Friday, September 30, 2016

Orlando Hosts ACC Championship

In a fabulous decision the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced that they will move their championship football game from North Carolina to Orlando, Florida due to North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ law HB-2. The ACC joined the NCAA & NBA in standing up for LGBTQ equality & relocating championship games in response to North Carolina's discriminatory House Bill 2. The ACC's decision will reportedly cost the state an estimated $32.5 million, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses that the deeply discriminatory legislation has cost North Carolina. Hannah Willard, Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director stated, "We are thrilled the ACC chose the City Beautiful as the new location for the league’s 2016 championship football game. This decision sends a strong message that LGBTQ inclusion is good for business & will be rewarded by institutions that value fairness. This decision should encourage Florida's governor & legislature to follow Orlando's lead & take proactive steps to protect all LGBTQ Floridians & visitors. This is a unique opportunity for Florida to affirm its commitment to diversity & inclusion and attract even more business to the Sunshine State. Our legislature should pass the bipartisan Florida Competitive Workforce Act to update existing state law and protect all LGBTQ Floridians from discrimination & Governor Scott should issue an executive order extending protections to LGBTQ state employees. Florida's government can seize this opportunity to signal to other businesses who left North Carolina in the wake of HB 2 that Florida is open for business to everyone."
For More Info: eqfl.org
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lesbian Dance Party Event (Audio)

The 19th annual Lesbians & Friends Dance fundraiser supporting the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition takes place on Saturday October 22nd from 8P to Midnight in Brookline, Massachusetts. Since 1992 MBCC has been working with the LGBT community towards MBCC’s goal of breast cancer prevention. The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is the only breast cancer non-profit working closely with a research organization (Silent Spring Institute) to investigate preventable, environmental causes of the disease. This work is funded through annual fundraising events like the upcoming Lesbians & Friends Dance: A Party for Prevention. Cheryl Osimo Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition stated, “I support full & equal rights for everyone. The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is doing all we can to prevent this disease & we need to make sure that all of us who are working on a single issue branch out to help one another to work together on any & all issues that need attention.” Hundreds of women will come together to celebrate & hope for a future free of breast cancer. Directly before the event dance instructor Liz Nania, will lead a free one-hour dance workshop for all interested participants from 7P to 8P. Refreshments including complimentary hors d’oeuvres & a cash bar will also be provided to all attendees. They will feature a silent auction with items donated from LGBT friendly businesses & DJ Triana will provide the music. Tickets are $40 in advance & $45 at the door. LISTEN
 
For Info & Tix: mbcc.org
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Debate Avoids LGBT Civil Rights

Besides Donald Trump’s inappropriate attack on Rosie O'Donnell during the first presidential debate our LGBT community was not even mentioned when candidates Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton took part in a one-on-one debate at Hofstra University Monday night. The two major political party presidential nominees faced each other for the first time just 42 days before Election Day. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director stated, “We are disappointed that neither Presidential candidate spoke about the need for strong federal nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer (LGBTQ) people. With an anticipated 100 million viewers watching, this would have also been a great opportunity for the candidates to provide clear remedies on how to advance voting rights, secure reproductive justice & fix the broken immigration system. Monday night, each candidate discussed their position on how they would address economic disparities, criminal justice reform, gun violence & racial injustice in America. We hope that voters take a close look at each candidate’s platform and vote their values of full freedom, justice and equality for all.” There are still 2 more upcoming presidential debates & one vice presidential debate between homophobic GOP candidate Mike Pence & Dem Tim Kane so we’ll see if our LGBT community is included in this crucial national discussion. The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund works to secure full freedom, justice & equality LGBTQ people. For over forty years they have been at the forefront of the social justice movement by training thousands of organizers & advocating for change at the federal, state & local level. (LGBT Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
For More Info: taskforceactionfund.org
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Out & Equal Workplace Summit

