Thursday, October 14, 2021

One Colorado: Meet 2021 Ally Awardee, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado

The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado was founded in 1998 by a group of faith leaders from multiple backgrounds who were frustrated that their diverse faith voices were not being represented in the public sphere—specifically in politics or media. Their mission is to promote justice, religious liberty, and interfaith understanding through building relationships in order to educate, advocate, and catalyze social change.

Interfaith envisions a society where all people are free and supported to live the life they wish for. They imagine faith communities from many traditions and backgrounds who are committed to work grounded in our shared values, in order to engage in collaborative action to dismantle systemic oppression. They seek to be a force for good in Colorado by standing up for rights and equality for all people. The Interfaith Alliance has continued to be the faith voice standing up for LGBTQ equality and women’s reproductive rights and justice. They’ve also been an outspoken voice for criminal justice reform at the state capitol and work to devise creative solutions to complex problems.

One Colorado will host The Ally Awards — their signature fundraising event — as an in-person and online event on Friday, November 12th, 2021 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, CO. The evening will culminate in an awards presentation to allies who work to advance equality and make a substantive difference in the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans. One Colorado will be highlighting the other awardees in the coming weeks. Learn more about the event and the other 2021 Ally Awards Recipients.

Netta - CEO

Today, international superstar Netta drops “CEO” (via S-Curve Records/Hollywood), a powerhouse punch of sultry pop that is sure to become a global anthem for self-empowerment. A slinky, mid-tempo pop gem about running your own life, making your own decisions, and taking charge, “CEO” is the first bite of what Netta has planned over the next few months

Also out today is the accompanying video for “CEO” which is, of course, quintessential Netta -- artfully cartoonish, delightfully off-the-wall, and with 100% conviction. Set in an initially humdrum & blasé reality, the Eurovision champ (literally) crawls her way out from under the oppression of “the man” to a triumphant and fiery climax of self-empowerment.

Of the track, Netta said “I have often found it extremely hard to make decisions by myself, letting other people’s fears, agendas and preferences penetrate my mind, until it’s completely submissive. I am the mothafuckin’ CEO of my business, my life and my journey. I’m manifesting control back into my life. I wrote “CEO” as a call for everyone to join the tribe, be fearless and fierce, and make your own choices.”


Of the video (directed by Roy Raz), she added “We wanted to portray and symbolize the process that happens in my mind when I decide to take matters into my own hands. When my mind is set, hell breaks loose, and it’s infectious.”


Also out today is “DUM”, a counterpart of sorts to “CEO” and a pulsing spiral into the giddy ways we lose ourselves when Cupid strikes.


Netta has become one of the trailblazing quirkpop innovators in modern music, turning the genre into a colorful funhouse of fizzy experimentation. Her song “Toy” won her the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018 and has over 157 million views on YouTube alone. Since then, Netta’s video for “Bassa Sababa” notched over 200 million views on YouTube, she dropped her ‘Goody Bag’ EP, was a guest on Switched On Pop discussing her personal journey as an artist and what it takes to make the perfect Eurovision song, performed for Billboard, and was spotlighted by Consequence of Sound who said she has “dominated stages around the world and seen her music spread like wildfire”, BUST who called her the “soulful singer creating escapist videos you didn’t know you needed” and Hey Alma who praised her as a “role model”. Last year saw the release of a covers EP (‘The Best Of Netta’s Office - Vol. 1’) which, inspired by her YouTube performance series of the same name, included mind-altering interpretations of songs like Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’”, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, and the Mary Poppins staple Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

SOUL OF A FARMER Streaming Premiere October 19

First Run Features presents the streaming premiere of Roger Sherman's new award-winning documentary film The Soul of a Farmer
 beginning October 19, 2021.

The Soul of A Farmer follows Patty Gentry, a former chef, as she battles to earn a living on her three acre Early Girl Farm on Long Island. Isabella Rossellini, from whom Patty rents her land tells us, “Patty is the Picasso of vegetables!”

The documentary upends the romance of farm-to-table. Buying fresh produce directly from farmers markets and at farm stands is wonderful, but the farmer’s life is a constant struggle. We watch Patty work her butt off (with her small, mostly female team) seven days a week, growing the vegetables her top chef clients treasure.

Patty’s passion is to constantly improve her soil, increase her yield of organic vegetables, and just as urgently to be thinking of how to stay afloat. Says filmmaker Roger Sherman, "my portrait of Patty is a portrait of every small independent farmer."

