BEVERLY CENTER – The glamorous Sofitel Hotel opened its patio doors Sunday to celebrate Pride Month with a lively brunch, showing off their lush new garden and dining space. The floral gem of a side patio provided the perfect space for a lively, boozy celebration – complete with a memorable DJ set from DJ Spencer H. Guests enjoyed a colorful variety of cocktails, including the gummy bear topped Pride cocktail titled Bear-y Cherry Martini.
The splashy event is one of many ways the popular hotel is celebrating Pride Month. With donations flowing to The LA LGBT Center and the Trans Wellness Center, Sofitel is finding many ways to give to the LGBT+ community this Pride season.
Sunday morning the hotel ground floor was bustling with guest arrivals and brunch-goers. The hotel sits at the busy crossroads of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, directly across from The Beverly Center. At noon, the hotel opened the doors of it’s in-house restaurant, Riviera 31. Known for its eye-catching cocktails and instagram-worthy entertainment, Riviera 31 launched its brand new Tiki Brunch this past Sunday. Featuring a menu of lite bites and punny cocktails, the hotel’s aforementioned Pride cocktail is the one to get since $1 from every purchase goes to The LA LGBT Center. A popular Pride donor, Smirnoff Vodka is joining in on the deal, promising to match the amount.
During Pride month, Sofitel has encouraged guests to make individual donations to The LA LGBT Center – also promising to match each donation. The LA LGBT Center is a world renowned organization that provides programs and services for all members of the LGBT+ community, with resources ranging from youth housing, to professional guidance, to HIV/STD testing and much, much more.
The LA LGBT Center is the largest facility in the world that provides services to the LGBT+ community.
Not stopping there, The Sofitel is running a contactless clothing drive to benefit the Trans Wellness Center (TWC), a division of The LA LGBT Center. The Trans Wellness Center is a 3,000 square foot center created by community leaders and allies and provides comprehensive resources and services for transgender and non-binary people.
Their services include mental health resources, legal services, employment development and more. The clothing drive is open to all! Hotel guests, hotel employees and LA locals and Beverly Hills neighbors can donate new or gently used items such as socks, shoes, belts and clothing in larger sizes by dropping items off at the front desk between June 21 until June 30.
Santa Monica-based wellness center creates peak male health and performance clinic
SANTA MONICA – Compelled by COVID-19 to shelter in place, the many months spent on “Pause” mode gave mankind a lot of time for navel gazing. For some men, that gazing continued south, just past the navel—and forced them to face some hard truths about certain shortcomings. Night after night, like New Year’s Eve on a loop, resolutions were made to get some help in the personal growth department, as soon as the world at large was up for it.
At roughly the same time, a former ER trauma surgeon whose Santa Monica-based wellness center specialized in regenerative and anti-aging healthcare was busy creating a stand-alone practice dedicated to peak male health and performance.
Flash forward to the present, and Total Male is the new boutique offering from Dr. Daniel Moghadam, or “Dr. D, as his patients like to call him. At the center of Total Male (actually, a bit south of center, just past the navel) is a time-tested, well-vetted, permanent penis enlargement procedure that has improved the sexual lives and everyday confidence of its many recipients.
Best of all, the procedure is non-surgical, carrying none of the risks associated with going under the knife. That means no stitches, cutting, or general anesthesia. The instantaneous results appear natural and are permanent.
“The procedure is done with a topical numbing agent and the collagen injection creates permanent tissue growth that can be built upon with multiple procedures, if that’s what the patient wants,” explains Total Male intake specialist Cameron. “If you’ve gained an inch or girth when you’re flaccid, you’re going to be that much bigger when you’re erect.” Although you can go right back to most regular activities right after the procedure, you’ll need a 30-day period without sexual activity, so the college can settle.
In addition to those who simply want a noticeable improvement in girth, the enlargement procedure has been an effective option for those who’ve suffered the results of botched penile surgeries or issues like erectile dysfunction, anxiety, or other factors most men deal with at some point in their lives.
But Dr. D’s Total Male practice is more than just the marquee penis enlargement procedure. “We also do PRP injections, and that helps with blood flow,” notesCameron, of the many add-on options. “We find that helps a lot of our patients get to the next level on their quest to achieve peak sexual performance. If that’s not enough, we also recommend testing hormone and testosterone levels, and then design a course of treatment for those factors if need be.”
Stress, an understandable component of living in the era of COVID-19 and its Delta variant, is also a factor Dr. D takes into account. In fact, all aspects of mind and body are involved in diagnosis and treatment, making Total Male as much of a mission statement as a brand name.
