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San Francisco Transgender Film Festival

The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) is presenting its 26th annual edition dedicated to films by transgender & gender-nonconforming filmmakers, highlighting innovative, experimental & visual storytelling that decries transphobic representation in cinema. The world’s first & longest-running transgender film festival runs for 12 days from November 8th to November 19th with 5 short film programs showcasing 33 films & will be presented in person at the Roxie Theater at 3117 16th Street in San Francisco. The hybrid festival version will stream on-demand beginning November 11th. SFTFF features a range of film genres from animation, comedy, dance, music, documentary, erotica, fantasy to topical themes surrounding drag, dating, sex & romance, Covid lockdown, immigration & more. Shawna Virago, San Francisco Transgender Film Festival Artistic Director stated, "We’re excited by our 26th annual festival & are looking forward to gathering safely & sharing in watching brilliant trans & gender non-conforming films. Especially now, with the increased personal & legislative attacks against trans people, trans communities & trans as a concept, it's more important than ever to meet in community." Founded in 1997 by Christopher Lee & Alex Austin the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival screens films that promote the visibility of transgender & gender variant people & challenges the mainstream media’s negative stereotypes of our transgender communities. SFTFF provides opportunities through film & performance events to engage audiences in cross-community dialogue. Films are closed captioned for deaf & hard-of-hearing audiences & tickets range on a sliding scale & donation-based fees from $0-$50 with free online access. 

LGBTQ Leaders Address House Speaker

LGBTQ leaders address the election of Rep. Mike Johnson as the 56th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaker Johnson has led anti-LGBTQ efforts for decades sponsoring anti-LGBTQ legislation working for the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom & advocating for the criminalization of marriage equality for our LGBTQ community. Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality stated, “The LGBTQ+ community has faced a relentless barrage of attacks from far-right extremist lawmakers in every Southern state & now Republicans in the House of Representatives have elected an extremist as Speaker. Johnson has made a career out of attacking the LGBTQ+ community at every turn. His positions are out of touch with the clear majority support for LGBTQ+ equality in our country. His new leadership role is just further proof of the dangerous priorities of the GOP & the critical stakes for our democracy & for LGBTQ+ Americans in 2024." Patrick Gaspard, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund concluded, “This election represents the full & complete takeover of the Republican Party by MAGA extremists, with the American people destined to bear the cost. House Republicans chose a speaker who wants to gut Americans’ health & financial security by slashing Medicare & Social Security by trillions of dollars. He also spearheaded efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election & is at the extreme fringe of right-wing intolerance when it comes to LGBTQ rights. His extremism, evidenced by a record of voting with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) 95 percent of the time, is anathema to who we are as a people.”

NHL Reverses Its LGBTQ Pride Ban

The National Hockey League (NHL) has reversed its decision to ban Pride Tape & other displays of support for our LGBTQ community on the ice. NHL spokesperson stated, “After consultation with the NHL Players Association & the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition, players will now have the option to voluntarily represent social causes with their stick tape throughout the season.” The reversal is after the league was criticized earlier this month when they announced a ban of individual players from expressing visible support for Pride & other social causes. On Saturday Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first player to defy the policy & used rainbow tape on the ice. Arizona will host the NHL’s first Pride Night of the season this Friday October 27th. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, "The NHL has listened to its loyal fans, hardworking team players & trusted community members & made the decision to reverse the unnecessary & hurtful policy that banned support of Pride & LGBTQ people. The NHL has been a longtime supporter of a number of community causes & inclusion & this decision is reflective of its values which align with the majority of those who follow hockey. GLAAD data shows that Americans widely seek out brands & employers who take a stand in support of LGBTQ rights; & 70% of non-LGBTQ Americans agree that companies should publicly support & include the LGBTQ community through their corporate practices. Allowing players to express themselves while participating in this sport means encouraging individual choice & free expression, including actions that show support & make hockey more welcoming to all."

