Friday, October 30, 2015

Transgender NYC Rally & March

There have been 22 known murders of transgender women in the United States in 2015 & unfortunately other murders of transgender people have gone unreported & unnoticed. This year we have had more known murders of transgender people than any other recorded year. On Monday November 2nd at 5:30P transgender activists & their allies will hold a rally at Christopher Park in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City & then march to the African Burial Ground in the Financial District to mark the series of violent murders that continue at an alarming national rate. Jennifer Louise Lopez, Executive Director of Everything Transgender in NYC (ETNYC) stated, “This march & rally will let the nation know that we are sick & tired of being sick & tired. We need the nation to understand the underlying reasons why trans people are being murdered. Poverty, sex work & domestic violence are the foundational reasons for many of the murders that have occurred this year.” Following the march & rally ETNYC will be available to help community members & organizations facilitate their own public meetings to address the issue of violence in the transgender community. The demonstration will begin with a rally at Christopher Park at the corner of Grove & Christopher Streets, across from the Stonewall Inn at 5:30P then at 6P activists will march East down Waverly Place to the Northwest corner of Washington Square Park, then crossing to the Southeast corner of the park. Activists will march East on East 4th Street to Broadway & march South along Broadway to the African Memorial Burial Ground at 290 Broadway and Duane Street. Estimated time of arrival at the African Memorial Burial Ground is 7P where another rally will be held until 8P.
For More Info: etnyc.org
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Equality For Transgender Students

An amicus brief has been filed on behalf of medical & mental health associations by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) & Goodwin Procter LLP in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. The case filed in federal district court in Virginia by the American Civil Liberties Union involves Gavin Grimm a 16-year-old transgender Virginia boy whose use of the boys’ room prompted the school board to enact a policy excluding transgender students from using the same restrooms as their peers. Jennifer Levi, Transgender Rights Project Director for GLAD stated, “When a school separates a transgender boy from his peer group it does terrible damage. The school’s actions stigmatize & isolate the boy, telling him & his peers that he is different from all other boys thereby disrupting social relationships. All of this compromises his educational opportunities, in violation of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act and constitutional guarantees of equal protection.” Asaf Orr NCLR Transgender Youth Project Attorney concluded, “Schools must take a proactive role in supporting transgender students. Unfortunately, in this case, the school board allowed their own misconceptions & fears about transgender youth, as well as those of the community, to drive policy. As a result, the school board’s policy perpetuates negative stereotypes, isolates & harms transgender students instead of creating welcoming school environment for all students. This is not only contrary to the professional obligation of educators & administrators but ignores the medical & mental health research on child development & the standards of care for transgender youth. Stigmatizing transgender students is not only wrong, but illegal.”
Read Amicus Brief…
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Janelle Monáe To Be Honored

In a celebration of artistry, activism & advocacy The Center will honor international recording artist Janelle Monáe with its Equality Award at the 18th Annual Women’s Event on Saturday, November 7th at Capitale in New York City. Hundreds of guests will join The Center to applaud Ms. Monáe’s support in the fight for LGBT equality & to recognize the contributions of legendary producer Barbara Gaines who worked for David Letterman for 35 years & Citi Managing Director Lisa Davis. The program will also pay special tribute to Edie Windsor of the landmark Supreme Court marriage equality case United States v. Windsor for the historic role she has played in the fight for marriage equality. The Women’s Event 18, an annual gala fundraiser to support The Center’s year-round programs & services for lesbians, bisexual women & transgender people. Over the next year, The Center will launch LGBT-SAINT, a substance use treatment intervention specifically designed for LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 27. The Center will also introduce T:FIRE, a new program of support & empowerment that tackles poverty in the transgender community. In addition to these new initiatives The Center is currently developing programming specifically for women to tackle economic attainment, a substantive issue that particularly impacts LBT women. The Women’s Event is hosted by The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center’s Board of Directors, Executive Director Glennda Testone, The Women’s Event Host Committee, Honorary Chair H. Gwen Marcus, Esq. & Event Co-chairs Lisa A. Linsky, Esq., Kerryann M. Cook, Esq. & Claire M Shanley.
For Info & Tix: gaycenter.org
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New TV Season LGBT Roles

