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Provincetown Swimming In Place Event

With the 33rd Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla fundraiser going virtual this year the summer long “Swimming In Place Challenge, Our Place, Your Place” that concludes on September 12th has raised $43,679 of $150,000 needed from 557 donors. This vital event raises funds for HIV/AIDS, women’s health & the community & is sponsored by the Provincetown Community Compact (The Compact). Jay Critchley Compact Director stated, “Hope all's well as we swim & bike & jog & kayak & create our challenge through the summer. Please register, if you haven't yet & join folks from Palm Springs to Florida & North Carolina, from Vermont to Utah & California. We're on a splashy roll! Let's make a statement on this historic, noble moment & an historic Swim for Life. Keep the tradition alive. Even if you're not registered, consider supporting this important community fundraiser by pledging a participant.” So invite your family, friends & coworkers to support you & pledge money while you are dancing, jogging, cooking, biking, sports in place, writing or creating on the beach, in a pond or pool or anywhere. Then on September 12th join the Swimming in Place Challenge-LIVE! celebration from 11A to noon on Facebook & Provincetown Community TV with music by Zoe Lewis, awards & many surprises. All fundraisers, volunteers, swimmers & kayakers who raise $100 receive the traditional Swim cap, ribbon & a 2020 Swim for Life t-shirt & this year as a special thanks every participant will also receive a free pass to the Provincetown Art Association & Museum.
For More Info & Register…
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Trans Rights & Resilience Virtual Event

There will be a live streamed global discussion between transgender & non-binary advocates from Chile, the UK, Botswana, Japan & the US on Tuesday September 1st at 6P EST presented by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Panelists participating in the discussion will include Hazel Mokgathi from Botswana a HRC Global Innovator who worked to hold the first transgender Pride event in Botswana, Masen Davis who is currently the interim executive director of Transgender Europe, Lui Asquith from the United Kingdom who works to support transgender & gender-variant children & their families, Fumino Sugiyama a transgender activist from Japan & Alessia Injoque a transgender activist from Chile. This global conversation will address recent successes & challenges our LGBTQ movements are facing & the role that resilience plays in the fight for equality. In America alone since 2013 over 170 transgender women & men have been murdered in this country with over 70% being of color. This is another stark reminder of the need for all civil right leaders in America & globally who are speaking out against systemic racism & hate violence claiming Black & Brown lives must be LGBTQ inclusive. HRC Senior Vice President Jay Brown will moderate this global discussion. Brown has a long-standing history with the LGBTQ movement & the organization including previous roles as HRC’s Communications Director & HRC’s Director of Research & Public Education. A longtime advocate for transgender equality & out transgender man Jay lives in Maryland with his spouse & their two children. Trans Rights & Resilience is the first in a series of global conversations presented by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
For More Info & Register…
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Court Rules For Gay Married Couple

A federal court in Georgia has ordered the Trump Administration to recognize the U.S. citizenship of Simone Mize-Gregg the two-year-old daughter of a married couple Derek Mize & Jonathan Gregg & to issue her a U.S. passport. Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Senior Counsel & Health Care Strategist at Lambda Legal stated, “Today’s court decision is a resounding victory for LGBTQ families. The court has declared baby Simone, the marital child of Derek & Jonny, to be a U.S. citizen since birth & ordered the State Department to issue her a U.S. passport. We are very pleased the court found that the agency’s policy was irreconcilable with the law and our Constitution’s guarantee to equality because it treated the children of married, same-sex parents differently from the children of other married parents. This is the second federal court this summer to rule against the State Department’s policy to treat children of married, same-sex parents as children ‘born out of wedlock’ & not entitled to birthright U.S. citizenship. It is time for the federal government to stop defending this unlawful & unconstitutional policy. No family should have to face the fear & uncertainty of having their child’s citizenship status be held in limbo.” The 2019 lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal & Immigration Equality sought to challenge the U.S. State Department’s policy that treats the children of gay & lesbian married couples born abroad as “born out of wedlock,” denying that they are citizens since birth in clear violation of the federal Immigration & Nationality Act.
For More Info: lambdalegal.org
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

PFLAG Event To Honor Nancy Pelosi

PFLAG National will present “Moving Equality Forward,” a virtual event that honors legislative champions of equality on September 2nd at 6:30P EST. This year this ticketed virtual event will honor Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with the 2020 PFLAG National Champion of Justice Award & be hosted by Tony Award winning actor André De Shields. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, "Since joining PFLAG in 2019, the world has changed, but the drive of hundreds of thousands of PFLAGers to move equality forward in their communities has been a constant. On Wednesday, September 2nd, PFLAG National brings together the federal legislators who are 'Moving Equality Forward' for marginalized people, including LGBTQ people, across this country. We are especially proud to honor House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the 2020 PFLAG National Champion of Justice Award for her legacy of seeking fairness, equality & justice for all people in the U.S. & around the world." Also participating in this fabulous virtual event will be Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Rep. Sharice Davids (Kan.-, Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Mark Takano, PFLAG National Board President Kathy Godwin and Executive Director Brian K. Bond & more. There will also be a special cocktail demonstration by mixologist Gianna Burns of the award-winning cocktail bar Trick Dog in San Francisco. PFLAG is the first & largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents & families & allies with over 400 chapters & 200,000 members & supporters committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated & all people are respected, valued & affirmed. “Moving Equality Forward” tickets are $35 for individuals, sponsorship starts at $125 & $500 for businesses.
For More Info: pflag.org
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Court Victory For Transgender Students

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that it is unconstitutional for schools to discriminate against transgender students. The ruling in Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board finds that transgender students are within their rights to access facilities that correspond with their gender & to have their gender recognized in official documents. The ruling also finds that anti-trans discrimination is sex discrimination, which aligns with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “Hundreds of thousands of PFLAG families across the country celebrate Gavin Grimm’s win in court. Together with his legal team at the ACLU, he demonstrated that a transgender person is a person, that their gender is real & that anti-trans discrimination unconstitutionally prevents a transgender student from participating fully in their education. Members of PFLAG MetroDC & PFLAG chapters throughout Virginia have testified, rallied & met with school leaders in support of transgender students like Gavin. In Virginia & across the country, PFLAGers celebrate this legal win for transgender students & their families.” PFLAG National is the first & largest organization for LGBTQ people, their parents & families & allies. With over 400 chapters & 200,000 members & supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities & rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated & all people are respected, valued & affirmed.
For More Info: pflag.org
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Out Motorsports For LGBTQ Car Fans

Out Motorsports is for LGBTQ car enthusiasts, motorsports competitors & their allies providing a space for those enthusiasts to share their automotive adventures & connect with others. Founded in 2017 as a place for two LGBTQ friends to chronicle their adventures Out Motorsports now features a larger team of routine contributors while offering space for followers to share their "one-off" stories & connect with others online & in-person. Jake Thiewes, Out Motorsports' co-founder stated, "There are so many LGBTQ+ people involved in every aspect of the automotive world, whether in a professional capacity or as an enthusiast with an unrelated day job & while rumors often bubble up about identity, it is rare to see anyone be very open while they are plugged in to the community. We choose to lead with our identity & send a clear message to others who feel they must make a choice at the intersection of automotive enthusiasm & who they are. You can show up as your true self, like some of us already are & here's all the neat things we're doing." Out Motorsports shares stories across many facets of automotive enthusiasm from autocross & wheel-to-wheel racing to off-roading & back roads driving. The group works with automotive manufacturers to provide new car reviews & with owners to provide "throwback" reviews of cars released long ago. Out Motorsports empowers LGBTQ & allied automotive & motorsports enthusiasts to show up as their full, authentic selves in every automotive endeavor they pursue & share their stories across all walks of the automotive spectrum.
For More Info: outmotorsports.com 
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

