On October 2nd, people from all walks of life — progressives, conservatives, immigrants, college kids, senior citizens, LGBT people, etc. — will take part in the "One Nation, Working Together" march on Washington, D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial.
Sponsored by a coalition of over 170 human and civil rights organizations, labor unions, environmental groups, and faith-based organizations, the march is a response to new assaults on civil and human rights and declining public school systems. Several national LGBT groups, such as the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Stonewall Democrats and Pride At Work, are involved.
"Everyone deserves the right to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage," says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "This is about fundamental fairness. This includes ensuring people are not discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. It's about passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It's about ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It's about ensuring people get a fair shake and are able to support and care for their families. It's about real lives and livelihoods."
The Memphis committee of "One Nation, Working Together," chaired by Deidre Malone, will take a bus of 50 local people to the march. The Memphis Branch of the NAACP is asking individuals who can't attend the march to make a contribution of $80 to sponsor an unemployed person who'd like to attend.
For additional information about "One Nation, Working Together," contact Deidre Malone at email@example.com.
Tonight (Mon., Sept. 27th), the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) holds its monthly meeting at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper) from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Topics on the agenda include: TEP's new onePLUS! Pledge Campaign, volunteering to support candidates who are LGBT equality advocates, TEP's involvement in Midsouth Pride Parade and Festival on Oct. 16th, the local march for Gay Rights on National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11th), and the next steps with the Memphis Non-Discrimination Ordinance.
Sorry for the short notice, but I just learned that the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) is asking supporters of marriage equality to call Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper TODAY (Friday, Sept. 24th) to persuade him not to sign an Attorneys General brief promoting unfair discrimination in civil marriage law in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case out of California.
You see, the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), ardent opponents of marriage equality, sent out an e-mail blast asking their members to do just the opposite. They want Cooper to sign on to an Amicus brief opposing marriage equality in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case regarding the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in California.
So call Bob Cooper if you care about marriage equality and do it now. His office number is 615-741-3491. Here's what TEP suggests you say to the switchboard operator:
"Please let General Cooper know that I oppose him signing on to the Attorneys General brief that promotes unfair discrimination in civil marriage law in the Perry case."
The [choice] Life Over AIDS project launched at Caritas Village over the weekend with an unveiling of three panels to be installed as a mural on the wall of the Binghamton community arts center. Sponsored by the Mid-South AIDS Fund and Caritas, [choice] Life Over AIDS is an art awareness project intended to reduce the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, reduce the number of infections, and educate Memphians living with HIV/AIDS about healthy choices.
Here are the three art panels, shown behind some neighborhood kids at Caritas:
The first panel was created by Frank D. Robinson, the second by Carl Moore, and the third by Jamin Carter.
Future [choice] Life Over AIDS events include a juried art exhibit opening on October 1st from 5 to 8 p.m. and a film screening at Malco Studio on the Square on December 1st from 7 to 8 p.m.
For more information about the [choice] Life Over AIDS project, check out their website.
Take a few moments out of your shopping time at Saturday's Cooper-Young Festival for a quick HIV test.
Representatives from Planned Parenthood are providing free mouth swab HIV testing at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the festival. In case you didn't know, the annual Cooper-Young Festival is going on from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday., Sept. 18th.
Results for mouth swab tests are ready in about 30 minutes. That's plenty of time to catch a live band or grab a quick beer at the festival while you wait.
By the way, HIV testing is always free at Planned Parenthood's new health center at 2430 Poplar. It's also free every Wednesday night at the MGLCC from 6 to 9 p.m.
Quick post today: Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) will be making a guest appearance on Kelly D. Price's internet radio show Walking-N-Memphis.
Cole will discuss LGBT equality and the work of TEP. Catch Cole's interview from 2 to 4 p.m. on the WRUG website. Listeners are invited to call in at 901-217-6037.
The Tennessee Equality Project has just launched the onePLUS! campaign in an effort to round up straight supporters of LGBT rights.
They're asking LGBT people to make personal lists of straight friends, family, co-workers, etc. Then they can mail this link to those allies to have them sign this pledge:
I support this person’s right to equal protection under civil law. I support their right to be judged on their achievements as a human being instead of the prejudices of others. I pledge to continue to support them because I believe that every citizen, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression deserves the right to earn a living and provide for their families without fear or discrimination.
The point? Asking straight allies to come forward strengthens the movement by increasing visibility. According to TEP's release on the onePLUS! campaign, "We are each one vote, plus every family member, friend, coworker, and employer who supports our right to equal protection under civil law. We are each ONE, PLUS!"
Straight folks: You don't have to be referred to the site to pledge support. The online pledge form includes a field to enter the name of the person who referred you, but it can be left blank.
TEP will have a onePLUS! booth set up at the Cooper-Young Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18th, and they're looking for volunteers to gather pledges at the event. Click through to this Facebook page to sign up as a volunteer.
There's no shortage of good old-fashioned gay fun to be had this weekend.
* The annual Outflix Film Festival kicks off tonight (Sept. 10th) at Malco Ridgeway Four with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by the first films On the Bus and Children of God at 7:30 p.m. For a full schedule, go to the Outflix site. Outflix runs through Sept. 16th.
* Emerald Theatre Company premieres Porn Yesterday at TheatreWorks tonight (Sept. 10th). In this comedy directed by Den-Nickolas Smith, a gay male porn star attempts to launch a legitimate acting career and finds the task more difficult than he thought it would be. The show runs Fri.-Sun., Sept. 10-12 and Thurs.-Sun., Sept. 16-19. Click here for details.
* Openly gay American Idol season eight runner-up Adam Lambert performs the campy cabaret-esque music from his debut album For Your Entertainment on Saturday (Sept. 11th) at Harrah's Casino. During his performance last fall on the American Music Awards, Lambert made out with a male keyboardist and shoved a male dancer's head into his crotch. Lambert's envelope-pushing earned him the #5 spot on Out Magazine's 2010 list of the most influential gay and women in America. For more on the Tunica show, go here.
* Speaking of Glambert, if you think you can sing (or do drag or dance or yodel or whatever), don't miss the Tribute to George's "Dog Night" Talent Contest at Crossroads on Sunday (Sept. 12th). Back in the day, when the long-defunct George's was the only gay club in town, they hosted a weekly "Dog Night" where amateur showgirls would try out for a spot in George's official showgirl cast. In Sunday's tribute event, folks can compete with any talent, not just drag. The winner gets two tickets to the upcoming George's Reunion Party. Check out the event's Facebook page for details.
The 13th annual Outflix Film Festival kicks off on Friday, Sept. 10th and runs through the 16th. Hosted by the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center, Outflix features multiple LGBT-themed films from around the globe. This year's offerings, all shown at Malco's Ridgeway Four Theater, include films from the Bahamas, Peru, Canada, the U.K., Israel, and the U.S. Individual tickets are $9 each, but attendees can save with three-film packages ($24), seven-film packages ($45), or a festival pass ($75).
Here are the highlights, but check out the Outflix website for a full schedule:
* Children of God- Friday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Bahamian Kareem Mortimer's debut feature tells the story of three very different individuals — a conservative wife of a secretly gay pastor, a gay man hiding his sexuality from his family, and a conflicted artist in search of himself.
* A Marine Story- Saturday, Sept. 11, 6 p.m.
Highlights the absurdity of the military ban on gays and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy through the personal story of one courageous female Marine.
* 8: The Morman Proposition- Sunday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
Documentary on the Morman Church's historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California's Proposition 8.
* Eyes Wide Open- Sunday, Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.
A respectable, married Jewish butcher falls for nomadic young male student.
* Stonewall Uprising- Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m.
Documentary on the 1969 New York police raid of the Stonewall Inn, which launched the modern-day gay rights movement.
* Undertow- Thursday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m.
A young, married Peruvian fisherman harbors a secret love for an openly gay man. After a tragic accident, the fisherman has to choose between sentencing his lover to eternal torment or revealing his relationship to his wife and village.
Local singer-songwriter S.J. Tucker, a long-time member of Memphis-based Summerland Grove Pagan Church, may often be associated with the pagan community. But the bisexual folk performer got her start playing monthly at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) years ago.
Today, Tucker (also known as Skinny White Chick and Sooj) travels around the country with her partner Kevin Wiley, performing the pagan festival circuit. Local appearances are rare, but she's set to perform at the MGLCC (892 S. Cooper) on Friday, Sept. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m.