photo courtesy: Elixher.com
Who is the Black lesbian traveler? And why don’t we know more about her?
By Kimberley K. McLeod, Founder, ELIXHER Magazine
They say the single worse question you could ask a woman next to how much she weighs, is her age. But asking this question (and others) of the Black lesbian traveler is critical to catering to
this often overlooked and untapped audience of jetsetters.
What does the Black lesbian traveler look like? Where does she live? How much does she make? Is she married? Does she have kids?
The answers to these questions are largely unknown.
“Most travel corporations are just beginning to understand that within LGBT, there are many subgroups, by gender, age, ethnicity and more,” explains David Paisley, Senior Research Director at Community Marketing, Inc. “Most complete research on the community as a whole. So while there is little research on Black lesbian travel trends, there is also little research on LGBT
[people] under 35, our elders, or the LGBT Latino or Asian communities [as well].”
Last year, Community Marketing Inc., a leading LGBT marketing agency, released its 17th annual gay and lesbian tourism report for 2012, providing insight into leisure and business travel trends. While the report did not specifically study Black LGBT travel tendencies, it did give us a glimpse at lesbians in general. The research found that for the majority of lesbians (58%) traveling to their most recent vacation destination was for rest and relaxation. Thirty percent traveled most recently to visit friends or family. The report also revealed that forty percent of all lesbians travel for business.
But travel trends in the African American community suggest that the broad-based LGBT findings might not apply specifically to Black lesbians and their unique needs.
NEW ORIGINAL REALITY SERIES "THE NEXT AMERICAN GAY" LAUNCHING SEASON 1 IN 4 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES—FOLLOWS 12 GAY MEN WHO COMPETE IN STRENGTH, BEAUTY, AND LEADERSHIP TO SERVE AS A SPOKESMODEL FOR THE GAY COMMUNITY.
Judged by Executive Producers, TV personalities, and long-time gay rights advocates Jarl Haugedal and Michael Billy and hosted by LOGO TV's Jonathan D. Lovitz, the reality competition series follows 12 gay men from all over the USA who move into a hotel overlooking Manhattan to compete for the title of THE NEXT AMERICAN GAY- a role model and ambassador of the gay community. Each episode the boys are put to task with a variety of challenges--strength, hotness, leadership and much more--to represent their community as The Next American Gay. The winner receives an all-expense-paid trip to represent the United States in the international Mr.Gay World Competition as well as magazine covers, TV appearances and sponsorship opportunities.
Watch the short video clip below, featuring the cast of The Next American Gay!
Society is consistently shaming gay men to feel less than. Making it unconstitutional in many of our states for gay couples to marry is just one example of how bigotry is not only accepted but openly encouraged in our culture. And those on the receiving end of this bigotry are real people with real hearts with real feelings. Is there any doubt why so many in the gay community struggle with substance abuse, depression, suicide and eating disorders?
I often wonder what role society's collective shame plays in the development of body image issues and eating disorders in gay men. All of that shame has to go somewhere, and where it ends up is usually deep in the psyches of those it is intended to hurt. If someone is constantly bombarded with the message from the government, faith communities, corporations, even their own families that they are not good enough, not equal to, then devastating psychological consequences often result.
In a struggle to survive psychologically, gay men may go into overdrive in trying to achieve ideal physical fitness—counting calories, cutting out carbs and going crazy with cardio. This relentless pursuit to be physically fit is but one way to compensate for feeling psychologically unfit.
And to have a fit and so-called "perfect" body in the gay world gives a gay man what a bigoted and rejecting society has stripped from him—his power. Gay men with the toned, chiseled bodies have power, the power to command the acceptance and attention from their gay peers. And this attention and acceptance, albeit based on physical appearance, is still healing nonetheless. Like every other person on the planet, gay men want to feel like they belong, that they are somebody. But in a larger culture that invalidates and shames, gay men turn to their bodies to seek the significance and connection that we all hunger for.
By Brad Kennington, LMFT, LPC-S
Executive Director & COO
Cedar Springs Austin
Brad Kennington is on the Board of Directors of The National Association for Males with Eating Disorders, Inc. For more information, please visit their website or facebook page.
