Long Live Queen Vanity!

GayDesertGuide founder and e-publisher Brad Fuhr joined Shann Carr and others to help judge Desert AIDS Project's annual Queen of the Desert on May 31st. We have complete photo galleries on our site.  The overall winner is Vanity Halston, a 20 year veteran of hosting and producing drag in SoCal.  She takes the crown from Tommi Rose, with whom she performs at Toucans Tiki Lounge.  Vanity can also be seen in the wildly popular "The Desert Diva's Drag Brunch" at Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill each Sunday.


Writes Darrell L. Tucci, Desert AIDS Project's Chief Development Officer, on his Facebook page, "Big shout out to the 8 amazing divas who took stage to make magic happen last night at Queen of the Desert So-Cal 2017! To all 6 competitors, our fearless hostess Ethylina Canne and our "voice of God" Brian Wanzek…..you all demonstrated the epitome of grace and professionalism….and put on one hell of a show!!! Congratulations to all of you and especially our newly crowned Queen of the Desert, Vanity Halston and Fan Favorite, Mayhem Miller."

Each raised an initial $1,000 to enter.  Please be sure to wish them well and give them a shout out!

  • Bellonce Aguilera — holds title of Mrs. LA Pride and Miss OC Pride; certified # 1 Beyonce impersonator in the OC!
  • Crystal Champagne — Won Miss Congeniality.  She was Miss March on the QOTD calendar.
  • Vanity Halston — Our 2017 winner and also awarded Best Performance. 
  • Lola — She wowed us with Best Swimwear in that blue number!  She creates her own outfits and fills them well!
  • Mayhem Miller — Fan Favorite for raising the most $$; she also hosts at The Abbey and VIP Nightclub in Riverside.
  • Arial Trampway — Won Best Gown and is currently trying to buy a vowel at the Hard Rock for DRG BRNCH Sundays.

Thanks also to Brian/Bella Da Ball and Ethylina Canne for hosting duties!

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week Underway Through June 11th

Experience some of the most exciting eateries throughout Coachella Valley during Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week June 2-11, 2017. It's the perfect time to discover a new restaurant, or visit an old favorite. Restaurant Week offers something for everyone. #DineGPS and #ILoveGayPalmSprings, and post on Instagram!  Let's see your food porn!

What are restaurants offering during Restaurant Week?

Participating restaurant offer a special* Lunch and/or dinner menu at set prices.

Lunch (2+ Courses): $15 | $20 | $25
Dinner (3+ Courses): $29 | $39 | $49

Prices and meal periods vary by restaurant, and exclude beverages, tax and gratuity. Restaurant Week menus are offered during lunch and dinner hours only. Please check the restaurant listings online to ensure what menus are being offered during Restaurant Week. Menu(s) subject to change due to seasonal availability of ingredients.

How do I take part in Restaurant Week?

No passes, tickets or coupons are required…diners simply dine out at participating restaurants throughout the event. Make a reservation on our website or call the restaurant directly. Due to the popularity of this event, advance reservations are strongly encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.
There is no guarantee that walk-in guests will be accommodated.

Do you have to order off the special Restaurant Week menu?

In addition to the Restaurant Week menus, participating restaurants will also offer their regular menu. Diners are encouraged to try the special Restaurant Week menu, but it is not required.


It's Pride Season!

From the recent Long Beach Pride, to this weekend's Venice Pride (June 2), all the way to Greater Palm Springs Pride in early November, there's no shortage of celebrations of how far we've come, and reminders of how far we've yet to go.  Say Venice Pride organizers, "We've been busy creating something special for you in Venice Beach… ❤️  Join us next weekend for the 2nd Annual Venice Pride Sign Lighting & Block Party on Friday, June 2, 2017! This inclusive celebration of the LGBTQ+ community is FREE and open to the public–so come one, come all."

The LA Pride Parade won't take place this year (But the festival is a go) in deference to a very different event.  Explains the ResistMarch.org Facebook Page…

When any American’s rights are under threat, all our rights are threatened.

We are LGBTQ+. We are people of color. We are people of different faiths. We are people of all genders and no gender. We are immigrants. We are dreamers. We are people with disabilities. We are parents. We are allies. And we are beautiful intersections of these. But most of all, we are American. Yet our rights are in jeopardy. Forces are gathering in government that intend to take away our hard-won basic human rights. 

