The event featured DJs Mark DeMarko and Alex Ramos.
Click here to view pictures from the party. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida - for and about (but not just) LGBT people
Click here to ask me a question, which I'll answer online.
The event featured DJs Mark DeMarko and Alex Ramos.
Click here to view pictures from the party. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
November 30, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Lisa Vanderpump, one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, says she’s made practically every kind of video, except the X-rated kind.
“The porn video, I haven’t released that yet — they haven’t found it,” jokes Vanderpump, who made her film debut in 1973 as Glenda Jackson’s daughter in A Touch of Class. She’s also done Dancing With the Stars and Vanderpump Rules. Her latest video appearance is much more serious, however.
London-born Vanderpump appears (along with Elton John, Jamie Foxx and other celebrities) in a 6½-minute YouTube drama titled Any Given Tuesday, which supports the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s homeless youth project. (Watch the video below.)
A staunch straight ally, Vanderpump will be in Miami Saturday night for an appearance at the annual White Party HIV/AIDS fundraiser, this year at Soho Studios in Miami’s Wynwood district. White Party Week benefits Care Resource, South Florida’s largest HIV/AIDS service agency.
“A lot of people are untreated,” Vanderpump says. “Obviously, we don’t have a cure. At least through Care Resource they can get medication and help with day-to-day care.”
An understatement, according to Joseph DePiro, Care Resource’s public relations and marketing manager.
“The infection rates have not started to go down yet. In fact, we’re seeing record-breaking numbers here at Care Resource itself in the number of new clients,” DePiro says. “Care Resource is experiencing a period of rapid expansion to combat this rapid expansion in HIV infection rates.”
This year’s White Party is themed “In Full Bloom.”
“It’s very appropriate for Care Resource because this agency in the last 12 months has grown from an $8 million HIV/AIDS organization to a $17 million federally qualified health center providing HIV/AIDS services, along with new expanded services such as dental, pediatrics, mental health services and drug-abuse counseling,” DePiro says.
White Party Week raises about $500,000 for Care Resource and the agency spends 86 cents of every dollar raised on patient care, he says.
For more than a quarter-century, White Party was an early-evening soiree at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens popular with middle-age gay men. Now it’s an all-night club party for the demographic hardest hit in South Florida by new HIV infections: men under 26 who have sex with other men.
“HIV infection among MSMs is intense in virtually every Florida county and racial group,” DePiro says. “Issues related to stigma, homophobia, discrimination and denial continue to contribute to HIV/AIDS racial disparities fueling the epidemic in Miami.”
“It’s got a party atmosphere and is a fun weekend,” says Vanderpump, a Beverly Hills and West Hollywood restaurateur who on Saturday night will introduce LVP Sangria brand.
Vanderpump, who has long worked with LGBT people, says she respects the rights of some people to stay in the closet.
“I don’t like the idea of forcing people to come out. It’s a personal choice,” she says. “I have empathy and compassion when people have a struggle with it.”
She also supports anyone who wants to come out. Vanderpump, 53, is highly critical of parents who don’t accept their LGBT sons and daughters, which is why she made the homeless-youth video.
“They should be embraced. Support them, accept them. And being kind to one another,” she says. “I have two children. I can’t imagine if one of my children came to me and said ... Throwing them out on the street because they tell me they’re gay? The video, it was so poignant. Accept your children for who they are. That’s what we’re obliged to do as parents.”
This year’s White Party Week to benefit Care Resource runs Nov. 27 to Dec. 2.
About a dozen events will be held throughout Miami and Miami Beach, including the 29th annual White Party from 10 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday at Soho Studios, 2136 NW First Ave., Miami; Cirque Blanc for women 10 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday at Trade Nightclub, 1437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; and Muscle Beach Party 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday at 12th Street Beach.
Ticket prices vary. Details at whiteparty.org/shop.
November 26, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Arts, Bisexual, Bullying, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Film, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Travel, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
From Sandra Holiday, founder of Anita Priest Whispering Angels Memorial Scholarship Foundation for LGBT design and arts students:
Singing star Ann Hampton Callaway will perform a concert on March 30, 2014, to benefit the Anita Priest Whispering Angels Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
Tickets are $100 and $125 for the performance at Wick Theater in Boca Raton. Sales begin in January.
For more information, contact Sandra Holiday at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 26, 2013 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
From Miami Gay Blog:
DON'T WAIT UNTIL LAST MINUTE!!!
