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Passing The Respect For Marriage Act

It’s time to protect Marriage Equality from the biased rightwing US Supreme Court bobbleheads & pass the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA). It’s now in the hands of the US Senate after passing in the House of Representatives & our LGBTQ community has worked too hard & too long to have our federal marriage rights & protections at risk by radically conservative Supreme Court Justices. Kierra P. Johnson, Executive Director National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund stated, “This window of opportunity to protect marriage equality through federal legislation is the result of right-wing justices on Supreme Court using their powers to again take away constitutional rights already decided and enjoyed by millions. Too many are suffering & at risk because of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, where the threat to marriage equality by our high court was named & as we know, we have been battling a wave of anti-trans & anti-LGBTQ legislation in the states. And biggest threat is this: widespread efforts by right-wing zealots take away our constitutional rights and undermine our Democracy.” Overturning our right to legally marry the person we love & to protect our families would only be the beginning. None of the hard-fought rights that we have won in the courts are safe including the right to work or to be recognized as the legal parents of our children. Let’s make sure we all vote in November & return some sanity to this country which will include finally passing the Equality Act. Call your Senators & let's get this done. 

SAGE Announces New Board Members

SAGE the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ elders has expanded its national Board of Directors with four new members. They are Lorraine Carlson, Jonathan Carter, Rahul Culas & Roy Jimenez. These new directors join a talented & dedicated group of advocates & philanthropists who strive to enhance the lived experiences of LGBTQ elders in the United States & aboard. Michael Adams SAGE CEO stated, “As we’re seeing more anti-LGBTQ+ attacks across the country, it’s essential that we continue to deepen & expand SAGE’s volunteer leadership. I have no doubt that the experience & passion of each of our new Board members will lead to bettering the lives of LGBTQ+ pioneers across the country.” Lorraine Carlson added, “I am truly energized & honored to be serving on SAGE’s Board of Directors in 2022 & beyond, because this is such a momentous & pivotal time in SAGE’s 40+ year history to keep advocating for and advancing the rights, needs & dignity of LGBTQ+ elders across our nation & throughout the world.” Jonathan Carter continued, “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve on SAGE’s national Board of Directors & to support SAGE’s crucial mission to celebrate, empower & improve the lives of our LGBTQ+ elders.” Rahul Culas added, “SAGE is a powerful advocate for meaningful aging for all & I couldn’t be more excited to join the Board & to support this fantastic organization. I’m honored to take part in this important work.” Roy Jimenez concluded, "I am excited to help in the mission of SAGE & spread information about SAGE’s work & the issues facing our LGBTQ+ elders to the greater Los Angeles area.” 

Restoring LGBTQ Healthcare Protections

The Biden administration has issued a new rule under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557 that prohibits discrimination in federally funded health programs & facilities. In 2020 the Trump administration literally erased LGBTQ people from the regulations & added sweeping religious exemptions for healthcare providers who wished to turn people away. Biden’s rule reinstates those critical protections & adds additional HHS programs like Medicare Part B & making clear that reproductive healthcare is covered. Julianna S. Gonen, NCLR Federal Policy Director stated, “This new proposed rule from HHS is a great step forward. The ACA’s core promise of healthcare for all, free from discrimination, has been stymied by those – including the prior administration – who would deny care to LGBTQ people simply because of who they are. We are thrilled to see that the Biden Administration intends to implement section 1557, the ACA’s nondiscrimination provision, consistent with federal sex & religious liberty discrimination law & without creating sweeping new exemptions that would endanger healthcare for all. We support the proposed rule enthusiastically & look forward to its final adoption.” Nicole Lee Ndumele, Senior Vice President for Rights & Justice at the Center for American Progress concluded, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s egregious decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has not only denied the right to an abortion but also put a variety of privacy & bodily autonomy rights at risk. Robust action such as these go far to protecting individuals’ rights to make critical decisions about their health & futures. Amid persistent attacks by MAGA extremists against LGBTQI+ rights & attempts to ban transgender people from accessing best-practice healthcare, we applaud the Biden administration for upholding these explicit civil rights protections in the country’s landmark healthcare law.” 

