Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chairman of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, will celebrate his birthday with a bash at the company’s store in Beverly Hills, Calif. to benefit the Tyler Clementi Foundation. Special guests include Bellamy Young, Norman Lear, Lady Bunny, Bruce Vilanch, Dan Bucatinsky, Danny Seo and more. Gold, who also co-founded the non-profit Faith in America, joined the board of directors of the Tyler Clementi Foundation in September 2017. In November 2017, Faith in America joined forces with the Tyler Clementi Foundation to fight religious-based bullying.
The Southern LGBTQ Health Symposium will be held on March 3 in Nashville, Tenn. The Vanderbilt Program for LGBTI Health is hosting the first-ever event. The symposium will engage providers and students throughout the region on a variety of topics to better serve sexual and gender minority patients.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center, Centro Legal De La Raza and El/La Para Translatinas filed an amicus brief in City and County of San Francisco v. Trump, the California case challenging Trump’s executive order attacking sanctuary cities. These organizations work on behalf of LGBTQ immigrants, including asylum seekers and victims of trafficking. The case is currently pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
AIDSWatch, presented by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, will be held from March 26-27 in Washington, D.C. The two-day event brings together hundreds of people living with HIV and their allies to meet with members of Congress and educate them about the important issues at stake for people living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. Trainings will be held on day one and meetings on Capitol Hill on day two. AIDSWatch is implemented as a partnership between AIDS United, the Treatment Access Expansion Project and the US People Living With HIV Caucus.
GLAAD announced that it will honor multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning pop icon Britney Spears at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 12. Spears will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals.
Gay activist Jeffrey Girard has sued a hotel manager for abuses and threats he received after an altercation with another resident. The manager allegedly threatened to kill both Girard and his roommate, mocked him after he was assaulted and shined a high-powered flashlight directly and on purpose in Girard’s face, although being asked not to. Girard’s roommate is of Jewish heritage and the manager wore a swastika embellished T-shirt. The display was a taunt to the roommate. Girard also reported housing violations to government agencies about “cheap rent” Hotel Soto and the incidents were investigated by Adult Protective Services and the police due to Girard’s status as having a confirmed mental illness disability. Violations were confirmed by the government agencies and included bug infestations, fire hazards and dilapatation.
Trystlynn Melanni Barber has become the first openly transgender employee to work for the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Voice reported. Department officials confirmed that her case was unprecedented. Her transition paves the way for future transgender employees as training and policy adjustments have already begun to take place, the news organization added.
Beginning on March 1, the Point Foundation will begin accepting applications for its LGBTQ Community Scholarship Program which aids students who wish to advance to four-year degree programs. Those accepted into the 2018 class will be announced in June in time for Pride Month.
A transgender woman became the first in the world to exclusively breastfeed her baby despite not giving birth nor undergoing gender-reassignment surgeries, the Daily Mail reported. Her partner was pregnant and chose not to breastfeed. Doctors introduced a regimen of hormone replacement therapy and breast pumping with the target goal of producing eight ounces of milk a day for the three months prior to the birth of the child. That continued for six weeks, then was switched to a combination of breastfeeding and obtaining nutrition from other food sources for a six-month period.
Britney Spears will receive the Vanguard Award from GLAAD at its Media Awards ceremony.
My True Colors Festival announced the winners of the second annual My True Colors Excel Pride Awards. A special presentation ceremony will take place on April 12 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Honorees are: Staceyann Chin, Champion of Justice Award; Laverne Cox, Trailblazer Award; Marjorie Hill, Community Impact Award; David J. Johns, Advocacy Award; Natalia Oberti Noguera, Business Innovation Award; Floyd Rumohr, Outstanding Leadership Award; and Linda Villarosa, Vanguard Award.
Metropolitan Community Churches has announced that registration is open for its General Conference to be held from July 1-5, 2019 in Orlando, Fla.
California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria introduced a bill to ensure access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth in foster care. The bill is purportedly the first of its kind in the country and is supported by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, ACLU of California, Equality California, Lambda Legal and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. The current law gives foster youth the right to receive medical, dental, vision, and mental health services and to be placed in out-of-home care according to their gender identity. The proposed legislation would make clear that foster youth also have the right to access gender-affirming healthcare and behavioral healthcare. Gender-affirming care allows youth to explore their gender without stigma or shame and reduces risk of depression, substance abuse and suicide attempts.
