming service as well as star, alongside “Loving” Oscar nominee Ruth Negga, Luke Evans (“Nine Perfect Strangers”), Himesh Patel (“Yesterday”), Celia Imrie (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) and gay French actor Arnaud Valois (“BPM”). The story concerns a gay man whose mother dies, and who further has to deal with the unexpected death of his husband. By way of escape from the emotional tur moil of these losses, he and his two best friends go to Paris for something that’s less vacation and more self-discovery.
‘Heartbreak High’ enters sophomore year
Are you watching “Heartbreak High” yet? That’s Netflix’s reboot of the popular ’90s Australian TV series about a group of friends who find out that their respective sexual experiences have been scrawled, pictorially, on a bathroom wall. The social fallout that ensues forms the basis for enough teen drama per episode to rival an entire season of “Degrassi.” Well, it was a runaway hit, placing in Netflix’s top 10, so a second season just got the go-ahead. The cast represents a range of gender/racial/ ethnic/neurodivergent identities, and queer audiences in particular should take note that the characters reflect a variety of LGBTQ+ experience. this project. Q Romeo San Vicente’s Paris is strictly about boulangeries.
During the last two and a half years, the metamorphic effect of administrators and white collar workers changing into sweats and pajamas wearers had a devastating impact on downtown restaurants — es pecially their lunch business. However, as the community of 20,000 commuters begin to flow back downtown, restau rants are boldly betting on the decadent business lunch.
We’re reminded that it is ille gal to not take lunch in France — a languorous 90-minute lunch, in fact! So, whether you’re Ladies who Lunch, or looking for a Two Martini Lunch, here are our favorite downtown places to eat — no, enjoy — lunch with a fork and knife.
The newest restaurant goes first: FRANKLIN AVE on Edison Street has wonder ful sandwiches, but we said decadent, so flip the menu page and get the duck ragu or the black cod with miso-soy dashi broth — it might be the best fish we’ve ever eaten, period.
A year ago, Scott Evans opened the cosmopolitan PAGO ON MAIN that gambled on lunch and hit the jackpot. In the open kitchen, chefs metic ulously tweeze the strawberry and beet salad and fire the burn ers for the flavorful crab cakes — you’ll feel pretty, pretty urban.
It was Ryan Lowder’s announcement that COPPER ONION would resume lunch service just last week that was the impetus for this article. We simply cannot get enough of those ricotta dumplings, but the star on the menu — hum bly — is the Rainbow Trout. The perfectly pan-seared skin envelops a delicate, flaky fish with a dollop of greek
yogurt over curried lentils.
IVY & VARLEY courageously opened during a bleak time for downtown. Luckily, they never hit a road bump — in fact, late at night they get bumpin’. (Did we just age ourselves?) We’re not sure how much longer the patio will be open for lunch, but it is a delightful space to spend a Friday afternoon over a bowl of cheesy grits and shrimp — and maybe two martinis.
Have an expense account? Bring clients along and feel like Caesar at SPENCER’S inside the Hilton or THE CAPITAL GRILL at City Creek Center. The dark wood, the cushy seats, the bespoke service, the Wagyu beef. Secrets spill easily in haunts like these.
Consistently rated one of the best restaurants in Salt Lake — maybe Utah — is TAKASHI. Yes, Takashi is open for lunch, and we selfishly fear broadcasting this since getting a table at night means quite a wait. Don’t judge us for eyeing the Tanka, basically a spicy California roll, or devouring the grilled chicken with teriyaki sauce… you won’t find them made better anywhere else.
And, when talking about fine dining downtown, in-partic ular, an over-the-top lunch, let’s not forget THE OYSTER BAR . Step into a sophisticated seaside clubhouse 700 miles from the ocean and snack on Seafood Louie before tucking into the famous clam chowder served with hot sourdough.
Let me remind everyone that our opinions are our own. Ad mittedly, this isn’t a comprehen sive list, but the clock is getting close to noon, so feel free to add your favorites. We’re going to seize the day with a lunch filled with joie de vivre.
Furries on a path to self-discoveryBY ALPHA MERCURY
every other aspect of pop culture from which were born from the furry move ment, the movement itself has con ventions of its own. More furry events happen every year all over the world and attendance increases annually.
fluffy holi days! Look ing for all things warm and fuzzy as it gets colder and colder this holiday season I’ve been exploring the world of furries! Curious about the furry scene for a long time, I decided to dive in and find out what it’s all about. I spoke to three local furries – Vex, ChronoWolf, and Kayoran Nova – about the community and their experiences in it. Here’s what I learned.
