BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Miami drag diva Elaine Lancaster is not just a pretty face.
Having recently launched a line of lip lacquer, Lancaster will be mistress of ceremonies Sunday at Miami Beach Gay Pride’s post-parade spectacular at 11 Street and Ocean Drive.
“It’s going to be a day of celebration and hopefully jubilation. We’re not asking for special rights, we're asking for equal rights,” Lancaster says. “People used to say, ‘Elaine, why do we need gay pride and a parade?’ Because people out there are trying to silence us, push us back in the closet and make us feel ashamed. It’s a constant battle. Gay people, the more visibility there is, the more people get to see us, the more acceptance there is.”
“Elaine is lovely and talented, just never on the same night,” says Bunny, a New York DJ who has long performed in South Beach, home of “the sexiest guys on the planet.”
“That really helps, not that I wouldn’t mix doing business with pleasure,” Bunny says.
Some drag queens these days are taking lots of heat, much from within the LGBT community. Many trans activists have recently protested drag star RuPaul for using the words “tranny” and “she-male” on the hit Logo TV show, RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“When did political correctness become thought police?” says Bunny, defending RuPaul’s right to use the words onstage. “It may offend you but put your big girl panties on and don’t patronize [the show].”
Act, an Australian-born star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is a bit more sensitive.
“If there's a section of my community that's offended by words, I have no issue not using it. What is taking a word out of my vocabulary going to affect my life? Instead of using tranny, just say trans. trans man, trans woman, trans person,” Act says. “It’s so easy.”
Act is the star act at Pride this year.
“I love gay pride festivals because the need for identity in the gay community has decreased over the years. We’ve become more accepted and it’s become more acceptable,” Act says. “Some people say, ‘Is there a need for gay pride parades anymore?’ They’ve expanded beyond the core gay and lesbian values. Bisexual and transgender. Queer. Now it’s a celebration of everything that's not hetero normative. A celebration of diversity.”
April 11, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Gloria Estefan, grand marshal of Sunday's Miami Beach Gay Pride parade and her husband Emilio on Thursday attended a VIP kick-off event at the W Hotel for the weekend's activities.
"The gay community’s been so supportive of our music from before it was even in the mainstream. They were out there in the clubs in full force, always representing and supporting," Estefan told the Miami Herald Thursday night..
"Secondly, I’m a Miami Beach resident and lover, I’ve been here forever and I think it’s a wonderful thing for the city," said Estefan, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights and marriage equality.
"I’m very happy to be celebrating the fact that I think we’re moving towards real equality," she said. "Of all the causes that have been, this has been really coming at breakneck speed, which makes me very happy for the gay community, the LGBT community. We’re all human beings. We deserve to share the same rights. Consenting adults should be able to make their lives the way they want legally, in every way."
Click here to view a gallery from Thursday's reception. Photos by Steve Rothaus / Miami Herald Staff.
April 11, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
News release from SunServe:
4th Annual Transgender Medical Symposium
April 10-11, 2014
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
The Embassy Suites Hotel
1100 SE 17th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
To provide state-of-the-art medical information to medical, mental health, and licensed allied health professionals in addressing culturally sensitive care and treatment for the transgender community.
Registration is required. To register, visit: www.FCAETC.org/events
(There is no fee to register.)
(Details will be posted at www.FCAETC.org/events when available.)
Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dentists, medical case managers, medical/nursing students, and support staff.
BY NICHOLAS RICCARDI
DENVER -- A three-judge panel appeared sharply divided as they questioned attorneys Thursday at a hearing over whether to uphold a lower court's ruling that struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage.
One of the judges, Carlos F. Lucero, compared the state's argument that the ban should to the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Dred Scott decision that denied citizenship and constitutional protections to blacks before the Civil War.
"To argue that public policy can trump a declared constitutional right would be a remarkable proposition," Lucero said.
But Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. suggested Utah does have the right to reaffirm what has been a centuries-long tradition of heterosexual marriage.
"You are just taking the position they are wrong on this. .... We'll just ignore what the people have decided and the Legislature has done," Kelly said. The swing vote in the case appears to be justice Jerome A. Holmes, who sharply challenged attorneys for both sides.
Hundreds filled Backstage at The Fillmore in Miami Beach Wednesday night as Unity Coalition, Miami-Dade County's Hispanic LGBT-rights group, held its annual Leaders, Legends & Lovelies Ball.
Above, artistic director David Chacón Perez; Pedro Pablo Peña, founder and artistic director of the International Ballet Festival of Miami; and Barbra Streisand/Kristin Chenoweth director Richard Jay-Alexander.
At right, Sebrina Maria Alfonso, founder and conductor of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra.
Click here to view a complete gallery from Wednesday's packed party. Photos by Steve Rothaus / Miami Herald Staff.
From Dr. Nan Van Den Bergh, clinical professor, School of Social Work at Florida International University:
The Rainbow Survivor's Network is being developed as research has shown that gay women may not find "mixed" cancer support systems to be ideally suited to their needs. This is because of: 1) discomfort in "coming out" to strangers at a time when one is vulnerable and 2) different concerns and needs than other women regarding body changes and the impact on one's spouse or partner.
