In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, KCET will offer special programming to its audience. It includes a documentary on LGBTQ historical identity, “Coming Out: A 50 Year History,” narrated by Jazz Jennings; “Denial: The Dad That Tried To Save The World;” and “The Year We Thought About Love.” Some will be streamed.
Hawaii joined 11 other states and the District of Columbia when its Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law on May 25 banning conversion therapy by health professionals, the National Center for Lesbian Rights shared. The Trevor Project also added that it establishes the sexual orientation counseling task force. The organization, with its “50 Bills 50 States” campaign, works to introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced or successfully passed in 34 states. Most recently, Maryland joined the growing list.
info: nclrights.org. thetrevorproject.org.
The LGBT Bar celebrated the passage out of committee of H7066, a bill that would ban the Gay/Trans “Panic” Defense in Rhode Island courtrooms.
LGBT Media Inc. announced a new crowdfunding campaign to further accelerate its LGBTQutie’s growth and expansion, including internationally.
Greater Fort Lauderdale will be the host destination for the first-ever Pride of the Americas Festival in 2020. The 10-day event, announced at the International Gay & Lesbian Travel annual conference in Toronto, Canada, will be hosted by Pride of Fort Lauderdale and presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and will include a parade, a beach party, arts festival, social events throughout the destination, and a human rights conference focused on LGBTQ rights. It is expected to attract over 350,000.
info: sunny.org. prideoftheamericas.org. pridefortlauderdale.org.
On May 9, the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation suspended its production grants program. The officers and advisory board regretted the decision which was made due to the foundation’s resources having dwindled to the point that the program was no longer sustainable.
The LGBT Foundation has appointed its first CEO, Sean Howell who currently serves as president of Hornet where he has spent the last six years helping the company grow its user base and its editorial division.
Singer/songwriter/actor/director/producer/activist and Black AIDS Institute Board Member Jussie Smollett of Fox’s hit television series “Empire,” has announced a summer tour to support his debut full-length studio album release, “Sum Of My Music,” the organization reported.
GLAAD released its sixth annual Studio Responsibility Index, a report that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios and their subsidiaries during the 2017 calendar year. The index data found that of the 109 releases from major studios in 2017, only 14 (12.8 percent) of them included characters that are LGBTQ. This represents a significant decrease from the previous year’s report (18.4 percent, 23 out of 125), and the lowest percentage of LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012. Not one of the 109 releases included a transgender character, a drop from the one transgender character portrayed in 2016, who only served as a punchline, GLAAD shared. The organization is calling on the studios to make sure that 20 percent of annual major studio releases include LGBTQ characters by 2021, and that 50 percent of films include LGBTQ characters by 2024.
Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that, in conjunction with its continuing efforts to raise awareness around the problem of HIV-related diarrhea, the company is supporting the production of “Merce,” an award-winning musical comedy web series about a middle-aged, HIV-positive man living in New York City.
info: mytesi.com. mercetheseries.com.
The Association of LGBTQ Journalists has announced that Entertainment Weekly Editor-in-Chief Henry Goldblatt will receive the Lisa Ben Award for Achievement in Features Coverage at its annual L.A. Exclusive benefit event on June 1.
A Chilean clerical sex abuse survivor, as reported in The Guardian, said that in his private conversation with Pope Francis, the pope strongly affirmed the man’s gay sexual orientation, New Ways Ministry shared. Its Executive Director Francis DeBarnardo responded to this news by saying, “If the comments are true, this represents a remarkable shift in official Catholic discourse on LGBT issues. Instead of the more passive “Who am I to judge?” the pope is expressing a much stronger affirmation of gay and lesbian people than he, or any previous pope or Vatican official, has ever done. Even if the words reported are exactly as the pope said them, they still do not indicate a change in official teaching, but they do represent a major change in pastoral attitude and practice. Our hope, though, is that Pope Francis would say these words publicly, not just in the context of a private conversation.”
In related news, the National Catholic Register reported that in a closed-door speech to Italian bishops, “Pope Francis spoke about the number and quality of seminary candidates, including concerns about their sexual orientation.” The Register further reported that the pope felt that those who had “deep-seated tendencies” or were actively participating in gay sex should not be allowed to enter the seminary citing that they could “lead to scandals and can compromise the life of the seminary, as well as the man himself and his future priesthood.”
The Biden Foundation and YMCA of the USA announced a joint three-year effort to foster LGBTQ inclusion and equity at YMCA locations nationwide. The new initiative is made possible by funding by the Gill Foundation and the David Bohnett Foundation.
info: bidenfoundation.org. ymca.net. gillfoundation.org. bohnettfoundation.org.
During GLAAD’s 2018 Concert for Love and Acceptance on June 7, openly gay country artist, Brandon Stansell will be performing along with Ty Herndon, Terri Clark, Cassadee Pope, Michael Ray and Calum Scott.
In partnership with the Department of State and the San Diego Diplomacy Council, San Diego Pride will be hosting “Pride World Forum” on July 15 where LGBTQ leaders from around the world will discuss issues facing the LGBTQ community in their respective countries. In the current political climate, human rights and public safety for members of the LGBTQ community have been at the forefront of news, locally and globally. Over the last several years, San Diego Pride’s partnership with the San Diego Diplomacy Council has brought 411 delegates from 127 countries from around the world to meet and discuss LGBTQ issues.
GLSEN has announced the winner of its 2018 Pride shirt contest.
AT&T Audience Network unveiled its new, exclusive documentary, “Alone In The Game,” which will make its premiere on June 28 at 8 p.m. It follows a group of athletes and sports figures from American sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLS, and NCAA, among others, to explore the ongoing struggles LGBTQ athletes are facing at the professional, collegiate and Olympic levels.
Guyhop is holding its first Spokesmodel Contest to represent the web-based app until July 1.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official has disclosed that the agency will roll back support for the collection of data on the health and well-being of LGBTQ individuals through the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System.
info: williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu. cdc.gov.
GLAAD and Bonnier Publishing USA announced a publishing partnership dedicated to integrating and elevating positive LGBTQ representation in children’s literature.
The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity launched their plans to create to world’s first LGBTQI2+ Museum.
The Legal Aid Society, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project praised a decision rendered by the New York State Department of Health that acknowledges gender non-conforming New Yorkers’ right to health coverage under Medicaid.
The Minnesota Vikings will become the first NFL team to host a summit and fundraiser focused exclusively on LGBTQ inclusion in sports.
Jennifer Aniston will play the first LGBTQ president of the U.S. in the upcoming Netflix release of “First Ladies,” Paper magazine reported. Playing opposite her is Tig Notaro as the first lady.
Q Voice News reported that the Harvey Milk Park added new local LGBTQ activist names to the Memorial Wall.
San Francisco, Calif. now has an official LGBTQ leather district.
Disney has introduced rainbow Mickey Mouse ears for Pride.
Them reported that this year’s TIME 100 most influential people worldwide has 14 openly LGBTQ individuals included and are: Janet Mock, Lena Waithe, Daniela Vega, Adam Rippon, Leo Varadkar, Peggy Whitson, Kehinde Wiley, Emma Gonzalez, Christian Siriano, Christopher Wylie, Jan Rader, Ronan Farrow and colleagues Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Ruth Davidson and Kesha.