I had thought that furries were people who had a kink for dressing up like anthropomorphic animals. What I found is that’s only an aspect of a movement that’s vast and thriving, with a worldwide community that grows every day. The furry movement started as an outgrowth of fandom. People who enjoyed anime and other cartoons that feature anthropo morphic animals like the Disney animat ed feature film Robin Hood were often people who also enjoyed cosplay – dress ing up in elaborate costumes based on favorite characters from books, movies, TV, comics, and games. These enthusi asms merged and a movement was born.
Far more than merely a sexual kink, being a furry is a way to explore and express different aspects of oneself in a safe space. Fur is simultaneously ex pression, validation, performance, and entertainment. One of the most nota ble aspects of the furry movement is how open and accepting it is. LGBTQ+ is the norm here. Neurodiversity is welcomed. Straight people are accepted, but a minority. This makes perfect sense as you delve into what being a furry means for those in the community.
Furries create characters, called “fur sonas,” much like Dungeons & Dragons players do. Fursonas can serve multiple purposes. Sometimes fursonas are based on parts of their creators’ personalities they don’t normally express in their everyday lives. For instance, a shy person might create a fursona that’s outgoing and gregarious. Someone who would
never feel comfortable speaking or performing in front of an audience could create a fursona that loves doing those things. A person who might not feel safe expressing affection for someone else might have a fursona that would be less inhibited. Fursonas can also be a way to inhabit a more theatrical characterization, like a villain or a superhero. This is more performance than self-expression and can be equally enjoyable and useful to its creator. A furry expresses their fursona not only by devising the character and purchasing or constructing the costume, but by creating art of the fursona and even writing stories featuring that char acter, or that the character has written themselves. These days it goes without saying that many furries create online presences for their fursonas as well. A furry can create as many different furso nas as they want to. Fursonas are ways a furry can explore their own personality, orientation, gender expression, and sex uality by inhabiting and characterizing them in both figurative and literal ways.
While dressing up like anthropomor phic animals might seem like strange behavior, it’s actually been part of human civilization from the very beginning and continues today. Indigenous tribes often dressed in the skins of the animals they killed for ceremonies of gratitude for a successful hunt or to connect and travel to the spiritual realm, or to take on traits of animals that would be useful to them, like the bravery of a bear or the cunning of a fox. Today you see people dressed as animals everywhere from Disney theme parks to holiday parades to sports sta diums. It’s very common. This is a good example of how vanilla people often think of kink and fetish as something separate from everyday life, when in fact aspects of kink and fetish are everywhere in our lives, both private and public.
Much like the conventions that are devoted to anime, comic books, mov ies, TV shows, gaming, and seemingly
If the furry movement has any one goal, it’s achieving mainstream acceptance. They hope to achieve what so-called “Nerd Culture” has. Fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics, anime, and role-playing games used to be regarded as strange people on the fringes of society. But in the last few decades “nerds” have emerged from the shadows to dominate the pop culture landscape. Furries hope for the same normalization. Changing the reductive view of furries as people who dress up like animals to have sex, to a remarkably inclusive community that creates safe spaces for people to explore themselves and each other in vibrant, en tertaining ways is how to reach that goal.
Are you fur-curious? Want to know more about the furry movement?
The United Utah Furry Fandom, also known as U2F2, is a local group based here in Salt Lake that hosts weekly and month ly meetups, game nights, parties, and all kinds of merriment for furries, their admirers, and anyone who wants to make friends. Find them online at UtahFurs.org.
Check out Ash Coyote’s fantas tic movie “The Fandom: A Furry Documentary” on YouTube.
The International Anthropomorphic Research Project is a think tank devoted to studying furries and their fandom and decreasing the stigma for the move ment. Visit them at FurScience.com.
Club Try-Angles has a furry event called Fluff Party every fourth Friday of the month. Come see furries in action.
Special thanks and love to Vex, ChronoWolf, and Kayoran Nova for being my guides into the wonderful world of fur.
Have thoughts, questions, or com ments about this column or anything to do with Kink? Write to me at kink@ qsaltlake.com and I’ll print them and answer them in an upcoming column. Be safe and have fun out there!
In Kink We Trust. Q
Alpha Mercury has been an out and proud member of the Kink/Leather/Fetish/BDSM community his entire adult life. He has a degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California and is an author of erotic fiction. Al pha Mercury lives with his Leather Family in Salt Lake City.
the perils of petunia pap smear
The tale of a drag queen jet skiBY PETUNIA PAP SMEAR
road to the hot spring is fraught with danger and excitement.
