Monday, April 14, 2014

AIDS Activist Scott Campbell Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Scott Campbell, Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation which has been identified by Funders for LGBTQ Issues as the largest funder of programs for black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer individuals. EJAF founder Sir Elton John stated, “We are immensely proud to be recognized by Funders for LGBTQ Issues for our work focused on the needs of black LGBTQ communities. At the Elton John AIDS Foundation, we see the fight for equality for black Americans and LGBTQ people and the effort to achieve a world without AIDS as one and the same, because racism and homophobia are major drivers of the epidemic.” Black Americans represent only 13% of the population but account for 46% of people living with HIV in the United States. We talked to Scott about addressing this alarming statistic and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT equality Campbell stated, “I think that every person should care about each other. Whether that’s in our families, our communities, our societies, we have an obligation to think about others, not just ourselves. I really think that it is the basis of all civil and human rights but I think it’s also interesting to point out that in the US we have a constitution and laws and these provide certain rights and recognition on issues that range from marriage and adoption all the way to protection from violence and recently with the whole discussion on healthcare reform and just healthcare in general, the US has started to define a right to healthcare. The US Supreme Court says that people shouldn’t be discriminated against because of who they love or because of their gender. So to me that’s sort of my perspective on LGBTQ civil rights but civil rights in general. That’s the kind of thing that I would be committed to both personally and certainly on behalf of the Foundation.”

The Elton John AIDS Foundation believes that AIDS can be beaten. They act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people’s lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. The two foundations together have raised more than $300 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment services and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Speak OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with designers Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams about the 25th anniversary of their company. Twenty-five years ago they based their manufacturing in rural North Carolina, the “Buckle of The Bible Belt,” where it remains there today. For decades their bold ad campaigns have frequently included gay and lesbian couples, “alternative” families and sexy models. Though this has caused raised eyebrows and jaws to drop, sales have gone up year after year. The company has been recognized for its innovative campaigns including being honored with the Public Visibility Award at the first GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising. Gold and Williams are celebrating their brand’s 25th year by giving back to 25 communities where their signature stores appear and in a new coffee table book, published by Assouline, which shares 25 of the company’s mantras for success in design, business and life. They also gave us their spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what their personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Gold stated, “Well Bob and I living down south starting the factory in 1989 by 1992 when President Clinton was elected, we really first started to see the backlash and the anti LGBT vitriolic talk, especially from religious leaders down south and throughout the country and that really got us involved. When we saw progress on LGBT civil rights go backwards we became involved with the Human Rights Campaign, in Equality North Carolina and several different organizations and we have been very active since then. About eight years ago I cofounded with Reverend Jimmy Creech “Faith In America” which educates people about the harm of religious bigotry to the LGBT community and Bob is on the board and very supportive. So we have a really deep commitment and I would go out and say that of anybody going out to buy home furnishings there is no company that is more on the forefront of not just supporting LGBT advocacy groups and having started one but also supporting candidates that vote for our equal rights.”

Mitchell Gold is also editor of the book “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America” and “Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay” that was released in paperback in 2011. Mitchell resides in North Carolina with his spouse, Tim Gold who he married in Des Moines, IA, in June 2010. Bob Williams lives in North Carolina with his partner Stephen Heavner. Their next 25th anniversary celebration will take place in Boston on April 25th to benefit The Pine Street Inn.
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Monday, March 31, 2014

