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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021! 2020, a year we all wish we could forget. The pandemic has brought on great loss and devastation to many. We all know someone who has or have personally been affected by this awful virus. Needless to say we are all suffering from Corona Fatigue. But with 2020 in behind us and 2021 finally here, we are seeing a glimpse, be it dim, but still a glimpse of future hope. With a new caring administration and a vaccine soon available to all those who want it (hopefully that will be a majority) things are starting to look up. But let’s not get complacent. We must continue to follow all safety guidelines and protocols so that we may put an end to this epidemic. Let us all face 2021 with optimism and hope so that we can return to some semblance of normalcy. Happy New Year!

Chris Astrala, Greg Stillwell Tom Tietjen, Ryan Turrin, Jack Bunting, Martha Tang, Dann Foley, Lee Lynch, Bob Bogard, Jeff Dorta, Jill Langham & Terri Schlichenmeyer

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It’s getting easier for people to find the important care they need in 2021 through DAP Health Center (DAP). Top barriers people face are sheltering-in-place fatigue and lack of insurance with no idea where to turn. DAP has been paying attention to what patients say it takes for them to stay engaged in healthcare, which experts warn must not be overlooked during this pandemic. Patient volume has steadily increased throughout the crisis, with about five new patients enrolling per day for ongoing primary care. “People are answering the call to support each other and do their best to care for themselves and the greater public,” says David Brinkman, CEO. “As 2021 unfolds, DAP Health will continue to promote the wellbeing of individuals by creating solutions to reduce or eliminate disparities in underserved populations, including people of color.” KEEP STAYING HOME Services at DAP Health are expanding in 2021, but patients won’t necessarily have to leave home in order to receive them. Telehealth and Virtual Visits were immediately put into use last Spring at DAP, and patients were quick to embrace them. DAP says it will continue using the technology, and it will increase ways the platforms can be utilized by patients and doctors.


Health and income disparities for many in the Coachella Valley were already severe before COVID, and they have become much worse. DAP is addressing digital divide challenges by helping patients who have lost phone and Internet access. Without Internet access, people are unable to communicate freely with their physicians, to access electronic medical records, to research health conditions and treatment, or find resources for healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and national organizations such as the American Public Health Association (APHA) have called reliable Internet access as a “super-determinant” of health because it affects numerous other social determinants of health, such as education, employment, and healthcare access. With stay-at-home becoming a way of life, reliable phones and Internet have become vital for social and community context, an important part of staying healthy for anyone. “We used to tell people to get off of their devices,” says Dr. Jill Gover, DAP behavioral health manager. “But during COVID, what’s important is that we maintain contact, communication and connection with each other.”

MORE HELP WITH WRAPAROUND SERVICES DAP opened one of California’s first COVID Clinics with a hotline, and at least 4,000 patients have been seen or tested for symptoms. These services will continue, but in 2021 DAP is also addressing some of the social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic. Food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to healthcare can have a considerable effect on COVID outcomes, compounded by factors like race, ethnicity, and LGBTQ status. (CDC) “Throughout 2020, we saw public health on center stage,” says David Brinkman, CEO. “And just as the AIDS pandemic of our founding taught us, it is apparent the critical role that health equity plays in the lives and wellbeing of humanity.” With the coronavirus sure to continue on its destructive path well into 2021, DAP Health will expand its array of services even further. Mobile testing and linkage to ongoing medical care in communities of color will greatly increase this year, and DAP is supporting programs to train medical clinicians in cultural competence.

NEW HIV TESTING SET-UP AT REVIVALS IN 2021 Palm Springs Revivals, a location steeped in DAP history, will once again serve as the backdrop for bringing people closer to their health. The community will start noticing DAP’s Mobile Testing Van, with staff dispensing anonymous HIV tests that are self-administered at home. Follow up and linkage to care is always offered with testing from DAP, and we are answering our patients calls for additional ways of HIV testing, accessible in more places. HIV testing at DAP remains completely safe and open during this health crisis. But self-HIV testing is also available by mail. Anyone interested in finding out more should call April Cruz, diagnostic testing and outreach manager at (760) 656-8425. Decades ago in the same complex, a group of off-duty medical professionals would meet AIDS patients at night to administer treatments in an era when HIV was still a mystery and conventional healthcare providers in the area were forbidden from treating people with AIDS. This was the beginning of Desert AIDS Project.

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DAP is providing continuous access to HIV, HCV and STI testing and treatment, plus access to PrEP and PEP. “We are offering more ways of testing to fit our clients’ needs during COVID, whether it’s in the mobile clinic, our campus clinic, and for specifically HIV, a self-test,” said C.J. Tobe, director of Community Health. “We will do whatever it takes to offer HIV, STI and HCV testing, and then link anyone to treatment immediately if they need it.” LIVING WITH HIV DURING COVID Understanding COVID’s effect on people with HIV (PWH) is still developing among scientists, but DAP is acting now to boost resources for its HIV testing and treatment programs for people in the Coachella Valley. Despite COVID, providing more HIV testing and better treatment for PWH remains essential to ending the HIV pandemic. “If 90% of PWH begin antiretroviral treatment (ART) early enough, and they are consistently provided care, we will end HIV,” says David Brinkman, CEO. HIV MEDICATION & CARE QUICKER IN 2021 DAP will cut the time between diagnoses of HIV and entry


into care for patients in 2021, and will make medication available quicker, a move to prevent people from falling out of care. DAP believes this will also help decrease HIV transmission rates. DAP Health offers services that PWH need to stay healthy and untransmittable to others. Patients become part of the DAP family beginning with testing, to linkage into care if testing positive, and then being enrolled in medical and mental healthcare, dentistry, social services, and prescriptions access. Documented viral suppression is usually possible when patients receive ongoing attention in these areas. DAP has the largest team of HIV-specialized doctors in this part of California experienced in aging with HIV and long-term survivors. “We need to link investing in the wellbeing of people living with HIV to ending the epidemic,” says Bruce Richman, founder of the Undetectable=Untransmitable (U=U) movement. “Because when you invest in the wellbeing of people with HIV, you prevent new transmissions.” DAP further helps patients thrive with HIV with access to social services they are eligible for, ensuring they receive needed food, housing, transportation, and home health care support if they need it. Despite access to medication and care, people are still

developing and even dying from AIDS in this community. Even before COVID, DAP’s early intervention program had 160 referrals for attempts to find patients who had stopped filling their ART prescriptions, ceasing their HIV treatment without explanation. (Based on calendar year 2019) PWH will now receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) quicker after receiving an initial HIV diagnosis, or immediately after requesting it if they had stopped ART for any reason. Failing with ART could result in catastrophe, especially with COVID’s compounded threat to PWH if they have compromised immune systems. Falling through the cracks also could mean that some patients whose bodies had stabilized with life-saving HIV meds have stopped taking them, sometimes for five years or more. And for others, it means not starting therapy at all after receiving an HIV diagnosis. DOUBLING SOCIAL COHESION IN 2021 Specialists say social isolation can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but many are trapped with long-term social seclusion, worsened by this pandemic. In 2021, DAP Health will double access to specialized doctors and therapists whom patients can access from home, and a social services team to link them to programs and coverage.

This includes one-on-one therapy and support groups focusing on mental health and substance abuse with emphasis on recovery and relapse prevention. Also offered are general wellness initiatives, socialization programs and activities to counter isolation. Danny Kopelson serves on DAP’s Client Advisory Board and considers himself as thriving with HIV, although living during a second major pandemic for him is full of reminders of the hardest days of HIV he survived. “When COVID was identified as a deadly virus, that immediately triggered a 40-year-old nightmare,” Danny says. “The bleak memories of AIDS in the 80s and 90s flooded into my head.” “Much of the language being used related to COVID is exactly the same as with AIDS,” says Danny. Familiar phrases and keywords can include testing positive or negative, antiretrovirals, antibody, resistance, and viral loads. “This is not an everyday conversation, so hearing it on the news immediately takes me back to the past.” As life during COVID becomes a reality, keeping Virtual Visits with doctors and using Zoom meetings for wellness services and groups are keeping life open for Danny and others. “I’ve started to feel more hope,” he says. “I’ve gone back to doing yoga, meditating, volunteering and being in regular contact with family and friends; masked, distanced and with Zoom.”

