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What A Year It’s Been





Volume 5 Issue 12 COVER 2017: WHAT A YEAR IT’S BEEN





The Standard Magazine PO Box 2074, Palm Springs, CA 92263 760.831.4869 Nino Eilets Publisher Luciano McNulty Editor Maya Kalabic Art Director PHOTOGRAPHER David A. Lee

We would like to take this time to wish all of our readers, supporters and partners a safe and very happy holiday season. We are so grateful for your support that has allowed us to continue to be a successful publication; we could not have done it without you. Also a huge thanks to our great team of writers, our incredibly awesome Art Director, wonderful photographer and of course our advertisers. We look forward to providing you with great editorial, LGBTQ news, views and perspectives as well as fun and informative features as we move forward.

CONTRIBUTORS Chris Astrala, Phil Bessemer, Mona Elyafi, Dann Foley, Chris Heritage, Jill Langham, Lee Lynch, Joe McCormack, James Murphy, Terri Schlichenmeyer, Adam Sinicki & Tyler White EDITORIAL CREDITS :

BrandPoint, Huffington Post, LGBTQ Nation & Project Publicity The Standard Magazine is published monthly. Opinions expressed are not necessarily the opinions of the Standard or its staff, advertisers or readers with exception of editorials. Publication of the name or photograph of any person, business or organization in articles or advertising in the Standard is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation of such

All the Best for a Very Happy New Year

person, business or organization. The Standard disclaims any responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Advertising rates are subject to change without notice. The Standard reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to reject any advertisement for any reason including, but not limited to poor taste. It is the policy of The Standard that we only publish letters to the editor that are signed by the author and verifiable by phone number. We can reserve the right of anonymity upon request. The letters need to be original, in good taste and free of libel as well as edited for clarity and grammar. Letters are subject to editing by The Standard that also reserves the right to decline print. Please forward your letters to: The views expressed is not necessarily those of The Standard. Copyright

The views and opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Standard Magazine staff, and/or any/all contributors to this publication.

2013. All rights reserved. No portion of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the expressed consent of the publisher.



JANUARY China issues its first-ever nationwide red alert for smog. A chronic problem, air pollution gets so bad in Beijing and other cities across northern and central China that authorities are forced to delay flights and close highways. Twenty-four cities are currently on red alert for smog, while an additional 21 are on orange alert.


A Year


FEBRUARY The House of Commons debates and votes on the legal implementation of the UK’s exit from the European Union, which passed a public referendum prior. Prime Minister Theresa May leads the charge in favor of Brexit, and overcomes the opposition in a vote of 498-114. There are more votes and repeat readings that must follow, as well as passage in the House of Lords, but this marks the effective beginning of the country’s separation from the EU. Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, the commemoration of a 65-year reign. The 90-year-old queen did not make an public remarks about the event herself, choosing instead to go about her duties as normal, but the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery staged a 41-gun salute in her honor.


MARCH President Donald Trump accuses his predecessor Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the election as a means of sabotaging the president’s campaign. The intelligence committee is quick to declare that there is no evidence of such surveillance occurring. The House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Devin Nunes, R-Calif., affirms this initial assessment. Federal judge blocks the Trump Administration’s order on immigration. District Judge Derrick Watson responds to a lawsuit from the state of Hawaii by suspending the administration’s new order. Hawaii claims that the ban discriminates against Muslims, who are subject to equal protection under the law of the United States. Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin argues that this infringes of the rights of the state and its citizens. Chuck Berry, the arguable founder of rock and roll music, dies at the age of 90. Berry was a pioneer in American music, introducing musical elements and techniques that would define generations of rock music to follow. His music was immensely valuable in bridging the cultural gap between Americans of different races; in a 1972 interview with CBS, Berry said, “ The cultures begin to come together, and you begin to see one another’s vein of life, then the music came together.”

APRIL The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago rules that LGBT citizens are protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The case in question came from a community college teacher, self-identified as lesbian, who sued the college with claims that she was denied full-time employment on the basis of her orientation. This ruling comes at a time when many states are seeing debates about extending workplace protections to LGBT people.

President Trump signs an executive order that would revoke or negate over a half dozen orders from the Obama administration dealing with the issue of climate change. Most notably, the current President removes restrictions on the use and disposal of coal; in his own words, the President wants to end the “job-killing regulations” and the “war on coal.” Environmental activists condemn the order, saying it will lead to serious pollution issues.

Alaska elects its first openly LGBT politicians in the city of Anchorage. Felix Rivera and Christopher Constant are voted into the Anchorage Assembly. Felix Rivera is also the city’s only non-white representative, despite Anchorage being the most ethnically diverse city in the US. Their election makes a landmark out of what is otherwise a lackluster vote; of the voting population in Alaska’s largest city, turnout is only around twenty percent.



JUNE Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and four others are shot at a practice for the Congressional Baseball game. The shooter, a former volunteer for Bernie Sanders’s campaign, is politically motivated. Many high profile Democrats, especially Sanders, condemn the shooting, and offer words of support for the wounded Scalise.

MAY FBI Director, James Comey is fired by President Trump. Comey, who previously led the investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, is investigating potential Russian involvement in the Trump campaign at the time of his firing. This is not the official reasoning for his firing, but critics are quick to draw connections to the Watergate scandal, which was the last time a president fired the lead investigator in a case against them. Imprisoned Army Private Chelsea Manning is released after having her sentence commuted by then-President Obama at the end of his term. Manning was originally serving a 35-year term for leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and about the state of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, as well as releasing over 200,000 diplomatic cables. Manning made further headlines after coming out to the public as transgender following her court-martial. Terrorist target an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Police rush to respond to explosions at Manchester Arena after an explosive device is set off among the crowd. The blast leaves over twenty dead, and many more injured. The primary suspect is Salman Abedi, a Manchester citizen born to Libyan immigrant parents. Taiwanese LGBT rights supporters pour out in celebration of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. This ruling may pave the way for full legal recognition of non-traditional unions, granting access to previously denied benefits and legal protections. If same-sex marriage is legalized in Taiwan, it will become the first Asian country to do so.


JULY A photo is recovered from the National Archives that suggests Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan may have survived their final flight. The supposedly undoctored photo offers evidence that the Japanese in the Marshall Islands may have held the two captive. Many experts remain dubious of this argument, however, and do not consider the photo sufficiently compelling evidence.

JULY White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announces his imminent resignation following Donald Trump’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci to the position of Communications Director. Spicer has been one of Trump’s most prominent staff members, and his loss comes as a surprise to many. President Trump sends out a tweet (apparently without consulting the Joint Chiefs of Staff) saying that he intends to completely bar transgender Americans from military service. The president claims that the inclusion of trans people into the military will cost too much in health care and reduce battle-readiness. Trans people were only recently allowed to serve openly, following a long investigation into the potential costs.

AUGUST President Trump announces a new immigration plan. The RAISE Act, drafted with the support of Tom Cotton and David Perdue, would prioritize skilled workers for acceptance into the U.S. The current system favors immigrants with familial ties in the country. The Act would curtail legal immigration into the United States by nearly one half each year. Critics call the act unfairly biased, and point out that immigration is responsible for maintaining the U.S. population against declining birth rates. Martin Shkreli is convicted of three counts of fraud in federal court. The former pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager became infamous in the United States after he was accused of price gouging necessary and life-saving medication for people with HIV. He

gained further notoriety after many of his personal communications were leaked to the public. The 34-year-old faces up to 20 years in prison, though he does not yet have a sentencing date. He remains free on bail, set at five million dollars. A loose coalition of the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazi organizations hold a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally’s main focus is to protest the removal of a state honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee. When counter-protesters arrive, one of the white supremacists drives his car into the crowd, killing one woman and injuring several more. Following the violence, many cities and states begin removing Confederate memorials immediately. When pressed for a statement, President Trump claims that people “on both sides” share blame for the violence. Global leaders, including strange bedfellows Benjamin Netanyahu and Ali Khamenei, decry the actions of the rally organizers, and many target the President’s remarks. Roughly one month after President Trump declared a ban on trans citizens serving in the military, Defense Secretary Mattis announces that transgender troops will retain their ranks and duties while the Department investigates the combat-readiness of the Armed Forces. President Trump, in spite of previous investigations suggesting otherwise, claimed that trans service members negatively impacted the military’s budget and combat effectiveness. Many other NATO members allow open service by trans soldiers.



