Entertainment News – LGBT Weekly http://lgbtweekly.com Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:04:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Eric Fanning to be keynote speaker at San Diego Pride’s Spirit of Stonewall Rally, July 15 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/30/eric-fanning-to-be-keynote-speaker-at-san-diego-prides-spirit-of-stonewall-rally-july-15/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/30/eric-fanning-to-be-keynote-speaker-at-san-diego-prides-spirit-of-stonewall-rally-july-15/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2016 19:30:13 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71792
Mr. Eric K. Fanning, acting Under Secretary of the United States Army poses for his official photo in the U.S. Army Portrait Studio at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Alfredo Barraza/Released)

Eric Fanning U.S. Army photo by Alfredo Barraza

On the heels of his historic confirmation by the U.S. Senate as the 22nd Secretary of the U.S. Army, Eric Fanning will take the stage as keynote speaker at San Diego Pride’s Spirit of Stonewall Rally Friday, July 15 and serve as one of San Diego Pride’s honorary grand marshals for the parade Saturday July, 16.

San Diego Pride made history in 2011 with over 200 active duty service members from every branch of the military marching before the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and again made history in 2012 when the Pentagon allowed active duty service members to wear their uniforms for the first time in any US Pride.

“From José Sarria, to Harvey Milk, to Eric Fanning, LGBT service members and Department of Defense civilians have been a crucial part of the fabric of our movement and this nation,” said Fernando Lopez, San Diego Pride Director of Operations. “San Diego has such a vibrant LGBT service member and veteran community, we know his presence is going to mean the world to so many. It is an incredible honor to host Secretary Fanning at San Diego Pride.”

“I am humbled to be the keynote speaker and an honorary grand marshal.  As our community moves forward, we strive for full inclusion of all Americans who can do the job, and just want an opportunity to serve the nation they love,” said Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning.

The Spirit of Stonewall Rally, will take place at the Pride Festival Mainstage at Marston Point in Balboa Park, Friday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m. More info at www.sdpride.org/rally

The Pride Parade will kick off at 11:00am, Saturday, July 16 in Hillcrest, and starts at the intersection of Normal St, and University Ave. More info at www.sdpride.org/parade

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The City: Top to Bottom http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/30/the-city-top-to-bottom-264/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/30/the-city-top-to-bottom-264/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2016 17:30:49 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71758

Chris Distefano

thursday, june 30

Chris Distefano

Described as a high energy comic, Chris Distefano acts out a variety of characters derived from his life, typically leaving you on the edge of your seat wondering “Who the hell is that he’s talking about?” Chris has worked at all of the top comedy clubs across New York City including but not limited to Gotham Comedy Club, Carolines on Broadway, and The Comedy Cellar. Chris has a Bachelors degree in Psychology to impress his mom’s friends, and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy to impress his mom’s friend’s moms.

The American Comedy Company, 818B Sixth Ave. in San Diego, 8 p.m., tickets $10, 619-795-3858, americancomedyco.com

Star Spangled Pops

friday, july 1

Star Spangled Pops

There is no better 4th of July event than celebrating America’s birthday with the San Diego Symphony! This all-American program features hits from movies, Broadway tunes and popular music, along with a military salute and a grand fireworks finale. Matthew Garbutt conducts, and we will be joined by Melissa Errico, one of Broadway’s most cherished leading ladies of the last decade!

Embarcadero Marina Park South, 206 Marina Park Way in San Diego, 7:30 p.m., tickets from $21, 619-235-0804, sandiegosymphony.org

Caffeine

saturday, july 2

Caffeine

Plenty gets steamed (besides low-fat milk) in the coffee shop when three dynamic women confront their mysterious past and precarious present. Playing a high-stakes game of emotional hide-and-seek, lovers quarrel, tempers flare, and secrets spill. Featuring Elaine Litton, Terril Miller and M. Susan Peck.

The Geoffrey off Broadway, 923 First Ave. in San Diego, 11:30 a.m., tickets $10, sdfringe.org/shows/caffeine/

Scot Nery

sunday, july 3

Scot Nery’s Boobie Trap

Scot Nery’s Boobie Trap is an acclaimed variety show from Los Angeles that features big names in cirque, variety, comedy, magic, and music. Each week for over a year, Nery has selected the best in the field to offer their most wildly weird and entertaining material, to the delight of L.A. critics. Now, Boobie Trap is going on the road, starting with San Diego Fringe! There will be great comedy, stunning circus arts, jaw dropping magic and, just maybe, a guy spinning a flaming cheeseburger atop an umbrella.

Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza in San Diego, 2:30 p.m., tickets $10, boobietrapshow.com/san-diego

Dave Wickerham

monday, july 4

Summer International Organ Festival

This Monday’s program features Dave Wickerham. This in-demand concert artist for churches or theatre organ was the American Theatre Organ Society’s 2009 “Organist of the Year.” This all-American program celebrates the Spirit of ‘76.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Pan American Road E in Balboa Park, 7:30 p.m., free, 619-702-8128, spreckelsorgan.org

Brit Floyd

tuesday, july 5

Brit Floyd

Following its hugely successful 146 concert date tour around the globe in 2015, Brit Floyd, The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show, returns to North America in 2016 to continue its amazing journey through fifty years of Pink Floyd, and the vast and incredible catalogue of music they have given us. As well as performing the favorite moments from The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and The Division Bell, Brit Floyd will treat audiences to its show-stopping rendition of Echoes, in its entirety, from the landmark album Meddle, as well as a host of other Pink Floyd musical gems.

Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave. in San Diego, 8 p.m., tickets from $30, 619-570-1100, sandiegotheatres.org

Selena Gomez

wednesday, july 6

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez may have started her career as an actress starring in a Disney Channel series at the age of 15, but she soon showed that her musical talents were perhaps even stronger as she piled up hit singles and chart-topping albums. In early 2015, Gomez guested on Zedd’s hit EDM single “I Want You to Know.” On the heels of that success, she released her own single, the Sir Nolan- and Nick Monson-produced “Good for You,” which featured a guest appearance by the song’s co-writer, rapper A$AP Rocky.

Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. in San Diego, 7:30 p.m., tickets from $33.50, 619-224-4171, valleyviewcasinocenter.com

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49 celebrities honor 49 victims of Orlando tragedy in new Ryan Murphy-produced tribute released by HRC http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/30/49-celebrities-honor-49-victims-of-orlando-tragedy-in-new-ryan-murphy-produced-tribute-released-by-hrc/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/30/49-celebrities-honor-49-victims-of-orlando-tragedy-in-new-ryan-murphy-produced-tribute-released-by-hrc/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:30:06 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71789

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released a special tribute to the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub on Latin night. The 18-minute tribute — directed by Emmy Award-winning Ryan Murphy and Ned Martel, with the support of their colleagues at Ryan Murphy Television — features a diverse cast of 49 actors, directors and other entertainment leaders recounting individual stories of the people killed in our nation’s deadliest mass shooting. Viewers are asked to visit http://stopthehate.hrc.org/ and take action by supporting victims’ families and survivors through healorlando.org, as well as contacting legislators to demand passage of LGBTQ protections and common-sense gun violence prevention measures.

The attack on Pulse nightclub has tragically become a symbol of how deadly anti-LGBTQ hate can become when it is combined with easy access to military-style assault weapons. In the wake of the attack in Orlando, HRC has been joined by a wide range of civil rights leaders in speaking out against laws and politicians who foment hate against LGBTQ people. HRC has also called on Congress to establish protections for LGBTQ people in all fifty states through the Equality Act and officially adopted a resolution in support of common-sense gun violence prevention legislation that will help ensure LGBTQ people and all Americans are safe and equal in every community.

“The 49 heroes who lost their lives on June 12 were brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives. They were mostly young and mostly Latinx. But above all, they were human beings who were loved, and who had hopes and dreams for long, full lives,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “It has been only a few short weeks since we lost 49 people to a deadly act of hatred. It is our responsibility to keep their memories alive and honor their legacies by ensuring our nation acts to end anti-LGBTQ hate and gun violence. We are incredibly grateful to Ryan Murphy, Ned Martel and the 49 artists who came together to create this beautiful and lasting tribute.”

In the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy, Murphy asked how he could help drive awareness about the dual epidemics of anti-LGBTQ hate violence and gun violence that, together, claimed so many lives at Pulse nightclub. The result was this moving tribute, filmed over the course of three days, at FOX Studios in Los Angeles.

“The hate that stole these 49 individuals from all those who loved them has been allowed to flourish in our country for too long,” said Ryan Murphy, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, director and producer. “No person is born hating another, and we have an obligation as Americans to stand up against prejudice and bigotry that would incite violence against someone simply for who they are. I am proud to have joined with Ned Martel, my talented colleagues, and the Human Rights Campaign to honor these 49 heroes and stop the hate.”

Brief vignettes recounted by leading performers and entertainment leaders tell the stories of all 49 victims (in order of appearance): Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27; Stanley Almodovar III, 23; Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32; Luis Daniel Conde, 39; Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40; Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33; Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37; Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21; Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49; Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24; Franky Jimmy De Jesús Velazquez, 50; Juan Chavez-Martinez, 25; Jerald Arthur Wright, 31; Antonio Davon Brown, 29; Miguel Angel Honorato, 30; Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25; ‘K.J.’ Morris, 37; Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34; Frankie Hernandez, 27; Akyra Monet Murray, 18; Joel Rayon Paniagua, 31; Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24; Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24; Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25; Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25; Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22; Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33; Paul Terrell Henry, 41; Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35; Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25; Amanda Alvear, 25; Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30; Angel Luis Candelario-Padro, 28; Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26; Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19; Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25; Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25; Darryl Roman Burt II, 29; Cory James Connell, 21; Martin Benitez Torres, 33; Luis S. Vielma, 22; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22; and Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32.

Their stories are told by (in order of appearance): Lady Gaga, Chris Pine, Cuba Gooding Jr., Connie Britton, Matt Bomer, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Lea Michele, Colton Haynes, Sophia Bush, Jane Fonda, Harry Shum Jr., Denis O’Hare, Rob Reiner, Melissa Benoist, Caitlyn Jenner, Edgar Ramirez, Max Greenfield, Chaz Bono, Cheyenne Jackson, Emma Roberts, Kerry Washington, George Lopez, Evan Rachel Wood, Sofía Vergara, Diego Boneta, Nina Jacobson, Demi Lovato, Tyler Oakley, Yeardley Smith, Kid Cudi, Kaitlin Olson, Kevin McHale, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lee Daniels, Chace Crawford, Evan Peters, Gerard Butler, Katey Sagal, John Stamos, Laverne Cox, Jordana Brewster, Wes Bentley, Finn Wittrock, Darren Criss, Kathy Bates, Anna Paquin, Guillermo Díaz and Joe Mantello.

In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, HRC installed images of all 49 victims of in the front windows of its building in Washington, D.C., creating an 8-story composite image that also beared the message, “We Are Orlando.” The video tribute launched today — and featured on HRC’s new microsite, http://stopthehate.hrc.org/ — will be a lasting, living memorial to remember the victims of the attack. The site will also be home to news and resources about stemming the tide of hate violence against the LGBTQ community.

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Alicia Champion’s latest song, ‘Bi’ is creating unity and initiating conversations (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/29/alicia-champions-latest-song-bi-is-creating-unity-and-initiating-conversations-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/29/alicia-champions-latest-song-bi-is-creating-unity-and-initiating-conversations-video/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 21:23:51 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71782

SAN DIEGO – In a time where unity among the LGBTQ community is critical, indie recording artist, Alicia Champion is singing about the one part of the community that is the least recognized or discussed – bisexuals.

Ironically many gays and lesbians across the nation will come out to family and friends during Pride month and they will get the standard annoying response “It’s just a phase”. This is the same response many bisexuals receive as well. The difference is, they will often get those comments from within the gay and lesbian community.

Champion admits during the initial promotions for Bi, the interest for covering the video was there, however the motivation for some to actually do it was a challenge. “We received some hesitations from media outlets stating they weren’t sure how readers would respond to a bisexual themed song even though they thought it was amazing”. Meanwhile fans that identified as being bisexual started flooding her inbox and Tumblr account. Some stating they were so proud to finally have a song of their own.

Watch the video above.

As the LGBTQ community continued to fight for equal rights for the Pride celebrations that begun kicking off around the nation, popularity for Champion’s pop / rock dance hit was increasing. Then on June 12th everything changed. The tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando shook the gay community to its very core. “We were shocked and heartbroken as human beings, troubled and offended as members of the LGBTQ community” Stated Champion’s Manager Jody Taylor. We witnessed the best in some and the jaw-dropping worst in others.

Champion like many other artist was in the midst of a promotional campaign and halted everything to respect the victims and for herself to process what happened. But fans started to reach out with messages like “we need to keep playing this song, we need to keep dancing” and “I am in high school and my friends all have Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift songs to play about boys they like, I had nothing until your song came out. Thank you for making me feel equal”. So earlier this week Champion and her team started to promote again. Only this time the meaning and importance is much deeper.

Champion explains the song is a celebration for bisexuals, but the overall message is to allow yourself to be attracted to whoever you want and to love whoever you want. In one of the most subtle yet powerful scenes, Champion is opposite transgender film star, Buck Angel sinking to her knees while singing “gender-bender trans-whatever any shape or size don’t care, cuz it’s your eyes in which I wanna stare, no matter what you’ve got down there”.

Champion explains “We have to find away to dismiss the power in labels. Personally, I would identify as bisexual, but I think Buck is sexy as hell, and I am married to a woman. What does that make me? It makes me human. If we as a community are going to preach Love is Love, then we truly need to mean it”

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Watch: ‘Gay Of Thrones’ Season 6 Episode10 Recap: ‘The Twinks of WeHo’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/29/watch-gay-of-thrones-season-6-episode10-recap-the-twinks-of-weho/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/29/watch-gay-of-thrones-season-6-episode10-recap-the-twinks-of-weho/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:28:06 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71769

Get ready for the most epic episode recap of the season from Funny or Die. ! Grab yourself a Cersei inspired Appletini and celebrate the season six finale of ‘Gay Of Thrones’ with Jonathan Van Ness and guest Bryan Safi. 

Watch above.

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Drunk driving prevention bill approved by Senate Committee http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/28/drunk-driving-prevention-bill-approved-by-senate-committee/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/28/drunk-driving-prevention-bill-approved-by-senate-committee/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 19:05:34 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71742

SAN DIEGO – Legislation by California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to require all restaurant and bar employees who sell or serve alcoholic beverages to undergo Responsible Beverage Service training was approved on a 10-0 vote by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee today.

Assembly Bill 2121 will make responsible beverage training mandatory statewide for anyone serving alcoholic beverages. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will authorize an accreditation agency to accredit responsible beverage training providers. Educating beverage servers in bars and restaurants is a key part to reducing drunk driving fatalities. Although the ABC currently has a free and voluntary program, existing training programs in California are not mandatory at the state level.

“Innocent people are put at risk every day when drunk people get behind the wheel, and preventable tragedies rip apart families and communities while we wait to act,” said Gonzalez. “Preparing our servers to effectively intervene before reckless behavior destroys lives adds an easy line of defense to keep our communities safe.”

In May 2015, two UC San Diego medical students were killed by a wrong-way drunk driver in the Mission Valley area of San Diego. The drunk driver was leaving a local restaurant when he went the wrong way on State Route 163 and caused the collision that killed two and injured three other students. In the wake of the accident, classmates of the victims have worked with Assemblywoman Gonzalez and her office to develop legislation that would better equip servers to identify signs of overconsumption and intervene before tragedy strikes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 people throughout the United States die on our roadways due to drunk driving every year, the equivalent of one fatality every 53 minutes. Even though training is not currently mandatory at the state level, many local governments have made training mandatory. Additionally, 18 other states and the District of Columbia have already established a mandatory responsible beverage training course.

AB 2121 is coauthored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), sponsored by the California Medical Association, and supported by health and public safety organizations including the California Police Chiefs Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, American Academy of Pediatrics, California, County Health Executives Association of California, Alcohol Justice and the San Diego Police Officers Association. It will next be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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Sports Illustrated reveals multi-platform special featuring Caitlyn Jenner’s 1976 decathlon gold (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/28/sports-illustrated-reveals-multi-platform-special-featuring-caitlyn-jenners-1976-decathlon-gold-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/28/sports-illustrated-reveals-multi-platform-special-featuring-caitlyn-jenners-1976-decathlon-gold-video/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:55:29 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71737

NEW YORK— Sports Illustrated today released a multi-platform, 40th anniversary retrospective of Caitlyn Jenner’s 1976 Gold Medal-winning decathlon performance at the Montreal Olympic Games. The SI special includes the premiere of the SI Films exclusive, “Jenner: 40 Years After Gold,” the publication of SI Senior Writer Tim Layden’s in-depth profile and the reveal of Jenner on the new cover of Sports Illustrated wearing her gold medal. Jenner gave exclusive and extensive access to SI over a series of interviews and locations, sharing her perspective on the journey that led her to the historic gold medal performance. She also spoke openly about the legacy of winning the gold and its impact on her journey as a transgender woman in the public eye.

Watch the 22+ minute SI Films exclusive and read Tim Layden’s full story at: SI.com/Jenner

SIFor the special, SI and Jenner traveled to key locations on the Olympian’s path, walking the track at the University of Oregon, where she qualified for her first Olympics in 1972, and also visiting San Jose City College, where she trained for the ’76 Olympic Games. During these conversations and through interviews conducted at her Malibu home, Jenner offered candid reflections of the games and what it meant to be an Olympic champion. SI Senior Writer Tim Layden also spoke to a wide range of people close to Jenner, including former teammates and current Olympians, who shared new and personal stories about their relationships then and now. The SI cover was shot by photographer Yu Tsai at Jenner’s home in Malibu.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SI’S EXCLUSIVE WITH CAITLYN JENNER:

On Bruce Jenner’s historic performance in the 1976 Olympics as compared to life today as Caitlyn, she tells SI: “Sports. It’s not real life. You go out there, you work hard, you train your ass off, win the Games. I’m very proud of that part of my life. And it’s not like I just want to throw it out. It’s part of who I am. What I’m dealing with now, this is about who you are as a human being. What did I do for the world in 1976, besides maybe getting a few people to exercise a little bit? I didn’t make a difference in the world.”

Jenner on the power of the new SI cover image: “It’s a picture that brings attention to this issue. That’s the important thing. That’s why I wore the medal.”

Reminiscing on the feeling of winning the gold medal: “For those two days in July of 1976, I was the best in the world at what I did … On the other hand, the decathlon was my best friend, and that was over. I lost my beard.”

On Bruce’s surprise qualifying victory for the 1972 Olympic Games at the trials in Eugene, Oregon: “That was the greatest athletic moment of my life, even better than the Games in ’76. I never thought I could do something like that. But when the time came to dig down really deep, there was something there. And it never left me after that race.”

On Jenner’s body at the time of being an Olympic champion: “It disgusted me. I was big and thick and masculine. The rest of the world thought it was this Greek god kind of body. I hated it. But it’s what I was given, so I just tried to do the best I could with it.”

On how sports served as a distraction for the larger issues in Jenner’s life: “The decathlon … was the perfect distraction … My life was distraction after distraction after distraction. Being a macho male was a way for me to try to convince myself that the woman living inside of me really isn’t living inside me… Obviously, it didn’t work.”

Caitlyn disavows neither Bruce nor his accomplishments: “I loved Bruce… I still love him today. I like what he did and the way he set an example for hard work and dedication. I’m proud of that part of my life. But this woman was living inside me, all my life, and it reached the point where I had to let her live and put Bruce inside. And I am happier, these last 12 months, than I’ve ever been in my life.”

On Transgender issues and the connection to sports: “When you see what’s happening in this country on the bathroom controversy, politicians just don’t understand or get it at all. When it comes to this subject, the Olympic movement is far ahead of the rest of the world. Good for them.”

On a story told by veteran broadcaster Al Michaels about a time that Bruce asked him if he had ever considered plastic surgery, Jenner says: “I was always considering plastic surgery. When you’re gender dysphoric, you’re constantly looking at yourself and seeing things that don’t look right.”

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National Park Foundation to help raise $2m to support America’s newest National Park: Stonewall National Monument http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/28/national-park-foundation-to-help-raise-2m-to-support-americas-newest-national-park-stonewall-national-monument/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/28/national-park-foundation-to-help-raise-2m-to-support-americas-newest-national-park-stonewall-national-monument/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:39:09 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71731
Photo: Johannes Jordan

Photo: Johannes Jordan

WASHINGTON – The National Park Foundation has announced that it will work with local and national organizations and the community to raise the approximately $2 million needed to launch the Stonewall National Monument. This fundraising effort will be part of the Foundation’s $350 million Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks and the support will provide critical funds for dedicated National Park Service rangers, a temporary ranger station and visitor center, research and materials, exhibits, LGBTQ community outreach, public education, and scholar engagement. The Foundation will also help establish a local Friends Group to provide ongoing philanthropic support to the new monument.

“The National Park Foundation is honored to support and jumpstart critical projects at Stonewall National Monument to help ensure that the ongoing LGBTQ fight for civil rights is highlighted in a way that inspires people to reflect on how the story of the Stonewall uprising relates to their lives,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “As we move from the National Park Service’s first century into its second, we couldn’t be more proud to be part of a national park community that is committed to telling a more complete American story.”

The events of June 28, 1969 at Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village in New York City, helped to shape the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. It was at this site that New York City police conducted a raid that had become routine at gay bars and often resulted in harassment and arrests. Unlike previous raids, the crowds held their ground in demanding civil rights and refused to disperse. The protest expanded to neighboring streets and into nearby Christopher Park, grew to as many as several thousand people, lasted for six days, and marked a significant turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. Within two years, LGBTQ people across the country had formed gay rights groups in almost every major city.

“The support of the National Park Foundation will be essential to creating a visitor experience that tells the story of LGBT Americans through this historic new national park site at Stonewall National Monument,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As we enter a second century of stewardship of our national parks, we greatly appreciate the dedication of the National Park Foundation to ensuring that all Americans find a national park experience that is relevant to them.”

As part of its Congressional charter, the National Park Foundation works with the National Park Service to identify priority projects in need of support across the National Park System. In this capacity, the Foundation has recently supported the establishment of several new national parks including Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Pullman National Monument, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, and César E. Chávez National Monument.

From its inception, the National Park System has benefited from this type of private support. Many of the earliest national parks were the direct beneficiaries of generous philanthropists who stepped forward to keep national parks protected and accessible for everyone. People are invited to carry on this legacy by visiting www.nationalparks.org/Stonewall and supporting the newest national park.

To help raise awareness for the designation of Stonewall National Monument, the out of home advertising industry will donate ad space to the National Park Foundation on June 25 in Times Square in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago to share the White House announcement video and Stonewall Find Your Park PSA. With support from Branded Cities, Clear Channel Outdoor, Lamar Advertising Company, and OUTFRONT Media, both videos will show how parks can be so much more than vast landscapes and include cultural and historical sites, highlighting the essence of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement.

Give At www.NationalParks.org/Stonewall

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Stephen Colbert tells RuPaul: ‘I did drag once’ (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/stephen-colbert-tells-rupaul-i-did-drag-once-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/stephen-colbert-tells-rupaul-i-did-drag-once-video/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 23:48:52 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71715

Stephen Colbert had quite a surprise for his Late Show guest RuPaul last week. As the interview progressed Colbert confessed that he too had dressed in drag, and proceeded to pull out a picture of himself as “Raven”.

Watch above as Colbert reveals all to RuPaul.

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NGLCC San Diego Roadshow event to be held June 29 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/nglcc-san-diego-roadshow-event-to-be-held-june-29/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/nglcc-san-diego-roadshow-event-to-be-held-june-29/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 18:09:54 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71704
NGLCC RoadshowJoin the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) for the San Diego Roadshow. Learn how to work with utility and insurance companies, connect with Fortune 500 companies and other LGBT-owned businesses, and discover other local California opportunities.

Wednesday June 29 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT

Council for Supplier Diversity, 10679 Westview Parkway, 2nd Floor, San Diego, CA 92126
2:30 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. | Networking Reception
3:00 p.m. — 4:30 p.m. | Roadshow

Click here to register.
]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/nglcc-san-diego-roadshow-event-to-be-held-june-29/feed/ 0 Front Runners & Walkers San Diego announce 2016 Pride 5K Run and Walk http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/front-runners-walkers-san-diego-announce-2016-pride-5k-run-and-walk/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/front-runners-walkers-san-diego-announce-2016-pride-5k-run-and-walk/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:38:49 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71697

Front Runners 2016_2Front Runners & Walkers San Diego (FRWSD) has officially announced the date of their annual Pride 5k Run and Walk. The event will be held on Saturday, July 16 with a start time of 9:30 a.m.

This is a 5k race and walk held on a USA Track & Field sanctioned and certified course sponsored by Front Runners & Walkers San Diego. The run is an annual event that kicks off the San Diego Pride parade and follows the parade route through Hillcrest and Balboa Park.

With the recent tragedy of young LGBT teens being driven to suicide, suffering physical and psychological bullying at school and trying to cope with rejection by family, friends and even their churches, FRWSD have selected The San Diego Center’s Youth Housing Project as this year’s beneficiary. This program is a vital safety net giving LGBT teens a safe place to live and an opportunity to get the education and skills needed to lead productive and fulfilling lives. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to San Diego Pride Community Grants. Please help FRWSD  in their efforts to reach out to the community and make this year’s race a huge success for Pride and for the deserving LGBT young people whose lives you will be enhancing and rebuilding and whose hearts you will be restoring.

For more information about the 2016 Pride 5K Run and Walk, please contact Enrique Fonseca at (858) 413-7973 or visit their Web site at www.frwsd.org.

]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/27/front-runners-walkers-san-diego-announce-2016-pride-5k-run-and-walk/feed/ 0 Coming out again … and again … and again http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/25/coming-out-again-and-again-and-again/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/25/coming-out-again-and-again-and-again/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2016 19:30:58 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71688

We talk about coming out as if it’s something you only do once.  In my experience it’s an ongoing part of life. Sometimes it’s easy, and other times it makes my stomach flutter.

I first came out as a lesbian 30 years ago when I was still in college.  Initially I was very careful about whom I shared this tender information with.  In 1985 being gay felt both like being part of a special club and living in a freak show.  Over time, I widened the circle of people that I told.  Sometimes I was praised for being courageous and other times I was treated with contempt or confusion.  One of the more memorable responses to my[?] coming out was when my sister-in-law’s 60-year-old mother said, while we were cooking Thanksgiving dinner, “I’ve seen that on the Phil Donahue show, but never met one before.”

In 1991, my partner Rinda and I had a service of commitment in our Unitarian Universalist Church.  Most of our family members came, and as far as I was concerned I was out to the world. It was a done deal.

Little did I know that becoming a parent would force me to be out in whole new way.  It started at the birth in the hospital where I had to justify my relationship with my own child at every change of shift.  Some nurses were tickled pink to be working with an ‘alternative’ family.  But others were confused, offended, or outright hostile.  Looking back, I wonder how well I explained the situation–sleep deprived as I was.

At restaurants, waitresses would casually ask, “Who’s her mother?” Rinda and I would stare at each other, unprepared at first. Eventually we learned to say, “We both are. We’re a couple.”

“Who’s her real mother?” often came next.

“We both are. But Rinda’s her birth mom, if that’s what you’re really asking.”

By the time we had two kids, with the same donor but two different birth moms, the story of our how our family came to be was often more than we wanted to convey to a casual inquiry before ordering drinks. And yet, we wanted our children to hear us talk easily about our family structure and learn how to explain it themselves.  Their experience of having two moms was nearly invisible in popular culture.  We wanted to make it a source of pride, and not shame.

So I learned to say enough without saying too much.   And I learned to uncover what I was really being asked. And I learned when to give a ten-second explanation and when to have a longer conversation. And I learned to let our children take the lead as they grew older. And I learned to say the word ‘wife.’

I never expected to be a wife or have a wife, but now I am one and I have one.  It’s turned out to be the best thing ever, because that single word conveys so much, so clearly.  Without any further explanation, total strangers understand my relationship to Rinda. “Girlfriend,” “partner,” “life mate” require more sentences to be certain that I’m being understood.  But “wife” is completely clear.

The federal legal recognition that came last year brought more ease and clarity to my life than I had expected.  After all, we’d been married in our hearts and souls since 1991.  And our marriage was recognized in the state of California. What could a federal blessing of our marriage give us that we didn’t already have?

It turns out, a lot. Now that we were ‘out’ to the federal government, when we got a mortgage we knew how to hold title.  In the past we had long conversations with the title company; and all of us were just making a guess about the best way for us to hold title as a couple that was legally married in California, but not at the federal level.

We only have to fill out one joint federal tax return, which can be used for our state return.  For many years our accountant did a joint federal tax return so he could do a joint state return, and then he did an individual return for each of us.  We paid a lot of money for those extra returns.

When I fill out our Federal Financial Aid forms for college, I don’t have to leave out a parent.  In the past I felt like I was holding back information, but there was no way to represent our reality because federal tax returns (the basis for the form) did not recognize both parents.  I even called to make sure I was doing it right.  The woman on the phone was kind, but told me that the financial aid form simply did not include a way to represent the reality of our family.

Changing laws is important to creating the just, multicultural society the U.S. Constitution promises.  Changing hearts and minds is equally important in making that dream a reality.  As we make these changes, our coming out stories change as well.

I’m part of a Facebook group for queer moms.  Lately there has been a string of posts from women about their experiences with hospitals.  The common theme is that they start out ready to fight to have “our family” recognized in Utah, or a in Catholic hospital.  But instead they are met with respect, joy, and clarity about filling in birth certificates, NICU visitation privileges, or being called Mom.  Those stories bring tears to my eyes. Wow!  The pace of change of beautiful.  And yet the moral arc of the universe doesn’t easily bend toward justice.  There are always steps backwards:  see the new Jim Crow and North Carolina HB2.  We can’t let those who are afraid of widening the circle of love and justice decide the parameters of the conversation.

My favorite coming out moments are the ones that shine a light on my own prejudices.  The times I was met with love and respect from the very people I had been taught would hate me filled my heart with grace.  The military officer who told me that part of his duty was to stand with gay and lesbian service people who were being drummed out of the service because of their sexual orientation.  My 80-year-old, devoutly Catholic aunt who told me that God loves everyone and doesn’t make any mistakes.  The grandmother at my children’s elementary school, a Jehovah’s Witness, who apologized with tears in her eyes that her grandson had teased my daughter about having two moms.  Each of those encounters taught me to put away my assumptions and treat people as individuals.

The potential cost of coming out is rejection. But the cost of being hidden, of living in shame, is far greater.  And the opportunities that coming out affords are enormous. Coming out as a lesbian has given me the courage to come out as an artist, a writer, a Black Lives Matter activist, and a person of faith.  It’s allowed me to be more of my authentic self in so many ways, and hopefully gives others the courage to do the same.  And it’s given people permission to tell me their stories of spiritual and personal growth, connecting us across differences, but reminding us of our shared humanity.

