Posts tagged with "gay"

Chef Raffaele Ronca

Introducing Winner of The Food Network’s “Chopped,” Chef Raffaele Ronca, Naples-born chef  who left his beloved hometown at the age of 19 and headed for NYC to be more accepted as a gay man. Raff, who initially wanted to be an actor, quickly found success in his “day gig,” working behind the bar and, ultimately, in the kitchen of NYC’s most popular restaurants. His passion for cooking and entertaining eventually eclipsed his desire to pursue acting and led to a lifelong career. His time on the popular Food Network show allowed him to revisit his love of acting, and brought his career to a whole new level. Shortly after his win, he opened Rafele NYC’s West Village, the epicenter of the gay rights movement. The restaurant, Rafele, offered guests an authentic Italian experience and was an immediate success. Just last year, he opened a second location in Rye, New York.

Chef Ronca wholeheartedly believes in giving back to the community and supporting LGBTQ youth. He often donates his time and gifts by appearing at and cooking for various LGBTQ charities, including the Rainbow Railroad, an organization dedicated to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals escape violence and persecution in their home countries.

Chef Ronca can speak on:

  • General features and profiles
  • World Pride themed cocktail, the Espresso Yourself Martini
  • Rainbow Railroad and supporting LGBT youth

More on Chef Raffaele Ronca:

Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Raffaele Ronca comes from a family of butchers and fishermen who collectively inspired his lifelong passion for food and flavors. With his family also in the restaurant business, Raffaele embraced cooking and culinary explorations as integral parts of not only his Italian culture, but also his heart and soul.

Working in his uncle’s restaurant in Naples and helping his mother make fresh pasta daily, Raffaele learned to respect the beauty and taste of fresh ingredients, as well as the time it takes to select and prepare them for fine dishes.

Immigrating to America at the age of 21, Raffaele worked steadily at some of New York’s most authentic Italian restaurants, including as the executive chef at Palma, chef du cuisine at Bellavitae and manager of food and wine at Caffé Torino.

Today, Chef Raffele Ronca is a winner of the hit Food Network show “Chopped.” He is also a collaborator with the James Beard Foundation, and his signature Buffalo Ricotta Cheesecake has been featured twice in Food & Wine magazine as one of the top cheesecakes in America, in addition to having received other impressive culinary accolades.

Chef Raffaele’s second restaurant, Rafele Rye, will make its debut in Westchester County, NY, in the spring of 2018.

For more information, please visit Rafele.com and contact janegoeypr@gmail.com.

Relationship Advice from NASA Engineer

Conservatives stay single longer

A new study from NASA engineer Rashied Amini, Ph.D. analyzes factors that contribute to how long people stay single. Some surprising results include conservative political views, higher education and not so surprising factors like income as a deal-breaker. The results of the study were used to create Nanaya’s love prediction algorithm, which is available for free and premium memberships online, and for iOS and Android.“Somehow this is the first time someone’s seriously looked at this question. The answers we found aren’t just about how long people stay single but also why,” said founder and owner of Nanaya,Rashied Amini, Ph.D.,on why he decided to conduct this study and start Nanaya.

Levelof education and rebound time have an almost perfectly correlated relationship. With someone staying single 0.8 months longer for each additional year of secondary & post-secondary education obtained. In addition, people who work in Academia & Higher Education have longer rebound times compared to other industries, with those working in agriculture having the shortest rebound time.

People who take public transit frequently will on average find relationships four months faster than people who never or rarely take public transit.

The size of your company could impact your love life. The study showed that people in workplaces of ~30-70 people have the best odds of entering a relationship sooner compared to smaller companies or large corporations.

Those with unempathetic political views tend to spend significantly longer looking for a relationship. Some of the opinions that have the most impact include being against marriage equality and universal healthcare, supporting increased border security, and being opposed to expanding welfare.

Feminists have an easier time finding relationships by approximately 1-2 months. This includes men who support feminism.

Compared to straight men and women, gay and bisexual people find relationships faster. Gay men spend the least amount of time single, followed by bisexual men and women.

Since non-Americans find love approximately 8 months sooner than Americans, traveling internationally can increase your chances of making a lasting connection.

Level of education and rebound time have an almost perfectly correlated relationship. With someone staying single 0.8 months longer for each additional year of secondary & post-secondary education obtained. In addition, people who work in Academia & Higher Education have a longer rebound time compared to other industries, with those working in Agriculture having the shortest rebound time.

According to Nanaya’s data, psychology and belief systems have a stronger correlation to time spent single. When it comes to children, those who want children spend the shortest time single, followed by those who don’t know if they want children. Single parents or those who don’t want children spend the longest time single.

About Nanaya

Nanaya has built one of the largest databases of romantic outcomes to ever exist. Unlike dating sites, Nanaya has data on how people actual live their lives and have romances in the real world – not just in the “Tinderverse.” Nanaya also has plenty of data on people in relationships. Unlike Facebook, Nanaya has data on personal values, experiences, and accurate personality data. What all this means is that Nanaya research is going to be a lot more complete and accurate than what anyone else can hope to do. Over the course of their research, they’ve identified personality traits that have significant impact on romantic outcomes. As a result, they’ve developed the brand new Nanaya Romantic Personality Quiz. In about 30 questions, Nanaya can describe romantic personality and outcomes better than anything that exists, whether it’s Myers Briggs or any other personality test.

For a free personalized test, go to https://nanaya.co/.

TYLER JACOB Q×A

When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/fashionista?

All my life I’ve had an attraction to doing things in a different way. I never wanted to look like someone else, never wanted to share my fashion secrets or my music because I had attached so much emotion in creating whatever piece it was or if were music it would never just be a song, for me. I was never like my friends and for a while that was a struggle for me internally. Sometimes I would even sacrifice my own desires to wear certain pieces in order to skip out on the ‘reading’ sessions. That still didn’t stop me from trying it sometimes though, I remember I would go to the nearest arts and crafts store which for me was ‘Michaels’ (laughs) and would go crazy getting little things to add to my clothes to make them different but then I would also go to Sam Ash, the Virgin Music Store, Guitar Center and I would feel like I was in heaven. No matter what, fashion and music have always been my life. Like I could sit in these stores for the rest of my life and be okay. That’s how much I loved creating and these stores gave me all the tools I needed.

I have always been a magnet to everything that dealt with the arts. But my biggest passion was singing and even though I’ve been singing since the age of 5, I didn’t know that I wanted to pursue being a singer until my 9th grade year in high school. This is why after graduating I ran straight to NYC all by lonesome (giggles) to pursue music. I was way to young to be running off to the Big Apple as a teen with a part time job at the GAP, making minimum wage. New York City was a monster and I’m not going to lie it almost ate me alive. But only after 6 months of being there, thankfully, so many doors opened for me and it was an amazing feeling to be carefree and pursue music with no walls or barriers. NYC was giving me all the life and opportunities needed in order to grind and continue to grind even when I had not a dollar to my name and had to sing on the train with my friends for food. That part never made me feel sad because I never knew how ‘low’ I was because I never had LOW thoughts, I knew that where I was, was temporary and only for the sole purpose of learning the lessons needed to be successful and to grow and to evolve. Crazy thing is I never felt bad for it, it felt so good to grind for my money while doing what I love. I looked at singing on the trains as my stage per say for that chapter in my life. Today, I have experienced so many different things which I won’t even dive into but it has given me a different appreciation for life.

As of late, I am in the studio recording my album and will be performing in Manhattan, Monday, February at 7PM
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1.

What inspired your new album?

I had a full album done and ready to go and visuals that my fiancé (Michael Mann) had helped me out with for my release but after the tragedy that happened I no longer connected to the old music. I have so much more to say and so much pinned up aggression that I knew my only healthy escape would be to express it on my debut album. Which will be entitled, Steven my birth name.

It symbolizes me going back to my roots to find myself again.

How’s life after losing a loved one?

Life after losing a loved one has been very up and down for me. As of recent, I’ve drowned myself in work because I know that is where I’m safest right now. When you know yourself and you want better you keep yourself away from danger. Right now dead time is danger for me so I’m always moving. My heart is in constant pain but I’m learning to live with it. It is a battle I have yet to conquer but I know with time I’ll be fine.

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Ajay Holbrook, transgender, tyren redd, 360 MAGAZINE

AJAY HOLBROOK

Ajay Holbrook, formally known as Ambreia Janee Holbrook, is a 21yro from Houston whom has been medically transitioning from female to male over the last 4 years.

Three years ago, he began bodybuilding. Since he’s recognized his newfound passion and love for this sport, he is dead bent on tackling one of the biggest titles,

“‘Mr. Olympia’ … this is especially a challenge because of who I am but I’m not letting anything stop me from reaching my goals. I insanely train and keep my body in top condition at all times. Recently, I packed up everything I owned to move to Los Angeles to pursue my careers in bodybuilding, dancing, modeling and music production. It has been one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make but also becoming one of the most rewarding.”

Dozens of challenges are constantly thrown Ajay’s way and he’s always having to overcome them. Many of which tie into his identity. “I don’t let them entertain me back… I’ve gone viral due to a Men’s Health and Generation Iron publication… And, [I] had so much support, but also a lot of backlash from the bodybuilding community in particular,” asserts Ajay.

Eager to prove naysayers wrong, Ajay has been eating healthy, training and is ready to tread on that stage very soon. “They may have thought they witnessed the last of me, but this is ONLY the beginning!!!”

Ajay Holbrook, transgender, tyren redd, 360 MAGAZINE Ajay Holbrook, transgender, tyren redd, 360 MAGAZINE Ajay Holbrook, transgender, tyren redd, 360 MAGAZINE Ajay Holbrook, transgender, tyren redd, 360 MAGAZINE Ajay Holbrook, transgender, tyren redd, 360 MAGAZINE *All photos by Tyren Redd

In Loving Memory of Michael Mann

By Madison Smushkevich

Recently, notable fashion stylist, Michael Mann, sadly passed away. His cause of death is still unknown.

Michael has worked with 360 Magazine, Fashion Bomb Daily as well as Vogue Brasil.

Not long ago, model Draya Michele teamed up with Mann for her 360 Magazine cover. “You pushed for me. When they said I couldn’t be a fashion girl, you said I could,” asserts Draya (on a recent Instagram post). It’s evident that Mann made a sincere effort to see both his clients and loved ones reach their personal best.

Stylist Michael mann, draya michele, 360 MAGAZINE

“From the moment I first laid eyes on you I fell in love. One of the most captivating spirits I’ve ever met. Our journey together wasn’t perfect but it was worth it. I am in disbelief and pain writing this. Rest in Paradise my friend, I love you!,” stated Lil Mama.

Recently, a GoFundMe page was created to assist Mann’s family with costly funeral arrangements.

MEET MY MOM

Reese Witherspoon’s media company Hello Sunshine launched a new show just in time for Mother’s Day called Meet My Mom. Premiering on Facebook’s video platform Facebook Watch, each episode consists of an honest and entertaining chat between one of your favorite celebrities and their mom.

In a recent episode, Olympic figure skating superstar Adam Rippon goes toe to toe with his mom Kelly about chasing his Olympic dreams, raising six exceptional kids, and the Pyeongchang moment that meant the most to both of them. See other highlights from Adam’s conversation with his mom below:

  • Regarding Adam’s coming out as gay, Kelly recounted being fearful for one reason – the prejudice within United States Figure Skating: “That’s one of the things that we might not have agreed on, right? For one reason: I knew the talk and the prejudice that existed in the sport.”
  • But then, Kelly learned a valuable lesson regarding personal identity and authenticity: “Suddenly, now, I knew you were mature enough to say, ‘The Olympics is awesome, but if I can’t be who I am at the Olympics, it’s not so awesome.’”
  • On her own personal “Olympic moment”: “When your brother…when Brady hugged you and wouldn’t let you go, and I saw two grown men just respect each other so much, crying, and seeing, like, his shoulders heaving, with that kind of respect for you, that was probably my Olympic moment.”

