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LGBTQ COVID-19 NYC Update

Though New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement on the tent hospital in Central Park saying that her office “will remain vigilant to ensure discrimination does not occur at this — or any other — facility” Franklin Graham’s organization Samaritan’s Purse has turned his makeshift hospital for the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Park to a place where volunteers & tents were erected with anti-LGBTQ propaganda. Graham’s organization which is funding the facility put an anti-LGBTQ filter in place for volunteers including healthcare workers. Graham’s group is asking volunteers to read & abide by the following statement, “God instituted monogamous marriage between male & female as the foundation of the family & the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male & one genetic female.” The statement goes further to say that those who are unrighteous will be sentenced to “everlasting punishment in hell.” Chris Fleming, Spokesman for Accountable for Equality stated, “With New York City the epicenter of the COVID-19 Crisis, this behavior by Franklin Graham is despicable & flat out blasphemous. Healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line to save New Yorkers from this deadly pandemic, and there is no time to be peddling nonsense as a litmus test to help. New Yorkers have no time for nonsense when it comes to helping the sick & elderly & this practice by Graham is the height of nonsense & the Mayor must order Samaritan’s Purse to end this ridiculous practice immediately. Lives are on the line." Graham insists that LGBTQ people will be treated fairly by the confirmed anti-LGBTQ workers at his tent hospital but that has yet to be the case. Our NYC LGBTQ community should avoid this facility if possible.
For More Info: accountableforequality.org
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

COVID-19 Empowers & Creates Tyrants

As leaders around the world pass emergency decrees & legislation expanding their reach during the Coronavirus pandemic the big concern is if they relinquish this power after the pandemic subsides. We’re watching daily how the Trump administration is handling this situation but in other countries it’s even more questionable. In Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has taken the authority to impose curfews & censor the news media as journalists are being sued & intimidated for criticizing the government’s response to the outbreak. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel authorized an internal security agency to track citizens using a secret trove of cellphone data developed for counterterrorism. By tracing people’s movements the government can punish those who defy isolation orders with up to six months in prison. Fionnuala Ni Aolain, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counterterrorism & Human Rights stated, “We could have a parallel epidemic of authoritarian & repressive measures following close if not on the heels of a health epidemic.” Globally with new emergency laws there has been a resurgence of old fears of martial law. The Philippine Congress passed legislation last week that gave President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers & $5.4 billion to deal with the pandemic. Lawmakers watered down an earlier draft law that would have allowed the president to take over private businesses. Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties a Philippine Rights Group stated, “This limitless grant of emergency powers is tantamount to autocracy”, noting that Mr. Duterte had once compared the country’s Constitution to a “scrap of toilet paper.” So Stay Safe & Healthy but with Eyes Wide Open.
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Celebrate LGBTQ Global Pride Online

Pride organizations worldwide have come together to organize a ‘Global Pride’ event planned for Saturday June 27th in response to the hundreds of LGBTQ Pride celebrations cancelled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global Pride will use online platforms to deliver a Pride celebration that will include musical performances, speeches & key messages from human rights activists. The event will be live-streamed & people will be invited to join in the event from home. InterPride & the European Pride Organisers Association are working with national organizations in Canada, Germany, Sweden, UK & the USA including regional networks in southern Africa, Asia, Oceania & Latin America to bring communities & Pride organizations together for this Global Pride event. J. Andrew Baker, Co-President of Interpride stated, “We need community & connection more than ever. This gives us an opportunity to both connect & celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community’s resilience in the face of this pandemic & the true spirit of Pride. Pride 2020 represents a milestone for Pride events, with many honoring the 50th anniversary of their first gatherings and marches, such as New York to the first Gandhinagar Pride this year & we would not let that pass without recognition & celebration.” Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association & Chair of Baltic Pride in Riga, Latvia added, “The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 mean that most Prides will not take place as planned in 2020, but we’re determined that this won’t stop us from coming together as a united, strong LGBTQIA+ community to celebrate who we are & what we stand for.” This is a fabulous opportunity for our community & allies to come together in these challenging times for a universal reboot online in our fight for global LGBTQ equality.
For More Info: interpride.org
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Transgender Day of Visibility 2020

