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The Vital

Wedding Guide Catering, Cakes, Flowers & Fun!

“SAME LOVE” Singer


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Concert is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Valid ID required. ©2014 Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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Fresh coffee

Whipped cream

Caramel drizzle

Please enjoy responsibly. ©2014 Pearl® Vodka, 40% Alc/Vol (80 proof), Flavored Vodkas 35% Alc/Vol (70 proof), Imported from Canada by Pearl Spirits Inc., Saint Louis, MO. 


Advertisers at a glance Pinnacle (River City) Pearl Vodka Glazers/Southern Comfort Fabulous Fox Theatre First Integrity Mortgage Services St. Louis Science Center MacuTab by Nutri-Site Lumen/The Caramel Room Body Brite St. Louis Perfect Wedding Guide Planned Parenthood Sante Fitness Gateway Men’s Chorus St. Louis Art Museum Immerse by Atlas Walter Knoll Florist The Barn - Library Trust Hilton President KC Ces & Judy’s Catering Talent Plus Universal Hilton President KC Curbed KC Bistro 303 Human Rights Campaign Missouri History Museum A Parrfect Idea Co./CREA Forsythe Dental Group

2 3 6 7 8 8 9 10 13 14 18 18 20 20 20 24 24 24 25 28 30 30 30 32 32 32 32 Orlando’s Catering & Events Centers33 Mango Peruvian Cuisine 34 Missouri Botanical Gardens 34 St. Louis Convention & Visitors 36 Coldwell Banker: Pam Schneider 38 Hiro Asian Kitchen 38 St. Louis Effort For AIDS 40 Clear Channel 44 KC Convention & VIsitors 45 Just John Nightclub 50 Lumiere Place Hotel & Casino 51 St. Louis Effort For AIDS 52 25K Issues Printed Monthly 400+ Points of Distribution throughout the St. Louis and Kansas City area Vital VOICE is your premier

LGBT publication and reaches a diverse readership from thoughtful leaders and young thinkers to trendsetters in culture, entertainment and beyond.


November 2014

Publisher/Editor in Chief Darin Slyman

Associate Publisher/Director of Marketing Jimmy Lesch

Art Director Sam sanchez

Content Manager Brent peterson

Communications Assistant Mallory Olwig

Staff Writer Chris andoe

Staff Writer Hanna botney

Staff Writer Denny patterson


Photography: Hayden Andrews, Autumn de Wilde, Jon Barbe, Tony Donaldson,

Viacom/MTV, Orlando’s Catering, Switzer Film and Walter Knoll Florist

Writing: Denny Patterson, Hanna Botney, Andrea Piamonte, Hayden Andrews,

Nikki Vogel, Chris Andoe, Penelope Wigstock, Leon A. Braxton, Jr., Laura Checkett Design: Sam Sanchez and Andrea Piamonte

Advisory Board

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



Vital VOICE Magazine

4579 Laclede Ave #268 St. Louis, MO 63108 St. Louis: 314.256.1196


November 2014 | Volume 15 | Issue 11

Table of

Contents 4. advertisers at a glance 7. publisher’s letter 11. CHOICE ART 12. Three years strong:

Our first wedding issue

15. The vital wedding guide 31. Married to Drag 35. MTV’s Faking It Introduces

intersex character

37. Trans Day of Remembrance 39. Dana Goldberg 41. Penelope Wigstock —

26. On the

Cover Mary Lambert bares the secrets to making music with a conscience. Cover photo by Autumn de Wilde.

Black Friday SHopping

42. STL playdates 43. KC playdates 46. Scene on Instagram STL Fashion Week

48. scene on instagram KC Fashion Week

Stay Connected with us 



November 2014

publisher’s Letter

Fall in


With all the advancements in marriage equality in our nation, region and state, we are proud to produce our annual LGBT wedding issue. It seems like every week another state joins the marriage equality movement. Last month, our own beloved state of Missouri finally struck down our constitutional ban against same sex marriage. This is no time to rest on our laurels as the momentum continues for us for full equality across the nation. This month, we touch base with David Drake and Harrison Roberts who were on our very first LGBT wedding issue in 2012. In three short years, their relationship is still going strong and they are proud to announce that they will be having twins to add to their family. We’ve also put together our selection of LGBT-friendly vendors and wedding professionals that are more than excited to support our community with their nuptial planning in this year’s Vital Wedding Guide. This month also sees a lot of important events. Starting out the month is ChoiceART on Nov.8. As a founding co-chair of this fun event, I find it very important for our community to get involved and support organizations, like Planned Parenthood. ChoiceArt is a fun night filled with cocktails, art and festivities. On Nov. 22, Human Rights Campaign St. Louis will host its annual HRC St. Louis Dinner Gala at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Headlining this year’s gala is lesbian comedian Dana Goldberg. Her unique and smart twist on comedy will entertain and inspire all who attend. Let us not forget that Nov. 20 is the annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance. This is the day where we, as a community, reflect and honor our trans brothers and sisters who have been afflicted with hate and bullying from the anti-LGBT society. Great strides are still on the way for our LGBT community. We’ve taken the first steps toward full equality. Now is the time to march to the beat of the drum and complete that mission.

Darin Slyman Publisher/CEO

(Photography by Hayden Andrews)


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SOLVE THE MYSTERY October 9 - January 4

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November 2014

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes was developed by Exhibits Development Group and Geoffrey M. Curley + Associates in collaboration with the Conan Doyle Estate Limited, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and the Museum of London

Avoid those “you looked better from across the bar� moments!

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November 2014


reasons to attend

choiceart Written by

Laura Checkett

Saturday, Nov. 8 at CAM

ChoiceArt has become a staple fall arts event and has raised more than $100,000 for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region and southwest Missouri, since it was founded in 2010. In honor of its fifth year, we put together a list of the top five reasons you should attend ChoiceArt this year on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Contemporary Art Museum.

1 2 3 4 5

35 amazing local artists in one place

If you’ve been to ChoiceArt in the past, then you know how incredible the artwork can be. This year will feature work from honorary chair Jane Linders, as well as a curated selection from past ChoiceArt artists like Carmelita Nunez, John Elkins, Jeff Kapfer, Anne Manley and more.

Meet awesome, like-minded people

ChoiceArt is hosted by friendsbychoice, Planned Parenthood’s young friend’s group (the group also hosts Planned Parenthood’s notorious annual Sex Trivia night each spring). Come to ChoiceArt and maybe you’ll leave with a new friend or two.

Open bar

Enough said. Plus, enjoy excellent food and desserts and local favorite Northwest Coffee will be there to provide pour-over coffee for those who prefer a booze-free beverage option.

It makes for a great date night

Open bar, excellent food, an awesome crowd and great art? Buy two tickets and your next date night is in the bag. Tickets are only $25 each for friendsbychoice members, or $35 for non-members. Or take it up a notch with VIP tickets for only $75 each, which includes an artist meet and greet, access to a VIP lounge, early bidding and a celebratory champagne toast.

Support Planned Parenthood!

