While Dallas/Ft Worth has a wide ranging cultural scene, it is some what lacking in the LGBT/T arts area. For this one tends to look to New York/SF/LA
Ks Stevens who wrote the lyrics, libretto and composition for this play asked me if I was interested in seeing it and possibly giving it a blurb.
I think we should promote plays and movies that include actual TA/TG performers and so I’m giving this play I won’t be able to see a boost.
BIG EXCELLENT 20TH REUNION
A musical comedy for the entire LGBTQA community
ERICA KLEIN is an 18 year old adoptee and a woman of color who attends her recently deceased mother’s BIG EXCELLENT 20TH REUNION in order to deliver her mother’s last message to her dearest friends from high school. It is quickly revealed all were closeted during high school. We meet KEVIN YIH is a sober gay therapist who was homeless, and now works with at-risk youth and is living with HIV. MITCH JOHNSON is a gay man who was kicked out of the military, and became a leatherman and Hollywood stuntman. DEBRA GONZALES is a professional bisexual who traded in working in the mortgage industry for a new law degree. SAMANTHA BLAINE is a cat-loving lesbian romance writer. And DANIELLE PARKER is transsexual Professor of Queer Theory and the former quarterback of the football team. Due to personalities and dynamics, it’s no easy task for ERICA to deliver her mother’s last message, as this play reveals the differences and internalized prejudices within the queer community. There are anthems for everyone and it is a deeply intimate story for those who have ever loved family and friends who are queer, from interracial and/or adopted families, or have been touched by cancer and HIV.
Bianca Leigh, Alyssa Chiarello, Vincent DiGeronimo, Clarence P Ilanan, Elizabeth Whitney
and introducing Raven Troup
Ks Stevens – Lyrics, Libretto and Composition Freddy Hall – Musician
Brad Gardner – Musical Direction and Arrangements Marques Walls – Musician
Natalie Malotke – Choreographer Sir Real – Lighting Designer & Operator
Regie Cabico – Director Theo Czerevko – Sound Design & Technician
Jamar Green – Director’s Assistant Onyx Jackson-Preston – Stage Manager
BIG EXCELLENT 20TH REUNION is made in PARTNERSHIP with:
MCCNY Homeless Youth Services: Sylvia’s Place, H.A.L.O (Helping and Loving Orphans), The Catalyst Foundation, Project Renewal, LGBT Community Center NYC Cultural Programs, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, WOW Cafe Theatre, BKLYN Dry Goods, Cap 21 Studios, Queers For Economic Justice, Fourth Arts Block, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and HB Studio.
The PREMIERE is JUNE 6TH, 2012 with a RED CARPET at 6:30 P.M., show is at 8 P.M. (Invitation Only).
There are 19 Performances in June for a three week run. The Final Performance is on June 23rd, 2012,
the night before NYC PRIDE SUNDAY 2012.
The play is located at THEATRE 80 (80 Saint Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenues) in Manhattan.
Tickets are $55 and $30 for seniors over 62 and students.
Performances will be held on the following dates and times:
June 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23 at 8 p.m.
June 13, 17, 20, 22, 23 at 2 p.m.
June 17 at 7 p.m.
BY Mara Keisling
May 03 2012
Reposted with permission
Society too often accepts that young, black, transgender women are victims of violence.
Earlier this week, I was in Minneapolis and Chicago supporting community activists seeking justice for two recent victims of anti-trans violence. In Chicago, I attended a rally for Paige Clay, who we lost two weeks ago to a gunshot to her head. In Minneapolis, the community has mobilized to support CeCe McDonald, a target of a racist and transphobic attack, who yesterday accepted a plea deal for defending herself from an attacker. And while I travelled, friends of Brandy Martell in Oakland began organizing in response to her murder this weekend, sitting in her car.
When attacked, both Paige and CeCe were 23-year-old Midwestern girls. Both were black transgender women. Paige was mortally shot; CeCe, a college student, was on trial, being punished for defending herself. Though in different ways, both stories tell the same truth about how society has come to accept, and even expect, the violence transgender people — especially young trans women of color — are often forced to face.
This Spring, there’s been so much hate violence against us: Coko Williams in Detroit, Brandy Martell in Oakland, Deoni Jones in Washington, D.C., and Paige Clay in Chicago—all transgender women of color killed because of who they were.
