Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada issues a sweeping statement of support on Human Rights Day.
LGBTQ activists from Iraq, Lebanon, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Sweden, Thailand, and the U.S. gathered at the office of OutRight Action International, formerly the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, in New York, N.Y., to discuss the impact of the incoming Trump Administration and urge the president-elect and his administration to maintain U.S. commitment to protecting the human rights of LGBTQ people globally.
African Americans, women, and LGBTQ individuals — those more likely to experience social discrimination in their lifetime — are less likely to participate in the stock market and also allocate less of their wealth to equities, says new research from the University of Miami School of Business Administration.
info: bus.miame.edu. ssrn.com.
Through the AIDS United Positive Organizing Project, with funding from Gilead Sciences, the concept of meaningful engagement of people living with HIV/AIDS is being revitalized. Through the initiative, 17 community-based organizations throughout the country will tackle HIV-related stigma and discrimination in their communities by advancing grassroots organizing among people living with HIV. Two Carolinas organizations are among those listed and are Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services and Positive Women’s Network.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) published a report on the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, which is a follow-up to the 2011 groundbreaking National Transgender Discrimination Survey report published by the National LGBTQ Task Force and NCTE. The report was compiled from data collected from 27,715 transgender people in the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and U.S. military bases overseas. It showed disparities between transgender individuals and the general population.
info: thetaskforce.org. ustranssurvey.org/report.
K. Rocco Shields, director and co-writer of the provocative film “Love Is All You Need?,” is creating a one million dollar fund to be distributed to 20 non-profits that partnered with her during the film’s “MovieMent” tour. The film is a love story taking place in a parallel world where being gay is mainstream. Heterosexuals are bullied and ostracized for who they love. The original short film can be viewed online at youtube.com/watch?v=CnOJgDW0gPI.
On Dec. 9, Rev. Fred Davie, executive vice president at Union Theological Seminary in New York, N.Y., hosted a press conference with Evangelical and other faith leaders from around the country to promote a pro-LGBTQ public policy agenda for the Trump Administration and new Congress. “It is vital that the Trump Administration and Congress continue to support policies and legislation that preserves and defends the rights of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary. “We at Union are proud of the historic advances in LGBTQ rights and we remain committed to advocating for the equal protection of all people under the law.” Presenters at the event highlighted why they support the LGBTQ community because of their faith, and not in spite of it. The policy agenda will focus on five key areas proposed by faith leaders: LGBTQ basic rights, LGBTQ homeless youth, LGBTQ senior citizens, the transgender community, and global anti-discrimination.
The NLGJA —The Association of LGBTQ Journalists — announced that NLGJA President Jen Christensen was the recipient of the 2016 CNN Diversity Ovation Award.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a report showing high rates of substance use and mental illness among sexual minority adults. The report used data from the administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health and found that more than 39 percent of sexual majority adults have reported illicit drug use in the past year versus 17.1 percent in the case of heterosexual adults with a similar split for instances of mental illness. However, the research does show that sexual minority adults are also more likely to seek and receive treatment for these issues. SAMHSA also provided additional resources for and about the LGBT community.
When Jon Stryker and Jurek Wajdowicz launched their collaboration with The New Press, they set out to to explore and illuminate the most intimate and personal dimension of self, still too often treated as taboo: gender identity and expression and sexual orientation. Their series is the only one to commission photojournalists to document international LGBTQ life. They have assembled photographers to do more than shed light on LGBTQ life. So far there are five volumes which have featured subjects from the U.S., Australia, Mexico, Russia, and most recently India, specifically Delhi, and a sixth is due out next year about Japan.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a statement in response to a nationwide spike in hate-filled incidents nationwide. It says, “Hate crimes and hate-filled incidents stand as a dark cloud over our democracy,” said Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke. “The recent spike in hate crimes is attributable, in part, to the racially-charged rhetoric that characterized the 2016 election cycle and the rise of ‘alt-right’ white nationalist extremism. This is a moment that calls for federal, state, and local officials to use every tool in their arsenal to fully investigate and prosecute these incidents when they occur.” “President-elect Trump says he’s surprised his supporters have been responsible for hate incidents across the country and that he has no idea why the white supremacist community has been energized by this victory,” said Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen. “But none of it should come as news to him. Both are the predictable results of the incendiary campaign that he waged for the presidency.”
info: lawyerscommittee.org. splcenter.org.
The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce held a record-breaking dinner last month in the nation’s capital.
OutRight Action International held its global week of advocacy from Dec. 5-9, where 60 LGBTQ activists from 27 countries from every region of the world came to participate in the organization’s 5th annual United Nations Advocacy Week. Human rights defenders met with government representatives and UN officials. Advocates also met dignitaries such as United Kingdom Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, South African Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, as well as dignitaries from Denmark, Botswana, Thailand, Australia, and Canada and more.
The new policy brief, “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children,” from the National Council on Family Relations has been released and provides an overview of findings from social science research, as well as recommendations for policies to help lesbian and gay parent families to thrive.
CBS Comedy YouTube has released “Coming In,” the story of Mitchell, a confident gay man who wakes up straight on the morning of his wedding. The series follows Mitchell as he faces the challenge of “coming in” as a newly straight man, and is a comical skewering of sexual identity which challenges the stereotypes of how we all deal with sex and relationships.
