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We remember the uprising at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, as what sparked the modern LGBT rights movement in the U.S. In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. The 1960s and preceding decades were not welcoming times for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.


For such reasons, LGBT individuals flocked to gay bars and clubs, places of refuge where they could express themselves openly and socialize without worry. However, the New York State Liquor Authority penalized and shut down establishments that served alcohol to known or suspected LGBT individuals, arguing that just the gathering of homosexuals was “disorderly.” Thanks to activists’ efforts, these regulations were overturned in 1966, and LGBT patrons could now be served alcohol. But engaging in gay behavior in public (holding hands, kissing, or dancing with someone of the same sex) was still illegal, so police harassment of gay bars continued and many bars still operated without liquor licenses—in part because they were owned by the Mafia.

STONEWALL INN The crime syndicate saw profit in catering to the shunned gay clientele, and by the mid-1960s, the Genovese crime family controlled most Greenwich Village gay bars. In 1966, they purchased Stonewall Inn (a “straight” bar and restaurant), cheaply renovated it, and reopened it the next year as a gay bar.

Greenwich Village institution. It was large and relatively cheap to enter. It welcomed drag queens, who received a bitter reception at other gay bars and clubs. It was a nightly home for many runaways and homeless gay youths, who panhandled or shoplifted to afford the entry fee. And it was one of the few—if not the only—gay bar left that allowed dancing.

Stonewall Inn was registered as a type of private “bottle bar,” which did not require a liquor license because patrons were supposed to bring their own liquor. Club attendees had to sign their names in a book upon entry to maintain the club’s false exclusivity. The Genovese family bribed New York’s Sixth Police Precinct to ignore the activities occurring within the club.

Raids were still a fact of life, but usually corrupt cops would tip off Mafia-run bars before they occurred, allowing owners to stash the alcohol (sold without a liquor license) and hide other illegal activities. In fact, the NYPD had stormed Stonewall Inn just a few days before the riot-inducing raid.

Without police interference, the crime family could cut costs how they saw fit: The club lacked a fire exit, running water behind the bar to wash glasses, clean toilets that didn’t routinely overflow, and palatable drinks that weren’t watered down beyond recognition. What’s more, the Mafia reportedly blackmailed the club’s wealthier patrons who wanted to keep their sexuality a secret. Nonetheless, Stonewall Inn quickly became an important

THE STONEWALL RIOTS BEGIN When police raided Stonewall Inn on the morning of June 28, it came as a surprise—the bar wasn’t tipped off this time. Armed with a warrant, police officers entered the club, roughed up patrons, and, finding bootlegged alcohol, arrested 13 people, including employees and people violating the state’s genderappropriate clothing statute (female officers would take suspected cross-dressing patrons into the bathroom to check their sex).

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Fed up with constant police harassment and social discrimination, angry patrons and neighborhood residents hung around outside of the bar rather than disperse, becoming increasingly agitated as the events unfolded and people were aggressively manhandled. At one point, an officer hit a lesbian over the head as he forced her into the paddy wagon — she shouted to onlookers to act, inciting the crowd to begin throw pennies, bottles, cobble stones, and other objects at the police. Within minutes, a full-blown riot involving hundreds of people began. The police, a few prisoners, and a Village Voice writer barricaded themselves in the bar, which the mob attempted to set on fire after breaching the barricade repeatedly. The fire department and a riot squad were eventually able to douse the flames, rescue those inside Stonewall, and disperse the crowd. But the protests, sometimes involving thousands of people,


continued in the area for five more days, flaring up at one point after the Village Voice published its account of the riots. Though the Stonewall uprising didn’t start the gay rights movement, it was a galvanizing force for LGBT political activism, leading to numerous gay rights organizations, including the Gay Liberation Front, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD (formerly Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), and PFLAG (formerly Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). In 2016, President Barack Obama designated the site of the riots—Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks—a national monument in recognition of the area’s contribution to gay and human rights. Special thanks to the History Channel for contributing to this article.




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June being Pride Month we find many brands around the world jumping on the rainbow bandwagon and releasing their pride-themed merchandise. These often limited-edition collections offer a great opportunity for companies to make meaningful monetary contributions to LGBTQ organizations and help the most vulnerable people in those communities. However, more and more brands in recent years have taken advantage of Pride Month by simply putting a rainbow on a T-shirt, tweeting “love is love” and calling it a day. In other words, companies often use the iconography of pride to foster goodwill with their consumers, but do nothing substantive to affect change.


We want to acknowledge several of those companies who have introduced Pride themed merchandise while giving back to causes near and dear to the LGBTQ community. CONVERSE Converse, the iconic sneaker brand behind the ubiquitous Chuck Taylor, is getting in on Pride Month with its pride collection of shoes and clothing. The campaign includes rainbow-soled sneakers, lightning bolt high-tops and glittery Transgender high-tops. Converse is also selling rainbow and lightning bolt T-shirts and rainbow-striped sweats. Those rainbows aren’t just for show, either. All proceeds from Converse’s pride merchandise will go to one of the company’s LGBTQ partner organizations.

AMERICAN EAGLE American Eagle’s pride collection is particularly good for those of us who don’t have a ton of extra money to spend, but still want to make sure our cash goes to a good cause. Every single item of clothing in AE’s pride collection — the “super gay” tank is the clear standout — is less than $20, and 100% of those proceeds will be donated to the It Gets Better Project, an organization dedicated to empowering queer youth. HARRY’S Got some stubborn stubble? Maybe a pride-themed shave set is the way to go. Men’s shaving and skin care brand Harry’s is selling a pride-themed, limited-edition shave set that includes a metallic rainbow shave handle, blades and shaving cream.

Harry’s is donating 100% of the proceeds from this $25 shave set — which comes in a particularly snazzy box designed by artist Jose Roda — to a wide variety of LGBTQ causes. LEVI’S Every year Levi’s celebrates Pride with a capsule collection, and this year is no different. 2019 sees the denim company release its sixth collection, this time partnering with OutRight Action International, which campaigns for LGBTQ rights globally. OutRight will receive 100% of the net profits from the collection. ZENNI Online eyewear retailer Zenni is donating 100% of the proceeds from its limited-edition line of pride-themed eyewear, which includes

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both regular glasses and sunglasses. That money will go to the It Gets Better Project. UNDER ARMOUR If you need some new workout gear, Under Armour’s pridethemed collection is worth checking out. It includes all kinds of workout apparel, but the real standout is the UA HOVR Sonic running shoe, which has a rainbow spectrum effect on the sole. All the proceeds from this pride collection go to Athlete Ally, an organization that seeks to make sports a more accepting, inclusive world for LGBTQ people. ABERCROMBIE & FITCH For Pride Month, Abercrombie and Fitch will feature a genderneutral collection of clothing that includes tanks, crop tops and other accessories. Up to $100,000 from the Pride Collection & Fierce will be donated to The Trevor Project. KOHL’S Kohl’s will be donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth


BUDWEISER For years, Bud Light was advertised as the “great taste that won’t fill you up and never lets you down.” In two decades of partnering with GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), Bud Light hasn’t let the gay community down. And makers of the light beer still haven’t had their fill of equality. Bud Light will sell rainbowcolored aluminum bottles in bars nationwide from May 27 to June 30 and donate to GLAAD $1 from each case sold. URBAN OUTFITTERS Urban Outfitters’ pride collection is pretty small and simple: a few shirts, a couple hats and one tote bag, each with various rainbowthemed designs. UO will donate a portion of its proceeds to GLSEN, which focuses on LGBTQ issues in K-12 schools. DISNEY To celebrate Pride Month, from now through June 30, shopDisney. com will donate 10 percent from every online purchase of an item from the Rainbow Mickey Collection to GLSEN, an education organization that strives to ensure inclusive and safe schools for LGBTQ students, up to a maximum donation of $50,000.

