News and Events

Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA – A Waking Dream of Mexico

By Angeline Acain

It was Saturday night and I was on a date with my wife Susan to see Cirque du Soleil’s latest Big Top production LUZIA – A Waking Dream of Mexico. This year find their white and gold tents located adjacent to Citi Field in Queens, New York. Years ago we took our young daughter and in-laws to see Cirque du Soleil for the first time so Susan and I knew we were in for a real treat.

Photo: Laurence Labat Costumes: Giovanna Buzzi © 2016 Cirque du Soleil

From start to finish LUZIA is a first rate performance. Even before the acrobats made their entrances the audience was serenaded with a Mexican acoustic guitarist, dancers, and colorful hummingbird-costumed performers gracefully waving their wings. The performance opened with an airline hostess voice over saying we’ve arrived in Mexico and our comedic host “traveler” arriving from high above as if being lowered from a plane. LUZIA entertains and astounds the audience with a full band, visually artistically beautiful costumes and set design, and fantastic animal puppetry depicting a dream like world with a Mexican theme.

The athletic skills and acrobatic feats of the performers will put you on the edge of your seats making you smile and making you gasp. I could hear a woman seated behind me repeatedly saying, “Oh my God!” A first for Cirque de Soleil is incorporating a magnificent rain curtain and a crystal blue pool of water not just during the artistic scenes but also with some of the acrobatics. This unique rain curtain evoked “oohs” and “ahs” from the audience as the water didn’t just fall in droplets, but also as pictures of animals and flowers–an amazing engineering feat (to learn more about the integration of water in LUZIA, watch http://cirk.m/LUZIAWaterVideo).

Photo: Matt Beard © 2017 Cirque du Soleil

LUZIA has an intermission and the first half alone was astounding so Susan and I were excited there was a second part! LUZIA, runs through June 9th with tickets starting at $54. LUZIA is perfect for families as well as couples. Since we went on a Saturday night many in the audience were couples out on a perfect date. Children will love the animal puppetry and childlike humor—in fact I felt like a child again watching this performance. For those with young children Citi Field has ample parking ($25) and for those who don’t want to drive the subway stop is nearby. You don’t want to miss the artistry and energy of LUZIA– A Waking Dream of Mexico.

To watch a preview video of LUZIA, visit www.cirk.me/LUZIA_Preview. Tickets for New York City performances of LUZIA are now available online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.

Amazon and Gay Parent Magazine

Shop for family building products and LGBTQ friendly children’s books through Gay Parent Magazine’s new Amazon page. Find many children’s books tailored for LGBTQ headed families. Also shop for books and products for parents and parents-to-be. Your purchase helps support Gay Parent Magazine. Shop at https://www.amazon.com/shop/gay.parent.magazine.

A Tribute to Kristi Parker of Liberty Press

By Angeline Acain

Sadly, the LGBTQ community has lost a valuable asset. Kristi Parker, Publisher, Editor and owner of Liberty Press passed away of a stroke on March 10, 2018, she was 49. Liberty Press covered the local LGBTQ news and events of Kansas. A free magazine distributed in Kansas, Parker had been publishing for nearly twenty-five years, launching the first issue of Liberty Press in 1994. With her passing, Liberty Press has ceased to publish.

As a fellow member of the LGBTQ media, I met Kristi in June 2011 when we were part of a press trip in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was able to invite my partner Susan and daughter Jiana on the press trip since the magazine I publish, Gay Parent Magazine, focuses on LGBTQ parenting. My family and I got to know Kristi when we invited her to go kayaking on the Allegheny River during our press trip. We learned she was raising a son named Jack with her ex.

Learning that she was a parent, I thought it would be a great idea to feature her and Jack in Gay Parent Magazine. Our September-October 2014 issue #96 features an article on Kristi and Jack (written by Beverly Prince-Sayward). The article focuses on how Kristi started Liberty Press because of a need to create a LGBTQ community in her hometown of Kansas. This need blossomed after she took a road trip and experienced New York City’s vibrant LGBTQ pride. In a quote from the article Kristi says, “The event was amazing for me. There were so many gay people! I was energized. I attended the Dyke March the night before the big march and ran into Leslie Feinberg and Minnie Bruce Pratt. I spent the whole next day at Central Park watching people and the stage full of inspirational speakers and famous people and bands. We were there for like 14 hours!” Kristi published the first issue of Liberty Press August 1994.

