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February 21, 2018 vol. 9 // issue 8

Begins on page 33

AGAIN Pages 8, 9, 28 - 31



NEWS highlight G Spot Bar. Photos: Facebook.

February 21, 2018 • Volume 9 • Issue 8

2520 N. Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954-530-4970 Fax: 954-530-7943

Publisher • Norm Kent

Chief Executive Officer • Pier Angelo Guidugli Associate Publisher / Executive Editor • Jason Parsley


Lesbian Bar Closes Down in Wilton Manors

G Spot made waves with its name a year ago but couldn’t keep the ladies coming


Senior Features Correspondents Jesse Monteagudo • Tony Adams


Dori Zinn • Donald Cavanaugh • Christiana Lilly • Denise Royal • Sean McShee • David-Elijah Nahmod

Michael d’Oliveira little over a year after opening, G Spot Bar is the latest Wilton Drive business to close its doors. Lisette Gomez, co-owner of G Spot, Wilton Manors’ only lesbian bar, announced the closing on social media on Feb. 16. G Spot closed Feb. 18. “I would like to thank everyone who supported us from day one and never stopped supporting us. I appreciate you! Unfortunately, it was not enough. This was not my choice and it doesn’t come easy. I worked hard to build a place for the ladies to call their own, investing my retirement because I believed there would be support. My partners trusted me when I said the ladies would support us and that was not always the case,” Gomez wrote. She went on to write that G Spot lost revenue because it was forced to close multiple weeks because of Hurricane Irma and another incident of fried air conditioning units. “If I could save the bar I would, I just do not have the resources to buy out my partners . . . Also, if anyone knows me well, they know that I have something else in the works. I still believe that this community

Art Director • Brendon Lies Digital Content Director • Brittany Ferrendi Designer • Char Pratt Copyeditor • Kerri Covington Arts/Entertainment Editor • JW Arnold Social Media Manager • Tucker Berardi Food/Travel Editor • Rick Karlin Gazette News Editor • Michael d'Oliveira HIV Editor • Sean McShee Senior Photographer • J.R. Davis

needs a space inclusive of everyone. Not just our community and I’m really sad to see G the boys or the girls but a place where there Bar go but I fully support Lisette Gomez and it doesn’t matter how you identify. That’s I know that we will come back stronger and what I’ve been trying to create here and my just work that much more harder to make Friday and Saturday nights were becoming a safe place for women and lesbians to be more diverse. So STAY TUNED, represented and enjoy ourselves this is not goodbye, this is see in our neighborhood!” wrote “G Bar was the Minnie Perez. you real soon.” Although G Spot is a lesbian “G Bar was the first place first place where I bar, when she opened, Gomez where I felt included after felt included after coming out. Thank you for told SFGN at the time, that it was a place where everyone yourself on the line to coming out. Thank putting is welcome. “We want to label create this wonderful space. ourselves as a bar for girls who you for putting I am grateful to know you, like girls but there are a lot and I look forward to working yourself on the with you to continue to create of gay boys who like to hang out with the lesbians. We’re line to create this community and make waves,” not discriminatory. There will wrote Darlene Hollander. wonderful space.” be Sunday football, drag king “Thank you for creating shows, as well as [a place for] - Darlene Hollander this and so sorry it has to end! our straight allies. We want it to My gf and I would drive down local resident be open to everybody.” from West Palm sometimes on Although it’s a place where everyone is Saturday nights and it was so disappointing welcome, female patrons still expressed to see it empty week after week. Kudos to their disappointment in losing Wilton you for investing in spaces for us. It will be MEMBER Manors’ only lesbian bar. exciting to see what’s next!” Stephanie B. “This is a huge tragedy for my friends and wrote.

Contributing Columnists

Brian McNaught • Dana Rudolph • Ric Reily • Terri Schlichenmeyer

Associate Photographers

Carina Mask • Pompano Bill • Steven Shires

Sales & Marketing

For ad placement in SFGN, contact 954-530-4970 Sales Manager • Justin Wyse Advertising Sales Associate • Edwin Neimann Distribution Services • Rocky Bowell Dilan Hebert National Advertising Rivendell Media 212-242-6863 Accounting Services by CG Bookkeeping Printing by Sun Coast Press


See our news in video Online now!

Cover: Illustration by Brendon Lies. MEMBER

Associated 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 SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. Copyright © 2018 South Florida Gay, Inc.


2 . 21.2018


In adults with HIV on ART who have diarrhea not caused by an infection IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION This is only a summary. See complete Prescribing Information at or by calling 1-844-722-8256. This does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment.

What Is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine used to improve symptoms of noninfectious diarrhea (diarrhea not caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on ART. Do Not Take Mytesi if you have diarrhea caused by an infection. Before you start Mytesi, your doctor and you should make sure your diarrhea is not caused by an infection (such as bacteria, virus, or parasite).

Possible Side Effects of Mytesi Include:

Tired of planning your life around diarrhea?

Enough is Enough Get relief. Pure and simple. Ask your doctor about Mytesi.

Mytesi (crofelemer): • Is the only medicine FDA-approved to relieve diarrhea in people with HIV • Treats diarrhea differently by normalizing the flow of water in the GI tract • Has the same or fewer side effects as placebo in clinical studies • Comes from a tree sustainably harvested in the Amazon Rainforest What is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine that helps relieve symptoms of diarrhea not caused by an infection (noninfectious) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Important Safety Information Mytesi is not approved to treat infectious diarrhea (diarrhea caused by bacteria, a virus, or a parasite). Before starting you on Mytesi, your healthcare provider will first be sure that you do not have infectious diarrhea. Otherwise, there is a risk you would not receive the right medicine and your infection could get worse. In clinical studies, the most common side effects that occurred more often than with placebo were upper respiratory tract (sinus, nose, and throat) infection (5.7%), bronchitis (3.9%), cough (3.5%), flatulence (3.1%), and increased bilirubin (3.1%).

Should I Take Mytesi If I Am: Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant? • Studies in animals show that Mytesi could harm an unborn baby or affect the ability to become pregnant • There are no studies in pregnant women taking Mytesi • This drug should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed A Nursing Mother? • It is not known whether Mytesi is passed through human breast milk • If you are nursing, you should tell your doctor before starting Mytesi • Your doctor will help you to decide whether to stop nursing or to stop taking Mytesi Under 18 or Over 65 Years of Age? • Mytesi has not been studied in children under 18 years of age • Mytesi studies did not include many people over the age of 65. So it is not clear if this age group will respond differently. Talk to your doctor to find out if Mytesi is right for you

What Should I Know About Taking Mytesi With Other Medicines? If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplements, or vitamins, tell your doctor before starting Mytesi.

What If I Have More Questions About Mytesi? For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information at or speak to your doctor or pharmacist. To report side effects or make a product complaint or for additional information, call 1-844-722-8256.

Rx Only Manufactured by Patheon, Inc. for Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. San Francisco, CA 94105 Copyright © Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

For Copay Savings Card and Patient Assistance, see

Mytesi comes from the Croton lechleri tree harvested in South America.

Please see complete Prescribing Information at NP-390-29

• Upper respiratory tract infection (sinus, nose, and throat infection) • Bronchitis (swelling in the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs) • Cough • Flatulence (gas) • Increased bilirubin (a waste product when red blood cells break down) For a full list of side effects, please talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.



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2 . 21.2018

NEWS local

TransCon Reaching Out To Job Seekers John McDonald

Photo via Facebook.


ransgender people in need of work can find culturally competent companies looking to hire at next month’s TransCon in Miami. Presented by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, TransCon is a two-day conference, March 2-3, designed to empower and connect transgender people. Barry University Miami Shores campus is hosting the conference. MJ Castells, spokesperson for TransCon, told SFGN that hiring managers would attend the first day’s job fair. “Job fair attendees will have the opportunity to meet with trans-affirming employers and businesses of all sizes,” Castells said. “Resume preparation and interview skills coaching will be available throughout the weekend for those interested.” It is estimated there are 1.4 million transgender adults in the United States. The transgender population is prone to struggles

for basic human rights. A report from the Human Rights Campaign shows 78 percent of young people who describe themselves as transgender or gender non-conforming reported harassment while in grades K-12. Only recently did South Florida cities Wilton Manors and Oakland Park include provisions for transgender employees. TransCon 2018 is made possible by the GLBT Community Projects Fund at The Miami Foundation and the National LGBTQ Task Force. It is a project of Aqua Foundation for Women and a grant receipt of Our Fund, an LGBT Community Foundation.

2.21.2018 •


NEWS local

Should Fort Lauderdale Pass a Non-Discrimination Ordinance? Experts debate value of a new city law

Michael d'Oliveira

Photo: Michael Rajner.


ctivist Michael Rajner is accusing Fort Lauderdale mayoral candidates Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts and Commissioner Dean Trantalis of not supporting a nondiscrimination ordinance to protect LGBT residents. “Fort Lauderdale Commissioners and mayoral candidates Bruce Roberts and Dean Trantalis have lied and broken their promise to bring forward an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance,” wrote Rajner in a Feb. 6 Twitter post. On Feb. 7, Rajner, who cited the $1.5 billion that LGBT visitors spent in Fort Lauderdale in 2016, spoke before the Fort Lauderdale Commission and said it’s incumbent upon the city to make a statement in support of the civil rights of all groups. “We’re worried about the erosion of other rights. It’s unfortunate the city doesn’t have an ordinance itself on nondiscrimination that also protects LGBT people. I had thought one would have been coming forward by now and that’s most regrettable.” At the meeting, Mayor Jack Seiler responded to Rajner and said that Broward County’s non-discrimination ordinance covers the city. According to the county’s ordinance, “Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, pregnancy and gender expression or identity are unlawful in employment, housing, and public accommodations.” The ordinance also makes it illegal to retaliate against someone for filing charges. “I think Broward County’s actually encompasses ours, too. That’s one of the reason’s I’ve said we have not created new ordinances. Broward county’s ordinances apply to us. I fully support Broward County’s ordinances and I’ll leave it at that,” Seiler said. In an interview with SFGN, Trantalis agreed with Seiler. “I really don’t know what he’s [Rajner’s] talking about. The Broward Ordinance, of which I was co-author and saw the successful passage of, was intended to cover all the cities. We feel we are under the auspices of the county law. He’s not even a Fort Lauderdale resident. He’s trying to interfere in what we do in Fort Lauderdale . . . badmouthing us because we don’t all agree,” Trantalis said. Rajner doesn’t dispute that the city is already covered. Instead he wants the commission to be proactive in case the state legislature passes a law pre-empting home rule authority, which would void many human rights acts around the state. “It’s shameful an openly gay city commissioner has wasted so much time with petty non-binding resolutions and proclamations when he’s had more than one term in office to codify these protections in city ordinance,” Rajner said. Rajner spoke to SFGN as an activist, but he also serves on the Broward County Human Rights Board and as the LGBTQ Representative for the Broward County Democratic Party. SFGN reached out to the three major LGBT rights


2 . 21.2018

organizations in South Florida for their opinion on whether cities should move forward on LGBT protections, even if they’re already covered by their respective counties.

“Every nondiscrimination policy, ordinance, or law at the local, state or national level should include sexual orientation and gender identity.” – Nadine Smith, Equality Florida

“PBCHRC and I firmly believe that cities should enact LGBTQ-inclusive antidiscrimination ordinances, even if they are in counties that have countywide ordinances.” – Rand Hoch, Palm Beach County Human Rights Council SAVE in Miami also agreed cities should move forward with their own protections. In an interview with SFGN, Roberts said he’s in favor of the city adopting its own non-discrimination ordinance, but he wants to wait until after the election. “I will definitely move forward. My concern is I don’t want it to fail.” Asked who on the commission he thought would vote against it, “I’d rather not get into that right now . . . My track record on these issues in the past should be taken into account,” said Roberts, referring to his vote to support a pro-gay marriage city resolution and protections for LGBT employees in the city’s procurement process. “The bottom line here is I’m supportive.” SFGN reached out to the candidates who are vying for

Trantalis’ current District 2 seat. Both agreed Fort Lauderdale should have its own ordinance.

“I think the county’s ordinance is strong, but I don’t see the harm. What’s the downside? I think it reinforces the importance of the issue. So, yes, I would support it.” – Steve Glassman

“I don’t think you can have too many antidiscrimination ordinances. I’m really a firm believer in everybody being equal. I don’t know if it will technically, legally help, but it sends the message that it’s a new world. We’ve just got to strike that [discrimination] all down, wherever it is.” – Tim Smith On Facebook George Castrataro, who lost his bid to represent District 2, also weighed in. “The basic premise of a non-discrimination ordinance in Fort Lauderdale is positive and represents a good policy for our City. It is unfortunate that an issue beneficial to so many groups (beyond LGBT) and so neutral in its intent would become political,” Castrataro wrote. “I support Dean in his run for Mayor and hope that he and Bruce both properly prioritize the handling of this proposal. Contrary to the rationale of our current mayor, it is worthwhile to note that there are countless City ordinances which replicate ordinances on a County and State level. For example, there are numerous elements of the City Ordinance on Dogs which replicates the parallel County Ordinance on Dogs. Certainly, if we can do it for our pets we can do it for our citizens.”

2.21.2018 •


NEWS local

Photo credit: Michael d’Oliveira.

Fort Lauderdale High Students Stage Gun Control Protest Michael d'Oliveira


ith chants of “lives over guns” senior class . . . [School is] my place. They and “lock up the politicians, lock took that safety and security away from up the ammunition,” a group of me.” Fort Lauderdale High School students She said she doesn’t understand how protested Tuesday in favor of stricter gun individuals like the Stoneman Douglas control laws. shooter are still allowed to purchase They were joined by students at other guns. Austin attended Stoneman high schools in South Douglas her freshman Florida, including South year before transferring to Broward and West Boca, Fort Lauderdale. in protesting just days “It was close to home. after the mass shooting That’s a 30-minute drive at Stoneman Douglas [from our school]. It hit High School in Parkland us harder than I realized which took 17 lives. Fort . . . We have to be their Lauderdale students voice,” said Austin, who said they also plan to knew cross-country coach orchestrate a walkout on Scott Beigel, one of the Wednesday as a further people murdered in the protest. shooting. “It’s so surreal,” “We’re not safe said Austin, who added anymore,” said Alley that parents of the Fort Robertson, a senior who Lauderdale students came - Kayla Austin organized the protest in out to support them with SENIOR front of the school on the food and encouragement. sidewalk of Northeast 4 “I almost cried.” Avenue. She said that no matter where Among the calls for stricter gun people go, schools, churches, concerts, control was at least one student who also nowhere is safe and it’s time to vote out wants to see more done about mental politicians who refuse to take action. illness and bullying on school campuses. “We’re not being protected anymore.” “I support this [call for more gun She wasn’t alone. control], but I think it’s also mental Kayla Austin, a senior who also helped illness,” said Marline, a sophomore organize the protest, said her fellow who asked not to have her last name students who are old enough plan to published. “I heard the shooter got register and vote in the upcoming 2018 bullied. We have to treat people how we Midterms. “Absolutely. Especially the want to be treated.”

“It was close to home. That’s a 30-minute drive [from our school]. It hit us harder than I realized . . . We have to be their voice.”


2 . 21.2018

NEWS state

LGBT Groups Condemn High School Shooting in Parkland Michael K. Lavers

Photo: Devon Sayers/CNN.

Washington Blade


GBT advocacy groups on Wednesday school mass shooting,” said Equality Florida condemned the shooting at a high in a statement. school in Parkland, Fla., that left at least A 19-year-old man who was expelled from 17 people dead and more than a dozen others the high school has been charged with 17 injured. counts of premeditated murder. Authorities The Pride Center in Wilton say the alleged gunman used Manors, which is located an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle roughly 20 miles southeast of that he legally bought in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. High School, on Wednesday President Trump is expected said in a Facebook post that to visit the high school in the “at least 17 families and coming days. countless loved ones face Wednesday’s shooting took unspeakable tragedy tonight place less than four months in Broward County.” after a gunman killed 26 “Our hearts break for people and injured 20 others the students, teachers, inside a church in Sutherland administrators and families Springs, Texas. at Marjory Stoneman Douglas A gunman on Oct. 1 killed High School,” reads the post. 58 people and injured more “May they find comfort and than 500 others when he - Statement from strength in the face of untold opened fire during a country Equality Florida loss.” music festival in Las Vegas. Equality Florida, a A gunman killed 49 people statewide LGBT advocacy group, and the inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Human Rights Campaign are among the on June 12, 2016. other groups that echoed the Pride Center. The Pulse nightclub massacre was the “Equality Florida joins our fellow deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. Floridians and the nation in grieving the 17 history until the incident in Las Vegas. lives taken and those injured in yet another Wednesday’s mass shooting has once

“We do not have to be hostages to special interests who believe that weapons of war should be available to everyone, anywhere, all the time.”

again renewed calls for gun control. “We remain as deeply committed today as we were two years ago, in the aftermath of the massacre at Pulse, to the fight for common sense gun legislation,” said Equality Florida in its statement. “We are not helpless,” it added. “We do not have to be hostages to special interests who believe that weapons of war should be available to everyone, anywhere, all the time. We can and we must stop this carnage with laws that are proven to make a difference. This violence will only stop when we decide to stand up to a handful of voices with undue influence. The time has

come to make common sense gun safety legislation a litmus test for anyone asking for our votes.” The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, a political action committee that formed after the Pulse nightclub massacre, pointed out that Wednesday’s shooting is the 18th such incident at a school this year. “We need elected leaders who are committed to public safety,” said the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence on its Twitter page. “If they are not up to the task, it is up to us to vote them out of office. Our children are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.”

The is the 18th school shooting in 2018. We need elected leaders who are committed to public safety. If they are not up to the task, it is up to us to vote them out of office. Our children are counting on us to keep them safe from harm. #parkland — Pride Fund (@Pride_Fund) February 14, 2018 Photo: CNN.

— Michael K. Lavers, Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association 2.21.2018 •


What is TRUVADA for PrEP?

Who should not take TRUVADA for PrEP?

TRUVADA for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a prescription medicine that is used together with safer sex practices to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This use is only for HIV-negative adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1. To help determine your risk of getting HIV-1, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to prevent getting HIV. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.

Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you: ® Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. If you are HIV-1 positive, you need to take other medicines with TRUVADA to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. ® Also take certain medicines to treat hepatitis B infection.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA for PrEP? Before taking TRUVADA for PrEP: ® You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1. Do not take TRUVADA to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-negative. ® Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. If you have flu-like symptoms, you could have recently become infected with HIV-1. Tell your healthcare provider if you had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting or at any time while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP: ® You must continue to use safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. ® You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP: ® Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months. ® If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. ® To further help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1: ® Know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners. ® Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV to infect you. ® Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior, such as having fewer sex partners. ® Do not miss any doses of TRUVADA. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. ® If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. TRUVADA can cause serious side effects: ® Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. TRUVADA is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV and stop taking TRUVADA, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health.

What are the other possible side effects of TRUVADA for PrEP? Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include: ® Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA. ® Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. ® Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. ® Bone problems, including bone pain, softening, or thinning, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP are stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRUVADA for PrEP? ® All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis. ® If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRUVADA can harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking TRUVADA for PrEP, talk to your healthcare provider to decide if you should keep taking TRUVADA. ® If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. If you become HIV-positive, HIV can be passed to the baby in breast milk. ® All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRUVADA may interact with other medicines. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. ® If you take certain other medicines with TRUVADA, your healthcare provider may need to check you more often or change your dose. These medicines include certain medicines to treat hepatitis C (HCV) infection. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Important Facts about TRUVADA for PrEP including important warnings on the following page.


•TVDC0159_PrEP_B_10x10-75_SFloridaGayNews_Cafe_p1.indd 2 .21.2018


I’m courageous, not careless. I know who I am. And I make choices that fit my life. TRUVADA for PrEP™ is a once-daily prescription medicine that can help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 when taken every day and used together with safer sex practices. ® TRUVADA for PrEP is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV through sex. ® You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP.

Ask your doctor about your risk of getting HIV-1 infection and if TRUVADA for PrEP may be right for you. Learn more at

8/15/17 10:27 AM 2.21.2018 •




2 .21.2018

NEWS local

x. Photo: x

Cooking Chili for Charity This year’s event raised $2,500 for Compass youth groups

Deon C. Jefferson


FGN is proud to announce that the burn Chili. The Whistle Stop Tavern made winner of the 2018 Gay Chili Cook Frito Pie chili, and the aforementioned Mad off is… Eric Pearson from Compass Hatter Lounge wowed with their Mole Chili. Community Center. “It feels wonderful to win. I entered last Much like years in the past, this year’s Chili year too but didn’t place. So I tweaked my cook-off was held at Penny’s at the Duke. Last recipe and I guess it worked,” said Eric year the winner was The Mad Hatter Lounge Pearson. Although he was the winner, he from Lake Worth. Altogether did give props to one of his the event raised nearly $2,500. favorites. “I did taste other All proceeds from the event people’s chili. I tasted Mad will be donated to the youth Hatters, Roosters, and Whistle groups of Compass Community Stops. Roosters had the only Center. vegan chili and it was really “The Chili Cook-off is one compelling”. of the biggest fundraisers for The participants brought the the Compass Youth Program,” fire chili, meanwhile the queens said Sabrine Pearson the brought the cool performances. Transgender Youth Services All present chili lovers were Coordinator at Compass. “We treated to performances by Rae had multiple bars/clubs and jean Cox, as she turned Penny’s organizations come together stage in to Dollywood with her - Sabrine Pearson to raise money for something version of Dolly Parton’s “9 to Transgender Youth they feel passionately about...... 5.” Other performers included Services coordinator, Compass youth! It was actually a very Palm Beach royalty like Melissa heartwarming day.” S.t John, Velvet Lenore, and This year the weather was kind, last year it Nicole Sapphire. One of the crowd’s favorite rained the entire time. Despite the inclement performances came when dance duo “L.A. weather, Compass still raised over $3,000 Curly Q” danced to one of the hottest songs and put smiles of plenty of faces. of the year “Finesse” by Bruno Mars with Contestants from the chili cook off help from Cardi B. included HG Roosters with their Vegan If you missed this year, sorry for your Chili and Chorizo beef and black bean chili. luck. However, there is still a chance for you Lilos Street Food and Bar made some curry to witness a worthy cause, with great people chili. Compass Youth served the Texas Slow that cook with good intentions.

“The Chili Cook-off is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Compass Youth Program.”

For more information on any of the youth groups or services at Compass, please visit their website

March 4-24 40 Films. Three Weeks. Two Thumbs Up. Feature films, documentaries, comedies and short films from the around the world that explore the Jewish experience, culture, history, and identity.

Regal Shadowood 16 and Movies of Delray

561-544-7426 2.21.2018 •


NEWS miami-dade

Gay Miami Celebrates 25 years of Shelley Novak The Shelley Novak Awards take place March 1

Jose Cassola


or anything or anyone to last 25 years in today’s day and age is pretty significant. This goes double for the Miami LGBT scene, where you can be here today and gone tomorrow in the blink of an eye. One performer in the community who has beat the odds and finds herself busier than ever after 25 years in the business is comic drag queen Shelley Novak. “I’ve been so busy and so thankful at my age to be getting the work that I’m getting and to stay relevant. It’s so heartwarming,” said Novak, known out of drag as Tommy Strangie. Novak celebrates her silver anniversary recognizing drag entertainers and club kids of the community with the 25th annual Shelley Novak Awards. The event will be held Thursday, March 1 at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way in Miami Beach. Novak said this year, she wanted to poll the community at Wigwood, “pick everyone’s brains, everyone on that scene” and have them choose the nominees for such categories as best drag name, best drag venue, best costumes, best make-up and most glamorous. “It helps me because I don’t have my finger on the pulse like I used to,” Novak said. “These kids know and I want to gear it all towards these new, young kids that are coming up. My favorite category is the best new artist because I like to give these young, up and coming, hungry kids a chance to get up and speak. These are the kids that are going out there and performing for drink tickets or maybe a cheeseburger. They’re the ones wanting to keep these people’s parties going.” Novak knows all about starting out new on the scene. She traveled from Boston to Miami Beach in October 1992 and “never looked back. Miami Beach is my home. There’s nothing like it,” she said. Novak said she started out as the typical drag entertainer, trying to lip sync and “fit into that mold of the [drag queens] of that era.” “They would go and perform and lip sync and they were amazing at it, but I was just a terrible lip-syncer,” Novak said. “And one day the cassette broke ala Milli Vanilli. It was at Gloria Estefan’s hotel and she actually was the one to say ‘listen, your voice might be terrible but get out there and sing. Don’t lip sync anymore. Just do you.’ And that was the end of that.” Novak said she’s always been much better talking. “Cocktail conversation was always my gig being an emcee,” she said. “But you know, 20 years ago it was edgy for a guy to throw on a


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dress, hit a speed and talk a mile a minute. That was edgy. Nowadays, drag is a different world and you have to find your niche.” Novak said the success of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has changed things so much where today’s queens have to “step it up.” But she adds the “nightlife is one big apple pie, and there’s a piece for everybody. There’s enough pie for everybody.” In 2016, Novak admitted she was “floundering a little bit.” It was during that time Athena Dion, anther local drag queen, asked her to help launch a new party at Score called The Lab Fridays. On Jan. 26, the weekly event celebrated its two-year anniversary. “I’ve always loved Shelley. She was one of the first drag queens I saw when I first came out onto the scene, so I wanted to make her a part of my project,” Dion said. “She had a lot of energy. She was coming out of a whole new part of her life, so she had all this passion like a new queen. She was ready, she dove into it, and it just blossoms from there when you have that passion. So it worked really well.” Novak credits Dion and Score for her comeback. She even ended up winning Local Hero at the Pink Flamingo Awards. “2016 was a big comeback year for me,” Novak said. Today, Novak hosts a number of regular gigs, including Not Your Standard Bingo on the last Sunday of every month at The Standard Spa in Miami Beach; Hollyweird Karaoke at PRL Bar in Hollywood every Monday night; and Karaoke Circus with “startender” Karloz Torres at Kill Your Idol every Thursday. “That staff and those people at Kill Your Idol... the customers and the regulars, they’re like family,” Novak said. “It’s such a great gig. It’s my bread and butter.” Speaking of bread and butter, Novak picked up another gig in December, Home Cookin’ at Rácket in Wynwood. A reboot of the late 90s party from 20 years ago, Rácket’s Home Cookin’ offers free burgers and free barbecue every Tuesday with an open bar for two hours, “which is unheard of,” Novak said. “So they’re giving you dinner and drinks while surrounded by beautiful people at a great spot.” There’s no signs of stopping for Novak, who just last month performed at the 20th anniversary live concert for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at Gramps. “I am busy and I’m loving it,” Novak said. “I’ve been really lucky. To be able to do what you love is not work. And I’m happy to be able to do it and make people laugh.”

x Shelley Novak.

The nominees for the 25th annual Shelley Novak Awards are: BEST DRAG NAME: Gift with Purchase, Queef Latina, Helen Degenerate, DangHo Yu Sickning, Hairy Bradshaw and Charlotte Shottgun. BEST COSTUMES: TP Lords, Kurt Fowl, Helen Degenerate, Andro Gin, Queef Latina and Jahsyra Pryce. BEST CLUB KID: Delishiz Li, Kunst, Kurt Fowl, Lisa Limbaugh and Rubberchild. MOST GLAMOROUS: Miss Toto, Kat Wilderness, Poizon Ivy, Athena Dion and Kourtney Sheers. BEST LATIN PERFORMER: Juleisy Y Karla, Adora, Marytrini, Josefina La Mujer de Los Globos and Mariloly. BEST MAKE UP: FKA Twink, Morphine Love, Persephone Von Lips, Jupiter Velvet, Andro Gin and Kurt Fowl. BEST NEW ARTIST: Dasha Dixx, Andro Gin, Candi Dixxx, Celia Booze, Sensitive Black Hottie and Dang-Ho Yu Sickning. BEST FORT LAUDERDALE QUEEN: Haus of Piss, Amanda Austin, Erika Norell, Nicole Halliwell and Daisy DeadPetals. BEST DRAG VENUE: Gramps, Flaming Classics, Kill Your Idol, Molto, Counter Corner and the Drag Brunch at R House Wynwood. BEST PERFORMANCE / NIGHT: Celebrity Deathmatch: Super Mario at the Hangar; Wigwood 2018; Elishaly D’Witshes climbs a double decker bus; Persephone Von Lips performs “21 guns;“ Kunst performs “All by Myself;” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” 20th anniversary live concert at Gramps. BEST WIGS: TP Lords, Nelly Norell, Queef Latina, Athena Dion and Serena ChaCha. BEST DRAG KING: Andro Gin, Ded Cooter and King Femme. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Helen Swan and The House of Lords.

