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SAGE 38th LGBTQ Annual Toys Party

SAGE is hosting its 38th Annual Toys Party to celebrate the holiday season while supporting LGBTQ elders & children in need on Sunday December 10th from 5P to 9P at the Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 between 23rd Street & West Side Highway. Michael Adams SAGE CEO stated, “The Toys Party to celebrate the holidays supports our community’s elders & brings some joy to children in need collecting thousands of toys donated to numerous LGBTQ-friendly children’s charities.” So don’t miss out on NYC's largest LGBTQ+ charity event of the holiday season. Dress up in your most festive attire & get ready to celebrate the holidays with an open bar, specialty cocktails & dancing featuring DJ Johnny Dynell. Please bring an unwrapped toy & or a donation to SAGE. Toys from the event will be distributed to the following charities: 9th Police Precinct Community Center, Camp Felix, Ali Forney Center, Brooklyn ACE Integration Head Start, Grace Baptist/Faith Mission, The Iris House and UEW Jericho Project/Brick Church & UEW Jericho Project/Brick Church. The event is hosted by Chris Kann, David Tufts & Cris Dovich with the host committee Bandar Alturkmani, Mylik Ganey, Scott Malone, Brent Miller, Josue Santiago & Joey Wasserman. SAGE is the world’s largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older people. SAGE is a national organization founded in 1978 that offers supportive services & resources to LGBTQ+ seniors & their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education & technical assistance for aging providers & LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging & cultural competency training through SAGECare. 

Outright International Hybrid Summit

Outright International’s 9th annual OutSummit takes place on Monday December 4th in Washington DC including a hybrid format for virtual global attendees. OutSummit brings together global advocates, activists & allies to strategize & accelerate positive change for our LGBTQ community around the world. OutSummit has been held for the past nine years around Human Rights Day on December 10th to acknowledge the human rights of LGBTQ people that are still criminalized in 67 countries with 13 countries criminalizing transgender people & another 37 countries targeting transgender people through vagrancy, prostitution, morality or other laws. Presently only 5 countries ban sexual orientation & gender identity change practices which often use brutal psychological & physical force to attempt to change, suppress, divert or reorient someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. Matuba Mahlatjie Outright International Communications & Media Relations Manager stated, “In a year marked by a surge in anti-human rights backlash, the LGBTIQ community has found itself at the forefront, defending its rights & dignity. OutSummit takes place on December 4th in a hybrid event, so anyone from anywhere in the world can reserve their seat. This conference serves as a solution-driven platform, providing a wealth of resources & stories that must be told thoughtfully.” Outright International works with partners around the globe to strengthen the capacity of the LGBTQ human rights movement & advocates for inclusion & equality. The first virtual OutSummit brought together more than 1600 people from 100+ countries. For over 30 years OutRight International has documented, defended & advanced human rights for our global LGBTQ community. 

Celebrating Pink Friday In Provincetown

Instead of spending Black Friday in the malls we’re renewing our Pink Friday LGBTQ tradition heading to Provincetown with many of the stores having their end of season sales & lots of pop-up craft fairs. The Provincetown Business Guild encourage our LGBTQ community & friends to support small businesses in Ptown on Pink Friday November 24th with hundreds of unique shops, galleries & attractions. Also check out Pink Friday Bingo hosted by Austin & Mackenzie taking place at the Crown & Anchor from 3P to 5P supporting the Provincetown Business Guild. Then the weekend's nightlife includes Tina Brurner’s: I’d Rather Be Naughty Than Nice & The Petty Four: Just Desserts Holiday Tour for Friday & Saturday performances both at The Crown. On Saturday November 25th catch the Lighting of the Lobster Pot Tree a Provincetown tradition to ring in the holiday season. In 2004 artist Julian Popko designed the Lobster Pot Tree in Lopes Square to recognize the hard-working local lobstermen. The tree is built from real lobster traps & is decorated with lights & bows. At dusk the community gathers to sing carols, drink hot cocoa & count down for the lights to be illuminated. If you’re up for theater check out Provincetown Theater’s presentation of Heidi Schreck’s play What the Constitution Means to Me. This Tony Award nominated & Pulitzer Prize-finalist Broadway play runs now through December 3rd at 238 Bradford Street in Provincetown, MA. starring Anne Stott & directed by Rebecca Berger with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7P & Sunday matinees at 2P. 

