Saturday, April 14, 2018

ClexaCon Celebrities Talk Media LGBTQ Inclusion (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio montage Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with celebrities on the red carpet attending ClexaCon’s Cocktails for Change event to benefit the True Colors Fund which works to end homelessness among LGBTQ youth. First we talked to film director and author Ji Strangeway about her graphic novel Red as Blue. Ji hopes her work will reach LGBTQ youth to give them hope and inspiration. Then we chatted with Cuban actress and fierce LGBTQ ally Marlene Forte recently seen on Netflix’s Altered Carbon, Hulu’s Marvel’s Runaways, The Fosters, Fear The Walking Dead and Superstore. Forte is excited to see more women involved in all facets of the entertainment industry. Next we talked with ClexaCon creator Holly Winebarger about the origin of this fabulous media and entertainment convention that creates a safe space for LGBTQ women and allies and that brings over 3500 actresses, directors, producers, writers, comic book illustrators, visual artists, academics and fans together globally to celebrate the best of LGBTQ TV and film and discuss how to improve our representation across all media platforms. Then we chatted with veteran actress Patricia Rae best know for her role on the Oscar nominated HBO feature film Maria Full of Grace and she also starred in the Lionsgate feature film The Big Wedding. Currently Rae just completed the pilot for Chiefs on CBS. Next we talked with actress Briana Venskus who appears on The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Grace and Frankie. Briana has definitely found her niche as a badass woman in super hero programing. Then we chatted with actress Erica Luttrell best know for Salvation on CBS and Lost Girl. Erica hopes her work will change people’s lives by showing that they matter and that their dreams are relevant. Next we talked with actress Haviland Stillwell best known for her work on Freelancer’s Anonymous, Magic Mike XXL, Selma, UnREAL, Living the Dream, Sexy Civics, Baywatch, Stitchers, Unicorn Plan-it and upcoming films for SyFy and Hallmark. She hopes her work inspires women to be their best self and loves connecting with fans at ClexaCon.
Then we chatted with Natasha Negovanlis best known for playing the title role in the web series Carmilla that subsequently morphed into the feature film based on the series. Natasha loves being able to make positive difference by being a queer actress playing queer roles. Next we talked with Anna Silk who played Bo in the Showcase television series Lost Girl. She hopes she can influence her audience to be their authentic self. Then we chatted with Elizabeth Maxwell who appeared in Criminal Minds and Attack on Titan which is a Japanese breakthrough animation series that shows a lesbian relationship in a non-sexual way. Next we caught up with the team from Tello films including producer, director and award-winning performer Bridget McManus, who appears with Karman Kregloe, Cat Davis, Kristen Smith in the web series, Happy Wife, Happy Life directed by Christin Baker, President and CEO of Tello Films. Baker talked about how ClexaCon was a place for our tribe of people who love and support lesbian storylines and how critical it is to see ourselves on TV and in the media. Next we talked to Mandahla Rose best know for her Australian film All About E which has a positive storyline where her character wins the heart of the girl she loves and nobody dies. We concluded our red carpet coverage with Nicole Pacent who was at ClexaCon to appear on the panel “Anyone But Me: Ten Years Later Bisexual Representation in the Media, LGBTQ Actresses.” We talked to Nicole about her upcoming projects and how she hopes to empower women with her work.
ClexaCon started as a simple meet-up to unite fans of LGBTQ+ pop culture that evolved into a full-blown convention over 3500 attendees at its second conference at the Tropicana in Las Vegas April 5th through April 9th and we can’t wait to attend the upcoming ClexaCon conference in London, UK from November 2nd to November 4th 2018. Photos by Marilyn Rosen.
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Monday, April 2, 2018

