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Begins on page 41
january 22, 2020 vol. 11 // issue 4
saluting ten years as an independent gay press. begins on page 7
best of the best • sfgn’s achievements in excellence awards • begins on page 46 SouthFloridaGayNews
Four Anti-LGBT Bills Filed on Same Day in Florida Samantha Neely
1 . 22.2020
Associate Publisher / Executive Editor • Jason Parsley Jason.Parsley@sfgn.com
Dori Zinn • Donald Cavanaugh Christiana Lilly • John McDonald Denise Royal • David-Elijah Nahmod
Brian McNaught • Terri Schlichenmeyer Dana Rudolph • Ric Reily
The Florida State Capitol Building. Photo via the ACLU of Florida, Facebook.
Women,” and HB 537 “Home Based Business,” could legalize conversion therapy where it has previously been banned and allow it to be performed within the home. “It’s hard to believe that this is a legislature where three LGBTQ members are proudly and openly serving, but it is,” State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith said in a Tweet. “This is what it feels like to be kicked in the gut by your colleagues. I am so utterly offended and disappointed.” Politicians all over the nation have expressed opinions over the controversial bills, many taking to social media to share their thoughts, including democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren who retweeted Smith’s tweet. “These bills would cause immense harm to LGBTQ+ Floridians—especially children,” Warren wrote. “I’ll fight to protect LGBTQ+ youth, including by passing the Equality Act, banning conversion therapy nationwide, and
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Publisher • Norm Kent
Art Director • Brendon Lies Artwork@sfgn.com Digital Content Director • Justin Musial Webmaster@sfgn.com Arts/Entertainment Editor • J.W. Arnold JW@prdconline.com Social Media Manager • Tucker Berardi email@example.com Food/Travel Editor • Rick Karlin Gazette News Editor • Sallie James HIV Editor • Sean McShee Senior Photographer • J.R. Davis JRDavis12000@hotmail.com
HCR 309 “Equal Rights for Men and Women,” and HB 537 “Home Based Business,” could legalize conversion therapy where it has previously been banned and allow it to be performed within the home.
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ours before the 2020 legislative deadline, seven Republican lawmakers submitted four anti-LGBT bills on Jan. 13. The lawmakers, which include Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Sen. Dennis Baxley, Rep. Byron Donalds, Rep. Michael Grant, Sen. Joe Gruters, Rep. Bob Rommel and Sen. Keith Perry, all came together to introduce the bills that each included a companion bill in the House and Senate. HB 1365 “Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” would make it a second-degree felony to provide certain medical care or treatments to transgender children. According to Sabatini’s Facebook post on the bill, he said, “No parent should be allowed to sterilize, castrate, or permanently disfigure a child.” HB 305 “Preemptions of Conditions of Employment,” would repeal the protections that are currently in place for employers to not discriminate against people for their sexual orientation or gender identity. HCR 309 “Equal Rights for Men and
January 22, 2020 • Volume 11 • Issue 4
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ensuring that every LGBTQ+ person gets the gender-affirming health care they need.” Florida isn’t the only state that has recently put forth anti-LGBTQ legislation. South Dakota also has a pending House bill that seeks to criminalize providing certain care for transgender youth. Missouri and South Carolina have bills that would ban transgender-related care. These bills have caught the attention of several local advocacy groups and many have released statements on the bill. “This is the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida Legislature in recent memory,” Equality Florida Public Policy Director Jon Harris Maurer said in a press release. “It runs the gamut from openly hostile legislation that would arrest and imprison doctors for providing medically necessary care, to legislation that would carelessly erase critical local LGBTQ protections.”
For ad placement in SFGN, contact 954-530-4970 Sales Manager • Justin Wyse Justin@sfgn.com Senior Advertising Associate • Edwin Neimann Edwin@sfgn.com Senior Advertising Associate • Clark Rogers Clark@sfgn.com Distribution Services • Rocky Bowell Sales Consultant • Charles A. Reid National Advertising Rivendell Media 212-242-6863 firstname.lastname@example.org Accounting Services by CG Bookkeeping Printing by Sun Coast Press
SFGN Winner of & 5 Florida Press Club Awards And runner-up for
NLGJA Journalist of the Year South Florida Gay News is published weekly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor do not represent the opinions of SFGN, or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations. Furthermore the word “gay” in SFGN should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material/columns that appears in print and online, including articles used in conjunction with the AP, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher, at his law office, at Norm@NormKent.com. SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. Copyright © 2020 South Florida Gay News.com, Inc.
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NEWS special health report
New CDC Data Suggest 2019-2020 Flu Season
on Track to Be Especially Severe Norm Kent
he current flu season is on track to be one of the worst in years, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN earlier this month. CNN reports that Fauci says the 2019-2020 flu season is on track to be as severe as the 2017-2018 season, which was the deadliest in at least a decade. On Jan. 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory reminding clinicians that influenza B viruses can cause severe illness in people of all ages, including children and reiterating vaccination and antiviral treatment recommendations. New data from the CDC released the first week of January estimates that so far, this season, at least 6.4 million people have caught the flu. The frightening numbers also relate that 55,000 people have been hospitalized and 2,900 people have died — 800 more people then were estimated from the week before. According to the CDC, people aged 65 and
older, particularly with cardiac conditions, are at a greater risk for serious complications from the flu. This is because the immune system typically weakens with age. Florida is not out of the woods, either. Last week, State Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, issued new influenza guidance letters for school administrators and principals and health care providers serving pregnant women. They are online at Health.gov. Four influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported so far, this season, all in unvaccinated children. The surgeon general has advised parents who have not vaccinated their children for the 2019-2020 season to do so as soon as possible. While reports for Florida flu activity have decreased in the past two weeks, Dr. Rivkees
New data from the CDC released the first week of January estimates that so far, this season, at least 6.4 million people have caught the flu.
A look at how widespread the flu outbreak has been
Photo via PxHere.
says it is too early to say if activity has peaked yet for the season. Elevated activity is still expected and likely for several more weeks. “Our seniors, age 65 years and older, should take extra precautions”, says Sheldon T. Warman, M.D., a prominent Fort Lauderdale Internist, who is a member of the MDVIP program, offering patients personalized and preventative medical care. The MDVIP program enables a patient to have a primary-care Physician to “quarterback” your health care needs. Speaking to SFGN, he advised that if you feel symptoms or become ill, you should contact your physician upon the onset of your illness immediately. “it is absolutely imperative that Influenza not be taken lightly. If you do get sick, you need make sure your illness is attended to as early as possible. Anti-Influenza medication needs to be administered within the first 48 hours of symptoms to be effective. Be aware that anti-influenza medications do not kill the Influenza virus, they just shorten the course
of illness by a day or two.” Dr. Warman cautioned SFGN that a flu infection can worsen and complicate existing health conditions. “Most importantly”, he said, “patients living with heart and/or lung disease or a compromised immune system, must take extra precautions.” Dr. Warman goes on to say “in order to stay healthy: take your prescribed medications regularly, get a proper amount of rest, avoid obvious exposure to ill-contacts as much as possible and take advantage of a pro-active approach to your medical care”. This year, health officials are predicting the number of Influenza deaths will remain high. From 2010 to 2018, flu-related deaths in the United States have ranged from 12,000 to 61,000. “Be safe,” Dr. Warman said. “Take your meds. Practice good hygiene. Get a proper amount of exercise, rest, and stay within your limits.”
For tips on fighting the flu, visit Health.gov. Graphic via the CDC.
1 . 22.2020
Stephen Tendrich proudly representing the Pink Nail Society. Photo via the Pink Nail Society, Facebook.
80s Party With a Purpose Benefit for the Pink Nail Society at the Alibi Jan. 29
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1 . 22.2020
ancer sucks. takes place at Georgie’s Alibi and Monkey In today’s contentious world, it’s Bar in Wilton Manors. one of the few things that nearly Attendees are encouraged to wear an everyone can agree on. The Pink Nail Society 80s-themed attire. is hosting an 80s-themed prom benefit to “80s prom attire is easy to find on Amazon, raise money to advocate for prostate cancer or you can raid the closet of a friend or prevention. family member,” Tendrich said. It takes place on “I purchased an outfit at Vintage “We are taking Diversity.” Wednesday, Jan. 29. The party has two goals: to have The American Cancer Society a stand for a good time and to raise estimates that in 2020 there will the men of money. The entertainment be more than 191,000 new cases of from 6 to 11 p.m. includes a cancer. It’s second only to South Florida prostate 50/50 raffle, photo-booth, skin cancer for men. and across and silent auction. The When Stephen Tendrich’s father silent auction is open from 8 was struggling with the side effects the United to 10 p.m. of prostate cancer treatment, States.” Charisma Adore, Babylon, Tendrich decided to act. He formed Jesse Smith, and many the Pink Nail Society and decided - Stephen Tendrich others are among the to spread the word about prostate Founder of the entertainers. There will be cancer, its risk factors, signs, and pink nail society a VIP section in the Monkey symptoms. Bar Room from 6 to 8 p.m. “We are taking a stand for VIP ticket holders can enjoy appetizers and the men of South Florida and across the beverages. VIP tickets are $20, and VIP ticket United States,” Tendrich said. “We share holders get first dibs on silent auction items. this message so that men everywhere will Broward Health will be present to share have the chance to save their prostates.” healthy facts on your health. The benefit
For more information, visit PinkNailSociety.com/events.
. y r o t c i v d n a e c n e e of both turbul
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SFGN takes a look back at ten years of success.
he W all
: O E C E H T NOTE FROM
ER T F A s r a e Y n e T A
hen I moved to Florida in 1992 I was still, mostly, in the closet. I had started my slow move out of it during the Anita Bryant anti-gay campaign.
was so angry at the time that I began telling a few selected friends and members of my family I was gay. But I was still in the closet at work and with my parents and brothers. Then I relocated to Fort Lauderdale and all of a sudden a new world opened up for me. I met a wonderful man who, on our first date, took me to Wilton Manors. Even though the Island City was very different back then I thought it was a gay Disneyland. I remember picking up David magazine and Hot Spots and being amazed by them. I had never seen anything like that. A year later I stormed out of the closet and never looked back. Then Express Gay News came out, I read every word, became an activist and got involved in every battle and struggle for equality. AIDS,
Donâ€™t Ask Donâ€™t Tell, Police Entrapment, Marriage. It felt good to have a paper in my hands, it was reassuring to realize that there was a real community out there, it was exciting to learn about groups to join and meeting to attend. Ten years ago my journey reached another milestone. Our community needed to be seen and heard. We needed a vehicle to put our words in print. We demanded to be counted, and we needed to be not just acknowledged as a community but to be treated fairly. It took a leap of faith to join forces with Publisher/Attorney Norm Kent and start South Florida Gay News. The rest is history. Publishing a weekly newspaper is a team sport and each issue is a testament to our talented staff and contributors. We strive to provide you with a little sanity
We strive to provide you with a little sanity amid all the social media chaos through ethical and bold journalism.
1 . 22.2020
amid all the social media chaos through ethical and bold journalism. We are proud to stand out as the leading source for gay news in our region. Our tradition of telling your stories, in print and online, providing in-depth, comprehensive news and entertaining features helped shape this community and created stability and pride. We aim to inform, inspire, involve, and hopefully we can continue doing it for many years to come. Recording our history helps define us as community because history was never as straight as we are told and recording it means reporting the truth. On our 10th anniversary, we are celebrating our loyal readers and valuable advertisers first and foremost. You are our motivation, the reason we go the extra mile, and do better than our best. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you for all these years. May The Good News Be With You.
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e n i N p o t s ’ n g f s t A look back a
s r e v o c g n i k ea r b 2019 SFGN Staff
March 6: The end of the Johns Committee was strongly marked with a push from Florida politicians for the state to apologize.
May 22: The cover of the Pet Edition, SFGN’s celebration of the pets that complete many LGBT homes, happened to feature a painting of Pier Angelo and his partner. Artwork by Dünny Potter.
May 26: SAVE Dade made headlines in a sour way after its annual gala honored four men previously accused of a homophobic attack in Miami.
July 10: Megan Rapinoe made international headlines after her World Cup soccer win was sealed with a kiss from her girlfriend.
August 14: Although the military reported no discharges following the ban of transgender troops, advocates doubted the military’s honesty.
September 11: Following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, the local LGBT community came together to aid those still suffering.
October 2: ‘Pose’ star Angelica Ross was honored with the Trailblazer award at Unity Coalition/Coalición Unida’s 9th annual Celebrate Orgullo festival.
October 23: SFGN featured an investigative column analyzing the ways the muscle magazine industry transformed into an outlet for gay men in past decades.
November 6: SFGN endorsed Pete Buttigieg the openly-gay mayor from South Bend, Indiana for President.
t n u o C
s g n i ess l B r u Yo
an C u o Y e Whil y r a s r e v i n n A h t 0 1 s ’ SFGN n o m r o mN
hen you are up to your ass in alligators, it is hard to remember your purpose was to drain the swamp.