What The Constitution Means To Me

The Provincetown Theater is presenting the Cape Cod Premiere of Heidi Schreck’s Tony Award nominated & Pulitzer Prize-finalist Broadway play “What the Constitution Means to Me” now through December 3rd at the company’s playhouse at 238 Bradford Street in Provincetown, MA. Starring Anne Stott & directed by Rebecca Berger performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7P & Sunday matinees at 2P with the exception of Thanksgiving Day November 23rd. “What the Constitution Means to Me” is a hilarious, hopeful & achingly human new play that reveals a profound relationship between four generations of women & the founding document that shaped their lives. Director Rebecca Berger stated, “I think this is the most produced play in America this year because the constitution has moved back into the spotlight. With the old & new Supreme Court drama, Roe being overturned & the fourteenth amendment being used to keep Trump off the ballot in multiple states, I think the constitution has moved to the forefront of people's minds. I want audiences to walk away from this play with a sense of empowerment & hope. We may not all be written into the Constitution, but we have the power to make ourselves seen & heard.” The creative team also features scenic design by Ellen Rousseau, lighting design by Stephen Petrilli & stage management by Sami Parazin. The Provincetown Theater’s mission is to enrich, entertain & educate by providing quality theater, events & programming celebrating their historic legacy in the birthplace of American theater & providing a safe & creative outlet for illuminating their common goal on Outer Cape Cod & beyond. 

San Francisco Dance Along Nutcracker

The Dance Along Nutcracker is one of San Francisco’s most treasured LGBTQ holiday events that takes place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on December 16th & 17th. This year theme is “The Nutmare Before Christmas” as Clara & Fritz who have only known Christmas Town decide after their uncle visits from Halloween Town sneak away Christmas Eve to investigate Halloween Town for themselves. Get ready to meet several spooky inhabitants & of course learn some important life lessons along the way. Through it all you’ll enjoy music from The Nutcracker ballet performed live by the 75-piece San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band the Official Band of San Francisco. Part comedy musical, part dance-it-yourself ballet & part symphonic concert the Dance-Along Nutcracker features the holiday fun & tradition everyone has come to expect from this San Francisco favorite. Each year the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band presents its award-winning Dance-Along Nutcracker & also performs at numerous parades & civic events throughout the Bay Area with Artistic Directors Pete Nowlen & Mike Wong. The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band was founded in 1978 by Jon Sims at the height of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade & credited as the first openly-gay music organization in the world. The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band has inspired the formation of many LGBTQ choruses & performing troupes globally. Named the “Official Band of San Francisco” in 2018 the band has promoted visibility & understanding. Dance Along Nutcracker truly exemplifies their mission to promote LGBTQ equality & for 45 years has built bridges among communities through public performances. 

Drag Continues In Florida During Appeal

The Supreme Court won’t allow Florida to enforce its new law targeting drag shows while the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s order stopping the law from being implemented. The district court found that the law likely restricts free speech & couldn’t be enforced anywhere in the state. Florida had asked SCOTUS to allow its anti-drag show law to be enforced everywhere except at the Hamburger Mary’s restaurant in Orlando which has challenged the law’s constitutionality. Drag Diva Randy Roberts currently performing in Florida stated, “On one hand I'm thrilled with the decision, I'm also aware that there are three justices who would voted for it. With a few adjustments, it could be put in front of them again. There is the possibility that the other two conservative justices could change their minds. Today, I'll put on my high heels & go to work. Desantis will put on his & stumble...thankful for small things!” The horrendous new law championed by DeSantis will punish venues for allowing children into what it called “adult live performances.” Though it did not mention drag shows specifically the sponsor of the legislation said it was aimed at those performances. Venues that violated the law face fines & the possibility that their liquor licenses to be suspended or revoked. Individuals could be charged with a misdemeanor crime. Randy Roberts is performing at La Te Da in the Crystal Room Cabaret in Key West, FLA. to 18 year or older audiences. I talked to Randy in this exclusive audio chat about drag & other LGBTQ issues last summer. LISTEN  

