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Trans Americans Disabilities Act Victory

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed that transgender people who experience gender dysphoria are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act & the Rehabilitation Act. Though multiple district courts have previously found that transgender people cannot be excluded from the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) this decision is the first such ruling from a U.S. Court of Appeals. The ruling reverses a Virginia district court’s dismissal of claims brought by Kesha Williams a transgender woman who was incarcerated in a men’s detention facility, denied access to medical treatment for her gender dysphoria & faced persistent harassment by other inmates & prison deputies. Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director stated, “This is a huge win. There is no principled reason to exclude transgender people from our federal civil rights laws. It’s incredibly significant for a federal appeals court to affirm that the protections in our federal disability rights laws extend to transgender people. It would turn disability law upside down to exclude someone from its protection because of having a stigmatized medical condition. This opinion goes a long way toward removing social & cultural barriers that keep people with treatable, but misunderstood, medical conditions from being able to thrive.” Shannon Minter NCLR Legal Director concluded, “This is a thorough, well-reasoned opinion recognizing that the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with gender dysphoria. This decision sets a powerful precedent that will be important for other courts considering this critical issue.” 

Equality Forum LGBT 2022 Icons (VIDEO)

Equality Forum has announced 31 LGBT icons for their 17th annual LGBT History Month celebration in October. Malcolm Lazin, Equality Forum Executive Director stated, “In its 17th year, LGBT History Month will have archived 496 Icons in its database, making it the largest online resource for information on worldwide LGBT leaders. The Icons are searchable by a variety of means, including from a cloud of over 150 descriptive tags, such as Academy Award, Transgender & Politics.” The 2022 LGBT History Month Icons are author Hans Christian, Andersen, trans rights plaintiff Robina Asti, photographer Richard Avedon, marriage equality pioneers Ninia Baehr & Genora Dancel, WNBA’s Sue Bird, CNN news anchor Victor Blackwell, Actor Matt Bomer, banker Raphael Bostic, author Jennifer Finney Boylan, governor Kate Brown, Mexican writer Nancy Cárdenas, activist Kitty Cone, national security advisor Robert Cutler, actor/singer André De Shields, actor/singer Lea Delaria, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, journalist Masha Gessen, Ron Gold, author Radclyffe Hall, author, Bell Hooks, trans activist Jazz Jennings, Congressman Mondaire Jones, Judge Stephen Lachs, Lawrence of Arabia, reality star Lance Loud, poet James Merrill, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, Judge J. Paul Oetken, Amy Schneider, political analyst Amy Walter & director Alice Wu. Each day of October a new Icon is featured with a video, biography, downloadable images & other resources. LGBT History Month is a free educational tool available for to the media, academic institutions, organizations & the public. Equality Forum is a national & international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates LGBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives & presents the largest annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit. WATCH   

The Dinah Celebrating 31 Years (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Mariah Hanson, founder & producer of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend that’s celebrating its 31st year & takes place September 21st through September 25th in Palm Springs, CA. The Dinah is continuing its legend with a show-stopping all-female entertainment line-up & has moved to one of Palm Springs’ most historic hotels The Margaritaville formerly The Riviera. Built in 1959 this newly renovated establishment will serve as party central infamous for its role of drawing iconic celebrities like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr. & Sonny & Cher. This glamorous venue will host The Black & White Ball in the Grand Ballroom Friday night September 23rd with headliner 80s pop idol Taylor Dayne who is exclusively bringing her full band to put on a rare & unique show for Dinah goers. Also headlining the Friday night event will be Haviah Mighty who just won a Juno for “Best Canadian Album of the Year” & is now on her way to take the U.S. by storm. Then on Saturday night Fletcher one of the most electrifying queer artists to burst onto the scene is taking centerstage at The Hollywood Party also in the fabulous Grand Ballroom. Of course it wouldn’t be The Dinah without the next level of epic pool parties. The weekend pool parties will be highlighted with exclusive live performances by four exciting emerging queer artists Zolita, IV4, Cassidy King & Siena Liggins who are making themselves role models as visible members of our LGBTQ community. I talked to Mariah about what she hopes to accomplish with The Dinah this year & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Provincetown Carnival Week Returns

Now that Provincetown is literally once again up & running Carnival Week has begun celebrating its 44th year now through August 20th. This year’s theme is Monsters, Myths or Legends for the weeklong festival attracting tens of thousands of guests from all over the world to enjoy parties, events, costume contests & of course the infamous Carnival parade down Commercial Street on Thursday August 18th featuring Grand Marshal Mx Justin Vivian Bond serving as a symbol of Provincetown’s inclusiveness, creativity & diversity. Since 1978 the Provincetown Business Guild has produced the Carnival Parade & Celebration as way to introduce new LGBTQ+ visitors & allies to Provincetown making their summer vacations to Ptown a part of their annual traditions. There are three big events Sunday August 14th alone starting with the Feet Over Front Street 5K in the morning, then the Let's Get Kraken Cruise at 4P & Miss Swamp Thang – Carnival Opening Party at the Crown & Anchor starting at 9P. A few other highlights throughout the week include Monday August 15th at the Brass Key's Myth of Medusa Pool Party at 1P, Tuesday's Electric Dreams: Legendary Tea Dance at The Boatslip, Wednesday August 17th Mx Justin Vivian Bond at Town Hall at 8:30P, the annual Carnival parade down Commercial Street on Thursday August 18th, then at The Boatslip on Friday August 19th is SLURP Paige Turner’s Tawdry Carnival Pool Party at 12P & the Saturday August 20th: QAF Bingo with Austin & Mackenzie. Also ladies don’t miss the PBG women’s fundraiser with the Pied Piper pop-up event that will take place for a one-afternoon girl only party at The Provincetown Brewing Co. with music curated by Boston DJ Leah L’Duke on Wednesday August 17th from 4P to 7P to support a permanent home from Provincetown institution Womencrafts. Have a blast everyone & play safe! 

Trans Children Parents Challenge Law

In Alabama parents of transgender children urge the appeals court to maintain a block on Alabama’s SB 184 that would criminalize essential medical care for their kids. Asaf Orr, NCLR Senior Staff Attorney & Transgender Youth Project Director stated, “As the district court said, governments cannot deny transgender adolescents the ability to obtain essential medical care simply because of who they are. Holding otherwise would allow states to enact discriminatory laws that harm young people and intrude into family life." Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director added, “The district court recognized that parents, not the government, should make decisions about what’s best for their kids’ health & wellbeing. Parents want what’s best for their kids. That’s why preserving parental rights to make healthcare decisions for their children has been such a long-held American value.” Alabama’s SB 184 criminalizes parents who seek essential medical care for their transgender children, the doctors who provide this medical care & anyone else who assists transgender young people to get the care they need. Under the law, parents, doctors & others could face up to 10 years in prison & a fine of up to $15,000. The State of Alabama has appealed the district court’s May 13th order blocking the law from being enforced to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. In blocking the law the district court noted that the State of Alabama presented no evidence to contradict testimony from doctors & medical experts on the well-established safety & efficacy of medical care for transgender youth who experience gender dysphoria, including the fact that over 22 major medical organizations recognize the established course of care for transgender youth. 

Digital LGBTQ Hate Campaigns Ramp Up

In a new report released by the Human Rights Campaign & the Center for Countering Digital Hate, extremist politicians are ramping up harmful anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric ahead of the 2022 elections by 400%. Joni Madison HRC Interim President stated, “As social media platforms fail to enforce their own standards extremists are wielding dangerous influence, seeking to radicalize Americans, incite hate against LGBTQ+ people & mobilize the extremists within their base ahead of the midterm elections. But the rise of this online vitriol doesn’t just have political implications — there are deadly, real-world consequences as violent rhetoric leads to stigma, radicalization & ultimately violence. Nearly one-in-five of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias & the last two years have been the deadliest for transgender people, particularly Black transgender women. HRC, along with our partners at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, urgently calls on social media companies to act swiftly & transparently to stop the spread of extremist & hateful misinformation, including the grooming narrative.” Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate concluded, “We’re in the middle of a growing wave of hate & demonization targeting LGBTQ+ people – often distributed digitally by opportunistic politicians & so-called ‘influencers’ for personal gain. Online hate & lies reflect & reinforce offline violence & hate. The normalization of anti-LGBTQ+ narratives in digital spaces puts LGBTQ+ people in danger. Facebook & Twitter claim in their rules to prohibit this kind of targeted hate & harassment but they simply don’t enforce those rules on bad actors — rules which are designed to protect others’ rights. The clear message from social media giants is that they are willing to turn a blind eye. LGTBQ+ rights have been transformed after decades of hard-won progress, but progress is fragile unless you continue to defend it.” 

ClexaCon Convention & Festival Events

ClexaCon is presenting its sixth in person event that takes place in Anaheim, California from August 26th to 28th at the Anaheim Marriott 700 West Convention Way in Anaheim, CA. ClexaCon brings together thousands of diverse LGBTQ+ fans & content creators from around the world to celebrate positive representation for LGBTQ+ women, trans & non-binary communities in the media. There will be networking events connecting filmmakers, actors & industry professionals with panels, workshops & autograph sessions for fans. ClexaCon aims to empower media creators to produce & distribute more positive LGBTQ content providing educational resources for the community to push for better representation. ClexaCon strives to lay the foundation for improved visibility within the media while encouraging more LGBTQ women to participate in creating the stories they desire. There will also be virtual access. The events schedule beginning on Friday August 26th kicks off with their Community day, evening welcome events, speed friending, optional add-on ClexaCon at Disneyland Day. Then Saturday August 27th there will be celebrity panels, meet & greets, autographs, photo ops, general panels, workshops, artist alley & the vendor floor with a special event Saturday night. On Sunday there will be more celebrity panels, meet & greets, autographs, photo ops, general panels, workshops, artist alley & a day on the vendor floor. Also during the festival will be the Pool Party, Game Night featuring Queeraoke. Some of the celebrities will include Caity Lotz & Jes Macallan (Legends of Tomorrow) on stage together & Katie Cassidy (Black Canary on Arrow) will be at ClexaCon for her first time so you’ll want to have the opportunity to purchase autographs, photo ops, meet & greets or experience a virtual one on one. 

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Trans Americans Disabilities Act Victory

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed that transgender people who experience gender dysphoria are protected under th...

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