Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Hulu's "Vanderpump Villa" Premieres Apr. 1

Decadence and debauchery collide in “Vanderpump Villa,” a new unscripted docu-drama following Lisa Vanderpump’s hand-selected staff as they work, live, and play at an exclusive French estate: Chateau Rosabelle. 
Each scintillating episode follows the elite staff as they try to provide luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime, Vanderpump-curated experiences for guests while dealing with rivalries, romances, and raucous misadventures that come from living and working together 24/7.
From firework-filled proposals and opulent events at the chateau to unbelievable excursions and outrageous confrontations in the French countryside, each day at the Chateau brings nonstop heartfelt, humorous, and heated moments, from staff and guests alike. All the while, Lisa evaluates whether this is the team to make her “pop up” experience a permanent reality and add to her ever-growing empire.  
But will this unparalleled–yet unorthodox–crew be able to rise to the occasion and meet both the guests’ and Lisa’s great expectations?

Federal Housing Administration Launches New Option to Help Struggling Borrowers Keep Their Homes

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced a new loss mitigation home retention option for borrowers with FHA-insured single family forward mortgages who are behind on their mortgage payments. The new offering, called the Payment Supplement, provides mortgage servicers with an additional tool to temporarily reduce a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment by up to 25 percent without modifying the mortgage’s current interest rate. The Payment Supplement is meant to help those borrowers who cannot sufficiently be assisted by existing FHA home retention solutions because the interest rate on their mortgage is lower than current interest rates. It is the latest addition to a successful suite of FHA loss mitigation options that has kept more than 1.6 million struggling borrowers in their homes since the start of this Administration.


“HUD uses every tool in our toolkit to ensure we can help struggling borrowers avoid foreclosure,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Today’s new policy will enable the families we serve to get back on their feet while staying in their homes.”


When implemented, the Payment Supplement will allow mortgage servicers to temporarily reduce a borrower’s mortgage payment by using funds from a Partial Claim which enables the borrower to access up to 30 percent of the outstanding balance of their FHA-insured mortgage. The Partial Claim amount is placed in a junior lien and paid back when the homeowner sells or refinances the home or the mortgage otherwise terminates. Under the Payment Supplement, the Partial Claim funds are used in the following way:

  • First, the Partial Claim is used to pay any arrearages and to bring the borrower’s mortgage payment current.
  • Next, the remaining funds are deposited in an FHA custodial account managed by the mortgage servicer and used to temporarily supplement the principal and interest portion of a borrower’s mortgage payment each month, with a target of up to a 25 percent reduction in monthly principal and interest payments.

“FHA developed this innovative tool because after interest rates rose the FHA Recovery Modification could no longer reliably provide payment reduction to borrowers facing a hardship,” said Federal Housing Commissioner Julia Gordon. “Payment Supplement will bring borrowers current and temporarily reduce their monthly payments for up to three years, which we hope will enable them to weather their hardship and once again begin making their full mortgage payments.”


The Payment Supplement option is available to all borrowers who have not already exhausted their Partial Claim allowance through previous loss mitigation actions.


Mortgage servicers may begin implementing Payment Supplement on May 1, 2024, but must implement the solution for all eligible borrowers by January 1, 2025.


In addition to the publication of the Payment Supplement policy, FHA also announced today that it is extending its full suite of temporary loss mitigation options through April 30, 2025. The existing loss mitigation options, originally developed as part of FHA’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, are currently available to mortgage servicers for all borrowers who are behind on their mortgage payments, regardless of the reason for their hardship. The options were originally set to expire on October 30, 2024.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Miami and Miami Beach Expand Rainbow Spring LGBTQ+ Program Ahead of Pride 2024

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is excited to announce the launch of its second annual Rainbow Spring program this February. Diversity is at the heart of Miami and Miami Beach, and this initiative is tailored to provide LGBTQ+ visitors with a spectrum of unique programming and promotional offers, enhancing their experience in Miami and Miami Beach throughout the spring season. Building on the success of its inaugural year in 2023, which resulted in more than 27,000 bookings from LGBTQ+ travelers in the U.S., the GMCVB is expanding the program to target visitors in international markets such as Toronto, London, Mexico City and São Paulo. For comprehensive LGBTQ+ information and exclusive offers, visit the program's website at The site will feature special discounts on hotels and attractions, as well as deals at restaurants.

Miami Beach's two LGBTQ+ owned hotels, Axel Beach Miami and Hotel Gaythering, will be the program's mainstays, offering events including karaoke, trivia night, bingo, martini night, and sports events.

Greater Miami and Miami Beach is packed with a vibrant array of LGBTQ+ experiences and events year-round, and this spring will bring diverse experiences that draw in all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

"Greater Miami and Miami Beach takes pride in being a welcoming community for LGBTQ+ travelers year-round," said Dan Rios, GMCVB's Director of LGBTQ+ Tourism Marketing. "As a leading destination for the LGBTQ+ community, Rainbow Spring is another way we can offer experiences to ensure they feel seen and represented when they visit."

Greater Miami and Miami Beach has a diverse offering of LGBTQ+ owned and operated restaurants that visitors can enjoy. Asian fusion restaurant Phuc Yeah offers a menu infused with a queer influence, including the popular "Say Gay" cocktail—a spicy twist on a mezcal margarita. For dazzling drag performances, Palace Bar & Restaurant and R House offer eclectic and nationally acclaimed food and entertainment. For an upscale dining experience, businesses such as Klaw Miami and Pez Loco incorporate sophisticated coastal-inspired menu items.

For additional details about Miami and Miami Beach, visit

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A Decade of Flame Con: Celebrating Queer Geek Culture

In the heart of New York City, Flame Con, created and produced by the LGBTQ+ non-profit Geeks OUT, is gearing up for its tenth anniversary. Scheduled for August 17th - 18th at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel, this two-day event promises a diverse lineup of creators and special guests from the LGBTQ+ community, along with panels, performances, and cosplay.

Reflecting on the event's growth, Nic Gitau, President of Geeks OUT, remarks, "Flame Con has become a home for queer fans, championed queer stories, and celebrated queer creators as their careers have sparked and exploded."

This year, Flame Con is pleased to welcome Molly Knox Ostertag, acclaimed author-illustrator, as one of its special guests. In addition, the con will host Fireball: The Official Flame Con After Party on August 17th, featuring Megami from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16 as host.

Last year's event featured a range of queer-oriented vendors, creators, and special guests, as well as panels and presentations covering various topics in geek culture. Notable attendees included Josh Trujillo and Anthony Oliveira, who both praised Flame Con for its unique atmosphere and sense of community.

Tickets for Flame Con are available through Eventbrite, offering options for daily and weekend passes, as well as access to the official 2024 Flame Con party.

WalletHub Study - Denver Ranks in the Top 15 Best Places for Valentine’s Day

Source: WalletHub
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and 46% of Americans saying inflation is affecting their plans this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the Best Places for Valentine’s Day in 2024, alongside its nationally representative 2024 Valentine’s Day Spending Survey.

To determine the most romantic yet affordable cities for Valentine’s Day, WalletHub compared 100 of the largest U.S. cities across 25 key metrics, ranging from florists per capita to forecasted precipitation to the cost of a three-course meal for two.

Celebrating Courage and Community: Stonewall National Museum Gala 2024

In Fort Lauderdale, the Stonewall National Museum, Archives & Library (SNMAL) is gearing up for its annual Standing on the Shoulders of Heroes Gala 2024. Set to take place on February 24, 2024, at The Venue, this event will honor individuals whose stories embody resilience and strength within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Among the guests of honor are Diana Nyad, known for her remarkable swim from Cuba to Florida, Kristen Lovell, the subject of the HBO documentary "The Stroll," and Stacy Ritter, president/CEO of Visit Lauderdale. Ritter's efforts to maintain a welcoming atmosphere in Broward County, despite challenges such as book bans and restrictions on healthcare, will be recognized.

The gala holds significance as SNMAL has been dedicated to preserving LGBTQIA+ history for over 50 years. With over 500 guests expected, the evening will feature speeches, dining, entertainment, and a fundraising auction to support SNMAL's ongoing mission.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Equity, diversity concerns top American Bar Association meeting Feb. 1-5 in Louisville

Legal measures to achieve a more equitable U.S. justice system, celebrations of champions of diversity and hot-button topics such as qualified immunity and gun control are chief among legal concerns that will be explored at the 2024 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 1-5.


With several dozen top-quality legal programs, events and presentations by America’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.


The ABA House of Delegates — the association’s policy-making body — will meet in-person on Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. EST at the Kentucky International Convention Center (221 South Fourth St). For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.   

HBO Releases Official Trailer and Key Art For LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO


HBO has released the official trailer and key art for the original documentary LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO, produced by RadicalMedia, directed by Carlos López Estrada and Zac Manuel, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 (8:00-9:35 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO captures the creative dynamo and mesmerizing star power of Lil Nas X, the groundbreaking, Grammy award-winning rapper, singer, and songwriter, as he prepares for and embarks on his first-ever headlining U.S. tour. With unparalleled access, the film follows the genre-breaking artist on a personal journey of self-investigation and discovery as he creates, rehearses, and performs nightly in front of his legions of devoted fans.

Spanning 60 days of the “Long Live Montero” tour in 2022/2023, the verité-style film delves beneath the surface of Lil Nas X, a boy from Atlanta born Montero Hill, whose musical career exploded with his 2019 crossover hit “Old Town Road.” Mirroring the stage show, the film is divided into three acts—Rebirth, Transformation, and Becoming—and chronicles Montero’s own odyssey as he navigates the pressures of his meteoric rise to stardom, his desire to inspire his fans and accept the naysayers, and his place within the pantheon of Black, queer icons. Capturing this provocative performer at a transformational point in his life, Montero’s elaborate stage show transports the audience through the highs and lows of his life via his deeply personal music, while behind the scenes, the film reveals a sensitive young man still exploring his own queer identity, complicated relationships with family members, and his aspirations as a force for self-expression and acceptance. Vulnerable and raw off stage, dazzling and spectacular on stage, LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO is a testament to an artist who continues to push boundaries, transcend genres, and reshape expectations on his quest to become the truest and greatest version of himself.

National and State Groups petition the UN about the Human Rights Crisis for LGBTQIA+ Texans

Today, Equality Texas, the ACLU of TexasGLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign with the support of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law submitted a Joint Allegation Letter to 17 independent experts, working groups, and special rapporteurs at the UN about the human rights crisis facing LGBTQIA+ Texans. 

After a record-breaking legislative session in Texas—over 140 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills filed, Texans are now struggling with a collection of new laws that eliminate medical freedom for trans youth, censor school libraries, ban trans athletes from participating in collegiate sports, end DEI practices at public universities, threaten drag performance, and undermine local government's already limited power. Together these laws are a systemic attack on the fundamental rights, dignities, and identities of LGBTQIA+ persons that opens the gates for discrimination by both public and private actors. 

The state's discrimination has gone unchecked to the point that state officials are now policing other states with unconstitutional laws. Just as state laws must defer to federal laws, so too the Constitution states that they must yield to international treaties that have been ratified by the federal government. 

The Joint Allegation Letter focuses on 7 bills that intentionally target or disproportionately impact LGBTQIA+ Texans: SB 14 (banning essential health care for trans youth), SB 17 (preventing public universities from maintaining DEI programs), SB 15 (preventing trans athletes from competing at the collegiate level), SB 763 (allowing chaplains to counsel school children, without any limit on proselytization or official training), SB 12 (banning public drag performances by labeling them as “sexually oriented”), HB 900 (enabling schools to ban LGBTQ+ books through a broad and vague definition of “sexual explicit” content), HB 2127 (encroaching on local power and threatening local non-discrimination ordinances). The letter spells out how these laws violate the U.S.’s obligation under the ICCPR and other human rights treaties. Specifically, they violate Texans’ right to non-discrimination, right to privacy, right to health, right to freedom of expression, and right to education. 

We fought in the legislature, we fought in the courts, we pushed back in local communities, and waited on the federal government to intervene. Now we are looking to the UN for leadership. 

In a December 2023 report on the state of human rights in the United States, the UN Human Rights Committee said:

“While noting the various legislative and policy initiatives adopted at the Federal level, the [Human Rights] Committee is concerned at the increase of state legislation that severely restricts the rights of persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as laws that, inter alia, ban and, in some instances, criminalize gender-affirming health care for transgender persons; forbid transgender individuals from using restrooms or from participating in school sports that corresponds with their gender identity; and limit discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity issues in schools.” 

Statement from the website of the Independent Expert of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity:

“Discriminatory laws and socio-cultural norms continue to marginalize and exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse persons from education, health care, housing, employment and occupation, and other sectors. This environment of exclusion lends itself to violence and discrimination. Exclusion also leads to inequality of opportunity and of access to resources.”

Statement from Ariel Dulitzky, Director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law: 

“Today is a sad day for Texas. Our state has not satisfied its obligation to safeguard the fundamental pillars of freedom, equality, dignity, and rights enshrined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We hope that with the United Nations’ involvement, the rights of LGBTQI+ persons will be fully recognized, respected, and protected in Texas.” 

Statement from Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas: 

“Failing to meet the minimum standards of international human rights treaties highlights the dire state of LGBTQIA+ rights in Texas. When state leaders fail us, we turn to the courts and the federal government, when they fail us we turn to the world. We cannot pretend to be a beacon of freedom when our state is slipping behind global human rights standards that have been in place for nearly 50 years. Our nation is only as strong as our weakest link, and right now, Texas is dragging our nation into a human rights crisis that will do more than damage our global reputation, it will harm our LGBTQIA+ neighbors at home.” 

Statement from Oni K. Blair, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas: 

"As a former U.S. diplomat who currently leads the ACLU of Texas, I believe there is sufficient evidence for the United Nations to investigate the barrage of civil rights abuses in Texas, especially those targeting the LGBTQIA+ community. Doing so would bring international awareness, clear recommendations to rectify human rights issues, and undeniable pressure on U.S. public and private entities to ensure equality for LGBTQIA+ Texans in our state. We join a long line of advocates who have appealed to international organizations to hold U.S. institutions accountable for protecting the human rights of all people, no exceptions." 

Statement from Melodía Gutiérez, Texas State Director at the Human Rights Campaign: 

“By delivering relentless attacks on the rights, dignity, and very existence of LGBTQ+ people for years, lawmakers in Texas are sending a clear message that members of our community are neither welcome nor safe in their state. This is not only creating a dire situation for queer and transgender Texans, but it is also forcing countless families to uproot their lives and flee to other parts of the country so that their children can simply grow up safe as their true selves. This should never be the reality for anyone in the United States. More than ever before, we will continue to activate our coalition, challenge political extremism, and reinforce the fact that LGBTQ+ Americans are fighting back and not going anywhere.” 

Statement from Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD: 

“There is a human rights crisis in the state of Texas. As a result of the 2023 legislative session and other regressive efforts, LGBTQ citizens from across the Lone Star State are forced to openly wonder if they can access necessities such as health care, inclusive education, creative freedoms and more. The governor and other leaders are failing in their basic responsibilities to keep all Texans safe and free. Discrimination against LGBTQ Texans, especially in the transgender community, is of international concern. We stand with our partners in Texas and nationwide in ensuring our concerns are heard by the United Nations and to urge all voices to speak up and act to protect LGBTQ Texans from state-sponsored misinformation, discrimination and violence.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

One Colorado Presents "A Night for Every Body"

Join One Colorado in a celebration dedicated to raising awareness for our intersex community! This exciting and free event takes place January 31 at Sie FilmCenter and features a movie screening of "Every Body," a compelling panel discussion with intersex activist Alicia Roth Weigel, and an exclusive book signing for Alicia's latest release, "Inverse Cowgirl".

As we come together for this evening in community, it's essential to delve into the interconnected fight for intersex rights, trans rights, and queer rights. Bring along a friend and an open mind for a thought-provoking and engaging experience.

Aspen Gay Ski Week: ASPENX Beach Club Hosts Exclusive 1/17 Party for Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardmembers

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, bring your +1s and revel in Aspen Gay Ski Week at a party atop Aspen Mountain. ASPENX Beach Club opens early exclusively for Sapphire Reserve cardmembers and their guests to enjoy high-altitude glamour, breathtaking views, and beachside vibes. Local DJ Ryan Golbus will set the mood with sounds, and delightful canapés & cocktails will be served.

Simply show your Sapphire Reserve card for you and a guest to enter. Arrive early as space is limited, and attendees must be 21 or older.

ASPENX Beach Club is located at the top of the Silver Queen Gondola, next to Sundeck and ASPENX Mountain Club. A lift ticket is required to ride the Gondola. Skiing is not mandatory, but for those who enjoy it, you can ski in from neighboring runs on Aspen Mountain. Remember to dress warmly, as ASPENX Beach Club is a fully outdoor venue.

Join us for an exclusive party at Aspen’s slope-side beach club, specially crafted for Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, to celebrate Gay Ski Week. Enjoy the high-altitude experience, scenic views, and the beats by DJ Ryan Golbus, accompanied by canapés and cocktails. Arrive early, bring your Sapphire Reserve card, and get ready for an unforgettable celebration.

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Denver Art Society Commemorates Black History Month with Acclaimed Artist Dr. Thomas E. Lockhart III and Photographer Travis Broxton on Friday, February 2nd

DAS celebrates Black History Month with internationally renowned artist Dr. Thomas E. Lockhart III (pictured) and photographer Travis Broxton.

Dr. Lockhart’s process is as unique as his ability to flow between genres and techniques.  When asked what is style is, he smiles and replies with “all styles are my style.”  Starting with a blank black canvas, and using a white crayon or pencil, he sketches out what he sees in his mind’s eye. Layering elements of fabric, paper and metal, he infuses textures to match the intricate lines of his creations.


The great photographer Minor White stated, “One should not only photograph things for what they are, but for what else they are.” Travis Broxton creates images that call attention to the things we see but don’t see. He uses selective duplication and reconstruction to create unique new designs by finding an imaginative way to reassemble the subject.


Rounding out the program, DAS brings the music of Tiffany Lynn & Friends to the stage, liturgical dance by Da’Janai Smith, and the spoken word performances of Bridgette Tolbert and Volleny Bryant.  CJ’s Stick Fingers will provide soul food!


Additionally, Ellie and the Alibis and Soneffs 8 will be on stage from 5 – 6 p.m. followed by Angela Perry and PawnShop Motel from 8 – 10 p.m.

Colorado Division of Child Welfare Earns Prestigious Human Rights Campaign Recognition for LGBTQ+ Inclusion

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has once again awarded the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Division of Child Welfare its prestigious Innovator Seal of Recognition, which recognizes the division’s leadership on LGBTQ+ inclusion. This is the third time since 2019 that the division has earned the recognition.

The recognition was announced in the HRC Foundation’s All Children-All Families 2023 Change-Makers Report, which highlights efforts to make services more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community, including children and youth in foster care and prospective foster and adoptive parents.

“Our teams have worked diligently over the past five years to implement innovative approaches to LGBTQ+ inclusion in key policy and practice areas to help LGBTQ+ youth and families thrive,” said Mollie Bradlee, interim director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families, which oversees the Division of Child Welfare. “Working with the Human Rights Campaign is one of several ways our department is dedicated to making policy and practice changes to improve the lives of some of our most at-risk and marginalized children, youth and families.”

The agencies featured in HRC’s report provided professional development to staff and implemented ACAF’s benchmarks of LGBTQ+ inclusion, which track policy and practice changes within agencies. Agencies can receive one of three tiers of recognition, which celebrate the strides the agencies have made toward becoming fully LGBTQ+ welcoming and affirming.

Along with CDHS’s Division of Child Welfare, the Adams County Department of Human Services and Adoption Options also received the Innovator Seal of Recognition — the highest tier of recognition — placing them among the nation’s top child welfare organizations for LGBTQ+ inclusion. Another Colorado Department of Human Services program, the Colorado Sexual Health Initiative (CoSHI), was recognized in the ACAF report for taking strides in its LGBTQ+ inclusion journey.

“Adams County has been an innovator in LGBTQ+ inclusion since 2017. We are proud to be the first Colorado county to receive the ACAF seal of recognition and set our goal high at achieving the Innovator Seal in our first year,” said the Adams County ACAF Committee. “We aim to recruit and certify LGBTQ+ affirming foster homes while ensuring our policies and practices align with the affirmation we support in our families. We display our ACAF seals in all our recruitment materials to ensure inclusivity. Adams County hosted its second annual Pride event, and also kicked off its first Winter Solstice Gayla to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community. We aim to bring inclusion and affirmation into every step of our process.”

In 2019, 71 agencies across 23 states were featured in ACAF’s first edition of this report. Just five years later, a record-breaking 172 agencies across 43 states implemented LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and affirming practices. These agencies employ over 30,500 professionals and serve more than 1.4 million children, youth and families annually.  

The 10 Colorado organizations that received one of the three tiers of recognition in the Change-Makers Report are listed below:

Innovative Inclusion:

  • Adams County Department of Human Services’ Children & Family Services Division — Westminster
  • Adoption Options — Denver
  • Colorado Office of Children, Youth and Families’ Child Welfare Division — Denver

Solid Foundation for Inclusion

  • Raise the Future — Denver

Building Foundation for Inclusion

  • CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties — Westminster
  • CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties — Golden
  • CASA of the Continental Divide — Dillon
  • Arapahoe County Department of Human Services’ Child and Adult Protection Services — Aurora
  • Jefferson County Human Services’ Division of Children, Youth, Families, and Adult Protection — Golden
  • Larimer County Children, Youth and Family Services’ Foster and Kinship Programs — Fort Collins