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

POV Presents Things We Dare Not Do, the Moving Queer Emancipation Tale from Mexican Director and Cinematographer Bruno Santamaría

American Documentary | POV is proud to announce the national broadcast premiere of Things We Dare Not Do (Cosas que no hacemos), the second feature film from Mexican director and cinematographer Bruno Santamaría, as part of POV’s 34th season. Produced by Abril López Carrillo, the documentary will premiere Monday, October 25, 2021 on PBS at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings) and at It will also be available to stream for free at through November 24, 2021.

Nominated for two Ariel Awards by Mexico’s Academy of Cinematographic Arts, winner of the Gold Hugo Award for Best Documentary and the Gold Q-Hugo Award for Best LGBTQ+ Film at the Chicago International Film Festival, and an official selection at the Hot Docs and DOC NYC film festivals, among others, Things We Dare Not Do gives voice to a powerful coming-of-age story that grants space to the many nuanced paths that this stage of life can take.

In the small Mexican coastal village of El Roblito, sixteen-year-old Ñoño lives what seems to be an idyllic existence with his loving family. He spends his days playing with the free-spirited younger children of the town and staging elaborate community dance productions. But he holds a secret. Defying gender norms, Ñoño bravely works up the courage to tell his family he wants to live his life as a woman, a fraught decision in a country shrouded in machismo and transphobia.

With exquisite cinematography by the director himself, Things We Dare Not Do takes one young person’s struggle for queer identity out of the usual urban setting, providing a fresh perspective on the issue and a moving tale of emancipation.

"It’s very moving to think that we are about to share the work that we started six years ago, to share the encounter we experienced,” said director Bruno Santamaría. “What began as a secret in my life led us to an idea, that idea led us to a journey, and the journey to an encounter. When I met Dayanara everything changed, the idea, the trip, the film and our lives. Things We Dare Not Do is the result of this journey of dreams, accidents and experiences; a film that seeks to share the feeling of the coming-of-age experience of an adolescent who takes a brave step in her process of emancipation, in her process of growing up.

"Bruno Santamaría’s Things We Dare Not Do juxtaposes the beauty of rural Mexico against the strength, bravery and spirit of a young queer person in a story that is relatable, moving and important. We are so proud to offer this film as part of our 34th season," said Erika Dilday, Executive Director of American Documentary and Executive Producer of POV.

The short film Share, directed by Barna Szász and Ellie Wen, will accompany Things We Dare Not Do. The film explores an 18-year old influencer's attempts to reconcile his identity online with his identity in real life.

Things We Dare Not Do will be available for streaming concurrently with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. PBS station members can view many series, documentaries and specials via PBS Passport. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

Biden-Harris Administration Greenlights Coverage of LGBTQ+ Care as an Essential Health Benefit in Colorado

For the first time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a request to provide gender-affirming care in the individual and small group health insurance markets as part of Colorado's Essential Health Benefit (EHB) benchmark. Today's landmark step is aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to address health care disparities by removing longstanding barriers and expanding access to care for transgender persons.

Colorado's new EHB-benchmark plan will enhance access to coverage for gender-affirming care that meets individual needs and discourages the use of a "one-size-fits-all" framework for transgender persons seeking medical care. Changes to the EHB-benchmark plan will allow access to a wider range of services for transgender individuals in addition to benefits already covered. Such treatments will include eye and lid modifications, face tightening, facial bone remodeling for facial feminization, breast/chest construction and reductions, and laser hair removal. The state is also adding EHBs in the benchmark plan to include mental wellness exams and expanded coverage for 14 prescription drug classes. These changes will take effect beginning on January 1, 2023.

"Health care should be in reach for everyone; by guaranteeing transgender individuals can access recommended care, we're one step closer to making this a reality," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "I am proud to stand with Colorado to remove barriers that have historically made it difficult for transgender people to access health coverage and medical care."

"Health care should be accessible, affordable and delivered equitably to all, regardless of your sexual orientation. To truly break down barriers to care, we must expand access to the full scope of health care, including gender-affirming surgery and other treatments, for people who rely on coverage through Medicare, Medicaid & CHIP and the Marketplaces," said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. "Colorado's expansion of their essential health benefits to include gender-affirming surgery and other treatments is a model for other states to follow and we invite other states to follow suit."

Gender-affirming care is considered a standard level of care by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association. Transgender patients often face discriminatory hurdles in accessing medically necessary health care services that affirm gender identity.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires non-grandfathered health plans in the individual and small group markets to provide coverage in 10 categories of EHBs, including preventive and wellness services, chronic disease management, maternity and newborn care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health and substance use disorder services, behavioral health treatment, and lab services. CMS regulations allow states the flexibility to develop state-specific "benchmark" plans that detail the specific services covered among these broad categories based on a typical employer plan offered in the state.

