Thursday, January 19, 2017

Loni Anderson Returns In New Sitcom “My Sister Is So Gay”

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actress and fierce LGBTQ ally Loni Anderson about her new sitcom “My Sister Is So Gay” that premieres January 22nd on tello films. Anderson stars as Frances the boozy and inappropriately sexy mother of two middle age children in this new LGBT themed series. “My Sister Is So Gay” also stars Terry Ray as Frances’ gay son Seth who is invaded by his uptight, homophobic sister, Amanda played by Wendy Michaels after she catches her husband with her best friend Katherine. It just seems she’s way more upset about Katherine cheating on her than her husband and it’s not adding up for Seth especially when Amanda acts all loopy around his lesbian co-worker Becca played by Debra Wilson. The series focuses on whether Seth’s right-winger, homophobic sister is gay as Amanda tries to figure out why Seth’s way younger and very handsome boyfriend played by Tilky Jones is interested in Seth and questions why he seems to have too many secrets or perhaps he’s married. Season one of "My Sister Is So Gay” is a laugh out loud web series featuring six episodes written and created by Terry Ray and Wendy Michaels. We talked to Loni about what attracted her to “My Sister Is So Gay” and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Anderson stated, “Needless to say I’ve had my hysterical moments over the election and I have a granddaughter who’s a junior at UCLA and we have had many spirited discussions about our feelings. I think after you get over being hysterical, but I don’t know if you do, that you try and move forward the best you can and hope that we do not slip backwards. I was a 60’s girl; I went to high school and college in the 60’s. So I marched and I always said my political party is I’m a card-carrying member of the civil rights party. So I didn’t think as a grandmother I would be facing this. Somehow when I was a college student I didn’t think this would come up when I got to be a grandmother. I naively I guess thought it would be all taken care of but as I said to my granddaughter, if need be I’m still ready to march.”

Loni Anderson will always be remembered for her iconic role as Jennifer Marlowe from the hit sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”. Anderson became a sex symbol almost overnight and a pinup photo of the actress in a bikini was one of the best-selling posters of the 1970s. Yet far from a dumb blonde, Anderson insisted that she be able to play her character as a bright, sensitive woman before signing for the part. Her vision paid off and Anderson earned two Emmy nominations and three Golden Globe nominations for her performance. Loni was a regular in 5 more series and has guest starred in numerous other shows and TV movies like the title role in “The Jayne Mansfield Story” opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. Her films include “A Night At The Roxy” and “Stroker Ace” with Burt Reynolds. Her high profile marriage to Reynolds made them the Brad & Angelina of the 1980s. In 1997 she published her autobiography “My Life in High Heels”. She is now happily married to Bob Flick from the folk music group The Brothers Four. 
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Friday, January 13, 2017

“Be The Change” A Family Affair Against Hate (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Joerg Kohring, Jess Niven-Kohring and Barbara Niven about their extremely relevant “Be The Change” music video and social media campaign that premieres globally January 16th on Martin Luther King Day. “Be The Change” was written by Joerg Kohring and Jess Niven-Kohring and recorded by pop rock band Orbit Monkey. Joerg and Jess are acclaimed singer-songwriters, parents of two children living in Los Angeles, California and have created an inspiring music video to give hope and motivation to millions of Americans who are drowning in fear of the unknown since the election. The video itself is confronting. Images of gun violence and hate crimes fold into the visuals of innocent children as they watch TV. Viewers witness the parallel between segregation in the 50s and violence and intolerance in this country today. The video also focuses on the continuing struggle for our LGBT civil rights intensified by the fear of the unknown in 2017. “Be The Change” is a passionate family project with Jess’s mother, actress and Human Rights advocate Barbara Niven (‘A Perfect Ending’,‘Chesapeake Shores’ & ‘Nesting Doll’), contributing to the video as Co-Editor and Producer. We talked to Joerg, Jess and Barbara about the importance of “Be The Change”, what they hope to accomplish with this significant global campaign and their spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how they see our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Jess Niven-Kohring stated, “This is the thing that we have been talking about. Joerg and I were actually talking about this last night and trying to figure out you know what role we can play in trying to help move this forward. I think because there is so much fear, I think it’s really going to be up to everyone coming together and the allies really speaking out and using the privilege that I didn’t even realize I had for so long and using that to really make our voices heard and allow everyone else’s voices to be heard too and really standing up as a society. It’s not one community verses another; we are all part of the same community and the same beautiful cultures and it’s us moving forward together. So I think it’s really going to be up to everyone to recognize the privilege they have and really use it to give voices to those that may not have a voice under the incoming administration.”

