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Provincetown Thanksgiving Weekend

Instead of heading to the malls our Black Friday LGBTQ destination tradition is Provincetown, Massachusetts for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend where the pilgrims first landed in 1620 almost 400 hundred years ago. The whole town is on sale & you can find great gift choices all around town, since many of the stores are having end of season sales & don't miss the holiday Crafts Fairs happening on both Friday & Saturday providing unique gifts for everyone. Then Friday afternoon from 3:30P to 5:30P Drag Bingo takes place with Tiki Bronstein & hosted by the Provincetown Business Guild at the Crown & Anchor supporting a great organization. After dark Saturday offers the anticipated pagan treat of the Annual Lighting of the Lobster Pot Tree. Now in its 19th year Provincetown artist Julian Popko & family build the unique tree right in the heart of Provincetown's Lopes Square. Stacked with over 100 real lobster traps borrowed from local lobstermen, the tree is lit with thousands of fabulous decorations & holiday lights. There are also plenty of restaurants open & you can dance the night away at The A House or the Retro-Active Video Lounge at The Crown. Also at the Crown on Saturday November 30th check out Thanksgiving Drag Leftovers! Lakia Mondale, Roxy Pops & Ania Bangkoks present a post-Thanksgiving Drag Revue in this special One Night Only production. Remember Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a drag unless you want it to be. Tickets are $29.
For More Info: ptown.org
AUDIO: Jeffrey Solomon Talks “The Santa Closet” NYC Premiere
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Raging Skillet Takes Center Stage

The play “Raging Skillet” by Jacques Lamarre that’s based on the memoir of the same title by Chef Rossi will be performed at the JCC CenterStage Theatre at 1200 Edgewood Avenue in Rochester, NY in December including post show talkbacks with Chef Rossi, the cast & creative team following the first two Sunday matinees on December 8th & 14th. “Raging Skillet” is one woman's story about cooking her way through some of life's biggest challenges in New York City's most unlikely kitchens. As the rebel caterer parties at the launch event for her new tell-all book her Orthodox Jewish mother shows up unannounced twenty years after she died & guilt trips her into a reckoning with her rebellious past, her time with a Hassidic community in Brooklyn & the real meaning of a Jewish home. When asked what she would like to accomplish with her work Chef Rossi stated, “I think I would most like to see the empowerment of women especially in the culinary field would be great. I’d like to see the empowerment of young gay adults & gay teenagers. I just think that my story really empowers people that are down & out or the underdog or minorities & I just hope I can help.” Showtimes are Saturday, December 7th at 8P, Sunday, December 8th at 2P, Thursday, December 12th at 7P, Saturday, December 14th at 8P, Sunday, December 15th at 2P with open captioning, Thursday, December 19th at 7P with open captioning, Saturday, December 21st at 8P & Sunday, December 22nd at 2P.
For Info & Tix: jccrochester.org
AUDIO: Jeffrey Solomon Talks “The Santa Closet” NYC Premiere
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Different From The Others Film Event

The Provincetown Film Society is presenting the historic German silent film “Different From The Others” commemorating the 100th anniversary of the earliest surviving feature film about LGBTQ people on Thursday December 5th at the Strand Theatre 543 Columbia Road in Dorchester, MA at 7P.  Provincetown musician Billy Hough will perform an original score for the silent film with the collaboration of a vocal ensemble including Grammy-winning tenor Jason McStoots. Christine Walker CEO Provincetown Film Society stated, “It is important to bring this film to the greater Boston community so more people can have the opportunity to see it. It’s remarkable how well the message plays 100 years later in today’s world. The film provides a good reminder about how much progress has been made for LGBTQ people over the past century, but we also know there is much work still to be done.” Following the film there will be a discussion with Harvard University Professor of the Practice in Media & Activism in Studies of Women, Gender & Sexuality, Michael Bronski. The evening will conclude with an additional music performance by Billy Hough & Jason McStoots. Tickets are $25 general admission with a limited number of VIP tickets available for $75 that include a reception featuring the different flavors & tastings of Dorchester, preferred seating at the Strand Theatre & a meet & greet with Billy Hough. The VIP Event begins at 5:30P. A portion of the proceeds from the screening will benefit The Provincetown Film Society & The Trevor Project.
For More Info & Tix: provincetownfilm.org
AUDIO: Jeffrey Solomon Talks “The Santa Closet” NYC Premiere
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

