“Blog”

Thank You to Photographer Julie Hopkins

By | August 10, 2014

I just wanted to extend a thank you to photographer Julie Hopkins who captured my new head shots. As you can see on various pages, she did a great job.

Julie does extensive photography work in the Los Angeles area including portraits, weddings, special events, and more. You can visit her website at www.cameracreations.net to see some of her fantastic work and to book her services.

Thanks, Julie!

Congratulations to Laverne Cox for her Historic Emmy Nomination!

By | July 12, 2014

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Laverne Cox made history this week by becoming the first openly transgender actress to receive an Emmy nomination. Cox got the nod for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Sophia Burset in Netflix’s hit series “Orange is the New Black.” This monumental achievement will surely inspired transgendered individuals everywhere.

Even before the nomination, Cox was quickly becoming one of the most important advocates for the LGBT and specifically transgender community. Last month she became the first openly transgendered person to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. This fall she’ll be doing an extensive college tour giving motivational talks to young people.

“Orange is the New Black” is all about breaking down barriers and Cox is a major part of that goal. This nomination is a mark of their success in opening the hearts and minds of the mainstream. In the words of GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis, “Today, countless transgender youth will hear the message that they can be who they are and still achieve their dreams – nothing is out of reach. Laverne’s success on a hit series is a clear indication that audiences are ready for more trans characters on television.”

Congratulations, Laverne, on your milestone nomination!

 

Buy Orange is the New Black on Amazon

AIDS/Lifecycle 2014 Photos

By | July 3, 2014

Here are a few photos from this year’s incredible AIDS/Lifecycle. 2014 was the most successful year yet as the event raised over $15 million to support the fight against AIDS. My team alone raised $20,000! Check out some great photos taken by Yolanda Jones and visit www.aidslifecycle.org for more information about the campaign and how you can contribute.

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LGBT Pride Month Spotlight: Ian McKellen

By | June 26, 2014

4638390550_b36de2fe93_oIan McKellen is regarded as one of the greatest British actors of his generation but in recent years he’s gained a great deal of attention for his social activism. McKellen was known to be gay by his fellow actors early in his career but didn’t come out publicly until 1988. After gaining worldwide popularity for his Oscar nominated turn in Gods and Monsters and roles in the Lord of the Rings and X-Men films, McKellen became a 60-something-superstar and suddenly had an enormous platform from which to voice his beliefs.

McKellen co-founded Stonewall, an LGBT rights charity based in the United Kingdom named after the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969. Stonewall has become the biggest gay equality organization in Europe. They work to lobby for LGBT rights and have succeeded in preventing the passing of oppressive laws and influencing measures for equality. In 1988, Stonewall was at the forefront of the fight against Section 28, a controversial addition to a British law that prevented local authorities from “promoting homosexuality”. The vague and harmful amendment stirred controversy in the United Kingdom and got many involved with the gay pride movement. While debating the issue on the radio, McKellen first publicly declared himself to be gay.

While Ian McKellen’s organized efforts for equality have been vast and successful, perhaps his most effective activism is simply being himself. He will often drop statements into interviews and appearances that serve to call attention to important LGBT issues without making a grand political gesture. His practice of ripping out hateful verses from hotel bibles is an often-shared anecdote and he once caused controversy by asking a for a gay bar recommendation from TV host in Singapore. Sir Ian McKellen’s immense talent and sharp wit have made him a pop culture icon, but his fearlessness and quest for equality make him a treasure to the LGBT community.

Judge Strikes Down Indiana Gay Marriage Ban

By | June 25, 2014

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled on Wednesday that Indiana’s ban on gay marriage is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause as it treats couples differently based on sexual orientation.

Indiana becomes the 21st state to allow same-sex marriage and couples can start applying for licenses immediately. Though the Indiana attorney general plans to appeal the ruling, it is expected to be upheld. 

“Same-sex couples, who would otherwise qualify to marry in Indiana, have the right to marry in Indiana,” Young wrote. “These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such.”

The marriage equality momentum continues to build and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. Welcome to the fray, Indiana!

LGBT Pride Month Spotlight: Harvey Milk

By | June 16, 2014

Harvey_Milk_webHarvey Milk might be the most important figure in the modern LGBT movement. In fact, many point him as a catalyst for the formation of the LGBT community as we know it. Milk moved to San Francisco in the early 70s and there felt comfortable embracing his homosexuality and displaying his pride. He opened a small camera shop in the Castro District where he became a fixture of the community. People came to him with their problems and he did his best to help them. Soon enough he was known as the unofficial Mayor of Castro Street.

Milk’s passion for solving problems in his community drove him into politics. He waged several campaigns for office, losing each one but gaining more of a following and influence each time. Finally in 1977, Milk won the race for city supervisor. As one of the first openly gay elected officials, he immediately became a beacon of hope and inspiration for the LGBT community. Milk worked to promote equality and fairness for all groups. In a major victory, he helped shoot down an oppressive anti-gay proposition that would have forced the firing of gay and lesbian teachers in state schools. His eloquence and energy captured the attention of the nation and allowed him to kick off the LGBT movement as we know it.

On November 27, 1978, after only a year in office, Harvey Milk, along with San Francisco mayor George Moscone, was assassinated by colleague Dan White. His death was a tragic loss but he left behind a legacy that continues to spark the will of activists today. Named one of the most influential people of the 20th century by Time Magazine, Harvey Milk was a trailblazer for the LGBT community and an icon of the crusade for equality.

Learn More About Harvey Milk:

 

 

A Message From LA LGBT Center CEO Lorri Jean About AIDS/Lifecycle

By | June 12, 2014

AIDS/Lifecycle 2014 is over, which means it’s time to start preparing for AIDS/Lifecycle 2015! LA LGBT Center CEO Lorri Jean sent out a message to center supporters discussing her feelings about the event and offering a special discount for next year. Read it below:

The end of AIDS/LifeCycle is always emotional for me, as it is for nearly all who participate. If you weren’t with us this year, let me explain why.

For seven days, nearly 3,000 men and women from 14 countries and nearly every state in the union, representing all races/ethnicities and sexual orientations—ranging in age from 18-83—were united by one heroic challenge and one common goal: riding a bike (or supporting those who do) from San Francisco to Los Angeles to help end AIDS and care for those living with HIV.

It’s a bittersweet feeling when the event comes to an end because while many of us are exhausted from 7 days of being on the road and are happy to be home, for those 7 days we are what the world should be: a world without stigma, a world in which differences are celebrated, and a world in which people care about and whole-heartedly support one another.

It’s hard to understand these emotions unless you’ve experienced this incredible week yourself, but it’s the reason people keep coming back to AIDS/LifeCycle. And it’s why we already have more than 1,500 people registered for next year’s AIDS/LifeCycle (May 31 – June 6)!

Just through this Sunday, June 15, we’re offering Center supporters the opportunity to save $45 on registration for next year’s AIDS/LifeCycle. When you sign up using discount code “LORRI” your registration fee is only $50. We’ll never offer a lower rate.

We’ll help you train. We’ll help you fundraise. And you’ll experience a life-changing event that helps the Center continue to provide life-saving medical care to people living with AIDS, find better treatments for HIV, and help prevent new infections.

Curious to know more about the ALC experience? Take a look at this short video recap of last week’s Ride. And then do something bold and register to join us for next year. You belong here.

Sincerely,

Lorri L. Jean
Chief Executive Officer

6 Essentials to Mastering the Grill

By | June 5, 2014

It’s summer, and that means it’s cookout season! Everyone wants to be a pro behind the grill, so here are 6 things you’ll need to master the BBQ.

1. A Cookbook

You might think you can create an amazing meal on the fly, but the fact is, a little help goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to read through a cookbook, find recipes online, or watch a cooking show. Even if you don’t follow the instructions exactly, it’s a great way to learn the basics and get new and interesting ideas for your own creation.

Cookbook Suggestions:

 

2. The Right Meat

The are so many different cuts and varieties of meat, it can be an intimidating walk down that aisle. Do some research and learn what the different cuts are so you can choose the one that’s best for your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask the butcher for help. Some things to look for are an even color throughout, marbling (white pieces of fat), and of course the expiration date.

 

3. Seasoning

A good spice blend can make all the difference in the world. No piece of meat should hit the grill without at least a little salt and pepper. There are plenty of spice mixes you can buy or you can make your own. It’s fun to experiment with different flavors and discover new ways to bring out different elements of a dish.

Spice Blend Suggestions:

4. Utensils

A master griller should always have the right tools for the job. A spatula for flipping, tongs for turning, and a brush for brushing. Make sure your arsenal is clean and ready before you do anything else. Cooking can be stressful and the last thing you want is a last second realization that you don’t have tongs and have to improvise with two forks.

Great set, great price:

 

5. Thermometer

When grilling meat, a thermometer is a chef’s best friend. Ensuring you have the right internal temperature is imperative to serving a well-cooked piece of meat. Unless you’re a professional, eyeballing it just won’t do. Get an instant read thermometer and know exactly when your food is ready. Just don’t poke it too many times or you’ll lose all the juices!

Thermometer Suggestion:

6. Practice!

You can’t expect to fire up the grill for the first time and cook like a seasoned chef. Do some trial runs, familiarize yourself with your grill and the types of meat and sides you want to make. Cook some meals for yourself or your family before inviting everyone you know over for a big cookout. Perfect your process, then show off to your friends!

 

With the right tools and ingredients and a little bit of practice, you’ll be the king of the grill in no time. Happy grilling!

LGBT Pride Month Spotlight: Cyndi Lauper

By | June 3, 2014

Cyndi Lauper’s music let her rise to fame, but today she may be more well known for her LGBT activism than for her songs.

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Photo by Cary Bass-Deschenes. Used under CC 2.0

Beloved by the LGBT community, Cyndi played pride concerts all through the 80s and 90s when it wasn’t as cool and trendy as it is today. Her countless equality efforts include the massive True Colors Tour benefiting the Human Rights Campaign, the Forty to None campaign that seeks to eliminate the staggering problem of homelessness among LGBT youths, and her Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots, which addresses the acceptance of drag queens in society. She was even present at the White House when President Obama signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law in 2009.

A true hero to the LGBT community, Cyndi Lauper is one of the most important and influential advocates for equality of the last 30 years.

Buy The Essential Cyndi Lauper on Amazon – CD & MP3, Great Deal!

Documentary BEFORE YOU KNOW IT by PJ Raval opens in LA June 13

By | June 1, 2014

The award winning documentary Before You Know It will be making it’s Los Angeles theatrical debut on June 13th at Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. Director PJ Raval followed three gay seniors as they go through the usual struggles of reaching old age while being gay in today’s society.

The film has been praised by critics for its intimate profile of an often overlooked group within the LGBT community. Many have found the doc emotional and inspiring as it sheds light on some important issues while delving into the personal stories of three very different men united by their common sexuality and challenges.

IndieWIRE called Before You Know It “A crucial addition to the LGBT doc canon”. Now, after appearing in theaters and festivals all over the world, the film is set for its Los Angeles run. Click here to go to the event page on Facebook for all the details. 

Watch PJ Raval on The Brian Darling Show where he talks about the film, his inspiration as a director, and the state of the LGBT community. 

For more information about the movie, visit the website: www.BeforeYouKnowItFilm.com

PJ’s website can be found at www.unraval.com