Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump Attacking LGBT Americans

After boasting “the times are changing back again” to the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C. that was hosted by the anti-LGBT Family Research Council on Friday, Trump is set to address the anti-LGBT Heritage Foundation on Tuesday continuing his homophobic anti LGBT agenda. This is from the guy that reportedly joked that Vice President Pence wants to hang all gay people. Earlier this year the Heritage Foundation sent a notice to U.S. House members urging them vote for a legislative ban on transition-related health care for transgender people in the U.S. military. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “Addressing a gathering of some of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ activists in the country, Trump once again legitimized hate speech & vowed, again & again to write discrimination into law by pushing laws focused on religious exemptions. The religious exemption laws that groups like the Family Research Council & the Trump administration fully support do not reflect real American values, they legalize discrimination by allowing hotels, ER doctors, business owners & even pediatricians to legally deny services to hardworking LGBTQ families.” In his new tax plan Trump is about to unleash a major push for ‘religious exceptions’ which is in direct contrast the majority of Americans who opposed these anti-LGBTQ laws, according to a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). PRRI also found that 72% of Americans support laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing & public accommodations. This includes six out of ten (60%) Republicans & 81% of Democrats.
For More Info:glad.org
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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Urvashi Vaid Steps Up (AUDIO)

LPAC, the first lesbian Political Action Committee founded in 2012 announced that Urvashi Vaid, longtime attorney & organizer in LGBTQ & social justice movements will serve as the organization’s Interim Executive Director as the search for a permanent Executive Director begins. Laura Ricketts, LPAC Board Chair stated, “We are very pleased to have Urvashi as our interim leader, with all her expertise, insuring continuity for LPAC over the next few months, while we search for and find our new leader.” A Board search committee has been formed & is chaired by LPAC San Francisco based Board member Joyce Newstat, a long-time political activist & leader in the LGBT movement. The search process & timeline will be announced later this year. Newstat stated, “Our new Executive Director will lead LPAC at a critically important time for the LGBT community, women & all those impacted by the hostile political climate in Washington, D.C. & across the nation. As we approach the 2018 mid-term elections & beyond, LPAC must grow & be even more engaged in supporting progressive candidates who advance our core values of LGBT equality, women’s rights & gender, social & racial justice.” Vaid has held senior executive positions at the Arcus Foundation, the Ford Foundation & the National LGBTQ Task Force. She is CEO of The Vaid Group a social innovation firm focused on strategies to advance equity & justice & is a founder of LPAC. Vaid began her part-time duties on September 5th & joins LPAC Political & Operations Associate Erica Benjamin on the LPAC staff. In 2014 we talked to Urvashi about LPAC in this exclusive audio byte. LISTEN:
For More Info: teamlpac.com 
LISTEN: Cheryl Osimo Talks MBCC Premier Lesbian Event Oct 21st
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

LGBT Military Groups Join Forces

Two LGBT military organizations OutServe-SLDN & Military Partners & Families have announced that they are joining forces. The existing operations of MPFC will be incorporated into OutServe-SLDN creating the nations’ largest organization focused on the support of the LGBT military community including service members, veterans & military families. Matt Thorn, Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN stated, “We are thrilled to welcome the Military Partners & Families Coalition into OutServe-SLDN. Over the years they’ve been an invaluable partner to our work & we’re thrilled that they’re now part of our family. We’ve learned from experience that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. Adding the work of MPFC & its team of leaders to OutServe-SLDN is a huge win for the families of LGBT service members & veterans.” Ariana Bostian-Kentes, President & co-founder of MPFC, added, “Working alongside OutServe-SLDN as a coalition partner has been vital to the successes we’ve celebrated as a military family community. We aim to build on that success through this merger by adding to the breadth of resources available to those who serve & support our military & by prioritizing the interests of all families who serve our country.” Matt Thorn will continue in his role & become President & CEO of the combined organizations. Ariana Bostian-Kentes & MPFC Vice President, Tracey Hepner, will join the board of directors & the current 13 member OutServe-SLDN board will continue in their respective roles.
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For More Info: outserve-sldn.org
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

LGBT National Coming Out Day

Since 1988 National Coming Out Day is acknowledged on October 11th which is the day that if you haven’t come out yet about your LGBTQ sexual orientation to your family, friends & colleagues it’s time to live as your authentic self & be counted. Especially with the Trump administration trying to erase our LGBTQ community. As Harvey Milk said, “Burst down those closet doors once & for all, stand up & start to fight.” Jason Collins stated, "Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start." Director Peter Darney concluded, “I would like to people able to come out at a very early age. I would like to see people not have to go through school denying their sexuality. I would like there to be open dialogue & education within our school system & our community group so that young people do not have to grow up holding a secret that makes them feel bad & guilty & ashamed & different & don’t have to form a lie behind every relationship that they have through this secret as they grow up because I think ultimately that is what we need in order to be able to achieve a better or happier level of intimacy as adults.” Also more than half of LGBT K-12 students reported feeling unsafe at school as a result of their sexual orientation & more than one-third reported feeling unsafe because of how they express their gender. We need everyone to take a stand against LGBTQ bullying & make sure you wear purple on Spirit Day Thursday October 19th.
For More Info: glaad.org
LISTEN: Donna Deitch Talks Desert Hearts Sequel & LGBTQ Rights
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

