Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bonauto U.S. Supreme Court Debut

Finally Mary L. Bonauto the Civil Rights Project Director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) & the architect of gay marriage in this country will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28th for gay & lesbian couples who are currently being excluded from marriage. She will stand on behalf of the Michigan case DeBoer v. Snyder & the Kentucky case Love v. Beshear. Bonauto stated, “I’m humbled to be standing up for the petitioners from Kentucky & Michigan who seek the freedom to marry, along with attorneys Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Ken Mogill & Robert Sedler & with support from the other legal teams in Ohio & Tennessee. The road that we’ve all travelled to get here has been built by so many people who believe that marriage is a fundamental right. Gay & lesbian couples should not be excluded from the joy, the security & the full citizenship signified by that institution. I believe the Court will give us a fair hearing & I look forward to the day when all LGBT Americans will be able to marry the person they love.” Janson Wu, GLAD’s Executive Director concluded, “Our community is extremely fortunate to have Mary as our advocate. To say she has deep knowledge of the issues is an understatement; it is equally an understatement to say she has a sharp legal mind, a big heart & a generous spirit.”
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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pressure On Anti Gay Indiana

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has opened a can of worms after signing the new anti gay law that allows businesses in that state to cite religious objections to refuse to serve our LGBT community & is now trying to justify his action by saying he supports an effort to "clarify the intent" of the legislation while dealing with national outrage over SB 101. On Twitter #‎BoycottIndiana‬ #BanIndiana became the number one trend. Gay ally Barbara Allyn Howard of Northpoint, Indiana, stated: “I’m so angry & disappointed both as a resident of Indiana & as an American. I am a heterosexual woman who abhors hurtful discrimination in any form. And, I’m not alone – hundreds of my fellow Hoosiers are expressing their outrage on Facebook & Twitter at the Governor’s signing this bill. The fact the Governor signed the bill privately behind locked doors speaks volumes – especially given that he accepted absolutely no citizen or corporate feedback prior to signing.” John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA’s Legal & Policy Director concluded, "Those behind Indiana’s law are part of national political strategy, begun several years ago, to try to instill unfounded fear that ensuring equality for LGBTQ Americans will somehow impinge on the freedom of religion. The same national strategy is being employed to undermine women’s lives. Because of laws similar to Indiana’s, public businesses have been able to substitute their owners’ religious views regarding access to contraception for their female employees for medical decisions these women make in consultation with health care professionals. We as Americans must stop this cynical strategy in its tracks, because unstopped the strategy will subject women, LGBTQ people & millions of other Americans to discrimination & exclusion from vital services. As a society, we are better than that. Public opinion polling shows that a large majority of Americans oppose laws such as Indiana’s." With marriage equality headed to Supreme Court next month let’s move America forward, not backward, toward true equality & inclusion for all Americans.
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Friday, March 27, 2015

The Center NYC Dinner Event

On Thursday April 2nd in NYC the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center’s (The Center) annual Center Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street will honor actor Jeffrey Tambor of “Transparent,” community leaders Stephen Friedman, President of MTV & Logo & Brian C. Offutt, COO of Combs Enterprises. The event will also support The Center’s efforts to open the first-ever substance abuse treatment program designed specifically for LGBT youth. Glennda Testone Executive Director, The Center stated, “Please join us for Center Dinner, The Center’s long-running, exclusive fundraiser in celebration of the LGBT community & our work to support it. Each year, the crucial funds raised at Center Dinner allow us to maintain & create programs & services that empower people to lead healthy, successful lives.” Some of the fabulous A-List celebrities attending will include: Jeremy Scott (designer), Alan Cumming (actor, “Good Wife”), Mary Louise Parker (actress, “Weeds”), Lea DeLaria (comedian & actress, “Orange Is the New Black”), Alexis Bittar (designer), Judith Light (actress), Stacy London (style expert & TV personality), Jenna Lyons (President, J. Crew), Phillip Lim (designer) & Narciso Rodriguez (designer) & more. Established in 1983, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center empowers people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates diversity & advocates for justice & opportunity. Each year The Center welcomes more than 300,000 visits to their building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan from people who utilize their life-changing & life-saving activities.
For Info & Tix: gaycenter.org
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fenway Women’s Dinner Party

