CBP goes ‘net in its celebration
Charlotte Black Pride announced the presentation of its Virtual Pride Week 2.0, where Facebook viewers will have digital access to celebrate Pride from the safety of their own homes live. From July 12-18, the organization will host a live stream for viewers to partake in celebration, discussions, activities and more. The schedule is listed here:
• Sunday, July 12, 7 p.m., DRAG-A-THON SHOW: The virtual Drag show LIVE from Chasers Charlotte
• Monday, July 13, 6:30 p.m., Get Your Body Right! with sound therapy, meditation and cardio exercise
• Wednesday, July 15, 7 p.m., CENTERSTAGE: Highlighting Black LGBTQ Singer/Songwriters
• Thursday, July 16, 7:30 p.m., What’s the “T”? town hall meeting discussing from Genderqueer to Transgender
• Friday, July 17, 7 p.m., Friday Night Live w/ DJ Fannie Mae
• Saturday, July 1, 1 p.m., Virtual Pride Expo 2.0: Showcasing Black LGBTQ and Affirming Businesses
• • • • •
Arts educator nets top award
Northwest School of the Arts’ musical theatre department head Corey Mitchell has become the recipient of the inaugural Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award which was presented by The ASCAP Foundation and the Educational Theatre Association. The award comes with a $5,000 cash prize. Mitchell has been teaching for 25 years. He was nominated by a former student, “Mean Girls” star Renee Rapp who recalled her former teacher as someone who drove for excellence. Mitchell previously received the Excellence in Theatre Education Award at the 69th Annual Tony Awards.
Pro-Trumpers release end-of-world film
LGBTQ Nation reported that a plethora of anti-LGBTQ, far-right Christians and hate groups have released a film that says the world will end if Donald Trump is not reelected in November. “Trump 2024: The World After Trump” features a long list of “anti-LGBTQ pastors, politicians, and pundits, each talking about why Trump is the only way to stop the New World Order, globalists and socialism, common dog whistles for immigration, Jews and taxes,” the publication added. The film is styled to strike fear into religious voters. Some of those who participated in the project were: Mike Huckabee, Franklin Graham, Mike Lindell, Tony Perkins and Star Parker.
Org founder featured by Reebok
The OUT Foundation founder and fitness trainer Will Lanier was featured on Reebok’s site where Reebok shared his story of cultivating a thriving LGBTQ fitness community. Through his life and work he has created an athletic mentorship program, conquered cancer and continues to support champion inclusion and visibility.
info: reebok.com. theoutfoundation.org.
Pridelink celebrates birthday
Upstate South Carolina’s Pridelink marked a milestone in its young life by celebrating its second birthday. The organization which serves a 10-county area provides support for the LGBTQ community through a variety of programs such as a youth group and summit, host home program, as well as a mobile community center.
Amendment nets congressional support
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, and Sen. Susan Collins announced that leading veteran and LGBTQ advocacy groups are backing their amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act that would grant anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to transgender service members. The senators’ amendment would ensure that transgender service members receive anti-discrimination protections like those enjoyed by every other American, and would affirm that all Americans have the right to join and serve in the military, regardless of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. The bipartisan legislation has been cosponsored by more than 20 senators.
Former collegiate coach comes out
A former University of North Carolina at Wilmington assistant men’s basketball coach has revealed that he is gay, WECT News reported. Matt Lynch was originally hired as a video coordinator for the team and had worked his way up to the coaching position.
Google donates to Johnson Institute
Google.org announced it is donating $500,000 to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organization protecting and defending the rights of black transgender people as part of its over $2 million in grants for LGBTQ organizations around the world. With its grants, Google.org is supporting black transgender women and the many LGBTQ women of color, honoring the community that led the movement 50 years ago during the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 and first Pride march in 1970.
info: google.org. marshap.org.
KIND helps N.Y. Pride Month celebration
To honor the origin of the Gay Rights Movement and the first New York City Pride March, KIND Healthy Snacks paid tribute to those who marched, fought and advocated for equality and respect with a rainbow light installation, while also continuing the battle for intersectional justice. The installation was placed in the West Village, adjacent to the iconic Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the movement, illuminating New York City on the eve of the 50th march anniversary.
Therapy ban stalled in U.K.
Peter Tatchell, a human rights activist, has called out the U.K. government’s commitment two years ago to outlaw conversion therapy, saying that no legislation had been brought forward to accomplish that aim. Prime Minister Theresa May said in 2018 that the government would entertain proposals to “end the practice of conversion therapy” as a priority.
