Tuesday, May 16, 2017

More Than T: First Look at Trans Documentary by M·A·C Cosmetics

Commissioned by M·A·C Cosmetics and its philanthropic arm, the M·A·C AIDS Fund, a new documentary project featuring seven transgender people from diverse walks of life will premiere June 23rd at 7pm ET/PT exclusively on Showtime. The film depicts the daily lives of members of the trans community - their passions, hopes for the future and life’s work - set among the issues faced by the community at large.

Told through the lens of director, Silas Howard (Transparent, Sunset Stories, By Hook or By Crook), an active voice and revered member of the transgender community, More Than T tells the illuminating, diverse and empowering stories of the seven trans people it highlights from within the community.  

In celebration of Pride Month, More Than T will be made available June 1st on SHOWTIME streaming, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.  With this film, M·A·C Cosmetics and Showtime will cast a light on those honoring their truest selves, moving beyond just policy and social construct to capture the real people and humanity that connects us.

Leading up to the official Showtime premiere of More Than T, Refinery29 will rollout a series of five vignettes featuring a wide representation of leaders in the transgender community including subjects from the documentary. Titled Trans 102, the videos are told through a witty and educational lens, with each segment focusing on a variety of issues facing the community including healthcare, education, media representation, and bathroom access.

The film is the latest in a long line of M·A·C initiatives aimed at raising awareness of LGBTQ issues. “M·A·C has always been an activist brand, deeply dedicated to ending stigma, championing inclusion, and supporting the LGBTQ community,” said Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President of M·A·C  Cosmetics and Global Executive Director of the M·A·C  AIDS Fund. “M·A·C’s commitment to the transgender community is a reflection of the brand’s values -- from the artists in our stores to the customers that we are so proud to serve every day.”

To bring the project to fruition, M·A·C  enlisted the guidance of two key leaders in the trans community, Jen Richards who served as a Creative Consultant throughout the project and Silas Howard who directed both More than T and the Trans 102 features. “I was thrilled with M·A·C’s decision to work with a transgender director on this project. It’s an important and critical step to tell stories from someone who is a part of that world, and it reinforces their dedication to championing these voices,” said Silas Howard.

Biden to headline DNC’s annual LGBT gala in New York

Former Vice President Joe Biden will headline the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBT Gala in New York next month, the DNC says.

DNC Chair Tom Perez says the former vice president will receive the inaugural LGBT hero award for his advocacy on behalf of gays and lesbians at the June 21 dinner.

Travel: Chicago Pride

Turn up the heat at Chicago Pride with Neverland's Game Day, a sports-themed dance party. Grab your gym buddy and head to Metro to celebrate Pride on June 24th, starting at 11 PM.

Headlining this iconic themed dance party is internationally acclaimed DJ Paulo. Paulo's distinctive tribal and house mixes have gained him headlining gigs at all the major gay festivals and dance parties around the world. Joining him to open the evening will be DJ Alex Cabot, a rising star in the Chicago house music scene, who last spun for Neverland at its infamous Market Days "Harem" party.

Prepare yourself (and don't forget to warm up) for Neverland's extravagant installations and lighting that transform the club to a unique experience, bound to start some locker room stories!

Emma Stone Takes On Steve Carell In 'Battle of the Sexes'

Fox Searchlight has released the trailer and poster for Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time. The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposite sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.

Battle of the Sexes will be released in theaters on September 22, 2017.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Models Wanted for Visit Denver LGBT Task Force Photoshoot

The Visit Denver LGBT Task Force is working on updating their photo library with fresh LGBT+ photography and video for next year’s consumer marketing campaign materials and are in need of male and female LBGT models!

If you, or anyone in the community that you know, is interested in modeling for a photoshoot on May 24 or June 1 email Chad Chisholm at chad@creationize.com.

Union Theological Seminary to Hold Press Conference and Public Event on International Day Against Homophobia

On Wednesday, May 17th, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (Union) will convene a press conference in Washington D.C. in partnership with the Offices of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). Senator Coons and a diverse coalition of Evangelical and other faith leaders will join Union to denounce the rise in anti-LGBTQ policies and promote a pro-equality policy agenda for the Trump Administration and Congress. Following the press conference, there will be a facilitated discussion that will further outline how the wider faith community can constructively support LGBTQ people.

