One Door Closes, Another Door Opens! That’s an old adage attributed to both Hellen Keller and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as the title of a book that I’ve long loved in my career journey.
This week, we’re closing the door on June Pride month and opening the door to Palm Springs Pride with the first “Big Gay BBQ” to help keep our pride “free”. Hold your Saturday appetite till you get to the Arenas District for great BBQ and drinks with proceeds going to the pride organization.
Pride month has been especially poignant this year with the attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, drag queens and the transgender community. So when Pride commissioned local artist Trevor Wayne to do this year’s poster art, I was thrilled! His work is shown here and will become indelibly a part of Palm Springs “gay” history. The poster is available now at Destination PSP and at Trevor’s store (new location) at 901 N. Palm Canyon signed.
Now more than ever Pride will be an important show of force for our LGBTQ+ community to fight back – lipstick in hand with a raised fist!
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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Big Gay BBQ
Palm Springs Pride presents the Big Gay BBQ in the Arenas District on Saturday, June 24 from 5–11 pm. Nothing ushers in summer better than enjoying delicious BBQ, beverages, and great music with friends on a summer’s night at the biggest and most fabulous Big Gay BBQ! This finger-lickin’ BBQ features: FREE entry, DJ Modgirl and DJ Galaxy, fun backyard games, BBQ vendors, and Pride Bars… all to raise money to keep our November Pride festival free for all to attend. BBQ hosts are KGAY’s John Taylor and the hostess with the most-est Bella da Ball. Optional fundraiser VIP passes include a gourmet BBQ dinner and free-flowing beverages. More info
Palm Springs International ShortFest
The Palm Springs International ShortFest runs through Monday, June 26 at the Camelot Theatres (Palm Springs Cultural Center). This year’s festival showcases an impressive selection of 299 films from 65 countries, including 53 World Premieres, 10 International Premieres, 33 North American Premieres, and 18 U.S. Premieres. The films were curated from over 6,000 film submissions. ShortFest Forum also returns with classes and panels featuring industry representatives, filmmakers and additional guests. Awards and cash prizes worth $25,000, including five Academy Award-qualifying awards, will be announced on Sunday, June 25. The Best of the Fest shorts will screen on the final day, Monday, June 26. Check our listing for links to the schedule of screenings and a handy film finder where you can search by genre, country of origin, director and more: Get tickets
The Retros Radical Race
The PS Retros Softball Team presents The Retros Radical Race on Saturday, June 24 with a race across Palm Springs from 9 am–2 pm, figuring out clues while facing challenges and tasks along the way. Race against the clock to be beat your competitors to win amazing prizes once you cross the finish line, hosted by Margaritaville Resort. All money raised goes directly to the PS Retros Softball Team to help them represent Palm Springs in softball tournaments around the country. More info
Radical Race Finish Line Pool Party
Have friends or family running in the race? Just want to come and support the cause with a fun FREE day soaking up the sun? The Retros Radical Race Finish Line Pool Party starts 10 am on Saturday, June 24 and goes till the final team arrives and finishes the last challenge at the Margaritaville Resort. Enjoy food and drink specials, 50/50 and prize raffles, games and more at the Margaritaville Lone Palm Pool. More info
Boyz Night Out
On Friday, June 23—and every Friday night!— Zoso Fun presents Boyz Night Out at Hotel Zoso from 4 pm–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
Max Mitchell – Full Length and Uncut
Runway Bar & Restaurant presents Max Mitchell – Full Length and Uncut, an evening of standup comedy and fun songs on Friday, June 23 at 8 pm. Top comedians Max Mitchell, Shann Carr and Evan Warner perform together along with musicians Chip Prince and Dwane Hathorn. Spend a memorable night with friends laughing at side splitting jokes and listening to fun songs by Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Kander & Ebb, Sandy Wilson, Jacque Brel, Fats Waller, Sheldon Harnick, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake, and Rogers & Hammerstein. Get tickets
Country Dance Fridays
Dance Ranch Palm Springs presents Country Dance Fridays, a great night of country western dancing, including two-step, waltz, shadow, East and West Coast swing and line dances, every Friday from 7–9:30 pm at Step by Step. The dance lesson is at 7 pm with dancing from 7:30–9:30. Dance Ranch Palm Springs is a country western dance group serving the LGBTQ+ community and its friends. Country dancers of all levels are welcome. More info
San Francisco Pride
San Francisco Pride takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, with the theme of “Looking Back and Moving Forward.” The Pride Parade will be on on Sunday morning June 25, going down Market Street from Embarcadero to the Celebration at Civic Center. More info
Coachella Valley Firebirds: Calder Cup Final
The Coachella Valley Firebirds made it to the Calder Cup Final in their inaugural season! Unfortunately they came up one goal short in a dramatic Game 7 finish to the series this past Wednesday. The game went into overtime tied 2-2 and the Hershey Bears won with a “sudden victory” goal. The Firebirds have had a stellar debut nevertheless. They began play in the 2022-23 American Hockey League with the brand-new Acrisure Arena as their home ice, as an owned-and-operated affiliate of the Seattle Kraken. They made it to the playoffs and became Western Conference Champions! Congratulations to the Firebirds and all their fans. Season tickets for next year are on sale now. Learn more
Sunsets at the Street Fair
The College of the Desert’s Street Fair presents Sunsets at The Street Fair with special evening hours on select dates through the summer. Come enjoy sunset shopping from 6:30–10:30 pm on Saturday, June 24. Future dates include these select Saturdays: July 22, August 26, and September 23. More info
Room 5, Motel 6
Script2Stage2Screen presents their final staged reading of the 2022-23 season on Friday, June 23 from 7:30–9:30 pm with Room 5, Motel 6, a fun-filled play offering love, loss, laughs, and a touch of lunacy, written and directed by Palm Springs playwright Jason Hull. Get tickets
Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music
Palm Springs Art Museum presents a special advance screening of an upcoming HBO documentary: Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music on Sunday, June 25 from 2–4:30 pm at the Annenberg Theater. In this unique concert, MacArthur Genius Award winner Taylor Mac reimagines American history as an over-the-top, queer-inflected, counter-cultural, musical extravaganza. A decade in the making, the 24-hour show—comprised of 240 songs performed by Mac and a huge supporting cast—was performed only once non-stop in its entirety. Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk, The Celluloid Closet) adapted this tour-de-force performance in all its righteous outrage and radical humanity into a feature-length documentary. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Taylor and the filmmakers moderated by social activist Marc Huestis. Get tickets
Recap: Season 8 RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Episode 7
Gay Desert Guide Drag Correspondent Dante Noto has your latest recap for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 8, Episode 7: Forensic Queens, and “this week’s maxi challenge is to improv in a new Ru-crime series, “Forensic Queens.” The episode is entitled “Wha-ha-happened to Lil’ Poundcake,” the drag puppet daughter of Alaska Thunderf*ck and Lineysha Sparx from season 5.” Find out how the improv played out, who threatened to quit, and who is just not having all these dramatics when you read Dante’s full recap of Episode 7 [here].
Visitor Map & Guide Summer Edition
The Summer 2023 edition of our Gay Desert Guide Visitor Map & Guide (great for locals too) is available now around town and online! We help you find everything you need to know while visiting or living in the Coachella Valley, featuring the top places for Food & Drink, Nightlife, Shopping, Attractions, Gay Resorts with passes, Dispensaries and other services. You can also view it online, and download the PDF [here].
CVRep Summer Cabaret Series Continues
Our theatre reviewer Stephen Radosh has spent the last couple of Thursday nights at CVRep’s Summer Cabaret Series and he’s here with a look at some recent shows as well as a preview of some great Thursday nights yet to come this summer as the series continues into July and August with performances from Miguel Bernal, Maximo Marcusso, Christia Mantzke, Leslie Stevens, David Engel, Lisa Vroman, and Mark Evans, whose performance of Hide & Seek, says Radosh, “is a must for anyone who is a friend of or a member of the LGBTQ family.” Read more
OutFest Tickets & Passes on Sale Now
OutFest Los Angeles is the largest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world and the 41st Annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival is set to take place July 13–23 at various locations around Los Angeles. Tickets and Passes for OutFest 2023 are on sale now. The festival will open with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, directed by Aitch Alberto, and the 11-day event will close with Chasing Chasing Amy, directed by Sav Rodgers. The Opening Night Gala will screen at the Orpheum Theatre, with the Closing Night Gala screening at The Montalbán Theatre. More info