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
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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.
 Listen To Exclusive Interview:
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.
LISTEN:

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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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chicago Gay Youth Job Fair

The Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair will be held Wednesday Oct. 22nd form Noon to 4P at Center on Halsted 3656 N. Halstedin Chicago. This free event includes job advice, breakout sessions detailing best interview & employee practices as well as legal issues in the workplace, plus food & prizes. Tom Tunney 44th Ward Alderman stated, "We know that obtaining gainful employment is the key to success. This fair is a great way to break down barriers that face LGBT job seekers both young & old. LGBT employees should be valued contributors to any workplace & economic opportunity should be a reality for all communities." The latest studies show an alarmingly high unemployment & poverty rate in the LGBTQ community. In order to address the issue & as a follow-up to the Windy City Times LGBTQ Homeless Youth Summit in May 2014, Windy City Times, Chicago House TransWorks, TransTech, Affinity& the Center on Halsted will be hosting an LGBTQ Job Fair open to ages 18 & above. Jobs from internship & entry level to mid-career will be available for applications. So far participating corporations include United Airlines, Uber, Northern Trust, Whole Foods, Lurie Children's Hospital, Christy Webber Landscapes, The Chopping Block, Pastoral Artisan & Roosevelt University, which will provide opportunities for further education. The fair will be preceded by free 4-day intensive job readiness training sessions hosted by Chicago House.
For More Info: windycitymediagroup.com
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Friday, October 17, 2014

LGBT Right Out TV Nominees

The nominees for the 2014 RightOutTV Music & Video Awards have been announced. Once again the global awards have received submissions from LGBT artists from multiple countries including Switzerland, China, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Canada & the United States. Marlee Walchuk, RightOutTV Awards Co-Producer stated, “One of the goals of the awards is to increase the awareness of these talented writers & singers who still don’t experience open doors in mainstream music for their queer-themed lyrics. Whether or not they win in their nominated categories, every artist will benefit from being seen & heard by our judges & the thousands of fans who vote for the Fan Fave & who watch our final awards presentation show. This is much more than a contest.” Co-Producer Tully Callender added, “With new categories added this year such as Best Song & Video with a Social Message, we are seeing these artists shine, doing what they do best, trying to affect change through their music & video images. We are very proud of our community.” Award winners in 17 categories will be announced in an online awards show featuring many of the nominees on November 10th at the RightOutTV Awards website. The public may still vote until Oct. 27th 2014 with one vote per person for one LGBT artist to win the RightOutTV 2014 Fan Fave Award.
For Info & Fan Vote: rightouttvawards.com
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GLAAD Presents Spirit Day 2014

Everyone is encouraged to go purple & participate on social media for Spirit Day on Thursday October 16th. Millions wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) youth & to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives after facing bullying incidents. Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news & entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities & even national landmarks. This year actress & trans activist Laverne Cox, the Emmy nominated “Orange is the New Black” star will light the iconic Empire State Building in purple on October 16th. This is first time that the New York landmark has taken a stand against bullying & gone purple for Spirit Day. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “By recognizing National Bullying Prevention Month & lighting in purple for Spirit Day, the world’s most famous office building is supporting countless kids across the world. At a time when eight in 10 LGBT youth are harassed at school, it’s critical that we let them know it’s okay to be who you are.” Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its national partners PepsiCo & Wells Fargo, as well as official partner Comcast-NBC Universal & supporting partners American Eagle Outfitters & Kirkland & Ellis.
For More Info: glaad.org
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gay Marriage Fight In Florida

