Tag Archives: Gay

Summer Reading #1 – Angels in America


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One of my goals this summer is to read more books (at least 5-10 in total).  Days are getting much longer, which means I get extra time to spend outdoors.  With all of these new books I got over the past few months, I figured it’s the perfect time to do some summer reading.  It is also a good time to discuss my summer reading titles for the blog.

First up on the summer reading list involves a timeless play that takess place during the 1980s AIDS crisis when the disease was rampant all across the country.  During these rough times, many gay characters turned on each other due to various personal conflicts among each other.  This is the story of Angels in America.

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Angels in America is a two-part gay fantasia series written by Tony Kushner.  Roy Cohn is a successful New York lawyer and power broker.  He is a deeply closeted gay man who has AIDS.  Through his political connections, he is able to score some supply of an experimental drug called AZT.  Alone in a hospital, he is constantly judged by his night nurse Belize (friend of Prior’s and former drag queen) and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg.

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In the meantime, Joseph Pitt is a closeted gay Mormon and republic who is offered a job in Washington D.C. by Roy Cohn.  Joe hesitates about accepting the job due to his agoraphobic wife Harper who refuses to move.  Harper starts suspecting that Joe does not love her as she loves him.  It is then that Joe confesses to her that he is gay.

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After his confession, Joe hooks up with Louis Ironson.  Louis’s boyfriend, Prior Walters, contracted AIDS.  While Prior’s illness progresses, Louis moves out and abandons Prior altogether.  Prior is then visited by a pair of ghosts who claim to be his own ancestors and hears this angelic voice informing him to prepare for her arrival.

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The first part of Angels in America is titled ‘Millennium Approaches’ and premiered in May 1991; meanwhile, the second part ‘Perestroika’ premiered in November 1992.  These two parts happen in a span of almost five years.  It’s a metaphorical and symbolical examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America during the 1980s.  Many characters are supernatural beings (such as angels) while others become deceased persons (who are the ghosts).

Image result for Angels in America HBO

Image result for Angels in America HBO

Years after the play was released, Angels in America was made into an HBO series back in December 7th 2003.  The miniseries starred Al Pacino as Roy Cohn with supporting actors including Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Mary-Louise Parker, Emma Thompson, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright, and others.  There are six episodes that span within a total of 352 minutes.  It makes for a great miniseries that stems from the play.

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Overall, I really enjoyed reading Angels in America.  It was definitely intense to read and I really connected with the characters throughout.  I really enjoyed the symbolism and metaphors surrounding the whole AIDS crisis.  There were times where the story line had some bizarre scenes in the mix, but I understood what was happening either way.

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This play was a great start to my summer reading list.  There were AIDS, homosexuality, heartbreaks, new friendships, and even betrayal all rolled up into one incredible story.  You should definitely pick up Angels in America this summer if you want a riveting tale that involves one of the most notorious health PR nightmares in American history.

Check out Angels in America this summer.

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Cannabis + LGBTQ Pride at The Stud


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Image result for San Francisco Pride

Pride week may be over in Boston, but many other cities are still celebrating or getting their celebrations started as well.  Popular cities like San Francisco don’t have their parade starting until near the end of June.  Being that San Francisco is the heart of many progressive sub-communities, LGBTQ residents get a lot more creative in their pride celebrations.  Celebratory events are about to get a lot more unique now that the recreational cannabis industry is booming around California.

When pride events and recreational cannabis mix together, you create something truly fantastic.  And ironically enough, that is just what is happening here in San Francisco nightclub The Stud.

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June 14th is PUFF – A queer cannabis appreciation/drag pride party.  The event celebrates cannabis consumers within the LGBTQ community.  It’s a combination of a pride event all while celebrating legalized cannabis in San Francisco.

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DJ Sergio Fedasz spins your favorite 420-themed tunes as everyone meets and greets before the show.  After that, DJ Dank hosts a drag show featuring some of the best performers in the city.  There is also a stoner raffle that takes place throughout the event as well.  This event is held every 2nd Thursday from 7-10 PM.  While this event celebrates all things queer and cannabis, there is no cannabis consumption and distribution in or around Stud.

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Image result for San Francisco The Stud

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The Stud has been open since 1966 and remains as the heart of San Francisco’s LGBTQ culture.  It was formerly located at the western end of Folsom Street, but eventually moved to the corner of Harrison and Ninth street in 1987.  Some famous icons that have entered the doors include Bjork, RuPaul, Charo, Etta James, and even Lady Gaga.  Fifty years later and the Stud continues to be an iconic bar for pride events.

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Image result for The Stud Puff

Ok folks, I have heard of pride events all around Boston and this right here takes pride to a WHOLE other level.  Think about it – the LGBTQ audiences come together to the Stud to celebrate recreational cannabis use in San Francisco.  You basically have this incredible combination of sub-communities forming together under one legendary bar in one of the most iconic cities of all time.  To date, this is the only cannabis-themed LGBTQ appreciation event anywhere in America (better, yet anywhere in the WORLD!).

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San Francisco continues to push the envelope with their bold pride celebrations every year.  Its things like the Folsom Street Fair and Amsterdam-style cannabis lounges that flourishes the city’s reputation even higher.  Surprisingly enough, it still remains as the top LGBTQ friendly city here in America.

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What we are left is two PR miracles meshed together into one amazing sandwich.  The cannabis industry is in full swing in California and is even helping businesses as well as other industries.  San Francisco was a historic town for both the LGBTQ and cannabis community, so it only makes sense to mix them together in one special occasion.  This is definitely one sandwich that will be easy to swallow for years to come.

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This is the time to celebrate not just LGBTQ pride, but also cannabis pride as well.  Whether you are a trans female who enjoys smoking joints or a gay masculine man who is an avid dabber, every audience of the LGBTQ community should enjoy some cannabis.  Cannabis touches all colors of the psychedelic rainbow.

Pose – By Ryan Murphy


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Image result for Pride Month 2018

We’re in the month of June and that can only mean one thing – summer is here.  The sun will be shining more, days will be longer, and many events will be happening outdoors.  But with all of the excitement happening with the cannabis industry, it also slipped my mind that Pride Month started recently.

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Pride Month celebrates members of the LGBTQ community.  From pride parades to drag bingo, every kind of event goes on each year.  It is celebrated each June, being that was when the Stonewall Riots of 1969 occurred (which will be discussed soon!).  Every member is taking advantage of this month to celebrate who they are in the world.

Other than the typical pride parades, LGBTQ-themed TV series and movies come out as well.  While American Horror Story doesn’t return until the Fall, Ryan Murphy celebrated Pride Month with the release of his new series Pose.

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Image result for Pose FX

Pose is a dance drama series that released on FX on June 3rd.  The series chronicles members of the ball culture world in New York City back in 1987.  Blanca Rodriguez is a trans woman who becomes the mother of House Evangelista.  She was a former member of House Abundance only to leave the group to pursue her own dreams.  Rodriguez takes in Damon Richards, a homeless dancer who was evicted from his parents’ house.  While living with Blanca, Damon enrolls into a dance school to get his education.

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Besides the growing ball culture, Pose takes viewers into the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe.  Stan Bowes (who is none other than American Horror Story vet Evan Peters!) works for his boss Matt Bromley (former Dawson Creek star James Van Der Beek) in Trump Towers while coming home to his wife Patty (Kate Mara) and two children.  His shocking secret is that he hooks up with Angel, a prostitute who lives in the House Evangelista.

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Image result for Pose FX

All in all, I instantly got hooked after the first episode last night.  Its an incredible tale of people who gain real acceptance from a world they discover on their own.  Damon felt real love when he moved in with Blanca.  The world was a cold and scary place for the group, so they found comfort in each other.

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The timing is perfect to a show like Pose.  With Pride Month underway, this is one of many shows that have you rooting for some colorful underdogs.  These bold men and women face a lot of adversity within the story-line such as the AIDS crisis and the rise of Trump-era universe.

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Even though this story took place over thirty years ago, Pose reminds us to always keep fighting the good fight.  When the world brings you down to your lowest, you create your own world where you truly exist.

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In the end, Pose is definitely going to be a show to keep watch of this summer.  Any and all LGBTQ audiences should check out Ryan Murphy’s latest dance drama about the ball culture world.  It’s going to be quite a ball this year!

One Stone – By Trixie Mattel


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Image result for Trixie Mattel Brian Firkus

Image result for Trixie Mattel Brian Firkus

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Trixie Mattel (Brian Firkus) is one of many popular drag queens around America.  She appeared on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race and starred in a YouTube series called UNHhhh with Katya.  After UNHhhh ended, she later became the co-host of The Trixie & Katya Show on Viceland.

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While Trixie Mattel is famous for her work in television, she also makes music on the side as well.  She released her first album Two Birds on May 2nd, 2017.  It’s a country-themed album that was featured on the Billboard chard multiple times.  Less than a year later and Trixie released yet another album called One Stone.