An Artist's Mission To End Hate (AUDIO)

This week I talked to artist Jumper Maybach whose mission is to be a part of the solution to help end hate, bullying & intolerance worldwide. Jumper believes that a person’s trauma defines the individual. Maybach’s journey came to a head in 2010 after suffering decades of emotional abuse & being marginalized for his sexual orientation. He found himself on the brink of an emotional precipice which was instrumental & vital to his healing process by releasing his pain as well as his joy into his artwork. The art is a constant evolution of color & complete abandonment of the paint. The complexity of the abstract style comes from deep within. Jumper is unashamed to teach the world a lesson in compassion. Maybach’s art is about turning darkness into light. Not long after Jumper began his career as an artist he started to receive national & international recognition for his work. In 2013 Jumper held his first gallery show which ultimately led to an invite to attend Art Dubai 2013 as a VIP guest. Jumper exhibited in Dubai, UAE in 2015 & in 2017 at the prestigious Alliance Française. It was there that he received a documentary film opportunity & was dubbed the Jackson Pollock of the 21st century. Now Maybach has partnered with 4 distinct companies in an effort to expand their product line across multiple consumer retail segments as well as bringing new audiences to the brand & mission. The companies are BIG LOViE, Ahdorned, OPR Eyewear & V. Fraas with retail products launching now through September 2022. I talked to Jumper about what he hopes to accomplish with his work & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

LGBTQ Southerners Rise To The Moment

In the wake of the appalling Dobbs Supreme Court decision Campaign for Southern Equality has launched a new mobilization strategy for LGBTQ Southerners entitled “Meeting the Moment”. The new campaign will strategically harness Southern Equality’s resources & power – including staff, funding, infrastructure, supporters & their communications program to respond to new attacks of LGBTQ rights, continue to advance LGBTQ rights, help people protect their rights & access care & ensure that LGBTQ Southerners feel connected, loved & supported. Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality stated, “In the first half of 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade & all but invited challenges to LGBTQ rights, more than two dozen anti-LGBTQ bills became law & the far right continued to weaponize faith to attack our community. There’s no question that we are entering a new chapter in the movement for LGBTQ equality – one where the far-right political movement feels more emboldened than ever to roll back fundamental American rights & freedoms. All of this is happening despite growing public support for LGBTQ equality, especially here in the South, where communities continue to pass nondiscrimination ordinances & polls track higher & higher support. We must work harder than ever to mobilize these supporters to put pressure on their elected officials to stop attacking LGBTQ people & start building a country where everyone can thrive.” Campaign for Southern Equality promotes full LGBTQ equality across the South. Their work is rooted in commitments to equity in race, gender & class. I talked to Amberlyn Boiter Southern Equality activist last April about her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES  

Out At The Fair Drag Bingo Returns

Out At The Fair is presenting Drag Bingo at the California State Fair on Saturday July 30th from noon until 3P at The Clubhouse 1600 Exposition Boulevard in Sacramento, CA. Join host Misha Rockafeller & co-host Landa Plenty for this fabulous event & keeping within the Out At The Fair fashion of community building each $10 seat that is reserved 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Sacramento LGBT Community Center that works to create a region where LGBTQ+ people thrive. Reserve your seat today or purchase on the day at the Out At The Fair booth by the Promenade Stage but check in with the fabulous Aura Van Dank. This event will sell out quickly as 50% of the seats are on sale presale is encouraged. This year's prizes include gift cards, Roku Streaming devices, blue tooth speakers, OATF Merch, grand prize Insignia 43-inch Class F30 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV & more. You must be 18+ to play bingo & 21+ to enjoy the bar. However there are lots of events for all ages of our LGBTQ community throughout the day. Out at the Fair (OATF®) is the official LGBTQ+ family-friendly festival of the Fair industry. OATF® strives to build a safe space at participating Fairs while focusing on inclusion, education & fun! Out at the Fair's hit Glam Show packs crowds for a family-friendly show, LGBTQ+ bands, chorus, chefs & more keep festival goers entertained for hours. With nine locations in three great states there is LGBTQ+ family fun not too far away. 

