The extensive exhibition surveys 70 years of Dior’s legacy and global influence. More than 200 couture dresses, accessories, costume jewelry, photographs, drawings, runway videos, and other archival material traces the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house and its founder, Christian Dior, and the subsequent artistic directors who carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.
On View through March 3, 2019, at the Denver Art Museum.
The Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures from the Kunsthistorisches Museum
Film director Wes Anderson is bringing his unique aesthetic to a historic Austrian museum. Together with his partner, illustrator Juman Malouf, Anderson has been given full access to the museum’s picture gallery and its vast collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, arms and armor, and historical musical instruments, for what is sure to be a one-of-a-kind show.
Showing now through April 8, 2019, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy, and the Avant-Garde
The exhibition celebrates the power of collaboration and creative relationships across painting, sculpture, photography, design, and literature in the early 20th century. Explore iconic pieces of art and literature by romantic and artistic collaborations including Dora Maar & Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí & Federico García Lorca, Camille Claudel & Auguste Rodin, Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera, Emilie Flöge & Gustav Klimt, and many more.
On view now through January 27, 2019, at Barbican Centre, London.
[Photo credit: Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst with his sculpture Capricorn, 1947. Photo: John Kasnetsis]
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 offering a firm, guiding grip on direction. DevenGreen.com
Remember that life has three modes: driver, passenger, and onlooker. Which one are you? There is no wrong answer because your response simply reveals where you are at today. Try all three positions at some point.
I offer you a spotlight of inspiration for a happy and thoughtful 2019!
Focus on yourself. Get it together. If you think it’s time for a shift, it is. Remodel your attitude before someone else asks you to.
I know you can make this important calibration.
Focus on fun. Go play. Make new friends, even if only for one night. Indulge a secret whim or desire. Get that witty, amusing sharpness back.
Focus on family. Make a call, write a letter, drop a line, video chat.
Do it for yourself, do it for them, break the holding pattern. It’s time. They have known you the longest, they activate you the quickest. Give them the grace to be annoying.
Focus on shedding. Pounds, friends, egos, and emotional weight.
It will be the second most important exfoliation you will perform other than your visage.
Focus on abilities. Upgrade your skill set or learn a brand new talent. Perfect your craft. Elevate your expertise. Find a mentor.
You are the person who attempted it because you created the time.
Focus on others. Be kinder, nicer and gentler. Share more, talk less.
One philanthropic endeavor leads to another.
Focus on animals. Pet, adopt, foster or donate to little furry friends. Learn about animals around the world. Collar, leash or heel from a place of love.
Focus on intelligence. There are so many online classes, courses and educational opportunities. Start reading tonight.
Read to someone you care about. Read about someone you care about.
Focus on romance. Expand your social circle. Hold hands, kiss, gaze in admiration. Commit to love of your past, present and future.
You are lovable. You are loved. I love you.
Focus on food. Try new flavors. Share a meal. Serve others.
Eat more greens; you’ll never go back.
Focus on society. Be a good neighbor, vote, show up for jury duty, be a solid citizen. How can you help to make your piece of the world just a little bit better for everyone else? I know you will have this answer.
Focus on forgiveness starting with yourself. Let go of anger. Apologize earnestly. You are so kind to everyone else,
it’s time for you to be kind to yourself.
Dear Friends: Thank you to you the readers and especially Goliath for having me share this page with you. Let’s make 2019 better in all respects.
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.
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.
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.
Holiday Wine Tasting for Equality
Get your LGBTQ family together on December 19 and join the Human Rights Campaignat 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The art of bespoke tailoring isn’t lost on Atlanta. Neil Balani, the owner and chief tailor of HKT Custom Clothiers, has created highly customized suiting for Atlantans since 2005, and the family-run business has offered bespoke tailoring since 1970. In fact, if you’re looking for a Savile Row-style tailoring establishment, you will feel very comfortable in the capable hands of Neil, who both understands the logistics of running a bespoke clothing brand, as well as the intricacies of how to tailor.
Neil, How did you get into tailoring?
Back home in Malta, my dad was in the men’s clothing and tailoring business, so I saw it on the daily when I was visiting him at the shop. HKT is a bit different because we’re into making custom suits, versus just alterations. But, tailoring has always been in my life.
Explain the process of creating a bespoke suit for a client.
First is understanding the client’s needs to get an idea of what fabric is needed and their lifestyle. We help them choose fabrics; we carry over 3,000 different types, which are all different depending on the use such as work travel or a wedding.
