The Mirror v10iss1

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Vol. 10 Issue 1 • MARCH 2021 •

S O U T H

TOP 2020 STORIES OF

PANDEMIC KEEP YOU INDOORS LAST YEAR? HERE’S WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

F L O R I D A

THEMIRRORMAG.COM

G A Y

N E W S


EVOCATIVE STYLING FROM ITS BOLDLY REDESIGNED EXTERIOR TO ITS WIDER STANCE, THE 2021 LEXUS IS LOOKS AS EXHILARATING AS IT FEELS.



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SHADES OF AIDS and MY SHADOW

Where do I begin? In the oceans of words generated regarding COVID 19, how can I find anything pertinent, new, interesting or informative to say to you? Perhaps words of comfort, understanding, advising patience? I would not presume to attempt that. Now that 2020 has faded into 2021 and we, all of us who are not living in a dystopian Trump cult fantasy, have been forced to face our mortality, gross injustice on a truly massive and unparalleled landscape - and I am not just talking about governmental failure to handle the COVID crisis here - loss, death, dying and suffering. At first, in March 2020, we gay folk thought of AIDS in the 80s and 90s: “now YOU know how WE feel and felt in the middle of THAT debacle. In the spring, I recall articles that said, in essence, not it’s not like AIDS. And, it is not, because even though the scale of the current pandemic is so much larger in actual numbers, it is not nearly as deadly, or nearly as large - not even close to the percentage of the gay community whose collective and individual lives were shattered by a deadly disease that was officially ignored for years. Try that injustice on for size. Yes, we have done, and for the rest of our lives, the taste of being expendable “others” will be bitter on our tongues and in our hearts. My brother, Peter Bodiford, (say his name) died of the complications of AZT, haphazardly dispensed to the desperate untreatable victims of AIDS in the late 80s and early 90s. A second year law student, Peter stubbornly resisted testing and had branched out from WeHo boy’s clubs to bear haunts, and he might have survived had he not developed Karposi’s Sarcoma, the purple bruising blooming on his creamy buff and unblemished 29 year old forearms in 1989. In the fall of 1990 he graduated from Loyola Law School. In May of 1991, at a tony restaurant at the Beverly Center (Los Angeles), his beautiful face a shadow of itself, purple bruising spread across his nose and spotting his cheeks, the waiter mutely brought various dishes to tempt his palate, and he said to me, softly, “...Is he flirting with me, or does he just feel sorry for me?” By June 3rd, he was dead. March through December, 2020. My marriage disintegrated, my long time and best

friend from the 80s in L.A., died, my friend and receptionist at my office died, my favorite first cousin and boy-pal of my youth died, my half sister died, my second cousin died, and my 20 year friend and landlord died. None of this a result of COVID-19. “The COVID” has found me working from home, and in a novel format. The virus has, indirectly of course, given me new gay men friends with whom I shared the holidays, and inspired me to start drinking wine much earlier on most days (the first a boone the second a bit scary). None of 2020 has even touched the horror show of the 80s and early 90s that I have survived. Most of us gay folk in my generation can say the same. Does that make us stronger? More resilient? Less afraid? Having seen the results of under-tested AZT, are we less eager for the promised vaccine? If so, you can’t tell it by me. I share with you my outraged letter to Sun Sentinel reporter on COVID vaccines, written the first day we over 65s could attempt to schedule our vaccination. “Dear Ms. Goodman: Write a story about this: the “breaking story” you,(via the Sun Sentinel) told us (the public) only today 12/30/2020, (i heard late last night) that “we Broward residents” over 65 could call for appointments to be vaccinated. long story short: wrong numbers were published, and at the end of the day or actually by today at 2 pm, all the available appointments at the 3 parks listed on browardcovidvacine.com, had no availability throughout the entire year of 2021, (this site appeared to be down all day until - it was up - with no availability, and the appointment line finally rang through to a message that says no more availability check

back some time in the future (more or less). Who, one might ask, made appointments on telephone calls that when they did go through, instead of a busy signal, disconnected the caller. No live answers as far as I could discern. I called all day (954) 759-7500 since 7:01 a.m. I also called the other Broward numbers included in your article. Cleveland Clinic made no reference to vaccines only tests, and calling the Broward County Health Department number (945) 467-4700 only misdirected me to yet another bogus number. — I just wonder who got the appointments and how and when, can you find out? I call out fraud or worse.” (Underlining, all caps, red type omitted.) Insert an “eyeroll” emoji here. I was outraged, indignant, angry, suspicious, accusatory, and so on. Not feeling resilient or wise or wary of the vaccine, I posted my outrage and and asked: “Who in Broward County succeeded in getting an appointment for the vaccine?” on Facebook, and with over 70 comments there may have been 2 who reported getting an appointment. Putting my current feelings in perspective by reflecting on the AIDS crisis, I have to say that there is certainly a level of comfort in the universal suffering of the greater community: WE have not been singled out for suffering or neglect - all of our citizens, except the politically priveleged, are equally dis-served by our underfunded health departments and disorganized governmental response, on all levels. I did get an appointment for a vaccination at www. Browardcovidvaccine. com, the key being checking the website every morning early, and if you get in and get


M.S.W., J.D.

thrown out, keep trying until the site tells you it is closed. Not “temporarily unavailable”, that just means a momentary clog: keep trying. I got appointments for friends by using my phone, my ipad and my laptop simultaneously until I got through. May the force be with us. I will add that as an estate planning attorney, I am surprised that more folks aren’t reaching

out to me to prepare their wills, trusts, and health surrogates. I am observing all COVID protocols, with remote consultations, and meeting only briefly for the requisite signing and notarizing. Please check out my website www.LAWROBIN.com, for not only my business info, but, many gay rights videos and articles from over the many years since Peter’s death from AIDS transformed me

into a gay rights advocate. The long term outcome of COVID-19 is unknowable, but, I think that we as gay folk survivors of AIDS are stronger and more resilient than we may know.

- Robin Bodiford


TABLE OF CONTENTS PUBLISHER’S EDITORIAL Still Here, Still a Reflection of Our Lives Page 10

PROFESSIONALS Oakland Park Dental Page 39

OPINION Let’s Hope We Can Get The Prick Soon Page 12

C.G.Bookkeeping Page 39

FILM Five Best LGBTQ Movies of 2020 Page 20

AHF Page 40 Sterling Tax and Insurance Page 40

FILM A Colorful Mosaic of Queer Japan Page 22

CAN Community Health Page 41

MUSIC The Best LGBTQ Music of 2020 Page 24

Island City Smiles Page 46

2020 PERSON OF THE YEAR Shevrin Jones Page 48 FILM Frank Talk: An Interview With Actor Peter Macdissi Page 56

A New Generation of Leaders Rise Up Page 32

CARS The Top 5 Cars of 2020 Page 60

LAWYERS

Comic Book Creator Spotlights LGBT Heroes in Unique Series Page 36

ROBIN BODIFORD Page 26

Amsterdam: The LGBT Capital of Europe Page 42

ANDREW JIMENEZ Page 28

Sing A Song Of Hope Page 45

GREGORY KABEL Page 30 | MARCH 2021

TOP 2020 STORIES Pandemic Pounds Page 16

FOOD Kitchen Magicians Page 58

6 | THE

R3 Accounting Page 46

Dan Carter Leads The Trend In Naked Yoga Page 52



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PUBLISHER

Congratulations to writers who made our Top Stories of 2020: Rick Karlin | John McDonald | Damon Scott David Webb | Matt Sunderland

NORM KENT norm.kent@sfgn.com

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EDITORIAL Art Director BRENDON LIES artwork@sfgn.com Webmaster KIM SWAN Senior Features Reporter DAMON SCOTT

Cover: Photo via Adobe. The Mirror is published bi-monthly. 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. MIRROR Copyright © 2020, South Florida Gay News.com, Inc.

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To those who support us... Thank you. MARCH 2021 Robin Bodiford Law Center CAN Community Health CG Bookkeeping Castelli Real Estate Services Chic Optique Fred Tan - RBC Wealth Management BIKTARVY Island City Smiles JM Lexus

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PUBLISHER’S EDITORIAL

STILL HERE, STILL A REFLECTION OF OUR LIVES

O

nce again, this issue of the Mirror is smaller than it has been in the past. There is no denying the reality that we are pandemically challenged and Covidically compromised.

When you publish a free magazine, you have to rely on advertisers to sustain it. Normally, our early year issues would highlight our arts and entertainment, theater openings, museum exhibitions, and charitable gatherings. Once again, we are without them this year. Because of our magazine’s commitment to content and credibility, less is sometimes more. This month’s issue of the MIRROR gives life to some of the best articles that have appeared over the last year in the MIRROR, features you may have missed while locked down in the past year. I believe America will come out of this pandemic stronger. We rise to adversity. We are learning to adapt, discovering new methods of doing things, stripping away waste, and finding efficiency. Thanks to telehealth, no more one hour’s waits in doctor’s offices. Thanks to Zoom, online meetings offset unnecessary travel. If you are a lawyer, crowded dockets don’t frustrate you as much if you are waiting in your living room by a computer. For realtors, insurers, and stock investors, DocuSign has become a blessing. Not everything works that way, of course. To clean your teeth, you still need a dentist. Colonoscopies can’t be done online either. SFGN has had its online presence expand exponentially in the past year too, with more original content online. While both our print editions are down in size, the commitment to community is still here. The LGBT community is unique. Our lives and the professionals who sustain it have a choice to make. The MIRROR offers you a magazine you can place in your office waiting room, bring to your home and actually read. You are able to see and share our stories, 10 | THE

| MARCH 2021

friends who illuminate our lives, educators who enhance it, artists who embolden it, legislators who lead it. Sometimes, crooks who disgrace it, too. But it is us, in all our colors, with all our diversity, wounds as well as warts. The MIRROR is not an advertising guide you flip through and trash in 60 seconds. It is not a showcase for self-gratification, discarded by most, read by none. We have a shelf life that gives life to our community; to who we are. Which do you want to be a part of? Across this country, however, newspapers are closing, and bookstores are shutting down. And the largest gay paper in Chicago for half a century, the Windy City Times, closed during the Pandemic. Heck, even MAD magazine is not publishing anymore.

The MIRROR offers you a magazine you can place in your office waiting room, BRING TO YOUR HOME AND ACTUALLY READ.

// Norm Kent Quality journalism is facing challenges everywhere. The MIRROR, only a year ago twice the size of the Advocate and Out Magazine, is smaller. As I said, you can’t have an Arts and Entertainment issue if there are no theaters open to write about and advertise. But there are still a host of causes and LGBT lives worth illuminating. We remain one of the leading LGBT magazines in the nation, just passing our eleventh year of publication. What marks our success is not only our content, but our commitment to you. We need you, however, to commit to us as well. We know you have limited advertising dollars you have to use wisely. Investing in us not only gives you bang for your buck, it illuminates and showcases our lives and our achievements, our loves and our losses. It pays for LGBT features on you, your friends, and your lives. So, you decide. A real magazine with real articles, honest distribution, and local features with worldwide coverage. Or another magazine showing gay men without their shirts on holding up mimosas in a gay bar? What do you want to invest in, as we take our place in city commissions, in political discussions, and planning our communities? The MIRROR, I respectfully suggest, is a heathy and hearty reflection of our lives. Help sustain it today so we can continue to share it with you tomorrow.



OPINION

LET’S HOPE WE CAN

GET THE PRICK

SOON // Pier Angelo

T

here hasn’t been a lot of great news lately around the coronavirus. New infections are skyrocketing everywhere, and unfortunately, deaths from COVID-19 are following. Don’t let down your guard. But recently there were a few bright spots that could get us on a path back to normal. 

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OPINION Two new vaccines have been approved by the FDA, getting them into people’s arms is the next step, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that employees and residents of long-term care facilities receive the vaccine first, along with healthcare workers on the front lines. States will have to figure out how to deliver on these recommendations and define which healthcare workers. Later, most states expect to distribute the vaccine to primary care practices, but nothing is certain at this point. It could change; even the guidance issued by the CDC on who should get the vaccines first is considered interim. Vaccines should be distributed quickly in the first phase — in fact, the head of the federal government’s vaccine logistics program said in early December that 20 million Americans could be vaccinated by end of year if vaccines are approved, and that most Americans could have the vaccine by the middle of 2021. The vaccines were approved but so far the distribution of the vaccine has been a frustrating failure. As our publisher wrote in one of his Op Eds: “Once again, the government fails to deliver. Just an absolute, shameful, embarrassing mess.” How do these vaccines work? I asked my physician and this is how he explained it to me: Traditional vaccines deliver either a dead or weakened form of a virus or part of a virus into your body. Your body sees this foreign invader, or antigen, and your immune system develops antibodies against it. Later, when your body encounters the real virus, your immune system recognizes it and attacks it before it can lead to an infection. That’s how vaccines have worked for decades. But researchers are using a new technological approach to prime our immune systems. The two coronavirus vaccines currently in the news are called mRNA vaccines, and, if approved, they’ll be the first such vaccines to make it market. These mRNA vaccines don’t deliver the antigen to the body. Instead, they carry genetic instructions that teach your cells how to make the antigen. This more closely mimics a natural infection, which may ultimately make them more effective. This mRNA is a molecule that tells

A woman prepares to receive the vaccine. Photo via Adobe.

cells what to build. In this case, the mRNA vaccine carries instructions to create a type of protein that is part of sars-cov-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The immune system then recognizes that protein or antigen, and when the real thing enters the body, it’s prepared to fight it. Technological advancements have been key. This kind of vaccine wouldn’t have been achievable 20 or 30 years ago. In traditional vaccines, lab researchers have to grow viruses and then inactivate either the virus or its protein. That’s one of the reasons it can take years for a vaccine to be developed. But mRNA vaccines are quicker because scientists can create the protein sequence in the lab in hours

THE VACCINES WERE APPROVED BUT SO FAR THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE VACCINE HAS BEEN A FRUSTRATING FAILURE.

or days — not months or years. And as technology has improved, so has the speed. For example, scientists decoded the genome for this coronavirus in early January — it took researchers six to eight years to decode the human genome in the 1990s. The fast decoding enabled researchers to create several mRNA candidate vaccines and begin testing them in the lab and in animals before the coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic. In fact, Moderna went from creation to testing in humans in just 63 days. These new vaccines do have some distribution and storage challenges, especially with Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine. It must be kept at incredibly low temperatures (minus 70 degrees Celsius) or it can fall apart. Hospital systems and health departments who have the ability to keep the vaccine in deep freeze will likely be the first places to receive the vaccine. Moderna’s mRNA vaccine is more stable — it can be kept for up to six months at minus 20 degrees Celsius, a similar temperature to a traditional freezer. The company announced in mid-November that its vaccine can also last for 30 days at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, or a similar temperature to a normal refrigerator. The shelf-life numbers are just an estimate for now — the vaccines may actually last longer, but it will take time for manufacturers to test their effectiveness. There are other vaccines. In fact, there are 54 in human trials and another 87 in lab testing. Let’s hope the new administration takes the bull by the horns and gets us out of this nightmare. Good luck in getting a vaccine appointment. MARCH 2021 | THE

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TOP 2020 STORIES

PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2020

PANDEMIC

POUNDS Swap out some of your unhealthy treats for these homemade goodies // Rick Karlin

H

as the pandemic helped you pack on a few pounds? If so, you’re not alone. According to Nabisco, cookie sales went up 30% in the first few months of the pandemic. Our kitchens have turned into giant vending machines, dispensing treats as we tend to graze through the day, often eating out of boredom. “In-home, there is more grazing, more continuous eating, and snacking takes up a much bigger role,” says Dirk Van de Put, the chief executive of Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods). Not only that, even though we’re cooking at home instead of wholesome foods we’re re-creating our favorite fast-food treats. That combined with lack of, or restricted, access to gyms and workout classes is a recipe for weight gain. There’s a real danger that when this pandemic is over, we still won’t be able to leave the house because we won’t be able to fit through the door. Alright, so I’m exaggerating there, but it still wouldn’t hurt to have some healthy snacks around. Some things are easy; it doesn’t take a degree in nutrition to know that an apple is better for you than Flaming Hot Cheetos. So, keep some fresh fruit on hand the next time you get a sweet craving. I’m particularly fond of watermelon, pineapple and plums. You can still have potato chips and cookies occasionally, just not on a daily basis. Grapes are great for the feeling of filling (and emptying) a bowl of goodies, and they’re healthier than M&Ms. Try some of these recipes the next time you have a craving. Most of them don’t take much time at all to prepare, but that doesn’t really matter, we’ve all got plenty of time now.

x

16 | THE

| MARCH 2021


ROASTED CHICKPEAS

PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2020

TOP 2020 STORIES

These are great when you’ve got a craving for something salty and crunchy. INGREDIENTS 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. chili powder ½ tsp. cayenne (optional) 1/2 tsp. dried oregano DIRECTIONS Blot rinsed and drained chickpeas on a paper towel to absorb any residual moisture. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet in an even layer. Place chickpeas in a pre-heated 350◦ oven until completely dry, 10-12 minutes. Remove chickpeas from oven and toss with oil and seasonings. Return to oven, and bake until golden brown and crispy, about 35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.

FETA DIP Serve with cucumber slices, carrot sticks, red pepper slices and any other veggie you like. INGREDIENTS 1 lb. feta 1 cup Greek yogurt 1 oz. (8-oz.) block light cream cheese, softened ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil Juice and zest of 1 lemon Kosher salt crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup chopped cucumber

DIRECTIONS In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat feta cheese, Greek yogurt, cream cheese, oil, and lemon juice and zest until fluffy and combined. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir in chopped cucumber. Transfer dip to a serving bowl, drizzle with a little extra olive oil.

FAUX-TATO CHIPS Bet you can’t eat just one! INGREDIENTS 1 large daikon radish (may substitute 1 dozen large red radishes) 1 tbsp. vegetable oil ½ tsp. garlic powder Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 225°. Using a mandolin, thinly slice radish and place in a large bowl. Add vegetable oil and garlic powder and season with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Spread in an even layer on large baking sheets. Be sure none of the radishes are overlapping. Bake until chips are crisp and slightly golden, (about 1-1 ¼ hours). Let cool five minutes before serving. Can also be cooked in small batches in an air-fryer set at 350°. Cook for six-seven minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until chips are golden and crispy.

PISTACHIO OAT SQUARES It’s like granola and a cookie all in one! INGREDIENTS 1 cup raw shelled pistachios 1 cup rolled oats ½ teaspoon sea salt ¼ cup honey, more for drizzling on top 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional) melted dark chocolate (optional) additional handful of chopped pistachios for the topping Directions Preheat the oven to 350◦ and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. In a food processor with the metal blade attached, process the pistachios, oats, and salt for about 30 seconds, until a meal starts to form. Drizzle in the honey and olive oil while the motor is still running, and the meal begins to come together into a crumbly, almost-wet dough. Press the dough evenly into the pan (top with coconut if desired) and bake for 10-12 minutes. You want the squares to still be a little soft — don’t overbake them. Carefully lift the cooled dough out of the pan by holding two sides of the parchment paper. Cut it into squares. Drizzle a little honey over the top for extra sweetness, if you like. Drizzle with melted dark chocolate and extra pistachios. Can be stored in a sealed container for up to a week.

MARCH 2021 | THE

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IMPORTANT FACTS FOR BIKTARVY®

This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.

(bik-TAR-vee)

MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BIKTARVY

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF BIKTARVY

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:  Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section.  Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.  Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY.  Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.  Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.  The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%).

 Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you

have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months.

ABOUT BIKTARVY BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. Do NOT take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains:  dofetilide  rifampin  any other medicines to treat HIV-1

BEFORE TAKING BIKTARVY Tell your healthcare provider if you:

These are not all the possible side effects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY.

 Have or have had any kidney or liver problems,

including hepatitis infection.  Have any other health problems.  Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.  Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.

HOW TO TAKE BIKTARVY Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:  Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-

counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.

Get HIV support by downloading a free app at

MyDailyCharge.com

 This is only a brief summary of important information

about BIKTARVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more.

 BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other.

Ask your healthcare provider and pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all your other medicines.

GET MORE INFORMATION

 Go to BIKTARVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5  If you need help paying for your medicine,

visit BIKTARVY.com for program information.

BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, DAILY CHARGE, the DAILY CHARGE Logo, LOVE WHAT’S INSIDE, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. Version date: February 2020 © 2020 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. BVYC0197 03/20


HUGO LIVING WITH HIV SINCE 1995 REAL BIKTARVY PATIENT

KEEP CONNECTING. Because HIV doesn’t change who you are.

BIKTARVY® is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in certain adults. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.

Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you. See Hugo’s story at BIKTARVY.com. Featured patient compensated by Gilead.

Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the previous page and visit BIKTARVY.com.


FILM

ONE FOR EACH LETTER

FIVE BEST LGBTQ MOVIES OF 2020

“The Half of It.” Credit: Netflix.

// Gregg Shapiro

I

t’s not unreasonable to say that the moviegoing experience has lost some of its luster in recent years.

Stadium seating is a good idea, but the pressure of having to choose seats in advance takes the fun out of the hunt. People continue to talk during the movie; to each other, to themselves, to the characters on the screen. Texting during movies is at an all-time high, and Apple watches illuminating throughout the theater are a distraction. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Movie theater chains shuttered. While the idea of sitting in close proximity to other audience members caused us to shudder. Not that they could have predicted a health crisis of this magnitude, but forward-thinking streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and HBO Max benefited in a big way from the pandemic. The following five 2020 movies represent the best in LGBTQ titles.

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A queer 21st century take on Cyrano de Bergerac, “The Half of It” (Netflix), lesbian writer/director Alice Wu’s first full-length feature film since 2004’s “Saving Face,” takes viewers to high school where extremely bright student Ellie (Leah Lewis), who makes bank writing term papers for her classmates, is enlisted to write love letters from Paul (Daniel Diemer) to Aster (Alexxis Lemire). The problem is that Ellie is also in love. To say more would give away an essential plot point, but it’s well worth watching the movie to see how it unfolds.