This year International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) the annual event celebrated on March 31st falls in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people & raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide as well as a celebration of their contributions to society. While we are all in our social distancing mode we should all take a moment & reflect on how we got to this place. The hatred that has brought us here must be addressed so we can all move forward to a more humane & compassionate world. Diego M. Sanchez, APR, Director of Advocacy, Policy & Partnerships for PFLAG National stated, “Before the nation’s focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19, we in the LGBTQ+ community had been tracking more than 200 dehumanizing & harmful state bills in 19 states. Many specifically target kids who are transgender. PFLAG’s 400 chapters actively oppose these bills & lift up trans kids. Trans kids are the next fierce leaders & it's our role to make sure they get to realize that role.” Last night Idaho Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 500 a law which prohibits transgender students from participating in athletic programs within the state’s K-12 schools & colleges. With all that our country is facing with the coronavirus you would think that this insensitive discriminatory legislation would not be a priority for Idahoans. Braden Summers, Filmmaker & Photographer concluded, "Transgender Day of Visibility serves as a moment for all of us to celebrate the courage it takes to live openly & authentically, helping us confront biases, diminish ignorance & champion our ability to treat others equally, which was also my intention with this film."
Watch Short Film: Frame of Mind: Elevate... 
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

LGBTQ Remains Criminal In Singapore

Disappointing news out of Singapore that the High Court has dismissed three different cases challenging the constitutionality of section 377A of the country's Penal Code which criminalizes LGBTQ relationships. Section 377A of the Penal Code is a relic of British Colonial rule & prescribes imprisonment of up to 2 years. All three challenges were dismissed today by Justice See Kee Oon who highlighted that section 377A does not violate the constitution & “continues to serve its purpose of safeguarding public morality by showing societal moral disapproval of male homosexual acts ”. Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “It is incredibly disappointing to see the High Court of Singapore uphold this colonial-era law. Even while lying dormant, such laws send a strong message - that gay & bisexual men are not only second class citizens, but also criminals, purely for who they love. Today that message was amplified, legitimizing societal hate, discrimination & exclusion of LGBTIQ people in Singapore.” Lawyer Remy Choo, a former participant of OutRight Action International's annual Advocacy Week, who represented plaintiff Bryan Choong, concluded, “Victory isn’t ours today, but I’m confident that one day it will be. One of my favorite quotes, from a book from my childhood - Winnie the Pooh -, is 'Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday'. For now, we press on.” 68 countries around the world including Singapore continue to criminalize same-gender relations. The plaintiffs & their lawyers will be exploring options for appeal. OutRight Action International works at a global, regional & national level to eradicate the persecution, inequality & violence LGBTQ people face around the world & has recognized consultative status at the United Nations.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
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Reverend Joseph E. Lowery Dies

In the midst of COVID-19 word that Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference & the Georgia People’s Agenda died at 98 in Atlanta, Georgia. Immediately gay icon Bayard Rustin came into mind who was an influential adviser behind the scenes to civil-rights leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. & Reverend Lowery. Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights stated, “The civil & human rights community has lost a giant. In the fight for civil rights, Rev. Lowery did not leave the battlefield. He never retired his fiery oratory, his rapier wit, or his outsized love for all people. Until the end, he deployed them in service to equality for all. It was the truth. And he was going to tell it. He was an unapologetic advocate who did not stand on ceremony & never allowed the presence of the powerful stop him from dispensing bitter truths. Even as our own movement shied away from full-throated advocacy for LGBTQ rights, Rev. Lowery was out front pushing for everyone’s rights and humanity. It was the truth. And he was going to tell it. As we celebrate Rev. Lowery’s life, we are reminded of our obligation to speak the unvarnished truth: to those in power, within our own movement & on behalf of those left behind. It is our truth & now we need to tell it. He was known for saying ‘There’s good crazy & there’s bad crazy & sometimes you need a little bit of that good crazy to make the world a better place.’ We will miss his ‘good crazy’ in a world so dominated by ‘bad crazy.’ Our thoughts & prayers are with his family & all those who have benefited from his dedication to justice.” Walter Naegle Talks About Bayard Rustin. LISTEN
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
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Census Counting For LGBTQ People

