Heklina’s tribute over the weekend was a call to action to those she left behind. To quote Liza Minelli’s Cabaret:
“What goods permitting
Some prophet of doom?
To wipe every smile away
Life is a cabaret, old chum
So come to the cabaret…
Come taste the wine
Come hear the band
Come blow your horn
Right this way your table’s waiting”
Friends and fans gathered to honor the drag queen who got her start in San Francisco, but had moved to Palm Springs to enjoy life. Heklina’s untimely – and yet cause unknown – death was a shocker. As many spoke of her lust for life, they gave that call to action to live life to the fullest.
That’s something I try to do as I approach the bewitching 65 this year. I have many friends who have had health scares recently, so I’m taking Liza’s song to heart! Especially the “come drink the wine” part…
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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Palm Springs International ShortFest
The Palm Springs International ShortFest runs from Tuesday, June 20 through Monday, June 26 at the Camelot Theatres (Palm Springs Cultural Center). This year’s festival will showcase 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 will return 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
Coachella Valley Firebirds: Calder Cup Final
The Coachella Valley Firebirds have made it to the Calder Cup Final in their inaugural season! 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’ve emerged victorious from the Western Conference Finals, and are now in the the Calder Cup Finals (best of 7 games) against the Hershey Bears, winning the first two games and losing the next three, so the series returns to the Coachella Valley for a must-win Game 6 on Monday, June 19 and if they win that, the final game in the series will be Wednesday, June 21. Get tickets
Dr. Patrick Angelo presents a lecture, Beyond Inflammation, on Wednesday, June 21 from 8:30 am–12 pm at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Angelo is a renowned research expert, corporate leader, and award-winning philanthropist, sharing his patented blueprint to beat inflammation and recapture vitality at this invitation-only gathering. It is chronic inflammation if you are struggling with your weight, specifically around your waist. Inflammation is the culprit and is eroding your physical and mental health. You have but one body and one brain. Invest in a new strategy to defeat inflammation. 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
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].
Native American Arts Festival
Idyllwild Arts Foundation presents its annual Native American Arts Festival Week from Sunday, June 18 to Friday, June 23 at the Idyllwild Arts campus. The week-long event, which has run each summer for over two decades, is designed to enhance and enrich the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program with Native American arts-based programming including an invitational exhibition, demonstrations, Native food tastings and the Michael Kabotie Lecture Series. All festival week events are free and open to the public. More info
Desert Stonewall Democrats June Membership Meeting
The Desert Stonewall Democrats’ June Membership Meeting is on Tuesday, June 20, at 6 pm in the Mizell Center Community Room, and on Zoom. This meeting’s topic is Celebrating Pride LGBTQ+ Rights At Risk at Home and Abroad, addressing the anti-LGBTQ+ laws and legislation that are surfacing in the United States and abroad. Come at 5:30 pm for refreshments and some social time. More info
OutFest Tickets & Passes on Sale Tuesday, June 20
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 go on sale Tuesday, June 20. 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
Book & Movie Salon for Women: Parched
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, June 20 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 film is Parched, written and directed by Leena Yadav. More info
Poetry with Pride Performance Event
The First Annual Poetry with Pride Performance Event will take place Wednesday, June 21 at 5:30 pm at the Cathedral City Public Library. Brittny Roberts, poet, podcaster and Lez Out Loud favorite, will host, featuring comedian Chris Fidler and more local poets. Admission is free. More info
CVRep Summer Cabaret Series: Christiane Noll
CVRep presents their Summer Cabaret Series on Thursdays at 7 pm, and this week, it’s Christiane Noll on Thursday, June 22. Nominated for both the 2010 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award, she won a Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of Mother on Broadway in the Kennedy Center Revival of Ragtime. She made her Broadway debut starring in Jekyll & Hyde, creating the role of Emma. Ms. Noll received an Ovation Award for her comedic turn as Hope Cladwell in the National Tour of Urinetown, wowed audiences again as Vanna Vane in the new musical The Mambo Kings, soared as Jane Smart in the American premiere of The Witches of Eastwick, and most recently received another Drama Desk nomination for her work in Chaplin. See our event listing to see the variety of talent lined up in this series: Get tickets
Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce Summer Speaker Series
The Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce presents a Summer Speaker Series held the last Thursday of the month, May through August, from 11:30 am–1:30 pm at Mission Hills Country Club. This Thursday, June 22, get the Latest Economy News: Stay up to speed on some of the most closely watched economic statistics and trends that influence decisions of government officials, business people, and individuals with this update by Raymond James. Upcoming Summer Speaker Series topics include: Tourism Spotlight with Palm Springs International Airport and Visit Greater Palm Springs (7/27), and Housing Update with Life to Rise (8/24). 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
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
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].