Argentinian LGBTQ Workplace Inclusion

HRC in partnership with Instituto de Políticas Públicas LGBT released its first annual ‘HRC Equidad AR: Global Workplace Equality Program’ report. This program stands alongside leading South American benchmarking surveys completed in Mexico, Chile & Brazil. These surveys share information about employers who have demonstrated a commitment to LGBTQ equality by adopting crucial LGBTQ-inclusive policies & practices for their employees. This year 53 Argentinian companies participated & 22 earned top marks for their efforts to promote LGBTQ workplace inclusion. RaShawn Hawkins, HRC Workplace Equality Director stated, “In its inaugural year, Equidad Argentina has collaborated with & challenged Argentinian employers to create better & more inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ+ employees. Workplaces in Argentina & around the world understand the importance of an LGBTQ+ workplace & that it is not only great for retention & recruitment but is the right thing to do for their employees. These 53 companies are taking a stand for equity & inclusion to make a difference in the lives of Argentinian employees, consumers & a society that values all LGBTQ+ people.” The 2022 HRC Equidad AR report evaluated Argentinian businesses & corporations based on three core pillars of LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion: 1) Adoption of nondiscrimination policies; 2) Creation of employee resource groups or diversity & inclusion councils & 3) Engagement in public activities to support LGBTQ+ inclusion. HRC Foundation is leading the advancement of LGBTQ workplace inclusion & equality across the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Brazil & Chile impacting more than 39 million workers worldwide. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ people. 

Federal Marriage Equality Protections

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) by a bipartisan vote of 267-157. The bill repeals the disgraceful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 & codifies additional federal legal protections for the marriages of gay & lesbian couples, transgender people & interracial couples. This comes after the Supreme Court’s radical rightwing majority overturned Roe v. Wade proving that no right is safe especially with Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion clearly threatening other fundamental rights including the right to marriage equality. The consequences of undermining or eliminating marriage equality as we all know would simply be dire for couples, families & their children across the country. Imani Rupert-Gordon, NCLR Executive Director stated, “NCLR applauds the House of Representatives for removing the mean-spirited & unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act from our nation’s statutes. While the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA a decade ago, today’s action by the House to repeal it sends a strong message that our nation must move beyond targeting LGBTQ people for political gain. In this moment of political polarization, it is heartening to see bipartisan support for the fundamental principles of equality & security for all families. We urge the Senate to follow suit & swiftly pass the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act & send it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.” We applaud House lawmakers especially Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI) & Mondaire Jones (D-NY) as well as Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) & Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) for championing this crucial legislation. Now we urge the Senate to advance & pass this bill with the necessary urgency. Then let’s get the Equality Act finally passed. 

Task Force Honors Jonathan Capehart

The National LGBTQ Task Force will honor MSNBC anchor & Associate Editor of The Washington Post Jonathan Capehart with the National Leadership Award at their 26th Annual National LGBTQ Task Force Gala on Saturday October 22nd at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Kierra Johnson, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director stated, “Jonathan Capehart is a nationally respected journalist & is uncompromising & relentless in his pursuit to report the truth in a time when misinformation erodes the very foundation of our democracy. He has used his platform to shape the national conversation on important social issues & to make visible the invisible, marginalized people in our country. He has helped tell the stories of LGBTQ people who inspire us & move us & he has done it all with integrity as a journalist who holds the intersectional identities of being both Black & a member of LGBTQ+ community. For all of these reasons, we are proud to honor Jonathan Capehart a champion who exhibits & inspires courage, authenticity & a ferocious quest for truth and justice.” Capehart concluded, “When I was a kid & dreamed of being a journalist, it was all about reporting from the middle of the action. Being Black & gay were two things I couldn’t hide, so I pursued my dream with determination & without apology. To receive the 2022 National Leadership Award from the Task Force is a humbling reminder that being in the middle of the action means you are in service to something bigger than yourself. What an honor it is to be recognized for just being myself & for doing all I can to help others do the same.” 

U.S. Supreme Court Has Lost Its Heart

Last month America experienced the extremist right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court that rolled back a string of long-held rights & protections reinforcing the need to consider major reforms to the high court & lower federal courts. The Center for American Progress & the Brennan Center presented a panel including Sherrilyn Ifill & Michael Waldman who served on the presidential commission to study court reforms. Ifill stated, “The Supreme Court sits within our democracy, not outside of it & over it. We are supposed to be able to correct issues that we see stand in the way of our democracy being able to be as true to itself as it could possibly be.” Waldman added, “How we read the Constitution & role of the Supreme Court is properly a major political issue. Certainly, the folks who, for decades, have waged a campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade or to have the individual right to gun ownership recognized in the constitution—they understood that & we need to understand, too, that kitchen-table advocacy on the Constitution is going to be part of our debate going forward. We saw in the last few days of the term, last month, a decade’s worth of right-wing social change jammed into three days by the unelected part of the government.” Ifill added that she was particularly concerned about the court’s lack of respect for long-standing precedent in cases especially in overturning Roe v. Wade concluding, “There have to be a set of reasons & a set of benchmarks before you overrule a decision that you have made in the past, especially a long-standing decision that millions of people have relied on.” 

