Guilford announces award winners
The Guilford Green Foundation has announced the winners of various 2020 leadership awards. They are: Visionary, Lee Storrow, executive director of North Carolina AIDS Action Network, for his work on behalf of those affected and effected by HIV/AIDS; Dawn S. Chaney, Jessica Mashburn, for her years of advocacy for LGBTQ rights and her volunteer efforts with LGBTQ organizations; Distinguished Service, Liz Grimes, for her decades of dedication to LGBTQ organizations and events; and Distinguished Leadership, Donald Draggoo, for leading the effort to locate, renovate and transform a dirty storefront into Guilford’s LGBTQ Center in downtown Greensboro.
Virginia makes southern history (again)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a statewide law protecting young people from conversion therapy. The law takes effect on July 1. Virginia is now the first state in the South to enact legislation protecting LGBTQ minors from conversion therapy. In the U.S., 20 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico now prohibit the practice. The Campaign for Southern Equality applauded the efforts of many advocates in Virginia who pushed for the legislation, including partners at Equality Virginia, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Born Perfect and the Trevor Project.
PFLAG scholarship apps open
The Flat Rock-Hendersonville Chapter of PFLAG have announced the creation of their new James Faucett PFLAG Equality Scholarship. The chapter is funding a new $1,000 scholarship for LGBTQ or straight allied students in Henderson County, N.C. that will be awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year. The recipient must have a 3.0 grade point average and demonstrate a history of support toward equality for LGBTQ individuals. Financial need is a secondary consideration. The deadline for submitting completed applications is April 1. For more information about the PFLAG Equality Scholarship, contact PFLAG Flat Rock Hendersonville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bar names ‘under 40’ awardees
The National LGBT Bar Association, an affiliate of the American Bar Association, has named their 2020’s Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40. There were 40 named. Those firms represented from the Carolinas region include: Anastasia N. Kaup, associate, Mayer Brown LLP, Charlotte, N.C. (operating out of the Chicago, Ill. office); and Elizabeth P. Redpath, associate, McGuireWoods LLP, Charlotte, N.C. (operating out of the Richmond, Va. office).
Prisoner being denied surgery
Indy Week has reported that Kanautica Zayre-Brown, an inmate at Anson Correctional Institution in Polkton, N.C., is being denied gender confirmation surgery. She “has asked the DPS [N.C. Department of Public Safety] to either provide her with vaginoplasty — the final surgery she views as necessary for her gender transition — or create a path where she can use her own resources to finance the procedure. According to Zayre-Brown, both requests have been repeatedly denied, even though they’ve been medically prescribed.”
Tar Heel native competes on ‘Drag Race’
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” includes a contestant from North Carolina in the show’s 12th season. Heidi N’ Closet, from Randolph County, is 25-year-old Trevien Anthonie Cheek who was raised in Ramseur and now lives in Trinity, The Fayetteville Observer reported.
HRC North Carolina names annual award winners
The Human Rights Campaign North Carolina recently held its annual dinner and recognized a number of Carolinians for their accomplishments. Greensboro, N.C.’s Guilford Green Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Ruppe received the Person of the Year award and Twirl to the World from Charlotte, N.C. received the Organization of the Year award. Also during the festivities, comedian, writer and actor Bowen Yang, a “Saturday Night Live” cast member, received the national organization’s Visibility Award.
Web creator concerned about bigotry
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the person who is credited with creating the world wide web, has expressed his concern about anti-LGBTQ bigotry and bullying that is being expressed online, Gay Times reported. He went on to say, ““Tackling online gender inequality will be a core priority for the Web Foundation through 2020 and beyond.
Raleigh center vandalized
The LGBT Center of Raleigh filed a police report when they found anti-LGBTQ stickers on the doors of the establishment, thus resulting in defacing the property, LGBTQ Nation reported. The hate-filled messages placed there by the white supremacist group Hundred Handers included one that said: “GAY PRIDE, 1-2 percent of the population, 67 percent of HIV diagnoses, 1/3rd of child molesters, 60 percent of syphilis infections, [and] 52 percent are non-monogamous.” The center attributes the “desecration” due to the new Drag Queen Story Hour that began in June 2019. This was the second time the center was harmed.
Report tells of trans voter obstacles
Transgender people who live in a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth face unique obstacles to obtaining identification documents that reflect their gender, The Williams Institute reported. Having identification documents that do not accurately reflect one’s gender, including in name or gender marker, can cause problems for transgender people during a variety of activities, such as when applying for a job or housing or when interacting with police officers or other government officials. Transgender citizens with identification documents that do not match their gender may also encounter obstacles to voting.
Trans asylum seeker assaulted
Alejandra Alor Reyes, a transgender woman who is seeking asylum in the U.S., was sexually assaulted and harassed while being detained with men for nine months in Arizona at an immigration facility, The Associated Press reported. Reyes has been the victim of abuses such as being held in solitary confinement and having part of her thumb cut off when she was kidnapped and beaten prior to her presenting herself at a border crossing. She also suffers from PTSD from a lifetime of harassment at home for being effeminate and had run away from home and lived on the streets.
Minister volunteers as abortion clinic escort
Christian News has reported that an American Baptist Church minister, Michael Usey who leads LGBTQ-friendly College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., has been volunteering as an escort at A Woman’s Choice abortion clinic.
Psych group supports trans bathroom access
The American Psychological Association has updated three LGBTQ-supportive policies to be more inclusive of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, among other things supporting access to the restrooms and other facilities of their choice in public schools, The Advocate reported.
Council repeals resolution
Earlier this month, the Greenville County Council (S.C.) adopted a resolution to sunset all resolutions older than four years — including a resolution from 1996 that defamed members of the local LGBTQ community. The 1996 resolution declared that LGBTQ people somehow violated the standards of the community and has long been seen as an antiquated form of government-sponsored animus. The Campaign for Southern Equality applauded advocates in Greenville who pushed for an end to the resolution.
Org launches workplace training tool
Family Equality has launched a new tool, Open Door Employer, that provides virtual professional training to help in the evolvement of corporate culture and office policies. Through three interactive, virtual chapters comprised of videos, quizzes, articles and resources, business owners and human resource professionals can gain the knowledge and tools they need to support all employees on their paths to parenthood, the organization shared.
Funders welcome new board members
Funders for LGBTQ Issues 2020’s cohort of board members have been announced. They are: Karen Appelbaum, operations director, Northwest Area Foundation; Namita Chad, associate director of programs, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; Paulina Helm-Hernández, program officer, U.S. Southeast, Foundation for a Just Society; William (Bill) Smith, president and CEO, Santa Fe Community Foundation; and Judy Yu, program officer, SOGI, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund. Also, the board recently elected its new executive committee, which include: Rickke Mananzala, vice president of strategy and programs, Borealis Philanthropy, elected to a second term as chair; Cynthia Renfro, president and CEO, Civis Consulting, LLC, elected as the new vice chair; Kristine Stallone, philanthropic consultant, elected to continue her service as treasurer; and Rye Young, philanthropic consultant, elected as the new secretary.
Scout org to disband
Organizers for Scouts for Equality have announced that they are winding down their day-to-day operations and focusing time and resources in supporting local scouting. Scouts for Equality reached this decision because they felt they had “largely accomplished” the initial goals that lead to the formation of the organization. Boy Scouts of America is filing for bankruptcy to settle pending litigation and create a fund to compensate victims of sexual abuse from past decades. The landscape of the Boy Scout movement has begun to change and there have been “a new wave of invigoration in councils that have embraced the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Scouts for Equality co-founders Zach Wahls and Jonathan Hillis.
Florida laws undermine public health efforts
The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law reported that Florida’s HIV criminal laws may undermine the state’s public health efforts by deterring people from seeking HIV testing and treatment, stigmatizing those with HIV and disproportionately affecting the communities most impacted by HIV, including people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, and the formerly incarcerated.
Church elects pastor
Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte has elected Rev. Paul Whiting as its permanent pastor.