Entertainment News – LGBT Weekly http://lgbtweekly.com Sun, 23 Oct 2016 19:30:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Diana Krall to to perform with Elton John at 15th annual New York Benefit Gala http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/23/diana-krall-to-to-perform-with-elton-john-at-15th-annual-new-york-benefit-gala/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/23/diana-krall-to-to-perform-with-elton-john-at-15th-annual-new-york-benefit-gala/#respond Sun, 23 Oct 2016 19:30:02 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74802
Diana Krall

Diana Krall

NEW YORK — Sir Elton John will welcome Grammy-winning performer Diana Krall as his special musical guest for the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 15th annual fall gala, An Enduring Vision, on Monday, Nov. 2,  at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

“I’m so thrilled Diana will be joining us for our fall gala this year,” said Elton John. “Diana is an extraordinary performer and a dear personal friend, and I’m thrilled beyond belief to welcome an artist of her caliber to our annual New York event.”

Emmy award-winning producer and popular talk show host Andy Cohen will emcee the evening. EJAF will honor internationally-renowned philanthropists Frank Giustra and Steve Tisch with the Foundation’s Enduring Vision Award and present its second Founder’s Award to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Diana Krall took the jazz world by storm in the late ’90s. By the turn of the century she was firmly established as one of the biggest sellers in jazz. Her 1996 album, All for You, was a Nat King Cole tribute that showed the singer/pianist’s roots, and since then she has stayed fairly close to that tradition-minded mode, with wildly successful results.   When I Look in Your Eyes followed in 1999. Whatever renown she had earned over the years for her work exploded with this album, which became an international best-seller and earned her a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. It was also the first jazz album to be nominated for Album of the Year in 25 years.

In 2001 she released The Look of Love, which topped the Billboard charts and went quintuple platinum in Canada, the first by a Canadian jazz artist to do so. The album also helped Diana win three Junos in 2002, taking home awards for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.  Then her Live from Paris (2002) album won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

In 2003, Diana married iconic British rock musician Elvis Costello. A year later, she issued The Girl in the Other Room, which covered a few standards and also included original material – some co-written by Costello – for the first time in her career. More albums following, including From This Moment On (2006), Quiet Nights (2009), which debuted at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and Glad Rag Doll (2012), a collection of early jazz and ragtime tunes from the ’20s and ’30s produced by T-Bone Burnett. In her most recent album Wallflower (2015), Diana covered a selection of pop songs from the ’60s onward by Bob Dylan, Elton John, Gilbert O’Sullivan, and the Eagles, all of whom had inspired her in her childhood.

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New book empowers children to embrace their differences http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/23/new-book-empowers-children-to-embrace-their-differences/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/23/new-book-empowers-children-to-embrace-their-differences/#respond Sun, 23 Oct 2016 14:00:48 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74808

Its OKMANSFIELD, Texas There’s no way to sugarcoat it; societal discord has hit breaking point in modern America, and diversity has – ironically – divided the nation. It’s a dangerous and destructive influence on young children, leading author Dr. Vanessa P Girard to hand them the perfect antidote.

‘It’s Okay to be Me!’ is a children’s story and picture book unlike anything else on the market. The volume’s progressive narrative is a clarion call for young readers to accept themselves and thrive with gusto, while also understanding that each individual’s differences are what make them truly beautiful and special.


All people need to feel special, unique, and valued. This book is an attempt to validate individuals of all ages, races, creeds, and gender! It is a personal tribute to self, an authentication of being. It is okay to be you and me!

“Just look at the current climate in the U.S. right now, particularly surrounding the fierce election battle – we’re openly sending a message that being different is negative, and that these differences should be frowned upon. This is an arrogant, short-sighted view that is setting us back decades!” explains the author. “If children take these remarks to heart, our rampant discord can only get worse. I want to reverse the trend by empowering children to value their inner self, each other, and the beauty that can stem from being different.”

Continuing, “Because, let’s face it – if we were all the same, the world would be a desensitized ball of existence. We’d live like robots, confused as to what sets us apart, or worse, content to be without individuality! I hope children find my book fun, insightful and encouraging, and will keep it in mind as they grow, because no one is immune to that life altering phase where we wonder who we are, whether we fit in, and where do we belong.”

‘It’s Okay to be Me!’, from Tate Publishing, is available now: http://amzn.to/2edGwoN.

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Watch: HRC and Equality NC release two new ‘Lennie And Pearl’ ads in North Carolina http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/22/watch-hrc-and-equality-nc-release-two-new-lennie-and-pearl-ads-in-north-carolina/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/22/watch-hrc-and-equality-nc-release-two-new-lennie-and-pearl-ads-in-north-carolina/#respond Sun, 23 Oct 2016 00:30:39 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74798

WASHINGTON – Thursday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality NC released two new video ads in North Carolina: “Hillary” and “Voting.” The ads feature Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin, a North Carolina couple together for a half century, talking about what is at stake and on the ballot in this election. Thursday was the first day of early voting in the state.

In “Hillary”(above), Lennie talks about the historic nature of voting for Hillary Clinton: “It’s well past time for America to have a woman president and so every single vote counts. I am voting for Hillary Clinton. No question about it.”

In “Voting (below),” Lennie emphasizes the importance of voting to ensure the repeal of anti-LGBTQ laws like HB2 in North Carolina: “HB2 is totally unconstitutional. It has cost us millions and millions of dollars. Every single vote counts and you can’t say ‘Well my vote doesn’t count.’ It does.”

“Lennie and Pearl’s story is an inspiration to anyone who believes in the American promise of liberty and justice for all,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Because of Lennie and Pearl, and thousands of other pro-equality voters, North Carolina has the historic opportunity to elect Hillary Clinton, the first woman president, and to send Roy Cooper to Raleigh to repeal HB2.”

“Lennie and Pearl are personal heroes to me and countless LGBTQ North Carolinians,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “This election is the most important in memory for gay, lesbian, bisexual and, transgender Tar Heels, and folks like Lennie and Pearl are working to make sure our voices are heard. We are not this – we are not HB2. We are the state of fairness and equality, and we will turn out this year like never before.”

Lennie & Pearl: Hillary” and “Lennie & Pearl: Voting” are part of HRC’s digital campaign that is targeting more than 400,000 potential pro-equality voters across North Carolina, in coordination with its larger get-out-the-vote effort aimed at mobilizing the 10 million LGBTQ voters nationwide. The power of the LGBTQ vote in North Carolina is clear: the state has more than 255,800 LGBTQ people of voting age; the margin of victory in the 2012 presidential race in North Carolina was 92,004.

Read more about Lennie and Pearl, their life together and their historic role in achieving marriage equality here. Read more about the LGBTQ vote in North Carolina, and HB2’s damage to the state here.

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Women’s Museum of California to hold book signing for ‘On Behalf of The President’, Oct. 24 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/22/womens-museum-of-california-to-hold-book-signing-for-on-behalf-of-the-president-oct-24/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/22/womens-museum-of-california-to-hold-book-signing-for-on-behalf-of-the-president-oct-24/#respond Sat, 22 Oct 2016 19:30:59 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74816
Lauren Wright

Lauren Wright

The Women’s Museum of California will be holding a book signing with Dr. Lauren Wright, author of  On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today. In the book Wright identifies, explains, and measures the impact of the expanding role of presidential spouses in White House and presidential campaign communications strategy with a focus on the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.

The event will be held Monday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. at the Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 16 in San Diego. Click here to attend. Suggested donation $5.

The Book

On behalfPolitical scientists have failed to recognize the political importance of the president’s spouse.  While the evolving role of the first lady over time from White House hostess to presidential advisor has been documented in historical narratives and news articles, the tremendous responsibility placed on her office to communicate the president’s message and shape his public image has received little attention. This responsibility has increased markedly in the last three presidential administrations, illustrated by the fact that Michelle Obama made more speeches and major public appearances in her first six years in office than any first lady in recent history. In addition to demonstrating that presidential spouses are an integral part of White House and campaign communications strategy, this book challenges the popular notion among scholars that communications tactics designed to boost presidential popularity and garner support for the president’s policy agenda have a negligible impact on public opinion. Detailed examinations of speech transcripts, interviews with Washington insiders and former White House staff, and cutting-edge survey experiments inform an assessment of the possibility that presidential spouses are mobilized in a calculated effort to enhance the public reputation of presidents and their policy agendas, and that under some circumstances, these efforts can profoundly influence public opinion at the individual level.

The Author

Lauren A. Wright received her Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University in December 2014 where she majored in American government and political methodology.  Lauren’s dissertation received distinction and was nominated for the George C. Edwards III Award in presidency research. Lauren is also a board member of the White House Transition Project, a nonpartisan group of scholars, journalists, and policy experts whose combined efforts and knowledge aims to ensure a smooth presidential transition every four years.


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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ season 2 breaks Logo ratings record http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/21/rupauls-drag-race-all-stars-season-2-breaks-logo-ratings-record/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/21/rupauls-drag-race-all-stars-season-2-breaks-logo-ratings-record/#respond Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:09:25 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74785

RuPaul 4NEW YORK, N.Y. – After a much buzzed about season that led Logo to its highest rated Thursday night in network history, “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season two continues to break viewing records as the best season of a Logo original series ever!  This season, which saw Alaska snatch the crown and join the Drag Race Hall of Fame, is up an astonishing 62% from “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season 1 and up 35% from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 8 which concluded this past May.*  Additionally, season 2 of “All Stars” has been sampled by over 15 million people across all platforms.**Emmy® Award-winning host RuPaul will be back on Thursday, October 27th at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Logo and VH1 when the All Star queens reunite to dish about the most shocking, glamorous, and twisted moments of the season. A preview of the reunion episode is available here: logotv.com/video-clips/zismw6

Mama Ru will also turn up the heat this fall with “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 6 RuVealed,” premiering Thursday, November 3rd at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Logo. The never-before-seen look into the unforgettable season is packed with fresh reads and behind-the-scenes gossip from Ru herself.  For a sneak peek of “RuVealed” head to logotv.com/video-clips/jwr0je.  “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9 will return this spring to Logo.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe, Mandy Salangsang and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers.  Pamela Post and Tim Palazzola are Executive Producers for Logo.

For more information on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” go to LogoTV.com.  For up-to-date “RuPaul’s Drag Race” news and exclusives, join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Facebook page or follow #DragRace conversation on Twitter at @RuPaulsDragRace. Follow along with live gifs from the show on Tumblr and additional content on the show’s Instagram page.

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LGBTQ history scholar and author Lillian Faderman to speak at Lambda Archives http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/21/lgbtq-history-scholar-and-author-lillian-faderman-to-speak-at-lambda-archives/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/21/lgbtq-history-scholar-and-author-lillian-faderman-to-speak-at-lambda-archives/#respond Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:59:23 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74780
Lillian Faderman

Lillian Faderman

Wednesday, Oct. 26, Lambda Archives of San Diego will celebrate LGBTQ History Month by hosting a talk by Lillian Faderman, a prolific author and internationally renowned scholar of lesbian and LGBTQ history and literature. Faderman will provide a glimpse into the stories in her new book, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, which gives an overview of the history of the movement for LGBTQ rights and liberation from the 1950s to the present. The Economist called The Gay Revolution “the most comprehensive history to date of America’s gay-rights movement,” and the Washington Post declared the book to be “the history of the gay and lesbian movement that we’ve been waiting for. Faderman researched part of The Gay Revolution at Lambda Archives and she has also been researching her upcoming biography of Harvey Milk at the Archives.

Faderman is a professor emerita of California State University, Fresno, and has received multiple honors for her work in lesbian and LGBTQ history and literature. The New York Times named three of her books – including The Gay Revolution – to its “Notable Books of the Year” lists, and she has received awards from many national LGBTQ and literary organizations, including Lambda Literary, the American Library Association, and ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. Faderman currently resides in San Diego with her wife.

The Gay Revolution“We’re so honored to host Lillian Faderman at the Archives this month,” said head archivist, Jen LaBarbera. “Her work in telling the history of our movement has been unmatched, and we’re excited to share some of those stories at this event. Especially with so much on the line for the LGBTQ community this election season, understanding our history as a movement is more important than ever.”

This special Out At the Archives event will begin at 6pm with a VIP meet and greet with Lillian Faderman. The VIP ticket package includes a signed copy of The Gay Revolution, a light reception, and a chance to talk directly with the author. The program will begin at 7 pm on the main stage of Diversionary Theater at 4545 Park Blvd. After the talk, additional books will be available for purchase and Dr. Faderman will be available for a short book signing. Faderman is generously donating her time and expertise, so all proceeds from the event will benefit Lambda Archives’ mission to collect, preserve, and teach the LGBTQ history of the San Diego region. Tickets are limited and available at http://diversionary.org/. The theater, lobby, and Archives are wheelchair accessible. The Archives is happy to arrange other accessibility accommodations upon request.

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North Park gathers San Diego’s ‘Bad Hombres’ in music video to celebrate Latino Pride and protest Trump’s racism (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/20/north-park-gathers-san-diegos-bad-hombres-in-music-video-to-celebrate-latino-pride-and-protest-trumps-racism-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/20/north-park-gathers-san-diegos-bad-hombres-in-music-video-to-celebrate-latino-pride-and-protest-trumps-racism-video/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:48:39 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74777

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Today, Queen Bee’s Arts and Cultural Center, a North Park small business and Main Street Alliance of San Diego member business, re-released “La Rata Blanca,” a music video (watch above) protesting the racist messages of Donald Trump.
The video features a collection of local Latino artists, musicians and dancers celebrating the strength, pride and passion of Latino culture in America.
“Queen Bee’s produced this video to give the voice of the San Diego Latino community a megaphone. We pointed it at Donald Trump but spoke to Latinos all over America,” says Alma Rodriguez, owner of Queen Bee’s Arts and Cultural Center. “Our message is strength, pride and celebration. We spoke through the language, art and culture of our Latino experience.”
The music video, translated to English as “The White Rat,” comes directly after Trump’s racist rhetoric in the last presidential debate including, “…we have some bad hombres here and we’re going to get them out.”
“We ‘bad hombres’ of San Diego are speaking loud and clear. We will not stand silent amidst hatred,” says Rodriguez.
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The City: Top to Bottom http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/20/the-city-top-to-bottom-280/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/20/the-city-top-to-bottom-280/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:41:38 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74764

A Reef Reborn 3D

thursday. oct. 20

A Reef Reborn 3D

Immerse yourself into a world of swirling sardines, majestic sea turtles, and eye-popping life. This inspiring story of transformation takes place against the stunning backdrop of the Cabo Pulmo reef in Baja California. Meet the people and animals that call this extraordinary location home. Take a journey through time to see how science, human courage, and the irrepressibility of nature resurrected a community and its greatest natural treasure.

San Diego Natural History Museum, 1788 El Prado in Balboa Park, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., adult admission $19, 619-232-3821, sdnhm.org

Felipe Esparza

friday, oct. 21

Felipe Esparza

Felipe Esparza is a comedian and actor, best known for his raw, real-life comedy that audiences everywhere can relate to. Recognized for his wild hair and his often-imitated phrase, “what’s up, fool?”, people are surprised to find out that Felipe is also the same person referred to and imitated in infamous stories by fellow comedian, Gabriel Iglesias. Felipe won NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2010, and soon after, starred in and produced his first 1 hour Showtime special, and is now touring comedy clubs and theaters across the world and working on a new 1 hour special.

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Dr. in San Diego, 8 p.m., tickets $30, 800-745-3000, humphreysconcerts.com

saturday, oct. 22

Brad Williams

Brad Williams

Brad Williams was born and raised in Orange County, Calif. He dropped out of college and started doing comedy at the age of 19. He toured as Carlos Mencia’s opening act for five years. Brad’s big break came when he would appear in numerous sketches on Comedy Central’s Mind Of Mencia TV show. Brad’s memorable roles on the show include playing a whore dwarf (“whorf”), the leader of an all dwarf basketball team, joining Mencia at a Renaissance faire, and giving a speech about his hatred of podiums.

The American Comedy Company, 818B Sixth Ave. in San Diego, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., tickets $16, 619-795-3858, americancomedyco.com

sunday, oct. 23

Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin in The Phantom of The Opera (1925)

The Phantom of The Opera (1925)

Get into the Halloween spirit with this screening of this classic 1925 thriller which launched a pop culture sensation continuing to this day. Lon Chaney (in unforgettable makeup) stars as the twisted genius organist who kidnaps his young singer protégé into the depths of the Paris Opera House. Russ Peck returns to provide the hair-raising soundtrack on the mighty Fox Theatre Pipe Organ!

Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B Street in San Diego, 7:30 p.m., tickets from $20, 619-235-0804, sandiegosymphony.org

monday, oct. 24

Wenceslao Quiroz, Sears Scrapping on Soto, 2013

Papel Chicano dos: Works on paper

Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin presents artworks by Chicano artists including established figures such as Carlos Almaraz, John Valadez, and Margaret Garcia, as well as younger emerging artists such as Wenceslao Quiroz and Carlos Donjuan, whose work demonstrates a range of techniques from watercolor and aquatint to pastel and mixed media.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Downtown, 1100 and 1001 Kettner Blvd. in San Diego, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., general admission $10, 858-454-3541, mcasd.org

tuesday, oct. 25

London Town

London Town

Experience the music and energy of the 1970s punk underground. When 15-year-old Shay (Daniel Huttlestone) hears the music of The Clash for the first time, it’s a revelation, opening up a new world of social consciousness and anti-establishment defiance beyond anything he’s known in his dead-end London suburb. Drawn into the heart of the city’s burgeoning punk scene, he forges two relationships that will change his life, falling in love with rebellious cool girl Vivian (Nell Williams) and finding an unexpected connection with none other than The Clash’s electrifying frontman, Joe Strummer (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Propelled by a blistering soundtrack that bounces from The Clash to The Ramones to Buzzcocks, London Town captures the sound and spirit of a scene that shook the world.

Digital Gym Cinema, 2921 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park, show times 1:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., general admission $11, 619-230-1938, digitalgym.org

wednesday, oct. 26

Cajon Classic Cruise

Cajon Classic Cruise

One of El Cajon’s premier events, the famous Cajon Classic Cruise finishes the 2016 season with Trunk or Treat in the center of downtown El Cajon. Thousands of people from all over Southern California visit this display of classic cars from all over. Join us Wednesday evenings to view the best of classic cars. There are great restaurants along the street, so why not take an evening to join in the fun?

Cajon Classic Cruise, E Main St & S Magnolia Ave in El Cajon, 5-8 p.m., free, downtownelcajon.com/cajon-classic-cruise/

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GLAAD leads millions in united stand against bullying for Spirit Day http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/20/glaad-leads-millions-in-united-stand-against-bullying-for-spirit-day/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/20/glaad-leads-millions-in-united-stand-against-bullying-for-spirit-day/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2016 16:59:11 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74754

Spirit Day 8NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today showcased the participants for Spirit Day 2016. Each year, GLAAD leads celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, faith groups, school districts, universities, and everyday individuals to go purple in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBTQ youth.

Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target and Wells Fargo, official partners, NBA and WNBA, NFL, Viacom, and WWE, and supporting partners, American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Comcast NBCUniversal, Kellogg’s, Kirkland & Ellis, Toyota Financial Services, and Zipcar.

Pop superstar Britney Spears used her Wednesday night concert at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas to enlist her fans in participating in Spirit Day, including providing the audience with Spirit Day swag and replacing her regularly multi-colored confetti with all-purple as she closed the show.

Target is participating in Spirit Day 2016 by turning up their #TakePride platform on Spotify with a special playlist to fill the world with positive vibes. Listeners can check out http://tgt.biz/spotify2 and take a stand against bullying. The playlist, along with Target’s banner ads on Spotify, are expected to reach over 44 million listeners.

iHeartMedia went purple for its fourth consecutive year, and for the first time supported Spirit Day on-air with PSAs featuring Lady Gaga, Troye Sivan, Elvis Duran and Andy Grammer. The PSAs are currently airing across CHR and AC stations nationwide and encourage listeners to go purple and unite against the bullying of LGBT youth. In addition, on-air personalities across the country are discussing the importance of Spirit Day with listeners and throughout their programs today. iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one streaming music and live digital radio service, went purple in-app, on iHeartRadio.com, via social media and on its Snapchat Discover channel.

Toyota Financial Services supported Spirit Day by powering the “Go Purple for #SpiritDay” app. The free app allows users to take part in Spirit Day and support LGBTQ youth by making their social media profiles purple. The app also offers anti-bullying resources for students, parents, and educators.

Kellogg’s hosted a special Spirit Day breakfast at the Kellogg’s NYC café in Times Square inviting guests to start their Spirit Day with the “Official Spirit Day Bowl.” The event also featured special guest and America’s Got Talent finalist Brian Just Crum, who performed live and shared his personal story about how bullying affected his life. Additionally, Kellogg’s and 10 of their iconic brands proudly went purple on social media by encouraging followers to share their personal stories. Kellogg’s employees also showed their support for Spirit Day in video voicing their support for anti-bullying initiatives.

Viacom’s properties and talent are in full Spirit Day mode with MTV, MTV2, VH1, Logo, CMT, Spike, and Paramount taking part. Talent participating includes Michelle Visage, MTV News’ Ana Marie Cox and Jamil Smith, the cast of Teen Mom, Holland Roden, Scout Durwood, Anna Lore, Rip Michaels, David Magidoff, Burpie, and Tonio Skits. Additionally, Logo’s Global Ally campaign is a sponsor of Spirit Day’s international efforts, including the Spirit Day Kit in six different languages.

Streaming service Hulu showed its support for LGBTQ youth this #SpiritDay with a special selection of LGBTQ-inclusive television series and short films for viewers to enjoy.

Comcast NBCUniversal went purple across properties and programs, including the Today Show, Sprout, the cast of USA’s Eyewitness, E! News, as well has many local affiliates.

ABC celebrated Spirit Day with their Be Inspired Campaign, which urges people to #ChooseKindness throughout the month of October. This will be accomplished through original programming that reinforces the importance of being kind, and customized public service announcement (PSA) campaign that will air on multiple platforms across ABC, ABC-owned television stations, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Radio Disney. Good Morning America also took part in the day – with their anchors wearing purple and drawing attention to the issue of LGBTQ bullying.

Spirit Day will culminate in a memorial at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando to honor the victims of the tragedy. Natalia (Nats) Getty, founder and designer of Strike Oil, is partnering with LA-based street artist, Mr. Brainwash, and The Girls’ Lounge to create a memorial mural to honor the victims, with proceeds going to the Pulse Foundation and GLAAD.

Screens across Times Square in New York City will feature special Spirit Day anti-bullying messages, including screens at MTV, NASDAQ, and Thomson Reuters. Additionally, Viacom’s 1515 Broadway headquarters will illuminate in purple for Spirit Day.

To commemorate Spirit Day, Twitter and Major League Baseball teamed up launch a #SpiritDay emoji in support of LGBTQ youth and to take a stand against bullying. Additionally, on Spirit Day, Billy Bean, the Vice President of Social Responsibility & Inclusion with Major League Baseball, will be at Dodger Stadium prior to NLCS Game Five where he will wear a special purple t-shirt with #SpiritDay and the new Twitter emoji to demonstrate MLB’s commitment to the cause.

Spanish Language Media and celebrities participating includes Patricia Velásquez, Ozomatli, The hosts of Un Nuevo Día on Telelundo, The hosts of Despierta América on Univision, The hosts Al Rojo Vivo, Hosts of Aquí y Ahora, Hosts of Primer Impacto, Omar Velasco and Argelia Atilano, Aislinn Derbez, Fernanda Castillo y Sandra Echeverria, Enrique Santos, Roxana Chávez, Jessica Aguilar, Yarel Ramos, Raul Brindis, Pancho Mercado, Mariana Torres, Carla Medina, Mariana Seoane, and Rene Pineda.

Additional celebrity participants for Spirit Day 2016 include Kaitlyn Alexander, Thom Allison, Brittany Ashley, Elise Bauman, Sharon Belle, Michael Ian Black, Annie Briggs, Wade Briggs, Blossom Brown, Amy Bruni & Adam Berry, Aaron Chartrand, Kristin Chenoweth, Dr. Drew, Zackary Drucker, Gaby Dunn, Rhys Ernst, Popo Fan, Daniel Franzese, Billy Gilman, Gigi Gorgeous, Laura Jane Grace, Alexandra Grey, Ian Harvie, Kris Hayashi, Ty Herndon, Skylar Kergil, Steven Krueger, Chet Lam, Katie Leclerc, Trace Lysette, Charlotte McKinney, Stephanie McMahon, Dannii Minogue, Kenny Moffitt, Maria Munir, Hari Nef, Natasha Negovanlis, Stephanie Nogueras, Ozomatl, Maulik Pancholy, Trey Pearson, cast of The Residuals, Geena Rocero, Bamby Salcedo, Justin Tranter, Lena Waithe, Sam Waterston, Raquel Willis, and the cast of Wynonna Earp.

Sports organizations participating include GO! Athletes, Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA), OUT Sports, Sports for Sharing, Trans*Athlete, WWE, and Women’s National Basketball Association.

Additional media organizations participating include CBS, Diva, The Hamilcast, Nielsen, Oderland-Presse, OutNews Global, and Voice for China LGBT.

Other businesses participating include Anthem Inc- ANGLE (Employee LGBT Resource Group), Boyd Law

CNA Insurance, Dazeworks Technologies Pvt Ltd, DigitasLBi, Fourth Wall Events, Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP, Happn, Law Offices of Jay Knispel, LEAGUE @ AT&T, Lendlease, Martian Entertainment, Nationwide Pride ARG- Scottsdale, Nielsen, Opportunies for Learning- Hawthorne, Optimedia, Publicis Groupe Egalite, Sony Playstation, Sterns & Walker, The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, United Airlines, and USG Corporation.

Organizations participating include Amazin LeThi Foundation, Australian LGBTI Media Centre, Beijing LGBT Center (China), Beijing Gender Health Education Institute (China), BiCast, BiNet USA, Bisexual Resource Center, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Council on Foundations, Danlan Welfare (China), The DC Center for the LGBT Community, Dharma & Martia- LGBTI Rights in the Middle East, Ditch The Label, Diversity Media Awards (Italy), DoSomething.org, Drury University Allies, Egalite/Publicis Group, Equal Ground, Equality for All Foundation (Jamaica), Equality Texas, Espectro CSF (Mexico), Fair Wisconsin, Federation of Gay Games, Feminist Scholar Activists, Footage Foundation, Gay Spot (China), Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Gender Watch China, GLSEN Southern Maine, Harry Potter Alliance, J-FLAG, KnowYourself (China), Lambda Legal, Log Cabin Republicans, Los Angeles LGBT Center, LULAC, Milwaukee Pride, Music Business Association, My Kid Is Gay, National Womens Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE), Nooga Diversity Center, NYC & Tri-State Area Clemson Alumni Club, Oderland-Presse, One Colorado, Out In Tech, OUTLaw WVU, PACER’s National Bullying, Prevention Center, PROMO, Queer Lala Times (China), Real Live Connection, Red de la diversidad sexual (Mexico), Resource Center, Safe Schools Action Network, South Carolina Equality, #StillBisexual , Sun Life Family Health Center, Temple Moor Science College, Tennessee Equality Project, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, The Village Family Services, The Global Justice Institue , To Love And Inspire, Tongyu Organization (China), Transgender Michigan, True Colors Fund, Tyler Clementi Foundation, United Nations Free & Equal, and Youth First.

Faith-based organizations participating include Cathedral of Hope, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, Dallas Universal Life Church, Inc., DignityUSA, Equally Blessed Coalition, Gay & Lesbian Vaishnava Association, Mumbai, Metropolitan Community Churches, Metropolitcan Community Church of New York, More Light Presbyterians, New Ways Ministry, Other Sheep, Reconciling Ministries Network, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation, The Crossing Campus Ministry, The Naming Project, and United Church of Christ.

Each year school districts, high school gay-straight alliances, colleges and universities also participate. This year they include: AFSA High School, Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy #8, Association House High School, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chino Hills High School LGBT Alliance, Counseling and Support Services for Youth at Redwood Middle School , De Rochebelle High School – Comité Alliés, Diversity LGBT+ Ningbo (China), Dr. Kenneth B. Clark Academy, Elkhorn High School’s Tolerance, Equality and  Acceptance (TEA) Club, Esperanza Academy Charter High School, Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, ETAP Graduate, Fairview High School, Feminist Scholar Activists, Flagship XJTLU (China), GLOBES @ UGA, LGBT-IMPAQ Equity & Equality Student Organization, James Madison Middle School and Magnet, Prince George High School GSA, Stephen F. Austin High School GSA, SYSU Rainbow Group (China), The Shipley School, University of WuHan (China), Williamsburg Charter High School and, Wilder’s Prepatory Academy Charter School.

For a full list of partners visit glaad.org/spiritday/participants.

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Happn and GLAAD join forces to take a stand against LGBTQ bullying on #SpiritDay http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/19/happn-and-glaad-join-forces-to-take-a-stand-against-lgbtq-bullying-on-spiritday/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/19/happn-and-glaad-join-forces-to-take-a-stand-against-lgbtq-bullying-on-spiritday/#respond Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:54:59 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74752

NEW YORK  – Happn, the leading global dating app that enables users to discover the people they’ve crossed paths with in real life, has teamed up with the national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, GLAAD, to encourage Happn users to take a stand against LGBTQ bullying.

In support of GLAAD and Spirit Day Thursday, Oct. 20, Happn will launch a powerful U.S. campaign grounded in the frightening statistic that nearly three-quarters (74%) of students reported experiencing some type of peer victimization in the past school year. According to research by GLSEN, bullying and harassment remain a significant concern of students, families and schools all across the country. Furthermore, despite legal and cultural changes, LGBTQ students continue to face hostile school climates.

On Spirit Day, a full screen image will pop up when users first fire up Happn. Words Can Hurtwill appear in the foreground of the first image. The secondary image is a call-to-action that cites the harrowing youth statistic, encourages Happn users to take part in Spirit Day, and directs them to glaad.org/spiritday, where they can:

  • Go purple. Use GLAAD’s mobile app to turn your Happn profile picture purple.
  • Join the conversation. Take part in the movement on social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat – by using #SpiritDay.
  • Make a donation. Provide a contribution that will help GLAAD carry out its work – including Spirit Day – as the organization seeks to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people around the world.

“We choose words carefully in portraying ourselves in order to charm others when filling out our dating profiles. If only we could be equally as mindful of the derogatory words used towards the LGBTQ community,” said Didier Rappaport, CEO and co-founder, Happn. “To show our support for the GLAAD youth-driven cause, Happn is leveraging its platform to raise awareness, and challenging its users to rewrite the script for LGBTQ acceptance in America and across the globe.”

All those moved by the Words Can Hurt campaign can take action by contributing to GLAAD’s Spirit Day efforts: https://spiritday-glaad.nationbuilder.com/donate.

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Point Foundation’s LGBTQ scholarship applications open Nov. 1 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/19/point-foundations-lgbtq-scholarship-applications-open-nov-1/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/19/point-foundations-lgbtq-scholarship-applications-open-nov-1/#respond Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:44:01 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74746

LOS  ANGELES, Calif. – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students seeking financial assistance for their undergraduate or graduate school education are encouraged to apply for a Point Foundation Scholarship. Students enrolling in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2017-2018 academic year are eligible to apply for Point’s multiyear scholarship.

Applications open online at www.pointfoundation.org/apply Nov. 1, 2016.

Students may submit the application until 11:59 p.m. PST January 30, 2017. A short application FAQ video can be viewed above. Additional FAQs may also be found on the Point Foundation Web site

“All students struggle with the cost of college, but LGBTQ students also face the additional challenges of bullying, harassment and often lack family support,” said Jorge Valencia, executive director and chief executive officer of Point Foundation. “These same young people often look toward going to college as a way to overcome their difficulties and succeed despite the adversity they face. Point Foundation exists to help turn their dreams of higher education as the means for personal and professional growth, into a reality.”

Point Foundation (Point) is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit and currently provides financial assistance and programmatic support to 84 students. Point’s scholarship support addresses the particular challenge LGBTQ students face paying for college: 83% of LGBTQ students are using their own money for school, compared to 53% of all first-year college students. Even then, about 70% of LGBTQ students need financial assistance to start school, compared to 44% of all first-year students.

The selection process for awarding Point Foundation Scholarships requires candidates to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, and community involvement. Attention is given to applicants who lost financial and social support as a result of revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Once selected, each scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in leadership development training with fellow Point Scholars. Point Scholars also give back to the LGBTQ community by completing an individual community service project each year. After graduation, scholars become part of Point’s growing alumni network where they continue to be a vital part of Point’s events, conferences, and other activities.

“Point Foundation’s resources and support help me make my voice heard as an active and proud member of my LGBTQ community,” said 2016 Point Scholar Hadden Kelley, who is studying Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Introductions to current Point Scholars are on Point’s YouTube channel. The activities and accomplishments of Point Scholar and Alumni are featured on the ViewPoint blog.

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The Lavender Effect launches Queer History Student Filmmakers Competition http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/18/the-lavender-effect-launches-queer-history-student-filmmakers-competition/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/18/the-lavender-effect-launches-queer-history-student-filmmakers-competition/#respond Tue, 18 Oct 2016 22:55:33 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74734

The Queer History Student Filmmakers Competition will launch at an exclusive fundraising event Wednesday Oct. 26 at the W Hollywood Hotel, 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Rev. Troy Perry, legendary queer pioneer and co-founder of LA Pride / Christopher Street West, as well as founder of the worldwide Metropolitan Community Churches, will be present to give a special presentation before the competition formally opens.

A new video competition for college, middle and high school students is launching in Southern California to expand understanding and awareness of LGBTQ contributions to society. LGBTQ Heritage and Culture nonprofit The Lavender Effect has partnered with the award-winning educational network Global SchoolNet and REVRY™, the world’s first streaming network dedicated to all forms of digital entertainment created by and for LGBTQ and allied audiences.

College students entering the Queer History Student Filmmakers Competition will produce 3-5min videos celebrating historic LGBTQ and allied figures and landmarks. The competition aims to engage students to present their unique perspectives on LGBTQ history, like student filmmaker Alex Valencia’s award-winning video about famed computer scientist Alan Turing. (Watch the video above.)

The Lavender Effect will have a dedicated channel on the REVRY™ streaming platform, providing an important and accessible new means for both expanding visibility amongst young filmmakers and sharing significant stories of LGBTQ history and culture with the world.

Global SchoolNet will facilitate the competition for middle and high school students and provide a valuable catalyst to facilitate conversations around historic contributions of LGBTQ people.

As a part of the 21st annual International CyberFair, students will share these stories by also producing and globally exhibiting short videos.

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Taiwan to host first LGBT awards ceremony http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/18/taiwan-to-host-first-lgbt-awards-ceremony/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/18/taiwan-to-host-first-lgbt-awards-ceremony/#respond Tue, 18 Oct 2016 21:15:20 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74729

TAIPEI, Taiwan – The first and only LGBTQ film festival in Taiwan – The Taiwan International Queer Film Festival (TIQFF) is returning for its 3rd year and includes for the first time the Queermosa Awards – an LGBT awards ceremony with the mission “to celebrate diversity and accelerate acceptance”. The Awards will take place at W Taipei Friday, Oct. 28, one day before the Taipei LGBT Pride Parade, the largest Pride event in Asia.

The Queermosa Awards have garnered enormous support from celebrities. “I know so many talented LGBT friends who don’t get the respect they deserve, at work or at home. I hope that with however little power I have, I can use my platform to raise awareness on the challenges they face and to shine some light on their stories,” said Ella, one-third of the super girl group S.H.E and TIQFF Festival Ambassador 2016. Ella is among many celebrity presenters and the evening will also feature performances by popular singers Ailing Tai, Eve Ai and out gay singer-songwriter HUSH.

Inspired by the GLAAD Media Awards, Queermosa has received warm blessings and consultation from the GLAAD core team. Ray Bradford, director of programs at GLAAD has been extremely supportive and shared his experience and resources to help conceptualize Queermosa. President and CEO of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis is also thrilled about the event and has recorded a video message to be shown at the awards ceremony.

“Queermosa is our latest project to highlight those who are bringing diversity and inclusion to great media content. Media is the storyteller of our society and when it honors its agency with fair and accurate reporting of LGBT stories and diverse programming that includes multi-faceted LGBT characters, there comes the opportunity to reshape our own culture,” said Jay Lin, CEO of Portico Media and Festival Founder and Director of TIQFF, who came out to his family with the founding of TIQFF.

Taiwan has been long hailed the beacon of Asia’s LGBT rights. In January, Taiwan voted in its first female president Tsai Ing-wen who has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights and marriage equality. Since then, Taiwan has welcomed Audrey Tang, the youngest and first transgender official in the executive government.

The 3rd Taiwan International Queer Film Festival runs from Oct. 22-30.

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Athlete Ally and NCLR help halt Big 12 expansion to BYU http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/18/athlete-ally-and-nclr-help-halt-big-12-expansion-to-byu/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/18/athlete-ally-and-nclr-help-halt-big-12-expansion-to-byu/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2016 19:50:58 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74715

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Aug. 9, Athlete Ally, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and 25 national LGBT organizations submitted a letter to the Big 12 Conference and its member schools urging it not to consider Brigham Young University (BYU) as a potential new conference member due to its anti-LGBT policies. Monday, the Big 12 decided it was no longer expanding in the immediate future and staying as is.

BYU was long considered a front-runner and a lucrative addition to the Big 12, but after Athlete Ally, NCLR, and other’s efforts over the past two months, its discriminatory policies were brought to the surface, severely undermining BYU’s support and thus support for the expansion. BYU, a Utah school, is considered the sixth worst school for LGBT students in the nation, and its policies against the community are so severe that it’s been under investigation by the American Bar Association.

The Big 12 universities and their leadership have made an impactful decision that shows schools that discriminate against the LGBT community should not be awarded membership to a Power Five conference. The conference placed the safety and inclusion of their LGBT student-athletes, coaches, staff, and fans over the economic and strategic gain to be made from expansion– and setting the tone for collegiate athletics.

Ashland Johnson, Athlete Ally’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, said: “The Big 12 just took a major step forward today. In a time where we are seeing leagues and conferences stand up for LGBT equality and the safety and inclusion of all of their fans, it’s extremely encouraging to see the Big 12 choose to expand equality, not discrimination.”

Helen Carroll, NCLR’s Sports Project Director, said: “This is a groundbreaking event and sends the message that LGBT discrimination has no place in sports. We commend the Big 12 for upholding their values of sportsmanship and inclusion.”

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Pet Shop Boys return to SoCal on their ‘Super’ tour http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/17/pet-shop-boys-return-to-socal-on-their-super-tour/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/17/pet-shop-boys-return-to-socal-on-their-super-tour/#respond Mon, 17 Oct 2016 20:43:37 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74710
Pet Shop Boys 2

The Pet Shop Boys

After more than 25 years of producing ground-breaking electronic music and shows that are part concert, part theater, the Pet Shop Boys (Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe) will perform their only Southern California show in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theater Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m.

Supporting their latest album, Super, which is part two of a planned trilogy with producer Stuart Price (Madonna, The Killers), the evening’s show is staged by long-time Pet Shop Boys designer Es Devlin and choreographer Lynne Page. The band is collaborating for live music arrangements with Price. The performance will include songs from throughout their storied career. Over the last 25 years the Pet Shop Boys have gained a reputation as innovators of the modern live music show. They were among the first to integrate multimedia and theatrical elements into their productions.

The Pet Shop Boys first broke onto the scene with their Englishman-style rap/anthem, “West End Girls” in 1985. A string of hits followed including “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money),” their cover of “Always On My Mind,” “It’s a Sin” and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” with Dusty Springfield.

Super 2Super debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Album Chart in the U.S., while the first single, an ode to underground, dance and raves of the early 1990s, “The Pop Kids,” made it to the top of Billboard’s U.S. Dance Club Chart this spring.

Chris Lowe explains of the album, “We did know that we were going to work with Stuart Price again, so we knew the sort of record that we would all enjoy making together. So we were sort of aiming towards that goal. And then Neil at one point said ‘we want to make it Electric but more so.’ So it was going to be even more electric than Electric. That was the idea.”

Speaking of their second single, “Twenty-Something,” Neil Tennant says, “It’s meant to be a sympathetic song because the basic message is that if you’re twenty-something it’s quite hard to get a decent job, and it’s quite hard if you do get a job to get paid enough money, and then it’s quite hard to get a flat in London. So it’s about being twenty-something in London specifically.”

With 13 studio albums and more than 50 million albums sold worldwide, the duo are considered elder statesmen in the arena of keyboard-infused music. They have won three Brit awards and been nominated for six Grammy awards.

Fans can expect to hear several tracks from Super as Tennant shares, “Yes it’s very expansive, the sound of it and of course it’s an EDM idea, “Inner sanctum.” We’ve been to clubs in Las Vegas and you think, oh, this is the inner sanctum – this is where you’re drinking champagne with the DJ.”

Pet Shop Boys perform at the Microsoft Theater Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m. Tickets can be bought here.


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San Diego Women’s Chorus hires assistant to the artistic director http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/17/san-diego-womens-chorus-hires-assistant-to-the-artistic-director/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/17/san-diego-womens-chorus-hires-assistant-to-the-artistic-director/#respond Mon, 17 Oct 2016 18:27:51 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74706
Celeste Oram (left) with SDWC Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen

Celeste Oram (left) with SDWC Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen

SAN DIEGO, Calif.- The San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC) has announced that they have hired Celeste Oram as their new assistant to the artistic director, following an extensive search and interview process. Oram will work directly with SDWC’s Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen, to provide musical support to the growing choral organization, assisting with rehearsing, conducting and concert production duties.

“We are so excited to welcome Celeste to our artistic team,” shared SDWC Board President Heather Robert. “She instantly clicked with our membership with her relaxed, confident conducting style, her clear musical direction and her warm, encouraging personality. She is going to be a great asset as we strive for continued musical excellence heading into our 30th anniversary season next year.”

Oram is a composer and musician hailing from New Zealand and based in San Diego since 2014. In addition to her new position with the San Diego Women’s Chorus, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at UC San Diego, where she completed her Masters of Music earlier in 2016. She is a singing member of Pro Arte Voices and the La Jolla Symphony Chorus, where she also acts as production assistant. Previously, in New Zealand, she conducted and directed opera and musical theater productions with community and student groups. Her compositions have been performed by orchestras and ensembles in Europe, the United States, New Zealand and Australia. When she isn’t singing or composing, she is likely on a hike, in a ballet class or winding a radio coil.

“I am thrilled to be joining the SDWC sisterhood, an organization which immediately won me over with its joyful and meaningful repertoire, and its huge heart,” said Oram. “I look forward to the journey of sharing in, and contributing to, the chorus’ rich musicianship, community, experience, and diversity”

Oram will make her debut with the San Diego Women’s Chorus at its Everything She Touches concert Nov. 19 and 20. Tickets are now on sale here.

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San Diego Opera’s Shiley Detour series to begin next month on Veterans Day with ‘Soldier Songs’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/16/san-diego-operas-shiley-detour-series-to-begin-next-month-on-veterans-day-with-soldier-songs/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/16/san-diego-operas-shiley-detour-series-to-begin-next-month-on-veterans-day-with-soldier-songs/#respond Mon, 17 Oct 2016 00:30:08 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74686
A scene from Soldier Songs, which opens Nov. 11. | Photo courtesy of GLMMR

A scene from Soldier Songs, which opens Nov. 11.  Photo courtesy of GLMMR

SAN DIEGO, Calif. San Diego Opera’s 2016-2017 season continues Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. with the West Coast Premiere of David T. Little’s opera Soldier Songs. Soldier Songs also marks the Company’s first opera in the newly created Shiley dētour Series which explores lesser known operas and works that fall outside of the Company’s ongoing tradition of presenting grand operas at the San Diego Civic Theatre. The Shiley dētour Series is named after philanthropist Darlene Shiley, whose gift supports relevant and unusual works. Soldier Songs will be performed at the Balboa Theatre with additional performances Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. The performance on Saturday, November 12 will air live on KPBS-TV. This live televised broadcast, the first in the Company’s history , can be seen in San Diego County on Cable 11, Cox 1011, Time Warner 15-1, and channel 15 (UHF digital channel 30).

Opening on Veterans Day, Soldier Songs is an important and relevant multimedia work that explores the shift in perception of war from the age of 6 to 66 as sung from the perspective of an abstract character as he moves through three phases of his life: youth (playing war games) warrior (time served in the military) and an elder (aged, wise, reflective). With a libretto developed by the composer from interviews with veterans from five different wars, Soldier Songs explores the loss and exploitation of innocence, and the true cost of war on the individual soldier.

The opera begins with the sentiment “I never talk about this with anyone” and ends with the plea to “talk”. To facilitate conversation about this opera, and to address the audience’s emotional experience, each performance of Soldier Songs will be immediately followed by Act II; a curated panel discussion with a member of the Soldier Songs creative team and U.S. Armed Forces Veterans who will be reacting to the piece. Audience members will also have a chance to contribute their experiences to the discussion. Act II is free to all ticket holders of Soldier Songs and will run approximately 30 minutes.

Soldier Songs stars baritone David Adam Moore who made his Company debut in 2009 as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and was last seen as Silvio in Pagliacci in 2014. Soldier Songs is conducted by Steven Schick, in his Company debut. It is directed by Tomer Zvulun, also in his Company debut. This production is designed by GLMMR (Giving Light Motion + Memory + Relevance) a NYC-based multimedia art collective that combines traditional stage craft with cutting edge projection mapping technology. This production was designed by Vita Tzykun and David Adam Moore. Maxwell Bowman is the Lighting Designer. The opera will be performed in English with English text above the stage. These are the first San Diego Opera performances of Soldier Songs and the opera’s West Coast Premiere. Single tickets for Soldier Songs start at $20.

Soldier Songs contains strong language, simulated gunshots, explosions and other combat-like sounds and visual effects.

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TransNation Festival announces film and celebrity lineup http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/16/transnation-festival-announces-film-and-celebrity-lineup/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/16/transnation-festival-announces-film-and-celebrity-lineup/#respond Sun, 16 Oct 2016 19:30:09 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74675

LOS ANGELES, Calif.– St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, creators of one of the largest transgender health programs in the country, has announced the lineup of films and celebrity talent who will be featured at their first annual TransNation Festival. The event will raise funds for the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood’s Nicole Murray Ramirez Scholarship Fund, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center’s Transgender Health Program, which is an independent 501(c)3 community health center that serves one of the largest populations of transgender patients in the country with primary care, as well as socio-economic and social justice services.

Saturday Oct. 22, TransNation Festival will feature the 15th annual Queen USA transgender beauty pageant at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The event will be emceed by Candis Cayne and Curly Velasquez, and will include performances by The Prancing Elites, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell and the Mariachi de Arcoiris de Los Angeles. The judges who will use their expertise in their respective fields to evaluate the contestants will include: Caitlyn Jenner, Geena Rocero, Angelica Ross, Alexandra Billings, iO Tillet Wright, Flawless Sabrina, Kelly Osbourne, Betty Cantrell, Gia Coppola, David Clark, Nikki Calabrese, City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, and Assistant Chief Beatrice M. Girmala of the L.A. Police Department. Contestants will compete in the categories of cocktail wear, swimsuit, evening wear and a question-and-answer portion, which will touch upon personal experiences as a transgender person, key issues facing the transgender community, identity, beauty, social responsibility, and activism.

Miss Major Griffin Gracy, Jill Soloway, and Tiq Milan will be honored during the festival for each of their individual contributions to transgender activism.

October 20, 21, and 23, the inaugural TransNation Film Festival, guest-curated and hosted by Zackary Drucker, will feature an eclectic program of the best new features and shorts, rare and underseen gems, and classic titles that reflect the trans experience.

Filmmakers, actors, and special guests present these works, including a sneak preview of the new film More Than T by Silas Howard, the Los Angeles premiere of the short Diane from the Moon starring Mya Taylor, the documentary MAJOR! about the life and times of transgender elder and activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and a celebratory screening of the rarely-seen 1968 pageant documentary The Queen, with a special West Coast appearance from queer icon Flawless Sabrina. Tickets to the films range from $12-$14 and will be shown in the following schedule (subject to change):

OCT. 20

TransNation Jose Julio Sarria Award presentation to Miss Major Griffin Gracy


Thursday, Oct. 20: 7:00pm
Dirs. Annalise Ophelian and StormMiguel Florez, 2015, 85 mins

(w/ Annalise Ophelian & Storm Miguel Florez in person)

Special Shorts Program I (curated by Zackary Drucker w/ special guests Dirs. Marco LaVia, Hanna Ladoul and Carman Spoto, Paul Monroe and more)

Thursday, Oct. 20th: 9:30 pm
“Alterations” (Dir. Juan Carlos Zaldivar, 2016, Digital Presentation, 19 min.)

“Soless” (Dir. Carman Spoto, 2016, DCP, 7 min.)

“Diane from the Moon” (Los Angeles premiere, Dir. Marco La Via & Hanna Ladoul, 2016,

11 min.)

“The Contortionist” (Dir. Greer Lankton)


Thursday, Oct. 20th: Midnight

Dir. John Waters, 1974, 35mm, 89 min.

OCT. 21

Special Industry Panel with Geena Rocero and Allison Hoffman of Gender Proud Productions
Friday, Oct. 21: 3:00pm

Friday, Oct. 21: 5:00pm

Dir. Mauricio López Fernández, Chile, 2014, DCP, 82 min.
Special Shorts Program II (curated by Zackary Drucker w/ special guests Silas Howard, Jen Richards, Giselle Messina, Mia Yamamoto, Rain Valdez and more!)

Friday, Oct. 21st7:15pm

“More than T”—Sneak preview of three shorts! (23 mins)

Dir. Silas Howard, 2016)

“Elliot King Is Third”

(Director Rose Troche, 2013, 20 mins)

“Technical Difficulties of Intimacy” (LA premiere!)

Dir. Joel Moffett, 2015, 20 mins)


Dir. Rain Valdez, 14:00
QUEENS AT HEART (w/ special guest Flawless Sabrina!)

Dir, 1967, 35mm, 22 min.


Friday, Oct. 21: 9:30pm

Dir. Frank Simon, 1968, 35mm, 68 min.

Friday, Oct. 21: Midnight

Dir. Ester Martin Bergsmark, Sweden, 2014, DCP, 85 min.

OCT. 23
Sunday, Oct. 23: 4:15pm

TransNation Sylvia Rivera Award presentation to Tiq Milan

FREE CECE (w/ Dir. Jacqueline Gares and other special guests in person!)

Sunday, Oct. 23: 7:00pm

Dir. Jacqueline Gares, 2016, DCP, 100 min.
A Tribute to Holly Woodlawn (presented by Zackary Drucker w/ special guests)
Sunday, Oct. 23: 9:30pm
WILDNESS (Special guests to be announced)
Sunday, Oct. 23: 11:45pm

Dir. Wu Tsang, 2012, Digital Presentation, 73 min.


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Cinderella community shines at North County Pride http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/16/cinderella-community-shines-at-north-county-pride/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/16/cinderella-community-shines-at-north-county-pride/#comments Sun, 16 Oct 2016 14:00:19 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74679

Sisters_North County PrideSan Diego’s LGBTQ sisters and brothers in North County have sometimes been considered an underrated and overlooked Cinderella community. However, this past Oct. 8, North County’s LGBTQ Resource Center and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence strutted their stuff with their 9th annual Pride by the Beach festival.

The event was held in Oceanside, on two blocks of Pier View Way east of Coast Highway 101. A modest (but effective!) motorcycle contingent inaugurated the proceedings. Glitz Glam, the Mistress of Ceremonies, hostessed the stage show, with a special guest appearance from Sister Unity of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Other guests included Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery, performer Jackie Beat, vocalist Celeste Barbier, and indie bands Ingenue and The Social Animal. Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood visited the booths, welcomed participants and showed his support. The street fair itself included tarot reading, food and souvenir stands, and even the local bookmobile.