We always look forward to GLAAD’s “Where We Are on TV” their comprehensive report of LGBT primetime characters in the new television season. This 2015-16 season marks the 20th year that GLAAD has tracked the presence of LGBT characters on television & this year includes LGBT characters on original series which have premiered on the streaming content providers Amazon, Hulu & Netflix. On broadcast primetime scripted programming out of 881 characters expected to appear only 35 or 4% were identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. There were also an additional 35 recurring LGB characters. The highest percentage of LGBT characters GLAAD has ever counted on primetime scripted broadcast programming was 4.4% back in the 2012-13 season. So unfortunately we have some slippage. However the number of regular LGBT characters counted on cable increased from 64 to 84, while recurring characters increased from 41 to 58. For the first time, GLAAD counted LGBT characters on original series that premiered on Amazon, Hulu & Netflix & GLAAD found 43 series regulars & 16 recurring LGBT characters across 23 series. Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO & President of GLAAD stated, "Each of us lives at the intersection of many identities & it's important that television characters reflect the full diversity of the LGBT community. It is not enough to just include LGBT characters; those characters need to be portrayed with thought & care to accurately represent an often tokenized community." Surprisingly with all the success of Amazon’s “Transparent” & the media blitz surrounding Caitlyn Jenner there weren’t any transgender characters counted on primetime broadcast programming, while only three recurring trans characters were counted on cable (2%). Streaming series boast the highest percentage of trans characters at 7% (4) with two notably being series leads.
Read Full Report…
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Simon Townshend US Tour

Simon Townshend has been performing with The Who since the mid 90’s. When Roger Daltrey became ill with viral meningitis The Who had to reschedule their US "The Who Hits 50!" tour to 2016 so guitarist Simon decided to use those plane tickets & is continuing with his series of East Coast dates. I have a personal connection with Simon. In 1983 when he released his first solo album “Sweet Sound” I was brought over to create the video for the MTV hit “I Am The Answer” which he actually performed in 2014 with Pearl Jam at Milton Keynes Bowl in the UK. Simon stated, “It’s strange not being on the road when for months you’ve been mentally preparing yourself for it. Being away from home isn’t easy so the wind up is considerable. The unexpected late-in-the-day let down leaves one a little out on a limb ... So, I’ve been scheming… I can tell you that I’ve got a few more U.S. solo shows on the go. Maybe some of you dedicated Who fans will feel some solace in the fact I’ll be passing through your area with my acoustic guitar”. So the British invasion is still on, albeit a one-man affair & Simon hopes that Who fans will come out to his shows ahead of the band’s rescheduled dates. On October 28th he playing The Cutting Room in NYC, then on October 29th at Daryl’s House in Pawling New York, followed by October 30th at The Burren Backroom in Somerville, MA, then on to Tin Angel in Philly on November 1st & concluding at Jammin’ Java on November 3rd in Vienna, Virginia.
For More Info & Tix: simontownshend.com
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Friday, October 23, 2015

New York Transgender Rights

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his executive order to protect transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment & other areas at a dinner for the Empire State Pride Agenda. Mara Keisling Executive Director, National Center For Transgender Equality stated, “This is a step forward for transgender rights. Governor Cuomo is the first governor to exercise this power & while we are anxious to see the draft rules, we fully support this approach given the current lack of clear legal protections for transgender people under New York law. The U.S. Justice Department & many Federal courts & agencies, including the Departments of Labor, Education, Health & Human Services & the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have also affirmed that sex discrimination laws include protections for transgender people.” Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund added, “Millions of New Yorkers have been waiting for this day. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in extending protections to the Empire State’s transgender & gender nonconforming communities who face discrimination in almost every area of their lives at levels much higher than LGBQ people & the general population. We want to thank all the LGBTQ organizations in New York State who have worked so diligently for this day.” Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center concluded, “Transgender Law Center applauds Governor Cuomo for taking this action to ensure transgender New Yorkers can live safely & freely as their authentic selves. As we’ve painfully witnessed again & again this year, transgender people face epidemic rates of violence, harassment & discrimination in this country. Explicit protections based on gender identity & expression, like those New York is adopting & which 19 other states have in place, are a critical part of creating a society where all people can survive & thrive.”
LISTEN Melissa Ferrick Talks New CD, US Tour & LGBT Equality
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Religious Liberty & Discrimination

