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 We still have a way to go to see DOMA and the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to be repealed.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