Friday, December 30, 2016

Our LGBTQ Activists & Allies

This has been a very difficult year for our LGBTQ community. We want to thank our millions of global listeners for making OUTTAKE VOICES such a success despite of it being such a trying year. We also want to thank all the LGBT activists, celebrities & allies who appeared on our audio podcast series in 2016 that's syndicated on Huffington Post. Thank you filmmaker Tim McCarthy, trans actress Jen Richards, author attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, Diedra Meredith, Groundswell founder Kyle DeVries, activist Brian Silva, The Dinah’s Mariah Hanson, LPAC’s Beth Shipp, producer Christine Beebe, attorney activist Kate Kendell, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, trans activist Michaela Mendelsohn, actor-host David Millbern, filmmaker JD Disalvatore, writer/musician Deena Kaye Rose, activist Sarah McBride, Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO & President of GLAAD & GLAAD Red Carpet celebs Jackson Riemerschmid, Tracey Norman, director Eric Schaeffer, trans teen advocate Nicole Maines, Jacob Tobia & Daniella Carte, Jim Obergefell, Fun Home’s Kally Duling & Emily Skeggs, Jenny Boylan, from “Orange Is the New Black” Selenis Leyva, Laura Gómez, Lea DeLaria & Laverne Cox, WWE superstar Darren Young, journalists Margaret Hoover & John Avlon, actor Noah Galvin, singers Alex Newell & Randy Jones & producer Lee Daniels. Then we talked to film icon Tab Hunter, actress Elizabeth Keener, activist Arline Isaacson, trans filmmaker & writer Emmett Jack Lundberg, LGBT seniors activist Michael Adams, CEO of Equality Florida Nadine Smith, trans activist Aidan Key, filmmaker Ray Yeung, NGLCC Jonathan D. Lovitz, Bruce Vilanch, Nick Verreos, producer Sue Maslin, Selisse Berry, UK playwright Peter Darney, country singer Brandon Stansell, actor-writer Sandro Isaack, filmmake Jon Alpert, Dr. Lauren Costine, activist Jessica Stern, singrs Will & Anthony Nunziata, comedian Kate Clinton & Professor Dominic Shellard. Since the election our global traffic has tripled so in spite of the obstacles we may have in front of us let’s make 2017 the best year yet for LGBTQ equality.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher Another Great Loss

When I heard the news about her heart attack I began to grieve but hoped & prayed for the best outcome. Carrie Fisher was one of the most brilliant minds of our generation. Yes she was known for her 'Star Wars' iconic role as Princess Leia but she was so much more. Her brutal honesty is what impressed me. I caught her theatrical performance of “Wishful Drinking” a few years ago at the Huntington Theatre in Boston twice. The first time the electricity went out but she continued to perform with candles until she just had to admit it wasn’t going to work for that night but in the meantime it was like experiencing an intimate moment with her. When we returned a few nights later for our rain-check or electricity-check she was brilliant. There are few performers who when you see they are going to be on a talk show you know not to miss their appearance & Carrie Fisher was high on that list. I remember in the 1980’s I sat in back of Carrie when she was with Paul Simon attending a movie on the Upper West Side in NYC. I can’t remember what the movie was but I do remember I had no problem watching the movie over their petit sizes & they were so refreshingly real with each other. Our hearts & thoughts go out to her family. Another fabulous person we have lost in this painful, awful year.
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Gay Pop Idol George Michael Dies

Our LGBT community mourns the loss of British Pop Star George Michael & founding member of Wham! who died Christmas Day at the age of 53 in Goring, England. It was reported the cause of death was heart failure. Elton John stated on Instagram, "I am in deep shock, I have lost a beloved friend — the kindest, most generous soul & a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family & all of his fans." We have been covering George Michael’s ups & down for years. As an openly out member of our LGBT community Michaels once stated, “I have a serious problem with the fact that every time I made a mistake & every time I let myself down that I was letting young gay kids down. Because they would then witness the homophobia that was thrown at me & the language that we use in this country. There are things I want to do with my next album to make up for the damage that I have inadvertently caused by making myself so newsworthy & putting myself on the back foot enough that I couldn’t defend gay children from some of that language. I’m not surprised that my fans have stuck by me. I have been surprised by the amount of support I’ve had in some ways, but my fans have always been incredibly loyal. In terms of trying to stay on the straight & narrow as it were, then there is nothing better than the work you love.”
George Michael RIP….
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Equality Holiday Tidings For All

