Monday, January 23, 2023

Craig Coogan Talks “Music Triumphs Homophobia” Film (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Craig Coogan about his new documentary "Music Triumphs Homophobia" that’s available on Amazon Prime Video. The film chronicles the impact of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) as they perform for audiences in New England and around the world. Using archival material, news footage and interviews “Music Triumphs Homophobia” documents how a small Boston-based chorus became global cultural ambassadors educating people about LGBTQ lives and encouraging acceptance and respect for our LGBTQ community. Written and directed by multiple award-winning filmmakers Michael Willer and Craig Coogan the film is scored with original compositions by Chad Weirick BGMC’s Principal Accompanist and Assistant Music Director and features choral cover performances of songs by Katy Perry, Janet Jackson, Andrea Day, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Stephen Schwartz and Benji Pasek. Since 1982 BGMC has created musical experiences to inspire change, build community and celebrate difference. It’s a mission that has brought BGMC to some unlikely venues including a Congregational Church in rural Vermont, Worcester’s College of Holy Cross, Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, conservative Catholic-dominated Poland, a kibbutz by the Dead Sea, a university parking lot in Istanbul and the shores of South Africa. In South Africa the city of George welcomed BGMC for a free community concert as part of its inaugural Pride celebration. The invitation by George’s city council was marred when George Mayor Melvin Naik took to the airwaves to lambaste BGMC and the city’s support for its LGBTQ residents. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responded by inviting BGMC to join him for the country’s annual Youth Day march where he personally greeted each member of the chorus and publicly welcomed them to South Africa. We talked to Coogan about what he hopes to accomplish with "Music Triumphs Homophobia" and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Craig Coogan served as Executive Director of the Boston Gay Men's Chorus from 2012-2022. Currently he is the Interim Executive Director of the Seattle Choruses. Coogan’s expertise is in developing strategies and programs to help LGBTQ and other nonprofit organizations achieve their operational and artistic goals. A graduate of Syracuse University he brings experience in both the for-profit and non-profit arenas. Craig has also produced independent films, award-winning documentaries and acclaimed original plays that tell the LGBTQ experience. For More Info…

Friday, January 6, 2023

Joe Gantz Talks New Book “A Secret I Can’t Tell” (AUDIO)


In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with writer-filmmaker and fierce LGBTQ ally Joe Gantz about his new book “A Secret I Can’t Tell” available on Carpenter Hill Publishing. Originally published in 1983 the nonfiction book was the only record of American gay and lesbian headed household family life during the heyday of the homophobic Moral Majority. In republishing the book Gantz revisits the families 40 years later with new interviews and a new unparalleled look at how far we’ve come and underscores how close we are to returning to a dark past. In Florida in 1977 a county ordinance was passed which banned discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. After Anita Bryant’s successful “Save Our Children” campaign which demonized gays and lesbians the law was overturned and it launched a wave of repeals of civil rights for gays and lesbians in other states. Though in 2020 the United States Supreme Court finally ruled that 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination based on sex our LGBTQ community is still dealing with over 300 discriminatory bills this year alone including Florida’s recent “Don’t Say Gay/Trans” law that has made 2022 the worst year ever for legislative attacks on LGBTQ people. The updated 2022 version contains fascinating new interviews with some of the children who are now adults in their 50s with children of their own. The new foreword written by Scott Gatz founder and CEO of Q.Digital tracks the effects of keeping their parents’ relationships a secret in a time when it was dangerous to be out particularly as a gay or lesbian parent who could lose custody of their kids. The book shows that parents also struggled coming out to their children without any community or legal support or even representation in the media at that time. The secrecy these families had to maintain forced the kids into a kind of a closet along with their parents and the effects lasting for decades. We talked to Joe about his inspiration for republishing “A Secret I Can’t Tell” and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Joe Gantz is an Emmy-winning writer and documentary filmmaker known for examining personal stories with honesty, humor and depth. He is the producer of Taxicab Confessions which was on HBO for 16 years as well as many feature length documentaries including American Winter, Ending Disease and The Race to Save the World. For More Info...