Diversity Richmond was recognized with the Richmond History Makers Award for their efforts to empower individuals from the black LGBTQ community, GayRVA reported.
Transgender women have joined the #MeToo movement, sharing their stories in a video for online queer community platform them. Featured are transgender model Munroe Bergdorf along with several other transgender women of color who talk about assault, dating violence, how feminists and cisgender people can better include transgender women and how transgender women and the larger LGBTQ community can help uplift each other’s voices. The video is available online at youtu.be/zGnULTNJvks.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) announced that after more than 22 years, Kate Kendell will be stepping down from her role as executive director at the end of this year. NCLR was the first lesbian-led national legal organization and has been fighting for equality for the full LGBTQ community for more than 40 years. Under Kendell’s leadership, NCLR has been central to the fight for LGBTQ equality, including marriage equality, protections for LGBTQ families and youth, and the ongoing fight to stop Trump’s transgender military ban. During Kendell’s tenure, NCLR’s budget has grown from $500,000 to more than $5 million, the number of staff members has increased by five times, and NCLR now has both West Coast and East Coast offices in San Francisco, Calif. and Washington, D.C.
GLAAD announced that actress, comedian and writer Wanda Sykes will host the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. on Thursday, April 12. At the ceremony, Jim Parsons will receive GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to find that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act because it is a form of sex discrimination. The Second and Seventh Circuit Courts have already overruled previous precedent barring lesbian and gay workplace discrimination under similar circumstances.
info: nclrights.org. glad.org.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays celebrated its 45th anniversary on March 11.
Sen. Nancy Pelosi became the first sitting member of Congress to appear on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” where she visited the “All Stars” workroom during the season.
Mayor Rick Kriseman issued a proclamation declaring March 31 as Transgender Day of Visibility in St. Petersburg, Fla.
To mark the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis to the papacy on March 13, New Ways Ministry has compiled a complete chronology of all of the public statements and actions on LGBTQ issues that Pope Francis has made over the last five years. This chronology, entitled “The Many Faces of Pope Francis: A Five-Year Timeline of His LGBT Record,” is available online at newwaysministry.org/pope-francis-lgbt-issues. The resource will be updated as events occur in the future, said New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director Francis DeBernardo.
A new LGBTQ community bringing together those who are spiritually-minded, Namasgay, has emerged in Seattle, Wash. They are hosting a summit from April 20-22 which will include LGBT leaders, authors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders and Hollywood personalities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released the first estimates of the number of Americans who could potentially benefit from PrEP by race/ethnicity and transmission risk group. The new data suggest significant gaps in uptake, particularly among African-Americans and Latinos.
Keshet will hold its first Southeast LGBTQ and Ally Teen Shabbaton from April 27-29 in Clayton, Ga. Registration is now open.
Southerners on New Ground (SONG) has relaunched its Member Initiated Projects program. The organization is calling for SONG member-led groups to submit a proposal to create a project connected to SONG’s current work under the umbrella of Free From Fear. SONG will select five projects that reflect one or more of its core methods: Communications, Direct Action Organizing, Culture Change, Coalitions and Alliances, Political Education and Base Building. Each project will receive up to $5,000 to push their dream into fruition. The application deadline for proposals is April 12. Applicants will be notified from April 23-26. To apply, visit bit.ly/2DBxkVQ. The organization is also hosting a regional membership call on March 25, 6 p.m. where they will reflect on the Queer South Revival and how to move forward. RSVP at bit.ly/2ppOoJB.
An Athens, Ga. bookstore was forced to remove an LGBTQ book, “The Best Man,” from a private school event, the Georgia Voice reported.
Trixie Mattel was crowned the season three winner of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.” Mattel earned the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” $100,000 cash and joined the “Drag Race Hall of Fame.” The 10th season began on March 22 with 14 new contestants vying for the crown.
The William Way LGBT Community Center received a $5,000 gift from AARP for addressing aging issues that impact the LGBTQ community in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Soulforce has announced that Hope College students are organizing the 95 Stories Campaign, a project by and for marginalized community members of the university to collect and broadcast stories of racism and homophobia on campus. The project’s goal is to peacefully celebrate the life and beauty of students who are LGBTQ and people of color and let them know they are not alone; welcome prospective students with packets of goodies and resources; and work with the college’s administration by publicly offering its list of policy change proposals before the president, student body president and deans of student life and chapel. Project participants and others can also engage in the observance of Love They Neighbors Day on April 14. To learn more, visit bit.ly/2FS4wKT. Soulforce offers seed grants to support youth organizing in “politically and spiritually hostile contexts and who are working on projects that address Christian Supremacy, spiritual violence, and/or fundamentalism,” the organization shared. Visit soulforce.org/youth-seed-grants for more details.
Equality Florida honored the student leaders and advisors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Gay/Straight Alliance at their annual Miami gala on March 10.
Export Development Canada is participating in a three-year Private Sector Gender Equality Leadership Project, commissioned by the Government of Canada, focused on developing, testing, and implementing a set of tools that will lead to a blueprint for gender equality in the private sector, and a certification methodology.
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and the International Network of People who Use Drugs are consulting its communities about the impact of stigma and discrimination on key populations — gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs, sex workers and transgender individuals — and their families. The project seeks to highlight the needs, barriers and experiences of key populations, their families and their children around the globe. Responses will inform a joint policy brief by the leading groups with an accompanying community guide. To receive a form and to learn more about the initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submission is April 1.
Lambda Literary has announced the finalists of their 30th Annual Lambda Literary Awards. The awards ceremony will be held in New York on June 4.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed HB1319, legislation that would update the state’s laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces to explicitly include the state’s transgender residents.
info: glad.org. freedomnewhampshire.org. freedomforallamericans.org.
The National LGBTQ Task Force has unearthed emails which prove that the Department of Justice halted LGBTQ inclusion in the Census. The organization’s Policy Director Meghan Maury released a statement saying, “The Census should count LGBTQ people because we count. New information uncovered about the Trump administration confirms that the Department of Justice chose to halt the Census Bureau’s progress toward adding sexual orientation and gender identity questions to the Census. The Census controls billions of dollars in federal funding, determines our representation at the state and federal levels, and impacts scores of other programs like how our school districts are drawn. The addition of sexual orientation and gender identity questions would have had a significant impact on our community’s access to services, democracy, and education, which is why we demand to be counted.”
The Human Rights Campaign honored Grammy-nominated artist Ty Herndon with its Visibility Award at the 2018 HRC Nashville Equality Dinner on March 17.
A documentary produced by them which follows Olympic Gold Medalist Gus Kenworthy’s guest for gold after coming out has been released. The short accompanies the publication’s feature story. The video is available at youtube.com/watch?v=t02MEtFmbMA.
A new report, “Getting on Track in Agenda 2030,” released by the Global Forum on MSM and HIV in collaboration with the Global Platform to Fast Track the Human Rights and HIV Responses with Gay and Bisexual Men and the Free Space Process argues for “consistent and robust reporting” on HIV in the Voluntary National Reviews on Sustainable Development. To download the report, visit bit.ly/2plQjzo.
Metropolitan Community Churches will mark their 50th anniversary on Oct. 6 with a week-long celebration in Los Angeles, Calif. To commemorate the milestone, the fellowship will make available a resource kit for a five-week anniversary worship series that follow various themes inspired from each decade of the church. It is being developed by more than 20 members from across the globe and will be published on Pentecost for use from Oct. 7-Nov. 4. Additionally, the fellowship is engaged in a story-sharing campaign in collaboration with the commemorative archival project and General Conference which will be held in Orlando, Fla. from July 1-5, 2019. These stories are in the style of founder Rev. Elder Troy Perry’s first worship service in his living room and being adapted for small groups. The fellowship is seeking volunteers for the archival project in the form of librarians, historians, founders and storytellers. A vast number of materials have been curated at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, Pacifica School of Religion, in Berkley, Calif. The church is asking congregations to contribute valuable records to help build on what has already been accumulated and to help identify collections. To participate, email Jack Hutter at email@example.com. Additionally, the fellowship is also asking for volunteers for its GEM Scholarship Program. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
The 30th annual Triangle Awards, honoring top LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction and poetry published in 2017 as well as the year’s transgender and gender-variant literature, will be presented on April 26 at the Tishman Auditorium of the New School in New York.
