Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gay Activist Alex Lucchesi Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson, Host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Alex Lucchesi, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of SpeakOUT. SpeakOUT works to create a world free of LGBT homophobia and other forms of prejudice by telling the truths of people’s lives. This is accomplished by conducting educational programs about the lives and issues of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. In completion of a short two day program, members of our LGBT community are trained to use public speaking as a means of creating positive cultural change. SpeakOUT believes that sharing our lives and experiences publicly educates communities about issues that are dividing us. In engaging audiences in honest dialogue and in keeping with their motto "Ask Us Anything," SpeakOUT invites any questions that may challenge harmful stereotypes and misconceptions. Every year, SpeakOUT volunteers conduct informal, interactive speaking engagements in hundreds of settings, including high schools, colleges, businesses, government agencies, churches, synagogues, youth groups and community service organizations of all kinds.

When asked what questions people have about gay marriage and LGBT equality, Lucchesi stated, “Very often I get asked why civil unions aren’t enough. My answer to that is simple. I was married to a woman for ten years and I loved that woman and she was my best friend and if there was a woman in the world for me it was her. But that was not a true marriage and if I am going to find a man with whom I fall in love and share my life that will be a true marriage. So I don’t think I should settle for separate but equal.”

The unique program offers youth and adults an intensive two-day preparation for conducting speaking engagements. In the past, SpeakOUT has trained members of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and many other organizations. The next speaker training session is April 10th & 11th, 8:30am - 5:00pm Lasell College, Newton, MA. SpeakOUT also provides resources and information for national and global organizations.
For More Info: SpeakOUTboston.org

Sunday, March 28, 2010

LGBT Activist Robin McGehee Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson, Host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Robin McGehee, Co-Chair of GETEqual, who was arrested with gay activists Lt Dan Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo in front of the White House in protest of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. The incident began when Choi asked to speak at the Human Rights Campaign rally and was turned down. The crowd then followed them to the White House where Choi spoke out against DADT and then he and Pietrangelo in an act of civil disobedience were handcuffed to the White House fence by McGehee and arrested.

A trial is set for April 26th. When asked what they hope to accomplish McGehee stated, “Our biggest thing is highlighting the injustices out there. As a social movement we’ve had Stonewall and Act-Up as our fighting back mentality, highlighting the injustices and then having social change around those issues. But the reality is our movement as a whole has not applied nonviolent disobedience to the full federal equality message and that’s really where we are. Kip Williams and I are in the next step after the National Equality March. It’s to say, "Look we brought hundreds of thousands of people to Washington D.C. to march on the mall. We’ve done our statewide rallies. We’ve lobbied. We’ve written letters. We’ve phone banked. Now the only thing we know to do is create our lunch counter moment like other social movements before us and really highlight the injustice and give visual imagery to ways we are discriminated against and not only in a proactive way. So, for example in “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, that would be a proactive message to a plan, a strategy and then to provide visual imagery that is highlighting injustice in a reactive way.”
For more Info: GETEqual.org

Thursday, March 18, 2010

GLAAD Celebrities Speak OUT For Gay Equality


In this audio montage Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson, Host of OUTTAKE VOICES™, talks with celebrities on the Red Carpet at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards in NYC. Gay Activist and Actress Cynthia Nixon (Sex in the City) received the Vito Russo Award. Gay Ally Joy Behar (The View, The Joy Behar Show) accepted the Excellence in Media Award. When asked about their personal commitment to LGBT civil rights Nixon said, “We’re going to keep going until we have marriage equality in every one of the fifty states. I am frustrated with the Obama administration but I am gratified that he has finally sounded a battle cry on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. Now it’s time to move on the “Defense of Marriage Act.” It’s time to repeal that.” Behar added, “Well my commitment to any civil rights is that we need to have equality across the board in this country. It’s an absolute disgrace when you don’t have equality across the board, whether it’s about an ethnic group or a particular race or a gender issue, it’s outrageous. So I just think you know my whole shtick is equality for everyone. It’s nice to get this Award to see that people are acknowledging that I do something for this world, whatever it is.”

Gay Ally and Actress Sigourney Weaver (Avatar) accepted the award for Outstanding TV Movie “Prayers for Bobby” (Lifetime) in which she starred and was joined by the movie’s Producers and Gay Activists Daniel Sladek and Chris Taaffe. They were all very outspoken about their commitment to LGBT equality. Gay Allies Jill Zarin (The Real Housewives of New York City) and Fashion Photographer Nigel Barker (America's Next Top Model) also voiced their heterosexual pro-gay perspectives. Gay Activists and Actors Sandra Bernhard, Sarah Paulson, Bryan Batt (Mad Men) and Oscar Winning Writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk) were also passionately vocal about LGBT equality.

Additional GLAAD Media Awards will be announced during events in Los Angeles on April 17 where GLAAD will honor Drew Barrymore and Wanda Sykes as well as in San Francisco on June 5.
For More Info & Tix: glaad.org

Gay Activist Dalila Ali Rajah Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Dalila Ali Rajah, Co-Creator, Executive Producer and one of the hosts of “Cherry Bomb” now on Shewired.com. Each week Dalila Ali Rajah, Tatum De Roeck, Gloria Bigelow and Nikki Caster chat with various “celesbian” guests, who take the hot seat between the four beautiful yet hard-hitting hosts. No questions are off-limits and no subject is taboo. Additionally, the individual hosts branch out and present unique segments featuring viewer videos, hot trends, pop culture news, and hilarious commentary. The SheWired.com audience will return again and again for "Cherry Bomb’s" outrageous and entertaining view on current events.

When asked what her personal commitment was to LGBT civil rights Dalila stated, “Clearly I want equality. I try and do my best to use my talents and skills to the best of my ability to help make change and shift things. Civil rights and equality are important to me. So I’ve always been one of those people that takes the time to actually use challenging moments as teachable moments. Whereas I’ve found a lot of people, just are like “Oh that’s ignorant. I’m not going to address that.” I actually take the time to explain what’s going on and the reason why something is ignorant or the reason why something doesn’t work or something is prejudice. In particular with LGBT issues. I’ve had this issue around civil rights for Afro-Americans as well…I think the additional thing with LGBT rights is also coupled with religious beliefs and there’s a need for people who are willing to have the conversation. Not from a place where your religious beliefs are wrong because that invalidates their belief system, which for someone who really believes in their own spiritual base, that’s really important to them. It’s fundamentally who they are. So just having a discussion with them from the place where you’re invalid isn’t going to get anybody anywhere. There’s a need for people willing to have the discussion not from disrespecting someone’s religion, whether or not I agree with it, but from a place that even with your religion and your views, my civil rights are important and this is why it’s actually important to you that I have them. Because actually it will serve you that I have them, not just me.”
For More Info: CherryBombTV.com

To help promote “Cherry Bomb’s” new home on SheWired.com, the women will travel to this year’s The Dinah Weekend, presented by Club Skirts and being held March 31–April 4 in Palm Springs, Calif. "Cherry Bomb" will tape shows in front of a live audience in The Dinah’s SheWired Lounge and host meet-and-greets with thousands of adoring fans.
For More Info: shewired.com

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We Must Bully Proof Our Schools

UPDATE: The Massachusetts Senate voted and successfully passed Anti-Bullying Bill (S 2283). The bill requires schools to develop procedures to prevent or stop bullying and increasingly pervasive cyber-bullying by students. LGBT kids and the children of LGBT parents are frequently the targets of some of the most vicious and cruel forms of bullying and cyber bullying. News stories of young bullying victims driven to suicide or violence necessitates quick action by our legislature. While there is no silver bullet to heal the lifetime of scars bullying can inflict, this bill forces schools to begin the process of prevention and training to protect at risk populations, like LGBT kids.

Arline Isaacson Co-Chair of The Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus stated, “The LGBT community is unfortunately all too familiar with the phenomenon of bullying. Many LGBT kids have experienced some of the cruelest and most vicious forms of bullying when they were in school. In recent years, the problem of bullying has been exacerbated by the increase in cyber bullying. Kids's homes used to provide some degree of refuge from bullies. But with the introduction of cyber-bullying, their homes are no longer any safer than being in school.

And while many people were raised to think of bullying as a normal 'right of passage', experts now recognize the serious and long term negative consequences of severe bullying. From recent teenage suicides to violent gun-laden outbursts in schools across the country, victims of bullying carry the scars of bullying for their entire lives. Educators and experts on bullying recognize that schools' responses to bullying is a critical part of the solution. When schools teach kids about what is and isn't acceptable behavior, when they train staff to intervene and more importantly how to intervene, when they keep parents informed of the situation, they can begin to change the culture of the school - and ultimately teach bullies, victims and bystanders lifetime lessons.