A new report released by the Center for American Progress this week shows that a year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, state legislators, organizations & for-profit corporations are using religious liberty to infringe upon the rights of women, religious minorities & our LGBT community. The report also makes legal & policy recommendations to protect religious liberty while also preventing harm to third parties by ensuring that the rights & well-being of others are not compromised because of another person’s religious beliefs. Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress stated, “In a pluralistic society such as ours, respecting religious liberty & protecting the general welfare of every citizen requires a balance. The dangerous precedent established by Hobby Lobby has disrupted that balance, protecting a favored few who seek to impose their religion on others. Ironically, the decision condoned the infringement of the religious freedom of Hobby Lobby employees in the name of respecting the religious identity of a for-profit company.” Carolyn J. Davis, Policy Analyst for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress. Laura E. Durso, Director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress concluded, “From Indiana’s controversial super-RFRA to Kim Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay & lesbian couples, we’ve seen an overly expansive & harmful view of religious liberty used in an attempt to thwart LGBT equality. But the damage caused by these religious liberty claims is not limited to the LGBT community. Whether in the context of infringing on a woman’s access to health care or abdicating a witness’s obligation to testify in court in a child labor case, the precedent established by Hobby Lobby enables dangerous third-party harm.”
Read Full Report…
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ali Forney Center Fall Gala

The Ali Forney Center (AFC) the nation’s largest services & advocacy organization working with LGBT runaway & homeless youth is holding its annual “A Place at the Table” benefit dinner at Capitale in NYC on Friday October 23rd. This year’s event will celebrate the 13th anniversary of AFC’s work to protect & empower homeless LGBT youth & to support them in becoming safe & independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood. This year’s event will be hosted by Lea Delaria from the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” The 2015 honorees who were chosen for their for their work in the LGBT community & their support & advocacy of homeless LGBT youth include; New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams & AFC Alumnus Hilal Kahlil. Also attending will be Jenna Lyons, “Orange Is The New Black” actress Kimiko Glenn, Sam Champion, LGBT Advocate David Mixner & Nigel Barker among others. The evening will kick off with a cocktail reception including passed hors d'oeuvres & a silent auction, followed by a sit-down dinner with an awards show, live auction & entertainment. The night continues with a VIP after-party. Capitale is located at 130 Bowery in NYC. The festivities begin at 6P with a cocktail reception followed by dinner & the awards presentation.
For Info & Tix: aliforneycenter.org
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

LGBT Business Pop Up Event

For over twenty years in San Francisco the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) has been known nationally for its LGBT Business Expo. On Wednesday October 21st they're presenting the 2015 GGBA Business “Pop Up” which will be fast-paced, flexible & fun event at Hotel Kabuki in Japan Town from 5P to 8P. The Bay Area is known world-wide as the hub of innovation. The GGBA Business Pop-Up will harness the dynamic spirit of what it means to be an entrepreneur in San Francisco & the Bay Area with approximately 100 forward-thinking businesses, artists, wineries & restaurants showcasing the ‘best of the best’ that they have to offer. The GGBA Business Pop Up attracts hundreds of attendees that represent potential business contacts & customers for all exhibitors. The Pop Up will arranged exhibitors into streets like Opportunity Street, Success Street, etc. & will be augmented by entertainers & others along the way. The Pop Up is an interactive exhibitor show. It’s a progressive, fun & fabulous place to get one of a kind deals in products & services, plus make great networking connections. GGBA envisions an economically empowered San Francisco/Bay Area LGBT business community that inspires others. Their mission is to empower small business entrepreneurs & professionals, collaborate with non-profit advocates & engage with business & civic leaders to support policies that foster a more inclusive & welcoming business community.
For More Info & Tix…
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Arline Isaacson To Be Honored