New Play “The Santa Closet” (AUDIO)

This week I talked to playwright/performer Jeffrey Solomon about his play “The Santa Closet” that will have its premiere Tuesday December 3rd at Teatro Círculo Theater at 64 East 4th Street in NYC with a limited engagement through Sunday December 22nd presented by Houses On The Moon. “The Santa Closet” is an updated version of Solomon’s acclaimed solo play “Santa Claus is Coming Out” which premiered Off-Broadway in 2009. On the 10th anniversary of that production this new version reflects the advances & nuances in our understanding in our understanding of LGBTQ lives & remains as timely 10 years later as when it first broke ground. In “The Santa Closet” little Gary's gender atypical gift request sent to the North Pole is denied. A series of subsequent heartfelt letters from the child nudge Santa Claus out of the closet right into the center of a heated culture war. The play is directed by Joe Brancato with the creative team of Claire DeLiso (scenic design), Christopher S. Chambers (lighting design), Yana Biryukova (projections design) & Obadiah Eaves (sound design/original music). The Production Stage Manager is Jamie Rose Bukowski. “The Santa Closet” runs from December 3rd to 22nd performing on Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7P, Fridays at 8P, Saturdays at 2P & 8P & Sundays at 3P with an additional performance on Tuesday December 3rd at 7P. Tickets are $35 with special reserved seating available at $55. I talked to Jeffrey about what he hopes to accomplish with “The Santa Closet” & his spin on our LGBTQ issues.  LISTEN:
 
For More Info & Tix: housesonthemoon.org
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Help Is On The Way Holiday Gala

The Richmond / Ermet AID Foundation is having its "Help is on the Way for the Holidays 18” their annual concert & gala celebration on Monday December 9th at Marines' Memorial Theater 609 Sutter Street in San Francisco, California benefiting Project Open Hand & Aguilas. The concert begins at 7:30P featuring performances by Broadway Stars Lisa Vroman & Sheryl Lee Ralph, American Idol & Recording Star David Hernandez, Hamilton Star Darnell Abraham, America’s Got Talent & Cabaret Star Shawn Ryan, Jazz/Cabaret Star Kim Nalley, Steve Knill featured on The Voice, Cabaret Stars Sony Holland & Jessica Coker & Lisa Viggiano & cast members from the Broadway touring cast of “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”. Kenneth Henderson, Executive Director of the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation stated, “People think the AIDS epidemic is over & we don't need to pay attention to it anymore. Events like "Help is on the Way" serve not only to raise funds for local AIDS services but to remind people that there's still a need for funding them. More people are living with HIV & AIDS than ever before in history.” The after party will take place at The Sir Francis Drake Hotel at 450 Powell Street (at Sutter St.) in San Francisco featuring complimentary wine, cocktails, appetizers & desserts from 9:45P to11:45P. Since it’s inception in 1995 The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation has raised well over $3.8 million for AIDS service agencies in the Bay Area & Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS as well as hunger programs & programs that serve & support homeless youth. 100% of proceeds from ticket sales have always gone directly to the beneficiary partners.
For Info & Tix: reaf-sf.org
Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir (AUDIO)
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AIDS Quilt San Francisco Bound

With World AIDS Day observance on December 1st, The NAMES Project Foundation has announced that the National AIDS Memorial will become the new caretaker of the AIDS Memorial Quilt & NAMES Project programs. As part of the transition the NAMES Project & the National AIDS Memorial have agreed to jointly gift care & stewardship of The Quilt’s archival collections to the prestigious American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, making this collection available through the world’s largest public library. This historic decision will return The Quilt to the San Francisco Bay Area where 32 years ago during the height of the AIDS epidemic, a group of strangers gathered at a San Francisco storefront to remember the names & lives of their loved ones they feared history would forget & with that seemingly simple act of love & defiance, the first panels of The Quilt were created. Julie Rhoad, President & CEO, The NAMES Project Foundation stated, “This is the culmination of decades of work that achieves a vision long held by The NAMES Project leadership who, armed with an unwavering commitment to The Quilt, were determined to see that the AIDS Memorial Quilt would stand the test of time. With this set of new caretakers, we are confident that the legacy of The Quilt & The NAMES Project is secure.” Since 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation has cared for The Quilt & its associated archives. Headquartered in Atlanta since 2001, as the caretakers of this memorial & vast cultural archives, it has been dedicated to the mission of remembrance, education & conscience.
For More Info: aidsmemorial.org
Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir (AUDIO)
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

