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MIAMI, Dec. 28 — Tickets for the 14th Annual Winter Party Festival™, which will be held in Miami Beach, Florida, from February 28 through March 5, 2007, are now on sale at www.winterparty.com.
Multi-event passes, which offer substantial savings over individual ticket prices, are being sold at early bird discount rates through January 15.
The six-day celebration, produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, features dance parties at some of the most popular nightclubs in South Beach and downtown Miami, as well as an expanding line-up of cultural events and programming for specific segments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The climax of the Festival is the Winter Party Beach Party, which will bring over 5,400 attendees to an outdoor dance on the sands of South Beach on Sunday, March 4. More than 10,000 people from across the country and around the globe are expected to attend at least one Winter Party Festival event.
In keeping with the 2007 theme “Beyond Borders”, the Task Force has assembled a line-up of DJs from six countries that reads like a "Who's Who" of international spin talent: Kate Monroe (Australia); Dudu Marquez (Brazil); Pagano (Italy); David S (Taiwan); Wayne G and Luke Johnston (UK); and Abel, Roland Belmares, Twisted Dee, Eddie Elias, Joe Gauthreaux, Manny Lehman, Tony Moran, Pride, Kimberly S and Michael Tank (USA).
The DoubleTree Surfcomber at 1717 Collins Avenue will once again serve as the Festival’s host hotel and the site of the Under One Sun Pool Party on Saturday, March 3. The hotel is offering discounted rates for Festival guests who reserve their rooms prior to January 29. Surfcomber guests receive two complimentary tickets per room to the Pool Party.
Two-thirds of the net proceeds from Winter Party Festival™ will be distributed to the Miami-Dade LGBT community through a granting program administered by the Dade Community Foundation. The remaining one-third of the proceeds will benefit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Since assuming responsibility for both events, the Task Force has donated more than $312,000 from Winter Party Festival™ and the Miami Recognition Dinner to the local community.
A survey of lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers found that 70 percent said most people
they knew were aware of their sexual orientation, but only 35 percent reported that their
doctor knew, according to a new study by the RAND Corporation and UCLA.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the Society for
Adolescent Medicine all recommend that physicians discuss sexuality with all adolescents
and provide nonjudgmental communication about sexual orientation. This is important
because if a physician is aware of an adolescent patient’s sexual orientation, the doctor
can offer appropriate health education and counseling, identify individual risk, and
perform targeted screening tests and treatment.
Dr. Garth D. Meckler, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of emergency
medicine and pediatrics with the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore.,
said the survey results surprised researchers because the subjects were interviewed at an
empowerment conference for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth.
"We knew that the sample that we chose was going to be a very ‘out’ sample," Meckler
said. "We figured they would have a higher disclosure rate than most youth, and yet,
despite being out to almost everyone in their lives, only 35 percent had told their doctor
about their sexual orientation."
Dr. Mark A. Schuster, senior author of the study and director of health promotion and
disease prevention at RAND Health, added: "This is a reminder to physicians who take care
of teens to try to create a comfortable, safe environment for young people to be open
about their orientation, as well as other aspects of their sexuality." Schuster is also a
professor of pediatrics and public health at UCLA.
The study by RAND -- a nonprofit research organization -- and UCLA was published in the
December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Meckler worked on the
study while at the UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion, which Schuster also
Researchers surveyed 131 participants at the Models of Pride Youth Conference hosted by
a southern California campus in October 2003 for this study. Meckler said the researchers
knew the survey sample would not be representative of all lesbian, gay or bisexual youth,
because 70 percent said they were "out'' to everyone or nearly everyone in their lives,
and many had to travel to attend the conference.
"One advantage (of the sample) is that it gives us a best-case scenario for kids
having disclosed," Meckler said. "Another thing that’s different is that this is a
non-clinical sample: we weren’t recruiting (participants) at a STD clinic or a nightclub
or other places that would have had different biases."
Ninety percent of the teens had been to see a doctor in the past two years, and nearly
two-thirds had gone within the past 12 months. But despite the fact that 66 percent
thought it was very or somewhat important that their doctor know their sexual orientation
in order to provide the best health care possible, only 35 percent said their physician
knew their sexual orientation. Of those teens whose physician knew their sexual
orientation, only 21 percent said their doctor had raised the topic.
