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The PRIDE issue IMPRESSUM 14 15
MASTHEAD PUBLISHER'S LETTER DARIN SLYMAN
FOUNDER'S LETTER PAM SCHNEIDER
NIGHTLIFE 20 23 28
FIRST SIP PLAYDATES COVER WORTHY 90 COVERS OF VITAL VOICE PAST
CELEBRATE OUR HISTORY VITAL VOICE EVENTS TIMELINE
PROJECT PRIDE: PROFILING OUR PAST
PRIDE FESTIVALS 50 51
METRO EAST & ST. LOUIS ST. CHARLES & TOWER GROVE
STORIES FROM THE SQUIRREL OFFICE MASCOT TELLS ALL
I REMEMBER WHEN VITAL VOICE STAFF MEMORIES
CEO & PARTNER • DARIN SLYMAN DSLY@THEVITALVOICE.COM PUBLISHER & PARTNER • JIMMY LESCH JIMMY@THEVITALVOICE.COM MANAGING EDITOR • KEVIN SCHMIDT KEVIN@THEVITALVOICE.COM GRAPHIC DESIGNER • AUDREY SCHERER AUDREY@THEVITALVOICE.COM CONTRIBUTOR • KARLA TEMPLETON KARLATEMPLETON1213@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTOR • KALEIGH JURGENSMEYER KMJURGENSMEYER@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTOR • TYLER BIERMAN TB6809@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTORS ART: DARIN SLYMAN, AUDREY SCHERER STEPHANIE SCHROEDER TEXT: KEVIN SCHMIDT, JIMMY NO SHOW CHRIS ANDOE LAYOUT: AUDREY SCHERER CONTACT VITAL VOICE MAGAZINE 4579 LACLEDE AVE. #268 ST. LOUIS, MO 63108 VV@THEVITALVOICE.COM 314.256.1196
elcome to the final print Issue of Vital VOICE Magazine. To say that it has been an adventurous journey wouldn’t express the joy and pride from everyone who has contributed to this print publication.
Launching January 2010, I embarked as CEO on a mission to create a life and style publication that would make the LGBT community relatable to all. At that time, the mass media portrayal of the LGBT community consisted of drag queens or guys in ass-less chaps. We knew that there was much more. We were doctors, lawyers, factory workers, activist, bankers, parents, brothers, sisters and tax-paying citizens of St. Louis. Yes, we are drag queens and guys in ass-less chaps too, and damn proud of it. But it was time to show St. Louis a more well-rounded perspective of our community. I, along with Colin Murphy, Tess Tully and Jeff Kapfer, crafted Issue after Issue with very few resources and a lot of passion. By mixing entertainment and activism, it became a viable and creative outlet for the LGBT community. At the time, we had no marriage equality and non-discrimination ordinances did not include sexual orientation and gender identity. It was a time to push for our rights and our way of doing so was by inviting the outside world into our colorful and diverse community. I knew that by showcasing a wide variety of our community in a relatable light, we could become equal members of society. In 2011, needing a few final credits for college, James Lesch joined the Vital VOICE team as an intern. Lesch and I quickly formed a bond for creating LGBT media in a way that the city had not seen before. Finding our footing wasn’t easy, especially in the first few years. We quickly learned that in order to stabilize and grow the company, we had to look outside the LGBT community for financial support. Before its transformation to a magazine, the Vital VOICE newspaper suffered a lack of financial support directly from the community. With passion and drive, we worked diligently to build a reputable brand that anyone who would want to engage in the LGBT community would be proud to be a part of. Little by little, that vision became a reality. And Vital VOICE wasn’t to remain just a print publication. Keeping with the mission of the newspaper, we also launched a new website that was able to deliver news in a timely manner. Our website has grown exponentially by delivering timely LGBT news, city happenings, progressive lifestyle stories and serves as a great resource for our city. We also launched an event series to build the community’s bond to our brand. We have produced countless LGBTQ events over the years. One of our proudest is Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBTQ Plays. It ran for six solid years, telling our stories on stage in a live theatre setting. In 2012, Vital VOICE was awarded the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality in Media Award. It was a very proud moment for the entire team. After all the late nights, business meetings, nonprofit fundraisers, photo shoots, ramen noodles and boozy bars laughs, it was an honor to be recognized by a national organization that also built its name on advancing equality. However, 2013 did not prove to be a good year. To say it was touchand-go is an understatement. Our local community was hit with
more than one public scandal. Publically, the optics of this looked very bad for our community as a whole. The incident drove a wedge not only amongst our community but also within the Vital VOICE team. Things would never be the same. By the end of 2013, only I and Lesch— who by now was the Associate Publisher—remained. With an entirely new crew, we adopted a more temperate involvement with the community, along with a more structured business model for the company. By 2014, Vital VOICE was stronger than ever. We were starting to garner regional and national access for LGBT content. Our local stories were being told alongside celebrities and pop culture. This mixology of media led to a larger sense of community. The walls were starting to come down socially, not just in coastal cities, but also throughout the Midwest. The LGBT community was hitting mainstream. That social pulse drove us to expand the Vital VOICE brand to Kansas City, unifying the two largest and most progressive cities in Missouri. From an LGBT perspective, there was no reason why our two cities weren’t engaging with each other, working together on state issues of equality. St. Louis and Kansas City have very distinct personalities but they also share a commonalty within the community. LGBT tourism between the two cities has increased dramatically since this expansion. St. Louis people are going over to KC for community events and KC people are coming to St. Louis happenings. Over the last few years, it’s been amazing to watch, experience, create and tell our community’s stories. So why the change? Primarily because our community’s needs have changed. We no longer need to limit our outings exclusively to LGBT bars and gayborhoods. This made our select demographic harder to reach with the print product. With the acceptance and integration of the LGBT community into mainstream America, it’s become more practical to reach us on digital platforms. As our community changes, so must we. Vital VOICE will remain as a digital entity, bringing you up-to-date LGBT news and relevant entertainment content. We are looking forward to expanding the digital experience for our readers and clients. We invite you to enjoy the final print edition of Vital VOICE Magazine as a yearbook. It’s only fitting that since we launched during Pride Month, we celebrate the final Vital VOICE with our annual Pride Issue. It’s been our honor to have created and told your stories every month. Our community is in a better place and we all have much to be proud of. We look forward to a new digital chapter in LGBT media. From all of us at Vital VOICE, we wish you a very Happy National Pride Month!