New Film Surviving The Silence (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Filmmaker Cindy L. Abel about her new documentary “Surviving The Silence” that tells the story of Colonel Patsy Thompson & Barbara Brass. In 1992 Colonel Thompson was a decorated Army nurse just two years away from her retirement after serving her country for over thirty years from conflict zones to working inside the Pentagon. At this trajectory of her career she was asked to preside over the military review board that eventually dismissed Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer for admitting she was a lesbian. For Thompson that trial was perhaps the hardest assignment in her long military career because she had to confront her own moral dilemma that she too was a lesbian & living privately with her life partner Brass for many years. This underlying story remained a secret until 2013 when Thompson & her now wife Barbara Brass decided to go public for the very first time at a college speaking engagement in Northern California. Much to their delight the speech received a resounding standing ovation, empowering them on their unfolding journey as out & proud lesbians who are visibly committed to using their unique life experience in pursuit of social justice & activism. Colonel Cammermeyer continued the fight becoming a vocal opponent of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” & eventually was reinstated thanks to Thompson’s handling of her military trial. I asked Filmmaker Cindy L. Abel, Colonel Patsy Thompson & Barbara Brass what they hope to accomplish with “Surviving The Silence” & their spin on our LGBTQ issues in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN 
 
For More Info: survivingthesilence.com

Terrence McNally Virtual Tribute Event

A virtual celebration of the life & legacy of the Tony Award-winning playwright & LGBTQ activist Terrence McNally will take place Wednesday August 26th at 8P EST. You can watch “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life” now streaming on PBS American Masters ahead of the event & then some of Broadway’s brightest stars will honor the life & legacy of McNally with a free special online discussion & talkback. Join Emmy nominated director Jeff Kaufman & Emmy nominated producer Marcia S. Ross along with actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson & playwright Matthew Lopez for this fabulous event moderated by Steve Greene of IndieWire which will include an opportunity for the audience to ask questions at the end of the program. McNally who died in March from complications of COVID-19 was among the first on Broadway to explore LGBTQ themes including AIDS & LGBTQ civil rights. His best-known works include the plays “Kiss of the Spider Woman” & “Ragtime." McNally grew up in conservative Corpus Christi, Texas & as a gay young man traveled to NYC where he went to college & later began his theater career. Jeff Kaufman “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life” creator stated, “Terrence was out when Edward Albee, with whom he had a long relationship, was still in the closet. Tennessee Williams was still in the closet. Thornton Wilder & William Inge were all still living under the fear of being ‘out.’ But Terrence was there & himself & set an example & I think that’s an example that still resonates.”
For More Info & Register…
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

Barefoot Wine Honors LGBTQ Movement

As a longstanding ally of our LGBTQ community Barefoot has partnered with Emmy winning media company World of Wonder to launch the House of Barefoot with fan favorite Queens Raja, Manila Luzon, Eureka O’Hara & Raven to design original looks that celebrates the progress & gives back to our LGTBQ people. The Pride Packaging Collection is available in Barefoot Bubbly & Barefoot Spritzer cans & was created to celebrate & honor important milestones in our LGBTQ movement including marriage equality, the LGBTQ trailblazers who used their voices for change, Chosen Family & many Pride celebrations around the world. Anna Bell, Vice President of Marketing at Barefoot stated, “World of Wonder & these inspiring drag queens are the perfect partners to help us celebrate the strength & resiliency of the LGBTQ+ community. At Barefoot, we know we are better & stronger together. We encourage our fans to proudly show their Pride & join together to virtually cheers to the LGBTQ+ community.” Randy Barbato & Fenton Bailey World of Wonder co-founders concluded, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Barefoot, a company that’s proudly supported the LGBTQ+ community for as long as we’ve been in business. Given our shared values, we were able to truly collaborate with the Barefoot team to create a partnership that celebrates the extraordinary talents of these creative Queens, while highlighting the important milestones that have helped to create change. It’s a lovely reminder of how far we’ve come & the power of working together to drive progress in the future.” A portion of the proceeds from the Pride Packaging Collection sales, up to $60,000 will benefits Free Mom Hugs, a non-profit organization of parents & allies working toward full affirmation & equality for all.
For More Info: barefootwine.com
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