TOMBOYX TomboyX, a clothing brand for people of all genders, is partnering with the National Center for Lesbian Rights for Pride Month. The company, founded by two self-proclaimed tomboys, emphasizes that its underwear is designed for anyone, regardless of their size or gender expression. 10% of the sales from TomboyX’s rainbow collection will go toward the NCLR. DR. MARTENS Dr. Martens, a brand beloved by celebrities like Miley Cyrus

and Tegan and Sara, is taking things in a decidedly 1960s-inspired direction with a pair of rainbow tie-dye boots, which cost $145. A portion of the proceeds would be donated to the Trevor Project. CALVIN KLEIN Pose star Indya Moore has been tapped as the face of Calvin Klein’s newly debuted Pride capsule collection. The collection includes Calvin Klein jeans, underwear, and swimwear as well as accessories all done in the “ultra-vivid colors of Pride.” The campaign also stars Adrian Sotiris, Liam Daniels, and Rozanne Verduin.

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Coinciding with World Pride and designed by Lisa Marie Thalhammer, an award-winning visual artist and member of the LGBTQ community, who is best known for her iconic 13-color rainbow “LOVE” mural located on Blagden Alley in Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, the bottle is a limited edition specifically for the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. For the Spirit of Stonewall bottle, Thalhammer used a mural theme and incorporated emblematic LGBTQ imagery, including five hands and three protest signs at the corner of Gay and Christopher Streets outside of the Stonewall Inn, a high heel to represent the transgender activists who initiated the 1969 uprising. Also in the design is a sign spelling out “LIBERATION” as a reference

to the Gay Liberation Front that includes three gender symbols, as well as a peace sign and protest fist holding a rainbow energy ribbon that swirls between fingers and brings the community together. Lisa Marie creates portraits and color networks that uplift and empower humanity. As a feminist activist and member of the LGBTQ+ community, her artworks frequently communicate messages of strength and hope. She has received numerous grants from the D.C. Commission on the Art and Humanities. Lisa Marie uses her artworks as part of political actions to communicate positive messages of equality, persistence, empowerment and love.

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Q&A Janelle Monáe, Lady Gaga and RuPaul, in addition to other LOVE artists such as Corita Kent and Robert Indiana, also have an influence on my artwork and me. CA: I read that you are a very spiritual person is that aspect of your life reflected in your art? LMT: Yes, I believe that everything is interconnected with spirit, including my artwork and everyone whom experiences it. The colors in my energy networks and LOVE artworks communicate this to the viewer. I believe that visual language can help transcend the boundaries that divide, moving towards a humanity that respects the life, freedom and happiness of all sentient beings. CA: What role does Yoga play in your art?

We recently had the privilege of speaking with Lisa Marie and she gave us a little insight into her world. Chris Astrala: Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to speak with us. For those who are not familiar with you and your work, would you give our readers a little insight to Lisa Marie? Lisa Marie Thalhammer: My artwork is all about empowerment and energy. I want people to walk away from my artworks and public murals feeling strong, inspired and joyous. I believe that color can help to heal and uplift us. I use shape, language and figures in my art to address socio-political issues. I am a creative person who is passionate about equal rights and promoting love and kindness through the creation of art. CA: Who were or are your biggest influences? LMT: My mother and grandmother are my earliest creative influences, always encouraging my artistic pursuits. In high school, my amazing art teacher taught me the history of women artists such as the fierce 17th Century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi and Mexican portrait artist Frida Kahlo. Other Feminists, such as artists Judy Chicago and Barbara Kruger, and public figures, such as Ellen DeGeneres, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis and Michelle Obama, all inspire and influence me. I thank artists such as Shepard Fairy, Robbie Conal, Keith Haring, and Basquiat for inspiring me to take my art to streets. Moreover, performers with a message such as


LMT: Yoga taught me about subtle energy and how awareness and gentle energetic shifts can raise consciousness. When I paint a mural, I am transforming an otherwise overlooked or discarded space. Using color and shape, I shift the energetic vibrations of a location, creating a spiritual vortex that can enhance health and balance emotions. Additionally, yoga teaches us about the Chakra energy centers of the body and how they are represented through seven primary and secondary colors. My rainbow color spectrum takes this further by overlapping these colors, creating tertiary colors to emphasize the interconnectivity of all things. CA: The current volatile political climate is a major headline these days, do you feel the need to be involved and if so in what way? LMT: I have taken my LOVE protest signs to many marches, including the Women’s March, The March for our Lives, the Native Nations March the Climate March and Capital Pride Parades. LOVE and respect for others is the underlining core value that is missing from mainstream political debate. This is why, through my work with Stoli, I have chosen to support the National LGBTQ Task Force. Their “Be You” and “Queering the Census” campaigns encourage us to be out about all of who we are all the time, respecting the varieties of our identities with a goal to end all kinds of discrimination. CA: Companies like Stoli® are bringing the LGBTQ community to mainstream national and international attention. How important is it to you and our community for them to do this? LMT: It is very important because we need to be seen and heard by the world in order to break the stigmas that create discrimination and violence against our communities. The more authentic representation LGBTQ humans have in media, in government or on a Stoli Vodka bottle the better.

CA: Can you tell us the process of being selected to design the label for the bottle commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall? LMT: All my years hanging out at lesbian bars paid off when Jo McDaniels, bartender and Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Champion, suggested my artwork for the bottle label. Then, when Stoli National LGTBQ Ambassador Patrik Gallineaux told me that Eric Marcus, historian behind the Making Gay History podcast, was writing the text for the back of the bottle, I knew that this was a project and a company that I wanted to create artwork for.

LMT: My dream for the 2020 US election cycle is to embark on a national campaign for LOVE - painting murals and posting LOVE signs across the United States. If you would like to help me please contact me - I need wall locations, funds and sponsors to make it all happen. If you are interested in joining the campaign or learning more about my artwork and murals please visit my website www. and support with the purchase of a “Stonewall LOVE” print, or sign up for my email list, message me and stay in touch on Instagram @lisamariestudio. CA: Finally is there anything you would like to pass on to readers that we did not hit on?

CA: What was your muse for the design? LMT: The many stories of courageous LGBTQ activists over the past 50 years are my muse. I want people to see themselves in one or more of the hands illustrated and feel inspired to join the movement for LOVE Liberation and Pride. CA: What’s next for you?

LMT: The world needs more LOVE all around - when haters hate, try to find empathy for them and for whatever happen to them to create such negativity. Know that we all have the capacity to change. Believe in your journey and in humanities ability to rise up in peace and creativity. Lift each other up with our words and actions and be the change we want to see in the world - Happy Pride, be safe and know that you are loved!

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New York City Pride, combined with WorldPride for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that ignited the modern gay liberation movement, is going to be historic! Groundbreaking too, as this also marks the first time World Pride will be hosted in the United States.

As one of the legal guardians of Storme DeLarverie, an early leader in the Gay Rights Movement and catalyst for the rebellion (who passed away in 2014), it is of course of personal significance to Cannistraci that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall.

For the occasion, community icon, Lisa Cannistraci - owner of Henrietta Hudson (Manhattan’s lesbian institution) - is officially partnering with WorldPride| Stonewall 50 for the parties of a lifetime: Pride Soup (Queer on the Pier) and Siren, catering to two underserved communities: the lesbian and the Queer communities.

DeLarverie was a singer, cross-dresser and bouncer who is rumored to have thrown the first punch at the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. Ms. DeLarverie was a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association and a regular at the pride parade. Her role in the movement lasted long after 1969. For decades she was a self-appointed guardian of lesbians in the Village.

People from around the world will gather in the Big Apple to celebrate 50 years of progress for the LGBTQ liberation.

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Her friend DeLarverie may have passed away but her message, particularly at this moment in our American history - as civil rights are being assailed with an administration hostile to LGBTQ rights continues on. Cannistraci continues to celebrate the (more often than not) unsung involvement of the lesbian community during Stonewall. The West Village legend is gearing up for the festivities by producing two very unique, events specifically dedicated to lesbian and queer people to balance the typical NYC Pride experience, which tends to replete with gay men. Ready to welcome as many as 4 million pride-goers from around the world who are expected to descend on the city and its five boroughs in June, New York is going to come together to celebrate this once-in-a-generation time period. “It is going to be an extraordinary and historic month as we all celebrate the shoulders that we all stand upon in furthering LGBTQ rights!� says Cannistraci.


We caught up with the West Village legend to talk about WorldPride, the 50th Anniversary of StoneWall, and the epic events she is producing for the highly anticipated festivities. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall events. What does this anniversary mean to you? It is an emotional yet exhilarating time for me. The Stonewall Rebellion sparked the modern gay civil rights movement in 1969. I landed in the West Village in March of 1986 right when the AIDS epidemic hit NYC. I have been a hardcore activist since ACT UP, which was founded in 1987 to respond to the government ignoring the plague on our community, which was taking hundreds of lives monthly. The lesbian community was very radical at that time and we fought and cared for our brothers suffering from AIDS. I have been fighting for equality ever since and had the privilege of being the vice president of Marriage Equality USA when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. We were at the hearings with Edie Windsor who was a dear friend of mine. She was a firecracker of a woman and changed history forever. Being a part of that fight was one of the great honors of my life. The anniversary of Stonewall also reminds me that we are still fighting as out trans

brothers and sisters are being attacked daily by the government and citizens alike. Intersectionality must be a part of our continued movement. You hurt one of us. You hurt all of us.

How would you qualify the evolution of the lesbian movement these last 25 years? What have been the most noticeable changes?

As the co-owner of Henrietta Hudson, the longest running lesbian bar in the USA, how do you explain the success of Henrietta?

The lesbian movement of the 1980’s was purely political as we were fighting for our basic rights and to save our brothers dying of AIDS. Then came the 1990’s with the advent of the lipstick lesbian craze with Cindy Crawford and k.d. lang on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. It pushed us a bit into the mainstream. I feel it was more a sexualized version of lesbians rather than a respect for our lifestyle. It did however give credibility to our presence and somewhat, and I hate to use this word, normalize it as lesbians began to assimilate into mainstream society. I don’t see a real lesbian movement today as the younger generation is less likely to identify as lesbian and more inclined to consider themselves queer. The word queer was reclaimed by us and is now, excuse the term, trending with the young set. Androgynous, gender fluid and non-binary are what I hear when out in the community.

We are often referred to as the Madonna of lesbian bars because we know how to reinvent ourselves. When we opened in 1991 we had a jukebox. Yeah that was it. Women came to drink and hook up. There was no social media so the bars were the only safe spaces to go and meet like-minded gals. We have taught ourselves to pivot and meet the desires and demand of our ever-changing community with diverse programming, interacting with not for profits and sports leagues for special events and bringing in world class DJ’s and talent. But above all we assemble a super attentive, multi and diverse staff that is representative of our entire community. Where we were once a lesbian bar, we are now lesbian-centric as the queer and trans community see us as a fun and safe space. We cater to all parts of the LGBTQIA+ community as an all-inclusive space where all are accepted and respected.

You were a longtime friend and are actually one the legal guardians of Storme DeLarverie who was one of the leaders of the LGBT rights movement in 1969 and kept acting for the

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movement long after that. For the youngest generation who might not know her well, how would you describe her role in the construction of the lesbian movement? Storme is a case study in survival. Born in New Orleans on Christmas Eve 1920 to a black mother and a white father. She was not readily issued a birth certificate as she was mixed race. The adversity she endured throughout her life would have broken most. Yet she continually pulled up her bootstraps and kept on going. The black kids shunned her and the white kids tried to kill her and left her hanging on a fence by her leg when she was around 12 years old. That injury persisted throughout her entire life as she walked with a limp from it. She was the very first international drag king as she emceed the Jewel Box Revue a traveling show which was highly regarded by the entertainment community as hallmark of excellence. I will pivot now to what she meant to the NYC lesbian community. She was our bodyguard and savior. She stood at the doors of our nightclubs with an iron fist and protected us like a mama bear. She referred to us as her baby girls and would never allow any harm to come to us. She walked the streets of NYC like a gay super hero on the lookout for any injustice towards any young people from our community. She told us we were loved just as we are. Rumor has it that Storme DeLarverie has thrown the first punch at the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. How did she recall that day? What memory has she shared with you? Yes it is a fact that Storme threw the first punch at Stonewall. It was very hot night and it came over the airwaves that Judy Garland had just died. As you can imagine Judy was an icon for our community. The usual suspects gathered at The Stonewall in to commiserate when the cops busted in for their nightly raid. Storme was dressed in a slim fitting suit and had a thin mustache at the time as she was still the emcee for the Jewel Box Revue. The cops would regularly bring drugs with them to “up the charges” against the arrestees. One of the officers threw a bag of drugs at Storme’s feet and asked that


she step on it. She said a full-throated NO in her baritone voice. The officer grabbed her arm forcefully. The officer thought she was a man. Storme threw one solid punch and the cop was immediately knocked out. It took two cops to carry him out of the bar. This was witnessed by Tree who still bartends at the Stonewall Inn at the age of 80. Do you agree with one the famous statement she made about Stonewall: “It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience — it wasn’t no damn riot. “ Storme equated our movement to be no different than the civil rights movement that she was also a part of. She escaped the Deep South and came north so she would be safer walking down the street. She did the same for the young LGBT kids by making our streets safer in NYC for us. It was a movement that remains active to this day. With the current occupant of the White House and his vice side-kick we must remain ever diligent in keeping the rights we have and fighting for the rights members of our community are still lacking in. You are officially partnering with World | Stonewall 50 for the parties of a lifetime: Pride Soup (Queer on the Pier) and Siren dedicated for the lesbian & queer community. Can you tell us more about these events and why it is still vital to have places and events dedicated to the lesbian community? I’d like to say that we are always focused on creating fun lesbian parties and events but that our client base has swelled since the most recent occupant of the White House has stoked fear in our community. We are now more of a lesbian-centric bar and embrace the full scope of the queer community at large. Safe spaces are more important than ever and we pride ourselves on creating beautiful large-scale events during pride season.

For More Info about the WorldPride events go to: Siren2019. and

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Directed by Michael Bello (assistant director for the TONY AWARD WINNING Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Shooting Star – A Revealing New Musical is a semi-autobiographical musical love story by Florian Klein (a.k.a. gay porn star Hans Berlin), with music by Thomas Zaufke and lyrics by Erik Ransom.

We sat down with Florian Klein to talk about Shooting Star, the misconception about his industry, the partnership with Veryhuman. org (a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the organization) and how he hopes to change mentalities by normalizing sex and destigmatizing the adult film industry

Shooting Star explores identity, family and love in the unexplored world of Adult Entertainment. The highly anticipated (buzz heavy) musical opened in Los Angeles on May 25th and runs all throughout Pride month closing on June 30th.

Michael Khordoc: You’ve made a name for yourself as Hans Berlin. How did you get involved in the adult industry? And what fueled this career choice?

Porn is more popular today than ever. Globally, it is a $97 billion business. That makes porn bigger than the music industry. Sure, it remains an industry that is frowned upon; but does it really deserve its bad rap? If we go beyond the stereotype and prejudice, we see that the standard image we as a society tend to mentally assign any and all porn stars is actually pretty damn far from the truth.


Florian Klein: I like that you use the word ‘choice’. People always think we’re victims - something in our lives pushes us into sex work. While that may be true for some, most of us had a choice. Just like Taylor, whose story we’re telling, I came to Hollywood to become a movie star - which didn’t really work out as planned. When I ran out of money, I started go-go dancing at Micky’s in West Hollywood (In SHOOTING STAR, Taylor starts dancing at The Black Rooster, a fictional club in LA where all the porn stars and their admirers hang out). It was through go-go dancing that I was recruited for porn. My

first answer - “I can’t do that. I’m an actor!” is also Taylor’s response when that happens to him. But once I learned that porn is not really that different from Hollywood - I gave in and shot my first porno in 2012. I also didn’t really have an acting career that would be destroyed by doing porn, so - I gave birth to Hans Berlin. MK: You’re now about to world premiere SHOOTING STAR, a semi-autobiographical musical love story. Why was it important for you to share your journey and shed light on the behind the scenes of the adult industry and its actors? FK: Thanks to modern technology, porn’s as accessible as it’s never been before (I remember when you had to leave the house to rent porn). And it’s become big business. But society still demonizes Porn and sex workers alike. To my surprise, I found amazing people in a world that people still stigmatizes as dirty and bad. And that’s the main message of Shooting Star - don’t judge a book by its cover (like I did). ‘Porn-people’ are not different from anyone else. We all need love, a family of friends, and something that gives us a purpose in life. MK: SHOOTING STAR is loosely based on your life. What are some of the nuances between reality and fiction? FK: I decided to make Taylor a lot younger than I was when I started doing the X. Taylor is in his early 20s - I was already in my

early 40s. I wanted to make Shooting Star a coming-of-age story - something that many of us can relate to, even if they didn’t “end up” in porn while they’re trying to make their dreams come true. I also never really fell in love within the industry like Taylor does. And of course, everything you see and hear in Shooting Star is a little exaggerated - it’s a MUSICAL :) MK: What makes SHOOTING STAR a MUST-SEE musical? I’m telling you - we’re the biggest little show Los Angeles has to offer this summer. It’s an original musical that no one in the whole wide world has seen before. SHOOTING STAR is a complete Broadwaystyle show with a five-piece live band, 10 super talented, hot actors, a mind-blowing set, and costumes by the fabulous Angela Wendt, who among many other great costume creations, is also the original costume designer for the worldwide phenomenon RENT - and all of this for super-affordable ticket prizes: the cheapest start at $20, and go up to $40 for the first two rows - for those of you who like to sit really close to the action (yes, there will be tasteful nudity, that we put in to drive the story ahead, and not just for the sake of nudity!). MK: What do you want people to know about your own reality of being an adult actor? That I ‘chose’ to do porn - and was not pushed into it. I’m not a victim. I make my own choices. How would my life look different if I had become a ‘real’ Hollywood star and not a porn star? Would

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I be a happier man? Not necessarily. When I was still pursuing my Hollywood dream, Whitney Houston drowned in a bathtub, Michael Jackson died an unnatural death, and later, Robin Williams committed suicide. They had achieved everything I had dreamed of as an artist - so why were they not completely happy? I found happiness and love in the ‘dirty’ world of porn - because it’s not necessarily ‘dirty’ - it’s what you make of it. That’s true for so many other aspects in our lives. MK: Proceeds from the musical will be donated to VeryHuman. org - can you tell us about the organization and why did you choose to partner with them? I believe in karma. I wouldn’t have gone this far with SHOOTING STAR if it weren’t for the love and support I got from my friends and sometimes even strangers who stepped into my life. And that’s why Shooting Star wants to give back some of the love and support. If any of the issues mentioned in Shooting Star speak to you and you like to

have someone to talk to, please contact our friends at www.veryhuman. org. Their free program helps members on their journeys to individual healing and empowerment. But they also help manage the lifestyle changes that accompany an HIV diagnosis. Something I wish I would have had when I first found out about my HIV infection in 2001. That’s why Shooting Star is also proud to support the www. and the #UequalsU message: Undetectable Viral Load means HIV is untransmittable. Since Hans had his HIV coming out in 2017, my porn persona has given me a voice to educate about Safer Sex options and help break HIV stigma. Tickets are available at: Trailer available at: Facebook: @ShootingStarMusical Instagram: @ShootingStarMusical Twitter: @SStarMusical

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On June 1st of this year, Disneyland Paris held the very first Pride Parade within the park itself. If you are a Disney fan (I am HUGE one!) you probably already know about Gay Days at Disney, a Disney sanctioned day of pride in the U.S. parks. But, this is a whole different ball game! Disneyland Paris is actually staging their very own pride parade on Main Street and a park full of special events specifically to celebrate the pride of LGBT people! It is no surprise that a creative and progressive company like Disney would create such events and it got me thinking about all the great, beautiful and timeless design created by the Disney company. Design which has always been known to be chock-a-block full of LGBT professionals on every level. For me, Disneyland Parks are not only a part of my childhood but, they have also has become my refuge when I need a break from the demands of my design career. The Park(s) give me a chance to immerse myself in design that recharges my own creative batteries. The grand and brave gesture of a full Pride Parade excites me and makes me a proud LGBT Disney fanatic!


No one can deny that, like everything else in our ever increasingly smaller world, design has become a global experience with influences from every corner and culture on full display. The LGBT culture (Estimated at 10% of the population) has always played a disproportionately major role in influencing style in every aspect of life. Today, we are openly embraced by the world around us as persons of style, ability and influence. We have seemingly gone from hiding in the shadows to, in the cases of Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, viable candidates for President of the United States. Though minorities like us always will have their detractors, we LGBT people can take our rightful place in the world culture. I take great personal pride in my work and my accomplishments as a person of style and design. I deliver intimately personal interiors to both residential and hospitality clients every day of the last 30+ years. This is more than my job, it is my passion and my calling. Maybe this is the difference. We designers of any and all persuasions and cultures feel more deeply. I believe it is because as creative people we recognize that what we do can be much more lasting.

Consider the Palace of Versailles, King Louis XIV magnificent “Palace of the Sun”, designed and built to last an eternity to glory of France. King Louis’ brother, Phillip 1, Duke D’Orleans was an openly gay man and known for his style, taste and lavish life. All of this in a time of such amazing excess, he certainly stood out and helped to dictate the style of the period. He did all of this as a French Royal, Heir to the throne, a married man and… he was openly gay. This was during a time when the Catholic church ruled most of Europe, including France and they were against homosexuality. Just like then we still thrive, create, build and live with Pride. His style and the opulent style of the French court live on to this day and are still celebrated in fashion, design and lifestyle as the epitome of luxury.

We are in every job and every position and we have many reasons to be proud and to celebrate our immeasurable and greatly skewed level of contribution. From Anderson Cooper, to Ellen, to Rupaul, to Rachel Maddow, Barry Diller, David Geffen, the late greats Karl Lagerfeld and Yves St. Laurent. They all have two things in common, they changed our world and they are all gay men and women who live out loud and proud! There are of course, many more. Google a list!

To this day, I, as a designer have repeatedly visited Paris and the Palace of Versailles and research every detail of that amazing design and architecture for inspiration in my own work. Great style is timeless, what matters is interpretation. Even when considering the most modern and forward-thinking designs of today’s LGBT trendsetters, they have to begin somewhere, even if their designs are a contradiction of the past, the past is still an influence.

Join me in celebrating not only our oneness but, our diversity as well. And remember that Gilbert Baker, a gay American artist and activist made himself immortal by creating the global symbol of pride, our rainbow flag. What is your commitment to show your Pride this month? Why not head to Disneyland Paris and have a truly, Magical Day!?

We all do our part every day, in every field, by simply being ourselves and not allowing anyone to dictate to us who we should love or how we should live. Each one of us makes a difference. We all help to shape, create and influence the culture of the/our world.

Live Well, Live with Pride! Jumping forward 400+ years, give or take and we find generations and millennia of great design by the LGBT community. At different times we may have been forced to be more repressed but, our influence can never be denied. This month we take a deeper look at lasting elements of design in the world we have helped to create.

Dann designer dann on: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / HOUZZ

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I was sitting on the patio, watching the birds do their aerial mating dances, the bees and their flowers coming into bloom, thinking about regeneration and queer families. Sure, we can reproduce ourselves with a little help from our friends and science. Yet, with rare exceptions, gay men don’t raise gay children and gay women usually bring up heterosexuals as well. There are no bloodlines connecting one gay generation to the next, the grand-lesbian culture to the great grand-lesbians. Gay people sometimes use the word family to describe our partners and our friends. I have a niece, a nephew, cousins, to whom I can pass down blood family “heirlooms.” But to whom do give the diminutive model typewriter Valerie Taylor, known for her lesbian pulp fiction and later Naiad Press novels, gave to me? The photo a teacher sent of her students studying my novel, The Swashbuckler? The rings from my bonding ceremony with Tee Corinne? The Zippo lighter that was once so much a part of my soft butch persona? Would these items have meaning to other dykes? I’m very interested in the concept of lesbian generations and am, in fact, writing a series of standalone books I’m thinking of as a lesbian family saga. Rainbow Gap ( is the first of that series. Writers Ashley Bartlett and Andi Marquette had a conversation about generational differences in Ashley’s “Women and Words” blog of April 16, 2019 <>. Ashley, a courageous teacher, wrote: …for many of the kids, I’m the first real life adult queer they have ever seen. You know when you’re out in public (not in an urban area) and you see queer people and it’s super exciting. My office is like that for the first two months of school. Andi replied: I should totally come visit you. “LOOK, KIDS! LIVING HISTORY! AN OLD!” Ashley also says (about herself and Andi): The most noticeable difference is the decade or so between us. I’d like to look at the differences in our experiences and the ways our hetero-normative world treats us the same.


Later, she says: One could easily argue that the answer to queer diaspora is the internet…That’s where we went to organize in terms of activism or whatever else… and the community centers that were in existence. Andi responded: OH, absolutely. But I do miss having that realworld space because that was where we went to be safe, and to be heard. I shared their conversation with an OLD. Mary wrote: I can’t relate to any of this, as it was 30 years before being out was even in our vocabulary. In Jr. High School… I knew that lesbians existed but don’t know how. However. A real. Live. Lesbian? Never happen. My response: In high school, and I was out then, one of the teachers would toss me a word or two, sometimes just a look, about her life and our connection. Those few words and small gestures of support, clandestine as they were, showed me that my way of life was possible. Mary: How courageous of your teacher! She could have been canned, or worse, if she’d been overheard! Lee: That’s just it. She managed to tell me without saying anything that could get her fired. We were all really good at that. A

lift of an eyebrow, a secret little smile, words that could be taken two ways. It was a whole language I’m not sure Ash, for example, ever had or would want to use. Mary: I think I got in on the tail end of this secret language… I remember commenting to someone who wanted total integration that if we did that, then what would happen to our secret language to recognize each other. Four generations of lesbians. None of us want to go back to the bad old days, where politicians like Pence would send us. But if we do, well, perhaps that language should be passed on because it literally saved lives. The lives of scared and confused gay kids needing even a hint of a mentor, of adults who found lovers, family, comrades in workplaces, of gay people in bars who knew to vamoose or act straight when the lights blinked or the jukebox plug was pulled and the police poured in with their billy clubs. But here’s an earlier conversation. This time I’m posting with my old-style lesbian-feminist friend (LF) and we’re worried about getting that reassurance. We’d read a piece in BuzzFeed about LGBT young people being out, but dropping the labels older gays used. LF asked if this was: A way of avoiding direct words, meaning, actions? I said: Or is it yet another closet? LF said: I’m finding this so true among the young women I meet here. I said: This really makes me feel old. LF wondered if losing labels was: Some kind of assimilation. I whine: We just get to the point where we can say aloud who we are and the next gen denies it. But then I think of science fiction and I can imagine all these Hello Kitty kids willingly duped into shedding their distinctness to join the pod, a corporation-induced mind meld. The world has moved on, though, and we need the language and tools of the Ashley and the Andi generations. Andi said: I went to an intergenerational panel, and young people—early 20s and late teens, were just devastated by the [2016] elections… I got up and I told them… We would pool our resources, we’d teach each other different strategies, and we’d figure this out. I said, you’re first string now. I’m the bench. But I’m here with you to get us all through. Ash replied: Of course. You can guide, but you’ve already done the trenches. You need reassurance that someone will take your work and continue. Fuck, I’m already tired. Andi said: OMG, right? It’s so exhausting. I’ll get back in the goddamn trenches if necessary, though. Ashley: I know you will. I’ll be there with you. The sparrows hopped and chirped, the bees bumbled among the flowers, and I felt regenerated.

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Fifty years ago, it was a busy summer. Nationally, everyone was glued to their TVs to watch men walk on the moon. Woodstock called to every hippie here, there, and abroad. Charles Manson terrified Californians. And gay and lesbian folks watched closely as a little bar in Greenwich Village became a flash point for rights. If you are over age 55, you might have memories of the Stonewall Riots; vivid ones that may’ve become gauzy; or sketchy ones, perhaps, from the viewpoint of a child. If you’re under age 55, the Stonewall Riots are undoubtedly just a story to you and there’s a lot for you to learn. To mark the anniversary of this event that altered so many lives, look for these new books… Beginning in the years before the Stonewall Riots, “Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall” by James Polchin takes a look at the crimes committed against gay men, long before equality and rights were a notion, let alone even being on the table. Murder, of course, lines the pages of this book but you’ll also read stories of harassment, assault, and minor crimes that were embellished so that they could be charged as more serious. Polchin also looks at how criminal acts committed by and aimed at LGBT people came under controversy when attention was paid to one minority group’s safety, and not to that of another group. This, the embedded presence of many (in)famous criminals, and other stories lightly linked to Stonewall make it a unique and interesting book. Because memories fade, opinions differ, and people die, “The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History,” edited by Marc Stein is a valuable resource to have. Here, Stein collected photographs, court transcripts, notes, newspaper excerpts, and transcripts of documents that prove an intimate timeline for the years 1965 through 1973. His focus was on four major cities but he also includes documents that originated elsewhere; works of fiction also show up in this book. While it’s primarily about gay men, lesbians and “transvestites” are inside its pages, as well.

Says Stein, “there is always more to the story…” and this book displays it. And it’s normal to want to compare the way things were in 1969 to the way things are now. In “Out in Time,” Perry N. Halkitis does exactly that with three generations of gay men to show that, while there are differences in social attitudes, health, legalities, and politics, there are also striking similarities in challenges and in gains. Done with mini-interviews woven through narrative to hold together the words of everyday people, this is an easy book to step into, with short chapters and browse-able segments. Readers should note that these books are historically based and may be on the scholarly side, eye opening, and quite entertaining. If you have keen memories of the summer of ’69, what’s here may pull you back fifty years. If you’re too young to remember what happened then, these books on the Stonewall Riots will keep you busy all summer. “Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall” by James Polchin c.2019, Counterpoint Press $26.00 / $38.95 Canada 256 pages “The Stonewall Riots,” edited by Marc Stein / c.2019, New York University Press $35.00 / higher in Canada 341 pages “Out in Time” by Perry N. Halkitis / c.2019, Oxford University Press / $34.95 / $38.50 Canada 288 pages

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Drew Schiff makes his triumphant return to pop radio with “Ride the Wave,” a song he wrote, about the importance of leaning on loved ones in times of need. “There have been times I have felt I wasn’t strong enough to deal with a problem,” he reflects. “I’m a strong guy, so yeah, I probably had most of what it took to rise above the crisis but sometimes, when things get really dark, everyone needs that tiny ray of light, that little whisper of ‘I believe in you’, to help overcome what appears to be insurmountable.” “Ride the Wave” is Drew’s third single release. It is being distributed by AWAL and is available on iTunes, Spotify and all digital platforms. All proceeds from “Ride the Wave” are being donated to the Stonewall Community Foundation.

“I tend to write a lot about love and relationships, including heart ache and issues with exes. Relationships aren’t easy,” Drew laughs.

“I’ve encountered lots of storms over the past few years but if I had to pick the one that has been most impactful on my life, it would be when I was forced to leave home due to my being different than what my parents dreamt me up to be.”

“I guess I want to provide music for the soundtrack of people’s lives,” he continues. “Music that relates to all situations. We all have multi personalities, you know. At times, I love to dance and feel hot and dangerous but there are moments I feel incredibly shy or hurt. I’m man enough to admit I cry sometimes, especially when I reflect on my relationship with my mother.”

Growing up in Hungary, Drew enjoyed a nice childhood surrounded by his sister and cousins, who were like siblings to him. Everything changed, however, in his teen years with the divorce of his parents and his mother openly objecting to Drew’s sexual fluidity, which resulted in some very bad fights.