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While 2020 certainly doesn’t feel like a year of wins, the LGBTQ community did in fact experience some victories worth celebrating. With so many LGBTQ rights under attack over the past four years, it is important to pause for a moment to remember the wins. While 2020 certainly may not feel like a year of wins, the LGBTQ community did in fact experience some victories worth celebrating: THE SUPREME COURT SAID ANTI-LGBTQ EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION IS ILLEGAL In June, LGBTQ people rejoiced over the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal. This means it is illegal in the entire country to fire someone for being LGBTQ. The decision was based on three cases, one involving a transgender woman and two involving gay men, all who alleged they were fired by their employers due to their LGBTQ identities. These terminations, their lawyers argued, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The Supreme Court agreed. The historic decision was written by


conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said, “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” UTAH AND VIRGINIA BANNED CONVERSION THERAPY FOR LGBTQ YOUTH This year, Utah and Virginia became the 19th and 20th states to ban conversion therapy, an extremely harmful practice that studies show can lead to a rise in suicide attempts. An administrative rule banning the practice for LGBTQ youth in Utah went into effect in January and was issued by the state’s Republican Governor, Gary Herbert. Virginia’s ban made it the first southern state to ban conversion therapy for minors. “Conversion therapy sends the harmful message that there is something wrong with who you are,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (R) in March. “No one should be made to feel they are not okay the way they are — especially not a child. I’m proud to sign this ban into law.”

THREE STATES & DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BANNED THE GAY AND TRANS PANIC DEFENSES This year, New Jersey, Washington, and Colorado, become the 9th, 10th, and 11th states to ban the “Gay and Trans Panic Defense.” Now, it is no longer allowed in these states to argue in court that a defendant committed murder due to “panic” after discovering their victim was LGBTQ. Washington D.C. has since banned the defense “strategy” as well. Banning this defense is a big deal. According to the National LGBT Bar Association, dozens of murderers have been acquitted by using it. “Gay and trans panic defenses are rooted in homophobia and abhorrent excuses that should never be used to justify violence against vulnerable populations,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in a January statement. “With this new law, we are enacting critical measures to protect our friends and neighbors in the LGBTQ+ community.” VIRGINIA PASSED SEVERAL PRO-EQUALITY BILLS In 2019, Democrats took control of the Virginia legislature for the first time in over twenty years. Lawmakers in the state wasted no time in passing sweeping progressive legislation, including measures to protect the LGBTQ community. In March, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed three bills into law to increase protections for LGBTQ Virginians. One bill requires the Department of Education to create policies to protect transgender students in elementary and secondary schools. Another expands the definition of a hate crime to include crimes committed based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, or disability. The third bill, sponsored by the first out transgender person in the

Virginia General Assembly, Delegate Danica Roem, gives localities the authority to prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination in housing, public accommodations, credit, employment and education. And that’s not all. In April, Gov. Northam signed a bill passing anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across the state. Virginia is the 21st state to do so. AMERICA VOTED FOR A RAINBOW WAVE OF ELECTED OFFICIALS 2020 was the biggest year on record for LGBTQ candidates in the U.S., with 782 appearing on the ballot this year and 334 winning their elections, according to the Victory Fund. “In one of the most vitriolic and unprecedented election cycles of our time, LGBTQ candidates continue winning elections in numbers and in parts of the country thought unthinkable a decade or two ago,” said Victory Fund President Annise Parker. This means that 42.7% of LGBTQ candidates won their elections in November. The candidates came from all over the country – there were LGBTQ candidates this year in every state except for Alabama – at all levels of government and showed a high level of diversity: 35.7% of the LGBTQ candidates this year were people of color. Next year’s Congress will be the most queer it has ever been, with 11 representatives and senators identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, up from 10 in 2018. Two representatives-elect from New York are also the first Black, gay people elected to Congress this year. According to the Victory Fund, there were 20 transgender or non-binary candidates who won their elections this year. One of them was Delaware Senator-elect Sarah McBride, the highestranking transgender elected official in the country.

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When it comes to gender, there was also diversity among the winning candidates: 41.3% were women, 53.6% were men, and 3.0% were gender non-conforming or non-binary. There’s only one area where the winning LGBTQ candidates did not reflect the U.S. in general: party affiliation. Of the 255 winners who ran with a major party, 248 (or 97.2%) were Democrats and only seven (or 2.7%) were Republicans. Three candidates ran with third parties, and the rest were independent or unaffiliated. “LGBTQ people span every community – we are people of color, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities – and we are able to use that life experience to connect with voters from many backgrounds,” said Parker. “This beautiful diversity provides an opportunity to connect on some level with every single voter in America. That is the reason LGBTQ candidates are winning in unprecedented numbers, and this will only accelerate in the years ahead.”

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN PROMISED TO ADVANCE LGBTQ PROTECTIONS IN OFFICE Not only will President-elect Joe Biden be the first president to enter the White House supporting marriage equality, but also once sworn in, he has promised a wave of change for the LGBTQ community, and especially for transgender people. Some of his pledges include reversing the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender people in the military, reinstating Obama era protections for transgender students in schools, and utilizing federal resources to curb violence against trans people. Biden has also promised to prioritize passing the Equality Act during his first 100 days in office. The Equality Act would ban antiLGBTQ discrimination at the national level. While these changes haven’t yet happened, it seems the LGBTQ community has a few things to look forward to in 2021.

Thanks to The Victory Fund & LGBTQNATION for contributing to this article.


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From writer and director Harry Macqueen (Hinterland) comes Supernova, a heartrending modern love story about a couple struggling with a diagnosis of early-onset dementia who take a road trip together to reconnect with friends, family and places from their past. Sam and Tusker have spent 20 years together, and they are as passionately in love as they have ever been. But in the two years since Tusker was diagnosed with early onset dementia, their lives have had to change. As Tusker’s condition progresses, Sam is forced to place his life on hold and become his partner’s full-time caregiver. Their time together has become the most important aspect of their lives and every moment they share has a weight it once did not. So, they plan a road trip while Tusker is still able to travel, to see friends and family and revisit memories from their long life together. While Tusker had once been Sam’s rock, it now falls to Sam to take control, and he is resolved to give his beloved partner as much joy and normalcy as he can muster. But his outer resolve belies an internal struggle to manage that colors their every moment. Meanwhile, Tusker knows that his condition is having an overwhelming effect on both their lives, and that he is beginning to lose control. As their trip together progresses, their individual ideas for their future begin to collide. Secrets are uncovered, private plans unravel, and their love for each other is tested like never before. Ultimately, they must confront the question of what it means to love one another in the face of Tusker’s incurable illness. Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) stars as Sam alongside Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, Spotlight) as Tusker. The cast also includes Pippa Haywood (Green Wing) as Lilly, Peter Macqueen as Clive, and James Dreyfus (Notting Hill) as Tim. “Supernova is a romantic, original, modern love-story. It is an intimate, self-contained tale that investigates some of the biggest human questions of all: how we live and love and laugh, even as we near the end of our time.” writer/director Harry Macqueen.

you’re always drawing from your own experiences, but I really try hard not to write characters based on anyone that I know, because I think if you do that the characters have the ability to exist on their own, as unique, fully-formed entities,” he explains.