Announcing Out & Equal's LGBTCareerLink 2.0
Improved Job Board Connects Diversity-Minded Employers with LGBT Job Seekers
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates unveiled its new LGBTCareerLink website, a career development tool connecting diversity-minded employers with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) job seekers. Many industry-leading companies who are committed to identifying, hiring and retaining LGBT talent have already signed onto the new service, posting job openings around the country, and developing employer profiles demonstrating how they support LGBT people in the workplace. Out & Equal is proud to recognize early participants, BP, Brown-Forman, The Clorox Company, Comcast, Ernst & Young, Hewlett-Packard, PG&E, PNC, T-Mobile, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint. Given its initial success, LGBTCareerLink is poised to become the leading source for LGBT talent recruitment.
When Torrance, an Out & Equal constituent, decided to come out at work, he thought it would bring him closer to coworkers and lift the workplace stress that many closeted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees experience. Yet shortly after coming out,
Torrance was fired simply for being gay. LGBTCareerLink was developed to help individuals, like Torrance, find career opportunities with employers that not only acknowledge and value diversity, but put it into practice.
"People should be judged by the work they do, and never by their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. By connecting LGBT people with diversity-minded employers, Out & Equal's LGBTCareerLink will help individuals become more successful and productive by bringing their whole selves to the workplace," said Out & Equal Founding Executive Director Selisse
On the new LGBTCareerLink, job seekers can register for free, develop virtual resumes and employment applications, and apply directly to thousands of new jobs added every week. Users may also upload their resumes to a searchable database available to recruiting companies, in addition to establishing job search agents that notify job seekers when new positions open up with LGBTCareerLink's partner companies. Employers have the only available direct access to the LGBT workforce and can post one or one thousand job postings through a variety of subscription and partnership packages. The platform also provides access to a dashboard of analytical tools to track and measure the impact of LGBTCareerLink as a LGBT talent recruitment resource.
Despite suffering through the embarrassment of being fired, simply for bringing his authentic self to work, Torrance found a new employer through LGBTCareerLink that invites and celebrates his diversity. Torrance's story is ultimately one of success, yet reflects the harsh reality faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community: regardless of educational level, past experience, or overwhelming success, LGBT people are often discriminated against in the workplace, and no federal level employment protections exist to shield them from discrimination.
Through LGBTCareerLink, Out & Equal hopes to advance equality for LGBT people in the workplace by linking employees and employers who mutually value authenticity. Tap into LGBTCareerLink's power today!
About Out & Equal
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates™ educates and empowers organizations, human resources professionals, employee resource groups, and individual employees through programs and services that result in equal policies, opportunities, practices, and benefits in the workplace inclusive of all of sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, and characteristics.
Starring the first openly gay Australian rugby player Ian Roberts in his first gay role!
This American Indie drama follows several endearing characters as they wade through life seeking happiness, peace, and ultimately love. Will (Ronnie Kerr) leaves the Navy after many years, soon reunites old friends, and begins to start his new civilian life. His friend Rich tries to set him up with ruggedly handsome Josh (Ian Roberts) and while there is immense chemistry between the two, timing and certain ideals never seem to align. But when a shocking tragedy happens, the two are paired together to pick up the pieces and sort through the after effects. Saltwater is a story about men of all ages, finding love, losing friends, navigating their way through life, and knowing it's the journey rather then the destination that's important.
Pre-order: November 26, 2012
Street Date: December 31, 2012
81 minutes / English
Starring: Ronnie Kerr (Shut Up and Kiss Me), Ian Roberts (Superman Returns), Bruce L. Hart (Homewrecker), Berna Roberts, Brent Henry, Jonathan Camp, Justin Utley (Musician)
Directed By: Charlie Vaughn
BROADWAY SINGS FOR PRIDE'S SECOND ANNUAL GAY PRIDE CONCERT Available on the Web for Free!
Broadway Sings for Pride’s Second Annual Gay Pride Concert can be seen free of charge on Facebook and YouTube. Co-produced by Neal B of www.NealB.tv, Jim Lahti, in association with Artists Proof Productions, the concert event featured over thirty performers including celebrities, activists and Broadway’s best talent. Broadway Sings wants to share these amazing performances and spread the word of equality!
Musical numbers showcased Broadway and pop songs, and special guests shared stories of LGBT pride. Among some of the talent: Chaz Bono (Dancing with the Stars), Carla Hall (The Chew, Top Chef), Anthony Fedorov (American Idol Finalist & Rent at New World Stages), ), Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys), Rebecca Larkin (South Pacific, Avenue Q), and Eric Millegan (Bones).
The concert benefitted the Hetrick-Martin Institute, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City and Broadway Sings for Pride.
