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San Francisco High School to be First to Offer Course on LGBT Studies

July 6th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

A high school in San Francisco will be the first in the nation to offer a course on LGBT issues. The Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts will offer the course starting in the fall, and it will concentrate on LGBT history and literature, terminology, and media portrayals.

“I’m excited to teach the class because, in San Francisco, at SOTA, students should be learning these stories; they’re ‘their’ stories,” teacher Lyndsey Schlax said on the school’s Facebook page. “So much is changing in America, and the world, for LGBTQ individuals… I get to teach this history as its [SIC] happening. It can’t get much more exciting than that!!!” [Seventeen]

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Caitlyn Jenner ‘Proud to be an American’ in 4th of July Message

July 6th, 2015 Chris Roney
Photo va Instagram

Photo va Instagram

Caitlyn Jenner shared a touching message with her Instagram followers on Saturday in honor of Independence Day.

Along with a photo of a framed, mounted American flag, Caitlyn wrote,

“Happy 4th of July! Proud to be an American … where at least I am free to be me.”

After her surprise appearance at New York City Pride last Sunday, Caitlyn was spotted taking it easy this holiday weekend with a leisurely ride through Malibu in her Porsche.

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Three to See on Broadway: July

July 6th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Penn Jilette (left) and Teller. (Photo: George Francis via The Broadway Blog.)

Penn Jilette (left) and Teller. (Photo: George Francis via The Broadway Blog.)

Penn & Teller on Broadway
For 40 years Penn & Teller have defied labels—and at times physics and good taste—by redefining the genre of magic and inventing their own very distinct niche in comedy. With sold out runs on Broadway, world tours, Emmy-winning TV specials and hundreds of outrageous appearances on everything from “Letterman” to “Fallon,” comedy’s most enduring team shows no signs of slowing down.

The duo made their off-Broadway debut in 1985 and first played Broadway in 1987. Following a national tour, they returned to Broadway in 1991 with The Refrigerator Tour which then moved off-Broadway. Their last New York stage appearance was a weeklong engagement at the Beacon Theatre in 2000. This will be a rare opportunity for New Yorkers and tourists to see Penn & Teller live on Broadway.

Penn & Teller on Broadway
Marquis Theatre
1535 Broadway
Opening night: July 12

Find out about two more over at The Broadway Blog…

 

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The Episcopal Church Will Marry Gays and Lesbians

July 6th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

The Episcopal Church voted to allow clergy to preside over religious ceremonies for same-sex couples as of November 1.“We commend and celebrate the Episcopal Church for this embrace of marriage equality,” said Rev. MacArthur Flournoy, HRC Foundation’s Director for Faith Partnerships and Mobilization. “Episcopalians today, in voting to allow religious marriage ceremonies of all couples in the church, regardless of sexual orientation, set an example of love and inclusion that will resonate across the religious community and beyond.”

“This move signals yet another step in the affirmation and inclusion of LGBT people by the Episcopal Church, which made history in 2003 when it elected its first openly-gay bishop, Gene Robinson,” added Rev.  Flournoy. “The timing of this decision, coming just days after marriage equality became the law of the land, builds on progress the country continues to make on our journey toward equality.”

 

 

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Globetrotting: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

July 4th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

This is a trip of firsts. It’s my first time in Fort Lauderdale, my first mass wedding, my first time toasting nuptials at 8 in the morning, and my first time welcoming the day with Lance Bass. Yet something about Fort Lauderdale feels familiar.

I’ve traveled to several cities since I was a kid, but as an adult I turned my attention away from Disney and Gulf of Mexico beaches. Miami and Key West seemed the best option for a lesbian on the loose in the tropics. But I kept hearing about Fort Lauderdale. That it had more LGBT offerings than anywhere in Florida, and as the seat of liberal Broward County, it’s the most out-and-proud of the Sunshine State’s mixed political landscape. Plus the city recently rolled out a tourism campaign to welcome transgender travelers, a first in the United States. The more attention I paid, the more intriguing the city became.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online.

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Over-Packers Rejoice; Airlines Do Not Plan on Making Carry-On Luggage Smaller

July 2nd, 2015 Daniela Mayer
Via Passport Magazine.

Via Passport Magazine.

 

Last week, it was reported that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recommended standardizing and shrinking the maximum carry-on luggage size to 21.5 in. x 13.5 in. x 7.5 in. in an effort to increase the amount of space in overhead storage bins.

Recently, after significant concerns expressed by the North American public, the Huffington Post reported that the IATA was withdrawing the suggestion.

While some European and Asian companies already agreed to the proposal, the U.S.A.’s 3 largest airlines (American, Delta, and United) formally came out against the proposal last Wednesday.

Delta Airlines even issued this statement, “Delta has no plans to reduce the size allowance for carry-on bags, and we are concerned IATA called for a change without input from airlines. Our focus and investment in the carry-on experience have been on installation of larger bins on domestic and international aircraft, and will continue to be on delivering the reliable bag service – checked or carry-on – that Delta customers have come to expect.”

And so it appears that travelers’ extra pairs of shoes still have a home in their carry-on bags – at least for now.

