Thursday, August 21, 2014

Call For Lambda Literary Entries

Lambda Literary announced the opening of the submissions period for the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys). Lammys honor LGBT books in more than 20 genres ranging from literary fiction & poetry to speculative fiction, romance & memoir. Kathleen DeBold Lammy Awards Administrator stated, "The Lambda Literary Awards celebrate both literary excellence & the enormous role the LGBT literary community has played in informing our identity and advancing our civil rights. We look forward to receiving this year's entries from the scholars who document our past, the poets & novelists who illuminate our present and the visionaries who map out our future." Books submitted for consideration in this Lammys cycle must be published between January 1st & December 31st 2014 & meet the Lammys Submission Guidelines. Finalists will be announced in March 2015 & Lammy Awards will be presented at the Annual Lambda Literary Awards gala planned for early June of 2015 in NYC. The Lammys celebrate the best in lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender literature & honor groundbreaking work by members of the LGBT literary community. Since its inception in 1989, Lambda Literary has awarded more than 500 Lammys to outstanding authors including Dorothy Allison, Edmund White, Cherrie Moraga, Leslie Feinberg, Samuel R. Delany, Kate Bornstein, Armistead Maupin & Hilton Als.
For More Info: lambdaliterary.org
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pedro Zamora Youth Scholarship

The National AIDS Memorial Grove announced the naming of its youth scholarship program in honor of AIDS educator, activist & reality television pioneer Pedro Zamora, who passed away 20 years ago from an AIDS-related illness. The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship Program will help foster the next generation of leaders, helping support the academic efforts of emerging young people who share Pedro’s passionate commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Eric Ciasullo, National AIDS Memorial Grove Board Member stated, “Pedro dedicated his life to fighting the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic. Working diligently to raise public awareness, he helped arm other young people with the information & tools they needed to protect themselves against the virus. We honor Pedro’s courage and legacy through this scholarship program.” At the age of 22, Pedro Zamora captivated the nation with his openness, compassion, vitality & charisma when he appeared on MTV’s The Real World 3: San Francisco (1994). At the veritable dawn of reality television, America watched a young Latino who was openly gay & openly HIV-positive. Viewers saw him living his life with joy & integrity & trying to make a difference in the world. Scholarship applications are being accepted through Oct. 15, 2014. Scholarship recipients will be announced on World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2014 with awards ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.
For More Info: aidsmemorial.org
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Virginia Gay Marriage & SCOTUS

UPDATE: U.S. Supreme Court Issues Stay in Bostic v. Schaefer, Virginia’s Marriage Equality Case. Gay & lesbian couples will not be able to marry.....yet.
Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the Virginia marriage equality case have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court not to delay gay & lesbian marriages in that state. The lawyers are responding to a petition by defendants seeking a stay of the United States Circuit Court for the Fourth Circuit’s decision that found Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional by urging the Supreme Court not to delay the issuance of marriage licenses for gay & lesbian couples in Virginia. Ted Olson, lead co-counsel for the Bostic plaintiffs stated, “Virginia’s exclusion of gays & lesbians from the fundamental right to marriage causes painful, irreparable & immeasurable injury to large numbers of its citizens every day & every moment it remains in existence & humiliates & stigmatizes these individuals & their children in ways too numerous to enumerate. Courts all over the country are overwhelmingly & with an unprecedented degree of unanimity recognizing that there is no legal basis for continuing to impose this kind of harm on our fellow citizens. There is no justification for staying the effect of the Fourth Circuit’s decision upholding the rights of Virginians to marry the person they love.” Should Chief Justice Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice responsible for emergency petitions made within the Fourth Circuit, deny the stay request, marriages for gay & lesbian couples would be set to begin at 8A on Thursday, August 21, 2014. AFER (American Foundation for Equal Rights) is the primary sponsor of the Bostic case. Updates to Come…
For More Info: afer.org
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Florida LGBT Legal Handbook

