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Vol. 8 | Issue 5 photograher: David Hawe



model: Amanda Lepore



n the summer of 2007 at the end of Orlando’s Gay Days amidst romantic Disney love songs and fireworks we became engaged. Although, we had always felt "married" in our hearts, it was now time to take the next step for not just personal but also fiscal and legal reasons. The surprise of the moment soon turned into the craze of the organization of the wedding of our dreams (which we had never really dreamt of before but all of the sudden color schemes and menus became very important). RELEASE THE GROOMZILLAS! Of course there were certain details that we both agreed on. Our friend Jimmy James (Oh, the happy couple...) would sing at the wedding, our fairy Godmother Amanda Lepore would be our Goddess of Honor and all our sisters would walk us both down the aisle (we are the only males on both sides of our family) wearing cocoa colored gowns that would compliment each of their different body types with cerulean blue accents. We also understood it would have to be a small celebration, because in 2007 the only place we could imagine getting married was California (we both love the West Coast and would both happily live there if we did not feel we needed to stay close to our Cuban relatives that will forevermore live perpetually in Miami, South Florida), Because it was a destination wedding not everyone that we would like to attend would be able to because it was on the other side of the country. But, that was okay - because we were GETTING MARRIED and that was the most important thing. Wasn't it? We happily went along debating about tuxedos styles, locations (we settled on a vineyard in Napa Valley that is owned by a friend) and Honeymoon destinations, when all of the sudden (insert loud crashing sound here) we were hit with the repeal of same sex marriages in California Proposition 8. We were stunned, shaken and terribly heartbroken. How could the people of California, our Democratic liberal friends, do this to us? Needless to say, we took it far more personally than we should of, but once we realized the larger ramifications, the real fear set in. “What if other states start repealing OUR rights?” From there we made the decision that we would not get married unless it was in our home state - Florida (the last state in the Union that will probably make same-sex marriage legal). We thought we were making a wise choice and political stand with this decision. Now we are not so sure. It is now 2014 and although there are many more states, including California again, that will allow samesex marriages - we are still just engaged. We are the "Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell" of our group. We are one of the couple that has probably been together the longer than any other in our set, but are still not really “married” in the eyes of the law. Sure, we've taken all the precautions like making out wills and drawing up documents for the business we own together, but we are still less than equal and that’s definitely not sitting right with us. So, this month we have decided to dedicate the traditional Valentine's Day issue to the subject of equality of same-sex love and marriage. We hope that one day in the near future this issue will just serve as a quaint reminder of antiquated thinking, but until then - we dedicate this issue to LOVE and JUSTICE. They should both be blind to everything except what feels RIGHT in the HEART.



Peter Aguas & Frank Garcia OWNERS/PUBLISHERS OF WHM


PUBLISHER’S NOTE Love & Justice Are Blind...Or Should Be


10 OUT & ABOUT PICTURES February 2014


12 TRANNY TALES By Danielle Hunter 18 STRAIGHT GIRL IN A GAY WORLD By Karen Brown




24 MODEL MARRIAGE Photographer: Kristofer Reynolds 31 GIVING THE RING FINGER By Francisco Garcia




Our mission at What’s Happening Magazine is to create a publication that helps unite our GLBT community. By becoming a voice in the community, we will create opportunity and security for gay and gay friendly businesses. PUBLISHERS Peter Aguas & Francisco Garcia

EDITOR Kiernan Kelly

Contributors: Karen Brown, Daniel Miagany, Danielle Hunter, Kris Reynolds, Luis Gomez & Greg Fox

W HAT ' S HAPPENING MAGAZINE C/O Aguas Garcia Group Media, LLC P.O. Box 52434, Sarasota, FL 34232 | 321.328.0774 Advertising Inquiries: WHM is a regional publication distributed Statewide throughout Florida and also in Savannah, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Visit our website:

Monthly Ad submission deadline for MARCH 2014 Edition is FEBRUARY 15, 2014.

efore anyone gets their high and mighty panties in a twist, the picture to your left is not one of me doing black face. I DID NOT buy makeup from Supermodel Iman on QVC and made myself up to see what a gorgeous ebony enchantress I would look like for this photo shoot. The image that you see to the left is a digitally modified version of the one that you see down at the bottom. The skin tone, hair and eye color were altered to resemble that of a person of African-American descent. (NOTE: None of my other features have been morphed or altered in any way. That is really my nose. Those are really my lips. So, don't start getting it TWISTED.) I know there are several of you that are going to take one look at this picture and are going to think to themselves,"Danielle has really done it this time. She is officially CUCKOO!" I figured,”Hell, If Tyra can do a photoshoot impersonating white models - SO CAN I.” My hope is people will read the article before they begin to make some stupid remarks that will pervert the whole intention of this piece. Now, there are several reasons why I decided to dedicate my article to the subject of African-American DIVAS this month. One, is because, all the most amazing, strong, fascinating women (and especially entertainers on a local and national level) have all been women of color. Whether she is black or blatina, these are women of grit, intensity and most especially PASSION. The second reason I decided to write this article was because like most people I have always wondered what it was like to be something different than what you are. Some men wonder what it is like to be female and vice-a-versa for example. I have always wanted to be a fabulous black DIVA (especially on stage) so that I could do all those great gay anthems and ballads that are inevitably sung by black DIVAS. Finally, and third, I have now written for WHM for 8 YEARS and I can't write one more article about LOVE or Valentine's Day. So, this was the best alternative for this month. Now, I've been known to occasionally sneak in a Whitney Houston number into my repertoire, but I know that it would probably not fly with my audience if I did a Nicki Minaj or a Beyoncé number or even numbers by DIVAS as iconic as Diana Ross or Patti LaBelle. And, quite honestly those are some of my favorite songs of all time. I live to see them performed on stage. I am as much a fan of DRAG as I am a performer, after all. But, I feel sad sometimes to be