Though Drew has split ties with most of his family, he counts himself lucky to have forged lifelong friendships with men and women in the LGBTQ+ community. It is a big reason why Drew decided to donate all proceeds from “Ride the Wave” to the Stonewall Community Foundation.

Drew found solace in pop music. “Pop artists like Pharrell, Kanye West and Lady Gaga provided an escape from the everyday wreck of my life,” he explains. “They helped me to ride the wave of my troubles until I was ready to make it out on my own.”

“This year marks the fiftieth year of the Stonewall Riots, the very first modern-day LGBTQ+ march,” the thoughtful singer says. “Back then it was against police oppression and basic human rights. It makes you stop, think and appreciate what the generations before us have done. The liberties we all have now to live our lives, be ourselves, and not just be accepted and tolerated but respected and celebrated.”

He didn’t know it at the time, but the pop singers would also play an important role in shaping Drew into the artist he is today. He writes and records songs that take listeners on journeys. His first single, “Ray-Bans,” is an upbeat, fun, summer-y track. His second single, “It’s Just Today,” about missing a special someone, presents a more sentimental side to the young singer. In “Ride the Wave,” he digs even deeper into his emotions.


Drew Schiff’s “Ride the Wave” is available on iTunes, Spotify and all digital platforms. All proceeds from “Ride the Wave” are being donated to the Stonewall Community Foundation. Follow on Instagram @ drewschiff.



L.A. based sister duo Ceraadi, newly signed to Roc Nation/Island Records with over 1.6 million Instagram followers, and currently making their way across the country on Fresh Empire’s Spring Break Jump Off: The Playlist Edition weekend tour of the U.S., spice up the mix with the release of “Loyal,” their label debut song, and the first new track from their upcoming EP due this summer. On their new release and signing to Roc Nation/Island Records, Ceraadi states, “If you’re loyal to me, I’ll be loyal to you. “Loyal” is about being able to trust someone. Trusting that what we say is what we mean. It’s something we “NEED” in a relationship. It’s a 50/50 thing. In previous relationships, we both have found out that the person was dating multiple people. It hurt a lot. Why couldn’t they have been loyal or even honest enough to break up with us beforehand? It’s something everyone goes through. Like stop playing games! Do you want to be with us or what? Ha-ha!” Glued together by shared harmonies, Ceraadi not only complement each other in terms of fashion, fire, and ferocity, but they also finish each other’s thoughts musically. Saiyr raps with tenacity and nimble wordplay, while Emaza belts with soul and spirit. Together, these two sides form one dynamic, diverse, and distinct whole.

They tapped into this energy as children back in Cedar Rapids. Inspired by mom’s favorite classic R&B and hip-hop, they listened to everyone from Destiny’s Child, Ciara, SWV, and Janet Jackson to WuTang Clan, Jay-Z, and Lil’ Kim. Their mother presented music as a refuge in the face of turmoil and uncertainty relocating thousands of miles across the country. Eventually, they ended up in Long Beach, CA where they stayed for five years before settling in South Central for four years. Around the same time, they started filming videos as an outlet from a dark reality and posting them on social media. As their audience expanded in early 2019, their dance challenges and YouTube “Playlists” would typically crack the 1 million mark, and major brands enlisted them for high-profile social campaigns. Their indie singles “Active” and “Kung Pao” put up strong numbers online and captivated Roc Nation who hopped onboard. As their profile dramatically rose, they inked a major label deal with Island Records, setting the stage for Ceraadi’s official debut single “Loyal.” Underscored by throwback production right at home with their nineties influences, the song dips in and out of sassy rhymes before a heavenly and harmonic hook hypnotizes.

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Vacationer is a new online LGBT travel website which launched this month. Their goal is to provide travel advice and inspiration for everyone in the LGBTQ+ world. They will never tell you what to look like or that you must change your body before you hit the beach, in their words: “Every body is beach ready!” We are kicking off our partnership with Vacationer by showcasing one of their launch articles, “Lesbian Inns Around the World” which is a cool guide to some amazing inns that just happened to be owned and run by lesbians. HOTEL MOCKINGBIRD HILL– PORT ANTONIO, JAMAICA Hotel Mockingbird Hill in Port Antonio is owned by Barbara Walker & Shireen Aga and is Jamaica’s best eco-chic boutique hotel. Located on a hillside on Jamaica’s north-east coast, between the majestic Blue Mountains and the Caribbean Sea, this intimate, charming hideaway is set amongst some of Jamaica’s most stunning natural scenery. It is a place where guests are invited to ditch the holiday clichés and connect with the real Jamaica. Hotel Mockingbird Hill is a 10-room sanctuary offering a casual, elegant setting, glorious gardens and panoramic vistas and is only minutes from the romantic Frenchman’s Cove Beach. Visit THE CHALET OF CANANDAIGUA BED & BREAKFAST CANANDAIGUA, NEW YORK Perched on a secluded hillside, The Chalet of Canandaigua Bed & Breakfast offers luxurious accommodations in a peaceful


and private location as well as easy access to the attractions of the Finger Lakes wine country. In October of 2006, Margaret Covington and Pattie English, the current owners and innkeepers, acquired The Chalet with warm wishes from the original owners the Lee family. Now the perfect place for romantic getaways, special events, or business travel, The Chalet features three comfortable bedroom suites, spacious common areas, and a second story porch that offers views of the surrounding countryside. Just minutes from downtown Canandaigua, The Chalet offers the perfect balance between privacy and convenience. Visit THE PEACEFUL PELICAN – PALACIOS, TEXAS, USA Experience the charm of this historic 1910 home and its scenic bayfront location in the quiet shrimping town of Palacios, Texas.

Owned by Paula Whitney, the property has been recognized with a Texas Historical Marker and was fully renovated in 2006-07 to bring it up to date and restore its timeless beauty. The Peaceful Pelican is proud to offer 5 luxury rooms, all with private bathrooms, first class amenities, wireless internet, an afternoon glass of wine and full gourmet breakfast. Visit THE MAUGER ESTATE B&B – ALBERQUQUE NEW MEXICO

its doors to guests as a bed and breakfast in 1987 and has enjoyed a full and successful history ever since. The Mauger Estate is listed in over 50 guidebooks, and has been featured in the LA Times, the NY Times, and Home and Garden and Travel and Leisure magazines. Visit BELLATRIX B&B FOR WOMEN – CORK, IRELAND

The Mauger Estate B&B is a classic example of Queen Anne style architecture. It has been beautifully restored with careful attention to detail, preserving many of the original features including etched glass and finely refinished woodwork.

Bellatrix is a bed and breakfast for women on The Wild Atlantic Way, Beara Peninsula, close to Castletownbere, West Cork, Ireland. It’s the place where women from all over the world can meet and relax in Ireland’s stunning south west coast.

The inn features a parlor/sitting room, a beautiful indooroutdoor dining room, stunning suites and cozy bedrooms (including one with a special doggy door and private yard), and a sunny breakfast room in what was once the home’s sleeping porch.

