Boston Pride Prez To Resign Amid Turmoil Regarding Lack Of Inclusion

(image via Facebook/BostonPride)

Boston’s premier gay blog – BosGuy – gives a head’s up that the turmoil among folks at Boston Pride is heating up.

Pride board president Linda DeMarco is reportedly stepping down sooner than expected as activists boycott over the lack of diversity and inclusion in the organization.

From the Boston Globe:

Sue O’Connell, copublisher of Bay Windows and a host at NECN, the official media sponsor of Boston Pride, said the discontent has been years in the making.

“The pandemic and the reckoning of our unjust racial past has just claimed the Pride committee because they were unable to actually do the right thing over many, many years,” she said.

Pride celebrations grew out of the June 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York — a violent resistance to police abuse that was led in part by trans women of color. In its later years, critics say, Boston Pride has forgotten its activist mission and become commercialized by corporate sponsors, many of whom don’t share their other social justice concerns.

The long-simmering conflict boiled over last summer, after protests erupted nationwide over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Pride board rejected a statement drafted by its own communications team and issued a watered-down version without consulting its Black Pride subcommittee members. That was the last straw for many activists who felt Pride’s board was not taking their feedback and was out of touch with their concerns.

The Globe goes on to report that 80% of Pride’s volunteers left the organization in protest over that incident.

 

LGBTQ Artists Honored At 78th Golden Globe Awards

Photo of the Golden Globe Award
Photo of the Golden Globe Award
(image via Hollywood Foreign Press Association)

There was definitely some good stuff last night at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards.

Queer women, actresses and roles, did really well throughout the evening.

Gillian Anderson took home the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Supporting Role for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Crown.

The very next category, Best Actress in a Motion Picture Supporting Role, went to out actress Jodie Foster who accepted the award for her work in the political thriller The Mauritanian, sitting with her wife wearing matching pajamas.

While those Supporting Actress statues went to out actresses, the two Lead Actress film awards went to straight actresses playing queer characters.

Rosamund Pike scored the Best Actress in a Comedy honor for her role as lesbian scammer Marla Grayson in I Care a Lot. And Andra Day (who I adore) won for Best Actress in a Drama for playing Blues legend Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels’ The United States vs. Billie Holiday becoming only the second Black woman to win the award in the history of the Golden Globes.

Schitt’s Creek, whose sixth season was honored with nominations in five categories, won for Comedy Series and for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Catherine O’Hara. Co-creator and series star Dan Levy accepted the award for Comedy Series and in his acceptance called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for lack of diversity among the nominees.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (which I didn’t care for) won Best Musical or Comedy, and Nomadland (which I loved) won the award for Best Drama along with a statue for Best Director for Chloe Zhao. She is the first woman to win the award since Barbara Streisand won for directing Yentl in 1983.

And speaking of diversity, the week before the awards ceremony a news report found that out of the 87 members of the HFPA, there are zero Black journalists.

Throughout the evening, folks took the HFPA to task for that eyebrow raising factoid. And good for them for doing so.

Watch this short report from NowThis News.

Oscars Announces New Diversity Criteria For Best Picture Consideration

The Academy Awards has announced new criteria regarding diversity and inclusion for films that wish to be considered in the Best Picture category

In an attempt to address “underrepresented groups,” producers will need to hire more LGBTQ+ people, women, folks of color, and those with disabilities.

Per the new guidelines, films that want to be considered for Best Picture will have to submit a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form showing they have met at least two of the four standards laid out by the Academy.

The four standards are as follows (via Queerty):

Standard A: The movie must have a lead or “significant” supporting actor from an “underrepresented racial or ethnic group,” or 30% of the more minor roles must come from under-represented groups (women, certain racial or ethnic groups, LGBTQ, disabled). Alternatively, the main storyline may be focussed on under-represented groups.

Standard B: At least two of the creative heads among the crew – director, casting director, costumer designer, etc – are from underrepresented groups (again, women, racial or ethnic groups, LGBTQ or disabled). Alternatively, at least six of the crew are from under-represented racial groups, or 30% of the crew come from under-represented groups.

