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Helping PFLAG Earns Eagle Scout Rank

Transgender PFLAG teen Beatrix Jackman in Austin, Texas is among the first female Scouts to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. The teen passed her board of review on Oct. 1st to become one of the inaugural female Eagle Scouts. Having been active with PFLAG since she came out as transgender Jackman focused her service project on supporting PFLAG Austin by sourcing, creating & distributing self-care kits. Jackman stated, “It was important to do this project for PFLAG because they helped save my life & assisted my mom in becoming the supportive ally she is today.” Anna Nguyen, President of PFLAG Austin stated, “We are very proud to have been a part of Ms. Jackman's journey & we are happy to have assisted her in her challenge of becoming one of the first female Eagle Scouts. When Beatrix first came out, she & her mom came to our support groups. As with many other families with a newly out transgender child, they found a supportive, empowering, comforting environment in our support groups, as well as useful information & beneficial anecdotes from other parents & others in the queer community. Now, through her Eagle project, she has given back to help others feel supported, too.” Brian K. Bond PFLAG National Executive Director concluded, "Community service is core to the mission of Scouting & for years PFLAG has advocated for LGBTQ+ youth to be included in that mission. We are very proud of Beatrix & all the transgender & LGBTQ+ Scouts who demonstrate that a leader is a person whose skills & passion, inclusive of their sexual orientation & gender identity, are driven to serve." For More Info: pflag.org

LISTEN: Charlotte Robinson Talks Retro Radio & TV

 

Video Killed The Radio Star (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Kent Ian Paterson a producer at KUNM-FM in Albuquerque, New Mexico about my early years as a Progressive Rock DJ that kicked off my broadcasting career. Paterson contacted me in August about a history he was compiling at KUNM to celebrate the station’s 54th anniversary. Once it was confirmed I was the same person that worked at KUNM back in the early 1970s the conversations began. I talked about how I originally came to the University of New Mexico in 1969 & became involved with KUNM stating, “I went to UNM because they listed available courses in Radio & TV but when I got there I found out that those classes wouldn’t be offered for a few years. So I answered an ad on KUNM-FM looking for 'chicks to sharpen pencils'. When I applied they suggested I get my FCC license so I did. When I returned with my license they gave me a weekly shift on Thursdays from 1A to 3A. At the time UNM women had a 12 Midnight curfew & men did not. So the ACLU got involved & the curfew was lifted. I guess that was my first experience in the fight for equality.” It was the beginning of the Women’s Movement who adopted me because of the role I played in the ACLU curfew resolve. Paterson added, “You & the other women who were at KUNM 50 years ago were trailblazers. Women became much more prominent at KUNM after the mid 1970s. The station's first female manager served from 1974 to 1976.” We then talked about how my KUNM experience led to my career in broadcasting breaking the glass ceiling for women at WCVB-TV in Boston & then on to ABC, NBC & CBS TV Networks in New York, NY. LISTEN  

For More Info: kunm.org

 

Married Gay Couples Kids Legal Victory

Two key legal victories on behalf of married gay couples & their children became final Monday after the U.S. State Department withdrew its appeal in Kiviti v. Pompeo & decided not to appeal the district court’s decision in Mize-Gregg v. Pompeo. In both cases federal district courts found the U.S. Department of State’s refusal to recognize the U.S. citizenship of the children born abroad to two married gay U.S. citizen couples to be unlawful. Roee Kiviti stated, “We are very relieved, on behalf of our daughter, on behalf of our family & on behalf of LGBT families across this great country of ours. The law was always clear. We knew it, the courts knew it & now the State Department knows it, too. This was never just about us. It was always about standing up for what’s right. We are grateful to those who did it before us & we are humbled to be a part of the ongoing struggle for justice.” Derek Mize & Jonathan Gregg added, “We are extremely grateful that this fight is over & won. All we ever wanted was for Simone to be treated fairly. This process has reaffirmed for us that standing up for equal treatment is always right, no matter how difficult it is or long it may take.” Karen Loewy, Senior Counsel at Lambda Legal concluded, “These two cases squarely rejected the State Department’s attempt to insert a harmful, baseless biology requirement into the citizenship protections children of married citizen parents receive. In so doing, these courts kept the promise of Obergefell that married same-sex couples are entitled to the full range of marital protections & that includes the right to be recognized as their children’s parents regardless of who has a biological connection.” The two families were represented by Aaron C. Morris for Immigration Equality, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Karen Loewy & Tara Borelli for Lambda Legal &  lawyers from the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.  For More Info... 


