Featured Stories http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-storiesen-USCopyright 2014, Frontiers_PublishingThu, 10 Jul 2014 15:26:00 GMTThu, 10 Jul 2014 15:26:00 GMThttp://emmisinteractive.comhttp://www.frontiersla.com/EI/sharedobjects/handlers/ir.ashx?p=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&w=144&mw=400Featured Storieshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-storiesOutfest 2014: The Top Films of L.A.'s Gay Cannes<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/outestrotator.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1">Let France have its starlets on the croisette, Berlin its dark dramas and Tribeca its arty fluff—once a year we get the cream of the film crop, the ultimate alphabet soup of fantasy, phantasmagoria, romance and roughhousing. </p> <p class="p1"><a href="http://www.outfest.org" target="_blank">Outfest</a> is 11 days of stellar LGBT film programming, from shorts and star-studded features to riveting documentaries and international premieres, taking place July 10-20 at various Los Angeles cenues. <em>Frontiers</em>' annual preview of this summertime social pinnacle takes a look at the 12 films we are most looking forward to—projects that include an international porn star's first attempt at drama (<em>Tiger Orange</em>) and the documenting of a local club king's rise to power (<em>Club King</em>) to Bruce LaBruce's latest shocker (<em>Gerontophilia</em>) and the 25th anniversary of an AIDS-era groundbreaker (<em>Longtime Companion</em>).  </p> <p class="p1">Read on (and click through) to get a sense of the inspiring selection of films showcased at this year's Outfest.</p> <p><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/outfesttease4.png" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-life-partners-faltering-friendship-dating-mishaps-comic-relief" target="_blank">Life Partners</a><br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>July 10 // 8 p.m. // Orpheum Theatre</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In Susanna Fogel’s feature film directorial debut, which opens this year's festival, best friends Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs) approach nearly three decades on Earth and decide to break free from a cycle of </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Top Model</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> reruns on the couch to bravely enter the black hole of online dating. The film's supporting cast is impressive, including Abby Elliott and Kate McKinnon of <em>Saturday Night Live</em> fame, Adam Brody and Gabourey Sidibe.<br /><br /><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/outfesttease3.png" alt="" width="150" /><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-lyle-gaby-hoffmann-thinks-the-neighbors-are-out-for-her-baby" target="_blank">Lyle</a><br /></strong><span><strong>July 12 // 7 p.m. // DGA 1</strong><br /></span><span>No longer the child actor you saw in films like <em>Then and Now</em> and <em>Sleepless in Seattle</em>, Gaby Hoffmann is back in a big way, starring in Stewart Thorndike’s horror entry. Hoffmann portrays Leah, a woman who—with her partner, June—loses her daughter in a freak accident. Pregnant once again, she becomes obsessed with the idea that her neighbors are involved in a Satanic pact. Hoffmann discusses with us the new film and her other recent projects.</span><span> </span> <br /><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-i-always-said-yes" target="_blank"><br />I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole<br /></a></strong></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>July 12 // 2 p.m. // REDCAT</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In Jim Tushinski’s affectionate portrait of a Broadway chroreographer-turned-gay erotic art filmmaker, Wakefield Poole recalls his desire to make “artistic, erotic, not dirty” films, which include the blockbuster successes<em> Boys in the Sand</em> and <em>Bijou</em> as well as the fascinating flop, <em>Bible</em>. Poole, who is now retired and living “in the buckle of the Bible Belt” in Florida, speaks with us about his remarkable life and career.<br /><br /><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-longtime-companion-groundbreaking-aidsera-drama-turns-25" target="_blank"><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/outfesttease5.png" alt="" width="200" />Longtime Companion </a><br /></strong><span><strong>July 13 // 5 p.m. // Harmony Gold</strong><br /></span><span>It's the 25th anniversary of this groundbreaking drama that spans the AIDS era from 'gay cancer' to Act Up. Dramatized in chronological slice-of-life scenes, the film was an early screen credit for many of its stars, including Campbell Scott, Mary-Louise Parker and Dermot Mulroney. Actor Bruce Davison was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. </span><br /><br /><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-scared-stiff-the-horror-shorts-program-will-scare-you-outta-your-drawers" target="_blank">Scared Stiff</a><br />July 13 // 9:30 p.m. // DGA 2<br /></strong><span><strong>July 14 // 9:30 p.m. Harmony Gold</strong><br /></span><span>If you’ve got a hard-on for horror, the good folks at Outfest have a program of shorts they’ve cheekily titled <em>Scared Stiff</em>, comprised of seven varied works that will no doubt get even the most manic horror fan sufficiently, um, hard.</span> </span></p> <p><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/outfesttease1.png" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-club-king-how-did-mario-diaz-claim-his-crown" target="_blank">Club King</a><br /></strong><span><strong>July 14 // 9:30 p.m. // DGA 1</strong><br /></span><span>Jon Bush’s documentary offers a peek inside the world of Mario Diaz. From the smoky leather bars of Silver Lake to brightly lit Boystown, L.A.’s own King of Sleaze has shaped our city’s gay club scene in his image, but he was not born to the crown. Diaz shares a brief timeline of his decades promoting parties, from the early days in Seattle and New York City to our hallowed gayborhoods in the City of Angels.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p> <p class="p1"><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-the-way-he-looks-the-feel-good-film-of-this-years-fest" target="_blank">The Way He Looks</a><br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>July 14 // 7 p.m. // DGA 1</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We've dubbed Daniel Ribeiro's latest—a feature-length version of his excellent 2010 short <em>Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho (I Don't Want to Go Back Alone)</em>—the 'feel good film' of this year's festival. The Brazailian romance shares the love story of a blind teen and his schoolmate, and we think it's sure to leave a smile in viewers' hearts.<br /><br /><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/outfesttease2.png" alt="" width="200" /><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-the-third-one-a-look-at-the-many-pleasures-of-polyamory" target="_blank">The Third One</a><br /></strong><span><strong>July 15 // 9:30 p.m. // DGA 1</strong><br /></span><span>This sexy South American entry shows the many pleasures of polyamorous relationships. In it, Fede is a cute college student who flirts online with Franco. He meets Franco and his partner Hernán for dinner in their apartment, and eventually—in a virtuoso sequence, shot in real time—the trio end up in bed together. With a little translation help, Guerrero speaks about how he came to make the affecting romantic drama.</span><br /></span></p> <p class="p1"><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-gerontophilia-bruce-labruce-aims-to-shock-audiences-yet-again-but-not-how-you-think" target="_blank">Gerontophilia</a><br /></strong><span><strong>July 17 // 7:15 p.m. // DGA 1</strong><br /></span><span>Bruce LaBruce is used to shocking audiences, but this time he does so with a surprisingly light hand. <em>Gerontophilia</em> is about the outlandish love affair between a handsome college graduate and an 81-year-old patient in an old folks home. LaBruce speaks about the thoughtful romance and a few of his fetishes in this interview.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-tiger-orange-johnny-hazzard-goes-from-porn-to-heartfelt-drama" target="_blank"><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/outfesttease6.png" alt="" width="200" />Tiger Orange</a><br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>July 18 // 8:30 p.m. // Ford Amphitheatre</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">An earnest, heartfelt drama about two estranged gay brothers, the world premiere of <em>Tiger Orange</em> features a charismatic turn by Frankie Valenti—gay porn industry vet Johnny Hazzard, seen here in his big-screen debut—as a fuck-up who returns home to lick his wounds and do battle with his brother. Valenti, whose acclaimed performance makes his character’s restlessness palpable, speaks about making the small-town drama—shot in the fields of Central California—and relating to his on-screen character. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014s-pat-roccos-birthday-party-the-legendary-filmmaker-turns-80" target="_blank">Pat Rocco's Birthday Party</a><br /></strong><span><strong>July 19 // 1:30 p.m. // DGA 1</strong><br /></span><span>Outfest honors legendary filmmaker Pat Rocco this year, just in time for the pioneer's 80th birthday. As a filmmaker, entertainer and activist, Rocco directed dozens of gay erotic shorts and also documented the nascent gay rights movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. The filmmaker plans to make a rare appearance at this retrospective of his life's work to receive an achievement award for his contributions to gay culture.</span> </span></p> <p class="p1"><strong><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/exclusive-interviews/2014/07/10/jack-plotnick-takes-command-of-outfest-with-cosmic-vehicle-space-station-76" target="_blank">Space Station 76</a><br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>July 20 // 8 p.m. // Ford Amphitheatre</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Renowned local talent Jack Plotnick, an actor and esteemed acting coach, makes his feature debut as a director in this '70s sci-fi throwback film that was the darling of Austin's South by Southwest this year. The film stars such big names as Matt Bomer, Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson, but we're most excited about Plotnick's achievement, placing him on the cover of our current Outfest issue. </span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014-the-top-films-of-las-gay-canneshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/outfest-2014-the-top-films-of-las-gay-cannesThu, 10 Jul 2014 15:26:00 GMTStephan HorbeltGaymerX: Video Gaming LGBTs Get Together to Change a Culture<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/gaymer1.png" alt="" width="550" /></p> <p class="p2">It’s difficult to sum up exactly what a “gaymer” is. It requires explaining years of history, experiences—and even pain—into a few words; an impossible task. There are no words to describe a gay or trans video game enthusiast’s feeling of being around such a supportive community, created in spite of being seen as unnecessary by most of the world. Last year, in the middle of a hotel lobby in San Francisco, I found myself standing inside what most felt was an impossibility. At <a href="http://www.gaymerx.com/" target="_blank">GaymerX</a>, the world’s first and only gaming convention catering to LGBT audiences, I was surrounded by so many people I never thought I’d have the opportunity to meet. I felt incredibly lucky that an event like this would happen every year.</p> <p class="p3">I myself am a gaymer, and we are all so much more complex than two mashed-up words.</p> <p class="p3">With the approach of this year’s GaymerX2, taking place in San Francisco July 11-13, I’m not just returning to a bunch of like-minded individuals but to a full-fledged community, a family of people who are finally ready to incite change that the gaming industry and communities surrounding it so desperately need. Having already left its mark on the gaming world by proving that everybody games, GaymerX2 is now looking to show what can be done when you have the power of a community. The conversations and dialogues that were hinted at as mere possibilities in the convention’s first year are now actually happening, and GaymerX2 is where it will all go down.</p> <p class="p3">Back in 2006, Jason Rockwood effectively coined the term “gaymer” in what was billed as a Gaymer Survey. The survey was the first of its kind, gathering responses from over 10,000 people in more than 35 countries in one week. Nobody had ever studied gamers as a group, and on top of that, nobody had ever attempted to explore LGBT opinions within gamer culture. Responses were varied, but the survey showed that gamers identify everywhere along the spectrum of orientations and identities.</p> <p class="p3">Truth be told, the “gaymer” label is still incredibly limited. In an interview with video game industry news magazine Joystiq, Rockwood said, “The larger population didn’t really respond well to the gaymer label, and I understand why, because there were so many different types of sexual orientations present.” The term gaymer has come to serve as a bit of a catchall, with bisexual and transgender gamers finding themselves underneath that same umbrella.</p> <p class="p3">Many of the survey’s participants felt homophobia was an incredibly prevalent—though unacceptable—part of the status quo, and they are right to feel that way. For many, the image of a gamer that comes to mind involves screaming, anger and slurs. Ignorance and judgment abound within gamer culture as a whole, so what was any burgeoning social group to do? Everyone knew right away that feelings like these would not change overnight. What gaymers needed was a community—a safe space where they could be themselves and support each other while enjoying their passion for gaming.</p> <p class="p3"><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/gaymer2.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p2">Now that people understood they were not alone, how would they find each other? They needed a way to come together and find strength in each other. They needed to find a voice--a way to say that they would no longer be silent about who they are. “Gaymer” quickly became a banner under which many people could rally and, more importantly, find support from people who share their experiences.</p> <p class="p3">If the term gaymer was a banner, then <a href="http://www.GayGamer.net" target="_blank"><em>GayGamer.net</em></a> is one of its proudest wavers. What started as a small project aiming to deliver a community to queer gamers  blossomed into a critical resource for anyone seeking information about LGBT issues within the gaming industry, simply because it were one of the few websites actually creating this sort of content.</p> <p class="p3">Sal Mattos, the managing editor of GayGamer, shares an amazing example of how great a resource GayGamer had become in just a few short years when video game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment reached out to the site’s staff. “At Blizzcon in 2011, there was a band that was stirring up some controversy, using some really homophobic slurs. Blizzard came to GayGamer and staff on how to go about addressing the issue, and how to approach things.” It was one of many moments that solidified the website as an integral part of the greater gaymer community. What was once a small project started between friends had turned into something larger than anyone had expected. The site had become a sorely needed resource within the games industry.</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">Now, armed with a group of individuals who were willing to fight the battles needing to be fought, gaymers had to address a problem that still plagues the gaming industry today: representation. Even now, it’s tough to find games that feature well-rounded examples of queer characters. The games that do feature them get drowned out by naysayers or bashed publicly. And, as anyone who games can tell you, it can feel impossible to get any major game developer to listen to you, whether you are queer or not. Big name video game companies are notorious for failing to communicate with their audiences. To a small degree, social media has started to open those channels, but ultimately it’s akin to talking to a wall. Getting any big, monolithic company to change in any way, shape or form is hard, and that’s without bringing up queer issues.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">In the grand scheme of things, conventions were supposed to serve as the venue through which people could have their voices heard. They were supposed to be places where gaming companies would listen and have an open dialogue with their audience—as long as you were cisgender, heterosexual and Caucasian, at least. The environments cultivated at these conventions—events like Blizzcon or Penny Arcade Expo—were intended to be friendly and accommodating, created under the assumption that because we were all fellow geeks, we should all understand what it’s like to be marginalized.</span></p> <p class="p3">But that was not being the case. While people understood the pain of marginalization, they weren’t conscious of their actions contributing to the marginalization of others, namely queer gamers, women and people of color. There was a fundamental breakdown of understanding. Logically, they know how much it hurts to be “othered,” yet they can’t help but do the same to these groups themselves.</p> <p class="p3"><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/gaymer3.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p class="p3">Walking through some of those conventions is a lot like walking through a physical manifestation of the internet. It turns out that the jerks and loud-mouthed people you were annoyed with online are just as obnoxious in real life. There are of course plenty of amazing people who go to these conventions; I’ve met many friends through conventions like these, and the connections that we share have grown stronger because of my having been able to meet them.</p> <p class="p3">Yet for every good person there are those who make conventions uncomfortable environments for queer people, women and people of color. Mattos’ earlier example of the shocking ignorance that can occur at such a major convention like Blizzcon made it clear that many attendees of these mainstream gaming conventions are not necessarily welcoming to outside communities. Despite the organizers’ best efforts, many gaymers still find conventions discouraging.</p> <p class="p3">Even when overt hostility isn’t present, many LGBTs feel they are often ignored or disregarded. Sam Brandt, a Bay Area resident and longtime attendee of Atlanta’s Dragon*Con, a general geek culture convention, expresses that sentiment, saying, “I think a lot of the problems are about being ignored. Gaming ignores us. It doesn’t involve us. Neither does most nerd culture. It makes us ... invisible.”</p> <p class="p3">Tae Kim, a regular in the Bay Area’s gaymer scene, regularly attended Comic-Con when he was younger. His experiences reflect Brandt’s and that of many LGBT attendees. “I never heard any slurs or hostile language, because no one really bothered to stop and pay attention to the fact that I was there,” he says. But when you consider the hostility that exists when LGBT issues bubble up to the forefront, during panel discussions and so forth, it seems that being openly LGBT can be a bit of a liability. The conventions’ methods of aggression occur through sweeping entire communities under the rug.</p> <p class="p3">The tragic truth is that not too long ago, the LGBT community, women and people of color were only recognized in as far as they didn’t matter to big name companies. That attitude was reflected at the conventions, leaving these groups to feel unwelcome. <span class="s2">Those paying even tangential attention to <br /> geek culture are likely aware that Penny Arcade, a popular webcomic and the people behind Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), came under fire in 2013 for remarks regarding a rape joke in one of its comics. In a panel discussion with the comic’s creators, one of them expressed regret at removing some merchandise that referred to said rape joke. People cheered in agreement.</span></p> <p class="p3">It was a major issue that created a strong rift in the community—one that spilled over into real life at PAX. Most disheartening about the situation weren’t the comments themselves but the amount of people who came out of the woodwork to lambast those who took issue with those comments. It was a disturbing moment in gaming and geek history where it was painfully obvious that some people were simply oblivious to the struggles and pains of others. And while strides are being made to foster an understanding, it was clear from that moment on that mainstream conventions were no longer safe or welcoming for a lot of people.</p> <p class="p3">Toronto Gaymers is one group helping to change that, all while working from within PAX itself. One of the longest-standing LGBT gaming groups, they were born out of the forums within <em>GayGamer.net</em>. The group aims to be “a safe space for LGBT people and their allies to express their passion for geek and gaming culture, including board games, trading card games, PC and console games, cosplay, anime and more.” They have formed a community that fights every day to show the entire world that gaymers exist. </p> <p class="p3">Ivan Temansja is a member of Toronto Gaymers—now one of the largest organizations of its kind in North America—who appreciates what the group has set out to do. “When you play games online, ‘gay’ is a slur. ‘You fag. That’s so gay.’ You hear it a lot,” he told the <em>Toronto Star </em>before Toronto Gaymers’ participation in the city’s 2012 Pride parade. Among like-minded players, though, Temansja says, “I feel like I’m free to be myself. No one questions it if I play as a warrior or a hunter. They know I can fight.” </p> <p class="p3">In a way, the continued existence of Toronto Gaymers is a form of activism, fighting for space in an industry that so often refuses to acknowledge them. And you know what? They’re succeeding.</p> <p class="p3">The organizers behind PAX reached out to Toronto Gaymers and asked for help increasing LGBT representation at their convention. PAX wanted to foster the kind of dialogue that promote understanding, and they chose the best people to do that with. Victories like these, which are in no way small, show the amazing things that can be done when you set out to make a safe space, and that space is GaymerX.</p> <p class="p3">The brainchild of Matt Conn and Kayce Brown, GaymerX was forged as a way to offer the security that just wasn’t present in other conventions. The duo wanted to show the gaming industry and the world that everybody games. Those present at GaymerX’s inaugural year took in new friendships, hallway conversations with actual game developers, and even witnessed a same-sex proposal. It was clear that just like any other community, gaymers were capable of some incredibly beautiful things. All they needed--all anyone ever wanted--was a safe space to do so.</p> <p class="p3">With the future of GaymerX uncertain beyond its rapidly approaching second year, it’s evident that the very change gaymers so bitterly fought for is finally happening. Granted, it’s slow. A lot of developers are still tight-lipped about their stances regarding LGBT issues, and that shows in their disappointing reluctance to sponsor such an important event. According to Conn, “[Game companies] are not willing to make a poltiical statement.” However, at the same time, he takes issue with considering the goal political, saying, “We’re not trying to go out and lobby for anything in particular, just, ‘Hey, we exist. We’d like to be considered and have dialogues and a say in how to make things better.’”</p> <p class="p3"><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/gaymer4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="p2">The idea of dialogues and conversations are what has shaped Conn’s hopes for GaymerX2. If GaymerX’s mission was to prove that “everybody games,” then what would be GaymerX2’s mission? For Conn, the next logical step was to finally focus on cultivating not only a safe space but a creative, collaborative atmosphere where understanding can truly grow. The community no longer wants to just exist: they want to thrive. They want to create, share and have their stories be heard. </p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Just like last year, GaymerX2 will focus on giving amazing indie developers a platform to share their stories. With the democratization of game development via free-to-use interactive storytelling tools such as Twine, many marginalized groups are finally finding their voices, and they’re finally finding venues through which their stories can be heard by a vast audience. GaymerX2 puts those tools in the hands of attendees by offering things like game design workshops. The convention’s emphasis isn’t only on providing a platform for people to share experiences but giving them the technical skills to do so.</span></p> <p class="p3">It’s easy to see how GaymerX’s legacy will live on. By providing people with the skills to actually go out and create the change they want to see, the impact of GaymerX2 will be widespread and maybe even globally felt. It’s bittersweet to acknowledge that GaymerX has no plans to return next year, though that’s not to say it’s entirely dead. Conn hopes for the idea to spread, because it’s too easy promoting such an event in a diverse place like the Bay Area. “A queer-friendly event here is great,” he says, “but there are a lot of places where there aren’t safe spaces. It may be much more beneficial if it were somewhere else.”</p> <p class="p3">Just like in a video game, it’s time to leave the first level. It’s time to explore the incredibly vast and scary wilderness that is the rest of this open world we call gaming. It will be exciting to see where we go from here, and I cannot wait for the day where everyone’s stories are heard.</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">So, what is a gaymer? If you have ever found respite from the struggles of being queer within the world of a video game, tabletop game or live action roleplay, then you are a gaymer. It doesn’t matter whether you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or anywhere between. When you sit down behind the controller, you are one of us. You are accepted. You are a part of the incredible community that has done and will continue to do so much. Most importantly, above all else, you are family. </span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/gaymerx-video-gaming-lgbtshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/10/gaymerx-video-gaming-lgbtsThu, 10 Jul 2014 06:00:00 GMTJessica LachenalHot List 2014: Meet the 20 Individuals Who Made This Year's List of Inspiring LGBTs<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/hotlistvolcano.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><span><span class="micro">Illustrations by Hanna Barczyk</span><br /><br />It's a <em>Frontiers</em> tradition that we kick off summer each year with The Hot List, our annual roundup of local LGBTs who should be on your radar. While the 20 men and women on this year's list contribute to the vibrancy of Los Angeles via the arts, fashion, sports, politics or an entrepreneurial instinct, they are all at the same time talented, inspiring and sexy. Each of these individuals make the City of Angels a great place to call home, and we honor their contributions in our latest issue. </span><span>Meet this year's Hot List below, and click through to find their individual profiles.<br /><br /></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/hotlisticon_astonaut_2.jpg" alt="" width="150" /></p> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/frontiers-blog/2014/06/27/hot-list-2014-ved-chirayath-brings-pride-to-his-work-in-astrophysics" target="_blank"><strong>Ved Chirayath</strong></a></div> <div>This astrophysicist (attending Stanford as a Ph.D. candidate) and fashion photographer (shooting for <em>WWD</em> and <em>Vogue</em>) works full-time at NASA and was responsible for that organization's float in this year's San Francisco Pride parade, a groundbreaking first.<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/frontiers-blog/2014/06/27/hot-list-2014-ej-johnson-makes-a-name-for-himself-in-the-world-of-fashion" target="_blank"><strong>EJ Johnson</strong></a></div> <div>The son of Magic Johnson and an E! star in his own right, Johnson is making a name for himself in the world of fashion and design.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-keala-kennelly-lesbian-pro-surfer-makes-waves" target="_blank"><strong>Keala Kennelly</strong></a></div> <div>This lesbian pro surfer is constantly making waves. Kennelly turned pro at 17, but since stepping away from the circuit has turned to her new passion, DJing at various L.A. venues.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/28/hot-list-2014-bryan-thompson-is-a-motor-city-master" target="_blank"><strong>Bryan Thompson</strong></a></div> <div>A contestant on <em>Motor City Masters</em> (airing now on TruTV), Thompson is gay in the gasoline- and testosterone-fueled auto industry.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-adore-delano-from-american-idol-to-drag-superstar" target="_blank"><strong>Adore Delano</strong></a> and <a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-courtney-act-gender-bending-idol-from-down-under" target="_blank"><strong>Courtney Act</strong></a></div> <div>The two runners-up from this past season of <em>RuPaul's Drag Race</em>—one filled with sugar and the other with spice—both call SoCal home, and both joined the gay-favorite competition show after previously appearing on <em>American Idol</em> and <em>Australian Idol</em>, respectively. Now the two talented drag superstars are exploring the world of pop music.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-bryan-petroff-douglas-quint-bicoastal-dessert-duo" target="_blank"><strong>Bryan Petroff</strong> <strong>&</strong> <strong>Douglas Quint</strong></a></div> <div>Everybody loves ice cream, and the dessert duo behind Big Gay Ice Cream brings a unique brand of lactose kitsch to L.A. by setting up shop in DTLA this year.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-matthew-thomas-boldest-of-the-coffee-roasters" target="_blank"><strong>Matthew Thomas</strong></a></div> <div>Founder of Boldhouse Coffee, Thomas blends elements of L.A.'s cocktail scene and the city's love affair with coffee—a welcome move for a population that's always down to party—with specially blended flavored coffees.  <br /><br /><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/hotlisticon_sneaker.jpg" alt="" width="150" /> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-jason-collins-americas-first-openly-gay-professional-male-athlete" target="_blank"><strong>Jason Collins</strong></a></div> <div>He currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets, but the first openly gay pro athlete in North America is a Northridge native. Collins' coming out was lauded by colleagues within the NBA, including Kobe Bryant and commissioner David Stern.</div> </div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-oliver-luke-alpuche-and-zachary-beus-are-bringing-lgbt-back-to-dtla" target="_blank"><strong>Oliver Luke Alpuche</strong> </a><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-bryan-petroff-douglas-quint-bicoastal-dessert-duo" target="_blank"><strong>&</strong></a><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-oliver-luke-alpuche-and-zachary-beus-are-bringing-lgbt-back-to-dtla" target="_blank"><strong> Zachary Beus</strong></a></div> <div>Moving the gentrification of DTLA right along, Alpuche and Beus are opening what will be one of two new gay bars downtown this year. Redline, a gay video bar and lounge, will open this fall on 6th Street.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-todd-glass-comedic-truth-teller" target="_blank"><strong>Todd Glass</strong></a></div> <div>After a near-death experience, the comedian recently came out in his all-new memoir, <em>The Todd Glass Situation</em>. Glass claims his newfound appreciation for the truth has helped him evolve as a person and as a comic.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-kayce-brown-unites-gay-gamers" target="_blank"><strong>Kayce Brown</strong></a></div> <div>With a history of work aiding gay organizations and a love of gaming, it was no surprise when Brown co-founded GaymerX, the first-ever LGBTQ-oriented gaming and geek culture convention.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-shannon-swindle-pastry-chef-is-this-years-outfest-restaurant-host" target="_blank"><strong>Shannon Swindle</strong></a></div> <div>The openly gay pastry chef of L.A.'s Craft, a proud Angeleno as of 2009, Swindle is the restaurant host for this year's Outfest Opening Night Gala and has some sweet surprises in store for us.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-robert-garcia-made-history-as-the-first-gay-mayor-of-long-beach" target="_blank"><strong>Robert Garcia</strong></a></div> <div>Garcia made history when he was recently elected the very first openly gay mayor of Long Beach. As a Councilmember, he supported local unions and initiated the city's first Latin-American Parade, and we look forward to Garcia's accomplishments as mayor of one of the nation's LGBT strongholds.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-desiree-akhavan-is-this-years-shining-star-of-outfest" target="_blank"><strong><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/hotlisticon_actor.jpg" alt="" width="150" />Desiree Akhavan</strong></a></div> <div>The Iranian-American filmmaker—writer, director and star of the critically lauded <em>Appropriate Behavior</em>—known for her deadpan satire, is poised to become the darling of this year's Outfest.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-curtis-william-foreman-pushes-the-boundaries-of-wig-creation" target="_blank"><strong>Curtis William Foreman</strong></a></div> <div>Foreman pushes the boundaries of wig creation, having created all the wigs for the promo commercials of <em>RuPaul's Drag Race</em> Season 6 (and asked back for Season 7). He was also recently named head of the hair and wigs department at this year's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-meet-al-steiner-artistactivist-and-member-of-chicks-on-speed" target="_blank"><strong>A.L. Steiner</strong></a></div> <div>This L.A. transplant, a member of electroclash band of misfits Chicks on Speed, currently has her installation <em>Accidenthell</em> showcased as part of the Hammer Museum's <em>Made in L.A.</em>, a spotlight of up-and-coming artistic talent.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/30/hot-list-2014-meet-ryan-heffington-esteemed-choreographer-and-video-ho" target="_blank"><strong>Ryan Heffington</strong></a></div> <div>One of the music video industry's most in-demand choreographers—responsible for the moves behind Sia's "Chandelier" and Arcade Fire's "We Exist"—Heffington also owns Silver Lake dance space The Sweat Spot.</div>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/01/hot-list-2014-meet-the-20-individuals-who-made-this-years-list-of-inspiring-lgbtshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/07/01/hot-list-2014-meet-the-20-individuals-who-made-this-years-list-of-inspiring-lgbtsTue, 01 Jul 2014 09:34:00 GMTMike Ciriaco, Michelle McCarthy, Vincent Boucher, Lydia SiriprakornROFL: L.A.'s Gay Comics Debate the Merits of Advocacy Comedy<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/rofl1.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1">The role of a comedian is to make the audience laugh at a minimum of once every 15 seconds,” Lenny Bruce once remarked. The infamous satirist wielded his comedy like a saber, decapitating necessary targets—things like facism, anti-Semitism and the Ku Klux Klan. Despite the heavily political nature of Bruce’s stand-up, his ultimate goal was to always tickle the funny bone. If he were still alive today, could he have made safe-sex funny? And even if he could, would he?</p> <p class="p2">On Thursday, July 10, stand-up institution The Comedy Store will host <em>Why Not? LOL</em>, a night of socially conscious laughter focusing on safe sex and HIV prevention. Presented by L.A.’s chapter of The Impulse Group<a href="http://impulsegrp.org/chapters/los-angeles/" target="_blank"> and hosted by queer comedy legend Bruce Vilanch, the show’s lineup includes Guy Branum, Bobby Lee, Justin Martindale, Shawn Pelofsky, Jonathan Rowell, Jordan Charles Pease, Kenny Neal Shults, and Sampson. The show falls under the nascent subg</a>enre of gay comedy generally referred to as “Advocacy Comedy,” wherein stand-up comics tell jokes to spread awareness and importance of safe-sex practices, such as wearing condoms and getting tested regularly. But how many laughs can be mined from such serious topics? Plenty—at least, according to Shults.</p> <p class="p2">“I have been doing HIV prevention work for nearly 20 years, and let me tell you, while people may not think ‘hilarious’ when they hear HIV/AIDS, there are plenty of jokes to be made about the struggle of being a gay man who has had to cope with this fucking disease,” says the Brooklyn-based comedian, who is schlepping to the West Coast to perform in <em>LOL</em>. “I’m really excited about the Impulse Group’s event for this reason. I have some great material.”</p> <p class="p2">Shults acknowledges that, while potentially funny, advocacy comedy runs the risk of thrusting the stand-up comic onto a soapbox.</p> <p class="p2">“ Yes, it’s really super hard not to sound preachy when addressing safer sex and HIV prevention. But righteous indignation always plays well onstage, and there’s a lot to be indignant about. Stigma surrounding HIV is out of control and unwarranted. People with HIV don’t deserve to be shamed.” </p> <p class="p2">“One of my favorite bits is around a comment I overheard a, um, metabolically challenged person once make,” continues Shults. “She said, ‘It’s a shame that these young boys make such stupid decisions and go and get themselves AIDS.’ I was appalled. And later that day I thought to myself, <em>How dare you? </em>I mean, yeah, I can make <em>one</em> very bad decision in the heat of the moment and get HIV, but you don’t get type 2 diabetes after one ice cream sundae, you fat bitch! That takes <em>years</em> of bad decision-making, and yet I would be a pariah and you could still get a cooking show?!” </p> <p class="p2"><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p class="p3"> <img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/rofl2.png" alt="" width="600" /><span class="micro">Photo by Rolling-Blackouts</span></p> <p class="p4">T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">o Sampson, an Oakland-based comedian also imported for the </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">LOL</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> show, the degree that one blends advocacy and humor is a personal choice. “I am definitely familiar with advocacy comedy, although I have never thought of it as that,” says Sampson. “I simply remember through the years sometimes sounding like I was preaching at the audience, but really affirming myself. I definitely feel like we can incorporate positive messages in our humor, one of which is self-care and advocacy. I feel like the responsibility that one feels to work to inform the audience about these things is individual, and you should only do so if you genuinely feel like that. If you do feel like you can do both and they go hand in hand, and are funny and informative, then you’re onto something. And that’s what some of this wonderful show is going to be about.”</span></p> <p class="p2">Naturally, with the vast amount of openly gay comic talent native to Los Angeles, not all the stand-ups performing at <em>LOL</em> will be out-of-towners. Most notably is Justin Martindale, a regular funny man of The Comedy Store and L.A.’s other prominent venues, such as the Improv and Laugh Factory. The tall and handsome jokester has recently enjoyed a new level of YouTube celebrity with the success of online series <em>Not Looking</em>, a satire of HBO shows <em>Girls</em> and <em>Looking</em>. While Martindale doesn’t associate himself with advocacy comedy to the same degree that Shults and Sampson do, he feels safe sex can be funny.