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Watching Halloween Movies To Die For

Every year I search for movies that I haven’t seen or even better are brilliant for these strange mad times we live in to get in the Halloween spirit. Pacing yourself is crucial to get the full horror fill in time for the big day. With all the streaming channels it’s becoming a bit challenging in some ways & in other ways more gratifying. This year I began with “Halloween 4” which I hadn’t seen though released in 1988. I wanted to see the new 2021 “Halloween Kills” but my streaming services demanded an extra "trick” payment that I passed on & found a “treat” in “Halloween 4” on AMC for free. It had the retro John Carpenters creepy theme music though directed by Dwight H. Little. I never met Little but we did both share an important relationship with MJ McDonnell who was credited in the cast. Then I went on to HBO MAX which delivered the full “Conjuring” series which I watched backwards starting with “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” that was released this year. It’s also retro in the sense that all the Conjuring film take place in the 1970’s & all 3 films star Vera Farmiga & Patrick Wilson with stellar supporting actors worth watching. Then I watched “The Conjuring 2” that takes place in London & was my fav of the series. After totally enjoying that I had to watch “The Conjuring” released in 2013. It was good but out of the 3 if you only watch one then I suggest you go for “The Conjuring 2”. After this marathon of Conjuring movies I still had room for one more & I found satisfaction on Amazon Prime in “Bingo Hell” which was brilliant. Happy Halloween!!

SAGE Expands Home Care Services

SAGE the world’s largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older people has announced the expansion of SAGECare with the generous donation from SAGE Board member Laurie Peter & her wife Betsy Bernard. This will create new opportunities for the SAGECare program by building on its successes in the long-term care & elder living sectors SAGECare is expanding into the in-home care market. Laurie Peter stated, “Supporting SAGECare’s training work to expand in-home care for our elders is so important & we are happy to contribute to that effort.” Betsy Bernard added, “The work SAGECare has done with organizations is commendable & to bring SAGE’s expertise to the in-home care sector is vital for LGBTQ+ elders to age in place with the dignity & care they deserve.” SAGECare provides live & on-demand trainings for any professional working with older people & credentials agencies that meet certain training thresholds. To date SAGECare has trained & credentialed over 600 organizations most of which are in the long-term care, assisted living & skilled nursing sectors. Lynn Faria, SAGE Executive Vice President concluded, “Most LGBTQ+ older people want to stay in their homes rather than enter into long-term care. We also know how stressful it can be to invite paid caregivers into their homes, which is often a safe place where people can be themselves. Some LGBTQ+ elders may fear having someone in their home who could judge or give them inferior care because of who they are or who they love. That’s why we are so grateful to Laurie & Betsy for their investment, which will advance SAGECare’s engagement with agencies that provide in-home care & support.” 

US Passport To Add X Gender Marker

The US State Department has issued a US Passport with an X gender marker. This is the first time a gender-neutral passport has been issued in America finally sending a strong message in support of the rights of transgender, intersex & non-binary citizens. While only one passport has been issued a routine roll out of the X gender marker is expected in early 2022 after necessary administrative changes are made to relevant forms & systems. Maria Sjödin, Acting Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “Trans, intersex & non-binary people face a myriad of discrimination & access barriers, as well as harassment & degrading treatment, when the gender marker in their documentation does not correspond with the norms associated with their gender expression. Offering a non-binary gender marker is not revolutionary - it is simply a reflection of reality which will enable people who do not identify as male or female to be recognized as their true selves. We welcome this step from the US State Department, urge authorities to ensure swift roll-out of the provision & encourage other countries to follow suit.” Fifteen countries currently recognize some form of third gender marker in some way including Austria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, India, Iceland, The Netherlands, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Uruguay & now the US. Thereafter people in the US will be able to self-identify as M, F or X on their passports. OutRight Action International works at a global, regional & national level to eradicate the persecution, inequality & violence LGBTIQ people face around the world. OutRight has recognized consultative status at the United Nations. For More Info…

