The 2018 Vanguard Awards Sparkled And Shined!

The 2018 Vanguard Awards Sparkled And Shined!

But, What Was The Missing Puzzle Piece Of The Event?

Oh my God, so I was absolutely blessed by my employers at Instinct Magazine to check out the latest LGBTQ gala in Los Angeles, the Vanguard Awards, which donates to the almighty Los Angeles LGBTQ Center. It was completely bizarre to get that up close with the A-List of LGBTQ+ celebrities and allies. I’m totally itching to tell you all about my experience…and what I believe is truly missing from the event. Let’s dive in!



Hoes be winnin’

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Okay, so I first enter the fabulous Beverly Hilton Hotel and am completely feeling like a princess. Make up is on, I’m in a suit for the first time, and nothing seems like it can go wrong. (Yep, that’s me in the photograph above! Thanks H&M for having affordable suits on deck!) I had the fantastic opportunity to interview the celebrity guests as they entered the banquet hall. Was I nervous? Absolutely not! I don’t necessarily aspire to be an on-camera interviewer, so I was pumped to go in there and take a quick thirty second Instagram story with a goofy question. Trust me, not being nervous was a thrill; because the rest of the people in line next to me were fidgeting and sweating because they considered this moment a make-or-break for their blossoming careers. Rather than asking some hard hitting questions, I felt a goofy question such as: Who is getting the drunkest here tonight? Or – Did you bring any weed? We’re acceptable and garnered a reaction from anyone I spoke too.

Stars and some question marks downed the red (nee: black) carpet of the Vanguard Awards. First was the ever-so-lovely Transgender Icon, Cassandra Cass, (stay tuned for our eventual Instinct Exclusive with Cass) followed by a handful of move makers for the LGBTQ community who definitely don’t acquire enough attention in the public eye; although they may want to remain hidden.

It was an absolute delight to see Flava Flav’s former love, Brigitte Nielsen, who just had a friggin’ baby at 54-years-old! She looked fantastic and spoke to everyone on the red carpet. Seriously, as a huge Flavor of Love fan, I was GAGGED! The Los Angeles Lakers’ (that’s Basketball, folks) Jason Collins promoted the first ever LGBTQ Night hosted by the Lakers which will commence on October 4thLove, Simon’s Nick Robinson was probably the most attractive man to walk pass me. Comedian Sarah Jones made sure everyone knows where to purchase tickets to her one-woman show while giving us a laugh. Laith Ashley may be the sexiest man I’ve ever seen before. The evening’s hosts: Kelly Ripa + her husband, Mark Consuelos, are like; the hottest couple in the entire world and genuinely had everyone in the building laughing throughout the night!

The trio everyone could barely keep their eyes off of was America’s Homecoming Queen, YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous, along with her partner, Nats Getty and Getty’s Fashion Designer brother, August Getty, who definitely had the greatest reaction to my bizarre red carpet questions. You can check out our interaction below:

The Gettys were there as their mother, Ariadne Getty, was presented an award for her generosity to the LGBTQ community. You could tell the matriarch was terrified to be on a public stage, but she received the greatest applause from the crowd and had everyone on their feet. Of course, Ricky Martin was stunning and jaw-droppingly beautiful, but there was more in the room to be devoured than his hips.

Through my experience attending the gala, I couldn’t help but wonder why. We were honoring the gracious celebrities and athletes who had donated and promoted the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center – all of whom gave moving speeches. BUT, I kept anticipating that story. You know, the one where someone who has actually been tested at the LGBTQ Center – or to have been saved, was going to be presented an award on stage.

I have been regularly getting tested at free STD clinics since I was 15-years-old, beginning at the Broadway Youth Center (now Center on Halsted) in Chicago, Illinois. I’ve been sitting in the waiting area nervous, received treatment after a poor judgement call, I’ve witnessed a young, transgender girl seemingly bulldoze the waiting area after receiving traumatizing news, and so much more. These are the stories I was waiting to hear, not a coming out story for someone who one could say has had an easy life.

I’ve received help from the counselors at LGBTQ Centers while I was in high school, college, and the like. There are so many others who have. The LGBTQ Centers go beyond simply testing and I implore the Vanguard Awards to have the exact people the Center helps to be presented and applauded. I couldn’t help realizing while we were discussing those who are aided by the Center are on the street, or in a poor living arrangement, or are even going out with their friends with a negative bank account at that moment. I’m aware without any donations and public attention, there wouldn’t be any LGBTQ Centers to speak of, but in the future: May we please shine light on to those who have legit used their services? Show the people who they are fighting for!

Check out some photographs from the event below! Don’t forget to check out Instinct Magazine’s Instagram to see some more highlights from the red carpet!

Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of only one Instinct Magazine Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself nor fellow Contributors.

Ricky Martin Responds to Gus Kenworthy's 'Missed Connections' Ad

Does Ricky Martin feel the same way about Gus Kenworthy in response to the Olympic skier's 'Missed Connection' ad that he posted on his Instagram earlier this week?

