Lesbian News

Biden wants and needs our vote

Biden wants and needs our vote

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden‘s campaign launched a get out the vote initiative geared toward LGBTQ voters, an initiative that was announced as Pride Month is under way. 

The campaign said the program, known as Out for Biden, is being led by a steering committee that includes Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David, Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), along with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first openly gay member of the Senate. 

Biden’s LGBTQ Vote Director Reggie Greer invoked the recent nationwide discussion on race in a statement announcing the launch of the initiative, saying the program would work to involve LGBTQ voters of color. 

“Our campaign’s decision to launch Out for Biden in the shadow of historic protest elevates the power of the moment and encourages deep — and sometimes difficult — dialogue within our LGBTQ+ community as Pride month begins,” Greer said.  “LGBTQ+ people of color are central to the fabric of our communities. We must elect a government that will center their voices and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

via The Hill

Join ‘Ahead of the Curve’ at the Drive-In on June 27 – Lesbian.com

Join ‘Ahead of the Curve’ at the Drive-In on June

For many of us right now, the thought of celebrating anything is unfathomable. We contemplated how best to approach our film’s world premiere, while recognizing and honoring the time we’re living in, and realized that making space to tell queer stories is in itself an act of resistance. Sharing the story of a visionary and unapologetic celebration of lesbian life is an act of resistance. Our movement was forged in joy and struggle — as queer people, our very existence is resistance – let’s use our joy as a powerful and nourishing tool to fuel our fight. Being together with our community for this night of celebration will energize us to keep doing the work that needs to be done. TICKETS.

We’re excited to announce that tickets for the World Premiere of AHEAD OF THE CURVE at the Drive-In are on sale now. Taking place on Saturday, June 27th at the West Wind Solano Drive-In Theater in Concord, CA, as part of the Frameline44 Pride Showcase, a limited block of tickets are available now at Frameline.org. Definitely get yours asap, this event will sell out fast.

To help make the film accessible to those who can’t attend the Drive-In in person, we’ve worked with Frameline to make a limited number of digital streams available as well. Please visit Frameline’s Digital Screening room for tickets.

Franco, Jen, Rivkah, and everyone on the AHEAD OF THE CURVE team can’t wait to share the story of Curve Magazine with you.

WORLD Premiere – 2020 Frameline44 Pride Showcase
Special Screening of AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Saturday, June 27, 2020
West Wind Solano Drive-In Theater
1611 Solano Way, Concord, CA

Tickets available here.

Tags: Ahead of the Curve, Jen Rainin, lesbian documentary, lesbian film

Posted & filed under Entertainment.

Trump asks Supreme Court to make it legal to ban same-sex couples from adopting

Trump asks Supreme Court to make it legal to ban

Photo via Proud Parenting Family Photo Gallery

The Trump Administration has filed a new law brief with the Supreme Court. In it, the administration argues that adoption agencies should have a right to refuse to home children with same-sex couples based on religious beliefs.

The debate rose out of the City of Philadelphia, where the city itself had a contract with Catholic Social Services to help place needy children in foster and adoptive care. The city terminated its contract with CSS in 2018 when the agency refused to place any of its children with same-sex couples, citing a city law that requires nondiscrimination by all agencies contracting with the city government. CSS claimed it would not abide by the regulation, citing religious exemption.

The Trump administration continues to claim that Donald Trump is the most pro-LGBTQ president in historyAn assessment of actions by the administration, however, reveals that Trump is actually the most anti-LGBTQ president in American history.

via Queerty

‘Good Kisser’ offers fresh take on lesbian romance – Lesbian.com

‘Good Kisser’ offers fresh take on lesbian romance – Lesbian.com

San Francisco, CA – Wolfe Video, the largest exclusive distributor of gay and lesbian films, today announced the early digital release of Wendy Jo Carlton’s critically acclaimed feature film, Good Kisser.

The film will be available for purchase and rent on May 19, 2020 ahead of its DVD release set for June 16th, 2020. Good Kisser will stream on a variety of digital platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU and WolfeOnDemand.com.

From award-winning writer/director Wendy Jo Carlton, (Easy Abby, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together), comes this fresh, romantic ride, brimming with mind games and erotic tension.

Kate and Jenna want to spice up their relationship by opening it up to a third and plan a date with the enchanting Mia. Jenna becomes enthralled with Mia’s sexual confidence and charm, and as they spend the evening dancing, drinking tequila, and sharing secrets, the women become entangled physically and emotionally. But what was intended as a night of fun soon exposes the cracks in Kate and Jenna’s relationship. Careful what you wish for.

Written and directed by Wendy Jo Carlton, who has been making female-oriented queer movies for two decades, Good Kisser features an ensemble cast starring Kari Alison Hodge, Julia Eringer, Courtney McCullough, and the feature debut of Rachel Paulson (younger sister of actor, Sarah Paulson).

“It’s amazing to work with Wolfe to share my new feature romance with the world, as their prowess will help us reach an audience that is hungry for more quality queer cinema,” says Wendy Jo Carlton.

“We have wanted to work with Wendy Jo Carlton for years and are glad to have that opportunity with the release of her sexy new film, Good Kisser. We are excited to share her portrayal of an authentic lesbian experience with our loyal Wolfe audience,” says Kathy Wolfe, CEO & Founder at Wolfe Video.

Wendy Jo Carlton directed her first feature, Hannah Free, starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless, in 2009. Her second feature, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together, is said to be the first lesbian RomCom musical, with film critic Roger Ebert giving it a glowing review, and AutoStraddle.com listing Jamie and Jessie are Not Together as one of the “Top 100 Lesbian Movies of All Time”. Her award-winning lesbian web series, Easy Abby, received 50 million views online, and is now an Original Series on Revry.tv.

Wendy Jo Carlton is an Associate Producer on the award-winning documentary, Circus of Books, executive produced by Ryan Murphy, on Netflix (2020).

Follow @goodkissermovie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest release updates.

Watch on WolfeOnDemand.com.

New Jersey multicultural wedding with Caribbean roots

New Jersey multicultural wedding with Caribbean roots

Nicole + Andrea: New Jersey multicultural wedding with Caribbean roots

It’s Time To Step Up – KitschMix

It’s Time To Step Up – KitschMix

To us, strength has no identity, and solidarity should have no race.

We can’t continue with business as usual. This week, we’re suspending our regular schedule to focus on content related to this struggle, the fight against white supremacy and the fight for Black lives and Black futures

We’re working hand-in-hand with our team to shape our plan for better representation, not just for now, but for forever.

It’s on us – all of us – to learn about racial prejudice, to develop the understanding of those who don’t, and to take time to self-educate on the challenges under-served communities face. Not just in America, but across the world.

This week all our channels will be used to educate and encourage others to fight for a positive change – we will work to support our local communities and develop further initiatives.

We’re utilising our internal education platform to circulate – and give access to – a library of resources, in order to increase the awareness of equal rights.

This initiative aims to provide a deeper understanding of the injustice and inequality that millions still face.

It’s time to donate

Black Lives Matter pioneer in the movement to fight for freedom, liberation and justice. Leading the way in providing a voice for Black people, BLM provide the resource for further understanding of racial prejudice, opening the eyes of the world to the challenges many people face, whilst offering an opportunity to make change.

With hundreds of charities helping communities, we understand that it can be difficult knowing where to direct your charitable donations.

By no means a comprehensive list, here is a short index of organisations that you can donate to right now to make an immediate difference.

  • Black Lives Matter – a global organisation which creates space for Black imagination and innovation, whilst providing an educational platform.
  • Black Visions Collective – a black, trans, and queer-led social justice organisation and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
  • The Bail Project – a nonprofit that aims to mitigate incarceration rates through bail reform.
  • We love Lake Street – an organisation helping to rebuild the Lake Street community in Minneapolis which has been affected by recent riots.

Ways You Can Help

As well as the educational resources below, being vocal is a crucial step in gaining awareness and promoting the need for change. 

Here is a list of petitions and further ways you can help.

Educate yourself

There is no guidebook to eradicate racism. There are however, multiple insightful resources and learnings that have been published to help educate you, and your community on the history behind the movement. 

Below, a variety of non-fiction, and fiction works by authors that help paint a visual representation of both pain and injustice, which aim to unite all races in the fight for equality and freedom.  

NETFLIX

BOOKS / AUDIBLE

Biden recognizes 50th anniversary of LGBTQ Pride Month

Biden recognizes 50th anniversary of LGBTQ Pride Month

Joe Biden issued a statement on June 1 recognizing Pride Month, saying “much work remains” to advance LGBTQ people despite the progress made after the first Pride 50 years ago in memorial of the Stonewall riots.

“Despite our progress, much work remains,” Biden wrote. “As our nation grapples with the uncomfortable truths of systemic racism, a devastating pandemic that’s claimed more than 100,000 lives in the United States and left more than 40 million people filing for unemployment, and a president that’s waged an all-out assault on the rights of our most vulnerable, including LGBTQ+ people, we are reminded of why those first brave souls took to the streets to march 50 years ago.

“Pride has come to be recognized as a global movement of love, self-expression, and community — resilient in the face of oppression and fear and hopeful for a better future,” Biden wrote. “This month, let us recommit to those principles of Pride and remain steadfast in the fight for justice and equality.”

Biden also invoked the memories of LGBTQ activists who have died in recent weeks: Larry Kramer, a gay rights pioneer and AIDS activist who founded ACT Up; Aimee Stephens, a transgender plaintiff in lawsuit before the Supreme Court that will decide whether federal civil rights law applies to LGBTQ people; and Lorena Borjas, a transgender immigrant activist.

Biden also cites the anti-LGBTQ policies of the Trump administration, such as the transgender military ban, as well as condemning Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for having “given safe harbor to white supremacists and other forms of hate.”

In contrast, Biden expresses commitment to LGBTQ legislation known as the Equality Act pending before Congress and says he’ll take “swift action to reverse” the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ policies.

Last week, the White House issued five proclamations from Trump designating June as Great Outdoors Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month and National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, but nothing on Pride Month.

via Washington Blade

Sunrise in Halong Bay, Vietnam • Travel with Mei and Kerstin

Sunrise in Halong Bay, Vietnam

 

 

It was raining cats and dogs when we arrived in Halong Bay. When we left Hanoi earlier that day, I had no idea we would need 4 hours to reach the Gulf of Tonkin. In Europe, we would have needed only 2 hours to reach a destination of 170 kilometers. But in Vietnam, things were a bit different, especially back in 2014.

 

Are we on a highway? Oh yes, of course this is one of the most popular highways in Northern Vietnam. Our guide Than sounded proud to be a Hanoi native. So, you cannot drive faster than 65-70 kilometers per hour on this highway? No, no. Not faster! The road is in a bad condition, there are too many motorbikes. And lots of holes. Look, look, here! As our guide pointed at a pothole, our driver suddenly hit the brake. And then accelerated again after bypassing the depression and a few motorbikes hunting from right and left.

 

 

You see over there? Now Than was pointing at roadworks in the distance. In a few years, there will be a new highway. Maybe in 2018, you can drive to Halong Bay in only 2 hours. Imagine, you will win 2 hours for one way! You won’t have to sleep in Halong Bay, when you visit us again in a few years. You can make a quick day trip to Halong and come back to Hanoi in the evening. You will save a lot of money and see more of Hanoi!

 

I looked at Kerstin and we both shot our guide a polite smile. I resisted the urge to explain that we wanted to stay a night in Halong Bay. That we didn’t like to rush when traveling. But I decided to change the subject and ask him about Hanoi’s architecture…

 

It is still raining, please wait in the “waiting room”. What waiting room, we asked. Oh, the room where you wait for me! I go get the tickets for your boat trip. And you wait here in the room, OK? When we walked into the “waiting room”, a brouhaha of dozens of different languages filled our ears. Hundreds of tourists were sitting and standing in the hall. Americans, French, Brits, Russians, Chinese, Germans… Despite the rain, the heat was still palpable. And in this jam-packed hall, sweat was running down everyone’s neck.

 

Do you think we’ll be on the same boat as all the tourists here? I sensed Kerstin’s worried tone and didn’t know what to answer. Well, I hope it will stop raining soon. Or what view of Halong Bay will we get?

 

Victory Star Junk in Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

I wasn’t done worrying when Than’s smiling face popped up behind our shoulders. Here, look, I have your tickets! We can go now. He pushed open the misted glass door and held up a rainbow colored umbrella over us. For a moment, I wondered if the travel agency revealed to all our private guides that we’re a lesbian couple. Clutched to our rainbow umbrella, we followed Than down to the dock. As we boarded the Victory Star Junk Boat, I swiftly heard my father’s voice in my head: never sleep on a boat! Never go on a cruise!

