“Ahead Of The Curve” New Lesbian Film

• June 7th, 2021

Filmmaker Jen Rainin and Curve magazine founder Franco Stevens talk about their new documentary “Ahead Of The Curve” with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™. The film was release on digital platforms and Wolfe Video DVD on June 1st. The award-winning documentary features Melissa Etheridge, Lea DeLaria, Jewelle Gomez and Franco Stevens. “Ahead Of The Curve” tells the story of how Franco launched Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published with a fist full of credit cards, a lucky run at the horse track and chutzpah for days. The film tracks the power of lesbian visibility and community from the early ‘90s to the present day through the story of Stevens founding of the magazine. Decades later in the wake of a disabling injury Franco learns that Curve will fold within the year and questions the relevance of the magazine in the face of accelerating threats to our LGBTQ+ community. To forge a path forward Franco reaches out to women working in today’s queer spaces to understand what queer women need today and how Curve can continue to serve the community. “Ahead of the Curve” is directed and produced by Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow on behalf of Frankly Speaking Films and executive produced by Lindsey Dryden. We talked to Jen Rainin and Franco Stevens about what they hope to accomplish with “Ahead Of The Curve” and their spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Franco Stevens is the founder of Curve magazine that created the lesbian market for advertisers, helped the lesbian community accept femme-identifying lesbians, changed the way lesbians are seen by the mainstream, highlighted the transgender experience, brought attention to lesbian families, raised awareness of attacks on LGBTQ rights and amplified the work of lesbian activists. Her wife Jen Rainin founded Frankly Speaking Films with Rivkah Beth Medow in 2020 focusing filmmaking on building community, deepening understanding of social justice issues and telling great stories. Currently Curve has launched The Curve Foundation whose mission is to empower lesbian, queer women, trans women and non-binary people to share our culture and our stories, connect with each other and raise visibility. "Ahead Of The Curve" is now showing in select theaters and on Starz, Apple, Amazon and everywhere you watch movies in time for Pride Month.

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Stephanie Battaglino New Trans Memoir

• May 24th, 2021

Stephanie Battaglino talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about her new memoir “Reflections From Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America” published by L’Oste Vineyard Press. After many years in the corporate world struggling to find her true self Battaglino went on to become New York Life’s first transgender officer. Her memoir delves into her journey to fulfillment both personally and professionally highlighting her efforts in fighting for gender equality and calling to attention the work that still needs to be accomplished. Stephanie now leads Diversity & Inclusion workshops, presentations and trainings sharing over 40 years of professional experience working with and within Fortune 100 companies. Retiring in 2019 from her position as Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance Company she is well versed in the ways of corporate America and has become a leader in the conversation surrounding workplace equality for transgender and non-binary people. Unfortunately the reality still remains that many of our LGBTQ community must make a choice between coming out in the workplace and assuring their job security. “Reflections From Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My Authentic Self in Corporate America” is part memoir and also part cautionary tale of what it is like to experience a career on both sides of the gender divide. Stephanie's honest and vulnerable storytelling paints a vivid picture of what the intersection of gender and gender identity looks like from a decidedly unique point of view. We talked to Stephanie about her inspiration for writing this book and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Stephanie Battaglino is a major voice in the LGBTQ workplace equality movement focusing specifically on transgender and non-binary individuals. She currently sits on the Board of PFLAG National and is the Chair of their Business Advisory Council. Actually Brian K. Bond PFLAG National Executive Director wrote the forward to “Reflections From Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My Authentic Self in Corporate America”. Battaglino has proudly served on the boards of the LGBT Community Center of New York and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF). She is also a past member of the Transgender Advisory Committee of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. Stephanie resides in Palm Desert, California with her wife Mari.

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New LGBTQ Book “No Way, They Were Gay?”

