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Sipping the Galveston “T”

Photo by David Guerra

T-Time, hosted by Drew O’Hara and Andy Tamez, is making a splash in the Galveston gay waters, as both hosts tackle island rumors and do their best to set the record straight.

(GALVESTON) – About Magazine reporter and photographer David Guerra sat down last month to talk to Drew and Andy about how their popular Facebook Live show came to be, how its popularity has grown, and what they’d like to do to give back to Galveston’s LGBTQIA community. The two best friends opened up about these topics and so much more. They stated that even though their show seems gossipy, “that is not what they focus on.” In fact, when asked, their end goals include promoting local talent, entertainers, and trying to bridge gaps within the community.

Read more below.


About Magazine: What inspired the show?

Drew O’Hara: It came for me by having different groups of people that would hang out in different locations on the island. Then, to hear someone say something about someone else, and that information would relayed by someone else from a third party, and it would blow up to something bigger. When originally what was said was not offensive but got telephoned into something offensive. It was happening all the time, this miscommunication, this ‘he-said-she-said’ telephone game. It was putting us in the middle because we are friends with everyone.

[The show] is about hearing it from the horses mouth. If you have something to say, come say it here.

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Photo by David Guerra

Andy Tamez: It became a lot, and it was hard to hear everybody just going back and forth. It got to the point where it was holding people accountable for what [they’re] doing and saying. It was stressing us out, so we were like,  “You know what? We’ll just put this on [Facebook] Live. And that’s what started it. Then we had people that wanted to come on the show and talk about certain things. The whole premise of the show was to have a platform to come in and tell your own story, say your truth, and own up to your actions.

What are the topics you cover?

DO: We have different segments. We have people come on the show to talk about things that are going on around the area. We will interview someone like special sponsors that sponsor certain events that are happening in town. T-Time was predominantly […] somebody saying what’s on their mind, but that is not what we focus on. Now we have segments, if you watch the show. We do the ending of our show with [a segment called] “What Would You Do?”. It’s just a way to communicate with somebody while also getting the information out there in a way that people will pay attention to.

Who is your audience?

AT: It’s a pretty large demographic. It ranges anywhere from Galveston to Houston. And we are finding that even straight people are watching the show. As I went to Chick-Fil-A, some girl was there saying, “Hey! You’re the one doing that Facebook show!” 

DO:  She said, “Y’all are Drandy!” And we were like, “Yes … We have no idea who you are, but thank you.”

AT: We had no idea we had an audience the way we do.

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Photo by David Guerra

DO: It’s being called the local talk show. So it went from T-Time to just saying what is on your mind to helping community members get their thoughts out there to actually graduating to plugging any events. And now it’s just all three of them combined. We want to just help the community, and we are ripping off all of these Band-Aids. We have already seen a change. There are always new events going on, on the island, so there is always going to be something going on that we can stream out, and revitalize and actually get the concept out and see the changes of individuals. We get an average of fifty audience members that will watch live, but HUNDREDS that will watch after we air off.

Who do you interview and why?

DO: Local community leaders that we find beneficial to help get the information out. For example, Kiki Dion Van Wales. She is not only the show director here at 23rd [Street Station], but she is the owner of Pride Galveston. We interviewed her because we wanted to get the information out there to let people know this is where the donations are, this is how it’s working, this is what it’s going towards. Just using Kiki as an example. We want to give Galveston as much attention as possible, and help the community as well. Because if we can help, we’re going to.

How is the feedback when you air off?

DO: Depends on the timing. If we have a guest on the show that ripped someone apart, then we would have people that were very aggravated. So we had something for a while when things got a little shaky called Make-Up Mondays where the next day we have to go in and be like you know this is what’s going on, mend it, and assure our audience realizes we weren’t trying to be assholes. 

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Photo by David Guerra

What are you doing with your popularity?

AT: It’s very humbling and surprising. I didn’t think that it was going to be like this at all,

DO: I thought it was just going to be our friends watching, and then one we started hitting hundreds of views, we were like, “Oh, shit! People are actually watching.” Our popularity has grown by each show.