The marriage equality battle is heating up in Florida despite the fact that the majority of states in this country have now legalized gay & lesbian marriages. Florida’s anti gay Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed a Supplemental Response In Support Of Pass-Through Certification, asking the Third District Court of Appeal to “pass through” jurisdiction & allow two gay & lesbian marriage cases to be heard by the Florida Supreme Court. The 2 cases, Pareto v. Ruvin (Equality Florida Institute & 6 plaintiff couples) & Huntsman v. Heavilin, have been consolidated & attorneys had asked the Third DCA to pass through to the Florida Supreme Court. At the time, AG Bondi wanted to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court took up the issue but now the U.S. Supreme Court has deferred to the courts in each state. Equality Florida released this statement: “While we look forward to having this matter move forward to the Florida Supreme Court & asked for this on July 30th, AG Bondi & Governor Rick Scott continue to waste taxpayer money while gay & lesbian couples throughout the state continue to endure the indignities of being treated like second-class citizens. Nearly two-thirds of the country now live in a state that values equality. How much longer must loving couples in Florida wait to protect their families? Now is the time for AG Bondi & Governor Scott to step on the right side of history & not let Florida go down in history as one of the last states to uphold the principles of fairness.”
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Gay Marriage In Alaska

On Columbus Day 2014 the state of Alaska is scheduled to begin accepting marriage applications from gay & lesbian couples after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage which was the nation’s first such ban approved by voters. The decision came late Sunday afternoon when U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess ruled in favor of marriage equality. Susan Tow with her wife, Chris Laborde stated, “This is just an amazing day for Alaska. We’re just so fortunate that so many have fought for equality for so long — I mean, decades”. Sunday’s ruling in Alaska came in a lawsuit brought by 5 gay & lesbian couples who had asked the state in May to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998. Judge Burgess heard arguments Friday afternoon & promised a quick decision. He released his 25-page decision Sunday afternoon stating, “Refusing the rights & responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message that same-sex couples & their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits & dignity given to couples of the opposite sex. This Court finds that Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws violate the Due Process & Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment because no state interest provides ‘excessively persuasive justification’ for the significant infringement of rights that they inflicted upon homosexual individuals.” Alaska’s anti gay Governor Sean Parnell is threatening to appeal the decision stating, “Although the district court today may have been bound by the recent 9th Circuit panel opinion, the status of that opinion & the law in general in this area is in flux.” Updates to Come…:)
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Provincetown Women's Week 2014

The 30th anniversary of Women's Week in Provincetown, MA is set for October 13th through October 19th. In 1984 several entrepreneurial & fabulous lesbian innkeepers came together to talk about the summer vacation season & ways to bring gay women back during the fall. This small discussion blossomed into the idea of a clambake on the beach for one weekend in October that would be called Women's Weekend. The event was a resounding success & today is one of the longest running lesbian events in history. Over the past 30 years, Women's Week has grown far beyond anyone's expectation. Comics, drag performers, jazz, blues & contemporary musicians have all performed in years past & continue to come back to entertain those celebrating during this special week. Some of these include iconic & award-winning LGBT entertainers include Kate Clinton, Poppy Champlin, Kristen Becker & Suzanne Westenhoefer. Musicians Lisa Ferraro and Erika Luckett, Cris Williamson, Tret Fure, Janis Ian & authors Marianne K. Martin, Lynn Ames & Georgia Beers to name a few. Another reason this year's anniversary is special is that award-winning filmmaker Andrea Meyerson will be filming her Women's Week documentary entitled "Clambake: 30 Years of Women's Week in Provincetown." Upon completion, the documentary will debut at the Provincetown International Film Festival in June 2015 & then another special viewing will take place at next year's Women's Week. Other Women's Week events scheduled include original plays, writing, photography & theater workshops, walking tours, craft fairs & meet-and-greet events for all to enjoy.
For More Info: womensweekprovincetown.com
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Friday, October 10, 2014