Standard C: “The film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships”, from the underrepresented groups, including LGBTQ and certain ethnic groups, as well as offering training opportunities and skills development for individuals from these groups.

Standard D: The final standard concerns the marketing and distribution departments of movies, saying, “The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from” the aforementioned groups (women, certain ethnic groups, LGBTQ and/or disabled).

It all sounds good, but in truth, a film can easily meet standards C and D by having, for example, women on the publicity team, or queer staffers/assistants on the costume crew.

Currently, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

New Music: Crazy, Sexy Ride On The Adam Roberts Side “Glue”

Adam Roberts (photo: WadleyWadley)

Singer Adam Roberts has just released his debut single and music video, “Glue.”

Roberts created the track and video while on the road with the National Broadway Tour of Miss Saigon, integrating different musical genres, changing up musical and visual textures.

In true collaborative form, several musicians and actors in the Miss Saigon company took part as the creative team for “Glue” including choreography, videography, orchestrations, recording session players, and the music video love interest played by Garrick Macatangay.

Beautifully shot and directed by Anna-Lee Wright, the video takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride of romance as Roberts’ vocals shift with equal ease from effortless, whispering falsetto to rich, robust musical muscle.

Roberts describes his songs as being, “Based in truth and experience.”

“‘Glue’ is about getting out of your own way, taking a risk and giving love a chance to bloom and flourish despite doubts or fears of the unknown,” says the artist. “Something I believe we can all relate to in some capacity.”

I recently spoke with the handsome artist about the new track and video.

*****************************************

The Randy Report: Congratulations on the debut single. Musically, “Glue” moves in and out of different tempos and sonic textures. What inspired the change-ups?

Adam Roberts: My favorite type of music that impacts me most is the kind that builds, is dynamic and that takes me on a ride. I wanted the mood of the song to musically fit the narrative journey of the text. For instance, I crafted the middle orchestral section paired with my vocals to be indicative of the ebb and flow of a relationship and to have a yearning quality to it, while the final chorus has more of a sprinting urgency to it.

TRR: With years of experience on stage in Broadway shows, did you find story-telling via the recording studio to require a different approach?

AR: Amazing question! I did actually. On stage, you’re playing to the back row. In a recording studio booth, it’s just you and a mic several inches from your face, which is much more intimate. I found that I allowed myself to let go of the physical and facial expressions and reroute the emotions into a more concentrated and zeroed-in manner, pouring it all into my voice. I was very strategic with how I played with a whispery softness versus a chesty belt or a chilly straight tone opposed to a ringing vibrato.

TRR: What do you do outside of music that contributes to your creativity?

AR: I get my biggest kicks traveling the world because it broadens my horizons and helps me gain perspective. I never get so inspired as I do experiencing life outside of my comfort zone, in a new setting, surrounded by beauty in all its forms. If I’m not in a place financially to jet set, I take myself on a date wherever I am to have an adventure. Constantly shocking the system sparks new ideas and gets the juices flowing more-so than being sedimentary.

TRR: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

AR: In a 1997 essay written by Mary Schmich she implores the reader to, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I try to abide by her wise words daily, training myself to be more brave than I innately really am. I recently hiked a scary, haunted, ghost tower in Bangkok alone and I was petrified. On the way down, I fractured my foot and spent the rest of my vacation in a cast sprawled out. Initially, I was bummed, but then I made the most of my forced downtime, picked up my guitar, and ended up writing some of the best songs to date by the pool. Climb the ghost tower! LOL

*****************************************

Roberts made his Broadway debut in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which was followed by the critically-acclaimed Broadway revival of Pippin. Prior to his current gig in the national tour of Miss Saigon (where he covers the lead role of ‘Chris’), he traveled the country in the national company of Dirty Dancing.

He also recently served as co-director/co-choreographer for Broadway Backwards, the annual celebration where men sing songs originally written for women and vice versa. In doing so, gay and lesbian stories are told through the great songs of musical theatre and sung by our favorite Broadway performers.

“Glue” is available on iTunes here, and you can follow Adam Roberts on Instagram here.

