LOCAL NAME GLOBAL COVERAGE DECEMBER 10, 2020 VOL. 11 // ISSUE 49
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ONEPULSE FOUNDATION OPENS APPLICATIONS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
he onePULSE Foundation is now taking applications for its scholarship it launched last year when it gave out $330,000 to 49 recipients, representing each of the 49 victims who were killed in the Pulse shooting in 2016. Working with the families and loved ones of those killed, onePULSE Foundation established the scholarships in 2019. The scholarships aim to inspire and empower students who share similar dreams, ambitions and goals. “More than 200 completed applications were received last year with the inaugural class, “THIS YEAR WE representing freshmen majoring in business, EXPECT TO RECEIVE communications, and the EVEN MORE performing arts, as well as cosmetology, nursing, APPLICATIONS medical and master’s COMPLETED AS students,” said Committee Photo via the OnePulse Foundation. Chair and Board Member AWARENESS ABOUT Cathy Brown-Butler in a THE PROGRAM involvement and/or work part by major investors: AdventHealth, press release. “This year we experience. AlixPartners, the Brumback Family, Earl and expect to receive even more GROWS.” Preference is given to Bettie Fields Automotive Group Foundation, applications completed as - Cathy Brown-Butler applicants who are immediate GUCCI, Orlando Health, PVH Foundation, awareness about the program COMMITTEE CHAIR AND family members of the 49 and Wendy Tramell. The program is further grows.” BOARD MEMBER victims, as well as all of the supported through partnerships with the The inaugural class of 49 survivors of the tragedy and Foundation for Seminole State College of Legacy Scholarship recipients were awarded $330,000 in April. That money first responders, according to the foundation. Florida and Valencia College Foundation. High school seniors as well as those People and organizations who would like is being used during the current academic year. The foundation awards scholarships eligible to enter accredited post-secondary to provide financial support can earmark donations for Legacy Scholarships through annually, each up to $10,000 for use at an institutions are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. Winners the onePULSE Foundation website at accredited institution of higher learning, will be notified in spring 2021. www.onePULSEFoundation.org/donate. including career and technical schools. The Legacy Scholarships are funded in The foundation considers these factors when assessing scholarship applicants: the applicant’s personal story, financial For more information about the onePULSE Legacy Scholarship Campaign, need or independence, strong academic contact onePULSE Foundation at 407-775-4611, ext. 413 or email Program or self-improvement interest, and proven track record of leadership, community Director Genelle Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVER 1: (From left to right) Lori Kalcher Deak, Andrew Christian and Rocky Bowell at The Pride Factory. Photo via The Pride Factory, Facebook. COVER 2: Beloved local artist Claudia Castillo. Photo via Claudia Castillo, Facebook.
Associated Press • 12.10.2020
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December 10, 2020 • Volume 11 • Issue 49
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RAINBOW RAILROAD LOOKS TO RAISE $600,000 TO RESCUE 60 LGBT PEOPLE ACROSS THE GLOBE The organization hopes the Biden administration will be more open to relocating LGBT people to the U.S. Avraham Forrest
cross continents, many LGBT people battle abuse based on their sexual identity. Rainbow Railroad hopes to raise $600,000 to rescue 60 of these victims by the end of 2020.
The Rainbow Railroad receives thousands The program moved at least 49 people of requests for foreign help each year. In in 2020, according to “Impact During the countries like Egypt, Russia, Uganda and COVID-19 Pandemic, A Snapshot.” With the Indonesia, LGBT people face abuse. The 60 in 60 campaign, the number could be at 60 in 60 campaign hopes to help 60 people least 109. move to safety and conclude 2020 with a This figure comes out to around $1.9 spirit of generosity and mercy. million in the year 2020. “During these two months when people Rainbow Railroad moved over 800 are thinking about giving, we think this is a individuals since 2006, according to the real opportunity for folks to be philanthropic organization’s website. and help us cross the finish line,” Border closings are Kimahli Powell, executive unpredictable in the director of Rainbow Railroad pandemic, often blocking said. victims from traveling The campaign has overseas. raised over $330,000 with “With COVID, borders contributions coming from a are opening, closing, and variety of donors. restrictions are happening “It’s really a mix of a regular basis,” Powell “RAINBOW RAILROAD on community groups, grassroots said. “But we’ve been pretty ALWAYS HAS SO organizations, grassroots nimble and kind of working funding, and some corporate around it.” MANY PEOPLE support,” said Communications When the borders do close SUPPORTING US Officer Eric Wright, who is Rainbow Railroad has been ONLINE, DOING running this year’s campaign. moving people to the closest The campaign finds donors FUNDRAISERS, DOING safe area within the country. through Facebook, Twitter and When borders are open, CRAFTING, DOING Twitch, a video game platform. some victims must journey GAME MARATHONS “Rainbow Railroad always through hostile countries to has so many people supporting reach safer nations. ON TWITCH.” us online, doing fundraisers, Victims often risk catching - Eric Wright doing crafting, doing game COVID-19 in refugee camps, COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER AT marathons on Twitch,” Wright according to The Impact RAINBOW RAILROAD said. of COVID-19 on Displaced The cost of moving a victim of LGBTQI Persons. LGBT violence overseas is around $10,000, Navigating a map of countries with everaccording to Powell. developing LGBT crises can be demanding. “The primary countries that we resettle The 3,000 requests for help last year came folks tend to be in Western Europe, Canada from 100 different countries, Powell said. and the United States,” Powell said. “Uganda is a country during COVID that The organization receives around 3,000 tried to use lockdowns to target the LGBT aid requests per year, according to Powell. community, and so it shifts our job,” Powell This makes the costs of helping multiple said. people steep. “Our role is to kind of identify the shifts
A protest in Chechnya in 2017 to draw attention to mothers mourning the death and persecution of their LGBT children. Photo credit: Ilya Astakhov (Илья Астахов), via VK.
as they happen and sound the alarm when these things are happening and, if necessary, mobilize resources to try to focus when necessary.” There are other issues the organization has handled beyond the frustrations of COVID-19. “We’ve stalled being successful relocating folks to the United States with this current administration and think there’s an opportunity to re-engage with a new administration,” Powell said. Rainbow Railroad is non-partisan, but according to Powell, the policies speak for themselves. “The policies of the current administration make our job more difficult, whether it’s the travel ban, or the policies at the southern border, or detention practices for asylum seekers,” Powell said.
The obstacles do not seem to daunt the initiative. “This is just always going to be a complicated tricky time to do our work, and so 60 in 60 helps give us the resources to feel confident we can do it,” Powell said. The 60 in 60 fundraiser continues through the end of this year. There’s also a virtual benefit concert Dec. 13. “Come January our fundraising efforts continue in many different ways,” Wright said, “which will include online events, which include storytelling and direct asks to our donors and also just pursuing lots of different leads internally to fund our work.” Rainbow Railroad remains optimistic about meeting the 2020 fundraising goal. “I feel confident that, like in the past, people will continue to contribute,” Powell said.
