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Vol. 6 Issue 3 • 2017

TRAVEL & First comes LOVE, Then comes...

TheMirrOrMaG.cOM


WE FOCUS ON HIV TO HELP YOU FOCUS ON

TODAY

Ask your doctor if a medicine made by Gilead is right for you.

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2017 | VOL 6 | ISSUE 3 2520 N. Dixie Highway | Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954.530.4970 Fax: 954.530.7943

Publisher NORM KENT norm.kent@sfgn.com

TABLE OF  CONTENTS NEWS FEATURES Society and the Healthy Psychotherapist  10 University of Miami Hospital Opens LGBTQ Wellness Center  12 HauteButch: Taking Niche Fashion up a Notch  16, 17 Gays and Guns  22, 23

COLUMNS

Opinion: A Mini History  18, 19 Beyond the LGBT  24 Television: "The Dating Game"  60

TRAVEL & MARRIAGE Something New  42

The Mixed Ethics of LGBT Tourism in the Caribbean  28, 29

Top Honeymoon Destinations  44-46

Finding Life: A Local Documentary on LGBT Families 30

Destination: Washington, D.C.  52

Pillow Talk  48, 49

The Box: Photo Feature  34-39

Downloadable Guides  54

Microneedling Scars Away  40

Marketplace: Wedding Gifts  56

Tiffany Frost-Avila and Virginia Frost-Avila. photography: char pratt. to see more photos, visit charcoalphoto.com.

Chief Executive Officer PIER ANGELO GUIDUGLI Associate Publisher/ JASON PARSLEY Executive Editor jason.parsley@sfgn.com Associate Editor JILLIAN MELERO JillianMelero@gmail.com

EDITORIAL Art Director BRENDON LIES artwork@sfgn.com Senior Features Reporter CHRISTIANA LILLY A&E Editor / Design J.W. ARNOLD Digital Content Director BRITTANY FERRENDI

SALES & MARKETING Director of Sales MIKE TROTTIER & Marketing mike.trottier@sfgn.com Sales Manager JUSTIN WYSE justin.wyse@sfgn.comm Senior Sales Assoc. KEVIN HOPPER kevin.hopper@sfgn.com Advertising Sales Assoc. EDWIN NEIMANN edwin.neimann@sfgn.com Advertising Sales Assoc. BRETT COPPOL brett.coppol@sfgn.com Advertising Sales Assoc. TIM HIGGINS tim.higgins@sfgn.com Distribution Services ROCKY BOWELL BRIAN SWINFORD Printing THE PRINTER’S PRINTER National Advertising RIVENDELL MEDIA 212-242-6863 sales@rivendellmedia.com Accounting Services CG BOOKKEEPING The Mirror is published quarterly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor are those of the writers. They do not represent the opinions of The Mirror or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations in The Mirror. Furthermore the word “gay” in The Mirror should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material that appears in The Mirror, both online at www.themirrormag. com, and in our print edition, including articles used in conjunction with the Associated Press and our columnists, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher of The Mirror, Norm Kent, at Norm@ NormKent.com. The Mirror is published by the South Florida Gay News. It’s a private corporation, and reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. M E M BGay E R News.com, Inc. MIRROR Copyright © 2017, South Florida

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history

to dr. weinberg, anti-lgbt bigotry was the true mental illness.

dr. george weinberg sOCiETY AnD THE HEALTHY psYCHOTHERApisT

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hen “Society and the Healthy Homosexual,” Dr. George Weinberg’s most famous book, was published in 1972, the consensus was that LGBT people were mentally ill. A best-selling book from that period was “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)” by Dr. David Reuben, a quack who described gay men as sad, promiscuous types who cruised public toilets and trans women as “surgically mutilated male homosexuals.” Dr. Weinberg was one of the first nonLGBT mental health professionals (Dr. Evelyn Hooker was another) to defy conventional wisdom. Because of his work, and that of activists like Barbara Gittings, Franklin Kameny and Jack Nichols, the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association declared, on December 15, 1973, that “by itself, homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being a psychiatric disorder.” Dr. Weinberg, who died of cancer on March 20 at age 87, was a true pioneer, and Society and the Healthy Homosexual was the most important book about LGBT people written by a heterosexual ally. (Dr. Alfred Kinsey was bisexual.) It was a must-read book for LGBT people coming out in the seventies; and Barbara Gittings included it in her “Gay Grab-Bag” list of essential titles. I myself named Dr. Weinberg’s book number 6 in my list of the most important LGBT books of the 20th Century (2000). To Dr. Weinberg, anti-LGBT bigotry

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Jesse Monteagudo was the true mental illness: “I would never consider a patient healthy unless he had overcome his prejudice against homosexuality.” In Society and the Healthy Homosexual Weinberg coined the word homophobia to describe “the dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals;” calls homophobia a disease; and notes that this is “an attitude held by many non-homosexuals and perhaps by the majority of homosexuals in countries where there is discrimination against homosexuals,” our own included. Though the concept of homophobia is Dr. Weinberg’s most famous contribution to queer thought, he is also one of the first to “propose a distinction between the words ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay.’ To be homosexual is to have an erotic preference for members of one’s own sex. ... A homosexual person is gay when he regards himself as happily gifted with whatever capacity he has to see people as romantically beautiful. It is to be free of shame, guilt, regret over the fact that one is homosexual, that the searchlight of one’s childhood vision of human beings shone more brilliantly on members of one’s own sex than on those of the other. ... To be gay is to view one’s sexuality as the healthy heterosexual views his.” This was written in 1972, so Dr. Weinberg may be forgiven for his use of sexist

pronouns and the all-inclusive “gay” instead of LGBTQIIAA. The late, great gay rights pioneer, my good friend Jack Nichols, who was a healthy homosexual long before Society and the Healthy Homosexual came along, called Dr. Weinberg (his good friend) a “gay-lib pioneer” and a true ally of our cause. Jack Drescher, clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical Center, told Lou Chibbaro, Jr. of the Washington Blade that Weinberg “was an early straight ally to the LGBT community who is responsible for introducing the concept of ‘homophobia’ into everyday language and thought. His was no small accomplishment, as the concept shifted society’s focus away from an automatic hatred or disdain for gay people and instead asked what’s wrong with people who feel that way. Instead of gay people having to explain themselves, the haters did - or as is often the case, they had to publicly and falsely deny they were haters.” Though Society and the Healthy Homosexual is sadly no longer in print, you may find copies in public or LGBT libraries or through used book websites. Even 45 years later, this is a book worth reading.


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Obsessing over food (when you are going to eat next, what you are going to eat, etc.)

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Hiding food for consumption later, when you are alone.

Excusing yourself to go to the bathroom after each meal, so you can purge what you just ate.

Excessive exercising, sometimes for hours each day.

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Health

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI HOSPITAL OPENS

LGBTQ WELLNESS CENTER Center addresses gender and sexual health, mental and emotional well-being Christiana Lilly

Dr. Christopher salgado (L) and Lauren Foster.

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fter years of having to drive all over South Florida to access medical and mental health providers, the LGBTQ community in Miami and beyond now have a single place it can get healthy. One of the first of its kind in the southeastern United States, the University of Miami Hospital proudly opened the LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health. Here, the community can see doctors and social workers to address its unique and specialized needs. “It all comes together under one roof, that way we can serve our patients a lot better,” said Lauren Foster, the center’s director of concierge. “We can provide a multitude of services for them and make their journey smooth.” Although the center itself is brand new, the hospital opened a smaller clinic focused on transgender patients in 2016. It since then morphed to encompass the LGBTQ community, although most of the patients are transgender. At the center, patients of all ages, genders and identities find a one-stop shop for their entire well being. Medical doctors are on staff to perform various surgeries and procedures for physical transition as well as HIV/AIDS treatment, while social workers are on hand to assist in a patient’s emotional and psychological health. For transgender patients, it’s easy access to hormone services, top and bottom surgeries, facial feminization, and other important procedures. Plus, by having a staff that is trained in how to work with the LGBTQ community, patients don’t have to fear being misgendered or discussing sensitive topics with a clueless health professional. Also, being in a hospital setting is a huge asset for the center. “Gender affirmation surgery is major surgery that needs to be performed in a hospital setting rather than an ambulatory setting,” Dr. Christopher Salgado, a gender affirming surgeon, professor of surgery, and editor of “Gender Affirmation: Medical and Surgical Perspectives,” said in a press release from the hospital. “At UMH, physicians and hospital staff

provide continuous monitoring and are LGBTQ community,” said Estin Kelly, equipped to handle any situation that the center’s executive director of quality, may arise. Being in a full-fledged hospital safety, and research. “There’s diverse also helps ensure the best outcomes and amount of needs in our community.” recovery from surgery.” Kelly is working on creating a support The University of Miami Hospital is group at the center, which not only would also one that has been recognized by be a place for people to meet other LGBTQ the LGBTQ community for its inclusive people who might be going through the healthcare. In 2015, the Human Rights same struggles, but also for him to gauge Campaign Foundation named the hospital what the needs are of the community. a “leader in LGBT healthcare equality.” This will help the center improve its Facilities earn this honor through the patient access and what services are foundation’s healthcare equality index, needed. which evaluates how inclusive the the “[We need to] really understand what’s practices and policies are for its patients, impacting our community,” he said. “Not visitors, and employees. This includes just the transgender community, but nondiscrimination policies, visitation our LGBTQ community and see what’s rights for same-sex partners, and staff out there, what we can provide from a being educated in LGBTQ health. hospital or a leadership perspective.” Not only is it convenient, but the For transgender patients, not only is center fills a void that was in Miami-Dade there a physical transition involved, but County for so long. Although the area also a mental and psychological one. Kelly is known for being LGBTQ friendly, the and other social workers help transgender county does not have a pride people with blending into and coming center or the multitude out to their community, whether of medical and social socially or at work, which ALTHOUGH services that exist in is different depending on THE CENTER Broward and Palm what stage a person is at in Beach counties. their life. ITSELF IS BRAND Foster, who is “LGBTQ issues are NEW, THE HOSPITAL a transgender not necessarily the OPENED A SMALLER woman, said same as everyone else’s, CLINIC FOCUSED before the really being sensitive to center opened, those needs and how to ON TRANSGENDER she would have respond to them because PATIENTS IN to commit to large conflicts can arise,” Kelly 2016. parts of her day to said. drive to see doctors, In being open with the public, including Dr. Salgado. he said, there are the struggles of “It’s huge gift to the community to have having someone look at you differently, this facility here for sure,” she said. and being comfortable with family The other arm of the center is members, friends and coworkers. focusing on one’s mental, emotional, The end goal, he said, is to partner and psychological well being. Again, with other area organizations to harness LGBTQ people find that a plethora of each other’s strengths, such as the police social services and support groups are department or nonprofits. Together, at the Pride Center in Wilton Manors they can advocate for LGBTQ people and the Compass GLCC in Lake Worth holistically. — at best a long drive, but for others, an “[We’re] meeting the patients where impossibility if they don’t have access to they are. They’re in different stages and reliable transportation. different levels that they’re dealing with “It appears that there are still barriers right now, and understanding where in Miami as it relates to services for the they’re coming from,” Kelly said.

What: LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health Where: University of Miami West Building, 1321 NW 14th St. in Miami Phone: 305-689-3100 Website: surgery.med.miami.edu/plastic-and-reconstructive/gender-affirmation THE

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Fashion

HAuTEBuTCH Taking Niche Fashion up a Notch Denise Royal

Garcon Wingtip Tuxedo shirt. HauteButch.com

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ave you ever tried on clothes and hated the image in the mirror? Trying to find the right fit can be a challenge – especially if shirts are too snug, vests too wide or pants made too boxy to give you the right silhouette. Part of the frustration comes from labels. Not just the size labels – anyone from XS to XXL can have problems with the way a garment fits. It’s the gender labels – from traditional men’s shirts to women’s pants -- having a gender assigned to your clothes can make finding something you like and that actually fits, that much more difficult. That’s where Karen Roberts found herself a few years ago – struggling to find a wardrobe that was dressy enough for her career in real estate blended with a tailored and sophisticated look to match her aesthetic. Compared to her female colleagues in pearls, skirts and heels, Roberts felt out of place. “I was a professional,” Roberts says. “I would often look at my counterparts in their power skirts and high heels and I was always concerned with how I looked and trying to ascertain whether I looked as professional as they did in my butch style clothing. I never felt I measured up,” she tells SFGN. She thought about designing clothes for folks like her. Roberts started with a vision board, using it to envision what a clothing line for people like her would look like. “I didn’t know anything about sewing,” she admits. “I worked a regular job during the

day and learned about sewing, sizing and seam allowances at night.” All of her hard work led to the creation of HauteButch. It’s a fashion line for fashionistos – targeting the butch, trans, and queer customer. The clothes at HauteButch aren’t just expressive – they are sexy, sophisticated and representative of the people who wear them. Customers can be men, women or people who identify as either. The typical HauteButch customer is a 40ish professional woman says Roberts, who “is professional, likes to look good and may, or may not be super fit.” Many customers live overseas, “A lot of women in the United Kingdom love how expressive we are.” But there’s a common comment from many customers. “People talk about how cool it is to have clothes that fit them and express their personality,” says Roberts. “They just say wonderful things about the fit and how great it is to have clothes for a special occasion. It’s those kinds of comments from our customers that keep us going.” The clothing line features dress shirts, ties, vests, sportswear, footwear and ties. Customers comment mostly on the quality of the garments and how they literally cannot get enough of them. “Many say they want more items and bigger sizes,” says Roberts. They are also impressed with the level of customer service at HauteButch. “When we send out a package, we try to make it special. We make it look like a gift and handwrite each note,” Roberts says. It’s important for our customers to understand that we impress their patronage.” Right now, HauteButch is mainly sold online, with the company also making appearances at festivals and fashion shows. Shirts range from around $80 to $140 while vests are regularly priced around $110. While HauteButch spokesmodel nik (left), next to Founder and Designer K.michelle. HauteButch.com some people may scoff at the

Trident BW sky Tomboy shirt. HauteButch.com

higher prices at HauteButch, Roberts isn’t worried. “When I’m designing a shirt, I’m trying to give customers more detail than what you’ll find at Kohl’s, K-Mart or Marshall’s,” says Roberts. “If you want that kind of shirt and you want to pay that price that’s where you’ll have to go. “Our sizing is genderless and our clothes fit men and women. To do this, it takes money and time. If you want something that fits you and with some thought and attention put into the detail, then we are the brand for you.” Even though the company is not profitable yet, earlier this year, HauteButch donated a portion of its proceeds to the America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The company said it was doing so to defend the constitution. “We are making choices to support what we believe in,” says Roberts. “We’re looking to stand up for women, gay, queer, transgender rights, black lives matter –I would say most of the groups who are marginalized right now, including immigrants, and all those under attack, we stand up for. All of those people are our main customers and we support them.” Looking ahead, HauteButch is cruising – on Olivia Cruise’s June voyage to Alaska. “That’s pretty exciting. We’re looking forward to doing that.” The company is also planning to produce suits. “We’re going to try to fit that into a more affordable framework than what you’ve seen out there and with a HauteButch aesthetic,” says Roberts. “It will be different from what you see, not quite as vanilla.”

