Calvin Runnels, a transgender Georgia Tech senior biochemistry major from Baton Rouge, La., has been named a Rhodes Scholar. Runnels is the second openly transgender American given this honor and is entitled to a two to three year stay at Oxford University in England with all expenses covered.
More clubs in Scotland have pledged to make the game more inclusive for LGBTQ fans. For the first time two-thirds of Scottish Professional Football League’s clubs and the entire league Premiership have taken a stand by signing on to the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter. The move is coordinated by Scottish LGBTI charity the Equality Network, who developed and launched the charter, and the Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign. It is the first time in Scotland that so many clubs have made a commitment to better include LGBTQ individuals in the game and it includes the biggest clubs in Scottish Football.
United Methodist Church ordained Rev. M. Barclay and queer theologian Rev. Anna Blaedel have launched Enfleshed, a non-profit organization that helps faith leaders and parishioners make their practice queer-friendly, Vice reported. The effort was brought about by the two individual’s “shared frustrations with how Christian leaders were approaching topics like sex and race relations; the hope is that an organization like Enfleshed can help address the schism between a longstanding institution like Christianity and modern-day society.”
info: bit.ly/2mC86nc. enfleshed.com.
Equality California applauded U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis in the District of Maryland as he issued a preliminary injunction in Stone v. Trump, a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the Trump administration’s transgender military ban. This new ruling affirms the nationwide preliminary injunction issued in Doe v. Trump on Oct. 30.
The worldwide publication of “The Last Word,” the third and final installment of Quentin Crisp’s autobiography, was made available for sale on Nov. 21 on the 18th anniversary of Crisp’s passing. “The Last Word” was written by Crisp with the help of his best friend, Phillip Ward, who tape-recorded and later transcribed Crisp’s words between 1997-1999. Upon his death, Crisp left the rights and responsibility to publish “The Last Word” to Ward, who later enlisted former Pink News features writer Laurence Watts to help edit the resulting manuscript.
info: westwicke.com. cripseranto.org.
The third season of Emmy-nominated “Eastsiders” will launch this month. Shot on location in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and California, season three stars Kit Williamson as Cal and four-time Emmy Nominee Van Hansis (“As the World Turns”) as Thom. It also features guest star appearances by Constance Wu (ABC’s “Fresh Off The Boat”), Stephen Guarino (“I’m Dying Up Here”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek Discovery”), Brianna Brown (The CW’s “Dynasty”), Willam Belli (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), social media superstar Max Emerson and Colby Keller.
Stonewall Democrats are endorsing Keisha Lance Bottoms in her run-off race against Mary Norwood in the Atlanta, Ga. mayoral contest.
In observance of Transgender Awareness week, Grindr has rolled out updates to their dating app to be more inclusive of transgender users. The app and website copy have been updated to include gender-neutral terms. Users will also notice a new “Identity” section in user profiles that include options for listing common genders like “trans man,” “woman,” “cis man,” “non-binary,” “non-conforming,” and “queer” as well as pronouns. Users will also have the option to write in custom genders and pronouns. Additionally, in response to transgender user feedback, Grindr developed a new Gender Identity Resource Page to address some of the questions transgender users frequently get from other users. These new features were informed by a transgender user survey and formal consultation with the National Center for Transgender Equality. In other news, Grindr has partnered with podcast “Food 4 Thot” and will debut its second season on Dec. 10. This season will also be distributed in partnership with INTO, Grindr’s digital lifestyle magazine for the global LGBTQ community, and will now take the big step of being weekly instead of bi-weekly. This media partnership is the first of its kind in the queer media world, the partners stated. INTO and “Food 4 Thot” have joined forces to continue a shared mission of diversifying LGBTQ representation with “intellectual rigor” to the current government administration.
info: grindr.com. food4thotpodcast.com.
In late November NPR released the fifth portion of the series “You, Me and Them: Experiencing Discrimination in America.” Based on a survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this multi-platform series delves into personal experiences of discrimination in America from representative samples of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, whites, men, women and LGBTQ adults.
The State of California is now a plaintiff in the Stockman v. Trump lawsuit against the Trump administration’s military ban. National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders are serving as co-counsel in the case.
info: eqca.org. glad.org. nclrights.org.
The “Christmas Queens” franchise is back with the official premiere of a third album, exclusive merchandise collection, new music video and the first-ever drag concert film. Producer Entertainment Group (PEG), a 360 artist representation company, oversees the franchise and all artists involved. The “Christmas Queens Sing-Along Concert Special,” a combination of live performances, interviews, music videos and backstage moments from various stops along the sold-out 2016 world tour, has been released. It features music from the first two holiday albums and the special was filmed live in London, UK and Los Angeles, Calif. and stars Alaska Thunderfuck, Ginger Minj, Ivy Winters, Jackie Beat, Jiggly Caliente, Katya, Manila Luzon, Phi Phi O’Hara and Sharon Needles, and features Michelle Visage. The special is currently available to rent or buy on Vimeo, and will be available on other major platforms in December. Additionally, the third album includes many “Christmas Queens” alumni as well as new additions, including: Alaska Thunderfuck, Bob The Drag Queen, Ginger Minj, Ivy Winters, Jackie Beat, Jiggly Caliente, Jinkx Monsoon, Katya, Manila Luzon, Michelle Visage, Peppermint, Phi Phi O’Hara, Sharon Needles, Sherry Vine and Thorgy Thor.
info: producerentertainment.com. vimeo.com/ondemand/christmasqueens.
From near and far, neighboring Out & About Nashville celebrated its 15th anniversary in October and Robert Moore, the co-founder and former publisher of the Dallas Voice, was honored by the Dallas Press Club with a Hugh Aynesworth Award for Excellence in Journalism. He received this award for a photograph he took of police officer J.D. Smith during the July 7, 2016, Dallas Police ambush.
Jacksonville, Fla.’s Youth Crisis Center and youth services organization JASMYN have added the area’s first LGBTQ emergency shelter, House of Hope.
Pride Foundation announced $507,000 in grants to 81 organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington — investing resources into local organizations working to ensure that LGBTQ individuals and their families can live fully and safely in their home communities. In addition to these community grants, Pride Foundation awarded a total of nearly $850,000 to organizations and student leaders in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington in 2017 through our scholarship program, sponsorships, Rapid Response Fund and Donor Advised Grants.
A transgender woman, who goes by the initials S.A.C., was granted asylum in the U.S. after enduring rape and torture in her native Guatemala and subsequently spending several months housed at Stewart Detention Center, a men’s facility in Georgia.
Ropes & Gray announced the recipients of the 2018 Ropes & Gray Roscoe Trimmier Jr. Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship honors the memory of Roscoe Trimmier Jr., a trial lawyer, the firm’s first African-American partner and a pioneering leader of the firm’s diversity efforts. The awardees are: Merilin Castillo, Columbia University (Boston, Mass.); Baldemar Gonzalez, Columbia University (New York, N.Y.); Lauren Martinez, Seton Hall University (New York, N.Y.); Memme Onwudiwe, Harvard University (Silicon Valley); and Phillip Yao, Yale University (Boston, Mass.). The scholarship recipients will each receive a $25,000 award to offset the expenses of their legal education. They will join the firm as summer associates in 2018, with two joining the firm’s Boston, Mass. office, two joining in New York, N.Y., and one in Silicon Valley.
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates held its second annual Out & Equal LGBT Brazil Forum on Nov. 14 in São Paulo, Brazil. The event convened 300 attendees from more than 125 Brazilian and multi-national companies to discuss strategies for advancing LGBTQ workplace inclusion in Brazil, and to encourage networking for LGBTQ and ally professionals from across diverse industries.
GayRVA is now accepting applications for Spring 2018 interns.
The Key West Business Guild and its LGBT Visitor Center have relocated to a new, larger location at 808 Duval St. The new location is within Key West’s “Pink Triangle,” which includes a cluster of LGBTQ bars, entertainment clubs and stores around the 700 and 800 blocks of Duval. The area is also home to four permanent rainbow crosswalks that the city installed in May 2015.
info: gaykeywestfl.com. fla-keys.com/gay. fla-keys.com/keywest.
Southerners on New Ground and the Transgender Law Center have announced that a new initiative, the Grapevine Survey, is now open. It was designed for transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people “living, loving, and resisting in the U.S. South,” organizers said. It is especially for youth, elders, sex workers, people with disabilities and formerly and currently incarcerated folks. Data derived from the survey will be used in an upcoming “Southern Trans Report.”
info: bit.ly/grapevinesurvey. southernersonnewground.org. transgenderlawcenter.org.
