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n e w s Vol. 7 Issue 2 • March 2018


th em irror

I refuse to let HIV get in the way of my busy schedule. I even have a cell phone app that reminds me to take my HIV meds. When I’m not working, I keep busy with boot camp, swimming, weight lifting, meditation, traveling and — oh yeah — karaoke. I know that the more control I have over my HIV, the less power I give to the virus. I take control by taking my HIV medication every day.

“Think you can slow me down, HIV? Not in this lifetime.” Yuri - Miami, FL Living with HIV.




Get in care. Stay in care. Live well.

MEET DR. VICTOR LORIA, D.O. HE CAN IMPROVE YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE & SEX LIFE Every doctor has the capacity to change lives. It is how they change lives that makes them unique. In 2010, Dr. Victor Loria decided to help men solve a problem so intimate that many had resorted to painful -- even dangerous -self-administered treatments to remedy it. After years of focusing on cosmetic surgery, cosmetic fillers and hair restoration, he began specializing in male penile shaft, penile glans, and scrotal enhancements. His unique specialty allows him to positively impact not only thousands of men, but also their partners. One patient at a time, Dr. Loria is raising the collective self-esteem of the U.S. male population.

A NEW AGE FOR MALE ENHANCEMENT Dr. Loria works in a medical field that only he can lay

He sees on average 1,000 patients annually, as men

claim to -- minimally invasive penile enlargement

discover his practices online ( The

and cosmetic surgery. His Platinum Procedure uses

digital age has allowed potential patients to research their

a permanent filler to increase the penis’ girth. The

options via the privacy of their mobile devices and laptops.

injectable is administered in-office after the application of a topical anesthesia. How enlarged a man becomes depends upon how many procedures he chooses to undergo; however, Dr. Loria says most patients opt for two to three procedures before achieving what they consider to be a successful result.

“When compared to just two years ago, I have seen an almost 30 percent increase in the number of patients I’ve treated,” he said. “The myths about male enhancements are slowly being dispelled. There is this belief that men don’t have many options when it comes to enlargement, and that’s simply not true.”

SOLVING A REAL PROBLEM Prior to an office visit, Dr. Loria invites interested men to join a confidential phone conference Q&A. The forum allows them to share their experiences.

“Many of the men have broken up with their wives, partners or girlfriends because they could not satisfy them. And they either give up sexually or the partners go outside the relationship to find satisfaction,” Dr. Loria said. “It’s a real issue.”

Dr. Loria is the only doctor in the United States to offer dermatologic, surgery-personal male enhancement using his minimally invasive permanent filler technique, which involves no cutting, no anesthesia and little down time. Learn more about him at

NEW PENIS INSERT INCREASES LENGTH • New! Patented Penile Insert • Add Inches to Flaccid Length • May Increase Erect Length, Too • Prevents Shaft Retraction

• Works With Girth Enlargement • Modern Medical Innovation • In-Office Procedure • PERMANENT RESULTS

RENOWNED COSMETIC SURGEON DR. VICTOR LORIA • Specializes in increasing the penile shaft length and girth of his patients with visionary medical devices and techniques. • Has successfully helped thousands of patients safely increase their size and improve their selfesteem, intimate relationships and sexual performances.

Loria MedicaL MIAMI • NEW YORK




Table of contents a taste of travel

Naked Journeys into Hedonism  26 Top Travel Destinations 2018  28 Apple of My Eye: New York City  30

features Pushing Pain Into Action  12

March 2018 | Vol 7 | Issue 2 2520 N. Dixie Highway | Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954.530.4970 Fax: 954.530.7943

Publisher NORM KENT Chief Executive Officer PIER ANGELO GUIDUGLI Associate Publisher/ JASON PARSLEY Executive Editor

Adam Rippon Won Our Hearts  14 Queers Makin' Beer  16 Sexual Assault Victim Rallies for Awareness  18


Phil Jimenez, the Artist Behind Wonder Woman  20

Queers Makin’ Beer New social group focuses a safe space to throw back and brew some suds. Submitted photos.

Victory Fund Gearing Up for Elections  22 Artist Spotlight: Girl Noticed Project  58

FABULOUS CONSIGNMENT THRIFT • WE BUY always an impressive selection Antiques, Furniture, Musical Items, Mid Modern, Nick Nacks, Etc. Diane & Stevan 954-626-0568

We are dedicated to selling your fine pieces on consignment, you get 60%!

1950 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL

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

SALES & MARKETING For ad placement in the Mirror Magazine, contact 954-530-4970 Sales Manager JUSTIN WYSE justin.wyse@sfgn.comm Advertising Sales Assoc. EDWIN NEIMANN Advertising Sales Assoc. CLARK ROGERS Distribution Services Rocky Bowell Printing THE PRINTER’S PRINTER National Advertising RIVENDELL MEDIA Accounting Services CG BOOKKEEPING

The Mirror is published quarterly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor are those of the writers. They do not represent the opinions of The Mirror or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations in The Mirror. Furthermore the word “gay” in The Mirror should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material that appears in The Mirror, both online at www.themirrormag. com, and in our print edition, including articles used in conjunction with the Associated Press and our columnists, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher of The Mirror, Norm Kent, at Norm@ 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 © 2018, South Florida Gay, Inc. MEMBER

On Wilton Drive Next to Dairy Queen

Instagram @yellowbrickroadthrift

Associated Press Florida Press Association National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association MEMBER

Camping & travel

camping An Introduction  32 The Woods  34 Sawmill  36

your next journey Publisher's Letter  26 Daycation: Key West  46 Sail Away  48

Freedom Valley  38

Mayan Majesty  50

James Pond  40

Destination: London  52

Campground Directory  42

Datebook: Gay Pride  54

Gay Camping & RVing  44

Cocktails in Cans  56



 11



onePULSE and Matthew Shepard foundations team up for month-long project in Orlando this year Dori Zinn


Photos courtesy of Sara Grossman.

12  THE

ara Grossman used to party with her friend Drew Leinonen at Pulse nightclub. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2007 — where she met Drew — and moved to New York City, but would visit relatives and friends, including Drew and Pulse, when she came back down. “I don’t know how I did it… going out until 2 a.m.,” she said. “With him it was easy. He had endless energy.” She saw him two weeks before he died in the Pulse shooting in June, 2016. She had met Drew’s boyfriend, Juan Guerrero, who also died in the attack. Grossman was completely changed after her friend was murdered. After graduating from UCF and moving to New York, she had gotten her MFA in nonfiction creative writing. That led to work in marketing and branding and for nearly five years, that’s what she did. But she wanted a change. She decided to move to Denver and became a consultant. After Drew died, she started The Dru Project — she said it was his screen name, before “branding” was even a thing. “A lot of his friends would be like ‘what’s the dru project? It sounds like a nonprofit for boys,’” she said. “He branded himself before ever needing it.” The Dru Project is an LGBTQ+ nonprofit advocacy group that promotes a gay straight alliance. Grossman said Drew started the GSA at Seminole High School when he attended. He also won the Anne Frank humanitarian award. The Dru Project, once an online handle, is now an organization dedicated to providing curriculum

Matthew Shepard.

for GSAs in high schools all over the country. After Drew’s death, Grossman grieved hard for a month. She had The Dru Project, abandoned her marketing career, but it wasn’t enough – something was still missing. She had just started her consulting business four months before Drew died. After his funeral, she nullified all of her contracts. “Your company is great but what do you do?” she would ask herself about her clients. “I decided to work in advocacy.” She went to a Colorado nonprofit job board and found an opening for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. She didn’t leave the executive director alone until he gave her an interview. Four months after the Pulse shooting, she landed a job there. “Our executive director was friends with Matthew Shepard,” she said. “So we had a conversation about Pulse and Drew.” Three weeks after she started her new job, Grossman got a call from Barbara Poma, the executive director for the onePULSE Foundation, hoping to work together on a project. “Shortly after the [Pulse] tragedy, I reached out to them,” Poma said. “I knew our foundations had similar missions.”

Fueled by Tragedy, Powered by Pain Barbara Poma was running Pulse and other businesses with her husband before tragedy struck. After the nightclub shooting, onePULSE was immediately born. Poma wanted to meet others who had been doing the work she now wanted to do, including Matthew Shephard’s parents. “Judy and Dennis had been fighting the fight against hate crimes for 19 years and I felt like connecting with them would be crucial,” Poma said. She met Sara, and they connected instantly through Drew. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder, and the Foundation will be working on a multitude of events and projects. Grossman and Poma are working on an event in Orlando for June. “We decided to do a celebrity fundraiser to raise money for both will start with Gay Days in Orlando on June 2. Proceeds will be organizations,” Grossman said. “Bringing these two organizations split among both organizations, with a gala or a celebrity reading together will be powerful. It makes sense.” of The Laramie Project — or both. Every year, The Matthew Shepard Foundation has a gala, but “We’re raising awareness of how these two organizations and this year it will be much bigger, Grossman said. There have been foundations were born out of tragedy,” Grossman said. “[We’re] requests from all over the country, from The Laramie Project, creating good by moving anguish into action.” to art shows, and countless other events where people have felt compelled to do something. “So many people call and email us to tell us they created something in honor of Matthew Drew Leinonen. Shepard,” Grossman said. “We’re going to try Judy and to collect them to put them in a gallery here in Dennis had been Denver.” But it’s the partnership with onePULSE that fighting the fight Grossman is excited about. While dates and against hate events haven’t been finalized yet, there are plans to include not only a celebrity fundraiser, crimes for 19 but also a showing of The Laramie Project — a years and I felt play about the murder of Shepard. It draws on the reactions of hundreds of people that were like connecting interviewed in the town of Laramie, Wy. It’s one with them would of the top 5 most popular plays in the country, Grossman said. And this project is one of a be crucial.” bunch of moving pieces. So far, Grossman says the month-long event - Barbara Poma


 13


Adam Rippon Didn’t Win the Gold

But he Won Our


Here’s an homage to gay Olympic figure skaters


//David-Elijah Nahmod

ith the splash made by openly gay and impressively agile figure skater Adam Rippon at the 2018 Olympic Games, we at SFGN thought we'd take a second look at our 2014 tribute to LGBT identified professional skaters. We have added Rippon to the list. Cute as a button, Rippon's elegant agility made hearts swoon around the world. He is the 2010 Four Continents champion and the 2016 US National Champion. Selected to represent the United States at the South Korea Winter Olympic Games, he won the Olympic Bronze medal as part of a figure skating team event. Rippon is the first openly gay male to win a medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Rippon stated on Twitter that the difference between gay and straight athletes is that gay athletes have better eyebrows. Rippon has also been highly critical of Vice President Mike Pence, who led the U.S. Delegation to the games and who is a supporter of gay conversion therapy--Rippon also declined to speak with Pence, but now says he's willing to talk.