Big Gay BBQ
Palm Springs Pride presents the Big Gay BBQ on Saturday, June 24, in the Arenas District 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 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
The Retros Radical Race
The PS Retros Softball Team presents The Retros Radical Race on Saturday, June 24 from 9 am–2 pm, hosted by Margaritaville Resort with a race across Palm Springs, figuring out clues while facing challenges and tasks along the way. Race against the clock to be beat your competitors to win amazing prizes. 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. 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
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
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On the Air: KGAY 106.5
Win VIP Tickets to Pride Under the Pines
Pride Under The Pines returns to Idyllwild on Saturday October 7 and KGAY has your top tier VIP tickets to join John Taylor on the KGAY Party Bus! You get free drinks and incredible entertainment by fabulous and hilarious drag queens on the ride to the top of the mountain in style. Plus, you’ll have access to an open bar, an interactive movie and a special meet-and-greet with this year’s headliner. Pride Under the pines features fabulous entertainers for a fun day of music, drag shows, dancing, entertainment, food, drinks, vendors, and more, plus music by the amazing @djgalaxyps and vibe curator @djalexd_ Enter to Win on the KGAY Contest Page
Win VIP Passes to Gay Wine Weekend!
Out in the Vineyard’s Gay Wine Weekend 2023 is July 14–16, a perfect time to get out of the desert to visit Northern California for 3 full nights of LGBT events in the magnificent Sonoma Valley, home to some of the world’s most prestigious wines and wineries, and KGAY and Gay Desert Guide have your chance to WIN a VIP Party Pass Package for 2! To enter, all you have to do is scan the QR code at our participating sponsors: V Wine Lounge, Gay Mart USA, Frank Clothiers, PS Bottle Shop, and Q Trading Company!
The KGAY 106.5 Retro Lunch airs Monday through Friday at noon, with DJ Galaxy (Vincent Corrales) and DJ Eric Ornelas playing an hour of their high-energy throwback mixes. On Sundays, we put all five hours together for the Retro Sunday Brunch from 11 am–4 pm. Perfect party music! Listen Online
The KGAY Sunday Tea Dance with DJ Modgirl airs every Sunday from 4–6 pm (right after the Retro Brunch). DJ Modgirl (AKA Kellee McQuinn) is not only the life of the party, she’s now hanging out at The Rowan Window Bar each Thursday from 7–10 pm and Friday from 4–7 pm. She is also spinning your faves by the pool at The Paloma Resort on Saturday, June 24 from 12–4 pm! Join her for a cocktail and listen to some great beats! Her moniker is “Music! Dancing! Fashion! Fun!” and she throws down the most irresistible, uplifting beats each week on the KGAY Sunday Tea Dance from 4–6 pm. Listen online
On the Air: 103.1 MeTV fm
This weekend on 103.1 MeTV fm, tune in to A Summer Songs Weekend: Timeless and Memorable Songs About Summer and From Summers Past. 103.1 MeTV fm is KGAY’s sister station, featuring a unique mix of timeless and memorable music incorporating a wide variety of classic hits, deep tracks and softer sounds spanning several decades of popular music, including the ‘60s and ‘70s with a touch of the ‘50s and ‘80s. Listen online
- Zoso Fun Presents Boyz Night Out
Fri. Jun 23 from 4–8 pm (and every Friday ongoing) at Hotel Zoso
- Beyond Inflammation with Dr. Patrick Angelo
Wed. Jun 21 from 8:30 am–12 pm at the Palm Springs Convention Center
- Palm Springs International ShortFest
Jun 20–26 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center
- Arenas District Big Gay BBQ
Sat. Jun 24 at 5 pm in the Arenas District
- OutFest LA LGBTQ+ Film Fest 2023
Jul 13–23 at various locations around Los Angeles
- Gay Wine Weekend
Jul 14–16 in Sonoma Wine Country
- Out on the Mountain 2023
Fri. Aug 18 from 6 pm–12 am at Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend
Sep 20–24 at Margaritaville Resort
Welcome New Partners!
