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February 2014

MO History Museum’s

LGBT on TV

New Exhibit

The Fosters

Sneak Peak!

Fabulous

With Producers of the Hit Lesbian Series

#RichKids

Jonny­ Drubel ‘Not Just the Token Gay’

Shahs

Reza of Sunset’s

Everything is Golden When



You’re Gay & Persian


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Advertisers at a glance Pinnacle (River City) 2 Briefs3 Just John Mardi Gras 6 Loop Business District 8 Fabulous Fox Theatre 12 Just John Red Party 12 Missouri History Museum 12 Hamburger Mary’s 18 Planned Parenthood 18 Hilton President Kansas City 20 Bistro 303 20 Rehab Bar & Grill 22 HER HRC 22 Absolutli Goosed 30 Talent Plus 30 Brown Smith Wallace 40 St. Louis Science Center 40 Walter Knoll Florist 41 Christine Elbert 41 St. Louis CVC 50 Lumiere Place Hotel & Casino 51 Mango52 20K Issues Printed Monthly

Publisher/Editor in Chief

Darin Slyman

dsly@thevitalvoice.com

Associate Publisher/Director of Marketing Jimmy Lesch jimmy@thevitalvoice.com

Art Director Andrea Piamonte andrea@thevitalvoice.com

Events Manager Staci Stift staci@thevitalvoice.com

Staff Photographer Mikey Berner Staff Writer Lauren Wagner lauren@thevitalvoice.com

Staff Writer Brent peterson brent@thevitalvoice.com

Staff Writer Hanna botney hanna@thevitalvoice.com

Contributors

Photography: Mikey Berner, Darin Slyman, Mario Canedo, NBC Universal and

Brian Schmittgens

Writing: Darin Slyman, Andrea Piamonte, Lauren Wagner, Brent Peterson,

Hanna Botney and Mikey Berner Design: Jackie Reich and Julianna Bonk

Advisory Board

400+ Points of Distribution throughout the St. Louis and Kansas City area

William A. Donius, Thom Halter, Jay Perez, Pam Scheider, Kellie Trivers and Sharon Tucci

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Vital VOICE is a registered trademark of Darin Slyman and Associates, LLC. Copyright Š 2014 Darin Slyman and Associates LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.


February 2014 | Volume 15 | Issue 2

Table of

Contents

4. advertisers at a glance 7. publisher’s letter 9. An Evening with her 13. Partners in diversity 17. latino pride: Viva la vida!

19. Producing the fosters 21. Working towards equality

24. Rich Kids of Beverly hills with Jonny drubel

31. A history of queer — Mo’s history museum 32. Penelope wigstock — a straight’s guide to hunting & fishing

34. stl date ideas 38. mikey’s morsels:

World’s best carrot cake

42. STL playdates 42. STL playdates 44. KC playdates 46. scene in StL 48. scene in Kc

26. On the

Cover Shah’s of Sunset’s Reza Farahan talks about growing up gay and Persian.

Stay Connected with us Vital VOICE is printed on recycled newspaper and uses soy ink for a 100% recyclable product.

thevitalVOICE.com 

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6

February 2014


publisher’s Letter

For the Love of

Differences  & Diversity

Ah February — the month of love. The one thing I love in life is diversity. It is through our different cultures and our different upbringings that we collectively make up the colorful rainbow that is our LGBT community. Often we look at diversity directly as African-American and Caucasian people. This year, I wanted to explore various other prismatic cultures that rarely get exposure. Take this month’s cover boy Reza Farahan as an example. Being gay and Persian certainly has its laundry list of issues. I should know. It’s no secret that I’m half Lebanese and half Caucasian. I cherish my Middle Eastern culture yet am fully aware of its unique perspective on life, love and relationships. Through my interview with the Shahs of Sunset star, I realized that his experience was much like my own. From filtering your lifestyle to align with family traditions to seeing how others of your own culture choose to deal with matters, it’s all myriad questions that can help or hinder one’s own journey. In St. Louis we have a magnificent PrideFest and we have our very own Black Pride. I was happy to find out that Kansas City Latino Pride celebrates the culture of our Latin American brothers and sisters. Mario Canedo has really brought the LGBT Latino community into the forefront of our Missouri LGBT community. Even within our LGBT community we

have a tendency to categorize our people with labels such as “twink” or “bear.” I can’t tell you how often I’m asked about these terms from my straight allies. I challenged Penelope Wigstock this month to comically and informatively define these terms as only she could do. Hopefully it’ll help some to understand while giving us all a little chuckle. It’s always important to celebrate who we are, where we come from and how we’ve developed. It’s through our differences that we get to learn and grow from one another. Not to be too cheesy but in the words of Lady Gaga: “Don’t be drag, just be a queen. 
Whether you’re broke or evergreen. 
You’re black, white, beige, chola descent. 
You’re Lebanese, you’re Orient. Whether life’s disabilities
 left you outcast, bullied or teased. 
Rejoice and love yourself today
 ‘cause baby, you were born this way!”

Darin Slyman Publisher/CEO thevitalVOICE.com 

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8

February 2014


Lez BE REAL

An Evening for Hanna Botney Photography by Darin Slyman Written by

Ladies — who wants a night that’s all about us? I mean, everyone, right? The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is once again delivering their popular, lady-filled HER HRC. On February 22, the women will be taking over Bad Dog Bar and Grill. A few years ago, HRC had a partnership with Showtime to host premiere events for the TV drama series,The L Word. When the show ended, LGBT women expressed continued interest to host events that promote both the community and celebrate women. Thus, the HER HRC Program was born in 2010.

Her

HER HRC is a celebration and a mission. The mission is to build a greater sense of community and have fun, while learning about the importance of engaging in the LGBT civil rights movement. The events in St. Louis are hosted in conjunction with HER HRC events across the country. As we strengthen our community here at home, we are empowering the community and promoting mission of all LGBT women across the U.S. This year, there is an anticipated 25 HER HRC events taking place across America. Although the HER HRC Program is

targeted towards LGBT women, the event is open to all people, regardless of gender. The evening’s entertainment lineup is jam-packed with amazing talent, including stand-up comedy, music, fire performances and so much more. The hilarious Trish Busch will emcee the event. We caught up with her, as well as a couple of the entertainers to give you a taste of the great evening to come. V

(Tickets and dates can be found at www.hrc.org/herhrc/. Tickets to HRC events include annual HRC Membership and support the work of HRC.) thevitalVOICE.com 

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Girl Talk with Trish Who is your comedy hero? Robin Williams Favorite character on The L Word? Bette. Shane would be second.

Emcee

Trish

Busch Comedian Trish Busch is an avid supporter of HRC, so she returns as the emcee of HER HRC. Trish stumbled into comedy on accident, although she described it as a survival technique. She used to work at a fast food restaurant where she had to call the orders out over a microphone.The place was often understaffed and she found herself with a long line of potentially unhappy people. So she did what came naturally to her — make jokes. People noticed she was quite entertaining and pushed her to try comedy and thus her comedy career began. Her first year or so she told jokes that implied she was straight. Until one night she couldn’t take it anymore and came

out on stage. She laughs about the fact that she needed to come out at all. “I mean, I don’t know how you could look at me and not figure it out,” Trish says. Emceeing such events is Trish’s favorite part about being an entertainer. She enjoys helping charities she cares about while giving people something to laugh about — HER HRC will be no different. “HER HRC is an event where we can feel validated, which is huge,” she says. “It is a night out for ourselves where we can all look around the room and see how important this is to so many different people. We’re in this together.”

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Scottsdale, AZ. It is beautiful there. Hawaii would be second. How could you not want to live there? If Beyonce ran for President, would you vote for her? Yes. 95 percent yes. What is the most awkward thing that has ever happened to you? Back in the 90s, I asked a lady to dance and she said to me, “No, I would never dance with anyone like you.” And I couldn’t blame her because I had a horrible mullet. What is one thing that makes you proud to be a woman in the LGBT community? Being a part of the change. When I look back at what we were afraid of to the 80s and 90s, so much has changed. We are all still your sister, your aunt, your neighbor, your coworker. We don’t really want anything different than heterosexuals do. We still want to go to the grocery store, we still want to go to the dentist, we want to get married and we want to walk the streets and feel safe.

