Monday, September 26, 2016

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Annual Summit









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates about Out & Equal’s Workplace Summit that takes place in Orlando, Florida from October 4th to 7th at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Out & Equal is the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to achieving LGBT workplace equality and works with Fortune 1,000 companies and government agencies around the world to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for LGBT employees. This three day global conference will feature hundreds of educational opportunities including workshops, expert panels, networking mixers and plenaries with keynotes from prominent LGBT and ally leaders. More than 3,500 LGBT employees, executives, CEOs, celebrities, politicians, advocates, activists and allies are scheduled to attend including Abby Wambach, former US Women’s Soccer Team Captain; Lance Bass, Pop-star / Dancer / Actor / Producer; The Pointer Sisters, Pop Group; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; George Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts; Diana Nyad. record-breaking athlete; Margot Slattery, President of Sodexo; Sarah Saldana, Director of US ICE and many more. We talked to Selisse about this fabulous event and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Berry stated, “Well absolutely we’re committed to passing the Equality Act. We are supporting the work that’s happening around legislation that supports our community and I’m very excited about having the first woman president of the US and feel like our options are clear for the future of LGBT equality, that Hillary Clinton has been a supporter of our community, will continue to support our community and so I am looking forward to her tenure as president and having the Equality Act passed because so much of our work has been going company by company because there’s no federal law to protect us. We still live in this interesting time in history where we can be married on Saturday and then in 22 states in the country we still can be fired on Monday for putting our wedding picture on our desk because there are no federal laws to protect us. So I’m looking forward to federal protections in the United States and also looking forward to continuing this work globally so everyone around the world can be out and equal.”

Selisse Berry founded Out & Equal Workplace Advocates 20 years ago in 1996. Since then Selisse has built the Global LGBT Workplace Equality movement by creating a network of multi-national companies and federal agencies to work toward LGBT education, empowerment and visibility. In the past 20 years her work has impacted more than 40 million people in over 50 countries and she has brought the promise of equality to Fortune 1,000 companies and US government agencies. Selisse has been awarded with honors from universities, corporations, media institutions and legislators around the world. Selisse is the editor of Out & Equal at Work and the namesake of the San Francisco Business Times Selisse Berry Legacy Leadership Award. In 2015 she opened Out & Equal’s first East Coast office in Washington DC where she lives with her wife Cynthia.
For More Info: outandequal.org









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Monday, September 19, 2016

Producer Sue Maslin New Movie “The Dressmaker”









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Australian producer Sue Maslin about her new feature film “The Dressmaker” directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and stars Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Judy Davis and Caroline Goodall. “The Dressmaker” set in the 1950’s is about a glamorous worldly dressmaker who returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind the scandal that banished her as a young woman. This dark and quirky comedy stars Oscar winner Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage who cares for her eccentric mother played by Judy Davis and schemes with the local cross dressing sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who becomes something of a buffer between Tilly and the town’s people who haven’t forgotten the tragedy they believe Tilly caused as a child that tore the town apart and led to her exile. As she starts to unravel her scandalous past, she transforms the town’s women with her exquisite creations. Armed with only her sewing machine and haute couture style Tilly shows she is a force to be reckoned with and that revenge never goes out of style. “The Dressmaker” opens in theaters September 23rd. We talked to Sue about her inspiration for producing this film and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights and what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in her native country of Australia Maslin stated, “Well, I’m gay and I love seeing movies where you have kind of complex interesting female and male characters that are not just stereotypes. They’re that kind of movies that I like and the great thing about “The Dressmaker” is that it plays on a camp sensibility. So we have the gorgeous Hugo Weaving who plays Sergeant Farrat and he knows how to handle those fabrics and he does it with such humor as well. So I guess that sensibility of subversion comes from my perspective I guess of being a lesbian and engaging in popular culture. You like to put a twist in it when you get an opportunity.