14  THE

Here are some other gay figure skaters.

Photos via social media.

Brian Boitano:

The handsome Boitano placed second in the 1984 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which earned him a spot in the Winter Olympics that same year. He placed fifth. Boitano competed at skating championships for the next four years, returning to the Olympics in 1988. He competed against fellow champion Brian Orser in what was called Battle of the Brians. Though Boitano placed second, he went on to win many championships. Since his retirement, Boitano won an Emmy for "Carmen on Ice." His many projects include "What Would Brian Boitano Make?", a Food Network series. The show's title is a nod to the running gag What Would Brian Boitano Do on the animated series "South Park." He's also hosted The Brian Boitano Project on HGTV and has published a cookbook. In December 2013, President Barack Obama named Boitano to the U.S. Delagation at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Boitano immediately came out as gay in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent signing of anti-gay laws.

Brian Orser

Brian Boitano's competitor won Silver Medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. He was outed in 1998 when his former partner sued him for Palimony. He has since embraced the support he got from other skaters and the public. Orser is currently the head instructor at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club.

Johnny Weir

Weir has competed in many skating championships. He placed 5th at the 2005 Olympics and 6th at the 2010 Olympics. His flamboyant appearance caused speculation about his sexual identity. Weir came out in his 2011 autobiography. Weir has also modeled, been a guest judge on "RuPaul's Drag Race," and appeared on Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D List. Weir, an admitted fan of Russian culture, was hired by NBC as a commentator at the 2014 Sochi Games. He was immediately condemned by Catholic News Agency columnist Louie Verrecchio, who called Weir a "flamboyant, cross dressing homosexual man." Weir has also been condemned by the LGBT community for his participation in Sochi. His husband is of Russian decent.

John Curry (1949-1994)

The British figure skater won a Gold Medal at the 1976 Olympics, the year he retired from the sport. He was named by the BBC as Sports Personality of the Year, also in 1976. After his retirement from competition, Curry founded a touring skating performance troupe, performing on Broadway in 1978. Two years later, he returned to Broadway in a revival of the classic musical "Brigadoon." Curry tested positive for HIV in 1987. He spoke to the press about his disease, and his sexual orientation. He died of an AIDS related heart attack in 1994, age 44.


ď Ź 15

Queers Makin’ Beer


New social group focuses a safe space to throw back and brew some suds


// Damon Scott

echnology and social media have replaced a fair amount of the once common personal interactions among folks of all demographics. But there’s still a drink out there — a popular product — that seems to consistently be a calling card for community and, well, for being more sociable in general. That’s right, we’re talking about beer.

For Danny Benz, 34, of Hobe Sound, Florida, it’s not only about the beer, but also about being queer. “I wanted to launch this group because of the great need for more LGBTQ-plus community projects and events,” Benz said. “I was looking for ways to connect with my community in the Treasure Coast area. The further north you go from Fort Lauderdale, the less and less there is for people to come together,” he said. Benz is an amateur home brewer and co-creator of the Meetup group “Queers Makin’ Beers — Treasure Coast.” He works with cocreators Rebecca Sandidge, and Michael James Meier — who is also the group’s more experienced brewer. Benz said the concept is simple: "We started Queers Making'

16  THE

Beers [in Martin County] to have a LGBTQ-plus social group that is a safe and fun place to get together outside of [the] bar scene and make beer,” he said. Benz, who has owned a small hair salon in Palm Beach Gardens for three years, helped start the group about two and a half years ago. “In July 2015 we made our first beer as a group and it was amazing to have more than 20 queers show up,” said Benz. “We want more people to come share in our love of home brewing.” Meier is co-owner of Ground Floor Farms in downtown Stuart, where the group hosts its brew dates. “He has an indoor facility where we can brew comfortably at his urban farm,” Benz said. Benz said Sandidge and Kate Summeril originally started Queers Makin’ Beers in San Francisco, California. “[The] two lesbians from Florida created the club out of the necessity to have a homebrew beer club that was not dominated by predominately white straight males,” Benz said. “They wanted to create a space by queer people for queer people to learn and explore something outside of the more popular queer scenes and activities.” Benz describes the mission of the group this way: “It is important to us that we hold a space free of judgment of race, religion, gender, sexuality and anything else that may normally cause division, even in the queer community.” The mix is part drinking and part education for those who are interested in learning how to brew beer. The group gives its members access to brewing equipment and assistance from those who have experience in brewing it, like Meier. One beer a month is usually created, said Benz, although they


Members of Queers Makin' Beers. Submitted photo.

often brew two. The Meetup takes place at a local bar. Besides brewing the beer, the group also makes label art, enters home brewing competitions, makes its own t-shirts and enters homebrew competitions. Expect other “beer-related adventures” as well. Being a part of the club is free, but Benz said the group raises funds by selling merchandise and accepting donations for supplies and ingredients. He said the San Francisco chapter donated money from their fundraisers to help his group start, and still provide help and support when needed. “We currently have seven members that attend most events and we usually have a handful of members that come sporadically,” Benz said. “We would definitely like to grow our membership and even have other chapters in Florida.” Benz said the San Francisco chapter has inspired him. He said they not only make award-winning beer, but also have created a community and give back to local charities. “I hope that we will have a similar impact in South Florida as well,” Benz said. “I am very passionate about Queers Makin' Beers Treasure Coast and look forward to expanding our reach and community for our LQBTQ-plus brothers and sisters,” he said. Members can bring a “not-queer plus one or two” guest to any event. All members must be 21 or older. Go to for more information and to join the group. There is a Facebook page as well.

The next brewing event is April 15 at Ground Floor Farm, located at 100 SE M.L.K. Jr. Blvd. in Stuart. The last few gatherings included a “Pumpkin Ale Bottling Event,” a “Sassy Saison Bottling Day” and a “Radical Cream Ale Brewing Date.”


 17


Ron Blake, via Youtube.

Ron Blake Was

Raped in 2015 Now He’s On A Mission to Share His Story and Get on the ‘The Late Show’ Depressed, suicidal and suffering from PTSD the survivor found laughter again after watching an episode of The Late Show // Christiana Lilly


t was late on Nov. 2, 2015 when Ron Blake was sitting on his couch in Phoenix, Arizona. “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” had just started, and per usual, he opened the show with a monologue taking jabs at politics and pop culture. Blake doesn’t remember what it was exactly, but Colbert made a joke during the monologue that had him cracking up with laughter. When he realized he was laughing — something he hadn’t done in a while — he paused the show to take in that moment. “It’s not the fact that I laughed at that show that saved my life, it’s that I recognized that something was good . . . I went to bed with hope that night.” Before the outburst of laughter, Blake was in the throes of suicidal thoughts. For four years, he had been struggling with the effects of PTSD after he was sexually assaulted by an ex-partner and two others. But things were starting to turn around for Blake. Soon after, he was shopping at office supply store Staples when he saw a stack of foam poster boards. A sales associate asked if she could help him, and he had an “ah ha!” moment. “I’ll take all of them,” he told her, and armed with Sharpies, he has traveled to half a dozen states to meet with complete strangers, open up about his story, and ask them to sign his board to get him on the “The Late Show.” So far, he has met roughly 24,000 people and they have signed more than 350 poster boards. “I always said I would keep going every day until I get on this show,” he said. “I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I think the beautiful part is everybody I meet, I open up. It’s a grassroots campaign.” This chapter of Blake’s story began years earlier in 2011. He and his partner had been together for a number of years despite animosity,

18  THE

including alcoholism — his Catholic upbringing had engrained the mantra of “for better or worse.” One night when Blake was at home, sick, he said his partner and two acquaintances came to his home, drunk, and raped him. After the assault, he called the police. No one was held accountable. People Blake opened up to doubted his story. How could someone so in shape not fight them off? How could someone you know do this to you? “It was just sheer hell for me, absolute sheer hell,” Blake said. “That night was just horrific for me … I took ownership for that night because no one else would.” For years, he suffered from the invisible effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Then that

night when Stephen Colbert took the stage, Blake found laughter and a light at the end of the tunnel. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in 10 victims of rape are male and they are even less likely than women to report their assaults. “Sexual assault can happen to anyone,” said Sara McGovern, RAINN press secretary. “Cultural stereotypes about men and how they portray masculinity can make it harder for men to disclose their assault and add additional challenges to their recovery. Many men feel intense shame and embarrassment about being abused or assaulted and stay silent.” According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 26 percent of gay men will experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. That’s 3 percent lower than the rate for straight men — however, gay men often don’t want to report these crimes because it means they have to out themselves and they fear it being on the public record. In Blake opening up to others, many reciprocate. Women and men share their stories of surviving rape, and a police officer told Blake she got a call of a man who was raped, but he only wanted them to be there as he packed his bags and begged them not to do anything more. For some, sharing their story was the first time their friends with them had heard of it. When Blake attended a pride festival in rural Oklahoma, he came across a group of men and asked them to sign his poster. One of them spoke up. “He said, ‘Hey, I want to tell you something, I think it’s time,’” Blake remembers. “He said that ‘about 15 or 20 years ago, I was sexually assaulted’… all his friends got up and they hugged him and none of them knew. It was shocking that here he’s with a big group of his friends at a gay pride festival, but none of them even knew. He kept the secret from every one of them.” McGovern explained that every survivor’s story is different and their means of recovery is different as well. “It can be extremely difficult for survivors to disclose their assault, even to close friends and family. Encountering judgement or a negative reaction can be traumatizing,” she said. “The most important thing you can do is listen and believe them. It's important to be supportive, non-judgemental, and patient. There is no timetable to recovering from trauma.” When Blake is feeling down — he’s proud of not needing medication for 15 months, but it still happens — the poster boards filled with poems, Bible verses, jokes, stories, and signatures remind him about his mission. It’s to get on “The Late Show,” sure, but the self-funded project has become much more than that. “It’s really incumbent on all of us in our LGBT communities to keep talking about this, especially the gay men,” Blake said. “Guys don’t talk about this stuff.” “I think there’s a reason for everything that happens in life, I’m starting to figure that out,” he said. “We can’t leave anybody behind.”