Planned Parenthood takes care of us, so come to ChoiceArt and help take care of Planned Parenthood. All proceeds from the evening support the important work they do, from providing sex ed, STD testing and cancer screenings to standing up for reproductive rights in Jefferson City. Get your tickets online at or by calling Heidi at (314) 531-7526, ext. 361. V 



years strong

Nikki Vogel Photography by Hayden Andrews Written by


mere three years ago, during the fall season, a couple set on their mission to become officially married and begin a family. David Drake and Harrison connected with Vital VOICE shortly after their wedding on Oct. 1, 2011. This month, the couple opened up about the first three years of marriage, “family life” and where their future may be heading. Roberts worked for a baby boutique in St. Louis before returning to Just John during Pride St. Louis 2013. He says how he “never thought the baby retail route would be something for me,” but he reasoned that being newly married and wanting to start a family could very well make this the perfect occasion. He took on the opportunity and viewed it as a learning experience for him and David’s family planning. “I learned so much about pregnancy, starting a family, bringing a baby home and the first two years of its life,” Roberts says.


November 2014

Harrison Roberts and David Drake chat about marriage, love and starting a family

He decided to return to Just John after embarking on his newfound career because he says in the big scheme of things, it wasn’t fitting into his desired stable lifestyle to support a future family dependably. “I didn’t fit in corporately,” Roberts explains. “It was one of those things where they kept cutting people. They would open new stores with less people, and before I knew it, I was wearing seven hats.” Drake explains how Harrison definitely developed new senses from his time at the baby boutique. “Harrison definitely is quite the stroller-snob now,” he says “Every time we pass one, I’ll have him tell me all about that particular model.“ They both laugh at the fact. Both hubbies are working at Just John together and continue to focus towards the beginning of their new family and keeping the

dynamic of their current one.

realized we were in an ice cream place.“

The men had previously donated their sperm to a loving lesbian couple, which allowed the two women to give birth to a daughter, Zoe. The agreement also came with a close friendship, and they are all very close to each other and one another’s family.

“Oh my God! I am obsessed with ice cream,” Harrison adds.

In exchange for their sperm, the lesbian couple agreed to be the surrogates for the men’s child – or children, as the men have recently learned that they are expecting twins in the summer of 2015.

“It’s all about the little things, mostly,” Roberts says. “If you surprise each other with coffee in the morning, we each know when the other has had a rough night or long day at work.” The couple says the daily things are the most genuine and important. One another’s company is something that they truly value the most. Keeping things exciting is also very important to the husbands. “Just recently, we were going to the gym and afterwards, I surprised him with Serendipity ice cream,” Drake recalls. “He was stressed and on the phone, so it wasn’t until after we were inside that he even

This couple knows they have made an impact on their LGBT community, receiving compliments and love from people who really look up to their relationship. They say they feel it is important to lead by example. “We feel as if there isn’t a lot of emphasis on relationships within the gay community,” they say. “We want to be that example. There is still potential for a quality relationship when you are in a same-sex relationship.”

“I think they talk and hang out with my mom more than I do,” Drake says with a laugh.

Just like Roberts made the effort to surprise his future husband with the proposal and ring four years ago, efforts of romance are still very much alive for them today in their marriage.

“It’s about who you are with and not what you are doing,“ Roberts says.

When it comes to advice about planning a wedding, they have a simple message they wish to get across.

Gym and dessert don’t go together, but to this couple, it’s about what is perfect for them personally. Surprising with sweets after a workout is an example of the little things that mean so much to this marriage. With being married for three years thus far, the couple has had time to adjust to the new life together and become comfortable with their newfound traditions – one of which is pumpkin carving in the fall. To them, it’s not really about doing a set thing at a specific place that makes a tradition. With family scattered all over the country, their main concern is to make sure that everyone can be together on those special holidays.

“I was sort of like a groomzilla,” Roberts says. “I’m saying don’t focus too much on the little things that wont even matter. It’s all about the big picture and not the tiny details that you won’t even remember.” They never had a reception at the time of their wedding and still have not had one. They are just too happy to finally be married and start their lives after all of the wedding stresses; however, they are shooting for a big party on their fifth wedding anniversary to make up for it! Married life to this loving team seems nothing short of cheery, romantic and silly. They say they wouldn’t change a thing. “We are happy where we are in life and can’t wait to see where it takes our family.” V

“There is still potential for a quality relationship

when you are in a same-sex relationship.” 



November 2014 275 Union Blvd, Penthouse 1700, St. Louis, MO 63108 (314) 421-9400 Written by Andrea Piamonte Photography by Pat Cimo

Photography LLC & Joanna Kleine Photography

Entertainment Options

The Vital

Wedding Guide

Talent Plus Universal with Nikki Franklin, Principal

Talent Plus Tips

“Variety is really the key word in that question because we have the gamut of entertainment for weddings. That can start with the ceremony side, like string trios, small ensembles, vocalists, etc. It can also flow into the reception side, which is where people see the most entertainment that they use. We have your dance variety cover bands, DJs, etc. What is unique to us is that we also have Environmental Entertainment, which are elements that further a theme or further the decor, but they are living people at the same time.”

Nikki's Entertainment Fav “We had a wedding where the client wanted to use champagne greeter; she’s called Ms. Apertif or Ms. A for short. Her wedding was Disneythemed and we transformed that character into Cinderella.” Note: Ms. Apertif is a customizable character wearing a metal-caged skirt that holds 100 wine glasses and serves your guests with your drink of choice.

1. Entertainment is just as important. “A lot of times people will spend their entire budget, and then come to us and say, “Well I only have this and that’s all I’ve got.” Entertainment was an afterthought. We try to educate our buyers about the value of entertainment.

2. Consistency. “Doug [Hall] always says ’Entertainment is the gift that you give to your guests.’ It’s important to have that flow to show your guests what that gift is throughout the rest of the night. Creating this tone that really sets them up to enjoy themselves from the beginning to the end.”

Get To Know Us

3. Think out of the box. “The biggest tip for

“The mission of Talent Plus in making your day special is telling people what the simplest form is to pair the right you want. If you’re open to being creative entertainment with the right buyer. So, and including some non-traditional that means taking what the client needs and elements — like a living fountain, finding the entertainment matches that.” fire performers or a band that has a theme — those sorts of Having the right entertainment is essential to making things will take the standard your wedding unique and the envy to all the other nuptials reception and heighten it of the year. It’s one thing to have plain-jane servers tending to the next level.” to your guests with ordinary music playing in the background, but Talent Plus takes entertainment to a completely different level. Talent Plus Universal is a full-service talent and entertainment booking agency that provides exceptional talent for exceptional clients. Their roster offers a wide variety of entertainment options, including: Environmental Entertainment, Models, Actors (Union and Nonunion), Musicians, Comedians, Performers, Speakers, Makeup Artists and Stylists, and so much more.

Extra Perks:

Because Talent Plus has a wide variety of production acts and are entertainment specialists, the agency can pair different acts to customize to your wedding theme and create a unique ambiance for your guests. Talent Plus personalizes your entertainment choices to make sure there is a consistency between what happens at the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and reception. 