GLSEN To Honor Annette Bening At Gala

GLSEN dedicated to creating safe & inclusive K-12 schools for our LGBTQ youth announced that award-winning actress Annette Bening will be honored with the Advocate Award at its annual fundraising event Rise Up LA on Saturday October 28th. Bening joins singer Orville Peck as the second honoree in a star-studded lineup of activists & allies creating impactful change within our LGBTQ community. Melanie Willingham-Jaggers GLSEN Executive Director stated, "With LGBTQ+ rights being threatened everyday by legislators & right-wing extremists, GLSEN shines a spotlight on those who’ve been outspoken advocates in the community & championed for queer youth everyday. Annette Bening’s unwavering commitment to fostering a more inclusive world for not only her own child, but for every queer student, is a reflection of GLSEN & everything we stand for. Noah Cyrus's powerful musical journey resonates with the resilience & self-discovery that GLSEN aims to support & celebrate within the LGBTQ+ community.” Bening’s advocacy for LGBTQ issues is deeply rooted in her personal experiences & the power of empathy. As the parent of a transgender son she has become an outspoken advocate for the rights, acceptance & well-being of LGBTQ youth. Bening is a Tony Award & four-time Academy Award nominee & two-time Golden Globe & Screen Actors Guild Award winner. Currently she stars in the new must-see marathon swimming biopic “Nyad” with Jodie Foster. For over 33 years GLSEN has fought to create safe & supportive LGBTQ inclusive schools for all students. Rise Up LA is made possible by sponsors Wells Fargo Hollister, Target, Amazon Music, Amazon MGM Studios & Wilson Cruz. 

Resistance They Fought Back (AUDIO)

This week I talked to Executive Producer Paula S. Apsell about her new documentary “Resistance - They Fought Back” that’s having its World Premiere at the Boston Jewish Film Festival November 2nd & 9th. “Resistance - They Fought Back” explores the misinformation that Jews went to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter during the Holocaust. Actually Jews fought back in more than sixty armed rebellions including six in death camps & thousands of Jewish partisans in forests of Europe. Through interviews with historians, survivors & their families the film belies a long-held myth & shines a new light on a lost chapter of history. Apsell co-directed this relevant & timely film with Kirk Wolfinger after a documentary they made for the PBS NOVA series in 2016 which she helmed for 35 years. Told by survivors, their children & expert witnesses from the U.S., Israel & Europe “Resistance - They Fought Back” is a revelation based on extensive research of how the Jews of Europe fought back. It uncovers evidence of non-violent methods which served as crucial tools of resistance & evolved into Jewish armed revolts in ghettos, forests & death camps even as the odds of success were alarmingly small. Today almost eighty years after the Holocaust this story remains largely unknown to the general public. It is important to understand this genocide that wiped out two-thirds of European Jews especially with the global rise of antisemitism, hatred & denial of the Holocaust itself. I talked to Paula about what she hopes to accomplish with “Resistance - They Fought Back” & as a fierce ally her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Come OUT & Celebrate A Gay La Event

OUT MetroWest that operates programs for our LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts is having their annual Gay-La fundraising event on Monday October 23rd at Jack's Abby Brewing Co. in Framingham, MA from 6:30P to 9P. This is a come-as-you-like affair so feel free to dress for the cat-walk or casual or whatever makes you want to celebrate. Donations of any size will help reach their total Gay-la goal of raising $150,000 to fund thousands of life-changing moments all year long. The Gay-La will also feature a special message from Governor Maura Healey specifically for this event & our community. Tickets are $45 & include a delicious buffet dinner from the Jack’s Abby kitchen, one beverage, Dancing with DJ Mocha, photo booth by the Framingham Public Library, access to the outdoor beer garden with lawn games, fire pits & S'mores & a sweet treat from the LGBTQ+ BIPOC-owned French Press Bakery. Since 2011 OUT MetroWest has been providing social & supportive meetings for LGBTQ+ high school youth. The program originally called WAGLY was launched at the request of local youth & families. In 2012 they launched Umbrella their trans-facilitated program for transgender, non-binary & gender questioning high schoolers. Three years later Nexus was launched the state’s first community program for LGBTQ youth in grades six through eight. In 2017 they began offering drop-in sessions in response to youth requests for additional time to connect with LGBTQ peers & role models. Each year OUT MetroWest serves more than 300 youth & engages hundreds of additional people of all ages through their LGBTQ trainings & community events. 