• May 13th, 2021

Author Lee Wind talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about his new book “No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves” a Queer History Project published by Zest/Lerner. In “No Way, They Were Gay?” Wind takes the reader on a fascinating journey through primary sources of poetry, memoir, news clippings and images of ancient artwork to explore the hidden and often surprising Queer lives and loves of two dozen historical figures. History has often left out so many stories of our LGBTQ community and people who lived outside gender boundaries. Historians have even censored the lives and loves of some of the world's most famous people from William Shakespeare and Pharaoh Hatshepsut to Cary Grant and Eleanor Roosevelt. Wind skillfully revisits famous figures in the USA and world history by delving into primary sources and reassesses what's made legible about people's sexual and gender identities when the present and past are allowed to collide. The book is divided into three categories: men who loved men, women who loved women and people who lived outside of gender binaries. Wind not only delivers a long overdue education for everyone that reads this book but also helps our LGBTQ youth by providing role models that are among the most revered of leaders. We talked to Lee about what he hopes to accomplish with “No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves” and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Lee Wind is the founding blogger and publisher of “I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read?” an award-winning website about books, culture and empowerment for LGBTQ youth and their allies. For over 11 years readers from 100-plus countries have racked up 2.6 million page views and counting. Lee’s debut novel “Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill” addressing the theory about Abraham Lincoln's close relationship with Joshua Fry Speed a Springfield, Illinois merchant who met Lincoln in 1837 one of Publishers Weekly’s top five independently published middle grade and young adult books of 2018. Currently Wind is Director of Marketing and Programming at the Independent Book Publishers Association and the official blogger for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Lee’s passion is writing stories to empower LGBTQ youth and their allies. Lee Wind lives in Los Angeles with his husband and their teenage daughter. “No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves” is available everywhere books are sold. 

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“Mapplethorpe, The Director’s Cut”

• April 19th, 2021

Filmmaker Ondi Timoner talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about the recently released “Mapplethorpe, The Director's Cut” featuring an all-new soundtrack, previously unseen footage and also addresses Robert Mapplethorpe’s important relationship with Patti Smith and his subsequent pivotal romance with powerhouse art collector Sam Wagstaff. The film stars Matt Smith in the title role, best known as Prince Philip in the Netflix series “The Crown.” The stellar cast includes Marianne Rendón as Patti Smith and John Benjamin Hickey as Sam Wagstaff. LGBTQ icon and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe was one of the most important and controversial artists of the 20th Century living his life boldly and authentically until his untimely death 1989 at age of 42 due to complications from HIV/AIDS. Mapplethorpe’s most controversial works documented and examined the gay male BDSM subculture of New York City in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His historic and provocative 1989 exhibition entitled “Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment” generated controversy and even sparked a Congressional debate when Senator Jesse Helms introduced legislation that attempted to stop the National Endowment for the Arts from funding artwork he considered “obscene.” Though Helms’ extreme measures did not pass, a compromise was reached in Congress placing restrictions on NEA funding procedures that’s still in effect today. “Mapplethorpe, The Director’s Cut” also includes restored scenes depicting Mapplethorpe’s childhood love of photography, his embattled relationship with his father and his lingering ambivalent connection to the Catholic faith. We talked to Ondi about her inspiration for creating “Mapplethorpe, The Director's Cut” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Ondi Timoner is one of the most outstanding talents in non-fiction filmmaking. She often takes on the stories of visionaries fighting against all odds with a gripping and unique mixed-media, narrative style. Ondi wrote, directed, produced and edited “Mapplethorpe” that won an Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Samuel Goldwyn in 2018. “Mapplethorpe, The Director’s Cut” is now available on Hulu, Amazon and various digital platforms. Currently she’s putting the finishing touches on a new screenplay “A Stroke of Genius” about the life and career of her late father Eli Timoner who in 1971 founded Air Florida an airline that saw remarkable rapid growth both at the time of its inception and afterwards before suffering a stroke and living the next forty years as a hemiplegic. Timoner is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the DGA, the PGA, the International Documentary Association, Film Fatales and Women in Film.

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Carole Pope & Church of Trees New Single

• April 1st, 2021

Award-winning Canadian rock icon Carole Pope talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about her new single “World’s a Bitch” a collaboration with Canadian electro synth pop trio Church of Trees consisting of band members Bernard Frazer, Tara Hope and Allison Stanton. The song and music video relay a stirring sonic snapshot of the angst felt and coping mechanisms tapped when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s desperate need for vaccine distribution. The song is mixed and mastered by Jordon Zadorozny whose credits include Blinker the Star, Courtney Love, Chris Cornell and Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. The pairing of Pope with Church of Trees came by way of former Spoons/Honeymoon Suite keyboardist Rob Preuss. While working directly but separately with each artist he had a light bulb moment & suggested Frazer write something that might suit Pope’s voice. With her hit “High School Confidential'' recently inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Carole Pope is the award-winning vocalist of Rough Trade and also known for leveraging her iconic status to openly table discussions around LGBTQ sexuality in her lyrics starting in the ‘70s. “World’s a Bitch” is one of several musical projects Pope is currently working on including “Attitude: The Art Rock Musical” a stage production based on the life of her late brother Howard a New York-based musician who passed away of AIDS in 1996. We talked to Carole about what she hopes to accomplish with “World’s a Bitch” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Carole Pope has won three Juno Awards (Canada’s version of the Grammy), a Genie (Canada’s Oscar) and multiple gold and platinum records to her credit. Pope is a certified rock legend fronting the infamous post-punk band Rough Trade in the 1980’s and is now a successful solo artist. Throughout her career she's been known as a musical agent provocateur writing and performing songs that make you "think and dance at the same time." Pope has performed at the Brooklyn Museum, Joe's Pub and the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival as well as LGBTQ Pride festivals around the world. Her music has been featured in movies and television shows including Transparent, The L Word and Queer as Folk. “World’s A Bitch” with Church of Trees is now available everywhere. 

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New Feature Film “Rain Beau’s End”

• March 22nd, 2021

Jennifer Cooney about her new feature film “Rain Beau's End” with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™. “Rain Beau's End” is an intimate drama set in the late 1990's depicting how a progressive lesbian couple's relationship is tested when their adopted son is mislabeled with a genetic predisposition for violence. The stellar cast includes Janelle Snow, Amanda Powell, Ed Asner, Sean Young, Christian Stolte, Melanie Chandra and Kirk Kelleykahn. The film tells the story of an evolving lesbian couple Hannah Driver and Jules Paradise who adopt a child named Beau who is subsequently diagnosed with 47, XYY - which was believed at that time to make boys more prone to aggressive behavior and years later was proved false. The couple rides the rough journey of Beau's apparent behavioral issues and how it not only affects his life and the small community they inhabit but markedly their relationship and their lives. As Beau gets older and research of his condition grows Hannah and Jules must face the reality of a self-fulfilling prophecy and the ghosts of their past. The film was directed by Tracy Wren and screenplay by Cooney from a story by Joe Orlandino. “Rain Beau's End” will have its global premiere online on Lesflicks Video on Demand platform Monday March 8th 2021 in celebration of International Women's Day. We talked to Jennifer about what she hopes to accomplish with “Rain Beau's End” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Jennifer Cooney received her education at the prestigious Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA where she received a Bachelor of the Arts Degree with a double major and two minors graduating with Honors. Post-graduation she received further accreditation by completing professional certification programs in screenwriting and photography. “Rain Beau's End” is her first feature film and she intends to produce and direct her original scripts all of which are in various stages of development through her production company HalfJack Generation. Aside from her passion for filmmaking and the arts she also owns and operates a small wellness center Wellness at Golden Pond in her home state of Pennsylvania where she lives with her wife and two dogs. 

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National LGBTQ Task Force Winter Party

• March 2nd, 2021

Kierra Johnson the new Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about their upcoming virtual events and what she would you like to see happen for our LGBTQ community in the Biden-Harris administration. To begin with The National LGBTQ Task Force has announced that the 2021 Winter Party Festival, their largest annual fundraising event will be held virtually from March 4th through March 6th, 2021. Funds raised from the Festival will support the Task Force’s “All of Me, All the Time” campaign to secure nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The Winter Party Festival will be hosted by Tina Burner a New York-based drag performer and comedian currently appearing on the 13th season of the hit VH1 series RuPaul’s Drag Race. The Festival will also feature a special appearance by Melbourne-based dance-pop diva Zoe Badwi debuting her new song “We Are” a collaboration with DJ Dan Slater who will open this year’s Main Event. Throughout the three-day festival Burner and other special guests will talk about the Task Force’s “All of Me, All the Time” campaign aimed at persuading people to contact their U.S. Senators and Representatives to pass the Equality Act. We talked to Kierra about what she hopes to accomplish at the National LGBTQ Task Force in her new role and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Kierra Johnson joined the Task Force in 2018 as Deputy Executive Director but was already engaged with the organization previously serving on the National LGBTQ Task Force’s board of directors and its National Action Council. As a bisexual Black woman, Johnson will become one of few out queer-identified women of color at the helm of a national LGBTQ organization. The National LGBTQ Task Force is building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today despite all the progress they’ve made to end discrimination millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement and basic human rights. By training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation and fundraising events like the National LGBTQ Task Force Winter Party Festival they are committed to deliver a world where you can be you.

