Search Result for margaret murray — 12 articles

Murray returns to helm of Film Festival in its 25th year

By : Steve Blanchard
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Describing Margaret Murray as the “new” executive director of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival isn’t exactly right. But she has stepped into the role for the 2014 season—TIGLFF’s 25th anniversary.

Murray, who was raised in St. Petersburg, returns to the post after serving as executive director in the early 2000s.

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TIGLFF updates bathroom policy to be trans-inclusive

By : Staff Report
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Tampa – An anti-transgender bill presented in Tallahassee that would limit transgender individuals access to public restrooms has led to a policy change at the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

According to executive director Margaret Murray, TIGLFF will now require any venue used for screenings of its films or any receptions to provide at least one gender neutral restroom.

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New year, new venues for TIGLFF screenings

By : Joseph Kissel
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Tampa Bay – Aside from entertaining and engaging films, community is at the heart of TIGLFF.

The film festival is coming into its 25th year of bringing “queer” folks together in a dark room to laugh, cry and think about our stories.

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John Waters, Del Shores and parties are just part of TIGLFF’s 25th anniversary plans

By : Jamie Hyman
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Tampa – Margaret Murray remembers the early years of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. It was long before the film fan became the organization’s executive director—for the second time. It was in the early 1990s when the festival was only three or four years old and she experienced LGBT cinema with a fresh, wide-eyed perspective.

“It seemed like this glamorous exciting event, and it was,” Murray said. “There were protestors out there every single day of the film festival. We had to have a heavy police presence to protect us.”

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Issue 21.20: 10 Years of Come Out With Pride and 25 Years of TIGLFF

By : Jake Stevens
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10 Years! Orlando marks a decade of Come Out With Pride, Australian twins Bec & Sebastian bring their music to Pride, Tyra Sanchez arrested on assault charges.

TIGLFF turns 25: Films, parties and celebrities mark the festival’s silver anniversary Oct. 3-11, Del Shores’ Sordid comedy comes to Tampa Bay, Hillsborough on track for partnership registry, Tampa Pride seeks fundraising help for inaugural event, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Issue 21.07: Good From Evil

By : Jake Stevens
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Good from Evil: Locally and nationally, homophobes are catalysts for LGBT equality, Disney prez highlights Out in Biz, Impressive debut for Manatee Pride, Lea Michele on Glee’s gay legacy, local news, celebrity interviews, events, photos, and much more!

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When TIGLFF?s programmer suggested favorite films, we took a closer look

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As the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival turns 21, programmer Margaret Murray has once again created a lineup that is sure to have at least one film that will appeal to everyone.

From men’s and women’s shorts and documentaries to hard-hitting dramas and colorful comedies, the festival will surely cause filmgoers to emote at some point. While programmers try to get the best of the best for such festivals, it can be hard to pick just one favorite.

That’s why we asked Murray to suggest her top five picks for the TIGLFF 2010, which runs Oct. 7-17 at the Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa and at the Muvico Baywalk in St. Petersburg. Everyone’s opinion is different and Murray provided Watermark with screeners of the films she says are among the best of the best this year.

Here are my takes on those select films – see the image gallery, to the right. A full schedule of films and festival-related events is available at


Top of the Heap: TIGLFF Programmer shares her top picks

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TopofHeap2_335679046.jpgMargaret Murray knows a thing or two about film. The TIGLFF Program Director has made a career out of finding the best films available and holds the distinction of being a returning programmer to the festival.

Murray was executive director of TIGLFF from 2001-2003 and now lives in Washington D.C., where she works as the executive director of Reel Affirmations: The Nation’s LGBT Film Festival.

Murray, a native of St. Petersburg, says she has kept her strong ties to the Tampa Bay arts community and that she’s excited to bring nearly 80 films to Tampa Oct. 8-18. We asked her to provide us, in her own words, a quick sampling of her favorite picks for TIGLFF’s 20th Anniversary event. A full schedule is available at and in the festival’s official program guide, which is available at theaters and area LGBT businesses.

Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement

5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10,
Tampa Theatre
Honestly, this documentary makes me want to rent a truck with a screen on the back of it and drive it to every church and GOP gathering I can find. This film follows the lives of longtime partners Edie and Thea.
Through archival photos and film footage, filmgoers see the women’s life unfold before them—all the way up to the magical moment when they become legal spouses in Canada after 40 years together. I recommend this because everyone will leave the theatre a changed person. The real message behind Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement is “love happens.”
Love of Siam

7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12
Tampa Theatre
Ostensibly about two boys and their love for each other, the film is really about family. Love of Siam is a film that has a hint of magical realism that many TopofHeap1_807591337.jpgAsian films feature. Two best friends are torn apart when the sister of one goes missing on a camping trip. His closely-knit family is devastated, and they move away. Years later the boys reconnect and the entire film ceases to be about repressed gay love in Thailand and becomes about a love so compassionate and mature in its essence that every adult should watch this film and ask themselves “Would I do this for the person I love?” This film is sweeping Southeast Asia like a gay teen Titanic.
St. Trinian’s

9 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14
Tampa Theatre
Colin Firth, Rupert Everett (in and out of drag) Rusell Brand—and a bunch of other BBC familiar faces, appear in silly, big-budget romp through sight gags, class warfare and social satire. The plot is full-on caper—the girls at the school, understandably aghast at the prospect of losing their drink swilling faculty, plan to steal a priceless painting and sell it on the black market in order to save the school from the reform-minded Education Minister, played stiffly by Colin Firth. Russell Brand is absolutely hilarous as a ne’er-do-well criminal type who sells the schoolgirls homemade vodka, and the list goes on and on. There is never a dull moment.

Her Name Was Steven

[no trailer available]

9:15 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14,
Muvico Baywalk
We’ve all read about it, heard about it and talked about it. People in Tampa Bay lived it right along with her. But this CNN-produced documentary about former Largo City Manager Susan Stanton’s transition to womanhood delves into some places that the media frenzy missed: Susan’s relationship with her son and his “stand by your mom” attitude, the struggle to remain focused on salvaging a career, and the unwelcome push into spokesperson for a movement.

I Can’t Think Straight

7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16
Tampa Theatre
Yes, the ladies are drop-dead gorgeous—and yes, they have sex—and that’s enough reason to see this. But what puts this film over the top for me is the elephant in the room that just won’t shut up—the politics of the Middle East. There have been a number of really great films that tackle this subject, such as Promises and City of Borders. But I Can’t Think Straight is the only one that puts lesbians at the front of the story, and it’s amazing.
Patrik, Age 1.5

9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16
Tampa Theatre
Two men, one a gay pediatrician and the other a hunky layabout, go through all the hoops of adoption, only to find out that it probably won’t happen. In all actuality, the red tape of gay adoption is a third character in the film. But what denies them suddenly provides them with a bouncing bundle of angst who turns out not be a cuddly baby, but due to a typo in the form of a misplaced decimal point, a 15-year-old homophobic brat and petty thief. We all know what happens in the end, but getting there is much more fun than a film should be allowed to be.
Prodigal Sons

[no trailer available]

1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18
Tampa Theatre
This documentary will twist you into a million different emotional positions. Two brothers, very popular in high school, have taken completely different paths. Kimberly Reed, the director, returns home for a high school reunion, eager to reintroduce herself as a transgender woman. Jealousy and acceptance affect both of the siblings through a myriad of revelations and the film is much more about sibling rivalry than gender reassignment.

Fig Trees

3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18
Tampa Theatre
Okay, if you only watch one AIDS opera starring an albino squirrel and a Viking this year, make it Fig Trees. I watched it in the middle of the afternoon one day and I thought I was hallucinating. It was only after I watched the entire film that I could tear myself away to read about it. And knowing that it was based on a Gertrude Stein opera only made me love it more. Fig Trees is Matthew Barney meets Michael Moore—audacious, in your face funny, yet beautiful and lyrical.

