Wednesday, August 12, 2020

22nd OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Goes Virtual

The 22nd edition of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, a bi-annual film festival whose mission is to unite the community through social events and LGBTQ+ media that inspire, entertain, and educate, is going virtual! For the first time in the organization’s history, 80 new contemplative, comedic and creative films from 20 countries, (many never-seen-before and not available on any streaming platform) with 44 screenings will be made available to viewers throughout the state of Florida from August 20 – 30, 2020. The festival will also host livestreamed special events with cocktail happy hours, talent and Q & A sessions as a way to virtually tie the community together.

"In these challenging times, the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival has adapted to the changing needs of the film and viewing community and is pleased to move forward with an outstanding roster of poignant new features viewable virtually anywhere in the state,” said Victor Gimenez, executive director of OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival. “It’s in this spirit of unity and equality, the tenets upon which the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival was founded, that we are taking a giant leap forward to offer these award-winning films with culturally diverse narratives and deeply moving subjects to an even wider audience.”

In keeping with social distancing guidelines and community safety, this year’s festival kicks off on August 20 at 7 p.m. with OUTshine's Opening Night Drive-OUT, a preview of Stage Mother, at the Drive-In Theater at Dezerland Park (14401 NE 19th Avenue, North Miami, FL 33181). Stage Mother, starring Oscar-nominated Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Adrian Grenier (Entourage, The Devil Wears Prada) and Emmy-nominated Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels, Elementary, Ally McBeal), is comedy drama about a conservative Texas church choir director who moves to San Francisco in attempt to save her recently deceased son’s drag club from bankruptcy. In the process, she finds new meaning for her life and embraces the club’s flamboyant performers.

This year’s line-up includes Centerpiece film The Goddess of Fortune (La Dea Fortuna) (Italy), drama-comedy, on August 26 at 7 p.m.; a Ladies Shorts Package Night on August 22 at 5 p.m., a Men’s Shorts Package Night on August 23 at 5 p.m.; a South Florida Speaks – Shorts Program on August 30 at 5 p.m., Closing Night film Single Street (Singel 39) (Netherlands), comedy, on August 30 a 7 p.m.; plus two FREE Community Showings - Letters to Eloisa (USA), drama, on August 22 at 3 p.m. and TRANSformations – a Trans Shorts Package on August 29 at 3 p.m.

Short-Term Use of PrEP Protects At-Risk Men

Men at particular risk for HIV are very likely to consistently take prevention medication during vacations when their odds of contracting the virus are higher, according to a new study led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, The Fenway Institute and Harvard University.

The findings, published online and to be reported Saturday in the print issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, indicate that short-term use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication could be a highly successful way to prevent the spread of HIV in men who have sex with men and have difficulty with long-term PrEP use. It may also work to transition men to long-term PrEP use, which has been shown to be highly effective in reducing HIV transmission.

“We started this as a feasibility study to see if we could identify barriers to short-term PrEP use and make adjustments. But we were excited when we got the results and discovered that almost all the participants were adherent to the point of protection against HIV,” said lead author James Egan, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of behavioral and community health sciences at Pitt Public Health. “This gives us a promising strategy to pursue in engaging at-risk men in HIV prevention efforts that work for them.”

When taken as a daily pill, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, adhering to a daily medication regimen doesn’t work for everyone for reasons that include cost and individual concerns about the biological consequences of long-term medication.

Previous studies have shown that there are certain periods when men who have sex with men are more vulnerable to contracting HIV, including when traveling, on vacation, moving to a new city or after a break-up. Egan and his team set out to explore whether these men might be more receptive to adhering to PrEP treatment during these times.

The team followed 48 adult men from Pittsburgh or Boston who have sex with men in a pilot program to test the daily use of PrEP for 30 days that included an out-of-town vacation, with the men starting the medication seven days before the trip and continuing for at least seven days after vacation. The men were also given a brief session introducing them to the use of PrEP.

