Updated: Oct. 4, 2018 (Mission Hills Marriott URL)

The Columbus Pride Festival drew a large crowd in its first event in Mike Pence’s hometown in Indiana. A Pence lookalike, Glen Pannell, also captured attention during his visit. Pannell is known as Mike Hot-Pence and flew in from New York, N.Y. He raises money for LGBTQ youth charities and accepted contributions for Indiana Youth Group.
info: bit.ly/2IWg14R.

Amazon announced that over 60 official selections of feature films from Outfest are now available on Prime Video. The collection of films were made available through the Prime Video Direct self-publishing program which enables rights holders, from filmmakers to distributors, to make their content available to Prime members and earn royalties based on customer engagement.
info: amazon.com/primevideo.

Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. released the results of a survey of 350 people living with HIV and AIDS on “Talking to Your Doctor About Symptoms.” The survey showed that diarrhea remains prevalent in those living with HIV/AIDS, as 27 percent of respondents living with HIV/AIDS reported that they currently have diarrhea, while 56 percent reported that they have had diarrhea in the past. In addition, 79 percent of those with diarrhea reported having diarrhea for more than a year and 61 percent reported having diarrhea for more than five years. While 72 percent said their doctor asked them about symptoms in general, only 31 percent said their doctor asked about diarrhea without them bringing it up first. Patients can be prescribed an antidiarrheal drug, such as Mytesi, to offset the symptoms.The nationwide survey was sponsored by Napo and developed with input from HIV advocates Tez Anderson, Josh Robbins and David Duran.
info: napcopharma.com. bit.ly/2oirnuH.

The Q Christian Fellowship is seeking candidates for its new executive team, consisting of three part-time executive directors to “lead the ministry into the future,” the organization shared. The team will be responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing and community outreach. All three members of the team will report directly to the board.
info: gchristian.org/employment-opportunities.

On April 13 a federal court in Seattle, Wash. rejected the Trump administration’s claim that its “new” discriminatory plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services passed muster. Instead, the court found that the implementation plan the administration issued in late March was not a new policy, but rather threatens the very same constitutional violations and that the lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN can proceed to trial. Furthermore, the court also found that the effort to ban transgender people from military service must meet the most demanding level of scrutiny because it clearly targets transgender people. Meanwhile, the preliminary injunction the court previously granted remains in place, preventing the implementation of the ban pending trial. In the meantime, in early April the American Medical Association told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in a letter first obtained by Politico that there was “no medically valid reason” to exclude transgender individuals from serving in the military, The American Military Partner Association reported. The American Psychiatric Association also reiterated its strong opposition to the ban.
info: lambdalegal.org. militarypartners.org.

ANI reported that gayborhoods are still facing a subtle form of discrimination from straight individuals. The information for making that claim stems from a study conducted by the University of British Columbia who interviewed 53 participants who lived in two Chicago, Ill. gayborhoods — Boystown and Andersonville.
info: bit.ly/2H3P7rv.

Rev. Anna Blaedel was informed that another formal complaint had been filed against them by the United Methodist Church (UMC). This is the third complaint that has been filed in the last two years. “I have seen the harm done to colleagues and friends who are forced into silence and pressured into closets. It is unfair, unhealthy, and unfaithful that The UMC and its institutional leadership expect this. It is unfair, unhealthy, and unfaithful to prioritize institutional unity over the lives and loves of queer and trans people, and those who love us. The UMC will not find a faithful way forward if it continues to discriminate against LGBTQ people,” Blaedel stated.
info: rmnetwork.org.

Cleis Press has announced that it will release “Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents” on June 12. The book is edited by Frank Lowe. The anthology’s narrative hopes to change the conversation on the modern nuclear family.
info: cleispress.com.

The Black AIDS Institute and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in partnership with Paramount Pictures and Car Pros Kia Carson announced that it is opening a new comprehensive health clinic, A Clinic for Us, in Los Angeles, Calif.
info: blackaids.org.

Connecticut has closed its last youth prison, and has an opportunity to be a model for the region and the nation, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders said in praise. It and other youth advocates are actively engaged in addressing serious issues at Long Creek Youth Development Center and will follow the example Connecticut has set, moving away from incarceration and toward investing in meeting youth needs in our communities, the organization said.
info: glad.org.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), led 17 senators in sending a letter to Donald Trump expressing concerns about the removal of critical LGBTQ health and scientific information from the Health & Human Services Office of Women’s Health and the Office of Management and Budget websites. According to recent reports, resources and information aimed at improving health for lesbian and bisexual women, as well as the LGBTQ population. Health data was moved, rendered inaccessible or entirely deleted from these federal websites.
info: baldwin.senate.gov.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will seek to stop asking 16 and 17 year olds to voluntarily and confidentially disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity on the National Crime Victimization Survey.
info: law.ucla.edu.

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa in Greater Palm Springs, Calif. is launching an LGBTQ wedding package for couples and their dogs. The dog-friendly resort has come up with a package that not only pampers grooms or brides, but also their dogs.
info: marriott.com.

Joy MacPhail has been elected chair of the board of trustees of Adler University, Canada’s only university dedicated to social justice.
info: adler.edu.

David Ermold, who was denied a marriage certificate by Kentucky’s Kim Davis, is running against her for the country clerk position.
info: victoryfund.org.

GLSEN has released its Breaking the Silence Letter Generator, a three-minute questionnaire about the climate of local schools that automatically outputs a custom letter that senders can share with a school or district administrator as part of the organization’s Day of Silence. Its purpose is to advocate for LGBTQ-inclusive support.
info: glsen.org.

