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From The Dinah Red Carpet (AUDIO)

This week I talked with 19 celebrities at The Dinah in Palm Springs, CA. We had a blast chatting with these fabulous women about their music, what they hope to accomplish with their work & how they cope in these challenging times. First I talked with singer-songwriter Cassidy King, then singer-songwriter Riela followed by entrepreneur Nik Kacy who was attending The Dinah for the 20th time. Next Jeopardy! winner Amy Schneider talked about how she would like to see more federal protections for our LGBTQ community. Content provider Breanne Williamson chatted about her first feature film after her short "Coming Out" gained over 2 million views. Then I caught up with Rose Garcia from the Showtime hit “The Real L Word” about the importance of LGBTQ visibility. Next 80s pop icon Taylor Dayne who headlined the Black & White Ball talked about her music & upcoming projects. Then I chatted with Mariah Hanson founder & producer of the 31st Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend who was with her partner Maureen Vanderpool. Next was Canadian rapper Haviah Mighty followed by rapper Siya & then queer pop sensation Zolita. Then I chatted with Cuppie, Haley Grable & Brianna Murphy the stars of “Tampa Baes” the Amazon Prime lesbian reality series. Next up was singer-songwriter IV4 who has signed with Warner Records followed by Siena Liggins who is one of Billboard’s Top Ten new LGBTQ artists of the year. Then DJ Alex D talked about spinning at The Dinah followed by the fabulous artist Melanie Posner who also appears on the hit series “Tampa Baes”. We concluded our coverage with singer songwriter Fletcher who headlined The Hollywood Party & just released her debut album “Girl Of My Dreams” on Capitol Records. LISTEN  

Annual AIDS Walk Boston 37th Year

The 37th annual AIDS Walk Boston takes place both in-person & virtually on Sunday October 2nd at DCR’s Carson Beach in South Boston. The site opens at 8A with the program beginning at 9A & walkers set out at 10A. It’s a 5K route by the seaside to raise much needed support for vital HIV care & services at Fenway Health & AIDS Action. Ellen LaPointe Fenway Health Chief Executive Officer stated, “AIDS Walk Boston brings us together as a community that is united in our shared commitment to ensuring that people living with HIV & AIDS are able to get the care & services they need & to ending the epidemic. This wonderful event, which started in 1986, enables Fenway Health to deliver on our deep commitment to address the disproportionate impact of HIV on traditionally underserved populations including BIPOC people, men who have sex with men, transgender people & people who inject drugs. We are incredibly grateful to the walkers & volunteers who join us every year to raise essential funds for HIV care & services & to raise awareness about HIV. We will walk together until HIV/AIDS is a thing of the past.” Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that more than 23,000 people are living with HIV in the state. Inequitable healthcare structures cause HIV to continue to disproportionately affect Black & Latinx populations, men who have sex with men & transgender women. Prayer Ribbons a project commemorating lives lost to HIV/AIDS & anti-LGBTQIA+ violence will be on display with Provincetown artist & creator Jay Critchley assisting attendees in adding the names of loved ones. Drag queen Luna Cruz & Cliff Notez will entertain the crowd. 

LGBTQ Palm Center Bids Farewell

After 24 years of researching LGBTQ military service bans the Palm Center will shut its doors Friday September 30th leaving behind a legacy of inclusive policy for our LGBTQ Americans who serve or seek to serve their country in uniform. Dr. Aaron Belkin, Palm Center Founder & Director stated, “Creating & leading the Palm Center has been the pleasure, pride & honor of my life. We worked with brilliant & generous partners, allies, center staff, veterans & service members to show that facts matter, that discrimination undermines our country & that equality makes it better. I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity to help make the world a little more just.” Admiral Mike Mullen added, “Few organizations figured out how to move the needle on military opinion so effectively as the Palm Center. Its research & policy guidance were invaluable in showing that inclusive service was not complicated & would not harm readiness. The Palm Center reframed the national conversation over LGBT military service, using facts & research to conclusively demonstrate that inclusion makes our armed forces & our country, stronger.” Admiral Al Steinman concluded, “Through its research & outreach the center demolished the idea that LGBT service members would diminish our nation's military readiness, helping pave the way for the repeal of ‘don't ask, don't tell’ & removing the transgender ban.” Though the Palm Center is shutting down day-to-day operations they’ve launched a new website that showcases its accomplishments as well as lessons learned about successful strategies for using research to inform public opinion & achieve social change. 

