Sunday, September 23, 2018

Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala

The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 49th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards honored Ricky Martin, Greg Berlanti & Robbie Rogers & Ariadne Getty at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center stated, “For 49 years, your Center has achieved so much that so many thought was impossible, fulfilling our most spectacular & magnificent ambitions for our organization & our people. What is more spectacular than freedom? What is more magnificent than being there for each other? All of you are a vital part of our Center’s courageous, resilient & visionary history. We & all who have preceded us ARE the Center. A Center that is more than buildings; more than a collection of social services; more than soldiers for equality & justice. We are the stuff that dreams are made of. We are the best that people can be: kind, passionate, generous, hopeful & hilarious living our lives honestly & caring for our fellow human beings. We are exactly what the world needs more of right now.” The evening concluded with Ricky Martin stating, “The inspiration comes from my kids, because when I held them for the first time, I knew I could not lie. I always teach them to be honest. I’ve been fighting human trafficking for many years with my own foundation & every human rights issue is connected. My mission is to go to those little Latin American towns where the word ‘gay’ is a curse & I am going to end this. Little by little, we’re taking steps to keep forcing this issue.” The event was hosted by Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos. Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed & celebrated LGBT individuals & families in Los Angeles & beyond.
For More Info: lalgbtcenter.org
LISTEN: Cathy Renna On 20 Year Legacy of Matthew Shepard Events
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Friday, September 21, 2018

LGBTQ 2018 Candidates Strive

An unprecedented number of LGBTQ people have run for office throughout the 2018 election cycle unleashing the potential for a Rainbow Wave of new openly LGBTQ elected officials at every level of government come November. Twenty-one openly LGBTQ candidates won Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate or U.S. House this year more than at any other time in U.S. history. Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund stated, “A wave of enthusiasm among Democratic primary voters for openly LGBTQ candidates has unleashed a Rainbow Wave that can transform the U.S. Congress & our governors’ mansions come November. It represents an evolution in American politics with voters choosing out LGBTQ candidates as the solution to the divisiveness & dysfunction we see in Washington & in many of our state capitals. The struggles & experiences of LGBTQ candidates provide a unique perspective that makes them authentic, values-driven leaders & it is resonating. LGBTQ candidates join women, people of color, immigrants and Muslims who are running this cycle to lead the change we demand to see in our politics. The dramatic spike in openly LGBTQ people running for the highest levels of government is thrilling but one-sided, with zero openly LGBTQ Republican Congressional or gubernatorial nominees. The anti-LGBTQ policies pursued by the White House & in extreme-right state legislatures has led to few openly LGBTQ people running in a Republican primary & those who do are too often sidelined by homophobic or transphobic political forces. Instead of a Rainbow Wave that should be celebrated by all Americans who believe in the wisdom of a truly representative government, we have a historic moment that is almost entirely partisan. This story will not change until the party of Lincoln rejects the divisive rhetoric and policies too many of its leaders rely on.”
For More Info: victoryfund.org
LISTEN: Cathy Renna On 20 Year Legacy of Matthew Shepard Events
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Transgender Military Ban Update

With the country totally focused on the appalling Supreme Court nominee some good LGBTQ news slipped by as the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected the Trump-Pence Administration’s latest attempt to implement its discriminatory transgender military ban by denying a motion to dissolve the nationwide preliminary injunction previously issued in a lawsuit filed by Equality California & seven active duty service members & recruits seeking to join the military. Rick Zbur Executive Director Equality California stated, “Anyone willing to risk their life to protect our country should be treated fairly & with dignity and respect. As long as President Trump continues to double down on this unpatriotic & discriminatory ban, we’ll continue to fight him with everything we’ve got & we have a pretty good track record of winning.” District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal wrote in the order denying the motion, “In the history of military service in this country, ‘the loss of unit cohesion’ has been consistently weaponized against open service by a new minority group. Yet, at every turn, this assertion has been overcome by the military’s steadfast ability to integrate these individuals into effective members of our armed forces. As with blacks, women & gays so now with transgender persons. The military has repeatedly proven its capacity to adapt & grow stronger specifically by the inclusion of these individuals. Therefore, the government cannot use ‘the loss of unit cohesion’ as an excuse to prevent an otherwise qualified class of discrete & insular minorities from joining the armed forces.” Over 9,000 transgender troops are currently serving honorably & deserve to be protected by the constitution they are defending. For More Info: eqca.org
LISTEN: Cathy Renna On 20 Year Legacy of Matthew Shepard Events
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ann Hampton Callaway Rocks

