Be a Witness. Be a Driver.
Election 2020 Needs You!
During the early voting and absentee ballot process for the upcoming 2020 election season, there are a couple of things that you can do to help make the process easier for others. And, there are organizational volunteers who can help you. Just contact one that fits your needs. First, if you are voting early (or even on Election Day) and you can assist someone who has transportation issues in getting to the polls — do it! Social distancing measures can be employed (one person in the front seat and one in the back, each with masks on) if there is a concern about being in close proximity. Also, if someone you know needs to have their absentee ballot voting witnessed, you can do this really easily, and it will ensure that votes cast comply with all of the regulations required. Remember, if you are voting absentee, your official ballot return envelope has a space for signatures for both witness and voter. Haven’t gotten around to requesting your mail-in ballot? Send in your request today so you can get your ballot in time. Absentee ballots can be mailed in, taken to an early voting location or deposited at local board of election’s offices. So, for all of us who value “liberty and justice for all,” vote like your life depends on it, because it just might.
Service to honor Kirsch
A virtual memorial service will be held on Nov. 1, 4 p.m., to honor the memory of LGBTQ community member Dan Kirsch who died suddenly earlier this year. A link will be provided as details are firmed up.
Theological series speakers announced
The fall Liberating Theologies Speaker Series, “LIB•ER•ATE,” will be held via Zoom on Oct. 17, 12 p.m., and will feature Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes, Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart and Bishop Donagrant Le’Prist McCluney. The event is presented in partnership with The Freedom Center for Social Justice and Union Theological Seminary and is an extension of the center’s #DoNoHarm campaign. Costs and registration are available online.
Richmond makes historical move
In a first, the LGBTQ Progress Pride flag was raised on the grounds of Richmond, Va.’s city hall, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The city was the capital of the Confederacy during the times of the Civil War. This was an historical moment for activists and supporters of the LGBTQ community.
Comedy breaks awards’ record
“Shitt’s Creek” walked away with a record-breaking nine Emmy Awards at the recent ceremony. The distinction came from the series sweeping all the major categories for a comedy series in a single year, Instinct Magazine reported. The main characters are in a same-sex relationship.
Resources explain ‘intersectionality’
The Reconciling Ministries Network has developed a list of resources for its Rooted & Rising initiative that explains what intersectionality means, as well as the work outlined for the organization’s movement.
info: rmnetwork.org. bit.ly/3mTUm1X.
Network names new exec
NBCUniversal has announced that Janine Jones-Clark has been promoted to executive vice president, Inclusion – Talent & Content, NBCUniversal Film, Television and Streaming.
HRC to share remembrance messages
The Human Rights Campaign will share messages of “love, loss, or support” on Oct. 4 as part of the COVID-19 National Day of Remembrance. To record a message, text “COVID” to 472-472. Message and data rates may apply.
‘Race’ teams include gay couple
“The Amazing Race” upcoming 32nd season will feature gay couple Will Jardell, 30, and James Wallington, 31, who are dating, Entertainment Weekly reported. The start date for the competition begins on Oct. 14 on CBS. Filming was done prior to COVID-19 pandemic beginnings.
Conversation slated for BTAN CLT
BTAN Charlotte will host their “The Blacker The Plan” community conversation presentation online on Oct. 27, 6 p.m. It will feature elected officials and community leaders who will discuss issues facing Charlotte. Registration is available online.
’SNL’ casts out talent
“Saturday Night Live” has announced that it has added out Black comedian and writer Punkie Johnson and actress, comedian and singer Lauren Holt to its 46th season, NBC Universal said. Johnson’s recent credits include “Space Force,” “Corporate,” “Adam Ruins Everything” and “Bill Burr Presents: The Ringers.” She was a New Face at the Just for Laughs Festival in 2019 and is regular at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. Holt is from Charlotte, N.C. and has starred “The Filth,” an independent LGBTQ web series, CNET reported.
info: nbcuniv.com. cnet.co/2G6ce9t.
LGBTQ newspaper goes all digital
Windy City Times out of Chicago, Ill. has ended its print edition, effective in October. Its last issue on paper published on Sept. 30. The publisher will continue to share news via the newspaper’s online digital format, Press Pass Q reported. The paper is among about two dozen weekly or biweekly LGBTQ newspapers left in the U.S. Sluggish ad sales and support for the paper, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, led to the decision.
info: windycitytimes.com. presspassq.blogspot.com.
Report details forces affecting HIV care access
ViiV Healthcare findings from “Here as I Am: A Listening Initiative with Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men Affected by HIV,” found that for Latinx men, including cis and transgender men, who have sex with men, navigating sexual and cultural identity amid social pressures poses significant challenges to accessing healthcare, Business Wire reported.
POC students net support
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill LGBTQ students of color have gotten some much-needed support from their peers. The UNC Queer and Trans People of Color launched a student-led mutual aid fund to support “financially struggling LGBTQ students of color” at the school, Indy Week reported. The fund had wanted to raise $500 in its first week of fundraising. That was reached overnight as monies came in. Right now, it is using its Venmo handle, @QTPOC-UNC, to collect and distribute contributions. And, those making requests do not have to be Black in order to be considered. Applicants must verify their status, supply their name, class level, university-granted personal ID number and the specific amount requested, along with details on how the funds would be used,” Indy Week shared.
Group supports conversion therapy ban
The Charleston Gazette-Mail has reported than the city’s LGBTQ Working Group has as one of its long-term goals, passing a city ordinance banning conversion therapy and pushing for more community outreach. The team saw a need for anti-bullying measures for LGBTQ youth and updating existing non-discrimination ordinances additionally. Presently, there are no other municipalities in West Virginia that have conversion therapy bans.
Students receive scholarships
The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals and Out to Innovate have awarded scholarships to six recipients who are enrolled at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Salisbury University (Maryland); the University of Central Florida College of Medicine; University of Hawaii, Manoa; University of California, Berkeley; and University of Florida.
Elders surveying community
The Charlotte LGBTQ Elders group is seeking community input on a number of issues so it can better provide for those the organization serves. Answers will help with future planning, identify the needs of the LGBTQ elder community and become a SAGE affiliate.
Polish Noble winner refuses citizenship honor
The Associated Press reported that 2018 literature Nobel Prize-winning writer Olga Tokarczuk declined honorary citizenship from her native Polish region because she would have had to share the honor with a Roman Catholic bishop who has made hostile comments about the LGBTQ community. The author is a strong supporter of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Donor moves to Biden camp
Transgender billionaire Jennifer Pritzker, who donated $250,000 to Donald Trump in 2016, has now made a $2,000 contribution to Joe Biden’s campaign. Pritzker told the GOP when they asked for another contribution, “Why should I contribute to my own destruction?” She opined in a 2019 Washington Post piece that the GOP would “reform from within and end its assault on the LGBTQ community.”
It’s Boystown no more
The iconic Boystown neighborhood in Chicago, Ill., will be now be known as Northalsted to give all members of the LGBTQ community a stronger sense of inclusion, Block Club Chicago reported. The Northalsted Business Alliance decided to drop the Boystown reference in its marketing efforts.
Kroger employees file lawsuit over aprons
The Kroger Company has had a lawsuit filed against it by two former employees over the company’s alleged violation of the Civil Rights Act. The women refused to wear a store apron that had a rainbow heart design on it, believing that the symbol was in support of the LGBTQ community, Metro Weekly reported.
List reveals most LGBTQ-friendly employers
Stonewall’s Global Workplace Equality Index has named its 17 LGBTQ-friendly employers. This is the ninth year for the leading benchmark for those who work in multi-national organizations, Forbes reported. Those listed include: Accenture, Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie (Chicago, Ill.), BP, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (St. Louis, Mo.), Dentons, Fidelity International, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, GSK, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, HSBC, NatWest, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons, Vodafone and Zurich Insurance Group.
Viral video fueled movement
NBC News reported that the “It gets better” video that was published on YouTube on Sept. 21, 2010 by Dan Savage and Terry Miller, created a viral sensation and created a world-wide response. Now, the It Gets Better Project is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has become a movement for LGBTQ youth. The repository of videos in its library numbers 70,000 that share intimate and vulnerable stories from those featured. They include ones from celebrities like Adam Lambert, Janet Mock and former President Barack Obama who spoke as an ally.
Former NCSU cheerleader helps hospital efforts
Harrison Wilkerson, a gay former member of North Carolina State University’s cheerleader team, has found a comfort zone for himself and other in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in waiting rooms. After graduation, he began working for Phreesia, a software company that caters to the medical industry. The company has dedicated itself to digitizing and expediting the hospital waiting room process, Outsports reported. With viral threats currently at the forefront of everyday life, ceasing the use of shared pens, pencils and clipboards for registration is more important than ever and going digital helps make that happen, Wilkerson shared.
Pope greets LGBTQ contingency
Pope Francis recently greeted some 40 people, several of whom identify as LGBTQ individuals, along with their parents, the National Catholic Register reported. The Pope told them, “God loves your children as they are” and “the Church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.” There was no indication from the encounter that took place was an endorsement or a “turning point” in the Pope’s pastoral ministry.
Partnership Provides for Health Training
MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health & Rights and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University are partnering to roll-out an online training program for health professionals in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe on the essentials of gay and bisexual men’s health.
OUTAthletics hosts Burpee-A-Thon
To celebrate National Coming OUT Day on Oct. 11, OUTAthletics is hosting a Burpee-A-Thon to raise money for its programs that support the LGBTQ community. The livestream event participants will perform as many burpees as they can in 10 minutes. Registration is available online along with a campaign pledge page for those who join in.
Trans journalist’s org supports members
The Trans Journalist Association, launched on June 30, has resources for its members, a non-hierarchical model and offers free membership, Editor & Publisher reported.
info: transjournalists.org. bit.ly/30c8bzn.
Church splits from Methodists
Asbury Memorial Church (formerly Asbury United Methodist Church) in Savannah, Ga. has received approval from the South Georgia Conference for separation from the United Methodist Church after the denomination’s vote last year that strengthened bans of same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ pastors, The Associated Press reported. The church began separation steps after the 2019 General Conference when there was a vast rejection of LGBTQ-inclusive practices.