Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ruthie Berman Talks Documentary & LGBTQ Equality (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with pioneer lesbian activist Ruthie Berman about the documentary “Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House”. The updated version was directed by three-time Oscar nominee Deborah Dickson and is available on Starz, Amazon and numerous streaming networks. This hour-long vérité documentary explores the lives of Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz who met in Brooklyn, New York in the 1950’s and became friends. Both were married to men at the time and had children. Kurtz moved to Israel with her family in 1970 and when she returned to visit America in 1974 she and Ruthie fell in love, divorced their husbands and became a couple. The movie chronicles the struggle this brave couple went through to live their life authentically. One of the clips includes their appearance on The Phil Donahue Show where they publicly came out in 1988. For Connie coming out was liberating but for Ruthie it was wrenching. The journey that followed changes their lives forever and turned them both into national heroines. As a couple they successfully sued the New York City Board of Education for domestic partner benefits winning benefits for all New York City employees in 1994. Berman and Kurtz started branches of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Florida and New York and in 2000 they began serving as co-chairs of the New York State NOW Lesbian Rights Task Force. They also founded The Answer is Loving Counseling Center and worked there for over twenty years. They were legally married on July 26, 2011 in New York officiated by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum. We talked to Berman about “Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

In 2016 Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz were honored with the SAGE Pioneer Award presented by Services and Advocacy For LGBTQ Elders. Then in 2017 the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2017 was introduced to Congress. If passed this bill will amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include the specific needs for our LGBTQ community. Sadly Connie Kurtz passed away in 2018 but she lives on in this fabulous documentary that everyone should see and in her art at connieart.com  Currently Ruthie lives in Palm Beach County, Florida where she is active in Democratic, LGBTQ, feminist and #BlackLivesMatter politics.
For More Info: ruthieandconniethemovie.com


Friday, December 13, 2019

Judy Dlugacz Talks Olivia Travel “Beautiful Together” (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Judy Dlugacz, President & CEO of Olivia Travel about their new campaign aimed at making a political statement with the company’s first-ever billboard in Times Square. The “Because She Said Yes” campaign embodies Olivia’s message of love, acceptance and community projected across three jumbo screens and carries images of LGBTQ women aimed at showcasing the company’s longstanding commitment to equality. The new billboard covers a 7,000-square-foot viewing area that spans 21 floors and can be seen at the intersection of 7th Ave and 42nd Street in Times Square. The billboards feature real Olivia guests and will be displayed through January 31, 2020. The campaign is an important milestone in LGBTQ+ women’s representation in Times Square and is timed to ensure that it will be seen by millions who visit Times Square during the holiday season and tune into the iconic New Year’s Eve broadcasts across the broadcast networks and cable television. In addition Olivia is also launching a contest encouraging LGBTQ+ women to share photos of themselves across social media using the hashtag, #beautifultogether. The company will pick one participant who enters by January 31, 2020 to win a vacation for two to Turks and Caicos Resort II, November 14th to 20th 2020. All entries received before 11:59 PM PT on December 15th 2019 will also be eligible to be featured during the Olivia Times Square billboard campaign. We talked to Judy about what she hopes to accomplish with the “Beautiful Together” campaign and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

For over 45 years Olivia has been a leader in experiences, opportunities and inclusion. From its early beginnings as Olivia Records to now the 30th anniversary of operation as Olivia Travel it’s a force for positive change to build a better and more accepting world for the LGBTQ+ women’s community. Olivia has taken over 250,000 women on more than 350 cruise, resort, riverboat and adventure vacations all over the world. These are not ordinary off-the-shelf vacations. They are made for LGBTQ+ women featuring dynamic entertainers and speakers and custom programming. Olivia welcomes all LGBTQ-identified women and their friends on their trips. Olivia’s mission has always been about love, acceptance and building community.
For More Info: olivia.com

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christin Baker Talks First LGBTQ Holiday Movie (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Christin Baker, President & CEO of Tello Films about her new holiday film “Season of Love”. This year with over 100 holiday films shown on the two romantic comedy networks Hallmark and Lifetime sadly none of these films feature an LGBTQ couple. “Season of Love” fills that void and is definitely headed to becoming a classic holiday movie staple in the "Love Actually" genre. Written by Kathryn Trammell and directed by Baker this must-see film is a lighthearted rom-com featuring a large ensemble cast of diverse women and their connected love lives during the hectic holiday period just before Christmas through the New Year who discover love truly is the best gift of all. The stellar cast brings together actresses from classic LGBTQ films and current television shows including Dominique Provost-Chalkley ("Wynonna Earp", "Avengers: Age of Ultron"), Jessica Clark ("True Blood", "A Perfect Ending"), Emily Goss (“Snapshots”), Laur Allen (“Young and the Restless”), Janelle Marie and Sandra Mae Frank ("Deaf West's Spring Awakening", "Daybreak”). “Season of Love” came together from a Queer Holiday Feature Pitch contest and was produced by Tello Films with DASH Productions' Ashley Arnold and Danielle Jablonski. The film also delivers a very Christmassy soundtrack featuring a wide range of original tunes and favorites. We talked to Christin about what she hopes to accomplish with this breakthrough queer holiday film and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Christin Baker is passionate about providing our lesbian community with quality entertainment. She is an award-winning director and an Emmy-nominated producer, a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. With 15 original Tello produced projects under her belt and just as many in various levels of pre- and post-production Christin is determined to provide our lesbian community with the quality entertainment that we deserve and the stories that we crave. “Season of Love” recently screened with cast and crew in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Nashville and London and is a great holiday gift retailing at $14.99.
For More Info: tellofilms.com

Monday, November 25, 2019

Jeffrey Solomon Talks “The Santa Closet” Premiere (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with playwright/performer Jeffrey Solomon about his play “The Santa Closet” that will have its premiere Tuesday December 3rd at Teatro Círculo Theater at 64 East 4th Street in NYC with a limited engagement through Sunday December 22nd presented by Houses On The Moon. “The Santa Closet” is an updated version of Solomon’s acclaimed solo play “Santa Claus is Coming Out” which premiered Off-Broadway in 2009. On the 10th anniversary of that production this new version reflects the advances and nuances in our understanding of LGBTQ lives and remains as timely 10 years later as when it first broke ground. In “The Santa Closet” little Gary's gender atypical gift request sent to the North Pole is denied. A series of subsequent heartfelt letters from the child nudge Santa Claus out of the closet right into the center of a heated culture war. The play is directed by Joe Brancato with the creative team including Claire DeLiso (scenic design), Christopher S. Chambers (lighting design), Yana Biryukova (projections design) and Obadiah Eaves (sound design/original music). The Production Stage Manager is Jamie Rose Bukowski. We talked to Jeffrey about what he hopes to accomplish with “The Santa Closet” and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Jeffrey Solomon is the co-founder of Houses on the Moon Theater Company a New York City not-for-profit with a mission to amplify unheard voices. Jeffrey wrote and directed two original Houses productions, “Building Houses on the Moon” (Lucille Lortel Theatre, City Theatre, Pittsburgh, Winner: Best Play for an Ensemble, Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival) and “De Novo” (59E59 St. Theaters, Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, Palacio Tecleño in El Salvador). He is also the playwright of “Tara's Crossing” which appeared at the Queens Theatre’s Immigrant Voice’s Project and had its world premiere run at the Tenement Theatre in New York. Solomon's original teleplay for "CityKids" (ABC/Jim Henson Productions) received an Emmy Nomination for Best Children's Special as well as winning an Ollie Award for excellence in Children's Programming. “The Santa Closet” runs from December 3rd to 22nd performing on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7P, Fridays at 8P, Saturdays at 2P and 8P and Sundays at 3P with an additional performance on Tuesday December 3rd at 7P. Tickets are $35 with special reserved seating available at $55.
For More Info: housesonthemoon.org


Friday, November 15, 2019

Joshua Lyon Talks New Edie Windsor Memoir (AUDIO)


