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Idina Menzel to perform at Capital Pride

Tony-award winning actress will perform songs from new album

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Idina Menzel (Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Records)

Tony-award winning actress and singer Idina Menzel will be performing songs off of her new album “Drama Queen” at the Capital Pride Concert on June 11.

Known as “the queen of Broadway,” Menzel got her start playing Maureen in “Rent,” which was one of the first musicals to depict lesbian characters on stage. She won her first Tony playing Elphaba in “Wicked” and has since starred in the film adaptation of “Rent” and Disney’s “Frozen.”

“Drama Queen” is Menzel’s seventh studio album and is expected to be released Aug. 18. The first single “Move” was released May 12 and is a “celebration of love in all its forms,” according to Menzel.

Menzel will be taking the stage at the concert along with Debbie Gibson and Shanice. 

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John Waters released from hospital after car accident

Crash took place in Baltimore County

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John Waters (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

BY TAJI BURRIS | Baltimore filmmaker John Waters was released from the hospital Tuesday morning following a car accident.

The 78-year-old released a statement saying that although he was hurt in the Baltimore County crash, he did not sustain major injuries.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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More than 1 million people attend Madonna concert in Rio

Free event took place on Copacabana Beach on Saturday

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Madonna performs on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach on May 4, 2024. (Screen capture via Reuters YouTube)

An estimated 1.6 million people on Saturday attended Madonna’s free concert on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach.

The concert, which was the last one as part of Madonna’s Celebration Tour, included a tribute to people lost to AIDS.

Bob the Drag Queen introduced Madonna before the concert began. Pabllo Vittar, a Brazilian drag queen and singer, and Anitta, a bisexual pop star who was born in Rio’s Honório Gurgel neighborhood, also joined Madonna on stage.

Congresswoman Erika Hilton, a Black travesti and former sex worker, and Rio Municipal Councilwoman Mônica Benício, the widow of Marielle Franco, a bisexual Rio Municipal Councilwoman who was assassinated in 2018, are among those who attended the concert.

“Madonna showed that we fight important fights for the human rights of Black (people), young (people), women and LGBTQIA+ people, and against all injustice, discrimination, and violence,” said Associaçao Nacional de Travestis e Transexuais (National Association of Travestis and Transsexuals), a Brazilian trans rights group known by the acronym ANTRA, on its X account. “What they call identitarianism’ is our subversion to the retrograde and conservative tackiness that plagues the country.”

The Associated Press reported the concert was Madonna’s biggest ever.

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HRC releases ‘Queer Renaissance Syllabus’

Beyoncé’s hit album inspired curriculum

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Beyoncé performs at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Aug. 6, 2023. The Human Rights Campaign has released a curriculum that her "Renaissance" album inspired. (Washington Blade photo by Isabelle Kravis)

In a move aimed at celebrating the beauty, brilliance and resilience of the LGBTQ community, the Human Rights Campaign unveiled the “Queer Renaissance Syllabus” that Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album inspired. 

Curated by Justin Calhoun, Leslie Hall and Chauna Lawson of the HRC’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program, the syllabus includes a variety of academic articles, essays, films and other media rooted in Black queer and feminist studies. Each piece is directly inspired by the tracks on Beyoncé’s Billboard 200-topping dance album, “Renaissance.”

Beyoncé’s album “Renaissance” stands as a cultural milestone, celebrating the Black queer roots of dance music while shedding light on overlooked Black queer artists. Inspired by her late-Uncle Johnny, the album not only garnered critical acclaim but also shed light on the often marginalized contributions of Black queer artists. Winning four Grammys and yielding chart-topping hits like “Break My Soul” and “Cuff It,” the album sparked discussions about economic impact and cultural representation.

Amid its success, legislative challenges arose, with Florida and Texas enacting bans on DEI initiatives in public colleges. Recognizing the album’s transformative potential, HRC developed the “Queer Renaissance Syllabus” to leverage its impact for education and activism.

Tailored for educators, youth-serving professionals, DEI practitioners, higher education leaders and admirers of Beyoncé’s artistry, the syllabus aims to encourage meaningful discussions, enrich lesson plans, and explore innovative ways to honor the vibrancy and significance of LGBTQ individuals and their culture.

With six themes anchoring the syllabus, ranging from “intersectionality and inclusivity” to “social justice and activism,” it provides a comprehensive exploration of various facets of LGBTQ experiences and expressions. Fan-favorite tracks from the album are paired with scholarly readings, offering insights into empowerment, self-acceptance and the transformative power of artistic expression. The syllabus also reinforces HRC’s efforts to highlight, amplify and re-center Black and queer voices.

By providing links to articles, books, podcasts and interviews, each associated with a song from the album, it celebrates the rich cultural heritage and contributions of the Black queer community.

The concluding section of the syllabus includes Beyoncé’s tribute to O’Shea Sibley, a young Black queer person who was murdered in Brooklyn, N.Y., last July while voguing to “Renaissance” songs at a gas station. HRC also includes a statement that condemns hate crimes.

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