Saturday, November 1, 2014

Olympia Dukakis LGBT Events

At Out & Equal’s 2014 LGBT Workplace Summit that takes place November 3rd to 6th in San Francisco, Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis will be a keynote speaker on Wednesday November 5th’s power lunch from 1P to 3P. She’ll be joined with Selisse Berry, Out & Equal’s Executive Director  & entertainment will be provided by American Idol finalist David Hernandez. Olympia Dukakis won her Oscar for Moonstruck & has appeared in more than 60 feature & short films including recently in her lesbian role in “Cloudburst”. Never shy of LGBT characters she starred in her groundbreaking transgender role in Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” which aired on PBS in 1993. Dukakis will then appear at an event “Cocktails with Olympia Dukakis” at the McLoughlin Gallery in San Francisco hosted by Horizons Foundation from 5:30P to 7:30P. The Horizons Foundation invites you to enjoy drinks, food & laughter at an intimate reception with one of our LGBT community's most outspoken & delightful allies. This is a fabulous opportunity to join Dukakis for an exclusive evening of cocktails & conversation with the actress, director, producer, teacher, activist & best-selling author. She'll be joined by director & her friend Harry Mavromichalis, sharing stories about the making of his new feature-length documentary, "Olympia Dukakis: Undefined". All proceeds will benefit their film.
For Info & Tix…
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Friday, October 31, 2014

Mayor Tom Menino LGBT Ally Dies

Mayor Tom Menino was a fierce LGBT ally during his 20 years as mayor of Boston. He began as a city councilor in the 1980’s working to support HIV education & prevention efforts & instituted the first needle exchange program in the state. As mayor he fought for & won a municipal ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity. He refused to walk in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the LGBT community wasn’t welcome. He wrote to the anti-marriage President of Chik-Fil-A who was considering opening a restaurant in Boston & told him that discrimination was not welcome on Boston’s ‘Freedom Trail.’ One of the earliest supporters of marriage equality he lobbied the State House in support of the freedom to marry & on May 17, 2004 when marriage equality became the law in Massachusetts, Mayor Menino personally welcomed couples at Boston City Hall & made sure they were protected from protesters. I met Mayor Menino on a number of occasions attending fundraisers throughout Boston. In 2010 at the 6th anniversary of gay marriage in Massachusetts he attended a celebration at Club Café in Boston. In this exclusive audio byte I talked to Mayor Menino about his spin on our LGBT issues: LISTEN:

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Out & Equal Workplace Summit

Out & Equal LGBT Workplace Advocates are hosting their 2014 Workplace Summit in San Francisco from November 3rd to November 6th. The annual Workplace Summit is where employees & experts from around the world gather to share strategies & best practices to create workplace equality, inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities & expressions. There will be 78 workshops, 12 featured panels, 12 roundtables, 6 global series & 6 case studies. It’s one thing for corporations to have a commitment to creating workplaces that are welcoming & supportive of gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender employees but it’s another thing to develop policies & programs that can lead to equitable work environments. That’s where Out & Equal comes in collaborating closely with executives, HR & employee groups at Fortune 1000 companies to ensure that everyone has the knowledge & tools they need to deliver on their commitment to workplace equality. This year speakers include; Billie Jean King, Selisse Berry, Olympia Dukakis, Armistead Maupin, Lee Daniels & Kate Clinton. Entertainment will be provided by King Louis, Beach Blanket Babylon, Dragon Dancers, David Hernandez, Martha Wash, Veronica Klause, Thea Austin & SWAG Chorus. The Workplace Summit offers two options. There’s a 3-day conference with 114 unique education opportunities or come early for a special leadership day of seminars at an additional cost. Online registration is closed but you can still register on site.
For More Info: outandequal.org
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Enigma Explored Series

