Data in on LGBTQ identification
The Williams Institute has released data in their “LGBT Data & Demographics” interactive that shows that 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. identify as members of the LGBTQ community. This nets out to be 11.3 million individuals with 58 percent female and 29 percent over the age of 25 raising children. As far as economics go, 27 percent are food insecure, compared to 15 percent of non-LGBTQ adults, and 25 percent have household incomes below $24,000, compared to 18 percent of non-LGBTQ adults. Also, U.S. LGBTQ individuals are younger and poorer than the general population. Population estimates by state can be found in the companion report, “Adult LGBT Population in the United States.”
info: williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu. bit.ly/2FaFveq. bit.ly/2W2AxHB.
Mercy AIDS walk hits streets
The House of Mercy will host its 26th Annual Walk for AIDS on April 6, 10 a.m., in Belmont, N.C. The three–mile walk through historic downtown Belmont will raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the community and raise funds to care for residents of House of Mercy. The fundraising goal is $45,000. Check-in is at 9:30 a.m. A picnic reception will follow the walk. Sign-up and more details are available online.
Out to Win Day upcoming
On April 2, the LGBTQ Victory Institute and its partners, National Black Justice Coalition, LGBTQ Victory Fund, FreeState Justice and Montana Human Rights Network, will hold the first National Out to Win Day with the aim to have 22,272 LGBTQ individuals pledge to consider a run for office. The organization is asking community members to be part of the continuation of the Rainbow Wave of LGBTQ candidates for the upcoming election season.
info: victoryinstitute.org. bit.ly/2F7dhBC.
‘Booksmart’ trailer released
Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut in the upcoming film, “Booksmart,” that will be released at theaters across the U.S. on May 24. It stars Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever and Jessica Williams with Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis, is a coming of age story with unfiltered comedy about high school best friends — one gay and one straight — and the bonds created that last a lifetime.
NOLA hosts literary conference, fest
Saints and Sinners, an annual LGBTQ literary conference, will run concurrently with the The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, March 29-31, in New Orleans, La.
info: sasfest.org. tennesssewilliams.net.
Hemingway, others honored
The Truth Awards were presented on March 9 in Los Angeles, Calif., and honored Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning director and producer Anthony Hemingway for his work in film and television with a History Maker Award; founder, former president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute (BAI), Phill Wilson with a Lifetime Achievement Award; three-time Emmy-winning writer, director and producer Tajamika “Taj” Paxton with a Media & Arts Award; Emmy-winning host Karamo Brown of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” with a Culture & Arts Award; viral sensation and food critic Kalen Allen with the Social Influencer Award; Eric Jones, a three-time Emmy Award-winning entertainment booker and producer for ABC’s “Good Morning America” with the Passing the Torch Award; and the In the Meantime Men’s Group, a 21year old, 501(c)(3) community service organization, with the Advocate Award.
RMN hiring senior staff
The Reconciling Ministries Network is seeking an operations manager/chief financial officer to work out of their Chicago, Ill. office. The candidate will assist in the organization’s pursuit of LGBTQ justice and inclusion in The United Methodist Church. A full job description is available online. Deadline for application is March 31.
info: rmnetwork.org. bit.ly/2ObtWI1.
‘Dangerous Year’ set to premiere
The film, “The Most Dangerous Year,” will open in New York on April 12 and in California on April 26 and tells the story of a dark wave of anti-transgender “bathroom bills” that swept across the U.S. in 2016 and the parents of young transgender children who fought back against them in a civil rights battle.
Bar welcomes new leaders
The National LGBT Bar Association has announced that on April 25 Wesley D. Bizzell will take on the position of president of the organization’s board of directors. Additionally, Jesse Ryan Loffler will step into the position of president-elect.
Church body celebrates in golden style
Metropolitan Community Churches will host their 50th Anniversary Gala on June 30 in Orlando, Fla. prior to the start of the General Conference. The event will include a reception, show and dance and will be emceed by Las Vegas performer Tony Arias. Tickets are on sale and range from $50-$1,050.
Happening hits Queen City
The Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund will hold its 12th annual Happening luncheon on May 23, 12 p.m., at The Westin Charlotte, 601 S. College St. Networking will start at 11:15 a.m. prior to the event. The luncheon brings together hundreds to raise awareness and showcase the 2018 grant recipients. Those interested in reserving tables or sponsorship are asked to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $45 and area available for purchase online at bit.ly/2XZkD2t.
Rutgers study shows HIV reduction
Programs to prevent HIV in transgender women are helping to lower the rate of new infection, but better care and treatment of this vulnerable population is still needed, especially among those of lower income or people of color, according to a new Rutgers School of Public Health study.