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By Ryan Lynch



Deadpool 2 to Feature Bisexual Character

Lesbian Couple Proposes to Each Other at Same Time A pair of Texas women hid secret proposals from each other and ended up having the exact same plan. Tori Monaco and Berkley Cade dated for about a year when they both purchased rings, according to Buzzfeed. The pair both wound up contacting Cade’s mother Kristy to propose during their trip to Washington, which led her mother to secretly coordinate with both. “[Kristy] said she was planning a fun game night already, so I could do it then so Berk wouldn’t be suspicious,” Monaco said. “I said great, I could incorporate it into charades, and she said how about Pictionary!” In a tweeted video, Cade is seen drawing a picture as part of the game involving proposing. After she proposes, Monaco also pulls out a ring. “When she began drawing the picture and had her hands shaking and

Photo via Twitter.

was taking so long to draw the prompt, I had my heart pounding thinking she must know I am going to propose,” Monaco said. “There is no way she is proposing too. And when I got down on one knee and proposed and she was struck mute, I figured I would give a speech and she would say yes, but instead she pulls out her own ring.” The pair is planning to get married on Sept. 27, 2019.


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There will be a bisexual superhero in the next Deadpool movie. Shatterstar, a time traveling mutant who is bisexual, will appear as part of the film according to Instinct Magazine. Stefan Kapičić, who plays Colossus in the film, said to Inverse you can see Shatterstar behind actor Terry Crews’ character in the movie trailer. “You can see it clearly,” Kapičić said. “You can see behind him, Shatterstar, a really cool thing for people to geek out.”

Deadpool, who is also pansexual in his comic books, puts his hands on fellow hero Colossus’ body in the movie’s trailer. “I was surprised they put that in the trailer,” Kapičić said. “That’s the relationship between Deadpool and Colossus. Colossus is trying to make him a better person, to stop being childish. Stop doing crazy things. This scene we see in the trailer, that’s the picture of their relationship.”




U.S. Department of Education No Longer Processing Trans Bathroom Complaints The Education Department will no longer be looking into transgender bathroom complaints. During former president Barack Obama’s second term, schools were directed to allow students to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity, according to the Washington Post. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions later removed the guidance under president Donald Trump and said they would only be looking at other forms of discrimination. “Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity,” Education Department spokesperson Elizabeth Hill said to the the Washington Post. “Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited

by Title IX. In the case of bathrooms, however, longstanding regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.” Catherine Lhamon, who headed the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights during Obama’s time in office, said the department’s statement was “appalling and deeply dangerous,” to the Post. “The federal courts have multiple times made clear that Title IX protects transgender students,” Lhamon said. “They just don’t have the option to say, ‘We just don’t apply the law here.”



NEWS miami-dade

Pa’Lante Awards honor immigrant rights activists Third annual event also served as a fundraiser for the Gay8 Festival Jose Cassola


or the last three years, the Pa’Lante Awards have defender for Miami-Dade County and a champion for honored South Florida activists for “moving immigrant rights; and We Count!, a nonprofit dedicated to forward” many human rights issues and other defending worker and immigrant rights in Homestead by agendas. (Pa’Lante is a Spanish term meaning move offering leadership development, community education, forward.) coalition building and campaigns for social change. This year, the third annual ceremony — which took Attendees of the Pa’Lante Awards also got to meet place Friday, Feb. 16 — tackled immigration, honoring Ricardo Queralles, an HIV-positive Venezuelan who is three individuals and one organization doing their part to being deported back to his country for a 12-year-old advance immigrant rights. felony conviction and won’t have access to his life-saving During the ceremony, the Pa’Lante Awards took a medication. moment to remember the victims of the Broward high “Recently, my friend, Ricardo, when checking in for school shooting massacre and made a plea for stricter gun immigration was greeted with an ankle monitor and laws. told to buy a plane ticket back to Venezuela and report “I think that we all agree that it is time in the U.S. for back in 30 days,” Pardo told attendees of the Miamius to have gun control,” said presenter Marleine Bastien, Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s “State of a licensed clinical social worker and executive director Our Community” business networking luncheon Feb. 8. of Fanm Ayisyen nan Miyami / Haitian Women of Miami. “He’s been in this country for 15 years but he has a felony “We need to continue to raise our collective voices to say conviction for possession of drugs from 12 years ago. enough is enough.” Ricardo is HIV positive, and this country is set to deport In addition to recognizing this year’s “immigration him back to Venezuela, a country where you cannot heroes,” the Pa’Lante Awards also served as a obtain HIV drugs. [This is] a death sentence.” fundraiser to benefit the Gay8 Festival, which Pardo says Queralles’ predicament is a took place Sunday, Feb. 18, in Little Havana. double standard case of redemption, or Organizers and co-founders Damian Pardo second chances — a concept rarely granted and Joe Cardona say they are honored to be to immigrants in the United States. a part of the Pa’Lante Awards, which salutes “Redemption is a concept that seems to “really exceptional people who are doing work for white men in politics or corporations tremendous things in our community.” or religious leaders,” Pardo said. “If you are a “I’m proud to be standing amongst doers, priest and you commit a sex crime, you get not people who sit around and like things relocated. You have a different ‘rule of law.’... on Facebook and think they did something Where was my friend, Ricardo’s, redemption grand, but people who actually make a for a crime he committed in 2006?” difference...people who do things and shape Lynare Robbins, who serves on the Gay8 our community,” Cardona said. “I encourage host committee and ran this year’s Women’s - Christina Ponthieux each and every one of you to get involved Tertulia, made an announcement about a new miami shores elementary student in something, something that makes a human rights initiative that she’s directing, difference.” which will implement a two-day human One of the youngest honorees this year was Christina rights symposium to the 2019 Gay8 Festival. The program, Ponthieux, a 10-year-old Miami Shores Elementary called the ImpactOUT International Initiative, focuses student and TPS activist. Christina recently took to the on “community-building relationships with activists and stage during an Arcade Fire concert in Miami in front of NGOs from Latin America and the Caribbean.” thousands to advocate for the extension of temporary “We have a sponsor who will bring the activists to protection status for Haitian immigrants. Miami next year,” Robbins said. “We have a place in America. You know why? Because ImpactOUT, an enterprise of 4ward Miami, is an LGBTQ we are hard-working people; because we deserve to be human rights program working regionally, nationally here; because we don’t give up easily,” Christina said. and internationally with the Washington D.C.-based “A lot of us, we came here a long time ago coming for a International Institute on Race, Equality and Human brighter future, coming to learn. But right now we’re not Rights. The program will sponsor activists from Latin feeling that welcome that we should’ve been given. So America and the Caribbean to attend a two-day LGBTQ now we are fighting very hard to get what we want: the human rights symposium that will be added to the Gay8 Green Card, residency, PPS, permanent protected status.” weekend in 2019. Other honorees included: Juan Carlos Carabantes, a The symposium will focus on the Global South of the DACA champion and recipient who has advocated for Americas, and will bring together South Florida activists immigration, LGBT rights and has pressed Congress to with their Latin American and Caribbean counterparts to pass a clean DREAM act; Carlos J. Martinez, a public build relationships, partnerships and solidarity.

“We have a place in America. You know why? Because we are hard-working people.”


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ImpactOUT has also partnered with Pridelines Youth Services and Florida International University’s LGBTQA Initiatives. One of the projects that ImpactOUT will be doing this year is creating an LGBTQ global youth education and training program and sending a group of LGBTQ youth, in partnership with Pridelines and FIU, to the United Nations Youth Summit in New York City. “We want to create a new generation of global LGBTQ human rights leaders from the South Florida community who will work locally but also internationally,” Robbins said. “The United Nations is a crucial platform for youth activists to connect to and advocate at as their summits and commission hearings are spaces where activists have the ears of global thought leaders and where policies can take root.” Paul Thomas, a volunteer for Gay8 and the Pa’Lante Awards, summed up Friday’s event in a few sentences. “This year’s Community Award acknowledgment was regarding immigration and went to a young lady who is championing the cause for PPS (Permanent Protected Status),” Thomas said. “Carlos J. Martinez was also acknowledged as a champion for equality and immigration as the ‘only’ Hispanic elected public defender in the whole U.S. And we had to talk with Ricardo Queralles, who is in a life and death situation with his immigration status as the country he could be sent back to does not provide the medical care he needs. What an amazing event.”

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NEWS miami-dade Photo courtesy of Johann A. Ali

UM’s DragOut Raises Funds for Youth Homelessness Jose Cassola


he University of Miami held its fifth “I personally give to The Alliance every annual DragOut 2018, a student, staff, year, and a fellow alumnus and friend, and faculty drag competition and Manny Tejeda, is the chair of the board,” charity fundraiser, on Thursday, Feb. 15. Ali said. “I myself am on the board of OUT The event was hosted by Miami drag Miami Foundation, another nonprofit entertainer Tiffany Fantasia and featured in Miami seeking to engage the young professional drag queens (and for the first professional LGBTQ professional community time ever, a king) from Miami Beach and in philanthropy. So for me, this choice by throughout South Florida. Competitors SpectrUM was a wonderful surprise to learn showed off their skills in singing, dancing, as a sponsor.” lip-syncing and other performances while in Speaking on Fantasia as the hostess of drag. Kings, queens and non-binary people this year’s DragOut, Ali says the veteran faced judgement from a panel of UM faculty drag queen “continues to inspire, entertain and staff. The winner received a and just make us all happy $150 Rathskeller gift card. while doing so much good — This year, half of the net profit this case being a pillar for “I personally in generated from the event will go our LGBTQ young people and give to The doling out some good advice to The Alliance for GLBT Youth, a local nonprofit dedicated to too!” Alliance fostering pride and combatting “I have known Tiffany for every year.” some time now, and she is youth homelessness in MiamiDade schools. someone I admire for her - Johann Ali A spokesperson for UM frankness, for ‘keeping it UM Alumnus said all of the “generous real’ and for setting people donations and tips to our right when they make poor student performers will go towards our goal assumptions,” Ali said. “She has continued of helping The Alliance foster pride and to bring light, love and laughter, despite combat youth homelessness in Miami-Dade going through some rough things of her schools.” own, and that has deepened my admiration Johann Ali, a UM alumnus, helped sponsor of her even more. She has been a partner the event in an effort to “show our students with SpectrUM since the beginning of that their alumni stand with them and are DragOut’s opening up to the community and there for them.” Ali is currently working gives freely of her time and talent to ensure with the UM Alumni Association to try to a wildly successful event. I simply cannot get the LGBTQ ‘Canes Affinity Group off the thank her enough for that.” ground and up and running fully. He said it Thursday’s DragOut was free and open made him “really proud that they chose The to all students, staff and faculty of the Alliance for GLBT Youth as a beneficiary.” University of Miami.


2 .21.2018


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NEWS miami-dade

Networking Forum Highlights the ‘State of Our Community’ MDGLCC business luncheon connects elected officials with LGBT nonprofits Jose Cassola


eaders of several LGBT organizations recently came together to discuss the “State of Our Community,” the seventh annual business luncheon hosted by the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MDGLCC). The annual networking luncheon and expo is an opportunity for elected officials of several municipalities to meet with prominent members of the LGBT community to share their plans for 2018 and how those plans would impact LGBT people living in South Florida. Steve Adkins, president and CEO of the MDGLCC, said the goal of the forum — which took place Feb. 8 at the Courtyard by Marriott Miami Airport — is to “continue the ongoing dialogue of cooperation as we all attack the many challenges before us.” “The better we understand one another, the more quickly we can accomplish our mutual goals,” Adkins said. “While national politics has rewritten the ideology of what it means to be conservative or progressive, what it means to be a positive contributor to making our community a better place has not: involvement.” Adkins said the MDGLCC has set forth as one of its 2018 goals to establish its firstever advocacy council, which would work to establish policies and collaborations in alignment with the group’s community objectives. “The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce believes in equality for all,” Adkins said. “To that end, the MDGLCC will take political positions on issues relating to commerce, equal rights and tourism. We will not endorse candidates or take positions which are divisive to our community.” Adkins said the MDGLCC supports the following: the passage of a trans-inclusive employment non-discrimination (ENDA) policy; gender pay equality in the workplace; diversity and inclusion for LGBT-owned businesses; and implementation of probusiness, LGBT-inclusive policies at the federal, state and local levels of government. Damian Pardo, a financial advisor at the Pardo Group at Morgan Stanley in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, was one of the speakers at the MDGLCC event. He said while the get together was called the “State of Our Community,” it begged the question “whose community?” “The LGBTQ community? The Miami


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Beach community? The Hispanic community? Wilton Manors? It’s important because it frames the way we act and the way we live,” said Pardo, who was also the head organizer of this year’s Gay8 festival in Little Havana. “We tend to choose our office locations, where we eat, our homes, how we our bubbles of comfort.” Pardo said while “we live in one of the most diverse communities in the country,” it is also “one of the most segregated.” “That means we are vulnerable to propaganda when used as a political tool,” Pardo said. “If you don’t know an immigrant, you believe they are criminals. If you don’t know a Hispanic person, you believe they don’t want to learn English.” Three years ago, Pardo started Gay8 — a Pride event for every community in South Florida but hosted by the gay community — to bring diverse groups and areas together for one fun day as a way to cross communities. “LGBTQ people understand diversity better than most,” Pardo said. “After all, we are represented in every single community group and we understand you need to work together to get things done.” While producing Gay8, Pardo and fellow producer Joe Cardona, who is a straight man, met with City of Miami Police many times. Pardo said the officers could not tell which one of them was “the gay.” “Someone finally asked and so they learned Joe was straight and I was the ‘gay one,’” Pardo said. Pardo said “our current political system is our fault.” “Had we done a better job of crossing borders in our community, people couldn’t have been so easily exploited for political favor,” he said. “Sadly, while we have gained progressive political victories, many can be easily reversed, and you can’t legislate the way people feel...We will never win fighting money and power with just money and power. We can only win by changing hearts and minds and doing the hard and uncomfortable work of leaving our bubble — meeting people where they are at, not where we want them to be.” Leaders in high positions of elected office also spoke at the MDGLCC networking event, including Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and openly gay State Rep. David Richardson, who is running for Congress.

