Tag Archives: LGBTQ Lifestyle

STEVEN MICHAEL IS MY NAME, BOO!

Steven Michael for Prada

Steven Michael is my name and that’s the way it is. I Google’d myself (insert dirty joke here) and man, I came up feeling ehhh. Where am I? I’m here, dammit! There’s my social media moments Twitter and Facebook but Lady Google has slapped me with the shade of it all. I blog my finger tips to their very nubs and Googlezilla really serves a platter of crickets to many of us in the internet world. If you’re not a major player in the game it’s difficult to get noticed. Oh, Mommie Googlest… I am not, one of your FANS!

Hey… All Tea, All Shade. Eye tellzit lyk I ceez itz! Trust, Hunty. Translation: Baby, if you don’t like what you read then don’t.

It’s Saturday and the breeze is a’blowing. I’m listening to some fierce gay club remixes I was sent for possible production ideas and the husband is watching French TV news on his Tablet. I will soon be punching it to the gym to train since swimsuit season is coming up and then off to met friends for a belated birthday lunch for Jacques at Escena Golf Course and Grill. Another weekend is here and I’m real damn glad. Last evening we had a stunning sushi feast and sake oblivion at Kiyosaku and I so need to sweat out some salt at the gym. I am off into a fabulous day in Palm Springs. I LIVE.

GET YOUR LIFE TODAY… Somehow, Someway! X

SORDID STORIES OF THE GAY PARTY CIRCUIT

Pensacola Florida

When you live in the Coachella Valley as I do, Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party is the yearly event that causes the most stir, buzz and uproar around gay Palm Springs. I do consider myself a pioneer of sorts when it comes to the circuit party’s humble beginnings. Living in Atlanta during the mid-90s when the circuit started hitting hard across the lands and parties with themes rose from the foundation of such solid events as Hotlanta River Expo, Morning Party in Fire Island and the original White Party in South Beach gave me access to the hottest events and circuit circuses. I worship those carefree, responsibility-free days of yesteryear. And have the pictures of guilt and shamelessness to prove it.

Pensacola Beach

(This guy in the underwear was doing promotion for one of the weekend parties by walking up and down the beach looking so damn good. Great way to catch attention for your event. Our friend Kip was quite taken by him. I think he ended up in our shower over the weekend!)

Our group of friends were very unique and didn’t care about much of anything other than being together as much as we could and having the very BEST time we could at any given moment. We were quite reckless. Do the math… We had a good time. Like a kid in a candy store. Oh, the Friday ascension and Sunday therapy sessions. I loved my friends deeply and shared more than most good friends do during a lifetime. But as crews and cliques go, time and distance pulls people apart and you are left with the memories. Make them good! When life is as short as it is, living it as long as you can is the most important thing you could ever do. Oh, the memories…

Gay Pensacola Beach

(Yes, that’s me on the left without nairy a hair on my smooth body. I was 25-years-naive with quite the tight torso on me. The real story is unfolding behind us. Oh, I wish I could share that one. Dig the accommodations!)

This one time our group traveled south from Hotlanta to Pensacola Beach for their Memorial Day Weekend blowout is one that brings the giggles. It’s where the gays go for Memorial Day if you live in the south. Well, unless you live on the edge and find yourself booking a sling in Chicago for International Mr. Leather at the same time. Make your choice! There were about eight of us sharing a suite at the Pensacola Grand and living out of suitcases that contained our matching jeans and various ensembles we would wear in sync all weekend plus other sundries we tucked away for the trip. Oh, we had a big time.

Pensacola Beach

Friday evening was a party called Abracadabra. I had on this pair of hot pants made of “cracked ice” which is essentially a fabric with a glitter design already pressed into the cloth. I wasn’t afraid of putting on a slinky pair of go-go shorts pulled up my chocolate starfish and dance the night away. Still have a pair or two for a crazy night out, or in. I found my way atop a platform speaker with Todd and we owned the room. It was one amazing night. However, throughout the evening Patrick or John would come over to us and worry us about this or that which caused me to sit down on the speaker and try communicating with them each time over the loud music. It wasn’t just once. FYI, if you need two parts to make something work make sure you have both before trying. Just saying… Meow! Come have some cereal, kitty.

