Saturday, March 31, 2018

Boston Pride Marshals Announced

The Grand Marshals for the 48th Annual Boston Pride Parade are Freedom for All Massachusetts the broad-based bipartisan coalition & Parade Marshal Jo Trigilio who has been a leader in the LGBTQ community serving on the Boston Dyke March organizing committee for more than a decade. Honorary Parade Marshals will be awarded posthumously to the late Gordon Burns & Edie Windsor. Sylvain Bruni, Boston Pride President stated, “Boston Pride’s 2018 Pride Parade Marshals are a tremendous group of organizations & individuals who represent the LGBTQ community. The marshals have been selected by the community through our annual online vote & have made a significant impact in our community over several decades. We look forward to having Freedom for All Massachusetts & Jo Trigilio lead the parade while also honoring the legacies of Gordon Burns & Edie Windsor.” The 2018 Pride Theme will be “Rainbow Resistance” to further bring our LGBTQ community & allies together during the parade. Martha Plaza Parade Chair concluded, “On June 9th we will march as a community that displays ‘Rainbow Resistance’ in promoting engagement & inclusivity while striving for visibility & respect.” Boston Pride produces events & activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect & awareness in Greater Boston & beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility & dignity they educate, communicate & advocate by building & strengthening community connections. Boston Pride Week 2018 will be held from June 1st to 10th.
For More Info: bostonpride.org
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Ricky Martin To Be Honored

New York City's LGBTQ Community Center will honor actor & multiple Grammy winner Ricky Martin with The Center's Trailblazer Award in recognition of his steadfast championing of the LGBTQ community as well as his relief efforts in Puerto Rico on Thursday, April 19th at its annual Center Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street. Martin also works extensively as a philanthropist to bring justice, education & protection to children around the world through the Ricky Martin Foundation. He is widely heralded as one of the most influential Latino voices on social media, using Twitter, Facebook & other platforms to maintain an often-daily conversation with more than nine million followers. Martin will be honored along with Dame Anna Wintour who will receive The Center's Visionary Award in recognition of her long-standing, unwavering support encouragement of the LGBTQ community, within both the fashion & media industries. At a time when it matters more than ever Ms. Wintour has encouraged Condé Nast's coverage & amplification of LGBTQ voices through the support of publications such as Them, as well as Vogue's in-depth features on Chelsea Manning and transgender children last fall. Ms. Wintour has held the position of Editor-in-Chief of Vogue since July 1988, & was named Artistic Director of Condé Nast in March 2013. Each year The Center Dinner brings together over 800 influencers & tastemakers in the LGBTQ community to raise funds for The Center's programs & services with a special emphasis on supporting youth programs.
For More Info & Tix: gaycenter.org
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mirah At Break the Chains Event

Indie pop singer/songwriter Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn (Kill Rock Star / K Records) will headline Break the Chains, Boston’s favorite LGBTQ dance party on Saturday April 7th from 6P to 10P at Make Shift Boston, 549 Columbus Ave in Boston, Massachusetts. Secret Drum Band & Evan Greer will open & the party will wrap up with guest DJ Najwa Al-Assad. Evan Greer, event organizer stated, “Break the Chains is a direct challenge to assimilation & corporate co-optation of queer nightlife and community. It’s not just a party, it’s carving out a space for queer people of all ages to come together to celebrate our culture of resistance while supporting local & nationally touring queer & trans artists.” Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn has been creating incorruptible independent pop music since the late 1990s. She has released over a dozen solo & collaborative recordings on K Records, Kill Rock Stars & various domestic & foreign independent labels. Defined by her graceful songwriting & adventuresome recordings, Pitchfork has praised her incredible voice a versatile coo that can flit from low, sultry tones to high, airy falsetto in one breath. Break the Chains is a semi-monthly all ages, all gender, wheelchair accessible dance party featuring nationally touring queer & trans artists and artists of color. Voted “Boston’s Best dance party” in 2017 by Improper Bostonian, the all-volunteer effort is organized by Boston based activist & internationally touring musician Evan Greer & has been attracting crowds for more than three years since its humble beginnings in a co-op house living room.
For More Info & Tix…
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

