Monthly Archives: January 2013

Get Connected: LGBTQ Events in L.A.

Looking for ways to connect with your community? Here’s a quick roundup of upcoming LGBTQ community events:

TOMORROW NIGHT

  • it gets better
    Friday, Feb. 1 – Wilshire Ebell Theatre
    NOTE: VIP tickets have sold out
    igb_ad

Here’s a blurb from a press release:


In addition to the who’s-who of Hollywood in attendance, LeAnn Rimes to introduce GMCLA; Lily Tomlin, Dot Jones and Pauley Pere
tte to make remarks on stage; Dave Koz to perform with GMCLA; GMCLA to perform two songs.  Written and directed by Liesel Reinhart of Speak Theater Arts with musical direction by Morton Kier, it gets better features an ensemble cast of six actors (Jason Currie, Tyler Houston, Tod Macofsky, Mario Mosley, Sacha Sacket, and Drew Tablak) whose real-life stories of growing up gay are woven into the production.
LeAnn Rimes was slated to perform, but due to doctor’s orders her performance has been canceled. She will be there, however, and will be introducing the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA).

  • Queers Print opening reception
    Saturday, Feb. 2- ONE Archives Gallery & Museum, West Hollywood 
    Opening reception for an exhibition on LGBTQ publications from the Los Angeles area. Exhibitone-queersprint runs through March 17.From the ONE Archives website:A exploration of queer printing and activism beginning with ONE Magazine in the 1950s, this exhibition will fill the gallery with numerous facsimile copies of publications found in the collections at ONE, inspiring visitors to explore queer history by perusing an expansive display of historical documents and materials.

coco-ballsDrag star Miss Coco Peru (AKA Clinton Leupp) premieres a new show. In She’s Got Balls, Coco reflects on her crush on the Creature from the Black Lagoon, her love/hate relationship with Facebook, why she left her beloved hometown of New York City, and more.

If you’re not familiar with Coco, you can get a feel for her style and sense of humor by watching this video clip of the “Be Our Guest” parody she performed at an L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center gala several years ago.

family equality
From the Family Equality Council website:

Now in its 9th year, Family Equality Council’s premier West Coast event is aimed at connecting the growing Los Angeles community of LGBT-headed families and supporters as well as advancing efforts to create equality for all families.

Family Equality council will welcome LGBT parents, allies and honorees on February 9th to Universal Studios’ Globe Theatre for an evening that will include live performances and appearances by notables in the world of arts, entertainment, politics and the LGBT movement.

Honorees include: NBC; Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings; and Virginia Uribe, the founder of Project 10 and Friends of Project 10. To read about Uribe, check out the LGBT POV item.

Saturday, Feb. 9

LGBT service organization Gay for Good will organize volunteers to help set up and decorate for a Pablove Foundation event to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer programs.

 

Saturday, Feb. 9 –  J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live

 

For more events, check out the Frontiers calendar. 

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Weekly Roundup: Recommended Reading

A snapshot of LGBT news, features and tidbits from this week on the web:

In the book, it’s obvious that your parents felt like they often needed to protect and advocate for you. Do you ever find that you’ve needed to protect or advocate for them?

I have occasionally felt like I have had to help my parents learn certain things, especially about LGBT-related political correctness. Protection, less so, though I have wanted to punch some internet commenters in the face.

 

  •  The American Prospect: Freedom to Choose, Freedom to Marry 

    A piece exploring the connection between reproductive rights and LGBT rights. Excerpt:


    Connecticut’s Planned Parenthood brought a lawsuit, Griswold v. Connecticut, against that state’s ban on the sale and use of contraception. The Supreme Court struck down the ban, declaring that what was decided in the marital bedroom was “intimate to the degree of being sacred.”

    “Intimate to the degree of being sacred.” That phrase was the beginning of the end of the public philosophy that sex was licit only for making babies …

    Consider the implications. If heterosexual couples can have sex for joy and intimacy, why can’t same-sex couples? Why should we be the only ones tasked with abiding by that old idea that nonprocreative sex is evil? 

  • LGBT POV: Equality California’s New Executive Director John O’Connor Gets to Work
    “When there is a long-term executive director like Geoff Kors, it’s never an easy transition after their departure, and I think we all know that Equality California had a particularly difficult time,” O’Connor said in a phone interview with Frontiers on Jan. 3. “But rather than dwelling on what mistakes were made, I want to talk about the vision for the organization moving forward.”

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center photo
LGBT contingent in Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.

 

  •  TransGriot: Sadie’s Dream For The World 

    TransGriot Note: While the GL community was justifiably jumping up and down excited because President Obama mentioned them in his second inaugural address, an 11 year old transkid in the western US was writing her own essay on this inaugural day that also happened to fall on MLK, Jr Day.

  • Christopher Street West is accepting nominations for L.A. Pride honorees. Submit nominations by Feb. 8.

 

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Get Connected: LGBTQ Events in L.A.

Looking for ways to connect with your community? Here’s a quick roundup of upcoming LGBTQ community events:

  • Cabargay 6 
    Friday, Jan. 25 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza 

“A night of ccabergay_poster_v2.aiomedy, camaraderie, charity and camp,” Cabargay benefits the Center’s LifeWorks youth development and mentoring program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the scoop from the Trevor Project:

The Trevor Project is proud to partner with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) as they embark on a national tour of igb_adtheir important original musical, It Gets Better. As part of the tour, GMCLA will be doing outreach in schools in Kansas, Pennsylvania and Washington and will bring with them Trevor’s life-saving suicide prevention resources. We are honored to partner with GMCLA on this important project and hope you will join us in supporting their west coast premiere featuring LeAnn Rimes, Lily Tomlin, Dave Koz and It Gets Better Project creators, Dan Savage and Terry Miller.

The event will feature Dave KozLeAnn Rimes and Lily Tomlin, and celebs expected to be in attendance include Meredith Baxter Sharon LawrenceGreg Louganis, Pauley Perrette and others.

 

  • Queers Print opening reception
    Saturday, Feb. 2- ONE Archives Gallery & Museum, West Hollywood 
    Opening reception for an exhibition on LGBTQ publications from the Los Angeles area. Exhibitone-queersprint runs through March 17.From the ONE Archives website:A exploration of queer printing and activism beginning with ONE Magazine in the 1950s, this exhibition will fill the gallery with numerous facsimile copies of publications found in the collections at ONE, inspiring visitors to explore queer history by perusing an expansive display of historical documents and materials.

coco-ballsDrag star Miss Coco Peru (AKA Clinton Leupp) premieres a new show. In She’s Got Balls, Coco reflects on her crush on the Creature from the Black Lagoon, her love/hate relationship with Facebook, why she left her beloved hometown of New York City, and more.

If you’re not familiar with Coco, you can get a feel for her style and sense of humor by watching this video clip of the “Be Our Guest” parody she performed at an L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center gala several years ago.

 

 

family equality
From the Family Equality Council website:

Now in its 9th year, Family Equality Council’s premier West Coast event is aimed at connecting the growing Los Angeles community of LGBT-headed families and supporters as well as advancing efforts to create equality for all families.

Family Equality council will welcome LGBT parents, allies and honorees on February 9th to Universal Studios’ Globe Theatre for an evening that will include live performances and appearances by notables in the world of arts, entertainment, politics and the LGBT movement.

Honorees include: NBC; Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings; and Virginia Uribe, the founder of Project 10 and Friends of Project 10. To read about Uribe, check out the LGBT POV item.

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Q&A: Author & Activist Marsha Aizumi on Her New Book

Marsha and Aiden inside the White House
Photos provided by Marsha Aizumi
Marsha Aizumi with son Aiden at the White House.  