We have a hard road ahead of us with the Teflon Don about to become president. This is a giant step backwards for progressive thinking Americans, especially for our LGBT community in this country. The new administration may try to undo what we have worked so hard to accomplish but heading into the holidays we’ll just wish them well & hope they will one day realize that equality will prevail. We want to take a moment & wish all our friends & family a healthy & happy holiday & we also want to thank our global LGBT audience & allies for making this past year so rewarding for our OUTTAKE Team. So Let’s Make the Yule-tide Gay & enjoy this performance of Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" a song she introduced in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis written by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane. We’ve included the lyrics so you can all sing along: Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light From now on, our troubles will be out of sight. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Make the Yule-tide gay, From now on, our troubles will be miles away. Here we are as in olden days, Happy golden days of yore. Faithful friends who are dear to us Gather near to us once more. Through the years We all will be together, If the Fates allow Hang a shining star upon the highest bough. And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.... Happy Chanukah!! Have A Safe & Fabulous Holiday Everyone :)

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Women Film Journalists Awards

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists announced the winners of their tenth annual AWFJ EDA Awards. This year AWFJ presented EDA Awards in 25 categories, divided into three sections: the standard ‘Best Of’ section, the Female Focus awards & the irreverent EDA Special Mention awards including Annette Bening & Isabelle Huppert tying for the Actress Defying Age & Ageism Award, while Huppert was honored the Bravest Performance Award for "Elle." Actress Most in Need of a New Agent went to Jennifer Aniston for "Mother’s Day" & "Office Christmas Party" & the AWFJ Hall of Shame Award went to Sharon Maguire & Renee Zellwegger for “Bridget Jones’s Baby”. In the ‘Best Of’ section, this year’s big winner is "Moonlight", garnering EDA Awards in seven categories, including Best Film, Best Director for Barry Jenkins, Best Screenplay (Adapted) for Jenkins, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Mahershala Ali, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Cinematography & Best Editing. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay won three EDAs for Best Documentary, Best Female Director & Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry for “13th” & for raising awareness about the need for diversity and gender equality in Hollywood. Jennifer Merin EDA AWARDS & AWFJ founder & film critic stated, “This year has brought heightened awareness of the impact movies & cinema culture have on setting our social norms. The need for gender parity & greater diversity in the movie industry is patently clear. These goals are fundamental to AWFJ’s mission & core values. I'm thrilled that in our 10th anniversary awards season AWFJ members voted to honor such a diverse array of talent representing such a broad spectrum of perspectives, making the 2016 EDA Awards particularly relevant at a time when art & film, in particular must be the vanguard of social progress.”
For Complete List Of Awards…
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

North Carolina Fails Again

North Carolina's state legislature has failed to pass legislation repealing HB2 before adjourning a special session. Previously the Charlotte City Council voted to repeal its local city ordinance that clashed with HB2 after receiving commitment from the state lawmakers to repeal the anti LGBTQ law. Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund stated, “The full repeal of HB2 with no harmful amendments would be welcomed news for North Carolina but instead, GOP lawmakers have turned their backs on LGBTQ people, workers, veterans, women & people of faith. Let's be clear: HB2 is bad for business, bad for politicians but bad for all North Carolinians as it denies millions of people freedom, justice, equality & human dignity. HB2 bans cities & local jurisdictions from enacting non-discrimination protections on grounds such as race & gender, from enacting equal pay laws, family paid leave & livable minimum wages. Tonight, self-interested North Carolina politicians showed that they will stop at nothing as they resigned themselves to an even worse reputation & an economy that’s continuing to plummet. If nothing else, these lawmakers not only need to repeal HB2 but also pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. If they do nothing, HB2 will go down in history as one of the most vindictive & damaging laws in the state’s recent history. We are deeply disappointed that the Charlotte City Council repealed its landmark law in good conscience & the state lawmakers failed to do their part. What is particularly notable about all of this is the role that thousands of people of faith played in protesting HB2 as immoral…This was a tremendous opportunity for North Carolina to right a great wrong; it’s unconscionable that lawmakers chose to waste it.”
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice Makes Yuletide Gay

Since the presidential election we’ve been in the darkness of what 2017 will bring our LGBT community. It’s always a mental relief when the Winter Solstice arrives marking the shortest day of the year & also the longest night but knowing the days will get longer this year will be more than welcomed. Winter Solstice is also known as Yule. We love celebrating our Yuletide Gay. A little history about solstice as witches & warlocks celebrate this date as the birth of the Sun God since from this point forward the days get longer. Wiccan celebrations include Yule logs, Yule trees & Mistletoe which all sounds a lot like our traditional Christmas celebrations. The Winter Solstice is also celebrated by druids & pagans as the ‘re-birth’ of the sun for the New Year. In the UK thousands gather each year tonight to mark the occasion at Stonehenge in Somerset. At the North Pole the sun actually never rises on this day. There are many customs associated with the Winter Solstice that derive from stories of a mighty battle between the dark & the light which is won of course by the light, even the Christian faith of a savior (the Sun-Child) being born to a virgin mother. Then there’s Albert Camus the French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist & philosopher famous Winter Solstice quote “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” However our LGBT community celebrates the shortest day & longest night, whether alone or with family & friends in the northern hemisphere just remember that the southern hemisphere is basking in sunshine & enjoying the first day of summer.
Listen To Kate Clinton Talk Winter Solstice:

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

UN LGBT Equality Prevails

The United Nations General Assembly voted 84 to 77 reaffirming the appointment of an Independent Expert on Discrimination & Violence based on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity. The SOGI Independent Expert will therefor continue his work to document LGBT human rights violations globally. Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “The UN General Assembly vote makes clear that no one should be subjected to discrimination & violence on any grounds. We congratulate the many states, national human rights institutions & civil society organizations that worked to ensure that the universal human rights system would be upheld. Today was a victory for human rights.” An African Group claimed that all of its member countries were against the mandate & against the rights of LGBT persons but the voting results reveal a different story & include support of the Expert by key African States such South Africa & Cape Verde. Ging Cristobal, OutRight’s Project Coordinator for Asia based in the Philippines added, “Let's be clear about what the opposition is doing. They don’t want the SOGI Independent Expert to ever get to work protecting the lives of people who are vulnerable & many governments around the world saw through this diversionary tactic.” Kenita Placide, OutRight’s Caribbean Advisor based in St. Lucia concluded, “We will not be beaten or swayed. We are ready to fight every challenge that comes our way & we will rise to the challenge to ensure that our human rights are protected. This is an issue of universal dignity.”
For More Info: OutRightInternational.org
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Monday, December 19, 2016

Electoral College Final Vote (Video)

Today the Electoral College will meet all 50 state capitols to finalize the presidential vote. It’s been reported that over 20 Republican Electors are already thinking about flipping. 80 Electors have now signed a letter demanding an intelligence briefing on Russian hacking of our election system & are still waiting proper info. Thousands of Americans will be protesting at their state capitols today. We are all still being very realistic about the slim chance of an outright victory today but everyone is watching around the world. Perhaps these protests at all 50 state capitols will wake-up the Dems to fight & draw attention to the Russian hacking, Trump massively losing the popular vote & the impact of voter suppression, making Trump's claims of a "mandate" ridiculous. In an open letter to Republican electors filmmaker Michael Moore pleaded with the Electoral College not to vote for Trump citing the accusation that Russian hackers interfered with the presidential election & leaked emails of the Democratic Party. Moore stated, “Republican electors, you have a chance to fix this, to make it right, for yourselves as Republicans & for the country. Please find the courage to seize this historic moment where you put country over party.” Moore is not the only celebrity to attempt to put pressure on members of the Electoral College. In a video released by Unite for America, Martin Sheen, Debra Messing and Bob Odenkirk were among celebrities urging the Electoral College delegates not to vote for Trump. WATCH VIDEO:
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Friday, December 16, 2016

UN LGBT Position At Risk

Another attempt to destroy the work of the UN’s expert on sexual orientation & gender identity is underway with a third vote due to take place in the General Assembly on Monday December 19th. Human rights groups thought they had secured a historic win in June when the UN Human Rights Council appointed an independent expert to help combat the high levels of violence & discrimination faced by LGBT people around the world. However, opposition to the new mandate has been relentless & its fate now rests on what is expected to be a knife-edge vote in the General Assembly in New York on Monday. Pooja Patel at the International Service for Human Rights stated, ‘Rejecting the work of independent expert could really throw the whole UN human rights system into quite a spin as it will be a direct challenge to the authority of the Human Rights Council. Nations voting to halt the expert’s work need to realize that their vote will be deeply harmful - it will send a clear message that they are willing to tolerate the unacceptable levels of discrimination currently faced by LGBT people. Further they will be actively voting to erode the authority of the Human Rights Council. We’re in a real danger zone. Things are winding up for the Christmas break, representatives are starting to fly back to their home countries & we have a very important vote which we know is going to be very close. The human rights and LGBT communities really need to rally once again to muster support to ensure their national governments will be voting on the right side of history.”
 For More Info: ishr.ch
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Putin Involved In Election Hack

Finally it’s been reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in hacking our Presidential election. NBC News reported "U.S. intelligence officials now believe with 'a high level of confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. Presidential Election." This comes a day after Trump officially selected Putin’s pal Rex W. Tillerson the chief executive of Exxon Mobil to be his secretary of state & a few days after Trump attacked NBC News on Twitter stating, “Just watched NBC Nightly News, so biased, inaccurate & bad, point after point. Just can’t get much worse, although CNN is right up there.” It seems a report by NBC’s Kate Snow angered Trump about intelligence officials so he went on Fox News Sunday attempting to dismiss the possibility of Russian involvement in the U.S. election. The NBC report also described reaction among intelligence officers to Trump’s disinterest in receiving daily intelligence briefings. You would think this new info would affect everything & invalidate the election but unfortunately everything seems to slide off President-elect Teflon Don. However perhaps now the full intelligence info will become available for the Electoral College which meets Monday December 19th in state capitols to finalize the presidential vote. It was just reported that over 20 Republican Electors are already thinking about flipping. Join thousands who are protesting on Monday at their state capitols & let’s make history.
For More Info… 
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Carnegie Hall Holiday Event

Ring in the holidays with The New York Pops led by Music Director Steven Reineke in “Make the Season Bright” a fabulous holiday concert featuring Broadway siblings Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway joined by brothers Will & Anthony Nunziata at Carnegie Hall on December 16th and December 17th in NYC. Ann Hampton Callaway stated, “The spirit of family will be alive & well at Carnegie Hall this Friday & Saturday night at Carnegie Hall as the Callaway sisters & the Nunziata twins join The New York Pops & Essential Voices in a most festive holiday show perfect for the whole family. This is the second holiday concert there for Liz & me & the debut of Anthony & Will. It’s such a thrill for us all to sing together in such a hallowed hall, getting to do songs from "White Christmas", a blow-the-roof off "Go Tell It on the Mountain" & other beloved songs of the season. Come get in the spirit!” The program will include; POLA / WYLE "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (arr. Steven Reineke), LOESSER "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (arr. Fred Barton), BERNARD / SMITH "Winter Wonderland" (arr. Tim Berens), SCHWARTZ / YOUNG "The Chanukah Song" ("We Are Lights") (arr. Ryan Nowlin), LEONTOVICH "Carol of the Bells" (arr. David Hamilton), "Go Tell It On The Mountain" (arr. Steven Reineke), HERMAN "We Need a Little Christmas" from Mame (arr. Robert Wendel), BEAL / BOOTHE "Jingle Bell Rock" (arr. Steven Reineke) & BERLIN "White Christmas" Medley (arr. Fred Barton & Jack Everly) to complete the evening.
For Info & Tix: carnegiehall.org
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Global LGBT Activists Summit

On International Human Rights Day LGBTIQ activists from Iraq, Lebanon, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Sweden, Thailand & USA gathered at the office of OutRight Action International, formerly the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission in NYC to discuss the impact of the incoming Trump Administration & urge the President-elect & his administration to maintain US commitment to protecting the human rights of LGBTIQ people globally. Amir Ashour, Founder of Iraq’s only LGBT+ organization, IraQueer, stated, “In a country like Iraq where the State Department has provided help to LGBTIQ people, there is virtually nowhere else to turn for support. The US must sustain efforts on the international level & at the UN because it is often the only platform to advocate for country level change since it is almost impossible to do any advocacy inside Iraq.” Paisarn Likhitpreechakul, Board Member of FORSOGI organization, Thailand added, “The US has played a paramount role in shaping positive human rights developments at the UN. We, as a society, cannot afford to backtrack from this & continued US commitment at the UN is key to sustaining this positive momentum.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International concluded, “I have hope & confidence in the American people to continue elevating and responding to the struggles of people beyond US borders & investing in protecting the lives of activists around the world. There is a framework of international solidarity in place, one that cannot be easily broken. We have stepped up into this brilliant, strong & resilient global LGBTIQ movement & we will not move backwards.”
For More Info: OutRight Action International
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Oakland Fire Benefit Show Event