SAGE Awards & Gala Event

SAGE, the nation’s largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders announces its 22nd Annual SAGE Awards & Gala that takes place on Monday, October 16th at 6P at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. This year’s honorees include Citi, Lorraine Cortés-Vásquez & Cleve Jones. There also will be a tribute to marriage equality icon Edie Windsor. Citi will receive the Corporate Leadership Award for their ongoing collaboration with SAGE. Citi has been a pioneer supporting our LGBT community & was one of the first financial institutions to sign amicus briefs in the historic Supreme Court cases, U.S. v. Windsor & Obergefell v. Hodges. Lorraine Cortés-Vásquez, New York City Mayor’s Senior Advisor will receive the Jack Watters Corporate Advocate Award for her work in supporting diverse communities & LGBT elders through leadership roles at the Mayor’s Office, Emblem Healthcare & AARP. Cleve Jones, activist, lecturer & author of When We Rise: My Life in the Movement will be presented the Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award. Jones’ book inspired the fabulous ABC TV mini-series that was broadcast in February. Mentored by the legendary Harvey Milk, Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983 & founded in 1987 The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, one of the world’s largest community arts projects. The gala event will take place on Monday October 16th starting with cocktails at 6P followed by Dinner & Awards Ceremony at 7P. Founded in 1978 SAGE is the country's largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives LGBT seniors.
For More Info & Tix: sageusa.org
LISTEN: Donna Deitch Talks Desert Hearts Sequel & LGBTQ Rights
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Dan Butler Becomes Truman Capote

The new play WARHOLCAPOTE adapted from conversations between Truman Capote & Andy Warhol is fabulous. It’s playing now through October 13th at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts & stars Stephen Spinella as Warhol & Dan Butler as Capote. The played is based on actual taped discussions of Capote & Warhol in the late 1970’s talking about creating a Broadway play together that never came to fruition. It’s an extraordinary depiction of theirs lives as gay icons & celebrities in an era when Studio 54 was at its height. Since these tapes are never-heard-before conversations you’ll hear intimate stories & gossip that’s both amusing & gut wrenching. This world premiere production is staged by Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, Hedwig & the Angry Inch) & adapted by award-winning director Rob Roth with the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts & the Truman Capote Literary Trust. An interesting spin on WARHOLCAPOTE is that Butler stepped into the role after Leslie Jordan who was originally cast as Capote left the production for personal reasons. With only a few days of rehearsal Butler has accomplished a seamless brilliant portrayal of Capote. When I talked to Butler in 2012 about his spin on our LGBT civil rights, Dan stated, “I think sometimes it’s the way you live your life. I’ve been politically active in the past with the Human Rights Campaign & Act Up. Right when the Trevor Crisis Line formed I worked the lines for Trevor and The Suicide Prevention Center in Los Angeles for about six years. So now I think it’s by example. I believe in that Gandhi quote, “Live your life as if the changes you hope happen, have already occurred.” Listen To Full Interview...
For Info & Tix: americanrepertorytheater.org
LISTEN: Donna Deitch Talks Desert Hearts Sequel & LGBTQ Rights
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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Separation of Church & State

The Trump Administration after announcing that federal employment protections do not apply to transgender Americans has opened up the Pandora’s Box when it comes to the separation of Church & State. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has released guidance instructions that invites taxpayer-funded federal agencies, government employees & government contractors to discriminate against our LGBTQ community, people of color, people with disabilities, women, religious minorities including Muslim & Jewish people & other marginalized populations as long as they cite a religious belief as the reason for doing so. Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights stated, “This guidance is totally unnecessary & is yet another mean-spirited attack against the LGBTQ community, people of color & other minorities. This guidance is designed to do one thing create a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community & others, sanctioned by the federal government & paid for by taxpayers. Yes, the freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it is not an absolute right. It cannot be used as a shield to permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, just as federal courts a half century ago denied the ability of businesses & employers to use their religious beliefs as a basis to discriminate against African Americans. Federal agencies, government contractors & grant recipients should not be permitted to discriminate simply by citing a religious belief for doing so. We urge the federal courts to reject the radical efforts by this administration to justify discrimination on the basis of religion. We are strengthened as a nation when we work to protect & balance the rights and dignity of all.”
For More Info: civilrights.org
LISTEN: Donna Deitch Talks Desert Hearts Sequel & LGBTQ Rights
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