The full concert can be viewed below or visit:
• Broadway Sings for Pride on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/broadway.pride) or search: Broadway SingsFor Pride
• YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/nealbtv)
Broadway Sings For Pride is a non-for-profit organization, which brings together Broadway talent & celebrities to promote LGBT equality through song. Please also visit our website at: www.BwayPride.org.
Filmed on Monday, June 25, 2012 at the Mainstage Theater in New York City.
Jim Lahti - musical director/arranger, pianist
John Benthal - acoustic and electric guitar
David Silliman - percussion
Ritt Henn - bass guitar
1. Introduction by Thomas Krever, Hetrick-Martin Institute Executive Director
2. Opening Medley - Matt Leisy (Off Broadway’s The Fantasticks) & The Company
3. It Gets Better - The Company (including the TADA! Resident Youth Ensemble)
4. Big Wings- Rebecca Larkin (South Pacific, Avenue Q)
5. A Special Message from Mike Ruiz (Celebrity Photographer and A-List New York) & Laverne Cox (VH1's I Want to Work for Diddy)
6. Are You There?- Anthony Lee Medina (Spring Awakening National Tour, The Capeman at The Public) & Angelo Rios (Jesus Christ Superstar National Tour)
7. It's Our Time- Athena Reich (Recording Artist) & Garry Novikoff (A Normal Life)
8. A Special Message from Mr. Gay World USA Tennessee Vincent Leggett & Miss New York 2011 Kaitlin Monte
9. Beautiful- Theresa Fowler (Oliver! 1st National Tour) featuring Mary Lahti & Rebecca Larkin
10. Never Over- Anthony Fedorov (American Idol & Rent at New World Stages)
11. The Prayer - Marisha Wallace (The Book of Mormon National Tour, Sistas The Musical) & Angelo Rios (Jesus Christ Superstar National Tour)
12. A Special Message from Neal Bennington, Founder & Co-Producer
13. Hold Me In Your Arms- Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys)
14. A Special Message from Phillip P. Keene (The Closer) & Christina Bennett Lind (All My Children)
15. Luke & Nate- What’s The Benefit inc.
16. Jump! Shout! Boogie!- Eric Millegan (Bones) featuring Rebecca Larkin, Mary Lahti & Theresa Fowler
17. A Special Message from The Imperial Court of New York & AJ Mattioli
18. The Wizard and I- Elissa Goldstein (An Affirmative Act)
19. I Am Changing- Marisha Wallace (The Book of Mormon National Tour, Sistas The Musical)
20. A Special Message from Carla Hall (The Chew, Top Chef)
21. Special Rights- Mary Lahti (Three Sisters), Theresa Fowler (Oliver! 1st National Tour), Aaron J. Libby (APAC's The Human Comedy), & Adam Shapiro (Zorro The Musical International Tour)
22. A Special Message from James Neiley (OUT 100 honoree & Activist)
23. Special Medley- Brian Charles Rooney (The Threepenny Opera)
24. A Special Message from Chaz Bono (Dancing with the Stars)
25. Sing - The Company (including the Tada! Resident Youth Ensemble)
26. Finale: Make Our Garden Grow- The Company
Broadway Sings for Pride Company includes:
Dani Atkinson (America's Got Talent), Guto Bittencourt (Original Brazilian cast of Les Miserables), Chris Brick (Seussical National Tour), Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys), Theresa Fowler (Oliver! 1st National Tour), Elissa Goldstein (An Affirmative Act), Andre'
Jordan (Shrek The Musical), Kyle Kleiboeker (Hairspray National Tour), Mary Lahti (Three Sisters), Rebecca Larkin (South Pacific, Avenue Q), Matt Leisy (Off Broadway’s The Fantasticks), Aaron J. Libby (APAC's The Human Comedy), Rebecca McBee (Junie B. Jones National Tour), Anthony Lee Medina (Spring Awakening National Tour, The Capeman at The Public), Eric Millegan (Bones), Michael Munoz (Naked Boys Singing), James Neiley (OUT 100 honoree & Activist), Christine Nolan (Hair), Garry Novikoff (A Normal Life) , Athena Reich (Recording Artist), Matthew Riordan (Signature Theatre’s Trouble), Angelo Rios (Jesus Christ
Superstar National Tour), Brian Charles Rooney (The Threepenny Opera), Adam Shapiro (Zorro The Musical International Tour), Marisha Wallace (The Book of Mormon National Tour, Sistas The Musical), What's The Benefit? inc. and TADA!'s Resident Youth Ensemble
See a clip of the concert:
Beginning her tour in the US this past June, Baby M introduces her first single to hit iTunes America!
