Saturday, May 25, 2019

Trump Reversing Healthcare Progress

Trump cowardly left for Japan after his administration proposed a new health care regulation that would reverse 10 years of progress in healthcare provisions prohibiting discrimination against individuals on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, & having terminated a pregnancy. Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President at the Center for American Progress stated, “The proposed rule is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to issue a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people & women. The proposal attempts to strip away protections for patients, making it harder for them to access the health care services they need when they need them. LGBTQ people & women already face barriers to receiving care & the proposal will exacerbate these problems. By diluting & weakening protections from discrimination, patients may get turned away or denied medically necessary care simply because of who they are. Health care is a basic right & all patients deserve to be treated with professionalism & respect. The administration’s attempt to limit protections for LGBTQ people & women under the Health Care Rights Law is an unfair, targeted attack to marginalize certain patients & is completely contrary to the increasingly inclusive direction of sex discrimination law. The Trump-Pence administration cannot turn back the clock on civil rights protections.” Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute concluded, “This proposed regulation is shocking in its scope. The Trump Administration is trying to reverse much of the progress made in federal health policy over the past decade. This will disproportionately hurt transgender people, LGBT people with disabilities, LGBT elders & low-income LGBT people.”
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Friday, May 24, 2019

GLAAD Hollywood Scores (AUDIO)

GLAAD has released its seventh annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) that maps the quantity, quality & diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios & their subsidiaries during the 2018 calendar year. They found that of the 110 releases from major studios in 2018, 20 (18.2%) included characters that were (LGBTQ. This is an improvement from year’s report which was an all-time low at 12.8%, 14 out of 109 films. The SRI also revealed the second highest percentage of inclusive films found in the 7 year history of the report just behind 18.4 percent of films (23 of 125) in 2016. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, “The successful releases of films including Love, Simon, Deadpool 2 & Blockers, brought fresh LGBTQ stories to audiences around the world & have raised the bar for LGBTQ inclusion in film. While the film industry should include more stories of LGBTQ people of color & transgender people, studios are finally addressing the calls from LGBTQ people & allies around the world who want to see more diversity in films.” The SRI also showed that though there was a major improvement of gay, lesbian & bisexual characters, for the second year in a row transgender characters were entirely absent from the 110 major studio releases. Recently we talked to Zeke Stokes, GLAAD Chief Programs Officer about the Studio Responsibility Index in this exclusive audio byte who stated though this year’s report does show an improvement of LGBTQ inclusion we still have a long way to go. READ FULL SRI…
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hilton and the Global Equality Fund

This year Hilton celebrates its 100th anniversary & partnership with the Global Equality Fund (GEF) managed by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor by calling on the travel & hospitality industry to join them as a GEF partner. Katie Fallon, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs stated, “Hilton is devoted to creating ‘Room for All’ & in conjunction with our long-standing partnership with the Global Equality Fund, we are welcoming the hospitality industry to join us in supporting the remarkable work that the Global Equality Fund does across the world.” Scott Busby, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor at the U.S. State Department added, “Hilton’s partnership with the Global Equality Fund has helped ensure support for civil society’s efforts to promote universal human rights & fundamental freedoms. The GEF’s partners are on the leading edge of the international community’s efforts to protect & defend human rights & freedom for all people the world over & we look forward to our continued partnership with Hilton.” To inspire other companies to join, Hilton will be hosting an event with the Global Equality Fund highlighting the work of GEF supported activists & grantees. The Global Equality Fund funded by more than 25 governments, foundations & corporations & provides critical emergency, short-term & long-term assistance to advance & protect the human rights of our LGBTQ community in over 90 countries worldwide. Hilton recently received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Laverne Cox Stay True Stay You

Laverne Cox joins H&M’s Love for All collection & the new campaign “The Stay True, Stay You” that’s modeled by a diverse cast of LGBTQ individuals also including Rickey Thompson, Shannon Beveridge, Brock Williams & Chris Lin. H&M continues their support of our LGBTQ community with a fun & festive capsule collection for men, women & non-binary individuals just in time for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Laverne Cox, actress & activist stated, "I'm really excited to be a part of this campaign, celebrating an incredible community that I am so thankful & proud to be a part of." The collection features a colorful range of athletic/leisure inspired garments & playful accessories for all. The pieces will be available online & in stores beginning May 30th & 10% of each sale will be donated to the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign which champions for equal rights & fair treatment of our worldwide LGBTQI+ community. Ezinne Kwubiri, Head of Inclusion & Diversity, North America added, "I am full of pride to see the Love for All collection come to life! During the shoot the entire team and cast were excited to be part of a campaign celebrating their similarities and embracing their differences. The collection is just that...bright, fun, sporty and for everyone." The capsule collection spreads the message of individuality, diversity, self-confidence & equality with varied silhouettes & motifs that sport the iconic LGBTQ rainbow.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