Editor’s note: I met Two Spirits, One Heart author Marsha Aizumi at an open house/media event that marked the opening of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s charter school for LGBT youth—a school Marsha played a pivotal role in starting.

Since then, I’ve had several opportunities to hear Marsha talk about her transgender son, Aiden, and the struggles he faced as a young trans man. Whenever Marsha shares her story—whether she’s talking to a reporter or to me and a video crew for this Center video—she tends to tear up, either because it’s painful to contemplate some of the struggles Aiden has faced or, often, because she’s overwhelmed by pride for him.

Today Marsha and Aiden are both dedicated LGBT community activists, but it took time for Marsha to fully accept and celebrate her trans son. She shares that journey in her new book, Two Spirits, One Heart. Since the book’s publication in fall 2012, Marsha has been doing speaking and signing events all over the country. You can find information about upcoming events – including a Feb. 12 signing at the Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza—on Marsha’s website. – Stevie

 

Q: You’ve been speaking openly about your story for years. Why did you decide to share it in a book?

A: I always wanted to write a book. This was an opportunity to do something I had dreamed of, and to write about something I’m very passionate about.

At the beginning of the journey (of Aiden coming out), all I saw was the negative. I never thought I would get to this point. A couple of years later, I can see how amazing this journey has been. Now our family is still much closer; we are more grateful for each other.

Two Spirits One Heart Cover
Two Spirits, One Heart cover image. 

Q: What was it like to write about something so personal?

A: When I got into some of the difficult times, it was really hard. The most difficult was (the years Aiden was in) high school and college and some of the physical violence Aiden encountered. I cried while I was writing; that was really healing. Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: Recommended Reading

A snapshot of LGBT news, features and tidbits from this week on the web:

  • While working for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, I wrote a lot about LGBT people–usually seniors and youth–in dire straits at least partly because their families had rejected them. Of course, it isn’t only homeless youth and isolated seniors whose lives are profoundly affected by their families’ inability to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity. In this heartfelt first-person story for Autostraddle, writer Whitney shares her story.
  • This video, posted by Good As You and Joe My God,  is hilarious even without watching the anti-marriage equality piece it parodies. But it’s worth watching both, and they’re both included in the  Good As You post.
  • The Real L Word‘s days may be numbered, but the Hollywood Reporter reports that the L Word franchise could continue with a documentary.
  • Gwist (“TV with a twist”) is a new LGBT YouTube channel launched started by Matt Farber, founder of LGBT TV network Logo. Via Towleroad.
  • I highly recommend Raising My Rainbow, a mommy blog in which “C.J.’s mom” shares the joys and challenges of raising her gender non-conforming child. Her posts are always candid, sweet and resonant. In this post, she recounts what happened when she told C.J. that the bags of pretty new pink things he spotted in her car were not for him but for his newborn cousin.Here’s an excerpt:

She can have my baby girl clothes hand me downs?” he offered.

“Baby, you only wore baby boy clothes.” I realized that my son probably can’t remember a time in his life when he wore exclusively boy clothes.

“How come you made me wear only boy clothes?” he asked slightly disgusted.

“Because I didn’t know that you liked girl stuff,” I answered honestly.

“How come you didn’t know that?”

“Because you weren’t old enough to tell me or show me.”

His sad face crushed me.  He was wondering why I didn’t know my own child, my baby.  How could I have been so wrong about my child?  Because I was full of assumptions and expectations — none of which included my son being anything other than heteronormative.

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I Belong Here: My Story of Pedaling from SF to L.A. with AIDS/LifeCycle

Editor’s note: As part of the Marketing & Communications team at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, I was also part of the communications team for AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC), a seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises millions to support the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. After two years traveling along the route as part of the media team, I experienced AIDS/LifeCycle as a rider for the first time last year.

This year’s ride will take place June 2-8. If you are interested in registering– or if you would just like to learn more about ALC – you can meet ALC riders, roadies and staff members at the ALC Soirée this Saturday evening. At the soirée, you can enjoy food, drink and entertainment, and you can get your question answered.