America's Next Act To End Hate

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act & to address the need to pass the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act civil rights groups assembled to discuss the epidemic of hate in America & tangible actions for reform. Participating were The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, families of Khalid Jabara & Matthew Shepard. Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference & The Education Fund stated, “Every person in our country should feel safe while going about their normal daily life—going to worship, to school, to the mall. But too many people are the victims of hate crimes & violence. The work to fight hate must be bigger than any one political party & Congress must pass the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.” Judy Shepard, Co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation added, “Everyone in this country must be made aware of & educated on, the need to strengthen current hate crime laws & to pass additional legislation. Stopping the increase of hate speech, the rising number of hate crimes against all marginalized communities & the constant rise of new hate groups must be a top priority in this country.” The bill was named after Khalid Jabara & Heather Heyer who were both killed by men who were prosecuted for hate crimes yet their murders were not reported as such to the FBI. The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act is bipartisan & bicameral legislation that would improve federal reporting of hate crimes to prevent similar omissions & strengthen police responses to incidents of hate.
For More Info: civilrights.org
Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir (AUDIO)
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Transgender Day Of Remembrance

During the past year 331 transgender & gender-diverse people were murdered globally. Brazil had the highest number of these hate crimes with 130 killings reported, Mexico had 63 & the U.S. reported 30 with 29 transgender & gender-expansive people murdered this year including one who was killed several years ago but was only identified this year. Marilyn Willis, PFLAG National Board of Directors member stated, “For more than 20 years, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) has been an opportunity to commemorate those lives taken by senseless violence. As the parent of a Black transgender woman, I demand justice for those lost & for the community at-large to support the leadership of trans women of color to end this epidemic of violence. We must fight for non-violence & non-discrimination, strive to create an inclusive society & continuously advocate for trans people of color in every aspect of their lives (i.e. health, work, relationships & home). We must seek accountability for those who do harm against trans women of color due to transphobia, racism & misogyny. Let us all boldly show our love & support & give more attention to the leadership, wellness & livelihood of those most impacted by this epidemic. If you have genuine love for all human beings, then you believe that all lives are precious & deserve the right to thrive in the world free from ignorance & intolerance.” With 3,317 transgender & gender-diverse people murdered worldwide since January 2008 we must resolve & end this global crisis.
For More Info: transequality.org
Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir (AUDIO)
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Black Transgender Lives Matter

As the world recognizes International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on Wednesday November 20th closing out Transgender Awareness Week the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) continues to call upon members of the Black community to show up as accomplices in working to eradicate the epidemic of violence that haunts the lives of Black transgender & gender non-binary people. Kylar Boradus, NBJC Board & Black TAC member states, “Trans visibility is important to trans people & others. We have always been visible in society (cities) & not an anomaly. Trans visibility helps to educate & inform." Van Bailey, Black TAC member added, “Trans people have existed since the beginning of time. We are not new. We are not a trend. We are members of your families & communities. We exist & we are not going anywhere.” Carmarion D. Anderson, Senior Minister & NBJC, Black TAC member concluded, "Trans people have existed through their visibility since the beginning of creation. We cannot erase, ignore, or segregate anyone from this divine form of creation. Recognizing trans-visibility in the world is to recognize the presence of life in everyone, formed in inclusive love." In 2019 there have been 23 reported lives lost to senseless acts of anti-transgender, hate & violence. Of the transgender & gender non-conforming murders that have been reported, at least 20 of those were Black people. There were 19 Black transgender women & one Black gender non-conforming person with hopes & dreams & plans for the future that will not be realized. We mourn & celebrate those we have lost.
For More Info: nbjc.org
Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir (AUDIO)
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Trevor Gala Saving LGBTQ Youth

