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Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Kilker on the left with partner Sara Nelson
Sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama at this evening’s State of the Union Address will be Lorelei Kilker, an openly lesbian woman who came forward to challenge sex-based discriminatory treatment at her workplace and, after several years, was part of a large settlement the Equal Opportunity Commission reached with the employer, Western Sugar of Colorado, in October 2011.  President Obama is expected to use Ms. Kilker’s case to highlight how our country must do more to ensure that all citizens have a fair shot at the American Dream.  However, LGBT Americans like Ms. Kilker still do not have a federal law to protect against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination, and in a majority of states it is completely legal to fire someone just because they are gay or transgender.  In two interviews given before the President’s address, Ms. Kilker endorsed the idea of President Obama signing an executive order to combat anti-LGBT workplace discrimination.

Freedom to Work and other LGBT organizations have long called on President Obama to sign an executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at companies that profit from federal contracts.

For more information on Freedom to Work, please visit:

Monday, January 23, 2012

First-Ever Gay Cards Sold in Major Grocery Chain

For the first time ever, gay-friendly greeting cards will be sold in a major grocery store. The cards, from independent greeting card designer A Little To The Left, will be offered in Albertsons, in participation with their new Alternate Lifestyles program.  The first rack will appear in Albertsons 6569 (1751 N. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA  92262) starting January 25, 2012.

The cards are targeted to LGBT couples, but designed with tasteful, elegant motifs that appeal to mainstream buyers. Greeting themes include cards for same-sex weddings, unions, anniversaries, holidays -- including Valentine's Day -- and everyday occasions, openly addressing same-sex relationships, offering sentiments to “son and son-in-law” and “daughter and daughter-in-law.”

Sandi Timberlake, owner of A Little To The Left and a board member of the San Diego chapter of PFLAG, launched her business based on her own need to find tasteful and appropriate greeting cards to send to her son and son-in-law for their special occasions.  Finding nothing that appealed to her, and realizing that other people like her must have the same need, she decided to create them and launched A Little To The Left in September 2008. She refers to her collection as being “gay friendly and mother approved.”

For more information about A Little To The Left and to view the entire array of designs, please visit

Friday, January 20, 2012

The British are hiring gay James Bonds

Many Etonian spies had alliances at boarding school. But MI5 feared its closeted spies would be blackmailed by the KGB. Now that gays are prideful, MI5 is hiring.
By Ryan Collett

The British counter-intelligence and security agency MI5 was listed as one of the most gay-friendly organizations in Britain. The list was put out this week by Stonewall, an equality charity. The organization based their rankings on 7,500 confidential surveys sent out to gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees.

MI5 — home to fictional British super spy, James Bond — was ranked 62 out of 100 gay-friendly employers in Britain, with Ernst and Young at the top of the list. The ranking came as a welcoming sign for the intelligence agency — having expressed desires to employ more recruits from a variety of backgrounds including sexual orientations since the 2005 London bombings.

Read on dot429

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Can a music video spark an LGBT movement?

Bye June is a band advocating equality and love in their track "Shades of Purple" from their album "My Life is an Independent Film". Gil Kline, Gunner Sledgeski, and Daniel McGreal, the members of the Rockville, Maryland based band knew they had a hit on there hands when they saw the finished video. Yet, they didn't expect the reaction they received to their newly released music video from the LGBT community.  The band collaborated with world-renowned shadowgrapher Sati Achath for the music video, which is about marriage equality and the freedom to love whomever you choose.

Gil Kline tells us that "Shades of Purple" is the first pop music video to utilize shadow puppetry. Said Kline: “We asked our fans to choose a track for a music video, and they voted online for this song. I am very pleased, since this song has deep meaning and an important social message. Also, we were fortunate to have Mr. Achath on our team, he truly brought the characters to life." Said Achath: "Shadowgraphy is a very old art-form, and I am very excited to bring this art-form to a whole new generation. I fell in love with this project for the music, message and medium."

The day of the release, the band was flooded with messages of support from the LGBT community. The video features a swan looking for love, that is shunned by society; the swan finally finds its true love after a protest - "Swan Pride." The band decided to start an online community on Facebook called "The Swan Pride Movement." They are calling for all people to come together to celebrate love equality by 'liking' a Facebook page at It is a beautiful idea reminiscent of the 1960's, their goal is 100,000 likes. The page is open to comments from the 'swans' that joined the movement, and many touching stories were shared since the movement went public January 16th.

Out Filmmaker Elliot London Invites You To Join ‘The Wedding Dance’

By Neil Woulfe - Radar Senior News Director

Filmmaker Elliot London is one to watch in Hollywood.

The charismatic director/producer calls himself a dreamer, and now he’s offering you the opportunity to share his dream of making a movie that’s very close to his heart.
The 30-year-old London, born in Australia, but raised in America, says growing up gay was not always easy, especially in Rockford, Illinois. With that in mind, his latest short film, The Wedding Dance, tells the story of marriage equality -- but he promises, with a twist.

London plans to start shooting in Los Angeles in a few weeks, but like so many small independent filmmakers, he needs additional funding to complete the project, so he’s taken the unusual and highly creative step of using social media to entice investors who can actually receive a credit on the film. chatted with London about his journey from America’s Heartland to Hollywood -- and what it was like to intern for Jerry Springer along the way!
Radar: Tell me about your new short film, The Wedding Dance. What is it about and why were you inspired to do it?
Elliot: The Wedding Dance is a short film that is going to show you a different prospective of equality. I really want to give you a full synopsis, but I can’t only because of the reason that I like a surprise ending. It’s becoming my trait. (Laughs) ... I can promise you though that it won’t be your average wedding that you dread to go to.
I am just inspired because the timing is right. We are in a in culture where this topic is being talked about by the masses.
It will be powerful, yet light-hearted. I have a gut feeling that this short really will hit the straight audience and show the gay community differently. It’s all about the twist, boy do I like a twist!
PHOTOS: Director/Producer Elliot London – One To Watch In Hollywood

Radar: You plan to start shooting the first week of February. As an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles, what are some of the challenges in mounting a production?

Elliot: OMG. Doing anything in L.A. that involves a camera is a challenge. First and foremost is the funding. Second is getting a great group of actors. A lot of time actors will pass on working on a independent because they don't know the real outcome of the project. Lastly, is finding that perfect location that you can get for cheap or donated. I, of course, have a grand vision that always need to be bought back to earth by my producer.

Radar: Your budget for The Wedding Dance is a modest $10,000 and while you’re financing half of the film out of your own pocket, you’re hoping to raise the other half online. It may surprise people to hear that they can be part of the filmmaking process by donating as $10 or, as you say on your Facebook page, “It’s 2 coffees and a cake pop at Starbucks ...”

Elliot: As a mass, we get such joy out of watching amazing shorts on YouTube. What many people don’t know is how much can go into that two minutes they just watched. Usually a few months of prep and some really long 14-hour days over the weekend. (It’s the cheapest to rent equipment). You must all think that I am crazy to personally finance my projects, but for me it’s well worth it. Yes, the money could be used for a good vacation. But honestly, I did not have the grades to get into a good film school in Los Angeles. So this is my education.

Radar: People who donate more can actually get an associate producer, producer, or executive producer credit, and they can visit the set. Tell me about that.

Elliot: I really want people to feel like they are a part of something by involving them. If you are willing to part with your hard earn dollars than you should have every right to be involved with a project.

I look at it two ways -- first, you are supporting a community. Second, you are supporting the arts. A lot of people have jobs that do not let them leave an office. What is more exciting than coming to a set and seeing live art being put together with passion and hard work? Plus one of the greatest things about visiting the set is the craft service table. I always make sure there is plenty of food and coffee. So after you donated you can at least get some food to fill your stomach.

Radar: This is not your first film gay-themed film. Tell me about your short,  306

Elliot: 306 was a piece that I had to get out of my system. I have been really inspired by foreign films over the past -- Won Ka Wai’s In the Mood For Love and Lou Ye’s Spring Fever that I was so fortunate to see at Cannes Film Festival. These movies really pushed boundaries in cinematic and storytelling. I thought to myself, "How can I take all my experiences in life and tell a story that can invoke emotion on a deeper level?"
Click here to watch 306

I think of when I was in my early 20s -- bartending, being crazy [and] sleeping around. I look at gay culture, and how young dates older, and vice versa. One chases stability and another chases youth. Now I take pen to paper and I create a story, where a confused kid uses the number one currency in the world -- SEX. What most surprised me of this script when I finished my first draft was “What happens if I take all the dialogue out, can it be powerful?” So I did. It took me a whole six months working a second job at Starbucks to pay for this project and it was worth every cent.

Radar: It is difficult attracting a broad audience, meaning both gay and straight, for a film that’s gay-themed -- or is that changing?

Elliot: Difficult. It is easy for me to see content that is for a broad audience because it is available everywhere. How do you get that broad audience to see gay content? It is introduction though complex characters written in broad audience shows. This will relate to my answer in the next question. All I can say is television is our key to bringing interests into our gay-themed projects. But being completely honest, it’s about relating to characters. This is why I feel that gay cinema is so important. It is more important for me to have a kid with his mother see a gay-themed film -- to help overcome the internal homophobia of being gay -- than a theater filled with housewives.

Radar: As an out-and-proud filmmaker, how do you see the power of film in changing people’s attitudes toward the LGBT community?

I am incredibly lucky to be alive and see such amazing changes in acceptance with media over the past fifteen years. I remember when I was 16-years-old, trying to secretly checkout gay films from blockbuster to now being able to see Tom Ford's Single Man on the big screen. It’s all about exposure. The more we are out there, the more we will be seen. You really have to give the credit to the TV industry over the past few years. They have changed and bought attention the community. They have paved the way and help closed the gap.

Radar: Is that part of your inspiration for being a filmmaker? To open people’s minds while telling interesting stories?

Elliot: If you look at 306, it can be a double-edged sword for me. It shows a really vivid, realistic side of someone’s life. This was a really risky script I put together that I knew was going to invoke conversation. I have to look at it as positive though, if I offend people and they talk about how could someone have unsafe sex. I know that this person is aware. Hopefully that one person will have that conversation with their partner. There are many hidden closets and people wrestling with demons.

There are many slices of sub-culture life in the LGBT population. So many stories to tell and so many people to inspire. I would rather work at two jobs putting funds together to tell stories than anything else in this world.

Radar: In 2005, while you were attending the Columbia Film School in Chicago, you also interned at the Jerry Springer Show, which tapes at the NBC studios there. What were some of the craziest shows you worked on?

Elliot: My interning at Jerry Springer was short-lived. I have nothing to say bad about Jerry Springer himself as I was fortunate to live in the same building as him in Chicago. Yet, It was really hard for me to see the show’s guests use a TV show as their only hope to bringing joy to their life. My worst experience was when a female producer belittled me in front of people because I had asked her a question without knowing my place on the hierarchy. Ever since that yelling incident, I have always made it a point as a director to learn the intern's name and treat them with respect. The day I moved out of my apartment to go to Los Angeles, I shared the elevator with Mr. Springer. As we descended 48 stories, I told him that I had interned for him. He answered: “You survived, and good luck in Hollywood.”

Radar: Finally, where do you see yourself professionally in the next ten years?
Elliot: I just want to be working. In this economy, anyone my age just wants to be working. I see myself creating a new gay film label that will keep telling our stories and bring new young filmmakers to light. An Oscar wouldn't be bad, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
To make a donation to The Wedding Dance, check out Elliot’s website.
Friend Elliot on Facebook
Follow Elliot on Twitter
Check out Elliot’s YouTube Blog

Republished with permission from Radaronline

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burkta Share an Intimate Moment in OUT’s Annual “Love Issue”

OUT magazine’s annual “Love Issue” provides first-person accounts of gay relationships and gay families, an underrepresented segment of the American population. With the “Love Issue,” OUT highlights 26 diverse gay relationships and families to inspire. OUT’s subjects relay their stories in their own words. This year’s “Love Issue” begins with the story of cover stars Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, who share their personal love story with OUT readers.

Read the Harris and Burtka’s full story, along with OUT’s other inspiring love stories now at:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New LGBT Business Group Forms In Maryland

Launching on January 19, 2012, The Maryland Corporate Council desires to provide a professional and business-oriented networking group. The organization is gearing up for a great launch with over 150 registered to attend, 11 members on the board and over 100 memberships already committed.

