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White House Ramps Up HIV Funding

The Biden administration has requested a $670 million increase in funding for HIV prevention, treatment & equitable access to care. Carl Schmid, Executive Director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute stated, “While it falls short of what the community has requested, if this funding is realized it will continue the momentum already created & make further progress in ending HIV in the U.S. Efforts to end HIV will help eradicate an infectious disease that we have been battling for the last 40 years & help correct racial & health inequities in our nation.” Paul Kawata, Executive Director for NMAC concluded, “This is fantastic news for the fight against HIV. The Biden/Harris Administration is living up to their word that the federal plan to end the HIV epidemic would be a priority under their leadership. This additional funding will help bring greater access to HIV care & prevention services to those communities bearing the greatest burden of the epidemic. We are also pleased to see that the administration is making a commitment to equitable access to services, something that is desperately needed in communities of color & among LGBTQ+ people of color. We could not be more pleased about this announcement & we urge Congress to approve the full funding requested.” Since 1987 NMAC leads the race to urgently fight for health equity & racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America with a variety of programs & services. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics & other groups assisting individuals & families affected by the HIV epidemic. For More Info…

Lesbians Who Tech Online Pride Summit

Lesbians Who Tech & Allies will present their second virtual Pride Summit event from Monday June 21st through Friday Jun 25th. This Summit is an opportunity to come together, connect & organize on some of today's most pressing topics in the tech industry & beyond. Like last year’s successful summit they’re bringing some of the biggest names in tech, business, politics & entertainment to their stage. Everything is virtual & many events are free for our LGBTQ community & allies to experience. This Summit will address some of today's most pressing topics as we define & create the new normal. The first keynote speakers have been announced & they are Arlan Hamilton, Founder, Managing Partner, Backstage Capital, Debbie Millman, Host of Design Matters & Alicia Garza, Principal, Black Future Labs. Lesbians Who Tech & Allies is the largest LGBTQ technology community in the world committed to visibility, intersectionality & changing the face of technology. They are 70,000 LGBTQ women, people of color, non-binary & trans leaders & allies in tech in 100+ cities worldwide. Their programmatic work includes a coding scholarship for non-binary & LGBTQ women with the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund & more. They're not just creating communities but pushing the tech sector to represent what leadership actually looks like. In 2020 Lesbians Who Tech became the largest summit for women in tech & LGBTQ professionals in the world with over 40,000 attendees. They consist of over 50,000 LGBTQ women, people of color, non-binary, trans people & allies in tech in over 40 cities globally. For More Info...

Fusion Online & Drive In Film Festival

Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival takes place April 16th to 20th with 5 days of virtual screenings & outdoor drive-in celebrations that showcase the work of today’s LGBTQ leading storytellers. The program will include 10 features & over 40+ shorts from 18 countries including 9 premieres. Opening night of Outfest Fusion 2021 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Lawn at 500 Exposition Park Drive will include the Outfest Fusion Awards as well as six films featuring laughter, tears, romance, heartbreak & triumph representing the emotional highs of the queer experience. The festival will be honoring Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) with the Fusion Achievement Award & Andra Day (Lee Daniels' United States vs Billie Holiday) with the James Schamus Ally Award on Saturday April 17th. There will also be nearly a dozen community workshops, industry master classes & a One Minute Movie Contest that attendees can participate in plus live performances. This curated program represents contemporary LGBTQIA+ stories that reflect an array of cultures, identities & genres from & about our LGBTQ community. The films from the 2021 Outfest Fusion lineup have an eye for unique storytelling & a distinct Los Angeles flavor showcasing the dazzling array of talent emerging in the industry. This is a "silent-style" Drive-In event. The film’s soundtrack will be accessible exclusively through your car’s FM Radio for maximum social-distance safety. Doors will open at 6P with the Gala Shorts Program beginning at 7:30P. The Gala Shorts event includes: 2 Dollar, Blue Suit, Noor & Layla, Only for the Night, Peace & This Is the Way We Rise. For Info & Tix…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Transgender Rights Are Human Rights

