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LOCAL NAME GLOBAL COVERAGE NOVEMBER 25, 2020 VOL. 11 // ISSUE 47

f o t s e B 0 202

SEE WHO YOU VOTED FOR BEGINS AFTER PAGE 16

PICTURED: CHRIS CAPUTO WILTON MANORS CITY COMMISSIONER BEST LOCAL LGBT ACTIVIST

THE WINNERS

ARE HERE! SOUTHFLORIDAGAYNEWS

@SFGN

SFGN.COM


Videos tell more than words.

Scan here to view some of our favorite current videos, or to subscirbe to our new YouTube channel.

Thank You for Voting Us Scan to View Video

Essential Workers: COVID19 Safety

Scan to View Video

How DiversiSAFE Works… Through Dance

Scan to View Video

A Look Back at our 2020 Gala If your phone doesn’t automatically open to the linked pages when you scan these codes, you can find all of our videos at bit.ly/videosLS

2

• 11. 25.2020

Latinos Salud is honored to have won your trust. All of us thank the community for voting Latinos Salud both Best Non-Profit and Best HIV Non-Profit for 2020. Serving the community for 12 years, our agency has remained open for all individual level services throughout the coronavirus crisis. We’ve deployed overlapping protective strategies to keep staff and community members safe, while still continuing our essential services from all three South Florida locations. Many of your friends and neighbors have long trusted our friendly, certified staff to monitor their sexual health. During the coronavirus closures, many others found their way to our doors for the first time, and learned you don’t have to speak Spanish for service here! Though we aim especially to recruit underserved gay Latinos, we proudly serve the whole community. Want to learn

more about how we’re keeping you safe, and see inside Latinos Salud? Aim your camera phone at the code for the Essential Workers video, to the left, and click to open a 3-minute YouTube video. By keeping our doors open during these past six months of lockdowns and partial closings, Latinos Salud has provided free HIV testing to 2,500 more community members, diagnosing 53 with HIV, and linking each one into life-saving treatment. We also diagnosed more STDs during these months: over 250 cases of syphilis, 200 cases each of gonorrhea and chlamydia. Every one of these clients, too, was linked to treatment, curing these bacterial infections, and by doing so, breaking the cycle of contagion. (If you receive any testing at Latinos Salud, you can track your results on our free app MyLabsLS.)


Have you found it hard to keep up with all the new strategies to stay safe from or live healthier with HIV? Our counselors in each location will walk you through an introduction to our DiversiSAFE approach, and show you how to use any of the 6 tools in the DiversiSAFE toolbox. See these tools explained through dance by scanning the code to the left for DiversiSAFE Dancers.

locations below, and get ready for our 2021 Gala event. We may not be able to sit at crowded tables together, but we can and will keep up the fight to make South Florida safer!

Create an acount at MyLabs LS, a free and secure tool that makes it easy to: Get your test results. Track your health history. Receive notifications or reminders. And more, all in one place.

In this year of changes, Latinos Salud will honor your vote of confidence. Stop by any of our three

Scan to Create Your Account

bit.ly/MyLabsLS

Visit or Call any or our locations Wilton Manors 2330 Wilton Drive Wilton Manors, FL 33305 M-F 11am-9pm, S 10am-2pm (954) 765-6239

Our newest service for 2020 is our free Wellness Clinic, where you can get a same-day prescription for PrEP. We are lowering barriers to help more people to access PrEP. Around 96% of our clients can qualify for free PrEP.

MyLabs LS

Scan to Schedule an Appointment

bit.ly/TestingLS

Miami SW 2760 SW 97th Ave Ste 103 Miami, FL 33165 Mon-Fri 11am-9pm (786) 801-1803

Miami Beach 925 Arthur Godfrey Rd. Ste 200 Miami Beach, FL 33140 M-F 11am-9pm (305) 397-8967 www.LatinosSalud.org /LatinosSaludFL /LatinosSalud

11. 25. 20 20 •

3


NEWS HIGHLIGHT

SouthFloridaGayNews.com

GAY POMPANO COMMISSIONER LOSES TO UNKNOWN CANDIDATE

Publisher • Norm Kent Norm.Kent@sfgn.com

Associate Publisher / Executive Editor • Jason Parsley Editorial

C

ampaigning in COVID-19 can have unexpected outcomes. In Pompano Beach, Commissioner Barry Moss was defeated by a political newcomer. Moss, whose district covers the western section of Pompano Beach, lost by 131 votes to Cyndy Floyd. Moss, a gay man, had served on the commission since 2014. In unofficial tallies, he received 4,852 votes for 49%, compared to 4,983 votes (50%) for Floyd. In a Facebook post, Moss, who also served as vice mayor, said the outcome was a surprise considering Floyd is somewhat of a mystery in District 5, which is home to the Palm Aire, a highly touted LGBT retirement Pompano Beach Commissioner Barry Moss. Photo via Facebook. community. “My opponent is almost totally unknown in the district but has the blessing of a female Herb Skolnick Center, pre-COVID, Moss term because of the extremely rude behavior last name,” Moss posted. “As I predicted would meet often with constituents and from some Pompano Beach residents. before the election, when you have a very speak to gay groups. He spoke fondly of his He said he feared future competent and large turnout of low-information voters who time abroad in Portugal. qualified leaders would bypass Pompano “You were and are more than a mere asset,” Beach politics as a “three-ring circus” not don’t know who the candidates are very often a woman will vote for the name of wrote David Corso of New Jersey in response worthy of involvement. to Commissioner Moss’ an unknown woman over the “It’s become worse recently,” Moss said, Facebook announcement. citing instances of routine rude behavior name of an unknown man.” Floyd, the Sun Sentinel “MY OPPONENT “Everything you do is done well from people screaming at the commission, and thought out. You will be making death threats and allegations of reports, is a billing supervisor IS ALMOST missed…..BIG TIME!” and Pompano Beach native. corruption, racism and theft. TOTALLY At this week’s virtual The 53-year-old Black woman In a 2018 estimate by the U.S. Census commission meeting, Pompano Bureau, Pompano Beach had a population is a mother of five children. UNKNOWN IN Beach Mayor Rex Hardin of 112,118. The northern Broward coastal “I recognize why women THE DISTRICT thanked Moss for his service. want to break those glass city, Moss said, had made significant BUT HAS THE “You’ve done an admirable improvements during his tenure on the ceilings,” Moss wrote. “That job throughout the years, sir, commission. In his final public remarks, said, I wish my successor the BLESSING OF A and I look forward to your Moss said it was his pleasure to see the city best of luck in representing FEMALE LAST wisdom moving forward,” transform from “Pomp-a-No into Pomp-aDistrict 5. I am looking forward Hardin said. to having the time to travel and Now.” NAME.” Commissioner Beverly visit friends!” “Things are finally coming together and it’s - Barry Moss Perkins thanked Moss for really exciting to see that happen,” Moss said. Raised in Massachusetts, POMPANO BEACH standing up for Collier “Now that I am retired I will enjoy watching Moss worked in real estate in COMMISSIONER City, a historically Black this city continue on the path to greatness Washington, D.C. for many neighborhood in District 5. years before moving to South and will be very proud to know that I had a Moss revealed at his final meeting that he small part to play in making Pompano Beach Florida where he made a home in Palm Aire. During informal gatherings at the district’s had reservations about running for his fourth grow and prosper.”

COVER: Chris Caputo. Photo via Facebook. Want to see who else is considered by readers like you to be among the very best? Turn to the center to find out!

Associated Press • 11. 25.2020

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

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@SFGN

November 25, 2020 • Volume 11 • Issue 47

Art Director • Brendon Lies Artwork@sfgn.com Webmaster • Kimberly Swan Webmaster@sfgn.com Arts/Entertainment Editor • J.W. Arnold JW@prdconline.com Food/Travel Editor • Rick Karlin Gazette News Editor • John McDonald HIV Editor • Sean McShee Senior Photographer • J.R. Davis JRDavis12000@hotmail.com

Senior Feature Columnists

Brian McNaught • Jesse Monteagudo

Correspondents

Dori Zinn • Donald Cavanaugh Christiana Lilly • John McDonald Denise Royal • David-Elijah Nahmod

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Pier Angelo • Terri Schlichenmeyer Dana Rudolph • Ric Reily

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NLGJA Journalist of the Year SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS.COM, INC. — — FOUNDED, DECEMBER, 2009 BY PIER GUIDUGLI AND NORM KENT South Florida Gay News is published weekly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor do not represent the opinions of SFGN, or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations. Furthermore the word “gay” in SFGN should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material/columns that appears in print and online, including articles used in conjunction with the AP, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher, at his law office, at Norm@NormKent.com. SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. Copyright © 2020 South Florida Gay News.com, Inc.


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5


NEWS INTERNATIONAL

BY AVRAHAM FORREST

THE WORLD AROUND

EURASIA

ANTI-LGBT PROPOSAL DEFEATED IN RUSSIA

A bill that would have blocked transgender people from legally changing genders and would have banned samesex marriage and adoption, has been withdrawn, at least for now, The Moscow Times reported. The bill was co-authored by Federation Council member Yelena Mizulina, who also helped pass a law banning “gay propaganda” in 2013, according to The Moscow Times. “Both bills are being withdrawn in order to find a version that all interested parties will accept, if possible,” The Moscow Times reported one of the coauthors saying. The State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children is named as the responsible committee for the bill designed to “strengthen the institution

of the family,” according to the State Duma website. State Duma deputy Oksana Pushkina commented on the bill, saying that the amendments regarding transgender people are contrary to the Russian Constitution, the Znak.com news website reported. Even so discrimination against transgender people is still common in Russia. Transgender people in Russia are currently classified as mentally ill and are also not allowed to drive, The Moscow Times reported.

EUROPE UK CUTS ANTI-LGBT BULLYING PROGRAMS

England cut £4 million worth of programs geared toward protecting LGBT students from bullying, according to BBC News. The decision affects 2,250 schools in England. The Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Challenge Fund, as it was initially known, provided free training and workshops to teachers, staff and students. “Our work in schools tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying funded by @educationgovuk and @GEOgovuk was hugely impactful, but continued funding is needed to ensure all schools can access this vital support,” Metro, an LGBT charity, said in a Tweet on Nov. 19. England’s Conservative Party has

Pedestrians in London. Photo via Pixabay.

pledged to continue to fight bullying, including bullying targeting the LGBT community. The issue is even included in its 2019 manifesto for government, The Guardian reported. The Government Equalities Office said that the fund was always due to end in March 2020, the BBC News Reported.

AFRICA

NORTH AMERICA

ANTI-LGBT TANZANIAN PREZ HOPES TO WORK WITH BIDEN ADMINISTRATION

MOTHER TRIES TO BLOCK 17-YEAR-OLD SON’S TRANSITION

Dr. John Magufuli, the allegedly homophobic president of Tanzania, is working to establish a stronger relationship with America, despite the recent president-elect’s views on the LGBT community, RightsAfrica reported. President Magufuli congratulated President-elect Biden and Vice Presidentelect Harris in a tweet on Nov. 10. Magufuli also said that Tanzania will continue to cherish the relationship between America and Tanzania. “Joe Biden believes that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity and be able to live without fear no matter who they are or who they love,” according to Biden’s campaign website. President Magufuli, who was sworn into his second term on Nov. 5, has been accused of violating LGBT rights,

6

Photo via Pixabay.

EXPLORING LGBT NEWS EVENTS ACROSS THE GLOBE

• 11. 25.2020

Dr. John Magufuli. Photo via Twitter.

RightsAfrica reported. The Tanzanian government has used arrests and forced anal exams to repress the LGBT community, the Human Rights Watch reported. Tanzania has requested $328,700,000 in U.S. aid for 2021, according to the US Foreign Assistance tracker.

A trangender 17-year-old is currently in court in Canada, fighting for the right to undergo a double mastectomy, Reuters reported. The teen’s mother sued the doctors involved with the surgery after the teen began hormone therapy in July, Reuters reported. The suite came in the week of Nov. 2, when the 17-year old was set to receive surgery. A judge stopped the transition with a temporary injunction which expires on Nov. 27, Reuters reported. The mother is able to apply for an extension after this date. Minors, defined as children under 19 years of age, are able to consent to medical treatment on their own under British Columbia’s Infants Act, according to the British Columbia HealthlinkBC website.

Photo via PxHere.

However, the treatments can only be authorized if “the health care provider is sure that the treatment is in the child’s best interest, and that the child understands the details of the treatment, including risks and benefits,” the website said. In a previous ruling in January, the British Columbia Court of Appeal determined that a father could not bar hormone treatments from his 15-yearold, Reuters reported.


NEWS STATE

WEEKLY TRACKING OF COVID-19 IN SOUTH FLORIDA Sean McShee

CUMULATIVE KNOWN COVID-19 CASES IN THREE SOUTH FLORIDA Cumulative Known COVID-19COUNTIES: Cases in Three South Florida Counties: NOVEMBER 17 THROUGH NOVEMBER 23

November 17 through November 23

Percent Increase in cumulative COVID-19 cases from 11/17 to 11/23 Palm Beach 5.3%, Broward 5.2%, and Miami Dade 5.3%

11/17

11/18

11/19

11/20

Palm Beach

101,05 9

101,747

61,776

61,305

60,729

60,219

59,656

59,154

100,28 8

99,320

98,377

97,475

96,700

216,442

214,943

213,197

211,257

209,166

207,221

205,536

11/21

62,278

11/22

Broward

11/23

Miami-Dade Source Fl DOH Dashboard

Source: Florida DOH Dashboard.

CUMULATIVE KNOWN COVID-19 DEATHS IN THREE SOUTH FLORIDA COUNTIES: Cumulative Known COVID-19 Deaths in Cumulative Known COVID-19 Cases in South Florida Counties: 23 NOVEMBER 17 THROUGH NOVEMBER ThreeThree South Florida Counties:

November 17 through November November 17 through November 23 23

Percent Increase in cumulative COVID-19 deaths from 11/17 to 11/23 Percent Increase in cumulative COVID-19 cases from 11/17 to 11/23 Palm Beach 1.5%, Broward 1.9%, and Miami Dade 1.6% Palm Beach 5.3%, Broward 5.2%, and Miami Dade 5.3%

1,635

96,700

1,598

59,154

11/17 11/17

1,641 97,475

1,608

98,377 1,644

1,611

11/18 11/18

Palm Beach

11/19 11/19

1,618

1,615

60,729

60,219

59,656

100,28 1,648 8

99,320 1,647

11/20 11/20

Palm Beach Broward Broward

101,05 1,648 9 1,626

61,776

61,305

11/21 11/21

216,442

214,943

213,197

211,257

209,166

207,221

205,536

3,782

3,766

3,753

3,746

3,738

3,731

3,723

11/22 11/22

101,747 1,659 1,629

62,278

11/23 11/23

Miami Dade Miami-Dade Source Fl DOH Dashboard Source Fl DOH Dashboard

Source: Florida DOH Dashboard. 11. 25. 20 20 •

7


NEWS PALM BEACH

Photo via PxHere.

CHRISTIAN HATE GROUPS APPLAUD LOCAL RULING ALLOWING CONVERSION THERAPY John McDonald

L

eaders from organizations that support to align those beliefs with behaviors and people shedding their LGBT identities identities. cheered last week’s ruling on conversion The Liberty Counsel argued the case before therapy in Palm Beach County. the three judge panel — two of which were “A huge advance in Florida was announced appointed by lame duck President Donald today allowing minors to seek change Trump. allowing psychotherapy,” wrote Elizabeth “This is a huge victory for counselors and Woning in a Facebook post. their clients to choose the counsel Woning is the co-founder of their choice free of political THE LIBERTY of Changed Movement, censorship from government a Christian advocacy ideologues,” said Liberty Counsel COUNSEL organization claiming to offer Founder Mat Staver. “This case is ARGUED THE protective pathways for people the beginning of the end of similar to follow their faith and leave unconstitutional counseling bans CASE BEFORE the LGBT community. around the country.” THE THREE “The court decision In response to the ruling, Legal tweeted concluded that disallowing JUDGE PANEL — Lambda “Conversion therapy is nothing minors the right to pursue TWO OF WHICH less than child abuse.” However, change in their sexual attraction is protected by WERE APPOINTED there was no concrete evidence to support such claims which the First Amendment’s free BY LAME DUCK appears to be the bans undoing. speech protections,” Woning The court cited a “complete lack” wrote. PRESIDENT “rigorous recent prospective In a 2-1 ruling, the 11th DONALD TRUMP. of research” on sexual orientation U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals change efforts. on Nov. 20 ruled in favor of John Stemberger, president of the Florida therapists Robert Otto and Julie Hamilton; striking down bans on conversion therapy Family Policy Council, tweeted back at in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County. The Lambda Legal: “Not allowing children to have therapists said their clients have “sincerely talk therapy when they want it in order to held religious beliefs conflicting with be free from a gender dysphoria disorder — homosexuality” and were seeking treatment that’s the real child abuse.”

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• 11. 25.2020


NEWS LOCAL

LGBT FLAG FOOTBALL CANCELS FEBRUARY TOURNAMENT DUE TO COVID-19 Photo: South Florida Flag Football League, Facebook.

Jason Parsley

T

he South Florida Flag Football league has already canceled its Sunshine Cup, held annually in February due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “With a full local board vote along with contributing committee members, a unanimous 13-0 decision was made to cancel FSC XI in February 2021,” Gary Schrader Jr., the tournament’s director, wrote in a post on Facebook. The league had already canceled its fall season. “The undertaking of creating a very comprehensive safety plan in this current climate was very challenging, and I am very proud of the work that was put into it,” Schrader wrote. “This is not goodbye, but rather a pause, until we can safely meet again.” League Commissioner Dominic Grasso said he and the other members of the league were disappointed but felt it was the right thing to

do under the circumstances. “We believed there were too many variables relating to COVID-19, making it too risky to bring teams from across the nation together to compete in a high contact sport and socialize,” he said. “We look forward to getting back into the field as soon as it is safe to do so.” Meanwhile organizers of South Florida’s LGBT softball tournament, the Hurricane Showdown, are moving forward with their tournament Nov. 27-29 at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale. The annual sporting event is expected to draw 750 players from across the country.

Visit www.sfffl.org for more information.

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IMPORTANT FACTS FOR BIKTARVY®

This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.

MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BIKTARVY

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF BIKTARVY

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:  Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section.  Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.  Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY.  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.  The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%). These are not all the possible side effects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.

 Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months.

ABOUT BIKTARVY BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. Do NOT take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains:  dofetilide  rifampin  any other medicines to treat HIV-1

BEFORE TAKING BIKTARVY Tell your healthcare provider if you:  Have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis infection.  Have any other health problems.  Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.  Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:  Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.  BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Ask your healthcare provider and pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all your other medicines.

Get HIV support by downloading a free app at

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•BVYC0218_BIKTARVY_B_10X10-75_SouthFloridaGayNews_Dimitri_r1v1jl.indd 11. 25.2020

All Pages

HOW TO TAKE BIKTARVY Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food.

GET MORE INFORMATION  This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more.  Go to BIKTARVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5  If you need help paying for your medicine, visit BIKTARVY.com for program information.

BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, DAILY CHARGE, the DAILY CHARGE Logo, KEEP ASPIRING, LOVE WHAT’S INSIDE, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. Version date: February 2020 © 2020 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. BVYC0218 04/20


DIMITRI LIVING WITH HIV SINCE 2018 REAL BIKTARVY PATIENT

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BIKTARVY® is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in certain adults. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.

Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you. See Dimitri’s story at BIKTARVY.com. Featured patient compensated by Gilead.

Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the previous page and visit BIKTARVY.com.

11.4/13/20 25. 204:57 20 PM•

11


NEWS STATE

SMART RIDE GETS REIMAGINED John McDonald

I

n the circle of life, one pandemic has affected another. Not even the SMART Ride can escape COVID. This year’s Southern Most AIDS Ride is a personal endeavor with participants engaged in various activities to raise money for HIV/AIDS agencies. “The money raised will help carry these agencies into 2021,” said SMART Ride Founder Glen Weinzimer. “This year it’s really important that we help them get through until there’s some kind of normality again.” COVID forced the cancellation of fundraisers and cost jobs leaving many people living with HIV food and housing insecure, said Weinzimer. Unrestricted funding like the SMART Ride raises helps HIV/AIDS agencies bridge the gap between grants and services. In 2019, the SMART Ride raised $1.4 million. That same year the Florida Department of Health reported 116,689 people diagnosed

P

y

From left: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Michele Rayner, and Shevrin Jones. Photos via Facebook.

Photo via SmartRide, Facebook.

as HIV positive living in the state with 4,584 receiving a new diagnosis. Traditionally, teams are formed and cyclists gather to ride the 165-mile route from Miami to Key West. This year’s event, Weinzimer said, is “reimagined” as people run, walk, swim, canoe, kayak and do whatever they can in a socially distant manner to raise funds. On Sunday, the AIDS flag arrives in Key West where the heads of the state’s various HIV/AIDS agencies will meet on the city’s pier.

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THREE FLORIDA TRAILBLAZERS TAKE OATH OF OFFICE John McDonald

F

lorida lawmakers took their oath of Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to office on Nov. 16 in Tallahassee. Congress. Among the governing body are three Smith, the state’s first LGBT Latinx from the LGBT community: Sen. Shevrin legislator, was re-elected to his third term Jones and Reps. Michele Rayner and Carlos in House District 49, which covers parts Guillermo Smith. All three are Democrats of Orange County. A vocal advocate for whose service is groundbreaking. progressive causes, Smith wasted no time in Jones becomes Florida’s holding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first Black gay Senator, serving feet to the fire on unemployment BORROWING A benefits and coronavirus relief. in District 35, which covers portions of southern Broward “Not one mention of our broken LINE FROM VICE and northern Miami-Dade unemployment system or the Counties. Borrowing a line PRESIDENT-ELECT millions pushed into poverty due from Vice President-elect KAMALA HARRIS, to COVID ... or the 1 in 5 FL small Kamala Harris, Jones tweeted biz closed with no state relief or JONES TWEETED the 17,500+ Floridians dead from “I’m the first, but won’t be the last. #WEthePEOPLE” “I’M THE FIRST, the virus,” Smith tweeted. “GOP Rayner is the first Black leaders keep pretending this didn’t BUT WON’T queer woman elected to the happen when they took the year legislature. She represents off.” BE THE LAST. House District 70, which covers Republicans hold a 24 to #WETHEPEOPLE” 16 Florida southern St. Petersburg and advantage in the Senate and 78 parts of Hillsborough, Manatee to 42 advantage in the House. The and Sarasota Counties. GOP controls all executive branch offices “Service is the rent you pay for room on sans the Department of Agriculture and this earth,” Rayner tweeted, quoting Shirley Consumer Services.

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NEWS LOCAL

DESPITE COVID SURGE LGBT SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT STAYS THE COURSE John McDonald

Join us for the morning kick-off of World AIDS Day to remember those we have lost and celebrate the ife of those living with HIV/AIDS. Hear from special guest speakers and add your personal remembrance to an interactive display.

T

he games are going on as planned. Despite high coronavirus case numbers in Florida, the Hurricane Showdown softball tournament is scheduled to proceed. The 26th annual tournament is Nov. 27-29 at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale. “We realize there are concerns, but we have a plan in place to keep everyone safe,” said Chris Aleman, tournament director. Over 750 players representing 65 teams from across the country are participating in the predominantly LGBT tournament. Aleman said tournament players and fans are asked to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. Hand sanitizers are provided on all dugouts, he said. On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health reported 9,002 new COVID cases bringing the state’s total to 914, 333. Governor Ron DeSantis has opted to not order severe restrictions in favor of a herd immunity approach. “Contingencies are in place,” Aleman said. “If the city goes back to Phase 2 or if there is bad weather, we have a plan. We’re hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.” Aleman said Mills Pond Park has plenty of space to accommodate COVID procedures and testing will be on site during the tournament. Unlike years past, the tournament is not promoting bars or after-parties as another precautionary measure. Other sports leagues have opted to cancel

“WE’RE HOPING FOR THE BEST AND PREPARING FOR THE WORST.” - Chris Aleman

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Several teams who play as a part of the SFAAA. Photo via the SFAAA, Facebook.

their seasons and upcoming tournaments. The South Florida Flag Football League has already announced its cancelation of its Sunshine Cup, held annually in February. “[We] unfortunately decided to cancel our annual national flag football tournament, Sunshine Cup XI,” said Dominic Grasso, the league’s commissioner. “Although we are disappointed, we believed there were too many variables relating to COVID-19, making it too risky to bring teams from across the nation together to compete in a high contact sport and socialize. We look forward to getting back into the field as soon as it is safe to do so.” There are four divisions in the softball tournament based on skill levels. Teams hail from Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Knoxville, Tennessee, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, Indianapolis, Boston, Iowa City, Iowa, Decatur, Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Norfolk, Virginia. Many of the teams, Aleman said, look forward to the social aspect of the tournament. “At the end of the day the ability to connect with someone and see they are doing well and to do that safely is a win,” said Aleman. “We just want a chance to play softball.”

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LGBTQIA BITES

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Bisexual

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KATY PERRY PERFORMS AT THE AMAS Katy Perry, a bisexual pop star, performed at the American Music Awards Nov. 22. This performance was her first since welcoming her daughter, Daisy Dove, into the world back in August. She sang a stripped-down version of her song “Only Love” alongside Darius Rucker. Perry’s performance was given an incredible amount of praise from fans on Twitter with comments such as, “I’ve got chills! Katy Perry did it again serving vocals and emotions.” Before the show, Perry shared a photo on Instagram of herself when she was a baby with her father. She attributed the performance to her dad by captioning the photo, “tonight’s @amas performance is for my father.” Fans showed their love for Perry by leaving comments on the post like, “YAS QUEEN” and “so proud of you mommy,” referring to Katy’s new mother status.

BY KENDALL LITTLE

Transgender

TRANS ACTRESS JOSIE TOTAH SPEAKS ON IMPORTANCE OF REPRESENTATION

Katy Perry. Photo via Facebook.

Josie Totah, transgender actress, gave some insight on trans representation in a recent interview. She stressed how important it was for a young trans person to see someone who looks like themselves on screen, and not just witness trans struggles. “Much of the time when it comes to trans representation it’s told through the lens of trans struggle or portraying trans character in a negative light,” Totah said. She then expressed her gratitude for being able to play a dynamic character that could be identified as more than just her gender identity. “Getting the opportunity to … help develop a character that was so much more than one part of her … is such an amazing opportunity,” Totah said. She plays Lexi in the “Saved by the Bell” reboot that is coming soon. She said that she hopes an influx of positive trans representation on television will help “normalize acceptance of the trans community in our everyday lives.”

Josie Totah. Photo via Instagram.

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RAPPER LIL NAS X CHATS WITH YOUTUBER JAMES CHARLES Lil Nas X made an appearance on popular gay makeup artist James Charles’ YouTube channel on Nov. 17. The two gay men sat down to discuss Lil Nas X’s new music and his general life. Charles worked on a silver makeup look while they talked. The two discussed Lil Nas X’s start on social media, the success of “Old Town Road” and the pop icon’s new music video. When Charles asked Lil Nas X if he felt any pressure after “Old Town Road” took off, he responded with, “I was never really phased.” He spoke about how sometimes the comments would get to him, but that he always stayed determined. Both men discussed the common sexualization of gay men interacting and anticipated a reaction to the video they were filming. “They’re really about to pipe up after this one,” Lil Nas X said and he was proven right. As soon as the comments rolled in, they were shut down by the singer. “2 gay men can do things together without y’all sexualizing it,” said Lil Nas X in a tweet responding to Pop Crave.

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NEWS LOCAL

SNAPSHOTS

OF THE

WEEK

From your life... into our pages! SFGN takes a special look at a community that is slowly waking up after a long and devastating summer.

THINGS TO DO: 1. WEAR A MASK 2. GET TESTED A public service announcement from SFGN.

“The FY 20/21 Oakland Park Commission, Congratulations Mayor Jane Bolin, Vice Mayor Michael Carn, & Commissioners Mitch Rosenwald & Aisha Gordon. Looking forward to a productive year!”

Photo via Facebook. - Matthew Sparks. Photo courtesy of Matthew Sparks, via Facebook.

CONSIDER ADOPTING A PET

Glen Weinzimer celebrates the completion of the reimagined Smart Ride 2020 with veteran rider and SFGN consultant Timothy Hart, at Glen’s “Best Of” eatery, Bona Italian Restaurant. Photo via Facebook.

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• 11. 25.2020

Hi everyone, the Sun Sentinel reported this week an influx of pets up for adoption at local kennels, due to the pandemic. This would be a really special time to consider saving the life of a dog or cat, rescuing them, and giving them a home. Not much more to add other than Mark Twain’s great line: “The difference between man and a dog is a dog doesn’t bite the hand that feeds him.” Give life to love over the holidays. - Norm Kent, Publisher Photo via Facebook.


FIND OUT INSIDE WHO YOU PICKED AS YOUR FAVORITES THIS YEAR PICTURED:

THE LATINOS SALUD STAFF, WINNER OF BEST NON-PROFIT. Read and share online! sfgn.com/bestof2020

f o t s e B 0 2 0 2

and the winners are... BEST BAR BEST RESTAURANT BEST MUSICIAN BEST DRAG QUEEN BEST BURGER AND MORE!


Best Of 2020

INTRO

SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Best Of South Florida • 2020

SFGN’S 2020 BEST OF

Pictured: Jason Parsley (left) with Aydin Koymen.

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

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n September we asked you, our readers, to vote for your favorite restaurants, hangouts, and charities — from your favorite burgers and desserts to the Best Guesthouse, Business and Realtor. We received more than 13,000 votes in more than 100 categories. In August you nominated your favorites in each category. The readers chose the Top 3 nominees in each category while the other two nominees were chosen by the staff, community leaders and readers. Each year we divide the contest up by county, giving our readers in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade, and Key West a chance to vote for their local favorites and to showcase LGBT

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

Publisher • Norm Kent

Norm.Kent@sfgn.com Associate publisher / Executive Editor Jason Parsley jason.parsley@sfgn.com

friendly establishments outside of Broward County and the Wilton Manors area. Remember folks these are your opinions — not ours. Don’t agree with the winners? Well then make sure to vote in next year’s contest. Only those votes that came with valid email addresses were counted and duplicates were discarded. Due to the growth of the contest we’re no longer able to print all of the stories in the paper. Advertisers were given priority. But you can still view them all online at SFGN.com/betof2020. So without any further ado here are this year’s winners……

EDITORIAL Art Director Brendon Lies Artwork@sfgn.com Webmaster Kimberly Swan Webmaster@sfgn.com

SALES & MARKETING Sales Manager Justin Wyse Justin@sfgn.com Senior Advertising Associate Edwin Neimann Edwin@sfgn.com Distribution Services Noah Lebel Sales Consultant Charles A. Reid Accounting Services by CG Bookkeeping Printing by Stuart Web Inc.

— Jason Parsley Cover photo courtesy of Latinos Salud. All other photos are via Facebook unless otherwise noted.

f o t s e B 0

South Florida Gay News is published weekly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor do not represent the opinions of SFGN, or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations. Furthermore the word “gay” in SFGN should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material/columns that appears in print and online, including articles used in conjunction with the AP, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher, at his law office, at Norm @NormKent.com. SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs.

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Copyright © 2020 South Florida Gay News.com, Inc.

Thanks to all of our contributors for this special issue... Rick Karlin Jesse Monteagudo

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SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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John McDonald John Porter

Damon Scott

Deon C. Jefferson

Denise Royal

Donald Cavanaugh

Carina Mask

Kim Swan


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Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

FOOD

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST RESTAURANT THAT CONVERTED TO DELIVERY/PICKUP AND BEST TAKE OUT THE PUB

2

TIME WINNER!

BEST ICE CREAM/ GELATO WILTON CREAMERY 2301 Wilton Dr # C4, Wilton Manors WiltonCreamery.com

6

TIME WINNER!

2283 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors ThePubWM.com

The pandan cake batter small batch. The Pub. Photo credit: Carina Mask.

In a new category, two long-time favorites of the community climb to the top. In an example of just how devastating this pandemic is to local businesses, popular watering hole The Pub pivoted and expanded on its already successful menu of

THE PUB PIVOTED AND EXPANDED ON ITS ALREADY SUCCESSFUL MENU OF ELEVATED BAR FOOD BY PROVIDING PICK-UP SERVICE. 4

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

elevated bar food by providing pick-up service. I can tell you I’ve been there a couple times when I’ve tired of my own cooking and picked up some dinner. The business placed the same in the Best Take Out category. “The Pub is very proud of its associates, especially during this time of crisis,” said owner Michael Connell. “We’re proud of our reputation as being known as one of the safest clubs to support on the drive.” While the Pub may have only walked away with two wins they were the runner-up in several categories including Best Restaurant for Social Distancing; Best Burger; Best Bar; and Best Bar for Lesbians. In total they racked up 11 nominations in 10 categories. Runner Up: Bona Italian Restaurant, which already had a robust pick-up and take-out business has been able to keep afloat by increasing that aspect of the restaurant.

Wilton Creamery puts the cherry on the sundae, yet again. With a large variety of smallbatch, artisanal creations running the gamut from the familiar (chocolate chip, rum-raisin) to more unusual flavor combinations (green tea and an herbaceous confection called Shampoo) there’s something to please everyone, even vegans and dogs! The creativity continues with the toppings bar where pieces of Nilla wafers join candied pecans and walnuts in honey, not to mention your standard sprinkles, jimmies and the like. There are nearly a dozen or so flavored whipped creams and syrups from which to choose. Runner-Up: Dolce Salato, which specializes in made-on-premises classic gelato. - RK

- RK

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Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

FOOD

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST RESTAURANT

A TRIFECTA!

BEST BURGER BEST RESTAURANT FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING

BEST DESSERT BEST BARISTA BEST COFFEE

TIME WINNER!

Rosie’s is the Meryl Streep of restaurants, winning the Best Restaurant (seven times previously) and Best Burger (eight times previously) awards. This year they also bring home Best Restaurant for Social Distancing. “We’re really happy and honored to receive the accolades from SFGN,” said Owner John Zieba. “We’re really active in the community. The business has been here for 18 years. We grew up with everybody here in Fort Lauderdale.” Most of Rosie’s dining is outdoors, so it was an easy conversion, spacing tables farther apart and the staff taking precautions while being gloved and masked. Conveniently placed hand sanitizing stations also helped. It was the first restaurant I went to after months of isolation. “Rosie’s is a fun place, where you meet new friends, old friends,” Zieba said. “We have such a great staff, and it’s a cool environment with the outdoor patio.” As for the food Rosie’s is more than just

2505 NE 15th Ave, Wilton Manors StorksBakery.com

Stork’s Bakery claims the top prize for the sixth year in a row. Whether it’s a full cake, a slice, a piece of pastry, or just a giant cookie, you won’t be disappointed. Add this to the fact that the selection is mind boggling; a dozen pies, another half-dozen tarts, cakes like Mom used to make, as well as those reminiscent of a French patisserie, cheesecakes, cupcakes, bread pudding and tea breads. You can go into a diabetic coma just reading the menu! And each one tastes as good as it looks. With so many goodies from which to choose, it’s no surprise that Stork’s also takes the Best Coffee Shop category. Runners-Up: Java Boys takes runnerup for Best Coffee Shop while Wilton Creamery takes runner-up for Best Dessert.

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

Portobello mushroom burger.

the burgers. Zieba suggests the fish tacos, the pretzel appetizer, spiced shrimp and beet salad. “We take the food side of the business very seriously. We train the staff. Source really great products. Don’t skimp on ingredients,” Zieba said. And then there is brunch with such classics as chicken and waffles, crab cakes and, of course eggs and omelets served dozens of ways. But if you do want a mouth watering burger there are plenty of unique ones to choose. Zieba’s personal favorite is their Cuban burger. Runners-Up: The Pub for Best Restaurant to Social Distance. Bona Italian for Best Restaurant. The Pub for Best Burger. As they say, “It is an honor just to be nominated.”

THE DAILY DOUBLE

WHETHER IT’S A FULL CAKE, A SLICE, A PIECE OF PASTRY, OR JUST A GIANT COOKIE, YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.

BEST PIZZA BEST ITALIAN

Bona Italian Restaurant comes out ahead of neighbor Dolce Salato. Bona specializes in a New York style pie with large, bendable slices and plenty of cheese, whereas Dolce Salato‘s offering is Neapolitan style, with a thinner, crispier crust. You can’t go wrong with either, it’s merely a matter of personal preference. Bona also captures a new category, Best Italian, edging out Café Vico.

- RK

6

TIME WINNER!

2449 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors RosiesBNG.com

6

STORK’S BAKERY

8

ROSIE’S BAR & GRILL

- RK

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- RK

BONA ITALIAN RESTAURANT 2468 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors bonaitalian.com


Thanks for voting us Best Gift Store...

Six Years In A Row! M

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THANK YOU SFGN READERS FOR VOTING

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FOR THE THIRD TIME!

2020 Best Ice Cream & Gelato

2301 WILTON DRIVE

954-565-1183

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o the Moon T 2205 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 (954) 564-2987 ToTheMoonMarketplace.com Best20of 20

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

BARS & CLUBS

BROWARD COUNTY

THE QUADFECTA 6 BEST BAR

BEST BAR STAFF

TIME WINNER!

BEST BAR FOR BEARS

BEST BUSINESS OWNER

HUNTERS NIGHTCLUB 2232 Wilton Drive Wilton Manors HuntersFTLauderdale.com

Hunters Nightclub in Wilton Manors is a perennial winner of SFGN’s Best Of. This year, Hunters won in several categories including Best Bar (for the sixth year in a row), Best Bar for Bears and Best Bar Staff. In addition, SFGN readers chose Hunters owner Mark Hunter the Best Business Owner. Meanwhile Hunter’s Possewon Best Virtual Group. Hunters aims to provide “the ultimate quality and service. It is our goal to assure each and every patron a thoroughly enjoyable entertainment experience. Our primary objective has always been ‘to get your spirits elevated.’” COVID-19 put a damper on Hunters success, as the club was forced to close for a couple of months. But Hunters survived the pandemic and returned to its former glory. At first the club was limited by the state’s insistence that it serve food, which led it to provide its patrons with a curated menu of dishes from nearby Wilton Manors eateries. As Mark Hunter told the Sun Sentinel’s Rod Stafford Hagwood, “when the restrictions meant you had to serve food in order to open, we went into that pool that we had

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SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

already established and said to ourselves, ‘What is the best way to support the community and at the same time getting us open?’” A month later Hunters was allowed to open as a straight (if you pardon the expression) nightclub though there are still restrictions. Patrons must wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and sit at a table to be served. Hunter’s patrons don’t seem to mind. In fact, they eagerly returned to their old watering hole. They came for such events as Fur Fridays, a magnet for the bear crowd. They came to enjoy the services of the Hunters staff, which Hunter called “the heart of our establishment and are as passionate and responsible for your satisfaction as the owner.” And they came for the Mark Hunter, who never forgot a business owner’s obligation to the community that he serves. Runners-Up: The Pub takes runner-up for Best Bar; while he Eagle in Wilton Manors takes it for Best Bar for Bears. Claudia Castillo takes runner-up for Best Business Owner. - JM

Best20of 20


BARS & CLUBS

BROWARD COUNTY

THANK YOU FOR VOTING FOR US!

BEST BAR FOR LESBIANS Photo via The Pub, TripAdvisor.

RUNNER-UP THE PUB 2283 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors ThePubWM.com

The actual winner of this category told SFGN they did not want to be featured because it might hurt their business. So instead we’re featuring this year’s runner-up The Pub as Best Bar for Lesbians. “The Pub is proud of the diversity among its customers,” said Michael Connell, owner of The Pub. “We strive to be a bar for everyone.” The Pub proved to be a powerhouse in this year’s contest with 11 nominations

in 10 categories. It won two of them, and was the runner-up in six more. They won for Best Restaurant That Converted to Delivery/Pick Up and Best Take Out. Included in those 11 nominations were several of their staff including Shane C. for Best Bartender; Chris H. for Best Server as well as Howie and Konstantin Z. for Best Chef.

Bartender (Gal) BROOKE F. @ ALIBI

Muscian JENNIFER MCCLAIN

Server CHARLIE @ ALIBI

Readers Choice:

- JEP

Best Patio Restraurant ALIBI

2266 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 • (954) 565-2526

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Best Of 2020

GROUPS

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST SOCIAL GROUP

BEST VIRTUAL GROUP

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BEARS OF SOUTH FLORIDA

TIME WINNER!

bosfl.org

Perhaps one of the reasons why the Bears of South Florida won the Best Social Group six times is because the club strives for diversity and acceptance. It also raises funds by offering opportunities for social gatherings. “The Bears of South Florida like so many nonprofit organizations and businesses, has had a challenging year,” said Kevin Daft, president of BOSFL. “Our spirit has remained strong though, with members making generous donations throughout the year, helping the club make ends meet and be able to offer some limited grants this December. Daft noted the organization has donated over $100,000 to support local LGBT nonprofit organizations since its inception in 2006. “We have an annual teddy bear drive with the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida that

benefits children in the Broward Health system,” he said. “Every child hospitalized gets a teddy bear.” Want to help? Visit bosfl.org/bear-drive. “We are very proud to have again won the title of Best Social Group,” he said. “Our members have proven to be positive and resilient through a very unusual year.We look forward to resuming our normal activities when it’s safe to do so — promoting social gatherings with a charitable purpose!” Runner-up: Boys With Boats - KS

BEST 3 BUSINESS GROUP

TIME WINNER!

GFLGLCC is the winner for the Best Business Group for 2020! This is the third time the group has brought home the top prize. President and CEO Keith Blackburn is ecstatic and exclaimed, “I want to thank SFGN for continuing the annual ‘Best Of’ and everyone who voted for us” The organization was founded in 2011, and its mission is to promote businesses that are LGBT owned and operated or LGBT friendly. The GFLGLCC has partnered with a long list of government and private agencies, globally recognized hospitality brands, banks, hospitals, and health care providers. During the pandemic, Blackburn was able to continue to support local businesses, and is optimistic for 2021. Blackburn insists that the future is looking bright and will continue to serve

10

COVID-19 and the ensuing lock down forced many social groups to modify their programs to deal with the new normal. Hunter’s Posse, SFGN’s Best Virtual Group, moved its center of gravity to its Facebook page when the pandemic struck, and the bars closed. The group used to meet at Scandals Saloon. When Scandals closed the group moved to Hunters at which time they also launched their Facebook group. “We gave it a try,” said William Krauter, Disk Jockey and Administer of the Facebook group. “It was a huge success.” There are about 200 members and it continues to grow. The virtual group meets every Wednesday online at 8 p.m. The age range is from 21 to 80s. Krauter said he sometimes posts review

GFLGLCC

GoGayFortLauderdale.com

Keith Blackburn (left) with Richard Gray.

local business, and that “2020 has been quite a challenge with no immediate end in sight. As a chamber, we will continue to support our members and the community we serve. We just renewed our LGBT+ Visitor Center and office lease and in 2021, we will celebrate our 10th year anniversary.” Runner-Up: Wilton Manors Business Association - CM

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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HUNTER’S POSSE (Facebook group)

Photo by William Krauter.

videos of past dances in which he makes sure to add some comedy. Krauter said he misses their in-person festivities like snacks, and monthly birthday celebrations. “Those things are very missed, but the beauty of forming this group gave us a way to keep in touch and continue friendships,” he said. “The Posse has always been a very warm and friendly group of people.” Runner-Up: Positive Social Group at Latino’s Salud - JM


BUSINESS

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST HAIR SALON BUCK & BEARD 815 NE 13th St. Fort Lauderdale BucknBeard.me

There are hundreds of hair salons in South Florida, and no shortage of gay friendly spots as well. It makes the winner in this category all the more impressive when you consider the high-level competition. Buck & Beard on Fort Lauderdale’s bustling 13th Street corridor came in tops for 2020. “We know there are many places our LGBT community can go and that’s why we do our best to offer not just a haircut, but an experience,” Jose Lima, who has been with the businesses since 2016, said. Navigating COVID-19 has been no small task for barbers and hair stylists as well, Lima said. “We have learned to keep our heads up high … to appreciate each other and always make time to connect with our employees, customers, family and friends,” he said. Runner-Up: Shout out to the venerable Dick’s Service Station in Oakland Park — a very close runner-up.

“WE KNOW THERE ARE MANY PLACES OUR LGBT COMMUNITY CAN GO AND THAT’S WHY WE DO OUR BEST TO OFFER NOT JUST A HAIRCUT, BUT AN EXPERIENCE.” - Jose Lima EMPLOYEE AT BUCK & BEARD

- DS

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Best Of 2020

SHOPPING

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST ART GALLERY

BEST GIFT STORE

CLAUDIA CASTILLO ART STUDIO

6

TO THE MOON

TIME WINNER!

2205 Wilton Drive Wilton Manors ToTheMoonMarketplace.com

2215 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors ClaudiaCastilloArtStudio.com

Claudia Castillo has won the Best Gallery for the second year in a row. In the summer of 2017, Castillo opened her art studio at 2215 Wilton Drive. The boutique gallery space, located in the heart of Wilton Manors, right on Wilton Drive across the street from Alibi’s, welcomes all and is brimming with handmade jewelry, metal work, sculpture, artwork, and gifts. Her studio and gallery space is always welcoming and open late into the evening. Her goal is create an art incubator space

The owner of To The Moon, Antonio Dumas, is the Willy Wonka of Wilton Manors. This is the sixth year in the row winning Best Gift Store. To the Moon boasts a dizzying array of nostalgic candies from one’s youth and kitschy, classical toys, robots and collectibles, all precariously placed on shelves. This novelty store has a diverse collection of exotic international and domestic candies consisting of almost 100 types of chocolate covered items. But the most popular item according to Dumas is the store’s homemade peanut butter cups. “These are the creamiest cups you will

IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, GRAB A CARBONATED BACON FLAVORED DRINK. 12

- CM

BEST CONSIGNMENT

ever taste,” he said, boasting. “We have customers from all over the globe stop by for them.” Dumas also wanted people to know his candy kitchen, where much of the magic happens, is located in Pompano Beach. Dumas’ personal favorite? Those would be the Triple dipped malted milk balls. “Nothing compares,” he said. Candy is clearly the focus of the shop, but they also have everything from unique Christmas ornaments to tin lunch boxes, X-rated cards — more than 15,000 eclectic items placed haphazardly throughout the store. Dumas noted the most unique items include “our glass collection of ornaments from all over the world, covering the entire ceiling — all year long.” If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a carbonated bacon flavored drink. Or maybe you’re looking for cat butt magnets for your best friend? To The Moon is treasure trove of hard to find items like Dutch Wafers, British Crisps and Maltesers. Runner-Up: Claudia Castillo’s Art Studio. Castillo’s has original pieces of artwork from local artists including metal sculptures, and handmade jewelry.

DECADES DESIGN GROUP 1500 NE 4th Ave. Fort Lauderdale 2661 N Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale Decades Design Group has been in business for two decades — that’s partly why it’s so popular among SFGN readers. Another reason — its reasonable prices and wide selection of furniture, lighting, and home décor. The store layouts are easy to navigate. Most of the clientele who consign furniture are private homeowners and decorators. While the pandemic forced many businesses to slow down, Decades was able to persevere. “We’ve been lucky,” said Co-owner Chaffi Schiaffino. “Because of the virus, people are focused on their homes.” Being in the area for 20 years doesn’t hurt either.

- CM

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

where emerging artists can exhibit their work and grow their networks and gain visibility in the community. She invites new artists to display their work every month. Runner-Up: Art Frenzie for Best Gallery. Co-owners, Bernadette Zizzo and Debbi Burke are always greeting customers and the curious folks that happen to stroll into the gallery and framing store with a giant smile.

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“What keeps us going is longevity,” coowner Jerry Marino said. The N. Federal Hwy store really has something for everyone. The NE 4TH Avenue location has more of a mid-century vibe with mid-century modern and preowned newer modern furniture. You can follow them on Instagram at @ decadesfurniture. Runner-Up: OddBalls Nifty Thrift - DR


SHOPPING

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST CLOTHING STORE & BEST ADULT STORE 7

TIME WINNER!

PRIDE FACTORY 850 NE 13th St, Fort Lauderdale PrideFactory.com

Pride Factory is this year’s Best Clothing Store for the third time in a row, and has also won Best Adult Store (seven times). According to Lori Deak, Vice President of the store, Pride Factory seeks out quality goods and “offers a wide variety in every department” such as adult toys, lube, non-leather harnesses and lots of sexy underwear. The store also offers beach and dance wear that come in shorts, tee-shirts, and tank tops, and even more underwear. Like most businesses the shutdowns impacted Pride Factory. “We were forced to close for two months,” she said. Deak made sure to use that time to do some remodeling. “During those two months our landlord installed impact windows in the store,” she said. “We also changed a few things in the interior to freshen the space and updated our website,” she said.“Once we opened, we followed the guidelines for masks and social distancing. We still are using those to keep our customers and staff as safe as possible.” Deak said the most popular clothing brand is their exclusive Addicted, which consists of fashion, gym, swim and underwear. But St33le is a very close

second with their stretch shorts in a variety of colors and coordinating tanks. “Our huge cock ring section is definitely the most popular area of the adult section,” she noted. Runner-Up: Macy’s for Best Clothing Store. LeatherWerks for Best Adult Store. - KS

DEAK SAID THE MOST POPULAR CLOTHING BRAND IS THEIR EXCLUSIVE ADDICTED, WHICH CONSISTS OF FASHION, GYM, SWIM AND UNDERWEAR. Best20of 20

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

PEOPLE

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST LOCAL DJ

BEST LOCAL LGBT ACTIVIST

3

TIME WINNER!

HERBIE JAMES

CHRIS CAPUTO

DjHerbieJames.Blogspot.com

Herbie James makes a comeback for Best DJ, previously winning in 2015 and 2014. His unique style of music is known as “Herbicidal,” a mixture of soulful house music, progressive and tribal. James first came to Broward in 1991 and stayed at the Marlin Beach Hotel, where he played 12-hour sets and built his way up to playing sets for local and national venues. He also podcasts weekly from clubs and venues around South Florida and the world.

Chris Caputo moved to Wilton Manors 15 years ago and since then he established a name for himself as a businessman (Development Partners) and community leader. His resume is impressive: Member of the Board of Directors, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce; Chair of the Affordable Housing Subcommittee, GFLCC; Member of the Government Affairs Council, GFLCC; Board Chair, Pride Center at Equality Park. Nor has he forgotten about the nuts and bolts of LGBT activism. In March he led a protest in front of Ron’s Barbershop to support a trans employee who had been attacked and fired. More recently, Caputo

“THIS COMMUNITY - MY LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY - LOVED ME UNTIL I COULD LOVE MYSELF.” - Chris Caputo ACTIVIST, WILTON MANORS COMMISSIONER ELECT

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BEST HAIR STYLIST

organized a rally on Wilton Drive in support of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. “I never made a decision to become an LGBT activist,” Caputo said. “It just happened. Having tested positive for HIV at the Pride Center a decade ago, I felt broken. This community — my LGBTQ+ community — loved me until I could love myself. They lent an emotional helping hand and assured me it gets better. Having found myself personally and professionally — thanks to the support of my community — I learned to live my life free of shame and I wanted everyone to have that same empowering experience.” Nowadays Caputo wants to be advocate for the trans community. “They are facing an uphill battle, often in their own community, not to mention the dozens of hate crimes and murders that their community has experienced this year alone,” he said. “Their community is our community. We are one LGBTQ+ family, and we have to work together to be treated equally and experience equity in all of our daily lives.” On Nov. 3, Caputo was elected City Commissioner in Wilton Manors. Runner-UP: Misty Eyez

DARREN @ DICK’S SERVICE STATION 3528 NE 12th Ave. Oakland Park Dicks954.com

Darren Thompson has nabbed bragging rights for the second consecutive year. He’s been cutting hair since 1996, has lived in South Florida since 2002 and has been at Dick’s since it opened in 2016. “I think it’s really because we focus back into the community,” Thompson said. It’s never been an empty gesture for Dick’s. A cornerstone of the shop from the getgo was paying-it-forward. It started with a big bowl of pennies. If you got a $14.99 cut and paid with a $20 bill, you could get $5.01 back or put the penny in the bowl for a featured charity. SunServe got $200 worth one time. Dick’s doubled it to $400. Then AIDS Healthcare Foundation doubled that ($800).

- JM

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

His recognition won him “Sleazy” and “Best Of” awards. He is also known for deejaying at the RamRod bar. Runner-Up: Pup Rockit

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It’s been that kind of run for the Heaven Cent program. And it’s personal to Thompson. “When we were building the shop my gay brother died of cancer,” he said. “I told him I’d do my best in life.” Heaven Cent and Dick’s clinched it. Runner-Up: Afonso Bras of Buck & Beard. - DS


PEOPLE

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST BARTENDER (GAL)

BEST LOCAL CELEBRITY

BROOKE F. (Alibi and DrYnk)

The last time we checked on Brooke F., South Florida’s Best Bartender, she was working happy hours at the Alibi’s patio bar. Then COVID-19 happened, and Brooke’s life changed. Two months ago Brooke started working at DrYnk Bar on Wilton Drive, as assistant manager. “I have lost numerous friends to the [COVID-19]. I have been absent in my family’s lives due to not wanting to expose them, and endured financial hardship,” Brooke said. “But throughout these challenging times, it’s imperative to remind ourselves that we are all in this together and always try your best to be a good human being.” According to Brooke, “there is no comparison” between working at DrYnk and working at the Alibi. “DrYnk Bar and Alibi are entirely different dynamics. DrYnk Bar is a craft cocktail environment, while Alibi is a nightclub/restaurant, in which both serve their purpose within the Wilton Manors community. However, I will say

Daisy Deadpetals is synonymous with South Florida drag and best known for her fierce looks, mad DJ skills, sharp wit, and show-stopping dance moves. While life has slowed down in 2020, Daisy isn’t feeling down. “I’m pushing through — there’s not a lot going on, but I’m making it work,” she said. “Thank God 2020 is almost over!” When she’s not entertaining audiences at Lips and Manor, Daisy still works as a writer at Helix Studios. Next month, you can catch Miss Daisy hosting an event at Hunters too. “I’m pushing forward, hoping to get back to normal sooner rather than later,” she said. Her upbeat attitude is part of the reason Daisy is so successful and universally well-loved. Being recognized as Best Local Celebrity, for the third time, really means a lot to her. “I’m a humble small-town Christian woman,” she quipped. “It means that

that my DrYnk Bar family has embraced me with arms wide open and has made me feel nothing but love and appreciation.” Though the Alibi and DrYnk are different, both clubs serve mostly gay men. “I never found it challenging to work at the Alibi due to my gender. I am fortunate to have a wonderful group of bar regulars that I can still call my friends. Of course, there were times when I would get the occasional rude or sexist comment. I never let it get to me because hundreds of positive occurrences overshadowed the negative ones over the years.” Runner-Up: Kristy at Infinity Lounge - JM

BEST ARTIST & BEST VOLUNTEER

Best Of 2020

DAISY DEADPETALS

3

TIME WINNER!

people recognize that I’m doing good work, and that’s a blessing.” If you’re not following Daisy Deadpetals on IG (@daisy_deadpetals) you’re missing a good time. Runner-Up: Jennifer McClain - DR

2

TIME WINNER!

CLAUDIA CASTILLO Claudia Castillo has won Best Artist categories for the second year in a row. She was born and received her education in Bogota, Colombia at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Castillo’s art is heavily influenced by nature; she loves velvety and rich earth tones but also creates abstract and whimsical, flowing water scenes. In the summer of 2017, Castillo opened her art studio at 2215 Wilton Drive. “The opening of my studio was a lifelong dream for me especially here in the community that has appreciated my work and given me such great opportunity,” she said. Castillo was also voted as Best Volunteer. “I am passionate about giving back to the

community because I am grateful for the blessings that I have been given throughout my life,” she said. Her studio also hosts children’s exhibits for Wilton Manors Elementary school, she’s currently working on Former Justin Flippen’s Annual Kids Manatee Decorating contest that works in conjunction with the City of Wilton Manors. She was also recently appointed to the Board for the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Runners-Up: Niki Lopez of What’s your Elephant, The Circle, 1310 Gallery, and Artists for Black Lives Matter for Best Artist. Lopez is a champion when it comes to marrying creativity, activism and the arts. - CM

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Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

PEOPLE

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST SERVER

BEST MASSAGE THERAPIST

CHARLIE D.

Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar 2266 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors

ROBERTO NOCIFORA It’s the second year in a row that Roberto Nocifora has won this category. It’s not surprising when you consider the Florida native has more than 20 years of experience. As a massage therapist, Nocifora weaves together many modalities to help bring relaxation and relief to his clients. What’s also clear is that Nocifora loves his profession. “I pick up on people’s energy. I can tell when my clients are going through things,” he said.“We connect in a good way.” In 2020, many of us can use the self-care and stress relief that can only be achieved during a massage. But, because it’s 2020, there are concerns about safety. Nocifora said it’s possible to have both. “I wear a mask, and so do my clients,” he said. “It’s been safe. Knock on wood.”

For the second time in as many years, the Alibi’s Charlie D. was voted the Best Server. Like others in the service industry, Charlie was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Alibi closed for two and a half months,” Charlie said. “I was not employed.” Even so, “the pandemic made me appreciate all the hugs and conversations I have with friends and co-workers.” Once it reopened, the Alibi recovered from the lockdown, and Charlie was part of that recovery. “All our loyal guests returned, even some new ones who appreciate the Alibi Monkey Bar.” As modest as he is talented, Charlie acknowledges those who helped him through the crisis. “I want to thank Johnny Park, the Alibi’s owner, who made us hot

Whether at the Grand Resort and Spa or with his private clients, Nocifora promises an unforgettable experience. To find out more about booking an appointment, follow him on Facebook at Facebook.com/ roberto.nocifora. Runner-Up: Christian Perez at Island City Massage - DR

Photo by Stephen Lang.

meals on a weekly basis for two months; Toni Taha of Wilton Manors Entertainment Group; Pastor Jamie of Holy Angels Church; and Johnny Goodnight, Dio and Pamela from our Wilton Manors Community.” Runner-Up: Chris H. at The Pub - JM

2

BEST STRAIGHT ALLY

TIME WINNER!

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ U.S. Congresswoman

As U.S. Congresswoman to Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been a powerful and steadfast LGBT ally. Sworn in as Florida’s first Jewish Congresswoman in 2005, Wasserman Schultz represents parts of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties and her family resides in Weston. She is a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. In June, Wasserman Schultz acknowledged there is still more work to be done within the community. “People in power also need to realize that, despite their foundational contributions to the movement, LGBTQ people of color continue to face a compound risk of violence. I will always be ready to fight by their side when they are

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being confronted with injustice, oppression, bigotry or hatred,” Wasserman Schultz said in her 2020 Pride Month statement. “She’s always committed to speaking up on behalf of the LGBTQ community,” said Michael Rajner, a gay activist who has worked with Wasserman Schultz on a variety of issues. “While she might not necessarily be the introducing sponsor of legislative efforts, Debbie has played such a big role in whipping votes to make sure our community is supported in Congress. There’s a lot more that she does behind the scenes that people know.” Runner-Up: Jennifer McClain - JMD

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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IN JUNE, WASSERMAN SCHULTZ ACKNOWLEDGED THERE IS STILL MORE WORK TO BE DONE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.


PEOPLE

BROWARD COUNTY

Best Of 2020

BEST TRANS BEST DRAG QUEEN(S) ADVOCATE T I E! TP LORDS NICOLETTE MISTY EYEZ

2

TIME WINNER!

Photo taken by Graciela Valdes.

Misty Eyez is getting down to business. At SunServe, she’s the Director of Women’s Services, Transgender Services and Training Services at SunServe. These days she’s working harder than ever during the pandemic. “Clients need help more than ever,” she said. “And we are just virtually helping people as far as the transgender community. COVID-19 just impacted and doubled all the needs that we currently had.” She’s also laser-focused on continuing her education. Several years ago, Oral Roberts University kicked Misty out for being LGBT. Now, she’s fulfilling her dream to complete her college degree. Three nights a week, Misty attends classes as she finishes her degree in management supervision with an emphasis on leadership and human resource management. Once that’s done, she plans to obtain an MBA. For Misty, hitting the books means taking a hiatus from performing at Lips. Not entertaining crowds also gives her more time to serve as mentor to two mentees. Between work and classes, Misty also maintains a personal life. She and her husband are working on plans to expand their family. Runner-Up: Tatiana Williams - DR

TP Lords, the perpetually avant-garde extraterrestrial Klub Kid performer extraordinaire and Nicolette, hostess of Lip’s Dragalicious Gospel Brunch, tie for Best Drag Queen. Attending Lip’s Dragalicious Gospel Brunch is truly a religious experience. Nicolette’s finale performance on a recent Sunday is purposefully poignant and beautifully choreographed. It is a very simple performance in all aspects, but it’s a moving and emotional spectacle. “I am thrilled to be named Best Drag Queen,” Nicolette said. “I love being an entertainer and love doing it for my community. To receive this award, during my 25th year in the art of female impersonation, is truly humbling.” Wherever TP Lords performs, whether it is a stage, a sidewalk, or a parking lot, she’s always brimming with a fierce intensity. Her costume design is nothing short of inspirational, whether she’s Klub Kid Chic, a Space Goddess, 1920’s Hollywood glamour or even Beyoncé. TP Lords speaks about being a performer and finding new ways to continue to entertain people during this pandemic. As an innovative business person, he created Dragshows Anywhere. “I was contacted about performing for a birthday party. I came up with the idea to keep it socially distanced [by] keeping the speaker in my car and backing it into the drive way. The first show was a little awkward to do — plus it was raining — but as the true professional that I am, I pushed through. Now 7 months later I am more comfortable doing them and running the shows no matter how strange they feel as times.”

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As long as this pandemic continues, TP will always find a way to continue to be innovative. “I am honored to be nominated alongside such amazing talents. And I will share this title of Best Drag Queen with everyone I come in contact with.Spreading my love, positivity and laughter, and not COVID-19.Thank you everyone that voted for me. I am truly humbled and blessed to do what I love.” Runner-Up: Jessica Channing; you can catch her at Scandals Saloon at 3073 NE 6th Ave, Wilton Manors, FL 33334.During the Pandemic, Channing set up a GoFund me for the Scandals staff and almost raised $2,000.00. - CM

ATTENDING LIP’S DRAGALICIOUS GOSPEL BRUNCH IS TRULY A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

PEOPLE

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST BARTENDER (GUY)

BEST LOCAL ACTOR & BEST LOCAL MUSICIAN 2

TIME WINNER!

SHANE C. The Pub 2283 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors ThePubWM.com

JENNIFER MCCLAIN

Shane C. brings home the prize for Best Bartender. Shane moved to the area eight years ago to open up The Village Pub (now The Pub). “I love what I do and I love my extended family at The Pub and in Wilton,” he said. As for his big win he’s humble, “I don’t think there was a best of anything this year. It’s just been people, organizations, businesses trying to survive. It’s been a tough year for a lot of people. All these people deserve an award in my eyes.” He’s faced quite a lot of adversity this year, but isn’t letting that hold him back. “It’s just made me a stronger and more determined person. The love and support

that I got from this community — I feel blessed,” he said. As for his bartending he describes his style as “honest,” “direct” and “a bit goofy.” “I care a lot about my customers and want them to feel safe and enjoy their experience. People come to the bar to forget their problems and have a good time,” he said. “If I can make someone laugh, I feel I did my job. I use to come to work everyday and give everyone a hug. Hopefully one day we will be able to do that again.” Runner-Up: Frank at DrYnk. - JEP

BEST NEW LGBT ACTIVIST The award for Best Local Musician goes to Jennifer McClain, a South Florida icon in the LGBT community who’s been performing locally for over 20 years. She also won the award for Best Local Actor. “It’s incredibly humbling to be chosen by your readers,” she said. “There are so many talented performers in our community that are equally deserving of these honors.” Like many entertainers McClain had to reinvent herself during the pandemic. She had to perform from her closet via Facebook Live to pay bills with online tips from viewers in the aftermath. “I’ve been very lucky throughout this pandemic to have switched to mostly virtual performances,” she said. “It has surprisingly been a pretty smooth transition for me. Even though I’m alone in my room, the comments keep me connected with my audience.” Before the shutdowns the flamboyant cabaret singer maintained a busy schedule belting out show tunes, pop standards and gay anthems at bars along Wilton Drive and beyond. Her favorite singers come from Broadway and include Linda Eder, Barbra Streisand, and Bette Midler. Her top three most requested songs are

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ALFREDO OLVERA

“Defying Gravity” from Wicked, “Seasons of Love” from RENT, and Lily Allen’s “Fuck You.” In July, she had the opportunity to return to the stage with a new one-woman show, “This is Me,” at Wilton Theater Factory. “It was a way for me to start performing for an audience as well as stretch my creativity during the pandemic,” she said. In the past, McClain has appeared on CNN performing in Key West for New Year’s Eve, and she’s also performed in New York City, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and on the High Seas. Currently you can catch her at Tropics Grille “in the fishbowl” on Wednesdays from 6:30-9 p.m. and live on her Facebook page Saturdays starting at 7 p.m. McClain also took runner-up for Best Local Celebrity and Best Straight Ally. “Being nominated for Best Straight Ally amongst all the high profile nominees was a really great feeling, and just being nominated for Best Local Celebrity is a win in my book,” she said. Runners-Up: Ronnie Larsen for Best Local Actor. Antonio Edwards for Best Musician.

This realtor breathed new life into a historic gay political group. “What a fantastic outcome,” Alfredo Olvera said in a telephone call with SFGN following November’s general election. Broward County delivered big for Joe Biden to the tune of almost 65 percent of the vote. Olvera, president of the Dolphin Democrats, organized many events for candidates. A latin man from Ecuador, Olvera said diversifying the Dolphins was a major strategy to improve outreach to the LGBT community. He said he was pleased with the organization’s turnaround. “When I took over there was no ground game and we were falling behind,” Olvera said. “When I joined I was saying to the board, ‘you have a membership problem.’” In 2018, Olvera began recruiting new members in search of younger activists to re-energize the Dolphins. The rebuilding process is hard work, he said. “Endorsing mayors, hosting fundraisers,

- KS

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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politics is not easy,” Olvera said. “It takes a long time to do anything. I started learning and created a plan in 2019 to be impactful and to have a voice in the community.” Getting the Dolphins’ endorsement nowadays involves a challenging survey. “We endorsed a large number of candidates and were extremely successful in educating voters,” said Olvera, referencing high view numbers on Facebook. “We really made an impact.” Runner-Up: Chef Josie Smith-Malave - JMD


PEOPLE

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST LOCAL TV PERSONALITY CRAIG STEVENS

BEST REALTOR JIMMY CUNNINGHAM

2

TIME WINNER!

2

TIME WINNER!

RE/MAX Experience in Wilton Manors

WSVN Anchor

Anchoring the nightly news in these times is quite the challenge. “Hour by hour this election contest has really been something else,” said WSVN anchor Craig Stevens, a few days after election day. Stevens, 51, has covered an array remarkable events, notably the 1995 bombing of a federal building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — the largest act of homegrown terrorism. He was on hand in Havana, Cuba as the Obama administration raised Old Glory for the first time since 1961 and has reported on Papal visits, the Versace murder and the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He’s had fun too — leading Pride parades, AIDS walks and hosting fundraisers for the Harvey Milk Foundation and Pride Center. “I think I’m pretty outgoing, extroverted, but there is a reserve at a certain point, chalk

Best Of 2020

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Jimmy Cunningham of RE/MAX Experience in Wilton Manors has won best in real estate again. He’s a dominant force in the category — winning in previous years, including 2019. Cunningham said 2020 has been a challenging year that no one will forget anytime soon. But he said challenges also bring opportunities, if people will adapt to change. “I see the future as extremely positive with new government changes, low interest rates, strong demand to live in South Florida and the hopes of vaccines and immunity,” he said. Cunningham stays connected by supporting the Pride Center, Equality Florida, Island City Stage, Latinos Salud, Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, Lambda Legal and the Pet Project.

that up to my New England upbringing,” Stevens said. Steve Rothaus, a South Florida journalist who has covered the LGBT scene for decades, described Stevens’ personality as warm, sweet, smart and authentic on-air and off. “A wonderful journalist,” Rothaus said. “He makes us proud night after night.” Runner-Up: Betty Davis - JMD

BEST ACTIVISTS HELPING THE LGBT COMMUNITY DURING THE PANDEMIC

“I am grateful to do business with the city I love and the community I call home,” he said. Runner-Up:Mike Trottier of Dettman Realty Group. - DS

Photo credit: Carina Mask.

HOWARD ANDREW & DAWN HOLLOWAY Best Activists Helping the LGBT Community During the Pandemic goes to Howard Andrew and Dawn Holloway. When the shutdowns forced so many businesses to furlough their employees Andrew and Holloway stepped in to help feed those local service industry workers who suddenly had no income. “We collectively feel it was an honor to help our community as much as we did,” Andrew said. “It was an idea that started small and grew. I wish could have kept it going on longer.” Holloway, the owner of Pink Sub, and Andrew, the owner of FabScout Entertainment, worked together, along with a team of volunteers and sponsors, for weeks preparing and providing meals to those in need. They gave out more than 1,900 meals in total.

Holloway said it couldn’t have been done without generous sponsors. “It was really an honor to have people step up provide the funds in order for us to make the food to distribute. It was amazing how sponsors were never an issue,” Holloway said. “We have to thank Bruce Howe and Mark Hunter for allowing us to use their property in front of Hunter’s.” Holloway wanted to make sure to recognize the volunteers as well including: Moni love, John Michael Gordon, Skip Vandelinde, Victor Lords , Kevin Clevenger, Joel Slotnick, Sue Martino, Lori Tanner, Layman Rupe, Matt Colunga, Chris Smith, S. Curtis and Bill Hueslman. Runner-Up: Chris Caputo - KS

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Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

COMMUNITY

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD

BEST SPORTS TEAM 2

TIME WINNER!

THE PUB RIPTIDE For the second time in a row, softball team The Pub Riptide has won Best Sports Team. “Thank you to everyone who voted for The Pub Riptide! It is an absolutely great privilege to play in an amazing league that cherishes sportsmanship and competitiveness,” said Coach Rob Gallagher. “Our team’s goals has always been about being competitive, creating friendships, and representing SFAAA well on and off the field.” Gallagher has been the team’s coach for nine years. This season has been especially challenging with the pandemic. “We have been taking a lot of precautions like telling people not to come if they’re sick; mandating masks; having hand sanitizers in the dugouts; social distancing; and giving players/teams choices to play, or not play, without any penalty and reduced fees for players,” he said. Runner-Up: Alibi Angels - KS

VICTORIA PARK Fort Lauderdale

Residents of Fort Lauderdale’s Victoria Park neighborhood love the small town feel within a big city location. Bordered by Broward, Sunrise, U.S. 1 and waterways to the east, it is a mix of upscale “Old Florida” homes and more traditional houses. It’s got the massive Holiday Park and the neighbor-hood rubs shoulders with emerging and uber trendy Flagler Village. It’s a LGBT friendly area, too, and is home to the Stonewall National Museum & Archives. “So many LGBTQ folks coming to South Florida see Victoria Park as a perfect opportunity to appreciate a diverse and welcoming neighborhood,” Kip Reynolds said. Reynolds is a Realtor and membership chair the Victoria Park Civic Association. He said the pandemic has made the

GALLAGHER HAS BEEN THE TEAM’S COACH FOR NINE YEARS. THIS SEASON HAS BEEN ESPECIALLY CHALLENGING WITH THE PANDEMIC.

neighborhood even more desirable as people decide to leave crowded areas or large rental complexes. Runner-Up: The Central Neighborhood Area of Wilton Manors. - DS

BEST EVENT THAT MUST COME BACK WICKED MANORS WickedManors.org

A new category created during the pandemic; Best Events That Must Come Back. And the winner? The Pride Center’s annual Halloween extravaganza — Wicked Manors. The Pride Center announced in August that they would not host Wicked Manors this year due to the pandemic. Event Co-Founder and Chairperson, Doug Cureton believes health and safety must come first. In 2019, more than 30,000 people flooded the streets in fabulous costumes for the Seven Deadly Sins theme. Multiple stages dotted the drive and the event boasted the highest attendance for the event thus far.

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The Pride Center threw a socially distanced pre-Halloween bash in Mass District in Fort Lauderdale Oct. 30. Wicked Manors is a major fundraiser for the Pride Center but you can still donate to them in order to help fund vital programs at the community center. Roger Roa, Event Producer and Pride Center’s Director of Development, is confident Wicked Manors will make a return next year. “Wicked Manors will return stronger and better in 2021,” he said.“We are excited to provide our community with a safe place to enjoy Halloween.” Runner-Up: Fort Lauderdale Pride. - CM

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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COMMUNITY

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST NON-PROFIT & BEST HIV/AIDS NON-PROFIT LATINOS SALUD 2330 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors LatinosSalud.org

THANK YOU FOR OVER TWO

The safe space for Latino health has dethroned Pride Center as Broward’s Best Non-Profit. Latinos Salud operates in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties with a mission to provide client-centered, culturallycompetent health education and integrated preventive, screening, and linkage services. “All us here at Latinos Salud are so appreciative of the community’s recognition,” Executive Director, Stephen Fallon said. “The staff has been working this year, during the coronavirus crisis, and this show of support means so much.” Board Chair Franco Chevalier, MD, added “We are beyond grateful to be recognized for the works and efforts of all of our members who selflessly devote themselves to breaking barriers and making strides in ensuring healthcare gaps are bridged in our LGBTQ Latin community.” Co-founder and Director of Health Programs Rafaelé Narváez said, “This vote is very important to us, as it shows that we at Latinos Salud are doing what we are supposed to do, and that is acting in service to our community’s needs.” The Centers for Disease Control estimates 1.2 million people are living

DECADES

with HIV in the United States and of that population 14% do not know their status. The organization celebrated 11 years earlier this year. Runner-up: Pride Center

... And thanks for voting us Best Consignment Shop 2020

- JMD

“THE STAFF HAS BEEN WORKING THIS YEAR, DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, AND THIS SHOW OF SUPPORT MEANS SO MUCH.” - Stephen Fallon

1500 NE 4th Ave

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LATINOS SALUD

To see inventory

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2661 N Federal Hwy Decades Jerry Chaffi

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

BROWARD COUNTY

BEST CLEANING COMPANY BUTLERS IN THE MANOR ButlersInTheManor.com In this reader’s choice category of Best Cleaning Company, Butlers in the Manor takes home the top prize. They won last year as well. “I could not be more proud of the team we have assembled,” said Owner Andrew Durning. “Quality is our number one priority. Trustworthy, professional and reliable, that’s us!” Launched in 2011, Butlers In The Manor strives to provide professional residential cleanings, using a detailed checklist to ensure homes are thoroughly cleaned. Durning has been in the cleaning business for 29 years. “My cleaning techs are trained with the number one training system in the country. We take our job very seriously,” he said. “We follow all CDC regulations to protect our clientele, as well as the employee. For me our

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SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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cleaning techs are the most important client. The better employees are taken care of, the happier they are, and are more proud of what they do.” Durning also believes in giving back. He offers free cleanings to cancer patients and their caregivers. “I lost my husband of 20 years to cancer,” Durning said in 2019. “I know firsthand what the struggle is to keep everything under control.” The company serves in Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, Victoria Park and Poinsettia Heights. - KS


BROWARD COUNTY

Best Of 2020

A FEW MORE WINNERS: BEST ASIAN FOOD TEE-JAY THAI AND SUSHI

BEST KEPT SECRET BEST RESTAURANT OUTSIDE OF WILTON MANORS

LE PATIO

BEST INDIAN FOOD BOMBAY CAFE

J. MARK’S RESTAURANT

BEST BBQ DIXIE PIG BAR-B-Q

BEST GREEK FOOD ETHOS GREEK BISTRO BEST GAY FRIENDLY STRAIGHT BAR FLIP FLOPS DOCKSIDE EATERY

BEST GROUP FOR SENIORS COFFEE & CONVERSATION AT THE PRIDE CENTER

BEST STEAK BEST MEXICAN FOOD

CAPITAL GRILLE

LA BAMBA

BEST DRINK SMOKED OLD FASHIONED AT DRYNK

BEST LEATHER BAR RAMROD

BEST PET GROOMER

BEST GROUP FOR TRANS PEOPLE

WILTON’S MANOR DOGGIE DAYCARE

SAFE “T” TRANS/GENDER NONCONFORMING GROUP AT SUNSERVE

BEST SPIRITUAL CENTER

BEST GROUP FOR WOMEN WOMEN IN NETWORK

BEST SPA & GUESTHOUSE CABANAS GUESTHOUSE & SPA

BEST SPORTS LEAGUE SFAAA

SUNSHINE CATHEDRAL

BEST CHEF JOSIE SMITH-MALAVE

BEST THRIFT STORE OUT OF THE CLOSET

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Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

PALM BEACH COUNTY

BEST SERVER

BEST BARTENDER PHILLIP P. Rooster’s 823 Belvedere Rd West Palm Beach

VELVET LENORE Velvet LeNore, 48, was born and raised in Florida. She moved to West Palm Beach 26 years ago and became an award — winning performer and female impersonator throughout South Florida and beyond. She has a dance troupe called K-otic Force with 20 plus drag members and one young straight man, Tommy Cook, who loves to perform and who happens to be the boss’ godson. LeNore raises money for a range of nonprofits with a special emphasis on Compass Community Center in Lake Worth. She began transitioning from male to female five years ago. She’s married to Michael Cushman having been together for 13 years. LeNore wears many hats and is known for many roles in the community but this year she’s being recognized for her serving abilities. You can catch her at Lips in

This is Rooster’s barkeep Phillip Parks’ second consecutive year as Best Bartender. An achievement in its own right, it’s made more impressive since the bar was closed most of the year due to a fire and a pandemic. He must have been doing something right to have such loyal clients.

AN ACHIEVEMENT IN ITS OWN RIGHT, IT’S MADE MORE IMPRESSIVE SINCE THE BAR WAS CLOSED MOST OF THE YEAR DUE TO A FIRE AND A PANDEMIC.

Broward where she also deejays, emcees and entertains. “I’m honored to receive this recognition,” she said. “Thanks to all who voted for me.” Runner-Up: Andy F. at Red Lobster - DCJ

BEST RESTAURANT & BEST KEPT SECRET Shhhhhhhh….don’t tell anyone! Haus Lounge has won Best Kept Secret. Guess it won’t be a secret much longer. The eatery and gift store also won for Best Restaurant. “I’d like to thank all of my supporters of not only The Haus Lounge, but also those who have supported me throughout my life and journey so far,” Owner Adam Sessa said. Their most popular items include the Haus Coffee selections and the all day breakfast options. Sessa, a local realtor, had big shoes to fill when he bought Studio 205, the only LGBT store in Palm Beach County, from Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Andy Amoroso. Sessa immediately changed the name to Haus Lounge and then the pandemic forced him to close the business for a couple of months. “We will continue to strive on making The Haus Lounge the queer inclusive destination of the

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3

TIME WINNER!

- KS

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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- DC

Haus Lounge. Courtesy of Adam Sessa, pictured.

3

TIME WINNER!

Palm Beaches as we grow our family, locations, and most importantly; our Haus,” he said. Sessa said that he was looking for a place to create a welcoming environment for people from the many diverse communities in South Florida to come together around common interests like art and music and food. In just a few months Sessa will be moving to a new location in downtown Lake Worth Beach on J Street. “Anyone within the LGBTQIA+ CommUNITY, minorities, people of color, those with disabilities/ disorders, and anyone on the spectrum; we see you, we hear you, but most importantly; we support you,” he said. Runner-Up: Howley’s for Best Restaurant. Revelry | Lake Worth for Best Kept Secret

“It feels so good to know that people are still thinking about me even though they haven’t seen me working in a little while. Luckily we’re doing a ‘Roosters at Penny’s’ night at Penny’s at the Duke on Saturday nights,” he said.“We’ll be back next year, and I’m super excited for everyone to see the ‘new and improved’ Roosters! Until then, I’ll be at Penny’s every Saturday night looking forward to seeing all the faces I’ve been missing.” Runner-Up: Rooster’s Bartender Rolf F.

HAUS LOUNGE 205 N Federal Hwy Lake Worth Beach TheHausLounge.com


PALM BEACH COUNTY

Best Of 2020

BEST OF THE BEST

BEST OF THE BEST

BEST LGBT ACTIVIST & BEST TRANS ACTIVIST

COMPASS 201 N Dixie Hwy. Lake Worth Beach CompassGLCC.com

LUCAS O’RYAN

This year the Best LGBT Activist award goes to Lucas O’Ryan, the Youth Program Coordinator for Compass Community Center. His job also includes working with trans-identifying individuals and their families to provide resources and services. He also facilitates the weekly Transgender Youth Group and the monthly and trans support groups that Compass hosts. He’s worked for Compass since 2018. The name of the actual award was Best LGBT Activist NOT Named Julie Seaver, since the Compass’ executive director has previously won every year. Seaver thought it was important to share the love! “Lucas’ passion and commitment in his various roles at Compass makes him an ideal role model for the at-risk youth and adults he serves. He has dedicated his skillset as a steadfast advocate for his young clients and their families, provides high caliper LGBTQ cultural humility training for other businesses and organizations, and has become an integral part of the Compass team here at the center,” Seaver said. “Lucas inspires kids to be happy and safe in their authentic selves, and continues to win large and small battles every day

This year SFGN is launching the Best of the Best award for those community organizations, businesses, and people that have gone above and beyond over the years and have either won or been nominated multiple times in SFGN’s Best Of contest. Compass in Lake Worth Beach is the first such recipient. Over the years they’ve won Best Non-Profit in Palm Beach County six times. In addition their youth group has won three times. Julie Seaver, the community center’s Executive Director, won Best LGBT Activist since the category’s inception in 2015. This year we renamed the category Best LGBT Activist NOT Named Julie Seaver. Seaver gave her blessing in order to share the honor and recognition. Instead Lucas O’Ryan, the Youth Program Coordinator for the center, won the award. Compass has been the heart of the LGBT community in Palm Beach County for over 30 years. Besides just being a community center they also oversee the annual PrideFest, and the LGBT chamber of commerce. They also host the iconic annual Stonewall Ball Black and White Party, as well as host events for Transgender Day of Remembrance and World AIDS Day.For WAD Compass often displays the largest collection of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in all of Florida. That is on top of their everyday functions, such as hosting support groups for the youth and transgender community, and connecting HIV positive people to life saving services. They serve over 25,000 people a year. Compass’ accomplishments are too many to list in this constrained space.

for struggling youth-most of which the greater community will never know of.” The readers also chose a new category this year: Best Trans Activist. O’Ryan won that too. “COVID-19 has only made things more challenging for most of us. Mental health needs have heightened and trans individuals and their families are always in need of support and resources regardless if a global pandemic is happening,” O’Ryan said. “I have had to navigate through the waters of this change like everyone else, but have still been able to provide resources and support, lead groups, facilitate training, meet grant deliverables, network with community partners and agencies.” O’Ryan who identifies as trans also enjoys sports, dancing, reading, and he has also been known to do karaoke on occasions. “Winning this award has shown me that the community has been positively impacted by the work I am personally doing,” he said. Runner-Up: Adam Sessa for Best LGBT Activist - DCJ

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“OUR MISSION HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT SERVING PEOPLE AND PROVIDE A SAFE SPACE FOR ALL WHO WALK THROUGH OUR DOORS EVERYDAY.” - Julie Seaver EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF COMPASS

But what Seaver told SFGN in 2018 sums it up well. “The common thread that strings us all together is people,” Seaver said. “Our mission has always been about serving people and provide a safe space for all who walk through our doors everyday. From every staff member, to every volunteer, we consider it a great honor for our clients and community members [to] trust us to continue to provide life-saving services for generations to come.” - Jason Parsley

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

PALM BEACH COUNTY

BEST DRAG QUEEN

BEST BURGER & BEST LGBT-FRIENDLY STRAIGHT BAR

RIANNA PETRONE Rianna Petrone has dethroned the queen this year in Palm Beach. For the past six years Palm Beach royalty Melissa St. John has taken home Best Drag Queen, but for 2020, readers chose Petrone. Most of the places where drag queens entertain have been shut down, so drag queens have had to get creative to continue to entertain. “Personally, the pandemic has caused me and a lot of my sister’s in the industry severe financial hardships,” Petrone said. “I have survived through family and friends. I feel blessed to have such amazing people in my life. To be recognized by the community that I have been a part of for 14 years makes me feel so much love, acceptance and a sense of euphoria.” Petrone served as Miss Palm Beach Pride 2018 and has been a regular host for weekly

LILO’S STREET FOOD AND BAR 701 Lake Ave. Lake Worth Beach LilosStreetFoodAndBar.com

“THERE’S A REASON WHY THINGS ARE MADE THE WAY THEY ARE. WE CRAFT OUR FOOD IN ITS OWN SPECIFIC WAY.” - Joe Lipovich

the years we’ve hosted a lot of events for different communities. We’ve hosted drag shows as well.” Lipovich owns the restaurant with his daughter Lindsay. And speaking of the food… “The menu is very diverse and eclectic,” Joe said. He described it as “crafted custom.” “There’s a reason why things are made the way they are,” he explained. “We craft our food in its own specific way.” He compared it to bars that serve craft cocktails. “That’s the same way we make our food,” he said. “We don’t just throw toppings on it.” While they may specialize in street tacos the readers voted for their burgers. All the third pound burgers are served on a Challah bun. Some of the speciality ones include The Dreamy One (mustard fried burger; sautéed onions, American cheese; lettuce; tomato; special sauce) and The Beyond Billy Goat One (fig jam; goat cheese; arugula; beyond vegan patty). Runner-Up: BurgerFI for Best Burger.

ANDY AMOROSO Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner 701 N Dixie Hwy. Lake Worth Beach

Andy Amoroso, Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner for District 3 was pleased to hear of his being named Best Politician. For a long time Amoroso has been working to get SFGN to focus on local candidates. “Lois has done a lot of good,” he said. “But a local paper should focus on local issues and people.” Amoroso was born in Broward raised in South Florida settling in Lake Worth 32 years ago. He has owned and operated a number of businesses including his newest, Tacky Tourist. In November, 2011 he launched a career in politics by winning a seat on the Lake Worth City Commission. He initiated and supported many programs of import to

CO-OWNER OF THE RESTAURANT

- JEP

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SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

- DCJ

BEST POLITICIAN NOT NAMED LOIS FRANKEL

“The Dreamy One.”

This is Lilo Street Food and Bar’s first ever win in SFGN’s Best Of contest, taking home the top prize for Best Burger and Best LGBT Friendly Straight Bar. “We just promote a culture of openness. We’re not afraid to be that way. We are just open minded. We embrace everybody. Everybody feels welcome,” said Joe Lipovich, an owner of the restaurant. “Over

shows at Propaganda in Lake Work Worth Beach. She is known for her larger than life costumes, and is widely regarded for being one of the most captivating and acrobatic performers in the county. Runner-Up: Velvet Lenore

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LGBT residents. Runner-Up: Omari Hardy, former city commissioner of Lake Worth Beach (recently elected as Florida House Representative for District 88) - DCJ


Best Of 2020

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Thank You !

Best Burger: Lilo's Streefood & Bar Readers' Choice: Best Straight Bar: Lilo's Streetfood & Bar

BEST NON-PROFIT, PLACE TO WORKOUT & BEST SOCIAL GROUP NIGHT RUNNERS NightRunnersWPB.com

Burger, Fries and a Beer only $10 Wednesdays 701 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth Beach, Florida 561-518-7880

PALM BEACH, MIAMI-DADE The Night Runners in 2019.

Established in December of 2016, Night Runners have definitely made a lasting impact in four short years. They are a nonprofit with Rudolph Galindo serving as the organization’s fearless leader. Since being active, they have participated in the Chili Cook-off at Penny’s at the Duke, and Compass’s 5th Annual Women’s Wellness Conference. “We are extremely honored and humbled by the awards, [it’s] a testament to the hard work of our seven board members, and the overwhelming support from our community of runners, walkers, cheerleaders, and active sponsors,” Galindo said. “Our intent is to end 2020 with a bang.” This year they organized their first ever 5k but the event was canceled when the pandemic hit. They relaunched it as a Virtual Pride 5k. The event will benefit Compass, and takes place Dec. 4-6. Nowadays the group has virtual runs every Monday and Thursday. Their mission is to “enthusiastically promote health, diversity, and camaraderie through physical activity(running) and friendship for everyone.”

Best Of 2020

A FEW MORE WINNERS:

Runners-Up: For Best Non-Profit, Compass; for Best Place to Workout, ZOO Health Club in Lake Worth Beach; and for Best Social Group, BLAST.

READER’S CHOICE: PERSONAL TRAINER

- DCJ

“[IT’S] A TESTAMENT TO THE HARD WORK OF OUR SEVEN BOARD MEMBERS, AND THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FROM OUR COMMUNITY OF RUNNERS, WALKERS, CHEERLEADERS, AND ACTIVE SPONSORS” - Rudolph Galindo

JACQUELINE BISH

ROOSTERS

BEST PIZZA

BEST BUSINESS OWNER

DOWNTOWN PIZZA

BEST ARTIST/ MUSICIAN

FLAMINGO PARK

ROLANDO CHANG BARRERO

BURGERFI Best20of 20

A.J. WASSON

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD

MIAMI: BEST BURGER

LEADER OF NIGHT RUNNERS

BEST BAR

MIAMI: BEST PIZZA

ANDIAMO! BRICK OVEN PIZZA

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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We would like to thank SFGN and its loyal readers for choosing Compass Community Center as the Best Community Center in Palm Beach County! And a special congratulations to Lucas O’Ryan for being voted the Best LGBTQ Activist!

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SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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Best Of 2020

MIAMI-DADE

BEST BARTENDER NATHAN S. 1216 Washington Ave Miami Beach

Nathan is a staple in gay nightlife in Miami having worked at Twist for 20 years. Over the summer though he decided to open up his own establishment: Nathan’s Video Bar. “I am super surprised to win and I can’t thank the community enough. It means a lot. I am honoredand grateful,” Nathan said. “I have worked in gay bars my entire life.” Nathan is really excited about his venture. “We are open 7 days a week from 6 p.m. till Midnight and we serve bits as well as drinks,” he said. Nathan’s signature drink, as well as his favorite, is passion fruit mojito. “Opening the bar right now has been a double edge sword with the pandemic

going on. You want to give people a safe place to go to be themselves but there is this new whole concern with keeping them healthy too,” he said.“So for the community to vote me as Best Bartender, it makes me feel like I doing things right by the community. And I made the right decision to open.” - JEP

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Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

MIAMI-DADE

BEST ARTIST/ MUSICIAN

BEST ACTIVIST & BEST BUSINESS OWNER 2

JANE CASTRO Jane Castro is outspoken. “Gay men live for that,” Castro said. While not a gay man, Castro has many followers who are and fancies herself a gay ally. Also known as Jei, Castro has appeared in numerous entertainment productions, including a bossy turn on the VH1 reality show “Tough Love.” “I’m Miami 305 all day, every day,” she said. “I am grateful for everything that I have accomplished in my life.” Castro can turn on a tough persona, but underneath it all she cares, said friend Herb Sosa. “To say anything about Jane Castro and her talent, one must start by her kindness and generosity,” said Sosa, Founder, President and CEO of Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida. “She has been a diehard ally of the LGBTQ community since before it was all the rage. Her smile is always radiant.” “Who doesn’t love to dance to her voice and rhythms?” Sosa asked.

ALEX GUERRA

TIME WINNER!

Alex Guerra hung the banner and paid the price. This gay Cuban fashionista let his feelings be known in the summer when he hung a Black Lives Matter banner from his business, Hotel Gaythering. The result was a fine from the city, but Guerra remains undeterred. When he opened his “straight friendly” hotel on

Castro describes her music as pop, dance and underground house. “If you believe in what you do you can make it and all you gotta do is stay strong to survive,” she said. Runner-Up: DROZE - JMD

South Beach a few years back it came with a front door notice: “If You Are Racist, Sexist, Homophobic or an Asshole, Don’t Come In!” Runners-Up: Herb Sosa for Best Activist & Roco Carulli for Best Business Owner - JMD

BEST NON-PROFIT & BEST EVENT THAT MUST COME BACK MIAMI BEACH PRIDE

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MiamiBeachPride.com

Before COVID hit, Miami Beach Pride was a huge event on the calendar, bringing spectators to the beach by the hundreds of thousands for celebrations of LGBT culture. Recently Rich Walczak was hired as MBP’s new executive director. He arrives from Savannah, Georgia where he co-chaired Savannah Pride. “I hope to build off this success and begin to include year-round programming for Pride with a focus on educating and helping our LGBTQ+ community, as well as teaching people on the outside looking in about the issues we deal with on a daily basis,” Walczak said in a press release. In leading a nine-day event, Walczak will be responsible for managing sponsorships, planning festival layout, coordinating volunteers, developing year-round programming, launching educational initiatives and collaborating with the

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TIME WINNER!

local queer to create safe spaces for expression. “Walczak’s global background will also help Miami Beach Pride engage audiences worldwide,” said Bruce Horwich, MBP board of directors chairman. “Miami Beach is an international destination, and a large component of Miami Beach Pride’s attendees hail from different countries.” Since its start in 2009, MBP has featured celebrity entertainers such as Gloria Estefan, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Bebe Rexha, Betty Who, Iggy Azalea, Elvis Duran, Gus Kenworthy, Ross Mathews and Mario Lopez. The last installment included a parade down Ocean Drive with more than 100 contingencies, bands, floats, cars and people. Runner-Up: Winter Party - JMD

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

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2020 WINNERS!

THANK YOU SFGN & THE VOTERS!

book your staycation!

gaythering.com

Best20of 20

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

MIAMI-DADE

BEST POLITICIAN

BEST RESTAURANT, BEST KEPT SECRET & BEST ACTIVITY FOR TOURISTS The Drag Brunch at R House.

MICHAEL GÓNGORA Miami Beach City Commissioner

R HOUSE WYNWOOD

First elected in 2006, Góngora is in his third term on the Miami Beach City Commission. He holds the title as the first gay Hispanic elected to office in Florida. Góngora, 50, is a shareholder in the firm Becker & Poliakoff, where he specializes in community association litigation. On LGBT issues, Góngora has worked with organizations that provide support to people affected by cyberbullying, suicide and HIV. “I am glad that LGBTQ issues are finally transcending politics and becoming human issues that all people care about,” Góngora said. “I am always open to hearing the voices and opinions of everyone and pride myself in passing legislation for the overall betterment of Miami Beach and all people.” Góngora took swift action in the wake of a 2018 incident in which a gay couple was attacked and beaten during Pride festivities. Four men have been charged in the case and Góngora said they “need to be brought to justice.” Overall, Góngora said he is pleased with the city’s level of safety, training and cultural

2727 NW 2nd Ave. Miami RhouseWynwood.com

R House is a vibrant anchor of the Wynwood arts district. The restaurant took the top prize this year for Best Restaurant, Best Kept Secret and its drag brunch won for Best Activity for Tourists. This diverse Miami local favorite is a joyous space filled with music, food, unique local art and a cast of A-List Drag Performers. Featuring local art, the best DJs in the city, one of the best drag shows in the city and a robust new Latin inspired menu; this neighborhood hot spot also holds its own in a city packed with great food. Chef/Owner Rocco Carulli worked with a team of talented chefs from all over Latin America to bring bold flavors made with the freshest natural ingredients to this incredible space. Behind the Bar, a mixology program has elevated the craft cocktail offerings to meet the newly envisioned menu. R House shifted gears into the new normal reconfiguring the space for social distancing to ensure you can enjoy a great meal and entertainment safely. This culinary experience takes you on a journey that is as representative of its address as it is the creator behind it. This low key unpretentious favorite, is a great place to enjoy the outdoor patio after an afternoon of walking through one of Miami’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Whether you’re planning your next

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birthday celebration with your besties, or looking for a chill spot to post up for happy hour, R House delivers a great time at an affordable price with great service. The R House Drag Brunch is the stop for every tourist to experience. This allinclusive Drag experience includes all you can drink and eat with a side of sociallydistanced, but nevertheless electrifying drag performances by some of the biggest names in Drag. Runner-Up: Meanwhile Runner-up for Best Restaurant is Palace Bar and Restaurant, one of the most well-known stops for anyone visiting Miami Beach’s legendary Ocean Drive featuring an iconic drag spectacular that has attracted a global audience and secured its place as a staple of Ocean Drive entertainment for more than three decades. The runner-up in the Best Kept Secret category goes to Hotel Gaythering, an off the beaten path delight for travelers looking for a vintage MIMO inspired hotel that provides travelers with a local perspective and welcoming atmosphere. And lastly runner-up for Best Activity for Tourists is a visit to Haulover Beach, located midway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The destination is a world-renowned clothing optional Beach, which has ranked continuously as one of the top 10 nude beaches in the world.

- JMD

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD WYNWOOD IN MIAMI A new category for SFGN’s Best Of is the Neighborhood category. This year’s winner is the home of colorful murals, great local craft breweries, and swanky restaurants — Wynwood! Not long ago Wynwood was an industrial area full of somewhat dilapidated warehouses with accents of rust, free parking and open fields full of broken glass and litter. Now it’s been transformed into the art district and trendiest place to be seen in Miami. The ever-evolving display of murals and graffiti by local artists that cover the walls, streets and sidewalks of Wynwood are screaming to be photographed. Dozens of new, trendy restaurants and bistros line Second Ave. A great spot to check out is R House on the corner of 27th street and Second Ave, amazing drag performances happen every Saturday and Sunday at 11:30

- JP

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

competence in addressing the needs of the LGBT community. “I credit this to the great leadership we have on the LGBTQ advisory committee,” Góngora said. Góngora said he is grateful to continue serving Miami Beach after a recent bout with cancer. “I believe I am on the road to recovery which will hopefully be confirmed in a few months when I go back for another scan,” he said. “This experience has taught me very much about people dealing with illnesses and problems and given me great compassion for them. It has made me a stronger person and I believe a stronger elected official.” Runner-Up: Daniella Levine Cava

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a.m. and 2:30 p.m., hosted by Athena Dion. Across the street from R House, you can find the famous Wynwood walls, an outdoor museum which exhibits murals created by international street artists. Runner-Up: South Beach, a perfect place to eat and catch up on people watching while you dine Al Fresco. Known for its gorgeous beaches and glamorous nightscapes, a mixture of nostalgic Art Deco architecture, the hotels line Ocean Drive and are perfectly illuminated by the surrounding neon lights at night. - CM


VOTED #1 TOP 10 BRUNCHES IN MIAMI

WWW.MIAMIBEACHPRIDE.COM Best20of 20

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

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Best Of 2020

MIAMI-DADE

BEST BAR

BEST DRAG QUEEN

3

ATHENA DION

TIME WINNER!

