Wednesday, July 14, 2021
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Tropical Heat offers five days of sizzling happenings in the island city whose openness and respect for diversity have made it a world-renowned gay vacation destination. The festival’s intriguing events range from pool parties to a sunset cruise to late-night gatherings at the island’s LGBTQ bars and nightclubs.
The official start of the heat wave is a kick-off party at Island House on August 11.
What will the world look like in 30 years — just one generation from now — if
drastic measures are not taken to mitigate the devasting effects of climate change?
Quinn Buyers is a brilliant female scientist who developed a climate model two decades too late. By 2050, the population is “over” climate change. Quinn is about to be married, but she would much rather be studying the clouds than planning her wedding day. When an unexpected tragedy causes her to lose everything, including her famous scientist mother, she embarks upon a quest for answers that takes her across the globe ― and she uncovers friends, loss and love in the most unexpected of places along the way.
Lahey’s story climate change, the potential technologies of the future, our relationships with robots and AI, and perhaps more importantly, what it means to be human and how the subconscious mind works. explores the realistic impacts of
is bold, speculative fiction that sheds a hard light on the treatment of our planet even as it offers a breathtaking sense of hope for the future.
After each regime change, leaders always saw propagandistic potential in Kabul’s rich filmgoing culture and the high quality of Afghan filmmaking. Scenes from the five never-before-seen films, beautifully restored, testify to the immense resources provided to filmmakers willing to play by certain rules. The studio politics and mishaps that accompany any film’s production here rise to the level of life-and-death conflict, as filmmakers recall coming up against the censorship of an authoritarian government, as well as unceasing threats of violence. Depicting the censorship process with astounding detail, WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED raises potent, eternally relevant questions about art and politics, the freedom of speech, and what happens when the truth becomes a bargaining chip.
Mariam Ghani, the accomplished visual artist and a longtime advocate for film conservation, makes a passionate and personal feature directorial debut. Selected by the Berlin Film Festival, DOC NYC, and Il Cinema Ritrovato, WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED is an unsettling and brilliantly researched exposé which will prove disquieting to filmmakers and audiences alike.
Mr. Man, the Number One Authority on Male Celebrity Nudity, announces the launch of its inaugural 2021 Summer Games, the Man-lympics, with film’s hottest stars ranked by Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
With 45 perfect male specimens representing 15 countries, only the best of the best can claim victory in the Man-lympics competition. Gold medal finalists include:
Jake Gyllenhaal is the U.S. fan favorite, most notably for his rock-hard work in Brokeback Mountain, while Daniel Brühl is Spain’s sexiest onscreen export; Ewan McGregor is pure Gold for Scotland and Joel Kinnaman is a tasty Swedish treat, thanks to his undeniable body of work in Altered Carbon.
New Zealand’s Antony Starr is tops, thanks to his bare bottom in The Boys, Michiel Huisman takes the Gold for the Netherlands, Gael García Bernal’s (Mexico) wild scenes in Y tu mamá también are burned into our spank banks and porn legend Rocco Siffredi’s meaty moments in film take top honors for Italy.
Colin Farrell has the luck of the Irish in winning the Gold, Tom Hardy is working hard for Great Britain, Michael Fassbender (Germany) isn’t called ‘Ass Bender’ for nothing - no Shame here! - and Gérard Depardieu is a French treasure (catch his work in The Last Woman).
Last but certainly not leaset, Great Dane Mads Mikkelsen is a full-frontal delight, representing the land of Denmark, while Ryan Reynolds delivers Canada’s finest bare goods (see: Buying the Cow) and Australia’s Hugh Jackman is a Gold medal winner for his many ass-tastic roles for Marvel.
Ready to join Mr. Man’s Man-lympic team? Visit MrMan.com (and follow on Twitter) for a good LONG look and pass the torch!
To unlock Mr. Man’s entire collection of more than 8,000 stars, 90,000 pics & clips and a vast selection of curated films and TV shows in full HD video, new members can find New Year deals by joining now.
Monday, July 12, 2021
Roxie is a sweet trans girl who just wants to spend the rest of her summer vacation playing music with her friends in their band. Living in a southern college town like Fayetteville has its challenges. Dan is a shop wizard who would give anything to escape the store he has been trapped in for a century under the watchful eyes of a witch and a talking fox.