The Arkansas Republican-led group of lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves for attacking the state’s transgender youth & passing the most extreme anti-transgender law in the country. History will catch up with them but in the meantime 25 state senators & 71 state representatives have placed a moral stain with their own bigotry above the lives of children. Winnie Stachelberg, Center for American Progress Executive Vice President for External Affairs stated, “A Republican-led group of lawmakers in Arkansas voted to put children’s lives at risk. Transgender youth, their parents & allies, the entire medical community & the state’s own Republican governor have all decried this law as abhorrent, immoral, dangerous & extreme. None of that mattered to state legislators hell-bent on antagonizing children.” On a positive note the Miami Heat & the eSport giant Misfits Gaming have joined the growing list of sports leaders & business organizations condemning bans that would prevent transgender children from playing sports in school. The National Women’s Soccer League, the NCAA & women’s sports legends in basketball, soccer & wrestling are publicly opposing blanket bans targeting trans youth. Also dozens of major corporations have spoken out as well including Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Hilton, IHG Hotels, Instacart, Lyft, Microsoft, SunLife, Uber & others arguing that the business community has “consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws have a negative effect on our employees, our customers, our competitiveness & state & national economies” Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director concluded, “We applaud the Heat & Misfits & the legion of sports & business leaders for standing on the right side of history -- on the side of transgender young people.”

Health Care Victory For Trans Kids

UPDATE: Today Arkansas lawmakers overrode the Governor’s veto making the state the first to ban gender confirming treatments & surgery for transgender youth…💔 Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a veto Monday of a bill that would prohibit access to gender-affirming health care for the state’s transgender minors. The veto comes just hours after the Department of Justice issued a memo regarding federal Title IX protections determining that the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County applies to Title IX & clarifying transgender students are protected from discrimination in schools. The memo is even further evidence of the fact that attacks on trans students like the ban on trans student athletes signed into law by Governor Hutchinson earlier this year are illegal & exposes states that prioritize discrimination to expensive lawsuits. Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress stated, “Today’s veto is a welcome reprieve for Arkansas’ transgender youth, their families & their communities….Transgender Americans particularly transgender youth are already among the most at-risk individuals in the country. They face alarmingly high rates of discrimination in nearly every facet of daily life. Medical professionals in Arkansas made it clear to lawmakers last month that passing this bill would put lives in immediate jeopardy, but their testimony was ignored. It is abhorrent that Arkansas legislators chose to waste their time & energy attacking transgender children instead of responding to the pandemic. Unfortunately, this fight is not yet over. The state’s simple majority veto override means lawmakers could continue to put politics over the lives of Arkansans by overturning Gov. Hutchinson’s decision & imposing this discriminatory & unconstitutional ban on Arkansas’ children. For now though, Arkansas’ transgender youth & their allies have scored a huge, hard-fought victory.”


Mapplethorpe The Director's Cut (Audio)

This week I talked with filmmaker Ondi Timoner about the recently released “Mapplethorpe, The Director's Cut” featuring an all-new soundtrack, previously unseen footage & also addresses Robert Mapplethorpe’s important relationship with Patti Smith & his subsequent pivotal romance with powerhouse art collector Sam Wagstaff. The film stars Matt Smith in the title role, best known as Prince Philip in the Netflix series “The Crown.” The stellar cast includes Marianne Rendón as Patti Smith & John Benjamin Hickey as Sam Wagstaff. LGBTQ Icon & photographer Robert Mapplethorpe was one of the most important & controversial artists of the 20th Century living his life boldly & authentically until his untimely death 1989 at age of 42 due to complications from HIV/AIDS. Mapplethorpe’s most controversial works documented & examined the gay male BDSM subculture of New York City in the late 1960s & early 1970s. His historic & provocative 1989 exhibition entitled “Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment” generated controversy & even sparked a Congressional debate when Senator Jesse Helms introduced legislation attempting to stop the National Endowment for the Arts from funding artwork he considered “obscene.” Though Helms’ extreme measures did not pass, a compromise was reached in Congress placing restrictions on NEA funding procedures that’s still in effect today. “Mapplethorpe, The Director’s Cut” also includes restored scenes depicting Mapplethorpe’s childhood love of photography, his embattled relationship with his father & his lingering ambivalent connection to the Catholic faith. This must-see biopic is now available on Hulu, Amazon & various digital platforms. I talked to Ondi about her inspiration for creating “Mapplethorpe, The Director's Cut” & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN:  

