Friday, January 7, 2022

Winter PrideFest – Celebrating Inclusivity Outdoors

A full weekend of fun and inspiring Winter events, Winter PrideFest is not your typical “gay ski weekend”. This event celebrates Pride, Inclusivity, and our combined love of the outdoors in Bend, Oregon and at Mt. Bachelor. Winter PrideFest is made possible thanks to generous support of sponsors – including the Visit Bend Cultural Tourism Fund.

Winter PrideFest takes place March 3rd – 6th so register soon. All registered participants receive a FREE BlackStrap Neck Tube! ($20 value). Founder Dominic Ford Wins XBIZ Exec Award for Businessman of the Year (JFF) company founder Dominic Ford was honored this week with the announcement of his 2022 XBIZ Exec Award (Online Industry Edition) in the esteemed category of Businessman of the Year.

The fast-rising social platform for models, influencers, content creators and their fans owes much of its success to the ceaselessly enterprising and focused work ethic of Ford, who founded in 2018 as an ethical and inclusive self-publishing service for artists and influencers to thrive without fear of censorship or account lockouts.

“ is 100% staffed by sex workers and porn industry veterans, and I’ve made it my mission to maintain a safe space that caters to all content creators - straight, gay, trans and non-binary - in a secure, ethical community that doesn’t stifle or repress their artistic endeavors,” said Ford. “Thank you XBIZ for the recognition - it truly means a lot.”

Two-Time Juno-Nominated Artist Ryland James Releases New Track, “I Give Everything"

Today, multi-platinum artist Ryland James welcomed in the new year with a brand new single titled, “I Give Everything,” via Universal Music Canada and Republic Records. The track comes after a year of self-reflection and immense personal growth for the Deseronto, ON native who not only came to terms with who he is but embraced himself with PRIDE. Get it h

James commented, "I’m thrilled to be putting this song out into the world as the first of a new era in my artistry. This is truly the most exciting time I’ve experienced in my career and personal growth thus far. That being said, there’s so much to come in terms of visuals, sounds, stories, and an overall heightened sense of creativity for me. “I Give Everything” is a song I wrote early on in my relationship about falling in love for the first time. I was completely immersed and infatuated with the intensity of the feelings I was experiencing, but I was also fearful of losing myself in the process somehow. The lyrics embody that push-pull between the simultaneous acceptance of and resistance to pure passion.”

“I Give Everything,” follows another successful holiday season for James who released 
“A Christmas To Remember,” featuring Ralph for the 2021 holiday season. The artist is no stranger to seasonal material, he released his debut holiday EP, A Little Christmas in 2020, which includes his smash rendition of “Please Come Home For Christmas,” that has garnered over 15 million streams.

The critically acclaimed artist continues his rise to stardom and has no plans of slowing down. In his short but impressive career James has garnered two JUNO Awards nominations and high praise from critics including Billboard. His smash hit single “In My Head” from his debut self-titled EP reached platinum certification in Canada, while his catalogue has garnered over 85 million global streams in just a short amount of time.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Tackles Human Trafficking


The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is shining a spotlight on the risks and horrors of human trafficking and modern day slavery during January. The month is recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and the Freedom Center is hoping to educate people about the risks and prevalence of human trafficking. A January 11 virtual panel brings together subject matter experts in human trafficking and the Freedom Center’s Invisible: Slavery Today exhibit shares in stark detail how geographically and categorically widespread human trafficking is.

Global estimates of human trafficking vary due to the hidden nature of the crime, but some organizations suggest between 25 and 40 million persons fall victim to modern slavery every year. According to the Polaris Project, there are over 22,000 victims and survivors of human trafficking in the United States annually. The I-75 corridor, including southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky, consistently reports some of the nation’s highest numbers of human trafficking, with Ohio ranking as high as fifth in the nation for reported cases. Instances often go unreported and can be difficult to identify but awareness about the signs and risks of trafficking remain the best way for most people to get involved in the fight against modern slavery.

