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MassEquality Beacons Of Light Event

MassEquality's Beacons of Light Dinner & ICONS Award Ceremony takes place on Thursday April 25th at the Marriott Courtyard Downtown at 275 Tremont Street in Boston, MA from 6P to 10P. This year's honorees are Massachusetts LGBT legislators & the Yes on 3 Campaign. Valerie Fein-Zachary, MassEquality Education Fund Board Chair stated, “MassEquality is working hard in 2019 to pass 3 important bills - one to Ban Conversion Therapy, another that supports adding a third gender marker choice to state documents & the Healthy Youth Bill to support LGBT youth & teach comprehensive sex education. With the help of our legislative champions & allies, we are off to a great start! Already this year, the House & Senate have passed bills to Ban Conversion Therapy & the bills are in conference!” MassEquality’s Beacons of Light dinner & Icon Award ceremony provides an opportunity to celebrate the exceptional leadership, voice & advocacy of individuals & organizations who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to bettering the lives LGBTQ people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This year the Political Icon Awards go to OUT LGBTQ Members of the Massachusetts Legislature including Senator Jo Comerford, Senator Julian Cyr, Representative Natalie Higgins, Representative Kate Hogan, Representative Jack Patrick Lewis, Representative Liz Malia, Representative Sarah Peake & the Yes on 3 Campaign. MassEquality is the leading statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization in Massachusetts. They believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally, to have the opportunity to reach their full potential & to be free from discrimination and oppression based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Beacons of Light VIP tickets are $250 & include the cocktail reception with legislators & Dinner/Award Ceremony tickets are $175.
For Info & Tix…
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Defeating Trump’s Trans Military Ban

The House voted to pass Congressman Joseph Kennedy III’s resolution denouncing Trump’s ban on transgender service members. The measure will not reverse the policy that’s set to go into effect April 12th but Kennedy hopes it sends a strong message to the White House, the Pentagon & those serving in the military. Congressman Kennedy stated, "I’m hoping to show that there is a bipartisan rejection of a policy that was put forth by tweet. If our country stands for one thing, it’s that here everybody counts & we see you for who you are & we are going to protect you. We are going to celebrate you & we are going to treat you with the honor & dignity you deserve.” Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights concluded, “Trump claims to value our military but treats it with disregard & contempt. From diverting military funding, to supporting his vanity wall project, to banning brave & patriotic transgender Americans from serving, his actions speak louder than his words. The transgender military service ban not only undermines military readiness & national security, it is a violation of fundamental American values of fairness & equality. We applaud the House for speaking out & urge Trump to support all qualified individuals who volunteer to serve in our armed forces.” We participated in a conference call with Kennedy who chairs the Equality Caucus’s Transgender Equality Task Force & Transgender Advocates last January. LISTEN
LISTEN: Shawn Cotter Talks Boston's Wicked Queer Film Festival
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Boston Leaders Attend LPAC Event

Arline Isaacson, President at Isaacson Political Consulting & Co-Chair Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus along with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey attended a very special cocktail party benefiting LPAC the only national Political Action Committee whose mission is to build the political power of LGBTQ women. Stephanie Sandberg, LPAC Executive Director stated, “I was so honored to be in Boston with LPAC tonight, particularly with Maura Healey -- who both personifies LPAC's mission & is such a passionate advocate for our work. We were happy to also have so many supporters who turned out to support our mission as well! Building a political voice for LGBTQ women is easier when the community has your back & Elyse Cherry is of course the consummate host!” Also in attendance were LPAC Board Members Diane Felicio & Shari Weiner & hosting the event included Elyse Cherry, Jan Donley, Joanna Hochman, Jeanne Leszczynski & Diane DiCarlo. This is a very exciting time for LPAC with 4 lesbian mayoral candidates positioned to win their run-off or critical primary elections in April that would make LGBTQ history. Three mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot in Chicago, Satya Rhodes-Conway in Madison, Wisconsin & Jolie Justus in Kansas City have elections on April 2nd & on April 23rd Jane Castor will compete in a run-off that will decide the next mayor of Tampa. The next LPAC special event takes place on April 11th when Laura Ricketts, Chair of the LPC Board & her wife Brooke Skinner Ricketts will host a cocktail reception & baseball game to benefit LPAC at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
For More Info: teamlpac.com
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Americans Support LGBT Civil Rights

