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GLAAD Media Awards To Air On Logo

GLAAD hosted a virtual ceremony to announce the award recipients of their 31st Annual Media Awards that will air on Logo on Monday August 3rd at 8P EST. The online event was hosted by comedians Fortune Feimster & Gina Yashere & featured special performances from Chloe x Halle, Shea Diamond & Ben Platt. Shea Diamond performed “I Am America” introduced by Demi Lovato who stated, “I specifically want to remind trans youth that you matter. I know things are crazy hard right now & you may not have your usual support system around you...but don’t let anyone, especially the Trump administration, fool you into thinking you are anything less than perfect & meant to be. Be proud of who you are, keep your voices loud & strong & know that we’re out here fighting for you.” The online ceremony featured appearances by Jennifer Garner, August Getty, Gigi Gorgeous Getty & Nats Getty, Dan Levy, Rachel Maddow, Ryan O’Connell, Dolly Parton, Peppermint, the cast & producers of Pose, Geena Rocero, Angelica Ross, Lilly Singh, Benito Skinner, Brian Michael Smith, Darryl Stephens, Lena Waithe, Olivia Wilde, Raquel Willis & more. Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade presented the award for Outstanding Drama Series to the cast of Pose stating, “We stand as allies with the LGBTQ+ community as proud parents of a transgender child. Our daughter Zaya is leading us in our journey & we’re doing all we can to give every one of our kids the ability to live their truth. I didn’t always understand how to do that – but I thank Zaya for teaching me & GLAAD for elevating the images & messages that accelerate acceptance in every family.”
For More Info: glaad.org
LISTEN: Actor Phillip Keene Talks Project Wingman & More
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Defunding The Transgender Military Ban

The United States House of Representatives approved the Rule for consideration of the FY21 Defense Appropriations Act which defines which amendments the House will consider as they fund the Department of Defense operations in the next fiscal year. Among the amendments approved for debate in the Rule is amendment #66 offered by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) that would prevent DoD from using any funds to implement the transgender military ban. The amendment will be considered by the full House of Representatives later this week. Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center stated, “The Department of Defense should not be spending taxpayer money on a politically motivated policy that keeps qualified people out of the military, particularly when the military continues to face enlistment shortfalls. The House’s immediate passage of Rep. Speier’s amendment would send the fiscally responsible message that we should be spending money on protecting Americans, not on baseless policies enacted to score political points.” Last week on the third anniversary of Trump’s transphobic tweets announcing that transgender troops would be banned from the military the Palm Center released a policy memo explaining that the ban can be easily reversed in under thirty days. The memo was authored by retired Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, the former Surgeon General equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard & it provides a regulatory roadmap of the precise steps needed to immediately restore transgender military service. The Palm Center is an independent non-partisan research institute that conducts scholarly analysis of U.S. military personnel policy with an emphasis on LGBTQ populations.
For More Info: palmcenter.org
LISTEN: Actor Phillip Keene Talks Project Wingman & More

MacKenzie Scott Major LGBTQ Gifts

MacKenzie Scott the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that she has given $1.67 billion to charities in accordance to a pledge she made last year to give away the majority of her wealth during her lifetime. This included 46 million dollars to our LGBTQ community. Scott stated, “What fills me with hope is the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer. Opportunities that flowed from the mere chance of skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or zip code may have yielded resources that can be powerful levers for change. People troubled by recent events can make new connections between privileges they’ve enjoyed & benefits they’ve taken for granted. From there, many will choose to share some of what they have with people whose equal participation is essential to the construction of a better world.” Some of the LGBTQ orgs that received gifts were Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, GLSEN, Groundswell Fund, Lambda Legal, Leadership Conference Education Fund, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Point Foundation, SAGE, Transgender Law Center & PFLAG National. Brian Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “Between the pandemic & years of being hit hard by dangerous & damaging anti-LGBTQ+ policies at the local, state & federal level, families & our LGBTQ+ loved ones have depended on PFLAG, perhaps more than ever. PFLAG National is grateful to MacKenzie Scott for her generosity, which will help strengthen our infrastructure, grow our staff & build new programs that will bring new allies along to the fight for LGBTQ+ affirmation & equality.”
For A Complete $$ List…
LISTEN: Actor Phillip Keene Talks Project Wingman & More