OUTBermuda, along with another plaintiff, Maryellen Jackson, have submitted an Originating Summons to the Supreme Court of Bermuda for that court to issue an order declaring that Section 53 of the Domestic Partnership Act 2017 and all other provisions in the act that deal with and give effect to that provision or have the effect of revoking same-sex marriage or making same-sex marriages void, are in contravention of the Bermuda Constitution 1968.
info: outbermuda.org.

Lizard Hazard Games, a small indie studio from Finland, has launched its Kickstarter-funded PC game called Your Royal Gayness. The game is a story-driven parody game with a message about acceptance of sexual diversity.
info: visionist.fi/companyinfo.

PlushCare, which allows anyone to speak with a doctor from their smartphone or computer, announced that they are now serving over 1,000 PrEP patients. This comes just four months after launching its PrEP program. PlushCare anticipates adding another 1,000 PrEP patients in the second quarter of 2018.
info: plushcare.com.

Miami Beach, Fla. was named as the Best LGBTQ Destination in 2018 for the third consecutive year by the Travvy Awards.
info: miamibeachapi.com.

Soulforce’s newest resource is Breaking Open which has reached over 500 individuals in over countries, and been translated by community members into Spanish, Zulu, and Luganda to push back against U.S.-based homophobia and transphobia exported by the Religious Right. In other news, the organization will begin its Bible Self-Defense monthly series in May which runs through October.
info: soulforce.org.

San Diego Pride has announced that through a grant received from the American Consulate General in Tijuana it will take part in hosting a LGBTQ Binational Summit, Orgullo Sin Fronteras, on May 19.
info: sdpride.org/binacional.

Nick Fager, an LGBTQ-specialized psychotherapist in private practice in New York City, was recently named one of Out magazines most eligible bachelors and was featured in Bear World Magazine. Fager is the co-founder and CEO of Lighthouse, a startup that matches LGBTQ people with nearby, LGBTQ-affirming doctors and therapists.
info: lighthouse.lgbt. out.com.

NMAC has released “Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color,” a new report that establishes strategies to effectively use techniques such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) to end the HIV epidemic in communities of color.
info: nmac.org/blueprint.

The National LGBTQ Task Force announced that it has selected Andy Garcia as the next director of Creating Change.
info: thetaskforce.org.

The Point Foundation bestowed honors on journalist Ronan Farrow with the Point Courage Award and actor and singer Laura Benanti with the Point Impact Award. “Empire” actor and musician Jussie Smollett performed at the event.
info: pointfoundation.org.

Blake’s Hard Cider is introducing Rainbow Seeker on April 27. Proceeds from Rainbow Seeker, the first of Blake’s Kinder Cider Series, will fund a $40,000 direct donation to advance civil rights and equality programs spearheaded by the Human Rights Campaign.
info: blakeshardcider.com.

McClatchy announced 12 President’s Awards for journalists who “held officials accountable, forced transparency into dark corners of government” and told stories that connected with millions of readers around the U.S., it shared. Among those honored were North Carolina’s The Charlotte Observer and The (Raleigh) News & Observer for exposing wrongdoing in American prisons and jails, as well as The Sun Herald in Mississippi and the McClatchy video team for the “Out Here in America” podcast and live event focused on LGBTQ issues.
info: mcclatchy.com.

Transgender activist Rachel Lauren Clark announced her intention to seek the Ontario Liberal Party Nomination in the provincial riding of Toronto Centre. She formerly served in the U.S. military before immigrating to Canada.
info: rachelclark.ca.

On behalf of the Honorable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, Randy Boissonnault, member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and the special advisor to the prime minister on LGBTQ2 Issues, announced funding for the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children to deliver a project called TransFormed: Better Health for Trans, Gender-Diverse, and Two-Spirit Survivors of Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence.
info: phac-aspc.gc.ca.

“Out of the Closet,” an all-new digital series launched on April 17 on LogoTV, is featuring the homes of Acid Betty, Aja, Alexis Michelle, Kimora Blac, Manila Luzon and Sasha Velour to explore their wardrobes and learn what inspires their fashion, as well as the process that went into some of their most iconic and “wig-snatching” looks.
info: logotv.com.

The Arcus Foundation has announced its 2018 grant recipients who will use their funds to support LGBTQ education, litigation and religious voices, among others. Among them is North Carolina’s Freedom Center for Social Justice.
info: arcusfoundation.org.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released a new comprehensive guide for college administrators, staff and students outlining many of the critical steps higher educational institutions can take to improve student health and wellbeing.
info: hrc.org.

The Bisexual Resource Center, BiNet USA, AllOfUs and PRIDEnet are collaborating to help the historic All of Us Research Program welcome LGBTQ individuals from around the country on April 25 with an online community listening session.
info: pridestudy.org.

Equality Illinois announced its support of the federal Equal Rights Amendment and urged state legislators to “promptly” ratify it.
info: eqil.org.

A casting call has been issued for a documentary series for television that will follow couples who are in love, but lack familial approval because of race, religion, sexual orientation, political views, age difference, etc. Participants will receive assistance from relationship and family experts. Application is available online.
info: starcrossedlovers.castingcrane.com.

Transgender student Kami Pham will be permitted to walk in her high school graduation in Shreveport, La. Her photograph in the yearbook, however, was not accepted by the principal due to her not dressing in her biological sex clothing, but after a viral petition gathered over 13,000 signatures, he changed his mind. Now her photograph and her attire for graduation are okayed according to her preferred gender expression.
info: bit.ly/2EMYpWR.

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.