About Me

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

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

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.”

State Department LGBTQ Policy Change

The U.S. Department of State has announced that it will update its policies under Section 301 of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) to start recognizing the U.S. citizenship of children born abroad to parents which at least one is a U.S. citizen & who are married to each other at the time of the birth. This change will positively impact married gay & lesbian parents & their children following two court decisions last year in lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal & Immigration Equality that resulted in courts finding the prior policy of refusing to recognize the citizenship of children born abroad to married gay & lesbian couples to be unlawful. Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Senior Counsel from Lambda Legal & one of the families’ attorneys stated, “Lambda Legal applauds the State Department’s decision in response to change its policy & start recognizing the U.S. citizenship of children of married same-sex couples born abroad…We are pleased to see this resolution, as this welcome change respects the marriages & families of same-sex couples as is required by our laws & constitution.” Derek Mize & Jonathan Gregg, plaintiffs in Mize-Gregg v. Pompeo concluded, “We are extremely pleased to see the State Department take this long-overdue step. We are so happy that children like our daughter will no longer be denied recognition of their U.S. citizenship at birth because their parents are of the same-sex or they were born through surrogacy…We are humbled that our fight, as well those forged by other families, was able to play a part in bringing about this change & thankful to Lambda Legal & Immigration Equality for having taken on our case.”

PFLAG Parent Day Virtual Celebration

PFLAG the first & largest organization for LGBTQ people, their parents & families & allies will present online PFLAG Parent Day: A Virtual Celebration of Parenting People on May 23rd at 2P ET / 11A PT via PFLAG National's Facebook & YouTube channels. This free virtual special event will celebrate & uplift all the parents, grandparents, foster parents, adoptive parents, caregivers & found family members who have provided love, support & affirmation to their LGBTQ+ kids. Appearing on this fabulous will include Ana Ortiz, Michael Cimino & James Martinez “Love Victor”, Javicia Leslie “Batwoman”, Wilson Cruz & Anthony Rapp “Star Trek: Generations”, Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go’s & Duke Mason; Coy Stewart, Radford Sechrist & Bill Wilkoff “Kipo & The Age Of Wonderbeasts”, Jessica Hecht, “Special”, Michael D. Cohen “Henry Danger”, Molly Bernard “Younger” John Pavlovitz; Braunwyn Windham-Burke & Jacob Windham-Burke “The Real Housewives Of Orange County”, Silvia Vasquez Lavado author & subject of upcoming biopic “In The Shadow of the Mountain”. There will also be special appearances of Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Daphne Rubin-Vega “In The Heights”, Shangela “We’re Here”, Zelda, Daniel & Ben Barnz “Genera + Ion”, Tim Gunn “Making The Cut”, Adam Faison “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”, Dana Terrace “The Owl House” Malia Civetz, Kat Cunning & Matt Palmer. With musical performances by Mother Mother, Allison Ponthier & Olivia Olson from “Adventure Time: Distant Lands”. “PFLAG Parent Day: A Virtual Celebration of Parenting People” is produced by Michelle Robinson & Philip D’Amour with graphics by Five by Five Global. For More Info…

Marriage Equality Celebrates 17 Years


In Massachusetts May 17th marks the 17th anniversary of marriage equality. It was a watershed moment in the history of civil rights when the landmark Goodridge ruling designated the constitutional right of gay & lesbian marriages in Massachusetts & at midnight on May 17, 2004 Cambridge, MA was the first city in the United States to issue marriage licenses for gay & lesbian couples. I was there & directed & produced this historic award-winning short film “OUTTAKE: Gay Marriage 2004” shot from midnight on May 17th 2004 in Cambridge & throughout the day in Boston when marriage equality became the law in Massachusetts. The film became instrumental in the passage of marriage equality nationwide in 2013 & was shot by Kirsten Martin & narrated by Arline Isaacson, Co Chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus. Watch Film  Next we need to pass the Equality Act that prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation & gender identity in areas including public accommodations & facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit & the jury system. Specifically the bill defines & includes sex, sexual orientation & gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation. Right now there are only 21 states & 330 cities that have passed LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections which leaves half of our LGBTQ community living in the other 29 states without comprehensive statewide laws. The Equality Act allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is time for our Federal government, now with the support of the Biden-Harris administration to pass the Equality Act & have it signed into law.

