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By Chris Azzopardi

There’s something for every color of the rainbow included in this year’s music-release roster. The list is long, but here’s a taste: debuts from Pitch Perfect star Ben Platt and hair-toss kween Lizzo, songwriter showcases from Patty Griffin and Lana Del Rey, gay icons (Madonna, Melissa Etheridge), emerging gay icons (Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen), and much more.

Ben Platt, Sing to Me Instead
You know Ben Platt as a Pitch Perfect acca-nerd – he played Benji Applebaum, the acapella-obsessed outcast crazy for magic – and as the eponymous lead in Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. But the magic of his first solo album, where he’ll peel back the layers of the gay man under the wizard’s cape, is purely Ben Platt being Ben Platt. Already, he’s captured the greatest love of all – the saving grace of self-love – on “Bad Habit,” a tender, aching piano number with gorgeous vocal riffs on gorgeous vocal riffs. Surely Platt has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Madonna (TBA)
Will Madonna reel it in? Drain the pool of zeitgeist, hotshot producers she’s been known to enlist for recent projects? Ditch trends? Blaze trails? Much remains to be seen (and heard), but because women are ardently reclaiming their rightful power – and because Madonna is Madonna – she’s bound to come down hard on the patriarchy on her 14th studio album. Suitably, she had a session with an all-female Portuguese orchestra for the release, which she told Women’s Wear Daily was being made “in between rose mist spray and serums.” So just maybe this one’ll be sweet and fresh and like a Sephora after all.

Carly Rae Jepsen (TBA)
In October 2018, Carly Rae Jepsen announced her pop career’s next chapter by Instagramming a snap of a (her?) cat nipping at a Twizzler she held in one hand, a droopy slice of pizza dangling from her other. Full pizza at her feet, the pic – hilarious, empowering – captured the buoyant breakup anthem that would follow, “Party For One,” a bop that makes a strong argument for singlehood and self-pleasure. E*MO*TION* was fire. The best pop album of 2015. Maybe not a Hot-N-Ready, but whatever Jepsen delivers, piece by piece, we’ll eat it right up.

Patty Griffin, Patty Griffin
A first-ever self-titled album after nearly 25 years in the music business has to mean something. For Patty Griffin, one of the best character songwriters this world has to offer (just ask gay power-songwriter Justin Tranter, who stans PG), it means deep, pensive dives into her own life. Battling cancer, as Griffin did, will tend to beget self-reflection, and so her 10th studio album, “Patty Griffin,” traces her steps, from memories with her late mom to growing up in Maine, when she thought “maybe who I am wasn’t right.” “Luminous Places” – a could-be swan song – is otherworldly, casting a mystic dreaminess amid a delicate dance of strings, guitar and pillowy piano; it’s as if the song was composed in the clouds, then fell from the sky and floated to us on a single moon-lit snowflake.

Ariana Grande, Thank U, Next
Ariana Grande moves on fast – from donut controversy, from exes, from albums. Sweetener descended upon us just half a year ago, in August 2018, but Grande had more to say, dammit, and so she’s gone and said it with an army of 12 bad-bitch-and-beyond songs conceived for this new project led by the power-asserting “thank u, next” and the “My Favorite Things”-sampled “7 rings,” a piercing, winking satire of millennial entitlement. A confessional chronicling a trying year in the spotlight, it’s her best, boldest album yet.

Melissa Etheridge, The Medicine Show
As always, LGBTQ activist and lesbian rock legend Melissa Etheridge has the antidote for our precarious times – songs about them. Her 15th studio release called The Medicine Show reunites Etheridge with producer John Shanks – the album was largely recorded live in studio – and explores universal themes of renewal, reconciliation, reckoning, compassion and healing. Songs include “Shaking,” about national anxiety; “Here Comes the Pain,” personalizing the opioid crisis; the hopeful and unifying “Human Chain”; and rock anthem “Love Will Live.” The survivors of the Parkland school shootings inspired the album’s closing song, “Last Hello,” while “Wild and Lonely” and “Faded By Design” take another, different look at Etheridge’s past.

Dido, Still on My Mind
Dido seems to not mind being forgotten, only to be remembered every four to six years, when she floats back to earth like the mystic fairy she is, reminding us that her dainty voice may be that of an actual pixie. Her first album since 2013’s Girl Who Got Away, Still on My Mind was recorded with her brother, Rollo, at home, on a couch. It’s that chill living room sound both you and your mom can agree on; the real thrill, though, is hearing the English performer infuse electro and hip-hop life into her delicate sofa songs. A remix album can’t be far off.

Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell
Lana Del Rey’s persona is the subject of much debate and confusion: how much is truly authentic, and how much is the record label’s doing to produce a pop icon for These Sad, Dark Times. Del Rey seems to have leaned into the conversation, and she’s responded accordingly – and very, very personally – with her forthcoming album’s maximalist-titled first single, called “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman to have – but I have it.” Produced and co-written with Taylor Swift and Lorde producer Jack Antonoff, the song is a songwriter’s song, hauntingly simple, intimate. Her authenticity is her defiance.

Lizzo, CUZ I LOVE YOU (April 19)
On “Juice,” rapper-singer-flutist and “America’s Next Bop Star” Lizzo does not, will not, even let that mirror, mirror on the wall chime in on the fairest one of all. Because, honey, she is. And you are. And we all are. There for you and all the blighted characters in Blockers and A Bad Moms Christmas and I Feel Pretty, the Detroit-born, Minneapolis-raised performer’s breakthrough single, “Good as Hell,” similarly empowered you to write your own damn fairy tale and parade that princess crown around and let it shine. All signs for this one, Lizzo’s much-anticipated major-label debut, point to more hair-toss, “you go geeeerl” swagger.

 

Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him @chrisazzopardi.

By Deven Green
Photo: Michael Serrato

Tom Goss has been a dear musical friend who, through his highly acclaimed music, brings awareness, diversity, and a connectivity in his live shows and thought-provoking videos.

Tom, you create your own music, music videos, calendars, posters, tours and everything else. Your musicianship is all-encompassing. Where does this drive come from?

I’ve always had it. Whatever I’m passionate about, I’m obsessive about. It’s what made me a great athlete as well. I think people assume that things come easily to me, trust me, they don’t. I’m a nose to the grindstone kind of guy. I’ll do something 10,000 times until I get it right. It’s served me well over my life, but sometimes I (and my husband) wish I could just take a day off. There are certain things that everyone else loves, that I just don’t understand. For instance, the beach. I cannot fathom what one would do at the beach for more than 3 minutes.

Take us on your body-awareness/body image journey in your videos.

I didn’t realize I was gay until I was 23. Now, I don’t say I didn’t come out of the closet until I was 23, because the truth is, I had no idea! I was always an athlete, always hanging with, and showering with, young, fit, handsome and earnest Midwestern men. I didn’t find them sexually attractive. I didn’t find women sexually attractive either. I assumed I was asexual. I wasn’t.  The fact is, I’m sexually attracted to bigger men. And by bigger, I don’t mean tall; I mean chubby. There is no representation of that in mainstream media. We are told beauty is one shape, one size. That’s not how I see the world and I know I’m not alone. I want to create content that reflects how I see the world. I want to reveal the beauty of all shapes and sizes to the world.

You have become a strong leader and voice in the gay community, in particular, the “bear community.” Why such an affinity?

I am, and always will be, an outspoken voice for that which I see as beautiful and marginalized. That’s why I tell stories about my community. I see insane amounts of beauty, kindness, talent, and compassion in the bear community. I am grateful to be a part of it.

Your videos always include diversity. Where do you find such rare talents?

Diversity is important to me; it always has been. I want to create art that reflects the world that I live in, and that’s a diverse world. Finding diverse talents isn’t hard; they’re everywhere. I look forward to the day when we don’t see it as diverse; we see it as normal.

What have been the best responses to your music?

Almost daily I get the most heartfelt letters about how my music has touched someone. My music has played at weddings, funerals, birthday parties, pretty much all of the most precious moments of a person’s life. I’ve helped people see their own beauty, that floors me. I’ve helped people get through the worst of times, and celebrate the best of times, what an honor. That’s why I do this. I am humbled by the power of music and storytelling; I will never betray that responsibility.

Tom, you are an inspiration. Thank you.

TomGossMusic.com | FB/IG/Twitter/YouTube @TomGossMusic

WELL HELLO. IT’S DEVEN GREEN.

Photo: Jasmin Mieles

MUA: David Marvel

DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedic chanteuse. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” series of comedic parodies, headlining her convivial music show and being a ray of light. DevenGreen.com

Dear Deven:

I fell head-over-heels for a celebrity. I think he likes me too! How do I proceed to date someone famous?

Crazy For You”

You don’t. As a generalization, they will suck your energy and lifeblood until you are a husk of what you once were. Then, they will move on. #fact.

 

Dear Deven:

I survived a car crash now I feel like I am invincible. How great is that?

Live To Tell”

We are glad you are here with us, so stay a while. Don’t push your luck.

 

Dear Deven:

I actually won a huge chunk of money in the lottery. When people find out, all they want to do is wrangle something from me. How do I shake them off?

Lucky Star”

They see you as receiving “free money” as opposed to you earning your money so it doesn’t “cost” you anything to give them some. Never discuss your finances in public again.

 

Dear Deven:

I get rashes easily. It isn’t a disease, just irritations but I feel new romances stutter when they see it up close. How should I educate them?

Burning Up”

I would play this up so a new suitor would feel compelled to take care of your every need. You may also suggest that snacks and gifts keep your rashes at bay.

 

Dear Deven:

Our friend disliked us getting him a particular magazine subscription as a gift. He said it was a “women’s” magazine. However you respond I will abide.

Vogue”

Fashion, beauty, culture, living, and runway is for everyone. Not only is your friend ungrateful he should have known you well enough to realize your intentions were to earnestly make him happy. He deserves NOTHING!

