Monday, December 28, 2009

Gay Activist Kate Clinton Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson chats with gay political humorist Kate Clinton to get her reflection on how 2009 played out for addressing LGBT issues. Our LGBT community had a lot of ups & downs in 2009. When asked whether she would say it’s been a roller coaster ride or a bi-polar experience Clinton stated, “I’ve needed Dramamine at certain points. I think that working hard for the election of Barack Obama, that was a very exciting election night. Then it really felt like getting kicked in the stomach with the news of the passing of Prop 8. So I think we brought that feeling of the out gay child at the family party into the New Year.” When asked how she would rate President Obama’s performance on LGBT civil rights Kate answered, “So far I would say that I’m disappointed although it’s lovely to be disappointed after being in complete despair for eight years of Bush, feeling like I had a cinder block on my chest, so it’s kind of nice to get back to old fashion disappointment.” It was a 10 year process for the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Act to be been signed into law. We still have a way to go to see DOMA and the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to be repealed. When asked how patience we should be to see this and other LGBT legislation passed Clinton stated, "I don’t think we should be patient at all. I mean I think it takes people writing the language in committee, people marching on Washington, I think it takes all of that. It also takes being at the holiday table with your family and saying, “What are you doing? What do you think? Who are you talking to? And really reaching out on a personal level to allies and try to change the minds of people who have no clue basically. I am not entitled to my partner of 22 years social security benefits, which is ridiculous!”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gay Ally David Zimmerman Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with David Zimmerman, Publisher of Boston Spirit magazine, the premier LGBT magazine in the region. Zimmerman lives in Massachusetts with his wife Kristine and his two children Grace and Jack. When asked how gay marriage has effected his heterosexual marriage Zimmerman stated, “Not one bit. It’s funny, my wife and I were talking about that last night. I don’t know how it came up. It might have been a story on TV or something like that. If two people are walking down the street, whether it be two men or two women, a heterosexual couple, whatever it is, it makes absolutely no difference to me, if I don’t know them whether they’re married or not married, dating or not dating. Go on and live your life. I think it is incredibly sad if a person can actually say that two people they do not know who are in love and want to marry, if those two people marry, it has an effect on their marriage. What that says to me is that your marriage is in big trouble to start.”

David launched Boston Spirit 5 years ago. Prior to launching the magazine he was in the media industry in both public relations and advertising for nearly 20 years spending time at both the Boston Business Journal and as a Director of Advertising at Metrocorp Publishing, the parent company of Boston Magazine. In addition to the magazine, Boston Spirit also produces several very successful events throughout the year including an LGBT Executive Networking night and a Summer Sunset Cruise. Boston Spirit magazine’s 3rd annual LGBT Executive Networking Night will be held on February 17, 2010 at the Copley Place Marriott Hotel in Boston. The event is sponsored by Fidelity Investments, along with John Hancock, Partners Healthcare, Burns & Levinson, TJX Companies and Ocean Spray. Also, for the first time, the event will incorporate an LGBT Career Fair with human resource representatives from many of the top employers in the area in attendance.
For More Info: BostonSpiritMagazine.com

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gay Activist Lisa Krinsky Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Lisa Krinsky, Director of the LGBT Aging Project in Boston. With gay marriage being the law in Massachusetts we asked how this effects the rights and benefits for the commonwealth’s LGBT seniors. Krinsky stated, “There are some assumptions that marriage takes care of all the inequities that might exist for folks. The fact is what we have found here in Massachusetts that is most unique is the issue of what rights and benefits that are provided with marriage on a state level and those that exist on a federal level. There are about 1400 rights and benefits that come with marriage. About 1100 come on a federal level and about 300 come on a state level. So things like social security which is on the federal level and social security benefits for a surviving spouse would not be available to a married same gender couple in Massachusetts because the federal government is not going to recognize that marriage.”
Lisa Krinsky, LICSW has been a social worker with twenty years of experience in community based elder services. An active member of the LGBT Aging Project since its inception in 2001, she has been its Director since 2004. Lisa designed and leads the Aging Project’s Open Door Program, which enhances aging service providers’ capacity to be ‘welcoming’ to LGBT elders and caregivers. Lisa frequently consults with mainstream aging service providers about cultural competency with LGBT elders and caregivers and presents nationally on these policy and practice issues. She earned her MSW from Simmons School of Social Work. She is a Leadership Council member of the LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN) of the American Society on Aging and co-chairs the LGBT Issues Committee for the Massachusetts Chapter of NASW.
For More Info: LGBTAgingProject.org

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gay Activist Greg Gerard Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with openly gay author Gregory Gerard about his memoir “In Jupiter's Shadow” which chronicles a Catholic boy's struggle with his sexual orientation. Gerard states, “The concept that emerged as I was writing was people hiding from the truth about themselves and thinking about the people I know and the stories I’ve heard. About people overeating or drinking too much or shopping too much, they have this avoidance. These behaviors we do to avoid the truth about ourselves.” Gerard lives in Rochester, New York, with his partner of eleven years. When asked about New York denying gay marriage in the legislature, he said he was very disappointed. He also voiced his opinion about the majority voting on the rights of a minority. “It’s difficult for me to reconcile that the public majority gets to make a vote on such an important civil rights issue and that becomes the law. To me, that sounds backwards. I think of the civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s and I wonder if that type of mentality had been allowed to make decisions about Afro-Americans rights, whether we would be where we are today.”
Gerard also has a commitment to LGBT youth. “I work with my city's Gay Youth Project to facilitate a monthly writing class/open mic. I feel strongly about helping gay youth "find their own voice" in the struggle for equality. Part of my motivation to write my own story was to give voice to gay religious youth who today might be struggling in silence. A book once saved my life, "The Best Little Boy in the World" by Andrew Tobias, back in 1989. When I read that memoir and identified very strongly with the main character, it finally sunk in that my feelings of isolation were deceptive. If my memoir can help others who struggle feel less condemned by society or religious institutions or God or even themselves, I will feel very blessed indeed.”
For More Info: jupitersshadow.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gay Activist Cathy Marino-Thomas Speaks OUT

Updated Interview: Oct. 11, 2010
In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Cathy Marino-Thomas, President of the Board of Marriage Equality New York. She also served as Executive Director from 2005 – 2008 With the constant buzz that New York may address Gay Marriage by the end of the year we thought we’d get her spin on the situation. When asked what’s coming up for our LGBT civil rights in New York State, Marino-Thomas stated, “We’re looking right now to our state senate to finally give us our vote on marriage equality. And beyond that we will be then reaching out to our federal level state senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer to go after all civil rights and equal rights under the law in all 50 states in general; specifically for me marriage equality.”

On a personal note Cathy and spouse Sheila have been together 16 years and legally married in Massachusetts in 2004. They have a 10 year old daughter through artificial insemination. Cathy is the birth mother and Sheila was able to obtain a second parent adoption making both parents Jackie’s legal guardians. New York recognizes gay marriage from other states so we asked how this is working out. Marino-Thomas answered, “Well it’s a good beginning. It gives us some state level protections as of now. But the problem with that is that because there is no law making marriage legal in New York we are subject to that law changing at any point. And that’s the place we’re in. Although Sheila and I do enjoy state level marriage rights today, we may not enjoy them in the future. We don’t have a law on our actual New York State books that says that marriage is for all families.”
UPDATE: New York State voted down gay marriage by a vote of 38 to 24. Read More...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gay Activist Marc Harshbarger Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with author Marc Harshbarger about his two must-read gay novels “Deep Dish” and “Deeper Dish”, which tell a continuing saga about love and lust in Chicago back in 1975. His first novel, "Deep Dish" is a gay soap opera that turns back the clock to 1975 during the disco culture of yesteryear. It tells the swinging saga of the Davenport and Haze families, who fall in and out of love and lust in one cliffhanging chapter after another while searching for happiness in a crazy world. In the sequel, "Deeper Dish" the many colorful characters return for more sordid misadventures, nail-biting cliffhangers, passionate encounters and disco fever as the Dish becomes Deeper. Both novels are an easy nostalgic read. On a personal note Harshbarger has been in a relationship with his partner for eighteen years. When asked what he thought about gay marriage now legal in five states Harshbarger stated, “What’s the big deal about two people who love each other getting married? I never understood the problem that people have with that but it seems like there will always be people out there who have to hate some other group of people and deny them their rights. I mean it’s been going on forever. And now I guess the gay community is what they’re fixated on these days. I do think though that in time we will get equal rights. I’m not sure how long it will take, but it’s a slow process and we will have to be patient.”

Marc Harshbarger also writes and publishes "Deep Dish", a gay pop culture blog while he completes the third sequel to his novels.
For More Info: marcharshbarger.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gay Activist Tracy Baim Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Tracy Baim, Executive Producer of the new film “Hannah Free", starring Sharon Gless (Burn Notice, Queer as Folk, Cagney & Lacey), that’s receiving rave reviews globally. “Hannah Free” is a passionate lesbian drama about a lifelong love affair between an independent spirited out lesbian and the woman she calls home. Hannah and Rachel grew up as little girls in the same small Midwest town where traditional gender expectations eventually challenge their deep love for one another. Hannah becomes an adventurous, unapologetic lesbian and Rachel a strong but quiet homemaker. Weaving back and forth between past and present, the film reveals how the women maintained their love affair despite a marriage, a world war, infidelities, and family denial. When asked what it was like working with Sharon Gless, Baim stated, “Sharon Gless was absolutely phenomenal. She was such a team player. Anything we needed she was there for us. She helped us with fundraising by signing autographs and attending events. She’s been at a lot of the film festivals when her schedule permits. She’s just been incredible. I could never have asked for someone who’s such a team player and yet as well known as Sharon Gless. We were really lucky to get her to be attached to this film.” "Hannah Free" on Ripe Fruit Films is for distribution in worldwide theatrical and ancillary markets.
Watch Trailer

Tracy Baim is the publisher and managing editor of Chicago’s largest gay and lesbian publications. Windy City Media Group (WCMG) reaches 50,000 readers with its weekly newspaper Windy City Times (founded 1985), OUT!, Nightspots, and Identity. WCMG also produces Chicago’s oldest gay radio program, Windy City Queercast. Baim is founding co-chair of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40-Under-40 leaders, received the 2005 Studs Terkel Award, and is an inductee to Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Baim also served as vice co-chair of Gay Games VII; she also co-produced the 2008 event DVD.
For Info: windycitymediagroup.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gay Activist Charles Robbins Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Charles Robbins, Executive Director/CEO of the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide 24/7 suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The Trevor Project also provides lifesaving guidance to parents and educators in order to foster safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all youth, at home and at school. When asked what he would like to see accomplished in the Obama administration for our LGBT community, Robbins stated, “There are so many things that are on President Obama’s agenda. I think that we’re moving in the right direction. I don’t think there’s any one particular legislation. I think they’re all necessary. What we’re working on at The Trevor Project is we’re hoping there can be mandated suicide prevention education in high schools across America. The sad statistic is that suicide is the second leading death among college campuses. There are a lot of protection factors that need to be discussed in the classroom when youth are in high school about the warning signs of suicide; how to protect someone who is suicidal and what to do if you yourself happen to be suicidal.”

The Cracked Xmas event is The Trevor Project’s largest annual fundraiser that brings together top entertainers to support the organization’s programs including its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, community outreach, advocacy efforts and educational resources. This year Neil Patrick Harris will receive the Trevor Life Award and premier communications company AT&T Inc. will receive the Trevor Hope Award. The event will be held at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Dec. 6. “Neil Patrick Harris and AT&T have both provided significant support to The Trevor Project and the LGBTQ youth whom it serves,” said Robbins. “We applaud them for having the courage and conviction to set positive examples for young people and for inspiring them to take pride in themselves and each other.”
For Cracked XMAS Tix & Info: thetrevorproject.org

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gay Activists Create New LGBT Emblem

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with realist Richard Emmanuel who has designed a bold new emblem for LGBT Equality that’s available on apparel & gift items exclusively at the new online OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE. The emblem consists of universal symbols. Two androgynous figures are meeting each other within the circle of the world. This creates a symbol of unity that is diverse with its differences, yet respectful of each person’s beliefs. The word “Equality” is boldly displayed with the words “LGBT Civil Rights.” This awesome design is empowering and a courageous symbol for our LGBT community; a symbol that reflects our strong commitment to equality. Emmanuel also states that we need to retake control of our language. He believes that the term “same-sex marriage” is language the rightwing created to degrade the issue of our relationships. As we all know sex has nothing to do with marriage. Instead our leaders should use the terminology “same-gender marriage.” He states “Hate is the word that is being used to drive a wedge in our culture. In the 1950’s we dealt with the racist doctrine of ‘Separate but Equal.’ What does separate but equal mean? This kind of hypocrisy has become too common in this country. We need to address the inequalities that have risen in our culture. It’s time we have a real discussion about our civil rights and about being civil to each other.”

Reverend Richard Emmanuel is founder of The Church, a non-profit organization in East Gloucester, MA, which is dedicated to raising individual and collective consciousness and increasing spiritual awareness. Emmanuel, a visionary and dedicated political activist, has designed a bold new emblem for LGBT Equality that’s available on apparel, cups, tote bag, coasters & mouse pads exclusively at our new online OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE.
...Originally Posted September 17th 2009.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gay Activist Lee Swislow Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Lee Swislow, Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), about the defeat of Gay Marriage on Maine’s ballot referendum . This is a slippery slope when the majority votes away the rights of a minority. When asked about this turn of events Swislow stated, “As devastating as it was and I think going to the ballot on civil rights is never a good idea, I support that we also remember how much progress we have made and how many people over the last six years since the Goodridge decision have come to embrace marriage equality. I’m really heartened by the passion I saw not just among the LGBT community, but the non-gay folks who were waiting along with us for the results who had taken on this battle as their own.” President Obama has continued to state that he is in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). When asked if she thought he would follow through Swislow said, “He does say that he’s in favor of repealing DOMA, but there hasn’t been any indication that he’s willing to expend any political capital to do that. I think if Congress presented him with a repeal bill he would sign it, but I also haven’t seen signs that Congress is anxious to take this up any time soon. So although there is expressed support, I don’t think we can rely on anything coming out of Congress for the next few years.” GLAD continues its marriage equality and discrimination work throughout New England and is committed to moving forward with its partners in Maine.

Last March GLAD filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in Massachusetts challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
For More Info: GLAD.org

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gay Activist Alix Dobkin Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Alix Dobkin, Gay Activist and Feminist Music Icon. Alix began her music career in Greenwich Village in the early 60’s along with legends like Bob Dylan & Joni Mitchell. In the early 70’s she came out as the first lesbian performer of her day. Dobkin's new must-read memoir “My Red Blood” begins in post-war New York City growing up in a Communist family and rubbing elbows with radical left celebrities like Paul Robeson. In the 1950’s in the midst of the McCarthy Era she joined the Communist Party and offers readers a first-hand glimpse of daily life as a teenager living under FBI surveillance.

 When asked her thoughts about President Obama signing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Bill and what she would you like to see accomplished in this administration she stated, “I was delighted to see him signing that bill. That’s a wonderful thing. What would I like to see accomplished? His campaign promises for one thing. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the "Defense of Marriage Act," let’s get rid of them. Mostly is to equal out the income of the American population and let’s not have these crooks taking millions while single mothers, women and children and other kinds of people go hungry. Everyone knows it’s not right. So that’s one of my hopes that Obama will, and not just him, but this country will get better health care. I want single-payer, that’s what I want and that’s what most people I know want. That’s just some of the goals I want to see accomplished.”

For information where Ms. Dobkin will be appearing: AlixDobkin.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gay Activist Rev. Steve Parelli Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson chats with Steve Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep, a multicultural ecumenical Christian ministry working worldwide for the full inclusion of LGBT people of faith within their respective faith traditions. Parelli’s current priority is to stop the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 which will impose the death penalty and prison on the Ugandan LGBT community. He is urging the evangelical community to email their evangelical leaders. “Tell evangelical leaders like Rick Warren to tell the-largely-evangelical Ugandan people to STOP the bill. Why tell Rick Warren? Because of his endorsement of the widely acclaimed 2006 Zondervan Africa Bible Commentary in which a featured article entitled "Homosexuality" by a Nigerian evangelical leader supports no toleration for homosexuals in Africa and says homosexuals are no better than beasts. This is the evangelical talk in Africa and Rick Warren of the USA and John Stott of England and Douglas Carew of Kenya have endorsed it." Email Rick Warren...
On a personal note, Steve, a graduate of Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, had served the Faith Baptist Church of Sparta, New Jersey, as senior pastor for ten years when in 1997 he chose to leave the ministry to make a new life with his partner, Jose. Prior to leaving the ministry, Steve was in reparative therapy with Joseph Nicolosi, "ex-gay" support groups, an international male mentoring group and spiritual counseling, all with the purpose of "overcoming" his homosexual attractions. After leaving his now ex-wife and four children and establishing himself in a gay relationship, Steve was accordingly defrocked by the First Baptist Church of Sinclairville, New York. On May 31, 2009, Steve was ordained by Rev. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). Steve and his spouse Jose were legally married in Sacramento, California, August 25, 2008. They make their home in the Bronx, New York.
For More Info: OTHER SHEEP

