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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A QUEER APP FOR ALL GENDERS IS COMING

 New Kickstarter Campaign Promises an Inclusive, Human Alternative

The world's first community-driven, gender-inclusive queer app, known simply as "Q," is welcoming members on a Kickstarter campaign that has raised nearly $5,000.

The app's designer, Eric Cervini, decided to create Q while studying at Harvard last year. The campaign, Cervini says, is a response to the exclusion of many who identify as LGBT+ on today's queer apps.

"When we log on, we're constantly told to be a man, to have a perfect body, to act or to talk a certain way, to be someone other than who we truly are," Cervini said. "We deserve better."

Q, to be released to members only, allows users to choose from 20+ genders. Membership comes with access to the Q Forum, where users can suggest, review, and comment on new features, privacy measures, and community guidelines before they're made public.

Kickstarter Campaign

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Openly Gay Super Hero Headlines New DC Comics Series

DC Comics will be launching a slew of diverse titles this June, including MIDNIGHTER, a series that follows an openly gay super hero penned by LGBT writer Steve Orlando.

The first issue arrives June 3, and marks the first gay male superhero to headline a mainstream comic.

"A theft at the God Garden has unleashed a wave of dangerous biotech weapons on the world, and Midnighter intends to put that genie back in the bottle by any means necessary. But something else was stolen from the Garden as well… the secret history of Lucas Trent, the man Midnighter once was!"

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Colton Ford Stars In "All The Dead Lie Down" in Los Angeles

MAY 2ND – JUNE 6TH

Studio C Artists announces the Los Angeles premiere of Author Harrison David River‘s new play, AND ALL THE DEAD, LIE DOWN, (allthedead.studiocartists.com) directed by John Coppola, and produced by Michael Sonntag and Kila Packett.  The show stars Colton Ford (Top Billboard Recording Artist, Here! TV’s “The Lair” and "Threesome") and Kila Packett (Studio C's "Hi-Tech Hijack", CBS's "Hawaii Five-0").  Opening performance is Saturday, May 2nd, 2015, continuing on eight dates through June 6th at the Studio C Artists performance space along Theatre Row in Hollywood.

In AND ALL THE DEAD, LIE DOWN, Alvin and Foss spend Saturdays together. That’s the rule. That’s the routine - no work, no phone calls and no leaving the apartment. But when an unexpected call from Foss’ delinquent brother upsets the couples’ usual balance, the day becomes a minefield of long suppressed resentments and hurt feelings. The fact that one of them is HIV+ and the other is negative just exacerbates the situation.  AND ALL THE DEAD, LIE DOWN is a portrait of a couple at a crossroads, a couple pondering the questions - Is love enough to sustain us... And is it worth the risk? 

"I'm very excited to be involved with 'And All The Dead, Lie Down'. Although the story is about a gay couple, the issues that they're facing are universal; love, acceptance, patience and understanding... this is just the kind of acting project I've been looking for," says Colton Ford.

"I’m really thrilled to be doing this show with these two fantastic actors, Colton Ford & Kila Packett - you know, Colton has a following, and I think his fans are going to be really surprised to see how talented he and Kila are together in this heartfelt drama,” stated director John Coppola.

Harrison David Rivers’ plays include When Last We Flew (NYCFringe Excellence in Playwriting Award, GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Off Off Broadway Play), Where Storms Are Born, sweet, The Bandaged Place, And She Would Stand Like This, THE SEA & THE STARS, AND ALL THE DEAD LIE DOWN and Look Upon Our Lowliness. He has also written the librettos for The Last Queen of Canaan (music by Jacob Yandura, lyrics by Rebekah Melocik) and FIVE POINTS: An American Musical (music and lyrics by Douglas Lyons & Ethan Pakchar). He is the recipient of a Many Voices Jerome Fellowship (The Playwrights’ Center), the Van Lier Fellowship (New Dramatists) and an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship (NYTW). Harrison was a member of the 2011-13 Emerging Writers’ Group at the Public Theater. MFA Columbia.

Additional bios and photos for cast and production talent are available on the show website.

The running schedule for AND ALL THE DEAD, LIE DOWN is as follows: Saturdays, May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and June 6th at 8:00PM.  Approximate running time is 75 minutes.  The ticket price is $20.00 for general admission ($15.00 for early bird within 24 hours of the performance), and reservations can be made by visiting allthedead.studiocartists.com.  Studio C Artists is located at 6448 Santa Monica Blvd., on Theatre Row, in Hollywood, CA.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

San Antonio Mayor Calls LGBT Protections a “Waste of Time”

Mayor Ivy Taylor, elevated after pro-equality Julian Castro left office, derides the non-discrimination ordinance he championed

Taking part in a “faith forum” for mayoral candidates on Sunday, Mayor Ivy Taylor of San Antonio, Texas attacked a recently-enacted non-discrimination ordinance protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) city employees and contractors from discrimination.

Taylor, a Democrat and former member of the city council who succeeded Mayor Julian Castro when he was appointed to President Obama’s cabinet, told the crowd, “I did not feel we should have even been debating that issue. […] I thought it was a waste of time.” Taylor voted against the ordinance when it was before the council.

If Mayor Taylor thinks protecting her own citizens from discrimination is a waste of time, then she has no business serving the people of San Antonio—as mayor, as a city council member, even as dog catcher,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “She should apologize for her shameful comments immediately and take some lessons from the former mayor on how to lead on behalf of all the residents of this great city.”

Mayor Taylor’s shameful comments come at a moment when more than 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation are being considered by the Texas legislature.