Women’s Media Awards 2023 Honorees

Women’s Media Center hosted their Women’s Media Awards Gala at the Whitby Hotel in New York City honoring outstanding leaders & champions for women in media. This year’s WMC 2023 Women’s Media Awards honorees were Mariska Hargitay, Fredricka Whitfield, Karen Lincoln Michel, Emily Ladau, Koritha Mitchell & Akila Radhakrishnan. Women’s Media Center co-founders Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan & Julie Burton WMC President & CEO appeared at the event. Burton stated, “The Women’s Media Center’s call to action is simple: We want to see more diverse women, hear more diverse women & read articles from more diverse women across all media platforms. Our Women’s Media Awards honor champions for women who set the standard for what media should look like when it gives voice to the female half of the country. They are role models, history-makers & inspiring leaders.” Mariska Hargitay, Emmy-winning actor, director, producer, activist, Founder & President of the Joyful Heart Foundation received the WMC Sisterhood is Powerful Award. Fredricka Whitfield, CNN News anchor received the WMC Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award. Karen Lincoln Michel, President of ICT, formerly Indian Country Today & President and CEO of IndiJ Public Media received the WMC Carol Jenkins Award. Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Activist, author of Demystifying Disability received the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices IMPACT Award. Koritha Mitchell, award-winning author, cultural critic, literary historian, professor of English received the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices IMPACT Award. Akila Radhakrishnan, President of the Global Justice Center received the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices IMPACT Award. Women’s Media Center (WMC) is a feminist organization that works for gender & racial inclusion, representation & equality in media. 

LGBTQ Women’s Survey Report Released

The Los Angeles LGBT Center in partnership with Justice Work & 120 partner organizations released the first full report from the largest & most comprehensive survey on LGBTQ women who partner with women in the United States entitled “We Never Give Up the Fight”: A Report of the National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey”. Terra Russell-Slavin, LA LGBT Center’s Chief Impact Officer stated, “In a time when our communities are under constant legislative attack, it is more important than ever that we continue our fight toward queer liberation & equality while bringing the community’s everyday issues to the forefront of consciousness. Dr. Jaime M. Grant who co-authored the report in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center added, “The bad news is that institutions fail us. but the very good news is, our friends & queer community step up & help us live the lives we deserve. LGBTQ+ women represent the most critical & least lauded safety net in our lives & our community organizations & policy-makers need to consider how we are resourcing & supporting queer friendship networks & sociality.” Carla Sutherland, Executive Director of Justice Work concluded, "This report is an important next step to making data from our groundbreaking study available to gender justice organizers, advocates & researchers. The study offers critical insights into the lives, needs & priorities of LGBTQ+ women at a scale that allows for meaningful intersectional analysis across key social lenses such as gender, sexuality, age, race & class." The National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey was launched by the late activist Urvashi Vaid who I spoke with about the study in 2021. LISTEN 

GLSEN Rise Up LA To Honor Orville Peck

GLSEN the fabulous org dedicated to creating safe & inclusive K-12 schools for our LGBTQ youth announced they will honor celebrated country singer & songwriter Orville Peck with the Champion Award at Rise Up LA its annual fundraising event that takes place Saturday October 28th at Neuehouse Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA. Melanie Willingham-Jaggers GLSEN Executive Director stated, "Rise Up LA symbolizes GLSEN's dedication to uplifting those who use their platform to amplify LGBTQ+ voices & advocate for inclusivity. Orville Peck’s authentic advocacy & commitment to championing a world where LGBTQ+ youth can feel safe & embraced reflects GLSEN’s mission. We’re also welcoming our presenters—Sherry Cola, Wayne Brady & Fortune Feimster— to the stage for using their voices, talents & platforms to create positive change in the world.” Peck is breaking barriers in country music & serves as a beacon of hope for LGBTQ youth currently experiencing harmful discrimination & legislation across the country. Orville’s last album, “BRONCO” received critical & commercial acclaim. Prior to that he released his “Show Pony” EP which featured a duet with global country icon Shania Twain. He is currently starring in Reese Witherspoon’s “My Kind of Country” on AppleTV. For over 33 years GLSEN has championed LGBTQ issues in K-12 education to create safe & supportive LGBTQ inclusive schools for all students. GLSEN believes every student has the right to a safe & affirming education regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression because no young person should have to choose between their wellbeing & an education. Rise Up LA is made possible by sponsors Wells Fargo Hollister, Target, Amazon Music & Amazon MGM Studios. 