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Opinion Off The Wall

Get Away on the Open Road in a

BMC Mini A mini History

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t the height of their popularity all four Beatles owned Minis. Even Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque owned one. It has been featured in countless action movies, one of the last being the remake of The Italian Job where they treated the Mini like another member of the cast. The Mini is a small economy car produced by BMC (British Motor Corporation) and its successors from 1959 until 2000 – the original is considered an icon of the ‘60s British popular culture. The space-saving transverse engine frontwheel drive layout, which allows 80 percent of the area of the car’s floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage, influenced a generation of car makers. The Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century in 1999, behind the Ford Model T, and ahead of the Volkswagen Beetle. Sir Alec Issigonis designed the distinctive two-door car for BMC. It was manufactured at the Cowley and Longbridge plants in the UK, and later on in Spain, Belgium, Australia, Chile, Italy, Malta, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major updates – the Mark II, the Clubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations, including an estate car, a pickup truck, a van and a jeep-like buggy.

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Pier Angelo The Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis. The car was designated by Leonard Lord as project ADO15 (Amalgamated Drawing Office project number 15) and the product of the Morris design team. Petrol was again rationed in the UK causing sales of large cars to slump, while the market for German bubble cars boomed. It was rumored that Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC, detested these German cars so much he vowed to rid the streets of them and design a ‘proper miniature car.’ He laid down some basic design and layout requirements: the car should be contained within a box that measured 10×4×4 feet;

The Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century in 1999, behind the Ford Model T, and ahead of the Volkswagen Beetle.

and the passenger accommodation should occupy 6 feet of the 10-foot length. Alec Issigonis was recruited back to BMC in 1955. Issigonis specialized in designing small cars. The team that designed the Mini was small: besides Issigonis, there was Jack Daniels, Chris Kingham, two engineering students and four draughtsmen. Together, by October 1957, they had designed and built the original prototype – affectionately named ‘The Orange Box’ because of its color. Issigonis’ friend John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula One and rally cars, thought the Mini might be competition. Issigonis was initially reluctant to see the Mini in the role of a performance car, but after Cooper appealed to BMC management, the two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper. The Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper debuted in September 1961. A more powerful Mini Cooper, dubbed the ‘S’, was developed in tandem and released in 1963. More than 4,000 Cooper S cars were produced and sold until the model was updated in August 1964. The performance versions were successful as both race and rally cars, winning the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. In 1966, the Mini was disqualified after finishing in first place, under a controversial decision that the car’s headlights were against the rules. The Mini Cooper S also scored wins in the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland.


Throughout the 1980s and 1990s numerous “special editions” of the Mini were produced for the British market, which shifted the car from a mass-market item into a fashionable icon. It was this image that probably helped the Mini become such an asset for BMW, which later bought the remnants of BMC and retained the rights to build cars using the Mini name. The car was even more popular in Japan, which took the lion’s share of the 40,000 Minis produced in the early 1990s. It was seen there as a retro-cool icon, and inspired many imitators. The new model made by BMW is technically unrelated to the old car but retains the classic transverse four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive configuration and ‘bulldog’ stance of the original, hence the catchphrase Mini has been using in some of its literature: ‘There’s a Bit of a Bulldog in All of Us.’ The last original Mini, a red Cooper Sport, was built in 2000 and presented to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust that year. A total of 5,387,862 cars had been manufactured, nearly 1.6 million of which were sold in Britain. The last Mini to leave the Longbridge plant did so in 2012. Several events marked the 50th anniversary of the Mini in 2009. In January 2009, The Royal Mail released a limited edition of stamps titled ‘British Design Classics,’ featuring an original, Egg-Shell Blue, MK1 Mini, registration XAA 274. In May, a world record parade of 1,450 Minis congregated at Crystal Palace as part of a London to Brighton run. The following week, 10,000 Minis and 25,000 people attended an anniversary party at Silverstone Circuit on the border of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. In August of 2009, ‘smallcarBIGCITY’ launched in London to provide sightseeing tours of the capital in a fleet of restored Mini Coopers. In recent years Mini has been known for its catchy slogans: “Of Course it’s Smart. It is from Oxford,” “A Dirty Mini is a Sign of a True Motorer,” “Motorers Are Ageless,” and “Let’s Motor.” These slogans have helped brand car company as a type of lifestyle for those who want to be on the go, speeding off to the next adventure. It’s an effective marketing campaign, and it’s something that films and celebrities seem to pick up on. The Mini isn’t just a car: it’s a fun car that takes its owners on an epic journey full of twists and turns, and ups and downs. In a Mini the open road is your oyster.

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Photo: Gays Against Guns New Jersey, Facebook.

Feature

GAYS Against GUNS How the Pulse tragedy launched a new movement Dori Zinn

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hat started out as a Facebook discussion morphed into Gays Against Guns is direct action activism. Communications an entire movement. Manager Terry Roethlein said there are other gun prevention Last Summer, as Kevin Hertzog and his friends were mourning groups that are doing great work trying to change legislation, but the Pulse shooting in Orlando, it was a simple conversation that their angle is a little bit more upfront. kicked off, what would eventually become, Gays Against Guns, or “’Direct action is when we went right up to the doorstep of the GAG. organization that we are shaming,” Roethlein said. “Last Summer “A friend [on Facebook] had said ‘this is awful’ and I said, ‘we we went to BlackRock’s office in midtown and held a major should do something about this,’” Hertzog, 52, said. His friend, demonstration outside their office by holding a die-in, then went Brian Worth, jumped into the conversation. “Brian said ‘we should inside, chanted and disrupted them.” get together,’” and then, they just did. The Guardian reported last summer that “I just felt very upset and I could tell other BlackRock, an investment firm based in New people did as well,” Hertzog said of the Pulse York City, has the largest share of corporate “In this nightclub shootings on June 12, 2016 — the shareholders of gun companies’ stocks. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. “It die-in and other direct action activism is environment didn’t seem appropriate to me to just change meant to disrupt daily business as much as my profile picture, wait a week, and move on. possible to showcase the real harm being done with an NRA There was such a profound injustice in play by these companies. president, that it demanded more attention.” “We’re continuing to apply pressure,” GAG started the day after the Pulse shooting Roethlein said. “In this environment with an it will be in an effort to not only bring awareness to the NRA president, it will be difficult but we will violence against the LGBT community, but keep on pushing.” difficult but also prevent it from happening again. The National Rifle Association put more we will keep “Rallies weren’t enough from politicians,” than $50 million toward political races in Hertzog said. “We needed a community the 2016 election, the Center for Responsive on pushing.” response. [Pulse] happened, we can’t change Politics reported in November. President that, but what can we do to make sure it Donald Trump alone was more than $30 - Terry Roethlein doesn’t happen again?” million of that investment. Communications ManaGER

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photo: Kevin Hertzog, Facebook.

Direct action means being loud and somewhat confrontational. Roethlein said they haven’t broken the law or done anything illegal, but “it’s on our menu as a possibility.” “We’re not afraid to be out there, flashy, eye-catching,” Roethlein said. “We bring a visual, gay sensibility. We want to get [people] interested in our cause.” Sometimes at demonstrations, there will be 49 people dressed in white, wearing white veils, holding plaques with names on them to represent each of the 49 people who died in the Pulse shooting. “Most actions we do have human beings with us,” he said. “It shows people actual people who are dead from the terrible gun laws in this country.” One of the biggest success stories was helping to unseat Kelly Ayotte, a former New Hampshire Republican senator. GAG went to her office in October, wearing white costumes and carrying signs that read “first she voted, then she lied, Kelly is guilty of homicide.” Ayotte lost her re-election bid for the Senate in November, and Roethlein believed GAG had a big part in that. Last Summer, the group protested and shut down two different Reebok locations in New York City over the judgment to award Glock handguns as prizes in the CrossFit games. Reebok, the title sponsor of the games, holds CrossFit classes. The Games took down the mention of Glocks as prizes on their website, but Roethlein is anxious to see if they keep the prizes for this year. With direct action activism comes the very real prospect of direct confrontation. So has the group ever experienced pushback or violence from their work? At a rally in Washington D.C. last Summer, the group partnered with the American

Federation of Teachers and National Action Network for a march from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial — both were victims of gun violence. At the end of the march at the Lincoln Memorial, GAG did a die-in. Some people weren’t happy with the group’s demonstrations. “One Iraq veteran was open about disagreement [with us],” Roethlein said. “There are a lot of people in America agree with him, that the best protection against gun violence was having a gun themselves.” The roughly 100 active members in New York City meet every other week to plan events, programs, and yes, more die-ins. There are some other chapters — in New Jersey, Washington D.C., Massachusetts —

but New York is the central hub for GAG. There’s been some interest, in cities like Baltimore, Minnesota, and Austin, but those aren’t as active as some of the others. There’s no restriction to join and it’s free to be members. They make some money from organizations that have donated, but for the most part, people donate their time and materials when they can. Regardless of who is on hand to help, the goal is always the same. “We want universal background checks, a federal ban of assault weapons, and to drastically decrease the amount of violence that people of color and marginalized groups are experiencing every year from gun violence,” Roethlein said.