Boston Women Communicators will honor Arline Isaacson on Wednesday October 21st with their 21st Annual Legacy Award applauding her long-term communications work for women. We worked with Arline during our historic video OUTTAKE during the weekend of May 17th 2004 when gay & lesbian marriage first became legal in Massachusetts. Isaacson was Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus at that time & led the fight for gay marriage on Beacon Hill. As President of Isaacson Political Consultants she now serves as PR director, lead strategist, lobbyist & spokesperson for businesses & nonprofits. Before opening IPC in 2010 she lobbied for the Massachusetts Teachers Association; served as Director of Governmental Services for the MTA; was President of TEAM (Tax Equity Alliance for MA) & Director of Governmental Affairs for the City of Boston. Isaacson holds a seat on the Boston Women’s Commission. She has taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government & is a frequent lecturer, inspiring students at Boston University, Babson, Tufts, Brandeis, Northeastern, Suffolk Law & New England Law| Boston. Isaacson has been listed in Boston Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful” residents. Since its founding in 1994, Boston Women Communicators has dedicated itself to supporting women in communications & helping them to advance their careers by working to ensure equal opportunities in the industry, encourage professional development & recognize the achievements of outstanding women communicators. The Boston Women Communicators event takes place on Wednesday, October 21st at The College Club of Boston at 44 Commonwealth Avenue between Arlington and Berkeley in Boston from 6P to 9P. 
Info & Tix:bostonwomencommunicators.com 
Watch Arline In Our Historic Short Video
 
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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sharon Isbin At Carnegie Hall

Multiple Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin will be appearing at Carnegie Hall for two performances on November 4th & 12th. First on November 4th with Sting, Katy Perry & Jerry Seinfeld & then a recital on November 12th with Isabel Leonard in a program of Spanish music with a world premiere by Richard Danielpour. We interviewed Sharon in 2014 about her fabulous film SHARON ISBIN: TROUBADOUR which just won the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Television Broadcast Award. The hour-long documentary was created by award-winning producer Susan Dangel & Emmy-winning producer/editor Dick Bartlett & was seen by millions on nearly 200 PBS stations across the country. The film includes interviews with Martina Navratilova, Joan Baez, Janis Ian, Lesley Gore, Michelle Obama & many others. When we asked Sharon on OUTTAKE VOICES what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years she stated, “Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if you didn’t have to worry about simply wanting the same rights as everyone else has? Whether it be job security, whether it be education opportunity or not to be bullied? I mean these are basic human rights that we are still fighting for today & it would be wonderful if that world would change & people could really feel free to be who they are & be accepted by their families, be accepted by their colleagues and their friends & really live their lives without having to worry about a sexual orientation being a determining factor in whether or not they can be accepted or successful.”
For More Info & Tix: sharonisbintroubadour.com
LISTEN: Sharon Isbin Talks About Her Documentary & More
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Saturday, October 17, 2015

GLAD Spirit of Justice Award

Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) presented the Spirit of Justice Award to Jennifer Finney Boylan, the first best-selling transgender author in the U.S. whose writings, teachings & activism have significantly illuminated & articulated the transgender experience. Jennifer Finney Boylan is the author of the best-selling memoir “She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders” & a nationally known advocate for transgender rights. She is also the National co-chair of the board of GLAAD, the LGBT media monitoring organization bringing these two fabulous LGBT organizations together for an evening of celebration & inspiration. Recently I spoke to Jennifer on OUTTAKE VOICES™ about what she would like to see happen for our transgender community stating, “Above all for transgender people the thing we need the most is safety both in our homes & on the streets & access to healthcare. It should not be a matter of luck to whether or not you can live your life with dignity.” One of the highlights of the evening was a standing ovation of over 1000 attendees of the event for Mary Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director who is the architect of marriage equality in this country. Also speaking at the event was a moving speech by Matthew Barrett who was fire from his job at the Catholic Fontbonne Academy in Milton, Massachusetts because he is gay & Jennifer L. Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director spoke about how much work we still must do to achieve full equality. This was GLAD’s 16th Annual Spirit of Justice Award, which is the organizations’ largest fundraising event. Over $750,000 was raised.
For More Info: glad.org
Listen: Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan Talks LGBT Equality
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Rock