TWIST

1057 Washington Ave. Miami Beach TwistSoBe.com

With seven bars there’s something for everyone at Twist. “I think that we are fortunate to have seven different rooms, indoors and out, all with different music,” said owner Joel Stedman. “This allows people to barhop all within the same club.” Like most bars Twist was forced to shutdown in the early months of the pandemic. But like the old adage goes “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” Stedman used those six months to focus on remodeling. “We spent a lot of time on cleaning and repairs,” he said.“Being open everyday for 27 years had taken a toll.”

Athena Dion is a Greek Goddess and SFGN’s Best Drag Queen in Miami. She is a multifaceted, chameleonlike entertainer whose looks range from Mildred Ratchet to Princess Peach. Plus she’s an extraordinary humanitarian. Before the lockdowns, Dion would use the transformative and empowering effects of makeup being wielded by an expert artist, and gave tutorials to young women at Jackson Burn Center. Dion explains that the show must go on, finding new and innovative ways to still do drag during a global pandemic is absolutely necessary.

SHE IS A MULTIFACETED, CHAMELEON-LIKE ENTERTAINER WHOSE LOOKS RANGE FROM MILDRED RATCHET TO PRINCESS PEACH.

- JEP

“The pandemic has been hard for all of us, but especially for those in the arts and entertainment,” she said.“But in the face of adversity, drag queens rise to the occasion. We did online shows, online brunches, virtual performances, and overall we made it work.” You can find Dion at R House in Wynwood in Miami, fierce as ever We We looking are incredibly grateful are Weincredibly are incredibly grateful grateful with a face shield and serving it up on every Saturdayfor andyour Sunday support at R House’s and for your will for your support support and will and will Drag Brunch. continue ensurecontinue your continue to ensure to ensure your your “We kept ourselves busy, keptto our creative minds active, voices and more are importantly we invoices heard ourvoices efforts are heard are heard in ourinefforts our efforts provided entertainment and as escape for so many people were alsoa suffering tothatcreate trulyinwelcoming, to create to create a trulya truly welcoming, welcoming, isolation in a very uncertain times,” she community. inclusive community. community. said. “I am so inclusive excited to accept the honor inclusive of Best Drag Queen in Miami because I love this community with all my heart. It has made me the entertainer that I am today and overall a better human being.” Runner-Up: Tiffany Fantasia is 2020’s runner up, she has previously won South Florida Gay News’ Best Drag Queen five times. Fantasia is a South Beach Drag Icon, you can usually find her throwing her wigs 2020 BEST 2020 LOCAL 2020 BESTBEST LOCAL POLITICIAN LOCAL POLITICIAN POLITICIAN into the rafters and awnings of different establishments all around South Florida.

Thank you, South Thank Florida Thank you,you, South South Florida Florida Gay News readers! Gay Gay NewsNews readers! readers!

MICHAEL MICHAEL C. GÓNGORA C. GÓNGORA MICHAEL C. GÓNGORA

- CM

34

Now the bar is open, but with limited capacity. “We take keeping our staff and guests safe very seriously. We only allow up to 30% of our normal occupancy. We require masks, unless drinking,” he said. “Our dance floors now have tables and we must close earlier.” Even with the new rules and restrictions Stedman is delighted to see crowds again. “We believe it is possible to be safe and still have a good time,” he said. Twist is Miami’s oldest gay nightclub being around since 1993. Runner-Up: Hotel Gaythering

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

Best20of 20


Best Of 2020

KEY WEST

Best Social Group

BEST BARTENDER

Bes0t16of Bes0t17of Bes0t18of Bes0t19of

VALERIE E.

BEARS OF SOUTH FLORIDA

2

Aqua

Valerie E. has been bartending for more than 25 years. This year she wins Best Bartender. “I pride myself on giving the best service and listening to my guests,” she said.“I want to create memories where they might not remember my name, but they remember how I made them feel.” Right now her favorite drink is a Mule. You can catch Valerie nowadays at Alexander’s Guest House. “Locals are welcome on Saturdays for

our new Drag Queen Bingo,” she said. “I just really want to thank everyone. I am not sure who nominated me, but at a time when I was low this made a difference. And I want to thank everyone that voted for me! It makes me feel like in a small way I am making people smile.” Runner-Up: Ryan M. @ Bourbon St. Pub

2

2

2

- JEP

A FEW MORE WINNERS: BEST RESTAURANT

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BOSFL.ORG TheBearsOfSouthFlorida

KERMIT’S Best20of 20

Fall 2020 • Best Of LGBT South Florida // SFGN.COM

35


Best Of 2020

KEY WEST

BEST DRAG QUEEN

BEST ACTIVIST

MAYA MONTANA Facebook.com/mayamontana

Maya Montana has won this contest three years in a row. “I’m really flattered and I’m really happy at the same time because this is something that I really still love doing and I really enjoy doing, she said. “It doesn’t feel like work.” Maya is a crowd pleaser — whether on stage, or helping people struggling throughout the pandemic. “During the shutdown, I felt like I needed to do something,” Maya said. “So when I wasn’t working, I volunteered for six and a half weeks handing out food with S.O.S. Food Distribution. And then I kept myself busy making masks and I donated them to our local charities.” These days, Maya is back on stage at Aqua. Her shows are different because of social distancing and limited capacity. Performers like Maya use butterfly nets to collect tips. “It’s an adjustment, but I think I can do is make the best out of it,” she said.

SUSAN KENT Susan Kent brings home the top prize for Best Activist this year. In 2017 she was named to SFGN’s annual OUT50 list for her work in the community. Over the years she has been an energetic ambassador for many local causes, including the Key West Business Guild, Pride, Womenfest and The Sister Season Fund. Kent was also part of the team of Marriage Equality advocates who worked with a local same-sex couple in their successful legal battle with the state of Florida.

Kent is also proud to have been part of the effort behind unfurling a 1.25-milelong Sea-to-Sea Rainbow Flag from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. Kent has an infectious smile, a passion-driven focus on what matters and a wonderful memory of local history. And, when she says that Key West folks are “some of the most caring, generous and giving people anywhere” it’s pointless to disagree. Runner-up: Clayton Lopez - JEP

BEST POLITICIAN TERI JOHNSTON Mayor of Key West

Teri Johnston has won Best Politician. Johnston, Key West’s first lesbian mayor, has a lot of experience serving the city. Before running for mayor, she spent eight years on the Key West City Commission. Then in November 2018, she was elected as mayor. She won a second term in August of this year. Johnston is continuing to guide Key West through the pandemic. She expressed her optimism about her future. “I’ve got three things to focus on: get our community healthy; reboot our economy; and put all of our people back to work,” she told SFGN earlier this year. Runner-Up: Clayton Lopez - KS

36

SFGN.COM // Best Of LGBT South Florida • Fall 2020

JOHNSTON, KEY WEST’S FIRST LESBIAN MAYOR, HAS A LOT OF EXPERIENCE SERVING THE CITY. Best20of 20

3

TIME WINNER!

You can stay up to date with Maya on Facebook. Runner-Up: Sushi - DR


11. 25. 20 20 •

17


NEWS INTERNATIONAL

BY ELLIOT RODRIGUEZ

GAY VINE THE

KEEP UP WITH THE CELEBRITIES IN OUR COMMUNITY

CELEBRITY

ACTRESS

CAROLE BASKINS COMES OUT AS BISEXUAL

CARA DELEVINGNE BECOMES CO-OWNER OF SEX TOY COMPANY LORA DICARLO

Carole Baskins, who is well-known for her appearance on the Tiger King documentary and founder of Big Cat Rescue, came out as bisexual Oct. 20. The Tiger King star questioned her sexuality from childhood, from doing a lot of “Male-oriented things,” according to USA Today. Baskins told USA Today that it was in the ‘80s, when she found out that she had equal feelings for women. The time she had spent with the LGBT community, during her time engaged to a psychologist back in the ‘80s, opened her eyes to who she truly was. “I could just as easily have a wife as a husband,” she told Pink News. Baskins non-profit animal rescue organization has also had some tough times during the pandemic, but her

Carole Baskins. Photo via Facebook.

recent and unsuccessful “Dancing With the Stars” stunt, helped to bring in some money for the organization.

Cara Delevingne, a British actress and model, recently announced Nov. 19 she is the co-owner of a sex toy company, Lora DiCarlo. “There was a big gap in the market for female-led brands,” she told Just Jared. Lora DiCarlo, who founded the company, said she loves Delevingne because of how her ideas align so cohesively with the company’s overall goal. DiCarlo told W Magazine, that their ultimate mission is to “Destigmatize taboos surrounding sexual health and wellness in broader society today.” Delevingne is excited to be able to give the gift of “pleasure” with her own two hands. “This means more to me than any job I’ve ever done,” Delevingne said.

Cara Delevingne. Photo via Facebook.

Delevingne will be working closely with the in-house engineers and design team, DiCarlo noted. Giving the company a chance to expand and fill specific needs in the sexual industry.

FILM HALLMARK’S FIRST LGBT CHRISTMAS MOVIE PREMIERES Hallmark’s first ever LGBT holiday film aired Sunday, Nov. 22. “The Christmas House,” stars “Mean Girls” actor Jonathan Bennett, alongside Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams and Sharon Lawrence, according to NBC News. This will be marked as Bennett’s third movie with Hallmark. The plot of the story focuses on a gay couple who is looking to adopt a child during the holiday season. Back in the 2019 holiday season, Hallmark was criticized for releasing its list of holiday movies, which did not feature an LGBT character. Hallmark told The Warp back in 2019 that they were aware of the lack of LGBT movies, and promised to continue to expand their diversity. They lived up to their word this holiday season and are making history, since this is their first LGBT Christmas movie.

18

• 11. 25.2020

“I’m proud of everyone at Hallmark Channel for making the holiday table bigger and more welcoming and warmer this year,” Bennett told NBC News. Hallmark has indeed tried to incorporate more of the LGBT community into their channel. Besides the release of “The Christmas House,” they aired their first same-sex wedding in the TV movie, “Wedding Every Weekend,” according to NBC News. “What I love about the characters in the movie is that we aren’t caricatures or stereotypes … We are two loving, stable, kind men who are in love and want to start a family of our own,” Bennett told NBC News. Bennett is hoping that the LGBT community will be proud of the movie. He stressed how representation is important, but how “correct representation” is even more important.

“The Christmas House.” Credit: Hallmark/Allister Foster.

Back in the 2019 holiday season, Hallmark was criticized for releasing its list of holiday movies, which did not feature an LGBT character.


WMG Volume 7 • Issue 24 November 25, 2020

Wilton Manors Gazette FACEBOOK.COM/GROUPS/WMGAZETTE

COMMUNITY

Equality Garden Club Breathes New Life Into

WILTON MANORS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BUTTERFLY GARDEN By Christiana Lilly As bleak as 2020 has been, the Equality club will be the official groundskeepers Garden Club is creating beauty at Wilton for the garden, which also has picnic tables, benches, stepping stones and Manors Elementary School. With children attending school at other places to relax. “It was in really bad shape,” said Mario home this spring and summer, the school’s butterfly garden in the courtyard Rios, who serves on the board of the club. fell into complete disarray. When children “It was full of weeds, a lot of dead plants, returned to school in a hybrid model, we lost a lot of plants and we had to redo it.” school staff reached out The club spent $500 to to the garden club to NOW, THE purchase new plants and help them bring it back put in mulch. Now, there to life. GARDEN CLUB are Panama rose shrubs, “It’s really like an WILL BE THE Jatropha trees, dwarf burning outdoor learning bushes, scorpion tails, hue classroom and a place OFFICIAL and different species where you can go to GROUNDSKEEPERS herbs, of milkweed, which attracts enjoy nature and have a little bit of peace outside FOR THE GARDEN, butterflies. Rios expects that in a few months it will be of the classroom,” WHICH ALSO “back to life.” said Melissa Holtz, the HAS PICNIC Not only does the garden principal at Wilton serve as a relaxing place to Manors Elementary TABLES, BENCHES, have lunch or take a break, School. STEPPING STONES but Holtz said that teachers The school had a will also read stories to previous relationship AND OTHER there or teach them with Equality Garden PLACES TO RELAX. children about nature and the life Club. In 2019, they were cycle of butterflies. It’s also stumped as to why their butterfly garden was not thriving. The a quiet place for children with special volunteers came in and taught them about needs to decompress. While the school is Florida native plants and tips to help them not at full capacity, there are 260 children attending school in person and the garden keep it going. However, it became too overwhelming is a place where they can easily be 6 feet during the pandemic. Now, the garden apart.

Students learning in the courtyard at Wilton Manors Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Wilton Manors Elementary School.

It’s also an opportunity for the children to see a tenet of the International Baccalaureate school in action: helping. “One of the things that we teach our kids is to take action when they see a problem that they have the ability to make a difference.

We have a community member who sees that we have a need and they’re willing to come into the school and take action to help us,” she explained. “It’s out of the kindness of their heart. They see we have a need and they jumped into action to help us.” WMG

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • www.WMGAZETTE.com • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

11. 25. 20 20 •

19


POLITICS

Newly Elected Oakland Park Commission Sworn-In By John McDonald The new Oakland Park Commission was sworn-in Nov. 18. Mayor Jane Bolin and Commissioners Michael Carn, Aisha Gordon and Mitch Rosenwald took their oaths of office on the steps outside of city hall before the meeting. Commissioner Matt Sparks joined the governing body remotely. “The third time’s the charm,” said Rosenwald, a Barry University professor elected in his third attempt at public office. Rosenwald thanked his partner Ted White for his love and support, predecessor John Adornato for his commitment to LGBT rights and outgoing Commissioner Tim Lonergan for being a role model for public servants. Rosenwald promised to “listen attentively and act expeditiously,” stating he was intent on bringing a social worker’s perspective to the commission. Sparks, re-elected to his second term,

WMG November 25, 2020 • Volume 7 • Issue 24 2520 N. Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954-530-4970 Fax: 954-530-7943

Publisher • Norm Kent norm.kent@sfgn.com Associate publisher / Executive Editor • Jason Parsley jason.parsley@sfgn.com Copyeditor • Kimberly Swan

Editorial

Art Director • Brendon Lies artwork@sfgn.com News Editor • John McDonald

Correspondents

Christiana Lilly• Sal Torre • James Oaksun

Staff Photographers

J.R. Davis • Carina Mask • Steven Shires

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

Photo via The City of Oakland Park Government.

pointed out coronavirus numbers were going up and asked that people rethink holiday plans. “Would you rather visit family this year or see them next year?” Sparks asked.

Best quote for 2020

This is not the year to get everything you want. This is the year to appreciate everything you have. Courtesy of Norm Kent, Publisher

Sparks suggested residents shop locally on Black Friday. “Help businesses survive during these difficult times,” he said. Bolin thanked candidates Steven Arnst, Grecia Rivas-Smith, Robert Thompson and Scott Herman for offering themselves to serve the city and asked them to stay engaged. Carn will serve as vice mayor and mentioned he had already taken a new business call from the owner of Funky Buddha Brewery. Sparks referenced a call from the Buddha as well. In her comments, Gordon quoted the late South African leader Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” she said. The next commission meeting is Dec. 2. WMG

ROSENWALD PROMISED TO “LISTEN ATTENTIVELY AND ACT EXPEDITIOUSLY,” STATING HE WAS INTENT ON BRINGING A SOCIAL WORKER’S PERSPECTIVE TO THE COMMISSION.

Sales Manager • Justin Wyse justin.wyse@sfgn.com Advertising Sales Associate • Edwin Neimann edwin.neimann@sfgn.com

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 Norm@NormKent.com. SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. MEMBER

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Copyright © 2020 South Florida Gay News.com, Inc.

The atala butterfly. The Floridian subspecies of this butterfly was once presumed to be extinct, but local gardening efforts throughout the state brought back the population. Photo credit: James St. John.

• • • www.WMGAZETTE.com • • • 20

• 11. 25.2020

2 •

November 25, 2020


NEWS

Sculpting A Future For Wilton Manors

95.3 FM 96.9 FM

103.9 FM 1470 AM

By John McDonald

Left: Artist Arline Peartree with Johnsons owner Matt Colunga, at site of “Harmonic Vibes” sculpture. Right: ”Slices of Heaven.” Credit: Sculpture Walk Wilton Manors.