PRRI has released a new landmark national survey of over 40,000 Americans including results for all 50 states that found approximately 7 in 10 Americans support nondiscrimination protections for our LGBT community. The survey also finds nearly 6 in 10 Americans oppose allowing small businesses to refuse services to gay & lesbian people based on religious objections. More than 6 in 10 Americans also support marriage equality. Not surprising the only major groups that oppose marriage equality are white evangelical Protestants & Republicans. Robert P. Jones PRRI CEO stated, "The broad support for laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination represents a rarity in our polarized politics today—an issue that actually brings Americans together across partisan, religious & geographic lines." Approximately 7 in 10 or 69% of Americans including majorities in all 50 states favor laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations & housing, virtually unchanged from 2017 levels of 70%. Though support is highest in Northeastern states at 72% & Western states at 72%, majorities in the Midwest came in at 68% & in the South 65% are also supportive. Even in states with the lowest levels of support, such as South Carolina at 58% & Arkansas at 56%, solid majorities support these policies. Another good statistic is that nearly 79% young Americans ages 18 to 29 support marriage equality with only 16% opposed & even among seniors ages 65 & older, nearly half 49% favor marriage equality today compared to 43% who are opposed. PRRI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture & public policy. (Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
Read Full Report…
LISTEN: Shawn Cotter Talks Boston's Wicked Queer Film Festival
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Velvet Ibiza Fifth Anniversary Event

Velvet Ibiza, Europe’s most epic queer women party is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year & taking the festivities to the next level for this all-inclusive 5-day/5-night party that’s happening May 7th to May 12th 2019 in idyllic Ibiza, Spain. From the pool parties, sports tournaments, club nights & now the infamous duck race to the top female DJs from Europe & America dropping the sickest beats & live music from Sarah Bettens, the openly gay artist best known as the smoky voice of Belgian nineties rock band K’s Choice, Velvet Ibiza has it all! Carine De Mesmaeker creator & producer stated, “I am so excited to be celebrating Velvet Ibiza’s Fifth anniversary! This year we’re going back to the hotel where it all started. It’s definitely going to be one for the books. The party is going to be epic. I am thrilled to be hosting the Birthday bash at The Club Punta Arabi because it is the location of the historical Hippie Market - one of the few places in Ibiza where you can still find today the peculiar & unique hippie essence & most importantly the event imparts such a palpable sense of community & belonging. I absolutely love how we all come together in such a natural & organic way. It truly is a magical weekend.” The all-inclusive nature of the event with tickets including 5 nights in a bungalow, all 3 meals, day & night activities & parties, transportation from airport to resort & all drinks until 11P creates a safe & unique environment that imparts a palpable sense of belonging - a real “family” event.
For More Info & Tix… 
LISTEN: Shawn Cotter Talks Boston's Wicked Queer Film Festival
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Meow Meow & Thomas Lauderdale