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CDC STUDY SHOWS DROP IN HIV-RELATED DEATH RATE John McDonald
head of World AIDS Day, the Centers and TB Prevention. “Through the Ending the for Disease Control and Prevention HIV Epidemic initiative, we are working to released an encouraging study for accelerate progress and ultimately make this people living with HIV. a thing of the past.” Death rates related to HIV dropped The study also revealed two statistics significantly for people 13 moving in the right direction. years and older in the United The number of Americans who “THROUGH THE States from 2010 to 2017. The knew their HIV status rose to CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality 86% while the number who ENDING THE HIV Weekly Report showed a achieved undetectable EPIDEMIC INITIATIVE, had decline of 48% in the number viral loads had risen from 46% WE ARE WORKING of HIV-related deaths per to 65%. 1,000 people living with the Blacks/African Americans TO ACCELERATE virus. In 2017, HIV-related had the highest death rates PROGRESS AND causes were attributed to 5,534 (5.6%) followed by Latinos, ULTIMATELY MAKE deaths among 16,358 people. Hispanics and Whites (3.9%). THIS A THING OF CDC leaders say that the In geographic terms, the 4.7% death rate shows their death rate was highest in the THE PAST.” plan is working. South (6%) and lowest in the - Jonathan Mermin, M.D. “The decline in HIVNortheast (3.2%). DIRECTOR OF CDC’S NATIONAL related deaths proves that Despite the study’s CENTER FOR HIV/AIDS, VIRAL HEPATITIS, STD AND TB PREVENTION investments in HIV testing, hopeful results, the CDC care and treatment are paying notes there are 36,000 new off, but we should also protect people from HIV transmissions annually and the virus getting HIV in the first place,” said Jonathan remains a leading cause of death for people Mermin, M.D., Director of CDC’s National ages 25 to 44. The CDC estimated 1.2 million Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD Americans had HIV at the end of 2018.
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WILTON MANORS, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEST PALM & MIAMI BEACH TOP
HRC’S 2020 EQUALITY LIST HRC’S
our cities in South Florida received perfect scores in the 2020 Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index report including Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami Beach.
“People are waking up to the reality of glaring, systemic Overall seven cities in Florida received perfect scores. The inequalities, and tools like the Municipal Equality Index help others include Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. them move from being overwhelmed to understanding where A few other cities came close to perfect though like progress can be made,” said Nadine Smith, executive director Tallahassee and Oakland Park, both of which received a 99. of Equality Florida. “Florida has been the vanguard of the “While we are quite proud of the raise in the score to a South in adopting proactive local policies. The MEI shows us 99, we will continue to find every way possible to receive a that even with those tremendous advances, we must continue perfect score of 100 by next year,” said Matthew Sparks, city to hold our local officials accountable to advancing pro- commissioner of Oakland Park. equality policies that reflect our values.” Oakland Park received a 97 last year. This is the ninth annual municipal equality list HRC has All of the ranked cities in South Florida either improved compiled. Across the U.S. 94 cities earned perfect scores this their scores over last year, or their scores stayed the same. year — up from 88 last year. The city with the biggest increase over 2019 was Miami, Wilton Manors, known as Broward County’s “gayborhood,” which saw their score jump 20 points from 55 to 75. is one of those cities that came out on top — According to the scorecard two areas where their seventh time in a row doing so. they improved included adding LGBT liaisons in Wilton Manors City Commissioner Paul Rolli the city executive’s office and within the police said other cities have reached out to them over department. The city with the lowest score in the years to ask how they continue to earn South Florida is Hialeah with 40 points, while perfect scores. the lowest in the state is Daytona Beach with 30 “It’s simple — we create and implement points. policies and practices that promote equity and a Digging deeper into the report shows that safe environment for all who live in, work in, and even among the four cities that did achieve a visit Wilton Manors,” Rolli said. “I am so thankful perfect score in South Florida there are areas that the Human Rights Campaign continues to for improvement, according to their scorecards. recognize our leadership.” Beyond the 100 points, there are an additional Chris Caputo, who was elected to the city 22 “flex” points that work like bonuses. So - Chris Caputo commission just last month, added his thoughts for instance cities that provide services to WILTON MANORS as well. the transgender community receive two flex CITY COMMISSIONER “Residents and business owners in the City points. Only Wilton Manors earned that bonus. of Wilton Manors should be proud. Our city’s However Wilton Manors did not receive any flex laws and policies demonstrate our appreciation for diversity, points for providing services to LGBT people experiencing including our support for transgender-inclusive healthcare homelessness. benefits and our city contractor non-discrimination Many cities did in fact receive more than 100 points but the ordinance,” he said. “We deserve the international reputation scorecards note the score cannot exceed 100. For instance we’ve received for being a great place for LGBTQ+ individuals Wilton Manors received 94 regular points and 18 flex points; and families to call home.” whereas West Palm Beach received 100 regular points and six Fort Lauderdale tops the list for a second year in a row. flex points. “Once again, Fort Lauderdale demonstrates how far we have Not every city in the state is ranked. Instead cities that are come over the decades in becoming the diverse and inclusive included have to meet certain criteria such as being a state city we are today,” said City Commissioner Steve Glassman. capital or one of the 200 largest cities in the U.S. More than “We should all be very proud of our progress.” 500 cities across the country were ranked this year. Cities Two years ago Fort Lauderdale enacted a human rights receive points based on their laws, policies, benefits and ordinance that banned discrimination against the LGBT services. Twenty-four cities in Florida were included. community in the area’s employment, housing, and public If a city does not meet the criteria to be included it can “selfaccommodation. submit,” which Miami Beach does each year.
“RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS IN THE CITY OF WILTON MANORS SHOULD BE PROUD.”
MUNICIPAL EQUALITY INDEX CITY
PORT ST. LUCIE
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“The City of Miami Beach has received a perfect score since 2013, prior to gay marriage being legalized, when I sponsored the Domestic Partner Ordinance that allowed unmarried couples to receive the same value of benefits as married couples from the city,” said Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Góngora. “The MEI is a quantifiable index of our city’s commitment to LGBTQ rights. We work hard every year to get every possible point and our 100% score [...] shows that Miami Beach remains the best place for our community to live, work, and play.” West Palm Beach is another self-submitter. “For more than 30 years, PBCHRC has encouraged elected officials in West Palm Beach to enact laws and policies to provide equal rights, protections, and benefits for LGBTQ residents and visitors,” said Rand Hoch, president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. “This year’s perfect score on the MEI acknowledges their efforts to make our city a great place for LGBTQ people to live, study, work, play, create families, and retire.”
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BY AVRAHAM FORREST
THE WORLD AROUND
EQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE CONTINUES TO GROW IN MEXICO
GAY SEX BAN CHALLENGED IN SINGAPORE
The Human Rights Campaign launched the fourth annual survey on LGBT workplace inclusion in Mexico, according to the HRC website. The HRC Equidad MX: Programa Global de Equidad Laboral survey evaluated major Mexican businesses and multinationals. The 2021 HRC Equidad MX report awarded top ratings to 212 employers. Last year 120 companies received top marks, according to the website. The report tested major Mexican businesses and multinational companies on the “adoption of nondiscrimination policies,” “creation of employee resource groups or diversity and inclusion councils” and “engagement in public activities to support LGBT inclusion.” The program is designed after the HRC’s
Photo via Pixabay.
Corporate Equality Index. The index is the “premier” survey for LGBT workplace equality in the U.S. Thirty-two Mexican companies received top ratings in the first year of the survey, rising to 212 in 2021, according to the website.
EUROPE BRITAIN’S HIGH COURT RULES AGAINST TRANS CHILDREN Britain’s High Court concluded last week that children under 16 would require court authorization to receive puberty-blocking drugs, Reuters reported. The ruling determined that those under 16 years old could not give informed consent to treatment. “There will be enormous difficulties in a child under 16 understanding and weighing up this information and deciding whether to consent to the use of puberty-blocking medication,” according to the High Court’s judgement. “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers.” The LGBT Foundation, based in Manchester, received three times as many calls last week compared to the same week last year, Reuters reported. Mermaids, a
EXPLORING LGBT NEWS EVENTS ACROSS THE GLOBE
service offering support to the transgender community, saw a 60% increase in emails. The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the defendant in the case, runs the Gender Identity Development Service. GIDS does not plan to make any new referrals to pubertyblocking medications until the impact of the ruling is clear. “The Court has ruled that there will be a stay on implementation of its judgment until the later of 22 December or the determination of any appeal,” according to the GIDS website. “This will give us a chance to work through the specific implications of the judgment for different patient groups with our partners, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.”