Darin Slyman CEO/Partner
Final Thoughts From OUR FORMER PUBLISHER Oh my, do I ever have to quote the cliché, “time flies.” It is hard for me to believe 17 years have passed since I began the Vital VOICE, following the shuttering of the Gay News-Telegraph. Over that period, the LGBT community has experienced progress many people thought they would never see in their lifetime, such as marriage equality. I believe the Vital VOICE played a role in the progress of our St. Louis community. It brought a respected level of visibility intent on educating and demystifying. As a newspaper, the Vital VOICE raised the standard of St. Louis LGBT journalism. In 2004, we garnered exclusive interviews with all nine democratic presidential candidates. This was very exciting as no other publication had done this and our demographic was more focused on hard news. I think it is fair to say we have witnessed tremendous change over these past 17 years. We have evolved from a community that used to hide in the shadows to living our lives out and open both locally and nationally. In my opinion, evolving is what keeps everything relevant. I spent almost a decade producing a newspaper that was a lifeline for some, even though I was not a trained journalist. I knew that I wanted to find someone to keep it growing, so when I met Darin Slyman, I knew that he was the person I wanted to take over the continued evolution of the paper. In 2009, Darin began the reinvention of the newspaper into a lifestyle magazine. After taking the time to plan this change, the reimagined Vital VOICE Magazine debuted in January 2010. It featured beautiful glossy covers with entertainment and lifestyle content relevant to the LGBT community. TEXT: PAM SCHNEIDER ART: DARIN SLYMAN
Progress can be difficult. Darin was dealt his fair share of criticism in changing the focus of the VOICE. The people who were most vocal about the change were readers rooted in the past and committed to hard news. However, the new magazine was eagerly received by a whole new generation of readers. This allowed the newspaper to evolve into a polished magazine, opening new advertising markets. I couldn’t be prouder of the job Darin has done taking the Vital VOICE to the next level over the past nine years. It has continued to showcase all the great and talented people within the LGBT community and beyond and all the wonderful work they do. Across St. Louis, the magazine has continued to be recognized not just as a lifestyle magazine but also as a publication that is widely accepted and admired by other publications in the city. So, where do we go from here? Change is hard for people to accept. No other community knows this better than the LGBT community. Vital VOICE was built on a foundation of progress everything we did was intended to take us to the next level. What is the next level? That next level is a new media concept imagined by Darin and Jimmy, which will be imminently coming to life. I know these guys will continue to bring a quality product to the city of St. Louis with a commitment to progress. Thank you, Darin. Much success my love!
Pam Schneider Former Publisher 18
Brian had his HIV under control with medication. But smoking with HIV caused him to have serious health problems, including a stroke, a blood clot in his lungs and surgery on an artery in his neck. Smoking makes living with HIV much worse. You can quit.
HIV alone didnâ€™t cause the clogged artery in my neck. Smoking with HIV did. Brian, age 45, California
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PRIDE has taken great strides. We’re here to help you take your next step. At Regions, we’re all about advising and supporting you in things that really matter. Let us help you achieve what you want today and be prepared for the future. Insights by Regions has relevant tips, tools and articles to assist you with an everchanging ﬁnancial landscape. Ready to take your next step? We’re here to help. Drop by a branch or visit regions.com/LGBT to learn more.
REGIONS CELEBRATES LGBT PRIDE MONTH © 2017 Regions Bank. Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.
FIRST SIP LAST CALL PLUM BOMBS It’s National Pride Month: a full month, not just one day. In other words, it’s a marathon people, not a sprint. With four Pride festivals to attend in the St. Louis Metro area, there’s plenty to see and do. And while every night has a last call, make your last one count with a Pearl Vodka Plum Bomb, made with Pearl Plum and Red Bull. It will give you just the amount of energy to push through until you either move your party to the after party, or you pass out altogether. Regardless, Happy Pride people.
MAKE IT Glass: Shot glass Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. Pearl Plum 4 oz. Red Bull Recipe: You know what to do here: pour the shots, then top off with Red Bull. Shoot. Repeat. TEXT: KEVIN SCHMIDT ART: COURTESY OF LUXCO
I S FOR
PRIDE ST. LOUI S’ H OMETOWN VODKA
PEARLVODK A.COM | W W W.LUXCO.COM | PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY. ©2017 Pearl® Vodka, 40% Alc/Vol (80 proof), Pearl® Vodka Flavors, 35% Alc/Vol (70 proof), Imported by Pearl® Spirits, Inc., St. Louis, MO.
Playdates THAT UPPITY THEARE COMPANY and R-S THEATRICS present:
Contemporary Art Museum - eventbrite.com On June 12, 2016, our world changed forever when a lone gunman opened fire on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, killing 49 LGBT and allied people. It was the largest civilian act of mass gun violence in the U.S. This Pride Month, a free performance of 10-15 of the plays from the After Orlando collection will be performed at the CAM in Grand Center, co-produced by That Uppity Theatre Company and R-S Theatrics and co-sponsored by Pride St. Louis. After Orlando is a collection of short plays, roughly 3-8 minutes in length, that look at the experience of the massacre from multiple perspectives. Launched by No Passport and Missing Bolts after the massacre, it has since been produced at more than 75 venues internationally and will be brought to life in St. Louis by area directors including Kathryn Bentley, Adam Flores, Sarah Holt, Fannie Belle Lebby, Joan Lipkin, Christina Rios, John Wolbers and Blake Willoughby. There will be a cash bar available. The galleries are open until 8 p.m., and the current exhibitions are Urban Planning: Art and the City 1967–2017 and KAWS: Far Far Down.
JANE LYNCH AT THE SYMPHONY
10th SHINE: CELEBRATION ST. LOUIS SURGE HOME OPENER OF BROADWAY
Powell Hall - stlsymphony.org The one-night-only musical experience takes you on a rollicking journey through hilarious takes on hits from Broadway, the American songbook and beyond.
Edison Theatre - gmcstl.org The Gateway Men’s Chorus turns the spotlight on the magic of musical theater with a concert of showstoppers from your favorite Broadway shows.
WashU Field House - stlsurgebasketball.com The three-peat Regional Champions and two-time National Champions head into their strongest season on a new home court against the Iowa Force.
THE NAKED MAGICIANS
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
ANDRÉ LEON TALLEY AT THE SLAM
The Grandel - metrotix.com The world’s naughtiest and funniest magic show strips away the top hats and capes to promise full-frontal illusions when the show appears in St. Louis this Pride Month.
The Muny - muny.org The Muny’s 99th season kicks off with Jesus Christ Superstar, a bold and rocking retelling of the gospels will leave you singing nothing but heavenly praises.
St. Louis Art Museum - slam.org The former editor-at-large for Vogue brings his style savvy while presenting his insights on the intersections of menswear and fashion history.