International singing sensation Meow Meow along with Thomas M. Lauderdale & accompanied by members of Pink Martini are on a fabulous week long tour across America performing songs from their new album Hotel Amour! On Sunday March 24th they’ll begin at Berklee Performance Center 136 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, MA at 7:30P. The Hotel Amour tour marks the musical love affair between Lauderdale, Pink Martini’s founder, composer & pianist & Meow Meow the queen of chanson. Thomas M. Lauderdale stated, “The new album, Hotel Amour, features several songs we wrote, as well as guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright, Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage), the von Trapps & pianist/composer Michel Legrand. I was hired to be Meow Meow's accompanist for Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art festival in 2005. Since then, we have performed & composed across the globe from the Sydney Opera House to Royal Albert Hall in London to Mary's Strip Club & Darcelle XV in Portland, Oregon! The release of "Hotel Amour" is the culmination of 15 years of love, curiosity & friendship.” NPR's Ari Shapiro concluded, "Funny, sexy, timeless & beautiful, spending time with Meow Meow in “Hotel Amour” is like getting a private invitation to the most glamorous new underground club in a city you’ve never been to." The week long tour continues after Boston on Monday March 25th they’ll be at Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 26th at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Thursday March 28th at Sony Hall in New York City, Friday March 29th at Space in Evanston (Chicago), Sunday March 31st at the Triple Door in Seattle & Monday, April 1st at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with the Oregon Symphony in Portland.
For More Info & Tix: pinkmartini.com
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The Dinah Promotes L Word Sequel

The L Word sequel is coming soon & SHOWTIME® will be in the house at the The Dinah that’s celebrating 29 years & takes place in Palm Springs, California from April 3rd through April 7th. SHOWTIME will be poolside at The Dinah promoting the upcoming The L Word sequel & the buzz has been reaching a crescendo as millions of fans anticipate the sequel of this groundbreaking series. While we wait, The Dinah is thrilled to announce that SHOWTIME will be present at The Dinah 2019 bringing with them exclusive The L Word promotional items that we all need to have. The Dinah has always had a close relationship with SHOWTIME when scenes from Season One of the original series of The L Word were filmed at The Dinah exposing this annual queer girl mecca to the entire world. In past years cast members have appeared on the red carpet & judged as Dinah attendees acted out scenes from the show. We were there when Kate Moennig brought her DJ skills & Leisha Hailey's band Uh Huh Her has also performed. Don't miss your chance to win some The L Word swag & receive discounts on a SHOWTIME subscription so you can see your favorite show once again all this only at The Dinah 2019! Maybe some of the new cast members will pop up…you never know what happens at The Dinah. I was there a few years ago when I came face to face with Lady Gaga. Ticket discounts end on April 1st so don’t wait. I talked to Mariah Hanson about what's happening at The Dinah 2019. LISTEN

For Info & Tix: theDinah.com
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Chechen LGBT Concentration Camps

The Trump-Pence administration is refusing to join with more than 30 countries calling for a thorough investigation into anti-LGBTQ human rights abuses in Chechnya as the Chechen Republic creates the first concentration camps on European soil since Hitler’s regime in the 1930’s & 40’s targeting suspected LGBTQ citizens. Ty Cobb HRC Global Director stated, “The Trump-Pence administration has once again shamefully chosen to not speak out against the barbaric, anti-LGBTQ attacks occurring in Chechyna. It’s unconscionable that the United States is not joining with these more than 30 nations in publicly condemning these Chechen anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity & calling for those responsible to be held accountable. The absolute failure of human rights leadership from this White House is staggering.” Lesbian & trans women are also being commonly murdered in honor killings. In early 2017 the world started learning how Chechnya a region in the north Caucasus of Russia had started rounding up, detaining, torturing & executing men because of their real or perceived sexual identity but in 2018 Chechen authorities turned their sights onto lesbians & trans people. Igor Kochetkov, Russian LGBTI Network stated, “In two years, we were approached by 37 girls who position themselves as lesbians & two transgender women from the republics of the North Caucasus. Also in 2018, we began to receive reports of girls being detained by the police on suspicion of homosexuality. According to reports from Chechnya, there are girls among those detained in December to January.” Trump, Pence & Pompeo have refused to publicly condemn the anti-LGBTQ attacks even as Vladimir Putin licensed the violence to continue.
For More Info: hrc.org
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Trump Attempts To End NEA Again

For the third consecutive year Trump has called for the end of federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in his annual budget request to Congress. This is just another one of his attempts to end our civilized world. Tim Daly, President of The Creative Coalition stated, “No matter how many times this Administration proposes to eliminate federal funding for the NEA, The Creative Coalition will be there to fight for the #RightToBearArts™ for all Americans. We remain vigilant in defending the right to maintain an imaginative & expressive population. And we must prevent these draconian funding cuts for the NEA from becoming a devastating reality.” Robin Bronk CEO of The Creative Coalition concluded, “The arts are not a red issue, nor a blue issue; they are a human issue. Both Democrats & Republicans in Congress recognized the value of the arts by increasing funding for the NEA last year and resoundingly rejecting the President’s call to eliminate funding. The well documented benefits of the arts make them a prudent investment of federal dollars. What we cannot afford is to deny access to the arts to countless Americans by eliminating funding for the NEA.” In response to calls to eliminate federal funding for the NEA in prior years, The Creative Coalition mobilized a successful grassroots movement, the #RightToBearArts™ to advocate for survival of federal arts programs. This effort continues today to ensure public funding for the arts creates access to the arts for all Americans, especially those in at-risk & underserved communities.
For More Info: thecreativecoalition.org
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ClexaCon Returns To Las Vegas

ClexaCon, the largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women & allies takes place April 11th through April 15th at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the third consecutive year ClexaCon will bring together actresses, directors, producers, writers, comic book illustrators, visual artists, academics & 4,000+ fans from over 30 countries & all 50 U.S. states to celebrate the best of LGBTQ+ TV & film & discuss how to improve representation across all media platforms. It also hosts a series of panels on a multitude of topics, workshops, charity events, parties as well as a film festival & a loud message of gender equality, female empowerment, diversity & inclusion. Danielle Jablonski co-executive director stated, “Representation matters & starts with letting our voices be heard & our stories be written & seen. Join us and the incredible line up of actors, industry guests & speakers attending ClexaCon this April to celebrate LGBTQ women’s diverse stories & talk about how together we can empower LGBTQ women to make things happen in front of & behind the camera.” This is going to be an amazing event with over 60 featured actors & industry guests, 100+ panels & workshops, 200+ speakers, 4 days of film screenings, parties, comedy, networking events & much more. There will be also over forty featured actors from your favorite shows as well as many directors, producers & writers from shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Legends of Tomorrow & One Day at a Time to Wynonna Earp. So get your tickets now before they sell OUT!
For More Info & Tix: clexacon.com
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Night of A Thousand Genders Event

The Gender & Family Project presents their sixth annual Night of A Thousand Genders event that supports transgender youth & families & takes place on Monday April 8th at 6P at the Edison Ballroom at 240 W 47th Street in NYC. This year’s honorees are New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson with the Gender Inclusivity Ally Award & social activist, entrepreneur & writer Jodie Patterson will receive the Family Award. Honorary Co-Chairs are Dee TrannyBear & Deja Smith, Asia Kate Dillon, Tyler Ford, Olympic Athlete & LGBTQ Activist Adam Rippon, model & Trans Rights Advocate Geena Rocero. Under the music direction of Lance Horne the performers will include, Peppermint, the First open Transwoman to originate a leading role on Broadway & Jaimie Wilson one of the top influencers & artists in the LGBT community. There will be cocktails, hors d'oeuvres & dinner followed by a concert at 7P with a must-attend after party at 8:30P. The Gender & Family Project (GFP) empowers youth, families & communities by providing gender affirmative services, training & research. GFP promotes gender inclusivity as a form of social justice in all the systems involved in the life of the family. Founded in 1960, the Ackerman Institute for the Family is one of the premier institutions for family therapy & one of the best-known & most highly regarded training facilities for family therapists in the United States. The Institute serves families from all walks of life at all stages of family life.
For Info & Tix: ackerman.org
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New Mexico Passes Safe Schools Act

