Trans ban hurt military
The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military “eroded the military’s ability to fight and win wars by narrowing its recruiting pool and lowering morale among transgender troops exempt from the policy,” said former top military physicians in a Palm Center study.
Clemson U. to add LGBTQ housing
For the fall 2021 term, Clemson University will be adding its first LGBTQ “living-learning community” to its dorm offerings for 20 LGBTQ and allied students, the Greenville News and WSPA reported. “Lavender Place” will be housed in Gressett Hall in the Core Campus area. This initiative was brought about due to complaints that there was no targeted safe space for LGBTQ students.
info: bit.ly/2Ht1eUc. bit.ly/2KzEhA2.
Atlanta mayor appoints first LGBTQ affairs staffer
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has created the city’s first-ever director of LGBTQ affairs position and has appointed additional members to the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, The Georgia Voice reported. Former LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator Malik Brown has assumed his new role. He is an established advocate for the Human Rights Campaign and serves on the organization’s board of governors, among other endeavors. Bottoms also announced the latest members of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, composed of citywide LGBTQ civic leaders, influencers and advocates, the Voice added. New members of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board represent transgender and non-binary individuals, LGBTQ people of color, healthcare professionals, straight allies, Jewish residents and more. The Atlanta Voice listed those who were appointed and can be read at bit.ly/2UWgPPq.
Computer giant makes apology
IBM recently apologized to Lynn Conway, a transgender computer engineer who was a pioneer in the field, for firing her 52 years ago.
Older gentleman offer sage wisdom
Queerty reported that older gay men say that their life experience has given them the knowledge to offer well-earned wisdom with their younger counterparts. Included in the list of counsel are: Don’t forget your friends; own your sexuality; stay safe; prioritize the right people, support others and they’ll support you; actions speak louder than words; strive to be kind, don’t ignore warning signs; swap contact details; the right partner goes beyond the physical; don’t fall for myths; things will change and that’s OK; cherish all generations; choose the relationship that’s right for you; and life is too short to not be yourself.
Trans killer sentenced
Andrew Vrba has been ordered to spend life in prison without parole for killing a transgender teen whose burned remains were found three years ago in southwest Missouri, The Associated Press reported.
Trans author dies
British Jan Morris, the celebrated journalist, historian world traveler and fiction writer who in middle age became a pioneer of the transgender movement, has died at 94.
Guilford telethon nets proceeds
On Nov. 19, the Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center raised $62,000 to support their center during a telethon. They still have more to raise to reach their $75,000 goal and are still accepting contributions. To help Guilford’s efforts, text GGF to 44-321 or make an online donation.
Attacks increase toward LGBTQ community
The Human Rights Campaign has shared that FBI data depicted high levels of hate crimes — and an increase in those targeting LGBTQ people. The report showed that hate crimes based on sexual orientation represent 16.7 percent of hate crimes, the third-largest category after race and religion. The report also showed an uptick in gender-identity-based hate crimes rising from 2.2 percent in 2018 to 2.7 percent in 2019.
ECU fundraiser bolsters fund
WITN reported that is Love Wins fundraiser at Eastern Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. for its LGBTQ community has netted $15,000 for the LGBTQ Priority Fund.
Lesser to leave pulpit
Congregation Bet Haverim, a Reconstructing Judaism affiliate in Atlanta, Ga., has announced that its longtime senior clergy member, Rabbi Josh Lesser, has decided to step down from his role as a pulpit rabbi. He is transitioning to work in a justice-driven initiative, the Atlanta Jewish Times reported. The congregation has worked with Lesser to keep him on full-time until May 2021. Bet Haverim was founded as a congregation that was LGBTQ-focused. Over the years, the membership has moved from strictly LGBTQ to a mix of that and straight allies. Finding a replacement for Lesser will not be easy, congregants shared. He previously was a student rabbi for another affiliated congregation, Havurat Tikvah, located in Charlotte, N.C.
Org celebrates silver anniversary
We Are Family, based out of Charleston, S.C., is hosting a virtual fundraiser on Dec. 4, 7 p.m., in honor of its 25 years serving the coastal community. Local performer, artist and drag queen Crystal Guysir will host the event, with special guest appearances by transgender activist and Pose actress Cecilia Gentili and BuzzFeed Executive Producer Mike Rose. The hour-long virtual event will highlight We Are Family’s history of queer service with testimonials from current youth, former youth, parents and volunteers. Proceeds will go to support We Are Family’s mission of providing affirming spaces to LGBTQ youth through direct support, leadership development and community engagement. Registration is available online.
Longhorn State condemns board
The Texas GSA Network has condemned the Texas State Board of Education’s endangering of Texas students through their decision to exclude lessons on consent and material relevant to LGBTQ youth in updates to the sexual health education curricula requirements.
HRC advocates for disabled
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released “Advocating for LGBTQ Students with Disabilities,” a new resource that provides educators and parents with an overview of the rights of LGBTQ students with disabilities, as well as actionable recommendations on how to best support them. It includes a blueprint for developing an Individualized Education Program for special services or a 504 plan for academic accommodations for LGBTQ students with disabilities. The resource was developed in collaboration with legal and education experts at the National Education Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
info: bit.ly/3kUmgJf. hrc.org.
Mississippi welcomes first reconciling church
The Reconciling Ministries Network has reported that Broadmeadow United Methodist Church, located in Jackson, Miss., has become the first Mississippi church to join the global Reconciling movement for LGBTQ justice and inclusion in The United Methodist Church.
March seeks interest contacts
The Womxn’s March on Raleigh, slated for January 2021, is currently soliciting the names of those who would be interested in helping with the organizational efforts for the event, as well as others who may want to participate in the action. Information requests are currently being gathered online.
Military org welcomes new board members
The Modern Military Association of America has welcomed three new additions to the organization’s board of directors. They are: Hale Allegretti (a lieutenant commander in the United States Coast Guard, having served 15 years on active duty); Dr. Kimberly Young-McLear (a Black, queer, scholar, activist, engineer and educator who has been committed to human resilience, human dignity, and human rights. Inspired by her educational foundation at Florida A&M University and the long legacy of freedom fighters from the African diaspora who became an anti-bullying and anti-harassment policy expert who uses evidence-based research to promote justice and equity); and Daniel Suarez (a Navy Reservist from assigned to the Chief of Naval Personnel, Enlisted Policy and Oversight branch, as well as a Presidential Inauguration Detail assignee).
Annual conference sets date
The National LGBTQ Task Force’s first-ever virtual 33rd Creating Change Conference will be held from Jan. 28-31, 2021. Managed by Andy Garcia, it will feature Adrienne Maree Brown (closing keynote speaker), Big Freedia and Pose’s Dominique Jackson (opening keynote speaker). The program will include two days of day-long institutes and dozens of workshops and caucuses, the annual “Agents of Change Ball” and other activities.
State writes in protections into law
Nevada has become the first state in the U.S. to officially protect same-sex marriage into its constitution, The Associated Press reported. The “wedding capital of the world” had the measure on its 2020 ballot and voters gave it a thumbs up.
Icon noms being gathered
The Equality Forum is now accepting nominations for its 2021 LGBT History Month icons roster. Deadline for submission is Dec. 4. Nominated LGBT Icons may be living or dead, national or international. Selection is based on one or more of the following criteria for nominees: distinguished in their field of endeavor, a national hero and/or a significant contributor to LGBTQ civil rights.
info: bit.ly/2OMO8B4. lgbthistorymonth.com. equalityforum.org.
Blog posts two same-sex union perspectives
New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director Francis DeBernardo has shared that his organization has posted two blog post essays by Catholic theologians who show some important unacknowledged LGBTQ-positive ramifications of Pope Francis’ recent comments in support of civil unions. They are located at bit.ly/2J7wngh and bit.ly/2J9qBe4.
MMAA partnership honors community
On the recent Veterans Day, the Modern Military Association of America announced a new partnership with Parsons Corporation, a global technology leader in the defense, intelligence and critical infrastructure markets. Parsons will provide funding for the 2021 MMAA Military Spouse Scholarship and the 2021 Donna Johnson Equality and Valor Award.
New queer TV app, website launched
A new streaming app and website serving the LGBTQ community was launched on Nov. 11 with the purpose of filling the void in the current media marketplace, its founders said. Happi TV offers a wide variety of films and TV geared toward queer audiences, with special emphasis on products made by their own members of the community. The brand will also focus on showcasing short-form content made by a curated selection of out and proud members of the community. Genres will range from the usual comedy and music format’s stints to new offerings on travel, cooking, home improvement and celebrity interviews. The company has secured the participation of several iconic queer players as content providers, such as Sherry Vine and Buck Angel. The service will launch in the U.S. and Canada, with an international rollout planned in the near future. Happi TV will be available in all the major app platforms in North America. It will follow an advertising video on demand (AVOD) model, offering free content to viewers that prefer to watch ads over a monthly subscription. It will also offer a linear channel option made available through digital streaming platforms in the territory.
Poverty center of study
The latest report from the Pathways to Justice Project found childhood poverty was a key pathway into adult poverty among LGBTQ people, the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law reported. Three-quarters of study participants (73 percent) reported experiencing economic insecurity when they were children, and childhood poverty was more common for low-income LGBTQ people who were Black, American Indian and Latinx. Pathways into poverty for LGBTQ respondents who did not grow up in poverty include anti-LGBTQ family rejection, mental health issues and/or substance use issues.
info: pathways-study.org. williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu.
Pelosi to receive Victory award
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will accept the LGBTQ History Maker Award The Victory Fund at the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference, Ten Years Later: The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” on Dec. 4. She is being given this honor due to her contributions to repeal the law. Registration for the event is free and available online.
Join us: This story is made possible with the help of qnotes’ contributors. If you’d like to show your support so qnotes can provide more news, features and opinion pieces like this, give a regular or one-time donation today.