There’s power in our Pride! Participating in this study helps open doors-and minds-around the world, and influences positive changes for our community. Previous surveys have yielded 45,000 respondents from 150 countries! You may have seen Community Marketing & Insights quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, etc.
Come Party With Us!
Who: Everyone & Their Mama!
What: 5th Annual “Not Your Mama’s” Wedding & Event Expo Produced by Pride Guide®
When: Saturday, November 4th from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where: Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Midtown 4000 N. Central Ave. • Phoenix, AZ 85012
Why: Because you haven’t been to a wedding & event expo like this! We have Arizona’s premier wedding & event vendors, a Bridal Race through Central Phoenix prior to the expo, Karaoke & Costume Contests and more FUN than you can handle. Stay tuned for more details!
Visit us online at OpenMindedExpo.com for discount tickets.
Our rates are ONE PRICE, ONE FULL YEAR of exposure in print & online at www.GayArizona.com, the premier LGBT travel, wedding and business resource guide. Contact us at 602.466.2501 or Arizona@ThePrideGuides.com to secure your space by January 13th! You can also sign up with ease online at: www.GayArizona.com/Advertise
Flagstaff, November 7th The Arboretum at Flagstaff and The Flagstaff Arts Council present the 2nd Annual Flagstaff Festival of Trees beginning this weekend, November 11th through December 3rd. Individuals, schools, organizations and businesses have beautifully decorated and donated a tree or other seasonal item to the festival, all to be raffled on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at The Arboretum.
Over 45 decorated holiday trees, wreaths and seasonal décor is on display in the historic Walter Reichardt House at the Arboretum from November 11—December 3, 2016 on Fridays and Saturdays 3-8pm, and on Sundays 4-7pm. New this year, a courtyard light display to enjoy along with campfires, hot cider and cocoa, wine on Saturdays, and different live entertainment each night. One hundred percent of all funds raised will benefit The Arboretum at Flagstaff and the Flagstaff Arts Council.
Seasonal tree festivals are a popular annual holiday tradition in many communities in this country. According to Erin Evans and Peter Jolma, Co-Chairs of the organizing committee, “Flagstaff and the Arboretum will provide an ideal setting for this event and will be a wonderful way to start the holidays. Donors and participants will represent a broad spectrum of local organizations and businesses, and the event will showcase the Flagstaff community’s creative skills and interests.
For more information, please visit www.thearb.org, or call Victoria Leone at 928-774-1442, ext. 124.
“It’s All for You” Complimentary LGBT Community Luncheon MEET & GREET Oct. 30th 1pm-4pm Come have lunch with Carol Brown Three-Time Emmy Award Winner, Seven-Time Emmy Award Nominee and author of the award winning book, Natural to Knockout. Sunday, October 30th 1p – 4p in PebbleCreek, Goodyear AZ. Tuscany Falls Ballroom, PebbleCreek Country Club Address: 16222 Clubhouse Drive, Goodyear, AZ 85395 RAFFLE: $800 GIFT BASKET OF SEACRET® PRODUCTS In addition to the raffle, all attendees will receive a complimentary gift bag that includes Seacret Superior Skin Care products (Products were at the Oscars in the celebrity gift suite).
Attending a gay pride festival as part of a family vacation? It doesn’t exactly top the popular list of family plans for summer travel. But I write from experience when I say that it’s actually a great way to bring your family together and experience something entirely different.
Our family attended Bisbee Pride 2016 this past weekend and had a fabulous time.
If you’re not familiar with pride festivals and parades, they are typically held in cities and towns around the US and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture and pride. They also serve as a popular venue for promoting legal rights and equality for LGBT individuals. Cities such as Miami Beach, Boston, New York, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Tucson, and even towns like Bisbee host these events annually and feature everything from concerts and flamboyant parades to pool parties and pub crawls. The mood is festive, the crowd is friendly and the people-watching is exceptional. You’ll see people dressed in all variety of irreverent get-ups and whimsical costumes, but one thing you don’t see a lot of is traditional nuclear families in attendance. You might see a number of families with gay or lesbian parents, but traditional families, not so much.