After their vacations, 94% of the men had blood concentrations protective against HIV, consistent with regular use of the medication. Almost 75% reported condomless sex during vacation, and about a third reported recreational drug use. None of the men contracted HIV during their vacation, though one of the men contracted the virus during the three-month post-vacation follow-up period when he’d had a lapse in use of PrEP associated with loss of health insurance and a move to a new city.

Additionally, 70% of the participants indicated an interest in continuing daily PrEP use long-term.

“That really stood out to us,” said senior author Kenneth Mayer, M.D., medical research director at The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health in Boston and professor of medicine at Harvard. “It shows us that introducing short-term use of PrEP before a vacation could lead to longer-term use. This presents an enticing opportunity to reduce HIV transmission.”

However, the scientists pointed out, the study included men who were motivated to enroll and did not address the likelihood of physicians prescribing PrEP for short-term use, the ease of obtaining PrEP for use only during vacations or the impact of the study’s brief counseling on the use of PrEP.

“These are all areas that our findings suggest warrant future explorations,” Egan said. “Our study tells us short-term adherence to PrEP during high-risk periods is tolerable in men who have sex with men, and that it could lead to long-term use. Now we need to determine how to make it possible in the real-world setting.”

Additional authors on this research are Ken Ho, M.D., M.P.H., and Ron Stall, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Pitt; Moe T. Drucker, B.S., and Ryan Tappin, N.P., M.P.H., of Fenway Health in Boston; Craig W. Hendrix, M.D., and Mark A. Marzinke, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University; Steven A. Safren, Ph.D., of Fenway Health and the University of Miami; Matthew J. Mimiaga, Sc.D., M.P.H., of Fenway Health and Brown University; Cristina Psaros, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital; and Steven Elsesser, M.D., of Fenway Health and the University of Pennsylvania.

You’ve Got Male! Counts Down the Top Ten Actors with the Most Onscreen Nudity

Mr. Man, the Number One Authority on Male Celebrity Nudity, is counting down the biggest A-List Actors packing the most naked scenes in history!

Right now for a limited time only, the eye-popping site is offering up the unadulterated, R-rated Top 10 List to tease and delight new viewers for FREE when they sign up for a account.

No junk male here! Five bold guys have delivered their high-profile packages on camera a total of 13 times: Sylvester Stallone (#10), Tom Hardy (#9), Alexander Skarsgård (#8), Mark Ruffalo (#7) and Jake Gyllenhaal (#6).

Kevin Bacon has shown off the goods in 15 scenes to snag the #5 spot, while Javier Bardem has bared all 17 times - same as Antonio Banderas - to capture #4 and #3 spots, respectively. Marlon Wayans takes the #2 title with 20 nude scenes. However…

Ewan McGregor takes the Number One pole position with 25 nude scenes - 14 of those full-frontal. From Trainspotting and Velvet Goldmine to Rogue Trader and Doctor Sleep, this Scottish lad is fearless when it comes to onscreen flashing.

PLATONIC - New Digital Series Now Streaming


Set in a memory of New York City just before the pandemic, PLATONIC follows Olive (a gay Brooklynite) and Billy (her straight best friend) as they look for love and document their search via voicemail messages to each other. This 10-episode series juxtaposes the radical intimacy and hazy boundaries of non-romantic relationships with the sexual fluidity and emotional ambiguity of modern dating.

Digital Leather - The King of Idiots

Digital Leather (Shawn Foree) has shared a new single off his upcoming new album New Wave Gold. “The King Of Idiots” is out today, and of the track Foree notes, “This song is very personal for me. It’s a little stroll through the turbulent world of addiction, which I have seen destroy the lives of several people who were once close to me.I really want to convey the grand scale of destructive behavior. It can be epic and unrelenting. It was important for me to write this song because I had been carrying around so much guilt for not being able to save people from themselves. This song enabled me to release a lot of that guilt, and maybe it can do something similar for listeners.” The video for “The King Of Idiots” was self-made as Foree was recovering from Covid-19, and he finished it last week at a Holiday Inn in Des Moines, IA. Watch the clip below: 

Monday, August 10, 2020

One Colorado: We've added new training dates so that you can support pro-equality candidates in the 2020 election!


By Branden Shafer, One Colorado Organizing & Political Manager  

At a time when many of us have more free time on our hands than we know what to do with, why not spend some of it working to elect pro-equality candidates in Colorado?

We've added new training dates to CAMP One Colorado, a 45 minute online training for volunteers. During the training, we'll review One Colorado’s electoral goals for 2020 and let you know how you can help achieve them! November is coming up quick and we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to protect and expand Colorado's pro-equality majority!

New to electoral volunteering or volunteering with One Colorado? Great! We welcome newcomers and would love to answer any questions you may have along the road.

Can’t wait to see you at camp!

Honey Dijon - La Femme Fantastique


Following the release of single ‘Not About You’ from the forthcoming album Black Girl Magic, Honey Dijon unveils a stunning animated video, premiered by Paper magazine, alongside single ‘La Femme Fantastique’ (NSFW), on Friday 7th August. The single featuring vocals from Josh Caffe is Honey at her unapologetic, hedonistic, and achingly cool finest. As Josh’s captivating vocal narrates, the hypnotic lyrics are echoed in Honey’s mesmerizing production, making for an industrial and electrifying club cut.

The accompanying music video for ‘La Femme Fantastique’ is the work of artist and animator Ciaran McCusker, who has created a whole trio of videos, to be revealed alongside each upcoming single. Giving the first glimpse of his work was the video for ‘Not About You’ (watch here). For second single ‘La Femme Fantastique’, while the pumping music captures the energy of a hot and steamy dancefloor in full flow, the accompanying video by is gorgeously X-rated, manifesting sex positivity and uninhibited expression on the dancefloor, things that Honey Dijon celebrates unequivocally.

The video’s narrative follows an uninitiated clubber encountering a utopian dancefloor where Honey is goddess and nothing is off-limits, where inhibitions are shed and underground glamour and kink makes way for fully realised desire.

OUT in Theaters and VOD: I Am Woman

I Am Woman
is the inspiring story of singer Helen Reddy, who wrote and sang the song “I Am Woman” that became the anthem for the women's movement in the 1970s. The film is a story of fearless ambition and passion, of a woman who smashed through the patriarchal norms of her time to become an international singing superstar.

In 1966, single-mother Helen Reddy (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) leaves her old life in Australia for New York and stardom, only to find that the industry’s male gatekeepers don’t take her seriously. Helen finds an encouraging friend in legendary rock journalist Lillian Roxon (Danielle Macdonald), who becomes her closest confidant. When ambitious aspiring talent manager Jeff Wald (Evan Peters) sweeps Helen off her feet, everything changes as he becomes both her husband and manager and relocates the family to California. With a strong push from Helen, Jeff secures her a recording contract and subsequent string of hit singles, including the iconic megahit “I Am Woman.” Increased fame leads to added pressures on themselves and their relationship, forcing Helen to find the strength to take control of her own destiny.

PalyFest Goes Virtual

The Paley Center for Media is proud to announce that PaleyFest LA, the country’s premier television festival, is virtual for the first time and will be available for view today starting at 9:00 am EST on the Paley Center’s YouTube channel. These programs are free to view and sponsored by Citi.

The Virtual PaleyFest LA selections include: Netflix’s Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, YouTube’s Justin Bieber: Seasons, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, FX on Hulu’s Mrs. America, Pop TV’s One Day at a Time, Starz’s Outlander, Netflix’s Ozark, and Netflix’s Queer Eye.

Additionally, Citi cardmembers and Paley Center Members can view an exclusive conversation with the cast and creative team from Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek, as they reflect on their sixth and final season.

“We’re so pleased to present PaleyFest LA virtually for the first time through our Paley YouTube channel,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “Television fans can enjoy this binge worthy lineup of programs featuring the television shows they’ve come to love all from the comfort of home.”

PaleyFest supports the Paley Center’s many education initiatives including education workshops serving 10,000 youth annually, the Paley Impact series which features programs centered around today’s most pressing social issues and the role of media in our society, and the continued preservation of the Paley Archive, featuring 160,000 historically significant television and radio programs.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Modern Military Association of America Announces MilSpouse Scholarship Winners

The Modern Military Association of America has announced the winners of their 2020 MMAA Military Spouse Scholarship, funded by Amazon Military.

