The National Conference on HIV, HCV, and LGBT Health’s SYNChronicity 2018 Conference, to be held from April 22-24 in Arlington, Va., has announced its plenary sessions and program offerings.
Atlanta, Ga.’s rainbow crosswalks have been damaged and repairs will take 30-45 days to complete.
Moshe Sakal’s “The Diamond Setter” will be on sale March 20. The book spans generations and crosses borders to reveal a time before the creation of the state of Israel. In this semi-autobiographical novel, Sakal draws on true events to tell the tale of the uneventful life of Tom, a jeweler from Tel Aviv who is at work on a novel, that changes abruptly after Fareed, a young man from Damascus, Syria crosses illegally into Israel, making his way to the ancient port city of Jaffa in search of his roots and return a piece of a famous blue diamond, known as “Sabakh,” to its rightful owner. Fareed is swept up in Tel Aviv’s gay scene and an intimate love triangle blossoms between the two and an Israeli soldier, all while protests and tensions across class, race, and sexuality erupt around them. The book’s release comes after the Trump administration’s recent declaration on Jerusalem and the volatile fallout between Arab-Israeli interests.
The Equality Forum now has LGBTQ historical markers on its website, enhanced by Google Maps. The organization applies for and oversees the installation of government-approved LGBTQ historic markets as part of its work. Currently, there are five showcased: Barbara Gittings residence, Gay Pioneers, John E. Fryer, M.D., Philadelphia Conference and AIDS Library of Philadelphia.
Six-time Grammy Award-winning singer Christina Aguilera joins host RuPaul to kick-off the milestone season 10 premiere of Emmy Award-winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” on March 22. The season will feature 90-minute episodes and will be followed by “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked” after show. Featured this season will be: Asia O’Hara (Dallas, Texas), Aquaria (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Blair St. Clair (Indianapolis, Ind.), Dusty Ray Bottoms (New York, N.Y.), Eureka O’Hara (Johnson City, Tenn.), Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams (Albuquerque, N.M.), Kameron Michaels (Nashville, Tenn.), Mayhem Miller (Riverside, Calif.), Miz Cracker (New York, N.Y.), Monét X Change(Bronx, N.Y.), Monique Heart (Kansas City, Mo.), The Vixen (Chicago, Ill.), Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (Tampa, Fla.) and Yuhua Hamasaki (New York, N.Y.).
info: vh1.com. rupaulsdragrace.com.
PlushCare, the San Francisco, Calif.-based telehealth company and direct-to-consumer online urgent care provider, announced the launch and availability of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) therapy for prevention of HIV in all states where PlushCare is available. In addition, the company announced that it is expanding its service offering from 17 to 31 states. The comprehensive end-to-end treatment, complete with consistent online doctor visits, regular lab testing and prescriptions, is a step toward lowering and preventing HIV infections in the U.S. With PlushCare’s PrEP treatment program, patient location and social stigma are no longer barriers to receiving PrEP treatment from top-tier physicians. “According to the CDC, 1.2 million people are at greatest risk for HIV, yet only 79,000 actually take the drug,” said Dr. James Wantuck, MD, co-founder and chief medical officer of PlushCare. “We are changing this reality. PlushCare is in a unique position to do so and is making a once devastating and taboo medical issue manageable for all.”
info: plushcare.com. prep.plushcare.com.
A new study examining the predictors of relationship termination in same-sex and married heterosexual couples, “Longitudinal Predictors of Relationship Dissolution Among Same-sex and Heterosexual Couples,” found that male-male couples were the least likely to break up. Women in same-sex relationships, however, were twice as likely as men in same-sex couples and 1.5 times as likely as heterosexual couples to end their partnership. Researchers followed 515 couples in Vermont from 2002 to 2014 and found that, when considering all couple types together, longer relationship length, older age and better relationship quality reduced the chances of a breakup. Higher education also proved protective for female-female couples, though greater social support among friends increased the likelihood of the relationship ending. There were no differences in break-up rates between same-sex couples who had legalized their relationship and those who had not.
The LGBT Family Law Institute, a joint venture of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National LGBT Bar Association, announced the launch of a new interactive Member Directory Map. The state-of-the-art feature allows any member of the public to find an experienced, knowledgeable and LGBTQ-friendly family law practitioner in their state. Potential clients and fellow attorneys seeking a referral can easily scroll through a list of all LGBT Family Law Institute members in each state and see both the cities they practice in, as well as their specific practice areas. Contact information is also readily available.