The National LGBTQ Task Force, a Census Counts campaign partner organization is celebrating Census Day by mobilizing LGBTQ people across the country to get counted in the 2020 Census. Beginning March 30th The Task Force will host a series of educational webinars where people can find answers to their questions & work with volunteers to make thousands of phone calls to LGBTQ people to make sure they know how to fill out the Census. Meghan Maury, Policy Director, National LGBTQ Task Force stated, “The Census helps LGBTQ communities access billions in federal funding for social programs, helps us build political power & helps us enforce civil rights protections. While the Census doesn’t ask questions about sexual orientation or gender identity, it’s still vital for us to be counted. Filling out the Census is a critical component in building our collective power to fight for our rights – including the right to be fully represented in the Census count. Like other marginalized communities, LGBTQ people have historically been undercounted on the Census. The ‘Queer the Census’ campaign is working to change that, so that our community can access the things it needs most - dollars, democracy & justice.” The Task Force along with partnering orgs including PFLAG, NQAPIA, the National Black Justice Coalition & the Movement Advancement Project are organizing to ensure communities the census has historically missed have the information & resources they need to get counted so they don’t miss out on critical community resources & political power. For nearly 50 years, the National LGBTQ Task Force has organized digitally & directly on-the-ground & the Census has been a focus of our advocacy since 1990.
For More Info: thetaskforce.org
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

LGBTQ COVID-19 Health Update

Fenway Health in Boston has released a policy brief outlining the ways in which our LGBTQ community & people living with HIV are likely to be affected by COVID-19 & the factors that may put them at elevated risk for infection. Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute stated, “Everyone is at risk of infection in this pandemic. But history shows that people who are marginalized & consequently experience disparities in health will suffer disproportionately greater harms than the general population. Because of higher rates of chronic disease & risk factors like smoking & vaping, LGBTQIA+ people & people living with HIV should strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines & take care of their health as best they can right now.” LGBTQ older adults also experience higher rates of social isolation than straight & cisgender age peers. Cahill added, “A real concern for LGBTQIA+ people during this pandemic is that we know that they avoid seeking needed health care due to previous experiences of discrimination in health care settings or the fear of experiencing discrimination. We’ve also seen new policies enacted at the federal level & in some states that make it easier for health care providers to refuse treatment based on religious or moral beliefs. Discrimination in health care is never acceptable. During an unprecedented global health emergency, this is especially true.” Remember that people with chronic health conditions, including HIV/AIDS may be at elevated risk of serious complications from COVID-19. So make sure you stick to your health condition treatments regimen by taking your medications daily & engaging in other activities to remain healthy such as eating well & exercising.
For More Info: fenwayhealth.org
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Reactions To Terrence McNally Death

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic Terrence McNally trailblazing American playwright & four-time Tony Award winner died Tuesday March 24th from complications of the coronavirus in Florida. He was 81. McNally was among the first on Broadway to explore LGBTQ themes including AIDS & LGBTQ civil rights. His best-known works include the plays "Frankie & Johnny”, "Love! Valor! Compassion!” & musicals “Kiss of the Spider Woman” & “Ragtime." A number of LGBTQ activists & Broadway community respond. Cleve Jones stated, “So sad to learn that Terrence McNally has died. Terrible loss.” David Mixner stated, “Terrence McNally he made the world more beautiful, civilized, intelligent & gentle. honored to have known you.” Ann Hampton Callaway stated, “Very sad to see him go from this dreaded virus. What a great talent. RIP.” Betty Buckley stated, “So very sorry to learn that the great Terrence McNally has passed away. Deepest condolences & love to his wonderful husband Tom Kirdahy.” Audra McDonald stated, “My dear sweet brilliant kind Terrence. The world is not nearly as sweet of a place without you in it. My heart is breaking yet again.” Paula Vogel stated, “Covid. You f**ker. Just learned that it took Terrence McNally who has always been the soul of kindness. Well Covid you are a little f because McNally’s plays will outlast you. Thanks Terrence for all you’ve given us. Peace.” George Takei concluded, “Terrence McNally was a legend among legends on Broadway. If you are an actor, there's a good chance you have performed one of his works. If not, you surely will in your career, he was that prolific & gifted. Ah, my heart breaks at the news!” McNally is survived by his husband Tom Kirdahy.
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Human Rights In Fighting COVID-19