Lainey from Ireland and Rita from Switzerland (the owners) have been providing a space for women’s holidays for more than ten years now. Young and old, active and retired, all women are welcome to this home from home under the stars. Visit Read more LGBTQ travel stories at

Currently Owned by Stephanie & Leia the Mauger first opened

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50 years ago we had the historic Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village that was the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement. Thanks to iconic members of our community such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who spearheaded said riots in New York, we have made leaps and bounds since that night, both nationally and internationally for the LGBTQ+ community. We now have bars, coffee shops, clothing stores, thrift store, and more that are openly LGBTQ+, with several cities through out the US considered to be safe havens for the LGBTQ+ community. From achieving marriage equality to creating some of the largest pride events, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made an incredible amount of progress for our community. To celebrate these achievements with our LGBTQ+ siblings is an honor, and to be a part of making history for our community is an even greater honor. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, our community will be presenting commemorative arts, cultural, and educational programming to mark the anniversary of the


rebellion at the Stonewall Inn, which will hopefully be the largest international LGBT pride celebration held in history. In the spirit of celebrating the LGBT community, Transgender Community Coalition and Transgender Health and Wellness Center ( two of the largest transgender owned and staffed non profits in the Inland Empire) will be hosting an event called the Stonewall Humanitarian Awards. The Stonewall Humanitarian Awards put on by the Transgender Health and Wellness Center is to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, by honoring those in our community who have shown exemplary support and ally ship to the transgender, intersex, and gender diverse community. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honorees are the L-Fund, receiving the Marsha P. Johnson Ally Award, and Anthony Valesco will be receiving the Stonewall Humanitarian Award for his direct support for our local community as well as abroad. There will be thrilling performances from singer, songwriter, actor, model, and activist, Laith Ashley, as well as guests such as Anne Walker. Visit


AAP – Food Samaritans will host a dazzling Independence Day Celebration and fundraiser on Thursday, July 4, 2019 at the historic O’Donnell House, also known as “Eye of the Desert” (or Ojo Del Desierto). Settled on the sheer mountainside above the Palm Springs Art Museum, the expansive terrace of the O’Donnell House seems to float above the desert floor.

Completed in 1925, the O’Donnell House served as the winter home of oilman Thomas O’Donnell and his wife, Dr. Winnifred Willis Jenny, a well-known Long Beach osteopath. The two-story Mediterranean Revival-Monterey residence remained the highest mountainside home in Palm Springs until the 1960s. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

The event begins at 7:30 pm, and the City of Palm Springs’ fireworks display will commence at approximately 9:15 pm. Guests will be treated to a good ole’ 4th of July barbeque catered by Willie Rhine and his amazing team from EIGHT4NINE who will provide amazing décor, great service, and delicious food and beverages. Tickets are $150, which includes an open bar, barbeque, entertainment, and valet parking. (Advance purchase is required.)

Tickets for the Independence Day Celebration may be purchased at or by calling 760-325-8481.

“This is our ninth year offering this unique and fun-filled way to observe our nation’s birthday,” said Mark Anton, CEO and Executive Director of AAP – Food Samaritans. “Once again, we are extremely grateful for the generosity of Dr. Tracy Conrad and Dr. Paul Marut for allowing us to hold this fundraiser and fireworks viewing party from this amazing location.”

ABOUT AAP – FOOD SAMARITANS Now in its 28th year of service to the community, AAP – Food Samaritans of Palm Springs remains dedicated to providing nutritional support to improve the quality of the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Initiated by a small group of concerned citizens led by the late Gloria Greene and Jeannette Rockefeller, AAP provides nutritional support to members of the community with low incomes. For more information, please call 760-325-8481 or visit

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NEWS GAYMING MAGAZINE TO HELP THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY LEVEL UP BY ROBIN GRAY Gayming Magazine will be the go-to online resource for the LGBTQ+ video game community. Launched globally on June 1st, it provides news, reviews and stories about the video games world. LGBTQ+ positivity is still a challenge in the video game world. The industry is very hetero-dominated, and most games adopt an “assumed straight” starting point for their characters, although there has been a notable improvement with some titles in recent years. Issues around homophobia in the mainstream video game player community have also been widely reported. Despite this, LGBTQ+ people enjoy video games and have built whole communities around being a “gaymer”. Gayming Magazine will be the conduit between the community and the industry. Providing news, reviews, features and more, Gayming Magazine will look at the video games world with a queer twist. Additionally, the Magazine’s focus will also be on bringing people together. Whether that is helping people connect with


their local gaymer group, or by bringing the industry closer to the community through interviews and features on LGBTQ+ companies, developers or other notables. With a diverse roster of writers and contributors from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, Gayming Magazine promises to be an exciting companion website to the entertainment world. Robin Gray, Founder of Gayming Magazine, said: “For too long, the LGBTQ+ community has sat on the fringe of the video games community, carving out their own niche. We want to celebrate that niche while also working with the community and with the industry to bring the two halves closer together, ensuring LGBTQ+ people feel welcome, included and represented within the gaming world they adore so much.” The online magazine is available now at To keep up to date with everything Gayming, readers can follow @GaymingMag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Happy Pride! Here’s hoping you all had a great Memorial Day. I spent mine in Puerto Vallarta for their Pride and of course had a fantastic time. I think like half of Palm Springs was there, our new Home away from Home, it seems. But the biggest news for me in relation to Pride is my upcoming trip to Tel Aviv. I’ve never put this in print before but I am actually Jewish because my mother was Jewish. I’ve never identified myself as such because I was raised Catholic. My parents wanted to raise their children with one religion and they agreed that my mother would convert, a very unusual choice, especially at the time (during WWII) but nonetheless, theirs. So, if Palm Springs represents my “authentic and true Home,” then Israel represents my Homeland, which to me is truly exciting. I have high hopes for this trip and feel like it will be another game-changer! I have thought a lot about Pride since I moved to Palm Springs. As a straight woman, I have strongly identified with my own sense of Pride and realized that I have seen great changes in our city in relation to it. I loved the idea that we were all coming together, spending quality time especially at the dance parties. (Big surprise there!) But, over the past 14 years I’ve seen such a shift in the Palm Springs that drew me here. The “vibe” has changed! And as much we have experienced new frontiers that were long overdue, I’ve seen our collective “soul” disappearing, being replaced by money making “productions” that no longer represent what I understood to be the original foundations and purposes of gay pride. But maybe I’m wrong. The parties that I attend are now splintered into so many groups that I feel more divided than ever. There is not that same sense of unity that I once felt. Instead, they’ve been replaced with under attended parties that are much more superficial and more isolating. I go to so many parties where every person is facing the DJ rather than facing the people who are standing right next to them. I didn’t pay my money to go to a concert or to go to an organized church where we are looking up at a priest, but instead attended the dances to come together with like-minded people with whom I have a lot in common and to of course meet as many people as I can.

My hope for attending Tel Aviv Pride is that I will again feel the “soul” that is missing here and believe that if I can take that energy in and at the same time share my soul, I can spread it to the other Prides that I will be attending this coming summer. I’ll be in Amsterdam, Prague, and Barcelona for Pride after going to San Diego, ending with Bear Week in Sitges before coming back to you here in Palm Springs. I wonder what Pride means to each of you? And I open up questions to us all, regardless of gender, affiliation, etc. but to each individual. You’ve heard me say before that I came out of my shell and therefore Out of myself 14 years ago when I landed in Palm Springs. The “community” gave me the long awaited, much needed nod to Come Out, and I haven’t held back ever since. The Jill you know is as new to me as she is to you. You have all helped me to do that and I want to return the blessing to anyone I can! I believe its possible for each and every one of us. And I encourage you to Come Out, Come Out, wherever you are! So, enjoy this monumental 50 year anniversary of Stonewall, embrace World Pride in NYC and of course, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and all the other Prides this month. And please, let me know if you think I’m wrong about our Soul! XOXO, Jill, Your cheerleader for Life and Dancing Queen!

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EVENTS CALENDAR The LGBT Community Center of the Desert. For further info reach us at joshuatreepride@

NOW THROUGH JUN 9 PALM SPRINGS RESTAURANT WEEK Visitors and residents of Greater Palm Springs are in for a TREAT during Restaurant Week beginning May 31 through June 9. More than 100 participating new and local favorites are offering specially priced menus with 2-item lunches ($15, $20 and $25) and 3-item dinners ($29, $39 and $49), making it the perfect time to TREAT out — for less. Bon appéTREAT! www.visitgreaterpalmsprings. com/dinegps

ONGOING >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET Certified Farmers’ Market Palm Springs Camelot Theatre Parking Lot Moves Inside PS Pavilion June 1 Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m Certified Farmers’ Market Palm Desert Adjacent To The Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce 72559 Hwy 111 Wednesdays 8:00 AM TO 12:30 PM

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.

Moves Inside Westfield Mall June 1 (Sundays 9:00am – 1:30pm) For more information, please visit or call 844-7FARMCV (844–732-7628).