“Human trafficking is a scourge that preys on individuals around the globe, hiding in plain sight, crossing borders and infiltrating communities as it destroys lives and extinguishes hope,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president & COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “However, modern day abolitionists stand ready around the globe to eradicate this injustice, helping to liberate those denied the dignity of freedom. This month, we ask you to educate yourself about this unfreedom and to dedicate yourself to exposing its instances so no more lives are stolen in its shadows.”

Human trafficking prevention advocates come together in the Let’s Talk: Human Trafficking Awareness virtual panel. Verjine Adanalian, attorney with the Ohio Justice & Policy Center; Gaby DeBellis, anti-human trafficking specialist and human rights advocate; and RaShya Ghee, change agent, lawyer and educator, explore the connections between historic and modern day slavery. As part of the discussion, the panel will assess the current state of human trafficking and how the ongoing pandemic and systemic racial inequities have made the problem even worse. Registration is required for the free virtual event.

Those looking to learn more about human trafficking in the United States and around the globe can also visit the Freedom Center’s permanent exhibit Invisible: Slavery Today. The exhibit is the world’s first museum-quality exhibit on the subjects of modern day slavery and human trafficking, offering a comprehensive look at the five most common forms of exploitation: forced labor, bonded indenture, child slavery, sex trafficking and domestic servitude. The immersive exhibit is designed to recreate the dark, dingy conditions victims often find themselves in, surrounded by wooden, metal and plastic shipping containers used to traffic human beings. In addition to exploring the causes of slavery, the economic forces that contribute to its growth and the response of government and justice systems, Invisible highlights anti-slavery activities underway around the globe, including by the Freedom Center’s partners Free the Slaves, International Justice Mission and the Polaris Project.

For more information and resources about how to combat modern day slavery, visit the Freedom Center’s online resource center

Prelude at TAVA Waters - Built to Let You Live Life to the Fullest


Part of the original iconic Breakers Resort property (now TAVA Waters), Prelude at TAVA Waters is designed to make your new home, your new beginning. Access to the lake, state-of-the-art fitness center, pool, and restaurant make this the ultimate escape from life’s stress, and letting you start each new day revitalized and refreshed. These soon-to-come stylish townhomes with close proximity to Cherry Creek North and Lowry neighborhoods, will feature sleek designs and flexible plans, allowing you to make your home, your own.

Hulu's "Pam & Tommy" Premieres Feb. 2

Set in the Wild West early days of the Internet, “Pam & Tommy” is based on the incredible true story of the Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) sex tape. Stolen from the couple’s home by a disgruntled contractor (Seth Rogen), the video went from underground bootleg-VHS curiosity to full-blown global sensation when it hit the Web in 1997. 

A love story, crime caper and cautionary tale rolled into one, the eight-part original limited series explores the intersection of privacy, technology and celebrity, tracing the origins of our current Reality TV Era to a stolen tape seen by millions but meant to have an audience of just two.

JACKASS FOREVER - In Theaters February 4


Celebrating the joy of being back together with your best friends and a perfectly executed shot to the dingdong, the original jackass crew return for another round of hilarious, wildly absurd, and often dangerous displays of comedy with a little help from some exciting new cast.  Johnny and the team push the envelope even further in jackass forever.

Take the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey

The U.S. Trans Survey (USTS) is the largest survey of trans people in the United States. The USTS documents the lives and experiences of trans people in the U.S. and U.S. territories.

In 2015, nearly 28,000 people took the USTS, making it the largest survey of trans people in the U.S. A lot has happened since then – and it’s time to conduct the USTS again in 2022.

Pop Singer + LGBTQIA+ Champion Ana Pac Takes Us on A Sweet Space Odyssey with “Blast Off (Light Years and Beyond)”

When the familiar catchphrase ‘I love you to the moon and back’ comes to life, you have Canadian pop artist Ana Pac and her cosmically catchy, romantically rocket-fuelled new single, “Blast Off (Light Years and Beyond)” — available now!