 (In Australia) I would like to see everyone LGBT have the choice on how they want to live their lives and choices that they want to make to be actually legally recognized in our country. It’s insane that we’re one of the only English speaking western democracies that has not gone down the path of marriage equality and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. This is happening when it’s the vast majority of Australians are going Hey what’s the big issue here? Let’s get it happening but we have some politicians that are still so resistant to making those legislative changes. So we’re stuck in this weird strange limbo.”

Sue Maslin is one of Australia's leading screen producers. She has a 35-year track record of producing award-winning feature and documentary films. She was the inaugural recipient of the Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry and is currently Adjunct Professor of the School of Media & Communication, RMIT University; Patron of Women in Film and Television Victoria; and President of the Natalie Miller Fellowship, an organization dedicated to increasing women's participation in creative and business leadership of the Australian screen industry. “The Dressmaker” opens nationwide September 23rd.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Nick Verreos New Book “A Passion For Fashion”









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Nick Verreos celebrity fashion designer and former Project Runway contestant about his new book “A Passion for Fashion: Achieving Your Fashion Dreams One Thread at a Time” that he co-authored with his business partner David Paul addressing how to break into the fashion industry and more. Behind every fashion label flawless magazine cover and perfectly produced runway show there are thousands of people working behind the scenes in entry level jobs and unpaid internships each one hoping for their own big break. Making a mark in the fashion industry can be a daunting and overwhelming prospect. During their careers Verreos and Paul have created a number of successful fashion ventures. They co-founded NIKOLAKI in 2001 which was sold in over 150 stores and featured in WWD, Lucky, US Weekly and People Magazine. They then launched the signature label, NV Nick Verreos in 2003 that currently appears on EVINE Live, QVC UK and Italy and TSC Canada. In their new book published by Post Hill Press Nick and David have created a must-read for aspiring fashionistas to guide them step by step on how to prepare for or launch their fashion careers. We talked to Nick about the inspiration for his book and his spin on our LGBT issues.

With the school year beginning and LGBTQ teens continuing to face overwhelming bullying incidents, when asked what advise he has for these kids Nick stated, “We need to continue to let our LGBTQ teens know that they are not alone and there is a support system; wonderful non-profits such as Trevor Project do wonderful work. It pains me when I see them in pain meeting teenagers at the events that I do especially kids that are interested in going into the fashion industry. I try not to play favorites when I’m doing meet & greets but when I see one of my own and they’re so cautious thinking how I’m going to react to them because they’re wearing make-up or heels and they begin to cry and I just pull them aside and I give them a 10 or 15 minute it will get better, I love you, I’m here for you, look at me it’s okay, you know it will pass, I understand. I got bullied when I was in high school. I remember the football guys in my high school calling me the f-word as I walked by with my Hermes scarf and Gucci loafers and yes I would go home and cry but I would just draw and revert to my own little world of fashion and reading Vogue. That was my way of coping and it did get better. I went to college. I met other people who were gay and it was okay. Years later I was on Project Runway. I remember going to my high school reunion and several of those guys who called me names came up to me and all of sudden wanted to be my best friend and apologized for some of the things they has said. I try to tell those teens that it does get better. I know it’s hard to hear when you’re in that moment of being bullied. Surround yourself with a support system. I think that’s really important and look for somebody that can guide you to a better path and be positive about it.”

Nick Verreos received worldwide attention after appearing on the television show Project Runway and later became the winning mentor on Under the Gunn. Since then he has dressed celebrities including Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Heidi Klum, Carrie Underwood and Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin under his label NIKOLAKI. He has also enjoyed impressive success with his NV Nick Verreos sportswear line on major TV shopping networks in the U.S. and Europe.
For More Info: nvnickverreos.com









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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bruce Vilanch Hosts “One Night Only Benefit Cabaret”









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Bruce Vilanch about hosting One Night Only Benefit Cabaret for the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation on Monday Sept 12th at Marines’ Memorial Theater in San Francisco. Philanthropy and stellar entertainment take center stage as REAF presents a special one-night-only benefit cabaret with the Broadway Touring Cast of “Beautiful”(The Carole King Musical) in “Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy” hosted by Bruce with Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy. Songs from “Beautiful” will not be performed. As we have been reporting, for over twenty years the Richmond / Ermet Aid Foundation has raised millions of dollars by producing Broadway quality entertainment events and galas to advance HIV treatments and support AIDS services until there is a cure. Recently REAF has expanded its fundraising focus to the Bay Area’s growing demand for two new areas by providing food for the needy and programs that support homeless, disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. We talked to Bruce about this fabulous organization and his spin on our LGBT issues.

