When looking back at 2019 one has to say that it most definitely was at times, unbelievable. The old adage that “Truth can be Stranger than Fiction” comes to mind.  So instead of rehashing all of the crazy, we decided that the Year in Review we would revisit some of the articles featured on the pages of The Standard Magazine because we are certain that many of you are fed up with the daily barrage of political ramblings. As a way to look back we are highlighting excerpts from particular articles from each month that we think deserve a second gander. You can read the complete article by cutting and pasting the link at the end of each month’s entry in your browser.

1.January 2019

How Can Alternative Treatments Help With HIV?

By Jenna Fletcher

Many people living with HIV use alternative therapies. According to one source, over 70 percent of people with HIV in the United States have tried alternative treatments, and many people use them regularly.

Certain health insurance plans may cover some alternative medicines, such as chiropractic and acupuncture therapy.

While alternative treatments do not cure HIV, they may relieve symptoms and can improve a person’s quality of life. However, not all alternative medicines are safe. Some alternative treatments may have side effects or interact with medications. Always talk to a doctor or healthcare provider before trying alternative medicine. Can Alternative Therapies Help?

When used alongside traditional medication, alternative treatments may help relieve some of the symptoms of HIV or AIDS.

Physical therapies may help improve a person’s movement, help them relax, and enhance their overall health. While other therapies, such as Reiki, aim to help restore a person’s energy flow. Like meditation, this therapy treats the whole person but does not directly target HIV.

Some healthcare providers support the use of alternative therapies to complement conventional treatment while others do not.


2. February 2019

ClexaCon 2019

Pushing The Envelope Forward For LGBTQ+ Women’s Visibility in Entertainment

By Mona Elyafi

Standing tall and strong as the largest convention for LGBTQ+ women and allies, ClexaCon continues to affirm its unwavering commitment to focus on the power of queer women to create big and lasting change in front and behind the camera.

The event will once again brings together actresses, directors, producers, writers, comic book illustrators, visual artists, academics, journalists and fans from over 40 countries and all 50 U.S. states to celebrate the best of LGBTQ+ TV and film.

Fans will have a chance to attend a series of panels on a variety of topics, workshops, charity events, parties, a red-carpet soiree as well as a three-day film festival.

Bringing their “A” game, Ashley Arnold and Danielle Jablonski – the masterminds behind the hugely popular convention – are not just shaking things up this year; they are changing the game too.


The duo is decidedly cranking up the volume on ClexaCon’s mission to push forth its enduring message of diversity, equality and inclusion of LGBTQ+ women in entertainment at various levels of the industry.

3. March 2019

Modernist Menus: Curating of Cuisine in the Coachella Valley

By Dann Foley

Living in our resort towns of the Valley, we have a plethora of restaurants, from culinary artisans to the proverbial “diners & dives.”  I do not believe I am overstating myself when I suggest that the Valley is undergoing a bit of a restaurant renaissance. 

This awakening is due, in part, to many years of cooking programming and TV networks.  We have all become foodies.  The restaurant experience has become about ingredients, exclusivity and farm-to-table freshness.  Diners are savvy, they want to be inspired and challenged.  From Palm Springs to La Quinta food hipsters and aficionados are demanding an immersive experience when they dine.

During this month each year, we at The Standard offer the best in Dining.  This year I wanted to go deeper and give my readers an “experience.”  The most successful restaurants are more than just a menu.  They create a fully immersive atmosphere where food, service, décor and a creative nature come together seamlessly.  They create a story.  They become a production.

Case in point: Liz & Mark Ostoich, owners of FARM Restaurant and the soon to be opened Tac/Quila, both in downtown Palm Springs.  Liz & Mark are both attorneys, Liz was looking for her “second act” and decided to focus her razor-sharp intellect, love of food and her organizational skills on an existing restaurant.  She proves the point that dining excellence speaks to all senses.


4. April 2019

One Night Only, Broadway Showstoppers

By Ian Ewing

One Night Only will be directed by famed Broadway choreographer and director Larry Fuller, with music direction by Christopher Marlowe and presented by Michael Childers.

