Charlotte

Time Out Youth Resumes In-Person Discussion Groups 
As July begins, so too will Time Out Youth’s (TOY) phase to begin in-person events once more. For youth between the ages of 11 and 20, Melanin, MagiQ, Tea Time, Space Aces and the Poetry Group will resume discussions at the TOY Center. COVID-related precautions, like new “air scrubbers,” masks and temperature checks are still in place, and all staff members have been vaccinated. Vaccine clinics are being hosted throughout July, and drop-in hours are being reinstated on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. With any queries, reach out to info@timeoutyouth.org. 
info: timeoutyouth.org

North Carolina

Mayor of Hillsborough Publicly Supports LGBTQ Residents
The sun shone over an array of rainbow flags in the small town of Hillsborough, N.C. on June 1. Overnight, each lamppost was adorned with its own Pride flag throughout the downtown area. The town’s mayor, Jenn Weaver says of this demonstration, “I think policies are the most important thing, but symbols are also really meaningful and powerful, and this certainly is one.” Public response was mostly positive with only a few citizens leaving negative comments on the official town’s Facebook page. But this is to be expected as Weaver puts it, “We live at the crossroads of progressivism and conservatism.” 
info: bit.ly/3h00IMo

LGBTQ Veteran Becomes Chairman of Gaston County Democrats for Equality
34-year-old Timothy Caudill was in the Marine Corps for nearly a decade before returning to Gaston County, N.C. After being attacked by a homeless man on drugs, Caudill began speaking out about mental health and addiction within the LGBTQ community. Identifying as LGBTQ and as a veteran has given Caudill a unique perspective into the needs of many minoritized groups. With experience on Democratic Congressman Scott Peters’ staff, Caudill is rising to the challenge of supporting Gaston County residents.
info: bit.ly/3dk6ndR

Owner of A Great Idea Honored in Spectrum News 1 Series
Specializing in web design, business strategy and brand promotion, Shane Lukas and A Great Idea employees will be sponsoring Greensboro’s Pride Festival. This company is part of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and strives to provide aid to all minority-owned businesses. Lukas stresses, “Love is love, and being able to bring that into your life is important. And respecting others who may not choose the roads you do is just as important.”
info: agreatidea.co

National

Transgender Women Sue Georgia for Transphobic Medicaid Program
Shon Thomas and Gwendolyn Cheney reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for legal aid. According to their case, Georgia’s Medicaid program covers several surgeries that, despite being needed by gender-expansive persons for transitional purposes, are only offered to cisgender individuals. The lawsuit claims that Georgia’s Medicaid “incorrectly characterizes their gender-confirming health care needs as “cosmetic,” “experimental” and/or investigational.”
info: bit.ly/2SxiFsi

TV’s “Loki” Confirms the Marvel Character’s Bisexuality
“From the moment I joined @LokiOfficial it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too,” explains Kate Herron, director of the new Disney+ show “Loki.” Although not the first Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) character to be LGBTQ, Loki is the first openly queer main character to explicitly indicate his sexuality. Fans are also excited to see that, along with his powers of mischief, Loki is genderfluid as well as bisexual.
info: bit.ly/3w9brss

International

Homophobia is Running Rampant in Turkey
Police used tear gas on Pride parade participants in Turkey this past month, a parade which has been officially banned for the foreseeable future. More than 20 individuals were either arrested or detained for marching in the parade. Earlier in 2021, Turkey’s government asked to be taken out of the Istanbul Convention due to its progressive views on LGBTQ persons. This convention, however, was created as a way to keep women safe from systemic violence. Many members of Turkey’s government have been vocal about their disdain for gay, lesbian or transgender persons. The Human Rights Watch writes, “Anti-LGBT speeches and social media posts by top government officials have become common.” 
info: wapo.st/3jkRRGD

Priest Receives Praise from Pope Francis for His LGBTQ-Outreach
The LGBTQ Ministry Annual Conference was facilitated by Father James Martin. Having spent the past several years advocating and catering to LGBTQ Catholic individuals, Martin is well-versed in the needs of the community and even met Pope Francis personally in 2019. In a letter addressed to Martin, Francis commends, “You are a priest for all men and women, just as God is a Father for all men and women.”
info: bit.ly/3y1wfmT

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