Trump Administration & LGBT Equality

> November 30th, 2016 ---

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International that specializes in gender, sexuality and human rights globally, talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about how the Trump presidency could effect our LGBT civil rights. OutRight Action International, the only US based LGBTIQ organization with consultative status at the United Nations has called on the upcoming Trump administration to maintain important policies and programs introduced by the Obama administration to safeguard the human rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. Over the last eight years the United States has initiated unprecedented commitment to promote the human rights of LGBTIQ people by issuing a presidential memorandum to advance LGBT human rights, appointing a Special Envoy for LGBTI Rights, banning USAID contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and financing support of the Global Equality Fund among other initiatives. This is not a time to become complacent when dealing with the threat of a homophobic Trump administration. This is a time for our LGBT community and allies to organize and maintain the progress we have worked so hard to achieve. We talked to Jessica about how other countries dealing with an anti-LGBT agenda have worked to move their countries forward and give us her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBT community moving forward in a Trump administration Stern stated, “We as a queer community and as a human rights community have to move forward with extraordinary caution because so far it seems that Trump himself is not particularly ideological about LGBTIQ rights and actually has in various incidents acknowledged the power of the LGBTIQ movement in a way that makes me think he’s not as likely to come for us the way he’s been coming for immigrants and Muslims and women, but my fear is almost that LGBTIQ people will be left off easily relative to all of the other vulnerable groups that he is targeting for attack. So I can’t say what will happen but I know that the only way the LGBTIQ community can move forward under a Trump administration is by working together with other communities. In the domestic context it means working with immigrants; it means working with Muslims; it means working with women’s rights advocates and in an international context it means we have to have an anti-war agenda. So I think there’s a lot that is very fluid right now and we’re still trying to figure out which way is up.”

OutRight Action International formerly known as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, has a twenty-five year history partnering with activists to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports that expose discrimination and violence in both the public and private spheres globally. This December OutRight is sponsoring its 3rd annual UN Advocacy Week. During this time hundreds of international LGBTIQ activists come to New York for advocacy meetings with member states and agencies at the United Nations, including some governments that may not be receptive to human rights for LGBTIQ people at home. The week culminates on December 10th with OutSummit a one-day conference bringing together international and US-based activists for a day of panels and workshops on human rights relating to sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex issues that takes place at the City University of New York School of Law. They have created a special OUTTAKE VOICES discount code for our listeners. Just enter OutTakes into the promo code box and you can purchase a ticket for only $25 dollars as opposed to the normal price of $70.
For More Info: outsummit.org

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Dr. Lauren Costine Election Healing Advise

> November 21st, 2016 ---

Dr. Lauren Costine a leading clinical psychologist, author, educator and activist whose practice focuses on LGBT affirmative psychotherapy talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about coping with the aftermath of the presidential election. Developed in the 1970’s, Lesbian and Gay-Affirmative Psychotherapy (Bisexuality and Transgender were added later) was created as homosexuality was removed from the DSM-II as a mental disorder in 1973. For the last ten years Dr. Costine has worked within the framework of an affirmative approach where she creates a safe, warm, and empathic environment that aims to heal the trauma of growing up LGBT in a heterosexist world. Studies show that growing up LGBT in a world that negates, devalues and demonizes our LGBT community is very traumatizing to the budding sense of self. In her practice, Lauren addresses and deconstructs any and all negative myths and messages about LGBT people that you were taught. Her passion is to debunk these damaging lies so that we can begin to feel an authentic sense of self-love, confidence, empowerment and joy. She has proven this form of psychotherapy works. Now with a pending Trump administration, we have experienced the traumatizing effects over the last week of the prospect of losing hard fought rights for women, people of color, our LGBT community and beyond. We talked to Dr. Lauren Costine about how we need to address our shock, disappointment, grief and anger as we more forward to continue our fight for full equality.

When asked what advise she can offer our community dealing with the aftermath of the election Dr. Costine stated, “Upon review of the most recent fight for the White House it is obvious that our patriarchal-oriented world is still out of balance, in part due to the split between masculine and feminine values in which the masculine is deemed untouchable while the feminine is demonized. When people in a place of unearned privilege, white, heterosexual, cisgender, demonize the feminine, consciously or unconsciously, hate and aggression, misogyny, racism, heterosexism, LGBTQ phobias, oppression and inequality flourish. Learning how to deal with painful feelings so they can morph into something beyond our initial understanding heals our wounds so that we can move onto the next right action. If you are grieving, give yourself the space to grieve. Grief is a process that runs its course if it is given the chance. If you are angry, stay with it without taking it out on others; it will shift and change into something else sooner than you think. If you are sad, don't run from it; it will also dissipate if you give it room to be. These mindfulness practices will heal those painful states so that you can then channel your energy in ways that feel good to you so that we can move onto the next right action.”

Dr. Lauren Costine received her MA in Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles in 2001 and her PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2007. Her focus is on addiction and codependence issues, co-occurring disorders, depth psychology, LGBT-affirmative psychotherapy, lesbian-centered psychotherapy, psychodynamic and family systems modalities. She works with both individuals and couples. Her office is located in Beverly Hills, California.
For More Info: drlaurencostine.com

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Cuba’s LGBT Revolution On HBO

> November 10th, 2016 ---

Director and fierce LGBT ally Jon Alpert talks about his new HBO documentary “Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution” with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ which follows the crusade of Mariela Castro, Raul Castro’s daughter and Fidel Castro’s niece, to establish LGBT equality in Cuba. This must-see documentary also examines the cultural and institutional homophobia that gay men faced throughout much of the Cuban Revolution when they were often put into work camps. Mariela Castro is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and a fierce activist for LGBT rights in Cuba. The documentary chronicles her travels across the country bringing her message of diversity to a new more progressive Cuba. The film introduces a variety of gay, lesbian and transgender Cubans who tell their moving stories in the weeks leading up to a celebratory Gala Against Homophobia and Transphobia. We talked to Jon about what inspired him to take on this crucial fight and what he hopes to accomplish with “Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution” as well as his spin on our LGBT issues.

In the USA LGBTQ teens are still four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers after facing bullying incidents. When asked what advise he has for these kids Alpert stated, “I’d like to point out that one of the reasons why Mariela Castro began her involvement in the LGBT rights movement in Cuba was because a number of her friends committed suicide. Their parents had basically told these kids that they’d rather have a dead son than a gay son and it was very personal to Mariela at that point and is one of the reasons why she undertook the campaign she’s working on. We see these difficulties every day here in New York City. We do a lot of work with high school kids. We have 200 high school kids in a program that teaches them filmmaking skills and helps them tell their stories. In many cases it’s kids that are dealing with difficulties in their own families, difficulties with acceptance in schools and community and when we put cameras in their hands and give them the power to tell their own stories it makes them stronger, makes them resilient, helps educate people, so we’re dealing every single day in New York City and we’re using filmmaking to empower people and make their lives better.”

Jon Alpert has produced and directed dozens of acclaimed documentaries winning 16 Emmy Awards. Over a hundred of his reports and documentaries from across the United States and around the world have been broadcast on HBO, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, ESPN, Canadian and Japanese networks. Alpert is the Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director of the Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), the oldest and most honored non-profit community media arts center in the country that’s located in a landmark Tribeca firehouse in New York City. “Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution” was directed and produced by Alpert with producer Saul Landau, associate producer Rosalino Ramos, Cuban producer and additional camera Roberto Chile, editor David Meneses and consulting producer Matthew O’Neill. For HBO senior producer Sara Bernstein and executive producer Sheila Nevins. “Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution” premiers on HBO on Monday November 28th at 9P.
For More Info: docnyc.net

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Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage

> November 2nd, 2016 ---

Attorney Elizabeth Schwartz talks about her best-selling new book “Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay and Otherwise” published by The New Press with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™. In this must-read book leading gay and lesbian rights attorney Elizabeth Schwartz spells out the range of practical considerations couples should address before tying the knot. She explores the fundamental rights marriage provides and those it does not. With cameos from some of the most prominent LGBT professionals, Schwartz explains all of the implications of marriage from name changes and getting a license to taxes, insurance, Social Security and more. There are also substantial chapters on estate planning, pre-and post-nuptial agreements and organizing finances making “Before I Do” relevant for all couples, young and older and a crucial handbook for anyone considering marriage because as this book maps out, just because you can get married does not mean you should. We talked to Elizabeth about her inspiration for writing “Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay and Otherwise” and her spin on our LGBT issues.

With the presidential election just days away, when asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Schwartz stated, “Right now I’m really focused on this election. I’m really focused on the ways which electing a Democratic president and taking back the Congress, the ways in which that is extremely important on so many levels for the LGBT community, for broader progressive values, for the communities with whom we stand in solidarity. There are so many important aspects to this election up and down the ballot, but certainly as an attorney and activist in the LGBT legal community, I’m extremely focused on our Supreme Court. The statistics show that the next president is likely to appoint up to three Supreme Court Justices just sort of based on the math. Certainly we know we have one vacancy and it’s likely that there will be another two in the next four or eight years. So I say to folks who aren’t sure, or who may not be in love with Hillary, or who think she’s got it on lock and are not worried, or they were Bernie people or they are just not so sure, I say to please just think about the Supreme Court because that is so incredibly important. So yes, four years or eight years are going to go by in a heartbeat but of course the Supreme Court, they’re appointed for life and that’s a long, long time.”

Elizabeth Schwartz has been practicing law since 1997 and is a nationally recognized advocate for the legal rights for our LGBT community. Elizabeth also serves as co-chair of the national board of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). She is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of NCLR and has served as pro bono counsel in several cases that helped overturn Florida's bigoted 1977 ban forbidding gays and lesbians from adopting children. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Miami in 1997. Elizabeth lives in Miami Florida with her wife writer Lydia Martin.
For More Info: elizabethschwartz.com
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“Ava - The Lucky Girl With Two Dads”

> October 25th, 2016 ---

Storyteller Sandro Isaack talks about his new Kickstarter animation project “Ava - The Lucky Girl With Two Dads”, the sequel to his book “Stork M.I.A.” that was published in 2010 with n this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™. The book tells the story of two dads who get tired of waiting for the stork to bring them a baby. Instead, they decide to find the stork taking them on an adventure around the world which results in gracing them with a beautiful little girl Ava. Now it’s six years later and we have Ava, this fun, smart, determined little girl deciding that she's going to be the first woman president of The United States of America or likely second or third, depending on how history writes itself in the next few weeks, but first she has to figure out how to become president of her second grade class. As innocent as this project appears it’s important for our LGBT community to support Sandro’s project because too many children of same gender couples as well as heterosexual couples are watching cartoons that do not reflect our evolved society. It’s time to introduce kids to a cartoon that features same gender couples and their kids as a regular part of life. We talked to Sandro about his inspiration for “Ava - The Lucky Girl With Two Dads” and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights and what he would you like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Isaack stated, “It’s the same I have for all civil rights. I want everyone to have opportunities in life and be treated with respect and I think it needs to start as early in life as childhood and that’s where I come in. Most children live a huge chunk of their lives in their imagination. That’s where I want to help by showing we all belong and we can be anything we want to be. That’s why I’m creating a cartoon that features same gender parents and their kids as a natural part of life, not as something special or different and I also want kids to know and understand that they can be anything they want to be especially little girls. The possibilities are endless.

Definitely I would love to see things to be simpler for people to understand that two people that love each other and want to build a family together are a threat to no one; that people being who they are, are a much smaller danger than the violence just trying to control the lives of others and that people understand that The Bible is a book of tales, not a moral manual. It would also be great if separation between church and state became a real thing and not just an idea.”

 Sandro Isaack is a storyteller who started as an actor and can be currently seen in Amazon Studios' Golden Globe winner series, “Mozart in the Jungle” playing Pavel. He's also the author/illustrator of the children's book “Stork M.I.A.” published in 2010.Sandro’s Kickstarter campaign for his animation series “Ava - The Lucky Girl With Two Dads” will only be funded if at least $58,000 is pledged by Friday December 2nd 2016.
For More Info: kickstarter.com
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Singer Brandon Stansell EP “Slow Down”

> October 17th, 2016 ---

Country artist Brandon Stansell about his new EP and music video “Slow Down” with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™. Stansell brings a fresh face to the country music scene and there’s more that meets the eye with this crooner with Nashville roots breaking into the epicenter of his "California Country" sound. He is also navigating the path of an openly gay country artist. Though Brandon’s not the first to chart these waters, he is one of few people in the industry willing to lay everything out for the listener and the result is an honest, beautiful musical experience. “Slow Down” co-written with Mylen, was produced by Nashville-based producer, writer and guitarist Erik Halbig. Stansell met Erik a few years ago through mutual friend Ty Herndon who is also featured on the track. Director Trent Atkinson once again joined his team directing the “Slow Down” music video building on the cinematic scope after their first collaborative work “Dear John” which was released in early 2016. We talked to Brandon about his inspiration for “Slow Down” and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights and what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Stansell stated, “I think that really the first step for anyone is just being honest and being genuine to who you are. For me that is I write and sing country music so I think it is my responsibility to be genuinein the music I put out there and how I portray myself. I think it’s really important that you see me with someone that I would be with and that is a man. If it’s a song about heartbreak or breakup or anything that we country people like to write about the visual is genuine to the artist. I think that is the first step for anyone.

Well I think over the past few years we’ve made great strides thanks to people better than I and I am so thankful and grateful for that and benefit from those things. I think we still have a long way to go and I would love to figure out my part to help in that. One of the things that I think about is the fact that we still have states including my home state where people just like me can be fired from their jobs just for loving the people they love and I think that is grossly unfair and un-American and not right and something I would love to see changed. I came out as a 22 year old man and at the time was working at a job where I didn’t know how my boss felt about me being gay. They didn’t know and I really relied on my paycheck like most people do. I don’t think that anyone should have to go through fear of coming out to their boss for fear that they are going to lose their jobs. It is a horrible feeling and experience and something I personally had to go through and something I just want to shield others from ever having to experience. So I would love to see that pushed forward and make this something that people in the LGBT community don’t have to worry about anymore”

Brandon Stansell grew up in Tennessee about an hour away from Nashville. He spent five years living in Nashville before moving to New York and then eventually landing in Los Angeles California where he is based. “Slow Down” is available for purchase via iTunes. 
For More Info: brandonstansell.com
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New Gay Play “5 Guys Chillin”

> October 5th, 2016 ---

UK writer-director Peter Darney talks about his award winning play “5 Guys Chillin” with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ that opened September 27th for fourteen performances through October 9th at the SoHo Playhouse in NYC. Darney script was born from more than 50 hours of interviews with guys contacted through apps like Grindr about their experience with the toxic exploration of meth driven gay sex parties. From surgeons to students this is an original look into a drug-fuelled, hedonistic, highly secret world of Chem-Sex, Grindr and instant gratification. The resulting play comes with unexpected humorous perspectives as well as brutally hard-hitting moments. The play also tackles crucial issues like HIV status, STDs and the less glamorous side of this recreation activity that may seem foreign to some but for others this kind of party will be painfully familiar. “5 Guys Chillin” is winner of the Brighton Fringe Award for best LGBTQ theatre 2016, winner of the Doric Wilson Intercultural Dialogue Award at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival and winner of Boyz Scene Award for best London play. We talk to Peter about his inspiration for “5 Guys Chillin” and his spin on our LGBT issues.

Being from the United Kingdom when asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights and what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in his country Darney stated, “I’d say that my commitment is more to fighting discrimination of any kind. Through my art, through my theatre I shine a light on untold stories to make people think about things, to make people get out of their own box, get out of their own comfortable norm and think about other people. So I’d say it’s more about that than specifically targets towards LGBT civil rights for me although obviously I have worked on a lot of plays that are trying to push those rights forward but inequality in general and ignorance in general is what I try to fight.

(In the UK) I would like to see people able and this is starting already in some cases, people able to come out at a very early age. I would like to see people not have to go through school denying their sexuality. I would like there to be open dialogue and education within our school system and our community group so that young people do not have to grow up holding a secret that makes them feel bad and guilty and ashamed and different and don’t have to form a lie behind every relationship that they have through this secret as they grow up because I think ultimately that is what we need in order to be able to achieve a better or happier level of intimacy as adults.”