Book Banning Heats Up In Florida

In Florida the Collier County School District has taken more extreme measures to suppress students’ freedom to read by removing more than 300 titles from its school libraries including Toni Morrison, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway & Mary Higgins Clark. The move is an effort to comply with Florida’s obscene new legislation expanding the so-called ‘Don’t Say LGBTQ+’ law. HB 1069 gives the district the grounds for removal of content that broadly “depicts or describes sexual conduct.” Melanie Willingham-Jaggers GLSEN Executive Director stated, "Politicians & school boards in Florida have chosen to withhold students’ access to education & history; limit their rights & stifle their opportunities to participate in our multiracial democracy. Inclusive school curriculum including access to books about LGBTQ+ people & people of color can act as a window for students into the diverse world around them, as well as a mirror to reflect their own experiences & identities. We must speak out against book bans & vote for down-ballot candidates like school board members & state legislators who support inclusive education." Chris Schmeckpeper-Kobzina, GLSEN Collier County Co-Chair concluded, "Banning books because they contain LGBTQ+ content, or cover issues of race or ethnicity, is an explicit attempt to silence the stories of communities that already face an onslaught of legislative attacks, especially in Florida. This generation of students will be seriously impacted by this district’s policy & over-interpretation of the law." For over 33 years GLSEN has championed LGBTQ issues in K-12 education & with LGBTQ youth under attack across the nation GLSEN is fighting book bans through their Rainbow Library Program. 

Campus Pride Social Justice Winners

Campus Pride has announced the winners of this year’s Social Justice Mini Grants for Activism. The grants offer up to $600 each to fund a diverse array of timely projects including funding for a gender-inclusive queer fraternity, an LGBTQ straight alliance, LGBTQ centered libraries on community college campuses in Texas & other urgently needed projects. Shane Mendez Windmeyer Campus Pride Founder, CEO & Executive Director stated, “LGBTQ+ college students today are informed & motivated to make change & they are uniquely positioned to put their ideas into action on their campuses. For the past 3 years, we have offered these grants because we know the impact it can have when a young change-maker is able to bring their innovative ideas to life. We also support faculty, staff & advisors who are close to the issues on the ground & working on projects that improve LGBTQ-inclusion on campus. Each of this year’s recipients will be able to use the grant funding to implement a project that supports LGBTQ+ people on campus or in their community. We look forward to seeing the ripple effects of these projects for years to come.” Since 2001 Campus Pride has been the leading national organization dedicated to building future LGBTQ & ally leaders & creating safer, more inclusive communities at colleges & universities. Campus Pride offers a wide variety of programs & resources for students & prospective students, including the Campus Pride Index, HBCU Clearinghouse, Trans Policy Clearinghouse, Stop the Hate & Safe Space trainings, the annual Camp Pride leadership camp & Social Justice. 

New LGBTQ Documentary Who I Am Not

After its DOC NYC premiere the fabulous new documentary Who I Am Not is headed to Boston’s Wicked Queer Documentary Film Festival Saturday November 18th at 4P at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA. This visually captivating powerful film is about two intersex people in South Africa one a beauty queen the other an activist & the journey they take of self-discovery over the course of 5 years. The film captures a raw honesty & intimate vulnerability of its subjects that takes the audience into the heart of the complexities of identity, family relations, health, romance & ultimately self-acceptance. The documentary is executive produced by Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette who stated, “Who I Am Not is a very important film. The subjects in the film are heartbreakingly honest as they take us through their journeys of overcoming insurmountable challenges in the quest for self-love & societal acceptance... Who I Am Not teaches us the resilience of the human spirit & the healing power of love and acceptance.” Director Tünde Skovrán added, “For me, Who I Am Not is more than just a film; it's a personal journey. When I first dove into the intricate world of the intersex community, it was like unearthing stories that had been waiting to be told.” Executive Producer Marc Smolowitz concluded, "Who I Am Not is a film about bravery & holding space for the intersex folks in our global LGBTQIA communities. The trust that our two main characters -- Sharon & Dimakatso -- exhibit in this film results in some of the most beautiful & powerful storytelling I have ever had the privilege to be involved in.” WATCH TRAILER  

