Dressed To Impress

By David-Elijah Nahmod, August 2016 Issue.

In HBO’s trend-setting new documentary, Suited, viewers are introduced to a Brooklyn-based garment maker whose business is custom tailored to its LGBTQ clientele.

Directed by Jason Benjamin (boom operator for HBO’s hit series “Girls”), the film is currently airing in rotation on HBO and sister channels HBO2 and HBO Signature. The film can also be viewed online at HBO.com.

The documentary begins at Bindle & Keep, a custom clothier co-owned by Daniel Friedman and Rae Tutera, where suits are designed to fit the sometimes less-than-traditional body contours of its transgender, androgynous and gender

nonconforming customers.

The company was born in the aftermath of Tutera’s difficult search for a suit to wear. Tutera, who is also comfortable with both male and female pronouns, identifies as a transgender, gender nonconformist.

Friedman, a straight cisgender male who takes great pride in his work, admits on camera that his life has been far more interesting since Tutera introduced him to the needs of the LGBTQ community.

Bindle & Keep co-owners Daniel Friedman and Rae Tutera.

As the storyline progresses, we meet seven of Bindle & Keep’s clients, all of whom courageously reveal their private lives – not only to Friedman and Tutera, but also to Benjamin’s camera.

Derek Matteson is a straight-identified transgender man who needs a suit for his upcoming wedding. The filmmaker drives back to the rural Pennsylvania home of Derek’s parents, who share photos of his childhood (pre-transition). His parents admit that their son’s transition was a difficult adjustment for them, but as his mom points out, your child is your child and you love them no matter what.

Viewers will also meet Jillian T. Weiss, an attorney in need of a suit to wear to an upcoming federal court date. Then the conservative world of the legal profession is underscored by the story of Everett Arthur, an African-American law student from Atlanta who recalls being the only queer person in his high school. Having recently transitioned, Everett is in need of a suit that will impress his professors and potential employers.

Bindle & Keep co-owner Rae Tutera measures Grace Dunham (sister of Lena), for a suit.

One of the most touching stories is that of Aidan Star Jones, a 12-year-old transgender boy who has traveled from Tucson, Ariz., with his grandmother, Judy Shepard Gomez, to choose a suit for his upcoming bar mitzvah. As a lesbian, Judy empathizes what her grandson is going through.

Friedman and Tutera listen to each of their clients intently – and show viewers that there’s more to meeting the needs of their clients than simply taking measurements. Their dedication to customer satisfaction is a lovely thing to see.

What makes this documentary so moving is the non-judgmental, casual manner in which Benjamin introduces the seven Bindle & Keep clients who agreed to appear in his film. We not only learn their personal stories, but also get a first-hand look at the gender spectrum. Fashion, like many aspects of life, is far more complex than “male” or “ female.”

Produced by Lena Dunham and Jennifer Konner (who launched the L.A.-based production company, A Casual Romance), Suited is a human interest piece, an educational tool and glimpse at the challenges – and progress – of the transgender, androgynous and gender nonconforming segments of the LGBTQ community.

Keep readingShow less
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less