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to achieving LGBT workplace equality. Their annual workplace summit takes place in Orlando, Florida from October 4th to 7th at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. Since 1996 Out & Equal has worked with Fortune 1,000 companies & government agencies around the world to provide a safe, welcoming & supportive environment for LGBT employees. I talked to Selisse Berry, Founder & CEO of Out & Equal about what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years. Berry stated, “We still live in this interesting time in history where we can be married on Saturday & then in 22 states in the country we still can be fired on Monday for putting our wedding picture on our desk because there are no federal laws to protect us. So I’m looking forward to federal protections in the United States & also looking forward to continuing this work globally so everyone around the world can be out & equal.” This three-day global conference features hundreds of educational opportunities including workshops, expert panels, networking mixers & plenaries with keynotes from prominent LGBT & ally leaders. More than 3,500 LGBT employees, executives, CEOs, celebrities, politicians, advocates, activists & allies are scheduled to attend including Abby Wambach, former US Women’s Soccer Team Captain; Lance Bass, Pop-star / Dancer / Actor / Producer; The Pointer Sisters, Pop Group; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; George Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts; Diana Nyad. record-breaking athlete & many more. LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW: 
For More Info: outandequal.org
Listen: Producer Sue Maslin Talks New Film "The Dressmaker"
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Lady Fest Miami 2016 Event

Lady Fest Miami is a unique grassroots festival focused on building power, solidarity & community among women & girls in Miami, Florida. It takes place on Sunday October 2nd at Citadel 8325 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami, FL from 9A to 7P. The organizing members of Lady Fest Miami are a collective of a diverse group of local activists, artists & organizers residing in South Florida. Lady Fest Miami is a all volunteer event organized, led & run by & for women --including women of color; women who identify as LGB, queer, transgender, mothers, child-free women, women in the faith community, women who are immigrants, women of all ages & their allies. The objective is to build a sustainable community & celebrate diversity through critical dialogue, cultural performance & artistic expression within the context of a women-centered space. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations & social justice backgrounds, they all share a passion for a dedication to fostering transformative dialogue within the local community. The event is a grassroots initiative that will consist of interactive workshops & discussions, live music, art & performances. Lady Fest Miami is committed to recognizing how power & privilege exist in society & working to dismantle the structures & attitudes that contribute to oppression. They are celebrating, building & recognizing a sisterhood from shared oppression & experience that recognizes the complexity & difference within that sisterhood. The event is free if you RSVP by 12P Saturday 10/1 or a $5 donation at the door is suggested.
For More Info: ladyfestmiami.com
Listen: Producer Sue Maslin Talks New Film "The Dressmaker"
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Florida Gun Violence Prevention

Equality Florida has made a significant policy announcement to formally endorse common sense gun violence prevention policies in response to the hate-fueled attack in Orlando this past June targeting our LGBTQ community at Pulse nightclub’s Latin night. Last June a gunman opened fire at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando & bullets from the shooter’s military-style assault weapon struck 102 people, leaving 49 dead, 53 injured & hundreds traumatized. The LGBTQ & Latin communities were targeted in a hate-fueled rampage that is now the deadliest modern-day mass shooting & the largest attack on LGBTQ people in America in history. Equality Florida will partner with gun safety advocates & other allies to combat epidemic of gun violence. In addition to Equality Florida’s top priority of passing a statewide anti-discrimination law for LGBTQ Floridians, the organization will seek to expand background checks to cover all gun purchases & to limit access to military-style assault weapons & high-capacity magazines. More than 20 percent of hate crimes reported nationally in 2014 targeted people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the most recent FBI statistics. Hate crimes in general are on the decline & yet hate crimes against LGBTQ people are rising. In the same way that Equality Florida has adopted policy positions that promote racial equity & reproductive justice they now pledge publicly to advocate for common sense gun violence prevention measures to stop the rising tide of violence against our LGBT community.
For More Info: eqfl.org
Listen: Nadine Smith Talks Disarming Hate After Orlando Massacre
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Equitas Health Art For Life Event

Equitas Health’s Art for Life in Columbus Ohio is a biennial party for a cause & art auction that helps raise awareness & funding for HIV/AIDS medical care, prevention, education, testing & advocacy services at Equitas Health. The event that takes place at the Columbus Museum of Art on Saturday September 24th from 5P to Midnight is not only a celebration of the arts community & Equitas Health’s life-saving work but also a celebration of life & the artists who enrich it. In partnership with Pizzuti Collection & the Columbus Museum of Art, this year's auction will feature 85 pieces of artwork from local artists as well as national artists with an Ohio connection. The majority of funds raised will benefit Equitas Health’s life-saving medical & social services, with a portion benefitting the Pizzuti Collection’s education programs. Featured artists included in the silent auction are Carrie Moyer an artist & writer based in Brooklyn, NY who with photographer Sue Schaffner co-founded one of the first lesbian public art projects, “Dyke Action Machine!” which was active in New York City between 1991-2008. Also included is Michael Guinane who moved moved to Columbus in 1996 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to attend the Columbus College of Art & Design. Michael continues to live & work in Columbus, showing in galleries, public venues doing privately commissioned works that are shown throughout the country while also teaching. You can vote for your favorite art piece to receive the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Community Award, named after the life-long artist whose art reflects the Near Eastside neighborhood in Columbus where she grew up.
For Tix & Info: artforlife.arcohio.org
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New HUD Transgender Shelter Rule

With all the horror stories of our LGBT community dealing with homelessness in shelters especially for transgender & gender nonconforming youth the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has released a new rule that requires shelters to respect the gender identity of transgender & gender non-conforming homeless people. Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán, Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force stated, “This new HUD rule is an important step towards protecting the marginalized of the marginalized — who are the most defenseless from discrimination — homeless trans & gender nonconforming people. We know that trans & gender nonconforming people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, are disproportionately people of color & people with disabilities & trans & gender nonconforming youth are especially vulnerable as they often are being forced to flee abusive families. By taking this action, HUD is sending the message to shelters & service providers that discrimination against the trans & gender nonconforming community is against U.S. Federal law.” Last April I participated in a conference call with The National LGBTQ Task Force & the True Colors Fund announcing a new tool for individuals & communities working to support LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. “At The Intersections” is the new online resource written by 47 contributors that provides a comprehensive guide for advocates, policymakers, service providers & funders working to end homelessness among LGBTQ youth. In this country up to 40 percent of young people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ although they represent less than 10 percent of the general youth population. LISTEN
For More Info: attheintersections.org
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Film The Dressmaker (Audio)

Film producer Sue Maslin talks about her new movie “The Dressmaker” starring Oscar winner Kate Winslet about a glamorous worldly dressmaker who returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind the scandal that banished her as a young woman. Set in the 1950’s this dark & camp comedy stars Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage who cares for her eccentric mother played by Judy Davis & schemes with the local cross dressing sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who becomes something of a buffer between Tilly & the town’s people who haven’t forgotten the tragedy they believe Tilly caused as a child that tore the town apart & led to her exile. “The Dressmaker” opens in theaters September 23rd. When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Maslin stated, “Well, I’m gay & I love seeing movies where you have kind of complex interesting female & male characters that are not just stereotypes. They’re that kind of movies that I like and the great thing about “The Dressmaker” is that it plays on a camp sensibility. So we have the gorgeous Hugo Weaving who plays Sergeant Farrat & he knows how to handle those fabrics & he does it with such humor as well. So I guess that sensibility of subversion comes from my perspective I guess of being a lesbian & engaging in popular culture. You like to put a twist in it when you get an opportunity.” LISTEN

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Emmy Awards LGBT Strong (AUDIO)