TRIUMEQ is a once-a-day pill used to treat HIV-1. In some people, TRIUMEQ should not be used by itself. Take TRIUMEQ exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. APPROVED USES TRIUMEQ is a prescription HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus-type 1) medicine used alone or with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. TRIUMEQ is not for use by itself in people who have or have had resistance to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine. TRIUMEQ should not be used in children under the age of 18. TRIUMEQ does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. You must keep taking HIV-1 medicines to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about TRIUMEQ? TRIUMEQ can cause serious side effects, including: • Serious allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reaction) that can cause death have happened with TRIUMEQ and other abacavir-containing products. Your risk of this allergic reaction to abacavir is much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. Your healthcare provider can determine with a blood test if you have this gene variation. If you get symptoms from 2 or more of the following groups while taking TRIUMEQ, call your healthcare provider right away: 1. fever; 2. rash; 3. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain; 4. generally ill feeling, extreme tiredness, or achiness; 5. shortness of breath, cough, or sore throat. Your pharmacist will give you a Warning Card with a list of these symptoms. Carry this Warning Card with you at all times. If you stop taking TRIUMEQ because of an allergic reaction, never take TRIUMEQ or any other abacavir- or dolutegravir-containing medicines again. If you take TRIUMEQ or any other abacavir-containing medicine again after you have had an allergic reaction, within hours you may get lifethreatening symptoms that may include very low blood pressure or death. If you stop TRIUMEQ for any other reason, even for a few days, and you are not allergic to TRIUMEQ, talk with your healthcare provider before taking it again. Taking TRIUMEQ again can cause a serious allergic or life-threatening reaction, even if you never had an allergic reaction to it before. If your healthcare provider tells you that you can take TRIUMEQ again, start taking it when you are around medical help or people who can call a healthcare provider if you need one. • A buildup of acid in your blood (lactic acidosis). Lactic acidosis can happen in some people who take TRIUMEQ. This serious medical emergency can cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you feel very weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain; have trouble breathing; have stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; feel dizzy/light-headed; or have a fast/irregular heartbeat. • Serious liver problems can happen in people who take TRIUMEQ. In some cases, these serious liver problems can lead to death. You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking nucleoside analogue medicines for a long time. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following signs or symptoms: • yellow skin, or the white part of the eyes turns yellow (jaundice); dark urine; light-colored stools; loss of appetite for several days or longer; nausea; pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area • Worsening of hepatitis B virus in people who have HIV-1 infection. If you have HIV-1 and hepatitis B virus (HBV), your HBV may get worse (flare-up) if you stop taking TRIUMEQ. A “flare-up” is when your HBV suddenly returns in a worse way than before. Worsening liver disease can be serious and may lead to death. Do not stop taking TRIUMEQ without first talking to your healthcare provider, so he or she can monitor your health. • Resistant hepatitis B virus. If you have HIV-1 and hepatitis B, the hepatitis B virus can change (mutate) during your treatment with TRIUMEQ and become harder to treat (resistant). ©2016 ViiV Healthcare group of companies. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. 723601R0 August 2016
• Use with interferon and ribavirin-based regimens. If you’re taking TRIUMEQ and interferon, with or without ribavirin, tell your healthcare provider about any new symptoms. Worsening of liver disease that has caused death has happened in people infected with both HIV-1 and hepatitis C who were taking antiretroviral medicines and interferon. Who should not take TRIUMEQ? • Do not take TRIUMEQ if you: • have the HLA-B*5701 gene variation • are allergic to abacavir, dolutegravir, or any of the ingredients in TRIUMEQ • take dofetilide (Tikosyn®) • have liver or kidney problems What are other possible side effects of TRIUMEQ? • People with a history of hepatitis B or C virus may have an increased risk of developing new or worsening changes in certain liver tests during treatment with TRIUMEQ. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your liver function before and during treatment with TRIUMEQ. • When you start taking HIV-1 medicines, your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start having new symptoms after you start taking TRIUMEQ. • Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicines. • Some HIV-1 medicines, including TRIUMEQ, may increase your risk of heart attack. The most common side effects of TRIUMEQ include: trouble sleeping, headache, tiredness These are not all the possible side effects of TRIUMEQ. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRIUMEQ? • Before you take TRIUMEQ, tell your healthcare provider if you: • have been tested and know whether or not you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701 • have or have had liver problems, including hepatitis B or C infection; have kidney problems; have heart problems, smoke, or have diseases that increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes; drink alcohol or take medicines that contain alcohol • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRIUMEQ will harm your unborn baby • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take TRIUMEQ • You should not take TRIUMEQ if you also take: • abacavir (EPZICOM®, TRIZIVIR®, or ZIAGEN®) • lamivudine (COMBIVIR®, DutrebisTM, EPIVIR®, EPIVIR-HBV®, EPZICOM, or TRIZIVIR) • emtricitabine (Emtriva®, Atripla®, Complera®, Stribild®, or Truvada®) Important Safety Information continued on next page
Peter Diagnosed with HIV in 2015
Garland Diagnosed with HIV in 2016
Leopold Diagnosed with HIV in 2003
Jeannette Diagnosed with HIV in 2011
Jack Diagnosed with HIV in 2010
Real patients with HIV-1 taking TRIUMEQ as of 2014 or later. Individual results may vary. Individuals compensated for their time by ViiV Healthcare.
â€˘ Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements (for example, antacids or laxatives; vitamins such as iron or calcium supplements; anti-seizure medicines; other medicines to treat HIV-1, hepatitis, or tuberculosis; metformin; methadone; or St. Johnâ€™s wort). Some medicines interact with TRIUMEQ. Keep a list of your medicines to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist. Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Important Facts about TRIUMEQ on the following pages.
Ask your doctor about
learn more at
This is only a brief summary of important information about TRIUMEQ and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment. (TRI-u-meck)
MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TRIUMEQ
TRIUMEQ® may cause serious side effects, including: • Serious allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reaction) that can cause death have happened with TRIUMEQ and other abacavir-containing products. Your risk of this allergic reaction to abacavir is much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. Your healthcare provider can determine with a blood test if you have this gene variation. If you get symptoms from 2 or more of the following groups while taking TRIUMEQ, call your healthcare provider right away: 1. fever; 2. rash; 3. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain; 4. generally ill feeling, extreme tiredness, or achiness; 5. shortness of breath, cough, or sore throat. A list of these symptoms is on the Warning Card your pharmacist gives you. Carry this Warning Card with you at all times. • If you stop taking TRIUMEQ because of an allergic reaction, never take TRIUMEQ or any other abacavir- or dolutegravircontaining medicines again. If you take TRIUMEQ or any other abacavir-containing medicine again after you have had an allergic reaction, within hours you may get life-threatening symptoms that may include very low blood pressure or death. If you stop TRIUMEQ for any other reason, even for a few days, and you are not allergic to TRIUMEQ, talk with your healthcare provider before taking it again. Taking TRIUMEQ again can cause a serious allergic or life-threatening reaction, even if you never had an allergic reaction to it before. If your healthcare provider tells you that you can take TRIUMEQ again, start taking it when you are around medical help or people who can call a healthcare provider if you need one. • Build-up of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: feeling very weak or tired, unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold (especially in your arms and legs), feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or a fast or irregular heartbeat. • Serious liver problems, which in some cases can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice), dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools (bowel movements), loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach pain on the right side. You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking nucleoside analogues for a long time. • Worsening of Hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking TRIUMEQ. Do not stop taking TRIUMEQ without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months. • Resistant HBV. If you have HIV-1 and HBV, the HBV can change (mutate) while you’re on TRIUMEQ and become harder to treat (resistant). • Use with interferon and ribavirin-based regimens. Worsening of liver disease that has caused death has happened in people infected with both HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus who are taking antiretroviral medicines and are also being treated for hepatitis C with interferon with or without ribavirin. If you are taking TRIUMEQ and interferon with or without ribavirin, tell your HCP if you have any new symptoms.