Provincetown Broadway Virtual Concert

Great Music on Sundays @5 is Provincetown’s longest-running concert series with more than 340 concerts presented by more than 100 performers since 1999 providing music without borders for thousands of concertgoers & lovers of great music. This year due to COVID-19 this Broadway extravaganza will be presented live virtually on YouTube Sunday August 23rd at 5P. Performers will include Jo Brisbane, Brian Calhoon, Arian Carlos, Marcy Feller, Patricia Fitzpatrick, Paul Goddu, Trish LaRose, Ken Lonergan, Kurt Reynolds, Carolyn Rogers, Fermín Rojas, Christopher Sidoli, Jeff Tagen & Miss Judy Brubaker. John Thomas, Producer Musical Director & Pianist stated, “We believe that safely presenting music for the emotional & spiritual health & benefit of our communities is an essential service. There is something for everyone at Great Music on Sundays @5. Tell your friends. Spread the good word. Watch this special event & please donate something. We are producing this entire concert season on faith that donations will pay the bills. Each concert requires dozens of hours of time from musicians & filmmakers to make it happen. If each person watching an online concert donates even a small amount we will be able to return in 2021, live or online or in whatever format these strange & interesting times will permit. So tune in to our online concert on YouTube this Sunday August 23 for an epic event: “Broadway for One!” More than a dozen singers with “personality plus” will present a special edition of our signature event: a Broadway extravaganza featuring songs from musicals of all kinds through the years.”
For More Info: ptownmusic.com
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

Federal Injunction Halts Discrimination

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has issued an injunction in Walker v. Azar that challenges the Trump administration’s health care discrimination rule which would have gone into effect August 18th. Omar Gonzalez-Pagan Lambda Legal Senior Attorney & Health Care Strategist stated, “In the midst of a global pandemic, the Trump administration has sought to invite discrimination in health care against LGBTQ people & other vulnerable populations. Today, a federal court has rejected their efforts & stopped the health care discrimination rule’s rollback of protections for LGBTQ people from going into effect. We congratulate Tanya Asapansa-Johnson Walker, Cecilia Gentili, HRC & their co-counsel on this important victory in the fight against the Trump administration’s failed public health policy & we look forward to a decision in our case challenging the health care discrimination rule. The safety & lives of LGBTQ people, but especially transgender people, hang in the balance.” Carl Charles Lambda Legal Staff Attorney concluded, “LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people, have been under constant attack by the Trump Administration. HHS’s health care discrimination rule threatens to wreak havoc & confusion, hurting our most vulnerable populations, who already are suffering disproportionately at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud today’s decision & look forward to continuing our fight against this rule that unlawfully targets & singles out LGBTQ people for discrimination during their most critical time of need, when seeking health care. Our communities deserve better.” The lawsuit, Whitman-Walker Clinic v. HHS was filed on behalf of Whitman-Walker Health, the TransLatin@ Coalition & its members, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, AGLP: The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists & four individual doctors. For More Info: lambdalegal.org
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

Sherise Bright Joins Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal has named Sherise Bright as the organization's Chief Communications Officer. Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO stated, "We are thrilled to have Sherise join our team as our next Chief Communications Officer. Having worked as an advocate in the LGBTQ movement, an executive in corporations & a publicist in Hollywood Sherise has all the experience to help chart Lambda Legal's work in the 'court of public opinion,' which is just as vital as our work in the court of law." Sherise Bright concluded, "I have always sought out opportunities to advocate for the issues closest to my heart & I am excited to step into this role at such a critical time in history. As a storyteller & strategist, I am thrilled to work on behalf of our LGBTQ & HIV communities' most vulnerable. As a black queer woman, I'm honored to have a seat at the table to reimagine our vision for Lambda Legal so that it is a fully inclusive one." Bright has over twenty years of experience in communications, working in nonprofits, corporations & entertainment, including E! News, the Los Angeles LGBT Center & the legal services firm Atkinson-Baker. Sherise brings deep strategy & leadership skills to Lambda Legal's mission to defend LGBT people & people living with HIV. She has built comprehensive communications programs by driving successful media, marketing, crisis, events & brand initiatives. Sherise is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton. She will be based in Lambda Legal's Western Regional Office in Los Angeles. Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people & everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education & public policy work.
For More Info: lambdalegal.org
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