LGBTQ Horizons Foundation Gala Event

The Horizons Foundation Gala takes place Saturday October 1st at the iconic Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. Horizons is celebrating another year of creating a world where all LGBTQ people live freely & fully. It's a hybrid event so you can attend in person or live stream from your home. This year they’re honoring Chicana Activist Olga Talamante with the Visionary Award & Levi Strauss Foundation with the Leadership Award. Olga Talamante became the first executive director of the Chicana Latina Foundation in 2003 & serves on the boards of the National Center for Lesbian Rights; El Concilio of San Mateo County & the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women. She is also active with GELAAM, a Latino LGBTQ organization in San Mateo County & with the Latino Forum of the San Francisco LGBT Center. Horizons is the world’s first community foundation of, by & for LGBTQ people that invests in LGBTQ nonprofits, strengthens a culture of LGBTQ giving & builds a permanent endowment to secure our community’s future for generations to come. This fabulous gala event will begin at 6P PST with a reception followed by dinner at 7:30P PST & close with an after party at 9P PST with DJ Ome. Horizons has fought against homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism & gender inequality for over 40 years. They honor our histories & all those who fought for our communities & simultaneously created a foundation for future generations of LGBTQ people. At the event there will also be a raffle & your ticket will give you a chance to bid on several exciting packages. 

New Film The Black Community & AIDS

The National AIDS Memorial has released its latest mini-documentary “The Black Community & AIDS” the 7th film in its oral history project. The film chronicles the personal stories of nearly two dozen survivors & advocates from across the U.S. who are thriving, sharing their hopes & struggles about the HIV/AIDS epidemic & its disproportionate impact on the Black community. The film opens with powerful words from Phill Wilson, Founder of the Black AIDS Institute who states, “My grandmother used to say, ‘When white people get a cold, black people get pneumonia’ & so I thought…if white people are getting the plague, what in the hell are we going to get?” John Cunningham National AIDS Memorial Chief Executive concluded, “This mini-documentary speaks to the work of the National AIDS Memorial in addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Black community & the issues of stigma, discrimination & otherism that still exist today, four decades into this epidemic. We are so appreciative to the survivors & advocates featured in this film who shared their stories & whose work is helping make a difference in changing the statistics and helping to finally curb the disproportionate impact of this epidemic in the Black community.” “The documentary was recently featured at several major film festivals & HIV/AIDS events throughout the country including Frameline, SF Queer Film Fest, New York City Black Pride, Positive Living Conference & Atlanta Black Pride. The film will also be shown as part of the National AIDS Memorial Change the Pattern initiative that is partnering with Southern AIDS Coalition & Gilead Sciences to bring the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the South as a teaching tool with Quilt displays & programming to reimagine the fight to end HIV. WATCH  

