Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Honorees Announced for 3rd Annual Diversity Honors

Diversity Honors at Hard Rock Live presented by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the May 6 gala that will benefit Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, has announced its 2017 honorees. The globally renowned celebration serves as a kick-off to Harvey Milk Day events around the world and spotlights those who are transforming lives by living authentically and advancing inclusiveness.

This year’s stellar roster of honorees will include, but is not limited to, legendary entertainer Tiffany Arieagus; community leader Ilene Berliner; transgender advocate Jessica Norton; CEO of Stoli Group USA Patrick Piana and CEO of Compass in West Palm Beach Tony Plakas. The 2017 honorees for the Harvey Milk Foundation Awards: Milan Rosza Youth Award, Lilla Watson Global Recipient and the Milk Honors Medal will be announced shortly.

"The Harvey Milk Foundation is excited to begin 2017 Harvey Milk Day events, which marks the 40th anniversary of uncle Harvey's historic election to public office, by co-hosting this important gala where we come together to honor men and women who remind us all that diversity is a strength, and diversity is a value that defines us not only as the South Florida community, but as a nation," said Stuart Milk, co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation.

This collaborative effort between The Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, along with generous support from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, has put South Florida on the international stage of LGBTQ rights and activism in honor of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States who was assassinated shortly after winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the election of Harvey Milk to public office.

The magical evening will commence with a lively cocktail reception and a variety of silent auction items. A seated three-course dinner will be followed by a memorable awards presentation hosted by Craig Stevens, WSVN evening news anchor. The charitable evening will culminate with a Stoli After-Party, also to be held at Hard Rock Live.

“As co-hosts of this landmark event and local equality advocates, we are truly thankful for the support and efforts of our honorees who tirelessly raise awareness and hope for the LGBT community,” said Robert Boo, chief executive officer at The Pride Center at Equality Park. “Every step toward making our world a more accepting and inclusive personal and professional environment is applauded. This is why we are unified in celebrating these incredible achievements and we invite the South Florida community to join us.”

Headline entertainment will be provided by Well-Strung, a string quartet with a modern twist, featuring Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola). The group plays universally recognized classical pieces while singing pop music hits from the likes of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, and other pop stars for a uniquely engaging experience.

Diversity Honors has raised more than $120,000 in support of The Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park while paying tribute to an impressive roster of honorees over the past two years. Honorees include: civil rights activists Judy and Dennis Shepard, recipients of the Harvey Milk Medal; Bollywood star Celina Jaitly who received the Harvey Milk Foundation’s Lilla Watson Global Champion Medal; eight-year-old transgender YouTube viral inspiration Ryland Whittington and transgender teen activist Jazz Jennings, both recipients of the annual Harvey Milk Foundation Milan Rozsa Award plus Joey Arias, Peter Clark, Enbar Cohen, Deborah Cox, Mark Denker, Rae Franks, Esq., Judge Rand Hoch, Norm Kent, Elaine Lancaster (James Davis), Robert Runcie, Lillian Tamayo, Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis, Judge William Thomas and Judge David Young.

Sponsors of Diversity Honors 2017 include Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Levi’s®, Stoli Vodka, DMK – Danne Montague-King, GPR | Goodman Public Relations, Joseph Liberty and Dennis Hottenstein, Mark Griffis, Hotspots magazine, South Florida Gay News, WSVN, Macy’s, Craig Zinn Automotive GRC, Mark’s List, iHeart Media, Ludwig Framemakers, Fast Printz, Lightship Media, Gold Coast magazine and The Miami Foundation.

Big World, Little Om Wants to Change the World One Cartoon at a Time

Big World, Little Om is a campaign to create a television program for LGBTQ children and other children living in non-traditional households that will enable them to see a representation of their family in a cartoon format. Representation in film and media has become a huge rallying cry for LGBTQ activists, especially in children’s entertainment. Marginalized children, whether that is someone disabled or of LGBTQ, immigrant and minority families, face discrimination daily and have different happiness percentiles than children of more “normative” families. For example, those LGBTQ children and those children living in LGBTQ families face higher rates of depression than children in more traditional homes and are twice as likely to a4empt suicide as their peers.