Their paths converge when Roxie is given the ability to travel into dreams and tasked with fighting off nightmares.
Unbeknownst to Dan and Roxie, other dream walkers are searching for an enchanted key, and if they find it, they’ll plunge the entire city into a living nightmare. The shop wizard and pixie dream girl will have to team up to stop them, facing their own nightmares along the way.
Editor David T. Valentin explained why he took the book on, “At the heart of Lanning’s work is an amazingly fun and creative story that dares us to dream again in our busy adult lives. And although her work doesn’t shy away from the ugly parts of life and growing up, her work always gives us a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it’s not the one we expect.
Books and downloads are available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles Nook, iTunes, and Kobo.
Amyl and the Sniffers Announce New Album "Comfort To Me," Releases Explosive New Single "Guided by Angels"
Taylor and her bandmates - guitarist Dec Martens, bassist Gus Romer, and drummer Bryce Wilson - wrote Comfort To Me during the pandemic while quarantining in the same house together, spending more time refining the songs than they had previously. “The nihilistic, live in the moment, positivity and panel beater rock-meets-shed show punk was still there, but it was better,” says Taylor. “The whole thing was less spontaneous and more darkly considered.”
“The amount of time and thought I put into the lyrics for this album is completely different from the EPs, and even the first record,” she continues. “Half of the lyrics were written during the Australian bushfire season, when we were already wearing masks to protect ourselves from the smoke in the air. And then when the pandemic hit, our options were the same as everyone: go find a day job and work in intense conditions or sit at home and drown in introspection. I fell into the latter category. I had all this energy inside of me and nowhere to put it, because I couldn’t perform, and it had a hectic effect on my brain. My brain evolved and warped and my way of thinking about the world completely changed.
Having to deal with a lot of authority during 2020 and realising my lack of power made me feel both more self destructive and more self disciplined, more nihilistic and more depressed and more resentful, which ultimately fuelled me with a kind of relentless motivation. I became a temporary monster. I partied more, but I also exercised heaps, read books and ate veggies. I was like an egg going into boiling water when this started, gooey and weak but with a hard surface. I came out even harder. I’m still soft on the inside, but in a different way.”
HHS Updates Interoperability Standards to Support the Electronic Exchange of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Social Determinants of Health
With this new update, health IT stakeholders nationwide will have clearer direction toward the standardized, electronic exchange of social determinants of health (SDOH), sexual orientation, and gender identity (SO/GI) among several other updated data elements. This lays the foundation for the provider community to start systemizing the capture and use of SDOH and SO/GI data in the clinical setting. While encouraged, this update does not require health professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to record this data or individuals to share such data. It does however set a path forward for health IT to build in support for exchanging these data as they become applicable to an individual’s care.
“USCDI version 2 builds on the feedback we received from a wide variety of stakeholders,” said Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., national coordinator for health information technology. “We heard that this new version of the USCDI should reflect America’s diversity and include data elements like sexual orientation, gender identity, and social determinants of health while helping to address disparities in health outcomes for minoritized, marginalized, and underrepresented individuals and communities.”
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many challenges in the nation’s healthcare system and among them, the need for more reliable data to better understand the public health needs of all Americans – particularly vulnerable individuals or those long felt marginalized by the medical community. Currently, many health care facilities have not developed systems to collect structured SO/GI data from all patients. Without this information, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and their specific health care needs cannot be identified, targeted, and addressed. Similarly, without insights into social determinants factors that may be impacting one’s ability to successfully manage their health, health professionals may be hampered from truly delivering quality care.
“The updated US Core Data for Interoperability takes an important step in reflecting the needs of all patients who access the nation’s healthcare system,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, HHS assistant secretary for health. “For accurate, compassionate, and safe care, it is important for a patient’s sexual orientation and gender identity to be part of their care coordination and this new version helps prioritize next steps for the healthcare community as well as help identify patients’ specific nonmedical needs— like housing, transportation, and poverty — that affect health to coordinate care and assistance to improve health outcomes.”
