I hope we can offer something that makes people happy and proud.
It's no 'mirage' that Sarasota has been in desperate need of more gay bars! The region has gone through many waves of highs and lows when it comes to LGBTQ nightlife. Over the last 6 years I've seen gay nights come and go and I've heard the many stories of how thriving the gay community has been in the past! Last week Sarasota was shocked when it was announced that the owners of Barrel 87 were selling the business! We were not disappointed for long because in the same announcement Hunter Vance let the world know that he was opening a new bar, solo!
We sat down with Hunter, one of the hardest working men in our community. While we enjoyed cocktails and asked him questions Hunter was managing the bar, helping his staff, having flyers designed for upcoming events, and scheduling travel for upcoming appearances! Here's what Hunter had to say:
SarasotaOUT.com: "So tell us what happened to Barrel 87?"
Hunter Vance: "As I mentioned on my announcement on Facebook, we (the owners of Barrel 87) decided to sell the business. It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make, but I respect why they wanted to take a break. "It’s damn exhausting and if you are not careful it can drain you and rob you of the enjoyment of owning a business." You always want to end on a high note and I feel we did. We gave the community a great space to be out and proud and I wanted to continue that tradition and so I decided to open OASIS. Call me crazy, but I owe so much to my community for being their for me when no one else was.
SarasotaOUT.com: What inspired the name Oasis?
Hunter Vance: When you picture an oasis, you think of a fertile place in a desert, where water is found. We all need that place where we can go and find relief from the hustle and bustle of life. It’s not just a watering hole, it's a place to relax, to dance, to just have fun.
SarasotaOUT.com: What are you most excited about with your new venture?
Hunter Vance: One of the first things that comes to mind is having a larger space. This will allow us to think of new and different events, we are already planning some surprises. Likewise we are looking forward to expanding our support to the community. Whether it be for area Pride celebrations, AIDS service organizations or LGBTQ arts and cultural festivals, we want to be a part as best we can. We recognize that we are not a multi-leveled megaclub, with 24K gold pouring from our drafts, but we are committed to be a part of OUR community.
SarasotaOUT.com: What will make oasis stand out in our LGBTQ community?
Hunter Vance: Well for starters, I learned A LOT from working at the Barrel, so we are working on creating a space that everyone can enjoy. We are working on some new parties and events that I know people are going to enjoy. I am so appreciative of all of the emails, texts and comments from people sharing their ideas and though we can’t do all of them, they help us in making OASIS the best LGBTQ+ venue in Sarasota. We are also working with some individuals who have a vast amount of experience and talent working with nightclubs around the country but more importantly they are leaders in the fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights. It’s always good to have a set of eyes that sees things from a different perspective.
SarasotaOUT.com What advice would you have to our LGBTQ community in Sarasota?
Hunter Vance: That’s a tough one, I am not sure if I should be serving advice to our community. But I would share the advice I have to tell myself. Be true to who you are, be authentic. Remember that the enemies of our community are still out there, so it makes no sense in attacking each other. But also come to terms that the haters will hate and there is nothing I can do about it. Recognize that I will make mistakes and say the wrong thing but that I can learn and grow from it. Lastly I have to remember that the world is ever growing and changing, and there are many who may not look like me or talk like me but are just like me. That’s why the rainbow is in the center of the OASIS logo, we are all a different color and that is what makes us strong.
SarasotaOUT.com: How do you balance owning a bar and having a successful career?
Hunter Vance: The bar is the center of my career, though I am still making club appearances around the country and doing video shoots. Understanding my limits and sleeping whenever I can LOL. I am blessed and want to keep this going for a long time.
SarasotaOUT.com: Anything else you want to tell us about Oasis or your career?
Hunter Vance: Very simply, I hope you all are a part of it. I am filled with gratitude by the support and feel surrounded by love. There is a part of me that is scared out of my mind. Running a nightclub or bar is not an easy task, but I hope we can offer something that makes people happy and proud.
Thank you Hunter Vance for taking the time to talk with us! We here at SarasotaOUT.com wish you the best and hope that Oasis is very successful!