We then go through the details of the garment, including the styling of the suit – so one or two button, pleats or no pleats, double-breasted or not. Then we take body measurements to create a pattern, which we keep on file. In four to six weeks the garment will be complete for him to try where we will do a couple of light fittings to make additional adjustments. Then it will be completed in a week.
What elements are crucial to creating the perfectly tailored suit?
The key is to understand what a client wants, but at the same time give them the advice on how a suit should fit. It’s not as easy as just taking body measurements, but consulting them on how we can design the suit to fit for their body.
Beyond suits, HKT Custom Clothiers offer custom shirts, belts, jeans, sports jackets, trousers, tuxedos, sweaters, polos, as well as a whole line of luxury men’s accessories like ties pocket, squares, cufflinks, and sunglasses.
What’s your favorite item of clothing – and why?
I love my bold sports jackets and a nice pocket square to give it that finesse. I like to make a statement, but at the same time I tone it down with nice jeans or dark colored pants to keep it in balance.
How do you keep up with trends and get inspiration for your work?
I go through our archives and take inspiration from what we created over the years. Since we’ve been in business so long, we can look back and see what we were creating in the 70s and 80s to take inspiration. I also watch what’s happening with British and Italian fashion trends, pulling from the best trends to create our own here in Atlanta.
As a bit of Savile Row flair in Atlanta – how do you view the style of Atlanta’s men?
Style in Atlanta has really improved from even five years ago. I’m now seeing that even the youngest generation is dressing up much more instead of wearing shorts and tees to the office. The music and film industry has also had an influence in making people dress up more. The younger man wants to stand out as a person, and from a style and business perspective, it’s upped the game. Atlanta has its own look that’s in the middle of LA and NYC, so a mix of casual street style with curated dressed up and well-designed pieces.
What is it about bespoke suiting that makes it so unique?
Bespoke suiting is an art and a craft that is very unique in itself. It’s all about perfection and making something that is precisely for the individual, not an off the peg suit that has to be altered to try and fit them. At HKT it is a personal service as well; we get to build a relationship with our clients, and that helps us set a different standard. You really have to get to understand someone as a person to craft something so personal for them.
Bespoke suits are also something you’ll wear for a lifetime. We’ve had clients come to us with suits from 1986 that we made. They still fit and look great, but we’re able to update them, so they reflect today’s styles. Your return on investment with a custom suit is actually better than an off the peg suit since it will last you longer and you’ll get more wears.
Why should every man experience having a custom clothing item made?
Everyone should experience knowing that a clothing item is made just for them, solidly for their body. It’s not going to fit anyone else. I think the custom clothing experience is extraordinary and amazing from start to finish. There is nothing better than having something that fits for your confidence. That is where guys have trouble buying off the rack clothing because the items don’t fit great and they are uncomfortable. With alterations, you can only do so much.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about bespoke clothing?
People tend to think bespoke clothing is just way too expensive, but realistically it’s not. They think it’s something beyond their conception or are even unaware of it. But it’s really something to try in life. Once you enjoy the process, you’ll find it amazing.
Your Own Style Consultation
Arrange for a personal style consultation with Neil. Call the store to arrange an appointment at 770-458-8662 or go online at hktclothiers.com/appointments. You can also learn more about HKT Custom Clothiers and get the latest styles by following their Instagram at @hktclothiers.
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.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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 (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.
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
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.
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.
“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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
Finally, give me three words that perfectly describe Isaac Escalante.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My colleague at work just started wearing make up and a wig. It has created quite the stir. How do we all handle it?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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!
The HRC Atlanta’s Gala Dinner & Auction is one of the largest fundraisers in the country for the Human Rights Campaign. The black-tie event on Saturday, May 5 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta includes a live and silent auction and dinner. It is a celebration of excellence in the LGBTQ movement and of the successes in the pursuit of equality while putting a focus on the fight ahead. More info and tickets on hrcatlanta.com.
Shaky Knees & Shaky Beats Festival 2018
Get ready for two consecutive weekends of bigger and better music lineups at the new Central Park location. Shaky Knees onMay 4-6 will feature a 50+ band lineup including Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, and The National, and Shaky Beats onMay 11-23 highlights some the best EDM acts out there like Kygo, Zedd, and Marshmello. Check out the extensive schedule, and get your passes at shakykneesfestival.com and shakybeatsfestival.com.
