A Force For Change

Aria Sa’id, co-founder and executive director of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District: We want to support the beautification of the neighborhood while acknowledging its rich Transgender history.” BY KELLY LOVEMONSTER  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Occupying six blocks in the South East Tenderloin (which also crosses over Market Street to include two blocks of 6th…

A Promising Treatment

Healing the trauma: MDMA-assisted therapy for Queer PTSD.  BY COLIN STACK-TROOST, MA, AMFT It’s been over 30 years since MDMA, known in the club scene as “molly” or “ecstasy,” received an emergency Schedule I classification from the US government. At the time, there were a number of factors contributing to this: tens of thousands of…

A More Inclusive Leader

The gay Mayor of Solvang, Ryan Toussaint on preconceived notions, social change movements and being a voice for the future. BY SEAN GALUSZKA Elected Councilman at age of 29 in 2016 then running for Mayor of Solvang in 2018 and receiving 61.47% of the vote, Ryan Toussaint says that serving as a city council member…

Body Positivity

Elliot Musgrave talks to Steve Ganzell about being the first trans Mr. Los Angeles Leather. BY STEVE GANZELL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Sitting in his living room not long after winning the title of Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2019 that took place at the end of March this year, Elliot Musgrave is open and…

California PRIDE

Upcoming LGBTQ Pride Festivals throughout the state. Long BeachMay 18–19www.longbeachpride.com Laguna BeachMay 31–June 2\www.lagunabeachpride.org SonomaMay 31–June 2www.sonomacountypride.org Santa MonicaJune 1www.smpride.com VeniceJune 1–3www.venicepride.org Santa CruzJune 2www.santacruzpride.org Los AngelesJune 8–9www.lapride.org SacramentoJune 8–9www.sacramentopride.org San MateoJune 10www.SanMateoCountyFair.com Los AngelesTrans Pride LAJune 14–15www.lalgbtcenter.org Orange CountyJune 22www.prideoc.com San FranciscoJune 29–30www.sfpride.org ComptonJuly 6www.comptonpridefestival.com San DiegoJuly 12–14www.sdpride.org San PedroJune 15www.bridgecitiesla.com San FranciscoUp Your AlleyJuly…

Celebrating OUR Freedom

An interview with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. Pride, trans equality and making sure young people know they are not alone. BY MARK ARIEL This year Long Beach Pride is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. As the first openly gay mayor of your city—can you reflect on how the LGBTQ community has evolved since that…

Go Without Hate

This hate feels as if it’s slowly extinguishing my life force, killing me by a thousand cruel paper cuts of political indecency. BY ANDY NICASTRO “Go without hate, but not without rage. Heal the world,” wrote author, AIDS activist and personal hero Paul Monette shortly before the plague claimed his life in 1995 at the age…

Love Is Love

City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. Each year the City of West Hollywood celebrates pride with its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, which runs from between Harvey Milk Day (May 22) through the end of June Pride month (June 30).  The theme for 2019 is “Love is Love”…

More Farm CHIC Getaways

Dorwood Distillery, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company: palette enhancing experiences. BY SEAN GALUSZKA As promised, more recommendations for visiting Santa Ynez Valley—you know, the land where Dolly Parton and Pink (singer, not chef) chose to live! If you love spirits as much as we do, check out Dorwood Distillery (www.dorwood-distillery.com)—a small but mighty operation under the…

Twink

A journey in self-discovery: the story of Helix Studios model Kyle Ross.  A coming-of-age novel Twink chronicles the tumultuous life of Helix Studios model Kyle Ross. Written by Taylor Saracen, readers meet a teenage Ross:  a skinny, weak, gay adolescent living in rural America, trying to navigate his way through the most difficult time in…

Pride On The Port

San Pedro’s very first LGBTQ Pride festival takes place on June 15. Organizer Aiden Garcia-Sheffield reveals what it took to make it happen. BY VICTOR MELAMED Aiden Garcia-Sheffield, 34, the organizer of San Pedro’s very first LGBTQ Pride festival, Pride On The Port, says the motivation to create the event stemmed from “a [homophobic] incident…

San Mateo Pride

The San Mateo County Fair has designated Monday, June 10 as Family PRIDE Day. Besides the addition of hopping kangaroos, sweet and savory crepes, and an all-new concert line up at the 2019 San Mateo County Fair, there’s something else new and exciting. For the first time ever there will be a Family PRIDE Day.…

The Art

AARON SMITH Aaron Smith attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he is now an associate chair. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions in galleries in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and in group shows at galleries and museums nationwide including Laguna Art Museum, Frye Art Museum and Museum…