“His background as an ER doctor has exposed him to many traumas and problems,” says Cameron of Dr. D, noting, “He’s been able to pinpoint seemingly minor or unrelated problems and reverse them. And because of his education in anti-aging hormones and his aversion to having a patient go under the knife, he comes at the whole spectrum of male performance with a different perspective than, say, a plastic surgeon or a psychologist.”
So if you’ve been putting off taking the first step toward gaining the normal confidence that comes with above average circumference, book a consultation with the Total Male team. Each consultation includes information on a variety of finance options, and a detailed description of the patient’s role in a recovery process that will produce permanent results.
Call 805-608-4711 or visit http://www.drdenhancement.com/
8th annual “GOLD MEETS GOLDEN”
By Susan Hornik | LOS ANGELES – The 8th annual “GOLD MEETS GOLDEN” event has gone virtual this year, with inspiring “Stay Gold” conversations between Hollywood’s most loved actors and athletes. While usually taking place during the Golden Globes, the pandemic pivoted lgbtq organizers Charley C. Walters and Scott Orlin to create a more intimate video event surrounding the 2021 Olympics, raising money for the much loved sports charity organization, Angel City Sports.
“Angel City Sports has been a perfect charity partner for Gold Meets Golden for several years now,” enthused Walters. “Since its inception 7 years ago, ACS has provided the opportunity for hundreds of children in the disabled community to find an outlet in Adaptive Sports. We’ve seen first-hand how that introductions enhances their lives. It is so wonderful to know that the children we are helping via this charity will one day compete for our own Paralympics in Los Angeles in 2028!”
Conducting the conversations online has turned out to be a blessing, as Walters was able to include many impressive international celebrities and athletes who normally can’t travel to Los Angeles for the in person, Beverly Hills charity bash.
“Technology allowed us to connect personalities from the UK to Australia to Japan, and to spread the theme of Gold Meets Golden and Angel City Sports to a broader, worldwide audience,” he said.
Among the many exciting virtual video conversations taking place is between actress Nicole Kidman and the equally legendary gymnast, NadiaComaneci.
“Nicole is a huge fan of the Olympics and Paralympics and even once dreamt of being an Olympic swimmer in her home country of Australia,” Walters noted. “She attends as many Olympics Games as she can but this time, has obviously posed limitations. Gold Meets Golden is a great way for her and the entire Hollywood community to show love to these esteemed athletes. She has been a true champion for the cause by lending her support for all these years.”
Other fantastic chats are between Billy Porter with Track & Field High Jumper Vashti Cunningham
Sasha Baron Cohen with UK Diver Tom Daley
the cast of Apple TV’s “Ted Lasso” (Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple and Phil Dunster) with World-Cup winning Soccer players Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn
Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas with Paralympic runner Roderick Townsend & Olympian Ty-Butts Townsend;
and Matt Bomer with Paralympic racer Tatyana McFadden
The series will also feature a special Paralympic-inspired musical performance of Diane Warren and Laura Pausini’s Oscar-nominated “Lo Si / Seen,” with special guest Blake Stadnik (“This is Us”), who will represent the visually impaired community.
The online conversations have been so popular that many more celebrities are stepping forward to record more thought on the Games. It is expected they will post prior to the start of the Paralympics.
“One of our main objectives with Gold Meets Golden was to provide a bridge between actors and athletes; an opportunity for each to share their own story about techniques and preparations,” added Orlin.
“With our ‘In Conversation’ series, viewers are provided with a truly special opportunity to witness this mutual admiration of this grouping as they each share some very personal perspectives.”
For their VIP sponsors, Gold Meets Golden 2021 is working with a variety of partners who support both Hollywood & sporting industries.
“Our brands came up with some very clever ways to enjoy the Games from home… for example, by supplying ingredients for a Tequila Herradura “Golden Angel” cocktail to all our participants,” said Walters.
Herradura Recipe for the “Golden Angel” Cocktail:
“We also loved seeing the reaction from the Angel City Sports athletes who truly appreciated gifts like a 24K Theragun massager, Gold Slip sleep mask and Gold ‘That Neck Pillow,’ all of which helps balance their competition and rest time.”
Angel City Sports athletes for “Theragun”
“It was an honor to be asked to help support such a worthy organization,” said That Neck Pillow’s inventor Lynthia Muller. “Getting involved with the charity serves as a reminder that we all need someone and that we should always help one another when we can.These pillows help improve posture, relieve pain and can help these athletes destress after a workout.”