SEPTEMBER Hurricane Maria was the tenth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record. It is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica, and caused catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.

OCTOBER In a memo to all federal prosecutors, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that a 1964 federal civil rights law does not protect transgender workers from employment discrimination and the department will take this new position in all “pending and future matters.”

NOVEMBER Virginia voters elect the state’s first openly transgender candidate to the Virginia House of Delegates. Danica Roem unseats incumbent delegate Bob Marshall, who had been elected thirteen times over 26 years. Roem becomes the first openly transgender candidate elected to a state legislature in American history. NOVEMBER 61.6% of voters in Australia voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage. The Senate has been presented with a bill to change the law that could potentially amend the law. Follow up: on November 29, the Australian Senate passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The vote was passed 43-12, after an overwhelming amount of people expressed their support in a recent survey.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered an official apology for his country’s past persecution of LGBTQ public servants on Tuesday. The address delivered in the House of Commons comes just over a week after Trudeau announced he would apologize for Canada’s dehumanizing treatment of LGBTQ service members and other government employees throughout the second half of the 20th century.













For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit



These technologies all have staying power. They will affect the economy and our politics, improve medicine, or influence our culture. Some are unfolding now, others will take a decade or more to develop. But you should know about all of them right now.

thousands of dollars to build a system that that replicated a 360 experience. Today, you can grab a good 360-degree camera for under $500. The key is using the technology in a way that doesn’t bore your friends and family. Availability: Now

REVERSING PARALYSIS Scientists are making remarkable progress at using brain implants to restore the freedom of movement that spinal cord injuries take away. In recent years, lab animals and a few people have controlled computer cursors or robotic arms with their thoughts, thanks to a brain implant wired to machines. Now researchers are taking a significant next step toward reversing paralysis once and for all. They are wirelessly connecting the brain-reading technology directly to electrical stimulators on the body, creating a “neural bypass” so that people’s thoughts can again move their limbs. Availability: 10 to 15 years

HOT SOLAR CELLS By converting heat to focused beams of light, a new solar device could create cheap and continuous power. A team of MIT scientists has built a different sort of solar energy device that uses inventive engineering and advances in materials science to capture far more of the sun’s energy. The trick is to first turn sunlight into heat and then convert it back into light, but now focused within the spectrum that solar cells can use. Availability: 10 to 15 years

PAYING WITH YOUR FACE Face-detecting systems in China now authorize payments, provide access to facilities, and track down criminals. Will other countries follow? Over the past few years, computers have become incredibly good at recognizing faces, and the technology is expanding quickly in China in the interest of both surveillance and convenience. Face recognition might transform everything from policing to the way people interact every day with banks, stores, and transportation services. Availability: Now 360-DEGREE CAMERAS FOR EVERYONE People experience the world in 360 degrees -- now consumer cameras can too. Until recently, that wasn’t the case: it used to cost

A MAP OF EVERY HUMAN CELL TYPE This could reveal “a sophisticated new model of biology” that speeds the search for drugs. Research suggests that there are about 300 cell variations but the “true figure is undoubtedly larger. ”This will allow discovery of new cell types and accelerate testing of new drugs. Availability: 5 years SELF-DRIVING TRUCKS We’ve heard lots about self-driving cars – but trucks? One idea is for these future trucks to drive autonomously on long highway stretches when drivers might not be alert. Broader application is convoys that “platoon” together to cut down on wind drag and save on fuel costs. Availability: 5 to 10 years Courtesy of MIT Tech

DECEMBER 2017 13



Goth queen Sharon Needles and her merry gaggle of gals from RuPaul’s Drag Race are spreading cheers and queers throughout the world this holiday season in their hilarious, new comedy musical show, “Christmas Queens.” Produced by Voss Events in collaboration with Producer Entertainment Group, the tour plays LA’s Ace Theatre on Friday, December 22. Michelle Visage will host with performances by Manila Luzon, Ginger Minj, Jinkx Monsoon, Phi Phi O’Hara, Peppermint, Thorgy Thor, Willam, Ivy Winters, and of course, the jolly Needles. “Christmas is the most magical time of year,” says Ginger Minj. “I love to spread marshmallows and gumdrops all over my bedroom walls so I feel like I’m living in a real ginger bread house.” “And I love sucking on a good peppermint stick,” says season 9 runner-up Peppermint. One thing is certain: you won’t find this unique combination of talent, production and fan interaction with any other Christmas show out there. The queens are festive with a capitol F. Sharon Needles explains more. We don’t usually associate Goth with a Christmas show. Sharon Needles: Have you never seen The Nightmare before Christmas? Touché. So what will you be bringing to “Christmas Queens?” Sharon Needles: I will be bringing the dark, depressive side of the holidays. You know the part people refuse to talk about, kinda like your drunk aunt. Are you feeling very merry this year, Sharon? Sharon Needles: I do feel merry! Why, do I not look it? What will you remember most about 2017? Sharon Needles: I think my favorite moment this year was making my new album “Battle Axe.” Any lowlights? Sharon Needles: Plenty! Like when I ran out of highlight for a show. Say that ten times fast when drunk and on meth.


What do the Christmas holidays mean to you? Sharon Needles: I enjoy the off time and seeing loved ones. I’m always traveling, you know. Where will you spend the holidays? Sharon Needles: Home with family, of course! But first you’ll be on a tour bus with Ginger, Peppermint, Ivy Winters and all the other Christmas Queens! Sharon Needles: Oh yes. The tour bus is always such fun. We all gather round to sing sweet songs like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” while doing a circle jerk. Really? Sharon Needles: No, but we make-up songs and enjoy one another’s company. OK, serious question time. Santa Claus, Jesus, Yukon Cornelius: whom would you marry, date and dump? Sharon Needles: I’m not sure, but that sure sounds like a great orgy. I think all sound like great sugar daddies. Tickets for the Christmas Queens WORLD TOUR are available at

DECEMBER 2017 15

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In the 1960’s, when I was a 19-year-old college student visiting New York for the first time from California, I stayed with an older man in a townhouse in a fashionable part of the city. We had met in a bar in San Francisco. He invited me to look him up when I came to New York —and I knew that sex would be expected in return for his hospitality. What I didn’t know was that it would be sudden, violent and coerced. No matter how physically strong I was at 19, being in the big city far from home for the first time made me feel powerless. I was surprised and felt defenseless at a profound level. I subsequently learned that I was not this man’s only victim. He and his circle of influential friends regularly preyed upon young men and they proudly shared their conquests. But there was also an accepted power dynamic where those with wealth, power and influence played benefactor and provided safety to younger gay men who wanted access to that wealth, power and influence. In those days, sex between older and younger gay men was not uncommon. It was often an unspoken mutual understanding for perceived mutual benefit – between a coach and an athlete, a talent manager and an aspiring actor, or a business executive and an ambitious novice. When it was consensual, it was accepted, for good or ill, as a norm of the gay subculture. Same in the straight world: if an older successful man bought a younger aspiring woman dinner, sex was often the expected nightcap. There is hardly a person who came of age in the ‘60’s, ‘70’s or ‘80’s who doesn’t have such a story. So to pretend that we are surprised, appalled or shocked today over sexual harassment allegations against celebrities is disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst. The question should be not did it occur, but were both parties of legal age, was it consensual, and did the sexual advances stop when the attentions were no longer welcomed? Did the instigator turn from pursuer into predator? This is the key. Rape or sex with a minor is inexcusable—full stop. In my case, it wasn’t easy for many years to forgive my assailant,

but anger and hatred corrode the soul of the hater while seldom affecting the perpetrator. There are many sexual encounters between older and younger men that are consensual. Some even turn into relationships. There was a 30-year difference, for instance, between Christopher Isherwood and his partner of three decades, the successful portrait artist Don Bachardy. It may be difficult to judge attitudes and degree of consent in the context of the times. But we also should not be so quick to accept every accusation as irrefutable proof of sexual harassment or pedophilia with automatic jail time or automatic public condemnation. And as fallible human beings, it’s important that we distinguish between real sexual abuse and the widespread exploration several decades ago of gay sexual liberation.

Joe McCormack is the managing partner of McCormack + Kristel, Executive Search Consultants for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, specializing in diversity recruiting.