Designers Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams have been celebrating the 25th anniversary of their furniture empire by giving back to 25 communities where their signature stores appear. Last night was the grand opening of their newest store in Burlington, Massachusetts. This was the third event we have attended & it was fabulous. The event featured Robin Wilson author of “Clean Design: Wellness For Your Lifestyle” & there was a silent auction & raffle to benefit Mission of Deeds which provides beds, furniture & household essentials for people in need. The company has been recognized for its innovative campaigns including being honored with the Public Visibility Award at the first GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising. When asked what their personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Gold stated, “Well Bob & I living down south starting the factory in 1989 by 1992 when President Clinton was elected, we really first started to see the backlash & the anti LGBT vitriolic talk, especially from religious leaders down south & throughout the country & that really got us involved. When we saw progress on LGBT civil rights go backwards we became involved with the Human Rights Campaign, in Equality North Carolina & several different organizations & we have been very active since then. About eight years ago I cofounded with Reverend Jimmy Creech “Faith In America” which educates people about the harm of religious bigotry to the LGBT community & Bob is on the board & very supportive. So we have a really deep commitment & I would go out & say that of anybody going out to buy home furnishings there is no company that is more on the forefront of not just supporting LGBT advocacy groups & having started one but also supporting candidates that vote for our equal rights.”
LISTEN: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Talk LGBT Equality & More 
For More Info: mgbwhome.com
Listen: LGBT Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan Talks Equality
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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wear Purple For Spirit Day

On Thursday October 15th everyone is encouraged to go purple & participate on social media for Spirit Day on as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) youth & to speak out against bullying. We at OUTTAKE have supported Spirit Day since it began in 2010 following the media's coverage of a rash of LGBT teen suicides including the tragic death of Tyler Clementi. On October 15th Spirit Day now inspires millions to "go purple" to support our LGBT youth in a united stand against bullying. According to GLSEN's 2013 National School Climate Survey, 8 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school & over 60% of LGBT students who did report a bullying case said their school staff did nothing. Spirit Day draws the participation of political leaders, celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks & individuals around the world to take a stand against bullying and show their support for LGBT youth. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD CEO & President stated, "While every candidate running for President doesn't agree with us on issues of equality & acceptance for all LGBT people, certainly we can all agree that no kid deserves to be bullied or harassed simply for being who they are. Today, we invite all candidates running for the highest office in our land to join us in taking a stand against bullying & the terrible consequences it causes for way too many of our youth."
For More Info: glaad.org
Listen: Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan Talks LGBT Equality
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

LGBTQ Faith Leaders Summit

Over 200 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer advocates & faith leaders will take part in the Faith & Family LGBTQ Power Summit on October 20th through October 23rd in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force the four-day gathering will focus on elevating the voices of LGBTQ faith leaders, addressing attacks by homophobic anti LGBTQ politicians using religion to discriminate against our LGBTQ community & providing communities of faith with tools to create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ people. Bishop Yvette Flunder who represents a coalition of over 100 Christian churches & ministries will be giving the keynote address. The event will take place just days before the so-called World Congress of Families—a group monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center for anti LGBTQ hate crime activities. The Faith & Family LGBTQ Power Summit takes place at the Radisson Hotel, 215 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City in Utah from Tuesday, October 20th beginning at 9:30A through Friday, October 23rd at 1P. Speakers will include Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship, Rev. Rodney McKenzie, Director of the Academy for Leadership & Action & National LGBTQ Task Force LGBTQ advocates, faith leaders & their allies. The National LGBTQ Task Force works to secure full freedom, justice & equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer (LGBTQ) people. For over forty years they have 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: thetaskforce.org
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mykki Blanco Rapper & Artist