Chef Rossi Talks “Raging Skillet” Play From Her Memoir (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Chef Rossi about her memoir “The Raging Skillet” that has morphed into a creative and hilarious stage production “Raging Skillet” by playwright Jacques Lamarre. The play opened last summer at TheaterWorks in Hartford, Connecticut to rave reviews and sold-out performances. Recently the Jewish Play Project’s Artistic Director David Winitsky presented the New York premiere of this future off-Broadway smash hit culinary and theatrical event with Judy Gold starring as Chef Rossi, the lesbian punk rock caterer and event maestro. The showcase was directed by John Simpkins and featured Katherine Kates as Chef Rossi’s mother and the versatile Jason Veasey played all the male leads. “Raging Skillet” is one woman's story about cooking her way through some of life's biggest challenges in New York City's most unlikely kitchens. As the rebel caterer parties at the launch event for her new tell-all book her Orthodox Jewish mother shows up unannounced - twenty years after she died - and guilt trips her into a reckoning with her rebellious past, her time with a Hassidic community in Brooklyn and the real meaning of a Jewish home. We talked to Chef Rossi about her inspiration for her memoir, the future of this fabulous play and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what she would like to accomplish with her work Chef Rossi stated, “I think I would most like to see the empowerment of women especially in the culinary field would be great. I’d like to see the empowerment of young gay adults and gay teenagers. I’d like to see the empowerment of the underdog in general. I’m kind of a runaway, throwaway, white trash little kid from New Jersey who went from literally being homeless to whatever this thing is called Chef Rossi. I just think that my story really empowers people that are down and out or the underdog or minorities and I just hope I can help.”

Chef Rossi is the catering director, owner and executive chef of The Raging Skillet catering for the past twenty-six years. She has earned a reputation as the go-to company for out-of-the-box catering and weddings. The Zagat's Guide has called Rossi "the wildest thing this side of the Mason Dixon Line" and “The Raging Skillet” has been voted one of New York's Top Five Wedding Caterers by The Knot from 2009 through 2017. Currently Chef Rossi is working on a new memoir and the screenplay for “Raging Skillet”. The play “Raging Skillet” will be performed at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater August 2nd to September 15th 2018 in Wellfleet, MA.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Robin Lowey Talks Game Changers, ClexaCon & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Robin Lowey about her book "Game Changers, Lesbians You Should Know About” that morphed into her panel at ClexaCon, Las Vegas on April 6th. Lowey is a graphic artist who was inspired to create this book after the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act was signed into law in California in 2011. The legislation requires state curriculum to include contributions of LGBTQ people into textbooks. “Game Changers, Lesbians You Should Know About” is laid out in a whimsical fashion with colorful graphics and even a card with factoids about each woman featured. Lowey raised more than $20,000 through crowd funding to publish her book and she’s in the process of giving the book to all the public high schools and community colleges in Marin, San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. She hopes her book will help young people learn more about our LGBTQ history. ClexaCon is the annual media and entertainment convention for LGBTQ women and allies that brings together over 3500 participants from over 40 countries and all 50 U.S. states to celebrate the best of LGBTQ+ TV and film and discuss how to improve representation across all media platforms from April 5th to 9th in Las Vegas at the Tropicana Hotel. Robin’s panel at ClexaCon is entitled “Game Changers – How These Outliers Impacted Queer Culture” and will address our community before Ellen, The L Word and Orange Is The New Black when lesbians were often at great risk in pursuit of community and culture. Many women lost their jobs, were thrown in jail and kicked out of families when their identities were revealed. Nevertheless they persisted. This is an opportunity to hear the stories of lesbians and lesbian culture that paved the way for where we are today. Lowey will be joined by journalist Kathy Belge and Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson who will share their experiences throughout the decades. We talked to Robin about her inspiration for writing this fabulous book, what she hopes to accomplish at ClexaCon and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality Lowey stated, “Well my biggest commitment is to be out in all things that I do and that has not always been the case. I’m the type of person that looks pretty straight and people assume I’m straight and all my life I’ve had to like say ‘no I’m gay’. So I think it’s important to be out and you know just make stuff happen like this book. You find something. For me, it was how can I bring something to the world to make a difference. So that’s my commitment. Work hard to make something happen with the talents I’ve been given.”