When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is hard to remember your purpose was to drain the swamp. I have to be honest. On the night we were celebrating our 10th anniversary last week at an amazing ceremony at Grieco Ford of Fort Lauderdale, when I was greeting hundreds of well-wishers, I was worrying about making payroll the next day. There is no denying that publishing a print newspaper in a digital age, while giving it away for free, is a challenging task. We have been blessed by a community that has supported us, and continues to do so. There are a group of legacy advertisers that have to be thanked, saluted, and praised. You have an independent LGBT press in this town because of them. These individuals and businesses have literally been side by side with SFGN since we published our first edition ten years ago. Many of the good people backing our cause have moved to different careers and new venues. We move on, but I have not forgotten them. It is impossible to thank everyone, but it would have been impossible to have this paper standing today without you. SFGN has published over five hundred issues and thousands of articles illuminating countless lives, loves, and losses. That is because of you. Today, we celebrate an anniversary, but we plan an issue. We lay out another MIRROR. We explore another lead, initiate a new story, showcase a new business, or review another restaurant. As soon as we finish one story, yes, we start another. We may
not get to everything as quickly as we ourselves want, but the journey continues in good faith. There is no finish line, just goals we aspire to. We are a small paper in a big world. There are so many communities throughout this country that are losing their voices. In the past weeks, we have learned that another meganational corporation may acquire the Sun Sentinel. They are trying to buy out their seasoned employees. Week by week, digital forces and the internet age threaten independent print journalism. Still, we publish and distribute our paper to over 300 locations; to three counties weekly. We are online too-bigly. Now there is a word that was not in anyone’s dictionary a few years ago. :-) SFGN encourages you to read our online edition at www. SFGN.com, and receive our news blasts, emails, and headlines. It’s a great place to advertise too, if I may offer you a shameless plug. We get thousands of hits a day, and the news is up to the minute. Finally, the past four months, exhausting though they have been, have been ever so special to me. Returning to the airwaves every afternoon, from 3 to 5 p.m., I have been able to provide LGBT voices an opportunity to share their lives and careers on the airwaves. Here is what I have learned. We come from all corners of the world, but walk together. We share similar stories from different places. What we have in common is our own uniqueness.
Our community, our friends, our brothers and sisters have been tested. Those of us who have lived long enough have experienced indignities because of who we were, but we have proven that we are invincible nevertheless. This paper, SFGN, has been an advocate for your rights that should never have been denied. This paper has been a force for equal rights, fighting against injustices we never should have experienced. The LGBT community, like Job in the Bible, has been tested, but we have endured. Today, we have reason to be proud. Called to question, we have provided authentic answers. We have shown that adversity is a bump in the road — a minor obstacle we can pave and smooth over. Like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King taught us, we have overcome. We had a dream to be part of a community, not apart from it. We still carry it with us every day. It is a simple one, really. It is that we forge a community of friends, working together, seeking a newer world, and building a better tomorrow. Don’t let God know what your plans are though. She will laugh. Just continue to give the unforgiving minute sixtyseconds worth of distance run. It goes quickly. Do your job. Be kind to your friends. Love your pets and parents, though not intimately. Enjoy the ride. Life is a rocket ship. It soars, but one day it comes back to Earth, and we never know when. Make every moment count.
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Among his many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Through his activism and inspirational speeches, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
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d ea r t s o m op 10
Our T online of All Time stories SFGN Staff
Photo via the Miami Beach Police Department.
Ray Boltz. Photo via Facebook.
Top 5 Openly Gay and Allied Christian Musicians In 2016 SFGN published Top Openly Gay and Allied Christian Musicians. Since then, Queer Christian songwriters have continued to make their voices heard. Some LGBT Christian artists choose to leave the Christian music scene entirely after coming out. Jennifer Knapp, profiled in our original story, took a lengthy hiatus from music, saying that she was leaving her career “in God’s hands.” She has since returned to music as a mainstream singer/ songwriter. She has toured since returning, releasing the albums “Letting Go” and “Set Me Free.” Knapp is not the only LGBT Christian artist to move into the mainstream. In 2019 songwriter Amy Kuney saw Kelly Clarkson’s album Meaning of Life nominated for the Best Pop Vocal Grammy. Kuney, who’s music is inspired by her being both Christian and Queer, contributed two songs to the album. According to an article published at read.tidal.com, Kuney grew up in a strict Southern Baptist home, where her homosexuality was frowned upon. She was a big fan of Christian country artist Susan Ashton and was particularly fond of Ashton’s song “You Move Me”--Kuney wrote a Clarkson song titled “Move You”, which was inspired by Aston’s song. The original story also profiled Ray Boltz, a Fort Lauderdale resident, who came out to his family in 2004. “Their reaction was incredible. They affirmed me and told me they loved me,” Boltz told SFGN in a 2010 interview. A few years later, the artist, who sold 4.5 million records, went public with his sexuality. In 2015, SFGN followed up with Boltz for an update. At the time of publication, the Christian music artist lived with his partner of eight years, Franco Sperduti. Other artists SFGN profiled in the story includ Dan Haseltine; Vicky Beeching; and Marsha Stevens.
Gay Bashing on Miami Beach; Suspects Surrendered In 2018, after the closing festivities of Miami Beach Pride, four men attacked a gay couple, which was later determined to be a hate crime. On Thursday, Dec. 19 the circuit court held a status conference in Miami on the matter. The criminal case was continued until Feb. 10. The four defendants — Adonis Diaz, Juan Carlos Lopez, Luis Alonso Piovet, and Pablo Reinaldo RomoFigueroa — all in their early 20s, have pled not guilty. The trial was supposed to start on Jan. 21 and before that Nov. 18. Here’s a recap of what allegedly happened: the attack took place when Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov were leaving a public bathroom in Lummus Park in Miami Beach on April 8, 2018. “We were walking and holding hands and needed to use the bathroom,” Logunov told SFGN in 2018. So the two of them stopped at public restroom as they headed home for the evening. As Logunov walked out of the restroom he was allegedly called a “faggot” in Spanish, punched, and then beaten unconscious. His boyfriend at the time, Chalarca, quickly intervened, but three more men jumped in and began to attack them both. “This was my first time going to a gay parade,” Chalarca said last year. Physically they’ve both recovered. The attack was caught on camera and the four suspects have been charged with three counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime enhancement was added to the charges.
Kyle Dean. Photo via Twitter.
Jailed Porn Actor Released To Mother In 2017 SFGN wrote about the arrest and release of a young gay porn actor Kyle Dean, whose real name is Brandon Chrisan. A Florida court ordered Chrisan to continue participation in a drug intervention program. A year later Chrisan, 21, died.. Chrisan, worked for several gay adult film studios, including Corbin Fisher. He died Sept. 28, 2018. At the time of his death no cause had been released. However some media outlets reported that after his death scammers set up a fake GoFundMe account in order to defraud the community. “This is Jerfry, Brandon’s roommate as you guys may know, in the early hours on yesterday Brandon sadly passed away in a struggle to survive I’ve spent the last days mourning and trying to gather up fees for his funeral. Please donate as much as you can.” The GoFundMe page was quickly taken down. It appears there are no further updates online. Chrisan was born in Austin, Texas but spent most of his life in Bradenton, Florida. According to an obituary “He loved to play football and physically train his body. He won fourth placed in an Adult Physique Competition at the age of seventeen.”
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Kaitlyn Hunt. Photo via Facebook.
Kaitlyn Hunt Kaitlyn Hunt made national news in 2013 when the then 18-year-oldâ€™s life was turned upside after she was arrested for having a sexual relationship with her then 14-year-old freshman girlfriend. Both were students at Sebastian River High School and played on the basketball team together. The story took several twists and turns until Hunt finally agreed to a plea deal that included two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of felony interference with child custody, which required her to serve three yearsâ€™ probation and complete 150 hours of community service. However, she did not have to register as a sex offender. Huntâ€™s case received international attention with a slew of local LGBT community leaders weighing in on the matter. A campaign called â€œFree Kateâ€? was launched with a Change. org petition collecting over 325,000 signatures. Huntâ€™s family accused the younger girlâ€™s family and prosecution of coming after them because it was a same-sex relationship. The girlâ€™s family, however, said they were simply concerned parents, while the prosecution said theyâ€™ve prosecuted similar heterosexual cases in the past. Hunt went on to marry a woman and they had a child together, Kingston, now 4. Thereâ€™s Facebook page launched by Huntâ€™s mother to give her supporters updates on her life. The last update, from March 2018, read, â€œKate and Kingston đ&#x;’— Doing well, keeping busy with life!â€?
Read SFGNâ€™s weekly food column for an exclusive bite on local bars, restaurants, and seasonal flavors.
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5 Photo via LeBoy, Facebook.
All of Lauderdaleâ€™s Gay Bars in Jeopardy After Code Violations In 2018 all of the gay bars in Fort Lauderdale were almost shut down when the cityâ€™s Nighttime Advisory Task Force decided the bars would have to shut down at midnight instead of 2 a.m. which would have devastated their businesses. Sarah Spurlock, the head of the task force at the time, said, â€œThe provisions of the law give the city the rights to deny renewals based either on code violations or â€˜excessiveâ€™ police calls to the licensed premises.â€? Meanwhile Steve Whitney, an owner of Ramrod countered, â€œThe ordinance does not even define what constitutes excessive. We got no notice or warning or request to comply, just a letter to close our doors at midnight. Not exactly the way to work with a business with someone who has partnered to promote your community for a quarter century.â€? Eventually Mayor Dean Trantalis, a gay man himself, intervened and saved the day.
Life After Porn: Controversial Blue Bailey Talks HIV And Barebacking In 2014 SFGN chatted with controversial gay porn star Blue Bailey, who raised eyebrows when he chose to bareback even though he’s HIV positive. We recently caught up with the now retired Bailey, who’s now living a very different life. “I graduated from UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco’s pulsating Civic Center District,” Bailey said. “I earned my JD and I focused my coursework on copyright, trademark, and privacy issues. I served as President of the student ran LGBTQ group OUTLAW, and was Managing Editor of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal.” Now known as Francisco Ferris, his adult work landed him a publishing gig. “An editor from a University in England saw a piece that I wrote for my Law review journal and reached out to me to author a chapter in a research handbook on gender, sexuality, and the law,” Ferris says. My chapter explores the criminalization of BDSM through the use of assault and battery charges.” Ferris’ office is in Oakland, California, right across the Bay from San Francisco. He practices business law, predominately mergers and acquisitions. “In 2018, I was appointed Mr. Friendly SF Leather and served as an ambassador for mrfriendly.org,” Ferris said. “Mr. Friendly is a non profit who’s mission is to reduce stigma around HIV in friendly ways through education and outreach.
7 Montgomery Clift, Meredith Baxter, Williams Haines.
Famous Actors Who Never Came Out, And A Few Who Finally Did In 2014, in Famous Actors Who Never Came Out And A Few Who Finally Did, SFGN took a look at big name performers in the film and television industry who, while gay, largely remained in the closet. One star from our story who did come out late in life was 1950s heartthrob Tab Hunter, who remained closeted during his movie heyday. His 2005 autobiography “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making Of A Movie Star,” was a New York Times bestseller. In the book Hunter wrote of his life in the closet and the studio manufactured dates with women he was forced to go on. Hunter died on July 8, 2018, age 86. He had been with his partner Allan Glaser since 1983. Since our original story was published, actor DJ Qualls, 41, came out in a tweet in January 2020, when he wrote “Yep, I’m gay, been gay this whole time. Tired of worrying about what people would think of me. Tired of worrying about what it would do to my career.” Qualls rose to prominence playing straight nerds in films like “Road Trip” (2000). He played more serious roles in films like “The Core” (2003) and “Hustle and Flow” (2005). And sadly, also in January, gender fluid actor Harry Hain, who appeared on “American Horror Story” and in other television roles, died at age 27. The actor, who used he/him pronouns, was quite open about his gender fluidity. Some of the actors we looked in the original piece included Montgomery Clift (1920-1966); Ramon Navarro (18991968); William Haines (1900-1973); Roddy McDowall (1928-1998); Sal Mineo (1939-1976); Jodie Foster; Paul Lynde (1926-1982); Meredith Baxter; Gillian Anderson; and Joel Crothers (1941-1985).
Photo via Facebook. Blue Bailey.
Photo courtesy of Francesco Mangiacapra.
Tony’s Talks: An Anti-gay Cardinal And A Gay Prostitute Are Bedfellows In Italy
Captain Sandy Inspires on ‘I Believe’ Tour
In 2018 SFGN interviewed Francesco Mangiacapra, a self-identified “marchettaro,” also known as a male prostitute servicing gay men. In 2018 Mangiacapra sent the Vatican a personal 1,200 page dossier exposing 40 Italian priests, who had been his clients. In 2017 the escort published a memoir called “Il Numero Uno. Confessioni di un Marchettaro.” “I released this dossier because I wanted to expose the ‘bad apples,’ not to throw mud at the Catholic Church but to help her get rid of the rot that contaminates the healthy part,” Mangiacapra told SFGN at the time of the interview. “The behavior of these priests is, in many cases, the fruit of bad leadership in which priests are allowed to do the opposite of what they preach.” You can follow Mangiacapra on Instagram at @francesco_mangiacapra or on Facebook at facebook.com/ mangiacaprafrancesco.
In 2018 SFGN previewed Captain Sandy Yawn’s “I Believe” tour. Yawn is a Fort Lauderdale resident who is cast member on Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean.” “It hasn’t been easy and women captains are still pretty rare,” the maritime industry veteran told SFGN at the time. “I want to take this opportunity to share some of the leadership lessons I’ve learned and (especially) inspire women.” Yawn joined the show in season 2 as the ship’s captain. Since our story came out Yawn has appeared on seasons 3 and 4 as well. The series chronicles the lives of the crew members who work and reside aboard a 150’ mega-yacht.
Credit: Bravo TV.