</p> <p class="p2">“I feel like it’s very important to give back to the community,” says Martindale. “Am I familiar with advocacy comedy? No. Do I think safe sex is funny? I think any type of sex is funny. People are so gross. Lube and latex and fluids and sounds. Nope. Then you have to talk afterwards. Ugh! But in all seriousness, my goal is not to preach to an audience about anything, because let’s face it, nobody is perfect. Believe me, I’ve made some Sunday Funday mistakes that I’m <em>still</em> trying to forget. I’d rather show them through laughter that I’m on their side in this crazy Hollywood life.”</p> <p class="p2">Not all of Los Angeles’ LGBT comedians agree with the sentiment of advocacy comedy. One such comic is Stephen Guarino, who first rose to prominence during his three-season stint on Logo’s <em>Big Gay Sketch Show</em>. Guarino has since gone on to build a strong LGBT and mainstream fan base for his work on shows such as <em>Happy Endings </em>and <em>Eastsiders</em>, and will be featured in the upcoming new season of Lisa Kudrow vehicle <em>The Comeback</em>. To Stephen, comedy isn’t supposed to be socially responsible. It’s only supposed to be funny.</p> <p class="p2">“I imagine ‘responsible comedy’ as an oxymoron. Look at Willam Belli or Jonny ‘Gay Pimp’ McGovern. They haven’t said a damn thing that is morally responsible and have managed to make being gay the coolest fucking thing possible. So advocate that way,” Guarino added. “Also have safe sex.”</p> <p class="p2">Bruce Daniels, another L.A. local, is also skeptical about the obligatory social responsibility demanded by advocacy comedy. As the co-host of long-running LGBT comedy showcase Drunk on Stage, recently moved to West Hollywood’s Revovler Video Bar from East Side hangout Akbar, Daniels encourages comedians to embrace their vices. </p> <p class="p2">“Comics are not supposed to be role models,” Daniels states. “They are supposed to reflect on what’s going on in the world in a funny way.”</p> <p class="p5"> <!-- pagebreak --></p> <p class="p1"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/rofl4.png" alt="" width="600" /><span><span class="micro">Photo by Rolling-Blackouts</span><br /></span><br />Of course, to fully fathom the concept of advocacy comedy, it must be acknowledged that it’s a subgenre within the niche of gay stand-up, which itself is a polarizing concept. Of the eight comedians we spoke to for this article, every single one of them cringed at the term “gay comedy.” Most vocal was Guarino’s former <em>Big Gay Sketch Show </em>castmate Julie Goldman.</p> <p class="p2">“I think the biggest constraint of performing anything with a label is that you are now that and only that thing,” says Goldman, who currently stars on Bravo’s <em>The People’s Couch</em>. “With gayness, it breaks down in two ways. If you look gay or if you look like you’re not gay. However you need to process that is up to you. Hollywood standards, however, dictate absolutely who looks like what. Does that make sense? So what’s the constraint? For me, for example, I have been turned away from all-women’s shows because they felt like including me would be akin to including a man. I can never get cast in anything that isn’t specifically lesbian. Someone who doesn’t <em>look</em> like a lesbian but is one has many more options.”</p> <p class="p2">Shults, on the other hand, is less concerned with typecasting than with the cultural acceptance and subsequent desensitization of gay comedy.</p> <p class="p2">“This is something I struggle with as a comic, because I feel like I am always waiting for someone to yell ‘who cares, move on’ when I’m going off about being gay,” he says. “In some ways I feel like talking about being gay is so old hat, and I worry people are bored or think I’m milking it too much. I wrote a joke about it: ‘Sometimes I think, “God, shut up, so you’re gay, who cares?” But then I remember there are still so many people out there who consider me some kind of evil force that has to be eradicated. Admittedly, most of those people are my ex-boyfriends, but still!’”</p> <p class="p2">Of the assembled comedians, Martindale seems to take the most umbrage with the term “gay comedian.”</p> <p class="p2">“I feel the biggest challenge for queer comics is being taken seriously as performers and artists. For me personally, I hate, loathe and despise the term ‘gay comic.’ I don’t like being pigeonholed into a demographic. I’m a comic. To me it rings the same as ‘black comic’ or ‘female comic.’ At the end of the night, we all hold the same microphone,” he says, then adds, “Gross, I just realized that.”</p> <p class="p2">Martindale brings up an important fact when contemplating L.A.’s gay comedy scene—minorities within minorities. Several of the comedians interviewed represent more than just one demographic that has been historically marginalized. For example, Sampson is both openly gay and African-American. While he’s aware of the negatives that may bring to his career, he also acknowledges that there are positives as well.</p> <p class="p2">“There are definitely even smaller subgenres, even though they are few and far in between,” he says. “There aren’t a lot of us running around. The biggest challenge is people wanting you to fall into <em>that</em> category and not showing your range in material or subject matter. That’s their problem, because my world is vast, baby! The benefits? You get to talk about things that a lot of other people don’t talk about, or only talk about mostly in a one-sided way, like cruel gay jokes. For instance, I listened to a comic [on a showcase that I was performing on] years ago talk about being afraid that his gay neighbor could give him AIDS through the paper-thin walls in their apartments. That pissed me off. Being able to go up after him, and say, ‘You are crazy, man! And that’s not true at all’ is one of the beautiful things about being open to my truth on the stage and in my show.</p> <p class="p3"> <!-- pagebreak --></p> <p class="p4"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/rofl3.png" alt="" width="600" /><span><span class="micro">Photo by Rolling-Blackouts</span><br /></span><br />D<span style="line-height: 1.5;">aniels, who is also African-American, takes a more glib approach to his racial status. “I have always said I never have to forget that I’m black,” jokes Daniels, “because everyday someone will remind me.” </span></p> <p class="p2">Alec Mapa is no stranger to stereotyping, either. having proudly proclaimed himself America’s Gaysian Sweetheart, Mapa has fully embraced both his racial heritage and sexual proclivities, resulting in an admirable comedic career. His television résumé includes performances on <em>Desperate Housewives</em>, <em>Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World</em> and <em>Switched at Birth</em>, as well as <em>Baby Daddy</em>, his comedy concert film premiering in this year’s Outfest. For Mapa, the biggest challenge isn’t his race but his perceived lack of archetypical masculinity. </p> <p class="p2">“I’m an effeminate gay man. Some gays don’t necessarily see me as a positive representation. But I’m authentic. What’s important is presenting an <em>authentic</em> image of what it is to be an LGBT person—all your flaws and imperfections. People respond to the truth.”</p> <p class="p2">Nicol Paone, another former cast member of <em>Big Gay Sketch Show</em>, also faces prejudice within the LGBT community. The quirky comedienne, who currently packs audiences into double-decker buses and leads tours around L.A. in a one-woman performance piece called<em> The Last Show I Do Before I Go On Medication</em>, is criticized not for her race but for her place on the Kinsey scale. Paone is bisexual, which many people, even within the queer community, callously liken to unicorns and leprechauns.</p> <p class="p2">“It’s funny, because there really is a prejudice against bisexuals,” says Paone. “It was really a surprise to me that I don’t exist.”</p> <p class="p2">In spite of all these drawbacks, there are benefits to existing in a sub-subgenre. Sampson, for one, draws strength from his minority status.</p> <p class="p2">“Yes, I deal with challenges, but I have the innate ability to kick ass verbally, creatively and intellectually, and I use that skill along with my truth to do what I need to do,” he says.</p> <p class="p2">Similarly, Shults acknowledges the respect and insight he gains from other minority comics.</p> <p class="p2">“Subcultures make comedy richer,” he says. “But stand-up comedy is always about the story of the person who’s telling the jokes. That’s its power. The comedian takes the audience along for a ride and gives us a window into their lives and the humor inherent in the human struggle. This is why I have always regarded stand-up and comedy in general as a force for social change. Humor lets us broach subjects that no one wants to discuss because they’re so touchy and rife with potential landmines. We learn from black and female comics and get a deeper understanding of their struggles without getting too sunk or angry. And minority gay comics have even more potential to stretch the minds of a typical stand-up audience.”</p> <p class="p5"> <!-- pagebreak --></p> <p class="p1">Fortunately for LGBT comics, L.A. is saturated with audiences waiting to have their minds stretched. While the stand-up game was at one time strictly a boys’ game, the mood has evolved significantly in recent years. Martindale, although relatively young, is a stand-up veteran who has honed his chops behind microphones of the city’s most respectable clubs. He has firsthand experience with the tribulations of performing live comedy, whether you’re gay or straight.</p> <p class="p2">“Comedy venues in L.A. are the real deal,” says Martindale. “You definitely have to bring your ‘A game’ and your confidence. You can’t have either of these without a lot of failure. Be prepared to eat shit. Without failure, there’s no growth as a performer. I prefer the big clubs in town, but sometimes you can have the best shows in the dingiest hole-in-the-wall spots that are just magical! As far as venues being gay-friendly, I feel like people are definitely opening up. The gay subject is on a lot of comics’ minds, gay and straight. Straights are definitely not as weirded out about it like they used to be. I’m proud to say I’m in the boys’ club in the L.A. comedy scene. It took a lot of years, but some of my best buds are key players in the comedy scene, and I’m so thankful they accept me for who I am and vice versa. At the end of the day we all respect each other as artists and friends.”</p> <p class="p2">When it comes to LGBT-friendly venues, Goldman prefers the Renberg Theater (at the L.A. LGBT Center) and Upright Citizens Brigade, but for diametrically opposite reasons.</p> <p class="p2">“They’re both obviously very different,” says Goldman. “The Renberg is like being at home with your family and forcing them to listen to your moronic shit, and we all laugh and feel comfortable and it’s warm and even when something doesn’t land you still feel supported. UCB was so fun, and it felt cool and very Hollywood. The audience is generally comedy and industry people, and there’s an air of comedy snobbery if you will, and the feeling of <em>Go ahead, try it. We’ve seen it all.</em> And then you go and they realize they haven’t seen it all. It’s an exciting feeling, and very showbiz.”</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.maltainsideout.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/stand-up-comedy.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p2">Another perk of living in Los Angeles is the potential opportunity to perform on television, to which Guarino can attest. After his run on Logo, the gay goofball successfully dug a foothold on the small screen. Despite his relative success, though, he still faces an uphill battle.</p> <p class="p2">“I’ve guest starred on maybe 10 shows and been a series regular on three or four that didn’t go. Except for <em>Happy Endings</em>. I managed to be in for three seasons. So many gay parts! You can be an out actor and work all the time. The challenge is that the pool got bigger, and you’ve got to beat off 40 of your besties for one damn line. And you have to concentrate on diversifying. I’m trying to move into drama and more films. It’s not working.” </p> <p class="p2">Of the comedians we’ve featured in this article, Mapa has arguably obtained the highest level of television success. In that medium, his “type” has been both a blessing and a curse.</p> <p class="p2">“The biggest challenge is changing people’s minds if I want to switch gears and play something else. They get so locked into the perception of me as the funny gay guy that it’s hard to be seen for other things. But being a funny gay guy bought me a house, so fuck it.”</p> <p class="p2">Mapa’s acceptance by television audiences is a reflection of how accepting society has become in regards to LGBT culture.</p> <p class="p2">“In the past couple of years, I’ve found my act has more of a mainstream audience just because people aren’t freaked out by queer people so much anymore,” says Mapa. “I’ve been on the <em>The View</em> twice, and<em> The Tonight Show</em> three times, so thats encouraging.” </p> <p class="p2">Despite his new hetero following, though, Mapa is still true to his LGBT fans.</p> <p class="p2">“The <em>biggest</em> benefit is the satisfaction of serving an underserved audience,” he says. “Gay audiences are the smartest, quickest audiences you’ll ever perform for, so they really teach you to be on top of your game.” Mapa adds, winking, “ You also get a free gay mafia card and a monthly newsletter.” </p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/27/rofl-las-gay-comics-debate-the-merits-of-advocacy-comedyhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/27/rofl-las-gay-comics-debate-the-merits-of-advocacy-comedyFri, 27 Jun 2014 08:00:00 GMTMike CiriacoPaul Zone: Inside the Glam, Trash and Gender-Bending of the New York Underground (Photos)<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1">The life of most 14-year-olds is a quiet one—school, sports, hanging with friends and occasionally getting into trouble. But for <strong>Paul Zone</strong>, growing up in the early ‘70s at the center of the universe, New York City, 14 meant late nights with rock stars, drag queens, drug addicts, artists and other regulars of Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. After high school years in which the only courses of interest were music and photography, Zone decided he would become a rock ‘n’ roll photographer, so with a 110 Instamatic, Brownie or a Polaroid in tow, he began documenting his friends—underground punk rock royalty who only seemed to matter inside the New York bar scene. Of course, it would only be a few years before the entire world knew their names.</p> <p class="p2">In the new book <em>Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground</em> (240 pp., $50, Glitterati Incorported), Zone captures in photographs the formative years of a musical revolution, though at the time he was simply chronicling his own teenage years. Angelenos are invited to view the iconic photos and celebrate the book’s release on June 28 at Downtown L.A. gallery space Lethal Amounts. On display is a high school yearbook that includes the now-familiar faces of rockers <strong>Debbie Harry</strong> and <strong>Blondie</strong>, progenitors of American punk rock and later New Wave; <strong>The Ramones</strong>, fixtures of the Downtown Manhattan bars; the <strong>New York Dolls</strong>, whose playing with female fashion formed the style of the era and influenced countless other bands; <strong>Wayne County</strong>, the world’s first transgender rocker; poet priestess and “Godmother of Punk” <strong>Patti Smith</strong>; and avant-garde multimedia performers <strong>Talking Heads</strong>. New York underground personalities and style-makers of the moment—people like <strong>Steven Sprouse</strong>, <strong>Anna Sui</strong> and <strong>Lance Loud</strong>, the first openly gay star of reality television—are represented as well.  </p> <p class="p2">Beyond being never-before-seen photographs, Zone’s collection is the documentation of someone coming into his own—of finding the family that everyone deserves, even a teen who wears platform boots, satin pants and glitter shirts to school in rough-and-tumble Brooklyn. Zone tells the behind-the-scenes story of New York’s punk rock family tree, leaving no stone unturned. It was an era that will never be recreated—of loud music, louder fashions, nonjudgmental sexual exploration and hedonistic drug use—a true playground. <br /><br />Don't miss The Fast Times and Life of Paul Zone: Stills from the New York Underground, 1971-78 at DTLA gallery Lethal Amounts, taking place Saturday, June 28. (More info <a href="http://www.lethalamounts.com" target="_blank">here</a>.) <br /><br />Continue to next page for photo slideshow </p> <p class="p2"><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>Blondie, Arturo Vega’s loft, 1975<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“The Blondie boys dabbled in but had yet to fully embrace mod pop ‘60s-style attire,” says photographer Paul Zone. “When I gathered up the new five-piece Blondie for a photo shoot at Arturo Vega’s loft, I asked them all to wear suits, and I brought along my collection of tab collar, polka dot and striped shirts for them to wear. A few days before the shoot I gave Debbie a Sassoon-ish haircut.”</span></p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone1.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>David Johansen, Max’s Kansas City, 1975<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“When you hear or think of punk rock, what comes to mind for most is The Ramones or The Sex Pistols. But if you ask any of those bands, they’d name David Johansen and Johnny Thunders’ band The New York Dolls as the originators of punk. Yes, Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground and Iggy’s Stooges hold their place for punk innovators, but it was The Dolls that started the New York scene that morphed into punk rock as we know it today. Formed in 1972, they were the band that punk bands were influenced by at a time when music was dominated by stadium-type hard rock. Mixing the sound of early Rolling Stones with The Ronettes and a style using ladies vintage thrift shop glitz blended with flamboyant Euro pop star glam, they charmed the New York Underground and became its mascots.”</span></p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone2.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>Steven Sprouse, Sprouse’s loft, 1975<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Sprouse was on the scene in the mid-’70s painting and making clothes. He lived in the upstairs loft above Debbie Harry and Chris Stein and dressed Debbie throughout the height of Blondie’s tours and hit records. He mixed uptown sophisticated style with a downtown punk and pop sensibility. He didn’t hit ‘til 1983 when his collection was featured at Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel in NYC. By the mid-’80s he was collaborating with Andy Warhol, using his camouflage screen prints in DayGlo bright colors and Keith Haring’s line drawings on his fabrics. He might be best known to some for his graffiti logo bags he designed in collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton in 2001.”</span></p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone3.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>Lance Loud, Greenwich Village, 1974<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“To PBS viewers, Lance Loud was the breakout star of </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">An American Family</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the show that bridged the gap between the cinema verité of Frederick Wiseman and modern reality TV. A camera crew shooting 300 hours of footage of a supposedly typical California family captured the disintegration of a marriage, an on-camera declaration of divorce and the revelation that teenage son Lance was gay, the first overtly homosexual character on television. Though edited in such a way that the teen dramatically ‘comes out,’ Lance’s response always was, ‘I didn’t come out on television. I was always out.’ Though shot in 1971, by the time the show aired in 1973 Lance had relocated to New York City, where he spent his nights hanging with Warhol superstars and becoming a fixture in the pre-punk scene. Lance is photographed here on our friend Norman’s penthouse balcony moments before dawn, looking fresh, fit and fabulous after another of our perpetual fun-filled nights of coke, Quaaludes and booze. Tragically, 2001 would be the finales of both Lance and the World Trade Center, seen in this photo’s background.”</span></p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone4.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>Anna Sui, Max’s Kansas City, 1978<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Style was as integral as sound to the scene, so we treasured visionary designers like Anna, who would later become a fashion superstar. Here she is giving a sneak preview of what everyone else would be wearing in five years.”</span></p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone5.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>Wayne County, <br /> Coventry Club, 1973<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I became good friends with Wayne and his band Queen Elizabeth the summer of 1973, even though I would go and see him perform the year before,” says Zone. “It’s hard to explain what made Wayne so special. Just the fact that he was a drag queen performing the loudest hard punk garage rock ‘n’ roll sound in New York and being accepted by all was a feat in itself. This photo makes it pretty clear that Wayne did not shy away from putting it all out there.”</span></p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%209/pzone6.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Paul Zone</strong> shot by photographer, writer and rock music manager Leee Black Childers, 1987</span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/27/paul-zone-inside-the-glam-trash-and-gender-bending-of-the-new-york-underground-photoshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/27/paul-zone-inside-the-glam-trash-and-gender-bending-of-the-new-york-underground-photosFri, 27 Jun 2014 13:00:00 GMTStephan HorbeltSwimsuit Issue: Hot Guys, Sizzling Style<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Kevin wears tiger print flat-front resort short by <strong>Charlie by Matthew Zink</strong>.</p> <p><strong>—<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Photography by </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/JohnFallonStudio" target="_blank"><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">John Fallon</strong></a></p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim2.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Kevin wears beach print board shorts by <strong>LASC</strong> and Wayfarers by <strong>Ray-Ban</strong>. Erik wears green slim tank and printed board shorts by <strong>LASC</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim3.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Erik and Rafael wear Mediterranean-style swim trunks by <strong>LASC</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Rafael wears Aussie style swim brief turquoise hibiscus by <strong>LASC</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim5.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Rafael and Erik wear stripe pool short and orange pool short by <strong>LASC</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim6.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Rafael wears striped tank by <strong>Cali Good Life</strong>, royal blue short swimwear boxer from <strong>Addicted by ES Collection</strong>. Erik wears green slim tank and blue and green printed board shorts by <strong>LASC</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim7.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Christopher wears men’s Laguna swim trunk by <strong>LASC</strong>. Kevin wears beach print board shorts by <strong>LASC</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim8.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Rafael wears blue Wayfarers by <strong>Ray-Ban</strong>, muti-colored striped tank and orange and yellow pool short by <strong>LASC</strong>. Kevin wears white Wayfarers by <strong>Ray-Ban</strong>, white and orange striped tank by <strong>LASC,</strong> pink and orange color block swim trunk from <strong>Charlie by Matthew Zink</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim9.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Kevin wears Zag printed low rise sport brief from <strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Charlie by Matthew Zink</span></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim11.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Christopher wears octopus trunks by <strong>Tom & Teddy</strong>. Kevin wears striped trunks by <strong>Tom & Teddy</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim10.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Erik wears New York snake swimsuit by<strong> Slick It Up</strong>. Kevin wears Rio swimsuit by <strong>Slick It Up</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim12.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Kevin wears Grecian foil sport brief from <strong>Charlie by Matthew Zink</strong>.</p> <p class="FreeForm"><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/swim13.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="FreeForm">Rafael wears royal blue short swimwear boxer from <strong>Addicted by ES Collection</strong>. Christopher wears shorts by <strong>Anthony Morato</strong> available at <strong>LASC</strong>. All T-shirts by <strong>Cali Good Life</strong>.<br /><br /><br /></p> <hr style="width: 600px;" width="600" /> <p class="FreeForm"> </p> <p class="FreeForm"><strong><br />Buy more tops & bottoms here:</strong></p> <p class="FreeForm"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">American Rag<br /></span></strong></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">150 S. La Brea Ave., L.A.<br /></span><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.amrag.com" target="_blank">amrag.com</a></span></em></p> <p class="FreeForm"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>ES Collection/Weho<br /></strong></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">8915 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo<br /></span><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.escollectionstore.com" target="_blank">escollectionstore.com</a></span></em></p> <p class="FreeForm"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">LASC</span><br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">8592 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo<br /></span><a href="http://www.shoplasc.com" target="_blank"><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">shoplasc.com</span></em></a></p> <p class="FreeForm"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Parke & Ronen<br /></span></strong></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">8012 Melrose Ave., L.A.<br /></span><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.parkeandronen.com" target="_blank">parkeandronen.com</a></span></em></p> <p class="FreeForm"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Vilebrequin<br /></strong></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">9519 Wilshire Blvd., Bev. Hills<br /></span><a href="http://www.us.vilebrequin.com" target="_blank"><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">us.vilebrequin.com</span></em></a></p> <hr style="width: 600px;" width="600" /> <p class="FreeForm"> </p> <p class="FreeForm"><br />Photography by <strong>John Fallon</strong><br /><em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/JohnFallonStudio" target="_blank">Facebook.com/JohnFallonStudio</a>, <a href="http://www.johnfallonstudio.com/" target="_blank">johnfallonstudio.com</a>, <a href="http://livepage.apple.com/" target="_blank">Instagram @johnfallon</a></em></p> <p class="FreeForm">Wardrobe Styling by <strong>Jack Austin</strong><br /><em><a href="http://hhttp//www.jackaustinstyling.com/" target="_blank">jackaustinstyling.com</a></em></p> <p class="FreeForm">Grooming by <strong>Nathan Cooper</strong><br /><em><a href="http://solarnoise.net/" target="_blank">solarnoise.net</a></em></p> <p class="FreeForm">Produced by <strong>Ed Baker</strong></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/12/swimsuit-issue-hot-guys-sizzling-stylehttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/12/swimsuit-issue-hot-guys-sizzling-styleThu, 12 Jun 2014 14:51:00 GMTEd BakerAnthony Friedkin's Photography: Capturing the L.A. Hustle (Photos)<p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF1.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Divine, The Palace Theater, S.F., 1972)</p> <p>In the fall of 1969, a few months after the Stonewall Riots, <strong>Anthony Friedkin</strong>, a 19-year-old Los Angeles photographer, returned to his hometown from a summer in Europe and embarked on an extraordinary four-year project: <em>The Gay Essay</em>, a series of black-and-white photographs depicting members of what was not then a high-profile or even cohesive group—gay men, drag queens, Hollywood hustlers and lesbians.</p> <p>“Anthony was not trying to make an encyclopedic document of the gay community,” explains <strong>Julian Cox</strong>, curator of a new exhibition of <em>The Gay Essay</em> that will open at San Francisco’s de Young Museum on June 14, also published this month in a book with Yale University Press. “He was following his instincts.”</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF2.jpg" alt="" width="350" />(Rev. Troy Perry, Gay Activist, in His Burnt Down Church, L.A., 1973<strong>)</strong></p> <p>Those instincts led him to record historic images of significant figures—the Reverend <strong>Troy Perry</strong>, for example, founder of the Metropolitan Church, which ministered to the LGBT community, in the firebombed wreckage of his house of worship. They also drew him to make tender, private images that seem to exist outside the historical struggle—portraits of ordinary couples in their most intimate moments.</p> <p>Friedkin is a straight man, who, influenced by <strong>Cornell Capa</strong>’s <em>The Concerned Photographer</em> (1968), came to view photography as an art that could heighten social awareness. Sensing that Gay Liberation would be as important as the Civil Rights Movement, he approached <strong>Don Kilhefner</strong> and <strong>Morris Kight</strong>, then directors of the Los Angeles Gay Community Services Center, to ask if he might turn his camera on their universe. (In a touching double portrait in the show, Kilhefner and Kight appear bearded, scraggly, rumpled, yet fully at ease in their identities.)</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF3.jpg" alt="" width="350" />(Kilhefner and Kight, L.A. Gay Community Service Center, 1972)</p> <p>“People can read your energy when you have a camera in your hand,” Friedkin said about their first meeting. The two men appeared to have liked what they read. “They were so beautiful and warm to me. I got their trust. And they taught me something important: to listen—to let the energy come to you,” rather than impose your own energy on a situation or a scene.</p> <p>Their trust brought him more trust—including that of a lesbian couple in Venice who allowed him full access to their private time. “Bobby and Linda were so in love with each other,” Friedkin said. “Humans have a need to express intimacy and love—a need that is not unique to gay people or straight people.</p> <p> “I had no desire to photograph people in the closet,” Friedkin continued. “I wanted to photograph people who were openly gay. I went into the whole project with a lot of love and caring.”</p> <p>Not to mention a lot of technical skill. He shot his subjects with a 35mm Leica M4 camera and printed them on paper that enhanced the richness of their black tones. While he was incubating The Gay Essay, he was also a stringer for Magnum Photos, the agency founded by the legendary World War II photographer <strong>Robert Capa,</strong> brother to Cornell Capa, whose book had shaped his artistic vision.</p> <p>In the 40-plus years since <em>The Gay Essay</em>, Friedkin has explored different themes—reality versus illusion on Hollywood back lots and the Southern California surfing community, of which he remains an ardent member. Although still a fan of analog, black-and-white photography, he has produced digital color images when he felt they were appropriate—while shooting New Orleans before Katrina, for example.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF4.jpg" alt="" width="600" />(Jim & Mundo, Montebello, East L.A., 1972)</p> <p>Would he consider a version of <em>The Gay Essay</em> set in the present? Thanks to marriage equality—and a broader acceptance of the LGBT community—it might look quite different from its predecessor. Would he shoot it with his Leica or a digital camera?</p> <p>“I might want to use both, actually.” he said. “Digital cameras can work in extreme low level of light,” which appeals to his desire to be unobtrusive—to preserve the world he is recording without altering it.</p> <p>As for the substance of this essay—and of every essay on which he has embarked—he asks himself a question that first occurred to him as a 19-year-old student: “What can I do that could really challenge me as an artist on all levels?”</p> <p>The answer, for him, comes in images, not words.</p> <p>“I had no desire to photograph people in the closet. I wanted to photograph people who were openly gay. I went into the whole project with a lot of love and caring.<br /><br /> Click through to see more of Anthony Friedkin’s powerful photographs documenting the Gay Liberation era.</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF5.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Michelle, "C'est La Vie" Club, North Hollywood, 1972)</p> <p> </p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF6.jpg" alt="" />(Gay Liberation Parade, Hollywood, 1972)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF7.jpg" alt="" />(Hustlers, Selma Avenue, Hollywood, 1971)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF8.jpg" alt="" />(Gay Liberation Parade, Hollywood, 1972)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF10.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Couple, Los Angeles, 1970)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF11.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Young Hustlers, Selma Avenue, Hollywood, 1971)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF12.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Pristine Condition, The Palace Theater, San Francisco, 1972)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF13.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Couple in Front of Church, L.A., 1970)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF14.jpg" alt="" width="600" />(Drag Queen, Long Beach, 1971)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF15.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Jim & Valerie, Trouper's Hall, Hollywood,1970)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF16.jpg" alt="" width="450" />(Jim, East L.A., 1972)</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/AF17.jpg" alt="" width="450" /></p> <p>Anthony Friedkin, 1972</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/13/anthony-friedkins-photography-capturing-the-la-hustle-photoshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/13/anthony-friedkins-photography-capturing-the-la-hustle-photosFri, 13 Jun 2014 15:03:00 GMTM.G. LordBeach Blanket Books: 9 Great Reads for the Summer<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://cdn.literarytraveler.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Summer-Reading.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Life’s a beach, and one of the best things about L.A.’s summer months is laying low with a great book as the water laps the shore. Whether your summer reading preferences tip toward spiced-up fiction, idiosyncratic bios, pithy comedy patter or dissecting cultural trends, we’ve got you covered. Just don’t forget the sunblock.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/522f7873f92ea122820259ad/Delicious-Ruth-Reichl-Novel-Random-House.jpg" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>Delicious!<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Ruth Reichl</em></p> <p>Reichl is known for her essays, but now she’s cooked up a hot summer potboiler in the mold of <em>The Devil Wears Prada</em>, with food instead of fashion as the magazine-world special ingredient. Heroine Billie meets the same fate at fictional magazine <em>Delicious!</em> as Reichl did when she was editor of <em>Gourmet</em> when it unexpectedly folded. Along the way, her trusty gay sidekick Sammy takes her from mousy to minxy with a transforming makeover, and Billie suffers scorn from an older (Miranda Priestly-esque) colleague. Fold in the mystery of a trove of letters from WWII waif Lulu Swan, a cameo by James Beard and even a gingerbread recipe. Stir heartily and enjoy. 400 pp., $27 (Random House)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1397429779l/18453221.jpg" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of <br /> Heiress Huguette Clark<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Meryl Gordon</em></p> <p>Here’s a <em>Grey Gardens</em> redux for this year. Born in 1906, Huguette Clark grew up in a 121-room Beaux Arts mansion, the daughter of William Andrews Clark, copper titan and the second richest man in America. She attended the coronation of King George V, and at age 22, with a $50 million fortune, married a childhood friend. Divorced two years later, she began the long, strange journey from sparkling socialite to remote recluse in a vast apartment facing Central Park, eating crackers and watching <em>The Flintstones</em>. Last seen in public in the late ‘60s, she entered Doctors’ Hospital in 1991 and never left. The rich really are different. 400 pp., $28 (Grand Central)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://bookrevue.com/images/DiaryofaMadDiva.JPG" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>Diary of a Mad Diva<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Joan Rivers</em></p> <p>Still cracking wise after all these years and red carpets, Joan Rivers now takes her place as a diarist—god help us all—determined to outdo everyone from Sylvia Plath to Bridget Jones. It’s a look at many days-in-the-life, from family vacations in Mexico to the usual rounds as a comedian and thorn in the side of celebs in Hollywood and New York. Available July 1. 304 pp., $26.95 (Penguin)<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Frl39FJ3L._SY344_.jpg" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film</strong></p> <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Marc Spitz</em></p> <p>Do you cringe at the thought of Wes Anderson, artisanal pickles and Zooey Deschanel? You’re not alone. <em>Vanity Fair</em> contributor Marc Spitz explores what he calls the first great cultural movement since hip-hop. Tracing twee history in this large-scale paperback takes the reader from its origins in the work of Disney, Sendak and Blume (Judy) to current iterations like <em>Girls</em>, Arcade Fire and Mumblecore. He details how we ended up riveted by a sensibility marked by hip-to-be-square glamour and a complete lack of irony. 352 pp., $16.99 (It Books)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="https://www.scmp.com/sites/default/files/2014/06/06/d067401ee69f8fbb4bb5bbba748807dc.jpg" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Richard Barrios</em></p> <p>Historian Barrios goes behind the scenes to tell the story of movie musicals, from <em>The Jazz Singer</em> to <em>Les Miz</em>. He dishes the dirt about behind-the-scenes drama but also explores how so many of those films became larger than life. He’s no prig, though—he goes to bat for Carmen Miranda as “possibly the most endearing performer who ever lived” and swats away Madonna as a “steel monolith” in <em>Evita</em>. Hits and misses (and one-time flops like <em>Singin’ in the Rain</em> that eventually became classics), cartoons and camp, cult films and cultural treasures—it’s all here. 276 pp., $34.95 (Oxford University Press)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://warwicks.indiebound.com/files/warwicks/u2613/Sally_Ride.gif" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Lynn Sherr</em></p> <p>With her unexpected death from cancer in 2012 came the public revelation of Sally Ride’s life as a lesbian in a longtime committed relationship. Now there’s this full-scale biography. Booklist says, “Sherr has done an impressive job of uncovering the pressures (and sometimes comical missteps) of NASA’s macho culture and its approach to the first class of women astronauts.” The author had access to Ride’s papers and the cooperation of both her partner and former husband, as well as friends and colleagues, to tell Ride’s truly heroic story. 