Our LGBT community is becoming so mainstream that we almost dominated the 68th Annual Emmy Awards. It kicked off with Sarah Paulson winning her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series the role of Marcia Clark in The People v O.J. Simpson & including a thanks to her partner Holland Taylor. Openly gay Kate McKinnon won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Saturday Night Live. Tatiana Maslany finally was acknowledged for her role on Orphan Black which one of her characters is a lesbian picking up the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Then we had Ryan Murphy win another Emmy for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story in the Limited Series category. Jill Soloway also picked up another Emmy for Directing for a Comedy Series for Transparent along with Jeffrey Tambor for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Our good friend Laverne Cox was a presenter taking the stage to represent transgender actors & earlier this week RuPaul Charles won an Emmy for hosting RuPaul's Drag Race. In this exclusive audio byte I talked to fierce LGBT allies Judith Light & Jeffrey Tambor at the GLAAD Media Awards about their hit Amazon series Transparent. Light & Tambor both talked about the importance of using their celebrity to make change for LGBT & gender equality stating, “What is most important is that lives are being saved." LISTEN:
 
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Friday, September 16, 2016

Mike Pence In Transgender Lawsuit

Governor Mike Pence along with Indiana state officials are being sued by a transgender man who was prohibited from changing his legal name because of his immigration classification in that state. The lawsuit was filed by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund) & Transgender Law Center on behalf of a 31-year-old Indiana resident who alleges that a 2010 state law requiring proof of citizenship to obtain a change of legal name is unconstitutional. The plaintiff who was granted asylum in the U.S. last year stated, “I want to use a name that is in line with my true identity. Without a legal name change, I am forced to use an I.D. that is inconsistent with who I am & puts me in danger of harassment, violence & being outed as transgender whenever I present it. I am simply asking for equal treatment under the law.” The plaintiff, listed as “John Doe” in the complaint, was born in Mexico & raised in Indiana where he moved with his family when he was six-years old. Although born & raised as a girl, he has lived his entire adult life as a man & is recognized as a male on all official U.S. documents & his Indiana state ID. However, he remains unable to change his legal name in Indiana because of the 2010 state law that precludes non-citizens, including legal residents, from petitioning the state for a change. Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center concluded, “Everyone should be able to live as their authentic selves no matter their gender identity or immigration status. Transgender immigrants already experience disproportionate violence without the government further jeopardizing their safety & privacy with this unnecessary and discriminatory rule.”
For More Info: transgenderlawcenter.org
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wicked Queer Film Festival Event

The Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival is presenting Wicked Queer: Flashback this weekend from Friday September 16th to Monday September 19th. They’re partnering with the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA for this fabulous look at the explosion of queer cinema that occurred during the 1980s & ‘90s. Prior to the mid-‘80s LGBT characters rarely took lead roles in cinema & those who did appear were typically caricatures, stereotypes & worse but with the rise of gay liberation & the devastation of the AIDS epidemic the queer community began to tell their own stories & create their own cinema. This series includes groundbreaking underground films, sexy neo-noirs, period pieces & debuts from world-renowned filmmakers. On September 16th they’ll be screening the 20th Anniversary digital restoration of Cheryl Dunye's THE WATERMELON WOMAN co-presented by the LOCS Collective at 7P Followed by the 20th Anniversary of the Wachowski's BOUND staring Jennifer Tilly & Gena Gershon at 9:30P. Saturday's Double Feature on September 17th brings Donna Deitch's DESERT HEARTS which is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with Lisa Cholodenko's HIGH ART starring Ally Sheedy. Sunday's Double-Feature on September 18th is the WWII lesbian drama AIMEE & JAGUAR with the multi-award winning film BENT staring Clive Owen, Ian McKellen & Mick Jagger, co-presented by the Boston Jewish Film Festival. The series on Monday September 19th celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Gus Van Sant's seminal MALA NOCHE in a Double-Feature with Todd Haynes' Jean Genet inspired, transgressive trio of tales POISON which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
For Tix & Times: brattlefilm.org
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cycle For The Cause AIDS Ride

The NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center presents Cycle for the Cause: The Northeast AIDS Ride & The Red Party on September 18th to welcome back hundreds of riders & crew from the 4 day 275-mile journey to raise funds for HIV & AIDS programs & services. Cycle for the Cause is The Center's bike ride begins in Boston September 15th & ends in NYC passing through more than 50 cities in between. Since 1983 The Center has been fully committed to ending this epidemic by providing HIV & AIDS services & support to our LGBT community, which has been profoundly affected by AIDS. More than 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV & an estimated 50,000 more will be diagnosed this year alone. More alarming every 30 minutes someone in the U.S. dies from AIDS-related complications. The Center provides support for people living with & affected by HIV & AIDS 365 days a year. The Center closes off its section of 13 Street for a celebratory block party. Hundreds of community members, friends & family will gather to cheer on our heroes as they return from their 275-mile journey. Enjoy food, drinks, a raffle & other fun activities at this free event in honor of all those who continue the fight to end AIDS. The Center is located at 208 W 13 Street in NYC & riders are expected to begin arriving from 2:30P on this Sunday.
For More Info: gaycenter.org
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

North Carolina HB2 Loses Again

There’s been another financial blow to North Carolina as the NCAA has withdrawn all championship events from the state for the 2016-17 academic year because of the passing of HB2 laws targeting our LGBT community. The decision affects 7 NCAA championship events including the first & second rounds of the Division I men’s basketball tournament & the women’s soccer College Cup. Mark Emmert NCAA President stated, “Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships. We believe in providing a safe & respectful environment at our events & are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans & everyone taking part in our championships.” G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors added, “The Board of Governors must advance college sports through policies that resolve core issues affecting student-athletes & administrators. This decision is consistent with the NCAA’s long-standing core values of inclusion, student-athlete well-being & creating a culture of fairness.” A spokesman for North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper concluded, “It seems that almost every day, we learn of a new consequence of HB2. Now, our ability to host these events at the highest level has been eliminated because of Governor McCrory & HB2. Enough ― we need to repeal this law & get our state back on track". Time to elect another Governor.
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Monday, September 12, 2016

Alexis Arquette Has Died

Very sad news to hear that transgender actress & activist Alexis Arquette has died at the age of 47. She was the sibling of actors David, Rosanna & Patricia Arquette & died on Sunday morning while listening to David Bowie's Starman. Arquette appeared in films including Pulp Fiction & The Wedding Singer as well as TV shows including Friends & Californication. She also appeared in the documentary Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother that played the film festival circuit including the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. She went on to becoming an activist for transgender rights. When Michael Musto interviewed her in 2015 he asked how she felt trans people are represented in the media. Alexis stated, “I’m tired of the representation of trans people. It’s not black & white. There are so many gradations. I’m annoyed with people affiliating gender with sexuality exclusively. People want answers. “Oh, I was gay since birth.” I don’t have the answers. There are women who say, “I would not be gay if I wasn’t raped by my uncle.” I don’t know that that’s not true. Who am I to say? I don’t know if I was born this way or if my being transsexual has anything to do with my desires. I’m a hypsersexual person.” Boy George tweeted: "R.I.P my sister Alexis Arquette. Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family & all that loved Alexis."
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Video: 9/11 Fifteenth Anniversary

Everyone has a story to tell of where they were fifteen years ago when it happened as our entire country went into shock. For the weeks to follow we were united in our grief. There were many LGBT people who were involved or died on that infamous day. Tom Ryan was a retired New York City firefighter who upon hearing of the attacks on World Trade Center called his firehouse & rushed to the scene. At the time Tom was the only openly gay firefighter in the FDNY. Father Mychal Judge was the gay Catholic priest who was killed by debris from the collapsing World Trade Center as he was caring for victims. Father Judge, 68, was a chaplain at the New York Fire Department & was known in the New York LGBT community for his work with AIDS outreach. His funeral Mass held at St. Francis of Assisi Church where he resided brought over 2,000 people. Tom Ryan was a pallbearer at Father Mychal Judge’s funeral. In the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan next door to the now closed St. Vincent’s hospital the LGBT Community Center offered immediate assistance to survivors & later counseling services for those grieving. More than 30 LGBT organizations held a memorial for victims of the World Trade Center attacks at the Center. In 2002 I produced & directed this music video tribute dedicated to those who perished on September 11th 2001. Michael Feinstein performs Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim's "Somewhere" from "West Side Story" with Keith Lockhart & the Boston Pops. Fifteen Years Later... Let's Take a Moment to Reflect....
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair Event

