About Me

World AIDS Day Falls On Giving Tuesday

December 1st is the 32nd annual World AIDS Day that honors those we have lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic with this year’s theme “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility”. It’s also Giving Tuesday the annual opportunity to support causes that shape our future. Founded in 1988 World AIDS Day was the first ever-international day for global health. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea to be a day that encourages people to do good. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic this is a much-needed concept to reach out to the organizations that need our help the most as we strive to heal this country & around the world. António Guterres UN Secretary-General stated, “With the world’s attention focused on the COVID-19 crisis, World AIDS Day is a reminder of the need to maintain focus on another global pandemic that is still with us nearly 40 years after it emerged. Despite significant successes, the AIDS emergency is not over. HIV still infects 1.7 million people each year & kills some 690,000. And inequalities mean that those who are the least able to stand up for their rights are still the most affected. COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the world. Inequalities in health affect all of us. No one is safe unless we all are safe. The HIV response has much to teach the fight against COVID-19. We know that to end AIDS & defeat COVID-19 we must eliminate stigma & discrimination, put people at the center & ground our responses in human rights & gender-responsive approaches...”

Transgender Negative Media Depiction

A new study published in LGBT Health found that frequent exposure to negative depictions of transgender people in the media was significantly associated with clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety, global psychological distress & post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in this population. The Fenway Institute & Brown University study is believed to be the first of its kind to explore the effects of exposure to negative transgender-related media across a range of platforms on transgender people. It is an important addition to the extensive body of research showing a correlation between negative media depictions of stigmatized groups and poorer mental health outcomes, as few studies focus solely on transgender people. Jaclyn White Hughto, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Brown University School of Public Health stated, “Nearly all of our study participants reported having seen negative depictions of transgender people in media over the past 12 months. But those who reported greater frequency of exposure to these messages were significantly more likely to exhibit clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety, global psychological distress & PTSD. The association held even after adjustments were made for variables such as age, race, income & reported experiences of childhood and/or adult sexual or physical abuse, which suggests that negative media messages may have an independent impact on the mental health of transgender populations exposed to such messages. Given the prevalence of systemic discrimination against transgender people in employment, health care settings, schools & housing we have long known that structural interventions are required to target stigma at its source. Campaigns designed to encourage accurate, non-stigmatizing depictions of transgender people across all media could serve to mitigate the harms of negative media messages to transgender people. In the meantime, clinical interventions can also help transgender people cope with the stress of being exposed to negative transgender-related media.”  READ STUDY…

WIFVNE Annual Meeting Goes Virtual

This year the Women In Film & Video New England (WIFVNE) Annual Meeting will take place virtually December 2nd 6P to 8:30P via Remo. This is a fabulous opportunity to join WIFVNE members & the New England filmmaking community for a celebration of women storytellers & the great work that is happening in New England & beyond. Guest speakers will include Ruth E. Carter the 2019 Academy Award winner for Achievement in Costume Design for Marvel’s “Black Panther” who made history as the first African-American to win in the category, Peilin Chou, Animation Film Producer whose producing credits include “Over the Moon” which premiered on Netflix in October 2020 & “Abominable” which launched theatrically worldwide in September of 2019 & Emmy award-winning producer Gennie Rim whose career in animation spans 20+ years. Rim has worked at Pixar & Disney on various films such as “Cars”, “Ratatouille”, “The Incredibles” & “Up”. The speakers will be moderated by WIFVNE Board Members Nerissa Williams Scott & Sharon Contillo. There will also be a presentation of the New England Film Star Awards. The winner of the 2020 New England Film Star Award will receive a grant to be given to a film project by a marginalized filmmaker residing in New England & will be announced at the WIFVNE 2020 Annual Meeting of Members. WIFVNE was founded in 1981 by eleven women all Boston-based media professionals that came together to form the New England chapter of Women In Film. The 2020 WIFVNE Annual Meeting of Members is hosted by She+ Geeks Out. General admission is $10 & for members of a WIF chapter admission is $5. 

“Inside the Hollywood Closet” (AUDIO)

This week I talked with author Boze Hadleigh about his new book “Inside the Hollywood Closet: A Book of Quotes” a fabulous gift for the holidays no matter what your sexual orientation may be. A project that took Hadleigh 19 years to complete “Inside the Hollywood Closet” delivers inspirational quotes & statements from such stars as Rock Hudson, Truman Capote, Cary Grant, Neil Patrick Harris, k.d. lang, Ellen DeGeneres, Jodi Foster, Queen Latifah, Little Naz, Oscar Wilde, Sammy Davis Jr., Ellen Page, Rosie O’Donnell, Ian McKellan, Bea Arthur, Butterfly McQueen, Chaz Bono, Elton John, Remi Malik & Wanda Sykes among others. One of my favorite quotes was Tallulah Bankhead who said “Daddy warned me about men & alcohol, but he never warned me about women & cocaine.” Hadleigh who has published 26 books primarily on show business takes you on a journey back in time as he examines what it was like to be LGBTQ in Tinseltown’s heyday to modern day Hollywood. Boze examines both the obvious & hidden costs of being queer in the entertainment industry from an insider view looking out as well as from the outside looking in. This is a fascinating intimate exploration of our LGBTQ community’s survival in show business over the past century. I talked to Boze about his inspiration for creating “Inside the Hollywood Closet: A Book of Quotes” & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. “Inside the Hollywood Closet: A Book of Quotes” is published by Riverdale Avenue Books & is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles Nook, iTunes & Kobo. LISTEN  