Former Prep School Housemaster Accused of Abuse Decades Later In 2018 SFGN interviewed a half dozen men, who claim they were abused by a local gay man decades ago when they all attended Lawrenceville School in New Jersey in the 1970s. The man at the center of the accusations, Bruce Presley, never responded to SFGN’s repeated attempts to get his side of the story. Presley is a prominent gay entrepreneur, philanthropist, and documentarian in South Florida. One of the victims Brent McCowan passed away from pancreatic cancer at the end of 2018. Another victim, Guy Dorgan, told SFGN last year “You helped us to bring a bad situation, from long ago, out into the open, and rekindle our friendships.”
We strive to provide you with a little sanity amid all the social media chaos through ethical and bold journalism.
The front door of SFGN’s office. Photo credit: Brendon Lies.
! GN F S , y a d h t r i b h t 0 1 Happy it to 20 I
e k a m t ’ n o d u o I hope y
tzky Michael Kore
n 1998, Florida Atlantic University hired me to revive its dormant student newspaper. I’ve advised there ever since, and I’ve learned as much as I’ve taught – no lesson more important than this…
True equality is only achieved when young people get bored.
In my first few months on the job, I discovered the student body president was deeply in the closet. He begged to stay there. Our managing editor was an officer in Lambda United, FAU’s gay-straight alliance. Some Student Government leaders wondered if the newspaper could objectively cover “gay issues” if a gay man was a newsroom leader. Nine years later, an openly gay student was elected editor. During his campaign, no one asked him how he’d cover “gay issues.” No one cared. That student is now editor of South Florida Gay News. Jason Parsley certainly faced discrimination during his years at FAU – most remarkably from a home-schooled Pentecostal freshman. She was taught people like Jason will burn in a lake of fire. But after a few months of working side by side in the newsroom, they became fast friends. That changed her mind about more than just “gay issues.” A few years after that, the newspaper’s art director transitioned from female to male. The students had questions, but quickly moved on. They cared more about how their paper looked than how their art director looked. Parsley hired that art director. Over the years, he’s recruited a dozen FAU students as freelance writers. Most have been straight cis men and women. To them, writing for SFGN is just another assignment. Like covering an election in a city you don’t live in.
old people to expand their fossilized minds. You simply Beach County. Ivory was a 60-year-old black man covering wait for young people to embrace new concepts – and for weighty issues of race and poverty. I was a 28-year-old old people to die off. white dude covering bands and nightclubs. But we had But true equality is achieved only when there’s no longer one thing in common: We were both broke. a need for social protest or government protection. We commiserated over slow ad sales and meager In the FAU newsroom, I once referenced the term “Irish budgets. But Ivory said my future was brighter than his: need not apply.” Of course, no one knew what I was talking “My audience doesn’t need me anymore.” about. Our education system stinks at teaching that Certainly, racism didn’t disappear in the ’90s. kind of U.S. history, so I explained how the But that’s when The Palm Beach Post and Sun Irish were discriminated against in the 19th Sentinel began covering more “black news” century. The students uniformly replied, and investigating institutional racism with “Why the hell would anyone hate on more vigor than ever before. Irish people?” They couldn’t fathom In fact, it was an open secret that Post one group of straight white Christians and Sun Sentinel editors read Ivory’s despising another group of straight Gazette and stole story ideas. Ivory white Christians. was more flattered than angry. It made I believe we’re approaching a similar sense: If the goal was to combat racism, - Lee Ivory moment for all discrimination tied to white people needed to be allies. And not Former Publisher of the race, sex, and gender. If I live another many white people were reading The Palm Palm Beach Gazette 20 years, I expect FAU’s Class of 2044 will Beach Gazette. ask, “Why the hell would anyone hate on gay I felt bad for Ivory – more than he did for people?” Today will be ancient history to them. himself. He said if he was forced out of business, They’ll grow up looking back at our era’s gay marriage the best reason would be the mainstream media doing his opponents the way I grew up looking back at civil rights job for him. “They have more money and people than I opponents in the 1960s: “How could those assholes defend do,” he told me. themselves? Why did it take more than five minutes to slap Will the same thing happen to SFGN? By 2030, I sure down their bigotry? It doesn’t make sense.” hope so.
“My audience doesn’t need me anymore.”
In praise of youthful ignorance
Not needed for the right reasons
It’s no great revelation that young people are the vanguard of equality. German physicist Max Planck once declared, “Science advances one funeral at a time.” In other words, change doesn’t happen because you convince
In the mid-1990s, I met Lee Ivory, the publisher of the Palm Beach Gazette. His small weekly was known as the county’s “black newspaper.” At the time, I published an “alternative” monthly in Palm
Michael Koretzky is editor of Debt.com and has advised FAU’s University Press for 21 years.
f o s r a e y TEN n o ith a look back
w y c a g e l s t i s r o SFGN hon
news c i r o t s i h SFGN Staff
2010: First ever issue of SFGN
A lust to bust
separate but equal
the pink Swaztika theory
a good man
hate trumps love
2019: Mayor Pete, the gay candidate 1.22.2020 â€˘
Ten t a N G F S e r e wh e s l e d eelancer here an
My years as a fr
uch has been written about the “death of the LGBT press,” as more community papers bite the dust and more of us get our news and information from the Internet.
In fact, many LGBT journals are alive and well. Not counting the Advocate, which survives as an adjunct to Out, there are many queer papers which have been around for years, even decades: Bay Area Reporter, Philadelphia Gay News, Seattle Gay News and Washington Blade, just to name a few. To those previously named successes we should add South Florida Gay News (SFGN), now celebrating its 10th anniversary serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. Though it will be a while before SFGN matches the 29-year lifespan of the weekly news (twn), South Florida’s Gay Community Newspaper (1977-2006), it’s surely heading in the right direction. For its success we should give credit where credit is due: to SFGN Publisher Norm Kent, CEO Pier Angelo Guidugli, Associate Publisher/Executive Editor Jason Parsley and all the staff members, writers, advertisers and the community that they serve. There was a time when only gay bars and sex clubs would deign to advertise in the queer rags. Now major companies seek the queer buck in our pages and SFGN celebrates its 10th anniversary in one of Fort Lauderdale’s leading car dealers. That, IMHO, is progress. I did not have the privilege of writing for Norm’s first publication, Express Gay News, because I was a twn
udo Jesse Monteag
contributor during the years of the Express’s great success. But found myself without a local outlet for my writing talents in late 2009 when Norm announced the creation of his new journal, to be named South Florida Gay News. I immediately contacted Norm and jumped at his offer to write for SFGN, now with the flattering title of Senior Features Correspondent. Though my life has had its ups and downs during the past decade, my work for SFGN has been an almost-constant high. Under the leadership of Norm, Pier Angelo and editors Joey Amato and Jason Parsley, SFGN is a welcoming and accepting forum for freelancers, even for those who, like me, have written for other publications throughout the years. Though I regularly contribute to special issues of SFGN, like the annual “Out 50” or “Best of” issues, most readers know me for my “Jesse’s Journal” columns, a series that began in twn way back in 1980. My editors have kindly allowed me to write about anything I want, with the condition that it be something that would appeal to our mostly-LGBT readers. When Michael Greenspan, my partner of over three
decades, died from complications from dementia (2017), I wrote a heartfelt column that Jason featured on the cover, a memorial to Michael’s life and work. During my 10 years with SFGN I have written about accordions (Michel was an accordionist, among other things), Juan Ahonen-Jover, AIDS Books, AIDS Day, the Ali Forney Center, the LGBT “alphabet soup,” animals, Argentina and astrology — and that is just the A’s! Though I seldom write about personal topics, I made an exception when I wrote about Michael, my parents, or my experiences growing up as a Cuban American gay man in 1970s Miami. Where do we go from here? Though sometimes I wonder, I am confident that SFGN will survive another decade, despite Donald Trump and climate change. When I came out of the closet (in 1973), I was one of the few queers who went by his full name. Today doctors and lawyers and Native American tribal elders proudly affirm their sexual orientations or gender identities. The LGBT community will continue to thrive; and SFGN will be around to cover it.
We strive to provide you with a little sanity amid all the social media chaos through ethical and bold journalism.
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s d r wa A n o o den Sp l list of awards
Golfood critic, Rick Karlin, presents his annua SFGN’s
s SFGN celebrates a milestone 10th anniversary, it reminds me that the newspaper business is probably only slightly less volatile than the restaurant business. Both have numerous factors working against them, but those outstanding businesses not only manage to survive they thrive. In preparing for our anniversary issue, I looked through my files and thought that those places offering exemplary dining experiences deserved an award.
Outstanding New Spot Wilton Manors
Here they are folks, my “Golden Spoon” Awards for 2019. These awards honor only those places I wrote about in 2019; honoring wonderful dining experiences of the past year. Rather than tout any place as “Best” I prefer to use the term “Outstanding,” as each of these dining experiences was memorable in its own way. After each award, I explain why they were chosen, often quoting a few sentences from my original review.
2020 Golden Spoon Awards
2390 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors 954-368-2558 As I said in my review, “After a couple of other dining establishments’ failed attempts at this location, it seems that Spencer’s has come up with winning combination. One component of that combination is the manager/ waiter Chris.” Not only is Spencer’s surviving, it is thriving.
Outstanding New Spot Pompano
250 North Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach 954-366-3768 oceanicpompano.com “Oceanic will quite simply take your breath away. It starts the minute you walk up the grand staircase and through the large glass doors … an expansive view of the dining room and beyond that the massive terrace and the beach and ocean… a menu that combines locally sourced ingredients with innovative recipes.”
R ick Karlin
Outstanding New Spot Fort Lauderdale (tie)
Bombay Darbar Outstanding Reliable Spot
1245 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale 954-390-0770 “It has long been a favorite in our community…” and there’s a reason why; the food is reliably good, the service is quick and attentive, the dining environment is comfortable, and the extensive menu has something for everyone.
Bangkok Bistro 1527 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale 954-908-5865 bangkokbistrofl.com I’m often asked to name my favorite restaurant in the area. This is it. After my first visit, I was so blown away that it inspired me to write a sonnet about the place.
1521 E. Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale 954-990-7222 bombaydarbar.com “I happened to stop in during the third week the place was open. Normally I give a place a few months to work out the kinks… If the folks running this place have everything this smooth after three days, I can’t imagine what it will be like in a few months.”
TooJay’s 2980 N Federal, Fort Lauderdale 754-755-6090 toojays.com “TooJay’s is a Jewish deli. Not quite Kosher (you can get bacon, ham and cheese on a meat sandwich), but you can also get ethnic favorites such as matzo ball soup, pastrami, brisket and rugelach. The deli sandwiches are piled high with lean corned beef, pastrami, chicken, tuna, egg, or whitefish salad and are reasonably priced … Each time we dined at TooJay’s numerous people stopped by our table to check if we needed anything.”
Food Outstanding Server
Mo at Bangkok Bistro
Outstanding Bar Food
2283 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors 754-200-5244 thepubwm.com
1527 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale 954-908-5865 Maybe it’s because his face lights up like he’s seen an old friend whenever I enter the restaurant or the fact that he ably handled a table of 20 that just dropped in one night. Or maybe it’s because he’s as cute as can be (those dimples… I could write a sonnet about them).
“Sure, you’ll see standard pub fare; burgers, nachos and wings, but you’ll also find a selection of salads, fish and chips and…wait, is that a lobster roll on a bar menu? Yes, it is, and I have no problem saying that it was the best lobster roll I’ve ever had… appetizer choices proved equally spectacular.”
Outstanding New Dining Event
Le Dîner en Blanc
1515 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale 754-312-5183 eatcopperbranch.com “… the Canada-based restaurant chain has opened a location in Fort Lauderdale and vegans and vegetarians (and some meat eaters, as well) will rejoice.”
“Le Dîner en Blanc, the secret dinner held its first Fort Lauderdale-based event, taking over Esplanade Park as nearly 750 guests … converged at the beautiful location …and set up their tables and chairs and created unique all-white table-scape designs, including elegant chandeliers and miniature lit Eiffel Towers.”
Chicago Stuffed Pizza 238 Commercial, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea 954-533-1808 chicagostuffedpizzamenu.com “While there are a few places that serve “Chicago-style pizza” here in South Florida, none of them have really gotten it right, until Chicago Stuffed Pizza Company opened in Lauderdale by the Sea.”
Outstanding Burger Joint
1930 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale 954-533-8621 brgrstop.com/ft-lauderdale
“The selections are unique… some are sheer genius... Service is friendly.”
Outstanding Waterfront Dining
Blue Moon Fish Company
4405 W. Tradewinds Ave., Lauderdale By the Sea 954-267-9888 bluemoonfishco.com
I have a dilemma, I have a favorite seafood restaurant, I just can’t afford to go there often. Ah well, absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
On the Flip Side Of course, it’s not all delicious food and attentive service. This year the Flying Fork Award goes to a trio of places that closed their doors so fast that even some of the staff was caught unaware.
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-Bye Naked Grape, Galanga and Mind Your Manors all shuttered their doors with little warning leaving more empty storefronts along Wilton Drive. Carol Moran has opened Apt. 9F in the former Naked Grape spot and appears to be doing good business. Galanga has reopened, with new management and a new name, Thai Me Up, and is getting mixed reviews. Meanwhile the spaces formerly occupied by Mind Your Manors, Sushi Rock, and Eat are all sitting empty.
mns u l o C d ost Rea
EO of SFGN Pier Angelo has been writing his Off The Wall Column for 10 years. Here are excerpts from his five most read.
4 Photo via PxHere.
SFGN file photo. SFGN file photo.