Broadway & cabaret legend Ann Hampton Callaway will present her world premiere of The Linda Ronstadt Songbook at Feinstein’s/54 Below on September 19th, 21st & 22nd at 254 W 54th Street Cellar in NYC. From pop/rock classics like “You’re No Good” & “Desperado” to unforgettable classics from her three Nelson Riddle albums like “What’s New” & “Am I Blue” to her iconic duets that Callaway will perform with her fabulous music director Billy Stritch. Ann stated, “ It is time to celebrate a great singer silenced by Parkinson’s- Linda Ronstadt. Her music has filled hearts & built bridges across all ages & genres. I can’t wait to share stirring songs & stories this week at Feinstein’s 54 Below on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at 7P. With me is my all star band- Billy Stritch at the piano & sharing vocals, Linda’s guitarist Bob Mann sharing the vocals, Martin Wind on bass & Tim Horner on drums. We can’t wait to rock the house!” Ann Hampton Callaway is one of the leading pop/jazz singers of our time & has created an exciting night of songs & stories in celebration of one of America’s most beloved artists Linda Ronstadt. On the heels on Ann’s symphonic & performing arts center triumph of The Streisand Songbook this show celebrates the many faces of love in Ronstadt’s iconic songs. The Linda Ronstadt Songbook promises to be the perfect night of music. Tickets rage from $50 to $120.
For Info & Tix: 54below.com
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Monday, September 17, 2018

Kavanaugh Must Be Investigated

Following Christine Blasey Ford’s decision to speak publicly about her assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh civil rights groups are calling for a full investigation on these assault allegations. 77+ civil rights groups have issued the following statement, “Ms. Ford did not want to make her accusations public, but after her letter was reported on, she courageously decided to tell her story. Like all survivors of sexual assault, she must be treated with respect & her privacy honored. The Senate cannot move forward with this lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land without the results of a fair, non-partisan & thorough process.” The list of organizations signing this statement are The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, Alliance for Justice, American Constitution Society for Law & Policy, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers, Center for American Progress, Center for Biological Diversity, Human Rights Campaign, Indivisible, Jobs with Justice, Lambda Legal, League of Conservation Voters, MoveOn, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Inc., National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Education Association, National Health Law Program, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Law Center, People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Protect Our Care, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), UnidosUS & YWCA USA. Please call your Senators & stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Emmy Nominations LGBT Visibility

The 70th Annual Emmy Awards is a fabulous year for LGBTQ talent with ten out actors nominated across acting categories & LGBTQ-inclusive television has been nominated across the board in comedy, drama, reality & limited series categories. Zeke Stokes, Vice President of Programs at GLAAD stated, “This year’s nominees ensure that the 70th Annual Emmy Awards will be a watershed occasion for LGBTQ representation on television. Out actors & creators like Samira Wiley, Sarah Paulson, Lily Tomlin & Evan Rachel Wood will shine alongside LGBTQ-inclusive scripted programming & LGBTQ-focused shows like Queer Eye & RuPaul's Drag Race, reflecting the growing power & diversity in LGBTQ stories in Hollywood.” LGBTQ talent up for major awards on Monday includes Lily Tomlin for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Grace & Frankie, Evan Rachel Wood for Lead Actress in a Drama Series on Westworld & Sarah Paulson for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for American Horror Story: Cult. Out actors also include Tituss Burgess, Kate McKinnon & Ricky Martin have been nominated in supporting categories; Burgess for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, McKinnon for Saturday Night Live & Martin for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Gianni Versace itself is nominated for Limited Series, as well as being up for several other awards which includes out creator Ryan Murphy for Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special. Also nominated in Limited Series is Netflix’s Godless. Several LGBTQ-inclusive series were nominated including This is Us & The Handmaid’s Tale for Outstanding Drama Series & Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in Comedy Series. Project Runway & RuPaul’s Drag Race are both nominees in Reality-Competition Series. The 70th Annual Emmy Awards will broadcast live Monday at 8P EST.
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Friday, September 14, 2018