With Trump declaring a National Emergency it appears that the network evening news has been replaced with his bully pulpit. As you know in times of government control human rights are often trampled especially for those who are most at risk like our LGBTQ community. Thankfully the UN human rights treaty bodies have issued a joint statement calling for a human rights-based approach to fighting COVID-19. Hilary Gbedemah, Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women stated, “No one should be denied health care because of stigma, or because they belong to a group that might be marginalized. States need to provide targeted support – including financial, social & fiscal - to those particularly affected, such as those without health insurance or social security. States must take active steps to ensure a sense of solidarity prevails, including through protection against racism & xenophobia or the growth of unbridled nationalism. These controls must be undertaken pursuant to a valid legal framework. In countries that declare a state of emergency, such a declaration must be exceptional & temporary, strictly necessary & justified due to a threat to the life of the nation. A state of emergency, or any other security measures, should be guided by human rights principles & should not, in any circumstances, be an excuse to quash dissent.” The UN human rights treaty bodies are the UN Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee Against Torture & its Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances & the Committee on Migrant Workers.
For More Info: un.org
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Provincetown Film Festival Cancelled

 So many postponements & cancellations as we brace for the next level of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. First Wicked Queer Boston’s LGBTQ Film Festival was postponed to a later date in 2020 & now the Provincetown International Film Festival has decided not to produce this year’s festival originally scheduled for June 17th to the 21st. Rachael Brister, CEO of PFS & PIFF Executive Director stated, “While this decision was a very difficult one for the Provincetown Film Society’s staff & Board of Directors, we know it was the right one. The health & safety of our local town & the supportive community of filmmakers, film industry professionals & audiences that travel to Provincetown each year for the film festival is our chief priority. We hope to present programming in 2020 that not only moves our mission forward but will also galvanize our community at a time when the need to come together (virtually or otherwise) is vital.” Also in Provincetown the Waters Edge Cinema temporarily closed as well due to COVID-19. I’m sure all the other regularly scheduled New England film events will follow & cancel or postpone their summer festivals with growing concerns over the global coronavirus pandemic. Everyone needs to take similar precautions to protect the health & safety of their patrons, guests & staff. Entertainment as we know it is going to have to reinvent itself transforming from live to online as social distancing becomes the new norm from this time on. Note: The Provincetown International Film Festival will be providing updates including information regarding reimbursements for passes already sold.
For More PIFF Info: provincetownfilm.org
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

LGBTQ Pride Cancelled Worldwide

With COVID-19 survival measures & the elimination large gatherings as social distancing becomes the new norm it’s taken a toll on our LGBTQ Pride celebrations being cancelled worldwide. InterPride the International Association of LGBTI Pride Organizers reported that over 100 Prides have been affected globally. InterPride has formed a new group to address all these issues at the international level. Linda DeMarco, Co-President, InterPride stated, “As we face an unprecedented global threat, our Pride movement will come together to support each other & create community at a time when we need it most.” Kristine Garina, President of European Pride Organizers Association concluded, “Today brings the devastating news that the number of Prides cancelling or postponing because of COVID19 will pass 100 & it’s very clear that this pandemic is going to have a huge impact on our movement. Right now we must all be focusing first on our own wellbeing & the welfare of those around us, but we are passionate about Pride & we will work together & do all we can, to help Pride organizers get through this. Every Pride organizer in the world has a story of someone whose life was changed by coming to a Pride, a story of someone who for the first time felt love & a sense of community. It’s heart-breaking that so many people will miss out on that this year, but we’re determined that Pride will continue & will change many more lives in the future.” As we adjust to the new behavioral necessities of this pandemic we can’t overlook the importance of moving forward towards full equality especially with a country like Poland creating 30 different LGBTQ ideology-free zones last August.
For More Info: interpride.org
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

