Christians join new movement launch
The Q Christian Fellowship has partnered with Beloved Arise in their launch of a movement that celebrates and empowers queer youth of faith. This occurred on Valentine’s Day in order to express the concept of “love” for those affected.
info: qchristian.org. belovedarise.org.
ENC honors African-Americans
In observance of Black History Month, Equality North Carolina has created a space to honor black icons whose “work, live and legacies have proven integral to the advancement of lived equality for marginalized folks,” the organization shared. As of press time, honorees include Maya Angelou and Mandy Carter. Check the website for other honorees throughout the month.
Certification program hits state
For the first time, the National Diversity Council’s DiversityFIRST certification program will be held from June 1-5, 8 a.m-5 p.m., in Raleigh, N.C. The session will be co-sponsored by the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University and held at the university’s Entrepreneurship Garage, Partners I, Suite 1650, on the Centennial Campus. Area consultant Stan Kimer will serve on the faculty. Registration is available online.
GGF accepting awards’ noms
The Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center has opened up the 2020 Leadership Awards season and nominations are now being accepted in four categories: Visionary Award (individual who has championed the vision of a better world for the LGBTQ community), Dawn S. Chaney (given to a woman that embodies strong leadership, advocacy and dedication to the LGBTQ community), Distinguished Service (individual who has provided years of outstanding service to the local LGBTQ community) and Distinguished Leadership (individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership for a specific event, project, or situation). The deadline for submission is March 1. Forms are available online at bit.ly/38yaazV.
Org mourns judge
Lambda Legal has expressed their sorrow on the death of Federal District Judge Deborah A. Batts, 74, the first openly lesbian federal judge when she was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Her nomination was a watershed moment for the LGBTQ legal profession. “As we commemorate Black History Month, we acknowledge as well how significant her nomination remains even today for attorneys of color — and particularly black attorneys — who are still dramatically underrepresented on the federal bench. And more than twenty-five years after Judge Batts’ historic confirmation, it is unacceptable that there has only ever been one other black lesbian elevated to the federal bench. While there will never be another Deborah Batts, there are many extraordinary LGBTQ people of color in the legal profession who are far too often overlooked for positions of leadership and public trust, including federal judgeships. That must change,” said Lambda Legal’s Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer Sharon McGowan.
Campaign grants ECU center
The Campaign for Southern Equality awarded $2,000 in a community grant to the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. The center will commit the funding to its Safe Zone Trainings for K-12 educators, facilitated in collaboration with the East Carolina University College of Education and Campus Recreation and Wellness. The trainings are three-hour sessions for K-12 educators focused on LGBTQ awareness, sensitivity and inclusion. The grant will also support the development of other training modules, such as sessions on preventing bullying or creating gender-inclusive schools.
Triad center seeks staff
North Star LGBTQ Community Center is currently seeking applicants for two positions on its staff — program director and center director. Job descriptions and applications are listed on the center’s Facebook page at bit.ly/2uGsg4j. Submit a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org after filling out the application online.
SAGE chapter changes leadership
SAGE Central North Carolina has announced that its current coordinator, Joseph Wheeler, is stepping down and that former coordinator Les Geller will return to assume the role again. Geller founded LGBT Center of Raleigh programs geared for older adults and instituted its program as a SAGE affiliate.
HRC released black resources
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released its “Coming Out: Living Authentically as Black LGBTQ People,” a resource for members of the black LGBTQ community. The launch of the resource comes during Black History Month. “For those of us who identify as black and LGBTQ, coming out can present a variety of challenges, and this important resource serves as a guide as we navigate our very personal journeys to living authentically,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Although we come from a wide range of cultural, regional and ethnic backgrounds, we often share similar experiences — and barriers — in coming out. But, as demonstrated time and time again by black leaders who have always been at the front of the struggle for LGBTQ equality, we know how important it is to live as our true selves, and have our full stories told and contributions recognized.”
Virginia passes historic protections
The House of Delegates in Virginia voted to pass the Virginia Values Act, which would establish comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across the state, the Campaign for Southern Equality reported. Advocates are now urging lawmakers to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the bill for final passage and send the legislation to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam. Virginia is now poised to join 20 other states and the District of Columbia with comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination protections. Virginia is home to an estimated 185,000 LGBTQ adults, with 18 percent of same-sex couples in the state raising children, according to The Williams Institute. Polls have found that 78 percent of people in Virginia believe think that LGBTQ people experience discrimination in the state. And a supermajority of 68 percent of Virginians say they support protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, according to Public Religion Research Institute. This month lawmakers in Virginia have also advanced legislation to protect minors from conversion therapy and a bill to ensure that transgender people are fully protected from discrimination in healthcare settings.
Surgeon giving up OR for fiction writing
Charlotte, N.C.’s Kimmery Martin, an emergency surgeon, has released her second book that focuses on a medical practice that dumps all of its transgender patients. “The Antidote for Everything” features protagonist and urologist Georgia Brown who is treating her gay best friend Jonah and is based on a real-life incident involving a friend of hers, StarNewsOnline. Brown made a cameo appearance in Martin’s freshman novel entitled “The Queen of Hearts.” Martin is “transitioning” from a surgeon to full-time writing and is working on her third book.
Barkley fights discrimination
Charles Barkley, an NBA legend and icon and former Republican, has said that he is an advocate for LGBTQ rights. He made that statement on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” recently, BET reported. DeGeneres expressed her appreciation for Barkley’s stand against HB2. It was he who convinced the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Games out of Charlotte, N.C. because of the bill. Barkley’s sentiments were shared with DeGeneres, saying, “I think anytime you’re Black, you’ve got to stand up for other people. Black people know what discrimination is like. If you’re in a position of power, you’ve got to always stand up against discrimination. I’ve been blessed… I’m never going to sit back and let discrimination happen on my watch.” He was also a supporter of same-sex marriage and supported gay NBA player Jason Collins.
Grindr user beaten
Two men have been accused of beating a man after meeting on Grindr, Charlotte Alerts reported. Desmond Myers and Daquavis Autry have been arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and kidnapping.
AFFA responds to anti-LGBTQ commentary
The Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) notified supporters that the February issue of the Charleston Mercury newspaper featured an opinion piece by Stuart Kaufman, a retired lawyer residing in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and that it contained “many factual inaccuracies.” “Mr. Kaufman also used hateful and inflammatory rhetoric, including asking readers to ‘rise up against’ the LGBTQ community and a call to ‘isolate the rot that is spreading among us.’” As a counter to the op-ed, AFFA Executive Director Chase Glenn penned a letter to the Charleston Mercury editor stating, “This language fans the flames of hate against a segment of our community that is already at risk for violence. The FBI reported in 2019 that crimes against LGBTQ people are on the rise. The Charleston Mercury needs to take responsibility for what they print and the possibly life-threatening repercussions to giving voice to such hate. Stop unnecessarily targeting LGBTQ people. And stop giving voice to such hate and ignorance.” AFFA encouraged its supporters to send their own letters to the editor voicing their stance on the situation. As a result, the paper’s editor, Charles Waring, told Glenn in a conversation that he was committed to giving a full page in the paper’s next issue to those who reached out in opposition to the original article. The same amount of space was given to Kaufman’s original “hateful tirade,” AFFA added.
Musical opening coincides with new center
A musical, “This One Girl’s Story,” is being mounted at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University’s Paul Robeson Theatre and is inspired by the 2003 murder and hate crime of Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old girl who was stabbed to death while out with friends. Unfortunately, the incident was not publicized due to the girl being African-American and a lesbian, Yes! Weekly reported. The assailant turned himself in and only received a 20-year sentence under a plea bargain. “Girl’s” is being held on Feb. 21-22 in conjunction with the opening of the university’s LGBTA Resource Center that was held on Feb. 20. Tickets are available online at ncataggies.com.
Swiss okay anti-discrimination laws
The Associated Press reported that Swiss voters approved by a wide margin a measure that will make it illegal to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. Voter margins were 63.1 to 39.9 percent. Only three states voted against the measure.
‘Safe place’ launched in port city
Charleston, S.C’s police department has launched an initiative aimed at reducing anti-LGBTQ crime. The Safe Place is designed “hopes to increase public trust in law enforcement officials as it creates a safer environment for the LGBTQ community by addressing the low reporting of biased-motivated crimes,” The Daily News reported.