Jurni Rayne Karaoke tonight at the Brick

This is a Jurni…into sound

For us non-singers, it’s daunting to partake in karaoke. A few drinks are necessary to take on Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” That’s where the host comes in, because they usually have the better voice. And in this case, Jurni Rayne has a phenomenal one. She hosts The Brick’s Tuesday night karaoke, but really, you just may want to hear her belt out a few ones.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 9 p.m. BrickDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

What’s Shakin’ – Election Day

1. It’s election day in Houston! The Mayor, Comptroller, City Council and three Houston Independent School Board Trustee seats are up for grabs. Decisions made today will affect policy-making decisions on LGBT issues for the next two years so visit HarrisVotes.org and find out where to go to cast your ballot. Polls open at 7 am on Tuesday and close at 7 pm sharp.

2. After you vote, join Out and Equal Houston for their Lunch and Learn series today at 11:15 am the Crowne Plaza Hotel (downtown). Susan Parker, Executive Recruiter and Diversity Consultant , will deliver a presentation how professionals can Brand themselves for success. Out and Equal Houston exists to encourage and assist Houston-area businesses to foster and maintain GLBT-inclusive work environments. More information on the Lunch and Learn series is available at www.outandequal.org/houston.

3. The New York Times reports that 48% of students in a recent study reported being harassed. Not surprisingly, the study found that, for boys, accusations of being Gay hit hardest.

“In the survey, students were asked to identify what had the worst effect on them. For boys, it was being called gay — ‘Everyone was saying I was gay, and I felt the need to have to run away and hide,’ a ninth-grader said. For girls, the leading problem was having someone make ‘unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures to or about you.’”

—  admin

What’s Shakin’ – Wings of Desire at MFAH, IRS to allow deductions for gender transition

Wings of Desire1. If you’re a fan of German films that are partially in French, the film oeuvre of Peter Faulk and sexy trapeze artists with existential angst then “Wings of Desire” is your kind of flick.  The 1987 Wim Wenders masterpiece tells the story of an Angel (Bruno Ganz) who, after watching humanity since the dawn of time, desires to become human so he can be with the woman he loves. “Wings of Desire” screens tonight at 7 pm at the Museum of Fine Art Houston (1001 Bissonnet).

2. Transgender Americans who undergo hormone therapy or receive gender realignment surgery may now be able to deduct the costs of those treatments on their taxes. According to GLAD, the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the IRS has issued an “action on decision” statement saying that the agency will acquiesce to an appeals court ruling allowing the deductions. GLAD cautions that medical deductions can still be audited and encourages anyone planning to deduct cost of transition medical expenses to rigorously document the medical necessity of treatments and consult with a tax professional when preparing return

3. Election day is tomorrow. If you’re one of the 58,345 people in Harris County who voted early, then good for you.  If not, you’ll want to visit HarrisVotes.org and find out where to go to cast your ballot.  Polls open at 7 am on Tuesday and close at 7 pm sharp.

—  admin

From screen to stage

Q Cinema veterans tackle live theater with the guerrilla-like QLive!

CURTAIN UP! | Producing partners Todd Camp and Kyle Trentham have theater backgrounds, but QLive! is a departure from the movie-focused work their organization, Q Cinema, has done for a dozen years.

MARK LOWRY  | Special Contributor
marklowry@theaterjones.com

………………..

QLIVE: NONE OF THE ABOVE
Trinity Bicycles patio,
207 S. Main St., Fort Worth.
Sept. 23–24 at 8 p.m.
$15, QCinema.org

…………………

Anyone who’s ever wanted to start a theater company will tell you that the biggest hurdle is finding the right space. It’s no different in DF-Dub, where the opportunities seem endless, but affordable spaces that can work for the demands of theater are limited.

QLive!, a new theater company based in Fort Worth, is finding ways to work around that. Its first full production, for instance, is None of the Above , a two-person drama by Jenny Lyn Bader. It opens Friday on the back patio of a bicycle shop just west of downtown Cowtown.

“One of the things we’ve talked about is the immersive experience, where it’s not just that you sit down and watch a show, but you experience a show,” says QLive’s Todd Camp, who founded Fort Worth’s LGBT film festival, Q Cinema. “The three shows that we have lend themselves quite well to that.”

Those three shows, which run this fall, begin with Above, which deals with a parochial school student and her teacher. In November, there’ll be Yasmina Reza’s oft-produced Art, which will hopefully happen in a gallery space (they’re still negotiating). It will close out the year with Terrence McNally’s controversial Corpus Christi, taking place in a machine shop near downtown Fort Worth.

QLive! has been a project three years in the making, and will be led by Camp’s Q Cinema cohort Kyle Trentham, as artistic director. The group has already launched a successful Tuesday night open mike comedy event at Percussions Lounge, and in February presented a staged reading of Frank Wedekind’s 1891 play Spring Awakening, the day before the musical based on that play opened at Bass Performance Hall. They also brought Hollywood comedy writer Bruce Vilanch in for a one-night performance.

Like other arts groups with a large LGBT following that present works of interest to that community — including Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale — Trentham says QLive doesn’t want the label of “gay theater” … despite the big “Q” in its name.

“Young [audiences] don’t think in those terms anymore,” he says. “They just want to see theater they like.”

With Corpus Christi, Trentham says that creating an immersive experience will be crucial to the production. “It’s a working machine shop,” he says. “You walk in and the actors are working, getting their hands dirty. Then in the cleansing scene, they actually are cleaned.”

Camp, who has led Q Cinema for 13 years, is no stranger to controversy. He was a critical player in the late ‘90s “Labor of Love” project at the now-defunct Fort Worth Theatre. That group presented shows like Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, and Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band. A few times, there were protesters in front of the performance space, Orchestra Hall.

Considering the dust-up Corpus Christi caused in Texas last year when a Tarelton State University junior had his student production of it canceled, Camp is prepared for blowback.

“You are not going to tell me what I can and cannot do in my town, even if you’re the lieutenant governor,” he says. “This is an important work by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who’s from Texas. … It’s an incredibly pro-spiritual show. It’s not anti-religion or blasphemous. It takes organized religion, which has been used to club the gay and lesbian community for many years, and retells the story that makes it a little more compatible and open to them.”

For now, they’ll have to see how their audience deals with a show outside a bike shop.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Applause: Broadgay at Winspear

Lexus series adds queer event to upcoming season of musicals

What’s gay about ‘Jersey Boys’? The GLBT Broadway subscriber series at the Winspear will tell you.

The Lexus Broadway Series offers a muscular lineup of shows that feature classic stories and contemporary rock ‘n’ roll. But they go one step further in the 2011-12 season with the stage equivalent of special edition DVDs, featuring enhanced performances and pre-show engagements for subscribers — including its gay patrons.

Dallas Voice Life+Style Editor Arnold Wayne Jones will host a conversation every second-week Tuesday about 45 minutes before each show. The series, called GLBT Broadway, will highlight the appeal for queer audiences for the shows in the series. The discussion will touch on issues of gender identity and sexuality in regards to the show and the teams behind them. Some — such as the season lead-off, Hair — might be easier to analyze from a gay perspective than, say, Jersey Boys, but that’s part of the fun of the series.

The season starts with Hair, which won the Tony in 2009 for best musical revival. Youth in 1960s America are all about peace, love and understanding — including nudity and homosexuality — in this iconic musical. Sept. 20–Oct. 2.

The epic Les Miserables follows with a new 25th anniversary production. Dec. 20–Jan. 1.

Best musical Tony winner In the Heights details the immigrant experience as characters find a new life in their new country. March 13–25.

Alt-rockers Green Day went Broadway with American Idiot, touted as a mashup of a rock concert and staged musical. May 8–20.

The season concludes with Jersey Boys and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Classic hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” tell the tale of this well-accomplished music group from the ‘50s. June 12–July 15.

Other subscriber series include Broadway University, hosted by SMU theater professor Kevin Hofeditz which will explore themes of the show and its place in theater history (every second Saturday matinee) and Broadway Uncorked (every second-week Wednesday), where an expert sommelier will host a wine tasting based on the show. We wonder what American Idiot’s wine will be.

— Rich Lopez

For more information on the Lexus Broadway Series and its enhanced performances, visit ATTPAC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

New Hospital Visitation Regulations for LGBT Families Go into Effect Tuesday

On Tuesday, federal regulations regarding patients’ hospital visitation rights will go into effect.  These new regulations require all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs – virtually every hospital in the country – to permit patients to designate visitors of their choosing and prohibit discrimination in visitation based on a number of factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Moved by the tragic story of an LGBT family – Janice Langbehn, Lisa Pond and their children – who were kept apart as Lisa lay dying in a Miami hospital, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum in April 2010 directing the Department of Health and Human Services to develop regulations protecting hospital visitation rights.

Visit our Hospital Visitation Guide for information about these regulations and the upcoming changes.

In addition to working with the Obama administration on the hospital visitation issue, our annual Healthcare Equality Index surveys healthcare policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and their families.  For more information about the HEI, as well as resources for hospitals and LGBT patients, visit to www.hrc.org/hei.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Olbermann To Return To MSNBC This Tuesday

Ko
Soon after after Keith Olbermann tweeted that he's alive and well, MSNBC announced late today that he will be back on the air in just a couple of days. The cable news network's president, Phil Griffin, feels as if the Countdown host has been punished enough:

"After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."

Do we have Rachel Maddow to thank for this?


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Olbermann Returns Tuesday

WORST TV KEITH OLBERMANN X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMKeith Olbermann will return as host of his popular MSNBC program on Tuesday, November 9.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of the Karpel Group, today’s swag booty is Cher: The Film Collection, a DVD box set of six of Cher’s most memorable movies. This release goes on sale in North America today and here’s what you get:

Good Times (1967)
In their one and only movie together, singing duo Sonny and Cher star in this happy, affectionate and lovably surreal film about – who else? –Sonny and Cher! An “impressive directorial debut” from Oscar® winner* William Friedkin, with a hilarious script by Tony Barrett.
Chastity (1969)
Cher makes an impressive debut as a reckless rebel who’s taking the fast lane on the road to nowhere! Written and produced by Sonny Bono, Chastity is a gritty, gutsy ride through a powerful, emotional landscape filled with love, adventure, tragedy and truth.
Silkwood
(1983)
Meryl Streep is stunning in this shocking true story about one woman’s struggle against a huge corporation. Nominated for five Academy Awards®, including Best Actress (Streep) and Best Supporting Actress (Cher), this daring, provocative and critically acclaimed drama just shouldn’t be missed!
Moonstruck
(1987)
Fall under the delightful spell of Moonstruck, the mesmerizing romantic comedy from director Norman Jewison (Fiddler on the Roof) and Oscar® winner* John Patrick Shanley. Cher, in her Oscar®-winning** performance, along with Nicolas Cage and Olympia Dukakis excel in this explosively funny tale.
Mermaids (1990)
Cher is magical and electric, Winona Ryder enchanting and funny and Christina Ricci adorable and engaging in this hilarious and heartwarming portrait of a 1960s single-parent family trying to adjust to each other’s growing independence.
Tea With Mussolini
(1999)
Florence, Italy, on the brink of WWII: it was a time of social unrest and, of course… afternoon tea. Join Cher and an incredible cast of leading ladies as they host this radiant, beautiful film that is worth savoring.

We have three Cher: The Film Collection box sets to give away. Enter to win by commenting on this post and please remember to leave your email address in the text of your comment. Entries close at midnight on Thursday, west coast time. Publicists: If you’d like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Tuesday Morning This & That: Open Thread

It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Emoticon: Autumn Sandeen, snarkily shifting her eyes right-to-left-to-right

Image: Bookworm Bob, the cartoon 'sockpuppet' of Autumn Sandeen'sSo, this is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob have been looking at since our last This & That post.