"The Rainbow Lullaby" Album (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Ryan Bauer-Walsh about “The Rainbow Lullaby” the world’s first LGBTQ lullaby album released on Broadway Records. The recording includes songs by 15 LGBTQ writers including Bauer-Walsh, Marc Shaiman (Hairspray) & Debra Barsha (Radiant Baby) with performances by over 30 LGBTQ artists. “The Rainbow Lullaby” features performances by Michael Buchanan (The Book of Mormon), Klea Blackhurst (Party Face), Jonathan Burke (The Inheritance), Jamie Cepero (Smash) Tony Award nominee & Drama Desk winner Jenn Collela (Come From Away), Madge Dietrich (Kinky Boots), Matt Doyle (Company), Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Taylor Frey (The View Upstairs), Zachary James (The Addams Family), Natalie Joy Johnson (Kinky Boots), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Our Town), Aury Krebs (A Letter To Harvey Milk), Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Tony Award nominee Caitlin Kinnunen (The Prom), Jo Lampert (Hundred Days), L. Morgan Lee (A Strange Loop), Richie Leone, Michael Longoria (Jersey Boys), Kyle Dean Massey (Wicked), John Charles Mclaughlin (Crackskull Row), Susie Mosher (Hairspray), Shakina Nayfack (Musical Theatre Factory), Kyler O’Neal (Pity Party), Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill), Ernie Pruneda (Sister Act), Jelani Remy (Ain’t Too Proud), Chris Rice-Thomson (Pretty Woman), Clay Rice-Thomson (Matilda), Marissa Rosen (Kristin Chenoweth: For The Girls), Marty Thomas (Wicked), Katie Thompson (R.R.R.E.D.) & The First Presbyterian Church of New York City Choir. Ryan Bauer-Walsh is a New York based artist that has appeared in numerous stage shows including Billy Elliot (National Tour), Most Happy Fella (Encores), Les Miserables & Miss Saigon. I talked to Ryan about the inspiration for creating “The Rainbow Lullaby” album & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Atlanta Pride Rainbow Walk Installation

Atlanta Pride Committee announced as part of the ELEVATE Atlanta public arts festival local gay artist Matthew Terrell has colorized 1000 feet of sidewalk as a “Living Rainbow.” The Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs awarded Atlanta Pride a grant for this project which will be on display this weekend October 29th to 31st. This artwork is free & open to the public but will only be temporarily on display during the scheduled ELEVATE Atlanta weekend of events in the Westside neighborhood because it will be washed away on November 1st. The material used for this project is an eco-friendly colored powder made of cornstarch & other food-safe & cosmetic-grade natural colors. Large blocks of the sidewalk in Rose Circle Park have been colorized using the colors from the Rainbow Pride flag. Over the course of the installation as people walk over the sidewalks the colors will blend into a Living Rainbow that keeps on changing the more viewers interact with the work. The colored powders are safe, non-toxic, will not harm plants or animals & are easily washed off. Since this is a temporary event Atlanta Pride will have the sidewalks power-washed after the event to remove the color. The purpose of this project is to give Atlantans a monumental-sized rainbow as an acknowledgement of the city’s long history of supporting LGBTQ rights. Atlanta Pride was cancelled in 2021 due to rising cases of COVID due to Delta variant & hope to give the community ways to engage with a message of Pride even if they can’t have a full festival. For More Info…

LGBTQ Rights Advance In Raleigh N.C.

Good news out of Raleigh the second largest city in North Carolina. The City Council unanimously passed an LGBTQ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Now all 5 of NC's largest cities as well as 10 other jurisdictions have passed protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination. Raleigh City Council voted unanimously to pass the nondiscrimination ordinance that protects residents & visitors from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, natural hairstyle & other characteristics in employment & public accommodations. The unanimous vote makes Raleigh the 15th jurisdiction in North Carolina to advance a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance in 2021. What a difference a few years makes. Now all 5 of North Carolina’s top cities have now passed LGBTQ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham & Winston-Salem. Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director of Equality NC stated, "We're so pleased to see Raleigh take this historic step to expand nondiscrimination. Nearly 30 percent of the state's population is now covered by LGBTQ inclusive ordinances & this represents a great change for the city of Raleigh & the state of North Carolina. Raleigh has taken a big step forward to protect LGBTQ people, especially for folks with multiple layers of marginalization & this only grows momentum for the non-discrimination on the local, state & federal level." Jonathan Melton, of the Raleigh City Council concluded, "I'm proud to see the Raleigh City Council come together to take action & ensure our city is a place where all people feel protected, respected & safe. As an LGBTQ person myself, it's so meaningful to know that my city is striving for inclusivity & dignity for everyone & as an out elected official I'm grateful to work with colleagues committed to doing the right thing." For More Info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

