Future Without Fear is the theme for this year’s Outfest, where I attended opening night Thursday evening. It’s been one of my favorite summertime events since moving to Los Angeles nearly 20 years ago. Over the decades, I’ve gotten to know actors, filmmakers, fellow journalists and a community that celebrates diversity on the silver screen.
So last night was somewhat of a homecoming – seeing many familiar faces. Jason Stuart, who now calls Palm Springs home, was among them. He’s been a part of Outfest for many years. Dylan Mulvaney opened the evening and introduced trans filmmaker Aitch Alberto, director of the opening night film Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. This marks the first time in Outfest’s history that both Opening and Closing night will feature films made by trans artists. Representation matters.
Now for something completely different: I’m off to Gay Wine Weekend in Sonoma, where temps will also be sizzling. No matter whether you are going to Outfest, San Diego Pride, Gay Wine Weekend, or the Mid-Summer Dance Party, we’ve got you covered with all the events for July 2023. Stay hydrated!
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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Mid-Summer Dance Party
The Palm Springs Art Museum presents an Artful Event fundraiser: the return of the Mid-Summer Dance Party on Saturday, July 15 from 8–11 pm at Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center. KGAY 106.5 and Gay Desert Guide are proud media sponsors! This year’s event promises to be a spectacular night of entertainment as DJ Modgirl takes you on a journey back to the ’80s. With a cash bar by Reforma Palm Springs and complimentary BuzzBox tastings including the Coachella Valley Firebirds Paloma (usually only available at Acrisure Arena), this is a unique opportunity for the community to come together to enjoy an evening of fun and nostalgia. After the party, keep your wristband on and head across the street to Reforma, where that wristband gets you in FREE to their Disco Inferno weekly house music party, which goes ’til 2 am! Get tickets
Cars and Paws for a Cause
Exotic Motor Cars is hosting Cars and Paws for a Cause, an adoption event at their Palm Springs showroom this Saturday, July 15 from 10 am–3 pm. This adoption event is the highlight of Exotic Motor Cars’ summer-long fundraising efforts benefiting Palm Springs Animal Shelter, so come on out to meet and greet some of the shelter’s wonderful adoptable pets, and maybe take home a car! More info
San Diego Pride
San Diego Pride is taking place from July 8–16, with the Pride Parade on Saturday, July 15 at 10 am beginning at the Hillcrest Pride Flag and going for 1.5 miles. San Diego’s Pride Parade is the largest single-day civic event in the region and is among the largest Prides in the United States, attracting over 300,000 cheering supporters of the LGBTQ community. This year’s theme is “Thrive.” There are many events throughout the week of San Diego pride [Learn more]. The San Diego Pride Festival goes from 11 am–10 pm on Saturday & Sunday, highlighting the best in LGBTQ entertainment, interactive exhibits, cultural presentations, and community resources. More info
Revolution of Love San Diego Pride Party
Equality California presents Revolution of Love as the theme for Pride parties throughout the state this year, including this weekend in San Diego on Saturday, July 15 at 6 pm at Barrel & Board. EQCA says, “With anti-LGBTQ+ extremists attacking our community and trying to take away our basic civil rights, we have one thing to say — LGBTQ+ people will not be erased! This Pride season we’re igniting a Revolution of LOVE.✊” More info
Gay Wine Weekend
Out In The Vineyard presents “3 Days of Gay” for Gay Wine Weekend, from Friday, July 14–Sunday, July 16. The weekend features winemaker dinners, winery tours and a drag queen brunch & wine auction along with a pool party to wind down the weekend. The signature event of the weekend is the Twilight T-Dance which this year will be held at the iconic La Crema Winery Estate in the Russian River Valley Region, a shift north in locale from previous Sonoma Valley-based Gay Wine Weekends. The weekend benefits Face to Face, the Sonoma County HIV/AIDS Network. More info
Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Fest
The 41st Annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival (the biggest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world) is taking place now through Sunday, July 23, in different venues around Los Angeles. Outfest helps LGBTQIA+ storytellers overcome barriers to entry into the entertainment industry by providing critical skills, access and support to both emerging and established filmmakers. There are many events, workshops, masterclasses, and panels for both the community and filmmakers to participate in, plus all the film screenings and even a virtual festival you can enjoy from anywhere. The festival ends with a Closing Night Gala featuring Chasing Chasing Amy, directed by Sav Rodgers. More info
Merman to Premiere at Outfest
Nurse educator Andre Chambers of Palm Springs is profiled in the short film Merman, premiering at Outfest in the film short compilation “Express Yourself” on Thursday, July 20 at 5 pm at the Directors Guild of America, Theater 2. The film features Chambers speaking about his life as an emergency nurse, Mr. Leather titleholder, civil rights advocate, and icon of Palm Springs. Learn about his unconventional life journey as a Black, queer man growing up in the volatile 1970’s and how it has led to his current activism. Also available to stream online starting July 24. More info
Vote for Mitch! – Favorite Chef
Palm Springs’ own Mitchell Battersby is currently in 3rd place in the prestigious Favorite Chef competition, presented by celebrity chef Carla Hall. In this tournament-style competition, competitors go through rounds, and those with the most votes in those rounds move on. To win Favorite Chef, one must leverage the power of social media and word-of-mouth advertising to garner the support of the public to vote. From a humble group of over 100 talented chefs, Mitch has challenged himself to prove time and again that his culinary skills are unrivaled. As he continues to work toward the finals, you can help Mitch win by voting daily, and if he wins the competition, he’s donating $5,000 to Palm Springs Pride to help keep Pride free for everyone. Vote today
RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World Tour
The world’s largest drag production, RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World Tour, comes to The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage on Saturday, July 15 at 8 pm. Asia O’Hara, Bosco, DeJa Skye, Jujubee, Lady Camden, Laganja, Vanessa Vanjie and select finalists from Season 15 are unknowingly trapped in the Netwerq…free your mind with this show that asserts “perception is not reality.” (Line-up subject to change). Get tickets
Mean Girls: The Musical – High School Version
Palm Canyon Theatre and the Palm Springs Unified School District present the regional premiere of Mean Girls: The Musical – High School Version this Thursday–Sunday, July 13–16. This production stars several of your favorite Musical Theatre University (MTU) performers, and it is based on the popular 2004 movie. It’s about Cady Heron, a teenager who moves from Africa to Illinois and enters a new high school. As she tries to fit in and climb the popularity ladder, she learns important lessons about friendship, authenticity, and the consequences of her actions. Get tickets
Boyz Night Out
On Friday, July 14—and every Friday night!— Zoso Fun presents Boyz Night Out at Hotel Zoso from 4–8 pm. This legendary pool party and happy hour is hosted by Snatch and features music from K-Gay’s own multi award-winning deejay Vincente Corrales as DJ Galaxy! Come and enjoy go-go boys, awesome drink specials, pop up drag events, PS Flaggers and more, and kick off the weekend! More info
Wine & Weenies
Wine & Weenies is taking place every Friday in July from 5–7 pm at PSBS (Palm Springs Bottle Shop). Admission gets you two glasses of wine, a hot dog, a bag of chips, and a whole lotta fun! Come cool off on Friday evenings with good people, cold wine, and hot dogs with a chance to shop late at PSBS and Mojave Flea Trading Post. A portion of ticket sales benefits the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Get tickets
Recap: Season 8 RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Episode 10
Gay Desert Guide Drag Correspondent Dante Noto has your latest recap for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 8, Episode 10: The Letter L, as in lesbians, the subjects of this week’s makeover maxi challenge. Dante says “The queens must share the miracle of drag and transform them into fabulous drag queens. They look none too excited, but hey, they signed up!” He questions the premise but then notes this episode brought about “a smart conversation about the women’s childhood relationship to femininity and the reclamation of queer slurs, like dyke, [opening] up some meaningful space.” Find out who became the star of the show and which of the queens are going to the finale (yet there are two episodes remaining) when you read Dante’s full recap of Episode 10 [here].
Dive-In Movie: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Palm Desert Aquatic Center presents their Dive-In Movie Series, sponsored by Family YMCA of the Desert, this Friday, July 14 at 7:30 pm at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center. The film will be Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The many amenities will be open including the slides, rock climbing wall, rope swing and more. Bring the kids, towels, a blanket and your swimsuits! More info