Ces & Judy’s Catering “Dazzling & Delicious”

The Vital


with Natalie Kaczmarczyk,

Senior Catering and Event Manager


Photography Courtesy of

Ces & Judy’s Catering

Services & Packages

Get To Know Us For over 33 years, Ces & Judy’s Catering has been dazzling weddings across the St. Louis region with their award-winning catering services and delicious dishes. With their Executive Chef Mary Noble leading the way in innovative and gourmet cuisine, Ces & Judy’s can match the menu to “We really love matching the menu to the client. suit the needs of each individual From traditional French, to Indian, to good, oldclient. From there, they help fashioned comfort food, we can and do excel at throughout the overall planning custom menu choices.” process, including: scheduling and a timeline, the layout of the event space and collaborating with the vendors.

Food & Menu Options

They aren’t just caterers. They have their own unique and transformable venue, including the newly renovated Le Chateau that provides an elegant, French-Country ambience. With Weddings, Corporate Events and Social Events, Ces & Judy’s has got you covered. “We strive to continually improve and enhance your experience with us. We take great pride in our menu selections, and we excel in tailoring your event to suit your particular needs and desires. Personalizing your event is our forte; creating one of a kind drinks and cuisine, specific to your theme.”

Natalie's Food Faves:

“ We want 10405 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO (314) 991-6700

Ces & Judy’s offers customizable and upgradable packages for your unique wedding theme and ambience. You can choose to have your wedding on site in the newly remodeled Le Chateau or Off-Premise. Each package includes: • Table Linens, Flatware, Glassware & China
 • Professional Service Staff
 • Trained Bartenders
 • Three or Four-hour Host Bar
 • Your wedding cake cut by our culinary team and served on a painted plate. Packages are eligible for the following upgrades: • Passed Hors D’oeuvres during Cocktail Hour •
Signature Cocktail •
Wine with Dinner •
Champagne Toast
 • Wedding Cake, served with Gelato Bon Bon •
Chair Covers •
Specialty Linens
 • Uplighting •
GOBO Design (use your own or our design team can create one for you!)

In addition to these packages listed above, Ces & Judy’s also have A major perk of the job is being treated to all the Wedding Packages to help get different items we provide. A few of my favorites are: the culinary planning started! Be sure to check them out at Hors d’oeurves: Scallop BLT and Short Rib Tartlet with Parsnip Puree

couples Entrée: Roasted Chicken Breast with Champagne Cream Sauce with a side of our signature Carrot Soufflé to feel starting a Drinks: You can never go wrong with a comfortable classic French 75! relationship with coming in and Ces & Judy’s. ”


November 2014 8509 Delmar Blvd, St Louis, MO 63124 (314) 993-5455

Photography by

Hayden Andrews

Personalize It ! “Jill believes in individual celebrations, so what better way to do that with cupcakes? Everyone get their own flavor, everyone gets their own style and you can do that together. So, to celebrate individually together is pretty much everything we do, down to the icing, cupcakes and lunch. You can be creative. You can be colorful, whimsical, or plain or vanilla. [Laughs] Whatever your flavors, we got it.”

Ice Cream With 19 delicious, homemade flavors (including sorbets), you can enjoy ice cream between courses, during the cocktail hour, dinner, reception — basically, any time you want, ice cream can be served. Jilly’s can also customize a flavor to suit your taste or wedding theme. “We can do an ice cream bar at the wedding as well. What better way to celebrate and enjoy cupcakes with some ice cream? It’s the perfect marriage — if you will. Some of our ice cream has cake bits in it and having some ice cream that pairs with the cupcakes’ complimentary flavors, is a great way to do it. We can even have one of our sundae guys come out, build sundaes for the wedding and scoop right there on site.”

Advance Notice “We are happy to fulfill any special custom order within 48 hours. If it is a larger cupcake order, please give us 2-3 days time. If you find yourself in a last-minute crunch, then we will do our very best to accommodate you in any way we can.”

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe

The Vital

Wedding Guide

with Jackson Heffner, VP of Marketing

Get To Know Us

Cupcakes & Options

Now, if you’re looking for the best tasting and looking wedding cake, there’s no other place but Jilly’s Jilly’s offers customized full-size Cupcake Bar & Cafe. With three cakes, towers or displays of cupcakes appearances and two wins on Food and even a combination of the two Network’s Cupcake Wars, awardwith an individual cake on top of a fleet of winning homemade chocolate , Jilly’s cupcakes underneath. Cupcakes are available has the experience and creativity to in three sizes: Jumbo, Standard and Mini. make your wedding dreams come true. “We have our monthly flavors too, like caramel apple. If it’s in season and you have a fall wedding, we can add those fall elements and flavors into it.”

“For us, it’s just weddings here at Jilly’s,” Jack says. “When it comes to that, come in. Meet our designers. Tell us All of the ingredients and cake components what you want, tell us what you’re dreaming are made in-house — down to the of, and we’ll map it out for you. We’ll show you marshmellows, chocolate chips, & how to get there.” chocolate bark — which makes it possible to personalize every aspect of your wedding cake.

Top Wedding Flavors: Turtle Cheesecake Bee Sting 24-Karat Carrot Cake Chocolate Thunder 


We see guys, too. HIV testing and counseling • HPV Vaccine • STD testing and treatment • Testicular cancer screenings • Vasectomy

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, one near you | 800.230.plan (7526) |


November 2014 3 locations on Hoffmeister Avenue, Watson Road & Maryland Heights

Photography Courtesy of

Orlando’s Catering

Orlando’s Catering & Event Centers

The Vital

Wedding Guide

Event Centers, Catering & Special Event Design with Mike Orlando

Services/Packages You can choose to have your wedding at Orlando’s Event Centers or in St. Louis area venues. Orlando’s inclusive packages can include…

• Room Rental • Open Bar and other Bar Packages • Party Trays • A Full Course Menu of your choice • Interactive and Specialty Stations • Grand Finales Dessert Options • Customized Linen, China, Glassware, Tables, Chairs, etc. • Labor • Can arrange Audio/Visual Services for destination weddings

Get To Know Us Looking for a one-of-a-kind space to give your wedding that extra Wow Factor? Well, Orlando’s Catering and Event Centers is here and ranked on the caterer’s list of St. Louis’ most unique venues. With 47 years of experience, the “The menu options range from simple to family-owned business strives to make gourmet, and Orlando’s even offers customthe wedding process stress free by designed menus. “Our wedding clients prefer offering rentals, labor, venue options ideas that are cutting edge in how the food is and a huge variety of menus with prepared to how it is displayed and served. We offer fresh, seasonal ingredients — buffet dining, seated dinners and Hors D’oeuvres at an affordable price. menus with ‘interactive’ station cooking where the guests have total control of how the food is “We are a ‘one-stop’ caterer and event prepared and what ingredients they prefer.” center.  We can arrange for everything

Food & Menu Options

from florists, to entertainment, to rentals and everything you need to plan the perfect event. Many of our clients are very busy and we can take care of many of their needs.”

