It’s LGBTQ Month cookie time
Mondelez International’ Nabisco division has stepped up for LGBTQ History Month by giving away through social media outlets using the @Oreo account its iconic Oreo cookie with rainbow fillings nodding to the Pride flag colors. This initiative is being done as part of its longer-term #ProudParent campaign with PFLAG designed to shine a spotlight on the “powerful impact love & acceptance can have on LGBTQ+ youth,” the company shared. As part of this, they have created a short film that highlights “proud parents.”
North Star seeks board members
The North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. has issued a call for board member applications. Deadline for submission is Dec. 1. More information is available online.
School orgs lifeline for students
Indy Week reported that clubs that focus on LGBTQ students are providing a lifeline during COVID-19 stay-at-home protocols. Youth are able to connect using technology so help minimize the effects of isolation.
‘Seen’ podcast released by ViiV
ViiV Healthcare announced the release of its new weekly podcast “Being Seen,” an in-depth exploration of the role culture plays in resolving how people see themselves and how they are seen by others. Hosted and narrated by Darnell Moore, award-winning writer and activist, the first season explores current cultural representations of the queer and gay Black male experience and the impact on their lives and society.
MCC statement issued
Metropolitan Community Churches’ Governing Board has released a statement committing to “resisting the structures that oppress people and standing with those who suffer under the weight of oppressive systems, being guided always by our commitment to Global Human Rights.” In this they established its Commission on Pathways to Healing and Reconciliation as a way to deal with elemental fractured relationships that occurred since the General Conference 2016.
info: mccchurch.org. bit.ly/36Wzkuk.
Elders go ‘inside’ during history month
The Charlotte LGBTQ Elders group is kicking off a series of online programs as part of its LGBT History Month observance by focusing on those who touched lives through their contributions in music, theatre and storytelling. Supported by a Cultural Vision grant from the Arts & Science Council – Culture for All, participants can listen to women’s music icon June Millington on Oct. 18, 5 p.m., as she shares her story, followed up by one with Epoch Tribe’s Hannah Hasan on Oct. 25, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Registration is free for Millington’s program and $5 for Hasan’s. Registration is available online at bit.ly/3110D2F.
Pioneer journalist mourned
Houston, Texas-based transgender activist, advocate and educator Monica Roberts died on Oct. 5. NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists’ Vice President of Print Ina Fried shared, “The passing of Monica Roberts is a tremendous loss … [she] has been a tireless voice for the trans community, in particular the Black trans media and mainstream journalists alike, encouraging all of us to do better.” Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO, made the following said, “Lambda Legal is heartbroken at the devastating news that pioneering journalist and activist, Monica Roberts, has passed away. Her commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality and telling our transgender community’s stories left an indelible mark on media and our movement.” Roberts was the founding editor of the blog TransGriot. She was an award-winning advocate and voice on trans rights issues for over 20 years. In addition to being honored with the 2018 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Blog, she became the first transgender person to receive the Robert Coles Call of Service Award in 2016. She also received the Barbara Jordan Breaking Barriers Award from the Harris County Democratic Party and the Susan Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement from the National LGBTQ Task Force.
info: nlgja.org. lambdalegal.org.
Small college petitions for inclusivity
Milligan University, a private Christian college located outside Johnson City, Tenn., has started a letter campaign asking the administration and trustees “to commit the university against discrimination toward LGBTQ community members,” WJHL News and Inside Higher Ed has reported. The campaign comes on the heels of the force resignation of a professor who was forced to resign or renounce homosexuality.
info: bit.ly/2IhJtat. bit.ly/36XbSgy.
Athletic alliance elects first Latino commissioner
The North American Gay Athletic Alliance Board of Directors announced that John “Jay Jay” Deffee has been elected as commissioner following the resignation of Jeff Card in November of 2019. Deffee becomes the first Latino to serve as in this role in the 44-year history of alliance and becomes only the 11th commissioner to serve the organization.
Cured HIV patient dies
BBC News has reported that Timothy Ray Brown, 54, the first person cured of HIV, has died as a result of leukemia. He had previously received a bone marrow transplant that led to his HIV cure.
Violent crimes more prevalent among LGBTQs
LGBTQ individuals are nearly four times more likely than non-LGBTQ ones to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault and aggravated or simple assault, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. In addition, LGBTQ individuals are more likely to experience violence both by someone well-known to the victim and at the hands of a stranger. Researchers analyzed data from the 2017 National Crime Victimization Survey, the first nationally representative and comprehensive criminal victimization data to include information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of respondents. Results showed that, in 2017, LGBTQ individuals experienced 71.1 victimizations per 1,000, compared to 19.2 victimizations per 1,000 for non-LGBTQ ones. Also shown was that LGBTQ individuals had higher rates of serious violence victimization in almost every type of violent crime except robbery, which showed no significant difference between LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ individuals.
Pub owner breaks word
Oreva Capital owner Adam Levin has broken his pledge that he made in 2018 to not contribute to anti-LGBTQ Republicans, LGBTQNation reported. Oreva is the parent company of The Advocate and Out. Over the summer, he made donations to North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Montana Sen. Steve Daines. Levin’s decision was based upon pro-Israeli and pro-cannabis support. Reports show that he started JQ that supports LGBTQ+ Jews and their families, as well as to AIDS Project LA, the LA LGBT Center and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, as well as candidate contributions to Adam Schiff, Gavin Newsom, Jon Chiang and Dan Adler.
Chorus honors lost member
The Triangle Men’s Chorus has honored the memory of one of its members who died in August. Daniel Kellar was one of the founders of the group and had served as artistic direct during its inaugural years.
Orgs gain support in anti-hate campaign
Since its launch earlier this fall, the Alliance for Full Acceptance has reported that the Stamp Out Hate South Carolina campaign has been gaining support. Others who have signed on to the initiative include the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Charleston (an arm of the Charleston Jewish Federation), Columbia Jewish Federation, the Anti-Defamation League, Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston Hispanic Association, NAACP Charleston, and others. The partners are pushing for anti-hate crimes legislation in the Palmetto State.
info: stampouthate.sc. affa-sc.org.
ASO partners on legal docs opportunity
Dudley’s Place, a client support wing of Rosedale Health and Wellness, has partnered with McGuire Woods, Duke Energy, Bank of America and the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center to provide free assistance in the preparation of powers of attorney and living wills. As of press time, the application process deadline had reached its end. More information can be obtained by emailing Brandon Cole at email@example.com.
Museum to bestow awards
As part of the LGBT History Month observance, the GLBT Historical Society Museum & Archives is honoring several “extraordinary individuals” for their contributions to the community during a virtual Gala on Oct. 16. Those recognized are: History Maker Awards — Miss Major, a Black, transgender elder and activist and veteran of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, who currently mentors Black transgender and gender non-conforming leaders from the South at the House of GG, a retreat center in Little Rock, Ark.; Pamela Peniston, founder and artistic director of San Francisco, Calif.’s Queer Cultural Center; Dr. Maggie Rubenstein, a bisexual activist, educator, sex therapist and sexologist who has devoted her life to social and sexual justice, sex-positive education and health and community organizing; Clio Award — Gerard Koskovich, a founding member of both the GLBT Historical Society and the Collectif Archives LGBTQI in Paris; and Willie Walker Founders Award — Juanita MORE!, who has dedicated her time to raising funds for LGBTQ charities for three decades.
Forum names awardees
The Equality Forum honored two individuals as it kicked off LGBT History Month and the organization’s 15th anniversary celebration. Recipients were Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago, International Role Model Award; and Jess O’Connell, national political strategist, Frank Kameny Award.
OUT opens fitness apps
The OUT Foundation is launching chapter in Portland, Maine, New Orleans, La. and South Miami, Fla. and has opened its application process for those in the Greater New England, Louisiana and South Florida areas to get special offers from CrossFit gyms in their area for LGBTQ young adults as a way of encouraging and providing for a comfortable place at which to participate and achieve better fitness goals. Deadline is Oct. 31. Those selected will be notified by Dec. 1.
Trans parent research in
An estimated 19 percent of transgender adults in the U.S. are parents, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. The majority of transgender parents are women (53 percent), while approximately one-third are non-binary (36 percent) and one-tenth (12 percent) are transgender men. Using data from the U.S. Transgender Population Health Survey (TransPop), the first national probability sample of transgender people in the U.S., researchers examined the quality of life and mental and physical health of transgender and cisgender parents.
Unity elects minister
Pastor Vincent Johnson has been elected as the new spiritual leader of Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte. He will be installed on Oct. 18 in an invitation-only event due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Bike company renamed
Charlotte BCycle has changed its name to Charlotte Joy Rides, featuring new features for area cyclists. The revamped e-assist bikes hit the streets of Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 30, The Charlotte Observer reported. The new equipment has a turbo boost button that allows the bike to go up to 15 mph. Owner and executive director and LGBTQ community member Dianna Ward shared that riders will be able to travel farther and faster now. Bikes are adorned with moving works of art created by a team of seven local artists. In partnership with Atrium Health, Blue Cross of North Carolina and Charlotte City Partners, the bike company has commissioned these artists to design the fleet. Those selected were Marcus Kiser, Sydney Duarte, Sam Guzzie, Georgie Nakima, Nick Napoletano, Owl from Arko & Owl and Rosalia Torres.
Football league champions LGBTQ community
The National Football League launched a series of initiatives during October as a way of recognizing the community during LGBT History Month, The Associated Press reported. Projects associated with the initiatives included ones for National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 and Spirt Day on Oct. 15. The league also created a dedicated website, nfl.com/pride, a PSA that celebrates former NFL players who have come out voicing support, expanded partnerships with GLAAD and The Trevor Project, a Pride-themed NFL shield and assorted LGBTQ content throughout October on the NFL Network.
Champions honored by advocates
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates announced the winners of the 2020 Outie Awards which were bestowed at the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit. “The slate of winners at this year’s Outies showcases some of the best work being done at large companies to create workplaces of belonging where LGBTQ employees can thrive,” said Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal, adding, “This has been a tough year for everybody.” Recipients included: Workplace Excellence, Dow; Ally Changemaker, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson; Belonging During COVID, John Deere; Employee Resource Group of the Year, HP’s Global Pride Business Impact Network; LGBTQ Corporate Advocate of the Year, Nikki Gibson; LGBTQ Marketing of the Year, Procter & Gamble; Global Workplace Excellence, Northern Trust; and New ERG Chapter of the Year, JP Morgan Chase Poland.
Discrimination bad for heart health
More than half (56 percent) of LGBTQ adults and 70 percent of those who are transgender or gender non-conforming report experiencing some form of discrimination, including the use of harsh or abusive language, from a health care professional. The first American Heart Association Scientific Statement to address LGBTQ heart health, “Assessing and Addressing Cardiovascular Health in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (or Questioning) Adults,” published in the Association’s flagship journal Circulation, suggests improving the cardiovascular health of the LGBTQ population will require a multi-faceted approach that includes researchers, clinicians and public health experts.
Law clinic focuses on name change
A free LGBTQ+ Name Change Clinic will be held online on Oct. 17, 1 p.m., via Zoom. Legal experts will provide the necessary paperwork and will host other queer-friendly resources from across the Triad. Participants are asked to reserve a time slot to gain access to the data and assistance offered.
Fortune companies take part in conference
More than 5,000 people took part in the Out & Equal Workplace Summit, including representatives of more than 70 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies. Out & Equal’s CEO Erin Uritus said, “This show of support is particularly meaningful in light of President Trump’s new policies cracking down on diversity, equity and inclusion trainings. We talk openly about systemic racism, white privilege, and intersectionality — the very concepts that this administration is trying to banish from workplaces. We do so because these realities need to be addressed and because major employers are eager to engage their employees in these trainings.”
Tees collection includes Carolinas
Tampa, Fla.’s Art Smith has been undertaking a massive project, collecting throwback T-shirts from gay bars across the U.S., Canada and Europe through his #TBTeez research. So far he said that he has completed over 400 designs and dubs it “the world’s largest collection.” He began the project in 2019, creating a design to help raise funds for the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence which netted over $800. From there his collection began to grow. Smith welcomes contact by bar owners past and present to reach out to him to help preserve history. A list of bars that have been included in the collection are available online.
PFLAG gets more Verizon support
Verizon has pledged another $250,000 in support of PFLAG National, the company shared. This brings Verizon’s total support of PFLAG to $750,000, given over the last three years. The contribution came at the start of LGBTQ History Month.
Biden strong in battleground states
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shared that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has shown to receive a robust support in battleground states, as well as those who are pro-equality U.S. Senate candidates. The data comes from a Hart Research Associates research project using telephone surveys on behalf of HRC among voters in 10 states. Results derived show that LGBTQ issues have had an uptick in support among likely voters in battleground states, anti-equality attacks launched by some Republicans are falling flat, and support for transgender people is strong. Surveys encompassed Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas as well as recently released surveys in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
info: hrc.org. bit.ly/2Fr29ni.
Trevor releases poll findings
The Trevor Project and Morning Consult conducted a poll among a national sample of 1,200 young people between the ages of 13-24, reflecting what Trevor has been hearing anecdotally via their 24/7 phone lifeline, chat and text crisis services. Highlights show that perceptions of the police and reactions to Black Lives Matter differ significantly by race and LGBTQ identity and that COVID-19 has negatively impacted the mental health of LGBTQ youth and presented them with unique challenges, including stressful living situations.
Religious individuals top 5 million
A new study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law finds that an estimated 5.3 million LGBTQ people in the U.S. say that religion is important to them, attend religious services, or both. Researchers analyzed data from the Gallup Daily Tracking Survey to examine religiosity among LGBTQ adults. They found that demographic patterns in religiosity observed in the general population are also observed among LGBTQ adults. For instance, among LGBT adults, middle-aged and older adults, Black adults, and those living in the South are most likely to be religious.
Trans org expands virtual experience
During October, Stand with Trans is expanding its regular one-day, in-person event into a month-long virtual experience, “Be You,” due to COVID-19. The event features entertainment, workshops, networking, peer support and more and is open to transgender youth and allies.
HRC released healthcare index
The Human Rights Campaign has released its 2020 Healthcare Equality Index that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and staff. At this time, 765 healthcare facilities participated in this year’s survey. Twenty-one North Carolina locations “measured up” with a score of 100 percent. Compiling the data and getting buy-in was a challenge during the pandemic. Index staff shared, “We must extend our deepest gratitude to these facilities for their courageous fight against COVID-19 and their commitment to addressing racism and injustice.”