New LGBT Beach Party At Tropicana Resort Las Vegas

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Fred Harmon, Chief Marketing Officer of The New Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas about Xposed! the LGBT Beach Party that’s happening every Saturday 11A to 6P throughout the summer at the all-new Tropicana Beach Club. This sizzling event is produced in association with LA-based event producer Paul Nicholls who runs a multitude of successful weekly events including the popular Stripper Circus franchise with weekly parties in LA, Vegas and San Diego. Partiers attending Xposed! throughout the season will enjoy festivities such as sun-kissed go-go dancers, live entertainment and the hottest DJs spinning all the latest hits while surrounded by the breathtaking waterfalls, palm trees and luxury daybeds and cabanas of the beach club. We talked to Fred about the resort’s LGBT initiatives and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Harmon stated, “I believe that LGBT rights are really just human rights because I’m also part of the LGBT community and pretty passionate about the LGBT movement. I think it’s more about not wanting us to be treated special but just wanting us to be treated with the same respect and privileges as everyone else. I guess you could say my personal commitment is just that it’s very personal. I’m a huge supporter of the efforts for equal treatment of all individuals but especially LGBTQ individuals.” On Las Vegas being a gay destination Harmon added, “I think that there’s a misconception about Las Vegas. I think there was a time in our history that people thought Las Vegas was LGBT-friendly just because of the amount of entertainment that was here. Quite honestly that’s not true. We’ve come a long way. You know I’m excited about Xposed! to be able to bring a mainstream venue to the LGBT community on the strip but it’s sad to me that that’s actually news. We’re in 2014 and we’re still working towards the Las Vegas market embracing the LGBT community and the great thing is we’ve taken a lot of strides. There’s a lot to offer the LGBT community to come out and visit us. I think people who have visited in the past would be pleasantly surprised to know the steps that we’ve taken and how much more welcoming the city has become to the LGBT community.”

The New Tropicana Las Vegas recently went through a $200 million transformation. The property has a new and fresh South Beach vibe and recently unveiled their breathtaking Sky Villa Suites. In addition, the Broadway hit MAMMA MIA! is coming to the Tropicana Theater in May and now with Xposed! these are fabulous reasons to make The New Tropicana Las Vegas your next LGBT destination.
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Monday, March 24, 2014

New Hot Gay Sitcom “From Here on OUT”

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor/writer Terry Ray about his new sitcom “From Here on OUT” which makes its television broadcast premiere on Friday, March 28th exclusively on Here TV. Ray stars in this outrageous new comedy that goes behind the scenes spoofing Here TV the LGBT premium cable network. “From Here on OUT” centers on the adventures of aging gay writer, Jimmy Randall (Ray), as he tries to get his dream project made into a television series. After years of failed attempts, Jimmy finally sells his show to the 18 year-old president of Here TV. However, Jimmy must hire an openly gay leading man or the series will not go forward. Jimmy casts the sexy, talented Sam Decker. One problem: Sam is secretly straight. To keep their show on the air, Jimmy and Sam conspire to convince the network that they have become a gay couple. Directed by Sam Irvin, the six-episode series also stars Emmy winner Juliet Mills (QB VII, Nanny and the Professor, Passions), Suzanne Whang (House Hunters, Las Vegas), T.J. Hoban (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Adrian Gonzalez (August) and newcomers Austin Robert Miller and Michael Lanham. Paul Colichman and Stephen P. Jarchow are the show’s executive producers. We talked to Terry about “From Here on OUT” and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Ray stated, “Well I think it’s extremely important to live openly as a gay person and I’ve done that for a long time even when it wasn’t so easy to get a job, so I started to create my own. My commitment is to live openly and to be involved and aware politically. I’m a political junkie and I vote in every single election, no matter if there’s just two people running for dogcatcher I’m voting because I think it’s super important to vote. If everybody voted even if you live in the red states, if you all voted things would change drastically and that is a privilege that we have and that is a privilege I think that people are not utilizing and I really wish that we would; just everyone who is gay, everyone who is gay conscious to just vote. That’s a huge thing that we can all easily do and I think right now my big platform is everyone vote, always vote.”