LGBTQ Groups File Suit Against HHS

Lambda Legal & Democracy Forward filed a lawsuit Thursday March 19th representing three organizations Family Equality, True Colors United & SAGE against Trump’s Department of Health & Human Services to enforce anti-discrimination rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Puneet Cheema, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal stated, “We are suing the Trump Administration because of its cruel effort to make it easier for HHS grant recipients to discriminate against LGBTQ youth, families & older people, in ways that put their lives at risk. At any moment, but especially at a time of a global pandemic, it is callous to expose already vulnerable populations to discrimination & allow them to be denied basic, critical services. The federal government should be making sure everyone who receives HHS grant funding does not deny LGBTQ people access to critical, life-saving services like health care, housing & child welfare services, instead of inviting discrimination, as they do here.” In November 2019 the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced that it would stop enforcing anti-discrimination protections against federal grantees that deny services to, or otherwise discriminate against, individuals. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread rapidly throughout the U.S., LGBTQ individuals of all ages are left vulnerable by the Trump administration’s illegal action, which implicitly permits discrimination when providing critical services. This unlawful federal abandonment of the LGBTQ community is particularly dangerous now & could have catastrophic, even deadly consequences. The Trump administration’s unlawful decision invites service providers to use $500 billion in grant funds to discriminate. Hopefully filing this action will prevent a bad situation from becoming worse.
For More Info: lambdalegal.org
LISTEN: Sarah F. Pearlman Talks Must-Read Lesbian Novella
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

“Where There Are Mountains” (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Sarah F. Pearlman about “Where There Are Mountains” her new novella that’s a perfect escape while hunkering down during the current pandemic. The novella brings to life the early Neolithic life about seven thousand years ago. This was a time of great migrations as numerous tribes left the cold & hunger of their northern homeland to travel a path south as they struggled past tribes that lived near the mountain passes of Mount Olympus. The novella focuses on the Matrilineal tribes that worshiped a female divinity. These tribes were peaceful, wanting only a place where there was food & warmth but others on the path were warrior people. These tribes came to conquer & enslave bringing their male gods & creating the beginning of patriarchal conquests. “Where There Are Mountains” is narrated by three women. The first woman tells her adventures traveling the path south through the mountain passes of what would become Greece. The second is her daughter who is captured by a war tribe. The third is a woman from a female-centered tribe perhaps the precursors of Amazons living in woodlands near the mountain passes. “Where There Are Mountains” is a story of captivity, resilience & escape. It was a time of violence but also love. Love of a mother for her daughter. Love between women of different tribes. Sarah F. Pearlman is a teacher, writer, occasional poet & lesbian-feminist activist nationally recognized for her pioneering role in establishing a lesbian psychology. I talked to Pearlman about her inspiration for writing “Where There Are Mountains” & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. “Where There Are Mountains” is available on Amazon. (Artwork Sara Yager) LISTEN
For More Info: sarahpearlman.com
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Winter Party Festival COVID-19 Update