Research into their experiences shows higher than average rates of negative experience in their school careers and additional challenges that can make the types of feelings that come with being a youth or teen more frightening and ominous. In spite of the breakthrough in Hollywood and independent films, there remains a lack of positive representation still exists for children. The team behind Big World, Little Om wants to change that by producing a cartoon series that demonstrates what it is like to live in an LGBTQ family or to be different than other children you go to school with.

“I was in the same-sex relationship for nine beautiful years,” says originator Meher. “Our relationship ended not for any lack of love, but because she could no longer handle the discrimination she faced in her community or the disapproval of her family. Our child lost one of his moms and no doubt was confused by the whole situation. All he knew was the two of us and the love that was our family. I don’t want that to happen to any other family or child.”

Meher says that the world she wants to live in and raise children in doesn’t discriminate when it comes to love or family; a world where everyone’s story has power and importance, where hearts and character are more important than skin color and gender.
She believes that begins through representation and community building. Big World, Little Om will be a show dedicated to showing how wonderful –but sometimes challenging—the lives are for unique families. “It can be a child who has a disability, a refugee family,” she says, “I’m not excluding anyone. I want these kids to see themselves on media in a positive, uplifting way.”

2017 IGLTA Hanns Ebensten Hall of Fame Award Winner Announced

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is proud to announce that Christina Guggenberger will be awarded the 2017 Hanns Ebensten Hall of Fame Award for her decades of work promoting Stockholm as a welcoming destination to all travelers. This Honor, bestowed to a longtime IGLTA member, takes its name from the man widely considered the father of gay travel. The award will be presented at the IGLTA conference, 4-6 May, in St. Petersburg, Florida. The IGLTA Board of Directors selected Guggenberger from the association’s member businesses and allies in 70 countries.

Guggenberger is one of the world’s leading destination-marketing pioneers in gay and lesbian tourism. ”If you ask anybody in the LGBTQ travel world to name a marketer who has put their destination on the map, Christina will be one of the first named,” said John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO. ”Christina even took the unique path of successfully creating lesbian-specific outreach years ago, something many destinations are still struggling with.”

The Stockholm Gay and Lesbian Network worked closely together with Visit Sweden on both the US and the UK market. This strong collaboration was instrumental in achieving such great results for the LGBTQ community.

“Christina is one of the most inspiring and dedicated people I have had the privilege to work with during my entire time in the industry, and I am proud to include her as one of my closest friends too nowadays. This award means a lot for all the work she achieved the past decade!”, says Magnus Lindbergh, Marketing and Sales Manager at Visit Sweden in New York.

Ten years ago Guggenberger founded the Stockholm Gay and Lesbian Network, a unique project for the city’s marketing organization that helped the city become a top global LGBTQ destination. Thanks to Guggenberger’s efforts, Stockholm has won several LGBTQ travel awards including:

• Favorite LGBT-friendly city - Edge Media.
• Most gay-welcoming destination - Spartacus Gay Guide.
• World Style Capital - NewNowNext Travel Awards.
• Best International destination - Out Travel Awards
• Destination of the Year - British LGBT Award

Personally, Guggenberger was awarded:

• The first ever “Stockholm Gay Life Award” in recognition of her work positioning Stockholm as a leading global gay and lesbian destination.
• The Nomination for “Hetero of the Year” for her contributions as a straight-ally by the leading gay publication in Sweden.

“I am happy, thrilled and honored by this recognition,” said Guggenberger. “I share this pride with all the fantastic friends and partners from all over the world who have inspired me and that I have been lucky to work with. Together we made Stockholm one of the world’s leading travel destinations for the gay and lesbian community.”