Robin Lowey was born into a family of artists and designers and has worked in advertising and marketing for over 30 years. Lowey is editor and creative director of Epochalips: Smart Lesbian Commentary that she founded in 2010. A Northern California native she’s a member of the LGBTQ Speakers Bureau and enjoys surfing, snowboarding, hiking and badminton. Robin is the proud mother of two beautiful young men now 21 and 27 who are both strong feminists having grown up in a two-mom household.
For More Info: lesbiangamechangerscom
LISTEN: Danielle Jablonski Talks ClexaCon Convention Las Vegas 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pulse Survivor Talks No NRA Money Pledge & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Brandon Wolf, Vice President of The Dru Project and a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre about the recent nationwide launch of the No NRA Money Pledge campaign that has already reached over 60 million people online and has drawn more than 200 candidates and lawmakers who are publicly refusing funding and support from the National Rifle Association. Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the pledge and urged her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join her. Other early signers include Carlos Guillermo Smith a Florida state representative whose Orlando district includes the Pulse Nightclub where 49 people were killed in an attack that targeted a mostly young, gay and Latino crowd. There are also 16 signers from Colorado where the mass shooting at Columbine High School focused national attention on this issue in 1999. In the past weeks several key organizers of the #NeverAgain movement have amplified the #NoNRAMoney campaign focusing more attention on the NRA’s strong arm tactics for blocking progress on gun safety. Brandon talks about what he would like to accomplish with both The Dru Project and the No NRA Money Pledge and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality Wolf stated, “I think we’ve made a ton of progress on equality. I think that we have a lot to be proud of as a community for how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. There are a lot of movements in this country. There are a lot of disenfranchised groups that have been fighting for their rights as long as they can remember and they haven’t come nearly as close as we have. But my personal commitment is that we continue to move forward; that we continue to move towards a place where we don’t have to feel like we’re fighting for our rights every single day. A place where you can’t be fired just for being LGBTQ; a place where harassment and discrimination are not legalized; a place where I don’t have to go to a nightclub looking for the exits because I don’t fear someone is going to harm me for who I am. My personal commitment is to again empower young people, a new generation of leaders that are going to challenge the status quo and say we’ve done a hell of a lot of great work but we’re not done doing great work until everyone in this country, everyone no matter black, white, brown, blue, LGBTQ feel safe in their own skin and I’m personally committed to amplifying that message until we get it done.”

Brandon Wolf is Vice President of The Dru Project an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization whose mission is to spread love across the nation and promote gay straight alliances. The organization is named after Christopher Andrew Leinonen and his partner Juan Ramon Guerrero who were among the 49 killed at Pulse Nightclub on June 12th 2016. The Dru Project also offers scholarships to students who truly exemplify Drew's spirit for inclusion and unity.
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Monday, March 5, 2018

Danielle Jablonski Talks ClexaCon Convention Las Vegas (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Danielle Jablonski one of the executive directors of the second annual ClexaCon Convention that takes place in Las Vegas April 5th through April 9th at the Tropicana Hotel. ClexaCon is a media and entertainment convention for LGBTQ women and allies that brings together actresses, directors, producers, writers, comic book illustrators, visual artists, academics and fans from over 40 countries and all 50 U.S. states to celebrate the best of LGBTQ+ TV and film and discuss how to improve representation across all media platforms. It also hosts a series of panels on a multitude of topics, workshops, charity events, parties as well as a three-day film festival and a loud message of gender equality, female empowerment, diversity and inclusion. Nothing is more crucial and urgently important today than diversity and inclusion and not just in Hollywood but in all business models and fields. This is where ClexaCon comes in as a leader in an industry-wide conversation to effectively rally together the decision makers and influencers of our community to formulate and put forth real change to counter the lack of representation for LGBTQ+ women in front and behind the camera. With that in mind ClexaCon aims to foster dialogue around various aspects of diversity including gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and age among others. We talked to Danielle about what she hopes to accomplish at ClexaCon Las Vegas and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality Jablonski stated, “I believe that we all need to stand up and take action in whatever way that we’re able to in our own personal lives. For me LGBTQ equality is something that I’ve always been passionate about. I actually started a nonprofit LGBTQ sports organization years ago which I ran for five years and it’s still going strong. So when the opportunity came up to get involved in something that combines issues around LGBTQ equality and media which is something I’m passionate about it was just a no brainer for me to jump in and do everything I can to talk about this issue, educate around it and on what we can do to make it better.”