For More Info: interloperfilms.com


LGBTQ Critics Dorian Awards Go Virtual

The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) along with Karel Media will present the 2021 Dorian Film Awards on Sunday April 18 at 8P / 7P CT virtually on the digital cable TV network Revry. The Society will honor the best in movies in 17 categories ranging from Best Film, Best LGBTQ Film to Campiest Flick. The awards are voted upon by the 290 members of GALECA one of the most diverse critics groups in the world. Presenters set for the show include director Lee Daniels (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), actor Cheyenne Jackson (Call Me Kat), actress Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, Antebellum), actor Harry Hamlin (Making Love, Clash of the Titans), actor Rafael Silva (Fluidity, 9-1-1 Lonestar), actor Brad Rowe (Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss) famed comedian Margaret Cho & the legendary entertainer Charo. The online 2 hour magazine-style awards show will be hosted by LGBTQ rights icon Karel with other presenters & participants to be announced. In addition to the presenters the virtual ceremony will feature musical performances by Morgan Mallory performing “Look Into The Light," & Irish band The Black Donnellys performing the show opener “A Toast!” Shot in Las Vegas the show is executive produced by Brandon Riley Miller (Vice, Free Speech TV’s Life in Segments, High) & John Griffiths for GALECA & produced & co-written by Karel for Karel.Media. The Dorian Awards founded in 2009 honor both mainstream & LGBTQ-centric content & helps remind bullies, bigots & at-risk youth that the world looks to the Q eye for tips on great entertainment. For More Info… 

LGBTQ National Out to Win Day 2021

National Out to Win Day takes place annually on April 2nd & is celebrated to encourage more LGBTQ people to run for public office. The date commemorates when Kathy Kozachenko won a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan City Council becoming the first out LGBTQ person elected to public office in the United States in 1974. Each April 2nd the LGBTQ Victory Institute celebrates National Out to Win Day to honor her legacy by encouraging more LGBTQ people to run for office in her footsteps. Andrea Jenkins, Minneapolis City Council Vice President & the first out trans woman elected to a major city council stated, “As a queer identified, Black woman of Trans experience, I know that when I am in the room the conversation changes. So, as an elected official not only do the conversations change, the policies change as well. In my role I am able to educate my colleagues & the broader community on how harmful these legislative attacks are for trans youth. I’m able to propose & pass a ban on conversion therapy, to vote to support Operation Fast Track that promotes PREP to help end AIDS. These are the types of issues you can impact as an elected official. If you care about your community & want to see equity & justice for all people, then becoming an elected official is the job for you. Remember, when we run, we win.” The LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve & sustain global equality through leadership development, training & convening to increase the number, expand the diversity & ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected & appointed officials at all levels of government. For More Info…

Transgender Day of Visibility Honors

In the first presidential proclamation recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility President Joe Biden stated, “Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly & authentically. This hard-fought progress is also shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates & coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work & allies in every corner of society are standing in support & solidarity with the transgender community….To more fully protect the civil rights of transgender Americans, we must pass the Equality Act & provide long overdue Federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation & gender identity. It will serve as a lasting legacy to the bravery & fortitude of the LGBTQ+ movement.” The Biden administration also released a new policy that will allow qualified trans people to serve in the military. A far cry from the last administration that rolled back nondiscrimination protections in health care for our transgender community & opposed passage of the Equality Act. Also in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility the National Association of Black Journalists’ LGBTQ+ Task Force announced a new scholarship named after transgender journalist & advocate Monica Roberts who passed away last fall. The Monica Roberts LGBTQ+ Task Force Scholarship is a newly established fund to support Black LGBTQ+ students studying journalism, mass communications or otherwise interested in reporting & storytelling. Femi Redwood Black Journalists’ LGBTQ+ Task Force co-chair stated, “Since I joined Tre’vell Anderson as co-chair of this Task Force, we’ve wanted to honor Monica for her work.” Roberts inspired generations of Black queer journalists while also serving as a possibility model to trans & non-binary professionals. I talked to Monica Roberts in January 2020 about her work & her spin on our LGBTQ issues in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN:  

For More Info: nabjonline.org

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

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White House Ramps Up HIV Funding

The Biden administration has requested a $670 million increase in funding for HIV prevention, treatment & equitable access to care. ...

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