Ron Blake, via Youtube.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 26 percent of gay men will experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.

Are you or a loved one the survivor of rape? For help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).


An Interview with

Phil Jimenez,

the Artist Behind

Wonder Woman


// Chuck LaChance

he legendary LGBT writer and artist, Phil Jimenez, appeared this month at the Paradise City Comic Convention in Miami. Jimenez is noted for writing and drawing Wonder Woman for DC Comics, lending his artistic talents to characters such as Aquaman, Superwoman, Green Lantern, Justice League of America, Batman, and Superman. He has also lent his talents to the more mature line of comics, in 1994. Jimenez wrote the comic Tempest in honor of his partner, Vertigo, and done work for such titles as the Invisibles, the Fairest, and at the end of the story, wrote a touching tribute and came out in Books of Magic, and his own creation, Otherworld. the pages of a comic book. Prior to the convention Jimenez shared his thoughts on his rise to At the time Jimenez arrived in New York City there was a work for major publishing companies, LGBT role models in today’s creative explosion of gay and LGBT comic story writing. Ivan Velez media, and the future of LGBT comic characters. published Tales from the Closet, a hard, but accurate collection Jimenez grew up in Sacramento, California as a gay child of a latch of stories of what it is like coming out as a gay man or woman. key mother. His mother greatly encouraged his drawing and he Mainstream comics published a line of diversity characters under loved to watch TV shows and recreate the shows by drawing them as their Milestone logo. sequential art. But as a closeted gay youth he longed to be away from Created by black, Latin, and gay writers and artists, these books California and move to New York City and work for one of the highlighted the superhero in a new light. Most notable two major comics publishing companies, DC Comics or was Blood Syndicates, who featured Fade, a modern Marvel comics. masculine character of color with super abilities. This Created by This came to be in the mid 1980’s. Jimenez moved was followed up in greater fashion with Midnighter black, Latin, and to New York City and enrolled in the School of and Apollo, a gay parody defining the question of Visual Arts. He graduated with a BA in 1991. During gay writers and artists, what if “Superman” and “Batman” were gay men his tenure at this art school he made contact lovers. these books highlighted andWhen with Karen Burger, then an editor at DC comics. interviewed, Jimenez stated that LGBT Recognizing his artistic talent she referred him to characters are best expressed when their sexuality the superhero in a Joe Orlando who gave him his first job, that of inking is not overt but subtexual. It is clearly presented but new light. a line of ads for girl dolls. not forced. The reader can find the meaning if he or she Fate and fortune soon befell him when he was placed looks. He further stated that when initially introduced, under the auspices of Neal Pozner, another editor at DC the gay characters of Midnighter and Apollo were meant to be comics. Pozner was one of the first comic editors who was out as parodies and were too cartoonish. This was because, when created, a gay professional in comics. Jimenez was greatly taken to Pozner they were written by straight writers. due to his professionalism [he was a talented writer, editor, and art Their strength also came from violence, which as he sees it, is designer], and his good looks. not a positive characteristic to be put forth for gay characters. Gay They started dating which soon developed into a relationship. characters written in this era also suffered from the “romantic Pozner and Jimenez had the same artistic and design sensibilities triangle effect.” This refers to the fact that when LGBT characters which made their relationship stronger. He taught the rising artist are introduced in comics they are quickly married off, stripping innovative ways to see things that evolved his work very quickly. off any romances. Whereas Superman could go through many They stayed together for a number of years till Posner passed away levels of feeling affection and love for Lois Lane and Lana Lang, gay

20  THE


characters were quickly wed off ending possibilities of mature realistic plotlines. Thankfully, many gay writers and artists came forward and corrected this problem. Currently Midnighter is written by a talented gay writer, Steve Orlando, who presents the character in a gay positive realistic light. Jimenez asks what should we expect from mediums such as comics, TV, and movies that were never intended to include LGBT characters in the first place? Comic book and TV mediums now interject women as strong characters, people of color, LGBT characters, but these worlds were never designed to tell their stories. We forced our way in, much like the world at large. There is a general fear, and frustration, in the LGBT publishing community that the stories being told are not reflective of the gay experience. This could be a man writing a lesbian character or a woman writing a transgender character, or straight writers telling stories with a gay perspective. The fear is a lack of authenticity. What will help is not just creating these characters but inviting people who are like the characters to write the material. Jimenez points to the example of the new comic book “America.” This Marvel book is written and produced by a strong latin lesbian writer. That, he suggests, is creating transformative writing. But there looms a new problem. As Marvel and DC comics have embraced diversity and created many books with gay, lesbian, and women of color and race, they are now pulling back. Midnighter with a strong male gay character is canceled. Iceman, with a strong male gay character has been canceled. America, with a strong female Latin lesbian character has been canceled. And it not only affects gay characters. Ms. Marvel, whose main character is a Muslim teenage girl has been canceled. Jimenez is saddened by this but feels there is a positive side too. The books got a chance and were published and readers got exposed to these characters. He states that publishing is a reactive business. He postulates how many consumers at DC Comics and Marvel want gay characters? How many will show up to buy these issues? What these companies discovered is that there is a huge number of gay fans and readers but a far less number of gay consumers. They are of a young generation and read the product online and do not purchase it. Sales drop on books, publishers panic, and the result is canceled books. So what does the future hold for the publication of LGBT characters? One solution he points out is to look outside the big two publishers, DC and Marvel. Each year New York City host Fun Con where the breadth of LGBT written and drawn material is amazing. This is all LGBT work that exists outside the mainstream. Further there is a great deal of gay material surfacing online. Jimenez’s current work project is a streaming story produced by Warner Brothers containing LGBT characters. The story concerns the plights and problems of a Latin family living in Los Angels with gay siblings. The future of LBGT characters in these mediums will flourish. But, as Jimenez points out their success lies with gay writers and artists being emotionally invested in the characters.

Phil Jimenez.


 21


Victory Fund

Gearing Up Elections For


// John McDonald

ith 64 endorsed candidates spread across the country Victory Fund is gearing up for what they hope to be a record setting year in LGBT victories. The Mirror recently spoke to Victory Fund President Annise Parker about this year’s elections. Parker, the former Mayor of Houston, recently visited Fort Lauderdale for a few days of campaigning for candidates in South Florida. Parker took over as President of the Victory Fund last year. The organization was founded in 1991 as the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. “Our mission is to elect LGBTQ candidates wherever they are and whatever political party they are in,” said Parker in an interview at Warsaw Coffee Company in Fort Lauderdale. “Our bread and butter is actually local races.” To be endorsed by the Victory Fund a candidate must fulfill three basic requirements: Live an open LGBT life, fight antiLGBT legislation and believe in a right to privacy. Rights to privacy, Parker said, previously dealt with sodomy laws, but more recently concern a woman’s right to choose. Each candidate must be capable of winning with a good reputation in their respective communities, Parker said. “Every candidate is in a local context of what makes one viable,” Parker said. “The issues are different, the personalities are different and the political team has to drill down. It doesn’t mean they have to be universally popular, it means they have to be able to put together a winning combination of issues and campaign team and have some understanding of the dynamics at play. We can lay out a path to victory.” Parker served six years as Mayor of Houston. She was a Houston Commissioner and the city’s controller before being elected Mayor. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 by Time Magazine. At Victory Fund, Parker said, the organization very much believes in promoting quality candidates and growing careers. Parker cited Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis and Florida Representative David Richardson as examples of candidates taking their talents to another level. Trantalis came in first in Fort Lauderdale’s Mayoral election primary with 46 percent of the vote. Richardson, a Miami Democrat, is seeking an open Congressional seat in district 27. Richardson, the first openly gay man elected to the Florida House of Representatives, is one of 64 candidates currently endorsed by the Victory Fund. Lauren Baer, a married lesbian running for the first time in Congressional district 18 is the other Florida candidate endorsed in a federal campaign.

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Photo: Annise Parker. Photo Credit: David Ortez.

adventure in search of your

wild side

Welcome to the travel edition! Get lost in our beautiful world with The Mirror.


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// Norm Kent

Naked Journeys Into Hedonism


t's the summer. You should be on a plane going somewhere. Or at least in your car or van on a road trip somewhere. Welcome to the Mirror's Travel issue, where, like your ex-lover, we tell you where to go. It could be worse. You could be in Elkhorn, Indiana. I just don't see a large gay community there. I was thinking, though. I had an epiphany, actually- and my editor tells me that is a dangerous thing. But where are gay venues across the world where gay men and women can find sanctuaries, security, and sanity? I thought I would trespass across the generations of my own life, where I have been, and where I am going. I hope it's a place like Mykonos, Greece, where I was was in 1992, when Wayne Besen and I headed to the Factory together, with golden Adonis-like naked male bodies sweating profusely and dancing the night away, until 5 a.m., only to head over to the stunning transparent waters of Super Paradise Beach. Wayne now hosts a Chicago radio show, seeking a different kind of truth than we sought then. I wonder where Constantinos is today. Or Spiros. Oh, what men I met there. Much better than at Bickford's Cafeteria in Manhattan, down in the Village or by the Christopher Street Pier. But that was no vacation. That was a ritual. Lady Bird Johnson once said, "See America First." And I did. So who amongst my readers has been to the Boom Boom Room in Laguna Beach, with the fish tank bar top? Or the boys

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cruising the night away in the rolling bushes on the side of the mountain leading down to the pacific beach? It was the hotspot of the ‘80s for sure, eight days a week. And if he wants to let on to it, my travel buddy, Rodney Ely, owner of the amazing O-B House on Himmarshee Street, might give away some of my secrets. At least, maybe he will tell you how great of a volleyball player I was on their beaches. I discovered Provincetown in the late 1980s. What a special spot for gay summers, if you are athletic. It's a lot more than late nights at the Boat Skip or days on Front Street looking for your grandfather's antiques. The fishing is great, the whale sightings are pleasant and the bicycle paths are secure and spectacular. I don't think there was a time in my life I was healthier and more vibrant than those years in P-Town, when I could eat all the late night pizza I wanted at Spiritus and still have a 34 waist. Are they still there? I used to drive up to P-Town for four weeks with my chocolate lab in the back seat, an annual soul-replenishing journey, where I met future friends and star entertainers from the 1960's, like Tom Paxton and Joan Baez. Now I can't get four days off. What's wrong with this picture? Remember the old Catalog X on 13th street where the Pride Factory now is? Used to go up there with its now retired owner, best friend Mark Possien. Damn, I paid for him to go to law school and he opened up a million-dollar sex shop selling dildos and DVDs, oh, and T-shirts, too.

Guess I am running out of space and I haven't even talked about the dungeons in Amsterdam, or the club 'It,' or the vast venues that made Europe so inviting and open. It was a wide open world, Europe was, but it was in a theater near Piccadilly Circus in England that I met a beautiful young man from Amsterdam. We were watching “Trainspotting,” a must see film for anyone who has ever done X. Today, Morgan is a freelance graphic designer surfing his days way near Seal Beach in San Francisco, and we still hookup whenever I am in Harvey Milk country. Speaking of which, you can't write about the gay venues of the world without penning something about Castro Street, and the freedom it gave us to be us. Today, we see liberties and our live spread in pride festivals from Sydney to Stockholm to San Diego. Our world is more open for sure, but even when there were only hidden bars, corner bookstores or dark alleys, we found a way to meet, didn't we? We survived our would-be censors, and we will always, Mike Pence. As George Segal said in 'Love Story' in 1972, life is a series of comings and goings, and for everything you take with you, there is something you leave behind. My journeys have led to many spontaneous hellos and lots of sad goodbyes, but whether the surf has been rough or the sailing smooth, they have all enriched me. You just have to - like the Beatles wrote in Lady Madonna - listen to the music in your head. Enjoy your summer. Make it precious. Every day is.


Take an active role in your health. Ask your doctor if an HIV medicine made by Gilead is right for you. GILEAD and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc. © 2017 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC4605 05/17





2018 Pack your bags and go!


Aaron Drake

ew year, new travel memories. From rooftop drinks in a Southern legend to South American jungle adventures, there’s fun to be had for every budget (and every time constraint!). Florida is close to some of the top destinations for 2018. If you haven’t made your travel itinerary for 2018 yet, pack your bags; here are five places where you can make the most of your new year.

Boatsetter Tampa Bay.

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Adventure should be at the top of your list. The trek to South America is worth it for a getaway in this tropical country, touring San Jose and the gay-friendly area of Manuel Antonios. Book a room at the gay-owned Hotel Villa Roca ( with hillside rooms and apartments featuring picturesque views. Take time to lounge at the country’s beautiful beaches or by the hotel’s infinity pool au natural before a night out on the town. Club Karma (www. is a popular bar to hit for a night of dancing. For the morning after, stop by Cafe Milagro ( for a freshly roasted cup ‘o Joe before setting off on a jungle tour with Gaytours Costa Rica ( Bilingual tour guides will take you on a hike or zipline through the jungle canopy, ocean kayaking or even a whitewater rafting trip for those who are really ready to feel the adrenaline.



Get away for a short trip to NOLA. The city may have a debaucherous reputation—which may not be entirely untrue if you’ve heard of the annual gay celebration Southern Decadence during Labor Day weekend—but the city also has a glutton of delicious restaurants and sites to see. Check in at the boutique hotel Catahoula (, right outside the French Quarter. It’s a modern spot with cozy bars, restaurant and rooftop space for relaxing before you take on the nightlife. Dine out at Domenica (www.domenicarestaurant. com) for an elegant meal of traditional Italian cuisine cooked up with local ingredients. There’s no warmer welcome to the city than stopping by for a drink at the gay bar Good Friends ( Located right in the middle of the French Quarter, the bar is complete with a pool table, dance floor, balcony for checking the, ahem, scenery from above and access to some of the best bartenders New Awlins has to offer. Boca Waterstone Pool. Photo credit: Waterstone Resort & Marina


If you prefer to stick around the Sunshine state, there are staycation ideas a’plenty so you don’t have to venture too far. Curio by Hilton’s lovely Waterstone Resort & Marina (www. in Boca Raton is ideal for a romantic weekend away to refresh. Sip afternoon cocktails from the hotel’s Rum Bar in a poolside cabana, followed by dinner reservations at Boca, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant with water views. Rent bikes in the afternoon to make a quick jaunt to the beach for a picnic or sandy stroll, then head to downtown Boca to explore the shopping, nightlife and restaurant options at Mizner Park ( Cuisine options are international, so whether you’re craving Asian, Mexican, French or German, you’ll find a dish to satiate that craving.


Find a new way to explore Florida’s Gulf Coast. The best way to see Tampa Bay, of course, is by boat. Make a weekend reservation with to charter a boat (and a captain if you don’t have your sea legs)—think Airbnb for boats. You can choose an overnight stay or an afternoon out on the water to see what the two cities by the Bay have to share. Spend an afternoon rambling along the downtown waterfront on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg, stop for proper afternoon tea (along with lunch or dinner) at the recently renovated Cassis American Brasserie ( and catch a movie at the Sundial. Make your way across Tampa Bay for an evening show at the Straz Performing Arts Center ( and end the night with a night cap at Southern Nights (www.southernnightstpa. com) in Tampa’s gayborhood Ybor or a night of live drag and dancing at Enigma ( in St. Pete.


Why not take a trip up north for a little fun, eh? Toronto is one of the gayer cities in the world. Spring and summer are a lovely time to visit. Opt for a stay at the artsy boutique Gladstone Hotel (, close to both the city’s queer neighborhoods, Church and Wellsley (home to its monumental Pride celebration each summer) and Queen Street West. Spend a night immersed in queer performance at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (which frequently turns into a dance party after hours to raise money for good causes) ( Eat out at Supermarket (—no, not your typical grocery stop— Toronto’s East-meets-West fusion restaurant and bar in Kensington Market. Enjoy a shared-tapas-style meal that's perfect for couples or a group of friends before a night out on the town.

Wherever you choose to spend your 2018, take time to see new sights, make new friends and indulge yourself. THE

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Of my

YORK CITY // Aaron Drake

View from Top of the Rock at Night. All photos by Gabriel Blanco

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stepped out of the swirling snow into a dimly lit bar pulsing with the familiar bass of a country song. A bit jarring coming off of the busy New York City street, but guys (and ladies) of all shapes and sizes were pressed together throughout the space making it a welcoming quest to order a drink. Looking around I noticed the red velvet wallpaper and several sets of steer horns adorned the walls. I spotted a handful of patrons wearing cowboy hats. After getting a beer, I took a place in the back to fully enjoy the scenery. Before long, Shania Twain’s “Party For Two” came on the jukebox and the bartenders jumped onto the bar, dancing Coyote Ugly style—complete with a gay twist as they broke into a quick tap dance during the instrumental break. New York City’s one and only gay country bar Flaming Saddles ( is a city favorite. It’s only one bar on a long list of fabulous places to visit while in the city, but a must-do to add to your itinerary. As spring approaches, now is the perfect time to make your plans to visit the Big Apple.

Stay Even as one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is possible to do NYC on a budget. For one, accommodations in Brooklyn are more affordable than staying in Manhattan, and you still have easy access to the city via the Subway. Pod Brooklyn ( in the hipster haven of Williamsburg is a practical option for a short stay, 3 subway stops from downtown Manhattan. It has all the comforts needed to have a relaxing stay without all the extras that might cost you—don’t worry, you will still feel like you’re in a hotel! Opening in fall 2017, the hotel’s 249 rooms are modular pods, each constructed in Poland with a simple, modern decor. Pods come with either the choice of a queen-size or bunk-style bed, depending if you’re plotting to make this a romantic getaway or an amicable trip for friends. The hotel’s four buildings are connected with courtyards lined with organic gardens. The rooftop bar and ground floor restaurant with sidewalk and outdoor seating are set to open later this spring. In the meantime before the restaurant opens, guests can enjoy morning pastries and coffee in the lobby. The next door Woodhul Wine Bar ( is a lovely spot for hotel guests to enjoy a free glass of wine and 20 percent off tapas. There is no shortage of surrounding restaurants to suit a wide variety of tastebuds. Pod partners with local gyms and yoga options for fit-minded visitors.

Do The easiest way to experience New York City is to get a MetroCard for the Subway, pack a backpack with essentials (don’t forget your camera!) and get yourself a CityPASS ( The CityPASS gives you the option to see 6 major attractions around the city for 40 percent off regular combined admission costs with the added benefit of using VIP lines. If it’s your first time to NYC, be sure to use the pass to check out sites like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Top of the Rock, and the American Museum of Natural History (aka nerd heaven). If you’re a repeat visitor, take a different perspective and check out the sparkling view from the landmark Empire State Building after hours (open till 2 a.m.), a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise around the harbor, or the latest exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For even more novel options, there’s the Tenement Museum ( Take a tour back through time to mid 20th century Lower East Side of Manhattan to explore the apartments of early immigrants to the city. It is an eye-opening look at what life was like. Or block out an afternoon to enter Gulliver’s Gate (GulliversGate. com), a newly opened museum with 3D-printed miniature models built to scale (1/87th to be exact) of cities around the world, each constructed in the city it depicts. Get lost seeing the sites here and you’ll feel like you spent the day wandering the globe, before stepping back into the reality of neon lit marquees on Broadway.

See Be sure to leave a little time in your itinerary to do what people come from all over the world to see—a show on Broadway! The lineup of earth-shattering, gay favorites with tickets available is always longer than there is time to see—Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress, Hello Dolly!, to name a few (—even if some are a bit difficult to get. Book in advance, or if tickets are already sold out or out of your price range, you can try entering the lottery for tickets the following day, stand in the cancelation line before performances or check out discount sites like After all, if there’s a will, there’s a way! For tried-and-true show tune lovers, the ultimate night out is Feinstein’s/54 Below ( This underground cabaret-style show welcomes legendary Broadway performers who give you an intimate show of Broadway songs. Enjoy dinner and dessert or just cocktails while these crooners make you feel right at home in this world-class city.


The Best

s d n u o r g p Gay Cam egory t Ca y b a c i r e in North Am

// Ric Reily


ay camping is not a poor man's sport. Much goes into a trip to a gay campground whether pitching a tent in a field or rolling in with 60,000 pounds of motorhome. Especially on theme weekends and those that include gay high holidays such as New Years, Mardi Gras and Halloween.

