The OFFICIAL after party for Gay Mr. America & Women's Extravaganza Championships. Enjoy Open Bar from 10pm to Midnight and dance the night away until close at Rok Bar in South Beach Located at 1905 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Fl 33152
Get PUMPED and Act on Impulse!
Benefiting Impulse Group Fort Lauderdale an organization, based in South Florida, dedicated to the advancement of safe sex awareness and practice among young, sexually active gay men between the ages of 18-35. In collaboration with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
March 26, 2014 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, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
From Miami Beach Gay Pride:
Be part of Miami Beach Gay Pride's extraordinary volunteer team. Our volunteers are instrumental in helping to make Miami Beach Gay Pride a successful event year after year. 2014 is on track to be our biggest Pride to date and we need your help now more than ever. Won't you please consider volunteering for this extraordinary community event.
To Volunteer, e-mail Dave at: Dave@miamibeachgaypride.com
Justin Washington, a 24-year-old former porn star known as Snow Bunni with Flava Works of Miami, has posted a video of himself four days after his AIDS diagnosis.
From Washington's post at The Lucky Star porn blog:
Prior to creating the persona or alias, “snowbunni”, I attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The common misconception of me is that I worked in the industry ongoing. In reality I traveled to Miami FL and “worked” in between scheduled breaks i.e. Christmas break, Spring break and the following entire summer. ...
When I say the Miami LGBTQ community took me fast, I’m being modest. I felt as if I was pulled in so many different directions I forgot to analyze any decision I made.
BY MESFIN FEKADU
AP MUSIC WRITER
NEW YORK -- Laura Jane Grace, who came out as transgender two years ago, says she's able to sing in a new, liberated voice on her band's latest album because she's no longer hiding.
Grace, 33, came out as transgender in 2012. She was born Tom Gabel and has performed as the lead singer of the Florida-based punk rock band Against Me! since 1997.
"This isn't the first time on an Against Me! record that I've written songs dealing with those feelings, but it's the first time that I think I'm able to be interpreted correctly or being able to be taken from the correct perspective," Grace said in a recent interview. "So there was a lack of frustration going into this record that's a really good feeling."
The band's sixth album, "Transgender Dysphoria Blues," is a concept record about a transgender prostitute. The album marked a chart high for Against Me! when it reached No. 23 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in late January.
"It's pretty self-explanatory," Grace said of the album's title. "I'm a person who's going through gender transition and a lot of the record was written leading up to the decision to embrace that and to go public with that — in my private life and in my public life."
The band is on an international tour that wraps up June 19 in Vitoria, Spain. Band member Atom Willard said Grace's honesty made the group stronger.
"Being passionate about what you're doing and what you're singing about and what you're playing is paramount to making the music good in my mind," the drummer said. "So really to get to the best performance and best recording and the best songs ... we're very likeminded about it."
Grace, who is married and has a 4-year-old daughter, said deciding to transition wasn't easy.
"I've dealt with gender dysphoria as early as I could remember," Grace said. "The decision to fully transition was something that took a long time to come to for sure. And it was something that I struggled with for a long time, but I got there at the end."
March 26, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
You're invited to attend our networking fundraiser on Tuesday March 25th, at 5:30 PM. Enjoy samplings from the new menu at 13 Even, wine and cheeses from Naked Grape Wine and Tapas and truffles and creams from JP's Chocolate Shoppe.
The Stonewall National Museum & Archives partners with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce - GFLGLCC with a reception for GFLGLCC members and friends to preview the Stonewall Gallery space on Wilton Drive -- and to view its new exhibit, THE TIMES OF OUR LIVES, featuring LGBT people and issues on the cover of Time magazine since its debut in 1923.
The new gallery is intended to be the public exhibit space for the Stonewall Archives, which will present exhibits, programs and events in support of its mission to promote understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of LGBT people and their significant role in American society. The TIMES OF OUR LIVES exhibit will be at the Gallery from March 21- March 30 after which time it will transfer to the Stonewall Museum at 1300 East Sunrise Blvd. The gallery will open permanently to the public in June 2014.
Members: FREE Future Members: $10
March 25, 2014 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Since leaving Cuba at age 6, Miami playwright Juan C. Sanchez has lived almost his entire life in Little Havana. It’s what he knows and, naturally, his newest work is set on Southwest Eighth Street.
“I thought it would be kind of neat to see like 70 years of history or more sort of just unfold scene by scene,” says Sanchez, whose Paradise Motel premieres Friday at Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores. “That’s why I came up with the idea and said, wait a minute. What if we put them all into one place, a motel? What if that motel represents Miami? What if through that motel I can show the evolution of society?”
Sanchez, whose earlier plays Red Tide and Buck Fever were nominated for Carbonell theater awards, says he “went really big” in conceptualizing the seven “playlets” that comprise Paradise Motel, a fictional landmark on Calle Ocho.