Richardson appeared via Skype and said in Tallahassee there’s a focus on LGBT related bills, including efforts to get a gay marriage ban out of statute and to separate an anti-discrimination bill regarding housing and employment protections for LGBT individuals. Richardson proposes to have one bill on housing protections and another on employment that is LGBT inclusive, but he says that “isn’t going anywhere” with the Republican leadership in Tallahassee. “The bill regarding anti-discrimination against the LGBT community that has been filed for the last 10 years or so is not moving. It’s not being heard,” Richardson said. “I also can’t get anyone here in the Republican leadership to hear the bill to get the gay marriage ban out of statute, even though there’s a law in the books that says every year we clean up the statutes and delete the ones that are no longer applicable.” City of Miami Mayor Suarez thanked the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for inviting him to be a part of an important conversation in the LGBT community. “Miami has long prided itself as being a uniquely diverse and inclusive city, one that welcomes and embraces people of all backgrounds,” Suarez said. “To maintain this, I am focused on continuing to support organizations like the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, who are central to this element of inclusiveness that makes our city so special.”

Suarez said he is “well aware of the vital role the LGBT community plays in the welfare, identity and future of [his] city.” “That is why one of my goals is to form an LGBT Advisory Board, where the voices of the LGBT community can not only continue to be heard, but positioned in a way that can shape the manner in which we make decisions that are crucial to shaping our city’s future,” Suarez said. “I also fully intend to build upon the partnerships I’ve formed with organizations like SAVE, led by Tony Lima, who I have had the pleasure of collaborating with to promote and advocate for the interests of LGBT equality.” Although Suarez said he is encouraged by his city’s progress and the future of the LGBT community in Miami, he said “we still face some challenges.” “We must build more bridges between our religious/spiritual communities and the LGBT community,” Suarez said. “I am a firm believer in equality, tolerance and compassion. Religious identity should not preclude anyone from standing up for LGBT rights. If anything, it should embolden people to do so.” Suarez said the good news is that, through conversations like these and by continuing to work together, “we can not only overcome these hurdles, but create a stronger and more unified community than ever before.” “Let’s make sure that the entire world knows what Miami truly stands for: tolerance, diversity and inclusivity,” Suarez said.


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NEWS local Photo via Facehook.

Attorney General’s Office Investigates Closed Gay Travel Agency Norm Kent


Out of business since October, Al and Chuck’s faces fraud inquiry

hen Al Ferguson of Al and Chuck Travel shut town his travel, tour and cruise company last October, he took to Facebook to promise his customers no one would lose a dime because he had the “hard assets to cover their losses.” It never happened. The closed travel agency is now saddled with hundreds of consumer complaints and is instead being investigated by the state attorney general’s office for consumer fraud. Lawyers for Al and Chuck’s travel agency, Legendary Journeys, have now filed a legal petition titled an ‘Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors.’ It lists over $3 million in potential claims, which they hope can be satisfied by selling off their assets, including real estate they claim is worth at least two million dollars. When they shut their doors, they had less than $3,000 in their accounts. The Attorney General’s office already had an open investigation ongoing under the Florida Deceptive and Practices Act when it filed a legal action against the travel agency in December in the Sarasota


2 .21.2018

circuit court. The Department of Legal Affairs for Pam Bondi’s office had sought a petition for a judicial order compelling the travel agency to comply with its investigative subpoenas inquiring into multiple allegations of consumer fraud. In its complaint, the attorney general’s office stated that under its authority as a law enforcement agency it had received “at least 140 complaints from consumers regarding Al and Chuck’s business practices during the time period of January 1, 2017, through December 15, 2017,” the date they filed the petition. At the time of the filing, the complaints detailed consumer losses of over $150,000, specifically including allegations that consumers did not receive the purchased travel services. Since the revelations and a subsequent consumer alert issued by Attorney General Bondi’s office on Jan. 25, the complaints and number of losses have grown. The December legal action in Sarasota was precipitated by Al and Chuck’s failure to respond on a timely basis to investigative subpoenas that the attorney

general had issued on Nov. 14, 2017 less than a month after the travel agency closed its doors. The complaint cites the travel agency’s failure to comply with the subpoena as grounds for the petition to compel compliance. Unfortunately, for all the creditors and consumers who had been promised refunds by Jan. 1, 2018, Al and Chuck’s instead filed a 50 page petition in Sarasota Circuit Court on January 12 titled an ‘Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors.’ This is essentially a state bankruptcy petition, assigning all the company’s assets to a third party trustee, who garners and gathers up the company’s holdings, and then pays off as many creditors as he can with the monies collected, and to the extent that funds are available to do so. If the full amount of the funds owed are not sufficient to meet the company’s obligations, the trustee would divide the remaining assets on a pro rata basis, and in proportion to their priority as set forth in Florida Statues. It does not bode well for the consumers and creditors who have sustained losses. Consumers should file their complaints

with the assignor, Larry S. Hyman, in Case No-2018-CA-000207 in the Sarasota court. There are time constraints. Right now, the cutoff date is May 14 so the number of outstanding claims can rise beyond the three million dollars now listed. “It’s particularly disappointing for all of us,” said Blaise Boston of Wilton Manors, whose husband lost a deposit for their honeymoon cruise. “Since he closed in October, he has been holding press conferences, doing Interviews, and posting notices on Facebook about how we all would be paid back, and by December 30 at that.” Indeed, in early November Ferguson had told Sarasota’s Channel 10 that “Legendary Journeys has more assets than the deposits lost. This is a heartbreaking moment for me, but all will be refunded,” he said. On Dec. 1, 2017, Ferguson went on Facebook and published a detailed 8-point plan outlining how all customers could find their financial outlays redeemed, promising “as much clarity and transparency as possible,” stating while “this is a difficult time for us, great progress

NEWS local is being made to resolve all issues.” for their Caribbean journeys, filling Then, on Jan. 2 Sarasota’s NBC station nightclubs with high-rolling, cashdid a follow up, only to learn that scores spending partygoers. It even opened a of customers were still out hundreds of Manors based office. thousands of dollars, and Ferguson could After closing last October, Ferguson no longer be reached for comment. personally authored an extensive Customer after customer of Legendary explanation on Facebook, attempting to Journeys all shared similar stories with shed light on why the company crumbled, NBC correspondent Rachel Polansky. but assuring all that he would oversee While leading on customers in press personally refunds to all concerned. releases, he was also misleading the Ferguson’s statement said his problems Attorney General, whose December were due to extensive “employee theft,” court action outlined how the agency had hurricanes and storms in the Caribbean, failed to comply with the investigative along with unwise business projections subpoenas he had been served with in for a Cuba expansion. Terrorism, too, November. he said was a factor in impacting his Despite all his problems, Ferguson had company’s diminishing returns. boasted about his business practices, The claimed losses now appear to total going out of his way to say everyone “was hundreds of thousands of dollars. Court being taken care of.” proceedings in Sarasota will eventually That never happened. disclose the actual A cursory review number of consumers revealed over 150 impacted and dollars complaints had been lost. filed against the Sarasota’s Channel 2 company at the Sarasota reported on Jan. 15 that Better Business Bureau. there are now pending The complaints led to 162 complaints against the Attorney General’s Legendary Journeys formal inquiry. for 2017 alone, and that Those hurt include “Ferguson could not gay vacationers and give a single straight elderly consumers answer as to where the intending to celebrate money has gone.” their anniversaries on Kylie Mason, press cruises. secretary for Florida “Our $7,500 deposit Attorney General Pam was for our 50th Bondi, could only offer - Al Ferguson wedding anniversary,” generic travel tips for said Jerry Ross, Punta consumers to consider Gorda resident. in making future plans. Enraged consumers have been posting She told SFGN that use of a credit their complaints online, outlining the card is preferred when booking a trip fraud they think is unconscionable. For to help challenge charges if trip fails to example, at one site, PissedConsumer. materialize. Checking a tour provider’s org, a customer notes that Ferguson’s references with the Better Business company accepted a $17,032 deposit for a Bureau is also advised. March, 2019 cruise on Oct. 17, 2017, one When in business, Al and Chuck Travel day before he closed the company. The advertised as “Creating the Planet’s #1 customer says he has contacted the FBI Gay Vacations!” alleging interstate theft. No more. The impact in South Florida has been Today, its only comment is “The great. The Al and Chuck cruises brought closure of Legendary Journeys is now packed tour buses weekly to Wilton handled through the legal process of Manors and South Beach hospitality attorneys and accountants and the court establishments as launching pads bankruptcy system.”

“The closure of Legendary Journeys is now handled through the legal process of attorneys and accountants and the court bankruptcy system.”

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Consumers victimized by travel related business can call the OAG fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at John McDonald also contributed to this report. 2.21.2018 •


NEWS coffee and conversation

NEWS local

Wrestler Cuts Promo For LGBT Seniors This week's Coffee & Conversation

John McDonald


restling and voting were topics discussed during Tuesday morning’s Coffee and Conversation program at Pride Center at Equality Park. Ty Alexander, a wrestler from Boston, announced he would be in the ring Thursday (7 to 10 p.m.) at The Manor Complex. Alexander is one of several hunky athletes scheduled to take part in the event. Tickets at the door are $25. The Manor Complex is located at 2345 Wilton Drive. Elsewhere, Linda Broomfield spoke on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Broward County. Broomfield, chair of women’s issues, encouraged residents of Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Lauderdale by the Sea, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and Hallandale Beach to vote in the March 13 elections. Pride Center Chief Executive Officer Robert Boo asked for a moment of silence to remember the 17 lives lost from the Parkland school shooting. Boo told the senior group it was time to hold elected officials accountable.

Wrestler Ty Alexander, left, is introduced by Pride Center Development Director Roger Roa, center, as Bruce Williams, right, looks on Tuesday morning at Coffee & Conversation. Photo by John McDonald.

“If they do not listen to you on gun control then vote them out of office,” Boo said to a large round of applause. Other speakers this week included: Testing Manager Dr. Robert Shore, Prevention Outreach Specialist Ebony Wilson and Patti Lynn with the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The program was sponsored by Premier Smile Center. Dr. Charmaine Johnson offered tips for a fresh smile. For more information about coffee and conversation, contact Pride Center Senior Services Coordinator Bruce Williams at 954-463-9005, ext. 109 Expires 2/28/18 Look at our Website for more Savings.


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Winter Is Coming: National LGBTQ Task Force Hosts 25th Annual Party John McDonald


all it what it is — a week of dance parties for gay men. Winter Party, a National LGBTQ Task Force sanctioned event, returns to Miami from Feb. 28 to March 6. This year is the 25th edition of Winter Party, which attracts a global audience. “Celebrating a quarter of a century of with one of the most important events in the world is extremely exciting,” said Micky Friedmann. “What can be more rewarding than giving back to our community with what I love most – music!” Friedmann is deejaying the Forever Adventure dance party March 4. Party goers will hunt for treasure inside the James L. Knight Center from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. It is one of 14 sanctioned Winter Party events this year. Winter Party is produced by the National LGBTQ Task Force and money raised is given to the Miami Foundation and returned to local organizations. “Winter Party Festival knows what it means to ‘party with a purpose,’ said DJ Grind. “I’m so proud to be part of such a positive, celebratory event that gives back to our community.” Grind is deejaying the March 4th beach party at Lummus Park in South Beach. The Sunday afternoon affair is what organizers insist birthed what is now one of the most recognizable gay circuit parties. Advertisements depict throngs of shirtless, physically fit men dancing to electronic beats. “It’s hard to describe the magic of dancing on the sands of South Beach with your chosen family and thousands of new friends from all over the world!,” reads an event

description on the Winter Party website. “It’s an experience you will have to see to believe and one you will never forget. Grab your sunscreen, your favorite speedo and we’ll see you there!” DJ Rosabell (deejays Ralphi Rosario and Abel) join DJ Grind behind the mix board. “What an honor to return to the beach party to serve up music to the masses!” Rosabell said. In a news release, Winter Party events director Michael Bath said love is what makes Winter Party stand out among the other gay events hosted in Miami Beach. “It is a labor of love for the staff and consultants involved, and especially for the dozens of volunteers who have sustained it and allowed it to flourish over the years,” Bath said. “And all of that culminates in an atmosphere of love among the guests who attend our events.” The action kicks off with a Thursday “Tea Dance” (March 1 from 2 to 8 p.m.) at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, 1717 Collins Avenue. Miami Beach drag queen Tiffany Fantasia is expected to attend the free, poolside dance. Fantasia was recently in the news over a false arrest on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in what the female impersonator said was a case of mistaken identity. The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is Winter Party’s host hotel this year, but if you intend to stay there, plan on bringing a black or gold credit card. The cutoff date has passed and the Task Force’s block of rooms are full. The nightly rate for a standard room during the March 2-4 weekend is $609. The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is a three-floor, 186-room hotel.




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2.21.2018 •


Publisher's Editorial


A Massacre Too Close To Home Norm Kent x

Photo credit: Devon Sayers/CNN.


ow do you write again about a massacre and mass murder? How do you reconcile that this time it was not four hours away in Orlando but four miles away in Parkland? When it’s inevitable that you know someone somewhere who has a friend or relative that has attended Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School? Well, what you do, my friends, is if you still can, you rise up, dust yourself off, and fight again. This time, this past week, we have seen a community of angry students do just that. They have not been silenced and quiet. They have stood up angrily, passionately, and politically. The students of Douglas High are where we were in the hours and days after Pulse. They are saying this can’t happen here; that it can’t happen to us. But it did, and on a sunny weekday in February, their lives have changed forever. But they are fighting back. A wound that cannot forget is seared into their soul. A youth that was not fully explored was stolen from their lives. An anger and bewilderment that never should


2 .21.2018

have entered their hearts is now a virus they can’t unshackle. But deal with it they must. Life can be unfair, and last week it most certainly was for the students of Parkland and Coral Springs. Words on our editorial pages cannot erase the pain, but only offer solace and grace to lives lost, families fractured, and loves shattered. The universal truth of a tragedy like this hitting our own zip codes is that it proves yet again we all have so much more in common than we do apart. Of course any population of 4,000 students will have its share of LGBT brothers and sisters. We don’t necessarily know who right now, but we do know that the Parkland massacre is our own as well. We feel the pain, absorb the loss and question why. Our community centers are

open, our counselors are here, and we do, as Equality Florida so quickly did last Saturday, offer our aid and assistance. Where we can help, we will. None of us are alone, but too many of us are being buried. Assault weapons are for war, not for high schools. Last year, a big shot, newly sworn in president gave a tough inauguration speech asserting that the ‘carnage ends now.’ But it has not, nor has he done much to tame the terror. Trump has failed to stem the tidal wave of mass shootings. It’s hard to get a think tank meeting every Saturday on the fourth green in a place called Mar-a-Lago. But then he never had a plan or purpose in place other than to promote the pomp and circumstance of his personality and presidency. The billionaire who said

The students of Douglas High are where we were in the hours and days after Pulse. They are saying this can’t happen here; that it can’t happen to us.

he could stand up to anyone is already held hostage by the gun lobby. What was it he got from them- 33 million? Know this: saluting first responders for getting to the hospital in record time does not stop kids from needing to go to the hospital. This is not about politics. It’s about efficiency. Trump has made promises he has shown himself woefully incapable of delivering upon. As another body is laid to rest in Parkland today, it is all too clear that Trump comes up short as a unifying leader with a plan to bring our communities together. The president’s voice has hurt more than healed. His term is more tortured than temperate. He has demeaned the presidency and disgraced the United States. As in San Juan and Houston, his apologies in Parkland are empty and hollow. It will fall upon this community and its neighbors to make a difference. The first signs are very encouraging, and SFGN joins with the school and its students in coming back from this terrible loss. There are no winners until the bloodshed ends.


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Editorial Cartoon By Andy Marlette




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Guest Column

Beyond Prayers, We Must

Pass Gun Safety Laws

Photo credit: Devon Sayers/CNN.

Justin S. Flippen

Wilton Manors Vice Mayor


ll elected officials have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. We respect it and its provisions but must equally respect the first three words with which that Constitution begins and the fact that it is WE THE PEOPLE our laws are meant to serve and protect. A balance is and can be found with all issues from free speech to the right to bear arms. In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School Valentine’s Day shooting, WE THE PEOPLE cannot stand idly by as we keep losing innocent lives - our children because lawmakers chose guns and the gun lobby over the lives of those they were elected to serve. No law will be 100 percent foolproof, but last week was when we needed sensible gun violence prevention laws. NOW we have yet ANOTHER mass shooting. In Florida, our Republican legislature and Republican Governor Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate now, passed a law that banned local governments from regulating guns and additionally removes from office and fines any local city or county official if they try to pass gun safety regulations. And nationally, President Trump repealed Obama era provisions making it easier for those with mental disabilities to obtain guns, and the Republican Congress allowed the ban on the AR-15 style guns to expire.


2 .21.2018

No one has an unrestricted Constitutional right to free speech and the same applies to gun ownership. Background checks, banning those with mental disabilities from obtaining guns, and a waiting period are examples of sensible precautions and gun violence prevention and safety measures that should become law. It doesn’t bar one’s right to bear arms, but it certainly provides for a way to keep guns out of the hands of those who keep using them to kill our children. When 20 elementary school children were slaughtered at Sandy Hook and those with power did NOTHING to prevent it from happening again, I lost faith in those lawmakers, because they failed us. And WE THE PEOPLE have endured mass shooting after mass shooting since then. The right to life belonged to the children slaughtered at Sandy Hook and to those at Stoneman Douglas. When will WE THE PEOPLE stop accepting dead children as an acceptable price to pay to preserve the broadest of interpretations of the second amendment?! Enough is enough! Enough with the cycle of gun violence. Enough with the repeated sound bites and social media posts of ‘thoughts and prayers to the victims’ from politicians with the power to make us

safer but don’t. Enough with tolerance for inaction and apathy. Prayers and inaction are not saving our lives and are not saving our children from bullets piercing their bodies and leaving families forever shattered to pieces. If ‘thoughts and prayers’ are good enough for familes who’ve lost their children, then thoughts and prayers are good enough for those who’ve lost their guns. Those who oppose sensible gun violence prevention laws need to consider if they would be willing to put themselves in the position of our unarmed defenseless children trapped in a school with an allegedy mentally disturbed AR-15 armed gunman. Of course they wouldn’t. And I wouldn’t want them to. What I want is for them is to realize that gun safety isn’t taking away guns from reasonable people and start caring more about the general welfare and lives of people over a principle. Thoughts and prayers are reflective of those with faith. So let’s commit ourselves to work in good faith to avoid anymore dead children from guns. Our familes cannot endure the further jeopardy of one of our children or family members becoming another fatality to America’s epidemic of gun violence.


Guest Column

A Pastoral Response to

ANOTHER Mass Shooting Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins

Senior Minister, Sunshine Cathedral


high school in Broward County has been attacked. Another mass shooting. More victims. More traumatized children. More devastated families. There have been almost 30 mass shootings in the U.S. just in the last 45 days. Let that sink in. No other developed nation has such an incomprehensible mass shooting epidemic. I used to say, “that’s not who we are.” I acted as if each outrageous mass assault was an appalling exception to who we are as a nation. And, of course, the attackers are few in comparison to the larger population. But I can no longer say it isn’t who we are. It continues to happen and we do very little to prevent it from happening again. Oh, some of us cry, or pray, or yell into the ether that someone should do something. But how many of us demand that our government leaders do something? How many of us use our vote to bring about positive change? How many of us can’t be bothered to vote in any case? Our inaction, apathy, or acceptance of this on-going soul sickness of our nation is showing who we are. I don’t like it any more than you do. In fact, it breaks my heart to say it. But the evidence is clear: As of this moment, this IS who are. We are a nation that allows our children to be sprayed with bullets. This time, the tragedy is in my county. This time, the violence is on my local news broadcast. This time, the senseless brutality has struck near me. But, of course, it was naive to ever imagine it wouldn’t be my community next.

Aurora showed that this could happen anywhere. Sandy Hook Elementary School showed that this could happen anywhere. The Washington Navy yard showed that this could happen anywhere. San Bernardino showed that this could happen anywhere. Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston showed that this could happen anywhere. The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX showed that this could happen anywhere. The Pulse nightclub in Orlando showed that this could happen anywhere. Las Vegas showed that this could happen anywhere. And now, Douglas High School in Broward County.

God forgive me for not expecting it. God forgive me for not shouting from the rooftops many mass shooting ago, “We’re infected with an apathy toward violence and it’s time to repent.” It’s time for prophetic voices to call for us to beat our swords into plough shares. This is not a political issue where many sides have merit. This is a nation that calls itself good, democratic, and evolved that has allowed mass violence to happen so routinely that multiple deaths no longer stun us or even remain in our thoughts for long beyond the initial news of the event. Today, on this Ash Wednesday, on this day of repentance, that is, on a day that calls for a change of heart and attitude, I do lift my voice to call my congregation, my community, my family, and my nation to repentance. Bullets are raining down on us like a biblical plague. Children are dying. We talk and sing and preach about peace when there is no peace. Toxic attitudes come to kill, steal and destroy. And it is time for people of faith, and leaders of communities of faith, to speak up and say, “Enough!” Let us pray for the victims of today’s violence. But let us not take too much comfort in our prayers, especially if those prayers are not leading us to speak up and to do what we can to change a culture where mass murder is normalized. Let us pray, and then let us be the answer to our prayers. Who we are is a country infected with out of control violence and too little righteous indignation about that. But, just maybe, we are also a country that remembers the moral victories of the Civil Rights movement, the Women’s Rights movement, the Marriage Equality movement, and maybe, please God let it be so, we are the kinds of people who are determined to work for what is right again, and to not settle for anything less than the healing our country so desperately needs. For our country and our culture, I pray the words of a hymn which is also my favorite prayer of repentance: “Dear Mother-Father of us all, forgive our foolish ways. Reclothe us in our rightful minds, in purer lives thy service find, in deeper reverence, praise.” Amen.

Photo credit: Devon Sayers/CNN.

2.21.2018 •




2 .21.2018

WMG Volume 5 • Issue 3 February 21, 2018


Wilton Manors Gazette

Gay Firing Adds to Calls to Increase Fire Assessment By Michael d’Oliveira

A gay teacher fired in Miami is now being or organization there are policies and used as a reason to increase the fire assessment procedures and teachings and traditions that are adhered to. If something along the way does fee paid by non-profits in Wilton Manors. Recently Saints Peter and Paul Catholic not continue to stay within that contract, then School fired first grade teacher Jocelyn Morffi we have no other choice,” stated Archdiocese after she married her same-sex partner, which is spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta in the Herald prohibited by the school. The school is operated article. The Herald also reported that some parents by the Archdiocese, which also operates St. defended Morffi and demanded Clement’s Catholic Church in she be reinstated. Wilton Manors. Samantha Mills, whose child Meanwhile the city of Wilton “This teacher was in Morffi’s class last year, Manors gives non-profits a told the Herald that many steep discount on their fire in particular parents continue to be outraged. assessment fees. Up until 2015 has made such ‘This teacher in particular has they paid nothing. made such a contribution to the Sal Torre, president of the a contribution school. She never imposes her Westside Association of Wilton personal beliefs on others. She Manors, brought up Morffi’s to the school... just does everything in love. She firing to the commission during She just does has a way of teaching that is so its Feb. 13 meeting. Torre said it amazing.’” was unfair for gay and lesbian everything in The fire assessment fee is taxpayers to “foot the bill” for the love.” levied against property owners Archdiocese’s fire assessment to pay for the city’s fire services. while that organization was able - Samantha Mills For years, non-profits were to fire teachers for being gay. parent exempt from the fee. But that “This weekend I married the changed in 2015 when the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result. In their commission approved charging non-profits eyes I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my 20 percent of their assessed fire fee. That choice in partner,” wrote Morffi on social media. percentage may go up in the 2018/2019 city According to the Herald, the Archdiocese budget. “We have said the fire assessment is stated that Morffi broke her contract under church rules of conduct. “As a teacher in a something that will change. We gave them a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for break on the fire assessment. So, let’s make that the spiritual growth of the children. One has to break smaller,” said Commissioner Tom Green. understand that in any corporation, institution WMG

St. Clement’s Catholic Church, via Facebook.

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February 21, 2018

2.21.2018 •



Where, Oh Where, Has The Parking Gone? It’s time to build a parking garage By Sal Torre

WMG February 21, 2018 • Volume 5 • Issue 3 2520 N. Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954-530-4970 Fax: 954-530-7943

Publisher • Norm Kent Chief Executive Officer • Pier Angelo Guidugli Associate publisher / Executive Editor • Jason Parsley Copyeditor • Kerri Covington


Art Director • Brendon Lies Digital Content Director • Brittany Ferrendi News Editor • Michael d’Oliveira

Correspondents John McDonald • James Oaksun

Staff Photographers

J.R. Davis • Pompano Bill • Steven Shires

Over the past few months, we have been waiting to see the final proposal for The Shoppes of Wilton Manors property that anchors our Arts & Entertainment District on Wilton Drive. The prospective buyers have unveiled their plans for the property; and let me just say, there is a lot to be desired. The project architect described the plan as, “Architectural redesign through a new paint palette.” In my opinion, the appropriate response would be, “Well, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” This rhetorical expression is far more appropriate since the oversized impractical building space, sitting almost vacant for years, used to be a Piggly Wiggly Supermarket. Many residents were looking forward to a new and exciting replacement of the outdated building that takes up much of the north end of the Shoppes plaza. Some were hoping for a muchneeded parking structure, along with plans for a boutique hotel along the frontage of Wilton Drive. Unfortunately, this new proposal is another attempt to make the outdated building more appealing to retail businesses by doing some cosmetic improvements, while being told to wait another five or so years to see any further improvements to this vital piece of property in the heart of our city. There is one item that created a bit of excitement, and that is the proposed pedestrian entrance coming in off of Wilton Drive, where now you must walk in traffic lanes. Part of the plan includes a new structure on the corner of Wilton Drive and NE 7th Avenue for a restaurant or additional retail space. The big negative here is that a good number of parking spaces would have to disappear to build the new structure. Why would we want less parking in a city crying out for more? Not only do we allow businesses to expand without adding additional parking, we allow them to expand while decreasing current parking. Rumors Bar & Grill expanded by decreasing parking spaces out front. This developer wants to expand while decreasing parking. The narrowing of Wilton Drive will not increase parking as once thought. The city changed regulations to allow retail businesses to open with decreased parking requirements. All this, while resident taxpayers have paid handsomely for the two new small parking lots around the north end of Wilton Drive. City officials believe that Uber, along with the future of selfdriving cars, will solve our parking dilemma. Just ask residents living in larger cities witnessing the increased gridlock on city

roadways due to thousands of rideshare vehicles, while mass transit is left to deteriorate and go unfunded by local governments, to realize that the future is not looking so rosy. Just drive around on a weekend night, when our business community depends on strong customer engagement, and you will see full parking lots at Hagen and throughout our city. How many customers and revenue are lost because people are unable to find parking, are unsure where to park on city streets, and who have circled around numerous times only to go elsewhere, somewhere they can park to enjoy dinner and a drink without all the hassle. Yes, Uber and other companies have made amazing changes in how we decide to travel locally and how to view parking needs. Unfortunately, Wilton Manors still has a major parking problem, even with Uber, ridesharing, and other choices. Luckily, the city is also sitting on the solution. The large vacant drainage ditch on the corner of Wilton Drive and NE 21st Court is the perfect location for a municipal parking structure. The design could include ground floor space for restaurants and other businesses with affordable rents set by the city. Introducing affordable commercial rents along the Drive would put positive pressure on current property owners who drive their tenants out of business with ever increasing rents. This structure could also include a covered open space for special functions, such as the monthly City Yard Sales or catered events, producing even more revenue for our Leisure Services Department. Many will question the cost. However, without a proactive plan to offer the growing business community in and around the Arts & Entertainment District much-needed parking, we will see more and more businesses heading to our neighboring cities that provide such infrastructure. In another year, city finances will benefit from having paid off a Parks Bond. It’s time we seriously look at seizing this opportunity and develop the city-owned property right on the Drive into a wonderful addition to our central business district, providing needed affordable rental space and much-needed parking. Waiting around for the future to happen usually means being left behind. Dealing in the present, we must make decisions that offer solutions to current and future problems, needs, and infrastructure if we want to keep our city a vibrant destination for residents, visitors and businesses. Parking and affordable commercial space on Wilton Drive will make life just better here. WMG

Sales & Marketing For ad placement in the Wilton Manors Gazette, contact 954-530-4970

Sales Manager • Justin Wyse Advertising Sales Associate • Edwin Neimann Accounting Services by CG Bookkeeping 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 SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. MEMBER


Associated Press MEMBER

MEMBER Copyright © 2018 South Florida Gay, Inc.