With the upcoming presidential election just months away, when asked what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Vilanch stated, “Well a lot depends on what happens in this election clearly. I mean if the Nazis actually win and I call them Nazis because they would like us to be eliminated. Read the Republican Party Platform, the reptilian party, as I call it, platform, you’ll see that they would like us to just shrivel up and die. They would like to enable us in that effort and I think if they win then we’re going to see a period of regression and of people feeling their oats so they can attempt to beat us into the ground. If the democrats win and Hillary is in charge I think we’re going to see a continued path towards complete civil rights. That means no rollback on marriage equality, which is what the republicans would like. We’ll see it extended and obviously the most important thing about this election is the next president will choose a bunch of Supreme Court Justices who will issue to the ultimate ruling on all things that affect our lives. So I think at the moment we have the coin in our hands and as a nation we’re going to toss it in November and we’ll see what happens. So I’m hoping it comes down on the girl side.”

Bruce Vilanch is one of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry. He began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989 collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman and graduated to head writer in 2000. Since then Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right thanks to the feature-length documentary "Get Bruce” and his one-time stint as a regular on "Hollywood Squares" for which he also served as head writer. One Night Only Benefit Cabaret is produced by the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, founded by the late Barbara Richmond and Peggy Ermet in memory of their sons John Richmond and Doug Ermet who both lost their lives to AIDS. To date REAF has raised well over $3 million dollars for AIDS services and beginning in 2015 expanded to support hunger programs and programs for homeless and underserved youth.
For Info & Tix: reaf-sf.org







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Monday, August 22, 2016

LGBT Global Business & Leadership Conference









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Jonathan D. Lovitz, Vice President of External Affairs of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce about the NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference that takes place August 23rd to 26th in Palm Springs, California. The event brings over 1,000 entrepreneurs, corporate decision-makers, affiliate chamber leaders and government officials from across the country and globally. There are also fabulous special events including a performance by legendary singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge. The three-day educational conference delivers innovative leadership programming, networking and engagement opportunities which lead to expansive economic impact and meaningful community services. These cutting edge educational programs include important keynote speakers, the annual B2B Boot Camp for LGBT Business Enterprises, a chamber development track, marketplace expo, one-on-one matchmaker meetings and more. The NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference offers vigorous programming designed to meet the interests and needs of their corporate partners, LGBT-certified business owners and entrepreneurs, allied companies and NGLCC affiliate chambers from around the country. Packed with education sessions, this world-class networking the conference offers incredible exposure and opportunities for LGBT owned and allied businesses to build relationships with more than 140 corporations, federal government agencies and each other. We talked to Jonathan about the NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Lovitz stated, “I’ve personally been involved in LGBT civil rights and advocacy movement for several years now. I started off as an openly gay Broadway and television performer years ago and worked as an openly gay actor for a long time. During that time organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, Trevor Project and GLAAD approached me and said you’re young and passionate and interested in doing great work for the community, what would you like to do? And I said put me out in the field; I want to be on college campuses; I want to be at events getting particularly young people to care about this movement, especially as we saw marriage equality come closer and closer to fruition. We didn’t want to lose momentum after it happened so I’ve stayed in this fight ever since and one of the first organizations that I got to speak with and for was the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. I’m really honored to be on staff heading up their communications and messaging and public policy and help making the world a better place for LGBT people do business.”