This is the second WERQ! LGBTQ Job Fair & the first focused primarily on youth experiencing homelessness. This fair is open to all & will have special workshops focused on youth, transgender employment & seniors. The event takes place on Friday September 16th from 11A to 4P at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted in Chicago. More than 50 major corporations, small businesses, government agencies & nonprofits will be participating. The event is free & open to the public, is hosted by Windy City Times with Center on Halsted, Pride Action Tank, Chicago House, Association of Latino/as Motivating Action, Affinity Community Services, TransTech Social Enterprises, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Out & Equal Chicagoland, Lambda Legal, LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois & the Northalsted Business Alliance. The workshops are: Noon to 1P will be Getting Started (or Starting Again): Job Searching for "First" Timers with Kara Rosser, One Summer Chicago, One Summer Chicago youth participant, Sean Bush Silver Fork Coordinator & Silver Fork Alumni. From 1P to 2P will be Stronger & Wiser: Job Searching For LGBTQ Older Adults with Dan O’Donnell, AARP, Jonathan Tague, Senior Helpers, Britta Larson, Center on Halsted &Nora O’Malley, Lyric Opera. Then from 2P to 3P will be Transgender & the Workplace with Moderator Alexis Paige of Lambda Legal, Owen Daniel-McCarter, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Sandra Wagner, Northern Trust, Alexis Martinez, activist &Channyn Lynn Parker, TransLife Center, Chicago House. The workshops conclude from 3P to 4P with From Resumes to Interviews: Making a Good First Impression with Moderator: Michael Erwin, Director, Global Corporate Communications & Social Media CareerBuilder & Julie West, CG Consulting.
For More Info… 
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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Transgender Health Care Update

The Boston LGBT health org Fenway Institute has released “What the new Affordable Care Act nondiscrimination rule means for providers & LGBT patients” a policy brief outlining the significant impact a new rule of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is expected to have on the ability of transgender people to access health care. Tim Wang, MPH, LGBT Health Policy Analyst at the Fenway Institute & lead author of the report stated, “Numerous studies have shown that transgender people frequently face discriminatory treatment in health care facilities, including being subjected to rough or abusive treatment from providers, being blamed for their health conditions, or being denied service altogether. The Section 1557 rule will be essential for addressing this widespread discrimination against transgender people not just in health care but also in discrimination in insurance coverage. One critical component of the new rule is that it expressly prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage for medically necessary services related to gender transition if those services are covered for people who are not transgender.” Stephen L. Boswell, MD, FACP, President & CEO of Fenway Health concluded, “This new rule comes at a critical time when strong federal leadership to defend & advance equitable access to affirming health care for LGBT people is needed. In 2016 alone, nearly 200 restrictive bills targeting the LGBT community in terms of access to healthcare & access to public spaces such as bathrooms have been filed in 32 states & have passed and been signed into law in Indiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee & North Carolina. As federal law, the Section 1557 rule would override elements of these discriminatory anti-LGBT state laws.” Implementation of the new Section 1557 rule, issued by OCR in May 2016 began on July 18th. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in health care facilities and programs receiving federal funding. The new rule also explicitly protects people who are non-binary or intersex.
To Download Full Policy Brief…
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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Harbor To The Bay AIDS Ride