• TRIUMEQ is a prescription HIV-1 medicine used alone or with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. TRIUMEQ is not for use by itself in people who have or have had resistance to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine. TRIUMEQ should not be used in children under the age of 18. • TRIUMEQ does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. You must keep taking HIV-1 medicines to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIVrelated illnesses.
DO NOT TAKE TRIUMEQ IF YOU • have a certain type of gene variation called the HLA-B*5701 allele. Your HCP will test you for this before prescribing treatment with TRIUMEQ. • are allergic to abacavir, dolutegravir, or any of the ingredients in TRIUMEQ. See the full Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in TRIUMEQ. • take dofetilide (Tikosyn®). Taking TRIUMEQ and dofetilide (Tikosyn) can cause side effects that may be life-threatening. • have liver or kidney problems. • If you also take: abacavir (EPZICOM, TRIZIVIR, or ZIAGEN); lamivudine (COMBIVIR®, DutrebisTM, EPIVIR®, EPIVIR-HBV®, EPZICOM, or TRIZIVIR); emtricitabine (Atripla®, Complera®, Emtriva®, Stribild®, or Truvada®) abacavir (EPZICOM, TRIZIVIR, or ZIAGEN)
BEFORE TAKING TRIUMEQ Tell your healthcare provider if you: • have been tested and know if you have a particular gene variation called HLA-B*5701. • have or had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis B or C virus infection. • have heart problems, smoke, or have diseases that increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. • drink alcohol or take medicines that contain alcohol. • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRIUMEQ will harm your unborn baby. • are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take: • Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with TRIUMEQ. Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider
IMPORTANT FACTS (cont’d)
MEDICINES THAT MIGHT INTERACT WITH TRIUMEQ • antacids, laxatives, or other medicines that contain aluminum, magnesium, sucralfate (Carafate®), or buffered medicines. TRIUMEQ should be taken at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take these medicines. • iron or calcium supplements taken by mouth may be taken at the same time with TRIUMEQ if taken with food. Otherwise, TRIUMEQ should be taken at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take these medicines • anti-seizure medicines: oxcarbazepine ( Trileptal ® ), phenytoin (Dilantin ®, Dilantin ® -125, Phenytek ®), phenobarbital, carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Equetro ®, Tegretol®, Tegretol® -XR, Teril®, Epitol®) • any other medicine to treat HIV-1, medicines used to treat hepatitis virus infections (such as interferon or ribavirin), a medicine that contains metformin, methadone, rifampin (Rifater ®, Rifamate ®, Rimactane ®, Rifadin®), St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF TRIUMEQ TRIUMEQ can cause serious side effects including: • See “What is the most important information about TRIUMEQ?” section • Changes in liver tests. • Changes in your immune system • Changes in body fat • Some HIV-1 medicines including TRIUMEQ may increase your risk of heart attack. (cont’d)
The most common side effects of TRIUMEQ are: trouble sleeping, headache, and tiredness These are not all the possible side effects of TRIUMEQ. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking TRIUMEQ. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with TRIUMEQ. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
GET MORE INFORMATION • Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist • Go to TRIUMEQ.com or call 1-877-844-8872, where you can also get FDA-approved product labeling COMBIVIR, EPIVIR, EPZICOM, TIVICAY, TRIUMEQ, TRIZIVIR, and ZIAGEN are registered trademarks of the ViiV Healthcare group of companies. EPIVIR-HBV is a registered trademark of the GSK group of companies. The other brands listed are trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of the ViiV Healthcare group of companies. The makers of these brands are not affiliated with and do not endorse the ViiV Healthcare group of companies or its products. ©2016, the ViiV Healthcare group of companies. All rights reserved. April 2016 TRM:4MG
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5/4/17 3:12 PM
Covering Our LGBT Life + Style
90 COVERS OF VITAL VOICE PAST
DY – G E T A E R TNESS EVE SE
T M AT E F I E G TI TH
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IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017 / 8 A.M.–2:30 P.M. WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
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Celebrate Our History VITAL VOICE EVENTS TIMELINE We've had our fair share of fun over the years, starting with a kickoff event that started it all and ending with our signature Pride Month event, Queens In Space. In addition to just having a good time, Vital VOICE events give back to the community that supports us, with funds raised for local organizations such as Saint Louis Effort For AIDS, Metro Trans Umbrella Group and the International Institute of St. Louis. V
VITAL VOICE LAUNCH PARTY JANUARY 2010
Darin Slyman launches the glossy-cover magazine as a life and style publication.
ENCORE! AN A&E EVENT AUGUST 2011 V2 ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY VITAL HEALTH FAIR
BRIEFS FEBRUARY 2012 The festival of short LGBT plays becomes an annual theatre event every spring. PRIDE COMMUNITY KICK-OFF JUNE 2012
KANSAS CITY LAUNCH PARTY Vital VOICE’s official transition into a statewide publication. SOAK’D TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE AT BISTRO 303 The annual “party for a purpose” becomes a holiday staple in Kansas City.
FIVE: FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY Celebrating five years of the new Vital VOICE Magazine EL MAYOR DE MAYO AT BISTRO 303 DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR LAUNCH PARTY
PADDY’S DAY AT 303
MISS SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS
VOICE YOUR CHOICE WINNERS PARTY Featuring Ivy Winters
QUEENS IN SPACE PREMIERE
BRIEFS: THE FINAL ACT
MEET & MINGLE WITH B-52S FRED SCHNEIDER
The rooftop bash becomes Vital VOICE’s premier summer event and Pride Month kickoff.
GENT! MEN’S DESIGNER SHOWCASE WEEKEND
QUEENS IN SPACE: RETURN OF THE DIVAS Vital VOICE’s final event and the official kickoff to Pride Month 2017.
OPERA THEATRE of SAINT LOUIS GIACOMO PUCCINI
LOVE, BETRAYAL, AND AN IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE M
ALSO IN THE 2017 FESTIVAL SEASON Performances now through June 25 | Tickets starting at $25! M
NOW - JUNE 25
JUNE 4 - 23
JUNE 10 - 24
= 1 P.M. matinee performance
“...FREQUENTLY ELECTRIFYING, AND ANYTHING BUT ELITIST...” St. Louis Post-Dispatch All performances sung in English and accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony.
(314) 961-0644 | ExperienceOpera.org thevitalVOICE.com
Donâ€™t miss your chance to call this urban oasis home. LIVELACLEDE .COM
Contact Robin orTraci at 314.922.3339 to make an appointment today.
