Tag Archives: Ourchart

Changes online at Ourchart.com

This is on their website…
OurChart Update
NOVEMBER 22, 2008 – 10:42AM — EDITOR
Some of you may have read the rumors that have been flying about regarding OurChart “shutting down” – as rumors tend to be, this is not true. Yes, we are unfortunately in a position of needing to scale back on our content initiatives. But please rest assured that none of your profile or personal information has been lost, shared or removed from the site. The site remains fully functional and we encourage you to continue using OurChart as the place to meet and interact with your friends. After all, it’s you, the OurChart community, that makes the site what it is. Continue writing blogs, posting comments, uploading photos, leaving notes, and messaging your friends. In the meantime, we’ll be working hard behind the scenes to streamline the site and focus on bringing you the social networking features that you, the members, most want.
We hope that you’ll stand by us as we move through this transitional period and thank you all in advance for your patience and continued support. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you. More updates from the OurChart team very soon!

This is an email I received today from one of their editors/bloggers Grace Moon…
Dear All,

Given the recent staff layoffs at OurChart.com, I have posted the statement below on my website: http://www.velvetparkmedia.com.

I enjoyed my tenure as managing editor of OurChart.com, and am available to comment on the state of lesbian media moving forward.

Thank you,
Grace Moon

According to the LGBT News site the Advocate.com, “word came down Friday afternoon that OurChart.com will be shutting off all content effective immediately. Editor Grace Moon notified the staff of contributors and bloggers via e-mail on Friday afternoon. Moon said in the e-mail that the entire staff had been let go and that Friday would be her last day.”

You gotta love it when personal messages become public. Yesterday, I did indeed send out a personal email to all of the contributors of OurChart to let them know of the abrupt termination of my employment and their contributions to OC. Since I did not have time to bid farewell to the OC community and deliver any transitional thoughts on my brief tenure there, I would like to take this opportunity to do so now. But first let me clarify I am NOT speaking in any official capacity for OurChart.com and its owners.

Almost a year ago I was hired by OurChart to be its managing editor. At the time the site, which had begun as a social networking space, was moving towards creating a more robust editorial component. I had previously worked for six years in the trenches of print, creating and managing Velvetpark Magazine. Moving from print to digital was totally illuminating. I realized that online content is actually a cacophony of live conversations that echo across the interwebs like yodelers on the Alps.

You know, the LGBT community and especially the L and the T’s have often been ghettoized within our Acronym to varying degrees. What I began to see as we churned out blog after blog on OC was that our little marginalized demographic was actually participating in the National dialogue; politically and culturally. Stories move across the web and either pick up steam or change directions depending on the readers and writers who commune on any given site in any given moment. To me, OC had become one such destination. And I think all of you who actively participated or lurked in the background would agree.

The other thing I learned is that if you stop talking, your presence disappears. Staceyann Chin, who became a regular blogger on OC, includes in the signature of her emails, “If we do not speak, who will?”

Lesbian media came into being first in print under the might of Franco Stevens who almost two decades ago began the first lesbian print magazine Curve. GO magazine and Velvetpark began the same year in 2002 in New York City. In pure dedication and commitment and despite the incredible costs of a fickle print industry, Amy Lesser has continued to deliver newsworthy content and the lesbi cultural road map across dykenation.

And how about the forward minded Sarah Warn who in 2002 knew the future of lesbian community and culture was online. Afterellen.com grew quickly and remains the premier destination for lesbian media, celebrity and gossip. The rest of lesbian media has scurried to keep up with her, fumbling our way online in her wake.

Then there is Ilene Chaiken. It is with great respect and gratitude that I thank Ilene who gave me the opportunity to work on OurChart. My very limited experience of having worked as her editor is that she is woman of vision, insight and a million ideas. The L Word has so dramatically positively altered our visibility and self-image — I mean really, she made being lesbian an A-list experience. High profile TV show, Paparazzi, red carpets —what? Had we ever felt so special before? And like seriously I still think TiBette should not stay together.

Even as I contemplate the loss of OC’s contribution as we knew it, it’s instructive to remember that the site does not exist in a vacuum. Established media giants like Time Inc. and Conde Nast Publications have both shed hundreds of employees recently, while newer ventures like the fits-and-starts prone Radar magazine finally folded entirely last month.