 

When my family fled Vietnam in December 1978, they became boat people. For eight months, they were “prisoners at sea”, sitting like sardines on the Tung An freighter, off the coast of Manila. Before being moved to Tara Island for four more months, waiting to be resettled overseas.

 

I was not on that ship. I was not part of the boat people. I was not a Vietnamese refugee, for I was born in Luxembourg a few years later. But growing up, I kept hearing my family’s creepy stories on the sea. My fear of the ocean could never be compared to that of my family’s, nor other Vietnamese boat people’s thalassophobia. However, the terror of a possible death in an ocean was great enough to make me swear I would never get on a cruise.

 

 

But then, the idea of spending a night on a boat, feasting on the spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, really tickled me. After all, it was just one night. Aboard a luxurious five-star junk, with only 32 cabins… absolutely human-scale and safe. And it’s not in a big scary ocean, but in a bay. A UNESCO World Heritage Site to be exact.

 

Are you OK? Kerstin shot me a worried look, snapping me out of my daydream. I grinned bravely and we entered our cabin. Our luggage was already waiting for us, next to an ebony bed. The sea breeze waltzed with the gilded curtains and uncovered a private balcony. I walked over to close the window and caught a glimpse of what seemed to be a sunbeam, fighting its way through the dissipating grey clouds.

 

Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

When you come from a country as Lilliputian as Luxembourg, chances are that you get to hear welcoming words followed by an exclamation mark. Sometimes by a question mark. But usually an exclamation mark: Oh, you’re from Luxembourg! That’s unusual! How rare to meet someone from such a tiny country! But then, when you really come from a country as small as Luxembourg, you’re probably used to these exclamation marks. We usually simper, nod our head and say nothing more. That’s exactly what we did when the waiter of the restaurant onboard led us to our table.

 

Each couple had a dedicated table. Each table showcased the national flag of the guests’ country. All the other couples had a flag made of fabric. Ours was made of paper. Clearly it had just been printed less than an hour ago. I hope this is the right flag? The waiter asked nervously, before pulling out another red-white-blue flag from his pocket. Kerstin laughed out loud and said: No worries! This is the right flag. The one you’re holding in your hand is that of the Netherlands. They’re similar, but the blue stripe on the flag of Luxembourg is lighter. Oh yes, I see now! The waiter giggled, nodded his head a few times and finally withdrew to the kitchen.

 

On the Victory Star Junk in Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

The rain stopped after lunch. When we were getting ready to visit Vung Vieng fishing village, the sky was clearing up. The sunbeam that I’d seen earlier finally managed to find its way through the clouds.

 

From our junk boat, we climbed into a speedboat which brought us to a floating platform in the middle of Halong Bay. There, four by four we climbed into a bamboo boat, welcomed by a slender lady in a conical hat. When a couple of baby-boomers settled down behind us, the boat started to sway.

 

Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

The noise of their orange life jackets squeezed between each other and against the vessel’s rim made us edgy. Is the lady strong enough to row our boat? Kerstin whispered in my ear that perhaps we should help her. What? To row? As I turned around, I was even more worried to see the face of an elderly lady hidden under the hat. But when our bamboo boat started to glide on Halong Bay’s emerald waters, she rowed faster and faster, overtaking the other boats.

 

None of us spoke. We were all savoring the sound of the wavelets pushing against our tiny boat. And marveling at numerous caves inside conical peaks, arches between towers made of limestone and hundreds of virgin islets and uninhabited islands…

 

Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

The peace and quiet of Halong Bay ceased as soon as our boat approached the Hang Sung Sot caves. Hundreds of tourists were lining up at the grotto’s entrance. We were told to queue up behind them. The family of four in front of us were too polite to not let a group of French students jump the queue. Kerstin and I both agreed that they must be British. Or Buddhists. Or perhaps they didn’t want to offend any representative of France, since it was the French who discovered this cave in 1901?

 

Our British friends seemed to be familiar with speleology. Since Kerstin is a big fan of grottoes and caves, we decided to follow them for a while, listening to the father as he explained to his teenage son how the karst features were formed. We stopped more often than the other visitors but moved past those who were taking selfies with a massive rock formed as a phallus and lit by a pink spotlight.

