July 5, 2023

Diversity, Belonging and Celebration: Queer AF rocks Pride Month.

Also on Arizona Spotlight: How Southern Arizona Senior Pride serves Tucson's LGBTQIA+ elders; Marilyn Heins MD shares some lessons learned from losing her husband to Alzheimer’s Disease; and, Stories that Soar! brings some summer heat.

Arizona Spotlight

July 6, 2023

(Download MP3)

Featured on the July 6th, 2023 edition of ARIZONA SPOTLIGHT with host Mark McLemore:

  • Shay Thomas and Ashley La Russa are the founders of a group called "Queer AF" who curate community events that celebrate every facet of the LGBTQ+ community while highlighting Black and Indigenous queer and trans people. Leah Britton sits down with the pair to discuss the importance of representation and inclusion.
Queer AF Shay Thomas Ashley La Russa Queer AF founders Shay Thomas and Ashley La Russa enjoying their time at Queer AF's monthly Drag Brunch held at Playground Bar & Lounge in Downtown Tucson.
Courtesy of Shay Thomas
Queer AF Ram Rod spotlight The "Ram Rod" appeared at some of Queer AF's Pride Month events. Attendees were invited to decorate the paper-mached truck.
Courtesy of Queer AF
Queer AF Isis and Shay Queer AF co-founder Shay Thomas with host Isis D. Frost at Queer AF's monthly Drag Brunch held at Playground Bar & Lounge in Downtown Tucson.
Courtesy of Shay Thomas
  • Tony Paniagua speaks to Executive Director Scott McDonald and volunteer Sandra Butler of Southern Arizona Senior Pride. This non-profit group has been providing resources to local elders from the LGBTQ+ community for almost 20 years.
Senior pride Sandra and Scott Southern Arizona Senior Pride Executive Director Scott McDonald and Volunteer Sandra Butler.
Photo By Tony Paniagua
  • Marilyn Heins MD, a retired pediatrician and longtime health columnist for the Arizona Daily Star, shares some lessons learned from losing her husband to Alzheimer’s disease.

geriatrica 3 hero Author Marilyn Heins, as depicted in by artists Dave Fitzsimmons in her book "A Traveler's Guide to Geriatrica".
courtesy A3D Impressions

geriatrica book cover unsized VIEW LARGER Marilyn Heins' book, published in her 90th year, offers practical advice and good humor about the aging experience.
courtesy A3D Impressions
  • And, the first Spotlight of the month always brings with it a new tale from “Stories That Soar!”. This time, a 5th grader named Will shares a tale that is as searing as it is relatable, "Summer is Here". It was produced by the Stories that Soar! creative team, and voiced by Aliyah Ravenell, a Mentor at the Youth Center Program at Literacy Connects,. The video features illustrations by multi-talented Tucson artist ToRee'Nee Wolf.

This Tucson non-profit sponsors a group of performers and musicians called “Stories That Soar!”. They help young writers realize the power and potential of bringing their stories to life, for the stage, video, and radio. Aspiring student-age writers can submit their stories to The Magic Box Story Portal now!

Webpage by Leah Britton.

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