Kevin Hertzog joins others in GAG New Jersey to remind new gun owners of the lives lost during the Pulse shooting. Facebook.

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Feature

A RAINBOW OF SEXUALITY

BEYOND THE LGBT seXuAl oRientAtion is A lot moRe compleX And diveRse thAn we thinK Christiana Lilly

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Demiromantic

hose in the LGBT community understand just how vast the rainbow of sexuality and gender is, and more and more letters are being added (Queer? Questioning ? Asexual? We got you). But even some of the most learned are surprised to hear about different sexual orientations from people who identify with the label. Do any of these describe you?

Entering the grey area of sexual attraction — actually, that’s exactly what many call themselves, grey-romantics — someone identifying as a demiromantic must develop a deeper emotional relationship with someone before being attracted to them. The same idea applies to demisexuals.

Hetero- and Homo-romantics

Aromantic

For some, one can have romantic feelings to a gender but no sexual attraction to them. Or, the reverse, and many combinations of the two. Homoromantics get butterflies around people of their same gender. Heteroromantics feel this way to someone of the opposite. Then, throw in someone’s sexual orientation, and someone can be straight, bisexual, or gay. Eve Peyser, who identifies as a heteroromantic bisexual woman — she dates only men but is sexually attracted to men and women — wrote a piece on heteroromanticism for Mic in 2015. “I always felt uncomfortable identifying only as ‘queer’ because it doesn’t accurately describe my sexuality and also, I’m aware I benefit from a fair amount of straight privilege,” she told the Mirror. “It feels disingenuous to say I’m queer without a disclaimer. It also feels disingenuous to say I’m straight. It’s a good, simple way of putting something that’s obviously very complicated in practice.”

Then, there’s people who feel little to no romantic attraction to people of any gender. This is not the same as an asexual person, who feels little to no sexual attraction to others. Like all sexual orientations, this is not a choice — unlike celibacy, the decision to abstain from sex for various reasons.

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Sexuality Not only do people have sexual attraction to men, women, or both. Gynesexuals are attracted to women and femininity. Androsexuals are attracted to men and masculinity. Then there are those who are sexually and/or romantically attracted to transgender, nonbinary, and gender-queer individuals, called skoliosexuals and skolioromantics. For those who are attracted to people regardless of their expression and identity on the gender spectrum, there is pansexuality, which many bisexuals claim is just one of many expressions of bisexuality.


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25


Feature

Caribbean Tourism is a Big Business

Billions Are

Spent Each

Year

…But should LGBT travelers be sending their pink dollars to these countries? Christiana Lilly

T

his summer, Floridian ports will be jam packed with visitors from around the world eager to hit the seas and head to the Caribbean. In this region, chock-full of beaches, outdoor adventures, luxury hotels, and bars, the LGBT community is rising up for equality. “You can’t quantify the entire region with one brushstroke, and have to look at it country by country,” said John Tanzella, the president and CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the region saw the highest rate of tourism since records were kept, with 29.3 million visitors. The number shows a 4.2 percent increase from 2015. People also spent more money during their visit, increasing 3.5 percent to $35.5 billion. Most of the increase in visitors came from Europe, especially German and British travelers, according to the organizations. The Caribbean consists of 36 vastly different countries, varying in their treatment of LGBT people. Some are still territories of other nations, such as St. Martin or the British Virgin Islands, and some are more religious than others. In Curaçao, a small island in the Southern Caribbean near the Venezuelan coast, same-sex marriage cannot be performed, but the government recognizes marriage certificates of any married couple,

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including same-sex ones. Over the past several years Curaçao has gained a reputation for its inclusiveness and back in 2004 the local Tourism Board launched GayCuracao.com. The island has also hosted multiple Pride festivals. In 2016, the Aruban government voted to recognize domestic partnerships. That same year, Belize made headlines when its Supreme Court ruled its anti-sodomy law unconstitutional and also added sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination laws. While things are looking up, there are some countries that have garnered a bad reputation for its treatment of LGBT people. “Jamaica has at times been described as the most homophobic place on earth. We would not probably call it that, but it certainly has had that reputation over the years,” said Shawn Gaylord, advocacy counsel at Human Rights First. “I think there’s a lot of positive movement in Jamaica. They’re a really strong civil society of very smart, engaged LGBT leadership and that is, I think, making a big difference in Jamaica.” In May 2016, two men were shot and killed at a home they were staying at and rumors circulated that the two were gay. In 2015, a video was released of a young gay man tied up as a crowd stoned him to death, all the while yelling homophobic slurs. In 2015, a 16-yearold transgender girl was stabbed, shot, and run over by a car after she attended a party in a dress. She was buried in a suit and tie.


Kenita Placide, the Caribbean adviser for OutRight Action International, who is based in St. Lucia, explained that many English-speaking nations in the region still have outdated British buggery laws. Homosexuality itself is not outlawed, but sodomy is. In some countries, this also includes sodomy between heterosexual partners. “For us in the Caribbean, first we have to change the narrative of being the most homophobic place, like Jamaica,” she said, adding that creating safety nets and support systems for LGBT people is vital. And it’s working. Even with the news coming out of Jamaica, the island hosted its first pride parade in 2015, which was even endorsed by the mayor of Kingston. The American ambassador, Wally Brewster, to the Dominican Republic was the first openly gay ambassador, giving much hope to LGBT people there. He resigned and Brewster and his husband returned to the United States when President Donald Trump took office. so whaT is The eThiCal Thing for TourisTs To do? All three organizations the Mirror spoke to were against boycotting Caribbean travel, basing their stance on what they were hearing from activists on the ground. For one, it could create a backlash, Placide explained, as it could lead to “LGBT people being blamed for lack of tourism, and tourism in this region is one of the major priorities for lots of countries.” Also, many LGBT people are employed in the tourism industry, and it may be one of the safer industries for them to work in, Gaylord said. “LGBT people could be directly impacted by such a boycott,” he continued. “The LGBT community in these countries are saying this would not help our efforts.”

Kenita placide photo: FrontlineDefenders.org.

“for us in The CariBBean, firsT we have To Change The narraTive of Being The MosT hoMophoBiC plaCe, like JaMaiCa.” - Kenita placide

OuTRiGHT ACTiOn inTERnATiOnAL

Tanzella said it’s a “personal choice.” “Some travelers would never visit a country with anti-LGBT laws and others would never allow their orientation to prevent them from seeing the world. It’s a personal choice,” he explained. “It’s always best to be an informed traveler and to understand the laws and culture of the countries you visit, whether you are gay or straight.” This includes things as simple as public

displays of affection, Placide said. As the Caribbean is predominantly Christian and Catholic, many populations are very conservative and are uncomfortable with PDA even between heterosexual couples. Throw in two men kissing or holding hands, there’s “zero tolerance.” For those wanting to know what to expect before traveling, Tanzella said the State Department has a wealth of information online: travel.state.gov/content/passports/ en/go/lgbt.html so whaT Can help? Participate in LGBT tourism, whether it’s visiting a pride group and taking part in an event they’re hosting, whether it’s a pride celebration or a boat trip. Also, Gaylord said, the American dollar can go far in the Caribbean, so monetary donations are always welcomed. “People can get an understanding and can see people for people, and not because of their sexuality,” she said. “I think that the more they see and normalize LGBT persons as people, as family, the more they get exposed to it, I think the better we are able to actually normalize LGBT persons as citizens in society.”

