Playing it straight

James Sweeney’s queer rom-com Straight Up (Strand), now available on DVD, has more in common with Woody Allen’s Annie Hall than you might expect. Like Allen did for Annie Hall, Sweeney wrote, directed and stars in Straight Up. Like Allen’s Annie Hall character Alvy, Sweeney’s Todd is a nerdy, obsessive compulsive, in therapy, who is in search of companionship. Similarities between the two probably end there. In Straight Up, gay millennial Todd is undergoing a severe sexual identity crisis, or so he tells friends Ryder (James Scully) and Meg (Dana Drori) in an L.A. diner. He believes he could statistically […]

The Aggie and the ecstasy: an interview with filmmaker Catherine Gund

Lesbian documentary filmmaker Catherine Gund has an exceptional eye for subject matter when it comes to her movie projects. Of course, it helps that she was already familiar with the people, including gay performance artist Ron Athey, the late lesbian Mexican singer Chavela Vargas, and choreographer Elizabeth Streb, who is also a lesbian. However, she probably wasn’t as well acquainted with them as she is with the subject of her new doc Aggie (Strand Releasing/Aubin Pictures), which is about her mother; art collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund. Agnes’ name may be familiar to some readers from her tenure as president […]

Polish Gay couple go to the Vatican asking Pope for help

The Vatican – LGBT+ YouTubers and campaigners Jakub and Dawid Mycek-Kwiecinski’ went to The Vatican with a simple message for Pope Francis—HELP!. Their journey comes as homophobia appears to be spiraling out of control in Poland. The pair wanted to highlight Polish Catholic leaders’ involvement in stirring up this hate. The couple unfurled the LGBT+ Pride Flag with the word ‘Help’ written on it as Francis conducted Angelus Prayers from his balcony in the Vatican. They returned to St Peter’s Square several times during the week.             Jakub and Dawid said: “Polish bishops called us pedophiles. They say that we […]

Things to Look for When Buying a Retirement Home

Retirees enjoy the freedom to move wherever they desire without a job or young family tying them down to their current location. Retirees often move during retirement, with a decent portion moving out of state. However, there are many things to consider before you book those movers and sell your house. Before selecting your dream retirement home, consider some of these things to help save you time and money down the line. Your Budget:Regardless of age, amenities play an important part in choosing a new home. Make a shortlist of what you need and want. Think about fitness, community activities, proximity, and maintenance. […]

Mental Health Moment – September is Suicide Prevention Month

By Deepak Prabhakar, M.D., Medical Director of Outpatient Services, Sheppard Pratt September is Suicide Prevention Month. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was facing a suicide epidemic. Each day, we lose 132 lives to suicide—the highest suicide rate in more than 30 years, with a particularly disturbing increase in young people dying by suicide. This equates to about 48,000 lives lost each year to suicide. Now consider what COVID-19 and its accompanying uncertainties related to education, employment, financial struggles, and other issues have exacted on an individual’s mental health. The heightened uncertainty and anxiety coupled with the stress and […]

Tips for LGBTQ Youth and Families on Navigating a Virtual Return to School

This back-to-school season will be a unique experience for many LGBTQ youth and their families, with school districts in Maryland and elsewhere starting the year with entirely virtual learning. For some youth, this learning environment will bring relief from harassment and allow them to attend school in a safe environment. Others, however, may feel even more isolated and cut off from sources of social support and affirmation. We asked Dr. Elyse Pine, a provider with Chase Brexton Health Care’s Gender JOY program, for some advice on navigating a back-to-school season unlike any other. What unique difficulties can this uncertain, potentially […]

Flu Season 2020-2021: When Covid Meets Flu

Are there any changes to flu vaccine recommendations because of Covid? Is it more dangerous to get the flu vaccine during the Covid pandemic? Flu vaccine prevents or decreases the severity of influenza, which is a viral infection that mainly affects the lungs. Influenza, or “flu,” is a dangerous illness. It causes severe fatigue (“feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck”), headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy nose, and body aches. The flu can cause pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of medical conditions like heart failure, emphysema, asthma, and diabetes.            The word “flu” is often wrongly used to describe other […]

Camaraderie Yesterday And Today

Have you noticed that the way we relate to each other has changed since the invasion of social media in our lives? I hasten to add that that invasion has brought many positive changes as well.  But this pandemic, in its totally unexpected ways, has also affected those changes we have been living with, more often without focused attention. When our survival is threatened, as with this invisible virus infection, we react with emotion because the issue hits the amygdala, the brain center that is programmed to fend off the impending danger, as it should. However, we need to keep […]

How to Travel Kind During COVID

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of checking in a very important guest. He was not famous, or a leader in his industry, or anyone of any outwardly presenting importance. Honestly, when I first greeted him in the lobby, I was jealous of his lavender polo, and I wondered why I did not own more lavender-colored clothes myself. Side note, I just discovered today what is going to be my fall work wear trend, polo shirts underneath sweaters, and I have a few grey sweaters begging to be paired with light purple. Mr. Important started our interaction quite pleasantly, […]

She May Be Southern, But Don’t Ring Her Bell: Getting Real with Sutton Stracke

Southern Debutante-turned Beverly Hills socialite, Sutton Stracke is one of the newest cast members of this current season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Sparkling with charm, style and utter sophistication, Stracke has garnered much popularity with viewers for her candid wit and social grace.  Baltimore OUTloud was thrilled to chat with Stracke regarding her commitment as an LGBTQ ally, her background in the arts, and the importance on giving back through philanthropic endeavors.                “Well, hi Frankie! How are you in Baltimore? Did y’all miss the hurricane?” inquired the delightful Stracke.  Chatting with Baltimore OUTloud a few days […]