Boston Globe Documentary Film Fest

The GlobeDocs Film Festival has announced its full film slate for its 8th season which runs both in-person & virtually from October 12th to 16th. Over the course of 5 days of non-fiction programming the GlobeDocs Film Festival celebrates documentary film from award-winning journalists, filmmakers & guests from around the globe. This year’s festival continues the tradition of highlighting important stories & recognizing Boston as a touchstone of the non-fiction film world with its lineup of 34 films including 20 feature-length documentaries & 14 shorts. The festival programming includes distinct perspectives, diverse communities & BIPOC voices covering a range of topics including scientific discoveries, public health, the arts, LGBTQ & women’s issues, racial injustice, & politics. Lisa Viola, Director of Programming for GlobeDocs stated, “We are thrilled to announce our slate of films for the 2022 festival & happily return to in-person programming this year. The expanded lineup of these 34 exceptional documentaries bring forward important & timely stories from around the globe as well as work from acclaimed filmmakers that highlight our city of Boston. With our hybrid festival, we are pleased to elevate these powerful films with a unique opportunity to engage audiences both in-person, locally & beyond the region.” Linda Henry, CEO of Boston Globe Media & Executive Director of the Film Festival concluded, “In our eighth year, GlobeDocs has grown into a renowned documentary film festival supporting filmmakers & partnering with other organizations to continue to shine a light on documentaries. We value the importance of truth & engagement in this moment & proudly celebrate the work of these skilled artists.” The presenting sponsor of GlobeDocs 2022 is Cross Insurance. 

National LGBTQ Task Force Florida Gala

The National LGBTQ Task Force will honor LGBTQ+ & gun violence prevention activist X Gonzalez with the Changemaker Award at the 26th Annual National LGBTQ Task Force Gala on Saturday October 22nd at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Organizers also announced that Sandra Valls comic, actor, singer, writer & all-around lesbian Latina badass will emcee this year’s gala. Kierra Johnson, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director stated, “We are honored to recognize the extraordinary activism of X Gonzalez – they have energized a generation of young people & held to account politicians & policy makers who do far too little to protect us from the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Their leadership in approaching gun violence & other issues at the intersections – as we do at the Task Force – gives their work even more meaning to me as a queer woman of color. Their determination to create change out of heartbreaking tragedy & inspire people to join the fight is the fiercest embodiment of the Changemaker award that I could imagine.” X González (they/them) is a gun-violence prevention activist born & raised in Parkland, Florida who survived the Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School shooting.The Changemaker Award is presented each year to an individual or group that embodies the Task Force’s vision for a society where LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves, works to remove barriers for the LGBTQ+ community & is committed to transforming society for future generations. Sandra Valls has hosted the last two virtual National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change conferences & will also emcee the upcoming Creating Change gathering in February 2023. 

New Data As LGBTQ Book Ban Continues

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom & constitutional right to read especially in the classroom & is taking place now through September 24th. New data by PEN America has revealed that 41% of books banned over the past year were targeted due to LGBTQ content & highlights some of the leading organizations campaigning to ban inclusive books. The American Library Association (ALA) shows that so far in 2022 from January 1st to August 31st there have been attempts to bans at least 1,651 titles, surpassing 2021’s total of 1,597 titles banned or challenged. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD President & CEO stated, “Banning books is just one arm of a larger, organized campaign to target & harass LGBTQ youth nationwide. There’s no separating book bans from ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws, attacks on healthcare & sports for trans youth & the hundreds of other bills & policies that put LGBTQ youth at the center of a target built by extremist groups & politicians. Everyone deserves to see themselves represented in books & other forms of media & the targeting of LGBTQ youth through book bans & other anti-LGBTQ school policies must end.” This year’s honorary Banned Books Week chair is George M. Johnson the author of “All Boys Aren’t Blue”one of the most-targeted books for censorship nationwide. So far in 2022 state legislators have proposed at least 93 anti-LGBTQ school policy bills across numerous states. Since 1982 Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Their theme for this year’s event is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” 