Out for Undergrad has announced the appointment of Dr. Cindi Love as its new executive director effective Jan. 2, 2018. Love founded an INC 500 company and was recognized as one of 50 of North American top entrepreneurs by the MIT/INC/YEO Birthing of Giants program. Also, she founded and sold Integration Control System & Services to The TORO Company in 1996 and served as a TORO executive until 2000. Since July 2014, Love has served as the executive director of ACPA — College Student Educators International in Washington, D.C., member of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat and Working Group Advising the U.S. secretary of state on religion and foreign policy. She was a panelist for President Barack Obama’s 2015 Challenge for Faith-Based Partnerships and Communities and was honored at the White House twice for human rights leadership. She now serves as one of 95 Content Experts for the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks project and is former member of the United Nations Compass Coalition on LGBT Human Rights.
A new makeup line, JECCA, has been created for the LGBTQ consumer. It’s founder developed it after working in the TV and film makeup industry.
Tom of Finland Wines, a new label created in tribute to the legacy and artwork of Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920-1991), popularly known as Tom of Finland, has announced its inaugural release — the 2015 OUTstanding RED. Following a launch in Finland in 2016, Tom of Finland Wines is making its U.S. debut, with the wine available exclusively direct-to-consumer on the website. Tom of Finland Wines is made in partnership with the Tom of Finland Foundation, a non-profit started in 1984 by Tom and Durk Dehner. Though the foundation’s original purpose was to preserve Tom’s vast catalog of work, today the foundation has expanded its efforts and exists to educate the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art and the promotion of healthier, more tolerant attitudes towards sexuality through experiential workshops, residencies and exhibitions.
New York, N.Y.’s NYC Pride March is now accepting 2018 march registrations. Early bird registration closes on Jan. 8, 2018 and all registration closes on May 1, 2018.
The 3Somer app data helps the LGBTQ community connect, said its developers, by showing how many gay members are signed up in each area of the U.S. The data collected from the app can be useful when deciding where to settle with a partner, where to go on vacation, or where to head for a weekend of fun, they added.
OUT Magazine has published its “Free To Be Me: 20 Portraits of LGBTQ Refugees.”
On Nov. 20, the Transgender Community Coalition hosted their annual Transgender Day of Remembrance at Palm Springs City Hall in Palm Springs, Calif. During its event it unveiled the first Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Cenotaph Sculpture. The non-profit organization commissioned the life-size sculpture to honor victims of transgender violence. The statue was inspired after the death of a transgender woman, Yaz’min Sanchez, who was shot and burned behind a garbage bin in Florida. Sanchez’ body left a silhouette where her remains were discovered. Los Angeles-based metal artist Heath Satow created the sculpture, illustrating the life-size figure, made of steel butterflies (symbolizing metamorphosis or transition), lying on their side. The sculpture aimed to inspire needed conversations aimed at ending discrimination and violence against transgender people in the U.S. and across the world.
London, U.K. will host the world’s first LGBTQ travel expo in 2018.
The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation announced the 2017 LGBT Playwriting Competition results. First prize went to James Robert-Moore, London, U.K., for “Posterboy,” based on the autobiography “Out in the Army.” Second prize went to Raquel Almazan, New York, N.Y., for “La Paloma Prisoner” and Ben Noble, Northcote, Victoria, Australia, for “Member.” Honorable mentions went to Christina Quintana, New York, N.Y., for “Azul;” Jack Rushen, Stratford, Conn., for “Taming the Lion;” Mark Saltzman, Studio City, Calif., for “Falling for Make Believe: The Life and Songs of Lorenz Hart.” This year’s competition drew 146 submissions from across the U.S. and around the world. The 2017 contest marks the end of the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation’s playwriting competition, which was launched in 1996 as a literary competition awarding prizes to LGBTQ-themed, historically inspired plays, novels and short fiction. The foundation’s production-grant program, which over the past year has provided financial support to 30 theater companies and other not-for-profit producing organizations, will continue in 2018.
A new monthly potluck hosted by Inland Oasis has begun in Moscow, Idaho called Rainbow Families which provides for network resources.