AARP Survey Addresses LGBT Elders

A new AARP survey delivers alarming statistics about the LGBT aging experience. According to the survey entitled “Maintaining Dignity: Understanding & Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans” half (52%) of LGBT adults said they fear discrimination in health care as they age. A staggering 88% of LGBT older people want providers in long-term care facilities who are specifically trained to meet LGBT patient needs. One-third of LGBT elder Americans were somewhat worried about having to hide their LGBT identity in order to have access to suitable housing. Black & Latino LGBT adults report the greatest concerns about future family support, social supports & discrimination within LTC facilities. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Ed.D., AARP Senior Advisor & LGBT Liaison stated, “Older LGBT adults often have serious concerns about aging with dignity, compounded primarily by fears of discrimination & lack of social support. LGBT adults are clearly saying that they want LGBT-sensitive long-term care & other services.” Michael Adams SAGE CEO added, “With this new survey, AARP has made a vital contribution to increasing awareness about the lives, challenges & resiliencies of LGBT older people. The important work now is to do everything possible to respond to the acute needs documented in the survey so that LGBT older people have the same opportunities in their later years as all older Americans.” SAGE founded in 1978 is the country's largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older people now celebrating its 40 year serving our LGBT seniors.
For More Info: sageusa.org
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Monday, March 26, 2018

Boston Wicked Queer Film Festival

Wicked Queer Boston's LGBTQ film festival is celebrating its 34th year March 29th to April 8th with screenings throughout the city bringing the latest in contemporary queer film to our LGBTQ community & allies. James Nadeau, Wicked Queer Executive Director stated, "Once again, film provides a voice for our community, whether it be from the favalas of Sao Paulo or the back woods of Finland. Now more than ever, we need these stories." The festival opens at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on March 29th with “A Moment in the Reeds” an intimate romantic film about a Syrian refugee & the Finnish college student he falls for. The film fresh off its premiere at the BFI London International Film Festival delivers a promising debut from filmmaker Mikko Makela who will be in attendance. From there the festival kicks off eleven days of screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Paramount Theatre at Arts Emerson, The Brattle Theater in Cambridge & the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Shawn Cotter Wicked Queer Creative Director adds, "Storytelling, a constant telling & retelling of histories, contributes to the preservation of our community & culture. In a time where our voices are many & sometimes still silenced, a film festival offers a way for us to gather as a community & share stories that are universal & connect us globally." While many of this year’s documentaries highlight activism, the international queer experience it’s not all politics. Comedies, romances & a number of world & US premieres will be presented at this year’s stellar festival program.
For More Info: wickedqueer.org
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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Trans Military Under Attack Again

Trump & Pence are at it again attempting to ban our transgender community from military service. Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that bans most transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military but gives the armed forces some latitude in implementing policies. This current action is in defiance of four different challenges in federal courts that have blocked Trump’s ban on open transgender military service from going into effect declaring it appears to be unconstitutional. Trump & Secretary of Defense Mattis’ efforts to modify the implementation of this discriminatory policy does not make it any less unconstitutional. Matt Thorn, President & CEO of OutServe-SLDN stated, “This policy is a thinly-veiled & feeble attempt by the Trump-Pence administration to justify the unnecessary discrimination of qualified patriots in order to advance their own personal agendas & in defiance of the administration’s top military leadership. This plan is riddled with blatant animus, bigotry & ignorance but conveniently void of any foundational bases or facts. We are calling this what it is – an attempt to legitimize an unwarranted & unnecessary attack that targets individuals who have volunteered their lives in support of this country. A vast majority of this country affirms that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve. Alongside our co-counsel, Lambda Legal, we will continue to push for equity & justice & block this unjustifiable animus against the transgender military community through our nation’s judicial systems. To all our transgender brethren, I want to reiterate – you are not a burden & we got your six.” Last Summer in this exclusive podcast I talked to Matt Thorn, President & CEO of OutServe-SLDN about this crucial issue. LISTEN
For More Info: outserve-sldn.org
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Friday, March 23, 2018