Texas Court Rules For Transgender Youth

In Texas the Travis County District Court issued a third injunction blocking the state from implementing a directive targeting trans youth & their families. The ruling was in PFLAG v. Abbott that covers all Texas families who are members of PFLAG National which has 17 chapters in Texas. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG Nationals stated, “Today, families of transgender kids in Texas who are members of PFLAG National find shelter from Gov. Abbott's unjust order. PFLAG, our chapters in Texas & around the country are sources of support & safety from government harm because every LGBTQ+ person deserves respect, dignity & the right to access the care they need when they need it.” Nicholas “Guilly” Guillory, Tyrone Garner Memorial Law Fellow, Lambda Legal added, “Again, the court has grasped the magnitude & breadth of the continued harm that Gov. Abbott’s directive & Attorney General Paxton’s opinion would have caused if the Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) was allowed to pursue its investigations. Families across Texas, since Gov. Abbott issued his directive, have lived in fear of the knock on the door. Even after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Abbott could not compel DFPS to conduct investigations, many families remained under investigation. Parents who love their transgender children & work with healthcare providers to support & affirm their well-being should be celebrated, rather than investigated as criminals as the state sought to do here.” The lawsuit was filed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union Jon L. Stryker & Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, the ACLU of Texas & the law firm of Baker Botts LLP. 

Respect For Marriage Act Vote Delayed

Though the Respect for Marriage Act was passed in a bipartisan victory in the U.S. House of Representatives news came yesterday that a vote in the Senate will be postponed until after the midterm elections. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “At a time when LGBTQ+ people, their families & allies are being targeted for harm in communities across the country, Senators had a chance to firmly assert that every couple deserves the freedom to marry & that LGBTQ+ families deserve respect. A vote for the Respect for Marriage Act is not about politics; it’s about our families & our values as a community & as a nation. Especially at this moment, it is disheartening that some Senators held back a vote because they are unwilling to publicly support something as fundamental as love.” Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD President & CEO concluded, “It’s shameful that the expected movement on the much-needed Respect for Marriage Act will now be delayed. Equality under the law should be above election year politics. This bill is about treating families with dignity and respect – not about advancing individual political agendas. Any Senator who opposes bringing this bill to the floor as soon as possible is out of touch with the supermajority of Americans who know that marriage equality is about ensuring that everyone, including same-gender & interracial couples, can live with dignity & respect. LGBTQ voters & their allies must turn out in record numbers in this election to vote for lawmakers who will bravely stand up for treating all Americans fairly and equally, regardless of their political party. At the end of the day, all fair-minded lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who believe in love, commitment & family need to get this bill over the finish line.”

Modern Sex Ed Book For Teens (AUDIO)

In acknowledgment of Sexual Awareness Month I talked with Cory Silverberg about his new children's sex education book “You Know, Sex” that’s aimed at kids aged 10 to 14. “You Know, Sex: Bodies, Gender, Puberty & Other Things” is the first thoroughly modern sex ed book for any child navigating puberty & adolescence. Silverberg is a certified sex educator & former chair of sexuality educator certification for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists. He’s created this fabulous manual that’s presented in a comic book genre illustrated by Fiona Smyth. This 400-page comprehensive work looks at sexuality, body differences, reproduction, hormones & development with an emphasis focusing on our LGBTQ teens & also addresses power, pleasure & how to be a decent human being. This is Silverberg & Smyth’s fourth collaboration following their other publications including “The Ultimate Guide to Sex & Disability”, “What Makes a Baby” & “Sex is a Funny Word” all available on Seven Stories Press. In “You Know, Sex” Silverberg focuses on young people’s thoughts & experiences exploring sex. Cory also has included chapters on body autonomy, disclosure, stigma, harassment, trauma, consent, boundaries & safety as well as puberty & reproduction that includes trans, non-binary & intersex bodies experiences & more. Fiona Smyth illustrations include racially & ethnically diverse characters providing an inclusive cross-disability experience that makes “You Know, Sex” a book for every kind of young person & every kind of family especially in these challenging times when the mere discussion of sexual orientation is being banned in states across America. I talked to Cory about what he hopes to accomplish with his timely new sex education book and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Samiya Bashir To Head Lambda Literary

