Center hosts ribbon cutting
The Guilford Green Foundation + LGBTQ Center had its ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening on Jan. 17 in Greensboro, N.C. The event was attended by a multitude of community members, supporters and more. The 1,800-square-foot plus space was made possible by contributions raised in excess of $150,000 for its renovations and upfitting, the Greensboro News & Record reported.
info: guilfordgreenfoundation.org. bit.ly/36dLuel.
ENC launches new chapter
Equality North Carolina has announced that it has added a new chapter to its initiative. On Jan. 15, the Queen City and Equality North Carolina’s Charlotte Civic Engagement Coordinator Jamie Hildreth welcomed the Mecklenburg County Chapter to the fold and to Mecklenburg County’s list of anti-discrimination, equality-seeking organizations. Intersectional work in the areas of civic advocacy and electoral engagement for pro-equality candidates in 2020 and beyond are on the immediate radar.
Seniors org gets new name
SAGE Raleigh has changed its name to be more inclusive of the work it does and the community it serves. SAGE Central North Carolina was approved by the national organization and will enable the Triangle-area group to expand its outreach. Over time, representatives shared that “programs [have been] attended by people throughout the region. We have regular attenders from Fayetteville, throughout the Triangle, and Hillsborough and beyond. This change will bring us more in line with some of our current happenings such as the very successful reception SAGE hosted at the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (now OutSouth Queer Film Festival) in Durham last August and the social and healthy living activities we are sponsoring in Orange County as well as the region-wide Pride Life Expo we are co-hosting April 4 at McKimmon Center.” The affiliate will continue to operate under the auspices of the LGBT Center of Raleigh. “We will continue to conduct all of our great activities and programs in and around Raleigh. … we will also be looking to involve and serve LGBTQ+ seniors throughout central North Carolina. Being known as SAGE Central North Carolina also helps us better align with some of our regional community partners such as Resources for Seniors, Transitions Lifecare, Alzheimer’s Association and Dementia Alliance, AARP, the Orange County Department on Aging and others.”
Consultant relaunches website
Stan Kimer, a diversity and inclusion business consultant from Raleigh, N.C. announced that his business, Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, had relaunched its website to be more Internet compliant and easier to view. Kimer uses his expertise to help companies, organizations, and more embrace non-discriminatory practices in their endeavors. He is also on the team that had developed the LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit.
Equality sought by two-spirit couple
A two-spirit couple is visiting tribes in South Dakota where they are advocating for protections and marriage equality for individuals like them, reported the Brainerd Dispatch. Monique “Muffie” Mousseau and Felipa De Leon, married for 15 years, legally for four after the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015. The couple has lobbied for a rules change within the nine tribes in the state. Last summer, their efforts were realized when the Oglala Sioux Tribe approved same-sex marriage and protection in their hate crimes laws.
Trans candidates make election bids
The Hill and the Raleigh News & Observer have reported that Democratic attorney Gray Ellis of Durham, N.C. and Angela Bridgman of Wendell, N.C. are bidding for election in the North Carolina General Assembly’s Senate. This news comes in the shadows of HB2 (bathroom bill) and other key areas that both candidates saw as important issues. The candidates are transgender and hope to become the first transgender lawmakers in the state.
Film depicts LGBTQ TV evolution
A five-part documentary, “Visible: Out on Television,” on the evolution of LGBTQ depictions on TV will premiere on Feb. 14 on Apple TV Plus, The Associated Press reported. It comes from filmmakers Ryan White and Jessica Hargrave, and executive produced by Wanda Sykes and Wilson Cruz. Interviewees for the series include Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Lambert and others. Narrators include Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, Asia Kate Dillon, Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Waithe.
Inmates tie knot, make history
Two inmates in a Cyprus prison became the first to wed behind bars in a European Union member country correctional facility. Kevork Tontian and Wemson Gabral de Costa met during a prison bingo tournament, Queerty reported. Tontian completed his sentence but broke the law again so he could be with Da Costa again and continue living with one another. Both men had been rejected by their families for being gay.
Methodist convention announces speakers
The Reconciling Methodist Network has announced its speakers for the organization’s upcoming annual convention, Connection 2020, to be held from Feb. 27-29 in Nashville, Tenn. Sharing messages will be Rev. Emily Bagwell, Rev. Grae Imathiu, Bishop Karen Oliveto, Rev. Kenny Mwita Thomas, Jorge Lockward, Marcia McFee and Mark Miller. Registration and the complete schedule are available online.
Students sue seminary
Nathan Brittsan and Joanna Maxon have sued Fuller Theological Seminary claiming it explicitly discriminates against them for being married to a same-sex partner, LGBTQ Nation reported. Both had been asked to leave the institution upon learning of their marital status, saying it did not fit the school’s sexual conduct standards.
Medical textbook aims to bridge divide
“The Equal Curriculum: The Student and Educator Guide to LGBTQ Health” has been released and was published to help fill the gap in the medical field with regard to care equality, WMTV reported. Lead author and the University of Wisconsin-Madison psychiatrist James Lehman shared, “The content goes to the depth that a medical student may need … but a lot of it is how do we look at the healthcare system that we live in and how do we make it friendlier to our patients.” Schools only provide on average around five hours of education and training for LGBTQ health issues and some offer none, Lehman added. WMTV also reported that the textbook is designed for health professionals, students and instructors to address the unequal weight of medical education when it comes to the LGBTQ community.
Org begins community support
Charlotte’s Queen City Prism (formerly Charlotte Gay List) has announced that it has chosen the Human Rights Campaign Charlotte’s Feb. 22 annual dinner as its first service recipient under Prism’s new “adopt-an-organization” initiative. Co-founder and Executive Director Jonathan Barrio said, “We will highlight one organization a quarter and work with them to host 1-3 activations/events to assist with fundraising and event support.” To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PFLAG chapter scholarship app open
PFLAG Greensboro has announced that its 2020 Carter Stroupe Memorial Scholarship application season is now open for high school seniors and college or technical school undergraduates who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight ally. Application and required materials must be postmarked by March 15 and must include: A signed and completed scholarship application; high school or GED transcript (sent by applicant’s school) and/or most recent college or university transcript; two letters of reference from people other than family members; and a signed and completed release form (included in the application packet). More details are available online.
Student commits suicide
Wilson Gavin, a gay, conservative student, has committed suicide after a confrontation with drag queen story hour’s Diamond Good-Rim in Brisbane, Australia, Queerty reported.
Swift, Mock to receive awards
GLAAD has announced that superstar Taylor Swift and award-winning director, producer, writer and advocate Janet Mock will be the recipients of awards at the organization’s upcoming GLAAD Media Awards in April. Swift will be presented with the Vanguard Award for her promotion of LGBTQ individuals’ acceptance. Mock is being recognized for her diverse and inclusive storytelling in Hollywood.
Gastonia native premieres new show
Gastonia, N.C.’s Fortune Feimster debuted her first hour-long Netflix comedy special, “Sweet & Salty,” on Jan. 21. The southern-born comedian, writer and actress recalls her childhood misadventures as a former Girl Scout, debutante and (disqualified) swim meet champion; her family’s complicated relationship with Hooters; and how a movie helped her realize she was a lesbian.
Queer health message debuts in NYC
To counter the tide of LGBTQ healthcare discrimination, the National LGBT Cancer Network decided to let the “pride love fly” by commissioning a video billboard in Times Square saying “Hey queers, we love you! Stay healthy in 2020!” The 56 foot by 29-foot billboard is being used to help the network raise awareness and funds for this endeavor and other ad campaigns in the future. The current campaign will run every 15 minutes through the end of February.