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Pulse Survivor Speaks OUT (AUDIO)

Five years after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre Congress will create a national memorial at the dedicated LGBTQ site in Orlando where 49 people were killed. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “On June 12, 2016, the lives of 49 people were taken by brutal, hate-fueled violence at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. These individuals had parents & families, friends & neighbors who loved them & who miss them & now in 2021, Congress has voted to ensure this country will not forget them. PFLAG National pledged then to continue working against bias-based violence & in support of policies that protect LGBTQ+ people from hatred, harassment & harm. The National Monument recognizing the massacre of LGBTQ+ people at the Pulse Nightclub is a call to action, reminding us all that the work must continue.” I talked to Pulse Nightclub survivor Brandon J. Wolf in 2018 who talked about his experience on that horrendous night five years ago which claimed the lives of 49 people & left 53 injured most of whom were LGBTQ Latinx people & people of color about what his personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality. Wolf stated, “My personal commitment is to again empower young people, a new generation of leaders that are going to challenge the status quo & say we’ve done a hell of a lot of great work but we’re not done doing great work until everyone in this country, everyone no matter black, white, brown, blue, LGBTQ feel safe in their own skin & I’m personally committed to amplifying that message until we get it done." LISTEN

Boston Gay Men Chorus Pride Concert

The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus PRIDE Concert is a celebration of LGBTQ dignity & diversity & will air on Boston’s ABC affiliate WCVB Channel 5 this Saturday June 12th at 7:30P & again on Sunday June 13th at 12:30P. The concert a celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month will feature the premiere of BGMC’s latest virtual video “This Is Me” along with appearances by Massachusetts’ Governor Charlie Baker & Boston Mayor Kim Janey. The Pride concert will also premiere on YouTube Sunday June 13th at 2P as well as on demand at WCVB.COM & BGMC Online. Reuben M. Reynolds III BGMC Music Director stated, “Even though we can’t perform live due to the pandemic, we’re bursting with Pride because we still get to share our music with the masses during this special month. We’re thrilled to be partnering once again with WCVB Channel 5 for this unique celebration of the LGBTQ community.” Hosted by Reynolds this special production features performances of fabulous LGBTQ anthems like “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage aux Folles” & Janet Jackson’s chart topper “Together Again;” the club classic “Relax” & the quietly defiant “Rise Up” by Andra Day. The special will close with the premiere of BGMC’s new virtual performance of the stirring “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” created especially for the TV show. In between performances viewers will meet BGMC members be entertained by stories about BGMC’s international tours & hear special messages from Gov. Baker & Boston Mayor Kim Janey. Craig Coogan BGMC Executive Director concluded, “BGMC is still here, still queer & we can’t wait to celebrate Pride the way we always do—with music that showcases LGBTQ life in all of its diversity, fabulousness & connection. Especially in a pandemic, Pride marches on.”  

Pride & Joy Trans Youth Virtual Event

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) will host “Pride & Joy” its first-ever virtual storytelling event for transgender & non-binary young people along with their families & friends on June 16th at 7P EST. The event features transgender storytellers & leaders & aims to provide family-friendly opportunities to celebrate Pride month particularly as lawmakers in legislatures across the country consider more than 100 anti-trans bills that would have significant negative impacts on young transgender people. Andy Marra Executive Director of TLDEF stated, “In this moment when transgender & non-binary young people are under attack in legislatures across the country, we felt it was important to show them & their families some extra love. We are incredibly grateful to the inspiring & talented trans leaders, authors & storytellers who will be taking part in Pride & Joy & hope that the event will reinforce for young trans people that they too have bright futures ahead of them.” Storytellers will include: Jackson Bird a YouTube creator & LGBTQ+ advocate, Precious Brady-Davis the author of “I Have Always Been Me”, Senator Sarah McBride who was officially sworn into the Delaware Senate in January 2021 & Meredith Talusan the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir “Fairest” from Viking/Penguin Random House. In addition the audience will hear from Vanessa Ford author of “Calvin”, Andrea Jenkins Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council & Gia Parr Champion of “The Gender Cool Project”. TLDEF is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity & expression & to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services & public policy efforts. For More Info & Tix…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