Garden honors trans priest
Wedgewood Church has announced that it is building a garden to honor the life and ministry of Rev. Dr. Nancy Ledins who was the first Roman Catholic transgender priest who came out in 1979. She served in the cabinet of Gov. Otis Bowen, spoke at the United Nations, among other accomplishments. Her story was featured in numerous newspapers and her car was bombed, she was shot at and she had dead animals sent to her in the mail, Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers shared. He added, “We were blessed to have her as a member at Wedgewood for five years before her death. She preached, baptized, served communion, etc.” Now Wedgewood is raising funds to build the Rev. Dr. Nancy Ledins Meditation Memorial Wedding Garden. The goals is $40,820 that will be used for landscaping, wind chime tower, trellises, flowers, plants, benches, a memorial structure where the names of those who are deceased can be placed, wind spinners, totem pole, bronze Verdin bell and tower, signage and additional labor.
Stonewall Inn gets 3D digital recording
CyArk, a heritage preservation non-profit, has completed the first ever 3D digital record of the Stonewall National Monument in New York, N.Y. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. The project — the first of its kind to detail an LGBTQ historic site and national monument — uses data to create a photorealistic digital record of Christopher Park and the Stonewall Inn. This experiential record will aid in the preservation of the national monument and make these historic sites accessible to visitors across the globe, for generations to come.
Charlotte’s MCC to welcome temp pastor
The Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte will welcome Rev. Paul Whiting as its provisional pastor on May 1. He will visit the church on March 31 and the church’s board is planning a meet and greet with him. Church members and the public are being asked to refrain from contacting Rev. Whiting prior to his start date to allow for a smooth transition.
SF opens to all
The city of San Francisco issued an official proclamation on March 12 declaring it is an Open to All city, pledging to welcome everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, immigration status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion or disability. Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman announced via an official proclamation that the city was joining the national Open to All public education campaign. To commemorate the occasion, Mayor Breed and Supervisor Mandelman hosted a kick-off event in Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro District of San Francisco featuring elected officials from across the city, community leaders and business owners who have signed the Open to All business pledge.
info: opentoall.com. sfgov.org.
PFLAG chapter hosts fundraiser
The Concord/Kannapolis PFLAG chapter will hold its spring fundraiser on April 27, 6 p.m., at McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Rd., in Concord, N.C. The annual spaghetti dinner includes a silent auction/raffle and concert presented by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte. Tickets are $15. Email Joan Gale to purchase tickets.
SONG announces new projects
Southerners on New Ground’s second member-initiated projects performed under the umbrella of Free From Fear has been identified. Rolling out this spring are projects that reflect one or more of the organization’s core methods: communications, direct action organizing, culture change, coalitions and alliances, political education and base building. Those selected are: Rural Indigenous plus Black Queers in Middle, Tenn. (The Middle Tennessee Black and Indigenous Fund); New Orleans Political Education Program for Black Mamas + Caregivers; Physical Healing Space for Black plus People of Color in the Greensboro Community (Greensboro Healing Center); Land Trust in Birmingham (Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust); and Southern PAC plus C4 Electoral Research. Each project will receive up to $5,000 to push their dream into fruition. We know it is imperative that we better connect our base to each other.
info: southernersonnewground.org. bit.ly/mips-winners.
SCE takes legal action
South Carolina Equality has taken legal action against Miracle Hill Ministries and others for discriminating against same-sex couples who wish to adopt or foster children in South Carolina. Also, the organization is challenging South Carolina’s “No Promo Homo” law which prohibits educators from talking at all about LGBTQ individuals, issues or history in the classroom. Those who have experienced discrimination are asked to contact South Carolina Equality on a confidential basis. And, public high school student who wish to participate in the “No Promo Homo” challenge should contact Jeff Ayers, the organization’s executive, for more information at bit.ly/2HDS1Gd.
ALFA opens second office
ALFA in Hickory, N.C. has opened its second office located at 211 NC-127 SE. The new location is now home to the organization’s prevention department, PrEP services and case management, as well as their main testing site. An open house and ribbon cutting will take place on April 12. ALFA is also holding its End AIDS Walk Unifour on April 6 at Taft Broome Park. Email email@example.com to learn more or to sign up.
Hate crimes bill introduced in N.C.
Rep. Nasif Majeed (D-99) introduced HB312 — the Hate Crimes Prevention Act — during the first week in March in the North Carolina General Assembly, WBTV reported. He did so because community members contacted him to do something about the “increasing number of cases of hate crimes. HB312 proposes to make it a felony to commit a hate crime that results in serious physical injury to the victim; expand the state’s current hate crime laws to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity and disability; wants the state to create a hate crime database at the SBI; and mandate training for police and prosecutors.
Trans inmate nets governor’s help
Kanautica Zayre-Brown, a transgender prisoner at the all-male Harnett Correctional Institution who is seeking to be moved to a women’s facility, has gained the support of Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper said he would work to improve the safety of her confinement and “make sure it never happens again,” an aide to the governor said, as was reported in the Raleigh News & Observer.
