Friday, June 17, 2022

Pride Journey - Salt Lake City

By Joey Amato

For years I have heard about Salt Lake City’s thriving LGBTQ community, but I had yet to experience it firsthand. The Advocate even called Salt Lake City, one of the ten ‘Queerest Cities in America.’ Recently, I had an opportunity to travel to the Beehive State with my good friend and internationally known EDM musician Joey Suarez, where we had a chance to revel in the city’s attractions and culinary scene and see what all the hype was about.

Our homebase for the visit was the fabulous Hotel Monaco, part of the Kimpton collection of hotels. Kimpton is well-known for being one of the most LGBTQ-friendly chains in the country, so I knew we were in good hands. The property features a welcoming lobby, fitness center, two culinary options: Bambara and The Vault and is within walking distance to almost every attraction in the city.

Begin your first day in Salt Lake City with a trip to Eva's Bakery, a wonderful little establishment offering freshly baked goods and a variety of homemade breakfast items. I decided to try their Roasted Beet & Avocado Toast which was served with potatoes and organic greens. This was a perfect option for those who enjoy a savory breakfast item over something sweet, although Eva’s definitely has a nice selection of sweet treats to choose from if you prefer.

Just a short drive away from downtown is the Natural History Museum of Utah. The beautifully designed building blends in perfectly with the natural surroundings of the mountains and contains quite the selection of dinosaur fossils and gemstones, most of which were discovered locally. The museum boasts an extensive paleontology program and possesses nearly 30,000 specimens in their collection.

Next, swing by Tracy Aviary, one of only two free standing aviaries in the country and say hello to Andy, the Andean condor as well as the Chilean flamingos. The aviary also offers unique experiences which guests can participate in to get up close and personal with some of their feathered attractions. Don’t forget to stop by the South American Pavilion featuring 30 South American birds nestled amongst lush plants in a unique indoor-outdoor exhibit.

Salt Lake City’s international culinary scene is something the city is proud of and one of its shining stars is a Japanese restaurant called Takashi. Joey and I ordered four dishes to share, and each was prepared to perfection. Our favorites included the Magic Dragon roll as well as the Tiger’s Roll featuring tiger shrimp tempura with spiced crab, kaiware sprouts, unagi and avocado, topped with eel sauce and sesame seeds.

For some fun entertainment, head to Why Kiki, a tiki bar themed venue just a few blocks from the hotel which recently started weekend Drag Lunch – no, not exactly brunch, as some performances occur after standard brunch hours. The intimate venue is a wonderful place to catch a performance by one of Salt Lake’s fabulous drag performers, while sipping a delicious tropical cocktail.

Adventure seekers can go on a hike along one of the city’s numerous trails. On one crisp morning, we headed to a trail nicknamed “The Living Room” due to the rock formation at the top of the mountain that resembles a couch, or so I’ve been told. We made it about three-fourths the way to the top before we had to stop from exhaustion due to the altitude. Yes, I’ll blame the altitude. Don’t despair, there are many picturesque vantage points along the way to capture that perfect Instagram photo.

For dinner, head to Manoli’s, a tapas style Greek restaurant which offers a variety of traditional dishes as well as some modern twists of Greek specialties. While Joey dined on a sumptuous lamb burger, I tried the Garides, which were grilled shrimp cooked in a Greek coffee BBQ sauce served over seared polenta. We decided to share an order of Spanakopita which is a savory phyllo filled pastry stuffed with feta and spinach and served with an artichoke cream sauce. I love Spanakopita and Manoli’s didn’t disappoint. However, the best part of the meal was the cinnamon ice cream, which was probably one of my favorite ice cream dishes ever!

When I lived in Nashville, I published an LGBTQ magazine called UNITE and one of our issue’s featured country music superstar Eric Church on the cover. He is country music’s answer to Bruce Springsteen, so much in fact, one of his biggest hit songs is titled “Springsteen.” We had the opportunity to attend the Eric Church concert at the Vivint Arena, home of the Utah Jazz. While it would have been fun to experience a basketball game, hearing 15,000 people sing Church’s hit songs was quite memorable.