The “Be The Change” video campaign will have its world premiere on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 16th to honor King and all the other American heroes who have fought for equal rights. Audio from his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech has been incorporated into the video to help spread his message to a new generation. Martin Luther King, Jr. also said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” His words ring true now more than ever. To get involved starting on January 16th you can post, share & tweet this video on social media using #BeTheChange. Send it to your friends, family, news sources and influencers. Get involved and hold your politicians accountable or run for office yourself. Be aware, be a safe place, stand up to bullies, speak up for equality, climate change, listen and learn from each other and teach your children to be kind. Most importantly, never give up.
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Saturday, January 7, 2017

“Deep Run” Transgender Documentary On World Channel

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Chris Hastings, Executive Producer of the World Channel and Hillevi Loven, Director of the documentary DEEP RUN that premieres on the second season of REEL SOUTH January 15th on the World Channel. DEEP RUN chronicles an eight-year portrait of LGBTQ teen 17 year-old Jasmine who is exiled by family, rejected by an ex and then finds a new love and the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed transgender man in rural North Carolina. Loven captures Cole’s intimate transition process with candid humor and sensitivity as he deals with emotional dilemmas brought on by his Christian beliefs and the bigotry he experiences on a daily basis. Executive produced by Susan Sarandon, DEEP RUN is a must-see documentary and a true love story in these turbulent times. We talked to Chris about the importance of telling this story on the World Channel and Hillevi’s inspiration and commitment to DEEP RUN as well as their spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked as allies what their personal commitments to LGBT civil rights is Hastings stated, “My commitment is I want always to remind people that when we think about civil rights it’s not about white and black anymore. Diversity is such a broad idea and this idea of being inclusive is what we need to remind people that we need to be inclusive and that also means LGBT and so we have to continue to remind people that just as we fight for civil rights in the sixties and fight for civil rights in 2016 we have to make the LGBT community a part of that equation. When you look at some of the different stories that have come out of the past week we have to remind people that inclusion isn’t just about race anymore, it isn’t about gender, specifically women. It’s about how people are living today and for me it’s important to continue to tell those stories to remind people these are our equals, these are part of the broader community. They are the broader community and these are important stories we have to keep putting out there until people understand that they are just like you or I, they are me or you and they are our brothers and sisters and they have to be part of the greater good of sharing story.” Loven added, “I would say on a more personal note I as a straight, white girl growing up in Chelsea in the West Village born and bred New Yorker, Chelsea in the West Village were my, those are my homes and I always felt like I was part of the LGBT community and an ally and the LGBTQ community also just provided incredible inspiration and support personally for me and then also throughout the years of making and finishing this film. So I have a commitment to stand up for those around me basically.”

 Hillevi Loven is a filmmaker, producer and still photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She is making her feature-film directing debut with DEEP RUN. As a Sundance Documentary Fellow, she took part in the Sundance labs while completing DEEP RUN. DEEP RUN is the culmination of years of Hillevi’s own social justice work which began with teaching media arts to LGBT youth at the Hetrick Martin Institute in NYC.
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Thousand U.K. Students To Rally In NYC Against Hate