LGBTQ Japanese American Conference

Okaeri: A Nikkei LGBTQ Community has announced that their 2021 conference will take place virtually from November 12th to 14th. The conference will include 23 workshops & a special guest appearance & performance by drag star Gia Gunn. The event will be Okaeri’s fourth conference. Okaeri’s first conference in 2014 was the first-ever gathering focused on LGBTQ Nikkei Japanese Americans & attracted over 200 attendees from across the U.S & Canada. This year the conference will include a diverse program of workshops, affinity group meet-ups & performances by LGBTQ Nikkei. The conference will feature speakers from across the U.S. & Japan to touch on topics including marriage equality in Japan, LGBTQ+ inclusion in faith spaces, transgender experiences & lessons from queer Japanese American history. Many LGBTQ Nikkei are estranged from their families & the Japanese American community. Okaeri’s leaders hope the conference will facilitate LGBTQ+ Nikkei meeting each other & will continue to advance visibility of LGBTQ people within the Japanese American community. The Okaeri virtual conference is held by LGBTQ Nikkei, parents of LGBTQ Nikkei & allies of LGBTQ people to foster a space for acceptance, healing & the undoing of homophobia & transphobia. Founded in 2014, Okaeri is a Los Angeles-based group whose mission is to create visibility, compassionate spaces, & transformation for LGBTQ+ Nikkei & their families by sharing their stories & providing culturally-rooted support, education, community-building & advocacy. In addition to its biennial conferences Okaeri organizes numerous events throughout the year focused on building support & community for LGBTQ Nikkei & allies. For More Info…

Spirit Day Against LGBTQ Youth Bullying

For over 10 years OUTTAKE MEDIA has supported Spirit Day celebrated this year on Thursday October 21st. 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. That said according to GLSEN's most recent National School Climate Survey 70.1% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed. Additionally 59.5% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 44.6% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 87.3% of LGBTQ students experienced harassment or assault based on personal characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender expression, gender, religion, actual or perceived race & ethnicity & actual or perceived disability. The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ identity. A 2021 national survey by The Trevor Project also shows the majority of LGBT youth (52%) who were enrolled in middle or high school report being bullied either in person or electronically in the past year. Though the majority of citizens in America stand against LGBTQ youth bullying 10 states including Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, South Dakota & West Virginia are passing anti- transgender youth legislation.  For More Info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Bully Texas Bans Transgender Children

In the midst of a pandemic Texas legislators have focused their attention on banning transgender children, kindergarten through 12th grade from participating in school sports on teams that align with their gender. The bill now heads to Governor Greg Abbott who previously said he planned to sign it making Texas the 10th U.S. state to restrict access to school sports for transgender youth along with Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, South Dakota & West Virginia. Ricardo Martinez, Texas Equality CEO stated, “HB 25 singles out transgender kids & permanently prohibits them from the foundational opportunities that sports provide children, like camaraderie with friends & learning lessons about teamwork, sportsmanship & healthy exercise. It is yet another attack in a long year that has already been the most harmful legislative year on record for LGBTQ+ Texans, with over 50 bills targeting their health, safety & humanity. Throughout four traumatizing legislative sessions, we’ve seen increased requests for help from families facing anti-LGBTQ+ threats as a result of this hostile climate. The ‘debate’ over this anti-transgender bill is already exacerbating intolerance, fueling discrimination & solidifying Texas’ reputation as the leading state for violence against trans people.” Emmett Schelling, Executive Director Transgender Education Network of Texas stated, “Our hearts are broken seeing HB 25 pass in the state of Texas. Instead of focusing on legislation that would genuinely be of help to the people of Texas we saw our state leaders bully, belittle & treat our most vulnerable Texans with cruelty & indifference. We will continue to fight for & stand with trans children & their families. We know that we stand on the right side of history in affirming, supporting & loving our kids & no law passed by out of touch lawmakers can take that away.” For More Info… 