 

Hang Sung Sot Caves in Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

The trip back to the Victoria Star Junk took place on a motorboat. It was shorter and faster. Still, I missed our lady friend who brought us to the cave. And regretted that we had not given her more tips for her hard work. A few hours later, we kept talking about her when we settled down on the upper deck. We guessed about her age, her name, the number of hours she had to row in a day, the number of passengers she had carried on her boat…

 

Slowly, the sun was setting across Halong Bay. Soft pink clouds settled above the faint outline of the limestone islets.

 

Sunset in Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

When I woke up at 5am the next morning, the pastel colored sky from the previous evening was replaced by hues of midnight blue. But on the horizon, I spotted a hint of orange. Catching a sunrise has always been a challenge for me. As a night owl, I get creative when the world goes to sleep. Kerstin always says that I write the best stories when the clock strikes midnight. So, I get to watch a sunrise only once in a blue moon.

 

Standing on our private balcony, I kept my eyes on the orange tinge, which soon turned into flaming red. It slowly stretched across Halong Bay, revealing one by one the many limestone pinnacles, looming out of the water. Fog patches began to dissolve. But the world remained bathed in silence. Kerstin discreetly joined me on the balcony. Together, we were glued to this blissful spectacle. A daily spectacle that is often overlooked…

 

 

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Sunrise in Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

Sunrise in Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

Sunrise in Halong Bay, Vietnam © Travelwithmk.com

 

Freedom at the Dune du Pilat • Travel with Mei and Kerstin

Freedom at the Dune du Pilat

 

Mei turned down the volume when we almost reached the Arcachon Bay. I was going to make a right turn to head towards the town of Arcachon, when I suddenly spotted the road sign “Dune du Pilat”. I hit the break. A dune? What could that be? Mei quickly unfolded the paper map on her lap. Her index finger moved feverishly across the map. Dune, Dune, Dune… I can’t find a Dune on this frigging map!

 

Mei was getting impatient… and so was I, as I kept checking in the rear-view mirror whether a car was approaching or not. Suddenly, she looked at me. You know what? Let’s just check it out! She turned up the volume, I hit the gas, and off we drove towards the mysterious dune.

 

A couple of kilometers further, another road sign led us to an outdoor parking hidden in the pine forest. A few remote cars seemed stranded on the deserted parking lot.

 

photo credit: Archigeek Dune du Pyla via photopin (license)

 

Should we bring a bottle of water? I knew that Mei usually gets thirsty out of the blue, at the most unexpected place and time. So, I always carry a bottle of water wherever we go. Nah! We probably won’t stay long… Our tiny purses slung across the shoulders, we walked down a narrow cobblestone path through the forest.

 

From afar, a tetchy metallic sound filled the air. The dissonant jingle reminded me of my childhood and yet I couldn’t quite put my finger on it… The further we trekked, the louder the clapper. When we caught sight of a row of wooden cabins, I finally recognized the sound. Mei looked at me and said: those are wind chimes, right?

 

Set at the brink of the pine forest, the wooden cabins were actually souvenir shops lining up like solitary sentinels. Most of them were closed. Bonjour! A lady, dressed like a gypsy, came out of nowhere and invited us to take a look at her store. We suddenly felt transported to an eerie parallel world. Or maybe it was the clatter of the dozens of wind chimes hanging outside her storefront. On vend aussi des boissons si vous voulez. Parce que là-haut vous ne trouverez pas grand-chose à boire.

 

I looked at Mei. Oops! Now that she knew there was no water “up there” (wherever that was?), I was sure she was going to say that she suddenly got very thirsty! In fact, I didn’t even wait until she uttered the desire to hand the lady 1€ for the bottle of water. Mei shot me a huge smile, followed by a shy kiss on my cheek…

 

photo credit: R3G15 Arcachon via photopin (license)

 

We continued our trek, which now pointed uphill. All of a sudden, we both came to a standstill. My jaw dropped as we stood in front of a giant dune. Imagine a wall made of sand reaching for the sky… 50m, 80m, perhaps even 100m high? Oh my goodness, what is that? I turned over to Mei and saw that she was as startled as I was. Well, I guess that’s the Dune du Pilat. And just like that, we both burst out laughing. Out of surprise and out of joy to have followed our guts…

 

We needed a few minutes to grasp the reality and size of what we were marveling at. We finally advanced to a wooden staircase embedded in the dune. A couple with a toddler also reached the stairs. The husband soon started to breathe heavily and cursed about how steep and strenuous the climb was. Do you think they serve beer up there? His wife didn’t seem happy about the question: How would I know! I told you to bring that stupid cooling box! And did you get the diapers for Marie? Mei and I exchanged meaningful glances but kept our mouths shut.