The Women’s Dinner Party on Saturday April 11th at the Boston Marriott Copley Place is a fabulous elegant attire fundraiser aimed at the lesbian, bisexual women & transgender community & their allies that raises funds for Fenway Health. More than 1,000 people come together to raise over $500,000 in support of the life-saving programs & services at Fenway Health. Fenway Health is proud to present Judith B. Bradford, PhD, Director of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health & Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute, with the Dr. Susan M. Love Award at this year’s Women’s Dinner Party. Dr. Bradford is being honored for her longstanding commitment & contributions to the health of sexual & gender minorities. Jane Powers, Fenway’s Director of Behavioral Health & Co-Chair of this year’s Women’s Dinner Party stated, “We are so thrilled to once again gather so many members of our community for a night of dinner, dancing, fun & supporting the important work of Fenway Health. We are also incredibly excited to honor Dr. Judy Bradford with the Dr. Susan M. Love Award. Dr. Bradford’s work on lesbian & bisexual women’s issues, transgender health, LGBT aging & issues impacting young people of color is all incredibly inspiring & has helped improve the health of our entire community.” The program gets underway with mingling & a silent auction at 6P & dinner at 7P. Our favorite political comedian Kate Clinton returns to get the party started then Boston funk band Booty Vortex & DJ LeahV aka Leah McFly, the first queer female DJ to win a Boston Music Award, promise to keep you dancing into the wee hours. See You There!!
For Info & Tix: womensdinnerparty.org
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Indiana Passes Anti LGBT Bill

UPDATE: Indiana Gov. Signs Odious Anti-LGBT Bill 
The Indiana State House has approved the nation’s most anti LGBT legislation that allows homophobes to discriminate against our LGBT community in the name of protecting religious freedom. The legislation was modeled after a 22-year old federal law known as the Religious Freedom & Restoration Act. This is the law that was used at the US Supreme Court when they allowed Hobby Lobby to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement that they cover contraceptives. Governor Mike Pence (R-Indiana) who said he will sign the bill is being urged to veto SB 101, one of the most backward anti LGBT laws in the nation by allowing individuals to ignore any law they deem to conflict with their religious beliefs. There’s a broad coalition of groups in Indiana against the proposed law including civil rights & faith leaders, small business owners & the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director stated, “Lawmakers in Indiana have chosen to ignore an unprecedented chorus of voices speaking out in opposition to this draconian bill. Governor Pence now has the opportunity to follow the lead of former Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) in similar circumstances & to veto this appalling law. The truth is, this new law will undoubtedly damage Indiana’s reputation as a welcoming place. Instead, the state will now be viewed as completely out-of-step & a place where it isn’t good to live & do business. What these politicians are peddling as 'religious liberty' is not real religious liberty. This law is an out-right recipe for discrimination and persecution.”
Please Call Governor Pence at 317-232-4567 to ask him to veto this unprecedented attack on religious liberty.
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

GLAAD Honors Kerry Washington

In Los Angeles Saturday night the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards recognized & honored media for their fair, accurate & inclusive representations of our LGBT community & issues that affect our lives. Ellen DeGeneres presented the Vanguard Award to Kerry Washington. Channing Tatum presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to director Roland Emmerich. The event was hosted by comedian Tig Notaro with a special performance by Alex Newell. GLAAD Media Award recipients were announced in 16 of this year's 31 media categories including: Outstanding Film “The Imitation Game”, Outstanding Drama Series “How to Get Away with Murder”, Outstanding Comedy Series “Transparent”, Outstanding Individual Episode in a series without a regular LGBT character “Drop Dead Diva” & Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series “The Normal Heart” among others. Celebrity guests included Zoe Saldana, Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Jack Falahee, Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King, Peter Nowalk, Portia de Rossi, Pauley Perrette, Ron Perlman, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Jill Soloway, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Alexandra Billings, Rhys Ernst, Kiersey Clemons, Michaela Watkins, Alison Sudol, Andrew Rannells, Murray Bartlett, Daniel Franzese, Samira Wiley, Jordan Gavaris, Laura Jane Grace, Angel Haze, Michael Mosley, Kevin Daniels, Kevin Bigley, Peter Paige, Bradley Bredeweg, Gavin MacIntosh, Hayden Byerly, Yara Martinez, Alex Newell, Gregg Sulkin, Rita Volk, Michael J. Willett, Carter Covington, Jessica St. Clair, Lennon Parham, Guy Wilson, Freddie Smith, Christopher Sean, Bruno Tonioli, GLAAD National Spokesperson Omar Sharif, Jr. & GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis & many more. GLAAD Media Awards were presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka & Wells Fargo at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. We’ll be covering the Red Carpet for our sixth year at the GLAAD Media Awards event in NYC on Saturday May 9th at the Waldorf Astoria.
 For More Info: glaad.org
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Cooper & Cohen AC2 Live Tour