Harbor to the Bay is a one-day bike ride from Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts on September 17th with 100% of all pledges going directly to fight HIV/AIDS. Harbor to the Bay began in 2003 with an idea by the late Michael Tye, a group of Boston’s Club Café staff & dedicated friends who shared the dream to launch the 126-mile AIDS bike ride. Their idea was simple, a one-day ride from Boston (Harbor) to Provincetown (Bay) staffed completely by volunteers & a commitment that all rider pledges go directly to defeat HIV/AIDS. With millions of dollars being raised over the last 12 years, this year their goal is $500,000. So far over 262 riders have signed up and over 120 volunteer crewmembers. Riders also have the unique option of riding the complete or any part of the 126-mile route. Jim Morgrage, Harbor to the Bay President stated, “We are half way to our goal, Harbor to the Bay has reached $250,000. Just a reminder we have CYBER Friday coming up this Friday September 9th & our goal is $14,000.00 for our 14th year. I’m so excited to see everyone in just 10 days. Let us acknowledge that our fight is not yet over. Without an increased effort on our part, we risk having to take steps backward & begin to turn away those who need our help most. Thousands of you have honored the life of Michael Tye & the thousands of New Englanders who have lost their lives to HIV. We also know that those who look down on us are smiling & grateful for all you have done over these past 13 years. This year let’s raise more money, double our efforts & ensure that no one who needs our help is turned away.” All proceeds from Harbor to the Bay will support Fenway Health, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Community Research Initiative, AIDS Action Committee & The Harbor to the Bay General Fund.
For More Info: harbortothebay.org
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Free Hillary Clinton

In two months the 2016 presidential election will take place. The polls are showing Hillary leading in most surveys with Trump too close for comfort trailing by digits. The Trump campaign has been successful at keeping Hillary on the defensive & this needs to end. Clinton has to stop talking about Trump & address the issues facing our country. Her political team is making major errors by producing political ads that show more about Trump’s inability to lead than her capabilities. When Clinton talks one on one she shines & that’s what we need to see more of. We all have witnessed how foolish & dangerous Trump can act so let’s not succumb to his level & rise above. Let’s focus on ways that we can support Hillary to let her know that she is not alone & we are behind her every inch of the way. This is America & we can’t start going backwards with a Trump presidency after all the work that has been accomplished over the last fifty years to achieve equality in this country. Let’s keep America going forward & reach the dreams that we’ve been dreaming instead of making the error of allowing a small-minded ruthless man the chance to create an embarrassing nightmare that will have global consequences for generations to come.
For More Info: hillaryclinton.com
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Friday, September 2, 2016

Provincetown Honors Pulse Victims

The Provincetown Community Compact (The Compact) will memorialize the 49 Orlando victims at a special ceremony at Provincetown Town Hall on Tuesday, September 6th at 1P. Each person's name will be inscribed on a black Prayer Ribbon then read aloud & attached to the 2,800 Prayer Ribbons accumulated over 25 years at the annual Provincetown Swim for Life. An additional ribbon will be inscribed for those injured in the Orlando attack. Jay Critchley, Founder of Provincetown Community Compact stated, "Like communities across the country, Provincetown was shocked & outraged by the recent massacre at a gay Orlando nightclub. Since the early 1980s, Provincetown has mourned the loss of hundreds of people to AIDS & has responded with compassion & action. We share a kinship with the Orlando community & honor their strength & resilience." After the ceremony at Town Hall the Prayer Ribbons will be carried in procession to the Provincetown Public Library front lawn to be displayed through Friday, September 9th. They will then be installed at the Boatslip Beach Club deck for the Swim for Life on Saturday, September 10th. The public will also be invited to inscribe ribbons to honor victims of violence from communities across the US. The Provincetown Community Compact, Inc. was established in 1993 as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization by Jay Critchley as a community-building and philanthropic organization to support living artists and the vitality of the arts community. The Compact is looking for 49 individuals to participate in the ceremony.
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