HRC San Francisco 30th Gala

This has been quite the historic week for our LGBT community as we come closer to marriage equality nationwide. In San Francisco this Saturday October 11th join Gala Co-chairs Cherie Green & Matt Hendry for the 30th Annual HRC San Francisco Bay Area Gala Dinner. Special guests include: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, HRC President Chad Griffin, Oscar Winner Dustin Lance Black & Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kris Perry & Sandy Stier. Nearly 1,000 of the Bay Area's most influential citizens will gather at this event to celebrate the strides HRC has made toward achieving equality for our LGBT community this past year, while preparing for the work ahead in the year to come. The Black-Tie event begins at 5P with a VIP Reception/Silent Auction for Federal Club & VIP’s. At 6P the silent auction opens for all guests followed by the dinner program. The After Party begins at 10P with entertainment provided by DJ Carole C, Singer Jess Godwin & DJ Russ Rich. The 30th Annual HRC San Francisco Bay Area Gala Dinner & Silent Auction held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, 335 Powell Street. For More Info & Tix: HRC.org
Last summer I chatted to Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kris Perry & Sandy Stier in this exclusive audio interview about their experience being filmed for five years leading up to the Supreme Court decision that found Prop 8 unconstitutional for the HBO documentary THE CASE AGAINST 8 & the affect the experience had on their family. LISTEN:
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Las Vegas Begins Gay Marriage

With the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturning the ban on gay & lesbian marriages, Nevada is one of the states to legalize gay marriage. Clark County began accepting marriage applications from gay & lesbian couples on Thursday, Oct. 9th after a day delay. Las Vegas released this statement, “This is a historic day for Las Vegas & the great state of Nevada. As the ‘Wedding Capital of the World’ & one of the top destinations for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender visitors, Las Vegas welcomes LGBT couples wishing to legally recognize their relationship. There is simply no better destination to host a fabulous wedding followed by a one-of-a-kind honeymoon.” Las Vegas just became a little bit more fabulous with this momentous announcement. Las Vegas is welcoming our LGBT community from one end of the Strip to the other & going above & beyond to ensure every visitor has a memorable experience. Las Vegas is famous for offering everything from elaborate, over-the-top venues to intimate settings that will bring the most romantic dreams to life. That’s why it’s no surprise that nearly 100,000 marriage licenses are issued each year, for couples looking to make it official. Just think how much revenue will be added by our LGBT community to the ‘Wedding Capital of the World". Viva Las Vegas & Congrats!
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Monday, October 6, 2014

Gay Marriage Adds 5 States

Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin & Indiana marriage equality cases have been denied review by the U.S. Supreme Court which means that gay & lesbian marriage will soon begin in 5 more American states. Theodore Olson Plaintiff’s lead co-counsel in the Virginia case stated, “This is a momentous victory for the constitutional promise of equality, dignity & justice for all Americans. Today, I am proud to call myself a Virginian. With the Commonwealth’s discriminatory marriage ban finally & conclusively struck down, we are one giant step closer to the day that all Americans, not just Virginians, can enjoy their right to marriage equality under the law.” David Boies, Virginia Plaintiff’s lead co-counsel added, “Those who drew & ratified our Constitution over two centuries ago set out to form a more perfect Union. Today, that goal has once again been realized. The unjust & unlawful discrimination imposed by laws like Virginia’s marriage ban have seen their final days. Our Constitution promises freedom & justice for all & today that promise was fulfilled for thousands of gay & lesbian Virginians & their families.” Congressman  Mark Pocan (WI-02), co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus concluded, “Full equality is here to stay in Wisconsin. The Supreme Court’s rejection of Attorney General Van Hollen’s appeal puts an end to a dark chapter in Wisconsin’s history where many are treated as second-class citizens simply based on who they choose to love. Today’s ruling reaffirms we are all equal under the law.” The Supreme Court decision could make it possible for marriage equality in 30 states. Updates to Come…:)
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“Black-ish” Is Anti Gay