Sam and Tusker, the characters at the heart of Supernova, emerged from the knowledge Macqueen gained through research, and the people he met informed them, but he was keen not to directly base their journey on any of the stories he heard. “Subliminally,

“To have these two men, (Colin Firth & Stanley Tucci) play these two roles will probably forever be one of the most humbling experiences I’ll have as a director,” Macqueen reflects of his collaboration with Firth and Tucci. “From the first morning we turned



over on the film, it was very obvious to everyone that we’d made the right choice, and that these guys were going to take my script and run with it. It was a unique experience, working with them.” The notion of following a gay couple struck Macqueen early on, and once the decision arrived, it became undeniable. Indeed, dementia does not discriminate, and though cinema has a long and rich history of gay storytelling that directly examines sexuality, Macqueen saw an opportunity with Supernova to reflect a shared experience through the lens of a committed, long-term relationship between two men. “This is a story about the universality of love,” he reflects. “To frame the experience that the characters are going through in the context of a same-sex relationship, and for that sexuality to be ultimately irrelevant to the story they were facing, did feel like an important thing to do. I wanted to normalize what is, of course, a very natural and normal thing, because I don’t think it’s done enough in cinema.” Adds Stanley Tucci, “It’s about two people who love each other, and they happen to be gay. You could easily swap it out for a heterosexual couple, and it wouldn’t matter. But equally, the fact it’s a gay couple adds a whole other element to it that I think is really important for audiences to see.” Tucci continues: “This whole notion that homosexuality is other—I don’t know who came up with that, but it’s certainly lasted a long time, that idea. How could we ever think that love between two gay people is different than love between two straight people? Love is love. That’s it. There’s nothing more to discuss.” Macqueen agrees, and hopes that for all the darkness and challenge these two characters face in the film, Supernova is an uplifting experience for audiences. “When I look at the work I do, I try to ask myself what kind of gesture the work represents for the

world,” he says. “We tried to present a really honest representation of a situation that many people find themselves in. It’s a very difficult place for people to be, but sometimes when you’re on the precipice of something, you find that love is even more beautiful and transcendent than you ever imagined it to be.” He concludes: “I think if the gesture of the film is anything at all, it’s that. It’s about how we can overcome the greatest hurdles by being compassionate and being truthful with one another. I think that’s optimistic. I think that’s deeply romantic.” Supernova is an original screenplay by Harry Macqueen, who also directs the film. The film is produced by Emily Morgan of Quiddity Films (I Am Not a Witch, Make Up) and Tristan Goligher (45 Years, Only You, Weekend) of the independent filmmaking collective, The Bureau. Morgan initiated development with research and screenwriting support from the Wellcome Trust (Wellcome.org) and Quiddity’s BFI Vision Award, before partnering with The Bureau. Financiers are BBC Films and the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding. Executive Producers are Mary Burke, Eva Yates, and Vincent Gadelle. The Bureau Sales are handling international sales on the film, with numerous deals already in place. Joining Macqueen’s creative team are Academy Awardnominated director of photography Dick Pope (Motherless Brooklyn, Mr. Turner), production designer Sarah Finlay (Ammonite), casting director Shaheen Baig (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), editor Chris Wyatt (God’s Own Country), and composer Keaton Henson (A Brilliant Young Mind). Bleecker Street will release the film in U.S. theaters on January 29, 2021.

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The year 2020 wasn’t a total bust except for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who should not have died or have been permanently harmed by Covid 19. In the U.S., many lay those deaths and disablements at the hands of the greedy, power hungry 2020 administration and its followers.

We lost our good and gorgeous gray cat Bolo, but we’ve adopted a shelter cat and a foster dog.

Personally, I’ve been taking inventory of the bad and the good with my sweetheart, and finding some surprises. Yes, over seventyfour million Americans voted to keep the traitorous officials in office, but eighty-one million plus voted to restore our democracy.

Our perfect lesbian neighbors are moving away, but now are our fast friends and are trying to find a buyer compatible with us.

There are arms-bearing fanatics at the gates, but they have served to expose long-entrenched enemies of this country: racism, misogyny, religious zealotry, fear of any kind of difference, from xenophobia to homophobia. I trust many Americans are finally acknowledging these defects in ourselves.

Covid isolation made me put on the pounds, but I’ve already lost more than I gained.

I couldn’t see my family this year, but I can call them without the long distance charges that accrued when I was a kid and my mother dialed her family once a week at low Friday night rates, if no one was on the party line.

We had to give up feeding seed and suet to the birds when rodents discovered the food source—and our house—but our sugar water feeders were so swarmed by hummingbirds that everyone, from friends to delivery people, delighted in coming to our door. The hummers outnumbered humans enough to relax their shimmery bodies and let us watch them from inches away. Other neighbors provided for the birds we lost.

To compound that loss, our much-loved niece is sick and in pain from cancer treatments, but the treatments will cure her and then she’s going to treat herself to Disneyland.


A long-term couple, old friends of ours, are no longer together, but are finding their ways.

We endured colonoscopies, but have clean bills of health.

My sweetheart has a demanding job with long hours, but with her sacrifice, we can afford our goofy, loving cat and dog.

The roof needs replacing like, last summer, but by staying home we’ve saved enough money to get it done next spring. Our neighborhood cancelled the monthly potlucks, but I’m no longer exposed to that ridiculous number of homemade desserts. Speaking of food, the women’s lunch, the Mexican lunch, the men’s breakfast, and worst of all, Butches’ Night Out—all were cancelled in 2020, but have I mentioned my clothes suddenly stopped shrinking? My county just entered the extreme risk category for COVID, but I know no one who has gotten sick and we tested negative, thanks to our ability to isolate. A beloved old friend died, but we had one last joyous visit in the mountains around Crater Lake in Oregon before her last decline and her spouse is going to, slowly, be alright.

Top conferences like the Golden Crown Literary Society and Saints and Sinners went virtual. I missed getting together with friends, other readers, and writers, but the popularization of Zoom and Duo and Skype have strangely given us perhaps more in depth encounters than hurried lunches and large group dinners. Shopping became an infrequent, rushed chore, but impulse buying, useless accumulation, and shopping as fun may help save the planet. Between the plague and the threat of a Totalitarian state, I feared my time on earth had been shortened, and it still might be, but day to day I’ve had more time than ever to finish a book, start another, be with my sweetheart, and just be. For me, the word “but” has become synonymous with the word “gratitude,” as in: the 2020 occupier of the White House severely damaged our country and my gratitude to everyone who helped oust him is strong—no buts about it.

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You’ve got a little extra time this month, and you don’t want to waste it. You want to read something good, the possibilities are endless, and the best place to begin is with these Best Books of 2020 titles... FICTION: “Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman starts out kind of weird, as if it consists of half-thoughts. Stick around a few more pages, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a hilarious, sweet, wild tale of a robbed bank, a real estate open house, and heart. Put this at the top of your list, if you love novels. Both “Beheld” by TaraShea Nesbit and “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab involve women in situations that are dark and dangerous: In the Nesbit book, a Pilgrim village holds secrets that are not discussed, and the wife of the town troublemaker knows too much. In the Schwab novel, a headstrong young woman makes a decision she might regret for the rest of her very long life. There’s a hint of feminism in both books, and they’ll both give you shivers for months after you finish them. Fans of thrillers will eat up “The Last Flight” by Julie Clark, a tale of an abusive husband, swapped identities, and murder – or