After the concert, it was time to explore Salt Lake’s nightlife. Located on Harvey Milk Boulevard is Milk+, a swanky new LGBTQ club that would rival that of most major cities. Milk+ offers a huge dancefloor, stage, patio, and table seating to enjoy cocktail or food. The eye candy was abundant, and the bar staff was quite friendly. All the entertainment occurs in one large open room so the venue mixes between drag and dancing most of the evening.

Another bar worth visiting is The Sun Trapp, which is within walking distance of Hotel Monaco. With limited time, it was impossible to visit all the nightlife establishments, but I think I got a good taste of what Salt Lake City had to offer. I began to see why the city was voted one of the most queer-friendly cities in the country.

Enjoy the Journey!

Pew Research Report: Journalists Sense Turmoil in Their Industry Amid Continued Passion for Their Work

From the economic upheaval of the digital age to the rise of political polarization and the COVID-19 pandemic, journalism in America has been in a state of turmoil for decades. In a major new study, Pew Research Center shares journalists’ perspectives about the news industry they work in and their relationship with the public they serve. While journalists recognize the many challenges facing their industry, the Center’s survey of nearly 12,000 working U.S.-based journalists finds that they continue to express a high degree of satisfaction in their jobs: Seven-in-ten journalists say they are very or somewhat satisfied with their job, and 77% say they would pursue a career in journalism again.

At the same time, when asked to describe their industry in a single word, nearly three-quarters of respondents (72%) use a word with negative connotations; the most common are words that relate to “struggling” and “chaos.” The report also identifies several specific areas of concern for journalists, including the future of press freedom, widespread misinformation, and politically like-minded people getting news from the same sources.

The report has two key components. The central one is a Center survey of 11,889 U.S.-based journalists currently working in the news industry, conducted online between Feb. 16 and March 17, 2022. (For this study, journalists are defined as individuals who create, edit or report original news stories across a wide range of reporting areas and beats.) The report also includes findings from two separate surveys of U.S. adults on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel that measure how views and attitudes of the American public compare with those of journalists. The first survey of 9,388 adults was conducted Feb. 7-13, 2022, and the second of 10,441 adults was conducted March 7-13, 2022.

Among key findings from the report:

Just 14% of journalists surveyed say they think the U.S. public has a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the information it gets from news organizations these days; most believe that Americans as a whole have some trust (44%) or little to no trust (42%). When a similar question was posed to the American public however, 29% of U.S. adults say they have at least a fair amount of trust in the information they get from news outlets, while 27% say they have some trust and 44% have little to no trust.

About seven-in-ten journalists (71%) say made-up news and information is a very big problem for the country, higher than the 50% of U.S. adults who say the same. And while 71% of journalists are extremely or very confident in their ability to recognize false information when working on a story, a smaller 43% say news organizations do a good job managing or correcting misinformation.

  • When asked about the best newsroom approach to coverage of a false statement made by a public figure, far more journalists say news organizations should “report on the statement because it is important for the public to know about” (64%) than say they should “not report on the statement because it gives attention to the falsehoods and the public figure” (32%).
  • In a separate question asked only of reporting journalists (see methodology for who falls into this category), about a quarter of reporting journalists (26%) say they have unknowingly reported on a story that was later found to contain false information.

Three-quarters of journalists say that they largely agree on the basic facts of the news, but about half (52%) say it is not possible to report news that nearly everyone finds accurate. An even greater share of the U.S. public overall (62%) says it is not possible to report news that is universally accepted as accurate.

Looking forward, journalists express great concern about the future of press freedoms in the U.S. More than half of journalists surveyed (57%) say they are extremely or very concerned about the prospect of press restrictions being imposed in the U.S. About a quarter (23%) are somewhat concerned, while just one-in-five express low levels of concern about this. Older journalists are more likely to be extremely or very concerned about it – 68% of those 65 and older say this, compared with 42% of those ages 18 to 29.

While there is no consensus among journalists about whether opposing views always warrant equal coverage, they express wide support for keeping their personal views out of their reporting.