Man breaks closet door at 90
Kenneth Felts, who at 90 years old, has made the decision to come out. Reflection during self-isolation brought him back to memories of the love of his life, LGBTQ Nation reported. That was in the 1950s. Felts attempts at finding “Phillip” have so far proven unsuccessful.
Vendor fair resorts to online option
Out! Raleigh, now Out! Raleigh Pride, was forced to move its May 30 vendor fair online due to COVID-19. From now through Aug. 9, a virtual option is available for those who wish to make purchases, with some of the proceeds supporting the LGBT Center of Raleigh.
Track draws attention to issues
Joey Suarez and Jaki Nelson have released their “Changing History” track that is aimed at drawing attention to current issues. The LGBTQ musicians are donating 100 percent of the royalties from the song to Black Lives Matter. The song was originally written as an homage to the Gay Rights Movement. Suarez and Nelson want to be of service to all marginalized groups.
Martin resigns from Raleigh seat
Allegation of sexual misconduct have been levied against and led to the resignation of out Raleigh City Council member Saige Martin from his governmental position. Four men accused Martin of misconduct and two of the men claimed Martin sexually assaulted them, WTVD reported.
Outcomes better with four-step process
Blue Ridge Public Radio reported that the health of transgender and gender non-conforming patients improves when healthcare providers follow a four-step protocol. The University of North Carolina Transgender Health Program has laid out that North Carolinians can receive better healthcare. They are: educate healthcare providers; guarantee gender-affirming care; change requirements for surgery; and ensure comprehensive coverage.
Driftwood podcast launched
The I’m From Driftwood Podcast made it to the air in late June, just in time for Pride Month. The 12-episode first season airs every Thursday and covers a variety of topics for the LGBTQ community. Production is headed by Anddy Egan-Thrope and hosted by Alex Berg and Phil aka Corinne.
Soulforce founder celebrates 80th birthday
Mel White, Soulforce co-founder, celebrated his 80th birthday on June 26 and is taking time in looking back at his life and the work of the organization he and his husband, Gary Nixon, created. Soulforce challenges fundamentalist doctrine by speaking out for the rights of LGBTQ individuals and others.
App brings hope to trans community
Plume, the first health technology company that is specifically dedicated to the transgender community have launched its services to North Carolina, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. It is also available in 10 states that have a high concentration in numbers of transgender individuals. The company was started in Colorado by Dr. Matthew Wetschler (Asheville, N.C.) and Dr. Jerrica Kirkley (Denver, Colo.), both graduates of the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, N.C. They have enlisted Soltan Bryce, who lives in Cambridge, Mass., as their head of growth. He also attended UNC. The technology can be accessed through a smart phone and brings those seeking assistance with an affirming healthcare lifeline in securing hormone replacement therapy and other supportive services. Membership is $99 per month.
ENC condemns Trump administration
In response to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed rule that would enable emergency shelters for people experiencing homelessness and intimate partner violence to discriminate against transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals by denying them access to single-sex shelters based on their gender identity. Equality North Carolina Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson stated: “This rule is a direct attack on the most vulnerable LGBTQ Americans, particularly Black and Brown transgender folks who are already disproportionately at risk for housing insecurity during this ongoing pandemic. The Trump Administration is continuing to wage a war against transgender and GNC folks by stripping away federal social safety nets one by one. It’s imperative that we view these attacks as part of a larger campaign of white supremacy in this country emboldened by the President, and our communities must do everything in our power to fight back against this unjust and unnecessary cruelty directed at our most vulnerable.” Rev. Debra Hopkins of Sacred Souls Community Church in Charlotte, N.C., added: “As someone who is currently providing housing for 17 Black transgender women in Charlotte, this rule is absolutely atrocious and a targeted attack on our community. In the midst of this pandemic, we should all be coming together to help save lives and provide shelter for those that need it most – not taking away the few outlets trans women of color have to find housing security. Unemployment is skyrocketing and we’re fighting for our lives on a daily basis — the Trump administration has made it clear that they don’t care about us.” Sasha Buchert, senior attorney and co-director of Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project, said, “We know that LGBTQ people experience discrimination at disproportionately higher rates when seeking medical care which, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, led to devastating health outcomes.”
info: equalitync.org. lambdalegal.org.
Org names Cumming to campaign post
Superbia Services, Inc. has announced that its honorary board chair, actor, humanitarian and social activist Alan Cumming, will lead the social media campaign #PrideNeverStops.
