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
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Lambda Literary San Diego Project

Lambda Literary the nation's leading nonprofit organization advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender literature has announce an historic partnership with the San Diego Unified School District to make its LGBT Writers in Schools Program available to the city's high school students. Approved by the San Diego Board of Education last week, Lambda Literary will introduce San Diego Unified high school students to the program by uniting LGBTQ authors with District classrooms via video Skype or in-class visits to discuss the author's work & LGBTQ issues. Tony Valenzuela, Lambda Literary's Executive Director stated, "We're thrilled to be working with San Diego Unified to introduce great LGBTQ books to their high school students to enrich their reading lives & further their understanding of the LGBTQ experience. This is an historic partnership advancing Lambda Literary's work with young people that we hope will be a model for school districts across the country looking to take San Diego's lead." Kevin Beiser, President of the San Diego Unified School Board added, "I am excited about our partnership with Lambda writers to provide high school students with the opportunity to learn as critical thinkers & engage authors through Skype. This aligns with our vision of providing quality schools in every neighborhood." Lambda Literary launched LGBTQ Writers in Schools in 2012 designed for teachers of high school classes, universities, colleges & student organizations as an opportunity for writers to discuss their work openly with students & to encourage diversity not only in the students' reading & writing lives but also in society at large. While Lambda Literary's LGBT Writers in Schools Program is available to teachers in any city, this is the first such partnership adopted by a major U.S. school district.
For More Info: lambdaliterary.org
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lesbian Film National Distribution

The distribution powerhouse Gravitas Ventures has acquired the North American distribution rights to "Anatomy of a Love Seen” the hugely popular lesbian themed drama directed by Marina Rice Bader. The film will be available nationwide on multiple VOD platforms as of November 4th. Following the July 2014 premiere at the 32nd Annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival, Bader immediately gave the film its worldwide release as a digital rental on Vimeo via the film’s website. While Bader wasn't the first filmmaker to the direct distribution game she was one of the first ever out filmmakers to offer LGBT audiences around the world & cinephiles alike a lesbian themed feature film as a low-cost digital release immediately after its first festival premiere. The announcement comes on the heels of the massive success of Bader’s online release, which was seen in well over 100 countries & garnered extensive national & worldwide media coverage. Impressed with Bader’s achievements in the implementation of her innovative release strategy, Gravitas Ventures reached out to join forces & take distribution to the next level. As of November 4th Bader’s film will be out in over 100 million homes with numerous cable, satellite & telco operators including iTunes, DIRECTV, Dish Network, Time Warner, Comcast & Mediacom to name a few. We talked to Marina last summer about “Anatomy of a Love Seen” that stars Hollywood newcomers Sharon Hinnendael, Jill Evyn & Constance Brenneman.
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For More Info: soulkissfilms.com
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

White House Honors Andrew Cray

The White House honored Andrew Cray as a “champion of change.” Andrew was a fierce advocate for our LGBT community & a cherished member of the Center for American Progress family. Andrew passed away on August 28th after a battle with cancer. He was 28. Neera Tanden, President of Center for American Progress stated, “Andy’s legacy is one of social justice for many members of vulnerable communities—LGBT or otherwise. While the world may have lost his wit & brilliance, the body of work he left behind & the policies for which he fought hard & won will always remain. Andy was one of the unsung heroes of LGBT advocacy. He worked tirelessly to ensure that LGBT people are treated with dignity & fairness in all aspects of life, including in health care & coverage, where his work continues to literally save lives. He changed minds & bettered lives, all without any expectation of praise, which is why the White House honoring him as a champion of change is so very appropriate. I know that I speak for the entire CAP family in congratulating Andy’s wife Sarah McBride, along with his CAP colleague Kellan Baker & his family, who I know are as proud of Andy’s accomplishments as we are at CAP. It is days like today that we feel honored to have known him, to have watched him work, to have shared in his successes, & to dream of the future successes of which we know he was capable. Andy Cray was a true champion of change & we could not be happier to have the whole world know it.”
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stanford Pride Honors Jason Collins