 

Dear Deven:

My ex just slammed the phone down mid-conversation. I’m fuming!

“Hung Up”

You teach people how to treat you so, if you wish to engage in this immaturity then call him back. If you don’t call him back, he will be a distant ex.

 

Dear Deven:

Oh god, I’m with a sweet guy who bows his head before each meal even if we are out in public. Why am I cringing?

Like A Prayer”

Because are you a d*ck. In the future chose people who are more aligned with you. I suggest you conduct yourself with a little more grace.

 

Dear Deven:

I went to elementary school with my best friend. We are still best friends today. How rare is that?

“True Blue”

Most people just have memories. You have a rich, tangible history. It is going to be wonderful to have such great company with each other in your twilight years.

Dear Friends: I do not offer savory advice, only my salacious experience. DevenGreen@gmail.com

 

 

Basquiat Basks Again

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Photos: Sean Keenan, Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Tom Powel Imaging, Copyright Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy The Brant Foundation

The Brant Foundation Will celebrate the inauguration of its new space in New York City’s East Village with a large-scale solo exhibition of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat that fully presents the scope of the enigmatic artist and showcases the incredible exhibition space at the same time.

Located at 421 East 6th Street, the new Brant Foundation exhibition space occupies a century-old building originally designed as a substation for Consolidated Edison. The building subsequently served as the home and studio of famed artist Walter De Maria from the mid-1980s until his death in 2013.

Richard Gluckman of Gluckman Tang Architects was in charge of the massive renovation of the building and transformed the 16,000-square-foot former substation building to accommodate 7,000 square feet of exhibition space across four open floors. The transformation also enveloped the outer space, so two new gardens adorn the adjacent structure, as well as a landscaped roof terrace.

The inaugural exhibition of Basquiat’s most important artworks has been organized in collaboration with the Fondation Louis Vuitton and curated by Dr. Dieter Buchhart. The exhibition will bring together Basquiat’s masterworks from the Brant Collections as well as from international museums and private collections. “The retrospective will show Basquiat as a resolutely contemporary artist who created a foretaste of our Internet society by using cut-and-paste sampling from his surroundings,” says Dr. Buchhart about the choice of Basquiat for the first show, and continues: “with the astonishing radicalness of his artistic practice, Basquiat renewed the concept of art with enduring impact.”

The Brant Foundation is pleased to premiere some of the most important works from the Brant Collection, which have been amassed since the 1980s by Peter M. Brant. This important compendium of Basquiat’s works reconnects the East Village to one of its most significant past figures. As Brant describes it: “Basquiat has been a cornerstone of the East Village art scene for decades, and to bring his work back to the neighborhood that inspired it is a great privilege. Our family is thrilled to launch The Brant Foundation’s New York space with an artist who is central to the collection, and above all to share his legacy with the community that was fundamental in shaping it.”

Spanning the artist’s entire oeuvre with works from The Brant Collections as well as several international museums and private collections, it illustrates Basquiat’s prolific yet brief career and broad range of subjects, especially his keen observations of his contemporary world while giving insight into his politics, heroes, influences, and singularity of vision.

Gluckman Tang Architects (previously Gluckman Mayner Architects) is the New York City architecture firm that in 2007 the firm designed the renovation of a former cold-storage barn in Greenwich, Connecticut, transforming it into The Brant Foundation Art Study Center. Studio Cicetti Architect of Brooklyn, New York, is the owner’s representative for the East Village building, and Melissa Cicetti, who previously worked at Gluckman Mayner Architects on the The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, continues to oversee work at the building in Greenwich. The New York landscape design firm Madison Cox Associates, designed the two gardens that flank the new East Village exhibition facility, as well as the roof terrace.

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT | The inaugural exhibition of The Brant Foundation’s New York Space
March 6 – May 15, 2019
The Brant Foundation | 421 East 6th Street | New York, NY 10009
BrantFoundation.org

 

 

 

by Mikey Rox

 

I’ll say it: The past few years have been a f***ing nightmare. The climate in this country – and, arguably, the world – is so volatile that it’s a wonder any of us get a good night’s sleep. I find myself angry, negative and depressed for no good reason, but at the end of the day how much does any of the shit we put ourselves through really matter? After a lot of reflection, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t. None of it. Not a single thing impeding your or my happiness is worth what we’re feeding it. So why not stop? I am – starting now. Here’s how I’m snatching back my happiness in 2019.

 

  1. Allowing myself to be proud of me

My grandmother – the one who disowned me for being gay – used to talk a lot about the importance of humility. In fact, she prosthelytized the importance of many “Christian” ideals, but rarely exercised them herself, especially where love and acceptance is concerned. And that’s the primary problem with people trying to teach you to be you: They have no goddamn idea what they’re talking about. As a result, I grew up being ashamed of who I was while not allowing myself to celebrate the growth and progress I make as a human being every day. But that stops here. I have so much to be proud of as not only a man but a gay man. I’m young(ish), successful, blessed in so many ways, and I’ve done all my adulting on my own. That deserves a big pat of the back – and I’m giving it to myself this year.

 

  1. Not giving into short-term gratification

I love shopping. If we’re hunting for clothing and home-good bargains, I’m there in a jif. But it’s an expensive habit to maintain. I update my wardrobe and add décor to my homes more often than I’d like to admit (even though my bank account serves as a constant reminder), but I’ve recently made a resolution that nothing new comes through these doors for the entire year. How will I do that? I’ve started by cutting up credit cards and unsubscribing from every marketing email that has landed in my inbox since January 1. It’s a virtual ghost town in there these days. The next phase is to start editing my closets and my homes for items I can sell to help reach my New Year’s saving resolution, which this year is in the double-digit thousands – all cash in hand. It’s lofty, but I’m determined – and that’s all the motivation I need.

  1. Downsizing my entire life

I’ll start selling my material possessions this year because I don’t need them where I’m going. My long-term goal for 2019 is to unload all my real estate, purchase a van that’s suitable for daily life, and hit the road. As I’ve sat in my properties – alone – for the past few years, I’ve had plenty of time to think, and the question I keep coming back to is, what the hell are you doing here? The answer is nothing. I’m doing nothing where I am but wasting the time I could be spending out there in the world experiencing life instead of literally watching it pass me by. It’s a major change that’ll signify the start of the second half of my life story, but I eat challenges like this for breakfast.

  1. Cutting out alcohol so I can remember what I’m really like

Many people have a difficult relationship with alcohol, myself included. And as I reflect on the over 20 years that I’ve allowed alcohol to ruin relationships, squander opportunities and otherwise fuck me up physically, mentally and emotionally, I have to consider the alternative. So beginning at the top of the year, I decided to live alcohol free until April 1. That’s not the date when I’ll start drinking again, but rather a date that gives me enough time to clear my head, concentrate on my fitness goals and then weigh my options. Will I be the better person I want to be, or am I a dick sober too? Time will tell.

  1. Finding more people who raise my spirits

I don’t like to put down our own LGBTQ community, but we can be real cunts to one another. It’s not just us, though. There are so many people out there who are committed to infecting everyone around them with their negativity that I sometimes dread leaving the house. Everybody has an attitude these days, and for what? Who knows, but I’m canceling all my dates with those downers and only giving time to people who make me feel good about myself. Thank you, next.

  1. Avoiding as much political media as I can

I’m turning off the TV, changing the settings on the news I receive, and avoiding all political debates on social media. It’ll drive you fucking nuts if you give into it, and we can’t let the trolls control us. Look the other way and have nothing to say is my new motto. It’s everybody for themselves out there.

  1. Practicing more self-care

More hot baths, facials, massages, meditation, gym classes, yoga, (safe) SEX, and whatever else makes my mind and body feel like I deserve this. Because I do.

  1. Refusing to do anything I don’t want to do

I’m already very good at saying no, but I have a conscience and I sometimes feel bad when I’m direct to someone who’s kind. I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but I’m also not willing to engage in situations that bore me or make me uncomfortable or that cost me money I don’t want to spend. Thank you for asking, but I’m politely declining, perhaps for eternity. I don’t owe you an answer why either.

Get out there and snatch back your happiness this year too, friends. Clock’s ticking.

 

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He spends his time writing from the beach with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyrox

 

 

 

 

 

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Photographer: Ken Weingart

Groomer: Paige Davenport for Exclusive Artists using Laura Mercier and R+Co

Stills Courtesy of Heart, Baby

 

For the role as the trans woman Crystal, actor Shawn-Caulin Young, a cisgendered, gay man, immersed himself in the trans experience by representing as a trans woman for six months. Goliath’s Mikkel Hyldebrandt spoke to the actor about the world of make-believe, the power of a love story, unlikely bonds, the trans experience, and the imminent need to support the trans community.

Growing up as the youngest of four in a double-wide trailer in the desert outskirt of Farmington, New Mexico with hard-working, middle-class parents, Shawn-Caulin Young always knew he was different. With that knowledge he turned to the land of make-believe instead and spent most of his childhood daydreaming he was someone else.

Surrounded by toxic masculinity, he was relentlessly bullied for what was considered feminine traits, like his sensibility and hyper-awareness of his surroundings, and because he wasn’t into sports like the other boys, he was teased and labeled f****t because he would hang out with girls without dating them. So, Shawn would erase his true self and depended on his talent for pretending to be like the other guys in order to survive.

It wasn’t until high school that Shawn learned that he could embrace his survival trait as a gift and a talent, and he used it to feel significant in the world. In a way, his pretending switched to being acting, and that’s when he knew what career path he wanted to pursue – making a living as a storyteller.

After graduating with a BFA in acting from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, he moved to New York City and quickly landed his first film, and his career as an actor took off.

Now, he plays Crystal in the film “Heart, Baby” about the unlikely prison romance between a trans woman and a boxing champ. To fully immerse himself into the role, Shawn lived as a trans woman for six months, and once again turned to the world of make-believe to experience how living and presenting as your true self can be a matter of survival.

 

‘Heart, Baby!’ is about the unlikely prison romance between a transwoman and a boxing champ. How did you come across this story?

A few years back, writer and director Angela Shelton spoke at the 140 Conference in New York where she met Andy “Doc” Dixon. They quickly bonded and became fast friends. Doc was in prison with George, and the two had been best friends since childhood. A few months later, over some wine, Doc told Angela the story of George and his transgender cellmate Crystal. By the time he was finished, he and Angela were crying, his wife crying, even the dogs were crying! Angela told Doc this needs to be a movie. He agreed, saying only she could do it. Angela began to research and craft the remarkable love story of George and Crystal, and in the summer of 2015, she sent me the script for Heart, Baby!

 

What drew you to this story?

Crystal. She was a remarkable human being. I was fascinated by her innate ability to love beyond her given circumstance. Crystal was an Evangelical transgender woman who found the freedom to be herself inside the confines of a men’s prison! She was a devout believer in Christ who could quote the Bible three ways from Sunday while turning the fiercest look. She was beautiful and complex. Unfortunately, she was literally erased by her family. They concocted false drug charges and locked her away under a fake name to protect the family’s reputation. Despite this, Crystal was filled with love and loyalty to those around her. Crystal’s story is the heart and soul of the film. That being said, there are so many elements of Heart, Baby! that apply to today’s world. It’s not very often that you come across a story that is filled with such heart. When I read the script for the first time, I couldn’t believe it was true. How could an epic love story like this not be known? I couldn’t put it down. I read it three times in a row because I was so moved by their love. I knew I had to do whatever I could to help bring their love to the big screen.

 

What is it about the unlikely bond between a trans woman and boxing champ that is so powerful?

I’ll be the first to admit that their bond makes no sense, on paper. They were polar opposites. I think what makes this story so powerful is that these two human beings were able to find love in such a hopeless place. It shows the depths of the power of love. It was the 80s. This was a time where people could barely understand the concept of transgender, let alone accept it. Throw in the fact they were of different races and religious beliefs and their story becomes even more compelling. The idea that a straight, African-American man fell in love with a white, Evangelical, transgender woman and gave up his chance at freedom to protect her blows my mind. It’s one of the greatest examples of love of which I’ve ever heard. You can’t make love like this up! It transcends time and space. For me, it’s biblical.

 

In preparation for the role as Crystal, you decided to live as a trans woman. Why did you think that was necessary for the part?

When I came onto the project, I was solely a producer. I had no intention of playing the role of Crystal. Our casting director (John Jackson) combed the country for weeks looking for a trans actress. After a month, only ten were submitted. Of those ten, eight were African-American and obviously not a match – Crystal’s was a blonde, white woman. Unfortunately, the two actresses who remained were unable to portray her essence. We were backed into a corner. That’s when Angela suggested I do a makeup test to see if I could pass as a woman. When she sent the photos to Doc, he burst into tears. Angela was adamant that I was the best human to play the role. After much debate, I agreed with the condition that I live as a trans woman for the entire experience. I’m a cisgender, gay man who knew nothing of the trans experience. I had an obligation to Crystal, and to the entire trans community, to do everything I could to respect and honor them. The only way I knew I could do this was to live their life and see the world through their eyes.

As a cisgender, gay man, have you received any backlash for portraying a trans woman?

Surprisingly, most of the backlash I’ve received has come from media outlets that are LGBTQ focused. Several prominent magazines and organizations won’t speak to me or review the film because I’m not trans. Ironically, I have several trans friends who have seen the film and said that only I could have played this part. Many have gone on record saying they approve of and fully support my portrayal of Crystal. The fact I’m experiencing discrimination from my own community shocks and disappoints me. My job as an actor is to find empathy and understanding of the human experience. Most of the time, the characters I play have lived a drastically different life than mine. I lived as a trans woman so that I could be an advocate, knowing for myself what it’s like to live in their world. It’s interesting to me that within the LGBTQ community and media there is discrimination and hate, especially toward other LGBTQ individuals. We need to be celebrating anyone who is willing to tell out stories. I understand that it may look like I’m just another cisgender man taking a role away from a trans person, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

What was your experience of living trans? Did you experience harassment?

I had no idea how difficult it was for a trans woman to live her life, just as herself. Words cannot truly express the hell I experienced. Our government marginalizes trans individuals more than any other demographic within the LGBTQ community. There are no laws to protect against the discrimination of trans people in housing, healthcare, education, and many other basic civil rights. I naïvely stepped into the trans experience thinking it couldn’t be that bad, quickly realizing society is severely tilted against trans people, not to mention women in general. I faced oppression, degradation, objectification, mental and physical harassment. Many people are quick to jump to hatred when they encounter someone they can’t place into a category with which they are comfortable.

For six months, I committed myself to the trans experience, and I’m forever changed because of it. I was in constant fear for my survival, and I believe this is how I trapped into Crystal’s truth. Sometimes it was “We don’t serve your kind here.” Other times it was much more dangerous. One time I was followed down the street by two men who demanded I give them the attention they felt they deserved. If they had found out, I was trans, who knows what they would have done. I also had a stalker who waited for me outside my apartment in New Orleans. The experience was so terrifying; I dealt with depression and anxiety daily. It got so bad that I couldn’t even deal with my own genitalia. It began to represent all of the danger that I was experiencing from the outside world. If everyone were to experience the struggle trans people live every day, the world would be much more loving and accepting.

 

What was the eye-opening experience from having a trans experience?

In a patriarchal, heteronormative society like the United States, life is built on the foundation of suppressing anything feminine. We’ve been living in a “man’s world,” and it’s bullshit. It wasn’t until I lived my life as a trans woman that I came to truly understand this. It’s an oppressive and violent uphill climb for a transgender person to have an equal playing field. It’s important for all human beings of this world, no matter how they identify or express themselves, to have the inalienable and legal right to be who they are without jurisdiction or ramifications. With federal and state laws currently designed the way they are, not much is going to change any time soon without loud vocal action. That’s why now, more than ever, we as a community and a nation must stand up against the oppression of our trans brother and sisters. We must unite and protect them. It’s the only way we are going to survive as a global community.

 

Where can we enjoy your talents – either as producer, director or actor – next?

My writing and directorial debut, Stand/Still, is currently making the rounds on the film festival circuit. It’s a psychological thriller about a middle-aged couple who turn to human trafficking in order to have a child of their own. It’s a terrifying look inside the minds of human traffickers. The short is a proof of concept for a feature of the same name which will hopefully be in production by next summer. We have been fortunate enough to have already won several awards including Best Direction as well as Audience Choice. As an actor, you can catch me on HBO in January 2019. I have an awesome role on True Detective opposite Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali. This season is going to be amazing. It’s a definite must-see!

 

Anything you’d like to add?

I am grateful for Goliath for giving me this chance to share my story. I wish more LGBTQ organizations and media outlets were like you!

Heart, Baby! Premiered on the festival rounds in 2018 with a wider release in May. Go heartbabythemovie.com to see where it is screening now.

 

WELL HELLO. IT’S DEVEN GREEN. February 2019.

DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedic chanteuse. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” and “Welcome To My White House” parodies, headlining her live music show and rising to the occasion. DevenGreen.com

Dear Deven:

I have a lover on the side who has now become my main person. I have taken him out with friends and, unfortunately, he acts up. He will say somewhat off-putting jokes or interject in a conversation with an odd personal story. How do I put him back to side-piece?

Banana”

You wanted all the excitement of a secret partner without all the baggage. This is what happens when you start out with a strictly physical relationship; you are now shocked at his emotional / intellectual deficits. He may lack self esteem but you lack self respect.

Dear Deven:

Brian is a loud talker. I have to shush him in public because he is so loud. Honestly, he has no volume control. How do I put him on mute?

Challah”

Tell him to whisper. If someone asks him to speak up then can he increase his personal volume. Just to be on the safe side maybe he needs a hearing test.

Dear Deven:

You’ve heard of resting-bitch-face, right? My friend has resting-disgruntled-face. He always looks like he is unimpressed. It’s how he is but how do I warn others?

Rye”

Perhaps your friend can look after his own face and let others judge his temperament when he talks. If you don’t warn others I have a feeling it will all play out just fine.

Dear Deven:

This is so petty but a co-worker says, “no” to everything. From lunch choices to business ideas he just says, “no” then eventually he will say, “yes.” It’s maddening. I just wanted to vent.

Naan”

I know you have to work with him but limit any other personal involvement. That consistent negativity can certainly sour you and everyone else around him. Keep your spirits up by not allowing his influence.

Dear Deven:

I was dining with my boss and got crumbs all over my lap. When I tried to brush them away he looked at me like I was a heathen. I feel like I did something wrong. Did I?

Rolls”

You didn’t do anything wrong, just incorrectly. First of all, use a napkin. Second of all, break off bite-size pieces of bread so they fit in your mouth. Thirdly, get a new job. I’m kidding. Just read up on basic dining etiquette.

Dear Deven:

I was going to get married then changed my mind but now I realize I want to get married. My “fiancee” is now getting cold feet. How do I get him back on the wedding train?

Waffle”

It is more than a case of cold feet, this is about your indecisive heart. If you have to convince someone to marry you, you probably don’t trust yourself, so don’t expect him to trust you.

 

Dear Friends: I do not offer advice, only my salacious experience. DevenGreen@gmail.com

 

 

By Deven Green

Well Hello, Bill Greening is a dear friend of mine who happens to design Barbie. I thought you may enjoy his story. 

Bill, tell us what you do with Barbie?
I’m a Principal Designer on Barbie Signature as well as the Barbie Brand Historian. I started at Mattel in 1999. I started working on play dolls for kids until 2006 when I started working on collectable Barbie dolls the Barbie Signature team.

2019 is a special anniversary year, isn’t it?
March 9, 2019 will be the 60th anniversary of her first debut at New York Toy March in 1959! We consider that her birthday here at Mattel. She is the #1 fashion doll in the world. It’s truly awesome the long-standing power of the Barbie doll and how many generations have enjoyed playing and collecting her. Today 58 million dolls are sold worldwide per year!

Which Barbie’s are you most proud of creating?
With the kid’s dolls, it’s very rewarding to see a child get a Barbie doll, that creates a fun happy memory. That this may be the doll they remember playing with for a life time. It’s funny because a lot of those kids what were five and six in the early 2000’s when I first started designing are now in their twenties. if I post one of my first designs on social media, I like to read the reactions and comments. Like ‘OMG I had that doll!’ Some of those Barbie dolls most remembered I designed are Cool Clips, Dream Glow, Picture Pockets, and Jam N/ Glam. In fact, the famous Saturday Night Live Barbie and Skipper spoof with Amy Poehler and Britney Spears, Jam N/ Glam Teresa is mentioned, I’m so honored!

Photographer: Dennis
Stylist: Sheryl

In the collector line, I really love working on fantasy type dolls because you can really take the design into that over the top glamour that you might only see in movies, stage production, or some eccentric pop stars wardrobe. Barbie is a blank slate and she can be anything. Sone of my favorites are Unicorn Goddess Barbie, Goddess of the Galaxy Barbie, the Haunted Beauty Barbie line because I love Halloween!

There are some dolls, that I worked on, that seem to be favorites in the gay community as well like Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill Superman, Cher, Ladies of the 80’s Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, and Debbie Harry, Dynasty’s Krystle and Alexis, Farrah Fawcett, Tippy Hedren in The Birds, The Blonds Blond Diamond Barbie doll. It’s funny because the Blonds Barbie often turns up in many funny glamour diva type memes. I know the real-life Blonds, David And Phillipe, think this is funny too.

Why do you think Barbie is so popular with the Gay community?  
I think many gay men have some sort of experience with Barbie. If they wanted a doll for themselves as a child, played with their sisters, or the best case had parents who just saw the doll as a toy not just a toy for girls and gave it to them. There is an allure with Barbie, the glamour, the larger than life persona. She’s an icon like Cher, Madonna, et cetera. She keeps serving your looks for the last 60 years. She evolves her look each decade, capturing cultural trends, fashion, and fads. She’s a little time capsule of pop culture. I always think drag queens emulate the top icons of pop culture Icons like Cher or Madonna, and I think it’s awesome when I see drag queens pay homage to Barbie. My friend Trinna Modele does Barbie in her show and the crowd goes wild. I’ve seen Violet Chachki do the 1959 Barbie look on social media.  I have a picture of Lady Bunny standing next to Karl Lagerfeld at a Barbie event dressed up like my Pop Life Barbie design, and Trixie Mattel re-created a look from one of the dolls I worked on called Golden Dream Barbie from the Superstar Forever Series. That was a big honor to see people making the comparison of social media and tagging me.

Did Barbie help you come out?
Yes, I feel like Barbie has been my friend my whole life. She’s been my side for a long time. When I was very young like around four or five, I had my own Malibu Barbie dolls. It was ok to have them as a young boy, then suddenly it wasn’t. I think my mom was afraid what the neighbors would say when I got a little too old in her opinion. Funny though my dad never had an issue with me playing dolls and often bought me them when I got him to take me to the toy store! I always still found a way to play Barbie with girlfriends and my cousin.  Around 17 years old, in 1988, I decided to start collecting Barbie. There was some resistance at first, but my Mom gave in and eventually joined me in the hobby. We went to doll shows and antique shops together and it became our time to hang out.

In 1990, I came out, I was 19. My mom really had a hard time with it. I think she always knew I was gay, but in that time period, the media was talking about the AIDS crisis, and I think my Mother’s reaction came out of a place of fear not hate. Thankfully, we had a neutral ground of Barbie collecting to keep us talking. It was a way for us to connect in a light-hearted way. The hobby gave us a neutral place to be together. My dad, in contrast, was always very cool. He believed we all walk our own path in life. My path was a gay man who collected and would eventually design for Barbie. It’s all I ever wanted to do since childhood. After design school, I landed my job at Mattel. My parents could not have been prouder. They even had a large Barbie display in their house of my work. They would show off to kids and the neighbors when they came over. Both my parents have passed away now. I’m very thankful they were on this journey with me, coming out, discovering my passion for doll design, and sharing the joy of Barbie. 2019 really gives me pause. A chance to think back, look forward and to celebrate along with Barbie.

Thank you so much Bill and congratulations.
Follow Bill on FB / IG @BillGreening

 

 

By Chris Azzopardi

 

Photos: Columbia Pictures

 

A pansexual man-avenger returns – this time, with English actress Claire Foy sporting the Swedish computer-hacker Lisbeth Salander’s leather gear and trademark dragon tattoo. Based on the novel from David Lagercrantz, written after original author Stieg Larsson’s sudden death, the second installment in the American-produced Millennium film series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, positions Foy’s Lisbeth as a Bond-like anti-hero. Gayer, though. And with so many dildos.

 

Foy’s latest big-screen turn follows two other memorable lead roles this year, in Steven Soderbergh’s unnerving thriller Unsane and the Neil Armstrong (portrayed by Ryan Gosling) biopic First Man, starring as his wife, Janet Armstrong. On the small screen, the 34-year-old actress took the throne as Queen Elizabeth II for two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, which garnered her an Emmy and a Golden Globe in the best actress categories.

Here, Foy discusses that dildo scene, talking Spider’s Web director Fede Álvarez out of gratuitous lesbian sex, and why there’s an “ease” and an “openness” to kissing her female co-stars.

 

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness stepped in when you and your two guests couldn’t get into the Governors Ball after the Emmys this year. In life, do gay men tend to have your back?

(Laughs giddily) Best question I’ve ever been asked – ever! We can’t get better than that. I don’t know! I mean, I would hate to speak for all gay men; I think that’s something you’d have to ask all gay men. There are several of them in my life who I feel have my back, which is lovely. And I have theirs.

 

Do you cry while watching Queer Eye like the rest of us?

Oh my god, it’s sort of like watching – have you ever watched One Born Every Minute where you watch someone give birth? It’s like watching that, because every time you watch it, you start going, “I’ll be fine with this one, this one’s fine, there’s nothing that’s gonna get me here,” and then ultimately, by the end, you’re weeping.

 

If we’re being honest, sometimes I watch Queer Eye just to weep.

(Laughs) It’s a cathartic thing to do!

 

Your encounter with Jonathan strongly suggests that you may have attracted a fierce LGBTQ following over the years. How aware are you of your gay and lesbian following?

I wish I was more aware of it! I think I’ve never particularly noticed someone who identifies themselves in any particular group as being someone who’s watched a particular show that I’ve done. I feel very lucky, especially with The Crown, that it has such a broad appeal and that’s something that I am amazed by, that a TV program could be watched by so many different people. It’s quite a unifying thing, I think. Very rare nowadays. But I must say, I think the Queen holds a special part in quite a lot of people’s hearts, and so it’s interesting to see who kind of has been interested in me because I played her.

 

It can’t hurt that The Crown portrayed Lord Snowdon as bisexual.

Oh yeah. Well, I think there’s so much honesty (on that show) about people’s sexuality that I think is really important. That’s how I feel about Lisbeth. I think her pansexuality – I loved that she had such an open attitude, not only to her own sexuality but to everybody else’s, a kind of non-judgment (and an) understanding that there should be no judgment about people’s sexuality or what they identify themselves as. There should be more protagonists who have that message. It’s very important.

 

In the BBC’s The Night Watch, you played Helen, who gets involved in a Sapphic love triangle but identifies as sexually fluid. Do you gravitate toward characters who choose not to label their sexuality, or is that just a coincidence?

I think… no. As much as I’m interested in exploring those sides of myself, I’m also interested in exploring those sides of other people. It’s what it means to be human. People’s sexuality, their sensuality, is something that I think there’s a lot of shame about in every walk of life; it’s something that’s weirdly not talked about, and I think people are not allowed to explore and express themselves and be open and be honest about what it means to be them, and that obviously includes your sexuality. I think it’s just really important to investigate that.

 

Have you questioned your own sexual identity?

Especially nowadays, I do find the idea of people being prescriptive about sexuality and defining themselves by it… that’s why I found Lisbeth so fascinating. She sort of takes it for granted, that her freedom is expressed in that way. Why should she have to evaluate it in that way? I think that is something that I find really admirable and definitely like to encourage more in myself. That openness and that ability to allow yourself the freedom to explore everything that is out there and everything life has to offer.

 

Our current political climate, where we have an administration attacking people who are not heterosexual males, seems like a good time for Lisbeth to resurface.

I just think that’s crazy. The beauty of humanity is that we’re diverse and interesting and all different shapes, sizes, colors – everything. (Diversity) should just be applauded and amazed and accepted and worshiped and adored. I don’t think the world becoming smaller is the biggest danger that we face.

 

Besides Helen and Lisbeth, have you played other LGBTQ roles?

I always thought my character Sawyer Valentine in Unsane was bisexual. I just did. I felt she was a very modern, young woman, and I think there’s an openness with this generation that definitely wasn’t around when I was younger. A kind of openness and understanding about sexuality and how it can be open in that way, that didn’t really exist when I was in school, so I think Sawyer probably grew up slightly with a bit more of that mentality.

 

For Night Watch, you said your kissing scenes with your female co-stars, Anna Maxwell Martin and Anna Wilson-Jones, were preferable to kissing scenes you’ve had with male actors.

(Laughs) Yes…

 

All these years later, is that still true even after co-starring alongside Ryan Gosling?

(Laughs boisterously). I mean, male or female, I’ve been very, very lucky in who I’ve had love affairs with onscreen. Just, when you’re with another woman there’s an ease and an understanding and a respect and an openness that is just a natural way of being. It’s a dynamic that happens; it’s just easier to be more open when you’re with a woman, in general, for me. So it’s much easier to have those conversations of going, “Oh god, this is really weird, sorry about that.” “Did I do anything weird with my mouth in that kiss? I’m really sorry.” You can be more honest about it, I suppose. And that’s not a gender thing. I’ve definitely done scenes with male actors where it’s not felt open, but it’s felt that you can laugh about it and be silly about it and take it for what it is – which is pretty silly. It’s a pretty odd, strange thing to do, to kiss someone in front of 250 people.

 

In Spider’s Web, you wake up in bed next to Sofia, played by trans model and actress Andreja Pejić. Sex isn’t depicted but suggested. What kind of talk was there regarding how intimate Lisbeth should be onscreen with other women in the film?

There was a sex scene originally in the beginning of the movie.

 

The very beginning, right out of the gate.

Yeah, exactly. And that’s why I questioned it. I said, “What is the purpose of this? What are you trying to tell the audience with this sex scene? Are you trying to say that she’s a pansexual woman and here she is having sex with a woman and this is an important part of her character?” And I said, “Or is it titillation?”

 

Right, to indulge the male gaze.

Exactly. Lesbian relationships in movies are often used not as truthful depictions of two women making love with one another; they’re often (done) as a way of titillating the male and appealing to men. And so I asked pretty openly and bluntly (laughs): “How would you shoot it? Why is it necessary here? What are you trying to say?” “If we do do this, it’s gonna be as raw and honest and truthful to the actual experience. I’m not doing anything that’s gonna be because it looks cool; it has to be really real.”

And I think when we had that conversation it sort of made (Fede) realize (the) purpose of this. You can communicate the relationship that two people have to one another without having to have a sex scene. I think that as an audience member I don’t particularly enjoy watching sex scenes. Isn’t like I watch them and go, “Oh, great!” I just think, “Oh god, let it be over.”

 

And watching it in a theater with 300 other people…

Yeah, exactly. I think passion is such an important part of a love drama. I think it needs to be there. People have sex, therefore sex scenes need to be portrayed in films. But I do think it needs to be portrayed for a reason. There has to be a dynamic that’s interesting, and it needs to be not just at the opening of a film – two women having sex with each other for no real purpose, just to say, “Oh, by the way, she has relationships with men _and_ women!” And so Fede was like, “I’ve thought about it and I think, actually, we don’t need it. I think it sends the wrong message.”

 

When you read that there would be a suitcase of dildos in the movie, what went through your mind?

I thought it was brilliant. It’s proper Lisbeth. Not only is she doing some sort of espionage, but she also will enjoy the humor of knowing that all those kind of really macho airport security guys will have to search a case of dildos.

 

So, does this film hold the record for the most dildos in a Claire Foy movie?

Oh, I think so. There’s definitely room for a few more, though!

 

Claire, that suitcase looked packed, though.

Come on, we could get a couple more in there. (Laughs)

 

As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Reach him via his website at www.chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).

by Mikey Rox

 

Summer-bod goals crash and burn, and the holidays end up wreaking havoc on your annual fitness progress. Luckily, the promise of a new year brings with it new resolves and resolutions to get that beach bod kicked into gear.  Ample of time to concentrate more on exercise, and once you snap back into a workout regimen with this self-starter luxury exercise equipment, you’ll feel like a million bucks just in time for summer.  

 

NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer

Whether you’re streaming high-energy workouts or joining trainer-led cardio seshes (incline-matching tech intuitively syncs with the ups and downs of the excursions hosted in breathtaking locations around the world), you’ll reach new heights and burn five times the calories with a 40-percent incline compared to walking at -6-percent incline at 2 miles per hour for 20 minutes. It feels super high-end as soon as you step onto it too, which makes the experience all the more satisfying. $2,999 (includes membership); nordictrack.com

 

 

Peloton Bike

Other fitness equipment manufacturers began upgrading their outdated static bikes when the standard-setting Peloton hit the market a few years ago, but the innovative at-home cycling experience continues to edge out the competition with its ability to stream daily live classes from its NYC studio with 24-hour access. $2,474 for the Works Package; onepeloton.com

 

 

 

 

 

SomaSole Fitness Bundle

Ideal for homebodies, road trippers and outdoor enthusiasts, SomaSole from Finesse Fitness includes everything you need for an anywhere, anytime workout – including Link resistance bands, FitStrap bodyweight trainers, FreeWheel instability sliders, and a Stem dynamic workout bar, available in a backpack or duffel bundle – so you can keep your routine consistent and results on track when you’re away from a gym. $169-$299, indiegogo.com

 

NordicTrack Fusion CST

Strength and cardio converge in the NordicTrack Fusion CST, a revolutionary combination of cabled resistance and a flywheel with Silent Magnetic Resistance that allows for muscle building and HIIT-style movements. Enhanced with iFit Coach LiveCast streaming technology, a 10-inch tablet console is included for well-rounded in-home personal training without the per-session price tag. $1,999, nordictrack.com

 

 

 

Blue Goji Infinity Treadmill

Health and wellness gamification is upon us in Blue Goji’s Infinity treadmill, which allows for a high-intensity workout that features natural torso movement and tracking, bio-feedback, and interaction with compatible virtual-reality games for other-worldly cardio training. $15,000; bluegoji.com (available early 2019)

 

 

Hock Design DISKUS Dumbbells

Your local gym equipment will look like clearance surplus after you pick up Hock Design’s set of 10 20kg DISKUS Dumbbells (with rack), constructed of turned, polished and oiled walnut flanked by grade 303 non-reactive stainless steel end caps. Are they worth the head-shakingly hefty price tag? Only if you’ve got serious money to burn and something ultra-narcissistic to prove. $14,700, shophock.com

 

 

 

 

 

Tonal

An electromagnetic resistance engine controlled by an algorithm powers the digital weights in Tonal; there are no metal plates anywhere on the sleek, wall-mounted system that’s about the size of a large flat-screen TV. It also replaces an entire gym’s worth of equipment for a smooth, precise workout that will help you lose weight and increase your athletic performance through on-demand personalized coaching with a monthly subscription. $2,995, tonal.com

 

 

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He spends his time writing from the beach with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyrox.

 

December

 

6-22

The Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular

Out Front Theatre’s own artistic director, Paul Conroy, wrote this show along with his musical director Nick Silvestri from the inspiration of “what would an Ethel Merman Christmas disco album sound like?” The result is a riveting ride of Holiday cheer with a cavalcade of Holiday tunes arranged to a disco beat. Playing now through December 22 at Out Front Theatre Company.

 

 

 

11

Bad Santa Drag Queen Bingo

Santa wants to know if you’ve been naughty or nice this year – and he prefers if you’ve been bad! This edition of the popular bingo at LIPS Atlanta night hosted by PALS Atlanta has all the queens draped in Holiday garb, ready to show you Santa in a whole new light. Get your tickets through palsatlanta.org, and come out on December 11 for a Holiday celebration you will be hard to forget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

For the Kid in All of Us: Toy Party 2018

For the past 14 years For the Kid in All of Us has been collecting toys at their annual Toy Party & Silent Auction for Georgia’s children in need. And now they’re changing it up again by going back its roots! The day of the party is being switched back to Sunday, December 16, and the new venue is Opera. The celebration will be cozier with entertainment in multiple rooms – and as usual, you need to bring an unwrapped toy valued $20 or more along with your $25 general admission ticket. Learn more at forthekid.org.

 

19

Holiday Wine Tasting for Equality

Get your LGBTQ family together on December 19 and join the Human Rights Campaign at VinoTeca for a favorite wine tasting Holiday event. Take the time to celebrate the accomplishments of the year while sampling sparkling wine selected by VinoTeca sommeliers and delicious bites provided by Barcelona Wine Bar. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased through act.hrc.org.

 

 

 

January

 

4

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra takes in a movie classic with one of the most memorable movie scores ever. Watch E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on their big screen while the orchestra performs the music live on January 4 at the Atlanta Symphony – an unworldly way to start the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

Justin Timberlake – The Man Of The Woods Tour

The Man of the Woods Tour is the ongoing sixth headlining concert tour by the American singer-songwriter. The tour launched in support of his fifth studio album, but you will no doubt hear songs from his extensive catalog of mega-hits when he visits State Farm Arena on January 10.

 

 

 

13

National Ballet Theatre of Odessa presents Swan Lake

National Ballet Theatre of Odessa presents the full-scale production Swan Lake at the Fox Theatre on January 13. The famous ballet with music by Tchaikovsky is based on Russian folklore and German legend that follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell.

 

 

 

23

Toni Braxton As Long As I Live Tour

In celebration of her latest album, Sex & Cigarettes, Toni Braxton visits the Fox Theatre on January 23 to play new material as well as some of her greatest past hits.

 

 

 

 

Daunting Dimensionality
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Neon Heart Blue Lightning (2015), Hand Painting/Silk Screen/Neon, 44 x 44 in, Edition: Unique

Rubem Robierb successfully captures the beholder’s attention compelling the viewer to extract the underlying message of the artwork – a particularly powerful trait of Robierb’s art.

Rubem Robierb’s most significant artistic talent is his ability to bestow the seemingly banal with monumental proportions. Case in point: His BulletFly Effect paintings that combine the beauty and delicate innocence of butterfly wings with a bullet body to create a powerful metaphor of violent transformation. His use of figures, that span from commonplace to iconic, are given new and profound meanings that reveal themselves as the beholder discover the subtle signs that Robierb so masterfully hides in plain sight.