Los Angeles TimesAfter 121years, the Rose Parade changes its name, sells corporate sponsorship:

After 121 years, the Tournament of Roses Parade is changing it name.

As part of a new sponsorship deal with Honda, the 2011 parade officially will be known as the 122nd Rose Parade, Presented by Honda.

Parade officials stressed that there will be no major changes in the parade itself and noted that Honda had a long associate with the event.

“Welcoming Honda as Presenting Sponsor of the 2011 Rose Parade is an organic evolution of our long-standing partnership,” said Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Jeffrey L. Throop in a statement. “For five decades, we have worked side-by-side with Honda to develop the Rose Parade into what it is today, and we are proud Honda is such a significant member of the Tournament family…

Emoticon: Thumbs downAs a Southern Californian, let me give my personal thumbs down to this selling of corporate sponsorship.Emoticon: Angry Woman With Rolling Pin This parade is an iconic parade in California — for once, can we have an event without brazen corporate sponsorship? A big **booooo!** to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses organization for doing this.

Transgender Law Center‘s California Governor Vetoes Crucial LGBT Prisoner Safety Bill; Bill sought to expand protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender prisoners:

Sacramento: Last Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Prisoner Safety Act, AB 633, on the grounds that the bill was too similar to a prisoner safety bill he vetoed last year. Introduced by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the bill was designed to prevent violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender people in the state prison system. The bill received bipartisan support in both the State Senate and Assembly and is co-sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Thumbnail link: Transgender Law Center's Press Release, entitled 'California Governor Vetoes Crucial LGBT Prisoner Safety Bill'“The governor’s reluctance to codify vital protections for LGBT prisoners into state law is truly heart-breaking,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. “This bill was, in fact, different from the LGBT prisoner safety bill we sponsored last year in that it would have required the state to adopt national LGBT prisoner safety guidelines. The legislation would have been an important tool in preventing violence against LGBT prisoners and ensuring that they have access to the same safeguards under the law as other inmates. Despite this setback, we will work on administrative reform and will continue to partner with Assemblymember Ammiano to bring legislation next year when we have a new governor to ensure that similar legislation is passed and signed into law.”

According to a study by UC Irvine commissioned by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 69 percent of transgender inmates report sexual victimization while incarcerated.

“By vetoing AB 633, Governor Schwarzenegger has yet again neglected to help alleviate violence in California prisons,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “Transgender people are thirteen times more likely to be sexually assaulted in prison than non-transgender inmates. The National Prisoner Rape Elimination Commission Standards are well-researched, practical and promising.  It is shameful that implementation of these standards has been further delayed.”

AB 633 promotes safety for and prevents assaults against LGBT people in the prison system by amending the Sexual Abuse in Detention Elimination Act (SADEA) of 2005. The bill would have included information provided by inmates regarding their own safety concerns related to sexual orientation and gender identity on the list of factors for consideration when assessing whether inmates were at a heightened risk for assault. The list of current factors includes, age, type of offense and prior time served.

“I am extremely disappointed that the governor chose not to protect and empower one of the most vulnerable groups in the state’s penal system,” said Bamby Salcedo, President of the Trans-Latina/o Coalition. “As someone who has been through the California penal system, I experienced firsthand the injustices that transgender prisoners face. My life was constantly endangered, I was harassed by other inmates and I was even a victim of sexual assault. This bill would have gone a long way in preventing LGBT inmates from experiencing the abuse I faced.”  

In addition, the legislation would have: required the state to adopt a portion of the National Prisoner Rape Elimination Commission Standards, designed to safeguard LGBT inmates; required the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to not automatically segregate LGBT inmates, treatment considered to be punitive; and safeguarded LGBT inmates from having to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identify to prison officials. The bill would have also saved the state money due to decreased litigation and healthcare expenses.