Michael Sansevero wants Wilton Manors in the community.” The Sculpture Walk is a step in that to take ownership of its art. Getting the city to buy into a cultural direction, he said. Now is the time for the city experience based on sculpture is the challenge to act. Sansevero said he believes incoming Sansevero has taken on. “We’re trying to find elements to make the Mayor Scott Newton is “receptive to this” Drive more appealing to more people,” said and speaks positively of new Commissioners Chris Caputo and Mike Bracchi. Sansevero, chairman of the city’s “I think [Caputo] would be a Community Affairs Advisory good catalyst for this as would Board. Mike Bracchi who would be a In doing so, seven sculptures vessel for change also,” Sansevero have been placed around Wilton said. “I’m optimistic the city will Manors on private property. buy into the program.” Plans are in the works for a brochure to be developed with SCULPTURE PIECES, a map to guide people to the ARTIST AND SITES: sculptures and in turn learn about the pieces, artists and the 1. Slices of Heaven, Craig Berubesurrounding neighborhoods. Gray, 2292 Wilton Dr. Sculpture, Sansevero said, - Michael Sansevero “allows you to get more involved CHAIRMAN OF THE CITY’S COMMUNITY AFFAIRS 2. Talking Tubes II, Joni Younkinson the street.” ADVISORY BOARD Herzog, 2201 Wilton Dr. Getting cooperation from the city hasn’t been easy, he said. “It’s a struggle,” Sansevero said. “One of 3. Sublime, Rob Lorenson, 1401 NE 26th St. the problems with Wilton Manors is they never seem to have money in the budget for 4. Zeus, Arline Peartree, 2440 Wilton Dr. art.” A New York native, Sansevero was a 5. Harmonic Vibes, Arline Peartree, 2340 corporate attorney in Manhattan before Wilton Dr. moving to Wilton Manors a decade ago where he now works in real estate. As 6. Lotus, Beth Ravitz, 1220 NE 24th St. chairman of CAAB, Sansevero said he is “tasked with enriching the lives of residents 7. One, Glen Mayo, 513 NE 21st Ct. WMG

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November 25, 2020

11. 25. 20 20 •

21


Publisher's Editorial

CONVICTIONS

HOPE IS FOREVER

x

Norm Kent

norm.kent@sfgn.com

I

n a year of too many losses, one of the things we may have lost sight of is the pandemic called AIDS, still inflicting casualties across this world. Had we only fought that pandemic with the urgency we now mobilize against the coronavirus, we would be so much further along today. The challenge remains, and World AIDS Day is upon us, even as thousands lose their lives daily to COVID-19. But our cause is still just, and our fight still real, as thousands of SMART Riders proved last week. Today I bring back my column from last year, reminding everyone again of the noble battle AHF continues to fight for low-cost housing and the needs of our community.

On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease librarian, Todd Shuttleworth, was fired from Control and Prevention, published a report his job at the Main Library on East Broward describing cases of a rare lung infection in Boulevard. five young, previously healthy, gay men in Los Officials were so frightened of the emerging Angeles. plague they thought he could possibly pass on Within days, doctors from across the U.S. the virus to others just by handing out books. shared stories of seemingly similar reports In 1984, a small group of 8 gay community within their own communities. leaders would gather at its signature hospitality By the end of the calendar year, a establishment, the Marlin Beach Hotel on A1A cumulative total of 270 cases in Fort Lauderdale. had been reported. A total of These courageous 121 men had died, of a severe pioneers would start the WHILE, THANK and unidentifiable immune first group to raise the GOD, DEATHS deficiency. consciousness of our America initially came to community, hoping to tame HAVE DECLINED know the illness as a gay related the spread of this disease. PRECIPITOUSLY, GAY immune deficiency. For many, It did not work, not here or gay men were paying a price anywhere else. AND BISEXUAL MEN, for their lewd and licentious In the U.S. today, 1.2 ALONG WITH AFRICAN million live with an HIV lifestyles. The powerful and the prosperous looked the infection, and while, AMERICANS AND other way. thank God, deaths have LATINOS, REMAIN From pulpits to political declined precipitously, gay leaders, it was not unheard of bisexual men, along DISPROPORTIONATELY and to hear people say, ‘Fags are with African Americans AFFECTED AND getting what they deserve.’ We and Latinos, remain were social pariahs, modern disproportionately affected INFECTED. day lepers. and infected. In South Florida, on January In greater Fort 16, 1981, the Ku Klux Klan was still meeting Lauderdale, according to recent data and in Davie. Only whites need apply. It was a statistics, nearly 20,000 persons are living in different world, then. Now, they can only meet Fort Lauderdale with the virus. We must do in the White House. better. It’s on us. The tools are at our disposal. How scared was America of homosexuals as Our communities are blessed with social they learned this virus was spreading? service agencies, treatment facilities, In Fort Lauderdale, an HIV positive gay prophylactic programs, and volunteers

22

• 11. 25.2020

OpEd Photo Via SFGN.

offering aid and assistance where and when required. As we approach World AIDS Day in 2019, SFGN salutes all of you. Our pages are too limited to praise all those so deserving of honor. They are accomplishments probably more deserving of recognition than we give them. “There is too much apathy in the gay community about AIDS today, one comedian jokes, but who cares?” he said. We do. It is still a serious journey we cannot ignore, but must necessarily illuminate, and not just on Dec. 1, each year. Most recently, we salute the Smart Riders who pedaled from Miami to Key West, raising with their teams over a million dollars in just three days to promote HIV advocacy programs. The 21st century challenge to HIV requires innovative new undertakings, from funding and founding healthy housing programs to holistic healing centers. We have learned that addressing HIV and AIDS over decades has required more than taking drug cocktails, protease inhibitors, or the current pill du jour, Truvada. We must create newer remedies. On Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors, you can see the Pride Center at Equality Park’s formula for a new future, creating housing for people in need. In Fort Lauderdale, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has an even bolder and bigger project, a seven story 500-unit low cost,

affordable housing facility for downtown. It has met obstacles in city circles. In a September editorial, we asked city commissioners to create the conditions enabling the project to move forth expeditiously and open quickly. We stand by that hope today. Last weekend, AHF initiated and paid for a visible and public media campaign to further their effort by re-publishing our editorial in Sun Sentinel advertisements and local community mailers. Like Ronald Reagan said, they paid for the microphone. Good for them, and better for all of us. Let their message be heard by many more than just our pages can reach. AHF understands that ending AIDS tomorrow means creating conditions today where people can find a place to be healthy now. AHF has always been willing to buck the tide and tackle the titans. They are more likely to partner with the poor than the prosperous. It was 25 years ago last month that we buried Pedro Zamora. Here in the real world, in South Florida, while deaths are diminishing, new infections still spiral in the wrong direction. We have lost too many for too long to the HIV. Let’s work towards celebrating a cure and not an anniversary. To remember the legacy of those lost, we must still fight like hell for the living. Our duty is to find new ways to health and healing. Safe and affordable housing is a good start, don’t you think?


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OUR ROCKING AND ROLLING

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KEEP YOUR EYES OUT FOR A RED STAND NEAR YOU! 11. 25. 20 20 •

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A&E MUSEUMS

AIDS MUSEUM REOPENS IN TIME FOR WORLD AIDS DAY J.W. Arnold

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South Florida Gay News

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• 11. 25.2020

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s the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded last spring and summer, the board of directors and staff of the World AIDS Museum and Education Center (WAM) made the decision to move from a Wilton Manors mixed-use apartment community to a larger, more prominent location in Fort Lauderdale. Now, months later and just in time for the 40th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the museum reopened this week at ArtServe, the Sunrise Boulevard arts incubator that also serves as home to the Stonewall National Museum and Archives. The ArtServe facility provides WAM with the use of a 1,700 square-foot space for both permanent and visiting exhibits. The museum also will occupy two offices and the gallery and auditorium spaces will be available to WAM educational and community programming. “When the board discussed relocating, we wanted a space that would increase exposure and solidify our reputation as a legitimate museum,” said Chair William Green in a statement. “ArtServe offers an ideal location on a major thoroughfare, opportunities for alignment on programming and exhibits, and the chance to explore new ways to present our exhibits.” According to Andrew Ruffner, director of education and programs, the move was “a brilliant marriage” that will elevate the museum and allow for collaboration with other regional arts and cultural organizations. He’s been busy during the transition, redesigning and updating the museum’s signature exhibit, “The Chronology of AIDS.” The exhibit will better fit the ArtServe space and also reflect recent scientific and medical advances since the exhibit was originally installed. WAM reopened earlier this week with a special exhibit, “The Colors of HIV,” a 17work series by local artist Toby Gotesman Schneier. The paintings serve as allegories for the personal and historic moments associated with the people and their families who live with the disease. From “The Other Ryan White” and “In His Prime” to “Results” and “Positive,” the works

FOLLOW SFGN.COM TO FOLLOW ANY UPDATES ON WORLD AIDS DAY!

The World AIDS Museum reopened this week after a move from Wilton Manors to the ArtServe building in Sunrise Boulevard. Credit: ArtServe, via Facebook.

encompass the entire human experience of HIV/AIDS. “HIV/AIDS is a complicated and multifaceted focus of attention with a rich tapestry and history,” explained Schneier. “I am extraordinarily honored and humbled to be a vehicle for this ongoing story. My hope is that guests find the paintings as moving and relevant as I did when painting them.” “The Colors of AIDS” will remain on display through Dec. 21. In addition to reopening, WAM will kick off World AIDS Day with “Rock the Ribbon” on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 8:30 a.m. Hosted by The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, the new event will feature original Styx rock band member Chuck Panozzo and “The Voice” contestant Laura Vivas. The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus will also perform in the socially distanced, outdoor event. WAM Executive Director Requel Lopes said, “World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it’s always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away. There is still a critical need for increased funding for the AIDS response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.”

The World AIDS Museum and Education Center, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, is open for individual visitors or groups less than 10, Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, go to WorldAIDSMuseum.org or call 954-390-0550, ext. 1.


11. 25. 20 20 •

25


YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND US... BUT WE MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK.

INSIDE THE PRIDE FACTORY 850 NE 13th St Fort Lauderdale

MIDWAY SPECIALTY CARE CENTER

INSIDE COUNTRY HAM N’ EGGS 2671 E Oakland Park Blvd Fort Lauderdale

straight facts, gay news. sfgn is also available in the lake worth, boynton beach, and delray tri-rail stations. • 11. 25.2020

HOLIDAY PARK Near the War Memorial in Fort Lauderdale Open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday

COVID-19 RAPID TESTING Available to individuals of all ages, regardless of symptoms. Rapid tests are typically available within an hour. PCR tests remain available upon request. Appointments not available, Drive-thru only

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2608 NE 16th Ave Wilton Manors

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Visit SFGN.com and stay up to date on health alerts, event schedules, and everything you need to know in our community.


DUE TO COVID-19, CLERGY ASK THAT YOU STAY SAFE AT HOME. PLEASE WATCH SERVICES ON FACEBOOK AND/OR ONLINE. FIND DETAILS ON HOW TO WATCH ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGES AND WEBSITES. THANK YOU AND BE WELL!

Our holiday cycle began with a New Year and ends with Sukkot, an ancient harvest holiday that reminds us Those who sow in tears will reap in joy! It is a call for us to join together as neighbors. Our sukkah will be up from 5-7pm on Sunday, Oct.4th, on the Pride Center campus, rear building

Stop by and say hello, neighbor!

Shabbat service Friday 8pm on our Facebook Page

Congregation Etz Chaim

2038 N. Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors, FL 33305, on the Pride Center campus www.EtzChaimFlorida.org / RSVP HERE: info@etzchaimflorida.org

Church of Our Savior, MCC 2011 s. Federal Hwy., Boynton Beach, FL 561-733-4000 www,churchofoursaviormcc.org

SPIRITUALITY

SOUTHFLORIDAGAYNEWS.COM

Until further notice: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, our worship services are streamed on Facebook Live every Sunday at 10 AM, rather than held at our church property. https://www.facebook.com/ ChurchofOurSaviorMCC. Visit our web site for more details & updates.

Join us for masked, socially distanced in person worship. 11 AM Sundays. Services also LIVE-streamed on Facebook and posted on website for safe at home viewing.

“Love without judgement” Holy Angels National Catholic Church 1436 NE 26th Street Wilton Manors. 33305 Facebook.com/HolyAngelsFL www.HolyAngelsFL.org

954-633-2987

A home for your spirit. Mass Schedule: Sabado 6:00 PM misa en español • Sunday Mass at 11 AM in English • All are welcome!

The Criminal Defense law CenTer of souTh floriDa

LISTINGS CONGREGATION ETZ CHAIM 2038 N. Dixie Hwy (Pride Center Building B), Wilton Manors 954-564-9232 - etzchaimflorida.org RabbiNoahKitty@etzchaimflorida.org Friday Night Shabbat Service 8p.m. HOLY ANGELS CATHOLIC COMMUNITY 2917 NE 6th Avenue Wilton Manors 954-633-2987 - HolyAngelsFL.net Sunday Mass at 11AM

CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOR, MCC Church of Our Savior, MCC 2011 S. Federal Hwy. Boynton Beach. churchofoursaviormcc.org | 561-733-4000 Sunday Service 10AM TEMPLE BAT YAM 5151 NE 14th Ter Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334 954-928-0410 Friday Night & Saturday Morning Streaming Online at templebatyam.org

The Practice Of Law Is No Practice. Four DecADes oF experience. A LiFetime oF trust.

954.763.1900

Russell Cormican

Attorney at Law 12 SE 7th St Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Norman Elliott Kent

Attorney at Law 2520 N. Dixie Hwy Wilton Manors, FL 33305

www.NormKent.com 11. 25. 20 20 •

27


ARE YOUR DOORS OPEN ?

OUR PAGES ARE.

CONVICTIONS

Editorial Cartoon

EDITORIAL CARTOON By Mike Luckovich

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If you would like to meet a pet, please visit www.humanebroward.com. The banners rotate so click on the one that says COVID-19 update adoptions and essential services update and scroll down a little bit. There you will find an application for adoption and other pertinent information. Complete the application (even if you have adopted before) and submit it. Please be patient, as the shelter is getting lots of applications daily. Adoptions are being done by appointment only now. For more information call 954-989-3977 ext. 6 The vaccine clinic remains open Monday — Friday 9 AM — 4:30 PM no appointment necessary, credit cards only. FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED WHEN COMING TO THE SHELTER.

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DO

DO

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 Celebrate Celebrate virtually virtually  Celebrate or or only only virtually with Celebrate with Celebrate members members or only virtually virtually with of of members or or only only with with of members members of of your household your your household household your your household household  Gather Gather outdoors outdoors  Gather ifif possible possible outdoors  Gather Gather if possible outdoors outdoors ifif possible possible  Open Open windows windows  Open and and doors doors windows ififOpen Open inside inside andwindows windows doors if and inside and doors doors ifif inside inside  Limit Limit the the number number  Limitof ofthe attendees attendees number  Limit Limitof the the attendees number number of of attendees attendees  Wear Wear aa mask mask  Wear a mask  Wear Wear aa mask mask  Stay Stay 66 feet feet apart apart  Stay 6 feetapart Stay Stay 66 feet feet apart apart  Wash Wash your your hands hands  Wash often often your hands Wash Washoften your your hands hands often often

DON’T DON’T DON’T

 Attend Attend gatherings gatherings  Attend ifif you you gatherings are are Attend Attend ill, ill, in inifisolation gatherings isolation gatherings you are ill, or orifif inyou you isolation are are ill, ill,or in in isolation isolation or or

quarantine quarantine quarantine quarantine quarantine  Attend Attend gatherings gatherings  Attend ifif you you gatherings are are Attend Attend waiting waiting ifgatherings gatherings you for forare COVID-19 COVID-19 waiting ifif you youfor are are COVID-19 waiting waiting for for COVID-19 COVID-19 test test results results test results test test results results  Attend Attend gatherings gatherings  Attend ifif you, you, gatherings or or Attend Attend someone someone ifgatherings gatherings you, you you or live someone liveifif you, you, you or or someone someone live you you live live with, with, is is at at higher higher risk risk from from with, with, COVID-19 COVID-19 is is at atfrom higher higher risk risk from from COVID-19 COVID-19 with, is at higher risk COVID-19  Shake Shake hands hands or or Shake hug hug hands  Shake Shake or hughands hands or or hug hug

 Gather Gather in in crowded crowded  Gather indoor indoor in crowded spaces spaces Gather Gatherindoor in in crowded crowded spaces indoor indoor spaces spaces  Sing Sing or or shout shout  Sing or shout  Sing Sing or or shout shout  Share Share food food or or  Share drinks drinksfood orShare Share drinks food food or or drinks drinks please pleasesee seewww.cdc.gov/coronavirus www.cdc.gov/coronavirus please see www.cdc.gov/coronavirus please pleasesee seewww.cdc.gov/coronavirus www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

11. 25. 20 20 •

31


Profile for South Florida Gay News

SFGN 11/25/20 V11iss47  

The Best Of 2020 Edition is here!! South Florida Gay News.

SFGN 11/25/20 V11iss47  

The Best Of 2020 Edition is here!! South Florida Gay News.

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