New Teen Gender Questioning Study

Our colleagues at CNN passed on this report conducted by Dr. Kacie Kidd a physician & adolescent medicine fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh who conducted a study that instead of asking teens if they were transgender Kidd & colleagues asked two questions in a study of 3,168 high school students at 13 racially & economically diverse public Pittsburgh high schools that resulted in a more honest inquiry. The first question was: "What is your sex (the sex you were assigned at birth, on your birth certificate)?" with the options of "female" & "male." The second question was: "Which of the following best describes you (select all that apply)?" with the options of "girl," "boy," "trans girl," "trans boy," "genderqueer," "nonbinary” & "another identity." The study published in the June 2021 issue of the journal Pediatrics found that 9.2% of kids consider themselves gender-diverse in some way. Dr. Kacie Kidd stated, "Our goal was to understand the prevalence of gender-diverse identities among high school students in our Pittsburgh school district by asking what we considered to be & what many scholars consider to be, a more inclusive question about gender identity. We came in suspecting that this two-step gender identity question would demonstrate a higher prevalence of gender diversity than in prior studies.” They found that gender diverse & non-binary teens exist in much higher numbers. Kidd concluded, “They are all unique individuals who have different needs & interests. We should be supporting them as a community in living their authentic lives, whatever that looks like for them." 

LGBTQ Small Business Recovery Survey

CNBC announced the results of the first LGBTQ Small Business Owner Financial Health Survey that was conducted in partnership with Acorns & the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The survey took the financial pulse of LGBTQ entrepreneurs to learn more about how they manage their personal & business finances & the specific obstacles they face based on their sexual & gender identity. The survey also addressed topics from emergency savings to business succession plans to post-COVID small business confidence. Not only did the pandemic take a significant toll on many of those in the small business community, nearly one-third of LGBTQ small business owners say they lost 50% of their business as a result of COVID. However nearly 80% of those surveyed say they expect to make a full recovery next year. Justin Nelson & Chance Mitchell NGLCC Co-Founders stated, “The LGBT business community is thriving, despite both the economic impacts of the pandemic & the forces of inequality & discrimination that are still far too prevalent in America. As the business voice & certifying body for LGBT-owned companies throughout the country, we are so proud to partner with CNBC to highlight the resilience of LGBT entrepreneurs from coast to coast. The confidence in the economic recovery ahead demonstrated in this survey by our network of LGBT business owners should give us all hope for better days ahead. This groundbreaking survey further proves our NGLCC philosophy that economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society.” The survey results will also be highlighted during a LinkedIn Live event, Invest in Pride: Ready. Set. Grow.. hosted by Invest in You on Thursday, June 17th at 1P ET moderated by CNBC Small Business Reporter Kate Rogers & featuring personal finance expert & bestselling author Suze Orman. For More Info… 

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™


Provincetown Film Festival (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Lisa Viola, Artistic Director for the Provincetown International Film Festival that takes place June 16th to 25th both virtually & in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The newly re-envisioned hybrid festival came together with the ingenuity & sheer determination of a world-class team of programmers including Andrew Peterson, Heidi Zwicker & Valérie Déus. Celebrating its 23rd year Richard Linklater will be this year’s Filmmaker on the Edge recipient in conversation with resident artist John Waters. Riz Ahmed, Academy Award Best Actor nominee for “Sound Of Metal” will receive this year’s Excellence in Acting Award in conversation with Vanity Fair Chief Critic Richard Lawson & queer actor/filmmaker Natalie Morales PIFF will receive the Next Wave Award in conversation with musician Holly Miranda. The hybrid festival will open with Jon M. Chu’s “In The Heights” at the Wellfleet Drive-In on June 16th & the festival will close with Emily Branham’s BeBe Zahara Benet documentary “Being BeBe” with guests of honor including director Emily Branham, producer Marc Smolowitz & the film’s subject & star BeBe Zahara Benet the winner of the very first RuPaul’s Drag Race. Some other highlights will include a Filmmaker Celebration at Truro Vineyards with Christine Vachon who co-founded the impactful independent film & television production company Killer Films joined by director & writer Daniel Minahan on June 19th from 6P to 7:30. The Provincetown International Film Festival will be closely monitoring federal, state & local COVID-19 safety guidelines & will continue to adjust safety policies accordingly throughout the festival. I talked to Lisa about what she hopes to accomplish at this year’s Ptown Film Festival & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For Info & Tix: ptownfilmfest.org

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

AIDS Movement 40 Years Later (VIDEO)

