The 12th Orlando Cabaret Festival returns to Mad Cow

By : David Thomas Moran
Comments: 0

Orlando – The Mad Cow Theater’s 12th annual Orlando Cabaret Festival is set to debut on April 24, and this year it’s bringing in some pretty big names. Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti, Tony Award-nominee Christiane Noll, and former One Life to Live star Nicholas Rodriguez are headlining the 18-day festival, which will also showcase Central Florida’s local talent through May 11.

While several Tony Award nominees have performed in previous years, Benanti, who won the 2008 Tony Award for her role as Louise in a revival of the musical Gypsy, will be the first Tony Award winner to perform at the festival.

Continue Reading >>

After the Black Eye Has Healed

By : Erik Caban
Comments: 0

So, let’s say you escaped what could’ve been an even bigger disaster of a relationship than Rihanna and Chris Brown. Now all you have to do is deal with piecing yourself back together.

Sure, there’s always the break-up rituals we all have but when you’ve been physically and mentally reduced to nothing, there’s even more repair work to do.

What made me remember those post-abusive relationship feelings was during a recent pilgrimage to Chicago to visit family. I was out with my best friend D, hitting all our old haunts and it didn’t even occur to me that I might run into Jim. I mean, it’s been over seven years; I thought he’d have moved or at the very least that our history was water under the bridge.

However, no sooner had I taken a sip on my first concoction D had ordered us, I looked up to see him. I thought it was just my mind playing tricks on me. I blinked. He was still there and walking in my direction. The strangest feelings came over me, familiar feelings.

I felt fear, angst and I could feel my heart beating in my ears. In an instant, I was mentally 22 years old again and he had control over me. I had to snap myself out of my stupor. I wouldn’t allow him to have that power over me; not anymore. I was in control now.

Since he had seen me, I didn’t want to just walk away, so I waved. Upon realizing it was me, Jim made a B-line toward me. We exchanged pleasantries. As he put his arms around me, a chill of disgust with a hint of lust came over me. Yes, I said that right. I was disgusted AND slightly turned on. Weird, right?

However, within mere minutes of small talk, Jim was attempting to berate me, discounting where I work, where I live. While I had to learn it years ago, it was kind of validating to know that Jim was still a miserable, unhappy person. It had nothing to do with me. I interrupted him.

“It was great to see you,”I said, patting him on the arm. “D and I were actually just on our way out.”

Before he could utter another word, I slid past him, heading for the door. I smirked, knowing I had truly moved past him.

However, that didn’t happen overnight. I remember those first few months after leaving him.

You’re going to cry. Keep crying until you stop crying. You need to release the pain, and crying is the fastest way to extinguish an old flame in your heart. Even though you might feel dumb, this is the express lane to healing. Without the release, you will either find ways to numb the pain or possibly project the pain onto friends and family around you.

In my case, I even opted to go to counseling. I had allowed myself to be so consumed by Jim that once the relationship was over, I had forgotten who I was. I needed some help in finding “me” again.

Erik Fact: Don’t forget to love yourself or be afraid to just be with yourself; it’s the longest relationship you’re ever going to be in.

ACLU?s adoption campaign gets celebrity boost

By :
Comments: 0

Openly gay Sex and the City star and LGBT rights advocate Cynthia Nixon will be on hand to help the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) kick off a three-year campaign to end Florida’s ban on adoption by gay people. The event will be held Jan. 9 at the Shore Club in Miami Beach starting at 7:30 p.m. Nixon will be joined by U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Florida Senator Nan Rich; Florida Representative Mary Brandenburg; Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director; Robert Rosenwald, ACLU-FL LGBT Advocacy Project Director; and Martin Gill, an ACLU plaintiff.

Nixon_358360404.jpgThe ACLU of Florida’s LGBT Advocacy Project and the national ACLU LGBT Project sued the state on behalf of Gill and two brothers who he had been fostering at the state’s request for four years—the only stable home the children had ever known. In a landmark November 2008 decision, a Miami judge ruled that the two boys, now ages five and nine, could remain with the adoptive father, who is gay.
The state appealed to the Third District Court of Appeals, where the case has been argued. Gill is still waiting for a decision from the Third District Court of Appeals regarding his lawsuit.

ACLU’s campaign is getting financial support from the Tides Foundation’s State Equality Fund, the John C. Graves Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, the GLBT Community Projects Fund at Dade Community Foundation, and the Scott Opler Foundation.

In addition to supporting the ACLU lawsuit, the campaign will provide training to coach people on how to talk about the adoption ban. Florida is the only state that  specifically outlaws adoptions by homosexuals.