In Singapore, LGBT advocate Tan Seng Kee, a 62-year-old retired doctor also known as Roy Tan, is challenging a section of the country’s legal code that criminalizes gay sex, the South China Morning Post reported. Tan began legal action in Singapore’s High Court last week to challenge the section. Section 377A, representing a colonialera law, threatens men with prison time for engaging in gay sex, the South China Morning Post reported. Gay and bisexual men can face up to two years, though they are not often prosecuted. The section punishes males for “any act of gross indecency with another male person,” according to a government of Singapore website. Tan plans to argue that Singaporean
Tan Seng Kee. Photo via Roy Tan, Facebook.
law is inconsistent, challenging the government to either fully enforce or overturn the law, the South China Morning Post reported. Tan’s case is expected to be heard by the High Court in 10 months. However, the case will be scrapped if successful at the Court of Appeal.
AFRICA UGANDA URGED TO DECRIMINALIZE SAME-SEX RELATIONS In commemoration of World AIDS day, The Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum released a statement encouraging Uganda to decriminalize same-sex relations to help fight HIV, Rights Africa reported. HRAPF prompted the Ugandan government to ensure equal society, the right to health and a healthy sociolegal environment, according to a press statement from Dec. 1. HIV prevalence rates among male homosexual groups remain at 13%, according to the release. The general prevalence rate is 5.7%. Other groups with significant HIV prevalence rates are sex workers at 37% and injecting drug users at 16.7%,
Photo via @UgandaHRAPF, Facebook.
according to the release. The forum noted promising developments in the HIV/AIDS fight. “Uganda has made important strides towards the 90-90-90 global target, with 89% of people tested and knowing their status, 94% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection receiving sustained Antiretroviral therapy [ART] and 90% of all people receiving ART having viral suppression,” according to the statement. The statement also noted the impact of COVID-19 on marginalized groups, citing the arrest and torture of 22 youths in Kyengera due to their suspected sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the statement.
Photos via The Pride Center (left), Pixabay.
PRIDE CENTER’S TOY DRIVE CELEBRATES 15 YEARS Donations accepted through December 15
ith just under two weeks to go until Christmas, the annual Judy Shepherd Toy Drive is in full swing. It’s the 15th year that the community is collecting toys for the students of Thurgood Elementary School in Lauderhill. Due to the pandemic, an increasing number of families in the area are in need this holiday season. The Pride Center and Women with Pride are carrying on the annual toy drive with new, convenient ways to donate. The easiest, most user-friendly way is to visit https://bit.ly/3lZ0IeP, and scan the QR code. It takes you directly to PayPal to make an online donation. You can also pick out a toy for students ages 6-12. The Pride Center has a list on Amazon. Your selection is sent directly to the school. You can find the list at https://a.co/4wNggZ2. If you prefer to donate in person, that’s easy too. You can find drop boxes at:
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Donations are collected between now and Dec. 15. If you have any questions, about this year’s toy drive, please contact Jeannette Cohen for more information: JCohen@ pridecenterflorida.org or 954.463.9005 ext. 108. The toy drive is in honor of Judy Shepherd, who initiated this toy drive in 2005. She was incredibly active at the Pride Center until her death.
12 .10 . 20 20 •
LGBTQIA BITES Lesbian
FORMER ‘MURMURS’ MEMBER REFLECTS ON HER CANCER BATTLE Lesbian rock star Heather Reid spoke about her fight against cancer recently in an interview for the Advocate. She was diagnosed with Acute myeloid leukemia two years ago, but did not let that stop her from moving forward. “If I’m going to be on this earth, I am going to find the light and I want to have the best time being here,” Reid said. She kept her head up while battling leukemia and continued working on her music. “Even in my darkest moments [my wife, Allison, and I] still giggled at things that would go on around us,” said Reid. Reid’s new song “Right Here Right Now” spreads the message of loving yourself and looking up, even in the darkest of times. “I had to dig deep inside and find the light inside of me when it started to dim,” Reid said.
Heather Reid. Photo via Heather Reid, Facebook.
BY KENDALL LITTLE
BISEXUAL ATHLETE HOPES TO BECOME THE FIRST ACTIVE OUT NFL PLAYER Former Dallas Cowboys player Ryan K. Russell came out as bisexual on August 29, 2019. After leaving his career as a football player, he began writing poetry under his pen name, R.K. Russell. “Since his coming out, Russell has remained an unsigned free agent, and the NFL has yet to have an out player active on game day,” according to an article from LGBTQ Nation. Russell still maintains hope that one day he can become the first openly LGBT NFL player to actually play on the field during a game. “I’m not just sitting here like, ‘Yeah, it’ll happen’ — it will happen because I will make it happen, because I’ll finally get an opportunity,” he said. Through all the frustration due to uncertainty, Russell has remained hopeful and truly believes that one day he will accomplish his goal.
Ryan K. Russell. Photo via Ryan K. Russell, Instagram.
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‘UMBRELLA ACADEMY’ STAR COMES OUT AS TRANS Elliot Page, formerly known as Ellen Page, recently came out as transgender on social media. The star of Netflix’s hit show, “The Umbrella Academy,” revealed the big news Dec. 1. “I feel lucky to be writing this,” he wrote in his coming out post. “I can’t even begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” Page said. Page stated that their pronouns are he/they and that they “love that [they] are trans.” The heartfelt coming out message included statistics on violence toward trans people and the rising rates of trans suicide. “To the political leaders who work to criminalize trans health care and deny our right to exist and to all those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility toward the trans community: you have blood on your hands,” Page said. They then ended his message with words of reassurance to trans people: “I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.”
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12 .10 . 20 20 •
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.
SFGN and its senior columnist Jesse Monteagudo wish all those of the Jewish community a happy Hanukkah. The 8 day celebration begins tonight. Photo via Facebook.
“Met 1980, dated 1981, legally married 2013, together for almost 40 years. Love her more today than yesterday and will love her even more tomorrow.” - Lori Kessler, pictured with her wife. Photo via Lori Kessler, Facebook.
Upset with cause ... Antonio Biaggi Melecio Davila is not smiling. A flamenco dancer, his custom-made shoes and castanets were stolen from his car in the Manors this past weekend, and they are not much use to anyone but him, if you see a gray bag with unusual shoes lying around, reach him on Facebook. Photo via Facebook.
A car wash on December 5 raised some funds — and eyebrows — on Wilton Drive this past Saturday for Pride Fort Lauderdale, which had to reschedule its inaugural Pride of the Americas event last April due to the pandemic. Photo via Facebook.
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12 .10 . 20 20 â€˘
BY ELLIOT RODRIGUEZ
GAY VINE THE
KEEP UP WITH THE CELEBRITIES IN OUR COMMUNITY
BRAUNWYN WINDHAM-BURKE COMES OUT AS LESBIAN
HARRY STYLES VOGUE COVER SPARKS MASCULINITY CONTROVERSY
Braunwyn Windham-Burke, reality show star for the “Real Housewives of Orange County,” recently came out as gay. The 42-year-old said in an interview with GLAAD on Dec. 2, “I’m finally comfortable enough to say: I like women. I’m gay. I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.” Windham-Burke broke the news to her husband of 20 years Sean Burke, whom Windham-Burke has seven children with. Windham-Burke now has a girlfriend, but for now she has no plans on ending her 20-year relationship with her husband, according to GLAAD. “I love Sean. I love him dearly, he is my person, he is my family,” WindhamBurke told GLAAD.
