The Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian non-profit human rights organization, announced that it helped 35 LGBTQ individuals escape the Chechen government’s program of terror and torture — 31 of whom have now arrived in Canada. Rainbow Railroad has helped over 140 individuals to safety so far in 2017, however very few landed in Canada. “Seeking asylum is not a way of jumping the queue,” Executive Director Kimahli Powell said. “It’s about responding when a person’s right to protection is removed by the state or anyone else, as is the case in Chechnya for LGBTQ people right now.”
The growing population of older adults are being overlooked when it comes to HIV prevention and treatment and “implicit ageism is partially responsible for this neglect,” according to a presentation at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.
The winner of the 2016 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Deadline Reporting for its coverage of the Pulse tragedy in Orlando last year went to the Philadelphia Gay News. The newspaper was the only LGBTQ publication among the 85 publications honored across the U.S. The award is shared by Editor Jenn Colletta, Art Director/Photographer Scott A. Drake, and former staff writer Paige Cooperstein.
The Reconciling Methodist Network has released a 10-video series, “Trans-forming the church: Blessed bodies and gender justice,” built on “personal experience, scripture and theology, and gender theory to empower you to deepen your understanding of God’s call on all of us to transform the church.” In other news, the United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion has been formed.
TimeOut Israel published a timeline of the country’s LGBTQ progression from the 19th century until the present.
In the likelihood of being HIV positive, black gay men eclipse that of black Americans overall by 22 times so says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, of those reported cases, 54 percent of HIV positive black gay men have not sought care. The Atlanta Constitution-Journal interviewed five men who shared their stories with the news organization about counting the cost of being ignored in this silent epidemic.
The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) announced the winners of its Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards and will present them at its conference in late September.
J.D. Disalvatore, 51, a LGBTQ film and television producer and director and gay rights activist, died on Aug. 24 after a long battle with cancer.
Modamily, a dating and co-parenting platform that matches people who are ready to have kids using both modern and traditional arrangements in order for them to achieve their dreams of becoming parents, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign. Users range from single men and women to LGBTQ couples looking for sperm or egg donors.
info: modamily.com. seedinvest.com.
Equality California has sent a letter to Rocklin Academy officials applauding the school for its support of a transgender kindergarten student following the reading of a book geared toward that age group by transgender teen and reality TV star Jazz Jennings.
The Ad Council’s iconic “Love Has No Labels” campaign will be returning to PAX West to debut “The League of Extraordinary Humans,” a mobile geo-location game featuring a diverse group of everyday heroes fighting for love and inclusion, including Grace Dolan-Sandrino, a transgender advocate; Anne Munition, a vocal LGBTQ gaming influencer; and transgender advocate Jazz Jennings.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a national coalition comprised of over 150 conservative Christian leaders, signed its “Nashville Statement” which affirmed their beliefs on human sexuality, “including that marriage is between one man and one woman and approval of ‘homosexual immorality’ is sinful,” USA Today reported. Council Co-Founder John Piper called the 14-belief statement a “Christian manifesto” on human sexuality. To counter, the Christians United statement was created by over 300 religious leaders, educators and activists from all major Christian denominations and it denounced the “Nashville” position, The Huffington Post reported. It begins by saying, “We affirm that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and that the great diversity expressed in humanity through our wide spectrum of unique sexualities and gender identities is a perfect reflection of the magnitude of God’s creative work.” Nashville, Tenn. Mayor Megan Barry seconded the Christians United statement with a Twitter comment that stated that the “Nashville Statement” was poorly named and did not represent the inclusive values of the city and its people. The “Nashville Statement” is considered a weapon in attack of the rights and lives of LGBTQ people, Auburn Seminary Senior Vice President Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush shared. He called for a worldview of acceptance and inclusivity by faith leaders.
info: usatoday.com. huffingtonpost.com.
Illinois criminal defendants who kill LGBTQ people can no longer be acquitted by claiming a panic defense — that they were provoked by a fear of the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity — under a new law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner that was part of the 2017 legislative agenda of Equality Illinois.
Planned Parenthood announced a multi-phase pilot program to build and expand its comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts. Gilead Sciences, Inc. awarded a $900,000 grant to support and expand efforts of HIV prevention and education, including the integration of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, at Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers across the country over the next 18 months. It is the first significant corporate grant of its kind awarded to Planned Parenthood, and will focus critical prevention efforts in communities hardest hit by the epidemic. The grant work will be carried out in partnership with The Black AIDS Institute.
Press Pass Q reported that the Los Angeles LGBT Center has acquired the website domain Gay.com as a donation from the URL’s current owners, VS Media, and its flagship live cam site Flirt4Free. VS Media estimates the value of the domain to be $6.9 million.
Gay Tribal Elder Dr. Don Kilhefner has started a web video series focusing on LGBTQ issues. Topics include, but are not limited to, gay history, Radical Faeries, intergenerational dialogue and cooperation, gay-centered culture, gay shamanism, community importance and racism and classism in the gay community.
Metropolitan Community Churches has restructured its global staff to meet the needs of its current and future focus and growth.
Registration is now open for the National Coalition for LGBT Health’s SYNChronicity 2018, a conference on LGBTQ, HIV and HCV Health being held in Arlington, Va. from April 22-23, 2018.
International superstar Gloria Estefan will be honored with the National Leadership Award at the 2017 National LGBTQ Task Force Gala on Oct. 7 in Miami Beach, Fla.
Legislative sponsors, Equality Illinois and ACLU of Illinois celebrated the signing of House Bill 1785, modernizing the Illinois Vital Records Act and allowing transgender and intersex individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Illinois now joins 14 additional states, the District of Columbia and the federal government in ensuring this important access.
info: aclu-il.org. eqil.org.
Netflix’s LGBTQ-focused “Sense8” has been offered a home at porn site xHamster after the network canceled the show.
Citing escalating hate crimes by both organized hate groups and individuals, Equality California joined eight other major civil rights organizations to call on the California Legislature to order a comprehensive evaluation of law enforcement agencies’ efforts to protect Californians from hate crimes.
The Globe and Mail reported that Spirit River Striped Wolf wanted everyone to understand the power differences within the LGBTQ community, adding that there was a blind spot for LGBTQ whites who do not see the issues that indigenous and black individuals face, often leaving them behind.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues will honor leaders in LGBTQ philanthropy in November at its awards ceremony. The organization is celebrating its 35th anniversary as well. Awards are The Reed Erickson Trailblazing Leadership Award, Marco Antonio Quiroga, Contigo Fund; The Out in the South Leadership Award, Laughing Gull Foundation in Durham, N.C.; The Paul Rapoport Lifetime Achievement Award, Henry van Ameringen, H. van Ameringen Foundation; and The Out for Impact Award, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Trans Justice Funding Project.
Rev. M. Barclay will be stepping down on Oct. 31 as the director of communications at the Reconciling Ministries Network. The organization is currently seeking a replacement and applications are being accepted. Rev. Barclay was the first openly non-binary transgender person to become a United Methodist deacon.
At a time when federal protections for LGBTQ Americans are being rolled back at the federal level, the LGBTQ Public Service Bill, which encourages public service by LGBTQ Illinoisans, has been signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The bill was an initiative of Equality Illinois.
The Trevor Project and National Center for Transgender Equality sent a request under the Freedom of Information Act to the U.S. Department of Education to ferret out the department’s legal responsibility to protect the civil rights of transgender and other LGBTQ youth in schools across the U.S. “Schools have an obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students, and the Department of Education must ensure that they do so,” said Trevor’s CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley. “Our letter…is a step toward holding the government accountable on behalf of transgender students and all LGBTQ youth across the country.” The center’s Executive Director Mara Keisling added, “Transgender students and their families deserve to know that the U.S. Department of Education will honor its mandated responsibility and moral duty to ensure all students can safely attend schools. We need the Trump administration to be clearer about whether and how they will do that.” The full letter is available to read online at bit.ly/2wtekbO.
info: thetrevorproject.org. transequality.org.
Oakland, Calif. opened its first LGBTQ center on Sept. 7 ahead of Oakland LGBTQ Pride Parade & Festival on Sept. 10.
The Rolling the Stone Away, Generations of Love & Justice conference will be held from Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in St. Louis, Mo. The event focuses on LGBTQ saints and prophets — generations past and present — and honors history and empowers the community’s future. Among those invited and who will attend are: Faith in America Co-Founder Jimmy Creech; Roman Catholic Nun Jeannine Gramick; former qnotes’ columnist Rev. Irene Monroe; Metropolitan Community Church Founder Rev. Elder Troy Perry; Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson; Former Charlottean Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward; former Metropolitan Community Church Moderator Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson; and Soulforce Founder Rev. Dr. Mel White.