Soiree_Invite_1-4-13

During my time working at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, I wrote dozens of newsletter stories and web items encouraging people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels to register for AIDS/LifeCycle, a seven-day charity bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I even penned the tagline You Belong Here – which is emblazoned on ALC cycling gear and on ride billboards and magazine ads– to stress the welcoming, inclusive community of the ride. But did I really belong there?

AIDS/LifeCycle billboard
A “You Belong Here” billboard featuring a great photo taken by Stephen Busken on the ride in 2011.  

When my boss at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, himself a veteran ALC rider, suggested that I sign up for the ride, I was approaching my 30th birthday. The idea of taking on an exciting new challenge to mark this milestone was appealing. And as a member of the ALC media team in 2010 and 2011, I had seen firsthand how deeply people were impacted by experiencing the ride. My friend Christina and I registered for AIDS/LifeCycle 2012. Continue reading

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A Very Gay Golden Globes

Editor’s note: I don’t plan to write a lot about the entertainment industry because it isn’t really my scene (so to speak), but there was such a high LGBT quotient at the Golden Globes that I wanted to share a few tidbits. If you are hungry for news about LGBT entertainment, visit and bookmark my friend Greg Hernandez’s Greg in Hollywood site. You should also check out AfterEllen.com and AfterElton.com. – Stevie  

  • Jodie Foster

Image: 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show
NBCUniversal photo by Paul Drinkwater/Getty
Jodie Foster on stage at the Golden Globes. 

When she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award (video), Jodie Foster pulled down the last remnants of her gossamer closet. She led with a joke:

“While I’m here being all confessional, I have the sudden urge to say something I’ve never been able to air in public … I’m just gonna put it out there, loud and proud, right? I am, uh, single.”

She then went on to thank her ex-partner, Cydney Bernard, with whom she has two sons. She also alluded to coming out to people in her life years ago, and she talked about placing a premium on privacy—apparently in response to feeling pressured to be more open about her sexual orientation.

The web has been abuzz with reactions, which run the gamut from high praise to harsh criticism. The speech has been called everything from “a significant moment for LGBT visibility” to “infuriating” and “amazing and laudatory.”

  • Tina Fey & Amy Poehler

SNL vets Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two comedy stars whose work is popular with lesbians, hosted the show. Women’s comedy site Comediva breaks down the 15 top “Feyler” moments, and Huffington Post compiled a list of the duo’s best one-liners.

tina-fey-amy-poehler
PAUL DRINKWATER, NBC/AP
Hosts Tina Fey & Amy Poehler.

 

  • Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing 

More than 250 guests turned out at a viewing gala to support the work of Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH). At the event, which took place at Jim Henson Studios, Julie Newmar was recognized with the GLEH Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by George Chakiris (West Side Story). The crowd included stars such as Tippi Hedren (The Birds), Bert Keeter (Project Runway), Kate Linder (Young & The Restless) and others.

Here are a couple of pics, courtesy of GLEH:

Julie Newmar
Julie Newmar on the red carpet. 

IMG-20130113-00157
George Chakiris (West Side Story) presents Newmar with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A final tally on how much the event raised isn’t yet available, but the funds will support GLEH’s services for LGBT seniors such as operating Triangle Square, an affordable housing development for low-income LGBT seniors.

 

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Triangle Square, located in Hollywood.

