Cinema is connected to Palm Springs in myriad ways. The Plaza Theatre opened in 1936 with the world premiere of the Oscar-winning George Cukor film, Camille, with its legendary star, Greta Garbo. Our LGBTQ+ history is rooted in those who used Palm Springs as an escape hatch from the klieg lights under the microscope of the tabloids.
Each year, we celebrate cinema in a variety of ways. Two organizations lead the charge: The Palm Springs International Film Society and the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The latter is producing Cinema Diverse over the next two weekends, and I’m writing about it today so you can plan accordingly.
LGBTQ+ films hold up a mirror to the many facets of our communities. I invite you to take in a few films over the next few weeks that you may not typically consider. Get a look into the worlds of others who share our rainbow stripes and learn more empathy for our brothers and sisters.
We are a longtime proud sponsor of Cinema Diverse. You’ll find blogs on our site, hear interviews with filmmakers on KGAY and see shares on social media. Pay special attention and then choose a film or two that piques your interest. You’ll be glad you did!
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
For the latest, follow our socials @GayDesertGuide and @KGAY1065 and listen to KGAY Palm Springs wherever you may be!
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2023 Business Expo and Taste of Palm Springs
The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce presents the 2023 Business Expo & Taste of Palm Springs on Wednesday, September 20 from 5–9 pm at Indian Canyons Golf Resort. Come learn about Palm Springs’ businesses and have the opportunity to taste bites from several of the city’s best restaurants. 100 local businesses will showcase their products and services, with a taste of more than 40 valley restaurants, wine and beer tasting, a cocktail bar, and live entertainment from the tribute band, Kings of Queen. This annual extravaganza is sure to again set the standard for the upcoming season’s networking events! Get tickets
Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend Starts Mid-Week
The largest queer/lesbian/non-binary event in the world, The Dinah, is here in Palm Springs, from Wednesday, September 20 through Sunday, September 24, at the Margaritaville Resort Hotel. There’s an official Pre-Party on Wednesday at 8 pm at Chill Bar, Opening Party on Thursday at 8 pm at Reforma, and Pool Parties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Margaritaville. The premier evening events are Friday Night’s Black and White Ball, and Saturday Night’s Hollywood Party. Music headliners include Princess Nokia, Doechii, Phem, G Flip, Xana, Keeana Kee & Black Box. Learn more about the musical talent here. It’s the Dinah–an epic weekend of music, fun, and unforgettable memories. Get tickets
Cinema Diverse Starts Thursday
The 16th edition of Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ+ Film Festival will take place September 21–24 and the following weekend, September 28–October 1 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Tickets and passes are now on sale. Thursday, September 21 at 7:30 pm is Opening Night, featuring a special preview of Billy Clift’s new feature, Here We Are. It’s a timely and emotional tale of love, family and prejudice at a time when the world is facing the COVID pandemic, and that’s only the beginning of the exciting new films you’ll discover screening in all three theatres at the PS Cultural Center at Cinema Diverse this year.
Just a few of the highlights this weekend include: Barrio Boy (Friday, September 22 at 3 pm): A Latinx barber in a macho world faces a tough road ahead when an attraction develops for a handsome stranger during a hot and sweaty summer in Brooklyn (featuring length remake of the popular short film). Three Nights A Week (Saturday, September 23 at 10 am): Baptiste meets drag performer Cookie Kunty to document the rituals of the drag world ultimately leading him on a profound journey of self-discovery. Legendary Children [All Of Them Queer] (Sunday, September 24 at 2:30 pm) follows many of the original Gay Liberation Front pioneers of the 1972 and first European Pride March during events over the summer of Pride 50 when the UK marked its 50th anniversary in spectacular style. Commitment To Life (Sunday, September 24 at 7:30 pm) tells the story of the early days of the AIDS crisis in Los Angeles, and how everyday people, celebrities, entertainment moguls, and activists banded together to change the course of the epidemic. Get tickets/passes
ODESZA – The Last Goodbye Tour
ODESZA will bring The Last Goodbye Tour to Acrisure Arena on Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 pm. The GRAMMY-nominated electronic music duo will feature support from Bob Moses, TOKiMONSTA, and QRTR & OLAN. ODESZA’s live performances have become a modern legendary wonder, mixing stunning visuals, expert musicianship, pyrotechnics and an immersive environment to transform whatever venue they are at into an otherworldly experience. Last year’s tour sold over 450k tickets throughout its amphitheater run with numerous sold-out, multi-night runs. Get tickets
2023 GrubHub Restaurant Grand Awards Celebration
Join The Desert Business Association in celebrating the recipients of the 2023 National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Grubhub Restaurant Strong Grant Program on Monday, September 18 at 5 pm at Fuego Events Palm Springs. Recipients to be honored include: Runway Restaurant, The Roost Lounge, B’s Table, Papa Dan’s Pizza, Gelato Granucci, Grand Central, Blackbook, Oscar’s, Townie Bagels, V Wine Lounge, Trio Restaurant, Boozehounds, Frisky Business, and Spade & Spatula. More info
Palm Springs Police Department Town Hall
The Palm Springs Police Department will hold a Town Hall on Monday, September 18 at 5:30 pm at the Palm Springs Training Center. Officers will be answering your questions about drones, Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) policy and implementation, and military equipment policy. More info
Desert Stonewall Democrats September Membership Meeting