Fashion Icon To Be Honored

New York City's LGBTQ Community Center will honor Dame Anna Wintour with The Center's Visionary Award in recognition of her long-standing, unwavering support & encouragement of the LGBTQ community within both the fashion & media industries on Thursday, April 19th at its annual Center Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street. At a time when it matters more than ever, Ms. Wintour has encouraged Condé Nast's coverage & amplification of LGBTQ voices through the support of publications such as Them, as well as Vogue's in-depth features on Chelsea Manning & transgender children last fall. Her dedication has been steadfast & powerful. Ms. Wintour has held the position of Editor-in-Chief of Vogue since July 1988 & was named Artistic Director of Condé Nast in March 2013. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership & charitable efforts, including the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Lifetime Achievement Award, the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign & the Award of Courage for AIDS Research from the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR). Each year, Center Dinner brings together over 800 influencers & tastemakers in the LGBTQ community to raise funds for The Center's programs & services with a special emphasis on supporting youth programs. The Center is dedicated to empowering LGBTQ youth to become healthy, successful adults through substance use treatment & prevention, leadership & employment opportunities & HIV/AIDS prevention & education. The Center has long been the hub for our NYC LGBTQ community as a catalyst for progressive social change & a provider of critical services for the community.
For Info & Tix: gaycenter.org
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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Boston Design Week In April

Boston Design Week is in its 5th year celebrating all things in design with a 12-day citywide design festival that runs April 4th to 15th. There will be 70+ engaging & informative events from their non-profit partners, product designers, technology designers, architects, design showrooms, family programs, urban planners, interior designers, the City of Boston & more. This year’s theme is NOW, NEW, NEXT! Events take place throughout the city, in various neighborhoods & numerous suburbs throughout the Greater Boston area. One of the highlights is the new AD20/21 HOME Expo at The Cyclorama at 539 Tremont Street in Boston, MA that runs April 12th to 15th which includes 50 select exhibitors offering a broad range of furnishings, fine art & prints, custom design & home décor. This is the only show of its kind in New England with prices ranging from affordable works to museum quality masterpieces. There is also a must-attend Gala Preview on Thursday, April 12th to celebrate Boston Design Week & benefit the ASID NE Scholarship Fund. Tony Fusco, Boston Design Week Co-Producer stated, "We are very excited about our 5th Annual Boston Design Week -- there is some great content in all design arena within our 70+ events. We are also really thrilled about our new AD20/21 HOME expo at The Cyclorama April 12th to 15th the final weekend. Our LGBTQ friends can access complimentary tickets to the AD20/21 HOME expo here…. ” Boston Design Week, AD20/21 HOME Expo & the Boston International Fine Art Show are produced by Fusco & Four.
For More Info: bostondesignweek.com
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March For Stronger Gun Laws

Thousands of people are expected to rally this Saturday March 24th at 817 global events to “March For Our Lives” demanding that safety become a priority worldwide & that we end this epidemic of gun violence & mass shootings. This crucial issue especially affects our LGBTQ community & the National LGBTQ Task Force has just released a new platform on gun policy that links gun violence to racism, transphobia, homophobia & misogyny. Read Policy... Stacey Long Simmons, Esq., Director of the Advocacy & Action Department stated, “With this policy position paper, the Task Force fills an important role by giving gun violence prevention an intersectional analysis. Pulse focused attention on violent bigotry against LGBTQ people, but there is so much more to the epidemic than mass murders. There are murders by the police, there are domestic violence murders & on & on. We support the young people of Parkland who say #NeverAgain and commit to building on their efforts from our own uniquely progressive, LGBTQ lens.” In a recent survey 70% of NRA members, 80% of gun owners & 90% of Americans support stronger gun laws. “March For Our Lives” will take to the streets to demand that their lives & safety become a priority & that we end gun violence in our schools & communities. So let’s all MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN & “March For Our Lives” this Saturday March 24th. It’s a Matter of Life & Death. I recently talked with Brandon Wolf, Vice President of The Dru Project & a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre about this critical issue.
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

GLAAD Media Awards Los Angeles

GLAAD the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization has announced that Wanda Sykes will be hosting the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles that will be held at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 12th 2018. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, “Wanda Sykes’ humor, wit & status as one of the most visible out women in Hollywood make her the perfect host for the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. At a time when LGBTQ acceptance & equality are eroding, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate the best in LGBTQ representation & share a few laughs along the way.” As previously announced at this year’s celebration in Los Angeles Britney Spears will receive the Vanguard Award for her support of the LGBTQ community & actor & producer Jim Parsons will receive GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award that is presented to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance which Sykes was the recipient of in 2010. Also attending this fabulous event will be special appearances by Lena Waithe, Olympian Adam Rippon, Chloe Grace Moretz, Gigi Gorgeous & more to be announced. Funds raised from the GLAAD Media Awards support GLAAD’s crucial programs working to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people. The 29th GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Ketel One Vodka & Wells Fargo.
For More Info & Tix: glaad.org
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Friday, March 16, 2018