Project PRIDE: PROFILING OUR PAST
Eight years of Vital VOICE cannot simply be summed up into one feature, but we’ve done our best to wrangle some of our favorite profiles from past years into one recap that we’re more than proud of. Since 2010, we’ve profiled and featured artists, musicians, performers, politicians, activists, business leaders and innovators, all who have and still are making a difference in the St. Louis region. We’ve always been proud to be a part of this community and to make this place home, and here are several reasons why we are.
text KEVIN SCHMIDT art DARIN SLYMAN AND AUDREY SCHERER
Karen Jones FEBRUARY 2010 Artist, painter, and fashion designer at SundayJonesArt.com
ON VITAL VOICE: It has inspired me to develop, foster and celebrate my individual integrity. I have gone from trying to fit into some kind of boring mold to shattering all molds and creating my own design without any old “comfort zones.” Instead of subgroups and neighborhoods becoming more separate, I think Vital VOICE has brought us all together to say, “We are all here, and all of us are interesting and important to the whole.”
Allyson Mace MARCH 2010 Publisher & Founder of Sauce Magazine
ON VITAL VOICE: Over the years, the magazine has been a critical component not only of the media community but also of the LGBT community, providing critical exposure for the LGBT family. Additionally, its outreach education and support of nonprofit organizations support our overarching community.
Kelly Hamilton AUGUST 2014 Cofounder and Publisher, EQ Magazine
ON VITAL VOICE: It has brought much more awareness around the experience of transgender St. Louisans. As a member of the trans* community, I am thankful Vital VOICE took the initiative to dedicate many issues to transgender awareness. It has provided a wonderful platform for St. Louis’ LGBT community. With its positive approach to storytelling and thoughtful content about individuals making a difference in St. Louis, Vital VOICE has helped our community foster connections and celebrate everything our LGBT community contributes to the region.
Michael Mahler MAY 2010 Bath Specialist/Sales at IKEA St. Louis
ON VITAL VOICE: As former co-creator and owner of CheapTRX, Vital VOICE has often encouraged my business by helping to promote TRX as the inclusive venture we always were and continue to be. By continuing to focus on the many facets of the LGBT community, I believe we learn that we have much more in common even when our desires and goals may differ.
Joan Long NOVEMBER 2010 Owner/President at Patty Long Catering
ON VITAL VOICE: It keeps me up to date on the LGBTQ community and activities going on around Kansas City and St. Louis City, community and political activity, and creative ideas.
Sherrill Wayland APRIL 2011 Manager of National Projects, SAGE
ON VITAL VOICE: As the founder of SAGE Metro St. Louis, now SAGE of PROMO Fund, Vital VOICE was an important partner in building awareness of our mission and focus of providing advocacy and services to LGBT older adults, critical for a new grassroots nonprofit.
Jane Samira Blakemore JUNE 2011 Busy belly dancer, general showgirl, and queer feminist mother of a fantastic five-year-old human
ON VITAL VOICE: The feature that I participated in brought me unique connections in queer St. Louis. As a self-identified high femme, I donâ€™t always get clocked as a member of the LGBTQ community, so it was nice to be out and proud in full color. Vital VOICE is a place we can always check in as a community. It is a meeting place to stay up-to-date on everything from news to events. In the current political climate, we need all the connection we can get.
Shelly Hickman JULY 2011 Mom to Miss Harper Ray, property manager, and aspiring real estate agentt
ON VITAL VOICE: I loved the chance to get my real personality out into our community without the heavy editing I received on TV. It was me being me on the issues I have been in, not me being what someone else wanted me to be. Vital VOICE really gives great examples and shows the amazing pride St. Louis and Kansas City have.
Shane Cohn JULY 2015 Alderman, City of St. Louis
ON VITAL VOICE: It has played a wonderful role in connecting the LGBT community with people and places. In its formative years as a community paper, it helped create a voice for a community often overlooked or belittled in mainstream media. In recent years, it's been wonderfully entertaining and also keeping
Betty Neeley JUNE 2016 Retired
ON VITAL VOICE: It gave me my 15 minutes of fame, and told a lot of young people there was a before and maybe an after. For me, Vital VOICE introduces me to people I would never know about, whether in arts, fashion, or people in the community. I look forward to keeping in the NOW.
Danny Morris JULY 2010 DJ/Video Producer & Billboard Magazine Club Reporter
ON VITAL VOICE: Two things come to mind when I think of Vital VOICE: 1) Information: While I was away, they kept me informed of what was going on in the community. They really have their fingers on the pulse of our city. 2) Diversity: I appreciate that they reach out to all spectrums of St. Louis, and I feel it is great for educating people about our community by bringing all of St. Louisâ€™s cultures closer together.
Phillip Hitchcock AUGUST 2010 Artist & Personal Trainer
ON VITAL VOICE: It has provided me a much larger platform to express my ideas as an artist, but more importantly as a queer artist. Itâ€™s important that in a shrinking media market, we have publications like the Vital VOICE to protect, preserve and promote our uniqueness and diversity.
Lola Van Ella SEPTEMBER 2010 International singing showgirl, CEO and Head Madam of Van Ella Productions and Studios and the Show Me Burlesque Festival
ON VITAL VOICE: It has facilitated wonderful introductions to so many people I now work with and call friends. They have supported me in numerous ways and have helped me feel included in the STL LGBTQ community. Vital VOICE has given a voice and a page to so many LGBTQ issues and concerns as well as highlighting events and parties, and helping to legitimize many different fringe and alternative artists and productions.
Christine Elbert OCTOBER 2010 Senior Mortgage Banker at First Integrity
ON VITAL VOICE: Itâ€™s helped connect my professional self to the community that I am so personally passionate about. Vital VOICE brings relevant, topical information about the LGBT community to the local LGBT community, helping foster stronger communication and community spirit.
Bill Donius MAY 2012 Ideation and Innovation Facilitator
ON VITAL VOICE: I'm delighted the Vital VOICE has given voice the LGBT community over the decades as it's been a source of important information when other media where not covering our community and then in more recent years a way to keep our community strong and connected. I'm proud of the fact that I was able to play a role in the changing of guard between Pam Schneider and Darin Slyman years ago.
Kris Kleindienst AUGUST 2012 Co-Owner, Left Bank Books
ON VITAL VOICE: Vital VOICE published my writing for one thing, but it also gave me a window into the LGBT social scene that I didn't always participate in directly. I think it still provides a great snapshot of the social scene and gives the community a chance to get "up close and personal" with the public personalities and celebrities who enliven our queer lives
Jason Hall APRIL 2013 Managing Director, Arch to Park Collaborative
ON VITAL VOICE: It has helped elevate the story of me and other LGBT leaders who are active in the business and civic community. That visibility has helped me better connect with others, particularly the next generation of LGBT leaders who are seeking out mentors. Vital VOICEâ€™s continued growth and breadth of content has helped integrate the LGBT community further into the broader St. Louis community. Our stories, culture and wonderful community are made more visible and approachable because of the dynamic way the content is showcased.