6525 Gateway Ave,
Sarasota, FL 34231
Despite the many advancements made by progressive colleges and universities in the last decade, trans students continue to experience higher-than-usual rates of discrimination and inequitable experiences. In fact, more than 40 percent of trans students reported feeling isolated from campus life during the previous academic year. This guide will help students find answers and resources for common issues experienced on campus while also empowering them to stand up for themselves and know their rights.
Trixie Liemont, show director at The Purple Rhino is at it again with a new night that pays homage to “BUMPERS” a popular gay night in the 90’s. “It was a place that everyone got along” Trixie explained. “There was no drama and thats what I’m trying to do with BUMP”
BUMP will offer its guests a large dance floor with a lighting system, early Drag shows, pool tables, VIP rooms and more located at Skybar Sarasota!
“I’m excited to be bringing Sarasota a KICK-ASS LGBT night and provide people with a fun and safe, friendly place with tons of stuff to keep them drinking and partying.”
Barrel 87’s new Sink or Swim night starts tonight as well. “Business is business” Trixie said. “I want everyone to get along and have a good time and people want something new, different and fresh and that's what I'm going to provide them! A nice, fun, friendly atmosphere where everyone gets along and there's no drama. I want people to come watch a great show and have fun and dance! That's what BUMP is all about - having fun!”
Catch Trixie’s new weekly night ‘BUMP’ - TONIGHT! Doors open at 8 PM and showtime is at 10 PM. 1927 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota.
You can also check out Barrel 87’s new Sink or Swim night debuting tonight in Gulf Gate. 6587 Gateway Ave, Sarasota
Where will you go tonight? Comment below!
For prospective college students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or queer (LGBTQ), it’s crucial to find a college with a supportive learning environment where they can thrive. SarasotaOUT.com has partnered with BestCollages.com to bring to you these two great resources for LGBTQ students and their families! Inside you will find:
On Friday, June 16th, 2017 www.SarasotaOUT.com will kick off its #SaferSRQ Promotion with a partnership with Community Aids Network (CAN) and Elevate - Friday Nights at Starlite. This involves CAN setting up a mobile testing unit in the parking lot of The Starlite Room, home to the popular Friday night hotspot Elevate! Joshua Beadle, the Proprietor of SarasotaOUT.com and Elevate stated - “It’s important that as members of Sarasota’s LGBTQ nightlife we promote healthy and safer sex, Especially since sexual desire is heightened while drinking - It's our responsibility”
The Starlite Room is excited to be partnering with #SaferSRQ and is providing prizes for those who get tested on these nights. “Knowledge is power and the more people that get tested the safer the community becomes. I’m hoping by giving away prizes it could be that little push that helps someone get tested” Tyler Yuknos, owner of the Starlite Room said.
Florida is now #1 in the nation for newly diagnosed cases of HIV and CAN is taking action to not only help those infected but to help those who are at substantial risk. David White, PrEP Navigator for CAN said: “We are pleased to announce the launch of our PrEP program (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) which is a way for people to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day.” This type of treatment, if taken correctly, can reduce transmission up to 96%.
“We hope that through our partnerships with CAN, and by bringing the mobile testing unit to Elevate we can kick off our #SaferSRQ campaign.” Joshua Beadle Stated. “ultimately the vision for #SaferSRQ is to grow to more venues and to increase awareness of CAN’s services”
Come to the Kickoff of #SaferSRQ on June 16th at Elevate - Friday Nights at Starlite (1001 Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236) 10 PM to 2 AM
This weekend marks one of our favorite bars in Sarasota celebrating 1 year under new ownership. Last year Barrel 87’s owner Brian Zickafoose sold his bar to Joseph Allen, Curtis Thomas, and Hunter Vance. The three have been working non-stop over the last year to give Barrel 87 a facelift. They have since updated the interior, added new lighting and sound and one of their biggest accomplishments - acquiring a full liquor license!
Today, Barrel is know as one of the most popular LGBTQ bars in Sarasota! Part owner and bartender, Hunter Vance, wrote on social media “It's because of you, the LGBT community, that we still have a place to meet, drink and feel safe” and we couldn’t agree more! Our community is strong and we hope that between sarasotaOUT.com and bars like Barrel 87 our community becomes even larger! So make sure you come out and unite this weekend to help make Barrel 87’s celebration bigger than ever! Visit our calendar for a list of events going on a Barrel 87 and throughout Sarasota!