Merry Annette (pronounced like marionette) is a fire performer with a doll-like persona.

Fire performer

Merry Annette Annette

10

February 2014

She incorporates puppets or dolls and circus inspired music into all of her acts. Her performances typically utilize Kevlar instruments, such as fire batons and fire fans. They retain fire because they are wrapped in cotton and soaked in white gasoline, which burns very clean and slow. She began fireplay in 2009 and it has become an important part of her life. She did a fire demo at a New Year’s Eve event and it has grown since then.

Don’t worry, ladies. There is always a spotter with a fire blanket and fire extinguisher ready for everyone’s safety. This will be Merry Annette’s first performance at HER HRC. “I’m really excited to break, or melt, the ice and get myself out there!” Merry says. “I’m very proud to support the cause. I am proud to be a part of the fight for equal rights. It’s important to me because I am bisexual and polyamorous and they are core qualities of who I am.”


Jam Sesh’ with summer What is your favorite song of all time? “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. My mom and I used to listen to it when I was a kid.

Singer/Songwriter

Summer Osborne Summer has been on stage since the young age of four and performing as a singer and songwriter since May of 2005. With a little push from her wife, she has made music her career. The two juggle Summer’s music career together, forming the perfect duo of talent and brains. In her humble fashion, Summer credits her mother for her musical talents. Her mother had a large part in both her natural singing voice as well as her love of music. “My mother was a music teacher for four elementary schools and had a special Honor Chorus of 130 fourth

and fifth graders,” she says. “I watched her transform gangly 10-year-olds, who had yet to discover the wonderful world of rhythm, into full on professional productions for 25 years. I was a ‘helper’ and then a co-director.” Summer is also a HER HRC veteran; she has done two events in St. Louis and two in Kansas City. When asked about the best part about playing this event, “Trish Busch. But also, I love seeing the women of our community come together,” she responds. “We’ve got some amazing powerful women in our community making big changes!”

the d/l with DJ Karma Favorite song of all time? As a DJ, it’s so hard to pick just one song. I find myself spinning 90s music. I was a teenager in the 90s so that music holds the most memories for me. Anytime I hear 90s music, it brings a huge smile to my face. If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why? I am a huge fan of Amy Winehouse and Lisa Lopes (Left Eye from TLC); I would have loved to meet either one of them. They both remind me of myself not only as an artist but also as an individual and I know they both would have loved to hang out with me! Favorite character on The L Word? Carmen! Although, I was on Team Shane before she came on the show.

What is one thing you are thankful for? My journey. The ever-changing of the guards and seasons. The awareness of my feelings, thoughts, and actions and how that applies to my experiences. The art of awakening. Favorite character on The L Word? Bette and Tina’s baby, Angelica. She hadn’t been tainted yet. [Laughs] What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? When I was in college as part of the marching band, we were asked to play for President Clinton. As I was going through the metal detectors, they went off. I have metal rods in my spine but even after I explained this, they made me strip down to just my boxers and tank top. I was standing half naked in front of what seemed like the entire student body.… Ridiculous. What is one thing that makes you proud to be a woman in the LGBT community? I am so ecstatic to see all these monumental changes within my lifetime. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, DOMA, marriage equality; I am so proud to be a part of it!

DJ

Karma DJ Karma has been DJing for the last eight years and as a career for the last three. This career path is only fitting as music has played such a huge part of her life since she was a little kid. Her dreams have morphed from singing, to writing and producing and to the path she is on today. “When I was growing up female DJs were few and far between so I never in my wildest dreams imagined I could do anything like that,” she says. Karma has a lot of respect and admiration for anyone who makes music, or exposes

people to music. “Music is important in so many ways,” she explains. “It’s a universal form of communication; it’s a release; it’s a healing process, a mood changer, a friend.” This will be DJ Karma’s first year at HER HRC and she is incredibly excited. She loves introducing her music to a new people. We have heard and loved DJ Karma all over St. Louis at various bars and events and she never fails to deliver. We can expect a lot of fun coming from her set. We will dance, we will sing, and we will have a great time! thevitalVOICE.com 

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Photos (Broadway cast): Joan Marcus

Va l l i ie k n a r f f o y r o T s e Th & The foUr seasons

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Free admission

Presented by

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SPOT

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February 2014


Partners in

Diversity A snapshot of demographics across the state of Missouri Written by Brent Peterson infographics by Jackie Reich

& Andrea Piamonte

“There are people that think diversity is a nonissue: we have a biracial president, we’ve progressed in parts of the country in terms of sexual orientation. People don’t understand we have work to do.” Reena Hajat Carroll, Executive Director of the Diversity Awareness Partnership (DAP), is determined to educate people about the importance of diversity. DAP’s mission is to promote diversity in the region around issues of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. DAP was founded by Edward Jones, Webster University, and the St. Louis Rams in 2001 because there were no other organizations with a focus on diversity messaging. “The first step is education and training,” she explains. “We explain to businesses and government agencies how diversity and inclusion can affect workplace

cohesion and productivity, and how embracing diversity can make a workplace stronger.”

Reena and DAP welcome anyone who needs to diversify their social or professional network.

The next step, Reena says, involves working with younger generations through youth programs.

“We heard a lot of people say that their social networks were lacking,” Reena recalls. “We wanted to start a program to allow them to diversify who they hang out with or who they hire.

“Our hope is that in a decade or so, we’ve created a generation that is more inclusive and in tune and aware of issues that damage our community at large,” she explains. The final area is diversity messaging, which has involved their successful Diversity Double Play campaign. “The final area, messaging and publication, is an opportunity to involve sports teams with diversity,” Reena says. “We do diversity sports posters with the Rams, the Cardinals and the Blues. Our ‘Diversity Double Play’ campaign with the Cardinals was very successful.”

Did you know...

“We founded the DAP Connect project to help those people out,” Reena continues. “Based on a donation of $25, $50 or $100 per year, we allow our members access to networking events to diversify their social or professional networks.” Reena and the Diversity Awareness Partnership are working to bring diversity to the forefront and make sure that people don’t forget that, though we’ve made strides, there is still work to be done. V

Cook County has more same-sex couples than the entire state of Missouri combined (10,557).

rankings of same-sex couples out of 1,145 cities

chicago

14,047 Cook County

(Statistics provided by The Williams Institute’s 2010 Census Snapshot)

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Partners in

Diversity Continued...

Same-Sex Couples per 1000 Households

53% of same-sex Missouri couples are female

Female 47% of same-sex Missouri couples are female

same-sex couples who identify as spouses

48% female 2.9-5.0 2.5–2.8 1.4–2.4 0–1.3

52% male

same-sex couples who identify as unmarried partners

Male 46% male

54% female

4.4% of missouri households are same-sex households

2.6–10.9 2.2–2.5 .1–2.1 0 14

February 2014


3%

3%

3%

8%

4% 10%

49%

59%

30% 3%

2% 1%

21%

Population Based on Ethnicity

73%

Top 5 MO Cities Who Have Largest Percentage of same-sex Households 1 st. Louis 2 kansas City 3 university City 4 affton 5 Columbia 2

White black asian Latino bi-racial /Other

Percent of same-sex Couples raising “Own” Children all same-sex couples

17%

83%

same- sex couples who identify as spouses

5

32%

3 1 4

68%

same- sex couples who identify as unmarried partners

15%

85% Raising “Own”Children Not Raising “Own” Children

(Statistics provided by The Williams Institute’s 2010 Census Snapshot)

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February 2014


KC Latino Pride:

!

Written by

Viva La Vida!