maybe not. If you like heart-pounding cat-and-mouse tales, this is your book... only here, you sometimes don’t know which is the cat and there’s an extra, menacing mouse. A wide, sweeping experiment in tolerance is at the heart of “Under the Rainbow” by Celia Lasky. Acceptance Across America, an LGBTQ organization, is about to see if they can change the hearts and minds of bigots in Small-Town America by moving a handful of gay men and lesbians to Big Burr, Kansas. This novel, told from the POV of the town’s residents, is full of humor, love, secrets, haters, strife, and everything else you want in a novel. NONFICTION: “How to Astronaut: Everything You Need to Know Before Leaving Earth” by Terry Virts is fun and lighthearted, and will put you back in touch with your inner child, the one that really wanted to grow up to be an astronaut. It’s filled with inside information, fun facts, a bit of memoir, and it’s timely. Space Force, anyone? Pet lovers absolutely should not miss “Good Boy” by Jennifer Finney Boylan, a memoir of life and family told in seven dogs that Boylan lived with and loved. What lands this book on the list is that Boylan will make you reminisce about all the Good Boys (and Girls)

you’ve loved and lost, too. Speaking of books that make you think, “We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy” by Elijah Cummings with James Dale is the perfect book to read at the end of a tough political year. Written literally as Cummings was dying, this book is full of calming words that can help heal. If you feel beaten up by the past few months, this book is a balm for your soul. While “The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War” by John “Chick” Donohue & J.T. Molloy may seem like a romp, it’s much more. Back when Donohue was a merchant seaman, he volunteered to take a beer to each of the hometown neighborhood “boys” in Vietnam. Finding them was half

the problem; war was the other half. This is the consummate buddy book, and it can’t be missed. Anyone who’s a sucker for a good Mother-and-Child book will love “Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends” by Dan Mathews, who renovated a Victorian house and moved his mentally-ill, elderly mother in with him. She’s charming and funny, but she’s also a handful. Read it. Bring tissues. Enough said. And there you have it: a short list of can’t-miss reads to get you through the winter. Season’s Readings!

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So, 2020 was a s*#@ show. Is this news to anyone out there? I didn’t think so. As a country we have been anticipating the end of this year for months now and we are finally here! It’s a new year with newfound hope, new found optimism and hopefully, new found civility. We have collectively spent way too much time talking about what Covid has cost us. How about we begin the New Year by pointing out the things that may have actually made us and our lives a little better. This exercise is not meant to belittle anyone’s on-going experience due to sickness, death or the loss of their livelihood. But, at the worst of times, finding those moments of gratitude for what has come can be the most cathartic. Being a designer, my focus is always on my client’s projects. My job is to make their lives more beautiful and comfortable. When you suddenly find yourself working from home, with your spouse, kids, pets, maybe even some quarantining relatives, the idea of beauty and comfort takes on a completely new meaning. The calls we are getting from both existing and new clients are all about comfort and function. We are converting rooms into home offices with professional sound and lighting for all those remote meetings. We are soundproofing rooms for home schooling and building at-home classrooms where each child can have a workstation. We are expanding kitchens, redoing bathrooms, converting guest rooms into home gyms, building home theaters, not to mention, updating design work we have done previously to fit this new mode of casual living (on steroids!). What all of this design work has taught me is that the idea of HOME is even more important today than it was at the beginning of 2020. All of those things we thought we could live with or shrug off in our homes are now aching needs for revision. Before this year many of our clients just threw money at their homes or they came to me with the idea of style being a theme to be executed. Today, clients have become much more in tune to what makes them happy and what soothes their souls. Before this past year a home theater was about catching a movie when you had free time. Many


of our client’s home theaters have now become the center of family socializing (after the kitchen). Movie night is every night; the theater has become a cozy cocoon of tranquility for Covid weary families. That giant screen does double duty during the day for streaming workouts, yoga and meditation. Even I never thought that this room meant as a space of pure luxury could become a home’s nucleus of family bonding time. This newfound need in our homes extends throughout the house. This shift is nowhere more evident than in the kitchen. Long the center of family life in general, the kitchen has now become a true delight for newly proclaimed bakers and chefs. I am truly amazed at the joy in the voices and the stories that I am hearing about experimenting in the kitchen alone and with family. The sharing of food and the experience of serving and eating together is one of the most basic elements of family life and living well. Now we just need to find storage space for all the new pots and pans and gadgets required for culinary experimentation. As I mentioned earlier, this need for our home’s to be everything to us extends throughout the house. At Foley & Stinnette we are receiving daily calls for everything from full renovations to new bed linens. The need is great! I already see people scrambling to get the last of this or that. This is where I beg you to stop and take a breath. Let me help you address those needs and desires. Making your house into a home and now an office, schoolroom, gym, yoga studio and gourmet test kitchen can be daunting in ordinary times. Let’s start with a list of rooms and ideas where you can make some big changes now that will carry you into this New Year and beyond. Each of these rooms is broken down into three categories of Easy, Some Effort and Professional Help. THE KITCHEN Easy: Why not try a new faucet? It will change the look of your kitchen and you will be surprised how it will upgrade how you use your kitchen.

Some Effort: One of my favorite things to give a kitchen a fast facelift is to change the backsplash. This work can be done in one day! My suggestion is to avoid the big box stores and find your local tile source. They are going to have a huge selection and they can likely recommend a socially distancing contractor. Professional Help: With all the time you are now spending standing in the kitchen, this may the time to change out that floor that might be making your legs ache and your feet tired. Stone has been popular for many years but it is tuff on the legs. Talk to any professional chef and they will tell you that what they stand on makes a huge difference in how they cook. Comfort is everything! Wood is softer and easier on the legs and back but, you can still do hard surfaces that can be more forgiving, like porcelain tiles or planks. THE HOME OFFICE Easy: If you are doing more and more video calls, invest in a broadcast quality microphone. They are affordable and easy to find from home by computer. It will make you appear more polished and professional in those meetings. Some Effort: Along with that new higher quality sound, try adding some professional quality lighting to your room. I have standing lights with diffusers that are fully adjustable and can be found online. It’s like having a professional photography studio in your home. Just like adding the mic, it’s all about being polished and professional. Professional Help: Your background is so very important when doing video meetings. What is behind you when you are on camera? Is it distracting? Is it inappropriate in any way? Or is it so bland that viewers zone out? Paint, wallpaper, art, bookshelves, natural lighting, etc. The right design can help you sell your ideas. The easiest tip I can share is to not have a mirror behind you reflecting the other side of the room and the back of your head.

THE FAMILY ROOM/DEN. Easy: Now is the perfect time to upgrade those throw pillows and throw blankets. With the amount of time we are spending at home, don’t you deserve the best? If your pillows are just fine (thank you), consider replacing or upgrading the fill inside to make them more luxurious and comfortable. Some Effort: This is the time to upgrade that TV. With blockbuster movies premiers now streaming from their release date, you and your family deserve the best possible picture and sound. And all of the components can be delivered to your doorstep (probably at no cost). Professional Help: Redecorating is daunting in normal times but, this is the one room where the effort will change your lives today and long into the future. Maybe different seating arrangements or a better quality of upholstery are needed due to the time and use of the room. My job is not just to show our clients pretty things. We are here to help you understand and navigate all of the newfound issues of living life at home. Where you start doesn’t matter. Beginning to recognize your needs and understanding what makes you happy and comfortable in your home is the greatest gift we have been given in 2020. My wish for us all is that we enjoy our homes more, stay home more and share our homes and lives with those we love. Happy 2021 everyone…it can only get better. Live Well, Dann Foley Designer Dann: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz www.foleystinnette.com

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Do you ever notice how fulfilled you feel when you spend time with your pet? How your pet can inspire joy while also somehow helping you feel less stressed? Or maybe you are thinking of getting a pet hoping for companionship, affection and love? These and many more positives are the result of the pet effect, also known as the human-animal bond. “Science supports that the pet effect is real for people of all ages,” says PetSmart Charities President Aimee Gilbreath. “However, you don’t need research to see for yourself the benefits a pet can bring a family. Adopting a pet is a life-changing experience. The human-animal bond is a profound thing and many people consider their pets members of the family and welcomingly embrace the many positives they provide.” OWNING A PET HAS MENTAL AND PHYSICAL BENEFITS Scientific evidence supporting the emotional health advantages


of pet relationships is growing. Pets and therapy animals have been shown to help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and social isolation. For example, a study by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Cohen Research Group found 74% of pet owners reported mental health improvements from pet ownership and 54% of pet owners reported physical health improvements from pet ownership. PET OWNERSHIP REDUCES U.S. HEALTH CARE COSTS About 80 million U.S. households have pets, according to the HABRI Foundation, and that pet ownership has saved the U.S. health care system an estimated $11.7 billion. The largest savings was determined based on a lower incidence of physician office visits by pet owners as compared to non-owners. Additional savings were calculated for increased physical activity for pet owners, such as dog owners who walk their dog five or more times a week.