…and so much more. Orlando’s is willing to customize any of their packages to suit your taste and budget.

“Whether you’re looking for a simple party or elegant gala, Orlando’s can help Mike's Food fulfill your dreams Faves: on any budget,”

“It’s like asking which of my children I love the most! I know our clients really like our Grilled Vegetable Sambuca and Italian Chicken Spedini Advance Notice with fresh Italian Salsa.  We enjoy creating our client’s favorite signature drinks “We can create an event one year that reflect their personalities.” prior or one month prior. Many

Mike Orlando says.

weddings these days are often booked three to four months prior. Years ago, it used to be 12-18 months out.” 


A multi-sensory experience of fiber, color, sound, and movement.

currents 109

NICK CAVE Open through March 8

Nick Cave, American, born 1959; Soundsuit, 2014; mixed media including beaded and sequined fabric, bugle beads, shoelaces, fabric, metal, and mannequin; Photos by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York Š Nick Cave

Vital Voice Nick Cave hori fourth.indd 1


November 2014

10/3/14 4:17 PM 11 different locations near you!

Walter Knoll Florist

The Vital

Wedding Photography courtesy of

Walter Knoll Florist


with Chuck Knoll, Head of Operations

Flower Options Walter Knoll specializes in the most creative floral designs, but recognizes the importance of cost and value. With your theme, taste and desires in mind, Walter Knoll strives to make those wedding dreams into reality. They bring a wide variety of flowers from more than 100 venders everyday. Here are a few of the signature designs to highlight your wedding day:

• Bouquets • Corsages • Boutonnieres • Flower Girls • Flowers for your Hair • Ceremony/Altar Arrangements and Chair & Pew Decorations • Reception Centerpieces and Cake Decorations ….and so much more

Who to Contact “Anyone on our event team. Come by almost any Thursday or Friday for just a visit, not the consultation. Just to get the feel and vibe of the wedding being created. Working intimately with a florist is always an important decision. I think it is really fun to just come by and just meet some of the staff. When you have connected with the consultant, that is destined to create your wedding visionary, and generally, you know pretty quickly.

Get To Know Us Walter Knoll Florist is your one-stop shop for all your floral needs in St. Louis. With two and a half acres of flower heaven, Walter Knoll provides engaged couples endless combinations and options. They are industry leaders in trendsetting and variety. From boutonnières to bouquets to floral sculptures, Walter Knoll has it all. “We are the experts,” Chuck Knoll says. “Our staff works and creates in the unique environment every day. If you want Vision, Uniqueness and Wow Factor, then you’re benefit is we deliver.”

“Our shop has been helping St. Louisians for over 130 years to create visions “It really is never too early. So, if with floral sculptures. But the simple you have a year, come in and see that it’s done right now. But on truth about the flower business is that it’s no the other hand, I don’t want secret flowers make people smile and they enjoy you to be worried that them. We want to accent the day of your event — the it’s too late with our vast way you want it done. We want to help by being inventory and resources that a part of the vision that is created. That’s we have at the suppliers and that we can call upon. We can create why we thank you for choosing Walter your vision even if you were to come Knoll Florist and allowing us the in next week and you have an event.” privilege to just be part of your family.”

Advance Notice 


Lumen Private Event Space The Caramel Room

The Vital

Wedding Guide

2201 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 241.5757 1600 N. Broadway St Louis, MO (314) 615-2480

Photography by

Switzer Film

Lumen Amenities Lumen is a new downtown

• 20 foot ceilings with dramatic floor-toprivate event space ceiling windows from Minaret Group (Mike Shannon’s) and Lounge Concepts • State-of-the-art customizable LED (Pepper Lounge, Mandarin, El lighting system Borracho, Mist) that is like no other • Built-in audiovisual capabilities private event space in the area. With its including a house sound system many unique and best-in-St. Louis features, and flat-screen TVs Lumen is a great venue for your next event. • A full service catering/ Recently opening on Sept. 29, the Caramel banquet kitchen with Room at Bissinger’s blends equal amounts of wonderful recipes chic and sweet at St. Louis’ newest wedding • Hardwood floors venue. Beaming natural light, hardwood floors, an outdoor terrace featuring river • Architecturally stunning and skyline views, and chocolatehistoric location infused culinary adventures, • Professional, experienced banquet staff all encompassed within a working chocolate factory.


November 2014

The Caramel Room Amenities • Can be used for weddings, corporate events and other private parties • 13,000-square-foot space • Large, warehouse-style windows that give way to a flood of natural light and sights of the downtown skyline • Outdoor terrace overlooking the Mississippi River that can be used for receptions, ceremonies, etc. • Indoor ceremony Area • Liability insurance • Liquor license • On the water • Onsite catering • Onsite parking

The Vital

Wedding Guide

Perfect Wedding Guide with Kassaundra Schario, St. Louis Market Manager, PWG Wedding Show Producer

Top Tips with Kassaundra

Get To Know Us

With technology at your fingertips and so many vendors, event spaces, food and cake options, it in the excitement as they should be! Couples tend to get influenced very may be a bit overwhelming to plan and organize easily when planning their wedding. This is a very emotional time for the couple for your wedding. Perfect Wedding Guide and it is ever so important to know what they want and listen to their friends and (PWG) compiles all of these options for you family but at the end of the day plan the wedding of their dreams not someone else’s through their local publication of Perfect dream. Stick to their vision and hire the right wedding professionals that will respect Wedding Guide, mobile application the couple’s vision and bring it to life for them.” and at PWG Wedding Shows.

1. Stay True to your Wedding Dream. Couples are caught up

2. Research. “We must also add that hiring respectable vendors is a must! Do some

Through extensive research, they find the top-notch vendors and locations, inspire you with wedding ideas and provide you with local bridal shows. Their clean website 3. Get a Videographer. “Of course, in planning a wedding there is a rush to get the design and vast available planning tools help venue, caterer and photographer you want. After that everything is supposed to fall to make the stressful planning process easier. in to place.  One large piece of the wedding that many couples regret  not seeking out earlier or not even having at their wedding is a videographer. This is the “The simplicity of navigating our website and not most  important day in your life to not have it captured on video seems to be overloaded by the many choices and shopping be a huge regret for many couples.” options, other than just vendors, that you are seeking for your wedding. Our site is designed with the couple in mind. Simple browsing and planning tools lend themselves to brides 4. Beauty is Important too. “Another important piece of the and grooms on the go.”  wedding day that is often postponed is wedding day beauty. If you need hair and makeup services, be sure to find artists in advance before they book up. Many offer on location services, so they will come right to you and your wedding party!” “On PWG.COM a visitor (bride or groom) is not required to be a member to simply navigate our 5. Remember your Guests. “Lastly, website.  If the user needs to hop on and search wedding party gifts shouldn’t be first or last for something in a hurry and be done, they on your list of wedding to-do’s. You want can do that — no login required. With that these people to know how much you said, PWG.COM offers many planning appreciate their helping with your “Readers can utilize the FAQ section, which tools, local events, and of course, the special day. Nothing says, ‘I didn’t is HUGE! When reading this about a particular best giveaways for the couples to forget about you,’ like a wellvendor, this could be the key information needed to make register with our site.” thought-out gift. Be sure to a couple want to now contact the vendor, or even find out give yourself enough time to their service is not what they need. The DEALS feature think about these gifts and get is fabulous! Who doesn’t love a special offer or something from the heart, or even discount these days? These are deals that personalized. These gifts don’t need to be expensive, but they should only couples on PWG will be able be thoughtful.” to redeem and they are being homework before signing a contract. This is as easy as doing a quick search from your smartphone before making the final decision.” 