Well established community organizations were on hand to support North County Pride, including PFLAG, Dignity, the Woman’s Resource Center, and Fellowship of Older Gays (FOG), and Bears San Diego.

Vista_North County PrideThe Health community made a strong showing through the Vista Community Clinic, North County Health Services, the Hillcrest Pharmacy, the Family Health Clinic Network and Michaelle House and Fraternity House HIV care centers.

The transgender community showed its increasing visibility, with representatives from The North County Center’s Gender Advocacy Project (GAP), San Diego’s Neutral Corner, Transfamily Support Services, and the T-Spot. They were all happy to answer questions, offer insights and direct interested parties to resources. Significantly, a number of parents of transgender children visited the event. It needs to be remembered that last year in San Diego, four transyouth took their own lives. Clearly, there’s a need for a strong and organized transgender community to offer information and support.

More somber but important guest organizations included the Hands for Africa organization, which works to empower amputee survivors of the “Blood Diamond Wars”, and WE ARE ORLANDO to commemorate those who lost their lives in the horrific hate crime this past June.

Motorcyle_North County PrideAnd most significantly, the faith community was well represented: the Pilgrim United Church of Christ, All Saints American Catholic Church, the Unitarian Universalists, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Holy Cross Episcopal Church. Their support shows that the LGBTQ community and the Church need not be strangers!

Pride by the Beach Sponsors included the Imperial Court, Tri-City Medical Center, Vista Community Clinic, Mission Plaza Pharmacy , Hillcrest Pharmacy, Holiday Inn, Main Street Oceanside, Astroglide, Urban Mo’s, and the Unitarian Universalists. Special thanks go to the City of Oceanside, who graciously provided the area surrounding the Oceanside Civic Center for the event.

It was an afternoon of festival and fun, but the best part was seeing the variety of people: lesbian, gay, bisexual, butch, nelly, bear, leather, trans, and genderqueer…as well as youth, elders, parents, and allies. Some came with questions, some to network, some to show support, and some just to enjoy the afternoon. But all received acceptance and affirmation. Pride by the Beach is, at its core, about celebrating and being celebrated for being true to oneself.

Many people tirelessly gave their time and energy to make the event possible, including Shannon Rose, Pride by The Beach director and Chris Gow, vendor coordinator. Shannon mentioned to this writer that that, like the train in the famed children story “The Little Engine that Could”, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center is “The Little Center That Could…and Did!”. She particularly singled out North County Center founder and executive director Max Disposti. Through his tireless work, he has “made the community visible”. And Shannon  emphasized that even in one of the more conservative parts of the county, the Center has been able to put together a successful and growing Pride event year after year.

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Listen: Laverne Cox’s performance of ‘Sweet Transvestite’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/15/listen-laverne-coxs-performance-of-sweet-transvestite/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/15/listen-laverne-coxs-performance-of-sweet-transvestite/#respond Sun, 16 Oct 2016 00:30:13 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74667

“Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, performed by Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-N-Furter with Ryan McCartan as Brad, premiered Friday on VanityFair.com. Listen above.

“I had a conversation [with director] Kenny [Ortega]. We talked about the word ‘transvestite,’ ” the Emmy nominee tells Vanity Fair.  “That term was once an acceptable way to describe a transgender person who had not completed their medical transition; now,” Cox says, “it is an antiquated term that trans folks certainly don’t use anymore.”

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again will air Thursday, Oct. 20 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on FOX – watch the trailer below. The soundtrack was produced by Grammy Award-nominated songsmith Cisco Adler, who has brought new arrangements and a contemporary touch to the classic numbers. The soundtrack will be released on executive producer Lou Adler’s Ode Sounds & Visuals, as was the original movie soundtrack.

The two-hour TV event pays tribute to the 1975 cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show and its fans. It stars Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black) as the sexually ambiguous alien mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Ryan McCartan (Heathers: The Musical, Liv and Maddie) and Victoria Justice (Zoey 101, Victorious) as sweethearts Brad and Janet, who stumble upon Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s bizarre Transylvanian science convention. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again soundtrack also features the vocal talents of Adam Lambert as Eddie, Christina Milian as Magenta and more.

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Alaska joins the Drag Race Hall Of Fame as winner of Logo’s ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/15/alaska-joins-the-drag-race-hall-of-fame-as-winner-of-logos-rupauls-drag-race-all-stars/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/15/alaska-joins-the-drag-race-hall-of-fame-as-winner-of-logos-rupauls-drag-race-all-stars/#respond Sat, 15 Oct 2016 14:00:51 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74664

Alaska 2NEW YORK, N.Y. – After a season filled with ferocious runway looks, buzzworthy choices and cutthroat competitors, Alaska has been crowned the winner of Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season 2. Sashaying away with the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar and a $100,000 prize, Alaska beat nine of the nation’s fiercest all star queens.

“On every level Alaska raised the bar this season and earned her place in the Drag Race Hall of Fame,” said RuPaul. “To Detox, Katya and all my super talented All Star queens, I have nothing but gratitude for your brilliance in making this the most sickening season in Drag Race herstory.”

“I am honored, humbled, and grateful for the great responsibility which has been laid upon my dainty, tiny, diminutive shoulders,” said Alaska.  “As your newly crowned queen of Earth, it is my first royal decree that flats are sexy and nails are optional.  Let us be kind to one another and be slow to anger.  Hold on to your dream; hold on to your dream- because if it can happen for me, it can happen for you.  Anus-thing is possible.”

The much beloved season is not over yet.  Emmy Award winning host RuPaul will be back in two weeks on Thursday, October 27 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Logo when the All Star queens reunite to dish about the most shocking, glamorous, and twisted moments of the season.  For a sneak peek of the reunion, head to logotv.com/video-clips/muhc0f.

Additionally, Mama Ru will turn up the heat this fall with “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 6 RuVealed,” premiering Thursday, November 3 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Logo. The never-before-seen look into the unforgettable season is packed with fresh reads and behind-the-scenes gossip from Ru herself.  “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9 will return this spring to Logo.

For the second time this year, AXE featured the winner of the drag race competition in an ad for their inclusive take on masculinity, ‘Find Your Magic.’ After tonight’s coronation, Alaska appeared in the spot that celebrates authenticity and self-expression. Just like “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” ‘Find Your Magic’ challenges outdated notions of manhood and sends a message that guys can be what they want, dress how they want, love who they want and live fiercely.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe, Mandy Salangsang and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers.  Pamela Post and Tim Palazzola are Executive Producers for Logo.

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This dark side of suburbia is somewhat unoriginal http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/this-dark-side-of-suburbia-is-somewhat-unoriginal/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/this-dark-side-of-suburbia-is-somewhat-unoriginal/#respond Thu, 13 Oct 2016 22:10:20 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74588

Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train

In novels, I love unreliable narrators. I find the precarity of the truth titillating, even thrilling, especially as I slowly discover that what I’m reading isn’t to be trusted. I become a detective, looking for clues to what is really going on. It’s why I love Nabokov’s Lolita and Pale Fire, Peter Cameron’s Andorra, and, in recent years, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, turned into the excellent film directed by Joe Wright. But as great as Wright’s film is, the revelation that the narrator isn’t reliable is so much less powerful than it is in the book, because we don’t imagine her crafting the images that we see; in the book, it’s clear that every word is hers, so every lie is hers. In the adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ massive bestseller The Girl on the Train, a novel with three unreliable narrators, director Tate Taylor has a similar problem: How does he thrill us with precarity of truth? If he’s too subtle, people will be confused. If he’s too blunt … well, there’s no if. He and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson decided to be as blunt as the rock used to commit the murder at the center of the novel.

Emily Blunt (see what I did there?) plays Rachel, the titular character. She takes the train back-and-forth from the Hudson River suburbs of New York to Manhattan every day. One house she passes is occupied by beautiful Megan (Haley Bennett) and her husband Scott (Luke Evans), and she imagines and fantasizes about their perfect romance. It’s pretty clear from the audience’s perspective that Megan doesn’t look too happy, and then we realize that Rachel isn’t either and, in turn, is always drunk; she keeps vodka in her water bottle, slurs her words and wobbles when she walks. And she makes many, many mistakes, like deciding to get off the train to visit her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), with whom he cheated on Rachel and with whom he now has a baby, which Rachel could never give him. Oh, they live next door to Megan and Scott. Megan looks a lot like Anna; Megan, to alleviate boredom, is a part-time nanny for Anna and Tom.

One day, Rachel is particularly drunk and decides to get off the train and stumble toward Tom and Anna’s house. Suddenly, it’s the next day, and she’s in her apartment, filthy and covered in blood and bruises. And Megan is missing. Immediately, both Rachel and everyone in the audience wonder if Rachel killed Megan, having confused her with Anna. Rachel, because she makes bad decisions both drunk and sober, decides to insert herself into the investigation, convincing Scott that Megan was having an affair with her therapist, which accidentally convinces the police that Scott might be a murderer. When Tom and Anna see Rachel hanging around, they repeatedly tell her to stay away, that she’s a crazy drunk, and so on and so forth. Flashbacks, sex scenes, plot twists ensue, and eventually the various scenes are shown in a different way, making it as clear as a bell that Rachel, Megan and Anna are all lying to themselves or have been lied to. None of it makes full sense until the last ten minutes, when the climactic revelation is accompanied by ham-handed symbolism so ridiculous the screening audience I saw it with guffawed.

To be fair, The Girl on the Train is suspenseful enough and handsomely made enough to be entertaining, in a Lifetime movie sort of way. But its themes concerning the dark side of suburbia are so obvious and so unoriginal that Lifetime seems like the only place such a film would seem shocking. Both Theroux and Evans are fine (in performance and looks), but they exists as symbols, not characters. The cold vapidity of both Bennet and Ferguson don’t create any sort of sympathy or antipathy, and Blunt’s performance of drunken clichés is so over-the-top as to be, more than not, laughable. An unreliable narrator should give you chills, not the giggles.

The Girl on the Train

Directed by Tate Taylor

Written by Erin Cressida Wilson

Starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson and Justin Theroux

Rated R

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Coming Out http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/coming-out/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/coming-out/#respond Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:55:01 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74594

Alden Peters and Rick Peters in Coming Out

The first thing I did after finishing Alden Peters’ documentary Coming Out was to Google the term ‘coming out.’ It wasn’t that I couldn’t define it for myself but that I couldn’t define it for others. And that was when it occurred to me: the question was also a significant part of the answer. It’s a singular experience, coming out, that is neither fleeting nor trivial, but a significant and ongoing process – defined as a journey by some – that shapes the person you will become.

Alden Peters, a young, clearly gifted documentarian, makes that singular experience accessible by documenting the reactions of his friends and family as he comes out to them; he starts with his brother, graduates to his friends, other siblings and finally his mother (who remarried) and his father. And it’s compelling theater. The reactions, the ability to watch what it is like to come out (however biased toward acceptance his friends and family may already be) will help a lot of young people in a way that has rarely been accessible before.

What distinguishes Peters is the degree to which he recognizes historical forces (the usefulness and ubiquity of video) while humanizing the most salacious elements of these forces with his keen eye. He revisits the bridge where Tyler Clementi, a gay college freshman from Rutgers, ended his life then cuts to the threatening waters below where that same young man felt he deserved to be. “The shot of the water and also the typing of the forum post are two moments where the audience is really looking through my eyes.”

And it’s compelling when two young men come out, one to his father, the other to his mother, on video. It’s nearly impossible not to cry watching the raw intimacy of two young gay teenagers crying because their parents tell them they still love them regardless, as the gut punch of having to question your parents’ love is even a question for the majority of their straight peers.

I was lucky enough to catch Alden’s attention for a bit and asked him a few questions about his filmmaking style, his methods of communication and his connection to humanity.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What is your primary job as a documentarian when the subject is you?

Alden Peters

Alden Peters: My primary job is always to tell an emotionally honest story. Because I was also the subject that required a lot of delegation. You might not guess it because I made a feature documentary about myself, but I’m actually a very shy, private person. For me to be emotionally honest, and to be open and vulnerable, was a significant personal task. Co-producer Brenda Lopez was instrumental to the production process because she was the one I let take the filmmaker burden while I was on camera. That let me be myself and let me be open. We agreed that I would not censor myself about anything while we were filming. No subject or topic was off the table because we could decide what I share and don’t share in the edit room. It was also my job as a documentarian to trust my editors, Megan Mancini and Alex Familian. Because I was inherently less objective than them about myself on camera, I listened to them when they disagreed with me and when they advocated for a different direction to a scene. I very rarely vetoed any of their decisions because when I did (usually because I was cringing at what I was saying) I was wrong.

There was a brief glimpse of the reaction you got on Facebook after coming out. I suspect most of it was very supportive. Were there any unsupportive comments, especially from someone you may have known?

All of the direct messages to coming out were positive. Lots of likes and congratulations. Unsupportive comments and blatant homophobia was certainly on Facebook, posted by people I knew, but it was never targeted specifically toward me. It was a lot of posts against marriage equality. A friend who was close when we were young posted that he wanted to vomit on the capitol building of Washington State because marriage equality had just passed. There was a long, long chain of comments about how disgusting gays were.

Noura Maiga and Alden Peters

When you came out to your friends in New York City, they seemed phased but not rendered immobile by the fact that you were filming them. Had you filmed your friends before? What was their initial reaction or were we seeing this for the first time?

What you see on camera is everyone’s first response to me coming out to them. My friends and I have always been making videos together – all the footage of us in middle and high school was outtakes of the videos we were making, either for school projects or for fun. The documentary style of filming was newer to them than to my family who always has a camera around during holidays and vacations. During their trip to New York City when I told them, I filmed them for an entire week before finally coming out to them so that they would be as comfortable as possible with the camera.

One of the conclusions I took away from Coming Out was parents will surprise you. What do you tell the teen whose parents don’t support their coming out?

Veda Challenger and Alden Peters

A friend of mine has parents who to this day don’t support his coming out. He’s had to come out multiple times to them. His perspective really struck me, though. He said it took him so many years to accept himself, how can he expect his parents to accept him so quickly? They, like him, need time. I don’t think “just wait” is a good piece of advice to give, but my friend’s patience with his parents is admirable. If your parents aren’t supportive of you, you have a family in the LGBTQ community. Even if your parents are supportive of you, you also have a family in the community.

The shot of the Hudson River at the beginning of the film was magnificent. Sure, it was symbolic, but it was also a glimpse of how the director sees the world. What inspired you to include it?

I see the world empathetically. It’s partially why I am so drawn to documentary filmmaking; I enjoy hearing people share their stories and putting myself in their shoes. That’s always why the string of LGBT youth suicides in the media in September 2010 were so impactful, and why Tyler Clementi’s story was especially arresting. I saw myself in those headlines. I could see myself in their situation. So, when standing on the George Washington Bridge looking down into the water, I took the camera from the cinematographer and filmed the shot looking down into the murky river. My whole motivation for the film was to create an experiential journey that places the viewer directly into each moment. The shot of the water and also the typing of the forum post are two moments where the audience is really looking through my eyes.

Janet Mock and Alden Peters

How did you fund Coming Out?

Coming Out was mainly crowdfunded. We had successful Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns and we received direct donations through our fiscal sponsor, IFP. We were also the grantee of the Alan Landsburg Documentary Fund.

We often say ‘coming out’ is a personal decision and we try to respect a person’s right to tell us who or what they are in their own time. Yet, you filmed the people closest to you in a very public way. How did you square that in your own mind about not giving others the opportunity to sign off on reacting to such a confession on film?

It was something I thought about very often. How do I film these reactions and get an authentic reaction without people being affected by the camera as much as possible? How do I ensure I’m not exploiting people’s reactions? Me and the team had long conversations about this. I had a conversation with everyone who’s in the film about their participation, and their representation, to make sure they are OK with how they come across. There are others who were very, very close to me at the time who wanted zero part in the film. They chose not to be in the film, didn’t sign a release, and asked not to be included. They didn’t want their stories to be told within the context of this film and didn’t want their reaction locked in time. This is one of the reasons why the film is so uplifting and positive: those that reacted well chose to be in the film.

Coming Out was released Oct. 4 by Wolfe Video in celebration of National Coming Out Day which was Oct. 11. For more information on the film and to view the trailer visit: wolfevideo.com/products/coming-out/

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Turing Decodes Turing http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/turing-decodes-turing/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/turing-decodes-turing/#respond Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:35:55 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74596

Sir Dermot Turing

LGBT History Month Special Feature

Q&A with Sir Dermot Turing, biographer and nephew of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing


Everyone called him Professor. But Alan Turing, the almost universally recognized father of artificial intelligence and modern computer science, was never actually a professor.

Yet who would begrudge Turing’s esteemed nephew, Sir Dermot Turing, for titling his biography, Prof: Alan Turing Decoded, a book that unravels the many myths that enshroud the story of his famous uncle as decoder of the previously unbreakable Nazi Enigma cyphering machine?

Sir Dermot Turing will be speaking in San Diego later this month hosted by San Diego Biomedical Research Institute. Details about how to attend follow at the end of the Q&A.

The 2014 film, The Imitation Game, in which Benedict Cumberbatch exquisitely plays Alan Turing, touched on a few of Turing’s lesser known accomplishments, such as his athletic prowess. Far from a physically awkward lad, Turing was in fact a jock. His nephew’s book describes the elder Turing’s athletic abilities and love of sport more robustly than the film could ever have done.

