Monday, December 23, 2013

Kate Clinton Reviews LGBT Progress In 2013 & More

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Kate Clinton, our favorite lesbian political humorist. As we head into the New Year it’s time to reflect on 2013 and chat about what 2014 will bring our LGBT community. This has definitely been the year of marriage equality for our community with US Supreme Court ruling Proposition 8 and DOMA unconstitutional. Perhaps the state-by-state marriage equality concept may be working faster than we thought because within a few days after talking to Kate, New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage and in Utah a Federal judge found the state’s ban of gay and lesbian marriages unconstitutional. However, as we move forward with LGBT equality in America, countries like Russia, Uganda, India and even Australia have implemented anti gay laws. We talked to Kate about these tribulations and her spin on our LGBT civil rights.

When asked what she would you like to see happen for LGBT Civil Rights in 2014 Clinton stated, “I think we really need to work and be more cognizant of trans issues. You know be they immigration issues, be they imprisonment issues, I think that we can in Obama’s last years, we can really push agencies to just make changes. You know, do executive orders to say that when a trans person is put in jail, if it’s a woman you don’t put that trans person into jail with men. That’s just a recipe for rape. I think that there are a lot of agencies throughout the government that are ready to have some really simple ideas that President Obama through executive order or whatever, can just put into effect. That’s the kind of thing that I would love to see. I know places like GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force have really been working hard with agencies throughout the government to make that kind of change. I hope they can do it before we lose the support of President Obama; just because he’s leaving office, not that he’s changing his mind.”

Clinton is also very involved with LPAC (Lesbian Political Action Committee) conceptualized by her partner Urvashi Vaid and founded in July 2012 by committed activists and donors to positively influence the current political and social landscape in this country. LPAC’s agenda is to give lesbians a real and meaningful seat at the political table. Currently Kate is working on a new book and has revealed the name of her new 2014 national tour #KATECLINTON2014 coming to Houston, Boston, Boulder and Provincetown with additional cities to be added soon.
For More Info: kateclinton.com

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gay Activist & Producer Christin Mell Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Christin Mell, Executive Producer and CEO of tello Films that focuses on stories for our lesbian community. Christin is proud to be one of the Executive Producers and the distributor of "Nikki & Nora", the first un-aired network pilot to be re-imagined as a digital web-series premiering on December 22nd. “Nikki & Nora” follows New Orleans locals Nikki Beaumont (Liz Vassey) and Nora Delaney (Christina Cox) former NOPD cops turned private investigators. They navigate the channels of their personal life together alongside their dedication to uncovering the truth in a city that really likes to keep its secrets. We talked to Christin about her web-series "Nikki & Nora" and her spin on our LGBT civil rights.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Mell stated, “Illinois just passed equal marriage which was so exciting and my wife and I have been very strong supporters. My wife (Deb Mell) is a politician here in Chicago. She was the first openly lesbian to be elected to the Illinois State Legislature and she’s now serving as an Alderman. She’s also the first open lesbian to be an Alderman for the city of Chicago and so on the house floor, my wife announced our engagement. At the time, civil union wasn’t even an option in Illinois but Iowa had equal marriage. So this was the first time someone who was a lesbian got up and announced a marriage for a gay couple. That really prompted a lot of discussion and a lot of people started to talk about it. At least in Illinois, civil unions passed first. So the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times both had editorials in favor of gay marriage and then Deb and I were featured on the cover of the Sun Times after we did get married because it was the first openly gay legislator to get married. We really had the opportunity to talk about the inequality that was happening. Here my wife can make laws and represent people in her home state of Illinois, but we had to go to Iowa in order to get married. It really sparked a dialogue for people here and real recognition of how weird that was that there wasn’t equality in our own state. We were so happy when civil unions passed and as I mentioned just recently gay marriage passed. The governor signed it into law and it starts the end of June. So we’ve been very committed and very open about our relationship. My wife had breast cancer and thank goodness we married and civil unions were recognized in Illinois because if anything happened I was there to legally make decisions and ‘in sickness and in health’ is a really serious concern and everyone should have those rights and opportunities. So we’ve been very active in the fight for equal marriage.”

Christin Mell has produced eight projects and just as many in various levels of pre-production. In January of 2013 OneMoreLesbian.com and tellofilms.com merged as a digital media powerhouse that produces stories for the lesbian community.
For More Info: onemorelesbian.com/tello

Monday, December 9, 2013

Michael Petry Author, Artist & Gay Activist Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Michael Petry, author, artist and Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in London about his new book “Nature Morte: Contemporary Artists Reinvigorate the Still-Life Tradition”. “Nature Morte” reveals how leading artists of the 21st century are reinventing still life, a genre traditionally associated with 16th and 17th century Masters. Among the artists represented in the book are John Currin, Saara Ekström, Elmgreen & Dragset, Renata Hegyi, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Gary Hume, Jeff Koons, McDermott & McGough, Beatriz Milhazes, Gabriel Orozco, Marc Quinn, Sam Taylor-Wood and Cy Twombly. On December 17th, the Sundaram Tagore Gallery at 547 West 27th Street in New York City will be hosting a book party event for “Nature Morte” from 6P to 8P. Petry and the New York-based artists who appear in the book will be in attendance. We talked to Michael about his new book and his spin on our LGBT issues.

Originally from Texas, Michael has lived in London since 1981. When asked what it’s like living in the UK since the passage of the Equality Act in 2010 Petry stated, “I would first say that I don’t know that we have full LGBT rights in the UK. I mean a group called Stonewall definitely would say that there’s still a lot of work to fight for but in comparison to what’s going on in the States, yes it’s easier to say we have full equality. One of the things that just happened is we have an Olympic Diver Tom Daley who just came out and fortunately it was not that traumatic for him, but he was definitely suffering from online troll behavior in some people making really bad comments about him. He’s got a TV show coming out soon and I think he just wanted to put to bed that kind of bullying. I think for those of us in the West it’s important to remember even when you have legal rights that doesn’t necessarily mean that your life is going to be a ‘bowl of cherries’ but equally it’s a darn sight better than most people have in Africa and of course Russia and lots of other places. The second thing is I have been involved with so many aspects of LGBT history over the years whether it’s to do with HIV/AIDS, preservation of historical information or writing specifically about work made by our community. I’m 53 years-old and I’ve been active as an adult for over thirty years.”

Michael Petry graduated Rice University in Houston, received his Masters from London Guildhall University and has a Doctor in Arts from Middlesex University. Petry has authored numerous books since 1994 including “Hidden Histories: 20th Century Male Same Sex Lovers In The Visual Arts” in 2004, which was the first comprehensive survey of its kind. His one man show The Touch of the Oracle at the Palm Springs Art Museum in 2012 was accompanied by a ten year career review book distributed by Thames & Hudson which is also the publisher of his new book “Nature Morte: Contemporary Artists Reinvigorate the Still-Life Tradition”.
For More Info: michaelpetry.net

Monday, December 2, 2013

“America’s Got Talent” Jonathan Allen Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with singer Jonathan Allen who touched our hearts singing his way into the semi-finals on “America’s Got Talent”. When Jonathan first took the stage before delivering a stunning performance of "Por Ti Volare" he announced that he was kicked out of his parent’s home when he turned 18 because he was gay. This performance has been called the most emotional audition ever in the show’s history. Since the show wrapped, Jonathan has become a YouTube sensation with over 7 million views and counting. Allen will make his L.A. debut at Rockwell Table and Stage on Wednesday, December 18th. We talked to Jonathan about his music and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Allen stated, “My personal commitment isn’t so much to LGBT rights as much as everyone. I just want everyone to be equal and everyone to have a purpose in life. I’ll be working with The Trevor Project soon and I’m launching an organization called “The Personal Stories Project” which I’m very excited about. It’s the power of sharing stories and how that impacts people’s lives and how that kind of gives people hope hearing about other people’s stories and what they’re going through. I think it’s going to be a great organization and I’m really excited.” On the advancement of LGBT Equality in America Jonathan added, “We kind of live in a country where the advancement of LGBT equality has evolved over time. This past year I’m really excited; it seems like its definitely moving forward… I really hope we can become a country where equality is what we’re known for and I really think we can become that.”

Jonathan Allen a Tennessee native has been singing for as long as he can remember in his 21 years. He often used music as a safe place from the daily troubles of his childhood and grew up with a love for classical music, especially Pavarotti. Frequently compared to Josh Groban because of his operatic pipes, Jonathan has now set out to pursue his solo career and is working on a CD that infuses classical music with pop and dance music. His debut at Rockwell Table and Stage on Wednesday, December 18th in L.A. will include all genres of music including classical, pop and holiday favorites.
For More Info & Tix: jonathanallenmusic.com 

Monday, November 25, 2013

LGBT NOH8 Campaign Celebrates Five Years

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Jeff Parshley and his partner celebrity photographer Adam Bouska creators of the NOH8 Campaign. On Sunday December 15th the NOH8 Campaign will celebrate its 5th anniversary at Avalon in Hollywood. The NOH8 Campaign is the photographic silent protest created by Bouska and Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8 back in 2008. The iconic photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 with "NOH8" painted on one cheek in protest. Through social media and with a new app this movement has exceeded over 33,000 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate worldwide. The campaign started with portraits of everyday Californians from all walks of life and soon embraced politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, and many more. We talked to Jeff and Adam about how their grassroots organization has expanded to advance global LGBT equality and give us their spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what their personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Bouska stated, “For me when I got involved and Jeff got involved, we weren’t really looking to be activists, we weren’t really looking to start a campaign. We had an opportunity to share our story. Growing up in a small town in central Illinois, I didn’t have much media representation and much to look up to. In the media these days we have the power to control what others see and with social media we have the power to control what to put out there. So being a photographer and having that ability we want to raise awareness to put a face in sight and wanted to increase the awareness surrounding these issues by involving as many people as we can.” Parshley added, “We weren’t activists, we weren’t looking to be activists it just kind of happened, it was you know an accident. People started interpreting the message and sharing the message and speaking out. I think that today our commitment is to sharing stories of LGBT and allies just to kind of make a connection within everybody. You’d be surprised how many people said ‘Well Prop 8 doesn’t really affect me in California so either way it goes is fine because it really doesn’t matter.’ But when they know that someone that they love is affected its like 6 degrees of separation. We have to connect everybody to show that we’re all in this together and we’re all really affected by stuff even though not directly.”

The NOH8 Campaign, an approved 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization, has received overwhelming support from around the world. The images are widely used on various social networking sites to spread the message of LGBT equality. The next NOH8 photo shoot will take place on World Aids Day on December 1st at the new NOH8 headquarters at 2601 N San Fernando Blvd in Burbank, CA. from 2P to 5P. The 5TH Annual NOH8 Anniversary Celebration on December 15th at AVALON located at 1735 Vine Street in Los Angeles CA is a free event co-sponsored by Wen Hair & Body Care by Chaz Dean.
For More Info: noh8campaign.com

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ann Hampton Callaway Her Music & LGBT Equality

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with singer/songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway about her upcoming concerts. Ann will be appearing at 54 Below in NYC with her show "Songs I Wish I'd Written" with The Ted Rosenthal Trio on November 24th, 25th, 27th, 29th and 30th. Ann has also been commissioned by The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus to write a song called "I Love You More" which is a tribute to Tyler Clementi, the youth who took his life after being bullied for being gay. Stephen Schwartz chose several composers for this project to create this suite to honor his life. Callaway will perform its premiere March 25th and 26th. We talked to Ann about her upcoming shows and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Callaway stated, “It’s very interesting through the years, one of the most important things to me that I’ve noticed in terms of the quality of living is how essential it is to be yourself and each person has to define that for themselves. I think being a lesbian or bisexual to be more specific in this lifetime has been a fascinating adventure because in my early years I felt so alone and so uncertain how safe it was to be me and how to define how to share that especially pursuing a life in the public eye. So my own adventure and journey, sharing my real self, has really evolved through the years. I’ve tried to write many songs that address these issues. I’ve sung with numerous gay choruses through the years and I’ve politically in a private way been very supportive of organizations that have helped equality and helped educate people who don’t understand gay people…Now we’re in a very exciting time where marriage equality is really kind of shocking how much progress is being made. But at the same time, any time there’s progress there’s also a lot of very strong resistance and how do you address that resistance? It’s an interesting challenge for all of us to think about. I’m so grateful for the incredible political progress that so many have worked hard to make and I’ve tried to commit myself to speaking out and raising money at various concerts. I’ve been invited to be part of and I’ve been on about 30 gay cruises where part of being an entertainer is talking to people and telling stories and sharing stories, trying to heal wounds by listening and loving and sharing the ups and downs of being who you are. So I feel very strongly now after finally coming out more publicly that the rest of my life I’m going to do everything that I can to help people be their true selves. Whether they’re gay, straight, bi, confused, sexuality is a very complicated thing and it took me a while to fully understand my own because I was complicated. So I celebrate that beautiful part of ourselves and looking forward to marrying my beloved partner Kari Strand in the very near future.”

Ann Hampton Callaway is a champion of the great American Songbook whose gifts as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer have given her one of the most unique careers in music today. Callaway won the Theater World Award and received a Tony nomination for her starring role in the Broadway musical "Swing!" Known for writing and singing the theme of the hit TV series 'The Nanny", she’s written over 250 songs including the Platinum Award winning hits for Barbra Streisand "At the Same Time," "I've Dreamed of You" and "Christmas Lullaby" which has just been re-released on Barbra's latest holiday collection, "The Classic Christmas Album." Ann’s recorded 12 solo CD's and will be releasing "The Sarah Vaughan Project: Live at Dizzy's" early next year. Her critically acclaimed shows "Sibling Revelry" and "Boom!", with her sister Broadway star Liz Callaway, has been recorded live on CD and Ann's three time award-winning show “The Streisand Songbook” has taken the symphony world by storm.
For More Info: annhamptoncallaway.com 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Elyse Cherry LGBT Financial Leader Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Elyse Cherry CEO of Boston Community Capital who has earned national recognition for her groundbreaking work attacking the foreclosure crisis through an innovative combination of private and public dollars. Elyse is also an important voice in the LGBT community serving as the former Chair of MassEquality during the organization’s successful campaign for marriage equality in Massachusetts. We talked to Cherry about being one of the few women running a major financial institution and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Cherry stated, “Well that goes back a long way. I served on the GLAD board for many years, the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and chaired MassEquality actually when we got through the legislation in Massachusetts on civil marriage issues. For many years now it really focused on organizing the GLBT community on political matters ensuring that people who were running for office either federal or state are consistent with our views.” When asked for her reaction to the US Supreme Court Prop 8 & DOMA Rulings Elyse added, “I was absolutely delighted. That was such a long struggle and of course we were working here on among other things, on a business brief that is trying to get businesses to sign on this issue of how difficult it is to really run two different human resource undertakings. You have people who are not treated the same. That is you have people who can either marry and have the benefits of federal rights or not. I have to say on a more personal note I was so proud of Mary Bonauto who of course has been at GLAD forever and Maura Healey from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's office and the wonderful job they did. I went down and listened to them give their arguments to the First Circuit Court of Appeals and I couldn’t be more proud about the strength and the intellect and the character that resides in our community.”

Elyse Cherry as CEO of Boston Community Capital (BCC), has overseen the investment of over $900 million into low-income communities. Boston Community Capital is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) an organization dedicated specifically to using financial tools to make an impact in its community. With Elyse at the helm, BCC has increased assets by 3,500% and invested heavily in low-income communities programs that support housing, childcare and job creation in sustainable industries. Currently Elyse is also very active in LPAC (Lesbian Political Action Committee) that backs candidates that support our LGBT issues.
For More Info: bostoncommunitycapital.org

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gay Activist Sarah Schmidt Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Sarah Schmidt, Chair of LPAC (Lesbian Political Action Committee), about the group founded in July of 2012 by committed activists and donors to positively influence the current political and social landscape in this country. LPAC’s agenda is to give lesbians a real and meaningful seat at the political table. During the 2012 election LPAC raised over $700,000 to support candidates that supported our LGBT issues. We talked to Sarah about how LPAC is making a true impact for lesbians in politics and give us her spin on our LGBT civil rights.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Schmidt stated, “I grew up in a really awesome supportive family. When I came out to them in my early twenties there were very few ruffled feathers. I enjoyed an enormous amount of support from everyone from my parents to my siblings, to my great uncles and my grandma. I realized early on that this was a unique situation; I mean this was the 1990’s and Ellen Degeneres had just come out on her show and Melissa Etheridge was just on 20/20. I realized my life was pretty easy and things were pretty smooth for me compared to a lot of people that I knew and a lot of stories I was reading. I felt I really needed to do something from the very beginning; I felt like I kind of had to use that support. If I had all these people who had my back I felt an obligation to do something more significant with my time and energy and resources to advocate for people who didn’t have the same experience. It was really Kate Kendell who helped me engage more significantly politically and talked to me about how my political work could impact my overall goals and she helped me get involved with the Gill Action Fund. I’ve gotten very involved with the Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition, our whole marriage equality push here where I live in Chicago; I’ve devoted a lot of my time and resources to that. But I would say that LPAC is really the first thing that I’ve done that has required as much time from me on the equality spectrum and certainly the most visible thing I’ve done to date.”

Sarah Schmidt is the Founder and Principal of Sarah Schmidt Consulting LLC and is also actively involved in her family’s third generation business, U.S. Venture, Inc., where she serves on the Board of Directors. LPAC supports candidates who champion a range of issues that impact lesbians and their families which include: ending discriminatory treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families; supporting sexual and reproductive freedom and women’s access to quality healthcare and furthering social, racial and economic justice for all Americans. Its supporters include Billie Jean King, Jane Lynch, Laura Ricketts, Alix Ritchie and was conceptualized by Urvashi Vaid.
For More Info: teamlpac.com 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Margaret Cho Addresses LGBT Equality In MOTHER Tour

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with comedian/actress Margaret Cho about her current stand-up comedy show entitled MOTHER that takes on sex, queer politics, drugs, guns, identity and proving time and time again, boundaries uncrossed are meaningless. According to Margaret MOTHER offers up an untraditional look at motherhood and how we look at maternal figures and strong women in queer culture. Cho stated, “I think that if you’re queer, if you’re a woman of color and if you do comedy it’s like your voice is very important. Your existence is political and so I think it’s a really great thing and what I’ve always tried to accomplish and now that I’m older it’s even more important.” We talked to Margaret about her current tour and give us her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Cho added, “Well I’m bisexual and so I’m definitely involved and also it’s about my upbringing, my childhood and my upbringing within the queer political community in San Francisco. It was a big deal for me and had a great impact on me. It’s something that is in my heart and in my history and in my life and it always will be.” Cho also addressed her reaction to the US Supreme Court finally ruling that Proposition 8 and DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional as well as discussing her strong commitment to end the epidemic of LGBT teen bullying suicides.

 Margaret is touring MOTHER in various U.S. markets as well as in Europe and Australia. Her fabulous supporting role on Lifetime Network TV show “Drop Dead Diva” just finished its 5th season. She’ll be appearing on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on November 19th and she has teamed with her opening act from her MOTHER tour, comedian Jim Short, for a brand new podcast show called “Monsters of Talk.” Cho will be appearing at The Wilbur in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday November 6th at 8P. 
For MOTHER Tour Info & Tix: margaretcho.com

Monday, October 21, 2013

Curtis Shaw Gay Activist Producer Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with producer Curtis Shaw about his new documentary “TWO: The Story Of Roman and Nyro”. The film documents Shaw’s 12-year journey with his husband legendary songwriter Desmond Child and the extraordinary story how they connected with Angela Whittaker who would carry their twin sons Roman and Nyro into the world. “TWO” started out as Angela’s video diary from pre-conception through the boys’ first 10 years and developed into over 300 hours of footage. The project was then handed over to director Heather Winters and editor Lennon Nersesian who crafted it into a full-length feature film that tells a personal and powerful story of love and what makes a modern family. We talked to Curtis about this must-see documentary and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Shaw stated, “Desmond and I have always been supporters of the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and the Family Equality Council. I think that our choice to live here in Nashville says quite a bit of where our hearts are. We’re doing more to change hearts and minds in the trenches of the Midwest and the South than we would ever do on the sidelines of soccer games in Santa Monica California and New York City. Desmond wrote a song "Livin' La Vida Loca" and so we always say we live La Vida Loca which is true but you know we’re just living our lives and we have activists’ hearts and it’s been our way to be able to live our lives in the moment without interference from much publicity or anything from the outside because Nashville isn’t that kind of community. But with every connection, our parenting community at school, on the soccer field with families from different spectrums in the South you know we’re changing hearts and minds.”

Curtis met his life partner Desmond Child in the Spring of 1989 and they married in New York celebrating 24 years together in 2013. Grammy-winning songwriter producer Desmond Child has written and produced over 70 Top 40 singles with 300 million albums sold worldwide. In 2008 Child was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. After playing the film festival circuit “TWO: The Story Of Roman and Nyro”, which marks Curtis first film production, opened at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles on October 18, 2013.

For More Info: twothedocumentary.com