Harry Styles became the first man to be on the cover of Vogue by himself for their December issue. He also did it while wearing a dress. Since then far-right conservatives have blasted the cover calling it an “attack on traditional masculinity,” according to Queerty. Candace Owens, a right-wing author said on her Twitter, “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack.”
Braunwyn Windham-Burke. Photo via Instagram.
Harry Styles. Photo via Facebook.
ADULT FILM STAR BILLY SANTORO BLAMES PAST BEHAVIOR ON METH
Australian adult film star Billy Santoro and his husband Gage Santoro, got kicked out of their home by not following COVID-19 guidelines, for their “get togethers.” According to Queerty, “Santoro and his husband, Gage, did not follow COVID-19 social distancing procedures when hosting a ‘get together’ to work from home.” This situation is just one of the many others that resulted in the couple getting thrown out. Neighbors complained throughout the past year about “loud music and noises coming from their apartment … the couple also had police called on them several times this year,” Queerty reported. The landlord’s final verdict was that the
couple “disturbed the peaceful enjoyment of surrounding lots with extreme noise,” and “failed to practice social distancing during meet-and-greets organized via social media,” according to Queerty. The adult film star has also received lots of backlash on social media for making racist remarks about African Americans. According to the Daily Star, Santoro tweeted, “Just putting this out there … I have never been ‘gay bashed’ Called ‘faggot’ etc. from a white, redneck Trump supporter. But I have been by African American men who live in Shaw in DC.” Along with another tweet that said, “Lol. America! Lol you let your blacks loot as a way of protest. Wake the f**k up. Shoot first.”
Billy Santoro. Photo via Vimeo.
This controversial adult film star has also bashed overweight performers. Saying, “I love when someone I filmed with in the past has gotten fat then gets upset when I tell him that I will film with him again when he loses weight. I am not a fan of looking at your fat body rolling around all over Twitter, but I did unfollow you.. No,” according to Queerty.
His Twitter has since been deleted along with his OnlyFans and JustForFans page. He has now made a joint page with his husband according to Queerty. Since his return back on social media, Santoro apologized for the statements. Saying that they were due to his methamphetamine addiction.
12 .10 . 20 20 â€¢
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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: DECEMBER 2 THROUGH DECEMBER 8 December 2 through December 8
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Percent Increase in cumulative COVID-19 cases from 12/02 to 12/08 Palm Beach 5.2%, Broward 5.5%, and Miami Dade 5.5%
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Miami-Dade Source Fl DOH Dashboard
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CUMULATIVE KNOWN COVID-19 DEATHS IN THREE SOUTH FLORIDA COUNTIES: Cumulative Known COVID-19 Deaths Cumulative Known COVID-19 Cases in in Three South Florida Counties: 8 DECEMBER 2 Florida THROUGH DECEMBER Three South Counties:
December 2 through December December 2 through December 8 8 Percent Increase in cumulative COVID-19 casesdeaths from 12/02 12/08 Percent Increase in cumulative COVID-19 from to 12/02 to 12/08 PalmPalm Beach 5.2%,2.4%, Broward 5.5%,2.3%, and Miami DadeDade 5.5% 1.7% Beach Broward and Miami
Palm Beach Broward Broward
1,739 115,414 1,711 69,855
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1,731 114,426 1,711 69,331
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12 .10 . 20 20 •
HOLIDAY shopping guide
HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE SFGN Staff
It’s the holiday season and in South Florida shoppers are out and about helping to keep our local economy moving forward. Here at SFGN we wanted to bring you some holiday cheer through some recommendations for gifts this season. This year’s variety is sure to help you think about unique items for those hard to buy for friends and family. Let’s get to the good stuff…
Winsor & Newton Professional Water Color Field Box, 12 Half Pans
Travel Bidet by Bio Bidet
BRENDON LIES — ART DIRECTOR Cost: $69 Where to Buy: amazon.com
JASON PARSLEY — ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Cost: $10.24 Where to Buy: amazon.com
Why I like it:
Why I like it:
Keep your bum fresh anywhere you go! On the run? At work? School? Now you can keep clean every day, everywhere you go with this travel Bidet by Bio Bidet.
Vertuo Plus Coffee Machine
NORM KENT — PUBLISHER Cost: $149 Where to Buy: nespresso.com
Why I like it:
The gift of coffee, especially espresso, will bring joy to your favorite coffee lover for many years. Brewing high-quality coffees, sourced from around the world, Nespresso provides top-ofthe-line quality and freshness to each cup. The Vertuo line offers everything from small espresso shots to full size coffee cups. Check out their online store as they offer a variety of options from Nespresso club memberships, machines types, and accessories.
This has been a rough year, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why, rather than recommend some new and expensive creative technology as I’ve done in the past, I’m going to get back to the basics for my 2020 recommendation. Rest assured that no matter your giftee’s skill level, this set is the perfect foundation — Winsor & Newton is a world-renowned brand that your creative friend or lover likely already admires… and if they don’t, they soon will when they see how bright and consistent these colors are to work with. There’s almost no doubt that the artist in your life has raised a brow of delight at water colors at some point, so give them the nudge they need to bring some fun back into their creative routine.
Silicone Roasting Rack — 2 Pack
CHRIS GROBELS — ACCOUNTING Cost: $15.99 Where To Buy: oxo.com
Why I like it:
The perfect kitchen accessory for those who love to bake or cook. Makes a great stocking stuffer or to add to another kitchen appliance gift. Whether you’re cooking a turkey, prime rib, or looking to cool the pan from the stove, this rack does it all.
HOLIDAY shopping guide
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JUSTIN WYSE — SALES DIRECTOR Cost: $399 or $499 Where to Buy: Best Buy (Online Only)
Why I like it:
The year 2020 has provided some of the best tech releases and Sony did not disappoint on the release of the new PS5. Offering you a digital download system or a standard disk system is great as it helps users decide what is best for them. Sony has also provided several dozen games at no charge the consumers are free to download from the PlayStation Plus Store online, which gives this gift a bundle in itself. For many it’s going to be one of the hardest to find this year and beware of purchasing from eBay or other resell sites as most cannot provide you with an original cash purchase receipt which voids any warranty. I love my new system and so will the people you love!
ClerverSpa Portable Hot tub
EDWIN NEIMANN — SENIOR SALES ASSOCIATE Cost: $499 + Where To Buy: clevercompany.com
Why I like it:
The only thing better than a hot boy to keep you warm during this cold weather is a hot tub to share with him. And with models starting around $499 there is no reason not to have one of these in both your back yard and a friend’s back yard. With an inflation time of less than five minutes and a rapid heating system this tub will provide you with sizzling dates all winter long. *Models NOT included
Do not let this year’s holiday tear you down from everything else going on in life. Purchase online and ship directly to your love ones to stay safe this year. Our guide this year is only a starting point for some great ideas to help this year! Gift giving is personal and often sentimental, make 2020 count for those you love and care about. Good luck shopping and stay safe this holiday season.
12 .10 . 20 20 •
HOLIDAY local shopping
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD Rick Karlin
In these days of stay-at-home orders and restaurant closings and restrictions, perhaps the best gift you can give is that of some exotic foods delivered right to your loved one’s door. No need for face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) interaction, yet you can still show that you’re thinking of them. Anyone can go online and order a Harry & David’s gift basket or send an edible arrangement, but why not be more creative and try one of these options?