Openly gay media icons Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen are kicking off their new live tour entitled AC2 on Saturday March 21st in Boston at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre at 8P. The four-city tour is being billed “Deep Talk & Shallow Tales” an evening of unscripted, uncensored & unforgettable conversation. Cooper stated, "We're not exactly sure what it's going to be like on stage. Every night is going to be different.” The show promises to be cutting edge celebrity dish from Cohen combined with the credibility of veteran broadcast journalist Cooper’s mainstream perception of current world events. Being that both men are gay should also add an LGBT spin that’s not to be missed. Just think of this as one of those rare brutally honest opportunities where they will be able to really tell it how they see it & hopefully laugh out loud as well. The next city on their one night stand tour will be Miami on April 18the at The Jackie Gleason Theater, followed by Chicago on May 16th at The Chicago Theatre & concluding in Atlanta on June 13th at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. There are general admission tickets as well as VIP. The VIP package includes: premium seating, an opportunity to meet & greet Anderson & Andy following the show w/ picture opportunities & an autographed gift to take home. So if you go for the VIP tickets don’t forget to take your camera…:)
For More Info & Tix: ac2live.com
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LGBT Homeless Youth Epidemic

As the Senate continues to debate anti-human trafficking legislation that would also provide much needed services to runaway & homeless youth especially those who are LGBT through an amendment reauthorizing the Runaway & Homeless Youth Act, the Center for American Progress released a column outlining ways in which the Department of Health & Human Services can act independently to make an immediate difference for LGBT homeless young people. Hannah Hussey, CAP Research Associate for LGBT Progress stated, “Too many LGBT youth become homeless as a result of family rejection, poverty, or failures within the child welfare & juvenile justice systems. Once homeless, they may face discrimination & safety risks at shelters & other programs meant to provide basic services when there is nowhere else to go. The threats to the health & well-being of these young people are a pressing concern, making it vital for the Administration for Children & Families to take action to improve services for LGBT homeless youth.” According to recent research, roughly 40% of unaccompanied homeless youth are LGBT. These young people require the same services as other homeless youth—food, shelter, health care, counseling, education & career development but also face risks of discrimination that often lead to substandard services or no services at all. HHS currently has the statutory authority to make critical changes to the way LGBT homeless youth are treated right now that would not require new legislation.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tyler Clementi Anti Bullying Act

U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) & Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) along with Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) have reintroduced legislation aimed at reducing dangerous bullying & harassment that affects 1 in 5 students at colleges & universities across the country. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2015 requires institutions of higher education to establish policies to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. The bill also establishes a grant program to support campus anti-harassment activities & programs. The legislation is named after Tyler Clementi, the freshman at Rutgers University who took his own life after his roommate & another student invaded his privacy & harassed him over the internet for being gay. Senator Murray stated, “All students deserve the chance to further their education, without the fear of harassment & bullying. LGBT students are more likely to be harassed in school, yet there is no federal requirement for colleges & universities to protect their students from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. I am proud that this bill would take meaningful steps to provide schools & students with tools to prevent harassment & protect survivors. By honoring Tyler’s life with this legislation, we can work to prevent the bullying that far too many students are forced to endure.” Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director concluded, “GLSEN thanks Sens. Patty Murray & Tammy Baldwin & Rep. Mark Pocan for reintroducing the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act & for their ongoing commitment to ensuring that all college students have access to safe & welcoming campuses. LGBT college students, like all members of the higher education community, have the right to feel safe & supported as they navigate their way through their education. We look forward to working with members of Congress in the coming months to make these policy ideas a reality.”
Read Full Bill….
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Antigone Rising Game Changer