“Society! Whoa! How the neighborhood has changed. I’ve been in Miami all my life. I remember as a kid going to this little barber shop on Flagler or Eighth Street. I can’t remember exactly. And I used to ride the little horsey outside ... for a quarter,” recalls Sanchez, now 45. “Then I remembered going there when I was 18 or 19, walking by the area and the vibe was really different. It was a little scarier. The people were a little more frightening to me. I didn't know if I was older and was more aware of it or if it was because the people had in fact changed. It got grittier and it got a little darker.”
Sanchez developed Paradise Motel as a member of the Mangrove Creative Collective (MC2). Miami Theater Center is producing the play as part of its SandBox Series, underwritten with a $100,000 Miami Knight Arts Challenge grant provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“The mission of the collective is to create theater, film and other projects inspired by Miami stories,” says Sanchez, who won his first playwriting competition in 1986 at Miami Jackson Senior High.
“That was my first play. I was a high school kid, 16, 17,” Sanchez says. “It was a competition administered by the Miami Police Department. It was a crime-prevention play. I had written this play about rape prevention. It was told through three different characters. I found out later from my drama teacher that it was actually a little bit like the movie Rashomon. You get different stories about one event from three different people who witnessed it or lived it: the young woman who had been raped, the brother and the boyfriend of the girl. The rapist was not in the script.”
After high school, Sanchez attended Florida State University and New World School of the Arts. He left without a degree.
“I got a scholarship as an actor to go to college. I was in the theater program as an acting major, which is not what I set out to do in the first place. I just didn’t feel that I was ready. What I should have been was in some sort of playwriting program. I just hadn’t found my niche and it wasn’t until much later that I discovered I could actually study playwriting,” says Sanchez, who is currently studying radio and television production at Miami Dade College.
Sanchez’s plays have been produced in Miami, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and New York. Paradise Motel takes place over a 60-year period and is among the playwright’s most personal.
Several playlets have gay themes. One is set in August 1992.
“It is the story of two men, one of them is — I wanted to stay with the idea of a closeted, down-low Latin thug, sort of figuring out that sort of attitude that is really pervasive in the Latin community,” says Sanchez, who is gay and single. “It’s the story of a guy trying to seduce another guy on the night of Hurricane Andrew. They met several hours before. They were both in a club, in a bar hanging out. One thing led to another. They’re sort of escaping and avoiding their homes right now. They can’t or don’t want to end up in their own houses, so they end up doing drugs in this motel room.”
Sanchez says that although times have changed the past two decades, “for many Latin men, there is still a stigma associated with homosexuality.”
“There is still some repression that is very strong,” he says. “That is exactly why I wanted that scene to be about drugs. That is usually when it comes out. When people are under the influence of alcohol, when they throw caution to the wind, they let their guard down and become who they really want to be.”
IF YOU GO
‘Paradise Motel’ will be performed 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through April 12 at Miami Theater Center’s SandBox, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores. Tickets $20. Call 305-751-9550 or www.mtcmiami.org.
March 25, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
On Feb. 7, 1988, Frances Milstead accompanied her son, Divine, to the premiere of his latest John Waters comedy, Hairspray, at the Miami International Film Festival.
It was the first time she saw him perform. Glenn Milstead – AKA Divine -- had never wanted his mother to see his work, Frances told me for a 2001 interview.
"He said, 'Mom, when I do something I'm proud of I'll invite you.'Hairspray was the first thing he invited me to, " Frances Milstead recalled.
She never saw him again. On March 7, Divine was found dead of heart failure in a Los Angeles hotel.
Hairspray, the original film by Waters starring Divine, Ricki Lake, Sonny Bono and Debbie Harry, is now out on Blu-ray (New Line Home Video, $15).
Here is my complete 2001 interview with Milstead and Waters:
Divine's mom looks back on his life, career
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
An exterminator came to Frances Milstead's Margate condo last week and noticed the photos of a 300-pound drag queen on her bedroom wall.
"I just came out of another apartment and they have pictures of him on the wall. A big poster, " the exhilarated exterminator told Milstead. "I know that fellow. That's Divine! Are you his fan?"
"No, " said Milstead, 81. "I'm his mother."
Nearly 14 years after Divine's sudden death at age 42, Milstead has written My Son Divine "to set the record straight."
And director John Waters, who cast Divine in the starring role in the notorious Pink Flamingos, Polyesterand Hairspray, still refers to him as "my Elizabeth Taylor."
Waters grew up in Baltimore with Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead on Oct. 19, 1945.
"We were all kids trying to get away from suburbia, " Waters said. "We all met downtown. It was gay people, it was straight people. Black and white. Left-wing political people and drag queens.