WHAT’S THE TEA? The 24 teas in this unique Advent calendar range from Chinese black tea to Scandinavian tea, to those flavored with cranberry and elderflower. All they’ll need is a favorite mug and a comfy perch by the tree. $32 @ UncommonGoods.com. SANTA’S CLAWS What could be more luxurious than lobster mac & cheese? How about adding truffle oil? This kit from Hancock Lobster ships the delectable dish, ready to bake and comes with four re-usable ceramic ramekins for $79. If they’re the more casual type, consider sending a lobster roll kit, which includes six traditional split top rolls, one pound of lobster salad and Whoopie pies for dessert, for $126. Both are available through Amazon. ‘SHROOMS, MAN! Oyster mushrooms’ sweet, mild flavor and velvety texture make for delicious eating whether they’re raw or cooked, and you can’t get fresher than growing your own at home. A log from a recently felled aspen or poplar tree is implanted with organic oyster mushroom spores. All that’s left to do is soak the log and keep it in a damp, cool, dark place, and harvest oyster mushrooms. The log can be re-soaked and harvested every six weeks or so for up to three years. $30 @ uncommondgoods.com. ROE, ROE, ROE YOUR BOAT Regiis Ova (“Royal Egg” in Latin) is a new caviar company founded by the renowned chef, Thomas Keller, partnering with caviar expert Shaoching Bishop. The duo felt they could deliver better caviar by going straight to the source. Their company’s “Reigning Supreme” gift box contains supreme white sturgeon caviar from their own farms, alongside a hand carved mother-of-pearl spoon and a black, branded caviar tin opener in a sophisticated black gift box. $135, with free shipping @ goldbelly.com.
SAY CHEESE! The lucky recipients of this gift will be smiling as they enjoy this collection of best-selling cheeses and classic snacks. Gruyère, manchego, brie, and cheddar are joined by a handful of crunchy bites and a sweet, spiced jam in a festive gift box. It will serve 6-10 hungry folks. $95 @ murrayscheese.com. SIX DEGREES OF SERVIN’ BACON Every meat lover craves bacon, and this sampler set includes three 12-ounce packages of signature bacons from D’Artagnan, the renowned gourmet food purveyor. It features applewood and hickory smoked pork bacon along with the company’s signature duck bacon. $29.99 @ dartagnan.com. JAVA JIVE For the coffee snob who travels, Tribo pour-over coffee filters feature a dark espresso roast in allnatural pre-filled portable coffee filters. All the lucky recipient needs to do when traveling, is pour hot water over the filter for a gourmet cup of coffee anywhere. The variety gift box includes seven different types of coffee (14 servings, two of each type) presented in an elegantly designed package. $33 from Tribo @ Amazon. FORK ‘EM Wild Fork the South Florida-based meat and seafood market with a location at 1451 N. Federal, is debuting gift sets that showcase the rapidly growing brand’s impressive product roster. Just in time for the holidays with gift boxes starting as low as $45. Everything is shipped frozen and arrives within 24 — 48 hours, depending on the zip code. The Curious Chef is the perfect gift for the bold epicurean on your list. At $130.74, it offers 11 pounds of some of Wild Forks’ most unique items, this gift contains enough food to serve 5-8 people. Other gift box options include The Captain’s Catch (seafood); The Wild Array (exotic meats including ground wild boar and quail) and Wild for Wagyu. Full information on how to order and where Wild Fork ships are @ wildforkfoods.com.
HOLIDAY shopping guide
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12 .10 . 20 20 •
HOLIDAY shopping guide
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE Justin Wyse
After much research and browsing the internet, I found some great and unique gift ideas for the 2020 holiday season. Mixed with great local finds for those who want to support local businesses and national companies alike, these finds are sure to make yourself or your best friend tickled pink this year! These gifts range from art, to skin care, and home décor. WHAT:
Love Sculpture AVAILABLE AT: Claudia Castillo Art Gallery PRICE: $72.15 Who does not love a piece of art to brighten up your home or personal space? Local artist Claudia Castillo never disappoints with her personal creations. This Love Sculpture stands at only 9” high and 8” wide but makes the perfect accessory your spouse, best friend or even your mom this year. Supporting local artists is an important way to give back your local community while getting amazing artwork for your home. Castillo offers a large variety of art options from sculptures, paintings, jewelry and more. Visit her store at 2215 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305.
December Diamonds Mermen Ornament Collection — Who’s Your Daddy AVAILABLE AT: Pride Factory of Fort Lauderdale PRICE: $37.95
Alpha Male Cosmetics Alpha Max Pack
December Diamonds started its collection in 2001 creating fabulous ornaments for the LGBT community to collect. Creating themed mermen is their signature as well as other statues. Pride Factory has been a staple for our community for nearly 25 years and never disappoints on finding those perfect last-minute gift ideas for the holidays. While there are dozens to choose from its hard to pick just one. Support this local shop by stopping by at 850 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304.
AVAILABLE AT: alphamalecosmetics.com PRICE: $150 Alpha Male Cosmetics has created one of the most perfect male cosmetics lines. With natural-looking skin tones and products, they never disappoint with the beauty of a man. The complete line is waterbased which allows you to hide blemishes, skin spots, and acne, while never compromising a natural look. Available in 24 shades of foundation, it’s the only men’s line to have such a complete line of shades for all of our skin tones. Owner Anttoni Lopez states, “Five years ago, the morning grooming routine for most men was shampoo, shave and maybe a bit of hair gel.” These days, guys are taking better care of themselves. “They want to feel and look good. It has become a trend that is only getting bigger.” So, hurry up and get yours today for those holiday photos and small gatherings this year.
WAP ForeverWick Candles AVAILABLE AT: foreverwickcandle.com PRICE: ON SALE FOR $39.50 Mmmmmmmm, nothing like the smell of warm apple pie for holidays. That is right: ForeverWick is giving us a fall favorite this year. These unique candles offer a standard wick option or four wick option along with two options for diamonds. That is right DIAMONDS! Each candle comes with your choice of one or two diamonds that range in size as a surprise. They promise you can find diamonds up to full carats and someone this holiday season will win a diamond worth $12,000. Sales will not last long and there are over 20 scents for you pick from just in case WAP is not your style.
Holiday shopping is something I always enjoy for friends and family. I especially love shopping for my husband each year! Time is running out and if you plan to order online gifts, you may want to have them gift wrapped and sent directly to your loved ones (it also saves on shipping cost) as services are slower this year. May you be blessed with holiday cheer, joy, happiness, and be able to spend the holidays with someone special this year.