Easy Wedding Planning

Website Features:

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November 2014





“I have the microphone and you d o n ’ t, s o I a m g o i n g t o s ay w h a t e v e r t h e h e l l I w a n t. ” 28

November 2014


ary Lambert

Taking the world by storm

Hanna Botney Photography by Autumn de Wilde Written by

Mary Lambert is best known for her love of crop tops, infectious laugh, being authentically herself and singing the hook in “Same Love” with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She recently hung up her bartending towel and dove head first into her career as a singer/songwriter. She has released two EPs, was nominated for two Grammys and performed “Same Love” at the Grammys with Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Madonna, while Queen Latifah married 33 couples. She has used her newfound fame to talk and sing about issues that are important to her, such as mental health, self-love, LGBT rights and everything in-between. Her new album Heart on My Sleeve is an honest look into Lambert’s life as of now. She sings about her own struggles and successes in hopes of inspiring others. She recently released the single “Secrets” to encourage vulnerability. “I felt like there were a lot of songs coming out about selfempowerment and challenging beauty standards. I wanted to write a song along those same lines, but in my voice,” she says in her bio. “It’s easy to paint a pretty picture and tell everyone to love themselves, but it’s way more complicated than that. There is so much shame and guilt in our society, and I think it has deprived a lot of people from living fully. We’re all facing battles. We’ve all had someone who has hurt us, so let’s talk about it.” Lambert has opened herself with this first single and the entire album. She shared some of her experiences and thoughts her new album.

What was it like the first time you ever performed in front of a large crowd? The first time was with Macklemore. We did a show in Seattle that was about 8,000 people. I had previously played for like four people. [Laughs] It was a bit of a shock and I remember feeling so overwhelmed. I cried really hard and I felt everything so much. I also remember there was this moment of a little

bit of mourning — mourning sort of a life that I knew I wasn’t going to be able to live anymore. It is hard to explain.

What is the best or most memorable interaction that you have had with a fan? There are a couple. I mean, every time I do a show, I feel something new and I see something new. I regularly cry at meet and greets or anytime I meet fans. One of my favorites though was about two years ago, I did a Pride festival and this woman came up to me; she was a minister. She had been in the closet because she didn’t want to get kicked out of her church and she loved the church so much. She had a really difficult time reconciling the two. She felt like she was living two lives. After she saw me perform, she said, “I know what I have to do. I have to come out to the church and I know that I will have to leave my position. It is going to be the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I need to live openly, be who I am and be accepted for that.” I don’t know what happened — I don’t know what the result of that was, but just to be the catalyst of someone else’s courage is beyond what I could ask for as an artist.

Do you ever run into unaccepting people when you are performing? Oh, totally. That was a big part of the tour I was just on with Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson. I was opening, so there were a lot of people who didn’t know who I was. [Laughs] They were there for Gavin DeGraw. It was mostly shows in the Midwest, so it was a huge eye-opening experience for me. I think what it taught me is that over the last couple of years, I have lived the life of a privileged lesbian. I’m not only instantly accepted when I walked into a room, but encouraged to be who I am. Going into the Midwest and performing these songs gave me a new perspective of why it is important to perform these songs. Yeah, I felt some hostility and people that really didn’t want me 


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November 2014

there. I would have these moments of “Well, I have a microphone and you don’t.” [Laughs] I am the one that is opening, so I am going to say whatever the hell I want.

What was your favorite moment from that tour? There were a couple, but I think it was really a bonding experience for my whole crew. I tour with my best friends. My guitarist and I have been friends for six years. My vocalist is a friend of mine from college. My tour manager and I have been friends with for four years. My manager and I have been friends for six years. We are a really tight-knit group. I am really happy that I am surrounded by people that I love and that hold me accountable in a lot of ways. They have propelled me to continue doing what I am doing. They have seen me from the beginning and they have known what I stand for. It is always the best encouragement. Those moments with my band have been really fulfilling.

so out of touch from the actual message and what was important. Walking into rehearsal, it hit me like a bus

— this is so beyond any of that. It has nothing to do with any of us and everything to do with the shift in our culture.

Your new album dropped last month. What is the sound or the tone you were trying to set with Heart on My Sleeve? I wanted to create a pop album with a thoughtful conscience. I wanted to make something that reached people, hopefully, in a profound way. It is a pop record. I had five goals for the record: to have fun, to make something catchy, to make sure that I was conscious of the intention of each song, make sure that I was being completely and authentically myself and to hopefully make money. I think it is really easy for us to sort of go through our lives and say things and do things without realizing the impact they have. These things that we say can deeply impact the world. I wanted to make sure there was accountability. But most importantly, I wanted to create a pop album with a conscience.

Your Grammy performance was epic. What was it like performing with Madonna and being a part of such Do you have a favorite a huge moment for so track on the new album? many people? It was such a pivotal moment for me. In the weeks leading up to the Grammys, I was very career-oriented. I was focused on how this was going to propel me forward and releasing my single after and the future. As it got closer to the actual performance, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t realize I was getting

It fluctuates. It is my baby so it is like trying to choose your favorite child. Right now, I think it is “Chasing the Moon.” For me, it was a neat moment as a songwriter to tackle this. I wanted to create a story song, which I have never done before. I wanted to capture what high school felt like for me. The melody is really cool and the production on it is so sick. It sounds like the first time I heard a Tori Amos song.

I am just really proud of it.

With the release of “Secrets,” you have been sharing little secrets about yourself. Do you have a favorite secret or fun fact about yourself? I am a really good bartender. I love being a mixologist. I love craft bartending. I am trying to figure out some way to do it on the road. I am still trying to grasp the concept of someone paying $100 to meet me when I want to meet everybody. It is just weird. I would feel better if there was something I could offer. We need to do a meet and greet where I make everyone a cocktail. [Laughs] Meet and greet and a cocktail.

“Heart on my sleeve” is now available on itunes.

Do you have favorite cocktail to make? I make a pretty sick Old Fashioned. I know it is a very simple drink, but it is the actual amount of ingredients. Precision is important. I like to do little twists on it. I will sometimes put a brandied cherry in there, or smoke an orange peel and give it a different aroma. The possibilities with an Old Fashioned are endless.

If you could do a duet with anyone in the world, who would it be? Natalie Maines. I want to write a song with her. She has been such a hero of mine.