400 pp., $28 (Simon & Schuster)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://images.penguingroup.com/Covers/304/9780399169304H.jpg" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>I Said Yes To Everything<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Lee Grant</em></p> <p>From surviving the Hollywood blacklist to her Oscar-winning career turnaround in Shampoo, actress Lee Grant has seen and done it all. Born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal, she journeyed from New York’s famed Neighborhood Playhouse to the Actors Studio and eventually Broadway and film. It all fell apart with the blacklist, but—exonerated after 12 long years—she re-emerged on TV’s primetime soap Peyton Place and in cult film <em>Valley of the Dolls</em> before taking on <em>In the Heat of the Night</em> and, with her trademark bitchy edge, <em>Shampoo</em>. Available July 8. 480 pp., $28.95 (Blue Radar Press)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BZngcH0Xtas/Uu2KRF80nII/AAAAAAAAqIg/Ffp2Tw1moQc/s1600/4woodymiller.jpg" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>How To Bottom Like a Porn Star<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Woody Miller</em></p> <p>“Started from the bottom,” indeed. When you want to learn about sex, why not ask a sex worker? If you ever had a question about how the porn industry works, this is the place to find answers—from how much money porn stars make to what percent are actually heterosexual. There’s also a lot about what to do in the bedroom, where you can be the star. Action! 136 pp., $14.99 (Woodpecker Media)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2014/02/27/Divergent-Cover-Four_612x925.jpg" alt="" width="200" /></p> <p><strong>Four: A Divergent Collection<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">by Veronica Roth</em></p> <p>If you’re still fantasizing about hunky British actor Theo James in <em>Divergent</em>, here’s his character Tobias’s backstory told from his own point of view. The first three parts—<em>The Transfer, The Initiate, and The Son</em>—follow Tobias’s transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation and the first hints of a foul plan, while the fourth fills out the movie’s story with added scenes. 304 pp., $17.99 (Tegen Books)</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/15/beach-blanket-books-9-great-reads-for-the-summerhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/15/beach-blanket-books-9-great-reads-for-the-summerSun, 15 Jun 2014 11:29:00 GMTVincent BoucherFather’s Day Gift Guide: Show Your Pops He's Tops <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120618025224-two-dads-story-top.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Whether you’re seeking a gift for your pops, something for that my-two-dads couple down the street or a present for your hot daddy, you know that Father’s Day is around the corner, and it’s time to pull out all the stops. Whether’s he a dandy, an outdoorsman or a collector, there’s something for him on this list in every price range. If you’re shopping with an unlimited budget, all the better, because some of these suggestions definitely fit the fantasy category.But what’s life without a little daydreaming? You know your dad is worth it.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/GiftGuide1_600x150.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.htclosangeles.com/" target="_blank">Hollywood Trading Company</a> takes handsomely worn <strong>vintage leather belts</strong> and refurbishes them as one-of-a-kind collectibles with new solid brass buckles. $165, Denim Doctors/HTC, 7383 Beverly Blvd., L.A.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Charge this futuristic <strong>inflatable lantern</strong> in the sun and get up to 16 hours of LED light, all in a waterproof, floatable enclosure that’s extra handy for boating and camping. $19.95,<a href="http://www.luninaid.com" target="_blank"><em> luninaid.com</em></a>.</span></p> <p> <strong>Adam Silverman’s ceramics</strong> are marked by fierce surface texture and intensely colored layers of glaze. Untitled 2014, $3,000, available directly from Adam Silverman Studio at <a href="http://www.adamsilverman.net/" target="_blank"><em>adamsilverman.net</em></a></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/GiftGuide2_600x150.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Gold accessories are all the rage again after seasons of blackened metal, so why not buy an investment piece like this <strong>vintage ‘40s Cartier money clip</strong>? $6,250, <a href="http://justoneeye.com/" target="_blank">Just One Eye</a>, 7000 Romaine St., L.A.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After 25 years in business, <a href="http://www.heritageclassics.com/" target="_blank">Heritage Classics</a> has the largest car collection around, with enviable offerings, like a <strong>1971 Jaguar E-Type Series II Roadster</strong>. $59,500, Heritage Classics, 8980 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo</span></p> <p>Were there ever any guys as cool as the tennis legends of the ‘70s? With summer tourneys around the corner, these <strong>engraved key fobs</strong> lend a visceral form of nostalgia. $15, <em><a href="http://www.variouskeytags.com" target="_blank">variouskeytags.com</a></em></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/GiftGuide3_600x150.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Indie clothier <a href="http://unionmadegoods.com/" target="_blank">Unionmade</a> stocks an exclusive range of <strong>handmade silk neckties</strong> from Gitman Vintage, like this lively combo of red, gold and olive repp stripes. $80, Unionmade at The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., L.A.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Stars like <strong>Usher, Orlando Bloom</strong> and <strong>Robert Pattinson</strong> are all fans of <a href="http://www.lanvin.com/e-lanvin/US/" target="_blank">Lanvin</a> menswear’s ‘luxe meets high-tech’ accessories, like this <strong>bottle-green leather single-strap backpack</strong>. $1,640, Barneys, 9570 Wilshire Blvd., Bev. Hills</span></p> <p><strong>Annie Leibovitz</strong>’s <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=Annie+Leibovitz&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=HtObU7S2For5oASJxIKIDQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1246&bih=695" target="_blank">40 years of collected work</a>—from her <em>Rolling Stone</em> nude of <strong>John and Yoko</strong> to her recent portrait of <strong>Queen Elizabeth</strong>—in Taschen’s SUMO edition with tripod stand. $2,500, <a href="http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/stores/415.store_beverly_hills.1.htm" target="_blank">Taschen</a>, 354 N. Beverly Dr., Bev. Hills<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p> <p><strong>This Smokestack Fire Pit</strong> from noted Dutch designer <strong>Frederik Roijé</strong> stands six feet tall and is fabricated from Corten steel that weathers to a coppery hue. $1,750, <a href="http://www.aplusrstore.com/" target="_blank">A+R</a>, 171 S. LaBrea Ave., L.A.</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/14/fathers-day-gift-guide-show-your-pops-hes-tops-http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/14/fathers-day-gift-guide-show-your-pops-hes-tops-Sat, 14 Jun 2014 10:00:00 GMTVincent BoucherWhere is L.A.'s Next 'Gayborhood'?<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gayborhoods5.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Los Angeles’ LGBT community has long gravitated toward the ‘gayborhoods’ of West Hollywood and Silver Lake, often due to concerns of safety and those cozy hamlets’ wide range of cultural and nightlife options. But times, they are a-changin’, and our city’s younger set of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Angelenos prefer to pop the proverbial bubble. L.A. is a veritable playground for the adventurous, and options for living a thrill-filled, well-adjusted life can be found throughout the city limits.</p> <p>It’s the little things that make a neighborhood a home—places like a great café or resto lounge, retailers that know your name, and opportunities to ‘get fit’ outside of a gym. Here are a few points of interest in five neighborhoods outside L.A.’s well-traversed gay bubbles, along with which segments of our city’s LGBT community they’re tailor-made for. These nooks are perfect for perusing on a warm weekend afternoon—or perhaps even setting up shop with the partner and kids.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/culvercity_600x215.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Culver City</strong></p> <p><a href="http://finculvercity.com/" target="_blank">The Alley</a><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This new speakeasy-type bar serves cocktails for movie buffs, like the Betty Boop, Audrey Hepburn (Aperol and champagne with cucumber) and the Cagney (with rye, brandied cherries and cabernet). 12223 W. Washington Blvd., behind Fin</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.culvercity.org/Business/AboutEconDev/FarmersMarket.aspx" target="_blank">Culver City Farmers Market<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Every Tuesday from 2 to 7 p.m., rain or shine, this farmers market conveniently extends into the evening hours, unlike most early-bird markets. Easy parking with 200 adjacent spaces, first two hours free. Main Street between Culver and Venice Blvds.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.arcanabooks.com/" target="_blank">Arcana Books on the Arts<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This shop specializes in rare and out-of-print books and holds frequent author events, like the one on June 3 celebrating Tim Nye’s The Astonishing Works of John Alton, about the iconoclastic L.A. artist of the ‘50s and ‘60s, in advance of the Alton retrospective at LACMA (June 8 - Sept. 14). 8675 Washington Blvd.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22790" target="_blank">Baldwin Hills <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Scenic Overlook<br /></span></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Take in one of Los Angeles’ most gorgeous vistas while working on your fitness. It’s a 20-minute hike to the top if you take the stairs (work those glutes!) or you can extend your workout by taking the dirt trail. 6300 Hetzler Rd.</span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/atwater_600x215.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Atwater Village</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.goodwillsocal.org/" target="_blank">Goodwill L.A. Flagship & Outlet Center<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It opened mid-May—all 135,000 square feet of it—and the space is soon to open a café, great for a full day of retail therapy. 3150 N. San Fernando Blvd.</span></p> <p><a href="http://bauerpottery.com/" target="_blank">Bauer Pottery Showroom<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Find seasonal sales on “seconds” (items with minor imperfections), perfect for mid-century aficionados with tight budgets. Next sale dates are June 7 & 8. 3051 Rosslyn St.</span></p> <p><a href="http://theindividualmedley.com/" target="_blank">Individual Medley<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This indie boutique is a favorite of menswear stylists and hosts events like flower workshops and heirloom tomato tastings. It’s a masculine shop specializing in everything from fashionable denim to utility knives. 3176 Glendale Blvd.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.atwatercrossing.com/" target="_blank">The Crossing<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas boys with a hankering for barbecue need look no further than this recently-opened spot that uses cherry, almond and applewood for a deep-smoked down-home flavor and features a sunny outdoor patio for chowing down. Since the previous tenant’s pizza oven is still in use, how ‘bout a smoked brisket pie? 3245 Casitas Avenue</span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/dtla_600x215.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>DTLA</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/precinctdtla" target="_blank">Precinct</a> & <a href="http://www.redlinedtla.com/" target="_blank">Redline</a><br /> It’s been years since Downtown L.A. has had true gay bar offerings, and 2014 will see the opening of two watering holes aiming for LGBT clientele. Precinct (307 W. 4th St.)—a multi-room space that will host a mix of dance parties and drag shows—opens this summer, while Redline (131 E. 6th St.)—an intimate video bar and lounge—will open its doors this fall.</p> <p><a href="http://www.oaknyc.com/" target="_blank">Oak<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This L.A. boutique is the brand’s fourth after two in New York and one in Paris. Part of the Broadway Theater District’s recent resurgence, Oak’s monochrome merchandise includes the best and brightest of local and global designers. 910 S. Broadway</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.acehotel.com/losangeles/theatre" target="_blank">Theater at Ace Hotel<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A stunning gem of Los Angeles, what was once the United Artists Theater, built in 1927, now offers the varied programing you’d expect from hipster hotel brand The Ace—movie premieres, film fests (like the Sundance Next Fest in August), concerts and everything in between. 929 S. Broadway</span></p> <p><a href="http://riverarestaurant.com/" target="_blank">Rivera<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Restaurants are popping up all over DTLA, but the fusion style of Chef John Sedlar (named 2011’s Chef of the Year by Esquire) is Southland to the core—”loncheras” global cusine served dim-sum style. 1050 S. Flower St.</span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/westwood_600x215.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Westwood</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.ipictheaters.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">iPic Theaters<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Cinema-philes will love this 21st century movie palace luxuriously kitted out with 424 premium leather seats divided among six auditoriums. Featuring seasonally driven noshes and crafted cocktails, there’s even “Premium Plus” pampering with free popcorn, blankets and couch-side service. 10840 Wilshire Blvd.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.clarkandmadison.com/" target="_blank">Clark & Madison<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you’re a travelin’ man, then this emporium filled with luxe weekend bags, Dopp kits and sustainably made globetrotter goods is just the ticket. A pop-up that’s continuing through the summer months, it also features well-crafted tees and polos from L.A. brand Grover that are perfect for packing. 10918 Kinross Ave.</span></p> <p><a href="http://hammer.ucla.edu/" target="_blank">Hammer Museum<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This L.A. museum mainstay features exhibits like the free biennial focusing on local art stars-on-the-rise, Made in L.A 2014 (June 15 - Sept. 7.) Special events are often on tap as well, like a recent fashion conversation between W magazine editor-turned-foodie Kevin West and ever-hip Band of Outsiders designer Scott Sternberg. 10899 Wilshire Blvd.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.800degreespizza.com/" target="_blank">800 Degrees<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Move on down the line” has a Neapolitan flavor at this always-jammed pizzeria where customers build their own pizza as they move through service. Choose from toppings like applewood smoked bacon and Sicilian olive-oil-packed sardines, finishing off with cheese, glorious cheese—gorgonzola, fontina, burrata. Think of 800 Degrees as pizza done Chipotle-style. 10889 Lindbrook Ave.</span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/miraclemile_600x215.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Miracle Mile</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.foodtruckmaps.com/la/food_trucks_in_mid_wilshire/" target="_blank">Food Trucks Outside LACMA<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Weekdays between noon and 2 p.m., all your culinary dreams come true, right in front of L.A.’s Museum Row on Wilshire. Grab some grub before hitting up LACMA (which offers free admission to L.A. locals weekdays after 3), one of the city’s most diverse selections of meals on wheels. Wilshire between Ogden and Spaulding.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.google.com/maps/preview?q=hancock+park+los+angeles&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x80c2b8c19037461d:0xbb9a8a5ca84fa63a,Greater+Wilshire+/+Hancock+Park,+Los+Angeles,+CA&gl=us&ei=zcGQU8imCMSHogTczILIDg&ved=0CL4BEPIBMBA" target="_blank">Hancock Park<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The park has its fair share of families wandering around the Tar Pits, but you’re also bound to stumble upon Boot Camp L.A. drill instructors Jay and Marcella Kerwin leading recruits in morning and early evening boot camps here. What better setting for a workout than a bubbling death pit for ice age mammmals? 4900 Beverly Blvd.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.laboulangebakery.com/" target="_blank">La Boulange<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Say bonjour to La Brea’s newest café, a San Francisco brand now under Starbucks control, opening this month. The counter-service bakery will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will have a wine and beer license. 359 S. La Brea Ave.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.ardesign.info/store/" target="_blank">A+R Design<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This compellingly edited sanctuary of modern design—a collaboration between Brit movie veteran Andy Griffith and hometown fashion journalist Rose Apodaca—is a lofty space that accommodates furnishings on display from museum-worthy lines from around the world, as well as cutting-edge Californians. 171 S. La Brea Ave.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/sugarfishsushi.com/" target="_blank">Sugarfish<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Chef Kazunori Nozawa’s highly simplified take on tradtional sushi is all the rage among foodies at the moment. Order from three menus dubbed Trust Me’s, a new-school take on Omakase-style dining. 101 S. La Brea Ave.</span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/05/where-is-las-next-gayborhoodhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/05/where-is-las-next-gayborhoodThu, 05 Jun 2014 13:49:00 GMTVincent Boucher, Stephan HorbeltYour Guide to L.A. Pride: The Parade, The Festival and More!<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/LAPride3%20Courtesy%20of%20CSW.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><span class="micro">Images courtesy of L.A. Pride</span></p> <p>Since 1979, the nonprofit LGBT organization Christopher Street West has produced L.A. Pride in West Hollywood to celebrate the anniversary of New York’s historical Stonewall Riots. Some have argued that hosting Pride in WeHo prevents its cultural significance from extending outside of Boystown. After all, Pride was originally held in Hollywood, its parade taking place on a warm 1970 day along Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Vine. Pressure from a homophobic LAPD eventually forced the event to move to the unincorporated area that would later become West Hollywood. But lets be honest—if L.A. is going to throw a weekend-long gay party, don’t you want it handled by the same overachievers who founded  and maintained a city with our best interests at its core? CSW promises that L.A. Pride 2014 will be the city’s most promising celebration ever.</p> <p><strong>THE PARADE<br /><br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In a town perpetually encased within the bubble of its car culture, any excuse to mingle publicly in a large crowd is a welcome change of pace. And boy, the does the L.A. Pride Parade attract one hell of a crowd, composed of gays, lesbians, transfolk, bisexuals and our straight allies from across SoCal. With an estimated 400,000 people expected to participate as spectators pavment stompers this year, the size of this event rivals West Hollywood’s other epic public spectacle, the annual Halloween Carnaval.</span></p> <p>Participants of last year’s parade will already be familiar with the route, which spans the length of Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax all the way down to Doheny. Grand marshal duties for this year’s parade will be performed by pop artist and staunch LGBT supporter <strong>Demi Lovato</strong>, also notable for her turn as a lesbian love interest for <strong>Naya Rivera</strong>’s feisty Latina character of the unabashedly queer-friendly musical comedy <em>Glee</em>.</p> <p><strong>THE FESTIVAL<br /><br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/lapridefest.png" alt="" width="400" />While hundreds of thousands stomp the pavement at Sunday’s parade, the Christopher Street West Pride Festival will be emceed by WeHo’s Queen B himself, <strong>Billy Francesca</strong>—with a little assist from his co-host <strong>DJ Asha</strong>, on both Saturday and Sunday. The ladies get the ball rolling on Friday with the Lavender Menace, a celebration of women and the women they love. Grab your favorite gal and stand-spoon to live performances by <strong>Mary Lambert,</strong> <strong>Betty Who</strong> and more. And don’t forget our trans siblings—people like <strong>Dina Nina Martinez, Ryan Cassata, Lunden Reign</strong> and <strong>Shane Ivan Nash</strong>—who will be participating in Transgender Social Performances on the Latino Carnival Stage. </span></p> <p>Lunden returns on Saturday, this time stepping onto the main stage with <strong>Katja Gliesen, Charmaine, The Freaky Boiz</strong> and others. This diverse lineup of pro-LGBT performers leads up to the night’s headliners, <strong>Azealia Banks</strong> and everyone’s favorite Dreamgirl (sorry, <strong>Beyoncé</strong>)—<strong>Jennifer Hudson</strong>.</p> <p>If you missed <strong>Ryan Cassata</strong>’s set during Lavender Menace, catch him along with <strong>Kristina Debarge, Derek Jameson, Glass Battles</strong> and <strong>Teammate</strong> on the main stage. Or, if you’re craving something a bit more caliente, saunter over to the Latino Carnival Stage to scope out <strong>Marisela</strong>. The night climaxes with performances by <strong>Danity Kane</strong> and ‘80s pop-rock icons <strong>The Bangles</strong>.</p> <p>If all this sounds too Top 40 for you, don’t sweat it; there are a multitude of musical options. For all you good ol’ country boys, the Country Pavilion has returned, so you can honky-tonk your achy-breaky heart out with your favorite ranch hand. For those swinging on the opposite end of the cultural pendulum, the Hip-Hop/R&B stage is back.</p> <p>The Pride festival isn’t just about music, of course. If you want something visual that’s not too abysmal, you can hit up this year’s art and culture exhibit, <em>Riot I</em>, curated by Install: Pride.<br /> </p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/LAPride2%20Courtesy%20of%20CSW.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>And what Pride festival would be complete without the adults-only zone? Erotic City has returned, and it’s hotter than ever. Gaze your peepers on erotic art and take a chance on live drawings from the Tom of Finland Foundation. If you need more of an eyeful, ONE Archives will be co-hosting the <em>Project 50</em> photography exhibit, chronicling the LGBT communities’ shared history over the last five decades. And, as one might expect from an 18-and-older erotica area, there will be plenty of vendors selling toys for big boys and girls. This portion of the festival is a must-visit for all bondage boys, kinksters and sexual adventurers.</p> <p>If you’re none of those things and crave something more wholesome to cleanse the palate, the festival has that covered as well. This year’s brand-spanking-new sober space, #Sizzle!, is a “Carnival of Attraction” that doles out nostalgic under-the-big-top fun. Indulge your inner child with carnival games and circus attractions. Scarf down cotton candy, fling yourself against the Velcro wall or test your strength with an oversized mallet. Much like the LGBT community, L.A. Pride offers something for everyone.<br /><br /><strong>TRANSPORTATION</strong><br /><br /><span>Cityline is West Hollywood’s free daytime shuttle service, while </span><span>The PickUp is WeHo’s free nighttime trolley ride. In celebration of Pride this year, the shuttle and trolley services will get together and become “Pride Ride” for the weekend of June 6-8. <span>Pride Ride will run on <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090659"><span class="aQJ">Friday, June 6, from 1-6 p.</span></span>m. and from <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090661"><span class="aQJ">8 p.m.-3 a.m.</span></span>; on <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090662"><span class="aQJ">Saturday, June 7, </span></span>from <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090663"><span class="aQJ">11 a.m.-3 a.m.</span></span>; and on <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090664"><span class="aQJ">Sunday, June 8</span></span>, from <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090665"><span class="aQJ">3 p.m.-2 a.m.</span></span> Pride Ride will feature Cityline vehicles before <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090666"><span class="aQJ">8 p.m.</span></span> and PickUp trolleys after <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090667"><span class="aQJ">8 p.m.</span></span> It will follow a continuous loop along Santa Monica Boulevard between Robertson and Fuller, with 16 stops in each direction. Vehicles will arrive approximately every 15 minutes with </span><span>music provided by local DJ <strong>Derek Monteiro</strong>.</span></span> <span>For drivers who wish to “Park and Pride Ride” there will be paid public parking available for $20 in municipal lots such as the Hancock Parking Structure at 901 Hancock Avenue</span><span>, and the Kings Road Municipal Parking Structure, located at 8383 Santa Monica Boulevard, which are both on the Pride Ride route.</span><br /><br /><strong>STREET CLOSURES AND PARKING</strong><br /><br />The following streets will be closed due to L.A. Pride: (1) <span style="line-height: 1.5;">San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica and Melrose, from 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, through 10 a.m. on Monday, June 9; (2) </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax to Doheny, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 8; (3) </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Streets one block north and south of Santa Monica Boulevard (Fairfax to La Peer), from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 8; (4) </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Crescent Heights Boulevard from Romaine to Fountain will be closed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 8.<br /><br /><span>The City of West Hollywood will suspend enforcement of <em>permit</em> <em>parking</em> for Pride Weekend from </span><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090704"><span class="aQJ">4 p.m. on Friday, June 6, </span></span><span>to 7 a.m. on </span><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090705"><span class="aQJ">Monday, June 9</span></span><span>. All <em>metered parking</em> will be enforced on </span><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090706"><span class="aQJ">Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7</span></span><span>. Metered parking will not be enforced on </span><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1622090707"><span class="aQJ">Sunday, June 8, </span></span><span>during the day of the Pride Parade. Attendees of festivities are encouraged to observe the boundaries of the City of West Hollywood; if you park in the City of Los Angeles and/or the City of Beverly Hills, all parking restrictions must be observed.</span></span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/03/your-guide-to-la-pride-the-parade-the-festival-and-morehttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/03/your-guide-to-la-pride-the-parade-the-festival-and-moreTue, 03 Jun 2014 06:00:00 GMTMike CiriacoWhat Is Gay L.A.? Local Insiders Share Their Thoughts<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gayvoices_1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><em>In a city that means different things to different people, we ask local insiders to share their thoughts—is there a Gay L.A. state of mind?</em><br /><br />A community as immense as the Los Angeles LGBT society is as diverse as one would imagine. Sexuality is but one spoke on the wheel. Gay life today assumes many guises. As a stab at clarity, here’s an informal court of citizenry to stop and share the view from where they stand. With some pride and prejudice as well, here’s a look at Gay L.A. 2014.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gayvoices_600x215_1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>John D’Amico<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Mayor, West Hollywood</em></p> <p>“Yes, I do think there is a Gay L.A. sensibility, and it’s my sense that it’s centered around invention and optimism. I find that so many LGBT people I meet have moved here to Southern California from other places in the country or around the globe. They chose L.A., and they’re committed to the idea that this is the best place for them to invent their lives. It’s the Wild West, and it’s full of opportunity.“</p> <p><strong>Andrew Christian<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Designer</em></p> <p>“I think L.A. is defined by a healthy lifestyle. People eat healthy, workout and generally take good care of themselves. Gay Pride is a special time of year, and every year I release a pride-themed video because it’s important that we keep our visibility out there as members of the LGBT community. It’s really inspiring for me to be a positive influence on people’s lives though these videos, especially for LGBT youth living in small towns who may not have a gay community or support within reach. If I can just help one person, then I think the effort is well worth it.”</p> <p><strong>Jewel Thais-Williams<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Owner, Catch One Disco</em></p> <p>“The gay culture in L.A. is multi-faceted with a bunch of sub-cultures. There’s a race divide, sexism, classism. The “House” and “Ball” community has a big presence in the black community and absolutely none—that I know of—in the white community. There are three or four main houses that still exist here in L.A. since before [the 1990 documentary] Paris is Burning. The whole nine yards. They are a sub-subculture of drag and transgender culture. Since I’m older—75—I’ve seen the changes from the very beginning, and there’s more openness and a broader acceptance of more people. I think L.A. is probably one of the gayest cities in the world.”</p> <p><strong>Malcolm Boyd<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Civil Rights Activist</em></p> <p>“As a gay elder of 91, I have seen many faces of the big question: Is there a distinctly Gay L. A. sensibility? Yes, of course. It is a combination of climate, the archives at USC, the genius of Harry Hay, role models like Jim Kepner and so many other gay and lesbian pioneers, the annual Pride Parade, the integrity and leadership of Sheila Kuehl, the benign presence of the ubiquitous movie world and the sheer volume of gay people seeking freedom. And no, because L.A.’s distinct gay community is already a reflection of the global! L.A.’s gay images instantly flash around the world. West Hollywood and Silver Lake bump into the universal LGBTQ scene with alacrity, glamour, political significance and deep spiritual meanings.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gayvoices_600x215_2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Casey Bloys<br /></strong><em>Executive Vice-President, HBO Programming</em></p> <p>“I don’t know if there is a specific Gay L.A. sensibility, but as for change in the gay community, I am proud of how we have accepted the option of marriage and kids. When my kids were little and we took them to the Pride Parade, it was always such a welcoming experience. Everyone from drag queens to twinks to dykes to your garden-variety WeHo guys seemed genuinely happy to see two dads with kids, and they would smile and give us a thumbs-up. That’s a long way from the parades of 18 years ago when I moved to L.A. and kids and marriage did not seem like an option.”</p> <p><strong>Ramiro Gomez<br /></strong><em>Artist</em></p> <p>​“My artwork is indirectly about homosexuality, but it came about because of my job as a babysitter. I would take the kids to West Hollywood Park. It was weird—I would go there at night after drinks and be myself, but during the day, I was another person. L.A. started to look different. At the park, other nannies would assume I was the kids’ father, and because of that, they wouldn’t talk to me. When they found out who I really was, and that I was gay, because of religious reasons, some of them still wouldn’t talk to me. Naturally, our kids would play together at the park. Some nannies with reservations would be forced to talk to me, and we would connect on a personal level. That really captured a different side of L.A. for me. There’s a big Hispanic workforce in West Hollywood that comes and goes from the East Side. Being gay and from San Bernardino, I would see West Hollywood at night as a place where I could be free. But there are gardeners that come here during the day—and they’re gay themselves—but they can’t be open about it because they’re working. My community of nannies is part of my L.A. I painted a mural at the park that depicts this whole idea.”</p> <p><strong>Don Zuidema<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Partner, Los Angeles Sporting Club</em></p> <p>“We as a community have become much more aware of our strengths and our values, and we have much more of a voice than we ever have—evidenced by our tremendous strides in our fight for equality. We are more secure, more attuned to the world around us and more committed to being involved. One of the great things about West Hollywood is the inclusion and sense of community that is so alive here.”</p> <p><strong>Stone Fleshman<br /></strong><em>IMPULSE Group Member</em></p> <p>“What are you going to do now that you’ve just won ‘Best Looking’ and ‘Most Likely to be a Movie Star’? You, of course, move to L.A. to pursue your wildest dreams! Every single person who moved to our colorful city did so with a dream. This includes our LGBT community, many of whom moved here to be accepted and be allowed to be his or her true self. Los Angeles is where all the shame and persecution from your past is simply that—your past. Our L.A. gay sensibility has made it to the covers of mainstream magazines and is a staple in television. America is finally catching on and giving credit to our community, long-deserved since before Dorothy clicked her heels. Amongst all the glamour, glitter, fashion and fame, our gay brothers and sisters are living the dreams of every winner of their Senior Superlatives. So cheers to all of you who have found your way over the rainbow. You’ve just won ‘Most Likely to Live a Truly Happy and Free Life!’”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gayvoices_600x215_3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>David Cooley</strong><br /><em>President and Founder of the Abbey Food & Bar</em></p> <p>“One of the great things about living in a city like Los Angeles is there is no one sensibility for anything. You can be and think anything you want, and there is something here for everybody. For overall trends, I’ve noticed a few things over the years. The LGBT community in Los Angeles values individuality, diversity and community all at the same time. Most people in Los Angeles are generally interested in active and healthy lifestyles. Whether you work in entertainment or not, that industry is part of our daily life. We love sunny and 72. We all hate traffic and have our own ways to deal with it. In Los Angeles, our individual neighborhoods are a strong part of our identity. Living in West Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park or Venice all appeal to different aspects and lifestyles, but everybody is represented.”</p> <p><strong>Linda Perry<br /></strong><em>Songwriter and Star of VHI’s </em><span>Upcoming Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p> <p>“When I hear the question, it sounds like something you’d ask a 20-year-old. I’m 49 years old, and I don’t know any other way. It seems like everybody’s gay now. Every girl I talk to is having the experience, or a guy is coming out after leaving his third marriage. I think everybody is generally more in touch with themselves. We’re at a time in the universe where there’s a kind of energy that people can focus on who they are across the board. I am more in touch with my spirituality, my heart, my body, my career, my life.”</p> <p><strong>Jacob Rostovsky<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Founder, Trans United with Family and Friends</em></p> <p>“As a gay transgender male, I never thought I would be able to live somewhere without fear for my life, but I found safety, love and acceptance in Los Angeles. I never have to hide who I am, and at times I even feel celebrated for having the courage to be me. I can be out and proud to walk down the street with my boyfriend, holding his hand and wearing my “nobody knows I’m transgender” T-shirt and only be met by smiles. Where else could that happen? I’m proud to consider myself part of L.A.”</p> <p><strong>Cliff Fong<br /></strong><em>Fashion Consultant; Partner, Galerie Half; Interior Designer for Ellen DeGeneres, among others</em></p> <p>“The wonderful thing about L.A. is that there are many different kinds of pockets, and you can associate with all kinds of groups of gays and lesbians. Los Angeles is full of pockets and the experience of life, and gay life, is much more diverse than in a lot of other places. New York is diverse, but in a much more proscribed way and in Paris and London, gay culture seems to be a single destination and then gays function in the mix. And in L.A. we have the entertainment industry and a lot of artists, writers, actors and directors who are gay and because they have careers in entertainment, you have a gay culture with a unique access to certain privileges. Where the whole community is concerned, you have a different kind of freedom than anywhere else. And there is a far more visible and prominent lesbian culture than in any other city I have experienced. Lesbians wear it well here.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gayvoices_600x215_4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>David Reid<br /></strong><em>Founder AIDSWatch</em></p> <p>“We are blessed and blinded by gay sensibility in Los Angeles, in particular West Hollywood. We have much to appreciate. Thirty years ago when by a narrow margin WeHo was legally born, the dynamics of our politics changed. The momentum of the struggle for equality took a giant leap forward on a national scale. But we have a drug crisis that is rampant. Brilliant lives wasted, literally. Meth addiction isn’t cured by billboards. We turn a blind eye. We are fortunate to have this base of community where we can move forward and continue to change minds and attitudes toward who we are. The self-acceptance we enjoy in L.A. needs to become contagious. Oh, right, that’s called love.”</p> <p><strong>Tim Miller<br /></strong><em>Author and Solo Performance Artist</em></p> <p>“To me, Gay L.A. isn’t theoretical. As someone who grew up here, it’s my life story. I like living in the city I grew up in. I was a quiet queer boy who came into town to go on my first date with a boy to see Romeo and Juliet. I remember driving around with my father on his sales calls and seeing my first gay people out in Downtown and on Hollywood Boulevard. I like the light, the space, the incredible landscape. And now I live two blocks from the beach in Venice with my husband Alistair, and I’m in the water every day.”