Books: Route 66 Adventure Handbook

As the song says, get your kicks on Route 66! Dubbed “The Mother Road” by John Steinbeck, this iconic highway has inspired generations of Americans to take to the open road and go traveling.

This road trip season, Drew Knowles releases Route 66 Adventure Handbook: High-Octane 5th Edition, which contains tons of new and interesting facts as well as maps to guide readers down the multiple paths of Route 66, displaying the exact locations of points of interest.

Says Knowles, “Today, people from around the globe continue to take to the open road—the free road. This book is dedicated to all of those who, by setting out to explore even a small portion of Route 66, have kept its mystique alive. I hope that spirit of adventure never fades.”

Naomi Watts at '3 GENERATIONS' LGBTQ screening in NYC

Last night Naomi Watts and director Gaby Dellal attended a special New York screening of their new film 3 GENERATIONS. Held at the AMC Loews 19th Street, the screening was in partnership with the New York chapter of PFLAG, the nation’s largest family and ally organization, as well as NewFest, New York’s LGBT film and media arts organization.

3 GENERATIONS tells the stirring and touching story of three generations of a family living under one roof in New York as they must deal with the life-changing transformation by one that ultimately affects them all. Ray (Elle Fanning) is a teenager who has struggled with the body assigned to him at birth and is determined to start transitioning. His single mother, Maggie (Naomi Watts), must track down Ray’s biological father (Tate Donovan) to get his legal consent to allow Ray’s transition. Dolly (Susan Sarandon), Ray’s lesbian grandmother is having a hard time accepting that she now has a grandson. They must each confront their own identities and learn to embrace change and their strength as a family in order to ultimately find acceptance and understanding.

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Do You Want To Reach Denver's Gay Community? Advertise With Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Do you want to advertise to Denver’s gay community? Of course you do, it’s the 7th largest in the United States! And the best way to reach them is with MileHighGayGuy – Colorado’s Best Gay Blog.

Just click the Advertising page or email sales@milehighgayguy.com to get started today.

Denver's Debt Free Guys: 4 Principles of a Debt Free Life in 4 Weeks


Join the Debt Free Guys in mastering the tools that will help the queer community become financially strong and be able to carry on the fight for equality in 2017.

Denver Limo, Inc. - The Hottest Limos In Colorado!

Denver Limo, Inc. is the leader in ground transportation in Denver, Colorado. Providing limousine service in Colorado for over 17 years, Denver Limo, Inc. has the hottest limousines, SUV limos, and Party Buses in the state!

OUT on DVD/VOD: Paris 05:59 Théo & Hugo

Shortbus meets Weekend in the critically acclaimed gay French romance Paris 05:59 Théo & Hugo, to be released by Wolfe Video on DVD, Blu-Ray, and DVD on April 18th.

An erotic and dazzling real-time story of love and intimacy between two young Frenchmen who meet at an underground Paris sex club, Paris 05:59 Théo & Hugo presents in detail their passionate sexual encounter, and ensuing courtship and budding romance over one night roaming the deserted streets of Paris.

Shifting from a lengthy explicit sequence to dialogue driven territory reminiscent of Richard Linklatter's Before Trilogy, Paris 05:59 Théo & Hugo lyrically follows the main characters in real time as they wander Paris, discussing jobs, family, HIV test results and relationship history, and their possible future together. Featuring remarkably intuitive and natural performances from young film leads Geoffrey Couët and François Nambot.

Winner of the prestigious Teddy Award at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, the film was written and directed by veteran filmmaking duo Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (Côte d'Azur).

