You've seen it on my twitter (@clairebuff) many times as I have retweeted and posted some of my favorite videos for Marriage Equality by the Human Rights Campaign. Here's another....well and maybe a few more favs while I'm at it :)
Broadway Actors for Marriage Equality -- GO Broadway Impact! Jenny, Rory & Gavin!
Vanessa Williams - former Miss NY & Miss America!
Sean Avery - NY Rangers Hockey Player
And of course, every day New Yorkers -- 58% of them.
Oh yeah... and I did one too :)
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Miss New York Organization is happy to announce that there will be a TOP 11 announced on Saturday June 18, 2011 in the final night of competition for Miss New York at The St. George Theater.
The contestant receiving the highest number of FAVORITE CONTESTANT votes will make this year's TOP 11 and have a chance to compete to become Miss NY 2011.
To Vote click here: http://missny.org/2011Pageant/votefav.html
Votes are only $1.00 each, but you may vote as many times or in whatever quantity you want! Voting will close Friday evening, June 17th, following the Miss NY Preliminary. Voting will be available at the St. George before and during intermission at the Friday night show. The 2011 favorite contestant will be announced at the Miss NY Gala where she will receive an additional scholarship for this award.
It will not be announced during the Miss NY finals, who the favorite contestant is.....this will add greatly to the excitement of the Miss NY Competition.
Spread the word and GET OUT THE VOTE!!!
Yes it is. I'm so happy to share with you my official Miss New York program book photoshoot by the awesome Andrew Werner. I had a vision; he captured it and has given me the most beautiful gifts of memories from this year. Enjoy!
ALL PHOTOS BY ANDREW WERNER PHOTOGRAPHY
We are getting all sorts of amazing media and press on Staten Island with the Miss New York pageant week quickly approaching! Thursday, May 26, I was joined by Amanda Alicea, Miss Richmond County and Maria DeSantis, Miss Staten Island for a promo filming at NY1.
Then later that evening, I was an awards presenter at the Lambda Literary Awards in New York City. Hosted by Lea DeLaria, who was absolutely hysterical, the awards featured writers and poets from across the country who either are LGBT or write about LGBT characters. Because they were all artists with their words, the acceptance speeches were in a different league of creativity. With a bit of irony as a straight and now single person, I presented the categories of Gay Romance and Lesbian Romance. It was a very cool night, and I met some fantastic people!
|Lambda Literary Foundation Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela|
|Mr. Gay USA Eddie Rabon|
|The hilarious Lea DeLaria|
Monday, May 23 (I know, I'm way behind) I went to the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) 2011 Respect Awards. This awesome event was hosted by one of my favorites, Wilson Cruz, and recognized country singer Chely Wright as the Inspiration Award Winner among other honorees - Read more HERE. I had a great time just attending as a special guest with my +1 and fantastic date Kaitlin Davis. We heard many inspirational stories of the night, but the release of the Think Before You Speak campaign and GLSEN’s “Changing the Game” initiative was one of my favorite parts. Check out the PSA featuring Phoenix Suns’ Grant Hill and Jared Dudley.
We even had some fun crowning Wilson :)
Inspired by the Respect Awards, the next day I went out to Long Island to visit Great Neck Middle School North. Great Neck MS South was one of my first schools as Miss NY, so it was fun to bring this year full circle. After three presentations, lots of autograph signing and picture taking, the G/SA had me take a photo with their "Think Before You Speak" campaign.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
When I got the text message, “What are you religious views?” from my business manager, I was quite confused to say the least. My first reaction was that they aren’t beliefs that can be explained in a simple text message because my faith and spirituality have evolved from my upbringing in the Methodist church and progressed with my life experiences. Judy told me that I had been requested to deliver a message about my platform at a church in Arkansas. And with this news, I immediately picked up the phone to call Alyse, Miss Arkansas, and my roommate at Miss America. Just as shocked as I was, we were both very excited for this appearance, something no one saw coming this year with my platform. But this is the reason I loved it even more.
I am fascinated by religion and spirituality and the coexistence of ‘religion’ and homosexuality. I am incredibly grateful for the unique opportunity to touch every facet of these issues and reach a new audience in the beautiful south of Arkansas. Mountain Song Fellowship Church is a small non-denominational congregation that is coming under the United Church of Christ. Led by Rev. Jerry Cook, a quiet but passionate servant and leader, the church is so warm and inviting. On the given Sunday I was there, it was wonderful to see new people who came to the church from as far as four hours away just to hear me speak. They gave me a key to the city of Fayetteville and beautiful roses with the most touching introduction.
I knew there were parts of my message that would potentially be emotional (for anyone who really knows me, when am I not potentially emotional…) but man, after this introduction, I was already in tears. Rev. Cook made mention of his heros, people like Mother Theresa and Billy Graham, and said that he had found a new hero in me. Wow. From states away, the power of my message and my actions had reached him in such a deep way and was an inspirational reminder to never stop standing up for what I believe in and taking every opportunity to share it. In and out of tears, I delivered my prepared message, some of which I will share below…
"I grew up in a Methodist church where a week never went by where any of us – six in total – missed the 8:30 contemporary service, Sunday school and on most Sundays, youth group. Sermon after sermon, hymn after hymn, we worshiped and listened to messages about one of the greatest commandments to “love your neighbor as yourself” and we were taught and encouraged to give selflessly and be a servant to others – all others. This word “all” carries great meaning. To me, it truly means all – people whom I love, people whom I have never met, people who are the same as I, people who are different than I. I never understood all to exclude anyone. Yet now, there is a chasm between the church that preaches inclusivity and acceptance and the advocates who fight for universal respect and equality.
With so many people struggling with both internal and external or public discovery of their sexual orientation, how that can coexist with their faith, and how they are treated as second-class citizens under the law, people need to hear our prayers, yes. But more than that, I believe that people need to hear our voices. They need to hear that religion, faith, spirituality, Christianity, Christian values, can and do coexist with the values of respect and equality for all people, including our LGBT brothers and sisters. In fact, I believe it to be one of the most fundamental lessons I have learned from the Bible in my upbringing: to live without judgment and instead as a light, spreading love to others with acceptance and respect. In Equality Magazine, I read the most perfect title: The antidote to the conservative Christian right is a vocal, faithful and supportive left. Religion and faith are each completely unique to every single one of us. Perhaps as unique as the relationships we have with others, significant others or family and friends. The uniting principle that runs as a common thread throughout all of those relationships, with others, with ourselves and with our God or higher power, is love.
Love is not something to be regulated by the government or the church. Love is something we all deserve, need and should have the freedom to express. In the last fifteen minutes, I have not spoken extensively about the freedom to marry because I don’t think that it’s the foundation of this fight. It is the product of this battle or civil rights movement. The foundation is in respect, dignity and true equality for all people. The foundation is built upon morals and values, whether driven by your teachings of Jesus or teachings of mom and dad, that are inclusive and respectful of all people. When we can tread fearlessly on this foundation, that freedom to marry will naturally become accepted. We can't just change laws. We have to change people’s hearts and minds through personal testimony and example so that we can all coexist equally in the eyes of each other that will finally reflect the lens through which God sees all of His children."
I was so happy to have my parents join me in this experience in Arkansas. AND we got to head down a few days early for some much needed R&R in a cabin, hiking in Devil's Den and watching lots of movies :)
Thursday, June 2, 2011
OK I can't believe this came while I was traveling in Arkansas which made me unable to really promote it. When I was in Washington, D.C. with the Top 12 of Miss America in March, I met with the Human Rights Campaign, spoke with their staff and interns and filmed this PSA. Had to keep it quiet for a while, but I am now so proud to share the video with you all. I am honored to be a part of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality series that has featured many incredible leaders, celebrities, politicos and every day people. My Miss New York sister Vanessa Williams just joined the series as well. I think you might have heard of her :)
Miss New York Joins HRC’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign
By Charlie Joughin
May 20th, 2011 at 10:57 am
May 20th, 2011 at 10:57 am
2010 Miss New York, Claire Buffie, has filmed a video for HRC’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign. In the video, Buffie describes marriage equality as a “fundamental fight for fairness,” and how she competed in Miss America 2010 on an LGBT rights platform. The campaign, which raises the public profile of marriage equality in the Empire State, can be viewed online at www.hrc.org/NY4marriage.
Claire’s platform as Miss New York has been LGBT equality and has traveled the state promoting fairness. She has spoken to fellow New Yorkers, appeared in PSA’s, and lobbied members of the state legislature and has been a wonderful straight ally to the LGBT community.
A recent poll released by Siena Research Institute shows public opinion continues to trend toward marriage equality in New York State with a record high of 58 percent support and a record low of 36 percent opposition.
The New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign is centered on video testimonials from New Yorkers who support the right of same-sex couples to marry. To date, HRC has released videos from Miss New York, Anna Wintour, Larry King, Sean Avery, Julianna Margulies, Bill T. Jones, Sam Waterston, Christopher Meloni, Mario Batali, David Chang, Tom Colicchio, Lucy Liu, Bill Bratton and Rikki Klieman, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Former New York City Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins, Russell Simmons, Mark and Sunrise Ruffalo, John Slattery, Joan Rivers, Barbara Bush, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, Fran Drescher, Moby, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Julianne Moore and Kenneth Cole – with more to follow in the coming weeks.