The all female alternative country rock band Antigone Rising just released their new album "Whiskey & Wine - Volume 2” on iTunes & the band’s website with a brand new video for the album’s first single “Game Changer”. The music video addresses LGBT equality with an emphasis of Love Is Love. Quite an accomplishment for an all lesbian alt-country rock female band as part of the growing chorus of out voices contributing to country music scene as LGBT individuals & still dealing with a predominantly conservative industry. Bass guitarist & vocalist Kristen Henderson stated, "With W&W Vol. 2 the songs have gotten much more personal, the productions a little more elaborate. These songs all have something to say.” says Kristen Henderson. "It's important to the band that we write songs that say something about who we are & what we stand for. We are looking forward to touring & performing the songs for a live audience, getting the crowd's reaction & visiting cities we haven't been to in quite some time. It's going to be a great year for Antigone Rising.” As you know Kristin appeared on the cover of Time Magazine with wife Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson who’s President/CEO of GLAAD for a feature on marriage equality. Sarah appears in the video with their 2 kids as well. Antigone Rising also includes Cathy Henderson, lead guitar & vocals, Nini Camps rhythm guitar & vocals & Dena Tauriello on drums.
For More Info & Tour Dates....
WATCH VIDEO...
   
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WAM! Boston Film Festival

The WAM! (Women, Action & the Media) Boston Film Festival is a full day of films made by & about women from filmmakers across the globe at the historic Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Saturday March 21st from 12P to 10:30P. There will also be programming about Boston’s film industry, sessions with the filmmakers & plenty of opportunities to network. Come experience a unique day of programming filled with films by cutting edge female directors & producers from around the world. It starts with a Shorts Program: Family Dynamics at 12P that includes six short films. Then there will be a Boston Film Industry Panel at 2P followed by another Shorts Program: Changes & Transformation that includes four more short films & concludes at 7P with “Red Lines” about two young activists with the potential to shape the outcome of the Syrian Revolution dare to go where the media can’t & world leaders won’t. But until the world acts on its own red lines for intervention they’re on their own. There will be a panel discussion following the screening with special guests including Mouaz Moustafa, one of the main subjects of the film. The Brattle Theater is located at 40 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA. The event is sponsored by Cambridge Commission on The Status of Women & Women In Film New England.
For More Info & Tix... 
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Shame On Dolce & Gabbana

Designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana have managed to piss-off the entire LGBT community & many celebrities by making the ridiculous statement that in-vitro fertilization (IVF) led to “synthetic” children & that gay people could not be parents. Sir Elton John the gay godfather immediately called for a boycott of the brand stating, “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as synthetic. And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF - a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight & gay, to fulfill their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce & Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.” Now several celebrities have joined the boycott including Courtney Love, Victoria Beckham, Ricky Martin & Martina Navratilova tweeting, “Right on Elton & David. My D&G shirts are going in the bin- don't want ANYONE to wear them.” Gabbana has stated, “It was never our intention to judge other people's choices.” However Dolce is justifying his remarks stating, “'I'm Sicilian & I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father & children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families & they are as legitimate as the one I've known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learned the values of love & family. This is the reality in which I grew up, but it does not imply that I don't understand different ones. I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people's choices & decisions.” As gay men Dolce & Gabbana should come down from their ivy tower & reconnect with their LGBT community before it's too late for damage control.
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Poverty Risk For LGBT Women

