The Youth & Gender Media Project, a collection of award-winning short documentaries illuminating the lives of transgender youth and the efforts to create a more inclusive world for them, has announced that it has added two films to its ongoing educational series repertoire. The project’s goal is to create a world where all individuals are free to express themselves fully and are celebrated for who they really are. The series now includes “I’m Just Anneke,” “In The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children,” “Becoming Johanna” and “Creating Gender Inclusive Schools.” The films have garnered recognition in film festivals such as OUTFest, Silverdocs, FrameLine, Media That Matters and more, as well as been featured in international film festivals in Canada, Spain, Australia and Russia. The filmmaker, professional facilitators and individuals from the films are available to present the films at conferences, schools, PTAs and college classrooms. The films are available on DVD and streaming through New Day films. They can also be streamed through Kanopy.
info: youthandgendermediaproject.org. newday.com.
Members of Congress reintroduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act to protect LGBTQ students from school-based harassment, bullying, violence and intimidation. To better explain the issues at hand, The Williams Institute has a fact sheet detailing LGBTQ youth experiences with discrimination, harassment and bullying in primary and secondary schools.
Soulforce is encouraging the LGBTQ and allied communities to write “solidarity love letters” to students on Christian campuses through Soulforce’s Give Back IX campaign that intervenes against religious exemptions and provides spiritual support and solidarity to LGBTQ students on some of the most hostile campuses in the country. Christian colleges and universities, as well as Conservatives, use “religious freedom” to exempt itself from the social contract and impose its doctrine on all of us through laws and human rights norms, Soulforce said. The talley of Title IX waivers granted to Christian campuses in a decades-long battle against “gender justice” is 314-0. Thirty of NCAA schools discriminate against LGBTQ individuals.
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum was wed to labor leader Randi Weingarten on March 25. Kleinbaum has served as Congregation Bet Simchat Torah’s spiritual leader for the past 25 years. The congregation is the largest LGBTQ-focused synagogue in the U.S. Weingarten is the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Character actress and filmmaker Giovannie Espiritu will be speaking on April 6 during a filmmaking panel at ClexaCon, a multi-fandom media and entertainment event for LGBTQ women and their allies.
In recognition of his transgender sister’s death and to honor her life, Detroit Pistons forward Reggie Bullock hosted an LGBTQ Pride Night.
Associate Pastor Anna Golladay was fired from her job after she performed a wedding between two women, Reconciling Ministries Network reported. Additionally, charges against Rev. David Meredith who married his partner and broke church rules were dismissed.
After coming under fire for making donations to some groups accused of being anti-LGBTQ, AEG owner Philip Anschutz has made a $1 million contribution to the Elton John AIDS Foundation which advocates for LGBTQ individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa, Billboard reported.
Alyson Stoner, a former Missy Elliott back-up dancer and star of “Camp Rock” and “Cheaper by the Dozen,” has come out as bisexual.
Georges Azzi, executive director of Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, will accept the OutRight Action International Felipe de Souza Award at the Celebration of Courage 2018 on May 14.
Noor Salman, the wife of Pulse Nightclub gunman Omar Mateen who killed 49 people, was acquitted of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and of obstruction of justice in connection with her husband’s 2016 rampage, CNN reported.
On April 28 San Diego, Calif. LGBTQ-service organizations will host a conference, “#MeTooLGBTQ,” to increase culturally competent services in San Diego County for victims and survivors of sexual violence who identify as LGBTQ.
OutServe-SLDN has joined forces with The OUT Foundation in production for the Murph + OUTWOD Challenge. The Challenge is a national fundraiser benefiting the LGBTQ military community, culminating on Memorial Day on May 28.
info: murph.outwod.com. outserve-sldn.org. theoutfoundation.org.
A high school senior has successfully planned a gay Pride festival in Columbus, Ind., the hometown of anti-gay Vice President Mike Pence. The event is slated for April 14.
Forbes Magazine detailed three ways that LGBTQ investors can resist the Trump Administration: invest in LGBTQ-supportive companies, invest time and money in local LGBTQ advocacy organizations and patronize LGBTQ-owned businesses.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released the 11th edition of its annual Healthcare Equality Index, which scores healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.
In order to fill a void in the LGBTQ working and professional community, OutBüro has launched a service that offers a Glassdoor.com-like service through which LGBTQ employees may rate their employers on not only general employee-related areas, but those specific to the employer’s LGBTQ polices, benefits, culture, work-life balance, job security, CEO performance and more. Rating includes a free-form text review along with prompting for pros and cons, as well as a message to the CEO. Registered members’ ratings are displayed anonymously. Ratings must adhere to OutBüro Community and Company Rating Guidelines. Companies may claim their listing to gain additional features and ensure their information is correctly represented.
Super Deluxe is teaming with writers and producers Stan Zimmerman and James Berg to develop the gay senior citizen comedy series “Silver Foxes.”
The Honorable Ahmed Hussen, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, announced that the Government of Canada has renewed a cost-sharing agreement with Rainbow Refugee Society until March 31, 2020. As of April 1, additional funding of $100,000 was made available to support refugees sponsored under the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Pilot.
University of Tennessee alumni have raised $3 million to endow the school’s Pride Center which had been defunded by the state’s legislature.
A Chicago Tribune commentary spoke about the loss of Craigslist personal ads as an important LGBTQ space.