Correction On Feb. 1, The Gazette incorrectly reported that Wilton Manors commissioners approved the opening of marijuana treatment centers in certain parts of the city. Commissioners approved medical marijuana distribution facilities opening in select zoning areas after they are approved by the Planning and Zoning Board. The Gazette apologizes for the error.

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February 21, 2018

Third Annual Real Estate Yearbook Now Available

Real Estate

By James Oaksun Quick – name an asset class that will increase in value by a double-digit percentage, every year, with no decline, forever. I’ll wait a minute while you consider some options. Give up? Well, I admit it was something of a trick question. Because no such asset class exists – not even single family homes in South Florida. Why do I say this in the Forward to my Third Annual Real Estate Yearbook (available at www. The Universe has not blessed me with the special crystal ball that is a guaranteed predictor of the future. Yet the real estate market in South Florida looks very different today than it did in 2011 (the market trough), 2013 (when I moved here), or 2015 (the first year of my Yearbook). Among Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties, I have analyzed pricing, sales and inventory trends in 60 distinct neighborhoods, defined by the local municipalities and by U.S. Census tract. This is a finer gradation than zip code and more meaningful to current and potential owners, and my Yearbook is the only publication of its kind to do this on a large scale. Among the 60 neighborhoods, the median (half above, half below) rate of price change since the

2011 market trough, on a compounded basis, has been 10 percent per year. Consequently, the general pricing level in the median neighborhood is now approaching the levels achieved at the 2006-07 peak. Between 1999 and the peak in 2006-07, prices generally tripled here in south Florida – that’s an increase of more than 14 percent per year, every year, compounded. Then came the crash, with massive destruction of short term value. But since then, we have seen a brisk improvement by historical standards (“only”10 percent per year). Still, in looking back at the very long term (40 years), real estate prices in South Florida have generally increased on an annual basis at about half a percent above the underlying rate of price inflation. Now consumer price inflation over the last six years has averaged about 1.7 percent per year. So in other words, annual price increases of about 2.2 percent (as opposed to 10) would have been more in line with the historical standard. There are times in the economic cycle when a more careful and cautious approach is prudent. Good strategies would include finding special situations, upand-coming neighborhoods, and properties where some investment in updating could produce an enhanced

3 •

February 21, 2018

return. Owning for the long term (more than 10 years) has both a forced savings component and (historically) has provided a good inflation hedge. Right now, there is generally a glut of single family home inventory at the $750k plus price point. Even though some sales are occurring, this suggests that the market clearing price in that segment is well below the prices of recent sales. Conversely, at the opposite end of the price scale, inventories of single family homes are low, and activity brisk. We are no longer at a point in the cycle where you can throw a dart, buy anything, and come out a winner. Now more than ever, the skill of an active Realtor with strong local market knowledge is essential to your satisfaction and success in current market conditions. WMG James Oaksun, Florida’s Real Estate Geek(SM), is Broker-Owner of New Realty Concepts in Oakland Park. In addition to having degrees from Dartmouth and Cornell, he is a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI).

2.21.2018 •




Check out what’s happening

Oakland Park Walmart Plat Vote Scheduled for March 20

Around Town By Michael d’Oliveira

By Michael d’Oliveira

WMBA Business Expo The Wilton Manors Business Association will host its annual Business Expo on Monday, March 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Hagen Park Community Center, 2020 Wilton Drive. The event, which features local businesses, is free to the public. WMG

Photo credit: Mike Mozart, Flickr.

Water Chlorination Chlorination of the Wilton Manors water system began Feb. 13 and will continue through March 20. WMG

Grateful Paws Dog & Cat Rescue fundraiser The 8th Annual Wolfcuff Event, a fundraiser for Grateful Paws Dog & Cat Rescue, will be held on Wednesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. at The Alibi, 2266 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors. The event includes a cocktail reception, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, live entertainment, and VIP reception. Michael Walters, performing as Dame Edna, will be the night’s emcee. VIP and advance tickets are $20. Visit WMG

Community Spirit Awards Nominations are now being accepted for the Wilton Manors Community Affairs Advisory Board’s third annual Community Spirit Awards. The awards “recognize one outstanding individual and one business in Wilton Manors for exemplary volunteer service in 2017.” The honorees will be celebrated at the city’s annual volunteer appreciation event on May 12. The deadline to submit a nomination is March 31. Visit to download a nomination form. WMG Photo: Eucalyptus Gardens.

New city clerk Wilton Manors officials officially announced the hiring of the Faith Lombardo as the city’s new city clerk. Lombardo, who has a bachelors in public administration from Florida Atlantic University, is currently studying law at Nova Southeastern University. At the Feb. 13 meeting, she said she was thankful for the “chance to live in this beautiful city.” WMG

On March 20, the Broward County Wilton Manors were for the new Walmart Commission will vote on the plat for the and some were against. Before Oakland proposed Walmart at 670 E. Oakland Park Park approved the project, City Attorney D.J. Doody advised commissioners that Blvd., the former Kmart site. Under Florida law, platting is the process it would be hard for the city to prevail of the subdivision of property and is if Walmart had sued. “The city would used by Broward to evaluate the impact have a challenge in defending an action developments will have on the region. The brought in approving the plat. It would be a challenge to defend relative to meeting will be held at 10 a.m. a ministerial act,” said Doody. in room 422 of the Broward Under the The main concern County Governmental Center, expressed by the public and 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort city’s code, city commissioners in Wilton Lauderdale. Walmart could Manors was the impact Steven Wherry, the have occupied traffic might have on the Fort Lauderdale attorney the old Kmart surrounding area. Wherry representing Walmart, said said truck divers would not that the opening has been building make right hand turns onto delayed and he’s not sure now without Northeast 6 Avenue. “We when it will open. approval from can make a commitment like The proposed 121,345 the commission. that and stick to it. We can square foot store, which is be flexible,” said Wherry in 4,000 square feet bigger August of 2015. than the former Kmart, was When it does open, if given final approved by Oakland Park commissioners at the end of 2016 and will employ an approval by the county, the store hours will estimated 300 to 350 people. The site will be from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily and it will only have 510 parking spaces and solar panels be open 24 hours during three days chosen will be installed to provide some of the by Walmart. Per an agreement with the city, building’s energy needs. Walmart will also the only way the store can be open 24 hours hire an off-duty BSO deputy to provide on more than those three days is if the city allows one of Walmart’s competitors extra security. Under the city’s code, Walmart could to open 24 hours. Wherry said the days have occupied the old Kmart building chosen by Walmart will most likely revolve around high-traffic shopping days, such as without approval from the commission. Some residents in Oakland Park and Black Friday. WMG

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September February 21, 6, 2018 2017


City Close to Getting Site 92 Green Space By Michael d’Oliveira


Brightline Suicide Attempt Renews Calls for Safety on Tracks By Michael d’Oliveira The apparent Feb. 8 suicide attempt by a man laying down in front of an oncoming Brightline train has caused city officials to reiterate calls for safety. The incident occurred in Wilton Manors at Northeast 24 Street, south of Five Points. “The individual continued for a short distance walking parallel to the train tracks. The railway warning lights activated, the safety arms lowered and this warning system appeared to be working as intended. Upon approach of the Brightline train the man placed himself in the path of the train at which time he was struck. This individual was transported by fire rescue to Broward Health Medical Center to receive medical treatment and mental health assistance. Brightline officials continue to assist us with our investigation,” stated the Wilton Manors Police Department about the 48-year-old man. The police urged motorists and pedestrians to use caution when crossing the tracks, such as not trying to race across the tracks in an effort to beat the train, and

Wilton Manors commissioners said as they were enthusiastic, and asked they are very close to taking control city staff to do a review of all the costs of Site 92 from Broward County. associated with the city maintaining The 1.43-acre property, which is the site once the county transfers located on the south end of Wilton ownership. The possible concerns range from Drive next to Fort Lauderdale, has been the subject of conversation for police services to environmental over a year. Commissioners have problems to upkeep of a bridge on the property that spoken, off and on, about connects to a residential acquiring the land, which neighborhood. is undeveloped and “It’s a beautiful site, contains a lot of Cypress but I also want to know trees. what the implications Now, it seems as are,” said Commissioner though the city is on the Julie Carson. “The verge of getting it. expense may be very “They are going to trying for this city,” said give us the property,” Commissioner Scott said Commissioner Tom Newton. Green, who called Site - Justin Flippen In November 2016, 92 “a valuable addition vice mayor Patrick Cann, Leisure to our inventory of green Services Director, space.” If the city does get estimated it would cost the land, Green said he hopes it becomes a passive park and about $15,000 a year for general is not developed much. “I can’t wait maintenance, such as emptying for this to happen,” said Vice Mayor garbage cans and landscaping. If the Justin Flippen. Both Green and Mayor city added amenities, that would Gary Resnick said they met with Dist. 7 increase the cost. At the Feb. 13 County Commissioner Tim Ryan, who commission meeting, commissioners represents Wilton Manors, who was in said they would also ask for funding from the county to help maintain the favor of the transfer. But commissioners were as cautious property. WMG

“I can’t wait for this to happen.”

not stopping or standing on the tracks at any time. “We encourage everyone to use proper safety measures near railroad tracks and when a train is approaching.” Since it began operations in January, Brightline has also made public statements on safety. When video surfaced of a driver going around the guard arm and almost getting hit by a Brightline train, Brightline posted the video and stated “Behavior like this is dangerous and illegal. When the gates are down, stop! Never try to beat the train.” WMG


City Unveils New Metal Detector at City Hall Resident Paul Kuta walks through the city’s new metal detector on Feb. 13. Purchased for $4,048 to improve security, the metal detector was used for the first time at the Feb. 13 commission meeting. Before the meeting, the city sent out a statement. “We encourage those who will be attending our meetings to arrive earlier than normal and to limit the number of items brought with them. This will allow for an efficient screening process and expedite everyone’s entry into the meeting. We want to thank everyone for their assistance and understanding as we further improve public safety in the Island City.” WMG

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lifestyle photos

Corazones Juntos Corazon juntos means “hearts together,” as was the theme at the latinos salud fundraiser for the florida aids walk on feb. 15. J.R. Davis

Dr. Stephen Fallon.

To see many more photos, visit South Florida Gay News on Facebook. 38

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Gay & Lesbian lawyer network The GLLN hosted a happy hour gathering at Drynk for its members to socialize and connect across networks. The event was sponsored by the GLLN’s Strategic Alliance Members. To see future events, visit J.R. Davis

To see many more photos, visit South Florida Gay News on Facebook. 40


2 .21.2018

TIM SMITH PROVEN LEADER FOR LGBT RIGHTS  Launched a successful campaign to eliminate special status and deny grant money to the Boy Scouts for not allowing membership to the LGBT community  Ran against former homophobic Ft. Lauderdale Mayor, and publicly challenged his anti gay public rantings.  Currently challenging anti-gay church at Fort Lauderdale High School  Recipient of 2 GLCC awards including the Alan E Shubert Award, and male parent of the year  Member of the Dolphin Democratic Club  Sponsor of yearly Aids walk

Vote for Tim Smith March 13th for a strong voice for equality on the Fort Lauderdale City Commission

Tim listens

Feel free to contact him at 954-822-4727 or, or stop by his headquarters at Oddballs Thrift- 530 NE 13th street. Paid political advertisement paid for and approved by Tim Smith Campaign for City Commissioner.

Accounting and Tax Services Timothy S. Hart, CPA Managing Partner

2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Penthouse D | Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 954-202-9770 | 954-202-9777 Fax |

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lifestyle food Wolsen Caffe Lunchroom

Milk Money Bar & Kitchen

Rick Karlin


The Lunch Bunch

don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve had a lot of lunch dates and on two of those we opted to check out some recently opened spots. The third place we visited has been open for about a year, but it took me a while to get there. It turned out to be my favorite of the three, so let’s start with that one.