U.S. Supreme Court Bias Heartbreak


Continuing down Trump’s road of divide & conquer anti-choice & anti-LGBTQ extremist Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed to a lifelong appointment to the United States Supreme Court just 30 days after she was nominated & 8 days before Election Day in this strategic shotgun devious act. The embarrassing backward radical right GOP Senate has officially confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Supreme Court with a vote of 52-48. This is a heartbreaking setback for America now home of the not so free & definitely not so brave. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD President & CEO stated, “Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation is alarming for LGBTQ people & for all Americans whose fundamental rights should never be up for debate. Barrett’s time at a school that discriminated against LGBTQ families & hurt LGBTQ youth is disturbing & should disqualify her from the Court. Her stated views against marriage equality, rulings against access to abortion & her public criticism of the Affordable Care Act are out of step with fair-minded Americans & threaten the progress our country has made to become a stronger & more equitable home for all. Her record against LGBTQ families & rights has no place in American life, let alone the highest court in the land. The rush to confirm her in this unprecedented way will undermine Judge Barrett’s credibility throughout her time on the court & will be another point of evaluation for voters witnessing this process during an out-of-control pandemic, economic crisis & as millions are casting ballots.” This now means my marriage is in jeopardy, millions could lose their healthcare during a pandemic & women’s rights are on the chopping block. For More Info...

Equality Florida Virtual Gala Event

Equality Florida will honor State Representative Anna V. Eskamani with a Voice For Equality Award at its Virtual Greater Orlando Gala on Friday October 30th with livestream beginning at 8P via Facebook & YouTube. The Voice for Equality Award is bestowed annually upon a person who with courage, passion & unwavering commitment moves Florida’s LGBTQ community closer to full equality. Nadine Smith Equality Florida Executive Director stated, “Representative Eskamani has been an unwavering accomplice for the LGBTQ community. Both in her career as an advocate & as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, she has been unapologetic in her demand that LGBTQ Floridians be afforded the same dignity, respect & protections as everyone else. We are proud to work alongside her to make equality the law of the land & are thrilled to recognize her as one of this year’s Voices for Equality.” Equality Florida will also recognize outgoing One Orlando Alliance Executive Director Jennifer Foster with the Voice For Equality Award. Jennifer aided in creating the Alliance following the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in 2016. Since becoming its Executive Director in 2018 the One Orlando Alliance has grown to over 40 member organizations united around community-centric initiatives designed to ensure Central Florida remains inclusive & safe for LGBTQ people. Brandon Wolf, Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor & Equality Florida Media Relations Manager stated, “Jennifer helped to galvanize this community in the wake of the tragedy at Pulse. Thanks to her big-hearted leadership, LGBTQ organizations that once worked in siloes were able to come together & reshape the path forward for Central Florida. We all owe an immense debt of gratitude to Jennifer - a true champion.” For More Info & Tix: eqfl.org

MBCC Honors Lily Tomlin (AUDIO)