A new film, “Pageant Material,” from Director Jonothon Mitchell will begin shooting in Atlanta, Ga. this summer and the production is seeking contributions toward its $40,000 goal. A crowd funding campaign was launched through Indiegogo. The coming-of-age southern dramedy tells the story of a 17-year-old boy named Rodney in rural Alabama who dreams of escaping his small southern hometown in pursuit of following in his mother’s footsteps as an award-winning pageant queen. Half of the profits earned by the completed film will benefit The Dru Project in development of Gay-Straight Alliance programs in schools.
The LGBTQ Victory Fund recently endorsed 14 more candidates from across the nation who can help transform the political landscape in 2018, the organization shared. Among those endorsed is Cecil Brockman, a candidate for the North Carolina House of Representatives from District 60. “We have an unprecedented number of LGBTQ people running for office this cycle — some running races to become historic firsts and others running to take out anti-LGBTQ incumbents and be champions for all their constituents,” said Mayor Annise Parker, LGBTQ Victory Fund president and CEO. The Victory Fund now has 74 openly LGBTQ-endorsed candidates on its endorsement list.
Indiewire published a story that showed how Hollywood’s gay double standard worked — actresses come out, but young actors stay in the closet.
Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN argued before a federal district court on March 27 that the Trump Administration’s plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services is “so clearly unconstitutional” that it should be permanently blocked. It was the first such argument among the four lawsuits challenging the ban and came just five days after the White House released its so-called “plan” for implementing the discriminatory and harmful ban.
info: lambdalegal.org. outserve-sldn.org. militarypartners.org.
Arizona’s legal landscape and social climate put the state’s 203,000 LGBTQ adults and 45,500 LGBTQ youth at risk of discrimination and harassment. Statewide civil rights laws offer no protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodations. The social, economic and health effects of stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ people negatively impact Arizona’s economy by 10s of millions of dollars each year, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
The San Francisco-based non-profit, A Wider Bridge, is dedicated to advancing LGBTQ rights in Israel, as well as supporting Israel’s right to exist, Jewish Boston reported. The organization creates ways for LGBTQ leaders in North America and Israel to engage with one another “to create character witnesses for Israel and the LGBTQ Israeli community.”
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced nominations for the 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards and Kit Williamson’s LGBTQ series “EastSiders” was included in six categories, including Outstanding Daytime Digital Drama Series and Outstanding Writing and Directing for Kit Williamson. The awards ceremony will take place on April 29.
Diversity Richmond’s Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Care Package Program has gone live, GayRVA reported. A request form for one of these packages can be found online. Any transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming people who are in need of assistance with transition are encouraged to fill out the request form to receive basic needs like clothing and first aid equipment.
Older LGBTQ adults have the most worries about having adequate family and other social support to rely on as they age, discrimination in long-term care facilities and access to LGBTQ-sensitive services for seniors, according to a new AARP survey, “Maintaining Dignity: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans.” Black and Latino LGBTQ adults report the greatest concern about future family and social supports, and greater worry about potential abuse in long-term care facilities because of their race/ethnicity and sexual orientation/gender identity.
Open Circle Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Fond Du Lac, Wis. presented a program to further understanding about homophobia and other barriers to sports inclusion.
In “Boys Keep Swinging: A Memoir,” Jake Shears, front man of Scissor Sisters, examines his life before becoming a glam rock star. The book traces Shears’ journey from West Coast youth to New York City adulthood at the turn of the millennium.
Transilient is seeking contributions in order to help the organization and traveling photography and documentary project bring three young assistants with it as it hits the road for its third tour. These assistants will be afforded the opportunity to acquire skills and a platform “in moving up in the world,” as a way to combat unemployment and homelessness. Former North Carolinian Basil Soper serves as Transilient’s executive director.
info: basilvaughnsoper.com. bit.ly/2IlhotR.
GLAAD released its report, “More Than a Number: Shifting the Media Narrative on Transgender Homicides,” a new resource for reporters and activists. The report outlines the importance of moving away from focusing solely on the number of victims lost in a given year, documents the epidemic of anti-transgender violence in 2017 and provides reporters with advanced tips and advice from transgender spokespeople and activists about how to better cover anti-transgender violence.
info: glaad.org. bit.ly/2H1l9VB.
The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals will hold its second annual LGBT Housing Policy Summit at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Center on April 18 in Washington, D.C.
Donna Christensen, M.D., a former congressional delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands, has joined the board of The Black AIDS Institute.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund will hold their Transgender Advocacy Awards on June 12 in New York, N.Y.
A new study investigating gender expression and victimization of youth ages 13-18 found that the most gender non-conforming students reported higher levels of being bullied and were more likely than their more gender-conforming peers to report missing school because they felt unsafe. They were also the most likely to report being victimized with a weapon on school property.
In the efforts to get more African-Americans aware of and using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an evolving tracking system called the PrEP cascade is providing new insights as The Black AIDS Institute works toward better results. In 2015, Whites made up 74 percent of those who used PrEP, while African-Americans made up only 10 percent, according to Gilead Sciences, maker of the PrEP medication Truvada.
Many, but not all, LGBTQ publications have embraced the term “queer” and added the “Q” in “LGBTQ” when describing the community in their news coverage, Press Pass Q reported. (qnotes began instituting this method in previous years.)
GLAAD announced that Emmy nominee Samira Wiley will be honored at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, N.Y. on May 5.
The National Center for Transgender Equality’s Trans Equality Now Awards will be held on May 17 in Washington, D.C.