The back-to-back events coincide with International Day Against Homophobia and will raise awareness around the recent spate of national policies aimed specifically at rolling back rights for LGBTQ employees, LGBTQ seniors, and the transgender community. In addition, press conference speakers will highlight why their support of the LGBTQ community is not an act of dissent or defiance but a clear reflection of their faiths and the scriptures that inform them.

“The scriptures tell us to welcome all God’s children into the fold of God’s care, just as the mother hen tends to her brood,” shared Rev. Frederick A. Davie, Executive Vice President at Union. “Officials from the US Justice Department, the state of Texas and other states and localities around the country must stop cherry picking verses from sacred texts and blaspheming the name of Christ with hateful faith-based public policies aimed at dehumanizing the LGBTQ community, immigrants, Muslims, women and other vulnerable people.”

A powerful voice in the emerging ‘religious left’ movement, Union has actively rallied Evangelical and other religious leaders from around the country to express the faith community’s mounting support for LGBTQ rights and equality, including: Kathy Baldock, Board of Directors, The Reformation Project (NV); Rev. Amy Butler, Senior Minister, The Riverside Church (NY); Robert and Susan Cottrell, Founders, FreedHearts (TX); Josh Dickson, Co-Founder and Board Member, Evangelicals for Marriage Equality (CO); Michael Kimpan, Founder, (un)Common Good Collective (IL); Doug Pagitt, Organizer, Convergence (MN); Rev. Adam Phillips, Pastor, Christ Church Portland (OR); Brandan Robertson, Founder and Executive Director, NOMAD Partnerships (CO); and Rod Snyder, Board Member, Evangelicals for Marriage Equality (WV).*

“There’s nothing more personal than what an individual believes or whom they love,” said Senator Chris Coons. “We all share in the universal call to honor that individual, regardless of religious preference or sexual orientation. My faith has taught me that we have a moral obligation to stand up for our common humanity. All Americans deserve nothing less than full equality under the law and freedom from discrimination. I’m proud to join this impressive list of organizations and advocates to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.”

Despite the recent legislation in Texas and North Carolina, support for LGBTQ rights continues to grow among religious Americans—particularly Christians. “As the culture wars of the past continue to fade, many faithful Americans – even traditionally conservative Christians – are increasingly seeing LGBTQ equality as integral to their religious values and their calling to love their neighbors as they do themselves,” said Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President of the Faculty and Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy at Union. Indeed, support for marriage equality among White Evangelicals has more than doubled since 2001, with Black Protestant support increasing by close to one-third during that time. And, according to the Pew Research Center, 58% of Catholics and 64% of White Mainline Protestants support marriage equality today, compared to 40% and 38% in 2001, respectively.

Moving forward, and in keeping with its 181-year-old mission, Union will continue to work with religious voices across the country to support the full inclusion and equality for the LGBTQ community.

“Faith communities must continue to support and galvanize one another in the fight for equality,” said Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, Senior Vice President for Innovation in Public Programs at Union. “We must fully embrace our duty to be a prophetic voice as we work together for the full human dignity of all God’s children.”

Cloud Control - Rainbow City


Today Sydney's indie psych-pop exports Cloud Control announce the release of new single 'Rainbow City' and accompanying music video.

"It's a song about losing things," says Alister of the song "I think everyone knows what it feels like when you lose something".

Will & Grace - Back This Fall!


It's the encore we've all been waiting for! NBC is bringing back its iconic comedy series "Will & Grace," with stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes. The 12-episode run begins this fall, airing Thursdays at 8 p.m.

National Center for Lesbian Rights settles sex discrimination case against Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for Trans-inclusive Employee Health Care

Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, along with Gerhardstein & Branch and the Law Office of Scott Knox, announced that they reached a settlement in Rachel Dovel v. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, et al. Ms. Dovel has received insurance coverage for gender affirming surgery, which was previously excluded under the Library’s employee health care plan. In 2016, Ms. Dovel was forced to take out a personal loan to cover the cost of her medically necessary gender affirming surgery when faced with this coverage exclusion. In addition to Ms. Dovel’s health care coverage, as part of the settlement the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, where Ms. Dovel continues to work, agreed to continue to expand the Library’s efforts to build an inclusive and trans positive environment, including expanding materials on LGBT issues.

“Employers across the country should take note that denying medically necessary care for transgender employees is unlawful,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Transgender Youth Project Staff Attorney Asaf Orr. “Today, we applaud the Cincinnati public library system and its employee health care insurer for choosing to do the right thing. This settlement not only rights a wrong for Ms. Dovel, it seeks to eliminate stereotypes and misinformation about the LGBT community by increasing the public library’s collection on these issues and changing its employment practices. This is a victory for all LGBT Cincinnatians.”

“We want LGBT Cincinnatians to know that we are here for you and will work to ensure that you are not the targets of workplace discrimination,” said co-counsel for Rachel Dovel Gerhardstein & Branch’s Jennifer L. Branch. “This settlement demonstrates how critical it is that we work with employers to resolve issues fairly for employees. We are proud of the steps the Cincinnati Public Library is taking to create a better city and a better workplace for the LGBT community.”

This case, filed in September 2016, argued that denying medically necessary health care for a transgender employee constituted discrimination on the basis of sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. Legal documents filed by Ms. Dovel noted that non-transgender employees received medical coverage for the same or substantially similar medical care denied to transgender employees.

"I am pleased that we were able to resolve this case, which affects not just me but current and future employees and their families who may need access to transition-related care,” said plaintiff Rachel Dovel. “Through the settlement, the Library recognizes the importance of providing transgender employees with access to medically necessary transition-related care and has committed to concrete steps to ensure that it is meeting the needs of it LGBT employees and patrons.”

Center for Data Innovation Unveils 10-Step Agenda for Congress to Harness Power of Data to Grow Economy and Benefit Society

Congress is overlooking many opportunities to have the federal government publish more of the data it already gathers, collect more data that can be put to valuable use, and encourage the private sector to make better use of data, according to a new report from the Center for Data Innovation, a data-policy think tank. The Center outlines 10 concrete steps Congress can take in 2017 to maximize public benefit by optimizing the way data is collected, shared, and used in the United States.

“In nearly every industry, data is powering new insights that improve decision-making, enable new products and services, and enhance quality of life,” said Daniel Castro, the Center’s director and the report’s lead author. “The government may not be the main engine of this innovation, but it can and should play a vital role in accelerating and shaping it to boost economic growth and aid society.”

The report urges Congress to accelerate data innovation by:

Publishing data the government already collects, including:
1. Establish a permanent open-data policy for the federal government,
2. Allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to publicly release Common Land Unit data, and
3. Establish an API for legislative data.

Collecting more data that can be put to valuable use, including:
4. Develop a complete 3D National Elevation Dataset,
5. Require corporate data transparency, and
6. Address the LGBT data gap.

Encouraging industries to make better use of data, including:
7. Adopt universal patient identifiers for healthcare,
8. Incentivize adoption of electronic health records for mental-health providers,
9. Foster use of alternative credit data, and
10. Ensure consumers can access their utility data.

Noting that many of these policies have broad support from stakeholders and already have been introduced as legislation in Congress, Castro says the main holdup is inertia in Washington.

“While areas of bipartisan agreement have been limited in the current political climate, there are easy ways Congress can spur data-driven innovation that already have support from both sides of the aisle,” said Castro. “We just need Congress to pay attention and take action.”

“There is a lot of low-hanging fruit here that would deliver significant value to American consumers and businesses. While it is good that Congress tries to get out of the way of the private sector, it should not forget that it also has an important role to play in unlocking new opportunities to use data that we haven’t even imagined yet,” said Castro.

“Overall, the policies in this report are incremental, but significant, steps toward the larger aim of creating a fully integrated world that harnesses the power of information for productive purposes,” concluded Castro. “The long-term goal is for Congress to demand that federal agencies look closely at how they can use data to solve important policy challenges and help shepherd in a new era of innovation, productivity, and economic growth.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

Are You Gay With Something To Say? Bloggers Wanted For Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Are you a new or experienced writer or blogger? Do you want to be? Or maybe you're just some gay guy with something to say? Well, what better forum for you than MileHighGayGuy?

MileHighGayGuy is looking for regular and guest bloggers to write about local news and events, do music and movie reviews, or write opinion or feature pieces from a gay perspective.

These are unpaid positions but offer the opportunity to be published in Colorado's Best Gay Blog (2010, 2011, 2012 OUTstanding Awards, Denver 2012 #WebAwards), expand your audience and gain valuable experience. There's also swag available in the form of free movie and concert tickets, music, books and other cool stuff.

If interested, shoot an email over to Drew Wilson at drew@milehighgayguy.com. And if you've got column or story ideas to pitch, this is the place to do it.

The Gay Vegans: Resist

By Dan Hanley

Long week for me. Each day was exhausting as I gave it my all at my day job. Mike and I also thought a lot about our sweet Suga who we lost one year ago this week.

Some weeks I barely have enough energy to do everything I need to do.

And yet I still need to take actions to resist. This week the US House passed a bill that will eviscerate our current health care law that many call Obamacare. So many things wrong with their bill and I have just begun investigating it.

We have to be a voice for those most effected by this bill. We have to ensure every US House representative who voted for this bill hears from those of us opposed to it. Join the nearest Indivisible group. On social media follow people like Deray McKesson and any groups forming to support the Resistance.

Nancy Pelosi said after the House vote on healthcare that those Republicans who voted for it are doomed in ’18. I disagree with her. They are only doomed if we continue to act and resist.

Thanks for reading. And to all of you in the Resistance, all of you who rock it every day for your family, loved ones and community, and then do even more to resist, thank you.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Do You Want To Reach Denver's Gay Community? Advertise With Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Do you want to advertise to Denver’s gay community? Of course you do, it’s the 7th largest in the United States! And the best way to reach them is with MileHighGayGuy – Colorado’s Best Gay Blog.

Just click the Advertising page or email sales@milehighgayguy.com to get started today.

Send Jack a Letter of Support

By Beth Littrell, Counsel, Lambda Legal

My client Jack is in his eighties, and he’s in a pretty low spot right now, Drew – maybe you can do something to help.

Last year, he lost Bob, his husband and partner of more than 50 years. In that terrible moment of grief, the funeral home refused to take Bob’s body after they learned Bob and Jack were married.

Now we’re suing the funeral home to bring some justice to Jack and to restore some of the dignity lost in that terrible ordeal. It’s been a year and things were supposed to start getting better from here – but Jack continues to struggle for basic dignity in his loneliness and grief.

Days after we announced the lawsuit, Jack stopped to put gas in his car and a woman at the pump asked if he was the man whose husband died. When he responded in the affirmative, instead of offering condolences like a caring human being might, she told Jack that he should have died, too.

It broke my heart when Jack told me that story. Please do Jack a favor: Write him a note of love and support so he knows that the LGBT community and our allies have his back.

It’s easy to get angry, thinking about how that bully couldn’t resist an opportunity to kick Jack while he was down, but remember: Our movement is grounded in love, not anger or hate.

I fight that kind of bigotry in court every day. Leave that to me. What I’m asking is for you to drown out the hate with love. Nothing can give back everything that Jack has lost, but we can show him that he’s not alone and that there’s a coast-to-coast community standing with him in this fight.

Let Jack know the entire LGBT community and our allies are behind him. Send him a note to let him know that you’re with him now – it will only take a few minutes and I promise it will mean a lot: www.lambdalegal.org/jack

White Party Still Rockin' After 28 Years!

With eight parties in 72 hours bringing in 30,000 admissions through the course of an amazing DJ driven weekend, White Party Palm Springs continued its 28 year run as the world’s premier gay dance festival.

This year, producer Jeffrey Sanker, pictured with T- Dance performer Belinda Carlisle, pulled out all the stops, making this one of the most memorable White Party weekend’s in its storied history. On Sunday, Sanker brought the crowd to a spiritual peak with his annual spectacular fireworks display, choreographed to the music.

Real Housewives’ of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards, (pictured at the Saturday night Convention Center) was crowned “Queen of White Party 2017” and reigned supreme over the course of the events.

Hotels, including the Palm Springs Renaissance, have already begun taking reservations for White Party 2018 which is set for April 27-30, 2018. Details at www.JeffreySanker.com.