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annalynne-mccord-human-trafficking

90210 alum AnnaLynne McCord premiered her directorial debut effort this week. I Choose is a short film that tackles human trafficking. It’s a topic McCord is passionate about. She recently revealed in an essay for Cosmopolitan that she was the victim of sexual assault when she was 18-years-old.

“When I was on ’90210? a few years ago, the character I played, Naomi, was raped by someone she knew. I welcomed the story line, thinking it was impor­tant for viewers. I memorized my lines and rehearsed the scenes. I felt ready to go. Then when the cameras were rolling on an intense scene — a fight with an unsupportive friend after the assault — I broke down, sobbing uncontrolla­bly. My castmates thought I had done a great job playing the part. They had no idea that I had actually been sexually assaulted by someone I knew in real life.” – McCord

McCord enlisted her real-life boyfriend Dominic Purcell to star in the project which she also wrote and produced. The silent, 10-minute, black-and-white clip illustrates the difference between women who choose sexual adventures — and those who are forced into them against their will. I Choose was inspired by “the personal stories of the resilient survivors of the Cambodian sex trade.”

In addition to spreading awareness, the campaign is hoping to raise funds for Lotus House, a 5-story home she’s building for Cambodian sex slave survivors who are in search of a “new beginning.” Watch the film below.

watch film after the jump

camp-out

The Haus of Jaja is throwing another fantastic charity event in TO here this month and you should be there!

Valentines Day showed the premiere of Jaja’s charity chops, and the event was a raging success raising thousands for the LGBT Youth line. This time Camp OUT is once again being held at the Pilot Tavern and this time is supporting LGBT youth in going to camp this Summer.

PFLAG Durham Region’s Youth Leadership camp is in jeopardy due to last minute funding cuts. But with your support, we can give these kids the chance they deserve to regroup, recharge, and thrive!

The event is an early one from 5pm to 9pm and promises a good time, with great music, a fun dance floor, special guests, and draws and raffles. This time I will not be covered in balloons in my underwear, but I will be there to show these guys, doing great things for our community and surrounding communities, my support. Come down on June 19th for a smore, some bug juice punch, and a lot of fun. It’ll be a gooder.

For more info, head over to the Facebook event.

Related Stories:

clay-aiken-congressman

Clay Aiken and Keith Crisco were in a heated battle for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District race. The primary which took place last week was so close (369 votes in favor for Aiken), both men were awaiting the results of an official canvass of votes by state election officials on Tuesday before deciding how to proceed.

Crisco sadly passed away at his home today. The 71-year-old politician tragically died as a result of injuries sustained from a fall at his Asheboro, North Carolina home. He was confirmed dead on the scene when the emergency workers arrived. Crisco is survived by his wife, Jane, his three children, and six grandchildren. Our condolences go out to his family.

beverly-hills-hotel-gay-rights-brunei

In its twelve year history, the annual Oscars Night Before Party has always been held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Next year, the party held by the Motion Picture & Television Fund is cutting ties with the hotel due to its ties to Brunei. The small Southeast Asian country instituted a severe anti-gay penal code last week. The luxury hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

MPTF’s top executives issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that they have “deep concern about the recent enactment of laws in Brunei that call for violent punishment, including amputation and death by stoning, against those engaging in same-sex activity and extramarital sexual relations and those committing adultery. We expressed very clearly that we cannot condone or tolerate these harsh and repressive laws and as a result support a business owned by the Sultan of Brunei or a Brunei sovereign fund associated with the government of Brunei.”

other major corporations boycotting after the jump

lest-we-forget-canada

Attention Vancouverites. If you don’t have any plans this Thursday and want to support a worthy cause, check out the Lest We Forget Canada event at Art Gallery (former Buschlen Mowatt Gallery) on 1445 W. Georgia Street. It takes place from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

What is it all about? It’s a fundraiser to support veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Their goal is to raise $162,000 for the Veterans Transition Network. A mural consisting of 162 canvases created by the community will be unveiled. It will be on display until June.

Foster Eastman, a wonderful multimedia artist, his partner and friends are developing an intense mural project expressing the grief and suffering of families torn apart by the war in Afghanistan. This mural made up of 162 panels – represents each Canadian casualty in Afghanistan – it’s goal to raise money in the name of those who we have lost and to ensure that those who have returned home stay alive.

This event is to show that we all respect these brother’s and sister’s; father’s and mother’s and close friends that have sacrificed their lives in order to protect the freedoms of many! Our donation is for those veteran’s who returning home from combat, many of which are facing a new battle of post-traumatic disorder, depression and vulnerability to suicide.

If you’re in the Vancouver area this Thursday, March 27, join them for an enlightening and informative evening of great music, food, drinks and friends. The incredible DJ/Producer Nick Bertossi is on board spinning his magic! To purchase tickets, head over to Eventbrite. If you can’t attend the event, but want to donate, check out official website.

cockinasock-testicular-cancer-research

It’s the latest meme sweeping the Internet. Unlike Tebowing, planking or grind with me, this one is for a good cause.

Hundreds of men in the United Kingdom are taking naked selfies all in the name of cancer research. The only thing covering them up is a sock hanging for dear life on their willies. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were way ahead of their time ;)

Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer for men under the age of 40. If detected early, treatment is highly successful. To raise awareness for regular self-examinations, Cancer Research UK’s #cockinasock campaign was born. Check out some of my favorite participants below.

check out some slightly NSFW images after the jump

Arizona Senator Comes Out

In: Donovan, Politics & Issues, Totally GAY!
senator-steve-gallardo

A week after Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Arizona’s controversial bill, SB 1062, Senator Steve Gallardo has publicly come out. The 44-year-old politician told the Phoenix New Times it wasn’t a secret, and he came out to his friends and devout Catholic family members 19 years ago. He was inspired to formally announce his sexuality after witnessing all the 1062 protesters.

After I stood up on the floor and argued against 1062, as I’ve done on many bills before, I sat down and said, ‘Wow. This bill affects me. It affects me directly.’”

“Seeing the people out there, protesting. I thought it’s time,” Gallardo says. “It’s time to let people know about me. And to send people a message. I’m more interested in letting people who struggle with this know that it’s okay.”

Called the “religious protections” bill, it would’ve allowed business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians. It was referred to as state-sanctioned discrimination. On Wednesday February 27, the Governor Brewer vetoed the bill, saying it “could result in unintended and negative consequences.” She added, “I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 could create more problems than it purports to solve.”

dalai-lama-same-sex-marriage

Score one for marriage equality. Like Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama has taken a softened approach regarding homosexuality. During an interview with Larry King, he voiced his opinions on the LGBT community, specifically same-sex marriage. In the end, he’s fine with it and declares bullying and homophobia are the items that are truly morally wrong.

“That’s a personal matter. People who have a special tradition, you should follow according to your own tradition. … But non-believer, that’s up to them. Different form of sex? So long as it’s safe, okay! And fully agreed, okay! Bullied? Abused? That’s what is wrong. That’s a violation of human rights.”

Here’s what his Holiness said about same-sex marriage:

“That’s up to the countries’ laws. It’s okay, I think individual business. If a couple really feels that way, practical, satisfaction … if both sides fully agree, then okay!”

watch the clip after the jump

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