In response to the tragedy of the Oakland Warehouse Fire on Dec. 2nd that claimed the lives of 36 confirmed deaths including many from our LGBT community, there will be a Holiday Benefit Show to support the victims at The Edge 4149 18th Street in San Francisco, CA on Saturday December 17th 4P to 7P. Krewe de Kinque's December Beer Bust Benefit & Show will support the “Fire Relief Fund for Victims of the Ghost Ship Oakland Fire” organized by Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has been involved in the greater Bay Area artist community for the last 10 years. There will be a Moment of Silence to honor the victims & their loved ones. It will be an open Show to Performers so bring music if you'd like to take the stage to help raise tip proceeds, CDs preferred. To maximize proceeds the event will be hosted by Miss Eva Sensitiva & Absolute Empress XLII Chika Diva have assembled a fantastic show with tips going to the Fire Fund. Performing at the festivities will include KDK Queen XIII China Silk, Miss Gay SF Piper McGroin, KDK Queen V Cockatielia, KDK Queen II Deana Dawn, Patrice Samek, Gem N'Aye, Leilani Price, Absolute Empress XLVIII Patty McGroin, & live singing by Mark Alan. This promises to be a fabulous celebration with their usual $10 Beer & Soda Bust, fun raffle prizes, Jell-O shots & usual KDK shenanigans.
For More Info…
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Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Russians Have Arrived

Finally in the most off the wall presidential election The Washington Post broke the story last night confirming that a secret CIA assessment confirmed that Russia was helping Trump win the White House during the 2016 presidential election. The big question is where do we go from here & do we allow a possible Trump administration with deep Russian ties lead our country down this slippery horrific path? There was even a CIA briefing prior to the election where senators in a closed-door briefing were informed that it was “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal according to officials. The article stated that “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.” Then the Russian government provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee & others including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community & part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump & hurt Clinton’s chances. Of course this is just the beginning of unraveling this scandal but how can we halt this obvious Russian tactical maneuver to hijack the US presidency before they swear in this poser?
Read More…
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Friday, December 9, 2016

LGBT Rights & Faith Leaders

Rev. Fred Davie, Executive Vice President at Union Theological Seminary in New York will host a press conference Friday, December 9th at 9:30A with Evangelical & other faith leaders from around the country to promote a pro-LGBTQ public policy agenda for the Trump Administration & new Congress. Presenters at the event will highlight why they support the LGBTQ community because of their faith & not in spite of it. The policy agenda will focus on five key areas proposed by faith leaders: LGBTQ basic rights, LGBTQ homeless youth, LGBTQ senior citizens, the transgender community & global anti-discrimination. Support for LGBTQ rights & equality continues to grow among religious Americans particularly Christians. As the culture wars of the past fade away, many faithful Americans - conservative Christians in particular - are increasingly seeing LGBTQ equality as integral to their religious values and their calling to love their neighbors as they do themselves. The press conference is co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Community of Churches, the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force, Auburn Seminary, SAGE, Cathedral of Hope, the Center for African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University, Covenant Baptist UCC, Evangelicals for Marriage Equality & the Tyler Clementi Foundation. The event will take place at The National Press Club Conference rooms Murrow/White/Lisgor 529 14th Street NW Washington, DC.
Watch Live Stream...
For More Info: utsnyc.edu
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

