Friday, July 24, 2015

Hot Friday in the City

Out In Arkansas Cometh

Let's just start this post with these snippets from the newly minted Out In Arkansas online publication that is raising funds to launch what they tout as a platform within the Arkansas Times that will Arkansas Times; if we don’t write them, who will? Currently, there is no publication dedicated to LGBT issues in Arkansas." We say, bullshit!
increase their coverage of LGBT issues. They assert the following, "people look for such stories from the

Certainly we applaud their record of covering the gay community since 1974, but they have not been alone. There have been a long line of print oriented papers who fought diligently to offer gay content, gather ad support, and break news while seeking to be a voice long before gays embraced the alphabet soup moniker "LGBTQIAA."  To name a few, we've had Arkansas Gay Writes, The Advisor, Triangle Rising, Gay Gazette, Pink Spectrum, The Lariat, Out on the Town up today's The READ. This originators of this outfit states,

 "the Arkansas Times survives on a slim margin. We can’t afford to bear costs for a new internal startup on our own. But we are optimistic that, once established, this effort could be supported largely, or maybe even entirely, through advertising sales. We’re seeking funding to support the project for our startup year. That timeline should give us plenty of time to sell and grow the effort. To hire a rising star as editor, cover overhead costs, pay for web development and support a network of freelance writers and videographers, we’re looking to raise $125,000." 
Really? Well quiet as its kept, most of the aforementioned entities struggled to survive amidst trying times to identify printing houses who would even print their papers, begging local venues for ad support and encouraging local businesses to distribute them, attempting to get folks on the record, decent photography and a laundry list that still continues to this day. Currently The READ which was an outgrowth of focus groups and demands from the LGBT community, stepped up under the auspices of LA Corp Publishing to answer the call. It was determined that both a printed version and online presence was launched in April 2014. And they didn't have $17,318 to do it with which is the current total on Out In Arkansas fundraising platform.

The "gay community," cited their excitement and would readily support the effort through content and both subscription and advertising support. This was not totally realized, yet the publication continued to meet its obligations to publish including its current July issue. The publisher of The READ has openly stated that even though many gay and "gay friendly" business were approached about ad support yet their response was marginal to none.

In full disclosure, COP 24/7 has been a supporter and collaborator with The READ as well as many of the other publications mentioned. What we take exception too is the fact that now that its seems the "being gay" has become a cause celeb, our storied history is being ignored, disrespected and damn near being re-written by those who are seeking to act as if they are alone in the gay communities best interest. Individuals can share their treasure where they like, but its truly amazing that local community based organizations as well as publications such as The READ, can't catch a break.  Check out their website at


LGBT Film Festival Rolls in City

The Film Society of Little Rock is slated to host what's being hailed as a "history making event," as they present the inaugural year of Kaleidoscope - The Little Rock LGBT Film Festival; featuring 13 feature films, 40 short films, 12+ visiting filmmakers, and 4 parties taking place July 31 - August 2. Now in their eyes this certainly is an "inaugural year for "their," effort however, the city has indeed had film LGBT festival type showings over the years pre-digital hype and online ticketing. Then as much as now, many of these type of activities go through planning stages among a few who usually have done limited outreach to determine perhaps what may be popular choices or what may be appealing to a mass audience.

This action seems to fly in in the face of a recent HRC roundtable dinner meeting of community leaders coming together sharing their agendas and visions. Central to the discussion was the fact that a "community digital calendar," was mentioned to share possible cross collaborations. Now this is a good idea on the surface, but will any of this actually work when local organizers often are tone deaf to understanding any of the concepts of making concerted inclusive efforts. Or at least most times there's the running reference that "all our meeting are always open to anyone." Yeah right. Also added to this mix is the fact even as meetings are "usually always open," if you didn't attend or participate, if properly notified or asked, then don't bitch. Plain and simple.

In the meantime, the varied line up appears to have a little something for almost everybody. One such film to be shown is the Arkansas premiere of Game Face, sponsored in part by HRC, Marriot Hotel and ArTEC.
Unfortunately, COP 24/7 was puzzled to what appears to be a limited number of community based organizations involved as sponsors or otherwise. Perhaps none of those folks got the word about the planning sessions or were asked for film suggestions. You can get the full listing at .

The award winning documentary GAME FACE tells the parallel story of Fallon Fox, MMAs first transgender pro fighter, and Terrence Clemens, a young, ambitious and talented college basketball player in Oklahoma, who happens to be gay. Both realize that coming out will be necessary for their own sense of integrity and peace of mind, but the lack of a clear roadmap and the unpredictable consequences instill understandable anxiety and caution. Both Fallon and Terrence generously share their inner selves, their strengths and their vulnerabilities, and welcome us into their struggles. NBA player Jason Collins, NFL player Wade Davis, NCAA Division 1 basketball player Kye Allums and triathlete Chris Mosier also appear in the film.


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