 

photo credit: Scalino Arcachon – Lacanau via photopin (license)

 

Next thing we knew, we arrived at the top of the dune and… stopped dead in our tracks. WOW! Someone led out a cry. It took me a moment to realize that it came from me. We were both so caught off balance that we dropped on the sand.

 

Sitting on top of the tallest sand dune in Europe, a gigantic yellow bosom nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and an enormous pine forest, I felt like I had reached a milestone in my life.

 

I had just turned 19 and Mei 20. Adult life had just started for us. We were in love with each other. As I breathed in the salty Atlantic air, I felt a liberating sensation, like a rock falling off my chest. The weight I had been lugging around as a teenager. My own ball and chain filled with guilt, shame and regret. I was the serpent that bursts out of its old skin…

 

DunePyla

 

I took Mei’s hand. We went rolling down the sandy slope of the Dune du Pilat towards the ocean. Sky and earth were upside down. Sand was embracing every inch of our skin. I remember us laughing, screaming, maybe trying to sing…

 

When we reached the beach, I ripped off my shirt and raced to the ocean. I felt the crunching wet sand between my toes, a new energy flowing upward through my legs. Still I ran, throwing myself into the water, into the new blue freedom of being a woman.

 

As I write these lines looking back at what freedom felt like 17 years ago, I see how corny our story sounds. Like a soap opera from the 1990s. But our discovery of the Dune du Pilat was one of the truthful moments that defined us. This truth set us free.

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Freedom at the Dune du Pilat: Europe's tallest sand dune in Southwestern France © Travelwithmk.com

Freedom at the Dune du Pilat, France © Travelwithmk.com

Freedom at the Dune du Pilat: Europe's tallest sand dune in Southwestern France © Travelwithmk.com

Not quite normal yet – My Two Mums

Not quite normal yet

Last week our new normal changed ever so slightly. With the government announcing new guidelines for lock down and new procedures being placed in public places, we decided to venture a little further from the house for some exercise.

We are very lucky to live quite local to the coast, so a drive to our local beach isn’t much more than 25 minutes. We hadn’t planned to visit the beach, but with us passing by on other business, we just couldn’t resist setting our feet down on the sand.

We are an outdoor family, being confined to our home for so many weeks has taken it’s toll on all of us. Both Clara and I have a love of the water, her with her paddle board and myself with my kayak. But due to restrictions, we’ve kept our water sport accessories firmly locked in the shed. Where we would normally launch from is incredibly busy due to the changes and warnings to “stay alert”. So a little paddle in the sea is the closest we are going to get to some time on the water for a while.

clara on the beach
paddling on the beach

The little dude was very happy when we told him we were going to go on to the beach for a little bit. We all removed our shoes and almost felt like the fear had gone, for just those first few seconds our feet felt the sand. But gazing across the beach, it was easy to see how it is not quite normal yet. Shops and cafes remained closed, families sat far apart across the sand and it was incredibly quiet for one of the best beaches in the UK.

Beach time
smiles on the beach

Our time on the beach was short. Due to my health issues I am anxious about being out too long at the moment. I don’t want to add to the work our amazing NHS is undertaking at the moment. But we did promise the little dude that we would return at some point. One day our old normal will return and we want to stay safe so we can see it.

LGBTQ+ app MyUmbrella relaunches – Lesbian.com

LGBTQ+ app MyUmbrella relaunches – Lesbian.com

This pandemic has effected every person around the world. We’ve been thinking about what we can do to help during this difficult time. For the first time, the world is on a collective pause, allowing time for reflection/introspection like never before.

As a result we’ve decided to full pivot to be an online platform that provides a creative outlet for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Unlike other platforms, we invite members of the community who want to share their stories the opportunity to do so, by joining our Writers Cohort. Check out some of the featured stories below.