4520 North Federal, Fort Lauderdale 954-870-7197

Lunchroom is the latest (for now) offering from the be nice restaurant group (Top Hat, Coconuts, G&B Oyster Bar, Foxy Brown, Red Cow) and ranks as its top spot in my book. It’s only open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and it serves up unique breakfast and lunch fare in a fast/casual setting. How unique you ask? How about a ramen stuffed burrito or a tuna poke hoagie? Breakfast offerings include oatmeal and chia, as well as sandwiches and burritos (which is where you’ll find the ramen offering; paired with scrambled eggs and maple sausage). There’s also a crispy cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting that could serve as half of Princess Leia’s hairdo. Lunch options include sandwiches and a couple of salads as well as daily specials. All sandwich fillings can also be served atop a bed of mixed greens for the same price, add a scoop of farro for a buck more. The options range from decadent (the porchetta showcases herb-roasted pork, braised kale and sautéed onion all topped with provolone, pecorino, Romano and Parmesan on toasted ciabatta) to health-conscious (a toasted hoagie roll plays host to a generous helping of sushi-grade ahi tuna poke, mango, avocado, cucumber, cashews and scallions bathed in a soy-ginger-lime vinaigrette) to exotic (tempura battered


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cauliflower tossed in spicy buffalo-blue cheese sauce atop banana pepper slaw on a toasted bun). Sides include homemade chips and garlic Parmesan fries as well as mac and cheese, and garbanzo bean, cucumber or quinoa salads. If you prefer to sip your lunch, there is an array of smoothies from which to choose. Craft beers and exotic sodas (praline cream soda, fresh ginger and Shinola cola from Detroit). And, don’t even get me started on the decadent cookies. Breakfasts and sandwiches range in price from $7 to $14, oatmeal and smoothies from $6 to $9.

Milk Money Bar & Kitchen  

815 NE 13th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 954-990-4018

Milk Money has taken over some of the space formerly occupied by Warsaw Coffee and expanded through much of the rest of the building. Service is hipster-haphazard, but most of the servers are so pretty you’ll excuse them, at least at first. The menu is strange to say the least. While Milk Money is open for dinner, the dinner offerings are severely limited. The only entrée options are a salad, and a choice of vegetarian or beef burger. There are a number of small plate options, all of which are also available on the more extensive (and interesting) lunch menu. The dinner menu also offers tacos so small they could serve as passed appetizers, priced at $4 each, or a pair of steamed buns with traditional bahn mi filling. I guess Buffalo cauliflower wings are a thing now because Milk Money also offers a version of the dish (which along siracha-glazed Brussels sprouts, chicken tenders and crispy chicken egg rolls are offered at a slightly discounted price during “Social Hour”, from 4-7 p.m. On a visit for dinner, I ordered the farmhouse burger, fairlypriced at $14.24 (with fries). The burger comes topped with thick cut bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried egg. I ordered mine medium and it came out bloody. The chef came out to apologize and cooked up a fresh one in minutes, perfectly done. On that dinner visit the fried fare had an unusual taste, as if the oil had turned rancid.

Our lunch visit proved more successful; a light and fluffy slice of quiche was not only perfectly prepared, but the generous portion and a tossed salad only ran $8.50. The Poke Bowl while priced a bit higher, $14, delivered a healthy portion of sushi grade tuna. There are only two desserts listed and they’re both winners. The brownie sundae delivers gooey-chocolatey goodness topped with creamy ice cream, while the aptly named Crack Pie is as addictive as you might expect (it’s what my auntie used to call shoo-fly pie).

Wolsen Caffe

2043 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors 786-647-8888

Wolsen Caffe, in the space formerly home to NovelTea is a branch of the famed Miami hot spot. They’re going to have to up their game if they expect to survive on the Drive. On the afternoon of our visit our server displayed a distinct lack of interest in taking care of our table. After taking our order he picked up his phone and busied himself (I hope he was on Grindr, at least), then he went out in front and offered passers-by free iced tea (while we sat with empty glasses). It took a good 30 minutes to get our meal (and we were the only diners in the restaurant). I ordered the lox platter. Now maybe, I’m expecting too much, but when paying $16, I feel the platter should include more than one slice of bread. I would have asked our server, but he was back to swiping left and right on his phone. My husband ordered the “Fusion” bruschetta (one of six different versions available). The four tiny slices of toasted baguette arrived topped with chopped olives and walnuts and flecks of gorgonzola. It would have worked better if the bread was spread with the cheese so that the toppings remained in place when lifted. As it was, most of the olive and walnuts ended up on the plate and table. Our less than satisfactory lunch cost about $30 (that’s without drinks), which doesn’t make me want to go back






n for an m lu o c od ts, eekly fo w stauran ’s e r N , s G r F a S lb Read on loca te i b e v flavors. l a n exclusi o s a and se





Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo



TICKETS! 305.949.6722 · 2.21.2018 •



F O R T H E W E E K O F febr u a r y 2 2 - febr u a r y 2 7 , 2 0 1 8 • W W W . S F G N . C O M J.W. Arnold

Glitter and Be Gay



fundraiser We’ve always said wrestling was the gayest sport ever. The Pride Center presents Wrestling with Pride tonight at 7 p.m. at The Manor Complex, 2345 Wilton Dr. in Wilton Manors. Kirk Donahue, Elite Eliot, Jaden Xstacy, Johnny Firestorm and more hot studs will engage in some sweaty man-on-man action in the wrestling ring at this unique fundraiser. Tickets $20 in advance ($25 at door) at



dance The famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to Miami, Thursday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, Feb. 24. Helmed by creative director Robert Battle and star dancer Jamar Roberts, both Miami natives, the company will present beloved Ailey dances and newer works. The programs include “Mass” and “The Hunt” by Battle and “Members Don’t Get Weary” by Roberts. Tickets start at $59 at





To celebrate the centenary of American composer Leonard Bernstein, the Palm Beach Opera presents his satirical comic opera, “Candide.” Based on the 1759 novella by Voltaire, this opera offers a tuneful commentary on naiveté and disillusionment in a cynical society. Performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Tickets start at $20 at Photo courtesy of the Palm Beach Opera.


2/24 SUN

2/25 MON

2/26 TUE






Cult filmmaker John Waters— sometimes called the Sultan of Sleaze, the Baron of Bad Taste and the Pope of Trash—appears tonight at 8 p.m. at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale with his new show “This Filthy World.” Waters will be offering his uniquely colorful commentary on fashion, crime, politics, art, movies, his life and more. Tickets start at $40 at

On Jan. 21, 22 artists created drawings, paintings and photographs at Flamingo Gardens in Davie for the Broward Art Guild’s Quick Draw & Shoot project. Tonight at 6 p.m., awards will be presented and artworks auctioned off at the Flamingo Gardens Gallery, 3750 S. Flamingo Rd. Acclaimed artist and educator Teresa Kirk juried the diverse and creative entries. RSVP by Feb. 23 to

Just turn the dial—make that press the buttons—on your TV and you’ll quickly realize that everything old is suddenly new again. From “Will & Grace” to “Dynasty,” the studios are reviving the classics in search of ratings. Netflix rebooted “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” recently and we have to admit we like it. Metrosexuals have given way to lumbersexuals, and the show has evolved, too. Watch at Netflix. com.

The Broadway in Miami series at the Arsht Center continues with “The Color Purple,” the 2016 Tony winner for best musical revival. With a soulraising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues and a stunning reimagined production, “The Color Purple” gives an exhilarating new spirit to this epic, Pulitzer Prize-winning story of courage and perseverance. Through March 4.. Tickets start at $29 at


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F E B 28 - MA R 2

Beethoven And Vivaldi’s Expressions Of Nature Vivaldi: Four Seasons | Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 Pastoral | Lisa Nardi: In This Heart Featuring Lara St. John



A&E dance The “Trocks,” Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, return to South Florida with their gender-bending interpretations of classic ballets. Photo Credit: Zoran Jelenic.

The Trocks: Ballerinas, yes; Drag Queens, no. J.W. Arnold


he dancers of New York-based Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo may be men dressed in tights and tutus, but don’t mistake them for drag queens. “We don’t dress as females,” explained Raffaele Morra, the company’s ballet master and a 17-year veteran. “We dress as ballerinas.” The company was founded in 1974 by a group of “ballet enthusiasts” and began performing classical ballets in parody form at late night shows Off-Off Broadway. Today, 44 years later, the company attracts highly trained dancers from around the world, including Italian-born Morra, who studied in the conservatory in Torino, not far from his small hometown. Like Morra, most devote their careers to the company. While men dancing in pointe shoes might have been an oddity at one time, “nowadays, pointe work has been accepted in ballet schools for boys,” Morra said. “We have more new dancers who have danced en pointe. There is no judging.” Dancing in “toe” shoes helps male and female dancers strengthen their ankles and develop the leg muscles in ways jumping cannot, he said, ”but sometimes, we get so good at dancing as ballerinas we can forget our male technique, our male power.” Because the dancers’ technique is flawless, audiences might easily confuse the male dancers for ballerinas at first. Their art is serious, but they never forget the company’s roots. The choreographers and dancers look for every opportunity to inject a little bit of

camp into their performances. The “Trocks,” as they are affectionately known, will return to South Florida with performances at the Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth on Feb. 28 and at the Arsht Center in Miami on March 4. Morra says the performance will include a gender-bending interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s beloved “Swan Lake,” Glazunov’s “Raymonda’s “Wedding” and “Troviatara,” a parody of the ballets typically inserted into the middle of operas set to music by “Verdi. “We are little pirate girls,’ he said of “Troviatara.” Morra no longer dances with the company but may be called to step in if there is an injury or illness. He himself admitted to baring his hairy chest above the bodice of his costumes on occasion. While most of the dancers are gay, Morra emphasized that was not a requirement. “The company is specific: you don’t need to be gay to be in the company. We are not closing doors and we don’t want it to seem as a drag show,” he said. “We are trying to make this show always very well balanced between jokes and the good quality dancing.” LGBT audiences are important an important constituency for the Trocks. “They like the controversy,” he said, but the performances also draw families with children and straight fans “who may not appreciate drag, but like to enjoy the dance.” Just don’t call the Trocks “drag queens.”

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo perform at the Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State University in Lake Worth on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. and at the Arsht Center in Miami on Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. For more information and tickets, go to


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A&E film Photo courtesy of The Karpel Group.


Les Sylphides/ Romeo and Juliet

Supernatural Romance Raises Issues of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Every Day is a beautiful love story

David-Elijah Nahmod


n the new teen romance film “Every Day,” Angourie Rice stars as Rhiannon, a girl who has fallen in love. The object of her affections is a spirit which has no body of its own. “Every Day” is based upon the New York Times bestselling novel by gay author David Levithan. He wrote the book because he wanted to question gender and sexual presumptions in a way that would be relatable to teens. The spirit who Rhiannon falls in love with, known only as A, wakes up each morning in a different body. A has no control over whose body it will occupy each day--sometimes it wakes up in a male body, sometimes in a female body. A also finds himself in the bodies of different races: sometimes A is white, sometimes Black, sometimes Asian. At one point in the story A finds itself in the body of a transgender male. A can never inhabit the same body twice. It is under these conditions that Rhiannon and A carry on their love affair. Rhiannon has fallen in love with A’s soul, and never gives a second thought to its gender or race. She kisses A when it’s male, and when it’s female. She holds its hand when it’s Black and when it’s white. “Every Day” tells a highly unusual story and makes no attempt at explaining who A is or how A became a travelling spirit. Audiences are asked to suspend their belief and accept the story at face value. Because of the fine performances of the cast this is an easy thing to do.

A total of fifteen actors play A in its various incarnations. Their performances beautifully convey the loneliness of A’s nomadic existence. A doesn’t have a name of its own, because A isn’t really a person. From day to day it has no idea where it will end up. It has its own memories and is also able to access the memories of its host body each day. A’s love for Rhiannon is the only joy it has ever known--the two must find each other every time A wakes up. Newcomer Rice gives an exceptionally strong performance as a young woman who casually accepts what is. She’s given strong dialogue and situations to work with. As the story begins she has a wonderfully romantic afternoon with her boyfriend Justin (Justice Smith). This turns out to be her first meeting with A-the next day Justin, once again in control of his own body, reverts to being his usual inconsiderate, self-absorbed self. When A, who’s moved on to another body, comes looking for Rhiannon she’s ready to accept what it offers her, because A offers her the love and respect she’ll never get from Justin. “Every Day” is a film that will hopefully inspire audiences to discuss the issues of race and gender which author Levithan questions so eloquently. In this era of sequels, remakes and overblown action films with too much CGI, a quiet and reflective film like “Every Day,” which allows audiences a peek inside its characters’ souls, is a breath of fresh air.

FEBRUARY 25 Two of the most enduring and romantic programs in the canon of dance come to life!


Ticketmaster | 954.462.0222 • Group Sales | 954.660.6307 Follow us:


Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

Look for Every Day in theaters on Feb. 23.

The Parker Playhouse 2017-2018 season is presented by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation.

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February 21 - February 27


Theater Christiana Lilly




Feb. 23 to 25 at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Candide is exposed to the outside world in this classic satire. Tickets $20 and up. Call 561832-7469 or visit

The Color Purple

Feb. 27 to March 4 at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. Celie learns to overcome abuse and hate to discover love. Tickets $29 and up. Call 305-949-6722 or visit

Solomon’s 700 Wives

Through March 11 at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Drive in Fort Lauderdale. A musical comedy based on the biblical story of King Solomon. Tickets $35; save $10 with code SOL. Call 845-598-2850 or visit

* Dead & Company

Feb. 26 at the BB&T Center, One Panther Parkway in Sunrise. The original Grateful Dead members are joined by John Mayer and members of the Allman Brothers, Fare Thee Well, and RatDog. Tickets $45.75 and up. Call 800-745-3000 or visit

* Willie Nelson

March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater, in Pompano Beach. The country star will perform hits such as “On the Road Again,” “Always on my Mind,” and more. Tickets $49.50 to $99.50. Call 954-5195500 or visit


Through March 4 at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. What happened before “The Wizard of Oz?” The hit Broadway musical takes you to high school, when Elphaba and Galinda battle to be the most popular Tickets $34.50 and up. Call 954-462-0222 or visit BrowardCenter. org.

Friday Night Sound Waves Music Series

Fridays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Hub, Las Olas Boulevard and A1A in Fort Lauderdale. Enjoy live, outdoor music spanning genres and tributes every Friday evening through November. Free. Visit

palm beach county

broward county Rocket Man: An Elton John Tribute

Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Go back to the early days of Elton John with performer Rus Anderson, with authentic costumes and songs like “Your Song,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Bennie and the Jets,” and of course “Rocket Man.” Tickets $29.72 to $45. Call 954-462-0222 or visit BrowardCenter. org.