Cam: Country Music Star & LGBTQ Advocate

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/pride/7817502/cam-gay-pride-month-love-letter

The country music world is getting to know her better and better each day, and recently, so has the LGBTQ community. Her name is Cam and she’s here to help queer people and make good music.

(DALLAS) – While visiting the American Airlines Center last month in Dallas to catch Sam Smith’s The Thrill of It All tour, About Magazine got the chance to catch up with country music star Cam. The young country sensation opened up for Smith on his tour and recently penned an open letter to the LGBTQ community in which she told us all she would always have our backs. And while that might seem like a strange thing for a straight country star to do, Cam is more than just a straight country star, as we came to find out. She’s also an educated student of psychology who left the field to pursue her dream of being a musician. And thank God she did. Where would country music be without her contributions to it, as well as to artists outside the genre, including Smith himself.

Just having wrapped her time with Smith, Cam has just released her new single “Road to Happiness” ahead of her second album on which it is featured and a tour of the same name beginning in September. Having just switched record labels from Sony imprint Artista Nashville to the Sony-owned RCA Records, Cam is keeping herself busy and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. About Magazine Dallas contributor Mallorie Hall sat down to talk to Cam while in Dallas.


Mallorie: Can you tell me a little bit about the tour and what’s it’s been like to play these packed venues?

Cam: It’s amazing. It’s like a musical theatre guy who designed the stage, so it’s very — you’ll see it. It’s a very intimate but also a very dramatic, grand thing. It’s really cool to be on a stage like that and be so personal. You know? And everyone seems like they’re here. I said it on stage and I really did mean it — everyone. I think because [Sam Smith is] so comfortable with who he is. He’s so genuine, like how he seems on stage is who he is and I resonate with that; and I think everybody does.

What do you think is the most different for you — just being yourself and being on stage?

Oh, like from my personality? Honestly, I think it’s just a forever dig to try and make sure that I know myself. And the more I do it offstage, the more real I can be onstage. […] You know when something catches you off guard and they’re like, “Hey how’s it going? Tell me about yourself!” and if you haven’t really figured yourself out, you’re gonna kind of say not the coolest thing in that moment. But that’s how it feels. Like … my difference offstage is more like figuring things out. You know what I’m saying? Like … whatever I’ve got, whatever truth I have.

5ED7B80B-4A62-4B28-9646-58A6B0AFE67D Cam: Country Music Star & LGBTQ AdvocateSo, you actually began your career as a songwriter composing for other artists. So, what has it been like at this stage of your career to take the mic on stage, having radio hits, versus writing songs for others?

Yeah, well, I actually started job-ness with being a psychology researcher. So I like looked at emotions and cultures and stuff like that. And then when I was like twenty-four I decided that I didn’t love it enough to put up with the downs. Every job has goods and bads; and I realized that the things that came with that, I couldn’t be in love with it. I was like, what should I do? And my professor was like, well, when you’re 80-years-old, picture yourself looking back. What would you regret? Missing out on music or missing out on psychology? Music, duh.

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About Dallas contributor Mallorie Hall + Cam

Plus don’t you feel like you can incorporate some of those messages into music? Just the positive ones?

Yeah. Oh my god. I think it’s that same search for truth. You know … like … what’s going on? Who am I? And why do we all do this? So I think that’s what songwriting is too, [but] more personal. When I first started […] I didn’t know any musicians. So the stereotype was like, Oh you can’t do this. […] And then statistically, like how could I actually be an artist? Then when I started doing that and I had a few random things like a producer was supposed to be in one room with someone and then couldn’t show up, so I’d get in the room. And then with Sam, another producer was there, and they were working on something and I got in. So it’s never like I was a really successful songwriter either. When I first got to Nashville I was like, Okay, if I want to do songwriting people will get publishing dues — which is basically like them giving you money up front and then they take a percent of your business. And as you can imagine, in the music business, for newbies, it’s horrible. It’s god awful. Thank god I was from California, and it’s so expensive to live there that I could just laugh at it. You’re fucking kidding me? I better just invest in myself. And you’ll all see when I’m worth it.