Laila Ibrahim is the critically acclaimed author of Yellow Crocus and Living Right, available now on Amazon and all major booksellers. Connect with Laila Ibrahim on Facebook, and at www.LailaIbrahim.com.

]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/25/coming-out-again-and-again-and-again/feed/ 0 San Diego Pride Festival will feature metal detectors for the first time http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/24/san-diego-pride-festival-will-feature-metal-detectors-for-the-first-time/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/24/san-diego-pride-festival-will-feature-metal-detectors-for-the-first-time/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:45:15 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71653

SD Pride --San Diego Pride announced today that for the first time, the annual festival will feature metal detectors at the entrances. The festival will have more entry lanes to avoid long lines.

As always, there will also be a significant law enforcement presence, the San Diego Police Department’s mobile command unit will be stationed in front, and undisclosed additional precautions will be taken.

“We want everyone to feel safe while they’re having fun at this year’s festival,” said Stephen Whitburn, San Diego Pride’s executive director. “We encourage people to come out and celebrate Pride with confidence.”

The additional security precautions are intended to address safety concerns felt by some community members in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando. While security precautions are taken every year, and San Diego Pride is confident in those measures, the addition of metal detectors is intended to provide further reassurance to attendees.

The attack at Pulse nightclub has weighed heavily on the LGBT community. It has also demonstrated the community’s strength, resolve, and compassion. In its wake, San Diego Pride is preparing for the biggest, most meaningful Pride the city has ever seen.

“Our community is no stranger to adversity, and we will not be silenced,” Whitburn said. “Our movement is far from over, and we have no doubt that our community will come out to Pride as never before to mourn our losses, acknowledge our accomplishments, recommit to the work ahead, and celebrate our diverse community with love and Pride.”

The festival will be held Saturday, July 16 from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm and Sunday, July 17 from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm at Balboa Park’s Marston Point. sdpride.org

]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/24/san-diego-pride-festival-will-feature-metal-detectors-for-the-first-time/feed/ 0 ‘Tickled’ is no laughing matter http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/tickled-is-no-laughing-matter/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/tickled-is-no-laughing-matter/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:34:15 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71580

David Starr and David Farrier in Tickled

Whether you admit it or not, whether you did it deliberately, you’ve watched some odd sexual stuff on the Internet. Because as the song goes, “The Internet is for porn.” Some fetish videos aren’t surprising, whether it’s feet or leather or women’s panties. But some are, or at least they’re surprising to most people. When David Farrier, a journalist in New Zealand, saw a video of “competitive tickling,” in which strapping young men were held or strapped down and mercilessly tickled by other strapping young men, he thought, well, that’s a story! It was rather funny and odd and perfect for his brand of journalism, which focused on quirky pop culture. But when he sent inquiries to the company, known as Jane O’Brien Media, he received not a polite refusal, but a homophobic screed personally attacking Farrier, who is gay, and threatening lawsuits if he continues with any sort of story. Being the good journalist he is, Farrier was now more interested and more determined, because clearly these tickling videos weren’t just a wacky lark but the project of a weird and somewhat disturbed individual or set of individuals. So, Farrier and his friend Dylan Reeve decided to make a documentary.

The tagline for the film is “It’s not what you think.” This is pretty accurate, because when you hear that the film is about online tickling videos, you might raise an eyebrow and giggle, but that whimsy lasts all of five minutes in the film. Because the threats from Jane O’Brien Media are so creepy, and the story that follows – which include stories of extreme harassment, destroyed lives, criminal fraud, psychopathologies and a creepy-as-hell villain – isn’t funny except in the few moments when people are being tickled and actually seem to enjoy it. Other times, they’re not enjoying it at all, and you realize the tickle videos are actually videos of sadomasochism and torture.

Tickled is structured as a narrative of Farrier and Reeve’s investigation into the videos, Jane O’Brien, the videos’ down-on-their luck actors, the seedy world of fetish videos and the unhinged person who is actually Jane O’Brien. Reminiscent of Nick Broom’s gonzo documentaries Kurt and Courtney and Biggie and Tupac,Tickled feels like it’s just the result of what happened when Farrier and Reeve found a weird topic and bought some cameras. But like Broom’s movies, Tickled is carefully constructed to seem much less professional than it is. The film is built as a thriller and edited – rather strategically – to make sure the villain is villainous and everyone around him either a victim, a lackey or an innocent bystander. I don’t think the various people involved are as naïve or innocent as depicted. But after seeing the film and reading some of the mountains of press about the film, I have been quite convinced the bad guy is pretty bad. He’s been showing up at screenings and bizarrely confronting the filmmakers, stating that Reeve should fear for his children, that both he and Farrier will go to jail. (Unlikely.)

This all makes for good press, but for me, it begs a few questions. Why is the villain so villainous? Why is he so focused on tickling? How is he getting away with it? These questions are asked but never really answered in a satisfying way. The psychological insight into the villain is brief and seemingly tacked on, while the insight into the popularity of tickling videos doesn’t exist. The bait-and-switch of turning a film about tickling into a psychological thriller does create an entertaining experience, but it also left me wondering about the tickling. I mean, that’s pretty weird.

Tickled

Written and directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve

Featuring David Farrier, Richard Ivey and David Starr

Rated R

Opens July 1 at Landmark Ken

]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/tickled-is-no-laughing-matter/feed/ 0 A ‘Perfect’ way to celebrate Marriage Equality Day http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/a-perfect-way-to-celebrate-marriage-equality-day/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/a-perfect-way-to-celebrate-marriage-equality-day/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:24:18 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71584

Authors Michael Murphy, J. Scott Coatsworth, B.G. Thomas and Jamie Fessenden

It’s been a year since marriage equality became the law of the land as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the last of the anti-same-sex marriage laws. I watched all of this up close, chronicling the fight for eight and a half years as the author of the Marriage Equality Watch blog. I started in January, 2008, as the anti LGBT forces were gathering signatures to put Prop. 8 on the ballot, and just before the California Supreme Court opened the doors to Mark and I and people like us to get married in the state.

In early 2015, as we nervously awaited the final U.S. Supreme Court ruling, I was asked to write a story about the road to marriage. Gay, married author B.G. Thomas invited me and two other married authors to create stories for a planned anthology. I had been writing and selling LGBT fiction for about a year at that point, and I jumped at the chance, and the resulting story, Flames, is one of my favorites to date. But it’s only one of four great stories in A More Perfect Union:

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

Lucas Arrowood is walking to school on his first day of kindergarten when he meets Dalton Churchill – a boy who stops and helps him tie his shoe. He knows from that moment he is going to marry that boy one day. “Boys can’t marry other boys,” his mother explains, but that doesn’t stop Lucas. He knows what he wants.

He and Dalton become best friends—and then, no matter how much he resists, Dalton falls in love with Lucas. Dalton’s very conservative family can’t accept that their boy loves another boy, but finally Dalton stands up for love and for Lucas. Still, he declares he won’t marry Lucas until it is legal everywhere. He hates the “Commitment Ceremonies” gay men have. They aren’t the real thing. Why bother?

So Lucas waits for his day. The day same-sex marriage finally becomes legal and he can be joined forever with the love of his life.

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

When Jay and Wallace first meet at an LGBTQ group, they have no idea they’ll be dating six years later. In fact, they quickly forget each other’s names. But although fate continues to throw them together, the timing is never quite right. Finally they’re both single and realize they want to be together… but now they can’t find each other! With determination and the help of mutual friends, Jay and Wallace can finally pursue the relationship they’ve both wanted for so long.

It’s only the beginning of the battles they’ll face to build a life together.

From disapproving family members all the way to the state legislature, Jay and Wallace’s road to happily ever after is littered with obstacles. But they’ve come too far to give up the fight.

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

Living as an open, loving gay couple in the rural South isn’t easy—even today.

When Jeordi and Tom move in together and come out to their families, Jeordi’s family does not take the news especially well. When yelling doesn’t work, they send in one sibling after another to try to separate the couple. When that fails, they call out their pastor to help Jeordi see the error of his ways. But Jeordi’s love for Tom is greater than anything they throw at them.

When an accident sends Jeordi to the hospital, his family goes too far when they try to keep Tom from visiting his partner. Jeordi and Tom are determined to do everything in their power to gain legal protection so this can never happen again. But when a bigoted county clerk refuses to issue them a marriage license, Jeordi decides a big, bold effort is called for, which is precisely what he sets in motion so no one can ever separate him from Tom again.

As I write this, I’m in a bit of a bittersweet mood. On the one hand, the first anniversary of marriage equality reminds me how far we’ve come. When Mark and I met in 1992, the idea of marrying one another in a legally recognized way seemed patently impossible.

My first “gay wedding” was held in 1989 at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. Two of our gay friends wanted to have a wedding ceremony. So five of us went into the beautiful stands of bamboo there and found an isolated spot. The three friends hovered protectively around the couple as they whispered their vows and exchanged rings. We knew if anyone saw what we were doing, there could be consequences.

At best, couples who wanted to marry back then were laughed at. At worst, there could be violence.

We are at an amazing moment in our history. We have won marriage, and a measure of acceptance that’s unprecedented in modern times.

And then an event like the Pulse Nightclub shooting comes along to remind us how far we have yet to go – that not only are there those who think we’re sinful, but those who believe we are wicked and worthy of derision and violence. And just like that, the illusion of acceptance and safety is shattered.

I don’t accept that this is the way the world has to be.

What I can do, what I must do, even though it is so hard at the moment, is to put a little more love out into the world. I don’t care about your color, your gender or your physical appearance.

You are my community, my family. Only together can we come though terrible events like this whole.

]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/a-perfect-way-to-celebrate-marriage-equality-day/feed/ 1 Meet Jeffrey Marsh http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/meet-jeffrey-marsh/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/meet-jeffrey-marsh/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:14:45 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71586

Photo: Daniel Silbert

Meet the Vine star, author and youth advocate who has lit up social media with more than a quarter billion views

In an age of often vapid social media, where our likes, dislikes, beliefs and values are funneled through an echo chamber of our own choosing, it is no surprise that both the metrics and the parameters of fame have changed significantly. The movie star who rakes in millions is now on equal footing with the YouTube sensation who speeds up his voice to sound like an animated chipmunk. The actor who lost weight or braved the elements or went off for six months to learn what prison is really like is no longer in a class by him or herself as a torrent of new media and a global population willing to create content for that torrent approaches the gate.

Jeffrey Marsh, the genderqueer sensation who has taken Vine by storm, appears, luckily for the LGBTQ community, not to be just some momentary fluke with a sense of content-importance. Jeffrey’s positive affirmations – which can be largely crystallized down to ‘There is nothing wrong with you’ – have struck a chord in many of today’s youth who, despite enormous strides, continue to struggle with acceptance while navigating a still-hostile world.

Frequently on Vine, a social video app that conveys six-second messages in an endless loop, one can find Jeffrey dancing around in a dress, some blue eyeshadow and frequently a strain of cherry-red lipstick reaffirming everyone’s fabulousness. It seems rather hokey in a Mr.-Roger’s-Neighborhood sort of way but it has caught on like wildfire and there seems to be no corner of the Internet that Jeffrey has not grabbed onto with their message of love and acceptance.

We caught up with Jeffrey to find out who this Internet personality is and what gets them going.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What do you tell people you do when they ask?

PhotoS: Daniel Silbert

Jeffery Marsh: My all-time fave response is, “I’m really big on the Internet” because nowadays that’s a thing! If it’s a fancy context, I’ll say something like, “I have over a quarter of a billion views on social media and I’m an author with Penguin Random House”. Doesn’t that just sound fancy? I guess, just like ‘What’s your identity?’, the question ‘What do you do?’ is highly contextual!

Do you feel Vine is the medium that works best for your short, uplifting, six-second sound bites and or visuals? If so, why?

My message has always been ‘there is nothing wrong with you.’ Take a couple of breaths. Read that again. There. Is. Nothing. Wrong. With. You. Would you believe I have never met a single person online or off who wasn’t told in some way that there is something wrong with them? I work every day to undo some of that programming we’ve all received. Vine helps me with this mission in a few key ways. As you mention, it’s short. Each Vine is a 6.5 second (or less!) distillation of that core message. In a Vine, I directly address the viewer with a heartening message or I dance around or I tell a joke, but it is always by design something short, sweet and highly digestible. Another helpful thing about Vine is the humanity of it. I get messages all the time from folks who are not queer but see their personhood reflected in me. Video is a highly personal medium, and Vine makes it more personal by stripping it down to your iPhone, you, and your viewers. Vines also loop — over and over on repeat. This helps to reinforce the message.

How has social media affected the message of positive reinforcement? Do you ever feel that it gets drowned out by the sheer torrent of messages available today? If so, how does one do what you’re doing?

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that people are utterly desperate for my messages. That’s not to brag, it’s just to point out that I never predicted that something loving and kind and affirming could go viral and have the widespread impact my videos have had. The people that need me always find me. And I know it’s essential never to censor the message. You’ll find Vines in my feed that get less likes than others. I don’t believe it’s my job to always try to get likes or do what’s popular or do what will help my Vines stick out in the “sheer torrent” you so aptly mention. It seems like being honest and authentic and me (for lack of a better way to say it) is enough. People who need to find me, find me. And maybe that authenticity makes my videos stand out from the torrent in a truly unique way. The bottom line is that I’ll never change the message. This is exactly why I wrote How To Be You.

We know who you are now. But who were you then? What qualifies you to stand above all the other Viners/social media presences in declaring yourself a bonafide ‘personality’?

Great question! I’m not sure I stand above anybody. Aren’t we all personalities? I guess you could say that not every social star is an author with a major publisher, and not every social star has been Buddhist for over 15 years and lived at a monastery. What I’m guessing “qualifies” me, if we want to talk about it in those terms, is that I speak the truth. I trust that people can recognize when someone is being honest and open with them. In other words, hopefully people can see the truth and quality in what I’m saying, and that simple truth is all the pedigree people should need.

In one Vine clip, you reach out to those followers who may have suicidal ideation. How are you qualified to help? Do you have formal training in, say, social work?

This is something I’ve given quite a lot of thought to. You’ll notice in my videos I talk in very general terms about “feeling suicidal.” This is why, on the whole, I point people who may be suffering in more specific ways toward larger organizations who I’ve collaborated with, like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Trevor Project. Every day, I get comments and messages saying “I was feeling suicidal, and I’ve decided to stick around because I saw your video”. People clearly have a ton of stigma around these thoughts and feelings. It seemed like an important topic for me to address. The only message I would want people to receive is that if they have considered suicide, they are not alone and there is help available if they need it. In How To Be You, I tell people ways to discover more about themselves (their lovely qualities and innocence) and then how to love and accept what they’ve discovered. I offer this because it’s a process I’ve been through. I consider my work a starting point for someone who may be struggling, and I talk in the book about further resources. I do not offer personal counseling or run a hotline precisely because I’m not qualified to do those things.

Explain ‘genderqueer.’

I try not to explain myself! To me, genderqueer is the closest label there is to no label at all. What does genderqueer signify? It’s a way to talk about my personal gender expression. I do not identify with terms like man and woman. That is a deep, evident truth for me. I am not a man or a woman. As you might have guessed, I’m not quite sure what I am, but I do know I don’t fit into the binary-restrictive view of gender. Hence! I use the term genderqueer to describe my own slippery morphic hard-to-pin-down identity.

“Jeffrey has had a successful public speaking business for years; at lectures and talks, Jeffrey distills the often complicated ideas of gender, identity and sexuality into clear accessible language.” Are these ideas born of academic study – say queer studies – or something more personal?

Photo: Daniel Silbert

It is highly personal. When I am asked to speak it is always as myself, not as a researcher. I do cite recent research in my talks of course, but it is always in the context of what it is like to be me and therefore, more broadly, how to be you. The reason I can take complicated research and distill it down into accessible language is because it is my personal lived experience. To me it’s not academia, it’s my life. There’s nothing wrong with academic research of course, but what I offer by way of public speaking is an openness about how gender, sexuality and identity intersect in a “sample of 1.”

Who has influenced you in who and how you are today?

I admire anyone who is bold enough to be themselves, especially when parents or bosses or our modern American culture encourages them not to be. So in specific terms, it’s David Bowie and Laverne Cox, but also I must say that I am inspired by the young people I interact with online. I see such bravery and fortitude every day. The kid who risks being rejected by her family and school because she wants to take a same-sex date to the prom or the 16-year-old who asks everyone at church to use they/them pronouns for them. It blows my mind! Whatever inspiration people take from my work, I receive 10 times as much inspiration from the real honest lives of the integrity I am privileged to see being lived all over the world.

More at: http://www.jeffreymarsh.com/ and https://vine.co/jeffreymarsh

]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/meet-jeffrey-marsh/feed/ 0 Last day for ‘Wine And Music Festival’ tickets! http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/last-day-for-wine-and-music-festival-tickets/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/last-day-for-wine-and-music-festival-tickets/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:30:34 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71625

Wine and MusicToday is the last day to buy tickets online for the 9th Annual Wine and Music Festival benefiting the Women’s Museum of California. The Wine and Music Festival is the Women’s Museum of California’s only annual fundraiser, which funds their educational programming and original exhibits. The Festival will be held Friday June 24, with VIP Happy Hour 5 p.m. and General Tickets 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Promenade Lawn at Liberty Station 2730 Historic Decatur Road in San Diego.

Buy tickets here.

Festival line up:

San Diego Women’s Chorus is a lesbian-identified, feminist sisterhood of musicians that welcomes members and volunteers from the LGBTQ and straight-ally communities. They will be opening the show with a powerful original performance.
Marissa Grace Band is a 13-year-old singer, songwriter and YouTube sensation from La Mesa, California. She is a local-celebrity, whose dream is to make a difference through positive and relevant music.
Marcela Mendez is the lead singer of San Diego based pop-rock cover band HoneyRock. Her acoustic music has been turning ears for several years with her soaring vocals and spicy personality.
Ruby Clouds is a So Cal band from Los Angeles whose dreamy sounds have serenaded audiences in the U.S. and Mexico for years.
KODA is an original rock band from San Diego, California. This group is all about instrument-driven music and creative vocal melodies.
Also Featuring:
Dan Rabb is a talented solo musician who will be providing soft tunes for the VIP Happy Hour at 5:00pm.
Choral Club of San Diego operates San Diego’s oldest women’s chorus, who focus on giving women a positive artistic outlet, and creating joyful performances that benefit the community.
The Flavor Company is an inclusive cultural dance company that honors the traditions of dance, and gives dancers of all levels opportunity for involvement. They will be entertaining our audience while the bands take a breather!
Buy tickets online here. Tickets will be available at the door.

 

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WATCH: #RestInPRIDE : The video to honor Orlando http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/watch-restinpride-the-video-to-honor-orlando/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/watch-restinpride-the-video-to-honor-orlando/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 17:43:59 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71614

Today the #RestInPRIDE launched a new video campaign honoring the 49 innocent lives lost at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The campaign launch video encourages the LGBT community and allies to record and post their most PRIDEFUL memory to the #RestInPRIDE Facebook page.

Through sharing uplifting video messages with heart, #RestInPRIDE continues the important conversation about the victims and those affected by senseless acts of violence taking place on a daily basis. The artistic video features 49 different shared Pride memories honoring the 49 victims, including voices of various ethnicities, genders, ages, sexual orientations and people directly affected by the Orlando tragedy. The video ends with a montage of the participants putting rainbow-style “war paint” on their faces as a symbol that action needs to be taken.

Celebrities and influencers also participated in the campaign including actress Rumer Willis, actor Wilson Cruz, Olympian and HIV/AIDS advocate Greg Louganis and transgender actress and “I Am Cait” star Candis Cayne.

A vocal track of the song “Light” from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Musical Next to Normal serves as a backdrop to the video, and was recorded by artist Brian Justin Crum. All proceeds of the track, written by Tom Kitt, will go directly to the OneOrlando Fund. “Light” can be available for purchase on iTunes.

Watch the video above.

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San Francisco Pride announces screening and bag checks for 2016 celebration attendees http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/san-francisco-pride-announces-screening-and-bag-checks-for-2016-celebration-attendees/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/san-francisco-pride-announces-screening-and-bag-checks-for-2016-celebration-attendees/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 17:21:29 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71610

SF PrideSAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Pride have announced that there will be security screening and metal detectors at all points of entry for the 2016 San Francisco Pride Celebration and festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 25 from 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM and Sunday, June 26 from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM at San Francisco’s Civic Center. Bags are highly discouraged, and no bags over 18″ x 18″ will be admitted.

Everyone attending the Celebration must pass through the screening process. All items will be subject to inspection at the entry gates, and there are no lockers for storage of oversized bags.

Permitted Items:

  • Soft bags with a maximum size of 18″ x 18″
  • Authorized animals, such as guide dogs, assisting those with disabilities

Prohibited Items:

  • Any bag over 18″ x 18″ in size
  • Alcohol
  • Coolers or containers of any type
  • Glass bottles of any kind
  • Illegal drugs or substances
  • Firearms, fireworks & explosives
  • Weapons
  • Dangerous weapons including any type of edged weapon to include knives, impact weapons and electric pulse weapons
  • Stunning devices
  • Drones
  • Shopping carts
  • E-cigarettes
  • Radios, walkie talkies, jammers, scanners
  • Portable speakers
  • Hazardous and toxic materials
  • Any item deemed inappropriate or hazardous by law enforcement and/or security

There will be a significant police presence at all Pride activities in the city, with both uniformed and plain clothes officers on duty to monitor the events. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, including participants, organizers, security staff and law enforcement.

In the event of an emergency Dial 911. Look out for one another and report any suspicious persons or activity to event staff or a police officer. If you see something, say something. To provide an anonymous tip, call the SFPD Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444.

SF Pride Celebration 2016
Civic Center Plaza and surrounding neighborhood
Saturday, June 25, 2016 | 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM
Sunday, June 26, 2016 | 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Event Info: sfpride.org

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New documentary shows how marriage equality was won (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/22/new-documentary-shows-how-marriage-equality-was-won-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/22/new-documentary-shows-how-marriage-equality-was-won-video/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 19:47:03 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71541

Over the last four decades, same-sex marriage has gone from a ‘preposterous notion’ to one of the most successful civil rights campaigns in the world.

Now, as the country gets ready to celebrate the first anniversary of same-sex marriage a new documentary entitled ‘The Freedom to Marry’ will make its world premiere at at the Frameline Film Festival on June 25.

Directed by Eddie Rosenstein ‘The Freedom to Marry’ is a “War Room” style feature documentary about the movement for marriage for same-sex couples, from the final frenetic months of the legal and grassroots campaign.

‘The Freedom to Marry’ will premiere  Saturday, June 25, 1:15 p.m. at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.  More information on the film and for tickets go here.

Watch the trailer above.

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Tenor Piotr Beczala kicks off San Diego Opera’s 2016-2017 season http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/22/tenor-piotr-beczala-kicks-off-san-diego-operas-2016-2017-season/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/22/tenor-piotr-beczala-kicks-off-san-diego-operas-2016-2017-season/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 19:13:16 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71537
Piotr Beczala Photo: Jean-Baptiste Millot

Piotr Beczala
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Millot

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – San Diego Opera announced today that tenor Piotr Beczala will open San Diego Opera’s 2016-2017 season with a recital on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 7 PM at the Balboa Theatre. In demand at the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls, Mr. Beczala made his Company debut as Rodolfo in La bohème in 2009, returned as Gustav III in A Masked Ball in 2014 and sang later that season as the tenor soloist in the Verdi Requiem. Piotr Beczala is one of the most sought-after tenors of our time and a constant guest in the world’s leading opera houses. The Polish-born artist is acclaimed by audiences and critics alike not only for the beauty of his voice, but also for his ardent commitment to each character he portrays. For this recital, Piotr will be accompanied by pianist Martin Katz and will perform a selection of arias and art songs.

“I am very happy to be able to come back to San Diego Opera again, especially with a solo recital. My connection with the company is not as long as other singers, but I am drawn to the warm and professional organization and the high quality of musicianship that the Company is known for around the world,” shares Mr. Beczala. “San Diego Opera is a very important part of the classical music world and I am proud to be part of this legacy. I look forward to September 17th and I promise to do everything in my power to create an unforgettable evening!

Tickets to Piotr Beczala in Recital range from $20 to $130. A post-recital reception at the Westin is also available for $50 per person. Subscriptions to the 2016-2017 season are also on sale. A subscription for the three mainstage operas starts at $111 and subscriptions start at $171 for a full series including the three mainstage operas, Piotr Beczala in recital, and the Detour series which includes Soldier Songs, and La tragèdie de Carmen. Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased by calling (619) 533-7000 or online at www.sdopera.org.

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Lambda Archives presents LGBT history on walking tours of Hillcrest http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/22/lambda-archives-presents-lgbt-history-on-walking-tours-of-hillcrest/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/22/lambda-archives-presents-lgbt-history-on-walking-tours-of-hillcrest/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:27:41 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71531

unnamed-1Do you know where San Diego’s early gay bars were? Have you read the hate crimes plaque? Have you looked at the base of the flag pole? Have you peeked into the secret garden? How much do you really know about Hillcrest?

To celebrate Pride week, Lambda Archives will have two evening tours: Wednesday July 13 and Thursday July 14 each at 6:15 pm. Walter Meyer, the manager of Lambda Archives, who conducts the tours said, “The tour is about two and a half miles and takes a little over two hours. All proceeds from tour ticket sales fund the work of Lambda Archives to continue collecting, preserving and educating people about the LGBT history of the greater San Diego region.”

After a good deal of research including a visit to the University of Southern California’s One Archive, and consultation with many in the community, and a few practice tours, the first official tour took place in April and the May tour sold out before it could even be advertised.

Bruce Coons, Executive Director of Save Our Heritage Organization took the tour and said, “This very important tour highlights the history, stories, places, sites, tragedies and triumphs and of this modern civil rights struggle. A national and international struggle in which, San Diego was at the forefront. A struggle where there has been tremendous progress and like all struggles for human rights, a struggle that requires constant vigilance and continues today. Visitors will find this tour enlightening, entertaining, at times disheartening and ultimately inspiring.”

Famed historian and author of numerous books about LGBT history including The Gay Revolution, Lillian Faderman said, “I thought I knew a lot about gay Southern California, but Lambda Archive’s wonderful tour of the Hillcrest was eye-opening. Lambda knows every nook and cranny, every pertinent gay event that ever happened here. They make the history of gay Hillcrest come alive!”

Luke Terpstra, Hillcrest Town Council Board President Emeritus said the tour was, “A great way to get some exercise and learn about the amazing LGBT history in our community. Learn how Hillcrest first offered the LGBT community a place to gather, meet and take early steps toward the many freedoms that we finally enjoy today including Marriage Equality and the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

The tours cover some of the art and architecture of the neighbor and how and why Hillcrest became the LGBTQ hub of San Diego. Three of the five locations of The Center have been in Hillcrest and are stops on the tour. “We like to cover how Hillcrest reluctantly became the gay neighborhood, then fully proudly and openly gay, to now in some respects being post-gay,” Meyer said. “It’s been an interesting evolution and we at the Archives learned a lot we didn’t know as we did our research. And what has been great is that we have learned more from participants on every tour.”

Tickets are $20 for Archives members and $25 for nonmembers and are available at lambda-archives.ticketleap.comFor more information call 619-260-1522 or email info@LambdaArchives.org.

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Equality California endorses tobacco tax initiative http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/21/equality-california-endorses-tobacco-tax-initiative/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/21/equality-california-endorses-tobacco-tax-initiative/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2016 19:52:30 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71520

LOS ANGELES — Equality California has endorsed the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, an initiative to raise California’s cigarette tax by $2 on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which are taking a disproportionately large toll on lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual Californians smoke at two to three times the rate of heterosexual Californians according to the California Department of Public Health, creating a serious public health concern for the LGBT community.

“The use of tobacco products is a serious public health problem for members of the LGBT community,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “With tobacco companies focused on luring LGBT teens into addiction, this initiative is our opportunity to help save lives, reduce smoking and improve health care for members of the LGBT community and for all of California.”

Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBT civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. The organization’s mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California.

The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 will put a user fee on smoking to save lives, protect teens and improve healthcare.

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in California. This $2 per pack user fee on cigarettes and other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes containing nicotine, saves lives by preventing kids from getting hooked on tobacco, improving health care, and fighting cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.

Nationally, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 30,000 LGBT Americans die from tobacco-related diseases annually. The smoking rate among the LGBT community in California is 27.4 percent, compared to a non-LGBT smoking rate of 12.9 percent, and tobacco companies target LGBT communities through advertising and event sponsorship.

The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 is backed by Save Lives California, a coalition of health advocates and others that includes the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the California Medical Association, California Dental Association, SEIU California, Blue Shield of California, the California Hospital Association and philanthropist Tom Steyer. The money raised by the tax will fund healthcare costs and research into cures for cancer and other tobacco related diseases.

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$200,000 gift for SDSU Pride Center, LGBT Studies Program http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/20/200000-gift-for-sdsu-pride-center-lgbt-studies-program/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/20/200000-gift-for-sdsu-pride-center-lgbt-studies-program/#respond Mon, 20 Jun 2016 23:09:29 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71508

The Pride CenterSAN DIEGO, Calif. —  The Pride Center at San Diego State University has received a $100,000 gift from San Diego donor David Gubser.

Gubser committed another $100,000 to the university’s LGBT Studies Program, the second of its kind in North America and the first in the California State University system. A staunch supporter of LGBT centers and organizations in Southern California, Gubser recently decided to extend his advocacy to college campuses.

“At this time, given the terrible events in Orlando, people need to become more educated about the LGBT community,” Gubser said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to accomplish that goal than through a gift to SDSU.”

Gubser’s gift will create an endowed scholarship for LGBT majors and will expand the Pride Center’s programming to include academic mentoring, guest speakers, health and safety training and possible queer leadership conferences.

The Campaign for SDSU has raised $705 million to support students, faculty and academic programming and to build an endowment that will strengthen the university in future decades.

Leader in LGBT studies

SDSU created its interdisciplinary LGBT Studies Program in January 2012 in the College of Arts and Letters. The university also offers a minor and a graduate-level certificate in LGBT studies.

“I am delighted by the generosity and foresight of David Gubser to endow a scholarship for LGBT studies students as well as to the Pride Center,” said Esther Rothblum, LGBT studies adviser at SDSU. “As we mourn the victims of the tragic shooting at the Orlando gay bar, it is evident that now more than ever there is an urgent need for scholarship and activism that furthers knowledge of LGBT issues.”

Top 25 LGBT-friendly universities

San Diego State has ranked among the top 25 LGBT-friendly universities in the nation for six consecutive years. The ranking is based on the Campus Pride Index, a tool that compares LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices on college campuses.

Christopher Lujan, Pride Center coordinator, said several students have visited the center in the last few days to ask about the services it provides.

“Often students want to go to a space where they are connected to the community,” Lujan said. “The Pride Center provides a space for all students to build a support system among the LGBTQ+ community at SDSU. Our services range from weekly support groups to utilization of our LGBTQ+ resources on and off campus.”

The Pride Center is also raising funds for events and programming through Strive, a crowdfunding platform operated entirely by SDSU Alumni Engagement.

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UC San Diego Health to hold Pride Lighting Ceremony June 29 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/20/uc-san-diego-health-to-hold-pride-lighting-ceremony-june-29/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/20/uc-san-diego-health-to-hold-pride-lighting-ceremony-june-29/#respond Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:43:43 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71497

UC San Diego PrideSAN DIEGO — UC San Diego Health is having their 2nd annual Pride Lighting Ceremony  Wednesday, June 29 from 7:30-9 p.m. at their Hillcrest Medical Center (200 W. Arbor Drive, San Diego, 92101).

This free community event will feature the Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as Congressman Scott Peters, Councilman Todd Gloria and Councilman-Elect Chris Ward. UC San Diego Health have also provided free information booths to  The San Diego LGBT Community Center and San Diego Pride. There will be free parking, fun giveaways, as well as festive desserts and refreshments.

“Last year, we were the first hospital in the nation to illuminate itself in rainbow colors to show our support and dedication for our LGBT patients, staff, visitors and neighbors,” Zachary Schlagel, assistant director UC San Diego Health told LGBT Weekly by email. “With all that has transpired this week, I cannot think of a better way to stand up to fear and terror than to light a building, especially a long-time community landmark like this one, in rainbow colors for all to see.”

Those interested in attending, should RSVP to health.ucsd.edu/pridelighting

 

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Glenn Close donates $75,000 to Mental Health Association of Central Florida http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/20/glenn-close-donates-75000-to-mental-health-association-of-central-florida/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/20/glenn-close-donates-75000-to-mental-health-association-of-central-florida/#respond Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:20:12 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71492
Glenn Close

Glenn Close

ORLANDO, Fla.  – Six-time Academy Award nominated actress Glenn Close made the largest individual donation in the history of the Mental Health Association of Central Florida (MHACF) on Thursday before serving as the keynote speaker during the organization’s fifth annual Legacy of Champions Luncheon.

Close, who has worked extensively as a visible advocate to educate and inform people on mental health, gifted $75,000 to MHACF, a non-profit organization that strives to connect Central Florida community members with mental health services, support and information. The contribution will allow MHACF to begin the ongoing counseling for anyone affected by last weekend’s tragic events.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our guest speaker, Glenn Close,” said Candice Crawford, CEO of MHACF. “The community turned out to hear an actress and advocate for mental health at a very sensitive time for our city and she absolutely delivered.”

Close established her Bring Change 2 Mind non-profit in order to elicit change and shared her own life experiences, including her family’s battle with mental illness, during the annual event at the Rosen Centre in Orlando.

During the event, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was recognized as the 2016 Champion Honoree for launching the City’s Stand Up Orlando initiative, an effort to raise awareness and educate students and adults year-round that bullying is not tolerated in Orlando and to ensure the City continues to be a place of belonging, acceptance and respect for all people.

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Happy Father’s Day http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/19/happy-fathers-day/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/19/happy-fathers-day/#respond Sun, 19 Jun 2016 14:00:35 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71477
Rosenberg-van Gameren Family Photos by Robert Figueroa, FotoFig.com

Rosenberg-van Gameren Family
Photo by Robert Figueroa, FotoFig.com

Happy Father’s Day from San Diego LGBT Weekly.

Check out our “Celebration of Gay Dads” feature here.

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The Amazon Trail: Searching for old dyke tales http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/18/the-amazon-trail-searching-for-old-dyke-tales/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/18/the-amazon-trail-searching-for-old-dyke-tales/#respond Sun, 19 Jun 2016 00:30:26 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71483
Young Lee in Provincetown

Young Lee in Provincetown

The only information I had on old gay people when I came out was that we were doomed to be alone and thus miserable. Oh, and lesbians would have leathery skin while gay men would become pitiful predators.

At least, that’s how old perverts were portrayed in the pulps, and in non-fiction about criminology and juvenile delinquency.

First off, let’s define “old.” I’m 70 and happier than I’ve ever been. If you’re under, say, 64, you think I’m old. If you’re over seventy you think I’m a spring chicken. One of my Tai Chi instructors  is 80, the other is 88. My best friend is 81 and still writing novels. It’s impossible to define old.

I couldn’t look leathery if I tried, nor could any of the dykes or gay men I know. I’ve seen plenty of people who might be described that way, gay or not, but they’ve usually spent years broiling in the sun on beaches other than Fire Island or Herring Cove in Provincetown.

It’s funny how, most of my life, perfect strangers recoiled at the sight of my androgyny. With white hair I’ve become invisible, even to other dykes. Where once I’d get a smile or nod of recognition in the street in response to my own, the gaze of younger lesbians slides right off me, like I’m a lamp post or a (shudder) straight person.

In my 30s and 40s, I made up old lesbians in my stories. Perhaps I was looking for my elders. There may have been many around, but the generations before me were so very closeted I was aware only of a vacuum.

Once I got to know some actual true-to-life old dykes, I totally forgot there was an age difference. They treated me as an equal and we developed long, respectful friendships.

But I did such stupid stuff as a kid, made such risky, reasonless decisions, I could have used the guidance of an old dyke. In those younger years I was Alice falling down one rabbit hole after another.

Could I have learned from old lesbians and gay men or would my eyes have slid away from them the way baby dyke eyes do from me? Would I have listened? Yes, I was like that, very respectful of experienced people. As a matter of fact, I longed for such counsel, or at least for tales from people like me.

Would I have used their hard-won knowledge?  Would I have followed recommended paths? I have no doubt I would have—and asked for detailed maps.

Would old gays have given me the kind of advice I needed? It would have been tricky for them to even associate with gay kids. Say I doctored my birth certificate (which I most certainly did) so I could go to gay bars. Say Joe Gay or Josie Gay, age 64, taught me how. Say my mother, a teacher, found out, or, worse, the bar was raided. Could Josie or Joe trust that this scared child would withstand a browbeating aimed at naming names?

Very few of us have biological or adoptive lesbian mothers. Where can we find guidance for our early gay adulthood? A local physician calls our mutual friends, the pianist and the handydyke (both 70 plus), her lesbian mothers. The pianist tells of the day a younger woman rushed up to her in the grocery store and announced that she and the handydyke were her lesbian aunties. The pianist knew another young lesbian, in the military, who had her suicide carefully planned out until two gay men stepped in to save her life. She also talks about a student, a homeless high school lesbian who lived with her and the handydyke for a year and who once said, “I wonder what an old lesbian looks like?”

There’s an obvious crying need for links between our young and old. The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project,* started by Arden Eversmeyer in 1997, seeks to document our lives.  Books published by the project offer our stories. I would have devoured every word right up into my thirties, looking for who I was and who I could become.

The Trevor Project has a huge presence on Twitter that seeks to encourage gay and transgendered kids.

Reportedly, 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT. They so need adults to model themselves after, ways of living gay to try on, in order to find themselves. Some have lost their families; some have families to whom they’re unable to relate. Who can hold their hands when they’re slipping on the icier, dicier spots of life? In whose footsteps can they follow on the paths of relationships?

There are more and more visible role models: Edie Windsor, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Ellen Degeneres, Greg Louganis, Anderson Cooper, Janis Ian, who give gay kids something to strive for. But what about the non-celebrities, the lesbian Boy Scout leader, the gay male crossing guard, the hairdressers and auto painters, the farmers and pilots—how do we get them into the lives of lost children, lgbt college students, young gay barflies? Wouldn’t any of us, even now, love a gay grandparent who could teach us to garden or build a boat and rap our knuckles, or at least warn us, at any age, when we leap into the arms of ridiculously incompatible lovers?

The good news is that now we’ve begun to have voices, we have started to display our images, we know the young people are out there, seeking as we did. Our very openness is a way of offering ourselves.

*http://www.oloc.org/projects/herstory.php

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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San Francisco LGBT Pride celebration and parade, June 25-26 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/17/san-francisco-lgbt-pride-celebration-and-parade-june-25-26/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/17/san-francisco-lgbt-pride-celebration-and-parade-june-25-26/#respond Fri, 17 Jun 2016 14:26:00 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71458

SF PrideThe 46th Annual SF LGBT Pride Celebration takes place June 25 and 26 at Civic Center Plaza. Sunday’s festivities will include more than 20 community-produced stages and venues. The Parade will kick-off at 10:30 am on Sunday, June 26 along Market Street, from Beale to 8th Streets. The SF Pride Grandstands are located toward the end of the Parade route at UN Plaza, which is on the north side of Market Street between 7th and 8th Streets in downtown San Francisco.

PARADE
Sunday, June 26

Kickoff at 10:30 AM
Along Market Street
From Beale to 8th Street

CELEBRATION
Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26

Saturday: 12 Noon – 6 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 6 PM
Downtown Civic Center, San Francisco

For Official SF Pride events, Pride parties, ommunity events and more go here.

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Nearly 40K sign petition supporting rainbow flag emoji to honor LGBT community http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/16/nearly-40k-sign-petition-supporting-rainbow-flag-emoji-to-honor-lgbt-community/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/16/nearly-40k-sign-petition-supporting-rainbow-flag-emoji-to-honor-lgbt-community/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:48:38 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71425

A lot has changed since the first version of the emoji keyboard was released: After garnering criticism, emojis became more racially diverse and included same-sex families and 32 new flags in April 2015. And developers are currently mulling a proposal to add more professional female emojis.

FlagBut many activists say another key flag is still missing: a rainbow flag to honor the LGBTQ community. Colton Price-Fiore’s Care2 petition asking the Unicode Consortium to create a rainbow flag emoji has gathered nearly 40,000 signatures. After the recent shooting at an Orlando LGBTQ nightclub that killed nearly 50, Price-Fiore says the change is more needed than ever.

View the Care2 petition here.

“The tragic events in Orlando underscore why recognition of the LGBTQ community is much needed across a popular and influential platform: the emoji keyboard,” Price-Fiore, who is from the Philadelphia area, told Care2. “I started my Care2 petition for a rainbow flag emoji a year ago, and since then the Unicode Consortium has approved a slew of new emojis, but the LGBTQ flag continues to be lacking. It’s past time for this change to be implemented to honor a community that is so often and so tragically the target of threats and violence.”

Price-Fiore told Care2 that he believes the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit that standardizes emojis, has “done a great job of listening to the concerns of the public and adding new emojis accordingly.” But yet another Pride month is upon us, and no rainbow flag emoji is in sight.

The Care2 petition targets Mark Davis, president of the Unicode Consortium, as well as the CEOs of Apple, Microsoft, and Google, which are among the tech companies responsible for implementing the changes on their platforms.

A separate Care2 petition with over 9,500 signatures is urging the Unicode Consortium to adopt female professional emojis proposed by a team of Google employees. They include a female scientist, doctor, academic, food service worker, and musician. The petition notes that the current emojis that feature professionals — including a doctor, detective, construction worker, and a guard — are all male

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Milk Stamp inspires LGBT group and book http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/16/milk-stamp-inspires-lgbt-group-and-book/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/16/milk-stamp-inspires-lgbt-group-and-book/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:36:14 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71421

NEWARK, N.J. – In June 2014, Newark , N.J. Postal employee Gregory Huff was an integral part of the team that coordinated a stamp unveiling at the Main Post Office in Newark for the newly released Harvey Milk stamp. While this was a notable accomplishment, Huff felt the need to do more.

“I wondered if there were any LGBT postal employee groups, and after some research I could not find an active group,” Huff said. “So I decided to start one. I wanted to create a group online for fellow LGBT employees. And events like what happened in Orlando underscore the importance of having such a group. There’s no reason why any LGBT postal employee should feel that they are alone during moments of terror (like Orlando ) and victory (like the legalization of same-sex marriage).”

StampHuff, a New Jersey native and long-time USPS employee, created the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender U.S. Postal Employee Group (LGBTUSPEG), a Facebook group for all LGBT postal employees (and retirees) to confidentially network, get support, discuss news, find resources, read information about LGBT USPS policies, and learn about LGBT philately. The web address for this group is https://www.facebook.com/GLHSC/?fref=nf which employees can join using their own personal computers off the clock. The group is not officially endorsed by or affiliated with the Postal Service. “I’m just an employee who started a group for employees on my own time,” Huff said.

The historic release of the Harvey Milk stamp also inspired Huff in his current project. “After the Harvey Milk stamp came out, I began to wonder if there were any other LGBT people on U.S. stamps. I couldn’t find a resource that revealed who they were, so I made it my personal mission to painstakingly research every person ever featured on a U.S. postage stamp, to determine whether or not they were LGBT. I based it on the person’s personal admission or factual evidence from more than one source.”

After weeks of researching over 1,100 people, Huff discovered that there were 72 LGBT persons featured on U.S. postage stamps. That research is being compiled and turned into a book entitled, LGBTQ on U. S. Stamps From 1847-2016.

“This book will be free and available for download online this October, which is LGBT History Month,” Huff said. He plans to annually update and revise the book as new information and new stamps are released.

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Eli Lieb and Brandon Skeie sing emotional duet for Orlando (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/16/eli-lieb-and-brandon-skeie-sing-emotional-duet-for-orlando-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/16/eli-lieb-and-brandon-skeie-sing-emotional-duet-for-orlando-video/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2016 14:00:17 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71405

Gay singers Eli Lieb and Brandon Skeie have written an emotional duet in the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre titled, “Pulse.”

The duo dedicated the song to the victims of the shooting and filmed their music video on the streets of West Hollywood on Sunday.

Watch and listen above.

Lyrics below:

So you say this is human
Your heartbeat versus mine
I’m in chains cause I’m choosing
showing love or living life
I shouldn’t have to leave where I stand
I shouldn’t have to change who I am
To count as a human
Feel my pulse
With your hand on my heart
You know it beats just as hard as yours
Feel my pulse
Feel my pulse
Can’t you see that I’m scarred
I’m just the same as you are so just
Feel my pulse
I wish I could reach them
And strip away what separates
It’s the same air we’re breathing
The same tears run down our face
So I don’t have to leave where I stand
And I don’t have to change who I am
To count as a human
Feel my pulse
With your hand on my heart
You know it beats just as hard as yours
Feel my pulse
Feel my pulse
Can’t you see that I’m scarred
I’m just the same as you are so just
Feel my pulse

 

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Making history: Prince William becomes first royal to appear on the cover of a gay magazine http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/15/making-history-prince-william-becomes-first-royal-to-appear-on-the-cover-of-a-gay-magazine/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/15/making-history-prince-william-becomes-first-royal-to-appear-on-the-cover-of-a-gay-magazine/#respond Wed, 15 Jun 2016 19:06:47 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71391

will-cover-smallPrince William has made history by becoming the first member of the Royal Family to be photographed for the cover of a gay publication.

According to Attitude, the U.K.’s best-selling gay magazine,  Thursday 12 May, Prince William invited Attitude magazine to bring members of the LGBT+ community to Kensington Palace to hear their experiences of homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying, and discuss the mental health implications it has. Attitude editor Matthew Todd facilitated the discussion. After meeting with the nine delegates, Prince William then posed for the cover of Attitude magazine, photographed by Leigh Keily.

Following the meeting the Prince said, “No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives. The young gay, lesbian and transgender individuals I met through Attitude are truly brave to speak out and to give hope to people who are going through terrible bullying right now. Their sense of strength and optimism should give us all encouragement to stand up to bullying wherever we see it. What I would say to any young person reading this who’s being bullied for their sexuality: don’t put up with it – speak to a trusted adult, a friend, a teacher, Childline, Diana Award or some other service and get the help you need. You should be proud of the person you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Attitude editor Matthew Todd says: “During my time as editor of Attitude I have met parents whose child has taken or lost their life after being bullied for being LGBT+ or just perceived to be LGBT. I am very happy that the future King of the United Kingdom agrees this must stop and I would urge parents in particular to raise their voices in their communities to ensure that every school protects – really protects – all children.”

