By CHRIS WILLIAMS, Associated Press
Sarah Lindstrom and Desiree Shelton wore matching black suits with pink ties and held hands as they entered the Snow Days Pep Fest at Champlin Park High School in Minneapolis' northwest suburbs.
The reaction came as a relief to the couple and school administrators. The district has been stung by criticism of its policies toward homosexuality and the alleged bullying of a gay student who killed himself.
"It felt amazing," said Shelton, adding that she was too nervous to notice dozens rise to give her a standing ovation as she walked in with Lindstrom. "I think we were too focused on getting to the stage."
If there were any boos, they were drowned about by supporters. "I feel so much better," Lindstrom said while surrounded by friends after the rally.
Sarah's mother, Shannon Lindstrom, camera in hand, joined the other mothers of children in the royalty court after the rally.
"They had a lot of courage," she said Shelton and her daughter. "Look how far we've come."
Students voted onto the royalty court traditionally enter the assembly in boy-girl pairs. After Lindstrom and Shelton, both 18, were elected, school officials last week announced a change in procedure: court members would walk in individually or accompanied by a parent or favorite teacher.
School officials said they merely wanted to prevent the two from being teased. But on Friday, two human rights groups sued on their behalf.
On Saturday, in federally mediated talks, school officials relented. The two sides agreed that members of the royalty court would be escorted by anyone meaningful to them, regardless of gender or age.
"This is a new chapter for the district," said Sam Wolfe, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which filed the lawsuit along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and local assistance from the Minneapolis law firm of Faegre and Benson.
Young women in evening gowns and young men in dark suits walked through a makeshift arch and to the stage during the Monday afternoon pep rally complete with cheerleaders, dance teams and the school band. So did two young women in suits, and the crowd cheered for each one.
"They did great," said Principal Mike George. "I'm proud of our students."
Several of the students in the crowd didn't understand what all the fuss over the lesbian couple.
"Some people are against it, but they don't care if they walk down a stupid runway," said Maggie Hesaliman, 14.
Melissa Biellefe, 16, said, "We're a pretty respectful school. Our rule is just let people be who they are."
Champlin Park is part of the Anoka-Hennepin school district, Minnesota's largest, which has been in the spotlight in the past year for its handling of issues involving gay and lesbian students.
It has been in the crossfire for its policy of "neutrality" in classroom discussions of homosexuality. It was reached in 2009 as a way to balance the demands of liberal and conservative families, but neither side has been completely happy with it.
The issues flared again last year after a gay student, Justin Aaberg, killed himself. His mother has said she heard too late from Justin's friends that he had been harassed.
Aaberg was one of six students who committed suicide in the district since the beginning of the 2009-10 school year, and advocacy groups have linked some of the other deaths to the bullying of gay students.
However, the district said last month its own investigation did not find evidence that bullying contributed to the students' deaths.
Frank Kameny's name is synonymous with the gay rights movement and his fame is second only to Harvey Milk. His papers are on display in the Smithsonian and he has been honored by President Obama as a "civil rights pioneer." Every day you and I live lives that are made better because of Frank Kameny. At very least, each of us can agree that we would gladly buy the man a drink.
While Mr. Kameny (85 years old) lives very simply at his modest home in Washington DC, he has struggled to make ends meet on his slim pension. Also, while his mind is sharp he has difficulty managing his finances. To be brief, one of our greatest heroes needs help. For the price of a nice cocktail ($10) you can toast Frank and thank him for all he has done for us. He has fought for us his entire life. It's our turn to repay the favor.
HOBS is an all-volunteer micro-charity that helps marginalized GLBT individuals in the Washington D.C. area meet short-term needs. HOBS's focus is on those who do not fit the criteria for help from other organizations or agencies.
A sizeable portion of our work involves discrimination cases, many involving torture and asylum.
HOBS began as a small group of donors seeking a personal dimension to their giving. Instead of donating to a large organization and hoping for the best, HOBS donors are notified of projects in detail and know exactly how their money is spent and who will benefit from their donations.
HOBS donors find satisfaction in helping specific individuals achieve independence, self-sufficiency, and a restoration of hope.
This is the typical HOBS process:
- HOBS is contacted by local service organizations who have LGBT clients with special needs that are not easily met by local social service infrastructure.
- HOBS cases are vetted to insure their legitimacy.
- HOBS seeks funding for the project from its donor list.
- HOBS distributes funding directly to the vendor which provides the goods/services needed by the HOBS client. Some funding is given directly to the HOBS client in certain circumstances.
News release from Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce:
Miami, FL (January 21, 2010) – For the second year in a row, gay and lesbian couples are invited to Commit 2 Love. The event will be held on Sunday, February 13, 2011 on Jungle Island. The Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is offering gay and lesbian couples the opportunity to honor and celebrate their relationships with a special ceremony and reception that will serve as a life-changing memory.
Guests will enjoy a variety of food stations highlighting some of the Treetop Ballroom’s signature creations, featuring carving stations, pasta selections and a delicious array of sushi. No celebration would be complete without the inclusion of a traditional wedding cake! After their first dance, couples will be invited to dance the night away with their friends and family in a beautiful setting.
Having affirmed their commitment to one another, each couple will receive a Certificate of Commitment to honor the occasion. Each commitment couple will also be entered to win a variety of gifts. This event was conceptualized to provide gay and lesbian couples a spectacular forum with a beautiful view of the Miami skyline, to profess their love and celebrate their union. All wishing to support this powerful and unique event are invited to join.
For additional information on how to be a part of this special day, you may also visit www.commit2love.com.
Video | Backstage in 2007 with fashion designer Charles Nolan; a conversation with partner Andrew Tobias and Barney Frank
Gay, transgender activists angered by 'Estro-Maxxx' sketch on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' (with video)
This Saturday, on an airing of Saturday Night Live, NBC (a subsidiary of Comcast) broadcast a dangerous and blatantly transphobic segment which they called ‘Estro-Maxxx’ - the punchline of which was the lives of countless transgender people across the country.
Fashion designer Charles Nolan, partner of finance writer Andrew Tobias of Miami Beach, died Sunday at age 53.
Tobias, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and longtime gay-right activist, told The New York Times that Nolan died of head and neck cancer. Click here to read The Times obituary.
By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL, AP Fashion Writer
Nolan, who also was noted for his political interest, had battled cancer several years ago, and it came back this past fall and moved aggressively, said Maggie Savage, the vintage buyer for the Charles Nolan store in Manhattan's Meatpacking neighborhood.
The store was open Sunday, said Savage, who added that its future was unclear but that she hoped it would continue.
Nolan took a hiatus from the fashion industry in 2003 and worked on former Democratic Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign.
"He was a wonderful, very matter-of-fact person," Dean told WWD. "For someone who had a tall record in the world of fashion, he was surprisingly unimpressed with his own success."
Nolan returned to the fashion world in 2004 with his own label. This time, however, the former designer for corporate fashion houses Anne Klein and Ellen Tracy scaled back and put his own spin on everything, down to the furniture in his store and his off-the-beaten-path runway shows. In one recent season, he featured Olympian Dara Torres on the catwalk; the year before that, dancers from the American Ballet Theater were his models.
A review of the spring 2008 collection on Style.com said Nolan seemed inspired by American sportswear pioneer Claire McCardell.
"The collection, accordingly, had an innocent, Kennedy-era Camelot mood," the review said. "It featured many sweet dresses and smart Jackie O. coats and ended with a very traditional bride."
Nolan graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and apprenticed under Bill Blass and Christian Dior before moving to Ellen Tracy. In 2001, Anne Klein hired him to revive its image as a hipper, more fashion-forward brand.
Nolan, a native New Yorker, was a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
His partner was Andrew Tobias, a financial writer and treasurer for the Democratic National Committee.
Video | Gen. James Amos to Marines: 'We will step out smartly to faithfully implement' repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'
Marine Corp. video:
DADT: Commandant and SMMC's Message to Marines
On December 3, 2010, General James Amos testified that if DADT was repealed, the Marine Corps would step out smartly to carry out the new policy. On January 28, 2011, the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps released this video to the Corps describing the way ahead.
Miami City Ballet to present Twyla Tharp's 'Nine Sinatra Songs' at Arsht, Broward, Kravis centers (with video)
News release from Miami City Ballet:
50 DANCERS! FOUR COMPANY PREMIERES!
LIVE OPUS ONE ORCHESTRA!