The Quest of Life Media & Broadcast, an Oregon non-profit organization whose mission will be to assist independent LGBTQ artists in fundraising for and marketing of new albums. Quest has begun to provide centralized fundraising in the LGBTQ singer/songwriter community into one organization. It has started out with Partner Fundraising and Fundraising for Grants and one day may even include production studios to further reduce production costs.
MSMGF has joined the Australian Federation of AIDS Service Organizations and HIV advocates worldwide in celebrating the Australian government’s recent move to publicly fund Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV. This new policy will make this life-saving intervention more accessible and affordable to gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.
In what may be considered a publishing first, two magazines for LGBTQ readers are synchronizing the launch of their March 2018 DIVA and Gay Times issues, both of which feature activist, model and “gender capitalist” Rain Dove.
info: divadigital.co.uk. gaytimes.co.uk.
Fashion design company Burberry has used a rainbow to remake its iconic plaid, InStyle reported. The revamped pattern is “an emblem for optimism and inclusiveness” and will also be a tribute to the charities working to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination.
One in five LGBTQ employees is afraid to request time off to care for a loved one because it might disclose their LGBTQ identity, according to a Human Rights Campaign report released on the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Trulia’s new online tool can help prospective homeowners find neighborhoods that protect against LGBTQ discrimination.
Equality Florida, TransAction Florida and the ACLU of Florida joined together to mourn the death of Celine Walker, a 36 year old black transgender woman who was brutally murdered in Jacksonville, Fla. in early February. They have implored the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to update their transgender policies, as the agency has continued to misgender and misname Walker in their case disclosures. A recent report by the Southern Poverty Law Center stated that transgender women of color, specifically black transgender women, are disproportionately affected by violence and make up 72 percent of transgender homicide victims since 2010.
Students in Illinois would learn about the significant historical events and contributions by LGBTQ individuals under the Inclusive Curriculum Bill introduced in the Illinois Senate, according to Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. “An inclusive history will affirm for LGBTQ students that people just like them existed and made significant contributions to society,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “This inclusive history will also benefit non-LGBTQ students, who would be taught the whole story about the achievements of LGBTQ people and the historical events that impacted all of us.”
A Christian group that considers being gay to be immoral has bought a building that until late last year housed one of Ohio’s oldest gay bars, Bretz Nightclub.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, announced a pair of research grants that renew its support for innovative approaches to HIV cure research. Totaling nearly $1 million, the investment grants will allow two collaborative teams of HIV researchers and bioengineers to embark on a second phase of projects initiated with amfAR funding awarded in February 2017.
GLAAD announced the release of amp, an online series featuring content and stories created by and for young change-makers to share experiences and amplify LGBTQ voices, the organization said. The digital series will include op-eds, creative writing, photography, art, videos and other original content from a host of young creators including GLAAD Campus Ambassadors, staff and interns, as well as advocates, activists and artists.
A school system in New York held its first summit for LGBTQ students, providing them with a safe place to discuss issues of gender and sexuality.
Canada’s technology community will unite at Venture Out, a conference aimed at building an inclusive and diverse future for LGBTQA youth and professionals, from March 15-16.
Jeremy Schossau, pastor of Metro City Church in Michigan, appeared on “Washington Watch” with conservative Tony Perkins and shared about the threats he had received after announcing a church event available for young women struggling with thoughts on identity and sexuality. Two Michigan state legislators are demanding a state investigation into the church. The pastor responded, saying, “We are not going anywhere, Tony. We will love anybody who walks through our doors. We will not condemn anybody but we will not back down from what Jesus tells us,” Schossau added.
CenterLink and The Johnson Family Foundation announced that eight LGBTQ community centers have each been awarded a grant dedicated to increasing the variety and quality of mental health services they provide.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation commended the New York City Department of Education for its 2018 “Respect for All Week,” which promotes respect for diversity and engages students in meaningful lessons and activities that prevent bias-based harassment, intimidation and bullying. The foundation was grateful that its programs and resources were included in Respect for All Week’s “Day 1: Bullying 101” suggested curricula.
Hillsborough, N.C.’s Adam & Eve have announced results in their annual sex survey, where over 1,000 adults were asked how they felt about gay and lesbian couples adopting a child. While 12 percent of the respondents (12 percent of the women and 13 percent of the men) admitted they were not sure how they felt, and 14 percent (9 percent of the women and 20 percent of the men) said they did not think gays and lesbians should adopt, an overwhelming 73 percent (79 percent of the women and 67 percent of the men) believe that same-sex couples should be able to adopt a child.
