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Provincetown International Film Fest

The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) will take place June 16th to 25th virtually & in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The hybrid festival will open with Jon M. Chu’s “In The Heights” at the Wellfleet Drive-In on June 16th. The festival will close with Emily Branham’s BeBe Zahara Benet documentary “Being Bebe.” Writer/director Richard Linklater will be honored with The Filmmaker on the Edge Award & will accept the award in a virtual conversation with John Waters. The festival also announced that actor/filmmaker Natalie Morales will receive the Next Wave Award which celebrates those who have exciting, new & distinctive voices. Lisa Viola, PIFF’s Artistic Director stated, “We are thrilled to present a robust slate of bold, new films from incredibly talented filmmakers – many of whom faced significant challenges in having their work be seen. We are eager to introduce these passionate stories as we continue to support emerging artists & with our signature awards, we are proud to honor the accomplishments of universally acclaimed filmmakers Richard Linklater & Natalie Morales.” This year’s festival will included virtual screenings in conjunction with safely-distanced indoor spaces & outdoor venues including the Wellfleet Drive-In. Festival goers will also have the choice of attending limited-capacity screenings at Waters Edge Cinema or renting out the cinema for private screenings. Blythe Frank, PIFF’s Executive Director concluded, “We’re excited to be welcoming filmmakers & audiences back together after the disruption of the COVID pandemic. This year, as we build back, we’re able to offer both in-person events under the guidance of a COVID compliance expert & a rich virtual experience spanning 10 days.” For More Info…

Historic LGBTQ Landmark Saved (Audio)

San Francisco has designated the first landmark honoring lesbian history for the longtime home of LGBTQ pioneers Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin. District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman stated, “Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin were queer activists before queer activism was a thing. The modern LGBTQ rights movement is built on the foundations laid by these women & their contemporaries & it is fitting that their home is the first San Francisco historic landmark dedicated to lesbian history. They shared this home for more than half a century & it has clear historic value that should be preserved & celebrated. Early LGBTQ leaders like Phyllis & Del changed the world for the generations of queer people that would follow.” Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) concluded, “NCLR is thrilled to see the longtime residence of lesbian icons Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon receive the historic designation it deserves, making it the first landmark on the West Coast with a lesbian focus. From the more than 50 years of devoted partnership that Phyllis & Del shared in that home, to meetings of key leaders in the LGBTQ movement from the 1950s through marriage equality, their Noe Valley home played a pivotal role in both the lesbian rights and the broader LGBTQ rights movement for many years. It is inspiring to see that history preserved for future generations and to know that their legacy will live on.” I talked to Dr. Gayle E. Pitman about her children’s book entitled “When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin Built a Community” about the importance of preserving our LGBTQ history in this exclusive interview. LISTEN  

 

Prince & Knight Children’s Book Sequel

GLAAD has announced its latest children’s book in its series in partnership with Little Bee Books. Prince & Knight: Tale of the Shadow King is written by Daniel Haack & illustrated by Stevie Lewis. Rich Ferraro, GLAAD’s Chief Communications Officer stated, “Prince & Knight: Tale of the Shadow King is an exciting adventure that reminds kids that not all Princes fall in love with Princesses. Fairytales are so innate to the experience of childhood & we’re hopeful that by providing children with stories like this one, we’ll inspire a better future for LGBTQ people.” Daniel Haack, Prince & Knight Author concluded, “Since the first Prince & Knight book was published, kids & grown-ups alike have been asking & asking me what happens in the ‘happily ever after.’ It warms my heart that these characters have resonated with so many readers & I’m grateful for the dedication & support from GLAAD & Little Bee Books to be able to expand this world & continue telling stories of love, heroism, inclusivity & kindness.” Price & Knight: Tale of the Shadow King continues the story of our brave & dashing heroes. The prince & the knight are happily married & their kingdom is prospering but soon a fog of darkness blocks the sun across their land. They get word that the cause of this is a dark & mysterious Shadow King so they rush off to find & stop him encountering many obstacles along the way. Little Bee Books & GLAAD are commitment to increasing positive representation of diverse gender & sexual identities in children’s books. For More Info… 

 

Sessions Presents Live Digital Drag Fest

With virtual events & shows now a permanent fixture in the entertainment industry many of the biggest names in drag are back again in 2021 for a new digital concert festival May 21st to 23rd & May 28th to 30th. In partnership with management company Producer Entertainment Group (PEG) & digital concert service Sessions HERE “Digital Drag Fest 2021” will feature Abby OMG, Alaska Thunderfuck, Cheryl Hole, Denali, Divina De Campo, Ginger Minj, Jackie Beat & Sherry Vine, Jackie Cox, Jan Sport, Jimbo, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon, Miz Cracker, Monét X Change, Nicky Doll, Sederginne, Sharon Needles, Tina Burner, Trixie Mattel & Utica as they bring their legendary drag shows directly into the homes of fans. Alaska Thunderfuck stated, "While we are well on our way to getting back to a sense of normalcy, traveling to see your favorite entertainer & gathering in person to see a show is still limited. Luckily through the miracle of technology, we can bring together an audience from all over the world & connect through our love of Drag, music & creativity." Each 45-60 minute show will be a once in a lifetime experience featuring singing, comedy, lip-syncing & drama as some of the elements that will be showcased in this festival. Jujubee added, "Digital Drag Fest 2021 is so important right now, because it brings your favorite drag artists right to your living room. At home entertainment is crucial at a time where people yearn for moments of joy. Digital Drag Fest 2021 does just that; it spreads JOY! I call it, DRAG MAGIC!” 

Transgender Affirming Surgery Study

A new study published in JAMA Surgery has found that gender-affirming surgery is associated with improved mental health outcomes among transgender people. The study was authored by researchers at Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health & the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. This is the first large-scale controlled study to demonstrate an association between gender-affirming surgery & improved mental health outcomes & adds important new knowledge to the field as there is little high-quality evidence regarding the mental health effects of gender-affirming surgery. Anthony N. Almazan, Harvard Medical School Study Lead Author stated, “There is great demand among transgender & gender diverse people for gender-affirming surgery & thanks to recommendations by professional associations and clinical support for gender-affirming surgical care, these treatments are much more common today than they were even just 10 years ago. But until now there has been limited evidence that these surgeries result in better mental health outcomes.” Dr. Alex S. Keuroghlian, National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute & the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Gender Identity Program concluded, “These results are incredibly important for the evolving field of transgender health care. Although clinicians have long supported the provision of gender-affirming medical & surgical care, the practice has been challenged by health insurers asking for more evidence showing its efficacy. In light of this study’s results, gender-affirming surgeries should be made available for transgender & gender diverse people who seek them & we should work to remove barriers to gender-affirming surgery such as insurance exclusions for such care.” For More Info…

Biden Speaks LGBTQ Leaders Respond

In his first joint address to Congress President Joe Biden stated, “I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans. To all the transgender Americans watching at home – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know that your president has your back.” A far cry from how our LGBTQ community was erased by the last administration for four long years. Brian K. Bond PFLAG National Executive Director stated, “We are grateful to President Biden for his unwavering support of our LGBTQ+ loved ones. His commitment to passing the Equality Act—critical legislation that would modernize our nation’s civil rights laws by including explicit protections for LGBTQ people, as well as improve protections for women, people of color, people with different national origins & people of all faiths—has meant so much to our families. We are also moved by his vocal support of our trans kids, whose rights & very lives have been under assault with hundreds of dangerous & damaging bills in 33 states across this country.” Kierra Johnson, Executive Director National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund concluded, “The President laid out a broad agenda that would improve the lives of diverse LGBTQ people in this country in so many ways, from the $15 national minimum wage to the infrastructure bill and the new American Families Bill, police reform, the expansion of hate crimes protections, gun control, voting rights & protecting our democracy & more…I believe Congressman John Lewis would be mighty pleased, for the President’s speech shows he & Vice-President Harris are all about making good trouble” For More Info…

South Carolina Trans Student Athletes

The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee has voted down H.4153 a bill that would prohibit transgender youth in middle & high school from participating in student athletics. This vote marks the third time nearly identical measures have been rejected in South Carolina’s 2021 legislative session. This vote marks another major step forward in the ongoing fight against anti-LGBTQ policies in South Carolina. SC United for Justice & Equality stated, “We are relieved & grateful that, once again, lawmakers have rejected their colleagues’ blatant attempts to discriminate against transgender student athletes. Today’s vote sends the message that H.4153 - just like its predecessor, H.3477 - & any other bill that discriminates against transgender people has no place in South Carolina. For months, transgender young people & the many South Carolinians who love them have been making their voices heard to oppose these discriminatory bills & we won’t stop until we have ensured a South Carolina where trans students are included, affirmed, & afforded the same opportunities as any other student. Every South Carolinian deserves an equal opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are & we will remain vigilant until that day comes.” SC United for Justice & Equality envisions a South Carolina where everyone can thrive with a focus on the lived & legal equality of LGBTQ people. The coalition advocates for the passage of legislation to protect LGBTQ community members & opposes anti-LGBTQ legislation. The coalition also works on intersecting issues of social justice, including racial justice, reproductive justice, voting rights & health care access. For More Info… 

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

 

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Provincetown International Film Fest

The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) will take place June 16th to 25th virtually & in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The ...

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