What was your first surreal moment, was it like, “Hey, I’m in a booth with Miley Cyrus?”

Probably. I would say like the record deal — which is not by any means the end of the ride. It’s actually really far in the beginning. That always feels like a legitimate thing. You can turn around to your parents and say, “I have this.” You can sit there on Thanksgiving and be like, “You have to respect me!”

You recently penned a letter to the LGBTQ community in which you showed your support for our community and said that we could always count on you. So what inspired that?

cam-press-2015-billboard-650 Cam: Country Music Star & LGBTQ AdvocateI think it’s the human thing to do. I think it’s a normal bar. I don’t think it’s spectacular. Like … it’s really kind of interesting in the country music community. I think it’s a normal thing. I don’t understand that it’s so sweet. People say, “Aw, thank you for saying that.” And I’m not even doing anything. I’m not even doing anything for you. That’s just saying, “Yeah, I’m not an asshole.” And I could be an asshole still … like look how I act! You know? So, for me, I think also I came from the San Francisco Bay Area and I think that our culture is a little bit different. Very special culture. But there’s still ups and downs. And with close friends of mine, when I hear experiences that people have to go through in different parts of this country, and in all parts of this country […] things like suicide rates — if you’re quiet, you’re condemning a lot of kids to living in a dark bubble. And they don’t always get out. So it’s just the least you can do. I feel like we need to get past just clapping and being like “Yay! You said it!” and start pushing the Okay. How are you educating yourself on what this really means and how we need to take care of each other?

You are obviously on tour with one of the most celebrated LGBTQ artists in the world, with whom you cowrote the song “Palace”, for his latest album. What’s the experience been like working together?

 He’s incredible, we were actually just talking about this. He said at one point in his life, “I’m just such a proud gay man and I’m standing here on this stage.” And everyone’s just screaming [for him]. And how many times in history has that happened? Someone’s just stood on stage and said this is me and this is who I am. And you just get goosebumps … like everyone’s just so moved. I don’t know. Because we’re still in the stage of that being kind of new, we’re really lucky that he gets to do this and he just spreads so much acceptance purposefully during each show. So it’s amazing to be around. He’s just like … you know … how you think pop divas look sweet but then in the background they’re like bitching people out? Nope. His whole crew, everybody, just are genuinely hardworking, good people.

So both of you are so talented and outspoken and individualistic in your music. What’s the dynamic like from your set to Sam’s when performing?

You will see. I think it actually flows really well. There’s something very musical and vocally driven and like … almost musical theater-ish. Very storytelling. And it just sort of builds. It’s weird because I have to think about it. I can’t sit in the audience and watch. Because my set is so vocally driven, and then it goes into his, I think the theme is very clear and people will appreciate that.

Could you tell us a little bit about what you have planned following the tour?  

I just put out “Road to Happiness” which is a new song. And this is like the lead up to my second album. So, basically, I’m going to go over to Europe, come back, and have a tour in a lot of the same places that I was just here with Sam for the fall. And then there are some songs that are going to start coming out.

If you could go back and give your younger self any piece of advice, what would it be?  

No one knows what they’re doing. Stop looking for someone who knows what they’re doing. I still catch myself thinking that somebody older — some dude, some white dude –needs to tell me what to do. There’s definitely been people in my career that I have overly trusted thinking people are there to help you. But the people that are going to help you the most are going to say, “What’s your answer? Let me help you find your answer.” People who say “I know what you’re supposed to do. I know what you’re supposed to wear. I know what you’re supposed to look like,” they’re doing it for them. And when there are a lot of people who are younger, it’s just … this is how the world works.


You can get tickets to see Cam on her Road to Happiness tour here.

You can follow Cam here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Interview transcribed by About Magazine staff member, Megan Prevost.

Alisha Mae Gets “Bold” For Debut Single Release

Alisha Mae debut single

With Over Twenty-Three Million Views Social Media Sensation Alisha Mae To Release Debut Single “Bold” On April 20th

(NASHVILLE)– Social media singing sensation Alisha Mae is set to release her highly anticipated new single “BOLD” on April 20th. The powerful, upbeat rhythm paired with Mae’s wide vocal range highlighting Alisha’s edgy spin and modern country flare. The debut single delivers an anthem of positivity and strength of the ages.

