Page 1

rare case of lesbian hiv transmission reported • 3

ahf’s florida aids walk returns • 19

local name, global coverage

march 19, 2014 // vol. 5 // issue 12

12 • ? u Yo r 4 o 1 F • h g e t u a o b n e E D fe P a E r S P e r B y of the e v ! E e r V r I o u H F m h & c W ill d u n M u o d S n a e h T

Florida AIDS Walk Insert In This Issue! Pages 27 – 34


aids deaths in nyc drop • 4


cdc says ‘no more unprotected sex’ • 26



hiv+ man Gets $500k for wronGful termination • 2


Last weekÕ s hottest items couldnÕ t wait to be printed... Compiled by John McDonald

HIV+ Man Gets $500K for Wrongful Termination

1 2 3

Three years after his midtown Manhattan employer abruptly fired him, a jury awarded Antonio Muñoz more than $500,000 for being discriminated against due to his HIV status. “At least I know that I was able to tell my story,” Muñoz told the New York Daily News. “I’m working now. I can move on with my life. I did this because I was wronged.” The New York Daily News reports that Muñoz was working as an assistant office manager for the boutique hotel The Manhattan Club on W. 56th Street, and had been awarded two raises

and an Exemplary Manager Award in 2008. That same year, Muñoz was diagnosed with HIV and asked to be taken off the night shift, explaining that his chronic condition required him to take Sustiva, a medication that caused drowsiness. His supervisor denied the request, even when he presented a doctor’s note. She suggested he quit. Instead, he stuck with it, but was told in April 30, 2010 that he would be put back on night shift.

Group Challenges AZ Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Lambda Legal, a group fighting for the civil rights for LGBT persons, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Phoenix challenging Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage. The complaint was filed on behalf of seven Arizona couples, a Phoenix widower and a Tucson widow to overturn a 2008 amendment to the Arizona Constitution that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The leads plaintiffs are a Scottsdale couple, Nelda Majors, 75, and Karen Bailey, 74, who have been together for more than 55 years. They have raised Bailey’s great-grandnieces as their own daughters since the children were toddlers. They are now 15 and 21 years old.

New Insurance Rights for Same-Sex Couples Addressing gay and lesbian concerns, the Obama administration Friday moved to expand health insurance access for same-sex couples and close a loophole that threatened to leave some HIV/AIDS patients without coverage. In separate announcements, the Health and Human Services Department said: • Insurers offering spousal coverage for heterosexual couples must also provide it to legally married couples of the same gender. • Insurers cannot turn down HIV/AIDS

patients whose premiums are being paid through the federal Ryan White program. The administration acted after gays and lesbians complained about confusing rules on spousal coverage in the new health insurance exchanges, particularly in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage. HHS also countered a move by insurers in Louisiana to stop accepting premium payments made by the federal Ryan White program on behalf of HIV/ AIDS patients.

March 19, 2014 • VoluMe 5 • Issue 12

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

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// 3.19.2014 // //

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news highlight


Rare Case of Lesbian HIV Transmission Reported

Annuities - Taxes - Insurance - Retirement Planning

The U.S. government has confirmed the firstever case of HIV transmission between two women. The rare case of lesbian transmission of the Human immunodeficiency virus caused a stir worldwide over the weekend when details were released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genetic testing proved the virus to be 98 percent identical in both women, essentially proving that one had infected the other, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The women, both in their 40s, lived in Houston when the transmission occurred in 2012. In epidemiological findings, the woman who acquired HIV had a history of heterosexual intercourse, but not in the 10 years prior to HIV infection. She supplemented her income by selling her blood plasma, but was denied after testing positive for HIV. The couple reported routinely having unprotected oral and vaginal sex with no barrier precautions (dental dams) and the use of toys, sometimes roughly, which caused bleeding.

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The infected partner had been on treatment for HIV, but stopped taking drugs in 2010. “One of the problems here is that the original positive person decided to stop her treatment, which gave her more ability to be transmissive,” Kathy Barton of the Houston Health and Human Services Department told the Houston Press.

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News Briefs


estboro Baptist Church Founder, Fred Phelps

Compiled by John McDonald

Is Fred Phelps Dying? Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas congregation known for picketing funerals with anti-gay signs, called reports that its founder, Fred Phelps, is near death “speculative.” “Fred Phelps has health issues,” the church said in a statement Sunday, “but the idea that someone would suggest that he is near death, is not only highly speculative, but foolish considering that all such matters are the sole prerogative of God.” Nathan Phelps, the estranged son of Fred Phelps, posted a Facebook message Sunday saying his father was “at the edge of death” at a hospice in Topeka, Kansas, where the Westboro Baptist Church has long been a controversial presence.


enn. Ruling Gives Gays Hope

In an important but narrow ruling, a U.S. district court judge in Nashville issued a preliminary injunction last week barring the state of Tennessee from denying recognition of marriage licenses obtained by three samesex couples in other states. The order applies only to these three couples and only while their lawsuit challenging the state’s refusal to recognize marriage licenses obtained by same-sex couples else is pending, said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. But it represents yet another important victory for marriage equality, and another advance in a southern state. NCLR and long-time lesbian legal activist Abby Rubenfeld filed the lawsuit, Tanco v. Tennessee, on behalf of four couples last October. (One couple subsequently dropped out of the lawsuit.) It challenges both the state constitutional language and statutory laws that ban recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples. Like so many other lawsuits filed in more than two dozen states around the country, the Tennessee lawsuit argues that the bans violate the couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Judge Aleta Trauger (a Clinton appointee) said in the order she issued Friday that “all signs indicate that, in the eyes of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs’ marriages will be placed on an equal footing with those of heterosexual couples and that proscriptions against same-sex marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American history.”


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Nathan Phelps also said his father had been excommunicated from the church. “I’m not sure how I feel about this,” he added. “Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.” Westboro declined to say whether or not its founder has been excommunicated. The church’s statement said that “membership issues are private” and that eight unnamed “elders” lead the Westboro congregation. Fred Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church in 1955 and molded it in his fire-and-brimstone image. Most of the small congregation are members of Phelps’ extended family. Nathan Phelps is one of several relatives who Trauger also noted that other pending lawsuits in other states may well determine the ultimate outcome of the Tanco challenge. NCLR’s Minter pointed out that the lawsuit which just concluded a two-week trial in Detroit, for instance, could be appealed to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals relatively soon and potentially deciding the law for other Sixth Circuit states, such as Tennessee.


IDS Deaths Drop in NYC

For the first time since 1983, AIDS has dropped from the list of top 10 causes of death in New York City, reports the New York Daily News. “It’s a tribute to the efforts that have been made…in tackling this epidemic. We are seeing some success,” New York health commissioner Mary Basset said during a City Council budget hearing. “In some areas of the country, there’s been a growing concern about rising incidents in [men who have sex with men],” she continued. “We haven’t seen that in New York City.” Statistics from the city’s Department of Health list AIDS as the number nine killer in 2011, with 766 reported deaths. A year later, that number dropped to 609. The number of new HIV infections in New York has remained steady or declined each year. While there is still work to do, these latest statistics serve as another hopeful sign for the future. Last September, United Nations officials said the global HIV/AIDS epidemic could be over by 2030 as a result of advancements in treatment, control, and soflagaynews //

left the church in recent decades. He lives in Canada, according to his Facebook page. Despite its “Baptist” name, Westboro is not affiliated with any larger church denomination. Most Christians criticize the congregation’s harsh anti-gay rhetoric and penchant for pursuing the limelight at inappropriate moments. According to the church’s website, it has picketed more than 53,000 events, ranging from Lady Gaga concerts to funerals for slain U.S. soldiers. Typically, a dozen or so family members -- including small children -- brandish signs that say “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” prevention of the virus. Presently, the U.S. government estimates 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV infection. Globally, the number rises to 33.4 million people.


eers Pull Out of Parade Sponsorships

Boston Beer Co., manufacturer of Sam Adams beer, pulled sponsorship of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Parade organizers refuse to allow openly gay and lesbian groups march in the annual parade. After local establishments in “Southie” began pulling Sam Adams from their bars in protest, the company released the following statement: “We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year. We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country. We were hopeful that both sides of this issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in the parade. But given the current status of the negotiations, we realize this may not be possible. We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade. We will continue to support Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition.” In a similar move, Guinness, the stout Irish beer, pulled its support for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade.



ajor League Soccer Adds Gay Player Protections

Major League Soccer has agreed to new measures to protect gay players from discrimination and harassment following similar steps by Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The efforts are aimed at reinforcing the league’s policies against discrimination. They include expanded sensitivity training for players, a centralized complaint system and posting a code of conduct prohibiting discrimination in home and visitor locker rooms. The MLS measures came after meetings with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office reached similar agreements with the NFL and MLB. He says workplace harassment and discrimination won’t be tolerated in professional sports. MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche confirmed the agreement announced by Schneiderman on Thursday in Manhattan. Last year, Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay player to compete in MLS — or any major North American professional sports league — when he took the field for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Currently, there is no Florida MLS franchise although superstar David Beckham has announced intentions to bring a team to Miami. Beckham’s business partner in this venture, Marcelo Claure, told the Miami Herald, “there is a good possibility that there will be soccer in Miami in 2017.”

health news

News from South Florida aids network: march 2014 Sean McShee

The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) meets monthly. Below are the highlights of the SFAN meeting on March 6, 2014. This meeting primarily discussed the administrative rule changes proposed by the Florida State AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and the workshops held throughout the state to gather feedback. The Broward workshop happened Feb. 26 at Holy Cross Hospital. At that workshop, Lorraine Wells, ADAP state supervisor, divided ADAP clients into two groups: the insured and the uninsured. The number of ADAP clients without insurance far exceeds the number with insurance. As it’s cost effective for public health to pay the premiums, deductibles and copays for low income people with insurance, a new type of program has emerged. This new program, ADAP Premium Plus Insurance, requires new language in the administrative rules. No significant changes appear to affect ADAP clients without insurance. “ADAP Premium Plus Insurance” is so new that a Google search for it on March 8 failed to return any results. It appears to be similar to the already existing AIDS Insurance Continuation Program. These ADAP clients with private insurance can obtain their meds through CVS, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager. Per Larraine Wells, the cost of treatment per ADAP client averages between $8,000 and $12,000 per year. The Pharmacy Benefits Manager should cut that cost in half, with those savings returned to the program. Jason King of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) attended all the workshops in the state and made the following report. Three salient points of concern emerged in these workshops. Excluding those ADAP clients with private insurance, but without HIV “symptoms” from ADAP Premium Plus Insurance. Currently, no such restriction exists for ADAP clients, and no consensus exists as to what constitutes “symptomatic HIV positive.” Joey Wynn pointed out that “symptomatic” is an archaic term, as current best practice treats early to prevent symptoms from appearing. Restricting Pharmacy Access for ADAP clients with private insurance. The proposed rule change restricts access to pharmacies to those of CVS, the Pharmacy Benefits Manager in Florida. This would preclude HIV specialty

pharmacies from participating in ADAP for those clients with private insurance. As some rural areas lack a CVS pharmacy, this restriction would increase the burden on rural ADAP clients. Jason King spoke of a desire for a “diverse, robust pharmacy network” to meet the needs of ADAP clients. Eligibility Issues arising from ADAP/Ryan White clients enrolling in the Affordable Care Act. Parts of the proposed Administrative Rule change refer to eligibility. This brought

up the issue of mixed messages about moving from Ryan White Care to the Affordable Care Act. People had been urged to do so, but Florida failed to set up the linkages between ADAP, Ryan White Care, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Those ADAP clients who began that move and enrolled, now find themselves unable to pay deductibles and copays. People in this condition should not stop paying their premiums. If they do, they could be liable to pay back the ACA subsidies already received. They can withdraw without liabilities, but it has to be done in cooperation with Healthcare. gov. People in this situation should call 1-800318-2596 and say they want to abandon their subsidy. The state health department is reviewing the results of the workshops and should issue their decisions between May 4 and June 4 according to Sheri Hutchinson. Corrections to Notes from SFAN Feb. 7 Meeting

The Care4today mobile health manager was developed by Janssen Health initiative based in San Diego. The website for that app is, or download for free directly from App Store or Google Play. Next Meeting: April 4, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Holy Cross Healthplex, Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women’s Center, 1000 NE 56th Street Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334. These meetings are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. soflagaynews //

SouthFloridaGayNews // // 3 .19.2014/ /


news bites

by John mcdonald

lesbian makes ‘idol’ top 10

MK Nobilette, the first openly gay contestant on the television talent show “American Idol,” has advanced into the top 10, guaranteeing the 20-year-old from San Francisco a spot on the Idol Summer Tour. “Feeling so blessed to still be here on this beautiful day,” Nobilette tweeted on Saturday. Nobilette secured her spot in the top 10 with a moving rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” during Idol’s movie song theme week. Now in its 13th season, “American Idol” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.


S.C. Senator Called Ô Ambiguously GayÕ

% Ô Game of ThronesÕ Actor Comes Out

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is facing a tough re-election campaign this year and already opponents are tossing jabs about his demeanor. Dave Feliciano, a former police officer, told The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., “It’s about time that South Carolina [says] hey, ‘We’re tired of the ambiguously gay senator from South Carolina.’” Graham faces six opponents from within the Republican party in the June primary. He was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2008. Graham, 58, compiled a distinguished record in the U.S. Air Force and has earned a reputation as a ‘hawk’ on military issues.