More than 600 data classes and elements, including merged and duplicated data elements, were submitted by the health IT community as part of USCDI version 2’s development cycle. The USCDI will continue to grow as standards mature and industry needs evolve. USCDI version 2 includes three new data classes and a total of 22 new data elements. Today’s release makes USCDI version 2 available for consideration as part of ONC’s Standards Version Advancement Process (SVAP), which will take place this fall. The SVAP allows health IT developers to update their certified health IT to support newer versions of the USCDI (among other standards) and provide those updates to their customers, including providers and hospitals, before they are required by regulation. Equally, USCDI version 2’s release will kick-off additional work within standards development organizations to update implementation guides and other technical requirements to come into alignment with version 2’s new data elements.
As required by ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule published in May 2020, and in a subsequent interim final rule extending the compliance deadline published in April 2021, certain developers of certified health are required to provide their customers with upgraded certified health IT that supports USCDI version 1 by December 31, 2022. Any future versions of USCDI, as approved through the SVAP, would be voluntary for implementation until a new final rule is published requiring such an update.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
The Biennial of the Americas’ “Americas COVID-19 Memorial” Virtual Exhibition & Public Voting Closes July 18
The Biennial of the Americas’ “Americas COVID-19 Memorial” virtual exhibition, hosted on the Biennial website, featuring more than 200 artworks from commissioned artists and the public, will close on July 18.
“Americas COVID-19 Memorial” is an artist-driven project to acknowledge the grave impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Americas. The Biennial commissioned 21 artists, who were paid $1,000 each, to contribute to the exhibition. Additionally, 186 members of the public, self-identifying from 15 countries and 22 states, submitted artworks to be included. Countries in the Americas include Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Venezuela.
A team of researchers co-led by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiology professor Dr. Matthew Mimiaga has received more than $5.2 million in grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and test interventions in the U.S. and Brazil.
The projects, funded by three separate NIH grants, all have the goal of reducing the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through the use of antiretroviral medications for HIV primary (PrEP) and secondary (ART) prevention among sexual and gender minority groups.
“Whether used as PrEP for HIV negative individuals or as ART treatment as prevention for those living with HIV, antiretroviral medications are highly effective at reducing HIV acquisition and transmission, but its efficacy is highly dependent on uptake and excellent adherence,” said Mimiaga, director of the UCLA Center for LGBTQ Advocacy, Research & Health. “However, sexual and gender minority groups face specific barriers to PrEP and ART access, uptake, adherence, and retention in care. Because of this, we are testing interventions that are culturally-tailored to address the lived realities and barriers among these vulnerable groups.”
The grants, announced by the NIH this month, will study the use of a variety of techniques – personalized, daily text message reminders; video vignettes; peer navigation; and individual and group counseling – to facilitate access and adherence to antiretroviral medications among those who would benefit the most from its use. These grants will be implemented in Los Angeles County; Providence, RI; Boston, MA; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This will give the researchers a wide variety of data on how these approaches work for different populations, ranging from LGBTQ adolescents, ages 15-24, to transgender women, and men who engage in transactional sex with other men. Dr. Katie Biello, a Brown University behavioral and social sciences and epidemiology professor, will co-lead this work with Mimiaga.
“Our goal is to develop HIV prevention interventions that are highly scalable and sustainable in the real world,” Biello said. “As such, this work takes into account the future of PrEP and ART access, while simultaneously addressing the barriers surrounding access, aiding in navigating linkage to PrEP and ART care programs, and reducing barriers to, and building skills to support, medication adherence.”
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 631 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
“With all of the recent challenges our industry has faced, it’s important that we celebrate the work tourism businesses are doing to move the world forward in a better way,” said IGLTAF Board Chair Theresa Belpulsi. “There are so many small IGLTA business members doing great work under the radar, and with this new award, which we’ll present annually, they’ll get a much-deserved moment in the spotlight. We’re thrilled to recognize OUT in Colombia this year for their efforts.”
Founded in 2016 in Medellín, OUT in Colombia is committed to creating life-changing experiences for travelers that also engage members of the local LGBTQ+ community and protect Colombia’s biodiversity. Among the company’s recent initiatives was the formation of the Cocora Alliance to create a platform for charitable giving from tour proceeds; the project is named after the Cocora Valley, home to Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm, which is a major draw for tourists to the region, but also is endangered.