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“Benjamin” (Artspolitation), from gay writer/director Simon Amstell (think of him as a gay male Hannah Gadsby), is easily one of the best 21st century romcoms, gay or straight, that you can find. The titular character, Benjamin (a fantastic Colin Morgan) is a socially awkward and insecure gay filmmaker who falls in love with musician Noah (Phénix Brossard), and systematically destroys both the relationship and his new movie. “Benjamin” is laugh-out-loud funny, tearjerker sad and thoroughly enjoyable.

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If you can overlook the confusing finale, James Sweeney’s queer rom-com “Straight Up” (Strand), about the severe sexual identity crisis gay millennial Todd (Sweeney) undergoes, is funny and touching, often in the same scene. Sweeney presents us with a marvelous version of one man’s personal sexual spectrum exploration and deserves to be commended for creating an admirable and entertaining feature-length debut at the same time.

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SWEENEY PRESENTS US WITH A MARVELOUS VERSION OF ONE MAN’S PERSONAL SEXUAL SPECTRUM EXPLORATION. In recent years, Sebastián Lelio’s Oscar-winning 2017 “A Fantastic Woman” and Sean Baker’s 2015 “Tangerine” have gone a long way in raising the bar when it comes to intelligent and powerful depictions of trans people on screen. The same can be said for gay filmmaker Flavio Alves’ “The Garden Left Behind” (Queens Pictures/ Autonomous Pictures). The garden in the title refers to the one in Mexico that undocumented Tina (trans actress Carlie Guevara), who is in the process of her transition, and her abuela Eliana (Miriam Cruz), left behind when they arrived in New York when Tina was a young child. Alves has found a way to balance the daily traumas of their lives with incredible moments of human connection.

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Queer filmmaker/performance artist Rachel Mason Q also got personal with her new documentary “Circus of Books” (Netflix/Future Clown). The daughter of Karen and Barry Mason, the straight, married couple who owned and operated the titular legendary XXX adult emporium in WeHo (shuttered in early 2018) and a short-lived Silverlake location, Rachel crafted a revelatory, warts-and-all family portrait that is equally emotional and informative.

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“The Half of It.” Credit: Netflix.

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Gregg Shapiro is SFGN’s movie reviewer. His weekly reviews can be found at SFGN.com/screensavor.

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FILM

A COLORFUL

MOSAIC OF QUEER JAPAN // David-Elijah Nahmod

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raham Kolbeins’ new documentary “Queer Japan” is a colorful, if sometimes dizzying portrait of LGBT life in several major Japanese cities, starting with Tokyo.

The film lives up to its promise of offering a diverse look at the country’s queer landscape, introducing viewers to a cross section of every imaginable type of LGBT person from across the sexual and gender spectrum. During the film’s 98-minute running time we are introduced to everyone from a gay erotic artist interviewed in an S&M dungeon, (he has also created a gay manga book for children), to a lesbian bar owner, to a trans activist who writes video strategy books (she is seen holding up a bilingual English/Japanese Trans Lives Matter sign), to a drag queen who relishes the attention she receives. Kolbeins also visits a Japanese Pride celebration, where Ambassador Caroline Kennedy greets the crowd. All in all, some 50 people are interviewed throughout the film.

Pictured: “Queer Japan.” Credit: Graham Kolbeins. 22 | THE

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“Right now in Japan we’re in the middle of an LGBT boom,” says an unidentified voice as the film opens. “I think it’s incredibly important to gain visibility, to make it so that we can be seen.” “On the other hand, however, there’s also the thinking of not generating any friction with the majority as much as possible,” says a second voice. “It’s not necessarily that being gay or lesbian is the problem,” says a third voice. “But it’s the family values and format that traditional Japanese are afraid of breaking.” Yet in spite of the conservative nature of Japanese society, the subjects seen and heard in Queer Japan are all out, loud and proud, unashamed of who they are or how they express their sexual or gender identity. The film is a celebration of the freedom to be who each of us is, without judgment, even though that judgment can sometimes come from within the community itself. One man, who’s become a spokesperson of sorts for the BDSM community, is sometimes asked “Why are you gay?” But at other times he is also asked by members of the LGBT community, “Why are you into BDSM?” There’s no answer to these questions. Each individual must be free to pursue their own path, and that is the film’s underlying message. The film was shot over a period of three years. Interviewees touch upon a myriad of topics, such as racism, the exploitation of transgender sex workers, LGBT civil rights and HIV. There’s also a brief look at a


THE FILM IS A CELEBRATION OF THE FREEDOM TO BE WHO EACH OF US IS, WITHOUT JUDGMENT, EVEN THOUGH THAT JUDGMENT CAN SOMETIMES COME FROM WITHIN THE COMMUNITY ITSELF. band which performs songs about sexually transmitted diseases. The people profiled in “Queer Japan” are all fascinating figures, so it is a shame that each interview is so brief. The film jumps from person to person before the viewer can get to know them better. But the film is, nonetheless, a fascinating look inside a country with a vibrant LGBT community, a community that is coming into its own. “Queer Japan” can be viewed on Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Google Play. The film is in Japanese with clear, easy to read English subtitles.

MEDICARE AND PRIVATE INSURANCE ACCEPTED

MEDICARE AND PRIVATE INSURANCE ACCEPTED MARCH 2021 | THE

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MUSIC

ONE FOR EACH LETTER

THE BEST LGBTQ MUSIC OF 2020 // Gregg Shapiro

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n more ways than anyone would care to count, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. Near the top of the list are the ways in which we experience music. Live music venues — from concert halls and intimate clubs to festivals and cruises — were hit the hardest and the future of these performance spaces remains uncertain. Fortunately, we still have plenty of recorded music to enjoy while we face the both the promise of a vaccine and the threat of further lockdowns. Pictured: Cartalk. Photo via @cartalkmusic, Facebook.

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Newly out lesbian singer/songwriter Jaime Wyatt is proof that Nashville’s not what it used to be. There have probably always been LGBTQ folks in Music City, and thanks to Wyatt, that community is becoming increasingly visible. A distinctive performer whose hard scrabble life has led to sobriety and the embracing of her queer identity, subjects she addresses on her “Neon Cross” (New West) album in the songs such “Rattlesnake Girl,” “Make Something Outta Me” and “Just A Woman.”

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Gay modern rock legend Bob Mould is among the hardest working men in music, proving that point by following up 2019’s aptly titled Sunshine Rock with the somewhat bluer “Blue Hearts” (Merge). Blue in terms of sexual content (check out “Leather Dreams”) as well as in the liberal political messaging in songs such as “American Crisis,” “Next Generation” and “Heart on My Sleeve,” all delivered in his trademark crunchy and blazing guitar rock style.

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Resuming her career after it was briefly sidelined by a health crisis, bisexual singer/songwriter Rachael Sage came back better than ever, delivering her new album “Character” (MPress). When she sings “I have been through hell and back and back again/I was lucky to come out alive” in “Bravery’s On Fire,” the song sizzles with emotion. It’s fitting that Sage covers Ani DiFranco’s “Both Hands” because of what they have in common — being bi, young, female singer/songwriters who started and continue to record on their own record labels. Her cover of Neil Young’s “Ohio” is particularly poignant as 2020 was the 50th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State. Sage originals including the tango of “Cave,” the subtle twang of “Open The Door,” the gorgeous “Atmosphere” and the experimental rock of the title track are also worth a listen.

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Already on a roll with love from Tegan and Sara, non-binary transmasc singer/songwriter Cartalk aka Chuck Moore released their debut “Pass Like Pollen” (cartalk.bandcamp.com), which plays like a hybrid of modern twang and vintage grunge with a general indie rock vibe. This works well on “Noonday Devil,” “Las Manos,” “Driveway” and “Sleep” (with a Springsteen reference, no less!). Then, out of nowhere (well, somewhere, actually), Cartalk parks themselves in a space reserved for irresistible pop on “Wrestling” and Elliot Smith-like folk on “Something or Nothing,” which feels like finding a radio station so good, you don’t want to get out of the car.

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It’s fitting that fiddler and banjo player Jake Blount, described as “one of the few queer, Black voices in Appalachian music” called his album “Spider Tales” (Free Dirt) because the elaborate and beautiful web he spins on it is sure to catch many listeners. A reclamation project, Blount adds a distinctly queer perspective to many of these tunes from early-to-mid 20th century by Josie Miles (“Mad Mama’s Blues”), Lucius Smith (“Goodbye, Honey, You Call That Gone”), Tommy Jarrell (“Boll Weevil”), Manco Sneed (“Done Gone”), Cuje Bertram (“Blackbird Says to the Crow”), as well as a contemporary composition; Judy Hyman’s “Beyond This Wall.” Blount’s take on Lead Belly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is particularly dazzling.

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Greg Shapiro is an entertainment journalist, whose interviews and reviews run in regional LGBT and mainstream media outlets. Shapiro is the author of seven books including the 2019 chapbooks, Sunshine State and More Poems About Buildings and Food. Shapiro lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his husband Rick and their dog Coco.

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//Pier Angelo

ROBIN BODIFORD WAS ONE OF THE FIRST GAY ATTORNEYS IN BROWARD COUNTY. “It was me, Dean Trantalis and Allan Terl,” she said in 2014. She has been proudly gay for as long as she can remember and she has been first out in many ways for many years. She was the first attorney to advertise in the Broward gay media with a photograph of herself, and the first attorney to advertise services for LGBT people on bus stop kiosks. She had her first position as an attorney with

one of the largest law firms in San Francisco. She asked a senior executive if she could bring her partner to company events. The senior executive was apparently shocked and told her it was off limits. That same company is now a supporter of gay rights. She invites those who are still in the closet to come out as soon as they can since it is the best thing you can do personally and professionally.

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LAWYERS

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ESTABLISHED IN 2013, JIMENEZ LAW OFFICES WAS FORMED TO PROVIDE A BROAD RANGE OF LEGAL SERVICES. They offer multi-generational services to assist clients at every stage in their lives. The firm believes in bringing both local and global perspectives to the needs of all clients, along with the critical intelligence and skills that sets them apart from other small practices. They act as both advisor and advocate to help clients meet the demands of today’s rapid-paced world. Most importantly, the firm prides itself on its commitment to using their skills and talents in service to others. They are passionate about giving back to the local community and representing each client with a firm commitment to ethics and a passion for justice. Andrew L. Jiménez established Jiménez Law Offices to focus on the complex legal needs of his community.

Andrew’s dedication to the community is demonstrated by his civic involvement. He is a Founder of CubaOne, a nonprofit foundation that offers young Cuban Americans free heritage trips to Cuba. He has served on the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Community Services Board, and he is currently Treasurer of the Gay & Lesbian Lawyers Network of the Florida Bar. He also serves as Treasurer for Our Fund, a foundation that unites donors with organizations supporting the local LGBT community. He enjoys active participation with other national and local LGBT organizations, especially the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida. Andrew was named one of Florida State University’s Thirty Under 30 for his significant contributions to his profession and community.

ONLINE: JIMENEZLAWOFFICES.COM 28 | THE

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FORT LAUDERDALE ESTATE PLANNING AND PROBATE LAWYER, GREGORY W. KABEL, WORKS WITH CLIENTS IN ALL COMMUNITIES IN BROWARD COUNTY AND PALM BEACH COUNTY.