GLAAD announced that Olympic medalist Adam Rippon has launched a fundraising campaign to support GLAAD’s LGBTQ youth programs.
The Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, the American Military Partner Association and Gender Justice League unveiled a new television ad, entitled “Patriots,” featuring military, national security and bipartisan officials voicing opposition to the Trump-Pence administration’s ban on transgender service members. The television ad is part of the largest paid media campaign against Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops since he tweeted the policy last July and complements a full page print ad featuring leading military, national security and bipartisan officials that ran in USA Today and more than 32 regional Gannett papers nationwide.
info: hrc.org. militarypartners.org. genderjusticeleague.org. lambdalegal.org. outserve-sldn.org.
InterPride announced the opening of the 2018 grant cycle for its Solidarity Fund. Through the Solidarity Fund, InterPride makes small grants to organizations that are helping to create positive change and promote a better understanding of LGBTQ communities around the globe. The focus of the fund is on community-based events in portions of the world where public LGBTQ events face challenges and hostility, the organization said.
GLSEN will hold its 2018 Respect Awards ceremony on May 21 in New York, N.Y. The event honors champions of LGBTQ youth in K-12 schools.
OutServe-SLDN announced its continued expansion and growth with the addition of a new staff member and expanded programming services.
A gay detainee, Sadat Ibrahim, has been on a hunger strike while being held by ICE. Ibrahim came to the U.S. seeking asylum after he fled persecution in Ghana.
HealthAffairs published an article discussing how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is close to issuing a proposed rule that would revise the anti-discrimination regulation covering gender identity adopted under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
TidalWave Comics re-released over 20 of its most popular non-fiction comic books featuring LGBTQ individuals in a new print format. These titles included a historical look at the Stonewall Riots. Other titles explored the lives of allies or out celebrities such as RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Madonna, Joan Jett, Tom Daley, Keith Haring, Lady Gaga, Freddie Mercury, Britney Spears, Kathy Griffin, Rosie O’Donnell, Anderson Cooper, Barbra Streisand, and Liza Minelli, among others.
NLGJA has announced that applications for scholarships and its CONNECT: Student Journalism Training Project are available online. The deadline to apply for these student opportunities is April 17.
The Metropolitan Community Churches has hired Jared Vázquez as its associate director of international diversity and inclusion.
After a fight that lasted over a year, a judge has ruled that a 17-year-old transgender teen, who was assigned female at bird, had the right to pursue hormone therapy and was placed in the care of his maternal grandparents, rather than with his parents, who oppose his transition, Daily KOS reported.
American Military Partner Association, OutServe-SLDN and SPARTA issued statements responding to the news that the first out transgender recruit signed up to join the U.S. Armed Forces.
info: outserve.org. militarypartners.org. spartapride.org.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released a report detailing the results of a nationwide survey of LGBTQ individuals on their experiences with inclusive employer-paid family and medical leave. The report was released on the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal law that guarantees certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid and job protected leave per year. The report included more than 5,400 LGBTQ respondents from all 50 states. The results of the survey revealed an “urgent” need for inclusive employer-paid family and medical leave.
Celebrity artist, LGBTQ activist and humanitarian Ben Workman (aka Jumper Maybach) has gifted transgender youth Jazz Jennings a one-of-a-kind work of art titled “From Darkness to Light #5.”
Hornet announced the acquisition of the domain Hornet.com. It also announced the #DecriminalizeLGBT campaign, in an effort to raise awareness of global LGBTQ criminalization laws “that must be abolished.”
The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International presented the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and its national public relations agency Finn Partners with Gold and Platinum Adrian Awards for Public Relations Excellence for its winning entries in the 61st annual Adrian Awards. The awards were received for a transgender marketing campaign by the bureau that represented a first-of-its kind hospitality industry initiative and garnered significant coverage in mainstream and LBGTQ media.
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s Latino advocacy organizations, launched an online survey to collect input to make the coalition’s public policy agenda more inclusive of policy priorities that could have a significant impact on improving the lives of LGBTQ Latinos.