Amazon Prime LGBTQ Comedy Series

If you need some comic relief during these challenging times check out “Smothered” the new comedy series on Amazon Prime that tells the story of Randy (Mitch Hara) & Ralph (Jason Stuart) who also wrote & produced the series about a gay couple navigating their way through couples therapy. “Smothered” is part of Amazon Prime’s strategy to amplify the comedy side of LGBTQ voices & stories for a global audience. Jason Stuart (The Birth of a Nation) & Mitch Hara (Mutant Olive) harness their unique comedic talents & baggage to express their joint creativity & (separate) couples experience. The dark comedy shines a glaring light on a longtime gay couple who can’t stand each other but can’t afford to get divorced. Jason Stuart stated, “We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Amazon as we share our latest project, extending ourselves outside of the gay community & making all kinds of people laugh together. Mitch Hara added, “Smothered” is also a celebration of diversity. One that includes Little People, Transsexuals, Asians, Blacks, Whites, Jews, Closet Cases & a fluid dog. You’re welcome!” Rom-com fans will have a demented field day with season one featuring seven, irreverent short episodes as the series unfolds through their uninhibited & often shocking therapy sessions, viewers discover how the couple of 20 years outrageously nit-pick & push each other’s buttons. “Smothered” is directed by Terri Hanauer with guest appearances by Dalila Ali Rajah (Criminal Minds), Erik Aude' (American Sniper), Clent Bowers (Little Fockers), Erika Ervin (American Horror Story), Helen Hong (Silicon Valley), Scott Krinsky (Chuck), Pancho Moler (Ray Donovan) 7 Carole Ita White (Laverne & Shirley).
For More Info…
LISTEN: Actor Phillip Keene Talks Project Wingman & More

Israel Bans LGBTQ Conversion Therapy

The Knesset, the national legislature of Israel has approved a bill banning psychologists from practicing conversion therapy in Israel by a vote of 42 to 36. The legislation will take away the license of psychologists who uses conversion therapy, fine them & send them to jail for repeat offenses. Alternate Prime Minister & Blue & White leader Benny Gantz stated, “Conversion therapy was born in sin & its place is outside of the law & the public norm. We will make sure that everyone, from every background & sexual orientation, in Israel will have free choice & security in their identity." Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz added, “Amazing news for the Israeli public & the LGBTQ+ community at whole. Today a historic change is beginning in Israel. I thank the MKs who voted in support of the freedom & equality in order to stop the horror of 'conversion therapy' & for everyone who acted, initiated, wrote, shared & fought for the life of the LGBTQ+ community. You helped save lives today.” The coalition of religious Jewish LGBTQ+ organizations, including Shoval, Havruta & Bat Kol welcomed the approval of the bill, saying "this is an exciting & significant day in which the injustice of years has been corrected & justice has been done to the victims. The Knesset chose to hear their cry & to protect additional youth from bodily & mental harm." Last month I talked with Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) about his work with “Born Perfect” to end conversion therapy in the USA in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN
For Info: bornperfect.org
LISTEN: Actor Phillip Keene Talks Project Wingman & More

Elena Undone 10th Anniversary (VIDEO)