Actor Kristian Nairn from the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones” confirmed he is gay on a fan website. Nairn, who plays the imposing figure Hodor on the television fantasy series, said his sexuality is “a very small part of who I am on the whole, but none the less, in this day and age, it’s important to stand up and be counted.” The Northern Irishman said he has never hidden his sexuality and has been waiting for someone to ask. He discussed his gayness on the website, “Game of Thrones” returns for its fourth season in April.

Nets Sign Collins for Remainder of Season

*10% Bonus Credited To All Deposits Made During 1st Year.



// 3.19.2014 // //

soflagaynews //

The Brooklyn Nets have rewarded Jason Collins with a new contract for the remainder of the season. Brooklyn general manager Billy King made the announcement Saturday. Collins, a 7-foot center, became the first openly gay active professional basketball player when the Nets signed him to a 10-day contract last month. “Collins gives the Nets 10 minutes of off-the-bench defense a night, they’re happy, he stays,” said ESPN analyst Mitch Albom. Collins, 34, is in his 13th season with the National Basketball Association. The Google Continues Nets are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Ban on Ô BisexualÕ Activists are pressuring Google to remove Conference playoff picture, three games the word ‘bisexual’ from a blacklist of Instant behind Atlantic Division leading Toronto. Search Terms. “Despite statements that they will allow the word ‘bisexual’ to autocomplete, Google still puts up an extra barrier to accessing information on bisexual resources and support,” says Sarah Prager, creator of the Quist app. Taking the same approach as with Apple over a similar issue, she created a petition asking Google to unblock the term. Prager sent an email to Google on March 10, 2014 outlining the request of the petition and has not received a response.


health analysis

The Ô OtherÕ STD

Syphilis in gay & bisexual men Sean McShee Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men accounted for 75 percent of all U.S. syphilis cases in 2012. Yet, the same group was responsible for only 62 percent of all HIV cases just a year earlier. Since the early 80s, HIV has justifiably received a singular focus in this community as the major health issue, but, as HIV has become more manageable, that singular focus has become less justifiable. This singular focus on HIV minimizes or ignores other health risks, aggravating them. Among those already infected with HIV, this singular focus could produce a “what have I got to lose attitude.” In Broward County in 2012, 44 percent of all syphilis cases occurred among HIV positive people. While syphilis can increase the chances for transmission of HIV, high rates of syphilis among HIV positive people do not necessarily indicate HIV transmission. An unknown number of HIV positive men only have sex with other HIV positive men (serosorting). A singular focus on HIV, however, dramatically lessens the motivation to use condoms between men who are both HIV positive. HIV positive serosorting without condoms could be driving the epidemic of syphilis among HIV positive people. Syphilis rates plummeted in the 90s and people talked of being able to eliminate it, until it made a come back among gay/bi men, particularly HIV positive men. The CDC reported that, its system of tracking new syphilis infections found that among gay bi and other men who have sex with men, about 40 percent of syphilis cases in 2011 occurred among HIV positive men. According to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, a gay/bi or other man who has sex with men is 46 times more likely to be infected with syphilis than are other men. According to HIV Nurse, and former STD clinic worker, John Marangio, gay and bi men should be paying attention to syphilis and four other STDs: gonorrhea, chlamydia, human papilloma virus (HPV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV). By itself, syphilis infection threatens health, but combined with HIV infection, it produces many more problems. People died

from syphilis in the centuries before HIV emerged as a disease. Syphilis can interact with HIV infection, causing a spike in viral loads from undetectable to infectious, and possibly reducing the effectiveness of treatment. A syphilis infection can also make an HIV negative man more susceptible to HIV infection. Chronic diseases such as syphilis, HIV, cancer, or heart disease differ from acute diseases like colds, the flu or food poisoning. These chronic diseases remain active in the

body for long periods of time. They damage the body without showing any observable symptoms for much of that period. Doctors describe syphilis as having four stages: primary, secondary, latent and late. While the first and second stages will resolve without treatment, the disease is damaging the body. Health literacy involves learning to distinguish between acute and chronic disease. Syphilis, like HIV, has found a niche in our community. The difficulty of perceiving the symptoms of the disease may make this community more vulnerable to syphilis. The painless symptomatic sore inside the rectum will be more difficult to notice, than one on the penis. As this sore most actively transmits syphilis, infectious bottoms and their partners will have no clue as to their risk. Condoms can prevent both syphilis and HIV. Given the increased risk and a high rate of syphilis infection, a regular simple blood test provides a better strategy than testing in response to a known risk behavior. Unlike HIV, syphilis can be cured. While many clinics did not survive the last round of budget cuts, the Broward Wellness Center (954-783-8378) and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (1-877-259-8727) provide free testing for syphilis and other STDs. soflagaynews //

SouthFloridaGayNews // // 3 .19.2014/ /


health feature

Will HIV Ever be Safe Enough for You? Gay men still denying the science of transmission Mark S. King There’s a classic episode of “Oprah” from 1987 that can still raise my blood pressure. That year, the tiny town of Williamson, W. Va, became part of a national discussion about AIDS when Mike Sisco, who had returned to his home town to die of the disease, dared to step into a public pool. The community freakout was immediate. Sisco was quickly labeled a psychopath (rumors emerged accusing him of spitting into food at the grocery store), and the town pool was closed the next day to begin a Silkwood-style pressurized cleaning. Soon thereafter, Oprah Winfrey arrived with cameras for a town hall forum about the incident. Fear was the order of the day. “If there’s just one chance in a million that somebody could catch that virus from a swimming pool,” the town’s mayor told Winfrey’s worldwide audience, “I think I did the right thing.” Sure. Why not react in the most extreme way possible, if there is a chance in a million? Williamson citizens were not swayed by health officials who calmly explained the established routes of HIV transmission and the impossibility of infection from a pool. “The doctors can say you can’t get it this way,” a woman countered, “but what if they come back someday and say, ‘We were wrong?’” Indeed. What if? If there’s a chance in a million. That broadcast might have remained a sad footnote in HIV/AIDS history, an instructive example of people ignoring scientific fact to protect a satisfying fear, if history didn’t enjoy repeating itself so much. Today, though, the willful ignorance isn’t coming from uneducated residents of a southern town you can barely find on a map. It’s coming from gay men. And they are just as threatened, frightened and dismissive of science as the townsfolk of Williamson were 30-years-ago. Recently, research known as The PARTNER Study was presented at the prestigious Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). The PARTNER study proved something HIV advocates have long suspected: people with HIV with an undetectable viral load are not transmitting the virus to their partners. The study included nearly 800 couples, all involved in a relationship where only one partner is HIV positive, gay and straight with the positive partner maintaining an undetectable viral load. Over the course of two years, more than 30,000 sex acts were reported and


// 3.19.2014 // //

documented (couples were chosen based on their tendency to have sex without condoms). Not a single HIV transmission occurred during the study from someone with an undetectable viral load. If PARTNER had been researching a new medication, they would have stopped the trial and dispensed the drug immediately.

Yes, there are unknowns. There always are when scientific studies meet the real world. And every strategy will not work for every person. But the vehement rejection of such profound breakthroughs suggests there is something more, something deeper, going on in the minds of gay men. What is it? Our collective memories of AIDS horrors are hard to shake, and that’s a good place to

The PARTNER results bolster the prevention strategy known as “Treatment as Prevention” (TasP), meaning, a positive person on successful treatment prevents new infections. To date, there is not a single confirmed report of someone with an undetectable viral load infecting someone else, in studies or in real life. Just don’t tell that to a sizable contingent of skeptical gay men, many of whom took to their keyboards to dismiss PARTNER’s findings. Phrases like “false sense of security,” “positive guys lie,” “junk science,” and “if there’s even a small risk,” appeared on Facebook postings and in website comment sections. The people of Williamson must be slowly nodding their heads. Resistance to the PARTNER study corresponds with stubborn doubts about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or HIV negative people taking the drug Truvada to prevent infection). Although virtually every nervous argument against PrEP has been overruled by the facts, naysayers continue to either reject the evidence outright or make moral judgments about the sex lives of HIV negative gay men on PrEP.

start. On a gut level, any study suggesting that HIV could be neutralized is met with a weary doubt. Good news is no match for the enduring grief that has shadowed us for 30 years. The PARTNER study also threatens the view that positive men are nothing more than risks that must be managed. The study kills the HIV positive Boogeyman. It means positive gay men who know their status might actually care enough about their health to seek out care, get on treatment and become undetectable. And once the positive partner is no longer a particular danger, both partners would bear responsibility for their actions. What an enormous change of psyche that would require in our community. It’s tough to do that when fear creeps in and “what if?” fantasy scenarios take hold. What if my partner missed a dose yesterday and, even though HIV meds stay in the bloodstream for extended periods, his viral load has inexplicably shot up? What if he isn’t being truthful about his viral load? What if he doesn’t know? The greater threat, folks, isn’t positive guys who think they are undetectable but are not.

soflagaynews //


It’s men who think they are HIV negative but are not. But we’d rather stay focused on the positive person being at fault, because, well, people with HIV lie a lot. We miss doses constantly because we have a death wish or we’re too busy finding our next victim. I have some “what if?” questions of my own. What if these unrealistic fears were meant to stigmatize and isolate HIV positive people? What if I am undetectable and feel no responsibility to discuss my status with a sex partner because I don’t care to engage in a science lesson? What if everyone availed themselves to prevention options that worked best for them? What if my HIV status were none of your damn business? These risks could be alleviated, of course, if everyone simply protected their own bodies when having sex with people they don’t know or trust. But that would place an equal burden on negative men, and what a bother that is. Better to leave that discomfort to those with HIV, vectors of disease that we are. Just consider us criminals, lying to you about our viral loads and spitting in the food in Williamson, just waiting to infect you when we get the chance. As long as we’re giving undue attention to fantasy scenarios we’re not focused on the real threats. The rates of STD’s are up. Young gay black men in the U.S. don’t have proper access to healthcare and have infection rates worse than any developed country. Our community is plagued by alcoholism, addiction and mental illness. Do we want to debate established science or should we devote that energy to other challenges to gay men’s health? If you still have the arrogance to believe you could win the HIV Powerball Lottery and be the one person who gets infected in ways science has disproven, you’re perfectly entitled to that point of view. Here are some helpful instructions, however. Carefully step away from your computer and don’t touch the cords because 50 people die of product related electrocutions each year. Walk slowly to your bedroom, being mindful of debris in your path because slip-and-falls kill 55 people every single day. Once there, refuse food or water because, well, you never know. Now slip into your bed of willful ignorance and try to make yourself comfortable. The good people of Williamson are keeping a spot warm just for you. P.S. In the time it took you to read this article, the number of people who were infected by someone with HIV who had no viral load was zero.

news local Medicaid Contracts, A Close Friend, Big Money & ScottÕ s Campaign Dan Christensen

[Recently] Coral Gables healthcare tycoon Miguel B. “Mike” Fernandez hosted a Sunday afternoon barbecue with Gov. Rick Scott, Scott’s wife Ann and key members of the governor’s campaign finance team. Fernandez, dubbed “Florida’s newest billionaire” last year by Florida Trend, was named finance co-chair of Scott’s campaign in January. In the announcement, the governor called Fernandez a “close friend.” But Fernandez, chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, is more than Scott’s friend. He is also a huge contributor to his reelection campaign and the owner or co-owner of fast-growing healthcare companies that under Scott’s administration have been awarded multiple, multi-year state contracts potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Most of those contracts involve Florida Medicaid, which is implementing managedcare changes, including the Managed Medical Assistance program. The program is expected to begin in May. Better Health Plan, which does business as Simply Better Health and is an affiliate of Fernandez’s $450 million Simply Healthcare Plans, won contracts from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) last year to provide general services in three of Florida’s 11 Medicaid managed-care regions, including Broward County. Clear Health Alliance, a Medicaid plan offered by Simply Healthcare Plans, was awarded AHCA contracts to provide specialty services to Medicaid patients who are HIVpositive or have been diagnosed with AIDS. The Florida Times-Union first reported Fernandez’s ties to Better Health and Clear Alliance in January after Scott appointed Fernandez to his campaign team. AHCA disclaimed any partiality in contract awards in a statement released by agency

spokeswoman Shelisha Coleman. “Every company that won an award in SMMC (Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program) rightfully earned its award. No companies received an award as a result of favoritism. The

In October 2012, reported that Fernandez was a silent partner in a $44.8 million contract awarded by Florida’s Department of Children & Families to manage mental health services in Broward.

agency followed Florida’s strict procurement laws... in letter and in spirit at all times.’ Fernandez, reached Tuesday by email, said, “Companies in which I have invested in have Medicaid contracts, totaling in the billions since 1990. This includes contracts with the State of Florida under the leadership of multiple governors, including a contract under Governor [Charlie] Crist. All contracts save the state much needed funds and improved care to our patients.”