When we left the party and returned to the hotel I climbed out of the car last. Patrick turned to me and said, “What’s going on with you?” I was doubled-over holding my two legs as if I were in agony. Each time I had sat on the speaker I sat in glitter. My legs were more shinny than a pair of Danskin shimmer tights. I just replied in a voice of late-night weakness, “I’m just so ashamed.” They all turned to look at me and we all laughed our asses off at my ridiculousness soon finding  our way back to the room where I rinsed the entire night off down the drain.

The next morning we cruised and perused up and down the beach while I blew a whistle as leader of the pack pulling my circuit squirrels along the sand. Hey, someone has to be the bitch. It was very easy for us, rather them, to be distracted.  It’s nothing but socializing, squirt guns filled with God knows what in them (I knew! Gee, calm down.) and recovery from the shady evening prior. Picture it! Sandy beaches, calm ocean waters and sexy LGBTQ with skimpy swimsuits and drag ensembles having the grandest time. It’s one exciting fun-filled weekend and must be explored to appreciated. And this was back then. I have little idea what the kids are doing these days. Having a good time, no doubt.

LIVE YOUR LIFE. NO ONE ELSE WILL. X

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS FOR GAY MEN

Valentines Day Heart

Can you believe that the Day for Lovers is soon approaching? When it comes to the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the fabulous gay men in your life, these options will rock his queer world! On the subject of gay fashion does he follow the trends? Does he prefer the butch masculine gesture or would he not mind receiving something more elegant? He deserves the very BEST! Let me do the shopping for you.

What’s your PIN number? No, seriously…

ROUGH TRADE TRINKETS FOR BUTCH MEN

HARLEY DAVIDSON WATCH CUFF MOTORCYCLE STOMPERS
LEATHER BI-FOLD

LOVE THIS!
WORSHIP THIS!

INTERCHANGEABLE
SO DAMN SEXY!

GOT SWAGGER?

QUEERLICIOUS PACKAGES FOR PRETTY MEN

CHANEL ALLURE DOWNTON ABBEY PENNY LOAFERS
I WEAR THIS DAILY!

SIMPLY DELICIOUS
MASTERPIECE CLASSIC

DVD SEASON 3
ALWAYS CLASSIC!

I WEAR 11

PALM SPRINGS PRIDE 2012 – GAY TIMES

Pride Palm Springs 2012 is approaching and here’s where and what and who you should be doing. If you’re part of the LGBT community and can’t miss the gym, World Gym will have a weekend pass for $29 so bring your muscled ass over to see us and we’ll take care of you. The staff is incredibly friendly and strive to make sure each and every member is well taken care of. Rainbow Gods will shine over our Palm Springs Oasis with the Block Party on Arenas (or Queerville to the locals) and the Main Festival 10-6 both days, November 3-4. Entrance to the Festival is $15 with $25 for both days, I believe.

I’m performing with Mac Valentine on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on one of the main stages. I’ve choreographed two numbers for Mac-A-Licious who has surprisingly picked up very fast for never working with a professional choreographer. Shaun Waters is dancing alongside us and we plan on having a really fun festive time on stage being the showgirls that we not-so-secretly are. We’ll be offering Nasty Pig thug punk realness. Or maybe just a jockstrap. Come see for yourself. Would love to see and hear you in the audience giving us cheers and applause. I’m especially looking forward to performing. It’s been a while. Well, on a stage… X

WHAT HAPPENED TO “THE BOTTOM LINE?”

Working in the heart of Queerville at World Gym Palm Springs gives me prime placement for knowing what’s happening around town and who exactly is making it happen. In the last month I have had an amazing amount of people who have finally tuned in to the fact that The Bottom Line and PULP are no longer landing on newsstands and wanted to find out why.