Van Barnes JULY 2016 Currently on break from Hollywood; Ozark Hillbilly House, Wife'n, stay-athome dog mom to three, riding bitch on the back of Big Daddy's motorcycle, shopping Save-a-lot, Aldi's and most every thrift shop between here and there.
ON VITAL VOICE: Since I'm a country hermit when I'm in the Midwest, Vital VOICE keeps me mentally connected to the STL happenings and the “who's who.” I'm a drag fan, so I love to see all the drags, old and new, on the scene. Gay boys’ faces change throughout the years, but drag queens outlast them. Vital VOICE provides connection and representation. It’s so important to see our lives celebrated in modern gloss and the advertisers/brands who support us. Now if only I could divorce my Captain Morgan for Pearl Vodka, I'd be personally giving back to a company that supports us.
Harrison & David Roberts NOVEMBER 2014 Anheuser Busch Employees Credit Union (Harrison); Siteman Cancer Center (David)
ON VITAL VOICE: Following our family from our wedding through the birth of our twins has been an incredibly moving and honoring experience, and we're grateful to the Vital VOICE for sharing a story of an LGBT family in St. Louis. Keeping the St. Louis and Kansas City LGBT communities informed and connected is invaluable. Vital VOICE is a beacon of culture and insight as we move into uncertain political and cultural times.
Steve Potter JANUARY 2015 Host of St. Louis On The Air, St. Louis Public Radio
ON VITAL VOICE: To be honest, I was somewhat concerned that I might receive some negative reaction when my profile came out — but I didn’t. None. In fact, for months afterward, strangers would approach me, some very emotional, to say how much my story meant to them and how it helped others. That experience gave me a wonderful feeling that times really are changing for the better. I think the publication brings our community together. Vital VOICE tells stories, addresses issues, and brings to light all sorts of things that we wouldn’t read about elsewhere. I’ve been a fan from the beginning and feel very honored to have appeared on its pages. thevitalVOICE.com
Khalia Collier APRIL 2015 Owner and General Manager, St. Louis Surge Women’s Professional Basketball Team
ON VITAL VOICE: It has done an amazing job of making me aware of what is going on in our community, as well as being champion for the St. Louis Surge. Vital VOICE has been an outlet for the entire region to engage with the LGBT community as ambassadors for all the great things happening that we should all be aware of.
Michael Mullen JULY 2015 Barwench at Rosie's Place in the CWE
ON VITAL VOICE: Years ago and I don't know why, I was featured in the Icon issue, and it made a huge difference in my fundraising efforts. The article created great interest in my fundraising efforts and awareness of the charities I support. The community awareness that Vital VOICE brings to small not-for-profit foundations is invaluable. "St. Louis Mullen Foundation" was officially established On May 3rd, 2017. The charitable work we do in St. Louis has been supported and promoted by Vital VOICE for years. Thank you so much.
Sayer Johnson AUGUST 2015 Executive Director and one of the co-founders of MTUG, Direct Care Support Specialist with St. Louis Arc
ON VITAL VOICE: It has been our friend and ally, using their voice and reach to lift up our [MTUG] with not only visibility, but with their time and investment in our community. We know we have not only reached transgender Ian’s gender non-binary individuals because of its exposure of [MTUG], but it has assisted us in making allies by using its reach and platform to educate individuals. Vital VOICE has entertained and kept us connected, and has also used media to educate and enlighten. Vital VOICE has lifted up some of our unsung queer leaders and given them a platform of visibility.
Jill Aul AUGUST 2015 Regional Director for PFLAG National
ON VITAL VOICE: On Vital VOICE: It is my “go-to” resource when I want to know what is going on around town. Every time I am in the city, or any location that distributes the hard copy issue, I pick one up and read it cover to cover. Otherwise, I refer to the Vital VOICE website or Facebook page to find out the latest happenings. The publication has really served as a connector among people in the local community. It serves as a hub for info, news, events and a “who’s who” around our area.
Kyle Hanten FEBRUARY 2017 Owner of Rehab Bar & Grill
ON VITAL VOICE: It has definitely helped me better understand and appreciate a community that was once new and utterly foreign to me. It was definitely a "go-to" guide when I was figuring out the "who's who" and "what's what" when I moved here almost eight years ago. Vital VOICE has also done a remarkable job elevating the community through some taboo topics, making it more comfortable to start open dialogues.
Lucas Gamlin APRIL 2017 Restaurateur
ON VITAL VOICE: I recall seeing it on the stands around the Central West End when I worked down here in high school in the mid 90s. The newspaper at that time helped recognize that there was a LGBT community at all. I felt like I was on an island in high school, and the magazine helped me realize I am not alone. This magazine has provided a great service to our local LGBT community. It has helped form a sense of community for those that have felt marginalized, as I did in the past. The magazine has given us role models to look up to and has held up a mirror to our community to show us the great diversity of those in the St. Louis and Missouri LGBT community.
Steph Perkins JUNE 2016 Executive Director, PROMO
ON VITAL VOICE: At PROMO, we believe that our collective power is what will see us through this challenging journey. We are grateful to Vital VOICE for partnering with us throughout the year and supporting our vision for full equality across Missouri.
Shawn Stokes JUNE 2016 Project Manager & Show Director for Rehab Bar & Grill
ON VITAL VOICE: Since I'm not a native St. Louisian, it has given me a vast knowledge of the scene and where to be seen. Vital VOICE events are always offering an eclectic mix of people. It has not only provided recognition for hard work and innovation, but also given me a group of people that aren't afraid to be innovative.
Cindy Musterman AUGUST 2016 President, Stevens—The Institute of Business & Arts (SIBA)
ON VITAL VOICE: Working with the Vital VOICE team has been such a rewarding experience for me and for my students at Siba. The stories that have been published about our programs, students and successes have been invaluable for a small school like ours. With a limited marketing budget, we depend on coverage like Vital VOICE provides to get the word out to the community about all the cool things we are doing in and around St. Louis. It has also been a great opportunity to let the LGBT community how welcome they are at Siba. Vital VOICE truly has lived up to its name — honestly and generously representing LGBT voices that deserve to be heard and respected.
Mike Isaacson JANUARY 2012 Broadway producer and Artistic Director and Executive Producer, The Muny
ON VITAL VOICE: This was the first interview I did before my first Muny season, and it made me understand that I had to figure out my new “civic” role because The Muny is more than just an amazing theater. I had to learn how to talk about St. Louis. It’s been a needed and necessary voice, as well as a way for a community that is growing increasingly geographically stretched to have a sort of “center.” It’s as much a reflection of a spirit as it is a source of information.
Y O U R
Summer Staycation Destination! National
TASTE OF MAPLEWOOD STREET FESTIVAL Presented by the Mid County Chamber of Commerce
with Strange Donuts and friends. Please visit facebook.com/ enjoy.maplewood for more information.