LGBTQ COVID-19 Testing Data Gaps

An editorial published in The American Journal of Public Health calls for the routine inclusion of sexual orientation & gender identity (SOGI) data in the demographic information collected for COVID-19 testing. The editorial authored by researchers at The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health entitled “Sexual & Gender Minority Health in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Why Data Collection & Combatting Discrimination Matter Now More Than Ever” adds to a growing body of literature calling for the collection of SOGI data in health care. Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute & lead author of the editorial stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an important conversation about racial & ethnic health disparities, but the COVID-19-related risks to sexual & gender minorities have received almost no attention. We don’t yet know whether Black, Latinx, or Indigenous people who are also lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBTQ) have worse outcomes from COVID-19 than their straight & cisgender peers. These are critically important questions because the answers might affect the deployment of resources and the development of culturally tailored interventions. In the middle of the greatest global health crisis of the century, with the exception of a handful of states & the District of Columbia, we are operating with no knowledge of how COVID-19 is affecting sexual & gender minority populations. This is public health malpractice. Our local, state & federal health agencies must, at a minimum, encourage the systematic collection & reporting of SOGI data to understand how sexual & gender minorities are experiencing COVID-19, how SOGI disparities intersect with racial/ethnic disparities & how to effectively tailor interventions for prevention, testing, contact tracing & care services.”
Read Full Report…
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

Women Take The Stage Virtual Event

In celebration of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment top musicians, change makers & activist icons will gather for “Women Take the Stage” a virtual broadcast on August 26th at 9P EST. This is a free, multi-ethnic concert & rally to increase voting by & for women before the November election & will air live on YouTube, Facebook & WomenTaketheStage.org. Appearing for performances & stories of inspiration will include Gloria Steinem, Dolores Huerta, Vanessa Williams, Idina Menzel, Lily Tomlin, Billie Jean King, Alicia Garza, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Indigo Girls, BETTY, Skip the Needle, Dance Brigade, Pura Fé, teen quartet DGLS, The B-52s’ Kate Pierson, founder of The Representation Project Jennifer Siebel Newsom, HBCU president Ruth Simmons, 3rd CTO of the U.S . Megan Smith, Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen, ERA Coalition CEO Carol Jenkins, disability activist Mia Ives-Rublee, anti-racism leader Rev. Jacqui Lewis, trailblazing transgender politician Andrea Jenkins, poet Staceyann Chin, Native activist Gail Small & more. Aly Palmer of 1@1 Productions & a member of BETTY stated, “The fascinating stories of the foremothers who fought so hard for us to have a more powerful voice are incredibly motivating. Our event is an entertaining way to inspire voting action & build bold defenders of our democracy.” In addition to the virtual event, Auburn Public Theater is helping put on a live pre-show at 7:30P ET at the Finger Lakes Drive-In in Auburn, NY near Seneca Falls the site of the first women’s rights convention. Socially distanced attendees will be treated in their cars to music & poetry from notable regional performers, followed by Women Take the Stage on the big screen. The event is sponsored by 1@1 Productions, Women March in Seneca Falls & WILL (Women's Institute for Leadership & Learning) along with partners When We All Vote & the National LGBTQ Task Force.
For More Info: womentakethestage.org
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

