Wednesday, January 27, 2016

SAGE & Friends Miami LGBT Fundraising Event

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Elizabeth Schwartz, Co-chair of the Board of Directors of SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) about their upcoming event that takes place February 6th in Miami at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables from 6P to 8P. The evening will be honoring LGBT Pioneer Activists Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz. The SAGE & Friends Miami fundraising event supports SAGE's important work on behalf of LGBT older adults locally and nationally. This generation of gays and lesbians who are now approaching their 70s and 80s are unfortunately facing new discriminations as they age. Entering independent and assisted living facilities as well as receiving other services has presented enormous problems for some elderly gay and lesbians who must confront a still existing ignorance that forces them back into the closet. One of SAGE’s missions is to educate these facilities and all services offered to our older LGBT population so that they can continue to enjoy this stage of their lives with a sense of openness and acceptance. The SAGE & Friends Miami event will be an evening of cocktails and delicious snacks at a gorgeous venue, all for an effective organization and critical cause. We talked to Elizabeth about this fabulous event and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Schwartz stated, “I’ve always been committed to this cause. I’ve been involved in LGBT activism for decades and on various issues but especially since I’ve seen older people in my life get exploited and taken advantage of and left destitute, it’s definitely been a real call to action. But I’ll say even through action, I worked to repeal the marriage ban and to repeal the adoption ban in the state of Florida and to do lots of work to agitate for change, I’m very mindful that marriage equality came too late for many people in our community and definitely came too late for a lot of older adults who perhaps might have been with their partners for decades but weren’t married long enough to get social security survivor benefits, weren’t married in the right jurisdiction or died too soon or lost parental rights because they weren’t able to adopt soon enough. So I feel like while many people seem to be thinking that marriage equality means, we’re done, we’re out, I feel like doubling down now and I feel like now is when we really need to ramp-up and tweak the rights for the rest of everyone else for whom marriage came too late or it doesn’t solve the problem. You know like folks who are still working and so you get married on Sunday and Monday get fired from their job, treatment that LGBT older adults are receiving in nursing homes and facilities are so abominable and there is so much we can do and I feel since we got the momentum from our marriage win and folks are starting to wake up and see like, OK maybe LGBT people are humans deserving rights and dignity that now is our opportunity to keep that momentum going and to really ramp-up the protections that we provide for everyone in our community.”

Elizabeth Schwartz has been practicing law since 1997 and is one of Florida's best-known advocates for the legal rights of our LGBT community. While her firm equally works with straight and gay clients in matters of family law, estate planning and probate, she has been at the forefront of providing crucial legal protections for LGBT families. Elizabeth lectures locally, nationally and internationally about the impact of nationwide marriage equality and the continued importance of LGBT couples protecting their loved ones through estate planning, stepparent and second parent adoption.
For Sage & Friend Event Tix: giveto.sageusa.org

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ken Henderson Creating Change With Entertainment

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Ken Henderson Executive Director of Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation that for over twenty years has raised millions of dollars by producing Broadway quality entertainment events and galas to advance HIV treatments and support AIDS services until there is a cure. Recently REAF has expanded its fundraising focus to the Bay Area’s growing demand for two new areas by providing food for the needy and programs that support homeless, disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. On February 1st REAF presents “One Night Only Benefit Cabaret” with the touring cast of the Tony Award-winning cast of “Jersey Boys” that takes place at Brava Theater 2781 24th Street in San Francisco at 7:30P. Songs from “Jersey Boys” will not be performed but instead they will provide an evening of music, dance and comedy. We talked to Ken about this fabulous philanthropy and stellar entertainment organization and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Henderson stated, “As a gay man that’s one of the most important things I think in my life is trying to have equality and full rights like everyone else. I’ve been involved with HIV fundraising for the last 22 years but I’ve been around and seen the impact HIV has had on our community and I’ve seen the changes in our community. We fought hard for the rights that we have and it's advanced much faster than I ever thought it would. Having marriage equality and everything across the country not just in one or two places, has been a huge impact, although I know we have a Republican caucus coming up that is trying to change all of that and it’s not a time to let our guard down. We have to fight harder than ever to make sure that the rights we have won continue to exist and that we continue to advance.”

Ken Henderson serves as Executive Director of REAF and has served as Co-Producer for REAF events since its inception in 1994 when founders Barbara Richmond and Peggy Ermet called Joe Seiler and Ken with an idea of producing a benefit to honor both their sons and help raise funds to help support the HIV/AIDS agencies that provided services for their sons before they died; they both readily accepted. Doug Ermet had been an especially close friend to Ken and Joe and it seemed a great way to pay tribute to their great friend as well as make a significant contribution to the fight against AIDS. Ken’s love of theatre made Barbara and Peggy’s appeal even more inviting. Ken also maintains a graphic design business and has worked with many non-profits on their fundraising events. As one of the original founders of REAF he has helped create REAF’s vision and oversee most of REAF’s event committees. In addition to co-producing the  “One Night Only Benefit Cabaret” series of fundraisers for REAF and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS they produce "Help is on the Way" and "Help is on the Way for the Holidays” productions. Additionally Ken has been the key contact for corporate underwriting for REAF overseeing the beneficiary selection process as the chief administrative officer and donates his graphic design skills and time to the foundation. Ken is motivated by so many friends he has lost to AIDS and those still fighting the battle, but as we move closer toward a cure there’s still a lot more work to do to end this epidemic once and for all. 
For More Info & Tix: reaf-sf.org

