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Pulse Survivor Speaks OUT (AUDIO)

Five years after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre Congress will create a national memorial at the dedicated LGBTQ site in Orlando where 49 people were killed. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “On June 12, 2016, the lives of 49 people were taken by brutal, hate-fueled violence at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. These individuals had parents & families, friends & neighbors who loved them & who miss them & now in 2021, Congress has voted to ensure this country will not forget them. PFLAG National pledged then to continue working against bias-based violence & in support of policies that protect LGBTQ+ people from hatred, harassment & harm. The National Monument recognizing the massacre of LGBTQ+ people at the Pulse Nightclub is a call to action, reminding us all that the work must continue.” I talked to Pulse Nightclub survivor Brandon J. Wolf in 2018 who talked about his experience on that horrendous night five years ago which claimed the lives of 49 people & left 53 injured most of whom were LGBTQ Latinx people & people of color about what his personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality. Wolf stated, “My personal commitment is to again empower young people, a new generation of leaders that are going to challenge the status quo & say we’ve done a hell of a lot of great work but we’re not done doing great work until everyone in this country, everyone no matter black, white, brown, blue, LGBTQ feel safe in their own skin & I’m personally committed to amplifying that message until we get it done." LISTEN

Boston Gay Men Chorus Pride Concert

The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus PRIDE Concert is a celebration of LGBTQ dignity & diversity & will air on Boston’s ABC affiliate WCVB Channel 5 this Saturday June 12th at 7:30P & again on Sunday June 13th at 12:30P. The concert a celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month will feature the premiere of BGMC’s latest virtual video “This Is Me” along with appearances by Massachusetts’ Governor Charlie Baker & Boston Mayor Kim Janey. The Pride concert will also premiere on YouTube Sunday June 13th at 2P as well as on demand at WCVB.COM & BGMC Online. Reuben M. Reynolds III BGMC Music Director stated, “Even though we can’t perform live due to the pandemic, we’re bursting with Pride because we still get to share our music with the masses during this special month. We’re thrilled to be partnering once again with WCVB Channel 5 for this unique celebration of the LGBTQ community.” Hosted by Reynolds this special production features performances of fabulous LGBTQ anthems like “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage aux Folles” & Janet Jackson’s chart topper “Together Again;” the club classic “Relax” & the quietly defiant “Rise Up” by Andra Day. The special will close with the premiere of BGMC’s new virtual performance of the stirring “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” created especially for the TV show. In between performances viewers will meet BGMC members be entertained by stories about BGMC’s international tours & hear special messages from Gov. Baker & Boston Mayor Kim Janey. Craig Coogan BGMC Executive Director concluded, “BGMC is still here, still queer & we can’t wait to celebrate Pride the way we always do—with music that showcases LGBTQ life in all of its diversity, fabulousness & connection. Especially in a pandemic, Pride marches on.”  

Pride & Joy Trans Youth Virtual Event

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) will host “Pride & Joy” its first-ever virtual storytelling event for transgender & non-binary young people along with their families & friends on June 16th at 7P EST. The event features transgender storytellers & leaders & aims to provide family-friendly opportunities to celebrate Pride month particularly as lawmakers in legislatures across the country consider more than 100 anti-trans bills that would have significant negative impacts on young transgender people. Andy Marra Executive Director of TLDEF stated, “In this moment when transgender & non-binary young people are under attack in legislatures across the country, we felt it was important to show them & their families some extra love. We are incredibly grateful to the inspiring & talented trans leaders, authors & storytellers who will be taking part in Pride & Joy & hope that the event will reinforce for young trans people that they too have bright futures ahead of them.” Storytellers will include: Jackson Bird a YouTube creator & LGBTQ+ advocate, Precious Brady-Davis the author of “I Have Always Been Me”, Senator Sarah McBride who was officially sworn into the Delaware Senate in January 2021 & Meredith Talusan the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir “Fairest” from Viking/Penguin Random House. In addition the audience will hear from Vanessa Ford author of “Calvin”, Andrea Jenkins Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council & Gia Parr Champion of “The Gender Cool Project”. TLDEF is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity & expression & to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services & public policy efforts. For More Info & Tix…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

New Teen Gender Questioning Study

Our colleagues at CNN passed on this report conducted by Dr. Kacie Kidd a physician & adolescent medicine fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh who conducted a study that instead of asking teens if they were transgender Kidd & colleagues asked two questions in a study of 3,168 high school students at 13 racially & economically diverse public Pittsburgh high schools that resulted in a more honest inquiry. The first question was: "What is your sex (the sex you were assigned at birth, on your birth certificate)?" with the options of "female" & "male." The second question was: "Which of the following best describes you (select all that apply)?" with the options of "girl," "boy," "trans girl," "trans boy," "genderqueer," "nonbinary” & "another identity." The study published in the June 2021 issue of the journal Pediatrics found that 9.2% of kids consider themselves gender-diverse in some way. Dr. Kacie Kidd stated, "Our goal was to understand the prevalence of gender-diverse identities among high school students in our Pittsburgh school district by asking what we considered to be & what many scholars consider to be, a more inclusive question about gender identity. We came in suspecting that this two-step gender identity question would demonstrate a higher prevalence of gender diversity than in prior studies.” They found that gender diverse & non-binary teens exist in much higher numbers. Kidd concluded, “They are all unique individuals who have different needs & interests. We should be supporting them as a community in living their authentic lives, whatever that looks like for them." 