While our LGBT community in Florida are waiting for their right to marry play out in the courts Equality Florida Institute is providing an electronic version of their Legal Handbook for LGBT Floridians & Their Families free of charge on their website. Recently updated, the 76-page resource was a pro bono project of the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, in cooperation with Equality Florida Institute. This third edition of the Handbook is full of helpful information & pointers on the very best ways LGBT Floridians can legally protect themselves & their families. The handbook provides critical information about the importance of long-term planning related to health, family & financial considerations. Many legal issues are addressed including the implications of the Windsor decision, the current state of LGBT adoption, elder law, hate crimes, domestic partnership registries & what legal protections exist under Florida law. Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida stated, “Discriminatory laws & the lack of legal protections impose hardships & complicate ordinary life for LGBT Floridians. This vital resource is important for LGBT Floridians to understand how to protect themselves & their loved ones under the laws that currently exist.” Nancy Faggianelli, Chief Diversity Officer of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt added, “In the fast-changing legal landscape, we are proud to partner with Equality Florida as they work to secure full legal equality for Florida’s LGBT community & their families.”
For More Info: eqfl.org
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade

Over 100,000 people will be attending the annual Charlotte Gay Pride Festival & Parade in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Sunday's events include a midday parade, a street festival & a performance by Grammy Award-winning singer LeAnn Rimes. The Queen City event celebrates the Charlotte metro area's LGBT communities. This year the Charlotte Pride Parade has over 20 floats & other entries representing community groups & businesses. The Grand Marshals are Charlotte City council members Patsy Kinsey & LaWana Mayfield. Openly gay Latta, S.C. Police Chief Crystal Moore is another honored guest. Moore was fired by Latta Mayor Earl Bullard who condemned her lifestyle. Citizens of her South Carolina town rallied to her defense & forced her rehiring. The Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, August 17th. The 2014 Parade Route will kick off at 9th St. on N. Tryon St., continue down Tryon St. to Trade St., turn left & end at College St. Parade stand & VIP viewing area will be located in Independence Square at Trade & Tryon Streets. Parade Dignitaries & Special Guests include Harvey Milk Award honoree Tonda Taylor, Outstanding Ally Award honoree The Rev. Dr. Nancy Kraft, Young Catalyst Award honoree Andraya Williams & more. HAPPY PRIDE!! :)
For More Info: charlottepride.org
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wilson Cruz New Fox TV Series

Last May at the GLAAD Media Awards in NYC we talked to actor Wilson Cruz about his new Fox drama that premier’s this fall entitled “Red Band Society.” The series was created by Margaret Nagle & is set in the pediatric ward of a hospital. The cast is led by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer & Cruz plays an openly gay Nurse Kenji Gomez-Rejon. Cruz who is a GLAAD National Spokesperson stated, “This is GLAAD at work. We need more gay characters on TV. We need more LGBT characters of color on TV. I won’t spoil the other thing that we need more on TV of because that’s coming later, but there were certain things that I thought that we had a real opportunity. There were certain stories & topics that we could cover through Kenji & Margaret loved these ideas. We’re incorporating it into his history into the show.” Cruz currently serves as a full-time GLAAD staff member & national spokesperson. His involvement with LGBT advocacy began in 1995, when he accepted the GLAAD Media Award on behalf of the groundbreaking drama “My So-Called Life”. Since then he has gone on to appear in several memorable roles that have spanned television, film, & the Broadway stage. Currently Cruz has been working with GLAAD on projects addressing southerners’ stories & global initiatives.
Listen to this exclusive sound byte:
 
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Friday, August 15, 2014

AIDS Gala Help Is On The Way

The Richmond / Ermet AIDS Foundation is having its 20th star-studded AIDS benefit concert & gala "Help is on the Way" on Sunday August 24th at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Kenneth Henderson, Executive Director of the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation stated, “People think the AIDS epidemic is over & we don't need to pay attention to it anymore. Events like "Help is on the Way" serve not only to raise funds for local AIDS services, but to remind people that there's still a need for funding them. More people are living with HIV & AIDS than ever before in history.” Some of the celebrities who will be performing include, Florence Henderson. Richard Chamberlain, Alex Newell, Paula West, Jason Brock, Maureen McGovern, Lisa Vroman, Jake Simpson, Valerie Pettiford, cast members from Motown: The Musical & more. Henderson added, “We're grateful that so many stars from stage, screen & the recording industry are willing to donate their time & talent to support our part in the fight against AIDS. We've made progress in that fight but we still don't have a cure yet & at best, it's still a few years away. Now is not the time to give up the ship.” Tickets start at $65 & proceeds will benefit 4 Bay Area AIDS service organizations, Abzyme Research Foundation, Aguilas, AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) & Positive Resource Center (PRC).
For More Info & Tix: richmondermet.org
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