29 Senate Democrats call on OPM to restore trans employee guidance

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A group of 29 Senate Democrats led by Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) is calling on the U.S Office of Personnel Management to restore to its website guidance ensuring fair treatment of transgender federal employees, which was deleted during the week of Thanksgiving.

In a letter dated Dec. 19 to Acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert, the senators write “to express our serious concern” about removal of the guidance from the website.

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Lend Me A Tenor

By : Alex Storer
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Hat Trick Theatre Productions Inc. Presents

Lend Me a Tenor

At The Murray Theatre At Ruth Eckerd Hall

Thursday Through Saturday,

February 2-12 At 7:30 PM And Sundays At 3 PM

Tickets Are On Sale Now

Hat Trick Theatre Productions presents Lend Me a Tenor at the Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall Thursday through Saturday, February 2-12 at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Tickets are on sale now.

Lend Me A Tenor Written by Ken Ludwig, the story takes place on the biggest night in the history of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. The world-famous tenor, Tito Merelli, is to perform his greatest role at the 10-year anniversary gala season opener. Henry Saunders, the opera’s executive director, has high hopes that Merelli’s performance will put Cleveland on the operatic map. Through a series of comedic mix-ups, Merelli is drugged and mistaken for dead! Saunders is in a panic and, along with his assistant Max, they scramble to keep the show going, hide the “body” and find another tenor. Doors will slam, identities will be mistaken, pants will fall and your sides will ache from laughter!

Laughing Stock will be directed by Jack Holloway. Holloway has been teaching, directing and acting in the Bay Area for over a decade and is a multiple Creative Loafing “Best of the Bay” award winner in Acting, Directing, Best Comedic Performance and Best Use of Grant Money.  He also won first place in the National Society of Arts and Letters acting competition in 2009. Past directorial credits include:  Deathtrap: A Thriller in Two Acts, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Proof, William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, Rumors, Funny Money, Unnecessary Farce and The Pavilion.  He currently serves as the Drama Department Chair at the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Artistic Director of Hat Trick Theatre and serves as an Associate Artistic Director for the Tampa Bay Shakespeare Festival

A complete cast listing for the show is below.

Single tickets for Lend Me a Tenor are $24 for adults and $15 for students and military members. Tickets are available online, at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727.791.7400. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. For more information, patrons are encouraged to log on to or

Contact: Katie Pedretty, Director of Public Relations – p 727.712.2774 –

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, manages and operates the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts, the Capitol Theatre and other related off-site programs such as Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc.’s mission is to engage the community to explore, discover, experience and master quality performing arts.

Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts, owned by the City of Clearwater and operated by Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc., includes the 2,200-seat Ruth Eckerd Hall, the 200-seat Murray Theatre, the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts, the 5,500 sq. ft. Margarete Heye Great Room and is located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, Florida 33759.

The Murray Theatre, located at Ruth Eckerd Hall, originally opened in 2003 as part of an education expansion of the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts. Through the generous support of Ray and Nancy Murray, a state grant and the Expanding the Experience Capital Campaign donors, a recent $1.5 million renovation includes a 2.5 story-high entrance and drop-off canopy with a LED lighting system, an exterior-accessible Ticket Office, enlarged lobby space featuring interior finishes, new concessions, all-new seats and updated flooring as well as new seating configurations. The all-new Murray Theatre offers affordable, accessible, high-quality experiences to audiences of all ages including theatre, play, concerts, original productions, foreign and classic films, classes and more.

The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts encompasses three distinct arts education divisions: presenting, community engagement and outreach and instruction in jazz, dance, drama, instrumental music, musical theater, voice and technical theater. Each division reaches students of all ages and abilities on the Ruth Eckerd Hall campus and off-site in local schools, hospitals, community centers, specialty residences and other arts centers throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida.

Hat Trick Theatre Productions, Inc. is the resident theatre company of Ruth Eckerd Hall. They kicked off their second season of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Before Ruth Eckerd Hall, Hat Trick Theatre performed in the Shimberg Playhouse at the Straz Center for Performing Arts. Their 2012 season and 2013 season included productions of And Then There Were None, Neville’s Island, and William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, their highest grossing production to date. Hat Trick Theatre is a non-profit theatre company founded in 2004, and is celebrating its 10th season this year.