Dermot Turing’s book explores several previously unpublished sources, including British government sources released only since the last major biography about Turing was printed, as well as letters written by Alan Turing which just came to light in 2014. Then there’s Turing’s notebook which was rediscovered and sold in 2015 to which Sir Dermot was granted access along with Alan Turing’s brother’s archive of papers from 1954 when Alan Turing died by suicide. Turing’s death came shortly after he was convicted of the “crime” of having sex with another man. Queen Elizabeth II pardoned him posthumously in 2012.

Ninety years ago this year, Alan Turing arrived for schooling at Sherborne in the county of Dorset, England. No one then could have known that fewer than two decades later, during World War II, the fresh-faced, nominally closeted Turing was destined to alter the course of human events so fundamentally that the trajectory upon which his work would set computer science would continue to shape our technology well into the 21st century.

Dermot Turing, an accomplished mathematician in his own right, has been credited with humanizing and demystifying his uncle’s enigmatic life within the pages of the book now available on Amazon and in book stores everywhere.

“The succession of Alan Turing at GCHQ today continues to be inspired by his achievements in defense of his country,” asserts Robert Hannigan, who is the current director of Her Majesty’s Government Communications Headquarters. GCHQ is the same establishment, at the time located at legendary Bletchley Park, under whose auspices Alan Turing’s work to build an early computing device he called “Bombe” occurred.

But one need be neither a history wonk nor even a lover of spy stories to pick up a copy of Sir Dermot Turing’s biography about Alan Turing. As one of the United Kingdom’s most recent top spies, Sir John Scarlett, former head of M16 – yes, that’s the nonfictional agency for which the fictional James Bond, aka 007, spies – said about the book: “Prof makes a most readable contribution to our understanding of this exceptional man.”

Following is San Diego LGBT Weekly’s Q&A with Sir Dermot Turing:

San Diego LGBT Weekly: Although History Today book reviewer, Clare Mulley, couches your perspective of your uncle’s life as one derived only after his death, she calls Prof: Alan Turing Decoded a “cheerfully anecdotal account of a slightly grubby, surprisingly athletic, formidably clever and pleasingly humorous and humane man.” Is that a fair characterization of both your biography of your famous uncle and of the man himself?

Alan Turing

Sir Dermot Turing: Yes, I think so. The thing about Alan Turing is that people perceive him as having been aloof, difficult to deal with, on another plane – and that is perhaps a bit unfair. I won’t deny that he was untidy and persistently defied social conventions, and that many things which interest regular people bored him. But who doesn’t know someone a bit like that? And I’m delighted that Clare thought my book was cheerful – the Alan Turing life story is definitely a tragedy, but there was lots of fun along the way, and it’s not so technical that we can’t all of us share in it.

How large does the legend of Alan Turing loom among members of the Turing family today?

When I was growing up, essentially no one had heard of Alan Turing outside the fields of pure mathematics and computer science. So mercifully I escaped comments at school like ‘ought to do better, with a name like that.’ Fortunately, so it seems did my own children, but by the time they were at school in the 1990s and early 2000s Alan Turing’s reputation was growing. I think this was largely because the U.K. government embarked on a major release of secret wartime papers about Enigma codebreaking at that time, and also at the same time there was this shift in people’s working patterns. Every office worker suddenly had a computer on their desk. Computers became something you can’t live without. And, because of Alan Turing’s personal story, brought to the wider public through various films and TV shows – The Imitation Game in particular – nowadays everybody has heard of him. So that’s great, because I no longer have to spell my name when I check into hotels.

Might there be another Alan among your ranks? Put another way, do other Turings show scientific or other academic prowess and/or promise akin to that of your famous uncle?

I’m bound to offend someone here. But I think, in all honesty, no. His was a pretty difficult act to follow. None of us has any pretensions to match even one of his achievements. But it’s perfectly fine not to be sparklingly clever all the time!

What facts did you learn from the previously unavailable papers to which you were granted access, especially regarding the obstacles, both political and technical, Alan Turing faced during those heady days at Bletchley?

I was very fortunate in that GCHQ – the UK Government facility that inherited the activities of Bletchley Park, and is the present-day UK counterpart of the NSA – allowed me a privileged preview of some recently declassified papers relating to Alan Turing’s activities in the second part of World War II. This period had always puzzled me, because Alan’s work on Enigma, and codebreaking more generally, had been largely completed quite early on in the war, so I really wanted to know about the 1942-1945 period. I knew he had worked on a machine for encrypting phone calls, but was that it? After all, Alan Turing was no engineer, even though he loved to roll up his sleeves and have a go. But his own technical skills were rather chaotic; so he had delegated the practical side of development to his colleagues. So what else had he been doing? The new GHCQ documents showed he’d been given a new role in information security. The most interesting aspect of this is when, just after the German surrender in 1945, he was sent to Germany to check out a top-secret lab where the Germans had been doing all sorts of cutting-edge work, including their own phone call machine, but also high-grade encipherment machinery and building their own prototype computer.

What discoveries in your research surprised you most?

I learned lots I hadn’t known before, but the thing that completely changed my perspective was going through the records of the Assize Court that convicted Alan Turing for gross indecency in 1952. I hadn’t realized until I went through the files that gross indecency cases were a kind of daily bread for the courts in those years. There were at least three other pairs of gay men who were tried at the same time as Alan Turing, and these cases were occupying about a quarter of the court’s time. The other peculiar aspect of the trial that I discovered was that the legal device to keep Alan Turing out of prison was to treat him as a mental case – in the twisted view of the early 1950s because he was gay that was a route open to them – and it’s that that led to him being given the course of hormone “therapy.” I don’t think any other biographers have really explored the legal aspects before, probably because the outcome itself is striking enough.

Do you have any thoughts on what greater advances in A.I. might the 1950s and ‘60s have offered had Alan Turing lived?

I think by 1954 Alan Turing had moved on from artificial intelligence and computing questions. What many people don’t realize is that by 1950 he had rekindled an interest in developmental biology. He was using mathematical models of how biochemicals might diffuse through growing tissue and give rise to asymmetric patterns, like you see on animal-skins or in various plant formations. At the time of his death he was trying to fit his theory to the Fibonacci numbers that you can find in, for example, the array of seeds in a sunflower head. So I think he had left A.I. to others by this stage. Who knows what Alan Turing would have gone on to tackle after biology.

What are your duties as a trustee for Bletchley Park; and what if any special role do you offer as perhaps a living vessel or amplifier of the legacy of your uncle’s imprint on the institution?

It’s a privilege to have been invited to serve on the Bletchley Park board, but the reality is that this is a not-for-profit operation turning over several million pounds a year, so the board’s role is to keep the business on the rails, to deliver a great experience for our visitors, and to keep a firm eye on the future so we continue to remain relevant for future generations. Alan Turing is a great draw and his name encourages visitors to come and find out more about what was achieved at Bletchley Park during World War II and how it made a difference. We also hope to raise their curiosity about present-day issues around communications security.

Is it possible that Alan Turing would be a willing and out-of-the-closet role model for young LGBT people had he been born 50-60 years later?

Alan Turing struggled, I think, with his sexuality, and in the climate which I described of post-war attitudes, he wasn’t particularly open about it except when he knew he was in safe company. For example, my father didn’t have the first idea his brother was gay until his arrest in 1952 – by which time Alan was nearly 40 years old. People also tell me that he was painfully shy and uncomfortable outside the academic classroom with standing up and being the leader. So, I suspect the answer is that he wouldn’t have wanted to be one of the first to come out – but it’s difficult to know, since coming out in the 1950s was just not an option, unlike later on. I am absolutely sure that he would have rejoiced in the change in social attitudes since then.

What then should young LGBT people – perhaps especially those interested in the sciences – take from his story and from your telling of it in Prof: Alan Turing Decoded?

I’d say that Alan Turing can be a role model for geeks everywhere. He was never ashamed of being a geek – and we all know that kids at school can be social misfits if they seem to be too interested in “difficult” things. Alan – and, to give credit where it’s due, his schools – were OK with not being mainstream. And not being mainstream might mean you have something special to contribute. So, we can celebrate diversity and tolerance, and get the best out of everybody.

What is the most important lesson to be taken from your book?

People who enjoyed The Imitation Game or who have seen other dramatic representations of Alan Turing or Bletchley Park might find that the real story isn’t quite the same as they might imagine, but every bit as good.

Sir Dermot Turing will speak at the Landmark Hillcrest Cinema the evening of Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

What question do you hope someone will ask at the forum Oct. 27?

People should feel free to ask about anything at all. But maybe the interesting questions are about where Alan Turing’s ideas came from. They didn’t arrive in his head as fully-formed masterworks fresh out of the ether. And looking at how his theories took shape can be as inspiring to all of us as his life-story.

What is your connection to the San Diego Biomedical Research Institute?

The Institute is led by Dr. Joanna Davies, who was a contemporary of mine when we both studied at Oxford University in the U.K., too long ago to mention without being impolite. I’m delighted she asked me to appear on this occasion.

Do you have have any idea what Alan Turing might have thought of the work the institute does?

It’s difficult to speculate, but I think it’s highly significant that Alan Turing’s last research student, Professor Bernard Richards, joined Alan’s lab in 1953 because he was a pure mathematician who wanted to work on Alan’s morphogenesis equations. Bernard Richards subsequently moved wholeheartedly into biology and medicine and developed his career in biomedical research. So – in a very indirect sense – the type of work being done at the Institute can claim some parenthood from Alan Turing.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

Is there anything you would like to add?

Just to say thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss these things with you. Alan Turing is about so much more than Enigma codebreaking and it’s great to have the chance to talk about some of the other facets of his life and career.


San Diego Biomedical Research Institute will host Sir Dermot Turing for a community discussion and screening of the Oscar-winning film, The Imitation Game.

The forum will occur Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., Landmark Hillcrest Cinema, 3965 Fifth Ave. in San Diego. Tickets are $20 and available via Eventbrite here. All proceeds benefit studies and other programs at San Diego Biomedical Research Institute.

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Logo greenlights a second season of ‘Finding Prince Charming’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/logo-greenlights-a-second-season-of-finding-prince-charming/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/13/logo-greenlights-a-second-season-of-finding-prince-charming/#respond Thu, 13 Oct 2016 19:06:33 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74547

FindingNEW YORK, NYLogo today announced it has given the go-ahead a second season for “Finding Prince Charming,” a new hit reality dating competition series that premiered in September.  The announcement comes just two weeks after one of the highest rated episodes to date which drew a 22% increase in overall viewers from its season average and up 9% above the week prior.  Season to date and across all platforms, “Finding Prince Charming” has reached 3.4 million plus viewers.  The success of “Finding Prince Charming” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” has also led Logo to its highest rated Thursday night in network history.

The first-of-its-kind journey to find love is hosted by Lance Bass and features interior designer, Robert Sepulveda Jr. in the first season as the sought-after prince charming who is searching for the man of his dreams. Sepulveda’s 13 charming suitors, all housed together, are competing to stand out from the crowd and capture a moment of intimate connection, romance and, perhaps, true love. One by one, the suitors are eliminated until Prince Charming chooses one ideal man to sweep him off of his feet and win his heart.

On tonight’s all-new episode airing at 9:00 PM ET/PT on Logo, the remaining guys are put to the test to see which of them knows Robert best. Their patience is tested when two suitors find themselves having to share Robert on a romantic date and a shocking elimination leaves the house rattled.

The current season will come to a dramatic conclusion on Thursday, November 3rd at 9:00 PM ET/PT when Robert and the remaining suitors head to a romantic destination where he is faced with his toughest decision yet.  On Thursday, November 10th at 9:00 PM ET/PT, Lance Bass will welcome back Prince Charming and the 13 suitors that competed for his heart in a reunion special filled with drama, fun, heartbreak and never-before-seen-footage.

“’Finding Prince Charming’ is unlike anything that’s currently on television and fans can’t seem to get enough of the reality series,” said Pamela Post, SVP of Original Programming for Logo. The show is a winning mix of drama and romance topped with humor and we are looking forward to leveling up next season.”

Casting has begun on the new season of “Finding Prince Charming” and viewers have the chance to influence the new cast by giving one lucky suitor the opportunity to fall head over heels for a brand new prince through an online submission and voting process. Beginning Thursday, November 3rd through Wednesday, November 16th, potential suitors can submit a photo or video via hashtag through Instagram or Twitter showing the public why they should have a chance at love on the next season of Logo’s dating competition series. On Thursday, November 17th, fans will vote from the top potential suitors and the winner will vie for Prince Charming’s heart.  Season one of “Finding Prince Charming” is currently airing Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on Logo.

“Finding Prince Charming” is produced by Brian Graden Media with Brian Graden and Dave Mace serving as Executive Producers. Pamela Post and Stevenson Greene serve as Executive Producers and Jen Passovoy as Producer for Logo.

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New study shows San Diego is 2016’s fifth greenest city in America http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/12/new-study-shows-san-diego-is-2016s-fifth-greenest-city-in-america/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/12/new-study-shows-san-diego-is-2016s-fifth-greenest-city-in-america/#respond Wed, 12 Oct 2016 19:54:23 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74541

With October being National Energy Awareness Month and 74 percent of Americans today supporting efforts to protect the environment, the personal-finance Web site WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Greenest Cities in America.

To determine the cities promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 20 key “green” indicators. Their data set ranges from “greenhouse-gas emissions per capita” to “number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.”

“Greenness” of San Diego (1=Best; 50=Avg.)

  • 51st – Greenhouse-Gas Emissions per Capita
  • 8th – % of Green Space
  • 39th – % of Commuters Who Drive
  • 52nd – Bike Score
  • 1st – Number of Farmers Markets per Capita
  • 9th – Annual Excess Fuel Consumed
  • 31st – Walk Score

Overall San Diego ranked fifth with San Francisco, Honolulu, San Jose and Fremont above it.

For the full report, please visit:


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GLAAD launches Spirit Day app in support of LGBTQ youth http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/12/glaad-launches-spirit-day-app-in-support-of-lgbtq-youth/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/12/glaad-launches-spirit-day-app-in-support-of-lgbtq-youth/#respond Wed, 12 Oct 2016 19:30:57 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74530

NEW YORK – GLAAD announced today the launch of the “Go Purple for #SpiritDay” app, powered by Toyota Financial Services. The free app allows users to take part in Spirit Day, the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world supporting LGBTQ youth, by making their social media profiles purple. The app also offers anti-bullying resources for students, parents, and educators. “Go Purple for #SpiritDay” is available for Apple and Android devices.

“Taking a stand against bullying shouldn’t be scary and it shouldn’t be something you have to do alone,” said Mike Groff, president and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. “Across the Toyota family, we are proud to once again join GLAAD and millions of others around the globe in going purple for Spirit Day on October 20th and for always standing against bullying. And we’re particularly proud to continue our sponsorship of the Spirit Day app which, not only allows users to turn social media pics purple, but more importantly, gives students, educators, parents and friends access to great information on how to address bullying behavior.”

Millions wear purple on Spirit Day, taking place on October 20, as a sign of support for LGBTQ youth and to speak out against bullying in all forms. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to young people who had taken their own lives. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks.

According to a 2015 GLSEN survey, more than half of LGBTQ students report being victimized based on sexual orientation, with a further three quarters of students who report hearing homophobic remarks in school. Overall the report stated that the rates of LGBTQ bullying in the U.S. remain troublesome.

Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target and Wells Fargo, official partners, Dow, Google, NBA and WNBA, NFL, Viacom, and WWE, and supporting partners, American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Chobani, Comcast NBCUniversal, Kellogg’s, Kirkland & Ellis, Toyota Financial Services, and Zipcar. Additionally, Logo’s Global Ally campaign is a sponsor of Spirit Day’s international efforts, including the Spirit Day Kit in six different languages.

Previous Spirit Day participants include The White House, The Empire State Building, Britney Spears, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Shaquille O’Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, iHeartMedia, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more. For more information on Spirit Day and how GLAAD accelerates acceptance, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday.

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National Coming Out Day: Take pride in the true you http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/11/national-coming-out-day-take-pride-in-the-true-you/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/11/national-coming-out-day-take-pride-in-the-true-you/#respond Tue, 11 Oct 2016 20:50:15 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74524

In celebration of National Coming Out Day and LGBT History Month, Travis Kelso-Turner, the executive director of Executive Pride – the LGBTQ workplace equality organization shares his highly personal and emotional story.

His story, which is below, sheds some light on why he launched the “Pride Inside” initiative to make LGBTQ workplace equality a reality for every American worker.

Here is Travis Kelso-Turner’s story of coming out, and how he embraced his true self:
At an early age, Travis knew he was “different.” He preferred Barbies over GI Joe’s, tried painting his nails and enjoyed playing with girls more than boys. Unfortunately, Travis grew up in an abusive and close-minded household, “my dad told me that if his kids ever grew up to date ‘black’ people, or turn out to be a ‘fag’, he would disown us.”

Travis’s parents divorced the year he was born, and his dad remarried to someone that shared the same hateful views. Travis’s stepmother knew he was gay, but it was an unspoken subject – she forced Travis to stop dancing professionally, which he loved, because in her words “only girls, or ‘fags’, are allowed to dance.” Later in Travis’s childhood, his stepmother began calling him “Travina” to tease him.

With a lack of supportive parents, Travis turned to his friends and made his friends’ family his family. “If I followed the footsteps I was led in, I would be addicted to drugs, or a milkshake attendant spittin’ on your onion rings. I took a route that I felt was right, I chose good friends, I observed their parents, listened to their advice and let them show me the way,” says Travis.

