Tag: LBGT

Laverne Cox to Star in Fox’s Live TV Production of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”

laverne cox rocky horror
Laverne Cox (COURTESY OF MATT BARON/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Fox’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” has invited Laverne Cox to come up to its lab.

The “Orange is the New Black” actress has been cast as the sexually ambiguous flirtatious alien mad scientist Frank-N-Furter in the two-hour event special, said to be a re-imagination of the cult classic. The part is most famously played by a leather-corseted Tim Curry in the film version of the musical, which turned 40 this year.

Fox’s version was announced earlier this year, with “High School Musical’s” Kenny Ortega on board to direct, choreograph and executive produce. Gail Berman is producing the two-hour special through her Jackal Group with Fox 21 Television Studios. Lou Adler, who executive produced the movie, is also on board to executive produce. (Berman attempted to get a similar production on the air when she was president of Fox.)

The stage production “The Rocky Horror Show” first appeared in the ’70s in London’s West End, with Curry later starring in the Broadway version. A Broadway revival premiered in 2000 with a cast that included Tom Hewitt, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Alice Ripley. A 40th anniversary tour was staged this year at the London Playhouse and recently aired on BBC America.

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” will air in fall 2016 on Fox.

article by Whitney Frielander via Variety.com

Jamaica to Hold Nation’s First LGBT Pride Celebration in August

(Photo: autostraddle.com)
(Photo: autostraddle.com)

Jamaica is set to hold its first gay pride celebration next week. Security concerns prevent a parade, but organizers have planned a full week of events. This is monumental because Jamaica is a country that is known for extreme homophobia. According to the Human Rights Watch, Jam Rock’s LGBT population lives in constant fear, and anyone who listens to (and understands) dancehall may be familiar with anti-gay sentiment in a lot of the music where many artists make references to “burning the chi chi man,” etc. Marriage between men is is also illegal in the country, which is a holdover from British Colonial law.

However, the festivities will commence from August 1-8 in the nation’s capital city, Kingston. This is also concurrent with Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence celebration. Festivities will include a flash mob, an opening ceremony, an art exhibition, an open mic night, a flag raising ceremony, and a coming out symposium that will feature allies to the community, reports the Advocate.

“We will pause the negative vibrations from anti-gay lobby groups and focus on the strides we have made as a community. More importantly, we will recommit to initiatives that see us moving forward as one community,” said  Latoya Nugent, the associate director of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG).

J-Flag’s Facebook page will have a full list of events.

This is a huge deal for the Caribbean. At the moment, Curacao is one of the few (if not the only) island that has a full on Gay Pride Week.

article by Starr Rhett Rocque via hellobeautiful.com

Kerry Washington Accepts Vanguard Award at the #glaadawards (VIDEO)

Scandal star Kerry Washington accepted the Vanguard Award at Saturday’s 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at the iconic Beverly Hilton. Ellen DeGeneres, who was previously honored with GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented the honor. The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Chenoweth, Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, and Sharon Stone.

Check out the video of Washington below:

In an acceptance speech that had the audience on their feet, Washington said, “I don’t decide to play the characters I play as a political choice. Yet the characters I play often do become political statements. Because having your story told as a woman, as a person of color, as a lesbian, as a trans person, or as any member of any disenfranchised community, is sadly often still a radical idea. There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling, in inclusive representations. That is why the work of GLAAD is so important. We need more LGBT representation in the media. We need more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation. And by that, I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives. And this is big—we need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera.”

Washington continued, “We can’t say that we believe in each other’s fundamental humanity, and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other’s existence, and the truth of each others’ hearts. We must be allies and we must be allies in this business, because to be represented is to be humanized, and as long as anyone anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake, and we are all vulnerable. We must see each other, all of us. And we must see ourselves, all of us. And we have to continue to be bold and break new ground until that is just how it is, until we are no longer ‘firsts’ and ‘exceptions’ and ‘rare’ and ‘unique.’ In the real world, being an ‘other’ is the norm. In the real world, the only norm is uniqueness, and our media must reflect that. Thank you GLAAD, for fighting the good fight.”

Washington is best known for her role as Olivia Pope on the LGBT-inclusive hit show Scandal, executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. In addition to the ABC drama, Washington has appeared in other LGBT-inclusive projects like PeeplesShe Hate MeThe Dead Girl, and Life Is Hot In Cracktown. The actress is a longtime supporter of equality for LGBT people. She has participated in GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day, a campaign to end anti-LGBT bullying, and has advocated for marriage equality both at-home and abroad.

