[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o Boundaries–Up Close and Personal is a show created by Ron B., an openly trans actor (Angels in America, Law & Order), entertainer, Tina Turner impersonator, and activist. The taped show provides a forum for LGBT issues related to and within the community, as well as how members engage with and help shape the world beyond the community. Arts and entertainment, health and lifestyle issues, and civil rights are some of the topics that the guests on the panel address. The shows also include perfomances. Ron B. sees the show as bridging the gaps between us; it’s a democratic meeting place that values everyone and promotes an organic, supportive approach to nurturing community and dialogue. She has faith in the power of the greater whole, moving forward on a journey “with no direct roadmaps but our emotions and spiritual energies to guide us like a compass.”
“Within this last segment, I have begun a series of intimate conversations about some of the events in my life that affected me [emotionally and physically], and which have opened a corridor and platform to hear how and what others have endured and are still wrestling with in their lives, and how we are able to come together to show some form of cohesiveness, and try to move forward,” Ron B. tells A&U about the most recent segment, taped in October 2015. “[This last segment] is almost like a visual journal on trying to achieve equality as well as understanding, free from judgment, through our healing on different levels [and] true friendships (something that is so difficult to maintain and hold on to).”
For the October taping, which was directed by Gloria Messer, Ron B. invited a few good friends to
perform on the show, be part of the discussion panel, and to celebrate her birthday. The discussion panel segment, which took place before the taping of the performances, included Tara Kulbatski, musical theater actress/vocalist; Reginald Todd, music producer, singer/songwriter; Mercedes, film director and producer (and also Ron B.’s sister); DeAngelo Justice, activist and entertainer; Danny Darrow, of Danny Darrow Special TV Show, comedic actor and radio show Host; and Alina Oswald, writer, photographer and Arts Editor of A&U; among others.
The discussion on the panel centered around journeys of survival (and triumph), and panelists touched on surviving cyberbullying, surviving cancer, surviving while living with HIV, surviving the loss of a parent to AIDS-related complications, and surviving abuse, among other responses to impactful life events.