Terry Ray has appeared in over 80 plays with stars such as Dixie Carter, Elaine Stritch, Patricia Heaton and Matthew Perry. His first television role was “In Living Color” in a sketch with Chris Rock. Terry also co-wrote and starred in the short film “Gaydar” which appeared in over 120 film festivals around the world and won numerous awards. Terry is extremely proud and excited to be the creator, writer and star of Here TV’s first sitcom “From Here on OUT”. Guest stars appearing in the first season include Julie Brown, David Millbern, Sam Pancake, Jesse Pepe and Emrhys Cooper.
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Monday, March 17, 2014

New Gay Marriage Guide “Whether To Wed” (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with attorney Scott Squillace about his new book “Whether to Wed: A Legal & Tax Guide For Gay & Lesbian Couples”. Since the Supreme Court’s decision last June that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the floodgates opened for federal rights and benefits to flow to legally married gay and lesbian couples across the country. As our LGBT community deals with our income taxes this year there’s a brand new book that’s a must-read for legally married gay and lesbian couples and those that are thinking about tying the knot. “Whether To Wed” delves into the complex details that gay and lesbian couples as well as their tax and estate planners need to know. We talked to Scott about why he decided it was time to write and publish a book that answers many if not all questions that gay and lesbian couples need to know before or after getting married and get his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Squillace stated, “I’ve increasingly gotten involved in the marriage equality movement. I lived and worked in Europe for the decade of the nineties and wasn’t too terribly involved other than to write out a few checks. When I returned to the States around 2000 shortly thereafter I got introduced to GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) in Boston and the case they had filed here in Massachusetts and it was at an event for the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association that they honored the plaintive couples and they were introduced as ‘These are the Rosa Parks of our generation and are the people first standing up and saying it’s not ok to discriminate against us’. It really resonated with me because I thought if people like me who are moderately well-educated and may have a voice in our community don’t stand up and support this effort we’ll have nobody to blame but ourselves for being discriminated against. So that led me down the path to joining the initial board of MassEquality that was supporting the marriage equality movement in Massachusetts and I’ve done a variety of other things. I’m very passionate about these issues. I’m a member of the Supreme Court Bar and attended the oral arguments on the big cases that were decided last year and I follow it all very closely.”

Scott Squillace is a Certified Legacy Advisor of The Sunbridge Legacy Institute, a member of The Boston Foundation’s Professional Advisors Committee and Co-Chair of its Equality Fund an Endowment for the LGBT Community. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Boston Estate Planning Council and is a member of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, Pride Planners, the Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association where he currently co-chairs its Estate Planning Fundamentals Committee. Squillace lives in Boston with his husband.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Maura Healey For Massachusetts Attorney General (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Attorney Maura Healey who is running for Attorney General in Massachusetts. Maura has been Attorney General Martha Coakley's right hand for the last seven years achieving monumental victories to protect consumers, homeowners and is a champion of LGBT equality. As Chief of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights division Healey spearheaded the efforts of an extraordinary team to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act winning the first federal court decision striking down DOMA, which discriminated against gay and lesbian legally married couples. We talked to Maura about her campaign to become Massachusetts’ next Attorney General and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Healey stated, “My commitment is deeply personal. I’m a gay person myself so of course it’s personal. I do feel and hope that equality is everyone’s agenda and everyone’s interest and something that everyone should be behind but I certainly have a personal commitment to issues of equality. I also have a lot of resolve. I mean I know how hard it is; I know the barriers created by discrimination. I’ve seen that in my own lifetime both as a young woman growing up and as a young gay woman growing up and I’ve seen that discrimination play out in the lives of friends and colleagues. So my commitment here is real and it’s deep and I want to make sure that we’re making it easier and better for people to be able to live the way they want to live. I go back to my youth and I’m a product of Title IX and a beneficiary of Title IX which was a federal law that made possible great gains for girls and women in athletics and I’m a beneficiary because of that law I was ultimately able to play college basketball Division One and ultimately have a professional basketball career. So I think that the kind of laws we have are terrifically important and as Attorney General you have the opportunity to enforce laws and enforce laws that protect civil rights. So I look forward to doing that but I know it takes a lot of resolve and it takes a lot of hard work. When we put together the state’s case challenging DOMA a lot of people tried to talk us out of it and I know at the time I argued that case, the majority of Americans were not supportive of marriage equality and even the President and the Justice Department were standing behind DOMA. But I also know that eventually that changed and we did prevail and things can change but it requires perseverance, resolve and that’s certainly a commitment I’m going to continue. So for whatever the fights are that we have ahead I’m prepared to stand in and make sure that we’re advancing equality and not moving backwards.”

