Friday, July 21, 2017

Gays Against Guns NYC Event

Dewey Moss's fabulous Off-Broadway play The Crusade of Connor Stephens is partnering with Gays Against Guns NY & Moms Demand Action for an illuminating night of theater & conversation. On Sunday July 23rd directly following the 7:30P performance the audience is invited to stay for a talkback with the cast & creatives along with Kevin Gotkin from Gays Against Guns NY & Bryan D. Keane from Moms Demand Action. Discussion topics will include the importance of theater reflecting current headlines, the work that Gays Against Guns NY & Moms Demand Action are currently doing & why The Crusade of Connor Stephens has relevance in today's society. They will address how families with differing viewpoints can survive in Trump’s America. In The Crusade of Connor Stephens extreme loss shakes a Texas family following a tragic school shooting. In the midst of widespread media attention, their story becomes an allegory for the national debate over religion, tolerance, LGBTQ issues & the seedlings of hate. Dewey Moss's The Crusade of Connor Stephens is a play that comes roaring out the gate like a bull let loose from its corral, tearing up the stage at the Jerry Orbach Theater for two fiery hours before sending us off to think a lot about what we have borne witness to. It’s a “message for our times in the current climate of gun violence, anti LGBTQ platforms & a rising incidence of hate crimes in the USA. For More Info & Tix: crusade2017.com 
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

LGBTQ React To Health Bill Fail

Temporary relief came this summer after U.S. Senators Moran & Lee refused to vote on the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) erasing the Republican party’s hope of gaining 50 votes in favor & effectively ending the third attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If passed the bill would have destabilized the insurance market, gutted Medicaid spending, defunded Planned Parenthood, stripped essential health benefits & undermined care for people with pre-existing conditions, and overall increased the cost of insurance. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director stated, "The Republican-led Congress has presented failed proposal after failed proposal to repeal the ACA & each one would have undermined the dignity & wellbeing of the most marginalized people in this country. Iterations of the bill included cuts to care for the poorest among us, while delivering massive tax cuts to the wealthy. This victory is a reminder to those who hold institutional power in this country that we, the people, will not be silenced. They may have Congress & the White House—but together, we are stronger." The ACA has helped 20 million people gain access to healthcare. It has significantly improved the health & wellbeing of LGBTQ people, who are more likely to be uninsured than non-LGBTQ people. Under the Affordable Care Act, the country witnessed a 35% reduction in the uninsured rate for low & middle income LGBTQ people between 2013 & 2017. More LGBTQ people have healthcare coverage now than ever before.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Singapore Voids Trans Marriage

In Singapore the Registry of Marriages has voided the marriage of a transgender woman & her partner who were married as heterosexuals in October 2015 in an unprecedented case because of the country’s criminalization of homosexuality & failure to recognize same gender couples. When the couple applied for subsidized housing available only to married couples, Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) questioned the couple’s marriage because by then they were each legally registered as female. The marriage was then voided by the Registry & later the couple was denied marital housing. Grace Poore, OutRight Action International Regional Program Coordinator for Asia & the Pacific Islands stated, “This is blatant discrimination by two government departments that are undermining the rights to family & housing eligible to heterosexual married couples. Furthermore, Singapore’s insistence that transgender people must remain in heterosexual relationships denies transgender people the right to be gay or lesbian, which is completely unacceptable. On numerous occasions at national & international arenas, the Singapore government has stated that there is no discrimination against LGBT people in Singapore. This proves what we’ve always known: this is a lie. The state can do right by reinstating their marriage & providing them with the housing to which they are entitled.” While transgender people are entitled to legal gender recognition in Singapore, the Registry used the country’s criminalization of homosexuality & failure to recognize same gender couples as the basis for annulling their marriage.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

LGBT & LGBTQ Terminology

In the past few years there are so many trends about how our LGBTQ or LGBT community is classified. Based on data by Community Marketing & Insights, both can now be used. The advantages of “LGBT” are that the term is more favored across the diversity of our community, has higher favorable rates among baby boomers, & the term is often perceived as being “safer” by corporations. However “LGBTQ” has made making significant gains in the past few years especially among millennials & now has minimal negatives across any demographic group. The big shift from last year is that for the first time, LGBTQ now has an over 50% approval rating among baby boomers. Then it appears that millennials seem to prefer the term “Queer” while baby boomers shudder at the term remembering it as a homophobic slur. Also the term “LGBT-friendly” is far more popular than the historical term of “gay-friendly” which can now be seen as exclusionary of the L, B & T. Importantly the term “gay-friendly” now has a negative rating among millennials, who prefer “LGBT-friendly.” CMI advises corporation to use care in the use of terminology, which means avoiding terms such as, “gay-friendly,” or “gay neighborhoods,” & instead using “LGBT-friendly” & “LGBT neighborhoods.” Then to make thing even more complicated the report found that there’s the new shift among millennials in relationships. Lately many LGBTQ community members in a relationship do not consider themselves as male or female. The report for the first time attempted to recognize & quantify relationships for gender expansive identities.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Marriage Equality Update (AUDIO)

Marriages for gay & lesbian couples is beginning to slow down. However since June 26th 2015 when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on gay & lesbian marriages are unconstitutional over 200,000 same gender marriages have taken place. Though marriage equality is now the law of the land there are still a few hold out states with seven counties in Alabama & one in Texas that refuse to issue marriage licenses. The good news is we are entering a more stable era for gay & lesbian wedding as our LGBTQ community is beginning to mirror the general population. One issue that we still must address is the term same-sex marriage that was a created by Karl Rove & unfortunately our LGBTQ community adopted that effectively raises a red flag for the religious right by using the word “sex” which probably delayed marriage equality from becoming the law of the land for at least 5 years. Never use this term. I cringe when I hear mainstream media uses this term because all you can hear is the redundancy of the word sex. I mean really, have you ever heard anyone from our LGBTQ community when talking within the community say “I’m in a same-sex marriage”, probably not. Use the terms, marriage equality, gay & lesbian marriage or just marriage. I talked about this issue with marriage icon Edie Windsor in this exclusive audio byte: LISTEN:
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

New LGBT Community Survey

Community Marketing & Insights recently revealed their 2017 annual LGBT community survey results from 17,300 LGBTs living in the United States with an interesting spin on LGBT rights, safety & equality with the changing political environment in this country. The survey showed that our LGBT community feels less secure than it did in the recent past with 82% indicating that they fear the loss of LGBT civil rights recently gained. Also overall our LGBT community members are feeling negative about the political & social direction of the country across every indicator tested with 85% indicating that the country is heading in the wrong direction & 85% reporting increased fear of hate crime violence. Another interesting part of the survey is LGBT friendly perceptions of country, state & community with 56% of LGBT community members living the United States consider the United States to be LGBT friendly compared to 98% of Canadians who consider Canada to be LGBT friendly. However most LGBT participants in the United States considered their local community to be LGBT friendly (82%), which may be an indication that we move to places where we feel more welcomed. The state-by-state analysis is interesting as people living in “blue” states had high praise for their state & local community & those living in deep “red” states had negative perceptions of their state but more positive perceptions of their local community. Community Marketing & Insights has provided LGBT research, market insights, strategies & training to corporate leaders, non-profits, universities & government institutions around the world since 1992.
For More Info: communitymarketinginc.com
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Artem Kolesov Benefit Concert

There will be a benefit concert “From Russia with Love” in Chicago to help Russian born LGBTQ Violinist Artem Kolesov flee persecution from Russia on Saturday August 26th at the Hoover-Artem Theatre at 7P. Artem Kolesov is the 23-year old gay man who caught the world’s attention when he came out earlier this year on YouTube as part of a Russian "Children-404" project that invites teenagers to share their stories & discuss LGBT issues in Russia. In most of their photos & videos, participants shield their identities by holding up a sign in front of their faces but Kolesov did not. While his courageous move caught international attention it also means that he can never return home. His dream is to insure his safety by obtaining U.S. citizenship. Kolesov now lives in Chicago where he is first violinist in the Yas Quartet, which is in residence at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. Earlier this summer Kolesov was honored at the Logo TV Trailblazers Awards. Last year his ensemble took third prize in the Chamber Division at the Schoenfeld International String Competition held in Harbin, China. The concert entitled “From Russia with Love: A benefit concert for Artem Kolesov & other LGBTQ refugees fleeing persecution” will feature a performance by Kolesov & the YAS Quartet and others. Tickets start at $50 & all proceeds will benefit legal costs associated with Kolesov’s pursuit of U.S citizenship, American Friends of Rainbow Railroad & Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program (CLASP).
For Info & Tix…
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