We are calling on everyone to peacefully march with us on June 11th from Hollywood and Highland to West Hollywood. Instead of a Pride Parade meant to celebrate our past progress, we are going to march to ensure all our futures. Just as we did in 1970's first LGBTQ+ Pride, we are going to march in unity with those who believe that America's strength is its diversity. Not just LGBTQ+ people but all Americans and dreamers will be wrapped in the Rainbow Flag and our unique, diverse, intersectional voices will come together in one harmonized proclamation.  

​We #RESIST forces that would divide us.
We #RESIST those who would take our liberty.
We #RESIST transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and racism.
Together we #RESIST

Also upcoming, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Orange County and more! Here are the Pride Events at GayDesertGuide.com.

The Kinsey Sicks Return to The Purple Room with "Things You Shouldn't Say

The girls return to Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, the desert’s premier supper club, for 2 nights of "Things You Shouldn't Say".  If you love Donald Trump, you’ll hate this show!

This is the remarkable true story of four friends from San Francisco who had a life-changing epiphany at a Bette Midler concert that led to them to form The Kinsey Sicks in an effort to find joy during the darkest days of the AIDS crisis. Now that the era of Trumpism is upon us, they’re sharing their hilarious, inspiring and at times heartbreaking tale, and showing that hatred and deceit can be fought with humor and heart. 

So come join the America’s Favorite Dragapella® Beautyshop Quartet as they lead us all in resisting these new dark times with laughter, integrity, and heroically high hair in an unforgettable new musical exploring Trumpism, racism, AIDS, extreme macramé, oblong vegetables and, of course, Bette Midler.

Doors open 6pm for dinner. Showtime is 8pm. Tucked away in the Club Trinidad Hotel, The Purple Room is where Frank, Sammy, Dean, and their pals cavorted on and off the stage in the swinging 60s!  Get Sicks!

Tix on Sale for Van Morrison's Only So Cal Concert Date

​Van Morrison is coming to The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa on October 13, 2017. This will be Morrison’s only stop in Southern California and will mark his inaugural performance in the Coachella Valley.

Hot off receiving the 2017 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, which is set to take place at the Americana Music Festival on September 13, Morrison, known for a catalog that has set the better part of the last half-century to music, is sure to bring some of his most memorable songs with him, including the anthem of generations past and future, “Gloria,” when he steps foot in Rancho Mirage for the very first time to perform at The Show.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience Van Morrison live at Southern California’s premier concert theater, The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, on October 13 at 8 p.m.  Get Tix!

Top Five Bookmarks of the Week

  1. Free Counseling For Seniors At Palm Springs LGBT Center
  2. Gay Movies Desperately Seeking Funding – How Tough Is It To Get A Gay-Themed Indie Film Made? – Big Gay Picture Show
  3. La Quinta HS Grad Was Proposed to on Disneyland’s Splash Mountain
  4. Celebrate First Wednesdays: Hiding on the Backstreets, You'll Find Great Art
  5. Recalling Amazing Female Performers Overlooked In Season Of Festivals

Happy Hour Finder

The RetroRoom Lounge at 125 E.Tahquitz Canyon Way is a throwback to the mid-century when life was taking a turn from what was opulent and ornate to what was simple and cool. It was originally established by a stage and screen actor, Gregg Robblee, who passed away in 2014. And Happy Hour specials are mixed just as he’d like them. Happy Hour happens every day until 7 PM and from 9 PM to midnight.
Speaking of throwbacks, Arenas Road's newest LGBT bar is named after the place where we used to keep our best, sometimes secret, contacts. The Blackbook. Located at 315 E. Arenas Road, Blackbook serves drinks; finger food such as Superfood fries with bacon, ranch and guacamole; and Blackbook Burgers that require two hands. Blackbook is so new that we don’t have their Happy Hour times and specialties yet. For now, mention Gay Desert Guide and you’ll get the full Happy Hour treatment.

Hot Deals

Lulu California Bistro provides a high-end dining experience in an upbeat atmosphere. You’ll be captivated by the white booths with exaggerated high backs next to the pop art that decorates the walls. The platings are equally special, 40%-off, $50 worth of Chilaquiles with Chicken or Beef, Escargot or Fresh Wild Salmon goes for $30. 
Locals and visitors alike are crazy about Pinocchio in the Desert, 134 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs, and its Sunday Brunch menu. The infamous bottomless glass of bubbly is as enticing as the 40% discount, which means a $25 meal goes for $15. Come see what all the fuss is about.

Find All Hot Deals Here

So Many Reasons to Proclaim: #ILoveGayPalmSprings

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