The legendary and world-renowned photographer, Michael Childers has photographed some of the most iconic stars in Hollywood.  From Natalie Wood and Groucho Marx to John Travolta, Grace Jones and Andy Warhol. Chances are that if the were photographed, Michael was behind the lens. His iconic style is unmistakable. For those who are unaware, Michael is also a philanthropist. He has been on the board of several organizations including the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Palm Springs Art Museum and Jewish Family Services. But today we are here to talk about one in particular; One Night Only and Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, the organization this event benefits.

Michael, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. I know you must be very busy with the event quickly approaching so let’s get right to it.


5.May 2019

LGBTQ Travel Safety

By Matt Solomon

Safety should be a top priority for every traveler. Overall, traveling as a LGBTQ traveler isn’t much different than traveling for others, but there are times special considerations should be made. It is important to keep in mind that as a LGBTQ traveler, a destination’s attitude toward the LGBTQ community is an important factor to consider. Experiences for LGBTQ travelers can vary globally, so it is important to have an understanding of where you are traveling, so you can have an enjoyable and safe vacation or business trip.

We recognize the need for greater understanding and awareness regarding safety for LGBTQ travelers, and developed the following resources and support to assist LGBTQ travelers with information that will help them feel more comfortable as they plan their travel.

The following are some key statistics about LGBTQ travel and risks:

According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), there are 72 countries where homosexuality is illegal. (That’s over a third of the world!) In eight of those, homosexuality is punishable by death.


6.June 2019

Stonewall: “Where Pride Began”

By Justin Tiller

We remember the uprising at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, as what sparked the modern LGBT rights movement in the U.S.

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

The 1960s and preceding decades were not welcoming times for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

For such reasons, LGBT individuals flocked to gay bars and clubs, places of refuge where they could express themselves openly and socialize without worry. However, the New York State Liquor Authority penalized and shut down establishments that served alcohol to known or suspected LGBT individuals, arguing that just the gathering of homosexuals was “disorderly.”

Thanks to activists’ efforts, these regulations were overturned in 1966, and LGBT patrons could now be served alcohol. But engaging in gay behavior in public (holding hands, kissing, or dancing with someone of the same sex) was still illegal, so police harassment of gay bars continued and many bars still operated without liquor licenses—in part because they were owned by the Mafia.


7.July 2019

The Mod World of Josh Agle a.k.a. Shag

By Jacob Lopez

Josh Agle commonly known as Shag (a contraction of the last two letters of his first name and the first two letters of his last) is one of today’s most popular and widely regarded artists His trademark style is spotted on everything from cocktail napkins to mosaics and beach towels.

The cartoon-like paintings are an ode to the cocktail culture of the 1950s and 1960s, done in the style (albeit over the top) of commercial art of the era. Nostalgia for the optimism and fashionable hedonism of that time is one reason for Shag’s popular appeal. But like the best art, it’s the doors in our own imaginations opened up by his work that keep viewers engaged—and coming back for more.

One look at a piece of artwork by Shag and you can’t help but smile. The swank and swagger of his imagery owes a lot to early James Bond films and David Bailey’s “Swinging London” photography. Other influences include Lowbrow artist (and Juxtapoz magazine founder) Robert Williams, graffiti and visual artist Keith Haring, and animator David Weidman.

The Shag Store, the world’s first retail shop and gallery dedicated exclusively to the art of Shag is open in Palm Springs with a second store in West Hollywood CA. They have quickly become must-see destinations for locals and visitors alike.

This month’s we are totally honored to have the cover of The Standard Magazine exclusively designed by Shag. We also had the pleasure to speak with Josh about his inspirations, his popularity in Palm Springs and sneak a peek into the mind of the artist himself.


8. August 2019

Justin Utley’s “Survivors”

Overcoming the Trauma of Conversion Therapy

Conversion Therapy: the disproven pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation using psychological and spiritual interventions.