Hanna Botney Mario Canedo

Photography by

This year will mark the sixth annual Latino Pride in Kansas City. The festival is designed to be a fun and educational way to celebrate Latino culture. Mario Canedo has organized the event for the last five years and this year will be no different. He wanted to share his community with the people of Kansas City. He believes Latinos need a space to celebrate all sexualities, as sexuality is not something that is typically discussed in their culture. “I think my community needed a time for us, to share our culture with everyone, and to enjoy our sexuality in a safe environment,” Mario says. “I believe it is important, for people of my culture, to have a place to come together, in a family environment, to celebrate and learn about their sexuality.” Latino Pride has an important educational component, as there has been a rising risk of HIV infections among Latino people. Therefore, Mario thought it very important to provide information and testing.

“Live the Life.”

In addition, there are booths of organizations that wish to present their services that are tailored to the Latino community. All of the information and services are completely free of charge, allowing many to have access to information that they wouldn’t otherwise. “I wanted to get the information to my community in a fun and entertaining environment,” Mario says. Of course, there is more than just information at the event. Latin artists and performers from around the world showcase their talents. In past years, they have had mariachi bands, regional and national singing troupes, Latina female impersonators and even Alexis Mateo, a finalist from RuPaul’s Drag Race. In addition, there are local Latino DJs and Latina drag queens. There is always a kid’s zone so that the whole family can participate. Family is very important in Latino culture and celebrating the diversity of one’s family is no different. The attendance has increased each year in quantity as well as in racial and

sexual diversity. It started with a handful of people and has increased to around 400 attendees. As they continue to make their presence known around Kansas and Missouri, Mario believes the festival will continue to grow in record numbers in 2014. With the increased attendance, the festival itself has expanded as well. This year, they have added a Friday Night Street Dance (Party en la Calle) on Friday, September 12 in downtown Kansas City. The actual festival will be held on Saturday, September 13 in Hyde Park. The after party will be at Hamburger Mary’s in Kansas City immediately following the conclusion of Latino Pride. If you want excellent food, great entertainment and important information then make sure you save the date for Latino Pride. Bring the whole family, brush up on your Spanish skills, and surround yourself with Latin culture. Make sure you check them out on Facebook at Kansas City Latino Gay Pride to get updates and information about the event as it gets closer. V thevitalVOICE.com 

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February 2014


Producing  The Fosters This Trio of Producers Brings a New Kind of Family to ABC 

Written by Lauren Wagner Photos Courtesy of ABC Family ABC Family was taking a risk when they premiered their show The Fosters and introduced viewers to a dynamic TV family with more diversity than ever before. That risk paid off when the first season of the show was well received and wildly successful. They continue to break new ground as The Fosters returns with new episodes and a loyal audience.   The show features a lesbian couple, played by Teri Polo and Sherri Saum. It follows the lives of the Foster family as they face the everyday issues of any couple raising children together.   As The Fosters returned to television this winter with much anticipated new episodes we caught up with executive producers Peter Paige, Bradley Bredeweg, and Joanna Johnson to get their take on the true-to-life diversity of the new brand of TV family they created.  

Q: Did you ever have doubts

about the public being ready for The Fosters?

A: You always wonder how something

will be received, but having been a part of “edgy” TV before; I knew the public is always ready for a lot more than we give them credit for.

Q: Do you hear feedback on what the show has meant to the families that otherwise weren’t seeing diverse family units like theirs on television?

A: It’s old news that we all need to see

our lives reflected in the world around us, particularly in a media-obsessed world like ours. So it’s not a surprise that we hear all the time about the show being a major hit in ‘diverse’ households. We just hope we’re making them proud.  

Q: What makes the show personal for you?  A: We try to imbue every moment, every

line, and every character with honesty and integrity – so to be honest, the whole thing is pretty personal, even if it’s not a story that I’ve lived before.

Q: What has surprised you about the public’s reaction to The Fosters? A: Winning the Teen Choice Award. We

got to see this family being embraced and celebrated in this way. We knew then that young people are seeing the love, not the different-ness. That was a pretty incredible moment.

Q: Biggest accomplishment in 2013 and hopes for 2014? 

A: We’re going to have to go with The Fosters….and The Fosters. DONE! Peter Paige is no stranger to groundbreaking edgy television. Before he became a creator and executive producer of ABC Family’s The Fosters Paige was well known for his five-year run on Showtime playing Emmett Honeycutt in the hit series Queer as Folk.   Q: Do you still have people recognize you as Emmett Honeycutt?

A: They do. Not every day, but every now and then. It’s usually a nice surprise too. Q: How do you feel about the Queer as Folk legacy?

A: I’m very proud of what we did, the

stories we told, where we were in the history of the LGBT movement and the television landscape itself.

Q: Do you think shows like Queer as Folk paved the way for family friendly entertainment like The Fosters? A: I absolutely do, and I am so grateful

to have been involved in both of them. I really believe in the power of media to change the world, and I hope – in some small way – that these shows continue that work. V   thevitalVOICE.com 

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February 2014


Working towards

EQUALITY Written by Brent Peterson Photography by Brian Schmittgens

Two Fortune 500 Corporations that get the Gay Stamp of Approval

Diversity is essential in any business. It promotes competition and innovation. Currently, the U.S. Constitution prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for various reasons, including race, religion or financial status. One major aspect is missing—sexual identity and gender identity. The proposed Employment NonDiscrimination Act (ENDA) would add these provisions and prevent states, like Missouri, from firing or otherwise discriminating against LGBT employees. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and is currently at a standstill.

A form of ENDA has been proposed in each Congress since 1994 except the 109th. Even though it has been years in the making, several states adopted similar protections to their own constitutions, allowing LGBT employees in those states to be free to be themselves without fear of reprisal in the workplace. Even in states where there aren’t blanket protections, such as Missouri, there are still “safe havens” for LGBT employees in the form of inclusive businesses. Each year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) releases the results of its Corporate Equality Index, which rates hundreds of Fortune 500 and Fortune thevitalVOICE.com 

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FEBRUARY 22ND/7PM

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HRC

ONE MISSION.

BAD DOG BAR & GRILL HOSTED BY TRISH BUSCH WITH DJ KARMA

PERFORMANCES BY SUMMER OSBORNE, VAN ELLA PRODUCTIONS RICKY PHOENIX AND MERRY ANNETTE

FOR TICKET INFORMATION VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

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February 2014


Hallmark & Monsanto topped the charts in the 2014 CEI

1000 businesses on various LGBTinclusive protections. Businesses that score a 100 percent on this test are designated among the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” The four objectives of the criteria in the CEI are: Provide equal benefits for same-sex partners and spouses; end benefits discrimination for transgender employees and dependents; demonstrate firm-wide organizational competency on LGBT issues; and demonstrate firm-wide public commitment to the LGBT community. In the 2014 CEI, 304 businesses achieved the Best Places designation; a huge leap from where the CEI started in 2002, when only 13 businesses topped the charts. Among those Fortune 500 companies, two Missouri-based corporations topped the charts: Monsanto, based in St. Louis; and Hallmark, based in Kansas City. Monsanto is one of the leading global providers of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality and is based out of St. Louis, Mo. “We congratulate Monsanto for earning a 100 percent on the 2014 Corporate Equality Index and designation as a

Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality four years in a row,” says Deena Fidas, HRC’s Director of the Workplace Equality Program. Of all the businesses polled, 46 percent afford transgender-inclusive health care options; Monsanto was one of those businesses. “We are proud of our company’s diversity and our focus on inclusion to insure that every voice is heard and every person is treated equally as these are critical to our success,” says Nicole Ringenberg, Monsanto’s Vice President and Controller, as well as the executive sponsor for the company’s LGBT employee network, Encompass. “We’re thrilled to share the news that we are being recognized again by the Human Rights Campaign.” On the other side of the state, Hallmark Cards, Inc. is based in Kansas City, Mo. Hallmark was another notable Missouribased company to receive a perfect score. “Hallmark’s vision – to make a genuine difference in every life, every day – makes diversity, inclusion and respect for all people not just the right thing to do, but a business imperative, too,” says Michael Gonzales, Hallmark’s Leader of Corporate Diversity and Inclusion. “We approach it from three perspectives:

products that are relevant to a broad range of people, recruiting employees from many backgrounds, and creating a work environment that makes the best use of each individual’s talents.” For Hallmark, the philosophy is a part of the company, from the top executive level, through employee leaders. “This starts at the top, with the long-term commitment of Hall family leaders,” Gonzales continues. “It extends through expectations of senior executives and managers as well as employee initiatives in each corporate division.” Hallmark was also a founding member of the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which we covered in our January issue, and has been acknowledged by HRC every year since 2009. As we start a new year, and new strides are being made in LGBT equality, we expect big things from corporations and states in advancing workplace protections. As these two major corporations show, diversity is more than race or religion. It’s about who someone is as a person. It’s also essential. V

thevitalVOICE.com 

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February 2014


#Jonny Drubel

from Rich Kids of Beverly Hills Andrea Piamonte Photography by NBC Universal Written by