Todrick Hall American: The Forbidden Tour
The singer, songwriter, dancer, Broadway actor, and multi-talent, Todrick Hall, is visiting Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on May 6 with his Forbidden Tour. The show will feature a brand new storyline with all-new songs, extravagant costumes, and over the top production and choreography. Tickets at foxtheatre.org.
Sunday Service with Vicki Powell, Brian Rojas & Chelsea Starr
The second installment of the popular Sunday Service on Sunday May 13 will feature DJs Vicki Powell, Brian Rojas, and Chelsea Starr that will spin a beat to make your mama proud and dance the night away on the eve of Mother’s Day.
Deep South presents Jasmine Infiniti
DJ Jasmine Infiniti – also known as The Queen of Hell – will play at the Music Room on May 19 for another edition of Deep South. The New York Native blends dark and industrial sounds with break beats to create a unique and highly danceable soundscape. Opening sets by Robert Ansley (Deep South/Cardio) and Beyun (Afro Acid).
The Championship Tour with Kendrick Lamar
The first rap artist to ever win a Pulitzer, Kendrick Lamar, is coming to the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on May 25 with his Championship Tour along with the whole TDE crew including SZA, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Lance Skiiiwalker, Sir, and Jay Rock.
Hamilton at the Fox
The Broadway mega sensation is coming to the Fox Theatre on May 22-June 10. The story of America’s Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, features an award-winning score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway. More info and tickets (if they’re not sold out!) at foxtheatre.org.
DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedic chanteuse. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” and “Welcome To My White House” parodies, portraying the satirical Betty Bowers and enjoying trivial pursuits. DevenGreen.com
My friends have a weekly TV viewing party but there is one magnetic personality who just uses the time to “hold court.” I’m so bugged by him. Why?
You can’t have a king without jesters. Others are choosing to listen to him. Perhaps you like the spotlight and are jealous he is lording over your disciples.
I was slowly working on reducing my decades-long, outstanding debt. My new husband feels like I should continue to pay for it myself.
Can’t he help?
You sound like you are shocked that he isn’t fixing your problem. Your past is your past and sometimes people will offer an assist but, baby, you need to know how to handle your business all on your own.
When we go out for drinks and socialize I have one friend who makes up facts and then gets upset when we look up the real answers on our phones. Why is he committing this easily verifiable unforced error?
He needs attention and wants to be perceived as being smarter than others. He has gotten away with passing off erroneous information before you called his bluff. The scam is up and he feels attacked. It is ponderous when people choose to be willfully ignorant.
My former friend just said he wouldn’t accept my apology until I told him exactly what I had done wrong. Isn’t saying “I was wrong” enough?
Not today and not for him it isn’t. You had better come up with more words and actions to fix this mess. Then, you should both agree never to bring it up again.
My parents like my sister more than they like me. She gets their attention and praise while I have to beg them to be noticed. How do I change my fam?
It’s meeting/therapy time because this is not about your parents. It is about your competitive relationship with your sister. Work through this so the four of you can really get along as a strong family unit. This needs a resolution or it will affect all your relationships.
My friend always has a scheme he is running. The last one was about investing money in a new product that was already on the market! I laughed, but deep down I am worried. How do I give him some direction?
He has a get-rich-quick personality but lives as a paycheck-to-paycheck guy. Consider having him work for you legitimately…in the sales department.
A guy I kissed earlier in the night ended up making out with a girl later on! What is that about?
NO WAY! Honey, some people just like kissing and some people just like judging others. Guess which one you are.
Russian Artist and Producer Alexander Abramov, Widely Known on Instagram as Abramov Lex, Releases First Two Volumes of a Five-Part Series of Revealing Art Photography Books.
Abramov Lex bares all in “Uncovered,” his coming of age story about a man who isn’t afraid to speak his truth, follow through with his vision and be exposed, both body and soul. The five-part series of art books tells the story of Alexander Abramov. The Russian artist and producer portrays different characters in unique worlds full of action and emotion. Through images and notes from his personal diary, Alexander explains to the world who he really is. “I started keeping journals 18 years ago. My diary is about awareness of my homosexuality, about my experiences and explorations of the world: first feelings, first love, first sexual encounter. It is also about human imperfection and struggle, drugs and fears, scars and past troubles. On the whole, it tells of becoming the man I have wanted to be: a man who is able to inspire others to makes changes for the better.”