Military orgs respond to trans military ban
Three key national LGBTQ military organizations, OutServe-SLDN, SPARTA and the American Military Partner Association, responded to the Trump administration’s implementation on the ban on open transgender military servicemembers. Implementation processes noted in the directive will officially go into effect in April, just under three years after the current policy allowing open transgender military service was implemented. All four service chiefs and 41 retired generals and admirals have emphatically denounced the claims the administration is using to justify the ban.
PFLAG GBO mourns long-time member’s loss
A Greensboro, N.C. PFLAG long-time member and supporter of the organization, David N. Parker, died on Feb. 25 following a long illness. Parker and his wife found their way to PFLAG as a place to receive support while handling their transgender child’s transition. His service to PFLAG stretches back to 2002 and included representation at national and regional events. Parker served on the national board and received a Legacy Award from the Human Rights Campaign in North Carolina. His energies were seen locally in his contributions, serving as treasurer, newsletter editor, public speaker and book reviewer over the years.
MCC expands protocols
Metropolitan Community Churches has taken steps to change their use of designated funds protocols. These changes will improve checks and balances and ensure designated funds are distributed appropriately. This came about due to the misuse of funds that were used to pay for operational expenses and Interim Moderator Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown offered an apology for the situation, saying that she held the “ultimate responsibility” for the way the fellowship had operated. A plan for repayment of the funds has been established.
Health week theme unveiled
The National Coalition for LGBT Health has announced that the theme of the 2019 LGBT Health Awareness Week, observed from March 26-30, is “Reject Rhetoric. Reflect Reality. Our Health Won’t Be Denied!” The theme acknowledges the ongoing rhetoric surrounding LGBTQ health issues, from health insurance and data collection to health inequities and access to culturally competent care and encourages a rejection of this rhetoric for a presentation of facts that reflect the realities of LGBTQ health today, organizers shared.
Newseum opens LGLBQ ‘Rise Up’ exhibit
On March. 8, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. opened its “Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement” exhibit which runs through Dec. 31 and explores the modern gay rights movement and marks the 50th anniversary of a June 1969 raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village. The protests following the raid are considered to be the catalyst that inspired the modern gay liberation movement and the ongoing fight for LGBTQ civil rights. In other news, qnotes has been asked to contribute its front pages to a special presentation of a vast array of newspapers that cycle in and out daily outside the museum.
Workplace equity toolkit to launch
LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit – hoping to launch in the Spring. Triangle-based consultant Katherine Turner and Stan Kimer are working with Pride in the Triangle, a consortium of LGBTQ-based employee resource group leaders, to develop a turnkey open-source LGBTQ+ Equity Toolkit to use for workforce training, Kimer reported. They are over half-way through securing the required funding, and pressing to secure the rest currently so they can develop the toolkit and hold the “Training of Trainers” session before LGBQ Pride Month this upcoming June.
Student starts non-profit for teens
Seth Owens, an 18-year-old undergraduate student at Georgetown University, has launched a GoFundMe initiative to help raise funds for a non-profit group he created, Unbroken Horizons Scholarship Foundation, to help students in marginalized communities access post-secondary education and highlight their stories to create awareness around issues within marginalized communities. After his parents disowned him for being gay, Owen’s story was widely shared when his biology teacher raised $140,000 for his college education on GoFundMe and he was later presented with a $25,000 check on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” In the foundation’s first year, they are aiming to provide five students with a $2,500 scholarship so that they can continue to reach their educational goals. In addition to the work he is doing for the foundation, Owens also serves as a youth ambassador for the Human Rights Campaign.
Reconstructionists announce web series
Evolve, Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations, an outreach for Reconstructing Judaism, has announced that it will offer a two-part web series that focuses on Judaism, gender and gender identity. The first session, Pronouns; Anonymous — Parenting a Trans Child, will be held on April 3 and #MeToo and Gender will follow on May 7. The web conversation runs from 1-2:15 p.m. Eastern. Registration is available online.
Revry premieres trans documentary
In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, Revry will will showcase their “America in Transition” documentary. The series that explores the community, family and social issues of transgender people of color across the U.S. — capturing real life for a veteran turned activist, an immigrant seeking home, a woman living with HIV healing from trauma and a model navigating family life.
Anti-conversion therapy legislation filed
The Georgia Assembly has filed landmark legislation, the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. With its submission, Georgia joins 23 other states with active legislation working to prevent conversion therapy and 15 with enacted laws protecting youth from its harms.
N.C. queer life explored
On March 11, Wilton Barnhardt and 20 gay, transgender, bisexual and straight contributors released their book entitled “Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Tales of North Carolina, showcasing the multifaceted challenged and joys of being an LGBTQ individual, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The anthology covers the terrain of “young love and gay panic, the minefield of religion, military service, having children with a surrogate, family rejection, finding one’s true gender, finding sex, and finding love,” the publisher shared. Barnhardt is a native of Winston-Salem, N.C. He will discuss the book at two Triangle bookstores — April 11, 7 p.m., at Regulator Bookshop, 720 9th St., Durham, and April 17, 7 p.m., at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.