PETS PROVIDE SECURITY DURING TIMES OF STRESS A Purdue University study found animal-assisted therapies could help provide diversion from anxiety-inducing medical experiences, providing a sense of security, while also encouraging interaction and activity often critical for healing. Something as simple as an affectionate nuzzle or a wag of a tail from a therapy animal can decrease stress and anxiety for patients and the hospital staff. When at home, your own pet can provide a sense of security and peace to help manage stress and anxiety, too. PETS PROVIDE COMPANIONSHIP, ESPECIALLY DURING TIMES OF ISOLATION Companionship is a top reason people own pets. During times of increased isolation such as quarantine and social distancing, this is particularly important. An additional study by HABRI found that pets are part of the solution to social isolation and loneliness, a growing public health epidemic, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 85% of respondents agree that interaction with pets help reduce loneliness and 76% agree that human-pet interactions can help address social isolation, followed by 72% who believe that human-animal interaction is good for their community. ORGANIZATIONS ARE STEPPING UP TO SUPPORT PET OWNERSHIP Realizing the many benefits of pet ownership, some organizations are doing their part to support the pet effect. For example, PetSmart Charities is providing grants supporting nearly 4,000 animal welfare organizations across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico to provide shelter, socialization and veterinary care to homeless pets to prepare them for adoption, as well as providing resources to help keep pets and the people that love them together. Since 2012, PetSmart Charities have committed nearly $4 million in grants to support change making local animal welfare organizations across North America.

JANUARY 2021 27

This protects you.

So does this.

COVID’s not the only virus we’re trying to stop


JANUARY 2021 29



Happy New Year! These are the words that many people will use to start the New Year for 2021. Let’s dissect each of the words. HAPPY. By definition it is, “Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”. However, in reality, many people find it difficult to verbalize not only IF they are happy, but also what it would take to make them happy? Last January 1st, I had many family and friends proclaim, “I’m gonna live my BEST life, ever!” Well, guess what? They did not have one change in THEIR behavior for the entire year so I suppose it goes without saying that their life for 2020 was no different than it had been in the last 10 years. Actually, I am being nice…for that last 15 years. Needless to say, this year, everyone’s catchall, who needs an excuse, will say, “If it had not been for Covid my life would have excelled in ways you can’t imagine.” Sadly, there have been over 300,000 Americans who died or lost family members or lost their jobs and businesses, yet the one’s I’m referring to are those whose life in 2020 looked the same in 2019. Too often our happiness is based on if someone ELSE does something. If your partner loves you; if you get a promotion; if you get approved for a home loan. Well, what if NONE of those happen? At what point will you accept some accountability and responsibility for your OWN happiness? NEW. By definition it is, “Not existing before or now for the


first time”. Hmmm. What NEW things are YOU creating? Not, what NEW things happened, but what are YOU doing to create NEW experiences? New relationships? New opportunities? Most people I speak with only talk about what they USED to do and I guarantee they will have a “What had happened was…” for why there have been no NEW ideas, goals or plans. The expression is used, “Familiarity breeds contentment”. If that were true why are so many people unhappy with that with which they are so familiar? That includes jobs, relationships, houses and even themselves? Year. By definition it is, “The period of 365 days, or the time taken by the earth to make one revolution around the sun”. I like using the latter definition because it makes it seem like a year is a LONG time. (Smile) Now, let’s put all of this into perspective. Happiness involves YOUR personal responsibility. We spend a lot of “shoulda-woulda-coulda” time. What does make you happy? Don’t say the usual, “My kids being healthy” and all that expected stuff. It is my contention that one of the main reasons that people are not happy is because they don’t damn know WHAT will make them happy? Now, for the NEW part, it’s just that…something NEW. (Smile) We have heard that expression, “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always

gotten.” What will be your NEW experience? Will it be a new hairstyle, exercise, diet, book club, or relationship, volunteerism? What? That is for you to decide. Wow, in hindsight, a year is a LONG time. How did you spend yours? No, I don’t want to hear about Covid, the elections, and a bunch of other crap. What did YOU do? Or better yet, NOT do? Did you work on your health? Did you adhere to a healthier diet? Did you establish better criteria for people you were dating? Did you establish healthier social and spiritual relationships? You had a damn year! What were your excuses? Well guess what? Somehow through it all other people worked it out. We’ve heard the expression, “Rome was not built in a day.” Yeah, well, I bet they worked on it everyday. (Smile) That is what you should do with your life, work on it EVERYDAY. So, in preparation to truly have a Happy New Year, you have some work to do. Be honest with yourself. If you are not happy,

as in feeling pleasure or contentment, start trying to identify what choices YOU can make to change that? Personally, I don’t like the word, contentment. To me, that in and of itself sounds boring. It is my prayer that you have the level of happiness from when you got your first kiss, or got married or had your first child and let’s not leave out the level of happiness of your first desired divorce. For that NEW thing, think outside of the box. Get out of your comfort zone. Surprise yourself with something that may include something SO exciting (and free) that it makes you smile and even laugh out loud. I threw in (for free) so you wouldn’t run out and buy a new car or material items that doesn’t change who YOU are. That is the NEW thing I am talking about. If you need some ideas, encouragement or even assistance, email me at esteem@roadrunner.com and I will be happy to help. Oh yeah, you have a YEAR to experience this new unspeakable joy so get started today! Happy New Year!

JANUARY 2021 31


NEW YEAR…NEW YOU BY JILL LANGHAM Welcome to 2021, the year after the year that we all would like to forget ever happened. As I write this article on December 22, I do not know what the total death count will be for our world by January 1st, but I think I can accurately say that it will be a huge and staggering number! And, one that will keep on growing as we will only be a few days into the new year and have no idea how many more people will fall victim to this horrendous pandemic from exposure over the Christmas and New Year holidays. I know that I have changed a great deal since my ordeal with COVID-19 in March. I have gone through physical, emotional and of course economic changes as well. I have lost some of my mojo and motivation for doing things that made me happy in the past and am still hoping to find my new “norm.” How about all of you? I will be taking my first trip out of California on Christmas Day heading to Puerto Vallarta with the same lovely men that I normally travel with to Mykonos, Tel Aviv, Sitges or other ports of call where we dance and live together like a family. We always eat together, cook healthy foods, work out at the local gyms, shop, dance and have house parties. I know I am in desperate need of that connection and to let off a lot of pent up steam. But, what does 2021 hold for us all? Will we be better people? Have we learned anything of value? I know that we have seen the dark (darker) side of one another especially here in the United States. January 20th is only a few weeks away and according to the polls, the majority of us feel a sense of hope and relief that we can finally stabilize and re-balance our unstable nation. But what about each of us independently? Have you formed a new health regime for yourself? Have you committed to being in the best shape of your life to avoid falling victim to a weak immune system? What things have you changed or altered to help your immune system get stronger? I started early in early March following COVID by altering my caffeine consumption. By months end, I had not had a cup of coffee in 3 weeks. I had been a daily consumer of a “Dopio Espresso, over


ice, ice first, with whipped cream on the top.” Thank you, Starbucks. And if the whipped cream wasn’t bad enough, I added one packet (she says embarrassingly), of Sweet’n Low and some half and half! But after COVID I decided to go cold turkey. I did not have a cup of coffee for about 90 days. I believe that just getting rid of the daily packet of Sweet and Low and half and half which I have most likely had every day for the last 25 years helped my body begin a much needed detoxification in my intestines, home of my immune system. Nine months later, I’d love to tell you that I am still off of coffee, but that would not be the truth. I still have my daily Dopio espresso but now it only has whipped cream on it! I have given up the half and half and the Sweet’n Low and feel great about it. I’m not sure how familiar you all are with some of the specific negative effects of granulated saccharine but to sum it up, it’s powered speed that accelerates the aging of our cells. It is known to being directly associated with the occurrence of bladder cancer, something I think we’d all rather pass on!