A Provincetown World Premiere (AUDIO)

I caught the world premiere of award-winning author Sarah Schulman’s new play “The Lady Hamlet” at The Provincetown Theater in Provincetown, MA & it delivered. It took 17 years for Schulman’s daring & romantic farce to come to fruition & it was fabulous. “The Lady Hamlet” is a smart, gender-defying comedy with huge heart, deep curiosity & serious laughs. The play is about two women born to play Hamlet set in 1920s NYC as they engage in a war of wits that leaves their colleagues & lovers caught in the crossfire. This clever costume comedic period piece makes you think & laugh at the same time. In a fencing match both mentally & physically these dueling divas battle to see who will be the first & best female Hamlet on Broadway & win the off-stage hand of the fair Ophelia. Directed by David Drake, Artistic Director at The Provincetown Theater the cast of 6 includes Jennifer Van Dyck (Broadway: Two Shakespearean Actors, Hedda Gabler, Dancing at Lughnasa), Kate Levy (Broadway: Bernhardt/Hamlet). John Shuman (Broadway: La Cage Aux Folles, TV: “Boardwalk Empire”), Anne Stott (Film: “Don't Look Up,” “The Mothership,” “Crookedfinger”) Laura Scribner (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent) & Brandon Cordeiro (Broadway: The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me). “The Lady Hamlet” was developed in part through the Provincetown Theater's new play development program The Stephen Mindich Literary Project. My advise is don’t miss this play. It runs through Thursday July 21st. COVID-19 safety protocols for the performance include mandatory facemasks for all patrons except while actively consuming food or drink & proof of vaccination. I talked to Sarah about the inspiration for her fabulous new play & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

New LGBTQ Social Media Safety Report

GLAAD announced the findings of its 2nd annual Social Media Safety Index (SMSI) report on LGBTQ user safety across 5 major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube & TikTok with all platforms failing, receiving scores under 50 out of 100. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD President & CEO stated, “Today’s political & cultural landscapes demonstrate the real-life harmful effects of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric & misinformation online. The hate & harassment, as well as misinformation & flat-out lies about LGBTQ people, that go viral on social media are creating real-world dangers, from legislation that harms our community to the recent threats of violence at Pride gatherings. Social media platforms are active participants in the rise of anti-LGBTQ cultural climate & their only response should be to urgently create safer products and policies & then enforce those policies.” The 2nd annual Social Media Safety Index (SMSI) found that 40% of LGBTQ adults & 49% of transgender & nonbinary people do not feel welcomed & safe on social media. Jenni Olson GLAAD’s Senior Director of Social Media Safety concluded, “All platforms should follow the lead of TikTok & Twitter & should immediately incorporate an explicit prohibition against targeted misgendering & deadnaming of transgender & non-binary people into hateful conduct policies. This recommendation remains an especially high priority in our current landscape where anti-trans rhetoric & attacks are so prevalent, vicious & harmful. We also urge these companies to effectively moderate such content & to enforce these policies.” The Social Media Safety Index (SMSI) was created with support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Gill Foundation & Logitech. 

Supporting LGBTQ Changes To Title IX

The Department of Education has officially published notice for proposed rule changes for the next 60-day period. This includes the proposed regulation which will add sexual orientation & gender identity as enumerated protected characteristics within the Title IX regulation. Our LGBTQ community needs to weigh in & make supportive comments as members of the general public to have an impact on the rule making process. The Title IX proposal will help the Biden administration to combat laws like the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bills passed in Florida & Alabama that invites harassment of our LGBTQ youth & the bathroom bills in Alabama & Oklahoma that prevent transgender students from using facilities matching their gender identity. Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director stated, “All students -- no matter their background, sexual orientation, or gender identity -- deserve to feel safe & welcomed in schools. The proposed rule to include clear protections based on sexual orientation & gender identity within the Title IX regulation will do just that. This is not a ceremonial step; the voice of the people truly matters here & we strongly encourage affected people – students, parents, & educators – to submit an official comment about how the proposed rule would positively impact students’ experiences in school. As we await further the Department’s promised additional rule on athletics provisions, which we expect to make clear that transgender youth should be included in these protections, individuals & groups can make their voices heard in defense of LGBTQ+ youth right now.”  Polling shows that the public supports nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people & this rule change is about making the will of the people a reality. Anyone who wishes to comment on the Title IX NPRM can do so now through September 12th. 