Find out more about the 10 incredible military spouses who were selected this year. 

ANTEBELLUM, starring Janelle Monáe, available on Premium On-Demand on September 18

Lionsgate announced today that Antebellum, starring Janelle Monáe and written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, will premiere as a Premium On-Demand release, debuting on all platforms on September 18. The film will be released theatrically in select international markets. The announcement was made today by Joe Drake, Chairman, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“While the theatrical experience will always be the heart of our business, we are thrilled that we are able to seize the opportunity to match Gerard and Chris’s urgent and immediate film with a release strategy befitting this moment of extraordinary change,” said Drake. “Gerard and Chris are storytellers whose work beats with authenticity – not only will this film entertain and thrill audiences worldwide, but spark a discussion about our current world.” 

In Antebellum, successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present and future – before it’s too late. 

Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz added, “While we designed Antebellum to be consumed as a communal experience in the theater, we are thrilled by the unique opportunity we have to pivot to a different kind of communal moment in our culture. As we face the realities of systemic racism in our country, which have crescendoed to this current inflection point in 2020, we understand how imperative it is to bring Antebellum to the broadest audience possible, while also prioritizing health and safety. It is our ardent hope that by sharing our film widely, both nationally and internationally, we will transform the moviegoing experience from home into a true event.” 

#QueerSouthernStories Community Spotlight: The STAY Project

The South is home to one in three LGBTQ people in the United States, and more than four in 10 LGBTQ people in the South are people of color. Contrary to stereotypes about the possibilities for political progress in the South, LGBTQ Southerners are often leading the way nationwide in innovative programming, organizing, and strategies to support their own communities and make meaningful change on their own terms. What can we learn from LGBTQ Southerners on building coalitions & nurturing community?

MAP’s blog series on #QueerSouthernStories highlights the organizations featured in Telling a New Southern Story: LGBTQ Resilience, Resistance, and Leadership, amplifying the vital work already being done by advocates, activists, and community organizers in the region.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Alexander Foundation to Host Virtual Bingo Fundraiser for LGBTQ+ Coloradans

The Alexander Foundation is excited to be hosting a virtual Bingo fundraiser on
August 18th at 7pm. Join them for a night of prizes, performances, and BINGO! Your purchase will support The Alexander Foundation's assistance programs helping LGBTQ+ Coloradans afford medical expenses, rent, tuition, and other basic living needs.

Virtual BINGO Cards are $10 each and will give you access to a night of Bingo, prizes, and performances.

Troye Sivan - Rager Teenager

Following the remarkable success of his new single, “Easy” – which amassed over 11 million combined global streams in the first week of release and now tops 20 million streams – Troye Sivan has shared another new track, “Rager teenager!” 

Both songs will appear on his new six-song concept EP, In A Dream, which will be released on August 21 by Capitol Records. Troye filmed the video for “Rager teenager! himself.

Trans People Are Sacred - A 100 City GoFundMe Campaign

In July of 2019, Transgender artist and activist Jonah Welch  launched a billboard in Detroit, Michigan, in collaboration with Save Art Space  and Ellen Rutt . The billboard proclaimed "Trans People Are Sacred,” a phrase that was first shared with Jonah by Dakota Camacho  years earlier while they were residents of the Audre Lorde Cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin.

The billboard was intended to strengthen representation and inspire hope for Trans individuals in Detroit, but the piece spread like wildfire. The billboard reached a global audience. The words, Trans People Are Sacred, took root, and catalyzed profound healing for individuals and communities the world over. After the success of the initial billboard, Save Art Space reached out to Jonah Welch to create a national-level project for this work. 

It is the goal of their gofundme campaign to place these billboards in one hundred cities across the United States, with a distinct focus on conservative areas in the south and southwest. The billboards will go up between mid-September and mid-October, just weeks before the election. Each $1000 raised will mean a billboard in another city. The additional $52k will be used to pay 52 Trans & Non-Binary BIPOC artists $1000 each for their work (50 visual artists and two curators).