DECEMBER 2017 17



DORKY DYKES BY LEE LYNCH I suppose I’m at my dorkiest about my stuffed animals. I have my first teddy bear, Buzz. I have the two cats Carol from Connecticut sent: Elga Wasserman (after my first attorney) and the appealingly homely Samo. Of course, I’ve kept the last one my mother gave me, a high femme rabbit in an extraordinary Easter bonnet who I may finally name. I’m thinking: Karin Kallmaker. It’s Patty the Publisher’s fault. I never thought of myself as dorky until she told me the ways she’s dorky. Not that there’s anything wrong with a grown person traveling around North America and Western Europe to visit Hard Rock Cafes for the sole purpose of purchasing empty, Café branded beer steins. This could be a whole new industry: Dorky Travel Destinations Unlimited. Bigger than Olivia, bigger than RSVP, bigger than Royal Caribbean and Holland America combined. I have no fear of becoming a hoarder, and no shame. It’s a requirement of dorkiness to feel no shame. The dawn of dorky came early for me. I have not been able to discard a post card since I was an adolescent, a time when I should have been at the peak of coolness. The cards have been sitting useless in gaudy cookie tins for decades, but recently, my sweetheart came upon a sweetheart deal: free card racks from a bookstore going out of business. Yes, I married another semi-pro dork. Postcards are one of the common passions that brought us together. A 1950’s giveaway postcard of a boring turquoise and pink motel will have us beyond ourselves with excitement. If the motel’s neon sign is included, that’s a definite bonus: the Sea Breeze Motel, the Hillcrest, the Silver Moon, the Summit, the Oasis—all time-honored humdrum names glamorized by neon. Dorkiest Confession: I loved the film “Napoleon Dynamite.” I even possess Napoleon Dynamite, The Complete Quote Book. In mint condition. Jealous? I’ll share a Dynamite quote: “I like your sleeves. They’re real big.” Some of our kind friends send postcards from faraway places; Brussels, Orkney, Barcelona, Devon. When my sweetheart and I travel, which mostly means local jaunts, we might stumble on a town so small it doesn’t have a traffic light, a flashing yellow light, or a stop sign, but maybe it has a handwritten poster board advertising an EVENT. Yes, naturally we dressed up our late dog, Beastie. We wouldn’t be very dorky if we hadn’t. She had a jester’s hat, antlers, a faux shearlinglined black jacket, and a t-shirt identifying her as a security guard. Yes indeed, I commissioned a portrait of Bea after she died. It was for


my sweetheart, who may have loved little Bea more than she does me. Further dorkiness: because we’re so well accepted in our heavily non-gay community, we not only attend and work at, but enjoy the monthly potlucks, ladies’ lunches, ice cream socials, men’s breakfasts, and other shockingly fun activities. If the neighbors could only have seen me as a teenager in butch drag, underage, smoking, drinking, dancing at The Sea Colony—well, I guess they all have pasts too. They certainly know how to enjoy dorkiness. My sweetheart did me one better. Our first potluck cemented her in the community forever when she joined in on the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time since high school. Come the winter holidays, she was over the moon singing Christmas carols with the neighbors who, like true dorks, notice these things. When Patty the Publisher enlightened me about my true nature, she also owned up to a collection of shot glasses. She doesn’t drink. Now that’s dorky. I didn’t admit to decades of longing for one of those hokey KittyKat clocks with moving eyes and tail. My sweetheart gave me one a couple of years ago. True dork-love. “There’s no fear when you’re having fun,” wrote mystery writer Will Thomas. There’s plenty to fear in today’s world. The antidote? Make time to watch “Jeopardy” daily, play Mahjong every other Tuesday, visit the floral exhibit at the county fair. Be your inner dorky queer. It’s as okay to do what we love as it is to love who we love. But hands off my Napoleon Dynamite book and Karin the high femme rabbit.

DECEMBER 2017 19


We all know it is common as one year ends and another is about to begin to take stock of the different aspects of our lives. In this issue of The Standard, you will find wise and varied advice on how to live a better life in the New Year. As you know, it is my job to help you live a more beautiful, comfortable and stylish life through creative and meaningful choices. To be honest, I think I get to have the most fun and you get the least painful advice in this issue!

After a busy holiday season wanting to clean and organize our homes is a natural reaction. Just like eating better and exercising are promises we make ourselves at this time of year, creating a home that is both beautiful and personal are achievable goals. The process is the same as when you want to change other aspects of your life, you make a decision and then you go about the execution. I want to give you some helpful advice and easy tips to help you focus on your goal and making it a reality.

Organization… Let It Go! • Be it a drawer, a closet or a storage area, start by emptying the space. Clean the area first then start reloading. Let the clutter go. • Items which you have not used/worn or reached for in the last 12 to 16 months should be discarded. I am being generous with the time line here so, bite the bullet and let them go. • If it doesn’t fit or is waiting for mending or tailoring that is never going to happen, let it go. • If something no longer fits your newfound focus or style, let it go. • If you received a gift you don’t like or want, you don’t have to live with it. Let it go. • I listen to client’s stories of living with bad choices all day long, “I don’t care” or, “it doesn’t matter” are the most offensive ones to me. Let it go!

Being a professional designer doesn’t mean my home is always perfect. On the contrary, I am always reevaluating and editing my spaces. Yes, I have lived with things I don’t like, and I have messy closets and drawers too. It may be my job to help you live well but, it still takes some effort and having the helping hand of a professional is always a good thing.

Once you have cleaned out those spaces it is actually easier to focus and move forward with the fun and wildly satisfying decorative aspect of your home and life. Finding your own style is a personal journey and so I always stress to my clients that “taste” is subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The choices you make, if they are done with conviction, will always be right if they are right for you.

So where do you begin? With clients, I start in their homes in the same way I attack my own, with a two-pronged approach, the organizational and the decorative. Lets begin with organization. This one is easy to talk about but more daunting in real life. Here are some tips to get you moving in the right direction.

Decorative…Make It Your Own! • The things you live with should be those things that make you happy. Choose the things you love. Make it your own. • Color is the proverbial “drum I beat” with clients on a daily basis. In a world full of homogenized retail, color can be the


fastest and easiest way to discover your personality. Make it your own. • Try rearranging your existing furniture and don’t hesitate to let go of pieces that no longer fit your needs. Move pieces from one room to another. Take your existing rooms and make them your own. • Like paint, fabric can make a major change to a room. Start easy with new throw pillows in a fresh color and/or pattern. It’s easy to visually tell your story at home with meaningful choices of the things you live with. Make your home your story. Make it your own.

The ideas I have shared with you may seem quite simple because they are. The truth is, living a beautiful, stylish and comfortable life is not as hard as it seems. I have a job not because I have better taste than anyone else. I have a career because I know how to use my creativity to help facilitate and execute change and realize my clients’ personal style. One of my favorite sayings at work is, “This isn’t brain surgery, it’s decorating. This is an organic process. We feel our way through and remain open to the possibilities.” It is my way of saying, it’s ok to make mistakes and make adjustments along the way. My job is to help my clients avoid costly mistakes and to focus their efforts to discover who they are in the way they live. Take control of your life through the way you live. Let go of the things that don’t tell your story and make your home your own! Live Well.

DECEMBER 2017 21



Finally – your holiday shopping is DONE.

Well, except for… um, and for…. and okay, you’re not really done. Everybody, you included, has that one certain person on the gift list who’s hard to buy for and another certain person who’s really fussy, and a Grandma who has everything. You know who they are, so see if some of these great books might be matches for your list, or books to reward you, Holiday Shopper, at the end of a long, stressful day.

it’s pocket-sized and lightweight, perfect for when there’s just not a lotta room left in the backpack. Pair it up with “Vacation on Location: Midwest” by Joey Green, so your giftee can see where his favorite movies (and scenes) were filmed in the Midwest, and what else is interesting nearby. The foodie who has every cookbook under the sun (or so it seems) will enjoy unwrapping “The Taste of Empire” by Lizzie Collingham. It’s a book about how the history of food in Great Britain has shaped the way the world eats.

Mystery fans who know their A-B-Cs obviously know Sue Grafton. This year’s Kinsey Millhone mystery, “Y is for Yesterday” begins with a nearly-40-year-old crime and a former criminal who may not be so “former” after all. Wrap this book up for the biggest smile next to the tree. Also look for “Odd Child Out” by Gilly Macmillan. It’s the story of two best friends and one possible murder.

If your giftee loves to people-watch or know what makes us tick, look at “Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome” by Ty Tashiro, PhD. It’s a book that examines why we put our feet in our mouths so often. Also peek at “The Stress Test” by Ian Robertson, PhD., which is about how pressure actually makes us better, more productive people.