Maura Healey attended Harvard where she majored in government and captained the Harvard basketball team. After two years as a starting point guard for the UBBC Wustenrot Salzburg professional basketball team in Austria, Maura returned to Massachusetts to attend law school at Northeastern University. She then served as a litigator in one of Boston’s most prominent law firms, Wilmer Hale and as a Special Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County. In 2007 Healey joined the Attorney General’s Office where she headed two prominent divisions in the state’s chief law enforcement office – both the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau and the Business & Labor Bureau. Maura lives in Charlestown with her partner.
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Pam Grier Is Dining Out For Life To Fight HIV/AIDS

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Pam Grier legendary actor for her roles as “Foxy Brown”, “Jackie Brown” and Kit Porter in “The L Word” about Dining Out For Life, the HIV/AIDS fundraiser. Dining Out For Life hosted by Subaru® takes place in 60 cities across North America on Thursday, April 24th. The idea for this simple concept was conceived 23 years ago in Philadelphia. More than 3,000 participating restaurants donate a generous percentage of that day’s proceeds to support service providers in their region to fund care, prevention, education, testing, counseling and other essential HIV/AIDS services. An estimated $4 million will be raised in just one day of dining. We talked to Pam about being a spokesperson for this fabulous event and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Grier stated, “As much as I can be a part to establish the fact that everyone has a right as a human being to live like one. I made such great friends for life whom I met during “The L Word” and doing “The L Word” for six seasons, it’s in 23 countries, and to have people from all over the world come over and embrace me and say ‘thank you’, and you can never do enough. I can’t beat down people’s doors; I can’t take their religious dogmas and make them listen to me; I would not be presumptuous to say I can change people’s minds about community and life but you know I’m out there and I’m working for it. I’m fighting for it.”

When asked about a possible L Word reunion Pam added, “I don’t really know but you know what’s timely right now is not a reunion but to re-air all six seasons of “The L Word” because we covered so many broad social and political areas that’s it’s timely now. We finished our last show in 2008, the sixth season and I’m sure we’re part of the conscious and subconscious of viewership and made a difference in the political arenas. It would be great to see it air again now and cast that wide net of comprehension to a lot of people who didn’t watch it because it started in 2002 and here we’re talking eleven years later, that’s over a decade of serious battlement, comprehension, people making a difference in the equality of the LGBT community. I think it would just be so appropriate now so as far as a reunion, don’t know, as far as a movie, don’t know but here again I would love to see it re-aired.”

Pam Grier’s memoir, “Foxy: My Life in Three Acts” became a New York Times Bestseller, won “Best Memoir of 2010” Award from the African American Literary organization and received the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership Award. In 2012 Pam received the Legend Award at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards. 2014 marks her fourth year serving as a spokesperson for Dining Out for Life International hosted by Subaru® and is joined by three other celebrity spokespeople for this fabulous fundraiser including Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s “Chopped”, designer Mondo Guerra, winner of “Project Runway All-Stars” and chef Daisy Martinez from Food Network’s “¡Viva Daisy!”.
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Antigone Rising Rocks For LGBT Equality

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Kristen Ellis-Henderson and Cathy Henderson cofounders of the all-female alternative country rock band Antigone Rising. After touring with acts such as The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, The Allman Brothers Band, The Bangles and traveling to Israel and the West Bank as cultural ambassadors for the United States Embassy, the band has introduced their latest single "That Was The Whiskey". It’s featured on the first of their two five-song CDs entitled "Whiskey & Wine - Volume 1" set for release on March 25th. ("Whiskey & Wine - Volume 2" will be out October 28th 2014.) Earlier this month Antigone Rising appeared on Olivia Travel’s Caribbean Equality & Leadership Cruise with Edie Windsor, Maya Angelou, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Meredith Baxter and Judy Gold among others. We talked to Kristen and Cathy about their music and their spin on our LGBT issues.

 When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Kristen stated, “For me you know I’ve got family and I’ve got kids and I think it’s really important to set the best example possible for them, obviously. It’s also something that Sara my wife and I have naturally moved towards. Sara was Chairman of Out At Time Inc. when she was working at a magazine called Real Simple and so we often went out to events hosted by HRC or GLAAD, things like that so we became part of the movement. Then we ended up writing a book Sara and I because we got pregnant on the exact same day but that’s a whole story to itself. With that we realized we’ve got a voice here and we can be part of this movement and we want to be. So we ended up working with GLAAD quite a bit and going out and being spokespeople during the marriage equality movement here in New York, which is the state we live in. We’ve become involved in the movement and very passionate about it. My wife and I want to be sure that our kids see that you can be whoever you want to be. You can do whatever you want to do and you should be proud of who you are and so that’s kind of our mission.”

Antigone Rising consists of Kristen Ellis-Henderson on bass guitar/vocals, Cathy Henderson on lead guitar/vocals, Dena Tauriello on drums and Nini Camps on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Last spring Kristen Ellis-Henderson and her wife Sarah Kate Ellis who was recently appointed President and CEO of GLAAD were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine's groundbreaking marriage equality issue. Antigone Rising has also launched a fundraising campaign at to support their music and touring, with 5% of the proceeds to be donated to GLAAD. Update: “That Was The Whiskey!” has been nominated for Country Song of the Year by Independent Music Awards.
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Monday, February 17, 2014

LGBT Sports Activist Anna Aagenes Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Anna Aagenes, Executive Director of GO! Athletes, which is the first national educational organization dedicated to LGBTQ student athletes. GO! (Generation Out) Athletes connects current and former LGBT student athletes and allies at high school, collegiate and post-graduate levels to educate and empower future generations of LGBT athletes. They also serve as a united voice to encourage schools to create safer spaces for LGBT athletes. GO! Athletes is also dedicated to educating coaches, administrators and fans to foster athletic communities that are accepting of all athletes regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. GO! Athletes has created the #Out4Olympics campaign in response to the public outcry over Russia's anti-LGBT policies. We talked to Aagenes about the importance of this campaign and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her spin is on the Sochi Olympics with Russia’s anti gay laws Aagenes stated, “You know it’s been very disheartening to see the stories of brutal harassment attacks and the laws that are obviously really discriminatory against the LGBT community and those who have traveled there for the Olympic Games. We began a campaign last year which we call Out 4 Olympics. So we hash tag Out the number Four and Olympics. (#Out4Olympics) We’ve done grassroots campaigns before but this is really LGBTQ athletes supporting fellow athletes. You know some of us have the privilege of being able to come out and those who do we hope can show support and solidarity to those in Russia, those traveling to Russia and those who can’t come out yet or don’t feel comfortable coming out yet. It’s really been exciting to see high school students, college students, coaches, even professional players some of them, utilizing the campaign. We have a Twitim which means you can change you profile picture on Twitter and Facebook and what we’re going to do with that is compile that into a culmination at the end of the games.”

Anna Aagenes was captain of the University of Pennsylvania Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Team, a school record holder in three relay events and an NCAA Regional qualifier in the 800m and 1500m. Currently she is the District Office Director for openly gay Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims. February 28th will conclude GO! Athletes #Out4Olympics campaign and all photos will be compiled into a book to be presented to the USOC and the IOC.
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