For More Info & Tix: thetaskforce.org

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Out & Equal LGBTQ Workplace Advocates

• February 16th, 2021

Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about the world’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving LGBTQ workplace equality. Celebrating 25 years Out & Equal partners with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to provide executive leadership development, comprehensive training, consulting and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments. They work with executives, human resources professionals, employee resource groups and individuals to provide leadership and professional development, education and research to create workplaces free of discrimination. Out & Equal also hosts annual events and programs where employees and experts can share strategies and best practices to create workplace equality inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. Due to COVID-19 these events are being held virtually including their 2021 Executive Forum that will convene online April 13th to 15th for three days of interactive virtual learning and networking. The 3-day program features daily plenaries and networking opportunities. Attendees will have access to 9 sessions across three tracks: LGBTQ Leadership, DEI Best Practices and Intersectional Allyship. Their Workplace Summit, Brazil Forum, Southern States Forum, India Forum and China Forum will also be held virtually in 2021 with dates to be announced. We talked to Erin about what she hopes to accomplish at Out & Equal during the pro-equality Biden Harris Administration and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Erin Uritus has a Masters Degree in Organization Development (OD) from American University and two Masters certificates in Change Management and Performance Management from Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University. Erin has served on the board of directors for Out & Equal, co-found the Out & Equal DC Chapter Affiliate and served as Co-Chair for the Out & Equal Summit in 2007 before becoming Out & Equal’s CEO in 2018. Currently she lives in Washington DC with her two beautiful daughters Amira and Haneen. 

For More Info: outandequal.org

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Listen: Supreme Icon Mary Wilson Interview

• February 11th, 2021

I was very sad to hear that the legendary singer Mary Wilson had died. I talked to Mary in this exclusive audio interview when she was appearing at the Richmond Ermet Aid Foundation’s event “Help Is On The Way 24 Celebrating Music, Legends & Icons” in 2018. Wilson was a founding member & longest member of the legendary singing group The Supremes. Wilson remained with the group following the departures of other original members Florence Ballard in 1967 & Diana Ross in 1970 until the group disbanded in 1977. Since then she released three solo albums, five singles & two best-selling autobiographies, “Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme” & “Supreme Faith: Someday We'll Be Together”. Wilson also used her fame & flair to promote humanitarian efforts to end hunger, raise AIDS awareness & encourage world peace. When I asked what her personal commitment was to LGBTQ civil rights Wilson stated, “I have been involved in this fight against AIDS & HIV for years & now you know obviously it’s become something that we all are aware of. So a lot of my friends are in that community & so I want to be a part because they are my friends, my very dear friends. For me it wasn’t even a no brainer. I do it because it’s part of what I do for the people I love.” We also talked about the civil rights movement in this country & the heartbreak of LGBTQ teen suicide which as a mother & grandmother she addressed beautifully about the importance of strong family values in these difficult times. Rest In Peace Mary Wilson.

For More Info: reaf-sf.org

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Creating Change Conference January 28-31

• January 21st, 2021

Andy Garcia, Director of Creating Change at the National LGBTQ Task Force talks with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about their 33rd annual conference entitled “The Power Of You” that takes place virtually from January 28th through January 31st 2021. Every year the Creating Change team curates a diverse, timely and provocative set of workshops and this year will be no exception despite the challenges of having the conference online. From activism to faith to fundraising with some timely twists on popular workshops like “Sex in the Times of COVID” the Creating Change Conference will have programs of interest to diverse activists and cover a lot of ground in this unique time for LGBTQ+ communities. There will also be keynote speakers and celebrities. Dominique Jackson best known for her leading role of Elektra Abundance on the FX television series Pose will be this year’s opening keynote speaker and there will be several performances by Big Freedia. Closing Keynote Speaker will be activist author adrienne maree brown and Sandra Valls will host the event. This will be the third Creating Change Conference managed by Andy and the first held virtually that will include four plenary sessions, 16 day long institutes and 48 workshop and caucus sessions. The four day long event run by the National LGBTQ Task Force is a space for learning, connecting and growing as LGBTQ activists, leaders, allies and changemakers. With all the insanity going on in our country this is a fabulous opportunity to connect with our community and help move our LGBTQ civil rights forward. We talked to Garcia about what he hopes to accomplish with this year’s Creating Change Conference and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Andy Garcia has been the Director of Creating Change at the National LGBTQ Task Force since 2018. Andy is a seasoned activist with over 25 years of experience working for social justice and LGBTQ movements. Creating Change is the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy and activism conference with thousands expected to tune in globally to this unique virtual event. Creating Change is a place for our LGBTQ community to come together to learn and connect with each other and strives to ensure a welcoming space for queer and trans people. The National LGBTQ Task Force was founded in 1973 and works to advance full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. The Creating Change Conference is instrumental in their goal to train millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you.

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