Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gay Author Seth E. Santoro Uses Traumatic Experiences To Help Readers Heal With New Book

(Los Angeles, March 1, 2013)
The first book in a riveting new self-help trilogy, “How I Learned To Smile From The Inside,” by first-time author, Seth E. Santoro, presents a clear, concise, and easy to read five-step approach to healing from trauma. It’s a how-to-survive trauma manual written to help people find their smile again.

In the book, Santoro takes us through quite a journey into five intimate and harrowing stories. The first is his diagnosis of superficial spreading malignant melanoma. The second is his very scary two-year monogamous (or so he thought) relationship where someone is diagnosed as HIV+. The third account is an almost kidnap (hostage-type situation) in Mexico, where Seth was held at gunpoint, six semi-automatic weapons to be exact, for nearly an hour by the Zetas Cartel. The fourth story is Seth’s first-hand account for the nasty and gnarly events of September 11th in New York City and the last is the unfortunate deaths of five of his dear friends in just under two years.

Shock, Mock-cceptance, In Overwhelmdom, Learning, and Embrace are the five phases in this extraordinary technique intended for healing. Santoro identifies these and guides the reader toward a better understanding of our not-so-unique “healing” process.

Santoro expands on these powerful concepts to show how more awareness is not only essential to overcoming trauma, but also the key to living a more balanced, more centered, and fuller life, referred to as the Smile From The Inside lifestyle choice.

Within each chapter, Santoro shares one personal traumatic experience after another, gently and brilliantly interwoven, in order to enhance and further carry the concept home. In other words, as the individual phases develop, progress, and subside, so too do Seth’s titillating stories.

An author, coach, blogger, public speaker, aspiring TV host, and producer, Seth’s vision is to Inspire the World, One by One, to Smile From The Inside. The basis of which is know who you are and BE who you are - no matter what the circumstance or what your past – and you can heal from anything. A graduate of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and a registered Coach with the International Coaching Federation, Seth is just a regular New England/NYC bred gay boy with a hell of a lot to say, an incredible amount of passion, and endless enthusiasm.

By the time he was thirty-two years old, Santoro had already cheated death three times, narrowly escaped two kidnappings, and lost five good friends within a very brief period of time. Being ill-prepared for these events, he searched everywhere to find a resource that would help him, to no avail. So, instead, he developed the S.M.I.L.E. method for healing and wrote the first book in a trilogy series, “How I Learned To Smile From The Inside,” a book on healing and overcoming trauma. He thought if these concepts could work for him, then they might just work for someone else.

His second book, “How I Continued To Smile From The Inside…Even In Mexico,” (June 2013), chronicles his crazy and unforgettable experiences in Mexico, with murders, kidnaps, lesbians, lawyers, Cartels, and much more. The third book, entitled, “How You Can Learn To Smile From The Inside,” (January 2014), outlines his G.R.A.C.E. method to heal from deep-seeded childhood and adolescent traumas. Santoro carries within him a unique charisma and never been seen before force with which to be reckoned. For now, he will just have to deal with being known as the “Smile From The Inside” guy.

Paperback: 236 pages Click HERE to purchase the book on Amazon. The book will soon be available on Amazon Kindle and iBooks.

“Like” his FaceBook Page for Smile From The Inside.
Follow his Smile From The Inside Twitter Page.
Follow his Pinterest for Smile From The Inside, specifically, "The Book".
Or Join his Smile From The Inside Group on Linked-In.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring is in full force at Saugatuck’s Dunes Resort

The first weekend of April is Easter, and the folks at Dunes Resort are getting the weekend started with the “Biggest Bonnet & Basket Party” featuring Dunes’ resident DJ Mark Vallese. Now whether you have a big bonnet, or you’re more gifted in the basket area, you’ll have to show up to see if you are the biggest of them all!

Since no Easter would be complete without an Egg hunt, be there on Sunday for the Easter Egg Hunt (starting at 3 pm) and stay for Sunday’s traditional Bingo (starting at 4 pm).

On Friday the 13th, the bears descend on Saugatuck for the Spring Bear Weekend. Friday starts with a Bear-e-oke (don’t make me spell it out for you) and Mr. Bear DJ himself, Mark Vallese will spin some retro disco. Saturday will have Mark spinning at the main bar, and Goldie Locks & the 3 bears performing in the Cabaret. Bear Bingo closes the weekend on Sunday from 4 to 7 pm. Bears from the Great Lakes, Chicago & Detroit will be on hand, so don’t miss out!

April 20th’s weekend is Spring TG Weekend, complete with a TG Prom on Saturday, and as always, closing with Bingolicious on Sunday from 4 to 7 pm.

April closes with a bang with the 31st Annual Black & White Anniversary. The Masquerade ball on Saturday is not to be missed! Amy & Freddy of RSVP / Atlantis Cruise fame will also be there, so make sure you catch them for a song of two. Close your weekend with Bingolicious on Sunday from 4 to 7 pm and enjoy the ‘summer’s” first Tea Dance outside on the deck (till 9pm).

If you want to come back for another awesome weekend, May 18th has the Save a Horse/Ride a Cowboy Weekend, and one of gay Saugatuck’s biggest weekend: Memorial Day Weekend (start on May 25th) featuring DJ Randy Bettis who will be giving away 2 FREE passes to the 2012 Riptide @ Disney Lagoon Event on June 1st & 2 FREE Weekend passes to the pool parties at the GayDays Host Hotel. NYC DJ John LaPage spins the big tea of the weekend on Sunday May 27.

Call (269) 857-1401 or click here to make a reservation request and for more info, visit

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fresh Powder arrives on time for Lake Tahoe’s 17th annual Gay and Lesbian Ski Week

Lake Tahoe WinterFest Gay and Lesbian Ski Week® begins on Sunday, March 4 and runs through Sunday, March 11, 2012.
Join the friendliest skiers and boarders from the US and around the globe, with World Class Skiing and nightly entertainment. Skiers and non-skiers have so many options at Lake Tahoe for an exciting week on the mountains or a fun filled weekend by the fireplace.
Nevada Gay and Lesbian Visitors & Convention Bureau has planned exclusive parties and events for the community, including a PRIVATE Dinner/Dance Cruise Party on Lake Tahoe on Friday, March 9th. This very popular Cruise aboard the Tahoe Queen is truly the “gayest night on the lake” with the entire boat booked for WinterFest. Enjoy complimentary wine as you step aboard the Tahoe Queen for the sunset sail and then sit down to a full dinner and the night continues with the DJ dance party on the upper level. Tickets are on sale now at
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe will be hosting a Chocolate Martini Party for WinterFest Guests and VIPs on Thursday, March 8th and there are plenty of Barefoot Wine Receptions during the week to help make individual travelers feel welcome.

Julie Goldman (LOGO TV) will headline the WinterFest Comedy Night on Saturday, March 10th at Tep’s Villa Roma.
WinterFest VIP Party Packages are available for full week, midweek or weekend arrivals and guarantee admittance to all events. You may customize your trip based on your schedule and individual Party and discounted Heavenly Lift tickets are also available. With so many winter activities to choose from and daily receptions, everyone experiences a true winter vacation. WinterFest provides great attention to detail so you can relax and enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe.
Lakeland Village is the ideal Lake Tahoe beachfront host resort. Perfect for the single traveler to Lake Tahoe WinterFest or small group of friends and family, Lakeland Village offers every size from a deluxe studio with kitchen, fireplace and balcony to a Lakefront 5 Bedroom luxury condo. Book your accommodations using the WinterFest discount rate code 47A7RA by calling 1-800-822-5969.
Enjoy the year round heated pool, Jacuzzi, on-site gym, massage and meet your ski buddies each morning for a prepared deluxe continental breakfast in the lodge before hitting the slopes. All week long, shuttle buses are provided complimentary to Lake Tahoe WinterFest Guests, to all lifts and nightly WinterFest parties.
Hot casino action teamed with the beauty of Lake Tahoe's scenic South Shore will make Lake Tahoe WinterFest the hottest Winter Party.
For tickets and information:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lake Tahoe WinterFest Gay and Lesbian Ski Week

March 4-11, 2012

Did you already ski this season and need a follow up or did winter just sneak up on you and you're afraid you'll miss the boat, or in this case the chair lift and the boat? (I'll explain in a minute) Well it's not too late there's still time to join the friendliest skiers from the U.S. and around the globe on Lake Tahoe’s scenic south shore for Lake Tahoe WinterFest.

Men on boards & skis

Now in its 17th year, Lake Tahoe WinterFest is best known as the friendliest Gay and Lesbian Ski Week where you can bring your friends or make new ones. 

The big draw this year is the Private WinterFest Cruise Night where they charter the entire Tahoe Queen for a full sit down dinner and DJ Dance Party on Friday, March 9. (I told you I would explain the boat reference!)

Men on board the Tahoe Queen

The other event you shouldn't miss is the WinterFest Comedy Night with Julie Goldman (LOGO TV) on Saturday, March 10. Of course, there will also be plenty of fun of at the Hawaiian Luau (Wednesday, March 7) and the Chocolate Martini Party at Harrah's on Thursday, March 8. You can get the full schedule here: Full itinerary

Chocolate Martinis

The best part, people can join the fun all week or enjoy a great weekend of parties and world class skiing!

Skiers and non skiers alike always revel at the beauty of Lake Tahoe, but if you are a skier, then World Class skiing and nightly entertainment is sure to make this your favorite Winter Party.

Call our Host Resort for reservations 800-822-5969
Ask for Lake Tahoe WinterFest Special Rates
or book online with discount GROUP CODE
Also check out who else is heading out with our Facebook Group

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Must See: The Interlopers, a play by Gary Lennon [Los Angeles]

I went to see this The Interlopers for two reasons:
Reason 1. Jim Fall, the director who won my heart with 1999’s Fine Line highest- grossing film Trick, with Tori Spelling, Christian Campbell & J.P Pitoc, and
Reason 2. Darryl Stephens, who won my heart in as the title role in Noah’s Arc. But you, dear reader, have many more reasons to see this play. Let me break them down for you: Reason 3. The subject matter: In a waiting room, two pre-operative transgenders meet. While Michelle, who is still referred to as Michael by her Dad, states very clearly to Lou, whose own father still call her Louisa that post-op she will be into women, Lou puts on the charm and a friendship blossoms.

The Interlopers is a Romeo and Juliet story set in the transgender world of Los Angeles. Through the theme of identity, the play explores a group of unique misfits who call themselves family, and who are brave enough to challenge the obstacle course called life. Examining these singular and special people, the play follows them on their journeys to being their whole and authentic selves.

While at first one would think it would be hard to relate to a transgender person, Gary Lennon, the writer speaks in absolute truths, with universal messages that apply to most of us. The gay boy at school, the fat/tall/skinny kid inside us, but most importantly it explores the one issue of unconditional love from a parent. How would you react if your son was telling you he was in fact your daughter? Would you get stuck in your own prejudice or would you transcend it and accept her? What if you were part of the Latino or Black culture, and all your life gendered roles were taught to you with the strictest of rules?

    L to R:  Darryl Stephens, Trevor Peterson.

The play manages to stay honest at every corner. It escapes the trap of being preachy (an easy and forgivable trap to fall into when dealing with such a subject matter) and it’s entertaining as hell. You will laugh. Which brings me to Victoria, an over the top pre-op played by Darryl Stephens. Victoria drinks a bit too much, speaks her mind and has yet to meet a boy she doesn’t want to sleep with: She’s a pre-op version of half your friends (you know who they are!) Victoria has the best lines and a tremendous stage presence. In the performance I saw, Ralph Cole, Jr. (Stephens’ understudy) played the part, and did Stephens proud. It’s hard to play and over-the-top personality, while being real and Cole (as well as Stephens I am sure) managed to walk that line perfectly. This brings me to reason 4: The actors. (All of them)

Reason 5: Diarra Kilpatrick. I had not read the Playbill prior to the play so when Lou came on stage, as a guy, it took me a minute to realize Lou was played by a girl. Kilpatrick is nothing short of astonishing in this role, she brings so many dimensions to her character that I couldn’t list them all here. But one thing is for sure, she is uber talented. Doing my homework later on, I was only half surprised to discover that in addition to theatre, Diarra is a series regular on an MTV improv series, that she won a NAACP award for Best Playwright for her one woman show and that she has a popular online column called The Adventures of Blacktress. There is little more thrilling than discovering someone that resonates with you on many levels. I was fortunate to meet Kilpatrick after the show and her spirit and presence is so strong, it’s only a matter of time until she’s a household name.