I love soaking in hot springs. I enjoy going to Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville, Utah on New Year’s Day to celebrate the new year. It eas es the strain in my lower back from the bulk of my breasticles weighing me down. Gravity is such a bitch!
Last year, when I went to the resort, I had several near-death experiences. Upon arriving at the resort, the first near-fatal event was in the dressing room. I felt it necessary to change into my bathing suit in one of the changing cubicles, lest I shock and frighten the children. My God! Who designed these? They obviously have never witnessed a full-figured girl’s wardrobe-changing needs. I bent over to take off my shoe, and my buttockus maximus pressed firmly against the side of the booth, while my breasticles became solidly wedged against the other side. Because my multiple chins were solidly jammed against the wall, I had great difficulty calling for help. Apparently, I’m not the first plus-sized queen that this has happened to because a very hand some employee came to my rescue with a large plastic shoehorn-like device that he used as a pry bar to force me loose. The screeching of the breasticles scraping against the wall was indeed chilling. Oh, the indignity! On the bright side, I was able to get his name — Kevin — from this employee name tag and I was able to cyberstalk him after I got home.
After the actual changing indignity came a second dilemma. The lockers are very small, it became necessary for me to have three separate lockers. One to safely store my beehive wig, lest some snot ty-nosed little kid splash some water on it and ruin its structural integrity. Three cans of Aqua Net can only hold so much.
The second locker was for my breas ticles. I had lighted ones on this occa sion, powered by 4 D-cell batteries, and
I didn’t want to electrocute myself or any other hapless fellow bathers. Just imagine what the police report for that would look like. “Drag queen’s breasti cles electrocute several small children.”
The third locker was for my towel and my caftan. Because of the smallness of the locker, I was forced to wad up the caftan into a ball, sure to become wrinkled beyond recognition. One of the greatest fashion faux pas that any queen worth her rhinestones should avoid.
Once my possessions were safely locked away, I grabbed my pool noodle and headed outside into the sub-freezing weather to get to the pools. The mo ment I stepped outside the door, I began shivering violently as if on the Richter Scale. It was almost impossible to move because of the quaking. There was so much steam rising from the pools that it was virtually impossible to see more than two feet ahead. Luckily, I was able to use the pool noodle like a cane for the blind.
The walkway was totally encased in a thick layer of ice lubricated with water dripping from the other bathers. It was slicker than if I had spread Astroglide on the bottom of my feet. I turfed it once, only knocking over three small children. I’m sure they deserved it. To my delight, Kevin was there to help me back to my feet and helped escort me to the pool. Such a gentleman!
It was such a great relief to enter the hot water. My God! I shall never leave this place. After quite some time in the water, I was bobbing about while straddling my pool noodle, conversing with friends, and having a very lovely time. Slowly, I sensed the buildup of a large quantity of methane in my Pap Smear regions which was in great need of being relieved. Note to self, it’s probably not wise to eat at a Mexican restaurant immediately before swimming. In an effort to not become the subject of embarrassment, I discretely moved away from my friends and prepared to pass
the gas, as it were. Praying all the while that it would only be a gaseous emission and not solid or worse yet liquid. That is one of the main lessons I learned in drag queen finishing school. Never trust a fart.
So, when I was what I considered a safe distance from the people who knew me, I “let her rip.” Oh, what a relief! To my shock and horror, the magnitude of the fart was much greater than I had anticipated. Thank goodness, it turned out to be just gas, but it was in such a large quantity that it actually propelled me forward in the water like a jet ski. A couple of nearby kids no ticed the bubbles and laughed. I didn’t care. But then the toxic smell hit.
Oh no! Kevin was making his lifeguard rounds and walked right through the noxious cloud. He became alarmed. I tried to assure him that it was probably just a sulfur smell from the springs. He was not convinced. Fearing a dangerous gas leak, he quickly raised the alarm and evacuated the pool. Pandemonium ensued as mothers grabbed their children and hunky men pretended to not be alarmed, and ran to the dressing rooms, leaving me alone and forlorn in the pool.
This story leaves us with sev eral important questions:
1. Should I develop a buoyant waterproof set of breasticles for such occasions?
2. Would collapsible breasticles solve the problem of getting wedged in the changing booth?
3. Could I develop some sort of cur tain to hang from my breasticles to provide some extra coverage, and thus shield the innocent public from my Pillsbury Dough Girl-esque visage?
4. Would it be considered bad form for a queen to use the crowded confusion in the locker room to “accidentally” brush up against a hunky object of desire?
These and other eternal questions will be answered in future chapters of The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear