Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kenyan Gay Ally Rev. Makokha Speaks OUT

In the first installment of this two-part exclusive audio interview, Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Reverend John Makokha, senior pastor of Riruta United Methodist Church in Nairobi, Kenya. He is the African correspondent for Reconciling Ministries Network and the Country Coordinator of Other Sheep Kenya Trust, a faith-based LGBTI organization. John is the Africa Author of Reconciling Ministries Network. He passionately runs educational awareness seminars on human sexuality and gender identity programs to address religious homophobia and transphobia in Kenya with his wife Anne.

When asked as a heterosexual man how he got involved in the LGBT community, Rev. Makokha stated, “In high school when I was still a student I had friends who were gay. I saw them going through a lot of persecution, a lot of suffering and living in the closet. And one of them named David who was very dear to me, very close to me, was expelled from high school and also his family threw him out because of his sexual orientation. And later on he took his life. He committed suicide and that really effected me.”

As Coordinator for Other Sheep Kenya, John organizes and leads educational awareness seminars on human sexuality and gender identity throughout Kenya. Other Sheep Kenya addresses religious homophobia, transphobia, social justice, and HIV/AIDS in Kenya through capacity building and advocacy programs for LGBTI people and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Other Sheep has ministries in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. Other Sheep Kenya came into existence during the 2007 Kenya summer ministry program of Rev. Stephen Parelli and Jose Ortiz, Other Sheep Executive Director and Other Sheep Coordinator for Africa, respectively. Our Gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) community are once again subject to homophobia, religious and cultural extremism. The United Nations voted to remove “sexual orientation” from a resolution that protects people from arbitrary executions. The UN General Assembly has actually voted to allow LGBT people to be executed without cause. Read More…. This holiday season we hope our audience will consider making a donation to support our LGBT community, especially in oppressive countries.
Listen to Kenyan Gay Ally Rev. Makokha Interview Part 2
For More Info: othersheep.org

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Trevor Project Lifeline for LGBTQ Teens

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Charles Robbins, Executive Director/CEO of the Trevor Project, the non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. LGBTQ teens are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Over the last few months numerous teens have taken their own lives after facing bullying incidents. When asked how can we turn this around and reach these kids, Robbins stated, “It is troubling to know that young people are taking their lives and we know that many young people are not necessarily help seeking. So it’s important that we reach out to these kids by providing them with resources they need to know that there is an affirming place that they can contact where they can find support and know that they’re not alone. And that’s why the Trevor Project exists. You know with our 24 hour lifeline and our robust website, that’s really how we’re hoping to reach young people. We know that they’re online, we know that they’re using technology and that’s really the forefront of how we’re trying to reach them.”

Every year The Trevor Project brings together top talent to celebrate and honor leaders and role models for LGBTQ young people. On Sunday, December 5th, Hollywood’s most talented and irreverent stars will gather at the Hollywood Palladium to celebrate “Trevor LIVE”, the annual show benefiting The Trevor Project. This year’s Trevor Life Award honoree is Emmy winning actor/comedian Kathy Griffin, who has been an outspoken advocate for equality. Griffin stated, “This past year, we heard about a number of tragic suicides and whether we were part of the community or not, many of us wondered how we could help. I’ve been fortunate to have had the platform and recognition to beat the drum for change and not get kicked out of the band. My goal is to help raise awareness about what everyone can do to save lives and I’m honored that The Trevor Project has selected me to receive the Trevor Life Award.” This year's Trevor Hope Award honoree is Levi Strauss & Co. Celebrated director, producer and choreographer Adam Shankman and Emmy winning writer Bruce Vilanch are teaming up as Producing Director and Head Writer for Trevor LIVE. This high-profile event has honored actors and comedians including Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres and corporate trailblazers such as Wells-Fargo and Clear Channel Communications for their support of LGBTQ youth.
For Event Tickets & More Info: thetrevorproject.org

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gay Activist Keith Adams Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Keith Adams author of "Broken Whole: A California Tale of Craziness, Creativity and Chaos", which has been called possibly the most entertaining memoir of mania you’ll ever read. “Broken Whole” is a brave first-person story of Keith’s battle with bipolar disorder. It's a fascinating personal look at his experiences, feelings, fears and courage to battle this difficult diagnosis. It's also a testament to the love and support of his relationship with his partner Ben as they work through this challenging journey.

When asked what he learned from his self-exploration, Adams stated, “Well I think the first thing that I learned is something that really stays with me now. We have this idea that everyone has a fixed self; a noble personality. ‘I am this person and I know who I am.’ But when you’ve been through something like this, you know on the edge of insanity, you realize that that’s a construct. When I was manic I was this amazing person. A person that I really liked, a person that was totally real to me. It wasn’t a manufactured person. But bipolar disorder has two poles. You also go through depression and that could last months. The worse part of depression is you’re not yourself anymore, you’re this depressed-suppressed shadow of your former self. So which of these two people is real? Let’s say I get excited about this interview, I start to think; ‘Oh is this a sign of mania?' So you can’t trust who you are and everyday is a new learning experience trying to find stability. That was the biggest insight.” Adams also speaks out about recent LGBTQ teen suicides, Prop 8, Obama, and gay marriage, which he thinks is key to public opinion.

Keith was born near Newcastle upon Tyne, in northeast England. He has a degree in Physics & Astronomy at University College London before emigrating at the age of 21 to the U.S. to begin a Ph.D. program in Alternative Energy & Development at the University of Pennsylvania. His academic career was cut short with a masters degree so that he could cope with his coming out process. Keith a Software Developer and avid photographer is currently trying to perfect a new style of ultra-saturated faux realism in his photographs. Keith lives with his partner Ben in Hollywood, California with their two dogs Indira and D’artagnan.
For More Info: brokenwhole.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

Get Equal with Gay Activist Robin McGehee

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Robin McGehee, Co-Founder of GetEQUAL, the grassroots LGBT organization which evolved from her position as the co-organizer of the 2009 National Equality March on Washington. The midterm elections have come and gone. The Democrats have lost the majority in the House. Nancy Pelosi made empty promises to our LGBT community that the “Employment Non Discrimination Act” (ENDA), which never even got out of committee, would be passed on her watch. Then there’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) and the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) section 3 which applies to federal benefits. Both were found unconstitutional by federal judges yet the Obama Administration is appealing these decisions causing additional hardships on our LGBT community.

However, the good news is that more openly LGBT candidates won election to public office in the U.S. in 2010 than in any year in America’s history. When asked if this was the way to go McGehee stated, “Absolutely. I think that not only is it the way to go but someone was telling me that 106 out of 154 people were LGBT that were elected or reelected and in my opinion the more people we’re putting in office that are there understanding the injustice, the inequality that we suffer as a community, the better. It’s great to have straight allies in those positions but you know at the same time it’s also great to have members of our community who can speak to our injustices that are in those political positions that really in my opinion change the world and change our political system.”

GetEQUAL envisions a society in which LGBTQ people experience equal protection under the law and are free from cultural and social transphobia/homophobia without compromise. GetEQUAL inspires and equips our LGBTQ community and allies to fight back against discrimination and push forward progressive change as equals, building bridges with all who struggle for justice and dignity in their lives.
For More Info: GetEQUAL.org