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT holiday event Pool & Hot Tub Service
SANTA CLAUS IS STILL COMING TO TOWN — SOUTH FLORIDA CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAYS AT SANTA’S DRIVE-THRU VILLAGE THIS DECEMBER Go Behind-The-Scenes for a Whimsical Look into Santa’s Magical Operations at the Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Experience MIRAMAR (November 18, 2020) — Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Elves, and many more from the North Pole are making the trek to South Florida this December. The magic of Santa’s Village comes to life in an adventure the whole family can enjoy! Hop in your car and head to Santa’s Drive-Thru Village, a very merry drive-thru Christmas attraction in South Florida located at Miramar Regional Park (16801 Miramar Parkway) in Miramar, FL from Thursday, December 3 through Wednesday, December 23. Christmas pajamas, ugly sweaters, and all the treats that make this time of year so special are invited to tag along. During the most wonderful time of the year, and for the first time ever, get a backstage look at how Christmas comes together while enjoying social distancing from your car. A brilliant light show will illuminate the elves as they are busy at work creating a festive holiday with snow all around. Best of all, Santa Claus himself will be there to greet one and all! Naughty or nice, everyone is invited to bring their letters to Santa for a special drop-off. Live 305 Entertainment, run by Cirque du Soleil veteran, Francisco Santos, dreamed up and gave life to the heartwarming experience following the great success seen from his recent “The Horrorland” drive-thru entertainment. Santos and his daughter, Luna Santos, worked together on the design of the innovative holiday tradition. “The cheerful celebration is about community, giving and creating memories, some
of the things that make Christmas so special,” Santos said. Special villages that will awe and inspire with polar bears, angels, reindeer, carol singers, and more include:
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The Singing Carolers Town Winter Wonderland Paradise Mrs. Claus’ Village and the North Pole Village Merry & Bright Lights The Elves’ Toy Factory Santa’s Magical Cabin “The joy of visiting Santa is a memory everyone holds dear and we’re delighted to be able to bring this excitement to kids and families in a new format due to current safety issues,” says Francisco Santos, CEO and Director of Live305 Entertainment. “The unique experience will take visitors on a car trip down a runway of blinking lights, past snowflakes, and sleigh bells before visiting the Elf’s Toy Factory and finally arriving at Santa’s Cabin for the yuletide finale.” Santa’s Drive-Thru Village, located at Miramar Regional Park (16801 Miramar Parkway) in Miramar, FL takes place Thursday, December 3 through Wednesday, December 23. Hours of operation will be: Monday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For information about specific dates during the month of December and to purchase tickets in advance, visit SantasDriveThruVillage.com. For any questions regarding tickets, call 1-800-383-6119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets are priced at $48.99 per car and group rates are available. Tickets can only be purchased online and are required for admission. Admission is priced per vehicle and vehicles with more than seven passengers qualify for van rate. Due to safety regulations, tickets must be purchased online prior to entering Santa’s Drive-Thru Village. Each car must have a Drive-Thru ticket to enter. For inquiries about the Grand Opening, group tours, or reservations, visit SantasDriveThruVillage.com. Media interested in the Grand Opening should contact Boza Agency (see information at the top of this release).
12 .10 . 20 20 •
YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND US...
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!
BUT WE MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK.
INSIDE THE PRIDE FACTORY 850 NE 13th St Fort Lauderdale
MIDWAY SPECIALTY CARE CENTER 2608 NE 16th Ave Wilton Manors
LISTINGS 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.
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
FAITH & PRIDE SPIRITUALITY
HANUKKAH THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights begins on Thursday, December 10th at sundown. If any year warranted additional light, this is the one! We will be lighting our candles online every night at 6:30pm. The custom is to light your candles & place them in a window, lighting up your home, your spirit, and all who witness your light. Join us, and add to the light!!
Shabbat service Friday 8pm on our Facebook Page
Rabbi Noah Kitty
Congregation Etz Chaim
Congregation Etz Chaim
2038 N. Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors, FL 33305, on the Pride Center campus www.EtzChaimFlorida.org / RSVP HERE: email@example.com
Church of Our Savior, MCC 2011 s. Federal Hwy., Boynton Beach, FL 561-733-4000 www,churchofoursaviormcc.org
he upcoming Hanukkah holiday is both a delightful and delicious festival. Hanukkah is recognition of two events: the military victory of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil. One represents history, the other represents faith. The Maccabees were an army of religious resistors to the foreign ruler, Antiochus, who wanted to take Judaism out of Jerusalem. After Antiochus brought pigs into the Temple, Jewish resistance flared and ultimately the Maccabees were successful in repelling the invaders. Before they could rededicate and use the Temple, they had to clean it. They discovered that there was only enough clean oil to last one night of the eight-day holiday, but when they continued with the ritual of lighting the lamp they discovered that the oil lasted throughout the entire festival. The historical event of the Maccabean revolt is well-recognized and celebrated, and many contemporary sports teams and programs use “Maccabee” as a proud connection to their victory. However, that is not where the miracle is recognized; the miracle is recognized as being located in the oil. There are those who say that the oil itself was the miracle, that it lasted so much longer that believed possible. There are others who believe the miracle was in those who lit the lamp on the first night, that it was their faith that maintained the light throughout the holiday. I believe our tradition shows an understanding of why it is not appropriate to rely on the military to “prove” righteousness; the legacy of the Maccabees devolved into a zealotry that ultimately led to the destruction of the Temple and the exile of the people for 2000 years. Nor can righteousness jump from one country to another as their military power ebbed or flowed. We do not believe that might makes right; eventually might
Photo via PxHere.
fades and power shifts to another country. Our moral values require more consistency than that. Instead, righteousness is found in faith and this faith is expressed in the ritual of Hanukkah candle lighting. We use a menorah with holders for nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and one as the “shamash,” the candle that is lit and used to light all of the other candles. Many centuries ago there was an argument about how to light them, with one school, Shammai, saying that all eight candles should be lit on the first night, representing the burning faith of the Maccabees when they first started their rebellion. The other school, Hillel, opined that the lights should increase each day, beginning with one candle the first night, two for the second, and so on. This would represent the initial hesitation we all feel when starting something new and scary, so that our confidence increases each day we challenge ourselves to overcome our fears. The people decided to follow Hillel, and that is the ritual. Like almost everything this year, Hanukkah is going to be different. No noisy crowded parties where we share heaping plates of fresh hot latkes and sweet jelly donuts; they will have to wait for next year. This year will be quieter and smaller, but perhaps this will inspire us to take up the custom of putting the lit menorah in a window, so that your light can shine for others and inspire them to not be afraid to light their own. May we all have the strength to continue to light our own small lights, adding to each others and growing the light in our community and beyond. Happy Hanukkah! Hanukkah begins on Thursday night, Dec. 10. Congregation Etz Chaim will be lighting Hanukkah candles on Zoom on each night at 6:30 p.m., and at 8 p.m. on Friday night as part of our regular Shabbat service.
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
A home for your spirit. Mass Schedule: Sabado 6:00 PM misa en español • Sunday Mass at 11 AM in English • All are welcome!
12 .10 . 20 20 •
CORONAVIRUS JOURNAL VII
THIS AWFUL YEAR Jesse Monteagudo
n 1978 the historian Barbara W. Tuchman published “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.” This awful century, Tuchman wrote, was one of “plague, war, taxes, brigandage, bad government, insurrection, and schism in the [Catholic] Church — a violent, tormented, bewildered, suffering and disintegrating age.” Though there is no schism in the Church today (that we know of) those of us who are alive in 2020 suffer instead from the effects of climate change: a largely man-made catastrophe that threatens to destroy this planet and every living thing in it. That 2020 is a plague year there is no question. There are still wars going on in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen (among others) and Armenia and Azerbaijan are currently going at it over Nagorno-Karabakh. Taxes keep going up (except for those who can avoid it); violent murder (by brigands and others) continues to rise, especially against minorities. This has been a veritable annus horribilis for trans people, especially trans women of color, with at least 37 murders (so far) in the U.S. Bad government is as prevalent as ever, especially in governments led by selfproclaimed, populist autocrats. America’s systemic racism was laid bare by the police murders of African American men and women like Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Daniel Prude and Breonna Taylor. Government-sanctioned violence, here and abroad, led to a series of spirited, sometimes violent insurrections which increased public consciousness but which, alas, were as successful as the ones in Tuchman’s 14th Century. And don’t get me started about the (non-COVID) natural disasters of 2020: The most hurricanes and tropical storms in history; wildfires in Australia and the western U.S.; floods in Indonesia; earthquakes everywhere — all caused in large part by climate change. Of course, not everything that happened in 2020 was bad. For one thing, we are still alive. Though COVID-19 continues to plague humanity, 95% effective vaccines are being developed by Pfizer, Moderna and other pharmaceutical companies. Immunization might be available next year if we do not make foolish choices in the meantime. Enforcing lockdowns to fight the pandemic, though economically and
THAT 2020 IS A PLAGUE YEAR THERE IS NO QUESTION.