Prepared gay campers arrive stocked with camping gear, costumes, meals and beverages. On settling in they go in search of the important things to fill out their experience. Those important things are the subject of a survey that makes up this piece. Respondents comments contribute to the writing. Common undercurrents for many gay campers that draws them to gay campgrounds is the beauty of the grounds, socializing in a non threatening environment, the ability to be free and open with sexuality and the opportunity to be affectionate in public with a partner, to interact with other gays without fear. The survey included twenty-four gay campgrounds featured in SFGN's Gay Camping 2017: Your Ten Favorite Gay Campgrounds in North America. Respondents chose their favorite campground in each of eleven categories and left a comment about their choice. For results purposes responses without comments were ignored. Fifteen

campgrounds had at least one commented response, ten had measurable commented responses and four had most of the commented responses. Responses revealed how each property fared in each category and showed what respondents approved or disapproved of about each property. Each gay campground earned a score based on the percentage of their total commented responses in each category. Big players received the bulk of the responses, and many smaller gay campgrounds though not represented are first rate. A complete list of surveyed properties is included. The top four gay campgrounds by category in alphabetic order are: Freedom Valley Campgrounds, OH; Jones Pond Campground & RV Park, NY; Sawmill Camping Resort, FL; The Woods Campground, PA. Now, let's take a look at the best gay campgrounds by category.

Ric Reily is a gay camping enthusiast and an SFGN contributing columnist. This Best Gay Campgrounds in North America By Category article is his fifth annual feature about gay camping. Ric Reily is a newly elected member of the Board of Directors of Sawmill Camping Resort in Dade City, FL, and regularly summers at Jones Pond Campground and RV Park near Angelica, NY. The content of this article is primarily taken from respondents comments to a survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2017 and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the writer.

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d n u o g p m a C s d o o W The ies, t i l i c a F t s Be Builds The nd Activities a Amenities

// Ric Reily

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he Woods runs off with three number one wins in the Best Gay Campgrounds of North America by Category Poll. Respondents rated The Woods as having the best Facilities, the best Amenities, and the best Activities.




Facilities at The Woods are continually improved and upgraded, including one new or upgraded shower house each of the past five years. That alone can earn a gay campground a Best Facilities recommendation. Campers love a clean shower house and The Woods has them in spades. Four, or five, depending on how you count. They are so connected to them that the shower houses are even named for the Golden Girls; Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia. Plenty of bathrooms and common areas are situated in convenient locations throughout the camp. Each is complete with toilets, showers, urinals, private bathroom stalls, and kitchen size sinks for washing camping dishes. Hot water never runs out and there is never a wait for a private clean shower. Many campers prefer the open air showers. Great pride is taken in the shower houses, which are uniformly clean and modern while maintaining a camp atmosphere. Laundry facilities, with dryers that actually work, are attached to one. A camp store stocks whatever was inadvertently left at home, and of course not to be forgotten the beautiful pool and volleyball court. A great place to join friends for good food and great service is the cafe with a covered patio for rainy days. Finish out the day at camp in the awesome dance club with a DJ every weekend.

The Woods is perhaps the most up to date campground, with upgrades and updates every year. The place seems to never stop improving. A supersized newer and well maintained heated salt water pool with a sitting ledge, including the ginger spot for the fair haired boys, that goes most of the way around has a sundeck with plenty of lounge chairs and two hot tubs. With food service available at the cabana that serves great burgers, the fun, the music, as well as BYOB makes for a truly great day in the sun. Boating on the beautiful lake with a boat dock makes use of a favorite amenity. Included for free are paddle boats and canoes. Sports gays can even hook a few when the fishing is good. If you're not into watersports, hiking trails lead to a shady diversion. Several professional sand volleyball courts are always well groomed and perfectly maintained. There is usually a game to join in. In close proximity to the pool is the full service restaurant that has the friendliest staff and great food. After dark it turns into a nightclub with outstanding sound and light systems to dance the night away adjacent to the community campfire. For whatever you forgot and can't live without the camp store is well stocked and reasonably priced. A Laundromat is available. Close proximity to beautiful Pennsylvania river valley towns, Delaware Water Gap, and farmers markets makes for an adventurous day offsite.

Woody, John, staff and campers get involved in activities. The event calendar speaks for itself. Activities are fun, organized, very creative and extensive. Community parties, group hikes, games, contests, volleyball courts, outings, weekend campfires, dances, music, a hilarious Hey Ride, Mardi Gras, Illuminations weekend, theme parties, block parties, pool activities, canoeing and paddle boating and even a gay car show keeps campers busy. For peace, serenity, and relaxing The Woods can't be beat. An extensive hiking trail grew another three miles with a new land purchase. Get your cares rubbed away by the masseuse available poolside every weekend. Woody regularly arranges hikes and other activities in addition to those scheduled. Themed weekends and a live weekend DJ keeps camp hopping. Camp shows in July and September showcase many talented performers including The Woods Miss Woods Drag Pageant which is a well organized, entertaining and competitive drag pageant. Offsite, there are all kinds of things to do in the area: state parks, shopping in Jim Thorpe is close by, and The Poconos Mountains are beautiful for sightseeing. Change of season in the northeast is spectacular. Extensive nearby attractions abound: an amusement park, antique shopping, train rides, white water rafting and even a concert hall. Beltsville State Park and Penn's Peak entertainment complex along with miles of hiking are nearby.


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t r o s e R g n i p m a C l l i m w a S e Best h T h t i W ent m Shows Off n i a t r e t n rs and E e n i a t r e t n E // Ric Reily


awmill hits the stage with two number one wins in the Best Gay Campgrounds of North America by Category Poll. Respondents rated Sawmill as having the best Entertainers and the best Entertainment.

Entertainers Sawmill does it all when it comes to entertainment. Even Rupaul and Frenchie Davis played Sawmill on several occasions. Trixie Deluxe and her drag bingo is hysterical. Trixie Deluxe is a master MC and leads many Sawmill events. With a quip she can cut to the bone and bring the audience to its feet in the same sentence. No new Sawmill camper is safe from recognition and appraisal under Trixe Deluxe's microphone. Always offbeat, always on and always on point, a master of mixing comedy

with glamour, of all the entertainers at Sawmill Trixie Deluxe stands out. Sofonda Cox is beautiful, talented and a long time staple of Sawmill. Not only a great entertainer, Sofonda Cox is a hard working member of the Sawmill community. Sofonda Cox makes certain parades step off as planned and participates in every show and event called to. Monday night bingo at Splash is a hit with Iona Trailer and Suki. Iona Trailer calls and Suki continually makes the rounds being certain new arrivals have cards and places.

Dancers and porn stars, including Rocko Steele, draw loyal crowds. De De Taylor, the General Manager of Rainbow Entertainment, Sawmill's wholly own entertainment business, is a master entertainer himself and crowds love to see him take the stage. Ms. Joanne, Angel Sheridan, Kanna Tunta, Rock Hard Review, the band Mixx, Chi chi Laru both as an entertainer and professional DJ, and DJ Wayne keeping the crowd dancing all night round out Sawmill entertainers.

Entertainment Entertainment has improved at Sawmill immensely over the last few years with live entertainment just about every night. The quality of the talent is very high and top notch full production shows are performed by very talented people. Multiple shows require production through the year and major events such as New Years Eve, July 4th and

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Mardi Gras tend to be well staged and run seamlessly. Drag shows with top entertainers are the staple entertainment for Sawmill, to the chagrin of some who don't appreciate the art. Yet in many events drag is the MC not the main event, such as live bands, firework shows, parades, a haunted house, hay rides, potluck dinners, male

dancers, male review shows and many different theme celebrations. There is bingo, pool games and game shows, such as the Newly Wed Game and $1,000 Deal or No Deal, where players can win prizes. DJ's keep spinning and the dancers keep moving.



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Freedom Valley Campgrounds

Trims Up th Accommodat e Best Appear ance, ions and Com munity // Ric Reily

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reedom Valley mows down three number one wins in the Best Gay Campgrounds of North America by Category Poll. Respondents rated Freedom Valley as having the best Appearance, the best Accommodations, and the best Community.




You have to see this campground to appreciate the beauty of its fifty plus flawless and professionally maintained acres. It's always clean, improving and well mowed. Freedom Valley is a beautiful campground, in a country setting with bright flower gardens. While very private the enjoyable atmosphere has perfectly manicured areas with many personal touches and breathtaking views. Even the dog park and wooded trails are kept well. Freedom Valley enjoys a picturesque setting in rolling hills. The pond and pool area is beautiful and inviting. The Valley is cool at night, looking down into all the twinkling tent lights. Illuminations weekend is extraordinary. The enormous pond just off the pool area makes a perfect backdrop for the lush and green groomed lawns, and is beautiful and relaxing to look at with its fountain. Vast lawn areas that look like a golf course, and are immaculately taken care of, stretch to the pond bank. Everything is kept in working order, clean and pretty. Buildings are updated and painted. Recently, some roads were paved in part of the camp and new gravel is laid every summer keeping down the dust and keeping up the appearance. And it's obvious that seasonal campers take great pride in their sites, most being very well maintained with a noticeable dearth of accumulated unused items.

A wide variety of choices in accommodations at reasonable prices allows Freedom Valley to accommodate all camper groups and budgets. Many lodging options are available to choose from should you decide to not bring your own camper or tent. From primitive to all the amenities, every type of accommodation is available. Affordable new cabins are well maintained and brightly painted. Most cabins are like hotel rooms, nicely furnished and not at all rustic. Other accommodations include trailers for rent. A restored vintage retro trailer, luxury RVs, air conditioned cabins, a community bunkhouse featuring bunks with plenty of space and a large beautiful tenting area afford a place for every budget. Tent Valley has outdoor showers and flush toilets. The valley is beautiful, tent sites are big and level with plenty of sun or shade depending on your preference. Tenters are assigned an electrical outlet and can tent wherever their cord takes them. Tent Valley is away from the dancehall so noise is minimal. Pull through RV sites, located in front of their pond are convenient, easily assessable, and well cared for with water and electricity hook-ups. Seasonal campsites border the edge of the woods and wander up the hillside under the trees. There is free Wi-Fi camp wide, cable service in the office, a clothing optional section and a dog park.

The best part about Freedom Valley Campgrounds is the community. Seasonal campers set the tone. It really is a place of inclusiveness as stated on their web site. Men of all ages and sizes are welcome to visit. Acceptance is easy to feel there. Total strangers say hello and seasonal campers are friendly; everyone makes one feel like family. This is a great place to meet friends both old and new, a community of fun loving men. Camaraderie between the seasonal campers and day pass campers is not like that in some places. Everyone is family at Freedom Valley. It's easy to feel welcome. The community, seasonal campers, owners and staff take you in, give you a drink or a meal, and take care of you as if you were one of their own. People here are outgoing, friendly and inviting to guests. A tour and introduction to other campers would not be unusual. Strangers don't stay strangers long. This is home away from home all summer long for some. Feeling isolated is next to impossible. The owners, staff and other campers go out of their way to welcome newcomers into the community. Older members of the community are embraced and not judged. Appearances, beliefs and opinions are valued. There are no age barriers. After visiting other gay campgrounds, you will likely find Freedom Valley is the most inclusive campground that you visit. The warmth and feeling of community is pervasive. The welcoming from the other campers and the summer-long RV crowd is, well, special.


