Triangle SAGE-ers go virtual for Valentine’s
The LGBT Center of Raleigh’s SAGE Central North Carolina chapter is hosting its Virtual Valentine’s Party on Feb. 12, 7-8:30 p.m. on Zoom, so save the date. More details will be made available in the February newsletter and online.
Hope org releases year-end report
Charlotte, N.C.’s There’s Still Hope has released their year-end report detailing its accomplishments over 2020. The report highlights work done on behalf of transgender and non-binary homeless individuals with regard to shelter, food and essential bathroom supplies, a statewide contract with an extended stay franchise, launch and success of the Community Giveback Program, housing program transition and expanded Steps to Stability Program. Currently, the focus is on the needs presented by the COVID-19 crisis, Founder, President and CEO Rev. Debra J. Hopkins shared.
Pride org publishes annual mag
Charlotte Pride ended the year with the publishing of its annual Charlotte Pride Magazine that highlights the work that the organization did in 2020. The retrospective provides readers with a look at various sectors of the community. The magazine was issued at the end of the year instead of during Pride week festivities due to push-back and cancellations due to COVID-19. Copies of the limited edition publication are available at various distribution points across the city as well as online.
New media guide released
The Women’s Liberation Front has released its Media Style Guide for journalists reporting on issues related to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation and women’s rights. “The style guide provides an alternative to popular guidance that pushes unethical or confusing language related to women’s rights, such as that put forth by the Trans Journalists Association which was adopted by the Society for Professional Journalists,” the organization stated. The 34-page document provides specific and detailed guidance for journalists reporting on violence and discrimination against women and girls, sexual orientation and LGB issues, and issues related to transgender identities. Additionally, the guide also contains definitions of commonly misused terms, resources for dispelling misinformation and a list of expert sources for reporters on related topics.
Travel award recipients revealed
GayTravel.com has announced the winners of its 2020 Gay Travel Awards season. In its fifth year, a new category was added for influencers. Company Chief Visionary Officer Steve Rohrlick said, “This year has been like no other. With the pandemic raging across the globe, many travelers are restricted from traveling or waiting for a safer time. In the meantime, The Gay Travel Awards give us all a moment to focus on the industry’s best as a prologue to a time when it’s safer to get back out there.” Winners are: Airline, Cape Air; Bed & Breakfast/Inn, Inn on the Alameda; Car Rental, Fox Rent a Car; Destination, Beach, Los Cabos, Mexico; Destination, City, Atlanta, Ga.; Destination, Family, Orlando, Fla.; Destinations, Island, Mykonos, Greece; Destination, Mountains, Zermatt, Switzerland; Destination, Nature, Costa Rica, Central America; Destination, Wedding, Puerto Rico, Caribbean; Hotel, Beach, Renaissance Cancun Resort & Marina; Hotel, Boutique, Andaz West Hollywood; Hotel, Casino, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino; Hotel, City, Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City; Hotel, Family, JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa; Hotel, Golf, Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort; Hotel, Honeymoon, Sri Panwa, Phuket; Hotel, Luxury, The Langham Huntington; Hotel, Spa & Wellness, JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa; Hotel, Value, Skyrock Inn of Sedona; Hotel, Wedding, The Lodge at Ashford Castle; and Gay Travel Influencer (tie), @tcappelli and @onairplanemode__
Finland Awards bestowed
On Dec. 13, 2020, Tom of Finland Foundation presented awards to individuals whom they felt had demonstrated their vast commitment to our community. These awards were given on the final day of the 25th Art & Culture Festival: Plugged In, which marked both the 36th year of the foundation as well as the 100th birthday of Tom of Finland. Receiving awards were artist, writer, filmmaker, photographer and underground director Bruce LaBruce, Artist Fall of Fame Award; certified sexologist, author, artist and influential figure Annie Sprinkle, Lifetime Achievement Award; and author, media pundit, journalist, and LGBT community activist Dan Savage, Cultural Icon Award.
Rule change repeals requirements for party run
On Dec. 30, the Brooklyn Democratic Party in New York voted unanimously to approve long-awaited and historic changes that repeal a gender binary requirement that allowed only men and women to run for party office in Brooklyn. The party’s rule change allows transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals to openly serve on the county committee beginning in the 2022 election cycle.
Immigration lawsuit filed
Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality and co-counsel Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, filed a federal lawsuit, Immigration Equality v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, challenging the Trump administration’s recently published “death to asylum” rule, which makes sweeping, essentially fatal changes to the United States asylum system. The rule, which is set to go into effect on Jan.11, would make it virtually impossible for LGBTQ and people living with HIV fleeing persecution to secure asylum in the United States. The new rule eliminates eligibility for asylum to anyone with a gender-based claim. Further, even if a judge finds that someone is eligible for asylum, the new rule declares that most refugees should be denied protection because they don’t deserve it. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of plaintiffs Immigration Equality, Oasis Legal Services, The TransLatin@ Coalition, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, and Transgender Law Center.
info: lambdalegal.org. immigrationequality.org.
Activists protest nuclear weapons
LGBTQ activists Brendan Fay and Robert Croonquist huddled with other New York-based members of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and ran into the Atlantic Ocean at Far Rockaway on New Year’s Day as part of a public demonstration against nuclear weapons, Gay City News reported. They are pushing the city council to move forward with a resolution asking the city comptroller to divest pension funds of public employees from sources of nuclear weapons and a bill creating an advisory committee that would evaluate nuclear disarmament and other issues geared toward making New York City a nuclear weapons-free zone, the publication added.
Neo-Nazi sent to jail
LGBTQ Nation reported that Trump influenced, Neo-Nazi Luke Hunter has been sentenced to prison for seven terror-related offenses, including encouragement of terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications, and broadcasting violent material. He had promoted the extermination of Jews, non-white individuals and LGBTQ people.
Centers earmarked for Israeli funding
The Social Equality Ministry announced on that it would allocate 10 million shekels ($3.1 million) to local governments to establish centers and develop programs for the LGBTQ community, Haaretz reported.
Palm releases military research summary
In light of President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to order the Defense Department to reinstate inclusive policy for transgender troops on day one, the Palm Center has released a summary of the latest research on the military ban: how it works; how and why it harms military readiness; statistics on the number of transgender troops, public opinion and financial cost; and how and why it will be easy for the new administration to repeal.
info: palmcenter.org. bit.ly/3hEuk0E.
Book published on Polish anti-gay program
Riverdale Avenue Books just published the novel “Operation Hyacinth” by Pawel Kurczab to mark the 35th anniversary of the Polish government’s anti-gay program. The book is set in 1985 when the Polish Communist police orchestrated an anti-gay program that targeted and punished queer people under the code name Operation Hyacinth, creating a national database of all Polish homosexuals and individuals who were in touch with them, resulting in the registration and surveillance of about 11,000 people.
NBJC mourns trans deaths
The National Black Justice Coalition is mourning the murders of two transgender women during the holiday season. Jaheim Barbie, also known as Jaheim Pugh, a 19-year-old Black gender non-conforming youth, was shot to death as they exited a Christmas party in Prichard, Ala. on Dec. 13. Twelve days later, Courtney “Eshay” Key, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in the East Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Ill. “These thefts of precious young lives, like so many others, were the product of ignorance and hate,” the organization shared.
Novel spotlights Eliot’s sexuality
Author Harper Jameson’s “In The Wasteland” has recently been released and takes readers into the mind of T.S. Eliot as he rose from an obscure bank clerk to one of the world’s most famous poet. The book explores his struggle to accept his sexuality. It weaves a narrative inspired by Eliot’s poems, his letters and his characters. Eliot’s sexuality has never been settled, historically. In fact, Eliot publicly denied being gay, then burned nearly all letters that might have contradicted this. But on Jan. 2, 2020, over 1,100 letters written by Eliot were published by Princeton University. Emily Hale, the recipient of these letters, donated them with the instruction to publish them 50 years after she and Eliot died. “They give insight into Eliot’s true character, a side of him shut off from the public,” publisher Level 4 Press shared.
Suit filed against Hobby Lobby
Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois in support of Meggan Sommerville, a transgender woman, in her almost decade-long fight with her employer, Hobby Lobby, to gain access to the women’s facilities at work, facilities that match her gender identity. The brief, filed on behalf of Lambda Legal and Equality Illinois, provided background information to the court about gender identity and Illinois law that acknowledges and affirms that a person’s sex is determined by gender identity, as well as state and federal law that supports transgender people having equal access to facilities that are consistent with their sex, the organization said.
FDA launches blood donation study
ABC News reported that the Federal Drug Administration has been funding research on blood donations which could lead to removal of restrictions by gay and bisexual men. The network news organization shared that removal is “not only is under consideration, it’s underway.” The pilot study is set for review by late 2021.