You can read the full feature with Prince William and see his exclusive shoot in Attitude’s July Issue, available to download now from pocketmags.com/attitude.

It’s in stores June 22, and print copies are available to order globally from newsstand.co.uk/attitude.

 

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Disney donates $1million to OneOrlando Fund and free lodging for the families and friends of the victims http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/15/disney-donates-1million-to-oneorlando-fund-and-free-lodging-for-the-families-and-friends-of-the-victims/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/15/disney-donates-1million-to-oneorlando-fund-and-free-lodging-for-the-families-and-friends-of-the-victims/#respond Wed, 15 Jun 2016 14:00:32 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71378

Tuesday, the Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million cash commitment to the OneOrlando Fund, established by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to assist those affected by the tragic events in Orlando. Also, eligible donations from Disney employees will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation.

“We are heartbroken by this tragedy and hope our commitment will help those in the community affected by this senseless act,” said Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “With 74,000 Cast Members who call Orlando home, we mourn the loss of the victims and offer our condolences to their families, friends and loved ones.”

OneOrlando Fund will provide funds and other services to individuals affected by the tragedy. The website for the new fund is www.oneorlando.org.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney is the region’s largest employer,  and has given the largest single donation to the fund so far.

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Here TV celebrates Pride Month with free content available on Comcast XFINITY http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/14/here-tv-celebrates-pride-month-with-free-content-available-on-comcast-xfinity/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/14/here-tv-celebrates-pride-month-with-free-content-available-on-comcast-xfinity/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2016 19:00:56 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71364

LOS ANGELES – In celebration of Pride Month, Here TV, America’s premium LGBT television network, announced its award-winning LGBT programming will be available free of charge on Comcast’s XFINITY cable service. Here TV has partnered with XFINITY to offer a week-long “freeview” for all Comcast XFINITY subscribers from June 13 – 19.  XFINITY subscribers can access Here TV’s video-on-demand service featuring a vast library of critically acclaimed films, documentaries, and iconic original series.

“Here TV is proud to celebrate Pride Month with XFINITY as they continue their commitment to providing the very best in LGBT programming,” said John Mongiardo, SVP of Programming and Broadcast Operations at Here TV.  “Here TV and Xfinity have a long-standing, collaborative relationship and have provided a premium experience by offering the most authentic, diverse and entertaining LGBT programming across XFINITY’s innovative platforms.”

Comcast also invites customers to visit the XFINITY LGBT collection during the “freeview” to browse Here TV’s wide collection of award-winning LGBT programming.   The XFINITY LGBT collection curates a wide variety of LGBT films, television shows, documentaries and, for a limited time, subscribers will have free access to Here TV’s titles on XFINITY’s cable services.

“Comcast is thrilled to share Here TV programming with our customers as a free preview, in continuation of Comcast’s commitment to the LGBT community. Our long-standing partnership with Here TV brings entertaining LGBT programming with stories that describe the richness and diversity of the human experience. There are so many films and series to enjoy with the XFINITY LGBT Collection that it is hard to highlight just a few, but suffice it to say there is something wonderful to watch for everyone,” stated Jean-Claire Fitschen, Executive Director, Multicultural Consumer Services at Comcast.

Here TV programming available during the “freeview” week includes:

  • Modd Couples, an original game show hosted by David Millbern that features two couples – one gay and one straight – battling it out over three rounds to prove how well they know one another to win fabulous prizes.
  • Hush Up Sweet Charlotte, tells the story of an aging, reclusive Southern belle with a horrifying hidden family secret. While descending into madness, she must fight to save her family’s historic plantation from divisive interlopers with their own agendas.
  • Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy, actor and comedian Alec Mapa explores the challenges of adopting a five-year-old foster child with his husband in this hilarious and heartfelt film version of his one-man show. The film includes behind-the-scenes footage of his family’s home life on a busy show day.
  • A Year of Pride with Taylor Barrett, actress, filmmaker, and comedian Taylor Barrett takes a look back at a monumental year of LGBT pride. Join Taylor as she conducts interviews and provides insight into the legalization of marriage equality, LGBT acceptance, and what’s next on the agenda.
  • Guidance, David Gold, a 36-year-old pathologically immature former child actor, has never been able to get over high school. Recently diagnosed with skin cancer, unemployed and with nothing left to lose, he fakes his resume and gets a job as a high school guidance counselor. Quickly winning over the students at Grusin High with his laid-back attitude and similar interests, he befriends Jabrielle, a teenaged outcast and soon learns that sometimes you can go too far, especially when it comes to committing a ridiculous crime.

For more information about the Here TV “freeview” on Comcast XFINITY, please visit: http://my.xfinity.com/lgbt

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Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien condemn Orlando shootings (VIDEOS) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/14/stephen-colbert-jimmy-fallon-and-conan-obrien-condemn-orlando-shootings-videos/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/14/stephen-colbert-jimmy-fallon-and-conan-obrien-condemn-orlando-shootings-videos/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2016 18:33:43 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71359

Several talk show hosts took time out of their programs to condemn the Orlando mass shooting.

“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert opened his broadcast urging viewers to love in the wake of the nation’s deadliest shooting, telling his audience, “Despair is a victory for hate.”

“Love does not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Loves allows us to change the script,” Colbert said. “So love your country. Love your family, love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando, but remember that love is a verb and to love means to do something.”

Jimmy Fallon opened the Tonight Show with a monologue posing some poignant questions. “I, as a new father, am thinking, ‘What do I tell my kids? What do I tell them about this? What can we learn from this? What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?’” Fallon said. “Maybe there’s a lesson from all this. A lesson in tolerance. We need to support each other’s differences and worry less about our own opinions. Get back to debate and away from believing or supporting the idea that if someone doesn’t live the way you want them to live you just buy a gun and kill them, bomb them up. That is not OK.”

Conan O’Brien responded to the tragedy in Orlando by calling for an end to semi-automatic assault rifle sales.

“I simply do not understand why anybody in this country is allowed to purchase and own a semi-automatic assault rifle. It makes no sense to me. These are weapons of war, and they have no place in civilian life,” O’Brien said.

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GLBT History Museum presents traveling exhibition of gay erotic art, 1950s-1990s http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/13/glbt-history-museum-presents-traveling-exhibition-of-gay-erotic-art-1950s-1990s/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/13/glbt-history-museum-presents-traveling-exhibition-of-gay-erotic-art-1950s-1990s/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 21:15:13 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71341

SAN FRANCISCO — From July to October, the GLBT History Museum will present a historical retrospective of erotic illustrations by artists who worked for gay men’s magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. “Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall” originated at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. The San Francisco show is its only scheduled West Coast appearance.

Curated by artist Robert W. Richards, this exhibition of a largely forgotten body of work not only explores the male form, but also offers an examination of erotic fantasies as experienced through publications that were available at nearly every newsstand in America, but that men often hid under their mattresses for fear of being discovered. The exhibition will feature originals of illustrations from the magazines, along with related work that has never been seen publicly.

“Many of the early magazines pretended to be bodybuilding, strength and health journals,” says Richards. “Sometimes they were called anatomy guides for artists. However, most of the men bought these magazines because they were gay. It was nearly their only opportunity to see handsome, well-made, virtually naked men. Buying one of these publica­tions required an act of courage, espe­cially if the small-town drugstore owner had known the buyer and his family most of their lives.”

“Stroke” will run from July 21 to October 16, 2016, at the GLBT History Museum, located at 4127 18th St. in San Francisco. A public opening reception is set for Thursday, July 21, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. In addition, curator Robert Richards will join Leslie-Lohman Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian in presenting a gallery talk on Friday, July 22, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Admission for each event is $5.00; free for members of the GLBT Historical Society. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org.

Time Out New York notes that Robert W. Richards “has drawn everything from Paris haute couture to album covers and Broadway and cabaret posters and stars.” But for his many admirers, Richards is best known for his skillful and captivating drawings of sexually charged men. Next magazine states, “He’s bound to go down in history as one of the gay community’s greatest and most influential artists.”
Now in his fifth decade of drawing, Richards is highly productive as an artist — and he occasionally pauses from his own work to curate exhibitions. At the Leslie-Lohman Museum, Richards has curated “The Gods of Erotica” and a Peter Berlin retrospective. At the Museum of the Society of Illustrators, he curated “The Line of Fashion.” According to Richards, “If something moves me, I’m willing to do the work to share it with people who otherwise might not have an opportunity to see what I’ve been fortunate enough to see.”
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MERAKI comics unleashes its futuristic lesbian hero http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/12/meraki-comics-unleashes-its-futuristic-lesbian-hero/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/12/meraki-comics-unleashes-its-futuristic-lesbian-hero/#respond Sun, 12 Jun 2016 19:30:19 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71268

MerakiSAN DIEGO — MERAKI unleashes its futuristic Lesbian Hero vs. the Greek Gods of Old! Kickstarter began June 4, 2016!

MERAKI (may-rah-kee) follows LGBT hero, Psi, as she battles her way through the realm of the dead! Ares, Zeus, and Hades re-emerge in this epic futurist adventure!

A 6-Page Preview can be found at www.merakicomic.com and the Kickstarter at www.kickstarter.com/projects/444916870/meraki-descent-to-the-underworld/

“I wanted a book where the female heroes are cunning, brave and skilled. I wanted characters that represent the vast majority of us tired of one-dimensional tough guys and scantily-clad sirens!” – M.K. Palmer, writer/creator of MERAKI.

MERAKI comics are the brainchild of writer and former Molecular Biologist M.K. Palmer. In 2014, after leaving her career in the clinical laboratory, Palmer decided to take a leap of faith to pursue her dream of writing. As a member of the gay-team (No, that isn’t a real group, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was?), she set out to create a story with characters that would resonate with her peers.

The artwork is gorgeously rendered by award-winning illustrator Minh Hang and is complete with colors, facial expressions, and physiques that exude depth and sophistication.Palmer rounds out her staff with the editorial talents of industry veterans D.M. Hedlund and James I and the lettering prowess of DC Comics alum Taylor Esposito.

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Meet Alexander Goude: One of the most famous people you probably have never heard of http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/11/meet-alexander-goude-one-of-the-most-famous-people-you-probably-have-never-heard-of/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/11/meet-alexander-goude-one-of-the-most-famous-people-you-probably-have-never-heard-of/#respond Sat, 11 Jun 2016 19:30:20 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71255
Alex Goude

Alex Goude

The whole thing sounds weirdly Jean Paul Sartre-esque. Alex Goude, the host of France’s Got Talent and a staple of French media, seeks out newer creative ground in a foreign country only to find that he has to reintroduce himself to people who have no idea, initially, of who he is. His fame is meaningless. It carries no currency. Yet he thrives.

And that, fans of existentialism will tell you, is where that angle ends. With the happy ending. But other happy endings would follow for this showman, casting his fable not in the broody crevices of existentialism but in the vast sunshine of something more akin to fairy tale.

Alex Goude, who now lives in Las Vegas with his husband and son and who recently headlined Westgate Hotel’s Twisted Vegas, was born Aug. 13, 1975 but it wasn’t until 2000, at 25, that the entertainer admits he was born into his gay self. “I wasn’t gay when I was born. I wasn’t gay when I was young. I became gay when I was 25 and I decided to do my coming out, which was later on, with my husband.”

His husband, Romain Taillandier, a looker nearly a decade his junior, he, and baby Elliott, once graced the cover of Gala, a well-circulated French magazine dedicated to celebrity life and largely catering to women. It stands out not only because it marks a victory of sorts – France bans surrogacy for both gay and straight couples – but because it represents another of Goude’s dreams. I asked him about that, specifically what he was feeling during the shoot. “Because we had Elliott, because we were in the U.S. and because I wanted to show everybody it was possible to have a happy life, to have a baby, a dog, a new house, even if you’re gay.” At least in Las Vegas where his show Twisted Vegas, a spoof of all that is Sin City, played February through to May of this year.

But in France, it’s une autre boule de cire, where, during the country’s 2013 same-sex marriage contretemps (OK, this time borrowing from the French really does work), things did not go well. “It seemed like everything was OK then suddenly this thing happened with the gay wedding and you were back in the time of homophobia and all of France went completely crazy. Kinda crazy. But it was only a minority but they were speaking so loud that you heard them more than it should be.” Americans, like the French, share a passionate belief in their way of life, some more polarized about what that way of life should be than others.

But that was the tail end of much longer answer about what might stand out to gay Americans traveling in Le Marais, France’s gay mecca (the 4-th arrondissement between tourist hot spots Le Louvre and Place de la Bastille). For Goude, when asked to reverse the tables, it’s our prudishness. “What I would say about gay people in France? They are a lot less shy than gay people in the U.S.”

Once you speak with Alexander Goude, the popular host, nine years running, of France’s Got Talent, you’ll realize that it’s true, there really is nothing different between the entertainer and the man. “That’s probably the secret of my whole life. There really is no difference between them. I’m exactly the same as I am on TV or I am on stage – unless I’m doing the role of the bad guy – or in the case of Twisted Vegas and it’s just me.”

France’s Got Talent is uniquely French in all but translation. It’s a talent show that puts as much of a premium on humor as it does talent, the humor here and across the pond in England of a vastly crueler and more capitalistic variety. (“You’ve been voted off the island.”)

“When I’m onstage, I try to entertain people which is the goal of my life, making people laugh.” And that formula, that Alex Goude feeling, works. From the period when La France a un incroyable talent debuted Nov. 2, 2006 until now – Goude took over as ‘presenter’ in 2009 – the show has been phenomenally successfully. The average audience size is around three million which, in a country the size of France, would be equal to some of the highest weekly-rated shows here from 2015; Empire, The Big Bang Theory, Dancing with The Stars and The Walking Dead, to name but a few.

But while his well-earned popularity is the result of talent, time and work, mounting a Las Vegas show and then asking a famously critical U.S. audience to take a chance on him? “It took a lot passion, a lot of time, a lot of work. My husband and my baby didn’t see me as much as they used to,” he recognized. But just the same, “You need to have a great cast. That’s the most important thing whenever you do a show, especially in Las Vegas. [H]aving done nine years of France’s Got Talent, I know probably all the best talent in the whole world. So I used all this talent I saw in my show. Some are coming from the USA, some are coming from Russian, from Canada, from France. And I try to [have] the best team I can.”

Alex Goude and the Twisted Vegas cast

Alex Goude and the Twisted Vegas cast

According to the Las Vegas Sun, however, that didn’t appear to be the case. “French dude, already borderline with his accent, drunkenly chatting up vapid Valley Girls?” Ground ball, right? “This show is crazy!” we are told at one point. “If only it were.” Ouch. Though to be fair to Alex, nothing sucks off a reviewer’s credibility faster than bitchy ad hominem attacks. Besides, Trip Advisor gave the show five stars.

However, Twisted Vegas did close. Alex stated that some of their investors fell out and his health was beginning to suffer. He did mention, though, that he is returning to France to mount Timeo, the most expensive musical ever produced in the capital.

Toward the end of our conversation, I asked him what advice he would give to someone struggling with their sexual orientation and/or sexual identity. “The problem is, you cannot change yourself. And you’re not going to change yourself. So, that’s you. And if your parents don’t like you like this, well, unfortunately, it’s like loving race[car] driving. If they don’t love race[car] driving, who cares? That’s what you are. That’s who you are. So, just be who you are. You cannot change because of society. Because of your friends. Because of your family. And if your friends don’t accept you for who you are than they are not your friends. And if your family doesn’t accept you as you are? OK. That’s their choice. Maybe they will come back to better feelings.”

