Monday, April 28, 2014

Jen Foster Her Music & LGBT Equality

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with singer/songwriter Jen Foster about the SHE4ME Marriage Equality PSA that is airing on Logo TV. The 30-second spot features clips from SHE4ME the superb, award-winning marriage equality music video set to a remix of the iconic lesbian anthem “She” by Foster. The song has been a favorite within the lesbian community for over a decade and is often used in commitment ceremonies. Renowned music producer Eve Nelson (Chaka Khan, Nicki Minaj) reworked the song and this fabulous video was directed and produced by the legendary Nicole Conn (Claire Of The Moon, Elena Undone, A Perfect Ending). Foster who makes a cameo appearance in the video also served as executive producer along with Marriage Equality USA and Melke Pty Ltd. We talked to Foster about what she hopes to accomplish with SHE4ME and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Foster stated, “My personal commitment is on a personal level. When I first started writing songs in high school I was feeling like an outcast and I was always drawn to the kids that also felt like outcasts. So my personal commitment has always been just to put out music that’s honest about these subjects. I’ve written about bullying; I’ve written about equality but from a very personal level because I don’t think you can preach to people in a very clinical way about that, you have to come from personal experience. So that’s sort of my contribution but I’m definitely committed to it and committed to standing up for the right for everyone to be themselves and to love who they naturally love.”

Jen Foster has a list of musical accomplishments that should leave most artists satisfied but after years of owning her own record label Fosterchild Records, writing and recording four solo projects, touring and playing festivals across the country, writing music for film and television and growing an ardent fan base, she strives for more. Besides her She4ME project that helps support MEUSA, Fosterchild Records has spearheaded several other projects that aligns music with the charitable causes. Foster is passionate about “The Writer’s Share” a songwriter series at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee in which she brought together high-profile artist/writers including Richard Marx and Keb’ Mo to raise money and awareness for the TJ Martell Foundation for Cancer, Leukemia and AIDS. In 2013 her “Christmas Time Is Here” video project donated funds for “Hope For Paws” the animal rescue non-profit organization. Foster also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International. Currently Jen is working on a new song entitled “Not So Different” that she hopes to align with a cause and an album to be released in 2014.
For More Info: jenfoster.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hit LGBT Series “EastSiders” Announce Second Season

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor/producers Kit Williamson and John Halbach about the second season of their hit TV web series “EastSiders” on VIACOM/LOGO. Last season their critically acclaimed dark comedy starred Van Hansis (As the World Turns) and Kit Williamson (Mad Men) as a gay couple struggling through staying together in the aftermath of infidelity. The new season will have exciting new storylines and additions to the cast including Willam Belli (Drag Race, Nip/Tuck), Satya Bhabha (New Girl, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Brea Grant (Heroes, Dexter) and Vera Miao (Best Friends Forever) as a lesbian couple. “EastSiders” first season was successfully funded via Kickstarter after reaching their goal within four days. Their second season Kickstarter goal of $125,000 must be met by May 14th or they will not receive any of the funds. We talked to Williamson and John Halbach about “EastSiders” and their spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what their personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Halbach stated, “My personal commitment is living a life as an openly gay person. I think that it’s really important that we are visible in the community and to the world and to our family and friends and people who we work with on a day-to-day basis. I think that is ultimately how we can progress our cause. Williamson added, “And also through the storytelling traditions of getting our stories out there online and for me personally, I am from the state of Mississippi and recently Mississippi somewhat quietly in comparison to contention in Arizona passed an anti gay discrimination law. They legalized discrimination against gay people on the grounds of religious belief and there’s a huge campaign going on right now within the state where people are working to promote anti discrimination with a new business coalition of people started in Fondren, which is a really cool neighborhood where I’m from. People are getting stickers and flyers out to businesses to show their support for anti discrimination. Unlike Arizona this bill was signed into law by the Governor, Phil Byrant and we really need to do our best to get the word out nationally about this because Mississippi should experience the same backlash that Arizona experienced when it put this out there. I feel there’s this perception Mississippi is a lost cause that I reject and I really think that we should be focusing on and caring about the LGBT people in Mississippi as much as we cared about them in Arizona.”