To preview and purchase her latest release, Love for All on iTunes, click here.
Catch up with Baby M on facebook!
Photo taken at Baby M American Debut Release Party, hosted by JB Talent Management. Photo courtesy Connextions Magazine.
At only $468.00 per person for a 7 day all-inclusive cruise to the western Caribbean, would you say, “No thanks?” What does all-inclusive really mean? How much cash-on-hand do I need to bring? What costs will be incurred, other than room, food & airfare?
I recently went to the exhaustive trouble of researching an
all-inclusive vacation in order to bring you a list of all your necessary expenses, right down to the $15.00 bottle of sun screen, that although isn’t considered a necessity, try having fun in the Caribbean sun without it.
$468.00 Sunday to Sunday cruise on Carnival Glory (pp) Ports of call: Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Isla Roatan, Honduras; Grand Cayman
$370.00 Airfare from New York to Miami (roundtrip-pp)
$60.00 Taxi from airport to port – roundtrip
Make sure to pack light… for two reasons. First, it will cost you $25.00 for each bag of luggage you check on the plane, as well
as a hefty fee for luggage that weighs more than 50 lbs. Second, you want to save room for the gifts, clothes, novelties and JEWELRY
you will buy while in International waters, where everything is duty free! Side note: On full flights, 9 times out of 10 they will make an announcement shortly before boarding that they will check your extra carry-on bags for free, due to the lack of space in the overhead compartments since, because of the cost, many flyers are carrying their luggage in lieu of checking their baggage.
$50.00 One suitcase - roundtrip
A few items you will want to purchase when you get off the plane (no matter what Florida port you depart from), because they are less expensive in town: tanning lotion and sun screen! Australian Gold is a favorite brand and since its bottled in Tampa, you can snag it for about $9.00. Bathing suits are always in abundance and less expensive, even at the plethora of tourist shops. Side note: It is less expensive to purchase your underwater camera and simple snorkel gear at home.
$9.00 Sun screen
At less than $500 per person, for a staff that pampers you as if you were the only person on board, along with the ample variety of food that is at your finger tips 24/7, how does Carnival make enough money to run the $500 million, 110,000 ton, 952 foot long
Glory for an entire week?
All the extras:
Photos -It’s not as easy as you think to walk away from all the professional photos that the ship’s staff are constantly taking. Almost
guaranteed that you will say to yourself, "how can we leave without at least ‘one’ photo?" They also offer a ‘voyage video’ DVD of your weeklong adventure at sea, for about $30.00.
$21.99 One 8x10 photo
Alcohol – Your Caribbean concoction, garnished with fresh fruit and an umbrella is moderately priced at around $9.00 per drink. Try a fruity rum punch, tropical pina colada or my favorite, a BBC (Banana, Baileys & Coconut). Side note: If you plan your trip well enough in advance, purchase drink coupons on the Carnival website before you board!
$126.00 14 drinks
Gambling – If this is your game, make sure you budget wisely, since the casino on board is open all day and all night while in International waters. Side note: The casino and all on board stores close while stopping at the ports of call.
Spa Treatments – The spa treatments are a bit overpriced, even coming from a New Yorker, but while on board, if you find an overwhelming need to pamper yourself, be aware that you will spend about $140.00 for an hour treatment.
$140.00 One hour at the spa
Gift Shop – A lanyard is very helpful since you have to use your ‘sail n’ sign’ card for every purchase and when leaving and returning to the ship at each port.
$20.00 Key chain/tshirt
Tips – Although the gratuity is already added to your final bill at 15%, which you will see on your statement at the end of your trip, it is still customary to tip the staff for a job well done. Feel free to have breakfast delivered to your stateroom every morning in lieu of a wake-up call, but don’t forget to tip the cabin steward.
$98.00 15% gratuity total
$20.00 Additional tip to cabin steward
$20.00 Additional tip to dining staff
$14.00 Tips for room service
Ports of Call
Remember to keep cash on hand when shopping off the ship. Everything you want to buy is negotiable in price, except at the major chain surf shops, such as Ron Jon Surf Shop. And everything has two prices, one for cash and one for credit.
So why does Cozumel attract over 2 million tourists per year? Easy… a tropical island with sparkling waters, powdery white sands and endless sunshine!
I recommend a visit to Bob’s Cozumel! Owned by our friends Ken and Tobin (originally from Texas), and not far from the port. With 41 rave reviews on Trip Advisor, 4.5 stars, and ranked #12 out of 160 restaurants in Cozumel, they are certainly worth checking out! Find BOBs Cozumel on facebook or read their article in Connextions Magazine, Issue 4.
$30.00 Lunch and a "few" beers
$6.00 Taxi to Bob’s Cozumel
$30.00 Novelties & gifts
Costa Maya, Mexico
Costa Maya has the highest concentration of Mayan archeological sites and fantastic excursions that you can feel safe booking on
your own, although Carnival prefers that you book your excursions exclusively through them.
I recommend checking out Maya Chan Beach Resort. Mark, Owner of the resort says: "We have been on 88 cruises and have 4 booked in 2012. We are cruisers that decided to build a resort for cruisers, by cruisers. We know what we want in an excursion, and that was our market." Aquafest Beach Party was held at the Maya Chan Beach Resort in November 2011 and Mark states: "I was
honored to officiate my first same sex wedding. It brought tears to everyone's eyes. A very special day for Maya Chan Beach."
Isla Roatan, Honduras
The 33 mile long island of Roatan is an untouched Caribbean paradise, with their pristine turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and picture perfect palm trees. Depending on your interests, I have two recommendations for this port that are worth checking out. Tabiana Beach was my personal favorite. Relax in a lounge chair that sits atop the white sand, but partially under a coconut palm. Listen to the Caribbean band play in the background, enjoy a tropical drink and rest your eyes a bit. There’s also Maya Key Beach for the curious. Maya Key has a beach as well as a pool, check out the Mayan ruins museum, monkeys, sea lions, parrots, alligators and even a jaguar. This excursion also offers a swim with the sharks and stingrays for only $25.00 per person.
$25.00 Shark swim
$30.00 Novelties & Gifts
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Blessed with sun-kissed beaches and waters gleaming with gold flecked fish, the Cayman Islands offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. Grand Cayman specializes in exquisite shopping, especially if you’re looking for a deal on watches, china and crystal, perfumes and fine jewelry.
A must-see on Grand Cayman Island is the sensational Tiki Beach, the newest beach club on the world famous Seven Mile Beach. After your stroll on the powdery white sand beach, join the party at Margaritaville and don’t forget to sign a dollar bill and tape it to the bar!
$10.00 Taxi to beach and back
$30.00 Lunch & drinks
$30.00 Novelities & Gifts
The Bottom Line:
Now remember that cruises are based on double occupancy and all the prices we have listed are per person. Not all costs will be doubled for your partner, such as: sharing a taxi, sharing your lotion, and sharing photos purchased.
Connecting is always FREE! If you are looking to meet new people during your travels, possibly make friends you can relate to, you’re in luck! Each night at about 7:45pm there is an LGBT meet for Friends of Dorothy.
$1,942.49 per person
Although the bottom line dollar amount is much larger than what you might have expected when you see "all-inclusive" for only $468.00 per person, I would most certainly give Carnival a thumbs-up for all that the "Fun Ship" has to offer!
As featured in Connextions Magazine, Issue 6.
Be sure not to miss future issues of Connextions Magazine! CLICK HERE to subscribe to the digital edition, FREE; order your print subscription; or purchase a copy of this issue.
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Photo Credit MGW/MGE - Aaron Comis
Johannesburg, South Africa - April 9, 2012 - from the twenty-two gay men representing their respective countries in the 4th annual Mr. Gay World competition held in Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on Sunday, April 8th, Andreas (Andy) Derleth of New Zealand was elected Mr. Gay World 2012. Andy will continue to carry on the vision and mission of the organization that seeks to fight the discrimination and stigma faced by the gay community in many countries today. Mr. Gay World empowers and raises the visibility of optimistic gay men in a constructive dialogue with our fellow citizens.
PHOTO: (L-R) South Africa, USA, New Zealand, France, Netherlands
Andreas (Andy) Derleth is an operations project manager of Warehouse Stationery in New Zealand. Originally from Hassfurt, Germany has a Bachelor degree in business management. Andy has a passion for travel and sports and participated in the 2nd Asia-Pacific Outgames and is very excited to be going to Antwerp next year for the worldOutgames. Andy is in long term relationship and on the 11-11-11 he entered in a same-sex civil union in New Zealand.