Is there anything in your career that you’re dying to accomplish? I want to win a Grammy for Album of the Year. V 



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November 2014


to drag Written by

Chris Andoe Photog


elinda Ryder (Bruce Winter) and Kirk Nelson are among Kansas City’s most well-known and beloved couples. The two met in 1982 at a softball tournament in Houston.

“I got to see Bruce and Melinda in the same day,” Nelson begins. “I thought he was the cutest guy there and someone told me he was a drag queen. The only drag queen I’d ever seen was a scrawny thing that looked like a prostitute, but Bruce wasn’t a small guy and seemed pretty masculine, so I just couldn’t picture it. That evening, I saw Melinda perform alongside the top drag queens in the country and I was amazed by the transformation.” Born and raised in St. Louis, Melinda regularly performed at the Red Bull. “The River Queens there were top notch and taught me a lot. In 1976, I was crowned ‘Most Promising New Entertainer’ and I guess they knew what they were talking about. I’m still at it nearly 40 years later,” Ryder says. That same year she moved to Kansas City, where drag queens weren’t even allowed in gay bars. “There was a club called the Jewel Box where straight people went to see drag queens, much like La Cage in Paris,” Ryder recalls. “It was a tourist attraction, but drag was frowned upon in gay bars until the early 80s. Back then, everyone was trying to be butch and even the nelliest queen in the bar would be wearing a flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up.” However, the gay bars would come calling when they needed to raise money, and Ryder used those openings to push for change, convincing bar owners that drag was good for business. In the following years, she directed shows at every club in town. The transformation from Bruce to Melinda takes 90 minutes. “About 45 minutes for the face, and 45 for the padding, hair, and getting dressed,” Ryder explains. “And Kirk is the ultimate drag husband.” “I’ve always been in the theatre,” Nelson says. “At first, I would just do her costuming, hair and makeup for special events.

raphy by Jon


Now I do it all the time.” “We’re totally in sync,” Ryder says. “When preparing for a show, I know what he wants me to do without him saying a word.” Ryder says the boyfriends of drag performers often feel pushed aside, but in addition to Nelson’s interest in theatre and costuming, he’s a performer in his own right with singing gigs around town. Their shared interest in show business has made their relationship fun and effortless. “At first, there was a little conflict because I was staying out ‘til three or four in the morning, because you preform until one and then you want to have a few hours of fun yourself,” Ryder says. “But at our age, it’s not fun to just hang out at a bar, so Kirk doesn’t go out at all. We only go out when there’s a show and we’re always together. We’re heavily involved in our community, serving on several boards including the LikeMe Lighthouse, which is Kansas City’s LGBT Center, and Gay and Lesbian Archives of Mid-America (GLAMA). They don’t know many other relationships like theirs. “It seems a lot of drag queens have a boyfriend one minute and the next they don’t,” Nelson says. “I think some try to hide the fact they’re a drag queen at first, out of fear of being rejected. But when it comes to the person you’re with, you have to respect their personal interests.” Regarding their advice for longevity, Nelson continues, “If you’re out and something makes you mad, don’t make a scene! Just be mad for a day or two, talk about it and don’t break up over it.” On their 30 anniversary, the two were legally married in Iowa, and then they held what they call “our big drag wedding” at Kansas City Museum’s palatial Corinthian Hall, also known as the “Palace on Gladstone Boulevard,” in what was the event of the season. A lavish spectacle fit for a Queen. V 


Join Us For The 22nd Annual St. Louis Human Rights Campaign Gala

Saturday, November 22, 2014 Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark Performance By: Dana Goldberg

Keynote Speaker: Claire McCaskill For Information: To Purchase Tickets:

Now Open!

FREE admission

Transfer of the Louisiana Territory, New Orleans, 1803

The Louisiana Purchase PRESENTED BY

Making St. Louis, Remaking America William T. Kemper Foundation — Commerce Bank, Trustee

Organized by the Missouri History Museum in partnership with the National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Missouri History Museum Forest Park | 314.746.4599 |


November 2014 



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November 2014


Television’s Uncharted Territory

With MTV’s Faking It star,

Bailey De Young Written by Leon A. Braxton, JR. Photography by ViaCom/MTV

MTV’s teen dramedy, Faking It, is about to go where no other TV show has dared to go. The show is stirring things up in the second season by revealing that one of its main characters is intersex. Say what?! Yes! Intersex! Intersex is a term used for a variety of conditions where a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male.

On Faking It, Bailey De Young portrays Lauren, a hyper-feminine, bitchy teen living in the suburbs of Austin — where being different makes you popular. The first season ended with a cliffhanger for Lauren after rumors started flying about mysterious pills she was taking regularly. The second season’s premiere revealed that Lauren regularly takes hormones. She was born with Androgen Insensitive Syndrome, a type of intersex condition that means she was born with male chromosomes, but develops as a female. Being intersex myself, I was excited to chat with one of television’s first actors to play an intersex character.

How did you react when they brought you the storyline of playing an intersex person?

I found out mid-season one, and my reaction was like, “Oh that’s exciting! That’s cool!” Then I was like, “What is that?” because I was clueless about what that meant. The more I learned about it, the more I was excited and the more responsibility I felt depicting an intersex person accurately. I knew it was uncharted territory, so the only fear I have is that I want to make sure I do a good job and that intersex people are happy with it.”

What did you learn about intersex people that you didn’t know before?

I learned so much because intersex is an umbrella term. I learned a lot about Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome because that’s what Lauren had. I was surprised after I heard from several people that when they went to the doctor, the doctor told them they would never meet anybody like them — that it’s so rare and that they were one in a million — when in fact, it’s one in 2,000. The people I talked to spoke about their experience of feeling isolated. Many of them felt, “If they were so rare, then it must be shameful.” I hope that Faking It can help change that, because it’s obviously not true.

Are there stories of people who saw the show and came out as intersex?

We worked with Emily Quinn from Inter/Act and she had never come out as being intersex. She wrote an article for MTV and it was beautiful. She, then, publicly came out as being intersex. It was really exciting. I was told that it’s really hard to explain it to somebody. One cool thing I heard someone say was: “Have you ever seen Lauren from Faking It? It’s that.”

what is THE message you are trying to send about your intersex character?