  • A little over half of journalists surveyed (55%) say that in reporting the news, every side does not always deserve equal coverage, greater than the share who say journalists should always strive to give every side equal coverage (44%). In contrast, the U.S. public largely says that journalists should always strive to give equal coverage (76%).
  • Roughly eight-in-ten journalists (82%) say journalists should keep their views out of what they report on, although there is less agreement among journalists over whether journalists meet this standard. Just over half (55%) think journalists largely are able to keep their views out of their reporting, while 43% say they are often unable to.

Journalists express deep concerns over political sorting in the public’s news consumption habits. Three-quarters of those surveyed say it is a major problem when people with similar political views get their news from the same news organizations. The American public, however, appears much less worried: Roughly four-in-ten U.S. adults (39%) say this is a major problem.

Journalists see many ways that social media helps them do their jobs, but overall they see it as a negative force on the industry. Among journalists who use social media for their work, 87% say it has a very or somewhat positive impact on promoting news stories, and 79% say it helps them connect with their audience and find sources for their news stories. At the same time, however, two-thirds of all journalists surveyed (67%) say social media has a very or somewhat negative impact on the state of journalism as a whole. Just 18% say social media has a positive impact on the news industry.

Roughly four-in-ten journalists (42%) say they have been harassed or threatened by someone outside their own organization in the past year, and within this group, the vast majority (78%) say that harassment came through social media at least once.

Although two-thirds (67%) say their organization has achieved sufficient gender diversity, about half as many – 32% – say it has reached sufficient racial and ethnic diversity. And fewer than half of respondents (42%) say addressing issues of diversity and inclusion is a “major priority” for their newsroom. Relatedly, about half (48%) have participated in a formal training session or meeting on diversity in their workplace in the past year, and 40% have done so on how to cover issues of diversity and inclusion.

The survey sought to gauge the financial standing of journalists and the economics of the organizations they work for, finding both optimism and concern.

  • About four-in-ten journalists surveyed (41%) say they received a salary increase in the past year. The greatest portion – 50% – say their salary has stayed the same, while far fewer (7%) experienced a pay cut.
  • Looking at news organizations more broadly, journalists are somewhat more likely to say their news organization expanded (33%) than cut back (22%) in the past year, with a lack of change again being most common (46%).

The margin of sampling error for the survey of 11,889 U.S.-based journalists is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. The first of two surveys of the U.S. public was conducted Feb. 7-13, 2022, among 9,388 adults, with a margin of sampling error for the full sample of respondents of plus or minus 1.6 points. The second of these was conducted March 7-13, 2022, among 10,441 U.S. adults; the margin of sampling error for the full sample of respondents of this survey is plus or minus 1.5 points.

Are You Ready for Hulu's "Only Murders in the Building" Season Two


Check out Hulu’s trailer for the upcoming second season of "Only Murders in the Building." The new season returns on Tuesday, June 28th with two episodes. New episodes stream Tuesdays.

Following the shocking death of Arconia Board President Bunny Folger, Charles, Oliver & Mabel race to unmask her killer. However, three (unfortunate) complications ensue - the trio is publicly implicated in Bunny's homicide, they are now the subjects of a competing podcast, and they have to deal with a bunch of New York neighbors who all think they committed murder.

MIKA - Yo Yo

Global pop sensation MIKA releases the video for his new single “YO YO”  available now via Casablanca Records/Republic Records.  

“I wanted to write a song that could make you cry and dance at the same time.” MIKA comments, “A song to make the world, in all its harshness, feel better. Something that will always be there to comfort you. I wrote this for you, as you listen in your room, or in a club: it doesn’t matter it’s just about you.”

MIKA recently concluded a sold out North American Tour, which culminated on two seismic turns at Coachella.

MIKA, known for his vibrant and multi-octave melodies and classically trained voice, uses music to unite a community, especially to connect with those who feel like they are outsiders. His body of work is inspired by personal experiences as coming of age and as a child, when music was his only source of hope. Last year, MIKA’s viral Grace Kelly challenge, which has nearly 40 million views on TikTok, perfectly reflects his magical ability to create space for people to share their truth, using the power of music to evoke empathy. MIKA brings himself to everything he does.  