Life of the rich and the even richer is nothing short of being fabulous. It must be nice to have unlimited credit card limits, luxurious cars, endless shopping and no responsibilities. On E!’s #RichKids of Beverly Hills, the show follows five 20-somethings as they conquer Instagram, Cabo and drama. #RichKids centers on Dorothy Wang, daughter of a billionaire mall developer, and Morgan Stewart, blogger for BoobsandLoubs.com and daughter of a super wealthy architect. There is also Brendan Fitzpatrick, boyfriend to Morgan and a successful real estate agent, and Roxy Sowlaty, the Persian princess. Last but definitely not least of the circle would be Jonny Drubel, 25-year-old singer and songwriter. As the gay man in the bunch, I talked to Jonny about the controversial series and got to know him on a more personal level.

on his close relationship with Dorothy:

“I’ve known Dorothy for about six years. How do you describe six years? Honestly, the way to describe it is that we’re sisters. We just really are sisters. We go through the good and the bad together. We fight like crazy but you won’t really see us fighting that long.”

on how he handles dealing with the controversy:

“You know, when you are on a show, the title is called Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. I don’t think people are going to come right up to us with open arms. The title is supposed to be provocative and that’s just a very small part of the show.” “I think I handle myself well because I’m the kind of person, to be honest, who doesn’t give a shit. I know it’s bad, but I’ve

always been that kind of person where people are goin to say what they want to say and do what they want to do. You can’t let it affect you.”

on life after the show:

“Now that everyone has seen it, I’ll be honest and I think it’ll take a little more time for change. A couple of great things that have happened is that one, I’ve been getting a lot of calls for my music already, which is really exciting. Two, I think that there a couple of ex-boyfriends that have been coming out of the woodwork. It’s hilarious. They are calling and saying ‘Oh hey, I just saw your phone number and wanted to say hi…’ Please. Really? Ten minutes after the show starts airing… that’s not getting past me. No, thank you! You were put in the past for a reason and that’s why you are staying in the past.”

on coming out:

“I came out at the age of 16 and I was actually outed by a friend. I told someone in high school, who I thought I could trust, and she ended up telling pretty much the whole entire school. Because I grew up in such a small town of like 5,000 people, I didn’t want my parents finding out unless it came from myself. So although I wasn’t ready to tell them, I felt like I had to. I was so fortunate that when I told my parents it was more like ‘We love you. We don’t care about that and we want you to be happy.’”

on his love life:

“I am single, ready to mingle. I’ll fly to Midwest for it too. A meat and potato fed man? That’s my kind of man.”

..so are you into bears then?: “I guess I am kind of into bears… just nothing too hairy. I guess a groomed bear is what I’m kind of into. I like a man with chest hair — I mean I have chest hair. I don’t like anyone too waxed or coiffed but then again I don’t like tons of back hair. If it should be waxed, it should be waxed. I keep my things very tight.”

on whether he’d date someone with no money:

“Are you joking? That’s happened ten times over! I’ll go out with someone I fall in love with and they could be broke as a joke, but that’s not going to stop me from dating someone.”

on hobbies:

“I love to travel. It’s my favorite thing to do. So if I’m not writing or working, it’s usually because I’m traveling and that gives me my inspiration. And I’ll be honest, I’m not backpacking honey. That’s not happening for me.”

on what makes a good instagram:

“I personally like an Instagram that just pops. Like you could be like scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, OH that’s a good picture. It has to be raw and authentic. It could never be too posed. I don’t think it should be over filtered... although I am fan of filters, I’ll be honest.”

on biggest recent splurge:

I just got a new car today. It’s a CLX550 Mercedes. And it’s actually the first car I’ve purchased on my own so I’m very excited.”

On celebrity you compare yourself to:

“Ah! This is the hardest question. I’m going to go with, right now because of my mood… Jennifer Aniston. [Laughs] You wanna know why? Because she had a hard time with love and I’m kind of going through that right now. She’s got a good career and she works really hard. It took her a long time to get started but then she broke. And that’s kind of where I am too.”

on anything you want to say to haters of rich kids in general?

“Fuck off.”

#RichKids of Beverly Hills airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on E! V thevitalVOICE.com 

25


Reza

Farahan

....From Tehran to Television

Written by Darin Slyman Photography by NBC Universal

Tehran-born Reza Farahan brings the bright light to being both gay and Middle Eastern in Bravo’s hit reality series, Shahs of Sunset. Off screen, Reza reveals himself as a complex and layered man who is always ready to serve up some sass — but don’t let all that verbose fool you. For as much style and success, he has equally the heart of a growing soul. With the Middle Eastern culture steeped in religious history, it’s not a far stretch that it’d be difficult growing up gay and learning to accept your journey. It’s hard for almost anyone, especially with the thought of being publically stoned to death. Through the acceptance of friends, family and now love, Reza has channeled the Persian trait of hard work and passion in real estate to garner a life of success, celebrity and fame. Style, success and soul, Reza Farahan exposes us to a unique viewpoint on life. I recently caught up with him to chit-chat about his trials and tribulations as a modern, Middle Eastern gay man on TV.

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February 2014

Q: The current season is quite explosive and many solid friendships are in turmoil. Do you feel the edited show best represents you and your cast mates? Saying the words current season for me is kind of odd. You guys are watching my life, so I don’t look at it as a season; it was what was happening. And you know, I don’t have any regrets. I think everything that happened, although a little traumatic and very difficult, was an opportunity for a huge learning experience.

Q: What are some of the up-andcoming projects that you have on your books? I’m super fascinated about a project I have going on in Beverly Hills. It’s actually a house that I sold my clients for $4.2 million. And since I’ve sold it to them, I’ve been hired on as their designer. So from the color of the spackle to the tile in the bathroom, everything about this house has my name written all over it. It’s been my baby for the past year.

Q: Let’s talk a little Persian here for a hot minute. What is the Persian culture’s secret to being successful in business? People ask me, “Why do all Persians have money?” And I tell them that it’s not that all

Persians have money, the ones that are here have money. They are the only ones that could get out. All of the poor ones have to stay back there! [Laughs] But, from a very young age, we were all very instilled with this notion that if you were a Persian man, you have to work very hard and provide a great life for you and your family. It’s just something we’re raised with.

Q: The Persian culture also has no shame in showcasing their success. Do you ever feel that people judge you, as if it’s wrong for you to showcase your success? You know, I don’t really care what people think. I feel like it’s none of their business. My success is mine and how I choose to “flaunt” or not is my business. I would much rather have people complain about me flaunting my wealth as opposed to complain about Middle Easterners blowing buildings up or doing something destructive. If people’s biggest complaint about me is that I flaunt my wealth, then I’m doing really great in life.

Q: Let’s gay it up a bit — shall we? You confessed in an episode that you had a hard time growing up Persian and gay. Now that you’ve become the televised face of LGBT Persians, how do you feel that you can help the next generation?


“

From a very young age, we were all very instilled with this notion that if you were a Persian man, you have to work very hard and provide a great life for you and your family.

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Honestly, my only mission as far as being on the show and what I wanted to accomplish was to let people know that they could have family and friends that love them. Being gay isn’t what most Middle Easterners think. Many other Middle Eastern communities look down upon it so much, that I just wanted people to realize that, hey, I’m gay, and my family and friends love me and I’m successful. You can be too!