“‘Blast Off (Light Years and Beyond)’ is about now understanding all the love songs ever written,” Pac shares. “It's about the word ‘love’ not being strong enough to describe what you are feeling.”

In addition to being about finding that special person who changes everything you ever thought love could be, it’s also quickly turning into a LGBTQIA+ anthem on TikTok thanks to her tribute to her fiancĂ©e Jo; the two met by way of TikTok’s algorithm, and they now have a large following as a popular couple on the app.

“Blast Off (Light Years and Beyond)” prepares for take-off with a wah-wah bass tone evoking a spaceship’s time warp — an appropriate opening for a song with such a distinct late ’80s/early-‘90s pop sensibility. The Montreal-born, Toronto-based artist’s vocals are crystalline, and infused with a sincere, energetic sweetness reminiscent of early-career Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, or Shanice’s unforgettable 1990 crush ballad “I Love Your Smile.” The vocals, along with playful lyrics about a romantic space odyssey, take center stage against a backdrop of clean beats and simple, well-placed harmonies.

Baby we can blast off!
I’ll take you to the last stop
Flying high until we reach the top
Tell me your desire
You know I’ll take you higher
Out among the stars where we belong

“Blast Off” is Ana Pac’s third single, and follows the K-POP-inspired “This Is…,” and EDM single “Down In My Whip” — the latter of which enjoyed heavy rotation on Z103, and other hit stations.

As a talented dancer, Ana Pac has appeared in many films and TV shows, including Work It (produced by Alicia Keys) and Feel The Beat — both released in 2020 on Netflix.  And if you are a fan of speed-skating, you may recognize the name: Ana was one of Canada’s top speed skaters in 2012, and she has now channeled that work ethic and drive into her music.

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 to get started today.

LGBT CEO Gregory Cole's Fitness Journey Featured in 'Men's Health'

The wellness journey of Gregory Cole, CEO and Co-Founder of the niche fragrance brand The Bubble Collection, is featured in the January 2022 edition of Men's Health. After a health scare coupled with a battle against obesity, Cole was inspired to lose 100lbs and achieve optimal health in his 50s - even winning his first bodybuilding competition.

“I always enjoy having the opportunity to share my story in hopes of inspiring others who have battled the same issues,” said Cole. "I, like many people, began that diet every Monday morning, only to sabotage myself that same afternoon. Now I'm living proof that not all weight-loss journeys end in failure. And it wasn't only obesity that I was up against, but I was also battling depression, fibromyalgia, tinnitus and several food intolerances. I even crowned myself "ReinventionKing" and started a wellness blog to inspire and motivate people on similar health and fitness journeys."

Just like launching a fragrance brand or a start-up, Cole credits his success to determination and following a plan, but also being able to pivot when necessary. “I did my research and sought advice from those who have achieved similar success. And I always saw the bigger picture which allowed me to overcome minor setbacks rather quickly. And as an entrepreneur, I'm already a self-starter which came in handy when I had to force myself out of bed and hit the gym!"

Cole’s last bit of advice is to surround yourself with like-minded people. “I learned whether you’re launching a fragrance or setting out on a life transformation, that bubble-bursters will set up roadblocks to your success. Don’t let anyone stand in the way of your dreams!”

Dolly Parton Kicks off 2022 with 47 New Gold & Platinum Certifications from Around the World

Proving that seven decades into her unprecedented career new ground continues to be charted, Dolly Parton is presented with a staggering 47 new sales certifications from around the world to kick off the New Year. Already awarded a plaque from the RIAA in 2014 for over 100 million units sold worldwide, these new honors show continued engagement in Parton’s extensive catalog.