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

NYC Pride Human Rights Conference

NYC Pride will present its Human Rights Conference for the fourth consecutive year from June 21st through June 23rd. Over the course of the three days guests will experience a virtual gathering of creators, changemakers, historians, influencers, artists & storytellers to explore the many intersections of our LGBTQ community’s continued fight for equity & justice. Samantha Johnson, Event Manager for the Human Rights Conference stated, “This year’s events will touch on a wide variety of topics subjects. In particular, we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Native Son at this year’s Human Rights Conference to amplify the voices of queer LGBTQIA+ black men in film, TV & entertainment. In addition, we’re continuing our amplification of queer music with a spotlight on Trannilish & Ms.Boogie. We’re also expanding our partnership with Friedman Transgender Program by creating space for 3 days of health. ‘Health Track’ will reflect on NYC LGBTQ+ experiences with COVID-19 over the last year & its effect on the community, amidst evolving NYC & CDC guidelines as well as ongoing vaccine access & hesitancy concerns.” This year’s Human Rights Conference introduces a series of exclusive interactive Master classes where guests join experts & tastemakers in the field of activism, fashion, culture, queer history & more to share insight & expertise through live seminars. Powered by NYC Pride’s sponsors & community partners these classes offer viewers a chance to learn & interact with presenters representing LGBTQ excellence in their fields. Following daily master classes guests move to the conference’s Mainstage for panels on topics affecting the queer community from queer BIPOC collective power, activism in nightlife, political representation, mental health, wellness & much more. For More Info…

Inside Out Toronto LGBTQ Film Festival

The 31st annual Inside Out Toronto LGBTQ+ Film Festival will go virtual globally May 27th to June 6th via Apple TV & Roku showcasing 143 films including 33 feature films & 5 episodic series. Lauren Howes Inside Out Executive Director stated, “United, we come together-apart for Inside Out’s Covid Edition 2.0 Having pulled off the 30th anniversary Covid Edition in October 2020, our team has worked tirelessly to bring us a stellar festival line-up & return to our sweet spot on the May calendar.” Andrew Murphy Inside Out Director of Programming added, “This past year hasn’t been easy. We miss you & we miss our filmmaking family around the world. That’s why we set out to curate a festival to help us all feel something & maybe feel a little less alone.” Emerging & established filmmakers will follow guidelines from the city of Toronto who remain in lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Films within the premiere category will launch daily during the festival & the festival will host a digital library available for pass holders that will be available throughout the festival, with capped attendance. The festival’s opening night film will be the Canadian premiere of Natalie Morales’ socially distant platonic love story LANGUAGE LESSONS, which won the coveted audience award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival after premiering at the Berlin Film Festival. Closing the festival will be the Charli XCX documentary ALONE TOGETHER, which follows the famous pop musician in 2020 as she writes, records & releases a full album in 40 days while confronting mental health issues & connecting with vulnerable LGBTQ+ fans in need. Both films will stream live in the evening to ticket & pass holders. For More Info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

New Trans Workplace Memoir (AUDIO)

This week I talked to activist & author Stephanie Battaglino about her new memoir “Reflections From Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America” published by L’Oste Vineyard Press. After many years in the corporate world struggling to find her true self Battaglino went on to become New York Life’s first transgender officer. Stephanie’s memoir explores her journey to fulfillment both personally & professionally advocating for gender equality & calling to attention the work that is ahead. Stephanie now leads Diversity & Inclusion workshops, presentations & trainings sharing over 40 years of professional experience working with & within Fortune 100 companies. Retiring in 2019 from her position as Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance Company she is well versed in the ways of corporate America & has become a leader in the conversation surrounding workplace equality for transgender & non-binary people. Unfortunately the reality still remains that many of our LGBTQ community must make a choice between coming out in the workplace & assuring their job security. “Reflections From Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My Authentic Self in Corporate America” is part memoir & also part cautionary tale of what it is like to experience a career on both sides of the gender divide. Stephanie's honest & intimate storytelling paints a vivid picture of what the intersection of gender & gender identity looks like from a decidedly unique point of view. I talked to Stephanie about her inspiration for writing “Reflections From Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling" & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For More Info: stephaniebattaglino.com 