The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition presented Lily Tomlin, long-time environmental activist, comedian & actress with the MBCC Environmental Activist Award at the 23rd Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention October 24th via Zoom. Cheryl Osimo, Executive Director of MBCC presented the award stating, “We are constantly inspired by trailblazers like Ms. Tomlin who have fearlessly & relentlessly paved the way of putting the greater good of our planet & families first. On behalf of Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition’s (MBCC) Board of Directors & staff, we are honored & proud to present Lily Tomlin with the MBCC Environmental Activist Award. Lily Tomlin will go down in history as one of the greatest activists, if not the greatest activist, of all time in helping us make the world a better place for all who live on this earth.” The Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention is MBCC’s premier fundraising event. The online event also included laughs with guest comedian Karen Williams & dance lessons with OUT to Dance's Liz Nania who gave virtual cha-cha, rhumba, salsa & merengue lessons. DJ Shelly Cullen provided the tunes along with DJ Ann Rogers. MBCC is the only breast cancer non-profit working closely with a research & sister organization Silent Spring Institute to investigate preventable environmental causes of the disease. This work is funded through annual fundraising events like the upcoming virtual Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention. I talked to Cheryl about the Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention event, what she hopes to accomplish with her work at MBCC & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For More Info: mbcc.org

Newfest Black Filmmakers Initiative

NewFest, New York’s leading LGBTQ film & media organization has announced the Black Filmmakers Initiative which will provide festival related cost assistance to Black LGBTQ filmmakers as well as three new cash prizes for Black LGBTQ filmmakers participating in this year’s festival. David Hatkoff NewFest Executive Director stated, “NewFest is very proud of its diverse programming, but there is no question that we as an organization & the industry at large can do more in combating systemic racism & injustice & can do a better job of representing all aspects of the LGBTQ+ community. By subsidizing festival-related costs that can prevent Black filmmakers from getting their work exhibited or from utilizing professional development opportunities & by putting cash directly into the hands of filmmakers to make or complete their projects, The Black Filmmakers Initiative is our way of taking steps toward changing the pipeline process & contributing to a more equitable ecosystem.” The new awards presented by the Black Filmmakers Initiative at NewFest include the Directorial Feature Debut Black LGBTQ Filmmaker Award awarded by NewFest to a Black LGBTQ filmmaker whose directorial feature debut is being presented at NewFest’s 32nd edition of the festival. This award comes with a $2,000 cash prize & the inaugural recipient is Olivia Peace for her film “Tahara”. NewFest is currently running through October 27th with more than 120 new films are accessible to ticket holders nationwide via NewFest’s on-demand platform throughout the festival. Individual tickets & all-access passes are all still available. 

Pope Endorses Homosexual Civil Unions

Pope Francis has come out for homosexual civil unions. Of course he never mentioned lesbians or gay women. Pope Francis stated, "Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered." Let’s revisit the difference of the rights & protections between civil union & marriage. Civil unions provide about one third of the rights & protections of marriage. In America the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act denied gay & lesbian couples 1,138 federal rights of marriage including a hefty average of $5000 more in their annual federal taxes than heterosexual married couples paid. Patrick Hornbeck, Professor of Theology at Fordham University stated, "What the pope has done today in these comments is he's given a permission slip to Catholics & to Catholic leaders who want to take that extra step, who want to be pastoral, as he's been, in affirming LGBT people & their families & their loves & that's no small thing. We have to remember that there are places all around the world where to be gay is to be thrown out of your family, where it's to be beaten, where to be trans is to take your life in your hands & so the pope's statements, I think, will have an important effect & need to be celebrated that way." Just remember that there are still countless cases of Catholic schools firing teachers for being gay & Catholic adoption agencies fighting to exclude gay & lesbian parents as we covered yesterday that will go before the US Supreme Court November 4th in Fulton v. Philadelphia.

Supreme Court Case & LGBTQ Families

The day after the 2020 presidential election the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Fulton v. Philadelphia a case that could give religious agencies that receive taxpayer dollars a broad license to discriminate against our LGBTQ cummunity. The case challenges Philadelphia’s nondiscrimination ordinance which prohibits any entity that contracts with the city from denying service on the basis of sexual orientation among other characteristics. One of the plaintiffs in the case is Catholic Social Services (CSS) which sued the city after its contract was revoked for refusing to allow gay & lesbian couples to be foster parents arguing that it has a constitutional right to do business with the city even when it refuses to comply with the city’s nondiscrimination rules. Recent data from a nationally representative survey conducted jointly by the Center for American Progress & NORC at the University of Chicago show that LGBTQ Americans avoid needed services to avoid discrimination & should they be denied access to taxpayer-funded services many would be unable to access services at alternative locations. Caroline Medina, Policy Analyst for the LGBTQ Research & Communications Project at CAP stated, “Our survey findings reveal the existing challenges that LGBTQ people face when accessing basic public services in civil society. To misuse religious liberty as a license to discriminate would set a harmful precedent & inflict critical damage on the rights of LGBTQ individuals & religious minorities, exacerbating discriminatory barriers they already encounter in their everyday lives. Justices Clarence Thomas & Samuel Alito recently attacked marriage equality under the guise of religious liberty. This case demonstrates the urgent risks to the basic rights of LGBTQ people if their extreme views are adopted as the stance of the court’s majority.” Read Full Report…