CMS recognizes that expanded, gender-affirming coverage vastly improves health care outcomes for the LGBTQ+ community, reduces high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts as well as decreases substance use, improves HIV medication adherence, and reduces rates of harmful self-prescribed hormone use.

Jane Austin meets Steve Jobs in new production at Firehouse Theater Company

After having to close the production right before opening weekend in April 2020, Firehouse Theater Company is proud to now bring to the stage Ada and the Engine from November 13 through December 18.

As the British Industrial Revolution dawns, young Ada Byron Lovelace (daughter of the flamboyant and notorious Lord Byron) sees the boundless creative potential in the “analytic engines'' of her friend and soulmate Charles Babbage, inventor of the first mechanical computer. Ada envisions a whole new world where art and information converge — a world she might not live to see. A music-laced story of love, friendship, and the edgiest dreams of the future. Jane Austen meets Steve Jobs in this poignant pre-tech romance heralding the computer age.

“I’m excited to be directing this fantastic play,” Said Director Jay Louden. “It’s beautifully written by Lauren Gunderson [the most produced playwright in the US] and is among the plays that she has written that celebrate the achievements of great women throughout history. I’m honored to be chosen to direct this fascinating story of Ada Byron Lovelace which is full of passion, humor, struggle, and reconciliation.”

Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for students/seniors/military and $20 for groups of 10 or more. All performances will be at the John Hand Theater, located at 7653 E. 1st Place, Denver CO 80230. Tickets online at or by calling the Box Office at (303) 562-3232.

Writing Our Own Dictionary: What Being Trans Means!


The second episode of "Writing Our Own Dictionary," the newest digital video series from the It Gets Better Project, focuses on what being Transgender means. Being trans looks a little different to every trans person: how do you present your gender, what pronouns will you use, how will you identify? In this episode, It Gets Better sat down with some trans folks IRL to learn how each trans journey is uniquely amazing.

This 4-part series, which has launched just in time for LGBTQ+ History Month, is an entertaining and informative digital program where we hear first-hand from LGBTQ+ folks about what their labels (or lack thereof) mean to them.

With this educational series, It Gets Better aims to reach LGBTQ+ youth who may be looking for a deeper understanding of identity labels (and their application). Young queer people should also feel validated with the understanding that they are not alone on their journey of self-discovery and identity. Teens can also share this series with their parents to help create a conversation around this sometimes complicated topic.

The four episodes will explore the labels/phrases Gender Non-Binary, Transgender, Bisexuality & Pansexuality, and Presentation Spectrum. The first episode on Gender Non-Binary, which premiered last week, featured Joe Montoya (he/him/they/them/el/elle, Mexican-American actor and playwright and Telloyd Richards (she/her), an actor from POSE.

The series will also feature other talent and influencers including Yuhua Hamasaki, Nia Roe, and Diego Barnes, as well as everyday LGBTQ+ people over the course of the four episodes.

Snail Mail - Ben Franklin


Snail Mail (Lindsey Jordan) recently announced the November 5th release of her new album Valentine via Matador. Today, she shares a new single “Ben Franklin,” along with a companion music video directed by Josh Coll. Lindsey shares, "I wanted to sonically and lyrically get out of my comfort zone with Ben Franklin. It felt only right that the visual accompaniment should include dancing in front of a camera and holding a 10 foot snake close to my face." “Ben Franklin” follows the unveiling of the album’s title track, “Valentine,” and it’s outrageous period drama clip, also directed by Coll. “Valentine” received a cascade of critical praise with Entertainment Weekly saying “‘Valentine' is as auspicious a first taste as we could hope for, gorgeously robust and sonically adventurous. [It] feels anything but small. It is bolder, catchier, and more expansive than its predecessor. From her sorrow and solitude, Jordan reemerges as one of indie rock's most astute, confident, and compelling songwriters.” The album is available for pre-order here, with limited edition vinyl available at both the Matador and Snail Mail online stores.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Now Streaming: CURED, Award-winning LGBTQ+ Doc; Independent Lens Season Opener

The award-winning LGBTQ+ documentary Cured, which premiered on Independent Lens on National Coming Out Day (October 11), is now available to stream (through November 9) via and the PBS Video app. 

From acclaimed filmmakers Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon, Cured shines a light on the pioneering LGBTQ+ activists who fought to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973. 

In 1973, the APA made the landmark decision to remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which had classified same-sex attraction as a “sociopathic personality disturbance” in its first edition, published in 1952. The psychiatric establishment deemed homosexuality a condition to be “cured,” and—in addition to intensive talk therapy—members of the LGBTQ+ community were subjected to cruel treatments including electroconvulsive therapy, aversion therapy, and in extreme cases, castration and lobotomies. Facing these “cures” and widespread stigma, many gay people were afraid to come out, and the APA’s “scientific” diagnosis was often used to justify discrimination and persecution.

Cured offers viewers an inside look at the inspiring movement behind this momentous 1973 decision to remove the DSM classification and the pioneering activists who took on a formidable institution and, against the odds, emerged victorious. The activists’ mission was not only to overturn the official diagnosis, but to create a meaningful dialogue that would challenge deep-rooted prejudices and transform minds. During these discussions, activists pressed the APA to examine evidence and data, urging psychiatrists to move beyond what activist Dr. Frank Kameny called the “shabby, shoddy, sleazy pseudoscience masquerading as science” that underlay the sickness label for homosexuality.

Cured features rich, newly unearthed archival footage and incisive interviews with the people who experienced these events firsthand, including the pioneering LGBTQ+ activists Ron Gold, Dr. Lawrence Hartmann, Dr. Frank Kameny, Rev. Magora Kennedy, Kay Lahusen, and Dr. Charles Silverstein, among others, as well as allies and opponents within the APA. The filmmakers also interviewed Richard Socarides, an openly gay political commentator and advocate for LGBTQ equality who is the son of Dr. Charles Socarides, the leading proponent of the view that homosexuality is a curable mental illness.

Cured illuminates a pivotal moment in the Gay Liberation movement that transformed not only the LGBTQ+ community, but also the field of psychiatry and the social fabric of America—propelling a revolution that is still reverberating today.

Cured provides vital historical context for the ongoing debate about conversion therapy, a harmful practice that aims to “cure” gender identity or sexual orientation through psychological or faith-based interventions. Although conversion therapy has been discredited by the APA and other major medical organizations, it remains legal for minors in 30 states.

"We Were There" tour now available virtually to groups nationwide

Designed for school, library and corporate affinity groups and guided by Dr. Andrew Lear (founder of both Oscar Wilde Tours and Shady Ladies Tours), We Were There showcases an array of personalities depicted in painting and sculpture, including an ancient Egyptian woman pharaoh, a Roman Emperor and his boyfriend, a scene of lesbian lovers in 19th century Paris, a trans woman from 17th century Holland, a trans 19th century French painter, the first black and gay artist whose work the Met bought, American suffragettes and more. Tour-goers hear their stories (and discuss the complex depictions of them) learning what obstacles they faced and how they flourished in their times. Dr. Lear’s new non-profit organization, also named We Were There, is dedicated to educating groups about the presence and influence of people of marginalized groups in history and art.

“We’re excited to be offering a sneak peek of We Were There. Historic art is not all about straight elite Western men. Powerful, independent women and the full LGBTQ+ spectrum are on display at the Met and this tour is a great activity for groups looking to learn more about it,” said Dr. Lear.

The tour is available virtually (via Zoom) to student/corporate groups nationwide and will be available to the general public in-person once the museum fully re-opens to group tours. Special pricing for the virtual tour is available to non-profit and corporate groups by contacting


Boston-based singer/songwriter Spencer LaJoye has released “Breathing,” the new single from their forthcoming EP Remember The Oxygen, set for release on November 5th. "'Breathing' is the story of me learning to breathe my own air again, so to speak," LaJoye explains. "When I remembered to breathe my own oxygen rather than meeting and anticipating everyone else’s needs first, I learned a lot of things (for one: I am not a girl. Oops!). It’s the story of me grabbing my own oxygen mask. I first wrote this song as part of a home-recorded concept album for a Netflix show, The Haunting of Bly Manor. I took on the project during quarantine, simply as a matter of fun, and the whole thing felt like a breath of fresh air," they continue. "This song told me a truth about myself before I even knew it was true. Once I realized that this song I wrote for this just-for-fun concept album was actually about my truest self, I knew it had to be on this first EP under my new truest name." 
“Breathing” follows the release of powerful lead single “House Fires.” "Reclaiming myself as a nonbinary person was about so much more than gender.,” LaJoye explains of the song. “To summon up the resolve to say 'these boxes aren’t for me,' I also had to say, 'these relationships aren’t for me, these systems aren’t for me, this people-pleasing disposition is not for me.' Ultimately, on the other side of all of that going up in flames, I found clarity and peace...and I’m still settling into who I am." "House Fires" is the story of deciding what parts of ourselves and our lives we hold onto when everything else burns.

