Playing With My New iPhone Video Camera

I have to say that I’m in love with my iPhone. Why I held out so long is beyond me. But anyways, here’s my quick home movie – shot and sent to YouTube right from the phone. A far cry from Fotomat in my childhood.

In New York? Here’s a Great Cause…

I recently heard from Christopher at The Trevor Project who asked me to spread the word on DanNation about this upcoming event in New York City. It looks great!

THE TREVOR PROJECT TO HONOR DUSTIN LANCE BLACK AND CNN
Honorees to be presented with awards at annual Trevor New York fundraising gala

NEW YORK (June 9, 2009) – Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and leading news network CNN are set to be honored at the ninth annual Trevor New York gala on June 29 at Capitale in New York City. Event proceeds benefit The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

TNYbannerBlack, screenwriter of the two-time Academy Award-winning biopic “Milk,” is being honored with The Trevor Hero Award. This award annually honors an individual who, through his or her example, support, volunteerism and/or occupation, is an inspiration to LGBTQ youth. In addition to his groundbreaking work on the “Milk” screenplay, Black has become an influential and articulate supporter of LGBTQ youth, even vocalizing his support for the next generation in his Oscar® acceptance speech.

“It’s a privilege to be honored by The Trevor Project because its priorities are my own. Its tireless efforts to create and maintain life lines for at risk youth, and its commitment to ensuring all young people are valued, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity are literally lifesaving,” said Black. “It is so important that this country’s youth know that a brighter future filled with equal rights, equal-opportunity, and full acceptance lie ahead. As Harvey Milk so often said, ‘We gotta give ‘em hope,’ and The Trevor Project is filling that need.”

CNN, a news network that has paved the way for comprehensive, accurate and timely coverage of news events, is being honored with The Trevor Commitment Award. This award annually recognizes a company or organization that, through its policies, initiatives and other efforts, demonstrates a commitment to LGBTQ causes and is a prominent, public example of corporate acceptance of individuals regardless of sexual orientation. CNN has been at the forefront of covering issues affecting the LGBTQ community, consistently doing so both fairly and factually. Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent, will accept the award on the network’s behalf.  “I am honored to accept this award.  CNN remains committed to covering stories that are relevant to diverse audiences and we applaud The Trevor Project for raising awareness about these important issues and the harmful consequences of discrimination,” said O’Brien, CNN.

“Dustin Lance Black and CNN serve as inspirations to LGBTQ youth, and have set important precedents for their colleagues by showcasing diversity and promoting inclusivity,” said Charles Robbins, executive director and CEO, The Trevor Project. “Both recipients are more than deserving of these distinctions and we couldn’t be happier to present them with these honors.”

Trevor New York annually brings together top entertainers and supporters of The Trevor Project for an evening of comedy, musical performances and special honorees. The event helps raise the financial resources necessary to fund The Trevor Project’s programs including its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, community outreach and educational resources.

About The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. The organization was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film, “Trevor,” a comedy/drama about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award® for Best Short Film (Live Action). For more information, visit TheTrevorProject.org.

About Dustin Lance Black
Black won the 2008 Academy Award® and honors from the Writers Guild of America, Boston Society of Film Critics, Hollywood Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, among others, for his original screenplay for “Milk,” the Gus Van Sant-directed biopic of the late LGBT rights advocate Harvey Milk. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release. The film earned an Academy Award for Best Actor for Sean Penn in the title role. Black also served as a writer and co-executive producer on HBO’s Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated series “Big Love.” In addition to working on “Big Love” for the past five years, Black also wrote the screenplay for “Pedro,” a film about the life and legacy of famed “Real World” cast member Pedro Zamora. Black is currently writing and is set to direct the feature film, “What’s Wrong with Virginia,” starring Jennifer Connelly and Liam Neeson, which will begin production this summer.

Six Fags Over New Hampshire

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As I blog today, I sit in seat 15C of my Virgin America flight somewhere over Ohio (Hello Chad Fox). And, as I return to more regular blogging (sorry regular readers), I reflect on an amazing month where I’ve peddled for 545 miles in AIDS Lifecycle, visited friends and family in Maine and spent the past weekend in Hanover at my Dartmouth 20th Reunion.

The visit with my mother was predictably awkward. While it was nice to see her, I got the following phone call about halfway through my trip.

MOM: Are you planning to visit your brother?

ME: Of course, I always do when I’m home.

MOM: Well, he’d prefer that you don’t.

ME: May I ask why?

MOM: Well, you said something to him when you were teenagers and he’s upset.

ME: Are you FUCKING kidding me?

MOM: I hate being in the middle.

ME: Well, may making this call you have elected to. He’s 41 – why can’t he be an adult and tell me himself. This is because I’m gay, isn’t it?

MOM: Well, you know it doesn’t agree with his politics.

At this point, steam was pouring out of my ears. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The conversation dragged on – and I laid it all out on the table with my mother.

“I’ve had thousands of hours of therapy and I will tell you, Mom, what I’ve learned. First, he has always been #1 in your life and I have always been #2. Second, I have always been blamed — or taken the blame — for anything he has done wrong. You have defended him, supported him — do you ever stand up for ME when someone talks about me (and I know they do)???”

It felt good to get it all out there.

Onto better things. Just about all the gay guys from my college class rented a house on the Connecticut River for our Dartmouth reunion. Our friend Rachel also joined us and we coined the name “Six Fags” for our house (there were actually seven of us). I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my reunion. Now that we are all grown up, all my Dartmouth friends (gay and straight) rock and I’m proud of them. If I were to apply to college now knowing all that I know, I’m not sure I would still apply to Dartmouth but have to say my friends from there have been inspirational and supportive all at the same time. I can’t wait for my 25th and need to make an effort to get back east more often to see everyone.

In the photos above, you will see all of us enjoying Rachel’s homemade pancake breakfast, posing in front of Dartmouth Hall and dancing to an Upper Valley band extraordinaire (well, not really).

But now, as I return to San Francisco, I have my own life with the love of my life, Rich. I can’t wait to see him and the dogs. It’s been TOO long.

Scenes from New England

It’s been so long since I’ve been back here, I can barely remember how much fun I have when I do get an opportunity to hang out with old friends.

IMG_0625 IMG_0626 Last Friday, high school friends Andrea, Sharon and Scott (Andrea and Scott are siblings) came over to my inn to catch up and share laughs (accompanied, of course, by wine). We were all drama “queens” in school (although Scott is straight). See the photo below of me and Andrea in “Finian’s Rainbow” (1984).

n736789827_887866_6508And another shot of us now:

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Then, it was on to the home of Mark and Bunny — old friends who have one of the largest dogs I’ve ever seen.  There is so much wrong with this last picture I don’t even know where to start.

This is a great one. I love me some Bunny! Leo, Bunny and Mark getting ready for bed.

I said good-bye to my friends and family this morning and am now in Boston where I will hang for several days before heading to my Dartmouth reunion. My mother said some things to really piss me off – basically, my brother asked “that I not visit him” due to something I supposedly said 25 years ago. I’m pretty sure the real culprit is homophobia. Just when I get down on this bullshit, I look at all the reasons to come home above.

Where else can I watch my friend brush his teeth while his dog drinks from an adjacent sink and his wife takes a pee? Gotta love my crazy town.