</p> <p><strong>Tim Choy<br /></strong><em>Event Publicist and Partner, Davidson & Choy</em></p> <p>“The world I live in includes Gay L.A. and a lot of other kinds of L.A., and I would not think to categorize it anymore. I went to Hugo’s last night, and 10 years ago I would see mostly gay men, but that’s not all of who was in the restaurant last night. I guess I’ve stopped noticing. A lot of things I would have thought of as gay don’t feel that way anymore. Whether it’s Hugo’s or West Hollywood, ‘gay’ doesn’t seem to be much about geography like it used to. I expect to find gay people in all kinds of neighborhoods, just like I expect to find Asian, latino, black and Jewish people. I like that about Los Angeles. I always thought we were farther ahead than anywhere else. It doesn’t matter in this town if you’re straight or gay, unless you want to assign a meaning to it.”</p> <p><strong>Tom Whitman</strong><br /><em>Marketing Executive and Founding Board Member of The Global Forum on MSM</em></p> <p>“Sometimes I forget to appreciate the wonderfully schizophrenic quality of Gay L.A. No other city’s personality changes so quickly, from day to day, neighborhood to neighborhood. I can paint my face blue for LGBT Night OUT at Dodger Stadium, then black tie it at the Center Gala. On a single Sunday, I can walk with 30,000 people at the 30th annual AIDS Walk, play volleyball at Ginger Rogers, bare my tattoos at a Silver Lake beer bust or have a Sunday funday in West Hollywood. For every facet of my LGBT persona, there is a way to express it in L.A. That allows me to be as inventive as I want to be with my life. Gay L.A. isn’t the easiest city to navigate (literally and figuratively), but when you put the effort in, no other city compares.”</p> <p><strong>Jefferson Hendrick<br /></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">West Hollywood Realtor</em></p> <p>“Even as I approach 20 years of living in and around West Hollywood, I’ve always contended that the general sensibility of this spectacular city was one of overwhelming joie de vivre and a simple celebration of being. It’s that feeling that no matter where you came from, or how you got here, your life is just beginning, and now is the time to become who you are, whether that simply means leaving behind the baggage of a past life or stepping off the bus and immediately adopting your drag persona. It’s a city of limitless opportunity. West Hollywood has always had a strong sense of ‘here and now’—of the latest, the greatest. People want to look good, feel good and have a good time. Fashions change, hot spots come and go, but those things will always hold true. Of that, I am certain.” </p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/05/what-is-gay-la-local-insiders-share-their-thoughtshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/05/what-is-gay-la-local-insiders-share-their-thoughtsThu, 05 Jun 2014 15:50:00 GMTDana Miller, Vincent Boucher, Stephan Horbelt, Patrick Rosenquist, Karen OcambJohn Waters' 'Carsick': A First Look Excerpt<p><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/carsick2.png" alt="" width="400" /></p> <p>John Waters is out to shock us all once again, this time with <em>Carsick</em>, his new book chronicling an eight-day hitchhiking trek west along Route 70, from his home in Baltimore to his San Francisco apartment. <a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/exclusive-interviews/2014/05/30/john-waters-gets-carsick-hitchhikes-across-america-for-new-book" target="_blank"><em>Frontiers</em> recently spoke with Waters</a>, who recounted his experiences along the journey ("There was not one bad person. They were all kind and helpful.") and his sordid history with hitchhiking from a young age ("Those were my training wheels").<br /><br />Before you run out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Carsick-Waters-Hitchhikes-Across-America/dp/0374298637" target="_blank">to purchase Waters' new work</a>, available today, we share this first look at <em>Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America</em>.<br /><br /><span class="micro">Photo by Greg Gorman</span><br /><br /><strong>Going My Way?</strong><br /><br />I haven’t felt this excited or scared <span class="s2">for a long time. Maybe ever. I just signed a book deal resulting from the shortest pitch ever. I, John Waters, will hitchhike alone from the front of my Baltimore house to my co-op apartment in San Francisco and see what happens. Simple, huh?</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Am I fucking nuts? Brigid Berlin, Andy Warhol’s most dangerous and glamorous sixties superstar, recently said to me, “How can I be bad at seventy?” She’s got a point. I mean, yes, I’m “between pictures,” as they say in Hollywood, but long ago I realized, as a so-called cult- film director, not only did I need a Plan B that was just as important to me as moviemaking, I needed a Plan C, D, and E. But Plan H, for “hitchhike”? I’m sixty-six years old, for chrissake.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">“Why would a man who has worked so hard his whole life to reach the level of comfort you have, put yourself in such an uncomfortable position?” Marianne Boesky, my New York art dealer, asked me when I told her of my “undercover travel adventure,” as the publishers were calling my new book in trade announcements. A onetime actor in my early films who had a recent homeless past was even more alarmed when I hinted that I might do a hitchhiking book. “You’ll never get a ride,” he warned, telling me he had tried hitchhiking himself out of necessity in Florida last year. “No one picks up hitchhikers these days,” he griped with disgust. “No one!”</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Even successful hipsters seemed shocked when I confided my plans. “Nice knowing you,” a California photographer buddy muttered with a laugh over dinner when he realized he wouldn’t see me again until after my hobo-homo journey was scheduled to be completed. God, I wondered grandiosely, would I be like JFK on those recently released secret White House tapes, where he was heard planning his first day back from Dallas before anyone knew he’d be assassinated, commenting on what a “tough day” that would be. If he only knew.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">What am I trying to prove here? I mean, I’m not bored. An ex-convict woman I recently met claimed her criminal past was not a result of a bad childhood but just because she “wanted an adventure.” I do, too. Kicks. But hasn’t writing and directing fifteen movies and penning six books made me feel complete? My career dreams already came true years ago and what I do now is all gravy. Shouldn’t I be retiring rather than sticking out my thumb? Retiring to what, though? Insanity?</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Will I be safe? I know serial killers routinely pick up hitchhikers and murder them, but aren’t the victims, unfortunately, usually young female hookers? Yeah, yeah, I know about Herb Baumeister, “the I-70 Strangler,” who choked at least sixteen gay men to death, but he picked them up in gay bars, not on exit ramps of truck stops. Yet I must admit even truckers I know are fairly nuts. One of them must have raised a few of my neighbors’ eyebrows when he came over to visit and parked his eighteen wheeler right on the small, quiet residential street in front of my house, taking up half the block. He’s funny and sexy and straight but a real freak and likes to horrify me with his stories from the road. How he travels, high on speed, picking up teenage runaways and screwing them in the back of the truck or driving full speed ahead in the night, carrying a bag of someone else’s clean urine prepared for any random drug tests as he masturbates into a sock. He laughs when he admits sometimes illegally dumping huge loads of gravel in the middle of an unsuspecting suburbanite’s lawn if he knows he’s overloaded and a weigh station is coming up that will be open. Suppose someone like this guy picks me up?</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Can I really give up the rigid scheduling I’m so used to in real life? Me? The ultimate control freak who plans, weeks ahead, the day I can irresponsibly eat candy? Sure, I’ve got all my interstate routes planned out for the trip and I think I know how many truck stops there are and how far apart they are, but so what? Will I really get out of the car if my ride strays from my route but is still headed west? I keep thinking beggars can be choosers, but I have to open my mind to the possibility I may be wrong. </span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">We are all bums, a radical left-wing poster boasted on the wall of my bedroom in my parents’ house in the sixties. I remember the rage this particular slogan caused in my father. A bum. The worst thing you could be in his book. Now that he is, sadly, gone, can I finally become one? A vagabond? A freeloader? Is it possible to be a vagrant when you own three homes and rent another place in Provincetown for the summer? Will this book end up as a new spin on that now dated but incredibly influential 1961 nonfiction book <em>Black Like Me</em>, where the white author, John Howard Griffin, hitched and rode buses through the South disguised as a black man to see how it feels to be discriminated against?</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><!-- pagebreak --></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/carsick6.png" alt="" width="400" /></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><span class="micro">Photo by Shauta Marsh</span><br /><br /><span class="micro">John Waters discussed his new book with us in an exclusive interview <a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/exclusive-interviews/2014/05/30/john-waters-gets-carsick-hitchhikes-across-america-for-new-book" target="_blank">here</a>. </span><br /><br />I am afraid just the way the Black Like Me man was. But of different things. Like bad drivers. I’m amazed every person driving their car isn’t killed every day. Riding along at high speeds in lanes just a few feet from each other. Texting, talking on the phone behind the wheel. Or just plain driving while stupid! Nobody is really a safe driver. I worry my own involuntary backseat driving will cause problems for anyone who picks me up. Will cries of “Slow down!” or slamming imaginary brakes from the passenger side cause bad will with my host drivers? I’m never in the front seat of a car if I’m not behind the wheel except when I take taxis in Australia, because I read the drivers there think you’re snooty if you get in the back. Where I live in Baltimore, if you got in the front of the cab, they’d think you were robbing them and probably shoot you.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">I’ve had a good history with hitchhiking. It’s hard to imagine today, but in the early sixties my parents expected me to hitchhike home every day from high school. All the kids did. The roads were filled with preppy teenage boys, lacrosse sticks over their shoulders and their thumbs out. I’m sure just as many serial killers were behind the wheel then as now, but you never heard about them. Nobody warned us of the dangers of hitchhiking. Evil definitely did not seem to be lurking.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Of course perverts were out there, and I hitc</span><span class="s3">hhiked every day with a hard-on hoping one would pick me up and give me a blow job. Many did. On this trip, I guess I’ll still technically be horny while hitchhiking, but I may be carrying a Viagra in my pocket instead of an erection. Is all hitchhiking gay? Aren’t truck stops and Levi’s-clad tough-guy hitchhikers staples of porn movies? My planned route is I-70 West, and if I’m lucky enough to get a ride going that way, I’ll be able to find out if there really is such a place as the Kansas City Trucking Company—or was that just the title of a fictitious garage in that classic gay film directed by Joe Gage? I saw the real El Paso Wrecking Corp. on my drive from El Paso to Marfa, Texas, and almost drove off the road remembering this sequel. If there really is such a place, maybe I can get dropped off there and make friends.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">I drove all five cross-country interstate routes in the United States when I was a young man and loved it. We used to get “drive-away” cars, where the owner gave you the keys and you paid the gas and delivered the car to an address on the opposite coast. I even remember singing “America the Beautiful” stoned on hashish with my fellow travelers (David Lochary, Steve Butow, and David Hartman) as we drove toward a beautiful sunset in Minneapolis. Looking back, I’m amazed anyone trusted any of us considering how we looked at the time, but even though we violated the rules by taking other passengers (and drugs), we always did deliver the car in one piece. But come to think about it, we didn’t ever pick up a hitchhiker then, and that was in the heyday of the hippie years. And in 2012, I expect someone to stop?</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">I still hitchhike in Provincetown to Longnook, the most beautiful beach in Truro (about ten miles away). I usually ask someone to go on a thumbing date with me. Author Philip Hoare, artist and singer Kembra Pfahler, the late and great art dealer Colin de Land, have all joined me alongside the highway. And we’ve never had any real trouble either. Once I was hitching with photographer Henny Garfunkel, whose extreme hairdo and stunning fashions can make children cry, and a man did a U-turn and picked us up—never a good sign. As usual, I got in the front and the woman hitchhiker got in the back. It smelled inside, like he was living in his car or something. I had a sudden flashback to the scene I wrote in Pink Flamingos where Mink Stole’s character says to her husband, played by David Lochary, that she’s tired of “ just driving around . . . driving around” looking for female hitchhikers to pick up, kidnap, and then have raped and impregnated so the babies could be sold on the black market.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><!-- pagebreak --></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/carsick3.png" alt="" width="400" /></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><span class="micro">Photo by Greg Gorman<br /><br /><span>John Waters discussed his new book with us in an exclusive interview </span><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/exclusive-interviews/2014/05/30/john-waters-gets-carsick-hitchhikes-across-america-for-new-book" target="_blank">here</a><span>. </span></span><br /><br />“See that safety sticker?” our vaguely creepy driver asked. “Yeah,” I said hesitatingly, looking at the Massachusetts official emissions-test sticker on the inside of the windshield. “I drew that myself,” he chuckled with a leer. I turned around to see Henny’s wide-eyed look of panic but it was all a false alarm; he dropped us off at the beach without incident.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">But sometimes I go alone and I’m never sure if the drivers who pick me up recognize me. “Who is this man in the car?” a confused child who had never heard of hitchhiking once asked his mom and dad after I got in. “Why is he in this car?” he continued as I squirmed in embarrassment under the kid’s hostile glare and tried to explain what hitchhiking was.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Another time, a handsome long-haired pirate type stopped to give me a ride in his pickup, and just as I was about to jump in the front, he smiled and said, “No, you’ll have to ride in the back, my dog’s up here in the front.” Ha! Suddenly put in my proper place around such rugged hippie good looks, I laughed and happily climbed up into the open truck bed. I was thrilled to get a ride with such a sexy devil even if I could only see his beautiful long hair from the rear as he pulled off toward Provincetown.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Even weirder was the time the A&E Biography TV show was doing a segment on me and asked if they could shoot me hitchhiking in Provincetown and I reluctantly said yes. The crew hid in the bushes, and when I got a ride, they jumped in their van and followed. The nice local fisherman who picked me up not only didn’t recognize me, he didn’t see the crew either. Nervously eyeing the cameramen hanging out their windows, shooting us as they tracked our car, I casually mentioned to my ride, “Don’t look over now on your side of the car, but there is a film crew shooting this whole thing.” “Okay,” he said with a shrug, completely unimpressed, and then drove for ten more minutes before dropping me off at the beach. Even when the crew jumped from their vehicle to film my exit, he never ruined their final shot by looking into the camera lens. What a pro.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s3">One time my hitchhiking date was Patricia Hearst. As we walked toward Route 6 from Provincetown, we quickly got a ride, but I don’t think the driver recognized us until we got in, me in the front, her in the back. He kept doing double takes looking over at me and finally said, “Are you John Waters?” and I said yes, and at the same time he looked in the rearview mirror I said, “And that is Patty Hearst.” He looked totally shocked but I could tell he realized it was her. “He made me do it,” Patty deadpanned, and I was so proud of her improvisational skills. We were now a hitchhiking comedy duo.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Coming back to Provincetown that day with Patty was harder because we had to hitchhike right on Route 6, a highway with cars whizzing by, which made it seem more like real hitchhiking. It took some time for us to get a ride and I could tell Patty was starting to get nervous, especially when we were finally picked up but asked to “switch cars” by the driver, who hooked us up with another ride from a friend in North Truro, the next town before Provincetown. Later, her husband, Bernie, whom I love but realize is the head of security for Hearst Corporation, was a little perturbed when she told him of our day’s adventure. “Oh, come on, John,” he said with impatience, “hasn’t she had enough trouble?!” I guess he was right. But have I?</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s3">Is there such a thing as “unfamous”? If so, that is what I want to be on this trip, yet go right back to “famous” if need be. I’m recognized in public about 80 percent of the time across this country, but during the other 20 percent when I’m not, I get pissed when I realize how shabbily other people must be treated every day. When store clerks or airline reps do suddenly recognize me and get nice after being grumpy when they didn’t know who I was, I get testy right back.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s4">How will my so-called fame, or sudden lack of it, affect my life as a bicoastal tramp? Can slumming on the road or begging rides on interstate entrance ramps live up to my fantasy of being a David-Niven-from-the-gutter glamorous vagabond? Who could recognize me driving by at 70 mph, anyway? And even if they did, who would think, “Oh, that’s John Waters, the filmmaker, alongside the road in the middle of Utah”? Once I climb in, will they believe it’s me even if they know who I am, or think I’m just a John Waters impersonator? Which I am in a way every day </span><span class="s2">. . . only older.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">I will definitely carry a cardboard sign. That Depression-era gimmick has worked well for me in the past. Not San Francisco or bust but just I-70 west with San Francisco on the other side, a double feature of hitchhiking pleas. Plus a backup sign that a friend actually saw a hitchhiker carry ing in one of those pot- harvesting Northern California towns—I’m not psycho.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><!-- pagebreak --></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/Waters3.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><em class="micro">Photo by Greg Gorman<br /><br /><span>John Waters discussed his new book with us in an exclusive interview </span><a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/exclusive-interviews/2014/05/30/john-waters-gets-carsick-hitchhikes-across-america-for-new-book" target="_blank">here</a><span>. </span></em><br /><br />Now there’s a psychological profile that can stand alone. Of course, a scary driver might see that visual, chuckle to himself, and think, well, I am! and pull over, but I will maintain my belief in the basic goodness of people.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">I’m not going to set up ridiculous rules for myself in the hitchhiking adventure. I mean, I’ll have money, carry credit cards and a cell phone, and plan to stay in motels if no one is kind enough to invite me to their family’s home for a sleepover. No tourist sites, though, or visiting friends. This is an irrational vacation, not a tour. Some friends tell me that off the interstate on the secondary roads I’ll have a better chance of being picked up because those drivers are “hiding something,” but am I anxious to get a ride with a drug dealer or a mule who is carrying kilos of heroin hidden in the chassis of the car? If I get stuck in the middle of the night, I’ll do anything I have to do to survive—even call a limousine, if necessary. One thing I know, I won’t take a ride on a motorcycle.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">I imagine hitchhiker manners are a gray area. What if they’re bad drivers? Do I offer to take over if they are falling asleep at the wheel and refuse to pull over for a nap? Suppose they won’t let me? “Hey, wake up!” will get old quickly, and how many times can you grab the steering wheel in the nick of time after they nod off and begin to drift into the breakdown lane at full speed toward a family gathered around their vehicle while changing a flat? Oh God, suppose I have to help change a flat?! I have no clue how to do that. If I had to change a flat tire or die, I’d be dead.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">And what about sleeping myself while someone else drives? That somehow seems rude to me. Don’t people pick up hitchhikers to have someone to talk to? Letch after? Vent to? Besides, if I fell asleep, they could easily turn off the main road, go to a secret satanic location, and cut off my head and put it on a stick.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">How do you say no if a car stops to pick you up on a lonely highway, you run a quarter of a mile to get in, and you see a gang of six tough black guys inside? See? I’m already racially profiling and I feel guilty. They could be normal college students, couldn’t they, or 1960s freedom fighters lost in some mysterious Twilight Zone time warp? One of my favorite hip-hop groups? Even fans who recognize me from my old Court TV show, ’Til Death Do Us Part? But if they’re not and I smell trouble, what do I say? “I’m doing a reality show and there’s a satellite camera filming us right now”? Maybe they’d believe it! I guess what I’d really do is just chirp, “Hey, homey, thanks for stopping,” before yelling “SHOTGUN” and pushing the front- seat passenger over to the middle without showing fear.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Suppose it all goes wrong? Nobody picks me up. I’m robbed. Beaten. I will already have half the book advance, so I can’t quit. Should I put my hitchhiking dough in a special CD account I can’t touch before I leave, just in case I chicken out? Would I have the nerve to call my editor, Jonathan Galassi, and tell him of my cowardice, my literary spinelessness? Just imagining the humiliation of my Pope of Trash crown being so besmirched is enough to give me shingles, what ever they are.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/carsick1.png" alt="" width="300" />Or could I just make up the whole book and say it was true? How would anybody know? It took years for scholars to figure out that John Steinbeck’s supposedly nonfiction Travels with Charley: In Search of America, a well-reviewed bestseller published in 1962 (and still in print), was in fact total bullshit. Instead of driving cross-country in a pickup, staying in campgrounds, and chatting up the locals, as the author claimed, he actually had company with him, stayed in motels and luxury hotels, and made up the conversations. According to writer Bill Barich, quoted in a recent New York Times article, Steinbeck was “discouraged by everyone from making the trip.” He was too old, “trying to recapture his youth, the spirit of knight-errant.” Uh- oh. Could that be me?</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Nah. I don’t think I could lie. I’m not sure I’d want to be JT LeRoy at this stage of my life, and besides, being the centerpiece of a literary hoax is one of the few ways to be “bad” that is never funny. But why not take a chance and, before I go, think up the very best that could happen on this trip? Imagine the worst, too. Both as novellas. And then, after fantasizing on paper, go out in the world, do the real thing, and hopefully live to report the results. Fiction. Nonfiction. Then the truth. All scary. Go ahead, John, jump off the cliff</span>.<span class="s2"> <br /><br />Read Frontiers' recent sit-down with John Waters by clicking <a href="http://www.frontiersla.com/exclusive-interviews/2014/05/30/john-waters-gets-carsick-hitchhikes-across-america-for-new-book" target="_blank">here</a>.       <br /><br /><em><strong>Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America</strong></em><br /><strong>336 pp., $26</strong><br /><strong>(Farrar, Straus & Giroux) </strong></span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/03/john-waters-carsick-a-first-look-excerpthttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/03/john-waters-carsick-a-first-look-excerptTue, 03 Jun 2014 10:00:00 GMTJohn WatersUncovered: WWII-Era Erotica Shows Soldiers Bonding in the Buff<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/wwii1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Over the course of its near hundred-year history, the song “My Buddy” has been recorded by more than 50 artists, from <strong>Al Jolson</strong> to <strong>Barbra Streisand</strong>, while also serving as a cultural thermometer from the Depression to the AIDS epidemic. Written in 1922, the song was inspired by the loss of the lyricist’s fiancée, and later, through recordings by <strong>Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Kaye</strong> and <strong>Bing Crosby</strong>, it became a World War II staple that emblematized devotedness between soldiers.</p> <p>From <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4OFjJZ-DoU&feature=kp" target="_blank">Sinatra’s jaunty rendition</a> to the more <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBtg0SVlMLs" target="_blank">mournful version sung by Crosby</a>, the popular song with its tender lyrics provides an apt soundtrack for Taschen’s <em>My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare</em>, an eye-opening photographic record of the emotional and physical bonds between servicemen. Edited by Taschen’s “sexy-book editor” Dian Hanson, the lushly produced hardcover offers a glimpse of soldiers and sailors cavorting in the buff and camping it up during a time when homosexuality was criminalized in the United States.</p> <p>“The working title of the book was ‘Naked Soldiers,’” says Hanson, “which is okay, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. So finding the song was just delightful. Throughout World War II, the government had to encourage the ‘buddy system,’ and this song was repurposed on this great wave of support—so much so that no one questioned the very romantic lyrics. When we asked people about "My Buddy," they would say, ‘Oh yeah, that was the most wonderful song about the closeness of soldiers.’”</p> <p>Los Angeles photographer <strong>Michael Stokes</strong> spent years combing through flea markets, military trade shows and ephemera sales, as well as eBay, to amass a collection of over 500 images of soldiers and sailors from around the world (although, when nude, it’s not easy to determine a serviceman’s origins or allegiances—apart from his buddy).</p> <p>According to Stokes, the majority of photographs included in <em>My Buddy</em> are personal snapshots. As Stokes reminds us, “100 years ago, male nudity was less taboo than female nudity, depending on the setting. In the early part of the 20th century, a group of men could easily swim together nude in a lake or a river, whereas today it is considered taboo, illegal or sexual.”</p> <p>Many photos show servicemen clowning around in affectionate and near-conjugal poses “in the full confidence of their heterosexuality,” as the book asserts. “They had an awareness of homosexuality,” states Hanson, “but only if it was effeminate. If it was not effeminate, then it wasn’t homosexuality, which meant that it was all right.”</p> <p>Not that any of the men carousing in the nude at the peak of their physical prowess are homosexual—or, at least, as Hanson says, “It’s important not to make suppositions about their adult lives based on these photographs.” Not unlike the manner in which we withheld judgment of our own college fraternity brothers sharing our beds on the mornings after.</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/wwii2.jpg" alt="" width="350" /></p> <p>Hanson and the Book’s other contributors contend that the close physical and emotional bonds were a way of protection and survival on the front lines. “These men existed in a more innocent time, when men walking arm in arm was not suspect because gay was underground and suppressed—and illegal. Therefore, no one was gay. These men were allowed to become close and develop a bond that lasted their whole lives.”</p> <p>As former Marine <strong>Scotty Bowers</strong> claims in his essay “No Queens in the Marines,” “it had nothing to do with the gay bit at all. It was just a different time, a different world. And that’s the real appeal of these photos. You bet.” It’s true that the photographs in <em>My Buddy</em> capture something almost idyllic, a kind of “island of lost boys,” which is seemingly incongruous with the harsh cruelties of war.</p> <p>Most of the photographs were taken during moments when the men were away from the front lines, in the interim between battles. As Hanson states, “Those three miles from the front lines became a buffer of safety. Imagine the tension within these soldiers—and then they get to that safety zone and they can release that tension.” </p> <p>So, were they or weren’t they? Bowers, who is also the author of <em>Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars</em>, a memoir about his years hustling in Hollywood, says that most servicemen “were more innocent in those days. A lot of people had just left the farm … [and] the small towns.” Given that the Kinsey scale was not published until after World War II in 1948, it’s likely that the majority of servicemen would have known little about the whys of their desires. </p> <p>Much of the closeness between servicemen depicted in the images showcase the military’s buddy system and the manner in which an entire wartime nation rallied to care for the country’s military. More than sex or lust, what is most readily evident in the majority of these photographs is what Hanson defines as homophilia. “We’re talking about men discovering a love for men that transcends that competitiveness that men have. They learn to rely on other men and to love other men. We’re talking about homophilia.” As Marine <strong>Eugene Sledge</strong> wrote in his diary, “Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently, but it also taught us loyalty to each other—and love.”</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5139/5436488204_abfe64456e.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>One of the book’s more revealing World War II artifacts is a six-part ad campaign by Cannon Towels, the company that supplied the U.S. military with towels, which appeared in magazines from 1943-44. Titled “True Towel Tales,” the series depicts bare-chested and nude servicemen bathing and lounging together in ways that prefigure advertisements for gay guesthouses and bathhouses several decades hence.</p> <p>“I found so many ads showing this warm camaraderie,” recounts Hanson. “The impressed camaraderie. This camaraderie that had to be encouraged and supported. World War II was interesting because the War Advertising Council (WAC) was formed then to make these manipulative ads. What’s going to make people feel good about the soldiers at war? They wanted to show them happy. So offer them an ice cream cone and a nice comfy towel. Or the ad for an Elgin watch with two soldiers kneeling together while opening a gift from home. They are clearly a couple.”</p> <p>Indeed, throughout the images reprinted in <em>My Buddy</em>, one is constantly “reading” the ads in a manner similar to film historian Vito Russo’s “reading” of Hollywood films in search of the gay subtext.  </p> <p>There’s a kind of giddy happiness, a sort of boyish insouciance, in many of these photographs, which is somewhat surprising for a group of men who might be facing death later that day. “Well, they were boys,” emphasizes Hanson. “We’re talking about men between the ages of 18 and 23. They are away from women and they feel free to act up.”</p> <p><img class="image_align_top_left" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/wwii3.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></p> <p>It’s the absence of women that enables the freedom embodied by these photographs, Hanson suggests. “We’re dealing with this adolescent male,” she says. “It’s always been women who were their authority figures, and now there’s this desire to bond with other men. So the men were trying to impress each other. They wanted to win the approval of other men. These were men trying to form their male identity. They were trying to prove that they were fully male, which meant making other men happy and making men approve of them.”</p> <p>Hanson’s previous work includes <em>The Big Penis Book</em> and <em>The Big Book of Pussy</em>, and here she contributes an incisive essay about the role of cameras during wartime, contending that the nude photographs were examples of “just fucking around, the way young, high-spirited guys do when there are no women around….” (Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, according to recent studies showing that heterosexual college males love to snuggle and cuddle together.)</p> <p>In some ways, the photos in <em>My Buddy</em> are the antecedents to today’s selfies. There’s also something similar to today’s spycams—the photos of locker rooms and other private places that invariably show up on the internet. The book’s table of contents contains cheeky chapter headings such as “Latrine Duty,” “Grab-Ass,” “Assholes and Elbows,” “Shower, Shave, and Shine,” and, of course, “Peter Parade.”</p> <p>Yet in spite of the suggestive poses and the sense that one is gazing at a harbinger of <strong>Bob Mizer</strong>’s ‘40s and ‘50s beefcake magazine <em>Physique Pictorial</em>, a viewer is most likely to be struck by the very clear sense of camaraderie and affection between servicemen. As Hanson writes in the book, “Nudity is the great equalizer” while also quoting Shakespeare’s line, “For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”</p> <p>“You are never closer to someone than one who has your life in his hands,” says Hanson. “The guy next to you is saving you. Previously, your mother was the one who protects you. Now here’s someone who has the power. He can cover you and protect you.”</p> <p>Already an advance bestseller on Amazon in both the categories of History and Erotic Photography, <em>My Buddy</em> is “one of the great WWII photo books of all time,” says Hanson. That said, Hanson is also aware that some members of “the Greatest Generation” might have different reactions to photos of men expressing their emotional and physical comfort with each other while often naked. “It may be good that they are all in their 90s,” she says, laughing. “We talked to some of them and their reaction was a kind of embarrassment. ‘That was all goin’ on—in the Navy.’”</p> <p>Says Hanson, “I hope readers allow themselves to feel something more interesting than lust. They’re looking at human emotion under duress. Go ahead and jerk off, but also understand that this book is about love and affection.”</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.taschen.com/media/images/640/world_war_ii_my_buddy_va_int_3d_02895_1403141151_id_755138.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Buddy-World-War-Laid-Bare/dp/3836547961" target="_blank">My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare</a><br /></span></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">By Dian Hanson<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">320 pp., $69.99<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">(Taschen)</span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/30/uncovered-wwii-era-erotica-shows-soldiers-bonding-in-the-buffhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/30/uncovered-wwii-era-erotica-shows-soldiers-bonding-in-the-buffFri, 30 May 2014 11:30:00 GMTMark A. ThompsonWine Country of the North: Canada’s Okanagan Valley<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/4a/1c/3e/kelowna.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>For Southern California oenophiles, choosing a “wine country” to visit can be a daunting task, as the West Coast boasts some of the finest wineries this side of Bordeaux. But if you’re sick of Santa Barbara, and Napa and Sonoma feel too square, don’t fret—there’s a gay-friendly alternative that’s just a short flight away, home of the first aboriginal winery in North America, a thriving culture and theater scene and a selection of North Country wines on the rise to world prominence. So decant a bottle of your favorite vintage, wine-lovers, and drink a toast to the <strong>Okanagan Valley</strong>.</p> <p>Located in British Colombia, just north of Washington State, the Okanagan is made for day tripping. Its rolling hills hold amazing organic produce, beautiful ski resorts and hundreds of wineries to visit. It all circles <strong>Lake Okanagan</strong> (rumored to hold a cousin of the Loch Ness Monster, known as the <a href="http://www.pibburns.com/cryptost/can1292z.jpg" target="_blank">Ogopogo</a>), whose placid waters and sandy beaches are perfect for all kinds of summer happenings. Besides kayaking and jet skis, visitors might also enjoy the clothing-optional section of <strong>Three Mile Beach</strong> near the community of Penticton. Head past the large willow tree (further = gayer) and be aware that the stands of Russian olive trees stretching up the slope have a reputation for cruising.</p> <p><strong>Getting There</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Both United Airlines and Air Canada conduct daily flights from LAX to Kelowna, the region’s premier city perched on the lakeshores. It is a bustling little berg that offers gorgeous architecture, boutique shopping and an LGBT population large enough to support a gay Pride celebration every August.</span></p> <p><strong>Where to Stay</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Kelowna area is home to luxurious lakeside resorts, rustic cabins and quaint B&Bs, but discerning LGBT travelers should consider lodging at <strong>Clarance House</strong> (<a href="http://www.clarance-house.com" target="_blank"><em>clarance-house.com</em></a>), a 3,300-square-foot inn owned by Wilbur Turner, organizer of the Okanagan Rainbow Coalition that helped bring gay Pride to Kelowna. Guests are treated to home-cooked breakfasts, a saltwater pool and hot tub.</span></p> <p><strong>Culture</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There are many galleries in Kelowna. Perhaps edgiest is <strong>The Alternator Gallery</strong> (<a href="http://www.alternatorcentre.com" target="_blank"><em>alternatorcentre.com</em></a>), which once presented a show of magnified cum shots by Kevin Jesuino.</span></p> <p>The <strong>Kelowna Actors Studio</strong> (<a href="http://www.kelownaactorsstudio.com" target="_blank"><em>kelownaactorsstudio.com</em></a>), run by partners Randy Leslie and Nathan Flavel, has been presenting plays like <em>9 to 5</em> and <em>La Cage Aux Folles</em> for over a decade. This summer, though, you’ll have to settle for <em>Fiddler on the Roof.<br /><br /></em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Nightlife</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There are no full-time gay bars in Kelowna, but there are at least two dance clubs that are gay-friendly—<strong>Level </strong>and<strong> Habitat.