Hallmark media CEO leaves, month after same-sex ad backlash

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Bill Abbott, photo via Twitter.

NEW YORK (AP) | The head of Hallmark’s media business is leaving the company after 11 years, just a month after its flagship Hallmark Channel faced an outcry over a decision to pull an ad with a lesbian couple kissing.

No reason was given for Bill Abbott’s departure, and no replacement was immediately named.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bell: Kevin Ligad and Nate Rohenkohl

By : Lora Korpar
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Kevin Ligad proposed to husband Nate Rohenkohl in front of the Eiffel Tower using the magic of numbers.

Nate said that though the couple were in one of the most romantic cities in the world, he never expected Kevin to get down on his knee right as the tower lit up and say “It’s been 1,830 days since we met, 1,700 days since we started dating and 1,550 days since I first told you I loved you – and now I want to spend every single day of the rest of my life with you.”

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The Last Page: Samantha Ponzillo, photographer / filmmaker

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

This issue, we check in with Samantha Ponzillo Media owner and #HashtagLunchbag Sarasota co-organizer Samantha Ponzillo. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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Central Florida native Michael James Scott heads back to Agrabah (and Orlando) to play the Genie in ‘Disney’s Aladdin’

By : Jeremy Williams
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Michael James Scott has run the gamut when it comes to appearing on Broadway. He has been in “Mamma Mia!,” “Hair,” “Elf,” “Something Rotten!” and “The Book of Mormon” to name a few, but there is one role above all that he is most associated with — “Aladdin’s” Genie.

“I call it my ‘Genie journey,’” Scott says. “I never expected it to be a part of my life for this length of time and for it to literally take me all around the world.”

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Taylor Swift explains why she got political in new Netflix doc

By : Jeremy Williams
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(Screenshot from YouTube)

“I need to be on the right side of history,” pop icon Taylor Swift says about her jump into the political arena in the trailer to a new documentary film coming to Netflix Jan. 31. “Miss Americana,” directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lana Wilson, follows Swift throughout the making of her album “Lover” and as she finds her political voice over the last few years.

Prior to the 2018 mid-term elections, Swift had been quiet publicly on matters of politics until she came out in an Instagram post endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee in October 2018. Less than a year later, Swift encouraged her fans to support The Equality Act — legislation designed to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination on the basis of  sexual orientation and gender identity — in the music video for her single “You Need To Calm Down,” which featured dozens of LGBTQ entertainers.

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Sundance to include LGBTQ panels by Outfest

By : John Paul King of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Sundance Film Festival. (Photo by Film Inquiry)

LA’s Outfest has been hosting a famous Queer Brunch at the Sundance Film Festival for years, but this year the organization has announced plans to expand its presence there for the first time in more than a decade.

The world-renowned LGBTQ Film Festival announced Jan. 20 that it was launching the Outfest House @ Sundance, an afternoon of celebration and education for festival alumni, community and fans of cinema celebrating the LGBTQ films at Sundance. Taking place in the heart of the festival at Kimball Terrace, it will offer a program of panels and discussions with industry professionals, exploring the history, politics and purpose of queer cinema.

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RuPaul set to host SNL

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Everything seems to be coming up RuPaul these days.

The Emmy-winning icon, who is not only the creator of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” but a renowned recording artist, actor, and drag superstar, has never been far out of the limelight. In recent months, however, he seems to be practically bathing in it. On January 10, Netflix premiered “AJ and the Queen,” the 10-episode comedy in which he has his first-ever leading role in a scripted TV series, and it’s been getting him plenty of extra attention.

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Viral photo project proves ‘Boys Can Be Princesses, Too’

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The “Boys Can Be Princesses, Too” project. Photos via Facebook.

A children’s party planner has gone viral with a photo campaign she calls “Boys Can Be Princesses, Too.

In a profile on Parents.com late last month, photographer Kitty Wolf discussed the project, in which she assembles photoshoots with boys dressed as their favorite princesses, complete with actors in character, and its origins in her career as an event planner.

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Apple TV+ doc series tracks evolution of LGBTQ portrayals

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Actor Wilson Cruz in the Apple TV+ documentary “Visible: Out on Television.” (Screenshot from YouTube)

Actor Wilson Cruz says a new documentary on the evolution of LGBTQ depictions on television is a “love letter” to the medium’s power.

It’s also a testament to how LGBTQ people and their allies harnessed TV to tell the community’s stories, said Cruz, who along with actor-comedian Wanda Sykes was an executive producer for “Visible: Out on Television.” The five-part documentary will be released Feb. 14 on the new Apple TV+ streaming service.

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‘AJ and the Queen’ actor Josh Segarra on his new Netflix show with RuPaul

By : Brian T. Carney OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Josh Segarra and RuPaul in ‘AJ and the Queen.’ (Photo by Beth Dubber; courtesy Netflix)

Actor and ally Josh Segarra has been very busy lately. His new show “AJ and the Queen” started streaming on Netflix and Segarra and his wife Brace Rice brought their second son Hank home from the hospital on Jan. 10, the same day this interview took place.

Segarra says the show’s audience will have a fun ride with star RuPaul and a beautiful bevy of queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (including guest appearances by Pork Chop, Vanessa Vanjie, Chad Michaels, Trixie Mattel, Valentina and Trinity the Tuck) as well as delicious cameos from Adrienne Barbeau, Marc Singer, Lorraine Bracco, Laura Bell Bundy, Mary Kay Place, Mario Cantone and Bridget Everett.

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LGBTQ activist and pioneer Cleve Jones to visit The Center Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center in Orlando will host a book signing and meet & greet with LGBTQ rights pioneer Cleve Jones Jan. 29.

Jones — who chronicled his life in his memoir “When We Rise: My Life in The Movement” — was involved in many of the most pivotal moments of the LGBTQ rights movement including working as an activist with Harvey Milk, co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceiving the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

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GLAAD to present Ryan Murphy with Vito Russo Award

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Ryan Murphy, photo via GLAAD’s Facebook page.

LGBTQ entertainment mastermind Ryan Murphy has been announced by GLAAD as the winner of one of its most prestigious honors, the LGBTQ media advocacy group revealed on Thursday.

Murphy, the award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director behind “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” “Feud,” and “Pose,” among a host of other LGBTQ fan-favorite projects across various media, will be honored as part of the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in the Spring. The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues, this year with over 175 previously-announced nominees competing in 30 categories.

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