Call Me ‘Finocchio’ “Finocchio” is the most common word used in the Italian language to describe a male homosexual. You will, however, not find it in the dictionary with this caption. In the Italian vernacular it is the equivalent of “faggot” or “fag.” On the other hand, the dictionary will tell you that “finocchio” is the vegetable “fennel.” The dark and strange connection to homosexuality has its origins in medieval times, when people accused of witchcraft were burned at the stake. As the pyre was prepared, it was covered with fennel leaves. Why? Its aroma helped masking the smell of burning flesh. The word took on a life of its own and now, many centuries later, it is powerful as ever — the premier Italian slur for all things gay.
SFGN file photo.
A Leap of Faith When Norm Kent told me he was considering becoming a publisher again, rebuilding The Express from scratch under a new name, I did not even stop and think about it for a second. “Count me in if you need a business partner,” I told him. A crazy idea given this depleted economy? Perhaps. But I feel it is healthier and heartier to live my life with vision and faith. People say that Craigslist killed the local newspaper. I say not so fast. Most likely, it made the pimp redundant.
My Honeymoon under the Ciociaria Sun I am from Tuscany and I am sick and tired of Tuscany. The Tuscany of my childhood does not exist anymore. It has been overrun by hordes of new barbarians from the rest of Europe and the U.S. who have snatched up farms and land to build mansions and mega villas in the “nouveau chic” area of the moment from Sting to Dutch Royalty, from Frances Mayes to Debi Mazar to the usual assorted Hollywood stars. The quaint quiet rolling hills have become the playground of the rich and shameless, with high walls, gates, paparazzi, security cameras and barbed wire. So for our honeymoon instead of taking my husband “home” I decided to go to the beautiful unexplored area of “Ciociaria” situated one hour south of Rome and one hour north of Naples, in the Lazio region of Italy. We stayed at “Casa Gregorio,” a 1797 structure in the heart of the historic center of Castro Dei Volsci. The three-story stone house belonged to the nobility of the town and after years of disrepairs it was completely renovated and restored in 2010 by gay entrepreneur Gregory Aulensi.
The Lavender Mafia “I want you to take care of that sonofabitch right away. I don’t want to see him no more. I want you to make that first thing on your list, understand?” (from The Godfather). The history of the Mafia is sketchy but many believe that it was born in order to protect the less fortunate and the poor peasants of Sicily. The American branch begun around 1893 when Don Vito Cascio Ferro fled the island to New York after the murder of banker Emanuele Notarbartolo. The Italian mafia in the U.S. is sometimes referred to as La Cosa Nostra (“Our Thing”). It continues to dominate organized crime in the United States. In a continuous effort to break down the mafia control over the southern part of the country the Italian government has been sending soldiers to fight the secretive and dangerous crime network. Something every Italian government has been trying to do, with varying degrees of flaccidity, for the last one hundred years.
5 John Lennon. Photo Coutesy Lain McMillan, ©Yoko Ono.
He Tried to Face Reality Before John Lennon was a Beatle, he was an artist. Music will always be remembered as his most popular form of artistic expression but he also loved his literature and his visual art, studying at the Liverpool Art Institute from 1957 to 1960. Around the time the Beatles started falling apart John Lennon began moving back to his first passion. On his wedding day John presented Yoko with the Bag One portfolio of wedding drawings and controversial erotic works. His primary medium was line drawing, pen, pencil or Japanese Sumi Ink. His style is reminiscing of Matisse or Cocteau; the sketches are spontaneous and loose, filled with laconic humor, the genius behind them is that they can be simultaneously informing, amusing, outraging. He drew from life and imagination where there are no boundaries.
r o F SFGN u Thank Yo
s t r A he t g n i t r o p Sup tinue to n o c s r e p a p m a e r hile mainst
itte mm o c s in a m e r their arts SFGN
J.W. A rnold A rt s & Entert
y their very nature, birthdays and anniversaries tend to inspire reflection. As I pondered the 10th anniversary of SFGN, I was quickly reminded of the big changes in the journalism world—especially in the arts— since I began writing in South Florida more than a decade ago.
When I started, it was not uncommon to encounter four, five or more critics at the latest regional theater premiere. I’m not talking about just the glitzy, big budget Broadway touring shows at the Broward Center or the Arsht Center, but the more modest productions at the local companies in Coral Gables and Coral Springs, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and all points in between. In those days, the Miami Herald still employed a full-time theater critic, Pulitzer Prize panelist Christine Dolen. Bill Hirschman wrote reviews for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and young Brandon K. Thorp of the New Times contributed sardonic criticism from a Millennial perspective years before Millennials were even a thing. Mary Damiano, a fixture in South Florida’s arts scene, wrote for LGBT and straight publications, and then there was me, the SFGN arts editor for nearly 10 years. Later, Hirschman would launch the website Florida Theater on Stage, the
Sun Sentinel would move fashion editor Rod Stafford Hagwood into a new role that included more arts criticism and John Thomason began writing exciting reviews for Boca magazine and other local publications. Coverage abounded and local theater professional Christopher Jahn even created a website specifically to critique the critics. Jahn never pulled any punches, applying a sarcastic and sometimes cynical analysis to our weekly pieces, even yours truly. It became a weekly ritual for our little cadre of critics to see what he would have to say. Then the media landscape changed. As the dailies started to shrink and the smaller outlets suffered in the wake of the Great Recession, the rich coverage South
Florida arts organizations came to take for granted began to dwindle. Longtime critics and arts writers were pink-slipped or forced into early retirement. Journalists moved on or, at best, found opportunities to practice their craft in a much more limited basis for the new nonprofit media organizations that would attempt to fill the gap. Social media analytics began dictating editorial decisions. Struggling theater companies were lucky to get any coverage at all and many vanished, too. Fortunately, SFGN has maintained a commitment to support the South Florida arts community—both gay and straight, but especially our LGBT artists. It’s easy to take for granted that South Florida can support three theater
You will be hard pressed to find one gay men’s chorus, let alone LGBT theater, art and music in most cities.
companies that emphasize LGBT-themed works, two LGBT visual arts organizations, four gay men’s choruses, a fine LGBT concert band and more. You will be hard pressed to find one gay men’s chorus, let alone LGBT theater, art and music in most cities. In the good old days, mainstream outlets tried to muscle in, seeking that pink advertising dollar, but once again, it’s resilient LGBT outlets that remain. We supported our community before and we will survive long after. Every week in the print edition and our website, readers find feature stories about upcoming shows and the local artists who create them, along with thoughtful reviews and suggestions for the next hot weekend ticket. As we move into our 11th year, I’m grateful that publishers Norm Kent and Piero Guidugli are committed to making SFGN your source for the most comprehensive, informative and entertaining arts news available.
JOURNALISM IS THE
FIRST DRAFT OF HISTORY.
years Friday, January 24th 8:00 p.m.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUPPORT A FREE PRESS? SFGN's reporting has been supported by tens of thousands of readers in South Florida. Now we're asking for your support. Please help us continue giving you news everyday. Every contribution is valuable – even $1. Your gift will ensure that South Florida Gay News is able to continue to provide an online and print resource for our community. Thanks to your valuable contribution, SFGN is able to provide you with local LGBT news that affects every aspect of your life. South Florida Gay News exists to meet the needs of the South Florida LGBT community. When you give, your donation directly benefits you, as well as everyone else.
SFGN.com/donate 1.22.2020 •
F F A T S S ’ N G F Meet S
Justin Wyse Sales Manager
Anthony KimberlyPennetti Swan
Advertising Copyeditor Sales Assoc.
Brian McNaught Senior Features
Senior Advertising Assoc.
Senior Advertising Assoc.
Bernard Wisneski Distribution Services
Nicholas Adkins Publisher’s Assistant
Digital Content Director
Palm Beach Editor
hen t , news breaks the
s d r a w a e h t t u eaks o
e don’t write for the awards, but every now and then South Florida Gay News pits its stories, designs and features against other publications to see how well we’re doing. It turns out there’s no shortage of excellence at SFGN. In the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards, SFGN carried off 12 winning places, while in the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Competition, our staff has collected a total of 22 placements. Last but far from least, in the Florida Press Association, SFGN took one more award. In total we’ve received 18 first place wins which are listed below.
Society of Professional Journalists, 1st place 2014
Commentary & Criticism – Arts
J.W. Arnold, Dance, Theater and Opera Reviews, South Florida Gay News
Florida PRess Club, 1st place 2011
Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News 2012
Beat Reporting – Minority Issues
Christiana Lilly, Christiana Lilly’s LGBT Reporting, South Florida Gay News Best Single Issue
Community News Writing
Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News
Jason Parsley, The Mirror, Fall 2013
Student – Best Profile – Low-Frequency Papers
Regina Kaza, Mandi Hawke Raises Awareness for LGBT Youth with Her Life Story, South Florida Gay News
Writing – Minority Reporting
South Florida Gay News
Christiana Lilly, The Real Doogie Howser: At 16 Jack Andraka Invented a New Way to Detect Pancreatic Cancer, Mirror Magazine
Dylan Bouscher, Trans Student at FAU to bring LBT Sorority to Boca Raton Campus, South Florida Gay News 2016
Best News Story (Low Frequency)
Jillian Melero, Will Marriage Equality in Florida Render Domestic Partnership Obsolete, South Florida Gay News
Best Coverage of LGBT Issues
Jillian Melero, Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015, South Florida Gay News
Nicole Wiesenthal, Writing – Religion
Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News Minority Writing
Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News 2017
Illustration – Info-graphic Presentation
Brendon Lies, South Florida Gay News 2018
Writing, General News
Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News
Christiana Lilly, South Florida Gay News
Writing, Minority Reporting, Class C-D
Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News
Society of Professional Journalists, 2019 sigma delta chi reward and bronze medallion non-deadline Reporting
Jason Parsley and Damon Scott, Sex Predator at the Pride Center 1.22.2020 •
First ‘A Day in LGBT South Florida’
100th Issue December 28, 2011
January 25, 2010
hired as a sales associate. He is currently the Sales Manager.
SFGN.com The Magazine June 2011
Launch of the Guide June 2012
First Best Of
Week of Thanksgiving 2009 Norm Kent and Pier Angelo meet to discuss launching a brand new LGBT newspaper in South Florida
hired as its managing editor. He is now the Executive Editor.
Launch of The Mirror January 2012
SFGN.com The Magazine is rebranded as The Mirror.
Launch of New Website
Launch of the Gazette
August 6, 2014
SFGN launches its twice monthly supplement, the Wilton Manors Gazette, that will cover all things Wilton Manors including the city government.
First Out50 February 2014
New Front Page Design
500th Issue August 21, 2019
August 19, 2015
ch of New Logo
ary 20, 2013
Brendon Lies hired as the Art Director.
July 3, 2014
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FGN Publisher Norm Kent is known for his biting columns and isn’t afraid to offend anyone. Below are excerpts from his five most read columns online.
2 Photo credit: Norm Kent.
#MSDStrong - The Pain of the Parents There is a side of this tragedy no one has been covering, and it’s a wound no band-aid can patch.
FLPD Turns Tricks at Johnny’s
It’s not just the kids. The parents of Parkland will never be the same either. Their view of the world is shattered. Their universe is compromised. The corner of Pine Island Road and Holmberg Avenue, where the spacious campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School meets, will never be the same.
Discrimination against gays is most invidious when it targets us as a class. For years, the easiest tact for law enforcement was to target gay men offering to commit lewd acts in venues like public parks, gay bookstores, or on gay beaches.
That corner is no longer the nondescript intersection where they pick up or drop off their kids for school. Any ride down that road will forever bring back memories of the massacre that wasn’t supposed to happen here; not in this wealthy, tree-lined, suburban community.
Gay bars are also easy targets for straight cops. Of course, sometimes our conduct warranted censure. Public and licensed alcoholic beverage establishments are no place for glory holes. Blatant sex in back rooms of public bars cannot be countenanced. They are public meeting places, not pubic ones.
It’s an intersection you have always seen celebrated with “Go Eagles” signs. You never expected to turn that corner into an army of sheriff’s cars and a sea of poinsettias. That’s not the memory you bargained for...
SFGN file photo.
Dance clubs featuring erotic dancers performing in skimpy briefs also make easy targets. The nightclub laws in some cities, such as Fort Lauderdale, ban the same kinds of bathing suits you see on a public beach. The ordinances are mindless...
4 SFGN file photo.
Adam Lambert’s GLAAD Award is a Joke Few things reflect how shallow national LGBT organizations can be other than the revelation that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is going to coronate Adam Lambert with a national media award in San Francisco next month. When my business partner and I started the South Florida Gay News four years ago, we promised each other we were going to publish a newspaper that focused on illuminating the lives and dimensions of America’s emerging LGBT community. We were unified in mind and spirit that there were local and national newsmakers working towards LGBT equality, fighting for your rights, and standing up for all of us, who you would want to read about. Neither of us thinks Adam Lambert is such a person. Good, he can sing. Good, he became a national star on American Idol. As obvious as it was that he was gay, he also remained in the closet during his meteoric rise to stardom while on the TV show...
5 An Open Letter to Craig Jungwirth Dear Craig,
SFGN file photo.
The Glass Closet of Charlie Crist is About to Shatter How many new rumors every month can be started about the alleged homosexuality and gay trysts of the former Florida governor, Charlie Crist? Well, the newest ones are emerging again because Crist has abandoned those supporters who used to defend him in the Republican Party. This week Crist endorsed President Obama over Mitt Romney, and that came on the heels of him backing Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson for re-election. Forever an opportunist who has moved from one state job to another, it’s beginning to look like a ploy to transition himself as a Democrat, enabling him to run for governor again, but this time on a new ticket...
