Owning Yourself

“I knew that by putting shame on one part of my life, I was putting shame on others parts of me as well.” An interview with singer-songwriter Iman, appearing this month at DTLA Proud. BY MARK ARIEL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Iman Jordan, formerly known by his stage name Mateo, is a pop/R&B singer-songwriter…

Love Bizarre

Nathan Rapport and Suzy Mae, co-owners of downtown LA’s “A Love Bizarre” and “Neon Altar” on queer art, magic and community. BY MARK ARIEL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM A Los Angeles based queer focused fine art gallery and gift shop—A LOVE BIZARRE is a brick and mortar neon and glitter fantasy shopping experience. The shop also incorporates…

We Are Family

Transgender community members Gracie Cartier and Jacob Rostovsky on LGBTQ solidarity, the pros and cons of a separate Trans Pride celebration and living authentically. BY MARK ARIEL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM First off—please tell us a little about yourselves. Gracie:I am Gracie Cartier aka Madame Jeuge (My IG is @madamejeuge). I’m a 40 year…

DARKER ELEMENTS

Dragula’s Israel Zamora on coming out, his work on television and the process of creation. BY VICTOR MELAMED  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Dancer, actor, model and jewelry designer Israel Zamora reveals, in an interview with THE FIGHT, that people may be surprised to know that behind his beefy hunky masculine demeanor he is “really…

Be The Change

Queer, feminist, activist, musician Madame Gandhi on misogynist rappers, inclusive diversity and inducing the vibration of your own humanity. BY ROXIE PERKINS  |  PHOTO BY WENDY FIGUEROA Madame Gandhi, headline performer at this month’s Palm Springs Pride festival, is the music and activism project helmed by drummer and Harvard graduate, Kiran Gandhi.  Gandhi rose to fame…

The Crown Jewel

Jewel Thais-Williams, founder of the legendary Jewel’s Catch One Disco, on activism, life in sobriety and her holistic care organization. BY PICKLE  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM In the early 70s, a young Jewel Thais-Williams purchased the Diana Club on Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles and, against resistance and all odds, transformed the space into the…

Community Pride

(L-R) SERGIO HERNANDEZ, NEW JALISCO; ROSA MARIA GARCIA, NEW JALISCO; ANDRES RIGAL, SUMMERTRAMP; BRIAN MCINTIRE, PRECINCT; OLIVER APUCHE, REDLINE; GARRETT MCKECHNIE, DUTCH COURAGE CONSULTING. DTLA Proud, the popular 3-day festival celebrating diversity, inclusiveness, and local talent, takes place this month, August 24-26. The business owners behind the successful venture reveal what it takes to create a true community based…

Protecting Queer Spaces

  While many revered figures in the Kink Community have been instrumental in bringing the Leather District into the world, there is one person whose contributions deserve special recognition: Stud Collective President Rachel Ryan. BY BRENDEN SHUCART  |  PHOTO BY STEVEN UNDERHILL It’s official: Members of the Leather community gathered on June 12 to cut…

Owning PRIDE [cover interview]

An advocate for social justice, viral sensation TS Madison on racial and sexual discrimination, staying visible as a trans woman and personal, spiritual transitions. BY PICKLE  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Social commentator and superstar performer TS Madison knows her priorities. Answering the phone, she huffed, “Well I’m on my way to check the mailbox…

Free At Last [cover feature]

Lena Fancher (L), Jan Zimmerman Addressing the needs of the LGBTQ community, Lotus Place Recovery’s Lena Fancher and Jan Zimmerman on living your authentic life. BY MARK ARIEL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Lotus Place Recovery is a gender diverse conscious organization located in in Fountain Valley, near Newport Beach, whose goal is to help…

“Are You Allowed To Go Back To Chattanooga?”

Singer songwriter Brandon Stansell, next month’s Palm Springs Hot Rodeo headliner, on country music, coming out and the Golden Girls. BY MARK ARIEL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Los Angeles-based “California country” performer Brandon Stansell, designated last year as one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone magazine, puts…

Picture Perfect

Matt “Bearracuda” Consola and Christeene on promoters, dream tour bookings and what makes a “gay family.” BY PAUL V. VITAGLIANO  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Chances are, if you’ve been out clubbing over the last decade, you’ve stepped through the doors of a packed Bearracuda party. Created by club promoter Matt Consola in San Francisco…

A Healing Home

Pride Recovery’s Matthew Bianchi on structure, accountability and accepting, without reservation, who you truly are. BY MARK ARIEL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM Matthew Bianchi, Admissions and Outreach Coordinator at Pride Recovery Los Angeles, an LGBTQ Intensive Outpatient facility, knows a thing or two about becoming clean and sober. “At the age of 25 I…