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Weekly Roundup

If you’re spending this (relatively) chilly L.A. Saturday morning curling up with a hot cup of joe and catching up on your online reading, here are some items from this week to check out:

  • The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case against Prop 8 on March 26. The following day, it will hear arguments in a case against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Read the story of Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the DOMA case, in this Buzzfeed story. Following the death of her wife, Windsor was forced to pay more than $350,000 in estate taxes because the federal government doesn’t recognize their marriage.
  • Marine spouses’ clubs must include the same-sex spouses of service members in order to continue operating on base, per instructions from the branch’s legal office.
  • This weekend, Kylan Wenzel will be the first transgender woman to compete for the Miss California title. The pageant is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center.
  • Jeanne Manford, founder of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), died this week in Daly City, Calif., at the age of 92. PFLAG has 350+ chapters across the U.S., including chapters in Los AngelesLong Beach and Pasadena.
  • Many LGBTQ people and allies are preparing for the Creating Change conference, which takes place January 23-27 in Atlanta.
  • L.A. has roller derby as well as many of the other things on the Advocate‘s list of “totally subjective and constantly changing criteria,” but La La Land didn’t make this year’s list of the Gayest Cities in America.
  • AIDS film How to Survive a Plague was nominated for an Academy Award in the best documentary category.
  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the Golden Globes on Sunday. LGBT favorite Modern Family is in the running for best TV comedy. You can see a complete list of nominees on the Golden Globes site. Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing will hold a viewing gala, where they’ll honor Julie Newmar with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • The print edition of LGBT mag Advocate, which for the last couple of years has been available only by subscription, is returning to newsstands.
  • L.A. Voters in Grindr’s ‘Best of 2012‘ Awards selected Frontiers as “Best Local Gay News Outlet.”

– Stevie

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Get Connected: LGBTQ Events in L.A.

Looking for ways to connect with your community? Here’s a quick roundup of LGBTQ community events:

  • It’s awards season in Tinseltown! Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing is hosting a Golden Globes viewing gala at the Jim Henson Lot on January 13. Next month, AIDS Project Los Angeles will hold an Oscar Viewing Party at The Abbey in West Hollywood.
  • There will be a performance of The Laramie Project at Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences in Granada Hills on January 17.
  •  The MisMatch Game is on stage this weekend at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre. The Renberg is located at the Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza, where you can also check out the Packed in a Trunk art exhibit until January 19. (Read about the exhibit in my post from earlier this week.)
  • The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will present it gets better, a benefit performance  with LeAnn Rimes and other celeb guests, on February 1 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

To find more events, check out:

To suggest an event for the Spectrum Los Angeles calendar, please email details to spectrumlosangeles@gmail.com.

– Stevie

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Here’s to Being Seen!

Editor’s note: As an avid reader of mysteries, I love the note of intrigue surrounding the art exhibit now on display at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza— though the story behind it is quite sad. After years of being hidden away in an attic, the work of Edith Lake Wilkinson is finally on display. You can see the world premiere of Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson at the Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries through January 19. Last night the Center’s Los Angeles Women’s Network (LAWN) hosted a reception for the exhibit. – Stevie

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Photo: Jane Anderson with some of Edith Lake Wilkinson’s art at the Jan. 8 reception. 

In the house where Emmy-winning playwright Jane Anderson grew up, she was surrounded by paintings by an unknown artist, Edith Lake Wilkinson. Anderson’s mother had discovered the paintings in the early ’60s while exploring the attic at the home of relatives. She took some to hang in her home, where the colorful landscapes piqued Anderson’s curiosity. She set out to learn as much about Wilkinson as possible.

What Anderson uncovered was both a wealth of Wilkinson’s art and a poignant, sad tale. Wilkinson’s story is that of a sophisticated world traveler who spent time in New York and Europe. She studied art, she painted prolifically, and she was even part of an artists’ community in Provincetown between 1914 and 1923. She lived with a woman named Fannie, and it seems likely they were a couple.

Wilkinson’s story takes a sad turn when, in 1924, she was hospitalized for depression. After several months, she was released—but she returned the following year. She spent the last of her life committed to two asylums; there is no record of what happened to Fannie. Wilkinson’s work was packed away until Anderson’s mother uncovered it. Now, it has finally been revealed.

“Here’s to pulling all the lost and gifted souls of this world out of attics and closets and forgotten rooms,” Anderson writes at www.edithlakewilkinson.com, where you can read more about Wilkinson and see some of her art. “Here’s to being seen.”

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