In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with author Joshua Lyon about Edie Windsor’s memoir “A Wild And Precious Life” published by St. Martin’s Press. Lyon began collaborating with Windsor before her passing in 2017 and completed the memoir with cooperation from Edie’s spouse Judith Kasen-Windsor who provided Edie’s extensive archive of personal papers dating back to the 1940s. “A Wild And Precious Life” shares intimate fascinating details of Windsor’s personal life, career pursuits and loves from her adventures in Greenwich Village lesbian bars in the 1950s while pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics at NYU to her extensive work at IBM as well as her activist awakening and epic love affair with Thea Spyer. Edie met Spyer in the 1960’s whose Dutch Jewish family had fled the Nazis and went on to become a successful clinical psychologist whose work was crucial during the AIDS crisis counseling our LGBTQ community. Their partnership lasted 44 years until Thea’s passing in 2009. With the federal government refusing to acknowledge their Canadian marriage Windsor was then required to pay $363,053 in federal estate taxes on her wife's estate which led to the 2013 Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor that successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act leading to marriage equality becoming the law of the land in 2015. Edie found love again marrying Judith Kasen-Windsor in 2016 who stated, “With irreverent and unexpected stories this memoir chronicles the struggles and passions that drove her extraordinary life. It’s an important part of her legacy, a gift to all who will continue her message of hope, strength and courage. Edie proved that love does, in fact, win.” We talked to Joshua about what he hopes to accomplish with this book and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

 Joshua Lyon is an American journalist and the author of “Pill Head: The Secret Life of a Painkiller Addict”. He has ghostwritten several New York Times bestselling memoirs for celebrities and LGBTQ icons and activists. Lyon stated, “Collaborating with Edie was the most thrilling and humbling experience of my career. I’m so excited for the world to learn even more about this fiercely intelligent and wildly funny woman, a true lover and fighter who continues to inspire.” The title of the memoir “A Wild And Precious Life” comes from a line in the poem “A Summer Day” by Mary Oliver which Hillary Clinton quoted in her eulogy for Edie.
For More Info: us.macmillan.com


Monday, October 28, 2019

Gretchen Wylder Talks Comedy Series “These Thems” (AUDIO)


In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Gretchen Wylder the creator and writer of “These Thems” an award-winning intersectional queer comedy series. “These Thems” directed by Jett Garrison is a seven episode fully narrative digital series that follows the lives of a newly out lesbian making up for lost time, a non-binary educator intent on training the straights, a transgender man who is comfortably in the closet and a lovelorn gay best friend. In our world where plenty of people are living beyond the gender binary very few explicitly non-binary characters are represented in mainstream media. Non-binary gender identity may be one of the least understood labels falling under the LGBTQ+ umbrella simply because it’s also one of the least visible. Wylder is among the very few writers and show creators paying consideration to non-binary identities and gender non-conformity that’s moving the needle for accurate depiction. “These Thems” explores themes of queerness, gender identity, coming out, sexual empowerment, acceptance and self expression taking the audience through New York's vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Since its U.S. Premiere at Outfest the series has traveled the festival circuit winning a Jury Award for Best Series and an Audience Award for Best Comedy Film. The series tells the story of Gretchen played by Wylder who after realizing she may be a lesbian quickly befriends non-binary dog walker Vero (Victoria “Vico” Ortiz) who decides to stop training dogs and start training the straights. Vero takes Gretchen under their wing and introduces Gretchen to the queer world as she navigates what it's like to be newly out at the age of 30. Vero's childhood friend Asher (Shaan Dasani) isn't out as trans at work and is faced with the decision to out himself when an opportunity for an LGBTQ account pops up. Gretchen's gay best friend and roommate Kevin (Nick Park) is looking for love and may have found it in Asher. We talked to Wylder about what she hopes to accomplish with “These Thems” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Gretchen Wylder recently relocated to Los Angeles after being a working actor in NYC for the past nine years and in Chicago six years prior to that. She has originated roles in musical comedies Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. In addition to working with legends Kathy Griffin, Julie Andrews, Anthony Rapp and Judy Gold, Gretchen has performed sketch and improv at UCB NYC, the PIT Magnet and Second City. Wylder’s theatre credits include Avenue Q, Rent, The Wild Party and Bedbugs The Musical.
For More Info: gretchenwylder.com