GLSEN the leading education organization working to create safe & inclusive schools for LGBTQ students & the GLSEN Albuquerque Chapter commend the passage of Senate Bill 288 the Safe Schools for All Students Act a comprehensive anti-bullying law that is inclusive of sexual orientation & gender identity. Havens Levitt, Chair of GLSEN Albuquerque stated, “All students deserve to feel safe at school & today the New Mexico state legislature took a tremendous step forward in ensuring that all students -- regardless of sexual orientation & gender identity -- are protected from bullying & harassment.” Brenda Barron, Director of Policy GLSEN stated, “After Governor Lujan Grisham signs The Safe Schools for All Students Act, New Mexico will become the 19th state, along with Washington DC, to have comprehensive anti-bullying laws that are inclusive of LGBTQ students. GLSEN’s research has shown that students who attend schools with comprehensive anti-bullying policies experience lower levels of victimization related to their sexual orientation & gender expression & we commend the New Mexico legislature for being on the side of safety & support for LGBTQ-students.” GLSEN's latest policy resource, Respect for All: Policy Recommendations to Support LGBTQ Students A Guide for District & School Leaders, provides education policymakers & practitioners with concrete recommendations related to creating safe & affirming learning environments that uphold the dignity of all students, including comprehensive & enumerated anti-bullying legislation like New Mexico’s Safe Schools for All Students Act. GLSEN works to create safe & inclusive schools for all. They envision a world in which every child learns to respect & accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity &/or gender expression.
For More Info: glsen.org
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Boston Design Week Extraordinaire

Boston Design Week is celebrating its 6th year of all things in design with a citywide 12 day design festival that runs March 27th to April 7th. There will be 80+ 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 "Then & Now" with five amazing kick-off events that will be held in five different locations. Tony Fusco, Boston Design Week Co-Producer stated, "Our 6th Annual Boston Design Week is our biggest, most diverse & engaging design festival yet. With 80+ events all open to the public & most free of charge, there is definitely something for everyone no matter what your interests are. Hurry - some events have already filled up!" This year the Boston Design Week 2019 Design Awards will take place on Friday April 5th at the stunning new Artists for Humanity EpiCenter at 100 W 2nd Street in Boston, MA from 5:30P to 8:30P. The 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Roger Thomas, Executive Vice President of Design, Wynn Design & Development & Principal The Roger Thomas Collection whose current project is the Encore Boston Harbor. Other awards to be announced & presented at the event include: Mentor of the Year, co-sponsored by The Over My Shoulder Foundation; Newcomer of the Year, co-sponsored by Autodesk; & The Social Impact Award. The Awards are the culminating event of Boston Design Week with 300+ invited guests, general public, design week participants, sponsors, media & leadership committee all expected for this catered affair, special displays & "Dancing With the Designers" event.
For Events & Tix; bostondesignweek.com
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Equality Act Returns To Congress

Congressman David Cicilline & Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin & Corey Booker have reintroduced the Equality Act in the U.S. House & Senate. The Equality Act would finally provide consistent & explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces & services, federally funded programs & jury service. Stacey Long Simmons, advocacy & action Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund stated, “As a Christian, Black, Bisexual woman, if one of my identities is not protected under the law, then none of them are. The Equality Act will cover & expand protections for LGBTQ people & women, ensuring that no part of one’s identity can be used to discriminate against them in housing, credit, education, employment, publicly-funded programs like child welfare agencies, expanded public accommodations to include retail, taxis & more. The Civil Rights Act must protect all Black people – including LGBTQ people & women.” Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund concluded, “LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination without explicit federal protections that cover all of who we are, all the time. We have seen an increase in discriminatory actions & hate violence against so many communities in the age of Trump, particularly religious minorities, people of color, immigrants & LGBTQ people, making it all the more urgent to strengthen protections in existing civil & human rights laws. The country is ready for Congress to strengthen existing federal protections & we are grateful to our Congressional champions for reintroducing this comprehensive measure. Now it's time for lawmakers, progressive groups & grassroots advocates to move swiftly to advance the Equality Act.” (Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
For More Info: thetaskforce.org
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Diversity Honors Gala Benefit

