Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gay Ally Sara Benincasa Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with award-winning comedian/writer Sara Benincasa about her new must-read book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom based on her acclaimed one-woman show. The book chronicles her journey through a panic disorder that developed into agoraphobia by the age of 21. Her fears were so severe she was afraid to leave her own bedroom and sank into a suicidal depression. With the help of her friends and family she was able to work through the darkest time of her life and find light and laughter at the end of the tunnel. Sara is very outspoken on LGBT issues and is a fierce gay ally. Born and raised in New Jersey we thought we’d get her spin on Governor Chris Christie vetoing gay marriage in her home state and other issues facing our LGBT community.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Benincasa stated, “I would say that it’s pretty huge. I would consider myself an ally more than anything else. I mean I’m a woman, I have dated women but I certainly wouldn’t identify as lesbian. I use to identify as bisexual but then I thought about it, well bisexual sounds like fifty-fifty and I’m not fifty-fifty so maybe I shouldn’t use that term. So I would just say that I am certainly an active ally.”

Sara Benincasa’s outspoken, sexually-charged comedy has won praise from the Chicago Tribune, CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, and has earned her an ECNY (Emerging Comedian of New York) Award and a Webby nomination. Currently Sara is traveling throughout America on the AGORAFABULOUS! Book Reading Show. Her upcoming schedule is as follows: Saturday March 3rd at 4P at Bookhampton, East Hampton, NY, Thursday March 8th at 7P Barnes and Noble, Houston, Texas. Sara will be appearing on Friday March 9th at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas. She will be speaking on the South by Southwest Panel: Political Humor 2.0: Teh Internetz R Leaking. After that she’s off to Portland, Oregon on Monday March 19th at 7:30P at Powell's Books and completes her book tour on Tuesday Mar 20th at 7:30P at Tattered Cover in Denver, Colorado. AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom is available on William Morrow a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
For More Info: sarabenincasa.com

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ned Flaherty Marriage Equality USA Update

UPDATE: Listen to Gay Congressman Pocan On DOMA Ruling
UPDATE: Listen: Cathy Marino-Thomas Marriage Equality USA
In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Ned Flaherty, Project Manager Election 2012 for the national LGBT organization Marriage Equality USA. We talked to Ned about the map he has created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships. The map illustrates the states offering partial equality as well as itemizing the 30 states where various bans on marriage by law, by constitution, or both law and constitution that remain in effect.

Ned Flaherty lives in Massachusetts where gay marriage is celebrating its eighth anniversary in May. When asked what his reaction has been to the recent momentum of gay marriage passing in Washington state, Prop 8 being found unconstitutional in California by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the possibility of marriage equality passing in New Jersey and Maryland, Flaherty stated, “I expect that every state that passes marriage equality in any significant way is going to have the same experience we’ve had for the last eight years in Massachusetts and that is first of all none of the dire consequences threatened by the religious evangelicals or the rightwing Republicans have ever occurred here. The second thing is a couple of dramatic improvements. One is there’s more business revenue and more tax revenue into the state government simply as the result of the additional marriage business going on here. And the third thing is Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates now in the nation. The nation hasn’t had such a divorce rate as low as Massachusetts for decades. So I think that among those states you mentioned and the others that you didn’t mention, as they all move closer towards marriage equality, they’re going to find more business, more government tax revenue and none of the frightening harms that the equality opponents always talk about.”

As Project Manager Election 2012 Flaherty has also created the Election 2012 Project at Marriage Equality USA to show twelve major ways in which LGBT people still are not equal citizens, to expand the national dialogue and to provide usable data to candidates, journalists and voters. Since the project began some presidential candidates have gradually increased their overall support for LGBT equality.
For More Info & View Map & Chart: marriageequality.org

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lawyers Ted Olson & David Boies on Prop 8

American Foundation for Equal Rights held an audio press conference two hours after Prop 8 was found unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson Host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ participated in this historic discussion with members of the press, AFER Board President Chad Griffin and lead co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies. In an opinion authored by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the Ninth Circuit concluded that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort,” Judge Reinhardt wrote.

In his opening remarks about this enormous victory for our LGBT community Ted Olson stated, “When we started this trial the very first words that we spoke when the trial began in San Francisco was that this case is about marriage and equality. It’s about the right to marry and this decision today affirms the importance in American society of the right to marry. The very proponents who opposed us in this case talked about how important marriage was. The difference is that they wanted to keep it for themselves. They wanted to deny this relationship, this institution, this building block of our society, the most fundamental right according to the Supreme Court that we have in America. They wanted to deny that right to a large segment of our society because they felt that those persons were unequal or undeserving and should be treated differently under the California Constitution. This case was about marriage and it’s also about freedom and decency. How we are going to treat our fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, our cousins and our neighbors. Are we going to treat them with the same dignity that we ourselves enjoy in this country? The District Court earlier and the Ninth Circuit today ringingly reaffirmed the right to equality, the fundamental right to marriage and the fact that it cannot be denied to citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation or the basis of sex. This is a very significant milepost on the way to equality in this country. We’re not there yet. One of these days soon I suspect, I feel strongly that we will be. So this is a very important decision and it was 80 pages of tightly reasoned, very thoughtfully articulated Supreme Court analysis, so we are one major step forward and we’re very grateful to the Ninth Court for upholding the right of the citizens in California.”
OUTTAKE VOICES™ Interview w/ Dustin Lance Black & His Play '8'
For More Info: afer.org

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gay Drag Star Sherry Vine Is Living For This

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Sherry Vine, International Drag Superstar whose new variety show SHE’S LIVING FOR THIS premiere’s on the gay television network here! February 24th. The Boston LGBT Film Festival is presenting the New England Premiere of SHE’S LIVING FOR THIS on Thursday February 9th at Canary Square in JP. Sherry Vine is attending and will be available for a Q & A after the screening. SHE’S LIVING FOR THIS is a unique modern update of the classic TV variety show standard set by the likes of Carol Burnett and Sonny & Cher. This fabulous fun-filled half hour is packed with some of the edgiest queer comics and entertainers on the scene and is bursting at the sequined seams with comedy sketches, special guests and musical numbers. Confirmed guests for the first three shows of the six-episode first season include Tony-nominated performance artist Justin Vivian Bond, drag diva Peppermint, and cabaret singer and New York City legend Joey Arias. We talked about the new show and Sherry’s spin on crucial issues facing our LGBT community.

When asked what her commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Vine stated, “I believe that I have a daily commitment to LGBT rights. First of all just by being openly gay and second of all performing in drag. I think a lot of people don’t realize that drag is a political act in itself because of what you have to go through just the minute you walk out the door. I mean people for some reason see it as an open invitation to be very hostile and abusive or weird. Not always, people can be very cool and funny and nice but it’s dangerous, especially for people who don’t live in a big city. Taxi’s will just fly right by you. You know I vote, I do a lot of benefits for different organizations, so I just try to be as involved as I can.”

The Boston LGBT Film Festival will be hosting the New England Premiere of SHE'S LIVING FOR THIS on Thursday February 9th from 9P-10P at Canary Square 435 South Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain, MA. Please join us for the sneak preview of the show, enjoy stationary bar appetizers provided by Canary Square 9-10P with a special menu insert during dinner, a cash bar with smart cocktails, make new friends and support the Boston LGBT Film Festival. Sherry Vine is attending the screening and will be available for a Q & A after the screening.
SHE’S LIVING FOR THIS premiere’s on the gay network here! February 24th.
For More Info: bostonlgbtfilmfest.org & heretv/SHE’S LIVING FOR THIS

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NY Ink's Gay Reality Star Robear Chinosi

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Robear Chinosi, NY INK’s gay tattoo shop manager about the TLC reality show’s dramatic second season which includes his search to find the man of his dreams in a notoriously macho world. Robear is also a fierce gay activist and shares his thoughts about crucial issues facing our LGBT community.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Robear stated, “I’m very committed to the cause of gay and lesbian civil rights because as a gay man I’m just immersed in that community more and more. Now that I’m on television I have a platform and a voice to hopefully make a change and be a role model. You know we’ve been fighting since the sixties for equality. We are making progress but then we get pushed back a little and then we make more progress. You know it’s just fighting for what is right and what straight people have. Why wouldn’t we have the same rights as anyone else? We love the same, we’re human and it just happens that we love the same sex. I’m heavily involved with HRC and GLAAD. I support all those organizations that have really made such progress and have put this into the forefront of society. Especially with the government, you know we’re taxpayers and we’re part of the community. Why are we not getting the same rights as everyone else? I can only hope in this lifetime that I see it come full circle and that we get the same rights.”

Chinosi is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ teens who are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers after facing bullying incidents. Robear shared his personal experiences of being bullied and gay bashed. He stated, “What got me through is that I knew from an early age that I wanted to become a leader in our community and now hopefully and successfully I have stepped into my role as a social influencer in the world of fashion, design and television.” NY Ink airs Thursdays on TLC at 9P EST.
For More Info: tlc.com/ny-ink