Friday, November 28, 2014

Provincetown After Thanksgiving

We traditionally head to Provincetown the LGBT alternative on Black Friday instead of the malls. The whole town is on sale. You can find great gift choices all around town since many of the stores are having end of season sales & holiday specials plus the UU Meetinghouse holds its holiday Crafts Fair both Friday & Saturday with gifts for everyone. On Friday November 28th check out the annual Casino Night hosted by the Provincetown Business Guild at the Crown & Anchor. Play blackjack, Texas holdem, roulette, spin the money wheel & more in a glittery evening while supporting a great organization. Saturday offers the anticipated pleasure of the Annual Lighting of the Lobster Pot Tree. Now in its 11th year Provincetown artist Julian Popko & family build the unique tree right in the heart of Provincetown's Lopes Square. Stacked with over 100 real lobster traps borrowed from local lobstermen, the tree is lit with thousands of fabulous decorations & holiday lights. Later in the evening on Saturday catch a special holiday edition of the famous “Illusions” Drag Revue night at the Crown & Anchor, Provincetown's longest running & most electrifying Drag featuring 4 of America's top female impersonators who perform at 8:30P. There are also plenty of restaurants open & you can dance the night away at The A House or the Wave Bar Lounge at The Crown with VJ Chris Racine. See You There…:)
For Info & Tix: onlyatthecrown.com
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving For LGBT Families

We always have something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day but this year our LGBT community has historically moved closer to marriage equality in this country. As of November 27th gay & lesbian couples can legally marry in 70% of America or 35 out of 50 states. The remaining five states are in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals' & headed to the Supreme Court for upholding their unconstitutional marriage bans. Hopefully the Justices will announce as soon as January that they'll hear one or several of these crucial cases. In the meantime thousands of gay & lesbian couples have married this year & will be receiving federal rights & protections for their families, including myself. Unfortunately ENDA the Employment Non-Discrimination Act appears to be dead in Washington even though Obama signed an executive order that protects 14 million workers employed by federal contractors from anti-LGBT discrimination. Just remember that our LGBT community will not be safe until a federal bill passes providing a safe workplace environment for all, regardless on whom you love. As we continue our momentum to full equality in this country we must keep on educating those who just don’t get it & educate their homophobic hearts & minds. My grandmother always said everyone wants the same thing; “A roof over their heads, food in their bellies & someone to love.” Let’s all remember that simple definition of life as we enjoy this holiday. So from our family to yours have a Fabulous & Safe Thanksgiving Day....:)
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Transgender In The Military

With the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel the Military Freedom Coalition, a leading organization lobbying for the removal of the Transgender Military ban released these statements. First, Kristin Beck Transgender Navy SEAL (Retired) stated, "In May of this year Secretary Hagel said the ban on transgender service people would be reviewed. On August 5th of this year a new DOD Regulation was passed that removed the medical regulation that prohibited transgender service. In the following month I sat down with DOD officials & further reviewed the regulations & procedures to include open transgender service in the US military, the same open & equal service by transgender people seen in eighteen other nations including the UK, Canada, Australia & Norway… Defense Secretary Hagel, thank you for this & your service to our country. I look forward to my next meeting in the Pentagon with new staff to continue on this journey to freedom." National Transgender Coalition Liaison, Ashleigh Barraza added, “During Monday’s press conference Hagel committed to remain in his position as Secretary of Defense until a successor has been named. During his remaining time, it is our hope that Hagel will keep his word about reviewing the ban on Transgender Servicemembers. As the White House struggles with it’s own foreign policy, the battle for transgender rights in the military wages on. There can be no mistaking the controversy that surrounds this day. The war in Afghanistan, ISIS (ISIL) & Transgender Servicemembers - all issues that Hagel has left open ended. While we cannot expect anyone to be selected during the current Lame Duck Session (between now & end of the year), it is our sincere hope that the Senate Republicans will work with Democrats & name the successor in a timely & equitable manner."
For More Info: militaryfreedomcoalition.org
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Monday, November 24, 2014

New Uganda Anti Gay Agenda

The government of Uganda has shown their evil hateful agenda once again against our Ugandan LGBT community. The new law would make almost every LGBT person who rents homeless. The new bill includes language that potentially criminalizes any landlord or owner or renter of a property where an “unnatural act (gay sex)” takes place. Though the bill does not appear on the agenda for the next Ruling Party Caucus on December 13th politicians in Uganda have promised the bill will be introduced by Christmas. Jonathan Cooper, Director of the Human Dignity Trust stated, “Under this Bill, if a landlord rents accommodation to a gay man or lesbian knowing that they may engage in intimacy in their home, that landlord will face the prospect of a 7 year prison sentence. Why would that landlord take the risk? Gay men & lesbians already renting accommodation risk being evicted. If this Bill becomes law, the tyranny against the LGBTI community in Uganda continues. This wanton persecution must stop.” Tim McCarthy a filmmaker dedicated in helping LGBT Ugandans concluded, “Homophobes know that the only way to get good people to hate gays is to dehumanize gays; make them homeless, hungry & alone. Our perfect Voices of the Abasiyazzi Project counters that by humanizing gays, sharing hope & creating allies.” There will be a benefit concert Sunday November 30th at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Provincetown Massachusetts at 3P to support The Voices of the Abasiyazzi Project.
For More Info…
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