In “Uncovered,” Alexander depicts five characters: a Wrangler, a Mercenary, a Woodsman, a Journeyman, and a Seafarer. He posed for more than 5000 pictures at multiple locations with celebrated Russian photographer Dima Bocharov. “I knew it would be a long process, but as a person who has never been a professional model and also never published a book before, I had no idea it would be this challenging.” “Uncovered” Vol.1 Wrangler and Vol. 2 Mercenary are available for pre-order on his website, www.abramovlex.com.
As a gay man who was born in the Republic of Kazakhstan and lived his young adult life in Russia, Alexander Abramov knows from experience the horrible situation with gay rights in these countries. For this reason, he is donating 10% of proceeds to the Russian LGBT Network, to help protect the gay youth of his native countries. The Russian LGBT Network is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Alexander developed the idea for “Uncovered” three years ago when he first moved to New York City from Moscow. He had three motivations: the first was his love and passion for photography. The second was his desire to share stories from his life that he thought a lot of people, especially the LGBTQ community, might identify with and would find interesting and inspiring. Lastly, he wanted to create; something he has loved to do his entire life. “I’m a man who is not afraid to open his soul,” he says. “Аfter all, I always remember, life only gets better when we are able to be honest, and when we are willing to give something to others, especially our spirits.”
Revealing his body for the book wasn’t as easy. “I grew up a very sick child,” he reflects. “I had problems with my lungs, and at the age of 13, I underwent a serious operation on my intestines, which left me hospitalized for four months and put an end to my normal existence as a man. I was tall, 6’2, but very skinny, probably around 130 pounds.”
It wasn’t until Alexander was 20 that he started to think about going to the gym. It took over ten years to get to his current weight of 230 pounds. He is finally at a point where he feels confident with his body. Still, posing for nude photos was something he had never done before. Alexander was careful and selective about using his nudity in a tasteful way. “Because I have known Dima for many years and he and I have done many photo projects together, it was not hard for me to take my clothes off. What was hard was to be naturally sexy, appear relaxed and to not pose too much. Of course, it is very difficult to surprise people in the age of universal exhibitionism, but these nude images that we captured definitely deserve some attention.”
Taking clippers to his head for the second book, “Mercenary,” also required courage but he did it for the sake of the story. “I hope these beautiful images will resonate and inspire people to be the best versions of themselves, inside and out, as well as inspire them to travel to gorgeous places and live outside of their comfort zones.”
Alexander Abramov began his career in the media business as an assistant in a PR agency specializing in corporative events in his hometown of Karaganda, which is in Central Kazakhstan. After he moved to Moscow, he got a job at a magazine as a producer of photo projects. While there, he dabbled in fashion, creating a few collections that appeared on the runways of the Russian Fashion Week. Russia, however, experienced a financial crisis and Abramov was forced to leave fashion for a more lucrative career back in PR, again as a photo producer. It eventually led to an opportunity in TV where Alexander Abramov became an executive producer of a makeover reality show on one of the biggest entertainment TV channels in Russia. He remained in TV for five years until he decided to move to the USA.
“It’s been a long, winding road to where I am now but all of my past experiences in magazines, fashion and TV have contributed enormously to the making of this series. They are all part of the fabric of the man that I’m excited to reveal in ‘Uncovered’”.
Learn more at abramovlex.com and dmitrybocharov.com – and follow Abramo on IG @abramov_lex.
With the better part of the year in front of us and the traveling season fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at what is up and coming in traveling. We’ve uncovered some cool trends and paired them with some really great destinations that will surely challenge the way you think about traditional tourism.
The Eco-Conscious Traveler
Even though you know you are bound to leave a larger than usual carbon footprint behind when traveling (planes, trains, boats, etc.), you make more environmentally choices while traveling. You also want to experience destinations that could be affected by changing global conditions in the near future. You want to leave the place better than how you found it because no one else seems to do so.
Destination – An Alaska Cruise
The ice caps are melting, and glaciers are deteriorating, so you better experience them in their full splendor while there is time. A cruise along the Inside Passage which is the network of waterways along the southeastern ‘panhandle’ area of Alaska, will put magnificent glaciers, islands, fjords, and coastal settlement on display for your viewing pleasure. For more info go to alaskandreamcruises.com.
The Luxury Lounger
The all-inclusive travel sector has evolved greatly over the last few years. With busy schedules and stressful work environments, people simply want to allocate the responsibility of just about everything to someone else, so they can truly relax. One does deserve a little luxury, and if it means paying a little extra for being taking care of from start to finish, then all the power to it.