JUN 7-9 | SPLASH HOUSE 2019 Splash House is a multi-venue music festival hosted poolside across three hotel resorts in Palm Springs. GA passes include admission to all three resorts and shuttles running between all weekend. Hotel Packages includes room accommodations at one of our host venues along with GA Splash House passes. By night, the Palm Springs Air Museum hosts our After Hours program — a pair of open air parties back-dropped by vintage aircrafts and the glowing airport tarmac. After Hours admission is sold separately and may be purchased with or without a Splash House wristband. JUN 14-16 | JOSHUA TREE PRIDE We’re celebrating Pride in the high desert with something for everyone. Highlights include live music, LA poet Claudia Rodriguez, Mermaid March, a “Queerated” art gallery,comedy hosted by Shann Carr and much more. Made possible in part by a generous donation from


CV Rep The Coachella Valley Repertory (CVRep), now settled into its newly renovated 210 seat playhouse in Cathedral City, has announced it will remain open throughout the hot summer months to present an exciting line-up of one night only summer performances beginning in June, 2019. CVRep’s exciting array of entertainment this summer will include jazz, cabaret, dance and classical music concerts, as well as Tales from the Twilight Café – staged readings of original works from the members of the CVRep Conservatory Writers Workshop. DBA EVENTS WWW.DESERTBUSINESSASSOCIATION.ORG 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

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)

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

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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.

BLACKBOOK The sleek industrial styled BlackBook Bar located in the heart of the gay strip on Arenas now has Happy Hour everyday from 4-6pm and NAUGHTY hour from 10:00 PM-midnight. During these times you cam enjoy specials such as $5 pint glass well drinks, $1 off all bottle and draft beer, and $2 off all wines by the glass!

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 4pmClose! Live entertainment weekly visit our website for details.

WANG’S IN THE DESERT The bar & patio at Wang’s in the Desert is known as ‘the venue’ and offers daily happy hour, exciting daily events & amazing no-cover entertainment. Award winning, community giving, Top Shelf Happy Hour & Amazing Palm Springs Pan Asian Cuisine. Well known for Friday “Boys Night Out” Complete calendar list at

HUNTERS NIGHTCLUBS® Palm Springs, Palm Springs’ go-to gay bar and dance club, has been leading the way in full-out fun for 20 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 on Sundays 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 community events visit our Media Partner, O’Bayley Communications. CLICK ON LOGO WWW.OBAYLEY.NET

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JUN 1 - 30

NYC PRIDE / WORLDPRIDE 2019 NY, NEW YORK Join us in 2019 for NYC Pride, as we welcome WorldPride and mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ+ liberation. New York is delighted to host the largest Pride celebration in the world, spanning the entire month of June. All events for 2019 reflect the breadth and depth of our LGBTQIA+ community. From the iconic nature of the NYC Pride March and the Rally to newer events such as Youth Pride and Pride Island, we’ve created events with our vast community in mind. For more info and schedule visit

JUN 15 - 16

PORTLAND PRIDE PORTLAND, OREGON The Portland Pride Waterfront Festival and Parade is one of the largest Pride celebrations on the west coast, and one of the largest donation-based Pride festivals in the country. Each year, tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ and allied people come together, to celebrate, be visible, and to demonstrate the strength of our community. 150+ local, regional, and national organizations, agencies, and businesses fill Waterfront Park, while amazing LGBTQ+ talent provide amazing entertainment throughout the weekend.


JUN 20 - 30

FRAMELINE FILM FESTIVAL 2019 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Frameline Film Festival, in San Francisco, is one of the biggest and longest LGBT film festivals in the world, held over 11 days at multiple venues. Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival is a landmark showcase of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer cinema. For tickets & info visit

JUN 22 - 23

CHICAGO PRIDE CHICAGO, ILLINOIS The week before the 2019 Chicago Pride Parade in Boystown, the Chicago Pride Fest® starts the celebration! The 19th annual Chicago Pride Fest® 2019, is a legendary two-day street festival held the weekend leading up to the Chicago Pride Parade with up to 100,000 expected to attend, celebrating LGBTQ+ life, culture and community. This year marks a milestone honoring the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and the birth of the Pride movement.

SAN FRANCISCO PRIDE SAN FRANCISCO, CA San Francisco Pride is one of the oldest and largest LGBTQIA parades in the world. Contingents march through the heart of the city, along Market Street, with more than 100,000 spectators. Over 270 contingents participated in our 2018 parade, making it one of the largest in the history of our event. For info visit

JUN 29 - JUL 7

CROWN & ANCHOR INDEPENDENCE 2019 PROVINCETOWN, MASSACHUSETTS The Crown & Anchor, Provincetown’s premier destination for events and entertainment, is pleased to present Independence 2019 in association with Masterbeat, Brian Rafferty Productions and Powered By Scruff! Come dance, dine and play at the Crown & Anchor where you’ll enjoy top-notch entertainment such as Pam Ann, Dina Martina and special guest performances from Lisa Lampanelli and Frank DeCaro. Provincetown’s largest waterfront nightclub, Paramount, and our adjacent Video Bar, Wave, just voted as top 10 Gay nightclubs in the US.

Our National Media Partner, Queer Forty, is the online magazine for the LGBTQ over40 community. Its mission is to inspire and support older LGBTQ people to keep living amazing lives!

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JUN 8 - 20

SHANGHAI PRIDE SHANGHAI, CHINA Began in 2009 and is an annual festival that celebrates diversity. Organized entirely by volunteers with the support of media, businesses, individuals, and foreign consulates. Aimed to raise awareness and visibility, and to promote self-acceptance and acceptance for the LGBTQ community through sports, cultural, and social activities. Encouraging the community and partners to support LGBTQrelated projects and initiatives. Grown from eight organizers and a modest gathering of 3,000 attendees in 2009, to 30 organizers and 6,500 attendees in 2017.

JUN 13 - 16

BRIGHTON BEAR WEEKEND BRIGHTON, ENGLAND The UK south coastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest annual bear event! We proudly support the Rainbow Fund, a grant-giving fund for LGBT/HIV community groups in Brighton and Hove. We also host fun events throughout the year such as club nights and pub quizzes.

of the most remembered editions. We bring you more than 100 titles among shorts, documentaries and feature films and in this edition we will have special guests. Without forgetting that they remember the 50 years of Stonewall.

JUNE 21 - 29

JUN 20 - 30 JUN 11 - 16

IBIZA PRIDE IBIZA, SPAIN Ibiza has a long history of hosting gay events and supporting the gay community, with previous Pride events running through the 90s until 2002, something this new event seeks to rediscover. Ibiza gay pride will be one of the largest and most important gay events in Europe with up to 50,000 participants from 50 different countries over a period of 5 days taking part in ongoing and integrated events and activities. Alongside the main parade and open-air event in the Port, there will be a series of art and photography exhibitions, documentaries, sports activities and of course there will be an extensive series of musical entertainment.

DUBLIN PRIDE DUBLIN, IRELAND The Dublin LGBT Pride Festival is an annual series of events that celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life in Dublin, Ireland. It is the largest LGBTQ pride festival in the Republic of Ireland. The event has grown from a one-day event in 1983 to a ten-day festival in Dublin City packed with celebrations, spectacles and extravaganzas promoting and celebrating LGBTQ diversity. The highlight of our festival will be our annual Pride Parade and our post parade celebrations.

JUNE 20 - 28

OUTFEST PERU LIMA PERU Two international guests will arrive at the 16th edition of Outfest to give fabulosity and transgression to it. Get ready why one

VENTURE OUT-SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS GLASGOW, SCOTLAND Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just about kilts and bagpipes! From the charming UNESCO World Heritagedesignated city of Edinburgh to the dramatic land and seascapes of the Isle of Skye; from castles both intact and in moody ruins to Scotch Whisky distilleries to edgy and contemporary Glasgow . . . Scotland packs a punch with its steep history, strong cultural traditions.

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.

JUNE 2019 49




JUNE 2019 51







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JUNE 2019 55


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