These are just the victims of murder and just the ones we know about. So much unreported violence occurred as well. Most decent Americans would be shocked and saddened to know how much violence many transgender people live with. We face higher levels of bullying violence, heightened domestic abuse, elevated assault by law enforcement, stunning rates of suicide attempts and off-the-scale levels of hate violence.
To steal a phrase from President Barack Obama, transgender people aren’t a special interest group. Fighting for trans rights isn’t really about anything other than ending violence. Whether it’s the physical violence faced by Paige and CeCe, the violence of poverty, or the spiritual violence of rejection, trans people know violence too well.
We aren’t fighting for special rights. It’s hard to see how Paige or CeCe would have claimed or used “special rights” to protect themselves from these kinds of attacks. Such a suggestion is too painful even to hear. Let me be clear. We want the right to live and thrive. We want the right to protect our youth, who too often are rejected by their own families and learn early that they need to protect themselves and each other, and in CeCe’s case, learn they can even face violence for protecting themselves from violence.
That night last summer, CeCe wanted the right to walk safely down a street to a grocery store. Instead, hate attacked her with broken glass to her face. That day a few weeks ago, like every day, Paige wanted the right to be Paige without having hate take aim at her at point blank range. That is what trans rights is about. I believe transgender people are special; the rights we demand, though, not special at all.
Society too often accepts that young, black, transgender women are victims of violence.
I can’t imagine the pain being felt by the people who love Paige and CeCe. Both have families and friends who want them back so badly. And for CeCe, the prison sentence she will receive next month is a reminder of how the criminal justice system has failed us again. While CeCe’s family will get her back, and despite CeCe’s resolve, her future is now fraught with barriers like dangerous treatment in prison, and later problems with accessing public services and even her ability to vote. All of this will only make completing her education and finding work that much harder. Facing an attack motivated by fear of who CeCe is and its aftermath, the choices and circumstances of her life have not been and will not be entirely her own to make.
Months and hundreds of miles apart, the aspirations of these two young women were derailed by hate. Despite the temporal and geographic distance between the violence they faced, in some ways, they were together at the same intersection—the intersection of race, class, age and gender, where violence is shamefully common, committed against anyone who lives there, without regard to the content of their characters. In this country, if you are black or poor or young or transgender—any one of those things—you are so much more likely to face violence. If you are all of those things the danger is compounded and too frequently ends in death.
This intersection is also a place where the justice system often fails. And in my time in Minneapolis and Chicago, I had to face a hard truth: CeCe is supposedly lucky. Against the odds, she’s alive. Paige Clay is dead and CeCe McDonald is being punished for surviving.
My speech would mark the first time a transgender person served as speaker in the ceremony’s 18-year history. While writing my speech, I harkened back to Amanda Simpson’s remarks about being the first openly trans presidential appointee.
“Being the first sucks,” Simpson told ABC News in 2010. “I’d rather not be the first but someone has to be first, or among the first … and I always win people over with who I am and what I can do.”
Yet the pressure to represent for trans people everywhere weighed heavily on me. But ultimately I had to speak my truth and share that truth with those around me. The one direction given to me by Vincent Vigil, director of USC’s LGBT Resource Center, was to offer the graduates a message of empowerment.
And so I thought about what empowered me to find, follow, and amplify my voice as a writer, as an advocate, as a woman who is living visibly. And that’s when it hit me: It’s always been about the girls, #girlslikeus.
I thought of CeCe McDonald and Paige Clay, two trans women of color, both 23 years old, both beautiful, and both creative. I “met” Paige a few weeks back when I came across a story of her murder in Chicago in April. I immediately thought, like so many trans women I personally know, that her tragic end could easily be mine.
By David Edwards
Thursday, May 3, 2012
An Arizona man who on Wednesday reportedly killed four people, including a 47-year-old grandmother and a 15-month-old infant, and then took his own life was also a former Republican Party official, a former white supremacist neo-Nazi and the founder of a border patrol vigilante group that advocated using violence on immigrants.
On Thursday morning, police in Gilbert, Arizona confirmed that J.T. (Jason Todd) Ready had committed suicide after killing his girlfriend, 47-year-old Lisa Mederos, along with her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend and her granddaughter, according to The Arizona Republic.
Ready had a history of violence going back to the 1990s. He was arrested for aggravated assault with a weapon in 1992 and then court-martialed twice while in the Marine Corps in 1996. He was discharged after being found guilty of conspiracy, assault, and wrongful solicitation and advice.