The Enigma Explored is a fascinating four part presentation series over four consecutive Sundays in November at the Cultural Center of Rocky Neck in East Gloucester Massachusetts. Each week a different spiritual & conscious-raising topic will be presented by renowned experts including Dr. Carl Ruck, Boston University professor of classic studies, Dr. Susan Frey Eclectic Explorer based in East Gloucester & Rev. Richard Emmanuel of The Experimental Church of East Gloucester. The first topic on November 2nd will be “Is Death The End?” which will explore humankind’s greatest enigma, the consciousness of the cosmic cycle: birth, life & death. On Sunday November 9th “In God We Trust” will address countless icons, images, & representations of the "God Concept". The Spectrum will include “Science as a Religion” addressing the idolatry of money in a secular society as means of coping with mortality & fear of death. The third Sunday program on November 16th entitled “The Hidden Reality” will explore the question: “What Is Reality?” The subject will cover mankind’s propensity to change its state of consciousness through use of altered states provided by plants, fungi, & modern scientific manipulation of chemistry. On November 23rd the series will conclude with “Abracadabra” which will address magical thinking pseudoscientific ideas & the blind belief that science will solve everything. This enlightening event exploring totally out-of-the-box theories & thought processes is taking place at the  Cultural Center of Rocky Neck 6 Wonson Street on Rocky Neck in East Gloucester, MA on four consecutive Sundays from 7:30P to 9:30P beginning on November 2nd, 2014. There will be refreshments & suggested donation is $10.
For More Info: rockyneckartcolony.org
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Monday, October 27, 2014

LGBT OUT Music Awards

The LGBTQ Academy of Recording Arts (LARA) will be celebrating its 25th anniversary at the 9th annual OUT Music Awards in New York City on January 19th 2015. If you are an out & proud LGBTQ recording artist or creative industry professional (i.e. producer/engineer, CD Cover graphic designer, photographer, film director, music video director etc) you can join the LGBTQ Academy of Recording Arts by registering to submit your music & videos for nominee consideration. While LARA focuses to specifically support, honor & celebrate the achievements & contributions of LGBTQ recording artists & creative industry professionals, they also recognize & celebrate the contributions of their straight allies & friends who stand for equality. Diedra Meredith LARA Chairwoman stated, “No person should have to sacrifice or even consider relinquishing their freedom, their dignity, or lose an opportunity to advance in their careers because they are open about their sexual orientation & gender identify. It is important that LGBT people express their authentic emotions & images through their music, art, acting, performance art & writing. It is just as important that OUTmusic Awards be included & celebrated in media, music & entertainment history like the Latin Grammy Awards, the Country Music Awards, the Black Entertainment Music Awards. The more LGBT people are included, acknowledged & celebrated, for their achievements & contributions, the more impact we can make in changing hearts & minds to erase the stigmas.” Registration is now open through November 7th 2014.
For More Info: outmusicawards.com
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gay Marriage Legal In 32 States

Finally the federal government announced it will recognize gay & lesbian marriages in 6 more states since the Supreme Court recently declined to hear marriage equality appeals in those states. The additional states are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia & Wyoming. The decision means gay & lesbian couples in these states will finally be able to receive 1,138 federal rights of marriage including social security benefits for & the ability to file a joint income tax return. Attorney General Eric Holder stated, "With each new state where gay & lesbian marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving full equality for all Americans. We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-gender marriage couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law." With this decision, the federal government will now recognize gay & lesbian marriages in 32 states & the District of Columbia. Marriage equality is scheduled to come to Indiana & Wisconsin in June. However the status of those unions is unclear, despite federal district court rulings that Indiana & Wisconsin's bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional. Holder's statement clarifies that the federal government sees those marriages as valid. So once that happens we’re talking about 34 states where gay & lesbian marriages are legal. Listen to this exclusive interview about my recent marriage that took place last month:

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

GLAD Honors Urvashi Vaid

Urvashi Vaid was honored by GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) with the Spirit of Justice Award on October 24th at Boston Marriott Copley Place. Vaid has made change for our LGBT community through her leadership of numerous LGBT organizations & has fought to create a world free of bigotry, violence & discrimination. I spoke to Urvashi recently on OUTTAKE VOICES™ where she talked about what she would like to see happen for our community stating, “I would really like us to take care of the parts of our community that are less powerful. That means low-income LGBT people, transgender people & our community’s women whose rights are getting the crap kicked out of them. Parts of our community across the board, kids, old gay people, parts of our community who are less powerful than middle or upper class professionals like me.” Vaid attended the event with her fabulous wife, political comedian Kate Clinton. Also speaking at the event were, Gary Buseck, GLAD Interim Executive Director, Jennifer L. Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director & a moving speech from prominent Ugandan LGBT rights advocate John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere who GLAD recently worked with to obtain political asylum in the United States. This was GLAD’s 15th Annual Spirit of Justice Award, which is the organizations’ largest fundraising event. Over $600,000 was raised.
For More Info: glad.org
Listen To Urvashi Vaid's Full Interview on OUTTAKE VOICES™
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