"One of the strongest predictors of whether or not the teens disclosed their sexual
orientation was whether the physician had discussed sex with them at all," Meckler said.
‘‘Very few physicians were regularly discussing sexuality, even though sex is one of the
major developmental challenges and health risks at that age."
Physician bias also may play a role, Meckler said. Doctors are human beings, too, and
‘‘even though we have become a more open society in general, I think there’s a lot of
stigma around non-heterosexual orientations."
Other reasons the teenagers gave for not disclosing their sexual orientation included:
the fact that their parents were in the exam room with them; fear that the doctor would
tell their parents their orientation; embarrassment; and fear that their doctor would
Schuster said doctors are supposed to let teens and their parents know up front that
part of the examination will include time when the teen can talk to the doctor without a
parent being in the room.
"We want them to have a private time when they can open up, and discuss sex, drugs,
violence, problems with their parents, anything," said Schuster, a pediatrician. "That’s
when they tell us, ‘I think I might be pregnant.’ A teen might say she has a headache to
get her mom to bring her in, but the real reason comes out when mom steps into the waiting
Sixty-four percent of the teens said physicians should "just ask me'' about their
sexual orientation, but Meckler and Schuster said this might not be the best tactic for
teens who are not open about their sexual orientation.
"Doctors can create a safe environment by not assuming the teen is heterosexual,"
Schuster said. "Rather than ask a boy if he’s dating any girls, we should be open to all
possibilities. That will send a message to a gay teen that this is a doctor who
understands sexual orientation. It will also send a message to all teens that this is a
doctor who will likely be comfortable talking about whatever the teen wants to discuss."
Putting lesbian, gay and bisexual literature in the waiting rooms and posting a sign
indicating that the office does not discriminate and is a safe place to discuss any and
all health concerns confidentially are other things doctors can do. Teens also reported
that they would be more likely to disclose their sexual orientation if they were assured
the doctor would not put it on their charts or tell their parents.
Further research also needs to be done to get a more up-to-date estimate of physician
bias, Meckler said, noting that the most recent studies were done at the beginning of the
AIDS epidemic, "when fear and prejudice may have been heightened." Researchers also need
to study whether or not physician knowledge of a patient’s sexual orientation leads to
better care overall.
Other authors of the study include Marc N. Elliott and David E. Kanouse, both with the
UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion; and Kristin P. Beals, with the
California State University, Fullerton’s Department of Psychology. Funding for the study
was provided by the National Research Scientist Award Training Grant, and grants from the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
RAND Health is the nation’s largest independent health policy research program, with a
broad research portfolio that focuses on health care quality, costs and delivery, among
Washington, D.C.---President Gerald R. Ford has joined the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC) as a member of the organization's Advisory Board , it was announced today by Charles Francis, chairman of the RUC.
"We are so proud to have President Ford join the RUC in our effort to expand the Republican Party by reaching out to gay and lesbian Americans, our friends, families and colleagues who believe in the great principles of the GOP. President Ford has spoken eloquently about the need for an inclusive policy that welcomes gays into the Republican family, and we are truly honored to have him join this important effort," Charles Francis said.
In a historic interview with Deb Price published by The Detroit News last year, President Ford said: "I have always believed in an inclusive policy in welcoming gays and others into the party".
For more, read The Advocate obituary at http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid40689.asp
Also, from Log Cabin Republicans:
Log Cabin Republicans Mourn the Death of President Gerald Ford
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans mourn the death of former President Gerald Ford and send condolences to Mrs. Ford and their entire family. "President Ford was a great man called to lead our country during one of its most difficult hours," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "He will be remembered for helping to heal a wounded nation and for acting as a force for tolerance and common sense American values."
In 2001, President Ford joined the advisory board of the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight alliance which was formed to advocate for gay and lesbian issues within the Republican Party. Ford’s decision to join that board marked the first time a past or current U.S. president had joined an organization advocating for gay equality. Read Log Cabin's full news release.
In the grand tradition of "Dreamgirls" and "Funny Girl," the long-running off-Broadway musical "Naked Boys Singing!" is coming to the big screen.
The bare posteriors of the 10-member cast are being preserved for posterity at Los Angeles' Hayworth Theater, where the gay-themed project is set to complete shooting this week.
Since opening at L.A.'s Celebration Theater in 1998 and moving to its current New York run the following year, the nudity-filled revue has played in more than 20 countries and toured theaters around the country -- and not without controversy. The Milwaukee Gay Arts Center production of the show, featuring such original songs as "I Beat My Meat," "Perky Little Porn Star" and "Nothin' but the Radio On," was closed by the local vice squad last year. Similar shutdowns occurred in 2004 in Atlanta and in 2003 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The screen version will feature a restaged version of the play, said producer Kirkland Tibbels, and new arrangements of the original songs.
Robert Schrock, director of the original production, is shooting the 16-song feature, with Troy Christian handling the digital video direction and choreography.
Original L.A. cast member Vincent Zamora is part of the ensemble cast, which also includes Andrew Blake Ames ("The Assassination of Richard Nixon"), Jason Currie ("The Bible: Search for the Truth"), James Hodges, Joseph Keane, Anthony Manough (Broadway's "Jesus Christ Superstar"), Joe Souza, Kevin Stea ("Madonna: Truth or Dare"), Phong Truong (London's "Jerry Springer: The Opera") and Salvatore Vassallo ("Gigli").
Tibbels said that after his Funny Boy Films producing partner Sterling Zinsmeyer introduced him to the project in 2004, it took a year and a half to lock down film rights, largely because of the dozen-plus writers who created the show.
The film will be accompanied by a behind-the-scenes documentary, which will be released as a separate DVD or as a bonus DVD feature.
GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - In the early 1990s, Christopher Bellis, wary of shocking people, introduced the men he was dating as his "friends."
Now, he and Eddie Bennett, who have been a couple since 1995, are considering replacing the word they usually use for each other - "partner" - with "spouse" or "husband."
New Jersey's new law creating civil unions, signed Thursday by Gov. Jon Corzine, gives same-sex couples many of the rights of marriage. Now, gay couples are weighing not what civil unions mean, but what to call them.
Some gay couples refer to entering into a civil union as getting "civilized" or "unionized."
To read more, click here.
A former Village Councilman's comments about the gay community set off controversy at the end of last week's Village Council meeting.
BY RODOLFO R. ROMAN, rroman@MiamiHerald.com
Some El Portal residents are outraged following Tuesday's Village Council meeting, when a former council member made remarks about the gay community they say are offensive.
Two council members walked off the dais, and one questioned why the mayor did not try to stop former councilman Lawrence D. Kennedy Jr. while he was speaking.
Kennedy, 70, did not run for reelection this year and has a reputation for making outrageous statements.
He spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting, when residents are allowed up to three minutes to address topics on the agenda.
After spending about a minute on other issues, Kennedy said, ``I have a pet peeve with two newspapers, I'm not going to call their names. I am here to tell them, this is not a gay community.''
To read more, click here.
From the New York Daily News:
Pope Benedict has denounced gay marriage and is said to favor banishing gay seminarians from the priesthood. But none of that has stopped gay Italians from speculating that His Holiness is one of them.
On the day Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was voted Pope, Rome's popular gay TV host Fabio Canino opened his show with a shot of pink smoke wafting from a chimney at the Vatican.
Canino points to the pontiff's fondness for shopping and red Prada shoes as evidence that Benedict is a kindred spirit.
Catholic League president William Donohue finds the suggestion absurd.
"So the Pope is gay because he got his shoes at Prada and likes to shop," Donohue tells us. "Yup, that seals it. But does this mean that if we find out that Rosie [O'Donnell] gets her shoes at Buster Brown and loathes shopping, that she's really a closet breeder?"
Canino also asserts on Out.com, "Everybody knows he is gay, and his boyfriend is his private secretary, [Monsignor Georg Gänswein]."
Gänswein is a handsome, blond, 50-year-old amateur pilot, tennis player and former ski instructor. The Italian Web site Gay.it calls Gänswein "the new sex symbol of the Vatican City … It's no surprise that [Ratzinger] has decided to bring with him this young and fascinating collaborator."