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Social Media Unsafe For LGBTQ Users

GLAAD has found in its 50-page inaugural Social Media Safety Index (SMSI) report that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube & TikTok fail to adequately protect LGBTQ users. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD CEO & President stated, “At a time when talk of regulation around content & ads on social media is rapidly escalating & social media platforms consider the critical & urgent calls for transformation from other marginalized communities, the unique needs of LGBTQ people have largely been invisible or fall low on the priority list. The spread of misinformation & disinformation over social media is a leading barrier to full LGBTQ equality & acceptance. The tech industry must realize its obligation to protect LGBTQ users & tech executives must harness their power as innovators to ameliorate the unsafe environments that have far too long persisted across social media.” Jenni Olson GLAAD Senior Project Consultant added, "The amount of dehumanizing & dangerous anti-LGBTQ hate on social media platforms is astounding. Research shows that social media companies have effective solutions they could be implementing, but they continue to prioritize profits over public safety. Ongoing pressure like GLAAD's Social Media Safety Index is necessary until LGBTQ people are safe on these platforms.” The Social Media Safety Index was based on an in-depth review of industry research & publicly available content & ad policies including interviews with advisory committee members & reporting & testing of LGBTQ policies across each of the platforms. The Social Media Safety Index was created with support from the Gill Foundation & Craig Newmark Philanthropies. 

Biden Restores Anti-Bias Protections

The Biden Administration announced that it will restore protections against discrimination in healthcare based on gender identity & sexual orientation. Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates stated, “Every American deserves access to health care. It was especially cruel for President Trump to roll back health protections for LGBTQ individuals one year ago in the midst of a pandemic. I am thankful that President Biden has put an end to this absurdity. It's one more proof point that he is standing up for the LGBTQ community. This, however, is not enough. We need to see Congress pass laws that will prevent future administrations from taking away our rights.” Michael Adams SAGE CEO added, “We at SAGE applaud the Biden administration’s public declaration from the Department for Health & Human Services prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation & gender identity under section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. These protections are critical to the health & well-being of millions of LGBT elders across the country. While this is an important step forward, we must urge the Senate to take action and make the Equality Act the law of the land. LGBT elders have already waited too long for the broader non-discrimination protections that the Equality Act affords.” Dr. Susan R. Bailey, President, American Medical Association concluded, “The Biden administration did the right thing by terminating a short-lived effort to allow discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation when seeking health care…This move is a victory for health equity & ends a dismal chapter in which a federal agency sought to remove civil rights protections.” 

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

 

Lambda Literary Awards Go Virtual

The 33rd annual Lambda Literary Awards ("Lammys") will take place virtually on Tuesday June 1st from 7P to 9P EDT via Zoom. This is a free event. Usually the Lammys are held in person in New York City but this year they will be presented virtually for the first time ever making it available to LGBTQ book lovers everywhere. The award ceremony created over 30 years ago recognizes the crucial role LGBTQ writers play in shaping the world & the Lammys celebrate the very best in LGBTQ literature. Sue Landers, Executive Director stated, "For over 30 years, the Lammys have celebrated authors who bring necessary, urgent & artful writing into the world & these honorees are truly exceptional in this regard. We are grateful for their work & look forward to celebrating them at this year's Lammys." This year’s virtual event will be hosted by Rakesh Satyal & presenters will include John Paul Brammer, Katherine V. Forrest, Alex Gino, Alan Hollinghurst, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, R.O. Kwon, Carmen Maria Machado, Ryan O'Connell & Torrey Peters. There will also be a performance by Meshell Ndegeocello. For over 30 years Lambda Literary has championed LGBTQ books & authors. No other organization in the world serves LGBTQ writers & readers more comprehensively than Lambda Literary who nurtures & advocates for LGBTQ writers elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve our legacies & affirms the value of our stories & our lives. This is a free event however with registrations & donations of $75 you will receive a virtual gift bag full of digital goodies & registrations with donations of $125 & above you will receive a virtual gift bag + a special gift. For Info & Registration…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Rufus Does Judy At Capitol Studios