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Nicole Conn’s groundbreaking film “Elena Undone” it’s now available for your viewing pleasure on Wolfe On Demand, Prime Video, Apple TV, Microsoft & on Hulu August 1st. The film stars Necar Zadegan (CBS NCIS: New Orleans), Thunderbird Dinwiddie (The Aerialist, AMC’s "The Walking Dead"), Mary Jane Wells ("Crazy Bitches" "A Perfect Ending"), Sam Harris & Gary Weeks (Instant Family). The film is about Elena, played by Necar Zadegan as the wife of a homophobic preaching pastor, who embarks on an affair with a female writer Peyton played by Traci Dinwiddie. As their relationship evolves into love Elena confronts the choice of leaving her husband & fracturing her family or ending it with Peyton & continuing to live a lie. The film was written & directed by Nicole Conn ("More Beautiful For Having Been Broken"), produced by Jane Clark ("Crazy Bitches") with executive producer Marina Rice Bader ("Anatomy of a Love Seen"). Jane Clark stated, “The Elena Undone team led by director Nicole Conn is thrilled to be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of our film. So much has changed since 2010 but the film itself is timeless. If you've never seen it before, we invite you to discover the film that fans describe as ‘impactful,’ ‘life-changing,’ ‘moving,’ ‘inspirational’ & ‘beautiful.’ And if you've watched it before, celebrate with us by watching it again.” One of the must-see highlights of “Elena Undone” is that it contains the longest Hollywood kiss beating Hitchcock's “Notorious” with a record 3 minutes & 24 seconds. WATCH TRAILER
For More Info: elenaundone10.com
LISTEN: Filmmaker Nicole Conn Talks New Stunning Film

Project Wingman USA Initiative (AUDIO)

This week I talked with philanthropist & actor Phillip Keene best known as 'Buzz Watson' the tech savvy member of LAPD's exclusive squad on TNT's hit drama franchise "The Closer" & spin-off "Major Crimes" about his work with Project Wingman USA a COVID-19 charitable initiative mobilizing volunteers from the travel industry to support frontline health care heroes with pop-up lounges in hospitals. First launched with great success in the UK Project Wingman creates an area in hospitals where staff can come in before, during or after shifts to decompress, switch off & be looked after by uniformed aircrew for the duration of their break. Project Wingman crew volunteers provide snacks & refreshments as well as much needed sympathetic support having a shared experience of working in a highly disciplined, regulated & stressful environment. The lounges are located in a secluded, non-patient facing environment & the hospitals provide the volunteers with personal protective equipment such as facemasks & gloves. Keene a licensed pilot & once Pan Am flight attendant jumped on board when approached about the crucial need for Project Wingman programs & volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic to help support the hospital frontline workers including doctors, nurses & staff working to save coronavirus patients. I talked to Phillip about his philanthropic work, LGBTQ representation in Hollywood & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. Keene lives in California with long-time husband of 27 years James Duff creator of TNT's "Major Crimes” & "The Closer" where they are currently developing a new comedy series. LISTEN 
For More Info: projectwingmanusa.com

Lehigh Valley Virtual Pride Festival

The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania has announced details for the 2020 Virtual Lehigh Valley Pride Festival presented by Gilead Sciences, Inc. The virtual pride festival will take place on August 16th from 2P to 5P & will feature virtual youth & teen programs, a virtual faith service, a virtual-reality vendor fair, a virtual pride guide & a televised “Pridestream” event on RCN TV, Facebook Live & YouTube Live. Ariel Torres, Pride Programs Manager at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center stated, “While COVID-19 may have cancelled our in-person pride experience it did not cancel pride -- Lehigh Valley Pride 2020 will be fun, engaging & safe. Our community can participate from home & can enjoy the national & local talent that has come together to make this year’s pride festival incredible.” The Pridestream star-studded ensemble will include Drag Race Judges Carson Kressley & Michelle Visage, drag superstars Jujubee, Alexis Mateo, Kahanna Montrese, Coco Montrese & Ariel Versace, pop rock star Steve Grand, folk music legend Holly Near & country musician Brandon Stansell, comedian Suzanne Westenhoeffer, actors Theo Germaine (The Politician) & Peter Paige (Queer as Folk), professional athletes Ashley Vox (pro-wrestler), Kurtis Gabriel (pro-hockey player) & more. Adrian Shanker, Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center concluded, "When faced with the challenging but necessary decision to transition Lehigh Valley Pride to a virtual experience, we knew it was important to create an exciting lineup, we our hope community will join us to turn out for pride & to celebrate from home." Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center provides arts, health, youth & pride programs to strengthen & support the LGBT community across the Greater Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.
For More Info: bradburysullivancenter.org
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