OutRight Calls on Exxon, BP, and Shell to Stand Up for Persecuted Gay Men In Chechnya

OutRight Action International is calling on British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell to take a stand against the kidnapping, detention, torture, and murder of gay men in Chechnya. All three companies have considerable investment and partnerships with state-owned oil and gas companies in Russia, with ventures worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, urges the major oil companies to take a stand and said,
“This is one of the worst homophobic campaigns the world has ever seen. If Russia will not listen to other governments or even the United Nations, it is time to see if we can get money to talk in a language that they will listen to. The arrests and torture of perceived gay men has to end and those involved must be held to account.”
Over the past two weeks hundreds of gay men or those perceived to be gay have been systematically rounded up by Chechen authorities and placed in what is now being referred to as concentration camps. While multiple independent sources have confirmed the existence of unofficial prisons, Chechen authorities continue to deny these allegations and Putin continues to ignore these serious crimes.

Diplomatic voices have been expressed on these issue with government officials from the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, and others demanding the halt of arrests and investigation into these crimes. United Nations Special Rapporteurs also issued an urgent appeal to the Russian authorities, however diplomacy is proving to be ineffective in pressuring Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov or Vladimir Putin from putting a stop to these atrocities.

Exxon, BP, and Shell have policies in place that protect LGBTIQ employees against harassment and discrimination. Public documents and statements from the companies indicate:
  • Shell aims to “strive to be a pioneer of LGBT inclusion in the workplace,” are a part of Workplace Pride in Amsterdam, and flies the rainbow flag during pride celebrations.
  • BP asserts that they are the “highest-ranking energy company in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index,” and members of the BP Pride Group lead pride parades around the world.
  • Exxon protects all LGBTIQ employees from discrimination, and a spokesperson has said that “ExxonMobil supports a work environment that values diversity and inclusion”
Stern continued,
“The capture, detention, and torture of men perceived to be gay in Chechnya is a grotesque human rights violation on a prolific scale. Exxon, BP, and Shell should use the leverage they have on Russia and use any means possible to urge Russian authorities to immediately end these horrific persecutions. This goes beyond business interests, it is a matter of life and death.”
OutRight launches their petition today and encourages the public to join them in requesting Exxon, BP, and Shall take action to stop the targeting of gay men in Chechnya. You can access the petition here.

RiNo Art District Highlights Local Artists and Makers in New Home at Zeppelin Station

Zeppelin Development continues to raise the bar with the newest lease signing at Zeppelin Station – a high-concept collection of the world’s most innovative merchants, chefs and creative companies and the namesake of Denver’s preeminent pioneering developer, Mickey Zeppelin – located directly at the 38th Street Light Rail Station in RiNo. The RiNo Art District will lease approximately 2,300 square feet of office and retail space in the 25,000 square foot ground floor food and retail hall, providing the art-centric organization with a more “public face” and a retail presence to support artists.

“At its core, Zeppelin Station is a place for diverse communities to engage with art and design,” said Kyle Zeppelin, Principal at Zeppelin Development. “We jumped at the opportunity to showcase the RiNo Art District as a signature part of that program. They will be surrounded by a supporting cast of multi-cultural food vendors, design-forward fashion and home goods retail, and creative office users - all building a critical mass that the Art District will be able to channel in support of local artists. The train platform itself opens up even greater possibilities with tens of thousands of people every year, many of them national and international travelers, flowing throughout the station area. We have been proud members and supporters of the Art District in RiNo since its inception 12 years ago, and are honored they will call our newest project home.”

“The RiNo Art District’s primary responsibility is to ensure this neighborhood is a place that artists, creators and makers can work, live and thrive,” said Jamie Licko, RiNo Art District President. “As the neighborhood’s profile grows, so too does the cost of being here. If we are to serve the neighborhood, we must give artists the economic platform to succeed. The retail store will exclusively feature art and goods made in RiNo. 60% of the sales proceeds will go directly back to the artist or maker, with 40% coming back to the RiNo Art District to provide overarching services for the neighborhood. The retail store will serve as ‘front of house’ for the RiNo offices, meaning this location will serve our organization and our neighborhood as a key entry point to exploring all of RiNo.”

Zeppelin Station, designed by the visionary architect Stephen Dynia, will be a prominent fixture in RiNo, with an iconic, minimalist design that features a ground-floor food and retail hall and three floors of creative work spaces above – all taking full advantage of incredible views of downtown Denver and the front range. Aligned with the Scandinavian-inspired design of other Zeppelin projects, Zeppelin Station allows the products and art featured inside to speak for themselves, highlighting new ideas and cultural happenings from around the region. On the west side of the building, a series of terraces that step-back from the street will include gardens and greenspace that will be appealing from both ground level and to the office tenants.

The RiNo Art District anchors the first floor retail and food hall to combine with fashion and home goods retailers along with the projects multi-cultural food hall. The food hall features six street food counters representing heritage street food from Vietnam, Japan, and Mexico, among others. From architecture and landscape design to fine art and RiNo-made artisan wares, Zeppelin Station celebrates thoughtfulness and innovation across industries.

“Zeppelin Station will be the perfect meeting place for nearby residents and office workers as well as people on their way to or from the airport,” said Zeppelin. “It provides the public with a dynamic train station for commuters and travelers alike to grab a cup of coffee to start their day or a cocktail after work and support the artists that put RiNo on the map.”

Zeppelin Station is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Are You Gay With Something To Say? Bloggers Wanted For Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Are you a new or experienced writer or blogger? Do you want to be? Or maybe you're just some gay guy with something to say? Well, what better forum for you than MileHighGayGuy?

MileHighGayGuy is looking for regular and guest bloggers to write about local news and events, do music and movie reviews, or write opinion or feature pieces from a gay perspective.

These are unpaid positions but offer the opportunity to be published in Colorado's Best Gay Blog (2010, 2011, 2012 OUTstanding Awards, Denver 2012 #WebAwards), expand your audience and gain valuable experience. There's also swag available in the form of free movie and concert tickets, music, books and other cool stuff.

If interested, shoot an email over to Drew Wilson at drew@milehighgayguy.com. And if you've got column or story ideas to pitch, this is the place to do it.

Las Vegas Named Gay Destination of the Year

Las Vegas has long been committed to its local LGBT community and visitors from all over the world. It's no wonder this fabulous city was crowned as the 2016 Gay Travel Awards Destination of the Year!

TOM OF FINLAND Acquired by Kino Lorber Ahead of Tribeca FF Premiere

Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to TOM OF FINLAND, Dome Karukoski’s biopic about the life and work of Finnish artist and gay icon Touko Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland.
A trailblazing figure in post-World War II erotic art, Touko Laaksonen drew thousands of fantasy-filled, homoerotic images of intensely masculine (and muscular) men, often liberated from the moral codes of their times. Quickly spreading throughout the world, these images went on to play a significant role in the transnational gay liberation movement that continues to make strides to this day, also becoming iconic symbols for generations of LGBT people worldwide.  
Dome Karukoski’s TOM OF FINLAND is set to have its North American premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film festival, after a world premiere at the Goteborg Film Festival in February. It’s also in high demand among LGBTQ U.S. festivals. The film’s world premiere was followed by a release in its home territory, where TOM OF FINLAND has taken close to $1m at the local box office.
The deal was negotiated between head of worldwide sales Vanessa Saal for Protagonist Pictures and Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber.
‘Touko Laaksonen dared to draw and give life to his most daring and transgressive fantasies, and by doing so, inspired an entire generation of LGBT people to also live and desire freely,” said Richard Lorber. “Dome Karukoski’s film captures the man, as well as his milieu, in an incredibly cinematic and powerful way, so we’re very proud to be bringing TOM OF FINLAND to North American audiences this year.”
Vanessa Saal of Protagonist added; “We are so pleased the film has found such a good home for North America. Kino Lorber handpicks and nurtures each of its titles. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and we know they will spread TOM OF FINLAND love across America.”