According to a new groundbreaking report released by a broad coalition of research & advocacy organizations LGBT, women are among the most at risk of poverty in America. Due to discriminatory laws, America’s 5.1 million LGBT women face lower pay, frequent harassment, compromised access to health care & heightened violence. Anti-LGBT laws together with inequitable & outdated policies, mean that LGBT women’s economic security is compromised by reduced incomes & added costs ranging from health care to housing. Laura E. Durso, Director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress stated, “Even at a time when the public is showing increased understanding & acceptance of LGBT people & their relationships, the unique concerns & struggles of LGBT women are largely absent in the national conversation.” Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of the Movement Advancement Project added, “LGBT women face added challenges not solely because of their gender, but also because of who they are & whom they love. Discrimination & stigma, combined with the struggles faced by all women, make LGBT women & their families especially vulnerable. Making matters worse, the burden falls most acutely on those who can least afford it: LGBT women raising children, older LGBT women, LGBT women of color, LGBT immigrants & those LGBT women & families who are already living near or below the poverty line.” “Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT Women in America,” was co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project, or MAP & the Center for American Progress.
Read Full Report…
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Friday, March 13, 2015

Boston Pride & St. Patrick’s Parade

Finally Boston Pride, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary as an LGBT community event in June, has been accepted by the South Boston Allied War Veteran’s Council to march in the 114th annual South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade will take place on Sunday, March 15th. Sylvain Bruni, President of Boston Pride stated, “We are looking forward to celebrating Boston’s diversity, our veterans & the Irish heritage of so many members of our community by marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. While we recognize there is still much work to be done to protect the rights of the LGBT community both here & around the world & to ensure everyone’s rights to express themselves & to celebrate, we are aware of how symbolically important it is for members of our community to be proudly out among their friends & neighbors as a part of this historic parade.” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh added "I'm thrilled that the St. Patrick's Day parade is inclusive this year & the addition of Boston Pride to the list of participants reflects the values of the South Boston neighborhood. With this year's parade, Boston is putting years of controversy behind us." In 1995, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade had a constitutional right to exclude LGBT organizations & individuals from participating in the annual parade. Twenty years later, Boston Pride & the LGBT community will be marching proudly in the parade, alongside OUTVETS, a group that formed last year & represents openly gay veterans. Bruni concluded, “We are eager to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the same respectful manner we ask participants to observe at the Pride Parade every year. As importantly, we are looking forward to showing our pride in an established Boston tradition & in our community by marching on Sunday & we invite all LGBT and ally individuals to march with us.”
For More Info: bostonpride.org
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Equality Florida Honors Doug Ball

Doug Ball will receive Equality Florida’s highest honor, the Voice For Equality Award, at a brunch reception Saturday, March 21st at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. The award recognizes his years of volunteer leadership in multiple organizations on behalf of civil liberties & social justice. Civil liberties, serving the hungry & homeless & religious freedom are among his causes. Like many other Floridians Ball & his husband Frank Dowd were looking for a warmer climate when Doug retired in 2001 from his job as a lawyer with the IRS in Washington D.C. But neither was looking to slow down. Living in one of the most conservative counties in Florida “is not very encouraging at times,” Doug says. Neither Naples nor Collier County has a human rights ordinance that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people from discrimination. Lately, he & other local members of Equality Florida have focused on raising awareness & support for various statewide measures as well as local ones. Stratton Pollitzer, Equality Florida’s Deputy Director stated, “I can think of no one more deserving, who has given of himself so tirelessly & who has been there time and time again for our community.” This is the third annual reception in which Equality Florida is honoring a local leader. Previous award winners were Thom Croce, who started the Gay Straight Alliance at Naples High School & Gabrielle Gilmore, a longtime leader in PFLAG. The event will be from 11A to 1P March 21st in the Orchid Ballroom of the Naples Grande Beach Resort, 475 Seagate Drive in Naples. Tickets are $100.
For Info & Tix: eqfl.org
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Jewel of Paris Musical Revue

Jewel of Paris is a celebration of Paris in song & spectacle music by master composer Scrumbly Koldewyn that begins previews March 12th & opens Thursday March 19th at The Hypnodrome in San Francisco for a limited engagement of 24 performances presented by Thrillpeddlers. Inspired by the artistic revolution erupting in Paris nearly a century ago, Jewels of Paris is a tuneful, time-traveling testament that revels in love, life, artistic, social & sexual change seen through the eyes & ears of Parisian luminaries including Pierrot, Picasso, Cocteau, Josephine Baker & even Marie Antoinette. Revues are a combination of song, dance, spectacle & sketches originated in Paris in the late 19th century & soon traveled to Broadway via the Ziegfeld Follies. The revue genre is a Thrillpeddlers specialty. The musical stars, in many roles, include: Lisa McHenry, Christine Kim, Kim Larsen, Roxanne Redmeat, Bruna Palmeiro, Hayley Nystrom, Dee Nathaniel, Andrew Darling, Steven Satyricon, Michael Soldier, Tim Kay, Andy Wegner, Diogo Zavadzki, J Iness, Birdie-Bod Watt, Noah Haydon, Jack Crow & accompanist Scrumbly Koldewyn. Additional credits include Russell Blackwood Director / Producer, Scrumbly Koldewyn Composer/ Lyrics /Music, Director/Writer Rob Keefe, Alex Kinney Writer/Dramaturg, Andy Wenger Writer/ Performer, & additional lyrics by Martin Worman. Jewel of Paris runs March 12th to May 2nd at The Hypnodrome 575 10th Street in San Francisco. Tickets are $30 for general admission or $35 for front row “Shock Boxes” & “Turkish Lounges” seats.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Gay Character Joins Star Wars

It’s been announced that the official "Star Wars" universe is getting its first openly gay character. A lesbian governor appears in the upcoming novel "Lords of the Sith". We all know that the "Star Wars" characters have always hinted at diversity but this will be the first out character & we can’t wait to see who will be playing her down the road when the book is made into a movie. This means that finally there will be the first gay action hero figure in the movies, television shows, comics & books approved by Star Wars franchise owner Disney according to Shelly Shapiro, Editor of "Star Wars" books at Random House imprint Del Rey Books. This is not quite unprecedented since a previous "Star Wars" book series & a few video games have featured gay relationships but those characters aren't considered to be part of the "official Star Wars" world outlined by Disney last year. Shapiro stated, "There's a lot of diversity; there should be diversity in 'Star Wars’. You have all these different species & it would be silly to not also recognize that there's a lot of diversity in humans." Although we don't know much about the storyline of the new "Star Wars" movie due out late this year there hasn’t been any buzz of a gay character but with "Lords of the Sith" the LGBT inclusion of a lesbian character should really shake-up the franchise & serve as a long overdue role model for our LGBT youth.
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Monday, March 9, 2015

LGBT Homeless Youth Fundraiser

There will be a fundraiser for New Alternatives a safe place for homeless LGBT youth on Thursday March 12th at the historic Stonewall Inn in NYC from 6P to 9P. Lillian M. Vinci organized the Meetup event in memory of Leelah Alcorn the transgender girl whose suicide attracted international attention in 2014. Alcorn was raised in a conservative Christian household in Ohio who at age 14 came out as trans to her parents who refused to accept her gender identity. When she was 16 they denied her request to undergo transition treatment instead sending her to Christian conversion therapy. In her suicide note Alcorn stated, "Please don't be sad, it's for the better. The life I would've lived isn't worth living in ... because I'm transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy's body & I've felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone & I just continued to do traditionally 'boyish' things to try to fit in." She committed suicide by walking out in front of oncoming traffic on the Interstate 71 highway. Jill Soloway the writer of television show Transparent dedicated her Golden Globe award for Best Television Series to Alcorn. The fundraising event will have 7 entertainers including a special performance by New Alternatives client Sasha Washington. There will also be complimentary appetizers & 2 for 1 drink specials. Stonewall Inn is at 53 Christopher Street in NYC. A $5 Donation is Suggested.
For More Info: newalternativesnyc.org
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

LGBT International Women’s Day

The first International Women’s Day took place in NYC in 1909. It was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the strike organized by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers union the year before. The UN theme for International Women's Day 2015 is "Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!". Governments & activists around the world will commemorate the 20th anniversary year of the Beijing Declaration & Platform for Action, an historic roadmap that sets the agenda for realizing women's rights. The International Woman’s Day theme for 2015 is ‘Make It Happen’ with a dedicated hashtag for social media. The only LGBT IWD celebration we could find was the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation will host "We Alive: A Celebration of Black Lesbian Womanhood" on Sunday, March 8th from 6P to 8:30P. The event will feature the acclaimed Black lesbian performance poet Lenelle Moïse & the award winning novelist Chinelo Okparanta. Also the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation has pledged to donate 50 books written by Black lesbian women to women's prisons throughout California. A reception will be held at 6P followed by the reading & performance. The event will be held at the Diversionary Theatre, located at 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights.
So wherever you are celebrating.....
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY....:)
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Albert Maysles Audio Interview