To acknowledge the 40th anniversary of AIDS epidemic in this country leaders came together including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Governor Gavin Newsom & others to call for renewed action for an AIDS-Free Generation at the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco. The event took place surrounded by the power of 40 blocks of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Memorial Grove where thousands of names lost to AIDS are engraved as the leaders paid tribute to the more than 700,000 lives lost, the survivors & the heroes during the past four decades. Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, “On this solemn day, forty years since the discovery of HIV/AIDS, Americans pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Americans we have lost to this vicious disease & draw strength from the more than one million courageous survivors living with HIV today. Moved by the beauty of the Grove & power of the Quilt, this morning we again renewed our vow to finally defeat the scourge of AIDS & bring hope & healing to all those affected. Thanks to the tireless leadership of activists, survivors, scientists & the LGBTQ community, we will not relent until we banish HIV to the dustbin of history & achieve an AIDS-free generation.” John Cunningham National AIDS Memorial Chief Executive concluded, “These stories & this important observance highlight the issues our nation faced in the past year -- a raging pandemic with hundreds of thousands of lives lost, social injustice, health inequity, stigma, bigotry & fear. However, these are also the same issues faced throughout four decades of the AIDS pandemic. They are reasons why today, we have a National AIDS Memorial & why, as a nation, we have much more work to do in the fight for a just future, where HIV/AIDS no longer exists.” WATCH FULL EVENT   For More Info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

GGBA Virtual Drag Trivia Pride Event

Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) the world’s first LGBTQ chamber of commerce is kicking off Pride with a fabulous virtual event entitled “Celebrate Pride: Drag Trivia & GGBA History" on Tuesday June 8th from 5:30P to 7P PST via Zoom. It’s an unique networking opportunity to lighten the week with some history of pride trivia lead by local drag Queen Yves Saint Croissant & Per Sia! There will be prizes, performances & even time to network. Grab your most colorful ensemble & logon to celebrate Pride Month. GGBA's mission is to champion opportunity, development & advocacy for our LGBTQ & allied business community. Gina Grahame President GGBA Board of Directors stated, “The GGBA, like every successful team, cannot succeed without everyone’s participation. We need members to utilize the platforms & resources the GGBA provides to get more engaged; to learn about, patronize & refer the businesses of fellow members.” For more than 40 years the GGBA has grown, promoted & increased the visibility of San Francisco Bay Area LGBTQ & allied businesses through educational & business development programs, networking events & targeted promotion. Founded in 1974 the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) is the San Francisco gay chamber of commerce & the nation’s first LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. The GGBA is also the first business organization founded by LGBTQ entrepreneurs. With members who live & do business across San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin counties & beyond. GGBA proudly serves as the voice for the San Francisco Bay Area’s LGBT business community. 

Boston Pride Virtual & In Person Events

Celebrating LGBTQ Pride in Boston this year will kick off virtually Friday June 4th with the Pride Flag Raising Ceremony beginning at 12P at City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA. Some of the highlighted virtual & in person events include a Pride Lights Virtual Ceremony at Blackstone Park & Franklin Square on June 8th, there will be a Pride Family Virtual Movie Night on June 9th, June 10th the Boston Red Sox will host in person Pride Night @ Fenway Park & on June 14th there will be a Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum webinar. This year’s Pride Night @ Fenway Park event is the 8th time Fenway Park has hosted Boston Pride since it began doing so in 2013. Pride Night @ Fenway Park is on Thursday June 10th at 7:10P when they take on the Houston Astros. Linda J. DeMarco, President of Boston Pride stated, “We are thrilled to be back at Fenway Park with the Red Sox hosting another Pride Night & we are appreciative of our longtime partnership. The Red Sox support of the LGBTQIA+ community has been tremendous & it shows that it is inclusive & welcoming. We can’t wait to sit in the stands & cheer on the Sox to celebrate our community and have a great time.” Adam Grossman Red Sox EVP/CMO concluded, “We are proud to once again recognize & support the LGBTQIA+ community by hosting Pride Night at Fenway Park. This partnership highlights the inclusive environment we have worked hard to create & being part of this annual celebration for the past eight years has become a special tradition. We look forward to many more years of partnership & the full activation of Pride Month in the years ahead.” For More Info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

LGBT Elders Inspire Pride Celebration

SAGE the world’s largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders is celebrating Pride season by honoring the collective strength of LGBT pioneers who are & continue to be at the core of the LGBT movement. The LGBT community’s inspiring display of strength & resilience is built on decades of LGBT people & allies joining together to overcome discrimination. To pay tribute to prominent leaders in the LGBT community SAGE will highlight stories of LGBT elders & allies from across the country all month long through its SAGE Strong campaign. Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE stated, “Every year, Pride Month is an opportunity to show our gratitude & respect for all the work older LGBT people have done for the LGBT community. Pride this year is all about celebrating the way our community stands on the strength of our LGBT elder pioneers. SAGE Strong is a reminder that these inspiring leaders are still showing up today, resilient as ever, to stand together & show that LGBT elders refuse to be invisible, especially during Pride.” From a series of virtual programs to nationwide broadcasts, SAGE Strong showcases communities of strength & creates a safe, festive space for elders, community members & allies to honor Pride Month. The past year has tested our collective adaptability, compassion & strength but this was not LGBT elders’ first pandemic nor was it the first time they had to join together to support one another through hard times. Tune into iHeartMedia’s “Can’t Cancel Pride” a virtual concert to celebrate our LGBT community June 4th at 9P EST to see performances from some of the biggest names in culture & entertainment & appearances from the most influential voices in the community. 

LGBTQ Literary Annual Award Winners

Lambda Literary the nation's premier LGBTQ literary organization announced the winners of the 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards (a.k.a. the “Lammys”) at a live Zoom ceremony hosted by Rakesh Satyal who won a Lambda Literary Award for his debut novel “Blue Boy”. Sue Landers, Executive Director of Lambda Literary stated, “While we couldn’t be together in person again this year, we are so excited to be back honoring LGBTQ literature & all of the wonderful writers who make up our community. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.” Representing the diversity of the LGBTQ experience this year’s Lammy winners once again highlighted Lambda Literary’s reputation for recognizing queer literature in all of its many forms & many winners acknowledged that diversity in their speeches. In accepting the Lammy for Transgender Nonfiction for The Black Trans Prayer Book, J Mase III & Dane Figueroa Edidi stated, “We hope that this work is a tool that helps to celebrate & heal our community.” Mohsin Zaidi, whose A Dutiful Boy: A Memoir of a Gay Muslim's Journey to Acceptance won the Lammy for Gay Memoir/Biography noted that he had been told there wouldn’t be much interest for his book in the U.S. but continued stating, “Stories don’t have a nationality & I think that’s even more true of our stories, of stories from the queer community.” Mike Curato, winner of the LGBTQ Young Adult Lammy for Flamer claimed his award concluding “All the sissies, all the queers, all the Pinoy boys who feel unseen, I see you & for anyone who has dwelt in darkness, there is light inside you even if you can’t see it.”  33rd Lammys Winners List…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Pride 2021 & LGBTQ Equality Globally

June is LGBTQ Pride Month with most celebrations worldwide still taking place virtually due to the continuing pandemic restrictions. Pride month symbolically commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the historic turning point in our LGBTQ civil rights movement. COVID-19 has amplified the marginalization & exclusion experienced by our LGBTQ community on a day-to-day basis, leading to a devastation of livelihoods, higher rates of domestic violence, heightened challenges accessing healthcare & increasing mental health issues. Jessica Stern Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “Pride is the most visible symbol of the global movement for LGBTIQ equality, affirming our existence, demanding recognition of our rights & celebrating progress. Over the last year, among other wins, Gabon & Bhutan decriminalized gay & lesbian relations & the new administration in the US re-committed to LGBTIQ equality. However, LGBTIQ people continue to face amplified effects of the COVID-19 pandemic & are too often excluded from recovery efforts. This is a sobering reminder of how marginalized our communities around the world continue to be. As such, we must continue to fight for our rights to be recognized & protected.” Usually the month is filled with marches & events celebrating our diversity & progress but in numerous places Prides face backlash, restrictions & even bans as reminder of how much work still needs to be done to achieve full global LGBTQ equality. There are still 67 countries around the world that criminalizes gay & lesbian relations & 13 countries (Brunei, the Gambia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, South Sudan, Tonga & the United Arab Emirates) that have laws explicitly criminalizing trans people with a further 37 countries criminalize trans people through vagrancy, prostitution, morality, public nuisance or other law. For More Info… 


High Priest Of Gay Parties Dies (AUDIO)