Photo via Adobe.
socially disastrous, has had some ecological benefits, like allowing other species to move more freely (coyotes in Tamarac?). And American voters elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, putting an end to a 4-year reign of terror that only made everything (including COVID) worse. On the other hand, Donald Trump refuses to concede, his supporters kept a majority of the Senate and won seats in the House of Representatives and in statewide races, and Florida cemented its status as the most Trumpian of all states. Unlike Trump, who ignored COVID-19 to look out for
Number One, President Biden might decree a new (prevaccine) lockdown to bring down the newly increased casualty figures. Meanwhile, many of us are grabbing as much toilet paper as we can find and once again retreating to our homes. Characteristically, 2020’s holiday season will be a bleak one. Meanwhile, I want to end this article on a positive note by thanking those who made this year tolerable for me: Zoom, Facebook, PBS, Congregation Etz Chaim, my family and friends and, most of all, Ron Farago. May 2021 be a better year.
Jesse Monteagudo is a freelance writer and journalist. He has been an active member of South Florida's LGBT community for more than four decades and has served in various community organizations.
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LIFESTYLE TWO GUYS AND A DOG
THE PEOPLE WE LOVE TO HATE Brian McNaught
Photo via PxHere.
ome people, and some groups, seem to beg you to hate them. And, it’s easy to do. Saying we hate a person, or a group, allows us to dismiss them, like Glinda did to the Wicked Witch of the West. “Be gone, you have no power here.” Out of sight, out of mind. Once dismissed, we don’t have to give the people we hate another thought. If they’re in a group, they’re all the same. They’re the enemy, such as Trump, Nazis, the KKK, gay Republicans, Born Again Christians, child molesters, Trump voters, axe murderers, The Salvation Army, Scientologists, the Taliban, straight white men, the NRA, Mitch McConnell, etc. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of my heart, mind, and soul. And yet, and yet, many of us are inspired by the teachings of a man who told us to forgive people as so much as 70 times seven, which means always. “Forgive them? They haven’t asked for forgiveness. The hell with that,” we say. “They’re all evil, I hope they die, and I want nothing more to do with them.” Hate is easy peasy. Except, when it’s not. Take for example, a residential drug and alcohol facility for, among others, furloughed convicts, many with psychiatric problems. Their everyday dialogue is described by one staff person as “rude, crude, and lewd,” filled with homophobia and racism. Recently, a bisexual staff counselor came out to her small group session, telling the men that she wouldn’t tolerate any more of their anti-gay or anti-Black talk. Word got back to the facility’s executive director, who immediately wrote to compliment and thank the counselor for speaking up. The boss was thrilled the issue was being dealt with so openly and firmly. Likewise, another staff person wrote to the counselor, saying, “I want to express to you my sincere gratitude and appreciation for addressing the problem of gay slurs and homophobia with the men in the Friday morning group session. I heard about it from a client who was very appreciative of your actions … Addressing the problem of gay slurs and homophobia … may run some risk of criticism and attack, especially from some of our more ‘macho’ minded clients. The benefit, however, is helping our GLBTQ clients to feel safer, accepted, valued, and respected as they seek to work through whatever substance abuse or mental health issues they may be facing in life.” The bisexual counselor replied, “I appreciate your kind words. I did get some pushback in group, but I just know what is right, and what is wrong, and all of the ‘jokes’ felt so wrong. I asked the guys in group on two separate occasions to think about how their jokes would make someone who identified as GLBTQ feel. It shut the slurs and joking down temporarily. Finally, I banned it completely from my groups because it kept
IT’S EASIER THAT WAY, AT LEAST FOR US, BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE TO GIVE IT MUCH THOUGHT.
coming up, and I was just tired of it. It was too much for me to hear because I found zero humor in the talks whatsoever. “I have also asked that they do not use the N-word in my group or in my presence. We have an African American group member, and I couldn’t believe I heard the N-word being thrown around like it was nothing. That word is no longer used in my groups either.” She added, “I identify as bisexual, and every time these derogatory, hurtful-to-the-core sayings are used in group, my heart starts to beat faster and louder. I feel tension rising within, but I never want to be the type of group facilitator that pushes my personal agenda onto the class. “The feelings I had reminded me of high school where I saw several popular boys picking on a gay male classmate. Of course, at that time, I didn’t feel I had a voice, as a freshman, to stop the hate that I saw. Today, I am a grown woman, and I can stop it during the groups that I facilitate. Although, I ‘came out’ to the group that day, I knew that it was wrong what they were doing from the first ‘joke.’ I asked the guys if in jail they talked in the manner that they were talking in my group about this topic. They stated that the men who were gay or bisexual … enjoyed the ‘banter’ and the ‘jokes’ because
they laughed along with them. I took this time to share that although others may laugh with them, it ultimately is not coming from funny laughter, but from uncomfortable laughter most likely. I further shared that what they were doing was not only hurtful, but in other systems would be considered cause for serious concern.” What does this great example of the power of standing up for yourself, and for others, at work, and in life, have to do with the topic of “hate,” other than we hate straight male prisoners who bully LGBT and queer people? But what about our hate of The Salvation Army? We still hate The Salvation Army, right? They’re homophobic, or maybe not. This incident happened at a Salvation Army alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility. The executive director, who recently recommended the promotion of an openly gay employee, and who wrote to compliment and thank the bisexual counselor, reports directly to The Salvation Army. The staff person who thanked the counselor, and who emailed to tell me what happened, is an officer in The Salvation Army. OK, so maybe we don’t hate those members and employees of The Salvation Army, but we hate everyone else in the group. It’s easier that way, at least for us, because we don’t have to give it much thought. They’re all the same. Or, are they?
Brian McNaught has been a leading educator on LGBTQ issues globally since 1974. He has made his many books and DVDs available for free at Brian-McNaught.com. The New York Times named him “The Godfather of gay diversity training.”
AWARD-WINNER COUNTERS PANDEMIC WITH VIRTUAL HOLIDAY FUNDRAISER J.W. Arnold
DECEMBER 16, 2020
here are many ways to describe playwright, songwriter and performer Taylor Mac: He is a MacArthur Foundation “genius,” a Pulitizer Prize finalist and Ibsen Award-winner. Mac frequently invokes “Radical Faerie realness” in his performances and refers to himself as a “fool” and “collagist.” More recently, the GenX Californian-turned-New Yorker classifies his gender as “judy,” in the lower case. Mac’s work is equally hard to pin down, an ever-changing “fight against conformity and categorization,” drawing on commedia dell’arte, vaudeville, contemporary musical theater and drag. Like many creatives, he’s pivoting in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering an online version of his signature holiday cabaret online beginning Saturday, Dec. 12. “Holiday Sauce… Pandemic!” blends music, film, burlesque and random acts of fabulousness in the most subversive and cathartic event of the season, Mac promised in a recent phone interview. “It’s all about incorporating the calamity of our lives and celebrating it,” he said. “Holidays are historically a rough time, but since we created the show [in 2017], it’s been fun. I gathered my friends and family and made a show … we contemplate mothers and drag mothers and even the Virgin Mary — moms, single moms and moms who don’t need a man!” Mac is partnering with local arts and nonprofit organizations across the country for this virtual premiere, offered on a pay-whatyou-can basis. In South Florida, Mac chose Live Arts Miami, an initiative of Miami-Dade College. “What a year we’ve been living. We all need a moment with Taylor Mac right now. This is going to do the world a little bit of good,” according to local producer Kathryn Garcia, who noted that proceeds from the show would fund a new scholarship of LGBT students. As a tribute to Mac’s drag mother, each institution presenting “Holiday Sauce… Pandemic!” is honoring local elders, collectively referred to as the Queens, who have made a
Take a moment to enjoy yourself during the Holidays! Join our favorite Queens as your favorite Holiday Divas! Including Songs, Skits & a Comically good time! Buy your tickets early…tickets sell out fast! With performances by: Melissa St John, Lupita Hollywood, Dayzee Deluxx, Pepper Monroe and Vasti Love Montana.