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Free Friday Concerts

Fridays at 7:30 p.m. at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Enjoy live music from the comfort of your picnic blanket or lawn chair every week, for free! Returns in October. Call 561-243-7922 or visit

miami-dade county Alvin Ailey

Feb. 26 at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. The violinist performs works by Bach, Mozart, Bartok, and more. Tickets $35 and up. Call 561-8327469 or visit

Feb. 22 to 25 at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. In its 10th year performing in Miami, the dance company features artistic director Robert Battle and lead dancer, Jamar Roberts. Tickets $29 and up. Call 305-949-6722 or visit ArshtCenter. org.

The Revolutionists

Clark Gable Slept Here

* Itzhak Perlman

* Denotes New Listing

Rocket Man: An Elton John Tribute at the Broward Center on Feb. 23.

Through Feb. 25 at FAU’s Parliament Hall Heckscher Stage, 777 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Set in the French Revolution, four women come together to plot murder to overcome the insanity of Paris. Tickets $35. Call 561-297-6124 or visit

On Golden Pond

Through Feb. 25 at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St. in West Palm Beach. A retired couple is surprised when their daughter comes to visit with her fiance and his son. Tickets $75. Call 561-514-4042 or visit

Through Feb. 25 at Main Street Players, 6766 Main St. in Miami Lakes. The night of the Golden Globes, the staff of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars is scrambling to figure out what to do with the dead male prostitute in his room. Tickets $30. Call 305558-3737 or visit

If I Forget

Through March 4 at GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave. in Coral Gables. Three Jewish American siblings come together to celebrate their father’s 74th birthday. Tickets $45. Call 305-445-1119 or visit

Outdoor Music Series

Third Thursdays at the Perez Art Museum Miami, 101 W. Flagler St. in Miami. Come out for live music from DJs and musicians by the bay. Drink specials available. Free with museum admission. Call 305-375-3000 or visit

The Big Show

Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. at Just the Funny Theater, 3119 Coral Way in Miami. A collection of comedy mixing the likes of improvisation and sketches. Tickets $12. Call 305-693-8669 or visit

A&E theater







The cast of “Disaster” prepares for the next impending calamity at the Broward Center. Photo Credit: Rodrigo Balfanz.

Smooth Sailing for Slow Burn’s J.W. Arnold



f the plucky cast of Slow Burn Theatre Co.’s latest production, “Disaster! A 70s Disaster Movie…Musical” was experiencing nerves last week, they surely didn’t let on for the sold-out audience in the Broward Center’s Abdo New River Room. Never mind their “ship,” a floating casinoslash-disco, was caught up in the shocks of a devastating earthquakes, capsized by a massive tidal wave, infested with man-eating piranhas and sharks, and slowly flooding, they had the co-creator of the hit Broadway musical, Seth Rudetsky, in the house. Now that’s pressure and the cast responded with an impressive performance. A cheeky homage to the signature disaster movie genre of the 1970s—think “Airport,” “Earthquake,” “The Towering Inferno,” and “The Poseidon Adventure” infused with an unmistakable score of disco, pop and adult contemporary hits—“Disaster!” introduces a cast of wacky characters with silly backstories worthy of any of those campy romps: Chad (Clay Cartland), a lovelorn waiter who encounters the fiancé who abandoned him at the alter, Marianne (Leah Sessa), an investigative reporter seeking to expose the criminal misdeeds of the boat’s shady owner Tony (Ben Sandomir). Then there’s Jackie (Jeanine Gangloff), the “blonde” lounge singer who hopes the fourth time is the charm in Tony, and her sharp-tongued twins, Ben and Lisa (Blake Ferrante). Sister Mary Downy (Margot Moreland), a nun determined to save souls despite her affinity for slot machines, the sassy Levora (Deidra Grace) and Shirley (Janna Morrison), a dying retiree with nothing to lose, provide comic relief as Professor Ted Scheider (Matthew Korinko) desperately warns the



A FILM BY SEBASTIÁN LELIO passengers that excessive disco dancing with set off a natural disaster that will send them all to the bottom of the ocean. Throughout the show, the cast spontaneously bursts into song, ranging from “I Will Survive,” “Saturday Night” and “Never Can Say Goodbye,” to “Still the One,” “Torn Between Two Lovers” and “Muskrat Love.” Slow Burn casts always feature stunning voices and tonight, under the musical director Michael Ursua, they didn’t disappoint the audience or Rudetsky, who was in town for his Broadway cabaret series at the Parker Playhouse with Tony-winner Rachel Bay Jones (coincidentally, a Boca girl). Rudetsky could be seen nodding his head to the beat every time the music kicked in. While the entire cast shined, Cartland, a master of physical comedy, took home the gold for his not-so-graceful trip along a suspended beam a la Olympic gymnast Nadia Comenici, to the iconic “Nadia’s Theme.” Moreland also had the audience (and Rudetsky) in stitches as she lamented being “Torn Between Two Lovers.” But it was the teenager Ferrante who won the audience’s hearts with his flawless quick-change act between Ben and Lisa. Director Patrick Fitzwater milked every laugh out of the book and his sometimes frenetic style of choreography perfectly suited the 70s jukebox score. Kudos also go to Michael McClain, Thomas M. Schorrock, Rich Sczcublewski and Jameelah Bailey, respectively, for set, lights, sound and props design, and especially Rick Pena for all the unforgettable polyester and plaid on the costume rack. The biggest compliments came after the show when Rudetsky took to the stage to praise the cast and answer questions from the audience.





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Slow Burn Theatre Co.’s production of “Disaster! The Musical” moves to the Aventura Arts & Cultural “Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Thursday, Feb. 22 – Sunday, Feb. 25. Tickets start at $20 at 2.21.2018 •



Community Christiana Lilly

Top Picks Wrestling With Pride

Feb. 22 from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Manor, 2345 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Watch wrestlers Jonny Firestorm, Zip Zarella, Alex Chamberlain, and others duke it out in the ring to benefit The Pride Center. Tickets $20 presale, $25 at the door, $50 VIP. Visit PrideCenterFlorida. org.

A Look At Queer Miami Before 1940

Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables. Julio Capo, Jr. discusses his book “Welcome to Fairyland,” which explores Miami’s queer history from 1896 to 1940. Free. Call 305442-4408 or visit

Out of the Closet, Into the Light

Mondays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at MCC of the Palm Beaches, 4857 Northlake Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens. AA for the LGBT community. Free. Call 561-775-5900 or visit

February 21 February 27 Broward Support Services PFLAG

Tuesdays in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Southwest Ranches. A support group for parents of LGBT youth 13 to 21. Free. Visit for dates and locations.

SunServe Youth Group

Tuesdays and Thursdays in Fort Lauderdale, Southwest Ranches, Coral Springs and Hollywood. A support group and night of fun for LGBT youth 13 to 21. Free. Visit for dates and times.

Survivor Support

First and third Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Broward Health Imperial Point Hospital cafeteria, 6401 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Find support from counselors and peers who have lost loved ones to suicide. Call the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention at 954-384-0344 or visit

broward county * Black History Festival

Feb. 22 to 25 at the E Pat Larkins Community Center, 520 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Pompano Beach. The Eta Nu Education Foundation hosts a three-day cultural event with food, music, black history exhibits, and more. Visit display.

* Author Reading: “The Black Wall of Silence” by Paul Morrissey

Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at Stonewall National Museum - Wilton Manors, 2157 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors Morrissey, a priest from Philadelphia, will read from his book about a Catholic priest caught between fighting for the victims of sexual abuse and his loyalty to the Church. Free to attend; suggested donation $5. Call 954-763-8565 or visit

* Denotes New Listing 50

2 .21.2018

* Tree Giveaway

Feb. 24 at 8 a.m. at Wimberly Field, 3000 NE Third Ave. in Oakland Park. The city is giving away trees to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Call City Horticulturist Lyzabeth Fiore at 954-630-4420 or visit

* Polynesian Cultural Festival

Feb. 24 to 25 from noon to 7 p.m. at Jaco Pastorius Park, 4000 N. Dixie Highway in Oakland Park. Celebrate Polynesian culture with two days of fire and knife dancers, hula dancers, arts and crafts, ukulele exhibition, music, Polynesian food, and more. Tickets $10. Visit

* GLLN Luncheon

March 1 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Timpano Chophouse, 450 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Join the Gay & Lesbian Lawyers Network for the State of the Florida Bar by Michael Higer, Bar president. Tickets $30 for members, $35 for nonmembers. Visit

February 21 - February 27 Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Independence Day on Fire Island Photography by Susan Kravitz

Through March 11 at the Stonewall National Museum - Wilton Manors Gallery, 2157 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Photographer Susan Kravitz’s exhibition chronicling the Invasion of the Pines. Exhibit closes March 11. Suggested donation $5. Call 954-763-8565 or visit

Voices of Pride

Meets at Compass GLCC, 201 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth. Join the Gay Men’s Chorus as they practice every week. Free. Call 561-533-9699 or visit for rehearsal details.

Life Coaching

Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Latinos Salud Clubhouse, 2300 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Get one-on-one life coaching from certified CRCS coaches. For guys living with HIV, their partners, and anyone who identifies as transgender. Free. Call 954-765-6239 or visit

Lauderdale Bridge Club Lessons and Games

Mondays at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian

Church, 401 SE 15th St. in Fort Lauderdale. Join the club for bridge lessons and try your hand at some games. Cost $4. Call 610-4016475 or visit

palm beach county * Hina Matsuri

March 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach.The museum hosts a traditional doll festival, a Japanese custom to wish girls good health and happiness. Call 561-495-0233 or visit


Meets at Compass GLCC, 201 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth. A closed transgender youth support group for teens ages 12 to 19. For more information, email youth@

Silent Disco

First Thursdays at 9 p.m. at The Fieldhouse at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Dance to music by the DJ through wireless headphones for a unique night out. Tickets $20. Call 561-243-7922 or visit

Sober Sisters

Mondays at 6:15 p.m. at Lambda North, 18 S. J St. in Lake Worth. A support and discussion group for female recovering alcoholics. Visit

Out of the Closet NA Group

Mondays at 7 p.m. at Lambda North, 18 S. J St. in Lake Worth. A support and discussion group for LGBT recovering addicts. Visit

Bisexual Support Group

Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Compass GLCC, 201 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth. Share your thoughts with other members of the bisexual community, discuss issues, and address concerns in a safe environment. Email or visit

miami-dade county * White Party Week

Feb. 28 to March 6 throughout Miami Beach. A weeklong extravaganza of parties, dances, pool lounges, and more benefiting Care Resource. Visit

Arsht Center Farmers Market

Mondays from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. Purchase fresh food from local farmers, including fruits, vegetables, meats, prepared foods, as well as chefs, live music, and cooking demonstrations. Tickets $45 to $75. Free. Visit

POZCONNECT Support Group for Spanish Speakers

Mondays 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Pridelines, 6360 NE Fourth Court in Miami. A support group for HIV+ people, in Spanish. Free. Call Eddie at 305-571-9601, ext. 105 or visit

key west Gay Key West Trolley Tours

Saturdays at 4 p.m. meeting at 628 Duval St. See the gay side of Key West on this trolley tour. Tickets $25. Call 800-535-7797 or visit

Tea Dance: A Key West Tradition

Sundays at 4 p.m. at La Te Da Hotel, 1125 Duval St. An early evening dance in the Key West tradition. Call 305-296-6706 or visit


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Business Directory



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law office of Gregory Kabel 1 East Broward Blvd #700, Fort Lauderdale, 33301 954.761.7770 law office of Shawn Newman 710 NE 26th St, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 954.563.9160

Law office of Robin bodiford 2550 N Federal Hwy #20, Fort Lauderdale, FL 954.630.2707

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health insurance Medicare/MedicaID Florida Blue / Blue Cross Blue Shield 2765 West Cypress Creek Road Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309 Call Steve Herbstman @ 954-554-7074

health American Pain Experts 6333 N. Federal Hwy, Ste. 250, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 954-678-1074

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handyman Miami/Broward/Palm Beach Paint/Caulk/Remove Grout/Yard Work Fix Drips & Switches/Debris removal Assembles Furniture & Appliances Repair or Fix Call "Avrom" Keith 786-227-9981 2.21.2018 •




Business Directory

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South Florida Gay News

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2300 NW 9th Avenue (Powerline Rd) Wilton Manors, FL 33311 Mass Times: Saturday 5:00 PM Sunday 10:30 AM Baptisms • Weddings • Memorial Services


SouthFloridaGayNews It’s about time. It’s about us. A paper that speaks with you, to you, and about you. A paper that pulls no punches, protects our friends, defends our allies, and defines our adversaries. Our goal is to have you make our paper your home page.

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954.630.2627 Tennis Lessons at Hagen Park in Wilton Manors. Individual or group lessons. Call Robert 732-604-0362 for more information.

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real estate wilton manors FANTASTIC DUPLEX $499,000 - Unit is 3 bedrooms & 2 baths. Newer Roof, New Electric Panels and more. Huge Pie Shaped Lot on Quiet Street. Please call for Appointment Michael Tublin United Reality Group 561-703-5533

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employment wanted SPECIAL HIRE NEEDED - Earn $45,000 per year. Experienced, self-motivated professional salesman needed. Work competitively in a highly flexible and relaxed LGBT-friendly environment. Fax resume to 954-530-7943. Crew Leader-City of Wilton Manors - Fulltime with benefits. Supervise and perform general maintenance work inside/outside. $17.00 to $22.00 per hour. DOE. To apply, visit and click on the JOBS link.

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COOL POOLS- RELIABLE POOL SERVICE Professional pool service.Covering Wilton Manors, Lighthouse Point, and eastside of Pompano Beach. 15 years experience. Licensed and insured.Free estimates. Call 954-235-0775.

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roommates miami other Suburban Homestead - Seeking LGBT Young Adults Share 3/2 Home. Miami Gardens - efficiency (couples), and rooms (singles). Includes Utilities, Internet, Laundry, Fenced Yard, Private Parking, Furnished (optional), Pets Welcome... Text 786.306.7076 for appointment Michael.

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