So what’s his advice? “[W]ait until you’re really happy. Say you find someone and you’re really happy, use that as an excuse to tell them that: I’m really happy. And I’m with someone. Unfortunately, it’s a girl if you are lesbian or a guy if you’re gay. And if it causes them to hurt say: “Well maybe for you it’s unfortunate, for me it’s really fortunate because I’m really happy like this. And I love this situation. And I would love to present to you…” And, you know, that’s it.” Voilà.

Like in fairy tales.

Finally, Goude says he promises to return to Las Vegas and he even hopes to bring Twisted Vegas back in some way. And if we know anything about Alex it’s that he completes what he sets out to do.

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Department of the Interior releases Pride Month video http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/10/department-of-the-interior-releases-pride-month-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/10/department-of-the-interior-releases-pride-month-video/#respond Fri, 10 Jun 2016 19:15:24 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71242

The U.S. Department of the Interior has released a Pride Video that salutes all LGBT Americans and encourages all to get outdoors and find our park!

Announcing the video on Facebook, the Department stated: “This ‪#‎PrideMonth‬, we recognize important LGBT historical sites and our continued work toward equality. Celebrate diversity on public lands: Get outside, find your park and show your pride! ‪#‎ImOUTdoors‬”

The “Find Your Park” campaign was created as part of the National Park Service Centennial celebration to reintroduce the national parks to a new generation of Americans and to motivate them to enjoy the outdoors.

 

 

 

 

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LA Pride parade hits the streets of West Hollywood this Sunday http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/10/la-pride-parade-hits-the-streets-of-west-hollywood-this-sunday/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/10/la-pride-parade-hits-the-streets-of-west-hollywood-this-sunday/#respond Fri, 10 Jun 2016 18:55:43 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71238

LA Pride--Sunday June 12, West Hollywood will be home to the iconic 46th annual LA Pride Parade and is free for all to attend. Drawing in hundreds of thousands to the city yearly, the LA Pride parade celebrates the history of the LGBTQ movement and showcases its current diversity with its colorful array of parade entries aimed to excite both the young and the young at heart.

This year Jewel Thais-Williams will be honored as the Grand Marshal of the 46th annual LA Pride Parade. As the owner of the historic Catch One Disco, one of  the most  iconic  Black  gay  discos  in  the world, Jewel Thais-Williams helped create a safe haven for many in the LGBTQ community for over 40 years. Her work with those affected by HIV/AIDS has steadily  continued  as she co-founded  the Minority  AIDS Project, served as  a Board  member  of    AIDS  Project  Los  Angeles  and  has made significant  strides  in  helping women  affected  by  AIDS  by  co-founding  Rue’s  House. Jewel will be joined in the parade by fellow Pioneers of the Los Angeles LGBTQ community that have paved the way for us all.

The LA Pride Parade will feature the cast of FXX’s popular TV show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), Frank (Danny DeVito), Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson), five ne’er-do-wells who own and operate Paddy’s Pub in Philadelphia.  Their constant scheming to get ahead by not-so-redeemable methods usually lands them in a world of hurt, yet they never seem to learn from their mistakes.

The British Consulate Los Angeles is joined by our straight allies Lisa Vanderpump, Carly Steel, Dominic Keating, Ian Buchanan, Ross King, Huw Collins and Downton Abbey’s Leslie Nicol. They also march with Edina and Patsy to celebrate the release of their long awaited feature film, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie based on the iconic British TV show.  Our red double-decker bus will play fabulous British tunes while Edina and Patsy AbFab look-alikes will help us have an #AbFabPride. Our British Consulate volunteers will walk with us to help celebrate LGBT rights with rainbow Union Jack fans. As the British government says: LGBT rights are global human rights, and #LoveisGREAT.

Joining the LGBTQ celebration are past and present Olympians with LA 2024 – America’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games – which is harnessing Southern California’s unique culture of innovation, creativity and youthful energy to bring the Games back to the City of Angels. LA 2024 is committed to promoting equality, civil rights and helping all people realize their dreams.

Also in this year’s lineup is Hayden Byerly who stars as Jude Adams Foster in Freeform’s award-winning family drama “The Fosters,” returning for a fourth season on June 20th at 9pm ET/PT.

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Billy Bean: ‘MLB has spoken loudly and clearly in support of the LGBT community’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/billy-bean-mlb-has-spoken-loudly-and-clearly-in-support-of-the-lgbt-community/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/billy-bean-mlb-has-spoken-loudly-and-clearly-in-support-of-the-lgbt-community/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 20:41:00 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71162

Billy Bean

MLB’s first ambassador for inclusion opens up on the Padres/SDGMC national anthem incident

Just over two weeks ago alleged homophobia in sport hit San Diego. This well-documented incident started as a night of celebration at the annual Out at the Park, May 21 at Petco Park. The evening, as the Padres were about to take on the Dodgers, quickly turned into a debacle as the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) stood in the center of the field stunned as a woman’s voice sang the national anthem over them. As the Chorus was led off the field certain sections of the crowd shouted homophobic slurs. The story and subsequent outcomes went viral with the Padres organization being exonerated of malicious intentions by a Major League Baseball (MLB) investigation.

Now that the dust has settled on this unfortunate incident San Diego LGBT Weekly reached out to former Padre Billy Bean, who in 2014 was appointed as the MLB’s first ambassador for inclusion. Bean publicly came out as gay in 1999 and in 2003 published Going the Other Way, a groundbreaking memoir of life in and out of major league baseball.

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus

Currently Bean is vice president, social responsibility and inclusion for MLB. “I provide awareness of baseball’s social responsibility initiatives,” said Bean. “I have a particular focus on LGBT inclusion, and to communicate resources to all players, coaches, managers, umpires and stakeholders throughout MLB to ensure an equitable, inclusive and supportive workplace for everyone.”

In his official capacity Bean’s initial reaction to the SDGMC/Padres incident downplayed the suggestion that homophobia was at the heart of this incident. This created some consternation within the LGBT community. However Bean was quick to put the record straight with respect to that. “Since my return to baseball, I have worked very closely with the Padres, and I know where their owners (and entire organization) stand on inclusion and equality,” explained Bean. “When I learned of the incident very late that evening (I was in New York City), I immediately thought of a couple of things. I knew that the Saturday May 21 home game (Pride Night) was dedicated to celebrating San Diego’s LGBT community and its long standing relationship with the Padres. I also knew that the SDGMC had performed the national anthem multiple times over the years at Petco Park.”

Bean acknowledged that mistakes can and often happen in every sports venue but knew at once that this could not have been an intentional error. “The chain of events that led to the audio malfunction with the SDGMC preparing to sing was terribly disappointing, but to presume that the Padres intended for that to happen was not a possibility for me,” said Bean. “I am saddened for any emotional harm that may have been felt that day by the Chorus members, but I am proud of how the Padres and the commissioner’s office responded to find out exactly what transpired. It was a sign of respect to the SDGMC, you, me and the entire LGBT community. I will be even prouder when SDGMC members walk back onto that field and sing again, because it will show our strength and resilience as a community, and the importance of leadership in the face of adversity not only to ourselves, but to our families, friends, allies and the great city of San Diego. MLB has spoken loudly and clearly in support of the LGBT community, and we must remember who our allies are, and unite whenever possible.”

Despite the fact that the MLB investigation cleared the Padres organization of anything other than a bad mistake, it is beyond doubt that sections of the crowd were shouting homophobic slurs. This is particularly concerning in San Diego which is considered a very LGBT-friendly city and LGBT Weekly asked Bean how the MLB, Padres and the city should deal with this kind of behavior. “It’s unfortunate, but we still live in a very divisive time, even in our most progressive cities there is discrimination,” Bean responded. “Nothing is more frustrating or angers me more than people who perpetuate antiquated stereotypes, racism or discriminate in any way. As a player, I heard disparaging remarks as I traveled and played baseball all across our country, in South America and Japan. Fans have always felt entitled to call players names. I cringe when I think of the names that Jackie Robinson was called when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers or Larry Doby when he joined the Cleveland Indians. We will never eliminate hatred or ignorance entirely from our world, but that should never deter us from our effort to be more respectful to each other or lead by example. It is a privilege to promote baseball’s message of inclusion, because I believe in it completely.”

In many countries homophobia and racism is a far bigger problem within the very partisan spectator groups and authorities use fairly severe measures to deal with that, singling out individuals and banning them from stadia for long periods or for life. Countering that, Bean feels that within MLB ballparks courteous behavior is the rule rather than the exception and that baseball brings communities together. “The beauty of baseball is that we often come from different places but feel connected when we sit together and root for our favorite team,” said Bean. “It’s frustrating to think that a couple of people at Petco Park that Saturday chose to make disparaging remarks, but had they continued, I’m certain they would have been held accountable.”

Bean supported the action taken by the Padres in initially firing the contractor who was responsible for the mistake, calling the firing an “expression of how unacceptable that error was to the SDGMC, their fans and the city of San Diego.” Bean also praised both the SDGMC and Padres as they supported the contractor’s return calling it an act of “great humility.”

Bean asserts that MLB continues to be a leader in combatting racism and homophobia in the game citing the legacy of Jackie Robinson and his memory as being at the core of every initiative MLB creates, supports, finances and executes to youth, players, clubs and communities. “Anyone who has watched a baseball game in recent years can see the effort that MLB has made to encourage inclusion and diversity, especially in our youth programs,” said Bean. “Each club works diligently in their local communities to provide a safe and healthy environment for young athletes all across the diversity spectrum to play our great sport.”

As we came to the end of our interview, Bean, who hopes to be back in San Diego for the All-Star break in July, had a special message for the San Diego LGBT community:

“I cannot tell you how frustrated I was by this whole experience, and I initially felt terrible,” said Bean. “I feel it’s important to remember that our LGBT community was invited to celebrate who we are and the positive impact we have made on San Diego. The Padres see us as an equal and vital part of the San Diego family. I hate that this happened, but I’m thankful that we are in a time where we were able to communicate with each other and get answers to some very important questions. Our world is not perfect. I wish it was free of hatred and no child was ever bullied again. However, we all know we have a long way to go and more work to do. Personally, I keep thinking of how my own life would have changed for the better if there had been a Pride Night in San Diego when I was a member of the team. There is so much momentum and we must keep moving forward to create change.

“This was an unfortunate mistake to be sure, but I believe this experience will bring us closer to each other and allow us to embrace the things we have in common as opposed to the few things that make us different.”

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HWE celebrates a ‘Blast to the Past’ June 24 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/hwe-celebrates-a-blast-to-the-past-june-24/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/hwe-celebrates-a-blast-to-the-past-june-24/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 19:43:12 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71182

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble (HWE) takes a “Blast to the Past”, celebrating pop music from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s Friday, June 24, at the Mississippi Room in the historic Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. in San Diego. There will be a complementary fruit and cheese table at 7:30 p.m. and with the concert starting at 8 p.m. A no host bar will also be available as well as a 50/50 raffle.

The band welcomes special guests, Kevin Cavanaugh and Blue Velvet, a dynamic retro act which has performed in numerous night clubs in San Diego. These three decades had some of the best pop music ever produced. The ensemble will perform a symphonic tribute to the Beatles as well as music ranging from Queen to The Carpenters. A highlight of the night will be a special tribute to the late Prince. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at The Windsmith, 3875 Granada Ave. in North Park, at sdartstix.com or at the door.

The 45 piece Hillcrest Wind Ensemble is in its 30th year of performing and is a program of The LGBT Center acting as a musical ambassador to the community as a whole. 619-692-2077 x814 hillcrestwindensemble.com

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San Diego Armada Rugby Club wins at Bingham Cup http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/san-diego-armada-rugby-club-wins-at-bingham-cup/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/san-diego-armada-rugby-club-wins-at-bingham-cup/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 19:36:44 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71184

San Diego Armada Rugby Club, winners of the Hoagland Plate at the Bingham Cup 2016

Our city’s very own team traveled to Nashville to compete in the international Bingham Cup tournament and finished in first place in their division, earning the Hoagland Plate. The three-day event, held over Memorial Day weekend, featured 46 teams with 1,500 players from 27 countries.

The Armada came out on top during the first round of competition by beating each of the three opponents in their pool before winning five out of six games in the second round to clinch the trophy.

“Being at the Bingham Cup is the pinnacle for an inclusive rugby team,” said James Ellis, secretary of the San Diego Armada. “The challenge posed, the intensity of competing in so many games over just a few days and the fierce competition makes our success all the better.”

The Bingham Cup is recognized as the international world cup of gay and gay-inclusive rugby, according to Ellis. The inaugural tournament took place in 2002, just a year after its namesake, Mark Bingham, died in the 9/11 attacks. Bingham was an openly gay player on the San Francisco Fog rugby team and was aboard Flight 93, where he was one of the people who helped prevent the terrorists from inflicting further damage.

The competition, which has grown to become the second largest Rugby Union tournament in the world, is held every two years and alternates between locations in North America, Europe and Australia.

This year marked the first time that the Armada sent a full team to the competition. In 2014, five members of the team, including Ellis and team president, Sunny Joat, traveled to the Sydney-based tournament with the Toronto Muddy York team.

“The experience made a powerful impact on us,” said Ellis. “We made it our mission to take a full Armada team to Nashville, knowing that it would be a great milestone in the development of the club.”

Ellis joined the Armada in 2012, following suit of his husband, Joat, who had joined the previous year as a way to meet people after moving to San Diego.

“Neither of us had ever played rugby before but the idea of playing a full contact sport and being open and fully comfortable being known as a gay couple in a sports team was a big draw,” Ellis said. “Personally, not only have I gained skills in a sport I never played before joining the team, I have also made so many friendships.”

Since forming in 2005, the San Diego Armada has brought members of the gay community and its allies together to play rugby as a “purposely-inclusive club”. The team welcomes players of all ages, sexual orientation and playing ability.

“Our aim is to create a harassment-free sporting environment that is both welcoming and respectful,” said Ellis.

“We have both gay and straight people on our team,” continued Ellis. “That ratio varies year-to-year but we actively encourage members of the gay community to challenge internalized preconceptions of being able to play and enjoy a full contact sport, such as rugby, while enjoying the camaraderie, brotherhood and striving for personal excellence that comes from team sports.”

In order to help spread the word about the team, the Armada actively seeks new members at community events, such as Pride and CityFest.

The team currently plays in the Southern California Rugby Union Division 3 level and travels throughout the region during the January to April season.

During the summer, they combine forces with the UCSD rugby team to create the Armada Fleet 7s and participate in local 7s rugby tournaments. This variation of the sport features teams of seven instead of the regular 14 players on the field.

Interested in learning more about rugby? Contact the Armada at info@sdarmada.com or visit their Web site at sdarmada.com or their Facebook page.

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Filmmaker brings powerful LGBT movie to North Carolina in light of HB2 (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/filmmaker-brings-powerful-lgbt-movie-to-north-carolina-in-light-of-hb2-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/filmmaker-brings-powerful-lgbt-movie-to-north-carolina-in-light-of-hb2-video/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 18:04:30 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71192

LOS ANGELES — Filmmaker K. Rocco Shields hosts an exclusive screening of the award-winning, anti-bullying film Love is All You Need? in North Carolina  Thursday, June 16. The movie is followed by a Q&A with Shields, lead actress Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) and other cast as well as Blake Cooper Griffin (Ride), Mike C. Manning (The Real World) and YouTube sensations / LGBT activists Bria and Chrissy.