Hollywood LGBTQ Council Voters March

On Saturday October 24th The Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council will lead a march of "Equality Voters to the Polls" beginning at 9A from 2131 Hollywood Blvd. to the Hollywood Branch Library for Early Voting. With LGBTQ equality on the ballot this year from the oval office at the top all the way down to the last candidate the Hollywood LGBTQ Council is hoping by mobilizing local voters that support our equality will ensure we retain & expand our hard-won rights. Todd Delmay, The Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council President stated, "Winning the rights associated with Equality is not enough. We must continue to support candidates & the issues that will safeguard & expand those rights. If you don't think they are at risk, just consider for a moment there are Supreme Court justices interested in revisiting Obergefell (the landmark 2015 decision that brought marriage equality to all 50 States) & matters of Equality are very much local issues as well. Municipalities, Counties & our State all have opportunities to choose Equality every day. Whether they are serving people of color, people of LGBTQ+ experience or those from other marginalized communities, the choice must always be on the side of Equality if we are to fulfill on the ideals of our Founders." The Council is inviting all voters & candidates that support Equality to march with them, whether they have already voted or not. The Council's members (80% of which self-identify as LGBTQ+) & guests should all wear a mask & maintain social distancing guidelines. Marchers are to meet at 8:30A & the event begins at 9A.           For More Info: lgbtqcouncil.com

AIDS Memorial Quilt Virtual Exhibition

The National AIDS Memorial has announced a virtual exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that will feature more than 10,000 Quilt panels representing all 50 states & U.S. territories. Panel makers, individuals, businesses & non-profit organizations from across the country are invited to host a display of the Quilt. Each display host will be able to feature a selection of beautiful Quilt blocks of their choice & curate a personalized display narrative that will accompany each display. John Cunningham, National AIDS Memorial Executive Director stated, “World AIDS Day is taking on new meaning this year, as COVID-19 has brought an enormous loss of life & grief to millions of people. During the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, the Quilt was a source of immense comfort, inspiration & used as a tool for social activism to open the eyes of the nation to injustice & to help survivors grieve & heal. Through this exhibition, we hope the power & beauty of the Quilt can serve that same purpose for those who are experiencing loss & grief due to COVID-19.” On World AIDS Day on December 1st the National AIDS Memorial will bring together powerful voices from both pandemics for an important conversation about health justice, social activism, remembrance, hope & resilience. Applications to participate must be received by November 1st 2020 to be part of the current exhibition. The fee to participate as a virtual display host is $500 with proceeds from the exhibition to be used to ensure the continued care & conservation of more than 48,000 individual panels of this national treasure. 

MBCC Silent Auction Is Live (AUDIO)

The fabulous Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition online silent auction is now live through their premier fundraising event the Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention that takes place virtually on October 24th from 7P to 9P via Zoom. This auction is not to be missed with great items all supporting MBCC the only breast cancer non-profit dedicated to preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy & changes to public policy. The MBCC Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party on October 24th will also feature a guest appearance & award presentation to long-time environmental activist, comedian & actress Lily Tomlin. The MBCC Environmental Activist Award will be presented to Ms. Tomlin in acknowledgment of her passion & work on many environmental issues. Cheryl Osimo, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition stated, “We are constantly inspired by trailblazers like Ms. Tomlin who have fearlessly & relentlessly paved the way of putting the greater good of our planet & families first. Including her in MBCC’s history of individuals dedicated to making a positive impact in the world is thrilling news.” The online event will also include laughs with guest comedian Karen Williams & dance lessons with OUT to Dance's Liz Nania where you can learn to dance the cha-cha, rhumba, salsa or merengue with no partner needed. DJ Shelly Cullen will be spinning the tunes throughout the virtual event with the Silent Auction that runs now through October 24th at 8P. Tickets to attend the virtual event for adults are on a sliding scale of $15, $30, or $45 with tickets for students $10. I talked to Cheryl Osimo about what she hopes to accomplish with her work at MBCC & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For More Info & Tix: mbcc.org