The multi-year contract went to the Broward Behavioral Health Coalition, a nonprofit group led by former DCF boss and state Attorney General Bob Butterworth, and its for-profit partner, Concordia Behavioral Health of Miami. Fernandez was a major Concordia shareholder. His name was disclosed to top department officials, but was omitted from DCF records about the procurement. Fernandez’s invisibility regarding the Broward procurement meant that no one took

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note of his $125,000 contribution to Let’s Get to Work, a fund-raising organization set up with the governor’s support on Jan. 25, 2012, while the procurement was pending. Previously, during Scott’s 2010 campaign, Fernandez and his MBF Family Investments gave Let’s Get to Work $500,000. Asked about those large contributions in 2012, Katy Sorenson, head of the Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami, said, “It sounds like maybe Gov. Scott is running Florida like a business — doing business with his friends.” Fernandez’s money continues to gush the governor’s way. On November 2, 2013, as the governor’s reelection campaign was stirring, Fernandez personally gave $1 million to Let’s Get to Work. No one else has written a check that large in support of Scott’s reelection. Sunday’s get-together at Fernandez’s opulent Little River Plantation, not far from Tallahassee, is an invitation-only event. “As an important member of Governor Rick Scott’s finance team, Mike Fernandez is opening his home to you. He is not a public person and believes we need to meet each other in person and in a social setting... Nothing formal (casual jeans and casual setting.) We will chat, have BBQ and see beautiful horses... We need to come together so we can deliver victory together,” the emailed invitation said. Little River Plantation includes a 7,000-square-foot home with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a full gourmet kitchen and a great room, according to its website. There’s a smaller lake house nearby. “Your every whim will be coddled within the walls of our fabulous homes away from home,” prospective guests were told. Miami Herald staff writer Marc Caputo contributed to this report. Broward Bulldog is a not-for-profit online only newspaper created to provide local reporting in the public interest., 954-603-1351. Reprinted with permission from Broward Bulldog.

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health feature

The Sound and Fury of the PrEP Debate (And the facts to win it) Mark S. King “We don’t know the side effects of this drug. It’s too expensive. Insurance won’t cover it. It hasn’t been studied enough. It will encourage slutty behavior. And why the hell don’t people just use condoms?” – Objections raised to the oral contraceptive progesterone (“The Pill”), approved by the FDA 54 years ago. When the drug Truvada achieved FDA approval in July of 2012 as a medication to prevent HIV infection among people who are negative (a strategy known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP), it’s as if the ghosts of naysayers from the 60’s rose from their resting places, delighted and re-energized and began drilling their mid-century objections into the hearts and minds of contemporary society. Maybe proponents of PrEP like myself believed the response to the drug would be more enthusiastic. Surely anyone who lived through the horror of early AIDS would thank God that a new prevention strategy exists that doesn’t rely upon condoms alone. The fury of the response has been a little startling to me. Fortunately, Facebook groups and online sites that explain the facts about PrEP are springing up everywhere to address misinformation and to clarify legitimate areas of concern. Here are the most persistent objections to PrEP, and the facts as we know them. People wouldn’t need PrEP if they would use condoms. They just want to bareback. Studies show that people on PrEP do not have an increase in high risk sexual behavior, but cynics have visions of wanton orgies ahead worthy of vintage gay porn status. Alas, what others do in their sex lives is out of our control, whether that drives people up the wall or not. The facts are these: more than half of gay men do not use condoms or do not use them consistently. This fact has remained true throughout the 30 years condom use has been measured among gay men, including during the darkest years of the AIDS crisis. We can address 50,000 new infections a year or we can have a useless moral debate. The lack of condom use is what makes PrEP so exciting as a prevention method. The very first large study of PrEP was the iPrEX Study, an international study of 2,500 people that was comprised mostly of gay men and some transgender women. The study showed that people who use Truvada as PrEP correctly (taking a pill every day) can have their risk reduced by 90 percent or more, depending on adherence. Some models show an efficacy rate of up to 99 percent based on near-perfect adherence.


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PrEP is also not dependent on last minute decisions in the heat of passion. Taking a pill in the morning is calmly detached from having sex that night. PrEP is not necessarily an either/or proposition, because lots of people taking PrEP are also using condoms. But let’s be real. Most people seeking out PrEP already don’t use condoms or they don’t want to use them anymore. Since they are trading one prevention device for something that has a better success rate and is easier to use, what’s it to you? We don’t know the side effects of Truvada. We have years of data of Truvada side effects on people with HIV (it’s been FDA approved to treat HIV since 2004). Truvada was selected for clinical trials as a PrEP drug because of its favorable safety profile. It is true that there are some reports of bone density and kidney problems among people with HIV using Truvada as part of their treatment regimen. These side effects have sometimes been serious. We can’t assume the experience of HIV negative people will be the same, and that’s why Truvada patients, positive and negative, should be routinely tested for bone density and kidney function. More and more HIV negative writers and bloggers (and even a gay porn star) are sharing their experiences on PrEP but, thus far, side effects haven’t been part of their story. Watching them share their progress publicly over time should be quite interesting. Understanding side effects is part of the assumed risk we take with medications, as any television commercial for a pharmaceutical drug will attest. If you don’t want to cough up blood, for instance, or have bloody stools or nausea or a ringing in your ears, don’t take aspirin. Those side effects are uncommon, and so are the side effects of Truvada. People taking PrEP also have the option of discontinuing Truvada depending on life events and necessity. Maybe you stop dating the HIV positive guy, or take a break from casual sex, or return to condoms for a while. Starting and stopping the drug in this way does not lead to resistance as long as a medical professional verifies you are HIV negative before restarting. If you are wary of Truvada side effects, don’t use it. And allow others to make that same determination for themselves. soflagaynews //

PrEP is too expensive and insurance won’t cover it. This argument is losing steam rapidly. The Affordable Care Act in the United States is underway and by all accounts every insurance company as well as Medicaid is covering Truvada — although it may require pre-authorization from a doctor for use as PrEP (the CDC has produced a handy document available online to help explain PrEP to your physician). For those without insurance or money for a co-pay, Gilead (the maker of Truvada) has a

patient assistance program that can provide the drug outright or supply co-pay cards worth up to $200 per month. Even if none of this were true, the potential benefits of a drug should not be assessed solely by its price tag. The people who need it most can’t access it anyway so what’s the point? It’s a good thing we don’t have this attitude towards condoms. Access isn’t the same as efficacy. But it is certainly true that young gay black men, whom the epidemic is affecting in shocking numbers, have less access to healthcare. This is a systemic problem and it is unfair, frankly, to expect PrEP to solve it. It is also true that PrEP can be an occasion for HIV negative people to seek care, and once on PrEP they are typically required to have medical follow-ups throughout the year, which offers obvious benefits. The biggest hurdle is often physicians themselves. HIV negative people may have a doctor unfamiliar with HIV care, much less PrEP, and those doctors are often intimidated by what they see as the complexities of HIV treatment. Until more professional education is done, potential PrEP users must learn to advocate for themselves and share CDC recommendations with their doctor.


People won’t adhere to PrEP and that will create resistant strains. It is true that in some early PrEP trials adherence was a problem. Real life behaviors, though, differ from clinical trials in some important ways. Trial participants have no idea if they are taking the actual drug or not, and in trials the efficacy of the drug hasn’t even been proven. So, the commitment of trial participants to stay adherent to the drug is less rigorous than users today, who know that the drug works, know they’re getting the real thing and are invested in remaining HIV negative. People taking PrEP today have more skin in the game, as it were. For those who do miss the occasional dose, Truvada is somewhat forgiving. The protective ability of the drug doesn’t drop if you miss a single dose because Truvada remains in the blood for up to 72 hours (compare that to missing a condom occasionally, which CDC statistics show to be as risky as never using them at all). That being said, it is optimal and recommended that Truvada be taken consistently each day, and users should take seven daily doses for Truvada to achieve optimal protection. Taking Truvada alone when a PrEP user doesn’t know they are already positive can lead to resistance and significantly reduce treatment options. Resistance has not been found with individuals who were verified HIV negative at the time they started Truvada, but it has happened in people who became HIV positive due to low adherence. PrEP is just putting money into the pockets of pharmaceuticals when we have cheaper solutions. I can’t imagine anyone telling HIV positive people not to take their medications because their drugs are making profits for “Big Pharma.” The argument that HIV negative people aren’t worth a fraction of that investment astounds me. I suppose we should wait until negative people get infected before it’s OK for them make a profit for the drug companies. And those are the facts as we know them about PrEP. I have no delusions that the debate will calm any time soon, of course. Human nature is far too predictable for that. Just recently, politician Mike Huckabee addressed a gathering of fellow Republicans. Part of his remarks, delivered half a century after “The Pill” was approved for contraception, was his belief that “smart” women don’t need the government “providing them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libidos.” Right. Because birth control, as critics have been saying since 1960, would be unnecessary if women only showed some restraint and didn’t behave like barebacking sluts. Everything old is new again. Mark S. King produces the award winning video blog about life as an HIV positive addict in recovery. He can be reached at

news local

Florida AIDS Walk Returns Denise Royal

Thousands of people will gather at South Beach Park on Fort Lauderdale Beach to raise awareness and money in the fight against HIV/ AIDS in Florida on Sunday, March 30. This year’s Florida AIDS Walk and Music Festival will feature a performance by the GoGo’s! Elvis Duran, host of the syndicated radio show, Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, will bring Bethany, Alex and Uncle Johnny from his popular program and head to the beach. With less than two weeks two go before the big event, people can still register online ( Participants can arrive on the day of the event and register at the beach, but they’re encouraged to register beforehand to save time and effort. The 5K run/walk begins at 9 a.m. As in years past, participants are encouraged to wear t-shirts and costumes to honor those living with HIV/AIDS. There are some new changes added this year as well. “Because people tend to get hot and tired faster than I expected, I’ve added large shade-tents and misting machines to keep participants comfortable and cool,” says Mark Martin, regional director, community relations and development for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Martin would like to raise $800,000 this year. He hopes the beach will be full of walkers on March 30. “Every person that attends is one more person who can learn a bit more about this community, contribute to the cause, and even be tested for HIV if they so desire. The money we raise on this event stays right here in Florida to give to Floridians living with HIV/ AIDS, so I encourage people to come out and support their own!” Martin said. One-hundred percent of the funds from the event stay in Florida and will benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AHF Northpoint Medical Center, Broward House, the Pride Center at Equality Park, SunServe and the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center. So far, fundraising efforts are off to a good start. Thirty-three more participants are registered than they were at this point last year. Power walkers (those raising more than $1,000) will be eligible to win a brand new Vespa. Visit

Home Owners




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column jesse’s journal

Gays in the News! (Film at eleven) Jesse Monteagudo

There was a time when an LGBT person had to get arrested in order to make the news. Homosexuality, when it was mentioned at all, was the source of scandal; the grave sin that ruined a person for life. Before 1895, Oscar Wilde was a family man who wrote brilliant novels, poems and plays. After 1895, he was a washed-up sex pervert. Closer to home, homosexuality was a topic of discussion only if a “gay rights” ordinance was up for a vote. When the voters of Dade County were asked to approve or reject one such law in 1977, many were surprised that there were actually gay people in Dade County, much less that they had rights that needed to be protected. During the 1980s, gay men made the news as people living with AIDS or as targets of political bigots like the late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms. More recently, LGBT people made the news as victims of hate crimes, like Matthew Shepard. Things are different now. TV news anchors and commentators who were once visibly

uncomfortable whenever they uttered the “G word” now freely discuss sexual orientation or gender identity issues at the top of the news hour. One did not discuss the recently-concluded Winter Olympics in Sochi without bringing up Russia’s antigay laws. Sports lovers around the world took notice when President Obama sent figure skater Brian Boitano to Sochi to deliver a message and Boitano obligingly came out for the occasion. Though Obama’s message was duly noted, Boitano’s sexual orientation surprised no one. Meanwhile, those who expected American team sports would remain “queer free” were startled out of their complacency by the emergence of openly-gay players Robbie Rogers in soccer, Jason Collins in basketball and Michael Sam in football.

The issue of same-sex marriage allowed most media outlets (outside of Fox News) an opportunity to discuss LGB people with approval. (The media still have problems dealing with transgender people. Just ask Katie Couric or Piers Morgan.) It is increasingly difficult to attack “perverts” when the two women or the two men who live next door are so nice and wholesome. Edith Windsor, the lesbian widow who won a lawsuit challenging the federal Defense Of Marriage Act, was a contender for Time magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year. Legislative votes or judicial rulings in favor of “gay marriage” headline many a 6 or 11 p.m. news program, right after the obligatory murders, of course. Time itself has progressed from the days when its coverage of LGBT people was infrequent and disapproving. Time covers have run the gamut from discharged Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich (1975) to TV comic Ellen Degeneres (1997) to Edith Windsor, looking for the entire world like someone’s grandmother. If you still oppose marriage equality after reading Windsor’s Time magazine profile, there is

something wrong with you. For the last few years, Arizona was infamous around the world for its hatred of immigrants, legal and otherwise. More recently, Arizona’s bigoted center of gravity has changed, from hating brown folk to hating queer folk. Arizona’s ironically-named “religious freedom” act has been the topic of many a news program; drawing attention away from the Polar Vortex and the latest violence in Egypt, Syria, Ukraine or Venezuela. Half the world waited with baited breath for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, no friend of our community, to make up her mind about signing or vetoing that bill. Finally, Brewer vetoed the measure, not because she likes LGBT people (she doesn’t) but because every business from the NFL on down threatened to stay away from Arizona. Upsetting queers is one thing. Losing the Super Bowl is quite another. All in all, there is enough LGBT news content in our print, broadcast, cable or online media to make our own LGBT media almost unnecessary. Of course there will always be a need for an independent, LGBT media; not only for folk like me who profit from it but our community, which depends on it for information and entertainment. Still, it is good to know that the world has taken notice of us; not as sources of scandal but as people like everyone else, with our own needs, rights, interests and aspirations.

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column guest

Nan Rich for Governor An Authentic Leader Michael Rajner & Julie Carson As Florida’s August Democratic Primary for the 2014 gubernatorial election approaches, Florida’s LGBT voters hope to elect a leader with a solid record as a champion for equality and one who is capable of solving Florida’s many challenges. Whoever is elected as Florida’s Governor will also likely have the opportunity to choose the next Supreme Court Justices. The State of Florida offers little warmth or sunshine to LGBT families. Our Governor and his allies fail to provide us even the most basic of civil protections, and Florida youth are often denied a safe learning environment in which to achieve academic success. Over several years, our community’s battles have not been won in the Florida State Legislature or in the Supreme Court. Last year, Republicans balked at an amendment that would have provided protections for LGBT youth in the foster care system saying it was “too political.” Our dream of electing an equalityminded Governor is possible. It cannot be accomplished without the backing of the


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LGBT Community, and here is why we must Stand with Nan for Governor. Former State Senator Nan Rich has always supported Marriage Equality. For years, and mostly without popular or political support, this has been her position. Never has she waivered or flip-flopped or apologized for her stance on the equality of all Floridians to marry the person they love. Nan Rich opposed the ban on gay adoption. As early as 2007, Senator Rich sponsored legislation to allow gay parents to adopt children. She fought against Anita Bryant’s campaign that discriminated against gay parents and Florida children. Nan Rich leads the fight to safeguard women’s reproductive rights. As a former State Representative and Senate Minority Leader, Nan Rich understands that women should not have to wait 24 hours to see a doctor before having an abortion. She knows that women should not be denied access to healthcare centers that provide comprehensive life saving cancer screenings, birth control and STI testing. This is why Nan

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Nan Rich is and has been a constant protector of our children and the many diverse families that compose our State’s tapestry. Senator Rich has never wavered in her support of the LGBT Community. Whether at our sides in the struggle for equality, or watching our backs when others have tried to ambush our dreams, she is a loyal and constant companion. Senator Rich is a public servant whose actions are historically consistent with our Democratic principles. Her loyalty to the LGBT Community and her commitment to causes that are important to us are what we have always hoped for in a Governor. Think Rich has opposed such bills. about what it would mean to have Nan in Nan Rich knows that Florida ranks 3rd in Tallahassee, for a change, for the future! the nation for new HIV infections and AIDS Wilton Manors Vice Mayor Julie Carson was cases. Miami and Fort Lauderdale are first and second in the nation, respectively, in the the first out Lesbian elected to public office in number of new HIV infections. Nan Rich Broward County. Vice Mayor Carson serves successfully fought for increased funding to as the Region 6 Director of the Florida GLBT ease the burden for those on the wait list for Democratic Caucus; is the immediate past lifesaving medications provided by the Florida Vice President of the Dolphin Democrats; and AIDS Drug Assistance Program. The Governor is the LGBT Representative of the Broward at the time ignored Florida’s crisis, the worst in Democratic Party Executive Committee. Michael Emanuel Rajner serves as the the nation. Nan Rich is a proponent of public education. legislative director for the Florida GLBT Nan Rich understands that we should have a Democratic Caucus, was a co-author of the comprehensive sex education plan in our 2012 Florida Democratic Party Platform, served public schools in order to reduce the number on the Florida Department of Health AIDS of unplanned teen pregnancies and cases Drug Assistance Program Advisory Workgroup of STIs and HIV. She sponsored the Healthy and is currently active as a Sterring Committee Teens Act and opposed abstinence-only sex member on the United State People Living with HIV Caucus (USPLHIV). education.



compass points

*The Florida Gay Rodeo Association presents the*

8 Sunshine Stampede

PrideFest of the Palm Beaches:


A volunteer’s perspective Compass

As the sun rose over the intracoastal waters of Bryant Park, tents were being set up, gates put in place and police officers were getting situated with their coffees. Early Saturday morning is when the Annual PrideFest of Lake Worth and the Palm Beaches begins to take form. Our day starts at 6 a.m., and the finishing touches on the stage, vendor booths, tables, fences and signs all happen before the birds start chirping and the fish start jumping. Compass puts on one of the largest pride festivals in the South Florida, and lucky for them, they have dedicated volunteers who return each year. Last year, other volunteers (like myself) were experiencing the production for the first time. PrideFest volunteers are thanked with t-shirts, beverages and free pizza. With swag like that, it’s easy to see why volunteers are so excited to return and help year after year! In addition to sweet benefits, volunteers work

side by side with staff members, and are made to feel like a special part of the Compass family and the LGBTQ community as a whole. After initial set-up, PrideFest continues into Sunday with an early morning parade, with lots of sights, spectacles, community events and after parties. I would rate this volunteer experience a solid 5 out of 5 stars because the event was incredibly organized, it was really cool to see everything come together behind the scenes and I was introduced to a new group of extraordinary people. Although a lot of hard work, I truly appreciate the skills needed to put on this massive production every year. I will definitely be back this year to lend a hand, make new friends and be a part of something amazing and encourage each of you to sign up and volunteer for this year’s PrideFest happening on March 29 and 30.

April 4 6,- 2014

Bergeron Rodeo Grounds Davie, FL

tickets avaiable

Full Charge Bookkeeping Services

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opinion chamber chat

The Art of Building Bridges SJ Strock GLBX








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The Gay and Lesbian Business Exchange [GLBX], a council of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, is Broward County’s premier support for Gay and Lesbian owned businesses as well as gay-friendly businesses is once again at the forefront of “building bridges” with the community as a whole. How? One might ask…. By showcasing local artists’ work at the upcoming ARTOPIA event. The backdrop for ARTOPIA will be GALLERYone Hotel, in Fort Lauderdale. The Doubletree Suites Hotel, is dubbed “ G A L L E RYo n e ” because of the beautiful art exhibits displayed throughout the hotel lobby. It’s also the perfect host locale because of their longstanding support and involvement within the GLBT community. Sure to be the cultural event of the season, on May 16 hundreds of attendees will be encompassed by cool water views while perusing both displayed and interactive art. Artists will be on hand to chat about their passion and exhibit pieces. Our theme, Building Bridges, will showcase how Broward County’s professional and cultural communities bring businesses from all industries together to form substantive and lucrative relationships, enabling our local economy to grow. The event will showcase all forms of art, including: culinary art; fashion;


visual arts (painting, sketch, printmaking, and photography); and performance art (music, theater, song, and dance). Surely, something to tickle everyone’s fancy. Cocktails and hor’ douvres will be passed; over-the-top items will be auctioned and raffled; and, VIP ticket holders will be privy to special surprises. Over the past few years, the GLBX council of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce has been one of the fastest growing business groups in Broward County. As a well respected organization, we want to join efforts with both large and small corporations; straight and gayowned businesses, so that together we can “build bridges” to infuse dollars back into our own area. In an overwhelming agreement to bring new and exciting cultural programming to our area, the idea to raise funds for the arts, in partnership with gayfriendly businesses and patrons was conceived. ARTOPIA will be its debut. This year’s event will benefit the Arts Commission Grant Programs through the Broward County Cultural Division. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets for ARTOPIA are limited, so be sure to contact Rene Cantu, Director of Business Development of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce 954-4627498 or event Co-chairs Michael Faerber 954243-4535 or Geph Scarr 954-319-1381 ASAP to be apart of a most spectacular evening of Building Bridges through Art.

letters to the editor

Gays Should Not Support Any Rodeo; Including the Ô GayÕ One Here’s a meme floating around the Internet featuring the image of a cowboy roping a terrified calf. It says, “Rodeos: Where grown men beat up baby animals.” Sadly, grown gay men will again be beating up baby animals at the annual Sunshine Stampede Rodeo in Davie, April 4-6. Rodeos are Western-themed circuses that are frightening for animals. They don’t reflect actual ranch work where real cowboys protect livestock. Instead, performers entertain crowds by attempting to ride horses that are bucking because some part of their body is being twisted painfully, and competing with other performers to see who can chase, body slam and hogtie baby cows the fastest, without regard for their safety, or lives.

These are activities that would land the entertainers in jail were they to do them to their own pets. That alone should discourage anyone from attending rodeos, however promoters have their excuses and their rationalizations, their assurances that it’s all good, natural and, even, God-approved. The Sunshine Stampede’s website contains its own animal welfare message, written by the International Gay Rodeo Association. The piece, which is breathtakingly disingenuous, is meant to ease the consciences of attendees. It begins with this vague message. “Gay rodeos operate under greatly modified rules of straight rodeo. Although consisting of traditional rodeo events such as bull riding and bronco riding, gay rodeo activities purposefully have been tailored to provide the animal and human participants with the safest environment possible, while still demonstrating the skill of the contestant.” The safest environment possible doesn’t mean a safe environment. It means the

animals don’t suffer as badly. Later in the piece the IGRA make absurd charges about animal rights advocates. It suggests we oppose keeping animals as pets, make exaggerated accusations about their gentler rodeo and think animals are equal to and superior to humans. All of this is nonsense, though the silliest bit is this: “These groups infringe upon the differences of the lesbian and gay community by attempting to persuade others to conform to their beliefs, giving the impression that the gay rodeo community is anti-animal. This is patently false, as the sponsoring organizations of the celebrations wish to demonstrate a positive force in the community while proving the diversity of the community.” What does that mean? When determining whether something — gay/straight rodeo, circus, zoo — is abusive, the only question should be if the animal wants to be there. No calf wants to be body slammed and roped until she’s old enough for slaughter. No horse wants

to be bucked. No goat wants clowns forcing men’s underwear on him while others laugh at his confusion and distress. Enjoy the Western myth if it appeals to you. Dress up in (pleather) chaps or as a saloon girl. Line dance. Perform George Jones/Tanya Tucker karaoke. Ride a mechanical bull. Ride a cowboy. Watch Falcon’s “To The Last Man Part 1,” then part 2. Have all the consenting adult cowboy fun you want but, please, rope and hogtie your lover, not a frightened calf. — Chris Murphy

No cheesy taglines, just results.

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health feature

No More Ô Unprotected SexÕ

The CDC changes long standing terminology to reflect changes in attitudes and HIV prevention Sean McShee The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will no longer use the phrase ‘unprotected sex’ in research. Instead it will use the phrase ‘sex without condoms’ to reflect increased HIV prevention options such as Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), serosorting, etc. While disagreements exist about their effectiveness, people using these strategies are making conscious decisions to reduce their risk. This language change does not proclaim the end of the condom era, but does recognize the presence of additional options for HIV prevention.

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Controversy drove this language change, as it has driven most changes in this epidemic. It began with an article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review (11/29/13). This article emphasized two findings from national studies of HIV risk among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men: 1) The percent of HIV negative men that reported some unprotected anal intercourse within the prior 12 months increased from 47 percent in 2005 to 57 percent in 2011. 2) About 33 percent of the HIV negative, or status unknown, men had either never been tested for HIV or had not tested in more than a year. This first point generated the controversy. Some people argued that reporting an increase in unprotected sex failed to accurately describe the behavior of men using the newer prevention options and that this failure inflated the amount of actual risk behavior that occurred. HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA) organized an open letter campaign to correct this problem. On Jan. 23 in a conference call with HIV PJA and


others, the CDC agreed to use the phrase “sex without condoms” rather than “unprotected sex.” According to Julie Davids of HIV PJA, the article implied that “men were less likely to protect others from infection — since reported rates on condom use had dropped and that was labeled ‘unprotected sex.’” Julie added “we know that people with HIV are using a variety of methods, not just those that are condom-based, to prevent transmission. So, using ‘unprotected’ as a synonym for ‘no condom used’ is inaccurate at best, and stigmatizing at worst.” HIV PJA and others had more objections to the article, such as the exclusion of transgender women. Julie Davids stated that despite some improve me nt s “transgender people are not explicitly included” in any of the three HIV risk groups: men who have sex with men, drug users and heterosexuals. She also said that the CDC has failed to state in its reports if transgender people were included, excluded or if transgender data was not analyzed. According to a statement issued by HIV PJA, the CDC also committed to working with HIV PJA on these other issues raised in the open letter such as “descriptions of sexual identity, practices and risk; HIV testing recommendations; transgender inclusion and data clarity.” The following groups participated in the open letter and the conference call with the CDC: ACT UP Philadelphia, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, GMHC, Housing Works, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA), International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA,) Positive Women’s Network of the USA, Sero Project, Transgender Law Center, Treatment Action Group and Visual AIDS. Stigma and sensationalism have always lurked in the shadows of discussions about HIV transmission. While some question the effectiveness of the new options, they are not “barebacking.” This language change reflects that distinction.

Greetings, South Florida! As Director of Florida AIDS Walk and Music Festival, it is my honor to invite you back to Fort Lauderdale Beach, for the ninth year of the event of which I am so proud. Thanks to my good friends at South Florida Gay News, this handy insert has much of what you need to know to get involved with the Walk, as well as important information about what is happening on the big day. I hope you find it informative and enjoyable to read. In sitting down to write this letter to you, I’ve done a great deal of thinking about the journey that led me here. After five years as a Florida AIDS Walk Team Captain followed by four years as the Director of the event, I’ve shared many incredible experiences with members of our South Florida community. I’ve met inspiring crusaders who give of their time, money and talent in their commitment to the fight against AIDS; I’ve had sobering conversations with people who no longer believe that AIDS was still “an issue”; and I’ve been shocked by some of the cruelty and stigma that is still shown today to people who are bravely fighting the disease themselves, or working to stop the spread of the virus to others. The face of AIDS has changed a great deal, even in just the nine years that Florida AIDS Walk has been a part of our lives. Advances in medical research have begun introducing us to the idea that we will see vaccinations in our lifetime, or perhaps even a cure. Pharmaceuticals and new methods of treatment are being developed constantly, and for the most part, people with HIV are living longer, and staying healthier. In nine years, I’ve written more e-mails about HIV than I could ever count – asking for donations, asking you to ask for donations, and talking about the state of HIV/AIDS here at home in Florida. I’ve used phrases like “war on AIDS,” “the AIDS Crisis,” and “we are at Ground Zero for new HIV infection,” so often that, at times, they’ve lost their gravity for me. I wonder if, perhaps, the same has happened to us all. Our most recent statistics tell us that young gay men ages 18 to 35 are becoming newly infected again at a rate that is alarming high, and

continuing to rise. People who were too young to remember the earlier years of AIDS – when it was called “GRID,” which stood for Gay Related Immune Deficiency; or when there were no medications even around that could even affect the virus without destroying the body that housed it – seem to see HIV as an inconvenience, but one that is manageable by taking a daily pill. The frequency with which our community is having bareback sex – that is, sex without a condom – is on the rise again, despite the fact that condoms protect people from far more than just HIV. Because not as many of us know somebody who has died due to complications caused by AIDS, or at least died recently, we seem to be – as a community – exhaling instead of screaming; resting instead of fighting; and growing numb instead of remembering. Last week, I took a phone call from the mother of young woman who had been diagnosed with HIV, and then later committed suicide. Despite her mother’s attempts to bring her daughter into several agencies that would help her to obtain medication and try to manage the virus, her daughter felt overwhelmed and afraid. In a note that she left behind, she said that she couldn’t live “feeling dirty.” One of our own participants in the Florida AIDS Walk told me recently that his medication has stopped working over the last several months. His viral load is creeping upward as his T-cells are dropping, and he feels frightened in a way that he hasn’t in over ten years living as an HIV positive man. Because AIDS Healthcare Foundation promises “cutting edge medicine and advocacy, regardless of ability to pay,” we get calls every day from people who can’t afford the ridiculous prices charged by pharmaceutical companies for the life-saving medications they desperately need. We always find a way to help them; but for every person who knows to call us, there are countless others who don’t… and go without. I am sharing all of this with you not to make you feel sad or guilty. In fact, I want for us more than ever to celebrate the life that is around us – the victories that we, our friends, and our loved ones have in our personal battles against AIDS; the hope that we feel when we read about the latest in HIV research and care; and the sense of belonging that we experience when we are surrounded by our

community at events like the Florida AIDS Walk and Music Festival. There is much for which we can be thankful and feel joy. What I do ask is that you remember the people we’ve lost, and the countless, faceless others who are all around us that still need our help. YOU are their guardian angels. YOU are their saving grace. Be proud of what you do when you participate in the Florida AIDS Walk and Music Festival, because you are the soldiers in the longest war we’ve ever known. One thing is certain: I know that I am proud of you, and I can’t wait to share that feeling with you on Fort Lauderdale Beach on March 30th at the ninth annual Florida AIDS Walk and Music Festival. With love and gratitude,

Mark Martin

According to the Florida Department of Health’s January 2014 Monthly Surveillance Report, Broward County saw 1,043 new HIV infections in 2013, as well as 498 new AIDS diagnoses, which contribute to Florida’s statewide 2013 totals of 5,916 new HIV cases and 3,279 new AIDS cases. As of December 31, 2013, the department estimated that 104,181 Floridians were living with HIV/AIDS.

column bil of rights

Snowy Thoughts, Sunny Dreams

A look back on this year’s ‘LGBT Media Journalists Convening’ Bil Browning As I write this column from my home office in Washington, DC, it’s been snowing for hours and there’s already 6 inches of white stuff on the ground. I started my morning outside in the cold with a snow shovel instead of sitting at my desk with a hot cup of coffee. While I was out there shivering and shoveling it gave me the opportunity to think about two things: a memory and a dream. With every wet scoop, the two wound together into a rope of past and future that built around each other. For the past five years I’ve been honored to host a gathering of journalists who primarily cover LGBT news. Whether they’re bloggers, the editors of local papers or magazines, mainstream journalists, or radio hosts, they gather every year under the auspices of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association thanks to a grant from the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. I’m particularly proud that this year, the LGBT Media Journalists Convening more reflected the diversity of the LGBT community. One of the biggest challenges in

LGBT media is the dearth of minority voices; most of our community newspapers are owned and run by white men. This year, 15 percent of our attendees were transgender, 15 percent were people of color, and 35 percent were women. The event is invite-only and we carefully pick our attendees to include the writers with the biggest audience. Every year, all sessions are “on the record” and participants tweet, blog, and post to Facebook all through the day; their followers from social media are encouraged to ask questions and everything is shared publicly. What bigger audience is there than social media? Whenever anyone asks how we determine which outlets to invite, I remember why our perspective on audience is needed. While an established gay gossip site may have a higher number of daily visitors than a blog aimed at transgender political activists, if sharing information about trans-inclusive legislation is the aim, the smaller trans website will speak to a larger audience of people we want to reach who are outside of the room.

The topic of the convening changes every year and our invitation list adjusts accordingly. Like the swirling snowflakes drifting to the ground around me this morning, each participant is different. Together, they add into the blanket of the LGBT media industry and it takes them all to form anything with weight and strength. This year, there was an unusual ending for the event. A big snowstorm, like the one hitting the city today, shut down local airports and several attendees, like SFGN editor Jason Parsley, were stuck in DC for a few extra days until the city thawed out. Eventually all of our journalists were able to make it back home and I’m sure after staring at the nonstop flurries, they were happy to get out of town. I didn’t blame them. I wanted to escape someplace warm and welcoming after that snowstorm. Now that this latest round has hit, I’m even more impatient to feel the sun on my face. The other thing that kept running through my head while I shoveled snow this morning was that dream of sunbathing and swimming

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under palm trees and blue skies. It’s even more potent today since I leave for a vacation in Fort Lauderdale. By the time this publishes, I’ll be able to pick up my own copy. I’ll read it poolside. Bil Browning is a long-time gay activist and writer. He is the founder and publisher of The Bilerico Project. Known for his political and social commentary, Bil does consulting work for political communications and new media projects.

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column chamber chat

MDGLCC Ð Ô UÕ Educational Series of Events Jorge Richa

Marketing & Programming Director The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce launched last month its MDGLCC – “U” Educational Series of Events. These events consist of opportunities where members and guests can tap into the expertise of business leaders to obtain some tools and key learnings that they can apply to their own businesses or careers. The Series began a few weeks ago with an engaging and interactive session by Dale Carnegie Training (www.SouthFlorida. Our guest speaker Lloyd Braithwaite and Christine Pallesem shared, among many other things, the details of “The Sales Process” with begins with having the correct Attitude followed by Attraction, Connection, Presentation, Commitment and an effective Follow-Through. During the month of March the MDGLCC

will hold another event under its MDGLCC “U” umbrella, which we encourage you to attend as these are open to the general public. It will be led by Jaime T. Yordan-Frau, respected coach and owner of Integro Success ( This networking breakfast titled “Managing Sustainable Success: the untold leadership rule” will focus on Leadership and Results Attendees will learn: What is the number one obstacle to business growth, the missing component in strategic planning, and how to make the shift that will increase their group’s performance. This event will take place on 3/28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ($45 admission) at Soyka Restaurant (5556 NE 4th Court, Miami). For any inquiries or RSVP to the above events, or interest in joining the MDGLCC, please visit or reach us at; 305-673-4440.

JOIN TEAM For over 25 years, Poverello has provided life-saving food and basic life essentials. Each year Poverello serves nearly 2500 Broward County youth, women and men living with HIV/AIDS. Join or support members of Team Poverello. 100% of your donation will return to Poverello in our food, health and wellness services to the local HIV/AIDS Community. Scan the QR code above or Search Teams for Poverello at

March 30, 2014

Poverello Thrift Store Mon-Sat 10-7 Sun Noon-5 2056 N. Dixie Hwy • Wilton Manors • FL 33305 36

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lifestyle gay history This Week in Gay History march 19 – march 25

march 19, 1987 — AZT Approved

It is the first drug for the treatment of HIVAIDS approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

march 23, 2005 — Gay Cruise Ship Not Allowed to Dock

A police boat stops the Source Events Windjammer Barefoot Cruises ship carrying 110 gay men and takes the captain to shore march 20, 1988 — for a meeting with police, customs and m.butterfly opens on immigration officials, after which the ship Broadway is ordered to leave. Port authority Acting The play by David Henry Hwang is about a General Manager Oral Brandy said that the civil servant attached to the French embassy island of Nevis in the Caribbean Sea does in China who falls in love with a beautiful not want homosexuality “to be a part of our Chinese opera diva, “a man masquerading culture.” as a woman.” They are together for twenty march 24, 1986 — william years until the truth is revealed, and the civil servant is convicted of treason, imprisoned, Hurt Wins Best Actor Oscar He wins for his role in Kiss of the Spider and kills himself. Woman, the first time someone wins for the march 21, 1804 — portrayal of a gay character.

Napoleonic Code Goes Into Effect

march 25, 1985 — the

Openly gay Jean Jacques Régis de Times of Harvey Milk Wins Cambacérès is the primary author the Best Documentary Feature Napoleonic Code, one of the earliest western Oscar legal codes to permit same-sex activity, in The film documents the political life and addition to being among the most influential career of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay legal documents of the modern era. supervisor of San Francisco. In addition to the Academy Award for Best Documentary, it march 22, 1976 — court is awarded the Special Jury Prize at the first Rules Trans People May Marry Sundance Film Festival.

Based on Ô NewÕ Sex

In the case of M.T. v. J.T., New Jersey’s Superior Court rules that transsexual persons may marry a person of the opposite sex on the basis of their gender identity after reassignment surgery is complete.

All of the information above has been reprinted with permission from Quist, an LGBT mobile history app that can be found on iOS and Android devices. Visit for more information. The app was created by Sarah Prager and launched in July of 2013. soflagaynews //

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lifestyle finance

Debit or Credit?

Answer to the age-old question Ric Reily

How often are you asked that question? Me? Never. I am never asked because I don’t use a debit card. There is not a debit card in my wallet. When one arrives from the bank I immediately cut it up and dispose of it. Over time I have given up asking banks to refrain from sending one out, but it seems like they just can’t help themselves. For me a credit card transaction is much safer. Recently out for dinner with a friend while my husband was traveling for work I paid the tab with my credit card. Before I got home I had an email from the card provider asking that I call immediately. The phone number they offered routed me to security and I had one of those “uh oh” moments in the microsecond it took for the call to be picked up by a human. Apparently they thought it odd I had just used my credit card in a restaurant in Florida and I was using it at the moment in a supermarket in California. Notice they were not verifying that I was personally making a purchase; someone was using my actual credit card in a supermarket in California. When I tendered my card for payment in the restaurant, someone, I found out later the waitress, scanned my card and delivered my magnetic strip data to crooks that immediately created a new card and went to work. First they test the card with a small purchase, like a pack of cigarettes. When that transaction clears they try a larger purchase and when that clears they scale up and so on until blocked. I had finished with the human at the credit card company and before hanging up, offhandedly, asked if there were any problems with the other cards; my husband and I use four cards on this same account. The next “uh oh” moment came when the human at the credit card company replied, “Uh…yes there is.” My husband’s card was also breached and was being used in a similar way in the same store in the same California city. He was away working in Las Vegas. I still don’t know how they acquired his card data. The card issuer froze the two cards, the remaining two cards were still usable, and issued new ones. One was sent FedEx to me and one was sent FedEx to my husband’s hotel in Las Vegas, both arriving early the next day. All the fraudulent transactions were removed from the account and



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we went on with our lives. When I use my credit card the credit card company takes on the liability. The same thing happening with a debit card has a much different outcome. A fraudster accessing your bank account with your debit card can easily take all your money before anyone notices. That “anyone” will most likely be you when you attempt to use your debit card and find the transaction declined. If you have overdraft protection linked to your checking account the thief can clean that out too. Upon your discovery of the problem you will begin the maze of automated menus hoping to be connected to the right person; and so your odyssey begins. When you use a debit card the liability is yours, the loss is yours and most efforts to restore the funds are yours. The primary difference between using a credit card or a debit card is whose money is at risk. When a credit card is tendered their money is at risk. When a debit card is tendered your money is at risk. The credit card company has sophisticated detection systems in place to protect their risk. You have a pin number. So when it comes to credit or debit. Credit. Always. Ric Reily is the author of two books, “Money Is The Root Of All - Skip The Debt Habit,” and “Gregory’s Hero”; His firm CFO On Call provides small business finance and operations consulting. Ric is married to John, his partner of 28 years, and lives in South Florida.

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J.W. Arnold




More than a few gay men of a certain generation grew up fantasizing about Bo and Luke Duke, the hot young Georgia boys whose escapades were broadcast every Friday night on “The Dukes of Hazzard.” After the series ended, actor Tom Wopat (Luke) headed to Broadway where his suave singing and dancing earned him critical accolades. Wopat comes to Palm Beach’s Colony Hotel for a repeat engagement this week at the swanky Royal Room. Enjoy a three-course dinner and show through Saturday, March 22. Reservations at





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W W W . S F G N . C O M


ou remember him as Luke Duke on TV, but ÒT he Dukes of HazzardÓ star Tom Wopat grew up to become one of the biggest names on Broadway. Wopat brings his cabaret show to Palm BeachÕ s Colony Hotel through saturday, march 22.