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Professor Dominic Shellard, one of the only openly gay Vice Chancellor’s of a major university in the United Kingdom. A groundbreaking event is going to take place when 1,082 De Montfort University students travel from Leicester in the United Kingdom to New York City from Tuesday January 3rd to Sunday January 8th to boost their global outlook with a mixture of academic, cultural and networking opportunities in the Big Apple. One of the highlights of the trip will occur when they demonstrate against intolerance on January 6th braving the cold for a picnic in Central Park holding banners that state “Citizens of the World.” Vice Chancellor Shellard is an outspoken critic of anti-immigration rhetoric following the Brexit vote and wants to send the message that universities should be producing students who think globally. Shellard who is a recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Seva Medal is working with citizens and university staff to counter hate crimes that are on the rise in his community just like they are here in this country since the presidential election of Donald Trump. We talked to Dominic about what he hoped to accomplish with this important peaceful rally event on January 6th and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Shellard stated, “First of all I’ve introduced at the university De Montfort University Pride because unfortunately the actual pride festival that we have in our city in Leicester takes place when our students aren’t here. It takes place end of August and I always felt our students missed out in engaging with Leicester Pride. So we have our own pride festival which is a series of cultural events, celebrations and talks in February. We always try to invite people who might not be as fortunate as us to enjoy some of the tolerance we’re very lucky to have in the U.K. We obviously had our Parliament vote very recently to permit gay marriage and that was a great big moment I think for the U.K. as a country. So last pride we invited 10 members from the LGBT community of Russia who are suffering terrible persecution at the moment. There is tremendous intolerance in Russia as you know for members of our community and our students raised funds to pay for 10, generally people under 25, to come over to Leicester and I think they were here for upward of 2 weeks and they forged strong links with them going forward and I think that is a very important thing. Secondly I’m the honorary president of our local LGBTQ center in Leicester. There are only 5 centers left in the U.K. now which is in itself I think a rather horrifying figure actually. So I’m very pleased to be able to have it be all quite a cursory role but I do what I can to raise the profile at our center.”

Professor Dominic Shellard joined De Montfort University (DMU) in June 2010 as vice-chancellor and chief executive. During his tenure DMU has embarked upon a focused journey of improvement. Dominic has led the expansion of the international agenda, most notably with the launch of #DMUglobal in 2013, giving thousands of students an opportunity to travel and study overseas as part of their course.
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Kate Clinton Delivers Our LGBT Year End Review & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Kate Clinton our favorite political humorist about her annual LGBT year end review and chat about what 2017 may bring our LGBT community. This has been an extremely difficult year for our LGBT community especially with the election of Donald Trump. For the past few weeks we have watched as Trump has been picking the most homophobic, transphobic, racist, xenophobic and misogynistic candidates to fill his White House administration team including unconstitutional attempts to bring family members on his staff. Across the nation, labor, civil rights and faith leaders and others have called on President-elect Donald Trump to unequivocally denounce the hundreds of hate-fueled acts of harassment, vandalism, property destruction and assaults that have happened since his election. We talked to Kate about how she has been coping with the aftermath of the election and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBT community moving forward in a Trump administration Clinton stated, “Well I think historically the LGBT community has been very creative and there’s a lot going on and this certainly is a challenge. On December 1st, World AIDS Day I went down to The New York City AIDS Memorial and you know you are reminded of the creativity and fierceness that the gay community reacted to AIDS and we really transformed a healthcare system and made sure we got drugs in a timely manner and we took care of each other and there was great art produced and great anger so I think that we have the resilience and we will do it again. We’ve had victories and we’ve had a very short life as a movement. So it’s understandable that we’ll have some setbacks but I believe in the creativity and wonderful things that we come up with. My fear is being used by the Trump administration and I think in passing the federal marriage law we really reached out and it was a great strategy reaching out to republicans like Portman of Ohio who has a gay son and therefore he supported full equality rights for gay people which I always thought like couldn’t you possibly like dreamed it up yourself on your own, you have to have a son? But anyways, so I think that what I worry about now is that we could be used. We could be a wedge issue again, a pink-wash. That the Trump people they’re lovely people, they have a lot of humanity, look how wonderful they are to gay people, which will drive a wedge between us and people of color and it’s a dangerous thing. I think we really have to be careful how we use the Trump administration. I think to say it’s the lesser of two evils, we’ll pick that but it’s still evil. I think we have to rely on a moral compass at this moment.”

Kate Clinton is also very involved with NCLR (The National Center for Lesbian Rights) and LPAC (Lesbian Political Action Committee) conceptualized by her wife Urvashi Vaid to give lesbians a real and meaningful seat at the political table. LPAC is a political action committee (PAC) that builds the political power of LGBTQ women by electing candidates who champion LGBTQ rights, women’s equality and social justice. Currently Kate is working on her new show that she’ll be performing nationally in 2017.
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Monday, December 5, 2016