The NGLCC was co-founded in 2002 by Justin G. Nelson and Chance Mitchell. Nelson has served as President since the NGLCC was founded and Mitchell has served as CEO over the same period. In 2002 the pair were named in OUT Magazine's Top 100 Success Stories for their role in founding the NGLCC Instinct Magazine and named Nelson as one of their 25 leading men in 2006. NGLCC is a U.S. not-for-profit advocacy group that aims to expand the economic opportunities and advancement of the LGBT business community. The Washington, D.C. based group acts both as a national certification body for LGBT-owned businesses and as advocates for LGBT supplier diversity.
For More Info: nglcc.org









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Monday, August 15, 2016

Help Is On The Way A Star Studded Concert & Gala









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Jai Rodriguez about Richmond Ermet Aid Foundation’s event HELP IS ON THE WAY 22 – On The Red Carpet "Idols & Icons" on Sunday August 21st which is Northern California’s largest annual, star-studded concert and gala that benefits Meals on Wheels of San Francisco and AIDS Legal Referral Panel. This fabulous event will feature tributes to Stephen Sondheim, Carole King, David Bowie, Natalie Cole, Prince and more. Jai will be performing along with Constantine Maroulis, Kimberley Locke, LaToya London, Melinda Doolittle, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Donna McKechnie, Carole Cook, Michael Walters as Dame Edna, Branden James with James Clark, Paula West, Sally Struthers, Jason Brock, Sony Holland, Tristan Bourgade and the cast of “Beautiful.” For over twenty years the Richmond / Ermet Aid Foundation has raised millions of dollars by producing Broadway quality entertainment events and galas to advance HIV treatments and support AIDS services until there is a cure. Recently REAF has expanded its fundraising focus to the Bay Area’s growing demand for two new areas by providing food for the needy and programs that support homeless, disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. We talked to Jai about this tremendous organization and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Rodriguez stated, “The phone blew up the other night because Bill Maher had referenced “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” as being one of the key shows that really subtly moved society forwards visually getting to know a group of gay people that they thought of as friends and therefore breaking down barriers shifting society to a more tolerant place. That was 13 years ago we did that show. My first job was in ‘Rent’ at a time where the show was the hottest ticket in town. It was our generation’s ‘Hamilton’ if you will and because of that I played a (HIV) positive character, so I was brought on to the scene speaking up weekly in the show collecting money for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS really understanding the needs of our community, at that time when HIV medication was starting to become more advanced. I personally lost my aunt and a cousin. I was 16 years old and in high school and then I played a (HIV) positive character. I really kind of made myself say yes to almost everything I’ve been asked to do related to HIV and AIDS fundraising efforts. I think it’s so important and outside of that ‘Queer Eye’ and then a much more broader political platform with so many of the issues to effect our community. Any time I’m working in any way publicly or interviewed immediately I’m asked about that hot topic, hot button, LGBT issue and whatever you say, you really do have to stand behind. I’m lucky to have a platform where I get to voice my opinions hopefully influencing others for being more kind to each other but also raising awareness for people even in our community that don’t know that other people in our community still faces. So my commitment to activism in the community has always been twofold; one about raising awareness but also getting in there and really participating in physically affecting change. Whether that’s creating my own fundraisers, being part of others, really putting just not only my name on a poster but getting a tactile way.”

HELP IS ON THE WAY XXII is produced by the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, founded by the late Barbara Richmond and Peggy Ermet in memory of their sons John Richmond and Doug Ermet who both lost their lives to AIDS. In 1995, the two women decided not to get mad but get even when they launched a musical AIDS benefit to honor their sons by raising funds for AIDS service organizations. To date REAF has raised well over $3 million dollars for AIDS services and beginning in 2015 expanded to support hunger programs and programs for homeless and underserved youth.
For Info & Tix: reaf-sf.org









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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gay Filmmaker Ray Yeung New Movie “Front Cover”