You can watch the full episode here

NO GAY? NO WAY!

LGBT advocates launched the “No GayNo Way!” campaign, spotlighting the eleven anti-LGBT locations in nine different states on Amazon’s recent list of finalists for its new headquarters. The campaign asks Amazon to select a market where all employees and customers will be protected from discrimination, and is planning a series of online and local activities to raise awareness.  The campaign launched with a Plane flying over Seattle (Amazon current HQ) with banner reading “”No GayNo Way!” and a mobile billboard circulating throughout Amazon’s campus.You can view the billboard and other graphics at www.nogaynoway.com.

 

SHAKIRA BARRERA

Shakira Barrera is a New Jersey native, from Englewood, NJ. By beginning to dance at age 3, a love for the arts was obvious at an early age. Shakira graduated from ‘Rutgers University’ at ‘Mason Gross School of the Arts’ with a BFA degree. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has become a bilingual actress, proudly representing her country of Nicaragua. 

She has been on shows such as “Rosewood“, “Faking It,” “East Los High,” “Those Who Can’t” and has done movies produced by James Franco as well as Mario Van Peebles. Her favorite role to portray was for Warner Brother’s new digital media platform, Stage 13, entitled “High and Mighty” where she portrays a caring, hard-working Latina. Shakira was a part of the 14 participants of the 2016 ‘ABC Diversity Showcase’ and was chosen out of 7,000 actors. Shakira is now filming Netflix’s, “Glow,” the 1980s-set female wrestling comedy. She has joined the cast for the 10-episode Season 2 playing Yolanda aka Yo-Yo, a a Mexican American dancer/stripper and out-and-proud lesbian who joins the team. 

LGBTQ EQUALITY × CALIFORNIA

State of LGBTQ Equality in 57 California Cities Detailed in HRC’s 6th Edition of the Municipal Equality Index
Many municipalities extend vital protections to their LGBTQ citizens and visitors
 
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), assessing LGBTQ equality in 506 cities across the nation, including 57 in California.

The 2017 Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, shows that cities across the country, including in California, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ people and workers — even in face of renewed attacks this year on the LGBTQ community by federal and state officials.

For LGBTQ Americans, legal protections and benefits vary widely depending on location — states and cities have markedly different laws governing discrimination. 20 states have non-discrimination laws that include protections for LGBTQ people in employment, and 19 states have laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in places of public accommodation. But cities are leading the way: since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.

The average score for cities in California is 76 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 57.

Anaheim – 80

Bakersfield – 60

Berkeley – 95

Brisbane – 54

Cathedral City – 100

Chula Vista – 86

Concord – 67

Corona – 60

Elk Grove – 77

Escondido – 60

Fontana – 60

Fremont – 86

Fresno – 57

Fullerton – 76

Garden Grove – 61

Glendale – 65

Hayward – 67

Huntington Beach – 61

Irvine – 83

Lancaster – 78

Long Beach – 100

Los Angeles – 100

Modesto – 59

Moreno Valley – 60

Oakland – 84

Oceanside – 100

Ontario – 54

Orange – 71

Oxnard – 53

Palm Desert – 72

Palm Springs – 100

Palmdale – 71

Pasadena – 84

Pomona – 72

Rancho Cucamonga – 54

Rancho Mirage – 100

Riverside – 65

Sacramento – 100

Salinas – 55

San Bernardino – 61

San Diego – 100

San Francisco – 100

San Jose – 100

Santa Ana – 63

Santa Clarita – 65

Santa Monica – 78

Santa Rosa – 87

Signal Hill – 97

Stockton – 70

Sunnyvale – 73

Thousand Oaks – 61

Torrance – 66

Vallejo – 81

Visalia – 62

West Hollywood – 100

Guerneville – 100

Richmond – 84

“This year’s MEI paints a vivid picture: cities big and small, in red and blue states alike, are continuing our progress toward full equality, regardless of the political drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, the MEI serves as a vital tool for business leaders and municipal officials alike when it comes to economic development. CEOs know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities. The MEI is the best tool to help these businesses make crucial evaluations about the welcoming — or unwelcoming — nature of towns and cities across the nation.”

“California is a national beacon of hope and LGBTQ equality in the era of Trump, something borne out by another year of perfect Municipal Equality Index Scores for the state’s biggest cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Jose and San Diego,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Contributing to these successes, Equality California has been proud to endorse more winning candidates than ever in cities and towns across California over the last year. But scores in many areas, especially in the Central Valley and other inland areas, remain depressingly stagnant and low. Equality California is continuing to devote a significant amount of our focus to these regions, whose populations include some of the most marginalized members of California’s LGBTQ community.”

Since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased by more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.
Progress on transgender equality has been particularly noteworthy in cities across America this year, continuing a positive trend that the MEI has tracked — and encouraged — since 2012. Transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits are offered to employees of 111 municipalities this year — up from 86 in 2016, 66 in 2015 and just five in 2012. The MEI’s Issue Brief on Transgender-Inclusive Health Benefits is available here.

Other key findings from the 2017 Municipal Equality Index include:

  • 86 cities from states without comprehensive nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people scored above the overall nationwide average of 57 points. These cities averaged 84-point scores; 28 scored a perfect 100.
  • Cities continue to excel even in the absence of inclusive state laws: 41“All Star” cities in states lacking comprehensive non-discrimination laws scored above 85 points, up from 37 last year, 31 in 2016, 15 in 2014, eight in 2013, and just two in 2012.
  • The national city score average increased from 55 to 57 points. 68 cities scored 100 points; 25 percent scored over 79 points; 50 percent scored over 59 points; 25 percent scored less than 36; and 11 cities scored zero points.

The MEI rated 506 cities including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 44 criteria covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and city leadership’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. Starting in 2018, the MEI will introduce new criteria including protecting youth from “conversion therapy” and will deduct points for religious exemptions that allow discrimination by singling out LGBTQ people.

The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online at www.hrc.org/mei.
 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown was introduced to the world of entertainment through his unreleased memoir entitled, Muted Dreams. It was dubbed the male version of Push by Ebony Magazine which secured him tons of followers on social media.

 

However, it wasn’t until Brown left his position at The Alexander Doll Company and began to embark on a fashion and philanthropic dream. The vision commenced with the birth of LVL XIII (Level 13) –  a luxury men’s fashion label which launched a line of top-tier sneakers. 

 

The collection became an instant success. Brown made over $250,000 within the first two months in sales. To date, LVL XIII has garnered attention from Chris Brown, JR Smith, Tyson Beckford, Kroy Biermann, Nas, Tracey Morgan, Jim Jones, Jason Sudeikis, Chris Tucker and Tristan Wilds. 

 

Most recently, LVL XIII signed a 1.5 million dollar deal with Zhu Jiang, owner of Décor Apparel (clothing and accessories manufacturer). It included a million dollar liquid cash investment and was highlighted by FORBES Magazine.

 

The initial accomplishments of the brand sparked interest from international superstar, Jason Derulo, whom now serves as Brand Ambassador and Key Investor of LVL XIII. Together they expanded its portfolio and added LVL XIII APPAREL, catering to affluent male millennials.

 

As a humanitarian, Brown spends his time educating and supporting abused youth and giving back to the community through on-site activations and monetary donations. In the past, he’s coordinated various celebrity fashion shows focused on the fight against HIV/AIDS. Many of them were hosted by Angela Simmons, Nene Leakes, K. Michelle and Ro James.

 

Through these engagements, Brown has made notable contributions to both amfAR (a leading organization dedicated to the support of HIV/AIDS research) in the amount of $10,000 and Hero for Children (a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children infected with and impacted by HIV/AIDS) in the amount of $5,000 – establishing The Antonio Brown Scholarship which contributes to the organization’s summer camp.

 

FUN FACT:

*In 2016, LVL XIII made national headlines when it debuted new apparel and footwear during NYFW at Pier59 Studios.