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cheryl Osimo Talks MBCC Party For Prevention & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Cheryl Osimo Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition about the 22nd anniversary of their premier fundraising event the Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention that takes place at The Inn at Brookline at 1200 Beacon Street in Brookline, Massachusetts on October 26th from 8P to 12P. This year MBCC is proud to be honoring Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Osimo stated, "Attorney General Healey has worked tirelessly for the citizens of Massachusetts across so many important issues. We admire all that she has accomplished and continues to work towards on behalf of her constituents and look forward to honoring her at this year’s event." AG Healey will not be present at the event but will be appearing in a special video presentation to be shown during the evening’s festivities. MBCC will also be recognizing longtime MBCC supporter Laura Diamond owner of Diamond Physical Therapy Associates and Moving Violations Motorcycle Club the oldest women’s motorcycle club in New England. In Massachusetts breast cancer incidence rates are 12% higher than the national average which estimates that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. However the most commonly cited risk factors, genetic inheritance and lifestyle factors, are present in only 20-30% of breast cancer cases. This leaves 70-80% of cases unexplained. MBCC is the only breast cancer non-profit working closely with a research and sister organization Silent Spring Institute to investigate preventable environmental causes of the disease. This work is funded through annual fundraising events like the upcoming Lesbians & Friends Dance: A Party for Prevention. We talked to Cheryl about what she hopes to accomplish with her work at MBCC and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Cheryl Osimo is a fierce LGBTQ ally and devoted breast cancer activist and advocate since 1991 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41. She has been a catalyst in raising public awareness of the possible environmental links to breast cancer. Her commitment to breast cancer prevention and awareness benefits women worldwide. The Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention features DJ Shelly Cullen, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a silent auction with items donated from LGBTQ+ friendly businesses across New England. To kick off the event longtime supporter Liz Nania of Out to Dance will lead a free one-hour dance workshop for all interested participants from 7P to 8P. Tickets are $45 general and $20 for students online or on the day of the event $50 general and $25 for students at the door. Halloween Costumes are optional.
WATCH Acceptance Speech VIDEO
For More Info: mbcc.org


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Esther Newton Talks “My Butch Career A Memoir” (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Esther Newton about her book “My Butch Career A Memoir” that addresses her gender identity and exploration during a particularly intense time of homophobic persecution in the twentieth century. Newton’s story is compelling, disarming and at times carnal as she struggles to write, teach and find love. From being molested as a child to her failed attempts to live a “normal” straight life in high school and college she became an influential figure in the LGBTQ history movement and a powerful reminder of just how recently it has been possible to be an openly queer academic. With humor and grace she describes her introduction to middle-class lesbian life and her love affairs including one with a well-known abstract painter and another with a French academic she encountered in Mexico and traveled with throughout France and Switzerland. Newton's narrative ends in her forties when she begins to achieve personal and scholarly stability in the company of the first politicized generation of out lesbian and gay scholars with whom she helped create gender and sexuality studies. We talked to Esther about her inspiration for writing “My Butch Career A Memoir” and give us her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Esther Newton is a founder of and leading scholar in LGBTQ studies. She received her BA at the University of Michigan in history before starting graduate work in anthropology at the University of Chicago. In 1968 her courageous PhD dissertation entitled “The Drag Queens: A Study in Urban Anthropology” examined the experiences, social interactions and culture of drag queens of mostly gay men that was later published under the title “Mother Camp” in 1972. Her second book “Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America's First Gay and Lesbian Town” was published in 1993. Newton was active in Second Wave Feminism, Gay Liberation and the Lesbian/Feminist movements. Her work has been translated into French, Spanish, Hebrew, Polish and Slovak. Currently Newton is the subject of a documentary of her life story and contributing to a book of photography with acclaimed photographer Eva Weiss.
For More Info: esther-newton.com