Faith Leaders Human Rights Concerns

More than 30 faith leaders have signed a statement expressing serious concerns about a draft report on human rights issued by the U.S. State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh & Buddhist religious leaders as well as former State Department officials have warned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s effort to elevate religious freedom & property rights above other human rights will weaken religious freedom itself & undermine the protections for the universal values of human dignity. Faith Leaders on the U.S. State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights stated, “We believe strongly that every person is entitled to enjoy the right to freedom of conscience & belief. We also believe that freedom of religion must never be used as a pretext to diminish other rights we hold dear, nor to justify infringing upon those other universal human rights. Freedom of religion is equally & inextricably linked with all the other interconnected rights that enable humans to live in dignity. Without the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, freedom from violence & freedom from discrimination in access to basic needs, education, employment, or health & the right to participate in all social practices, freedom of religion would be hollow. Human rights are mutually reinforcing; none is subordinate to another, nor should anyone be denied these rights because of who they are or whom they love…We know from Secretary Pompeo’s repeated comments, including at Thursday’s public presentation of the report, that he will seek to use the Commission’s report to justify marginalizing certain rights, thus diminishing human rights advocacy & stifling demands for accountability for those whose rights have been violated.”
Read Full Statement…
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

Virtual Creating Change Conference

With the ongoing public health crisis & current safety regulations The National LGBTQ Task Force has announced that the 33rd Creating Change Conference will be a completely virtual event from January 27th to January 31st 2021. Andy Garcia, Director of Creating Change stated, “We are disappointed we will be unable to gather in person, one of the most powerful elements of Creating Change, but the Task Force is committed to planning a virtual experience that is diverse, accessible & addresses the many issues facing LGBTQ+ communities. We are reaching out to the Creating Change family & convening a virtual host committee. We will do our best to provide an experience that closely resembles what we’ve all come to expect from Creating Change. There are, of course, some things we won't be able to replicate online, but we will also be able to include experiences & activities we’ve never been able to before. A virtual Creating Change Conference also means we will be accessible to many more participants, including many who may have wanted to join us in person but have been unable to for various reasons.” The current vision for the Creating Change Conference is an online pre-event in the fall followed by a multi-day online experience in January 2021. The goal of the Task Force staff & partner organizations is to create an exceptionally engaging, accessible & relevant conference experience that promotes the values of the Task Force, as well as the work of their staff & partner organizations across the movement. Also tentatively planned is a Queering Racial Justice Institute on October 10th.
For More Info: creatingchange.org
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

LGBTQ Leaders Mourn Rep. John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) was an icon of the civil rights movement who served Georgia’s 5th District since 1986 & was often referred to as the “conscience” of the United States Congress. Lewis was one of the “Big Six” group leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington taking a leading role in the fight to end of segregation. Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director at The National Center for Lesbian Rights stated, “They called him the “conscience of the Congress” but he was the conscience of our movements & our people. The path toward justice is long & we’re this far because giants like him led us here. We are his legacy. Rest well, Congressman. We’ll take it from here.” Brandon J Wolf, Pulse Nightclub Survivor & LGBTQ Activist added, “Our country will forever be indebted to you for your courage. Your resilience. Your fight & I will forever be grateful to have gleaned just a bit of your wisdom.‬ Rest in power, my friend. May we make good trouble in your honor.” Cathy Renna Target Cue & The Task Force Director Communications added, “Heartbreaking. We have lost a giant of the civil rights movement, an American icon & hero. John Lewis was always an inspiration & a person whose words, deeds & philosophy will forever inspire us. May we all commit to continuing to make good trouble in his memory & name.” Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National concluded, “There is a reason PFLAG National honored Congressman Lewis as the first recipient of our Champion of Justice Award because truly, justice had no greater champion...Rest in power Congressman Lewis, on behalf of PFLAG families across the country, who are forever indebted to you.”
Portrait By Catherine A. Moore.
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

