Monday, February 22, 2010

Gay Activist Vanessa Domico Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Vanessa Domico, Founder and President of Outcast Films, a distribution and production company which is dedicated to the fair and equal representation of media made by or about our LGBT community. Outcast Films is also an educational and activist-driven organization and in that pursuit, they provide a vehicle for voices that may not otherwise be heard. When asked what she would like to see accomplished in the Obama administration for our LGBT civil rights, Domico stated, “I have to say I’m losing patience with the Obama administration. I mean he was elected because of his promises of change and hope and we’ve seen very little of either of those things in his first year of office. You know he had so much support going in that I’m miffed as to why he didn’t use that wave of support to push through the many needed changes in this country. I mean, that said, I think “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” should be repealed immediately. There’s simply no rational reason to have it continue. There have been over a hundred Admirals and Generals that have come out in favor of ending it. And the majority of the public thinks it should end. I also think that all rights should be given to all people, whether you’re gay, straight, married or not. If the state is truly separate from the church, then I don’t understand why it’s so closely connected, why there are over a thousand more laws and rights given to those married than those who are not married. That’s a long battle.”

Vanessa Domico has served as a member of the Board of Directors for both the Pittsburgh and New York City LGBT Film Festivals and is an authority on distribution of LGBT films. She has represented both festivals as well as Women Make Movies and Outcast Films at countless festivals, panels, and other events. Outcast Films award-winning titles include "Pills Profits Protest: Chronicle of the Global AIDS Movement", "Rock Bottom: Gay Men and Meth", "Tying the Knot", "She’s A Boy I Knew", winner of 16 jury and audience awards, the complete collection of films by acclaimed, avant garde filmmaker Su Friedrich and Jean Carlomusto’s latest documentary Sex in an Epidemic, their newest release.
For More Info: Outcast-Films.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gay Filmmaker Stu Maddux Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Producer Director Stu Maddux about his upcoming film “Gen Silent.” In this new groundbreaking documentary Maddux puts a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender seniors so afraid of being subject to discrimination, or worse, in long-term/health care that many go back into the closet. Their surprising decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year in Boston, Massachusetts. When asked what he would like to see accomplished in the Obama administration for our LGBT civil rights, Maddux stated, “From my perspective working and interviewing LGBT seniors and their spouses, it’s all about DOMA. It’s all about the Defense of Marriage Act. The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) are doing that case to repeal section three of DOMA which defines marriage between a man and a woman. Well here’s what’s going on. People are not getting survival benefits and I am seeing couples who I know have been together in different films I have produced who are survivors, who are devastated by not having social security benefits come in. There are a lot of things that are very important on an emotional level, but on a survival level that’s the issue right now for LGBT folks, especially seniors. It's those survival benefits.”

Stu Maddux's award-winning documentaries include “Bob and Jack's 52-Year Adventure” and “Trip to Hell and Back”. His work has been televised internationally on Showtime, BBC and The Learning Channel. “Gen Silent” will have its WORLD PREMIERE at the Boston LGBT Film Festival this May.
For More Info: LGBT Aging Project
For More Info: Gen Silent
Watch Trailer

Friday, February 12, 2010

Black Gay Activists Speak OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Black Gay Activists Andrea Shorter and Edwin Seth Brown in celebration of Black History Month. Andrea Shorter is the Deputy Marriage and Coalitions Director for Equality California. She is passionate about engaging communities of color in dialogue about gay marriage. When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Shorter stated, “Well given the fact that I’m LGBT, that’s who I am. I’m Afro-American, I’m lesbian and in many respects it’s a labor of not only love on my part but also I’m part of the struggle too.
I want the next generation of young black lesbians and other lesbians of color to not have to live in a world where we are grappling over whether or not we can marry the person we love.”
Edwin Seth Brown is Ambassador to Germany for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). He began his career in the arts as a modern dancer where he acquired his love for travel. He shares his experiences of growing up black and gay in urban Los Angeles in the 50’s and 60’s. “In my community being black was very difficult. I’m in my late fifties now. When I grew up as a black person you couldn’t be gay in the community because the church was very non-accepting of same-sex practices. There was such a feeling that you had to be a man just sometimes to get down the street because I grew up in South Central Los Angeles and you had to be a very strong personality not to have somebody trying to push themselves on you or bullying you. I'm lucky, I have a strong personality.” Brown is also very outspoken about the HIV/AIDS epidemic among people of color and an advocate of HIV/AIDS prevention and education.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gay Activist Gary Daffin Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Gary Daffin, Executive Director of the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, to get his spin on where we are in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. MAC is the largest and oldest agency in New England focused exclusively on HIV in communities of color, working in partnership with a wide range of faith and community based organizations. Daffin who is openly gay and black states that the reason his organization is successful working with the Black Christian faith community is based on mutual respect. When asked how we can find a common thread between the LGBT community and communities of color to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Daffin stated, “I think HIV/AIDS is an area where the community of color and the black community and the gay community work very well together. Particularly, if you take the example of people living with HIV, I think that we would all do better to see how well people who come from very different backgrounds, who are dealing with the disease personally, how well they work together in creating programs and advocating, find it easy to put aside differences...In a way the disease forces us to look at what we have in common. In terms of the black community and gay community specifically you know both have strong civil rights histories that have really changed the country. And I think there are a lot of things that we can learn from each other about points in those movements that we may need support in. I think in the marriage fight we saw the other side who are against gay marriage try to utilize and pit the black community against the gay community. I think this is a mistake for us to fall into that trap. Certainly in every movement of people who are most effective, I see them working together very well and learning from each other.”

Gary Daffin also serves as Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus (MGLPC), the state’s oldest legislative advocacy organization. MGLPC played a key role in the effort to secure marriage equality in the Commonwealth and works continuously on issues such as transgender civil rights, bullying, funding for LGBT youth and elder programs. He is a past recipient of Fenway Community Health’s Gerry Studds Visibility Award and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s William A. Hinton Award for promoting the health of minority communities.
For More Info: mac-boston.org