ClexaCon was created and is run by Holly Winebarger, Ashley Arnold and Danielle Jablonski with the goal to provide a safe space and a world-wide community of LGBTQ+ women and allies who love TV, film, comics and books and to encourage more LGBTQ+ women to get involved in content creation and to embolden allies to improve representation for LGBTQ+ characters in their creative work. ClexaCon started as a simple meet-up to unite fans of LGBTQ+ pop culture and evolved into a full-blown convention with over 2,000 attendees last year and is expected to welcome over 3,000 attendees in Las Vegas April 5th through April 9th as well as ClexaCon in London, UK from November 2nd to November 4th 2018.
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Monday, February 26, 2018

Richard Gray Talks Fort Lauderdale Greater Together (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Richard Gray, Vice President of LGBT+ Marketing for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau about their enormously successful marketing efforts that have made Fort Lauderdale such a desirable LGBTQ destination. Since 1995 Gray’s pioneering efforts have brought 1.5 million LGBTQ travelers to Fort Lauderdale every year boosting their local economy to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars. Five years ago Greater Fort Lauderdale became the only convention and visitors bureau tourist board in the world to have a designated department whose sole responsibility is to develop and grow LGBTQ tourism. Now with their new groundbreaking global marketing and advertising video “LGBTQI Warm Welcome - Where We're All Greater Together” Fort Lauderdale has added the world’s first campaign where transgender models appear mainstream showcasing the destination’s image as an authentic, diverse and inclusive city where everyone is welcomed. We talked to Richard about what he would like to accomplish with his work and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in this Trump administration Gray stated, “Well it’s challenging. What we’re doing and how we’re addressing it as a destination is we are sharpening our marketing tools even more. We want to tell everybody around the world that Greater Fort Lauderdale is a destination that welcomes everybody. As I said before, irrespective of the color of your skin, irrespective of your religion, irrespective of who you love we welcome you with open arms and that is what we’re doing currently. We’re pushing the envelope, we’re making our marketing tools more cosmopolitan, more edgy and we’re making ourselves stand out in this conservative state that we live in.”

Richard Gray was born in London, England and moved to New York in 1982 as an investment banker. In 1991 he made Fort Lauderdale his home when he created the acclaimed Royal Palms Resort. In 1995 he developed the Greater Fort Lauderdale’s highly successful LGBTQ marketing initiative. An inductee in the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Associations Hall of Fame, a Fort Lauderdale Home Town Hero and a recipient of the LGBTQ Award for Achievement from MTV/Logo, Richard is passionate about all aspects of travel. Richard is a Board Member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and sits on the Advisory Board of the LGBT Meeting Planners Association. Richard was recently named as one of the most influential people in the meetings industry and Q. Digital gave Richard an honorary award for his commitment to Transgender tourism.
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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mariah Hanson Talks The Dinah Empowering Women (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend that’s in its 28th year and takes place in Palm Springs, California from March 28th to April 1st. Leading the way and making a difference for both the LGBTQ community and women in general The Dinah is cranking up the volume on its commitment to elevate women’s voices and push forth its enduring message of female equality. This year features a powerful all-female line up of inspiring women including rising star Jessie Reyez who has been taking the music industry by storm since she first released her debut EP “Kiddo”, 2018 double Grammy Nominee Rapsody, hip hop recording artist and actress Snow Tha Product, electronic music artist Madame Gandhi, Ariana and the Rose the synth-pop band from New York. Headlining "The Dinah Comedy Night" will be Dana Goldberg and Suzanne Westenhoefer. Also putting passion into action The Dinah is proud to be an active community collaborator teaming up with some of the top LGBTQ players in Arts & Entertainment to help promote and raise women’s visibility in films/TV & on the web, whether in front and/or behind the camera. This year The Dinah is partnering with Outfest, the Los Angeles LGBTQ film Festival, Tello, the first lesbian network producing and distributing high quality web series with a lesbian focus and Revry an LGBTQ digital streaming platform. We talked to Mariah about her inspiration for all the festivities planned for this year’s Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what she would you like to accomplish with The Dinah this year Hanson stated, “I’m committed this year, last year and every year in increasing women’s visibility. We do that through the artists that we pick. I look at artists not just at ‘Oh this is a great song’ but what’s their backstory? Is it an interesting backstory, are they a pioneer, are they a groundbreaker and so we are moving forward and kind of politicizing that party platform in a way because our attendees are finally on the same page with us in that they also see that we can be five days celebrating and having fun and living out loud and also making political statements about how we want women’s voices to be heard. So it’s really amazing and powerful statements throughout the weekend I’m so proud of.”