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Activist Cleve Jones on Gay Leadership

In the conclusion of this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with veteran Gay Activist Cleve Jones about LGBT leadership in America. Recently Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBT lobbying organization has come under fire for statements he made about the timeline for our LGBT civil rights. Congressman Barney Frank has also been criticized for statements he made that seem to be undermining LGBT grassroots efforts. Jones gives an historic retrospect of our LGBT movement dating back to the late seventies beginning with his work with Activist Harvey Milk. “ Something terrible happened to our movement. Something terrible happened to our leadership and that terrible thing was AIDS. In the late seventies this movement was growing. We were this early first generation movement that was just gaining power. Then we experienced the loss of Harvey Milk. We survived that. We began to grow in number and power and then we were hit with a pandemic.” Jones explains that during that time we lost an enormous number of leaders to AIDS and those who survived were required to create infrastructure to build services that the government failed to provide. Jones believes that this changed everything, “Our leaders now tend to be bureaucrats, they’re administrators of these massive programs. Their job is to keep the money flowing. These aren’t bad people, they’re good people. They are cautious by nature, conservative and focused by necessity on not to rock the boat so the money keeps coming. I find this frustrating. These people need to be there to do the work but they’re not the folks that should be devising our political strategies. For that we need visionaries. We need people who are willing to take risks and who are bold.”
Part 1: Gay Activist Cleve Jones Federal Agenda
More Info: clevejones.com

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gay Leader Robin McGehee Post March Plan

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson catches up with Robin McGehee, Co-Director of the National Equality March that took place in Washington D.C., to get her first hand perspective of this recent historic event. When asked what she thought the National Equality March accomplished for our LGBT community McGehee stated, “If anything it brought attention to the fight for full federal equality. I think that the show of support was amazing. Time Magazine came out with a number of over 200,000 people marched and I know that for me seeing a continual sea of people coming down Pennsylvania Avenue, that alone sent a very big message that we are demanding full federal equality in all fifty states.” President Obama addressed the Human Rights Campaign dinner the eve before the March. The speech was very passionate but redundant rhetoric of promises he has been making to our LGBT community since he was candidate Obama. When asked to comment about this McGehee said, “This is only the second president that has gone to the national dinner of HRC. I think we need to acknowledge that he is speaking to our populous. What he’s doing is just getting an A+ on the cliff notes version of our struggle. He’s getting a C- in my opinion in actually taking any kind of action to take care of those struggles.” Next step on their agenda will be to bring congressional district action teams together across the United States and provide information on how to lobby federal representatives about our issues such as the Defense of Marriage Act, (DOMA) Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and a transgender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Pre-March Audio Interview w/ Activist Robin McGehee
For More Info: Equality Across America.org

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gay Activist Robin McGehee Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Robin McGehee, Co-Director of the National Equality March taking place in Washington D.C. this weekend, provides Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson an insider’s view of this historic event. The National Equality March is organized by a new grassroots effort called “Equality Across America." According to McGehee, “Its main goal is to bring congressional district action teams together across the United States who have organized in their own districts to bring people to D.C. to stand up for full equality.” There will also be workshops offered on October 10th and 11th providing information on how to lobby your federal representatives about our issues such as the Defense of Marriage Act, (DOMA) Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and a transgender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Among the speakers appearing will be Civil Rights Activist Julian Bond, President of the NAACP, and Hate Crime Activist Judy Shepard who has tirelessly worked to pass The Matthew Shepard Act named for her son who was tortured and killed in a hate-motivated crime in 1998. Also addressing the rally will be Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar Winner Screenwriter of “Milk”, DADT Activist Lieutenant Dan Choi, Activists Cleve Jones and Urvashi Vaid, Comedian Kate Clinton and many more. When asked what she thought the National Equality March would accomplish, McGehee answered. “It already accomplished what I wanted it to do and that’s to bring more visibility and attention to the struggles that our LGBT community faces.” For More Info: National Equality March