March 26, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY MESFIN FEKADU
AP MUSIC WRITER
NEW YORK -- Laura Jane Grace, who came out as transgender two years ago, says she's able to sing in a new, liberated voice on her band's latest album because she's no longer hiding.
Grace, 33, came out as transgender in 2012. She was born Tom Gabel and has performed as the lead singer of the Florida-based punk rock band Against Me! since 1997.
"This isn't the first time on an Against Me! record that I've written songs dealing with those feelings, but it's the first time that I think I'm able to be interpreted correctly or being able to be taken from the correct perspective," Grace said in a recent interview. "So there was a lack of frustration going into this record that's a really good feeling."
The band's sixth album, "Transgender Dysphoria Blues," is a concept record about a transgender prostitute. The album marked a chart high for Against Me! when it reached No. 23 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in late January.
"It's pretty self-explanatory," Grace said of the album's title. "I'm a person who's going through gender transition and a lot of the record was written leading up to the decision to embrace that and to go public with that — in my private life and in my public life."
The band is on an international tour that wraps up June 19 in Vitoria, Spain. Band member Atom Willard said Grace's honesty made the group stronger.
"Being passionate about what you're doing and what you're singing about and what you're playing is paramount to making the music good in my mind," the drummer said. "So really to get to the best performance and best recording and the best songs ... we're very likeminded about it."
Grace, who is married and has a 4-year-old daughter, said deciding to transition wasn't easy.
"I've dealt with gender dysphoria as early as I could remember," Grace said. "The decision to fully transition was something that took a long time to come to for sure. And it was something that I struggled with for a long time, but I got there at the end."
March 26, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
You're invited to attend our networking fundraiser on Tuesday March 25th, at 5:30 PM. Enjoy samplings from the new menu at 13 Even, wine and cheeses from Naked Grape Wine and Tapas and truffles and creams from JP's Chocolate Shoppe.
The Stonewall National Museum & Archives partners with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce - GFLGLCC with a reception for GFLGLCC members and friends to preview the Stonewall Gallery space on Wilton Drive -- and to view its new exhibit, THE TIMES OF OUR LIVES, featuring LGBT people and issues on the cover of Time magazine since its debut in 1923.
The new gallery is intended to be the public exhibit space for the Stonewall Archives, which will present exhibits, programs and events in support of its mission to promote understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of LGBT people and their significant role in American society. The TIMES OF OUR LIVES exhibit will be at the Gallery from March 21- March 30 after which time it will transfer to the Stonewall Museum at 1300 East Sunrise Blvd. The gallery will open permanently to the public in June 2014.
Members: FREE Future Members: $10
March 25, 2014 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Since leaving Cuba at age 6, Miami playwright Juan C. Sanchez has lived almost his entire life in Little Havana. It’s what he knows and, naturally, his newest work is set on Southwest Eighth Street.
“I thought it would be kind of neat to see like 70 years of history or more sort of just unfold scene by scene,” says Sanchez, whose Paradise Motel premieres Friday at Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores. “That’s why I came up with the idea and said, wait a minute. What if we put them all into one place, a motel? What if that motel represents Miami? What if through that motel I can show the evolution of society?”
Sanchez, whose earlier plays Red Tide and Buck Fever were nominated for Carbonell theater awards, says he “went really big” in conceptualizing the seven “playlets” that comprise Paradise Motel, a fictional landmark on Calle Ocho.
“Society! Whoa! How the neighborhood has changed. I’ve been in Miami all my life. I remember as a kid going to this little barber shop on Flagler or Eighth Street. I can’t remember exactly. And I used to ride the little horsey outside ... for a quarter,” recalls Sanchez, now 45. “Then I remembered going there when I was 18 or 19, walking by the area and the vibe was really different. It was a little scarier. The people were a little more frightening to me. I didn't know if I was older and was more aware of it or if it was because the people had in fact changed. It got grittier and it got a little darker.”
Sanchez developed Paradise Motel as a member of the Mangrove Creative Collective (MC2). Miami Theater Center is producing the play as part of its SandBox Series, underwritten with a $100,000 Miami Knight Arts Challenge grant provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“The mission of the collective is to create theater, film and other projects inspired by Miami stories,” says Sanchez, who won his first playwriting competition in 1986 at Miami Jackson Senior High.
“That was my first play. I was a high school kid, 16, 17,” Sanchez says. “It was a competition administered by the Miami Police Department. It was a crime-prevention play. I had written this play about rape prevention. It was told through three different characters. I found out later from my drama teacher that it was actually a little bit like the movie Rashomon. You get different stories about one event from three different people who witnessed it or lived it: the young woman who had been raped, the brother and the boyfriend of the girl. The rapist was not in the script.”
After high school, Sanchez attended Florida State University and New World School of the Arts. He left without a degree.
“I got a scholarship as an actor to go to college. I was in the theater program as an acting major, which is not what I set out to do in the first place. I just didn’t feel that I was ready. What I should have been was in some sort of playwriting program. I just hadn’t found my niche and it wasn’t until much later that I discovered I could actually study playwriting,” says Sanchez, who is currently studying radio and television production at Miami Dade College.
Sanchez’s plays have been produced in Miami, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and New York. Paradise Motel takes place over a 60-year period and is among the playwright’s most personal.
Several playlets have gay themes. One is set in August 1992.
“It is the story of two men, one of them is — I wanted to stay with the idea of a closeted, down-low Latin thug, sort of figuring out that sort of attitude that is really pervasive in the Latin community,” says Sanchez, who is gay and single. “It’s the story of a guy trying to seduce another guy on the night of Hurricane Andrew. They met several hours before. They were both in a club, in a bar hanging out. One thing led to another. They’re sort of escaping and avoiding their homes right now. They can’t or don’t want to end up in their own houses, so they end up doing drugs in this motel room.”
Sanchez says that although times have changed the past two decades, “for many Latin men, there is still a stigma associated with homosexuality.”
“There is still some repression that is very strong,” he says. “That is exactly why I wanted that scene to be about drugs. That is usually when it comes out. When people are under the influence of alcohol, when they throw caution to the wind, they let their guard down and become who they really want to be.”
IF YOU GO
‘Paradise Motel’ will be performed 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through April 12 at Miami Theater Center’s SandBox, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores. Tickets $20. Call 305-751-9550 or www.mtcmiami.org.
March 25, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
Video and photos | LGBT activists in Fort Lauderdale fundraise for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, [email protected]
Broward LGBT activists held a fundraiser March 19 at the home of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis for Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.
"One of the most important things we can do is get a law on the books in Florida that recognizes the kind of things that President Obama is talking about. And that simply is why not have marriage equality throughout our country," Crist said.
"Certainly, we ought to have it in Florida and I believe that we win this election Nov. 4, we get some other progressives elected in the Florida House and Florida Senate, we’re going to have a great opportunity to get that done, and I look forward to the day we do."
Attendees included South Florida Gay News publisher Norm Kent; Florida Agenda publisher Bobby Blair; Ken Keechl, who's seeking to regain his Broward County Commission seat; former Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti; and Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Commissioner Levoyd L. Williams, a state House candidate.
Crist’s Democratic rival is former state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston, a longtime LGBT rights advocate.
March 20, 2014 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (1)
Our new documentary, The Day It Snowed In Miami, detailing the LGBT-rights movement in South Florida and the United States, will have an encore screening 8 p.m. Wednesday on WPBT2.
The film, produced and directed by Joe Cardona, is presented by Miami Herald Media Company and WPBT2. Soon, it will be available on DVD.
Cardona will be honored May 9 by SAVE at it’s annual Champions of Equality awards reception.
Other honorees: State Rep. David Richardson, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and the eight same-sex married couples suing to have their legal relationships recognized by the state of Florida.