“EastSiders” experienced a whirlwind year that included making its cable broadcast debut as a feature film on LogoTV. “EastSiders” won the Indie Series Awards and LA Web Fest. They secured DVD and International VOD distribution from Wolfe Video and released a new web comic. “EastSiders” will begin shooting a second season this summer.
For More Info: eastsiderstheseries.com

Monday, April 14, 2014

AIDS Activist Scott Campbell Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Scott Campbell, Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation which has been identified by Funders for LGBTQ Issues as the largest funder of programs for black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer individuals. EJAF founder Sir Elton John stated, “We are immensely proud to be recognized by Funders for LGBTQ Issues for our work focused on the needs of black LGBTQ communities. At the Elton John AIDS Foundation, we see the fight for equality for black Americans and LGBTQ people and the effort to achieve a world without AIDS as one and the same, because racism and homophobia are major drivers of the epidemic.” Black Americans represent only 13% of the population but account for 46% of people living with HIV in the United States. We talked to Scott about addressing this alarming statistic and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT equality Campbell stated, “I think that every person should care about each other. Whether that’s in our families, our communities, our societies, we have an obligation to think about others, not just ourselves. I really think that it is the basis of all civil and human rights but I think it’s also interesting to point out that in the US we have a constitution and laws and these provide certain rights and recognition on issues that range from marriage and adoption all the way to protection from violence and recently with the whole discussion on healthcare reform and just healthcare in general, the US has started to define a right to healthcare. The US Supreme Court says that people shouldn’t be discriminated against because of who they love or because of their gender. So to me that’s sort of my perspective on LGBTQ civil rights but civil rights in general. That’s the kind of thing that I would be committed to both personally and certainly on behalf of the Foundation.”

The Elton John AIDS Foundation believes that AIDS can be beaten. They act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people’s lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. The two foundations together have raised more than $300 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment services and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
 For More Info: ejaf.org 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Speak OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with designers Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams about the 25th anniversary of their company. Twenty-five years ago they based their manufacturing in rural North Carolina, the “Buckle of The Bible Belt,” where it remains there today. For decades their bold ad campaigns have frequently included gay and lesbian couples, “alternative” families and sexy models. Though this has caused raised eyebrows and jaws to drop, sales have gone up year after year. The company has been recognized for its innovative campaigns including being honored with the Public Visibility Award at the first GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising. Gold and Williams are celebrating their brand’s 25th year by giving back to 25 communities where their signature stores appear and in a new coffee table book, published by Assouline, which shares 25 of the company’s mantras for success in design, business and life. They also gave us their spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what their personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Gold stated, “Well Bob and I living down south starting the factory in 1989 by 1992 when President Clinton was elected, we really first started to see the backlash and the anti LGBT vitriolic talk, especially from religious leaders down south and throughout the country and that really got us involved. When we saw progress on LGBT civil rights go backwards we became involved with the Human Rights Campaign, in Equality North Carolina and several different organizations and we have been very active since then. About eight years ago I cofounded with Reverend Jimmy Creech “Faith In America” which educates people about the harm of religious bigotry to the LGBT community and Bob is on the board and very supportive. So we have a really deep commitment and I would go out and say that of anybody going out to buy home furnishings there is no company that is more on the forefront of not just supporting LGBT advocacy groups and having started one but also supporting candidates that vote for our equal rights.”

Mitchell Gold is also editor of the book “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America” and “Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay” that was released in paperback in 2011. Mitchell resides in North Carolina with his spouse, Tim Gold who he married in Des Moines, IA, in June 2010. Bob Williams lives in North Carolina with his partner Stephen Heavner. Their next 25th anniversary celebration will take place in Boston on April 25th to benefit The Pine Street Inn.
For More Info: mgbwhome.com