Angel City Sports athletes for “Slip”
Added Dr. Jason Wersland, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Therabody: “We are proud to partner with Gold Meets Golden, and to have been able to provide Theragun percussive therapy devices to all participating celebrities, athletes and para-athletes. I know this will help them. And, we’re so honored to support Angel City Sports para-athletes who are using the devices as part of their training and recovery and to help with life’s physical challenges.”
Angel City Sports athletes for “ThatNeckPillow”
Zappo’s Adaptive also stepped up to the plate by creating some custom adaptive outfits based on the children’s disabilities and lifestyles. “The athletes’ reactions upon opening these gifts were priceless,” said Walters.
In addition, RedBull and Deloitte are helping support conversations for their own endorsed athletes, and the popular app FASHWIRE is helping athletes who want to start their own fashion lines following the Olympics.
“This is FASHWIRE’s second year supporting Gold Meets Golden, and we are excited to help pivot from last year’s live fashion show to a new online series advising Olympians and Paralympians on how to start their own fashion lines, especially within the growing adaptive wear community,” said company spokesperson Kimberly Carney.
If you would like to donate: Text GMG to 71777 or use this link to donate. https://app.mobilecause.com/form/pXAtiA?vid=h94ui
The Best Bitcoin Dice Gambling Sites (2021 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)
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Jump The Q – How LA’s ProjectQ salon provides a safe space for the LGBTQ community
Unfortunately, for many people within the LGBTQ community, a simple visit to a salon can often turn into a hair-raising experience.
Whether it’s a smart hair cut or a brand new look, a visit to a hair or beauty salon is an integral part of our lives and an essential boost to our wellbeing. Unfortunately, for many people within the LGBTQ community, a simple visit to a salon can often turn into a hair-raising experience.
Getting to the roots of prejudice
Unfortunately, in 2021, we’re still seeing news stories detailing abuse of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles – including the case of Wi Spa in LA which was the target of online trolling after unsubstantiated claims regarding a trans person in the salon. While such stories are thankfully becoming more rare, it’s clear that there’s still work to be done – and ProjectQ in North Spring Street is doing just that.
Cutting out exclusion
Launched in 2017, ProjectQ is a community centre which was created to provide a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community – a space where everybody is welcome, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, income or status. The centre offers free mentorship, workshops and classes to its growing number of members, as well as a hair salon built on the foundations of inclusion.
Many members of the LGBTQ community feel that they’re woefully under-represented when it comes to hair and beauty salons – something which ProjectQ is tackling in a very real way through its unique centre. A non-profit organization, ProjectQ offers free haircuts to LGBTQ homeless young people as well as serving the wider community. Founder, Andre Vargas, says, “It was always about self care and self improvement. Those are the things that we’ve always talked about consistently at ProjectQ”.
Specialising in gender-affirming haircuts and, in keeping with its place within an inclusive hub as well as the social aspect of the centre, the salon offers free parking, beer and wine and English and Spanish speaking stylists. In fact, the salon has become so popular within the community that the owners struggle to accommodate the high number of clients; particularly when juggling booked customers with walk-ins (something most salons state as a common problem). A welcome solution to ProjectQ’s problems is offered in the form of Booksy’s scheduling software.
Trimming time and costs
Booksy is an innovative bit of kit which allows customers to book and manage their own appointments either online or through an app. For customers, this means that appointments can be made, amended and cancelled quickly without any fuss and without having to pick up the phone and risk errors due to staff mistakes and language problems.
“My sister and I are both LGBTQIA, so it was really cute when we scheduled haircuts together at ProjectQ with Coral and Ramdasha. I love that ProjectQ’s developed such a thoughtful, inclusive space”. Tanner H
For salons like ProjectQ, the benefits are myriad and, include:
Reducing pressure on staff – Salon employees, such as ProjectQ’s Coral and Ramdasha, are free to do what they do best without having to stop to answer the phone on a regular basis.
Managing appointments – Booksy uses artificial intelligence to manage appointments much more efficiently than the average human. For salon owners, this offers better optimization of time and space, and can significantly help with social distancing within the space.
Reducing no-shows – As customers are able to quickly cancel appointments through the app, they are a lot less likely to just not show up to their appointment. In addition, Booksy offers a pre-payment feature which further helps to reduce no-shows – and helps salons to recoup costs when they do happen.
Upsells – These days, most salons choose to increase their revenue through the selling of products used on their premises. The Booksy app allows for upselling of products to be either collected during an appointment or delivered to the customer.