I was sad to hear that Jeffrey Sanker the founder of LA-based White Party Entertainment Inc. & the creator of such fabulous extravaganzas such as White Party Palm Springs & LGBTQ iconic events including New Year’s Eve celebrations in Los Angeles, Miami & Rio de Janeiro & the One Mighty Party at Orlando’s Gay Days had died. The Miami Herald crowned him “the high priest of gay parties” & Sanker was respectfully acknowledged by party promoters as the Circuit Master. Sanker's passion for parties began during the early eighties in New York City working at such legendary locations as Studio 54, Palladium & Private Eyes. He fine-tuned his skills as a promoter & special event producer. He also hosted parties for numerous celebrities over the years. After moving to Los Angeles in 1987 his innovative technique of using landmark venues for trend-setting themed events was credited for breathing new life into the LA scene. Since then he worked with all of the hottest & trendiest venues & nightclubs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas & Miami. He built his reputation for presenting the best cutting-edge & breakthrough talent at his parties including performances from Lady Gaga, Ke$ha & Jennifer Lopez. Sanker also created & produced fundraising events on behalf of numerous charities & community organizations including Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH), The Trevor Project & Desert AIDS Project. Jeffrey stated, “As a gay man I believe in civil rights for everybody.” In 2012 I talked to Jeffrey about his White Party 3D Experience in Palm Springs & more. LISTEN

PFLAG New Series "What Makes Pride"

PFLAG National is presenting a new limited series “What Makes Pride” hosted by Melissa Harris-Perry beginning June 1st. Each of the five episodes will premiere at 11:30A ET/8:30A PT every Tuesday in June via PFLAG National’s YouTube, Facebook channels & at pflag.org with additional content on PFLAG National’s Instagram feed. Brian K. Bond PFLAG National Executive Director stated, “As the nation’s largest organization for families & allies of LGBTQ+ people, it’s our role to signal boost. What Makes Pride builds on this action & elevates the ‘who’ behind transformational work. I’m excited that so many more people will learn about these incredible organizations & leaders. We’re grateful to host Melissa Harris-Perry, the production teams with the Anna Julia Cooper Center & Bellflower Media, Tomu DJ & especially our wonderful agency, Wear Your Voice, for their work to bring these important conversations to light.” Melissa Harris-Perry "What Makes Pride" host concluded, "I am looking forward to sharing the What Makes Pride series with a broad audience. These are conversations with critical voices, extraordinary artists & effective organizers. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to host these episodes." In a year marked by social upheaval, growing white supremacist movements & a global pandemic, What Makes Pride focuses the lens on queer, transgender, Black, Indigenous & people of color (QTBIPOC) stories, their work, & the QTBIPOC leaders who embody Pride in 2021. PFLAG is the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents & families & allies with over 400 chapters & 250,000 members & supporters across America. PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated & all people are respected, valued & affirmed. 

Campus Pride & PFLAG Collegiate Event

The fabulous LGBTQ orgs Campus Pride & PFLAG National will spotlight 18 colleges & universities across the country at this year’s online Lavender Graduation ceremony a commencement to celebrate & honor LGBTQ college graduates. This year’s Lavender Graduation the second such event to be conducted virtually will take place Saturday June 5th at 3P EST / 12P PST. The free event will be live-streamed on Campus Pride & their social media channels as well as on PFLAG National’s Facebook page. Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride Executive Director stated, “Campus Pride offers support & congratulations to this year’s graduating class of LGBTQ leaders, who embody our values of inclusion on campus & advocacy for social justice. I’m inspired by the work these young people are doing to take the activism skills they learn through programs like Camp Pride, our internships & our leadership trainings & put them into practice on their own campuses, for the betterment of their entire community.” Faculty, administrators & alumni from each of the 18 represented campuses will offer inspiring words to the Class of 2021 & student representatives will reflect on their campus experience & Campus Pride’s mission to make colleges & universities safer & more welcoming for LGBTQ people. PFLAG is the first & largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents, families and allies. With over 400 chapters & 200,000 members PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated & all people are respected, valued & affirmed. Campus Pride celebrating its 20th anniversary is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to building future leaders & creating safer, more inclusive communities for LGBTQ people & allies at colleges & universities. For More info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Inclusive LGBTQ Youth Sex Education