MSMGF has announced that it will select eight winning innovators or innovation teams to present and develop their solutions at Out With It, the organization’s pre-meeting at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands on July 22. Proposals are being sought for new solutions to current issues facing young gay and bisexual men around the world and are looking for youth-led and community-focused innovations on sexual health issues, such as access to services, stigma and discrimination, sex education and others. The website has all submission information. Registration is also open for the conference.
Erase The Hate, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s social impact campaign recently launched to fight hate and inequality in America, has announced the six non-profit start-up Change Makers chosen for its inaugural Erase The Hate Accelerator program. Those selected were Athlete Ally (New York, N.Y.), The Better Arguments Project (Washington, D.C. and Boston, Mass.), Data for Black Lives (Boston, Mass.), EmbraceRace (Amherst, Mass.), Equality for HER (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Pathos Labs (Denver, Colo.).
SYNChronicity 2018, hosted by HealthHIV and co-hosted by the Coalition, will gather clinicians, service providers, government officials, community-based organization staff, fiscal managers, consumers, youth, among others, to address LGBT health through education, training, networking and resource sharing from April 22-24 in Arlington, Va.
Following a decision to roll back a law that allowed same-sex couples to get married in Bermuda, the founder of LGBTQ travel company OutOfOffice.com, Darren Burn, said: “This is a massive step back in the fight for equality. Bermuda had been seen as progressive, but by withdrawing the recognition and protection for same-sex couples, the country will be vilified as one of the most backward.…As more and more countries enact legislation to ensure equality, this decision will have a significant impact. Not only will cruise lines…no longer be able to conduct same-sex weddings at sea because they are registered in Bermuda, but it sets a very dangerous precedent and is likely to see other similarly homophobic nations follow.” Burn has called on cruise lines to take a stand and re-register their ships.
GayRVA.com published an opinion piece from a reader that said that Richmond, Va.’s gay bars should not live in secrecy, behind “curtains, large plants, fish tanks, and anything else that obscures the view from outside.” The writer added, “I believe, now during our current administration more than ever, we need to show the rest of the community that our establishments are also part of the community, and not to be tucked away into a corner. … I beg of the owners of these bars, please open the damn windows. Let the light in. Let us show who we are.”
On Feb. 11, St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church in New Jersey celebrated the female-to-male transition of Pastor Rose Beeson. During the event, Beeson took on the name Peter in a renaming ceremony. It was one of the first times a minister of a congregation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has transitioned from female to male while serving as pastor.
Mount Sinai Hospital and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health are offering a surgery training course that will feature both didactic and live gender-affirmation procedures from April 26-28. This course is being offered to surgeons, surgical residents surgical fellows and pre- and post-operative care providers. More information and registration are available online.
The Black AIDS Institute’s president and CEO Phill Wilson has announced his retirement as the organization has positioned itself for a new strategic plan to prepare for the “next generation of Black HIV/AIDS response.” The institute has brought in new board members, staff and programs in this new wave of its existence.
The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Herzing University-Brookfield announced a new scholarship, Pride in Healthcare, for LGBTQ individuals working in the healthcare industry.
info: wislgbtchamber.com. herzing.edu.
Gay Travel has announced the winners of its 2017 Gay Travel Awards. They are: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Wedding Resort of the Year; Toto Tours, Tour Operator of the Year; Doubletree by Hilton Downtown Orlando, Value Hotel of the Year; Rancho Valencia, Luxury Resort of the Year; The Meadowood Spa, Spa of the Year; and Advantage Rent A Car, Car Rental Company of the Year. Twelve voters won gifts compliments of Andrew Christian.
The National Coalition for LGBT Health will hold the 16th annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week from March 26-30.
The American Military Partner Association announced that Comcast NBCUniversal and USAA will be joint presenting sponsors of the 5th Annual AMPA National Gala to be held on May 12 in Washington, D.C.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights, ACLU Foundation of Southern California, ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Los Angeles LGBT Center and legal scholars filed an amicus brief in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal in support of the minor plaintiff in A.G. v. County of Los Angeles. The brief argues that the Los Angeles Superior Court ruling denying A.G.’s wrongful death claim violates both the U.S. and California Constitutions by discriminating against children with legal parents who are not biological or adoptive parents. Although the parents in this case were a different-sex couple, the trial court’s ruling would have far-reaching negative effects on children with same-sex parents. It would also be devastating for children conceived using assisted reproduction.
info: nclrights.org. aclusocal.org.
Gay figure skater Adam Rippon has provided the LGBTQ community with a relatable athlete.