I would be really excited and happy if having Lauren being intersex on Faking It took away some of the taboo. It would be great if people talked about it, not in hushed voices like it was something to be ashamed about, but out in the open – loud and proud. I don’t think intersex is something to be ashamed about at all. If it could just open the doors for people to be educated about it accurately. V 


s ’ t e e r c u a s c e h t n e i S Who gets the last bite? Oops, too late. That’s what happens when this level of culinary wizardry is right in your own backyard. From Palermo to Puerto Rico, the globe is well represented, as is our homegrown comfort food, from flash-fried spinach to fried green tomatoes. Find out why The Advocate called us “…the LGBT beacon of the Midwest.” Check out our impressive packages at


November 2014

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isters S & s r e h Brot n Written

by Denny


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4 1 0 2 , 0 2 #TDOR

Every year on Nov. 20, the LGBT community and its allies acknowledge a day of observance specifically set aside for the transgender community. Known as Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), this day memorializes those who lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence, hatred and prejudice. TDOR was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was stabbed to death in her own apartment in 1998. To this day, her murder still remains unsolved. Hester’s death only came weeks after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, which received a national outcry; however, Hester’s death barely received public attention. Smith’s vigil also commemorated all transgender individuals who lost their lives to violence that year and kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project. “Gwendolyn Smith brought light to the many deaths that have occurred because these individuals are being murdered or killing themselves due to living their authentic lives,” says Sayer Johnson, President of the St. Louis Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG). “Trans rights are a human rights issue – not just in our county, but around the world.” Generally, TDOR memorials include public funerals and a reading of the names of those that lost their lives throughout the previous year. Guest speakers will speak about ending the violence, and other events may involve candlelight vigils, art shows, marches and film screenings. “It is a somber reminder of the state of many of our sisters and some brothers,” Johnson says.

For more information, contact Johnson through, Mullins at (314) 361-3221 or visit

TDOR is the culmination of Transgender Awareness Week, which is held every year from Nov. 11-17. Individuals and

organizations across the country participate to help encourage visibility for transgender and gender non-conforming people, and the issues they face. Transgender people’s struggles are often overlooked, and the day of remembrance honors their lives. Through the vigils, we express love and respect in the face of national indifference and hatred. TDOR is an opportunity for communities to come together. So, how exactly is St. Louis participating in TDOR? For one, MTUG will be will be joining the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in an event that has been organized for years by Shane Fairchild. The event will be held at Epiphany Church on McNair Avenue from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is open to the public. As one of the metro area’s premier non-profit organizations dedicated to positive trans visibility, education and outreach, MTUG will hold its annual march in The Grove on Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 10 p.m. “We will take up some visible space in The Grove with a candlelight march,” Johnson explains. “We will meet at the corner of Sarah and Manchester. We want to show our community that we are a valuable and empowered group of people. We are no longer going to be invisible. ” In addition, the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis will honor TDOR by focusing on transgender people throughout the month of November with special elements of worship designed to highlight trans lives. “This exhibit is both moving and important as Scott presents the photographic art, as well as the narratives, of these people’s lives,” says Senior Pastor Rev. Wes Mullins. V 



November 2014

Dana Goldberg Dana Goldberg’s got that wisecracking edginess and sets the standard for smart comedy. The sharp, insightful comedian is touring and piggybacking for LGBT community and marriage equality with her tonguein-cheek jokes. Now, she’s headed to hit the stage in St. Louis and have you rolling on the floor with laughter for the HRC Gala Dinner at Hilton at the Ballpark on Nov. 22. Voted in Curve Magazine as one of the “Top Five Funniest Lesbians in America,” Goldberg got her start after auditioning and winning her high school talent show at 17 years old. Ten and a half years later, Goldberg is a full-time comic and performs at HRC Galas across the country. Get ready St. Louis: This comedian is ready to expose all of those thoughts you’ve been thinking, but were too afraid to say. You’ve performed at HRC Galas across the nation, how do you plan to make your show in St. Louis unique? Well, at some of the galas, they bring me in for just the live auction. I do a couple of minutes of comedy, get the crowd on my side and get everyone excited. Then, I bring

A comedian that’ll make you smarter with her sharp jokes Written by

Andrea Piamonte Tony Donaldson

Photography by

them back from the dinner breaks, and after, I do the live auction. But for St. Louis, I actually get to emcee. St. Louis gets more of me than the other cities, which is nice! With you emceeing the live auction, how do you plan on adding a bit of comedy into it? Because I do stand-up full time, it’s something that just organically happens. I know the crowd that attends these galas. They’re educated and excited and they’re celebrating. They’re driven — driven to make LGBT marriage equality happen across the country. Usually, it just happens and comedy comes into the live auction and I don’t know why, but I’m really good at it! That’s why they keep using me ­– thank God! Where do you get your inspiration for your jokes? Definitely politics, especially in election years. I’m visibly keen on Sarah Palin recently saying that the White House is on “1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.” Those sorts of things I’m like, “Ha yeah! If there’s anything I want more of, it’s honesty from the Willard Hotel in Washington DC… because that’s what’s at that 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.” Also, I get my inspiration from

relationships and my family. I’ve got a very, very funny Jewish family, which two out of three kids are gay. My brother and I get to talk a lot about that. We joke around about that because I’m gay and he’s gay and our sister is straight, but we say as long as she acts gay in public, we don’t have a problem with it. Well, she was born that way, it’s not her fault. [Laughs] And just life! I’m not one of those comics that jokes about pop culture or entertainment right now. It’s more of everyday stuff that no matter who you are, whether you are gay or straight, male or female, young or old, it connects with all of that. Comedy bridges the gap between those communities. Explain your raunchiest joke you’ve ever said during a performance. Ha, the raunchiest. Well, I don’t get too raunchy with stuff that’s so vulgar. But I do have another joke about Michele Bachmann’s husband. He has an organization called Pray the Gay Way and basically, it’s the idea that if you pray hard enough, you can “pray the gay out” of somebody. And I think every Catholic out there knows that if your mother can’t pray the gay away, nobody can. Then I would say, “If I’m on my knees longer than 15 minutes, I’m not praying.” Then at that

point, I actually go down to my knees and I say, “Unless it’s been like 45 minutes, and then, I’m like ‘Dear God, please let her cum. I can’t feel my jaw.’” I think that’s the raunchiest I get. I do have some sexual material in my jokes, but I don’t have any jokes that I am going to have an audience turn on me and say, “That was too far.” What do you think St. Louis can get pumped up about for the show? St. Louis is going to be awesome! I’m so stoked about this Gala and I know that the HRC is excited to have me there. We still have a lot of states that need marriage equality and going to the Gala and supporting that, makes it just one step closer. You have my word that I will bring the comic relief to the event. Sometimes when people are dressed up, in tuxedos or in gowns, you feel like you have to act very proper. You don’t. It’s still a celebration. Even though we will be covering some very serious topics and there will be incredible speakers, I love that I get to be that little comic relief that kicks it off and brings it back after the dinner break. If you haven’t been to the black-tie galas, you have to experience at least one in St. Louis. V

Want more laughs? Check out Dana Goldberg’s latest tour CD, “Crossing the Line,” available for purchase at To hear more of what Dana really thinks about Michele Bachmann’s husband and being the transition act between President Obama and Lady Gaga, go to for the rest of the story. 



November 2014

The most wonderful day of the year is just around the corner. Not Thanksgiving. Not Christmas. Not Hanukkah.

The busiest shopping day of the year showcases three of my favorite things: clusters of not-so-bright people crammed into confined spaces, hordes of high ticket items up for grabs at retail stores and the strong likelihood of random and casual violence that hits my g-spot every time.

Black Friday. Yes — that Black Friday.

Unsurprisingly, I am a Black Friday Ninja.