The Cleveland Orchestra closes out its 2014 residency at Miami’s Arsht Center with Gustav Holst’s classic, “The Planets.” This imaginative tone poem musically explores the mythological characteristics of the planets as high definition NASA images are projected above the orchestra. The program, led by music director Giancarlo Guerrero, also includes Jennifer Higdon’s dazzling Percussion Concerto, featuring Colin Currie, and Mozart’s Overture to “The Abduction from the Seraglio.” Thursday, March 20 and tonight at 8 p.m. in the Knight Concert Hall. Tickets start at $88 at


3/22 SUN

The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Gary Keating, presents “Totally Awesome,” a high energy tribute to the music of the 1980s. Turn back the clock with hits from Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club and Michael Jackson. Dress in your favorite 80s outfit and join in the fun before the concert on the red carpet at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, 1 Las Olas Blvd. The program will also be presented on Friday, March 21. Both concerts start at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 at



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3/23 MON

Slow Burn Theatre has plenty of moxie, tackling the kinds of quirky shows that challenge actors and audiences. This weekend, they take on “Chess,” the ‘80s musical from Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, formerly of ABBA. This story involves a romantic triangle between two top players, an American and a Russian, in a world championship, and a woman, all in the context of the Cold War. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through April 5 at West Boca High School, 12811 W. Glades Rd. Tickets $40 at

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3/24 TUE

Mondays are dark in the region’s many theaters, but you can always catch a great show at The Cabaret South Beach, 233 12th St. in Miami Beach. Head down to the beach for happy hour beginning at 7 p.m. and enjoy the music of Doug Repetti and Leon Novembre on piano, along with the song stylings of your multi-talented servers and bartenders. Whether you prefer show tunes or acoustic and pop, you’re bound to hear just a little bit of everything at The Cabaret, courtesy proprietor Edison Farrow. For more information, go to




The Broadway Across America season continues this week at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center with “American Idiot.” The musical, based on the band Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning album, tells the story of three lifelong friends forced to pursue their dreams or seek safety in suburbia. Their quest for true meaning in a post-9/11 world leads them on an amazing theatrical journey that earned two Tony Awards. Through April 6 in the Au Rene Theatre. Tickets start at $34.50 at

WIN YOUR OWN MEDAL in 2014! Register NOW! SAVE $30 on general regstration by 28 February (general registration discount code*: SFGN. Must be used at checkout.)




O N YO U R M A R K . . .

G E T S E T. . .

GAMES. 9 -1 6 AU G U ST 2 0 1 4 35+ sports & cultural events Plus festivals, ceremonies performances, parties and more soflagaynews //

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a&e theater

25 General Admission $ 40 VIP $


22, 2014


rT uM of a e s u M e Th Le uderda a L T r o f ThefTLG The Ft. Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Totally Awesome,” its 80s tribute concert! Enjoy pieces from your favorites, such as Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Michael Jackson, and even Broadway! And for more fun, dress up in 80s attire–prizes given for the best looks!

For updated information on our concerts, events or joining our chorus, Funding for this organization is provided in part by the Broward County please visit our website or call 954.832.0060. Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council.





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Playwright’s unorthodox journey to sobriety inspires new comedy J.W. Arnold

Y L L A TOT E M O S E AW 21 & M ar c h

The Sober Pimp

Truth is stranger than fiction, the old adage goes, but for playwright Josh Mesnik, the truth is also certain to be funnier. A decade ago, Mesnik, an aspiring actor in New York City, found his life in a free fall as he battled alcoholism. He moved to South Florida to enter rehab and wound up running the largest straight escort agency on the East Coast. Mesnik’s misadventures would form the basis for a play, “Have I Got a Girl for You,” that became the standout hit of the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival and is now being given its second production at Fort Lauderdale’s Island City Stage. “It’s a story about someone trying to put his life back together while working in a seedy profession, so it’s a clearly a comedy,” the 32-yearold said with a chuckle. “Yes, the play is based on me, although it’s fictionalized for the sake of drama.” Mesnik never imagined he’d be pimping out prostitutes in between meetings in his first year of sobriety. He started out as the personal assistant to the madam, a former “Penthouse” Pet who turned her five minutes of fame into a lucrative business. Soon, he became a trusted employee and assumed management of the operation. There wasn’t anything “seedy” about the business, he insists, although many of his girls would be called to turn eight to 10 tricks a day, as the agency booked more than 100 appointments a day. As a gay man working in the sex industry, he wasn’t threatening and even developed strong friendships with some of the girls. “They weren’t necessarily the types of women you would expect — there wasn’t a lot of judgment — some were amazing and more human than you would think, some were damaged, for sure,” Mesnik said. It was lucrative work, in any case. The girls could earn up to $20,000 a month, working about eight days to two weeks a month. Mesnik was even approached about opening his own agency: “That’s where the backstabbing and conniving come in,” he warned. A friend and mentor who worked as a sitcom writer in Los Angeles encouraged Mesnik to turn his story into a play. The title came from a song from Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” and, as can be expected, the play is peppered throughout with references to


musical theater. “I had always written, but mainly for myself,” said Mesnik who kept journals and wrote short stories. “I never set down to write a play.” The Fringe Festival production, which took the audience favorite award over 189 shows, caught the attention of Island City

Stage associate artistic director Michael Leeds who worked with the playwright over several months to refine the work. Mesnik is especially excited to present the play in South Florida, “because that’s where the story took place.” Mesnik is already contemplating a second play, again drawing from his own experiences. Even though he has been sober for nine years, Mesnik turned to an improbable profession for a recovering alcoholic: He’s the general manager and certified sommelier for a prominent South Florida restaurant. “I’m passionate about wine. I don’t drink it, but I love it,” he said, thankful that his job allows him to earn a good living while pursuing his interests in the theater. While he wouldn’t recommend such a career path to most alcoholics, but concedes, “I’m living my life as chapters in a memoir.”

Josh Mesnick’s “Have I Got a Girl for You” will be presented at the Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale, on Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m., through April 27. Tickets are $30 at

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March 27 - April 13

$10 off previews 3/27 & 3/28 Winner 2000 Theatre World Award Nominee 2000 Tony Award Best Play “Hands down the best new American play of the season...Take off your hats, boys, Mae West is back on Broadway...�

D irty Blonde By Claudia Schear

New York Times A funny, bawdy play set in New York City about fans and their obsession with Mae West. The play combines transformation and drama with a fabulous dollop of show biz magic.


at the Plaza April 3-5, 10-12, 8 pm


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& performers Plays &Plays performers subject tosubject change. to change.


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a&e television

The Ô AlmostÕ Biggest Loser Former contestant Bobby Saleem talks about dropping half his body weight Tony Adams Bobby Saleem, a 28-year-old attorney from Chicago, is the latest out contestant on NBC’s long-running series “The Biggest Loser.” He finished as Season 15’s 2nd runner-up, having lost 188 pounds or 52.51 percent of his 358-pound starting weight. I caught up with Bobby when he was in Miami to participate in the Diabetes Research Institute’s annual walk/run event on March 8. A year ago, I spoke with Season 14’s Jackson carter who was the first out gay contestant on Ò The Biggest loser” ( your story is different in many ways. How did you become a contestant?

Before doing the show, I had joined a gym. On the day I joined, I received an email from them about an open casting call for Season 15. I decided to try out. During the interview, they asked me why I had gained so much weight. At that moment, I heard myself respond that my problem was that I needed to come out. I needed to drop all my bad emotional baggage.

No, but I suppose you could jump the fence and sneak out for them! Maybe it was the California sun but I did not have much craving for those things while I was at the ranch. Do you believe that food is an addiction you never lose?

I definitely think that I am a recovering food addict, and that is why it was so important for me to resolve my issues. There are times when I struggle with food, but for me it’s about moderation. I kind of eat what I want, but not every day. I am very aware of and wary of the fact that the lifestyle of an attorney is sedentary. I am often at my desk for long hours. The key for me is to keep to a regular work-out schedule.

What did you learn by being on Ò The Biggest LoserÓ ?

It was probably the hardest experience of my life. I learned so much about myself. Before “The Biggest Loser,” I had given up on myself. I figured I’d be a functionally overweight person for the rest of my life. I was amazed at how much I wanted to fight for myself. Has being on the show and losing all the weight brought you romance?

I had relationships before the show but nothing much has changed in that area. I’m only a month out of the show, so I am just trying to get my normalcy back. I’m probably not ready for romance yet.

When you are ready, I have some single friends IÕ d like to introduce you to.

Well, you have my number… For more information about NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” visit

I am completely happy I did the show.

What kind of support do you get while you are working through your issues at the ranch? [During the filming of the show, contestants are confined to Ò The RanchÓ to see who can lose the most weight.]


obby Saleem lost 188 pounds after appearing on NBCÕ s ÒT he Biggest LoserÓ

In addition to the trainers and doctors, we have psychological counselors. One trainer in particular, Bob Harper, helped me come to terms with my issues. He came out publically on the show in the process of helping me. In terms of sexuality and weight, the first step for me was gaining self-acceptance and selfconfidence. You have to first realize who you are as a person. Then, you have to accept that.

Tell me about life at the ranch. You said that pizza and ice cream are your weaknesses. Can you get those things at the ranch if you really crave them?

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lifestyle people

Saturday, March 1 & Sunday, March 2 Photos by J.R. Davis


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advertorial Poverello’s Social Enterprise: For more than a quarter century the Poverello Center has been fulfilling its mission of providing food and other basic living essentials to people with HIV/AIDS in Broward County who live in poverty. Readers may not know that Poverello has a unique approach to funding its programs through social enterprise. Social enterprises are businesses whose primary goal is to achieve the common good. They use the methods of standard business and the power of the marketplace to advance a social agenda. In Poverello’s case that agenda is to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged People Living With HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA) in Broward County. You may be familiar with Poverello’s thrift and eBay stores. But, you may not be aware that they are also economic engines, along with grants and donations that help to fund our mission. When customers shop at Poverello’s thrift and eBay stores, or make donations to the store, their donations and purchases become dollars, which in turn help fund our programs. Shopping at Poverello’s Thrift Store or online at our eBay store, contributes to the success of Poverello’s Food Pantry and our health and wellness programs. Recently, our thrift store experienced record breaking sales. Mario Rosario, Thrift Store Manager, states,

“People are being smart shoppers today. Due to the economy, people are finding that Poverello’s Thrift Store has quality items at a fraction of the cost of what is sold at regular retail locations.” These sales have been an enormous help to the Poverello food pantry, which simultaneously experienced a recordbreaking demand for food among PLWHA. In November 2013 the food pantry provided 3,980 units of food to its clients. By January 2014 this number increased to more than 5,550. Poverello could not meet this increasing demand without the generosity of those who support our social enterprise stores and make private donations. Poverello is one of the largest special needs food pantries in our region. Poverello provides groceries that result in nearly one million meals over the course of a year. Of those eligible to receive Poverello’s food pantry services, we are serving approximately 15% of this target population. None of this could be achieved without the support of our community. For that Poverello is forever grateful.

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soflagaynews //


community announcement March is Colon and Rectal Cancer Awareness Month What you need to know Dr. Elie Schochet, FACS Colon & Rectal Surgeon

Colon cancer is not a common topic of conversation, but it is a fairly common type of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), about 102,480 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year. When coupled with rectal cancer, which accounts for about 40,340 new cases annually, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women, excluding skin cancers. If you were born in 1964, you will turn the big 5-0 this year. Even if you aren’t ready to sign up for an AARP membership card, you should undergo a colorectal cancer screening. That is because your chances of developing the disease increase considerably after reaching the half-century mark. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at least 50-years-old. Colon cancer has no single cause. Some people have a higher risk of developing colon cancer because this form of the disease tends to run in families. Others who are diagnosed with the disease have a personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease such

as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, or certain inherited gene changes that can cause the disease. Being over the age of 50 and African American also can increase the risk of developing colon cancer. So what can you do to reduce your risk of colon cancer? Plenty! While you cannot control your age, race or family history, there are a number of lifestylerelated steps you can take to help prevent the disease. • Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits daily Avoid a diet that is high in red meats, such as beef or lamb, and processed meats, including hot dogs. Opt for whole grains instead of refined grains, and limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and two per day for men. • Exercise The ACS recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity for adults on five or more days of the week. • Manage your weight While being overweight or obese

increases the risk for colon cancer in both men and women, this risk tends to be stronger in men. • Don’t smoke Some of the substances from smoking that can cause cancer are swallowed and can increase the risk of the disease developing in the digestive system, which includes the colon. The last five feet of the intestine make up the colon where nutrients from food are digested and stools are formed. Colon cancer usually begins as an overgrowth of normal cells, called a polyp. It takes about 10 to 15 years for these polyps to develop into colon cancer. But the polyps can be removed when detected early through screening so cancer can be avoided or even prevented. Colon and rectal cancer should be distinguished from anal cancer, another form of serious cancer. Anal cancers are caused the by the human papilloma virus and are found in a very significant number of men who have sex with men and HIV positive patients regardless of gender or sexual orientation.


Routine colon and rectal screening through the use of colonoscopy does not adequately screen for anal cancers. Anal pap smears and the use of a technique called high resolution anoscopy is the best way to screen for anal cancer. Ask your physician about pap smears if you fall into either of the above risk groups. Just because you have a risk factor for colon cancer does not mean you will develop the disease. People who do not have any identifiable risk factors for colon cancer should begin regular colorectal screening at age 50. Those with risk factors for the disease should talk to their doctor about being screened at a younger age and/or being screened more frequently. For more information, go to and find a colonoscopy provider near you or call 954-772-4553. photo by: Alex Pacheco

GAY POLO WEEKAPRIL 4-6TH Friday, April 4 GPL Polotini Party Saturday, April 5 International Gay Polo Tournament Sunday, April 6 International Polo Club Brunch For additional details, sponsorship opportunities, tailgates and tickets, please call 561.753.3389 or visit

Reserve your Polo Package - Matches, Polotini Party, hand-picked hotels. Call 888.999.4613 or visit soflagaynews //

SouthFloridaGayNews // // 3 .19.2014/ /





oetic Stage at the Arsht Center in Miami presents Michael McKeeverÕ s new play, ÒC lark Gable Slept Here,Ó a dark comedy set in the superficial world of hollywood.