The Anti-Bullying bill we're lobbying will not end bullying, but it will make a huge difference to kids who are the victims of it. And it will certainly begin the very important process of changing school cultures and understandings about bullying in ways that will benefit all kids.... and hopefully save the lives of some of the most vulnerable ones. If defending LGBT kids & the kids of LGBT families makes MGLPC a 'slick special interest' AS RIGHT WING CRITICS HAVE CALLED US, then we're proud to say we are."

Call or
email your state senator before Thursday (3/11/) & ask them to support Anti-Bullying Bill S2283.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the first out gay woman elected to the US House of Representatives from Wisconsin’s Second Congressional District. Baldwin is a leading advocate for universal health care and Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. When asked what she would want to see happen for our LGBT civil rights in 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin stated, “I hope that progress follows through to bills being signed and things becoming law. So I would like us to be successful in repealing the odious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, it’s un-American in my mind. I want to see full domestic partner benefits for federal employees and by that I ‘m referring to health benefits, family and medical leave act benefits and essentially make sure that federal LGBT employees are getting equal compensation for equal contribution to this country. I’d like to see the Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed into law. I was speaking with Congressman Frank about the progress of that measure that he authors and he believes that in the next few weeks we’ll see the committee take action on that. So those at the federal level would be very important steps forward. We started our conversation around issues of LGBT health care. If we are unable to get some of these important provisions related to research and disparities in the legislation then I think we have to continue to push for those changes in freestanding legislation. Specifically, about that, what I’m talking about is right now the federal government does not even ask questions about people's sexual orientation when they’re researching the health of the nation, when they’re taking the snapshot and observing that certain segments of the American population disproportionately carry the burden of certain disease or conditions. Well if you don’t ask the questions, you don’t produce the data and if you don’t have the data and evidence, you can’t direct relief programs funding to assure the health of the LGBT community which is of as great concern as of any other group in American society. So ultimately we have to persevere on these very important provisions.”

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is the recipient of this year’s Dr. Susan M. Love Award presented by Fenway Health’s Women’s Dinner Party, which takes place Saturday, March 13 at The Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts and will be hosted by Comedian Kate Clinton. Each year, the Dr. Susan M. Love Award is given to honor and celebrate a woman and/or organization that has made a significant contribution to the field of women’s health. The Love Award is given in honor of its founding recipient, Dr. Susan M. Love, a pioneer in the fields of women’s health and breast cancer. Love helped found the Revlon UCLA Breast Center in 1992 and currently heads up the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating breast cancer. In addition to advocating extending health care coverage to all Americans and ending health disparities for LGBT Americans and their families, Baldwin has sponsored legislation providing cancer screening to low-income and uninsured women and helped lead efforts in Congress to repeal federal restrictions on stem cell research.
Fenway Health’s Women’s Dinner Info & Tix

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gay Filmmakers 2010 Oscar Contenders

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks about the upcoming Academy Awards with openly gay Filmmaker Stu Maddux and 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. Lee Daniels has become the first openly gay African American director to receive a nomination for “Precious” and Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” has also been nominated for Best Film which received a combined 7 Oscar nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards to be aired this Sunday at 8PM on ABC. When asked what he thought about mainstream Hollywood’s representation of our LGBT community, Maddux stated, “I think we’re doing better. You know there’s always room for improvement. You look back ten years ago and this is a question you wouldn’t even be asking me. I think “Precious” and “A Single Man” are really important films. The fact that we have two Best Picture nominations by openly gay folks, I get a lot of encouragement as a filmmaker from that.” When asked about casting actors in gay roles, Domico stated, “I remember the day when no straight actor actually wanted to take a gay role because they would be forever cast as a gay man and not able to get anymore roles. It seems it’s just the opposite now.” Academy Awards 2010 Oscar Winners List

Jarrett Barrios President of The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) had this to say about the nominations for Lee Daniels “Precious” & Tom Ford’s “A Single Man”, “These films tell inclusive and diverse stories of our community which grow awareness understanding of the lives of gay & transgender people.” OUTTAKE VOICES™ will be on the Red Carpet covering the New York City GLAAD Media Awards on March 13th.
For Info & Tix: glaad.org