The Standard Magazine: Year in Review

By The Standard Magazine Staff



In the past year The Standard Magazine has covered many topics. So we decided that the year in review would be a year in review at The Standard. Currently I think that many people are fed up with the daily barrage of political ramblings. So as a way to look back we are highlighting excerpts from particular articles from each month that deserve a second gander. You can read the complete story by cutting and pasting the link at the end of each month’s entry in your browser.



Desert AIDS Project Looks to implement the 90-90-90 Strategy


In our work to address the health needs of the most vulnerable in our community, including our core focus on those affected by the HIV epidemic, we had believed for some time that the need for services was greater than the statistics illustrated. In November, Riverside County health officials released new data indicating that a staggering 51 percent more people are living with HIV/AIDS in the county than had been previously reported.


The increase was due to a change in the way state health officials collect data on those living with HIV/AIDS, and does not mean there has been a spike in the frequency of the illness, a five-page report states.


The largest increase is within the eastern portion of the county, which includes Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. Previously, there were 3,252 cases reported for 2016 (the latest figure available) compared to 5,522 in the new calculations for the same period.


A key piece of the 90-90-90 strategy is ensuring that people with HIV/AIDS have access to care and they remain in treatment and stay healthy, so that the virus is suppressed to levels so low that the virus cannot be passed on to others. Better measurement of how many people need services locally means we can deliver more effectively on this promise we made to the community.





Omar Shariff’s grandson gives a voice to the voiceless


Every morning I wake up to an inbox flooded with disturbing and disheartening messages out of Egypt. The messages come from friends and strangers alike, members of the gay Egyptian community I left behind five years ago when I came out as gay and withdrew from the country, hounded by threats of violence, intimidation and even death. The message writers are desperate to do what I did: escape a country gripped by an outbreak of homophobic persecution. Failing that, far too many of the writers say, they want to escape their lives. I do not know what to tell them. I would like to offer them hope. I would like it not to be false hope.

It’s difficult to explain to people who came of age during the heady wave of victories for the American LGBTQ movement that our goals in Egypt are much more modest. For the most part, we want only to live in the same quiet we have for generations, free from the terror that the smallest gesture or glance will betray us.


I can’t tell the young gay Egyptians who message me to come out en masse; I don’t want them to be cannon fodder for my ideals. I can’t even tell them to come out to their own families; few of them had the liberalizing experiences my grandparents did, working on movies with people from all walks of life



MARCH 2018

Man Versus Food – A Feast of Conflict By Christopher Heritage


The Wedding Cake Affair – This is of critical importance to the LGBTQ community, and it is a current event that we are all following. In the simplest of terms, a bakery in Colorado refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple that were getting married. The baker’s reason: his religious beliefs. The couple claiming discrimination under equal protection laws filed a suit, and it is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard in December 2017, and it appeared that the court was evenly divided in their views on the issue. A final decision is expected in June 2018. This is a crucial case, which could have long-lasting effect on other equal rights issues affecting our community, and will certainly color the future of “religious freedom” claims.



APRIL 2018

Sometimes, Life’s a Dance By Jill Langham


In late January 2017 I had an overwhelming realization that for the first time, I had forgotten about three of the most life changing events that took place during 3 different January’s in my life.

I was so struck by the awareness (I’m a big Anniversary person) that I decided it was time to write about those significant events, and sat down to pour my heart out. In less than an hour I had written 4500 words. It was cathartic and effortless. I likened it to writing an article for the Standard Magazine where I had recently been asked by Nino Eilets to become a monthly contributor. I didn’t really have any expectations about the “article” but was happy to have completed the task.

The next day at work, while I was training a man who was an author of a NY times best selling book, I mentioned my accomplishment.



MAY 2018


Travel Safe, Know Before You Go By Chris Astrala


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender travelers face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. More than seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment. Research your destination. Remember you are subject to the laws of the country where you travel. In many countries, consensual same-sex sexual activity, public gathering, or dissemination of pro-LGBT material may be illegal. Read the country information for your destination for more details.



JUNE 2018


Breaking Out of the Sports Closet By Franco Carmona


Not so long ago an LGBT kid growing up and who was into sports had very few role models to emulate. Gay athletes were for the most part closeted and in fear of being found out and possibly lose everything they worked so hard to achieve. Then the closet door began to crack. And little by little it opened a bit more and now it seems to be wide open. Athletes now feel no need to keep who they really are from public view. But let us not forget all those who were brave enough to buck the status quo and pave the way to the current environment where sexuality has nothing to do with athletic ability and who you love does not matter as much as becoming the best athlete you possibly can.

Here are just a few athletes (and the list keeps growing day to day) who know their sexuality doesn’t define them, their sport does.



JULY 2018


A New Age of Entertainment By Jerri Acosta



Webisode is a word of art made up of web and episode . These are short, maximum fifteen-minute TV episodes on the Internet. For the advertising world Webisodes are the hope of the future . They have great potential as more and more companies use these formats for branded entertainment.


Webisodes seem to be the perfect answer to the changing tastes of the young and restless looking for quality content. It’s an age in which the rules of entertainment are changing as fast as the dwindling attention spans of the viewers. Call it new-age entertainment or the future of the world of make-believe, the tentacles of web series are growing sharper and wider. The digital converts might swear by Netflix and its bounties such as House Of Cards and Tudor but the next big thing is that we are succumbing to the charm of web series. Stars are being born, new followers are avidly following their favorites and entertainment buffs are offering guide maps on which series to follow.





What It’s Like Raising a Gay Pride Banner at the Russian World Cup


When Di Cunningham brought her rainbow banner to Russia, she wasn’t sure what would happen. Cunningham is the co-founder of Pride in Football, an alliance of LGBTQ soccer fan groups across the UK, as well as the co-founder of Three Lions Pride, a group of LGBTQ England supporters. This year, the soccer fan traveled to Russia with four other Three Lions Pride members to support England as it fought for a place in the finals of the FIFA World Cup (England took fourth overall). But they also had another mission: to hoist their rainbow banner at matches to represent LGBTQ soccer fans everywhere. Russia is notoriously hostile to queer people. Though homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993, its 2013 anti-gay propaganda law has been used to target LGBTQ activists.




The Power of a Woman

By Steven Boyce


Lauren Foster is the first trans woman to be honored by Variety Magazine as a Woman of Empowerment. “It’s an incredible honor,” says the supermodel and LGBTQ Activist. “It is one of those delights that tells me that I’m on the correct life path.”


Lauren believes she’s lived two lives. Her second path began at 18, when, with the full support of her loving parents and family, she transitioned into a woman. It was the early ‘80s and Lauren was just beginning to experience success as a fashion model. Worried her truth might stunt her burgeoning career, she chose to live stealth; a trans-term that refers to a person who passes as their desired gender and lives in secret. It all came to a head, however, when after appearing in Vogue, a rival model outed Lauren as transgender in the pages of the supermarket tabloid, National Enquirer. “Vogue Model Used To Be a Man,” read the magazine’s headline.





The First Ever LGBTQ+ Focused Fashion Week By Mona Elyafi


Nik Kacy, Founder and President of gender-free luxury brand, NiK Kacy Footwear, brings the first ever LGBTQ+-focused Fashion Week, Equality Fashion Week to Los Angeles. Kacy is producing a non-traditional event that is breaking all the rules and defying conventional standards – particularly when it comes to models’ shapes and sizes. The event is dispelling the myth of “appropriate body types” as well as gender identity. Models will also include trans and non-binary individuals as well as people of color.




Celebrity Photographer Mike Ruiz By John Stein


Everyone loves photos of adorable pit bull pups. So what happens when you pair the cutest pooches on earth —who just happen to be in need of forever homes — with beautiful, hunky men? This year’s most buzzed-about calendar. Photographer Mike Ruiz’s 2019 calendar, “Bullies and Biceps,” is fourteen months of perfection (2 bonus months in 2020) that will put a smile on your face every day of the New Year. Honoring the memory of his own beloved pitbull, Oliver and benefitting New York Bully Crew Pet Rescue. Mike Ruiz, too, is a pit bull rescuer and this year’s calendar is in special tribute to Oliver, his beloved canine, who passed away last month. Mike and Oliver shared six wonderful years together



Well there you have it a bit of a taste of what we had to offer this past year. These were the staffs picks and I am sure there are several other articles that you may have called your favorites. Drop us a line and let us know if we selected your favorite or if there is any we may have missed. Looking forward to continue bringing quality and important articles to our readers in 2019