Monday, September 30, 2013

Gay Author Joel Derfner Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with author Joel Derfner about his new memoir “Lawfully Wedded Husband: How My Gay Marriage Will Save the American Family” released by University of Wisconsin Press. In his memoir Derfner chronicles his path to marrying his longtime partner. Joel reflects on his insecurities, draws upon his family history and most importantly addresses American politics surrounding marriage equality. Derfner had to plan two weddings, one in a state in which his marriage was legal and one in which his family and friends could easily congregate to celebrate the occasion. His observations about the implications of this are infused with the perfect mix of serious scholarship, self-effacing humor and humility. We talked to Joel about his new book and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Derfner stated, “I would say that my personal commitment isn’t so much to LGBT civil rights but to the rights of all disenfranchised. Right now in America we’re one group that’s under attack but there’s a lot of other groups who are also under attack, women, the poor and people of color in respect to sexuality. Harvey Milk said when he won his seat as San Francisco Supervisor, ‘Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us'es, the us'es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and other offices more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone. So if there is a message I have to give, it is that if I've found one overriding thing about my personal election; it's the fact that if a gay person can be elected, it's a green light and you have to give people hope.’ So I guess my commitment to LGBT civil rights is to make sure the us’es realize we’re all in the fight together and victory for one group is victory for all. We have to fight not for ourselves but for each other.”

Joel Derfner is from South Carolina where his great-grandmother had an affair with George Gershwin. After leaving the South he got a B.A. in linguistics from Harvard. Realizing that linguistics was not his forte he moved to New York and earned an M.F.A. in musical theater from the Tisch School of the Arts. He has written numerous books and musicals scores for productions, produced in London, New York and various cities. In 2010 Joel co-starred in Sundance Channel’s reality soap “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys” as the nervous groom on his way to the altar by his inexplicably single friend Sarah. The season finale showed his wedding in Iowa, which was the first legal wedding of a same gender couple in America on television.
For More Info: joelderfner.com 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rev Richard Emmanuel Explains Pope’s LGBT Humanity

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Rev Richard Emmanuel about Pope Francis’ comment that the Catholic Church is ‘obsessed’ with gays, abortion and birth control. Emmanuel is the founder of The Church an experimental religious organization in East Gloucester, Massachusetts dedicated to raising individual and collective consciousness by increasing personal spiritual awareness. Richard’s journey began with an epiphany while attending The Catholic University of America where through comparative religious studies Richard withdrew from the dogma of Roman Catholicism and Judeo/Christian belief. We talked to Richard about this, Russia’s anti gay laws, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Emmanuel stated, “This issue is a civil rights issue. It’s not about whether you’re gay, lesbian, transgender or black, white or Hindu or whatever religion. It’s always about humanity’s respect for one another. We are all one and that is why we can get ourselves into trouble when we become obsessed about our position and that we don’t see it as a human condition. I mean this idea of straights are normal because they’re in the majority, well, the numbers don’t mean anything. It’s one way of oppressiveness of one majority group oppressing a minority group and this has nothing to do with anything but a person’s rights. Humanity has evolved to this stage in which our rights as people are being challenged on a number of levels. Where are we taking this IT industry? Where is this information technology taking us? And this social networking, is it going to liberate us or force us into new constraints or a new tyranny of technology? I’m amazed at the number of people walking around not even in real space, texting on their smart phones. They’re not in the real world. I find this very disturbing.”

Currently Emmanuel is advocating for future public understanding of religious scientific, and social beliefs. His work is a “visual experience” and explores new forms of social language, belief structures, symbols and icons of our society and the transformation of cultural perception. He continues to find great inspiration in the history of human storytelling and applies this knowledge in advanced imaging for the ever-expanding “Information Age.”
For More Info: thechurch.org

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Film “Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine”

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Filmmaker Michele Josue about her new documentary MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE. This October will mark fifteen years since Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in Laramie, Wyoming just because he was gay. MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE explores the human side of Shepard. Josue, as a close friend of Matt, travels to pivotal locations in Shepard’s life, interviewing other friends and family members and gaining insight into the beautiful life and devastating loss of Matthew Shepard. The film will have its coast-to-coast world premieres on October 4th at both the Mill Valley Film Festival in California and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C. We talked to Michele about her must-see documentary that delivers a personal insight to Matt Shepard and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked as a heterosexual woman what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Josue stated, “I think gay or straight, I think that everyone should have a commitment to LGBT civil rights. You know gay rights are human rights and the struggle affects all of us. For me it’s really important to stand up for my gay family members, my gay friends, Matt and all the Matt Shepards out there. To fight for their rights to be acknowledged as equal members of society, deserving of every equality that everyone else has. I believe we all have a tremendous responsibility and obligation to each other as human beings to stand up for each other. So I feel strongly about our film about Matt. It’s a shame that our story can only aid the education process of those who still don’t believe in equal rights for everyone. So through the film I’m trying to do my part for LGBT equality.”

