Monday, February 24, 2014

Antigone Rising Rocks For LGBT Equality

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Kristen Ellis-Henderson and Cathy Henderson cofounders of the all-female alternative country rock band Antigone Rising. After touring with acts such as The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, The Allman Brothers Band, The Bangles and traveling to Israel and the West Bank as cultural ambassadors for the United States Embassy, the band has introduced their latest single "That Was The Whiskey". It’s featured on the first of their two five-song CDs entitled "Whiskey & Wine - Volume 1" set for release on March 25th. ("Whiskey & Wine - Volume 2" will be out October 28th 2014.) Earlier this month Antigone Rising appeared on Olivia Travel’s Caribbean Equality & Leadership Cruise with Edie Windsor, Maya Angelou, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Meredith Baxter and Judy Gold among others. We talked to Kristen and Cathy about their music and their spin on our LGBT issues.

 When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Kristen stated, “For me you know I’ve got family and I’ve got kids and I think it’s really important to set the best example possible for them, obviously. It’s also something that Sara my wife and I have naturally moved towards. Sara was Chairman of Out At Time Inc. when she was working at a magazine called Real Simple and so we often went out to events hosted by HRC or GLAAD, things like that so we became part of the movement. Then we ended up writing a book Sara and I because we got pregnant on the exact same day but that’s a whole story to itself. With that we realized we’ve got a voice here and we can be part of this movement and we want to be. So we ended up working with GLAAD quite a bit and going out and being spokespeople during the marriage equality movement here in New York, which is the state we live in. We’ve become involved in the movement and very passionate about it. My wife and I want to be sure that our kids see that you can be whoever you want to be. You can do whatever you want to do and you should be proud of who you are and so that’s kind of our mission.”

Antigone Rising consists of Kristen Ellis-Henderson on bass guitar/vocals, Cathy Henderson on lead guitar/vocals, Dena Tauriello on drums and Nini Camps on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Last spring Kristen Ellis-Henderson and her wife Sarah Kate Ellis who was recently appointed President and CEO of GLAAD were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine's groundbreaking marriage equality issue. Antigone Rising has also launched a fundraising campaign at pledgemusic.com to support their music and touring, with 5% of the proceeds to be donated to GLAAD. Update: “That Was The Whiskey!” has been nominated for Country Song of the Year by Independent Music Awards.
For More Dates & Info: antigonerising.com

Monday, February 17, 2014

LGBT Sports Activist Anna Aagenes Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Anna Aagenes, Executive Director of GO! Athletes, which is the first national educational organization dedicated to LGBTQ student athletes. GO! (Generation Out) Athletes connects current and former LGBT student athletes and allies at high school, collegiate and post-graduate levels to educate and empower future generations of LGBT athletes. They also serve as a united voice to encourage schools to create safer spaces for LGBT athletes. GO! Athletes is also dedicated to educating coaches, administrators and fans to foster athletic communities that are accepting of all athletes regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. GO! Athletes has created the #Out4Olympics campaign in response to the public outcry over Russia's anti-LGBT policies. We talked to Aagenes about the importance of this campaign and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her spin is on the Sochi Olympics with Russia’s anti gay laws Aagenes stated, “You know it’s been very disheartening to see the stories of brutal harassment attacks and the laws that are obviously really discriminatory against the LGBT community and those who have traveled there for the Olympic Games. We began a campaign last year which we call Out 4 Olympics. So we hash tag Out the number Four and Olympics. (#Out4Olympics) We’ve done grassroots campaigns before but this is really LGBTQ athletes supporting fellow athletes. You know some of us have the privilege of being able to come out and those who do we hope can show support and solidarity to those in Russia, those traveling to Russia and those who can’t come out yet or don’t feel comfortable coming out yet. It’s really been exciting to see high school students, college students, coaches, even professional players some of them, utilizing the campaign. We have a Twitim which means you can change you profile picture on Twitter and Facebook and what we’re going to do with that is compile that into a culmination at the end of the games.”

Anna Aagenes was captain of the University of Pennsylvania Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Team, a school record holder in three relay events and an NCAA Regional qualifier in the 800m and 1500m. Currently she is the District Office Director for openly gay Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims. February 28th will conclude GO! Athletes #Out4Olympics campaign and all photos will be compiled into a book to be presented to the USOC and the IOC.
For More Info: goathletes.org

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rea Carey National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Update

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force about the 26th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change that recently took place in Houston, Texas. Over 4,000 people from all over the country attended this five-day program that featured over 390 workshops, training sessions, meetings and events. This year’s Keynote speaker was Laverne Cox best known for her work on “Orange is the New Black”. Carey gave the State of the Movement address, looking forward to critical legislative issues specifically affecting our LGBT community, including passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and fair immigration reform. She also included the need for access to quality, affordable health care and racial and economic justice-related issues. We talked to Rea about this important conference and her spin on our LGBT issues.

'When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Carey stated, “Well it started in a few places. My parents were very politically active in the progressive community and in grassroots politics going door-to-door talking about issues they cared about and I grew up with that. I also grew up in a community that cared very much about racial justice in the 1960’s and 1970’s and it’s really been my life’s work. I started my activism and advocacy working on issues that effect LGBT queer youth as well as HIV/AIDS. In fact, at the same time, I was a member of Act Up DC and I was an LGBT lobbyist. So that also has formed my commitment which is that there are many strategies that we have to engage in grassroots organizing, legal strategies, sometimes taking to the streets, talking to decision makers, in order to achieve change. So I have truly devoted my life to evolving justice for LGBT people.”

Rea Carey is one of the most prominent leaders in the U.S. LGBT rights movement. She became Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2008 after serving as their deputy executive director since 2004. Through her leadership she has advanced a vision of fairness and justice for LGBT people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force was founded in 1973 and works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality.
For More Info: thetaskforce.org  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Harvard India Conference To Address LGBT Rights

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Pothik Chatterjee who has organized an important panel entitled “LGBT Rights in India: The Way Forward” that takes place at Harvard University on Sunday February 16th from 4:10P to 5:10P. The panel will be addressing the recent re-criminalization of homosexuality by the Supreme Court of India with Section 377. The panel will focus on how this anti gay law will affect the lives of our LGBT community in India and how to channel this setback into productive policy and effective strategy. It’s all part of the Harvard India Conference 2014: ‘Turning the Page: Prospects & Paradoxes” that takes place February 15th and 16th. We talked to Pothik about “LGBT Rights in India: The Way Forward” and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Chatterjee stated, “My personal commitment to LGBT civil rights began when I was an undergraduate at Georgetown University, which you might know is a Catholic/Jesuit university. While I was an undergraduate I was part of the student movement to establish an LGBT resource center on our campus to help undergraduate students with coming out to their family and friends, being out on campus and deal with bullying and some harassment that was taking place on campus. We faced a lot of opposition initially because of the Jesuit administration and fears about how the alumni would react but ultimately we were successful and Georgetown has an LGBTQ Student Center and so that was a great victory. Since then I have marched with the Human Rights Campaign at Washington D.C.’s Pride and before that I use to live in Toronto, Canada where I volunteered for the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention and I helped facilitate a queer support group called DOSTI for South Asian gay men and many of them were recent immigrates so they were new to Canada and new to North America. It was a great experience and I continue that LGBT activism here at Harvard with my involvement with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender student alliance and I think it’s a good time to be at Harvard Business School where people have a more open mindset and people are more willing to talk about being gay and being out and open in the context of business in the professional world. So it’s quite an exciting time.”

Pothik Chatterjee is currently finishing his MBA at Harvard Business School and will graduate in May 2014. Speakers for the “LGBT Rights in India: The Way Forward” panel will include Ashok Row Kavi, Mesma Belsare, Apphia Kumar, Amit Dixit, Ramakrishnan Kazhiyur-Mannar, Siddharth Narrain and Jonathan Ripley at the Harvard Kennedy School Sunday February 16th from 4:10 to 5:10P.
For More Info: harvardindiaconference.com