"With every one of our tours, we seek to introduce LGBTQ+ travelers to the new definition of all-inclusive, where you can travel well, travel out, and make a difference all at the same time," said Sam Castañeda Holdren, CEO & Founder, OUT in Colombia. "It is truly an honor to be recognized by IGLTA, the IGLTA Foundation, and The TreadRight Foundation for our efforts to give back to the community through responsible and sustainable tourism. As we strive for equality through travel, we hope that every new experience and cultural exchange leads to more compassion and understanding, while uplifting the diverse communities of the world."
The Impact Award presentation will be held in Atlanta on 11 September at the IGLTA Annual Global Convention, the premier educational and networking event for LGBTQ+ tourism, and includes US$5,000 in convention benefits and marketing support for the winner. A special thank you to the Impact Award judging committee Shannon Guihan, The TreadRight Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Travel Corporation, and co-partner in this initiative; Rika Jean-Francois, ITB; Gary Murakami, Teneo Hospitality Group; David Ryan, Rhino Africa Safaris; and Bruno Teixeira, Blumar Turismo.
“As sustainability in travel evolves, so too must our travel leaders. This is why I feel it’s so important that IGLTA has decided to recognize those of its members who are prioritizing positive impact, be that for the environment, the community, or for the advancement of a more equitable and inclusive world through travel,” said Shannon Guihan, Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer, The Travel Corporation. “It was wonderful to see the applications and the depth of work displayed.”
Colorado Tiny House Festival, the largest tiny house and alternative living event in the region, will return the weekend of Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11, 2021, to the sprawling grounds of the Riverdale Regional Park at the Adams County Fair and Regional Park Complex.
Attendees will be able to tour a wide assortment of tiny houses on wheels, container homes, skoolies, van conversions, unique recreational campers, gypsy wagons, teardrops, yurts and more - each with its own, one-of-a-kind floor plan, décor and remarkable use of space.
This destination event blends the spirit of the tiny living movement with the most up-to-date information on going tiny, simplifying your life, minimalistic living, and living greener. Additionally, the Festival will feature live entertainment, expert speaker presentations, a product and service marketplace, food truck court, and more.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
To highlight the benefits of recreational activities for consumers and economies across the country, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 48 key indicators of recreation-friendliness. For each city, they examined the accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities, the quality of parks, and the weather.
Recreation in Denver (1=Best; 50=Avg.):
- 23rd – Spending on Parks and Recreation per Capita
- 34th – Bike Rental Facilities per Capita
- 17th – % of Population with Walkable Park Access
- 12th – Music Venues per Capita
- 26th – Tennis Courts per Capita
- 14th – Park Playgrounds per Capita
- 8th – Swimming Pools per Capita
The innovative book publisher, Riverdale Avenue Books has just published The
Wizard of Pride, an LGBTQ retelling of the Wizard of Oz from Lambda awarding-winning author, Ryan Field.
In the year 1939, discretion is a way of life for young men like Darius Krasner. However, when he gets caught making love to one of the young farmhands by the wicked Agnes McCain, and she threatens to expose him and take his dog, he’s forced to run away from the only family and home he’s ever known.
In his rush to leave, Darius stumbles across one of the most wonderful, handsome young men he’s ever met. Unfortunately, there isn’t much time to get to know him because there’s a storm approaching and Darius decides to run back home to make sure his family is safe.
By the time Darius reaches the farm, there’s a twister in the distance and he escapes to the house for shelter. On his way, a piece of flying debris hits him on the head and knocks him out. When he finally regains consciousness, he’s in the most unusual place called The Land of Pride. And according to The Good Fairy, Miss Glitz, his only way back home involves a pair of magical pink stilettos, a silvery gilded road, a place called The Rainbow City, and a man they call the Wonderful Wizard of Pride.
“As a publisher of erotic romance, we love publishing classic stories retold. I was surprised that no one I knew of had written a gay retelling of The Wizard of Oz, so I approached Ryan Field, a Lambda-Award winning gay author, and he creatively stepped up,” said Publisher Lori Perkins. “I think you’ll find The Wizard of Pride both plays homage, and is just naughty enough for today’s audience.”
It’s an LGBTQ+ fairytale filled with references to gay culture and LGBTQ+ Pride that’s long before Darius’s time, but he’s well aware there’s no shame or hate in The Land of Pride. In his quest to find The Wizard of Pride, he meets other people like himself, and one in particular who teaches him with whom he can fall in love and live happily ever after with a man, which is something he never thought possible.