"That was very important in our development of 'cinema rebellion' - gay people who didn't like the gay world; preppies who were drug addicts - they had a basic hatred for authority.
"When Divine was young, he was preppyish. He was not at all flamboyant. Underneath all that was an anger. With Divine's partnership, I came up with this character that was very very different from Glenn Milstead."
What they came up with was Divine - a big-haired, arch-eyebrowed, 300-pound creature stuffed into miniskirts and high heels.
Not your typical movie star.
In 1973's Pink Flamingos, Divine's character aims to be the filthiest person alive. She succeeds by eating dog feces.
In Female Trouble, Divine murders her own daughter and dies (on camera) in the electric chair.
"It was a humorous way for Glenn Milstead to vent his anger, and John Waters to vent his, " the director said from his home in Baltimore. "A combination of Jayne Mansfield and Godzilla."
Divine quickly became a gay cult figure, appearing on greeting cards and posters, and singing in discos worldwide.
Glenn Milstead made sure his mother knew none of it.
"She might have been cool about it then, but he didn't think she would be, " Waters said. "What mother can be so liberal to understand her son's in a dress eating dog s--? No mother."
After Glenn's birth, Frances kept a journal of his life. "Just a mother's instinct, " she said.
From the beginning, it appeared Glenn was gay.
"When he was 2 years old, my mother said to me he's more feminine than he is masculine, " she recalled. "I ignored her."
"When Glenn was 10 or 11 years old, he caught a cold and I took him to a doctor. He told me the same thing my mother said."
Milstead said her son's attitude changed about the same time he met Waters.
"After he got involved with John Waters, he could care less what I thought, " she said. "He was doing his own thing."
Throughout the late 1960s and early '70s, Waters, Divine and their friends made low-budget films such as Eat Your Makeup! and Multiple Maniacs.
"I remember one time I was helping the maid turn the mattress over and I saw this script, " Milstead said. "The script said 'Divine' and other kids' names. I didn't know who Divine was."
In 1972, Glenn Milstead left his parents' house after an argument over Glenn's broken-down station wagon. Frances wouldn't pay to get it fixed.
Frances and her husband, Harris, who had muscular dystrophy, then sold their beauty shop and moved to Margate.
Frances got a job inspecting eyeglass lenses at a Fort Lauderdale optical company. Years later, she befriended a young co-worker named Richard.
"Richard brought in this magazine called The Blade. A gay magazine. It had a picture of this woman on the front with a flag wrapped around her.
"I looked at her eyes and said, 'It looks like Glennie.'
Richard told Milstead: "You've got to see this man. He's a female impersonator and his name is Divine."
"Uh, oh, " Milstead said.
At the time, Divine was in Fort Lauderdale playing the Copa, a gay nightclub.
Milstead gave Richard a note and asked him to give it to Divine. "I handed him this paper that said to call his mother, " she said.
Divine did just that.
"We had a crying good time, " Milstead recalled. "He said, 'Mom, can I come back home? We can be a family again.' I said, 'Yes, we'd be happy for you to come home again.' That was the sweetest thing he could have said."
From then on, the Milsteads stayed in touch. And Frances became an activist, sometimes chastising fellow Baptist church parishioners who spoke poorly of gay people.
On Feb. 7, 1988, Divine escorted his mother to the premiere ofHairspray at the Miami Film Festival. It was the first time she saw him perform.
Glenn had never wanted her to see his work.
"He said, 'Mom, when I do something I'm proud of I'll invite you.'Hairspray was the first thing he invited me to, " Milstead said.
She never saw him again. On March 7, Divine was found dead of heart failure in a Los Angeles hotel.
Divine died as he entered a new career phase - he had just been cast as a man in TV's Married With Children.
At the funeral in Baltimore, John Waters was a pallbearer.
Since then, Waters has stayed in touch with Milstead, whose husband died in 1993.
The director said he has changed the way he makes movies. Now, they have bigger budgets and conventional stars such as Johnny Depp inCry-Baby, Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom and Melanie Griffith in Cecil B. Demented.
After Divine, Waters vowed he "would never ever use another man in a dress."
Those were Divine's "work clothes, " Waters said. "When he was home entertaining, he was never in high heels. They broke anyway - we had to get steel ones."
He is wistful about his days with Divine and their films.
"He could never live down eating s-- and I could never live up to it."
In 2009, Frances Milstead died at 88 in a Fort Lauderdale hospice after suffering a stroke.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Actor-comedian-writer John Leguizamo just wrapped a short stint in South Florida, where he screened his new HBO special, Ghetto Klown at the Colony Theatre and presented a Spanish filmmaker at the Miami International Film Festival.