Pride is back on the map! Airbnb reveals the top 50 worldwide Pride celebrations

To celebrate the return of Pride around the globe, Airbnb is revealing the top 50 worldwide Pride celebrations this summer!


This ranking is based on total nights booked over respective Pride weekends worldwide, looking at bookings made on Airbnb from January to May 2022. The list uncovers nights booked in each respective city over their Pride weekends this year, with bookings hitting a significant milestone: tens of thousands of nights have already been booked over the top 50 Pride weekends for this summer, bringing Pride weekends in 2022 back to pre-pandemic travel levels.


The announcement also uncovers new insights into the LGBTQ+ community from a study conducted by Gay Times. The study, surveying 15,000 LGBTQ+ identifying people, reveals that:



      Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ respondents embraced travel abroad as restrictions eased throughout the pandemic, making travel a key priority for the community

      60% of the community seek out LGBTQ+ experiences while traveling emphasizing the importance of Pride celebrations and destinations showcasing their inclusiveness and diversity.


The announcement also examines the economic impact Pride celebrations can have for Airbnb Hosts. Airbnb Hosts earned more than $76 million USD over the top 50 pride weekends in 2019, the last in-person Pride celebrations pre-pandemic.


Other insights include the top 10 most hospitable Pride destinations and the top 10 trending Prides versus 2019.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Gale and the Committee on LGBT History Announce Fellowships to Support Emerging LGBTQ+ Research

Pride Month provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made for justice, inclusion and equality within the community, and to reaffirm the continued work to promote LGBTQ+ rights worldwide. To further support these efforts, Gale, part of Cengage Group, and the Committee on LGBT History (CLGBTH) in conjunction with the Queer History Conference 2022, announce the sponsorship of five non-residential fellowships known as the Gale-CLGBTH Non-Residential Fellowships. Funded by Gale, each fellow receives $2,500 and access to Gale's award-winning Archives of Sexuality and Gender and Gale Digital Scholar Lab. The program's goal is to encourage emerging research in LGBTQ+ studies by allowing scholars to contribute additional insights through digital humanities methodologies.

Gale and CLGBTH would like to congratulate the following candidates awarded the fellowships for the 2022 academic year, as well as highlight the projects they will be pursuing:
  • Elio Colavito, Ph.D. researcher, University of Toronto, Canada
    • Project: Mapping Transtopia: Trans-Masculine Mutual Aid (1970–2005) aims to extend Colavito's work on the social and cultural history of trans-masculinity in Canada and the U.S. He will utilize letters from the archives to serve as a foundation of a digital map to illustrate the vastness and complexity of late-20th-century trans-masculine community building, resource sharing and identity-making. 
  • Jacob Bloomfield, honorary research fellow, University of Konstanz, Germany
    • Project: Bloomfield's project, Tutti Frutti: Little Richard, Sex, Gender and Transgression in America and Europe, seeks to uncover how gender-nonconforming African American recording artist Little Richard became one of the most popular musicians in the U.S. and Europe during the 1950s and pre- "sexual revolution" in the 1960s. 
  • Jen Jack Gieseking, associate professor of geography, University of Kentucky, U.S. 
    • Project: The monograph Dyke* Bars seeks to uncover the drive behind the "lezbiqueertrans" attachment to lesbian bars and their dis-attachment from these spaces, particularly as many of them have closed in recent times. Gieseking's project will argue that lesbian bars are the crucial geography of U.S. lezbiqueertrans history and a part of broader U.S. history. An interactive map will look at how patterns of socioeconomic gentrification affected the growth and decline of these spaces.
  • Justin Salgado, graduate student, The Ohio State University, U.S. 
    • Project:  Out at the Rodeo: The Maintenance of the Gay Rodeo (1980s – Present) seeks to amplify the voices on the gay rodeo circuit. The project will examine the religious right and political right, their impact on queer communities and how the gay rodeo countered their disapproval by emphasizing the importance of community and togetherness for rural queer communities. 
  • Trevor Ladner, graduate and teacher, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ednovate Charter Schools, U.S. 
    • Project: Ladner's LGBT Lives and Legal Rights: Impacts of Progress of Struggle will support the continuation of a teaching project for his social studies class at an under-resourced urban school in Los Angeles. Centered around LGBTQ people's experiences with securing their rights through courts, he will utilize the archives to analyze how the absence of certain rights and the courts' decisions on these rights impact the lives of real people. 

