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Calendar: April 3-9

Even in quarantine, online LGBT events abound

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Even in quarantine, online LGBT events abound.

Friday, April 3

Trans & NB Chat Hours hosted by the D.C.-area Transmasculine Society is every Tuesday and Friday from 7-10 p.m. through the month of April. There is no need to create an account to join, simply choose your name, pronouns and gender identity, then enter the room. Visit dcats.org/chat or the Facebook event page for details.

Pitchers and A League of Her Own are selling T-shirts to support their staff funds at limitlessbrandingco.com/pitchersdc. After the crisis is over and the restrictions are lifted, Pitchers will host a “make up” night with an open bar for T-shirt supporters. Visit the Pitchers Facebook page for details.

Red Bear Brewing continues its to-go and delivery service to support queer entertainers and its staff. Visit redbear.beer/store for more information and check their Facebook page for virtual events.

Saturday, April 4

Trivia for Shaw’s Tavern is tonight at 8 p.m. Register for the event via a Google doc link on Shaw’s Facebook page. You will receive a confirmation notice with information on how to access the Zoom virtual session. Proceeds from the event support the Shaw’s Tavern staff fund. For more information, visit facebook.com/shawstavern.

The Stimulus Project featuring DJ Chord and KC B Yonce and hosted by Number Nine is tonight at 8 p.m. via Zoom. This virtual bar includes music videos, DJs, drag queens and more. All tips will go directly to staff members in need. For more information, visit their Facebook events page.

Peach Pit…from a distance hosted by DC9 Nightclub is tonight at 8 p.m. live via TWITCH. DJ Matt Bailer delivers a mini Peach Pit live broadcast. Guests are invited to donate to the DC9 staff relief fund. Visit the event’s Facebook page for details.

Rewind: Request Line (Live) Streaming Edition hosted by DJ Darryl Strickland and the Green Lantern is tonight at 9 p.m. via Twitter and Periscope. Visit greenlanterndc.com for details.

Sunday, April 5

Quaran-Tea: Live with DJ Tanner hosted by Duplex Diner starts today at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom. Guests are invited to use Venmo to support the staff fund. To-Go delivery orders can be placed at DuplexDiner.com. Visit their Facebook events page for details.

“Selena” Watch Party and Virtual Drag Show is tonight at 9 p.m. hosted by TRADE. Guests are to first download the movie via their preferred service, then follow the play/pause instructions on the event’s Facebook page to incorporate tribute rag performances by host Sylvana Duvel and her special guest Darcy. Guests are also encouraged to contribute to the COVID-19 Queer Artist Collective at Venmo DonateQAC. Funds are being distributed now to queer artists creating their performances on virtual platforms.

Monday, April 6

Stay-At-Home Showtunes, a weekly streaming benefit show for JR’s bar (1519 17th St., N.W.), is tonight at 8:30 p.m. Guests can tune into the stream via Twitter @JRsBar_DC to watch the performance. Every Monday’s show features a rotating cast of characters and hosts and includes a special performance by Vagenesis at 9:30. Virtual tips via Venmo will support the weekly video DJ, drag performers and a general wage relief fund for the staff. Visit twitter.com/jrsbar_dc for the show and JR’s Facebook page for details.

Tuesday, April 7

Online Art Classes hosted by the Children’s Art Studio are today at 1:30 p.m. This event is for children ages 4 – 13. Tickets start at $99 on childrensartstudio.org.

Wednesday, April 8

The Great Influenza: Virtual Watch Party is tonight at 8 p.m. on the Library of Congress’ Facebook page. The National Book Festival Presents hosts this first online conversation featuring John M. Barry, author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” about the 1918 pandemic. Questions for the author regarding pandemics are to be posted in the Facebook page comments. Visit facebook.com/libraryofcongress for more information.

Thursday, April 9

A Free Online Virtual Home State Mixer hosted by Things to Do D.C. is tonight at 7:15 p.m. This unique virtual ice breaker uses Zoom to place guests in breakout rooms to first socialize with people from their home state, then move to meet people from other states and finally be placed at random to meet people from all over the country or world. Register for free tickets on eventbrite.com.

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Arts & Entertainment

Netflix defends Dave Chappelle and suspends trans employee

LGBTQ Media watch group GLAAD responded saying that anti-LGBTQ content is technically against Netflix policy

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Screenshot via SKYNEWS Australia YouTube

LOS GATOS, Ca. – The outcry by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups and allies since the release last week of the Netflix Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, regarding transphobic and other anti-LGBTQ innuendo and statements by the comedian grew on Monday after the company suspended one of its Trans employees.

Adding more fuel to the ongoing controversy in a memorandum to the company’s staff members obtained by entertainment trade news magazine Variety, sent last week by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, the company executive defended Chappelle.

“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him. His last special “Sticks & Stones,” also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award winning stand-up special to date,” Sarandos wrote in the memo.

“As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful,” he added.

Sarandos in his memo wrote, “Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”

LGBTQ Media watch group GLAAD responded to Sarandos’ memo saying that anti-LGBTQ content is technically against Netflix policy.

Netflix has a policy that content ‘designed to incite hate or violence’ is not allowed on the platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that,” the statement reads. “While Netflix is home to groundbreaking LGBTQ stories, now is the time for Netflix execs to listen to LGBTQ employees, industry leaders, and audiences and commit to living up to their own standards.”

After the special aired, Terra Field, an Out Trans Netflix senior software engineer based in San Francisco, posted a series of tweets that expressed anger over Chappelle’s blatant transphobia.

Field in her Twitter thread countered the position laid out by Sarandos, pointing out that Chappelle’s promoting the kind of ideology and speech can result in real-world consequences especially death for Trans people. 

In her tweets, Field writes, “Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the Trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about ‘offense.’ We are not offended.” 

Field went on to say of Chappelle, “our existence is ‘funny’ to him – and when we object to his harm, we’re ‘offended.’” She then listed numerous names of Trans people, specifically highlighting Trans women of color, killed in hate crimes. The thread went viral and as of Monday, the initial tweet had more than 13,000 retweets and 35,000 likes.

In reporting by both The Verge and Variety on Monday, Field and two other employees were suspended by the company although Netflix denies that Field was suspended due to the twitter thread. A source in the company told Variety that Field, who identifies as queer and Trans, and the other employees were not invited to the virtual gathering last week of the company’s executives, the “QBR” — Netflix’s quarterly business review, a two-day affair that convenes the top 500 employees at the company.

“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show. Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety.

Neither Field nor Netflix responded to requests for comment Monday by the Blade.

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Arts & Entertainment

Colton Underwood, Greyson Chance+ more Amazon Live Pride Festival!

Greyson Chance and former Bachelor star, Colton Underwood, will be streaming live to discuss how they show their Pride, answer fan questions

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SEATTLE, WA. – Happy Pride Month! Amazon Live is hosting its first-ever Pride Festival this Thursday (6/10) and Friday (6/11) from 3-6pm ET. Your favorite celebrities and influencers, including recording artist, Greyson Chance and former Bachelor star, Colton Underwood, will be streaming live to discuss how they show their Pride, answer fan questions, and share their top Pride picks across fashion, beauty, books, movies, and TV.

Customers can watch HERE via desktop, mobile, or through the Amazon Live Shopping app on Fire TV. Customers can interact directly with the celebrities and influencers via live chat, and easily shop the products and brands discussed through a carousel that updates in real-time.

The scheduled events are as follows:

DAY ONE (6/10):

  • 3PM ET: Greyson Chance will perform from his upcoming EP Trophies, releasing on June 25, and share his curated selection of Pride merch.
  • 4PM ET: Jo Duree will stream a “get ready with me,” inviting viewers to do their makeup alongside her as she shows top tips and tricks.
  • 5PM ET: Pride House LA is throwing the ULTIMATE pride variety show! Featuring top products, you will be fully entertained with special guest performances and amazing talent!

DAY TWO (6/11):

  • 3PM ET: Colton Underwood will discuss his life, answer viewer questions, and share the products that help him show off his pride.
  • 4PM ET: Jake Warden will demo a Pride makeup look.
  • 5PM ET: Olga Von Light will discuss her coming out story, and share some favorite Pride related merchandise and why the products are meaningful to her. 

We’d love to have you join! Check out this blog post for more information about how Amazon is celebrating Pride Month.

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Online Culture

Self-proclaimed ‘Christian’ entrepreneur offers filter to stop LGBTQ cult

New company claims it protects kids from LGBTQ Cult: “Christian tech startup responds to Pride Month helps parents block LGBTQ+ propaganda”

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Screenshot FreeFiltering website info on product

WOODSTOCK, GA. – A self-proclaimed Christian entrepreneur announced in a press release that he had launched an internet filtering service designed to protect children from indoctrination into what he says is a “dangerous LGBTQ cult.” 

 Michael Lee Mason, the founder of FreeFiltering, based in a small hamlet northeast of Marietta, Georgia, introduced his product on June 1st, attacking LGBTQ Pride month writing; “While the world celebrates Pride for the entire month of June, we mourn the fact that our nation has embraced the sin of pride as a virtue.  We applaud the parents who are putting in the enormous effort necessary to properly form their kids’ consciences in a culture that has become so hostile to holiness.”

“Christian parents are rightfully concerned about the way their kids are being systematically exposed to false ideas about human sexuality at school.  Then, those ideas are all-too-easily reinforced with unfettered internet access at home.  A couple clicks can spiral into catastrophic physical and spiritual harm,” Mason said.

Mason ended stating, “[…]  we anticipate being censored by the major digital ad platforms because of our commitment to historic Christian values,” says Mason. The company hopes that generous donors will step forward to help underwrite the tremendous ongoing expense of providing their services to Christian families across the country. Mason says the company will not survive.”

Photograph of Michael Lee Mason via Facebook

 

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