Florida AIDS Healthcare Update

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has filed a second public records request lawsuit seeking a Writ of Mandamus against Florida Governor Rick Scott over his failure to provide requested records of communications between the Executive Office of the Governor (EOG) & all other bidders & their lobbyists for Florida’s Medicaid AIDS care contracts in the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s eleven service regions. Last week in a separate public records request lawsuit filed against Governor Scott by AHF in July the same court granted AHF’s petition for a Writ of Mandamus ordering the Governor to make records of his schedule, calendar & other events including campaign & fundraising events publicly available to AHF by September 15th. This was a stunning rebuke to the Florida Governor & Republican Senate candidate Scott & a victory for public access to information about publicly elected officials’ schedules & campaign & fundraising events. In July AHF filed its earlier petition for Writ of Mandamus after its repeated public records requests to Governor Scott’s office were denied with his office falsely claiming that the records were officially exempt from disclosure. Advocates from AHF & Positive Healthcare have been protesting & trying to protest Governor Scott after the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) failed to renew Positive Healthcare’s contract to cover Medicaid patients with HIV/AIDS in Broward & Miami-Dade, a move that essentially will deny critical healthcare coverage to those living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the parent organization of Positive Healthcare a nonprofit agency providing medical care to thousands of Medicaid patients living with HIV in Florida for nearly two decades.
For More Info: aidshealth.org
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Horizons Annual Gala & After Party

The fabulous LGBTQ event Horizons Annual Gala & After Party takes place on Saturday October 6th in San Francisco at the historic Fairmont Hotel ballroom for cocktails & dinner followed by an unforgettable After Party in the Tonga Room. This year they are honoring transgender activist Gavin Grimm & author Jewelle Gomez. Gavin has been fighting a school board policy that banned him from using the boys’ restrooms for over three years. The case taken up by the ACLU has taken years to wend its way through the legal system & took a major turn when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District ruled in August 2016 in Gavin’s favor but was immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court denying Gavin his victory. Jewelle Gomez is the author of eight books including the double Lambda Literary Award-winning, vampire novel, “The Gilda Stories”. She was the recipient of a National Endowment on the Arts Fellowship in Literature and two California Arts Council Artist in Residence grants. In 2017 she received the Barbary Coast Trailblazer Award from LitQuake. She is currently playwright in residence at New Conservatory Theatre Center. The Horizons Foundation is today what its founders envisioned: a community philanthropic institution that is of, by & for the LGBTQ community both today & tomorrow & for future generations. Last July we talked to Gomez in this exclusive audio byte about what she hopes to accomplish with her work & how she sees our LGBTQ community or any minority moving forward in this Trump administration. LISTEN
 
For More Info & Tix: horizonsfoundation.org
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Laramie Project Historic Return

In recognition of the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death the Iron Crow Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland is launching its 2018/19 “Season of Becoming” with a production of the groundbreaking & award-winning The Laramie Project written by Moisés Kaufman & the members of Tectonic Theater Project September 14th to 23rd. Sean Elias, Iron Crow Theatre’s Artistic Director stated, “The Laramie Project means so much, to so many, especially as we mark two decades since Matthew’s murder became the focus of international attention & shined a light on anti-LGBTQ hates crimes like never before. We’re honored to be able to partner with the internationally recognized Tectonic Theatre Project, the creators of The Laramie Project, along with other prominent members of the queer community at large to help us connect our production here in Baltimore to others taking place across the country & to Matthew’s legacy." In October 1998 Matthew Shepard a twenty-one-year-old openly gay student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, beaten, tortured & left to die tied to a fence in the middle of a prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming, simply for being gay. Matthew’s murder brought national & international attention to the lack of hate crime legislation across the nation & forced a small community to wrestle with its identity on both the local & national levels. There will also be additional programming throughout the run including a staged reading of the rarely performed sequel to The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation & welcoming Cathy Renna, former communications director for GLAAD, to discuss her experiences on assignment in Laramie, Wyoming at the time of Matthew’s death.
For More Info: ironcrowtheatre.org
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Fifth Annual Trans Equity Summit