For those who are unaware, Gus evidently ran into Ricky and his super hot husband Jwan Yosef at the 2018 Oscars, and offered them a "meetup" of sorts with his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas.  It was left open to interpretation, but, um... you know where your mind is going.

Ricky appeared CBS' The Talk today, where he was grilled by the fellow ladies over if this was something he would be interested in.  And good news Gus, today is your lucky day, because Ricky is DOWN!

He gave Gus a ton of compliments, calling him "cute" and a "national treasure" and that he and Jwan were very "flattered".  He finished up his statement by saying, "We will definitely connect."

Ricky, please let us know when you do.  Thanks in advance. 



RSVP! Gus Kenworthy Posts Ad Wanting To "Connect" With Ricky Martin & His Husband

Gus Kenworthy posted something that many of us would like to attend if it ever actually happened.

The Olympic heartthrob pleaded his case for a future rendezvous to Ricky Martin and his smoking hot husband, Jwan Yosef, about 'connecting' again since their first four-way meeting which included Gus' equally sexy boyfriend Matthew Wilkas, was cut short.

The post was done Craigslist "Missed Connection" style with "Living La Vida Lonely - m4m (LA, California)" as the title.  

"Us: We were wearing black Ralph Lauren tuxedos, mine had little cowboys on it," Gus captioned. "You: You were also both wearing tuxedos because... well, because it was the Oscar's and everybody does."

"You and your husband stood out though. Partly because you're both gorgeous but also because you're literally @ricky_martin & @jwanyosef. The four of us chatted and laughed but then, sadly, got separated in the chaos of the Oscar's. My bf and I searched for you both for the rest of the night but never found you again. In town for a week. Let's connect."



#AllBlack #TimeisUP #GoldenGlobes

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With the style that it was written, Kenworthy's followers jumped to what happens when a "Craigslist Missed Connection" gets answered.

Gus found some colorful support for his idea of a future rendezvous with the "Livin da Vida Loca couple" from several of his followers, who posted "#orgyparty" and "Here I am, can’t even find a someone to talk to, and Gus is out here hooking up w guys on Craigslist rip my sad life."  Awe.

Ricky and Jwan, it's your turn.  Will you answer Gus's missed connection and see where it goes?  Will it be dinner and drinks for these two gay power couples or will it be where many of your minds went and turn into Netflix and chill, chill, chill? This could also be a live broadcast of sorts if they wanted (we want!), but we're not sure if NBC would cover it.  Ricky, fire up that Instagram. We eagerly await your response to Gus.  Story developing... :)


Should We Be Supporting Open Relationships?

Should We Be Supporting Open Relationships?

Ricky Martin Speaks On Monogamy

OH! Alright, well everyone has been raving about American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, due to all of the buzz surrounding Darren Criss’ bulging body parts, a homosexual serial killer and subsequent…love?...story, and an array of studs that make up the entire cast. All of the ingredients make for a fantastic series that has been groundbreaking – thanks Ryan Murphy! As you may know, Crime Story deals with Gianni Versace’s love life, including the relationship with mega-hunk Ricky Martin’s character, real life partner of the Fashion Icon, Antonio D’Amico. The actual couple shared a love for 15 years, which gives a lead to the two being in an open relationship. Martin recently spoke in favor of open relationships, inspired by his character counterpart.

According to Vulture, Martin tells:

“I want to normalize relationships like this. It’s good for the world; it’s good for me as a gay man with kids. It’s important that we shed some light on power couples like [Gianni Versace and Antonio D’Amico], even though [D’Amico] was quiet and behind the scenes and he was just there supporting his man for 15 years. I also believe there was a level of homophobia going around in his family where he was hiding, even though he says, ‘My relationship was very open and free with Gianni’…"

The level of commitment after 15 years. The level of security between them and trust between them is so solid. We want to normalize another kind of reality for open relationships. And that’s what we’re doing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong. We’re just two very self-secure men that are completely in love with each other, that trust each other to the maximum level, and here we are.”

This brings up the conversation: Are open relationships healthier for gay men? Yes, many of us have a wandering eye – myself included – so, you know, a real relationship may be a bit of a stretch. I mean, come on, in the modern age of social media – all you have to do to be hypnotized by a nude, sculpted body is literally under your thumb. Is it almost impossible to be monogamous anymore? For every sexy guy you see, there are even more in a bar, and an endless amount on the internet for your liking. Dating apps and hook up websites have even made it so easy that you are able to search for your ideal partner by selecting your preferences. Why search for the one when you can have whatever flavor you prefer right now?

Should we be glorifying open relationships? Especially when children are involved? Once we decide to put on wedding rings and exchange vows – is it time to give up our partying ways and sexcapades?  

Or, should we be even judging how someone else runs their family? Do open relationships work for all?

This is the opinion of one of Instinct Magazine's contributing writers. It does not represent the opinion of the magazine.