While many artists responded to HB2 by boycotting North Carolina, Shields was instead motivated to bring her film specifically there. “There are many kinds of people in North Carolina, and this movie is for all of them,” said Shields. “My intention is to inspire an open conversation on tolerance and diversity at one of the places that needs to discuss these topics the most right now.”

Ticket proceeds from the evening will be donated to Safe Schools NC, a non-profit dedicated to creating a safe and positive learning environment for all students and educators in North Carolina.

Love is All You Need? is a forbidden love story that takes place in a world where gay is straight, straight is gay, and heterophobia is prevalent. The feature film made its world premiere in March and has been showing at festivals around the country since, amassing awards and garnering critical acclaim. It’s adapted from the viral 19-minute short film of the same name, which was so powerful that it organically garnered over 40 million views online and was translated by fans into more than a dozen languages, touching individuals around the world.

“The movie can feel shocking, especially because there’s a startling authenticity to the characters’ experiences,” said Shields. “While the sexualities are flipped, all the stories are all based on true events. The recent legislation in NC is positioned to encourage a fresh wave of LGBT discrimination, but talking about our differences to better understand one another may help diminish HB2’s effects in the Durham community.”

The screening is at 7:30pm on Thursday, 6/16 at the Carolina Theatre (309 W. Morgan Street, Durham).  Link to tickets ($15): http://bit.ly/1Zbe077

 

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The City: Top to Bottom http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/the-city-top-to-bottom-261/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/the-city-top-to-bottom-261/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:57:57 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71154

A Feminist in the White House

thursday, june 9

Book Launch – A Feminist in the White House: Midge Costanza

A feminist, an outspoken activist, a woman without a college education, Midge Costanza was one of the unlikeliest of White House insiders. Yet in 1977 she became the first female assistant to the president for public liaison under Jimmy Carter, emerging as a prominent focal point of the American culture wars. Join the Women’s Museum of California for a discussion with author Professor Doreen Mattingly on the writing of this book and about Midge Costanza in San Diego. Books will be available for sale. Author will sign upon request.

Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103 in San Diego, 6 p.m., 619-233-7963, http://bit.ly/1PdMujy

San Diego Greek Festival

friday, june 10

San Diego Greek Festival

This annual gathering offers a variety of Greek cuisine, handmade pastries and traditional Greek coffee, all within the festive atmosphere of music and dance. Live bands will perform both traditional and contemporary Greek music, and youth dance troupes wearing folk costumes will showcase their skills throughout the weekend.

St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church grounds, 3655 Park Blvd. in San Diego, 5 p.m.-10 p.m., free admission, 619-297-4165, sdgreekfestival.com

Hedda Gabler

saturday, june 11

Hedda Gabler

A world premiere adaptation created by the company at North Coast Rep. Arguably one of the most complex and intriguing female characters ever written, Hedda Gabler weaves a mesmerizing tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage and driven by a need for power and freedom. It is a spellbinding drama of revenge, manipulation, sexual repression, deceit and despair, climaxing in an ending that never fails to shock and surprise. Discerning theater lovers will not want to miss this freshly translated classic.

North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach, 2 and 8 p.m., tickets from $43, 858-481-1055, northcoastrep.org

Justin Willman

sunday, june 12

Justin Willman

Justin Willman is a magician and comedian known for his regular appearances on The Tonight Show, Ellen, Conan, and @Midnight. His debut comedy/magic special Sleight of Mouth premiered earlier this year on Comedy Central to rave reviews. The L.A. Times called him, “A new breed of comic who’s making magic cool again for grown-ups. Time Out says his live show “Has to be seen to be disbelieved.”

The American Comedy Company, 818B Sixth Ave. in San Diego, 7 p.m., tickets $10, 619-795-3858, americancomedyco.com

Animal Magnetism

monday, june 13

Animal Magnetism

Write Out Loud presents Animal Magnetism – a chance to delight in stories in the way our beloved dogs and cats and horses impact and enrich our lives.

Old Town Theater, Old Town Historic Park, 4040 Twiggs Street in San Diego, 7 p.m., tickets $20, 619-297-8953, writeoutloudsd.com

American Rhythm

tuesday, june 14

American Rhythm

A vibrant cast of massively talented actors/singers/ dancers and San Diego’s hottest band take you on an exhilarating journey into the heart of America through 100 years of great music! The costumes, the dances, the memorable songs of the last 10 decades – from Ragtime to swing, jazz to hip-hop, country to rock n’ roll – all in one unforgettable performance!

Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave. in Coronado, 7:30p.m., tickets from $28, 619-437-6000, lambsplayers.org

Sister Act

wednesday, june 15

Sister Act

Experience the feel-amazing musical comedy smash that has audiences rejoicing! Sister Act tells the hilarious story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look – a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. Based on the hit Whoopi Goldberg film. San Diego regional premiere.

Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr. in Vista, 8 p.m., tickets from $10,760-724-2110, moonlightstage.com

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A quite disturbing dystopian satire http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/a-quite-disturbing-dystopian-satire/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/a-quite-disturbing-dystopian-satire/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:42:12 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71160

John C. Reilly, Colin Farrell and Ben Whishaw in The Lobster

The ads running for The Lobster have been using quotes from reviews describing the film as “hilariously frightening” and “wickedly funny” between quickly edited scenes, giving you the feeling that it’s a bit slapstick. I hate this kind of bait and switch sort of marketing. The movie is much, much more disturbing than it is funny, and often it’s funny simply because it’s so creepy and disturbing; nervous laughter is almost a gut reaction. I expected a wacky romp, but after the screen faded following the final, devastating scene of the film – maybe the most disturbing final scene of a film I have seen in a long time – I just sighed and said, “Well, that was f—ked up.” But just because its marketing is a lie doesn’t mean the movie isn’t a work of art, a haunting, unsettling, gorgeously filmed dystopian satire.

Colin Farrell is David, a schlubby man whose wife of 12 years has just died. In his world, you cannot be single. He arrives at a resort – where he is de facto imprisoned – and given two months to fall in love and partner up or be turned into an animal. He arrives with a dog, who we discover is his brother who failed to find a wife a couple of years before. The hotel’s manager (Olivia Colman) asks him what animal he’d like to become. “A lobster,” he says. “Why a lobster,” she asks. “Because lobsters live for over one hundred years, are blue-blooded like aristocrats, and stay fertile all their lives. I also like the sea very much.” She approves:

“I must congratulate you. The first thing most people think of is a dog, which is why the world is full of dogs. Very few people choose an unusual animal which is why they’re endangered. A lobster is an excellent choice.”

David is sad, mostly passive, and quietly desperate; a lisping man (John C. Reilly) is dopily uncritical of his situation; a limping man (Ben Whishaw) is as cynical and dishonest as a mercenary; the beautiful woman (Angeliki Papoulia) they’re all initially intrigued with is a heartless sociopath. They eat in banquet halls, play tennis, golf, go swimming, and hunt down “loners” in the woods, shooting them with tranquilizer darts. As time goes on, people fail – becoming ponies, camels, peacocks – and those in danger of failing get more anxious and begin looking for the flimsiest reasons to fall in love, or pretend to.

After David’s attempt at surviving as a human ends in spectacular, horrid disaster, he runs into the forest and joins the loners. While they are free from the confines of their repressive society, they aren’t any nicer. You must be alone, or else. Flirting is punished with torture. One of the loners is played by Rachel Weisz, and she is one of the few characters in the film with some love for the world, an easy smile, and hope. David is smitten. But the loners’ leader, who Léa Seydoux plays with seething evil, is keen to enforce the rules.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ film is shot with clear inspirations from Stanley Kubrick, using perspective, symmetries, and slowed movement to create a stark visual poetry perfect for the film’s themes. His and Efthymis Filippou’s screenplay, which is wholly original, terrifying, and yet romantic, never goes where you’d expect. I’m sure this made marketing difficult, since it made viewing difficult. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it though. The scathing critique of the social pressure to pair up, of the conflicting selfish desires to cave in and to run away, got under my skin. Because I’m single. It’s not very funny.

The Lobster

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou

Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and Léa Seydoux

Rated R

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Logo to honor Harvey Fierstein and The Advocate at Trailblazer Honors http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/08/logo-to-honor-harvey-fierstein-and-the-advocate-at-trailblazer-honors/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/08/logo-to-honor-harvey-fierstein-and-the-advocate-at-trailblazer-honors/#respond Wed, 08 Jun 2016 18:54:04 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71103
Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Logo today announced that legend of stage and screen Harvey Fierstein and seminal LBGT news outlet The Advocate will be honored during the third annual “Trailblazer Honors,” a television special that celebrates pioneers at the forefront of LGBT equality. For the first time, VH1 and Logo will simulcast the “Trailblazer Honors,” the largest televised LGBT Pride event, on Saturday, June 25 at 8pm ET/7pm CT. The one-hour special is an official event of NYC Pride Week and will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, one of the first religious institutions in New York City to champion the causes of LGBT people. Fierstein and The Advocate join previous years’ honorees including the Obama Administration, Edie Windsor, Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as Laverne Cox and the cast of “Orange is the New Black.”

During the event, Judith Light, Matthew Broderick, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Edie Falco, Joel Grey, Matthew Morrison, Michael Musto and Tony Kushner, among others will share personal accounts of working with Fierstein as well as his legacy. Troye Sivan, Cheyenne Jackson, Tegan & Sara, Jason Collins, Alex Newell, and former Editors-In-Chief will speak to The Advocate’s nearly 50 year history of groundbreaking journalism that not only inspired community members, but became a platform for celebrities, politicians and athletes to speak out in favor of LGBT people.

“In prep for this lovely honor, Logo sent me a bio they’d put together of my accomplishments. YIKES! It looks like I’ve done a lot but, truthfully, none of it was done alone,” said Fierstein. “There’s been an unseen army of contemporaries and pioneers who’ve come before me that has made everything I’ve achieved possible. I hope, by accepting this honor from Logo, that I am helping to celebrate our entire community of LGBT warriors.”

As a playwright, writer and actor, Harvey Fierstein is a pioneer who introduced LGBT characters and stories that knocked down barriers on Broadway and in Hollywood, and also opened the hearts and minds of millions. In 1982, Fierstein wrote and starred in “Torch Song Trilogy,” for which he won his first two of four Tony Awards. After breaking new ground on Broadway, “Torch Song Trilogy” became one of the first feature films to feature an openly gay lead character played by an openly gay actor. Fierstein continued to introduce audiences to diverse LGBT people and reinforce a central theme of self-expression with his legendary Broadway hits “La Cage aux Folles,” “Kinky Boots,” and “Casa Valentina.” Fierstein is also beloved for his unforgettable acting roles in films including “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Independence Day,” as well as television appearances on shows including “Nurse Jackie.” Fierstein will next reprise his iconic role of Edna Turnblad in NBC’s upcoming television special “Hairspray Live!”

In addition to his work as an actor and writer, Fierstein has been an outspoken and fearless advocate for LGBT issues since the 1980s. His leadership in calling for an end to HIV and AIDS has lasted for decades and included speeches at LGBT Pride Marches, columns in The New York Times, and a historic lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building, where he lit the landmark red in recognition of the 30th anniversary of AIDS Walk New York. A ubiquitous celebrity spokesperson for LGBT equality, he has participated in multiple marriage equality campaigns and was a vocal critic of anti-LGBT laws in Russia, penning an often cited column for The New York Times during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Just last week, Harvey and his “Kinky Boots” co-writer Cyndi Lauper rewrote the lyrics to the show’s finale song “Just Be” to speak out against anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina and other states. The video for the revised song, “Just Pee,” has been viewed over 8.5M times and has almost 200K shares.

“We are so excited to accept this award for The Advocate’s five decades of journalism on behalf of the LGBT community,” says Matthew Breen, editor-in-chief of The Advocate. “It is a profound responsibility to chronicle our triumphs and tragedies, victories and defeats. And we strive to do it with the integrity shown to us by previous generations of brave editors, reporters, photographers, and publishers, who proved to the world that our stories must be told.”

The Advocate is a trailblazing publication that was created in 1967 following America’s first known riot in protest of LGBT harassment at the Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles. That year, two and a half years before Stonewall, The Advocate began as a newsletter to inform LGBT citizens of their rights in case of arrest. For the past 49 years, The Advocate has become the LGBT periodical of record – pioneering LGBT journalism with articles written by seasoned LGBT journalists devoted to reporting on issues from a LGBT perspective. During the AIDS epidemic editors worked tirelessly to convince gay and straight celebrities to use the magazine as a vehicle to comfort a readership that one former Editor-In-Chief says was, ‘choking on the self-hate most straight institutions were spewing at them about AIDS.’ In the early 90s and 2000s – The Advocate was an unwavering platform of LGBT visibility – helping k.d. lang, George Michael, Chaz Bono and Melissa Etheridge come out, while giving icons like Ellen DeGeneres and allies like Hillary Clinton and President Obama an open forum to speak out.  Well before every single LGBT social and civil rights victory was fought in the mainstream, it was featured – in depth – within the trailblazing pages of The Advocate.

Additional honorees, performers and presenters will be announced at a later date.

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Gay of Thrones recap: The Broken Condom with Betsy Sodaro (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/07/gay-of-thrones-recap-the-broken-condom-with-betsy-sodaro-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/07/gay-of-thrones-recap-the-broken-condom-with-betsy-sodaro-video/#respond Tue, 07 Jun 2016 21:24:52 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71097

Betsy Sodaro takes a stab at recapping this week’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ episode when she sits down to get braided up by Jonathan.

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Cyndi Lauper meets with LGBTQ youth in Raleigh on impact of North Carolina’s HB2 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/07/cyndi-lauper-meets-with-lgbtq-youth-in-raleigh-on-impact-of-north-carolinas-hb2/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/07/cyndi-lauper-meets-with-lgbtq-youth-in-raleigh-on-impact-of-north-carolinas-hb2/#respond Tue, 07 Jun 2016 20:20:49 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71086

Lauper 2RALEIGH, N.C. – Saturday, award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, and LGBTQ equality advocate Cyndi Lauper met with LGBTQ youth at the LGBT Center of Raleigh to learn more about their lives, the challenges they face, and the damaging impact of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s deeply discriminatory HB2 law.

ABC 11 reported that teenager Jenna Travis who identifies as “non-binary” – which means they does not identify with one sole gender said, “It was awesome to have the opportunity to be heard and to be listened to.”

“They are our future. The youth of this country are our future,” Lauper said. “If we don’t embrace our future and help them succeed, we are not going to get very far in this world.”

Lauper later performed at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. Travis came up on stage and shared her story thanking Lauper for the opportunity to speak.

“You don’t have to thank me,” Lauper replied. “I’m always going to be there for you.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality NC hailed Lauper, the co-founder of the True Colors Fund, for using her platform to raise awareness of the harmful effects of HB2 on LGBTQ youth.

“Cyndi Lauper is not only an incredibly talented artist, but an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC senior vice president for policy and political affairs. “We are deeply thankful she has taken time to meet with LGBTQ youth in North Carolina and hear firsthand the destructive impact Gov. McCrory’s deeply discriminatory law is having on their lives. It is imperative for the future of these young people and the future of the entire state of North Carolina that HB2 be repealed and replaced by commonsense non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.”

“Cyndi’s visit today – both contributing to Equality NC and highlighting the real problems faced by members of the transgender community – is crucial in our fight to repeal HB2,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina. “We are so grateful for her work, and believe it will continue to make real progress as we defeat the worst anti LGBT bill in the nation.”

Lauper is part of a growing list of artists and entertainers, including members of Dead & Company, Jackson Browne, and members of Pearl Jam, who have publicly committed their time and resources to repealing HB2.

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