View this post on Instagram

Freeze Frame 📷: @wadleywadley

A post shared by adamant9 (@adamant9) on

New Preschool Video Series Features Love & Diversity Of LGBTQ Families

(screen capture from Rainbow Stories)

Preschool entertainment learning app Hopster teamed up with Diversity Role Models to produce a series of videos showing LGBTQ families called ‘Rainbow Stories.’

The video series focuses on teaching preschool kids about diversity among families.

“Our role models are at the heart of our work,” shared Adam McCann, CEO of Diversity Role Models. “To see their stories of embracing difference and diverse, loving families come to life and amplified to young children will encourage acceptance around the world.”

Miki Chojnacka, Chief Creative and Content Officer at Hopster, shared: “Rainbow Stories focusses on love, family, acceptance, friendship and trust. Finding real life stories and translating them into animated short films for preschoolers has been a hugely powerful experience.”

Noting that LGBTQ community is underrepresented in preschool content, Chojnacka added, “We are so proud to have formed this partnership with Diversity Role Models and make the much needed change.”

One of the animated videos shares the story of a married gay couple, Mark and Peter, who adopt a young boy, James. The video shows the happiness James finds in his new home with his adopted parents and their cat Einstein.

Check out the short video below as James comes to meet and love his ‘forever family.’

(h/t Gay Star News)

News Round-Up: February 2, 2018

Jim Newman (photo via Instagram – Isauro Cairo)

Some news items you might have:

• I loved actor/singer Jim Newman in “Daddyhunt The Serial” – and now I just discovered his Instagram! I had no idea he performs with the Village People as “The Cowboy.” #SaveAHorse

• Out transgender actress Candis Cayne will star in “ground-breaking” trans storyline on Grey’s Anatomy.

• Tickets went on sale for Elton John’s final world tour and sold out in minutes. #NoSurprise

• Pride.com shares 13 questions straight people have about gay sex (but are afraid to ask…)

• For her 60th birthday, Ellen DeGeneres gave her studio audience $1 million to split.

• A hater trolled the Pittsburgh Penguins on the announcement of taking part in diversity/inclusion program “Hockey Is For Everyone.” And the Penquins clapped back:

Podcast: Texas’ Anti-Trans Bill; Star Trek Discovery; New Jersey’s Support For Trans Students

Listen in as I discuss this week’s LGBTQ headlines including:

• The Texas Legislature is on its way to approving an anti-transgender “bathroom” bill

• Rhode Island becomes the 9th state to ban harmful “ex-gay therapy”

• New Jersey passes required guidance for trans students

Star Trek Discovery will feature its first gay romantic couple

• We may soon find out if Academy Award winner Moonlight opened the door for more mainstream success for queer-themed cinema

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report.

For past episodes, or to subscribe to the podcast for free, click here.

And, by the way, please feel free to share The Randy Report podcast with friends. It’s a great way to catch up on the week’s LGBT political, pop culture and entertainment headlines in about 15 minutes 🙂

New Orleans: We Welcome Everyone

New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) and members of the New Orleans community gathered together during Mardi Gras 2017 to create a tourism video letting potential visitors know that New Orleans welcomes everyone.

Via press release:

If there ever was a celebration to honor diversity and equality, it is Mardi Gras New Orleans. To emphasize this important message that New Orleans is ‘always open’, New Orleans tourism joined people from all over the community at New Orleans’ famous Bourbon and St. Ann streets to march together in its first-ever Reverse Parade.

Through word of mouth, some four hundred citizens gathered and volunteered their time to create a message of diversity and equality. Donning full make-up, Mardi Gras garb, beads, or just plain clothes, the New Orleans community and its supporters marched backwards in a symbolic gesture shedding colorful clothing and masks along the way. Everything stopped, quiet ensued, then a flag appeared stating “We Are Never Going Back.” Music filled the streets as participants marched forward in celebration.

“New Orleans has a history of welcoming all people all the time,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). “The amount of excitement and numbers of citizens who came to participate in the parade and film is a testament to the city’s determination to never relinquish its achievements in human rights.”