Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gay Activist Jay Critchley 25th Swim For Life

UPDATE: Over $200,000 was Raised! Thanks Everyone :)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with activist and artist Jay Critchley about the 25th Silver Anniversary of the Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla that happens Saturday September 8th. Since 1987 thousands of swimmers, kayakers, volunteers and the public have been participating in this fabulous Provincetown fundraising tradition presented by the Provincetown Community Compact. Swimmers across the country will swim the 1.4 mile across Provincetown Harbor to benefit the following community organizations and projects: Helping Our Women, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Outer Cape Health Services, Provincetown Rescue Squad, Lower Cape Ambulance, Academy at Provincetown Schools, Soup Kitchen of Provincetown and The Compact Community Fund. Last year swimmers raised $200,000. We talked to Jay about the event and issues facing our LGBT community.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Critchley stated, We’ll I’m an artist who’s always been very out and I’m also a father with a son and two grandchildren. That has been an experience. I’m very open and out as an artist. One of my major projects was “The Old Glory Condom Corporation” which was a patriotic condom company in the eighties and nineties, which made it patriotic to practice safer sex. I wanted to get a trademark for it and the government denied it so I had a three-year legal battle with them. They said it was immoral and scandalous to associate the flag with sex but eventually we won. I did get a trademark. The slogan of the company was “Worn With Pride Countrywide.” Basically the American flag was printed on the condom. I created the first AIDS healing performance on the beach here in Provincetown in 1983 called “Immunity Mandela”. So a lot of my work has been intertwined with civil rights for people with AIDS, for the LGBT community and the community. I bring people together. It’s all about different facets of the community coming together which is what Provincetown is all about.”

The Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla weekend events include the Celebration of Life free concert on Friday September 7th at the UU Meeting House. On Saturday is the Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla followed by the Mermaid Brunch and awards ceremony at the Boatslip Resort.
For more Info: swim4life.org

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Entertainer & Gay Activist Richard Skipper

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with entertainer Richard Skipper who has been entertaining audiences for 20 years. He received rave reviews for his show Carol Channing's Broadway, his off-Broadway tribute to Carol Channing and he appears in Dori Berenstein's must-see documentary CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE currently on Showtime On-Demand. We talked to Richard about everything Carol Channing and issues facing our LGBT community.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Skipper stated, “I am in a committed relationship. My partner and I have been together for twenty-three years. I was a late bloomer. I did not realize that I was a gay man until I was twenty-one but I was a kid who was bullied in school and I was called all kinds of names by other kids and I didn’t know anything about my own sexuality. Yet people were putting labels on who and what I was before I was even able to access what labels I wanted to put on myself. For that reason I really believe in supporting one another because I lead a very full life and I have a wonderful life but I work at that life. I don’t have time to think about what other people are doing in the privacy of their own homes. I don’t have time to think about what my neighbors are doing. I don’t point fingers at other people and I feel it is very important especially here in New York where my partner and I got married. I hear stories over and over again that couples that are in committed relationships to find after 20, 30, 40, 50 years one of the partners gets ill and other partner is denied to be at their bedside in the hospital room or having to fight estate issues when two men or two women have set up a life together. I know there are some people out there who say that that piece of paper does not make a marriage. Well that piece of paper doesn’t make a marriage but it defines and legalizes the fact that two people have committed their lives to one another and for that very reason I have jumped on that bandwagon. To me it’s not a personal issue anymore as much as it is a federal issue. It needs to be across the board that every single person in this country has equal rights and that’s where I am on that issue.”

Currently Richard is writing a book celebrating the 50th anniversary of the musical “Hello, Dolly!” that happens in 2014 and campaigning diligently for Carol Channing to receive a long overdue Kennedy Center Honor. He also has a highly successful blog RICHARD SKIPPER CELEBRATES which focuses on artists and what makes a great entertainer unique.
For More Info: richardskipper.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012

GOP Convention Nix Gay Marriage Speaker

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Retired Navy Captain Joan Darrah about a letter she wrote to Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA), Chairman of the National Republican Party Platform Committee asking to address the Committee in support of marriage equality when it meets in Tampa, Florida August 27th through August 30th. Captain Darrah served for thirty years as a Naval Intelligence officer. She retired in June 2002. After retirement she was a leading advocate in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and testified before House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. Darrah and her wife Lynne Kennedy are plaintiffs in McLaughlin v. Panetta, a case in which Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) represents eight married gay and lesbian service member and veteran couples seeking the same recognition, rights and benefits as their straight, married colleagues. Her request to speak at the Republican Convention was denied. We talked to Joan about this and other issues facing our LGBT community.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Darrah stated, “Well I served for thirty years in the Navy. After I was in for several years I realized that I was gay and I continued to serve under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. When I retired I knew it was a terrible law and I knew I basically had to live two lives under it. I got some encouragement from other people to try and join the group primarily led by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to start work to try and get rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Initially I was a little reluctant because it was so difficult to live under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and I needed a little distance. But then I added my voice and testified before Congress, did a significant amount of lobbying and grassroots initiatives to ultimately get “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed. So now gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military without the fear of being fired. My whole career I would go to work each day hoping that wouldn’t be the day I might get outed and fired. So fortunately “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is gone and from all reports gay service men and women are serving and it’s working out just great. So the next logical step is to have all service members be treated equally and because of the Defense of Marriage Act gay couples are not afforded so many benefits that their straight shipmates are afforded.”

During her career Darrah had various operational and administrative assignments including Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Captain Darrah’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal. Joan lives with her partner and spouse of 22 years, Lynne Kennedy, in Alexandria, Virginia.
For More Info: sldn.org

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gay Producer Adam Weinstock Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Adam Weinstock, President of Creative Concept Productions. Adam has produced shows on and off Broadway since the 1996 revival of Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band. He has worked closely with Bruce Vilanch, Lea Delaria, Judy Tenuta, Charles Busch, Margaret Cho, Ellen Greene, Paula Poundstone, Michael Feinstein, Sandra Bernhard and Linda Eder during the summer Creative Concept Productions theater events in Provincetown, Massachusetts. We talked to Adam about his 2012 Provincetown line-up which includes Lisa Lampanelli, Margaret Cho, Linda Eder and Paula Poundstone. We also talked to Weinstock about issues facing our LGBT community.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Weinstock stated, “First of all they’re human rights and because I’m a person in the community I think we fight for what’s important to us and it becomes not necessarily our charity. I have a good friend John Bartlett and he does a lot of work for PETA. Obviously he’s not a member of that group of animal society but that’s what calls to him and what calls to me is the LGBT community probably because I’m a member so I figure that doing something good for the community and selfishly I’m helping myself. If I give money to marriage equality I’m helping myself in the long run. If I give money to AIDS research I’m helping myself in the long run so I think it’s selfish even though it’s humanitarian. I’m a gay man. You can’t turn your back on your community and if you turn your back on your community you’re turning your back on humanity and you might as well be a hermit and live somewhere but you need other people to live. You need books to read and entertainment to go to and food to eat and unless you’re a farmer with a vivid imagination you can’t be isolated. You have to put your faith in the world and try to do something good. I guess you don’t have to, but I think you do. That’s my commitment to the community and I always find plays with our themes but our theme is out there. Any play that I produce is being produced by a gay man so it becomes an LGBT play because I have taken an interest in it and created, supported and paid for it. If I make an omelet it’s a gay omelet and it’s masculine because it’s made by a man, a gay man. So there it is. If this play is produced by a gay man though the actors, writers, and directors may not be gay it becomes part of us.”

We caught Creative Concept Productions Lisa Lampanelli’s show in July, which was fabulous. Margaret Cho is appearing at the Art House in Provincetown August 11th through August 18th during Carnival Week. Paula Poundstone will be appearing at the Crown and Anchor on August 26th. Provincetown is offering amazing performances by topnotch entertainers all summer long so you still have time to take in a show.
For More Info: creativeconceptproductions.com