S AT U R D AY, M AY 2 0 N O O N - 9 P M midcountychamber.org
– MAPLEWOOD – Summer Concert Series
Our friends at Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest, offer a
Presented by the Mid County Chamber of Commerce
MAY 24: The Provels ★ JUNE 28: All Roostered Up ★ JULY 26: The Retro Band ★ AUGUST 23: The Hot Flashes (Concert for a Cause)★ SEPTEMBER 27: The Tony Campanella Band 4th Wednesday of the month from 6-8 PM in Ryan Hummert Memorial Park (on Sutton just two blocks north of Manchester). All concerts are free! midcountychamber.org
Friday, June 2 & Saturday, June 3
every Wednesday from 4-7 PM through October.
Memorial Day Weekend!
from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, May 28. Visit SCHLAFLY.COM for more information.
Presented by the City of Maplewood Special Business District
F R I DAY , J U L Y 1 4 6 - 11 PM Maplewood's 1 2 T H A N N U A L whimsical tribute to Bastille Day featuring live art demonstrations, food, drinks and live entertainment throughout Historic Downtown Maplewood. cityofmaplewood.com/ltea
SIX-SHOW SEASON TICKET PACKAGE NOW ON SALE!
April 3-22, 2018
Ana Villafañe and Original Broadway Company Photos: Matthew Murphy
November 7-19, 2017
October 3-15, 2017
Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
November 28 - December 10, 2017
HHHHH DAILY TELEGRAPH
January 16-28, 2018
March 20 - April 1, 2018
Specials for SWAP ONE and Priority Purchase: The Book of Mormon • Circus 1903 • The Phantom of the Opera • A Christmas Carol The Wizard of Oz • The Sound of Music • Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella • Chicago
FabulousFox.com/Subscribe • 314-535-1700 • Fox Box Office thevitalVOICE.com
METRO EAST PRIDE SATURDAY, JUNE 10 DOWNTOWN BELLEVILLE, IL metroeastprideswi.org The main mission of Metro East Pride of SWI is to provide lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons with cultural and educational programs and activities which provide social support, and foster an awareness of the past and present contributions of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons, through community activities and services, including the annual Pride event. PRIDE ST. CHARLES SATURDAY, JUNE 17 FRONTIER PARK, ST. CHARLES, MO pridestcharles.org Pride St. Charles is proud to present their 3rd Annual St. Charles Pride Festival at Frontier Park in Historic Downtown St. Charles. Join us for an amazing day of entertainment, vendors, resources, and food, and lots of fun things to do for the whole crowd. This event is all ages, family friendly and free to attend. The Festival goes from 11:00am to 7:00pm and is hosted by Mistresses of Ceremonies Dieta Pepsi and Desire' Declyne. TOWER GROVE PRIDE SATURDAY, JUNE 24 RITZ PARK, SOUTH GRAND facebook.com/towergrovepride St. Louis's 5th annual free, community-powered LGBTQI+ Pride is back on for 2017 at Ritz Park (3147 S. Grand Blvd) on South Grand on Saturday, June 24th from 12pm to 8pm. We'll have over 60 vendors on Hartford and Juniata Streets of South Grand, and a live band stage in Ritz Park. Eat, drink, dine & dance-and purchase a boozy slushie at the Tower Grove Pride stand—slushie proceeds help keep the festival going. Admission is free. PRIDE ST. LOUIS FRIDAY, JUNE 23—SUNDAY, JUNE 25 SOLDIER’S MEMORIAL pridestl.org 38th annual St. Louis PrideFest celebration is “Community Proud.” Enjoy a weekend packed with entertainment on two stages, hundreds of vendors, a plethora of excellent food options, libations and fun as well as St. Louis' second largest annual parade. Don't miss exciting features such as the Childrens' Area, Athlete's Village, Under 25 Area, Nonprofit Village, LGBT Wreath Laying Ceremony, Pride 5K, the VIP Tent and much more. 52
*Based on four reviews. ** Organizer's solicited positive feedback from known supporters.
Dana Gray & Associates
24/7 Support. Before, during, and after PRIDE!
HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! CALL 24/7 FOR SUPPORT: 800.272.3900
VISIT ALZ.ORG/CARE TO LEARN MORE.
Proud Partner with SAGE and the LGBT community.
Stories From The
Squirrel OFFICE MASCOT TELLS ALL TEXT: Penelope Wigstock ART: DARIN SLYMAN
Like your best friend who “dishes” all the dirt to you after a few cocktails (some of them even do it sober), it’s time to pull back the curtain and share some secrets with our beloved Vital VOICE readers. I am The Squirrel. Yes, The Squirrel. Vital VOICE’s (un)official mascot here in St. Louis. And like some of our city’s most beloved treasures like the Zoo or Botanical Gardens, I have witnessed things. Pretty things. Scary things. Horrifying things. Dieta Pepsi was my inspiration. An offhand comment during a 2010 video shoot from the fried chicken diva herself started the whole Squirrel frenzy. In 2011, a friend of the VV’s showed up to an event in a Squirrel costume, and a legend (of sorts) was born. In 2012, I shook my moneymaker at a LOT of Vital VOICE events, and chances are that I overheard you talking smack about any number of “beloved” community figures within the STL LGBT community. Even Todd Allan “used” me to help raise funds for a children’s hospital via the St. Louis Cardinals “Rally Squirrel” mania. I am clearly altruistic, because allowing myself to be used by Todd was a bitter pill to swallow. And as you know, I swallow a lot. You may be wondering what the most bizarre thing is that I witnessed as The Squirrel. Well, I am not at liberty to divulge all of the sordid details, but it may or may not have involved sexual role-playing in the locker room of a sports venue. Dangerous? You bet. I got caught in the middle of a turf war late one night in South City, and you better believe this motherfucking squirrel sent two punks to the ER. As they were carted away, I taunted them with, “Hope you like eating through a feeding tube, assholes!” The most entertaining thing I’ve witnessed? Easy. One night at the office after everyone else had left, James Patrick was putting the finishing touches on a feature story for the next month’s Issue. He was listening to a Spice Girls song on iTunes, and then he made his way out to his car. Ten minutes later, he re-emerged in FULL Victoria Beckham “Posh Spice” drag. Let me tell you, that boy fully committed to the role. To this day, I get chills down my spine when “Wannabe” comes on the radio. What does the future hold for me? It’s unclear. Everyone wanted to hear what that fucking FOX had to say years ago, but squirrels, it seems, are no longer the darling of the animal kingdom. At least not here in the Lou. Keep your eyes peeled. One never knows when I may dust myself off and take a gander out into the community to represent Vital VOICE. Stay Squirrely, bitches. V thevitalVOICE.com
NOW through August 13 Purchase tickets today! visit www.mobot.org/glass
June 25–September 17 For ticket information, visit slam.org/reigningmen. Members always free. Everyone free on Friday.
Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Johnson Hartig, American, born 1962; for Libertine, Ensemble (detail), Fall/Winter 2009-10; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Johnson Hartig; Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA
STAR OF GLEE, BEST IN SHOW & HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT!
Fri at 7:30pm
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Closes July 16! Free admission
PRIDE. In our yummy nosh, our new wine wall and in you.
COMING TO 32 MARY L AND PL A Z A M I D J U N E 2 0 17.
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UNITED IN GOODNESS Since our founding, we’ve aimed to bring people together with pizza, beverages and our legendary hospitality. Today, we aim to spread that same joy of unity throughout our community. United in Goodness. Introducing new pizzas, salads and appetizers that unite unexpected flavors from around the world. As we celebrate PrideFest, Pi will donate a percentage of our sales to PROMO, dedicated to Equality, which brings us Unity. Because at Pi, we believe we’re all better off. We’re all happier. When we’re United in Goodness.
ST. LOUIS | BETHESDA | DC | CINCINNATI
I Remember When
VITAL VOICE EMPLOYEES SHARE THEIR FAVORITE MEMORIES
Joss Barton ASSOCIATE EDITOR, 2010-2012 “At the Vital VOICE Xmas party, I brought a small roasted Cornish hen and proceeded to eat it with my bare hands to both the horror and hilarity of Dieta Pepsi and the rest of the cast & crew.”
Dieta Pepsi EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, 2010-2013
“I loved working at Vital VOICE. Sometimes, just out of the blue for no apparent reason, we would just burst into song. Some songs even had spontaneous unchoreographed dance routines. Of course, Darin and I always sang the classics from our nights at Faces.”
Karla Templeton STAFF WRITER, 2010-PRESENT “Thinking back over the years, I always recall the video of 'Bad Romance' by Lady Gaga, of course in the most artistic of translation. Darin, at the helm in those early days, and us, his monsters dancing behind, trying to help pull out his brilliance. I will always be proud to have been a small backup dancer to the ‘Vital VOICE Show.’” Kristen Goodman DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AND MARKETING, 2011 One of my favorite memories was our big anniversary party, V2. I remember feeling such a sense of accomplishment as we looked around the beautiful space at Lumen, packed with people from the community and allies alike. I will always look back on V2 as one of the first big events I produced and as a source of inspiration for the many celebrations to come. Chris Andoe STAFF WRITER, 2011-2016
“One day I got a call from Darin, which always felt like getting a call from Miranda Priestly, and be said, ‘Andoe, question. Was your article in reference to so and so? Because they're on the line threatening to sue me.’ My stomach sank, and I told him yes, it was in reference to that person. He let out a heavy sign and replied, ‘Oh, these bitter queens. I'll take care of it.’”
ENTERTAINMENT Chris Clark STAFF WRITER, 2012-2013
“One great memory didn't involve writing at all. I was able to join the crew to march in the Pride Parade that summer and helped carry the Vital VOICE banner. I don't think I had ever actually marched before and it was an honor to participate, plus my legs looked really good in photos.”
Denny Patterson STAFF WRITER, 2012-2016
“I remember when I unintentionally landed my first cover story. It was for the Sexy Issue back in September 2013, and I say unintentionally because the cover was supposed to be Amanda Lepore. I interviewed YouTube star Davey Wavey, and the photos he submitted had Darin, Jimmy and Colin Murphy drooling over the computer. Darin made the call, and Davey Wavey made the cover.”
Staci Stift EVENTS MANAGER, 2013-2014
“I'd have to say my favorite memory of being part of the VV staff was being a part of the magazine when it was launching in KC. Being able to bring in Pearl Vodka as a sponsor at the same time made the launch party there amazing. I found it important that the magazine launched there as to keep both cities informed on what is happening across the state.”
Andrea Piomonte ART DIRECTOR, 2012-2014
“I was hired right out of college as the token straight girl from Texas with a passion for design and pretty typography. Coming from the South, I was very uneducated on the LGBT issues. If it wasn’t for Vital VOICE, I would have never been gained the extensive knowledge and understanding about the LGBT community, and I’m a much better person because of that.”
Hanna Botney STAFF WRITER, 2013-2015
“The time I asked Sinead O'Connor about her feud with Miley Cyrus and she hung up on me. I called Jimmy in a panic and he about died laughing. I mean, how many people can say Sinead O'Connor hung up on them? When she went missing for a few days a while ago, it became the running joke that I had something to do with it. I guess we will never know.”
Grant Swanson INTERN & GRAPHIC DESIGNER, 2015-2016
“If I had to choose one, it would be our last trip to KC PrideFest. The photo shoot, the parade, the party, and yes, the Taco Bell trip— and everything in between— is an experience I will never forget. Working directly with our friends in Kansas City and in St. Louis was quite eye opening and rewarding.”
Romana Mrzljak INTERN & GRAPHIC DESIGNER, 2015-2016
Choosing my favorite Vital VOICE memory is like choosing a favorite Spice Girl—impossible. Yet, I'll never forget Darin pulling out half a dozen porn magazines during a VERY professional team meeting. Let's just say, the interns got a very good lesson on male anatomy that day.
Steph James OFFICE ASSISTANT, 2010-2011 “My memory was a hot, humid windy late May day in Forest Park. Darin had a large Gay Pride Flag on a 12' mast. He invited the Vital VOICE office staff to do a raising of the flag, Iwo Jima style. After a few photo tests, we leaned into the wind and it was done. I felt so proud to be a part of our community. I will remember it always.”
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ST. LOUIS’ NEWEST PREMIER VENUE
OPENING FEBRUARY 2018
maison du lac – at –
T | 2018
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Open through September 17 For ticket information, visit slam.org/reigningmen. Members always free. Everyone free on Friday.
Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Kean Etro, Italian, born 1964; for Etro, Ensemble (detail), Fall/Winter 2014–15, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Etro; Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
Expert health care. No matter what.
Planned Parenthood is Missouri’s leading provider of sexual health care, from general wellness exams to STD testing and treatment. Each year, thousands of gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals trust us to provide the high quality, non-judgmental care they need to lead healthy lives.
We’ve got you covered - with or without insurance. We accept most health insurance including: Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare and more.
6 locations in the St. Louis metro area – make an appointment by phone or online. www.plannedparenthood.org/stlouis | 1-800-230-PLAN (7526)
OUT OF THE ARCHIVES:
We've be on the scene for more than a minute now, hitting Pride festivals and events in St. Louis throughout the month of June every year. Now, we're recapping some of our most memorable Pride moments, including the Pulse Nightclub vigil, the lighting of the Civil Courts building downtown and, of course, Pride St. Louis itself. Here's to another great year of being simply Proud.
Join Macyâ€™s as we celebrate Family + Friends + Love + Life + Equality + Respect We are proud to join the parade across America in honor of National Pride Month. We think itâ€™s really something to celebrate. Plus, join us in our continued support of The Trevor Project! The Trevor Project provides life-saving crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
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