Excitement among Mae fans is building on social media as they eagerly await the release of Mae’s debut single “Bold.” Mae found success after recording the moving ballad “Dancing In The Sky.” A song that Mae found comforting after the sudden loss of a family member. The recording became an instant viral hit on social media, racking up over twenty-three million views on Facebook alone. A journey that was filled with emotions.

As the 2018 calendar is filling up for new country releases, the social media sensation is giving her fans a taste of something ‘wild’ and ‘bold.’

“Bold” will be Mae’s first studio release that has an irresistible beat and risky flare, the lyrics dare you to live life to the fullest. “You know I don’t like to take things slow, let’s be wild, let’s be bold.” Those words have never been truer for Alisha Mae, and her fans will surely agree.

The 26-year old Virginia native won over fans in every territory with her incredible rendition of ‘Dancing In The Sky’, by Danny & Lizzy. The song was originally released on the musical app Smule™ propelling her into the country music spotlight. Mae has been creating a viral world that interacts with her followers and displays her outstanding vocal ability with hard-hitting and empowering words.

“Bold” was produced by Nashville legend Kent Wells. Wells is long-time musical director and producer for Dolly Parton. Wells has worked with artists like Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Linda Davis and Curtis Braly. Written by Corey Lee Barker, Mark Barnowski, and Allie L Shermetaro.

“Bold” will be available for pre-order April 9th and will be released across all streaming platforms April 20th.

7 Fantastic LGBT Films On DVD

7 Fantastic LGBT Films On DVD

7 Fantastic LGBT Films On DVD

From love stories to tales of prejudice, bigotry and the struggle for equal rights, here are five fantastic films focused on the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender communities, all of which come highly recommended by our expert critics. 

 

Brokeback Mountain ; Ang Lee; 2005 (pictured)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams
An obvious choice, perhaps, but nevertheless a watershed moment for pink cinema. Visionary director Lee’s tale of two cowboys who fall in love but must keep their feelings secret brought the subject of sexuality to mainstream audiences. 

 

Patrick, Age 1.5 ; Ella Lemhagen; 2008
Starring: Gustaf Skarsgard, Torkel Petersson, Tom Ljungman
Not the most common question in the annals of film- what would happen if a gay Swedish couple adopted what they thought was an 18-month-old orphan, but instead took in a 15-year-old homophobic delinquent- Lemhagen’s film is witty and touching. 

Dear-Beneficiary-Free-features-ad-260x30-NEW_1453993479.8063 7 Fantastic LGBT Films On DVD

Pride ; Matthew Warchus; 2014
Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West
One of 2014’s triumphs, a group of gay rights activists living in London during the 1980s take it upon themselves to get involved in the plight of Welsh miners, who are suffering at the hands of Margaret Thatcher’s unforgiving economic policies. 

 

The Chinese Botanist’s Daughter ; Sijie Dai; 2006
Starring: Mylene Jampanoi, Xiaoran Li, Dong Fu Lin
Beautifully shot and exceptionally well-written, in the house of a famous Chinese botanist teacher, the educator’s daughter falls for a female intern, but due to the inherent prejudices of society, and her family, their relationship cannot be revealed. 

 

Transamerica ; Duncan Tucker; 2005
Starring: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan
Pre-operative male-to-female transexual, Bree, discovers that she fathered a son during a previous relationship, and the kid is now a teenage runaway living and hustling on the streets of New York. Rightly acclaimed, Transamerica should be filed under ‘Must See’. 

 

Boys Don’t Cry ; Kimberley Peirce; 1999
Starring: Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard
After adopting the male identity of Brandon Teena (born Teena Brandon), the world is opened up to the leading man, who takes to the road, eventually finding a new life, and the exciting prospect of love in Nebraska. 

 

Bound ; Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski; 1996
Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano
Another legendary flick, before The Matrix the Wachowski siblings gave us this tale of a tough female ex-con, Corky, and the passionate affair she has with Violet after the two come up with a scheme to steal millions from the mafia.