Florida LGBTQ Virtual Film Festival

The 22nd edition of Florida's OUTshine LGBTQ Film Festival is going virtual with 80 new contemplative, comedic & creative films from 20 countries to be made available to viewers from August 20th to 30th. The festival will also host live-streamed special events with cocktail happy hours, talent & Q & A sessions as a way to virtually tie the community together. Victor Gimenez, OUTshine LGBTQ Film Festival Executive Director stated, "In these challenging times, the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival has adapted to the changing needs of the film & viewing community & is pleased to move forward with an outstanding roster of poignant new features viewable virtually anywhere in the state. It’s in this spirit of unity & equality, the tenets upon which the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival was founded, that we are taking a giant leap forward to offer these award-winning films with culturally diverse narratives & deeply moving subjects to an even wider audience.” In keeping with social distancing guidelines & community safety, this year’s festival kicks off on August 20th at 7P with OUTshine's Opening Night Drive-OUT,a preview of “Stage Mother” at the Drive-In Theater at Dezerland Park at 14401 NE 19th Avenue, North Miami, Florida. “Stage Mother” stars Oscar-nominated Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Adrian Grenier (Entourage, The Devil Wears Prada) & Emmy-nominated Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels, Elementary, Ally McBeal). The OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival is a bi-annual film festival with a mission to unite the community through social events & LGBTQ+ media that inspire, entertain & educate. Tickets are on sale now raging for individual films at $12 each & value packages range from $60 to $350.
For More Info & TIX: outshinefilm.com
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

LGBTQ Leaders Support Kamala Harris

Joe Biden's pick of Senator Kamala Harris (CA) to join his ticket to become the 46th President & Vice President of the United States is historic & as a fierce LGBTQ ally Harris has always been a friend & champion to our LGBTQ community. Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund stated, “With Joe Biden’s announcement that Senator Kamala Harris will be his running mate, history has been made. As the third woman & the first woman of color to be a Vice Presidential candidate, millions of people across the country will finally see themselves reflected in this historic choice…With the attacks on democracy, voting rights, immigration, abortion & other civil rights, access to voting, criminal & economic justice & the U.S. Postal Service has shown that this administration will stop at nothing to weaken democracy & call into question the election outcome. This is not a partisan issue, this is not a Republican versus Democrat issue, this is an American issue. The most important thing for each & every one of us to do is to vote. Vote your heart & your head for those candidates who you feel will best serve you, the LGBTQ community & the country.” Alphonso David President Human Rights Campaign concluded, “Time & time again, Sen. Harris has shown herself to be a fighter & an LGBTQ champion. She has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community throughout her groundbreaking career, advocating for us when many, even sometimes those within her own party, did not. Together with Biden, they make up the most pro-equality & one of the most diverse presidential tickets our nation has ever seen. We need to elect them & united I know we can!”
For More Info: joebiden.com
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

OutRight Launches Fund To Aid Helem

OutRight Action International has launched a campaign to support Helem, Lebanon's oldest LGBTQ organization that was heavily damaged in the devastating explosion in Beirut that destroyed entire neighborhoods, killing over 200 people & leaving hundreds of thousands homeless & unable to meet their basic needs. Helem is working to rebuild their LGBTQ community center while struggling to support LGBTQ people who have been affected by the explosion. Helem's staff & volunteers are engaging in city-wide relief efforts but need funding to continue to do so. Tarek Zeidan, Executive Director of Helem stated, “Helem's staff & volunteers have joined the relief effort in Beirut & are working to remove debris, help set up community kitchens & dispense emergency aid to members of the community who have been affected by the explosion. The blast has left more than 300,000 individuals homeless. These funds will go towards helping secure shelter as well as to support our food distribution program which has benefited more than 800 individuals to date.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International concluded, “OutRight’s mission is to work with local LGBTIQ organizations around the world to promote LGBTIQ equality. When crisis strikes, it is our duty & honor to do what we can to support local activists. This fund will support Helem to recover & rebuild so they can resume their work toward achieving a more equitable future for all LGBTIQ people in Lebanon.” 100% of all funds raised will be passed on to Helem to use for the support of the LGBTQ community in Lebanon, the center's relief efforts & any other urgent needs on the ground resulting from this catastrophe.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
LISTEN: Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara Talk New Comedy Series

New Comedy Series 'Smothered' (AUDIO)