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Filmmaker Ray Yeung about his new feature “Front Cover” a bittersweet dramatic comedy that addresses the Asian American experience with humor, irony and insight. The film is about an openly gay New York City fashion stylist Ryan (Jake Choi) who has rejected his traditional Asian upbringing. However after he is given an assignment to style Ning (James Chen) a famous Chinese actor for an important photo shoot an unlikely friendship develops between them leading Ryan to re-examine his roots and consider an enticing new path for his life and career. “Front Cover” is opening in limited release on August 5th in New York City at the Village East and August 12th in Los Angeles at Sundance Sunset 5 distributed by Strand Releasing after rave reviews on the film festival circuit. We talked to Ray about his inspiration for “Front Cover” and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Yeung stated, “I was living in Hong Kong and born in Hong Kong and Hong Kong use to have a gay and lesbian film festival in 1989 but they stopped it in 1997 when Hong Kong was given back to China for political and economical reasons. I restarted the gay and lesbian film festival in 2000 because I didn’t want that kind of freedom of speech and freedom of being gay to be suppressed and lost. We started the film festival in the year 2000 and the festival since then has been very strong and we are the biggest and longest running gay and lesbian film festival in Asia now. I think it is very important to have our stories being told. If you are a young kid coming out with no identity or not sure what it is like being gay you can go to the cinema and watch your story or some other people’s story or their struggles on the screen and that kind of gives you a lot of power and belief in life. So they have a sense of identity and they have the belief in other people’s dreams and life can be different or better or whatever so the world they live in there are other avenues and ways of living. I think it is very important to have gay and lesbian film festivals everywhere in the world.”

Ray Yeung is a Columbia University MFA graduate whose first film “Cut Sleeve Boys” premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and won Best Feature at the Outfest Fusion Festival in Los Angeles. Yeung is very concerned with the whitewashing of Asian stories in Hollywood and is committed to continue making films about our Asian LGBT community. His next film will be shot on location in his native Hong Kong which not only tells the story of two Asian men but will also capture a rapidly changing city under China’s rule. Ray Yeung continues to be the Chairman of the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
For More Info: frontcoverthemovie.com 
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Gender Odyssey 15th Annual Conference August 4th to 7th









In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Aidan Key, founder of Gender Diversity in Seattle, WA about the 15th annual Gender Odyssey conference that takes place at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, Washington from August 4th to 7th. Gender Odyssey is an international conference focused on the needs and interests of transgender and gender nonconforming people. The conference provides an array of thought-provoking workshops, discussion groups, social events and more. This annual event attracts people from all over the world for an uplifting weekend of skill sharing and community. Over 1000 participants are expected to attend this year as visibility for transgender issues and communities have reached a historic high mark. Gender Odyssey’s primary objective is to offer tools to navigate obstacles and provide pathways to individual and community empowerment with conference tracks for professionals, families and transgender people of all ages. There will be over 100 workshops, panels and events providing the highest level of expertise from within the transgender and gender nonconforming communities. Also again this year “Gender Odyssey Family” the stand-alone conference will be presented for families with gender diverse and transgender children as the cornerstone of the weekend providing three days of workshops, a day camp for kids and a complete teen program. This annual family conference is one of few places where families, children and teens can get the information and support they need to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives. We talked to Aidan about how Gender Odyssey provides a powerful life-changing conference experience for its attendees and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT Civil Rights Key stated, “I cannot not do this work and frankly in times of great fatigue, I have thought about that and wanted to step away and yet I feel quite strongly that this is the work that I need to be doing. I spent quite a number of years of my life in the lesbian community prior to my transition. I had the blessing and good fortune to meet a lot of amazing change agents within that community and especially so in a number of people that were older than me by 15 or 20 years so in a sense mentored me and provided me in what I felt was more like a second upbringing. There’s no way that between them and my own mom who raised me to be who I was meant and to fight against the injustices that present themselves, there’s no way I could let those people down and not do exactly what I’m doing. I find a huge amount of…satisfaction doesn’t even seem like the right word. It’s what I need and have and want to do to fill my soul.”

Aidan Key and his organization have helped students, families and schools think about and address gender and transgender issues. Key has served as a consultant to dozens of school districts across the United States navigating the questions and concerns that come with supporting transgender students. He is the co-author of “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves” (Oxford University Press) and “Gender Cognition in Transgender Children” (Psychological Science). Past speaking engagements have included the Children’s Justice Conference and the Adolescent Medicine Conference.
For More info: genderodyssey.org









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