Wicked Queer Documentary Film Fest

Boston’s Wicked Queer Documentary Film Festival returns for a second year celebrating the rich & vibrant true stories of our LGBTQ community & takes place from November 10th to 20th. WQ:DOCS kicks off with “It’s Only Life After All” an intimate look into the lives of The Indigo Girls from director Alexandria Bombach with never-before-seen archival & intimate vérité the film dives into the songwriting & storytelling of the music that transformed a generation on Friday November 10th at 7:30P at the Museum Of Fine Arts. Then on Saturday November 11th at 11A also at the MFA is “Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes” director Sam Shahid’s documentary uncovering the life & work of photographer George Platt Lynes best remembered for his dazzling celebrity & fashion photographs of the 1930’s & 1940’s Lynes was forced to keep his male nude photos hidden from the public. Shahid hopes his film will help reclaim this gifted artist’s full legacy & lasting influence as one of the first openly gay American artists. Another highlight is “Jewelle: A Just Vision” about Jewelle Gomez a visionary writer, activist & community-builder who has left an indelible mark since the 1960s. The documentary by Madeleine Lim features interviews with Jewelle & her friends & collaborators including Dorothy Allison, Cheryl Clarke & Ajuan Mance delving into the life & impact of this prolific Black & Native femme lesbian feminist across LGBTQ organizations & communities. The film will screen on Saturday November 11th at 2:30P at the MFA & after the documentary there will be a conversation with Jewelle Gomez & director Madeleine Lim. I talked to Jewell in 2018 in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN  

Peter Tatchell House Arrest In Mumbai

Mumbai police have placed human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell under ‘house arrest’ in his hotel in Mumbai, India to prevent him from peacefully protesting outside the International Olympic Committee Congress in the city. Tatchell is forbidden to leave his hotel room under police orders & four officers are stationed in the lobby to prevent him from leaving. Sub Inspector, Shrikrant Neve, from Kurla police station stated, “We are not allowing it [the protest]. We are not giving permission. You make serious accusations against India [over its human rights record]. What you are proposing to do is negative towards some of India’s allies.” Officer Neve was referring to likely bidders to host the 2036 Olympics like China, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey & Indonesia. Peter Tatchell concluded, “When I pointed out that the Indian constitution guarantees freedom of expression & the right to assembly & peaceful protest, I was told ‘these rights only apply to Indian citizens.’ Foreigners do not have these rights. I was stunned. I assumed that India was a democracy & that peaceful protests by anyone were allowed. This ban is a blow to India’s democratic reputation. It is what we expect from police state regimes. The police added that I had, in any case, violated the condition of my tourist visa, which does not permit anything other than tourist activities. I was not aware of this restriction & offered to apply for a new visa. ‘A protest will still not be allowed,’ I was told…After two hours, the police left. Just over an hour later, they returned to serve a ‘Notice’ under ‘Section 14 of the Foreigners Act 1946,’ which prohibits violations of the terms of a visa - punishable by up to five year’s imprisonment & a fine.” 

PFLAG 2023 National Convention Event

The 2023 PFLAG National Convention entitled “Learning with Love” is bringing together hundreds of LGBTQ people, families & allies from across the country & around the world for 4 days October 19th to 22nd at the DoubleTree Crystal City in Arlington, VA. Featured speakers include Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Rachel Levine, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld President of the American Medical Association, Emily Drabinski, President of the American Library Association & more. Brian K. Bond, Chief Executive Officer of PFLAG National stated, “There is something wonderful about bringing together so many people who are working to create a caring, just & affirming world for LGBTQ+ people & those who love them—especially in this moment. Despite the noise & disinformation that seems to surround us, Learning With Love: the 2023 PFLAG National Convention is where advocates & supporters of LGBTQ+ people demonstrate that love truly is louder.” PFLAG’s National “Learning with Love” Convention kicks off on Oct. 19th on Capitol Hill with Senator Tammy Baldwin & members of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. There will also be award celebrations, educational workshops & an exhibit hall of sponsors & partners. PFLAG National will be honoring Dayton, Ohio’s Michael Knote of Have a Gay Day with the “Morty Manford Volunteerism Award” plus chapters representing north, south, Midwest & western states will be honored with PFLAG National Chapter Awards. Founded in 1973 PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered & loved. The 2023 PFLAG National Convention is sponsored by OREO, Meta & Lyft. 

National Coming Out Day 35th Year

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 2023 still living in America without federal protection for our LGBTQ community as more states adopt "Don't Say LGBTQ" legislation. With over 600 anti-LGBTQ bills pending across the country & book bannings becoming a reality wouldn't it be refreshing for the next generation to be able to be themselves. Just think what it would be like to have an open the dialogue within our school systems & our community so that young people could grow up without this stigma. We also 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. As we head into the 2024 election let's not allow the bullies to win & stand up & vote for candidates who support total equality. Also Spirit Day is next week on Thursday October 19th against LGBTQ bullying & so make sure you wear purple to show your support.

North Carolina Law Violates Title IX

In North Carolina S.B. 49 the law known as the "Don't Say LGBTQ" law is already impacting students & creating a hostile educational environment for students. Campaign for Southern Equality has released a memo detailing the ways that it violates Title IX & urging school districts to delay implementation of the law while the NC Department of Public Instruction navigates these Title IX complications. The memo prepared by Christopher A. Brook of Patterson Harkavy, LLP & Em Seawell consulting attorney for the Campaign for Southern Equality states, “Provisions [of S.B. 49,] especially when taken together, imperil the well-being and lives of LGBTQ students. In so doing, they foster a hostile educational environment for LGBTQ students in violation of Title IX. … Schools cannot comply with Title IX while following the portions of S.B. 49 gratuitously harming LGBTQ students. The choice between Title IX & S.B. 49 is no choice at all; schools must follow Title IX.” Craig White, Supportive Schools Director at the Campaign for Southern Equality concluded, “There is no question that S.B. 49 creates a hostile educational environment. The overall impact of the law is to single out LGBTQ+ students, students from LGBTQ+ families & LGBTQ-affirming content for differential & discriminatory treatment. Because federal law takes precedence over state law & because the safety & well-being of students take precedence over all else, it is important for schools to remain on the side of non-discrimination until these issues can be resolved.” Campaign for Southern Equality based in Asheville, North Carolina promotes full LGBTQ equality across the South. Their work is rooted in commitments to equity in race, gender & class. 

San Diego LGBT Community Center Gala

Celebrating 50 Years of building community power the San Diego LGBT Community Center ushers in new era of dreaming big, fighting hard & loving fiercely at their milestone event. The Gala will take place on Saturday October 14th at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront celebrating 50 years of making an impact & creating safe spaces our LGBTQ+ people in the San Diego region. Cara Dessert, CEO of The San Diego LGBT Community Center stated, “Our 50th anniversary gala is a time for us to celebrate our history & the remarkable community that made this milestone possible. It is also an exciting opportunity for us all to look to the next 50 years & the ways we will continue to build community power for decades to come. I think back to the revolutionary vision of our founders who created one of the first spaces, 50 years ago, for LGBTQ people to gather & support one another. Over these next 50 years, we will expand on the incredible legacy of building community power, to create a world where every LGBTQ person can live their full lives & thrive in our strong, beautiful community.” The Center’s 50th Anniversary Gala will include a cocktail reception, dinner, a drag show with DJ Taj Altaji & live music by Sue Palmer & her Motel Swing Orchestra. The Gala offers a chance for supporters of the org to see how through their support can join forces to create a world where everyone belongs & thrives regardless of background, sexuality or gender identity. 

New York Stage & Film Annual Gala

New York Stage & Film has announced that Emmy, Tony & Grammy Award-winning artist & producer Billy Porter & GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis will be honored at their 2023 Annual Gala on Sunday November 5th at The Plaza Hotel in NYC. Liz Carlson Interim Artistic Director stated, “New York Stage & Film is honored to uplift the indelible impact Billy & Sarah Kate have had on countless lives through their accomplishments & advocacy. Both understand the important role art, entertainment & media can play in shaping individuals, policy & the course of human history. In a moment when the LGBTQIA+ community is experiencing increasing affronts on their collective humanity, we are proud to recognize Billy & Sarah Kate’s important work.” Proceeds from the 2023 Annual Gala will directly support NYSAF’s ongoing artistic development work including the annual Hudson Valley-based Summer Season, NYC-bsaed programming, Filmmakers’ Workshop, residencies for individual artist & small companies, awards & fellowships & other opportunities for artists. New York Stage & Film is a nonprofit company dedicated to artists developing new stories for theater, film & beyond by supporting responsive processes & by providing a home for artists free from critical & commercial pressures. Since 1985 New York Stage & Film has been a vital incubator for emerging & established artists & their work, a catalyst for stories that start with us & continue across the country & around the world. The Fall Gala will begin at 6:30P with a VIP reception for Gala Committee Chairs & Artists. The cocktail reception will open at 7P followed by a seated dinner & tribute performances. 