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

New Book A Tale of Two Omars (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Omar Sharif Jr. about his new memoir “A Tale of Two Omars: A Memoir of Family, Revolution & Coming Out During the Arab Spring” published by Counterpoint Press. In this must-read memoir Omar shares intimate details of his personal story along with the lessons he inherited from his family that have helped prepare him to become a global leader in our fight for LGBTQ equality. He writes with brutal honesty about his upbringing & adolescence as well as the traumas & heartbreaks of his adult life. From bullying & sexual assault to being unable to return to Egypt after announcing he was gay this is a powerful & highly readable personal story from a writer with an incredibly diverse background. The grandson of Hollywood royalty Omar Sharif on his father’s side & Holocaust survivors on his mother’s, Sharif learned early on how to move between worlds from the Montreal suburbs to the glamorous orbit of his grandparents’ Cairo. His famous name always protected him wherever he went. Then in the wake of the Arab Spring he made the difficult decision to come out in the pages of The Advocate in 2012 that changed his life forever. “A Tale of Two Omars” also provides lots of Hollywood stories & intriguing gossip over the decades. I talked to Omar about his inspiration for writing “A Tale of Two Omars: A Memoir of Family, Revolution & Coming Out During the Arab Spring” & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Trans & Gender Diverse Health Guide

Fenway Health has released the first case-based textbook to address the comprehensive health care needs of transgender & gender diverse adults. The guide entitled “Transgender & Gender Diverse Health Care: The Fenway Guide” is published by McGraw Hill & co-edited by Drs. Alex S. Keuroghlian, Jennifer Potter & Sari L. Reisner of The Fenway Institute. Dr. Alex S. Keuroghlian, Director of the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School & Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Gender Identity Program stated, “Demand for state-of-the-art health care services for transgender & gender diverse people is rapidly increasing. This textbook is an invaluable resource to all clinicians who care for transgender & gender diverse adults.” Dr. Jennifer Potter, Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School added, “Medical providers have a responsibility to be familiar with the most up-to-date scientific & clinical information & they can find all of that information & more in this guide, which highlights key aspects of gender identity emergence across the lifespan & provides much-needed guidance on both hormonal & surgical gender affirmation.” Sari L. Reisner, Sc.D, Director of Transgender Health Research at The Fenway Institute, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School & Director of Transgender Research at Brigham & Women’s Hospital concluded, “We have long known that transgender & gender diverse adults experience health care disparities largely rooted in stigma, including acts of discrimination that take place in health care settings. Our textbook applies a health-equity model of care & provides guidance for clinicians when addressing health needs of transgender & gender diverse communities.” For More Info…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

SAGE 25th Annual Awards Gala (AUDIO)

SAGE the nation’s largest & oldest org dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ elders is celebrating its 25th Annual SAGE Awards & Gala on October 18th in person from 5P to 8P EST at Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street in NYC. This year’s honorees include Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health & a longtime champion of elders in the LGBTQ community. They will also recognize the work of Watermark Retirement Communities with the Jack Watters Corporate Advocate Award. Watermark is the first nationwide senior living company to be certified SAGE Care platinum requiring staff across the country to be trained in LGBTQ+ cultural competency to better meet the needs of their LGBTQ+ residents. SAGE will also honor the resiliency of LGBTQ+ elders by highlighting the stories of SAGE community members across the country including long-time constituents Pat & Paulette Martin. They have changed this year’s format from their traditional sit-down dinner to an elegant cocktail affair with passed hors d’oeuvres & plentiful seating to give guests ample opportunity to connect & also remain socially distant. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all in-person attendees. In an effort to make everyone as comfortable as possible the event room will be at 50% capacity & presented in a cabaret-style format. Color-coded wristbands will be available for everyone to denote their social distancing comfort level. There will be plenty of food, drink & celebration of the honorees. In January I was on a press conference call with Dr. Rachel Levine & Winnie Stachelberg, Center for American Progress Executive Vice President, External Affairs who intros Dr. Rachel Levine. LISTEN

 For More Info & TIX…

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Texas Passing Trans Kids Discrimination

In Texas transphobic legislators are successfully attempting to ban our transgender kids from school sports under the deception of leveling the playing field. However this bill is not about fairness but rather about stigmatizing & harming our trans youth. Now this horrendous Texas legislation HB 25 that will restrict transgender students from competing in athletic competitions with their own gender groups has passed through the Calendars Committee to the full House of Representatives. Ricardo Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas stated, “The Texas Legislature’s unrelenting assault on transgender children continued today as the House Calendars Committee voted to move HB 25 to the full House without deliberation. The only word to describe this move is cruel. Despite unequivocal evidence of the harm filing, hearing & debating anti-trans bills has caused trans kids & their families & overwhelming community opposition at each & every hearing, legislators choose to ignore the voices of the people. They are putting politics above people — above innocent children. The majority of Texans believe discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is wrong. Common sense policy doesn’t seek to harm Texans or ignore the negative implications of bills being proposed. Transgender children participating in sports is not a national emergency or a Texas emergency; these attacks on trans kids & the ongoing trauma to the trans community certainly are. This is unconscionable. We will continue to show up to the Capitol in opposition of these bills & will do everything we can to ensure they are defeated once & for all.” Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for LGBTQ Texans through political action, education, community organizing & collaboration. 