Tallahassee LGBTQ Gala Event

The Equality Florida Tallahassee Annual Gala takes place on March 24th from 7P to 10P at the beautiful Turnbull Center on the campus of Florida State University. Each year this fabulous event brings together the area’s political, business & civic leaders to celebrate & support Equality Florida’s LGBTQ work. This year they will be presenting the Voice for Equality Award to Rev Brant Copeland & Ron Bunting & The Lifetime Achievement Award to the leaders of The Mickee Faust Club: Terry Galloway & Donna Marie Nudd. The Voice for Equality Award recognizes an individual that has helped move the LGBTQ community closer to full equality, while the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a lifetime of support & activism for the LGBTQ community. Joe Baker, Jr. - Tallahassee Steering Committee Member stated, " Rev Brant Copeland is man of integrity & compassion, who wonderfully serves our community in so many ways as an individual and as a church pastor. Brant truly walks the talk of his Christian faith & we all benefit from his willingness to share why the unconditional acceptance of all people is now more important than ever." Music will be provided by Tallahassee Nights Live, also a silent auction, delicious hors d'oeuvres & full open bars. This year's program will feature a state of the state address by Equality Florida co-founder and Deputy Director, Stratton Pollitzer. Equality Florida Institute is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's LGBTQ community.
For Info & Tix: eqfl.org
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Savannah LGBTQ Groups Speak Out

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to appear at the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday March 17th in Savannah, Georgia which is the second largest such parade in the United States behind New York City & has been a tradition in the city for 194 years. St. Patrick’s Day has always brought controversy with the exclusion of LGBTQ groups from marching in most St. Patrick’s Day parades. In Savannah LGBTQ organizations have never been represented at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade nor have requests to be represented been responded to from the organizers. Representatives of Savannah Pride, First City Network, the Savannah LGBTQ Center & Dusty Church, Festival Director of Savannah Pride issued the following statement in response: “As members of Savannah’s LGBTQ community, we are troubled by our public officials’ welcoming of Vice President Mike Pence. Mr. Pence has proved himself to be one of the most anti-LGBTQ political crusaders to serve in government. As governor of Indiana, he led a concerted effort to deny equality to LGBTQ people, opposing gay marriage & signing into law a bill that made it legal for businesses to turn away gay & lesbian customers. As a member of Congress, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, co-sponsored a bill to define marriage between a man & woman & sought to cut off HIV funding to organizations that did not encourage the reprehensible practice of gay “conversion therapy.” These attacks have continued with at least 2 dozen actions by the current administration against LGBT people, including those serving in our armed forces. Ordinarily, there is no place for his brand of discrimination in Savannah. However, this weekend, he will feel right at home at the largest St Patrick’s Day Parade in America that discriminates against LGBTQ organizations. We Savannahians are proud of our diversity, so we welcome Vice President Pence to join our interracial gay families raising adopted children, trans service members proudly defending their country, queer artists inspiring creativity, immigrant students dreaming of a bright future with a same-gender spouse & the many other faces of the Hostess City that will be proudly lining the streets this weekend & we hope the St. Patrick’s Day committee, whose “Southern Hospitality” resembles Mr. Pence’s “Hoosier Hospitality”, will open their eyes & see us as well.”
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Savannah Pride Mermaid Fest

The organizers of Savannah Georgia’s annual LGBTQ Pride Festival will be presenting their first annual Mermaid Fest on Friday March 23rd to Saturday March 24th on Tybee Island, Georgia. Mermaid Fest is a 2-day long celebration of the surf, sand & sun in the Savannah-area. Rich Walczak, one of Mermaid Fest organizers stated, “Savannah Pride attracts people from all over the world for our annual Pride Festival during the Halloween weekend. Mermaid Fest is a chance to show that Savannah is a year-round LGBTQ destination where five miles of beaches are only 20 minutes away from an historic downtown. Highlighting Mermaid Fest will be an appearance by Blixunami the gay Geechie Merman one of the country’s most popular mermen, described as “the most beautiful person imaginable” by Metro UK & “as the most magical mermaid there is” by YouTube personality Davey Wavey. Savannah PRIDE made history this past year when it relocated its festival to downtown Savannah & made the event free to the public. Walcza concluded “Our goal was to have everybody celebrate the area’s diversity with us & it was a huge success. People of all backgrounds, colors, ages - from college kids with rainbow streaked hair to people living deep in the country to Southern conservatives – all joined in for a day of fun and friendship.” Events include live music, parties, club crawls, beach games, mermaids & of course, mermen.
For More Info: pridesavannah
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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Federal Anti-LGBTQ Bill Filed