We were really looking forward to watching “Black-ish” the new ABC sitcom but found it alarming with its homophobic references to our LGBT community. Last week GLAAD the LGBT media watchdogs gave ABC a rave review for increasing LGBT characters on TV & then this new sitcom which doesn’t include any LGBT characters took really offensive shots at our community with dialogue like “It looks a little gay” without doing a “Seinfeld” like saying, but there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re left feeling that there is something wrong or second-class about being gay. Up until these anti-gay references were made we were really enjoying the show & found it well written & actually funny. However once we heard the insults to our LGBT community all we could think about was, shame on you ABC. How could a network that has such a fabulous show like “The Fosters” on their network allow such below the belt homophobic dialogue to encourage families that it’s okay to put down our LGBT community? If you want to address gay issues on “Black-ish” then include gay characters to discuss it. The way this sitcom is set up there’s no one to stand up for our LGBT community to educate the audience how this type of stereotyping damages the progress our LGBT families have made in the last decades.
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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Harvey Milk’s Castro Street Fair

The Castro Street Fair is always held on the first Sunday in October & is part of the enduring legacy of Harvey Milk, who founded the Fair in 1974. It’ll be held on October 5th at the corner of Castro & Mission Streets from 11A to 6P in San Francisco. The street fair seeks to honor Milk’s original vision that embodies all that is San Francisco & the Castro, which is an historical, hyper-local, grass-roots event, built to support & reflect the community & its important causes. Like the other flagship LGBT events in the city, part of its mission is to raise money for local non-profits. Every year the Fair supports 20 to 25 beneficiary groups in addition to helping fund the iconic rainbow flag that flies at the corner of Market & Castro. The Castro Street Fair has raised over one million dollars since 1998, a feat that could not have been accomplished without the generous gate donations of attendees. The Castro Street Fair will be a "frooty" good time this year, with performers such as Aiden James, Big Dipper & feel-good cover band Pop Rocks. Local luminary DJs such as Stefanie Philips, Oscar Pineda & Dan DeLeon will provide booty-shakin' beats. Sundance Saloon returns with the wildly popular country western dance area, behind the Castro Theatre. The suggested donation at the gates is $5 to $10 but more is always welcome…:)
 For More Info: castrostreetfair.org
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

LGBT History Month Icons

In October since 2006 LGBT History Month has provided role models, teaches history, builds community to make an important civil rights statement about our LGBT community’s important contributions. LGBT History Month has announced its 31 LGBT icons for 2014. Each day in October an Icon is featured with a video, bio, downloadable images & other educational resources. Malcolm Lazin, founder of LGBT History Month & Executive Director of Equality Forum stated, “The 279 Icons, including the 31 Icons for 2014, demonstrate the impressive & diverse international impact of the LGBT community.” George Chauncey, Samuel Knight Professor of American History & Chair of the History Department, Yale University added, “LGBT History Month sends an important message to our nation’s teachers, school boards, community leaders & youth about the vital importance of recognizing and exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history." The LGBT community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community & makes the civil rights statement of our extraordinary national & international contributions. Gay and Lesbian History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association & other national organizations. WATCH VIDEO:

For More Info: lgbthistorymonth.com
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

GLAAD LGBT TV Ratings

GLAAD the LGBT media advocacy organization, for the first time in the same year rates 3 networks ABC Family, HBO & MTV as "Excellent" in its eighth annual Network Responsibility Index. GLAAD also finds 3.9% of regular characters in primetime scripted broadcast to be LGBT in their 19th Where We Are on TV report which is an increase from 3.3% last year. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD President & CEO stated, "Television networks are playing a key role in promoting cultural understanding of LGBT lives around the world & are now producing some of the best LGBT-inclusive programming we've yet seen. As they move forward with new programs & storylines, networks must also keep an eye towards diversity & strive to include significant transgender content comparable to those efforts being made by their online competitors, such as Netflix's Orange is the New Black & Amazon's Transparent." Tom Ascheim, President of ABC Family added, "To be relevant to our audience, we must reflect the world as they experience it & we know that experience is based on valuing loving relationships, no matter the gender. This acknowledgment is especially gratifying because it means we are representing their view accurately. We will continue to deliver programming where differences are acknowledged & celebrated." GLAAD also counted 64 regular & 41 recurring LGBT characters on primetime scripted cable series.
For More Info: glad.org
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