Explore the site now at MyUmbrella.co.

Posted & filed under News.

Tony-nominated Sydney Lucas Joins EPIC for new virtual series – Lesbian.com

Tony-nominated Sydney Lucas Joins EPIC for new virtual series –

EPIC Players Inclusion Company is proud to release their fourth virtual performance, Ring of Keys from the Broadway production of Fun Home. The video features a duet between Tony Nominated Sydney Lucas and EPIC company member Nicole D’Angelo. The performance is part of EPIC’s new virtual performance series, EPIC Sings for Autism, which was started after EPIC’s spring/summer performances were put on hold due to the COIVD-19 Pandemic. The New York City based neuro-diverse theater company created the series so their autistic performers could have a creative outlet and find some normalcy during this time.

Lucas shared what drew her to collaborating with EPIC, “Fun Home has had such a positive impact on so many people. I recognized this very early on and have always felt a responsibility to tell Alison’s story to the best of my ability. Learning that it touched Nicole (D’Angelo) and really spoke to her, touches my heart as well.” She went on to say, “I wanted to raise more awareness about autism because it’s another story that needs to be told, and another group of wonderful people who need to be recognized and acknowledged. After all, Ring of Keys is a song about recognition. Meeting Nicole over ZOOM was extra special and getting to sing Ring of Keys together with her is the cherry on top. Fun Home has taught me that when you invest in matters that have the ability to reach into another’s heart, your heart is all the fuller for it. It’s really a beautiful thing to experience!”

EPIC company member D’Angelo went on to say, “Fun Home is the reason I am in theater, and in many ways saved my life. It was such an honor to perform a song from the first show I ever saw that made me feel like there was a place for me, a queer, socially awkward introvert, on a stage, and to share that performance with Sydney Lucas, who helped to shape and create the musical that means so much to me.”

Ring of Keys from the Broadway Musical Fun Home

Book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori. Featuring Nicole D’Angelo and Sydney Lucas.

In an effort to spread some much-needed joy and inspiration, EPIC’s company members,’ which feature artists on the spectrum, will continue to share a series of virtual performances throughout the Spring. Many of the video’s will be in collaborations with Broadway talent. The company would also like to connect with additional Broadway talent who may be interested in working on a virtual performance with EPIC. Interested individuals can contact Aubrie Therrien at aubrie@epicplayersnyc.org

Individuals living with autism and other neuro-diversities have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered many of their essential resources, programs and supports and left them even more vulnerable to anxiety and distress.

Additional Videos from EPIC’s Virtual Performance Series:

A Whole New World from the Broadway Musical Aladdin

Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Tim Rice. Featuring EPIC company member Jordan Boyatt and Telly Leung who played the title role of Aladdin on Broadway. Accompanied by Scott Evan Davis.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/_tfIqUsJ_NA

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/414538753

Who I’d Be from Shrek the Musical!

Performed by EPIC’s Travis Burbee and Henry Houghton, and featuring special Broadway guest, Analise Scarpaci (Lydia Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical!/Broadway). Lyrics‎ by ‎David Lindsay-Abaire, and music by ‎Jeanine Tesori.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/SE2Mqi27pnc

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/410846266

If the World Only Knew

This original song was created by award-winning composer and lyricist Scott Evan Davis who also wrote and composed the new musical Indigo, which workshopped on Broadway this past fall. If the World Only Knew was created for the autistic community and was shared with EPIC for their Lincoln Center cabaret.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/9Ch58BdhYzk
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/404823802

EPIC Players — which stands for empower, perform, include and create — is a nonprofit, neuro-diverse theatre company in New York City. Founded in 2016, EPIC seeks to use the performing arts as a vehicle to empower neuro diverse artists and pioneer increased inclusion in the arts. EPIC also provides free performing arts and careers classes for all participants. The company’s productions feature neuro-diverse artists that work in all capacities of theatre including acting, writing, stage management, design and backstage work. Past productions include neuro-diverse adaptations of The Little Prince, The Tempest, Peter & the Starcatcher, Dog Sees God, You’re A God Man Charlie Brown, Little Shop of Horrors, and numerous cabarets as Joe’s Pub, HBO Headquarters and Lincoln Center.
www.epicplayersnyc.org

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