Laphonza Butler Historic LGBTQ Choice

With California Governor Gavin Newsom historic appointment of Laphonza Butler to fill the Senate seat held by Dianne Feinstein Dr. David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) stated, “We are elated to celebrate the groundbreaking appointment of Laphonza Butler to the United States Senate. This historic decision not only shatters glass ceilings but also underscores the importance of continued progress in expanding representation for the Black & LGBTQ+/same-gender loving (SGL) community in our nation's capital. Butler's appointment as California's first openly Lesbian in the United States Senate is an extraordinary milestone. Her journey from being a trailblazing labor organizer to becoming the first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress in American history is a testament to her unwavering dedication to justice, equality & the progress of our nation. This appointment sends a powerful message that the voices & experiences of Black LGBTQ+/SGL individuals matter & that our presence in leadership positions is not only warranted, but necessary, for our democracy to thrive. This appointment is a step towards a more representative government, reflecting the true diversity & richness of our nation. The National Black Justice Coalition stands proudly with Laphonza Butler & the Black LGBTQ+ community, applauding Governor Newsom for recognizing the importance of Black women & Black queer, trans & gender expansive leaders shaping the future of our great nation. We look forward to seeing Laphonza make herstory and are confident she will champion causes that uplift the most marginalized among us. As we celebrate this momentous occasion, let it serve as a reminder that our work to expand representation & advocate for justice is far from over. Together, we will continue to break barriers & ensure that all voices are heard in the halls of power. Laphonza Butler's appointment is not only a beacon of hope, but also a call to action for a more inclusive & equitable America." 

Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Film Festival

Fort Lauderdale’s OUTshine LGBTQ Film Festival returns for its 15th anniversary October 19th to 29th featuring 38 internationally acclaimed features, 26 shorts including premieres & documentaries. Mark Gilbert, OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Fort Lauderdale interim Executive Director stated, “We are thrilled to announce this incredibly diverse title lineup with a variety of North American, East Coast & Florida premieres for our 40th LGBTQ+ film festival & our 15th Fort Lauderdale anniversary. With the uncertainty & mixed sentiments of all going on in our area today, it is important that our stories are told, our struggles & triumphs shown & that we come together to share the experience & this year most definitely promises our greatest film program to date.” This year’s opening night film is The Mattachine Family (USA, 2023) taking place Thursday October 19th at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale (1 E Las Olas Blvd) at 7:30P directed by Andy Vallentine. An afterparty will follow at 10P at Rooftop @1WLO (1 W Las Olas Blvd #700). The suspenseful drama All Of Us Strangers (UK, 2023) will be the Closing Night Film commencing at 5:30P on Sunday October 29th at Savor Cinema directed by British director Andrew Haigh. Immediately following at 8P festivities, awards & a celebratory evening will take place at The Fitz (503 SW 2nd Ave). This year’s OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Fort Lauderdale edition is sponsored in part by Gilead, the State of Florida through the Division of Arts & Culture & the National Endowment for the Arts & the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward County Cultural Council. 

MBCC 26th Party For Prevention Event

The 26th Annual Lesbians & LGBTQ Friends Dance to benefit Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) will take place in-person & virtually on Saturday October 21st from 6P to 9:30P EDT. The in-person event will be held at Club Café in Boston, MA & virtually via Zoom. MBCC will honor Jim Morgrage General Manager of Club Café & a longtime community leader. Cheryl Osimo MBCC’s Executive Director stated, “Jim Morgrage has been a mentor & friend to MBCC by volunteering his time to assist the Lesbians & Friends LGBTQIA+ Dance to help us succeed in both the in-person & virtual settings. Jim acts as a beacon for a sense of community -- his dedication to generosity & selflessness is extraordinary. Beyond his fervent support to MBCC & breast cancer prevention, Jim is a passionate & caring leader in the LGBTQIA+ community. We look forward to coming together on October 21st to dance the night away in the name of cancer prevention!” There will also be a dance lesson from OUT to Dance’s founder & director Liz Nania & DJ Christina will be spinning throughout the evening. Funds raised from the Lesbians & Friends LGBTQIA+ Dance helps support MBCC’s education programs & mission to provide vital health information on ways to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in the products they use & in the environments in which they live, learn & work. Tickets to attend the in-person event at Club Café in Boston, MA are $40 in advance & $45 at the door. Students over the age of 21 tickets are $20 in advance & $25 at the door with a student ID. Tickets for the virtual Zoom event are $20 for all ages. 

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