The Trevor Project the largest suicide prevention & crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people hosted their 2019 TrevorLIVE Los Angeles fundraising gala Sunday November 17th at The Beverly Hilton. This year’s honorees were Cybill Shepherd, Hayley Kiyoko & the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., which announced a $6 million investment in The Trevor Project’s mission. Zazie Beetz & Sasheer Zamata hosted the event that raised over $1.2 million. Jane Lynch presented the Champion Award to Cybill Shepherd who stated, “My sister did not have the support that these young people will be getting from this wonderful, wonderful organization; & so, I want to thank everyone here tonight, because we all have in our lives people that we would have liked to have saved. My sister lived the life she wanted to live, but she didn’t live it openly. Gladys Terry Shepherd, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for the honor of being here tonight.” Amit Paley, CEO of The Trevor Project concluded, “There is still so much more to do. We recently put out research that there are more than 1.8 million LGBTQ young people in the US who seriously consider suicide each year. One day, we will reach every single one of those young people in crisis. But we’re not there yet & we don’t have the luxury of growing slowly. We are literally talking about life & death. That is why we need to build a global movement to end suicide among LGBTQ young people NOW." Sponsors of this year’s TrevorLIVE LA were the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. & Abercrombie & Fitch. In addition, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants serves as the official hotel partner; & AT&T was the official VIP Reception Sponsor.
For More Info: thetrevorproject.org
Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir (AUDIO)
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

PFLAG To Honor George Takei

PFLAG National will honor actor & fierce LGBTQ advocate George Takei with the 2019 Betty DeGeneres Advocate Award. The award will be presented at the PFLAG Gives Thanks reception that takes place in NYC on Monday, November 18th. Takei stated, “I am proud & honored to receive the Betty DeGeneres Advocate Award from PFLAG, an organization that has done so much to move equality forward for LGBTQ+ people over the last 46 years. I’m especially grateful for their work within the API community & their commitment to supporting people of Asian & Pacific Islander descent with chapters dedicated specifically to those families.” The Betty DeGeneres Advocate Award honors a person who uses their visibility to help advance PFLAG’s vision of a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued & affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity & gender expression. The award is named in honor of DeGeneres, mother of Ellen DeGeneres, a longtime member of PFLAG who has used her public stature to educate about the vital role PFLAG plays in providing parent, family & ally support & affirmation of people who are LGBTQ+. PFLAG National is strongly committed to elevating the voices of people of Asian & Pacific Island descent, particularly those who are or love someone who is LGBTQ+. Takei has long served as a beacon of hope for these PFLAG families, including those who participate in the PFLAG chapters in Southern California & New York dedicated entirely to this community PFLAG is the first & largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents & families, & allies with over 400 chapters & 200,000 members & supporters.
For More Info: pflag.org 
LISTEN: Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir
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Memoir "A Wild & Precious Life" (AUDIO)

This week I talked with author Joshua Lyon about Edie Windsor’s memoir “A Wild & Precious Life” published by St. Martin’s Press. Lyon began collaborating with Windsor prior to her passing in 2017 & completed the memoir with cooperation from Edie’s spouse Judith Kasen-Windsor who provided Edie’s extensive archive of personal papers dating back to the 1940s. “A Wild & Precious Life” shares intimate fascinating details of Windsor’s personal life, career pursuits & loves from her adventures in Greenwich Village lesbian bars in the 1950s while pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics at NYU to her extensive work at IBM as well as her activist awakening & epic love affair with Thea Spyer. Edie met Spyer in the 1960’s & their partnership lasted 44 years until Thea’s passing in 2009. With the federal government refusing to acknowledge their Canadian marriage Windsor was then required to pay $363,053 in federal estate taxes on her wife's estate which led to the 2013 Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor that successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act leading to marriage equality becoming the law of the land in 2015. Edie found love again marrying Judith Kasen-Windsor in 2016 who stated, “With irreverent & unexpected stories this memoir chronicles the struggles and passions that drove her extraordinary life. It’s an important part of her legacy, a gift to all who will continue her message of hope, strength & courage. Edie proved that love does, in fact, win.” I talked to Joshua about what he hopes to accomplish with this book & his spin on our LGBTQ issues in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN:
For More Info: us.macmillan.com
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Honoring Trans Day of Resilience