The Stars-in-Her-Eyes romantic on your list will love getting “How to Fall in Love with Anyone” by Mandy Len Catron. Based on a study and an essay, it’s the story of an audacious experiment and an examination on why we love the ones we do. Wrap it up with “Heartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire” by Carol Dyhouse. It’s a good look back at love and lust.

Everybody has a funnyman on their gift list, and “Now That’s Funny! By Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis is perfect for yours. It’s a great anthology of interviews with 24 of Hollywood’s best and funniest comedy writers for TV shows your comedian loves. He’ll read about how comedy is presented, what it takes to do it, and some of the most memorable moments on television. For the funnyman who also loves a good scare, scare up “The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History,” edited by Stephen Jones. With lots of illustrations and reproductions of movie posters, this gift will be Oscar-worthy.

For the traveler on your gift list, “The Wayfarer’s Handbook” by Even S. Rice will be a really nice stocking stuffer. This little book is filled with nuggets of suggestion, idea, tips, and facts. Best of all:


Doesn’t everybody have a sports nut on their holiday list? Yep, so why not give yours “The Stupidest Sports Book of All Time” by Kathryn & Ross Petras. This book is filled with funny, goofy, outlandish stats, stories, and stuff about football, baseball, basketball and more. Score!

The Child of the Sixties on your list will love opening “Joni: The Anthology,” edited by Barney Hoskyns. Filled with interviews, reviews, memories, and columns about Joni Mitchell, it will also put a smile on the face of anyone who loves music. Here’s a can’t-miss gift for your movie buff: “Makeup Man” by Michael Westmore with Jake Page, foreword by Patrick Stewart. Who’s behind the mask, the monster, and the many ways that movie and TV actors become who they portray? Find out in this lively, photo-filled book If your giftee is fascinated with genealogy and family history, then “The Song and the Silence” by Yvette Johnson will make a great gift. It’s the story of a man who dared to tell the truth about racism, and his granddaughter, who dared to find out how that led to tragedy. If there’s someone on your list this year who’s facing a caregiving situation with an elder, “A Loving Approach to Dementia Care” by Laura Wayman may help. It’s not a book on medicine, though; it’s more of a book on having a relationship that’s meaningful with someone who can’t quite connect. Nobody wants to think bad thoughts around this time of year, but death happens. If it does, look into “Dying: A Memoir” by Cory Taylor” and “Words at the Threshold” What We Say as We’re Nearing Death” by Lisa Smartt. Both these books are sensitive and appropriate, it it’s a not-so-happy holiday.

If there’s someone on your list who loves true-life tales, look for “Granite Mountain” by Brendan McDonough (with Stephan Talty). It’s the story of one man’s inner battle to leave his addiction behind, his new life, and his “brothers,” the brave men who died in an Arizona firestorm.

LBGT Authors / Issues The love – and troubles – between mother and son is at the heart of “Outside is the Ocean” by Matthew Lansburgh, a new short story collection that has a common arc. It’s about a mother with a troubled life, who believes her gay son has forgotten her. It’s about family, and love. Pair it with “Trans Gendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction,” edited by Bogi Takacs. It’s full of collected tales of fantasy, horror, and just plain weirdness. Why do we even need genders? If that’s a question your giftee asks often, then look for “Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?” by Heath Fogg Davis. This book takes a good look at why we have genders and the four particular places in everyday life where we should think about abolishing any mention of differences.

Yes, there’s an animal lover on your gift list, and you can’t find a better gift than “Talking to Animals” by Jon Katz. It’s a look at how we can better communicate with our pets and with wildlife, and it’s part of an ongoing story of Katz’s farm and his beloved animals. And now the housekeeping: some of these titles may not be available, or you might have to order them. Release dates change, titles change, and if that’s confusing or if you need more ideas, be sure to ASK the friendly, all-knowing, super-intelligent booksellers. There’s actually a good reason they’re standing in your local bookstore (hint: it’s to help you finish your shopping!) Season’s Readings!

DECEMBER 2017 23

Joyful Traditions

December 15-17, 2017 Palm Springs Art Museum Annenberg Theater A festive collection featuring all that is glorious with family and friends during the holidays.


Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock

April 6-8, 2018

Palm Springs Art Museum Annenberg Theater All the magic and excitement of the Summer of Love along with the intensity and life-changing experience of Woodstock.

Season Tickets: 24 THESTANDARDPS.COM

DECEMBER 2017 25




Veteran filmmaker, Nicole Conn is pleased to announce the cast of her latest endeavor, “Nesting Doll” a story about three broken women whose lives intersect at a lakeside community and who are forever changed through their shared love of a boy with special needs. Celebrated and beloved Australian actress, Zoe Ventoura (Packed to the Rafters) has signed on for the lead, McKenzie De Ridder. “I wanted to be part of Nesting Doll from the moment I read Nicole’s script, which I absolutely loved. She has created a compelling world filled with beautifully layered characters and stories.” Her co-star is Kayla Radomski of “So You Think You Can Dance” fame. She too had “fallen in love” with the story several years ago and signed on for the role of Samantha. Veteran filmmaker, Nicole Conn is known not only for having paved the way for lesbian themed cinema with her cult classic, “Claire of the Moon” – celebrating its milestone 25th Anniversary in 2018 - but also



for her acclaimed features Elena Undone (which boasts the longest screen kiss in cinema history) and A Perfect Ending. The film is an homage to Conn’s daughter and, in particular, her son who is highly special needs and medically fragile. He was the focus of “little man” which earned Conn 12 Best Documentary Awards, along with the prestigious Cedar Sinai’s Courageous Beginnings Award. “I was told for years people don’t want to see a story about a special needs character. That it was a ‘downer’ ” says Conn. “It enraged me, and is precisely the reason why we need more characters with special needs played by actors with special needs.” Enter spunky 11 year-old Cale Ferrin. Ferrin was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia, a rare genetic disease that can lead to bone marrow failure and cancer and is often marked by congenital defects and short stature. “His energy is so magical that when you hug Cale, it feels like

you are hugging God,” Conn states enthusiastically. “Nesting Doll” marks Ferrin’s acting debut. Joining the stellar cast are Bruce Davison, French Stewart (3rd Rock From the Sun), Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva), Lesley Nicol, Kay Lenz, Wally Kurth and Gaby Christian. Gabrielle Baba-Conn (Conn’s real life daughter) is also making her feature debut. A group known as the “Silver Tribe” – eleven women from all over the world who are Conn’s dear friends and loyalists, are teaming up with the multiple award-winning filmmaker behind the scenes to bring this film to the international audience that it deserves. “I always say I’m the luckiest lesbian alive!” Nicole Conn.

Facebook: Twitter: (@nicoleconn) Instagram: (@nicoleconnfilms)

DECEMBER 2017 27



TOUCAN’S TIKI LOUNGE Bring in the New Year with a tropical flare. Toucan’s is the place to be. Champagne toast at midnight. Get your tickets at www. HUNTERS PALM SPRINGS The best dance club in the desert is throwing a spectacular New Year’s Eve bash, no cover, Champagne bottle specials, free champagne toast and of course a balloon drop at midnight. www. TRIO Trio is open New Year’s Eve for Brunch, 3 Dinner Seatings at 5:30, 7:30 & 9:30 and a Party at The Bar! Midnight balloon drop


and party favors. Starting at 10pm party at the bar. Reserve early NEW YEAR’S EVE BLOCK PARTY AT SPA RESORT CASINO This crowd-pleasing community event makes the count down til’ midnight a family affair. The carnival-like event features local restaurant and merchandise vendors, a kid’s zone, bar garden, and DJ’s to keep the party hopping. And who can resist a performance by Village People. So sharpen your YMCA skills before the real fireworks go off as the clock strikes midnight. Spa Resort Casino, 401 E. Amado, Road, Palm Springs, 888-999-1995, HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS AT AGUA CALIENTE CASINO If the “Heart of Rock and Roll” is in your blood, then your


New Year’s Eve plans are set. Take in the sounds and beats of the Grammy Award winning band, Huey Lewis and The News. With hits like If This Is It, Workin’ For a Livin, The Power of Love and Back in Time, your future looks bright. Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Resort, 32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, 760-321-2000, MICHAEL HOLMES’ PURPLE ROOM SUPPER CLUB If swinging Sinatra style is on your agenda, New Year’s Eve at one of the Rat Pack’s favorite haunts is the place to be. Hob nob with the cool cats at this swanky supper club featuring three different prix fixe menus and three separate dinner times with live entertainment. At 5 and 7:30 p.m., Rose Mallet and Mark Kahny will perform for diners. At the 10 p.m. seating, dinner includes wine, unlimited champagne, and party favors with Diva Sharon Sills singing. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room Supper Club, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-322-4422, PARTY WITH BB AT THE HARD ROCK HOTEL PALM SPRINGS BB, the master party planner himself, is at it again with one of the hottest tickets in town for BB’s 33rd Annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party. Last year’s party attracted more than 3,000 people. This is one grand gathering with music and DJ’s spanning three floors and six entertainment stages. Multiple bars and bands will be spread throughout the dance club scene mingled with live performances. Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs,

PIE TOWN’S SUPERTEMPORAL SOUTHWESTERN SOCK HOP Transcend your New Year’s outlook with a mythically kitsch and ultra modern take on yesteryear’s dance sock hop craze. Poodle skirts and greasers meet extra-terrestrials? This is the desert after all, and the event buzz simply signals, “It’s gonna get weird.” This two day “takeover” will be a “ceremonial” time and space celebration with outof-this-world DJ sets and a New Year’s Eve party showcasing a live performance by YACHT and X.X.T. Ace Hotel & Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-325-9900, THE TROPICALE RESTAURANT Energetic revelers will love the atmosphere at one of Palm Springs’ most popular scenes. Decorations will adorn this hip hot spot to set the tone for a sumptuous three-course prix fixe menu packed with mouthwatering dishes. Then head next door to The Copa for dancing and DJs all night long. The Tropicale, 330 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs, 760-866-1952, SAGUARO PALM SPRINGS Drag Me to 2017 hosted by Miss Rusty Waters with special guests Adrienne Alexander and Jayla D. Foxx. There will be comedy, show tunes, dancing, a complimentary buffet with appetizers, drink specials, special guest DJ and a free toast at midnight. 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. $35. Saguaro, 1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. (760) 3231711.

DECEMBER 2017 29



A healthy diet and lifestyle are our best weapons against agerelated diseases, and for staying healthy and active throughout life. Becci Twombley is sports dietitian for USC Athletics and Angels Baseball, overseeing the nutrition of 650 collegiate athletes and the 200 MLB and minor league baseball players within the Angels organization. The healthy practices she employs to keep her athletes fighting strong also apply as preventative measures for staying fit and active as we age. “It’s vital at any age to adopt good habits to live a long and healthy life,” says Twombley. “Exercise and move 30 minutes a day and along with that, pay attention to what you put in your body.” Twombley’s prevention plan against age-related illnesses and conditions starts with a “food first” approach. Diet has a profound impact on two of the leading causes of age-related illnesses and conditions: inflammation and being overweight, according to Twombley. “Maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels are two of the most important things anyone can do, along with keeping one’s weight under control.” Eating a healthy diet does not need to be a chore, she claims. It is all a question of smart choices. Picking the right foods not only makes a difference in health risks, but also positively affects performance throughout the day at work and at home. While the answer is not in a single food, or even a handful, adding nutrient-rich foods like these Twombley recommends, and calls the “All Americans” of the functional food group, is part of a winning game plan.


PISTACHIOS Pistachios are a multitasking nut that has proteins and healthy fats, as well as three types of antioxidants. Those antioxidants help to decrease blood pressure and allow for good muscle recovery. Large population studies show that people who regularly eat nuts, such as pistachios, have a substantial lower risk of dying from heart disease or suffering a heart attack. Pistachios may protect from heart disease in part by improving blood cholesterol levels. Pistachios contain relatively high levels of the amino acid L-arginine, which maintains the arteries’ flexibility and enhances healthy blood flow by boosting nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels. They’re also good for the eyes and skin, and have been found to positively promote weight maintenance. CHERRY JUICE Twombley serves tart cherry juice to her athletes after their workouts as its targeted antioxidants help with muscle recovery, improving recovery time. In addition, it boosts sleep quality to help prevent anxiety and stress later on in the day. GREEK YOGURT Plain Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that has many health benefits. High in protein, it can boost energy and muscle mass, which decreases as we age. It can also benefit digestive health if it contains probiotics. Check the label to see if it contains live and active cultures.

BEETS The deep red root vegetable increases the size of blood vessels, thereby improving the flow of oxygen that can get to muscles and tissues. For anyone with high blood pressure or suffering from cardiovascular disease, this is a good food to include.

Beyond these foods Twombley identifies, the noted nutritionist has more tips for healthy eating.

MILK A good hydration beverage that has protein, vitamin D and calcium like we often hear in addition milk contains electrolytes for good muscle contraction.

SALMON AND GRASS-FED BEEF Both of these are high in omega-3, which is a really good healthy fat profile for overall heart health. They also decrease inflammation in the long term. Inflammation causes a lot of the diseases we fear as we age, whether it’s diabetes or cardiovascular health.

* Look for different colors of foods at different times. Make sure they’re incorporated throughout the day. * Eat often and in a good portion size.

* Shop for high quality whenever possible and pay attention to ingredients. * Maintain balance. Make sure your plate has carbohydrate, protein and healthy fat in the correct amounts. Add fruits and vegetables to that to get the antioxidants. * And finally, have a plan. Plan out what you’re going to eat that day and stick to it.

DECEMBER 2017 31





Many of us have high aspirations when it comes to our fitness and will regularly commit ourselves to new training plans and diets. Often these plans involve working out at the gym multiple times a week, reducing our calorie count and consuming more protein. The only problem? Life. Life has a very unfortunate habit of getting in the way of our plans and this can make it very hard for us to create the changes we want to see. The result is that we end up skipping trips to the gym because we’re too busy, we’re too tired or we’re too ill. We eat the wrong thing because we don’t have time to cook and after a week or two we completely forget about those plans. Even if you’re someone who has always worked out and who




loves staying in shape, you might find that there are phases where you’re unable to get to the gym as much as you would like and this can be a source of distress. But I have found a solution! And that is to train every morning for just ten minutes. Why Training for 10 Minutes in the morning makes sense. Personally, I fall into the latter camp. I have no difficulty motivating myself to train because it’s my favorite hobby. Problem is, that sometimes life doesn’t leave me much time to make it to the gym and work out. And while I can train from home, I don’t have much space so that still involves rearranging a lot of my things, clearing space and generally fluffing about. Plus, I can’t train as well at home as I don’t have access to things like a bench press.



By working out each morning though for just 10 minutes, I ensure that I have done something every day. Even if I don’t make it to the gym, I can rest assured that I’ve managed to get some exercise that is certainly better than nothing. On the days when I make it to the gym as well, it’s just something extra. And by doing it in the morning for only this short amount of time, I’m ensuring there’s always time. In fact, one of the most important aspects of this plan is that I train before the shower. This has always been a problem for me working out – the amount of time it takes to shower after training means that my quick workout has gone from 30 minutes to 45. Plus, I have to find new clothes etc. Not only is 10 minutes not really enough to make me too sweaty but by training in the morning before the shower, I’m training at a time when I would have been showering anyway. THE ROUTINE The routine I use is something very simple but it hits nearly everything and is more than good enough for a basic ‘all over routine’. I simply alternate between three different exercises: 75 push-ups 15 pull-ups 20 kettle bell swings Sometimes I switch things up. Either way, I’m doing a push exercise, a pull exercise and swings.

I’m also doing enough of these and doing them fast enough that it becomes quite a good cardio workout. There’s very little equipment needed (just the pull up bar and potentially kettle bell) and it all takes place in one spot. Typically, the quick routine will burn around 100-200 calories – which is enough to get away with eating a chocolate bar guilt-free. TIPS If you’re struggling to stick to an exercise regime then, give this one a go! It’s quick, it’s simple and it’s easy to incorporate into your regime. Here are some tips to help you have luck with it: • You might not be able to do 75 push-ups or 15 pull-ups, which is fine. Just go to near failure on each set. • Aim to improve over time by finishing more repetitions in the time frame. • But don’t be tempted to train for an hour – stick to just 10 minutes to ensure you’re always able to fit it in and to avoid making yourself too tired to do a ‘proper’ workout later. • Don’t do this straight after a big breakfast either! Do it before you eat and it counts as fasted cardio, which may result in more fat burn. • Don’t pause too long between, keep it intense and fast to burn more calories! Keep it up and you will most definitely see results. This article is part of an ongoing series of articles pertaining to fitness and is intended for general information purposes only. Please check with your physician before starting or attempting any exercise routine.

DECEMBER 2017 33



First off let me just say that who knows where the time goes! Is it really December 2017? Wow! Personally, it’s been another interesting year especially in terms of my own health and fitness. I’m 62 ½ years old and I must confess that I have had to work much harder this year than any other time in the past to attempt to maintain my physique.

I resorted back to all the things I have done in the past with hopes that I could continue to defy nature. Well, after 6 months of giving it the old school try, I was still having no luck. I had been adjusting the types of food I was eating, switching up my exercise routines of both weight lifting and cardiovascular exercises but with no luck or changes or success.

I have seen certain signs of aging that I prayed were going to pass me by but lo and behold there they were. Sagging skin on my forearms and quadriceps plus sagging skin where my arms attach to my shoulders and this watery, cellulite looking stuff around my waist. I think the modern term is crepey skin, which is kind of a creepy name as far as I’m concerned. I was not a happy camper.

So, I found myself looking at my activity outside of the gym. I mean I am the Dancing Queen of Palm Springs, aren’t I? And this is where it gets interesting. I had written a long piece this past summer about Oscars Tea Dance, and reported that due to the advent of losing their liquor license the Tea Dance would now be an alcohol free zone. This totally affected attendance and eventually it stopped


completely. At the same time, the music scene, which I have also been very verbal about continued, in my mind, to go down hill. When did Rap, Reggae and Top 40 become part of the Gay Dance Vibe? Had I missed the memo? Had there been a secret vote? My point here is that from 2005 thru 2012 I danced every Friday, Saturday and Tuesday nights for a minimum of 4 hours each night and then another 4 hours at the Zozo Pool Party on Sundays. But once the music scene changed, I no longer danced 16 hours a week, but more like 8 hours. And then it became 6 hours until it was just the 4 hours a week at Oscars, and now that was gone! But it took me 4 months to realize that the signs of aging were directly related to this decrease of dancing and I’m not just referring to the physical signs, I am also talking about the spiritual side as well. Look, I’m all about Body, Mind and Spirit. And I think you all know me well enough by now to know that my spirit came alive the second I arrived in Palm Springs thirteen years ago. I find myself saying “Thank You” to anyone in the gay community that I am in front. I literally say “Thank You for Giving me C.P.R.!” What I mean by this is that through your love and acceptance of me, you brought me to life! I will be forever in your debt and will be you Number One Cheerleader! And Dancing is one huge way for me to give back! Since Oscars has re-opened and the “Oscars Family” has once again been re-united, the signs of aging are beginning to go away yet again! And for that I am grateful. This reinforces that I must maintain this delicate balance of Body, Mind and Spirit and that if one of those three falls out of balance it greatly affects the other two. My fear is that if I had not regained control of my Spirit that any negative energy, darkness or lack of light in my body could conceivably take over and I could find myself in a dis-eased place! Doctors tell us that we have cancer cells in our bodies 24/7, and that at any given moment, cancer can and will grow. That’s pretty frightening to think about and I personally never want to experience any type of cancer, skin, pancreatic or other wise. So, all in all it’s been another year of lessons for which I am ultimately grateful. It has helped me understand what is important to my health and me and has helped me make better choices. I hope that you will consider looking at your balance of Body, Mind and Spirit for the upcoming year and make any necessary adjustments to be the Best Version of You! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! Thank you for following me and for all the love and support! To your Health, Happiness and Wealth! XOXO

DECEMBER 2017 35




I was listening to staff chatter at a local café and realized that the current crop of folks in their 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s often don’t discuss the issues that have been a mainstay of our history. They could ask all kinds of interesting things - what would have happened in the 19th century if Lincoln had not been assassinated? Was Eleanor Roosevelt really a lesbian? Where would we be now if Obama had not faced all the issues of the Great Recession and little was done to correct things for the majority of Americans? But no, the current generation discusses what might have happened if one superhero were taken out by another. How history would be changed if the evil ones weren’t obliterated. What will be the next opportunity for some alien group sneaking in or out of a black hole to take over earth? All similar issues, but in parallel worlds. One real, one imaginary. Both can direct the lives of all of us. Which world will continue to exist, and which one will be extinguished? That led me to consider what will happen if the current wave of people skip trying to understand history, and instead pursue wishful thinking. At the moment, we don’t have any evidence at all that magnificent or horrific creatures will actually enter our lives and change the world. That means we are not in the world we imagine in our dreams or nightmares. The world I know is not always fun. And not easy to chat about. And never anything but real when push comes to shove. Right now, we are in a time warp where so many of our dreams and commitments are in jeopardy and we must build (once again) a formidable defense to prevent our human rights being taken away. I will not give up the fight. At the end of the year 2017, let’s look at a few milestones in our journey to equality, and what we can lose if we don’t fight back:


LGBTQ basic human rights. Over the last few years, we have had amazing wins in so many areas that recognize and treat people as equal citizens and human beings. Many states now have fair employment and housing laws that prohibit discrimination. There is a strong movement to ban conversion therapy to minors. Most states have policies and laws that


ban or discourage discrimination based on HIV status. Many states are sorting out the rights of same-sex parents so families become more secure. But the current toxic atmosphere in the U.S. allows various religious and conservative celebrities to make horrendous statements, calling those in our community filthy names and proposing everything from death (yes, death!) to destruction. They are determined to reduce us to a subhuman species. Same sex marriage. A fabulous step forward for LGBTQ civil rights. But there are people who are working every minute of every day to make it as difficult as possible for same sex couples to enjoy these rights. In the name of religious freedom, they are claiming the right to refuse services and support to members of our community, and looking for many more ways to deny our rightful existence. Transgender rights. There is an imperative underway for humane and equal treatment for all who have taken that scary and never-ending step to a new reality. But some people out there are working overtime to take away or prohibit equality for this group. It is shocking, but the U.S. President is one of those. I have confidence in the operation of reason and existence of the constitutional rights of every citizen of the U.S. But we are under siege. What will you do to preserve your human rights? Please speak up on social media. Call or email your state and federal representatives. Join a local political action group. Donate to any of the organizations that work tirelessly to promote and preserve our equality. We are citizens of the U.S. and not aliens from another planet. We are not problem residents who require extra policing to manage. We are not second-rate humans who deserve sub-human treatment.

It’s not just a Renova Energy system, it’s a $1,000 donation to AIDS Assistance Program – Food Samaritans. For any Coachella Valley Southern California Edison homeowner who mentions AAP as their referral source and completes a solar installation through a purchase or lease, Renova will contribute $1,000 to AAP in that customer’s name. If the customer decides not to proceed with solar, or choose a competitive offer after an in-home consultation, Renova will still make a $100 donation to AAP. Valid through December 31, 2017.

“ We promise to meet or beat any

competitive quote for a comparable system, so this is a win-win for everyone! ” – Vincent Battaglia Founder/CEO

Renova Energy

This is the real world we live in today. Please think about it, and do something that will impact this world and make it a better place.

This article is part of an ongoing series of articles pertaining to legal issues relevant to the LGBT community, and is intended for general information purposes only – not legal advice. Christopher Heritage is an attorney in Palm Springs and San Diego, who focuses on LGBT estate planning, domestic partnerships, same-sex marriage, probate, trust administration, and bankruptcy. He welcomes questions and comments and can be contacted at 760-325-2020 or at (760) 568-3413

DECEMBER 2017 37

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When Emily Perry’s club single, “Boom,” remained at #9 on the Billboard’s Top Ten club chart for two weeks this summer, it introduced the Aussie actress to a worldwide club audience. Fans loved the unique sound of the track that seemed to harken back to late 80s house while also mixing in today’s hi-energy fun.

since making her move to the USA. Among them has been creating and recording music with The Jackie Boyz (whose credits include Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, and Jason Derulo) and Arista recording artist/ composer Cindy Valentine. Emily Perry and Valentine co-wrote “Boom” together, as well as her single releasing next month, “Walk in Silence.”

“’It was the pick-me-up track the dance floor needed,” said Perry who admits she wrote the song to help her get over feelings of homesickness. The 18-year-old actress and dancer has been living in Los Angeles for a year now, pursuing her pop star dreams. “Being so far away from home, I sometimes feel a little out of place and when I’m down, I need a song I can crank up on my stereo. Something to go crazy to and overcome whatever sadness I may be feeling. That’s what ‘Boom’ does for me, and I love that it’s been doing the same for others.”

Lorde and P!nk are among Emily Perry’s top inspirations in music. “Lorde knows how to completely command a stage,” she explains. “She has a unique, distinctive sound that is absolutely mesmerizing. Then you look at someone like P!nk and she knows how to do it all. She has killer vocals, she can move, and her entire act is fresh and original.”

Luckily, she’s enjoyed several mind-blowing ‘Boom’ experiences


Perry says everything she writes comes from her own experiences because she wants her songs to be stories all people can relate to. “We’re all riding through life on a rollercoaster of emotions. What I love about music is that it has a way of helping us celebrate the good times and navigate through the hard.”


“Boom” follows “Sugarcoated,” Emily’s debut single that showcased a mellow mid-tempo, contemporary, electronic sound. “I wrote ‘Sugarcoated’ at a time in my life when I needed the people around me to give it to me straight,” she remembers. “There are a lot of yes people in this business and for me to succeed, I need to hear the truth about the songs I create. I want everyone to know I’m a big girl and I can take any criticism.” “Ultimately, I aim to create a variety of music that will appeal to all states of mind,” she continues, adding: “I’m so excited for the journey ahead.” “Boom” is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and all other major retailers. It is also available for streaming through Spotify. To learn more about Emily Perry, visit and

Follow Emily: FACEBOOK: theemilyperry TWITTER: theemilyperry INSTAGRAM: theemilyperry Photo credit: Adam Bialik Photography Instagram: adambialikphotography

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It’s that time! No, not for the holidays, but for LOVE. Traditionally and historically in the African-American communities the Thanksgiving holiday is the commencement to many family gatherings. Kitchens from coast to coast have hosted everything from food festivals to food fights. Should there ever be a category on the hit show, Family Feud, asking, “Name something that a black female cook would say?” One of the answers, most definitely, would be, “Get out of my kitchen!” And if you ever doubted the territorial control of a cook’s kitchen, go to a local church where Mrs. Johnson is over the kitchen and try to invade her space. Go ahead, I dare you. Heck, I even double-dare you. You will get to see her lay her religion down. Sistahs don’t play over their kitchen. Additionally, kitchens have been the most comforting to private conversations, such as marriages, divorces and who the REAL daddy is. Regardless of the conversations or activities of many kitchens, the cooking and eating serve as the best conduit to the ultimate desired result…family love. I recently shared a family observation to my mother that


I’d like to extend to my readers. I told my mother that I don’t have ONE recollection of seeing any public display of affection by ANY couple in my entire family. I don’t mean any affection towards me. I’m talking about towards each other. I was showered with love, hugs and kisses yet I have NEVER, you don’t hear me, I mean as in EVER, have I seen ANY adult couple in my immediate family hug, kiss or hold hands. To help with a survey we are conducting, please email us at and let us know your family geographical location and of any parental public displays of affection that that you observed. Like with many lessons, it is very important that we model for our younger generations of HOW to express love. Unfortunately, many conversations that I have had with older black adults, I’m talking fifties and sixties, unless it is outright, sho nuff hope to die sex, they report NONE of the aforementioned hugs, kisses or hand holding acts. The mere discussion of the conversation is met with either giggles or remarks like, “Ain’t nobody got time for all-a-dat.” It is

my contention that the most beautiful form of intimacy is a delicate kiss, an evening after dinner walk, holding hands without any talking, laying your head of each other’s chest during a television show and dare I say the MOST intimate? Parents, cover your children’s eyes…”Sit and talk with each other about your needs, fears and insecurities. Please forgive me for getting THAT graphic. I know this is family channel. So, let’s help each other identify ways that we can “get this party started!” First, we have learned to feel comfortable with touch. Many people even avoid a professional massage due to their fear of skin-to-skin contact. That also becomes a contributing for those persons are very sexually promiscuous, yet will say things like, “I don’t kiss.” There was comedian who said, “How many people like to cuddle after you have sex? And how many people are like me, you want to just get your money and go?” Years ago, we would see women sitting next to their man while he was driving. It looked like they were happy, like they wanted to be close, like they wanted oth-

ers to know it. I am not suggesting that we flaunt public displays of affection for the sake of others, but rather that we feel comfortable in the privacy of our own homes to differentiate sex and intimacy. In my mind, sex is just the physical part where we knock shit off the nightstand, sometimes the coffee table and periodically the back seat while stargazing. However, the intimacy is holding hands while watching Scandal, placing someone’s car keys where you know they can find them or my most recent experience, when I took off my wedding ring to go to the gym, when I returned home the ring as placed through a fresh cut flower along with a note that said, “I love you!” We frequently hear the adage, “To whom much is given much is required.” What better way for us to help each other enjoy more love than by sharing some different expressions of love so that we may incorporate them into our relationships? Visit and email us some ideas. By the way, LOVE comes in ALL colors, so I certainly look forward to receiving expressions of love from all races.




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NOW THRU DEC 24 25TH ANNUAL WILD LIGHTS. THE LIVING DESERT, PALM DESERT Marvel at over a million twinkling lights, as the desert’s favorite holiday tradition returns! Discover the herd of life-size, luminescent animal lanterns, explore the pathways decorated in holiday lights and new this year get up-close to Santa’s reindeer.

from 5 pm to 9 pm. SnowFest is PACKED with all kinds of FUN not to be missed. Holiday Entertainment such as the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, the Cathedral City High School Choir, Ballet Folklorico Dancers, and the Cathedral City Dance Program, AND SNOW! (Well – at least the illusion of snow in the desert) Town Square Park in front of City Hall and the Mary Pickford Theatre will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland! Free Admission. Free Parking. More information available at

specific hours. All galleries are open during our monthly First Wednesday Art Walk from 5 to 8 pm.

DBA EVENTS DEC 11 | DBA HOLIDAY PARTY Catalan Restaurant 70026 Hwy 111 Rancho Mirage

PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission every Thursday night from 4-8 p.m., sponsored by the City of Palm Springs. This provides an excellent way to start a trip to the City’s VillageFest, the popular weekly street festival held every Thursday night along Palm Canyon Drive.


TG MONDAYS. TRANSGENDER SOCIAL EVENT Every second Monday of the month, Transgender Social Hour discussing advocacy, transitioning & HRT. Allies, respectful admirers, and transgender umbrella all welcome. Portion of proceeds to benefit the Raina Chessman Fund. For more info

ONGOING >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

NOW THRU JAN 15, 2018 KINESTHESIA. PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM This exhibition is the first in-depth examination of the pioneering role-played by South American artists in the international Kinetic Art movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Grounded by scholarly research into experimental art movements of the late 1940s and early 1950s in Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Rio de Janeiro. DEC 9 SNOWFEST CATHEDRAL CITY Bring the entire family for a new and exciting festival that is surely going to become a tradition in Cathedral City – SnowFest. The free festival, title sponsored by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and presented by the City of Cathedral City,


BACK STREET ART DISTRICT The Backstreet Art District boasts a diverse collection of galleries & businesses where you may meet artists, visit working studios and enjoy fine art all in one location. You can find most galleries open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, but nothing is set in concrete. We are a collective of boutique galleries and regretfully cannot always be in two places at once as we get called out on a variety of business items. Please check with any gallery regarding

CHILL BAR PALM SPRINGS A warm and fabulous twenty first century modern venue located on Arenas, suited with multi faceted rooms for any celebration. The gorgeous island bar is surrounded by hi-definition video entertainment and a comfortable designer lounge. Chill on the patio enjoying music and refreshing beverages with friends after a game of pool, or come by and say hello to our friendly staff. Open for business seven days a week. Get out of the heat, and come join us! 
Happy Hour (From Open to 7pm) and Late Happy Hour (From Midnight to Last Call)

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EVENTS CALENDAR THE SUNDAY BAND W/ SPECIAL GUESTS. PAPPY & HARRIET’S PIONEERTOWN The Sunday Rock + Roll Service is a Pappy and Harriet’s institution celebrating the healing powers of music and community! Every weekend the club’s favorite singers and players get together and trade songs. Come join us to see Victoria Williams, Gar Robertson, Carol Ann Crandall, Damian Lester, Bob Furgo, Rachel Dean, Ryan Norman, Caleb Winn, Danny Frankel and other talented locals performing for your drinking and dancing pleasure. With a come-as-you-are vibe, Sundays have seen great special guests like Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks, Rickie Lee Jones to name a few.