Lambda Literary the org that nurtures & advocates for LGBTQ writers has announced that renowned poet, artist, writer, performer, educator & advocate Samiya Bashir will take the helm as its next Executive Director. Roz Lee, Chair Lambda Literary’s Board of Directors stated, “Samiya has extensive roots within the communities she will be serving & was previously on the Board of Fire & Ink, a nonprofit devoted to increasing the understanding, visibility & awareness of the works of LGBTQ+ writers of African descent & heritage for more than 15 years. Samiya herself is also a two-time Lambda Literary Awards finalist & we could not be more excited for all she brings to our organization.” Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition which he won the Pulitzer Prize for added, “Samiya Bashir is a walking library of knowledge & with a history of literary service that now spans 25 years. I can think of no one more qualified to lead our cherished Lambda!” Samiya Bashir concluded, “It is a deeply personal honor to join Lambda Literary as its Executive Director. As someone who has long benefited from this incredible organization & the passionate work of its champions, I know just how important this learning, growing organization is for LGBTQ+ authors & artists, readers & publishing professionals – those who’ve paved many paths & those still to come – searching for some star or another to light their way.” 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. They believe that LGBTQ literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture & that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published & read. 

Considering Matthew Shepard Events

For its fall season opener the Trinity Church Wall Street in NYC will present Grammy Award-winner Craig Hella Johnson’s “Considering Matthew Shepard” making its fully staged New York premiere at St. Paul’s Chapel on September 15th, 16th & 17 at 7:30P. On October 6th 1998 Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten & left to die in what became one of America’s most visible anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. Shepard’s murder led to the creation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation & provided a catalyst for legislation that expanded the definition of a hate crime to include sexual orientation & gender identity. The Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed by President Obama in October 2009. Rev. Michael Bird, Vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street stated, “Jesus taught that the heart of the Good News is love, & our parish is guided by its mission to share God’s love for all people. Queerphobic violence, degradation & oppression is at odds with this understanding of God & the clear call to celebrate the essential dignity of every human being. Bringing this powerfully beautiful work to Trinity is a way to name this violence, characterize its impact & take steps toward change & healing. Trinity is committed to our LGBTQ+ community & programming these types of events as a part of our Pride 365 program, which focuses on LGBTQ+ advocacy throughout the year.” Cathy Renna concluded, “I am thrilled to be supporting this production & moderating one of the two discussions. This is an incredibly powerful work that offers a platform to talk about the state of LGBTQ rights today & through Matt's story, explores the humanity of our community.” The event is free but you must register. 

Florida LGBTQ Haters Wrath Continues

In Florida the Miami Dade School Board rejected recognizing October as LGBTQ History Month by a vote of 8-1. Joe Saunders Equality Florida Senior Political Director stated, "Tonight’s vote is one more proof point of the sweeping chilling effect of Florida’s discriminatory Don’t Say LGBTQ law & the toxic anti-LGBTQ environment being fostered by Governor DeSantis. The Don’t Say LGBTQ law is rooted in the same dangerous tropes about LGBTQ people & baseless attacks on teachers that were on full display in public comments at last night’s hearing. We are shocked & alarmed to see this reversal from the Miami Dade School Board. This is a horrible signal to send to the thousands of LGBTQ youth in Miami-Dade County public schools. Voting down this simple recognition of our LGBTQ community makes our schools less safe.” The measure was introduced by Board Member Lucia Baez Geller & was passed with a 7-1 vote of support by the same Board just last year. Nearly every board member opposing the resolution voiced their belief that the proclamation violated the Don’t Say LGBTQ Law. This just adds to further evidence of the sweeping censorship of this law across the state including bans on books & “safe space” stickers that has led to dangerous policies targeting transgender students. Miami Dade County Public Schools had a long history of leading on common sense policies that include, recognize & protect LGBTQ youth. However this action confirms that board members have abandoned that mission in service to anti-LGBTQ fear, misinformation & a governor obsessed with a future presidential run. 