NCLR Launches Trans Youth Health Film

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has kicked off Transgender Awareness Week 2023 with the launch of the Healthcare is Caring campaign to show that transgender healthcare is like any other form of essential care. It can save lives & enable people to thrive. The film was produced by Windy Films production agency & directed by Zen Pace who stated, “This film is special to me because not only does it touch my community, but it helps put forward a much more accurate story of these families that simply doesn't exist out there. It gives space to these parents; it’s a gift from their children.” The Healthcare is Caring campaign dispels inaccurate & harmful myths & showcases the positive impact of ensuring this safe, longstanding & necessary care remains available to parents seeking to provide a healthy & fulfilling life for their transgender children. Transgender healthcare is recognized as the standard of care by every major medical association including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association & the American Academy of Pediatrics. Shannon Minter NCLR Legal Director concluded, “The families in our campaign, like so many other families with transgender children, are proof that helping transgender youth get medically needed care can enable them to lead happy & successful lives. Still, many legislators continue to push harmful policies that prevent these young people from getting the healthcare they need & deserve. We’re working to take action against these bills & show the politicians behind them that transgender youth & their families are not alone.” WATCH FILM    

The Firefly A New LGBTQ Novel (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Laury A. Egan the author of 13 books of fiction about her latest novel “The Firefly” published by Spectrum Books. “The Firefly” begins as an LGBTQ coming-of-age novel set in 1964 & evolves into a woman’s lifelong journey to find fulfillment in both love & career. The story begins with Robin Bennet at 14 who has been left to fend for herself at a lakeside summer rental after her parents argue & leave the premises each believing the other has remained with their daughter. Robin then discovers someone has been sleeping in the house & stealing food. That night Robin observes a beautiful blond girl who magically appears on the dock dancing to the light of a lantern. The next day she meets Kieran a 15-year-old charming intruder who invites himself to dinner. It turns out that he is the brother of the beautiful blond girl Stella who magically appeared on the dock the night before & after he departs the “Firefly” returns. This time Robin is brave enough to approach her that leads to Robin’s first kiss but in the morning Stella has disappeared. Robin’s quest to find her is then cut short when Teresa her mother returns canceling their summer holiday on the lake. When Robin’s attempt to find her new friends ends in vain she returns home but never forgets that passionate night on the lake. As she enters adulthood pursuing her dream of becoming an architect she continues to explore her sexuality as she struggles to fulfill her lost desire for Stella. I talked to Laury about her inspiration for writing “The Firefly” & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Art Exhibition Explores Identity & Style

Queer Kicks explores the connection of identity, self-expression & the love of sneakers viewed from the queer perspective. The exhibition is curated by Schlomer Haus Gallery & presented by Hijinx Arts November 18 & 19 at ComplexCon 2023 at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. Schlomer Haus stated, "Sneakers have long been more than just shoes – they are canvases for self-expression & reflections of our individuality. In an era where personal style & self-identity play crucial roles in our everyday lives, sneakers - now considered an essential accessory of modern life - have evolved from just footwear into symbols of empowerment, community & artistic expression." Twelve artists from across the LGBTQ spectrum bring their views into the greater discussion of arts & culture offering a more holistic picture of the world. Addressing sneaker culture through a queer lens each artist was given the freedom to explore the subject in their own way. Abel Rodriguez, Carlos Rodriguez, Daniel Clurman, Devynn Barnes, Geep, Goku Mcafee, Hunter Harvey, Michael Thế Khôi Trần, Nonamey, Samuel Richardson, Taylor Nicholson & Thomas Pilnik contribute paintings, ceramics & sculpture installations that challenge style & identity within a culture that has traditionally been dominated by heteronormative narratives. The exhibition asks viewers to look beyond the surface of fashion, style, design & music to examine the complexities of what it means to be LGBTQ. Just as sneaker culture celebrates individuality & creativity so too does our LGBTQ community continue to fight for self-expression & identity by pushing boundaries & embracing diversity in a world that often demands conformity. 

Pope Francis Evolves On Trans Catholics

Pope Francis has declared that transgender people can be baptized & act as godparents or witnesses to a wedding in the Roman Catholic Church. Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA stated, “It is encouraging to see the Vatican making it clear that LGBTQ+ people are not automatically banned from our church’s sacraments. There have been too many bishops & priests who have made it difficult for members of our community to receive sacraments like baptism & even Communion, which are central to our lives as Catholics. We will continue our work to achieve full equality.” This advancement comes after Pope Francis recently stated “Being homosexual isn’t a crime” during an interaction with the media. Pope Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against our LGBTQ community & he himself referred to the issue in terms of ‘sin’ but he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds & said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone. ‘It may be a sin, but not a crime,’ the Pope said. He even advised them to develop tenderness as “God has for each of us”. With over 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalizing consensual same-gender sexual activity & 11 can or do impose the death penalty according to The Human Dignity Trust this may help works to end such horrific outdated laws that contribute to harassment, stigmatization & violence against LGBTQ people. Last year I talked to Father James Martin & director Shannon Post about their documentary “Building a Bridge” that follows a priest on his mission to make the Catholic Church more accepting of our LGBTQ community. LISTEN  