Filmmaker Michele Josue was born to Filipino immigrant parents and raised in suburban Maryland. She met Matt Shepard while they were attending The American School in Switzerland. This marks the fifteenth anniversary since Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, tortured and tethered to a fence left to die. Never regaining consciousness Matthew succumbed to the severe injuries from the attack and died on October 12, 1998. In 2009 President Obama signed the LGBT inclusive Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is currently playing the film festival circuit.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Worldwide LGBT Music & Video Competition

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Marlee Walchuk about the third annual RightOutTV Music and Video Awards for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex artists. The 2013 RightOutTV Music and Video Awards team is accepting submissions worldwide for songs and videos to be evaluated by a prestigious panel of 37 entertainment industry judges. Openly queer singer/songwriters from around the globe may submit songs and music videos in a variety of Indie-friendly categories. New this year for the competition include a “Best Non-English Video” category in an effort to expand the global reach and “The Best Comedy Video” category is open to Drag Artists. Also added are submissions for episodes of web series from LGBT writers and creators as well as LIVE and produced music videos. We talked to Marlee about the evolving RightOutTV Music and Video Awards as well as her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Walchuk stated, “Well we start with being as open as possible, and I say ‘we’ as meaning my wife and I, about our sexuality always and everywhere, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us or other people. Sometimes as simple as introducing each other as my wife has a profound effect on people becoming use to us being around and accepting us. A good deal of our song lyrics deal with LGBT issues and we never hide the fact that we’re singing woman to woman. And because we enjoy a full range of LGBT rights in Canada we do tend to focus on how we can help other countries. We are really incredibly concerned with how the LGBT people in Russia are being persecuted right now. It’s shocking that this can happen in this time of history with no one of real power stepping in to help. We went to a ‘Love Russia, Hate Homophobia’ rally in downtown Vancouver and it was so moving to hear a letter written by an LGBT brother in Russia. I mean we just have no idea sitting in our safe communities what these people are going through. We were encouraged to email our officials about how we feel they need to step-up and take a stand and for Natalie and me that’s something that we’re currently doing. We’re just trying to get our opinion heard by as many people as possible that can actually do something about this.”

Canadian Marlee Walchuk and Aussie Tully Callender launched the RightOutTV Music and Video Awards in 2011. Walchuk and Callender of the music duo Sugarbeach launched the awards after realizing that in their own music career winning awards and nominations helped their profile more than any venue they’ve played or anyone they’ve played with. The submission fee is $15 and the deadline for submissions is Sept 24, 2013. Nominees will be announced Oct 10, 2013 and the popular “Fan Fave” voting, the only public voted award, begins Sept 30, 2013.
For Info & Submissions: rightouttvawards.com 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gay Filmmaker Nicole Conn Casting Contest

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson, host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with filmmaker Nicole Conn about her new film project “She Walks in Beauty” based on her bestselling 2001 novel. The story is about two women on two continents across two eras addressing love, lust and betrayal. Conn has teamed up with Executive Producer Elaine Sturgess to launch a search for a new movie star to be featured in the film. The brainchild of Elaine Sturgess, the iConn Casting Quest offers the chance for anyone, whether they have any acting experience or not, to apply for the opportunity to attend a casting session for the new movie. Nicole stated, “We are literally opening the casting process up to anyone worldwide who believes they have the talent to make it on the big screen. It doesn’t matter even if they have no acting experience at all, we’ll consider anyone as long as they can tell us a bit about who they are and why they think they have what it takes to feature in “She Walks in Beauty.” We talked to Conn about her ambitious global movie star talent search and our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT equality Nicole stated, “The LGBT equality issue for me is sort of a double edge sword. From a civil rights issue we should have all the rights that anybody has, we’re humans and it’s a human rights issue. One of my feelings is that the more equally we become the more invisible we’ve become on some levels because our community is primarily connected by only one thing, the fact that we love the same sex but we don’t pull the same traditions, social backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, any of those things. So there’s the one piece that binds us together and so I sometimes worry about when we are mainstreamed we lose ourselves as we have seen has happened in the past twenty years. There were bookstores, newspapers, there were magazines, coffee houses that were all dedicated to our community so you knew where to find our community. Now in the time of the internet I think it’s very difficult to find our community and so from that stand point it’s sort of a bittersweet passage. However I believe the time has come to merge LGBT with the rest of the universe especially in terms of our storytelling, our books, all of our films, you know we want our own library yet our library speaks to everybody. Our stories are human stories; they transcend LGBT and so it’s a very dicey question because the fact once mainstreamed we sort of disappear.”

 Since Nicole Conn released her landmark lesbian-themed movie “Claire of the Moon” in 1992 her films have included “Cynara”, “Elena Undone” and last year’s “A Perfect Ending” now the best selling lesbian movie of all time. The first iConn Casting Quest live event will take place in Brighton, UK in January 2014 where applicants will have the opportunity to read opposite well known actresses, including the lead from “A Perfect Ending” Barbara Niven. Further events will follow in the US. Currently Nicole is directing Jen Foster’s new music video “She” that addresses marriage equality.
For Info & Applications: shewalksinbeautymovie.com