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc.

Ruth Eckerd Hall – The Capitol Theatre – Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts – The Murray Theatre – Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road

Wash. likely 7th state to adopt gay marriage

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As lawmakers held their first public hearing on legalizing same-sex marriage, a previously undecided Democratic senator on Monday announced her support for the measure, all but ensuring that Washington will become the seventh state to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married.

The announcement by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, that she would cast the 25th and deciding vote in favor of the issue came as hundreds of people filled the Capitol to advocate for and against gay marriage.

In a written statement issued at the end of a Senate committee hearing on the bill, Haugen said she took her time making up her mind to “to reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator, and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy.”

“This is the right vote and it is the vote I will cast when this measure comes to the floor,” she said.

The state House is widely expected to have enough support to pass gay marriage, and Gov. Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed the proposal earlier this month. If a marriage bill is passed during this legislative session, gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married starting in June unless opponents file a referendum to challenge it. Opponents have already said they will.

A referendum can’t be filed until after the bill is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gregoire. Opponents then must turn in 120,577 signatures by July 6.

Opponents and supporters packed a Senate committee hearing for the first public hearing of the most high-profile issue before the Legislature this session. The Senate set up three overflow areas for the public, including the public gallery on the Senate floor.

Gay marriage foes wore buttons that said “Marriage. One Man. One Woman.” Others wore stickers that read “Washington United for Marriage,” a group that announced in November that it was forming a coalition to support same-sex marriage legislation.

Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has led the push for gay civil rights and domestic partnerships, testified before the Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee with his longtime partner, Michael Shiosaki.

“I realize the issue of marriage for our families is emotional and divisive,” said Murray, who is sponsoring the Senate bill. “It touches what each of us holds most dear, our families.”

Others argued that the measure goes against traditional marriage and the Bible.

“You are saying as a committee and a Legislature that you know better than God,” said Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church.

Committee chairman Craig Pridemore said that no action on the bill would be taken Monday, but that a committee vote would be taken Thursday morning.

The bill is expected to easily pass out of committee, since the four Democratic members, including Pridemore, have all said they would vote yes on the measure. The three Republicans on the committee have all said they will vote against gay marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee held a companion hearing in the afternoon.

Washington would join New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia in legalizing gay marriage. The state has had a domestic partnership law since 2007, and an “everything but marriage” law since 2009.

Murray said that upon learning the decisive vote had been secured, he felt “humbled.”

“It’s an emotional moment,” he said. “I want to smile and cry at the same time.”

The National Organization for Marriage, noting its involvement in ballot measures that overturned same-sex marriage in California and Maine, issued a statement Monday morning pledging a referendum campaign to fight any gay marriage law in Washington state. Last week, the group announced that it would spend $250,000 to help fund primary challenges to any Washington Republican who crosses party lines to vote for same-sex marriage. So far, two Republicans in the Senate and two in the House have said they would vote in support of gay marriage.

“I want to re-emphasize that we fully expect that this issue is going to end up on the ballot,” said Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle and sponsor of the House bill, said at a news conference following Haugen’s announcement. “People should not be complacent.”

Gay marriage has won the backing of several prominent Pacific Northwest businesses, including Microsoft Corp. and NIKE, Inc., and last week a conservative Democrat who once opposed same-sex marriage said he will now vote for it.

Jane Abbot Lighty, 75, and her partner of 35 years, 84-year-old Pete-e Petersen, celebrated the vote-count announcement after the hearing.

“We could have gone out of state and gotten married,” said Lighty, of Seattle. “We want to be married in our home state.”

In October, a University of Washington poll found that an increasing number of people in the state support same-sex marriage. About 43 percent of respondents said they support gay marriage, up from 30 percent in the same poll five years earlier. Another 22 percent said they support giving identical rights to gay couples but just not calling it marriage.

When asked how they would vote if a referendum challenging a gay marriage law was on the ballot, 55 percent said they would vote yes to uphold the law, with 47 percent of them characterized as “strongly” yes, and 38 percent responded “no,” that they would vote to reject a gay marriage law.

Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage said they were prepared for a tough campaign.

“This is just the first scrimmage into the long battle into November,” he said.

Gregoire announces support of same sex marriage

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Gov. Chris Gregoire is publicly supported legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state, saying Wednesday that she came to the decision after several years of battling her own uncertainty on the issue.

“I have been on my own journey, I’ll admit that,” she said at a news conference announcing her support of a legalization bill that will be introduced next week.

“It has been a battle for me with my religion,” said Gregoire, who is Catholic.

The Democrat previously had supported efforts to expand the state’s current law on domestic partner rights for gay couples, but had not come out in favor of full marriage rights.

“I’ve always been uncomfortable with the position I took publicly,” she said. “Then I came to realize, the religions can decide what they want to do, but it’s not OK for the state to discriminate.”

Gregoire’s announcement was met with loud applause from gay rights groups who crowded her conference room.

“It’s about damn time,” said 75-year-old John McCluskey of Tacoma, who attended the news conference with his partner of 53 years, Rudy Henry. The couple registered as domestic partners the first year that they could, in 2007.

“At our age, we don’t know how long we’ll be around,” he said. “We’d really like to get married.”

The state’s underlying domestic partnership law, which the Legislature passed in 2007, provided hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations, and inheritance rights when there is no will. Under state law, senior heterosexual couples can register as domestic partnerships as well.

In 2009, the Legislature passed, and voters later upheld, a bill that greatly expanded those rights and was known as the “everything-but-marriage” bill. Nearly 19,000 people in Washington are registered as domestic partners.

In November, a coalition called Washington United for Marriage announced it would lobby the Legislature to approve a gay marriage bill this year.

Lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday for the start of a 60-day legislative session.

Democratic Sen. Ed Murray of Seattle, a gay lawmaker who has spearheaded past gay rights and domestic partnership laws in the state, said the underlying domestic partnership law has helped lay the groundwork for full marriage. Murray and Rep. Jamie Pederson, D-Seattle, said a bill would be introduced next week.

They said that they would not attach a referendum clause to the bill, which would require the public to ultimately approve the measure if passed by the Legislature.

“We need to take this vote, we need to take it this year, and we need to take it in the Legislature,” Murray said. “It’s time for the Legislature to catch up with the public.”

Murray acknowledged that it would be a tough battle in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 27-22 majority, but where some conservative Democrats have voted with Republicans in opposition to the state’s domestic partnership law.

“We’re not there yet,” he said. “We’re a few votes short, but I think we can get there.”

Democrats hold a 56-42 majority in the House.

Two of the more conservative members of the Senate Democratic caucus expressed reservations about the measure on Wednesday.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, said she wasn’t willing to support anything that didn’t allow a vote of the people – and even then she was noncommittal whether she would vote for a referendum.

Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlach, noted that he previously supported a ban of same-sex marriages more than a decade ago and said he still doesn’t support them.

“I’m not on board with it, and I don’t think my constituents are,” Sheldon said. He said the measure would likely become a distraction when the Legislature is facing major budget decisions.

Gregoire called the idea of delaying action because of a challenging budget situation “reprehensible.”

“The idea that we would say to someone, I’m sorry, we’re going to continue to discriminate and deny you equality because we have a budget problem … that makes no sense to me,” she said.

Greg Magnoni, a spokesman of for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, said that the church would be “looking for the Legislature to uphold the current legal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.”

“The position of the Catholic Church is clear,” he said.

Pedersen noted that there wasn’t a plan to add an emergency clause, which would have the bill take effect immediately if passed. The lack of an emergency clause allows any opposition time to gather signatures for a referendum seeking to overturn a measure passed by the Legislature.

“We need to be prepared for the idea that we might have to fight it at the ballot,” Pedersen said.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.