This week in #ILoveGayPalmSprings: Judy and Dennis Shepard visit Palm Springs to discuss their son Matthew, the library presents Drag Queen Story Hour, Out on the Mountain is this weekend, LGBT Marketing Seminar and Mizell Business Partner kick off the business of the season, Desert AIDS Walk registration is happening now, Aging Positively conference is coming soon, Cinema Diverse tickets are on sale, Classical Palm Springs and Megan Mullally are coming soon, and Il Giardino opens their season!

20 Years After Matthew Shepard

You may have heard that Dennis and Judy Shepard were in Palm Springs recently to sign copies of “The Meaning of Matthew,” about the life of their son, Matthew Shepard, which ended far too soon as the victim of a horrific hate crime. Gay Desert Guide's Brad Fuhr sat down with the Shepards to discuss the upcoming 20th anniversary of Matthew's death, as well as the death of local Palm Springs activist George Zander in 2015. A podcast of this interview will be released toward the end of September as we approach National Coming Out Day (October 11), and a candlelight vigil to honor both Zander and Shepard will take place in November (details to be announced). 

Drag Queen Story Hour Back by Popular Demand

The Palm Springs Public Library is happy to announce that Drag Queen Story Hour featuring local diva Bella da Ball will resume on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the Youth Room at the Library and will continue throughout the season every other month. The evening begins with a craft, then Bella reads a few stories and then everybody dances. The craft for this first event will be making maracas in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month that will be used for the dance party at the end of the evening. More info

Out on the (Magic) Mountain

Out on the Mountain, the gay night at Six Flags Magic Mountain, is this Friday, September 14, 2018 from 6:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. Enjoy thrill rides galore and live performances including RuPaul's Drag Race superstar Aja and Billboard-featured artist Jaki NelsonDJ Ray Rhodes, who brings magic to Wonderland, will be spinning, along with DJ SROGet tickets


CVEP Small Business Forum: LGBT Marketing

On Wednesday, September 12 from 8:00–9:45 a.m., the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership presents an LGBT Marketing Seminar presented by our very own Brad Fuhr, founder of Gay Desert Guide and Oasis Marketing Group. Learn strategies and insights regarding LGBT tourism in the Palm Springs area! More info

Mizell Business Partner Season Kick-Off Party

Mizell Senior Center connects their 2,200+ members with terrific local Businesses Partners who offer quality services, products and experiences. On Thursday, September 13 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. they are holding a “thank you” to existing Partners and a “come meet Mizell” to potential Partners, for a season kick-off reception with cocktails, hors d'ouerves and prizes. Free with RSVP. More info

Desert AIDS Walk 2018

It's time to get your team together! The 2018 Desert AIDS Walk will be held on Saturday, October 20. Over 2000 walkers will step off from Ruth Hardy Park for the 32nd Annual edition of this event. The walks route winds through downtown Palm Springs as locals cheer on a community in action. The Desert AIDS Walk makes it possible for Desert Aid Project to provide their patients and clients with an unparalleled range of services. More info

D.A.P. Director of Community Health Bruce Weiss recently reflected on why, more than ever, the Coachella Valley needs the Desert AIDS Walk. Read his article: Top 20 Reasons to Register for 2018 Desert AIDS Walk.

Aging Positively Conference

On Tuesday, September 18 from 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m, Aging Positively, the 3rd annual Coachella Valley conference aimed at providing practical information as well as inspiration for those aging with HIV, will explore housing, sexual health and dating, and employment strategies. And this year, The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) co-founder Dr. Michael Gottlieb will provide the keynote address. Gay Desert Guide's Brad Fuhr will serve as moderator. For more info and the full speaker lineup, click here.

Cinema Diverse Tickets on Sale Now

Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival returns for its eleventh season, September 20–23 in the Historic Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Opening night features the film The Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years. The Palm Springs Cultural Center is hosting a contest to discover which community member has the oldest physical copy of the Advocate. That person will win an All Access Pass to Cinema Diverse. The contest runs from September 1 – September 16 (details @CinemaDiverseFilmFestival). This year the festival also returns a week later to the Mary Pickford Theatre in Cathedral City on September 28 & 29 for a Bonus Weekend of screenings. Don't miss Ricky Reidling's gay romantic comedy Some Kind of Wonderful, set and filmed right here in Palm Springs, on Friday, September 21 as part of the “In the Middle” screening. More info on Cinema Diverse

Classical Palm Springs presents Fei-Fei & Nicholas Kontaxis

Classical Palm Springs presents Fei-Fei Dong in concert along with an art exhibition by Rancho Mirage’s very own Nicholas Kontaxis on Saturday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m. at Temple Isaiah in Palm Springs! Fei-Fei is the winner of the Concert Artist Guild Competition in New York and Finalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Nicholas Kontaxis, an artist endowed with talent, energy and a passionate love of bold colors & shapes, paints acrylics that have astounded art aficionados from De RE Gallery in Los Angeles, CA to the Gilman Contemporary in Sun Valley, ID. More info

Palm Springs Speaks presents Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

The first speakers of the season have been announced from Palm Springs Speaks, and it will be Megan Mullally, celebrated for her role as Karen Walker on the television series Will and Grace and her husband Nick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson on the television series Parks and Recreation. They will appear together to discuss their new book, The Greatest Love Story Never Told, at the Richards Center for the Arts on Friday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m. Get tickets

Il Giardino Re-Opens for the Season

Authentic Italian food is once again available from Il Giardino in Palm Springs as Chef Teresa is back from holiday in Italy and re-opening the restaurant for the season. Look for fresh takes on their innovative menu, inspired by the recent travels! More info