Ellen DeGeneres presented the Vanguard Award to Kerry WashingtonChanning Tatum presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to director Roland Emmerich. Comedian Tig Notaro hosted the event. Guests included: Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy); Patricia Arquette (CSI: Cyber); TV producer Shonda RhimesViola DavisJack FalaheeMatt McGorryAja Naomi KingPeter Nowalk (How to Get Away with Murder); Portia de Rossi(Scandal); Graham Moore (The Imitation Game); Pauley Perrette (NCIS); Jill SolowayAmy LandeckerJay DuplassAlexandra BillingsRhys Ernst, Kiersey Clemons, Michaela Watkins, Alison SudolClementine CreevyBrett Parasol (Transparent); Michael HarneySamira WileyNick SandowAlysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black); Andrew Rannells(Girls); Murray BartlettDaniel Franzese (Looking); Ron Perlman (Stonewall); Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black); Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane GraceMichael MosleyKevin DanielsKevin Bigley (Sirens); Peter PaigeBradley BredewegGavin MacIntoshHayden Byerly (The Fosters); Yara Martinez (Jane the Virgin); Serayah McNeill (Empire); Alex Newell (Glee); Gregg SulkinRita VolkMichael J. WillettCarter Covington (Faking It); Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles); Jessica St. ClairLennon Parham (Playing House); Wilson Cruz (Red Band Society); stylist Brad GoreskiGary Janetti (Vicious); Guy WilsonFreddie SmithChristopher Sean (Days of Our Lives); musician Our Lady J; model Nats GettyHannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen); DJs Sam SparroKim AnhDerek Monteiro;  GLAAD Board member Meghan McCain; GLAAD National Spokesperson Omar Sharif, Jr. and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

Visit glaad.org/mediaawards/press for a complete list of award recipients announced on Saturday night.

article by Mariah Yamamoto via glaad.org

THEATER REVIEW: “Bootycandy” Looks at Black Attitudes Toward Gays

“Bootycandy”: Robert O’Hara’s play stars, from left, Lance Coadie Williams, Phillip James Brannon and Benja Kay Thomas at Playwrights Horizons. (SARA KRULWICH / THE NEW YORK TIMES)

The reaction isn’t the concern and outrage we expect, to say the least.

“What was you doing?” his mother suspiciously demands.

Reading a book, comes the meek answer.

“You was just sitting up in a library reading a book, and some man got up and decided to try to follow you home?” she says scornfully.

His stepfather, vaguely hearing this conversation, barely looks up from his paper to mutter his own comment: “You need to take up some sports.”

The scene grows only more bracing and hilarious as the interrogation continues. When the boy, Sutter (Phillip James Brannon), who’s decked out in full Michael Jackson regalia, complete with one sequined glove, reminds his mother that this same man has approached him before, she and his stepfather continue to view his experience as proof of his own wayward behavior.

Why the hell is he reading the likes of Jackie Collins anyway? Why does he play so many Whitney Houston albums? The ultimate solution to this problem of men following him around, proposed by this dismissive mother: “This school year: no musicals.”

“Bootycandy,” which Mr. O’Hara has directed as well, kicks off the season at Playwrights Horizons in New York, where it opened on Wednesday night, with a big, bold bang, underscoring this theater’s reputation as one of the city’s more adventurous incubators of daring playwriting. As raw in its language and raucous in spirit as it is smart and provocative, the play depicts the life of a black gay man in a series of scenes that range widely in style. Many fly wildly into the realm of the absurd, while others are naturalistic pictures of Sutter’s life as he comes to terms with his sexuality and the damage his culture’s attitude toward it may have inflicted on his psyche.

Mr. Brannon plays the central character throughout. Convincing as boy, teenager and man, he modulates his performance with wonderful grace as the tone shifts from scene to scene. Four other terrific actors — Jessica Frances Dukes, Benja Kay Thomas, Lance Coadie Williams and Jesse Pennington — each play several roles, many outrageously comic.

Passages from Sutter’s life alternate with scenes that play upon similar themes. In one, a minister, embodied by Mr. Williams in roof-raising hyper-evangelical mode, admonishes his flock for paying heed to salacious rumors about “sexually perverted” members of the church choir, only to rip off his clerical robes and reveal something rather startling underneath.

Continue reading “THEATER REVIEW: “Bootycandy” Looks at Black Attitudes Toward Gays”

Transgender Actress Laverne Cox Makes Emmy History with Nomination

la-et-st-emmys-laverne-cox-trans-orange-is-the-001
“Orange Is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender person nominated for an Emmy. (Eric Leibowitz / Netflix)

“Orange Is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox knows her Emmy history. The self-described awards-show junkie even went online last night, checking out her Emmy chances on a predictions website, and went to bed thinking she didn’t have much of a chance of landing a nomination.

“I went to sleep and I let it go,” says Cox, a transgender actress who plays transgender inmate Sophia Burset on the Netflix show. “I said, ‘OK, God, I think the show’s going to be nominated. And that’s amazing.’ And I closed my eyes and let it go.”

Eight hours later, Cox woke up to discover she’d become the first openly transgender woman nominated for an Emmy award. Cox herself makes the distinction “openly trans,” as she says she knows of another transgender woman who won an Emmy years ago, but was not out. That minor qualification aside, she’s “over the moon, effervescent and every cliche that’s related to super-happy” about her “game-changing” Emmy nomination in the guest actress comedy category.

“Oh, my god, it’s going to take me awhile to get used to saying ‘Emmy-nominated actress,'” Cox said in a phone call from New York, where “Orange” is in production for its third season. “I only quit my restaurant job a year ago, so let me tell you, this is pretty good.”

Continue reading “Transgender Actress Laverne Cox Makes Emmy History with Nomination”

High School Crowns Transgender Student Blake Brockington Homecoming King

blake brockington

Blake Brockington, who was born a girl but identifies as a male, made history at his high school in North Carolina when he became the first transgender teen to be crowned homecoming king.  According to WCNC, Brockington was nominated by students at East Meck High School and there were 13 other students in the running.  In order to win the honor, Brockington had to participate in a fundraiser for Mothering Across Continents, an international non-profit working to build schools in South Sudan. Brockington raised $2,335.55 with the help from Time Out Youth, a local LGBT youth services agency.

From WCNC:

Brockington is no stranger to adversity.  He says he is living with foster parents because his father is unable to accept his gender identity.

His foster parent, Donald Smith, told NBC Charlotte Brockington has the perseverance to overcome the challenges he faces.  “He really is hoping that it helps those behind him going through the same challenges and struggles,” he said.

Teacher Bill Allen is the student advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance on campus.  He says East Meck is known as a school of diversity. He says Brockington’s achievement is the first step in representing what many of the students believe.

“Our young people understand we are all different. We have all races, genders and religious backgrounds. We have kids representing 30-40 languages in this school and people learn to accept each other as they are, and I think this is an example of what is going to be happening in North Carolina,” he said.

Brockington plans to attend University of North Carolina-Charlotte in the fall.

article by Yesha Callahan via clutchmagonline.com

First Lady Supports Robin Roberts Coming Out As Gay

Robin Roberts and Michelle Obama

LOS ANGELES — Michelle Obama (pictured) is leading an outpouring of support for Robin Roberts, after the “Good Morning America” news anchor gave her first public acknowledgement of her 10-year, same-sex relationship with massage therapist Amber Laign.

The First Lady wrote Monday on Twitter:

I am so happy for you and Amber! You continue to make us all proud.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Roberts thanked her “longtime girlfriend” for providing encouragement during Roberts’ battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood and bone marrow disease.  Many celebs also took to Twitter to send Roberts messages, including Ellen DeGeneres, who tweeted, “Good morning, America! Congratulations.”

Comedian Wanda Sykes wrote, “Go on with your bad self!”

Country singer Chely Wright, who came out in 2010, also expressed support through the social media site.

article via newsone.com

Morehouse College Launches LGBT Course

Members of the Morehouse College 2002 graduating class sing their school song during commencement ceremonies May 19, 2002 in Atlanta. About 500 men received their undergraduate degrees from the predominately black school. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

Members of the Morehouse College 2002 graduating class sing their school song during commencement ceremonies May 19, 2002 in Atlanta. About 500 men received their undergraduate degrees from the predominately black school. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

Continue reading “Morehouse College Launches LGBT Course”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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