As many know I wrote a bi-monthly installment for PULP called “Steven Spills” and was often found in TBL as a cover story contributor and feature columnist. I enjoyed the notoriety with the magazines considering they were considered at one time the premiere LGBT newsmagazine in the Coachella Valley. Those days seem to have come and gone.

I enjoyed getting to know my readers and having the opportunity for them to learn more about me, Palm Springs’ gay culture and beyond. PULP began an online-only version of its magazine in January 2012 after many a rumor had been tossed my way months before about the imminent change. I was thwarted when asking about what I was hearing. “We will let all the writers know ahead of time,” was replied back when I quizzed. Well, no that didn’t happen. I was made aware after it had been decided, not that I had any say about it or the changes.

Once the transition to Internet took place and PULP disappeared from the stands around town, I wrote another four columns for their online version before taking a final bow and stepping aside. The line of communication had long since vanished between us. I felt as if my Steven Spills stories had ran their course and seen its time. So I sent a “Sincerely Yours” letter to the publishers and not surprisingly had zero response. When I was once told that I was “part of the family now” I naturally took those words for what they were worth. Not much.

As far as The Bottom Line story goes it has been up for sale on a website called Hughes Properties for months. They also vacated their offices on Palm Canyon Drive a while back. The last issue that was published seems to have hit stands in July according to their website that is actually still online but hasn’t been updated lately. I was told that they had sent out email notices about taking a hiatus which seems to be the last anyone has heard anything.

Unfortunately, we no longer have much along the lines of smart LGBT reporting for gay news here in Palm Springs. When someone is ready to start something of worth call me. I’m interested! And so are others.

And people ask if the magazine is coming back. My immediate thoughts are I’d be so surprised if they do. Both magazines, The Bottom Line and PULP, had quite the run and peak in popularity. I’m glad I was part of that. It would be nice if they were able to return. The experience made me a better writer and smarter storyteller. I thank them for that.

So now you know…

SAN DIEGO GAY PRIDE AND BLACK’S BEACH

It was just a few weeks ago we headed down south to San Diego Gay Pride and adventures at Black’s Beach. With John and Rob in tow once more, we pressed it down the interstate towards Hillcrest for the LGBTQ celebration and gay times. Yes, we’ve been to a good number of pride parades but never to San Diego’s festivities. Very impressive! Plus, my virgin trip to the infamous Black’s Beach was our main agenda. I had heard all about this cliff scaling one must endure to descend into the gay beach. All treacherous and such, and reportedly “friendly.”

We arrived just as the parade was coming around the bend towards the end. After finding quick parking at 24-Hour Fitness our legs carried us towards the clouds of pink triangle glow and queerdom! Of course the anti-gay group was in quiet force with their signs of spiritual outcry and shame for us anal-adventurists. One hater preached his words through a megaphone while other bearded dads stood behind sunglasses with their thumbs pointing down. Ooh, that burned. They showed and told us! Next to them were another group of sign carriers chanting the opposite themes wanting love for all.

However, the most impressive part of the parade was the armed forces and uniformed guards of San Diego and their presence in amazing support. Motorcycle cops were high-fiving people as they drove by smiling. Uniforms in groups marched waving. Firetrucks blew horns and caused a ruckus in complete support. And it went on and on for a few good minutes. I was very impressed! Then there was a small constituency from Palm Springs which was a scaled down comparison. Though I did love the ginormous inflated married same-sex couples they pulled down the streets. Strangely enough I really only recognized one guy from the entire Palm Springs entry. We asked, “Who are these people?”

After a few hours of crowd surfing, the beach called and said, “Get over here you bums!” Once we pulled up in the parking lot overlooking the beach in La Jolla I was certain of two things. Everything I heard about the climb down was dead on. It was pure moutain climbing realness. Not for the faint at heart. And bring appropriate shoes with traction because you will get your feet dirty and flip-flops are not the answer here. Unfortunately Rob was having a few issues with heights and couldn’t make it down.  So understandable since it is very damn steep. They stayed up top while we finished the trek down to the sand.

I actually loved the climb but it was challenging. The beach is a secluded nude beach which explains the challenge of getting to it. We planted our beach sheet and towels, had some packed lunch and stayed an hour or so. We’ve actually decided to head back down to San Diego on Saturday and spend the day just the two of us. The water was so relaxing I didn’t want to leave! And to be completely honest I’m quite the voyeur as well as an exhibitionist so the setting is perfect.


THE UNIFORMS WERE OUT IN FULL FORCE! VERY IMPRESSIVE!

READ “THE HARDBODY CHRONICLES” YET?

I lived in Ft. Lauderdale from August 1996 through October 1999 after moving from Atlanta following the Olympics. I became immersed in South Florida beaches and happening queer nightlife even beginning my brief stint into the leather contest scene while go-go dancing and stripping in almost every bar placed in Florida it seemed. Where? Hmm… The Saint, Mineshaft, 825, Copa, Ramrod, Chaps, Sea Monster, Splash in Miami, Numbers, Bourbon Street Pub and Saloon #1 in Key West. But yes, the book…

Every here and there I would catch wind of these infamous sex parties that were happening called South Beach HardBodies. It was where if you were invited by receiving a business card by one of the promoters then you would arrive at one place, remove your shirt and prove your physical worth being lucky enough to make it past the grueling audition process towards the actual location of Caligula. I never once was approached to go. I guess I didn’t make the cut. But trust I didn’t lose sleep over it. I got mine just fine. Though I heard stories of the pros and cons of being in there from different ones in attendance, in the end I decided that I was fine not being included.

THE HARDBODY CHRONICLES

FAST PACED – EXCITING READ!

But I was always interested in what went on at these parties. How hot were the guys? Even if I tried going with a friend would they actually turn me away? Who is up for the possible humiliation? Not me. I assume they hoped that would deter many who don’t belong. Luckily I never was put in the position to make the decision of going or not. Choosing working over partying in the club was always my play anyway. Especially during these years. I had bigger things in mind for myself and living in Lauderdale was helping me get there. The city was wonderful to me and I often miss my times there.

When I received my copy of The HardBody Chronicles I was so ready to find out the real story! Had I missed out on anything? I will be quick to admit that I write more than I read. A book has to really be an interest or I don’t migrate towards it. I read Jake Smyth and Luca Barbieri’s modern-day tale of excessive living and travels of the rich beautiful untouchables from cover to cover. Since photographer and friend Jeff Palmer, who did the cover to my book They Called Him Sterling, provided the fabulous art for their book it seemed like a must read for me. I was right! I really enjoyed the book.

The novel is a fast read for anyone wanting an insight to the lifestyles of a glorious group of gay-somethings living with wild abandonment during the 90s, for the most part. Much of the book felt familiar to me since I lived during these years and times of the circuit party wisdom of “more is more.” The roller coaster read became an interesting game of trying to figure out who the characters were in reality as I lived vicariously through the fictional players’ lives. Some I knew. Some I think I know. Some I thought I knew but didn’t. You see where the quandary lies?

PHOTOGRAPHER JEFF PALMER

STRONG BEAUTIFUL MEN!

The only thing I would have liked more of was learning about the actual South Beach HardBodies and the circuses of flesh they produced. Perhaps a second book could be the expose, so to speak, from a spectator’s view or fellow character in the novel. Since the strong presence of promotion for the novel on Facebook and the Internet seems to have no signs of slowing down maybe a series of books coming from the different views of the main characters could be exciting. Since readers’ perspectives about what they read varies between them, as well does the characters living the fictional tale they’re reading about. Just an idea… But then again, maybe the magic is not knowing while leaving the fantasy in place.

Need some exciting summer reading? Grab The HardBody Chronicles today and begin the days of living vicariously or enjoy a comfortable walk down memory lane. Visit their Facebook wall or website for the inside scoop about characters, locations, story lines and the soundtrack to the novel.

GARETH THOMAS – GORGEOUS GAY RUGBY GOD

Gareth Thomas. You, You Take My Breath Away. And I don’t what to say… Cause you take my breath away. Gareth is the first openly gay professional rugby union player. Although retired now, “Alfie” is very active and present in the LGBT community. Just look at him here. Man, he is damn gorgeous. I simply had to share this magazine cover of a recent issue of the  Attitude from the UK. WOW!

Want the rest of the story? Read Alfie!: The Gareth Thomas Story.

L.A. GAY PRIDE 2012 AFTERTHOUGHTS

We’ve done Gay Pride in many places with sun drenched faces from Amsterdam to Atlanta to numerous visits up the way in West Hollywood. However, we tend to skip the festival and save our minimum $40 ($20 a piece to walk around aimlessly) because once you’ve seen one then you’ve seen them all. Rainbows in stained glass, rainbow kites, rainbow flags, et al. You get my drift.

Unless there’s a grand performance one’s dying to see then my advice is skip the festival dogging baby strollers and invest that money into enjoying the city afterwards and away from the crowds. Especially if you’re visiting from another town and have done it all before. My Tea, perhaps not yours. If not, have fun at the festival, show your LGBTQ proudness proudly and be patient waiting in the lines for watered down margaritas and dry chicken on sticks. Just saying…

Our dog sitters, confidants and good friends John and Rob headed up I-10 with us for a day in Los Angeles of pride, pictures and a casual comfortable walk up Santa Monica Blvd. with an entire community of love and life scattered among WeHo hotspots. After a spin thru Little Tokyo (or Japan Town) for sushi to go from our gem Nijiya Market we quickly found parking in front of Newsroom Cafe on Robertson and walked up to the thumping of gay club music on blast poring out of The Abbey. They had never been to Christopher Street West so it was fun sharing the experience with them.

My bestie Brian met us on the corner with his friend Johnny while we began a non-agenda stroll against the parade and then across to Z Pizza for a slice and Micky’s for a cocktail. A pricey one at that and the bartender didn’t even get it right. I thought Tune in, girl as we walked off $26 poorer. The floats were aplenty with scantily clad men and transsexual beauty queens in beaded gowns. The Luxor of Las Vegas represented from Sin City by passing out fans to the revelers while NBCs The New Normal was promoted by colorful rubber bracelets. Shangela was perched atop one float for Micky’s while Ongina walked with her boys in spiked heels. You go, girls!

The four of us had a wonderful time seeing friends and soaking in the Southern California sunshine. On the way home we stopped through Joan’s on 3rd between Orlando and Sweetzer for delicious cupcakes, chorizo and kitchen goodies for Jacques. Traffic allowed a quick commute back into the warm desert. We were back home safely and in the pool with the dogs before the afternoon disappeared into the evening. Another great day trip into the City of Dreams gave us all rejuvenation, relaxation and remembrance of why we live in the quiet town of Palm Springs.

Happy Gay Pride month to everyone! That is unless your city, like ours, holds Pride outside the particular month of June. If so, then read this again then. It truly transcends time.

(Random unsuspecting hottie at Micky’s. Say Cheese!)

HOME. SWEET. HOME.

This is a quick HELLO as I’ve just returned from Nashville where I had a great time seeing friends and spending time with Mom. More details and the heres and theres of my visit are to follow but I felt like I hadn’t ran my fingers over my lighted MacBook keyboard in a few days. I have just another day of work and I’m off for a few before tackling Memorial Day back at work. I’m having fond visions of IML events past, weekends of Pensacola Beach circa mid-90s and witnessing the pageant that is Miss Gay USofA that always falls around Memorial Day Weekend.

And what about the picture above? It’s at the Cracker Barrel where I came out to my mother at when I was eighteen. Love those rocking chairs. Price tag that my mother had to turn round when she used her new phone to take my picture: $149. Here’s hoping everyone enjoys themselves this weekend, and parties smartly and safely. In Palm Springs, the number for American Cab is 760-322-4444. Don’t be silly.