713 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth Beach www.lakeworthplayhouse.org | 561.586.6410 Taylor Mac stars in a new online production of his holiday cabaret show, “Holiday Sauce…Pandemic!” on Saturday, Dec. 12. Photo credit: Little Fang Photography. �
significant contribution to nurturing the LGBT community in their city. In South Florida, Mac and Live Arts Miami selected HIV/AIDS and bisexual rights activist Luigi Ferrer, co-founder of Pridelines Youth Services. After the premiere, the local audience will be invited join the “Sash and Sashay” afterparty in honor of Ferrer, a virtual celebration including special appearances from Miami drag legends, community leaders and surprise guests from the show. Ferrer, who also identifies closely with the Radical Faerie community, is honored by the recognition, but he reflexively pivoted back to his lifelong mission. “It’s LGBTQ youth I worry about the most during these difficult times. Sheltering at home and COVID-19 restrictions have been difficult for all of us, even for those of us who are still employed and are coping well with the adjustment to the New Normal, which it is not!” he said. “We are all learning new ways of building and finding community, and just like we did in the early days of the HIV pandemic, we must continue searching for ways to retain connection. Now is the time to learn how to go on, how to keep building community and celebrate family of choice, whatever the circumstances.”
Taylor Mac stars in “Holiday Sauce…Pandemic!” on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. The performance is free, but donations will be accepted for the Miami-Dade College Pride Scholarship for LGBT students. On demand replays are pay-what-you-can. For more information and to RSVP, go to LiveArtsMiami.org. 12 .10 . 20 20 •
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he holiday season is typically big for both Hollywood studios and local theaters, but just as audiences have turned to streaming entertainment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, so has the industry. Three new holiday releases from the three leading services will particularly appeal to LGBT audiences: Amazon Prime’s “Uncle Frank” will I believe that good people deserve resonate strongly with gay men of a certain a fresh start. generation. Set in the early 1970s, the film chronicles a New York City college professor’s road trip with his young niece back to their small Southern hometown 20+ Years South Florida Bankruptcy Experience to attend the family patriarch’s funeral. Personalized And Caring Service Frank (Paul Bettany) must leave the relative Call For A Free Consultation safety of the big city gayborhood to finally confront the demons of his youth and his Office located at Fed Hwy and NE 26th Street in father’s shame after a teenage romance is Ft Lauderdale discovered. Bettany gives a wrenching performance www.LehrmanLaw.com 95.3 FM 103.9 FM as a man teetering on emotional collapse and alcoholism to cope, supported by the 96.9 AM appealing Sophia Lillis (niece Beth) and 95.3 FMFM 103.91470 FM uplifting Peter Macdissi as Walid (“Wally”), 96.9 FM FM 1470 AM FM 95.3 103.9 Frank’s supportive Muslim partner who is also living in his own self-imposed and 96.9 FM 1470 AM absolutely necessary closet. Meanwhile, Hulu’s “Happiest Season” is Director and Co-writer Clea DuVall’s queer 95.3 FMFM 103.9take FMon the stereotypical Christmas rom95.3 FM 103.9 com. Abby (Kristen Stewart) has big plans to 96.9 FM 1470 propose AM 96.9 FM 1470 AM 95.3 103.9 FM to partner Harper (Mackenzie Davis) while spending the holidays with her family. 96.9 FM 1470 While AM on the way, Harper confesses she has never come out to her conservative family, forcing out and proud lesbian Abby back in the closet. Afternoon Drive... DuVall aspires for that dry “Schitt’s local and LIVE. Creek” dynamic and even tosses in Dan Afternoon Drive... Levy as Abby’s quirky gay BFF, but never Ad opportunities: 954-661-3361 quite succeeds. Parents Ted and Tipper local andDrive... LIVE. Afternoon (Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen) are local and LIVE. Ad opportunities: 954-661-3361 odd ducks, indeed, but no Johnnie and Ad opportunities: 954-661-3361 Moira Rose. Co-writer Mary Holland takes a tasty turn on screen as sister Jane, the one MONDAY - FRIDAY character you might actually encounter at hear past shows on youtube at Café Tropical. bit.ly/2OzWjlI Nearly every plot twist at the family Afternoon Drive... Afternoon Drive... Christmas party is predictable, but don’t MONDAY - FRIDAY this film in many ways is a trailblazer and Drive... LIVE.forget and L i v e s t r e a m i n g • wlocal w n nhear r d LIVE. ishows oAfternoon .local c on oonyoutube myoutube past shows for mainstream media and can still be heara past at at enjoyed with a bottle of your favorite adult Adbit.ly/2OzWjlI opportunities: 954-661-3361 bit.ly/2OzWjlI Ad opportunities: 954-661-3361
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Ryan Murphy’s “The Prom” is one of the LGBTthemed films debuting on streaming services during the holiday season. Credit: Netflix.
beverage. And for our lesbian friends, there’s always Kristen Stewart’s plucky persona for dessert. Ryan Murphy’s latest contribution to the ever-growing Netflix oeuvre is “The Prom,” a star-studded, glitzy adaptation of the 2018 Broadway hit: A group of downon-their-luck, self-obsessed Broadway stars (Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells) shake up a small Indiana town as they rally behind a teen (Jo Ellen Pellman) who just wants to attend prom with her girlfriend (Ariana DeBose), who is still closeted and whose mom (Kerry Washington) is the traditional valuesspouting president of the PTA. This is film is signature Murphy with overthe-top musical numbers (choreographed by Broadway powerhouse Casey Nicholaw) reminiscent of “Glee,” aided by a peppy and clever score and book by Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin. Murphy never loses the spirit of the Broadway show, and that’s what makes it work (no matter how much other critics will hate on Corden and Streep’s performance). The only real loser is Indiana’s reputation and there wasn’t much Murphy could do there.
Watch “Uncle Frank” at Amazon.com and “Happiest Season” at Hulu.com. “The Prom” premieres on Netflix.com on Dec. 4.
HOME for the HOLIDAYS VIDEO RELEASE
12TH LGBTQ+ FILM FESTIVAL
On Dec. 4, the 12th LGBTQ+ Film Festival hosted a special drive-in — that is, drive OUT — night at the Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale. The theme of the night was the critically-acclaimed drama, “Cowboys.” Photo credit: J.R. Davis. To see more, visit SFGN on Facebook.
New Year’s Eve
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December 31, 2020 AT 7:30PM 713 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth Beach, FL www.lakeworthplayhouse.org | 561.586.6410
THE WONDERFULLY ENTERTAINING CUBAN-AMERICAN TRIO ALWAYS DELIVERS A CONCERT THAT FEELS LIKE A PARTY! Friday, December 18, 7:30 Sunshine Cathedral 1480 SW 9th Avenue Fort Lauderdale Indoors and limited to the first 100 ticket buyers. Tickets: $30 via showtix4u.com/events/15790 info at operafusion.org 12 .10 . 20 20 •
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