Okay now, I didn’t mean to scare you with the eminent recession or depression, but take heart — in the words of my dear friend and colleague Diana Cage “We are lesbians, we know how to survive.”

And that, we shall do.

Now that I’ve come back to my dear little media company that could, I would like to first thank Tami “IT girl” Johnson, Elizabeth Koke and Anna Romer who kept the home fires on Velvetpark burning. Thank you to everyone who began at Velvetpark and followed me to OurChart as well as those of you whom I met through OC (there are so many of you, please for give me for not mentioning all of your names).

A shout out to Kelly McCartney whom I have known for over 10 years and I seriously could not have accomplished anything without. She helped me found Velvetpark and became an absolute pillar of constancy on OC — editing, fact-checking and delivering consistent thoughtful informed posts ranging from green living to music to news and any number of topics we needed to cover in any given moment.

Thank you Diana Cage, my media girlfriend, the great illuminator of queer politics and culture. Cage, you’ve been one of my greatest allies and inspirations in keeping lesbian media alight. I look forward to setting up the lesbian commune (perhaps it can be right here on Vp), while we wait out this bastard economy.

And to you, OurChart readers who I really deeply felt became my online family; minniesota54, Tex, Lezbeth, Btfan2, my fellow dyslexic DeeDee, Rovermom, motaterz, peacekitty, Rusty, mysticsmb, CA_Medicine_Woman, and again the many others of you whose names escape me at the moment. I have thoroughly enjoyed our discussions even when we argued passionately. Nothing but love.

Lastly, I throw out a heartfelt thanks to Lisa Bang, who was really the lynchpin in keeping OC running behind the scenes. She helped me ease into my position at OC and showed me the ropes. Her organizational, marketing, and managerial skills — not to mention editing and creative talents — will be an asset to any company in the future.

Going forward you can continue to find me here at Vp, and I hope to be joined by a few other of my compatriots in short order. So come back soon. And please do comment and feel free to express your thoughts.

And if you’d like to join our ranks, make sure you read the fine print: we put the “free” back into ‘freelance” and the ‘Dyke” back into “DIY”.

Long live lesbian media.

In love and gratitude,
Grace Moon

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Filed under Lesbians on TV & Film

SHOWTIME Renews The L Word for 6th & Final Farewell Season

What will we do with our Sunday nights? All you writers out there in Hollywoodland better get crackin’ and write something new for the lesbians please….
One more season ladies…brace yourselves…

Here’s the press release

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LGBT’s endorsing Hillary

I found this list published in the Advocate in June. It’s the Hillary LGBT steering commitee…

As president, the statement says, Clinton would work with the community to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal economic benefits and rights (so far, she backs civil unions); work to end discrimination in adoption laws; put an end to what she has called “the failed policy” of “don’t ask, don’t tell”; and sign into law expanded federal hate-crimes legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) if they are approved by Congress. (Kerry Eleveld, The Advocate)

LGBT Americans for Hillary steering committee members:

· Eldie Acheson, former U.S. assistant attorney general; founding director, public policy and government affairs, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

· Roberta Achtenberg, former assistant secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

· Toni Atkins, San Diego City Council member

· Dr. Christopher Barley, activist, philanthropist

· Greg Berlanti, creator/producer, TV series, Brothers and Sisters

· Elizabeth Birch, former executive director, Human Rights Campaign

· Mary Breslauer, former cochair, Kerry-Edwards 2004 LGBT steering committee; communications consultant

· Tonio Burgos, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus

· Ilene Chaiken, creator/producer, Showtime series The L Word

· Rocco Claps, former LGBT outreach director, Democratic National Committee; Illinois LGBT activist

· Bruce Cohen, Oscar-winning film producer

· Roberta Conroy, member, National Leadership Council, Lambda Legal

· Joan Darrah, retired U.S. Navy captain

· Q. Todd Dickinson, former under secretary of commerce for intellectual

property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

· Thomas Duane, New York State senator

· Ingrid Duran, board member, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

· Steve Elmendorf, deputy campaign manager, Kerry-Edwards 2004

· Shelley Freeman, business leader, Los Angeles Police commissioner

· Ethan Geto, longtime gay-rights advocate

· John Gile, executive director, Project Angel Food

· Emily Giske, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus

· Deborah Glick, New York assembly member

· Steven Goldstein, chair, Garden State Equality

· Chad Griffin, CEO, Chad Griffin Consulting Inc.