Rapper & artist Mykki Blanco who made history earlier this year when he came out as HIV positive becoming the only living rapper who acknowledges having the virus is gracing the cover of Plus Magazine for its November/December 2015 issue. Mykki Blanco talks coming out as HIV-positive & how that has changed both his career & personal life stating, “Everyone always knew I was gay. My father told me he knew I was gay when I was 3 years old. How deceived would they, the fans feel if, 20 years from now, they found out I was HIV-positive but I was too afraid of the stigma to come out about it? What kind of fraud would I have been to all the people that supported me? All the people that are trans & positive? Who are gay & positive? Who supported me & bought my music & come to my shows? I couldn’t be honest with myself enough, to love myself enough, so that self-love could then be encouragement or inspiration to them? No, no, no. Honestly, truthfully, I think I have too much integrity for that.” Blanco who has been HIV positive since 2011 added, “Being HIV-positive doesn’t mean you don’t get to feel sexy or free or liberated. It doesn’t silence you from talking about sex or having sex. Be safe. Be conscious. Be aware. But don’t let society make you feel like you can’t be sexy, or ashamed for being sexual. Stay safe. Stay free.”
Read Full Interview…
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

LGBT National Coming Out Day

Since 1988 National Coming Out Day is acknowledged on October 11th & is the LGBT day that if you haven’t come out yet about your sexual orientation to your family, friends & colleagues it’s time. As Harvey Milk said, “Burst down those closet doors once & for all, stand up & start to fight.” We’ve come a long way this year with marriage equality now the law of the land but we still have tons of work to do. National Coming Out Day is a chance for people everywhere to discuss civil rights & connect with peers inside & outside our communities. As Jason Collins stated, "Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start." We still need to pass comprehensive non-discrimination LGBT protections that will bring our laws into the 21st century. According to the Center for American Progress 1 in 10 LGBT workers report being fired because of their sexual orientation while 1 in 4 transgender workers reported being fired because of their gender identity. Nearly 1 in 3 transgender Americans reported being denied equal treatment in a retail store & 1 in 4 same gender couples experienced discrimination when trying to buy a home according to one study. Then of course we’re dealing with more than half of LGBT K-12 students reported feeling unsafe at school as a result of their sexual orientation & more than one-third reported feeling unsafe because of how they express their gender. Next we need everyone to take a stand against LGBTQ bullying & wear purple on Spirit Day this Thursday October 15th. Sign the Spirit Day pledge & you could even win tickets to meet Britney Spears in Las Vegas!
For More Info: glaad.org
Listen: Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan Talks LGBT Equality
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Friday, October 9, 2015

LPAC Boston Kick Off Event

In Boston Beth Shipp Executive Director of LPAC (Lesbian Political Action Committee) talked about LPAC’s commitment to elect Hillary Clinton as our nation’s first Madam President & supporting local & national campaigns to elect candidates who support LPAC’s platform which is building LGBTQ women’s political power by increasing the awareness & visibility of LPAC within our community. The keynote speaker was Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who was endorsed by LPAC during her 2014 successful campaign. The event was hosted at the home of LPAC Board Member Elyse Cherry. Beth Shipp stated, “Introducing LPAC to so many accomplished & amazing lesbians who came to hear Maura Healey was really special. Endorsing & supporting candidates in 2016 who – like AG Healey -- champion LGBT rights, women’s equality & social justice is LPAC’s top priority for 2016.” Elyse Cherry concluded, “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who was her usual fabulous self, tipped her hat to LPAC for providing Maura’s first national endorsement & for LPAC’s critical role in insisting that political candidates listen to lesbians & our friends. Onward!” LPAC was founded by a group of committed lesbian donors & activists who are politically active on the state & national level. Since 2012 LPAC has engaged thousands of LGBTQ women & raised more than 2 million dollars in contributions nationwide building a grassroots community of more than 25,000.
To Get Involved: teamlpac.com 
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