Black Trans Women Visual Artists Grant

Queer Art NYC’s home for the creative & professional development of LGBTQ artists announced Golden the winner of the 4th annual Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists. The Brooklyn-based visual artist will receive a $10,000 cash grant, professional development support & individual studio visits with members of the judges panel to support their practice. Jonathan Lyndon Chase, 2023 Illuminations Grant Judge stated, “Golden’s visual photography evokes power, vulnerability, beauty & glowing prowess. There are meditations on self reflection, communal embrace. The documentation on lived experiences in the Queer community & personal self expression are reminiscent of a home feeling.” Lauren Haynes 2023 Illuminations Grant Judge concluded, “Golden’s photographs stood out among this year’s very strong group of visual artists. Each image left me wanting to see more & to engage more deeply with their practice—I am excited to see how Golden’s work continues to evolve.” Golden’s art practice over the years has been centered around using photography, performance art & poetry to document, question & expand the archive of Black trans life in the USA. It is at the intersections of self documentation, family, queer imagination & Black love where they believe their work is most boundless & referential. Queer Art connects & empowers LGBTQ artists across generations & creative disciplines. Founded in 2009 they are an artist-led & community-centered organization united by shared values of collective care, creative resilience & the preservation & advancement of queer legacies & queer futures. Ongoing initiatives include the Queer Art Mentorship & a wide array of awards, grants & offerings that provide direct support to LGBTQ artists. 

Democracy Continues To Win In America

It's such a relief after an election in this country to wake up & discover that your democratic candidates & ideals continue to rule. In Virginia all 9 of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund candidates won their races for the state legislature including Danica Roem who will become the first out transgender state senator in the South. Annise Parker LGBTQ+ Victory Fund President & CEO stated, “Voters across Virginia resoundingly rejected the politics of bigotry & fear directed at the LGBTQ+ community. In Virginia & around the country, tonight’s results show that hate is a losing issue at the ballot box. We’re proud that our LGBTQ+ Victory Fund candidates were key to delivering a pro-equality majority in the General Assembly that will stand up to Glenn Youngkin’s bigoted policies. With so much on the line, Virginia was a top priority for LGBTQ+ Victory Fund this cycle. We’re joining with LGBTQ+ Virginians in all corners of the Commonwealth who are celebrating a new chapter in Virginia politics, one that includes all Virginians.” Yesterday’s election added 148 LGBTQ candidates who won their races resulting in over 200 out LGBTQ candidates winning their elections in 2023 which is more than any other odd-numbered election year in U.S. history. The number of victories is expected to rise as more election results come in. The previous record was in 2021 when 184 out LGBTQ candidates won. In 2023 at least 514 LGBTQ candidates ran & 312 were on the ballot yesterday according to LGBTQ+ Victory Fund’s Out on the Trail report. 

RuPaul Drag Race Stars Holiday Show

RuPaul’s Drag Race stars BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon are coming back to your town with The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show produced by BenDeLaCreme Presents. The international tour features more cities, more shows & even bigger theaters including the iconic Dolby Theatre. The tour runs from November 8th to December 30th across the US, UK & Canada with a new show written by DeLa & Jinkx that proves they’re still the reigning the Queens of Christmas. BenDeLaCreme stated, “With all the hatred, darkness & misinformation flying around our world today, it is an honor & a privilege to spend the holidays with tens of thousands of audience members each year, creating joyous community spaces where we can gather strength through laughter & celebration. Whether you consider it the most wonderful time of year or the most troubling, we’re here to tell you… you’re right! So let’s make it our own.” Jinkx Monsoon concluded, “It’s been a wild year, so let’s end it wildly. DeLa & I strive to entertain while we enlighten & enliven. The Jinkx & Dela Holiday Show is not only a moment of respite, but also of community, at a time where we need our chosen family & community most of all. So add us to your holiday plans, or let us BE your holiday plans— either way, you’re welcome to join us.” The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show & BenDeLaCreme Presents are reminders why authentic queer storytelling is not only necessary but should be widely celebrated. BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon are the sole writers of their holiday shows a major achievement for two drag artists who tour at such a large scale. 

The Legend of Georgia McBride Returns

“The Legend of Georgia McBride” is being presented as the second production of the Center Repertory Company 55th Season of plays & musicals. It’s running now through November 26th at the Margaret Lesher Theatre at 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek, California. “The Legend of Georgia McBride” is written by Matthew López who has had quite a successful few years with his play “The Inheritance”, his directional film debut of “Red, White, & Royal Blue” on Amazon Prime & his musical adaptation of the classic film “Some Like It Hot” on Broadway. The play directed by Elizabeth Carter is about Casey an Elvis impersonator with everything going for him including a flashy sequin jumpsuit but just like that he loses his gig with rent is overdue & his wife announces a baby on the way. So when Elvis leaves the building & a drag show moves in “The King” transforms into an all-out queen with the help of some new friends who become the chosen family Casey never saw coming. With snappy zingers & dance-worthy numbers this wildly entertaining story will challenge your assumptions with extraordinary humor & depth. Matt M. Morrow, Center REPertory Company Artistic Director stated, “When “The Legend of Georgia McBride” debuted in 2014 it was unthinkable that drag artists could be so hatefully targeted, banned & vilified. Almost a decade later, bringing Lopez’s affirming & joyous play back to the stage is an act of resilience & a testament to the inclusiveness, love & unity the queer community truly represents. These are the values we hold dear at Center REP, as well.” 

New Documentary Show Her The Money

The producers of the new feature documentary Show Her The Money exposing the systemic funding gap for female entrepreneurs announced that multiple Emmy Award & Golden Globe winning actress & the  film's executive producer Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey, Queer as Folk, Burn Notice) will be attending the screening at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) on Friday November 10th at the Savor Cinema located at 503 SE 6th Street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 3P. Producer Catherine Gray stated, “We are honored to have Show Her The Money screen at the FLIFF. South Florida is where I began my career as an entrepreneur decades over. Show Her The Money is a story that’s never been told. The film addresses women getting less than 2% of venture capital & demystifies what venture capital is.” The film’s director Ky Dickens concluded, “Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is a must-stop not only because of our ties to the community, but the festival’s steadfast commitment to indie filmmaking.” Show Her The Money made its world premiere at The Women’s Film Festival on September 21st in Philadelphia. It will open theatrically in New York & Los Angeles on December 1st. The film exposes the staggering gender gap in venture capital (VC) funding for women entrepreneurs with only 2% of $238.3 billion available goes to female entrepreneurs while heralding the determined women & men who are vigorously & successfully upending the deeply entrenched system. Sharon Gless serves as an executive producer along with Catherine Gray, Ky Dickens, Dawn LaFreeda, Diana Greshtchuk & Wendy Ryan. I talked to Sharon Gless in 2019 about her career & more. LISTEN  

Over 500 LGBTQ Candidates Run In 2023

In a new report from the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund at least 514 out LGBTQ people ran or are running for offices with elections in 2023 which is just under a 20% increase compared to the last odd-numbered election cycle in 2021 when 430 out candidates ran. Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund stated, “As politicians in state legislatures & on school boards levied unprecedented attacks on our community & our kids, LGBTQ+ leaders responded, running for office in record numbers. We saw more LGBTQ+ candidates of color, trans candidates, nonbinary candidates & bisexual candidates than in any other election year & in November voters in 41 states & the District of Columbia can reject the politics of hate & instead mark their ballot for an LGBTQ+ candidate.” Though this is very encouraging news there are many states under fire with anti-LGBTQ candidates on the fast track to destroy our democracy. For example in Virginia the only Southern state with laws explicitly prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people there is a crucial election taking place next week. Narissa Rahaman, Executive Director of Equality Virginia concluded, “This election comes at a critical time, following a legislative session in which the general assembly introduced the most anti-LGBTQ bills in its history. It’s an opportunity to build a pro-LGBTQ majority at the state & local level – one that sees us, respects us & fights for our dignity. With all legislative races taking place this year in redrawn districts, it’s more important than ever that Virginians take proactive measures to know where to vote on Election Day & to encourage their family & friends to vote, too. Our vote is one of the most powerful tools we have to shape our future.” 

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