The National LGBTQ Task Force has issued the following statement that one of their guests who attended their Winter Party Festival that ran from March 4th to 10th in Miami Beach, Florida has tested positive for COVID-19. Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force stated, “On March 14th, 2020, I was informed that one of our Winter Party Festival (WPF) guests tested positive for COVID-19 in the week following our event. We are grateful to them for alerting us, particularly given that they were not experiencing symptoms during WPF and had traveled elsewhere, but wanted to make sure we were aware of this development. We know there are many places people could have been exposed before & after Winter Party as this virus has developed, but we wanted to make this information public as soon as possible. The health & safety of anyone who participates in any Task Force event is of great importance to us. Regarding WPF, we made the most informed decision at the time, following official guidance available at the time. We also took extensive precautions, including comprehensive signage with information from the CDC about practicing good hygiene, as well as providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout the Festival, including the Welcome Center, all entrances & at all events. Information & circumstances have changed rapidly since WPF. We continue to encourage all WPF guests to monitor their health, practice social distancing, wash hands with soap, use hand sanitizer & contact their doctor if they think they are exhibiting symptoms. If one tests positive for COVID-19, we urge them to contact those they were in direct contact with so all can take steps to monitor their health & speak with their doctors. We will continue to monitor the situation & update attendees & the public as needed. Like other organizations, our entire staff are working remotely & we have cancelled all events, trainings & gatherings for the foreseeable future."
For More Info: cdc.gov
LISTEN: Imani Rupert-Gordon Talks NCLR & LGBTQ Equality
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Closures That Will Dominate Our Lives

With the spreading of COVID-19 the new norm will include the closures of restaurants, bars & nightclubs including prohibiting all on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars & restaurants from March 17th to April 6th in Boston. Also in the Commonwealth all K-12 schools will be closed until at least Monday April 27th. Massachusetts has also banned all public or private gatherings of more than 25 people. So say good-bye to life as we know it as we embraced for the onslaught of the Coronavirus. Each day watching the local & network news with extreme trepidation hoping for the best & preparing for the worse. So our social distancing lifestyle for today will only include trips to the grocery stores, hoping for supplies to be restocked as we walk by empty aisles where paper goods, produce, & meats & poultries once were. Get ready to work only from home if your work has not ceased to exist due to COVID-19 & binge-watch taped entertainment since all live performances & sporting events have been canceled for at least a month. As I look for a soothsayer for advice my Daily Horoscope stated, “Getting down to business when it comes to money or personal health matters could be a major boon as the Moon makes supportive aspects to the planets in your chart that govern these areas. You might engage in a conversation at home related to your daily wellness routine or finances that leads to a fresh perspective on these topics. What you soon realize is that caring for yourself & for your resources means you will ultimately have more freedom & fewer limitations. Independence is paramount to you, so take advantage of the day's supportive cosmic weather to set yourself up for just that.”
Check Your Horoscope…
LISTEN: Imani Rupert-Gordon Talks NCLR & LGBTQ Equality
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Beware Of The Ides Of March 2020

Beginning the weekend hunkered down in Boston on Friday the 13th & ending with Sunday falling on The Ides of March, with the Coronavirus Beware of The Ides of March has a whole new meaning. The Ides of March is the 74th day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15th as a deadline for settling debts. It’s just been reported that in Italy slammed with 21,157 Coronavirus cases & 1,441 deaths Italy is canceling mortgage bills. As we comply with social distancing going on social media & reading passionate pleads from around the world to stay safe & healthy are becoming all too common. This one from an American in Paris we thought needed to be shared for those in the USA hoping for the best outcome & bracing for the worse who stated, “It’s Midnight in Paris & we are wondering if wine stores are considered groceries & will they remain open? It’s kinda funny. Also not at all, especially for all the producers & store workers. All public restaurants & bars are closing tomorrow. I am more at ease, in a way, as the parameters of life have closed for me. I’m also feeling trapped. I cried & cried & cried today, especially seeing friends in the USA post that they are sick. I lost my temper, which is rare. Gratefulness is an antidote to despair. I am grateful for all of you!” It’s been reported that NYC may also close their restaurants Monday so all we can suggest is call your loved ones, continue to wash your hands & keep up with the social distancing & hopefully we will survive this pandemic. Updates to Come...
LISTEN: Imani Rupert-Gordon Talks NCLR & LGBTQ Equality
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