The article also focuses on Kristi meeting her ex Vinnie, their eventual separation, and co-parenting of their son Jack who is on the Autism spectrum. A quote from the article in Gay Parent Magazine describes Kristi’s feelings about parenting: Overall, Kristi has felt that Jack’s special needs have not been too difficult for her to handle. He is her love and her joy and even his quirkiness brings little surprising enjoyments throughout the day. “Just recently Jack was at dinner at a restaurant with Vinnie and he kept almost spilling his drink. Vinnie asked if he needed a sippy cup. He was really put off and said, ‘I think you’re insulting my manhood!’”

Especially in these trying political times, the passing of Kristi Parker and the discontinuance of Liberty Press is a great loss not just for Kansas but also for the entire LGBTQ community. Visit the Facebook page for Liberty Press at https://www.facebook.com/LibertyPressKS.

Kristi in front of the Stonewall Inn when she was on her road trip to New York City.

Early photo of Kristi and Jack.

 

Kristi Parker, Publisher, Editor and owner of Liberty Press.

Photo of LGBTQ media press trip in Pittsburgh in 2011. Kristi is kneeling on the right. The author Angeline Acain is standing to the right of Kristi.

 

Kristi and Jack.

Gay Parent Magazine Cover Family Featured on Pops Web Series

Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman and their son Jonathan were the cover story of our September-October 2016 issue #108 (see image on left). On November 23, 2017 the family was featured on Pops, a weekly web series exploring fatherhood as experienced by Black men. In the video, the family talks about their open adoption while Jonathan speaks on the phone to his birth mother. They discuss some of the issues they encounter being a same sex couple raising a son. Watch the video below. Order a digital download of the September-October 2016 issue through this link http://www.gayparentmag.com/digital-downloads/september-october-2016-issue-108-digital-download.

Stonewall Makes History Again: Becomes First National Park Site Dedicated to LGBT History

New York, N.Y. – After more than two years of building strong public support in the community, across the nation and in Congress, National Parks Conservation Association celebrates President Obama’s historic designation of Stonewall National Monument, the first national park site dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history. To coincide with national LGBT Pride Month, and just a few days before the 47th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, President Obama today officially designated the area surrounding Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park in New York City’s Greenwich Village as our 412th national park site.

Stonewall is recognized as the birthplace of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. In response to police raids against the LGBT community in the summer of 1969, a weeklong uprising took place in and around the streets surrounding the Stonewall Inn bar and Christopher Park. These are considered some of the most important events in LGBT history. These demonstrations helped set the stage for the progress that has since been made on LGBT equality and the larger push for human rights and civil rights in the United States.

Learn more at www.npca.org/stonewall and join the conversation online with #NatlParkForStonewall.

View the YouTube announcement from the White House below:

 

GPM included in Japanese book: Same sex couples and their children: The American Gayby boom by Mariko Sugiyama

Same sex couples and their children: The American Gayby boom by Mariko Sugiyama

Same sex couples and their children: The American Gayby boom by Mariko Sugiyama

The first book in Japan on the subject of LGBT parenting was recently published (see cover on left). Compiled and written by Asahi Shimbun reporter Mariko Sugiyama, the book is titled Same sex couples and their children: The American Gayby boom. The book features 20 families that were formed through foster care and adoption or artificial insemination. Also featured is information on changes in public opinion since the rise of the “gayby boom”, the current state of same sex parenting in Japan, and the future of unconventional families.

Included in the featured families are Lance and Stuart Chen-Hayes and their son Kalani. The Chen-Hayes were first featured as the cover family on Gay Parent Magazine’s March-April 2004 issue #33 and later in an update feature for our July-August 2008 issue #59 cover story. Gay Parent Magazine editor and publisher Angeline Acain was also featured along with her daughter. See inserts below.

Gay Parent Magazine in Japan Same sex couples book.

Gay Parent Magazine featured in Same sex couples and their children: The American Gayby boom by Mariko Sugiyama.

Gay Parent Magazine editor and publisher Angeline Acain and her daughter in Same sex couples book.

Gay Parent Magazine editor and publisher Angeline Acain and her daughter.

The Chen-Hayes family in the book Same sex couples and their children.

The Chen-Hayes family.

For the 3rd Year Gay Parent magazine Part of Japan Youth Study Tour

For the third year in 2016, the group, LGBT Youth Japan, met with Gay Parent Magazine’s publisher and editor Angeline Acain in New York City. The group is a Tokyo based organization educating Japanese youth about the LGBT support systems employed by other countries. Their goal is to help guide Japan towards becoming a society whose members embrace diversity and “can accept and love each other for who they really are inside.” The group was in New York City on a 10-day study tour meeting with a variety of LGBT organizations and businesses and included Gay Parent Magazine in their itinerary.

See a posting of Gay Parent Magazine’s first meeting with LGBT Youth Japan http://blog.gayparentmag.com/gay-parent-mag-happenings/gay-parent-magazine-part-of-japan-youth-study-tour

LGBT Youth Japan 2016 meeting with Gay Parent Magazine

March 14, 2016 meeting with LGBT Youth Japan and Gay Parent Magazine. Seated far right is Aya Yabe of the API Project of PFLAG New York. Yabe acted as a translator for the group.

LGBT Youth Japan 2016 meeting with Gay Parent Magazine

Gay Parent Magazine publisher and editor Angeline Acain is on the far right with her daughter Jiana at the 2016 meeting.

LGBT Youth Japan 2014

Gay Parent Magazine’s 2nd meeting with LGBT Youth Japan in 2014. Also included is activist Pauline Park (second from left in back), and Acain’s partner Susan (far left). Photo courtesy of Pauline Park

LGBT Youth Japan 2016 meeting with Gay Parent Magazine

At the 2016 meeting, Kody did a presentation of LGBT culture presented in the Japanese media. He also told us of how he came out on YouTube and that the process was both rewarding for himself and for others. View Kody’s coming out video at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3brVnI1LsrQ

 

MotherStruck! Starring Staceyann Chin, Single Mom Tour de force

By Angeline Acain

MotherStruck! Staceyann Chin’s one-woman performance at the Lynn Redgrave Theater is a tour de force. Chin is exciting to watch as she moves up and down between the audience, red Mohawked shaven head, muscled torso, arms gesticulating. Then skillfully using a minimalist set stage, slithering with legs up mimicking self-insemination. Her words and expression effectively convey a colorful cast of characters from Jamaica and New York magically creating their presence on stage. Staceyann is a master storyteller, performance artist and playwright and shares her incredible experience of being “struck” on a road to motherhood as a single lesbian living in a gentrifying Brooklyn. Kudos to celebrity LGBT moms Cynthia Nixon for directing and Rosie O’Donnell for producing MotherStruck!

On the evening that I attended, at the end of her performance was a talk back with Chin. What made the talk back extra enjoyable was Chin’s adorable 4-year-old daughter Zuri joining her mom on stage and addressing the audience. Mother and daughter spoke about their YouTube series, Living Room Protest, where they speak out about different topics. Especially adorable was Zuri showing some promotional wisdom beyond her years by reminding her mom on stage that she should hold up a copy of Chin’s memoir “The Otherside of Paradise.” There are two other talk back performance nights and I overheard that Cynthia Nixon and Rosie O’Donnell may be joining Chin on stage for those. The performance runs only until the end of January so buy your tickets now. Go to www.MotherStruck.com.

Staceyann Chin and Rosie O'Donnell

Staceyann Chin and Rosie O’Donnell

Staceyann Chin and Cynthia Nixon

Staceyann Chin and Cynthia Nixon

Staceyann Chin and daughter Zuri talk to the audience at MotherStruck!

Staceyann Chin and daughter Zuri talk to the audience at MotherStruck! Copyright Gay Parent Magazine

Martina Navratilova Marries Julia Lemigova

Martina Navratilova Weds Julia Lemigova

Martina Navratilova Weds Julia Lemigova

Martina Navratilova married longtime partner Julia Lemigova in New York City on December 15, 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray officiated. In attendance were actress Brooke Shields, tennis legend Chris Evert and Lemigova’s two daughters. Navratilova proposed during the US Open last September, in a moment that was telecast on the Jumbotron at New York’s Arthur Ashe stadium. Click on the photos to enlarge. Photos courtesy of Atelier Creative Services, Inc.

Martina Navratilova Weds Julia Lemigova

Photo: Brook Shields, Julia Lemigova, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Bill de Blasio , Chirlane McCray and Lemigova’s two daughters.

Gay Parent mag Giveaway on 3rd International Family Equality Day, May 4, 2014

IFED and GPM

Gay Parent magazine is giving away 250 print copies and an unlimited number of digital copies of the current May-June issue on May 4, 2014 in celebration of the 3rd International Family Equality Day. See festivities of the first celebration in New York by selecting this link 1st International Family Equality Day and this link more on the 1st International Family Equality Day. International Family Equality Day is celebrated the first Sunday in May.

How to get your copy on May 4, 2014

PRINT: On May 4, 2014 be one of the first 250 people to email us your postal address. In the subject line write IFED print copy. Copies are mailed first class USPS. After the 250 limit we will send digital copies to those who request a print copy.

 DIGITAL: Send us your email and we’ll reply with a link to your digital download. In the subject line write IFED digital copy.

Offer ends at midnight May 5, 2014. Thank you!

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