 Peter Darney was trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. His credits include: Signal Failure (Soho Playhouse-Off Broadway 6 week run). Kindness- BBC Radio 4 (Pick of the week- the Independent), Frank Sent Me (Soho Theatre/ The Underbelly/ Theatre 503), Githa (St James Theatre, W/E and York Theatre Royal), Pinocchio (Sutton Theatres), Tom’s Midnight Garden (Orchard Dean: open air production), 6 Degree’s (Soho Theatre: Main House, Edward II (The Rose Theatre), Mysterious Skin (Gilded Balloon, The Drill Hall, Teacher’s Club, Dublin), Arden of Faversham (The Rose Theatre) and Beautiful Thing (BAC). Peter is also a recipient of the prestigious BBC Carlton Hob’s Award.
For More Info & Tix…
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Out & Equal’s Workplace Summit 2016

> September 28th, 2016 ---

Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about Out & Equal’s Workplace Summit that takes place in Orlando, Florida from October 4th to 7th at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Out & Equal is the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to achieving LGBT workplace equality and works with Fortune 1,000 companies and government agencies around the world to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for LGBT employees. This three day global conference will feature hundreds of educational opportunities including workshops, expert panels, networking mixers and plenaries with keynotes from prominent LGBT and ally leaders. More than 3,500 LGBT employees, executives, CEOs, celebrities, politicians, advocates, activists and allies are scheduled to attend including Abby Wambach, former US Women’s Soccer Team Captain; Lance Bass, Pop-star / Dancer / Actor / Producer; The Pointer Sisters, Pop Group; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; George Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts; Diana Nyad. record-breaking athlete; Margot Slattery, President of Sodexo; Sarah Saldana, Director of US ICE and many more. We talked to Selisse about this fabulous event and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Berry stated, “Well absolutely we’re committed to passing the Equality Act. We are supporting the work that’s happening around legislation that supports our community and I’m very excited about having the first woman president of the US and feel like our options are clear for the future of LGBT equality, that Hillary Clinton has been a supporter of our community, will continue to support our community and so I am looking forward to her tenure as president and having the Equality Act passed because so much of our work has been going company by company because there’s no federal law to protect us. We still live in this interesting time in history where we can be married on Saturday and then in 22 states in the country we still can be fired on Monday for putting our wedding picture on our desk because there are no federal laws to protect us. So I’m looking forward to federal protections in the United States and also looking forward to continuing this work globally so everyone around the world can be out and equal.”

Selisse Berry founded Out & Equal Workplace Advocates 20 years ago in 1996. Since then Selisse has built the Global LGBT Workplace Equality movement by creating a network of multi-national companies and federal agencies to work toward LGBT education, empowerment and visibility. In the past 20 years her work has impacted more than 40 million people in over 50 countries and she has brought the promise of equality to Fortune 1,000 companies and US government agencies. Selisse has been awarded with honors from universities, corporations, media institutions and legislators around the world. Selisse is the editor of Out & Equal at Work and the namesake of the San Francisco Business Times Selisse Berry Legacy Leadership Award. In 2015 she opened Out & Equal’s first East Coast office in Washington DC where she lives with her wife Cynthia.
For More Info: outandequal.org
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“The Dressmaker” New Movie