Gearing Up For The Dinah Palm Springs

In less than two weeks we’ll make our way from Boston to Palm Springs to attend The Dinah that celebrating 31 years & takes place from September 21st to 25th. From its beginning as a one-night event with 1,500 participants Mariah Hanson’s Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend has evolved into one of Palm Springs & the Coachella Valley’s largest tourism boosters. This year Hanson has put together an impressive roster that highlights emerging queer female artists that are carving out space for themselves while putting our LGBTQ community front & center in a music industry that often leaves them behind. Publicist Mona Elyafi stated, “In the wake of SCOTUS overturning Roe Vs Wade which now threatens LGBTQ+ rights, The Dinah reminds us the importance of connecting our community together & preserving queer spaces in a time where politics stand to threaten safe, diverse & inclusive places for our LGBTQ community to come together.” We’ve been promoting this iconic event on OUTTAKE MEDIA since 2013 & we’re making our third in person pilgrimage to The Dinah at its new venue in Palm Springs’ most historic hotels The Margaritaville formerly The Riviera where we’ll be covering all the celebrity packed events. In Margaritaville's Grand Ballroom some of the headliners will include 80s pop idol & fierce ally Taylor Dayne at the Black & White Ball on Friday night September 23rd & on Saturday night at The Hollywood Party Fletcher one of the most electrifying queer artists to burst onto the scene will be taking centerstage. I talked to Mariah Hanson about what she hopes to accomplish with The Dinah this year & her spin on our LGBTQ issues.  LISTEN 

Washington Conversion Therapy Law

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed that Washington state’s law protecting minors from conversion therapy is constitutional & may be enforced ruling: “In relying on the body of evidence before it as well as the medical recommendations of expert organizations, the Washington Legislature rationally acted by amending its regulatory scheme for licensed health care providers to add ‘performing conversion therapy on a patient under age eighteen’ to the list of unprofessional conduct for the health professions.” Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director stated, “We are thrilled by today’s decision, which ensures that Washington’s lifesaving law can continue to be enforced & that LGBTQ children in Washington will not be subjected to these discredited practices, which have been rejected as unsafe by every major medical organization in this country.” Mathew Shurka, co-founder of Born Perfect, NCLR’s campaign to end conversion therapy concluded, “Laws like Washington’s are critical to protecting minors & parents from being harmed by unethical therapists who falsely claim to be able to prevent a child from being gay or transgender. As a survivor of more than five years of conversion therapy, I know firsthand how damaging these practices are to young people & their families. The medical community has rejected these practices because they are harmful, ineffective & unnecessary. Being LGBTQ is not a mental health disorder. Trying to change such a fundamental aspect of a person’s identity is not only impossible, it is profoundly dangerous & causes serious, lasting harm.” Since California enacted the first statewide law protecting minors from conversion therapy in 2011 twenty other states & more than 100 municipalities have enacted similar laws. 

Massachusetts Most Liberal In America

I am so proud of Massachusetts my home state that received the highest ranking from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) as the most liberal legislature in America. Now if we could only get the other forty-nine states to take notice & join the battle against the evil forces that wish to end democracy in the land of the free & home of the brave. In CPAC's analysis of all 7,400 state lawmakers in America the Massachusetts legislature's conservative rating measured a mere 15% significantly trailing Vermont (20%) & Hawaii (23%) that were rated the 2nd & 3rd most liberal states. In comparison most traditionally liberal states earned conservative ratings in the upper 20's & low 30's percentages such as California (25%), New York (28%) & Illinois (31%). It’s no surprise that the survey found that the most conservative state legislatures in America are Alabama (74%) and Tennessee (73%). The conservative rating is calculated through CPAC's scorecards & is based on lawmaker voting across 186 policy areas ranging from cultural & life issues to tax, fiscal & regulatory policies. Each year the CLA tallies over 260,000 votes to generate the scores. Only 8 Massachusetts Republicans received awards this year from CPAC for voting with the conservative position at least 80% of the time. Tomorrow is the Massachusetts primary election so we at OUTTAKE MEDIA proudly endorse the Dems Maura Healey for Governor & Andrea Campbell for Attorney General. Let’s not let the rhetoric noise of far-right MAGA supporters to tarnish the great experiment of the United States of America & make sure you get out & vote.