stuck in a white-washed box that states that only people of certain ethnicities can enjoy (or perform) certain pieces of art as to not offend the masses. Fuck the masses! I know what my intentions are and they are pure and in no way racially motivated. I don't see color. Never have and never will. A long time ago, I read a book entitled Naked At The Feast which was the official biography of Miss Josephine Baker (you might know her as the flapper in the 20's that danced naked in Paris with a skirt made up entirely of sequins bananas. If you don't, please, I beg you put down your laptop and read a book. YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON SOOOOO MUCH!). This courageous woman was a singer/showgirl, international star, decorated war hero and the Angelina Jolie of her day. Not being able to have children of her own, she began to adopt children from every ethnicity. She called it her Rainbow Tribe. That stuck with me and has inspired me to always seek out a Rainbow Tribe of my own among my family and friends. February is Black History Month. Yes, we all know the jokes that it is the shortest month of the year and that is why it is dedicated to African American studies. Ha-Ha. I urge you, if the GLBT community ever wants to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law,

we must look to our black brothers and sisters that went through that same struggle in the 60s years before the Stonewall Riots. Please look up role models like the recently deceased Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie Mandela and find out how they changed the world. Google "the black Marilyn Monroe", Dorothy Dandridge and see what a difference her life made for actors of color (by the way, she was the person that Hale Berry portrayed the year she won the first Academy Award presented to a black woman in a lead role). The list goes on and on. We have so much to learn from each other communities. Finally, when I first saw the my main image in this month’s article, I must admit I was a bit shocked. Not because I thought I looked odd or different. But, because I still saw MYSELF regardless of the color of my skin, hair and eyes. I was still DROP DEAD GORGEOUS regardless of the color scheme. I also realized that if I ever decided to make myself up as a black person, my dear friend Coco Montrese and I could do a “sista act.” HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

AY MARRIAGE – it’s my belief (shared by many) that we are living in a blip of history and very soon, this controversy will end and gay marriage will be legal and all will have the right to happily wedded bliss and the “same sex” every night or at least once a week! While we know the gays are more than capable of throwing a fabulous wedding reception, it might be a good time to create some new traditions to celebrate the GAY Big Day! So, in an effort to be prepared, your Straight Girl has researched some bizarre wedding traditions from around the globe. In some parts of India the groom removes his shoes as he approaches the altar, then mayhem ensues as the bride’s family tries to steal them and the groom’s family protects them. If the bride’s family succeeds, they hold the shoes for ransom! Imagine this scenario with a pair of vintage, black suede Gucci Horsebit Loafers. In the gay world this is a story that could involve law enforcement and make the 6 o’clock news! How about our friends in Sweden, apparently while the cat’s away the mice will play. When either the bride or groom leaves the table at the reception to use the loo its open season on the one left at the table. The guests can come and kiss that half of the couple…A LOT! This may not be such a novelty considering how incestuous the gay community can be. In most cases this would be a case of been there done that, but could still prove an interesting twist. A guest star on a wedding night…maybe? From counties Leitrim and Mayo in Ireland we have the tradition of “Straw Boys”. There are nine young men collectively designated as “Straw Boys” that visit the home of the bride on the eve of her wedding and dance with her. Just change the word “Straw” to “Go-Go” and voila a new gay wedding tradition is born! In Germany guests bring new dishes to the bridal couple then smash them to scare away evil spirits. This is fine as long as you weren’t registered at Saks or Neiman Marcus! In Korea at the end of the wedding, friends of the groom remove his socks, tie up his ankles (sounds HOT so far) and beat his feet with fresh fish in order to prepare him for his first night as a married man. I think we need a menu change here. Let’s substitute BEEF for fish and we’re in business! Tie the knot, get hitched, undivorce, get married…whatever you call it just make sure you do it in and with LOVE! Like the cheesy love song by Captain & Tennille from the 70’s said,“Love will keep us together!”



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1030 Montgomery Road, (407) 681-2301

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MI TOMATINA PAELLA BAR 433 W New England Ave (321) 972-4317 POM POM’S SANDWICHERIA 67 Bumby Ave. (407) 894-0865 RAINBOW CAFÉ 410 N. Orange Blossom (407) 425-7571 SEA THAI RESTAURANT 3812 E. Colonial (407) 895-0985 TAKO CHEENA (ASIAN FUSION) 932 Mills Ave (321) 236-7457 ■ RELIGIOUS JOY M.C.C. 2351 South Ferncreek Ave (407) 894-1081 HOPE UNITES UCC 425 Columbia Street (407) 247-5294 OASIS FELLOWSHIP 3955 Red Bug Lake Road (407) 461-8685 ■ RESOURCES 24 HR HOTLINE (407) 701-5659 EQUAL - UCF GLBSU (407) 860-4733 HIV/AIDS SUPPORT (407) 277-3938 THE HOPE & HELP CENTER OF CENTRAL FLORIDA 1935 Woodcrest Drive 407-645-2577 THE CENTER - GLBCC 946 North Mills Ave. (407) 228-8272 ORLANDO YOUTH ALLIANCE (321) 279-8041 PFLAG (407) 236-9177 ZEBRA COALITION HOTLINE (877-909-3272)


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COCOA BEACH/ MELBOURNE COLD KEG NIGHTCLUB 4060 West New Haven (321)724-1510 ■ THEATRE KING CENTER 3865 North Wickham Rd (321)242-2219

DAYTONA CLUB 17/92 83 US Highway 17/92 (386) 682-7326 ■ ACCOMMODATIONS AUGUST SEVEN INN 1209 S. Peninsula dr (386) 248-8420


UNIVERSITY CLUB 1 East University Ave (352) 37-6814


THE PUB 14 NW 5th Street (352)857-7255

For A Full Listing Of Businesses, Maps & Directions Visit Our WEBSITE!