While Kilpatrick was my own aha moment, the rest of the cast was brilliant too. Trevor Peterson, who plays the lead opposite Kilpatrick, had an authenticity that reminded me of my own transgendered acquaintances. He made the audience fall in love with Michelle thanks to the characters’ good heart and fragile softness.
R.D. Call, who plays Ed, Michelle’s dad will has the hard task of making you look at things the way (sadly) most parents would. While at first it would seem easy to vilify him, his words rang true with love and concern and he plays the part with a force to reckon with.

   L to R: Diarra Kilpatrick, Paul Elia 

The rest of the cast, Tara Karsian, Clifford Morts, Leandro Cano and the breath of fresh air that is Paul Elia make this play a welcome addition to our repertoire of great plays to talk about. The direction by Jim Fall was flawless, taking us on a ride smoothly and expertly. So grab a friend and go see the play, I have a strong suspicion (after a glowing review by the L.A. times) that this is not the last we will see of this play. Then find me on Facebook so you can thank me.

The Interlopers is playing at the Bootleg Theater (2220 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90057) through July 17, 2011 (now extended to July 24)
Get your tickets here (up to 50% off)

Words: Fabrice Tasendo
Photos: Ashley West Leonard

Monday, June 27, 2011

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler: Good Times in New Orleans

Gay-mardi-grasAs posted on 05.17.11

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler
That’s New Orleans’ French for "Let the Good Times Roll."
It had been 10 years since I visited the city branded by a Fleur de Lis. During that time a lot of things have changed, but the things I love have remained. Let me run you down what I loved best.

NewOrleansLA-Harrahs New OrleansStay:
Harrah’s New Orleans
8 Canal Street
I wasn’t ready for how grand Harrah’s was. It probably does help when you get picked up from the airport in a limousine, so ask for VIP airport pickup. The check-in was a whole other level of service. Within minutes I had been greeted by Leslie, Sean, Nick and few other managers and had engaging conversations. When I departed, Leslie made sure to give me a hug: Now that is excellent service.
The room also exceeded my expectations. The bathroom was so glamorous that I had an impromptu photo shoot, to the great dismay of my Facebook friends who wanted to know what was the story behind it—sorry kids, no story! Depending on the day of the week, you’re looking at anywhere between $199 to $399. My recommendation is to check the Rate Calendar and the “check for promotions” page; for example, there is 35%-off special running now. But not before you check their LGBT page.
Harrah's HallwayWhich brings me to something else I really liked about Harrah’s: The LGBT friendly vibe was genuine, not forced. You could tell by conversations with the staff that sexual identity was not anyone’s concern. Best of all their current campaign called “Come Out and Play,” which I had seen in the last issue of The Advocate and assumed was aimed at the gay market (in my defense there was 4 guys on the image with the slogan), is actually their national campaign. The “come out” is like a wink to us. What sealed the deal was when I realized that the HRC ‘Best Places to Work’ logo was on all their ads, not just the ones in The Advocate. Now that’s inclusion for you.
The Garden District
Walk by Anne Rice’s house and other legendary pads. Check out this walking tour info before you go, so you know what you’re looking at.
Besh Steak
8 Canal Street at Harrah’s casino
This was probably the best meal I’ve had this decade. Although it’s know for its meat, as my friends can testify, I ended up with a Surf & Turf that raised my appreciation for lobster to a new level. Service was excellent, too.
Stay & Eat:
Hotel Monteleone 
214 Royal Street
This is where legendary writers stay / have stayed. You can almost feel the creative juices flowing through the hotel. If you are there on the weekend, their Sunday brunch is a must.
The Gay Easter Parade
See for yourself why it's a must-hit event.
Arnaud’s Remoulade
309 Bourbon Street
Jambalaya, etoufĂ©, gumbo, fresh oysters, boudin, softshell crab… all the dishes New Orleans is known for in a casual, friendly surrounding.
Masquerade @ Harrah’s is doing a gay night every other Wednesday. Here are the 3 other places you must drop by.
800 Bourbon Street
The Bourbon Pub & Parade 
801 Bourbon Street
Good Friends Bar 
740 Dauphine Street
For a list of all other gay bars, gay restaurants, and gay-friendly places to get in trouble at, check out New Orleans Online.