By Joel Pozo
SarasotaOUT.com is proud to be presenting the POINT FOUNDATION a check for $5310 from our 2017 Valentine's Prom!
Point Foundation (Point) empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.
Point seeks to foster a greater level of acceptance, respect, and tolerance for all persons in society, and to build a community of socially active leaders. Point does this through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training, and is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit.
Point’s work is vital because nearly one-third of LGBTQ students drop out of high school to escape the violence, harassment, and isolation they face there. As a result, many LGBTQ students say they are not planning to pursue opportunities for higher education.
As I woke up this morning I will thrilled to have checked my email and received a message from a G2H2 patron about a charity he was spearheading for ALSO YOUTH. I quickly sat down in front of my computer and wanted to share the story with SarasotaOUT.com readers! Check out PROJECT ALSO.
Today, I spoke with Raf the charity liaison for the Interior Design Society of Sarasota. The Interior Design Society or IDS is a national organization for designers, trades, and retailers who's mission is to raise money for local charities and student scholarships. Each IDS chapter is responsible for reaching out into the community in a program called IDS Impact. Our Sarasota IDS chapter has been working the sidelines for the last year to help renovate ALSO Youth’s drop in center located in Sarasota. They are now rolling their efforts out to the public with a campaign called PROJECT ALSO.
ALSO Youth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides peer support services, educational programs, advocacy, and referrals for LGBTQIA youth who are 21 and under, their families and friends, and the community. ALSO Youth’s outreach includes LGBTQIA Inclusion trainings for organizations and businesses, “Ally 101” workshops for students/youth organizations, an ALSO Youth Ambassador program which provides a platform for youth to speak in the community as a panel or as individuals, Gay-Straight-Alliance/ Gender-Sexualities-Alliance (GSA) support to local schools, and more.
They are desperately in need of light construction to build private meeting rooms in their facilities so they can run multiple support groups and meetings simultaneously.
ALSO Youth is now in it’s 25th year and 12th year in its current location. They need the communities help. They are desperately in need of light construction to build private meeting rooms in their facilities so they can run multiple support groups and meetings simultaneously. Because of the nature of their meetings, particularly the weekly transgender meetings, more privacy is necessary to provide a functioning safe space for the youth to meet.
The IDS Sarasota chapter have set up a Go-Fund Me account and are trying to raise $8500. They have vendors, private donations and some materials donated already but are still thousands of dollars short. They are not only looking for monetary donations, they are also looking for Flooring, Furniture, Paint, Construction, Drywall, Wall Art, Rugs, Organization, Cleaning & Volunteers!
We at SaraostaOUT.com will help in any way we can and will cover the story as it progresses! If you would like to donate time or materials please reach out. email@example.com We are looking forward to see how PROJECT ALSO makes an impact on our community!
By: Joshua Beadle, Editor & Chief of SarasotaOUT.com
The 2016 Sarasota Film Festival featured some of the strongest LGBT films released. Thanks to a generous grant from Our Sarasota Fund, SFF was able to increase its LGBT programming and host events during the festival.
The good news is, SFF will be doing a lot more of the same in 2017.
The films below are sterling examples of how far LGBT cinema has come, with mainstream releases and mass appeal. They also are excellent! Here are the top films:
Winner of the Teddy Award at this year’s Berline Festival KIKI brings back to the forefront the fierce and fabulous world of vogue battles 25 years after PARIS IS BURNING took the world by storm. First-time director Sara Jordeno takes us on an enthralling journey behind the scenes and asks penetrating questions about the LGBTQ culture making KIKI an intriguing character study. The contrast between glamor and ecstasy of the voguing contests and the often challenging circumstances of their everyday life not only makes for good cinema, it makes for cogent social commentary. And once the beat stars and the dancers start voguing, just try to stay in your seat!
This film is still on a worldwide festival circuit. Keep your eyes peeled for a theatrical release.