This week I talked with actors Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara about their new must-watch comedy series “Smothered” currently available on Amazon Prime. With everything that’s happening in the world right now “Smothered” brings much needed comedic relief with a thirty-minute binge session of seven, five-minute episodes of outrageous, irreverent & laugh out loud bliss. Jason Stuart (The Birth Of A Nation) & Mitch Hara (Mutant Olive) have co-written, co-starred & co-produced this series about a longtime gay couple that cannot stand each other but can’t afford to get divorced. They decide to try & save their relationship by navigating their way through couple’s therapy. As the series unfolds through their uninhibited & often shocking therapy sessions viewers discover just how dysfunctional the couple of twenty years are as they outrageously nit-pick & push each other’s buttons. Guest stars appearing as assorted methods of therapists include Dalila Ali Rajah (Criminal Minds), Erik Audé (American Sniper), Clent Bowers (Little Fockers), Erika Ervin (American Horror Story), Helen Hong (Silicon Valley), Scott Krinsky (Chuck), Pancho Moler (Ray Donovan) & Carole Ita White (Laverne & Shirley). “Smothered” is directed by Terri Hanauer (Sweet Talk) & won the Audience Award for Best Series in the International Film Festivals in Spain, Paris, Amsterdam & Berlin. Jason Stuart is one of the most prolific character actors who’s also an outrageous openly gay stand-up comedian with over 150 credits. Mitch Hara is an actor/writer/director who joined the acclaimed Actors Studio when he was just 19. I talked to Jason & Mitch about what they hope to accomplish with their hysterical comedy series “Smothered” & their spin on our LGBTQ issues in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN  
For More Info: smotheredtv.com

Against The Tide Virtual Benefit Events

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is presenting three virtual events for its annual Against the Tide athletic fundraisers that kicks off on Saturday August 15th, then continues on September 19th & concludes on September 26th. The virtual event components include a one mile recreational or competitive swims, a half mile recreational swim, 5K or 10K runs, a three mile walk, a half mile stand-up paddleboard event & a two mile kayak event. For participants who are looking to challenge themselves there is also an Aquathon option consisting of a competitive one mile swim followed immediately by either a 5K or 10K run. Cheryl Osimo, MBCC's Executive Director stated, "We are grateful to the many people who come out to support MBCC every year at Against the Tide events & we hope that providing participants with multiple virtual options will give everyone a chance to be a part of the Against the Tide events & to swim, walk, run, paddle, or kayak in support of cancer prevention. We've tried hard to balance the health & safety of our supporters, while trying to ensure important funds are raised to support MBCC's programs." Share your event photos & they'll be included in the Against the Tide photo album on the MBCC website & Facebook page & there will be prizes awarded to the top fundraisers. Registration fees are $40 for an individual participant & $100 for a family registration of up to five family members. Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is the state's leading breast cancer organization dedicated to preventing the environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy & changes to public policy.
For More Info & Registration…
For More Info: lambdalegal.org
LISTEN: Actor Phillip Keene Talks Project Wingman & More

Fed Court Victory For Trans Students

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has affirmed a lower court ruling that required a suburban Jacksonville, Florida school district to treat transgender student Drew Adams equally by allowing equal access to the restroom that matches his gender. Drew Adams’ case was the country’s first trial involving a transgender student’s equal access to restrooms. Tara Borelli, Counsel at Lambda Legal stated, “Today, the court sent a clear message that schools must treat transgender students with the same dignity & respect as any other student. The trial court was correct when it ruled that the law requires that Drew Adams be treated like every other boy & be allowed to use the boys’ restroom. We are glad the court saw the school board’s policy as unjust & discriminatory, & affirmed the inherent dignity of transgender students.” Drew Adams, 19, a former student at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida added, “I am very happy to see justice prevail, after spending almost my entire high school career fighting for equal treatment. High school is hard enough without having your school separate you from your peers & mark you as inferior. I hope this decision helps save other transgender students from having to go through that painful & humiliating experience.” The 11th Circuit Judges ruled, “A public school may not punish its students for gender nonconformity. Neither may a public school harm transgender students by establishing arbitrary, separate rules for their restroom use. The evidence at trial confirms that Mr. Adams suffered both these indignities. The record developed in the District Court shows that the School Board failed to honor Mr. Adams’s rights under the Fourteenth Amendment & Title IX.”
For More Info: lambdalegal.org
LISTEN: Actor Phillip Keene Talks Project Wingman & More

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