Kabel has practiced law for over 32 years, focusing exclusively on the areas of Trusts and Estates, Probate, and Business Transactions. He began his legal career in Chicago at the national law firms of Mayor, Brown & Platt, as an associate, and then McDermott, Will &

Emery, as partner. McDermott, Will & Emery has a nationally renowned Estate Planning practice and Kabel worked with some of the best and most innovative attorneys in the country in the areas of Wealth Preservation and Estate Planning for both individuals and families.

ONLINE: KABELLAW.COM 30 | THE

| MARCH 2021


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TOP 2020 STORIES

PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2020

A NEW GENERATION OF

LEADERS

RISE UP Three Gay Dems Going Viral // John McDonald

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hree fresh faces in the Democratic party. They come from Atlanta, Philadelphia and Southern California with new voices helping to reshape one of America’s two major political parties. Representative Malcolm Kenyatta of Pennsylvania, Representative Sam Park of Georgia and Long Beach, Calif. Mayor Robert Garcia — three gay men — were part of the 2020 keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Kenyatta, 30, represents the 181st District in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He raised his profile in May with a fiery speech on the assembly floor. “You can boo, but it’s true!” Kenyatta exclaimed as he rose to counter a Republican proposal of re-opening restaurants in the state. Kenyatta’s demands of safe working conditions and fair wages during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic was greeted with boos from his Republican colleagues. “They are booing working people who are just trying to ask how they can go to work without getting sick, which is not the most outrageous request,” Kenyatta said of that moment. Mark Segal founded the Philadelphia Gay News in 1976. He is a mentor and friend to Kenyatta and his fiancé, Dr. Matthew Jordan Miller.

Pictured right: Rep. Sam Park (top), Mayor Robert Garcia (right), and Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (bottom). Photos via Facebook. Turn the page to continue reading.

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Rep. Sam Park.

Mayor Robert Garcia.

Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.

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“As someone who has been doing what I’ve been doing for 50 years now it is a delight to see someone like Malcolm come on the scene,” Segal said. “Someone that the LGBT community nationally has not seen in a long, long, long time.” Segal recognized Kenyatta’s potential in becoming a significant figure in public service. “He’s totally an original,” Segal said. “But he has that spark of activism and progressiveness that we had way back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. He has that spark of Stonewall. He has that activism in him.” Kenyatta is a surrogate for President Joe Biden. She said it took resources of money and time to turn his state blue. Pennsylvania, he said, had many swing seats that were “right on the edge” that Democrats could win. “The national election sucks all the oxygen out of the room,” Kenyatta said. “When the reality is property taxes and schools and criminal justice reform and police reform and illegal guns and stopping the flow of these easily accessible weapons of war on our streets. So many of these things aren’t going to be solved in the Oval Office or on Capitol Hill, so many of these issues are going to be determined in state legislatures.” Pennsylvania legalized same-sex marriage in May of 2014. Kenyatta met Miller, an author, on the social networking app, Instagram. He said they are planning a ceremony for 2021. “When I wanted to marry the man I loved,

“HE’S GOING TO TRY TO INFLAME THE COUNTRY TO WIN THE ELECTION — AND WE CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN. NO MORE LIES. NO MORE APPEASEMENT. WE WILL PUSH BACK EVERY SINGLE TIME.” - Robert Garcia

MAYOR OF LONG BEACH, CALIF.

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Mayor Robert Garcia. Photo via Facebook.

Joe Biden was the first national figure to support me and my family,” Kenyatta said as part of the DNC’s 11-minute keynote address video. Georgia Representative Sam Park also participated in the video. Park, 34, an openly gay Asian American millennial, expressed concern about how schools will re-open during the pandemic. “When teachers in Gwinnett, Georgia and across the country are being asked to return to the classroom without a plan to keep them safe and parents are exhausted juggling fulltime work and full-time childcare,” Park said. Park was raised by South Korean immigrants and is the first Asian American man elected to the Georgia legislature. He recently lost his mother to cancer. Feelings of grief were part of Park’s keynote comments. “We have lived that feeling of helplessness,” Park said. “When someone you love is very sick and access to healthcare is a matter of life and death.” The third member of this distinguished group is Garcia, the Mayor of Long Beach, California. Garcia, 42, is a first-generation immigrant from Peru and vocal supporter of

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is now vice president. Recently, Garcia blasted the Trump campaign’s doom and gloom strategy. “Donald Trump is talking about America like he hasn’t been the President for the last 3+ years,” Garcia tweeted. “He’s going to try to inflame the country to win the election — and we can’t let that happen. No more lies. No more appeasement. We will push back every single time.” Alan Quach has met Garcia multiple times. A resident of Long Beach, Quach said Garcia has done a “wonderful job of making Long Beach gay friendly.” First elected Mayor in 2014, Garcia, a former Republican, won re-election in 2018. Long Beach is California’s seventh largest city with more than 462,000 people and a deep water port which is the nation’s second busiest container ship port. In his DNC keynote speech, Garcia said he has “lived the frustration of paying off student loans.” The son of housekeepers, Garcia has a PhD in Educational Policy and is fluent in English and Spanish. He married his spouse, Matthew Mendez in 2018.



TOP 2020 STORIES

PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY - MARCH 2020

COMIC BOOK CREATOR SPOTLIGHTS

LGBT HEROES IN UNIQUE SERIES // Damon Scott

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ernando Velez has been imagining, creating and writing in Los Angeles for almost 10 years, but he’s got a South Florida connection, too. From Puerto Rico (where he attended art school as a youngster and did some plays), the 32-year-old lived in Miami for about four years — working as a server and “hiding behind the buffet” at the Palms Hotel & Spa just trying to make ends meet. His first taste of Florida, though, was in Orlando. At 18 he forged his mother’s signature to attend the Disney College Program and try life outside of the Island of Enchantment. But life in California called to him, as it does so many others, so he left and the creative juices started to flow. He began to ponder creating a comic book series. Velez wanted to call his comic book venture, of which he is the founder, creator and writer, “Raven,” but by mistake it ended up being “Kraven.” The name stuck and he never changed it — Kraven Comics it would be. “I would read comics, but wasn’t a big fan of any — there wasn’t [a character] who I could identify with,” Velez told SFGN by phone from Los Angeles. “[Hollywood is] making gay characters now, not so much to represent us, but because we have an income and are a good market for it.” LGBT heroes haven’t typically been celebrated in the comic book industry, he said. Velez wanted to come at it from a more authentic place. “I wanted to represent real people, transgender people, base [their lives] on [real] interviews,” he said. “I wanted to be inclusive.” So Velez created a group of seven LGBT heroes for his series — Class6. That began over seven years ago. Velez came up with the seven characters to be representative of the LGBT spectrum in some way: a drag queen, a bear, a straight ally, a lesbian, a leather guy, a twink and a transgender person. At a convention, Velez began to bring artists together and formally launched the venture in 2016 when he published his first in the series in a digital format. He used his staff of artists to do the

Pictured left: Left to right are Jaseri (lesbian), Kian (bear bisexual), Queen Izaar (drag hero), Jennifer “Sidekicker” (straight ally), Neveah (transgender) and Eron (leather hero). Photos courtesy of Fernando Velez.

PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY - MARCH 2020

TOP 2020 STORIES

THE HEROES JASERI (LESBIAN) ABILITY: The ability to control nature; therefore anything connected to the Earth that has life. A member of a hidden coven, Jaseri was part of a new generation of voodoo priests and priestesses. When she was selected by her grandmother to carry on her powers, Jaseri decided to defend women and gay rights in Uganda. Using her skills, she has pledged to fight for the weak and to teach others how to be warriors in their own right. Little does she know, her ancestry can be traced back to the genesis of Earth’s planetary evolution. She may not know it yet, but Jaseri is destined to join Queen Izaar and Class6.

KIAN (BEAR BISEXUAL) ABILITY: Kian’s abilities arise as a response to danger, generated automatically by the security system within his DNA. His body’s reaction and powers vary, depending on the situation. Kian is a bisexual man from the bear community. He used to have a happy life, one without any major problem or negative experience. His father is a very influential person who has always ensured his son’s safety, as he believes Kian is an essential key to the survival of the human race. Kian is made up of a special DNA sequence, one which contains encrypted information about human civilization, including lost cultures and histories unbeknownst to humankind from another universe. Kian’s world finally is threatened when the government captured him to try to access the information within his DNA.

QUEEN IZAAR (DRAG HERO) ABILITY: She can take and give life. She holds in her hands the life switch of humankind. Queen Izaar is full of secrets, including who she is, where she came from, and what she knows. She was once a mighty drag queen, but things got out of control, leaving her powerless. Her mission is to save human society from the brink of extinction. She is the rock that keeps Class6 together, and is the goddess of humanity.

JENNIFER “SIDEKICKER” (STRAIGHT ALLY) NEVEAH (TRANSGENDER) ABILITY: Gender reassignment, which enables her to change her biological composition from female to male and vice versa; cell realignment, which enables her to transform into anyone and to manipulate parts of her body, such as her hair; cell manipulation, which gives her the ability to realign cellular structure in others, such as speeding up their aging process. Neveah was born as a boy in a religious household in the Eastern European country of Montenegro. Thrown out onto the street at an early age, she’s struggled to survive her entire life. Forgotten by her family and attacked by society, she tries to end her life, but instead of finding death, she discovers a new path, one which will lead her to join Class6.

ERON (LEATHER HERO) ABILITY: Eron has a host of abilities that stem from his mind. His abilities include psychokinesis, super-speed, underwater breathing, time/interdimensional travel, and enhanced vision. His abilities appear to increase as he expands his mental capacity through learning. Eron was an only child born to a low-income family in Venezuela. After Eron’s mother died, his father fell into drug addiction and sold him to the cartel to pay off his debts. From childhood to early adulthood, Eron was sexually abused by members of the cartel. When he was in his early 20s, Eron learned he had contracted HIV, and that without proper care, he would soon die. On the night he decided to escape the cartel, Eron caused an accident which gave him uncanny abilities. He in turned used his new power to find a cure for HIV. Lost in the unfamiliar outside world, Eron desires friendship and a sense of belonging, two feelings he has never experienced before.

NAMI (TWINK HERO) ABILITY: The ability to control technology and devices powered by electricity. Nami was born with a deadly disease that his father with his knowledge of nanotechnology was able to eradicate, not before Nami experienced side effects which enabled him to control electrical devices. Circumstances caused by his father turned Nami’s life in upside down, into one of isolation and regret, obsession and revenge. But deep down inside, Nami is still a hopeless romantic. Now he is committed to using his abilities to help people suppressed by the powerful and wealthy and to give them back freedom and control of their lives.

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drawings while he focused on the scripts, website and social media accounts. While the digital comic book looked great and was easily distributed, it wasn’t so great for comic book fans, Velez said. “People want to own it, to touch it. But printing [to order] single issues is too expensive,” he said. The answer was to create a print edition — the format most associated with the genre and most familiar to fans and collectors. The journey of converting his creations to print has taken some time. And money. Velez’ partner, Waiyen Wong, from Venezuela was instrumental in the process. Wong helped Velez hire artists from Venezuela to work on the drawings and he serves as manager of Kraven Comics. “We are all like family. The [Venezuelan artists] had never done a comic book,” Velez said. Velez and Wong met in L.A. and have been together about six years. Short on funds and scrambling, though, Velez started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the print venture — the goal was $8,500. The idea was to combine all six of his existing digital episodes into one 280-page book and offer it a reasonable price at $20 to make it more affordable for fans. (Digital access per is $9.99 an issue). The Kickstarter campaign was successful — it met the mark and more. Velez thought it would be a harder ask, especially with tough times setting in for so many during the pandemic. The print edition is now available through Amazon. “It’s time for us to have mainstream LGBTQ heroes,” Velez wrote for his Kickstarter campaign. “Wouldn’t it be amazing to go into the movie theaters to watch an LGBTQ superhero movie as good as Marvel but created by an LGBTQ company for the gay community?” Velez’ seventh episode was released in digital. Once episode 12 is complete, he expects a second book of six will be printed. Velez has structured the series to span 30 seasons of 12 episodes each. In other words, this is a passion that will continue for a long time.

FOR MORE The digital comic book’s are available online in Comixology, iBooks and Google Play Books for $9.99. Go to kravencomics.com for access to the issues and for more information. Follow the heroes on social at @KravenComics. To order Class6 episodes 1 to 6 on Amazon, visit amzn.to/2ZX8TQe

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Fernando Velez and his partner. Photo courtesy of Fernando Velez.

“WOULDN’T IT BE AMAZING TO GO INTO THE MOVIE THEATERS TO WATCH AN LGBTQ SUPERHERO MOVIE AS GOOD AS MARVEL BUT CREATED BY AN LGBTQ COMPANY FOR THE GAY COMMUNITY?” FERNANDO VELEZ Image courtesy of Fernando Velez.


Photos via Facebook.

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relationship with their patients to make sure they have beautiful smiles and healthy teeth to complement their active lifestyle. A great supporter of the LGBT community the office of Dr. Cunningham is also famous for its quirky ads featuring hot guys. “We’ve always tried to do things that were a little fun, and a little edgy,” Dr. Cunningham said.

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954-566-9812

C.G.BOOKKEEPING //Pier Angelo

SINCE 1991, C.G. BOOKKEEPING HAS ALLEVIATED THE STRESS ASSOCIATED WITH KEEPING YOUR FINANCIAL RECORDS CURRENT. INITIALLY SPECIALIZING IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY, C. G. BOOKKEEPING QUICKLY EXPANDED TO ALL TYPES AND SIZES OF BUSINESSES. THEY CAN WORK FROM YOUR LOCATION OR OURS. 25 YEARS AND COUNTING C.G. BOOKKEEPING STANDS READY TO SUIT THE EVER CHANGING NEEDS OF THEIR DIVERSE CLIENT BASE. A full charge professional bookkeeping service, specializing in the use of QuickBooks they offer Accounts Receivable/ Accounts Payable, Monthly Financials and Payroll Services. Located in Oakland Park, C.G. Bookkeeping has been servicing small to multi-million dollars corporations for over 25 yeas. I can vouch for it personally .

Chris has been keeping the books of my company for over 10 years.I have always been impressed by his expertise and understanding of our business. He has a personal, proactive approach to guide us with the financial running of our company and he is always available.I trust him implicitly and respect him for his ethics and integrity.

CHRIS W. GROBELS (954) 777-1787 (954) 206-1818 FAX

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Photos via Facebook.

PROFESSIONALS

AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION //Pier Angelo

SOUTH FLORIDA IS HOME TO THE NATION’S WORST HIV/AIDS OUTBREAK, DESPITE STEPPED-UP EFFORTS TO CONTROL THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CURRENTLY RANKS NUMBER ONE IN THE NATION, LOGGING THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF NEW AIDS CASES PER CAPITA IN THE U.S. Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) currently ranks number two in the nation, logging the 2nd highest number of new AIDS cases per capita in the U.S., according to state health officials. For people living with HIV/AIDS, there are many resources available in our area to help deal with the virus; AHF is one of the best resources available. AHF is now one of the largest non-profit

providers of specialized HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S. and has emerged as an essential safety net provider for disenfranchised populations. AHF remains committed to serving indigent populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, including people of color, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals, drug users, people with a history of incarceration, and other vulnerable populations.

110 SE 6TH STREET, SUITE 1960 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33301 954-522-3132

STERLING TAX AND ACCOUNTING SERVICES //Pier Angelo

SERVICES

INDIVIDUAL & FAMILY INCOME TAX

IRS Representation Tax Returns (Business & Personal) Outsourced CFO & Controller Services Financial Statement Preparation Transactional Bookkeeping & Accounting Process Financial Services Mortgage Services Accounting Software Systems Design & Implementation Training & Education Advocacy, Resource & Referral

Let their seasoned professionals prepare your taxes and advise you on all your personal income tax matters. Received a letter from the IRS or State? Let them help you today!

2435 N DIXIE HWY, WILTON MANORS, FL 33305 (954) 667-9829 40 | THE

| MARCH 2021

RUNNING A BUSINESS? Their experienced and knowledgeable professionals help facilitate the formulation, strategic planning, implementation, management, and growth of your business. Specializing in assisting business owners deal with problem bookkeeping records, erroneous financial reports, non-filed tax returns, staff training, and external process review.

LET JEFFREY STERLING COME TO THE RESCUE: “We serve every client with a depth of resources and the highest level of expertise offering personal attention and access that builds trust. We strive to offer comprehensive accounting and business consulting services by top-notch professionals without sacrificing value.”


Photos via Facebook.

PROFESSIONALS

CAN COMMUNITY HEALTH //Pier Angelo

CAN COMMUNITY HEALTH HAS BEEN SERVING THE NEEDS OF THE HIV COMMUNITY FOR OVER 26 YEARS. A PRIVATE, NOT -FORPROFIT ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO THE TREATMENT AND CARE AND CONTINUAL WELLNESS OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV. THE CLINICS OFFER THE FINEST MEDICAL, DENTAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL CARE AND LIFESTYLE COUNSELING TO ALL PATIENTS REGARDLESS OF THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION, INSURANCE STATUS OR ABILITY TO PAY.

CLINIC HOURS: MONDAY — THURSDAY:

8:30 AM — 5:30 PM FRIDAY:

SERVICES PROVIDED AT THIS LOCATION WILL INCLUDE: Addiction Counseling Authorized Ryan White Provider Case Management Comprehensive Primary Care Creole -Speaking Staff Dental Care Food Pantry Free Hepatitis C Testing Free HIV Testing Hepatitis C Testing & Treatment

HIV & STD Testing & Treatment HIV Housing Services HIV Prevention, Education & Outreach Lab Draws LGBTQ Services Linkage to Care Services Medical Peer Navigators Mental Health Programs nPEP Services* Nutritional Services

Patient Care Coordination PrEP Services RW Eligibility Services Sexual Health Spanish-Speaking Staff Substance Abuse Treatment Support Groups Telehealth Services Transportation Services Walk-Ins Welcome

8:30 AM — 12:30 PM

1726 SE 3RD AVE. FT. LAUDERDALE, FL 33316 754-701-6920

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TOP 2020 STORIES

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AMSTERDAM THE LGBT CAPITAL OF EUROPE // David Webb

A

fter passing through Airport Schiphol a couple of times on my way to other destinations over the years, I finally kept a promise to myself and landed there on my birthday for a stay in the LGBT capital of Europe and the birthplace of gay rights — Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Within hours of my arrival, I began to wonder why I had waited so long to visit the storied city. Amsterdam’s charm radiates from splendid historic buildings, canals lined with dandy houseboats, colorful sidewalk cafes, exotic restaurants, fascinating shops, narrow pedestrian lanes and throngs of intriguing, often beautiful, people walking, running and biking the endless pathways. A million people live in the urban area of Amsterdam, and every neighborhood seems as interesting as the other. The best way to navigate the city is by walking, renting a bike or taking the trams, buses and canal boats. I began my exploration of the city with a canal boat ride accessed at a dock across the street from my hotel, the Apollo Museumhotel Amsterdam, in the museum district. It is also situated a couple of blocks from Leidseplein, the largest entertainment district featuring the government-run Holland Casino, the Hotel Americain and various other high-end restaurants and nightclubs.  42 | THE

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Amsterdam. Photo via Adobe.

CAFÉ ‘T MANDJE APPEALED TO ME BECAUSE OF ITS HISTORY. THE SMALL BAR DATES BACK TO 1927, MAKING IT ONE OF THE OLDEST LGBT BARS IN AMSTERDAM AND PERHAPS THE OLDEST GAY BAR IN ALL OF EUROPE. As a thrifty traveler, high-end entertainment intrigued me not, so after a day of sightseeing on the canals and wandering in the museum district, I sought the help of an LGBT travel guide on the Internet to find the perfect gay watering hole. I settled on Café ‘t Mandje on Zeedijk, a narrow pedestrian-only lane in the heart of the city on the outskirts of De Wallen, Amsterdam’s famous red light district where prostitutes sit in windows. Café ‘t Mandje appealed to me because of its history. The small bar dates back to 1927, making it one of the oldest LGBT bars in Amsterdam and perhaps the oldest gay bar in all of Europe. It is a museum in its own right, with walls laden with memorabilia dating back decades, and the regulars give it lots of local color. Owner Diana van Laar bought the bar from her Aunt Greet, who had inherited it from her older sister, Bet van Beeren, who was a lesbian. Although the bar was closed from 1982 until 2008 when Laar re-opened it, the entire interior remained untouched. When Bet van Beeren opened the bar in 1927, it attracted the patronage of prostitutes, pimps, sailors and lesbians, according to lore. There is no record of gay men hanging out there in the early days, but you know how it goes: Where there are horny sailors, it’s a pretty good bet you will also find some bad boys. At Café ‘t Mandje bartender Alexander Dikkes, a big bear of a guy, quickly pegged me for a tourist and welcomed me. As it turned out, he spent time in Texas a few years ago working on a ranch with horses and welcomed me vigorously. He even treated me to a shot when I told him I was celebrating my birthday. He joked that his name could be pronounced in two different ways so if he ever opened a bar and named it after himself it could be for boys or girls. I loved my time at Café ‘t Mandje, where I also met an older man wearing a sundress and open-toe pumps but no makeup or any other mark of femininity. The bartender advised me that the motto of the bar is “to show respect to everyone and to celebrate diversity.” Van Laar said she felt called to resurrect the bar after its long shuttering. Her first visit to her aunt’s bar came as a newborn when she was carried in directly from the hospital. “I realized I was the person to bring the bar back to life again,” she said. “I am of the same indignation MARCH 2021 | THE

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Inside Café ‘t Mandje. Photo via Café ‘t Mandje Bet van Beeren, Facebook.

concerning injustice, gay rights and human rights — not because of the bar, but because of who I am.” After I reached my quota of celebratory beers, I went looking for a restaurant. I found De Portugees, also on Zeedijk, featuring Portuguese food. I so enjoyed my meal of grilled swordfish and the charm of the family running the cafe that I made a mental note to visit Portugal in the future. Later, I ventured down the street to The Queen’s Head, a larger bar that also caters to a regular crowd and features dancing, drag shows and weekly bingo. While at The Queen’s Head, I met a guy who was utilizing a long layover at Airport Schiphol to visit a few gay bars in Amsterdam. He asked the bartender for suggestions and headed out after finishing his beer. There are plenty of bars for the gay traveler to see in Amsterdam. In addition to the Zeedijk, there are several gay areas with gay bars, gay-owned hotels, restaurants and retail stores. The Reguliersdwarsstraat

IN ADDITION TO THE ZEEDIJK, THERE ARE SEVERAL GAY AREAS WITH GAY BARS, GAY-OWNED HOTELS, RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL STORES. 44 | THE

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is more mainstream and commercial for Unveiled in 1987, the monument weekenders. The street Amstel features comprises three giant pink triangles of traditional Dutch-themed gay bars, and granite set into the ground forming a larger Warmoesstraat is known for cruise and triangle visible from the Keizersgracht fetish clubs. Canal. Every May 4 on Remembrance Day Unsurprisingly, Amsterdam celebrates wreaths are placed on the memorial, and gay Pride just as big, if not better, than U.S. on May 5 on Liberation Day there is a street cities. The bartender at Café ‘t Mandje told party there. me I should have been there in April to When Amsterdam showcased the celebrate Queen’s Day, the annual carnival- Homomonument, it led to other nations and like commemoration of the queen’s cities following suit, a trend began long ago. birthday, currently Queen Máxima, wife Amsterdam decriminalized homosexuality of King Willem-Alexander. Queen’s in 1811, a good century and a half Day formerly was celebrated on before the U.S. April 30, the current king’s The first gay rights Café ‘t Mandje. organization in mother, but it now takes Photo credit: David Webb. Amsterdam, the Center place on April 27, the for Culture and king’s birthday. Leisure, was founded Gay men in in 1946. An equal Amsterdam take rights law banning particular pride in discrimination on celebrating Queen’s the basis of sexual Day, and the bartender orientation was said queens stood enacted in 1993, and in shoulder-to-shoulder in 2001 The Netherlands the streets of the gay areas. became the first country in I narrowly missed the August the world to legalize same-sex celebration of Amsterdam Gay marriage. Pride, which included a canal parade. Clearly, Amsterdam is so much more than There was also a celebration of Leather the freewheeling city of tolerance in regard Pride in October. After the gay parties end, the masses to drink, drugs and sex that we have all of visitors to Amsterdam find plenty come to think of it as. It should be on every to do in the city known for its art and LGBT person’s bucket list. I considered my visit to Amsterdam one dedication to the preservation of history. Of particular interest to LGBT visitors is of the most enlightening experiences of my the Homomonument, a memorial to people life, and I regretted leaving when I did to who have experienced persecution due catch a train to Germany for a prearranged their sexual orientation, specifically those reunion. Once again, I left Amsterdam promising myself I would be back. killed by the Nazis.


PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY - MARCH 2020

TOP 2020 STORIES

SING A SONG OF HOPE // MI ROR Staff

THE STAFF SHARE SOME OF THEIR PERSONAL FAVORITE SONGS FOR STAYING INSPIRED DURING TROUBLING TIMES

THE CIRCLE GAME JONI MITCHELL

Yesterday a child came out to wonder Caught a dragonfly inside a jar Fearful when the sky was full of thunder And tearful at the falling of a star And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We’re captive on the carousel of time We can’t return we can only look behind From where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game Then the child moved ten times round the seasons Skated over ten clear frozen streams Words like, when you’re older, must appease him And promises of someday make his dreams And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We’re captive on the carousel of time We can’t return we can only look behind From where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town And they tell him, Take your time, it won’t be long now Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We’re captive on the carousel of time We can’t return we can only look behind From where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true There’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty Before the last revolving year is through And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We’re captive on the carousel of time We can’t return, we can only look behind From where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game And go round and round and round In the circle game

HAND IN MY POCKET ALANIS MORISSETTE

I’m broke but I’m happy, I’m poor but I’m kind I’m short but I’m healthy, yeah I’m high but I’m grounded, I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed I’m lost but I’m hopeful, baby What it all comes down to Is that everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine ‘Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket And the other one is giving a high five I feel drunk but I’m sober, I’m young and I’m underpaid I’m tired but I’m working, yeah I care but I’m restless, I’m here but I’m really gone I’m wrong and I’m sorry baby What it all comes down to Is that everything is going to be quite alright ‘Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket And the other one is flicking a cigarette What it all comes down to Is that I haven’t got it all figured out just yet ‘Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket And the other one is giving a peace sign I’m free but I’m focused, I’m green but I’m wise I’m hard but I’m friendly, baby I’m sad but I’m laughing, I’m brave but I’m chicken shit I’m sick but I’m pretty baby And what it all boils down to Is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet I’ve got one hand in my pocket And the other one is playing the piano And what it all comes down to, my friends, yeah Is that everything is just fine fine fine I’ve got one hand in my pocket And the other one is hailing a taxi cab

IMAGINE JOHN LENNON

Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try No hell below us Above us, only sky Imagine all the people Livin’ for today Ah Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion, too Imagine all the people Livin’ life in peace You You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world You You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will live as one

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Photos via Facebook.

PROFESSIONALS

ISLAND CITY SMILES //Pier Angelo

DR. DAVID WARNER TOOK OVER AN ESTABLISHED PRACTICE 10 YEARS AGO. HE FREQUENTLY TRAVELS IN A “CONTINUING EDUCATION” ROLE TO LEARN HOW TO BETTER PROVIDE PATIENTS WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF GENERAL AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY. ISLAND CITY SMILES OFFERS MANY TREATMENTS AND PROCEDURES FROM TEETH WHITENING TO DENTAL IMPLANTS. WARNER IS A MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF COSMETIC DENTISTRY. HE GRADUATED FROM INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY IN 1994. In a recent interview with SFGN’s John Mc Donald’s (Warner was one of SFGN’s OUT50 in 2019 )he had this to say: “Dental care is linked to whole body care,”noting a healthy mouth can prevent strokes and heart attacks. “We know sometimes people are anxious about visiting the dentist. Our No. 1 goal is to provide a relaxing, stressfree,comprehensive dental experience.” Warner, 51, lives inWilton Manors home with his partner Chris of 30 years.

1946 WILTON DR, WILTON MANORS 954-565-7666 ISLANDCITYSMILES.COM

R3 ACCOUNTING LLC //Pier Angelo

ACCOUNTING, FOR TIM HART IS A PROFESSION OF TRUST. “PEOPLE TRUST ME WITH THEIR INFORMATION,” HART SAID. “PEOPLE TRUST ME THAT I’LL GET THE WORK DONE. PEOPLE TELL ME THINGS THEY WOULDN’T TELL ANYONE ELSE. THEY TELL ME ABOUT THEIR EMPLOYMENT, THEIR INVESTMENTS AND TRUST ME TO GIVE THEM SOUND AND SAGE ADVICE.” Hart, owns R3 Accounting. He lives in Plantation and grew up in nearby Hollywood. When he began working in South Florida around 2002 Hart said the LGBT community was “grossly underserved.” That was the time of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell),the community needed people who understood domestic partnerships and would help them without any bias or stigma. Tim Hart was there for us. He has worked with gay lawyers Dean Trantalis, Norm Kent on projects and causes for South Florida’s LGBT community. Tim Hart is SFGN’s inaugural recipient of the “Straight Ally Award” for the year 2019. 46 | THE

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2929 E COMMERCIAL BLVD FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33308 954-202-9770 “I worked with Dean to make sure people had the right kind of retirement,” Hart said of his collaboration with Trantalis, Fort Lauderdale’s newly elected mayor. “These folks deserved the best we could give them.” His work for HIV/AIDS organizations is deeply felt. He has participated in the annual SMART Ride to Key West as a cyclist and serves on the board of directors for the World AIDS Museum. Hart passed the CPA exam in 1982. He began his career working for “arguably one of the largest firms in the world” (KPMG) in 1979 and credits his involvement in the Oakland Park/Wilton Manors Chamber of Commerce for definitely helping his business.”



PERSON OF THE YEAR

2020 PERSON OF THE YEAR

SHEVRIN

JONES

THE RECENTLY ELECTED STATE SENATOR IS A TRAILBLAZING POLITICIAN // Steve Rothaus

SPECIAL TO THE MI ROR

Every year, SFGN selects an individual who has distinguished themselves locally as the “Person of the Year.” For 2020, we are proud to choose Shevrin Jones, a newly elected state senator, who brings passion and principle, conviction and character to the table. We are fortunate to have the talented journalist Steve Rothaus do the profile, and blessed to have a voice with the vigor of Shev representing our community. He is a builder of coalitions, a battler for our rights, and an individual who has been tested individually, demonstrating courage, honor and integrity. I’m guessing he will be more than just a voice for the LGBT community in Tallahassee. I suspect that he will be a model for us all. Congratulations. Publisher Norm Kent

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PERSON OF THE YEAR

S

hevrin Jones joined the Florida Senate in November a lot differently than when he first became a 29-yearold state representative nearly a decade ago.

Upon winning a South Broward House seat in 2012, Jones was new to state politics, married to a woman and the public didn’t know he is gay. Eight years later, he’s a respected lawmaker who is vice chair of the Senate education committee, fully out and partnered with Matthew Beatty, an equally admired South Florida philanthropist and executive. Jones, 38, is the first out LGBT person in the 40-member state Senate and the first openly LGBT Black person elected to the entire 160-member Florida Legislature. “We’re not just making history, because that’s temporary, right? There’s work that’s going to have to be done to show that the seat at the table that has been given to me by the people, that it won’t be wasted,” said Jones, who in August defeated five fellow Democrats to win the District 35 Senate primary with more than 43 percent of the vote. (In the Nov. 3 general election, he had only write-in opposition and won more than 97 percent of votes cast.) Jones is deeply rooted in South Florida, a former Everglades Senior High Advanced Placement biology teacher whose father, Eric Jones Jr., is a wellknown pastor and founding mayor of West Park near Pembroke Park. He’s close with his entire family, from his 9-month-old niece to his 90-year-old

“THERE’S WORK THAT’S GOING TO HAVE TO BE DONE TO SHOW THAT THE SEAT AT THE TABLE THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME BY THE PEOPLE, THAT IT WON’T BE WASTED.” - Shevrin Jones FLORIDA STATE SENATOR

Jones speaking on the House floor. Photo courtesy of Steve Rothaus.

grandmother, who recently shared with him her secret to living a long life: “Mind your f—-ing business and do what you’re supposed to do.” “That’s it!” Jones said, laughing. Jones said he first became interested in public service while a student at American Senior High in Northwest Miami-Dade. “It started in high school when I became vice president for the Student Government Association. That’s when I got interested in helping people,” he said. Jones joined a variety of high school groups and clubs, including Health Occupations Students of America, now known as HOSA, Future Health Professionals; and the school debate club. “I played football my freshman and sophomore year. I was in chorus. I was in band,” he said. “My parents kept us busy.” He graduated from Florida A&M University in 2006 with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and later earned a master’s degree in educational leadership at Florida Atlantic University. Along the way, he kept several secrets. As young as age 5, he knew he was attracted to other boys. And a few years later, a man in his family circle began molesting him. “I never want to couple me being molested as the onset of me recognizing

[my] homosexuality, because it’s just not accurate. But it was something that started confusing me. Like, what is this? Is this supposed to hurt? Are you supposed to feel this way? Because if so, I don’t like it.” The abuse continued for “a long time,” Jones said, until another young victim came forward and the molester went to jail. “I went to college and graduated and I started processing a lot of that stuff. That stuff starts eating at you,” he said. “One, you couldn’t acknowledge it, so you felt helpless. The adult you is really trying to reach down to the child you, and trying to communicate with something that is not possible. It can mess with your mind just a tad bit. “I was in college. I have a girlfriend, but I’m also fooling around with guys and things like that. And so all of this is happening and you’ve got all this stuff going through your head, and then you graduate, you get home and you want to get married. I called off my wedding the first time, and I finally said, ‘OK, I want to get married.’ And we finally do get married and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I want this.’ I think — no, I don’t want this.” Jones and his wife stayed married six years. They split about the time he went to Tallahassee. Back then, Jones didn’t label himself. “Because my parents are strict. Very conservative Christians. And MARCH 2021 | THE

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PERSON OF THE YEAR homosexuality was preached against in our church.” The same year Jones became a state representative, David Richardson of Miami Beach also was elected to the House, becoming Florida’s first openly gay lawmaker. “We both got elected in August 2012, but he was not out at all. When I met him, I did not know he was gay. That was something much later he shared with me,” said Richardson, 63. “When he decided to run for Senate, my free advice was: You need to have your answer ready now. If a reporter asks if you are gay, I don’t want to see you stammering for an answer. Have your answer ready so you don’t look like you’re trying to make it up.” Jones came out publicly in 2018, when he allowed LGBT-rights group Equality Florida to identify him in an endorsement as an openly gay candidate. “Shevrin enjoys much of the same type of reception that I did. People don’t first acknowledge that he’s gay because he has business credentials and that will serve him well,” Richardson said. “People recognize that he’s done a lot of good work in public safety, for example. He’s done a lot of work in affirmative action, for minorities, not particularly for LGBT people. He comes with that portfolio. They see him not as a gay activist but as someone who’s been successful as an educator.” It’s not all been smooth sailing for Jones, however. Last summer, he and many other family members contracted COVID-19.

“WITH ALL THE THINGS HAPPENING IN SOCIETY TODAY, PEOPLE WANT SOMEONE WHO’S GOING TO LEAD THEM. THEY DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE DOING IN YOUR BEDROOM.” - Shevrin Jones FLORIDA STATE SENATOR

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Shevrin Jones with Matthew Beatty. Photo courtesy of Shevrin Jones.

After they recovered, only Jones was told he could not donate plasma because he is a gay man. (As a result of the AIDS crisis, the Food and Drug Administration in 1985 banned gay men from giving blood. In April because of the COVID-19 crisis and need for blood and plasma, the FDA said gay men could donate if they’ve abstained from sex the past three months.) Days after Jones spoke out about not being able to donate plasma, someone sent text messages to voters in his district that “Shevrin Jones was discriminated against for recent homosexual contact.” He then sent a rebuttal text asking voters to “ignore this kind of trash.” Jones said living publicly as a gay man has been made easier by his relationship with Matthew Beatty. “My partner plays a huge role in my life, and so what I did not want to do was to hide him,” Jones said. “Everything I am now is because he and I have a major relationship with each other.” They met in June 2012, months before Jones became a House member, at a spoken-word and music club in downtown Miami. “They had an open mike night, and we had some mutual friends that we were just kind of both speaking with, and each of them just started to kind of peel off of it and ended up being just us,” Beatty recalled. “We introduced ourselves and the rest is history.” Beatty, 37, also comes from an influential family. His father, Robert, is an attorney and publisher of The South

Florida Times, which serves the region’s African-American, Caribbean and Haitian communities. For the past eight years, the younger Beatty has worked at the Miami Foundation, most recently as senior director of communications and engagement. On Dec. 22, he announced he’s moving to the Carrie Meek Foundation, to become its vice president and chief operating officer. “I’ll lead a relaunch of the foundation and its investments across issues that Congresswoman Meek championed: Economic and Community Development, Education, Health and Housing in under-resourced communities throughout Miami-Dade and the South Florida region,” Beatty posted on Facebook. Jones and Beatty did not rush into a relationship. When they met, Beatty was already out. “I had done a lot of that, that mental and emotional work,” Beatty said. “I was ready to stand as who I was and live my life open and honestly, and Shevrin was still going through a divorce and was still understanding what that would look like for him post-divorce: him living his true life.” That worked well for them. “I tell people all the time that I’m grateful for that because it gave us a really long time to just be friends,” Beatty said. “And because we didn’t enter a romantic relationship right after we met, we built a true friendship that was based on just mutual interest. And mutual support of


each other. And just kind of enjoying each other’s company. “And that friendship is what sticks with us to this day, and to me is one of the fundamental elements of our relationship. Yes, we love each other. Yes, we’re committed to each other. But at the end of the day, we just enjoy being around each other as friends, and that really keeps both of us here.” After Jones contracted COVID-19, Beatty nursed him back to health. “He was the person who took care of me,” Jones said. “Not just that time. He took care of me when I messed up my back, when my grandmother died, when my brother died. COVID. He’s been right there.” Jones said that when he finally revealed his true self and introduced Beatty to his parents, they weren’t thrilled. “I don’t think my parents will ever be happy with my decision, but they love their son enough to say, ‘You know what? It’s his life. And, if this is his choice, then so be it. We will have our views on this, but we are not going to forfeit our relationship with our child.’ I can’t ask anything else because I know there are people out there whose parents have disowned them because of their sexuality.” Jones remains an active member of his father’s church, the Koinonia Worship Center & Village in Pembroke Park. “Some church members have distanced themselves from me but I don’t care,” Jones said. Voters, however, have shown it doesn’t matter to them. “With all the things happening in society today, people want someone who’s going to lead them. They don’t care what you’re doing in your bedroom,” Jones said. “Do they have an opinion? I’m sure they do. It would be dumb to think that they don’t. But are they saying ‘I’m not voting for that guy because …’? I doubt it. “People, when we were knocking on their doors, they were asking about my sexuality. Half of them were like, ‘Oh, I heard about you. And I’m voting for you.’” Journalist Steve Rothaus covered LGBT issues for 22 years at the Miami Herald.

Shevrin Jones and Kamala Harris. Photo courtesy of Shevrin Jones.

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GETTING

NUDE TO FEEL RENEWED

Dan Carter leads the trend in naked yoga // Matt Sunderland

D

an Carter has been teaching naked yoga classes in Washington DC for the past three years. As the founder of Danimal (a combination of Dan and animal - get it?) yoga, he’s built the largest and most social nude yoga group in DC, with over 1,000 members! Now, he’s ready to go national. This November, he is inviting guys to join him in Palm Springs for a long weekend of uninhibited camaraderie under the hot desert sun.

Turn the page to continue reading.

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TOP 2020 STORIES

PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY - MARCH 2020

“All classes are non-sexual however intimacy and touch will be important bonding components to the weekend,” Carter explains. “A huge part of the experience will be building a real sense of family between the two dozen men in attendance.” We spoke with the naked Yogi to learn more. Let’s start with the most important question. How long does it take to be able to do a split? Daniel Carter: I get asked this all the time! I don’t remember a time I wasn’t able to do a split but I have many students whose hips are shaped in a way that they’ll never do one. I can teach a student to do a split variation that increases hip mobility and provides a cathartic release within five classes. I think that’s what really important. Why should guys consider taking up yoga? Daniel Carter: Yoga is a mind-body practice. In addition to toning up muscles, improving

YOGA IS FOR EVERYBODY: EVERY SHAPE, COLOR, AGE… IN FACT, THE WORD YOGA LITERALLY TRANSLATES TO ‘BRING TOGETHER.’” - DANIEL CARTER, owner of INNdulge breath and lubricating joints, yoga also hones the nervous system and the bodies response to the world’s stressors. Is there a benefit to doing yoga in the nude? Daniel Carter: There are huge benefits! We talk about the experience as an unshielding. Yoga is a very vulnerable practice with all the precarious shapes we bend into, by removing clothes, our last sheath, we make ourselves even more vulnerable and we grow from it. It also helps me, as the instructor, see your lungs, muscles and joints at work so I can give smarter cues and better hands-on adjusts.

What exactly did you do to achieve that badonkadonk? Daniel Carter: I’ve always had a bit of a butt, but I got it to be bigger through a combination of yoga, pilates and regular squatting. Unfortunately, it has made shopping for jeans more difficult, but I feel much healthier and happier. Does yoga increase the libido? Daniel Carter: All fitness, in healthy moderation, contributes to libido. What’s really nice about yoga is we not only focus on energizing the body, we focus on relaxation. To have incredible sex, you need to be able

Daniel Carter.

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Don’t miss a

tastE. Feeling the hunger?

to get into that blissful rest space before things really start to heat up. What are the biggest misconceptions about yoga? Daniel Carter: That it’s only for one kind of person. Yoga is for everybody: every shape, color, age… In fact, the word yoga literally translates to “bring together.” What’s your advice to someone who is new to yoga? Daniel Carter: Take a private yoga class with a teacher who instructs beginners. If that’s not in your budget, take a beginner class, arrive early, and introduce yourself to the instructor. What’s your advice to guys who may be on the fence about dropping trou with strangers? Daniel Carter: The grass is truly greener on this side of the fence! I have had a shocking amount of guys take a risk on one of my retreats as their first yoga experience and they’ve never been dissatisfied. If you’ve got anxiety around social nudity, your yoga practice or anything

else, email me through my website and let’s talk about it. Why did you choose to do the retreat in Palm Springs? Daniel Carter: Palm Springs is my happy place! There is something so breathtaking about the palms set against the mountain and desert. Then there is the gorgeous mid-century architecture that transports you to Hollywood’s golden era. But most importantly, there are the handsome boys, sunning their tan, rippling skin by the crystal blue swimming pools. I chose to do the retreat specifically at the INNdulge resort because it is the perfect encapsulation of all three of those visuals! In addition to being a beautiful space in which to hold a retreat, I am a huge fan of their salt water pool, which is so kind on the skin.

Read SFGN’s weekly food column for an exclusive bite on local bars, restaurants, and seasonal flavors.

sFGn.com/FooD

We all head into a vacation with expectations. What can we expect from the Self Renewal: A Naked Health and Fitness Retreat? Daniel Carter: This will be an absolutely transformative weekend. Men leave these retreats with a renewed sense of purpose and love of self.

FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION ON THE SELF RENEWAL: A NAKED HEALTH AND FITNESS RETREAT, VISIT

DANIMALYOGA.COM/RETREAT. MARCH 2021 | THE

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FILM

FRANK TALK

AN INTERVIEW WITH ACTOR PETER MACDISSI // Gregg Shapiro

“Uncle Frank”

(Amazon Studios), the second full-length feature from gay, Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Alan Ball (“True Blood,” “Six Feet Under”), takes us back to the last half of the 20th century, and the less tolerant South.

Frank (Paul Bettany) escaped the strangulation of his Southern roots and headed for Manhattan, where he could be himself. During a family, visit he bonds with his bright, young niece Beth (Sophia Lillis), whom he encourages to consider applying to college in New York when the time comes. His words of support pay off and she gets into NYU. But Beth’s education doesn’t only take place in the classroom as she is soon immersed in the world of her uncle and his lover Walid (Peter Macdissi). Following the death of Frank’s homophobic father Mac (Stephen Root), the unlikely trio returns to the family homestead, leading to lots of emotional fireworks. 

The cover of “Uncle Frank.” Credit: Amazon Studios.

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FILM Even with a cast that includes Bettany, Margo Martindale, Steve Zahn and Judy Greer, it is Macdissi (who is also Ball’s life partner) from whom we are unable to look away. Viewers who recognize him from previous roles, including those in “Six Feet Under”and “True Blood,” will be surprised and delighted at his performance, which is sweet, sassy and the source of much-needed comic relief. I spoke with Peter about the movie in November 2020.

Peter Macdissi. Photo courtesy of Peter Macdissi.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF WALID IN “UNCLE FRANK” THAT APPEALED TO YOU AS AN ACTOR?

As an actor, what appealed to me is that it was something I had never done before. It was a character who was super positive, super loving and generous. He was sunshine. He was a ray of light. I even asked Alan (Ball), “Are you sure I’m the best actor for this part?” Because I’m normally cast as edgy, intense characters. That was very refreshing and original to play something like that, that I had never done before.

BECAUSE OF “UNCLE FRANK”’S LATE 1960S AND EARLY 1970S SETTING, THE CHARACTERS GET TO WEAR SOME GROOVY PERIOD CLOTHING. DID YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ENSEMBLE THAT YOU WORE IN THE MOVIE?

[Laughs] Actually, I did! There were a couple of items I really enjoyed. The scene in the car when he follows Frank, and they have this discussion outside the car. There was that super cool shirt that I really wanted to keep after wrapping, but I didn’t get to. There were some cool (costume) pieces.

UNCLE FRANK (PAUL BETTANY), THE TITLE CHARACTER, TAKES A GENUINE INTEREST IN HIS NIECE BETH (SOPHIA LILLIS) AND ENCOURAGES HER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD BEYOND HER SMALL SOUTH CAROLINA TOWN. DID YOU HAVE AN UNCLE FRANK OR SOMEONE LIKE HIM IN YOUR LIFE?

Oh, absolutely! But it wasn’t an uncle; it was my older sister Laura. She was my mentor in so many ways. I was younger than Beth. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. She would buy me a book every week from the book shop and I would read the book. I would be excited for the next book she would bring me. I guess she was my mentor in terms of the importance of reading and being knowledgeable and things getting better in life. It was she who was the first person to instill these principles in me.

DO YOU HAVE ANY NIECES AND NEPHEWS, AND IF SO, ARE YOU AN UNCLE FRANK TO ANY OF THEM?

I do have one niece, but she’s like 10 months old. I haven’t gotten to be an Uncle Frank to her yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

BETH AND HER FRIEND BRUCE CRASH A PARTY AT WALID AND FRANK’S WHICH RESULTS IN FRANK COMING OUT TO BETH IN FRONT OF WALID IN AN EMOTIONAL SCENE. LATER, WALID TALKS ABOUT HOW WHAT FRANK DID AROUSED HIM. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE WAY THAT THE MOVIE STRIKES A BALANCE BETWEEN SERIOUSNESS AND HUMOR?

Alan Ball is the king of that. If you check his work, not just “Uncle Frank,” all his work, he’s a master of marrying the drama with the comedy. His work is very deep, very moving, very empathetic to the human condition. He has tremendous amounts of compassion for his characters. Nevertheless, he never forgets the importance of entertainment;

getting laughter in between. He’s super at that. I don’t think anybody does it as well as he does.

AFTER FRANK’S FATHER DIES, “UNCLE FRANK” BECOMES A ROAD MOVIE WITH SOME SURPRISES. THE ROAD MOVIE COMES FROM A LONG CINEMATIC TRADITION. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ROAD MOVIE?

I keep getting asked this question. “Lady Bird,” about the mother and daughter, with the actress Laurie Metcalf who was in “Roseanne.” That was a kind of road movie. That was the last one I saw.

IN A DINER, FRANK TELLS BETH HOW HE MET WALID. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR PARTNER, WRITER/DIRECTOR ALAN BALL?

I shy away from private stuff because I don’t think it has anything to do with the work. But (I will say) it was an introduction agency. At the time, we didn’t have all these apps and all this technology. But I think it was through an introduction agency, how we met.

THERE IS A TOUCHING SCENE WHEN WALID CALLS HIS WIDOWED MOTHER IN SAUDI ARABIA FROM A PAYPHONE. DO YOU OR DID YOU HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FAMILY?

Yes. I am very close to both my siblings and my parents. We’re quite close, I would say.

WOULD YOU SAY THAT THERE ARE REWARDS AND CHALLENGES TO WORKING WITH ALAN, AS YOU HAVE DONE FOR SEVERAL YEARS?

We sometimes have different opinions about things that we fight for. But not major things. It’s never like a crucial element about the project. Little things, here and there, sometimes crop up. We share the same sensibility in so many ways. We understand each other and we complement each other. I feel super lucky and privileged to have a job like that, actually.

HAVE YOU STARTED WORKING ON OR THINKING ABOUT YOUR NEXT MOVIE PROJECT?

We are working on the next project, but I cannot say anything about it because it’s not yet greenlit. It’s a very exciting project. Completely different from “Uncle Frank.” I can’t wait to be able to start working on it because it’s super original and exciting. It’s really cool. You would never guess what it is. Seriously, I’m going to remind you next time I talk to you when the project comes out!

GS: THAT’S A DEAL! MARCH 2021 | THE

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FOOD

How About A Wedgie?

KITCHEN MAGICIANS // Rick Karlin

N

othing pleases a foodie more as a housewarming present than a kitchen gadget. No matter your budget, there’s something in this list that is certain to please the new homeowner, whether they’re a newbie to the kitchen or an accomplished chef. Pictured: The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL. Photo via Amazon.

Taking its cues from a wheel of cheese, this unique design starts as a wedge, and transforms to a tiered server for your favorite cheeses and appetizers. As an added bonus, the flatware stows in a small drawer inside the board. The comprehensive, compact set has everything they’ll need to create an impressive spread at their next party. $42-$64 UncommonGoods.com.

Fried & True

Air fryers are small ovens with a highly concentrated heat source and powerful fan that moves the hot air around to crisp up wings, fries, and veggies with little (or zero!) oil. They create a nice “fried” finish that your oven can’t compete with, as well as reheating results that blow away the average microwave. Everyone is talking about air friers, but which one to buy? Good Housekeeping Institute named the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL as the Best Overall. $129.99 at Amazon.com.

Hey, Mister Mister

Great paired with the air fryer or on its own, Evo’s ergonomically designed oil sprayer can be used with most cooking oils for a healthier alternative to aerosol cooking sprays. A fine mist covers the food or a frying pan, allowing the use of less oil. $19.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Roller Coaster

Nobody ever has enough coasters, making them the perfect house-warming gift. These cheeky ones feature a white marble design-ceramic topping which helps capture moisture from ice cold drinks, while the durable cork back helps protect furniture from scratches or scuffs. From Anzkon, $14.79 at Amazon.com.

Egg-Cellent Idea

Peeling hard-boiled eggs can be a nightmare, but the Negg makes it easy. Simply fill the cylinder with quarter cup of water, add the hard-boiled egg, and snap on the top cap. Shake the Negg, remove the egg and the shell slides off. $14.95 at thegrommet.com.

Cutting Edge

Don’t let the pastel hues of this Color Chef knife set fool you, this is serious kitchen equipment. The non-slip handlesare designed to minimize wrist tension while providing a safe, comfortable grip. Stainless steel blades make clean-up a breeze. Comes with knife sheaths, poultry shears and vegetable peeler. $18.80 at Amazon.com. 58 | THE

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(954) 541-2550 2201 North Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 www.wiltonmanorsanimalhospital.com wiltonmanorsanimalhospital@gmail.com


CARS

THE TOP

CARS OF

5 2020 // Larry Printz

TWENTY-TWENTY WAS A YEAR WHERE COVID-19 CHANGED THE WAY WE VIEW OUR CARS. NO LONGER NEEDED EXCLUSIVELY FOR COMMUTING, WE INCREASINGLY LOOKED TO THEM AS ESCAPE MACHINES, DEVICES TO DRIVE US AWAY FROM THE WORRIES THIS YEAR BROUGHT. WITH THAT IN MIND, HERE ARE FIVE FAVES THAT DEBUTED IN 2020, TWO OF WHICH ARE FUELEFFICIENT HYBRIDS, LISTED IN ORDER, BY PRICE. 60 | THE

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CARS

Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, $23,550:

Photo via Hyundai.

Beguilingly striking, the new Elantra’s styling is a symphony of trapezoids. And while it can be bought as a bargain-priced sedan or performance-tinged sedan, the one to get is the fuel-efficient SEL or Limited hybrid, thanks to its independent rear suspension, and the instant torque generated by the hybrid’s electric motors and quickshifting dual-clutch transmission. Push it to extremes, and you’ll find it far surpasses your expectations. And wait till you see what else it offers: how about 53 mpg?

Ford F-150 Hybrid, $44,570:

Photo via Ford.

Process these numbers: a full-size pickup with 470 horsepower, 570 pound-feet of torque, one that tows 12,700 pounds, yet returns an EPA-rated 24 mpg. And, its bed includes all that you’ll need to power the ultimate tailgate party, with enough juice to run a grill, a smoker, a flat screen TV, and speakers simultaneously. And the interior makes for the perfect office, or opulent transportation stateroom. This is the world’s bestselling new vehicle for decades; there’s a reason for that — its suitability for so many lifestyles.

Chevrolet Corvette, $58,900:

Photo via Chevrolet.

Try buying a mid-engine Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini or McLaren sports car for less than $59,000 to start. You can’t. But you can have the redesigned Corvette for that, thanks to its most radical transformation to date. GM’s eternal 6.2-liter V8 produces 495 horsepower through a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission — a GM first. Incredibly capable, this Corvette conquers any challenge that you can throw at it. In 1953, the Corvette was created to challenge European sports cars; 68 years later, it is still is.

Lexus LC 500 Convertible, $101,000:

Photo via Lexus.

After eight years after the stumpy Lexus SC departed, its spiritual successor, the LC 500 Convertible, in lavish style, secure in its fabulousness. Practicality is not this vehicle’s purpose; it’s about going fast, tackling the tarmac with the wind in your hair, and looking good while doing it. A 13-speaker, 915-watt Mark Levinson audio system provides the musical soundtrack to the driving adventures that await you when you climb behind the wheel, be it a long weekend, or the season at your other home.

Rolls-Royce Ghost, $332,500:

A car that respects tradition, one whose time-honored trappings conceal a state-of-the-art automobile, one where no detail is too small to be overlooked. Consider the Flagbearer system, which uses cameras, GPS data, and a satellite-aided transmission to read the road ahead and prepare the suspension and transmission for upcoming changes in the road surface. It’s just one of many details that make this rolling den of earthly delight unlike any other car. Powered by Rolls-Royce’s familiar 563-horsepower 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V-12, allwheel drive is standard, as is more luxury than you’ll experience in any other vehicle.

Photo via Rolls-Royce.

Larry Printz is an automotive journalist based in South Florida. He can be reached at TheDrivingPrintz@gmail.com. MARCH 2021 | THE

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