MARRIAGE wo years ago, while hosting the 2nd Drag Stars At Sea Cruise produced by, we were lucky enough to become friends with a lovely couple from Atlanta. Their names are William Treadwell and Jesse Lirette. As the year progressed, we became better friends via social media, phone calls and the eventual visits to Orlando and Savannah. We were happy to find another couple that seemed to enjoy hanging out with us as much as we did with them. Late last year, we all met up again on the 3rd Drag Stars at Sea Cruise on the MSC Divina and had an incredible time enjoying all the antics and surprises that the RuPaul's Drag Queens had in store for us. The the biggest surprise came on the last night that we were there, William and Jesse let our small group know that at the end of the year they were going to be planning a visit to San Francisco for New Year's Eve. "That's nice," we all thought. "And, while we are there we are going to get MARRIED!" We all squealed with delight like college sophomore coeds. During the now famous cruise, What's Happening Magazine also hosted a Bear Model Search that was sponsored by Andrew Christian, Timoteo and Cellblock 13. Both the guys entered the contest at our urging (although it did not take much prompting) and were chosen as the runner ups to last months winner Mat Muir. But, even though they were runners up, they were both winners in our book so we had had our celebrity photographer Kristofer Reynolds to take photos of this HOT couple in these sexy swimsuits. Additionally, William and Jesse have been gracious enough to let us to print their personal wedding shots in the magazine to share with WHM's readers. We decided to print them, first, as a wedding present to the happy couple, but secondly, to inspire others out there to see them as role models and fight for the right to be equal under the law. In other words, if you found the right guy demand that your local government allow you to GET MARRIED! And, don't stop shouting until they do! Congratulations Mr. and Mr. TreadwellLirette. (or is it Lirette-Treadwell?) SIDENOTE: By the way, the winter accessories in these images are meant to be a show of solidarity to all those GLBT brothers and sisters suffering in the artic cold blast up north. While those of us that live in Florida are bitching about having to wear a cardigan.


Bathing Suits Provided By




2 3 9 10 16 17 23 24

4 11 18 25



S 1 5 6 7 8 12 13 14 15 19 20 21 22 26 27 28

photographer: Kristofer Reynolds | models: Jesse & William

n Tuesday, February 2nd, a lawsuit is being filed to begin the process to secure marriage equality in Florida. Currently,the GLBT Community in Florida is not permitted to marry in our home state and we are denied key federal protections for our families. Gay and lesbian couples want to get married and make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and to protect their families. Winning the freedom to marry for every loving, committed couple in Florida will not be easy. We need to know you are with us. Be part of the first 100,000 strong for marriage equality in Florida. Polling shows the majority of Floridians now support the freedom to marry. But make no mistake, this will be very hard work. WE NEED YOU! Whether you are gay, straight, bisexual or undecided, we all must have the basic human freedom to marry the ones we love. Regardless of religious prejudices, as a nation, we must again separate our religious dogma from our basic civil rights that are enjoyed by ALL AMERICANS. Our forefathers fled their countries and came to this land in search of religious freedom - hence the wise separation of church and state in our nation’s Constitution. That said, all great movements need a show of solidarity or symbol to help unite them in their struggle. The LIVESTRONG campaign against Cancer had its bicy-


cle yellow bracelet inspired by Lance Armstrong to bring attention to the fight against the disease. The cost was $1. Our symbol will cost less than a penny. The average bottle of nail polish costs $7.75 at your nearest drugstore. On the average, an individual can get approximately 80 manicures (all ten fingers and two coats) out of an 3.75ml bottle of polish. If an individual only paints just their ring finger, that is MORE THAN 8,000 TIMES that you will be able to show your support by painting not only yours but your partners, your families and your friends RING FINGER either in Gold or Silver polish. So, join us in GIVING “THE RING FINGER” and demand everyone’s right to marry their soul mates and be protected under the law as a FAMILY. Those of you that get manicures, show this article to your manicurist and perhaps YOU can enlist them to donate their talents to this important cause. Also, PLEASE SHARE YOUR PICS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, and let’s get this movement off the ground and help make some change. Because everyone deserves their OWN happily ever after.




■LAKELAND CLUBS PULSE NIGHTCLUB 1030 E. Main Street (863) 288-3506

■RESOURCES THE FAMILY TREE 2450 North Monroe St (850)222-8555

■TAMPA BARS BAXTERS LOUNGE 1519 South Dale Mabry (813) 258-8830 CLUB 2606/CLUB METRO 2606 North Armenia Ave (813) 876-4650 CLUB CITYSIDE 3703 Henderson Blvd (813) 350-0600 THE BODY SHOP 14905 N. Nebraska Ave (813) 971-3576 KI KI KI III 1908 W Kennedy Blvd (813) 254-1500 VALENTINES 7522 N. Armenia Ave (813) 936-1999

■PENSACOLA EMERALD CITY 406 East Wright St (850)433-9491 THE CABARET 101South Jefferson St (850)607-2020 THE ROUNDUP 560 East Heinberg (850)433-8482 ■PANAMA CITY BEACH SPLASH BAR 6520 Thomas Drive (850) 236--3450 ■CROSS CITY SOUTHERN COMFORT CAMPGROUND 50 S.E. 74th Ave (352)498-0490 ■DADE CITY SAWMILL RESORT 21710 US Hwy 98 (352)583-0664 ■GROVELAND RED WING RESTAURANT 12500 State Rd 33 South (352)429-2997 ■PORT RICHEY BARS CLUB CHILL CHAMBER 3501 Universal Plaza (727) 844-3474 CRIBARI NIGHTCLUB 6153 Massachusetts Ave New Port Richy (727) 597-1200 ■AUBURNDALE BOOTS NITE CLUB 340 Havendale Blvd (863) 268-8294 DOCKSIDE 3770 US Hwy 92 East (863) 440-1963 JT’S OVER THE RAINBOW 902 Magnolia Ave (863) 473-1650

