Saturday, May 27, 2017

Atomic Veterans Speak (AUDIO)

To commemorate Memorial Day I talked to filmmaker Garry DuFour about his upcoming documentary “Atomic Veterans Speak”. From 1942 until 1962 almost 200,000 U.S. soldiers were often unknowingly exposed to different levels of radiation during the testing of atomic & hydrogen weapons. DuFour stated, “I first learned about the Atomic Veterans while working as a staffer on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs for the late Senator Alan Cranston, Chairman from 1979-81. Numerous atomic veterans were writing in & calling about their chronic cancers which were a direct result from the secret nuclear weapons testing sites & no medical records were reported for these veterans known as guinea pigs. Our committee was the first Congressional action to recognize & secure health benefits.” DuFour handled correspondence between the government & veterans who were exposed nuclear radiation & fallout from Top Secret experiments conducted by the US Government in the early development of nuclear weapons during WWII. During this time he photocopied many of these letters that explained how these soldiers were used as guinea pigs to see the effects. This information was not released to the public until the Clinton Administration in the mid 1990’s. On May 31st at Manchester Community Library in Manchester, Vermont Garry will be talking about his film “Atomic Veterans Speak” joined by two Atomic Veterans & a scientist who helped create the first H-Bomb at 5:30P. The event is free & open to everyone.
Listen to this exclusive audio podcast:
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Friday, May 26, 2017

DeVos Discriminatory Position

Secretary DeVos has reinforced her homophobic position stating that she would not intervene if states allowed discrimination. Eliza Byard GLSEN's Executive Director stated, "It is appalling that Secretary DeVos could not name a single example of discrimination that would disqualify a school from receiving federal funds. Equality of opportunity for every child is a bedrock American commitment. Living up to that promise is an ongoing investment. Any betrayal of this commitment in the name of “states’ rights” & “local control” is a shameful stain on our society & the antithesis of true education leadership. No child in this country should be abandoned because they are disabled, LGBTQ, black or brown, Muslim, an immigrant, because their family is poor, or because they are ‘different’ in any other way. Painful, damaging discrimination against children is taking place daily in our schools. More than half of LGBTQ students have experienced discrimination at school. Last year, more than 16,000 families turned to the Department of Education for help when their children were hurt by discrimination of all kinds. Is Secretary DeVos truly prepared to turn away from addressing instances of discrimination, in violation of the law?” Nathan Smith, GLSEN Director of Public Policy concluded, "Allowing discrimination is not a ‘states’ right’, as Secretary DeVos suggests. Discrimination of any kind against students has no place in publicly-funded schools or programs. The U.S. Department of Education itself is charged by Congress with civil rights enforcement responsibilities & has a vital role to play in stepping up for students who lack the voice or resources to stand up for themselves.”
For More Info: glsen.org
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

LGBTQ Task Force Conference

The National LGBTQ Task Force has announced that Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez, Ben de Guzman, Eliot Sutler, Rodney McKenzie, Jr. & Terrance Laney will be serving as host committee co-chairs for the 2018 Creating Change Conference. Celebrating its 30th anniversary the organizing & skills building conference is the nation's largest gathering of LGBTQ & allied advocates. The conference is set to take place January 24th to 28th in 2018 at the Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Road N.W in Washington, D.C. Russell Roybal, Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force stated, "We’re thrilled to have Alexa, Ben, Eliot, Rodney & Terrance join us as host committee co-chairs for the 2018 Creating Change Conference. The annual conference would not succeed without the help of the passionate & tireless work of the host committee & volunteers. Creating Change will be celebrating 30 years of training LGBTQ advocates from across the nation & beyond. We invite LGBTQ & allied advocates in the DMV area to join the host committee & help us make the 2018 Creating Change Conference a huge success!" The National LGBTQ Task Force works to secure full freedom, justice, equity, & equality for our LGBTQ community. For over forty years, the organization has been at the forefront of the social justice movement by training thousands of organizers & advocating for change at the federal, state & local level.
For More Info: creatingchange.org
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

St. Petersburg Trans Pride March

Florida’s largest LGBTQ Pride event has announced an historic event happening at this year’s Pride. For the first time in the state’s history the St. Pete Pride parade will kick off by the TransPride March consisting of all members of the transgender, gender-non-conforming, queer communities, their families, friends, allies & supporters on Saturday June 24th. Eric Skains, Executive Director of St Pete Pride stated, “Somewhere along the way, in the fight for acceptance & equality, our movement allowed the rights of trans individuals to be pushed to be back of the line. Pride celebrations all over the nation accepted & often embraced, the term ‘Gay Pride’ even though it was those within the Trans community who helped begin the Pride movement. We could very well not be celebrating Pride today if it weren't for the Trans community. Pride month began with Trans people & the issues facing the Trans community & the progress made, need to be recognized at every Pride.” Gina Duncan, Director of Transgender Equality, Equality Florida concluded, “TransAction Florida is so proud to sponsor this historic march recognizing the entire spectrum of the transgender community. It is time that all identities feel safe to step forward out of the shadows and demand that the world see us as we see ourselves. We call on all Floridians to join us at this historic event.” The TransPride March is proudly sponsored by Equality Florida & its transgender inclusion initiative, TransAction Florida. The first 500 people to register will be given a TransPride T-shirt & transgender pride flag. All marchers are encouraged to bring transgender pride flags.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Texas Heartless Legislature