Christiana Lilly

and lyrics of Paul Simon -- due to popular demand, it has been held over an additional month. Tickets $35. Visit or

Free Friday Concerts

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

miami-dade county

broward county Paul Byrom

Will Chase

An Intimate Evening with Marc Cohn

* Stine Motland and C. Spencer Yeh

March 20 at 8 p.m. at the Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale. The Celtic Thunder tenor does a solo show. Tickets $27.50 to $37.50. Call 954-462-0222 or visit

March 19 at 8 p.m. at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St. in Aventura. A night with the Broadway and “Smash” star. Tickets $39.50. Call 305-466-8002 or visit

March 20 at 8 p.m. at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. The Grammy winner seamlessly weaves together singing and storytelling. Tickets $30 to $85. Call 954-462-0222 or visit

March 20 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Perez Art Museum Miami, 101 W. Flagler St. in Miami. The two use the human voice in nonconventional ways to create music. Free with museum entry. Call 305-375-3000 or visit

Totally Awesome!

March 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, One E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus sings ‘80s favorites, such as Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Broadway tunes, and more. Dress the part! Tickets $25 to $40. Call 954-832-0060 or visit

laffing matterz: with a Vengeance...

Through March 22 at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Hailed as the best dinner theatre by local critics, night after night this gang of performers will have you cracking up. Tickets $63 to $69. Call 954-462-0222 or visit

Making Porn

Through March 23 at Empire Stage, 11540 N. Flagler Drive in Fort Lauderdale. Jack, a straight actor looking for work, is hired by a gay porn producer. Tickets $30. Call 954-678-1496 or visit

* American Idiot

March 25 to April 6 at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Based on the Green Day album by the same name, three friends have to choose leaving the safety of the suburbs or going for their dreams. Tickets $34.50 to $114.50. Call 954-4620222 or visit

* Have I Got a Girl For You

March 27 to April 27 at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Ave. The true story of a gay man running a female escort agency in Boca Raton. Tickets $20. Visit

* Ethan Bortnick in Concert

March 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Miniaci Performing Arts Center, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The young performing phenom takes the stage in a fundraiser honoring Rose Miniaci. Tickets from $65 to $250. Call 954-462-0222 or visit

Without a Hitch

Through March 30 at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive in Coral Springs. In this dinner theatre mystery, be a part of the case with Sherlock and friends to investigate a murder at the Monte Carlo nightclub in 1963. Tickets $59. Call 954344-5990 or visit


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Clark Gable Slept Here

palm beach county * The Tales of Hoffman

March 21 to 23 at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Hoffman the poet has the worst luck when it comes to love, as performed by the Palm Beach Opera. Tickets $25 to $195. Call 561-8327469 or visit

* Send in the Queens

March 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at the Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave. in Lake Worth. The annual drag show fundraiser features Lake Worth’s favorite performers, including Melissa St. John, Lupita Hollywood, Pepper Monroe, and more. Tickets $35. Call 561-586-6410 or visit

Fighting Over Beverley

Through March 23 at the Arts Garage, 180 NE First St. in Delray Beach. A love triangle among three people in their 70s: Beverley, who came from England during World War II, her husband Zelly, and Archie, who she left back in England. Call 561-450-6357 or visit

* i never saw another butterfly

March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 NE Ninth St. in Delray Beach. Set in Therensienstadt concentration camp, Jewish children express the camp happenings through art and poetry. Proceeds benefit the Delray Beach Playhouse Children’s Theatre. Tickets $10. Call 561-272-1281, ext. 4 or visit

* An Evening With The Avett Brothers March 28 at 8 p.m. at Sunset Cove,12551 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Hailing from North Carolina, the band melds together bluegrass, country, punk, pop, rock and more for a unique sound. Tickets $38.50 to $45. Purchase tickets at

* The Elephant Wrestler

March 28 and 29 at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Jacob Rajan soflagaynews //

takes on multiple characters in this entertaining one-man play. Tickets $28. Call 561-832-7469 or visit

* Don Quixote

March 28 to 30 at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Miami City Ballet brings the classic Spanish story to life. Tickets $20 to $175. Call 561-832-7469 or visit

* The Golden Dragon Acrobats: CIRQUE ZIVA

March 28 to 30 at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Twentyfive performers bring together the performing arts of China past and present in this exhilarating show. Tickets $45. Call 561-243-7922 or visit

* Dividing the Estate

March 28 to April 27 at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St. in West Palm Beach. The Gordon family has fallen on tough times, and the greedy children are determined to divide their 100-year-old property. Tickets $60. Call 561-514-4042 or visit

* Ales for Anglers with JJ Grey & mofro

March 29 at 2:30 p.m. at the Sunset Cove, 12551 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Craft beer, fishing, and music comes together in a one-of-a-kind show. Tickets $35 to $40, $5 parking. Get tickets at

* The Pajama Game

March 29 to April 20 at the Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 NW Ninth St. in Delray Beach. Staff at a pajama party battle to get a 7.5 cent raise. Tickets $40. Call 561272-1281, ext. 4 or visit

The Sounds of Simon

Through April 13 at the Delray Square Performing Arts, 4809 W. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach. A revival of the hit South Florida musical featuring the music


March 20 to April 6 at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. Behind the scenes of Hollywood, a woman and staff try to figure out what to do with a dead male prostitute during the Golden Globe Awards. Tickets $45. Call 305-949-6722 or visit


Through March 22 at Mansion Nightclub, 1235 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach. Watch the legendary hunks perform in a five-week extension after sold off shows and raving reviews. Tickets $49.95. Visit

* Miley Cyrus

March 22 at 8 p.m. at the AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. The young, controversial performer makes the rounds on her Bangerz Tour. Tickets $57.10 to $109.80. Call 786-7771000 or visit

* An Intimate Evening with Dudu Fisher

March 25 to 27 at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St. in Aventura. Known for his role as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” Fisher celebrates Israel with a night of music and storytelling. Tickets $39.50. Call 305-466-8002 or visit

* Pink Martini

March 26 at 8 p.m. at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. The 12-piece orchestra is joined by the von Trapps. Tickets $35 to $95. Call 305-9496722 or visit

* Oneohtrix Point Never

March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Perez Art Museum Miami, 101 W. Flagler St. in Miami. Composer Daniel Lopatin’s work is combined with that of video artist Nate Boyce. Tickets $16 for members, $20 for nonmembers (including museum, admission). Call 305-375-3000 or visit

* The Moody Blues

March 27 at 8 p.m. at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. The British rock band has serenaded generations with “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and other hits. Tickets $55 to $125. Call 305-949-6722 or visit

* Denotes New Listing

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Community Christiana Lilly

broward county

ÒR eaching for the MoonÓ Screening

March 20 at 7 p.m. at the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, 1300 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The tragic love story between American poet, Elizabeth Bishop, and Brazilian architect, Lota de Macedo Soares. Free. Call 954-763-8565 or visit

Carol Lynne Smith Madison

March 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Pride Center, 2040 Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors. A part of Women With Pride, the lesbian author reads selections of her work and will sign books. Call 954-463-9005 or visit

* No More Tears Country Western Fundraiser

March 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Alibi Room in Midtown 24, 700 SW 78th Ave. in Plantation. Join the Self Touch Project to raise money for No More Tears, a local domestic violence nonprofit. Don’t forget to dress up -- there’ll be contests! Tickets $30. Visit

* Stonewall Museum Gallery Soft Open

March 22 to 30 from Noon to 10 p.m. at the Stonewall Museum -- Wilton Manors Gallery, 2157 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Get a sneak peek of the gallery before it closes for remodeling until the summer with two exhibits. Free. Call 954-763-8565 or visit

* ÒB lue is the Warmest ColorÓ Screening

March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Pride Center, 2040 N. Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors. The French film tells the story of Adele, who falls in love and is forever changed by blue-haired Emma. Call 954-463-9005 or visit

* WomenÕ s Art Show Gallery Reception

March 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Pride Center, 2040 N. Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors. A celebration of Women’s History Month with food, drinks, and art showcasing women on the move. Call 954-463-9005 or visit

* Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival

March 30 in Fort Lauderdale. Participate in the 5k walk through Fort Lauderdale Beach, then enjoy a music festival to raise money for the Pride Center’s AIDS programming. Call 954-463-9005 or visit

*Mind Over Money

Tired of breaking yearly resolutions to save money? Contemplating bankruptcy? Money performing disappearing acts? Sign up today to reserve your spot for the “Mind Over Money” workshop at the Wilton Manors Pride Center, Wednesday, April 9 from 7-8:30 p.m. Monthly. $20 per class. Call 1-800-590-0056. Hosted by Katrina Jones, director and prosperity life coach of the Satari Life Institute.

Gender Bender Youth Group

Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at SunServe Campus, 1480 SW Ninth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. A group for LGBT youth 13 to 21 to discuss gender, gender expression, binary systems, friendship, family and whatever else comes up! Free. Visit


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


Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at the Stonewall Library, 1300 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Come join us and write your memoir, poem, blog, novel or short story. Free. Email

palm beach county

Florida, oil on linen, 12” x 24”

Tony Mendez

March 20 at 2 p.m. at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Tickets $30 to $45. The former CIA agent talks about the lifesaving mission that inspired the movie “ARGO” starring Ben Afflect. Call 561-243-7922 or visit

From Lake Worth to Santa Fe

* Boynton Beach Art Walk

March 20 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Boynton Beach Art District, 422 W. Industrial Ave. in Boynton Beach. The art community comes together with food, music, vendors, and art to raise money for Marcel McGray after he became paralyzed from a car accident. Call 786-521-1199 or visit BoyntonBeachArtDistrict.

cinema of the ‘60s

March 20, 27 and April 3, 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach. Scott Eyman leads a discussion on New York’s filmmakers of the 1960s. Free with museum admission. Call 561-832-5196 or visit

* Delray Art League Artists in the Park

New Mexico, oil on linen, 12" x 24"

Oil Paintings: Impressionism to Realism

March 22 to 23 and 29 to 30 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Local artists display their fine art. Call 561-243-7922 or visit


* Celebration of Love

March 23 at 2 p.m. at Lake Worth City Hall, Seven N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth. Join the city of Lake Worth to tell Tallahassee that the city supports gay marriage. Call 561-398-8340 or visit


miami-dade county

Opening Reception with the Artist

Rainbow Circle

Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University of Miami Flipse Building #302, 5665 Ponce de Leon Drive in Coral Gables. An open discussion about coming out, relationships, peer pressure, bullying, depression and more. Free. Visit

HIV Support Group

Thursday, March 27, 2014 5:30 – 7:30 A portion of the proceeds to benefit Compass Community Center.

Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at South Beach AIDS Project, 1234 Washington Ave. Ste. 200 in Miami Beach. A support group for those who are HIV positive. Free. Call 305-535-4733, ext. 301 or email support@

Exhibit continues through April 10

Modern Buddhist Meditation

Mondays and Tuesdays at the Drolma Kadampa Buddhist Center, 1273 Coral Way in Miami. Find inner peace with instruction on meditation with Buddhist monk, Gen Kelsang Nurbu. Cost $10 and $5 per class. Call 786-529-7137.

* Denotes New Listing soflagaynews //

705 Lucerne Ave. • Lake Worth 561.582.1045

SouthFloridaGayNews // // 3 .19.2014/ / 55



To place an ad call 954.530.4970 or visit accommodations attorneys

PERFECT VACATION RENTALS! Winter rates from $99 per night! Award Winning Gay Hotel. Beautiful Studio, 1 & 2 BR Self Catering Apts. with Full Kitchen.Clothing optional heated pool, laundry, private parking. Central to Wilton Manors & Haulover Nude Beach. Includes Wi-Fi utilities, cable, tel. Gay Owned & Operated. Pets Welcome. Celebrating 16 Years. Call Joe or Jack at (954) 927-0090 or visit *Four Week+ Relocation Discounts Offered*

COMPLETE COMPUTER REPAIR FREE ESTIMATES - No extra charge for in-home. FREE Computer tune-up with any service. Replacement of laptop screen & key board. Viruses, spyware, data recovery, lockouts & more. SAME DAY SERVICE - LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEE Call Ernesto: 754-234-5598 hate windows 8? We can bring back the look and feel of windows. Same day service. Call 954-986-1316

counseling/therapy LICENSED CHRISTIAN COUNSELOR Dr. Saul Thermidor, FACCT # LCCP 0365011212 Licensed Christian Psychologist provides Christian counseling on LGBT, anger, violence & personal issues. I speak English, French and Creole. Call 305-407-9397 day, evening & weekends!