While attending a religious high school, Travis stayed closeted to maintain his popularity. But, hiding who he really was took a toll on Travis, emotionally and physically, so he decided to come out: “for three of my four years, I knew I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t ‘me’. The last semester of my senior year, I decided enough was enough and it was time to be me and come out to my friends. I lost no one in that transition, I was accepted at school and my friends loved, and supported, me 100 percent!”

The next step was telling his family, “I told my mother first – she said she already knew and that it wouldn’t affect how she loved me, or how our relationship would be.” Travis waited two more years to tell his father because he couldn’t imagine telling a man, who once said he would disown him for being gay – that he actually was. To Travis’s surprise, his dad said “he’ll always love and support me, and he was happy I told him because he also knew.” His relationship with his dad improved slightly throughout the years – until Travis got married, “I’ve spoken to my father a handful of times since my wedding and I couldn’t figure out why, until my youngest brother told me that my dad brought up me changing my last name to Turner – and how upset he was that I did that. He went on and asked my brother if I was the ‘bitch’ in my relationship.”

While this disheartened Travis, he was fortunate to have a father-in-law who was supportive of his son and Travis’s relationship. When Travis asked his husband’s dad for his son’s hand in marriage, his father-in-law responded, “I don’t understand why the hell it matters who you love, and who you marry? In the police force we didn’t walk into the job, or crime scene, and share that we’re dating or married to a woman. That’s your private business, and this is part of what’s wrong with the world these days.” Needless to say, this was one of the best moments in Travis’s life – it gave him the confidence to be who he really was shamelessly, and fearlessly.
For National Coming Out Day, Travis is encouraging everyone to not come out – but rather, be who you really are. Travis says that, “people need to learn to love people for themselves, as humans, not whatever our dysfunctional government, and religion, have instilled into our brains. If you’re going to come out, you should stand strong and come out as a human. Never be afraid to be you.”
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‘Loving’ stars Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton help celebrate Pride in Atlanta http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/10/loving-stars-ruth-negga-and-joel-edgerton-help-celebrate-pride-in-atlanta/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/10/loving-stars-ruth-negga-and-joel-edgerton-help-celebrate-pride-in-atlanta/#respond Mon, 10 Oct 2016 17:49:21 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74496
Actor Joel Edgerton and actress Ruth Negga attends Focus Features' "LOVING" at Atlanta Pride on October 9, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Focus Features)

Actor Joel Edgerton and actress Ruth Negga attends Focus Features’ “Loving” at Atlanta Pride (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Focus Features)

Stars of Focus Features’ highly-anticipated film, Loving, Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton helped celebrate Atlanta Pride this weekend while promoting the film.

From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Edgerton and Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since. Loving v. Virginia became a precedent in the Obergefell v. Hodges marriage equality case last year.

The film will be in select theaters Nov. 4.  Watch the trailer for Loving below.

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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Sara Ramirez comes out as bisexual http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/10/greys-anatomy-star-sara-ramirez-comes-out-as-bisexual/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/10/greys-anatomy-star-sara-ramirez-comes-out-as-bisexual/#respond Mon, 10 Oct 2016 17:32:11 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74492

Sara Ramirez, who stars in Grey’s Anatomy has come out as bisexual.

Speaking at the True Colors Fund’s 40 to None Summit in Los Angeles Saturday Ramirez described herself as  a “queer, bisexual” woman.

“So many of our youth experiencing homelessness are youth whose lives touch on many intersections – whether they be gender identity, gender expression, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship status,” she said in her speech. “Because of the intersections that exist in my own life: woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American, immigrant, and raised by families heavily rooted in Catholicism on both my Mexican and Irish sides, I am deeply invested in projects that allow our youth’s voices to be heard.”

According to the Huffington Post her decision to come out publicly at the event was a “very organic and natural” one.

“It made sense for me at this time as it was one piece of a larger context I was communicating,” she told HuffPost. “Our most marginalized youth touch on many intersections, and in describing the concept of inter sectionalities, I decided to describe the ones that exist in my own life.”

Watch Sara Ramirez’s speech above.

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ABCd’s ‘All My Gay Friends Are Getting Married’ re-launches in celebration of National Coming Out Day http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/10/abcds-all-my-gay-friends-are-getting-married-re-launches-in-celebration-of-national-coming-out-day/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/10/abcds-all-my-gay-friends-are-getting-married-re-launches-in-celebration-of-national-coming-out-day/#respond Mon, 10 Oct 2016 16:54:53 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74488

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.— In celebration of National Coming Out Day, Oct 11, ABCd’s new digital talk series All My Gay Friends Are Getting Married hosted by television personality, pop culture pundit and comedian Michelle Collins is re-launching with a social campaign about the power of love and the celebration of life! It includes three never before released videos about coming out, finding love and the impact of the Prop. 8 ruling.

“If it weren’t for my gay friends, I would never LOL. It’s about time the funniest, most caring people I know are able to celebrate marriage to one another!” said Executive Producer and Host Michelle Collins. “This show welcomes some truly inspirational couples to learn about their fabulous wedding days – some of which are jaw-dropping, as well as find out about their own journeys, individually and as couples.”

Check out  the video below which is a clip showcasing the inspiring romance of game changers, Paul Katami and his husband, Jeff Zarrillo who were part of the case that went all the way to the Supreme Court and ultimately overturned Proposition 8 legalizing same sex marriage.

All My Gay Friends Are Getting Married is produced by World of Wonder. The series is available exclusively on the ABC app for desktop, mobile and connected TV devices, which can be found on Apple’s App Store and its Apple TV App Store, ABC.com, Amazon Appstore, Google Play, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Xbox 360. The app features current on-air ABC shows, full seasons of 38 “Throwback” shows like Felicity, My So Called Life, Sports Night and Ugly Betty, and ABCd short-form series from some of today’s most unique voices in comedy and lifestyle.

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The Amazon Trail: Me and my pin http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/09/the-amazon-trail-me-and-my-pin/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/09/the-amazon-trail-me-and-my-pin/#respond Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:30:30 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74481
American vote buttons illustration


“I thought I was the only one,” the stranger said in a low voice.

It wasn’t 1957, or even 1977. It was last week, at the grand opening of a supermarket in town.

He was gray-haired, tall, dressed like a ranch hand. His smile was sheepish, his eyes conspiratorial.

He wasn’t talking about finding a kindred gay soul. He pointed to my pin, the “H” arrow of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. I smiled back at him. We enthused, we commiserated, we talked about the conservative places we’d moved away from. I wanted to assure him that our town was liberal, that there were more of us, but, where were the political buttons?

We were a month away from the presidential election.  The stranger made me realize that I hadn’t seen anyone wearing a Clinton pin either. Or a he-who-shall-not-be-named pin. No bumper stickers. This election is intimidating: no one wants to show her or his colors.

I admit to feeling a moment of disquiet when I attached the pins to my vests. My neighbors know I’m gay and act very accepting, but there are bound to be Hillary haters in this over-fifty-five community. What was I letting myself in for?

Then the stranger told me the story of going door to door in 2008, asking permission to install Obama lawn signs in front yards. Part of his rural county borders Harney County, Oregon, where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Occupation took place in January, 2016. Nevertheless, he did his bit and planted those signs all day.

The very next day, said the stranger, his signs were all torn down and smashed up.

He was feeling gunshy when we met and happy to find another Clinton supporter. He asked where to get a button like mine. There was no place local so I sent him to the internet. (https://shop.hillaryclinton.com/collections/new-arrivals)

Remember the days when there were party headquarters in practically every town? Big banners on storefronts, red, white, and blue bunting. Cars with loudspeakers that trawled through neighborhoods, playing patriotic music and touting their candidates? Volunteers or even paid workers who pressed buttons on passersby? Often, the buttons were tiny tin circles you attached to clothing by folding a tab at the top?

All those funds go to TV, the USPS, and the web now. I get one to two emails a day from the Clinton campaign, not even counting Facebook and Twitter promotions. There are no face to face human appeals or exchanges. My sweetheart answered the phone the other evening and spoke for a while with a young woman about a candidate for our state election. One of the questions my sweetheart asked was, “Who is he running against?” The campaigner had no idea.

It might infuriate me to see someone wearing an opposition pin, but this graphic silence is worrisome. Is the atmosphere in the US so uncivil that we fear to speak out? When one candidate hints that assassination might solve some problems, what craziness can me and my pin expect from politically frustrated followers who are desperate to get their candidate elected?

A day or two after my encounter with the liberal stranger, a cashier at the McDonald’s drive-in spotted my pin and asked where to get one. The servers were bogged down and as I idled, she told me how worried she was that he-who-shall-not-be-named might be elected.

A friend sent two more pins. Now I have four. No, I don’t wear them all at once. I haven’t done that since my gay liberation, feminist, peace and civil rights activist days. You kind of had to back then, there was so much going on.

Every contact since then, between my pins and me and the townsfolk, has been has been heartening. The women don’t always say something, but they spot the pin, look up at me and, I swear, their eyes twinkle, or at least their crows’ feet wrinkle into smile lines. But their lips are sealed.

I still haven’t seen other Clinton buttons or bumper stickers. Maybe it’s because I don’t go out much. Yesterday, though, I saw my first he-who display. Big clean new-looking white SUV with a red, white, and blue over-sized bumper sticker. Stuck out like a very sore thumb in that parking lot full of Subarus, muddy pickups and little old Toyotas.

Has silence settled over the whole of the US? Are voters in denial of this good vs. evil election? Why aren’t we the people speaking up in ways we used to? I can’t help but wonder if some folks fear repercussions should the demagogue sit in the White House. Or perhaps it’s simply that women tend not to be boisterous in word or political gear. Are not generally raised to speak our minds.

Because the last words of the now smiling stranger in the grocery store were these: “I believe it’s the women who’ll win this one for us.”

Lee Lynch wrote the classic novels The Swashbuckler and Toothpick House. Her newest book is An American Queer: The Amazon Trail, which is a Lammy finalist. Most recently she was made namesake and first recipient of the Golden Crown Literary Society Lee Lynch Classic Award for her novel The Swashbuckler. She is also a recipient of the James Duggins Mid-Career Award in Writing, and many more honors.Books by Lee Lynch are available at women’s and gay bookstores and at boldstrokesbooks.com


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New exhibition documents San Francisco’s LGBTQ Latino culture from 1970s to 1990s http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/08/new-exhibition-documents-san-franciscos-lgbtq-latino-culture-from-1970s-to-1990s/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/08/new-exhibition-documents-san-franciscos-lgbtq-latino-culture-from-1970s-to-1990s/#respond Sun, 09 Oct 2016 00:30:49 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74464
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — For decades, Spanish speakers in many parts of the Western Hemisphere recognize the word ambiente — literally meaning “atmosphere” or “environment” — as a coded reference. Queer Latinas and Latinos have used the word to identify themselves, their distinctive cultures and their spirit of resistance.

"Noche de Ambiente" curators Ángel Rafael "Ralph" Vázquez-Concepción (left) and Juliana Delgado Lopera

“Noche de Ambiente” curators Ángel Rafael “Ralph” Vázquez-Concepción (left) and Juliana Delgado Lopera

The term is at the heart of a new exhibition that will debut October 28 at the GLBT History Museum: “Noche de Ambiente.” The show opens a window into the meanings of ambiente as reflected in Latino drag performance and LGBTQ and AIDS activism in San Francisco from the 1970s into the 1990s.

Curated by Juliana Delgado Lopera and Ángel Rafael “Ralph” Vázquez-Concepción, the exhibition brings together documents, images and videos from the GLBT Historical Society’s archives as well as materials contributed by community members.
“Growing up in Puerto Rico, the word ambiente was familiar; I heard it a lot when I was a kid in the ’80s,” says Vázquez-Concepción. “Later I came to understand the shielding effect it has. Like a spell, it turns the space it refers to into Latinx queer domain.”
A sampling of the Adela Vázquez papers documenting San Francisco's LGBTQ Latino scene from the 1980s and 1990s; collection of Juliana Delagado Lopera. Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.

A sampling of the Adela Vázquez papers documenting San Francisco’s LGBTQ Latino scene from the 1980s and 1990s; collection of Juliana Delagado Lopera. Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.

Delgado Lopera first learned the word from the woman she sees as her queer mother, Adela Vázquez, who told Lopera stories that opened an underground world of queer Latinidad invisible to the public eye. Through Vázquez she met many queer Latinas and Latinos active during the 1980s and 1990s, some of whom formed her chosen family. “I’m committed to the unearthing and preservation of their stories because they’re part of me, they created openings for me to exist,” Lopera says.

“Noche de Ambiente” opens on Friday, October 28, with a public reception set for 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum at 4127 18th St. in San Francisco. The curators will make brief remarks to inaugurate the show. Wine and light refreshments will be served. Admission is $5.00; free for members. The exhibition will be on display in the museum’s Front Gallery through February 2017.
For more information, visit www.glbthistorymuseum.org.
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SDWC announces upcoming fall concert – ‘Everything She Touches’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/08/sdwc-announces-upcoming-fall-concert-everything-she-touches/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/08/sdwc-announces-upcoming-fall-concert-everything-she-touches/#respond Sat, 08 Oct 2016 19:30:17 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74460
San Diego Women's Chorus

San Diego Women’s Chorus

SAN DIEGO, Calif. The 85-voice-strong San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC) announced Friday that their fall concert, Everything She Touches, will be performed Saturday Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. The concerts will take place at the beautiful state-of-the-art CPMA Theatre in Clairemont (5050 Conrad Ave., 92117). Attendees are invited to a pre-show reception one hour prior prior to showtime each day, where they can enjoy food, drinks, and a chance to win opportunity drawing baskets. Tickets are now on sale here.

Filled with powerful songs, Everything She Touches celebrates standing up for our beliefs and supporting each other to make a better society for everyone. “Everything She Touches is about our relationship to each other and the environment that surround us. Sometimes powerfully and sometimes tenderly, our music will explore our role as weavers of the intrinsically interconnected web of the world,” states Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen.

A beautiful tapestry of varied musical genres, poignant messages and stirring emotions, the concert will keep minds engaged and ears delighted. Audiences will be treated to beloved favorites from Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and the Beatles, dance along in their seats to pop songs from Walk The Moon and Imagine Dragons, hear gorgeous compositions by Ysaye Barnwell and Joan Szymko, and experience lively melodies from Brazil and Uganda.

The San Diego Women’s Chorus also announced the California premiere of Glenda and Lauree: There are Certain Kinds of Love That Never Die, inspired by the true-life story of Glenda Elliott and the love she shared with a woman named Lauree in 1940s Georgia, a time and place that offered no role models for loving someone of the same sex. Now in her 70s, Ms. Elliott first shared her memories through the popular NPR program StoryCorps. After hearing the segment on the radio, Gerald Gurss, the director of One Voice Charlotte in North Carolina, was immediately inspired to put her words to music for his mixed voice chorus. He has now created a beautiful arrangement for women’s voices, specifically for the San Diego Women’s Chorus, which will premiere at Everything She Touches.

Tickets for Everything She Touches are on sale now and can be purchased at www.sdwc.org or https://sdwc.ticketleap.com/everything-she-touches. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and discounted tickets are available for youth, students, seniors, military, and disabled patrons. Both performances will be ASL-interpreted for deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members.

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Sean Hayes to receive Trailblazer Award at Outfest Legacy Awards http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/07/sean-hayes-to-receive-trailblazer-award-at-outfest-legacy-awards/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/07/sean-hayes-to-receive-trailblazer-award-at-outfest-legacy-awards/#respond Fri, 07 Oct 2016 16:27:57 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74453
Sean Hayes

Sean Hayes

LOS ANGELES, Calif – Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen, announced today that it will honor Emmy Award-winning actor and producer Sean Hayes (Will and Grace) in addition to previously announced honorees Jill Soloway and Freeform at the 2016 Legacy Awards.

Hayes is receiving the Trailblazer Award in recognition of his exemplary career as a stage, film, television, and recording artist and for his longtime, passionate support of the LGBT community. As one of this generation’s most visible and beloved LGBT performers, he has played a key role in the community’s progress and empowerment. Sean was the first actor to win an Emmy for playing a gay character on a television series, Will & Grace.

“Sean Hayes portrayal of Jack on NBC’s Will & Grace took the stereotypical gay sissy and made him human, loveable, flawed, and real. ‘Will & Grace’ first went on the air in 1998 long before it was ‘cool’ or politically correct to have a show that placed LGBT characters front and center and treated them with respect. Jack lived in a land where it was ok to simply be Jack – open, honest, funny, and real. We have Sean to thank for the doors that opened,” said Christopher Racster, Outfest’s Executive Director.

As previously announced, Soloway will be honored with the Visionary Award, which recognizes artistic and creative contributions to the LGBT media visibility for a body of work that includes Transparent. Freeform is receiving the Corporate Trailblazer Award in recognition of its groundbreaking programming for young adults, people in high school, college and the decade that follows which includes such LGBT-friendly programs including Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters and Shadowhunters.

The 2016 Legacy Awards will take place Sunday, Oct. 23 at performing arts venue Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, with head chef Neal Fraser (Redbird). Merrill Lynch will return as the Presenting Sponsor.

The Legacy Awards serves as a fundraiser to support the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, which celebrates its 11th anniversary this year. Outfest and UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered in 2005 to create the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to saving and preserving LGBT moving images. The Legacy Project is aimed at the crisis in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving image archiving. Many of the landmark LGBT films produced over the last 40-plus years are already in danger of fading away; their original exhibition prints are in tatters and their negatives are in woeful storage conditions, or even lost. For the last 11 years, the Legacy Project is proud to have collected more than 36,000 moving image items and to have restored 24 historically important film and video projects.

Previous Legacy Award winners include Tom Hanks (Philadelphia), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry), Lee Daniels (Empire), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago) Adam Shankman (Hairspray), Roland Emmerich (Stonewall), Alan Poul (The Newsroom), Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook), and Paris Barclay (Glee).

The Legacy Awards are also sponsored by Brown-Forman, Delta Air Lines, Total Wine & More, and Variety. Tickets are on sale now at www.outfest.org.

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Local creative pros to host fundraiser for nonprofits to expand their brands http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/07/local-creative-pros-to-host-fundraiser-for-nonprofits-to-expand-their-brands/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/07/local-creative-pros-to-host-fundraiser-for-nonprofits-to-expand-their-brands/#respond Fri, 07 Oct 2016 15:52:24 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74442
SAN DIEGO – Orange Tree Project hosts the organization’s first-ever Orange Tree Soirée on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 at the ChuckAlek Biergarten in North Park. This special fundraising event celebrates the value of design and raise funds to provide design grants for nonprofits to become more fruitful in their community.
The Soirée begins at 6 p.m. when guests will step into a beautiful urban garden filled with fresh flowers, fruit trees, and shimmering lights and enjoy a gourmet Latin-inspired menu prepared by chef and partner Eduardo Baeza of the award-winning City Tacos and Tostadas. Craft beer from ChuckAlek Independent Brewers will be served and guests can learn about their beverage’s heritage from head brewer Grant Fraley and partner Marta Jankowska. Premier wines from Triple B Ranches and Vespar Vineyards will also be offered.
Guests will mix, mingle and bid on spectacular items featuring local artists and designers, who transform watering cans into one-of-a-kind works of art, and other exclusive items to be unveiled at the event. Attendees can also get an in-person sneak peek at the latest designs created by Orange Tree Project, such as clothing for men, women, and children as well as cards, prints, pillows, and more. Proceeds from the sale of these products also fund the design grants.
Orange Tree Project is currently self-funded and all event proceeds will ensure that the organization continues its mission. Orange Tree Project provides design grants for qualified 501c3 organizations and introduces new rules of engagement for pro bono partnerships, radically improving outcomes for all involved. Grant recipients are paired with leading creative professionals who help them stand out, reach more people and amplify their community impact. “Nonprofits and organizations for social good should have access to the best creative talent, and great design can help a nonprofit reach greater success,” says Bobby Buchanan, creator and executive director of the Orange Tree Project. “If a nonprofit is truly serious about their cause and mission, they must be serious about their brand.”
Tickets to the Orange Tree Soirée are only $50 per person in advance online, $60 per person at the door. Special group rates available for groups of 10 or more guests. Sponsorships are available. Learn more and register to attend at www.orangetreeproject.org/soiree.
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The City: Top to Bottom http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/06/the-city-top-to-bottom-273/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/06/the-city-top-to-bottom-273/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2016 20:22:20 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74416

Peter Noone

thursday, oct. 6

Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone

Universally regarded as one of Rock n’ Roll’s finest and most versatile entertainers, Herman’s Hermits lead singer Peter Noone is second to none. At the age of fifteen, Peter achieved international fame as “Herman”, lead singer of the legendary Sixties pop band Herman’s Hermits. His classic hits included: “I’m Into Something Good” “Mrs. Brown, you’ve Got A Lovely Daughter”, “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”, “Silhouettes”, “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat”, “Just A Little Bit Better”, “Wonderful World”, “There’s A Kind of Hush”, “A Must To Avoid”, “Listen People”, “The End of the World” and “Dandy”. Ultimately, Herman’s Hermits sold over sixty million recordings.

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Dr. in San Diego, 7:30 p.m., tickets $50, 800-745-3000, humphreysconcerts.com

Aparna Nancherla

friday, oct. 7

Aparna Nancherla

Aparna Nancherla is a comedian of the stand-up variety, but can often be seen sitting. She recently wrote for Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC. You can also see her on the current season of Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central and on the upcoming season of Love on Netflix. In addition, she currently hosts the long-running popular underground New York comedy show, Whiplash at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on Monday nights at 11 p.m.

The American Comedy Company, 818B Sixth Ave. in San Diego, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., tickets $16, 619-795-3858, americancomedyco.com

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble

saturday, oct. 8

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble presents Fall Classics

The ensemble will be featuring light classical pieces interspersed with premier performances of the three winning contemporary pieces from this year’s national composition contest. The night will include the Sunrise and On the Trail movements from Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite as well as a grand salute to Scotland with the suite from The Hymn of the Highland.

First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4190 Front St. in Hillcrest, 7 p.m., tickets $15 in advance and $20 at the door, 619-692-2077 x814, hillcrestwindensemble.com

Polish Festival dancers

sunday, oct. 9

Annual Polish Festival

The Polish Festival is a tribute to our Polish heritage, our pride as American citizens, and San Diegans and an expression of the legendary Polish hospitality. During the festival there will be performances by Polish folk dancers, and various musical bands. There will be delicious Polish food, and the best genuine imported Polish beer.

St. M. Kolbe Roman Catholic Polish Mission, 1735 Grand Ave. in San Diego, 12-5 p.m., admission $5, polishmission.org/festival/index.php


monday, oct. 10


In this thoughtful (and gore-free) one-of-a-kind exhibit, you’ll discover that cannibals aren’t who you think they are. They’re warriors from many cultures, European kings and queens, American and European sailors, American colonists, accident survivors, the sick and more.

San Diego Museum of Man, 1350 El Prado in Balboa Park, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., tickets $13, 619-239-2001, museumofman.org

Taste of Mission Hills

tuesday, oct. 11

Taste of Mission Hills

Experience an evening of delectable “tastes” in one of San Diego’s premiere dining neighborhoods Mission Hills. Let preparations representing recipes from around the globe captivate your taste buds. From worldly to local, 21 participating purveyors of tastes, including long established and very new places in Mission Hills, will be featured.

5th Annual Taste of Mission Hills in San Diego, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Advance ticket $25, day-of ticket $30, missionhillsbid.com/taste/

Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles

wednesday, oct. 12

Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles

In 4000 Miles, a feisty grandmother and her hippie 21-year-old grandson butt heads after he arrives unannounced at her Greenwich Village apartment having biked across the country. As they both come to terms with recent personal tragedies, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder and somehow manage to reach one another. This marks playwright Amy Herzog’s debut in San Diego.

ion’s BLKBOX Theatre, 3704 Sixth Ave. in San Diego, 7 p.m., tickets from $14, 619-600-5020, iontheatre.com

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Gay TV series ‘Feral’ debuts today (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/06/gay-tv-series-feral-debuts-today-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/06/gay-tv-series-feral-debuts-today-video/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:41:38 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74426

NEW YORK, NY–Like HBO’s Looking or Girls, but set in Memphis, Tenn. That’s how creator Morgan Jon Fox characterizes Feral, a Dekkoo.com original TV series that debuts today exclusively on the subscription streaming service dedicated to gay men.

In Feral, Fox (who also serves as the series writer and director), weaves a tale of survival as a group of 20-somethings learn about love, loss and friendship while living in the vibrant, artistic queer community of Memphis.

The story line revolves around the lives of Billy and Daniel, two best friends sharing a comfortably broken in bungalow in the diverse neighborhood of Midtown. It begins when the two are forced to kick out their third roommate, after discovering his heroin addiction.


Feral creator Morgan Jon Fox  •  photo by Breezy Lucia

Known for gritty southern stories about characters on the fringe, Fox describes his protagonists as, “…kids who are left on their own, whether it’s financially, whether it’s identity, or whether their lovers are deceased. Whatever that is, they’re left to their own devices to carve their own way. They’re feral beings.”

While shows like Looking and Girls may have provided the template, the Middle America Memphis setting and vibe is what sets Feral, refreshingly apart from its predecessors. Missing are the stock characters, the hipsters, the clichés that are predictably trotted out in gay dramas large and small. “You won’t see the gay stereotypes you see in shows set on the West or East Coast,” promises Fox.

“Now, my characters have their issues,” Fox explains, “but I didn’t want them to be based in cynicism. I wanted their motives and struggles to be pure and honest in a way that wasn’t just, ‘I’m a spoiled rich person without meaning in my life.'” That the characters are queer is not beside the point–it’s embraced–but it’s not the point, either.


Jordan Nichols (Billy) and Tristan Andre Parks (Hart) in Feral

Feral is not only the first TV series in which thousands Middle American LGBT 20-somethings can finally see themselves realistically reflected, but a welcome window through which everyone–gay or straight–can vicariously experience what life is like for the young gay millenials in the American Heartland.

“There are so many stories that are set in New York or L.A., but I feel that we have a story to tell that is uniquely southern,” say Fox. “Memphis is a big city, but because we are in a sense living off the grid, in the Bible Belt, and without the supportive institutions that exist in big coastal cities, we have created our own community, and I think that’s what’s so beautiful about coming up in Memphis.”


Seth Daniel (Daniel) in Feral

Feral is about a group of gay kids in their 20s growing up in Memphis, Tennessee–and I am one of those things,” says actor Seth Daniel, who plays Daniel. “It was interesting to take what I experienced growing up in the Mid-South and adapt it to the character. It wasn’t so much that I was playing my character Daniel, as it was that Daniel and I were playing the character together.

What’s striking in Feral–and beautifully evident in all of Fox’s projects–is his ability to create endearing scenes of authentically touching–sometimes heartbreaking–intimacy: a quiet embrace in the woods, a twilight conversation on the couch, a softly spoken journal entry.

Fox has directed four feature films including, Blue Citrus Hearts, OMG/HaHaHa and This Is What Love In Action Looks Like – all informed by his painful coming out as a gay man in the conservative south – and has been called one of the originators of the “Memphis Style” of film making known for strong, authentic performances, improvised scripts and tight editing. Filmmaker Magazine named him as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film”.

Feral boasts a soundtrack featuring numerous artists from the Memphis area. Headed up by country-punk band Lucero, it also includes songs by the post-punk quartet Nots and on-the-verge breakout musician Julien Baker, whose debut album Sprained Ankle was named “one of the best albums of 2015” by The New York Times.

Feral, a Dekkoo only original, debuts today, Oct. 6.


Feral leads: (l-r) Leah Beth Bolton, Chase Brother,
Seth Daniel, and Jordan Nichols  •  photo by Breezy Lucia
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Virgin Holidays publishes report on issues facing LGBT travelers http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/06/virgin-holidays-publishes-report-on-issues-facing-lgbt-travelers/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/06/virgin-holidays-publishes-report-on-issues-facing-lgbt-travelers/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:27:48 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74419
Chloe Clark (Virgin Holidays) and Richard Branson shows their support for the Virgin Holidays #LOSETHELABELS LGBT equality in travel campaign at Virgin headquarters, London | Photo: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Chloe Clark (Virgin Holidays) and Richard Branson show their support for the Virgin Holidays #LOSETHELABELS LGBT equality in travel campaign at Virgin headquarters, London | Photo: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Virgin Holidays today publishes the findings from its LGBT travel report into the issues faced by LGBT travelers worldwide.  The study reveals more than one in three (37%) LGBT travelers have experienced some form of discrimination whilst on vacation, with 6% experiencing a threat of physical violence due to their sexuality.

The report also highlighted that sexuality had a major influence on where LGBT Brits traveled, with two thirds (63%) refusing to travel somewhere that had an unwelcoming attitude toward the LGBT community.  Furthermore a quarter (23%) of LGBT travelers change the way they act and try to camouflage their sexuality when on vacation.

Most alarmingly, an overwhelming 80% said that the travel industry don’t do enough to inform the LGBT community about local laws prior to departure.

Sir Richard Branson said: “At Virgin Holidays, we believe everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to be whoever they are, wherever they are.  That’s why it is shocking that in today’s society some of us can’t even enjoy a simple holiday without fear of discrimination. It’s fantastic that Virgin Holidays are raising awareness around this important issue.”

Virgin Holidays has developed plans to address the issues faced by the LGBT community when traveling.  As part of their commitment Virgin Holidays will stage an LGBT equalities conference in conjunction with international tourism partners, encouraging partners in conservative regions such as the Caribbean to adopt more LGBT-friendly policies.

Virgin Holidays three-year plan includes components which focus on empowering staff, informing customers, and influencing partners.  It also involves joining lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality Stonewall, as a Diversity Champion.  This will see Stonewall support Virgin Holidays in auditing the workplace on its LGBT inclusion efforts and provide advice and support on how to make it a better place to work for all lesbian, gay, bi and trans members of staff.

Mark Anderson, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays, commented:  “We want everyone to feel comfortable when traveling abroad and encourage everyone, regardless of their sexuality, to take on the world.  We will continue to address this complex issue, and will be a proactive force for change in the LGBT community.”

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO, said:  “It’s difficult for travel companies to negotiate the ever-changing landscape around global LGBT equality.  Travel companies should be doing everything they can to keep their staff and customers safe when traveling anywhere in the world.  We would love to see others join forces with Virgin Holidays and work towards a world where lesbian, gay, bi and trans people feel able to travel freely without fear of discrimination, and are accepted without exception.”

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Match reveals data from its 2016 LGBTQ In America Study http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/05/match-reveals-data-from-its-2016-lgbtq-in-america-study/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/05/match-reveals-data-from-its-2016-lgbtq-in-america-study/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 16:47:35 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74401

To celebrate National Coming Out Day Tuesday, Oct. 11, Match reveals data from its 2016 LGBTQ in America study, the largest U.S. national study of American singles who identify as LGBTQ. The data uncovers new insights around singles’ personal journey of realizing their sexual orientation and coming to terms with who they are.

“The data reveals our understandings of sexual orientation and gender identity have come a long way over the last few years. New scientific research, coupled with dozens of public figures embracing their identities, has ushered in a new era of understanding and acceptance around sexuality and gender. The data from our LGBTQ in America study highlights the many different personal stories of people realizing their sexual orientation and gender identity: while 1-in-4 single LGBTQ people surveyed came out in the same year they realized their identify, the remaining three quarters felt compelled to not share who they are with others in their life. While the tides are changing, we still have work to do, to reduce stigma and instead celebrate America’s rich diversity,” said Justin Garcia, Research Scientist at The Kinsey Institute and Scientific Advisor to Match.

Data Includes:

Age of Self-Described Realization:

  • Gay Men – 25% realized they were gay when they were less than 10 years old, 50% by 13 years old, and 75% by 18 years old.
  • Lesbian women – 25% realized by 12 years old, 50% at 15 years old, and 75% by 20/21 years old.
  • Transgender men (FtM) – 50% realized their gender didn’t match their bodies before their 13th birthday and 75% by the age of 16.
  • Transgender women (MtF) – 50% realized they were transgender before their 13th birthday and 75% of people realized before age 20.

Time in the closet:

25% of LGBTQ singles came out the same year they say they “realized” their sexual orientation or gender identity. Of those who realized before adulthood (defined as age 18), they went an average of 7 years before telling someone they identified as LGBTQ.  Additionally, of those who realized during adulthood, it took an average of 2.9 years to come out.

Who is most comfortable coming out?

Those assigned male at birth waited the longest before telling someone, with an average of 1.6 years longer compared to biologically born females. Transgender women took an extra 2.1 years before telling someone than a gay or bisexual man, and transgender men waited the shortest amount of time without telling someone.

Born this way:

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual singles overwhelmingly believe that sexual orientation is biologically based, with two thirds (64%) believing it is completely determined by biology and 28% believing it is a combination of biology and experience. Only 7.5% of LGB singles believe sexual orientation is determined by experience alone.

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Lambda Archives announces new dates for Hillcrest Historic Walking Tours http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/05/lambda-archives-announces-new-dates-for-hillcrest-historic-walking-tours/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/05/lambda-archives-announces-new-dates-for-hillcrest-historic-walking-tours/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 16:21:22 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74394
The Flame in 1984

The Flame in 1984

Lambda Archives has announced the following dates for their Hillcrest Historic Walking Tours. The dates to the end of the year are: Sunday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 19 at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday, Dec. 18 at 11 a.m.

The tours are a great way to learn why Hillcrest became the center of San Diego’s gay world and much more. The walk is about 2.5 miles and will take approximately 2-2.5 hours. Good walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat and bottle of water are recommended.

The tours are $20 and that money will go to continue the work of Lambda Archives to collect, preserve and educate. Our LGBT Heritage is important–join Lambda Archives to explore the evolution of Hillcrest and help support their efforts.

Tickets are available here.



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GLAAD and the Curran release theater Spirit Day video http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/05/glaad-and-the-curran-release-theater-spirit-day-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/05/glaad-and-the-curran-release-theater-spirit-day-video/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 16:01:53 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74388

The Curran has released a music video of the song “Ring of Keys,” from the Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home, which will re-open the Curran this January after an extensive renovation that is currently underway (and pictured in scenes from the video). The song, written by Tony Award-winners Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, and performed by students from Oakland School for the Arts (OSA), is in celebration and support of GLAAD and “Spirit Day” Oct. 20, a day that encourages all to take a stand against bullying of LGBTQ youth and wear purple.