The fifth annual Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit begins on Thursday, October 4th at Hennepin Theater Trust, 900 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This year’s focus is on health & wellness with breakout sessions on the services available in Minnesota including overcoming barriers to care & strategies for mental health resiliency. Following the Summit the Minneapolis Transgender Equity Council will host a social event at Hennepin Theater Trust. On Friday October 5th there will be a career & health fair at Minneapolis City Hall hosted by the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, Twin Cities Quorum & Twin Cities Pride. The event includes professional resume review & leading employers will accept resumes & discuss available positions. The Trans Equity Summit will present a keynote panel led by Kye Allums, the first African American openly transgender athlete in sports history. There will be an update about trans equity work happening within the City of Minneapolis. There will also be presentations by local organizations leading the charge on transgender health equity with opportunities to meet members of the City’s newly appointed advisory board the Transgender Equity Council. This event is free & open to the public & lunch will be provided. Registration begins October 4th with coffee & tea at 9A & the first session beginning at 10A. The event is hosted by the City of Minneapolis in collaboration with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board & Minneapolis Public Schools. Community members & organizations interested in furthering transgender equity are encouraged to attend.
For More Info… 
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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Harbor To The Bay AIDS Ride

The 16th annual Harbor to the Bay is a one-day bike ride from Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts & takes place on September 15th with 100% of all pledges going directly to fight HIV/AIDS. Harbor to the Bay began in 2003 with an idea by the late Michael Tye, a group of Boston’s Club Café staff & dedicated friends who shared the dream to launch the 126-mile AIDS bike ride. Their idea was simple, a one-day ride from Boston (Harbor) to Provincetown (Bay) staffed completely by volunteers & a commitment that all rider pledges go directly to defeat HIV/AIDS. With millions of dollars being raised over the last 16 years this year their goal is $500,000. So far over 200 riders & 136 crewmembers have registered for Ride 16 & they have raised almost $200,000. On Monday September 10th at 7P The Boston Sisters are back for another round of Harbor to the Bingo. Come join the Sisters as they raise money to benefit Harbor to the Bay. Prizes this year include a large TV, retro bike & a liquor basket. Harbor to the Bay, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that runs solely through volunteer efforts & have no paid employees. Harbor to the Bay is an Equal Opportunity Organization. All are welcome to participate without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification & expression, national origin, citizenship, age, HIV Status, marital or veteran status, disability or any additional characteristics protected by law.
For More Info: harbortothebay.org
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Friday, September 7, 2018

Massachusetts Transgender Equality

On election day November 6th in Massachusetts Ballot Question 3 will ask voters whether to uphold the state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places such as restaurants, shops & hospitals. A "yes" vote would keep in place the current law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation. We must come together & work hard on the Yes on 3 Campaign to defend the current law protecting our transgender friends & neighbors from discrimination in public spaces. There are a few important events this month to get involved. First join Freedom For All Massachusetts in Quincy, MA on September 22nd & 23rd for the Yes on 3 Weekend of Action. They need to talk to thousands of voters about why non-discrimination protections for our transgender friends & neighbors are important & must be defended. Then on September 27th Freedom For All Massachusetts & Boston Black Pride will be hosting a Community Assembly to bring together leaders from all Boston LGBTQ organizations to discuss communication strategies for strengthening our coalition of voters at the Museum of African American History on 46 Joy Street in Boston from 6P to 9P. During the assembly speakers will provide an update on the campaign, discuss strategies for building awareness, getting out the vote & opportunities for each organization to become more involved in the campaign. In addition to discussing strategies & advocating for everyone to vote there will be a special guest keynote speaker Kryzia Salgado. Food & light refreshments will be provided for the evening. For More Info: bostonpride.org
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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Love Is Love In India