We’re saddened to hear that Albert Maysles the pioneering filmmaker has died at 88. In 2011 we interviewed Maysles at the Provincetown International Film Festival where he was recipient of the Career Achievement for his amazing documentaries including GIMME SHELTER, GREY GARDENS & SALESMAN that he created with his late brother David. When I asked what he thought about the way GREY GARDENS came back the way that it did Maysles stated, “I should have expected that it would have that kind of reaction. When the film first came out there were dozens of gay men having GREY GARDEN parties all over the country & even in England where gay men would dress up as Edie & have their parties & it’s still going on. Then of course there was the HBO feature film, the Broadway Musical & also a book that my daughter published all about GREY GARDENS with lots and lots of drawings & a CD of an hour and a half of sound of the two women talking when the camera wasn’t running.” Maysles then went on to direct THE LOVE WE MAKE with Paul McCartney that addressed 9/11 as well as McCartney’s subsequent Concert for New York City. Albert Maysles was a pioneer of Direct Cinema who along with his late brother David was the first to make nonfiction feature films where the drama of life unfolds as is without scripts, sets, interviews or narration. Called "the dean of documentary filmmakers" by The New York Times, Albert received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Peabody Awards, three Emmy Awards, five Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Columbia Dupont Award & an Academy Award nomination for LALEE’S KIN. Eastman Kodak saluted him as one of the world's 100 finest cinematographers. Listen to this exclusive interview Albert Maysles at the Provincetown International Film Festival talking about GREY GARDENS & LGBT issues:
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Friday, March 6, 2015

Cris Williamson In Concert

Cris Williamson the legendary feminist singer-songwriter & LGBT icon will be performing at Me & Thee Coffee House in Marblehead, Massachusetts on Friday March 13th at 8P. Williamson stated “I am so looking forward to playing Me & Thee. It's truly one of my favorites. People come to listen & listen they do. I love the piano there & the pulse & feel of it there. Every musician I know loves the chance to perform their music in this room. I am so glad to have this chance, once again! Come & listen, sing along with friends, old & new. See you soon!” Forty years ago a collective of young radical lesbians who became Olivia Records released a record album that was to become the soundtrack of a movement. In 1975 Williamson's The Changer & the Changed became one of the best-selling independent releases of all time & the music genre that would become known as Women's Music was born. Bonnie Raitt described her voice as “like honey on a cello” & The Boston Globe has praised Williamson as “a brilliant composer & lyricist.” Cris performs tasteful covers, inspirational originals & with her activism have made her a force in the American music scene for over 40 years. Birdsong at Morning will open the show. Me & Thee Coffee House is at 28 Mugford Street in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
For Info & Tix…
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LGBT Military Conference Event

Outserve-SLDN will present its 4th Annual Leadership Conference entitled “Hall of Heroes” from March 26th to March 29th in San Diego at the W Hotel. The conference was created to bring together individuals over the course of 3 days to have discussions on current issues, examine existing concerns, participate in professional networking, share best practices, formulate strategies & future plan for the LGBT military community. Matt Thorn, Interim Executive Director stated, “We are looking forward to our 4th annual leadership conference in San Diego. This conference is about producing a global forum on creating an environment of respect in the military with regards to sexual orientation & gender identity. Our 4th annual conference will bring together attendees who are an honor roll of actively serving & retired service members, advocates, supporters & experts whose efforts have fundamentally changed experiences for LGBT military personnel. With collaborations, such as this, our work for the LGBT community advances far more rapidly.” The conference will feature speakers: Brett Jones, author of Pride: the Story of the First Openly Gay Seal; Steve Snyder-Hill, author of Soldier of Change from the Closet to the Forefornt of the Gay Rights Movement; Kristen Beck, author of Warrior Princess: A US Navy Seals Journey to Coming Out Transgender & Joan Walsh, MSNBC Political Analyst & Salon.com Editor-At-Large.
For More Info: outserve-sldn.org
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gay Marriage In Nebraska