The fifth annual Diversity Honors presented by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will take place on March 30th in Hollywood, Florida. The gala will benefit Harvey Milk Foundation & The Pride Center at Equality Park. This year’s honorees include Meghan McCain host of ABC’s The View who will receive the Harvey Milk Foundation Lilla Watson Medal, transgender Army Captain Jennifer Peace & Staff Sergeant Patricia King will receive the Harvey Milk Foundation Valor Award & Congressman Ted Deutch will be recognized for his statewide contributions in advancing inclusiveness & promoting LGBTQ equality. Other honorees will include Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute & Tony Lima, Executive Director of SAVE plus the Wilton Manors City Commission will receive The Pride Center Alan Schubert Award of Excellence. Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs & Special Events for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood stated, “It is a privilege for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood to present, produce & celebrate the fifth anniversary of Diversity Honors. A sold-out event every year, we are humbled by the growing support for this initiative that highlights tolerance, acceptance & leadership for change to ensure equality, inclusiveness & a higher quality of life for LGBT+ communities across the globe.” The special event will be emceed by NBC 6 anchor Jamie Guirola with awards presented by Stuart Milk as the co-founder & Board President of the Harvey Milk Foundation. The evening will commence at 7P with an elegant cocktail reception featuring an interactive balloon pop & raffle of more than 200 luxury items followed by a seated dinner with open bar, the awards presentation & live entertainment.
For Info & Tix…
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LPAC In Boston Benefit Event

The Lesbian Political Action Committee (LPAC) is presenting a very special cocktail party benefit on Wednesday March 27th from 6P to 8P in Boston, MA for a night out with friends to discuss politics with a group of energized inspiring people with special guest Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Stephanie Sandberg LPAC Executive Director stated, “We all know that Boston is the epicenter of brilliant & passionate women who identify as LGBTQ & are committed to LPAC's values of LGBTQ & women's equality & social justice. Come celebrate & support the ONLY organization whose sole mission is to give LGBTQ women a political voice & say hello to one of our own Massachusetts AG Maura Healey! This is a crucial time to help LPAC in its mayoral & statewide races for 2019 & build a war chest for 2020.” Diane Felicio LPAC Board Member concluded, “It’s easy to get caught up in the noise & chatter that is all too common in the current political discourse. What I appreciate about LPAC events especially in Boston is that they are just the right size — there is space for meaningful conversations about candidates & issues & a large enough network of LGBTQ women (& Lezbros!) that everyone leaves having exchanged views & ideas with at least one new person. Along with remarks from the always inspiring Attorney General Maura Healey, guests will hear about LPAC’s exciting new 501(c)(3) venture, Project LPAC, the many mayoral candidates we have endorsed & what’s ahead for 2020.” The Boston LPAC cocktail party benefit is hosted by Elyse Cherry, Diane Felicio, Jan Donley, Shari Weiner & Joanna Hochman. Tickets are $250 to $500 & address will be provided upon registration.
For Info & Registration…
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Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce

Joey Amato joins the Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce as their new Executive Director. Amato will be taking over day-to-day operations of the Chamber including membership outreach, corporate partnerships & public relations. Formed in 2002 The Indy Rainbow Chamber is a diverse business networking organization dedicated to the LGBTQ community & its allies working to encourage a business environment that is inclusive & promotes Indianapolis & Central Indiana as a welcoming place to live, visit & do business. Amato stated, “I am so honored to be the new Executive Director of the Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. For the past decade, I have devoted my career to the LGBTQ community through a variety of ventures ranging from magazines to my current role as owner of Agency33 Public Relations, where I specialize in LGBTQ outreach. I look forward to helping the Indy Rainbow Chamber achieve the next level of success.” Ashley Kistler, President of the Indy Rainbow Chamber added, "On behalf of the Indy Rainbow Chamber, I am excited to welcome Joey Amato to the team. We look forward to partnering with him to bring value to our members through the Chamber. We hope everyone takes the time to meet with Joey so he can better understand your unique needs." Amato will continue publishing Pride Journeys, a syndicated monthly LGBTQ travel column as well as operate Agency33 Public Relations. He is also Managing Editor of Focus Middle Tennessee, an LGBTQ publication serving the greater Nashville community.
For More Info: indyrainbowchamber.org
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Celebrating Women’s History Month

Women in Film & Video New England (WIFVNE) is celebrating Women’s History Month throughout March by spotlighting a series of fabulous regional women & events. Cinematographer Amanda McGrady is a digital shooter who loves shooting on film when possible. Over the years Amanda has shot a variety of projects including feature & short films that have screened at festivals around the world. Carol Conley of Rhode Island is Assistant to the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office & an award-winning filmmaker for her short “Penitence”. She’s committed to helping other women filmmakers realize their dreams in Rhode Island in the age of #MeToo & #TimesUp. Orly Yadin of Vermont is Executive Director of the Vermont International Film Festival introducing the world to Vermont through film & getting the community together to attend screenings & exchange ideas. She hopes in the age of #MeToo & #TimesUp women in our industry & any industry will be to no longer need the label of “woman” attached to whatever she does. Trish Clark of Connecticut is City Producer for the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project & CEO Nutmeg Institute. Her advice for new female filmmakers is to “Keep going, keep creating, get your voice out there”. When WIFVNE member Armandina Cueva, a media producer/consultant was asked what advise she would give to female filmmakers she stated, “Don’t apologize, be bold & believe you belong.”  Just one of the many events this month will include “Boston Talks for Women Making History” at WGBH on March 21st from 7P to 9P. WIFVNE Board Member Jen Myronuk will be a featured speaker. Become a member of WIFVNE & receive 25% off tickets for this relevant & timely event.
For More Info: womeninfilmvideo.org
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International Women's Day Dance

Kristen Porter presents a special dance party event in celebration of International Women’s Day featuring DJ Andrea Stamas spinning all female artists all night on Friday March 8th at women-owned Bella Luna & The Milky Way at The Brewery 284 Amory Street in Boston, MA from 9P to 1A. The entire team for this event is women including female mixologists, servers & cashier. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural & political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. IWD has occurred for well over a century with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany & Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom's Suffragists & Suffragettes, & further groups campaigned for women's equality. This event is inclusive of all who stand for gender balance & celebrates all identities of Sheroes. A “Shero” is any person regardless of gender identity who supports women’s rights is a female hero. The event is also presented by Lesbians Born Abroad who ask that you wear something celebrating your nationality. This is a Party for a Purpose with proceeds benefit LGBT Asylum Task Force. So come dine, drink & enjoy shero-inspired special cocktails as you dance the night away in celebration of International Women’s Day. Tickets are $12 in advance with the Shero level tix at $17 sending $5 directly to LGBT Asylum Task Force. Doors open at 9P & DJ Andrea Stamas starts at 10P. Come early to dine at 5P.
For More Info & Tix…
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USA Unsafe For LGBTQ Travelers

The SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index for 2019 has rated that LGBTQ travelers in the USA has worsened because of our right-wing conservative government & their initiatives to revoke LGBTQ rights that have been achieved as well as the associated increase in homophobic & transphobic violence. The United States did not even rank in the top 45 countries. We ranked No. 47 which is a shared ranking with nine other countries including Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Macao, Seychelles & Thailand. The friendliest countries for LGBTQ travelers are Canada, Portugal & Sweden. The index ranked 197 countries based on 14 criteria, including anti-discrimination laws, marriage & civil partnership laws, adoption laws, transgender rights & persecution. So even though marriage equality is the law of the land here in the USA we have been steadily dropping in the rankings. We ranked No. 34 in 2017 & fell to No. 39 last year when Spartacus International Gay Guide pointed to President Trump’s “attempts to curtail transgender rights in the military” as a major factor for the decline. So even though we have safe states where our LGBTQ community can visit the overview safety of our country is bleak. Portugal’s ascent to a No. 1 ranking this year was a big jump from last year when the country ranked No. 27 in the index. Portugal, Canada & Sweden received the top mark this year for their anti-discrimination laws. The least friendly nation is Chechnya, No. 197 which continues to be involved in “state-organized persecution & killings of homosexuals.” Rounding out the bottom five are Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Iran & Yemen. All five were given negative marks for murders & death sentences involving our LGBTQ community.
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John Cameron Mitchell Rocks Boston

John Cameron Mitchell brought his “Origin Of Love Tour” to the Boch Center Shubert Theatre in Boston on March 2nd & the audience went wild as the Tony Award winning, Golden Globe-nominated co-creator of “Hedwig & the Angry Inch” threw himself into mosh pit of adoring fans. For two-hours Mitchell presented this must-see concert with his rock trio from the Broadway show & cabaret singer Amber Martin who was spectacular. Among the 31 songs performed were songs from "Hedwig" & his upcoming musical podcast “Anthem” starring himself, Glenn Close, Patti Lupone, Cynthia Erivo, Denis O'Hare, Laurie Anderson & Marion Cotillard. When asked about Hedwig becoming a queer icon Mitchell stated, “For a character with such an usual story, I am really gratified that Hedwig resonates for different reasons with people. Our audience isn’t just queer, it’s not just musical people, it really runs the gamut of age, race, sexuality, gender. I love the audience that we’ve built person-by-person. My work doesn’t really fit into a genre.” Boston was the last stop on this limited tour before co-creators Mitchell & Stephen Trask bring their “Origin of Love Tour” to NYC’s Town Hall June 27th to June 29th to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall & Pride Celebration. Proceeds from Friday’s June 28th sold-out VIP performance are going to support the Ali Forney Center that’s committed to protecting our homeless LGBTQ youth. The June 29th is also sold out but tickets are still available while they last for Thursday June 27th at 8P. (Photo Mick Rock)
For Info & Tix: thetownhall.org
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Another Disputed Judge Advances

Since 2017 the Trump administration has been filing federal judicial seats with rightwing, hateful, biased candidates from lower courts to the Supreme Court. Now the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to advance the nomination of Neomi Rao to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the seat vacated by Brett Kavanaugh. Paul Gordon People For the American Way Senior Legislative Counsel stated, “Neomi Rao is the perfect example of Republicans’ eagerness to support extreme & deeply flawed nominees in order to push their own ideology onto the federal courts. Neomi Rao has made clear in her writings & throughout her career that LGBTQ people, survivors of sexual assault & Americans looking to vindicate their civil rights shouldn’t expect fair treatment in her courtroom. But Republicans are willing to advance her nomination to a lifetime seat on the nation’s second most important court because they love her ideological zeal for attacking important public protections & safety standards. Anyone who cares about vindicating the rights of all Americans should oppose this nomination.” Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights concluded, “Neomi Rao’s past is her prologue. Her writings have demonstrated hostility towards sexual assault survivors, racial discrimination, climate change & LGBTQ people. She has implemented these extremist views in her current role as the Trump administration’s regulatory affairs department head & has systematically devastated public protections for sexual assault survivors, those facing discrimination, and the environment. Rao’s record shows she will not be a fair & impartial judge & senators must not fill the seat vacated by Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit with another right-wing ideologue. Our country needs independent & fair-minded judges, not a partisan takeover of our courts to roll back our civil and human rights.”
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