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Friday, April 10, 2015

Transgender SGT. in Military Limbo

Currently, he is a Sergeant in the U.S. Army at Wheeler Airfield in Oahu, Hawaii. Sgt.Ortega is female-to-male transgender and transitioned on active duty over four years ago. While posted in Fort Wainwright, Alaska in 2011, he began to live in accordance with his male gender identity.

After a voluntary Psychological Evaluation a few weeks ago, his results returned negative for gender dysphoria and the U.S. Army deemed him fit to perform his normal duties without facing separation orders. However, he is in administrative limbo because his gender marker in the Military Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is still listed as female. Sgt. Ortega’s Command has requested clear guidance from the DOD as to whether this means Shane can stay in the military or not.

Sgt. Ortega is not able to accommodate media interviews at this time, but has offered the following comment:

My commitment to serving this country runs deep. I have been a team and squad leader, a crew chief, and a machine gun section chief. I have been on over 400 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and fought side-by-side in foxholes and remote operating bases. As I fight for my country in foreign lands, all I want it is to be able to serve openly while keeping the job that I love. I will continue to fight this fight for the 700,000 transgender veterans that have gone before me who were forced to choose between serving their country and being true to who they are.”

A recent Associated Press story suggests military leaders worry about attempts by the Pentagon to lift the transgender service ban. Joshua Block, attorney in the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project expresses, “Sgt. Ortega is living proof that trans people are ready, willing, and able to serve their country, and that military regulations labeling trans service members as automatically unfit for duty have no basis in reality. Soldiers like Shane should not have to choose between serving their country and being true to who they are."

Washington Post feature story

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

FILM: A SINNER IN MECCA



In the film, openly gay Muslim director Parvez Sharma (A Jihad for Love) documents his pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, where filming is strictly prohibited and homosexuality is a crime punishable by death.  Sharma felt these were risks he had to take as he embarked on his Hajj pilgrimage, a journey considered the greatest accomplishment and aspiration within Islam. On his journey Sharma aims to look beyond 21st-century Islam’s crises of religious extremism, commercialism and sectarian battles. He brings back the story of the religion like it has never been told before, having endured the biggest jihad there is: the struggle with the self.

Sharma is already a marked, gay Muslim man following the release of his first film on Islam and homosexuality called A Jihad for Love.  Even before A SINNER IN MECCA’s film’s first public screening, Sharma has already received a barrage of hate mail and death threats, as evidenced in the comments on the film’s trailer on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzshP2k5FMk



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New LGBT "GoFundMe" Counters Memories Pizza Campaign



It's now critical that the LGBT community and allies prove that discrimination against minorities has no place in modern society. An anti-discrimination fundraiser "Love is Stronger Than Hate" has now been started, with all proceeds going to the Human Rights Campaign, to aid them in their efforts to promote equality.

A new online fundraiser by the LGBT community has been launched in direct response to recent news that a pizza restaurant in Indiana has garnered support for discriminating against the LGBT community. Their public announcement led to an online fund being set up, which has raised more than $800,000.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

George Takei Launches New Web Series

 George Takei is coming to your computer screen in a new heightened reality series “It Takeis Two” with husband Brad Takei.  Everyone’s favorite social media maven is sharing some semi-scripted highlights from domestic life with the man most well known as Sulu and his husband, and career architect.

Beginning on Tuesday, April 7th the short form web series will be available for streaming select episodes on George Takei’s YouTube channel.  Subscribe to the channel to catch each episode.




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Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Dating Website LGBTSportZdate.com

  Offers Eligible LGBT Singles Who Love Sports to Safely Connect, Share Passions and LGBT Lifestyle, Find Love
LGBTSportZdate.com is the first and only dating site to cater specifically to sports enthusiasts within the LGBT community. According to the USA Sports Fan Association, 3.8% of the U.S. population are part of the LGBT community and 56% of this community are avid sports fans ˆ that's 5.4 million people. LGBT involvement in sports is huge ˆ and yet, no platform existed to bring members of this community together ˆ until now. LGBTSportZdate.com fills this need, bringing people together under the shared umbrella of sports fandom.

The site boasts all the convenient features one expects from a dating site, along with added social network services tailored to the LGBT sports community. Users can create a free profile on LGBTSportZdate.com, upload a photo and add basic details about themselves. Free members can create an informative personal essay that describes their dating goals, topped off with an attention-grabbing headline. The search function allows members to sort other LGBT singles by location, age, sports of interest and other preferences, narrowing the results down to a manageable number. Members can then show interest in another member with a single click.

Premium memberships enable members to communicate more directly with each other via instant messaging, email or chat. Fees for charter premium memberships are only $19.95 annually, half of what most other dating sites charge per month, and provides members access to all of its services. "We want everyone who joins the site to have a positive experience, and that begins and ends with a quality community."

LGBTSportZdate.com offers all the tools and features needed to build a great community and expand one's social network. The chat room is available 24 hours a day and always filled with people eager to communicate and the sports fan forum creates discussions on all aspects of sports and the LGBT lifestyle. The built-in instant messaging tool enables voice and video greetings; those who want to be more cautious can always depend on the site's email system.

To help members get the most out of their experience, the site publishes a weekly online dating newsletter. Each issue of the digital newsletter is full of practical information about relationships and health. The newsletter also contains helpful tips about online dating in general, a benefit to those new to the experience and uncertain how to proceed.

The company behind LGBTSportZdate.com has plans to launch the site in Australia and the UK within the next year, followed by an international rollout. Today, LGBTSportZdate.com is actively recruiting Area Membership Directors in major American and Canadian sports cities in order have a local active involvement with the LGBT Community and other LGBT sports organizations in each area.

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