LGBT Federal Health Inclusion

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services have taken the landmark step of addressing disparities affecting our LGBT community in health care by including sexual orientation & gender identity (SO/GI) data in requirements for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) certified under the Meaningful Use program. The new final rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) & the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC), require all EHR systems certified under Stage 3 of Meaningful Use to allow users to record, change & access structured data on sexual orientation & gender identity. This requirement is part of the 2015 Edition “demographics” certification criterion & adds SO/GI data to the 2015 Edition Base EHR definition, which is a part of the definition of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT). Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute stated, “Including sexual orientation & gender identity in the Meaningful Use incentive program is one of the most important things our government has done to promote better understanding of LGBT health disparities & interventions to reduce them.” Kellan Baker, Senior Fellow with the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress concluded “Authoritative sources such as the Institute of Medicine, the Joint Commission, & Healthy People 2020 have all emphasized the importance of collecting more & better data on the health needs & experiences of LGBT people. Including SO/GI in the demographics criterion for EHR Meaningful Use is a crucial step forward to improving care for LGBT communities.”
For More Info: doaskdotell.org
Listen: Jennifer Finney Boylan Talks GLAD Events & LGBT Issues
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Massachusetts Transgender Bill

Jennifer Levi the Director of the Transgender Rights Project for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, testified Tuesday at the Massachusetts Statehouse in support of a bill providing protections in public accommodations for the state’s transgender citizens. Testimony on SB 735 & HB 1577 was heard before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Current non-discrimination law in the Commonwealth does not expressly protect transgender people in public accommodations, such as stores, restaurants, hospitals, public transportation & parks. Jennifer Levi stated, “In failing to expressly protect its most marginalized citizens as they go about their daily business, Massachusetts is falling behind in its leadership role on equality for all. Being able to point to a statewide policy of inclusion & support will give me and many others the authority we often need to respond when others are telling us to leave a public space or that we are wrong to be there.” An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination would add “gender identity” to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations. Massachusetts law currently prohibits discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, religion & marital status. GLAD is a member of the coalition Freedom Massachusetts, which has been working for passage of this bill & is honoring Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan at their 16th Annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner at the Boston Marriott Copley Place at 110 Huntington Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts on October 16th.
Read Full Testimony….
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Fort Lauderdale LGBT Film Fest

The 7th Annual MiFo LGBT Film Festival kicks off its Fort Lauderdale edition on October 9th with two weekends of film & events. In a year that has seen momentous advances in LGBT equality LGBT films have also risen to prominence worldwide. This year MiFo is presenting 53 films from 13 countries, guest appearances by actors, directors & producers & a lineup of fabulous parties & events. The array of films includes 7 documentaries, 28 narratives & 18 shorts. Victor Gimenez, Executive Director of MiFo stated, “In addition to a spectacular lineup of films, one of the high points of the festival is the exciting & elaborate events & parties. The Opening Night event at the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is going to be an over-the-top, elaborate affair & the Closing Night Awards Party, with a lavish buffet & a fun and exciting awards show, is also a must to attend!” The MiFo LGBT Film Fest is committed to its mission to inspire, entertain & educate the public, encourage a sense of community through international & culturally diverse film, video & other media that offer historical & contemporary perspectives on the lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender experience. As one of the most highly regarded LGBT film festivals in the nation, MiFo is presented by Merrill Lynch, Showtime & the Greater Fort Lauderdale Office of Film, Music & Entertainment. The Festival takes place on Friday, October 9th through Sunday, October 11th & on Thursday, October 15th through Sunday, October 18th. Screenings will be held at the Classic Gateway Theatre, 1820 East Sunrise Boulevard; Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th Street; C & I Studios, 541 NW 1st Avenue & an elegant Opening Night at the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.
For More Info: mifofilm.com
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Annual LGBT Castro Street Fair