A major new report reveals the urgent need for LGBTQ youth inclusive sex education programs particularly those who are at the intersection of multiple marginalized communities in order to stay safe & healthy. However whether legally barred or simply ignored, LGBTQ inclusive sex education is not available for most youth especially for LGBTQ youth who are Black, Indigenous & other people of color. Christine Soyong Harley, President & CEO of SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change stated, “It is essential that LGBTQ+ youth are able to not only learn but thrive in their educational settings. To make this a reality, sex education curriculum must be culturally responsive to the unique needs & realities of LGBTQ youth & LGBTQ+ youth of color in particular-- to ensure they can make informed decisions about their reproductive & sexual health & future. Young people must receive this instruction in classrooms that move beyond shame & stigma to celebrate & affirm the identities of LGBTQ+ youth to create a classroom culture that's inclusive of all young people. Policymakers & educators must take action now to support LGBTQ+ youth through undertaking the proactive recommendations of the LGBTQ Call to Action.” The report entitled “A Call to Action: LGBTQ+ Youth Need Inclusive Sex Education” was authored & endorsed by Advocates for Youth, Answer, Black & Pink, the Equality Federation, GLSEN, the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change & URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity & provides guidance for parents & families, youth, educators & policymakers.  Read Report…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

I Love ‘Hating Peter Tatchell’ on Netflix

“Hating Peter Tatchell” is the new must-see documentary on Netflix that tells the story of UK’s legendary LGBTQ & human rights activist Peter Tatchell, director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation. It’s executive produced by Elton John & David Furnish & directed by Christopher Amos. I interviewed Peter in 2018 for OUTTAKE VOICES™ in London so I emailed him to give us his spin on the film. Tatchell stated, “The film is a snapshot of some of the hundreds of campaigns that I have done over the last 54 years. It gives a flavor of how I began activism, what motivates me & some of the successes that I've helped win. I'm humbled & honored that anyone thinks my grassroots style of campaigning is worthy of a Netflix documentary. The decades of relentless 24/7 campaigning & the many bashings I've suffered, have taken their toll on my mental & physical health but I'm still here. I look forward to another 25-plus years challenging homophobes, misogynists, tyrants & racists. Confronting people like Mike Tyson & Robert Mugabe was scary. Although I was very afraid, what drove me to take them on was my even stronger, overriding passion for human rights. Right from my first LGBT+ activism in 1969, aged 17, I always saw LGBT+ rights as a global struggle, not one confined to western countries like the US and UK. There can be no genuine queer freedom until every LGBT+ person on this planet has respect & human rights." The film features an amazing array of rare archive & an intimate conversation between celebrated actor Ian McKellen & Peter himself as well as interviews with the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, activist Angela Mason & actor Stephen Fry. For More Info... WATCH TRAILER


Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

New Film ‘Ahead Of The Curve’ (AUDIO)

This week I talked with filmmaker Jen Rainin & Franco Stevens founder of Curve magazine about their new documentary “Ahead Of The Curve” set for release on digital platforms & Wolfe Video DVD on June 1st. The award-winning documentary features Melissa Etheridge, Lea DeLaria, Jewelle Gomez & Franco Stevens. “Ahead Of The Curve” tells the story of how Stevens launched Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published with a fist full of credit cards, a lucky run at the horse track & chutzpah for days. The film tracks the power of lesbian visibility & community from the early ‘90s to the present day chronicling the story of the magazine. Decades later in the wake of a disabling injury Franco learns that Curve will fold within the year & questions the relevance of the magazine in the face of accelerating threats to our LGBTQ+ community. To forge a path forward Franco reaches out to women working in today’s queer spaces to understand what queer women need today & how Curve can continue to serve the community. “Ahead of the Curve” is directed & produced by Jen Rainin & Rivkah Beth Medow on behalf of Frankly Speaking Films & executive produced by Lindsey Dryden. "Ahead Of The Curve" will be in select theaters starting May 28th & on Starz, Apple, Amazon & everywhere you watch movies starting June 1st in time for Pride Month. I talked to Jen Rainin & Franco Stevens about what they hope to accomplish with “Ahead Of The Curve”, newly created The Curve Foundation & their spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For More Info: curvemagmovie.com

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Stoli Vodka Honors Activist Harvey Milk