“iT’s always BesT To Be an inforMed Traveler and To undersTand The laws and CulTure of The CounTries you visiT, wheTher you are gay or sTraighT.” - John Tanzella

CEO, inTERnATiOnAL GAY AnD LEsBiAn TRAVEL AssOCiATiOn

June - July 2017  THE

29


photos: carlton smith, YouTube.

locAl filmmAKeR eXploRes locAl GAy And lesbiAn Adoptions

A

local filmmaker’s documentary of adoption in LGBT families is now available to the public. Carlton Smith’s “Finding Life” was recently picked up by Amazon and Google Play, allowing subscribers to watch his film following the lives of eight same-sex couples and their experience with adopting their children. “I’ve only shared it to those who have worked on the film,” Smith said. “I’m excited to get everyone’s thoughts and opinions. Ultimately, the goal is to make people take a second look at fostering, for straight couples or gay couples.” Smith has worked in the film industry for a number of years, including the country music scene while living in Tennessee. His last film, “The Black Miami,” looked at the contributions of African Americans in the Magic City. It too, was picked up by Amazon and Google Play.

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Christiana Lilly It was while he was working his full-time job that he ended up at Kids in Distress. There, he saw a little boy walk into the room and yell “Daddies!” then running into the arms of two men. “My jaw dropped and I was like, ‘Did that kid say daddies?’” Smith, a gay man himself, had no idea same-sex couples could adopt or foster children. As he studied up on it, he decided his second film would be about LGBT couples expanding their families. For two years from start to finish, he was welcomed into the homes of multiple couples of different races and backgrounds to share their stories, all of which vary. At the start of the filmmaking process for “Finding Life,” gay couples were not allowed to adopt. In 2010, the state’s ban on gay people adopting was overturned, but couples together could not adopt. Typically,

one partner would adopt and be the child’s legal parent. The second parent was legally no more than a babysitter. Finally, in 2015, couples were given the right to adopt and be legally recognized as parents in the eyes of the law. “I just wanted to really show that it didn’t matter, gay, straight or what your race is, that everybody if they’re willing and able can foster children,” Smith said. “It’s so important to show the diversity that’s out there.” Also, Smith hopes it’s a learning experience for the LGBT community, some who may be like he was and learn that it’s possible to have children. “I think it’s going to touch your heart. Whether you want to be a parent, whether you want to be a parent, whether you’re gay, whether you’re straight, it’s going to touch your heart.


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Photos

Ron Amato’s

The Box

Stretching and celebrating the boundaries of male beauty David-Elijah Nahmod

T

All Photographs ©Ron Amato www.ronamato.com

he first thing readers will notice when they peruse “The Box,” Ron Amato’s striking new photo book of male nudes, is the age diversity of the models. There are cute younger guys, but there are also models pushing fifty and beyond. Some of the models have full heads of darker hair, while others have the white hair that comes with

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age. Still others are bald. The models hail from a variety of cultural backgrounds. All the models share one common trait: a confident sensuality which comes from deep within. The Box, a 112 page book, is now available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book will ship on June 1.


In “The Box” Amato, who is an Associate Professor of Photography at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, photographs more than thirty men, all of whom pose nude inside, outside, underneath or on top of boxes. Some of the men pose solo, while others pose with one or two other models. The photos are meant to challenge and expand the public’s perceptions of male beauty, while exploring themes of isolation, desire, conflict and empowerment. Amato told SFGN that his interest in photography began during childhood. “I was interested in photography from an early age but it was just one of many art disciplines I was interested in,” he said. “I drew a lot. I had a sketch book and taught myself different drawing techniques from books I found in the library.” A former Catholic school student, Amato grew up in a home and community where the arts were not valued. But he persevered. He brought his first camera with his first paycheck from a summer job at a Wall Street brokerage firm, where he received encouragement from a friendly boss who was himself an amateur photographer. “I walked out of college one day and enrolled in Germain School of Photography and have been doing photography full time since,” he recalled. “That was 1981.” Amato spoke of the process by which he chose his models for “The Box.” “Obviously the world is filled with beautiful people,” he said. “Attraction is definitely a component of casting but for me there needs to be something deeper. I have turned down many men who have wanted me to photograph them because, even though they were beautiful, there was something missing for me. I need to see something beneath the beautiful surface. I never know what that is and it is different for each individual. I guess the best word for it is intrigue. I need to be intrigued by someone.” Next came pairing the models up. “I started to look at combinations,” he said. “I make spreadsheets with photographs and the men’s heights so I can look them next to each other. I was looking for interesting combinations. Sometimes that meant they were very similar, sometimes that meant they Continued on page 38 

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Photos

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Photos

 Continued from page 35

were very different. I think a unique aspect of the Gay community is that we interface between ages and races more than some other subsets of society. That is probably because our sexuality bonds us together in stronger ways due to marginalization and discrimination.” “The Box” is not Amato’s first foray into male photography--during the 1990s he worked for men’s fitness magazines. “It was a great way to combine making a living with my love of men,” he recalled. “At the same time my personal work moved to more erotic and intimate work. It was kind of two sides of the same coin, really all about the body.” Amato also spoke of his portrait work. “I have two ongoing projects,” he said. “Men of Style,” which I guess you could call fashion but I think it is portraits, and Artists of Provincetown. I am doing a sabbatical in Provincetown later this year to work on that project. I think it might be a book. Norma Holt published a book in 1980, “Face of the Artist,” that was portraits of artists in Provincetown. My approach is very different but I appreciate Norma’s work very much. I think much has changed in Provincetown in 37 years. I hope to capture some of the current energy in my photographs.” For now, Amato is busily promoting “The Box.” We asked him what he learned from producing the book. “I learned that my experiences are the experiences of many,” he said. “We all have joys and heartbreaks. Those are the things that bond us as humans. The book is autobiographical but it holds universal truths. I have received many lovely notes from people telling me how much the work mirrors their own experience--that alone makes me feel less isolated and more bonded with others.” Amato added that he now feels closer to his community. “I feel a special affinity for the men in the photographs. For me they represent me and the larger gay community.”

For more information, please visit Ron Amato’s website: RonAmato.com

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“I think a unique aspect of the Gay community is that we interface between ages and races more than some other subsets of society. That is probably because our sexuality bonds us together in stronger ways due to marginalization and discrimination.� - Ron Amato

THETHE

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Health

Y A W A s r A c s G n i l D e e Micron ald

John McDon

m

ichal Kitai is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) from Israel who sees the beauty in all. I did not know what to expect from my first visit to BeWell MedSpa. My husband and I met Michal and her husband Oren Kiriat at a holiday party thrown by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. They were friendly that night and invited me to visit their spa. Having primarily written about politics and with the grueling U.S. Presidential campaign recently completed, I jumped at the chance to practice my trade on a different subject. Before I could make writing fun again, I needed to be well. Michal noticed I had an acne/scars problem. This is a battle I have had my entire life. Zits suck. She recommended a microneedling treatment in hopes of clearing up my face. We discussed the treatment and I agreed to return for an appointment. A week later, I arrived with husband in tow, filled out the required paperwork and let Michal work her wonders. “We’re here to help you never look your age,” Oren told me. The couple met in New York where Michal was doing her residency at NYU. Before immigrating to the U.S., Michal served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), a requirement of all Israelis. Trained as a medic in the IDF Michal began her medical career at the young age of 18 and has been honing her craft ever since. On my initial spa consultation, Michal offered to run blood tests (such as hormone levels, cortisol, food sensitivity and others) to better understand what treatment I needed. “My goal is to bring beauty from within,”

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she said. “You have to feel good on the inside first.” For someone who has spent the majority of his life in the southern United States, the mention of Botox is not always described in a flattering light. Some people like it, some people don’t. The reality is facial fillers are used by many people to counter-act other conditions and battle aging. Michal is a master injector and BeWell MedSpa employs other highly trained and licensed medical aestheticians. The Wilton Manors location is petite, so appointments are strongly encouraged. My treatment is called growth factor microneedling. Microneedling is a noninvasive treatment stimulating your body’s own natural collagen production through a series of oscillating microneedles. As a result new elastin and collagen develops, producing a smoother even toned and tighter skin. In combination with the microneedling, Michal applies a growth factor serum to produce truly robust results. There are two options of growth factor that were made available for my treatment, I chose the option utilizing my body’s own growth factor and healing powers which Michal is able to obtain by drawing a small amount of blood from my arm, placing the sample in a centrifuge in order to then extract the platelet-rich component for a topical application. Platelet’s are the part of your body that is responsible for repair and regeneration – when your body senses platelets there is a systemic response that begins collagen tissue stimulation and redevelopment. This is very technical stuff that Michal did an amazing job of explaining and inevitably demonstrating the painless ease and the amazing results.

After applying a topical anesthetic, Michal moved over the prescribed areas of my face using a special microneedling tool called the Rejuvapen. This tool uses a reciprocating controlled depth needle to stimulate the deep tissue to produce more collagen. “We lose one to two percent collagen every year as we get older,” Michal said. Getting older doesn’t have to look bad and BeWell MedSpa offers several treatments to rejuvenate your spirit. In addition to facial treatments, the medical spa offers IV vitamin infusions, DNA testing, costume blood panels, laser hair removal, G spot shots and male and female bioidentical hormones and growth hormone and much more. Michal and Oren moved to South Florida from New York. They are the proud parents of two sets of twins and understand what Kibbutz life means. “We are honest,” Michal told me during my first visit to the spa. “Sometimes honesty is lacking in this industry. If something is not going to work for you, your doctor should tell you.” Almost one month after my first ever microneedling treatment, my husband and friends say they can see a difference in my appearance. Dormant collagen cells were activated and the acne is vanishing. “We want you to harness your own healing power,” Michal said.

More info: BeWell Medspa 1881 n.e. 26th street, suite 40 Wilton Manors BeWellMedspa.com 954-530-5203


TRAVEL &

A guide to honeymoons, trends, gifts and more Tiffany Frost-Avila and Virginia Frost-Avila. Photography: Char Pratt. To see more photos, visit CharcoalPhoto.com.

J.W. Arnold

THE

41


FEATuRE

somethinG HOW SAME-SEX COUPLES ARE REWRITING THE SCRIPT ON MARRIAGE

i

n the short time since same-sex marriage became legal throughout the U.S., wedding trends among LGBT couples have changed dramatically. A survey conducted via collaboration between WeddingWire, Inc., GayWeddings, The Gay Wedding Institute and Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) found that 79 percent of same-sex couples are now celebrating their unions with a formal ceremony and reception with invited guests. That figure represents a 36 percent increase since a similar survey conducted in 2013.The average same-sex couple spends $11,000 on their wedding, according to the survey, an 88 percent increase since 2013. More than two-thirds of those weddings are held in the couple’s home state because they no longer need to travel to other states or countries to tie the knot. Those weddings are increasingly family affairs with the participation of siblings and parents. In 2013 only 46 percent said their parents were supportive of their marriage, in the most recent survey, that number soared to 60 percent. Technology has also made a huge impact on weddings. Many couples are streaming their ceremony, allowing family and friends who might not have otherwise attend the wedding do so virtually. Some weddings have utilized drones to record the ceremony. Of course, there’s also social media, Facebook and Snapchat which allow for instantaneous posting of pictures. From the ceremony to the reception samesex couples are rewriting the rule book on weddings, and along the way are creating new trends.

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Rick Karlin

neW...

Invitations are less formal and rely upon bright, interesting fonts, rather than traditional formal script. Of course, that’s assuming you receive a traditional paper invitation at all. Although frowned upon by arbiters of etiquette, paper invitations are becoming increasingly rare, with many preferring to send invitations by email, or at least setting up a website instead of using response cards. While formal wear is still the first choice for attire, many couples are putting their own spin on things by opting for retro versions, featuring dinner jackets from the ‘50s or ‘70s and vintage evening gowns in lieu of bridesmaid dresses. To complete the theme, many couples are renting vintage automobiles to transport them on the day of the wedding instead of the standard limo.

in 2013 only 46 perCenT said Their parenTs were supporTive of Their Marriage, in The MosT reCenT survey, ThaT nuMBer soared To 60 perCenT.

Classic convertibles are the most popular vehicle. Wedding cakes can be just as elaborate and formal as a mainstream wedding, but samesex couples are willing to think outside the box and we’re seeing a wider use of pastry displays, particularly colorful macarons. Another popular option is the “naked” wedding cake; stuffed with plenty of filling, but left unfrosted. When cakes are covered with traditional frosting, it is often presented with an unusual texture or design, such as ombre. While same-sex cake toppers are now available almost everywhere, more and more couples are opting for edible flowers or fresh fruit to decorate their cakes. Formal floral arrangements are also falling out of favor. More often than not, you’ll see rustic arrangements, potted plants, even cactus or herb gardens adorning the tables. Some couples are foregoing flowers altogether and opting for alternative table décor; covering a table with origami cranes (the birds mate for life) or frames containing wedding photos of family members, as a way to honor their ancestors. According to Kim Forrest, editor of WeddingWire, one trend in same-sex weddings, mixed gender wedding parties, has now spilled over to the mainstream wedding industry. No more lines of bridesmaids and ushers lining up with the bride and groom. Wedding attendants can be of either gender, and a groom is likely to have a “Best Pal” and the bride a “Friend of Honor.” Non-humans are increasingly taking part, whether it’s a beloved dog or a parrot!


T ravel

TOP

Honeymoon Destinations Rick Karlin

W

ith same-sex marriage legal for several years now, millions of gay, lesbian and trans couples are adding a honeymoon to their wedding plans. As recently as 2014, only about 55 percent of same-sex couples went on a honeymoon after their wedding ceremony, according to Community Marketing & Insights (CM&I), a San Francisco-based market research firm that tracks LGBT travel trends. At the same time, the nature of gay travel is changing. Years ago, our community had to search for hotels and resorts that catered to gay or lesbian clientele. Baby boomers are still more likely to search out an LGBT hotel or B&B. Millennials don’t tend to seek them out as often and feel equally comfortable at major chain hotels. The travel industry has also changed. It long ago realized that the LGBT community is a desirable demographic and began actively reaching out to our community through niche advertising. Marriott’s “Love Travels” campaign of LGBT outreach efforts has helped it go from the number five to number one in brand awareness. Our community’s travel desires are as diverse as our population. In the end, the best spot for your honeymoon depends on what you want out of it. Do you want a private spot where the two of you can be alone, or do you want to explore cultural attractions

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together? Do you want to hit the clubs or the hiking trails, spend the day in bed or in a museum? That being said, there are some guidelines to follow; you want to go somewhere where it’s safe to show affection to your new spouse. You may have always wanted to visit Dubai, but since homosexuality is illegal there, it’s probably not a good honeymoon destination. Also, keep in mind your budget. Sure, jetting off to the beaches of Spain, or a tour of Asia sounds romantic, but not if you must eat ramen for a year to pay for it. According to CM&I, Hawaii is the most popular destination for LGBT honeymoons. Its welcoming atmosphere and incredible tourism industry assure that there’s something for everyone. The other top destinations, listed below, span all budgets and areas of interest. What they have in common is that they are welcoming to LGBT travelers and appeal to a variety of interests which have made them popular destinations for queer honeymooners.