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d n o P s e n o J RV Park

& d n u o r g p m a C

d Food n A n u F t s e eB Delivers Th Best Staff By The // Ric Reily

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ones Pond cooked up three number one wins in the Best Gay Campgrounds of North America by Category Poll. Respondents rated Jones Pond as having the best Fun, the best Staff, and the best Food.

Fun Rain or shine there is always fun to be had at Jones Pond. Never a dull moment. It's easy to feel like part of the family from the moment you arrive. Some weekends, and vacation weeks, Jones Pond seems more like a cruise than a campground. Seamlessly choreographed timing finishes up and clears out one event almost as another is beginning, cocktail parties provide liquid entertainment and BBQ's and Block Parties supply meals. No matter if you measure fun by the huge heated swimming pool and sun decks including shade pavilions, shows, themed parties, cookouts, sit down dinners complete with tablecloths, Friday night Bingo, dances in the Barn, line dance lessons, community campfires, weekly Nature Walks with Ranger Ric, volleyball, billiards, and even field trips to local points of interest, the fun just keeps on coming. Holiday weekends push all that to an even higher level. Outside the campground sponsored events, block parties, after fires, site parties that are open to everyone, driving golf carts around the park meeting new people from Canada and other states, dressing up in costumes every weekend and clothing optional areas makes things all the more fun. In their sixth season of ownership the owners are very visible, engage their guests, make it a point of knowing all the campers and make sure you have a good time. The campers themselves, both the outgoing seasonal campers and weekenders, are the best part of this campground. The culture that the owners and seasonal campers promulgate is very friendly, helpful and supportive of newcomers. Most everyone you meet at Jones Pond helps bring a smile to your face.

Staff Bryan and Matt are the owners and face of Jones Pond. Each and every camper, whether seasonal or visiting, feels at home like family from the moment of arrival. They are very active in the park, attend events, join in at the pool and fundraise for local charities. Matt and Bryan are very generous with their time, caring and contributions back to the park, and Matt is adorable. One or both of them is present or available at all times and functions, providing excellent service. They get involved. Like the owners, the staff is hard working and kind. The team is just phenomenal all around. The entire crew are fantastic hosts, welcoming, always willing to help, greet you with a smile and are always striving for the best. Owners and staff are available to help out. Exceptionally friendly, accommodating, giving, and wonderfully warm. Whether it's wood deliveries, campsite repair, or general facility maintenance and cleanliness, they are always there to answer questions and give a helping hand. The owners and staff of Jones Pond provide excellent contact before, during, and after your stay. Need something during your stay? The staff at The Pond can handle it.

Food The Cafe At The Pond is high end yet reasonably priced. A gathering place at Jones Pond, the cafe is a clean modern amenity to the campground. You can have a great breakfast, snacks, a full lunch or dinner and service is great. Cafe food is delicious and the cafe hours are adjustable to what is happening in the park. This is a great restaurant with many food options, run by fun guys who do it for the love of it. Food is always fresh and delicious at the cafe. Many weekend events have free food for everybody and the cafe is open around those events. Service is fast and food is well prepared with a large selection including daily specials. There is a great menu with a variety of choices, healthy home cooked meals for those watching calories and big portions for those who like good fast food. You come for the food, you stay for the show. The cafe is a gathering place. Mitzi is a real character at Jones Pond and a server at the cafe. He makes everyone feel welcomed and special with every snarky remark. If you haven't been insulted today, you didn't eat at the cafe. James and Kelly run the cafe cooking fantastic food every weekend, and Josh and Mitzi serve it all with a smile, laugh, cocky commentary and a fun sense of humor. Hungry at The Pond is not an option.


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Your list to

Gay Campgrounds In florida and beyond

// Ric Reily

Florida Gay Campgrounds Camp David

2000 South Bishop's Point Road Inverness, Florida 34450 The only clothing optional men's campground in Florida

Camp Mars

326 Goff Road Venus, Florida 33960 The boardwalk is beautiful through a true Florida swamp

Resort on Carefree Boulevard

3000 Carefree Boulevard Fort Meyers, Florida 33917 Carefree is a lifestyle community where you can be you

Sawmill Camping Resort

21710 US Hwy 98 Dade City, Florida 33523
 Where camping meets nightlife

Southern Comfort Campgrounds 50 SE 74th Ave Cross City, FL 32628
 Open everyday to everyone

Vitambi Springs

28280 Etumakee Way Clewiston, Florida 33440 Camping in the real Florida wilderness

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Gay Campgrounds Listed

in the Survey –

Less Florida

Bluff Creek Falls

Hillside Campgrounds

Roseland Resort

Woodsy and just plain beautiful

Every type of accommodation from vintage

This mountain resort is a must go

1125 Loop Rd Steele, AL 35987

Camp Buckwood

948 Creek Road New Milford, PA 18834

trailers to luxury RVs to air conditioned cabins

925 Nolte Ln Proctor, WV 26055

Roy's Hideaway

8670 Spearsville Rd. Morgantown, IN 46160

In the Woods Campground 142 Casey Ct, Canon, GA 30520

268 Catfish Lane Collins, GA 30421

Secluded and very welcoming

Hike on the trails or dance in the street parties

Beautiful landscapes, relaxing outdoor

in Southern Indiana

Campit Outdoor Resort 6635 118th Ave Fennville, MI 49408

Always something going on at Campit, or nearby Saugatuck and South Haven

Circle JJ Ranch

Joe's Hideaway

928 Valley Rd, Washington, NH 03280 Growing every year and good shower house

Jones Pond Campground & RV Park 9835 Old State Rd Angelica, NY 14709

Aggy Dune, Cosmo parties, block parties,

1104 Amsterdam Road Scio, OH 43988

huge shows, beautiful property


586 Lizard Lope Rd Columbia, AL 36319

Crooked Lake Resort

Lizard Landing Camp

Now in the fifth year at the end of the

POBox 358 Horsefly, BC, Canada V0L 1L0

road down by the river

A year-round back country

2580 East Lake Road New Milford, PA 18834


Freedom Valley Campgrounds

Oneida Campground

America's original LGBT campground

spaces and a place to live forever

Starlite Trailer Lodge 5955 Globe Roa Lenoir, NC 28645

Scenic mountain setting and a beautiful lake

The Rivers Edge

2311 Pulliam Mill Rd Dewy Rose, GA 30634 Checkout the treehouse cabin overlooking the river

The Woods Campground

3500 Forest St Lehighton, PA 18235 Best shower houses in any gay campground in North America

Triangle Recreation Camp 47715 Mountain Loop Hwy Granite Falls, WA 98252

1875 US-250 New London, OH 44851

Oz Campground

The pond surrounded with manicured

Excellent shows in the bar and an over the

campground that is GLBTQ owned

meadow and beautiful flower gardens

top Halloween party

and operated.

50 GA-230, Unadilla, GA 31091

Northwest’s Premier recreational


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g n i p Cam


g n i V R

// R

ic Re



very summer while growing up my mother packed us up, all ten of us, and off we went. My earliest recollections of travel are tents and campfires. By the time I graduated high school I had been to every state except Hawaii, every providence in Canada and every country from Panama north; all via road.

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A few years ago we bought our 28 foot Sunnybrook fifth wheel trailer, and named it Heath. Heath is towed by our 2500HD Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which we named Jake. Let me know if you get the reference. Friends often ask about camping and I hesitate before answering because what we do is not camping per se, but better termed gamping; in Heath we have air conditioning, hot showers, cold beer and a Tempur-pedic mattress. Gay campgrounds are membership based and charge an annual membership fee allowing them to be gay oriented, but membership fees become onerous for travelers, making an overnight stop at a gay campground costly. At a Passport America half price camping club affiliated campground, I pay $15-20. A typical gay campground will cost two membership fees of about $20 each and an overnight fee of between $30-50; $70-90 is just too much for a twelve hour stop. Gay campgrounds could bring in the traveler by allowing a limited stay accepting another gay campgrounds membership. On this summer’s trip I passed up gay campgrounds in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. Most gay campgrounds are very social and the daytime social activity is a pool.

All of the gay campgrounds we visited have clothing optional pools, and some are clothing optional all together. Many have wooded areas with trail systems. I find gay campers to be more friendly, open and inclusive than mainstream campgrounds. You can not pass someone in a gay campground and not get a hello while you rarely get a hello passing someone in a state park or straight RV park. Our first gay camping experience was Camp Mars; when asked where Mars is I like to say it’s near Venus due west of Jupiter which roughly speaking is accurate. We borrowed my brother’s class A bus, drove it across the interior of Florida and arrived in the middle of nowhere. No more gracious a welcome could one expect. Dale in his golf cart led us in the bus to our campsite and soon after Koren arrived with fresh eggs from her chickens. Camp Mars offers a variety of campsites from tent sites to full hookup RV sites including wide open pull through spaces for really big rigs. There are trailers and even some yurts for rent. On visits to Mars over several years we have made friends and often find those friends in other gay campgrounds. Mars is a real treat; a few hours drive from South Florida, there is a great community and is


as quiet as Florida can get. Bring everything you want or need because anything worth stopping at is thirty minutes away. A recreation hall is the evening social center of Camp Mars and the Saturday potluck is not to be missed. I am amazed at the food a gay man or lesbian can cook up in a camper; I am lucky to get a decent ziti done. Bingo is a mainstay of many gay campgrounds and each has its ‘rules.’ Beware erroneously calling Bingo at Camp Mars. A favorite Florida gay campground is Sawmill; if you can’t have fun camping at Sawmill, well you just need to get rid of the camping gear. It’s close enough for a long weekend and active enough for a week. Some gay men live there, and Sawmill bills itself as America’s first gay community. The property was recently purchased from straight owners and converted to a Coop owned by its residents. Though it has gone through growing pains Sawmill seems to be finding its footing and refocusing on providing a quality experience. Our past several visits have each been better than the one before. Sawmill is more than a gay campground, it’s an LGBT resort. Accommodations range from primitive tent sites to deluxe cabins, the property is gated 24 hours, there is a

limited camp store, new laundry and well done community shower houses. RuPaul recently performed at Sawmill to help celebrate the Coop’s one year anniversary. The cruise ship like pool is the center of daytime activity with a screened pool bar including food service, cookout style burgers by day and steak and chicken dinners by night, weekend DJ and free WiFi. Nighttime activity is two night clubs, a courtyard with outdoor shows and a shaded trail system. Nearby is the Withlacoochee State Park Rail to Trail providing about 40 miles of converted short line paved for bicycles and hikers. Vitambi Springs is a new facility opening south of Clewiston. The latest report is they are not ready to serve RV’s, though they did not respond to inquiries for more information. I can’t finish this article without mentioning Jones Pond located in Western New York. If Sawmill is Club Med, Jones Pond is Ritz Carlton. Jones Pond is a premier property and fosters a strong sense of gay community in its seasonal campers; the campground is open May through September. Each block hosts a block party in the Barn during

summer; raising money for donation to local organizations. Gay camping can be about sex. For most gay campers it is about community; new friends, old friends and permanent friends. It’s about meeting new people, exchanging ideas about campers and camping, inviting friends to a campfire and having a few cocktails under the moon and stars. Removing the strings, drama, expectations and familiarity of day to day life in the home zone and replacing that with relaxation, camaraderie, freedom of spirit under the stars and new experiences in a less controlled environment delivers a sense of comfort and inclusion rarely experienced in everyday city life.


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“Ernest Hemingway and Key West may be synonymous, but Hemingway only lived here for about 10 years. Key West was the place that Tennessee Williams called home.” – Michael Gieda, Key West Art & Historical Society


n exhibit memorializing iconic playwright Tennessee Williams, who called Key West home from the late 1940s until his death in 1983, expanded this winter to become the Tennessee Williams Museum under new dual leadership. The museum evolved from the popular Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit following its merger with the Key West Art & Historical Society, and can be found at the playwright’s beloved cottage at 513 Truman Ave. Williams lived in Key West as an openly gay man with his partner Frank Merlo, and had a pivotal influence on the island’s literary culture. The award-winning playwright penned classics including “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” “Part of the story of the museum is the story of Dennis Beaver,” said Michael Gieda, executive director of the Key West Art & Historical Society. Beaver, the founder and curator, first met Williams on a visit to Key West in 1978. Beaver returned to New York, sold his business and promptly moved to the island, where he opened a guesthouse. According to Beaver, the exhibit features the largest permanent collection of Williams memorabilia currently on display for the public. Highlights include personal photographs of Williams at home with Merlo and friends, first-edition plays and books, a typewriter used by Williams while he lived in Key West, an artistcrafted model of his island home and even the original steps from the film adaptation of Williams’ play “The Rose Tattoo,” which was filmed in Key West. “I am delighted that the literary legacy of Tennessee Williams, ‘outed’ as gay by the press early in his career, will flourish under the stewardship of the Key West Art & Historical Society whose goal

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is to keep Key West history alive and accessible to the public,” said Beaver, who also founded the annual multiweek Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration. “Because Tennessee was here so long and he wrote at least part of every major work here, it’s important that we, as locals, understand this important history,” Beaver said. Visitors to the new museum can take entertaining and informative self-guided tours as well as prearranged curator-led tours showcasing Williams’ history and legacy. Expanded elements include larger viewing and display areas for the extensive artifact collection and a gift shop. Long passionate about preserving Williams’ legacy, Beaver remains as guest curator and consultant for the museum. He also intends to acquire and encourage donations of additional artifacts for the collection. “Fortunately, I don’t have to work, I just give tours. The visitors keep me on my toes, and I can’t make a mistake because they’ll catch me,” he said with a chuckle. Because so many longtime residents also knew Williams, stories abound. Beaver is always careful to document the colorful accounts. “People tell me stories and I have to relay that they are just that. There is so much information out there,” he said. In addition to the Tennessee Williams Museum, the Key West Art & Historical Society operates the Fort East Martello Museum, Key West Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters and the Custom House Museum, which contains a display of Williams’ original paintings. The Tennessee Williams Museum, 513 Truman Ave. in Key West, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. For more information, go to

// J.W. Arnold

Intoxicated AND Incarcerated?



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ď Ź 47


LGBTQ Filmmakers Head to High Seas for Pride of the Ocean Film Festival // J.W. Arnold


ore than 60 LGBTQ filmmakers, directors, writers and cinema fans from across the country departed Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 25 aboard the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas for the 11th annual Pride of the Ocean Film Festival. Founded by Emmy Award-winning documentarian John Scagliotti (“Before Stonewall,” “In the Life”), Pride of the Ocean featured LGBTQ-produced shorts, documentaries and features, along with intimate discussions and workshops with the filmmakers. A focus of the program was the importance of preserving LGBTQ history through film. Scagliotti created “In the Life,” the first LGBTQ-themed television newsmagazine that premiered in 1992 and was broadcast for two decades on PBS. His film, “Before Stonewall” was one of the first to document gay history before 1969. “We’re here to discover together what we can do as artists to preserve our history,” Scagliotti told the audience at the first screening, “and we’re especially fortunate to collaborate with the leaders of three preeminent LGBTQ libraries and archives.” The executive directors of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale, University of Southern California ONE Archives and GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco are all

onboard to participate in panel discussions about the wide range of historical resources available for filmmakers, including film and tape, photographs, oral histories and documents. Chris Rudisill, executive director of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives said, “Our work really goes hand in hand. Everything in our archives has a story and working with filmmakers offers an opportunity to explore those stories.” In partnership with the Center for Independent Documentary, “CineSLAM” workshops offered filmmakers the opportunity to pitch future projects and receive critical feedback on their sizzle reels and rough cuts from producers, funders and critics. Executive director Susi Walsh moderated the workshops. “Many of the shorts that are workshopped are often excerpts from longer films that are being developed. The feedback from our workshops help filmmakers clarify their subject matter with both potential audiences and the funding community,” said Walsh. “Past participants have even met funders for their projects on the cruise.” Sam Berliner, an independent filmmaker and director of Translations: The Seattle Transgender Film Festival, led discussions about the historical appearance and evolution of transgender characters in film,

assisted by Sam Feder (“Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger”) and pioneering trans scholar and filmmaker Susan Stryker (“Screaming Queens”). While the ship was docked in Jamaica, an island infamous for bloody anti-gay violence, participants remained onboard for two screenings: Scagliotti’s “Dangerous Living,” which explored the daily perils of life for LGBTQ people in Third World countries, and Bahamian filmmaker Kareem J. Mortimer’s moving 2011 drama, “Children of God,” set in his own country where homophobia still remains rampant. “It’s changing slowly, but unfortunately, murderers still get off because of ‘gay panic’ defenses,” Mortimer said. “A close friend of mine was killed violently (during filming) and I knew I had to confront that in the film.” Next year, Pride of the Ocean will sail from New York City, June 8 – 15, just days before the city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, considered the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. In addition to screenings and workshops, the program will also delve into the stories of LGBTQ veterans and first responders.

For more information, go to

“We’re here to discover what we can do as artists to preserve our history.”

John Scagliotti, Emmy-winning filmmaker and founder, Pride of the Ocean Film Festival

48  THE

Stonewall Archives Preserves History, Aids Filmmakers


Groundbreaking TV Series Now Available Online


n 1992, “In the Life,” a monthly LGBTQ-themed newsmagazine, was first broadcast on PBS affiliates across the country. For 20 years, the show would share the stories of both gay history and contemporary LGBTQ people and now more than 200 episodes and thousands more hours of interviews and other source material are now available for viewing online, thanks to the ONE Archive at the University of Southern California. John Scagliotti, the Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, recalled the stuggle to get the program broadcast during a period he termed “the new gay ‘90s,” when interest in gay history began to grew substantially. “I fought the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to get us on PBS,” he recalled while on the Pride of the Ocean film festival. “We were, for the first time, reaching the homes of so many 16- and 17-year-old kids who may have been struggling with their sexual orientation and could realize that they weren’t alone.” Many LGBTQ activists, entertainers, athletes and allies either hosted or were profiled in the episodes, including Lea DeLaria, Madonna, Gavin Newsom, Nancy Grace, RuPaul, Lily Tomlin, Angela Lansbury, Judy Shepard, Billie Jean King, Lady Bunny, Larry Kramer and Margaret Cho. Former executive producers John Catania and Charles Ignacious, now Wilton Manors residents, had been entrusted by the non-profit board that oversaw production of the series with finding a home for the “In the Life” library. “Over the years, thousands of donors have mailed in $10 and $20 contributions to fund the show,” said Catania. “The show belongs to the community and the community deserves access to it.” The ONE LGBTQ archives does not charge filmmakers and educational organizations licensing fees to use the material. Ignacious also pointed out that copyrights have also been bequeathed to the archives, eliminating a major challenge for filmmakers. “As someone who has fought for material all my life, it’s wonderful to know that young filmmakers can go to this and use it in their works. This is just the tip of the archives. There are films to be made with everything that we touch,” said Scagliotti. To view complete episodes, segments or unedited interviews from the “In the Life” collection, go to

tonewall National Museum and Archives executive director Chris Rudisill and director of programming and education Emery Grant were two of the representatives from preeminent LGBTQ archives and historical associations aboard the Pride of the Ocean film festival cruise in February. The team from Stonewall were joined by the executive directors of the GLBT Historical Association of San Francisco and the ONE Archives at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who discussed the challenges of preserving LGBTQ history and the opportunities to collaborate with filmmakers on their documentary projects. Stonewall actually got its start more than 40 years ago as a suicide crisis hotline with a collection of resources for LGBTQ people. A lending library was established with the collection fo gay-themed books assembled by a group of Florida Atlantic University students. In the late 1980s, the organization merged with the Southern Gay Archives and, today, offers more than 28,000 books and artifacts, explained Rudisill. In addition to national education symposiums, traveling exhibitions and signature collections of items related to Anita Bryant’s campaign to overturn a historic gay rights ordinance in Miami in 1977, Stonewall is also working to preserve the history of the Orlando Pulse shooting, collecting news coverage, oral histories and other items relevent to the 2016 attack on the gay nightclub. “We have had primarily a regional focus,” said Rudisill, “but we’re increasingly expanding into a national presence, especially with the Pulse initiative.” Likewise, the GLBT Historical Association showcases items related to the pioneering gay liberation movement in San Francisco, including many personal items belonging to Harvey Milk, the community activist who later became the first openlygay elected official in the country and was tragically gunned down by a fellow city supervisor. The association also recently accepted papers and belongings of Gilbert Baker, the creator of the rainbow flag, who died last year. The bulk of early items in the association’s archives were personal belongings of local gay men who died during the height of the AIDS epidemic. “Families coming to retrieve sons bodies and take care of their affairs had no interest or understanding of the importance of their personal materials, such as diaries,” said executive director Terry Beswick. And, the ONE Archive at USC is the oldest, originally founded in 1952. ONE’s holdings include 660 processed collections, 9000 posters, 4000 films and 21,000 videos, 30,000 books and more than 9000 works of art. Television and film producers frequently consult the archive when working on LGBTQ-themed features and shows, including “Transparent” and “When We Rise,” said operations manager Bud James Thomas. “All of us rely on a ‘community’ of historians,” said Stonewall’s Grant. “We just wish more people would make their donations while they are still alive, so we can capture their stories, too. That’s the real history.” THE