</strong></span></p> <p><strong>Wineries</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The main mission here is wine (<a href="http://www.tourismkelowna.com/do/wine/" target="_blank"><em>kelownawinetrails.com</em></a>). The region’s reputation is growing, especially for wines typical of Northern climates such as Pinot Noir and Riesling, but the Okanagan is famous for its ice wines—special dessert wines made from grapes frozen on the vine, concentrating their flavor. The next wine festival in the region is Aug. 8-9.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.upmagazine.com/files/summerhill%20pyramid%20winery%20-%20large.jpg" alt="" width="600" /> </span></p> <p>Near Kelowna travelers will find <strong>Summerhill Pyramid Winery</strong> (<a href="http://www.summerhill.bc.ca" target="_blank"><em>summerhill.bc.ca</em></a>), touting itself as the most visited winery in Canada, 100% organic and known for its sparkling wines. Its four story-tall pyramid structure dominating the hillside may seem a little Vegas, but it has a purpose in aging its wines.</p> <p>Also in the area is <strong>Tantalus Winery</strong> (<a href="http://www.tantalus.ca" target="_blank"><em>tantalus.ca</em></a>), its best-known wine is the Old Vines Riesling, which British wine authority Jancis Robinson called “the crème de la crème” of Canada, “well up to the quality of a German 2005 Riesling.” Its buildings have received the highest green certification and are a model in sustainable architecture.</p> <p>An early success story in Canadian wine history is <strong>Inniskilin Winery</strong> (<a href="http://www.inniskillin.com/Okanagan" target="_blank"><em>inniskillin.com/Okanagan</em></a>), founded near Niagara Falls in 1985. It expanded to a 23-acre vineyard in Okanagan in 1994, where it makes a best-selling Riesling ice wine.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/article8064658.ece/BINARY/w620/Nk'Mip+-+winery.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>The <strong>Nk’Mip Cellars</strong> (<a href="http://www.nkmipcellars.com" target="_blank"><em>nkmipcellars.com</em></a>) resides in the southern most region of the valley, near Washington State, and boasts the northern most tip of the Sonoran Desert, which stretches all the way to Mexico. In this arid landscape sits the N’kMip Winery, run by the local Okanagan tribe. In fact, it’s the only aboriginal winery in North America. Most reliable and interesting is their award-winning Pinot Blanc. </p> <p>The <strong>Painted Rock</strong> (<a href="http://www.paintedrock.ca" target="_blank"><em>paintedrock.ca</em></a>) winery is said to be turning its back on local Pinot Noir and Rieslings in favor of chasing a dream of producing big, fat California-style wines. It’s still worth a stop for its beautiful, just-opened tasting room on a bluff above Skaha Lake.</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/21/wine-country-of-the-north-canadas-okanagan-valleyhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/21/wine-country-of-the-north-canadas-okanagan-valleyWed, 21 May 2014 12:07:00 GMTTom Paul JonesTonys 2014: The Singing! The Dancing! The Neil Patrick Harris!<p>Sunday, June 8, at Radio City Music Hall is Broadway's biggest night, and we get you primed with all you need to know before the telecast. Here are the current trends of the Great White Way.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="https://static-secure.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/4/22/1398187487712/Hedwig-and-the-Angry-Inch-010.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>1. BROADWAY’S A DRAG<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Two shows with male leads in women’s clothing opened within one week of each other this spring, the first being the highly anticipated </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Hedwig and the Angry Inch</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> starring Neil Patrick Harris, the second being </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Casa Valentina</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the latest play from Broadway veteran </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Harvey Fierstein</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, about a group of heterosexual men who retreat to the Catskills where they can be themselves ... dressed as women. When Hedwig’s producers were looking for a space for their original run in the ‘90s, they couldn’t find a single theatre that wanted them due to the show’s subject matter. It seems Broadway audiences nowadays are not only ready for drag queens—they demand it! Last year’s Tony winner for Best Musical, </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Kinky Boots</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, features a gaggle of drags and is still packing them in at the Hirschfeld Theatre, night after sequined, glittery night.</span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/626*352/nbc_tjf_hlt_s01e39_039_alancumming_wilkommen_20140410.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>2. DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I THINK I AM?<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This has been a banner year for Tony snubs. WARNING! UNSOLICITED OPINIONS AHEAD! </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Denzel Washington, Orlando Bloom, Daniel Radcliffe, Zach Braff, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart</strong><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">and Zachary Quinto</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> were all overlooked by the nominating committee. Perhaps the powers that be have had enough with Hollywood stars (some with little to no stage experience) “slumming it” on the Great White Way in between projects? </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Gossip Girl</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> vet </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Leighton Meester</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is on Broadway, kids. Forgive me, I’m not up on my religious studies, but isn’t that a sign of the apocalypse?</span></p> <p>One defensible omission is <strong>Michelle Williams</strong>, who misses every character aspect of <em>Cabaret</em>’s Sally Bowles. Sally is the quintessential free spirit, full of joy and possessed of a demeanor that dares the audience to take its eyes off of her. Sadly, in this production you spend Sally’s stage time staring into your drink (at the small, circular tables that replace normal orchestra seating at the Roundabout Theatre) and wait for <strong>Alan Cumming</strong> to return to the stage. I get the fact that you need big names to bring in crowds, but I found myself longing for<strong> Liza Minnelli</strong> 30 minutes in (and spent the intermission YouTubing her rendition of “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4z0YMWW25w">Mein Herr</a>” on my iPhone).</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.celebstoner.com/assets/images/pages/2013/reviews4/JanisJoplin_play.jpg" alt="" width="600" /> <br /><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">3. GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In the acting categories there is no closer race than that of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. The nominees range from first-timers to veterans to box office draws. </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Mary Bridget Davies</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, whose show </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">A Night with Janis Joplin</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> sadly closed on Broadway shortly after it opened, received tons of press for her tour de force performance. Anchored firmly in her eerily pitch-perfect recreation of Joplin’s voice, the show faltered through its weak narrative structure and curious lack of attention to the tragic singer’s dark side. Broadway stalwart </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Sutton Foster</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> appears in the title role in Violet, giving a layered and emotional performance of a woman’s journey by bus to an evangelical healer she believes can take away a childhood scar that has left her deformed. (And they sell merchandise for this show. I’m not making this up.)</span></p> <p>Broadway baby <strong>Jessie Mueller</strong> beautifully helms the surprise hit of the season, <em>Beautiful: the Carole King Musical</em>. <strong>Idina Menzel</strong> is back on the boards, screeching for dear life to the delight of tween girls everywhere in her most dramatic role to date in <em>If/Then</em>. Lastly, <strong>Kelli O’Hara</strong> sings one of the most beautiful scores I’ve heard in years in <em>The Bridges of Madison County</em>, portraying Francesca, the lonely and understandably amorous prairie housewife who finds love in a hopeless place with a passing-through photographer. (They also sell merch for this show, because what could say “I’m in a happy marriage” like a <em>Bridges of Madison County</em> apron.)</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.blouinartinfo.com/sites/default/files/styles/640w380h_scale_and_crop/public/20140428aladdin_promo1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">4. DANCING QUEENS<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s always been dancing on Broadway, but this season has seen a return to the big, splashy dance numbers of yesteryear that force a grin from ear to ear while wondering how those dancers’ hearts don’t explode. </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Woody Allen</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> himself has adapted his film </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Bullets Over Broadway</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> for the stage, and choreographer/director Susan Stroman gives the production her signature treatment with high-kicking speakeasy showgirls; tommy gun-toting, tap dancing gangsters; and, much to the audience’s delight, an entire song predicated upon a filthy play on words involving hot dogs and slutty ingénues.</span></p> <p>Ever wonder what the Middle East would like look if a low-grade <strong>Bob Mackie</strong> were ordered to outfit everyone on the streets? Well, then head on over to the New Amsterdam Theatre for Disney’s latest assault on your senses—<em>Aladdin!</em> This show is the theatrical equivalent of a <strong>Lisa Frank</strong> sticker book with the added familiarity of those songs you were forced to listen to on a loop when your parents “accidentally” left you on the monorail at Disney World in the ‘90s. If you love Disney shows but thought <em>The Lion King</em> made you think too much, you’ll want to see this one twice.</p> <p>Last and most certainly not least, <em>After Midnight</em> is like a night at the Cotton Club during the Jazz Age, except I doubt those shows ever moved quite like this. It’s a huge dancing show with talent like I’ve never seen on a Broadway stage. The producers make it tantalizing for the audience by injecting “special guest stars” into the mix to sing the great standards of yesterday. <strong>Fantasia Barrino</strong>, the opening night guest star, returns through June 8 and brings the house down with “Stormy Weather” while testing the seam strength of costume designer <strong>Isabel Toledo’s</strong> dresses.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/news_landscape/2014/04/2758.jpeg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>5. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS IS EVERYTHING<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yes, he’s a trend all his own right now. After wrapping his run as America’s favorite lothario on the CBS sitcom </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">How I Met Your Mother</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> this year, NPH dove into a role that had previously been cast in stone by its creator, </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">John Cameron Mitchell</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. He has deftly taken on the role of Hedwig Schmidt, that “slip of a girly boy” from communist East Germany who falls for an American G.I. promising to take him back to America once they’re married. Fans of the cult hit know what happens next, and this new production hasn’t disappointed those who were anxious for the show to transfer to Broadway. Reviews have been nothing short of rhapsodic, and it’s by far the toughest ticket in town to secure. His performance is electrifying, and he spends the last 15 minutes of the show practically naked! In addition to the Tony he will surely win, NPH can also take pride in inspiring this summer’s newest Fire Island body aspiration—reluctant-yet-snatched transgender rock star! NPH is only scheduled to perform the show through August, and the streets of New York are already buzzing with talk of who (if anyone!) can fill those golden heels.</span></p> <p><em>Don’t miss the </em>68th Annual <a href="http://www.tonyawards.com/index.html" target="_blank">Tony Awards</a><em><a href="http://www.tonyawards.com/index.html" target="_blank">,</a> airing Sunday, June 8, at 8 p.m. on CBS.</em></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/05/the-gay-superbowlaka-the-tonyshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/05/the-gay-superbowlaka-the-tonysThu, 05 Jun 2014 09:41:00 GMTRyan RafteryPride Rides: We Rank the 10 Gayest Cars of 2015<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>What are the most popular cars among the LGBT community? Miatas, Wranglers, BMWs, Fiat 500s? None of the above, actually. Yep, according to a 2013 IHS survey of 3 million self-reported LGBT consumers, we buy basically the same automotive appliances everybody else buys, with our Top 5 list comprised of the Ford F-150, the Honda Accord, the Chevy Silverado, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic.</p> <p>Disappointed? Me too. While I’ve tested the Camry and the Hondas and those fine trucks—and they’re all quite lovely—I think we can do better than that. So I’ve put together not just five but 10 cars that reflect our well-known penchants for creature comfort, high-tech innovation and trend-setting style. It’s Pride season, after all. Shouldn’t we be proud of our cars, too?</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2015 BMW i8</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base price: $136K</span></p> <p>Hands down, the hottest ride of 2014 is the radical new BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. With its swan-wing doors, glassy cabin and floating, aero-sculpted body panels, the i8 looks like nothing—I mean nothing—you’ve ever seen before on the road, unless you were riding shotgun with Tom Cruise on the set of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It’s also a plug-in hybrid that can travel 20 miles on electricity alone, and it can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. At roughly $135,700, the sexalicious four-seater is eye-wateringly expensive, and for that kind of money, there are plenty of faster cars out there. But few cars have technology like this, and nothing packs the knockout punch of its styling. If you’re an early adopter and want to reward yourself with an absolute dream ride, this is the car to have in 2014.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe and Roadster<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $66K</span></p> <p>As Jaguar likes to say, it’s good to be bad. But it’s only good to be bad if you look good being bad. You will if you find yourself at the helm of Jaguar’s heavenly F-Type coupe. Naughty extroverts may prefer the equally gorgeous roadster, but you really can’t look bad either way. Available with powerful six- and eight-cylinder engines and true sports car handling, the F-Type drives as well as it looks, and the exhaust sound of the V-8 in particular makes me want to be bad. At $66K—or $100K fully loaded—the F-Type is less expensive than most comparable Porsche Carreras, yet with the V-8, the F-Type is quicker and far less commonplace. Make mine bad boy orange.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2015 Audi A3 sedan<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $31K</span></p> <p>If dapper dudes in dapper duds turn you on, especially when sporting horned-rimmed glasses, Audi has created the new A3 just for you. It’s essentially everything that makes Audi one of our favorite brands—technology, class, clean design and premium brand cachet—shrink-wrapped into a compact sedan that’s as easy to park as it is to look at. It’s also the first car to market 4G LTE connectivity, which turns your car into a high-speed hotspot and effectively uses Google Maps. Performance-oriented folks will want to wait for the quick S3 version, due this fall, at which point a convertible version will also appear. It’s the hot nerd of automobiles, and anyone would be smart to snatch one up.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar5.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2014 Mazda 3 <br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $20K</span></p> <p>Think of the Mazda 3 as the Audi A3’s “brother from another mother.” With sedan or hatchback versions, each as handsome as the other, the Mazda 3 is one the best-looking compact cars ever, and its light weight, excellent handling and innovative engine technology make it both really fun to drive and really easy on gas. It also has near-Audi levels of refinement inside, complete with a Euro-style controller for the infotainment system and slick contrasting stitching on the seats. The Mazda 3 is the kind of overachieving automobile that makes Civics and Corollas seem even more cheap and dull than they are.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar6.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2014 Jeep Wrangler</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $23K</span></p> <p>The sheer charisma of Jeep’s perennial Wrangler is something that no manufacturer—not Hummer, not Toyota, not even Land Rover—has been able to match. For starters, it looks authentic because it is authentic. The doors come off with just two screws, allowing us to show off our calves and fancy sneakers to adjacent motorists all summer long. Few vehicles can match the Wrangler’s rock-hopping dexterity, which lets us snake down off-road trails, thus gaining access to some delightfully solitary locations—ahem. It’s certainly no Prius in terms of fuel economy, but the V-6 has plenty of grunt, whether you choose the shorter two-door version or the long, four-door model. It’s a winning recipe that’ll ensure the Wrangler’s inclusion on gay shopping lists for years to come.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/evoque.png" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>2014 Range Rover Evoque<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $42K</span></p> <p>As bitchy-fabulous as Range Rovers can be, I love the little Evoque because it is a decidedly personal vehicle. While bigger may be better in certain aspects of our lives, the size of our trucks doesn’t really matter to anyone, so the fact this is essentially a Range Rover shrinkwrapped makes it that much smarter a purchase. Second, you can match the Evoque to your personal style with the innumerable customization tricks, inside and out, from creative color combos, contrasting roof treatments and fancy schmanzy leather—we love leather!—and more. It also drives with an eagerness that’s closer to a sports car than a sport utility. And finally, it’s the cheapest way into any Range Rover, which frees up your cash to do whatever else we gays like to spend our money on.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar8.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2015 VW Golf /GTI<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price*: $18K</span></p> <p>If the Mazda 3 is the Audi A3’s spiritual kin, VW’s all-new, seventh-generation 2015 Golf is the A3’s fraternal twinthat is no less accomplished anyway. The Golf shares much of its bones with the A3, and the refinement shows in form of remarkable quietness, solidity and road manners. The hopped up, plaid-seated GTI is the fun one, but the diesel (TDI, in VW-speak) might be our new favorite, offering a stratospheric fuel efficiency when you’re light on the go-pedal and a solid rush of acceleration when it’s time to boogie. Regardless of which you choose, all of that goodness is wrapped in package that looks nearly as clean and elegant as the Audi.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar9.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>014 Subaru Legacy<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $22K</span></p> <p>You really didn’t think we’d compile a top 10 gay cars list and not include a Subaru, did you? The company has just rolled out an all-new, vastly improved Legacy sedan for 2015 that makes a terrific alternative to the Camry, Accord and Ford Fusion—and not just for our granola-noshing lesbian compatriots. In many cases, the Legacy comes in even cheaper than its competition, in spite of offering standard all-wheel drive—d’ya hear that, ski bunnies? And unlike many a Subie in the past, the new Legacy looks great and coddles its passengers in a wonderfully quiet and refined interior. If you need a little more versatility (and who doesn’t, really?), the Legacy’s wagon counterpart, the all-new Outback, is due later this year, with the same set of attributes plus a little more room for your junk in its trunk.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar10.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2014 BMW 4-Series Convertible<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $50K</span></p> <p>As the two-door version of the perennially stylish BMW 3-Series, the new 4-Series coupe is not just a great gay car—it’s a great car, period. Add a folding hard top to the package and the 4-Series only gets better, turning your car into an instant parade float that you and three of your friends can bask in, particularly when you crank up the tunes. Better still, despite the added weight of the folding roof, the 4 convertible still goes, stops and steers like a proper BMW. A word of warning, though—it can get pretty pricey when loaded with options. Still, with its great looks, comfortable cabin, loads of available technology and sweet dynamics, there are few cars that do everything the new 4 does for us as well as the 4 can do it.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/gaycar11.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>2014 Cadillac ELR<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Base Price: $75K</span></p> <p>Eco-minded drivers, I know what you’re thinking—why didn’t we choose the Tesla Model S? Because (1) the Tesla is huge, and we don’t need huge, at least not in our driveways (2) the Tesla is only electric and, hence, has limited range, and (3) the Tesla doesn’t feel as expensive as it is. None of that applies to the Cadillac ELR, which wraps the brilliant mechanical stuff of a Chevy Volt in pure Cadillac opulence. As such, you can do most—if not all—of your daily driving (around 35 miles) in electric mode between nightly plug-ins, but the car will switch to hybrid mode if you happen to reach a low state of charge. No pulling over to recharge; as long as you have some fuel in the tank, you just keep going. Finally, whereas the Tesla feels half-baked inside, the ELR’s interior is a Bentley-grade feast of carbon fiber, Alcantara, super-soft leather and dark-stained wood. It proves once and for all you can get your eco on and look great doing it.</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/30/pride-rides-we-rank-the-10-gayest-cars-of-2015http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/30/pride-rides-we-rank-the-10-gayest-cars-of-2015Fri, 30 May 2014 14:30:00 GMTSteve Siler14 Essentials for Entertaining at Home This Summer<p>Here comes summer! Whether it’s sunset cocktails by the pool, an impromptu cookout on the patio or a seated dinner in the garden, outdoor entertaining is at its best here in L.A. No matter what’s your pleasure, though, do it in style. We asked interior designer <strong>Jeffrey Alan Marks</strong> and fashion guy <strong>Lawrence Zarian</strong> to show you how.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/summer_essentials_ART1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>1. GARDEN STRING LIGHTS<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Gives off just the right amount of light for an evening party”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$150 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.serenaandlily.com/" target="_blank">Serena and Lily</a></p> <p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">2. COBALT WASHED LINEN NAPKINS<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Hides wine stains”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$48 (set of 4) at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.serenaandlily.com/" target="_blank">Serena and Lily</a></p> <p><strong>3. PERFECT PERSONALIZED GROCERY TOTE<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Put each bah on the back of your guest’s chair. It not only serves as a place holder, but it’s a great gift to take away.”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$19 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.potterybarn.com/" target="_blank">Pottery Barn</a></p> <p><strong>4. UNIVERSAL EXPERT BOTTLE OPENER<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Tie it to your pants and put it in your pocket!”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$28 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.potterybarn.com/" target="_blank">Pottery Barn</a></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/summer_essentials_ART2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>5. ENAMELED SERVERS<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Serve it up in style!”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$39 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.potterybarn.com/" target="_blank">Pottery Barn</a></p> <p><strong>6. CROSBY SMALL LANTERN<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Allows  you to move light around. Also perfect for intimate conversation.”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$69.95 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.crateandbarrel.com/" target="_blank">Crate & Barrel</a></p> <p><strong>7. COCKTAIL POOL CADDY FLOAT<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“This is genius! Margaritas, guacamole and a tan!”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$99 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.potterybarn.com/" target="_blank">Pottery Barn<br /></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/summer_essentials_ART3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>8. SEXY SLIM-FIT SUIT<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Nothing says summer like a stretch-cotton, thin-striped suit. #LOVE”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$636.99 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.hugoboss.com/" target="_blank">Hugo Boss</a></p> <p><strong>9. BRIGHT LINEN SHIRT<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Make a summer style statement with a luxe linen shirt.”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$105 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.brooksbrothers.com/" target="_blank">Brooks Brothers</a></p> <p><strong>10. STERLING DOG TAG<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Finish off the look with must-own accessories like a silver dog tag.”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$385 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.davidyurman.com/" target="_blank">David Yurman</a></p> <p><strong>11. PLAID SWIM SHORTS<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Your wingman when it comes to swimming”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$140 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://parkeandronen.com/" target="_blank">Parke & Ronen</a></p> <p> </p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/summer_essentials_ART4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>12. OMBRE TANK TOP<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Perfect for a hot day—or night.”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$48 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://parkeandronen.com/" target="_blank">Parke & Ronen</a></p> <p><strong>13. CANVAS ESPADRILLE-SOLE SNEAKERS<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Be too cool for the pool.”<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$195 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ralphlauren.com/" target="_blank">Ralph Lauren</a></p> <p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">14. SLEEK AVIATOR SHADES<br /></span></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"My all-time favorite eyewear!"<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">$595 at </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.samaeyewear.net/" target="_blank">Sama Eyewear</a></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.residentiallighting.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/showroom-node-big/portrait.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p>Jeffrey Alan Marks, known far and wide from Bravo TV’s <em>Million Dollar Decorators</em>, distills the quintessentially breezy California style honed by 20 years in business in his new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Jeffrey-Alan-Marks-Meaning-Home/dp/0847841022" target="_blank"><em>The Meaning of Home</em></a> (224 pp., $45, Rizzoli).</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://vivafashionistas.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/vogue11-870x580.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p>Lawrence Zarian, fashion guy for<em> Live with Kelly & Michael</em> and noted trend expert, offers tips on how to dress your best  in a creative and affordable fashion in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lawrence-Zarians-Commandments-Perfect-Wardrobe/dp/1939457009" target="_blank"><em>10 Commandments for a Perfect Wardrobe</em></a> (252 pp., $24.99, Bird Street Books)</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/10/14-essentials-for-entertaining-at-home-this-summerhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/06/10/14-essentials-for-entertaining-at-home-this-summerTue, 10 Jun 2014 14:43:00 GMTVincent Boucher5 Vacation Destinations for Gay Families on the Go<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://hypescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/25.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>The idea of a gay family, let alone a gay family vacation, is still somewhat new, but as more and more states (and nations) pass gay marriage laws and more gays create households of their own, chances are we’ll see a lot more of these modern families on the road. These are some of our favorite destinations for you and your brood, some of which aren’t known to be family-friendly but just might surprise you. Any one of these stunning destinations would make a perfect backdrop for the next family Christmas card.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://pic.shenyouyou.com/Upload/travel_line/2014-01/20140125104906236_64.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">HONG KONG<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A center of high finance, where eastern tradition meets the fast pace of the western world, Hong Kong has been a crossroads of cultures throughout its history. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1991, though same-sex marriages are not recognized, and as a result the LGBT population here is more visible and robust than in other Asian cities. Gay life here is focused in the city’s Central District, but grab a copy of <a href="http://dimsum-hk.com/" target="_blank"><em>Dim Sum</em></a>, Hong Kong’s free monthly LGBT magazine, to discover what’s of interest during your stay.</span></p> <p>Adults revel in the luxury shopping and a dining scene boasting one of the highest concentrations of Michelin stars on the planet. Children will enjoy crossing the harbor on the <strong>Star Ferry</strong>, taking the historic tram up to <strong>Victoria Peak</strong> for sweeping views of the city and bargaining over bric-a-brac at <strong>Stanley Market</strong>. If all else fails, head to <strong>Disneyland Hong Kong</strong> out on Lantau Island. Getting around is easy, thanks to a fast, cheap train into town from the airport, a good metro system and inexpensive taxis.</p> <p>At night, the best show in town is the <strong>Symphony of Lights</strong> across the Central skyline, best viewed from the lobby bar at the Intercontinental Hotel, though the 118th-floor bar at the <strong>Ritz-Carlton, Ozone</strong> has the most commanding viewpoint of all.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://assets-s3.mensjournal.com/img/essential/the-maui-max-out/618_348_the-maui-max-out.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>MAUI<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While most will head to the bright lights of Waikiki, it’s on Maui that gay families will find the most fun, thanks to friendly beaches with gentle surf that are perfect for young children; great hotel options ranging from convenient apartment rentals to high-end properties like the trendy <strong>Andaz Wailea</strong> and the recently renovated <strong>Ritz-Carlton Kapalua</strong>, which sits on a century-old pineapple plantation; and a variety of family-focused activities like its new <strong>Cities Under the Sea</strong> snorkeling and underwater photography adventure.</span></p> <p>Of course, you could just sit at the pool or on the beach during your entire vacation, but resorts offer kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and, of course, surf lessons. Beyond the beach, kids can spend hours exploring the aquatic life at the <strong>Maui Ocean Center</strong>, where you can actually scuba with sharks and stingrays. Maybe the family would enjoy taking a leisurely stroll through lush rainforests to natural pools and waterfalls. <strong>No Ka Oi Adventures</strong> specializes in guiding LGBT travelers on excursions. </p> <p>Spend your evenings unwinding at the famous <strong>Old Lahaina Luau</strong>, where you’ll enjoy a traditional gourmet feast along with music and dance performances.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://img.allw.mn/content/2014/01/18221112_5163.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>SANTA FE<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Affectionately known as “Santa Gay” for its rich history of queer culture and large LGBT community (estimated to be about one-fifth of its total population), Santa Fe boasts a remarkable number of gay-owned and gay-friendly bed & breakfasts and recently elected its first openly gay mayor, Javier Gonzales. There’s plenty to keep LGBT visitors and young families busy beyond town as well, especially since New Mexico passed gay marriage in December 2013.</span></p> <p>Visitors can drive 45 minutes to the <strong>Bandelier National Monument</strong> to see the cliff dwellings of a pre-Pueblo civilization that dates back centuries; or see what colonial life was like thanks to the collection of buildings and crafts demonstrations at the <strong>El Rancho de las Golondrinas</strong> preserve.</p> <p>There’s a festival practically every weekend in Santa Fe, but the big draw is the summer season at the outdoor Santa Fe Opera. The <strong>Four Seasons Rancho Encantado</strong> is the place to stay for a total luxury experience, while those looking for an artsier ambiance will enjoy the cozy casitas at <strong>La Posada de Santa Fe</strong>, which will join Starwood this spring.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://c1.tacdn.com/img2/localguides/guidephotos/stockholmpanorama.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>STOCKHOLM<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Known as the Venice of the North thanks to azure waterways and leafy green parks that bisect its various islands, scenic Stockholm has to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, if not the world. Many travelers come here for the design-driven shopping in trendy <strong>Sodermalm</strong> or to taste nouvelle haute cuisine at restaurants like the uber-trendy <strong>Gastrologik</strong>, but there’s plenty for families to enjoy as well. Plus, it’s easy to navigate, thanks to a quick airport train, plentiful (but expensive) taxis and a top-notch metro system.</span></p> <p>Though Stockholm lacks a devoted gay enclave, rainbow flags are flown prominently throughout the city, and many cafés and restaurants—like the popular <strong>Göken,</strong> decorated in hues of pink—cater to the LGBT community.</p> <p>Just a fun ferry ride from the 15th century Old Town of Gamla Stan is the park island of Djurngarden, where the 123-year-old amusement park of <strong>Skansen</strong> has everything from a zoo to crafts demonstrations by characters in period dress and plenty of restaurants serving traditional Swedish cuisine in settings both casual and more formal. The imposing <strong>Vasa Museum</strong>, which holds an excavated 17th century warship, is a fascinating foray for maritime enthusiasts.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.statsoc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Sydney.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>SYDNEY<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While most gays associate Sydney with its fabulously over-the-top, weeks-long Mardi Gras season in February/March, this Down Under destination has plenty to offer family travelers as well, including the world-class Taronga Zoo, where kids can learn about the continent’s many marsupials and some of the planet’s deadliest creatures. Hike the steel spans of the <strong>Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb</strong> (everyone must be 10 years or older); explore the famous Sydney Harbour by ferry or private boat charter; or just chill out on the beach in <strong>Bondi.</strong></span></p> <p><strong>Oxford St Darlinghurst</strong> (also known as The Golden Mile) is the traditional heart of Sydney’s LGBT community. Though locals might say Oxford Street has seen better days, it still contains a healthy concentration of gay-owned hotels, bars and shops. Stop into <strong>The Darlinghurst Bookshop</strong>, one of the best LGBT bookstores in the world.</p> <p>The <strong>QT Hotel</strong> is a fun, quirky, contemporary choice in the Central Business District, a short walk from Darling Harbour’s restaurants as well as the <strong>Australian National Maritime Museum</strong> and the <strong>SEA Life Sydney Aquarium</strong>, while the <strong>Vibe Hotel</strong> offers “junior vibe-sters” under 10 a complimentary kid’s pack with crayons, coloring sheets and puzzles as well as free buffet breakfast.</p> <p>Closer to the Harbour is a choice of luxury lodgings including the <strong>Four Seasons</strong>, the <strong>Park Hyatt</strong> and the towering <strong>Shangri-La</strong>.</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.passportmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Gay-Family-Dest-New.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>Travel Basics for LGBT Parents</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Advice from Steve Brister, founder of </em></strong><a href="http://www.GayFamilyTrips.com" target="_blank"><strong>GayFamilyTrips.com</strong></a></p> <p>Travel with kids is more complicated than traveling alone or with your partner, especially for LGBT parents. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when preparing to travel as a family:</p> <p><strong>Planning</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Prioritize destinations that support LGBT rights, including marriage and adoption, and avoid those where homosexuality is illegal (for info, check out </span><a href="http://www.ILGA.org" target="_blank"><em style="line-height: 1.5;">ILGA.org</em></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">). Also, HRC’s Corporate Equality Index is a good resource for identifying accommodations that are both gay-friendly and family-friendly, including many major hotel chains. 
</span></p> <p><strong>What to Discuss Before You Go</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Help manage your kids’ expectations by discussing in advance where you’re going and what you’ll be doing and seeing. Give them a sense of the local culture, and include age-appropriate information about the LGBT environment. Remind your kids about basic safety—like holding hands while in crowded places and not talking to strangers—and prepare them for travel challenges, such as airport security checkpoints, immigration and customs.