March 19, 2014 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
March 19th @ 7:00 PM
This wacky black comedy documents the increasingly hysteria-filled three days leading up to the first birthday party for the adopted daughter of hunky television star, Steven, and his quick-witted screenwriter husband, David. When friends and members of David’s highly dysfunctional family – some of whom have never accepted his “gay lifestyle” – show up for the celebration, the stage is set for a raucous but emotional family breakdown and perhaps a road to acceptance. The cast includes Lee Meriwether as his foul mouthed grandmother, Queer as Folk’s Peter Paige, and Make Me a Supermodel’s Ronnie Kroell, and Jane Badler, whose performance at the birthday party has to be seen to be believed.
March 18, 2014 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
Hundreds of Equality Florida supporters visited the new Perez Art Museum for the LGBT group's 2014 Miami gala on Sunday.
This year's Voice for Equality honorees: actress Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey and Queer As Folk) and the six Miami-Dade and Broward couples suing to marry in Florida: Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello; Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price; Vanessa and Melanie Alenier; Todd and Jeff Delmay; Summer Greene and Pamela Faerber; and Don Price Johnston and Jorge Isaias Diaz. (Equality Florida Institute is also a plaintiff.)
Pecoraro, holding the microphone, said yes.
March 17, 2014 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, [email protected]
It’s selfishly satisfying to know that even America’s best-known weather anchor sometimes gets annoyed by a lousy winter storm.
“Asking again,” Sam Champion posted March 2 on Facebook, about to depart his weekend home in warm Miami Beach for chilly New York City. “Why am i leaving 80 for a snowstorm....sigh.”
Champion, longtime weather anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America, has moved to The Weather Channel, where Monday morning he debuts a three-hour live weather show called AMHQ (America’s Morning Headquarters).
“It’s a whole new project for The Weather Channel,” said Champion, who in November resigned from ABC after 25 years. “It is not just filling time and changing a sign and putting someone’s name on the door. It truly is re-imagining what morning television should be for The Weather Channel audience and for America. We think that the way the traditional morning shows stack their shows don’t necessarily meet the information needs of the audience.”
Champion, The Weather Channel’s new managing editor, said AMHQ will appeal to the Internet-savvy generation.
“We believe that the audience, by the time they’ve gotten to the television set, have already checked in on their text, their Twitter, their Facebook. They’ve got a running knowledge of what’s going on in the world. They want to be informed and they want things to be filled in, but the first thing they don’t have running knowledge of is what’s going on in their environment,” he says. “We’re targeting that person who’s in charge of the family team, who has to get everybody focused and out the door.”
Champion says AMHQ will be broadcast live in all time zones. “This is not a show that will be taped three hours in New York and played three hours in L.A.”
The first 15 minutes of every half-hour will be dedicated to the top weather story. This is a new concept for morning television, Champion says.
“The amount of time that I would get on a broadcast like Good Morning America would be generally 30 seconds, unless there was some kind of big weather story — then I might get a minute, 30, with another 30 seconds later. I might get a minute, 30 for the big weather story and 30 seconds for the country’s weather.”
Champion got lots of publicity in late 2012 when he and Brazilian-born Miami artist Rubem Robierb married in New York. They had a New Year’s Eve reception in South Beach.
“I didn’t want to make an issue out of my personal life before I fell in love. And America, quite frankly, wasn’t involved in knowing the background of the people who delivered information before, either,” Champion says. “I take issue with the fact that I came out when we got married. I was out since I was 30 years old and I’m 52 now. I have a very open life. People in New York knew. I just never gave an interview about it.”
Champion and Robierb have moved their weekday residence from New York to Atlanta.
“South Florida will always be my primary residence — in my mind,” Champion says. “But my job is in Atlanta and the Weather Channel is in Atlanta, so five days a week we live in Atlanta. I love the city. It’s an amazing city. I’ve managed to get there at just the right time.”
As he’s done for two decades, Champion plans to spend most weekends in Miami Beach.