I know. You are back. But Arnold Schwarzenegger, you are not. People are bumping into you all over town. Unfortunately. Also, we see online you are now hosting a barbecue on the Sebastian Street, the gay beach in Fort Lauderdale on Pride Weekend. You were even selling tickets to the event for $49.95. Craig, my newspaper has a problem with that. You see, it’s a fraud. First, you are using the logo of Pride Fort Lauderdale to promote it. That’s bullshit, and you know it. You are lying. You are knowingly committing this fraud with the complete knowledge it is a lie. Pride Fort Lauderdale’s director has asked you, as have I, to take it down. You ignored us both. Here is the thing that troubles me about this scam. You own the site and logo for Beach Bear Weekend. You not only purchased it, you went to court to fight to protect the right to use that name. Keep it. You have tainted it beyond repair. No one else wants it, anyway...
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s ’ r o t i d E E & Our A
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Photo credit: Bravo TV.
Captain Sandy Inspires on ‘I Believe’ Tour Captain Sandy Yawn runs a tight ship — make that a multimilliondollar mega-yacht. The Fort Lauderdale resident inspired fans around the world last year on Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean” and now she will take the stage she learned from her trail-blazing career on the “I Believe” Tour, kicking off at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center on Friday, Feb. 16. “It hasn’t been easy and women captains are still pretty rare,” the maritime industry veteran admitted. “I want to take this opportunity to share some of the leadership lessons I’ve learned and (especially) inspire women.”
Photo via Facebook.
Singer Reflects on Iconic Album, Career and Coming Out For a generation of LGBT people, k.d. lang’s 1993 critically-acclaimed, Grammywinning album, “Ingénue,” offered an introspective and ultimately uplifting escape from homophobia, discrimination and the still-devasting AIDS epidemic. Hits like “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine” could be heard on radio stations by day and high-energy remixes fueled the action at gay nightclubs well into the wee hours of the night. The singer was already a hero to the LGBT community after she publicly came out in the Advocate in 1992, but this album made her a legend. Now, 25 years later, Lang is back on the road with her “Ingénue Redux” tour, sharing that iconic sound with the very fans who remember it best. She’ll perform the album in its entirety on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Credit: Karl Simone.
Original Wonder Woman Comes to Seminole Casino Like many awkward gay boys growing up in conservative, rural towns, I frequently escaped into a fantasy world of comic books and superheroes. When Lynda Carter first appeared on television in 1976 as the most glamorous superhero of them all, Wonder Woman, my second grade self was instantly smitten with her blue eyes and dazzled by her golden tiara, magic lasso and bulletproof bracelets. So, when I received the press release announcing her upcoming concert appearance at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, I immediately replied with a request for an interview. Four decades later, here I was, practically giddy as I awaited her call. The prospect of actually speaking in person to my childhood idol was practically overwhelming.
Credit: Discovery Communications.
Reality Star Bares All Again In Search of Prize If you look closely enough, you just might catch a glimpse of reality star Jake Nodar’s junk— but don’t count on it. You’ll just have to take him at his word that it’s “gorgeous.” Nodar returned to television this week on Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid XL.” He appeared last season in the network’s “Naked and Afraid,” which followed two contestants for 21 days in remote and unforgiving territories. This time around, he joins 12 of last season’s best contestants, again naked and without supplies, for 40 days in the badlands of South Africa. They must find their own food, water and shelter while avoiding lions, leopards and hyenas.
‘Shooting Porn’ vs. ‘Making Porn’: Playwright Explains Difference Playwright Ronnie Larsen has a conundrum: Audiences confuse his new play, “Shooting Porn! Live on Stage!,” with his OffBroadway hit, “Making Porn.” Already, fans are posting comments on online ticketing sites about how much they enjoyed the last production they saw of “Shooting Porn.” “If you live in Florida, you’ve never seen this play,” Larsen declared. “The confusion is a problem.” Unlike “Making Porn,” the fictional account of a gay-for-pay porn star’s experiences that has been produced hundreds of times around the world, “Shooting Porn” is the staged version of a documentary film about the porn industry Larsen produced and directed more than 20 years ago. That dramatization is receiving its Florida premiere this weekend.
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LISTINGS All Souls Episcopal Church 4025 Pine Tree Drive. Miami Beach Sundays at 8am and 10:30am. 305-520-5410 | allsoulsmb.org Congregation Etz Chaim 2038 N. Dixie Hwy (Pride Center Building B), Wilton Manors 954-564-9232 - etzchaimflorida.org RabbiNoahKitty@etzchaimflorida.org Friday Night Shabbat Service 8p.m. Holy Angels Catholic Community 2917 NE 6th Avenue Wilton Manors 954-633-2987 - HolyAngelsFL.net Sunday Mass at 11AM Christ Lutheran Church 1955 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale (954) 564-7673 - christlutheranfl.org email@example.com Worship: Sunday 10:00am DARSHAN CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION 1410 NE 26th Street Wilton Manors, Fl 33305 917-579-3750 www. darshancenterwiltonmanors.org RevDrGTelesco@gmail.com Interfaith Spiritual Services on Sundays 6:30PM Spiritual Study Group Thursdays 7PM
Church of our Savior, MCC Church of Our Savior, MCC 2011 S. Federal Hwy. Boynton Beach. churchofoursaviormcc.org | 561-733-4000 Sunday Service 10AM Fountain of Love Ministries 5481 FL-7, Tamarac, FL 33319 954-486-5959 fountainofloveonline.org Pastor Dallas Walker-Green Worship: Sunday Mornings at 11:00 am St. Nicholas Episcopal Church 1111 E. Sample Road, Pompano Beach 954-942-5887 - stnicholasfl.org firstname.lastname@example.org Sundays 8:00AM & 10:30AM (9:30AM only from Memorial Day through Labor Day) First Congregational United Church of Christ 1415 North K Street, Lake Worth 561-582-6691 - fcclw.org email@example.com Service Time: Sunday 10:30AM United Church of Christ Fort Lauderdale 2501 NE 30th Street, Fort Lauderdale (954)563-4271 - uccftl.org firstname.lastname@example.org Service Times: Thursdays 10:30AM (Elliot Hall) & Sundays 10:30AM (Sanctuary)
FAITH & PRIDE spirituality All
Souls’ Epi copal Church
All Are Welcome! SERVICES SUNDAY AT 8 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.
Open Heart Meditation Group
Souls’ Epi copal All
4025 PINE TREE DRIVE, MIAMI BEACH 305-520-5410
CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOR, MCC 2011 S. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Holy Angels National Catholic Church 2917 NE 6th Ave Wilton Manors, FL 33334 Facebook.com/HolyAngelsFL www.HolyAngelsFL.org
Wherever You Are On God’s LGBTQIA Rainbow, You Are Welcome...
SUNDAY SERVICE 10 A.M. Rev. Rick Rhen-Sosbe, Pastor
ach morning most of us wake up and begin a routine that moves us through the day with very little awareness of ourselves and the world around us. A virtual Groundhog Day of experiences that, even though cast-of-characters and circumstances may vary, ultimately results in the same storylines and ensuing drama. All the while, a litany of unconscious fears and insecurities play out inside of us: “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not lovable,” “If only I had this, or achieved that, my life would be happy,” “The world is an unsafe place,” “People will never understand me,” “I need to fit in,” “What if I get sick,” “What if I lose my job.” The list goes on and on. This is the human condition. As our life progresses we attempt to seek purpose in relationships, activities, and pursuits that provide momentary pleasures and fulfillment, but ultimately leave us asking the question, “Is this all there is?” Our life might take us down dark roads of pain and suffering or we might seemingly glide above the fray by following the collective path of “creating a good life”. In either case, we all find ourselves in the same predicament. The quest for connection and meaning. It is this place where our hearts become fertile ground for the seeds of awakening to sprout and grow. Like Neo in the matrix we are suddenly aware of something more. That just under the surface of our daily experience lies a
deeper truth. A truth that has the power to transform the way we see ourselves and our world. Albert Einstein said “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” The mind cannot solve our dilemma. It is only when we settle into ourselves and relax the mind that we become present to a power within that has the capability of freeing us from the matrix. From the conditioned responses that run us on a daily basis. We are more than our mind and our bodies. The essence of who we are goes beyond language or mental conception. It cannot be understood, but it can be experienced. Quantum Science and Bioenergetics are now confirming what the ancient mystics have been alluding to for centuries. We are energetic beings, living in a vibrational universe. A universe of frequency and light. And when we come together in a space of curiosity and openness there is a magic that happens. We are elevated in our frequency to a higher octave. The mystery starts to reveal itself and we are able to perceive a greater sense of reality. This expanded awareness allows for new insights into the patterns, challenges and situations that used to baffle us. This higher vibrational setpoint allows us to source solutions from a peaceful state, rather than the fearful ramblings of the mind. It establishes a new way of navigating reality with grace and ease.
Mark Engebretson facilitates a weekly “Open Heart Meditation” at The Pride Center every Saturday from 3:30-5PM. Room #200. For more information visit www.heartofthemystery.com
“Love without judgement”
www.ChurchOfOurSaviorMCC.org MCC, Transforming Ourselves as We Transform The World
A home for your spirit. Mass Schedule: Sabado 6:00 PM misa en español • Sunday 11:00 AM mass in English • All are welcome!
Christ Lutheran Church 1955 East Oakland Park Blvd. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33306 www.christlutheranfl.org
Sunday Service @ 10am Fellowship after Service
Join us for Shabbat service Every Friday night at 8pm Saturday, February 8th
$15 Door includes 7 games Specials 3 cards for $1 Food available for purchase: Hot dogs, drinks, chips Doors open 6:30pm/Play starts 7pm Cash only please
Learn more about our many programs & events www.EtzChaimFlorida.org
Congregation Etz Chaim
2038 N. Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors, FL 33305, on the Pride Center campus For more information: www.EtzChaimFlorida.org or 954Ͳ564Ͳ9232 1.22.2020 •
Pneumonia Claims Jackson Padgett’s Life Alibi’s Former Owner Passes Away SFGN Staff
Photo credit: Norm Kent.
he rocket ship that was Jackson Dec. 8, 2019, Padgett posted a picture with Padgett has come to rest. a quote that seemed to reflect his journey: One of Wilton Manors most noted “Life has knocked me down a few times. It nightclub owners passed away last weekend. has shown me things I never wanted to see. Padgett owned the Alibi for many years, I have experienced sadness and failures. But before moving on to short tenures with one thing for sure… I always get up.” B. Bar and the Tropics Grille on the Drive, Before becoming involved with the LGBT the last bar he owned before retiring to his community, Padgett had a background as a hometown, Charleston, South hotelier for 30 years. From 2004 Carolina. to 2008, he had served as the As a bar owner for the Director of Operations for As a bar owner Alibi, Padgett generously the Seminole Hard Rock sponsored and Hotels, helping build for the Alibi, Padgett prominently hosted their operation and generously sponsored many community brand. and prominently hosted and charitable events, Eventually he raising funds for acquired the Alibi, many community and multiple causes. with his then partner charitable events, raising “I love to give back Mark Negrete, and funds for multiple to the community,” he a few sports bars and causes. told Hotspots Magazine at restaurants of his own. the time. He even moved his He retired a few years ago business offices for the bar to a to Charleston, South Carolina, second floor venue at the Pride Center where he had grown up and been at Equality Park. raised. On his way there one evening from the Changing his focus of life, in December Alibi, in 2016, he crashed his vehicle into of 2018, his love for animals induced him another car. Manors police stopped and to become the Executive Director of the arrested him for a DUI, but eventually “Second Chance Animal Shelter.” He found cocaine on his person as well. He remained out of the South Florida spotlight. successfully completed a short probationary Turmoil may have followed Padgett, but he sentence. rose from the ashes each time. In one of his last Facebook posts, on “The Alibi Angels are deeply saddened,”
said Tim Martin, coach of the Angels softball team. “Jackson was a longtime supporter of gay softball and other charities. He deserves recognition for his generosity.” Posted Bobby Blair, the former publisher of the Florida Agenda, now residing in Southern California, “I am heartbroken. Jackson supported everything we ever did in South Florida. His passion and enthusiasm
will be dearly missed. He and his partner helped so many people and donated so much money and resources to help our community.” “It’s sad,” said Johnnie, the new Alibi owner, who acquired the bar from Padgett a few years ago. “It’s always sad when a community loses a neighbor and friend. He was a vivacious person.”
“I am heartbroken. Jackson supported everything we ever did in South Florida. His passion and enthusiasm will be dearly missed.” - Bobby Blair former publisher of the Florida Agenda 40
Wilton Manors Gazette
Volume 7 • Issue 4 January 22, 2020
The Gazette’s Top 5 Read Stories of 2019 By WMG Staff
Murder or Accident? Henry Vidal’s Death Remains Unsolved
Wilton Manors PD Shows Off Pride with New Rainbow Rider
Henry Vidal, a popular Wilton Manors bar tender, died in 2015. It was initially thought to be a homicide but the case languished for years. The Gazette reached out to Vidal’s mother last year for an update and she told the Gazette at the time she now believed her son’s death was an accident. The police, however, would not confirm this.
Photo via Facebook.
Boomerang’s Thrift Store to Leave Wilton Drive High rents, short-term leases, parking problems and construction are all reasons why Matt LaMariana is moving his popular thrift store to nearby Oakland Park in March.
Photo via Rumors, Facebook.
Police in the second gayest city in America have gussied up a squad car with the colors of the rainbow in support of the community they protect. Photo credit: Carina Mask.
LGBT Friendly Housing Complex Breaks Ground
Photo via Facebook.
The Residences at Equality Park is the first of its kind in Florida — an affordable housing project with supportive services for LGBT seniors. The 48-unit development is slated for completion in 2020. The project has broken ground and construction is underway.
Photo via The Pride Center, Facebook.
Rumors Bar and Grill to Close Aug. 18 “Over the last 6.5 years we have had the pleasure of serving our community. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers for making us their destination,” a Facebook post from Rumors read before they closed. “The surrounding businesses for welcoming us. And most of all our incredible staff! Without your outstanding service, none of this could had been possible. The lasting memories we have made will be with us always.”
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • www.WMGAZETTE.com • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •4 1 1.22.2020 •
Hatred and Bigotry is Not Welcome in Wilton Manors
January 22, 2020 • Volume 7 • Issue 4 2520 N. Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954-530-4970 Fax: 954-530-7943
By Sal Torre Andrew Brett, president of Broward Log Cabin Republicans, gives a thumbs up at the rally. Photo credit: Justin Musial.
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” Many years ago, during the McCarthy hearings, our nation was driven by false claims, innuendos, crazy accusations and lies. Back then, it was the so-called Communists who were infiltrating all levels of our government and society. Attacks on public liberties were driven by leaders who looked to label fellow citizens as traitors, Communists and subversives seeking to destroy our way of life. Not far in our distant past, we saw signs throughout America stating, “No Irish, No Jews, No Coloreds Need Apply.” Is this any different from the current bashing of Muslims, immigrants and transgender individuals? I am not so sure that current demagogues and their supporters are driven by in hell that Sharia Law might actually be forgetfulness. This current madness is something to be concerned about. The hatred, racism and sexism that comes driven by an educated and cultivated understanding of how such actions can be from our current President and his followers utilized to drive public opinion that is left poses a much more immediate threat to my vulnerable by so much uncertainty in our way of life here in Wilton Manors. Thankfully, we have started to see some world. This week, right here in Wilton Manors, hope from religious thinkers as in the recent we were exposed to the hatred and editorial in Christianity Today calling for the removal of President Trump. delusionary opinions of My upbringing in a liberal those seeking to spread Catholic family taught me their vision of what The hatred, to love my neighbor, to help America should be. those in need, and to be racism and Andrew Brett, President of active in my community. the local chapter of the Log sexism that comes The demonstration this Cabin Republicans, looked from our current week on the steps of our City to proclaim his beliefs President and his Hall, was all about hatred, while draping himself in divisiveness, and a total the Rainbow Flag in front followers poses disregard of inclusiveness in of City Hall on Wilton a much more our community. Drive. immediate threat The utter insanity that His speech was filled these Log Cabin Republicans with accusations of how to my way of life would drape themselves in socialists, Muslim hordes here in Wilton the Rainbow Flag, a flag which and Sharia law will destroy Manors. represents inclusiveness and American society. uniting a greater community, Those of us old enough is beyond insulting. to be aware of the Red Scare Free speech is one thing, but we do not that destroyed so many honorable citizens’ lives and reputations realize the all-too- allow people to scream “Fire” in a crowded familiar falsehoods and scare tactics that hall. Nor should we allow such demagoguery these demagogues are using to bamboozle and lies to go unopposed and unchecked. Thankfully, a band of citizens, led by fellow Americans today. Residents of Wilton Manors should be my choice for Activist of the Year, Michael more afraid of the conservative Religious Rajner, were out in front of City Hall to Right gaining a stronger hold over our make sure that Andrew’s lies and incoherent national government than of any chance ramblings did not go unchecked.
WMG Publisher • Norm Kent email@example.com Chief Executive Officer • Pier Angelo Guidugli firstname.lastname@example.org Associate publisher / Executive Editor • Jason Parsley email@example.com Copyeditor • Kerri Covington
Art Director • Brendon Lies firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor • Sallie James
Sal Torre • James Oaksun
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This event made it clear that we must decide which side of the fence we are on. On one side is a world gone mad, where lies, dishonesty, bigotry, hatred, corporate money, and so much evil guides a call to action. On the other side is reason, rationality, honesty and the belief in the rule of law and of the common good. I did not mention Republican or Democrat on either side of the fence, because this argument goes beyond such labels. It goes to the core of how we view ourselves, our community, our institutions and our nation. As we celebrate the life of a great American leader, the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us remember his words and his work towards uniting us all in a better world. Dr. King did not preach greatness at the expense of others in our society. His work on transforming those structures in society that allow some to flourish while denying opportunities to others rings true today as we see the wealthy 1% enrich themselves at the expense of so many in our society. I grew up believing that America was the shining light in the world, that democracy, religious freedom, and our pluralistic society were the envy of the world. Returning to these beliefs will make America great again. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go before we can reclaim these truths; but thanks to the efforts of many in our community, we have a fighting chance to reclaim the glory that is ours, and in so doing will make life just better here in Wilton Manors and from sea to shining sea. WMG
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On Saturday, Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. the City of Wilton Manors is hosting its annual Tree Giveaway at Mickel Park. Residents will be able to choose up to two trees and one shrub for free. Supplies are limited.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • www.WMGAZETTE.com • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 42
January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020
Future Planning for Our City’s Best and Nothing Less! By Justin Flippen
As we begin the new year, I want to first wish you and your family blessings, good health, and happiness in 2020. An important mission of your city government, and one I am committed to as mayor, is protecting and improving our shared quality of life which includes city services, public safety, neighborhood preservation, economic development, mobility (how we get around town), and all that makes our community a place we are proud to call home. To stay on mission and ensure Wilton Manors thrives, we must put in place the best planning tools and elements for our sake and that of our future residents. We have ridden the wave of constant and increased property values as a key revenue source, but the tax burden on property owners, despite our decision to not increase the tax mileage rate, cannot sustain us indefinitely and frankly should not be all we look to in order to keep Wilton Manors vibrant. Your city commission, with the input of residents, has been having some pretty big and important public discussions on this subject, because if we aren’t proactive, we realistically cannot continue to maintain what we all love about Wilton Manors. So then what must we do to keep the city strong and sustainable (both economically and environmentally)? How can we make Wilton Manors a more livable city, more affordable to all regardless of age from those in our workforce to those enjoying retirement, who look call the Island City their home? Our key opportunities are: • pursuing strategic growth, • fostering redevelopment, and • executing our economic development strategic plan.
if we aren’t proactive, we realistically cannot continue to maintain what we all love about Wilton Manors.
Our key challenge is an unfavorable local economy for redevelopment because: • past success has left us with land that is expensive, and • outdated ordinances don’t allow for practical strategic growth. To counteract and face those challenges and optimize our opportunities, experts have shared relevant data to suggest that updating our land development regulations can help attract growth and allow us to accomplish our economic development goals which include working to secure a hotel to serve our healthy tourism market and to attract passenger rail. A recent grant allowed the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council to develop a train station/platform area master plan for Wilton Manors that included not only the physical master plan of the platform station but also transportation improvements, market feasibility with economic analysis, implementation strategies, as well as streetscape and beautification of the area around the proposed platform station. That plan was debuted in the second half of 2019 and is available on the city’s website. Key recommendations of the master plan were that the city should: 1) increase density on transit-oriented corridors with incentives to promote redevelopment, 2) continue to add sidewalks, lighting, and bicycle lanes, 3) consider incentives to attract a hotel development, and 4) optimize the value of key public sites including the Public Works Complex on Dixie Highway and the land surrounding City Hall. I remain strongly committed to working with your city commissioners and management in the coming year to ensure the economic and social vitality of our community by reviewing the plan’s recommendations closely to understand and implement them. Strategically planning for our city’s best and nothing less with experts, stakeholders, and fellow residents in the thoughtful, methodical, transparent, and public way we operate is another reason why “Life’s Just Better Here” in Wilton Manors.
Pictured: Justin Flippen. Photo via the City of Wilton Manors, Facebook.
In your service,
Justin S. Flippen, J.D. Wilton Manors Mayor WMG
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • www.WMGAZETTE.com • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 44
January 22, 2020
Thank you to everyone who made this celebration possible. SOCIAL MEDIA
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feature achievements in excellence
SELECTING Julian Cavazos is our THE
BEST OF THE BEST Julian Cavazos, Volunteer of the Year Ronnie larsen, Entertainer of the Year Next week: Business Person of the year Norm Kent
y brother, a psychologist, tells me that one of the most traumatic experiences people go through is choosing a new home.
“But wait,” I asked him, “It should be a great, joyous, celebratory moment.” Then he tells me that because it is one of the most consequential choices you will ever make, it can torment you. I feel that way every January when I am called upon as your publisher to select who should be “persons of the year” in our community. Tough choices they are, because we are blessed by so many who do so much. We salute two more persons this week in our anniversary month of honors. We receive hundreds and hundreds of nominees every year for our ‘Out 50,’ and even more for our ‘Best Of’ issue. This week, we go a step beyond. We celebrate the Best of the Best.’ These are individuals who day after day and week after week contribute to our core, to make us more loving, more caring, more conscientious as a community. The two individuals we add today to our annual Achievement in Excellence Awards are both ever so worthy. The first, Ronnie Larsen, is a playwright and producer initially raised as a Mormon in California. Ronnie has overwhelmed our community with a host of creative theatrical productions, at the Wilton Theater Factory, turning it into a bundle of joy nightly. Coming to our shores from Houston, Texas, the second winner is Julian Cavazos. He has shown us what volunteerism is all about, creating a ‘Fountain of Youth’ which stirs the soul and empowers the spirit. Both of these gentlemen enrich our lives daily and enhance our community greatly. You have both justly earned acclamation and acknowledgement today. Congratulations. Just as we last week saluted Misty Eyez as our Trans Activist of the Year, Tim Hart as Ally of the Year, Brandon Wolf as Local Person of the Year, and Ellen DeGeneres as our national honoree, SFGN will finish off our 10th anniversary celebrations next week, honoring a Business Person of the Year, along with a final surprise or two. Sorry, I am a tease. Ultimately, we are only able to do any of this because of you. This community has been SFGN’s real hero. You are our real winners by each and every good deed you do every day.
Volunteer of the Year
Myrna is back, and the Sanctuary will never be the same. The prominent church on North Federal Highway was turned into a film studio last Saturday. With the help of a choir from the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, the ‘Sister Act’ sequel will rock the seventh annual fall production of the mystifying ‘Reverse Quinceanera.’ It will be held Sept. 29. The Reverse Quinceanera Pageant is a comedic spoof of a Quinceanera. This year wil be a takeoff on Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act. All of the allvolunteer efforts go to benefit Julian’s ‘Fountain of Youth,’ a noble enterprise created by Julian Cavazos in July of 2017 to better the lives of gay and lesbian youth. Filming the sequences this past weekend were Louis and Andy Perrot from Lightship Media. In fact, the cast and crew surprised Andy with a birthday cake at the end of the day. More filming for this year’s show will take place in Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks. It may be a program to benefit kids, but this is no kid’s production. Dozens of extras had to sit hours doing take after take while the crew got it right. Damn, I was one of them- stuck like a hot potato. Julian Cavazos. Photo via Facebook. Right: Cavazos as Myrna. Jose Fuster, a flight attendant for Jet Blue was another. But he creatively and spontaneously came up with a solo spot that was such a good fit he had to do about a dozen takes. You can bet that is one scene that won’t be left on runs a chapter of the ‘Kids Can Foundation,’ kidscanhelpkids.org. It’s about the cutting room floor. kids empowering kids. The cinematic adventure supports the noble undertaking of Julian’s “Julian’s Fountain of Youth’ is a wonderful project, a great undertaking,” she Fountain of Youth Foundation. They need the bucks, because this year the stated. “We love partnering with him.” foundation is going to opening its own thrift shop on Wilton Drive next month. Some of this year’s programs include “Julian’s Cruising For A Cause” in The ‘Fountain of Treasures,’ will be run by many of the young men and women April, the Fort Lauderdale Youth Empowerment Retreat, and the ‘One Magical the foundation supports. Weekend’ in June. JFOY was started with money raised selling tickets to the Reverse Julian is a Navy veteran and small business owner who started his work Quinceanera. All their funds comes from the community and fundraising efforts in the nonprofit sector back in 1988 during the height of the AIDS epidemic. of its small but impactful group of board members. He volunteered with the first nonprofit organization in The board includes Cavazos, Scott Rivelli, and Houston, Texas to focus on the needs of the Hispanic Terry Martinez. community. “It’s a great cause,” Board Director Scott Rivelli Today he is now partnering with local and national said, “and it is enabling many people from all walks LGBT organizations to make JFOY thrive. Cavazos of life to come together to advance a common shared his enthusiasm and excitement: “JFOY is good. Julian is a mover and a shaker — a game creating opportunities for LGBTQ Youth to involve changer.” themselves in programs which will result in the Rivelli is also a volunteer, like everyone else production of future community leaders who will be who supports the 501C3 foundation. authentic and progressive.” Julian’s Fountain of Youth also hosts a Julian also once chaired the first LGBT Chamber monthly teen meet and greet, infused with a of Commerce Counsel in the state of Florida. Called learning component. Following his participation in the Gay and Lesbian Business Exchange or GLBX, he - Maxine Jacobowitz experiential learning courses in 2006, Julian had served as its chair for two consecutive years. He has made a commitment to himself that one day he since chaired or served on the board of the Greater would make these programs available to LGBT Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, SunServe youth at no cost to them. He has. Citizens of the World , and The Renand Foundation. JFOY creates opportunities for LGBT youth to partake in activities that Cardiovascular challenges Julian faced personally inspired him to want to include life-enrichment strategies at no cost to them or their families. There is do more for others, he told me on my radio show last month. “Everything I even a week long retreat the group sponsors. endured yesterday has all made my life so much more meaningful today,” he JFOY funds programs in a very joyous way. Just ask Mark Hunter, the said. It was a riveting interview. You can listen to it on the Norm Kent Show hospitality industry entrepreneur, who volunteered again this year, cast Youtube site. Saturday as a very good looking nun. With his spirit and vision, he has done more than overcome a measure of “Julian is a good guy,” he said, “running a great program, creating a fun personal adversity. He has swept it away and magically motivated a community environment, doing spectacular things for young people. It’s an honor to be of adults who revere and admire him. He has infectiously inspired groups of part of it.” children who grow weekly because of his efforts. He has goals still to fulfill, Julian exudes a warmth and wit, a passion and principle that is second to promises that will not be denied. none. How else do you fill a church on a Saturday afternoon when the rest of As SFGN celebrates its 10th anniversary month, hands down, and without the planet is having cocktails, going to brunch, or watching playoff football on a doubt Julian Cavazos has earned the honor, distinction and recognition of big screen tv’s? being the named the first and inaugural winner of SFGN’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award for the South Florida LGBT community. Another supporter taking part in the event was Maxine Jacobowitz, who Congratulations, young man.