"As part of Gale's ongoing commitment to DEI initiatives, we're pleased to support the LGBTQ+ research community with these fellowships, and help them expand the possibilities of their research," said Seth Cayley, vice president of global academic product at Gale. "By providing these fellows with funding, access to our digital archives and Gale Digital Scholar Lab, we hope it enables them to progress their research projects and foster greater knowledge, awareness, and understanding of LGBTQ+ lives and communities."

The Archives of Sexuality and Gender series gives researchers instant access to more than 5 million pages of digitized primary sources to help them enhance their research projects and uncover new research pathways. By exploring the series with text- and data-mining tools in Gale Digital Scholar Lab, the fellows will be able to open their research to digital humanities methods, providing a new lens with which to explore historically underrepresented, marginalized and hidden voices. 

"This year's fellows, now with access to Gale's fabulous resources, are sure to cultivate exciting new research related to the study of LGBTQ past," said Professor Eric Gonzaba, co-chair of the Committee on LGBT History. "Their projects will help us all better understand the nuances and complexities of LGBTQ life. We are so grateful to Gale for their support of the CLGBTH for many years and we thank them for their commitment to scholars of LGBT history."

Scholars must complete the fellowships by Dec. 31, 2022. Each fellowship will support the equivalent of one month's full-time work (160 hours). Awardees may dedicate four consecutive weeks of their total working hours to the fellowship project, or they may spread their work out over a more extended period. In addition, within one month of the conclusion of their fellowship, each awardee will submit a case study that highlights the research or pedagogical value of their project. CLGBTH will host a panel at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, January 5–8, 2023 in Philadelphia, where the Gale-CLGBTH fellows will discuss their research projects.

iCYMI...Watch Rufus Wainwright Performs "A Foggy Day" on ​The Late Late Show with James Corden

2x GRAMMY Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has shared Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios available now at all DSPs and streaming services.


Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios – an all-new performance of his groundbreaking tribute to Judy Garland, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, recorded last year at Los Angeles’ famed Capitol Studios – arrives today via BMG, celebrating the legendary Garland’s 100th birthday. The album is available here.

 First presented last year as a virtual livestream concert event, Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios sees Wainwright using the very microphone Garland herself used while making her own historic recordings at Capitol Studios, backed by a four-piece jazz ensemble before a micro-audience comprised entirely of 2x Academy Award-winning actress Renée Zellweger, winner of 2020’s “Best Actress” Oscar for her spectacular performance as Garland in 2019’s Judy. Among the concert’s many highlights is a special duet rendition of “Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy”performed alongside award-winning Concord recording artist Kristin Chenoweth,as well as the show-stopping “The Man That Got Away” and “Puttin’ On The Ritz,”both joined by official live performance videos streaming now via YouTube.

MY POLICEMAN starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin Will Release in Theaters on October 21


A beautifully crafted story of forbidden love and changing social conventions, My Policeman follows three young people—policeman Tom (Harry Styles), teacher Marion (Emma Corrin), and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson)—as they embark on an emotional journey in 1950s Britain. Flashing forward to the 1990s, Tom (Linus Roache), Marion (Gina McKee), and Patrick (Rupert Everett) are still reeling with longing and regret, but now they have one last chance to repair the damage of the past. Based on the book by Bethan Roberts, director Michael Grandage carves a visually transporting, heart-stopping portrait of three people caught up in the shifting tides of history, liberty, and forgiveness.

Campus Pride Announces 1st Cohort of 2022 Social Justice Mini-Grant Recipients

Campus Pride, the preeminent resource for LGBTQ leadership development, diversity inclusion, and advocacy within higher education, today announced the awarding of 11 new Social Justice Mini-Grants for Activism. Campus Pride launched its social justice mini-grant program in June 2021 as part of the organization’s 20th-anniversary celebrations with an inaugural ten awards. Each grant is worth up to $600.

Grantees represent schools from across the country, working on projects including creating a transgender community closet to give access to free gender-affirming garments and makeup; supporting LGBTQ+ inclusive communities for student-athletes, members of the Asian and Asian American diaspora, and STEM students; and curating resource guides to access LGBTQ+ services. View the full list of mini-grant awardees and project descriptions online at

The first class of 2022 awards includes the following schools and project themes:

  • Washington University (St. Louis, MO) - To consolidate reproductive health resource information, making those services easier to access in the face of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and Missouri’s snap ban. Project by Ranen Miao.

  • University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX) - To support the Lotus Project, developing community for queer, trans, and/or women of the Asian or Asian American diaspora on campus. Project by Lilli Hime.

  • Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT) - To support the development of the new Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) special interest house on campus. Project by Mila Lu.
  • Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) - To support Pride Athletes at Macalester (PAAM), which works to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ student athletes. Project by Ramier Villarama.
  • Texas State University (San Marcos, TX) - To study the experience of trans students who have been deadnamed or misgendered by faculty members, and what actions can mend the resultantly imparied student-institution relationship. Project by Sam Owens.
  • University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX) - To support the Feminist Action Project’s zine, collecting art, poetry, and prose from the general student body. Project by Anika Srinath.
  • Castleton University (Castleton, VT) - To support the development of a presentation on inclusive sex education to be delivered as part of the university’s Connections course for first-year students. Project by Bryce Diggs.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) - To promote inclusive LGBTQ+ spaces within STEM education. Project by Andres Gonzalez.
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, MO) - To create a collaborative zine to provide information and resources for LGBTQ+ people in rural northeast Missouri. Project by Shania Montiúfar.
  • Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI) - To support a transgender community closet providing free access to clothes, binders, underwear, makeup, and other gender-affirming materials. Project by Lance Rasmussen.
  • University of California Davis (Davis, CA) - To support the Pride Festival, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community on campus as well as in the greater Sacramento area. Project by Alex Fruge.

Meet the Queens from Canada’s Drag Race S3, Returning to WOWPP on July 14th

Welcome back to the mother-pucking runway! Canada’s Drag Race returns for its third season July 14th at 9pm ET / 6pm PT on WOW Presents Plus in the US and select territories worldwide, day-and-date with its local airing on Crave in Canada. Returning to preside over the queens this season are Queen of the North Brooke Lynn Hytes, Brad Goreski, and Traci Melchor.

The 12 fierce, fabulous, and flawless queens competing to snatch the crown and become Canada’s next Drag Superstar are: Bombae, Chelazon Leroux, Gisèle Lullaby, Halal Bae, Irma Gerd, Jada Shada Hudson, Kaos, Kimmy Couture, Lady Boom Boom, Miss Fiercalicious, Miss Moço, and Vivian Vanderpuss.

Ready to show up and show out, each episode of Canada’s Drag Race tests competitors’ talents, and challenges them to master singing, dancing, acting, impersonation, design, and improvisation. Throughout the season, competitors are eliminated until one queen is left standing with the crown, scepter, and the $100,000 prize. Throughout the nine episode season, the queens share their personal successes and struggles, and showcase the importance of celebrating everyone’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Queer Artist TANZER Debuts Video for Art Installation "DISCO INSTAMATIC"

In celebration of Pride month and following her latest release Disco Automatic, Australian-based singer, DJ, artist and proud queer community member Tanzer has released the video for the art installation Disco Instamatic underscored by her single “Deep Fried Disco” as remixed by Butch Le Butch. Watch the new music video HERE!

Created by Tanzer in collaboration with queer screen culture magazine Sissy ScreensDisco Instamatic is a large-scale, hyper-color screen work. Featuring 20 stars of Melbourne’s dynamic queer arts scene—including TanzerThe HuxleysMo’JuAtong Atem and Karen From Finance—this immersive installation unites music, drag, dance and visual art.