Court of Appeals Hearing on Decriminalization of Same-Sex Relations Takes Place in Botswana

Today the Court of Appeals of Botswana held a hearing on decriminalization of same-sex relations after the state appealed a 2019 ruling by the High Court to decriminalize. 

On 11 June 2019, a full bench of the High Court of Botswana ruled unanimously to strike down section 164(a) and (c), and section 167 of the Penal Code which criminalized same-sex relations, or “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” - relics inherited from colonial times. At the time, judges ruled that the provisions are discriminatory and, in particular, highlighted that "a democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness" and that "societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity." The State appealed the court's decision, claiming that this is a policy matter which only the Parliament can assess. A recording of the hearing held today can be viewed here.

Katlego K Kolanyane-Kesupile trans ARTivist from Botswana, and former OutRight Action International Religion Fellow, who was in the courtroom during the High Court Ruling in 2019 and during the appeal hearing today, reflects:

“I am hopeful for a fair ruling. The Attorney General representative Sidney Pilane, appearing for the state, showed that the government has little ground to stand on and continuously made contradictory statements. Having proclaimed himself as "speaking for the government of Botswana and its views", Pilane did little to show that the views of the government regarding LGBTQIA+ people are informed by anything other than pseudo-moralistic and archaic conceptualizations of who we are and what we want for our lives. I trust that the bench, led by Justice Kirby, will see that justice reigns and that LGBTQIA+ people in Botswana will not have to live with the fear of having their rights rescinded at any time in the future.”

Acting Executive Director of OutRight Action International, Maria Sjödin, comments:

“Criminalization of same-sex relations was imposed by the British colonial power and has long since been recognized as discriminatory and in violation of international human rights standards. The courts in Botswana have a record of trailblazing rulings which recognize the rights of LGBTIQ people, ruling in 2014 that the state has to register an LGBTIQ organization, in 2017 that legal gender recognition is a right, and in 2019 ruling to decriminalize same-sex relations. I hope that the Court of Appeals will continue this trend and uphold decriminalization, which has already made a significant impact on the lives of LGBTIQ people in Botswana.”

A decision by the Court of Appeals is expected in the next 4-6 weeks.

Jax Anderson releases 'Songs For Every Condition'


Last week, Detroit’s Jax Anderson (FKA Flint Eastwood) releases her concept album Songs For Every Condition on Neon Gold Records (Haim, Marina, Matt Maeson, The Knocks etc). She’s penned various human conditions, such as HOPEFUL, CLOUDY, HAPPY, ANGST and TRANSITION. The last, 5th installment about TRANSITION she chose to collaborate with joe p. on “Changes” and “Dancing Shoes” rounds out her 10 song album collection. Jax shot a video for “Changes” HERE.

Jax Anderson about “Changes”: "Change can be hard. Borderline one of the hardest things we go through as humans. But we all know it's essential for growth, right? That doesn't make it any easier. I wanted to write about the pains of change, but with an uplifting feel. Joe p was a great fit for this one - his voice carries a pain that I think lends itself to the themes of the track. Change is scary, but in the end it's usually good."

Monday, October 11, 2021

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DNC Statement on National Coming Out Day

In celebration of the courage and strength of the LGBTQ community, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and LGBTQ Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes released the following statement on National Coming Out Day.

“National Coming Out Day serves as a reminder of the importance, courage and strength that living authentically can require. As we recognize this critically important day, we must also remember those who have not yet come out and provide them with the support they need to live bravely, boldly and openly. In a world where LGBTQ people, particularly transgender and gender non-conforming people, live in fear of violence or discrimination, we must also reaffirm our dedication to creating a world where LGBTQ people feel safe and valued, not negatively targeted because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“From his first day in office, President Joe Biden has prioritized protecting the LGBTQ community and affirming the rights and protections the community deserves. From implementing the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling and providing dozens of critical protections to LGBTQ people, to reversing the transgender military ban and restoring health care protections for LGBTQ people, the Biden administration has already been hailed by advocates as the most pro-equality administration in history. Together, alongside our Democratic majorities in Congress, we will continue to ensure that LGBTQ individuals feel protected, seen, and free to live their authentic selves.”