“Julian’s Fountain of Youth’ is a wonderful project, a great undertaking.”
feature achievements in excellence
Ronnie Larsen Entertainer of the Year
firstname.lastname@example.org He is the energizer bunny of the LGBTQ theatrical community. In a community populated at every corner with lovingly queer performers, thespians, playwrights, actors, female impersonators, and drag queens, Ronnie Larsen may be all of those wrapped into one. We do know this- Ronnie Larsen is the lifeblood, heart and soul of the emerging Wilton Theater Factory. From drama to gay porn, from producing to play writing, he is a force du jure in our community’s thriving theatrical world. One evening he is playing a gay porn agent, the next night John Wayne Gacy. When he is not on stage, he is writing scripts, auditioning actors, or taking out the garbage. He is hands on, as you must be with any small business you own. Right now, Ronnie Larsen is on a roll. He can’t stop working. He has been moving at a fever pitch, doing it all. There is no slowing down this juggernaut of thespian activity. It’s an intimate and small theater on Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors, but the producer, owner and operator that is Ronnie Larsen is conjuring up ways to fill it every night, all with shows he has written, directed, and producing- while acting in them as well. The Bakersfield, California native was raised a Mormon, but did not last long in that role. It just helped him define the rest of his life, as a gay man passionate about his community. “I was pretty popular in high school. I was even President of my senior class running on an openly gay platform. I even beat out the school quarterback. He was an asshole.” Ronnie has never let a little thing like homosexuality slow him down. “I have you learned that if you own your life, if you are out there, people embrace your authenticity. They respond to truth and honesty, not phoniness.” That’s what his plays try to do. “They let us live our lives,” he said. Relocating to the East Coast and Manhattan’s theater scene, Larsen immersed himself into the freewheeling spirit of the gay soul, authoring and then crafting productions like ‘Making Porn,’ which carved out national acclaim and brought in huge revenues. “By writing scripts with honest and transparently gay themes, I found my true self,” he said. But producing theater is no easy road. Dreams are not enough. “You are only as good as your next show. You have to keep the audiences coming in.” Larsen has been writing plays since 1994. He wrote his first musical in 2018. Twenty-four of his shows have been produced, five Off-Broadway in New York City. Larsen’s plays have also been seen in Canada, Australia, and Italy. Five different productions have been showcased in London. Not enough? He has also made a documentary that had theatrical runs at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Cinema Village in New York City
and the Laemmle 5 in Los Angeles, along with showings at numerous European film festivals, including ones in London and Berlin. While Larsen currently divides his time between Florida, Los Angeles, New York and Mexico, the Wilton Manors Theater Factory has been consuming his time since the arts season opened last fall in South Florida. This week might be a great one for laughs at the Factory. Larsen, who has obviously been to Boystown in Chicago, just opened a new run of “Steamworks, the Musical.” He wants me to do a cameo. The man is obviously a casting genius. He knows a star when he sees one! I said yes, of course. Unfortunately, Ronnie talks so feverishly, rapid-fire in his enthusiasm I forgot who I was talking to. I thought he was producing Showboat, the Broadway musical, not a gay sex play, where everyone parades around the stage wearing nothing but a wet towel. Ronnie Larsen. Photo via Facebook. Says JW Arnold, the SFGN theater critic: “Ronnie is hilarious. You just never know what he is going to come Wilton Manors and are willing to help us find those next hit plays.” up with next, and I say that in a good way. This season he has really One show he has not produced yet but wants to do badly act in himself is surprised South Florida audiences with depth and dimension, but is Romeo and Juliet. On the hefty side physically, Larsen says “ I have always ‘Steamworks, the Musical,’ is not necessarily one of those shows.” wanted to play a gay Romeo. Juliet has never had a really fat lover.” Larsen’s willingness to produce promiscuous gay sexual themes A true entertainer, Larsen knows his weaknesses and his strengths. “Being has enabled his works to be showcased in a host of nationally able to laugh at yourself is an essential ingredient for survival.” True that. If renowned metropolitan venues. While talking penises might not you have the capacity to laugh at yourself, you will never cease to be amused. play well in Walla Walla, Washington, the interactive script has had In the Manors, our little island city, Larsen has found a new Bunsen Burner the audiences belly-laughing with enthusiasm here at the Theatre for piloting new scripts. It is where he has premiered Now & Then, 3 Card Stud, Factory in Wilton. Grindr Mom, An Evening with John Wayne Gacy, The Big D and most recently, Switching back and forth from the role of actor to administrator the very creative ‘Happy Ending.’ Two of the shows have landed on stages in is no easy task. Says Larsen “Developing plays is like raising London. You never know. children and just like children, play development is very expensive! What do we know? We know that one day Ronnie Larsen will write a It requires a commitment of time and money with no guarantee the version of a Shakespearean script making himself a very gay, pleasantly play will ever move forward into production.” plump Romeo, falling in love with a studly male partner. By his side, will be his It’s a risk the prolific and profound Larsen is willing to take. “It’s husband Melqui, and their dog, Benakee. my livelihood, and it’s always a continuous, emotional, financial risk because In the mean time, get ready for another new production at the Factory. On you never know what you have with a play until you hear it read out loud with Facebook this week, Larsen announced the February debut of ‘Come Out, an audience,“ Larsen advises. Come Out,” and yes, he wrote it, about a year and a half ago. He is always looking. “We have a bunch of material waiting to be read and We also know that on the occasion of this newspaper’s 10th anniversary, developed but it costs money. We are always on the lookout for generous Ronnie Larsen and his Wilton Theater Factory is the inaugural winner of patrons and angels who believe in the work we are doing at The Foundry in SFGN’s first LGBT ‘Entertainer of the Year’ Award for 2019.
Ronnie has never let a little thing like homosexuality slow him down.
Key west peaceful
but not silent
On January 16, residents of Key West peacefully Protested the Anti-LGBT Rights Position of Franklin Graham during his speech at the local amphitheater. Larry Blackburn
TO SEE MANY MORE PHOTOS, VISIT SFGN ON FACEBOOK. 48
OPINION letters to the editor
Log Cabin Repubs Slam Dolphin Dems Over Trump Putting the Interests of Our Community Over Partisan Politics
Without a doubt, President Donald Trump is · Did the Dolphin Democrats praise President the most Pro-Gay Republican President in History. Trump when as part of his campaign to end As a matter of fact, Trump has been more openly the HIV epidemic in 10 years, the President supportive of gay rights than former President announced that 200,000 uninsured Americans Obama was when he was first elected in 2008, or will gain access to HIV-preventive medicines at President Clinton during his eight years in office. no cost? Partisan LGBT activists, like the Dolphin Democrats, and their allies · Did the Dolphin Democrats in the media will never openly accept praise President Trump when he Did the Dolphin this reality. They have such an advance nominated Patrick Bumatay, an Democrats case of Trump-derange Syndrome, openly gay Filipino man, as a that they can’t even acknowledge, judge in the important to 9th U.S. praise or much less praise, when our Circuit Court of Appeals? President and his administration President does something important for our · Did the Dolphin Democrats Trump when he praise President Trump for community. At some point, all of us have to our country thru the best named Richard leading put partisan politics aside when our economy in decades, one that community is at stake. The Log Cabin has directly benefited the LGBT Grennell as Republicans have shown this courage community? Ambassador time and time again, by refusing to endorse candidates within our The answer to all those questions to Germany own party that do not represent our is a resounding NO. Why? Because values. On the other hand, when have and 4 others? this doesn’t fit the narrative that partisan democrat LGBT groups done President Trump is a homophobe that? Never. and anti-LGBT. On the issue of President Trump, Dolphin Aside from his pro-gay record, Trump has led us Democrats are once again putting their partisan through one of the strongest economies in modern allegiance over the best interest of our LGBT times. And this is of great importance to every LGBT community. individual and family living in America. We should ask: This is why many LGBT individuals and families in South Florida, quietly and in private, support · Did the Dolphin Democrats praise President President Trump. They simply do not want to Trump when he announced his Initiative to get bullied and harassed by these extreme and Decriminalize Homosexuality around the World? intolerant activists. I don’t expect these partisan democrat activists · Did the Dolphin Democrats praise President and their allies in the media to support President Trump when he named Richard Grennell as Trump, but at least they should have the courage Ambassador to Germany and 4 others? and dignity to admit it and praise him when he does something good for our community. · Did the Dolphin Democrats praise President More than just promises… Trump has delivered. Trump when he asked Congress in his 2019 Stop putting partisan politics over the benefits to State of the Union Address, to make the needed our LGBT community. commitment including increase in budget to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States Andrew Brett within 10 years? President of the Log Cabin Republicans
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.
Editor’s note: We gave the Dolphin Democrats an opportunity to respond. Below is what they had to say.
Dolphin democrats respond It is obvious that the Log Cabin Republicans are divorced from reality and the damage this Presidency has wrought on the LGBTQ+ community. The Dolphin Democrats are committed to continuing to reach out to our community and ensuring that our collective voices are heard loud and clear in November 2020. We would also like to direct anyone who is interested in the facts to check out this link: TransEquality.org/the-discrimination-administration
It includes Trump’s record of actions against the LGBTQ community. Dolphin Democrats
Let your voice be heard! Submit your own letter to Jason.Parsley@sfgn.com 1.22.2020 •
F O R T H E W EE K O F J a n u a r y 2 3 , 2 0 2 0 - J a n u a r y 2 8 , 2 0 2 0 J.W. Arnold
There’s No Business Like Cho Business
theater Island City Stage continues its eighth anniversary season with “Altar Boyz,” the Off-Broadway musical comedy about a fictitious Christian boy band that sets out to save the world—one screaming fan at a time. You’ll even be screaming for Jesus by intermission. Catch this fun show (with a gay twist) through Feb. 16 at Wilton Theater Factory, 2304 N. Wilton Dr. in Wilton Manors. Tickets are $48 at IslandCityStage.org.
concert Artistic director Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Cleveland Orchestra in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony at the Arsht Center, tonight and Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. Mahler himself called the symphony a “foaming, roaring, raging sea of sound.” The masterpiece begins simply enough with a lone trumpet fanfare, but quickly explodes into one of music’s most passionate, thrilling symphonies. Tickets at ArshtCenter.org.
Margaret Cho takes the stage for two shows only, tonight at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 S.W. 9th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. The queer—and outspoken—Asian American comedian brings her latest show, “Fresh Off the Bloat,” to South Florida as part of Logo founder Matt Farber’s Outlandish performance series, featuring LGBT-minded comics, drag divas and cirque acts. Ticket start at $40 at OutlandishFL.com. Photo Credit: Sergio Garcia.
“Steamworks the Musical” continues this weekend and runs through Feb. 16 at the Foundry at Wilton Theater Factory, 2306 N. Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors. The light musical about the customers at the legendary Chicago bathhouse gets a South Florida update in this new production from Ronnie Larsen. And, just like the title implies, expect plenty of fullfrontal nudity. Tickets start at $35 at RonnieLarsen.com.
The icy Princess Turandot reigns in a fantastical ancient China, where her beauty mesmerizes those who seek her love. Having deemed all men unworthy of her hand, the austere princess proposes a simple but deadly challenge to her smitten wooers in Puccini’s classic “Turandot,” presented by the Palm Beach Opera, Friday Jan. 24 — tonight at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Tickets start at $20 at Kravis.org.
Billy Stritch, Carole J. Bufford and Liam Forde celebrate the film music of the 1930s in “Hooray for Hollywood,” tonight and Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Tap your toes to these unforgettable tunes from the silver screen, made popular by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland and more. Tickets start at $35 at Kravis.org.
The Grammy Award-winning male a cappella vocal ensemble “Chanticleer” performs in concert tonight at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 401 S.E. 15th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Known world-wide as an “orchestra of voices,” these 12 professional singers range from countertenor to bass and perform an equally broad array of challenging works from the choral repertoire. Tickets are $20 at FirstPres.cc.
The South Florida Depression Glass Club’s 46th
Vintage American Glass and Pottery Show & Sale
January 25–26, 2020 Saturday 9 AM– 5 PM / Sunday 9 AM–4 PM Early Buying Saturday 9 AM-10 AM
Shop for unique glass and pottery from collectible styles: Deco, Depression, Elegant, Mid Century.
Browse, Blush, and Buy!
Featuring ... Nudes in Glass This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Glass Show
Florida Atlantic University 777 Glades Rd Boca Raton, FL 33431 Only ¼ mile off I-95, at Exit 45 E GPS address: 1995 Dade Ave, Boca Raton 33431 Info: Jerry Lizzie, 561-767-2592 www.sfdgc.com www.facebook.com/sfdgc
Free gift to first 100 people on Saturday, first 50 on Sunday Door prizes every ½ hour Glass repair onsite Glass nudes display Roseville pottery display Raffles-100 ways to win Free parking Admission: $5.00 with ad, $6.00 without Early buying: $10.00 Saturday 9-10 AM
A foot-stomping, rafter-raising, musical comedy - holy hit! RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN
SUN, JAN 19 / 6PM MAIN STAGE
Jan 16-Feb 16, 2020 Tickets and Flexpasses are available online at www.islandcitystage.org or by calling 954-928-9800
Use promo code “SFGN” for a 10% discount. Group and non-profit rates available.
All performances at Wilton Theater Factory, Main Stage, 2304 N Dixie HWY, Wilton Manors, FL 33305
Prepare for full-frontal illusions, awesome physiques, and laughing until your face hurts. Hunky Australian duo Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne (motto “good magicians don’t need sleeves, and great magicians don’t need pants”) unveil the boisterous R-rated magic show that has left millions of fans gasping from Las Vegas to London’s West End. Recommended for mature audiences
IT IS THE POLICY OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY TO COMPLY WITH ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT. THE FACILITY IS ACCESSIBLE AND ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES ARE AVAILABLE IN THE MAIN STAGE AUDITORIUM AND THE BLACK BOX THEATER SPACE. TO REQUEST MATERIALS IN ACCESSIBLE FORMAT, AND/OR ANY ACCOMMODATION TO ATTEND AN EVENT AT THE SOUTH MIAMI-DADE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER, PLEASE CONTACT STEPHANIE APONTE, 786-573-5314, SAPONTE@MIAMIDADE.GOV, AT LEAST FIVE DAYS IN ADVANCE TO INITIATE YOUR REQUEST. TTY USERS MAY ALSO CALL 711 (FLORIDA RELAY SERVICE).
Wick’s ‘Evita’ Offers a Stark Look at History J.W. Arnold
ever underestimate the power of pop culture to reframe history and create new heroes. Case in point—Alexander Hamilton. The founding father and former Secretary of the Treasury was largely forgotten by the public. The government even contemplated finally removing his face from the $10 bill. Then Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a compelling rap musical that became the hottest ticket on Broadway and Hamilton’s posthumous approval ratings skyrocketed. Four decades earlier, Andrew Lloyd Webber performed the same miracle for former Argentinian first lady Eva Peron, ambitious wife of a leftist dictator who was prematurely struck down by cancer in 1952. Had Lloyd Webber not penned the hit 1978 musical, Peron would have also been just a footnote in history and certainly not a global icon. The Wick Theatre in Boca Raton opened its production of “Evita” last weekend, the latest company to put its spin on history. According to executive producer Marilynn Wick in her curtain speech, the show was the most requested in last season’s subscriber questionnaire and, judging from the audience, many could have been in the audience at those first packed Broadway performances. The Wick has carved out a niche with big cast, crowd-pleasing musicals and this production, boasting a cast of more than 30, doesn’t disappoint, thanks to the direction of Norb Joerder, musical director Darren R. Cohen and inventive choreographer Stephen Casey. Daniella Mass, a Miami resident and semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent,” takes the balcony of the Argentinian White House, Casa Rosada, with an earnest appeal and crystal clear soprano the soars in Lloyd Webber’s tuneful melodies. Broadway veteran Sean McDermott is Juan Peron, the steely Army officer who would harness the charisma of his wife to win over millions of peasants on Argentina’s pampas. Young Michael Focas proves to be the brighter star as the everyman narrator Che. The twotime Carbonell nominee is engaging and passionate and tackled every scene and song with gusto.
Daniella Mass stars as Eva Peron in the Wick Theatre’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita.” Credit: Amy Pasquantonio.
The only weakness in this performance was the synchronization between singers and recorded orchestral tracks. The chorus numbers are especially stiff, dictated by the metronomic recording, and music seems to start and stop abruptly with the push of a button. Lloyd Webber’s many choruses can be electrifying, capturing the raw emotions of the era, but not on this day. Costume designer Jim Buff once again draws on the vast inventory of Wick’s Costume World Theatrical (the theater also houses a wonderful Broadway costume museum) to wardrobe the peasants, politicians, artists and aristocrats who reside in Buenos Aires. They say history is written by the victors. Seemingly every generation there has been a revolution in Argentina and Peron alternately fell in and out of favor. (Read up on the unbelievable story about the custody of her body.) In Lloyd Webber and book writer/lyricist Tim Rice’s telling, Evita was an unrelenting social climber, obsessed with power. A recent trip to Argentina revealed a larger-than-life figure whose influence still can be felt on the wide boulevards of Buenos Aires, in the Eva Peron Museum and outside the humble Duarte family mausoleum in Recoleta Cemetery where her body finally came to rest. But, she is also revered by many as the spiritual leader of the nation. History has been written and, in this case, it’s this story that survives.
The Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Hwy. in Boca Raton, presents “Evita” through Feb. 23. Tickets are $75-85 at TheWick.org.
OPENING RECEPTION: THuRSdAY, FEBRuARY 13 2020, 6PM–9PM
Inspired by the intense visual drama of Italian Renaissance masterpieces and the technical precision of seventeenth century French académies, The Academy presents the first ever exhibition of works created within Florida International University’s Academy of Portrait & Figurative Art.
This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida
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for rent fort lauderdale FT LAUDERDALE AND WILTON RENTALS • Wilton Manors - 2/1 $1,260 includes cable. water and community pool. • Large Studio near downtown - $1000 Includes water and electric. • Live At The Beach Lauderdale-By-The-Sea - $1290 1 bed 1 bath. Pets ok. Call Now Michael Tublin, URG 561-703-5533 or email@example.com Efficiency Apartment - Pvt Entrance, Patio, Parking, Dixie &14th Ct., A/C, Pet Considered, 1st, Last & Sec. $900. Inc Utilities. Call 954 629 4400 Fort Lauderdale 1/1 Rental - Updated 1 Bed/1 Bath, 2 blocks from Wilton Drive on NE 15th Street, Quiet 4-plex, New Kitchen with Granite Counter, Tile floors thru-out, Mini-split A/C in bedroom, Off street parking, Laundry, $1100/month, First, Last and Security to move-in, 954-815-2550. 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath Condo - S Coral Ridge on Middle River. Gay-friendly, secure, swimming pool, Must be vetted, yearly rental $1550/M. 1st & Security • 978-994-0086
for rent wilton manors Furnished 1 bed 1 bath apartment - Great Neighborhood, short walk to Wilton Drive. $1300 a month First and Security, 1-year lease. Fully furnished Contact Mike or Lee at 561-254-8125.
for rent wilton manors Townhouse for Rent - 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, fully renovated, tropical landscape, enclosed porch + patio, walk to The Drive. $1850/month includes water & use of heated pool. Call Jim 631 553 1311.
for lease fort lauderdale AVAILABLE!! NEWLY RENOVATED OFFICE BUILDING 1759 N Andrews Square, Ft. Laud, FL. 4,000 Square Feet – Will Divide/$25 PSF. CALL OWNER - DAVID @ 954-224-2500 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
help wanted TIRED OF PUNCHING A CLOCK? - Yellow Cab of Broward has gently used hybrid vehicles waiting for you to drive. Earn between $1,500 - $2,000 per week. Be your own boss! Call us at: 954-727-7191
handyman HUSBAND FOR RENT - Is he procrastinating home repairs? He says he will do it tomorrow?? After the football game?? We fit right in - in the house or the yard, small or big jobs: tile, dry wall, paint, plumbing, roof leaks, broken furniture, irrigation, fences, and more! It doesn't cost to hassle us to see the work - so why wait? Neat, clean work for a reasonable price. Call Haim at 954-398-3676, email@example.com GREGG’S PAINTING - Interior/Exterior. Free estimates, great rates! Detail-oriented, friendly, reliable, punctual and neat! No job too small. Broward & Palm Beach counties. 617-306-5694 | firstname.lastname@example.org
WANT TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE PIANO? Learn from an experienced teacher. All levels and ages welcome. Learn to play classical, popular, jazz, or show tunes. Visit www.edwinchad.com or call 954826-9555 for more information.
Visit www.squirt.org to hook up today now hiring GRAND RESORT AND SPA - The Spa at The Grand Resort is looking for a Licensed Massage Therapist for our day spa. Also looking for a Licensed Full Specialist. Waxing, nails (no fills, acrylic) simply buff or clear coat and a variety of facials. We’ll train you on our products and services. The right therapist and specialists can do well in our spa. We’ve been in business for 18 years and have received many awards. All equipment and materials are provided. We receive guests from the resort we are located in, along with clients from neighboring hotels and guesthouses. Commission and 100% of your gratuity. 3-4 days available for the right candidates. Email a resume to email@example.com. Travel Driver Needed - Tamarac camper looking to ride-share to Florida gay campgrounds – including Camp Mars, Camp David, Vitambi Springs, Sawmill. No strings attached. Can ride if you are going to these campgrounds. Will share gas expense. Call Elliott at 954-960-2969.
notary Mobile Notary Services - affidavits, documents in support of disability claims, wills, medical directives and officiant services. Call 954.804.3854
investment opportunities INVESTMENT PROPERTY OPPORTUNITY Broward County investment opportunity. Own 54% of a land lease with 50 years left. $7 million firm. Call Gene Billero for more details @ Billero & Billero 954909-1010. NEW RENTAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY Invest in new construction in central Florida. Up to 30 units can be either sold or rented at your discretion. Fee-simple properties in brand new subdivision. Close to Atlantic Ocean and shopping. $12 million. Perfect investment for your portfolio. Call Gene Billero for more details @ Billero & Billero 954909-1010.
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Crowing on 79th Street in Miami Norm Kent Welcome to Business Spotlight, the column that thanks advertisers who support SFGN. We invite you to support them, because without their outreach to us, we would not be here to reach out to you. We are a free newspaper that survives on the success of our advertisers so we encourage our readers to support those who support us.
t’s so rewarding to showcase new businesses when they have pride in the LGBT community. Maybe there was a time gay bars were shut away from the center of the city and hush hush, but the bright neon sign on the 79th Street Causeway in Miami boldly illuminates the new Floppy Rooster as an LGBT establishment. There have been few venues in Miami to stir up night life in the way that The Floppy Rooster did when it opened its doors back in 2014 at its former location by the airport. When the “Rooster” arrived, so did crowds of crowing gay patrons. Boasting an enormous 2-story-tall stripper pole with fully nude male entertainers sliding down slowly to gay musical anthems, colorful flashing lights and a discreet location, it was a sight to be seen. The Rooster’s flock of entertainers were constantly upping the ante, somehow finding bigger and bigger local talent. Triple X gay film stars popped in once a month for feature nights, and gay A-LlSTERS like Detox, celebrity eyewear designer Stevie Boi, DJ Nina Flowers, even a Real Housewife of Miami were all known to make the regular drive by to sit discreetly in a VIP booth, staring at “the roosters” over cocktails with friends. Yes, those were the days, but you will be glad to hear that energy is back at their new, spacious, well designed location. There is a new place for rooster lovers to roost, and it has everything from private VIP rooms to sleek pool tables, spacious bars, dance floors, a game room, and a quiet area to just kick back in and watch television on big screen TVs. The gay Miami night scene is back, just a stone’s throw from downtown Miami and a short ride from Broward. The last party the Floppy Rooster had in July of 2017 was cleverly named “Happy Ending.” Well, it’s time for a new beginning, a virgin affair, if you will. The Floppy Rooster 2 has a brandnew look, a modern new facility, and drinks pouring daily, with professional bartenders and a friendly staff, like John Fugate, who has moved from managing Tropics on Wilton Drive to hosting at the Rooster. It also has a great food truck outside in its parking lot that may make you want to go back there just for the freshly cooked late night eats, a pleasant change for a gay bar. Now, in its fourth month of operations, The Floppy Rooster has evolved more than anyone
on the team could have originally anticipated. The Managing partner Sam Yovan, who has been with the brand since day one at the original venue said, “We had to learn quickly and adapt. We went from just a fun bar with dancers, to a sexy dancer venue all within 90 days.” An Ohio native, with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Rochester, Sam was a great guest promoting the place on my radio show. While the new Floppy Rooster location is not zoned for full-nudity, the erotic and provocative dancers are both cut and cute, masculine and Mediterranean, striking a happy median with their customers. The ever-so-talented dancers are employing creative costuming, themes, and air up to date music with state of the art sound systems. When you have good taste, a good time and a good tease, you don’t need naughty nudity. The place still rocks. Founder Paolo Pincente and his team have given us a sexy WeHo style bar experience. Think Flaming Saddles on Santa Monica Blvd or Score with strippers. Hunky dancers, skimpy outfits, TVs, pool tables, and so much more. It’s like three fun bars in one, giving you options to choose from. A good addition for Miami, so go have some fun tonight, one dollar at a time. The Floppy Rooster is now housed within the 777 Complex located at 777 NE 79th street Miami, FL 33138. The new location is easy to reach, has plenty of street parking or a valet alternative. See you there.
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