Lesbians Who Tech San Francisco Event

After 3 long years the 9th Annual Lesbians Who Tech & Allies San Francisco Summit is back both in person October 13th to 15th as well as virtually October 10th to 12th. They’re taking over the streets of the Castro with outdoor stages for maximum COVID safety closing two city blocks for the entirety of the conference. They are expecting over 15K+ LGBTQ Women, Women of Color, Non-Binary, Trans techies & Allies to attend this year. Some of the speakers confirmed are Brooke Baldwin, Former CNN Host & Bestselling Author, Laphonza Butler, President, Emily's List, Layshia Clarendon, WNBA player for Minnesota Lynx & Activist, Charlotte Clymer, Writer, Press Secretary, & Activist, Tiffany Dockery, Director of Product Management, Etsy, Cameron Esposito, Standup Comic, Actor & Writer, Danielle Feinberg, Visual Effects Supervisor, Pixar Animation Studios, Abby Fiorella, Chief Technology Risk Officer, Mastercard, Madame Gandhi, Award-winning Artist & Activist, Alicia Garza, Co-Creator Black Lives Matter, Principal, Black Futures Lab, Special Projects Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Jacqueline Guichelaar, Group Chief Information Officer, Cisco, Arlan Hamilton, Founder & Managing Partner, Backstage Capital, Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, United States Representative, CA53, Bozoma Saint John, Marketing Executive, Author & Entrepreneur, Meta, Lindsay Kaplan, Co-founder, Chief, Kim Lupo, SVP, Global Rewards, People Operations & Digital, Walmart, Heather Mickman, CIO, Gap, Inc., Debbie Millman, Writer, Designer, Educator, Artist, Angelica Ross, Founder of TransTech & "Pose" Actress, Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture, Kara Swisher, Journalist, Podcast host & co-host, Pivot, Karen Teo, Vice President, Global Business Group, SMBs, APAC, Meta, Dara Treseder, SVP, Global Head of Marketing, Communications & Membership, Peloton, Mary Trump, Psychologist & Author, Dee Tuck, Chief Technology Officer, ARRAY & more. 

First LGBTQ Drag Car Racer (AUDIO)


This week I talked with Travis Shumake, the first openly gay professional drag car racer who made his national racing debut during the Menards National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals at Topeka’s Heartland Motorsports Park last month. Shumake in partnership with Visit Topeka & Pride Kansas crossed the NHRA Nationals finish line in a Pride Kansas-themed dragster to represent the state’s inaugural week-long Pride celebration that happens in Topeka September 17th to 24th. His 24-foot, 4,000-horsepower, nitromethane burning rocket also featured a modern geometric rainbow hood & matching rainbow parachutes. As a second-generation racer Travis grew up competitive in shifter-kart racing with his father Tripp Shumake who was a nationally renowned Funny Car racer who also competed in the NHRA. Last February Travis fully committed to the sport spent the last several months finalizing his sponsorship opportunities & completing his vehicle licensing making him eligible to race at NHRA-sanctioned tracks & national events. One of those new sponsors is Grindr the gay dating app & when $8,000 of safety gear was stolen from Shumake’s pit Grindr stepped up & replaced the equipment. Shumake states that at 280 MPH he’s proud to be turning heads & raising eyebrows with Grindr as a partner & to represent our LGBTQ community in this sport that draws 30 million American drag racing fans each year. He’s also especially proud of providing visibility for our community & serving as a role model for our LGBTQ youth. I talked to Travis about what he hopes to accomplish with his drag racing career & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

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