LGBTQ Small Business Recovery Survey

CNBC announced the results of the first LGBTQ Small Business Owner Financial Health Survey that was conducted in partnership with Acorns & the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The survey took the financial pulse of LGBTQ entrepreneurs to learn more about how they manage their personal & business finances & the specific obstacles they face based on their sexual & gender identity. The survey also addressed topics from emergency savings to business succession plans to post-COVID small business confidence. Not only did the pandemic take a significant toll on many of those in the small business community, nearly one-third of LGBTQ small business owners say they lost 50% of their business as a result of COVID. However nearly 80% of those surveyed say they expect to make a full recovery next year. Justin Nelson & Chance Mitchell NGLCC Co-Founders stated, “The LGBT business community is thriving, despite both the economic impacts of the pandemic & the forces of inequality & discrimination that are still far too prevalent in America. As the business voice & certifying body for LGBT-owned companies throughout the country, we are so proud to partner with CNBC to highlight the resilience of LGBT entrepreneurs from coast to coast. The confidence in the economic recovery ahead demonstrated in this survey by our network of LGBT business owners should give us all hope for better days ahead. This groundbreaking survey further proves our NGLCC philosophy that economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society.” The survey results will also be highlighted during a LinkedIn Live event, Invest in Pride: Ready. Set. Grow.. hosted by Invest in You on Thursday, June 17th at 1P ET moderated by CNBC Small Business Reporter Kate Rogers & featuring personal finance expert & bestselling author Suze Orman. For More Info… 

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™


Provincetown Film Festival (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Lisa Viola, Artistic Director for the Provincetown International Film Festival that takes place June 16th to 25th both virtually & in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The newly re-envisioned hybrid festival came together with the ingenuity & sheer determination of a world-class team of programmers including Andrew Peterson, Heidi Zwicker & Valérie Déus. Celebrating its 23rd year Richard Linklater will be this year’s Filmmaker on the Edge recipient in conversation with resident artist John Waters. Riz Ahmed, Academy Award Best Actor nominee for “Sound Of Metal” will receive this year’s Excellence in Acting Award in conversation with Vanity Fair Chief Critic Richard Lawson & queer actor/filmmaker Natalie Morales PIFF will receive the Next Wave Award in conversation with musician Holly Miranda. 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” with guests of honor including director Emily Branham, producer Marc Smolowitz & the film’s subject & star BeBe Zahara Benet the winner of the very first RuPaul’s Drag Race. Some other highlights will include a Filmmaker Celebration at Truro Vineyards with Christine Vachon who co-founded the impactful independent film & television production company Killer Films joined by director & writer Daniel Minahan on June 19th from 6P to 7:30. The Provincetown International Film Festival will be closely monitoring federal, state & local COVID-19 safety guidelines & will continue to adjust safety policies accordingly throughout the festival. I talked to Lisa about what she hopes to accomplish at this year’s Ptown Film Festival & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For Info & Tix: ptownfilmfest.org

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

AIDS Movement 40 Years Later (VIDEO)

To acknowledge the 40th anniversary of AIDS epidemic in this country leaders came together including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Governor Gavin Newsom & others to call for renewed action for an AIDS-Free Generation at the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco. The event took place surrounded by the power of 40 blocks of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Memorial Grove where thousands of names lost to AIDS are engraved as the leaders paid tribute to the more than 700,000 lives lost, the survivors & the heroes during the past four decades. Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, “On this solemn day, forty years since the discovery of HIV/AIDS, Americans pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Americans we have lost to this vicious disease & draw strength from the more than one million courageous survivors living with HIV today. Moved by the beauty of the Grove & power of the Quilt, this morning we again renewed our vow to finally defeat the scourge of AIDS & bring hope & healing to all those affected. Thanks to the tireless leadership of activists, survivors, scientists & the LGBTQ community, we will not relent until we banish HIV to the dustbin of history & achieve an AIDS-free generation.” John Cunningham National AIDS Memorial Chief Executive concluded, “These stories & this important observance highlight the issues our nation faced in the past year -- a raging pandemic with hundreds of thousands of lives lost, social injustice, health inequity, stigma, bigotry & fear. However, these are also the same issues faced throughout four decades of the AIDS pandemic. They are reasons why today, we have a National AIDS Memorial & why, as a nation, we have much more work to do in the fight for a just future, where HIV/AIDS no longer exists.” WATCH FULL EVENT   For More Info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

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Pulse Survivor Speaks OUT (AUDIO)

Five years after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre Congress will create a national memorial at the dedicated LGBTQ site in Orlando where 49 pe...

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