LOOKING FOR LODGIING NEAR SUNLIFE STADIUM? Completely furnished luxury 1/BD/1BA Condo. Easy access to public transportation and major express ways. Shopping and dining are in walking distance. Gated Community and private parking. Reasonably priced @$375 a week or $1,500 a month plus $400 processing and move in fees. Call 305-793-8650.

air conditioning dentists

HONEST, RELIABLE AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING SERVICES Gay owned and operated company, Eiland Air, Inc. 24 hour service. Reasonable prices. Licensed & Insured #CAC1817222 Call Mike 786-247-6022 6000 South Dixie Highway, Suite B West Palm Beach, FL 33405

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STATE-OF-THE-ART-DENTISTRY General & Cosmetic Dentistry Sedation Dentistry


employment/jobs ACCOUNT MANAGERS, BOOK KEEPERS AND SALES REPRESENTATIVES Work your own flexible schedule! Pays $1500 to $2000 monthly plus benefits. Must be computer literate, have 2-3 hours access to the internet weekly. We are looking for efficient and dedicated people who are at least 21 years of age. Contact us for more details. If you are interested and need more information, send your resumes to ENTRY LEVEL SALES EXECUTIVE Full time Sales, Client Services, Direct Marketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing & Email Services. Microsoft Word & Excel experience. Competitive Salary plus Commission, Medical/Dental, 401k & Profit Sharing. Email Resume to

WANTED!!! Stamp Collections and Accumulations. Please call John 954-467-7128 OR 954-614-2562.

cleaning services BRIANÕ S CLEANING SERVICE - Honest, Reliable,Competitive Rates! I have 15 years experience, Detail oriented. Call 954-446-5545 for free estimate! HOME AND COMMERCIAL CLEANING Residential and Commercial cleaning. Experienced with references and provide free estimates. Call 305-896-7494 or 214-356-0684 NINAÕ S CLEANING SERVICE Upscale and professional. Privately owned. Pet friendly. 12+ years experience. Excellent references available. Call Nina 954-707-0095


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cleaning services CLEAN IT RIGHT! The best cleaning for your buck. 1BD $50, 2BD $60, 3BD $70. Excellent rates & references. 10 years in business. Serving Broward, North Miami Dade & S. Palm Beach. Call Manny 954-560-4443 soflagaynews //


employment/jobs PERSONAL ASSISTANT & MALE COMPANION SEEKING a part-time job as a personal assistant & male companion in Broward County. Will take you to doctors appointments. Help you w/ your grocery shopping. Refill or pick up medications. Will drive you to do all your errands & assist w/ daily household chores. Great driving record, honest, professional, reliable, trustworthy, & always willing to help and assist. If you have any further questions please call 954-548-1798 or email Thank you. EXPERIENCED FULL SERVICE TRAVEL AGENT Agency is located on Wilton Drive. Full time position possible for the right person. Must have good internet and communication skills and be well traveled. Ability to assist clients with airline tickets, hotels, cars and cruises and tour packages. Call 954-565-2345 for an initial phone interview. May consider a sharp administrative/ sales person willing to learn the industry. COMPANION FOR ELDERLY GENTLEMAN WANTED - In-home care. Patient suffers from mild dementia. Position is part time to start. Exceptional working environment and conditions. Must have clean background check, mature, good natured and in good health need apply. Submit resume with cover letter, including references and pay requirements to: P.O. Box 2213, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33303 SWINGING RICHARDS NOW HIRING Quality Male Dancers & Waiters. Full nudity/upscale club environment with great income potential. Please text (865)385-9568 or email photos/info to HANDYMAN NEEDED!!! Part time handyman needed to with building projects. Painting, Tile work, Electrical, Construction. Wages based on experience. Call 954-892-0494 nursinG/cna/hha: lookinG for a few GOOD MEN with Nursing Experience, Lic or certification. Patient has moderate dementia and is ambulatory. Exceptional environment. Must have clean background check, be in good health and good natured. Kindly submit resume with cover letter including references, salary requirements and desired work hrs/days to: P.O. Box 2213, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33303

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interior design

AAA FURNITURE HOSPITAL We specialize in gluing and clamping of Ò broken and looseÓ tables, chairs and occasional pieces. Other services include repair of cigarette burns,perfume stains ,dog bites, water damage,recliner and sofa bed repairs. Free estimates 954-493-5221

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RECESSION RELIEF $40 per 90 MIN - Out calls higher. Swedish, Deep Tissue, Specialty Back, Lower Body & Feet. Couples Discounts. Seniors Welcome. Delray Beach. 16 years experience. MA18563 Dennis 561-502-2628 AFFORDABLE AWESOME MASSAGE BY Jim Offering Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports and LomiLomi Massage for Men; in a very comfortable, relaxed and Private Massage Studio, NOW conveniently located in Wilton Manors on NE 26th Street, with plenty of free parking. Same Day appointments are welcome; please call Jim, 954-600-5843 email: or visit my website for testimonials, rates and more. GREAT OPENING SPECIAL NOW AVAILABLE! Licensed and Certified MM22293



licensed massage

handyman HUSBAND FOR RENT! Is he procrastinating home repairs? He says he will do it tomorrow?? After the football game?? We fit right in - In the house or the yard, small or big jobs: Tiles, Dry walls, paint, Plumbing, Roof leaks, broken furniture, Irrigation, Fences, wood decks, trash compost bins & more. It doesnÕ t cost to hassle us to see the work - so why wait? Neat, clean work for reasonable price. Call Haim at 954-398-3676,

steven Jay’s lovinG ways pet care! I care for your pet in my home. One client at a time if requested. Multiple pets and all pets welcome! I have a very clean home and low rates! Call Steven Jay at 954-565-1996

home care HEART TO HEART HOMEMAKER AND COMPANION If you or your loved one are elderly, or temporarily, or chronically disabled, we can help you with home chores (cooking, light-house cleaning, laundry) and be your companion for home or where you need to go. We will work with you to find the plan that fits your needs. 954-226-4660. Right in the heart of Wilton Manors.

piano lessons

WANT TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE PIANO? Learn from an experienced teacher. All levels and ages welcome. Learn to play classical, popular, jazz, or show tunes. Visit or call 954-826-9555 for more information.

home improvement


THINGS YOU NEED TO ACCOMPLISH? Minds at ease, A+ handyman service. Prompt, Reliable & Honest. Call Keldon Keller at 954-551-3127 or email TOP NOTCH CONTRACTING Knows all and does all!! Many years of experience and easy on the eyes! Remodeling, Trimming, Ground molding, Drywall, Painting, Landscaping, Roofing, Tile work, Electrical, Windows, Doors and more. Very reasonable rates and free estimates. Call Shawn 954-549-8243

human resources WE GOT YOU COVERED! Advocates for student needs. Specializing in helping foster students and others transition into responsible, independent Adults. We are here to help find resources and outlets for stable and healthy adult lives. Call 786-793-8650 for more information.


IRRIGATION SYSTEM REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE 19 years experience, excellent work, referrals upon request. Call Roberto 954-383-8980

Dependable Reliable Service Delivered with Love and Respect

INTERIOR PAINTING No job to small! We offer great competitive rates. Call Gregg @ 617-3065694 or Tom @ 352-322-7139. We are reliable and honest with references!

WILTON MANORS MASSAGE Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports. $59 Swedish Hour. Call or text Chris Tunkus at 954-258-8779 1322 NE 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL INCREDIBLY AWESOME BODYWORK in WPB! Incalls @ private studio, 15 min. due west of PBIA. Intuitive, experienced LMT offers affordable rates 7 days, early to late. ASK ABOUT WEEKLY SPECIALS! Calls only, 561-254-8065 for the very best massage experience you can get, HANDS DOWN!


L.L.C. The smallest things make the biggest difference.

Andrzej Obszanski


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SouthFloridaGayNews // // 3 .19.2014/ / 57

pool services

POOL SERVICE Mention this ad and receive your first month

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Call for a free estimate: 954-367-7007 Web: Email:

condo for sale MANOR GROVE CONDOS Spacious 2/2 corner unit, w/ wood laminate flooring, new paint throughout & huge master walk-in closet. AC 2006, new water heater & rolladen storm shutter protection. Walking distance to The Drive. Low maint. fee of $316/ mo. Small pet under 20 lbs. okay. Call Jeff Sullivan, EWM Realtors, 954-383-2117 CO OP FOR SALE, CORAL RIDGE TOWERS 2BD /2BA, 2 blocks from the beach, Olympic size pool! Top floor Northview. For sale by owner. Call for more details. 718-624-2976


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rent/lease fort lauderdale LAKERIDGE FURN. GARDEN STUDIO Central to beach/downtown/Wilton Drive.Clean newly ren. 1 rm and bath. Lg. private fenced courtyard. private entry with parking,laundry onsite, water and electric included. $765/mo. 1st and security with lease. Avail March 1st call 941-548-7989 MIDDLE RIVER TERRACE Remodeled 1 Remodeled 1 BDRM w/ granite/stainless kitchen, updated bath, pool view, & private patio. Small pet okay/ no smoking. Available 1/6/2014 w/ credit/background checks/ assoc. approval. $925/mo., first, last, security, 1 yr. lease. Call Jeff Sullivan, EWM Realtors, 954-383-2117 huGe 2/2 pool duplex - pompano beach Updated, Lushly Landscaped, East of Fed Hwy 1 Mile to Beach, D/R, Sep. Laundry W/D, Fab Lrg Pool, New Central AC, Tile Floors, Small Dog or Cat ok. $1390, Available 2/1/13 Call Tim: 754-235-2911 TWO STORY VILLA Ð OAKLAND PARK Use as 2/2 or 3/2, Kitchen, Living Room, TV room, Balcony, Sundeck, over 1500 sq. ft. W/D included and pets are ok. 4001 NE 14th Ave $1,800/mo Call 954-485-9440 HOUSE FOR RENT, OAKLAND PARK Beautiful 2200sf, house, 4BR/2BA. Open concept. New kitchen/Laundry/Tile/Central air/heat. Fenced yard, patio, Mango and Avocado trees $1900. Must see! By appt. 954-629-2884 MIDDLE RIVER TERRACE - Large 2 BR/2 BA, new kitchen, laundry, tile, central air, fenced yard, close to Wilton Drive, dog friendly. $1300/month. Call 954-815-2550

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rent/lease fort lauderdale MIDDLE RIVER TERRACE Remodeled 1 BDRM w/ granite/stainless kitchen, updated bath, pool view, & private patio. Small pet okay/ no smoking. Available 1/6/2014 w/ credit/ background checks/ assoc. approval. $925/mo., first, last, security, 1 yr. lease. Call Jeff Sullivan, EWM Realtors, 954-383-2117 BEAUTIFUL EAST FORT LAUDERDALE Mobile Home Park (not your grandparentÕ s trailer park) located East of 95, minutes to Wilton Manors and Beaches. Currently has 2 Bedroom 2 bath homes available for purchase starting at $28,000.00 Call Chris at 954-522-7478 or email Please see us on facebook at LauderLakes SOUTH MIDDLE RIVER - Large 2 BR/1 BA, laundry, tile, central air, fenced yard, dog friendly. $1000/month. Call 954-815-2550

rent/lease wilton manors

larGe 2br/1 ba Beautiful wood floors, private yard, single family home with canvas covered parking, amazing bonus room, washer/ dryer. Quiet neighborhood walking distance to Wilton Drive/restaurants, clubs, etc. Background check/credit check required. Available NOW!!! $1,650month Please call Terri Wright with Sea Island Realty, Inc. at 954-401-4918 MANOR GROVE CONDOS Nice 1 bedroom with 1.5 bath. Screened in patio with wood floors, pool and clubhouse. Washer and dryer on premises. Quiet community. $900 a month. Call for more details. 954-242-3486


rent/lease pompano beach PALM AIRE Affordable and ready to move in. Beautiful 1 bedroom King Apt. 1.5 bath, new flooring and freshly painted walls. Can be furnished or unfurnished. A great place to live!! Call Myron 201-214-3992. newly renovated 2br apartment Very private location, all stainless appliances, tile throughout, minutes from beach, small dogs and cats ok, includes gas, water and electric $1300/ mo, first and security. For more information, call Sean at 954-621-7009

roommates LAUDERLAKES ROOMATE WANTED Share a 2/2 on lake w/ hot tub, private bath, W/D, dishwasher, central a/c and cable. $400/mo includes utilities & internet. Looking for a mature professional. 1st & security deposit. Background check req. Call Gary 954-803-0885 MALE ROOMMATE WANTED Male roommate wanted for 2/1/13. Beautiful WPB 2BD/2BA apt to share $650/Mo. Water, Elect, Waste Mgt included. Deposit + 1st. mo. Required. Call 561-316-7236 ROOM FOR RENT IN WILTON MANORS Wilton Manors 3 Bedroom pool house room for rent to Gay Professional Male. Must be dog friendly. $650 per month, includes all utilities and full access. Call 954-268-6547 or Email:

rent/lease west palm beach pb county - lake park 2/1 condo 2nd Floor Corner - Next to Kelsey Park across from Intracoastal Great Locations. $750 per month • 1 year Lease • No Pets • No Smoking • 1st & Security. Call 561-310-0615 POMPANO BEACH - 2/2 Condo - East of U.S.1, pool, elevator, 2nd fl. end unit, F.L. & Sec., Application/min. 1 yr. lease, $1,100/mo. Call 954-806-8821

real estate for sale

roommates HOME TO SHARE - WALK TO DRIVE! Mature prof. seeks roommate in 2/2 home w/ pool. Furnished room, private bath, all utilities, cable TV-WiFi internet access, W/D, C/AC, and full house and pool privileges.Only $850/mo. Min 6 mo. lease. Ref/Bkgrnd check required.No pets. Owner has cat.First and security.954-873-5321 LOOKING TO RENT A ROOM Senior GWF on Social Security looking to share rent in a clean, decent, safe apartment or home for $350 to $450 per month. I am mobile, have my own car and also looking for any part time work available. Please call 954-325-7111

real estate for sale DAYTONA BEACH Gay rental complex for sale 2br home + 5 detached rental units beach side. Owner financing real estate, trade or cash down. $420k

spiritual METAPHYSICAL CHAPEL Metaphysical Chapel of South Florida offers Sunday Divine Services, Healing, Psychic fairs & more. 1480 SW 9th Ave, FtLaud.

To place an ad call 954.530.4970 or visit

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3/19/14 V5i12  

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