Q: That’s true. In my formative years, I had several straight friends who supported me, like Mike Shouhed does for you. How are things going with Mike nowadays? You know, it’s a struggle. He’s like my brother, I love and adore him. But Mike finds difficulty with acceptance. He needs to come to the realization that his situation, career-wise, has nothing to do with me. He needs to be accountable. He’s a grownass man. I’ve never known anyone to leave a lucrative business, number one. And two, I tried to mentor him. He didn’t wanna learn, he didn’t wanna start at the bottom. The thing is, I love Mike, but I need to keep it more on the friendship side as opposed to the business side. Homeboy doesn’t like to do the work or put in the hours. He just likes to cash the check.

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February 2014

Q: I know that Mike also mentioned that you were very instrumental in his going from being somewhat homophobic to being a supporter of the LGBT community and riding in the gay pride parade. Can you tell me a little about the bond you had in helping him achieve acceptance? He’s been great from the day I met him. He definitely saw the light. He realized humans are humans and what you do in your bedroom has nothing to do with who you are as a human being. There was the seed. I just helped water it.

Q: Adam is from Edmond, Oklahoma. You know, they say Midwestern values have a certain type of sense of values and whatnot. How do you feel that your relationship with him, with his Midwestern values and your Middle Eastern values... How do you feel they combine? You know, it’s a combination that’s been working well. I think it goes beyond the Midwestern values. Adam is such a wonderful person, and from day one has

wanted to get to know me and be involved in my life and my culture. He made the transition seamless. He just kind of snuck up on me, dug in deep and hung out.

Q: Fashion and style are so prevalent on the show. They say that Persian style is “everything gold that glimmers.” How would you describe your own personal style? It’s Shah-esque.

Q: What does “Shah-esque” mean for our readers? Some of your readers may not know what “shah” means, but the Shah was the King of Iran. Although I might not be in line politically with all of his values, as far as his dress attire and his style, he was so sharp. He was dashing. He wore beautiful Tom Ford bow ties and things that didn’t even exist back then. He had these gorgeous big ‘70s satin bow ties and suits. He was just so on-point. I was a little Persian kid, so I was seeing pictures of him as opposed to pictures of Carter or Nixon or whatever. I definitely got a lot from him in that sense. V


Style with the

Shah’s Stamp Men’s Clothing Designer?

Good one. I’m all over the place. I’ll just talk about a few things I recently bought. As far as finishing touches, I’m all about Hermes. So like pocket squares and ties are all Hermes. I was rocking a Dior tuxedo on Watch What Happens! Live a few months ago, so I would say Dior. As far as shirts go, I’m all over the place. I love Prada, they fit me well.

Favorite piece of jewelry you own? My Rolex Daytona.

Best place to shop? I don’t have one place. I don’t like malls, so it depends who has the thing I’m looking for. I’m the person who usually goes to the store that has that one thing I’m looking for as opposed to a big mall with a ton of stores.

Favorite Sunglasses? I’d say Gucci because they’re big and they fit my big fat bowling ball head. I have a thick bridge on my nose, and not all glasses fit. The Gucci ones have always just seem designed for my big fat noggin.

Favorite underwear? Boxers, briefs, commando or jockstrap? For me, there’s only one way. It has to be briefs. There’s too much going on down there to wear boxers. I need support. I don’t like my ass hanging out, so I can’t do jockstraps. I can’t do commando. Don’t wanna poke someone’s eye out!

Your favorite romantic experience? I love fruit, and homeboy went to a farmer’s market that’s way far away from our house to buy seeded pomegranates, and he put them in the fridge with a little note on it. I just thought that was really, really thoughtful and sweet.

Shoe Designer? Christian Louboutin

When I was a kid growing up in Beverly Hills, I’d grab the Sunday paper that had all the ads for open houses and stuff and I would drag my parents to these houses because I wanted to see them. —Reza Farahan thevitalVOICE.com 

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February 2014


A History of queer

MO’s History Museum’s Presents Selections for the St. Louis LGBT History Project

January 25 through March 1, 2014. Opening Gala, Saturday January 25, 2014, from 7-10 p.m. It seems there’s more in your hairdresser’s closet than Nordstrom sweaters and fabulous shoes. In recent years, the St. Louis LGBT community has been busy rummaging through its closets, attics, and steamer trunks, salvaging bits and pieces of its lost queer history. Before long, a collection of artifacts and images was surfacing that began to tell the story of gay and lesbian activists, leather men, porn stars, and drag queens, many of whom lived secretly in the shadows. In 2007, Steven L. Brawley saw a need to assemble this random hoard of oddities and memorabilia so he founded the St. Louis LGBT History Project. “I started the Project because I was sad to see our community elders dying off — their stories untold and personal artifacts thrown away. I knew

as an LGBT community we had to do something to preserve our very own special queer history — a history that was largely unknown.” Today, under Brawley’s stewardship, the Project has grown into a comprehensive collection of historical treasures which provides a window into 50 years of St. Louis LGBT history. So significant is the Project’s stockpile, that the Missouri History Museum has agreed to take over conservatorship of select items from the collection in Spring of 2014. Before the items go into archival storage, however, PHD Gallery hosts: A History of Queer: Selections from the St. Louis LGBT History Project, curated by Steven L. Brawley. The exhibition is on view January 25 through March 1, 2014 and opens with a gala reception Saturday, January 25, from 7-10 p.m. Although the exhibit is free, your $10 donation helps support the Project. V

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“Twink”

A Straight’s

Guide

To Hunting

& Fishing Written by Penelope Wigstock Illustration by Andrea Piamonte

One thing that we can all agree on: the LGBT community loves its labels. No —not Gucci, Prada, or American Eagle (!) — though some gravitate towards those with a loyalty that is sometimes frightening. I am referring here to the labels that we place upon those in our group; labels that tend to define individuals by their behavior. We can debate whether this is good or bad (or both) some other time. One critical note, however: remember that by definition, a stereotype is a generalization applied to a person or group of people. They exist for a reason. After all, don’t most of us know at least one hyper-feminine male hairdresser who has a longtime “lover” and lives in a home with miniature poodles that have more outfits and accessories than Lady Gaga? And almost all of us know that one special lesbian social worker whose entire car is plastered with political bumper stickers and who vacations with her life partner in Montana each year in order to mountain hike and subsist on granola and wheat germ for several days. The following guide of common LGBT terms is by no means complete, but rather it is intended to help those unfamiliar with this terrain navigate through it without too many awkward stumbles or face plants. V

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February 2014

This little nugget refers to a young gay male who is usually hairless and tends to behave effeminately. While twinks tend to usually be outgoing and congregate in bars and other social settings, they can be fiercely competitive and vicious when they feel threatened. Don’t feed them after midnight — especially if it’s carbs — and NEVER mistake that Tommy Hilfiger shirt for a lesser brand or you could lose a finger.

“Bear” The opposite of a twink. These are generally hairy-ass men who haven’t missed many meals. There are subgroups of this category that we can’t delve into for the purpose of brevity, but bears tend to be fairly friendly and not overly concerned with fashion…in much the same way that Michelle Bachmann isn’t overly concerned with factual accuracy. Fix them a mouthwatering pot roast for dinner and you will be a friend for life!

“Lipstick Lesbian” (also “femme”) A lesbian who typically enjoys “girly” things like make-up, flowers, and fashionable clothing. They also enjoy raw and unbridled sex with other chicks, so, men — please don’t approach them in bars and try out “klassy” lines like “After you’ve been with me, you’ll never eat another rug.”


Column

“Muffin Shark” Yours Truly penned this one, and it can be found in urbandictionary.com. A muffin shark is the female equivalent of a chicken hawk. Used in a sentence: Melinda and Emily got stalked at a Taylor Swift concert last weekend by a relentless muffin shark who offered to buy them drinks and concert T-shirts. They finally gave her the slip in an Applebee’s parking lot after the show.

“Chicken Hawk” Older men (40 and up in the LGBT community) who tend to prey upon younger men (no older than mid to late 20s). Chicken hawks focus on finding young, attractive men (chickens) with a laser-like precision that is both amazing to behold and frightening to contemplate. They have been known to pinpoint an eighteen year old target in a crowded social setting within a matter of seconds…

“Butch” Opposite of lipstick lesbian. Butches are usually masculine in both behavior and appearance. For a visual reference, imagine Rosie O’Donnell performing an oil change on a Land Rover, and you’ve pretty much nailed it.

“Tops” and “Bottoms” This primarily refers to specific sexual behavior among gay men. It can also apply in some degree to sex in lesbian relationships (use your imagination). Not to place too fine a point on it, but bottoms enjoy “receiving” gifts while tops love to “give” them. This can become quite the dilemma when, for example, two self-identified “tops” attempt to have sex with one another (or viceversa with two bottoms). More and more gay men now claim to be “versatile,” implying that they can both give and receive…my own personal experience with this is that it is a largely false advertising.

“Chubby Chaser” People of any sexuality who are attracted to overweight individuals. In a culture that is fixated upon being thin to the point of promoting eating disorders, it’s a bit comforting to know that there are folks out there who appreciate mates with some “meat on their bones.” So, you no longer need to worry about that actress from “Girls” finding a date anymore…

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LGBT-Friendly Date Ideas:

Not Just dinner & aSt. Movie Louis Edition Written by

Hanna Botney

For the pet lovers... We gays love our pets so why not include them in the day’s plans? Having your fourlegged friend with you can help break the ice if the relationship is still new or just be an added bonus if y’all have been together for years.

1. 2.

Stop into 1. Four Muddy Paws and pamper your pets. Use their self-service dog wash and clean your pooch until he sparkles. Afterwards, grab him a healthy snack from their shop. Now that your pets are sparkly clean, why not get a portrait taken of the entire family or just the pooch. Book Scott Lokitz Photography ahead of time and they will photograph you at your desired location.

Forest Park might just be the perfect portrait location, weather permitting, of

course. While you’re there, stroll around the park hand in hand and enjoy the sights Forest Park has to offer. When you have worked up an appetite, stop over at The Boathouse and grab some grub. Eat out on the patio with your furry friend or rent a paddleboat and explore. If Tower Grove Park is closer to you or more your style, take your pooch for a stroll here instead. There is lots of open space for a game of fetch and even a great restaurant, 2. Café Madeleine, right in the park. If you are a vegetarian, check out Tree House Vegetarian Restaurant. They focus on sustainable, seasonal, whole and locally sourced plant-based foods so you can feel good about your carbon footprint eating here.

For the Art aficionado... Start the day at the 1. Missouri History Museum. Soak up everything you could want to know about Missouri and check out their current exhibits: Slavery

1. 2.

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at Jefferson’s Monticello, Early American Silver from the Cahn Collection, and Streets of St. Louis.

While you’re there enjoy fine local dining at

Bixby’s.

The St. Louis Art Museum has beautiful art and excellent exhibitions. You can schedule or join a tour if you want comprehensive information on the pieces in the museum. Plus Panorama opened relatively recently and is becoming so popular that some people come to the museum just to eat and enjoy the view at the restaurant. February 2014

There is something relaxing and comforting about surrounding yourself with books, especially in an independent bookstore like Subterranean Books. Make a game of it and see if you can pick a book your date would enjoy or swap childhood favorites and learn more about their background. Try 2. Bissell Mansion Restaurant and Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre for something fun and different. Enjoy a fourcourse meal and either participate in the show or simply watch and try to figure out who did it. End the evening at Vin de Set, a rooftop bar with fine French cuisine. Enjoy a delicious French dessert and a nightcap.


For the Baseball fan... 1.

Cardinals fans are itching for Spring Training to start. We are so close yet seemingly so far away. Let’s head downtown and soak in as much Cardinals as we can in preparation for the season to start.

The Arch is the staple of St. Louis, the ‘Gateway to the West’. It is very much a tourist attraction but it can be fun for the natives as well. The view from inside the arch is unparalleled. Check out the entire city and the view of Busch Stadium. Once your feet are back on the ground, head over to Busch Stadium and take some photos in front of the gates or with Stan the Man’s statue. If you concentrate hard enough, you might be able to smell the hot dogs and hear Cardinal Nation cheering.

2.

We have a couple of restaurant options, depending on what kind of food you’re in the mood for. 1. Mango is a highly praised

Peruvian restaurant on Lucas Avenue. Mango also has a great atmosphere making it a wonderful date spot. Pi Pizzeria has some of the best pizza in St. Louis and is located on Washington Avenue. President Obama himself has praised the Pi location in D.C.

2. Hiro Asian Kitchen is a newer restaurant on Washington Avenue. They have great food and great drinks with a happy hour every weekday from 3 to 6 p.m. If you just want an amazing steak, check out

Prime 1000 on Washington Avenue. End your evening at Three Sixty Rooftop Bar. The view from 360 might give the view from The Arch a run for its money. It boasts an impressive view of The Arch, Busch Stadium, and all of downtown St. Louis. Perfect for any Cardinal or St. Louis enthusiast.

For the Beer connoisseur... 1.

Tasting different beers from all over the world is a blast! There is no better way to break the ice on a date than a little liquid lubrication and comparing notes on various beers. Sample all of these bars and scope out each beer selections or turn these into several different dates. Check out 1. Blueberry Hill, in the Loop, for darts and music as well as beer. Three Kings, also in the Loop, has both great

beer and great food. Their staff is very knowledgeable about their beers so you are bound to find something you enjoy. The International Tap House, in Soulard, is just as it sounds—full of all kinds of beer. They also have live music on the weekends. Enjoy music memorabilia, great music, great food, and great beer at The Hard Rock Café on Market Street.

For the Dessert lover... 1.

Who needs dinner; let’s just skip right to dessert. Wait, not that dessert. The dessert before the real dessert. You two can hop around St. Louis sampling all the sugary goodness we have to offer.

The Cup, in the Central West End, and Jilly’s, on Delmar, both have world famous cupcakes. 1. Piccione Pastry, in the

Loop, has delicious traditional Italian desserts. They even offer Vegan and gluten free options. The Fountain on Locust has fine ice cream, chocolates, and the famous Ice Cream Martini. Enjoy dessert and a nightcap in one place.

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LGBT-Friendly Date Ideas:

Not Just dinner &Kansas a Movie City Edition Written by

Hanna Botney

For the those craving good food... 1.

2. 1.

1. Michael Forbes Bar and Grille is perfect for a first date. It has almost every type of food from seafood & pasta to pizza & burgers so if you don’t know you’re date that well, you can’t go wrong here. Or if you’re just tired of deciding what type of restaurant to go to then this place is the perfect compromise. They also have a pretty extensive wine list and a full bar so you can even hang around after dinner. And when it is all said and done, head back to Michael Forbes on Saturday or Sunday morning to enjoy the perfect hangover brunch. Their buffet has every combination of food you could want.

2. Bistro 303 has the perfect atmosphere to just sit and enjoy. Maybe pick at some delicious food, share some drinks, and enjoy each other’s company. That is the type of feel that Bistro 303 has. It is the perfect place to

Sometimes you just need to surround yourself in the arts. No matter what your artistic tastes may be, there is always something in Kansas City to satisfy your palette.

Art has many different exhibits and tours

you can enjoy. There are pieces from all over the world that include paintings, photography, sculptures, and all different kinds of art. There is something that every art connoisseur can appreciate. Through February 9, they are featuring an “Impressionist France” exhibit.

Unicorn Theatre produces contemporary

theater for Kansas City. Through February 9th you can see “Grounded”, a show about a woman who is a fighter pilot by day and a wife and mother by night.

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February 2014

Café Trio has the energy of a large city combined with the friendly style that is unique to Kansas City. On most nights you can enjoy your food to the sounds of local entertainers. They have a wide range of award winning food options, which includes Kansas City’s best macaroni and cheese, Mac Daddy. In addition, the artwork that can be seen around the restaurant is done by local and regional artists and rotates regularly. When you enter Trio, you are surrounded by everything that people love about Kansas City.

For the Artistic... 1. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of

2.

get to know someone new or to escape to a home away from home to enjoy each other’s company. 303 is not only a great restaurant but they are also incredibly active in different organizations, many of them LGBT-related. When you support 303, you also support local organizations.

Off Center Theatre is a performing arts space in Crown Center. From February 6 to February 16, you can see “Motherhood Out Loud.” This play shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy, and celebrates the personal truths that unite generations. It is the perfect show for any parent or anyone who has held a screaming child for more than an hour. 2. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is featuring “Romeo & Juliet” through February 9. Perfect date play, perhaps it is. Starting February 14 through March 16, they will be producing “When I Come to Die”, which is a story about a death-row inmate who struggles to find faith and understanding and why his life has been spared after he survives a lethal injection.


For the Adventurous... Try exotic food and then head off to do some people watching and some gambling. This evening is bound to provide entertainment in one way or another.

1. 2.

3.

1. Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings has great Mongolian Barbecue as well as many other options. They are known for being an affordable Chinese option. The food is phenomenal for the price that you pay. Blue Koi also boasts a very unique bar — complete with a wide variety of bubble teas and loose leaf teas. They’re the perfect pairing for anything you might order. Like Café Trio, Blue Koi also displays local artwork around the restaurant, allowing many up and coming artists to get their work noticed. My favorite part is that they have a dipping sauce literally called “Awesome Sauce.” 2. Beer Kitchen is a vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant, all of those options are clearly marked on their menu. They have great snacks and starters that

can be perfectly paired with anything from their drink menu. Of course, if you’re looking for a full meal that have that as well. They have burgers, all day breakfast, sandwiches, and my favorite—“Build Your Own Mac & Cheese.” Plus their name is 100 percent perfect. Beer and food, I’m sold. After you have filled your stomachs, head over to 3. Sidekick’s Saloon. It is a country-themed gay bar. Gays linedancing? Hang on, I’m on my way. What a brilliant combination. Sidekick’s is even better than just that because they have different nights where they feature different things such as a Latino night. No matter what night it is, you can be sure that you’re going to need your dancing shoes. The only thing that could make this place better is if that had a mechanical bull. End the night at Isle of Capri Casino. If you have any cash left over from Sidekicks, now is the time to use it!

For the shopaholics... 1.

There are so many boutiques and shops all throughout The Plaza and Crossroads Arts District. You could spend an entire day at either one of these locations, getting lost amongst everything you could ever want. But here are a few fun ones that you need to make sure you visit.

3.

1. Tomboy Design Studio has Kansas City’s Premier Clothing Designs. Laura McGrew has been designing clothes to fit her less-frilly style all of her life and thus the studio was born. Her clothes are both practical and high fashion. You can special order any of her designs in your choice of fabric or have her design a custom piece for you. Her studio is definitely a must see, set up an appointment to check it out.

2.

Black Bamboo is a home furnishings store that has a wide variety of unique pieces for your home. They have Asian antiques, modern furniture, home accessories, and everything in between.

You are guaranteed to find something unique and fitting to your personal style. 2. Standard Style Boutique perfectly puts together trendy looks for almost every personal style. There is not a thing in this store that I didn’t wish I owned. They also have an extensive collection of men’s clothing. Walking into the boutique alone is an experience, you are surrounded by the clothes and the general trendy vibe. They are known for having killer sales at different points throughout the year. If you can, try and catch one of those sales and watch your pay check turn into beautiful, wonderful attire. 3. River Market Antique Mall is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. There is always time to go antique-ing. You never know what treasure you might find in a place like this. Grab your date and scrounge around for something special for the two of you. thevitalVOICE.com 

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February 2014


Column

World’s Best

Carrot Cake Written & Photographed by Mikey

Prep time: 15 mins. bake Time: 40 mins. This is a recipe my mom taught me, and it’s one that I’ve loved since I was a little kid! Something about mom’s carrot cake in the oven brings me comfort and soothes me. The smell of her carrot cake takes me right to my happy place, if only for a minute. In my humble opinion, it really is the world’s best carrot cake! The recipe has been continually handed down in my family and has remained a secret, until now.

Supplies Two 9-inch-diameter round cake pans Medium mixing bowl Parchment paper

Tip:

Cut the parchment paper to fit and line the pan bottoms Oil or Spray to spray pans and keep cake from sticking

Berner

Cake Ingredients 1 1/2 cups oil 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 2 cups carrots (shredded) 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 cup diced pineapple (juice) 1/4 cup fresh raisins

Frosting Ingredients 1/2 cup of margarine 2 packages of cream cheese 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup small diced pineapple

Cake Preparation

Frosting Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the

1. Beat cream cheese and

bottom of the pans with parchment paper. 2. Combine oil, sugar, and eggs mixing until smooth. 3. Then add carrots, mixing occasionally. Next combine all of the dry ingredients and add them to the wet mixture until well blended. 4. Divide batter among pans. Then top each cake batter with raisins and small diced pineapple. 5. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes (oven times may vary) and use a toothpick to test the readiness of your cake. If the toothpick comes out clean the cake is fully baked. 6. Once they are fully baked, let cakes cool for 25-30 minutes before icing.

margarine in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, then chopped pecans, and vanilla extract. 2. Once the cakes have cooled enough place one cake layer, flat side up, on a platter. Spread 1/3 of the frosting evenly on top. Top with second cake layer, flat side up, trimming off the rounded tops so that they are also flat. Place top with second cake layer, rounded side up, pressing slightly to adhere. Spread thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of cake.

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Nothing should hold you back. Especially your taxes. Recent changes in Missouri and Illinois have made tax planning more critical for same sex married couples. You can amend your original returns for up to 3 years, so now is the time to act! We can advise you on issues that may arise next year as well. To request our tax planning guide, or to learn more about our services, please contact: John Killoran, CPA, at 314.983.1218 or jkilloran@bswllc.com.

6 CityPlace Drive, Suite 700 St. Louis, MO 63141 www.bswsmallbusiness.com

S AI NT LO U IS S CIE NC E C ENT ER

We specialize in making science fun! Investigate and explore over 700 interactive exhibits and take in a film on one of the world’s largest domed screens in our OMNIMAXŽ Theater. Come, play and exercise your brain! General admission is always free.

slsc.org/titansvv2

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February 2014


DO YOU DO THESE?

INTERN WITH US! photography, writing, design and web internships available

contact: vv@thevitalvoice.com 314.256.1196

Make A Heart F lutter Valentine’s Day Is Friday, February 14

(314) 352-7575 | www.wkf.com/vd

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February

STLPlaydates spotlight

HER HRC

2/22

at BAD DOG BAR & GRILL www.hrc.org/herhrc HER HRC is a fantastic night of entertainment for the women of our community is coming back to the Bad Dog Bar & Grill on February 22 with Trish Busch hosting some awesome entertainment. The mission of the HER HRC Program is to gather women to both celebrate and build a greater sense of community while learning about the importance of engaging in the LGBT civil rights movement. Buy your tickets here. Don’t wait — they sold out last year! Tickets to HER HRC events include annual HRC membership and support the work of HRC.

2/1­ 3/31

OMNIMAX Film: jerusalem at the omnimax Theatre www.slsc.org (314) 289-4440

This film tells the real-life story of three young Jerusalemites and their families – Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Through their eyes, you will learn what it means to call Jerusalem home and experience celebrations and events that mark the high points of a year in the life of the city. Experience first-hand the vibrancy, beauty and rhythms of the Old City from the people who call it home.

2/1­ 3/14

Owl prowl (Dates Vary) the world bird sanctuary www.worldbirdsanctuary.org/index.php/events (314) 289-4440

Come over to the Dark Side and meet those amazing birds that exist by moonlight. Owl Prowls offer an exciting opportunity to learn more about the amazing life of Owls. Spend an evening with a WBS naturalist who will introduce you to live owls and their unique calls. Then, take an easy night hike through our grounds to try and call in a wild owl.