x


Local

Act Like a Tourist If you don’t have the time or budget for an extended honeymoon, a weekend “staycation” in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale or Miami might be the perfect solution. Book a room at an oceanfront hotel or a weekend stay at a local resort, such as Cabanas or the Grand. Try some new restaurants, take the water taxi or just shop ‘til you drop. You can do it all without the hassle of airline travel. Keys to the City Because it’s so close, it’s easy to forget that Key West is a major vacation destination for the rest of the world. It’s less than a four-hour drive to this tropical paradise. The colorful homes, cute shops, and numerous romantic restaurant options make this a romantic getaway paradise. Splurge for a room at the Casa Marina Waldorf or check into a quaint B&B, such as Alexander’s Guest House, then explore the island on foot, bicycle or (if you dare) scooter, then have a romantic dinner under the stars at Blue Heaven. Key West may be the end of the world, but it’s perfect for the beginning of your life together. Check out gaykeywestfl.com, a great resource. The House of Mouse Orlando is the amusement park capital of the world and we love a thrilling ride as much as the next person. With Disneyworld and Universal Studios just a few hours away, the two of you can act like a kid all day, hit some of the city’s top dining spots to eat like kings or queens and then get as busy as bunnies all night!

National

Key West

Island Life As mentioned above, Hawaii is the number one honeymoon destination for same-sex couples. Whether you hit exciting Maui, explore the more undeveloped Kuai or stay on the Big Island, Hawaii, you’re certain to create great memories. The center of gay life on the islands is Hula's Bar, which features a weekly gay catamaran cruise. Vegas Baby Depending on whether you want to lounge by the pool, take in shows, enjoy fine dining, gamble or hit the clubs, Las Vegas has it. Hell, if you want to combine your wedding and honeymoon in one, Vegas is famous for that, too. For those who want to go clubbing, the infamous “Fruit Loop” of clubs and bars is a draw. Mandalay Bay Resort has built a reputation as one of the most welcoming hotels for gay couples (so friendly, that its nickname is “Mandalay Gay”). Its Sunday tea dance, held poolside, is a big draw. For a list of events and businesses go to lasvegas.com and search LGBT. Bright Lights, Big City New Yorkers think it’s the center of the universe, and they aren’t far from wrong. New York City is the center of fashion, theater and the arts. It’s also the birthplace of the Gay Pride movement. Of course, you’ll visit Greenwich Village, but there’s also Times Square and the theater district, Central Park, the museums and art galleries and the clubs in Chelsea. And that’s just in Manhattan, hop on the subway and explore Park Slope and Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The Out NYC is a gay, straight-friendly hotel in Hell’s Kitchen, with chic, minimalist rooms and the enormous XL Nightclub. For a more intimate experience, check out the Chelsea Pines Inn. For a list of events and links to special deals, go to iloveny.com/lgbt or lgbtbrooklyn.org. Go West San Francisco, West Hollywood, Palm Springs and San Diego are among the top four favored California destinations for gay and lesbian travelers, according to a recent Travel Industry Association survey.

New York City

THE

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T ravel Viva Mexico! Puerto Vallarta may be a perennial favorite for LGBT travelers, but don’t overlook the east coast’s Riviera Maya. The region has many new, hip hotels including Thompson Playa Del Carmen, a 92-room boutique inn in the center of town, offering 27 separate beach suites to boot. The Viceroy Riviera Maya, offers a traditional Mayan wedding ceremony should you want a destination wedding/honeymoon combo. Nearby Cancún offers many options for allinclusive resorts, and Cozumel is famous for its scuba diving and snorkeling expeditions. C’est la Vie Paris, the French capital is the city of romance, which makes it perfect for a honeymoon destination for gay and straight couples. In addition to the numerous museums and historical sites and fabulous shopping, the food is fabulous in the culinary center of Europe. It’s not known as “Gay Paree” for nothing. It has long been a refuge for the LGBT community; the Marais is the gayborhood, but the entire city is welcoming to the community. For more information, check out centrelgbtparis.org.

International

Spain on the Brain It’s kind of difficult to select just one area of Spain to highlight when there are so many options ranging from bustling cities to serene islands to non-stop parties. Among the most popular places for the LGBT community are; Madrid, Spain’s gay cultural center (Chueca is the official gay neighborhood) and Barcelona, another bustling city, but with nude beaches. Sitges is a small town of about 27,000 with an active nightlife (think the Provincetown of Europe) and Ibiza, one of the best known islands is famous for its club scene and clothing optional gay beach, Platja des Cavallet, that can be reached by ferry. Aus-some It’s a bit of a hike, but Australia truly is the trip of a lifetime. Whether you enjoy life in the big city in Sydney, hit the beaches, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or explore the outback you’re going to make memories that last a lifetime. Australia’s tourism bureau has an entire division devoted to LGBT travel. For more information, go to galta.com.au.

Hitting the High Seas What could be better for a honeymoon than a cruise? Spend the morning enjoying your coffee on your stateroom’s balcony overlooking the ocean, take in a shore excursion or head to the pool to catch some rays. At night have a romantic dinner and catch a show. You can be in your own private world, or socialize to your heart’s content. On mainstream cruises, there are always LGBT mixers, or go to MeetMeOnBoard.com to find out about other gay couples traveling on your ship. If you want something a bit more organized, numerous travel agencies, such as; Pied Piper, Out Adventures and Aquafest book gay groups on mainstream cruises. These groups usually offer special entertainment and shore excursions specifically designed for an LGBT group and tend to draw more couples. RSVP and Atlantis book entire ships and often have more singles and more of a club scene atmosphere. Olivia Cruises are exclusively for women and R Family cruises are designed for families with children.

Mardi Gras in Sydney,, Australia. Photo: Hasitha Tudugalle.

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feaTure

photo courtesy of Jovani Furlan and Renan Cerdeiro.

marriage

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k l a T Pillow J.W. Arnold

e’ve all been warned about the complexities of office romances. When love is in the air, monday mornings may seem a little brighter, long days can pass just a little more quickly. But the pressure to perform can also stress relationships—literally. For these miami City Ballet dancers, the office romance developed over long hours in the rehearsal hall and plays out under the bright photo courtesy of Jovani Furlan and Renan Cerdeiro.

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lights of performance halls around the world. Their work is to interpret timeless stories of love and passion, not to mention jealousy and rage. To say the world of professional ballet is competitive is an understatement and the careers of top dancers can be relatively short due to injuries and the enormous stress to their bodies. And, at the end of a long day, they go home….

Brazilians Jovani Furlan, 23, and Renan Cerdeiro, 24, are just in their early twenties and both are rising stars in the company. They joined as teens and are practically inseparable. They’ve lived together for more than three years and frequently vie for the same roles as dashing cavaliers. “It doesn’t feel like a challenge,” said Furlan. “If anything, (working together) is an advantage. We get to be together, travel, share.” “We share a lot of the same parts, so we give each other tips. It’s never been competitive,” said Cerdeiro. “I feel like our work environment at Miami City Ballet—even between couples—it’s not competitive and the ballet world is competitive. Everyone wants the best parts and attention for the best parts, but we are inspired by each other,” Furlan added. “We’re just happy for each other that we get the opportunities that we do,” Cerdeiro added, finishing his partner’s thought. Dancers agree that dating can be tough when days are spent rehearsing and weekends find them traveling to performances or even jet setting around the world, as is the case for these top dancers. “We have different schedules from other jobs. We’re always working late and we miss weekends,” Cerdeiro said. “A lot of people in the company date people who aren’t dancers, but it’s very hard,” Furlan said, completing the thought. Cerdeiro arrived three years earlier and Furlan, then a new apprentice in 2011, was immediately attracted to his countryman.