Other awards presented included:
Mr. Gay Swimwear - New Zealand (Andreas Derleth);
Sports Challenge - New Zealand (Andreas Derleth);
Best Interview Challenge - New Zealand (Andreas Derleth);
Mr. Gay Formal wear - Netherlands (Thom Goderie);
Mr. Gay Congeniality - Netherlands (Thom Goderie);
Mr. Gay People's Choice Award - Philippines (Carlito Floro Rosadino, jr)
Mr. Gay National Costume - Philippines (Carlito Floro Rosadino, jr).
Mr. Gay Photogenic - Argentina (Gonzalo Enrique Bagalor)
Mr. Gay Outreach - Czech Republic (Tomas Fryda)
Top Score in the MGW Written Exam - South Africa (Lance Weyer)
2012 Eric Butter Philanthropy Award - Coenie Kukkuk
Mr. Gay World 1st Runner Up: South Africa (Lance Weyer)
Mr. Gay World 2nd Runner Up: France (Remy Frejaville)
Mr. Gay World 3rd Runner Up: USA (Kevin Scott Power)
Mr. Gay World 4th Runner Up: Netherlands (Thom Goderie)
Top 10 Final Standing:
5th Runner Up / 6th Place: Canada (Thomas Egli)
6th Runner Up / 7th Place: Hong Kong (Jimmy Wong)
7th Runner Up / 8th Place: Australia (Benjamin Michael)
8th Runner Up / 9th Place: Philippines (Carlito Floro Rosadino Jr.)
9th Runner Up/ 10th Place: Czech Republic (Tomas Fryda)
In a spectacular grand finale at The Lyric Theatre, South Africa's member of the board, Coenie Kukkuk, known for being a gay advocate himself made the customary turnover to Belgium's worldOutgames Antwerp 2013 producer, Jerko Bozikovic, which will be the next host producer of Mr. Gay World 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium (August 1-5, 2013).
On Tuesday, February 21st at 11PM ET/PT, MTV and LOGO will be airing a one-hour “It Gets Better” special, focusing on the stories of three extraordinary young people conquering their fears.
Check out the trailer below, RSVP and share the event on Facebook, then be part of the conversation on Twitter during the show using the #ItGetsBetter hashtag.
Visit MTV's "It Gets Better" page to get more information about the MTV special, watch additional sneak peeks, bonus clips, see a schedule of all upcoming airings and get involved on MTV Act.
“It Gets Better” will focus on the stories of three young people at a crossroads in their lives: a young man struggling to tell his family and friends that he is gay; a lesbian fighting for parental acceptance; and a transgender man preparing to get married.
In addition, video messages containing sentiments of hope and support from Savage and his partner Terry Miller, along with Adam Levine, Zachary Quinto, Margaret Cho, Chaz Bono, Tim Mcllarth and Brandon Barnes of Rise Against, Vinny Guadagnino, Dave Holmes, Sia and Jake Shears, will be included in the “It Gets Better” special.
“The lives of these three young people will resonate with millions of teens – gay and straight – who are being bullied for simply being themselves,” said Savage. "It’s so important they know that things get better and that living openly and honestly and being who you are makes it better. They have so many great moments ahead of them and they will do things they never thought possible – so long as they keep fighting, stay positive, and stay with us."
Dan Savage also stars in MTV’s upcoming series “Savage U,” set to premiere this Spring, which follows Savage, along with his sidekick Lauren Hutchinson, as they travel across the country to different college campuses, offering a crash course to students on relationships, responsibility, sex, love and life. Savage previously appeared on the after show for MTV’s original movie “(DIS)CONNECTED.”
In September 2010, Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
More than a year later, the It Gets Better Project has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 30,000 user-created videos viewed more than 40 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee", Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more.
Savage and his producing partner Brian Pines are executive producers of the “It Gets Better” special, along with Ted Skillman and Belisa Balaban of Snackaholic Productions, as well as John Ferriter and Brian Speiser for Octagon Entertainment. Shannon Fitzgerald and Christy Spitzer are executive producers for MTV, with Tamar Zohar and Brittany Lutz serving as executives in charge of production for the network. The “It Gets Better” special is produced by MTV, Savage Media LLC, Octagon Entertainment and Snackaholic Productions.
Connextions Magazine, the award-winning LGBTQ Travel Magazine, is your trusted resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer travel destinations, vacation ideas, fun travel videos, LGBTQ travel guides and the latest news relevant to our entire rainbow community. Connextions Magazine focuses on celebrating the LGBTQ Traveler providing information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer travel, our LGBTQ culture, the diverse style of our rainbow community, adventures, gay romance, tips for Lesbian Moms, Gay Dads, Bisexual, Transgender Parents and families.
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