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February 2014


Playdates STL

2/5

National gay-straight alliance day www.gsaday.org

Join in celebrating the work of students and GSAs around the country. GSAs play an important role in making schools safer. Show your appreciation for these great organizations on February 5, 2014. Share your celebrations with everyone by using #GSADay. For information, ideas for celebrations and more check out at www.gsaday.org.

2/7­ 2/9

Mamma mia! at the fabulous fox theatre www.fabulousfoxtheatre.com (314) 534-1111

This sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

2/14

soulard mardi gras Wine, whiskey & beer taste www.stlmardigras.org (314) 771-5110

The event features various wines from a wide range of vintners, as well as beers from AB Inbev and whiskeys from the Jack Daniels family. It’s a big fun-filled Mardi Gras happy hour and has grown in popularity greatly since its inception. Guests that purchase a ticket will recieve a braclet once they arrive at the event, giving them the the opportunity to explore the wide array of libations. Guests will receive four food tasting tickets that can be redeemed for samples of various scrumptious delicacies. In addition, this event will feature entertainment from one of St. Louis’ hottest DJs, as well as art from some of the most talented and creative local artists on the STL scene.

2/19­ 3/2

Jersey Boys (dates vary) at the fabulous fox theatre www.fabulousfoxtheatre.com (314) 534-1111

This musical is about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi and how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history featuring their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Performance times are Tuesday - Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; and Thursday, February 20 at 1 p.m.

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KC Playdates February

2/1-5/4 spotlight 75 Years of Oz, Oh My! at crown center shops showplace www.crowncenter.com (816) 274-8444 There’s no place like Crown Center to celebrate the 75th anniversary of America’s favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Trace Dorothy’s footsteps through the Land of Oz: from the moment her house plops down in Munchkin Land until she clicks her ruby red slippers to return to Kansas. Along the yellow brick road, families can tour the enchanting world of the Munchkins, meet up with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, as well as locate the Wizard in the Emerald City and sneak inside the Wicked Witch’s eerie castle. A section of the exhibit will showcase Oz memorabilia from local Oz enthusiast Jane Albright..

2/11­ 2/16

Bring it on!!! — the musical at the Muriel kauffman theatre www.kansascitybroadway.com (800) 776-7469

Bring It On: The Musical is the explosive new musical comedy that raises the stakes on overthe-top team rivalries. Set against the world of competitive cheerleading, this powerhouse new show hilariously proves that winning isn’t everything when it means losing something — or someone — you really care about. This musical comedy combines an exciting new sound, gravity-defying choreography, and a thrilling story to create a total theatrical event worth cheering for.

2/12

Schoenberg and Prokofiev at kauffman Center for the Performing Arts www.kcsymphony.org (816) 471-0400

Join your friends and co-workers in the beautiful Kauffman Center lobby for a drink after work, followed by an inspired performance of chamber music by members of the Kansas City Symphony. Prokofiev’s Quintet is followed by Arnold Schoenberg’s earliest important work, Verklaerte Nacht (Transfigured Night). Bars open at 5 p.m., with a one-hour casual concert in Helzberg Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Media support courtesy of Ink Magazine.

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February 2014


Playdates KC

2/14­ 3/16

When I come to Die at copaken stage www.kcrep.org (816) 235-2700

Damon Robinson, a death-row inmate, struggles to find faith and understanding about why his life has been spared after he survives a lethal injection. Befriending the prison’s chaplain he sets about using his unexpected time on earth in search of answers. From Kansas City Rep’s new playwright-in-residence Nathan Louis Jackson (Broke-ology), comes a stunning, thought-provoking story about the power one action can have over a life and the unique precipice from which meaning and redemption can be attained.

2/15

Lady Antebellum at the sprint center www.sprintcenter.com (816) 949-7000

Lady Antebellum brings their headlining Take Me Downtown Tour to Kansas City on Saturday, February 15. The group has invited Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves to join them on this wild ride. Last year, Lady A hosted over one million fans across the globe in 11 countries on their first headlining world tour, which earned them Billboard Touring’s “Breakthrough Award,” CMA’s “International Artists Achievement Award” and will accept the “Jim Reeves International Award” at this fall’s ACM Honors. The shows were inspirational and critics praised the band’s “youthful exuberance and unending energy.” Show starts 7 p.m.

2/18­ 2/19

The billion Dollar comedy special at hamburger mary’s www.hamburgermarys.com/kc patrickmoore91@gmail.com

Join Mary, and a WHOLE bunch of very funny people for her new comedy open mic night. It’s Mary’s new “The Billion Dollar Comedy Spectacular & Underwater Adventure: A Comedy Open Mic.” Want to take your stab at being KC’s next superstar comedian? Be here at 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday night to get your name on the list for five minutes of your best material. There’s no cost for your five minutes of stage time. (NOTE: After 9 p.m. the restaurant/bar is 21+ only.)

2/22­ 2/23

PBR: professional bull riders at the sprint center www.sprintcenter.com (816) 949-7000

For the sixth straight year, the PBR is bringing the pain, as the toughest cowboys and baddest bulls on the planet rock Sprint Center on Feb. 22 & 23. The Top 35 bull riders in the world risk it all for two unforgettable nights. Don’t even think about calling it a rodeo…this is BULL RIDING! This is the PBR! Starts at 8 p.m. on February 22 and 2:50 p.m. on February 23.

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Scene in

St. Louis Photography by Mikey

2.

3.

1.

at

Rehab Bar & Grill

46

Berner

February 2014

4.

1. Brian Worley & Korey Cleveland at Rehab Bar & Grill 2. Wendy Duedek, John Carlson & Tod Burkhead at Just John 3. Norma Hopkins, Courtney MC & Jennifer Saeed at CJ’s On The Hill 4. Dustin Counts, Midget, Martinis Robinson & Sergio Alacron at Hamburger Mary’s


Scene in the STL 5. Guests dining at Hamburger Mary’s 6. Matt Harper & Larry Schumer at Soulard Bastille 7. Christina Locastro & Diana Steveson at honey. 8.Vicki Corum & Tony Baker at Rehab Bar & Grill 9. Mary and Grandma at Hamburger Mary’s 10. Dana Graham and Brad Phillips at Just John

5.

6.

at

Hamburger Mary’s

7.

8.

9.

10.

at

Just John thevitalVOICE.com 

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Scene in

Kansas

City

Photography by Darin

Slyman

3. 1.

2.

4. 1. Kevin Bryant & Belinda Manos 2. Trinity Weatherman & Brett Fincher 3. Michelle Fox & Josh Stroutman 4. Wes Warner & Ryan Neeland

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February 2014


Scene in the KC 5. Dan Nielsen & Sean Barnard 6. Andrea Martin & Lance Pierce 7. David Clark & Bryan Adams 8. Dean Cox & Andres Medina IV 9. Ernesto Suarez & Matt Anderson 10. Karen Moore, Michelle Murdock, Carol Larson, Alison Lelumia & Karen McWhirt

6. 5. 7.

8.

10.

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t i e v e i l e B t ’ n a C I . . . e r e h t h g Ri

Judy was right. From world-class arts and entertainment to the coolest clubs in the Midwest, St. Louis is the place to meet. After all, our city is the one The Advocate called “…the LGBT beacon of the Midwest.” Check out our impressive packages at explorestlouis.com/LGBT

CHANICAL

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INDICATE APPROVAL BY INITIALING


UPCOMING SHOWS AT LUMIÈRE THEATRE

CHIPPENDALES

CHRISETTE MICHELE

Reserved Seating $25 $40 Spend Valentine’s Day with us!

Reserved Seating $35 $40

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 7 PM & 10 PM •

SATURDAY, MARCH 8 7 PM & 9:30 PM •

Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, charged by phone at 800.745.3000 and at ETC inside Lumière Place. Concert is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Invitation is non-transferable and only offered for one show. Valid ID required. Must be 21 years of age or older. See mychoice® Center for details. Offer not valid for persons on Missouri Disassociated Persons or Excluded lists or who have been otherwise excluded from Lumière Place Casino or any other properties owned by Pinnacle Entertainment Gambling problem? Call 1-888-BETSOFF. ©2014 Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



February 2014