LGBTQ Representation In Studio Films

GLAAD has released its eight annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) that maps the quantity, quality & diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by eight of the largest motion picture studios & their subsidiaries during the 2019 calendar year. They found that of the 118 releases from major studios in 2019, 22 (18.6%) included characters that were LGBTQ. This is a slight increase from the previous year’s report (18.2%, 20 out of 110 films) & the highest percentage of inclusive films found in the eight-year history of the report. Megan Townsend, GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis stated, “Telling meaningful LGBTQ stories is not just the right thing to do, it’s also just smart business. LGBTQ people are a significant audience who are supporting LGBTQ-inclusive films with our dollars & digital attention. Nielsen found LGBTQ audiences are more likely to see a new theatrical release more than once compared to straight audiences & continue to stay engaged consumers, with higher levels of purchasing a digital copy, subscription service, & spreading the word online. Studios should recognize the power of LGBTQ audiences & the desire for stories that reflect our lives, by delivering & unambiguously marketing films & franchises that include nuanced & authentic LGBTQ characters.” However GLAAD recorded zero transgender characters in the 118 major studio films released in 2019 a finding consistent with the previous two years. Meanwhile in television during the same time period we’ve seen the premiere of FX’s history making “Pose”, on The CW’s Supergirl the appearance of the first transgender superhero & transgender men stepping into series regular roles on FOX’s 9-1-1: Lone Star & Showtime’s The L Word & Work in Progress.
Read Full Report…
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

New Queer Eye Collection At Walmart

First Walmart announced that as of next week they will require all customers at its US stores to wear masks becoming the largest retailer to mandate facial coverings as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. To make matters even better for our LGBTQ community & allies Walmart has added a new Queer Eye Fab & Stylish collection of furniture in partnership with the hit Netflix reality makeover series. Queer Eye Co-Hosts stated, “Our goal is always to help people be the best version of themselves. The Queer Eye Collection brings that same notion home, with pieces that speak to who you are & how you feel. With pieces so stylish & versatile, you can totally own your space.” The launch of this new collection comes on the heels of the release of the Queer Eye’s 5th season that went live on Netflix June 5th. Favorites pieces from the new Walmart collection include Leopold Metal Bed, Brie Accent Chair, Copley Writing Desk & Coltin Upholstered Bar Stool. The “Queer Eye” reboot of the early 2000s Bravo series of the same name focuses on five co-hosts, Antoni Porowski the food & wine expert, Tan France the fashion expert, Karamo Brown the culture expert, Bobby Berk the design expert & Jonathan Van Ness the grooming expert who all travel to different cities each season to meet & makeover people’s homes, personal style & life. I have to admit that I have been shopping at Walmart throughout the entire pandemic here in Massachusetts & have found it to be one of the safest & friendly environments to shop at during these difficult times. They also carry an efficient amount of face masks & other items needed to keep you safe & healthy.
For More Info: walmart.com

Drag Spectacular Virtual Benefit Event

Elvis Duran will be hosting "Elvis Duran’s Drag Spectacular" Tuesday July 21st at 7P EST to support our friends in the Drag & LGBTQ community & partnering with two fabulous orgs “Born This Way” & “The Ali Forney Center”. The YouTube show will feature Elvis & his celebrity guest judges as they offer commentary on the best drag performances submitted by listeners around the country in honor of Pride 2020. Confirmed celebrities are Cynthia Germanotta, Lady Gaga’s mother & BTW Foundation founder, Idina Menzel, 'Drag Race' Judge Michelle Visage & Tituss Burgess. Elvis Duran stated, “Look at this panel of judges! The foundation is set for this fun, festive event to celebrate our LGBTQ+ family Pride. The drag community has always been there to keep us entertained & amazed. Their stage may be currently “on pause” but we can still turn on the lights & have a show. Wig snatching time!” Cynthia Germanotta added, “I am so grateful for Elvis + the morning show’s generosity in not only inviting me to participate as a judge but also benefitting Born This Way Foundation & our dear partners Ali Forney Center through this event. It is so important that even though we’re physically apart, we’re still able to come together virtually to celebrate Pride & our commitment to building a kinder, braver world where everyone can be their true self. I can’t wait to enjoy all the performances.” The best 20 performances will be included in the hour-long streaming event which is scheduled to air live on the Elvis Duran YouTube channel. The judges will then narrow it down to their top three performances & announce a Grand Prize winner who will walk away with $10,000. The event is produced by Steven Levine, President of marketing & artist relations for the Elvis Duran Group.
For More Info: elvisduran.iheart.com
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

Hit Play “Electricity” Will Stream Live

“Electricity” the critically acclaimed production & longest running play in Palm Springs starring playwright & actor Terry Ray & Off-Broadway veteran Mel England will broadcast three virtual performances on Thursday July 16th, 23rd & 30th at 9P EST. The award-winning LGBTQ play chronicles the journey of two gay men from Stonewall to today. Presented by Magical Iguana Productions & Kampfire Films “Electricity” is directed by Steve Rosenbaum & produced for the stage by Michael Darner, Katie Rosin & Tony award-winner Sue Vaccaro. Terry Ray stated, “My play "Electricity" is the four decade story of two gay men’s journey from the shame of the closet to loving themselves & the cry for equality. It’s funny, romantic & powerful & a journey that nearly every gay man & woman has lived through. Performing the play has also been an amazing four year journey playing across the country to rave reviews & at the same becoming the longest running play in Palm Springs. We were Off-Broadway bound when COVID-19 brought all theater to a screeching halt. But my co-star Mel England & I have found a way to bring “Electricity” back. We have been tested for COVID & are living together so that they can do three live stream performances starting July 16th. So now everyone everywhere can experience this story & feel the electricity with us!” “Electricity” will broadcast from the studio at Oscar’s Downtown Palm Springs with an empty house directly to live streamed audiences. Tickets are $12 & a portion of all ticket sales for the July 16th performance will benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
For More Info & Tix: electricitytheplay.com
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

Wicked Queer Film Festival Goes Virtual

Boston’s 36th annual Wicked Queer film festival that had been scheduled to open in early April but was postponed due to COVID-19 has been recreated into a virtual event on Xerb TV with over 30 films & will run from Friday July 24th to Sunday August 2nd. Shawn Cotter, Wicked Queer Executive Director stated, “As you know we had to postpone our 36th Boston LGBTQ+ Film Festival due to COVID-19 to ensure the health & safety of our community, staff & filmmakers. It was a hard decision for our team after working for 9 months to create a diverse & powerful program for 2020. Since then, the Wicked Queer team has been discussing & researching how we could continue to bring you the best in queer cinema while maintaining the safety of our community. It does not seem likely that we can host an in-person festival any time soon, so we have decided to hold this year's festival online so that these queer stories can be shared. We are excited to announce that Wicked Queer's 36th Annual Boston LGBTQ+ Film Festival will be back between July 24th - August 2nd 2020 virtually through an online platform XERB.TV!” Wicked Queer, formerly "the Boston LGBT Film Festival was founded in 1984 by film programmer George Mansour. To participate in this year’s festival you can register to watch individual films for $10 or a variety of packages starting at $30 & because this is a unique viewing experience tickets will be available to purchase up until 3 hours before the program end times.
For More Info & Tix: wickedqueer.org
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

GLAAD 31st Media Awards Virtual Event

The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards virtual event will take place on Thursday July 30th in place of the original ceremonies planned for earlier this year. The event will stream on GLAAD’s Facebook & YouTube on July 30th at 8P EST & will air on Logo TV on August 3rd at 8P EST. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD President & CEO stated, “Among this year’s nominees are a wide range of stories & narratives about LGBTQ people of different races, ethnicities, genders, religions & other identities that demonstrate the power of inclusion & diversity in fostering positive cultural change. As this year’s Media Awards go virtual, we hope to send a powerful message to LGBTQ people that in the midst of this culturally & politically divisive time, our visibility & voices have never been more important.” Comedians Fortune Feimster & Gina Yashere will host the virtual event that will feature a special performance from Grammy-nominated duo Chloe x Halle. Special guests will include Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad, Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets), Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart), WWE superstar Sonya Deville, Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), Jonica T. Gibbs (Twenties), Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Lil Nas X, Rachel Maddow, Ryan O’Connell (Special), Dolly Parton, Peppermint (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Head Over Heels), the cast & producers of Pose, trans model & advocate Geena Rocero, Angelica Ross, comedian Benito Skinner, Brian Michael Smith (9-1-1: Lone Star, The L Word: Generation Q), Dwyane Wade & Gabrielle Union, Lena Waithe (Master of None, Queen & Slim, Twenties), Olivia Wilde (Booksmart, House) & Raquel Willis (Writer, Activist, Director of Communications - Ms. Foundation).
For More Info: glaad.org
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

Night of A Thousand Judys Virtual Event

The 8th annual “Night of A Thousand Judys” Pride concert to benefit The Ali Forney Center will be presented as a streaming online event on Tuesday July 14th at 8P. Known as a rambunctious, uproarious, unpredictable all-star concert “Night of a Thousand Judys” will honor the iconic Judy Garland with tributes & songs from her legendary career as movie star, recording artist & stage performer. The virtual event is written & hosted by Justin Sayre. Joining the star-studded roster will be Ann Hampton Callaway (platinum-selling singer/songwriter), L Morgan Lee (A Strange Loop) & Billy Stritch (Grammy Award-winning songwriter & vocalist). Ann Hampton Callaway stated, “Judy Garland was my first favorite singer after watching her in the Wizard of Oz as a little girl. Her talent was beyond compare- she sang with all her being & her being was mighty. That’s why I practice Judy-ism!” Previously announced performers include Lena Hall (Tony winner for Hedwig), Natalie Douglas (12x MAC Winner), Eva Noblezada (Hadestown), Nathan Lee Graham (Zoolander, “LA to Vegas”), Adam Pascal (Rent), Beth Malone (Fun Home), Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), George Salazar (Be More Chill), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), T. Oliver Reid (Hadestown), Jessica Vosk (Wicked), Spencer Day (#1 Billboard artist) & Bright Light Bright Light (Elton John, Cher). The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest agency dedicated to helping LGBTQ homeless youth. “Night of a Thousand Judys” is produced by Dan Fortune & Adam J. Rosen with Tracy Stark as music director. The Ali Forney Center goal is to provide LGBTQ homeless youths with the support & services they need to escape the streets & begin to live healthy & independent lives.
For More Info…
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

LGBTQ Health & Advocacy Orgs Sue HHS

Fenway Health in Boston has joined a coalition of health care providers, LGBTQ advocacy groups & patients as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed challenging the legality of a new rule published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services that eliminates & undermines the protections against discrimination in healthcare, in particular on the basis of sex that are currently in place in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Ellen LaPointe Fenway Health CEO stated, “It is unconscionable that the Trump Administration would purposefully make it harder for LGBTQIA+ people to access essential health care & health insurance. That they are doing so in the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic that has already claimed the lives of more than 130,000 U.S. residents, put 14 million people out of work & exacerbated significant racial & ethnic disparities in access to healthcare & health outcomes only serves to magnify the heartlessness of this unlawful action.” The lawsuit, BAGLY v. HHS, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Other plaintiffs are The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth (BAGLY), Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Campaign for Southern Equality, Equality California, The Transgender Emergency Fund & Darren Lazor, 35, a transgender man who experienced numerous instances of discrimination in healthcare settings based on his gender identity from 2012 through 2017. The Trump Administration has additionally removed 10 other sexual orientation & gender identity nondiscrimination provisions from federal regulations governing health care, health insurance & elder services that will harm LGBTQ people who have benefitted from them.
For More Info: fenwayhealth.org
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

Discrimination Is A Religious Freedom

The Supreme Court has handed down two bombshell decisions. First, the Supreme Court ruled that religious schools can fire teachers for discriminatory reasons after two separate Catholic schools fired a teacher who was diagnosed with breast cancer & another when she turned 64. This ruling could lead to firing LGBTQ people or anyone they don’t like or for who they are or whom they love. The other ruling sided with the Trump-Pence Administration & allows employers to deny women birth control & reproductive health coverage under the Affordable Care Act simply because of their own personal religious beliefs. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “Today, the Supreme Court granted wide berth to religious organizations to freely discriminate against employees without fear of violating the law. PFLAG members are deeply concerned about the repercussions of these rulings, which harm all people, including LGBTQ+ employees, by stripping away the basic, common-sense protections that ensure people will be judged on their merits, not discriminated against for who they are. Under today’s rulings, employees of religious institutions who have any kind of ministerial role are not protected by federal employment law & government agencies & contractors can discriminate in the name of religious freedom to fire or to prevent employees from accessing health care guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. Hundreds of thousands of teachers, musicians, artists & staff at religious schools & institutions today lost their 14th Amendment rights to equal protection under the law. All discrimination is wrong, as the Supreme Court's recent Title VII ruling demonstrates & PFLAG will continue to fight to end discrimination in all its forms.”
For More Info: pflag.org
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

Gabon Decriminalizes Gays & Lesbians

Gabon the country along the Atlantic coast of Central Africa has voted to decriminalize gay & lesbian relations with a vote of 59 in favor, 17 against & 4 abstentions. Unlike numerous countries across the African continent Gabon did not have a colonial-era ban on gay & lesbian relations but had introduced a ban in 2019 criminalizing same-gender relations between both men & women. This ban has now been reversed. The reversal of the ban has been met with controversy & a strong backlash from religious leaders & others leading to mounting hate speech & driving LGBTQ activists & people into hiding for fear of retaliation. Jessica Stern Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “We commend both Houses of Parliament of Gabon on repealing a ban on same-sex relations. It is shocking that over a third of the world's countries continue to criminalize same-sex love, in stark contrast to basic human dignity & international human rights standards. The decision in Gabon decreases the total number of countries criminalizing same-sex relations by one. This is not only an affirmation of the right of LGBTIQ people in Gabon to love whom they choose, but also an inspiration to activists in countries in which these bans still exist or are being considered. We hope to see authorities in Gabon take steps to reduce hate speech & promote acceptance of its LGBTIQ citizens.” OutRight Action International works at a global, regional & national level to eradicate the persecution, inequality & violence LGBTQ people face around the world. OutRight has recognized consultative status at the United Nations.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

Unique Woman’s Coalition Virtual Event

The Unique Woman’s Coalition has announced it will be holding a fabulous virtual fundraiser event "Unique Woman’s Coalition Community Celebration" on Saturday July 11th at 3P PT / 6P ET. The fundraiser will be hosted by Drag Race alumna Gia Gunn & founder of Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC) Chela Demuir. It will be streamed on YouTube with all proceeds going to the Unique Woman’s Coalition. The event will feature musical performances from notable black trans artists including: cultural ambassador of Bounce music Big Freedia, singer/songwriter Shea Diamond, Grammy-nominated songwriter Jaila Simms, drag queen Calypso Jete Balmain from HBO MAX’s Legendary, Atlanta-based artist/musician Royce Hall, singer & poet Kyler O’Neal, musician Teyana Trendz, & singer/songwriter Neverending Nina (Barker) who stated, "The Unique Woman's Coalition Community Celebration Fundraiser on Saturday July 11th 3P PST is an opportunity to shine a positive bright light on an All Black Trans led organization serving on the frontlines of the community for over 20 years in Los Angeles & nationwide under the direction of Queen Chela Demuir. This fundraising event is also a way to combat the onslaught of recent murders of Black Transgender People on a daily basis by helping UWC provide in depth services that consist of legal services, food & cloth pantries, mental health groups etc. How you can help? RSVP for the event & of course DONATE DONATE DONATE!!" Co-host Gia Gunn concluded, “This is the opportunity for all of us to celebrate the T in the LGB!” Unique Woman’s Coalition was established in 1997 & is the first Los Angeles based supportive organization for & by Transgender people of color. Downbeat Entertainment LLC will produce the virtual fundraiser event.
For Info & RSVP…
LISTEN: Shannon Minter Talks “Born Perfect” & LGBTQ Issues

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