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Celebrate Summer with the Ali Forney Center in New York City

July 2nd, 2015 Joseph Pedro

Image via Passport

Despite the statistics that there are over 4,000 homeless youth in New York City, of which over 1,000 are LGBT, New York State continues to reduce funding for the organizations that help this segment of the population. The nation’s largest resource for these young men and women is The Ali Forney Center, which has been housing LGBT youth since 2002. This organization has proven itself as the safety net for many who are in desperate need of shelter and care. Support this vital organization at The Ali Forney Center’s 2nd Annual OASIS event on July 20. Join others at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers for cocktails on the pier and bid on an array of auction items. The evening includes an open bar courtesy of Chopin Vodka, a raffle prize of a trip for two to Amsterdam provided by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Wyndham Rewards, music by DJ JonJon Battles, an extensive silent auction, and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Alaska Thunderfet.

Don’t wait to get tickets. 

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World Eats: Hong Kong

July 2nd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

While Hong Kong’s local tongue and cuisine may be Cantonese, it sure does pack a wealth of international flavor these days. An influx of young international chefs and restaurateurs is shaking up the culinary landscape, and while amazing Dim Sum is still easy to find, dining envelopes are being pushed all over the place. In fact, the Michelin guide, upon the launch of its seventh Hong Kong/Macau edition in January, proclaimed that, “Hong Kong has become an undisputed leader in the international culinary landscape.”

Here are some of our current musts when visiting Hong Kong. Of course, when in town also check out HK (hk-magazine.com), Time Out (www.timeout.com.hk), OpenRice(www.openrice.com/en/hongkong) and their respective smartphone apps for up-to-the-minute restaurant openings and culinary developments.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online.

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West Coast Road Trip: Buckle Your Seat Belt!

July 2nd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Given her gargantuan size, you wouldn’t think I’d have to muscle my way through a crowd of hundreds to see her, but on this August afternoon she is wrapped in layers of tourists as if we are padding her from the passing breeze. Up close, she generates the same automated response from all who see her. First we gasp, then we let out a collective ‘wow’ and we do so because we are so taken by her luscious curves: as enticingly shapely as those of a burlesque dancer, her impressive coloring: as vivid as a peacock’s plumage, and the way she captivates with her immense, unwavering beauty. I am of course referring to a first-time visit to the Grand Canyon. This moment of awe is not the beginning of a journey, but rather a mighty finale.

My trip actually begins more than two weeks prior outside Twedes Cafe in North Bend, Washington where I am figuring out how I’ll make the best out of my short time in the Pacific Northwest. North Bend is a sleepy mountain community 30 miles east of Seattle and made famous as the setting for the TV series Twin Peaks. Much like the Emerald City, it is perpetually draped in a blanket of grey skies that pull back every so often to reveal a beaming and gentle sun. In just a few minutes I will slip into the role of uncle and swing by the farm where my sister and her family share land with visiting herds of elks and the occasional wandering bear.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

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Cyndi Lauper Talks True Colors Fund, Toronto Pride

July 1st, 2015 Chris Roney
Photo via Passport Magazine

Photo via Passport Magazine

Time after time, iconic songstress Cyndi Lauper has been clearing her own path. Her debut solo album, She’s So Unusual, was the first female debut to chart four top-five hits on the Billboard charts. Today, you can find her in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, with a Grammy and a Tony to boot. And in her recent interview with Fashion, the avid LGBT activist makes it clear that she’s not slowing down.

Read on as Cyndi Lauper discusses Toronto Pride, her evolving style, Cyndi Lauper drag queens (or a lack thereof), and her True Colors Fund to benefit homeless LGBTQ people. Via Fashion:

.

In the 80s, you were known for your wacky, awesome style. Would you say that your style has changed over time?
I think I’m very demure now. (Note: Cyndi has bright pink hair and is wearing a punk-inspired plaid blazer, leather skinny pants, and the aforementioned talon shoes.) I do not want to look conservative, in any way, shape, or form. But I think I look very demure.

You were one of the international grand marshals of the Pride parade that happened in Toronto this past weekend…
I [was]! I [went] as Marie Antoinette in her underwear.

Have you ever seen any Cyndi Lauper drag queens?
No, I haven’t actually. I’m not big like Tina Turner. There are a lot of Tina Turner drag queens. I did see a Joni Mitchell one once. They played dulcimer too. I almost died.

You’ve always been outspoken, whether it’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” or advocating for homeless queer youth. What inspired you to start the True Colors fund?
There was a need. [It’s estimated that 40% of homeless youth are LGBT.] Lisa and I were doing the True Colors tour, and at the end of the tour we realized that we just couldn’t leave everybody hanging. So we did the fund, and the kickoff for the fund was going on the Donald Trump show. That was a trip. That’s one good thing Donald Trump did. He supported the LGBT community by having me on and we won some money that we put towards the True Colors Fund.

What would you say has been the highlight of your career?
Winning the Tony, working with Harvey [Fierstein], that was a big thing. The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. That was big because I always had to fight to get my own songs on my own album. So it was a big deal for them to recognize me as a songwriter. I don’t know if they recognized me as a songwriter because I won the Tony [for Best Original Score]. I was the first woman to win it. But who cares.

 

To read the rest of the Fashion interview, click here.

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