Destination – All-Inclusive Resort
A truly all-inclusive resort will have you debating if you should leave the premises at all! With delicious food and drink options readily available, luxury amenities, and fun activities there is plenty to do at the resort alone. There are many all-inclusive options spread around the globe, but choose a gay-friendly one just to be sure. Like the Live Aqua in Cancún – liveaqua.com.
The Culturally Insatiable
You want to delve into a country’s history, art scene, and cultural highlights, but you are having difficulty choosing the destination because there is so much to see and do! A good choice is to turn your sights on Europe with is its many different countries and ample options for a packed cultural itinerary.
Destination – A European Cruise
The most difficult part is to narrow down where you want to go. A Mediterranean cruise gives you Southern European destinations like Spain, France, Greece, and Italy, while a Baltic cruise lets you explore Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. A combination of larger cities and smaller coastal towns is ideal to satisfy your cultural hunger. Check out royalcaribbean.com for their European cruises.
Tap In Tap Out Party-Goer
Work hard, but no time to play hard? Your vacation time is perfect for remedying your lack of socialization among like-minded individuals. A party cruise is an obvious way to go, but even though you may want to party a lot, it may prove to be overload for most. A nicely curated destination for a party or festival is ideal because you get to dip in and out of all the festivities and you get to immerse yourself in local culture too.
Destination – Gay Spring Break
This year’s Gay Spring Break in Torremolinos, Spain, does not only feature a nice lineup of incredible parties and DJs but it takes place on one of the best gay beaches in Europe. You can choose the full board option at one of the host hotels, or buy passes for individual events. Either way, you will have the best time frolicking among some of the hottest men from around the world. Check out delicedream.com for more information.
Ricky Rebel Redefines Masculinity In His Third Full-Length Album, “The New Alpha”
By Larry Olsen
Photo: Susy Miller
Glam rocker Ricky Rebel redefines what it means to be a man while exploring the themes of Power, Sex, Vanity, and Love in The New Alpha, his third studio album. Self-produced, the album is a sharp departure from his last LP, The Blue Album, that he admits writing during a low period in his life. Where Blue was a dark moon, The New Alpha is a bright sun, with a more powerful tribalistic sound that is meant to reflect both Rebel’s optimistic state of mind as well as the emboldened state of the USA. “The era of Political correctness is over,” proclaims Ricky Rebel. “Some people today need to toughen up and stop playing the victim.” He urges fans to balance their feminine and masculine sides and remain sensitive to the views of others while also remaining firm in their own. Ricky Rebel’s The New Alpha is available on iTunes and all major online retailers.
“My views are not defined by party lines,” continues Rebel from his Los Angeles home. “I am a centrist who goes left and right depending on the issues. I am in the middle. A difficult place to be. It’s the same with my identity. I am proud to be a man who happens to love makeup and women’s clothing. What is women’s clothing anyway? What is gender? I am both masculine and feminine.”
Along with the album, Ricky Rebel has released the rock ballad, “Time,” and its music video. In the song, he sings how time is a precious commodity that shouldn’t be wasted on arguing and fighting with each other. “It was important for me to include ‘Time’ on the new album because being a true Alpha means having the strength to express feelings of fear, regret, and sadness,” he continues.
He also reveals the song was inspired by a horrific car accident he was in as a child. “I nearly lost my mother in the accident. It’s my first memory. I learned the lesson early on that what you love can be taken away from you in an instant.”
Ricky Rebel burst on the music scene in 1997 as the lead vocalist of the boy-band No Authority. Signed by Michael Jackson to Michael’s MJJ Music label at Sony, he toured with 98 Degrees, Destiny’s Child, Aaron Carter, and Ashlee and Jessica Simpson. In 2000, the band moved to Madonna’s Maverick label where they toured with Britney Spears and released their Billboard Top 40 chart hit, “Can I Get Your Number.” Another No Authority song, “I’m Telling You This,” appears on the Rugrats in Paris soundtrack.
In 2004, No Authority broke up and Ricky became the lead vocalist of the band, Harlow. He also did voice-over work for films Apollo 13, Anywhere But Here, and Anastasia, and appeared on television in episodes of American Dreams, Boston Public, and Audrina.
He went solo as Ricky Rebel in 2012. Since then, he has released two albums, Manipulator, featuring the singles “Geisha Dance,” “Get It On” and “You Need a Woman” and The Blue Album, featuring “Star” and “Boys and Sometimes Girls,” a song that climbed to #28 on the Billboard Club Chart.
This summer, Ricky Rebel released “If You Were My Baby,” the first track from The New Alpha. Its message of self-assurance and self-love broke into the top ten on the Billboard Breakouts for Dance Club Songs. Additional songs on the album include “Magic Carpet,” “Mean People” and the title track.
“The world needs Ricky Rebel,” reflects Rebel. “The world needs hundreds of us.”
“I want listeners to know that I am not a social justice warrior and yet I care tremendously for human rights. I am not a feminist. I care for men and women equally. Skin color doesn’t matter to me. I care about what’s in the heart. I do not care about cultural appropriation. I believe fear is poison. If you feel the same way, you might very well be one of The New Alphas.”
It wasn’t just the stress of being deployed in Afghanistan and the constant threat of attack that threw Mark David Gibson into the throes of PTSD. The fact that he served under the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy forced him to remain a closeted, gay man unable to live his authentic life. His memoir, Served in Silence: The Struggle to Live Authentically, recounts his personal struggle and powerful journey to live a true life beyond discrimination and filled with authenticity and love.
It was during his second deployment to Afghanistan that the basis of Mark David Gibson’s memoir started. Mark found that writing his thoughts and his stories down gave him a much-needed release from the emotional trauma he was experiencing being in a high-risk war zone with a constant threat of being attacked. The act of writing struck a chord with the captain who worked as a communications officer for the U.S. Air Force and helped him deal with the challenging conditions of his deployment to a war zone.
But for Mark, there was an even more profound layer to his writing. A deeper struggle that equaled and even surpassed his most intense battles while being a service member abroad. His realization of being a gay man who served under the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was taking an emotional toll on him. The internal battle over the fact that he was willing to sacrifice his own life to ensure the liberty and freedoms of others, while he was far from enjoying those same personal freedoms were starting to fester in him and even question his identity. In fact, he called an emergency session with a senior officer to change his will, so that, given the possibility that he would get killed in service, he wouldn’t be buried in American soil, in a country that he felt didn’t accept him as an equal citizen.
His struggle and immense inner debate found at least partial release in writing, which started out as musings about his childhood, daydreaming, and reminiscing about his early years. Writing became a way for Mark to deal with the dehumanizing policy that effectively kept Mark in the closet for the entirety of his 20-year military career and beyond.
When he returned home, he was still profoundly marred by what he refers to as living in the shadows, and he struggled genuinely with the social structures that surrounded the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. His painful reality coupled with the onset of PTSD symptoms had Mark heavily medicated on prescription anti-depressants while his alcohol consumption started to reach dangerous levels despite seeming fully functional and capable to his surroundings.
So, when a doctor told him that he was rapidly killing himself with his alarming alcoholism, Mark realized that something drastic had to be done. And he also realized that writing was one of the vessels with which he could make profound changes in himself and the people around him.
After decades of shaming, hating, and loathing himself for what he was, Mark has learned to tell himself three words: I love you. The process of self-love was very much aided by his ability to write and express his feelings through words.
Upon returning from his second deployment as a highly decorated officer, Captain Gibson retired from active duty. Shortly after, Mark moved to Costa Rica where he underwent a dramatic transformation, which is unfolded with brutal honesty in his memoir.
First of all, Mark is five years sober, which has given him renewed focus and a resolve to make a positive difference every day. He has discovered the joy of life, love, and living which translates into him being an accomplished triathlete, working to help small LGBT businesses thrive, and giving motivational speeches across the country. And he has found meaningful love and partnership with his boyfriend, Aaron, whom he lovingly and often refers to as ‘Mr. Wonderful.’
Secondly, his writing has gone from reminiscing about his childhood to being a powerful narrative about his monumental struggle to live his life authentically. The book – Served in Silence: The Struggle to Live Authentically – recounts four phases of Mark David Gibson’s journey that starts in the early years, then moves onto the learning years and wonder years to end up in the living years finally.
And thirdly, as compelling a read this book is about pulling yourself out of the shadows, it brings the message of Served in Silence even further by donating portions of the proceeds to the Atlanta nonprofit Lost-n-Found Youth which is dedicated to ending homelessness for LGBTQ youth in Georgia.
Mark hopes that Served in Silence will not only enlighten and help others in their journey to live their own life more authentically by learning from his experiences, but also that it will help pull others out of the shadows in a much more literal way. Because his journey has shown him, that although there may be struggle, there is also an authentic life waiting for you, no matter who you are.
Learn more at markdavidgibson.com
Served in Silence: The Struggle to Live Authentically is available now on MarkonAmazon.com.