A number of things brought our family together for a weekend getaway at Bisbee Pride. First, some good family friends own a handful of vacation rental homes in Bisbee and offered us a place to stay that weekend. They made the offer for a number of reasons, but the most important being: our oldest child is gay, our whole family loves visiting Bisbee, and the four of us had never attended a pride festival together. Our friends assured us it would be the experience of a lifetime, not only because Bisbee is a fun and quirky little town, but it would be a generous act of love for all of us to make this happen for our son, and it wasn’t lost on us that it fell on Father’s Day weekend.
At first, my husband was ambivalent about it. This sort of stuff just isn’t his thing, but the reasons above are what really pushed him over. With that, our teenage daughter also joined us and it became a family vacation. Our son started his summer break from his program at the U of A that Friday evening, so we picked him up and headed south to Bisbee.
When we arrived, we caught a glimpse of the crowd gathering for the Lingerie Pub Crawl. Lacking the proper attire and considering our two underaged family members, we passed on that activity, but other choices included a street dance, a cabaret, live music, a ghost tour, and a variety show. We walked around and checked out a few of the events, but didn’t stay out too late. The highlight of the evening was running into two friendly fellows dressed as nuns with colorful makeup who said they were part of the Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. They invited us to their Twisted Sister Bingo & Bloody Mary Bar on Sunday morning, a fundraising event to benefit a local domestic violence prevention program. They also mentioned we would see them again during the Bisbee Pride Parade on Saturday, the main event of the weekend.
During most of the day on Saturday it was a typical tourist experience in Bisbee, the crowd was a mix of tourists, locals and folks in town for the event, but nothing too outrageous. We walked through the pride booths and vendors and picked up all sorts of freebies ranging from bead necklaces and bracelets to bumper stickers and condoms. Yes, condoms; both male and female, along with other products and accessories. I’ll dispense with the specifics, but the booth was promoting safe sex and brought up some interesting dialogue between me and my kids. They learned a few things and so did I. I know not all parents feel the same as I do, but I want my kids to be able to come to me with any questions they have about sexuality and I have promised them I will answer them honestly, as best I can. Parenting a gay child brings up another whole subset of things to consider when offering guidance and it’s interesting how something as simple as picking up a free condom can open up a conversation that really needs to happen between parent and child.
My son and I had also attended Phoenix Pride the previous year and one difference we noted was that the Bisbee Pride seemed tamer and the events were more spread out. Events were happening at various locations all over town rather than in one large, centralized park area where you paid a hefty cover charge to enter. Many of the events at Bisbee Pride were free, including the parade. Also, the Bisbee crowd wasn’t quite as flamboyant with fewer folks adorned in outrageous costumes and makeup. The vast majority seemed perfectly happy in plain clothes. However, the intensity amped up on Saturday night.
The parade brought people out on their porches and lining the streets to catch a glimpse. We watched from the deck of a local restaurant, snapping photos of the colorful floats and costumes as they passed by, then followed the action into the Brewery Gulch area where bands and deejays played and the friendly crowd partied well into the night. We didn’t make it to bed until 2:00 a.m.
Despite the late night, we actually did make it to the Twisted Sisters Bingo game on Sunday morning and enjoyed some fantastic bloody marys. It was a great way to cap off an awesome weekend.
It’s worth mentioning that whether you’re attending a pride festival or not, Bisbee is still a wonderful town to visit. If you live in Arizona, you really owe it to yourself to go. It was recently named a Best Historic Small Town in America by readers of USA TODAY, and in February, Sunset magazine named Bisbee as the Best Small Town of 2016. Our family has visited Bisbee a handful of times, so going during a pride festival really gave us an opportunity to see it from a fresh perspective, and truly it gave us a reason to love it even more.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of a family vacation to a pride festival, I would offer a couple of caveats. Our children are older, ages 16 and 19, so they weren’t shocked or confused by the adult concepts they encountered. Plus, with our oldest being gay, we had an obvious connection to what was going on and, with several extended family members who are gay, we’re accepting of LGBT people in general. Every family is different. My recommendation would be to gauge your own family’s comfort level before attending such an event together. Our encounter was very positive and we experienced something totally outside the norm for us. We made some great memories. But best of all, our son got to experience Bisbee Pride with his family, a loving show of support that he can carry with him for a lifetime.