May 1, 2012
Environmentalism has failed. Over the past 50 years, environmentalists have succeeded in raising awareness, changing logging practices, stopping mega-dams and offshore drilling, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But we were so focused on battling opponents and seeking public support that we failed to realize these battles reflect fundamentally different ways of seeing our place in the world. And it is our deep underlying worldview that determines the way we treat our surroundings.
We have not, as a species, come to grips with the explosive events that have changed our relationship with the planet. For most of human existence, we lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers whose impact on nature could be absorbed by the resilience of the biosphere. Even after the Agricultural Revolution 10,000 years ago, farming continued to dominate our lives. We cared for nature. People who live close to the land understand that seasons, climate, weather, pollinating insects and plants are critical to our well-being.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the environmental movement. In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, which documented the terrible, unanticipated consequences of what had, until then, been considered one of science’s great inventions, DDT. Paul Mueller, who demonstrated the effects of the pesticide, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948. In the economic boom after the Second World War, technology held out the promise of unending innovation, progress, and prosperity. Rachel Carson pointed out that technology has costs.
Carson’s book appeared when no government had an environment department or ministry. Millions around the world were soon swept up in what we now recognize as the environmental movement. Within 10 years, the United Nations Environment Programme was created and the first global environmental conference was held in Stockholm, Sweden.
With increasing catastrophes like oil and chemical spills and nuclear accidents, as well as issues such as species extinction, ozone depletion, deforestation, acid rain and global warming, environmentalists pressed for laws to protect air, water, farmland and endangered species. Millions of hectares of land were protected as parks and reserves around the world.
Continue reading at:
By Dina Rasor
Thursday, 03 May 2012
Last weekI wrote about the private prison company The GEO Group and how allowing private businesses to operate prisons can affect our justice system, our laws and the fate of our prison population. This week, I will tackle the largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and its unprecedented proposal to buy prisons from money-strapped states, as well as how CCA has gamed the system with trips through the revolving door, self-dealing and influence peddling.
Just to set the stage as to how large the prison population is in the United States: our prison population is the highest in the world; one out of 100 US residents are in prison. This number has grown dramatically since 1990, due to tighter crime laws and longer sentences. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “Between 1970 and 2005, the number of people incarcerated in the United States grew by 700 percent. Today, the United States incarcerates approximately 2.3 million people.”
The private prison population has also been exploding. From the ACLU:
Even compared to this breathtaking rate of overall growth in incarceration, the rate of expansion of for-profit imprisonment far outpaced the field, accounting for a disproportionate increase in the number of people locked up. In 1980, private adult prisons did not exist on American soil, but by 1990 private prison companies had established a firm foothold, boasting 67 for-profit facilities and an average daily population of roughly 7,000 prisoners. During the next twenty years (from 1990 to 2009) the number of people incarcerated in private prisons increased by more than 1600%, growing from approximately 7,000 to approximately 129,000 inmates.
The largest private prison company, CCA, realized that this was going to be a lucrative market and decided to take their marketing and private takeover strategy one step further. In January of this year, they sent a letter to 48 states, many of them strapped for cash, and offered to buy the state prisons and enter a 20-year-plus contract with the states to house their prisoners. This was done under the persistent ruse that private prisons can be run cheaper than state prisons, even though most of the studies prove otherwise.
A Planet Connected by Wild Weather
By Bill McKibben
May 3, 2013
The Williams River was so languid and lovely last Saturday morning that it was almost impossible to imagine the violence with which it must have been running on August 28, 2011. And yet the evidence was all around: sand piled high on its banks, trees still scattered as if by a giant’s fist, and most obvious of all, a utilitarian temporary bridge where for 140 years a graceful covered bridge had spanned the water.
The YouTube video of that bridge crashing into the raging river was Vermont’s iconic image from its worst disaster in memory, the record flooding that followed Hurricane Irene’s rampage through the state in August 2011. It claimed dozens of lives, as it cut more than a billion-dollar swath of destruction across the eastern United States.
I watched it on TV in Washington just after emerging from jail, having been arrested at the White House during mass protests of the Keystone XL pipeline. Since Vermont’s my home, it took the theoretical — the ever more turbulent, erratic, and dangerous weather that the tar sands pipeline from Canada would help ensure — and made it all too concrete. It shook me bad.
And I’m not the only one.