GET YOU EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT AND COME TO MIAMI'S BIGGEST BEAR PARTY EVER
Early Birds Special: $10 Admission at Door: $20
Part of the proceeds Benefit Latino Salud!!!
**VIP Section offers an open bar on TOP SHELF - VIP can be purchased presale @ $60 or at the door for $70 per person**
SAVE THE DATE!!!! This NOVEMBER 29TH.... Thanksgiving Weekend!!!
HARD ROCK CAFE MIAMI GOES BEAR.
Featuring DJ MARK DEMARKO Opening Set By DJ ALEX RAMOS.
Hosted By GoesBear.com ROB E. & MIAMI GAY BLOG!! DON'T MISS IT!!!!
November 26, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
From Jowharah Sanders:
So - Can $25 actually Save a Life? Could it Stop Bullying?
Will it End World Hunger?
YES! To date, NVEEE has been funded through the generous donations of the general public, small grants, and special events. Your donations, along with community partnerships, made it possible for our bullying prevention efforts to reach nearly 20,000 students, parents, teachers and in just 4 years. So YES! Your $25 does help to save lives and our motto is that together we can make a difference.
Our work would not be possible without the support of the community and others who work towards the same goals. Every year NVEEE honors community leaders who make a difference in the lives of youth and families. Scroll below to learn more about this year's honorees. Join us this Friday to celebrate our work while honoring those who pay it forward.
To learn more about our work visit www.NVEEE.org
George Castrataro has been an advocate against bullying and for protecting individual rights and inclusion for over twenty years. In his earlier career as an Epidemiologist, George acted to influence policy and direct funding and resources while working for the Florida Department of Health and later the National American Red Cross. As an attorney, George has championed the issue of bullying the workplace in over 75 cases yielding highly visible public impact and also favorable outcomes for his clients. George spearheaded the formation of the Broward Human Rights Initiative, volunteers as a member of the Care Resource Board of Directors, a founding/appointed member of the Broward County Housing Council and the Florida Co-Chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney's. George and his firm have committed over $450,000 to community organizations and pro bono causes over the past five years.
MEDIA HONOREE: MARK'S LIST
Mark's List, a company dedicated to growing Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) business opportunities, was founded over ten years ago, in August of 2003. The site, email campaigns, and social media friends, fans and followers grew into the largest assembly of LGBT Floridians. On an annual basis, Mark's List donates over 1/4 million dollars of advertising, photographic services and editorial support to 246 LGBT non-profit organizations in Florida.
Mark's List founder Mark Haines, photographer Stephen Lang and editor Troy Maillis work to insure that Jowharah Sanders and NVEEE's mission to end bullying remains front and center in Florida's LGBT community.
HONOREE: LAURA DUKSTA
Laura Duksta is a New York Times Bestselling author and self-appointed Ambassador of Love. Her first book I Love You More has sold over 1/2 Million copies in 5 languages and has become a favorite in hearts, homes and classrooms. For over 10 years now Laura's been presenting her program "Empowering *YOU* to Shine!" at schools throughout south Florida and across the country. Having lost all her hair at age 11 to a condition called Alopecia Areata Laura shares her personal stories of turning her biggest challenges into even bigger blessings encouraging young people to do the same. Her message is one of love, appreciation and acceptance for ourselves, one another and the world. She's been recently introduced to NVEEE and is honored to support them as they champion for equality, education and enlightenment.
MEDIA HONOREE: SHE MAGAZINE
Since their first issue in February of 1999, She Magazine has always made space in each issue to support the efforts of non-profit organizations, on both a local and national level. Upon the discovery of
NVEEE in 2009 and their efforts in the community, She Magazine's Publishers, Tina Sordellini & Maria Espinal have lent their support through editorial and advertising on an unwavering and consistent basis.
HONOREE: MICHAEL GONGORA
As a Miami Beach Commissioner one of Commissioner Gongora's top priorities was to ensure that our children grow in a safe educational environment so I am proud to have created the first anti bullying program in Miami Beach. He hosted a Community of Respect Anti-Bullying event in partnership with Anti-Defamation League and Miami-Dade County Public Schools this past year.
HONOREE: LORI SCOTT
Lori Scott, published author and founder of The Achievables, Inc. has inspired and empowered children during her 17 years in the health and fitness industry. Her experience in coaching both children and adults individually and in a team atmosphere has allowed her to inspire their self-confidence and build self-esteem. Educating children in building good character comes naturally to her. Ms. Scott has a unique gift of being "in tune" with children's needs and teaches them responsibility, respect, honesty, and teamwork on and off the field! She has taught them to believe in themselves, how not to fall victim to peer-pressure and how to stand up and say "NO" and walk away when bullied. Scott is not only a powerful influence and mentor but was inspired to write, produce and create this impactful and much needed series "THE ACHIEVABLES®". She has created a unique niche by sharing her powerful and inspiring words in a fun cool way that seem to be penetrating not only children but adults.