Created by Co-Founders, Ted Hart, who heads a management consulting firm and Scott Marder, a partner in the law firm, Duane Morris, Maryland Corporate Council found a lack of networking groups in their area.

"Although LGBT business groups have existed for over 30 years, there is always a need for like-minded individuals in the business world to connect and exchange opportunities and advice," stated Michael Lamb of Echelon Magazine.

The Maryland Corporate Council has already acquired great corporate members including Ernst & Young, Constellation Energy as well as Sun Trust and U.S. banks. 

Interested individuals should connect with this progressive group and join them in their celebration at the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore. Annual membership for individuals is $150 for the year.

Listen to a podcast regarding the group here:

Simon Doonan shares why "Gay Men Don't Get Fat"

Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador at Large of Barney's, talks about his new book "Gay Men Don't Get Fat" and answers a few questions exclusively for dot429.

Q: What ratio of gay food to straight food is best?
Simon Doonan: I believe in 50/50. For every big fat gay steak, there must be a fluffy nelly salad.

Q: Can gay food be "reformed" by battering and frying it?

Doonan: Absolutely!! If you deep fry one of those delicate tangerine macaroons, it is the equivalent of giving it a sex-change.

Q: Do you anticipate Republican presidential candidates taking an oath that they will never eat gay food?
Doonan: The all looks so nervous every time the word "gay" comes up that you start to wonder why it's such a hot button. They need to eat more Arugula and less Velveta.

Republished with permission from

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Site Aims to Serve as Resource to Identify Supportive Establishments and Public Figures for LGBT and Allied Communities

Rainbow Chronicle (, the first online community to allow users to rate businesses, events, organizations, and individuals based upon their LGBT friendliness, today announces its official launch. Conceived in response to the spike in gay suicides and episodes of bullying throughout the U.S. in 2010, Rainbow Chronicle seeks to serve as a singular resource for LGBT individuals to locate and identify safe and trusted allies, while also calling attention to businesses and public figures who perpetuate bigotry and homophobia.

Building on the model of established online sites for leisure and travel, Rainbow Chronicle features user-generated reviews with numerical ratings based on LGBT friendliness. On a scale of -5 (poor) to +5 (excellent), these ratings take into account variables such as Good for Same-Sex Couples, Attitude of Customers, Good for Large LGBT Groups, etc. Beyond simply reviewing hotels, bars, and restaurants, Rainbow Chronicle features reviews of organizations and corporations, detailing diversity initiatives and partner/spousal benefits, and also rates individuals, ranging from globally-recognized figures like Lady Gaga, to a local priest or sports coach.

Rainbow Chronicle was inspired by the widespread online campaigns launched by national celebrities working to instill hope for the future in at-risk youth,” states company co-founder Travis Lowry. “Rainbow Chronicle aims to offer a platform to help these same individuals, as well as established and allied communities, navigate the current landscape to identify safe and trusted outlets, be it a gay-friendly coffee shop or “out” local business leader to offer advice or support. Our hope is that this site will connect users to share information, feel safe in their communities and while traveling, and ultimately help counter ignorant behavior and bigoted business practices.”

While there are a number of existing online LGBT communities and networking and news sites, Rainbow Chronicle differentiates itself in the following ways:

·         Only site allowing users to rate people, places or events based on LGBT-friendliness
·         Guaranteed safe-for-work (SFW) online professional site for the LGBT community
·         Only user-generated news site catering to LGBT interests without media affiliation
·         Heat-Mapping System: Used only before in military applications, Rainbow Chronicle allows users to quickly visualize their local community according to its LGBT ratings

While initially inspired to reach at-risk LGBT youth, Rainbow Chronicle co-founders Travis Lowry and Conor Clary have designed the site to also cater to established adult LGBT audiences and allies seeking trusted outlets in their hometown region or while traveling. Rainbow Chronicle seeks to connect communities on all levels to foster support of accepting and liberal establishments and individuals, while working to influence change amongst public figures, corporations or small business who act in a bigoted manner.