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MAYAN MAJESTY of Chichén Itzá // J.W. Arnold

Whether you’re arriving on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by land, air or sea, don’t miss the opportunity to explore one of the wonders of the Western Hemisphere, Chichén Itzá. Pre-Columbian Mayans began construction on the five-square-mile site between 750 and 900 A.D. The famous 98-foot tall Temple of Kukulkan (also called “El Castillo”) still towers over the Great Ball Court, El Mercado, Temple of Warriors, Wall of Skulls and other structures. Chichén Itzá is believed to have been the largest Mayan city with as many as 50,000 residents. The complex is now maintained by the Mexican government and visited by more than 2 million people each year. Chichén Itzá is a 90-minute drive from Mérida, the colonial city that is popular with LGBTQ visitors, and about a four-hour trip (including ferry to mainland*) each way for cruise passengers docking in Cozumel. Admission is free, but guests must pay an US$8 fee to take photographs or video on the grounds. Plan your trip at

For centuries, Chichén Itzá was virtually forgotten, hidden by the dense Yucatan jungle, as revealed in this 1860 photograph. Photo: Wikipedia

50  THE

* On March 2, 2018 the U.S. Dept. of State issued a warning to Americans visiting Cozumel to avoid travel on the local tourist ferries to the mainland due to safety concerns. For updates and more information, visit

Both Mayans and Toltécs lived in Chichén Itzá and the Temple of Warriors features hundreds of columns, an architectural feature unique to the Toltéc structures.

The ominous Wall of Skulls is where the disembodied skulls of the sacrificed were displayed, to the horror of Spanish conquistadores.

Maidens were sacrificed in the cenotes, massive sink holes filled by underground springs. Swimmming is allowed in some where human remains have not been discovered.

Fierce athletic games were played on the Great Ball Court. Ironically, it was the captain of the victorious team—and not the loser—who was then sacrificed in tribute to the gods, a tremendous honor.


 51

DESTINATION London, England // J.W. Arnold


Tea for two and two for tea…

Makes 10–12 scones


fternoon tea time is as revered on the British Isles as the Queen herself. Susan Cohen’s updated and expanded second edition, “London’s Afternoon Teas: A Guide to the Most Exquisite Tea Venues in London,” offers a guide to both traditional and trendy tea rooms in the United Kingdom’s capital. Cohen’s book highlights 50 of the best hotels, restaurants and tea houses, punctuated by artful photographs, tips, history and popular recipes, so you’ll be prepared when you arrive in London.

Ingredients 8 oz. self-rising flour, extra for dusting pinch of salt 2 oz. cold butter, cut into cubes 1 oz. fine sugar 5 fl. oz. milk

Claridge’s Brook Street

Sanctum Soho Hotel 20 Warwick Place

The Ritz 150 Piccadilly

“Art deco fans will be in seventh heaven in Claridge’s, for it is a jewel of a hotel, and owes much of its splendour to the designer Basil Ionides, a 1920s pioneer of the movement.”

“Other than a steaming pot of tea, there is absolutely nothing traditional about the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea...followed by a tankard of Jack Daniels’ Gentleman’s Jack.”

“There are 17 splendid varieties of leaf tea to choose from, each served in an elegant silver teapot, and for that extra special celebration, a glass of the Ritz’s own champagne.”

52  THE

Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 2. Lightly dust a baking tray with flour.Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Using your fingertips, lightly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and the milk and lightly mix until just combined. 3. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using the palm of your hand, flatten out the dough out until it is about 1 inch thick. Cut out 10–12 scones using a 2-inch cutter. 4. Place the scones on to the baking tray and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until the scones are golden-brown and well-risen. Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool. 5. Serve the scones with clotted cream and your favorite jam.

DATEBOOK Gay Pride // J.W. Arnold


The Miami Beach Gay Pride parade attracts more than 1 million people to iconic Ocean Drive each April.

If you’re one of those people who need a reason to take a vacation, then we have a good one: Celebrate Pride. Head to one of these upcoming Pride festivals and explore the vibrant LGBTQ communities that call these cities home. Miami Beach April 2 – 8 Phoenix April 8 Dallas April 27 Tokyo, Japan April 27 – May 7 Raleigh May 5 Long Beach May 19 – 20 Salt Lake City May 30 – June 3 Kansas City June 1 – 3 Sonoma June 1 – 3 Niagara Falls June 2 – 9 Brooklyn June 3 – 9 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 3 São Paulo, Brazil June 3 Tel Aviv, Israel June 3 – 10 Key West June 6 – 10 Washington, D.C. June 7 – 10 Edmonton, Canada June 8 – 17 New Orleans June 8 – 10 Portland June 8 – 17 Shanghai, China June 8 – 18 Los Angeles June 9 – 10 Albuquerque June 9

54  THE

Rome, Italy June 9 Philadelphia June 10 Ibiza, Spain June 13 – 16 Denver June 16 – 17 Baltimore June 16 Wilton Manors June 16 Chicago June 17 – 25 Dublin, Ireland June 21 – 30 St. Louis June 22 – 24 Toronto, Canada June 22 – 24 San Francisco June 23 – 24 St. Petersburg (Fla.) June 23 – 24 Nashville June 23 – 24 Barcelona, Spain June 23 – 30 Cincinnati June 23 Minneapolis/St. Paul June 24 New York City June 24 Seattle June 24 Madrid, Spain June 27 – July 1 Oslo, Norway June 27 – 30 Mexico City June 30 – July 5 London, England July 7

San Diego July 14 – 15 Winnipeg, Canada July 20 – 29 Frankfurt, Germany July 20 – 22 Stockholm, Sweden July 27 – Aug. 5 Berlin, Germany July 28 Amsterdam, Netherlands July 28 – Aug. 5 Vancouver, Canada Aug. 5 Prague, Czech Republic Aug. 6 – 12 Reykjavik, Iceland Aug. 7 –12 Montreal Aug. 9 – 19 Charlotte Aug. 10 – 19 Provincetown Aug. 11 – 17 Copenhagen, Denmark Aug. 13 – 19 Manchester, England Aug. 24 Austin Aug. 25 Dallas Sept. 15 – 16 Asheville Sept. 29 Montego Bay, Jamaica Oct. 8 – 18 Atlanta Oct. 13 – 14 Las Vegas Oct. 19 Savannah Oct. 25 – 27 Palm Springs Nov. 3


Cocktails inCans

// J.W. Arnold

Yes, cocktails in cans are a thing, but, if you’re expecting syrupy “malt beverages” wrapped in aluminum, you would be mistaken. These cocktails, laced wtih tequila, rum and gin, are perfect for a picnic or poolside sip. Priced at $16 - $20 for a four-pack, most are almost as cheap as the happy hour specials on Wilton Drive. We sampled several new cocktails and sparkling wines and here are the results:

Hochstadter’s Slow & Low

Novo Fogo Sparkling Caipirinha

House Wine Rosé Bubbles

Stella Rosa Black

Don’t let the tiny can deceive you, this whiskey cocktail packs a powerful punch.

This Brazilian cocktail offers a crisp, cistrus-infused alternative to the margarita.

Purchases of House Wine’s limited edition sparkling rosé benefit HRC. Drink for a cause!

This smooth and fruity red in a bottle-shaped can is also low alcohol at just 5%.

Half Seas Daiquiri

Half Seas Bramble

Half Seas Paloma

Fugu Spicy Bloody Mary

We’re not sure the bubbles work in this “daiquiri,” so you might want to break out a blender.

This British gin cocktail features a refreshing fruity taste with hints of herbs, too.

Finally, a tequila cocktail that won’t have you doing silly stunts after you down a couple.

Get the party started early with this brunch-ready Bloody Mary in a can.

56  THE



 57

Artist's spotlight

Girl Noticed Project Aims to

Shine a Light


on Female Accomplishments

local artist is using her work to highlight the accomplishment of women who make a positive impact on others. The artist, Lori Pratico, is also a nationally recognized muralist and portrait artist. Girl Noticed is a nationwide charcoal mural project aimed at bringing attention and awareness to the important role females play in society. “With our large expressive murals, and powerful message, we hope to empower women and help girls recognize their value. The murals are created in charcoal and while they are temporary, their messages are meant to be permanent.�

58 ď Ź THE

// Denise Royal

Artist's spotlight

“I originated the project after being part of a fundraiser for an organization called Girl Rising,” Pratico said. “It was through one of their stories of a young Haitian girl, who despite the many tragedies and adversities in her life believed her life had value and she was capable of rising above the low expectations of her country and family if just someone would notice her.” Continued on page 78 


 59

Artist's spotlight

60 ď Ź THE

Dining at Cafe Vico, a premier Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, is more than a delicious dinner...

It’s a lasting memory. 954.565.9681 1125 N. Federal Highway • Fort Lauderdale Lunch - Monday-Friday 11:30am-3:00pm Dinner - Sunday-Thursday 5:30 - 10:00pm • Friday & Saturday 5:30 - 11:00pm Happy hour 7 days a week 4 to 7pm • Live music from Tuesday through Saturday

Artist's spotlight

More information on the Girl Noticed project is available at Pratico continued: “I reflected on my own childhood and how although my challenges were very different that I too was a little girl that knew I was supposed to be more than what was expected of me, and it was the encouragement of just a handful of people in my life that helped nurture that belief. So I set out to do some noticing myself, and to use my artwork as the vehicle to do so.” The first Girl Noticed mural was created in Hollywood, Florida back in 2015. “It is wonderful to see communities in different states come together to witness this project,” Pratico said.

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