> September 22nd, 2016 ---

Australian producer Sue Maslin talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about her new feature film “The Dressmaker” directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and stars Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Judy Davis and Caroline Goodall. “The Dressmaker” set in the 1950’s is about a glamorous worldly dressmaker who returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind the scandal that banished her as a young woman. This dark and quirky comedy stars Oscar winner Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage who cares for her eccentric mother played by Judy Davis and schemes with the local cross dressing sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who becomes something of a buffer between Tilly and the town’s people who haven’t forgotten the tragedy they believe Tilly caused as a child that tore the town apart and led to her exile. As she starts to unravel her scandalous past, she transforms the town’s women with her exquisite creations. Armed with only her sewing machine and haute couture style Tilly shows she is a force to be reckoned with and that revenge never goes out of style. “The Dressmaker” opens in theaters September 23rd. We talked to Sue about her inspiration for producing this film and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights and what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in her native country of Australia Maslin stated, “Well, I’m gay and I love seeing movies where you have kind of complex interesting female and male characters that are not just stereotypes. They’re that kind of movies that I like and the great thing about “The Dressmaker” is that it plays on a camp sensibility. So we have the gorgeous Hugo Weaving who plays Sergeant Farrat and he knows how to handle those fabrics and he does it with such humor as well. So I guess that sensibility of subversion comes from my perspective I guess of being a lesbian and engaging in popular culture. You like to put a twist in it when you get an opportunity.

 (In Australia) I would like to see everyone LGBT have the choice on how they want to live their lives and choices that they want to make to be actually legally recognized in our country. It’s insane that we’re one of the only English speaking western democracies that has not gone down the path of marriage equality and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. This is happening when it’s the vast majority of Australians are going Hey what’s the big issue here? Let’s get it happening but we have some politicians that are still so resistant to making those legislative changes. So we’re stuck in this weird strange limbo.”

Sue Maslin is one of Australia's leading screen producers. She has a 35-year track record of producing award-winning feature and documentary films. She was the inaugural recipient of the Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry and is currently Adjunct Professor of the School of Media & Communication, RMIT University; Patron of Women in Film and Television Victoria; and President of the Natalie Miller Fellowship, an organization dedicated to increasing women's participation in creative and business leadership of the Australian screen industry. “The Dressmaker” opens nationwide September 23rd.
For More Info….
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Bruce Vilanch Hosts Cabaret Benefit

> September 10th, 2016 ---

Bruce Vilanch talks about hosting One Night Only Benefit Cabaret for the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation on Monday Sept 12th at Marines’ Memorial Theater in San Francisco with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™. Philanthropy and stellar entertainment take center stage as REAF presents a special one-night-only benefit cabaret with the Broadway Touring Cast of “Beautiful”(The Carole King Musical) in “Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy” hosted by Bruce with Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy. Songs from “Beautiful” will not be performed. As we have been reporting, for over twenty years the Richmond / Ermet Aid Foundation has raised millions of dollars by producing Broadway quality entertainment events and galas to advance HIV treatments and support AIDS services until there is a cure. Recently REAF has expanded its fundraising focus to the Bay Area’s growing demand for two new areas by providing food for the needy and programs that support homeless, disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. We talked to Bruce about this fabulous organization and his spin on our LGBT issues.

With the upcoming presidential election just months away, when asked what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Vilanch stated, “Well a lot depends on what happens in this election clearly. I mean if the Nazis actually win and I call them Nazis because they would like us to be eliminated. Read the Republican Party Platform, the reptilian party, as I call it, platform, you’ll see that they would like us to just shrivel up and die. They would like to enable us in that effort and I think if they win then we’re going to see a period of regression and of people feeling their oats so they can attempt to beat us into the ground. If the democrats win and Hillary is in charge I think we’re going to see a continued path towards complete civil rights. That means no rollback on marriage equality, which is what the republicans would like. We’ll see it extended and obviously the most important thing about this election is the next president will choose a bunch of Supreme Court Justices who will issue to the ultimate ruling on all things that affect our lives. So I think at the moment we have the coin in our hands and as a nation we’re going to toss it in November and we’ll see what happens. So I’m hoping it comes down on the girl side.”

Bruce Vilanch is one of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry. He began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989 collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman and graduated to head writer in 2000. Since then Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right thanks to the feature-length documentary "Get Bruce” and his one-time stint as a regular on "Hollywood Squares" for which he also served as head writer. One Night Only Benefit Cabaret is produced by the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, founded by the late Barbara Richmond and Peggy Ermet in memory of their sons John Richmond and Doug Ermet who both lost their lives to AIDS. To date REAF has raised well over $3 million dollars for AIDS services and beginning in 2015 expanded to support hunger programs and programs for homeless and underserved youth.
For Info & Tix: reaf-sf.org
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