FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2017
Media Contact: Joe Monkman
Dalila Ali Rajah (‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘How to get Away with Murder’)
Headlines LGBTs In The News, Friday, May 19 at Urban Mo’s in San Diego’s in Historically LGBTQ Hillcrest Neighborhood
LGBTs In The News with Thom Senzee
A nationwide, live-discussion panel series coming soon to a city near you…
This engagement’s topic unmasks the big questions buried within the ‘B’ in LGBTQ:
What if 80 Percent of the World is ‘Secretly Choosing’ to be Straight?
SAN DIEGO—LGBTs In The News with Thom Senzee welcomes actor, wife, mother and equality advocate, Dalila Ali Rajah to San Diego as the live-discussion panel series features her as its headlining panelist this Friday, May 19 at Urban Mo’s in Hillcrest.
Rajah, who identifies as bisexual, appears in popular television, film and stage productions, having played roles on Grey’s Anatomy and filling the part of Judy in How to Get Away with Murder employing so much passion that some critics have called her performance “unbelievably great.”
“I am so excited to be back in San Diego especially to talk about something so important to me,” said Rajah, whose wife will attend as an audience member—so long as the couple finds a babysitter, the award-winning actor quipped.
“The ‘b’ in LGBT often evaporates because of fear in both the hetero and queer communities.”
Kicking off its second nationwide touring season in San Diego, the May 19 engagement of LGBTs In The News is sponsored Dr. Bronners, Urban Mo’s, Gender Illumination, and All4U Apparel. The live-discussion panel series, sponsored by SAG-AFTRA, was first launched at the studios of ABC-10 in San Diego June of 2013 at the very moment when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, striking down bans against marriage equality.
“The original purpose of the panel series was to help the media understand more about how we can do better work as journalists covering the emerging issues of the LGBTQ community,” said Thom Senzee, founder and moderator of the live-discussion panel series.
Senzee, who is a regular contributor to The Advocate, LGBT Weekly, HuffPost, The San Diego Reader and other media outlets, said that while the panel series has grown to appeal to the general public as well as to journalists, its core message remains. Whereas the panels used to be comprised exclusively of journalists and activists from the LGBTQ community, they now also include entertainers and celebrities.
But, says Senzee, there’s one qualification all panelists must have.
“They have to also be advocates who are actively engaged in the fight for equality,” he said. “They have to be doing something. They can’t just be an LGBTQ actor or singer. They have to have led protests, be educating people or doing research on discrimination or stopping it. They need to be marching for equality or writing powerful books or doing something that’s measurably contributing to the cause of helping people of diverse genders and sexual orientations win and keep the same rights that straight people take for granted.”
Three other panelists will join Rajah, who among her many equality-activism pursuits is volunteer work as a member of the SAG-AFTRA LGBT Actors Committee.
The other panelists are: Heather Corliss, Ph.D. of SDSU’s LGBT Research Consortium, Ariel Vegosen, writer, professional gender-inclusivity trainer and founder of Gender Illumination, and Blake Mitchell, equality activist and adult film actor.
“We [as bisexual people] have higher depression, suicide, and domestic violence rates,” Rajah said, adding that she’s excited to learn what fellow panelists will bring to the conversation on those and other topics.
“We’ve taken the series from San Diego, to Los Angeles, to San Francisco and to the National Press Club in Washington D.C., and back again—twice,” said Thom Senzee. “I’d like to think we’ve helped improve the media’s understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people as people…not just letters in an alphabet soup.”
The event is Friday, May 19 from 6-8 p.m. at Urban Mo’s at 308 University Avenue in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood. The public is invited; attendees will receive a special gift bag from Dr. Bronner’s. RSVP’s are not required but very much appreciated. The suggested cost is $10, half of which will be donated to the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Visit LGBTsInTheNews.com for more information and to RSVP.
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