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WATCH: Trailer For Malcolm Ingram’s New LGBT Sports Documentary ‘Out To Win’

Out to win

The teaser trailer for acclaimed film Director Malcolm Ingram’s new LGBT documentary Out to Win, which provides insight into the lives of LGBT athletes, is now available on the web reports Out. The documentary examines the lives and careers of professional and aspiring LGBT athletes from around the world including interviews with Martina Navratilova, Charline Labonté, Conner Mertens, Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, Wade Davis, David Kopay, John Amaechi and Brittney Griner.

Ingram is known for several LGBT documentaries he directed including Continental and Small Town Gay Bar, which was a huge hit with critics at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

Out in Film debuts at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month. Watch the trailer, which features brief but enlightening clips from interviews with various LGBT athletes, AFTER THE JUMP

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EEOC Finds Walmart Discriminated Against Lesbian Employee Who Sought to Add Sick Wife To Health Plan

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found Wal-Mart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her sick wife and has now ordered a resolution for violating her civil rights reports ABC News. In a Jan. 29 EEOC ruling, the agency stated Wal-Mart employee Jacqueline Cote of New Bedford, Mass. “was treated differently and denied benefits because of her sex."

Cote attempted to enroll her wife Diana Smithson, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, in Wal-Mart’s health plan in 2008 however, her coverage was denied and the company didn’t provide it until 2014. Randy Hargrove, a spokesman with Wal-Mart, said the company is willing to meet with the couple to resolve the issue at hand.

Said Hargrove: 

"While we disagree with the finding of reasonable cause, we have notified the EEOC of our willingness to meet with them and Miss Cote to discuss resolving the matter."

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.26.23 AMSmithson, who married Cote in Massachusetts in May 2004, attempted to enroll her wife online starting in 2008 but found that the system denied her from proceeding when she denoted that her spouse is a woman. Cote sought an explanation and was told that same-sex spouses are not covered. Cote attempted to enroll every year since then, including 2012 when Smithson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Cote approached Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in 2013, which filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC the following year. 

The couple has $100,000 in medical bills and paid out of pocket for said expenses in 2012 when Smithson lost private health coverage.  The couple’s attorney, GLAD attorney Allison Wright, is seeking a settlement negotiation with the retail giant to cover Smithson’s costly treatments.

Cote, 52, and Smithson, 63, met while working in a Wal-Mart store in Augusta, Maine. For Cote, the lawsuit is more than just recouping damages. "I'm not only doing this for me, I'm doing this for other gay and lesbian couples that have been discriminated against as well," said Cote. 

Wal-Mart expanded its policy in January 2014 to cover same sex spouses and domestic partners.


Lionsgate Picks-Up LGBT Rights Drama ‘Freeheld’ Starring Ellen Page, Julianne Moore

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Freeheld, an LGBT drama starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, was picked up by Lionsgate after the company and several other high-profile companies including Sony Pictures and Netflix bid on the feature reports SheWired. Execs only saw 12 minutes from the film and went through a night-long bidding war that resulted in Lionsgate acquiring the film.

FreeheldThe film tells the true story of Laurel Hester (played by Moore), a lesbian police officer with terminal cancer who fights government officials for equal rights so her partner Stacie Andree (played by Page) can have access to Hester’s pension benefits. Moore and Page’s co-stars include Steve Carell, Luke Grimes and Michael Shannon. Ron Nyswayner wrote the script for the film and the feature is directed by Peter Sollet. Page is also a producer on the film and considers it her passion project. Moore is a strong contender for this year’s Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Still Alice, and Carell is nominated for his work in Foxcatcher. The film is currently in post-production.

A documentary on the couple, also called Freeheld, was released in 2007. The feature film adaptation is currently in post-production. You can watch the heart wrenching trailer for the 2007 documentary, AFTER THE JUMP

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Transgender Man Describes How Coming Out To His Lesbian Girlfriend Led to Marriage: VIDEO

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A transgender man shared his touching coming out story with I’m From Driftwood, a LGBTQA story archive, on how he came out as a transgender man to his lesbian girlfriend. 

Said Mitch:

"We actually met online, on the site OKCupid. So we had this great dynamic from the start. I was, at the time, really, like, [a] kind of butch - or masculine-identified woman, and she is and always has been - remains - a really feminine-identified woman. It wasn't something, even when I entered the relationship, that I was thinking, 'This is something I need to tell her about me,' it's hard to explain how I had compartmentalized that part of me and just put it somewhere else, and it hadn't come to the fore for several years."

A year into their relationship, Jocelyn’s faith in Mitch gave him the strength to come out to his girlfriend as transgender. Mitch’s coming out was emotional, but Mitch’s courage in coming out led to the two’s engagement and marriage.

Watch Mitch talk about Jocelyn and how her unwavering support helped him through the transition process and into marriage, AFTER THE JUMP

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George Takei’s World War II Internment Camp Musical ‘Allegiance’ Is Headed To Broadway: VIDEO

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Actor George Takei is finally bringing his musical, Allegiance, to Broadway reports ABC News. The musical is a multigenerational tale about a Japanese-American war veteran who reflects on his family’s time spent in a Wyoming Internment camp. Takei’s starring role in the musical means this will be the first Asian-led cast in a Broadway musical in more than a decade since Flower Drum Song and David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish. 

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 11.30.42 AMAllegiance features music and lyrics from Jay Kuo, blending Big Band sounds with traditional Japanese folk melodies and brassy Broadway numbers - and a book by Lorenzo Thione, Marc Acito and Kuo. Stafford Arima, who directed Carrie and Altar Boyz off-Broadway, is directing the musical. The show originally premiered in 2012 at the Old Globe in San Diego starring Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung - only Takei signed on for the Broadway run.

The show is heavily based on Takei’s and Arima’s internment experiences when Takei and his family were removed from their Los Angeles home in 1942 and forced to live in an internment camp for several years, and Arima’s father was imprisoned in an internment camp in Canada. Takei says the project is an ode to his parents and to shed light on a dark time in America’s history.

Said Takei:

"I'm always shocked by the number of people I consider to be well informed who, when I tell them about my childhood and growing up behind barbed-wire fences, they are aghast and shocked. They'd never heard of it.

"I owe so much to my parents, and, in many ways, this production is my tribute to them. It's a kind of lifetime of gratitude coming to fruition…At the heart of "Allegiance" is the importance of family."

The show’s previews begin on Oct. 6 and the show opens Nov. 8 on Broadway at a yet-to-be-announced Shubert theater. You can watch a highlight video of moments from Allegiance’s run at the Old Globe featuring Takei, AFTER THE JUMP

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Dear Abby Defends Gay Grandmother Shunned By Homophobic Son And Daughter-In-Law

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 7.12.07 AMA gay grandmother wrote a heartbreaking letter to Dear Abby asking for advice on how to reconcile with her homophobic son, and religious daughter-in-law, who is keeping her from seeing her grandchildren claiming that he needs to protect his children from people that are gay and that he doesn't want them to know anyone who's gay, including their own grandmother. 

"Heartbroken's” letter reads:

I came out of the closet when my son was 4. I thought I had taught him not to judge because of a label.

He is now 30, with a wife and two adorable children who own my heart.

When my granddaughter was born, my partner and I were at the hospital. We have visited them often, and they have visited us.

But after my grandson was born last year, my son quit speaking to me.

I have asked him numerous times what the issue is.

His response is: "I have to protect my children from people who are gay. I don’t want them to know anyone who is gay."

His wife and her family are very religious, and I think this is the real reason. What can I do?

-Heartbroken Gay Granny

Dear Abby wisely responded, telling the heartbroken grandmother to redirect her maternal instincts toward LGBT youth whose parents have rejected them after coming out and justly commented on her son’s homophobic antics with Abby’s signature wit.

Abby’s response:

Dear Heartbroken: If your son is under the mistaken impression that he is going to somehow "protect" his children by isolating them from gay people, he must be living in an alternate reality.

Does he also plan to immigrate to the moon?

I suspect that you have put your finger squarely on the reason why your son is now ostracizing you.

His wife seems to wield the power in that family, and she could benefit by learning more about homosexuality and her religion, which I assume preaches love and tolerance for one’s fellow man rather than judgment and exclusion.

You can’t force your son and his wife to have contact with you if they don’t want to.

Leave open the possibility that they may, over time, reconcile their love for you with their faith.

For your own emotional well-being, it’s important that you find other outlets for your maternal instincts and go on with your life because any child would be blessed to be a part of it.

Sadly, a large number of LGBT young people are rejected by their parents when they come out.

These kids would benefit greatly from having a positive adult mentor such as you.

This could be your golden opportunity to make a significant, positive difference in someone’s life. Contact Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at pflag.org to find out how to get involved.

Dear Abby, aka Jeanne Phillips, is known for her staunch support for LGBT people backing same-sex marriage and justly taking homophobic submitters to task while simultaneously offering polite, but direct constructive criticism.


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