In San Francisco the Castro Street Fair takes place Sunday October 4th from 11A to 6P. This is one of the oldest LGBT community celebrations in the world founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. 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. The Castro Street Fair not only is a showcase & celebration of the Castro neighborhood & community but it also features a wide array of local artists, craftspeople & performers with than 50,000 guests visiting the Fair annually as well as over 200 exhibitors. Hundreds of local artists, vendors, craftspeople & organizations line the streets & celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood. There are also live entertainment & dance stages throughout the fairgrounds. On the Main Stage at Castro & Market the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Freedom Band will be performing at 11:30A followed by CHEER SF at noon, Muñecas at 12:45P with The Whoa Nellies! At 2P, then The Ethel Merman Experience at 3:15P concluding with Super Square at 4:30P. There are also all day performances at 18th Street Stage, Dance Alley, Sundance Way & new this year Kink Karnival Alley. The Castro Street Fair is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization & all proceeds go directly to charitable causes important to the Castro community. Additionally the Castro Street Fair funds the rainbow flag that flies over the intersection of Castro & Market streets. Last year the fair raised over $76,000.
For More Info: castrostreetfair.org
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Friday, October 2, 2015

New LGBT Homeless Youth Report

Since our LGBT youth experience homelessness at a much higher rate than their heterosexual peers they also face significant challenges accessing food, shelter, health care, education & employment. In addition homeless youth often struggle to obtain state-issued photo identification, which further limits their access to programs & services that may aid them in securing safe & stable housing. The Center for American Progress has released a new report examining the challenges that LGBT homeless youth face in obtaining state-issued identification & systematically reviews the patchwork of state & municipal laws that either erect or remove barriers to ID access. Laura E. Durso, Director of CAP’s LGBT Research & Communications Project stated, “States have put up serious barriers to homeless youth obtaining ID cards & LGBT homeless youth face even greater challenges. Only 22 percent of states offer free or reduced-cost IDs to the homeless & nearly half require parental consent before issuing IDs to those underage. For the many LGBT homeless youth who leave home because they are not accepted by their families this makes obtaining ID particularly difficult. Transgender individuals often have to provide proof of surgery or an amended birth certificate to receive an ID. All this only raises the bar even higher for LGBT homeless youth to obtain the required ID to secure the employment, care, or shelter they so desperately need.” The report was authored by former CAP Research Associate Hannah Hussey & makes concrete recommendations for states to improve the ability of LGBT homeless youth to receive the identification documents they need.
For More Info: americanprogress.org
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Thursday, October 1, 2015

LGBT History Month Icons (Video)

Equality Forum celebrating their 10th annual 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. Each day in October an Icon is featured with a video, bio, downloadable images & other educational resources. George Chauncey Samuel Knight Professor of American History & Chair of the History Department, Yale University stated, “LGBT History Month sends an important message to our nation’s teachers, school boards, community leaders & youth about the vital importance of recognizing & exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender people in American history.” The 2015 LGBT Icons being honored this year are: activist Jane Addams, solider Miriam Ben-Shalom, inaugural poet Richard Blanco, poet/performer Staceyann Chin, basketball player Jason Collins, transgender actress Laverne Cox, record producer Clive Davis, interior designer Elsie de Wolfe, author Samuel Delany, filmmaker Arthur Dong, educators Emery Hetrick & Damien Martin, rock star Mick Jagger, actress Angelina Jolie, US Vice President William Rufus King, comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha, gay pioneer Jack Nichols, politician Elaine Noble, educator & activist Antonia Pantoja, US Cabinet Member Frances Perkins, TV broadcaster Robin Roberts, Transgender native American Sahaykwisa, football player Michael Sam, transgender advocate Barbra Siperstein, singer Dusty Springfield, equality attorney Tom Stoddard, tennis champion William “Big Bill” Tilden II, performer Tim’m T. West, marriage equality hero Edie Windsor & marriage equality advocate Evan Wolfson.
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