Outfest LGBTQ Film Festival’s 40th Year

Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary by presenting over 200 films including an impressive 42 world premieres & films representing 29 countries from around the world for 10 film packed days starting July 14th to July 24th. This year’s festival will be returning to multiple locations throughout Los Angeles including the Directors Guild of America, The Orpheum Theatre, The Theatre at Ace Hotel, The Ford, Harmony Gold, Plaza de la Raza & REDCAT. 55 & the films will also be made available virtually to US & international audiences. Explore Los Angeles premieres of Sundance favorites like Sirens, Mars One, Framing Agnes & Audience Award-winner Girl Picture. Also from the Berlin International Film Festival Teddy Award-winner Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter & Tribeca films like Attachment, All Man: The International Male Story & Breaking the Ice. There will also be plenty of special event & parties throughout the festival including their annual Platinum Alchemy Party with Big Freedia on Sunday July 17th from 8P to 2A at Catch One. Don’t miss this fabulous over the top night of dancing & musical performances. Party all night long with the first ever Platinum Alchemy Award winner & Queen of Bounce Big Freedia who will perform live at the event & also a performances by Moor Mother's 700 Bliss, the queer supergroup Commando & more incredible artists & DJs. Established in 1982 Outfest is a Queer arts, media & entertainment organization offering programs designed to increase access, diversity & visibility for storytellers & audiences alike. 

LGBTQ Matchmaking Service (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Tammy Shaklee a leading LGBTQ Relationship Expert & President of H4M one of the country’s top LGBTQ certified matchmaking companies. Since founding the national offline matchmaking company ten years ago Tammy & her team have successfully paired thousands of LGBTQ clients across the country that were seeking long-term committed relationships. As a fierce LGBTQ ally & advocate Tammy understands the challenges singles face when looking for a suitable mate since she met her husband through a matchmaking service herself. Then when she called the same matchmaker to refer a gay friend, she was appalled that not only did that company not take LGBTQ clients but they actually hung up on her for merely asking. This experience led Tammy to eventually start her own LGBTQ matchmaking company after months of focus group inquiries. Her unique process centers on traditional introductions & dating for LGBTQ singles who are interested in achieving relationship success that rivals their professional success. H4M introduces quality vetted eligible singles seeking a long term sustainable & committed relationship. Clients range in a variety of ages, ethnicities, education levels, professions & interests. Here’s how H4M works. First step is to book a complimentary oral consultation with one of H4M certified matchmakers since H4M conducts their business completely offline. Following background check approval candidates will be invited to become a client & are granted access to review potential matches. Next step will be a date coordination introduction that is followed by a post-date inquiry & if needed a next date coordination. I talked to Tammy about what she hopes to accomplish with H4M & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Callen-Lorde & SAGE Hamptons T-Dance

Callen-Lorde & SAGE Hamptons Tea Dance tradition returns on Saturday July 16th from 4P to 8P at Nova’s Ark Project 60 Millstone Road in Water Mill, NY. This vibrant not-to-be-missed outdoor celebration draws an impressive crowd of over 1,000 notable LGBTQ+ New Yorkers & their allies making it the largest LGBTQ+ event in the Hamptons. DJ LINA will be spinning the music. Callen-Lorde is the global leader in LGBTQ health care. Since the days of Stonewall they have been transforming lives in LGBTQ communities through excellent comprehensive care, provided free of judgment & regardless of ability to pay. In addition they are continuously pioneering research, advocacy & education to drive positive change around the world, because they believe healthcare is a human right. SAGE is the country’s largest & oldest organization devoted to improving the lives of LGBT older adults founded in 1978. SAGE salutes those who were at the forefront of the modern LGBTQ+ movement & is thrilled to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions to LGBTQ+ elders stood on the front lines of our community’s struggle for equality. Now we must make sure they have the support & resources they need to age with the dignity and respect they deserve. Callen-Lorde & SAGE’s initiatives & events like Hamptons Tea Dance are made possible through the support of their generous corporate sponsors. The presenting sponsor for the 2022 Callen-Lorde & SAGE Hamptons Tea Dance is Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Diamond sponsors are Richard Reichgut & John Scott & Platinum sponsor is Tito's Vodka. Tickets run from sponsor level to single tickets. 