Ten trans & non-binary visual artists & poets of color from across the country have collaborated to honor Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) by creating original artwork to celebrate their communities. The TDOR art project is an extension & re-imagining of Transgender Day of Remembrance that takes place on November 20th. The project’s goal is to expand the conversation towards honoring & supporting trans people while they are alive & not just in memoriam. Micah Bazant, Forward Together Artist in Residence stated, “Forward Together is honored to present this project to the world for the sixth year in a row. At a time when white supremacy & anti-trans oppression are killing trans women of color, we offer this art to share our vision of trans freedom. Trans communities of color have always existed & have always used art to survive. As the government tries to erase trans people from laws & policies, art & culture are especially critical. There is no way to erase the beauty and power of trans resistance.” Led by Forward Together a national women of color-led organization whose mission is to unite communities to win rights, recognition & resources for all families. The TDOR art project acknowledges how violence disproportionately impacts trans people of color. The art project simultaneously uses visual art & poetry to uplift trans power & resilience. Trans artists & poets of color are telling their own stories of resistance, hope & liberation. Everyday Heroes by Shea Coco.
For More Info: forwardtogether.org
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Trump & Pence Latest LGBTQ Attack

The Human Rights Campaign reacts to Vice President Mike Pence’s address commemorating National Adoption Month with a reminder of the Trump-Pence administration's track record of attacking our LGBTQ children & adults in the adoption & foster care systems. Alphonso David HRC President stated, “Trump & Pence relentlessly marginalize LGBTQ people & attempt to erase our existence. Their disturbing worldview extends into the adoption & foster care systems, where they support giving federally-funded foster & adoption agencies a license to discriminate against LGBTQ children & prospective parents, religious minorities & other vulnerable groups. LGBTQ youth are tragically overrepresented in foster care & this White House continues to exacerbate the marginalization, harassment & discrimination that LGBTQ youth in foster care & families face.” As we head into impeachment hearings Trump & Pence have proposed a federal regulation that would strip away nondiscrimination requirements & permit all HHS grant recipients, notably adoption & foster care agencies, to discriminate against LGBTQ people & in many circumstances religious minorities & women & still receive federal funding. As you remember in April we reported that HHS announced a proposed federal rule that would abandon data collection on the sexual orientation of youth in foster care & foster and adoptive parents & guardians in the Adoption & Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Just be aware as we head into 2020 that nothing is so bad that it can’t get worse.
For More Info: hrc.org
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LGBTQ People Attacked In Uganda

LGBTQ activists in Uganda confirmed that on Sunday November 10th an LGBTQ+ friendly bar in Kampala was raided & 125 people arrested & charged with drug possession, indicating an intentional & growing persecution of LGBTQ people in the country. Kasha Jacquelin, a Ugandan LGBTQ activist stated “The past has shown that it is difficult to prosecute anyone for being LGBT. Using trumped-up drug charges is a new & frightening tactic; one which is really hard to tackle & will make our battle even tougher.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International added, “The resurfacing of the anti-homosexuality bill in a country which already prescribes life imprisonment for same-gender relations could only have had one intention - to increase hate and stigma against LGBTIQ people, putting them at heightened risk of arbitrary detention & attack. That is exactly what is happening. The growing intensity of arrests, the clear targeting of an LGBTIQ friendly bar, makes it painfully clear that a witch hunt is being mounted against LGBTIQ Ugandans.” Persecution of LGBTIQ people has increased in Uganda in recent months, as rumors of the so-called “Anti-Homosexuality Act” which would impose the death penalty for same-gender relations have resurfaced. At least four people have been killed in suspected hate-motivated attacks. Arrests of LGBTQ+ people have also increased. Prior to the raid carried out on November 10th, 16 people were arrested & charged with “trafficking in persons” & “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” at the end of October.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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Revisiting ‘The Laramie Project’

Stetson Theatre Arts will present Moisés Kaufman’s “The Laramie Project” about Matthew Shepard who in 1998 was kidnapped, severely beaten & left tied to a prairie fence simply because he was gay. Shepard died days later as a result of his injuries. The play will run from Nov. 21st to 24th at Stetson University’s Second Stage Theatre located at the Museum of Art in Deland, Florida. Kaufman & fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project conducted more than 200 interviews with residents of Laramie, Wyoming. The play is comprised of those first-hand accounts collected by the theatre company. Julie Schmitt, PhD, Director of this production & Creative Arts Department chair at Stetson University stated, “The play’s rehearsal & design process have been really unique and rewarding. Since a number of actors are playing well over eight parts, I have asked them to think of their different characters in relation to a long list of archetypal characters & we're working on finding different ways to embody those archetypes through physical & vocal characterization. It’s a challenge, but the students are up for it & it’s clear that this play means a lot to them. 'The Laramie Project' showcases a tragedy that is disturbingly prevalent today. Even though it has been more than 20 years since the death of Matthew Shepard, there are many moments in the play that really resonate with me & with fellow cast members. I feel that discussions about hate, empathy & compassion will always be relevant & the play certainly feels as though it is of this time."
For Info & Tix…
LISTEN: Cathy Renna On 20 Year Legacy of Matthew Shepard Events