N.C. cops fired over racism
Three Wilmington, N.C. police officers have been fired for racist and bigoted comments they made while being recorded on their in-car cameras that were accidentally activated. During an audit of the footage, a supervisor heard the cops make statements such as references to black female and a black magistrate judge as a “N-word,” gay slurs and an expressed desire to “go out and start slaughtering them (expletive) Blacks,” TechDirt reported. The officers are Kevin Piner, Birian Gilmore and Jessie Moore.
Activists push for Russian artist release
Twenty-seven-year-old feminist artist and LGBTQ activist Yulia Tsvetkova of Komsomolsk-on-Amur (far Eastern Russia) is currently being held on charges of illegally producing and distributing pornographic materials on the Internet. The images were from art projects featuring abstract depictions of female sexual organs from an online “Vagina Monologues” community and body-positive drawings created by the artist and published on the Internet. Amnesty International Russia Director Natalia Zviagina said, “Once again, a Russian human rights activist pays a heavy price — in every sense — for simply spreading the ideals of inclusiveness, tolerance and women’s empowerment. Yulia is the latest target of a long-running and intensely homophobic campaign.” Now activists are coming to Tsvetkova’s defense and working to win her release. If convicted, she can spend six years in prison.
Stork program extends to LGBTQ employees
For the first time, the Stork Club announced that companies can offer an inclusive maternity program to support their LGBTQ employees throughout all stages of the family-building process. Stork Club has partnered with Fairfax Cryobank and Fairfax EggBank to provide donor sperm and egg coverage for LGBTQ individuals, single parents and those with genetic health issues.
Point recognizes scholarship recipients
The Point Foundation announced its 2020 scholarship recipients. The organization also announced that they will be creating a new scholarship fund specifically for black, indigenous and people of color who are LGBTQ. One Carolinian received the Alfred A. Cave Scholarship. Tyler McDougald, a Clemson University English and History major, was raised in Greenville, S.C. He serves as president of Clemson Rainbow Fellowship, South Carolina’s only LGBTQ collegiate mentorship program, according to Point. McDougald hopes to attend law school upon his graduation.
GFF commits to anti-racist steps
The Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center have announced that they are taking the necessary steps to become an anti-racist organization. Some of these steps include a commitment to conducting anti-racism training using consultants of color; increase diversity on its board; accelerate percentages of funding to black, indigenous people of color programs (BIPOC); create a consultant payment scale to ensure BIPOC people are paid equally for foundation trainings, panels and events; and provide free space for BIPOC-centered meetings and events. There is a long list of other ways that the organization is moving their future forward in inclusion and representation.
Apps join forces to fight stigma
In the first ever cross-site collaboration of this kind, Building Healthy Online Communities and dating platforms for gay and bisexual men (Adam4Adam, Bro App, Daddyhunt, Grindr, POZ Personals, SCRUFF and Jack’d) have teamed up to make their online communities “nicer ﹘and kinder for everyone,” the NiceAF collaboration shared.
Federal lawsuit filed against HHS
GLMA joined a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal and Steptoe & Johnson LLP, challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published healthcare discrimination rule that purports to carve out transgender and LGBQ individuals and other vulnerable populations from the protections of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, among other bases. The lawsuit, Whitman-Walker Clinic v. HHS, is filed on behalf of GLMA, Whitman-Walker Health, the TransLatin@ Coalition and its members (including leaders of affiliated organizations like Arianna’s Center in Florida), Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, AGLP: The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists, and four individual doctors.
Trevor publishes sports report
The Trevor Project published a new research brief, “LGBTQ Youth Sports Participation,” which examines sports participation among LGBTQ youth ages 13–18 using preliminary data from Trevor’s upcoming 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.
HIV/AIDS conference goes online
NMAC announced that the 2020 United States Conference on HIV/AIDS will move to an online format from Oct. 19-21. The change is being made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect attendees from possible exposure to the coronavirus. Registration for this conference will be free for the first 4,000 non-federal and non-corporate registrants. Registration is open at the conference website.
Dreamers identified in research
There are an estimated 81,000 LGBTQ Dreamers in the U.S., including 39,000 who have participated in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), according to an updated report by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. The majority of LGBTQ DACA recipients live in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida.
CMI releases annual survey results
Community Marketing & Insights have unveiled their results from the 14th Annual Community Survey which highlights brand expectations, pressing political and social concerns, key purchasing motivations and more in this large study of LGBTQ consumers. This year’s LGBTQ tracking study included 34,000 respondents from 130 countries.
Ally study launched
Out Leadership launched its AllyUp: Ally is a Verb. This first-of-its-kind research study was completed over the past 18 months in collaboration with Out Leadership member firm FCB with support from Ernst & Young LLP. The launch was a core component of Out Leadership’s month of Pride events, “Proudly Resilient.”