LGBTQ Health Care In Serious Jeopardy

For LGBTQ people who rely on the Affordable Care Act our community will join the most vulnerable Americans who stand to lose the most if the ACA is overturned. Overturning the law would jeopardize health insurance for 20 million Americans & strip away protections for an estimated 135 million Americans with preexisting conditions & those effects will only be amplified for the most at-risk populations. The LGBTQ community, communities of color & people with disabilities have spent the past decade making progress toward increased health coverage, lowered medical expenses, protection for preexisting conditions & added nondiscrimination protections. Caroline Medina, policy analyst for the LGBTQ Research & Communications Project at Center for American Progress stated, “Despite crucial gains in health coverage & benefits for LGBTQ communities under the ACA, transgender adults—particularly transgender people of color—continue to face substantial & unique discriminatory barriers to accessing health insurance & services. The data reveal both the depth of harm that LGBTQ Americans would encounter under the ACA’s repeal as well as the need to continue combating discrimination in health care settings. At this critical juncture, the ACA’s protections should be expanded, not undermined.” As the Senate Republicans rush to confirm a third U.S. Supreme Court nominee much of the country has turned its focus on the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Obama’s landmark legislative accomplishment that expanded access to health care for millions of Americans. For years congressional Republicans have sought to overturn the law either through legislation or judicial activism. However all that could change next month when the conservative packed Supreme Court hears California v. Texas on November 10th. For More Info...

Spirit Day Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying

For 10 years OUTTAKE MEDIA has supported Spirit Day celebrated this year on Thursday October 15th. Spirit Day began in 2010 when a high school student Brittany McMillan created a tumblr post asking students to wear purple following the suicide deaths of several LGBTQ young people. Since then thanks to GLAAD hundreds of celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, tech leaders, influencers, faith groups, school districts, organizations, colleges & universities have become the most visible anti LGBTQ bullying campaign & united show of support for our LGBTQ youth. Purple symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, “From the effects of COVID-19, to the social uprising against racial injustice & police brutality, to the Trump administration’s consistent attacks on LGBTQ people, this year has presented unprecedented challenges & crises, all of which continue to uniquely & disproportionately impact LGBTQ youth. At a time when LGBTQ youth may be isolating in homes that are not affirming or do not have access to their usual support systems, this year’s Spirit Day is a chance for LGBTQ people & allies to send messages of acceptance & support to LGBTQ youth when they need it most.” Studios, networks, shows & streaming services partaking in 2020 Spirit Day include Access Hollywood, Disney/ABC, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, the casts of FBI & FBI: Most Wanted, iHeartMedia, Hulu, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Spotify, Sony Pictures, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia, & more. Celebrities participating in Spirit Day include Cher, The Chicks, Halle Berry, Connie Britton, Ted Danson, Daughtry, Gigi Gorgeous Getty, Carlie Hanson, Megan Hilty, Jazz Jennings, LeAnn Rimes, Adam Rippon, Tegan & Sara, Brandon Stansell, Mary Steenburgen among others are set to participate in the world’s largest & most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign. 