Stanford Pride has announced that Jason Collins will be honored at their Reunion Homecoming event for his groundbreaking role in professional sports on Saturday October 25th. Collins who last played for the Brooklyn Nets in 2014 became the first openly gay athlete to play in any of four major North American pro sports leagues. Collins has made it easier for LGBT athletes to live openly & has broken down long-standing prejudices. He stands among those who have proven that LGBT Americans can succeed in any field & is being honored for that achievement. In April 2014 Collins was featured on the cover of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World." Collins played college basketball for Stanford University where he was an All-American in 2000–01 before being drafted 18th in the 2001 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. Collins who graduated from Stanford in 2001 will join other distinguished alumni guests being honored including Juan Barajas class '99, Director of Development at Freedom to Marry & former Pride fellow, Commander Zoe Dunning (US Navy, ret.), MBA '93 & Gautam Raghavan class '04 & former White House liaison to the LGBT community. The Stanford Pride Reunion Homecoming event takes place Saturday, October 25th from 5P to 8P. Collins will be presented with his award toward the beginning of the reception.
For More Info: stanfordpride.com
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Women For Maura Healey Event

There will be a fabulous fundraiser for Maura Healey Massachusetts Attorney General candidate on October 23rd in Boston. The Women For Maura Healey event will include special guests, Diane Patrick, Martha Coakley & Ms. Magazine Publisher, Eleanor "Ellie" Smeal. Judy Shaw stated, “As a proud member of Team Healey I want to make sure that my friends, family & colleagues have notice about a very special event. Eleanor "Ellie" Smeal, Publisher of Ms. Magazine & President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, will be the guest speaker at the Women For Maura Healey fundraiser this Thursday, October 23rd, 7P to 8:30P in Boston. Martha Coakley & every democratic, female member of the Congressional Delegation, Governor Patrick's Administration, the State Legislature & Mayors of the Commonwealth's cities have been invited. Please join us at the law offices of Choate Hall & Stewart, Two International Place, 35th Floor, Boston to meet Maura & the State's women who represent out interests day in & day out. They are quite amazing - individually & collectively!” The event is hosted by Beth Boland, Nonnie Burnes, Elyse Cherry, Kara Coredini, Diane Doherty & Bill & Roberta Schnoor. The event takes place at Choate Hall & Stewart on the 35th floor at Two International Place in Boston. MA. Suggested Contribution: $500, $250, $125 Make sure to vote for  Maura on November 4th.
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For More Info: maurahealey.com
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Alice DeRock Lesbian Entrepreneur

French lesbian entrepreneur Alice Derock is the mastermind behind the lesbian adult toy empire “Wet For Her”. Founded in 2009 “Wet For Her” is a US based company that specializes in non-realistic lesbian adult toys. Since the launch of this groundbreaking company it has continued to receive acclaim & was awarded the XBIZ New Pleasure Products Company of the Year in 2012. Alice DeRock stated, “Our sex toys work hard night & day around the world to satisfy all of our lesbian-couple customers. We are beyond proud to boost lesbian love-making worldwide” Alice hired researchers & statisticians to conduct polls & even distributed test products & questionnaires to more than 100 women in France, London & northern Europe. The response to these tests & queries was almost unanimous: across the board, women (lesbian, straight & bisexual) expressed a strong interest in a toy or a series of toys that was created for women by women who love women & which they could use to make love to a woman or to themselves. With lesbian adult toys & vibrators that are all made from 100% silicone which are both oderless & free of phthalates, it is easy to see why “Wet For Her” has become such a renowned retailer for lesbian couples. With some of the best lesbian adult products available & a wide selection of massage oils & lubricants, “Wet For Her” is a one-stop shop aimed specifically for lesbians.
For More Info: wetforher.us
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