The locomotive love child of Antonio Lopez’s Instamatics and Andy Warhol’s PolaroidsDisco Instamatic is inspired by Tanzer’s work as a disco DJ and original musician within the queer clubs of Australia. The song “Deep Fried Disco” describes a fictional disco utopia where all problems are forgotten and we can find escape, glamour and hope surrounded by other members of the queer community.

Sissy Screens produced the moving-image Disco Instamatic installation and engaged Melbourne-based queer film crew for this project. Sissy Screens promotes queer cultural production and aims to amplify and celebrate the voices and work of LGBTQIA+ creatives.

Tanzer says “Disco Instamatic is a glamorous time capsule that captures, elevates and amplifies the icon within. In a breathless, glittering moment - the viewer can come face to face with a superstar, in a vignette as intimate as it is dazzling.”

35 Years Since Its First Panels Were Stitched, the AIDS Memorial Quilt Remains a Powerful Teaching Tool for Health Action, Remembrance and Social Justice

It has been 35 years since the first panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt were stitched together, sparking a national movement for action, justice and remembrance for an epidemic that has claimed over 36 million lives around the world.

More than 3,000 Quilt panels were displayed in Golden Gate Park – each 3’ x 6’ panel the size of a grave – remembering a life lost to AIDS. The Quilt’s presence – the largest display in more than a decade – demonstrated its unique power to comfort, heal and be used as a catalyst for action today in the ongoing struggle for health and social justice.

“What started as a protest thirty-five years ago to demand action turned into a movement that served as a wake-up call to the nation that thousands upon thousands of people were dying. Today, the Quilt is just as relevant and even more important, particularly in the wake of Covid-19 and recent gun violence our nation has faced,” said Cleve Jones, who joined with co-founders Mike Smith and Gert McMullin to begin the unfolding and reading names ceremony. “The fact is that the struggles we face today which result from health and social inequities are the issues we will face again if we don’t learn from the lessons of the past.”

A constant each day was the continuous reading aloud of names lost to AIDS, which could be subtly heard throughout the meadow. On display were many original panels made during the darkest days of the AIDS pandemic as well as ones made in recent years, a reminder that the AIDS crisis is not over. Thousands of visitors took part in the historic two-day event, experiencing the beauty of each panel and the stories of love stitched into their fabric.

“The Quilt remains a powerful symbol of hope, remembrance and action by pulling the thread from one generation to the next for health and social justice,” said John Cunningham, CEO of the National AIDS Memorial. “We must continue the Quilt’s 35-year legacy of bringing it to communities throughout the nation to fight for a cure, and to serve as a teach tool and catalyst for change.”

In the midst of this powerful backdrop, the National AIDS Memorial announced a $2.4 million grant from Gilead Sciences to launch the Quilt Southern Initiative to create new Quilt programming to address the disproportionate impact of HIV in the Southern U.S. A major focus will be to reach communities of color, which experience higher rates of new infections and lower rates of treatment and prevention.

“Throughout its 35-year history, the Quilt has touched hearts and minds by connecting communities through hope and remembrance,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences. “This new initiative with the National AIDS Memorial will bring the Quilt to the Southern United States, reaching communities most affected by HIV/AIDS with the powerful stories that are stitched into its panels.”

Working together with the Southern AIDS Coalition and other community partners, the National AIDS Memorial will launch a Call My Name Southern Quilting program, organizing new panel-making workshops to ensure that southern communities and stories are reflected in the Quilt, to build on the Quilt’s legacy of activism, and to raise greater awareness of lives lost to HIV/AIDS, then and now. Later this fall, sections of the Quilt will be displayed in communities of impact in the South as part of a curated storytelling exhibition, programming and activities in partnership with local organizations and advocates.

“Quilt making has such powerful storytelling tradition and deep history in the South, particularly within the Black community,” said Dafina Ward, Executive Director of the Southern AIDS Coalition. “We are honored to work in partnership with the National AIDS Memorial and Gilead to launch this new program and connect the AIDS Quilt to southern communities. The Quilt symbolizes the power of community, of remembrance, and celebrating legacy. All of which is critical to ending HIV-related stigma.”