Campus Pride Names 2020 Best Colleges

Campus Pride released its 2020 BEST OF THE BEST LGBTQ-Friendly listing of colleges & universities. The announcement features forty campuses from six regions of the country who are deeply committed to LGBTQ students & who rate the highest for LGBTQ-inclusion in policy, program & practice. Tom Elliott, Campus Pride Board Chair stated, “On behalf of Campus Pride, I want to commend all the campuses featured among the 2020 ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ LGBTQ-friendly colleges & universities for their exemplary commitment & work to make their campuses safer & more welcoming. In times like these, we need to commit to creating safe & welcoming spaces for all students.” There are nearly 400 colleges who have “come out” on the index & hundreds of thousands who utilize the public search to find LGBTQ-friendly colleges & universities annually. Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director, Campus Pride concluded, “Today college campuses must ‘come out’ & be visible as LGBTQ-friendly. Students expect inclusive, equitable learning environments at colleges in all regions of the country & as a basic standard, they demand campuses have LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs & services. These forty campuses, across six diverse regions, are leading the charge. Every student deserves to go to a college that is inclusive & a safe space to learn, live & grow. This October is LGBTQ History Month & National Coming Out Day was October 11th. Let us commit ourselves to LGBTQ inclusion, coming out & supporting LGBTQ youth in living full, authentic lives.” Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ & ally college students as well as campus groups building future leaders & safer more LGBTQ-friendly colleges & universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students & nearly 1,400 campuses annually.                For Complete 2020 Best Campuses List… 

“If These Ovaries Could Talk” (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Robin Hopkins & Jaimie Kelton about their new book “If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We’ve Learned About Making An LGBTQ Family.” In part one of the book Robin & Jaimie cover topics on how you make your LGBTQ family from choosing an egg donor, sperm donor or surrogate to adoption & foster care. Part two of the book covers everything from growing up with gay parents to being out as a family & from talking to your kids about their LGBTQ family to the legalese of LGBTQ families. “If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We’ve Learned About Making An LGBTQ Family” is an amazing & humorously in-depth journey that is equal parts funny, serious, happy, sad, celebratory, cautionary & powerful. You’ll learn a lot & laugh even more along the way. Robin & Jaimie met at a Pride Family Picnic with their wives & kids in tow. That’s when then-pregnant Jaimie pitched Robin the idea to make a podcast about LGBTQ families. From doing their award-winning podcast “If These Ovaries Could Talk” they realized the world needed to know there was more than one way to make an LGBTQ family. The book is based on dozens of interviews full of insights & stories addressing recurring questions that came up during their podcast. Robin & Jaimie share their separate personal fertility journeys & their parenting adventures as the book shines a spotlight on all the different ways nontraditional families are made. In this exclusive audio interview I talked to Robin & Jaimie about their inspiration for writing “If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We’ve Learned About Making An LGBTQ Family” & their spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN:  

For More Info: ovariestalk.com

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Event

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus is celebrating their 42nd birthday with a fabulous virtual celebration on Saturday October 17th from 6P PST to 7P PST. They will be featuring a mix of past performances, vignettes & ensemble pieces for this free event. Guests will also experience the world premiere of "What Will We Hear?" written by composer-lyricist Andrew Lippa ("I Am Harvey Milk") & performed by Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth who will appear virtually with the Chorus. In addition they will honor Chasten Buttigieg with the Inspiration Award to be presented by Pete Buttigieg for Chasten's work in arts education & bringing the struggles of LGBTQ youth. There will also be special appearances by Wanda Sykes, Opera Parallèle featuring Kenneth Kellogg, Sharon Stone, Martha Wash, Britney Coleman & Renée Lubin. Founded in 1978 the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC) became the world's first openly gay chorus, one of the world's largest male choruses & the group most often credited with creating the LGBTQ choral movement. The chorus was founded by gay music pioneer Jon Reed Sims. The eligibility requirements for SFGMC are to be at least 18 years of age, to self identify as a man & to pass the audition process defined by the Artistic Director. Today with a membership of over 300 voices the SFGMC continues to present a wide range of music & perform for many different kinds of audiences. The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus 42nd birthday virtual celebration on Saturday October 17th from 6P to 7P PST is free but you must register to stream this online event. To Register…

