If you’ve seen Itty Bitty Titty Committee or D.E.B.S., you’ve seen the fruits of POWER UP!‘s labor. POWER UP! is a lesbian-film based non-profit organization that raises funds to put out films by gay female directors, writers and actors. Both Itty director Jamie Babbit and Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.) are on the honorary board of directors, in good company with the likes of Debra Chasnoff.
Now POWER UP! has made a new surprising move: They are opening up the organization to gay men as well. Founder and executive director Stacy Codikow released a statement regarding why she felt that it was time to bring men into the organization:
With the current climate, POWER UP saw this as a time, more than any other, where our GLBTQ community – Women & Men – needs to be unified to help achieve our collective goal of equality, representation and acceptance. POWER UP knows that we are in this together and is working to advance our collective interests.
Elizabeth Keener (The L Word), Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.) and Stacy Codikow
And it’s not just any gay men — it’s the gay men of the entertainment industry: Dustin Lance Black (Oscar winner for the screenplay of Milk), Peter Paige (Queer as Folk) and Richard Greenblatt, the president of Showtime Networks are all now part of the Honorary Board of Directors. Talk about power players with some good taste in projects!
Every year, POWER UP! recognizes its 10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz. This year, they will also honor 10 Amazing Gay Men. Both lists of honorees will be announced on June 11, and the gala to honor them will happen in Los Angeles next November.
What do you think of POWER UP! extending its reach to include gay men? Do you worry it might take away from the funding of lesbian-based projects? I can’t help but be a little apprehensive, considering Itty was only their first feature length film.