By majority vote, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has released a statement expressing deep concern about the rise in reported hate crimes cited in the FBI’s November 2016 report, “Hate Crime Statistics, 2015.” In addition, the Commission believed that since last month’s election, there have also been an alarming number of hate crimes and incidents reported.
Equality Illinois announced the formation of its Community Advisory Group consisting of a diverse representation from 28 LGBTQ individuals and allies from across the state who will advise Equality Illinois in the policy development and agenda building necessary to secure and advance LGBTQ equality, social justice and intersectional action in Illinois.
REVRY, a digital streaming service dedicated to providing diverse, authentic content to the LGBTQ and allied communities, announced a partnership with Queerty, an LGBTQ digital news and content site.
Lambda Literary is now accepting applications for the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers! The Judith A. Markowitz Award honors LGBTQ-identified writers whose work demonstrates their strong potential for promising careers. Two Emerging LGBTQ Writer prizes will be presented, each with a cash prize of $1,000. Applicants to this prize may be self-nominated or nominated by another member of the community. Application deadline is Jan. 31, 2017.
On World AIDS Day, amfAR —The Foundation for AIDS Research — presented The 2016 HIV Cure Summit, a community briefing for the general public that provided updates on progress toward an HIV cure.
The Trevor Project hosted its 2016 TrevorLIVE Los Angeles gala at The Beverly Hilton on Dec. 4. Kelly Osbourne was honored with the Trevor Hero Award; Facebook received the 20/20 Visionary Award, accepted by Alex Schultz, Facebook’s vice president of growth marketing, analytics & i18n; and Ingrid Nilsen received the Digital Innovator Award.
Gay Games Washington DC 2022 has officially submitted a bid to host Gay Games XI from July 16-23, 2022. The next event is the 2018 Paris Gay Games slated for Aug. 4-12, 2018. It is comprised of 36 sports and 14 cultural events. Registration is now available online.
info: ggdc2022.org. paris2018.com.
Former Walmart associate Jacqueline Cote and her lawyers filed a motion on Dec. 2 asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to grant preliminary approval of a class action settlement in Cote’s action that challenged Walmart’s lack of health insurance benefits for same-sex spouses of Walmart associates prior to 2014. Making Change at Walmart, along with Pride at Work and UFCW OUTreach, released a statement on the same day after the motion’s filing to announce a settlement in the Cote et al. v. Walmart Stores Inc. class-action lawsuit. “Actions speak louder than words, and until now, Walmart’s actions regarding LGBTQ workers’ and their spouses’ health benefits were discriminatory and hurtful. We are pleased to hear that Walmart has admitted wrongdoing in Cote et al. v. Walmart Stores, Inc., and that they have agreed to abide by anti-discrimination policies, and to make those who have been discriminated against whole. It is our hope that Walmart accepts how wrong they were so that not one more Walmart worker will have to experience such injustice and bigotry. We congratulate Jacqueline for her bravery, and we hope she inspires other Walmart workers to come forward and speak up about intolerance. In addition, we hope that Walmart realizes that this is just a start, and that too many of its hard-working Walmart men and women face poverty-level wages, poor benefits and unfair workplaces. Now, more than ever, it is time for Walmart to wake up and change.”
The National LGBTQ Task Force’s Jorge Amaro has been named to the annual “Honor 41 List,” which celebrates 41 LGBTQ Latina/o role models. The other 40 honorees can be seen online.
GLAAD has launched the Trump Accountability Project (TAP). TAP is a resource for journalists, editors, producers and other news makers reporting on the Trump administration which catalogues the anti-LGBTQ statements and actions of Donald Trump and those in or being considered for his administration. The resource also catalogues other discriminatory and hateful statements made by Trump and his appointees.
Family Week registration is now open for the July 29-Aug. 5, 2017 annual event in Provincetown, Mass. The event is the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ-identified parents and their families in the world, the Family Equality Council said. Family Week is planned by Family Equality Council and COLAGE and provide programs and events for the whole family.
“Project Runway All Stars” winner and Dining Out For Life spokesperson Mondo Guerra revealed a 360-degree video designed to emphasize the power of Pozitivity while fostering hope and inspiration for people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.
A Minnesota district court ruled that transgender people on the state’s Medical Assistance program in Minnesota deserve access to medically necessary services related to gender transition.
The American Sociological Association has issued a study entitled “Bisexual Men and Women Face Pay Gap.”
A Rapid Response Fund to support HIV services at risk as a result of human rights violations has been launched by the International HIV AIDS Alliance. In its first few weeks the $4 million LGBT Rapid Response Fund received more than 235 applications from organizations providing HIV services. The fund supports organizations working with LGBTQ individuals in 29 countries in response to situations where HIV services are threatened because of stigma, discrimination or violence. Grants from $500 to $20,000 are available from the fund which is supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and UNAIDS.
Paul Angelo, gay relationship coach and matchmaker, is taking the idea of gay matchmaking and social entrepreneurship to an entirely new level with the design for the first Gay Monarchy, Relationship Matrix And A Gay Royal Family.
Early bird registration for the 2017 New York City Pride March, to be held on June 25, 2017, is now open.
On World AIDS Day 2016, advocates and members of the HIV/AIDS communities joined together to remember those lost to AIDS, to honor the lives of those living with HIV, and to hold the vision for an end to the AIDS epidemic in New York. During the event a public dedication of the newly completed New York City AIDS Memorial at St. Vincent’s Triangle in the West Village.