MIAMI CITY BALLET’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON CONTINUES WITH PROGRAM III FEATURING THE COMPANY PREMIERE OF PAUL TAYLOR’S PROMETHEAN FIRE JOINING THE STAGE WITH GEORGE BALANCHINE’S SCOTCH SYMPHONY AND TWYLA THARP’S NINE SINATRA SONGS.
- ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER, MIAMI ● FEBRUARY 11, 12 & 13
- KRAVIS CENTER, WEST PALM BEACH ● MARCH 4, 5, & 6
- BROWARD CENTER, FORT LAUDERDALE ● MARCH 11, 12 & 13
Miami, FL(Jan. 19, 2011) – MIAMI CITY BALLET continues its 25th Anniversary Season in South Florida with Program III and the Company Premiere of Paul Taylor’s powerful Promethean Fire. Program III also features these audience favorites: George Balanchine’s enthralling Scotch Symphony and Twyla Tharp’s popular Nine Sinatra Songs. The Opus One Orchestra will play, under the baton of maestro Gary Sheldon, 42 to 56 musicians strong, supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.
The Company Premiere of Paul Taylor’s Promethean Fire explores a spectrum of human emotions surrounding a catastrophic event set to Leopold Stokowski’s orchestral transcriptions of Bach. The work is considered by many to be Taylor’s response to 9/11. The Washington Post calls it “the best new dance in ages” and The New York Times hails “quite simply one of the best dance works choreographed by Mr. Taylor.” Miami City Ballet is the first company to be granted the rights to perform the piece, outside of Taylor’s company, making this a unique and rare opportunity for South Florida audiences.
Scotch Symphony, with its lovely allusions to Romantic ballet, has been enthralling audiences for more than 50 years. With its masterful deployment of Mendelssohn’s rousing symphony, the ballet, based on the novel “La Sylphide” by Sir Walter Scott, is set in the Scottish Highlands and tells the story of James, a restless young man who is entranced on his wedding day by a Sylph – a magical creature visible only to him. Period costumes are by the famed designer Karinska.
Nine Sinatra Songs is perhaps choreographer Twyla Tharp’s most popular work. It radiates glamour, excitement, passion and fun as she flings her dancers, dressed in costumes by famed fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, at the best of Frank Sinatra: from “My Way” to “Strangers in the Night” to “Softly, As I Leave You” to “Something Stupid.” One of Miami City Ballet’s biggest hits and audience favorites!
Audrey Love Charitable Foundation presents MIAMI CITY BALLET’S 25th Anniversary Season of dance. MIAMI CITY BALLET dedicates its 25th Anniversary Season to Founder Toby Lerner Ansin.
Performance Schedule and Information:
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami)
Friday, February 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 13 at 2 p.m.
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach)
Friday, March 4 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 at 1p.m.
Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Ft. Lauderdale)
Friday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 at 2 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices start at just $19 and are on sale Monday-Friday 10am-5pm at MCB’s Box Office, 2200 Liberty Avenue, Miami Beach (22nd St. one block west of Collins Ave.) or by phone at (305) 929-7010 or toll-free (877) 929-7010. Select your own seat online 24/7 at www.miamicityballet.org. Student Tickets are available in advance, subject to availability with ID, at MCB’s Box Office. Group Discounts (10 or more) are available by calling (305) 929-7001 or toll-free (877) 929-7001.
Tickets are also on sale at:
Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. (305) 949-6722 ● arshtcenter.org
Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave. (954) 462-0222 or toll-free (877) 311-7469 ● BrowardCenter.org
Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., (561) 832 7469 or toll-free (800) 572-8471 ● kravis.org
“Rush” Tickets (1/3 off ticket prices) are available at the theatre box office one and a half hours before performances, subject to availability in select locations.
For complete information regarding ticket prices and performances, visit www.miamicityballet.org or call (305) 929-7010 or toll-free (877) 929-7010.
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About Miami City Ballet
Critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Miami City Ballet (MCB) was founded in 1985 by Artistic Director Edward Villella. The Company has 50 dancers, and a repertoire of 88 ballets which they perform in the four home counties of Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Collier, and around the world. MCB maintains its headquarters in Miami Beach in a facility designed by renowned architectural firm Arquitectonica. The facility houses rehearsal studios and administrative offices as well as the Company’s school: Miami City Ballet School.
Visit us at www.miamicityballet.org . You can also “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
January 29, 2011 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Film, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Palm Beach County, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Travel, Weblogs, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)