November 21, 2013 in Bisexual, Bullying, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce on Monday held a post-DOMA legal workshop featuring South Florida attorneys Stephanie Schneider, Luis Font and Richard Milstein.
The three discussed legal issues in family law, elder law and immigration law impacting Florida LGBT couples and families since the Supreme Court in June tossed section 3 of DOMA.
The discussion was held at Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale.
November 20, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
In Florida, and almost three dozen other states, it is a crime to have intercourse without disclosing a sexually transmitted disease.
So prosecutors thought they had a solid case when they charged a Manatee County woman who failed to tell her female partner that she was HIV-positive. A Tampa appeals court, however, threw out the case, ruling that “sexual intercourse” could take place only with a penis and a vagina — in other words, between a man and a woman.
But last month, a South Florida appeals court issued a conflicting opinion, upholding charges against a Key West man whom police had accused of lying about being HIV-positive to his male partner. The ruling more broadly defined intercourse, finding that it did not require opposite genders or specific body parts.
The Florida Supreme Court is likely to end up resolving the clashing opinions, which are being closely monitored by gay-rights advocates.
On the one hand, they support legal rulings that convey equal status to same-sex relations — but they also oppose the HIV disclosure law, arguing that the long-controversial statute stigmatizes people infected with the virus.
“It’s a progressive ruling, but the law itself is draconian,” said Norm Kent, a South Florida activist and criminal-defense lawyer who publishes the South Florida Gay News.
Scott Schoettes, the HIV Project Director for the gay-rights group Lambda Legal, said it was hard to see “a silver lining” in a disclosure law he called unjust.
“It’s nice to have courts recognize relations between two men,” he said. “But it would be nice to recognize granting us our rights in an affirmative sense, not just when it comes to criminalizing our sex lives.”
November 19, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
One of the highlights of Sunday's Equality Florida's 2013 Broward Gala: a fundraising appeal by Andrew "Drew" Tabatchnick, known throughout South Florida as wedding singer Drew T.
Tabatchnick told his personal story of how he has performed at about 10,000 weddings but can't marry the man he loves, Ira Baer, CFO of Baer's Furniture.
Accompanied by family members including his son, Adam, Tabatchnick described his and Baer's "Modern Family," with two dads, two Tabatchnick children and three Baer daughters.
Here's my article about Tabatchnick and Baer's love story, which originally ran in the Miami Herald on May 21, 2005:
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
"Hineini: Here I am, " says Andrew "Drew" Tabatchnick, newly out of the closet and preparing to lead a mission of gay American Jews to Israel.
Best known as wedding singer Drew T, Tabatchnick has for years been a prominent Jewish fundraiser. Now, as a gay man building a new life with a partner instead of a wife, he is refocusing his commitment to United Jewish Communities.
Tabatchnick, 43 and the father of two, is Southeast chairman of UJC's national gay pride mission to Israel, scheduled Aug. 14-21.
"I'm leading this mission because I'm involved in Federation. I care about acts of love and kindness, moral ethics, tzedaka (which is being righteous) and tikkun olam, perfecting the world, " said Tabatchnick, whose grandfather founded a New Jersey kosher soup empire.
"This is what being a charitable person is. This is what Judaism is, " Tabatchnick said. "The gay community may be left out of this loop. They're unaware of it. They haven't been embraced."
After Tabatchnick outed himself last month in a column in The Herald, he braced for community and family reaction.
"I performed last night for 250 people. They all asked me how's my life, how are things going? One guy called me, my Mercedes dealer. He said, 'How are you doing? Everything's cool, ' " Tabatchnick said one recent Sunday morning.
"My kids went to school. They didn't have any issues. My wife, even though she was upset - she didn't talk to me for a week - she's OK now."
Tabatchnick's evolution as a gay man (and aspiring gay-community leader) came after 14 years of marriage.
"I fell in love with my best friend and he fell in love with me, " Tabatchnick said.
The best friend - Ira Baer, a vice president of Baer's Furniture and fellow UJC board member in Broward County - is now his partner. Baer, 40, is getting a divorce and lives with Tabatchnick in Weston.
United Jewish Communities includes 155 Jewish federations in the United States and Canada. Tabatchnick became involved 15 years ago as he built his orchestra business, which he began in 1979 while a student at the University of Miami School of Music.