</span></p> <p><strong>Emergency Planning</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In addition to discussing or creating a plan for what your children should do if you get separated, you should also bring along copies of important documents: </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">1</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Birth certificates, foster/adoption placement papers and a copy of your marriage license or domestic partnership registration, if applicable. You can bring electronic copies of these documents on a flash drive or saved in a cloud-based folder, but we prefer hard copies for easy access and reassurance. </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">2</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Health insurance cards and doctor/pediatrician contact numbers. </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">3</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Copies of health care proxies for you and your partner, if you have them. </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">4 </strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A homemade information card for each child to carry that includes critical information (their full names, parents’ names and cell phone numbers and an emergency contact such as a close friend or relative).</span></p> <p><strong>
Accentuate the Positive</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Consistently, we’ve found that awkward situations can be turned into positive, community-building experiences. When asked, use simple language to describe your family, then start a conversation. Most people you meet will share your love of parenting and together you’ll find common ground.</span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/22/5-vacation-destinations-for-gay-families-on-the-gohttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/22/5-vacation-destinations-for-gay-families-on-the-goThu, 22 May 2014 09:34:00 GMTEric RosenSex, Power & Gay L.A.: Dissecting Hollywood's Casting Couch Culture<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kyutc6x6I41qzeu42o1_500.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><em>The underage sex allegations against X-Men director Bryan Singer have put the town on edge, but—illegal activities aside—it's a look at an age-old dance no one wants to talk about</em></p> <p>Let’s play superficial and pretend to take pity on all involved in Hollywood sex scandals. Truth is they are tawdry, unseemly, grisly, awkward and often shamefully titillating. We the people love them.</p> <p>The Hollywood scandal <em>du jour</em> is centered on film director <strong>Bryan Singer</strong>. The gent is a very talented director who has generated more than $1 billion off his creative take at giant film features, and it is clear that this month’s <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em> will only add to that gross.</p> <p>As we all know by now, Singer and a gaggle of Hollywood types are being accused of some fairly heinous actions against young gents. <strong>Michael Egan</strong> has filed a lawsuit against Singer accusing catastrophic psychological and emotional injuries. A second accuser out of London came forward on May 4. Talk of forcible rape and sex rings—whatever those are—is being bandied about, along with particulars of age of consent rules and the statutes of limitations on various continents. For Singer and his buddy, Broadway producer <strong>Gary Goddard</strong>, the hits just seem to keep on coming with the insinuation that more very serious teen sexual assault allegations are to come.</p> <p>Sexual dalliance allegations or a rumored planting of bones has been responsible for keeping the likes of <strong>Louella Parsons, Hedda Hopper, Walter Winchell, Rona Barrett, Liz Smith</strong>, our own <strong>Billy Masters</strong>, London’s <em>Daily Mirror, The National Enquirer, EXTRA, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight</em> and <em>TMZ</em> in the chips for years.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"> <img class="image_align_center" src="http://cdn.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2014/04/19/inside-hollywood-s-twink-pool-parties/jcr:content/image.crop.800.500.jpg/1397919741382.cached.jpg" alt="" width="600" />(Bryan Singer)</p> <p>For all the headline-grabbing fallout from allegations of using one’s unit in an inappropriate manner these days—<strong>Tiger Woods, John Travolta, Michael Jackson, Pee Wee Herman, George Michael</strong>—there were, in times gone by, hundreds of purported potential career-ending scandals of all sorts nicely swept under the rug by studios, agents and powerful publicists.</p> <p>In the old days, everything from <strong>President Kennedy</strong> boning <strong>Marilyn Monroe</strong> to <strong>Cary Grant</strong> being in love with <strong>Randolph Scott</strong> to <strong>Katherine Hepburn</strong>’s total lesbianism was treated like a state secret. The secretly gay (maybe, probably, definitely) included <strong>Tyrone Power, Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Tony Perkins</strong> and more. You know this today, but back in the day it was all carefully buried.</p> <p>These days, between social media, blogs, the giant machinery of Hollywood-focused media and our general societal ADD, nothing has a chance of going unnoted or unsnarked.</p> <p>Toss in homosexual sex scandals and things get very complicated. It brings up a dynamic that is worth discussing even though it is hard.</p> <p>The puritanical should leave now. I want to discuss sex between men. Not kids. Not yanking it in a schoolyard or park. I want to discuss the power of sex—powr held by each party with different agendas.</p> <p>I don’t know any of the accusers but was on the scene like so many others in Hollywood. I never saw anybody commit any of the acts that have been alleged, but I saw enough to see how complicated this sald of power and sex can be. This is not about law or making excuses for dark souls, but an attempt to look at something is at the core of Hollywood gay life.</p> <p>The power play is not exclusive to Hollywood, but the utilitarian tool that is the casting couch and the scandals it can create have been around for as long as people have worked at playing parts.</p> <p>In a 2010 interview with <em>Elle</em> magazine, <strong>Gwyneth Paltrow</strong> revealed that early in her career a film executive suggested a business meeting should finish ” in the bedroom.” <strong>Ryan Phillippe</strong> admitted something similar, as have celebs including <strong>Susan Sarandon,Thandie Newton, Megan Fox</strong> and countless others.</p> <p>On the day she signed her contract with Fox in the late ‘40s, Marilyn Monroe is reputed to have told a friend, “ I’ve sucked my last cock.” But she was wrong. Within weeks she was servicing one of the founders of Fox, <strong>Joe Schenck,</strong> a man of 70 who was reportedly given shots by his doctor that induced erections.</p> <p>It seems it’s always a case of power over the precarious. But the truth is that everyone has a power—the provoker and the provoked, the darer and the dared. The question is really about abuse of that power.</p> <p><!-- pagebreak --></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://images.designntrend.com/data/images/full/17866/michael-egan.jpg" alt="" width="600" />(Michael Egan)</p> <p>Some of Bryan Singer’s woes allegedly began in 1998 when he was introduced to his then-17-year-old accuser at the M&C Estate in Encino. M&C stood for Marc and Chad, as in <strong>Marc Collins-Rector</strong> and <strong>Chad Shackley</strong>. They were a couple; Chad was an actor, but then he got too old. It is one of the locations where Singer’s accuser claims moves were made. It was a house I was at a lot. All my friends were, including Billy.</p> <p>Billy is a 33-year-old recording executive now based in Nashville. He is a smart and quiet if not entirely closeted gay man.</p> <p>“I remember. We all went,” he recalled. “Marc and Chad’s company used it for filming, and tons of us shot audition videos there to get on their show, <em>Chad’s World</em>. The casting stuff was normal. It was what always happened after—or what they wanted to happen—that made the joint weird. But I met great people there as well, including an older guy I dated for a year. Like any place, there was cool stuff and strange stuff. It was up to you.”</p> <p>“Listen,” Billy continues. “I got all my friends to audition there. And there were real movie and TV execs at parties there. My friend Brad was even offered a record deal at that house. We all know now the casting bit was a major scam by Marc and Chad to get in our pants. Some put out. Most of us didn’t. None of us ever got real jobs outta that place, but none of us regret going. It was a casting couch, but if you were smart, you were in charge. It was fun.”</p> <p>We have to assume in the history of all casting couches that most never really get work out of it, but listening to Billy tell it, the favored ratio between jobs and blow jobs was nil in “Chad’s World.”</p> <p>“The boob tube zombie television is dead. Global entertainment will be delivered over the Internet. Digital Entertainment Network will create the last network.”</p> <p>Such were the aspirations of the Santa Monica company known as DEN, spelled out in a wild 38-page manifesto written by its founder, Marc Collins-Rector. And for a while, the venture was a white-hot fusion of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It was Hollywood’s darling.</p> <p>Executives from Disney and other major companies flocked to join the company. Remember <strong>Michael Huffington</strong>? He was once married to <strong>Arianna</strong>. He spent $28 million of his own cash to try and get elected to the California Senate. He lost. Then he came out of the closet. He invested big time in Marc and Chad. Digital Entertainment Network hired Hollywood directors and actors to create original programs for its website. Advertisers including Ford and Pepsi eagerly plastered their logos on the DEN.net home page, and industry giants such as Microsoft invested millions of dollars. These guys had power. But even under the best of circumstances, DEN was a house of cards. It never would have worked.</p> <p>Content for the internet concept began with the silly, unwatchable short ditty called <em>Chad’s World.</em></p> <p><em><!-- pagebreak --></em></p> <p><em><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://images.tvrage.com/shows/30/29106.jpg" alt="" /></em></p> <p>To us gay folks in Hollywood, Marc and Chad came out of nowhere. Back in those days, almost 20 years ago, the best minds in entertainment were trying to figure out what the internet meant for program content, and these guys convinced us all they had the plan.</p> <p>They tossed mega-money about, making Trump look like a cheapskate. We all flew at a moment’s notice in private jets to a birthday party in San Francisco or a dinner in Palm Springs. Lunch, dinner or cocktails for 30 in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica at the last minute were the norm. Limos were always ordered, and bar bills were always picked up. Drugs were everywhere. We were drunk with the conspicuous consumption of dough spent by these young geniuses. It was heady crud, but we all knew and talked about the fact our hosts were strange. </p> <p>See, Marc Collins-Rector was neither pretty nor charming. He was pompous, but hell, that came with genius, right? His toupée looked to be an unwashed ferret. He lacked charm and humor, his skin was pasty and he was certainly devoid of any elegance. Chad Shackley, 24 years old, looked 16 and was always a deer in headlights. He couldn’t look you in the eye, and I was pleased when he completed a sentence. In any real world you would not engage these two in discussion. In the right era, Collins-Rector would have fit right in the Star Wars cantina scene, and Chad at Numbers’ last call.</p> <p>But to a bunch of successful entertainment idiots, these guys were the hottest ticket in town. Why? It wasn’t intelligence. Neither one ever uttered a pithy comment around me.</p> <p>The vast majority of us weren’t there to grab twinks. It was just a blast with friends, both old and new. We partied on DEN’s dime and in exchange lent them our credibility. We all had power.</p> <p>Yet power in the wrong hands can be tragic and seriously illegal. Most of the time it is a game both parties play to get what each of them wants. We all know creeps and sleaze, and scam artists have always been around, but they are the exception, few and far between in accepted circles. Those who drool and eye folks with sad intent are tossed fairly quickly.  </p> <p>DEN died when a minor accused Collins-Rector of sexual misconduct. Three hundred people lost their jobs. In 2004, Collins-Rector pleaded guilty to transporting five minors across state lines to have sex.</p> <p>Today my pal Michael is 31 and a salesman living in West Hollywood. He came from Florida to become famous. “I loved those parties—all of them. They were everywhere, and we all wanted in. If a Hollywood type paid you attention, all your friends were jealous. At 17, I was the aggressor. I wanted sex and the drugs and the fancy life. Everyone did. Maybe what we did was illegal but, honey, it was never, ever rape.”</p> <p>Marc Collin-Rector’s whereabouts today are unknown. He is a real rapist, a creep and now a convicted child molester whose last known residence as of 2008 was the Dominican Republic. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2011. The media in London recently spotted him walking the streets with what appeared to be a very young kid. He was a predator, a bad guy. He didn’t run a “sex ring,” but he was a pervert who abused his power. </p> <p>Michael’s final thoughts on those days: “We felt important. We were going to places, seeing things that before we’d only seen on TV. The older guys we hung with were cool and treated us all well. Looking back, you can make it look bad, but we were living a dream and nobody was getting hurt. For me to ask for money now for that fun would be a total joke.”</p> <p>There are indeed clear lines drawn by law. There are also blurred lines drawn by personalities and feelings. There are clearly predators and perverts as well as willing, normal participants.</p> <p>Like all of my friends, I was having sex at 16, often with guys over 18. Was it illegal? Yes. Was it 100 percent consensual? Hell yes! That is my reality. Others’ realities are different.</p> <p>This is complicated stuff, I know. Scandals are just that—scandalous. Airing all of it from every side in the press and social media before it is properly mitigated by the parties involved privately or in court gains no winners. All the players manipulate via the press—whether that is trotting out mothers for sympathy or maneuvers like Goddard’s lawyer slipping the name of an actor who may or may not be the UK accuser in an email that was subsequently picked up by major news outlets.</p> <p>We need to be careful not to let accusers, lawyers, the media or even perverts and creeps define our community, because we are a very complicated bunch. To sort this out for real, and a thousand scandals that could drop any day, we need to face that Hollywood always was and always will be a dance between those with power. While there should be no tolerance for those who abuse the underage, youth will always command money, and money will always drive youth. Try to keep the business aspects and the sexual aspects out of Hollywood life at your own peril. It’s not always kosher, but it’s the truth.</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/19/sex-power-gay-la-dissecting-hollywoods-casting-couch-culturehttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/19/sex-power-gay-la-dissecting-hollywoods-casting-couch-cultureMon, 19 May 2014 13:29:00 GMTDana MillerMeet the Real Housewives of West Hollywood City Council<p><em>“This will be a year of fresh air and daylight,” said John D’Amico upon being sworn in as West Hollywood Mayor on April 21, and on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the city, we propose a new show to Bravo about the not always sunny paths that got us here</em></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/housewives1.png" alt="" width="600" /><span class="micro">From left: John Duran, Abbe Land, John Heilman, Jeff Prang, John D'Amico</span></p> <p>As we’ve learned over the years from Andy Cohen’s <em>Real Housewives</em> franchise on Bravo, good television needs a fight. A family feud translates to ratings, and frankly, in real life things aren’t much different. In <em>Les Misérables</em>, Victor Hugo wrote, “If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.” Slow down, Hugo. Before we take in the birds and the blossoms, let’s first examine the enmity that could fuel a show we propose to Cohen—<em>The Real Housewives of West Hollywood</em>.</p> <p><strong>Abbe Land vs. Gene La Pietra, 1986</strong><br />In the beginning, there was Abbe Land. Well, not really, but almost. Land helped create WeHo cityhood back in 1984 and was first elected to the City Council in 1986, the same year Duran Duran debuted on the charts with “Notorious.” Land hated her opponent Gene La Pietra, who owned the wild nightclubs Circus and Arena. He didn’t much like Land either, who publicized a couple of La Pietra’s obscenity convictions and club fines, while La Pietra accused Land of lifting dough from an AIDS organization. It got nasty. La Pietra spent over a million dollars to lose. He still runs Circus Disco, and for 28 years, Abbe has been in the center ring.</p> <p><strong>Steve Martin vs. Jeff Prang, 1999<br /></strong>Fifteen years into this, don’t sit these two guys next to one another at Thanksgiving. They used to be pals, but it became sort of a princess vs. queen bitch fight, swapping roles like underwear. Steve Martin was elected to the council in 1994, Jeff Prang in 1997. In 1999 Prang and a bunch of city types went to Portland for Pride and things got messy. Prang allegedly touched something on someone he shouldn’t have, and Martin ‘busted him’ on it, making it an unseemly public matter. Investigations were launched. Prang apologized, stopped drinking and has become a top vote-getter in city elections. He’s also expected to win his race for Los Angeles County Assessor. Martin failed to win re-election and ran a few more times to no avail. As political scandals go, this wasn’t John Edwards, Anthony Weiner or even Larry Craig’s foot tap, but Steve Martin did teach local politicians an important lesson—a true friend stabs you in the front.</p> <p><strong>Cat Scratch Fever, 2003<br /></strong>WeHo is known affectionately as “Bloody Paws” because of the multitude of gay men who walk their dogs down to their bloody stumps in the hopes of chatting up Mr. Right.  But the town is always up for a good catfight, too. In 2003, West Hollywood became the first city in the country to outlaw declawing, a procedure that actually removes not just a cat’s nails but also bone and nerves up to the first knuckle. The state trade group for veterinarians—as well as WeHo vet Dr. Howie Baker—opposed the measure.  Dr. Baker argued that immunosuppressed people living with HIV are at a greater health risk from cat scratches. Plus, he had just bought a spankin’ new laser surgery machine for the procedure. But Santa Monica vet Dr. Jennifer Conrad and her group “Paw Project” carried the day, gaining the support of the City Council and ordinance-sponsor Councilman John Duran. Said Duran, who at the time admitted his own complicity in such butchery, “I was horrified at what I had done to my poor kitties!”</p> <p><img class="image_align_top_right" title="(From left) Torie Osborn, Steve Martin, Larry Block" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/housewives2.png" alt="" width="400" /></p> <p><strong>Books vs. Buildings and Bucks, 2011<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">West Hollywood opened a spankin’ new $64 million library in 2011, but not without controversy. The book house was envisioned bigger and bolder than most L.A. County libraries, in part because of low construction costs at the time, a stash of money the city had put aside for a rainy day and an aggressive push for private donations by Councilman John Heilman. But former Councilmember Steve Martin, a Heilman critic, repeatedly charged Heilman with utilizing the library project to grow his already impressive power at City Hall (Heilman has been on the Council since its dawn). Martin accused Heilman of giving city favors to developers in exchange for donations that closed the gap in the library construction budget. He also charged Heilman with refusing a $5 million donation that would have named the library after the developer. In the end, the library was built and Steve Martin came within a few hundred votes of Heilman in the 2011 City Council race—but not close enough. There is no truth to the rumor Heilman was last seen naming the library with a blackboard and chalk.</span></p> <p><strong>Scott Schmidt vs. John Heilman, 2011<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In his classic <em>1984</em>, George Orwell writes, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” Well, not completely without irony, 1984 was the year frequent mayor and sometime czar John Heilman was initially elected to WeHo City Council. In 2011 a virtual bevy of folks came forward to run, including interesting Republican gadabout Scott Schmidt, who can still be seen most days slogging along the boulevard, cigarette in hand. This former Transportation Commission member does not own a car. During the last campaign, Schmidt accused Heilman and his staff of “blatant abuse of public money” via credit cards. At a press conference he alleged that $13,000 in taxpayer dollars was dropped on overpriced meals and swanky gifts for city employees. He went on to say the number was likely closer to $100K. The city’s finance department took the charges seriously, investigated and found ... well, nothing. They gave no credit to his assertions. Scott Schmidt, still strolling to this day, received just 1,447 votes and was not elected.</span></p> <p><strong>John D’Amico vs. Gentrification, 2011<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Newly crowned Mayor John D’Amico was the top vote-getter in the last West Hollywood City Council election. Like all seven of the gay challengers, D’Amico crowed about mega-development, gentrification and straying from our gay roots and rights. Easily tossing our appointed incumbent Lindsey Horvath to the curb, D’Amico ran on the promise that he would contain the “Los-Angeles-ization of West Hollywood.” He said, “The idea that produced West Hollywood has disappeared. We haven’t asked a new generation of men and women to move here and be a part of the narrative.” He was pretty clear he wanted the city to stay true to its LGBT community. Because D’Amico generally speaks of unity and working together, it was tough to determine who he believed was not carrying the gay dream forward. Most observers determined the shots were at John Heilman, and the odds were in the pundits’ favor. I mean, the guy has been around forever—he’s bound to piss people off.</span></p> <p><strong>John Duran vs. Lesbians, 2012<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The West Hollywood vote was split in the 2012 primary race for the newly created 50th State Assembly District stretching from West Hollywood to Santa Monica. Torie Osborn seemed like a shoe-in for the WeHo vote as former head of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. But not so fast. Then-Mayor John Duran and Councilmember Jeff Prang broke the ranks and endorsed Betsy Butler, which had some chattering because the incumbent Butler would “term out” in four years, opening the seat for Duran and/or Prang to run themselves. The family feud came to a head at an endorsement meeting of the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club. A month before the meeting, the small club (125 members) suddenly got a rush of 45 new members, all Osborn supporters, with their registration fees all paid with one check. Osborn won the club’s endorsement, prompting Duran’s now-classic and famous tirade of the following gems before storming out of the meeting: “This is bullshit!” “West Hollywood will remember this!” “We’re not all lesbians!” (see the clip at FrontiersLA.com). The irony is that both Osborn and Butler were hobbled in the bloody primary, and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom eventually won the general election through his local networks in the other end of the district. </span></p> <p><strong>Council Fur Fight, 2013<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While bear sightings are more common farther east in places like Eagle L.A. and Faultline, in 2013 WeHo City Council nonetheless moved to protect all furry creatures with the nation’s first citywide ban on selling clothing and accessories made of fur. West Hollywood continues a tradition of animal-friendly measures, including a ban on the sale of cats and dogs, cat declawing and live performance by animals (though WeHo’s yearly Halloween party may require some close judgment calls).  But this measure drew a wild response from the city’s high-end clothiers. Mayfair House, a specialty clothing shop, slapped the city with a lawsuit and vowed to continue their fur trade, while the Goldsmith & Klein fashion boutique up and left WeHo altogether, citing the ban as a contributing factor. But PETA and John D’Amico have remained resolute. D’Amico says the ban is in keeping with the progressive ethos of the city, and it was drawn up to withstand legal challenge. Leather goods are not included in the ban, bringing forth a collective sigh of relief from the BDSM and fetish communities.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p> <p><strong>Festive Flags vs. Queer Council, 2014<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last June, the owner of the Block Party apparel store on Santa Monica Boulevard, Larry Block, called on the City Council to fly the rainbow flag atop City Hall in honor of gay Pride. The resplendent colors graced the edifice until the flag was unceremoniously removed in November by the Council, which reaffirmed its commitment to fly only the American Flag, the California state flag and the official WeHo city flag. Block and others were taken aback, wondering if the city had suddenly lost its pride. Said Block, who has now decided to run for WeHo City Council himself, “The shedding of LGBT identity is happening slowly. ... There’s just a changing environment in West Hollywood.” WeHo may be the only city in the nation where the straights need protection from the gays, but openly gay Councilmember John Duran stood in support of straight neighbors: “It’s not just a city of gay men. It belongs to heterosexual people as well.” But it turns out you can have it all in Weho—a compromise was struck in which a new version of the city flag now flies over City Hall. No longer blue and white, the flag now sports rainbow colors over its emblem.</span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/01/meet-the-real-housewives-of-west-hollywood-city-councilhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/01/meet-the-real-housewives-of-west-hollywood-city-councilThu, 01 May 2014 06:00:00 GMTDana Miller, Douglas GrecoThe Normal Heart: 7 Things You Should Know Before Watching<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://saudibo.com/wp-content/uploads/the-normal-heart-v2-1024-e1397937325151.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>“Grow up. Behave responsibly. Fight for your rights. Take care of yourself and each other. Be proud of yourself. Be proud you are gay.” <strong>Larry Kramer</strong>, the iconic playwright and activist, uttered these words at Cooper Union Hall in New York City in a speech entitled “The Tragedy of Today’s Gays.” President <strong>George W. Bush</strong> had just been re-elected—arguably in large part because of his opposition to same-sex marriage—and things were looking bleaker for the LGBT community than they had in some time.</p> <p>Kramer’s speech, given almost 20 years after the original opening of his play <em>The Normal Heart</em>, was a call to action for a new generation of young gays who had not lived through the early ‘80s and the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Kramer did achieve his dream of engaging young people in the fight for gay rights, and this dream is being further realized with the premiere of HBO’s film adaptation of <em>The Normal Heart</em> on May 25. The story he has been fighting to bring to the screen for three decades finally will be broadcast to the world on a platform that ensures a broad audience will see it, and with the starpower—<strong>Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons</strong>—to make sure it gets attention.</p> <p>Some young gays may write the film off as nostalgia, though, saying, “Do I really need to see this downer?” Here’s what those people need to know:</p> <p><strong>1. Larry was already known as a leading activist and controversial critic of the LGBT community before the disease broke out.</strong> In 1978, he published a book called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Faggots-Larry-Kramer/dp/0802136915" target="_blank"><em>Faggots</em></a>, a scathing look at what he considered sexual depravity in the gay social scene. When HIV/AIDS broke out, he advocated for total abstinence.</p> <p><strong>2. In reaction to AIDS, Kramer and others formed the <a href="http://www.gmhc.org/" target="_blank">Gay Men’s Health Crisis</a> organization in 1982, which would later create the slogan “SILENCE = DEATH.”</strong> Kramer was kicked out early on due to his extreme views.</p> <p><strong>3. Kramer wrote <em>The Normal Heart</em> in 1984.</strong> While technically fiction, it is no secret that the character of Ned Weeks is largely based on Kramer and his experiences. Its historic scope belies the fact that it was an urgent call to arms at the time—but may explain its longevity.</p> <p><strong>4. When the play first premiered in 1985, it had a huge impact on gay culture and the issue of HIV/AIDS.</strong> It heightened the anger and passion that many were feeling in the LGBT community while spreading awareness among straight people.</p> <p><strong>5. Barbra Streisand, it turns out, was one of those people.</strong> She was the first to option the rights to the play in an effort to turn it into a film.</p> <p><strong>6. The play, despite its impact, didn’t run again until a second off-Broadway run in 2004.</strong> It finally made it onto Broadway in 2011, after news came out that <em>Glee</em>’s <strong>Ryan Murphy</strong> would direct a movie adaptation.</p> <p><strong>7. Even after being fired from GMHC, Kramer remained at the forefront of the gay rights movement, one of the leading activists in the fight to eliminate HIV/AIDS.</strong></p> <p>Do young gays need to see this? Absolutely. I had the incredible opportunity to see the play in New York City when it had its first Broadway run in 2011, where I had the honor of meeting Kramer outside the theatre before the performance started and paid my respects. I then sat down to watch the play, which was more emotionally gripping and turbulent for me than I could have imagined. It was so disturbing to see the story unfold of what happened to my gay forefathers, the horror of a mysterious disease taking hold of them which they couldn’t explain and had no way of stopping.</p> <p>As passionate as I had been about gay rights in the years since I came out in 2006, the play exposed me to a sense of urgency that I had not been familiar with before. These men were not just fighting for their civil rights; they were fighting for their right to exist. And the experience of learning that such a battle had been waged—and won—in the not-too-distant past was hugely enlightening and inspiring to me.</p> <p>Although the war Kramer fought in the 1980s to get initial awareness and attention for the disease may have been won, a new war has begun to keep the awareness alive among my generation. HIV rates have begun to rise again, so there is still much work to be done.</p> <p>As Kramer said at the end of his Cooper Union speech, “I love being gay. I love gay people. I think we’re better than other people. I really do. I think we’re smarter and more talented and better friends. I do, I do, I totally do. … And I passionately and desperately want all my brothers and sisters to stay alive and well and on this earth as long as they want theirs to. Can we all help each other to reach this goal?”</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/26/the-normal-heart-7-things-you-should-know-before-watchinghttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/26/the-normal-heart-7-things-you-should-know-before-watchingMon, 26 May 2014 12:13:00 GMTJames Duke MasonIsaiah Washington Returns to 'Grey's Anatomy' ... and the World Doesn't End<p><img class="image_align_top_right" title="Photo: ABC / Richard Cartwright" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/washington1.png" alt="" width="350" /></p> <p><em>Why do some stars get a pass when they drop gay slurs and some don’t? It’s complicated, but at some point we have to put value on their positive actions and move on.<br /><br /></em></p> <p>By now we are all too familiar with <strong>Isaiah Washington</strong>’s controversial dismissal from <em>Grey’s Anatomy</em> after uttering an anti-gay slur during a cast altercation. This one-time transgression saw Washington—a man who previously played gay in <strong>Spike Lee</strong>’s <em>Get on the Bus</em>, no small undertaking for a promising young African-American actor—banished to Hollywood’s version of Siberia for the better part of eight years. I’m not sure we will ever get the <em>E! True Hollywood Story</em> with precisely who said what during the infamous argument, and we don’t need to. Washington uttered the word ‘faggot,’ something that is not acceptable in any context. And while nobody deserves a pass on any type of hateful speech (can you hear me now, <strong>Alec Baldwin</strong>?), Washington has more than paid his penance. <br /><br />The only thing Hollywood values more than a scandal is a comeback, and Isaiah Washington is in the midst of mounting one long overdue that should firmly re-establish his professional career. He was named an Oscar contender for his lead role in Sundance favorite <em>Blue Caprice</em>, starred in the new CW sci-fi series <em>The 100</em> and, most spectacularly, Washington is set to make a one-night-only return to <em>Grey’s Anatomy</em>—the scene of the “crime”—that poetically coincides with <strong>Sandra Oh</strong>’s departure from the show. (The episode airs Thursday, May 1.) The opportunity to create closure for both characters, and great ratings—<strong>Shonda Rhimes</strong> is nobody’s fool—was perhaps too good to pass up. <br /><br />While this is the stuff of great headlines, the more profound component of Washington’s second act lies in his role as producer of the highly regarded gay-themed independent movie <em>Blackbird</em>, co-starring <strong>Mo’nique</strong> and directed by <strong>Patrick Ian-Polk</strong>. In this film, currently making the festival rounds, Washington co-stars as the soul-searching father of a gay teen in a small Mississippi Baptist town. Cynics and skeptics will surely be quick to dismiss Washington’s role in the film as a contrived act of contrition. <br /><br />Washington himself admits, “It doesn’t go without being said that someone who was fired for being a homophobe is telling a story to re-ingratiate or reintegrate himself in the Hollywood system—or remove the idea that I am homophobic. That simply is not the truth. I would have done this movie no matter what.” Anyone can, and eventually everyone does apologize, but these words are hollow unless backed by the conviction of one’s character. <br /><br /><img class="image_align_center" title="Photo: ABC / Richard Cartwright" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/washington2.png" alt="" width="600" /><br />In a world guided more by the Twittersphere than a moral compass, we often forget that people need to have the space to say dumb things. <strong>Justin Bieber</strong> has made a career out of it with far less talent (and fewer consequences) than Washington, and<strong> Paula Deen</strong> is somehow already back to full speed. Why can<strong> James Franco</strong> immediately get away with trying to pick up an underage girl while Isaiah Washington was Kryptonite for the better part of a decade for using the ‘f-word’? If we are to grow as a community, we need to demonstrate the capacity for less selective clemency. As an educator and parent I’ve trained myself to more evenly apply forgiveness—all while reserving the right to never forget. This rubric works for me, and apparently for GLAAD, too. In a statement to<em> The Hollywood Reporter</em>, the media watchdog welcomes Washington’s return and commends his growth. “His PSA and his statements promoting marriage equality in recent years have sent a strong message of support for LGBT people.” Everyone deserves the opportunity for redemption.<br /><br />In a few weeks the headlines will proclaim that Isaiah Washington made his return to Seattle Grace, but they will miss the greater story. Washington is human, and like any of us, bigger than his worst transgression. He has earned this opportunity to prove that his heart is now in the right place, even if the process was sloppier and took longer than we would like. <br /><br />“I have been wanting to use my artistic life to give value to the marginalized, the abused, the neglected, the stigmatized individuals of all walks of life,” Washington explains. This Isaiah may be nobody’s prophet, but his story can serve as a cautionary tale for a society all too quick to judge. </p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/01/isaiah-washington-returns-to-greys-anatomy-and-the-world-doesnt-endhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/01/isaiah-washington-returns-to-greys-anatomy-and-the-world-doesnt-endThu, 01 May 2014 09:57:00 GMTFrank BuaWho Got Gore Vidal Laid In Hollywood?<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://wpmedia.arts.nationalpost.com/2012/08/gore.jpg?w=620" alt="" width="600" /></p> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="line-height: normal;">F</span></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ew people in life have had as much sex as <strong>Scotty Bowers</strong>. Well, perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but it’s safe to say that no man on earth has ever had sex with more famous people than Scotty Bowers. He also remained friends with the irascible and brilliant writer <strong>Gore Vidal</strong>, a feat in itself.</span></div> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">I dropped by to see Bowers for a local angle on Vidal, since the wonderful documentary about him, <em>The United States of Amnesia</em> by <strong>Nicholas Wrathall</strong>, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and after extensive festival rounds will be released in New York on May 23 and in L.A. at the Nuart Theatre on June 6.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">Vidal was a tough man to like. He loved to argue, but Bowers never had a fight with him.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">“Gore was such a dear friend. There aren’t many people living who had known Gore for as long as I’d known Gore,” Bowers says, who at 91 is still in possession of the gentle, kind spirit that attracted people to him his whole life. “To have a friend for 64 years without a cross word!”</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">The documentary takes a deep look at the man known for essays, novels, Broadway plays and screenplays for Oscar-winning Ben-Hur and the scurrilous and notorious <em>Myra Breckinridge</em>. A favorite of talk shows, Vidal was acerbic, a true intellectual and well-loved for his patrician manner and hilarious aphorisms.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">In the film’s interviews, Vidal is most fascinating when talking about politics. He ran for Congress in 1960 and then again in 1982 in a California Senate primary race against <strong>Jerry Brown</strong>. In one amazing clip, Vidal <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OMfg-JGaSQ" target="_blank">mercilessly shreds Brown</a>, who is reduced to stunned silence.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">Bowers met Vidal at the Hollywood Boulevard Richfield Gas Station at Van Ness. Today Firehouse #82 is there, but back in the day it was the place Hollywood went to procure sex of all kinds from Bowers.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">“Gore would come from time to time, when he was available,” Bowers says. “To be honest, he came in quite often. He liked to look at all the attractive guys I had there. He would come and hang out in the evening. His type was the all-American guy next door.”</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">Sometimes Vidal would go off with someone, and sometimes he didn’t, according to Bowers. “I was fixing up probably at least 20 guys or girls at the gas station back then, mostly gay clients who couldn’t be out in Hollywood. Gore was such a good advertisement for me. He would tell all his friends in Europe about the gas station.”</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">Bowers continues, “Gore was always writing something, either a play or a movie or a book. He always got the last word in every conversation. Gore talked intelligently. He’d been that way since I first met him so many years ago.”</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">The film—which features clips and conversations with <strong>William F. Buckley, Norman Mailer</strong> and <strong>Christopher Hitchens</strong>—will leave you longing for our popular intellectuals of yesteryear. Bowers himself is a different kind of literary light, having put his escapades into a marvelous tome in 2012 titled <em>Full Service</em>. It is a historic must-read for every gay man on Earth.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">“The last public appearance Gore ever made was on Feb. 8, 2012, at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. It was at my book party,” Bowers says. “After that, Gore went into the hospital with pneumonia. He spent a month and a half at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, got out, had an emergency, spent another month and a half at Cedars-Sinai, then he came home, in a coma for most of the rest of his life. He died at 86.”</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895Indent">“I miss everything about Gore,” Bowers continues. “He was a good foxhole buddy. Believe me, there was only one Gore. He’s never going to be replaced or duplicated. He was a one-of-a-kind sweetheart.”</p> <p class="DEKByline">Vidal once said of the recently accused film director<strong> Bryan Singer</strong>, “He is white trash from New Jersey.” I asked Scotty about how Hollywood sex scandals of today stack up against those of his era. “The internet” was all he said.</p> <p><em>The United States of Amnesia comes to the Nuart Theatre June 6.</em></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/07/who-got-gore-vidal-laid-in-hollywoodhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/07/who-got-gore-vidal-laid-in-hollywoodWed, 07 May 2014 11:31:00 GMTDana MillerThe Gay Geek’s Guide To Summer Blockbusters<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="DEK">Brace yourself for a summer full of muscle-bound heartthrobs and skin-tight leather outfits. The season of blockbusters is upon us, and with its explosion of comic book adaptations and sci-fi remakes, it looks like film studios are actively courting the geek-chic demographic. Here we’ve assembled a list of the summer’s most nerdgasmic movies, so you can plan an action-packed date night with your favorite boy wonder.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>The Amazing Spider-Man 2</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">May 2</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>Andrew Garfrield</strong> once again dons a red and blue body stocking for this spidey sequel. <em>ASM2</em> continues to blend elements of classic Spider-Man with its contemporary <em>Ultimate</em> incarnation, introducing a horde of super villains to the big screen, including Academy Award winner <strong>Jamie Foxx</strong> as Electro. <strong>Emma Stone</strong> reprises the role of Gwen Stacy, whose brutal murder at the hands of the Green Goblin in 1973 ushered the comic book industry out of the Silver Age and into the much grimmer Bronze Age. Our fingers are crossed that we get to see the cinematic version of this heart-wrenching death scene (sorry, Emma).</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>Godzilla</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">May 16</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">Japan’s most famous prehistoric monster is back. The newest reimagining of Godzilla coincides with the character’s 60th anniversary. Costarring with the reptilian anti-hero are <em>Breaking Bad</em> alum <strong>Bryan Cranston</strong> and indie darling <strong>Elizabeth Olsen</strong>, who is effortlessly crossing over into mainstream blockbusters with this film and her portrayal of Wanda Maximoff (The Scarlet Witch) in the upcoming chapter of <strong>Joss Whedon</strong>’s <em>Avengers</em> franchise.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><img class="image_align_top_right" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg3.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>X-Men: Days of Future Past</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">May 23</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">Say what you will about <strong>Bryan Singer</strong>—the man knows how to make successful X-Men films. Adapting X-scribe <strong>Chris Claremont</strong>’s iconic dystopian story arc, this newest entry in the X-franchise bridges the present of the first two <em>X-Men</em> films with the past fleshed out in <em>X-Men: First Class</em>. Hopefully Singer will utilize the time-traveling concept to retcon out the events of Brett Ratner’s lamentable <em>X-Men: The Last Stand.</em></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>Transformers: Age of Extinction</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">June 27</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">Everyone’s favorite former tighty-whitey model <strong>‘Marky Mark’ Wahlberg</strong> teams up with Optimus Prime and his Autobots to battle the villainous Decepticons. As with any <strong>Michael Bay</strong> feature, the real star here is the pyrotechnics, so expect a crap load of explosions. And don’t hold your breath waiting for <strong>Shia LaBeouf</strong> to pop up. He’s not going to be in this movie—or any movie—for a very long time.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg5.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>Dawn of the Planet of the Apes</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">July 11</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">This sequel to <em>Rise of the Planet of the Apes</em> leaps forward a decade, revealing a growing nation of super-intelligent simians and the handful of surviving humans who threaten their existence. But if <strong>James Franco</strong> isn’t in this ‘damn dirty ape’ movie, what’s the point?</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg6.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>Guardians of the Galaxy</strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">August 1</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">Following nearly two decades of success with movie adaptations of <em>Spider-Man, X-Men</em> and <em>The Avengers</em>, Marvel Comics is eagerly mining its more obscure properties in hopes they, too, will translate well to the big screen. One such endeavor, <em>Guardians of the Galaxy</em>, features a space-faring heterogeneous team of cosmic misfits (think ‘The  Avengers in Space’). The cast, led by a noticeably svelter <strong>Chris Pratt</strong> (<em>Parks and Recreation</em>), features <strong>Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana</strong> and <strong>Bradley Cooper</strong> as a talking raccoon.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg7.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">August 8</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">Possibly the most controversial comic book movie this summer, <em>TMNT</em> is rumored to have taken massive liberties involving the origins of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael. Apparently this version’s turtles hail from an alien planet, which means so long to the ‘mutant’ aspect of these teenage ninjas. With <strong>Megan Fox</strong> slated to play the film’s newscasting human protagonist, April O’Neil, purists of the comics and the cartoons may want to sit this one out.</p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/geekg8.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent"><strong>Sin City: A Dame To Die For</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="BodyWhitneyMed895NoIndent">August 22<br /> Nearly a decade after adapting <strong>Frank Miller</strong>’s neo-noir tale of violence and revenge, <strong>Robert Rodriguez</strong> follows up on Basin City’s gruesome exploits. <strong>Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis</strong> and the rest of the cast return, as does the film’s distinct aesthetic that’s punctuated by occasional colorization. This sure-to-be-visually-stunning film is an ideal choice for both comic neophytes and hardcore geeks.</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/12/the-gay-geeks-guide-to-summer-blockbustershttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/12/the-gay-geeks-guide-to-summer-blockbustersMon, 12 May 2014 13:30:00 GMTMike CiriacoDancing in the Desert: White Party at 25<p><strong><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s been a quarter-century since one man pulled off what </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">would become a kind of gay men’s Woodstock, an annual </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">hotbed of freedom that has made and broken politicians and let hundreds of thousands of men live out their dreams</span></em></strong></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/wp1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Some have said that chance favors the prepared. For my friend Cody, preparing for the 25th White Party Palm Springs began on Valentine’s Day. That’s the day “X’s” started to soil the calendar on his refrigerator. It’s the day the groundwork truly started to prepare his body for a weekend of debauchery in the desert. Daily Boot Camp, afternoons at Gold’s Gym, Runyon Canyon twice a day and a strict diet was all that was gonna happen to Cody’s bag of bones for the next 70 days. The Abbey would have to be skipped. The room at the Renaissance Hotel is booked with five other guys, and his friend Blake is in charge supplies of acquisition. For Cody and his friends, White Party is just like the lure and love of the circus. Cody and his 3% body fat (“Dana, it’s really 5, but don’t tell.”) are well-prepared. <br /><br />For Carl, White Party Palm Springs is something else. Carl is tangentially in television. He’s hot in that glasses, T-shirt, mussed hair kind of way. You would hit on him at the bar, but he’s more into selling you a hit. He works behind the scenes on a daily show, but his union wage is way eclipsed by his main gig—dealing drugs. <br /><br />“White Party is my Christmas. Sixty percent of my entire annual income is made off that weekend,” Carl told me. “Everybody wants my stuff, but I only deal with friends or friends of friends.”<br /><br />I found Carl through my friend Cody. Carl is the party favor guy for Cody’s clique. <br /><br />“Boom time is right now, but my pool sales that weekend are incredible,” he says. “It’s mostly Molly, coke, GHB and to a lesser extent heroin.” Clearly Carl is prepared.<br /><br />And then there are those white clothes to worry about. “I’ve had my outfit picked out since January!” says Woody Woodbeck, who throws parties in West Hollywood.<br /><br />White Party creator Jeffrey Sanker is a party promoter, for sure, but he is truly a master of marketing and media illusion, too. Even his most well-known bash, White Party Palm Springs, though wildly successful, has enjoyed a Teflon-like press veneer despite annual volleys decrying purported over-the-top drug use, salacious swinging and unprotected romps—under the sheets, on the rugs and in the pools. <br /><br /><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/wp7.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />The gay press has anointed Sanker the High Priest of Gay Parties, the Sultan of Soirées and Circuit Master. What’s important to remember on this 25th anniversary is that Sanker’s White Party helped usher in events that offered a real sense of freedom to gay men 25 years ago in the early days of AIDS that was scared beyond belief and deeply seeking some semblance of community. The creation was both frivolous and in a sense very profound. In some ways it was the gay man’s Woodstock in the way it hit critical mass and let a movement see itself matter. </p> <p>Over the past quarter-century, Jeffrey Sanker has beat back his critics and continued to micromanage an event that arguably is stronger now than ever. Sanker has earned vast amounts of relevance and, I assume, income. And no one comes anywhere close to preparing for White Party Palm Springs.<br /><br />I’ve been a television producer for longer than I care to remember. I have seen spectacle, and that’s what has always impressed me about White Party. Sanker tossed serious bucks at putting on a show. It is now the largest gay dance party in the world, with eight massive parties over the course of three days. Most spectacular is how the production elements get more outrageous and extravagant every year. <br /><br />The first two White Party weekends were busts at only 300 people, but Sanker was committed to reinventing Spring Break for a whole community. He put those first parties on his credit card. Now he rakes in the money. In 1993, attendance was 2,250. By its 15th anniversary in 2004, that number hit 20,000. This year it is estimated that over 30,000 revelers will show up to White Party. Tickets to individual events average around $100 or so, but packages range in the thousands for different levels of access, right up to the $10,000 “It’s Britney, Bitch!” VIP package for the Sunday T-dance.<br /><br />I can’t find a lot of folks who have bad things to say about Sanker. I tried. He has delivered commerce, cash and cachet to Palm Springs. Gay guys fly in from everywhere to hit White Party.<br />Other promoters pay homage, too. Giant promoter Paul Nicholls knows how to toss a party, and even he is impressed. “I can remember going to my first one and being completely in awe and excited that I was part of such a vibrant community.”<br /><br />From a young WeHo perspective, Woodbeck says, “I remember when Mary J. Blige performed. When she sang ‘No More Drama’ I felt like I was at church. There were 10,000 gay men high on her energy. We were being taken somewhere.” <br /><br />Famed attorney Ronald Palmieri has been involved with Jeffrey Sanker and White Party since the beginning.<br /><br />“Twenty-five years ago, the acceptance of the gay community was not at the level that it is today,” Palmieri says. “Palm Springs was still in its infancy as the mecca for gay men. The event was not as ornate, expansive, detailed or exciting as it eventually evolved to be. But it was not an easy road to take. There was a lot of opposition—substantial opposition from the beginning—and it still rises up again from time to time.”<br /><br /><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/wp2.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />As attendance continued to skyrocket, so did growing pains. In 1999, 12 people overdosed in Palm Springs during White Party weekend. That stayed the average number of ODs per year for several years. Though no fatalities resulted, the community was forced to address its drug problem head-on.  <br /><br />“People would come to the pool party and people would be dropping,” Palmieri says. “But the truth is, the press and populace blew this out of proportion. I told Jeffrey, ‘We need to do something right now because we don’t want to give the city anything to play on.’ We instituted a no-tolerance program. We created banners for all the men’s rooms and party events that there would be zero drug tolerance at any of these events, and if you’re caught doing drugs, have drugs on you or appear to be under the influence, you will be escorted off the property.”<br /><br />Palmieri has enforced this policy himself. <br /><br />“One year, 10 to 12 years into the event, I had gone with a few of my friends early,” he says. “I was walking around the convention center and this guy was swinging around and around and around and I noticed that he had a drink. He was clearly on something. I saw from a distance that it was a cosmo, and I had a white Versace shirt and white Versace pants on. I turned around and he hit me and spilled his drink on me. He said ‘Oops’ and I said, ‘No, not oops. Security!’”<br /><br />Palmieri points out that if White Party is a mirror of what is going on in gay culture, it has an impact on the way that reflection is cast back. “The micro of the no-tolerance policy is that if we see it, we stop it. The macro is to educate. We can only do what we can do to educate them and tell them that this is not the path to take and show them role models.”<br /><br />Woodbeck has an interesting perspective on the drugs. “You do see people being carried out on stretchers, and people are OD’ing,” he says. “For a long time, I was naïve to that, but more and more I see the partying. But look at straight festivals—EDC or Coachella. You can’t pick out a sober person at the Electric Daisy Carnival.”<br /><br />I asked Sanker for his take on drugs at the bash.  “Listen, drug use at White Party is down,” Sanker says. “No one has ever died at White Party. Cocktails are in, and drugs are just not cool. We give out safe sex kits and talk a lot about taking care of one another. It is a party, and people want to have fun. Responsible fun.”<br /><br /><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/wp3.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>For this White Party anniversary, Sanker is giving out the first ever Icon Awards to “recognize a select group whose unique and varied achievements have stood out and best embody the spirit of the White Party.” Among this year’s recipients are Elton John and David Furnish, Bravo’s Andy Cohen and Cher. One of the recipients is actor and activist Jai Rodriguez, best known as the culture critic on the old hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. <br /><br />“It is a really positive place, like gay Spring Break,” Rodriguez says. “The ads showcase guys with six packs, but that by no means represents the entirety of the people who attend. It’s very inclusive.”<br /><br />He reflected on his first experience with the White Party seven years ago. “My first event was the underwear party, and I thought this was going to be an orgy. But it wasn’t. People that weren’t there create a lot of mythology, and they are wrong. I thought I would be overwhelmed because I’m not a ‘circuit boy.’ I was in fact well-received.” <br /><br />Rodriguez is sort of a bridge figure. Turning 35 this year puts him on the early end of the Millennials, a generation more at ease with their sexuality. He has a sober, almost tough love attitude towards some of the more toxic elements of the gay scene in general. And he hits that point of ‘White Party as a mirror’ very clearly. “I live in the heart of West Hollywood. There is no difference in what transpires after the bars close here everyday and what happens at White Party. People make poor decisions on a Tuesday night in WeHo all the time.” <br /><br />The changing demographics of White Party are clear to Palmieri. “I’m in my ‘60s. The population range at the party is still very expansive and welcoming to people my age. The reality is that the demographic has changed. A lot of youth in it. A lot of attractive young men,” he says.<br /><br />No stranger to events geared toward young, attractive men, Tom Whitman, a popular L.A.-based promoter in his own right, is a big fan of the soirée. “White Party is an institution. I’m always impressed with the fact that it has remained relevant for so long. Through ups and downs, it is still a must-attend event for L.A. boys. That’s a function of both hard work from Jeffrey and the fact that Palm Springs, as a destination, remains relevant through reinvention over the years.”<br /><br /><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/wp5.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Still, it’s not for everybody. Victor Rodriguez is one of L.A.’s most celebrated DJs, and he has long been responsible for hosting parties throughout the city, though his dance floors are packed with fans of old disco tracks as opposed to Top 40 remixes. He once owned a house in Palm Springs and considered the desert his home away from home. Regarding White Party, he is respectful but not exactly impressed.<br /><br />“It has a lot of historical importance, and I appreciate the success Jeffrey has had,” Rodriguez says, “but the last time I went was 2001, I think. I remember guys in sailor costumes. It was really cold out that night, and I remember thinking, aren’t they freezing? I was wondering, ‘What the fuck is this? Is this for real?’ This is insane. I was wearing a jacket. I was probably the only one who felt comfortable.”<br /><br />There have been more powerful people who weren’t fans of White Party and tried to bring it down. The 2003 Palm Springs mayor’s race is now the stuff of legend and shows just how key the party had become to the city’s livelihood. The contenders were a Republican architect-turned-mayor, Will Kleindienst, and a gay African-American minister turned councilmember, Ron Oden.    <br /><br />The trouble started on the Palm Springs City Council around 2002 when Mayor Kleindienst, in office since 1997, reportedly raised concerns about drug abuse and White Party. That year he refused to sign proclamations welcoming the White Party and the Dinah Shore event, and a whisper campaign ensued that Kleindienst was homophobic and wanted White Party shut down.     <br />Kleindienst declined to be interviewed for this article, citing his retirement from public life and respect for the current City Council. But he did respond to one question. When told that Jeffrey Sanker’s publicist Phil Lobel claims the former mayor tried to shut down the White Party when in office, Kleindienst made this comment: “That, like a lot of what has been reported, is not accurate.”<br /> <br />Oden says that when problems with the White Party emerged, people came to him—rather than the mayor—to address them. “He says he didn’t want to shut it down. But he didn’t want to save it either,” Oden says. “The hotel industry was strong, and they came to me.”<br /><br />According to Oden, industry leaders stressed that this was their top revenue-generating event. They wanted to work with him to address any issues about White Party.<br /><br />“In many ways he was a good mayor, but he changed a bit,” Oden says. “His wife is a devout Christian. … Those things spilled over.”<br /><br />Oden ran for mayor against Kleindienst in 2003 and won. He became the city’s first openly gay mayor, and issues surrounding the White Party would be handled proactively. Palm Springs had cemented its reputation as a gay Mecca. <br /><br />“When I became mayor, everything changed. Businesses had already been gay-friendly, but then it got to a point where if you were not gay-friendly, you couldn’t survive,” Oden said.  <br /><br />The approach that really changed perception from the haters, however, was a sort of self-policing by the gay community. This included working with public health agencies like Desert AIDS Project on education and prevention efforts, and engaging with Sanker to address any concerns about drugs and STD transmission. Statistics showed Palm Springs having one of the highest rates of syphilis infections per capita in the nation and a growing rate of HIV infection. Organizations like Desert AIDS Project, L.A. County Health Department and the CDC began working with White Party on education and prevention efforts.<br /><br />Oden believes the city dealt responsibly with White Party-related problems. “Gay or straight, we should be able to take constructive criticism,” he says. “We should be able to be responsible. That’s what I admire about Jeffrey. There was no point when he was hesitant. We had his full cooperation. We said, ‘You are going to have to pay for all public services,’ and he had no hesitation.” <br /><br /><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/wp6.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>The benefits for the whole region are apparent. Hillary Angel with the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism says, “It’s a huge impact. We have over 30,000 people come and stay, eating and doing attractions. They come before or after and spend money. It’s a signature event for Palm Springs. We’re one of the top destinations for gay tourists.”<br /><br />Greg, owner of the gay clothing-optional Escape Resort, says, “We’re guaranteed to sell out. In fact, we start to take bookings for next year right when the party ends.”  <br /><br />And Peter Vanwinkle, general manager of the restaurant Wang’s in the Desert, is crazy about the business the weekend brings. “When the White Party started, people just came for that weekend. Now we are getting returns in other seasons. They come from San Diego, Los Angeles—all over.”<br /><br />Even those on the fringe of the White Party scene have good weekends. Jerry, owner of the Bearfoot Inn, says his hotel that caters to bears gets an unusual lift of its own. <br /><br />“We do fine,” he says. “The funny thing is, for the most part, people who stayed here last year had no idea it was happening. Someone who booked for this year sent us an email about what’s happening in Palm Springs, and we told them about the White Party. They told us it was totally not their thing, and they almost canceled.”<br /><br />But what does it all mean now? Local philanthropist Jason Duguay, one of Sanker’s Icon Award winners with his partner Fred Arens, says, “I’m sure the mission and purpose has changed over 25 years. It’s done a lot for the LGBT movement, but in 2014 it’s more of a celebration. But White Party has also stayed current. It’s focused on the cause of the moment, from AIDS prevention to gay marriage.”  <br /><br />Woodbeck is thoughtful on how White Party stays relevant—especially in an era when massive destination parties like Coachella are mainstream. “The lines are definitely blurring,” he says. “West Hollywood is getting straighter, too. But there will always be the need for a gay escape. It’s not going away. I remember my first gay experience, my first time in a gay bar. As a promoter, I want to give that back to people. It’s about brothership.”<br /><br />Jeffrey Sanker’s creation has grown old in the best way possible, likely with the assistance and help of several hundred people throughout the years. “Legendary New York promoter Steve Rubell from Studio 54 taught me, if you can’t do something good, have people around you that do. I’m proud of myself and my crews over the years.” All involved seem to have come to a comfortable understanding that one thing is always certain—White Party Palm Springs is here to stay. And to almost everybody, this is a very good thing.<br /><br />And what does drug dealing Carl like best about White Party? “Kickin’ it by the pool and meeting new friends.”  </p> <p> <img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%208/wp4.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>WHITE PARTY PALM SPRINGS 2014, April 25-28<br /></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The largest gay dance music festival in the world returns to the desert for a weekend of fun in the sun and nighttime excitement. </span></p> <p><strong>HOST HOTEL<br /></strong>The Renaissance Hotel plays host for many of the weekend’s events. Special White Party room discounts are also available at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, Hilton Palm Springs and the Riviera.</p> <p><strong>EVENTS<br /></strong><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Friday, April 25<br /></span></em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Splash Pool Party with DJ Shane Stiel<br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Addicted to White Underwear Party with DJs Chris Cox, Tony Moran and </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Chi Chi LaRue</span></p> <p><em>Saturday, April 26</em><br />Splash Pool Party with DJs Joshua D and Manny Lehman. <br />The White Party main event with Bent Collective and DJ Gustavo Scorpio<br />Climax Afterhours with DJs Alex Acosta and Ivan Gomez</p> <p><em>Sunday, April 27</em><br />Splash Pool Party with DJ Dani Toro<br />Icon T-Dance with DJs Grind, Wayne G. and Ralphi Rosario<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Closing Party with DJs Guy Scheiman and Abel</span></p> <p><strong>TICKETS</strong>  <br />Tickets, VIP packages and weekend passes are available for purchase at <a href="http://www.JeffreySanker.com" target="_blank">JeffreySanker.com</a>.</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/17/dancing-in-the-desert-white-party-at-25http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/17/dancing-in-the-desert-white-party-at-25Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:00:00 GMTDana MillerLinda Perry Tells It Like It Is, Shakes Things Up at This Year's 'Evening with Women'<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%208/lindaperry.JPG" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="Hed1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Singer, songwriter and in-demand music producer <strong>Linda Perry</strong> has a penchant for straight-up authenticity. Sometimes she humorously cuts to the quick, revealing cold, hard perceptions of lesbians and gay men that are usually diplomatically left unsaid. Hers is a world of action, not polite curtsies—a toughness she’s brought to producing the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s annual <em>An Evening with Women,</em> taking place this year on May 10 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. But it’s a toughness tempered by the cause she serves—helping the LGBT homeless or inspiring future generations to think bigger.</span></p> <p>“They are so wonderful at the Center,” Perry said in a phone interview on April 23. “[Center CEO] <strong>Lorri Jean</strong>, the whole crew, the volunteers. And once I met everybody and took a tour around the Center, I was like, OK. I know exactly what needs to happen, and so I’ve been at it with them for seven years.”</p> <p>Perry’s ideas are sometimes unsettling. “Lorri’s always like, ‘Oh, God. What next?’ So it’s a funny, cute relationship because I’m so not their style. They’re so conservative, it’s ridiculous,” says Perry—who’s married to <em>The Talk</em> co-host <strong>Sara Gilbert</strong>—with a teasing smile in her voice. “It’s like, come on! Get out of the dinosaur ages, people! And that’s what kinda happens with the women’s community.”</p> <p>Perry jokingly compares the women’s community to old members of the music industry academy. “It’s like all the people on the Grammys board—they’re, like, in deathbeds. They have nurses next to them pumping them with fuel. I think that sometimes the Center is run from that place! Like, come on! Come on, you guys, there’s a whole new world out there we’ve got to get in touch with!”</p> <p>The event was dying when she took over, Perry says, probably because of the lesbian lifestyle.</p> <p>“Sorry to be rude when I says this,” Perry says, “but lesbians suck regarding entertaining—events or clubs or anything—because we’d rather stay home.” Lesbian clubs don’t last because of lack of effort and because “the lesbian community is not like that of the gay male community.”</p> <p>For instance, there can be 100 bars side-by-side down Castro Street, and they’ll survive because “men love to go out, they spend money, they get drunk, they do their thing, they have fun, they wake up the next morning, it’s light, it’s simple, they go to work, they do it all over again.”</p> <p>Women, however, “put too much thought into everything.” No row of lesbian bars would ever work. “We can’t even keep one open. Women don’t entertain like that. They like to go home, make a nice cheese plate, put on a video and have some friends over and watch <em>The L Word</em> re-runs,” she says.</p> <p>Perry felt the old event—then called the LACE Awards, a party that also honored lesbians of note—was crumbling.</p> <p>“I started feeling sorry for the event, like, ‘I need to do something here. I’m gay. I’ve got to support it somehow. I’m always putting the community down for its lack of invention and its segregation [from men], so why don’t I just be a part of it and take this over?’”</p> <p>It was not easy in the beginning. Perry ran ideas past the Center and met resistance. “Trust me, I had to pull them, drag them. Their nails were in the ground. I was like, ‘What the fuck are you hanging onto? Your $10 tickets? What? I’m offering to take this to a level you wouldn’t even imagine going to.”</p> <p>And so she has, bringing in stars like <strong>P!nk, Heart</strong> and <strong>Ozzy Osborne</strong> with <strong>Sharon</strong> and <strong>Kelly</strong>. This year, the Perry-produced party will feature a one-time-only exclusive reunion of her former band,<strong> 4 Non Blondes</strong>, plus actress/singer <strong>Evan Rachel Wood</strong> and actress/model <strong>Milla Jovovich</strong>, with host <strong>Margaret Cho</strong>. (Find ticket info at <a href="http://www.aneveningwithwomen.org" target="_blank"><em>aneveningwithwomen.org</em></a>)</p> <p>“I shake it up every year,” Perry says. “I’m very nostalgic. So I stay with nostalgia and comfort, but then I add a twist. Because when we’re all fucking dead and buried, or cremated or whatever’s going to happen to us, who’s taking over? I need to get some fresh fucking meat, [s]o when we turn it over to the next generation, there’s going to be an LGBT community out there that’s hip, that’s strong, that’s fresh, that is supportive.”</p> <p>First, though, Perry wants to eradicate any vestige of lesbian separatism. “Fuck this segregation that happens there, too,” Perry continues. “That whole lesbian versus gay men—ugh. It drives me all crazy. I’m just hoping to get rid of all that stuff and be a part of something fresh and new so I can hand it over to somebody who can carry on this beautiful, wonderful event.”</p> <p><em>An Evening with Women comes to the Beverly Hilton Hotel May 10.</em></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/07/linda-perry-tells-it-like-it-is-shakes-things-up-at-this-years-evening-with-womenhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/05/07/linda-perry-tells-it-like-it-is-shakes-things-up-at-this-years-evening-with-womenWed, 07 May 2014 14:30:00 GMTKaren OcambFrom Electric Dusk ‘Til Dawn: DTLA's Drive-In Summer Schedule<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/ladowntownnews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/21/8213c412-f0cd-11e2-92f7-001a4bcf887a/51e9d0244c186.image.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>Once upon a time, before the dawn of Netflix or even that dinosaur known as VHS, films could only be watched in movie theatres and drive-ins. This summer, journey into America’s cultural past by visiting Electric Dusk, a drive-in theatre in the heart of DTLA. To help you choose which screening might be best for you (not that you won’t want to see them all), we’ve broken down the summer schedule’s gay significance.</p> <p><br /> <strong>HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, May 10<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Anything starring twink-era </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Daniel Radcliffe</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> is a magical time, right?</span></p> <p><strong>A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, May 17<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">The film adaptation of </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Tennessee Williams</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">’ stage classic simmers with homoerotic undertones. Plus, a brooding black-and-white </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Marlon Brando</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> is worth the price of admission.</span></p> <p><strong>DAZED AND CONFUSED</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, May 24<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">A retro blast from the past with a foxy pre-Academy Award </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Matthew McConaughey</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">. Alright, alright, alright.</span></p> <p><strong>THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, June 7<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Viewing </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Tim Curry</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">’s iconic gender-bending in a drive-in will have you doing a literal time warp.</span></p> <p><strong>PULP FICTION</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, June 14<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Watching </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">John Travolta</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> do the Twist with </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Uma Thurman</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> in the movie that resuscitated his career is an unintentional kitsch milestone.</span></p> <p><strong>DIRTY DANCING</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, June 21<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Not even death can put the sexy </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Patrick Swayze</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> in a corner.</span></p> <p><strong>COMING TO AMERICA</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, July 5<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">This early </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Eddie Murphy</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> comedy showcases his blossoming homoerotic bromance with </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Arsenio Hall</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> <p><strong>SUNSET BOULEVARD</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, July 19<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">This tragic tale of fallen film star Norma Desmond, played by </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Gloria Swanson</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">, is a campy queer classic.</span></p> <p><strong>9 TO 5</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, August 2<br /></span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Lily Tomlin</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">—a troika of self-empowered ladies who incidentally served as gay role models for decades to come.</span></p> <p><strong>WAYNE’S WORLD</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, August 16<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Another bromance comedy. Forget </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Tia Carrere</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">—the real relationship on display is between </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Mike Myers</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Dana Carvey</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> <p><strong>GREASE</strong><br /><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Saturday, August 30<br /></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">A musical starring </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">Olivaia Newton-John</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">John Travolta</strong><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5;">? It doesn’t get any gayer than that.</span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/17/from-electric-dusk-til-dawn-dtlas-drive-in-summer-schedulehttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/17/from-electric-dusk-til-dawn-dtlas-drive-in-summer-scheduleThu, 17 Apr 2014 12:28:00 GMTMike CiriacoL.A.'s 50 Best Gay Parties<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%207/bnobrutus2.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1">Anyone who’s ever thrown a party knows it’s no easy feat—what with securing libations, culling the perfect guest list and settling on a soundtrack—yet somehow Los Angeles’ gay nightlife promoters manage to make it look easy. And, boy, are there options! The old cliché “there’s something for everyone” really does ring true here in gay L.A., where parties span West Hollywood, Silver Lake and Downtown to top-secret underground locales. But what good are options with no semblance of order? In an attempt to help you navigate our fair city’s most fabulous fêtes, we’ve ranked L.A.’s 50 best gay parties (from a list of over 100—yep, we counted), all to help you with the one question that’s as old as Saturday night—Where should we go out?