OUTMusic Award winning singer/songwriter Justin Utley releases

“Survivors” Recorded in Salt Lake City, “Survivors” is an anthemic pop track, written by Swedish songwriting duo Linda & Ylva, reworked and expanded upon by Utley to include his rallying cry against The stirring music video to “Survivors” features a collaboration with the University of Utah Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestral version will be featured on the forthcoming album. “Survivors” is the debut single from Justin Utley’s highly anticipated third studio album, Scars. The album is expected to be one of the most heartfelt, brutally honest, thought provoking and vulnerable collection of songs he has ever produced. It also introduces an exciting new sound for Justin Utley: it is a bold move into up-tempo, anthemic and gritty pop. “At this point in my musical journey, the gloves are off,” Utley declares. “There was a time for playing it safe, but I’ve come to a space where I am no longer satisfied with the status quo, musically and personally. I don’t want to spend time placating and catering to the willful ignorance and self-induced biases of people, especially to those who have the power to spark change and shape a better life for LGBTQ youth.”

“Survivors is about facing and overcoming insurmountable odds and learning to thrive in the face of adversity,” explains Justin Utley from his Salt Lake City home. “It’s about survivors of abuse in all forms and how it takes a great deal of effort to move forward in life while carrying the heavy burden of trauma.”

Justin Utley knows about survival first-hand.


9. September 2019

Straight Footballer Blasts Homophobia In Soccer

By Dawn Ennis

Sweden’s Albin Ekdal is straight and says it’s time to change soccer so closeted gay players feel comfortable coming out. Albin Ekdal might not be a household name outside Europe, but the midfielder for Sweden’s national team and Italy’s Sampdoria has a message he wants soccer players all around the world to hear: men’s soccer can learn a lot from women’s soccer when it comes to acceptance of gay athletes.

“We have a lot to learn from them in this aspect,” Ekdal told Sport Bladet in an interview recorded in Italy and picked up by UK Yahoo Sports and Goal.com

“There is obviously a greater acceptance. Women are probably smarter and more civilized in a group than men can be. But we should absolutely learn from how they’ve done it, because you obviously wish that it would be as accepted among men as among women to show your love. It doesn’t define who you are, just who you’re in love with. It should affect the football extremely little but sadly those problems are still here in 2019.”

Prior to the interview, the captain recorded a 90-second video that is now posted online. It features Ekdal sitting in front of the rainbow flag speaking in Swedish — with English subtitles — but his message is universal.

“No homosexual men play football, they say. How did we let it come to this? My name is Albin Ekdal and I have played football in two of the biggest leagues in the world. I have participated in both the European Championships and the World Cup but I have still never stood on the same pitch as an openly homosexual player. The issue can’t be shown more clearly than that.


10.October 2019

Kristine W Releases Her Issues at Palm Springs Pride

By Hailey Robertson

Billboard Magazine’s “Dance Music Artist of the Decade” opens up about her experiences with love… and lies.

Kristine W will launch Palm Springs Pride on Friday, November 1 when she takes the Arenas District Stage at 9pm.  In addition to performing her greatest hits like “Land of the Living” and “Stronger,” she will debut songs from Love and Lies, the first part of her three-episode Issues double-album.

It’s been five years since the release of Kristine’s last album, New & Number Ones.  That album included re-edited versions of six of her classics and introduced new hits like “Everything That I Got” and “Love Come Home.”

The Issues album will include “Stars”, Kristine’s 17th Billboard #1 that now ties her with Mariah Carey for the sixth-most number ones on the Billboard Club chart, and her next sure-to-be hit, “Just a Lie.”  We spoke with the diva from her Las Vegas home.

Why did you decide to break Issues up into three parts?

Kristine W:  I thought it would be fun to present the music like chapters in a book or a TV series, where they all have a common thread and fans can look forward to the next creative episode. 


11. November 2019

The Holidays…From a Queens Point of View

By Jason Phillips

It may not feel like it but like it or not the holidays are just around the corner. With that in mind we wanted to bring you a bit of holiday fabulousity, fierceness, & fun and what better way to do that but by hearing from a few members of Palm Springs Drag Royalty and what they might have in store for the holidays. Get ready, here’s what they had to say.https://issuu.com/thestandardmagazine/docs/thestandard_vol7_issue11