Lily Tomlin & MBCC Event Goes Virtual

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is hosting their 24th Annual Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention virtually on Saturday October 23rd from 6P to 9:30P EST via Zoom. The event will feature a guest appearance from long-time environmental activist, actress & comedian Lily Tomlin. Last year Tomlin was the recipient of the MBCC Environmental Activist Award in appreciation for her tireless dedication to making the world a better place. Cheryl Osimo, MBCC’s Executive Director stated, “We are grateful to all of the talented MBCC friends who will help us raise funds toward MBCC’s focus on cancer prevention. Ultimately these individuals along with all MBCC dance supporters are helping us to make the world a better place for our children, grandchildren & future generations. We are honored & thrilled to have Lily Tomlin join us again for this special evening. We are constantly inspired by individuals, like Ms. Tomlin, who continuously spread positivity in many ways in the world.” Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is the state's leading breast cancer organization dedicated to preventing the environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy & changes to public policy. All proceeds from this event will benefit MBCC’s mission of breast cancer prevention. The event will also feature music with DJ Jodi Entertainment & dance lessons with Liz Nania the founder & director of OUT to Dance. Tickets to attend the virtual Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention is on a sliding scale of $15, $30 or $45. Tickets for students are $10. All proceeds from this event will benefit MBCC’s mission of breast cancer prevention. For More Info & Tix…

Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Coming Out On Indigenous Peoples' Day

Since 1988 National Coming Out Day is acknowledged on October 11th which is the day that if you haven’t come out yet about your LGBTQ sexual orientation to your family, friends & colleagues it’s time to live as your authentic self & be counted. As Harvey Milk stated, “Burst down those closet doors once & for all, stand up & start to fight.” So here we are in 2021 still living in America without federal protection for our LGBTQ community on National Coming Out On Indigenous Peoples' Day. Let’s band together with our straight allies & once & for all make it safe for all people to be able to come out & live their authentic lives. It would be so refreshing for the next generation to be able to be themselves & not have to go through school denying their sexuality as I had to decades ago. Just think what it would be like to have an open the dialogue within our school systems & our community so that young people do not have to grow up holding a secret that makes them feel bad, guilty, ashamed & different. We need workplace national protections so that we can’t be fired because of who we love. Congress needs to pass The Equality Act so our children can grow-up in a world where it’s safe to be themselves instead of dealing with the fact that more than half of LGBTQ K-12 students reported feeling unsafe at school as a result of their sexual orientation & more than one-third reported feeling unsafe because of how they express their gender. We also need everyone to take a stand against LGBTQ bullying & make sure you wear purple on Spirit Day Thursday October 21st. 

Boston Wigged Halloween Drag Event

Just in time for Halloween Sky Casper Entertainment one of the Northeast's top producers of LGBTQ entertainment is presenting “Wigged Halloween Drag Show” with Sutton Lee Seymour & Cacophony Daniels at Boston's Club Cafe for one fabulous performance on October 30th at 7:30P. This Halloween drag cabaret event will feature the international headliners performing songs from such pumpkin-spiced favorites as Wicked, Hocus-Pocus, Rocky Horror & even a few anthems from Disney's most evil queens! Sky Casper the Friendly Host stated, "I'm thrilled to have Sutton & Cacophony hop on their broomsticks to travel from Broadway to Beantown. These two witches are some of my best ghoulfriends & I know they're going to leave Club Cafe buried alive in laughter. It would be a grave mistake to miss it!" Cacophony Daniels is the drag darling from NYC who has toured internationally with her cabaret shows in Fire Island, Provincetown & Puerto Vallarta as well as making regular appearances at Stonewall, The Duplex, Don’t Tell Mama & aboard Atlantis Cruises. Sutton Lee Seymour is NYC’s award-winning comedy queen that has headlined on Atlantis Event’s Gay Cruise & Resort Vacations toured her shows through beach towns like Provincetown, Ogunquit & Saugatuck & has sold out in big cities such as NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco & Chicago. Doors creak open at Club Cafe at 209 Columbus Avenue in Boston at 6:30P for cocktails. The frightfully fun show starts at 7:30P. Tickets are $30 in advance & $35 cash at the door. Proof of COVID vaccination will be required for admission. 

The Equality Act Protects All Americans

Passing the Equality Act would provide federal legislation that will modernize & improve our nation’s civil rights laws by including explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people as well as women, people of color & people of all faiths. A new survey released by Public Religion Research Institute found that a large majority of Americans (82%) favor laws that protect our LGBTQ community from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations & housing. The proportion of Americans who support nondiscrimination legislation has risen more than 10 percentage points since 2015. More than 400 major U.S. companies including Coca-Cola, Apple, General Mills & others have endorsed the Equality Act because they believe it’s good for their employees & their businesses. Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates stated, “It is time for Congress to act. Every day that passes without the Equality Act means our nation’s laws are woefully lagging behind our basic ideals of equality & fairness. LGBTQ Americans are vulnerable to discrimination & having their protections hang in the balance across virtually every sphere of daily life. Nobody should have to live in fear of discrimination because of who we are or who we love.” Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund stated, “The lives of millions of LGBTQ people in this country & our families would be improved through the Equality Act.” Brian K. Bond, Executive Director, PFLAG National concluded, “Parents of LGBTQ+ people want for their children what all parents want for their children: The opportunity to live, learn, work, pray & play safely, fairly & free from discrimination, harassment & harm.” For More Info…

Provincetown Women’s Week Film Fest

For over 30 years Provincetown has hosted Women's Week that was founded in 1984 by several entrepreneurial & fabulous lesbian innkeepers. It began as an intimate clambake & has become one of the longest & largest running lesbian events in history. This year Women's Week takes place October 11th to 17th with 150+ events including an exciting program of diverse films & conversations by emerging female filmmakers. It wouldn't be Women's Week without the annual screening of “Clambake” that documents Women's Week in Provincetown’s 30-year journey with archival footage, photos & interviews directed by Andrea Myerson who will be on hand for a Q&A on October 14th. Another highlight among the feature films & short programs that will be presented during the week is “Ahead Of The Curve” to be screened with Lea Delaria’s short film “The Lesbian Bar Project”. Director Jen Rainin stated, “The quintessential lesbian documentary “Ahead Of The Curve” is screening at Waters Edge Cinema in PTown for Women's Week. The film tells the story of Franco Stevens’ wild ride as she launched Curve magazine in 1990 with a handful of credit cards & a lucky run at the horse track. Franco & Lea DeLaria will join the filmmakers for a Q&A after the October 12th show.” Also joining the Q&A will be filmmakers Rivkah Beth Medow & Jen Rainin. Last May I talked to Jen & Franco Stevens about what they hope to accomplish with “Ahead Of The Curve”, their newly created Curve Foundation & their spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For More Info & Tix…

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New LGBTQ BIPOC Talent Agency

Jason Rodriguez the unequivocal face for the new generation of dancers as seen on Ryan Murphy's Emmy & Golden Globe Award-nominated television series “POSE ” & Ricardo Sebastián his longtime manager turned business partner & a community organizer who recently came out as nonbinary, have announced the inaugural roster of their newly formed Arraygency a talent agency representing BIPOC, LGBTQ & Trans creatives. The initial Arraygency roster includes six creatives including dancer Azusa Crawford, youth leader, queer & trans artist & journalist Sage Dolan-Sandrino, actor, dancer, writer & producer Morticia Godiva, music artist, songwriter, model, public speaker & trans advocate Iman Hill, dance artist & model José Lapaz-Rodriguez & dancer & model Babou Sanneh. Rodriguez & Sebastián stated, “We are thrilled with the very first roster at Arraygency! It’s been an exciting few weeks since our announcement & we were inspired by all the responses & submissions we received. We are eager to introduce each of these talents to the world & look forward to welcoming even more creative talent to Arraygency in the future.” Rodriguez & Sebastián formed Arraygency in August with the singular mission of bringing BIPOC, Queer & Trans people to the forefront of all creative industries. Since announcing they have received over 650 submissions for representation. Arraygency places an important & specific spotlight on equity, diversity & inclusion to better meet the needs of BIPOC, LGBTQ, Queer & Trans creatives in the entertainment industry & ensure equal access to opportunities for all. Photo By Alex Webster. For More Info…

Born Perfect & Enfranchisement Video

Born Perfect & Enfranchisement have released a new video entitled “Bobby’s Big Problem” with an all-star cast including Patton Oswalt, D’Arcy Carden, Jasika Nicole & RB Butcher to combat Anti-LGBTQ Conversion Therapy. Using puppets the film satirizes a conversion therapy session to highlight its absurdity & provide a glimpse into this dangerous practice. Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect co-founder stated, “We are proud of the work we’ve accomplished so far with 20 states passing conversion therapy bans for minors. Increasingly, conversion therapists are marketing this abusive practice online. This video is about exposing those efforts & telling the truth about conversion therapy. We made this video as a public education tool to help raise public awareness about the absurdity of conversion therapy & to help LGBTQ young people & their families recognize this fraudulent so-called ‘therapy’ when they see it.” The film is written & directed by Carly Usdin who concluded, “I’m so grateful Born Perfect trusted me with this project & with helping to expose the truth of what happens behind closed doors when LGBTQ youth are subjected to this atrocious practice.” The film was produced by Rudy Jansen. Every leading medical & mental health organization in the country has warned that conversion therapy for minors is dangerous & ineffective. Research shows that 63% of LGBTQ youth who are sent to conversion therapy have attempted suicide. Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign created by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in 2014 to end conversion therapy by passing laws across the country that protect LGBTQ children & young people fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety & raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices. WATCH VIDEO  

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OutRight Global Summit Goes Virtual

OutRight Action International is presenting its seventh annual OutSummit entitled “Human Rights For LGBTIQ People Everywhere” virtually from December 8th to 10th 2021 to reflect on the LGBTQ organizing, strategize collectively & celebrate queer people globally. OutSummit has been held for the past six years around Human Rights Day on December 10th to acknowledge the human rights of LGBTQ people that are still criminalized in 67 countries with 13 countries criminalizing trans people & another 37 countries targeting trans people through vagrancy, prostitution, morality or other laws. Presently only 5 countries ban sexual orientation & gender identity change practices which often use brutal psychological & physical force to attempt to change, suppress, divert or reorient someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. Maria Sjödin OutRight Acting Executive Director stated, “For the seventh year in a row we are gearing up to host OutSummit, our annual global convening for LGBTIQ equality. For the second time it will be held virtually, enabling diverse stakeholders from our movement across the world to participate. I’m excited to announce that our first keynote speaker this year will be Gigi Chao, a prominent & publicly outspoken advocate for LGBTIQ rights in Asia. Gigi is co-founder of Hong Kong Marriage Equality & founder of Faith in Love Foundation. I’m thrilled that she will be sharing her story with us!” The first virtual OutSummit brought together more than 1600 people from 100+ countries for 30+ keynotes & sessions in 2020. For 30 years, OutRight Action International has documented, defended & advanced human rights for our global LGBTQ community. 

NMAC Capitol Hill Champions Awards

NMAC has announced that Congresswoman Maxine Waters & U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Marcia Fudge will be honored with the 2021 Capitol Hill Champions Awards at their virtual event in December. In honor of the late John Lewis & Elijah Cummings NMAC will present awards in their names for their lifelong commitment to racial justice & creating equality for all. Paul Kawata NMAC Executive Director stated, “NMAC’s mission is to lead with race to end racial inequities in health care that prolong the HIV epidemic. Chairwoman Waters & Secretary Fudge have dedicated their years in public service to those same goals. It is a great honor to recognize these amazing women for their commitment & service to our nation & to our goal of ending the HIV epidemic.” The John Lewis Good Trouble Award will be awarded to Chairwoman Waters who embodies John Lewis' dedication to racial equality on all fronts. Throughout Waters’s 40 years of public service she has been at the foreground of tackling controversial & difficult issues. She has been a champion of human rights & embodiment of dedication to racial equality. The award will be presented by last year's recipient Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Elijah Cummings Award for Minority Health Equality will be presented to Secretary Fudge who dedicated her congressional career to fighting for healthcare equality & equity for minority communities. The award will be presented by Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. NMAC leads the race to urgently fight for health equity & racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced their mission through a variety of programs & services. For More Info…

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