World Pride NYC Pride Mural Project

NYC Pride the official host of WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50 has announced the WorldPride Mural Project initiative in collaboration with production & curating partners LISA Project NYC the founding partner, HSBC Bank & major supporter Macy’s. Both local & international artists, 50 in total were selected to create murals within the five boroughs of New York that reflect & honor the beauty, struggle & strides of the LGBTQ community. The initial set of murals are on display in Manhattan beginning at Arlo NoMad in Midtown. Now through mid-June the complete set of murals will be unveiled, culminating before the WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50 season commences & remaining intact throughout the duration of the month's celebration. Macy's is set to reveal their murals on June 6th in the windows of Macy’s Herald Square & will remain throughout June. Chris Frederick, Executive Director of NYC Pride stated, “Art, in all its forms, has always been an integral means of expression in the LGBTQIA+ community & particularly meaningful to the fabric of New York City’s culture. Street art is a poetic example of this expression & the 50 WorldPride muralists will, no doubt, combine beauty & poignant messaging at a time when our collective stories can be & must be told.” Buff Monster, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Nomad Clan, Kunle Martins aka Earsnot IRAK Crew, Gianni Lee & STIK are just a few of the artists whose work will be highlighted as part of the WorldPride Mural Project.
For More Info…
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival

Out Film CT presents the 32nd Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival that runs May 31st through June 8th offering a wide spectrum of short films & full-length features that highlight the inclusivity & the diversity of our LGBTQ community. There’s something for everyone, with dramas, comedies & documentaries, plus talk backs & parties, mainly at the festival's longtime home at Cinestudio on the campus of Trinity College with special screenings at Real Art Ways, Spotlight Theatres at Front Street & Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art all located in Hartford, Connecticut. Shane Engstrom Festival Director stated, "For the past thirty-one years, we have presented some of the most entertaining, groundbreaking & thought-provoking LGBTQ films available. We invite audiences of all sexual orientations & gender identities to expand their horizons & join us for these remarkable films." Out Film CT’s mission is to entertain, educate & promote community through the exhibition of LGBTQ film. A volunteer, nonprofit cultural organization, Out Film CT is dedicated to presenting outstanding LGBTQ cinema & other theatrical events throughout the year, culminating in the nine-day Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival. This springtime event, Connecticut’s longest-running film festival, holds a special place Connecticut’s cultural landscape, bringing the community together to introduce, celebrate & rediscover the ideas & values that make the LGBTQ community unique. Out Film CT Opening night & closing night admission which includes the party is general admission $20 each night, students/seniors $15 with all other shows general admission is $10 & student/senior $8.
For Info & Tix: outfilmct.org
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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pence Commencement Sham

Again watching mainstream media’s coverage of Mike Pence’s Saturday commencement address at Taylor University left out the fact that dozens of graduates & faculty exited in protest walking out moments before his introduction. The protest stemmed from disagreement among students, faculty & alumni about whether it was appropriate for the nondenominational Christian liberal arts school to invite Pence to speak in the first place since he’s known for his conservative religious views. So the only audience left to hear his speech filled with religious rhetoric were right-winged bigots. Pence stated, “Throughout most of our American history it’s been pretty easy to call yourself a Christian, but things are different now. Lately, it’s become acceptable, even fashionable, to malign traditional Christian beliefs. So as you prepare to leave this place & build your life on a Christ-centered, world-engaging foundation poured here at Taylor University, be prepared to stand up.” Thousands signed Change.org petitions asking the university to rescind the vice president's invitation to speak but were ignored. So the protest was then planned & discussed prior to Saturday's ceremony. Some graduates & faculty members wore stickers on their robes & hats that said, "We are Taylor too" in protest. Pence has had a busy commencement schedule this spring, having spoken last Saturday at another Christian school, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he warned graduates to "be ready" to face intolerance of their faith from Hollywood, the media & the secular left. Next Saturday he will speak at graduating U.S. Army cadets at West Point in New York.
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