The next change began with me using my oven. I had always stored books in my oven because I’ve only ever used the stovetop to cook my 6 meals a day. But during our sheltering-in, I began roasting root vegetables for the first time and loved them so much that I now make them at least once a week. I have perfected the technique if I may say so myself. The final change only occurred with the onset of the Holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving. I invited more than one guest for dinner and really made a night out of it. I had a Dinner Party. My guests arrived at 4:30pm and left at 10:00pm! It went so well that I had two more Dinner Parties since. That helped my immune system immensely by making me feel competent and reduced any feeling of inadequacy and brought joy. A great trifecta! Here is to a New You in this New Year! Much love, Jill

JANUARY 2021 33


LET THERE BE HOPE BY GREG STILLWELL It was a bad year; terrible, in many ways. With 2020 in our rearview mirror, we all are looking to 2021 with a bit of optimism and hope for a much better year. WHY IS HOPE SO IMPORTANT? To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. It not only can help make a tough present situation more bearable but also can eventually improve our lives because envisioning a better future motivates you to take the steps to make it happen. Whether we think about it or not, hope is a part of everyone’s life. Everyone hopes for something. It’s an inherent part of being a human being. Hope helps us define what we want in our futures and is part of the self-narrative about our lives we all have running inside our minds. The definition of hope can differ depending on the person doing the talking. When people speak about hope in a spiritual context, it might mean believing good things will happen with faith in a higher power. They might direct their hopes outward in prayer. For others, it might mean always looking on the bright side and seeing challenges as opportunities. In other words, always “hoping for the best.” Merriam-Webster’s definition makes “hope” seem close to “wish”: “to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true.” Whatever the details, hope in general means a desire for things to change for the better, and to want that better situation very much. HOPE IS A BIT DIFFERENT FROM OPTIMISM Hope is not the same as optimism. An optimist generally is more hopeful than others. On the other hand, the most pessimistic person you ever met can still be hopeful about something. Hope is very specific and focused, usually on just one issue. WHY HOPE IS SO VITAL Most people associate hope with a dire situation. People hope to get out of difficult circumstances. That is often when people do find themselves hoping fervently! But hope also can provide the key to making everyday life better. That’s because just envisioning something hopeful – the child seeing herself riding her new bike, for example – gives a person a moment of happiness, according to Psychology Today. It can make present difficulties much easier to bear, an example of that is reported by the American Psychology


Association. Children who grew up in poverty but had success later in life all had one thing in common – hope. Dr. Valerie Maholmes, who worked on the research, said hope involves “planning and motivation and determination” to get what one hopes for. DEEPER MEANING In a way, having hope links your past and present to the future. You have a vision for what you hope will happen. Whether it does not, just envisioning it can make you feel better. And if it’s something you can somewhat control – like the kids working to get out of poverty – then hope can motivate you to take whatever steps you need to take. Dr. Neel Burton, a book author who writes about emotions, writes that he always asks patients for what they hope for, because if they say “nothing” then that is a sign of depression or worse. Having hope is important to the very act of being a human being. As Dr. Judith Rich writes, “Hope is a match in a dark tunnel, a moment of light, just enough to reveal the path ahead and ultimately the way out.”

JANUARY 2021 35

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A JOYOUS NEW YEAR MARTHA WASH RE-RELEASES HER LOVE & CONFLICT ALBUM BY RAFAEL JENKINS Martha Wash released her Love & Conflict album last year to critical acclaim. The New York Times praised Martha for applying “her full gospel-rooted grit and a mounting fury to ‘Never Enough Money’”, the album’s first single. Rolling Stone Magazine echoed the sentiments, heralding the track as “a stomping, rough-around-the-edges blues rocker anchored by a righteous vocal performance from Wash, who skewers reckless and unchecked thirst for wealth and attention”. But then tragedy struck. First, Martha’s older sister was diagnosed with dementia and moved in with Martha so that she could care for her. “It quickly became a 24 hour seven-day a week job,” Martha explains. “I wasn’t able to give any time to promoting the album.” Then COVID struck, compounding matters even more. “COVID was the final straw,” Martha continues. “Like the rest of the world, I went into survival mode and decided I would shelve the project until times were safer.” While Martha doesn’t believe the country is out of the woods from COVID yet, she has decided to re-release Love & Conflict now in order to help start 2021 on a high-note. “The world needs something new to groove to,” she says. Martha Wash is a two-time Grammy-nominated singer, most widely recognized for her classic dance hits “It’s Raining Men,” “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” and “Carry On.” In Love & Conflict, out now worldwide on Purple Rose Records, Martha proves she has plenty to say outside of the confines of dance/club music. The eclectic collection features mesmerizing blues-rock and adult contemporary songs. The songs are genuinely heartfelt, and each track is fused to the next with a positive message. The one constant is the amazingly powerful and confident voice of Martha Wash. Recorded in Canada, Martha collaborated with producer Sami Basbous and his team on the album. “My producers took me out of my comfort zone and into a new musical direction, and the results are both uplifting and thought provoking,” she continues. “My hope is that Love & Conflict spreads the enlightenment of love and humanity

and that it pushes hearts and minds into listening, moving, caring and some soul-searching.” Martha can currently be seen on her award-winning internet/ cable show, 10 Minutes with Martha Wash. Featuring live concerts, music videos and exclusive interviews with some of Martha’s favorite celebrity friends, the program won a Telly Award for Best Web Series Unscripted and a W3 Award for Best in Video Entertainment, earlier this year. The second season of 10 Minutes with Martha Wash will air on the You Too America Network (YTA TV) later this summer. Martha Wash’s Love & Conflict is available now on Apple Music and Spotify.

JANUARY 2021 37


THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN FOUNDATION & TENT PARTNERSHIP FOR REFUGEES The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a network of over 130 major companies committed to integrating refugees, have joined forces to mobilize businesses in North America to support LGBTQ refugees. Altogether, 23 companies have announced their collective commitment to provide mentorship opportunities to approximately 1,250 LGBTQ refugees over the next three years. At the North American Business Summit on LGBTQ Refugees, convened virtually by Tent and the Human Rights Campaign, these companies recognized the challenges for LGBTQ refugees as they seek to integrate into their new communities. The businesses have each pledged to mentor at least 50 LGBTQ refugees via their LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups -- preparing refugees to enter the job market, and gaining access to employment opportunities. Eyewear company Warby Parker has committed to mentoring LGBTQ refugees in New York, whereas Hilton will mentor refugees in Dallas and Washington D.C., and Under Armour will focus its mentoring activities in Austin and Baltimore. Accenture, an HRC Platinum corporate partner, is expanding their commitment to inclusion by mentoring refugees in Toronto. Other major companies, spanning sectors from healthcare to hospitality and from consulting to financial services, have also stepped up to mentor LGBTQ refugees across North America. They include: Accenture, ADP, AT&T Mexico, Bain & Company, CIBC, CompuCom, GSK, Chobani, Finastra, Hilton, Huron, IBM, Ipsos, Kearney, Medtronic, Nomura, SAP, Scotiabank, Softchoice, TD Bank Group, Under Armour, Von Wobeser y Sierra, and Warby Parker. ABOUT HRC The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the