Today, more than 1.3 million people are living with HIV in the United States with over 30,000 new cases being reported each year. Marginalized populations, particularly Black, Hispanic, API and LGBTQI+ communities, are disproportionately impacted. Four decades since the first cases of AIDS were reported, more than 700,000 lives have been lost to the disease in the U.S. alone. In 1993, HIV was the leading cause of death for Black men between ages 25-44. By 2004, HIV became the leading cause of death for Black women in the same age group. Today, according to the latest figures provided by the CDC, Black Americans make up 42% of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S., with half of those diagnoses occurring in southern states, and rates rising among certain segments of the population. While rates of infection have decreased overall in recent years, rates continue to rise among Black men. Racism, HIV stigma, homophobia, poverty, and barriers to health care continue to drive these disparities.

“We are thankful to Gilead for its leadership and vision and look forward to working together with many community partners in the coming months to launch this meaningful initiative,” added Cunningham. “Making new quilt panels is a way to bring to the forefront the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Black community and a way to raise greater awareness that change these statistics.”

The Quilt is considered the largest community arts project in the world, now surpassing 50,000 individually sewn panels with more than 110,000 names stitched into its 54 tons of fabric that honors lives lost to AIDS. Its first panels were created in June of 1987 when a group of strangers, led by gay rights activist Cleve Jones, gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would forget. This meeting of devoted friends, lovers and activists would serve as the foundation for The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt. Each panel made measured 3 ft by 6 ft, the size of a human grave. They saw the Quilt as an activist tool to push the government into taking action to end the epidemic.

Monday, June 13, 2022

WalletHub Study: Colorado Is 2022’s 6th Most Fun State in America


With summer just around the corner and 86% of Americans planning to take a vacation, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Most Fun States in America, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

To determine the states offering the greatest variety and most cost-effective options for enjoyment, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 26 key metrics. The data set ranges from movie costs to accessibility of national parks to casinos per capita.

Fun in Colorado (1=Most Fun; 25=Avg.):
  • 16th – Restaurants per Capita
  • 14th – Movie Theaters per Capita
  • 23rd – Amusement Parks per Capita
  • 11th – Performing-Arts Theaters per Capita
  • 11th – Fitness Centers per Capita
  • 18th – Access to National Parks
  • 7th – Casinos per Capita

Cartoon Network Celebrates Pride with "Adventure Time's" Marceline and Princess Bubblegum + "Steven Universe" Programming

A picture containing text, vector graphics

Description automatically generatedCartoon Network last week launched a video in support of LGBTQ identity featuring fan favorites from Adventure Time, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum (voiced by Olivia Olson and Hynden Walch) on the network’s social accounts. The two can be heard in conversation on their way to a Pride celebration discussing inclusion, acceptance, respect, and love.

And be sure to check out the week-long “Proud to be You” programming block on Cartoon Network featuring Steven Universe every night beginning Monday, June 27.



Friday, June 10, 2022

Fandor Celebrates Pride Month With a Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Cinema

announced today that Fandor will be celebrating Pride Month in June with an exciting line-up of LQBTQ+ cinema.


Ranging from documentaries to charming comedies and critically acclaimed titles, Pride Month on Fandor will feature Queen of Lapa (2020) from directors Carolina Monnerat and Theodore Collatos. The film follows Luana Muniz, one of Brazil’s most recognizable transgender personalities, shaping a new reality in her hostel by providing a safe working environment in the dangerous neighborhood of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro.


Featured Fandor films in June will also include Xavier Dolan’s award-winning Laurence Anyways (2012), following the epic 10-year journey and transition when Laurence tells his girlfriend Fred that he wants to become a woman. A Very Natural Thing (1974), considered to be the first feature film on the gay experience made by an out-of-the-closet gay man to receive commercial distribution, will also be available to stream on Fandor in June.


Fandor features thousands of independent films, documentaries, international titles, and classics on web, iOS, Android, Roku, Comcast Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex, YouTube TV, and Amazon.