NEW DATE SET:
Pride Guide® Tucson’s 2nd Annual LGBT Open-Minded Wedding Expo
Date Has Moved from Sunday, June 26, 2016 to Sunday, September 25, 2016
11:30am to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa
3800 W Starr Pass Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85745
June 17, 2016 – Due to the tragic event that unfolded in the early morning hours of June 12th at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the Pride Guide® Tucson’s Open-Minded Wedding Expo has been moved to Sunday, September 25th. We feel our community and our nation as a whole need this time to heal. Ticket sale proceeds from the remaining 2016 Pride Guide® Expos, will benefit the victims and families of Orlando.
We as a community must be there for each other at a devastating time like this. We send our love and prayers to the victims, friends and families of those who have passed or were injured in this senseless act of hate.
Please take a stand with us and plan to attend our expos to show your support against hate and unite us all with strength in numbers! #StayStrong
Phoenix Expo – Arizona Grand Resort & Spa
8000 Arizona Grand Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85044
Sunday, August 21st • 11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Tucson Expo – JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa
3800 W Starr Pass Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85745
NEW DATE: Sunday, September 25th • 11:30 am to 4:00 pm
San Diego Expo – Paradise Point Resort & Spa
1404 Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109
Sunday, October 23rd • 11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Tickets for all three expos are available at OpenMindedExpo.com
For more information on the Pride Guide® Arizona Publication or the Pride Guide® Tucson Wedding Expo, please contact The Pride Guides® office at 602-466-2501 or Arizona@ThePrideGuides.com.
Elizabeth Fraines and Ilana Gershteyn bring Arizona wedding services to California
MALIBU, CA (31 July 2015) – Today, Elizabeth Fraines and Ilana Gershteyn were married at Wright Organic Farm in Malibu. Guests were wowed by the out-of-state touches this dynamic duo chose for their big day. The two hand-selected an artist to create their dresses and a skilled event planner, both based out of Phoenix, to make their ideal wedding a reality.
The bridal attire was far from ordinary. Both Fraines and Gershteyn’s dresses are compiled of eco friendly mint seed embedded paper and white paper.
“The dresses are a representation of the imagination of their new life together,” artist and creator of the wedding dresses Katharine Simpson said.
“Fraines’s dress follows a mermaid design with a pop of blue fabric peeking out of the bottom and an exposed mid-chest line to compliment her body’s assets,” Simpson said. “Gershteyn’s dress has a sleek and reserved line for the front of her body with an exposed back.”
Simpson is an artist who thrives with the paper medium. She utilizes the paper in fine art pieces that can be hung on the wall or worn as one of a kind works of art. Her dresses are not intended to be pass along, but instead up-cycled making each dress truly personalized to a certain individual.
“Unlike the traditional wedding dress, theses unique pieces of art do not carry the same intent to be passed on,” Simpson said. “These dresses are designed to be torn apart and planted (i.e the mint seeds imbedded in the paper) and it can be recycled into another art piece or installation, or even be passed on to mother earth by composting.”
While in Phoenix, Fraines and Gershteyn found their wedding day coordinator Lisa Foster, owner of Stylish Events by Lisa. Foster is a well-respected event planner that prospers with out-of-the-box weddings and events.
“We strive for creating the incomparable and unexpected,” Foster said. “Working with our unique clients helps to push our thinking forward and create experiences that are innovative and trendsetting.”
Foster has been in the wedding industry for over ten years. She has done it all from rentals to catering services. Her company is rapidly growing and is expanding its services beyond Arizona.
“Traveling to destination events is one of the best parts of our job,” Foster said. “We get to change our surroundings and experience new places and new people. Being able to travel from afar and work on these special projects is always a humbling inspiration for us.”
Stylish Events coordinates all occasions including parties, special events, corporate, fundraisers and weddings. To book Stylish Events by Lisa for your next event, visit StylishEventsByLisa.com, follow her on Facebook @stylisheventsbylisa or call 480- 209-2559.
Dining Out for Life is an international fundraiser for the fight against HIV and AIDS. Local restaurants participate by giving a percent of their proceeds on the last Thursday of April each year. A few cities participate on a different day. If you are not in our community on this day, check the Dining Out for Life International website to find out each city’s participation date.