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LGBTQ Representation On Television

For the 24th year GLAAD announced its Where We Are on TV report which analyzes the overall diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks & assesses the number of LGBTQ characters on cable networks & original scripted streaming series on Amazon, Hulu & Netflix for the 2019-2020 TV season. The 2019-2020 report found that networks met & exceeded with a record-high percentage of LGBTQ series regulars on broadcast television at 10.2% of all series regulars. This is up from last year’s 8.8% & the highest GLAAD has found since the organization expanded to count all broadcast series regulars 15 years ago. Also for the first time in this report’s history LGBTQ regular & recurring women on broadcast outnumber LGBTQ men. Of the LGBTQ regular & recurring characters on broadcast 53% are women & 47% are men. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “Last year, GLAAD called on the television industry to increase the number of LGBTQ characters & more accurately reflect the world we live in & they responded by exceeding this challenge. At a time when the cultural climate is growing increasingly divisive, increased representation of LGBTQ stories & characters on television is especially critical to advance LGBTQ acceptance. Shows like Pose, Schitt’s Creek, Batwoman & Billions demonstrate that not only are LGBTQ stories & characters on TV becoming more diverse, but that viewers everywhere continue to respond with extreme positivity.” GLAAD uses the data from the Where We Are on TV report in work throughout the year to advocate leaders in the TV industry to include more diverse & substantive LGBTQ representations that accelerate acceptance.
For More Info: glaad.org
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UN Renews Independent Expert

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution presenting the Annual Report of the Human Rights Council without challenge to the extension of the mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence & discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IE SOGI). Manisha Dhakal Nepali Human Rights Defender from Blue Diamond Society stated, “The tireless, sustained outreach efforts of civil society from the grassroots up was essential to this achievement. Over many years, we have worked together to build a truly global movement that queered the UN.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight International concluded, “The Independent Expert plays a crucial role in documenting the discrimination & violence LGBTIQ people around the world face merely for who we love or the gender we are & express. The affirmation of this acute need by the Third Committee today, without challenge, is a reminder of the universality of human rights & a testament to the strength & resilience of LGBTIQ people everywhere coming out and standing up for our right to be who we are.” Victor Madrigal-Borloz has served as the UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence & discrimination based on sexual orientation & gender identity since 2018. Madrigal-Borloz is set to visit Sri Lanka in 2020 & has tabled 12 requests for as many countries to bring about a world free from violence & discrimination for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation & gender identity. OutRight is the only global LGBTIQ-specific organization with a permanent presence at the United Nations in NYC that advocates for human rights progress for LGBTQ people.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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LGBTQ Asylum Seekers Mobile App

Tech nonprofit Asylum Connect has launched the first-of-its-kind free mobile app for the tens of thousands of LGBTQ asylum seekers fleeing their homes for safer ground each year. Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect Co-Founder & President stated, "Our free app instantly connects persecuted LGBTQ people with verified safe services & support. With today's launch, we have improved our platform's mobile accessibility & user experience at this pivotal moment for LGBTQ & immigrant communities." From leaving their dangerous home country to resettlement it is often a matter of life-or-death for our LGBTQ asylum seekers to be able to easily connect with legitimate & LGBTQ affirming lawyers & other direct service providers. LGBTQ asylum seekers & other LGBTQ populations (undocumented immigrants, homeless or isolated youth) use AsylumConnect as a free digital one-stop-shop referral site to meet their needs in all aspects of their lives, including: housing, legal, medical, mental health, education & employment. Lawyers & other direct service providers also use AsylumConnect to gather verified referrals. The AsylumConnect mobile app on iOS & Android offers an improved user experience. Since launching in 2016 AsylumConnect has connected over 11,000 unique users to verified LGBTQ & immigrant-friendly services in the U.S. & has been accessed in over 150 countries. AsylumConnect is a tech nonprofit providing the first & only digital resource platform for LGBTQ asylum. Next AsylumConnect will introduce enhanced map visualization, offline capabilities, new locations & an integrated private online community for LGBTQ asylum seekers.
For More Info: asylumconnect.org
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San Francisco Transgender Film Festival

Founded in 1997 the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival is the world’s first & longest running transgender film festival that takes place November 7th to 10th at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, California. Shawna Virago Artistic Director stated, “We were founded at a time in 1997 when funders would not support transgender film festivals or filmmakers & so for years, we have had to survive & thrive on our transgender smarts, sweat & love from the community. The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival provides a powerful counter-narrative to the increasingly assimilationist world of transgender reality stars & celebrities. Hollywood gets it very wrong. Come see trans & gender-variant people telling our own stories.” From sexy shorts to inspiring animation, from gender-busting music videos to hard-hitting documentaries, SFTFF 2019 truly has something for everyone & all genders are welcomed to attend. SFTFF was founded in 1997 as the world’s first transgender film festival & is built upon grassroots, social-justice-seeking, anti-oppression principles. Originally a bi-annual festival, SFTFF expanded to an annual festival in 2003 by audience demand. This year’s Festival will feature films from more than a dozen countries around the world & will feature a closed-captioned. The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) screens films that promote the visibility of transgender & gender variant people & challenge the mainstream media’s negative stereotypes of our transgender communities. They provide opportunities for transgender & gender variant media artists, build community through film & performance events & engage their audiences in cross-community dialogue.
For Info & Tix: sftff.org
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Palm Springs Stonewall 50 Exhibition

The Palm Springs Art Museum is presenting “Touching History: Stonewall 50” a new exhibition recognizing the 50th anniversary of New York’s Stonewall riots that sparked the gay liberation movement & laid the groundwork for the modern struggle for LGBTQ civil rights now through March 29th 2020. Louis Grachos the museum’s CEO & JoAnn McGrath Executive Director stated, “We’re excited to present this exhibition of work that is provoking, poignant & in many ways, celebratory." Rochelle Steiner, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs & Programs added, “Palm Springs Art Museum is proud to present Touching History: Stonewall 50 to recognize this important moment in history. Together, the artists in Touching History honor the struggles & tenacity of the queer community, past & present, through drawing, collage & photography & visualize queer kinship & community through their works.” Organized by Associate Curator David Evans Frantz the exhibition brings together an intergenerational group of eight contemporary artists—Marcela Pardo Ariza, Stephen Barker, Robert Andy Coombs, Jess T. Dugan & Vanessa Fabbre, Jonathan Molina-Garcia, Kang Seung Lee & Joey Terrill—who explore queer kinship, care & community through the immediacy & intimacy of touch. The exhibition includes a selection of intimate collages by Joey Terrill, produced while the artist was active in Gay Liberation & Chicano activism during the 1970s. Marcela Pardo Ariza presents staged photographs of friends & collaborators interacting with life-sized images of everyday queer people. Kang Sueng Lee & Stephen Barker’s photographs covers the AIDS epidemic affirming the need for connection & community in the face of stigma & erasure.
For More Info: psmuseum.org
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LGBTQ Elders Stonewall Stories

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall StoryCorps has joined SAGE, the National LGBTQ Task Force, Griot Circle & GLSEN creating a coalition of partners preparing to launch Stonewall OutLoud a participatory initiative to gather the stories of LGBTQ elders before they are lost to history. Stonewall OutLoud will reach deep into LGBTQ communities across the country to ensure that as wide a collection of voices as possible are recorded & preserved. With special emphasis given to rural communities, communities of color & transgender elders, the initiative seeks to connect older & younger generations through the StoryCorps interview experience, preserve these stories for the future & share the voices of the LGBTQ community with a broad general audience through educational & broadcast partnerships. Dave Isay, President & Founder of StoryCorps stated, “We’re thrilled to be working with our partners over the month of June to ask the country to honor an LGBTQ elder with an interview & preserve this part of our history about which so little information exists. In the spirit of the Shoah project, which documented the stories of every living Holocaust survivor & Maya Angelou’s stirring words, ‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again,’ we hope that Stonewall OutLoud will be a beautiful, loving celebration of LGBTQ elders on this historic anniversary.” Each of these interviews will become a permanent part of American history at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
For More Info: storycorps.org
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WIFVNE Presents “The Luring”