Creating vibrant community by helping LGBTQ people along their way.

most marginalized people in our community. Equality is on the move with a newly energized and passionate force of LGBTQ people and allies calling attention to the most urgent opportunities for change — and making that change a reality. WE TACKLE INEQUALITY ON ALL FRONTS Fighting for equality means we can’t afford to let anyone fall through the cracks. We work locally, nationally and globally on issues that affect the LGBTQ community. HRC partners with people across demographics, industries and governments to provide leadership on how to back up pro-equality statements with real action — and create a society where none of us is left behind. www.hrc.org ABOUT TENT PARTNERSHIP FOR REFUGEES With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to help them integrate economically into their host communities. We encourage companies to think beyond traditional philanthropy. We work with businesses to include refugees by engaging them as potential employees, entrepreneurs, and consumers. When companies take this approach, they are not only helping refugees, they also see considerable business benefits. www.tent.org


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LIVING THE DAYDREAM OUT SINGER J.R. PRICE RELEASES “DANCE WITH ME”, WITH TOM GOSS BY RAFAEL JENKINS J.R. Price admits he’s had a hard time connecting with Cupid’s arrow in his life. “Growing up poor, with no friends and a family who didn’t love me enough, left me feeling unworthy of love,” the singer reflects. “I was gay, overweight, and never felt like I was the prettiest…” He explores many of his early challenges in “Daydream”, his new album that he refers to as pages from his younger self’s diary. “All of the songs are windows into very personal experiences but I don’t tell them in a sad way. The album is mostly fun Top 40 ear candy that expresses how, even at my lowest points, I managed to hold on to the hope that this day would come when I can finally chase my dreams on my own terms.” Tom Goss appearing on his album is one dream fulfilled. He and the popular out-artist team up on “Dance with Me”, an impassioned love song that JRP says was heavily influenced by Meghan Trainor’s duets with Charlie Puth and John Legend. “If people only knew what Tom Goss being on my album would have meant to my younger self,” he exclaims. “When Tom’s song ‘Bears’ came out, it changed me forever. Here was this video depicting plus sized guys through a sexy lens; wearing swimsuits, exuding power. That video made me realize that I also could be a sex object. I could be someone’s fantasy without having to lose weight. There are guys out there that love my curves.” He was introduced to Tom Goss through his producer, Freddy Freeman, a fellow independent artist in the gay community, best known for his song, “I’m Here, I’m Queer, & I’m Country!”. JRP presented “Dance with Me” to Goss through email and was shocked when the singer replied, agreeing to record the duet. “He put his heart and soul into the song,” JRP continues. “He cared about details and depth in ways I was not expecting. ‘Dance with Me’ mattered to him. He elevated the song beyond what I even heard in my head.”


JRP’s hope is that “Dance with Me” and all of the songs on the Daydream album help to inspire the next generation. “I love the fans who reach out to me from all over the world and tell me that because of my videos, they felt comfortable wearing a swimsuit at a party. I am learning that all of the pain I have been through on this earth is meant for something... that it is helping others get through their own difficult moments.” J.R. Price experienced a rough childhood. His father was a workaholic who was never home and when he was, was emotionally unavailable. His mother was mentally, physically, and emotionally abusive. He had two older sisters: one, a drug addict, and another that became extremely judgmental and distant after his coming out as gay.

Neglected and dejected, food became J.R.’s one comfort in life, but as he grew larger, he also grew suicidal. It led to anorexia, binge eating and body dysmorphia. Last year, he was diagnosed with hyper diabetes. Doctors warned him that he was killing himself. After being hospitalized for a week, he says he finally woke up to the true meaning of body positivity. “I found peace with my body. I have good days and bad days but mostly I realize that it’s not about shape or size, it’s about owning your body how it is and really embracing it. Nothing is more attractive or valuable than confidence in oneself.” Through exercise and dieting, he has lost the weight and has, he declares, “beat the betes.” In fact, he’s the healthiest he’s ever been. “And the happiest because I’m putting my focus on my music. My hope is that the album becomes a little escape from this crazy world and provides big inspiration to daydream!” JRP BY LILLY DYER PHOTOGRAPHY

J.R. Price’s “Dance with Me (featuring Tom Goss)” is being distributed independently and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms.

Follow J.R. Price on Instagram @ joshuarandalprice and Facebook @ JRPricePop. For more information, visit jrprice.org

WHAT WE DO: • Daily hot nutritious meal to over 135 people a day, 6 days a week. • Sack lunches daily –over 1200 a week served. • Phone and mail service. • Morning coffee, rolls and fruit. • Showers daily. • Furniture for people in need. • Clothing for job interviews and those who need them. • Assistance with food stamps, MISP, id’s and more. • Utility assistance. • Rental assistance. • Free notary service. • Resume writing assistance.

• One way tickets home. • Saturday food distribution of healthy foods to working families, seniors, veterans, the disabled, families with children. • Emergency food boxes. • Some transportation to medical and social service appointments. • Van transportation to hot lunch sites. • Home deliveries to seniors who are homebound or frail. • “Well Assist” program to downtown merchants and other business owners. • Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for all in need. Christmas presents for all the children. • Well houses available for long-term group family living, and emergenies. • A family-friendly environment where all can feel welcome, cared about, and respected.

JANUARY 2021 41

CANCER HASN’T STOPPED. So neither have we. Cancer treatments can compromise immune systems, making cancer patients like Victoria even more vulnerable to COVID-19. We need your help to keep critical support and resources available during this crisis.

Please donate today at cancer.org

Victoria, Cancer survivor 42 THESTANDARDPS.COM

JANUARY 2021 43


SERVING OUR COMMUNITY SINCE 1984 Anthony Velasco, Nurse Practitioner

All Your Health Care Needs with One Call 760-992-0426 Se Habla Español




JANUARY 2021 45







For 12 mos. Plus taxes and Regional Sports Fee. w/ 24-mo. agmt & other qualifying AT&T svc (min. $39.99/mo + taxes & fees). Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $9.99/mo. is extra & applies.*

Get the 2020 NFL SUNDAY TICKET season included at no extra cost. *$19.95 ACTIVATION, EARLY TERMINATION FEE OF $20/MO. FOR EACH MONTH REMAINING ON AGMT., EQUIPMENT NON-RETURN & ADD’L FEES APPLY. Price incl. CHOICE All Included Pkg., monthly service and equip. fees for 1 HD DVR & is after $5/mo. autopay & paperless bill and $10/mo. bundle discounts for up to 12 mos each. Pay $74.99/mo. + taxes until discount starts w/in 3 bills. New approved residential customers only (equipment lease req’d). Credit card req’d (except MA & PA). Restr’s apply.

ONLY ON DIRECTV Only DIRECTV lets you watch every Sunday NFL game live, from start to finish—no matter where you live. Out-of-market games only.

NFL SUNDAY TICKET APP Stream NFL SUNDAY TICKET live—from anywhere—on your favorite connected devices.

RED ZONE CHANNEL® Brings you the final yards of every scoring drive around league on one LIVE channel. With NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX. Only available in HD.

DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE® Watch your favorite fantasy players live from game-togame with real-time analysis. With NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX. Only available in HD.

GAME MIX CHANNEL Watch up to 8 live NFL games on one screen, complete with scores and game clock. Only available in HD.