“South Florida is my total weekend,” Champion says. “I look forward to it. For me it’s beach time. I have to put my feet on the sand and I have to get in the water every weekend. It’s kind of how I get re-centered and re-energized. I’m very much a water guy. I can be in it, on top of it, underneath it. I just have to be around it.”
In and around Miami Beach, Champion and Robierb enjoy shopping and dining out.
“We’re likely to be in Yardbird, we’re likely to be in Ice Box, we’re likely to be at Pubbelly Sushi. If we want a fancy night, a night out, we’re likely to be at the SLS at Katsuya, which is a favorite of ours,” he says. “I love the new Design District, going to great shopping. For the past two weekends, I’ve spent a lot of time there.”
That’s because bad traffic frustrates Champion even more than bad weather.
“I used to make the drive up to Bal Harbour,” he says. “Can you fix the traffic for me because this construction on Alton Road is going to drive me crazy. Now everything is completely jammed up and I don’t drive as much to shop as I used to. I spend more time shopping in the smaller boutiques on the Beach.”
March 14, 2014 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew in 1979: 'I would not have a known homosexual on my staff' (updated)
Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew died early Thursday at age 85.
Askew, according to his obit in the Miami Herald, was a "fiercely determined advocate" for racial equality.
He was no friend to the gay community.
As documented in the new Miami Herald/WPBT2 film by Joe Cardona, The Day It Snowed In Miami, Askew firmly stood by friend Anita Bryant and supported repeal of Miami-Dade County's gay-rights ordinance.
Said Askew in 1977:
"If I were living in Dade County, I would have no hesitation in voting to repeal the ordinance. I do not want a known homosexual teaching my child and I think that a person ought to have the right to determine whether or not they want someone with that known lifestyle living on their premises."
Two years later, during his confirmation hearing to be U.S. Trade Representative under President Jimmy Carter, Askew testified in the Senate that he would not knowingly hire a gay person.
From a 2009 opinion article written for the Miami Herald by former U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood, who took part in Askew's confirmation hearing:
For the first time in congressional history, perhaps, we embarked on new ground on civil rights. I asked Askew whether he had said these words, ``I would not have a homosexual on my staff.''
The official hearing record makes it clear:
Askew: ``Yes sir, I did. I said a known homosexual, and I would not.''
I asked if that was his present position, and he confirmed it was true. His position was well known because of his support for Anita Bryant's efforts in Dade County to deny ``homosexuals'' employment rights and specifically, the ability to teach in schools in 1977.
I followed up again and asked if it was his position to ``not have a homosexual'' on his staff. He responded, ``I would not have a known homosexual on my staff, simply, senator, by virtue of the tremendous problems it presents in dealing with public constituencies.''
I asked, ``If I understand your answer to the extent that you can, within the bounds of the law, you intend to follow the policy as Special Trade Representative of not hiring known homosexuals?''
Askew: ``Let us put it this way, senator, that I would follow whatever the personnel policy of the federal government is, but in the selections I have made thus far -- and I have very little flexibility in hiring -- I have not, and would not.''
A few years later, gay Miami attorney Dan Bradley told The New York Times, that after coming out to his friend Askew, the former Florida governor repudiated his position against hiring an openly gay staff member.
From a 1983 New York Times story, 'Democrats seek homosexuals' votes':
At the Democratic mid-term convention in Philadelphia last year, Mr. Askew asked for a meeting with Mr. Bradley to discuss the issue. ''I told him how much I respected his decency and character and he told me, 'Dan, you know I wouldn't do anything to hurt you,' '' Mr. Bradley said in recalling their meeting, their first since the lawyer publicly disclosed his homosexuality. ''At the end, we both had tears in our eyes.''
Mr. Bradley said he had met with Mr. Askew since then, and that while he had not been converted, the candidate now understood that homosexuality is not a matter of personal choice. ''He has told me he opposes discrimination against anyone if it is based on reasons over which the person has no control,'' Mr. Bradley said.
Bradley, 47, died of AIDS in Coral Gables in 1988.
This report was updated March 14, 2014.