■ACCOMMODATIONS HOWARD JOHNSON PLAZA DOWNTOWN 111 Fortune Street (813) 223-1351 PENINSULA INN & SPA 2937 Beach Blvd (727) 346-9800 ■BUSINESSES CLUB TAMPA 215 North 11th St (813) 223-5181 TRES EQUIS ADULT 6220 East Adamo (813) 740-8664 URBAN BODY CLOTHING 715 S. Howard Ave (813) 251-5522 ■ORGANIZATIONS FLAMINGO AUTO GROUP TAMPA BAY LEATHER CLUB TAMPA BAY BEARS SUNCOAST SOFTBALL KING OF PEACE MCC 3150 5TH AVE N (727) 323-5857 ■YBOR BARS/CLUBS THE CASTLE 2004 North 16th Street (813) 247-7547

For A Full Listing Of Businesses, Maps & Directions Visit

BRADLEY’S ON 7TH 1510 East 7th Ave (813) 241-2723 G-BAR 1401 East 7th Ave (813) 247-4663 LIQUID LOUNGE 1901 North 15th St (941) 0000000 THE HONEY POT 1507 East 7th Ave (813) 919-3712 YBOR SOCIAL CLUB 1909A NW 15th St

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A TOUCH OF OZ 4901 34th Street South (727) 321-5000 Ext 434

■ST PETE BARS BACK DOOR BAR 169 MLK Ave N (727)365-8833 FLAMINGO RESORT 4901 S. 34th Street (727)321-5000 GEORGIE’S ALIBI 3100 3rd Ave North (727) 321-2112 HAYMARKET PUB/ HIDEAWAY BAR 8302 4th Street North (727) 570-9025 OARHOUSE BAR 4807 22nd Ave (727) 327-1691 PARTNERS SPORTS CAFE 2924 5th Ave (727) 827-2831 SPORTERS BIKER BAR 187 Dr MLK St. North (727) 821-1986 QUEENSHEAD BAR 2501 Central Ave (727) 498-8584 ■ACCOMMODATIONS CHATEAU LA ROUGE 3023 1st Ave North (727)290-9576 GAY ST PETE HOUSE 4505 5th Ave N (727)365-0544 FLAMINGO RESORT 4901 S. 34th Street (727)321-5000 ■RESTAURANTS ROES DINER 5851 Park Blvd (727) 544-4750 THE QUEEN & I THAI RESTAURANT 2410 Central Ave (727) 954-3926 ■SOCIAL SERVICES A.S.A.P. 3050 1st Ave South St Pete (727) 328-3260


BARREL 87 6587 Gateway Ave (941) 924-6969 THROB NIGHTCLUB 2201 Industrial Blvd (941) 358-6969 ■BUSINESSES BY THE BOOK ACCOUNTING SERVICES (Weekly, Monthly or One Time Only) (954) 643-7103

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TUBBY’S VIDEO BAR 4350 Fowler Street (239) 274-5001


THE OFFICE PUB 3704 Cleveland Ave (239) 936-3212 TBL/THE BOTTOM LINE 3090 Evans Ave (239) 337-7292


BAMBUSA BAR & GRILL 600 Goodlette Road N (239) 649-5657 ■RESOURCES CELEBRATION MCC CHURCH 6340 Napa Woods Way (239) 732-0092 ■CLEWISTON VITAMBI SPRINGS RESORT 28280 Etumakee Way (863)983-8488


As a cover model of WHM’s Valentine's Day Issue (2011, Vol. 5, issue 5A) smiling alongside my former partner Glenn, you would think I'd know a thing or two regarding matters of the heart. But here, 2 years after our amicable breakup, I have yet to ignite one minuscule romantic spark with any suitor. Now I ask myself honestly,”Have I really given anybody a REAL chance? In truth, I have not. After many wooers who have tried to flatter and cajole me, my precarious heart has decided it would spare me the trouble and has taken an indefinite hiatus. It thinks that by doing this, I would undoubtedly have mastered the filtering process in my selection on who I choose to spend my free time with. It does not realize, however, that without practice I won't be able to tell the difference between my knight and shining armor or a philandering Casanova whispering sweet nothings in my ear. My fear lies in the unnerving reality that my loving mother, has been married; not 2, nor 3, but 4 TIMES, and frankly, I would rather avoid being in her shoes (Especially her Nine West patent leather, slingback kitten heels. They are uncomfortable.) My Father, on the other hand, has had the good fortune of meeting his soulmate right after separating from my mom and they've been together 30 years strong. Regretfully, I have always discredited the notion that my mother had any concept of love and heralded my father as the example I wanted to follow. Looking back, I see I may have judged her unfairly. While my Father was the type of guy who settles for comfort and is as predictable as a hamster on a wheel does, my mother is of the stubborn woman who is not easily impressed. Sure, she's been married a couple times, and yes, she could have learned her lesson the 2nd time around but she dove in, head first, giving 100% in each relationship. She tried, and tried; over and over to find LOVE. I'll be damned, if I don’t want to feel those same butterflies in my stomach again. The same ones she must have felt the first time she stood at the altar with my father in their conservative Connecticut wedding, or to her Bolivian groom in Las Vegas, or in our front yard in Southern California to her Cuban husband. And finally, two years ago, here in sunny Florida, to an awesome Puerto Rican gentleman who, I too, feel is THE ONE. To me she is the definition of perseverance. Everybody needs a little motivation now and then. A little nudge to pick yourself up and try again. No doubt, my mother can write a book about that. After visiting her this past December, I think I may have found her catalyst. It's was as clear as the latin salsa music she has listened to since I can remember. Those songs about deceit, vengeance and rising from the ashes (all in that same order) that she would make me twirl and dip her to in the kitchen were her inspiration. And, she assured me that one day I would appreciate it all if I ever asked a girl to dance. That was some great advice. That she probably didn’t even realize she was giving me. I of course, would run away to my room and get lost playing video games, but her Salsa/LOVE lesson always stuck with me. While Beyoncé is singing about being crazy, dangerously and drunk in LOVE (lucky bitch), I’ve made a resolution to be more receptive and open to romantic prospects. Find me on the battlefield of LOVE in 2014 with my helmet, elbow and knee pads on ready for combat. In the words of Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon,"pronto llegará el dia de my suerte. Sé que antes de mi muerte, seguro que mi suerte cambiará" (Soon my lucky day will come. I know that before I die, my luck will surly change). 34

THE OVERTURNING OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT: RAISING AWARENESS OF ITS BENEFITS TO BI-NATIONAL SAME-SEX COUPLES mmigration law is vast and complex. For most of the general populace, it is an of law within the American legal system which presents foreigners and their family members with difficult challenges. These hurdles oftentimes cause unforeseen financial, emotional, and psychological hardship as they try to legalize their status in the U.S. Comprehensive immigration reform has been the talk of several presidential administrations for some time now and, although some measures have been taken to address the issue, our nation is still in dire need of a more inclusive immigration mechanism. There continues to be a need for immigrant rights activists to fight for the rights of foreign nationals who come to the U.S. in order to live dignified and fulfilling lives. I have been exposed to immigration law since I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, an institution that prides itself on the promotion and advancement of civil and human rights. Since then, I have had the privilege to work in both San Francisco and Miami alongside and under the tutelage of some of the nation's finest and brightest immigration attorneys. An immigrant from Mexico myself, the knowledge and experience I've acquired through them has only further fueled my passion and commitment to disperse the legal information needed to help the immigrant community know their rights and pursue the legalization of their status in this country. The overturning of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 was a monumental step toward the long-fought uphill battle for the equality and recognition of same-sex couples in the U.S. What some may not realize is that it also signified a momentous and unprecedented step toward marriage equality for bi-national same-sex couples. The immigration benefits only once offered to heterosexual couples have become a reality for them as well. It is important to keep in mind that immigration law is convoluted and complicated and fact-specific. Each case requires a significant amount of supporting documentation, depending on the individual circumstances. Multiple factors determine a successful outcome because Immigration Judges and Immigration Officers can exercise discretion to grant or deny immigration benefits, depending on the circumstances of each case. It is crucial to be informed and, most importantly, to have patience during immigration proceedings and the application adjudication process. Several basic criteria have to be met in order for a foreign national to receive immigration benefits through their marriage to a same-sex lawful permanent resident (also known as a greencard holder) or U.S. Citizen spouse. The marriage between the foreign national and article by: LUIS GOMEZ


the greencard holder or U.S. Citizen had to have taken place in a state that recognizes the same-sex marriage as lawful and valid. This same concept applies in the case of those marriages having occurred outside of the confines of the U.S. The marriage must have been entered in good faith, meaning, not solely for the purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit. A key point to keep in mind is that immigration laws are federal, which means that they are applicable to the entire country. If a couple resides in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, like Florida or Texas, and they marry in a state that does, like California or Vermont, they are eligible for federal immigration benefits. A pathway to the legalization of a foreigner's status through their samesex marriage to a lawful permanent resident or U.S. Citizen spouse is available through the filing of a relative petition, the filing of a fiancĂŠ petition on behalf of the foreign national, and a successful adjudication of a cancellation of removal application if the foreign national is in removal proceedings (often referred to as deportation proceedings.) Other forms of immigration relief include: stays of deportations based on the emotional, financial and psychological hardship that a deportation would cause the foreign national's same-sex U.S. Citizen or permanent resident spouse, relief under the Violence Against Women Act, based on a foreign national's abusive marriage to their spouse, and U-Visa relief based on domestic violence if the foreign national reported the abuse to the police and fully cooperated with the police investigation. Foreign nationals in samesex marriages can also receive spousal status on an employment-based application filed by their spouse's employer. The U.S. Government also gives asylum to those who are afraid to return to their country of origin out of fear of societal persecution because of their sexual orientation and their spouses. Children and step-children of same-sex marriage couples living abroad can also benefit by means of consular processing. Regardless of the immigration benefit pursued, it is recommended that the LGBT community seek the guidance of a professional. If financial hardship is an issue, organizations exist that offer low-cost and pro bono legal services. I feel that as a community, we must be informed and assertive about exercising our rights. We must analyze the overturning of DOMA in broader terms. It is multi-faceted in an immigration law context. It exemplifies a monumental victory in the equality struggle generations in the making. *DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed attorney. I have garnered familiarity with this subject matter working as a paralegal for several experienced immigration attorneys during my career.


■WEST PALM BEACH/LAKE WORTH FORT DIX 6205 Georgia Ave (561) 533-5355 H.G. ROOSTERS 823 Belvedere Rd (561) 832-9119 THE BAR IN LAKEWORTH 2211 N Dixie Hwy (561) 370-3954 THE LOUNGE WPB 517 Clematis Street (561) 655-9747 THE MAD HATTER 1532 N Dixie Hwy (561) 547-8860

■BOCA RATON JOE & CRAIGS PLACE 1929 North Federal Hwy (561) 347-8044 ■WILTON MANORS ACCOMMODATIONS CABANAS GUESTHOUSE 2209 NE 26th Street (954) 564-7764 ED LUGO RESORT (One Block off Wilton) 2404 NE 8th Ave (954) 275-8299 THE MANOR INN 2408 NE 6th Avenue (954)566-8223 ■WILTON MANORS BILLS FILLING STATION 2209 Wilton Dr (954) 567-5978 ATOMIC NIGHTCLUB 2232-36 Wilton Dr (954) 630-3556 GEORGIE'S ALIBI 2266 Wilton Drive (954) 565-2526 INFINITI LOUNGE (NEW) 2184 Wilton Drive (206)778.1577 NEW MOON BAR 2440 Wilton Drive (954) 563-7660 RAMROD 1508 NE 4th Ave (954) 763-8219 ROSIE'S BAR & GRILL 2449 Wilton Drive (954) 567-1320 SCANDALS SALOON 3073 NE 6th Ave (954) 565-3084 SIDELINES SPORTS BAR 2031 Wilton Dr (954) 563-8001 RUMORS BAR (NEW) 2426 Wilton Drive (954)565-8851