Will & Anthony Nunziata Carnegie Hall Debut & New CD

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with entertainers Will and Anthony Nunziata about their upcoming Carnegie Hall debut with The New York Pops on December 16th and December 17th in NYC and new Christmas EP “The Gift Is You”. The new XMAS EP features holiday classics as well as three original songs including the title track “The Gift Is You.” The Carnegie Hall concert on December 16th and 17th entitled “Make the Season Bright” is led by New York Pops Music Director Steven Reineke with a quartet of guest stars including Broadway siblings Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway. In recent years the brothers have brought their distinct take on classic and contemporary songs to performing arts centers and theaters as well as symphony concerts with orchestras such as the Detroit Symphony, Cleveland Pops Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony, Toledo Symphony and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. We talked to Will and Anthony about how performing at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops this holiday season is a dream come true as well as a thrill to release their first Christmas EP and their spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what their personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Will Nunziata stated, “Well I know for Anthony and I we’ve gotten to meet a lot of people throughout the country from the LGBTQ community and we’ve had great conversations with them. I think it comes down to first and foremost a conversation and listening to peoples stories and hearing where they’re coming from, how they’re feeling especially in these times when we obviously have a lot of people in the country and in this world who may not agree with or support marriage equality for instance. I fervently believe that love is love is love and love is a human right for all people and so for Anthony and I to continue to commit ourselves to entertaining and inspiring, we hope that can help lead to leading policy makers in this country and in the world to truly make it possible to have laws, all laws, equal rights for everyone on all accounts.”

Will and Anthony Nunziata are the Brooklyn-born, classically trained singers, entertainers, recording artists, funny-men and advocates of arts in education. Separately, Will is an acclaimed stage director and is the concert director for many of Broadway’s leading ladies including Tony Award Winner Lillias White. While Anthony an emerging songwriter, is currently collaborating with legendary songwriters. They are also extremely proud to have created their Arts in Education Outreach Program “Arts Matter!” wish their mission to provide young people with the tools and encouragement to set and reach their goals in the arts. Will and Anthony also conduct master class workshops for singers and actors in elementary school, middle school, high school and college giving students constructive criticism on their song selections and acting technique, all the while creating a safe and fun environment for everyone. For Carnegie Hall Concert Tickets December 16th & 17th
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Advancing LGBT Equality Nationally & Globally (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International that specializes in gender, sexuality and human rights globally, about how the Trump presidency could effect our LGBT civil rights. OutRight Action International, the only US based LGBTIQ organization with consultative status at the United Nations has called on the upcoming Trump administration to maintain important policies and programs introduced by the Obama administration to safeguard the human rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. Over the last eight years the United States has initiated unprecedented commitment to promote the human rights of LGBTIQ people by issuing a presidential memorandum to advance LGBT human rights, appointing a Special Envoy for LGBTI Rights, banning USAID contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and financing support of the Global Equality Fund among other initiatives. This is not a time to become complacent when dealing with the threat of a homophobic Trump administration. This is a time for our LGBT community and allies to organize and maintain the progress we have worked so hard to achieve. We talked to Jessica about how other countries dealing with an anti-LGBT agenda have worked to move their countries forward and give us her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBT community moving forward in a Trump administration Stern stated, “We as a queer community and as a human rights community have to move forward with extraordinary caution because so far it seems that Trump himself is not particularly ideological about LGBTIQ rights and actually has in various incidents acknowledged the power of the LGBTIQ movement in a way that makes me think he’s not as likely to come for us the way he’s been coming for immigrants and Muslims and women, but my fear is almost that LGBTIQ people will be left off easily relative to all of the other vulnerable groups that he is targeting for attack. So I can’t say what will happen but I know that the only way the LGBTIQ community can move forward under a Trump administration is by working together with other communities. In the domestic context it means working with immigrants; it means working with Muslims; it means working with women’s rights advocates and in an international context it means we have to have an anti-war agenda. So I think there’s a lot that is very fluid right now and we’re still trying to figure out which way is up.”

OutRight Action International formerly known as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, has a twenty-five year history partnering with activists to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports that expose discrimination and violence in both the public and private spheres globally. This December OutRight is sponsoring its 3rd annual UN Advocacy Week. During this time hundreds of international LGBTIQ activists come to New York for advocacy meetings with member states and agencies at the United Nations, including some governments that may not be receptive to human rights for LGBTIQ people at home. The week culminates on December 10th with OutSummit a one-day conference bringing together international and US-based activists for a day of panels and workshops on human rights relating to sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex issues that takes place at the City University of New York School of Law. They have created a special OUTTAKE VOICES discount code for our listeners. Just enter OutTakes into the promo code box and you can purchase a ticket for only $25 dollars as opposed to the normal price of $70.
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