Thursday, May 25, 2017

Back Lot Bash Women’s Festival Rocks Chicago Pride














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Amie Klujian, Co-Founder of “Back Lot Bash” Chicago’s most attended women’s festival that takes place over two weekends kicking off on June 16th with fabulous events running June 23rd through June 25th during Chicago’s LGBTQ Pride week. “Back Lot Bash” started in 2004 in response to the lack of women’s events and the limited presence of female artists in the Chicago LGBTQ community. What started as a one-day event has morphed into a 4-day festival becoming an iconic staple of Chicago pride week that draws over 6000 attendees from Chicago, the Midwest and around the world. Co-founders Christina Wiesmore and Klujian strive to bring the community together by showcasing emerging and established talent and activating citizens by helping to raise money for community organizations. Every year “Back Lot Bash” partners with local organizations such as HRC Chicago, CMSA and AIDS Ride Chicago with a portion of the proceeds donated to a number of charitable organizations including A Sister’s Hope, Girls in the Game, UCAN and other groups focused on Women’s LGBTQ issues. We talked to Amie about who will be performing at this year’s “Back Lot Bash” events and give us her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Klujian stated, “I think there are two important components to this that are intertwined and interdependent on each other. I see an important community of LGBT organizations national, state and local that have a huge voice within the institutional structures of our society whether that’s health, youth rights, civil rights, media, marriage rights and within those I really see leadership and membership that are invigorated and motivated by what we see going on in the change of the administration. Motivated to lead where needed and to resist where needed and to collaborate where needed with other non-LGBT organizations and to activate where needed because I think this administration spews toxicity and threatens our rights, dignities and our lives by targeting us often times as ‘less than’ in their policies and ignoring or denying real issues that exist such as bullying kids in schools and things like that. So, I believe that these organizations need to continue educating, advocating for and protecting where necessary rights for equal standing and this helps all of us. The second component I think is important is about us, the individuals, the people and the members of our community. I’m seeing so much individual engagement, moments of courage and more singular grassroots efforts and efforts on the part of individuals actively supporting LGBT causes and to support organizations, voice their opinions and stand up for themselves. So I see an emboldened and passionate future for our community and I’m so thankful for that because it just takes one person to spark better understanding and change. I’m very confident through our organizations and through individuals speaking their voice and even events like ‘Back Lot Bash’ and similar events that take place around the country where we build more and more solidarity and collective voice each passing day. I’m proud and know we will be successful and get through this.”

Amie Klujian earned a degree in politics from Princeton University and a master's in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University. She's an HRC Federal Club Member and serves with pride on the Executive Board of Directors at Girls in the Game, a nonprofit that helps girls become empowered game changers. The fabulous entertainment lineup for “Back Lot Bash” 2017 includes DJ Whitney Mixter, Madison Paige, Sea and Gunn (Daniela Sea & Gunn Lundemo), Rebel & Basketcase (music from Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa), Bria and Chrissy, Catfight, JD Samson, Kiyomi Valentine, DJ Goodboy and Tory Whodat among others.
For Info & Events: backlotbashchicago.com 





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Friday, May 19, 2017

LGBTQ Religious Freedom National Glitter Event (AUDIO)














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, Executive Director of Parity about the “Glitter+Fire” event encouraging Christians to use glitter to express joy in a diverse LGBTQ affirming way as a symbolic recreation of the “tongues of fire” on Pentecost Sunday on June 4th 2017. Parity and Queer Virtue, the movement founded by Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman are co-sponsoring the event. Pentecost is widely considered the day when Christianity as a movement was born. As told in the Book of Acts the story relates what happened to the disciples of Jesus who were gathered in the upper room following his execution, resurrection and ascension. The Holy Spirit appeared “as tongues of fire” empowering the disciples to proclaim the gospel in the native languages of people “from every nation under heaven.” Participants in Glitter+Fire will use glitter in the colors of fire: red, gold, and orange to re-enact the tongues of fire landing on the disciples, drawing participants together in a community of joy, energy and common purpose. Glitter+Fire follows on the success of Glitter+Ash Wednesday when Christians in churches across the country mixed ashes with glitter to “come out” as queer-positive Christians in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. We talked to Rev. Edmonds-Allen about what she hopes to accomplish with “Glitter+Fire” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Rev. Edmonds-Allen stated, “I think that this is the perfect time for the queer community to come together. I know from my work with LGBT centers and other LGBT advocacy work that too often we don’t work well together but now we really need to work well together across all our different identities and intersections and we also need to partner with our allies and make other people allies of us as well. What I’m hearing in the world is people saying ‘Wow I really care about transgender people. I don’t want them to be hurt or excluded or killed. What can I do about it?’ Now is the time we can invite those allies and those folks who are realizing that there are real issues in the world to help add us to the pool of donors, volunteers and to listen to their ideas. If we can pull together and work together there’s nothing we can’t do.”

Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen has worked with youth and families in various denominations and settings throughout the country for more than 20 years focusing on affirming beliefs and faith practices for LGBTQ persons. Marian is the co-founder of the LGBTQ Youth Continuum of Care and is an expert in the intersection of faith and LGBTQ identities and practice, interfaith relationships, youth suicide and homelessness. Marian also served as the National Program Director of the Family Acceptance Project and Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center. Marian attended Western Theological Seminary and Eden Theological Seminary and has served in many pastoral capacities including church planting, parish ministry and chaplaincy. Parity is a faith-based LGBTQ focused organization based in NYC that creates open and nurturing spaces both physically and spiritually to support emerging LGBTQ pastors and empowers LGBTQ and allied young people to integrate their spiritual, gender and sexual identities through a range of programs.
For More Info: parity.nyc








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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Groundswell Fund Supporting Women & Trans Folks of Color














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Vanessa Daniel, Founder and Executive Director of Groundswell Fund the largest funder of the U.S. reproductive justice movement about the launching of their new “Liberation Fund” to support the leadership of women of color and transgender people of color. Groundswell believes that these two groups bear the greatest vulnerability with the Trump administration’s agenda immersed in white supremacy and misogyny in the U.S. and their leadership role is vital in the larger resistance movement. The fund launches with an initial $500,000 and its first set of grantees will be curated by 15 advisors, prominent women of color leading in a variety of sectors from environmental, racial and economic justice, to immigrant, Native and transgender rights. The Liberation Fund’s expansive approach advances Groundswell’s mission of reproductive justice by ensuring that we all have the power to make decisions about our bodies, families and futures. The fund is now accepting donations and the first “Liberation Fund” grants will be awarded this summer at the recommendation of the fund’s advisors. We talked to Vanessa about what she hopes to accomplish with her crucial grassroots funding organization and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBTQ civil rights Daniel stated, “Well I’m a queer woman of color and my wife and I are mommas of a five year old daughter and we’re part of the vibrant queer community of Oakland, California. So my commitment to LGBT rights stems from my desire to live in a world where my family and my whole community can be free. So that’s part of why I have built an organization at Groundswell that has a staff and board that strongly includes LGBTQ people in leadership in our mission statement.”

Under Vanessa Daniel’s leadership Groundswell has moved more than $32 million to the reproductive justice movement with a focus on grassroots organizing led by women of color, low income women and transgender people. Ninety percent of Groundswell’s giving goes to work led by women of color. Vanessa’s roots in labor and community organizing inspired a unique funding model at Groundswell with a program staff team of women of color who come directly out of grassroots organizing and who support grantees through grant-making, capacity building and funder organizing to raise the visibility of grantee work in the broader funder/donor community. Groundswell’s work includes the only fund in the country dedicated to supporting access to birth justice for women of color and transgender people and the most robust women of color-led Integrated Voter Engagement training program in the U.S. Vanessa currently serves on the Board of Directors of Common Counsel Foundation and on the steering committee for the Health and Environmental Funder’s Network. She has a B.A. in American Ethnic Studies from Smith College and is a graduate of the Center for Third World Organizing’s Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program. This year Groundswell is predicted to move $7 million in grassroots organizing grants.
For More Info: groundswellfund.org








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Sunday, April 30, 2017

GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson Speaks OUT (AUDIO)














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson President and CEO of GLAAD the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization. GLAAD works through entertainment, news and digital media industries to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate global acceptance. On Saturday May 6th the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City took place at the New York Hilton Midtown. GLAAD honoring fierce LGBTQ ally Debra Messing with the Excellence in Media Award which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Excellence in Media Award honorees include Robert De Niro, Russell Simmons, Kelly Ripa, Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and Diane Sawyer. Billy Porter the Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor and singer was honored with the Vito Russo Award which is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance. The Award is named for Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated ACT UP activist, who pushed open the door for news and entertainment industries to include LGBTQ performers and stories. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, George Takei, Cynthia Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, RuPaul, Tom Ford, Thomas Roberts, Suze Orman and Alan Cumming. Ross Mathews will host the event and Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Rami Malek, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah and Christian Slater are attending among others at this fabulous LGBTQ Awards Show. We talked to Sarah Kate about GLAAD’s agenda for the next year and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Ellis-Henderson stated, “You know we’re fighters; that has always been our lexi as a community and we’re going to get louder, more vocal, more visible as this administration continues to try and erase us. The other thing that is especially inspiring in these harder times is how the various communities and social movements are locking arms. I’m finding the power in working together. We actually launched a campaign right before the election which is called our “Together” campaign and the symbol is an ampersand because we know that no one is one identity and we will not get through this without helping each other and supporting each other and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson was named President and CEO of GLAAD in early 2014 after a successful career as a media executive. Since then she has commissioned GLAAD's annual Accelerating Acceptance report providing a window into national sentiment towards the LGBTQ community. She also ensured that national and local media would be held accountable when reporting on Caitlyn Jenner, while GLAAD also provided resources to journalists and media organizations following Jenner's prominent Diane Sawyer interview. Ellis-Henderson was included on Variety’s 2016 New Power of New York List, a collection of 50 movers and shakers who are upending the entertainment business in Manhattan and beyond. She was named one of OUT Magazine’s OUT100 and was also one of Family Circles’ 20 most influential moms, ranked 20th on the Guardian’s World Power Pride list and was named an Agent of Change by Washington D.C.’s largest LGBT publication, Metro Weekly. Sarah and her wife Kristen are also the proud mothers of two adorable children.
For More Info: glad.org








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Friday, April 21, 2017

Hollywood Lesbians From Garbo To Foster (AUDIO)














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with author Boze Hadleigh about his new updated edition of “Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo To Foster” published by Riverdale Ave Books. This is a rare collection of exclusive interviews with Hollywood icons from the Golden Age of movies and TV including Dame Judith Anderson, Barbara Stanwyck, Capucine, Ann B. Davis, Nancy Kulp, Sandy Dennis, Agnes Moorehead, Edith Head and Patsy Kelly among others. There’s also fabulous stories and insight about Jodie Foster, Rosie O'Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch, Ellen Page and more. Renowned entertainment journalist and historian Hadleigh goes straight to the source and opens the film world and television’s closet door of yesteryear and brings it full circle to today with new fabulous material. This is a fascinating exploration of our LGBTQ community’s depiction and survival in the entertainment industry over the past century to present day. We talked to Boze about his inspiration for revising “Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo To Foster” and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Hadleigh stated, “The most important thing for the LGBTQ community is simply to be out, to be open because the more people that admit that they are gay the less that can be done against us simply from numbers; number are so important. It use to be thought back when everyone was in the closet that hardly anyone was gay. It was like one person out of a hundred or a thousand, you know one freak something like that as opposed to a legitimate minority like let’s say left-handed people where you don’t always know who they are. So just coming out is the most important thing and of course in the case of having a leader like this who was elected by the Electoral College and not by the people and the Electoral College is an anachronism and it does go back to a time when the founding fathers, only fathers, no mothers, were in charge and calling injustices involved. That should not exist anymore; that’s one of the things people need to push for the abolition of the Electoral College so as in a true democracy the people elect their leader. That’s one thing and also about resisting you know in other words write to your congress person, resist anything that is unfair that is put out by this administration which almost everything they put out is unfair. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done with the Supreme Court situation but again just being active because this is one thing that I’ve always believed that when you’re gay and that always includes of course LGBTQ, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no fence sitting. Either you’re helping moving forward simply by being out for instance and by writing a letter or making a phone call, sending an email or you’re in the closet or you never do anything about it or say ‘Well that’s a terrible antigay thing.’ But what are you going to do about it? Are you saying anything about it? So to be more active to first of all be out of course and be more active about it because it doesn’t take a lot of time especially in this electronic age. So just be out there.”

Boze Hadleigh is the foremost writer on LGBTQ Hollywood. His 22 books have been translated into 14 languages and yielded 11 TV documentaries and three plays. He holds a master’s degree in journalism, speaks five languages, has visited over 60 countries and even won on Jeopardy! His titles also include “Hollywood Gays”, “The Lavender Screen”, “Sing Out!”, “Broadway Babylon”, “Celebrity Lies!”, “Marilyn Forever” and “An Actor Succeeds” to name a few. “Hollywood Gays” and “Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo To Foster” are available on Riverdale Ave Books.
For More Info: riverdaleavebooks.com








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Thursday, April 6, 2017

“Jewel's Catch One” A Woman’s Fearless Journey














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with filmmaker C. Fitz and LGBTQ pioneer Jewel Thais-Williams about their documentary “Jewel's Catch One”. The film tells the story of Jewel Thais-Williams and her legendary “Jewel’s Catch One” nightclub often referred to as the Studio 54 of the West. It was a hub for cutting edge fashion and music for over 42 years in LA before it closed last year. When Jewel opened her club in 1972 to all races and sexual orientations the club became a target of racism and homophobia especially during the AIDS crisis. She even turned her parking lot into a soup kitchen during that time to make sure people could get care when so many were being ostracized. Jewel became a civil rights leader and then ultimately a healer who has now saved countless lives through her Village Healthcare Foundation. The film is narrated by CCH Pounder and features exclusive interviews with Sharon Stone, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Thelma Houston, Sandra Bernhard, Bonnie Pointer, Thea Austin, Jenifer Lewis and more as well as fabulous vintage footage that includes Madonna’s 2000 album release party where it was rumored that she learned to Vogue at the club. We talked to Fitz and Jewel about their inspirational must-see documentary and their spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Jewel stated, “United and on all fronts I feel is the key to it as well as being supportive of other groups. I think that we saw during the Civil Rights Protests and Campaign embrace every aspect of the human conditions and so we had folks joining from various and slightly different groups to support that cause and I feel if we can get that kind of support around our LGBTQ issues and we’re finding hope with millennials. We see them protesting things like “Black Lives Matter’ and they might be Asian, Indian and Caucasian, whatever, this is the kind of support we need to face anything that is happening politically to us now. We all have to join together every facet of our Americana especially those people that are being discriminated against and of course we’re one of the main ones of that. If we all come together there’s power in numbers.”

Filmmaker C. Fitz met Jewel after volunteering to direct a 3-minute short for charity and realized there was a much greater story to tell. She has spent the last six years bringing “Jewel's Catch One” a labor of love and inspiration to fruition. Fitz is also a television and marketing veteran who through her creative agency “Dancing Pictures” has worked with many clients including HBO, Pepsi, FOX, Disney and Showtime where she has conceptualized and produced hundreds of international and domestic broadcast and social media campaigns. Early in her career Fitz was the producer behind the launch of the BRAVO series, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” where she helped introduce the ground-breaking new format as an international brand. In the late 1990’s Jewel Thais-Williams at age 56, driven by an overwhelming need to make a difference, enrolled in Samra University of Oriental Medicine and received a Master of Science degree. She went on to pass the state and national boards and is currently a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist at her new clinic at 4077 Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, California under the same name Village Health Foundation.
For More Info: jewelscatchonedocumentary.com
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Wicked Queer The Boston LGBT Film Festival (AUDIO)















In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with James Nadeau, Executive Director of Wicked Queer Boston’s LGBT Film Festival which is celebrating its 33rd year and runs from March 30th to April 9th. There are over 120 features and shorts participating in this year’s film festival. Opening night on Thursday March 30th takes place at the Institute of Contemporary Art at 8P with the screening of “Signature Move” fresh off its World Premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival. The film is about thirty-something immigration attorney Zaynab played with wry humor by out Pakistani, Muslim actor Fawzia Mirza who is balancing her work, love life and taking care of her conservative TV-obsessed mother. A drunken night with the bold and assertive Alma played by the fantastically charismatic Sari Sanchez last seen on the Fox Network’s “Empire”, leads Zayneb to question just how to come to terms with her mom, her love life and her new found obsession with Lucha-style wrestling. Sari Sanchez and director Jennifer Reeder will be present for the opening night film to be followed by an after-party with complimentary hors d'oeuvres at Empire Restaurant and Lounge. “Signature Move” is co-presented by The South Asian Arts Council and Queer Muslims of Boston. We talked to James about the importance of the Wicked Queer Film Festival in the current political climate and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Nadeau stated, “What I’m seeing within the filmmaking community is that it’s really sparked an activism that I haven’t seen in a really longtime. For those of us who are of the generation who grew up with friends dying of AIDS I think we’re seeing a resurgence of political activism in the community that is not about to give up the freedoms we fought for which I find very heartening. It’s clearly in reaction to Trump and I think that’s a good thing. I think we need to get fired up and be a more active, politically active community.”

 James Nadeau has been a part of the Wicked Queer Film Festival since 2000. He has also programmed films for the Provincetown International Film Festival, The Rhode Island International Film Festival and at galleries and art spaces in the Boston area. His video work has screened internationally. He is currently a lecturer on film in the Literature Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and part time faculty in the Art History Department of Lesley University's College of Art and Design where he teaches the history of the moving image. Wicked Queer Boston’s LGBT Film Festival will be presenting 11 days of the year's best LGBTQ films. There will be lots of special events and opportunities to meet the filmmakers. This year will provide a chance to attend film premieres and mix and mingle throughout the 33rd annual festival. There are a variety of feel-good romances to hard-hitting documentaries bringing festival attendees another fabulous year of world-class programming. Wicked Queer is proudly presented by Showtime Network.
For Info & Tix: wickedqueer.org








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