Last week we reported on Lance Bass's directorial debut in a new short film, "Tale of Two Dads," tied to AT&T's new campaign, “Love is Changing History,” aimed at showing “how how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) love is changing history every day.”
Actress and activist Pauley Perrette (NCIS) has also co-directed a short film in conjunction with the campaign called, "Jenny." Her film focuses on a young girl's anxiety about whether she will get asked to prom by her dream date, Alex.
Check out the film (along with Bass's in case you missed it) AFTER THE JUMP...
From now through November 11, AT&T will donate $1 to Trevor every time someone shares the campaign’s website, and/or one of the two short films (Bass's or Perrette's) to Facebook and Twitter. They will also donate $1 if you submit your own story about a moment in your life that embodies how “Love is Changing History” on the project’s website. AT&T will donate at least $25,000 and up to $100,000 to Trevor in support of their mission to provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
Follow the campaign and see others’ stories on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #ChangeHistory.
You can also check out the "Love is Changing History" website HERE.
Project Runway alum Jack Mackenroth has joined with photographer Thomas Evans and Connecticut-based World Health Clinicians (WHC) to launch a new social media campaign, “HIV Equal,” aimed at fighting the stigma surrounding HIV and encouraging people to get tested and know their status.
The campaign comes at a crucial time for HIV awareness, as 90% of new HIV infections are found in young men ages 13-34. For that reason, the campaign places a strong emphasis on testing in coordination with youth outreach.
Mackenroth, who has been HIV positive for twenty-four years, spoke out about his involvement with the project:
“Our goal is to photograph people from all walks of life who support ending HIV stigma, regardless of their personal HIV status. We launched the campaign with celebrities, politicians, artists and many recognizable faces in order to draw attention to our mission, but we plan to include everyone since HIV affects us all,” Mackenroth explains. “HIV Equal goes a step further to include testing so that everyone photographed knows their status. We need to take care of ourselves and each other, as well as to reignite the global conversation about HIV to stop the spread of misinformation, fear and judgment.”
More than just assigning people with labels of “negative” and “positive,” “HIV Equal” highlights what people believe to be “a positive attribute that they see about themselves”:
Individuals are photographed with a unique “HIV=” logo, which strategically appears on their body. As a play on the word “status,” a unique caption will read ‘STATUS:_______,’ and every model picks a word that exemplifies one aspect of their personality. This alludes to the fact that who we are as people is much more important than an HIV status.”
The campaign will officially launch this weekend at October 26, 2013 as part of World Health Clinician’s LGBT wellness event (being held from 12-5PM at 618 West Ave, Norwalk, CT).
As Evans put it, “Regardless of our HIV status we are equally valuable human beings.”
Check out a video featuring Mackenroth, Evans and other “HIV Equal” supporters AFTER THE JUMP...
Zdravko Cimbaljevic came out in 2010 and earned the distinction of being Montenegro's first out gay man. From that moment on, his life got much more difficult. The death threats and assaults began almost immediately, Buzzfeed reports, with his father disowning him, his extended family cutting him off, his neighbor attacking him in the street, and receiving death threats like one posted in public that read:
With his blown-out ass, we announce that on the day of July 24 2013 in 12 a.m., in front of the Walls of The Old Town Budva, his soul will depart in death, our afflicted and never overf--ked brother … ZDRAVKO CIMBALJEVIC. Commemoration of the dearly screwed deceased will be held in former Government building.
Despite Cimbaljevic reporting all incidents to the authorities, and despite Montenegro having LGBT protections written into law to meet the requirements for admission into the European Union, no prosecutions have been taken. Fearing for his safety and believing that the authorities had no desire to halt his persecution, Cimbaljevic sought asylum in Canada this summer after the Pride march in Budva, an action he says he wouldn't have taken if just one person had been convicted.
This past Sunday the country's capital of Podgorica held its first-ever Pride march, which Cimbaljevic attended via Skype. Violence did erupt, but unlike the march in Budva, police in Podgorica locked down the parade route and protected the marchers from harm. The event was attended to and supported by government officials.
Cimbaljevic's activism and coming out has helped to dramatically shift the climate towards homosexuals in the country in a relatively short amount of time.
“I was frightened in the beginning, but it really was easier for me than it was for Zdravko,” [Stevan] Milivojevic said. Gay and lesbian issues have been part of the national discussion since Cimbaljevic came out — people are at least aware that LGBTs exist within Montenegro now. “My parents and friends and all my surrounding people supported me,” he said.
Massocheichei is one of my favorite states too.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Big Bang Theory actor and Emmy-winner Jim Parsons and his longtime partner, graphic designer Todd Spiewak, went public this weekend for a GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) award ceremony. The two won the organization's Inspiration Award, and they walked the red carpet together for the first time. Parsons has thanked Spiewak in speeches at other awards shows, but they have never made such a public appearance.
The two men were classy and humble as they discussed their relationship, their dogs, and the true activists of the LGBTQ community. The award was presented to them by Mayim Bialik, Parson's Big Bang co-star.
E! Online reports:
On stage, Parsons said the true inspirations of the world are people like GLSEN's student ambassadors and writer and gay activist Larry Kramer...
"I've never considered myself an activist," Parsons said. "I've never considered my relationship with Todd to be an act of activism. Rather simply, it's an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs [out]—a regular life, boring love.
Parsons corrected himself, saying that even if the award is simply a display of he and Todd's inspiration to others, they would be nowhere without their friends and family.
"...We are both surrounded by so many people who make our lives better and easier, friends we've had for many years and friends we've made since living in L.A."
In the audience were Spiewak's parents, who Parsons thanked "for being such an important part of our lives—and our dog's lives."
Congratulations to Jim and Todd!
Lionsgate Studios (which produces The Hunger Games) and Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason were also honored at the GLSEN ceremony.
Watch the couple's funny, self-effacing, and touching speech, AFTER THE JUMP...
Indianapolis, Indiana's largest business group announced today it opposes a proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality in the state, The Indianapolis Star reports:
The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is the latest high-profile business interest to oppose the amendment, which the General Assembly will consider for the second and final time early next year. If the legislature approves the amendment, called House Joint Resolution 6, then heads to Indiana voters in a statewide referendum in November 2014.
"The Indy Chamber is in the business of strengthening our economy and attracting top talent to our region," John Thompson, chairman of the chamber's board, said in a news release. "The proposed marriage amendment does nothing to help show the nation that Indiana is a place that welcomes all, not just some. And we must be mindful of how actions such as this will impact our competitiveness on a national and global level."
Not only would the proposed amendment enshrine anti-marriage equality language into the state's constitution, it would also explicitly outlaw civil unions, which Indiana does not currently provide.
A recent poll found that two-thirds of Indiana voters oppose the proposed constitutional amendment. The campaign against the amendment, known as Freedom Indiana, kicked off this summer and is led by campaign manager Megan Robertson, a Republican who supports equal marriage rights.
In a position statement posted on its website, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce highlighted Indiana's "brain drain" as one of its reasons for opposing the constitutional amendment:
"Indiana's struggles to retain its college graduates are well documented and often acknowledged in the state legislature. Its necessity to ease this "brain drain" by attracting talent on a national scale would be inhibited by adopting an unnecessary, discriminatory amendment with fading support from younger generations.
"As the only potential marriage amendment up for consideration nationwide in 2014, it is important to be mindful of the conspicuous part HJR-6 would play in portraying Indiana as a state that welcomes some, but not all, talented workers."