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jen Richards Creates New LGBT Web Series

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with writer-actress Jen Richards about her fabulous new web series HER STORY. The series is co-written by Jen who we first became familiar with on the reality series I AM CAIT and Laura Zak from the tello series #HASHTAG. On January 19th this groundbreaking series will release its six-episode first season on their website and YouTube. The scripted new series follows Violet (Jen Richards) and Paige (Angelica Ross) as two transgender women in Los Angeles who have almost given up on love when suddenly chance encounters renew their hope for happiness. Violet is drawn to Allie (Laura Zak), a reporter who approaches her for an interview while career-driven Paige meets James (Christian Ochoa), the first man she considers opening up to in years. Like trans actress Laverne Cox who plays a transgender character in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK all the transgender roles in HER STORY are played by transgender actresses which keeps this series uniquely genuine. We talked to Jen about her inspiration for HER STORY and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Richards stated, “I think I’d like to see just more of everything. My particular focus lately has been representation in media and I’d like to see trans representation flourish. I’d like to see gender queer representation and non-binary representation. I’d like to see us as both heroes and villains. I’d like to see us as love partners. I’d like to see us as doctors and lawyers. I’d like to see us on screen where our trans identity wasn’t the only reason we’re part of the story; we’re part of larger stories that include the full portrayal of our complicated lives and identities. Then beyond trans representation I think more than anything I would like to see a real reduction in violence against trans women of color that’s been really horrifying to me and I’ve been working behind the scenes for many years. In some ways HER STORY is a reaction to those kinds of events. I’d like to see everything from large corporations to local ma & pa shops start hiring trans people. I’d like to see trans people protected in schools, that they feel safe there and they can get an education. I’d like to see religious communities accept trans people as members of their flocks and help keep them protected as well.”

Jen Richards received her BA in Philosophy from Shimer College, studied at Oxford University and in Kyoto, Japan. She has published articles, lectured and led workshops on a variety of topics across the country as well as being a consultant and advocate focusing on nonprofit management and gender and racial justice working with national organizations and media projects. Jen was also featured in Logo’s “Beautiful As I Want To Be”, several episodes of AOL’s “True Trans” with Laura Jane Grace and appears in videos for BuzzFeed and OWN. She was previously the Co-Founder and Director of “The Trans 100” and creator of “We Happy Trans” a website dedicated to celebrating positive transgender experiences that has received national media attention. HER STORY’s Executive Producer is Eve Ensler, produced by Katherine Fisher/Speed of Joy Productions and directed by Sydney Freeland with cinematography by Bérénice Eveno. This groundbreaking web series features predominantly LGBTQ women, on and off-screen and premiers on January 19th.
For More Info: herstoryshow.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Filmmaker Tim McCarthy Global LGBT Mission

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Filmmaker Tim McCarthy about his recent trip to Uganda to complete the filming of his documentary “Voices of the Abasiyazzi – Combatting Homophobia in Uganda” that he is producing with Pepe Julian Onziema. Abasiyazzi is the Ugandan equivalent of the American word queer. McCarthy has been exploring our LGBT community in Uganda since 1999 and filming his documentary on location for the last five years. Tim tells us that Uganda is fifty years behind our country in achieving LGBT equality. His work in Uganda also includes teaching video techniques to our Ugandan LGBT community so they can continue to tell their stories. Tim has traveled the world exploring and filming LGBT culture in 91 countries and all 7 continents. He has built an incredible LGBT film archive that he is in the process of preserving. We talked to Tim about the inspiration for his work and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights McCarthy stated, “I came out at thirteen years old because it was essential to me for my own life. I knew that coming out was my only way to really hold on to who I was because it was something of value that I knew I had. I didn’t understand what it was but I knew it was there. My entire life, I’m now 58, has been fighting for LGBTI rights, not just here in the United States but around the planet. My life’s dedication is to every single country there is and finding our people, particularly going to non-American, non-Capitalistic, non-Christian places and seeing how LGBTI people live there and of course we have. I’ve been to 91 countries now and I’ve never failed to find us. But what’s important in that is in our society there’s still the understanding in some rightwing quarters that we are not proper and that AIDS was God’s revenge and a variety of other crazy things. When you go to non-American, non-Capitalistic, non-Christian places you see that we exist there. So those arguments fundamentally are false and the empirical evidence is inequitable. To me my entire life has been spent fighting for but not just us as a people, to be clear with you, but for me as a person. I deserve to know who I am before I die and that is what I extend to everyone.”

Tim McCarthy is an LGBT Video Historian who has traveled the world since April 1990 in search of LGBT culture in 91 countries so far and all 7 continents. Some of Tim's archival footage appeared in the Oscar Nominated documentary "How To Survive A Plague". He is also an award winning filmmaker and has filmed Life Portraits with Harry Hay, James Broughton, Marvin Liebman, Urvashi Vaid, Barney Frank, Edward Albee, Steve Endean, Barbara Gittings and hundreds of others. He is currently completing his documentary “Voices of the Abasiyazzi – Combatting Homophobia in Uganda” and in the process of preserving his archive of our LGBT stories and Provincetown’s video archives at liptv.us.
For More Info: abasiyazzi.com