JFK Supported LGBT Equality

This is always a bittersweet day marking the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Last year on the 50th anniversary we explored whether JFK would have supported LGBT equality. Pretty quickly we discovered that his closest & dearest friend in the world for 30 years was Lem Billings who was a gay man. Their relationship was documented in a book by author David Pitts entitled “Jack & Lem” published by Avalon. In the book in what the author calls “an extraordinary friendship,” are the details about Lem having his own room in the White House & how Jackie Kennedy dealt with having a third person in her marriage & other bits of lost history that aren’t taught in any school text books. Jack & Lem met while at prep school in the 1930s & from that point on were inseparable until the day Kennedy was assassinated. Pitts worked for 2 years to persuade Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to grant him research access to documents that have been locked away for decades. Letters between the 2 friends, recorded phone calls & even an 800+ page transcription of an oral history that Lem Billings gave after the death of the president. Pitts also combed through hundreds of photographs never seen by the public, many of which he was allowed to publish in the book & he interviewed anyone & everyone he could who knew Jack & Lem so he could tell as accurately as possible the story of a president & his gay best friend. So we can most definitely conclude that if JFK has lived beyond 1963 LGBT civil rights would have been on his agenda.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

LGBT Immigration Discrimination

Though President Obama has taken executive action to extend relief to millions of undocumented immigrants it’s unclear to what extent LGBT undocumented immigrants will be included in that relief. According to GetEqual over 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants live each day afraid of being deported & many to countries that criminalize homosexuality. For these individuals deportation is almost a certainly death sentence. Because of Obama’s action being narrowly tied to family & work these are 2 key areas where LGBT people experience discrimination & many undocumented LGBT folks will be left out of this relief package. LGBT undocumented immigrants are 15 times more likely to be targeted for sexual violence while in detention centers. They are more likely to be raped, denied medication & kept in solitary confinement for extended periods of time. We need LGBTQ identified undocumented folks to be placed on the low-priority list for deportation in order to keep them out of a detention system that has been proven again & again to abuse & mistreat them. If the U.S. government cannot ensure the safety of those in its care President Obama must keep LGBT identified folks out of the system. Let’s ask Obama as he exercises his executive authority to expand administrative relief to millions of undocumented immigrants to ensure the safety of over 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants who face tremendous detention abuse.
Sign Petition: getequal.org
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trevor Live LGBT Event

The Trevor Project will host its 16th annual “TrevorLIVE Los Angeles” the high-profile evening of music, comedy & entertainment on December 7th at the Hollywood Palladium. The event brings together top entertainers, advocates & corporate leaders to support the org’s life-saving, life-affirming work for LGBTQ youth in crisis. This year the Trevor Hero Award goes to NBC Entertainment’s Chairman, Robert Greenblatt for his ongoing support of the LGBT community. The 20/20 Visionary Award will be awarded to Yahoo which will be accepted by Sandy Gould, SVP, Talent Acquisition, for its efforts to advance an empowering future-focused message for LGBTQ young people & its allies nationwide. Skylar Kergil, a transgender artist, musician & YouTube personality will receive the Youth Innovator Award for his passions surrounding LGBTQ rights & advocacy in the community. Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO of The Trevor Project stated, “All of our honorees this year are not only supporters but also strong role models. Their continued efforts have helped broaden the public awareness of the LGBTQ community. Whether it is through the development of diverse television programming, being a proponent of tolerance & equality in the work force, or openly sharing their story, they’ve all become pioneers who continuously push the boundaries & given a voice to our younger generation.” TrevorLIVE LA is produced & directed by Adam Shankman who will celebrate his 5th consecutive year directing the event. The star-studded evening includes performances by: Katharine McPhee, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alex Newell, Melora Hardin & Marc Shaiman. There’ll be special appearances by Brittany Snow, Katherine Heigl, Dan Bucatinsky, Lisa Kudrow, Kelly Osbourne, Beth Behrs, Wentworth Miller, Matt McGorry, Jason Collins, Hal Sparks, Billy Eichner, Jay Ferguson, Jack Falahee, Ryan Eggold, Elisabeth Rohm & Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome.
For Info & Tix: thetrevorproject.org
LISTEN: Producer Michael Levitt Talks Fox Canine TV Special
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