Nebraska may become the 38th state to recognize marriage equality. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down Nebraska's unconstitutional ban on gay & lesbian marriage Monday that was unfortunately appealed within an hour by their homophobic attorney general's office. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska had sued the state in November on behalf of 7 gay & lesbian couples challenging the ban, which also prohibits civil unions & legalized domestic partnerships. Judge Bataillon stated in his 34-page ruling, "All of the plaintiffs have further demonstrated psychological harm & stigma, on themselves & on their children, as a result of the non-recognition of their marriages. The plaintiffs have been denied the dignity & respect that comes with the rights & responsibilities of marriage. The notion that some children should receive fewer legal protections than others based on the circumstances of their birth is not only irrational — it is constitutionally repugnant." One of the plaintiffs Susan & Sally Waters of Omaha have been together for 17 years & were legally married in California in 2008. They returned to their native Nebraska in 2010. Sally Waters was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2013 & stated that without formal recognition of their marriage, her spouse won't receive the same tax & Social Security benefits to care of the couple's children as well as having to pay an 18% inheritance tax on half of the property they share including their family home. Judge Bataillon did not issue a stay on his ruling while the case is being appealed but ordered it not to go into effect until March 9th. With gay marriage headed to the US Supreme Court in the next few months hopefully this will be a win for marriage equality.
LISTEN: Mariah Hanson Talks The Dinah Palm Springs April 1-5

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Monday, March 2, 2015

She's Beautiful When She's Angry

She's Beautiful When She's Angry is an important documentary that should be seen by everyone. It represents an important slice of the Women’s Liberation Movement that was formed by feminists in the 1960’s & still resonates today for women who continue to face challenges around reproductive rights, equal pay & sexual violence. Filmmaker Mary Dore does an excellent job depicting what it was like to be a woman during this period of time. From Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking book “The Feminine Mystique” to fighting Congress to obtain abortion rights in the 1970’s this film really makes you look at how far we have come & yet how vulnerable we are of slipping backwards. She's Beautiful When She's Angry is jammed packed with archive material & interviews with surviving feminist activists. The film also addresses the controversies over race, leadership & sexual orientation that were constant issues during the women’s movement. Gay activist & author Rita Mae Brown appears in the film providing an enlightening LGBT spin on the period among others. During a Boston sold-out screening of the film there was a panel discussion followed by a Q & A with filmmaker Mary Dore. The panel was made up of the founders & authors of Our Bodies Ourselves who were also featured in the film. When a question was asked about the lack of women of race & color in the film the question unfortunately was dodged by the all white female panel which just goes to show how crucial it is that more women’s stories need to be told.
For More Info & Screenings...
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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Governor Baker Attends Gay Event

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker addressed the VIP reception for Fenway Health Men’s Event Saturday evening at Boston Marriott Copley Place. In his short but personal speech Baker congratulated Fenway for the great work that they do & pledged his support to the LGBT community. Baker stated how proud he is of his gay brother Alex who married when Massachusetts made it possible for his brother & thousands of other gay men & women to legally marry the person they love. He concluded his speech by saying that there will be many Republicans like himself that will be filing their amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court to finally secure marriage equality nationwide. The black-tie Men’s Event fundraiser raised over $700,000 in support of the life-saving programs & services at Fenway Health. This year James Morgrage was honored with the Congressman Gerry. E. Studds Award. Morgrage is a strong supporter of LGBT civil rights & HIV/AIDS causes & a longtime friend of Fenway Health. Comedian Jimmy Tingle served as Men’s Event emcee while Boston funk superstars Booty Vortex & DJ Gay Jim from Kiss 108 provided the entertainment. This year’s event was made possible thanks to the hard work of event chairs Justin T. Isaac, Brian Ramos & Joblin C. Younger, Esq. Other attendees also included Fenway’s Board Director Liz Page, CFRE pictured with Harry Collings owner of “Back Bay Harry’s”.
Listen: Jane Clarks Talks Diversity & Equality In Filmmaking
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