New data released last month by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities show that a lot of Americans are growing far more concerned about climate change, precisely because they’re drawing the links between freaky weather, a climate kicked off-kilter by a fossil-fuel guzzling civilization, and their own lives. After a year with a record number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters, seven in ten Americans now believe that “global warming is affecting the weather.” No less striking, 35% of the respondents reported that extreme weather had affected them personally in 2011. As Yale’s Anthony Laiserowitz told the New York Times, “People are starting to connect the dots.”
By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent
Thursday, May 03, 2012
A move to protect gay doctors and teachers from being fired due to their sexual orientation has been blocked by the Government.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter claimed Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power’s Employment Equality Bill may not have been able to pass “constitutional muster”.
Ms Power said appropriate wording could have been worked out at committee stage, but the move was voted down.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network described the Government’s attitude as “very disappointing”.
Ms Power told the Seanad provisions in law that could see schools, hospitals and other institutions sack staff because of their orientation “serve as a daily chill factor for gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people”.
She warned the threat of sacking was real under a section of employment law that allows exemptions for religious, educational, or medical institutions which are under the direction or control of a body established for religious purposes.
From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/may/01/yoga-benefits-never-too-late
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 1 May 2012
Looking at the famous photographs of BKS Iyengar – the grey-haired, bendy-bodied yoga guru (born, so we’re told, in 1918) – might have one of two effects. First, to inspire awe at how this form of physical exercise, popularised in the west in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, can keep an individual strong and flexible, never mind at fortysomething but nudging towards a century old.
Those who can’t even touch their toes, however, may equally take one look and despair. Because at 80-plus, Iyengar (who’s still going strong) is still effortlessly touching his toes – not by bending forwards, but backwards, like a scarily supple Cirque de Soleil act.
It’s unlikely, of course, that anyone who embraces yoga in mid-life is ever going to be able to pipe-cleaner themselves into Iyengar-esque backbends. But there is certainly evidence that yoga can help fight all manner of challenges that ageing bodies (not to mention minds) face: loss of bone density, stiffness, hardening of the arteries, hormonal fluctuations, mild depression … If yoga’s starting to sound like a universal panacea – well, there are plenty of yoga teachers who’d argue it is indeed just that.
It is, so experts insist, never too late to take up yoga. One study for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine put 21 over-60s into a hatha yoga class, once a week for 12 weeks. To qualify, they had to be suffering from ‘dowager’s hump’ (hyperkyphosis), the dreaded hunched back which interferes with normal movement. The study, published in The American Journal of Public Health, reported impressive benefits: the curvatures themselves were reduced by 6%; walking speeds went up 8%, and ‘reaches’ were improved by 18%. As a bonus, many volunteers reported their balance was better – which is worth bearing in mind by anyone who dreads toppling like a ninepin in later life.
Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/may/01/yoga-benefits-never-too-late
By David Ferguson
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
North Carolina evangelical preacher Sean Harris, in a ranting, fuming sermon, told parents in his congregation to use violence to punish children for showing any perceived signs of LGBT inclinations or urges on Sunday, according to LGBT rights blog “Good As You.”
“Dads,” Harris urged, in a sermon that was broadcast as part of a “Marriage Sunday” event at churches across the state, “the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok?”
The sermon was broadcast over Christian radio stations in the area. In the recording below, members of the congregation can be heard saying, “Amen!” and chuckling at the pastor’s fulminations.
Harris said that if a congregant’s daughter starts to act “too butch,” they must “rein her in” and tell her, “‘Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive.’”
Well known antisemitic “minister” Billy Graham revealed his homophobic bigot side today.
From The Edge: http://www.edgeonthenet.com/index.php?id=132588
by Martha Waggoner
Thursday May 3, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Rev. Billy Graham urged North Carolina voters Wednesday to support an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage, a move that an observer said was highly unusual but another said was in keeping with the minister’s moral beliefs.
“Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern,” said Graham, 93, who lives near Asheville. “I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected.”
His complete statement about Amendment One will be part of full-page ads slated to appear in 14 North Carolina newspapers throughout the weekend.
Graham’s statement was issued by the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is led by Graham’s son, the Rev. Franklin Graham. Franklin Graham recorded a message last month in support of Amendment One, which is on the ballot in the election Tuesday.
“At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,” Billy Graham’s statement said. “The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment” Tuesday.
William Martin, who wrote the authorized Graham biography “A Prophet With Honor,” couldn’t recall another effort by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association like the one the ministry plans in support of Amendment One.
Continue reading at: http://www.edgeonthenet.com/index.php?id=132588