Senate Republicans have filed a Federal anti-LGBTQ religious exemptions bill that enables individuals, businesses & corporations that cite religious objections to marriage equality to discriminate against LGBTQ couples, seniors & their families. Senator Mike Lee of Utah reintroduced the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” (FADA) & the bill has 21 co-sponsors & already has the full support of the Trump White House. The bill is similar to HB1523 the anti-LGBTQ religious exemptions bill that went into effect in Mississippi last year. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “America was founded on the freedom of religion & this shared value continues to be critical to our nation’s success, but it does not give people the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate. While President Trump & the Senate Republicans behind this bill are pushing for discriminatory legislation, the LGBTQ community will not be silent & continue to protect the hardworking LGBTQ American families who would be placed in direct harm by this unjust bill.” The so-called "First Amendment Defense Act” especially puts our LGBTQ elders lives at risk since it would permit federally funded aging providers to discriminate against them when they are most in need of care whether they are in long-term care or have a caregiver at home. This hateful bill is also in total contradiction of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) which showed that a majority of Americans oppose anti-LGBTQ religious exemption laws. PRRI also found that 72% of Americans support laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing & public accommodations. This includes six out of ten (60%) Republicans & 81% of Democrats.
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Friday, March 9, 2018

DOJ Ends LGBTQ Census Inclusion

Once again the Trump administration continues its agenda to erase our LGBTQ community from the 2020 Census. In response to the new FOIA release on Department of Justice influence on the Census Meghan Maury, Policy Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force stated, "The Census should count LGBTQ people because we count. New information uncovered about the Trump administration confirms that the Department of Justice chose to halt the Census Bureau’s progress toward adding sexual orientation & gender identity questions to the Census. The Census controls billions of dollars in federal funding, determines our representation at the state & federal levels & impacts scores of other programs like how our school districts are drawn. The addition of sexual orientation & gender identity questions would have had a significant impact on our community’s access to services, democracy & education, which is why we demand to be counted. The Civil Rights Division must reverse this course & ensure fair & impartial administration of justice for all Americans. The Trump administration appointed John Gore (the attorney who helped defend North Carolina in a federal lawsuit against HB2) to head the Civil Rights Division in 2017. Unfortunately, under the leadership of a champion of anti-LGBTQ legislation, the Division made a decision that betrayed the needs of our community. On March 7, 2017, the Department of Justice told the Census Bureau it needed time to carefully consider inclusion of sexual orientation & gender identity questions on the long-form Census, also known as the American Community Survey (ACS). A year after that date, we call on the Department to reaffirm its request of November 4, 2016 to include these topics on the ACS. The Trump administration appears to be hell bent on erasing LGBTQ people, but the reality is we are a significant part of the population. We’re here, we’re queer, we’re not going anywhere. We deserve to be counted in the Census."
For More Info: thetaskforce.org
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Celebrate International Women's Day

This year as we celebrate International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8th we're fueled by the phenomenal success of worldwide activism of women's equality movements like #MeToo & #TimesUp. We must continue to keep up this strong global momentum for gender parity. There has never been a more important time to keep motivated as this year’s International Women's Day theme encourages us all to Press For Progress. Gloria Steinem, stated, "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International concluded, “The path towards achieving gender equality & the protection of human rights for all people, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, is long & difficult. While we have made enormous gains in the past decade, a rise of opposition globally stands to stem progress…With the rise of feminist movements in the US & globally, we see a call for what feminism really means: equality, no matter what your gender or sexual orientation. Today, gender is ever expanding, beyond the binary often imagined. No woman has full equality if her trans sisters in Indonesia do not have rights; if her trans siblings in the US are publicly harassed & forced to use a women's restroom; if her lesbian sisters anywhere are forced to undergo conversion therapy. As long as we are calling out violence & misogyny, we need to remember that the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements not only apply to cisgender women, but to people of all gender identities and expressions. Equality for everyone must truly be for everyone.”
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus "ABBA"