The Curran’s leader, Carole Shorenstein Hays said, “As we ready our Curran for the opening of Fun Home this January, every day is celebratory for many reasons. And so, as “Ring of Keys” beautifully empowers youth with a message of hope, love and perseverance, we wholeheartedly celebrate Spirit Day with GLAAD this month.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO said, “Fun Home’s powerful story has moved audiences around the world and embodies what Spirit Day is all about – acceptance. With this strong message of support for LGBTQ youth, the Curran and these brilliant young students are helping to create a world where everyone can live the life they love.”

Built in 1922, the Curran has housed some of the biggest productions in theater history and has maintained a reputation over the course of its life as one of the premier live entertainment venues in North America. Now, almost a century after it welcomed its first Bay Area audiences, the Curran is undergoing a major restoration and renovation. Under the curation of eight-time Tony Award-winner Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran will reopen its 1,600 seat venue in January 2017 with the groundbreaking musical Fun Home.

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Interracial emojis to debut for first time ever in celebration of ‘Loving’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/04/interracial-emojis-to-debut-for-first-time-ever-in-celebration-of-loving/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/04/interracial-emojis-to-debut-for-first-time-ever-in-celebration-of-loving/#respond Tue, 04 Oct 2016 21:07:00 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74384

EmojiLOS ANGELES, Calif. — Focus Features announced today that the new LOVE-MOJI App has launched, giving users the chance to use interracial couple emojis for the first time ever. The groundbreaking new app is inspired by Richard and Mildred Loving, a husband and wife who nearly fifty years ago showed us that love is stronger than hate and has the power to spark real change. In anticipation of Focus’ upcoming film about the couple, LOVING, users will be able to use this new keyboard extension on text and email, as well as platforms like Twitter and Facebook. While same-sex couples and individuals of different races have been represented as emojis in the past, interracial couples and families had not made their debut as emojis until now.

Download the LOVE-MOJI here: For iOS or For Google Play or visit your app store. Users can also visit VoteLoving.com for more info.

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Star-filled evening provides encouragement and support for LGBTQ students http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/04/star-filled-evening-provides-encouragement-and-support-for-lgbtq-students/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/04/star-filled-evening-provides-encouragement-and-support-for-lgbtq-students/#respond Tue, 04 Oct 2016 18:44:49 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74360
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01:  Host Cameron Esposito speaks onstage at Point Foundation's Point Honors gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel Oct. 1, in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Point Foundation )

Host Cameron Esposito speaks onstage at Point Foundation’s Point Honors gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel Oct. 1, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Point Foundation )

LOS ANGELES, Calif.  — Oct. 1, Point Honors Los Angeles brought 400 guests to the storied ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel for a celebrity-filled gala evening in support of Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Nearly half a million dollars was raised for higher education scholarships, as well as Point’s mentoring and leadership programs.

At the gala, Robin Roberts, anchor of “Good Morning America,” received the Point Courage Award, which recognizes an individual who advocates for the future of the LGBTQ community and that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow. Upon being presented with the award by reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump, Roberts stressed, “Everyone is deserving of equality, of inclusion and no one should be denied an opportunity to be everything they can be; especially because of who they are. These scholars – they’re truly courageous for living their truth.”

Michael Lombardo, producer and broadcast executive, received the Point Impact Award, which is presented to an individual making a significant impact on improving the LGBTQ community. Molly Shannon, star of the comedy-drama “Other People,” presented Lombardo with the award. In his acceptance speech, Lombardo said, “Point inculcates in its scholars a clear mission to give back. Moreover, without that circle, we stop growing. This award not only honors me and my family: it honors a long line of gay men and women who came before me, paving the way and lending me a hand.”

Comedian Cameron Esposito hosted the inspiring evening, with a performance by Our Lady J, as well as an ensemble performance by India Carney, Jennifer Foster, James Harper, Mario Jose, and Lydia Luce. Celebrity attendees included Cas Anvar, William Belli, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Hayden Byerly, Steve Cederquist, Suzanne Cryer, Jack Falahee, Wendi McLendon-Covey, John Savage, Jason Stuart, Matt Walsh, and Morgan Walsh. Also attending were past Point honorees, Adam Shankman, Neal Baer, and Pete Nowalk.

“The encouragement and support for LGBTQ students from everyone who attended and made Point Honors Los Angeles a great success, will allow our scholars to complete their degree, face the world head on, and help make our communities, our nation and the world a better place,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and CEO of Point Foundation.

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SPLC recognizes documentary film ‘Forbidden’ with first-ever filmmaking award http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/03/splc-recognizes-documentary-film-forbidden-with-first-ever-filmmaking-award/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/03/splc-recognizes-documentary-film-forbidden-with-first-ever-filmmaking-award/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 19:50:43 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74355

Forbidden: trailer from Pony Pictures on Vimeo.

Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America, Moises Serrano’s story of advocacy for justice and equality in the Deep South as an undocumented gay man was honored by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Saturday at The Charlotte Film Festival.

The Social Justice Award, presented in partnership with the film festival, is SPLC’s first-ever filmmaking award and recognizes an outstanding film that seeks justice, enlightens and informs an audience about people who are marginalized, devalued or vulnerable in society.

Forbidden gives a powerful voice to undocumented immigrants and the LGBT community by showing in vivid detail the experiences of these communities,” said Lecia Brooks, SPLC outreach director. “Anybody who believes that immigration reform should simply be deporting people like Moises must watch this film to see the real lives and families affected by our nation’s immigration policies.”

Growing up in rural North Carolina, Moises Serrano fell in love with a country that refused to recognize his full humanity – both as an undocumented immigrant and as a gay man. The documentary project Forbidden follows Moises’ personal journey as an activist fighting for the American Dream.

“Moises embodies the lived experience of the Dreamers,” Brooks said, referring to the young people who could benefit from the DREAM Act, a proposed law that would provide undocumented minors with provisional residency and eventually permanent residency after meeting certain conditions.

The film makes clear that an immigration policy based on executive orders from the president isn’t enough. Serrano’s family needs comprehensive immigration reform that would provide relief for his 33-year-old sister as well as his parents.

Read more on the SPLC award here.

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Skin Wars’ Michael Mejia comes out as HIV-positive http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/03/skin-wars-michael-mejia-comes-out-as-hiv-positive/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/03/skin-wars-michael-mejia-comes-out-as-hiv-positive/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:30:31 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74348

Plus NovLOS ANGELESFor its November/December cover story, Plus magazine sat down with artist and former Skin Wars contestant Michael Mejia for an exclusive interview in which he opens up for the first time about being HIV-positive.  Mejia, who made it to the top four on Skin Wars, has an impressive clientele, including celebrities Jason Derulo, Claudia Schiffer, and Timbaland. In his exclusive interview with Plus magazine, the 26-year-old talks about the rampant stigma associated with HIV and AIDS, his artistic collaborations, his amazingly supportive mother, and the rite of passage that had him literally dangling from hooks piercing his skin.

“Michael was incredibly open,” says Plus Senior Editor Jacob Anderson-Minshall, who interviewed Mejia. “Not only in terms of answering what could be seen as invasive questions, but his willingness to share his art work, and even in terms of allowing us to see him naked — physically and emotionally. I was also really impressed with his commitment to coming out poz as a means of fighting HIV stigma, which he calls the real epidemic. He knows that coming out as HIV-positive could impact his life in a variety of ways, but he never showed any hesitance to do so. Which is precisely why he’s going to be an amazing role model.”

Excerpts from the Q&A with Michael Mejia are below:

On discovering his positive status:

“It has certainly been difficult. My initial reaction was fear. I thought I would be ill for the rest of my life and die from it. Fortunately, we are in an era of incredible scientific advancement where HIV is now a manageable condition that people can live with, continue to be healthy, and live a normal life span without complications. The difficult part about being HIV-positive hasn’t been accepting the diagnosis, but coping with the absurd amount of stigma that comes along with it. Everyone is full of fear when they think of HIV and it’s because of ignorance. This fear is holding people back from getting tested regularly and keeping HIV-positive people from sharing their status. We need to end HIV stigma because stigma is the real illness we should be alarmed by.”

On his decision to come out publicly:

“There are several reasons why I’m coming out. One is because people aren’t informed enough about HIV and are still stuck in the trauma that has carried over from previous years. I’m hoping that people will read this, gain perspective and lose the stigma and fear against HIV. Another reason is because I know there are many people out there that have been recently diagnosed and may feel alone—thinking they are the only ones. But the truth is you are not [alone], there are more than 36 million people living with HIV in the world! And it’s OK, we’re all in this together and we need to support each other in any way we can. I want people to understand that having HIV is not a death sentence anymore, it’s a lifestyle that requires a strict treatment regimen and healthy living.”

On telling his mother he was HIV-positive:

“Mom was the last person I told out of my closest family and friends. She literally collapsed on my legs and cried. But I knew it was because of this same fear coming from misinformation. My sister and I began to break down the facts about what it means to have HIV today and she immediately stood up and started listening. Mom is a very smart woman. She is constantly keeping herself informed. Knowledge is power. I feel empowered and I believe we can end the way people perceive this virus. Today…she said, in a happy tone, “Michael, HIV is simply a virus that can be treated, that’s all!”

On his Skin Wars fourth place finish:

“I had a fantastic time exploring different mediums and techniques, and was definitely side tracked from body painting into a more liberated and well-rounded artistic adventure, where I was making crazy props, like the octopus flotation device for the underwater challenge. So I understand the judges’ frustration with me for not following the rules.”

On being suspended by fish hooks:

“I have done two human suspensions. A suspension is the act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been put through body piercing. The first time was out of curiosity: to have what many claimed to be a euphoric experience. It was definitely a ritual. My closest friends and family were there, and like the Native American Sun Dances, it was my passage into manhood. I was 20 at the time and it was an experience of full emotion, vulnerability, honesty, and trust. The second time… I was exploring pain and suffering and this too was a form of meditation.”

For the complete interview with Michael Mejia visit: http://bit.ly/MejiaPlus

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CIAA moves championships out of North Carolina as fallout from anti-LGBTQ HB2 law continues http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/03/ciaa-moves-championships-out-of-north-carolina-as-fallout-from-anti-lgbtq-hb2-law-continues/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/03/ciaa-moves-championships-out-of-north-carolina-as-fallout-from-anti-lgbtq-hb2-law-continues/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 16:53:26 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74335

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Friday announced it was  moving championship games out of North Carolina due to the state’s anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. Eight of the CIAA’s 12 member schools are based in North Carolina.

The CIAA announcement states: “The CIAA’s transition, beginning with the relocation of 8 championships, is the first step in demonstrating that the conference does not support laws which prevent communities from effectively protecting student-athletes and fans.” The CIAA decision follows similar announcements from the NBANCAA, and ACC, which also moved championship games out of the state because of the deeply discriminatory HB2 law.

“Make no mistake, the fact that more championships are being moved out of North Carolina is a direct result of Pat McCrory’s stubborn refusal to repeal HB2,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “McCrory’s reckless response to the mess he created by signing HB2 into law continues to inflict serious harm on the state. Lawmakers who continue to ignore the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians and business leaders demanding the discriminatory law be repealed do so at their own risk come November.”

“200 days after its initial passage, HB2 — the worst anti-LGBTQ bill in the nation — continues to hurt our state every day,”said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “Where is Pat McCrory right now? As our state suffers economically and communities are targeted for discrimination by the law, the governor does nothing. The time for action is now. We must repeal this awful law.”

Despite the growing and widespread opposition to HB2, Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly have been unwilling to even consider repealing the full substance of the discriminatory law, including its ban on transgender people accessing restrooms consistent with their gender identity in government offices and schools, and its removal of municipalities’ ability to pass LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination laws and minimum wage ordinances.

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St.Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral invites all four-legged creatures for a ‘Blessing of the Animals’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/01/st-pauls-episcopal-cathedral-invites-all-four-legged-creatures-for-a-blessing-of-the-animals/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/01/st-pauls-episcopal-cathedral-invites-all-four-legged-creatures-for-a-blessing-of-the-animals/#respond Sat, 01 Oct 2016 19:30:04 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74319

St. PaulsSt. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego invites all dogs, cats, lizards, birds and four-legged creatures to come to the cathedral with their human companions for the annual Blessing of the Animals celebration in honor of St. Francis this Sunday, Oct. 2.

The Blessing of the Animals celebration is at 10:30 a.m. All animals, big and small, are welcome. It is also bring your friend to church day, so please invite friends and family! Musician Pavel Chvistek’s Polish bluegrass band will play before, during, and after the service.

Last year over 100 four-legged creatures received a blessing from the priests at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and many also took their place at the side of their human companions at the Eucharist altar.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral is located at 2728 Sixth Ave. in San Diego.




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ACC moves moves championship game to Orlando after NC General Assembly refuses to repeal HB2 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/01/acc-moves-moves-championship-game-to-orlando-after-nc-general-assembly-refuses-to-repeal-hb2/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/10/01/acc-moves-moves-championship-game-to-orlando-after-nc-general-assembly-refuses-to-repeal-hb2/#respond Sat, 01 Oct 2016 14:30:57 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74313
Photo: ACC

Photo: ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has moved the league’s 2016 football championship game to Orlando, Florida, due to North Carolina’s deeply discriminatory HB2 law.

According to an update on CBS Sports the ACC officially announced Orlando as the host for the 2016 ACC Football Championship Game  Thursday morning. According to the league, patrons who previously purchased tickets to this year’s game in Charlotte and all Florida Citrus Sports members will have a three-day pre-sale opportunity on Oct. 5. Tickets will be available to the general public on Oct. 10.

“What will it take for Governor McCrory and state legislative leaders to stop holding the people and economy of North Carolina hostage?” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The ACC, based in Greensboro, has now joined the growing list of organizations moving games and other events out of state in order to protect fans, students, and employees from Governor McCrory’s discriminatory HB2 law. The ACC’s decision to move the 2016 football championship to Orlando — a city with a perfect 100 point Municipal Equality Index score that has also come together in the wake of a tragic attack on the LGBTQ community — has sent an especially strong message to Governor McCrory and his allies. The days of attacking LGBTQ people for political gain are over.”

“It has been almost 200 days since Governor Pat McCrory and his legislative allies have pushed through the worst anti-LGBTQ bill in the nation without consideration of harm to the state,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “Every day that goes by, LGBTQ North Carolinians are at risk of continued discrimination, and North Carolina’s economy will continue to suffer. Losing the ACC championship game to Orlando is saddening, but not surprising. Orlando has comprehensive non-discrimination protections that make it a welcoming place for all fans and players. Governor McCrory needs to stop playing politics and do what’s best for North Carolina. He needs to repeal HB2 and focus on protecting all North Carolinians from discrimination. Only then will we win back the NCAA, ACC, and other vital events.”

The ACC’s decision comes after Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly refused — once again — to repeal the state’s vile and dangerous HB2 law. In a new interview out today, House Speaker Tim Moore admitted that the General Assembly never intended to repeal HB2 — even if the city of Charlotte repealed its city ordinance protecting LGBTQ people. Speaker Moore and others had previously attempted to pressure Charlotte’s city council into repealing its ordinance as a way to saddle the city with political blame for HB2.

The city of Orlando earned a perfect 100 point score on the 2015 HRC Foundation’s Municipal Equality Index, and it has fully inclusive, non-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ residents and visitors — even more comprehensive protections than those Charlotte passed in February. Recognizing the importance of creating a positive and conducive environment for business, Charlotte city leaders joined 100 other cities with similar ordinances, and in response, Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers doubled down on discrimination by ramming HB2 into law.

In making the decision to move championship games out of North Carolina, the ACC first announced on September 14, 2016: “As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.”

The ACC announcement follows the NCAA’s decision to stand up for LGBTQ equality by moving all 2016-2017 championship events out of the state of North Carolina due to HB2. Citing the hostile environment created by the anti-LGBTQ law, the NBA also previously announced it is moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of the state, costing North Carolina an estimated $100 million in All-Star Game related profits.

Despite widespread opposition to HB2, Governor McCrory and the General Assembly have been unwilling to even consider repealing the full substance of the discriminatory law, including its ban on transgender people accessing restrooms consistent with their gender identity in government offices and schools, and its removal of municipalities’ ability to pass LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination laws and minimum wage ordinances.


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Lady Gaga to headline Super Bowl Halftime Show http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/09/30/lady-gaga-to-headline-super-bowl-halftime-show/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/09/30/lady-gaga-to-headline-super-bowl-halftime-show/#respond Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:35:33 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74331

Gaga Super BowlGlobal superstar Lady Gaga, winner of six Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominee, will headline the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show on FOX at NRG Stadium in Houston Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.

The Super Bowl halftime show is “the most-watched musical event of the year,” the NFL said in its announcement of Lady Gaga. More than 116.5 million viewers in the U.S. watched last season’s show.

This will be Lady Gaga’s second time performing on the Super Bowl stage, after having sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50 last February.

Lady Gaga is a one-of-a kind artist and performer. Her new single “Perfect Illusion” off her upcoming fifth studio album Joanne, due out Oct. 21 debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 60 countries. She holds the distinction of generating three consecutive No. 1 albums on the Billboard Hot 100, has won an aforementioned six Grammy Awards, and was recently featured as Billboard’s “Woman of the Year.” She has amassed an outstanding 30 million global album sales and 150 million single sales, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time.  Lady Gaga expanded her talents to television last Fall when she appeared as The Countess on the fifth season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series American Horror Story: Hotel for FX Network. Subsequently, she won the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film” for her performance on the show. Next up she will star in the Bradley Cooper-directed film A Star is Born for Warner Bros. Pictures.



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