As we strive toward a more tolerant and inclusive world, we deserve to not only feel good about ourselves but to look good too. ProjectQ’s trailblazing salon is a huge step in the right direction for a community which has previously been overlooked and, we hope that other salon owners will follow suit by working on better serving this ever-growing demographic.
Love yourself and your partner with intensity
By SUSAN HORNIK | Let’s face it–sometimes you need to find a unique way to spice up the bedroom! Of course, veteran sex toy brand Tracy’s Dog has a plethora of fun pleasure stimulation toys.
One of the impressive highlights is called Turboo, which redefines the male orgasm experience and provides incredible new levels of immense pleasure for men!
Using Tracy’s Dog’s proprietary CFEET – Centrifugal Forced Ejaculation Enhancement Technology, Turboo can output ultra-high rotation speed and centrifugal force, ensuring it can well simulate the male genitalia and deliver some unprecedented mind-blowing pleasure to men with 3 dynamic vibration modes (up to 13,000 rounds/minute!).
“Turboo is excellent for glands exercising, stimulating, and desensitizing, which is super beneficial to couples who love to have more fun for a longer time,” enthused ceo Fish Zhang.
There are two Turboo versions which can be used in the bathtub, noted Zhang. “One is suitable for single use, using multi-touch contact and massage to exercise the penis, enhance endurance, improve durability and reach the effect of orgasm. The other is an analog channel, suitable for single masturbation or couple use.”
Even if you don’t have a boo, Turboo is great for self love too!
“It’s super easy to operate and can provide a wonderful climax experience,” explained Zhang. “The trajectory of Turboo is different from other masturbation cups. Within the 3 modes, the speeds can be accelerated automatically based on where you grip the device, thanks to the CFEET technology.”
With tight competition in the sex toy industry, Zhang has worked tirelessly to be aware of the industry trends. “We have been in the adult products industry for more than 10 years and have seen products tend to be the same and gradually lose creativity. We really want to put out the best quality items possible, that are reasonably priced. Also, the noise with some devices is far more than 50 decibels, which contributes to consumers writing negative reviews.”
This is why Tracy’s Dog created technology and function that is suitable for men and women and can imitate the trajectory of movement in the process of sex.
“Based on this function and technology, we first created a male masturbation cup so that men can fully experience the comprehensive and all-around experience combined with thrusting movement and additional shaking and vibration during use. In addition, the Turboo can provide sufficient power with little sound, and it’s easy to control with one hand, since it’s only the size of a Starbucks cup,” he said.
“Turboo is like a high-performance sports car, allowing men to experience the speed and passion brought by the toy,” he quipped. “The rocket shape design is eye-catching and the added lighting enhances the atmosphere when in use!
Great news for trans women who have transitioned or are transitioning: Tracy’s Dog is working on a turboo for women! “We always have lots going on! Currently, we are doing research and development on how to reduce the size of the power source to be used in products such as Kegel balls and vibrating eggs.”
Another popular product for the ladies is the OGPro2 Sucking Vibrator.
“The insertion part of the OG Pro 2 is in the perfect size for users to have the most stimulation during use, since it’s not too big or too small,” said Zhang. “Plus, this product is versatile because it’s not only great for vaginal sex, but also can be used as a butt plug for lgbtq couples.
Even if you are someone who has never experienced using butt plugs or anal sex, Zhang said this toy is perfect for them to start! “Plus, it’s remote-controlled, so it’s easy to operate and can have more fun during play.”
Fans of the OGPro2 love the product because of its versatility, and it gets the job done nicely! “It’s not only a simple vibrator but a vibrator with a suction function that gives ladies orgasms that are totally different from the G-Spot orgasms!” Zhang said excitedly.
Another highlight to the brightly colored product is its design, which is inspired by the angle between the thumb and the index finger during masturbation. “This makes the OGPro2 super ergonomic and flexible, making sure it can hit all the sweet spots you want!”
Zhang’s customers have offered lots of feedback and suggestions, which he really appreciates.
“Some give high compliments about the OG Pro2, and say the product greatly helps tighten the bonds between couples. We appreciate all the feedback and suggestions, and keep communicating with our customers in helping them enjoy the pleasure they deserve.”
LA County Parks’ popular summer tradition is back at a park near you!
Parks After Dark (PAD) is back in action! is open to all ages and provides the perfect outdoor setting to reconnect with family and friends.
LOS ANGELES – Parks After Dark (PAD) is back in action! The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to welcome back this award-winning program at 33 parks this summer across LA County and invites you to join us for Friday night movies, activities, art and health workshops, and Saturday night live concerts!
PAD is open to all ages and provides the perfect outdoor setting to reconnect with family and friends. The program offers over 250 movie screenings and 200 free concerts throughout the summer. Grab some snacks, your favorite picnic blanket and your loved ones as you plan enjoy fun evenings at a park near you, all summer long!
The schedule and lineup varies by park each week. For locations, schedules and more, please visit our website at: parks.lacounty.gov/PAD.
Parks After Dark provides youth and their families expanded opportunities to experience healthy recreation and active lifestyles. Since starting in 2010 at just three parks, PAD has expanded to 33 parks, enabling thousands of community members to participate and enjoy quality programming outdoors at their local park.
The program is led by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, with strong support from partners, including the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Department of Arts and Culture, Probation Department, Department of Public Social Services, Sheriff’s Department and Chief Executive Office.
Follow us on Facebook @parks.lacounty.gov and Twitter & Instagram @lacountyparks for updates for Parks After Dark and other LA County Parks programming updates!
Leon Elias Wu, president of SharpeHaus is very, very tired’
To combat the darkness, Wu focuses on the light.
By Susan Hornik | LOS ANGELES – In a world where trans hatred and Asian hate crimes are at an all time high, Leon Elias Wu, president/ceo of SharpeHaus (formerly Sharpe Suiting) is very, very tired.
“The recent news about attacks on AAPI people has been very emotional and exhausting,” acknowledged the trans activist/designer. “I go through emotions of feelings of extreme anger and wanting to retaliate, to wanting to bury these feelings for now and deal with them later.”
This hate is something that Wu has experienced his entire life.
“AAPI hate and disrespect have been a long-standing issue which I’ve felt and experienced since I was a kid, where people perceived me as a ‘woman’ and now as a visible Asian man. Being a trans and LGBTQ activist through all my work at Sharpe, I have not felt like I had the additional energy to manage another layer of activism to fight against AAPI hate, when a lot of the violence started breaking out during the pandemic and then more frequently this year.”
He continued: “A BIPOC person can feel like they have certain rulesets to live by to feel safe in our country. The ruleset is different, depending on your gender and ethnicity, whether you are seen as a black woman, black man, Asian woman or Asian man. Then being transgender or non-binary is another layer. It can be exhausting to break these rules and barriers down.”
Wu was born in a small town in Oklahoma and then subsequently, two LA valley cities, Northridge and Arcadia. “My parents immigrated from Taiwan before I was born. Ever since I can remember, I identified with masculinity. and wanted to play sports with boys and wear boy clothes. I used to sneak into my father’s closet and try on his massive dress shirts, blazers and try to finagle a necktie around my neck to make it look fairly like the crisply-tied neckties I’d watch him do in the mornings.”
Wu didn’t have trans folks around him growing up, which made him feel uncomfortable about speaking.
“I did not know how to express myself and often felt like I was hiding something that was wrong with me. I went along life thinking that I must make-up for this wrong by doing everything right. I tried my best to do stellar work in school and most importantly tried to fit in wherever possible.”
Wu came out at the tail end of college as lesbian, gay or queer.
“Upon graduating UCLA, activist at heart, I quickly attached myself to a group of dumpster-diving, rallying lesbian artists/activists who hung out on the eastside of Hollywood. At that time, I was the only visible trans-identified person within their class and within OutClass – a Stern NYU organization which advocates and creates a safe space for LGBTQ+ members within the Stern community.”
In Spring 2008, while traveling abroad with some fellow students to China as part of an NYU Stern international class trip, he conceptualized the idea of Sharpe Suiting.
“I felt uncomfortable wearing a women’s suit from Ann Taylor to my interviews. With the suggestion and support of my finance peers, I bought my first-ever custom suit from the world famous Sam’s Tailor in Hong Kong. For the first time, I felt like myself in clothing. I felt extraordinary. At that moment, I knew I wanted to bring that feeling to my community.”
To combat the darkness, Wu focuses on the light.
Back in April, the company rebranded as SharpeHaus and launched “The MixTape Capsule,” a series of 80s music videos on YouTube and cover songs on Spotify, Apple and iHeart Radio, which raises visibility in diverse music artists.
The project also supports Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors United, a non-profit organization in the fight against LGBTIQ+ youth homelessness around the world. The visual activist campaign was produced in lieu of the company’s activism on the runway, as both LA and NY Fashion Week were cancelled due to the pandemic.
“I focus on art that makes me feel positive, like our new initiative, ‘The Mixtape Capsule.’ By producing music and videos, I get to infuse modern identities into songs I grew up listening to as a child. It’s very healing. And then I hope my art can inspire and heal others too.”
The company is ready for action: Sharpe is a presenting designer for Women’s Freedom Festival held by L-Project LA. The fashion show segment of Women’s Freedom Festival is curated and produced by gender shoe and accessory designer NiK Kacy. This virtual fashion show will be the first fashion show they have participated in since the pandemic lockdown.
“We are excited to bring the audience 8 years of HERstory on the runway. Get your tickets today and tune in on June 19th,” he enthused.
SharpeHaus will be flying to South Carolina to help Greenville ring in and celebrate its first pride festival ever.
“This will be an all-town occasion produced by Erika Taylor, Terena Starks, Carolina Soma, Caroline Caldwell & David Hawkins. And you better believe we are doing it runway style! We are calling all non-binary, trans, queer femme and LGBTQ+ models to participate in the Greenville’s Gender Expansive fashion show.”
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/greenvilles-gender-expansive-fashion-show-tickets-156944642651 starting at $15. Nikki Eason (SharpeHaus Charlotte Designer) will be lead model on the runway.
The Best Poured Pride Plans with Casamigos
For the bar-going crowd in West Hollywood a successful Pride weekend requires your best bar buddies and a solid game-plan
By Alejandro Cervantes | WEST HOLLYWOOD – I’ll set the scene: denim short shorts, molting feather boa and a black tank top with “Jean Smart” bedazzled on the front – I’ve independently decided to help her Emmy campaign. A group of my nearest and dearest, a loud bunch of girls, gays and theys, strut down Santa Monica Boulevard – it’s Pride weekend, and our world is back open for business.
For the bar-going crowd in West Hollywood a successful Pride weekend requires your best bar buddies and a solid game-plan – you can’t leave one of the busiest gay weekends up to chance. It’s a safe bet that where they pour the best drinks you’ll find the best party – cue Kristin Clark, the vivacious National Mixologist and LGBT+ bar rep for the company. She’s the reason why your favorite gay bars have got your favorite tequila, and this past Pride weekend we followed alongside her and her team for the perfect Weho bar crawl.
The day begins at The Abbey. The sunny outdoor patio is a sea of rainbow as late brunch goers finish mimosas and prepare to launch their Saturday festivities. It’s a scene of a city newly healed, with go-go dancers wiggling and Abbey owner David Cooley tending to tables. The Casamigos crew is stationed at a large table in the center, applying glitter and toasting to the day ahead – the best way to start any Pride Saturday.
It’s been over a year since crowds have been able to enjoy all that local bars have to offer, so you can imagine the buzzing energy. Everyone in the bar is bumping into someone – old friends, favorite drag queens and past acquaintances – aka hookups you forgot the name of. Kristin brings a tray of shots for the new arrivals and whisks her posee off to the next spot: Beaches.
West Hollywood is set up like a game of gay monopoly, one bar next to another making it easy to bounce from one to the next. Beaches sits just around the corner from The Abbey, and is known around town for their saucy drag shows from LA legend Rhea Litré and their celebrity filled parties with the likes of Gigi Gorgeous and many a drag race alum.
The Casamigos team is perched on the second floor balcony, and it doesn’t take long for them to pull out the party’s secret weapon: ski shots. Imagine a rainbow ski with 4 shot glasses attached.
West Hollywood loves Casamigos, and in the words of Drag Race All Stars contestant Scarlet Envy, “the feeling is mutual”. What started as a side hobby for George Clooney and his friends became one of the world’s, and West Hollywood’s, most in-demand beverages. Casamigos wasn’t originally created for sale – it was a passion project begun by those who love a good glass of tequila. After years of tinkering and steady evolution in Jalisco, Mexico, the Casamigos creators arrived at the blend and bottle you’re familiar with.
The Casamigos crew makes their rounds, inviting almost every table in Beaches a free round of shots on the ski. After a little more glitter, and dancing to “Rain on Me”, the group advances to its next stop: Rocco’s.
Thank God Lance Bass decided to get in the gay bar business. When Rocco’s opened in 2019 it immediately became a favorite of the Santa Monica strip – with a sleek design, friendly bartenders and a wrap-around outdoor patio where guests can mingle, flirt and holler at friends passing by the sidewalk below. If the title of “West Hollywood’s watering hole” didn’t sound like a double entendre they could make it their catch phrase.
Rocco’s is also one of the largest consumers of Casamigos – period. A feat Kristin proudly shares with another toast. The group sips tequila sunrises and snacks on the staple: Rocco’s pizza. I tell as many people as I can to watch Jean Smart in ‘Hacks’, Kristin shares the best way to dye your own Pride sneakers and once again, we all dance to “Rain on Me”.
The party carried on through the night, with the group hopping from Revolver to Tom Tom to Pump to Hi Tops and Hamburger Mary’s; each spot offering specialty Casamigos cocktails, bottle service and shots.
There is so much written on what Pride is, but this past Saturday it was about reconnecting with a community that survives off the love and celebration of chosen family, and getting to do so over some terrific cocktails. Call up your best Judy’s – whether you got to see them this past Pride weekend or you celebrated together in Pride weekend’s past – and raise a glass to the great times shared and the better times to come, and then tell them to watch “Hacks” on HBO.
GT Dave creates $250,000 scholarship for LGBTQ+ Grads
“The SYNERGY Scholarship is special to me because it is a direct reflection on how I started and how I want to ‘pay it forward’”
LOS ANGELES – GT Dave, Founder and CEO of the #1 best-selling Kombucha brand, was one of the first brewers to bring the now-ubiquitous drink to the US market. What started as a small, family owned and operated organization in 1995 has grown into a global force – sharing with the world their belief that food can be medicine, and, like Kombucha, anyone can flourish into something new.
This year, GT Dave and his company have been working hard to lift up and empower LGBTQ+ youth, with the creation of the new SYNERGY Scholarship and a partnership with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.
On June 15th, GT Dave announced the creation of the new SYNERGY Scholarship, a $250,000 commitment awarded to young LGBT+ entrepreneurs. GT Dave described the scholarship as, “more than just your run-of-the-mill scholarship; this is a support system to ensure the continued advancement of LGBTQ+ people in business and entrepreneurship.” The scholarship is just one pillar of a much larger summer initiative from the new non-profit, the GT Dave Foundation. The foundation, and the scholarship, are committed to uplifting diverse voices, increasing accessibility to nutritious food, and strengthening environmental efforts to preserve the planet. The scholarship is open to LGBT+ high school students graduating during the 2021-2022 academic year, and will be awarded every year for the next five years.
In his own words, when asked about the SYNERGY Scholarship, GT Dave said; “The SYNERGY Scholarship is special to me because it is a direct reflection on how I started, where I came from, and how I want to ‘pay it forward’ so the next generation of LGBTQ+ young people can thrive.”
This spring, the company launched its Transform Your Health campaign in partnership with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. The Foundation works to support better mental health practices for young people and build a better, braver, world. The partnership between the two companies shared the stories of six incredible individuals who embody the butterfly-like metamorphosis Transform Your Health celebrates.
In the words of GT Dave, “every person has the power to grow and transform. From the prioritization of health, to the evolution of self, there’s a quiet but mighty force within all of us just waiting to bloom.” GT Dave has collaborated for the past four year with Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.
One of the most successful gay entrepreneurs, GT Dave’s success has been recognized in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine and more. Born and raised in LA, GT Dave came out of the closet at the age of 13, he began his journey as an entrepreneur at the age of 15.
It’s no surprise then to hear about his commitment to helping young LGBT+ entrepreneurs with the SYNERGY Scholarship. “Ever since coming out as gay in my youth and started a company as a teenager, I’ve always wondered what it might have been like to have an LGBTQ+ mentor back then” GT Dave told us, “I’ve made it my mission to be a guide for people to live happier and healthier. To me, that goes beyond health & wellness and includes being at peace in your own skin, self-acceptance, and self-love. That’s why I continue to support various LGBTQ+ philanthropies and movements.”
Today, GT still lives in LA, with his husband Allan and their pet bunny Madonna, making good on his promise to make the world a better place.
ABC News Live presents all-day LGBTQ+ programming Sunday, June 27
Beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT, ABC News Live will stream pride specials from ABC Owned Television Stations nationwide
NEW YORK – In the final celebratory weekend of Pride Month, streaming news channel ABC News Live will stream LGBTQ+ programming all day on June 27.
Beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT, ABC News Live will stream pride specials from ABC Owned Television Stations including ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles’ “Thrive with Pride Celebration,” 6abc/WPVI-TV Philadelphia’s “FYI Philly Pride,” ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago’s “Our Chicago: Celebrating Pride,” and ABC7/WABC-TV New York’s “Pride 2021 We Belong” leading into ABC7 New York’s “2021 NYC Pride March” streaming at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
The three-hour celebration will feature Grand Marshals Wilson Cruz, Ceyenne Doroshow, Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, and Aaron Philip. Following this, ABC News Live will air a pair of specials – “Pride on ABC News Live: Understanding the Trans Community,” streaming at 3:00 p.m. EDT, and “Pride on ABC News Live: What’s Next for the LGBTQ+ Community and Movement,” streaming at 4:00 p.m. EDT – in addition to the ABC13/KTRK-TV Houston’s “Localish Houston: Pride” special at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
Coverage culminates with a presentation of the ABC Owned Television Stations’ documentary “Our America: Who I’m Meant to Be,” a docuseries dedicated to amplifying the voices of transgender communities across America through first-person narratives.
Throughout the month of June, ABC News has celebrated Pride Month with content across broadcast, streaming and digital. See below for some highlights:
Good Morning America spoke with David Archuleta about his faith, sexuality and coming out journey; interviewed LGBTQ+ couples on what it takes to be successful in an LGBTQ+ relationship; examined how the LGBTQ+ community is influencing mainstream pop culture and how people are learning to claim their sexual identity; and highlighted LGBTQ-owned small businesses across the country during GMA’s Deals & Steals. GMA Digital curated content on its Pride homepage and published the Pride edition of the “GMA Inspiration List: Who is Making LGBTQ+ History in 2021?”; a powerful story of love from a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting; and, in collaboration with station KGO, a discussion with the founders of the first-of-its-kind Compton Transgender District in San Francisco and a conversation on how far the LGBTQ+ community has come.
GMA3: What You Need to Know featured LGBTQ+ guests throughout the month, including Paula Stone Williams, who discussed being expelled from evangelical churches after transitioning and creating a safe space to reconcile her faith, her identity, and her desire to be a leader; Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-D), the first openly gay Afro-Latino in Congress; partners Ryan Brockington and Isaac Webster, who discussed their children’s book “Daddy & Dada”; David Yi, who spoke about his new book about makeup and masculinity from over the years; YouTuber and author Daniel Howell, who discussed navigating one’s own mental health journey while celebrating their authentic self; and transgender activist Raquel Willis who spoke about issues affecting the Black trans community, the power of inclusive activism and how she is celebrating Pride Month.
The View celebrated Pride Month throughout June by highlighting significant moments in Pride history and saluting members of the LGBTQ+ community who are making a difference both on the show and online. They’ve spotlighted HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate; openly gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin; multisport transgender athlete Sarah Rose Huckman; and multitalented performer and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community JoJo Siwa. Additional highlights include a diverse lineup of members from the LGBTQ+ community from politics and activism to sports and entertainment, including Richard Grenell, Pete Buttigieg, Mauree Turner, Gov. Kate Brown, Sherenté Mishitashin Harris, Beverly Palesa Ditsie, Ashton Mota, Zoey Luna, Kye Allums, Schuyler Bailar, CeCe Telfer, Mack Beggs, Josie Totah, Lil Nas X, Demi Lovato and Nico Santos.
ABC Audio debuted “Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson” as part of their Pride Month programming, the first LGBTQ+ issue-focused podcast for ABC News. ABC News contributor LZ Granderson draws from his own lived experience as a gay, Black father to host inspiring, provocative and often hilarious conversations to help preserve the history of the LGBTQ+ community. This podcast delves into the policies, cultural touchstones and historical events that have shaped the collective experience of this often underrepresented and misunderstood group. New episodes post Thursdays on major listening platforms.
ABC News Live Prime spoke with HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine to discuss the progress against the pandemic and her historic role as the highest-ranking transgender federal government official; Trevor Project CEO and executive director Amit Paley, who reacted to NFL player Carl Nassib’s coming out and its significance for LGBTQ youth; and featured a story on illustrator Julia Kaye, who discussed her new book, “My Life in Transition,” on the emotional journey of her gender transition, which she first documented through comic strips. ABC News Live Update featured social media sensation “That Gay Doctor” for a “Feel Good Friday” segment, looking at his creative videos and answers to questions on LGBTQ+ issues. ABC News Live’s The Breakdown featured a piece on how “don’t ask, don’t tell” still affects LGBTQ+ veterans and a look back at the AIDS virus 40 years after the first cases were found in the U.S.
ABC News Digital produced a video looking at the ongoing debate over transgender students participating in athletics with featured stories on young transgender athletes grappling with anti-trans sports legislation, trans students facing classroom hardships amid anti-transgender legislation and a piece on why the LGBTQ+ community sidelined police for the NYC Pride parade.
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