Why swelter in the valley’s relentless heat when Big Bear’s cool mountain air is just a click away? Big Bear Vacations offers you a choice from over 350 homes and luxury cabins tailored to your budget. Trade the scorching heat for a breezy sunset on the lake. From quaintly rustic to spectacularly grand, you’ll find the perfect fit for your vacation vision. Book the cool getaway you’ve always dreamed of! Learn more
Golden Smoke Shop has two locations in Palm Springs: 790 N. Sunrise Way and 2755 N. Palm Canyon, open seven days a week, including holidays. They sell top-tier quality vapes, E-juice, water pipes, hand pipes, nectar collectors, atomizers, e-nails, tobacco, PRO-CLUB T-shirts, exotic sodas, exotic snacks, cigars, hookah, whippets, sexual enhancements and much more. They have the best prices and new deals everyday with local delivery available and nationwide shipping. More info
Joshua Tree National Park is open year-round. There are few facilities within the park’s approximately 800,000 acres, making Joshua Tree a true desert wilderness. About 2.8 million visitors come to the park each year to enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, photography, rock climbing, and simply enjoying the serene desert scenery. The Joshua Tree National Park Association has been supporting programming at Joshua Tree National Park since 1962. As the park’s primary non-profit partner, they operate four visitor centers and two park stores that are often the first stop for visitors from around the world. Learn more
- 2023 Greater Palm Springs Pride Poster and Artist Announced
- IGLTA Selects Palm Springs as its 2025 Global Convention Destination
- Pride Month: Palm Springs Couple Launches Witty Streaming Series About ‘Historical Homos’
- The Stars of ‘Dallas’ Reunite 45 Years After the Show’s Debut — See the Photos!
- 9 Beautiful Ways to Celebrate and Support Gay Dads
AMP Sports Lounge has a casual, festive and funky atmosphere that suits all who choose to come and play as they effortlessly find a comfortable place to hang out, drink, enjoy a snack from their bar menu, and make new buddies. It doesn’t even matter what type of balls you’re into, or if you just like a good puck, you’ll feel right at home. And if sport is not your thing, they have everything from bingo to disco for you too. Save at AMP with our HOT DEAL: get $25.00 of beer, wine, or signature cocktails for just $12.50! Get Your Deal
We also have Hot Deals at Coachella Valley Coffee Co., Palm Springs Fine Men’s Salon, Papa Dan’s Pizza and Pasta, Il Giardino, Zin American Bistro, Destination PSP, V Wine Lounge & Martini Bar, Desert Mischief, Jolene’s Bar & Lounge, Rick’s Restaurant, Willie’s Modern Fare, Kitchen 86, Lulu California Bistro and more! See All Deals
Find out what’s happening on any given day by browsing our Gay Desert Guide Online Event Listing Calendar, and for the big picture, take a look at major upcoming events in our 2023 Coachella Valley Calendar of Events.
Listen to KGAY 106.5 over the air, stream it [here], or listen on TuneIn Radio with Alexa or Siri by saying “Play K-GAY 1065 from Tune In Radio.” John Taylor is on mornings 6–10 am and program director Chris Shebel is on afternoons. Our Retro Lunch with DJ Galaxy and DJ Eric Ornelas is now heard on Sundays as the Retro Lunch & Sunday Brunch from 11 am–4 pm, followed by DJ Modgirl spinning the KGAY Sunday Tea Dance from 4–6 pm.
Don’t miss “This Way Out,” Sundays at 6:30 a.m. on KGAY 106.5. “This Way Out” is the only internationally distributed weekly LGBTQ radio program, currently airing on some 200 local community radio stations around the world. Listen to the latest episode as a podcast on our streaming page (click “Podcasts” in the upper right hand corner)