LGBTQ Out Leadership Summit Events

Out Leadership's 2022 OutNEXT global leadership development summit takes place in person July 11th & 12th at Citigroup Inc in NYC & virtually from July 13th to July 15th. Out Leadership member companies around the world will come together with icons from the LGBTQ+ rights movement to focus on leadership development, brand improvement inclusivity & goal-driven impact. Todd Sears, Founder & CEO of Out Leadership stated, “We are so excited to bring this year’s OutNEXT 2022 Summit to the Big Apple, the town where I began my professional ascent as an out gay man & where later - from my sofa in Hell’s Kitchen – I founded Out Leadership. Mentorship & guidance was something that I had to seek out on my own back then. I continue to credit my mentors for my personal & professional success today. These men & women who helped steward my development are also responsible for my deep & abiding commitment to identifying, developing & supporting the talent of emerging LGBTQ+ professionals. We call this summit a ‘talent accelerator’ because the talent of these incredible young leaders has already landed them in the race. We’re just here to give them the tools to hit the ground running. I am incredibly grateful to our OutNEXT 2022 Summit sponsors, RBC Capital Markets, IBM, & Capital One & to our host Citi for making this event possible.” Some of this year’s notable participants will include: SenatorTammy Baldwin, activist James Dale, Florida student Javier Gomez, trans activist Mila Jam, Gus Kenworthy, Olympic medalist, Rashad Robinson, President, Color of Change & Evan Wolfson founder of Freedom to Marry. Out Leadership is the world’s first & only LGBTQ+ corporation whose sole product is equality. 

Help Is On The Way Broadway & Beyond

The Richmond / Ermet AID Foundation is having its star-studded AIDS benefit concert & gala “Help Is On The Way 26th Broadway & Beyond” on Sunday August 7th from 7:30P to 9:30P PT at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre at 609 Sutter Street in San Francisco, CA. "Help Is On The Way" is one of San Francisco’s longest-running benefit concerts featuring a bevy of stars from Broadway, TV, film & the recording industry & after a 2-year hiatus due to COVID it’s back in person. It's an elegant evening of wonderful music, delicious food & beverages tastings & most important in these difficult times, fun. Kenneth Henderson, Executive Director of the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation stated, “People think the AIDS epidemic is over & we don't need to pay attention to it anymore. Events like "Help is on the Way" serve not only to raise funds for local AIDS services but to remind people that there's still a need for funding them. More people are living with HIV & AIDS than ever before in history.” Some of the celebrities who will be performing include DEBBY BOONE, LEANNE BORGHESI, GARRETT CLAYTON, JULIE GARNYE, STEVE KNILL, SHAWN RYAN, SALLY STRUTHERS, LISA VIGGIANO, PAULA WEST, JOHN LLOYD YOUNG & more TBA. “Help Is On The Way 26th Broadway & Beyond” is directed by David Galligan with music director Michael Orland & produced by Ken Henderson & Joe Seiler. The event kicks off at 6:30P with a limited silent auction in theater lobby followed by the performance at 7:30P & concluding with a VIP after party with the cast at the new Beacon Grand Hotel. The event benefits Project Open Hand & REAF’s Small Emergency Grants Program. 
Hear Audio Chats w/ LGBTQ Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES 

The Dinah All-Female Lineup Returns

Celebrating her 31st Anniversary The Dinah is returning to Palm Springs this Fall with the largest annual festival for queer women September 21st to September 25th with all events taking place at the iconic Margaritaville hotel formerly The Riviera. The Dinah continues its legend with a show-stopping all-female entertainment line-up including Fletcher, Haviah Mighty, Cassidy King, IV4, Zolita, IV Jay, Siena Liggins & 80s music iconic superstar Taylor Dayne who is exclusively bringing her full band to put on a rare & unique show for Dinah goers. Mariah Hanson, founder & producer of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend stated, “I’m proud to have put together such incredible line up of marquee talent & community icons. We can't get enough of these exhilarating female artists & neither will you!” Just in time for The Dinah, Fletcher is releasing her Capitol Records debut album “Girl Of My Dreams” on September 16th. Nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist Fletcher landed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2022 amassing over one billion streams worldwide. IV Jay will make her Dinah debut at the Girl Spot Pool Party. At just 18 years old IV Jay just released her EP IV solidifying her place as an artist to watch. With four exciting emerging queer artists performing at The Dinah who are making themselves visible members of the LGBTQ community that younger people can look up to Hanson concluded, “These are the galvanizing queer voices to watch long after The Dinah is a wrap. They are part of a new generation of queer young artists who are determined to change the long-held stereotypes of this industry.” 