Don’t settle for cable. Call now! Iv Support Holdings LLC

1-888-445-6211 CHOICE 1-YR ALL INCLUDED PACKAGE W/ OTHER ELIG. SVC: Ends 11/7/20. Available only in the U.S. (excludes Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I.). Pricing: $59.99/mo for first 12 mos. only. After 12 mos. or loss of eligibility, then prevailing rate applies (currently $115/mo for CHOICE All Included), unless cancelled or changed prior to end of the promo period. Pricing subject to change. $5/mo. autopay/paperless bill discount: Must enroll in autopay & paperless bill within 30 days of TV activation to receive bill credit starting in 1-3 bill cycles. First time credit will include all credits earned since meeting offer requirements. Must maintain autopay/paperless bill and valid email address to continue credits. No credits in 2nd year for autopay/paperless bill. $10/mo. bundle discount: Internet: Reqs new (min. $39.99/mo plus taxes and $10/mo. equip. fee) or existing svc. Excludes DSL. Equipment Non-Return fees apply. Wireless: Consumers only. Sold separately. Reqs new (min. $50/mo after discounts) or existing AT&T postpaid svc on elig. plan (excl. Lifeline) on a smartphone, phone or AT&T Wireless Internet device (excl. voice-only AT&T Wireless Internet). Both svcs: Eligible svc must be installed/activated w/in 30 days of TV activation and svc addresses must match to receive bill credit starting in 1-3 bill cycles. First time credit will include all credits earned since meeting offer requirements. Must maintain both qualifying svcs to continue credits. No credits in 2nd year for bundled services. Includes: CHOICE All Included TV Pkg, monthly service & equipment fees for one Genie HD DVR, and standard pro installation. Additional Fees & Taxes: Price excludes Regional Sports Fee of up to $9.99/mo. (which is extra & applies to CHOICE and/or MÁS ULTRA and higher Pkgs.), applicable use tax expense surcharge on retail value of installation, custom installation, equipment upgrades/add-ons (min. $99 one-time & $7/mo. monthly fees for each extra receiver/DIRECTV Ready TV/Device), and certain other add’l fees & charges. See att.com/directvfees for additional details. Different offers may apply for eligible multi-dwelling unit and telco customers. DIRECTV SVC TERMS: Subject to Equipment Lease & Customer Agreements. Must maintain a min. base TV pkg of $29.99/mo. Some offers may not be available through all channels and in select areas. Visit directv.com/legal or call for details. GENERAL WIRELESS: Subj. to Wireless Customer Agmt (att.com/wca). Credit approval req’d. Deposit/Down Payment: may apply. Additional monthly fees & taxes: Apply per line & include Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee (Up to $1.50), Administrative Fee ($1.99) & other fees which are not government-required surcharges as well as taxes. Additional one-time Fees may apply. See www.att.com/mobilityfees for more details. Usage, speed, coverage & other restr’s apply. International and domestic off-net data may be at 2G speeds. AT&T service is subject to AT&T network management policies, see att.com/broadbandinfo for details. 2020 NFL SUNDAY TICKET OFFER: Subject to change. Package consists of all live out-of-market NFL games (based on customer’s service address) broadcast on FOX and CBS. However, games broadcast by your local FOX or CBS affiliate. will not be available in NFL SUNDAY TICKET. Games available via remote viewing based on device location. Other conditions apply. 2020 NFL SUNDAY TICKET regular full-season retail price is $293.94. 2020 NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX regular full-season retail price is $395.94. Customers activating CHOICE Package or above or MÁS ULTRA Package or above will be eligible to receive the 2020 season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX at no additional cost. NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscription will not automatically renew. Only one game may be accessed remotely at any given time. Compatible device/operating system required for online/mobile access. Additional data charges may apply. Visit directv.com/nfl for a list of compatible devices/system requirements For full Mix Channel and interactive functionality, HD equipment model H/HR 21 or later is required. NFL, the NFL Shield design and the NFL SUNDAY TICKET name and logo are registered trademarks of the NFL and its affiliates. NFL team names and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. ©2020 AT&T Intellectual Property. All Rights Reserved. AT&T, Globe logo, DIRECTV, and all other DIRECTV marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.



JANUARY 2021 47




JANUARY 2021 49

Req's separate subscription/login for HBO Max,


Watch your favorite entertainment in one place. Plus,


included for a year.



99 MO.

For 12 mos. plus taxes & Regional Sports Fee.

• Stream on your phone, tablet and TV - anytime, anywhere.

Available only in the U.S. (excl. Puerto Rico & U.S.V.I.). Req’s compatible device & data connection. Limited to 3 concurrent streams.

• Access HBO Max, Netflix and more on Google Play.

Req's separate subscription/login for HBO Max, Netflix. Google login required. Google is a trademark of Google LLC.

HBO Max Offer: Access HBO Max only through HBO Max app or hbomax.com. HBO Max also includes HBO channels and HBO On Demand on AT&T TV. Data rates may apply for app download/usage. AT&T TV: *$19.95 ACTIVATION, EARLY TERMINATION FEE ($15/MO.) FOR TV FOR EACH MONTH REMAINING ON AGMT., EQUIPMENT NON-RETURN & ADD’L FEES APPLY. Price incl. CHOICE AT&T TV Pkg. 1 AT&T TV device included for well-qualified customers; otherwise $120. New residential customers only, excluding DIRECTV and U-verse TV customers. Restr’s apply.

Get AT&T TV Today!

1-877-324-1448 AT&T TV: AT&T TV requires high speed internet. Recommend minimum 24 Mbps for optimal viewing (min 8 Mbps per stream). Limit 3 concurrent AT&T streams. CHOICE: Ends 1/16/21. 1st & 2nd year Pricing: $64.99 for first 12 mos. only. After 12 mos. or loss of eligibility, then prevailing rate applies $110/mo. for CHOICE Pkg, unless cancelled or changed prior to end of the promo period. Includes: CHOICE Pkg. Req’s 1 AT&T TV device, included for well qualified customers; otherwise $120. Add’l devices avail for $120 each or on installment; non-qualified customers must purchase additional devices up front. Additional Fees & Taxes: Price excludes Regional Sports Fee of up to $8.49/mo. (which is extra & applies to CHOICE and higher Pkgs), and certain other add’l fees & charges. AT&T TV: Subject to AT&T TV terms and conditions. Avail. in the U.S. only (excludes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). AT&T TV service will continue monthly at the prevailing rate charged to your payment method on file, unless you cancel, subject to any early termination fees. If you cancel in the first 14 days of order, you must return the included AT&T TV device within 14 days of order to avoid $120 non-return fee. Additional devices purchased on installment agreement subject to additional terms and conditions. See cancellation policy at att.com/help/cancellation-policy-att-tv.html for more details. Once you’ve canceled, you can access AT&T TV through the remaining monthly period. No refunds or credits for any partial-month periods or unwatched content. Compatible device req’d. Residential customers only. Pricing, channels, features, and terms subject to change & may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Some offers may not be available through all channels and in select areas. Regional Sports & Local Channels: Not available in select areas. Channels vary by package & billing region. Device may need to be in billing region in order to view. GENERAL: Limit 3 concurrent streams per account. Programming subject to blackout restrictions. Taxes may apply. See your Order Confirmation email and att.com/legal/att-tv.html for more details. HBO Max: Access HBO Max through HBO Max app or hbomax.com with your AT&T log-in credentials. Compatible device or browser required. Use of HBO Max is subject to its own terms and conditions, see hbomax.com/terms-of-use for details. Programming and content subj. to change. Upon cancellation of your video service you may lose access to HBO Max. Limits: Access to one HBO Max account per AT&T account holder. May not be stackable w/other offers, credits or discounts. To learn more, visit att.com/hbomax. HBO Max is only accessible in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories where a high-speed broadband connection is available. Minimum 3G connection is requiredfor viewing on mobile devices. HBO Max is used under license. Offers may not be combined with other promotional offers on the same services and may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Other conditions apply to all offers. ©2020 AT&T Intellectual Property. AT&T and the Globe logo are registered trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property. All other marksare the property of their respective owners.


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