True Colors Events: Chocolate & Cheesecake and the 5k Walk-Run for Fun

One of my favorite organizations in Connecticut is sponsoring some great events that are worth your time and support.  On April 20, 2012, join True Colors for Chocolate & Cheesecake for a Cause.  The event will take place from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven.  Tickets are $75 and include live entertainment, a DJ, hot hors d’ oeuvres buffet, open bar (3 hours), assorted cheesecakes and truffles and plenty of fun.  This is a 21+ event.   For more information or to purchase tickets online, click here.

If you like to walk or run … and you like to support organizations that do important work for LBGT youths, this event is a must.  True Colors is sponsoring its 5k Walk-Run for Fun event on May 6, 2012 at Wickham Park in Manchester, Connecticut.  The event begins at 10:00 a.m.  To participate, please register here.

In its own words, “True Colors is a non-profit organization that works with other social service agencies, schools, organizations, and within communities to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are both recognized and competently met.”

The organization sponsor the largest LGBT youth conference in the country, boasting an attendance of more than 2800 people. Here’s a video clip with highlights from the 2011 conference:

True Colors also manages Connecticut’s only LGBT mentoring program.  If you have some time and want to volunteer, they could use your help.

Do what you can to support True Colors and help them to support our LGBT youth.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski

Cyndi Lauper Featured in AARP Magazine About LGBT Youth and Seniors

The December issue of AARP Magazine features a short Q & A with entertainer, Cyndi Lauper, who founded the Give A Damn Campaign.  The openly-straight star has done quite a bit for the LGBT community and the Give A Damn Campaign is her latest effort to educate the straight population about the problems faced by LGBT youth, in particular.

I was pleased to see a magazine aimed at older Americans feature a piece that was directly focused on LGBT issues.  Kudos to AARP Magazine and to Cyndi Lauper!

Read the AARP article here.  Note:  it displays small but there’s a magnify feature to click on and make the display larger.  Just hold your mouse pointer over the article and it turns to a magnifying glass. Click and voila!

Speaking of Lauper, I posted here on a special benefit concert she is holding to benefit LGBT youth.

Just because I’m in a generous mood tonight, here’s a bonus for you … Cyndi Lauper signing True Colors.  Enjoy!   (If you want to read the lyrics, click here).

Editor’s Note:  Thanks, Robin, for bringing this article to my attention.

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Follow Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. Be sure to LIKE our page.

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Follow the Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook.   Be sure to LIKE our page.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski

Cyndi Lauper & Friends Show to Benefit LGBT Youth

I received the following e-mail from the Give A Damn campaign, an organization that is dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.  Please note that 100% of the net proceeds from the following event will benefit LGBT youth.

A CONCERT TO BENEFIT HOMELESS LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER YOUTH

DECEMBER 4th, 2011 at NEW YORK CITY’S BEACON THEATRE

Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, the organization behind the Give a Damn Campaign, today announced a star-studded benefit concert on December 4th at New York City’s historic Beacon Theatre to help raise awareness about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness. “Home For the Holidays,” presented by Deutsche Bank, will feature a night of music from Cyndi as well as special appearances by Norah Jones, Amy Lee, Lou Reed, Cassandra Wilson, Rosie O’Donnell, Wanda Sykes, Carson Kressley, Jon Secada, Chely Wright, Skylar Grey, Vanessa Carlton, Angelique Kidjo, Harvey Fierstein, Deluka, Debbie Harry, Alan Cumming and Clay Aiken.

Cyndi Lauper and the True Colors Fund are excited to extend a special pre-sale to Give a Damn Campaign members before tickets go on sale to the general public. The pre-sale runs from 10 am EST tomorrow, Thursday, October 27th until tomorrow night at 10 pm EST. The password you will need to make your purchase is DAMN.

GET YOUR TICKETS! >>

“When I first learned that up to 40 percent of all homeless youth in this country identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender I was shocked and saddened,” says Cyndi Lauper, co-founder of the True Colors Fund and Give a Damn Campaign. “For far too long homeless youth have not received the attention, resources and funding necessary to bring an end to this epidemic. My hope is that through this inspiring evening of music and comedy we can raise awareness and much needed funds to help these young people.”

Cyndi was inspired to help after meeting an extraordinary group of young homeless gay and transgender people several years ago. Already a longtime advocate for the LGBT community and equality, she co-founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 as a major step in this effort. Then, created the Give a Damn Campaign to raise awareness, especially among straight people, about the many issues, particularly youth homelessness, impacting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

100% of the net proceeds from “Home for the Holidays” will benefit the True Colors Fund so that Cyndi, the True Colors Fund and the Give a Damn Campaign can continue to further its work to help homeless LGBT youth.

In addition to Platinum Sponsor Deutsche Bank, other sponsors of “Home for the Holidays” include American Airlines, Creative Group and Van Gogh Vodka. Additional support is provided by the Human Rights Campaign.

GET YOUR TICKETS! >>

LEARN MORE ABOUT “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” >>

SUPPORT THE GIVE A DAMN CAMPAIGN

Unable to attend “Home for the Holidays”? Please support the work of the True Colors Fund and the Give a Damn Campaign by making a gift of $10, $25, $50 or more today. Make a Donation .

FOLLOW THE GIVE A DAMN CAMPAIGN

You have already taken the first step to follow the Give a Damn Campaign by joining us on wegiveadamn.org. Now, take it one step further and stay informed and involved by following us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and YOUTUBE!

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Follow Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. Be sure to LIKE our page.

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Follow the Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook.   Be sure to LIKE our page.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski

What “The Wizard of Oz” Can Teach the Gay and Lesbian Community

I attended a fabulous performance of The Wizard of Ozlast night and afterward, I got to thinking about the lessons, parallels and symbolism in that play and how they might apply to the gay and lesbian community.  You all think I’ve gone crazy?  Nope, I assure you I’m serious.

Think about it.  We’ve got Dorothy, a strong female character who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind and isn’t afraid to go the mile to make change happen for herself and her friends.  She suddenly finds herself in a foreign environment where she must face difficult challenges and stand up for what she needs  — and that girl does not back down.  She’s an activist of sorts, fighting for the simple basic needs that we all have:   a brain, a heart, courage and a home.  Not necessarily in that order, of course, but follow me on this.  Dorothy is representative of the women and men who have championed the gay rights movement.  Dorothy is every person who has given their time, energy and money to fight for the repeal of DADT and DOMA.  It’s a long, hard process but it has to start somewhere.  As Glinda advises, “it’s always best to start at the beginning – and all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road.”  Just as activists for gay and lesbian causes have fought hard and won, Dorothy followed that yellow brick road a long way in order to get the result she wanted.  It wasn’t easy and that nasty wicked witch threw her a lot of obstacles in her path.  But in the end, she won the battle.  She also got that nifty broomstick.

We’ve got two wicked witches and a good witch.  The wicked witches terrorize people for sport.  (One is eradicated early on when the twister drops Dorothy’s house on her.  Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead).  The good witch educates and protects them.  Glinda the Good Witch tells Dorothy that not all witches are ugly … just the ones who are bad.  Metaphorically, I see that parallel in a lot of gay and lesbian situations.  There are some downright ugly people out there who commit horrific acts against gay and lesbian people simple because they (the perpetrators) are bad people.  They launch verbal attacks and violent physical assaults on decent human beings for the simple fact that they happen not to be heterosexual.  The heinous murder of Matthew Shepard comes to mind.  Dorothy should throw a bucket of water on those horrible people.  Perhaps they’ll melt.

Then we have groups such as GLAD and PFLAG and GLSEN and True Colors … those are the good witches who educate the general public and protect gay and lesbian citizens.  They are the groups that make it snow on the field of poppies so that the bad witches don’t get the upper hand.   They are the organizations who stand up to the bad witches and warn them, “be gone before somebody drops a house on you!”  You really do have to work with me on the metaphors and symbolism … just close your eyes and click your heels three times.

The scarecrow starts off not having a clue which way to go.  Once he gets his bearings, he stays on top of his game right to the end.   Grassroots organizations like Love Makes A Family were successful for that same reason.  Nobody had a clue how to make gay marriage a reality.  LMF figured out the strategy and made it happen in Connecticut.  There are other organizations like LMF all across the country.  They’ve figured it out, too, and they won’t stop trying until all 50 states recognize and allow gay marriage.

The tin man is a cool guy.  He just wants to love and he’ll fight flying monkeys and wicked witches for the privilege.  He’s the Plaintiff  in every lawsuit that has been brought to court in order to make same-sex marriage a reality. He’s every gay man or lesbian woman who has testified before a legislative hearing. He’s every gay or lesbian person who has made phone calls, carried signs, stuffed envelopes and fought for the right to marry the person they love. He has a lot of heart. As the Wizard explains when he gives him the ticking heart “testimonial” after he and the others return from their battle with the wicked witch, “a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” The parallel here is acceptance and support of gay and lesbian relationships by the straight contingent. (Repealing DOMA would be helpful).

You’ve got to love the cowardly lion. He’s afraid until he learns that he’s not alone in his fight for courage. With the support of complete strangers, he is able to obtain what has eluded him for a lifetime:

“How? Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on a mast to wave? Courage! What makes an elephant charge his tusk, in the misty mist or the dusky dusk? What makes a muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the Seventh Wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?”

Um, courage! In the fight for gay and lesbian rights, courage is the hallmark of the movement. If not for the courage of a few individuals, organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and Get Equal would not exist. It has taken a lot of courage for every person who has fought the long battle for equality. To every one of those people, “for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against Wicked Witches, I award you the Triple Cross. You are now a member of the Legion of Courage!” Thank you for fighting.

Yes, “The Wizard of Oz” can teach us all a lesson. Speak up, fight, don’t give in and don’t let the wicked witches get those ruby slippers.

In the end, I hope that every gay and lesbian person will enjoy true equality in his or her lifetime.

Toto, too? Toto, too.

 

 

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski