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Announcing The Finalists For The 2023 Options Awards

Updated: Aug 21, 2023


Options Magazine has announced the finalists for the second annual Options Awards, voting is now under way until September 16.


The second annual Options Awards is an event that honors Rhode Island’s LGBTQ communities and allies. Nominations for the Options Awards were open for the entire month of July -- longer and sooner than last year's Options Awards nomination process. This led to a larger number of nominations, more categories having nominees, and many new faces this year. In fact, nearly every category has new members of the community up as finalists this year.


Given the competitive nature of the nominations process, nearly every category this year was narrowed down to five finalists. The one exception that has more finalists was best drag performer with ten finalists. The decision was made to have a larger pool of drag nominees than other categories because the editor did not wish for an angry mob of drag queens to appear outside his house.


The biggest changes this year are the inclusion of more categories, including photography, stand up comic, podcast, and local coffee shop. Altogether there are over 100 individuals and organizations nominated in 34 categories.



The full list of finalists is below:


People, Artists, and Activists


Rhode Island’s LGBTQ Hero Of The Year

Ladiva Jonz

Tiara Mack

Rodney Davis

Giona Picheco


Top Local Activist

Alex Kithes

Wendy Becker

Stephen Hogan Jr.

Kate Montero

Rodney Davis


Top Local Activist For Trans Rights

Donnie Anderson

Jaye Watts

Antonio Reisopoulos


Best Local Ally

Jen Bonin

Andrew Sharp

Enrique Sanchez

Steve Ahlquist

Kat Murray


Best Local Actor

Graham Stokes in Disorienting Dick and other performances

Rachel Warren of Trinity Rep

Mike Joseph in Saint Drogo and other performances

Olivia Sahlin in The Naughty List and other performance

Payton St James in Death Drop Gorgeous and other performances


Best Local Artist

Annie Tuthill

Claire Annette

Yung Onyx

Steven Kp

Ken Tasho


Best Local Photographer

Ryan Welch

Jen Bonin

Brooke Seminick

Derrick Woods-Morrow

Grayson Rose


Best Local Poet

AJ Delsignor

Aimee Nicole

Felicia Nimue Ackerman

Justice Gaines

John-Francis Quiñonez


Nightlife


Best Gay Bar In Rhode Island

The Eagle

Alley Cat

The Stable

Dark Lady

Mirabar


Best Lesbian-Friendly Bar or Dance Club

The Dark Lady

Free Play

Askew

Ego

Rewind


Best Local Stand-Up Comic

Karen O'Donnell

John Kelley

Jordan Valois


Best Local DJ

Coleslaw - Stable/Askew

DJ Jake Gerifano - Eagle

Jakey Poo - Eagle

DJ Patrick Graham Jr

Zoila Rosa


Best Bartender

Kyle Silva - Free Play

Mike Rigney - Stable

Kyle Prunk - Mirabar

Cathy O - Alley Cat and Dark Lady

Zack Provost - Ego


Top Drag Performer

Claire Annette

Complete Destruction

Viza D. Klein

Calypso Phoenix Brown

Yung Onyx

Ninny Nothin

LaDiva Jonz

Lexi Prozac

Haley Star

Rage Ramzee-Brown


Best Drag Show

A-List - Stable

Drag Brunch - Black Sheep

Lip Sync Assassins - Dark Lady

Gauntlet - Mirabar

The Trailer Park Girls Brunch


Best Pride Block Party Of 2023

Mirabar

The Dark Lady

Ego

The Eagle

The Stable


Food and Dining


Best Local Coffee Shop

Bolt

Borealis

Nitro Bar

White Electric

Seven Stars


Top Restaurant

Gracie's, Providence, RI

Res American Bistro, Providence, RI

Apsara, Providence, RI

The George, Providence, RI

Red Stripe, Providence, RI


Best Chef

Evan Matthew

Heber A. Aguilar

Jennifer Backman

Max Hodge

Paul Murphy


Best Take Out

Al-Shami

Apsara

Chinatown on Thayer

Frisky Fries

Gourmet House


Best Late Night Eats

Mirabar

Baja Tex Mex

Sakis Pizzeria

Ma’s Donuts

Courtland Club


Media


Best Local News Outlet

UpRise RI

Options Magazine

NBC 10 News

GoLocalProv

WPRI 12


Best Local Journalist

Steve Ahlquist, Stubstack Newsletter

Dan McGowen - The Boston Globe

Shiina Losciuto - WPRI

Alex Morash, Options Magazine

Mario Hilario, NBC 10 News


Best Local Podcast

Tea with Taylor

Providence Vibes

The Nurse and The Worst


Non-Profits, Resources, And Social Clubs


Best Rhode Island Non-Profit

AIDS Care Ocean State

Haus of Codec

Thundermist

Youth Pride Inc.

Rhode Island Pride


Best LGBTQ Social Club Or Support Group

Haus of Codec

Pride In Aging - Formerly Sage RI

Youth Pride, INC

Queers and Beers

PFLAG Providence


Best Local LGBTQ Sports League or Club

Providence Gay Flag Football League

Frontrunners Rhode Island

Outloud Sports

Chiltern Mountain Club

OutRyders SKIING


Best Local LGBTQ Sports Athlete

Brian Patrick Mulligan -- Fronterrunners

Chris Almonte - PVDGFFL

Michael Petracca - PVDGFFL

Ostin Linnehan - PVDGFFL

Rob Rannin Jr. - PVDGFFL


Best LGBTQ Event of 2023

Illuminated Night Parade and Festival -- RI Pride

Newport Pride

Market Days -- Haus of Codec

Sunset Drag Cruise -- Newport Out

Woonsocket Pride


Local Businesses


Best Hair Salon or Barbershop

Urban Fellow, Providence, RI

Strands, Providence, RI

Flipp Apothecary, Providence, RI

The G Salon, Providence, RI

Aruverde for Rosebud Salon, Providence, RI


Best Hair Stylist or Barber

Simony Resende, Aruverde for Rosebud Salon

Lisa Pasquale, Strands

Vinn Hartman, The G. Salon & Spa

Normand G. Couture, Strands

Shane Szrom, Strands


Best Real Estate Agent

Cassia Foster

Don Batten

Ray Sirico

Gary Jacques

Marcus Randolph


Best Doctor’s Office or Health Care Provider

Thundermist Health Center

Anchor Medical

Tri-County Health Center

Open Door Health

Planned Parenthood Providence


Best LGBTQ-Owned Business

Mister Sister

FreePlay Bar and Arcade

The Stable

Res American Bistro

Mirabar


Voting is now open on the Options Awards finalists until September 16.

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