They say the clothes make the man, right? But what if your body isn’t shaped like other men’s? What if you’re transgender? Don’t you deserve to have suits made that ift you, too? The man behind Bindle & Keep, Daniel Friedman provides just those suits for just that community. Originally, he had planned to aim his business model at high-flying Wall Street executives, but a transgender assistant convinced him that he could do well by doing good for an under-served community, and so he has. Produced by Lena Dunham (whose sibling is highlighted in the film), SUITED is a fascinating profile of the artisans tailored to service those who otherwise wouldn’t fit and a look into the hopes, dreams and fears of their clients.
Currently streaming on HBO Now.
#3. First Girl I Loved
Karem Sanga’s debut feature about a high school girl’s painful coming out is so authentic, so universal, that somehow you’ll feel it’s your story, too. It taps into the feeling we all have at some point in middle or high school of not fitting in, of confused identity-building, of feeling different and not even knowing how to articulate it. One of the most powerful elements is that there really are no bad guys in this film, just well-meaning people getting in their own way. And you read it here first — Dylan Gelula is going to be a big, big star. Winner of the Audience Award, NEXT section, Sundance Film Festival 2016.
Available for rent on Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video and Vudu
New Zealand journalist David Farrier specializes in exploring the bizarre stories of fringe internet communities. In TICKLED, Farrier finds online ads seeking contestants for a Tickling Endurance Competition. Upon further investigation, he’s met with fierce opposition, including blistering attacks on his own homosexuality. Intrigued and wondering just what is hiding beneath the initial story, Farrier goes further and further down an increasingly strange rabbit hole that leads to places he could never have expected. It’s hard to believe, but the Tickling Endurance Competition may be the least bizarre part of the whole film.
Available for rent on Amazon Video, Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube, iTunes and Vudu.
And the top LGBT film for 2016 …
#1. Other People
You can’t go home again, we all know, but most of us try at one point or another. Even so, David (Jesse Plemons) is having a more difficult time than most in the dramatic comedy OTHER PEOPLE. David is a gay sitcom comedy writer in New York who journeys back to his childhood home in Sacremento to spend time with his acerbic mother, Joanne (Molly Shannon) who’s dying of cancer. The sharp-tongued, no-holds-barred Joanne refuses to go gently, turning David’s visit into a kind of tortured limbo. While recovering from his recent breakup with a longtime boyfriend, David attempts to find an impasse with his emotionally remote father (Bradley Whitford) and reconnect with his sisters (Madison Beaty, Mauda Apatow) as he hangs out with an old pal (John Early). But things aren’t what they used to be, because he isn’t who he once was — and neither is everyone else. It’s a classic premise handled with audacity and wit by writer-director Chris Kelly, making his debut feature. The well-cast and deeply-felt ensemble includes Paul Dooley and June Squibb as David’s grandparents and is anchored by Plemons (TV’s FARGO and BREAKING BAD) and Shannon, in a turn far from the wacky characters she made her name with on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.
By John Secor
John Secor is a former New Yorker and is currently the producer of the Sarasota Film Festival.
Stand-up comic Stephen K. Davis brings his touching humor to the SaraSolo Festival Feb 4th, 9:30 p.m. at the Starlite Room.
Stephen, originally from a small, conservative town outside of Columbia, South Carolina, courageously came out at a young age. Yet, his classmates and neighbors weren’t accepting as his parents. The Davis family determined that someone poisoned Stephen’s dog; a hate crime that truly hurt the family. After the pet suffered paralysis from the neck down, the veterinarian suggested the best the dog be euthanized. The family reluctantly agreed.
When Stephen and his parents returned home from the veterinarian after putting the beloved pet down, bullies drove by as Stephen stood sadly in the driveway.
“They screamed ‘FAGGOT!’ and all kinds of other things,” Stephen recalled recently.
It was those kind of experiences that shaped his performance for the 2017 SaraSolo performance. Stephen has learned humor often comes from hurt. And it shapes who you are today.
Stephen will be making a special appearance at Elevate, Friday, Feb. 1., where he’ll give the crowd a sample of his one-man show, THE BIRTH OF HUMOR.
SaraSolo organizers describe his show as “a brave stand-up comedy act juxtaposed with a collection of real life events of a gay boy growing up in the Deep South who becomes an actor in New York. The truth of his life stories informs his humor and the laughter makes everything possible.”
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased HERE
By: John Secor