The Global Network of People Living with HIV, The International Community of Women Living with HIV, Global Action for Trans Equality, The Global Forum on MSM & HIV, The Global Network of Sex Work Projects, The HIV Youth Leadership Fund, Innovative Response Globally for Trans women and HIV, International Civil Society Support, The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, The International Network of People Who Use Drugs and The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition have collectively expressed its concern over the decision to name San Francisco and Oakland (in California) as host cities to the International AIDS Conference in 2020, citing among the list’s key points of the deteriorating human rights climate in the U.S., disparities between the two host cities and financial strain.
StartOut announced the election of its newest board members for 2018. The organization’s national study showed that LGBTQ entrepreneurs create jobs throughout the country, even in difficult environments. A new study measuring the current impact of LGBTQ entrepreneurs is slated for later this year.
qFLIX Philadelphia 2018 closed with the premiere of Vincent Gagliostro’s “After Louie,” starring the multi-talented entertainer and author Alan Cumming, who was presented with the festival’s Artistic Achievement Award for Acting.
“Health in the LGBTQ Community: Improving Care and Confronting Discrimination” web event on March 21 was presented jointly by NPR and The Forum: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health which explored health disparities and discrimination that impact the LGBT community. It drew from an NPR poll that said: More than half of LGBTQ Americans report that they have experienced violence, threats or harassment because of their sexuality or gender identity. And, nearly one in five LGBTQ individuals has avoided seeking medical care for fear of discrimination. The video can be viewed at bit.ly/2tXhHsa.
Saul Singleton submitted a short film to the Cincinnati-based Golden Lion Awards High School Film Festival which included a same-sex kiss. This lead to his film being evaluated as PG-13 or R, instead of the festival’s G or PG rating criteria. Equality Ohio reached out to the film festival for clarity through email and social media and has not received a response as of press time.
Muslims for Progressive Values hosted its 3rd Annual Celebration of Life Fundraiser on Feb. 25 to enable it to further its work to advocate for social justice, women’s rights, LGBTQ inclusion, freedom of expression and freedom of and from religious beliefs. During the event the organization’s board co-chair Kevin Jennings was honored with the Badshah Khan Beacon of Truth award for the many decades of work he has committed toward progressive change in America, creating and leading organizations such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Safe & Supportive Schools grant program.
Members of the LGBTQ community of Savannah, Ga. welcomed Mike Pence’s appearance at the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade held on March 17, with a sea of rainbow flag, PinkNews reported. They followed him around everywhere he went to ensure that every photograph opportunity had a rainbow flag somewhere in the background. Protesters did not stay away either and were present to show Pence that they were not his fans. His position on issues related to the LGBTQ community are the worst on record of any U.S. leader in U.S. history, Pink News added. Many were troubled with the city’s decision to bring Pence in for the parade, WSAV reported.
info: bit.ly/2HJ5Ks6. bit.ly/2DBAZDd.
The Truth Awards honored former NBA referee Violet Palmer with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the first female to officiate an NBA game, and became the first openly gay referee in NBA history.
Showtime premiered its “Beyond the Opposite Sex” documentary on March 16. The film is a follow-up to story of Rene and Jamie, two individuals who sought gender affirmation surgery, from 13 years ago. It can be accessed at s.sho.com/2FINu5U.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association, the Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association (BSVSA) and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America applauded the Starkville, Miss.’s City Council as it revisited and approved the application for the city’s first gay Pride parade.
The city of Philadelphia has stopped two faith-based agencies from placing foster children after learning the agencies discriminate against LGBTQ people, WIFT reported.
Adrian De Berardinis, aka “The Bear-Naked Chef,” will host a gay cooking week in Italy from April 22-28. The event will be joined by three Michelin star trained chefs, ManAboutWorld reported. They also have “The LGBTQ Guide to Travel Safety” for those who might venture out to the Italian environs or elsewhere worldwide.
Brad and Nick Schlaikowski, a married couple and foster parents in Milwaukee, Wisc. are close to opening an eight-bed group home, named Courage House, to serve LGBTQ youth in the city’s foster care system, The Chronicle of Social Change reported. This is a first for the state.
LGBTQ Nation reported that Caitlyn Jenner thinks that Donald Trump is “the worst” and that the Trump administration has set the community back 20 years with regard to transgender issues. Jenner had been a supporter of Trump in 2016.