Books and downloads are available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles Nook, iTunes, and Kobo.
Monday, July 5, 2021
On this visit to St. Louis, I wanted to focus on Union Station, a magnificent property located in heart of the city which features an aquarium, numerous dining options, a Ferris wheel and of course the Union Station Hotel. St. Louis is a quick 3.5-hour drive from my home in Indianapolis, so it’s a great place for a long weekend getaway.
The first thing you notice when you walk into the Grand Hall at Union Station Hotel is the soaring ceiling, elegantly detailed with carvings and architectural elements that make the property a destination in itself. Every evening, there is a light show projected on the ceiling which draws hotel guests and tourists alike. The 567-room hotel - a Curio Collection by Hilton property, and the entire complex, which was originally built in 1894, is considered a National Historic Landmark.
Our first stop on our visit was the aquarium. While not the largest I’ve been to, the aquarium does entice the senses, urging guests to get their hands wet, especially when it comes to petting the stingrays. The tank consists of over 60 sharks and rays all begging for attention. There are some great Instagram-friendly areas in the aquarium as well, so get your camera ready.
For those looking to experience a bit of adventure, try the Sky Trail ropes course. I am not a fan of heights, so this was pushing my boundaries as some of the obstacles only contain foot pads, without anything to hold on to. I may have skipped over one of these early on until I built up enough courage to proceed through the course like a pro. The Sky Trail course includes about a dozen obstacles and two zip lines, one 60-feet over the aquarium lobby floor. They have a smaller version available for children, or the occasional skittish LGBTQ journalist, who may not be ready for the larger course.
Head over to The Train Shed for dinner before a night in The Grove, the city’s entertainment district. My guest and I didn’t want anything too heavy, so we decided to share a few appetizers including the Deviled Eggs and a fabulous Charcuterie Plate prepared with a selection of artisan cured meats and cheeses. I also ordered the Arugula & Beet Salad served with candied pecan, Feta, and lemon truffle vinaigrette.
The Grove is under 10 minutes away from the hotel. While many LGBTQ venues have closed in recent years, the city still boasts Rehab and Just John. I remember partying at Just John during my first visit to St. Louis many years ago. I had a wonderful evening back then, and this visit certainly didn’t disappoint. We began the evening at Taha'a Twisted Tiki, a gay-friendly tiki bar, and both ordered the “I Don't Give a Damn,” a refreshing cocktail made with vodka, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit and ginger.
All of the bars in The Grove are within walking distance, so head over to Rehab next. I’ll admit, one of the bartenders made me want to move to the city immediately. He was extremely friendly (and attractive) and poured us some delicious cocktails which we enjoyed on the patio. We then headed to Just John where we spent the majority of the evening dancing and mingling amongst the locals, who I found to be very friendly.
Pride St. Louis recently announced their “Pride Is Alive” celebration, scheduled for August 27-29 at BallPark Village. The outdoor event is free to the public, so if you are looking for a summer pride event, this is definitely one you should check out.
Speaking of BallPark Village, I have never been to that part of town and was eager to explore. I was so impressed by the masterplan design of the neighborhood as well as the venues and properties occupying the space, most notably, Bally Sports Live! The massive entertainment complex contains numerous bars and restaurants including PBR St. Louis, a country bar complete with a mechanical bull which my guest made me ride. It was my first time riding and despite being whipped around like a rag doll, I think I did pretty well.
End your stay in St. Louis with a trip to the world famous St. Louis Zoo. The free attraction is perfect for those looking to spend a leisurely afternoon strolling through an urban oasis filled with lively giraffes, elephants, and gorillas. The zoo is home to over 12,000 animals representing 500 species.
The Saint Louis Zoo also operates a WildCare Institute, which focuses on wildlife management and recovery as well as conservation. The zoo has pledged to support critical initiatives in places where animals are threatened by shrinking habitats, poaching and disease. You will need to devote a few hours to this visit as the zoo is quite expansive.
There are too many things to see and do in St. Louis in just one weekend, so if you have more time to devote, check out The Gateway Arch, St. Louis Museum of Art, the Missouri Botanical Garden and City Museum. These are just a few of many LGBTQ-friendly attractions worth visiting in the city.
To book your St. Louis gaycation, visit www.Orbitz.com/pride.