We are holding our initial orientation 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 26, 2014 at SunServe Social Services in Wilton Manors.
Van Den Bergh notes: "This is a one to one mutual aid and peer support program connecting a current LBT cancer survivor with someone newly diagnosed. It is not a support group."
MUTUAL AID NETWORK FOR LBT CANCER SURVIVORS
Area Resource and Referral Organization for Women (ARROW Inc.) announces the initiation of South Florida’s first network for lesbian, bisexual and transgender cancer survivors. This one to one “buddy program” will match an LBT person surviving cancer with a newly diagnosed peer. Receiving encouragement and support from someone who has “been there” can be extremely valuable for anyone managing the many challenges associated with cancer treatment and recovery. This is not a support group, but a person to person mentorship program. LBT persons surviving ALL cancers are invited to be a part of this network.
For more information, please contact ARROW Inc. at: 305-892-0928 or 305-766-1220.
BY HOWARD ULMAN
AP SPORTS WRITER
AMHERST, Mass. -- Derrick Gordon had kept his secret for too long.
He couldn't be himself. He considered giving up the sport he loved. Because he was gay, he distanced himself from teammates.
"I was living life in shame," the UMass guard said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It took a toll on me."
Gordon became the first openly gay player in Division I men's basketball on Wednesday, making the announcement on ESPN and Outsports. Now he hopes to inspire others in similar situations.
"It's crazy that I'm the first," he told the AP. "I didn't know that it would be this long, but if I'm the first, then I'll start it off."
Previous announcements by NBA player Jason Collins and Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam made his decision easier. Gordon said he talked with Collins several times before making his announcement.
"There was a time that I didn't want to play basketball anymore and that's the worst feeling ever," he said. "Right now I'm happy. I'm free just to live my life."
Being screened 7 p.m. Thursday at Church of the Holy SpiritSong in Wilton Manors: Separation of Church & Hate.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Hate your drive to and from work? Most of us do, and a group of Miami-Dade County activists is brainstorming to turn the daily commute from drudgery to “delightful.”
“We went out and talked to people. We heard them saying, ‘We wish there were more transit options,’ but also a more fundamental thing: ‘I feel like I waste a lot of time in the car or I spend a lot of time getting where I want to go.’ It’s frustrating,” said Chris Sopher, an organizer of the grassroots group WhereBy.Us, which met in Wynwood Tuesday night to discuss transit options. “We ask the question how do we make that more delightful?”
WhereBy.Us, which is sponsored with a $18,500 grant from The Miami Foundation and Sopher’s employer, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has gathered data from the U.S. Census, IBM Global Commuter Pain Study and other sources. “Miami ranks third in the nation for commuter pain,” according to a WhereBy.Us graphic, noting that half the area’s population travels at least an hour a day getting to work and back.
“It’s frustrating,” said Sopher, 25. “You get to work angry because you fought traffic or the bus was late.”
WhereBy.Us is about a year old. Via social networking, dozens of people with similar interests (most from the urban core) quickly found each other, Sopher said.
Meeting eight times in 2013, members determined several immediate needs in Miami-Dade County: Better transit, “the difficulty of finding a community where you feel at home” and “wanting to explore and find hidden corners,” Sopher said. “There are a lot of interesting experiences in Miami to be had, but they are difficult to unearth.”
“Our goal is to provide a place where people can build the community projects they're excited about, not to do it for them,” he said.
Another Miami group, Urban Impact Lab, is partnering with WhereBy.Us in the traffic project.
“The larger point of all of this is that beyond a certain limited section, most Miami-Dade County residents really have very limited choices about mobility,” said Marta Viciedo of Urban Impact Lab. “We have to have as many cars as we have adult members of the household. That doesn’t feel like freedom to me. I want to be able to move around in different ways.”
Everyone’s affected by traffic and transportation, whether they drive themselves to work or take mass transit, Viciedo said.
“We actually have a fairly good transportation system right now, but the experience of it leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of our bus stops are very dirty, very exposed. There’s no sun covering. People riding transit don't feel respected. It isn’t classy,” said Viciedo, who describes herself as “completely trans dependent.”
“I don’t own a car,” she said. “I use public transportation and car sharing.”
Viciedo, 36, lives and works in downtown Miami, which, she said, is an easy commute.
“But I have meetings all over the county,” Viciedo added. “Sometimes I have to get pretty creative. The Metrorail is amazing. I gets me down to Kendall quicker than I can drive there, but anything a half mile off the Kendall station is problematic.”
Viciedo said that not only are residents interested in the program, “they are ready to take action.”
“They’re ready to do what they can and find creative solutions to our shared transportation experiences,” she said. “The budget is very small, but that brings out the highest level of creativity. When we can come together and brainstorm ideas, we can figure out to deliver something that has broader impact at a lower cost.”