LGBTQ Discrimination Begins In Florida

Florida’s HB 1557 known as the Don’t Say LGBTQ law took effect July 1st. The law bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation & gender identity in grades K-3 & restricts that instruction in grades 4-12 immediately impacting Florida classrooms. In Trumplandia Palm Beach County School Superintendent Mike Burke began by circumventing the district’s material review process to remove multiple books featuring LGBTQ characters. In recent weeks also he issued guidance to educators across the district to remove books currently being challenged & place them “in a classroom closet” & search their shelves for other titles that may include LGBTQ characters or mention topics like racism or oppression. Joe Saunders, Equality Florida Senior Political Director stated, “Since the inception of this hateful policy, lawmakers have assured the public that it would not lead to censorship or erasure of LGBTQ people. But our community has always known the truth. The Don’t Say LGBTQ law has always been fueled by anti-LGBTQ animus & designed to further stigmatize the LGBTQ community, ban books about us, erase us from classrooms & force us back into the closet. It is a bigoted & dangerous law that is making Florida less safe for students & families & we will work tirelessly to see it repealed.” Florida districts statewide have taken drastic steps in response to the Don’t Say Gay law. Graduation speeches were scrubbed of references to LGBTQ advocacy. Yearbook pages had images of Don’t Say LGBTQ walkouts blacked out. Conservative religious activists have successfully initiated challenges to dozens of books in multiple school districts & Rainbow-colored COEXIST banners & Pride flags have been stripped from school walls. 

July Fourth Commitment To Democracy

Since the majority of American citizens have lost confidence in the integrity of the Supreme Court after being packed with small-minded Trump justices it’s time to reform this judicial institution before it’s too late. Remember we the people are the majority. From Obama to Hillary & then Biden we have consistently delivered the popular vote since 2008. The midterm elections are just four months away & all we the people who love this country need to do is vote for the people who support Democracy returning this nation to a place that once again reflects the future instead of our dark past. Then after we restore our nation with our collective vote we can eliminate the filibuster, pass the Judiciary Act of 2021, H.R. 2584 & S. 1141 to expand the number of seats on the Court to equal the number of circuits in the federal judiciary & codify Roe v. Wade reestablishing nearly 50 years of our fundamental right to control our own bodies. Until this is achieved we are no longer the land of the free & home of the brave. It’s also long overdue that the Constitution language be updated to read: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all 'people' are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness.” Let’s concentrate on the basic ideals that this country was built on instead falling short by allowing small-minded hate-mongers attempts to lead the majority from their bully pulpits with their narrow-minded intimidation tactics. We can overcome this situation just by simply voting then reestablishing voting rights, democratic reforms, major immigration reform & finally passing the Equality Act so second-class will be abolished forever. HAPPY 4TH!

San Francisco Mime Troupe Returns Live

The San Francisco Mime Troupe after a 2-year COVID hiatus live performances return with free political musical theater in Bay Area & Northern California parks. They’re opening their 63rd season on July 2nd to September 5th with “Back To The Way Things Were - A New Musical Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be”. The performance is about a country where we can finally stop wearing masks to get pizza & go to the movies & where we again have a president who isn’t dumb as a two-dollar ham. Hard- working, middle-aged liberals Ralph & Alice wistfully yearn for times when things seemed normal but for Zoe - their twenty-something daughter who grew up in a world of climate change, housing crashes, student debt, the rise of dictatorships & the fall of democracies - there isn’t a “better” to go back to. For her the purgatory of the last two years was just a pause from life in Hell. The cast includes Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Andre Amarotico, Lizzie Calogero, Norman Gee & Alicia M. P. Nelson. The play was written by Michael Gene Sullivan & Marie Cartier with music & lyrics by Daniel Savio & directed by Velina Brown. Musical director is Daniel Savio with Will Durkee (Guitars), Daniel Savio (Keyboards), & Jason Young (Drums). The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s mission is to create & produce theater that presents a working-class analysis of the events that shape our society, that exposes social & economic injustice, that demands revolutionary change on behalf of working people & to present this analysis before the broadest possible audience with artistry & humor. 

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