Finally the Supreme Court of India has made the historic decision repealing the ban on gay & lesbian relations. The colonial-era Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code made sexual behavior “against the order of nature” illegal & punishable by imprisonment & served as a model for similar laws across the British Colonial Empire. Jessica Stern, Executive Director, OutRight Action International stated, “When you work on LGBTIQ rights at an international level, your work constantly leads you back to colonialism & the penal codes that were imposed globally as instruments of control & domination. The sodomy law that became the model everywhere from Uganda to Singapore to the UK itself premiered in India, becoming the confusing & dehumanizing standard replicated around the world. Today’s decision to strike down the 377 law once & for all is a triumph. It is the culmination of years of community organizing, changing social attitudes, strategic use of the courts & an LGBITQ movement in India that refused to give up. The decision decriminalizes homosexuality in India & also affirms the rights to privacy & non-discrimination. Today's historic outcome will reverberate across India & the world.” Menaka Guruswamy who agued the case stated, “This is a wide-ranging win for LGBT Indians across constitutional rights of equality, dignity, expression & freedom. It is a win for India as a constitutional democracy & the court with this judgment had told young LGBT Indians that they are not alone. Their court, constitution & country stands with them.”
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Kavanaugh Threatens LGBT Rights

GLAAD is demanding transparency & accountability on LGBTQ rights from Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “If confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh will have a chance to ensconce President Trump & Vice President Pence’s hate-fueled anti-LGBTQ agenda on the nation’s top court for decades to come. In a nation that has only forged forward in our affirmation of rights for women, LGBTQ people, immigrants & all vulnerable people, Kavanaugh’s confirmation threatens our progress, as well as our deepest & most closely held American values.” Kavanaugh is also member of the Federalist Society which was instrumental in Chief Justice Roberts’ nomination & confirmation along with Justices Neil Gorsuch & Samuel Alito, who were all members. The Federalist Society has produced materials arguing against every major LGBTQ policy proposal including the Employment Non Discrimination Act, hate crimes legislation, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell & transgender accommodations. Since Trump has been in office he has also been busy appointing anti-LGBTQ federal judges & with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh who is supported by the Family Research Council (FRC) a designated hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center Kavanaugh poses a total threat to our LGBTQ community, people of color & women. Should Kavanaugh be confirmed, marriage equality would not be the only Supreme Court precedent in jeopardy. As a candidate Trump stated time & again that he will only put "pro-life" judges on the court & that he wants to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
For More Info: glaad.org
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Monday, September 3, 2018

Provincetown Harbor Swim For Life

Celebrating its 31st year the Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla takes place Saturday September 8th. Since 1987 thousands of swimmers, kayakers, volunteers & the public have been participating in this fabulous Provincetown fundraising tradition presented by the Provincetown Community Compact. Swimmers across the country will swim the 1.4 mile across Provincetown Harbor to benefit the following community organizations & projects: AIDS Support Goup of Cape Cod (ASGCC), Helping Our Women (HOW), Outer Cape Health Services, Provincetown Rescue Squad Association, Lower Cape Ambulance Association, Soup Kitchen of Provincetown (SKIP), Provincetown Schools, The Compact Community Fund, Accessible Provincetown, West End Racing Club & Cape Cod Children’s Place. The 2018 Swim for Life schedule begins Friday September 7th at the Boatslip Resort beach located at 161 Commercial Street in Provincetown, Massachusetts with a swimmer orientation (optional) at 1P followed by a kayak orientation (optional) at 2P. Then there will be a Celebration of Life Concert at the UU Meeting House at 236 Commercial Street at 8P. On Saturday September 8th the 31st Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla takes place at the Boatslip Resort with swimmer registration from 9-10A on the Boatslip deck with boater & kayak registration from 8:30 to 10A on the Boatslip beach. The public is invited to greet the swimmers beginning at 11:30A & the Mermaid Brunch is open to the public from noon-2P. The Awards Ceremony takes place at 1P or after the last swimmer arrives.
For More Info: swim4life.org
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