Reel Affirmations LGBTQ Film Festival

Washington D.C.’s International LGBTQ Film Festival returns for its 27th year on Wednesday October 21st with virtual screenings, Drive In screenings & virtual director talkbacks that will continue throughout the weekend ending on Sunday evening October 25th. The film festival’s five-day schedule includes 60 films from 15 countries on four continents encompassing many genres including comedy, drama, romance & documentaries. Kimberley Bush, Director of Arts & Cultural Programs & Acting Executive Director of The DC Center stated, “2020 has been an extraordinary & challenging year but we will not let that stop us from supporting & uplifting our LGBTQ+ Creatives by sharing & celebrating LGBTQ+ Lifestories on Film. Films make us laugh, cry, ponder, wonder & nod our heads in understanding & empathy & The DC Center embraces the continued opportunity to curate a collection of such empowering & enlightening films each year to share with the community & all communities at Reel Affirmations: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ Film Festival.” Reel Affirmations is a Washington DC-based nonprofit & the only International LGBTQ Film Festival in the region & a proud division of The DC Center’s Arts Program. The DC Center is Washington DC's Community Center for the LGBT Community. Reel Affirmations would not be possible without the generous support of AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) & DC Commission on The Arts & Humanities. The Reel Affirmations: Washington DC's International LGBTQ Film Festival will be both feature length & short films that will screen on their Eventive Platform or at Union Market Drive In (TBA). General virtual admission tickets are $10 & Film Lover passes for the festival start as low as $25.  For More Info & Tix…

Activist Monica Roberts Tribute (AUDIO)

We were very sad to here about the passing of Monica Roberts. Monica was the founding editor of the award winning TransGriot Blog & a longtime award-winning human rights advocate. She advocated for the human rights of transgender people for more than 20 years with a focus on the issues affecting Black trans people. Her writing appeared at Ebony.com, the Advocate, Black Girl Dangerous, Dallas Voice & in the ‘Unapologetically Trans’ monthly column in Houston’s OutSmart magazine. Some of the honors that Roberts has received are the 2018 GLAAD Media Award, the Robert Coles Call of Service Award from Harvard University’s Phillips Brooks House Assn, the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award, the Barbara Jordan Breaking Barriers Award from the Harris County Democratic Party, the IFGE Trinity Award & in January 2020 at the 32nd Creating Change Conference she received the Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director stated, “This week, the LGBTQ+ community lost one of our fiercest voices in Monica Roberts, an activist who not only lifted up the stories of trans people & inspired generations of countless transgender & non-binary people but all those who knew her. She was a mother, sister, aunt, friend, protector & voice for the voiceless. Her journalism was groundbreaking, her advocacy impactful & her spirit and passion limitless. There are people – especially trans members of our community – who are alive and thriving today because of her work.” I talked to Monica last January about her spin on our LGBTQ issues in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN:

LGBTQ Pump Up The Vote Campaign

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund has announced an on-going “Queer The Vote” multi-faceted campaign to inform, educate & mobilize LGBTQ communities as we approach the November 3rd election. Rea Carey, Task Force Action Fund Executive Director stated, “This is about the power of US & the stakes could not be higher. It is not news to anyone how critical this election is. We hear it every day, every hour & from everyone. What you may not know is that at least 2 million people identify as LGBTQ+ are not registered to vote. At the Task Force, we believe that voting should be accessible for everyone. The ‘Queer The Vote’ campaign will provide everything one needs to vote successfully & make a difference. Only 50% of registered LGBTQ voters showed up to vote in 2016 & that cannot happen this November.” Kierra Johnson, Deputy Executive Director of the Task Force Action Fund concluded, “In short, our community’s participation could make the difference in who is elected in national, state & local elections this November. This is why we are devoting every day until November 3rd to actions to Queer The Vote. We have seen the erosion of hard-fought LGBTQ+ rights, especially for trans & non-binary people, a mismanaged pandemic that disproportionately impacts marginalized communities, a devastating economic turndown & an uprising crying out for racial justice that continues to grow. We must take our power & obligation to vote seriously, because this election has much more on the ballot than individual candidates, our very democracy is at stake.” 

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