"It was a natural fit for me to get involved in Federation, where 90 percent of those people are my customers, " he said. "It was smart of Federation to get me involved."
Tabatchnick first served on the UJC Men's National Young Leadership Cabinet. "That was the training ground, " he said. "They create leaders who can give back to the community - movers and shakers."
In 2001-02, Tabatchnick chaired UJC's Broward fundraising campaign. He then became an executive board member.
And after a lifetime of attraction to men, Tabatchnick slowly came to terms with being gay.
"That's when I had the relationship with Ira, " he said. "For me, the story about being gay is about loving someone. Love is love and it's the most powerful force in the universe."
After coming out, Tabatchnick began to consult with Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg, a gay man in New York.
"Drew and I, during the process of his discovery and struggle to make sense of it, spoke several times and we became friends, " Greenberg said. "Drew wasn't quite asking me for advice about what he ought to do."
Greenberg, who came out of the closet in 1999 at age 42, will be rabbinical advisor for the UJC gay pride mission to Israel.
"I see this as a gay pilgrimage to Israel that does the same thing as other pilgrimages. It's about renewal and reconnecting with the people of Israel and the land of Israel, " Greenberg said. "It's particularly important because this is a group of people who, for all sorts of reasons, felt isolated and exiled from the Jewish community."
In South Florida, there are several synagogues that welcome gay worshipers, including Congregation Etz Chaim, a gay-oriented Wilton Manors shul that describes itself online as for "Jews of the Rainbow."
Today, many gay Jews join mainstream synagogues.
"The notion of openly gay Jews is something we're learning about the last two decades, " said Miami attorney Robert Glazier, a gay man seeking to become president of Temple Israel of Greater Miami. "We're still sorting it out."
At Temple Israel and other Reform synagogues, there has been a "virtually complete integration" of gays and lesbians into the congregations, according to Glazier, 46.
"Most Orthodox synagogues are not accepting and Conservative synagogues are struggling greatly with this, " he said.
The UJC mission originally was to coincide with World Pride Parade, an international gay festival scheduled for August in Jerusalem. That event drew protests from a coalition of clerics in Israel, who claimed it would interfere with religious tourism there.
Because World Pride Parade would happen at the same time as Israel's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, Jerusalem police said they couldn't guarantee the gay participants' safety. Last week, organizers announced they would postpone the Jerusalem festival until next year.
The UJC pride mission will go on as scheduled, according to Tabatchnick, who hopes to attract 300 attendees. So far, about 100 have signed up.
"The trip is still going to happen, " he said. "That's very different."
Tabatchnick sees himself as a man with many roles in life.
"Today, I'm a father taking my kid to a hockey game. Tonight, I'm Drew T the bandleader. Tomorrow, I'm a partner to Ira. Later, I'm an ex-husband who's helping his wife in moving."
His UJC work has taken him around the world, "from Russia to Israel, " he said.
"It made my heart bigger, " he said. "And as I developed my relationship with Ira, I said, 'This is what life is about.' I don't care what the world thinks."
November 18, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
Equality Florida on Sunday held its biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2013 Broward Gala, this year with 500 in attendance at Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
Broward Schools, which this year introduced an expansive training program to keep safe the district’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.
Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie, above, accepted the award, accompanied by dozens of teachers, administrators and students. Click here to read more about the Broward training program.
State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, received Equality Florida's Voice for Equality award, for her work attempting to establish a statewide domestic partners registry.
Click here to view a gallery of pictures from Sunday's reception. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Sen. Marco Rubio told an anti-gay group Saturday night that moral issues need to be part of government debate and that the United States needs to do more to protect religious freedom abroad.
"The moral well-being of our nation is our business. It's everybody's business," Rubio said to applause at the Florida Family Policy Council fundraising dinner. "The debate we should be having isn't whether or not we have a right to talk about values and morals in the public square, the debate we should be having instead is which values and morals our nation should focus on."
The dinner was raising money for the group that led the petition drive to put a gay marriage ban on the state ballot. The constitutional amendment was approved by voters in 2008. Videos shown before and after Rubio spoke showed its president, John Stemberger, speaking against gay marriage, gay scout masters and allowing people who have had sex changes to teach in schools.
The appearance came a little more than a week after Rubio voted against a bill that would have outlawed workplace discrimination against gays.
November 17, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
Trailer for 'The Day It Snowed in Miami,' an hour-long documentary about South Florida's role in the gay-rights movement.