If the thought of yet another orgiastic display of consumer greed and epic smackdowns makes you as moist as it does to me, then pour some drinks and let’s get this party started!

I’ve tussled with 300-pound housewives, teen meth heads and even a few seemingly benign “men and women of the cloth” — and I have fucked up every one of them.

WRITTEN BY Penelope Wigstock ILLUSTRATIONS BY Andrea Piamonte

Before I share my thoughts on the upcoming Holiest of Holy Days,

let’s reminisce about some of my past highlights: Cabbage Patch Kids (1983)

This is the one that started it all and I was a naïve young beauty at the tender age of 12. When I arrived at the Venture store in Fairview Heights that fateful morning, only about 25 people were ahead of me in the line. Once inside, I made a mad dash for the toy section and found myself on the receiving end of a hammer fist punching the side of my head. Although the lard-assed assailant bought the last Cabbage Patch doll in the store, she didn’t count on me following her out the store and taco-kicking her so hard that she went down like a bag of dirt.

Teddy Ruxspin (1985) I lifted three of these from a K-Mart in a small southern Illinois town. The payoff with this gem wasn’t fighting for the item (thought I did mangle some bitch’s left eye so badly that she left in an ambulance). It was what I used the little treasures for: programming them to kneecap several school bullies who were making my life difficult at the time. This one holds a very special place in my little black heart.

Furbies (1998)

Apocalypse Now. This one is still hazy. A sea of bodies with contorted limbs. Blood. Dislocated shoulders. Broken arms and legs. A middle-aged man in an outdated suit being bitch slapped by a pimple-faced teenage girl wearing a kitty cat sweatshirt. I barely made it out alive and ended up with 14 stitches above my chin. The most bizarre part came afterwards. Anticipating the frenzy, I dressed as a “furry” character to try and distract the crowd. On my way to the bus stop, I was physically assaulted by some freak show who was ALSO dressed in a furry costume, though apparently for very different reasons. What started out as unwanted sexual advances soon escalated to a marathon sex-session in the back of a Bi-State bus headed to Collinsville. I felt like Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Romantic and glamorous beyond my wildest dreams.

So now you are probably asking,

“What can I do to become a Black Friday Ninja?” It takes a lot of hard work and preparation, but here goes:


Invest in several cans of mace and always keep a spare in your panties or undies.


When preparing tube socks filled with quarters or halfdollars, don’t just twist-tie or binder clip the ends — hot glue gun that shit for peace of mind.


Always – and I mean ALWAYS – have several fake identities ready, just in case you are hauled in with the rest of the trash. I once put away an old high school teacher for two months for a crime that she wasn’t even in the country for at the time!

# # #


Barter sex for toys. It’s ugly, but necessary sometimes. I won’t delve into details, but the shit that I did one year for a Teletubby would make a porn star blush.


Never give up. Literally. If your hand is on the item, do NOT let go. Pull hair. Push hard. Punch. Kick. Slap. You can do this!

# #

I wish all of you much success as you prepare for the “Beyond Thunderdome” event of this festive retail nightmare. V 


Playdates STL


STLPlaydates spotlight Choice Art


at Contemporary Art Museum Join Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and friendsbychoice for the annual ChoiceArt event. This fundraiser benefiting Planned Parenthood has become a staple fall arts event, and if you need a reason to go, check out the write-up on page 11.


Wendy ho

Janet Mock

AT Just John

Everyone’s favorite vulgar singer is hitting up Just John Nightclub again, this time to promote the launch of her new album Greatest Shits. Don’t miss this raunchy and hilarious show, and be careful not to have your purse stolen.

11/18 *Starting date


at fabulous fox Motown tells the story of the founder of Motown, Barry Gordy. The musical follows his life from featherweight boxer to musical heavy-hitter who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and more.


November 2014

at Washington University


Trans activist and PiersMorgan-smackdowner Janet Mock is heading to Wash U. Mock will speak about her lived experiences as a young trans woman of color and contextualizes those experiences to draw connections between her life, her work in media and her overall mission to broaden society’s portrait of womanhood.

HRC St. Louis Gala at hilton at the park The Hilton at the Ballpark hosts the Human Rights Campaign’s 22 annual St. Louis Gala. Featuring guest speakers, live entertainment and more, this is a perfect opportunity to get involved and immersed in everything that’s happened this year. For a taste of the entertainment you’ll see this year, check out our interview with Emcee Dana Goldberg on page 39.


Playdates KC


KC Playdates spotlight

Millennial league red party


at bistro 303

The Millennial League hosts its annual Red Party each November at Bistro 303. All proceeds from this event benefit AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Guests should wear red and/or red ribbons in honor of World AIDS Day. The event will feature an Absolut and Miller Lite bust and free HIV screening.


Mary Lambert

John cleese

AT The record bar

Hot on the release of her album Heart on my Sleeve, Mary Lambert hits the stage in KC. Gaining fame for singing the chorus on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” Lambert earned her place in history by performing alongside the duo at the Grammys while Queen Latifah married 33 couples. Read all about this month’s cover girl on page 26.


at midland theatre


If you haven’t gotten your comedy fix this month, head over to the Midland Theater and see an original Python, live on stage. Cleese cofounded Monty Python and has starred in many films, including the last three Shrek films and two James Bond films.

Wanda Sykes LikeMe lighthouse benefit show

Hunter hayes

Grammy nominated country music star Hunter Hayes will head through KC in November. Called “The Leader of Country Music’s Youth Revolution” by Billboard, Hayes was nominated for Best New Artist and won the Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year in 2012.

at the sprint center


at folly theatre

Folly Theater presents the annual fundraiser benefitting the LikeMe Lighthouse. This year, Wanda Sykes takes the stage, joined by Steve Grand, Wendy Liebman and Judy Gold. It’s a night full of comedy and music, hosted by Melinda Ryder. Purchase your tickets now, and check out our interview with Melinda on page 31. 



November 2014

Come as you are in Kansas City. From the moment you arrive to long after you leave, KC’s cool, cultural vibe and Midwestern hospitality are sure to leave an impression. No wonder named it one of America’s Most Underrated Cities for Gay Travelers. See how Kansas City inspires you at










#STLFW @_kellyhamilton






@lakalove 48

@kristheohar November 2014



















November 2014



Scene in KC



@joelalerio_fit @linaqaisy





Pamper Yourself. Support the Cause. Book a 50-minute Your Choice Massage or a 50-minute Classic Facial and ask for the “Pride St. Louis Spa Package”. Guests will pay the retail rate and Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis will donate a portion of sales to Pride St. Louis, Inc. Call 314-881-5758 or visit

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NOV. 15 TH 314.256.2148

ACCESS PROJECT is a team of Certified Application Counselors (CAC’s) who assist individuals and families with enrollment in the health insurance marketplace throughout Missouri. Our goal is to provide education and enrollment assistance on health insurance options that keep our community strong, healthy, covered.

Welcoming Space

November 2014  

The Wedding Issue - Mary Lambert - Vital VOICE Magazine

November 2014  

The Wedding Issue - Mary Lambert - Vital VOICE Magazine