Women in Film & Video New England is presenting the New England Premiere of “The Luring” produced in conjunction with The 45th Boston Science Fiction Film Festival on Thursday November 7th at 7P at the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA. A panel with director Christopher Wells, Director of Photography Amanda McGrady & cast member Rick Irwin follows the screening. “The Luring” is about a man tries to recover a lost memory by returning to his family’s Vermont vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child. The film stars Rick Irwin (The Upside, The Good Doctor, Enough Said), Michaela Sprague ("Boardwalk Empire," "Smash," The Night Before), Dan Berkey ("Boardwalk Empire") & Molly Fahey ("Missed Connections") & Henry Gagliardi (The Grief of Others, 7th Secret). Cinematographer Amanda McGrady is a WIFVNE Member. "The Luring" won Best Thriller Feature Film at the Motor City Nightmares Film Festival. Wells stated, “I actually directed a few horror short films prior to this effort. I particularly love to create weird & dark films with a little sprinkle of humor. I see a lot of the same monsters with the same jump scares in the horror genre space & I wanted to be more original. I didn’t want to regurgitate what’s already been done. I respect filmmakers who make something that hasn’t been done before because at least they didn’t sell out. That being said, I also wanted to write a story that was actually interesting with character development, mystery & of course some weirdness.” Tickets for the New England Premiere of "The Luring" are $15.
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Trump Attacks LGBTQ Healthcare

Once again the Trump-Pence White House has proposed a federal regulation that would strip away nondiscrimination requirements & permit all Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) grant recipients, notably adoption & foster care agencies to discriminate against our LGBTQ community & in many circumstances religious minorities & women & still receive federal funding. Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal Chief Strategy Officer & Legal Director stated, “HHS is charged with protecting the health & wellbeing of all people, but its actions today demonstrate once again its complete disregard for its mission. Today’s proposed rule rolls back critical protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity & religion & in doing so, puts at risk some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, including LGBTQ people who are poor or experiencing homelessness; LGBTQ seniors & LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care, including foster children in need of loving families, people living with HIV & many others. Furthermore, HHS’s announcement that it will immediately cease enforcement of existing nondiscrimination protections, rather than adhering to the established procedures for changing regulations such as these, once again demonstrates the Trump administration’s utter disregard for the rule of law.” Alphonso David HRC President concluded, “The Trump-Pence White House has proposed a horrific federal regulation that would permit discrimination across the entire spectrum of HHS programs receiving federal funding. This would permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, religious minorities & women in programs related to foster care, adoption, HIV & STI prevention, youth homelessness, refugee resettlement, elder care programs & more. The Trump-Pence White House is relying on the same flawed legal reasoning they’ve used in the past to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people & other communities.”
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Cybill Shepherd To Be Honored

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention & crisis intervention organization for our LGBTQ young people announced Cybill Shepherd as the 2019 recipient of the “Champion Award,” which recognizes the outstanding support of an ally & their commitment to supporting The Trevor Project’s mission. The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. will be the recipient of the “20/20 Visionary Award” presented to corporations supporting LGBTQ inclusion around the world. Both will be honored at the TrevorLIVE LA fundraising gala, November 17th at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. Shepherd stated, “For many young people in crisis, the affirming work of The Trevor Project can mean the world. In my work as an entertainer & activist & especially as a mother, I’ve seen the profound freedom that comes with giving someone permission to be themselves. I’m incredibly humbled to accept the ‘Champion Award’ at TrevorLIVE LA & will continue to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community as an ally fighting for a more inclusive place for the next generation.” Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project concluded, "Cybill Shepherd & the PwC Charitable Foundation consistently make a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ people across the country & we're excited to honor their commitment to The Trevor Project & LGBTQ young people.” Zazie Beetz (Joker) & Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) will host the event with Jane Lynch & EJ Johnson as presenters & Grace VanderWaal will performer. They join previously announced “Youth Innovator Award” honoree Hayley Kiyoko.
For More Info & Tix: thetrevorproject.org
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