LGBTQ Iconic Activist Harvey Milk’s 91st birthday is May 22nd & to commemorate Harvey Milk Day this year Stoli® Vodka & The Harvey Milk Foundation are continuing their partnership with the launch of the limited stock Stoli® Harvey Milk Global Collector’s Edition Bottle featuring art from Paraguayan artist Oz Montania. Stoli has worked with The Harvey Milk Foundation in this capacity before having launched the first Harvey Milk Bottle in 2018 commemorating the 40th anniversary of Milk taking office in 1978 as the first openly gay elected official in California. Miriam Richter, Harvey Milk Foundation Education Director & Counsel stated, "The Harvey Milk Foundation is excited to see our long term partnership with Stoli Vodka go global this year. The 2021 HMF/Stoli collaboration is a message to people all over the globe that visibility is vital & that hope can not be silenced, not just LGBTQ+ people, but for ALL people". Patrik Gallineaux, Global LGBTQ+ Ambassador for Stoli® concluded, “As a company recommitting itself as a true global organization devoted to sustainable equality, there could be no better partner for the first true Stoli® Global LGBTQ+ Limited Edition than the Harvey Milk Foundation (HMF). Harvey Milk’s legacy & spirit & the Harvey Milk Foundation’s unparalleled work around the globe transcend borders & uplift Stoli®’s promise to liberate authentic voices in pursuit of a better world.” The famed Harvey Milk quote “Hope Will Never Be Silent” will feature prominently in the new artwork for the Stolichnaya® vodka bottle. Stoli® has long championed the LGBTQ+ community showing its commitment to equality & diversity since the 1990s. Partnering with the Harvey Milk Foundation stresses the importance of knowing & understanding LGBTQ+ history & Stoli has committed to voicing its hope out loud. Cheers & Happy Harvey Milk Day!! For More Info…

Lesbian Icon Alix Dobkin Passes (AUDIO)

I was sad to hear about Alix Dobkin, Lesbian Activist & Feminist Music Icon back who passed this week at 80. In 2009 I had the honor to talk to Alix in this exclusive audio interview. Dobkin began her music career in Greenwich Village in the early 60’s along with legends like Bob Dylan & Joni Mitchell. In the early 70’s she came out as the first lesbian performer of her day. I talked to Alix about her memoir “My Red Blood” that begins in post-war New York City growing up in a Communist family & rubbing elbows with radical left celebrities like Paul Robeson. In the 1950’s in the midst of the McCarthy Era she joined the Communist Party & offers a first-hand glimpse of daily life as a teenager living under FBI surveillance. In 1965 she married Sam Hood who ran the historic Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village. They then moved to Miami & opened The Gaslight South folk club but moved back to New York in 1968. Their daughter Adrian was born two years later & the following year the marriage broke up. A few months later Alix came out as lesbian which was extraordinary for a public personality to do at the time. Shortly after that she released her 1973 debut album “Lavender Jane Loves Women” at 32 which was the very first album by, for & about Lesbians in the history of the world. All present day lesbian & feminist women’s music performers are indebted to Dobkin's groundbreaking accomplishments & spirit. Dobkin suffered a brain aneurysm & stroke & died at home surrounded by family on Wednesday, May 19th in Woodstock, New York. LISTEN  

 For More Info: alixdobkin.com

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LGBTQ Youth Amid COVID-19 & Beyond

The Trevor Project has released its 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health representing the experiences of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the United States. The third annual survey finds that 42% of respondents seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year including more than half of transgender & non-binary youth. Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director, The Trevor Project stated, “The past year has been incredibly difficult for so many LGBTQ young people because of multiple crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the hostile political climate & repeated acts of racist & transphobic violence. This data makes clear that LGBTQ youth face unique mental health challenges & continue to experience disparities in access to affirming care, family rejection & discrimination. We are proud that this survey sample is our most diverse yet, with 45% being LGBTQ youth of color & 38% being transgender or non-binary. The data speaks to the wide variety of experiences & identities held by LGBTQ youth across the country & emphasizes the need for comprehensive, intersectional policy solutions to confront systemic barriers & end suicide. To all the lawmakers considering anti-transgender bills across the county — we urge you to take a hard look at this evidence & take time out of your day to actually meet with the transgender & non-binary youth who would be harmed by your misguided proposals. Affirming a young person in their gender identity is strongly associated with lower suicide risk. That’s why we should be expanding systems of support & implementing more inclusive policies, not denying trans youth access to affirming spaces & care.”

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Pulse Survivor Speaks OUT (AUDIO)

Five years after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre Congress will create a national memorial at the dedicated LGBTQ site in Orlando where 49 pe...

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