The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) spring concert is paying homage to the sensational ’70s Pop Icons ABBA in “ABBAsolutely Fabulous”. Performances are at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston on Saturday, March 17th at 3P & 8P & Sunday March 18th at 3P. Reuben M. Reynolds, III BGMC Music Director stated, “With the musical ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ slated to hit theaters this summer, it’s a perfect time for an ABBA-themed show. Everyone knows & loves these songs, even if they don’t want to admit it. If you’re looking for pure pop perfection & a night of indulgent escapism, then don’t miss ‘ABBAsolutely Fabulous. You’ll be having the time of your life, believe me.” With “ABBAsolutely Fabulous,” BGMC will put its unique stamp on ABBA’s biggest & beloved hits, including “Waterloo,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme” (A Man After Midnight) & of course “Mamma Mia” & “Dancing Queen.” The chorus will also treat audiences to lesser-known tracks like “On & On & On” & “Voulez- Vous.” Craig Coogan BGMC Executive Director concluded, “ABBA’s music has ear-wormed its way permanently into the pop culture mainstream through movies, musicals & commercials, but before all that they were hugely influential on gay nightlife & culture. We lived for the drama & danceability of their songs & those glittered disco costumes. In the eighties, when many of us were caring for friends & lovers who were dying of AIDS, ABBA’s music gave us an escape—however temporary—from our grief. We can’t wait to sing these songs in tribute to both the band & to our community’s resilience.”
For Info & Tix: bgmc.org
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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

PFLAG Celebrates 45 Years

PFLAG the nation’s first & largest organization uniting LGBTQ people with families & allies celebrates their milestone 45th anniversary since its founding in New York City in 1973. Founded by Jeanne Manford an elementary-school teacher & mother of pioneering gay activist Morty Manford who marched by her son’s side at the 1972 Christopher Street Liberation Day March that became the New York Pride Parade carrying a homemade sign that said, “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of Our Children.” When she was surrounded by people at the end of the march asking her to speak to their own parents the idea for PFLAG was sparked & nine months later with support from her son & husband, Jules, the first meeting of PFLAG was held on March 11th 1973 at the Metropolitan-Duane Methodist Church in Greenwich Village now the Church of the Village where approximately 20 people attended. Over the past 45 years, PFLAG formerly an acronym for “Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays” has grown into a national organization with nearly 400 chapters across 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico & on a U.S. military base in Germany with hundreds of other family & ally organizations around the globe, all inspired or quietly supported by PFLAG. Since its founding PFLAG has helped hundreds of thousands of families learn how to support their LGBTQ children & loved ones expanding to include similar work with loving allies who are also invested in equality for LGBTQ people. This doesn’t include the possible millions across continents who have used & tailored the model to make them culturally appropriate for their locales.
For More Info: pflag.org
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Monday, March 5, 2018

LGBTQ Presence At The Oscars

Though it was a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion at the 90th Academy Awards it didn’t come close to last year’s game-changing Best Picture win for “Moonlight”. This year we celebrated more LGBTQ presence behind the camera especially with Mudbound’s Rachel Morrison nominated for cinematography & its director Dee Rees nominated for screenplay. Though “Call Me by Your Name” was nominated for Best Picture making this the second year in a row a film focused around LGBTQ lead characters had been nominated, “The Shape of Water” did win that includes Richard Jenkins’ sensitive & moving portrayal of a gay man. A LGBTQ highlight of the 90th Oscar show was when host Jimmy Kimmel stated, “We don’t make films like ‘Call Me By Your Name' for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence." We did have a win with “A Fantastic Woman” from Chile starring transgender actress Daniela Vega receiving the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film that tells the story of Marina (Vega) a transgender woman grieving the loss of her recently deceased lover Orlando while dealing with his family’s prejudice. Also another LGBTQ nominee was Yance Ford is the first transgender director ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for “Strong Island” which tells the story of how race played a factor in the criminal justice system’s failure to indict the man who murdered his brother & the effect that it had on his family. However Best Documentary Feature went to Icarus by Bryan Fogel & Dan Cogan. So now we look forward to the future important stories our LGBTQ community will tell.
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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Equality Florida Miami Gala Event