THE JUDY SHOW. PURPLE ROOM SUPPER CLUB PALM SPRINGS The spirit of Judy Garland is alive and well and in Palm Springs at the famed Purple Room Supper Club every Sunday at 7:00! This blend of hysterical comedy and outstanding music explode into an evening of nonstop belly laughs, glamour and high camp, as celebrated entertainer Michael Holmes parodies Judy Garland, who in her 1964 television variety show, played host to some of the greatest female icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

THE SCORPION ROOM AT CHILL BAR Every Thursday night at 8:00 sharp. Hosted by Pinkie Meringue Shimmer with a rotating cast of fabulous drag stars from all over Southern California. Wonderful show people, photo ops and audience participation, and wonderful drink specials.

OSCAR’S CAFÉ & BAR Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs on the corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Indian Canyon, Oscar’s has a huge outdoor patio with lots of umbrellas for shade and misters to keep you cool, too. You can beat the heat any time of year and enjoy the views of Palm Springs. On Saturday and Sunday from 8am – 2pm, enjoy a $9 Bottomless Mimosas (juice included), a single $2 mimosa or a $5 Bloody Mary with brunch, during which both our full breakfast and lunch menus are available. Also join us for Sunday Funday Weekly Tea Dance 4pm-Close! Live entertainment weekly visit our website for details.

LIPSTICK AT COPA Thursday nights at Copa just got a little hotter with a new show at the new showroom inside Copa. The Hot New Lipstick show is a raucous affair where the audience is encouraged to participate in singing, clapping, dancing, partying and celebrating special events. Featuring performances by Charles Herrera, Pinkie Meringue Shimmer, Marina Mac, Sassy Ross, Dion Khan, and Cherilyn, and emceed by the fabulous Bella Da Ball, this show will not disappoint. For ticket info and schedule of performers visit

HUNTERS NIGHTCLUBS® Palm Springs, Palm Springs’ go-to gay bar and dance club, has been leading the way in full-out fun for 16 years now! And we keep it pumping, making it better for you all the time with our unparalleled event line-up. We enjoy having

the desert’s most sought-after and friendly DJs, full-on themed events, and a staff that has it all without the attitude. And of course, we are proud to hold the longest happy hour in the entire Valley. Remember: Size Matters. Come by for our happy hour from 10am- 7pm. Yes, that’s right: 9 hours long! For a list of all events and specials visit

SUNDAYS “The Playgirls” at Toucans Tiki Lounge featuring Tommi Rose. Performances at 8 & 10pm.These darling Divas of drag really deliver with their very own brand of entertainment to packed houses. Special guests appear weekly. DJ in the sound booth. Every Sunday Complete list of events FOR A COMPLETE CALENDAR OF EVENTS VISIT OUR MEDIA PARTNER, GAY DESERT GUIDE. CLICK ON LOGO

DECEMBER 2017 49

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JAN 12 - 14

DEC 7 - 30

HOMO FOR THE HOLIDAYS SEATTLE, WASHINGTON Homo For The Holidays is a hearty holiday fruitcake packed with rollick-some reindeer, enticing elves, ghostly guests, sexy snowstorms, agile angels, musical Maccabees, and new ways to define coming home. Light your menorah, stuff your stockings, and join our chosen family in celebrating our favorite wintry holiday of all, Homo For The Holidays!

MID-ATLANTIC LEATHER WEEKEND WASHINGTON, DC Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend is a threeday long party and event with participants that now number in the thousands. The heart of the weekend is the historic leather formal Saturday evening cocktail social, Leather Cocktails. Leather Cocktails is the weekend lynchpin gathering from which all other weekend events evolved.

JAN 17 - 21

WINTER RENDEZVOU STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT, VERMONT The largest and longest-running gay ski event in the northeast offers amazing discounts on lift tickets, rentals, lessons along with non-stop action; daily apres-ski, wine tastings, pool party, champagne reception, downhill drag race, bonfires, hot tubs, spa treatments, dance parties, ice sculptures and more!

JAN 14 - 21 JAN 2 - 15

PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. PALM SPRINGS, CA Now entering its 29th year, the Palm Springs International Film Festival has a wellestablished reputation as one of the most prestigious and well-attended film festivals in the country. The Festival has long secured its place on the world stage as the portal for the very best in world cinema, welcoming more than 136,000 enthusiastic filmgoers to Palm Springs every year.


ASPEN GAY SKI WEEK ASPEN, COLORADO Aspen Gay Ski Week is the premier gay & lesbian winter travel vacation event in Colorado. Not only is it a great vacation destination but also it is a fundraising event for local and national LGBTQ organizations. Aspen Gay Ski Week has gained the reputation of hosting the most exclusive and explosive winter entertainment. Worldrenowned DJ’s, indoor & outdoor pool parties, debauchery that will take you into the morning hours just in time to hit the slopes.

JAN 18 - 21

GAY CHRISTIAN NETWORK CONFERENCE DENVER, COLORADO Discover what makes the Gay Christian Network Conference the world’s largest, most celebrated, and highly anticipated annual LGBTQ Christian event. Join us January 18– 21 as we head to Denver, CO, for the 14th annual GCN Conference, taking place at the Colorado Convention Center. Each January, Christians from around the world gather at the GCN Conference for fellowship, worship, support, and more. Whether you’re LGBTQ, you love someone who is, or you just want to learn more, this four-day event is designed for you.

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NOV 27 - DEC 23

PINK CHRISTMAS MUNICH, GERMANY For the 13th time “Pink Christmas” will open this years doors in the heart of the famous “Glockenbachviertel” in Munich. It is a small, pretty, colorful, diversified market - and as social as no other! Gays, locals and guests feel equally happy and are looking forward to the friendly vibes, the various and special stands, the famous tasty “Glühwein” as well as our unique nightly shows. Pink Christmas will be open during the full advent season, starting November 27th. Right next to the historic graveyard “Alter Südfriedhof”, people will be strolling, shopping, eating and drinking. Pink Christmas can be reached from the “Sendlinger Tor” in just a few minutes walking.

DEC 4 - 11

MAD BEAR 2017 MADRID, SPAIN Mad Bear’s 17th annual international meeting of bears, big men and admirers from Spain and abroad coincides with Spain’s biggest public holidays of the year. Mad Bear 2017 will offer you 8 days and 7 nights of partying and fun with bar fiestas, club dance parties, the best national and international DJs, dinners, competitions, trips, saunas, gastronomy and culture.

DEC 7 - 13

MERLINKA QUEER FILM FESTIVAL BELGRADE, SERBIA The Festival aims at presenting films dealing with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersexual and queer issues. The official program will highlight short, documentary and feature films from all over the world.

parties while you’re enjoying yourself with various activities throughout the week. There is a wide range of accommodations. Don’t forget to order your event pass for the week, or do you want to miss the foam party, a fondue night at the mountain hut, a classical piano concert, the pool party, our cabaret-night or the drag- queen ski race??

JAN 14 - FEB 4

DEC 29 - JAN 1

ULTIMATE NEW YEAR IN ICELAND REYKJAVIK, ICELAND The package combines quality time in Reykjavik, visits to some of the most famous natural wonders like the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss, Thingvellir national park and the Blue Lagoon, celebrating New Years in Iceland the Icelandic way with a bubbly bonfire tour, a house party and some late night dancing followed by a relaxing dip in the Blue lagoon on the first day of the new year.

JAN 20 - 27

AROSA SKI WEEK AROSA SWITZERLAND The annual Gay Ski Week in Arosa, one of Switzerland’s most enchanting winter resorts. Come experience Swiss hospitality, the charm of a true mountain resort and glamorous

MIDSUMMA FESTIVAL 2018 MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA Don’t miss Melbourne’s most famous familyfriendly community day that kicks off summer’s beloved three-week Midsumma Festival season. Midsumma Carnival will serve-up a tasting plate of performances and personalities from the festival program – in one giant showcase – with something for everyone. Check out sports displays, get pooch-smooched at the famous Dog Show, or test out your favorite songs in the Lipsync Limelight competition. Food trucks, bars and stalls galore, all top-full of treats to keep you hydrated, fed and in the community spirit. For complete schedule visit

Our international media partner, FNQ Magazine, Cairns gay lifestyle and travel publication that gives Australia and the world a taste of gay life in the tropics, sponsors the International Calendar.

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