</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/600-party-people.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>1. BRUTUS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Faultline, second Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you could craft the most perfect party in your head, what would it entail? A soundtrack that keeps you clamoring for more? A sexy, fun-loving crowd? Reasonably priced drinks? L.A.’s number one party should by definition house each of these tricks under its sleeve, and no nighttime diversion crafts a perfect atmosphere of booze-infused horseplay, hedonistic dabbling and sassy absurdity quite like Brutus (pictured at top). DJ <strong>Chris Bowen</strong> spins eclectic all-vinyl sets that seamlessly transition the party’s mood throughout the evening, while party provocateur <strong>Mario Diaz</strong> takes the lead in getting the crowd of revelers riled up. VJ <strong>Mark Cuadrado</strong> treats partygoers to live video montages, complementing but not interrupting the party’s flow with special presentations throughout the night, and special guest hosts—comedians, makeup artists, actors, actresses and drag performers—bring to this well-loved party a flurry of added excitement. The only party endorsed by all five members of our panel, Brutus—celebrating four years this August—never fails to deliver a stellar night out at one of L.A.’s best indoor/outdoor venues. —Stephan Horbelt</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>2. EVITA</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>DBA, Tuesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Filling the void created by the absence of one-time Tuesday night staple Mr. Black L.A., the party partnership of <strong>Luke Nero</strong> and <strong>Andrés Rigal</strong> offers a pansexual bacchanal to midweek scenesters. Hosted inside DBA, the latest incarnation of West Hollywood’s consistently scandalous 7969 Santa Monica Boulevard space, Evita showcases the DJ talents of <strong>Josh Peace</strong> as a colorful crowd of drag queens, fashionistas and queer hipsters slam stiff drinks and mingle on the dance floor. While the rest of L.A. is snoozing to soon face the daily grind, Evita’s gay vanguard embraces the night. —Mike Ciriaco</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>3. GIORGIO’S</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>The Standard, Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In Los Angeles, celebrities can be found anywhere and everywhere. On Saturday nights, however, you’ll find them at Giorgio’s. Referencing the creator of disco himself, <strong>Giorgio Mororder</strong>, this exclusive invite-only party is a collaboration between The Standard owner <strong>André Balazs</strong>, L.A. promoter <strong>Bryan Rabin</strong> and DJ <strong>Adam XII</strong> that has attracted a cabal of A-listers including <strong>Lenny Kravitz</strong>, <strong>Rufus Wainwright</strong>, <strong>Baz Luhrmann</strong>, <strong>Lupita Nyong’o</strong>, <strong>Mick Jagger</strong> and Moroder himself. This clubhouse for Hollywood's superstars and those fortunate enough to orbit around them doesn’t tolerate wannabes—cell phone shots are strictly forbidden, meaning your time is best spent on the dance floor.  —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>4. A CLUB CALLED RHONDA </strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Los Globos, second Fridays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Say her name. The quintessential den for polysexual hard-partying continues to deliver year after year. What began as a celebration of disco and house music in the basement of a Guatemalan restaurant has become an internationally recognized party, spanning two levels and multiple dance floors. The line for entry grows excessively long, so if you’re serious about experiencing some of the world’s finest DJs (<strong>James Murphy</strong>, <strong>Dimitri from Paris</strong>, <strong>Tensnake</strong>) you must arrive early, work a look and trust in Rhonda. Welcome to the pleasure dome. —Kevin Wilen<br /><br /><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Blog%20Images%207/bno2thru10.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>5. BIG FAT DICK</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Fubar, Thursdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There's a very simple reason why BFD is L.A.'s longest running party for gay dudes: We love penis. Big or small (but preferably big), hidden away under khakis or photographed in all their glory and thrown onto a clothesline in the middle of the bar, we love ‘em all. For more than 11 years now, L.A.’s King of Sleaze, <strong>Mario Diaz</strong>, has been a Pied Piper for the city’s sexy set. Many are lured by the party’s infamous photo competition, while others are there for the fun electro tracks spun by DJ <strong>Riley More</strong>. What’s not to love about a party where everyone who’s on the prowl gets laid? —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>6. MUSTACHE MONDAYS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>La Cita, Mondays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">You’d think it would be difficult to draw a decent crowd on Monday nights, but keep in mind that much of this city doesn’t abide by a 9-to-5 desk job schedule. Of course, even 9-to-5ers can’t say no to the amazing nightlife output of DJs <strong>Total Freedom</strong> and <strong>Josh Peace</strong> (not to mention the party’s amazing special guests). Here you’ll find the city’s hippest crowd of artists, stylists, musicians and dancers who simply refuse to let the weekend die. —S.H. </span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>7. SUMMERTRAMP</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>DTLA, summer months</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Another brainchild of impresarios <strong>Luke Nero</strong> and <strong>Andrés Rigal</strong>, Summertramp offers a wet and wild alternative to the pretension of other L.A. pool parties—emphasis on the ‘wild.’ Every summer a DTLA parking lot is transformed into a makeshift waterpark, and despite this party’s impermanence, the concept and execution is so unique we couldn’t not include it on our list. While this seasonal event is most accessible to downtown gays, Summertramp’s ability to attract revelers from all of the city’s gay ghettos is unprecedented. Nowhere else will you spy WeHo queens, East Side bears, drag divas and butch queens splashing around in unison. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>8. CUB SCOUT</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eagle L.A., first Fridays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A well-rounded L.A. party if ever there was one, the music at this monthly party is consistently stellar (courtesy of Critter Control DJs <strong>Chris Bowen</strong> and <strong>Victor Rodriguez</strong>, plus whatever special DJ guest is on the menu), drag den mother <strong>Lady Bear</strong> of San Francisco plays an excellent party host, and the boys are friendly. As if that weren’t enough, Cub Scout offers one of L.A.’s best drink specials ($2 light drafts) and routinely draws some of the city’s sexiest guys—that is, presuming facial hair is your thing. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>9. PLASTIC FANTASTIC</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eleven Nightclub, Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s only fitting that a plastic surgery-themed party would take place in a recently ‘facelifted’ nightclub, no? Taking to heart L.A.’s image-conscious obsessions, this <strong>Nero/Rigal</strong> party preaches the art of transformation to the masses via fun video montages all night long. Patrons of this relatively new party don’t dare disappoint with their Saturday night fashions, arriving ready to take advantage of the club’s recently expanded dance floor, particularly when pop stars show up to partake in the fun, as pop/R&B diva Mya did a short while back. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>10. DRAGULA</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Faultline, fourth Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Celebrating the spooky fun of gay L.A. nightlife (‘cause it can be pretty damn scary), this party—thrown by diabolical duo the <strong>Boulet Brothers</strong>—is unlike any other in town. Nowhere else will you find tarot readings offered out of coffins and a drag aesthetic that encourages more blood than blush. The party’s most recent bash was themed “Rocky Horror Chainsaw Massacre,” a delightful combination of the merry and the macabre, which is exactly what Dragula does best. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><!-- pagebreak --></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/bno11-20.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>11. SPOTLIGHT  </strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Secret Downtown locations  </strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s been two and a half years since legendary Hollywood watering hole The Spotlight served its last cocktail, but its spirit lives on thanks to the hardcore house and techno beats at this secret gay underground warehouse party. The brainchild of local DJ <strong>Chris Cruse</strong> and designer <strong>Christopher Kreiling</strong>, Spotlight strikes the perfect balance of sleaze and sophistication while consistently welcoming a plethora of sexy East Side guys. Check your inhibitions—and your shirt—at the door, stay hydrated and lose yourself to the rhythm of the dance floor. —K.W.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>12. STRIPPER CIRCUS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Here Lounge, Wednesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A problem plaguing many L.A. parties is that they’re little more than a clever name. Stripper Circus rises above many of its nightlife competitors because it fully realizes and delivers on its theme—a weekly queer carnival. Ringmastered by<strong> Paul Nicholls</strong> and <strong>Woody Woodbeck</strong>, WeHo’s premier hump day event swirls up hot dancers and fresh beats with thematic elements like gay carnival games and gypsy tarot readings. Throw in colorful resident drag queen carnies and you’ve got the gayest show in town. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>13. TIGERHEAT</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Avalon, Thursdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The largest weekly dance party on the West Coast, TigerHeat provides the caliber of mega-party that gay L.A. deserves. Housed in a Hollywood theater that once played host to <strong>Judy Garland</strong>, the party is notorious for a crowd too young to pick Garland out of a lineup. TigerHeat has played an integral role in many young L.A. gays’ coming out, and the party is still guaranteed fun for an under-21 set that worships the pop music divas spun by famed DJ <strong>Ray Rhodes</strong>. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>14. DREAMGIRLS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Rage, Tuesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Los Angeles may have the most talented drag queens in the world, a notion reinforced when you sit down for this weekly drag show on the Santa Monica strip. Boasting a cast comprised of several<em> RuPaul’s Drag Race</em> contestants, Dreamgirls offers no less than a dozen performances every Tuesday night. Whether you sit through the song-and-dance routine of a pageant girl or the knee-slapping set of a comedy queen, you know you’re looking at (and hopefully tipping) pure talent. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>15. MEAT RACK</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eagle L.A., second/fourth Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">No party in Los Angeles does sleazy fun like Meat Rack, a party so fun that once per month just wasn’t enough. You’ll feel the heat radiating from the bar before you step foot inside, so dress appropriately. If you’re like most patrons, that translates to practically naked. Inside you’ll find a friendly mixture of scruffy studs, hairy hunks and L.A.’s leather set, all in the mood to let off some steam. —S.H. </span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>16. SIZE</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Here Lounge, Sundays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As gay L.A.’s longest-running Sunday party, Size proves that bigger (and longer) is always better. Promoter <strong>Tom Whitman</strong>’s events are infamous for their dual draws—world-class DJs and hot boys. Artists who have graced the party’s turntables include DJs <strong>Brett Henrichsen</strong>, <strong>Manny Lehman</strong> and <strong>Josh Peace</strong>. As for the party’s sexy crowd, you may not stumble into musings on contemporary literature here, but  no matter—you’ve come for the hardbodied muscle studs.  —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>17. GRUNT</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eagle L.A., third Fridays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The military theme of Grunt (one part of the name’s double entendre) most definitely takes a backseat to the real theme of <strong>Justin David</strong>’s Friday night party—sexy dudes stancing. The Eagle isn’t a dance club by any means, but with the pop-influenced dance tracks you’ll hear every third Friday of every month, you’ll wish it was. The party is also the perfect opportunity to change up your ‘do—high-and-tight cuts are offered right in the back of the bar. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>18. ROOM SERVICE</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>The Standard, Wednesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Throwing an event in a space called “Mmhmmm” underneath The Standard sounds like something touted by Stefon on SNL’s Weekend Update, but the West Coast branch of this European dance party franchise is serious fun. DJs like gay fan favorite <strong>Derek Monteiro</strong> serve up cutting-edge underground house, and flamboyant hosts like the kooky <strong>Billy Francesca</strong> and <strong>Gregory Alexander</strong> work the room and dish out the latest fashions. Room Service is a brash—and welcome—addition to L.A.’s often-uptight nightlife scene. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>19. FULL FRONTAL DISCO</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Akbar, first Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This “celebration of disco decadence” is a love letter to the bygone days of Studio 54, when gold lamé and a passion for dance were the order of the day. Resident DJs <strong>Slash Fiction</strong> keep the dance floor packed with a healthy mix of Nu-Disco and classic hits, while party head <strong>Mario Diaz</strong>’s attention to detail transforms Akbar from a watering hole into a hedonistic wonderland. Special dance performances from the likes of <strong>Hi Fashion</strong>, <strong>Ryan Heffington</strong> and other local talents make this party so much more than another night at the disco. —Brenden Shucart</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>20. B BAR</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eagle L.A., Thursdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">L.A. residents will be hard-pressed to find a more friendly, laid-back vibe elsewhere. It’s a party where hairy dudes take a breather before the weekend attacks, relaxing with a cold beer in a welcome environment. B Bar is more akin to a book club than a sweaty dance party—on the patio, conversations are held and cigarettes are smoked; inside the local bear community sways to the beats of a rotating DJ roster. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><!-- pagebreak --></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/bno21-30.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>21. WE OWN THE NIGHT </strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Secret Downtown locations</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Serious fans of dirty disco, deep house and all things illicit know that sometimes you have to travel off the beaten path in order to find the best party in Los Angeles. This ‘members and their guests only’ event caters to an eclectic and diverse crowd united by a shared love of music and dancing. To stay informed of upcoming parties you must first apply for a We Own the Night membership card on the party’s website. —K.W.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>22. BEARS IN SPACE</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Akbar lot, summer months</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Were this party a more regular affair it would have placed much higher on our list. We want more, dammit! The biggest and best lot party of L.A.’s East Side, Bears in Space is notorious for a sea of hirsute, disco-loving hipsters, world-class DJs, pop-up shops, food trucks, a bouncy house for the kids (though there are none) and jaw-dropping drag routines that sometimes introduce the ‘cool kids’ to their new favorite performer. <em>Vive le summer</em>. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>23. THE CAFETERIA</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>The Short Stop, third Tuesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This monthly shindig boasts a friendly and loyal crowd of hard-dancing hipster boys and low-key, stylish ladies. They’re drawn back each month by the sensual beats of DJ <strong>Sindri Salad</strong>, affordable drink specials, surprise appearances by the likes of <strong>Jake Shears</strong> and San Francisco’s <strong>DJ</strong> <strong>P-Play</strong> and one of the only worthwhile dance floors on L.A.’s East Side. Stick around for the “midnight assembly,” featuring performances from some of the city’s most talented queer dance and drag artists. —B.S.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>24. HOT ROD/OTTER POP</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Micky’s, Wednesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hump day sleaze-fest Hot Rod—a party that drives straight to the point by showcasing fast men, hard bodies and an appreciation for manual stick shifts—switches things up with Otter Pop (which takes over every first Wednesday of the month)—a party for WeHo residents who don’t pluck their brows and appreciate a hairy mug. Both parties are meant for cruising, and it’s likely you won’t drive home with an empty passenger seat. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>25. FLASHBACK SATURDAYS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Revolver Video Bar, Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The appeal of this WeHo watering hole has always been its nostalgia factor, and on this night the usual contemporary pop standards and music videos make way for ‘80s and ‘90s classics. Like a revolving door, this party is sure to bring you back ‘time after time,’ but it’s the $5 happy hour cocktails and bevy of sexy go-go dancers that’ll keep you here once the sentimentality begins to fade. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>26. TNT</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Micky’s, Tuesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Another nostalgia night but one that skews slightly younger, Totally Nineties Tuesdays celebrates highlights of the Crazy Sexy Cool epoch. The party’s ‘90s-era soundtrack emphasizes the decade’s most danceable hits, courtesy of L.A. DJ staples <strong>Casey Alva</strong> and <strong>Josh Peace</strong>. While popular party Evita may attract the alt-kids every Tuesday night, TNT draws the mainstream millenials. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>27. CLASSIC BEER BUST</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Faultline, Sundays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This one’s the grandaddy of L.A. beer busts, and we aren’t referring to that dude who dances like a drunk baby onstage each week. A Silver Lake institution, the beer bust at this storied East Side haunt is always packed, and there’s nothing you can do about that—just accept the fact that you’ll likely get groped and appreciate the sentiment while it lasts. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>28. SUNDAY FUNDAY</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>The Abbey, Sundays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Who says gays don’t go to church? We just call it The Abbey. Instead of imbibing the body and blood of Christ to get into heaven, we imbibe overpriced Bloody Marys to get over last night’s hangover. West Hollywood may offer a plethora of brunch spots, but only here will you find a side of high-profile DJs and inked go-go gods with your huevos rancheros. Just don’t indulge in too much sin, because tomorrow is a workday. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>29. FRESH CLASSIC FRIDAYS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eleven Nightclub, Fridays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The name of this weekly Friday party, the brainchild of über-promoters <strong>Jeffrey Sanker</strong> and <strong>Paul Nicholls</strong>, sums up the quintessential WeHo nightlife experience—constant evolution that retains a sense of familiarity. Most familiar is the loop—from the bar to the smoking patio to the upstairs VIP lounge—that this two-story venue is tailored for. More intimate than a full-on dance club experience, Fresh Classic Fridays are a proper Boystown </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">diversion. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>30. JACK </strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Secret Downtown locations </strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Who is Jack? Jack is your all-night roaming dance party that draws in fashionable and flamboyant mixed crowds of straights and gays. The product of acclaimed resident lesbian DJ<strong> Jeniluv</strong>, Jack never fails to turn up the volume and the energy at its periodic secret themed events, including the recent We Are Monsters—an insanely over-the-top costume party. For updates on upcoming events, head to whoisjack.net, but promise us you’ll keep this one hush hush. —K.W.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><!-- pagebreak --></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/bno31-40.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>31. ABSOLUT UNDRWURLD</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Faultline, Thursdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s a party meant for exhibitionists and those who simply like to watch. Faultline is always a short stumble away if it’s cheap beer and cocktails you’re looking for, but here’s a night where the stiff drinks are even cheaper when you remove those pesky pants. A free pants check outside on the patio—that has most of the bar’s patrons in their skivvies—and fun rock and dance tracks are the real draw here. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>32. CLUB MACHO MAN</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Circus Disco, Fridays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We offer props to any L.A. affair going on its 14th anniversary, let alone a party for gay boys (you know we’re a fickle bunch). Club Macho Man’s mostly Latin crowd is a loyal one, showing up week after week to dance, drink and stand in jaw-dropped amusement before the midnight drag show. One of the biggest clubs on the West Coast, it’s hard to get bored when there are four dance floors with sexy men tearing it up. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>33. GINGER</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>The Eagle, first Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The beauty of L.A.’s East Side is its ability to fetishize even the most mundane aspects of life—body hair, uniforms, even hair color. Once each month the L.A. branch of the kink clutch that is the Eagle idolizes our red-headed brethren, drawing gaggles of gingers and their admirers. Conceived by <strong>Cody Bayne</strong> and DJ <strong>Eric Adams</strong>, the party’s most prominent feature is its team of Ginger Chews, a pet name for the rust-topped (and bottomed, we’re sure) go-go boys. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>34. OBJECTS IN MOTION</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Akbar, third Thursdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Akbar has long been known as a hipster haven, catering to those whose tastes sit left of center. At this monthly get-together, popular local DJ <strong>Chris Bowen</strong> (Brutus, Cub Scout) spins eclectic all-vinyl sets for a crowd that eats it up with a spoon. The party now features impromptu performances by local drag talents <strong>Cupcake Canne</strong> and <strong>Killer</strong>, which means you have yet another reason to throw caution to the wind and head east. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>35. SATURDAY NIGHT SLUT</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Fubar, Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Most nights that excel at Fubar embrace the claustrophobic intimacy of an East Village party. Fortunately, Saturday Night Slut is helmed by NYC ex-pat <strong>Jonny McGovern</strong>, whose raunchy East Coast aesthetic folds in seamlessly with WeHo’s most beloved dive bar. While the rough trade go-go dancers are fun to watch—and apt for the party’s title—nothing can beat $1 happy hour cocktails. Nothing. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>36. REFLEX</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Ultra Suede, first Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">L.A. nightlife has long suffered from an absurdly early last call, but while most parties are wrapping up at 2 a.m., Reflex is just getting started. As Boystown’s longest-running after-hours event, Reflex attracts some of the world’s most adept DJs. Of course, due to California’s liquor laws, the party is a dry one, so the focus is on the music—well, that and whatever else is keeping patrons awake til the sun comes up. —M.C. </span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>37. SMOKIN’ SATURDAYS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Jewel’s Catch One, Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Opened in 1972 as the first black LGBT disco in the U.S., Jewel’s Catch One hosted the release party for Madonna’s Music album back in 2000. While the club may no longer enjoy that ‘celeb hangout’ reputation of yesteryear, it’s still one of the city’s best venues for a high-energy night out devoid of pretension and judgment. Open til 4 a.m. on Saturdays, enjoy the best Top 40, hip-hop, R&B, soul, dance, reggae and house tracks here on the dance floor. —S.H. </span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>38. TRANNYSHACK L.A.</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Dragonfly, semi-regularly</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The L.A. offshoot of this infamous San Francisco party happens only once or twice each year, but every time it’s as if a hurricane has ravaged our fair city. Who knows how the Bay Area stays upright? There’s no drag show quite like this one—presented by SF legend <strong>Heklina</strong> and L.A. promoter <strong>Cody Bayne</strong> (Ginger)—which consistently serves up bat-shit crazy routines from the likes of kooky local queens and the occasional big-name talent from out of town. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>39. PLAZA </strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Plaza, weekends</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The weekend drag shows at Plaza aren’t comprised exclusively of Latin numbers (<strong>Lady Gaga</strong> and <strong>Shania Twain</strong> will occasionally stop by), but the real draw at this divey cantina are the super-serious impersonations of Latin music’s finest songstresses. Leave any pretension at the door, step up to the bar and order a bucket of Coronas with plenty of fresh lime. Stay for one of the night’s two shows, and after you’re tipsy, stumble half a block down to Pink’s for a hot dog or two. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>40. SHOWGIRLS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Micky’s, Mondays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Full disclosure: there isn’t much going on within West Hollywood city limits on a Monday evening. This party, though, is more than worth getting dolled up on a school night. A drag show that’s of true Los Angeles caliber, Showgirls is also Logo’s official L.A. screening party for <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race</em>, which means each week you can watch the new episode and then watch current and past seasons’ queens perform live. They’re a catty bunch, though, so watch out for spilled marbles. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><!-- pagebreak --></span></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/bno41-50.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1"><strong>41. HUSTLER THURSDAYS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>The Abbey, Thursdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Here’s a party that’s aptly named, whether referring to the dancers atop the go-go boxes, the party’s Hustler Hollywood cross-promotional giveaways or that shady trick working the well-dressed daddy across the room. When the gay weekend starts on Thursday, even The Abbey knows it’s gotta sweat to compete. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>42. DECADE</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Micky’s, Sundays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If getting razed to the ground by fire couldn’t stop Micky’s from partying, you have no excuse to stay in on a Sunday night. The club’s post-inferno design features a second story of dance space, making it one of WeHo’s best venues for closing out the weekend. Sundays are a retro hodgepodge of ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s tracks, and no, it’s not weird that ‘90s is now considered ‘retro.’ (It just means you’re old now, boo.) —M.C. </span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>43. INFERNO</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Faultline, first Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s a little bit of devil in us all, and he’s guaranteed to come out and play at Inferno. From the party’s chest-rattling heavy metal soundtrack and offbeat performance art pieces to the brilliant costumes and sets crafted by ringleader <strong>Matt Scott</strong>, this is a theme party worthy of an L.A. crowd. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>44. RECESS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eleven Nightclub, Tuesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the 18+ set, TigerHeat events are always a sure shot for nightlife hijinx. Recess—the Tuesday night twink fest presided over by DJ <strong>Ray Rhodes</strong> and the rest of the TigerHeat crew—bounces with the signature sugar-pop beats that typify the famed event brand, but in a much more intimate setting. Think of Recess as an appetizer before Thursday night’s main course. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>45. OLÉ OLÉ</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Cobra, Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Those on the hunt for Latin music (and perhaps a Latin lover) best venture to North  Hollywood and charm the Cobra. L.A.’s premier Hispanic gay bar attracts some of the city’s sexiest guys, free of inhibitions and ready to dance. Cobra’s inside décor is admittedly 818 through and through, but it’s no secret that Cobra isn’t relying on architectural aesthetics to get by. Stop in for a live show by <strong>Karlotta</strong> and music by<strong> DJ Raul</strong> and you’re in for a sweaty, raucous fiesta. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>46. DRUNK ON STAGE</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Akbar, Tuesdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While not a party per se, it’s proven that laughter can cure what ails ya, and that’s good enough for us. This 7-year-old showcase of LGBT and gay-adjacent stand-up comedy—the innovation of local talents <strong>Bruce Daniels</strong> and <strong>Erin Foley</strong>—is a guaranteed fun time if ever there was one. Past performers have included everyone from <strong>Fortune Feimster</strong> and <strong>Shawn Pelofsky</strong> to perennial gay favorite <strong>Margaret Cho</strong>. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>47. MUSICAL MONDAYS</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eleven Nightclub, Mondays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If West Hollywood were a high school, Musical Mondays would be the glee club. Presented by <strong>Ryan O’Connor</strong>, the weekly party showcases the best musical theater talent in L.A. Recent performers include the cast of the satirical <em>50 Shades: The Musical</em> and Tony Award-winner <strong>Daisy Egan</strong>. It’s a weekly must for those queens who live to mix their showtunes and cocktails. —M.C.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>48. UMBERJACKED</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Eagle L.A., first Sundays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sundays are sacred for the gay boys of Los Angeles. Sun-drenched day-drinking is taken very seriously, perhaps nowhere more so than at the Eagle, where the drink of choice is light draft beer and the music is always edgy but fun. Of the storied leather bar’s Sundays, the month’s first one reigns supreme, offering an all-day beer bust, slutty—er, sexy—go-go dancers and a friendly, sloshed crowd. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>49. BIG BAD WOLF</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Faultline, third Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The brainchild of <strong>Shawn Morales</strong>, whom you likely know as a Pit Crew member on <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race</em>, Big Bad Wolf is a party that huffs and puffs to bring you a weekend you won’t forget. Cheap drinks and sexy tunes are the name of the game, brought to you by a team of hosts dubbed the “Wolf Pack”—local party people and some of L.A.’s sexiest go-go gods. —S.H.</span></p> <p class="p1"><strong>50. RETRO DISCO NIGHT</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Oil Can Harry’s, Saturdays</strong><br /></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Describing this line-dancing haven as ‘retro’ is a tad redundant, but every Saturday night Oil Can Harry’s replaces the Boot Scootin’ Boogie with the Hustle. This Valley venue regularly attracts a more mature audience, so a ‘70s-themed night is really more nostalgic than novelty. For those used to the bar’s Country-Western style, Saturdays are a chance to swap boots and head-to-toe denim for platforms and polyester. —M.C.</span></p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/01/las-50-best-gay-partieshttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/01/las-50-best-gay-partiesTue, 01 Apr 2014 13:15:00 GMTStephan Horbelt, Mike Ciriaco, Kevin Wilen, Brenden ShucartMoroccan Roll Nights: L.A. Fashion After Dark<p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52865941f92ea10ec30199de/09_2013_ACABAR-25.JPG" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="p1">Nestled among a fairly quiet stretch of Sunset Boulevard sits one of Hollywood’s most iconic, storied works of design. For 42 years the space housed famed Moroccan restaurant Dar Maghreb, but last year the venue was reborn as Acabár, best described as an international journey for the senses, inviting you to drink, dine and dance with abandon. </p> <p class="p1">Located on the corner of Sunset and Stanley Avenue, step into Acabár when you’re seeking out a stellar meal (a journey along the Spice Trail by L.A. chef <strong>Octavio Becerra</strong>), delicious and meticulously crafted cocktails (a program representing an accurate history of the cocktail, developed by esteemed mixologists <strong>Josh Goldman</strong> and <strong>Julian Cox</strong>), a night of entertainment that includes everything from impromptu live performances to cultivated DJ sets, or perhaps a mirthful night of all three.</p> <p class="p1">From outside, Acabár’s windowless walls give no sense of the beauty that awaits you inside—emblematic Moroccan arches, original glazed tiles, intricate brass and glass lanterns, ornately carved plaster and wood friezework, elaborately painted beamed ceilings and low-slung seating made up of plush banquettes. There’s no place this side of Marrakesh quite like this bar/restaurant/lounge, which makes it the perfect backdrop for our annual “L.A. After Dark” photo shoot. </p> <p class="p1">The following images are a feast for the senses, bolstered by a gorgeous setting but, foremost, courtesy of three gorgeous models showcasing amazing after-dark fashion reminiscent of L.A.’s hippest revelers. The ensembles featured here are a perfect alloy of sophistication and sex—the calling card of L.A.’s nightlife culture—and we think you’ll agree.</p> <p>Styling: Jack Austin, <a href="http://www.jackaustinstyling.com" target="_blank">jackaustinstyling.com</a> and Diana Bowland, <a href="http://www.dianabowland.com" target="_blank">dianabowland.com</a>; grooming: Phoebe Dawson using MAC, <a href="http://www.phoebedawson.com" target="_blank">phoebedawson.com</a>; Location: Acabár, 1510 N. Stanley Ave., Hollywood. <a href="http://www.acabar-la.com" target="_blank">acabar-la.com</a></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_03929_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_05629_v1_1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_05929_v1_1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />BEN: Vest and Shirt by Vintage Hermès, Pants by Theory, Suspenders by H&M, Scarf by Aldo, Shoes by H by Hudson</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_19429_v1_1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />CAMERON: Cardigan by Vintage Prada, Shirt by Krammer & Stoudt, Scarf by H&M, Suspenders by H&M</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_28929_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_30829_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_37429_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_47129_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />BEN: Blazer by The Ras Collection, Shirt by H&M, Pants by Zara, Pocket Square by Polo by Ralph Lauren, Watch by Burberry, Shoes by H by Hudson. CAMERON: Shirt by Entrée LS, Pants by Theory, Ascot by Gents Closet, Belt by J. Campbell </p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_55729_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />CAMERON: Shirt by Entrée LS, Pants by Theory, Ascot by Gents Closet, Belt by J. Campbell</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_68429_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p>BEN: Blazer by Prince Edward by Lord West, Shirt by Krammer & Stoudt, Pants by Theory, Bowtie by Gents Closet, Shoes by H by Hudson<br /><br />GEORGE: Blazer by H&M, Shirt by Vintage Mario Valentino, Pants by H&M, Tie by Calvin Klein, Pocket Square by Penguin, Belt by J. Campbell, Shoes by H by Hudson<br /><br />CAMERON: Blazer by Blackbird Jeans, Vest by Vintage DSquared2, Shirt by J. Cheikh, Pants by H&M, Shoes by H by Hudson</p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_71129_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_74829_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_77029_v1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_88429_v1-mesh.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />GEORGE: Vest by Vintage Armani, Shirt by KRammer & Stoudt, Pants by H&M, Tie by Calvin Klein, Belt by J. Campbell, Shoes by H by Hudson </p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_92129_v1a.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p><img class="image_align_center" src="http://www.frontiersla.com/Pics/Features%204/FRON_1401_Nightlife_99529_v1-crop.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><br />GEORGE: Cardigan by H&M, Shirt by H&M, Bowtie by Mr. Hyde Bow</p>http://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/09/moroccan-roll-nights-la-fashion-after-darkhttp://www.frontiersla.com/featured-stories/2014/04/09/moroccan-roll-nights-la-fashion-after-darkWed, 09 Apr 2014 16:46:00 GMTStephan Horbelt, Ed Baker