Mariah Hanson the mastermind behind this legendary world-class destination event is not just shaking things up but changing the game too. An exemplary community leader she’s single-handedly revolutionized her industry, overturned tradition and raised the bar on female achievement with an event that is entirely produced by women, for women. For many, The Dinah is an annual tradition between friends, for others it is a bucket-list goal, a pilgrimage to our very own Mecca that every queer woman should make at least once in her life.
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Monday, February 5, 2018

Joel Craig Talks Journey To Gaytopia & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor writer Joel Craig who is the creative mind behind the newly released LGBTQ graphic novel dubbed “Journey To Gaytopia”. Joel’s book comes at the right moment when we all could use a good laugh. There’s been so much negativity in the world these days people need a lift and where else would Madonna be getting kidnapped by Mae Dunaway, Faye Dunaway’s evil twin sister and that’s just the beginning in this illustrated novel that fills the void for LGBTQ Sci Fi. While the graphic novel genre continues to grow in popularity there just aren’t many gay science fiction graphic novels out there. Some of them have a gay character that shows up once in a while but are not major characters with really extensive storylines. Stretching the boundaries of the literary art form, Craig employs the graphic format for the more visually driven readers to delve into fictional subjects with no special super powers that anyone can relate to, providing a unique and original insight into his own ideal world, namely Gaytopia that’s just begging to be developed into an animated series with a graphic design application reminiscent of the early days of “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” cartoons. We talked to Joel about his inspiration for creating “Journey To Gaytopia” and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what advise he would have for LGBTQ kids struggling with the increase in bullying incidents since Trump took office Craig stated, “One of the sad things is they’re not just struggling with the Trump presidency, they’re struggling with bullying from kids at school, from family and I think that the important thing is trying to be safe. For example, when I was in college I was harassed by the jocks in the dorm and I said ‘Why don’t you call me another name instead of calling me, you know faggot. Why don’t you say as I’m walking down the hall sing the song Pretty Woman and instead put in Pretty Man’ and they did and I liked it and it took the sting out of what they were trying to do. However, with the kids of today they have to be careful of safety. What kind of bullying is this, is it mental; is it physical and it still has a negative impact on their lives. Hopefully now people will have more people to talk to. It’s not like the 1970’s when there wasn’t as much support. There’s more support and I’m hoping that the kids of today they talk to somebody.”

Joel Craig is a nurse by day but actor and writer by night and lives with his musician husband Donovan Holden. They have been married twice with the second time finally being legal. In addition to “Journey to Gaytopia” Joel has also written “Welcome To Nursing HELLo a Graphic Memoir”. Joel has appeared in the films, “Sideshow” and “Sordid Lives” as well as the web series, “What’s My Intention?” which he also co-wrote.
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lambda Legal Hosts “State Of The Resistance” Chat (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio podcast Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ participated in a conference call with representatives from some of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations to outline plans for resistance efforts in 2018 with an emphasis on judicial nominations. The call was led by Sharon McGowan, Director of Strategy at Lambda Legal who was joined by other resistance leaders including Todd Cox at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Kaylie Hanson Long at NARAL Pro-Choice America, Kristine Lucius at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Nicole Berner at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Scott Simpson at Muslim Advocates, Mara Keisling at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and Michele Jawando at the Center for American Progress (CAP).

Sharon McGowan, Director of Strategy at Lambda Legal stated, “President Trump and his Administration have gone after LGBT people and other vulnerable communities with every weapon in his arsenal. To this end, the president has spent the last year packing the court with judges who look like him, think like him and whose impact will stretch across generations. If long after President Trump has vacated the White House we have federal courts packed with Judges who share his values, our children and grandchildren will continue to suffer. That is why Lambda Legal will continue to speak out against dangerous judicial nominees and resist every other effort this administration uses to turn back the clock on civil rights for the LGBT community.”

Todd A. Cox, Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund added, “This Administration’s appointments to the federal bench are corroding our judicial system with nominees that are hostile to civil rights and the rule of law. LDF is committed to protecting the fundamental civil rights and protections that many before us fought so bravely to establish in the last century. Our democracy and the state of our union depend on it.”

Kaylie Hanson Long, National Communications Director for NARAL Pro Choice America added, “One of Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to fill the courts with biased, anti-choice nominees and use the judiciary as a way to roll back our reproductive rights, overturn Roe v. Wade and ban abortion entirely and now he’s delivering to the detriment of women and families. Instead of finding real solutions for the problems that hard working Americans face everyday, Donald Trump and the anti-choice GOP continue to nominate judges to serve lifetime appointments on the bench and carry out their obsession with controlling women’s lives and bodies for decades to come.”

Kristine Lucius, Executive Vice President for Policy at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights stated, “President Trump may tout his record on judicial nominations but it’s not one he should be proud of. He and Leader McConnell have overly politicized the process, putting in place judges who lack the temperament and qualifications to serve fairly and without bias. The rubber stamping of judges who are hand-picked by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society will remake the courts in Trump’s image but ultimately, the Constitution and we the people will suffer.”

 Nicole Berner, General Counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) added, "Despite its cynical campaign promises, this Administration has put all its effort into helping corporations and the wealthy, not working people. Millions of people are working second and third jobs, but still struggling to take care of their families, and immigrant families are being torn apart. The Administration is using the courts to attack working peoples' strength in numbers, and naming judicial nominees who are hostile to the rights of working people, people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants. But working men and women will continue to resist by calling their elected officials and flooding town halls, taking to the streets, voting, and making a loud and proud demand for good union jobs that provide financial security to families and strengthen communities."

Scott Simpson, Public Advocacy Director at Muslim Advocates stated, “For American Muslims, the past year was not just about resistance, it was about resilience. The Trump Administration continues to underestimate the American people, American Muslims and the institutions of this country. We will continue standing up for the Constitution’s promises of religious freedom and equal protection under the law. Like always, we will be here to respond, to organize, and to continue our resilience.”

Mara Keisling, Executive Director at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) added, “The Trump administration has been attacking transgender people in visible ways throughout its first year—rolling back guidance on how to treat trans students respectfully, banning open service by trans troops and releasing a plan to promote discrimination by health care providers, just to name a few. But the President has also launched a more insidious attack—packing federal courts with unqualified, biased judges like Kyle Duncan and Matthew Kacsmaryk, who have both said that being transgender is a ‘delusion.’ How can we expect such people to make fair decisions when trans people walk into their courtrooms? Over 300 parents of transgender children wrote to the Senate expressing their opposition to Duncan and Kacsmaryk’s confirmations. Now the Senate must follow through and vote against these nominees.”

Michele Jawando, Vice President of Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress concluded, “Trump’s legacy after his first year is a record of ramming through judicial nominees that are both unqualified or have poor records on civil rights, voting rights and women’s health issues. These nominees – over 90 percent white and over 80 percent male – have been vetted by right-wing organizations for their ideological extremism and are likely to roll back recent gains in the areas of workers’ rights, educational equity and reproductive rights. And Trump’s own record on civil and legal rights is abysmal -- equating the views of Nazi sympathizers with civil rights protesters, targeting Muslim-majority countries for a travel ban, and seeking to undermine the credibility of the Justice Department and FBI.”

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
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