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.
For More Info: sunny.org

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.
For More Info & Tix: TheDinah.com





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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.
For More Info: andjoelcraig.com





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