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One Stone is an alternative folk album that was released today.  The album runs at 22 minutes and features songs such as ‘Soldier, ‘Little Sister’, ‘Wind Up Man’ and other creative tunes.  If you enjoyed Two Birds, then you will definitely enjoy Trixie’s latest masterpiece.

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It’s intriguing to hear about Trixie extending her brand line from television by dabbling into the music industry.  She already made waves on RuPaul’s Drag Race and she’s showcasing that sass through her music.  Other than her own projects, Trixie made an appearance back in American Horror Story: Roanoke (the season with Piggy Man).  Releasing her newest album will only flourish her brand even further.

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There is no telling what Trixie Mattel has in stores for her audience.  She is already slaying the TV market with The Trixie & Katya Show and now she is dropped another album today.  All of these strategic tactics will help diverse Trixie’s brand even more.  Those that discover Trixie Mattel’s music will check out her show The Trixie & Katya Show and vice-versa.

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Kudos to Trixie Mattel for her new brand strategy.  She was already slaying it on the silver screen and her newest album will push her out further on the map.

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Whatever entertaining platform she moves into, you know Trixie will work hard to slay her competition.

Andew Cunanan – Satan’s Sugar Baby


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Season two of American Crime Story has been interesting so far.  The second season takes viewers into the events leading up to Gianni Versace’s tragic death in Florida after being shot by Andrew Cunanan.  Throughout the series, we look back at many highlights from Gianni Versace including the time he publicly came out to the world with his lover Antonio.  It’s an intriguing story that introduces each event leading to the string of murders within each episode.

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While Versace is the main victim of the series, Andrew Cunanan is also the main character being discussed as well.  Cunanan was just another serial killer in America until he shot Gianni Versace on the steps of his home.

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So who was Andrew Cunanan?  What was his whole backstory about?  Why did he become such an interesting figure to follow back in the 90s?

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Image result for Andrew Cunanan

Andrew Cunanan was born on August 31st, 1969 in National City, California to Modesto “Pete” Cunanan and Mary Anne Schillaci.  He was incredibly gifted in school, testing with an I.Q. of 147 at The Bishop’s School in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego.  Cunanan was remembered as being bright and very talkative.  As smart as he was, he developed a reputation for being a creative liar when he was a teenager.  He would regularly tell these fantastic tales about his personal life as well as his family.

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Cunanan was 19 when is mother learned that he was gay.  After a heated argument, he threw her mother against the wall and dislocated her shoulder.  Reports of his behavior indicated that he may have suffered from antisocial personality disorder, a personality disorder characterized by his lack of empathy for other people.

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Even as he got older, he continued spreading these imaginative tales about himself to the men he met.  He would inform men like David Madson that he works in Mexico building sets pieces for the movie Titanic and that he has a condo in San Francisco.  None of those were true, for he got his earnings from wealthy middle-aged gay men.  Cunanan never worked any jobs after college, being that he received hefty allowances from his ‘lovers’.  If Satan was a gay sugar daddy, his sugar baby would be Andrew Cunanan.

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After receiving his allowance, Andrew spent his money on lavish gifts for his lovers.  He would spoil them with opulent items that cost a fortune.  Even with all of the gratuitous presents, many of his friends refused to be around him.

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He started his string of killings on April 27th, 1997 with Jeffrey Trail being his first victim.  A few days later, he killed off his lover David Madson.  Cunanan headed over to Chicago to take out Lee Miglin.  Miglin was a successful real estate developer in Chicago who became a business tycoon over the years.  After Miglin’s murder, Cunanan was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.

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Five days later, Cunanan headed to New Jersey to kill 45-year-old caretaker William Reese.  He found William in Pennsville, New Jersey and stole his red pick-up truck after shooting him to death.  It was then that he moved on to Gianni Versace months later.

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It was on July 15th that Andrew Cunanan shot Gianni Versace in his own home.  This would be the beginning of the end for Cunanan from here.

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This series focuses on Gianni Versace, but we’re also learning more about Andrew Cunanan’s story in the process.  Cunanan led a string of twisted and disturbing games he played among his victims.  He was using drugs throughout the process, even selling some to his friends.

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In the end, Cunanan never really loved any of the men he was with.  They were just simply pawns in his own sick and twisted agenda.  He spurred up his lies and tried to impress them with his expensive gifts.

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That’s all for today’s disturbing tale about Andrew Cunanan.  Who knows what sinister moves he pulls next in the newest episode of American Crime Story.