The legislation originally developed following a Senate Public Safety Committee meeting that was chaired by Senator and former Majority Leader Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles). Held in San Francisco in December 2008 and sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center, Just Detention International, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender, Gender Variant & Intersex Justice Project, the meeting exposed the dire issues facing LGBT people in California prisons in order to produce concrete solutions.

To find out more information about EQCA’s legislation, visit http://www.eqca.org/legislation.

About TLC

The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC uses direct legal services, education, community organizing and advocacy to transform California into a state that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families. www.transgenderlawcenter.org

I know, from recently being arrested, how vulnerable transgender people are in government custody. Gov. Schwarzenegger should feel ashamed for his veto, but he probably doesn’t.

If this bill were the only reason to vote for the Democratic candidate for Governor, Attorney General Jerry Brown, then that would for me be reason enough.  

Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center‘s L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Responds to CDC Study; Revealing Alarming HIV Rate in Urban Gay Men:

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27, 2010– In recognition of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings issued the following statement:

Thumbnail link: Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center Media Release, Entitled 'L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Responds to CDC Study'“Today is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day meant to raise awareness among gay and bisexual men about the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis.

Of course, most of us are keenly aware of the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has had on our community. What many don’t realize, though, is the magnitude of the problem.

Gay and bisexual men account for 70% of new HIV infections in California and over 50% nationally. And a sobering report just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that, in 21 major U.S. cities, one out of every five gay and bisexual men was HIV positive–and nearly half of those did not know they were positive prior to taking part in the study. The data is even more alarming for African-American and young gay and bisexual men. While the infection rate has declined among all other risk groups, the rate among men in our community has continued to climb.

This new research further underlines the need for Pres. Barack Obama’s administration to adequately fund and effectively implement the National HIV/AIDS strategy, which the White House unveiled in July. We call on the president and Congress to truly make combating HIV a priority.”…

If HIV/AIDS is not a gay disease, then it is definitely a medical condition that notably impacts the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

San Francisco Chronicle‘s School robs teen of homecoming king title:

Oakleigh Reed received the most votes for homecoming king at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon, Mich.

The transgender teen, who friends call “Oak,” let the school community know he was running for homecoming king on Facebook.

The honors student quickly became the leading candidate.

But then last Monday the principal called the 17-year-old into her office.

“They told me that they took me off because they had to invalidate all of my votes because I’m enrolled at Mona Shores as a female,” Oakleigh told Wood TV.

Teachers use him, his, and he when referring to Oakleigh in class. The school has allowed him to wear a tuxedo when marching with the band at football games and he has been given permission to wear the male robe and cap at graduation.

But the district feels the homecoming race is different. Assistant Superintendent Todd Geerlings told Wood TV, “The ballots gave two choices — vote for a boy for king and a girl for queen.” …

Sadly, Oak can probably look at more discrimination in his future. In most of the United States, one’s gender identity and expression isn’t protected; transgender people in many states aren’t considered to be part of any protected class.

• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: The Augusta Chronicle‘s New toilet saves water, company says:

Ryan Barnes has plenty of faith in today’s low-flow toilets.

Image: Wiener World, a restaurant in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Link To Pam's House Blend Tag 'Wieners'To demonstrate, he piled 16 golf balls into a model known as the Cadet 3 Flowise and pushed the lever. Faster than you can say “fore,” they all disappeared.

…The goal of the tour is to show how an average four-person household can reduce annual water consumption by 48,326 gallons simply by upgrades to water-saving fixtures.

Toilets, in particular, have come a long way, due to redesigned traps and flush valves that compensate for less water. Field testers, he added, use material as varied as miso paste and hot dogs to evaluate flushability and performance.

“American Standard has invested a lot of time-and technology,” he said, noting that 75 percent of household water consumption is bathroom-related…

As always, “The weenie tempts you!” — even when being flushed down the toilet! Emoticon: Rolling on the floor laughing

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo! Emoticon: Dancing happy face character  
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright