Rights summit slated

The fifth annual OutSummit will be held on Dec. 7 in New York, N.Y. The event is a one-day conference, hosted by OutRight Action International, co-hosted by City University of New York School of Law and the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice. OutSummit brings together international and U.S.-based LGBTQ activists for a day of panels, keynote speakers and workshops to address legal and social attitudes about sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex issues globally. This year, OutSummit will be the pre-cursor to OutRight’s annual Advocacy Week at the United Nations, where LGBTQ activists sit across the table from the world’s most pivotal governments and UN officials to name their priorities and demand accountability. Registration is available online.
info: outrightinternational.org.

Skater documentary released

A full-length documentary, “The Ice King,” on ice-skating legend and gay icon John Curry was released on Oct. 8 and shares the story of the Olympic athlete who broke down barriers and redefined the sport during the 1970s. Curry brought his artistry to the rink which brought a dynamic shift to dated routines. He was also the first openly gay Olympian who came out on the night of his Olympic win in 1976. This documentary uses Curry’s life and accomplishments to chart both the evolution of competitive ice skating and of the gay movement of the 1970s and 1980s that culminated in the onslaught of AIDS, which he was diagnosed within 1987 and which contributed to his death in 1994.
info: filmmovement.com.

Warren pays tribute to the slain

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in her bid for the office of president in 2020’s election, paid tribute to slain black transgender women at the first LGBTQ Forum held in September and demanded that Donald Trump “Say Their Names,” The Root reported. The politician has transgender rights as a key issue in her platform.
info: bit.ly/2VAT4M4.

Toolkit gets launch date

Organizers have announced that the LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit has a launch date set for February 2020. Pride in the Triangle will unveil the open-source option during a two-day Training of Trainers from Feb. 4-5 on the SAS Institute Campus in Cary, N.C. It will be facilitated by Katherine Turner of Global Citizen, LLC and Stan Kimer, Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer. Registration is open with a class fee sliding scale from $449-$849 based upon non-profit or for-profit status and company size, Kimer shared. Early bird discount of $100 off registration fee is available online until Oct. 31.
info: bit.ly/33pIH0h.

JCT org opens center

The Pride Community & Education Center has found a home in the King Center located at 300 E. Main St., Suite 159, in Johnson City, Tenn., said its co-founder and director John Baker. The group that was responsible for its creation worked over six-and-a-half years to raise money to open the venture. He shared that they wanted enough money raised to allow funding for three years or a figure of $38,000. The fundraising goal has been $40,000. Baker added that they hope to have an official grand opening and services this fall, possibly in November. To start off with, Baker envisions it being open in the evenings and Saturday afternoon. The center currently has six individuals on its board and plans are that each of them would take a spot in the rotation to staff the time slots.
info: pridetricities.com.

‘Queer Eye’ ensemble member speaks out

The Trevor Project has released an interview with “Queer Eye” grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness entitled “Jonathan Van Ness Talks to Trevor: Chasing Passions and Finding Safe Spaces.” In the video, he speaks about his upbringing and small-town roots, how he found his safe spaces and passions, dealt with bullying and depression, and developed his identity.
info: bit.ly/32emQZK.

Wake faculty receive email threats

In September, 12 Wake Forest University faculty members who work in gender studies and other diversity-related roles were the recipients of threatening emails, The Charlotte Observer reported. According to a communique to students, faculty and staff, the school stated, “The emails were intentionally inflammatory, using racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and discriminatory language. The wording of the emails was intentionally intimidating and threatening.” Although there were no specific threats made, state and federal agencies, along with university police are investigating the incident, nonetheless.
info: bit.ly/33uL9mw.

Town hall makes history

The CNN LGBTQ town hall with nine Democratic presidential candidates held recently made a historic shift by going deep “on the sorts of issues that often get short shrift,” the news organization reported, adding that for many Americans, LGBTQ history can be a portal of pain. “This history not only loomed large over the evening — it also worked as a palliative for the pain, illustrating how these distinct experiences from the past can positively shape our tomorrows.” Each of the candidates reflected on heroes and champions from the past who helped shape the world. Individuals such as Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin, Matthew Shepard and Gwen Araujo were mentioned with respect and praise. Also during the event, an audience member grabbed a microphone from Rep. Beto O’Rourke shouting out that “Black trans women are dying,” referring to the nearly 20 that have been killed so far this year.
info: cnn.it/2OGtDrf.

Foundation launches recovery program

The Gateway Foundation opened its Out in Recovery residential program in Lake Villa, Ill. on Oct. 11 in honor of National Coming Out Day. This new venture becomes one of the country’s only LGBTQ substance abuse disorder programs. According to the Center for American Progress, an estimated 20-30 percent of gay and transgender individuals battle a substance use disorder. For the general population, the figure is 9 percent. “Many LGBTQ+ persons seeking help for a range of health issues have unfortunately encountered bias, discrimination, and stigma in other healthcare settings,” said Karen Wolownik Albert, executive director of Gateway Foundation Lake County Services. “The Gateway Foundation is experienced in serving the LGBTQ+ population and in providing a safe, inclusive treatment milieu for patients to explore, understand and be their true selves.” The program also provides therapeutic support for those working through co-occurring disorders (such as anxiety, depression, bi-polar, etc), trauma and other unique needs of the LGBTQ population.
info: gatewayfoundation.org.

Pope meets with U.S. priest

Pope Francis held a private papal audience with Father James Martin, SJ, on Sept. 30, The Associated Press reported. Martin, a Jesuit priest who authored the Catholic Church, LGBTQ-outreach-focused “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity,” spoke with the Pope for 30 minutes and shared with him “the joys and hopes, and the griefs and anxieties, of LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide.” Martin serves as a communications consultant for the Vatican. Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry said, “This meeting with the pope refutes the unjustified barrage of criticism he has received from a minority of church leaders and other anti-LGBTQ sectors of the church. Even more so, it recognizes that Fr. Martin’s approach to LGBTQ pastoral ministry, already praised by bishops, archbishops, and cardinals, has won the approval of the highest levels of the church. It is a clear signal that Pope Francis is calling the church to conversion away from the negative messages it has sent in the past about LGBTQ people. It is a day of celebration for LGBTQ Catholics who have longed for an outstretched hand of welcome from the church that they love.”
info: bit.ly/2pgSo2B.

Illegal alien shoots trans woman

A transgender woman in Dallas was shot six times by Domingo Ramirez-Cayente on Sept. 20. The perpetrator had been returned to Mexico in 2010 following his apprehension on entering the U.S. illegally. He was released after he posted bond and federal immigration officials said it was “unclear where he can be found.”
info: bit.ly/2oGSksK.

Butler to receive Baldwin award

The Victory Institute announced that North Carolina State House Rep. Deb Butler will be awarded the 2019 Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award, The Progressive Pulse reported. The award will be shared with former Peruvian Congressman Alberto de Belaunde. The institute shared, “As the Democratic Whip of the North Carolina House, Deb Butler is a warrior for North Carolina’s LGBTQ community. Under the rallying cry of ‘I Will Not Yield,’ Butler recently derided Republicans’ underhanded voting tactics, even resisting arrest to pursue justice. During her time in the House, she has fought for causes ranging from fair districts to common-sense gun reform.”
info: bit.ly/2VC7WtT.

Conservatives march against IVF

French conservatives marched through Paris, shouting “Liberty, Equality, Paternity” in opposition to a bill that would give single women and lesbian couples access to in vitro fertilization and related products, The Associated Press reported.
info: bit.ly/2OJwSyb.

Trans exclusions dropped at UG

The University of Georgia has dropped its exclusion of transgender-related treatments and procedures in its employee health insurance. The change comes as part of settling a lawsuit between Skyler Jay, a catering manager at the school, and the University System of Georgia, The Progressive Pulse reported.
info: bit.ly/2IMaksu.

New counseling service hits Vegas

Community Counseling Center and The LGBTQ Community Center of Southern Nevada announced a collaboration to bring their “Affirmations” behavioral health services to the Las Vegas LGBTQ community, launching on Oct. 1. The counseling program provides a wide array of services, including mental health and substance use counseling, centered from a perspective that is LGBTQ affirming.
info: cccofsn.org. thecenterlv.org.

Friends host history pop-up

The North Carolina Room and Pack Memorial Library began hosting OUT! An LGBT+ History Month Pop-Up exhibit on Oct. 18 at Banks Ave., 32 Banks Ave., Unit 101, in Asheville. It will continue through Oct. 20 with hours being 4 p.m.-2 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2 p.m.-2 a.m. on Oct. 19 and 1 p.m.-2 a.m. on Oct. 20. This event showcases rare archival materials from the North Carolina Collection at Pack including photos, newspapers and more that tell the story of Asheville’s queer community from around 1972-2002. Items come from Friends of the North Carolina Room, Blue Ridge Pride, ButchOUT and others. A reception will be held on Oct. 19 from 2-5 p.m. with the Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus in performance. Attendees can explore ways the community can become part of contributing and conserving LGBTQ history in Asheville and Buncombe County.
info: bit.ly/2MBEUqc.

Vandy faculty get grant

Four faculty members of Vanderbilt University have been awarded a five-year, $1.9 million grant to study the health effects of social and support networks on sexual and gender minorities, ages 50-70, in the South, Out and About Nashville reported. Data will be collected from rural and suburban areas around Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Nashville, Tenn.
info: bit.ly/35By9gP.

New medical practice opens

Iora Primary Care has opened up clinics in the Charlotte and Triad areas that address the needs of seniors on Medicare, including those from the LGBTQ community. The judgment-free environment enables seniors to develop a strong relationship with a healthcare provider. Offices are located in MoRA, 4014 Connection Point Blvd., Suite C, and Pineville, 8332 Pineville Matthews Rd., Suite 205, in Charlotte and in Greensboro, 3351 Battleground Ave., High Point, 274 Eastchester Dr., Suite 120, and Winston-Salem, 3274 Silas Creek Pky. The company also has locations in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington.
info: ioraprimarycare.com.

LGBTQ youth identity not always static

The Trevor Project recently released its 2019 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, “Diversity of Youth Sexual Orientation,” which showed that 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth described themselves as “something else” other than gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Twelve percent of the full sample endorsed a follow-up item asking whether they used another LGBTQ identity such as “queer, trisexual, omnisexual, or pansexual.” Of the 6 percent of the full sample who opted to provide a write-in response, the vast majority provided one sexual orientation label, including “asexual, polysexual, abrosexual, graysexual, androsexual, bicurious, omnisexual, sapiosexual, two-spirit” and more. A substantial portion of the write-in responses also contained distinctions between sexual and romantic attractions. There were also youth who provided a combination of two or more sexual orientations (e.g., pansexual and queer) or the combination of a sexual orientation and a relationship type (e.g., pansexual, polyamorous). “LGBTQ young people understand the complexities of their sexual orientation, so we hope to see the research, education, and clinical fields expand their sexual orientation measures beyond lesbian, gay, and bisexual labels in an effort to better serve LGBTQ youth,” stated Trevor’s Director of Research Amy E. Green, Ph.D.
info: thetrevorproject.org.

Book explores sexuality and relationships

“The Sky Turned Green & The Grass Turned Blue: Diane’s Story” by Diana Kelly tells the true story of Diane’s lover Jack who suddenly announces that he wants to “be a female.” With her world upended and no information to guide her, Diane jaunts through the murky waters of Jack’s changing persona. Motivated by love and loyalty, she steps into the dark underground world of BDSM (bondage, submission and sadomasochism), as well as explores gay and lesbian lifestyles, all all the while attempting to gauge how Jack’s changes might impact their relationship and her own authentic self. It is available through IngramSpark.com, Smashwords.com for e-books and Amazon.com.
info: bit.ly/31emlO2.

Center hosts “ghoulish” benefit party

The North Star LGBTQ Community Center will hold a benefit, “Queer the Fear,” on Oct. 30 at Monstercade, 204 W. Arcadia Ave., in Winston-Salem, N.C. The dance party includes beverages, costume contest, prizes and more and is intended for those 21 and above. The costume contest consists of a dog costume at 8 p.m. and people at 9 p.m. Sign-up is due 30 minutes prior to each contest category. The cover at the door is $10. RSVP is requested online at bit.ly/2B9Q0gQ. A youth Halloween party is being held on Nov. 1, 6-9 p.m., at the center, 930 Burke St., for those ages 12-20. Enjoy candy, games, dancing and some surprises.
info: northstarlgbtcc.com.

Bi book awards seeks judges

Organizers for the Eighth Annual Bisexual Book Awards are seeking volunteer judges. Interested parties, especially those who are men and people of color, should be fast readers who are book bloggers and reviewers; writers and editors; teachers, professors and academics; librarians; and “voracious” readers. Perks for services include free books, discussing the books with other judges, choosing finalists and awarding winners. The reading period has already begun. Finalists will be chosen in March. Categories are: fiction, memoir/biography, romance, teen/youth, adult fiction and mystery. Books will be distributed mostly in PDF format to reduce costs and to simplify the process. Comfort with e-book reading is essential. Email biwritersassoc@gmail.com for more information and expanded details.
info: biwriters.org/write-us.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.