This fabulous virtual concert event will star Rufus Wainwright backed by a four-piece band performing Judy Garland's entire 1961 Carnegie Hall set in front of a micro-audience comprised of 2 time Academy Award-winning actress Renée Zellweger winner of last year’s “Best Actress” Oscar for her performance as Garland in "Judy". Wainwright will also be joined by award-winning star of stage & screen Kristin Chenoweth in person at Capitol Studios with his sister Martha Wainwright remotely from Montreal on June 10th, which would have been Judy Garland’s 99th birthday. Wainwright stated, “The American Songbook & Judy Garland’s famed 1961 Carnegie Hall concert gave me a lot of hope after 9/11 & lead to the idea for my first song by song recreation of that show at the same venue. It felt fitting to do the entire set again as the dazzling finale of my Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective & hopefully the beginning of the finale of this global pandemic. Once again, these songs revealed their healing power. To be able to sing them in front of Renée, to sing with Kristin Chenoweth & still have my sister Martha be part of these shows was particularly meaningful although to sing them into the very microphone that Judy used for her recordings at Capitol Studios was the most mind-blowing.” Kristin Chenoweth concluded, “I’ve been wanting my moment with Rufus for forever. It’s finally happening!” There will also be a limited edition Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios t-shirt created by Michael Kors benefiting the LGBTQ human rights organization OutRight Action International available through June – Pride Month 2021. The Rufus Does Judy At Capitol Studios virtual event will be aired globally at 3 separate times on June 10th via veeps.  For More Info & Tix…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Provincetown International Film Fest

The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) will take place June 16th to 25th virtually & in Provincetown, Massachusetts. 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.” Writer/director Richard Linklater will be honored with The Filmmaker on the Edge Award & will accept the award in a virtual conversation with John Waters. The festival also announced that actor/filmmaker Natalie Morales will receive the Next Wave Award which celebrates those who have exciting, new & distinctive voices. Lisa Viola, PIFF’s Artistic Director stated, “We are thrilled to present a robust slate of bold, new films from incredibly talented filmmakers – many of whom faced significant challenges in having their work be seen. We are eager to introduce these passionate stories as we continue to support emerging artists & with our signature awards, we are proud to honor the accomplishments of universally acclaimed filmmakers Richard Linklater & Natalie Morales.” This year’s festival will included virtual screenings in conjunction with safely-distanced indoor spaces & outdoor venues including the Wellfleet Drive-In. Festival goers will also have the choice of attending limited-capacity screenings at Waters Edge Cinema or renting out the cinema for private screenings. Blythe Frank, PIFF’s Executive Director concluded, “We’re excited to be welcoming filmmakers & audiences back together after the disruption of the COVID pandemic. This year, as we build back, we’re able to offer both in-person events under the guidance of a COVID compliance expert & a rich virtual experience spanning 10 days.” For More Info…

Historic LGBTQ Landmark Saved (Audio)

San Francisco has designated the first landmark honoring lesbian history for the longtime home of LGBTQ pioneers Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin. District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman stated, “Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin were queer activists before queer activism was a thing. The modern LGBTQ rights movement is built on the foundations laid by these women & their contemporaries & it is fitting that their home is the first San Francisco historic landmark dedicated to lesbian history. They shared this home for more than half a century & it has clear historic value that should be preserved & celebrated. Early LGBTQ leaders like Phyllis & Del changed the world for the generations of queer people that would follow.” Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) concluded, “NCLR is thrilled to see the longtime residence of lesbian icons Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon receive the historic designation it deserves, making it the first landmark on the West Coast with a lesbian focus. From the more than 50 years of devoted partnership that Phyllis & Del shared in that home, to meetings of key leaders in the LGBTQ movement from the 1950s through marriage equality, their Noe Valley home played a pivotal role in both the lesbian rights and the broader LGBTQ rights movement for many years. It is inspiring to see that history preserved for future generations and to know that their legacy will live on.” I talked to Dr. Gayle E. Pitman about her children’s book entitled “When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin Built a Community” about the importance of preserving our LGBTQ history in this exclusive interview. LISTEN  

 

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