The Texas House of Representatives has passed S.B. 2078 that bars transgender students from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. The House also voted to pass a bill that would allow publicly funded adoption agencies to turn away qualified potential parents because they are LGBT, unmarried partners or religious minorities. Laura E. Durso, Center for American Progress Vice President of the LGBT Research & Communications Project stated, “Politicians in Texas are sinking to new lows after forcing through two bills amounting state-mandated discrimination against Texas students & families. Despite widespread opposition from individual Texans & businesses alike, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is ignoring his constituents in favor of a cruel bill that targets transgender students for humiliation & harassment. Today, a staggering 77 percent of respondents who are out or perceived to be transgender report being harassed, discriminated against, or even assaulted in school. Transgender students deserve a safe learning environment, just like every other young person. This bathroom ban will only make schools even more hostile to transgender youth than they already are. This is North Carolina’s H.B. 2 all over again but this time, Texas legislators are directly targeting transgender kids. This type of discrimination has been rejected across the United States, drawing outrage & condemnation from every corner of the country. This follows yesterday’s unconscionable vote allowing adoption & foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents just because they’re LGBT or religious minorities. It’s clear that the Texas legislature is willing to put kids at risk to satisfy pressure from the far right. Texans need to leverage their voices this week & demand Governor Greg Abbott (R) reject these dangerous bills, which would make the Texas legislature a national embarrassment.”
For More Info: equalitytexas.org
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Michele Karlsberg To Be Honored

Lambda Literary the global leader advancing LGBTQ literature has announced that publicist Michele Karlsberg will receive the 2017 Publishing Professional Award at the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards ceremony on June 12th in New York City. Lambda's Publishing Professional Award honors a distinguished individual from our LGBTQ community whose innovative work in the publishing industry promotes & promulgates LGBTQ literature. Amy Scholder, Board of Trustees Vice President stated, "I have been impressed by Michele's contributions to the LGBTQ publishing world for many years. It's not only her commitment to her authors & our community which puts her in mind for Lambda Literary's Publishing Professional Award, but the way she inspires us with her passion & dedication to social justice for all." As a publicist Michelle has effectively carry out publicity & marketing campaigns for authors, organizations, events, comedians, musicians & film/theater professionals. Her list of clients has included Katherine Forrest, Felice Picano, Kate Clinton, Stephen Fry, Jewelle Gomez, Assotto Saint, Dorothy Allison, Martin Duberman, Judy Grahn & Minnie Bruce Pratt just to name a few. The Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) identify & celebrate the best LGBT books of the year & affirms that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world. The Lammys will also be honoring Jacqueline Woodson with the Visionary Award & Jeanette Winterson with the Trustee Award. There will be special introductions by Cynthia Nixon & AM Homes & Mx Justin Vivian Bond will host the event.
For Info & Tix: lambdaliterary.org
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Susan Claassen As Edith Head

Susan Claassen will perform her fabulous one-woman show “A Conversation With Edith Head” on Saturday June 10th at 7:30P & Sunday June 11th at 2:30P presented by MAMM Alliance to support the performing arts students at California State University Fullerton, CA. Claassen stated, “We are thrilled to help raise funds for Cal State Fullerton & empower the artists of tomorrow with these benefit performances! The MAMM Alliance is a support group for the performing arts at Cal State Fullerton. The Alliance is named in honor of arts patron & philanthropist, Marcy Arroues Mulville.” The play is based on the book “Edith Head’s Hollywood” by Edith Head & Paddy Calistro & continues the legacy of Hollywood’s iconic costume designer. For 6 decades the legendary costume designer Edith Head worked on over 1100 films, dressed the greatest stars of Hollywood from Mae West to Grace Kelly, received 35 Academy Award nominations & won an unprecedented 8 Oscars. This will be Ms. Claassen's first appearance in the greater Los Angeles area in five years. The play is filled with behind-the-scenes stories about great movie legends & their delicious intimate encounters with Miss Head during their costume fittings & other personal recollections. As Lucille Ball stated, “Edith knew the figure faults of every top star. And she never told. Edith always knew how to keep a secret.” However in this one-woman show some secrets just might be revealed & fashion tips freely given. I talked to Claassen about “A Conversation With Edith Head” in this exclusive audio byte:
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