The Dinah Postponed Due To COVID-19

With the onset of COVID-19 Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend will be postponed to September 16th to 20th in Palm Springs, California. Mariah Hanson, The Dinah founder & producer stated, “Our primary wish is that everyone is taking care of themselves, staying calm & taking the precautions recommended to remain healthy. I have proactively reached out to the County Department of health to ensure what is best for my incredible attendees. The Riverside County Public Health Department has officially canceled The Dinah, effective immediately. We wholeheartedly agree with their decision. It’s unfortunate but we will be rescheduling our dates. We all need to work together to contain this virus & The Dinah will do its part. Your health, that of my staff, artists & vendors & the residents of Coachella Valley are first & foremost. We’ve rescheduled our 30th Anniversary to late summer early fall & are currently updating our site with a page dedicated to all the questions you may have about dates, hotel room transfers, ticket transfers, weather expectations & more. Please be patient as we iron out the details. We should have everything updated in the next few days. Thank you for your continued support of The Dinah. We look forward to celebrating 30 years with you this Summer. The new dates are September 16-20th! Perfect weather! Last week of summer! The 30th Celebration of The Dinah is going to be amazing! I will plan an even better Dinah! I promise!” OUTTAKE MEDIA is an official VIP Media Sponsor of The Dinah & will be providing info over the next few months. We hope everyone takes the precautions recommended to remain healthy & safe. Updates to come.
For More Info: thedinah.com
LISTEN: Imani Rupert-Gordon Talks NCLR & LGBTQ Equality
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Our LGBTQ Community & COVID-19

Since the Trump administration is still not completely addressing COVID-19 as it continues to spread, over 100 national & local organizations have signed a letter to health & media outlets about how COVID-19 poses an increased risk our LGBTQ population providing specific steps to minimize any disparity. Dr. Scout, Deputy Director for the National LGBT Cancer Network stated, “As the media & health communities are pushed into overdrive about COVID-19, we need to make sure the most vulnerable among us are not forgotten. Our smoking rates alone make us extremely vulnerable & our access to care barriers only make a bad situation worse. This letter outlines simple steps to ensure no population is further stigmatized by a virus.” Dr. Scott Nass GLMA President added, “As an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of LGBTQ communities, we urge LGBTQ individuals to practice measures recommended by public health experts, such as frequent handwashing, to prevent the spread of this virus. At the same time, like our colleagues who joined the open letter, we call on public health officials to ensure the LGBTQ community is considered & included in the public health response to COVID-19 based on potential risk factors that exist in our community.” The letter was initiated by a coalition of six organizations: the National LGBT Cancer Network; GLMA Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality; Whitman-Walker Health; SAGE; New York Transgender Advocacy Group; & National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance. As the spread of COVID-19 increases many LGBTQ+ people are understandably concerned about how this virus may affect us & our communities since LGBTQ+ communities are among those who are particularly vulnerable to the negative health effects of this virus.
For More Info & Read Letter…
LISTEN: Imani Rupert-Gordon Talks NCLR & LGBTQ Equality
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Point Expands Community College Fund

The Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit announced the expansion of its community college scholarship program. Thanks to a new multi-year grant, Point will now offer the next generation of LGBTQ leaders two-years of financial support at community colleges. Applications are now open for the program which also includes targeted one-on-one coaching & leadership development. Jorge Valencia Point Foundation Executive Director & CEO stated, “Whether it is a lack of funds, obligations to employment, or the care of a family member, we know of many situations that keep young LGBTQ students from reaching their academic goals. When you include the increased adversity & isolation that often accompany being a member of the LGBTQ community, two-year financial support becomes a central component to ensuring all students can thrive. Since our 2016 launch, we learned that a longer financial commitment was a central pillar changing the outcome for LGBTQ students entering community college. Thanks to a generous gift, we are now able to expand our program & are confident that our new two-year community college program will empower & fuel the future for many talented LGBTQ students.” Andrew Moe, the Director of Admissions at Swarthmore College & a former recipient of a Point Foundation scholarship himself concluded, “Point Foundation’s commitment to high-achieving LGBTQ+ community college students is unmatched. I am thankful for the generous donation that has enabled Point to step up and invest in community college students & hope more will follow their lead.”
For More Info: pointfoundation.org
LISTEN: Imani Rupert-Gordon Talks NCLR & LGBTQ Equality
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

New NCLR Leader Speaks OUT (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Imani Rupert-Gordon the new Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) about her aspirations leading this important LGBTQ organization which is known for tackling the most pressing issues of race, gender & economic inequality facing our LGBTQ community. Founded in 1977 NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil & human rights for LGBTQ people & their families through litigation, legislation, policy & public education. NCLR is a non-profit public interest law firm that litigates precedent-setting cases at the trial & appellate court levels; advocates for equitable public policies affecting our LGBTQ community; provides free legal assistance to LGBTQ people & their legal advocates & conducts community education on LGBTQ issues. NCLR serves more than 5,000 LGBTQ people & their families throughout the United States each year including LGBTQ parents, seniors, immigrants, athletes & youth. Currently NCLR is suing the State of South Carolina over an anti-LGBTQ Curriculum law around sex education. They are also very proud that their Born Perfect campaign to end Conversion Therapy which had a huge victory in Virginia last week becoming the first Southern state to do so. Earlier this month along with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP & Meyer Stephenson, NCLR won a landmark medical care lawsuit on behalf of a transgender employee. Previously Imani served as the Executive Director of Affinity Community Services, the nation’s oldest social justice organization serving the needs of Black LGBTQ people with a particular focus on Black women. I talked to Imani about what she hopes to accomplish as the new Executive Director of NCLR & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN

 
For More Info: nclrights.org
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Arizona Bill Will Harm Transgender Kids

A dangerous bill is moving through the Arizona legislature that will bring harm to transgender student athletes by barring them from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. The bill has already passed through the Arizona House of Representatives & is now headed to the Senate even though over 200 local & national businesses have signed onto a letter organized by Arizona-based organization ONE Community in opposition to HB2706. Those opposed include American Airlines, the Arizona Diamondbacks, GoDaddy, PayPal, Salesforce, Uber & more. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, “Republican state representative Nancy Barto’s so-called “Save Women’s Sports Act” is not about helping girls or women; it is about harming young transgender students in Arizona in cruel & dangerous ways that will also affect cisgender students. As activists & politicians who oppose the bill have argued, this bill is part of a systematic attack on the protections of transgender people & continues to promote the false narrative that transgender youth are somehow threats in their communities, including in sports. Trans students around the country have shown that is a blatant lie.” Unfortunately the Arizona Bill is one of many anti-trans bills introduced in State legislatures across the U.S. this year with many targeting trans inclusion in sports. As of last week there have been at least 21 state bills introduced with the goal of excluding transgender youth from athletics in Alabama, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee & more. ONE Community is a coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations & individuals who are moving diversity, inclusion & equality forward for all Arizonans.
For More Info: onecommunity.co
LISTEN: Mariah Hanson Talks The Dinah Palm Springs Turning 30
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

International Women's Day 2020

As we celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th we acknowledge it’s been a disappointing week for American women with Senator Elizabeth Warren discontinuing her bid for the presidency. Now we’re back to a race between three elderly white men. As we head towards another milestone of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment when women were granted the right to vote in America on August 18th 1920 we reflect on how far we’ve come & yet how much further we need to go for national & global gender equality. Gloria Steinem stated, "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." This year the theme for International Women's Day is Each For Equal. An equal world is an enabled world & individually we're all responsible for our own thoughts & actions - all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations & celebrate women's achievements. Collectively each one of us can help create a gender equal world. So let's all be #EachforEqual because equality is not a women's issue it's a business issue & gender equality is essential for economies & communities to thrive. The race is on for the gender equal boardroom, a gender equal government, gender equal media coverage, gender equal workplaces, gender equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health & wealth so let's make it happen. Women are succeeding & moving forward but we need to up our game & do whatever it takes once & for all to make #EachforEqual a reality.
For More Info: internationalwomensday.com
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

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