For More Info: riverdaleavebooks.com


LGBTQ Global Leadership Online Event

The International LGBTQ Leadership Conference takes place virtually from December 3rd to 5th via Bizzabo. This three-day conference is the place to be if you’re looking to grow the power of our LGBTQ community. Each year hundreds of LGBTQ elected & appointed officials, advocates, community leaders & others gather for plenary events, issue-based workshops, networking & an exclusive elected officials track for those leading on LGBTQ legislation & policy worldwide. This year’s featured speakers will include U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago IL, Mayor Claudia Lopez city of Bogota, Colombia, Jonathan Capehart from the Washington Post, Senator-elect Sarah McBride of Delaware & Mayor-elect Todd Gloria of San Diego, CA. The first International LGBTQ Leadership Conference took place in 1984 when two dozen LGBTQ elected officials came together for the first time & estimated there were no more than 50 openly LGBTQ officials in the entire world. Thirty-five years later the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference is a “must-attend” event for LGBTQ leaders looking to exchange ideas & determine legislative & policy priorities for the upcoming year. Conference programming includes substantive sessions on policy affecting our communities, networking opportunities to engage with the most influential members of our community & addressing the best practices on advancing equality from around the world. This is the first time the conference will be completely virtual. Registration for the 2020 conference is free. This is a fabulous opportunity to join the world’s largest annual gathering of LGBTQ elected leaders for this must-attend 2020 virtual event. 

MMAA Announces New Board Members

The Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) the nation’s largest non-profit working to support & defend the LGBTQ military & veteran community has announced three new additions to the organization’s board of directors. Charged with governance over the organization the MMAA Board of Directors provides high-level strategy, oversight & accountability. These new additions bring tremendous insight & diverse perspectives in achieving this responsibility. Hale Allegretti is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard having served 15 years on Active Duty stating, “As someone who served in silence as a lesbian under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell & then transitioned after the repeal of the transgender service protection, I understand the challenges our military members, veterans & their families are facing in these trying times. I am excited to join this accomplished group & bring my experience to this fight for full equality & fairness that LGBTQ service members & their families deserve.” Dr. Kimberly Young-McLear is a Black, queer, scholar, activist, engineer & educator who became an anti-bullying & anti-harassment policy expert who uses evidence-based research to promote justice & equity stating, “We can no longer be on the sidelines. Our future is brightest when we all participate in fighting for a just society.” Daniel Suarez is a Navy Reservist from Miami, FL. He & his husband, Jaime A. Mancia also a Navy Reservist are currently on order in Alexandria, VA, where Daniel is assigned to Chief of Naval Personnel, Enlisted Policy & Oversight branch. Suarez concluded, “We can’t change our past, but we can mold our future & forge a better path ahead.” For More Info...

Drag Queens Concert Film Virtual Event

Dragapalooza the fabulous concert film featuring international celebrity Drag Queens Courtney Act, Derrick Barry, Rhea Litre, Trixie Mattel, Coco Montrese & Sharon Needles will be presented virtually Saturday December 5th at 6P PST/9PEST via My Songbird. Executive Producers Michael Benedetti stated, “With the success of the sold-out live shows & a delayed Las Vegas residency due to the current health crisis we knew that the film needed to be released now. The film celebrates the art form of drag & is the perfect antidote to spread joy while we wait for the live events business to rebuild.” Since 2017 Dragapalooza began as a live show at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles as an exciting twist from traditional drag shows. Equal parts rock concert, music theatre, fashion show & cabaret the live shows feature singing with a live band rather than the traditional lip-synching to pre-recorded music. Dragapalooza ushers in a new era of live music drag performances bringing together the brightest & most dynamic live performers in the world of international drag. The film is executive produced by Michael Benedetti & Chris Cox, produced by Ann Potenza & Josh Smith & directed by Chris Cox & Andrei Mignea. Cox also serves as the music director. The 75 minutes film was shot at Dragapalooza performances around the United States including Los Angeles’ El Portal Theatre, Seattle’s Egyptian Theatre, New Orleans’ House of Blues, Milwaukee’s PrideFest & Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino. Use code: RHEA for 20% off. Tickets are $20 which gives you access to watch the entire show, live & in real-time plus a 72 hour replay window to watch at your convenience. WATCH TRAILER

Featured Post

World AIDS Day Falls On Giving Tuesday

December 1st is the 32nd annual World AIDS Day that honors those we have lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic with this year’s theme “Global Sol...

Popular Posts