In an article published by Billboard Magazine, Nashville, Tenn.-based LGBTQ publicist Joey Amato is quoted criticizing the decision of the Country Music Association for inviting Mike Huckabee to join its board of directors. Historically known for being conservative, Nashville’s country music industry was outraged by this decision and some industry executives threatened to pull funding of the organization due to Huckabee’s stance on the LGBTQ community. “We are one of 20 cities left vying for Amazon’s coveted HQ2, and any form of intolerance will not be allowed in Nashville. Jeff Bezos and Amazon have made it clear that the company fosters an inclusive environment, so it is our goal as a city to stand together and fight off any form of discriminatory actions against our community,” Amato said.
The Black AIDS Institute will host an “Immigration Rights and HIV” webinar on March 13 at 10 a.m. Registration is available online.
info: bitl.y/immigrationrights_hiv. blackaids.org.
Senior Advice has released its 2018 rankings for the most LGBTQ-friendly cities for retirement. They are: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; Portland, Ore.; Palm Springs, Calif.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Providence, R.I.; Seattle, Wash.; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles, Calif.; New Orleans, La.; Tampa, Fla.; Boston, Mass.; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Diego, Calif.; Cleveland, Ohio; San Francisco, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Baltimore, Md.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.
On Feb. 17 Quest of Life Media & Broadcast, a non-profit fundraising, marketing, media and broadcasting services organization launched QLRadio, a 24/7 internet radio station devoted to independent LGBTQ singer/songwriters. It also became the home of the radio show “Not Weird, Queer.” When not airing scheduled programming, QLRadio will play music that has been heard on “Not Weird, Queer” and it’s predecessor “The Quest of Life.” Additionally, Quest now has two fundraising campaigns: — the Founding Donor Campaign and Name That Grant Campaign.
Reconciling Methodist Network’s Southeast Jurisdiction has announced that it added 14 new Reconciling Communities in 2017. Of the 14 listed, six are from the Carolinas and include: Shalom Sunday School Class and Life Applications Sunday School Class, Davidson United Methodist Church (UMC), Davidson, N.C.; Toni White UMW Circle and Circle 9 UMW, Washington Street UMC, Columbia, S.C.; Reconciling Ministries Network Group, St. Stephen UMC, Charlotte, N.C.; and Friendship Sunday School Class, Inman UMC, Inman, S.C.
Soulforce is asking the community to send contributions to its stamp drive. Monies raised will go toward the purchase of postage stamps that will be affixed to handwritten thank you cards, notes of recognition and other communications throughout the year.
info: bit.ly/2oDojaf. soulforce.org.
Suitsupply released their SS18 campaign putting the spotlight on gay love, illuminating the attraction between two men.
Parent advocates Jennifer Grosshandler and Gearah Goldstein have unveiled their GenderCool Project, an awareness campaign that opens up the conversation around gender “in a way the general public can understand.” The campaign’s centerpiece chronicles the accomplishments of transgender kids and their young allies across the U.S.
The Bisexual Resource Center is celebrating its fifth annual Bisexual Health Awareness Month (BHAM) with the launch of a social media campaign that began on March 1. BHAM aims to both motivate the bisexual community to make changes to improve their health and also inspire friends of the bi+ community to play an active role in improving the health of their bisexual friends, family and community members. The campaign reflects on progress of the recent past and highlight actions needed for more substantial change in the future. Throughout the month of March, the center will partner with various LGBTQ organizations to feature research, resources and action, including the BiCast, BiNetUSA, Bisexual Research Collaborative on Health, Family Values @ Work, Fenway Health, GLAAD, GLSEN, the Lesbians of Color Symposium Collective, the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care, the Los Angeles Bi Task Force, and PAVES.
If all goes as planned, the world’s largest LGBTQ museum will be unveiled in just a few years in London, LGBTQ Nation reported. The museum will be a brick-and-mortar building with standard exhibits, but will also include a digital component, including video and audio interviews with “queer people of all backgrounds and ages.”
A two-spirit powwow was held at Haskell Indian Nations University, one of the first of its kind. And, in a related story, the Cree Nation’s leaders showed public support for the LGBTQ and two-spirited community.
info: bit.ly/2Fem3wv. bit.ly/2oPjycH.
Upon the urging of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz, the American Bar Association House of Delegates has adopted House of Delegates Resolution 108D, which urges federal, state, local, territorial and tribal courts to extend Batson v. Kentucky to prohibit discrimination against jurors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Batson v. Kentucky, a 1986 Supreme Court decision, protects jurors from being removed due to their race, gender or any other classification warranting heightened scrutiny. Through adopting Resolution 108D, the American Bar Association is requesting that courts view sexual orientation and gender identity under this classification of heightened scrutiny.