The Desert Stonewall Democrats September Membership Meeting takes place on Tuesday, September 19 at 6 pm at Mizell Center, and on Zoom (hybrid meeting). The topic will be Empowering LGBTQ Youth: Building Resilience Through Community Support. With LGBTQ+ rights under attack across the nation and even here in California, what can we do to ensure that our youth, who may be unsure of their sexuality, are supported and protected while they figure it out? Speakers include: Tori St Johns, a Counselor with the Student Assistance Program at Desert Sands Unified School District, and Eric Ornelas, President of Safe Schools Desert Cities (and, yes, he’s also a KGAY 106.5 Retro Lunch DJ!). There will also be a vote on endorsing Rep. Raul Ruiz for his re-election in 2024. RSVP requested. More info
Palm Springs International Airport Master Plan Open House
The Palm Springs International Airport invites the public to their Master Plan Open House on Tuesday, September 19 from 5:30–7 pm at the Palm Springs Convention Center. This Master Plan Open House is an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to engage directly with the future development of the airport. The event will allow the community to hear about the progress that has been made in the master planning process, and for the public to share their preferences for the future development of the airport. More info
Book & Movie Salon for Women: Choosing Yellowstone
Lesbians of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley and beyond present a monthly B.A.M. Salon (Book and Movie Salon) for women hosted by Flynn Sylvest and Irma O’Dell on Tuesday, September 19 from 7–8:30 pm on Zoom. B.A.M. Salon looks to develop and deepen LGBTQ+ community and connection through stimulating and informative conversations about books and movies that highlight women authors and women’s stories and experiences. This month, the featured book is Choosing Yellowstone a novel by Carol Anne Douglas. More info
The Center’s September Women’s Social
Come meet other incredible women at The Center Women’s Social on Wednesday, September 20, from 5:30–7 pm at El Jefe in The Saguaro. All LGBTQ+ women are welcomed at this event presented by The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert. More info
Valley Wide Employment Expo
The Valley-Wide Employment Expo is an in-person event happening on Wednesday September 20 from 9 am–1 pm at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. Whether you’re a job seeker or an employer, this expo is the perfect opportunity to connect with a diverse range of companies and explore potential career paths. With a wide range of industries represented, you’ll have the chance to network, attend informative workshops, and discover employment opportunities that align with your interests and skills. More info
Lip Gloss Presents Women of Rock
Lip Gloss presents Women of Rock on Wednesday, September 20 at 7 pm at Oscar’s Downtown Palm Springs. Lip Gloss is a non-profit that raises money for other small non-profits, and The L-Fund is the beneficiary of this month’s event. Scheduled to appear: Sadie, Summer, Dani, Roba, Ivy Drip, and Misha Rockefeller with Steven Betts as the evening’s emcee. Admission is free but reservations are required, and auction items will be available for bidding. More info
Exhibit: The Art of Drag by Craig Mann
The Palm Springs Public Library invites you to view Craig Mann’s The Art of Drag exhibit at the library, on display from Monday, September 18 through November 18. In the words of the artist: “Drag has been in the news for brunches and bans. It’s also a misunderstood art form that has been in existence since William Shakespeare’s choice of men to play female roles. Exploring drag as art, I celebrate local drag artists who bring joy and entertainment to their audiences in this exhibit. Portraits of our queens are on display in varying sizes. Are the paintings of men, or are they of women? Are they frightful political tools, or are they beautiful beings? One thing is for sure. They represent the essence of art: an unedited, questioning beauty.” More info
The Cultural Heritage of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
The Palm Springs Public Library presents a lecture on The Cultural Heritage of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians on Wednesday, September 20 at 6 pm in The Learning Center. Patricia Garcia, the Director of Historic Preservation/Tribal Historic Preservation for the Agua Caliente Tribal Historic Preservation Office will discuss preserving and protecting cultural heritage at Séc-he. More info
Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs 75th Anniversary
Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs will observe its 75th anniversary with a community open house on Thursday, September 21 from 4–7 pm on the club’s campus. Come see demonstrations of many Club programs, tours of the new Health and Wellness Center, and the opening of its new Panda Cares Center of Hope homework room. Refreshments will be served and community members will be able to interact with Boys & Girls Club staff and board members. More info
Perez Art District Fourth Fridays
New this month: The Perez Art District’s highly anticipated Art Walk event moves to Fourth Fridays at 4 pm. The season’s inaugural event is this Friday, September 22, promising an immersive experience for art enthusiasts and the local community. The Perez Art District is home to a vibrant community of artists. Visitors to the district will have the opportunity to explore the working studios of over 30 talented artists in the H and I Buildings, with an additional 6 artists in the A and C Buildings. The Art Walk offers a unique chance to witness the creative process across a variety of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media. More info
Vote by Friday for Community’s Choice Awards
The Desert Sun has just a few more days in voting round for the 2023 Best of Desert Official Community’s Choice Awards, celebrating and recognizing the best our community has to offer, and both KGAY 106.5 and KGAY Morning Host John Taylor are among the nominees! When you go to fill out your ballot, find KGAY 106.5 under Entertainment & Leisure > Radio Station – Local and find John Taylor under Entertainment & Leisure – People > Radio Personality/Show. Additionally, DJ Modgirl & DJ Galaxy are nominated in DJ – Event/Wedding. Vote for them as well! If you vote in more than 25 categories, you’ll be entered to win a $250 gift card. Votes can be placed through Friday, September 22. Vote today!