· Rebecca Haag, executive director, AIDS Action Council; executive director, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts

· Yashar Hedayat, businessman

· Lisa Henderson, general manager, Olivia Cruises

· Stephen Herbits, businessman

· Fred Hochberg, former deputy then acting administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration; dean of the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy, the New School

· John Isa, board of directors and business council member, Human Rights Campaign

· Gloria Johnson, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

· Christine Kehoe, California State senator

· Keith Kerr, retired colonel, U.S. Army; retired brigadier general, California National Reserve

· Kasey Kincaid, attorney, Iowa grassroots activist

· Billie Jean King, sports legend and social pioneer

· Sheila James Kuehl, California State senator

· Mark Kvare, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

· Neel Lattimore, special advisor for strategic communications, Children’s Defense Fund; former press secretary for the first lady

· Bruce Lehman, former U.S. assistant secretary of Commerce and commissioner of Patents and Trademarks

· Sue Lovell, Houston City Council member

· Claire Lucas, chair, Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council; board member, National Stonewall Democrats

· Linda Gray Murphy, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

· Daniel O’Donnell, New York assembly member

· Dixon Osburn, LGBT activist on “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy

· Annise Parker, Houston city controller

· Catherine Pino, board member, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

· Julian Potter, former special assistant to the president as liaison to the gay and lesbian community

· Christine Quinn, speaker, New York City Council

· Hilary Rosen, president, OurChart.com; media industry consultant

· Peter Rosenstein, D.C.-based LGBT community activist

· Mirian Saez, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus

· Greg Sargent, attorney, New Hampshire LGBT activist

· Jayne Baron Sherman, cochair, In the Life Media; former board chair, Lambda Legal

· Melissa Sklarz, director, New York Trans Rights Organization; vice chair, National Stonewall Democrats

· Paul M. Smith, board member, Lambda Legal; attorney who successfully argued the landmark Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, establishing the right to privacy for gay Americans

· Jeff Soref, former chair of the Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus; former cochair, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

· Laura Spanjian, board member, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund; board member, Equality California

· Campbell Spencer, former national LGBT outreach director for the Democratic National Committee and Gore-Lieberman 2000

· Rick Stafford, chair, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus; cochair, National Stonewall Democrats

· Jill Stauffer, board of directors, Human Rights Campaign

· Sally Susman, business leader

· Rev. Deborah Tammearu, Episcopal priest, Diocese of New York

· Matthew Titone, New York State assembly member

· Jeffrey Tooke, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

· Olive F. Watson, activist and philanthropist

· Paula Redd Zeman, vice chair, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; vice chair, Black Democrats of Westchester

· Bob Zuckerman, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

· Jose Zuniga, retired U.S. Army sergeant and former Soldier of the Year; executive director, International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care

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My letter to freepress.org

Next year’s media reform conference is in Minneapolis June 6-8th I was at last year’s in Memphis and covered a lot of it on my podcast. There was a film about gays in the media in one afternoon session and a lot of discussion about the lack of diversity at the conference in a women in media session. Freepress.org hosts the conference and is currently looking for suggestions for speakers, panalists & presenters for 2008. Here’s a copy of my suggestion that I just sent them…val

Eileen Chaiken is the Creater of Showtime’s hit series The L-Word.

Last year’s conference brought to light the fact that there was little coverage of LGBT’S & media. Eileen’s story of how she was able to bring a hit show like L-Word about Lesbians to Showtime is a great one. How can we have more shows that reflect our lives? What battles did she fight to make it a success? What can we learn from her experiences?

In the Lesbian world this is the hottest show on Television. We have parties around the country to celebrate the season premier…EVERY SEASON! We go on cruises to meet the cast. It’s a part of our “pop culture” both in the Gay world and the younger college age crowd.

GLBT’s represent to potential advertisers 8 Billion dollars a year! (HRC stats) We spend money on travel, big ticket items, homes and more. Many of us do not have kids meaning we have more “disposable income” than others. If not for the religious right, advertisers would be clambering to reach us.

Diversity in Media begins with opening doors to everyone. How about showing how it’s done by opening a few more doors at next year’s conference?

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Filed under Lesbians on TV & Film, Podcast Show (AVALON FARMCAST), Political