THE MANOR 2345 Wilton Drive (954) 626-0082 THE VILLAGE PUB (NEW) 2283 Wilton Drive (954)200-5244 TORPEDO 2829 West Broward Blvd (954) 587-2500

■ACCOMMODATIONS ALCAZAR RESORT 555 North Birch Rd (888) 830-9931 ARAGON INN GUESTHOUSE 118 Fleming St (954) 537-4120 CHESTON HOUSE 520 North Birch Rd (954) 566-7950 COCONUT COVE GUESTHOUSE 3013 Granada Street (954) 523-3226 CORAL REEF GUESTHOUSE 2609 Northeast 13th Ct (954) 568-0292 ELYSIUM RESORT 552 North Birch Rd (954) 564-9601 INN LEATHER GUESTHOUSE 610 Southeast 19th Street (954) 467-1444 ROYAL PALMS 717 Breakers Avenue (954) 564-6444 SCHUBERT RESORT 855 Northeast 20th Ave (954) 763-7434 THE GRAND RESORT 539 North Birch Road (954) 630-3692 ■BUSINESSES CHIC OPTIQUE 2228 Wilton Drive (954) 567-3937 GAYMART 2228 Wilton Drive (954) 630-0360 ROCK HARD ADULT 2301 Wilton Drive (954) 318-7625 TO THE MOON 2205 Wilton Drive (954) 564-2987 VERTIGO SALON 2420 Wilton Drive (954) 530-0946 ■RESTAURANTS COURTYARD CAFE 2211 Wilton Drive (954) 563-2499 DARPUR ASIAN TAPAS 1620 N Federal Hwy (954) 709-1092

GALANGA THAI 2389 Wilton Drive (954) 202-0000 HUMPY’S PIZZA 2244 Wilton Drive (954) 566-2722 JAVA BOYS 2230 Wilton Drive (954) 564-8828 LE PATIO 2401 NE 11th Ave (954) 530-4641 PETER PAN DINER 1216 E Oakland Park Blvd (954) 565-7177 SIAM CUISINE 2010 Wilton Drive (954) 564-3411 TROPICS RESTAURANT 2004 Wilton Drive (954) 463-4269

■FT LAUDERDALE THE BOARDWALK 1721 N. Andrews Ave (954) 463-6969 CORNER PUB BAR 1915 N Andrews Ave (954) 564-7335 CUBBY HOLE 823 N Federal Hwy (954) 728-9001 DUDE'S 3270 NE 33rd St (954) 568-7777 J’S BAR 2780 David Blvd (954) 581-8400 JOHNNY'S BAR 1116 West Broward Blvd (954) 522-5931 MONA'S LOUNGE 502 East Sunrise Blvd (954) 525-6662 MONKEY BUSINESS 2740 N. Andrews Ave (954) 565-3550 PJ’S CORNER POCKET 1208 NE 4th Ave (954) 533-0257 321SLAMMERS 321 Sunrise Blvd (954) 524-2625 SMARTY PANTS 3038 North Federal Hwy (954) 561-1724 THE STABLE 205 E. Oakland Park Blvd (954) 565-4506 DEPOT CABANA BAR 235 North Federal Hwy (954) 537-7076 TORPEDO BAR 2829 West Broward Blvd (954) 587-2500 ■BUSINESSES CLUB FT LAUDERDALE 110 NW 5th Ave (954) 525-3344

PRIDE FACTORY 850 NE 13th Street (954) 463-6600 TROPIXXX VIDEO 1514 NE 4th Ave (954) 522-5988 ■RESOURCES BROWARD HOUSE 1726 SE 3rd Ave (954) 522-4749 CARE RESOURCE 871 W Oakland Park Blvd (954) 567-7141 GLCC OF SOUTH FLA 1717 N. Andrews Ave (954) 463-9005 SUNSERVE 1480 SW 9TH AVE (954) 764-5557

■BUSINESSES BOCA TANNING 723 North Lincoln Lane (305) 695-7333 CRUNCH GYM 1259 Washington Ave (305) 674-8222

■POMPANO BARS SWINGING RICHARDS 1350 SW 2nd Street (954) 357-2532

■KEY WEST AQUA NIGHTCLUB 711 Duval St (305) 294-0555 BOURBON ST. PUB 724 Duval St (305) 296-1992 HOGS BREATH SALOON 400 Front Street (305) 296-4222 LA TE DA 1125 Duval St (877) 528-3320 PEARL’S PATIO BAR 525 United Street (305) 294-4737 SALOON ONE 514 Petronia St (305) 294-4737 ■BUSINESSES GRAFFITTI MENSWEAR 701 Duval Street (305) 295-0003 FAIRVILLA MEGASTORE 520 Front Street (305) 292-0448 ■GUESTHOUSES ALEXANDER'S 118 Fleming St (305) 294-9919 EQUATOR RESORT 818 Fleming St (305) 294-7775 BIG RUBYS 409 Applerouth Lane (800) 477-7829 ISLAND HOUSE 1129 Fleming Street (800) 890-6284 NEW ORLEANS HOUSE 724 Duval Street (305) 293-9800 ■RESOURCES GLBCC 513 Truman Ave (305) 292-3223 KEY WEST BUSINESS GUILD 513 Truman Ave (305) 294-4603

■MIAMI BARS AZUCAR 2301 SE 32nd Ave (305) 441-6974 DISKOTEKKA 950 NE 2nd Ave (305) 371-3773 EROS LOUNGE 8201 Biscayne Blvd (305) 754-3444 MOVA LOUNGE BRICKELL (NEW) 401 SW 3rd Avenue (305) 534-8181 SOLARE COLISEUM 3635 NW 78th Ave (305) 477-3377 WET BAR MIAMI 1728 SW 8th St (305) 244-3069 ■BUSINESSES CLUB AQUA 2991 Coral Way (305)448-2214 ■RESOURCES CARE RESOURCE 3510 Biscayne Blvd (305) 576-1234 ■SOUTH BEACH MOVA LOUNGE 1625 Michigan Ave (305) 534-8181 PALACE BAR 1200 Ocean Drive (305) 531-7234 SCORE BAR 727 Lincoln Road (305) 535-1111 TWIST BAR 1057 Washington Ave (305) 538-9478

■ACCOMMODATIONS ISLAND HOUSE 1428 Collins Ave (305) 382-2422 ■RESOURCES CARE RESOURCE 1701 Meridian Ave (305) 673-3555 LGBT VISITOR CENTER 1130 Washington Ave (305)397-8914

JACKSONVILLE GLBT BUSINESS GUIDE ■JACKSONVILLE 616 JAX 616 Park Street (904) 358-6969 AJ'S BAR & GRILL 10244 Atlantic Blvd (904)805-9060 BO'S CLUB 201 5th N Ave (Jax Beach) (904)246-9874 BOOT RACK SALOON 4751 Lenox Ave (904)384-7090 INCAHOOTS 711 Edison Ave (904)353-6316 METRO 2929 Plum Street (904)388-8719 PARK PLACE 931 King Street (904)389-6616 THE NORM 2952 Roosevelt Blvd. (904)388-1060 ■BUSINESSES DESIGNED EVENTS, INC 3823 Hendricks Ave (904)396-3299


(Expert Lawn Care & Landscaping Services) 1743 Perry Street (904) 791-3002 ■HEALTH & BEAUTY CHOCOLATE BLONDE SALON 2502 Dellwood Ave (904)388-6009 CLUB JACKSONVILLE 1939 Hendricks Blvd (904)398-7451 MINDY STAMULIS SALON (Brittany Molina – Stylist) 3645 Park Street (904)894-5688 ■RESTAURANTS CRAZY EGG 954 Edgewood Ave (904)524-8711 BISCOTTIS 3556 St. Johns Ave. (904)387-2060 BISTRO AIX 1440 San Marco Blvd (904)398-1949 BLUE FISH 3551 St. Johns Ave (904)387-0700

BOLD BEAN COFFEE HOUSE 869 Stockton Street (904)855-1181 CARMINES PIE HOUSE 2677 Forbes Street (904)387-1400 DERBY ON THE PARK 1068 Park Street (904)379-3343 EUROPEAN STREET 2753 Park Street (904)384-9999 KICKBACKS GASTROPUB 910 King Street (904)988-9551 LOLA'S BURRITO JOINT 1522 King Street (904)738-7181 HAMBURGER MARY'S JAX 3333-1 Beach Blvd (904)551-2048 MOSSFIRE GRILL 1537 Margaret Street (904)355-4434 ORSAY 3630 Park Street (904) 381-0909 THREE LAYERS CAFÉ 1602 Walnut Street (904)355-9791

■RELIGIOUS CHRIST CHURCH OF PEACE 1240 S. McDuff Ave (904)387-2020 LIVING WITNESS 8716 Lone Star Road (904)348-0721 RIVERSIDE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 2858 Post Street (904)710-4994 ST. LUKE'S COMMUNITY CHURCH 1140 S. McDuff Ave S. (904)389-7726 ■RESOURCES HOLIDAY HELPERS OF JACKSONVILLE JASMYN (Youth Network) (904)389-3857 NFAN (Northeast FL Aids Network) (904)356-1612 N FLORIDA QUILT CHAPTER (904)556-2312 OASIS JACKSONVILLE (904)701-4528



■FRENCH QUARTER BARS & CLUBS 700 CLUB 700 Burgandy Street (504)) 561-1095 BOURBON PUB & PARADE 801 Bourbon Street (504) 529-2107

CAFE LAFITTE IN EXILE 901 Bourbon Street (504)) 523-4517 DOUBLE PLAY 439 Dauphine Street (504) 655-9747 GOODFRIENDS/ QUEENS HEAD PUB 740 Dauphine Street (504) 566-7191 MICHAELS ON THE PARK 834 N. Rampart St (504) 267-3165 NAPOLEAN’S ITCH 734 Bourbon Street (504) 237-4144 OZ NIGHTCLUB 800 Bourbon Street (504) 593-9491

RAWHIDE 2010 740 Burgandy Street (504) 525-8106

THE CORNER POCKET 940 St Louis Street (504) 568-9829 THE COUNTRY CLUB 634 Louisa Street (504) 945-0742 THE FRIENDLY BAR 2301 Charles Street (504) 943-8929 THE PHOENIX 941 Elysian Fields (504) 945-9264 TUBBYS GOLDEN LANTERN 1239 Royal Street (504) 529-2860 ■BUSINESSES CLUB NEW ORLEANS 515 Toulouse Street (504) 581-2402 LA MINA STERLING SILVER SHOP 840 Rue Royal (504) 324-3423 MARY’S ACE HARDWARE 728 North Rampart St (504) 529-4465

■RESTAURANTS ANTOINE’S 713-717 Rue Sait Louis (504) 525-8045 BRENNAN’S RESTAURANT 417 Royal Street (504) 504-9711

BYWATER RESTAURANT DELI & BBQ 3162 Dauphine St (504) 944-4445 CAFE AMELIE 912 Royal Street (504) 412-9865 COMMANDER’S PALACE 1403 Washington Ave (504) 899-8221 LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN 95 French Market Pl (504) 522-6746 MULATE’S THE ORIGINAL CAJUN RESTAURANT 201 Julia Street (504) 522-1492 RALPH & KACOO’S 519 Toulouse Street (504) 412-9865

THE CLOVER GRILL 900 Bourbon Street (504) 598-1010 THE COUNTRY CLUB 634 Louisa Street (504) 945-0742 QUARTERMASTER: THE NELLIE DELI 1100 Bourbon Street (504) 529-1416

■ACCOMODATIONS 5 CONTINENTS B&B 1731 Esplanade Ave (800) 997-4652 AARON INGRAM HAUS 1012 Elysian Fields (504)949-3110 THE BURGANDY B & B 2513 Burgandy St (800)970-2153 FRENCH QUARTER SUITES HOTEL 1119 N. Rampart St (800) 457-2253 INN ON BOURBON 541 Bourbon Street (800) 535-7891 MARIGNY MANOR HOUSE 2125 N. Rampart St (877)247-7599

NOLA COURTYARD 1101 N. Rampart St (800)457-2253 BON MAISON GUESTHOUSE 835 Bourbon Street (504) 561-8498 BOURGOYNE GUESTHOUSE 839 Bourbon Street (504) 524-3621

■RESOURCES LGCC 2114 Decatur Street (954) 945-1102 PFLAG (504) 895-3936 THE HATE CRIMES PROJECT 2114 Decatur Street (504) 944-4325 ■SOCIAL ORGS FRONTRUNNERS (504) 593-9325 MYSTIC KREWE OF SATYRICON 1021 Gov Nicholls St (504) 525-44998 NEW ORLEANS GAY MENS CHORUS WWWNOGMC.COM

GAY METRO ATLANTA GUIDE ■ATLANTA BARS/CLUBS 10TH & PIEDMONT 991 Piedmont Ave (404) 602-5510 AMSTERDAM CAFÉ 502-A Amsterdam Ave (404) 892-2227 ATLANTA EAGLE 306 Ponce De Leon Ave (404) 873-2453 BLAKE'S ON THE PARK 227 10th St (404) 892-5786 BULLDOGS 893 Peachtree St. (404) 869-9422 BURKHART’S PUB 1492 Piedmont Ave (404) 872-4403 FELIX’S ON THE SQUARE 1510 Piedmont Ave (404) 249-7899 FRIENDS ON PONCE 736 Ponce De Leon Ave (404) 817-3820 GILBERT’S CAFÉ & BAR 219 10th St (404) 872-8012 JUNGLE 2115 Faulkr Rd (404) 844-8800 LEBUZZ 585 Franklin Rd SE (770) 424-1337 MARY’S 1287 Glenwood Ave SE (404) 624-4411 MIXX ATLANTA 1492 Piedmont Ave (404) 228-4372 MY SISTER’S ROOM 1271 Glenwood Ave SE (678) 705-4585 OPUS 1 1086 Alco St (404) 634-6478 OSCAR’S BAR 1510 Piedmont Ave (404) 815-8841 SISTER LOUISA'S CHURCH 466 Edgewood Ave SE (404) 522-8275 THE COCKPIT 465 Blvd SE (404) 343-2450 THE HERETIC ATLANTA 2069 Cheshire Bridge Rd (404) 325-3061 THE HIDEAWAY 1544 Piedmont Ave (404) 874-8247 THE MODEL-T 699 Ponce De Leon Ave (404) 872-2209 TRAXX ATLANTA 708 Spring St NW (866) 602-5553 WOOF’S SPORTS BAR 2425 Piedmont Rd (404) 869-9422

■STRIP CLUBS BJ ROOSTER’S 2345 Cheshire Bridge Rd (404) 634-5895 BLISS 2284 Cheshire Bridge Rd (404) 320-1924 SWINGING RICHARD’S 1400 Northside Dr NW (404) 352-0532

EATS 600 Ponce De Leon Ave (404) 888-9149

THE GRAVEYARD 1245 Glenwood Ave (404) 622-8686

EINSTEIN’S CAFE 1077 Juniper St (404) 876-7925

■CABBAGETOWN AGAVE RESTAURANT 242 Boulevard SE (404) 588-0006

ESCORPION 800 Peachtree St (678) 666-5198

■CLUBS & SPAS CLUB EROS 2219 Faulkr Road (404)723-5060

F.R.O.G.S. CANTINA 931 Monroe Cir (404) 607-9967

FLEX 76 4th St NW (404) 815-0456

GILBERT'S CAFE & BAR 219 10th St (404) 872-8012

MANIFEST 4 U 2103 Faulkr Rd (404) 549-2815

HOBNOB TAVERN 1551 Piedmont Ave (404) 968-2288

THE DEN 2135 Liddell Dr (404) 292-7746

JOE’S ON JUNIPER 1049 Juniper St (404) 875-6634

■BUSINESSES BILL HALLMAN FLAUNT 424 Moreland Ave (404)522-1010

LOCA LUNA 550-C Amsterdam Ave (404) 875-4494

BRUSHSTROKES 1510 Piedmont Ave NE (404) 876-6567 ■CLOTHING/FASHION NOBLE THREADS 1334 Benteen Park Drive ■HEALTH/BEAUTY BLUE MEDSPA 190 10th St (404) 815-8880 COLONY SQUARE ATHLETIC CLUB 1197 Peachtree St (404) 745-9309

METROFRESH 931 Monroe Dr A106 (404) 724-0151 O. MIDTOWN KITCHEN 559 Dutch Valley Rd (404) 892-4111 THE FIFTH IVORY 794 Juniper St (404) 881-8302 THE NOOK ON PIEDMONT PARK 1144 Piedmont Ave (404) 745-9222 THE VORTEX BAR & GRILLE 878 Peachtree St (404) 875-1667

■RESTAURANTS 10TH & PIEDMONT 991 Piedmont Ave (404) 602-5510

TWO URBAN LICKS 820 Ralph McGill Blvd (404) 522-4622

APRÈS DIEM 931 Monroe Drive (404) 872-3333

ZOCALO 187 10th St (404) 249-7576

BURKHART’S PUB 1492 Piedmont Ave (404) 872-4403

■EAST ATLANTA RESTAURANTS THE EARL 488 Flat Shoals Ave (404) 522-3950

CAMPAGNOLO 980 Piedmont Ave 404-343-2446

THE GLENWOOD 1263 Glenwood Ave (404) 748-1984


What's Happening Magazine Volume 8 Issue 5 - Feb 2014 Valentine's Special Edition