“I’ve often said that my songs are like my children, and I expect them to support me later in my life. Well, it looks like they are doing just that!” proclaims Parton. “I am so humbled to have been surprised with this incredible collection of certifications from around the world. I owe a big thank you to my fans, old and new, who continue to be there for me year after year. This is a wonderful way to kick off 2022!”

The new awards presented cover certifications from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Finland & Sweden.

"I'm so proud to represent the hottest entertainer in the business,” says Danny Nozell, Parton’s longtime manager. “These international awards solidify the fact that Dolly is a global superstar icon that still keeps growing every year. Just when you thought her assets couldn't get any bigger, she proves us wrong again!"

ImagePictured above: Dolly Parton and her manager Danny Nozell with the plaques. (Photo credit: JB Rowland) 

A complete list of the certifications is listed as follows:

  • 3 Billion Worldwide Streams – 2021
  • Ultimate Dolly Parton – album – 2021 – GOLD (US)
  • God Only Knows (with for King & Country) single – 2020 – PLATINUM (US)
  • Jolene – single – 2021 – 2X PLATINUM (US)
  • Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers) – single – 2021 – 2X PLATINUM (US)
  • Here You Come Again – single – 2021 – PLATINUM (US)
  • 9to5 – single – 2021 – 2X PLATINUM (US)
  • I Will Always Love You – single – 2021 – PLATINUM (US)
  • When I Get Where I’m Going (with Brad Paisley) – single – 2015 – PLATINUM (US)
  • Jolene – single – 2017 – GOLD (UK)
  • 9to5 – single – 2021 – 2X PLATINUM (UK)
  • The Real Dolly Parton – album – 2018 – SILVER (UK)
  • Pure & Simple – album – 2018 – SILVER (UK)
  • Greatest Hits – album – 2021 – SILVER (UK)
  • I Will Always Love You – single – 2020 – SILVER (UK)
  • The Very Best Of – album – 2020 – 2X PLATINUM (UK)
  • Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers) – single – 2019 – PLATINUM (UK)
  • When I Get Where I’m Going (with Brad Paisley) – single – 2021 – PLATINUM (Canada)
  • 9to5 – single – 2021 – 3X PLATINUM (Canada)
  • Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers) – single – 2021 – 3X PLATINUM (Canada)
  • When I Get Where I’m Going (with Brad Paisley) – single – 2019 – GOLD (Australia)
  • Ultimate Dolly Parton – album – 2021 – PLATINUM (Australia)
  • Legendary Dolly Parton – album – 2021 – PLATINUM (Australia)
  • The Ultimate Collection – album – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • The Best of Dolly Parton – album – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • Greatest Hits – album – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • The Very Best of Dolly Parton – album – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • 18 Greatest Hits – album – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • Jolene – single – 2021 – 3X PLATINUM (Australia)
  • 9to5 – single – 2021 – 3X PLATINUM (Australia)
  • Here You Come Again – single – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • I Will Always Love You – single – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • Coat Of Many Colors – single – 2021 – GOLD (Australia)
  • Queen Of Country – album – 2016 – GOLD (Denmark)
  • Greatest Hits – album – 2016 – PLATINUM (Denmark)
  • The Very Best Of – album – 2016 – PLATINUM (Denmark)
  • 9to5 – single – 2019 – GOLD (Denmark)
  • Jolene – single – 2021 – PLATINUM (Denmark)
  • Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers) – single – 2021 – GOLD (Denmark)
  • Jolene – single – 2021 – PLATINUM (Norway)
  • 9to5 – single – 2021 – PLATINUM (Norway)
  • Jolene – single – 2021 – GOLD (Finland)
  • I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston; Dolly Parton, writer) – single – 2021 – GOLD (Finland)
  • Jolene – single – 2021 – 3X PLATINUM (Sweden)
  • 9to5 – single – 2021 – 3X PLATINUM (Sweden)
  • I Will Always Love You – single – 2021 – GOLD (Sweden)
  • Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers) – single – 2021 – PLATINUM (Sweden)

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Books: Every Leaf A Hallelujah

Ben Okri, Booker Prize-winning author of the new imaginative environmental fable Every Leaf A Hallelujah and reissue (including a new introduction penned by Okri) of Astonishing The Gods: A Novel returns with a timely tale. Every Leaf A Hallelujah spins a wonder-filled adventure story, echoing climate activist Greta Thunberg’s message that “no one is too small to make a difference…”, as it follows a seven-year-old girl named Mangoshi, journeying into a forest to retrieve a flower to cure her mother’s illness. In signature Okri-style, 
Every Leaf A Hallelujah exudes a shape-shifting quality, operating on many planes at once, delivering a transcendent message in an allegoric tale. Accompanied by Italian-Nigerian artist Diana Ejaita’s gorgeous, vibrant illustrations of flora, Every Leaf A Hallelujah weds the power of Okri’s mystic vision to a story that weaves wonder, adventure, and environmentalism.

Okri recently penned a short essay for the GUARDIAN on the role of the cultivating creativity and imagination in the face of the climate crisis, what he coins, “existential creativity”; “…a new art and a new psychology to penetrate the apathy and the denial that are preventing us making the changes that are inevitable if our world is to survive…a new art to waken people both to the enormity of what is looming and the fact that we can still do something about it…” You’ll find that full article below and linked here

Also related, is this video of Okri reading his original “Letter to the Earth.” Recorded at the Globe Theatre on the South Bank, the video also features his partner, Charlotte Jarvis and young daughter, Mirabella Okri performing.

Planet Classroom Podcast Presents 6 Awardees from the WHO-Backed Global Youth Mobilization

Supported by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and the big 6 youth organizations, Global Youth Mobilization is a movement of young people taking action to improve their lives in a post COVID-19 world. To date, this initiative has funded 134 local solutions and 74 national projects in over 100 countries worldwide.

In Planet Classroom’s holiday podcast for its popular SHINE series, Orb, the show’s virtual host, introduces 6 of the young Awardees from these projects doing critical work to address the negative impact of the pandemic and build back better. These social impact entrepreneurs are tackling the challenges of mental and physical health, the digital divide, education disruption, and poverty in their local communities.

“To bridge the digital divide, I designed a rural learning project tailored to meet the needs of 100 out-of-school young people in communities across Nigeria,” said Esther Edward, Founder of Project Digital Rural.

“My goals for WOW-Wheels of Wisdom is to make sure the children I am serving never stop learning and keep on growing mentally,” said Sadia Jafrin, based in Bangladesh.

“We learned how to navigate the mental health space with a virus that continues to isolate us from each other,” said Kamanda Bosco, Founder of Mental Health Slumber Party in Uganda.

“At Karsa, we believe that young people are the future and young people deserve a chance,” said Jordan Jans, Founder of Karsa for Youth in Jakarta Indonesia.

Listen to the show here.

AIR DOLL, from director Hirokazu Kore-eda, hits U.S. cinemas and VOD on February 4th

Dekanalog is proud to announce AIR DOLL - the acclaimed cinematic fable by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, Still Walking) that wowed critics and audiences at the world's top festivals - will open in U.S. cinemas and on VOD February 4th! The film marks the Gotham-based distributor's first release of 2022.
The widely-celebrated romantic fantasy, which stars Bae Doona (The Host, Netflix's Sense8), was launched in 2009 to monumental success in its native Japan and has never previously seen a U.S. release.
In AIR DOLL, the Galatea myth is transported to present day Tokyo, when an inflatable sex doll named Nozomi (Doona) finds that she has grown consciousness and a heart. She begins to wander the city in quiet awe and fascination and, taking on a new life of her own, discovers the innate complexities of being human, including the heartbreak of loneliness. Joining forces with cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bing (In The Mood For Love), Kore-eda’s intimate direction relays the struggles of finding human connection in the mess of modern society.