They hung out with the other Brazilians in the company. Within a year, they were a couple. Both consider themselves lucky and their relationship has been accepted by both sets of parents back in Brazil. They frequently return home together during the break in the company’s season and Cerdeiro’s parents enjoy trips to see them in Miami, too. “It’s always hard when you first come out and try to explain the situation, but from the beginning, they were very accepting and warm,” Cerdeiro recalled. Luckily, Portuguese is both men’s native language and communication is not the issue it might be if one could not speak with the other’s family. “I think, for sure, the language barrier would be a difficulty,” Cerdeiro said.

feaTure marriage photo courtesy of michael Breeden and neil marshall.

“iT’s very CoMforTaBle, we’re noT CoMpeTing for roles BeCause of The ways we danCe. we’re differenT danCers. - neil marshall

Michael Sean Breeden, 29, and Neil Marshall, 33, both members of the Corps de ballet, tied the knot last year after nearly a decade together. “We never really got engaged... we’d talked about marriage for a long time and, when it became legal, we were like ‘we should do this,’ it was a conversation we had,” said Marshall. Being together nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week hasn’t put any unusual pressures on the couple, emphasized Breeden. “I think some people might worry that you get sick of someone, but I find it helpful that your significant other is there with you and understands everything you’re going through and can support you in a very real way,” he said. “We moved in together a month after we started dating, so we’ve never really known our relationship any other way,” explained Marshall. “It’s very comfortable, we’re not competing for roles because of the ways we dance. We’re different dancers. We can be there and be supportive and talk about our days from a very understanding place and be each other’s cheerleader.” They are not “one of those couples with a ‘no dance talk’ rule at home,” added Breeden, who said professional dancers are passionate about their work and their careers. Their friends are dancers and it’s almost impossible to leave “work” at the “office.” “For better or worse—I don’t know—it would be unrealistic for us,” Marshall said. For this couple, the biggest frustration is that they rarely get to dance with each other. They may share the stage with other dancers and be coupled with one of the ballerinas. Even the straight couples in the company may find themselves partnered with a different dancer. “Obviously, we have a comfort and familiarity with each other unlike our other peers,” Breeden said. Still, Miami City Ballet is a family (50 dancers and more than a few couples), and when this couple finally got married, nearly the entire party was comprised of colleagues. They studied in New York and Marshall’s family was there, so when the company arrived on tour, it seemed appropriate to hold the wedding the day after the tour ended. Acknowledging the challenging life of a dancer, they know their lives will change eventually. “It’s certainly something one has to think about,” pondered Breeden. “I definitely want to stay in the ballet world. I’ve always felt that I would teach or stage ballet or even give pre-talks with the audience and public outreach. I love that.” Marshall is not so certain and would consider going to school and changing careers when that time came. “It’s funny because we’ll become just like every other couple once that happens. We’ll have these separate lives…it’s normal for relationships to change. The dynamic will be different. We won’t have these lives where we’re together 24-7,” he considered.

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DESTINATION Washington, D.C. SPEAK OUT!

It’s been two years since the landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage, but the future remains uncertain. Join hundreds of thousands in our nation’s capital on June 11 for the largest LGBT civil rights march since 2000.

The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., awaits—just a quick two-hour flight to the north. Join the masses this summer for the LGBT March on Washington in June, and while you’re there, enjoy world-class dining, fascinating museums and pageantry, too. EAT

DRINK

PLAY

Over the past decade, the reinvigorated 14th Street corridor has become popular with Washington’s young professional class: Try the local favorite, Ted’s Bulletin, 1818 14th St. NW, for fancy comfort food and alcohol-infused milkshakes. And, don’t forget to order homemade pop tarts. The bustling brasserie, La Diplomate, 1601 14th St. NW, offers an upscale French dining experience. Ghibellina, 1610 14th St., serves up earthy Tuscan pizzas in a rustic industrial space wtih a distinctive marble bar.

Even though Washington’s LGBT community has been migrating eastward to Logan Circle and Shaw, Seventeenth Street in Dupont Circle is still home to many venerable drinking institutions: JR’s Bar & Grill, 1519 17th St. NW, is especially popular on Mondays when the entire bar bursts out into show tunes. Cobalt, 1639 R St. NW, is a multi-level restaurant, bar and club complex. The happy hour crowd can be found a short walk away at Number Nine, 1435 P St., where creative cocktails are 2-4-1 until 9 p.m.

If you enjoy museums, the hottest ticket in town is the new Smithsonian AfricanAmerican History Museum, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW. For a different side of Washington, check out Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW, the immaculately preserved home of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. The best show in town is the Friday Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks, 8th & I Streets SE, featuring performances by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, Band and Drum & Bugle Corps.

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downloads Books, music & Video

The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings Tess Ayers & Paul Brown 2012, $9.99 Amazon.com, iBooks The original gay and lesbian wedding guide is now in its third edition and is as useful as ever.

The Complete Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings K.C. David 2014, $7.99 Amazon.com This “complete” guide takes couples from invites all the way to thank you notes.

Modern Brides & Modern Grooms mark O’Connell 2015, $9.99 Amazon.com Look how “far” we’ve come: A guide to straight, gay and other “non-traditional” weddings.

The New Art of Capturing Love Kathryn Hamm & Thea Dodds 2017, $19.99 Amazon.com

2Brides 2Be: A Same-Sex Guide for the Modern Bride Laura Leigh Abby 2017, $9.99 Amazon.com

Whether to Wed: A Legal and Tax Guide for Gay and Lesbian Couples scott E. squillace 2014, $7.99 Amazon.com

Grab your iPhones because this guide will have you shooting killer Instagram photos like a pro.

Here’s one for women “who exude youth and style, who are inspired by innovation.”

Just because. This book is good, but maybe you should check with your lawyer and accountant, too.

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MarkeTplaCe stylish Wedding Gifts for the LGBT Couple 1. i’ll have another! These cheeky His & His stemless wine glasses ($24, set of two) from Kris Gets Crafty will bring a chuckle from the lucky couple. Etsy.com 2. wake up and smell the coffee. The De’Longhi EC702 Espresso Maker ($289.99) might be the only machine that gets the newlyweds out of bed. Macys.com 3. glitter and be gay. One Hope Brut sparkling wine comes in a fabulous rainbow glitter bottle and a portion of sales benefit the Trevor Project ($59.99). OneHopeWine.com 3. rub a dub dub.... Clean up after consummating your marriage with these Spa Aqua Mineral Trio soaps ($40). Carved Solutions.com

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Television “Love Connection”

‘80s Dating Show Gets a Reboot with Andy Cohen D

“I was a huge fan of the original ‘Love Connection,’ and hosting the new version allows me to do one of the things I love most: meddling in people’s personal lives.” – Andy Cohen “Love Connection,” hosted by Andy Cohen premieres on May 25 on Fox. Check local listings for channels and show times.

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Bravo

ating shows have long been a staple of television network schedules: In the 1970s, viewers across the country tuned into “The Dating Game” to watch a bachelor or bachelorette choose from three anonymous suitors. In the 1980s, Chuck Woolery hosted “Love Connection,” a show that offered the audience the opportunity to pick the lucky contestant’s perfect match and send them on a memorable date. More recently, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” rode the popularity of reality competition programs, pitting contestants against each other to vie for the affections—and a coveted rose—from their stunning suitor. Those hit francises inspired other series, including Logo’s recent gay entry into the genre, “Finding Prince Charming.” On May 25, Fox will premiere an updated version of “Love Connection,” hosted by Andy Cohen, star of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens” and one of the masterminds behind the “Real Housewives” phenomenon and dozens of other hit shows. Each hour of the series will feature single men and women in search of romance. After the singles are sent on three blind dates, they will dish the dirt in front of a live studio audience, with Cohen egging them on. Fox Entertainment president David Madden confirmed that the reboot will feature “all versions of couples,” including same-sex pairings. We’d like to land a date with the chipper Cohen, but sadly hear he’s off the market.


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