“I’m probably going to Travoltify the guy’s name: Nacho Vigalondo,” Leguizamo giggles before the film festival gig, referring to John Travolta’s recent Academy Awards blunder introducing Broadway star Idina Menzel as Adele Dazeem. “It was embarrassing. It was so bizarre. And so Travolta, it was great.”
Ghetto Klown, Leguizamo’s third autobiographical one-man show after Mambo Mouth and Spic-O-Rama, debuts 10 p.m. Saturday on HBO.
“In Ghetto Klown, I get extremely personal,” says Leguizamo, 49, who plays himself and, among others, his mother, father and wife Justine Maurer.
“She’s not happy about a lot of things there, but my wife, she’s a very beautiful woman. She’s a very brave woman and she’s willing to let me be me,” Leguizamo says. “It’s incredible. That’s why we’ve been together forever. She is for me and I am for her.”
Maurer didn’t know 10 years ago when they got married that “she would end up being in the shows,” he says. “Our vows weren’t, ‘Do you take this man for better, for worse or if he puts you and skewers you in his shows.’”
Leguizamo says “I tell my stories because I always felt so invisible.”
“When I was growing up, there weren’t a lot of Latin people in the media, in the sports. I only saw it from the news, which is not where I wanted to see it. I felt kind of like we didn’t exist in a way,” he says. “I always had this great desire to craft a story to show our point of view — and my own point of view because I traveled every year of my life until I was about 15. I was always the new kid in every neighborhood, every new school. Everybody always had a shared story and I didn’t. From those two things came my great desire to craft these stories.”
Leguizamo, who was born in Bogotá and moved to the United States at age 4, says Hispanic Americans are better off than when he began performing in the early 1980s.
“Things have changed a lot. We’re in politics, we’re in sports, we’re in the news, but telling the news, not just the subject of the news,” he says. “But we’re still not where we should be. We’re 20 percent of the population and we’re 3.8 percent in the media. And half of that is not as positive as it should be. We’ve got over a trillion dollars of buying power. Things aren’t fair yet and we should be a lot further and have a lot more.”
One of Leguizamo’s first TV parts came in a 1984 episode of Miami Vice. Soon he was co-starring with Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn in Brian De Palma’s Casualties of War (1989). Four years later, De Palma cast him opposite Al Pacino and Penn in Carlito’s Way.
Leguizamo got a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor in the 1995 cult film, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. He, Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes played drag queens on a road trip from New York to Hollywood.
Playing “Chi-Chi” wasn’t the first time Leguizamo performed in drag.
“In 1990 with Mambo Mouth, I started doing that dressing-up-like-a-chick kind of thing, then Jamie Foxx followed and Martin Lawrence followed,” Leguizamo says. “I live in New York, man. In New York, you saw everything. That’s the beauty of being a New Yorker. You see everything up close and you have to bump up against your prejudices all day long, you know. When we did To Wong Foo, there were concerns how people were going to relate to this? Is America going to be turned off? [Writer] Douglas Carter Beane was a very brave man and he wanted to tell this story and he loved this culture of drag queens. You know it’s crazy, because Chi-Chi has become an LGBT icon.”
Leguizamo describes playing Chi-Chi as “incredible.”
“I love it,” he says. “I went to a GLAAD awards and it was great to be there. My character Chi-Chi helped a lot of teenagers feel OK about themselves and comfortable with themselves. That makes me feel so proud.”
Leguizamo understands that a straight man playing a gay drag queen runs the risk of offending practically everyone.
“Anything worthwhile is going to run that risk. Anything of import. Anything of value is going to run that risk. You can’t please everybody unless you have some commercial pulp that’s valueless and empty and shallow,” he says. “When I do my one-man show, there’s always backlash. Mambo Mouth, people said I was perpetrating some horrible things toward Latin people. There’s always been criticism, always been backlash. Some of it possibly has justification, some of it’s just totally absurd. I definitely want to have a conversation. I want to debate. I want to rile people up.”
Video and photos | LGBT activists in Fort Lauderdale fundraise for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Broward LGBT activists held a fundraiser March 19 at the home of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis for Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.
"One of the most important things we can do is get a law on the books in Florida that recognizes the kind of things that President Obama is talking about. And that simply is why not have marriage equality throughout our country," Crist said.
"Certainly, we ought to have it in Florida and I believe that we win this election Nov. 4, we get some other progressives elected in the Florida House and Florida Senate, we’re going to have a great opportunity to get that done, and I look forward to the day we do."
Attendees included South Florida Gay News publisher Norm Kent; Florida Agenda publisher Bobby Blair; Ken Keechl, who's seeking to regain his Broward County Commission seat; former Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti; and Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Commissioner Levoyd L. Williams, a state House candidate.
Crist’s Democratic rival is former state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston, a longtime LGBT rights advocate.
March 20, 2014 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 (1)