His work carries an innate connection to the pop art movement where he, like Andy Warhol, creates a visually compelling dimensionality and figurativeness that conveys powerful messages to the beholder. His link to the contemporary art movement is also apparent with references to Damien Hirst whose use of natural elements creates a constant dialogue between life and death. Robierb’s strong inspiration from street art is also evident in many of his works constructing politically laden layers to his artworks. In turn, the constant play on the permanence of all things life links him to contemporary Banksy.

Rubemrobierb.com

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N 12 (2012), Plexiglass on Metatic Paper, 16 x 16 in, Edition: 7

BulletFly Effect Series (2012-2014)

Robierb has developed his BulletFly Effect series over several years, adding even more layers to the strong visual and symbolic figure that combines butterfly wings and bullets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diptych Butterfly I – White on Black (2016), Hand painted/SilkScreen/Diamond Dust, 72 x 46 in (each wing), Edition: Unique

Diptychs Butterflies (2016)

Robierb evolves his signature figures by dismembering to combine painting and sculpture on a larger scale. The wings have become human-scale, and the bullet body hast materialized into a larger than life sculpture – together a powerful symbol of hand and human-made power.

 

 

 

 

 

Metamorph-US Mural (2015), Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Metamorph-US – BulletFly Murals (2015)

At the beginning of 2015, Robierb was commissioned by the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to bring his BulletFly Effect series into the heart of the city. His art project Metamorph-US transformed a Downtown Fort Lauderdale building with a 300-foot mural of large-scale butterflies.

 

 

 

 

 

Now or Never (2015), Hand Painting/Silk Screen/Neon, 44 × 44 in, Edition: Unique.

HEART (2015)

With HEART Rubem Robierb strikes yet another nerve in contemporary American society by showcasing the fact that human emotion often gets transferred to a plethora of external communicative objects like signs, emojis, words, and symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry Not Sorry (2017), Hand Painting/Silk Screen/Neon, 34 x 74in, Edition: Unique

Money Talks (2017)

Gathering inspiration from the pictures, symbols, and phrases that are drawn or written on money across the world, Robierb distills the significance and layers these motifs add to the currency. By using different techniques and textures, he lets the money reveal the layers of what the money is actually saying about our shared values.

 

 

Thoughts & Prayers Soup Can (2016), Silk Screen on Paper/Diamond Dust, 20 x 20 in, Edition: 30

Thoughts & Prayers (2018)

The expression ‘’thoughts and prayers’ has been co-opted in today’s supercharged political discourse, losing its value of comfort and understanding. Robierb’s artwork questions its currency in today’s world by painting mass-produced soup cans (with a distinct nod to Warhol) and creating over-size and empty boxes as a metaphor of how society mass-produces feelings that are delivered in throw-away packaging.

 

Prayers & Thoughts Boxes (2017), Stencil on wood, 18 x 18 in, Edition: 30
Laura Owens, Untitled, 2006. Oil and acrylic on canvas, private collection courtesy the Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Joy of Color

The Mnuchin Gallery presents The Joy of Color – an exhibition that brings together paintings and sculpture spanning eight decades, united by their unbridled celebration of color’s power to inspire and uplift. Featured artists include Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Sam Gilliam, Jeff Koons, Laura Owens, Mark Rothko, and Alma Thomas, to name a few. November 1 through December 8, 2018, at the Mnuchin Gallery in New York

mnuchingallery.com

 

 Eco-Connectivity Exhibits Berlin

Opening November 1 for the Berlin Science Week, the Art Science exhibition features international artists that work within a wide range of eco thematics, like climate change, pollution, ecosystems, all showcased in this extensive and fact-based exhibition. The exhibit includes a flowerhouse designed by Gorenflos Architekten, video screenings with features on ecosystems recovery by John D. Liu, artist lectures, and much more. Catch the Eco-Connectivity Exhibition at Thaer-Institut’s Grand Hall, next door to the Museum für Naturkunde in the heart of Berlin November 1 through November 23, 2018.

artscienceexhibits.com

 

 

Alberto Giacometti, 1951, Photograph by Gordon Parks, Fondation Giacometti, Paris, © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective

This exhibition surveys four decades of production by Alberto Giacometti (b. 1901; d. 1966), one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. More than 200 sculptures, paintings, and drawings make up a show that offers a unique perspective on the artist’s work, highlighting the extraordinary holdings of artworks and archive material gathered by Giacometti’s wife, Annette. As an added bonus the retrospective is shown at the incredible Guggenheim Bilbao, conceived by American architect, Frank Gehry. Showing now through February 24, 2019.

albertogiacometti.guggenheim-bilbao.eus

 

 

By Jeff Fuller

 

“Burst down those closet doors once and for all and stand up and start to fight.”

–  Harvey Milk

 

Pride Is Protest

Pride has its origins in protest, the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a time when gay sex was a criminal act in much of the country and the “out and proud” were few and far between. These brave souls were able to find supportive and accepting communities of kindred spirits in major cities such as New York or San Francisco. Being “out” came with great risk and potential consequences – ridicule, job loss, police harassment, assault, or worse. Raids on gay bars were frequent; however, in June of 1969, the queers of New York’s Stonewall Inn fought back against a police raid. News of the Stonewall Riots galvanized gays across the country and eventually the world, resulting in annual Pride parades in major cities like Atlanta to demand LGBT rights. These protest parades have evolved into the Pride celebrations we know today.

 

Over the years, Pride has been used to protest Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade, the inadequate government response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, marriage amendments, anti-transgender bathroom bills, and horrific acts of violence against our community.  Pride has also been a celebration of our political and legal victories: greater visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ community in the workplace, the elimination of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the landmark Supreme Court decisions of Lawrence v. Texas (decriminalizing gay sex); Windsor v. United States (mandating federal recognition of gay marriage); and Obergefell v. Hodges, (providing for marriage equality nationwide).

 

Pride Is Personal

While Atlanta Pride no longer coincides with the Stonewall anniversary, it falls on or about National Coming Out Day. Coming out remains an important ritual in our community and Pride often plays a major role in this process by offering a safe and accepting environment. For me personally, Atlanta’s Pride Festival was the first time and place in my adult life that I held someone’s hand of the same gender in broad daylight. I remember how powerful it was to observe hundreds of people who were queer like me and queer in other ways, out having fun in the bright sunshine. My coming out process was slow, but events like Pride gave me the courage to accept myself and eventually be open about who I am.

 

To those who live in parts of the country where there is no gay community to speak of, Pride is often one of the few chances they have to truly be themselves and connect with others. Pride is especially powerful to youth who may be outcasts in their hometowns but can feel like they belong somewhere when they visit Atlanta for a fun-filled weekend in October.

 

 

Pride Is a Party

Pride is also a season of rainbow flags, rainbow socks, rainbow cakes, and rainbow jello shots.  Glamorous drag queens present dazzling performances. Half-naked men gyrate on parade floats.  Pride parties can mean gathering in people’s houses for brunch, dancing to the wee hours of the morning to electronic music, congregating on the lawn by the Piedmont Park stage, connecting with old friends and making new ones, or witnessing the beautiful parade put on by our queer community. Pride provides enough events and excitement to keep one entertained all weekend long.

 

Some have argued that the meaning of Pride as protest has been lost in its party atmosphere, that it is just another excuse for excessive drink and debauchery. Some decry the commercialism resulting from sponsorship from major companies that once wanted absolutely nothing to do with anything gay but now promote a sanitized and de-radicalized event. Others feel left out, that their voices are not being heard and that Pride has more work to do to be more inclusive.

 

Amid all the sweat and glitter, it can be easy to lose sight of the political and personal functions of Pride that help build us up as a community.

 

Pride Is a Protest Again

While LGBT rights have advanced considerably since 1969, these times call for continued vigilance against forces that seek to hinder or reverse these gains. The Supreme Court justice who was the deciding vote and the author of the Lawrence, Windsor and Obergefell opinions has retired and may be replaced by an extremely partisan conservative, credibly accused of sexual assault. In Georgia, the outcome of the governor’s race will decide whether the state may once again attempt to enact a religious freedom bill that legalizes discrimination. Even in 2018, you can still be fired from your job here in Georgia for being gay. The current administration seeks to ban transgender people from serving in the military, demonstrates indifference to the continuing threat of HIV/AIDS, and fosters an environment hostile to LGBTQ rights. Pride is also an opportunity to keep these issues in focus as well as other causes that our community cares about: police brutality, racial justice, climate change, sexual violence, and international human rights. Celebrate this fabulous weekend, but also allow Pride to energize you to take action, whether that means voting, writing an article, organizing, serving the community, or raising your voice in protest.

 

By all means, enjoy the plethora of Pride parties, but also take time to reflect on how far we have come as a community in this half century since Stonewall as well as the formidable challenges affecting us today. Share your own coming out story and listen to others tell theirs. Make people feel included and encourage them to be who they are. Hold hands. Atlanta Pride grows more and more each year because it showcases the creativity, diversity, kindness, and love of the LGBTQ community here.

 

By Chris Azzopardi

 

Justin Theroux as “Drew” in THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME.

Photos: Lionsgate

 

No straight man has ever offered to make me a crop top, but Justin Theroux is no ordinary straight man. If you’ve seen him in all his shirtless, ripped, oiled glory in 2003’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle or bore witness to all that was bouncing around in his grey sweatpants in HBO’s The Leftovers (I know you saw that; you haven’t stopped seeing that), you have likely wished him gay.

 

The vers 46-year-old actor is, at least, the closest a straight man can get to being gay, palling around with the new Queer Eye posse and portraying a deep well of gay characters during his two-decade career, from Marshall in 2000’s The Broken Hearts Club to an assortment of gay Englishmen in numerous New York theater productions. Significant gay cred aside, his acting instincts have resulted in an impressive mix of unpredictable career choices rooted in pathos and humor, David Lynchian mystery and Herculean ruggedness: from 1997’s Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion on through Mulholland Drive, Strangers with Candy, Sex and the City, Zoolander and, most recently, The Spy Who Dumped Me. Directed by Susanna Fogel, the action-comedy caper stars Theroux as Drew, an on-the-run spy who inadvertently gets his ex (Mila Kunis) and her best gal pal (Kate McKinnon) embroiled in his messy assassin-fighting mission.

 

Things are tamer in a hotel suite in New York City on the day Theroux sits across from me with his rescue pit bull Kuma. Theroux is not wearing sweatpants. But my mock disappointment isn’t sweatpants-related; it’s knowing that he made Queer Eye guy Jonathan Van Ness a crop top but didn’t bring me one. And do I let Justin Theroux wreck the shirt on my back? I do, right? “I would so do it,” he politely insists. “If you have a t-shirt and a pair of scissors, I’m happy to quickly fashion you one.”

 

Let’s talk about how you invented sweatpants.

(Laughs) I invented the grey sweatpants! I brought them back, I know! You know, I was the one who made a shirt for Jonathan. We were going to gay Pride and he was like, “Fuck, I gotta go out,” and so I made him a shirt. I was like, “I wanna make one of those crop top t-shirts with the tassels,” and he ended up wearing that.

 

Do you regularly make crop tops for your gay friends?

No, that was the first one I’ve done. It was just like, “It’s a perfect moment in time. I’m with Jonathan and I have a t-shirt and we have scissors and I think I could pull it off.”

We’ve become a good little clutch. Tan, Antoni and Jonathan have come over a bunch of times and we’ve gone back and forth, and I’ve disappeared into the bathroom with Jonathan and we’ve talked products.

 

Can a straight guy have a queer eye?

Keeping my fingers crossed. Season 3! Maybe we should do a whole thing where it’s like, “Straight Eye for the Gay Guy.” Find some gay guy who’s not got his shit together and I can go and help him out. I don’t know if I’d be that helpful.

 

I must say, you’ve got your shit together.

I put a little effort in sometimes. (Queer Eye guy) Tan’s trying to get me to wear some color. I’m pretty much blacks and greys. White is technically a color for me.

 

We need to get you in floral.

I don’t think it’s gonna happen! I just can’t pull it off. I keep looking for a Hawaiian shirt that’s 95 percent black with just a little pop of color in the flowers.

 

Recently, Jonathan was obsessing over your shirtlessness in Charlie’s Angels. Is that the role most gay men fangirl over when they meet you?

I mean, the first one was actually The Broken Hearts Club, which was a movie I did years and years ago. I remember being at gay Pride and people being like, “Oh my god, this is the guy from Broken Hearts Club!” (Playing gay) was kind of my bread and butter in New York on stage. I would do Joe Orton plays, or Shopping and Fucking. I’d do all these gay Englishmen. That was my thing, that was my calling card.

 

Why go for the gay roles?

It was something that just happened. It wasn’t like I was seeking them out. It was just something that presented itself. At the time, there was that kind of question when you’d go into the audition: “Are you comfortable kissing a guy?” “Yeah, of course.”

 

In 2000, some actors were being told not to play gay characters for the sake of preserving their careers. Was there any pressure on you not to play that role?

No. My agent at the time was gay, so it was never a discussion. It always boils down to, is the part good or is the play good? If the material is good, I’m happy to do it. If it’s bad, then I don’t wanna do it. But I wouldn’t want do it for a straight part either.

 

Did it feel like an important movie at the time for the LGBTQ community?

It didn’t, because it’s not necessarily my community. But it was one of those I was happy (about). It was the first (LGBTQ) movie that showed – at least that I had been a part of, or had seen – just a normal relationship. No one’s dying of a disease, no one’s fighting with their parents. It felt like a great episode of Thirtysomething or a great episode of This Is Us.  (Its gay themes were) just built into the fabric of the movie, as opposed to being the fabric of the movie. There weren’t big red arrows pointing at each character going, “Oh, and by the way, they’re gay!” They were functioning, normal people in their lives, which is reality. In a weird way, it’s normalcy was the thing that made it special and that felt like a good reason to do it.

 

Growing up in Washington D.C., what was your introduction to the LGBTQ community?

God, you could argue it was probably Catholic school and noticing the priests. Not their behavior; I didn’t think anything nefarious was going on. I don’t think they were doing anything horrible to the boys of the school, but I remember thinking, “These men seem effeminate and they carry themselves in a different way, and I think these guys like other men, like other gay men I’ve seen.”

 

They didn’t fit the typical heteronormative archetype. 

Yeah, exactly. And it was an odd kind of thing, where I thought, “Oh.” I’ve since come to think maybe the priesthood is like an enclave for people who aren’t comfortable with their sexuality and they wanna shut it down and they think, “Please make it go away. I’m just gonna go to this place and go to seminary school and hope that this feeling leaves me,” which is a shame.

 

You strike me as the kind of guy who’s surrounded by gay men for various reasons.

Yeah, of course. I went to a very progressive high school that had gay boys in it. In college, it becomes quickly normalized. But you can’t live in New York and not be friends with every kind of person, whether they’re gay, trans, straight, whatever. When this sort of cultural shift started to happen, started to spread into the middle of the country in a way that became in the public consciousness…

 

You were ahead of the game?

Well, I think most people in the city or in pockets of the country were kind of ahead of the game. It felt like, “Wait, this conversation is still happening? Oh yeah, I guess it still is. I guess we do need to keep having this discussion.” (I) marvel at people who are still made uncomfortable by it. Like, how on earth? It’s like being made uncomfortable by a sofa; you’re like, “It’s a sofa.” It couldn’t be more normal.

 

You should know that you’ve been called a “gay men’s dream” by the National Enquirer, probably their most accurate reporting.

Cut to 10 years later: Ew, who’s that old guy? (Laughs)

 

No way. Our gay icons never age.

Oh yeah, that’s right!

 

So this movie: Was the title The Spy Who Dumped On Me ever considered?

(Laughs) It’s the James Bond they never made! Idris Elba, Daniel Craig, why wouldn’t you do that movie?

 

Susanna’s friends call her the “lesbian whisperer.” And, of course, Kate McKinnon is queer and one of two leading ladies in this film.

It’s so cool.

 

Did you get a lesbian read on Kate McKinnon’s character, Morgan, in the movie?

Yeah. But what I liked about her character: again, it wasn’t the focal (point). It’s kind of ambiguous. What she brought to the part was super hilarious. She works really hard on specific jokes, beats, alternate lines, trying to come up with other stuff that isn’t necessarily on the page or in the direction. Kate really goes in and scribbles on the sides (of her script) and it looks like A Beautiful Mind on her script. She approaches her work (in) really sort of (an) academic way.

 

You’re long overdue for a gay role.

What’s the last one I’ve done? Maybe (my character) Kevin Garvey from The Leftovers is, who knows. Don’t tell anybody. No, I’m joking. (Laughs) You could argue he was really put-upon and maybe that was the reason why, ’cause he was in a hetero marriage.

 

(Theroux’s handler peeks in to say, “One last question.” “Two more,” Theroux whispers, giving me two fingers.)

 

What would you look for in a gay role now?

I don’t know. It’s really always the story. I want the story to be good and compelling. I want the character to be good and compelling, and that could be anything. A la Broken Hearts Club, you do sort of hope that eventually these all become just the background to the characters, because it’s way more interesting just playing the relationship and playing the story than it is playing the orientation.

 

If you were to date any of the guys you have played in your career, which ones might you go for? Personally, I’d shack up with Joe from Six Feet Under.

Joe in Six Feet Under was a sweetheart. But if I dated Joe, he was straight, and so I think that would problematic.

 

He’s only straight till he drinks four beers.

Until he drinks four beers, then all bets are off! The bondage gear comes out. Like, we all know Joe liked being tied to the bed. (Laughs) I don’t know if there’s anyone I’d really wanna date. And it’s weird to think about dating yourself. Just visually awkward.

Actually, Matt McGrath’s Broken Hearts character was an adorable character. But I don’t know, I played some pretty fucked up guys, so they all seem like they’re not great relationship material.

 

As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Reach him via his website at www.chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).

Justin Theroux as “Drew” in THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME.

By Joe Gauthreaux

 

To say I love Atlanta Gay Pride would be an understatement. Atlanta is one of those cities where you fall in love with it the first time you visit, no matter the weekend. But the energy and excitement of Gay Pride is very unique compared to others, with southern hospitality and a welcoming atmosphere abounding at every turn.

 

I’ve DJed many parties and events for Atlanta Gay Pride, each one always better than the last. I have so many memories with so many people I call not only friends but family. Memories that will last a lifetime. I’m incredibly honored to be DJing again this year, at Opera Nightclub on Sunday night. But my event is just one of many happening throughout the weekend.  I spoke to a few of my DJ friends who will also be performing throughout the weekend – three veterans to the occasion, and one first-timer – about Atlanta Gay Pride, and what they have planned for us. Here’s what they had to say.

 

 

For the full line-up on the DJs I interviewed, it’s at www.Future-Atlanta.com

 

TONY MORAN

 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Atlanta Gay Pride?” 

My first time, for Hotlanta, was in the late 1990’s.  Atlanta was the first city that I went to enjoy, fully accepting that I was meant to be in this community.

 

What is the song or track you always have to play at Gay Pride?

“Easy As Life” by Deborah Cox. I’ve remixed my remix hundreds of times.

 

Nothing is ever easy, Tony, including getting at #1 record. But you & Jason Walker, who is performing with you at Heretic on Friday night of Gay Pride, did hit #1 with a beautiful song called “So Happy.” So, what makes you so happy?

I do my best to tune in to feelings that I can express through songs. Some may be about sadness or about energy such as “Heartbeat” with Deborah Cooper. As I was writing “So Happy” for Jason at the artist and songwriter’s home in Atlanta, we started writing about things that we were grateful for, and that evolved into “So Happy.”

 

You know, one of my favorite remixes of yours is “Together Again,” by Janet Jackson. If you could be together again with any one person, living or dead, who would it be?

That would be a special friend that was not a lover. I was at a funeral the same week I was remixing this song, and my feelings were all over the place as I was working on this song. Listening to it and fine-tuning after listening to it over and over. I believe there no coincidences and that I was meant to learn more about myself via that experience.

 

Finally, give me three words that perfectly describe Tony Moran.

Grateful. Optimistic. Relentless.

 

 

ABEL

 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Atlanta Gay Pride?” 

Unity, Friendships, Love, chosen family, and a Celebration of who we are proud to be.

 

It definitely is a celebration of who we are. What is the song or track you always have to play at Gay Pride, to bring out the celebratory side of Abel?

Heather Small, “Proud”

 

You & Ralphi have made some of the most memorable club hits of the last two decades. My personal favorite is “Cha Cha Heels.” So, what is your favorite heel? Pumps? Stilettos?

I got a bad back, no more stilettos, or pumps, now it’s memory foam!

 

Memory Foam for the win, for sure! One of the best pieces of advice you ever gave me, about ten years ago, was to make my own music and not focus only on remixing, as people would remember me more for what came from inside. I took that to heart, and it gave me the confidence to start writing my own music. So, thank you for that. What advice would you give to new DJs or producers out there?

Stop trying to make it overnight and make it for the long run. Stop the copy and paste. Be original, and stop worrying about what others do.

 

So true. Originality always wins out in the end – I do wish more would remember that.  So finally, give me three words that perfectly describe ABEL.

Real. Honest. Original.

 

PAULO

 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Atlanta Gay Pride?” 

Good friends, community, and unforgettable times.

 

Speaking of unforgettable times, what is the song or track you always have to play at Gay Pride?

Some version of “Born This Way,” or an empowering song that reminds us of what we’re celebrating.

 

You have a new track out called “MEAT” with Alan T. So, I’m dying to know, how do you like your meat?

The irony is that I don’t even eat meat – at least not anything on four legs (seriously). I do treat myself a couple of times a year, like when I go to a Brazilian churrascaria.

 

Yeah, I love those Brazilian meat places. One of my favorite remixes of yours that you co-produced with Alain Jackinsky is Madonna’s “Living For Love.”  Besides love, what is something you can’t live without? 

That’s easy: music and dogs.

 

Speaking of dogs, I think Lucy (Paulo’s dog) needs her own Intsta! So finally, give me three words that perfectly describe PAULO.

Straightforward, honest, unique.

 

 

ISAAC ESCALANTE

 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Atlanta Gay Pride?” 

Believe it or not, it’s my first Atlanta pride. I’m sure it will be lots of fun.

 

You will love Atlanta Pride – it is absolutely one of my favorites. What is the song or track you always have to play at Gay Pride?

I don’t have any specific track.

 

I like that – keep us guessing! You have a new track out that I’m obsessed with called “Run,” with Erick Ibiza. What is one thing that comes to mind when you think “Run?”

Running out of time! I need more time in my life.

 

Don’t we all!  What do you run away from?

Corruption.

 

Finally, give me three words that perfectly describe Isaac Escalante.

Man, music, and fun.

 

DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedic chanteuse who will be playing live shows at the Art House in Provincetown July 23-27. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” and “Welcome To My White House” parodies, portraying Betty Bowers and wearing kinky boots.

 

Dear Deven:

We visit my partner’s mother every month for Sunday dinner. There is something odd about how he fawns and coos over her. I know she is jealous of me. It’s a sticky situation.

Mamma Mia”

A lesson from nature: never come between a mama bear and her cub. That is how their relationship is whether you are there or not. A clever man would win her affection so he could enjoy twelve Sundays a year.

Dear Deven:

I got “Liza” from a kitten adoption 10 years ago. She recently had a seizure and now needs medicine four times a day on the clock. I’ve turned into a nurse and cannot leave the house. I love my little fluff-ball but I can’t really live a normal life. I am stuck at home because I love her so much. Help.

Cats”

I’m so sorry you both have to go through this. You need to find balance with your schedule by getting additional help. Show a trusted neighbor, close friend, or pet service how to administer the meds so you can get a physical / mental reprieve. It takes a very strong person to be a full-time caretaker of a human or a pet.

 

Dear Deven:

Remember when Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett? People didn’t think twice about commenting that she married an “ugly” guy. I married the best guy ever but I’m told he’s an “ugly” guy. Why do I have to defend him/myself that it isn’t always about looks?

Beauty and The Beast”

No need to convince rude people of anything – they happen to be ugly on the inside. Sometimes you get involved with someone and others just don’t “get it” at first. Well, it’s not for them to “get.” It’s for you to enjoy.

 

Dear Deven:

My colleague at work just started wearing make up and a wig. It has created quite the stir. How do we all handle it?

Hairspray”

By showing respect. Offer them a safe environment to discuss it with the group when they are ready. The only office gossip should be how you can support them.

 

Dear Deven:

I haven’t told anyone that I go to church. I zone out most of the time because I’m really just there to sing. Am I going to hell?

Jesus Christ Superstar”

Yes dear, and you are taking all of us down with you.

 

Dear Deven:

I got my boyfriend the specific gift he requested for his birthday. He said “thank you” but there was a sideways comment of, “was that the only color left?” Uugghh.

Oliver”

Gift. Card.

 

Dear Deven:

I get controlled by others and give up my will a bit. I always thought that was the “compromise” in a relationship. Am I too passive?

“The Wizard of Oz

You can only be hypnotized if you are willing. When you wake up, you will take better care of your brain and heart which will give you courage.

 

Dear Friends: I do not offer advice, only my worldly experience.  DevenGreen@gmail.com

PHOTO CREDITS:

Image: Ryan Forbes

MUA: Joseph Adivari

By Quinton Chandler

Photos: PR, Shutterstock

Select your best panties, lather up and jump into the sun! It feels like winter has lasted longer than RuPaul’s Drag Race, and I’m ready to party! Summer 2018 is cranking up, and there are cocktails to serve!  My name is Quinton Chandler, and I am here to help you with your basic cocktails.  Here are my votes for summertime greatness.

Sipping Recommendations

There are so many spirits to try and sometimes walking into a liquor store can be like trying to figure out the difference in 45 different types of noodles at the grocery store. Many of the times we go straight for what we hear is the well or call at our favorite local bar. After working in bars for quite a few years, these are the three that I find to be something that I really enjoyed while bartending that many may not know about. These three are simple to use and are good enough to sip on!  Enjoy!

Mount Gay XO
A blend of rums from 8 to 15 years old.  Easy to sip with a few ice cubes to bring out its dry banana sweetness and light spice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
Gin is by far one of my favorites. Released in 2000, No. Ten added four elements to the mix of regular Tanqueray with fresh white grapefruit, fresh lime, fresh orange and chamomile flowers for a total of eight elements. Perfect for making martinis. Dirty with three olives, please!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stolichnaya Elit Vodka
Definitely a top-notch vodka in my opinion. To appreciate the full flavors of Elit, serve it chilled, on ice or in a traditional martini. A little wobbly is ok.

Cocktails Impressions

Playing summer hits and getting fancy with your cocktail selection for pool parties or any summer event is one of the key elements. Having a great presentation makes sure your guests love what they’re drinking.  Calm down Becky, these drinks are delicious, not hard to make and will definitely make an impression when presented. I have included my Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic 2017 winning cocktail for Atlanta, The Violet Beauregard.  Have fun with these drinks.  They are going to be amazing!

 

 

Cucumber Mule

3 cucumber half moons

1/2 oz. freshly-squeezed lime juice

2 oz. cucumber vodka

4 oz. ginger beer

5 dashes celery bitters

Take cucumbers and lime juice and muddle into a cocktail shaker. Add ice, vodka, ginger beer and bitters. Stir, do not shake. Strain into a mule mug.

 

 

The Violet Beauregard

2 oz. Stoli Blueberi

1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 oz. simple syrup

2 oz. Kevita pomegranate juice

1/2 oz. blue curacao

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice in a highball glass. Top with frozen blueberries and a lemon twist.

 

Georgia Pink Peach

2 oz. Stoli Peachnik

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 oz. simple syrup

2 oz. cranberry juice

Sprite

Mix ingredients except for Sprite into a shaker. Give a good shake and strain over ice in a highball glass and top with sprite. Serve with a lime and enjoy!

 

Green Tea Spritzer

2 oz. Makers Mark

1 oz. peach schnapps

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Sprite

Mix ingredients except for Sprite into a shaker.  Shimmy shake and strain over ice in a 8 oz. rocks glass. Splash of sprite on top.  Garnish with lime.

Mix It Up in New Ways

Mixers are usually soda, tonic, coke, and cranberry.  Try something new! Treat it like the first tattoo when you just pointed at something on the wall and got it. When you go into the liquor store look out for these three mixers that people usually look over but should always try.  Even in your usual cocktail.

Orangina
A subtle blend of different citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin) makes the recipe of this popular, lightly carbonated drink.  Shake well and serve!

 

 

 

 

Whynatte
This is a canned premium coffee drink that you can buy in a four pack and take on the go. This latte in a can is more than just a morning energy boost; while the drink itself does not contain any alcohol, it has been specially formulated to mix well with a slew of alcohols, which makes it the perfect pick-me-up mixer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regatta Ginger Beer
This is the ginger beer I have used many times in quite a few cocktails made over the years.  Regatta is a unique and zesty ‘ginger kick’ to any mixed drink, where ginger ale, club soda, or tonic might be used. Strong top notes of ginger with secondary notes of citrus, apple, and banana.

 

Always remember!  You’re never fully dressed without a smile!  

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