Cait Brennan delivers on classic-sounding new album

By : Chris Gerard OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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If you’re gonna record at the legendary Argent Studios in Memphis and call the resulting album “Third” (an homage to the 1978 classic of the same name by power-pop heroes Big Star), you better have the goods to back it up.

Fortunately, up-and-coming singer/songwriter/musician Cait Brennan has delivered an album worthy of its historic birthplace. It has not been an easy road for Brennan, who’s transgender, and her life experience has provided rich material for compelling songwriting, although she certainly knows how to tell a story as well. “Third” is consistently entertaining from start to finish, a well-crafted retro-leaning collection of rockers and ballads that will never leave you bored.

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Transgender people search for acceptance in church

By : Wire Report
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – For many transgender people, faith communities are a place of judgment and rejection. For Marilyn Lloyd, they are a place of possibility.

Lloyd, 62, and a transgender woman, found God at North Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus. God and the church filled a void in Lloyd’s life she didn’t know was there, and now she hopes to help others fill the same void.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Soap Opera – Sloppy Seconds

By : Benjamin Dupree
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You can always count on Central Florida vocal arts to give you Opera and musical theater mashed together like you’ve never seen them.

Don and Lakme are returning contestants on Divo, a Bachelor-esque reality show. Among the people vying for carnations are a closeted lesbian Viking attempting to “turn off” her thoughts for Lakme, your traditional gold digger, a made man on the run, a secretive man who has it in for Don, and Chamomile T who has a big (not so) secret of her own and is madly (see psychotically) in love with Don.

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Mayor Buttigieg backs Notre Dame walkout of Pence speech

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Sunday he supports the students at University of Notre Dame who walked out on Vice President Mike Pence during his commencement speech over his anti-LGBT views and the Trump administration’s approach to marginalized communities.

Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor who came to national prominence during his run to become chair of the Democratic National Committee, made the remarks to the Washington Blade about students within his city at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund’s annual D.C. brunch when asked about the walkout.

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French AIDS drama earns best reviews yet at Cannes Film fest

By : Wire Report
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(Image from YouTube.)

CANNES, France (AP) – 120 Beats Per Minute, a French AIDS drama with a full heart and a pounding rhythm, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival May 20 and quickly joined the shortlist of favorites for the festival’s coveted Palme d’Or prize.

Directed by Robin Campillo, the co-screenwriter of the Palme d’Or-winning film The Class, the movie centers on the activist group ACT UP in Paris in the 1990s during the AIDS crisis.

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Romanians celebrate LGBTQ Pride amid moves to limit rights

By : Wire Report
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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Some 1,000 people joined an LGBTQ Pride march in the Romanian capital of Bucharest May 20, demanding greater rights amid government moves they say will curtail their rights.

Some 30 ambassadors expressed support for the march and for protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community and U.S. Ambassador Hans G. Klemm was among those taking part, despite the pouring rain.

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Denver man arrested after castrating transgender woman in her apartment

By : Wire Report
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James Lowell Pennington (Denver Police).

DENVER (AP) – Police say a Colorado man without a medical license has been arrested after he allegedly used an Army surgical kit to castrate a transgender woman at her Denver apartment.

A police affidavit says James Lowell Pennington, 57, removed the testicles and sutured the opening while the woman’s wife witnessed the 90-minute procedure.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Judy Garland: Stuck in a Bear Trap with Nothing to Wear

By : Danny Garcia
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Mark Baratelli returns with his hysterical caricature of a doped-up Judy Garland in her later years in Judy Garland: Stuck in a Bear Trap with Nothing to Wear.

As the doors open to the Orange Venue (at least for our show) patrons step over an unconscious Judy to make their way to their seats. Once the show starts Judy wanders and stumbles around the stage, continuously wrapping herself up in what seems to be the world’s longest microphone cord, slur-singing familiar lyrics. A couple sitting directly in front of me, no more than five minutes into the show, get up to walk out and chased away by Judy, they were overheard saying they believed this was a “Judy Garland impersonation show.” Amateurs.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Wanzie with a Z

By : Rick Claggett
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Who can tell a story better than Michael Wanzie? Three Wanzie’s can.

Wanzie with a Z is the real-life journey of actor/playwright Michael Wanzie from age six to 60. Josh Lefkowitz stars as young Mikey Wanzie age six to 17, and he lays the groundwork for what will certainly become a multi-award-winning Fringe fave. Mike Wanzie, age 17-30, is played by Joshua Roth, who gives us the coming-of-age story. The cast is completed by Wanzie, played by himself from age 30- 60. His role helps the audience, as much as Wanzie, make sense of the first 30 years.

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Watermark on the Fringe: MO MANADA!

By : Danny Garcia
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Hockey, Beavers and Mounties – Oh my, it’s MO MANADA! A follow-up to last year’s hit OH MANADA! from Canada’s Premiere All-Male Burlesque troupe, Boylesque TO.

The gang from the land of universal health care and poutine return with all new show, this time emceed by heartbroken Canadian political hunk Justin Trudeau (performed by Johnnie Walker) fresh off of his recent “break-up” with Barack Obama.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Commencement

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando Fringe is known for its irreverence and occasional trips into the sex and love and doubt of reflective, experimental writing and acting. Also, beer tents and funnel cakes abound while conceits melt in the heat and rain of the oncoming summer.

But Commencement, in the same tear-garden vein of several other offerings this year – David Lee’s O-Town: Voices of Orlando, most notably, but even humorist Michael Wanzie is turning confessional this year for Wanzie with a Z, recounting something of a tortured past: a revolution in evolution, so to speak. We are coming to terms, and we’re doing it at Fringe.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Roller Derby Saved My Soul

By : Anna M. Johnson
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Canadian Nancy Kenny’s one-woman show is back at Fringe for another two weeks of soul-saving. Roller Derby Saved My Soul rolls back to Orlando Fringe this year following its success last year. The show continues to be a quirky and polished hour of fun.

Kenny’s main character Amy opens the show in a place we’ve all been in at one point – sitting on her couch watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and eating popcorn, which she passes around to the audience. Her “cool sister” June (also played by Kenny) calls and invites Amy to her roller derby game. Amy’s dreams of finally becoming like one of the badass female superheroes she sees on TV are fulfilled as she tries her feet at the sport.

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