LGBT Nutcracker Holiday Event

Hailed as one of the “Best Bets for Holiday Dance” the Dance-Along Nutcracker is one of San Francisco’s most treasured holiday events that takes place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on December 10th & 11th. Exemplifying San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band’s mission for the last 31 years the Dance-Along Nutcracker has been San Francisco Holiday Event bringing together the community with a show that takes children, families, couples & singles on a magical holiday journey. This year’s theme is entitled “The Fantastic Adventures of Captain Nutcracker” blending Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker Suite with a fun-filled musical production brimming with wit, artistry & ingenuity. For select songs, a large flashing “Dance-Along” sign signals the audience to tug their tutus on & pour onto the dance floor to pirouette beneath the spotlights with the cast. The 2016 Dance-Along Nutcracker® includes a dazzling array of local celebrities. Written by SFLGFB’s own trumpeter Heidi Beeler, The Fantastic Adventures of Captain Nutcracker will take you on a wild and crazy adventure as you are thrust into the world of villains & superheroes. Under the baton of SFLGFB’s Artistic Director Pete Nowlen, Flynn De Marco directs with choreography by Marilynn Fowler. The Dance–Along Nutcracker® is a casual, fun & inviting show with no formal dress code or dance experience required. It is an event & a celebration where truly no barriers exist; be it age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity – or even talent. As a result, the Dance–Along Nutcracker® has become a holiday favorite for families, couples & singles of all sexual orientations & gender identities.
For Info & Tix…
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus

For the holidays the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus are presenting 2 fabulous programs. The first is entitled “Babes in Joyland” at the Nourse Theater which embraces the delights of the season while delivering what you expect from the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus at the holidays getting you into the holiday spirit with gorgeous music, jubilant production pieces & heartwarming moments. This year Marnie Breckenridge will join the festivities as SFGMC’s guest artist. “Babes in Joyland” will be performed on Friday, December 9th at 8P, Saturday, December 10th at 2:30P & 8P at the Nourse Theater 275 Hayes Street in San Francisco, CA. Then on Christmas Eve the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will perform their traditional "Home for the Holidays" concert for the 27th year at the Castro Theatre 429 Castro Street in San Francisco, CA. For this fabulous holiday show the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will be joined by the stunning voice of opera soprano Melody Moore. “Home for the Holidays” will be performed on Saturday December 24th at 5P, 7P & 9P. They have quite a few tricks up their holiday sweater sleeves so be sure to buy your tickets early because these shows always sell out so be sure to buy your tickets early. "Home for the Holidays" is made possible by the generous support of Mrs. Pansy Chan. Founded in 1978 the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has served as an international standard bearer for a powerful mix of extraordinary musical excellence & mission-driven activism.
For Info & Tix: sfgmc.org
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Victory Institute LGBT Conference

Victory Institute will bring together more than 500 LGBT elected officials, appointees, leaders, ambassadors & advocates in Washington, D.C. from December 8th to 10th for the first major gathering of the LGBT movement since the presidential election. The 3 day conference aims to chart a path forward for LGBT elected officials & leaders as the Trump administration continues to appoint anti-LGBT cabinet members who threaten to dismantle the unprecedented gains of the last eight years. Aisha Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute stated, “The election of Donald Trump – a man who used xenophobia, racism, misogyny & transphobia to win the White House – is beyond disturbing & disheartening. But this is not the time to retreat in despair. Now is the time for the more than 500 LGBT elected officials nationwide to unite in their collective power & oppose the anti-equality agenda of the new administration. They are on the frontlines & are our best defense, which is why Victory Institute is convening LGBT elected officials for the first time post-election later this week. At our International LGBT Leaders Conference, this army of influencers will strategize how to cement our gains & continue moving our equality forward during the Trump presidency – from city councils to state legislatures to Congress.” Victory Institute is the nation’s only LGBT organization dedicated to building a pipeline of LGBT elected officials at the local, state & national level. The conference will also host the largest closed-door meeting of LGBT elected officials in history, where leaders will strategize around using their collective power to create an effective opposition onto the anti-equality agenda of the new administration.
For More Info: victoryinstitute.org
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Monday, December 5, 2016

LGBT Inclusive Paid Leave Policies

A new report by A Better Balance, the Center for American Progress, Family Values @ Work & Forward Together details how to develop paid leave policies that use an LGBTQ inclusive definition of family & provides model policy language that appropriately captures the diverse realities & needs of today’s American families. Laura E. Durso, Senior Director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress stated, “Families come in all shapes & sizes & therefore it’s critical that paid leave policies meet the needs of all families. This is especially true for LGBTQ workers & their loved ones, who are often left behind by restrictive definitions of family.” An inclusive definition of family in paid leave policies would help ensure that all workers have access to paid time off in the event that they need a few days to recover from a short-term illness, or a longer leave to bond with a new child, recover from a serious health condition, or care for a seriously ill loved one. The report identifies gold-standard family definition policies & finds that state & local victories in the last half of 2016 alone will provide nearly 7 million people access to paid sick days with an inclusive family definition. Kalpana Krishnamurthy, policy director at Forward Together concluded, “While this report focuses on LGBTQ families, it’s really about all of our families. We’ve always defined family as those who we love & can count on. That fact is what has made our families strong, even as they have been remade by distance, violence & struggle. This report shows us that we need policies that honor our deepest bonds, however they may look.”
Read New Report…
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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Walmart Settles LGBT Bias Case

Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), the national campaign to change Walmart into a more responsible employer, along with Pride at Work and UFCW OUTreach, a constituency group dedicated to building mutual support between the UFCW's International, regions & locals & our LGBT community & allies, released the following statement as Walmart announced a 7.5 million dollar settlement in the Cote et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. class-action lawsuit, which accused the company of discriminating against employees who were married to same gender spouses by denying their spouses health insurance benefits: "Actions speak louder than words & until now, Walmart’s actions regarding LGBTQ workers’ & their spouses’ health benefits were discriminatory & hurtful. We are pleased to hear that Walmart has admitted wrongdoing in Cote et al. v. Walmart Stores, Inc. & that they have agreed to abide by anti-discrimination policies & to make those who have been discriminated against whole. It is our hope that Walmart accepts how wrong they were so that not one more Walmart worker will have to experience such injustice and bigotry. We congratulate Jacqueline for her bravery & we hope she inspires other Walmart workers to come forward & speak up about intolerance. In addition, we hope that Walmart realizes that this is just a start & that too many of its hard-working Walmart men & women face poverty-level wages, poor benefits & unfair workplaces. Now, more than ever, it is time for Walmart to wake up & change."
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Jorge Amaro Honor 41 Recipient

Honor 41 that annually celebrates 41 LGBTQ Latina/o role models & trailblazers has named Jorge Amaro, Media & Public Relations Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force to their 2016 list of honorees. Honor 41’s name originates from an anti-LGBTQ hate crime that took place in Mexico City in 1901 when 41 men were targeted, beaten & arrested because of their sexual orientation. Since then the number 41 has been used in Mexico to disparage against gay men. Honor 41 reclaims the number to celebrate inspirational individuals in the LGBTQ community & their tireless work toward equality. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director stated, “Congratulations to Jorge for the well-deserved recognition for his tireless work to support LGBTQ people all across the country. We truly value his ongoing contributions to the broader social justice movement & are proud to have him as part of the National LGBTQ Task Force family.” Jorge Amaro concluded, "I am humbled & privileged to be included in this year's list. To this day, LGBTQ Latino youth lack the necessary & adequate support in school, home, healthcare, & places of worship in order to be able to live their lives genuinely & authentically; despite the ongoing systems of oppression that we face including racism, discrimination, violence & hate. LGBTQ Latinos continue to succeed in a wide rage of arts & professions. In our work to secure justice & equality for all, we must continue elevating the voices of those who are often marginalized in society."
For More Info: honor41.org
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

World AIDS Day 2016 (AUDIO)

For World AIDS Day a new plan to end HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts has been launched entitled Massachusetts Getting to Zero Coalition led by the AIDS Action Committee, Fenway Health & over 35 supporting organizations from the six health regions of the Commonwealth. The plan seeks to ensure that by 2020, 90 percent of those living with HIV are aware of their status; 90 percent of those diagnosed with HIV are treated with antiretroviral therapy & 90 percent of those receiving antiretroviral treatment are virally suppressed. It is modeled on the Getting to Zero new HIV infections plan created by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS which has been adopted by the state of New York & city of San Francisco. The plan will be formally launched today on World AIDS Day December 1st at a reception at Harvard Medical School from 6P to 8P. Carl Sciortino, AIDS Action Executive Director stated, “As we seek to end AIDS in Massachusetts, we’re taking that same approach of going directly to those at highest risk of HIV infection to ensure they have the treatment they need to stay healthy. But we’re also going to employ sexual health training for healthcare providers & make big data available for prevention program designers to exploit every possible opportunity to end the spread of HIV.” Listen to this exclusive audio byte with gay activist & historian Cleve Jones who talks about how AIDS affected our LGBT community. Jones has been an AIDS activist for over 30 years. After working with Harvey Milk, Cleve conceived the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
For More Info: gettingtozeroma.org
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