Equality Florida’s Miami Gala takes place on Saturday, March 10th at the Nobu Hotel Eden Roc, 4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach beginning at 6P. This year Equality Florida will be honoring SAVE with the Community Partner for Equality Award. Nadine Smith Equality Florida Executive Director stated, “For 25 years SAVE has been a pioneer in the fight to protect LGBTQ people from harassment & discrimination. They have led efforts to pass & defend dozens of local ordinances & were plaintiffs in the federal case that brought marriage equality to Florida. They have identified tens of thousands of pro-equality voters & more recently they launched a project to ban conversion therapy that is catching fire statewide. We are proud to honor SAVE as our 2018 Community Partner for Equality.” H. Scott Huizenga & the Huizenga Family Foundation will also be honored this year with Equality Florida’s Service & Leadership Award. Stratton Pollitzer Equality Florida Deputy Director stated, “For more than 15 years, Scott Huizenga has sponsored Equality Florida’s work to protect 7 support LGBTQ students. This year Scott & the Huizenga Family Foundation made a three-year, $75,000 commitment to helping grow our Safe & Healthy schools project, which is providing professional development & support to thousands of school district leaders in nearly every district in the state. Given the recent tragedy in Broward, this work could not be more urgent & we are thrilled to honor the Huizenga’s for their pioneering & steadfast support of LGBTQ youth.” The Miami Beach Gala includes sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, an open bar & live music. One of the highlights of the evening is the State of the State Address presented by Nadine Smith, in which she will present the achievements of the past year & outline the work that is yet to be done. The Equality Florida Miami Gala is presented by PNC Bank & tickets are $150.
For More Info & Tix: eqfl.org
LISTEN: Richard Gray Talks Fort Lauderdale Greater Together
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Friday, March 2, 2018

Bermuda Marriage Equality Update

Bermuda is delaying the repeal of marriage equality for three months until the end of May 2018 because of its lucrative tourism industry according to Walton Brown, Bermuda’s Minister of Home Affairs stating, “Commencement has been delayed to allow for any same-sex marriages that have licenses already issued & have been scheduled to be conducted in Bermuda, or on-board Bermuda-registered ships, to actually take place.” Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD stated, “The repeal of marriage equality in Bermuda is a demeaning & unnecessary strike against loving & committed LGBTQ couples in Bermuda as well as others around the world who would consider vacationing there. This small walk-back by the Bermudian government to accommodate previously-planned weddings shows that pressure from the tourism industry could have tremendous power if they collectively speak out for marriage equality.” It is now imperative for international businesses that play major roles in Bermuda’s economy, such as cruise lines & the travel industry, to make their voices heard. Several cruise lines that bring tourists to Bermuda not only contribute largely to Bermuda’s tourism industry & economy, but they have long histories of standing with & marketing to LGBTQ people. These brands & their business leaders should demonstrate true leadership & stand for those customers they’ve courted by helping to combat this harmful decision. Corporations & business leaders can have a powerful impact when they stand firm & denounce attacks on LGBTQ equality which was seen first-hand with the fight against anti-trans laws in both Texas & North Carolina. Bermuda should take a lesson from Greater Fort Lauderdale, FLA where since 1995 have brought 1.5 million LGBTQ travelers to Fort Lauderdale every year boosting their local economy to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars.
LISTEN: Richard Gray Talks Fort Lauderdale Greater Together
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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Atlanta Rallies Against LGBT Hate

Georgia Equality will be leading a rally March 1st at the Central Presbyterian Church across the street from the Georgia State Capitol, 201 Washington Street SW in Atlanta, GA kicking off at 1P. The event will feature state & national advocacy groups, faith leaders, members of the business & entertainment communities & LGBTQ families & allies who are united in their opposition to Georgia SB 375. This is the discriminatory legislation that passed the Georgia Senate last week which will allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse service to kids who identify as LGBTQ as well as allowing taxpayer-funded agencies to turn away legally married gay & lesbian couples & LGBTQ people looking to foster or adopt. Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s Executive Director stated, “We’re incredibly energized by the support we’ve received in just the last few days from Georgians of all backgrounds who want to speak out against SB 375, the latest attempt to discriminate against LGBTQ people in our state. People are fired up – in particular because this bill singles out LGBTQ kids for harm. We’re looking forward to sending a message to lawmakers that citizens across our state want to talk about positive & proactive measures that bring us all together, not these same old types of bills designed to foster division.” The rally will include speakers from the ACLU of Georgia, Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, Parents & Youth along with keynote speakers Jeff Graham, Executive Director of Georgia Equality & Daniel Newman, Georgia native & actor on “The Walking Dead”.
For More Info: georgiaequality.org
LISTEN: Richard Gray Talks Fort Lauderdale Greater Together
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
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