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LGBTQ People Attacked In Uganda

LGBTQ activists in Uganda confirmed that on Sunday November 10th an LGBTQ+ friendly bar in Kampala was raided & 125 people arrested & charged with drug possession, indicating an intentional & growing persecution of LGBTQ people in the country. Kasha Jacquelin, a Ugandan LGBTQ activist stated “The past has shown that it is difficult to prosecute anyone for being LGBT. Using trumped-up drug charges is a new & frightening tactic; one which is really hard to tackle & will make our battle even tougher.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International added, “The resurfacing of the anti-homosexuality bill in a country which already prescribes life imprisonment for same-gender relations could only have had one intention - to increase hate and stigma against LGBTIQ people, putting them at heightened risk of arbitrary detention & attack. That is exactly what is happening. The growing intensity of arrests, the clear targeting of an LGBTIQ friendly bar, makes it painfully clear that a witch hunt is being mounted against LGBTIQ Ugandans.” Persecution of LGBTIQ people has increased in Uganda in recent months, as rumors of the so-called “Anti-Homosexuality Act” which would impose the death penalty for same-gender relations have resurfaced. At least four people have been killed in suspected hate-motivated attacks. Arrests of LGBTQ+ people have also increased. Prior to the raid carried out on November 10th, 16 people were arrested & charged with “trafficking in persons” & “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” at the end of October.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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Revisiting ‘The Laramie Project’

Stetson Theatre Arts will present Moisés Kaufman’s “The Laramie Project” about Matthew Shepard who in 1998 was kidnapped, severely beaten & left tied to a prairie fence simply because he was gay. Shepard died days later as a result of his injuries. The play will run from Nov. 21st to 24th at Stetson University’s Second Stage Theatre located at the Museum of Art in Deland, Florida. Kaufman & fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project conducted more than 200 interviews with residents of Laramie, Wyoming. The play is comprised of those first-hand accounts collected by the theatre company. Julie Schmitt, PhD, Director of this production & Creative Arts Department chair at Stetson University stated, “The play’s rehearsal & design process have been really unique and rewarding. Since a number of actors are playing well over eight parts, I have asked them to think of their different characters in relation to a long list of archetypal characters & we're working on finding different ways to embody those archetypes through physical & vocal characterization. It’s a challenge, but the students are up for it & it’s clear that this play means a lot to them. 'The Laramie Project' showcases a tragedy that is disturbingly prevalent today. Even though it has been more than 20 years since the death of Matthew Shepard, there are many moments in the play that really resonate with me & with fellow cast members. I feel that discussions about hate, empathy & compassion will always be relevant & the play certainly feels as though it is of this time."
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LISTEN: Cathy Renna On 20 Year Legacy of Matthew Shepard Events

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LGBTQ Representation On Television

For the 24th year GLAAD announced its Where We Are on TV report which analyzes the overall diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks & assesses the number of LGBTQ characters on cable networks & original scripted streaming series on Amazon, Hulu & Netflix for the 2019-2020 TV season. The 2019-2020 report found that networks met & exceeded with a record-high percentage of LGBTQ series regulars on broadcast television at 10.2% of all series regulars. This is up from last year’s 8.8% & the highest GLAAD has found since the organization expanded to count all broadcast series regulars 15 years ago. Also for the first time in this report’s history LGBTQ regular & recurring women on broadcast outnumber LGBTQ men. Of the LGBTQ regular & recurring characters on broadcast 53% are women & 47% are men. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “Last year, GLAAD called on the television industry to increase the number of LGBTQ characters & more accurately reflect the world we live in & they responded by exceeding this challenge. At a time when the cultural climate is growing increasingly divisive, increased representation of LGBTQ stories & characters on television is especially critical to advance LGBTQ acceptance. Shows like Pose, Schitt’s Creek, Batwoman & Billions demonstrate that not only are LGBTQ stories & characters on TV becoming more diverse, but that viewers everywhere continue to respond with extreme positivity.” GLAAD uses the data from the Where We Are on TV report in work throughout the year to advocate leaders in the TV industry to include more diverse & substantive LGBTQ representations that accelerate acceptance.
For More Info: glaad.org
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UN Renews Independent Expert

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution presenting the Annual Report of the Human Rights Council without challenge to the extension of the mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence & discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IE SOGI). Manisha Dhakal Nepali Human Rights Defender from Blue Diamond Society stated, “The tireless, sustained outreach efforts of civil society from the grassroots up was essential to this achievement. Over many years, we have worked together to build a truly global movement that queered the UN.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight International concluded, “The Independent Expert plays a crucial role in documenting the discrimination & violence LGBTIQ people around the world face merely for who we love or the gender we are & express. The affirmation of this acute need by the Third Committee today, without challenge, is a reminder of the universality of human rights & a testament to the strength & resilience of LGBTIQ people everywhere coming out and standing up for our right to be who we are.” Victor Madrigal-Borloz has served as the UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence & discrimination based on sexual orientation & gender identity since 2018. Madrigal-Borloz is set to visit Sri Lanka in 2020 & has tabled 12 requests for as many countries to bring about a world free from violence & discrimination for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation & gender identity. OutRight is the only global LGBTIQ-specific organization with a permanent presence at the United Nations in NYC that advocates for human rights progress for LGBTQ people.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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LGBTQ Asylum Seekers Mobile App

Tech nonprofit Asylum Connect has launched the first-of-its-kind free mobile app for the tens of thousands of LGBTQ asylum seekers fleeing their homes for safer ground each year. Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect Co-Founder & President stated, "Our free app instantly connects persecuted LGBTQ people with verified safe services & support. With today's launch, we have improved our platform's mobile accessibility & user experience at this pivotal moment for LGBTQ & immigrant communities." From leaving their dangerous home country to resettlement it is often a matter of life-or-death for our LGBTQ asylum seekers to be able to easily connect with legitimate & LGBTQ affirming lawyers & other direct service providers. LGBTQ asylum seekers & other LGBTQ populations (undocumented immigrants, homeless or isolated youth) use AsylumConnect as a free digital one-stop-shop referral site to meet their needs in all aspects of their lives, including: housing, legal, medical, mental health, education & employment. Lawyers & other direct service providers also use AsylumConnect to gather verified referrals. The AsylumConnect mobile app on iOS & Android offers an improved user experience. Since launching in 2016 AsylumConnect has connected over 11,000 unique users to verified LGBTQ & immigrant-friendly services in the U.S. & has been accessed in over 150 countries. AsylumConnect is a tech nonprofit providing the first & only digital resource platform for LGBTQ asylum. Next AsylumConnect will introduce enhanced map visualization, offline capabilities, new locations & an integrated private online community for LGBTQ asylum seekers.
For More Info: asylumconnect.org
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San Francisco Transgender Film Festival

Founded in 1997 the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival is the world’s first & longest running transgender film festival that takes place November 7th to 10th at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, California. Shawna Virago Artistic Director stated, “We were founded at a time in 1997 when funders would not support transgender film festivals or filmmakers & so for years, we have had to survive & thrive on our transgender smarts, sweat & love from the community. The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival provides a powerful counter-narrative to the increasingly assimilationist world of transgender reality stars & celebrities. Hollywood gets it very wrong. Come see trans & gender-variant people telling our own stories.” From sexy shorts to inspiring animation, from gender-busting music videos to hard-hitting documentaries, SFTFF 2019 truly has something for everyone & all genders are welcomed to attend. SFTFF was founded in 1997 as the world’s first transgender film festival & is built upon grassroots, social-justice-seeking, anti-oppression principles. Originally a bi-annual festival, SFTFF expanded to an annual festival in 2003 by audience demand. This year’s Festival will feature films from more than a dozen countries around the world & will feature a closed-captioned. The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) screens films that promote the visibility of transgender & gender variant people & challenge the mainstream media’s negative stereotypes of our transgender communities. They provide opportunities for transgender & gender variant media artists, build community through film & performance events & engage their audiences in cross-community dialogue.
For Info & Tix: sftff.org
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Palm Springs Stonewall 50 Exhibition

The Palm Springs Art Museum is presenting “Touching History: Stonewall 50” a new exhibition recognizing the 50th anniversary of New York’s Stonewall riots that sparked the gay liberation movement & laid the groundwork for the modern struggle for LGBTQ civil rights now through March 29th 2020. Louis Grachos the museum’s CEO & JoAnn McGrath Executive Director stated, “We’re excited to present this exhibition of work that is provoking, poignant & in many ways, celebratory." Rochelle Steiner, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs & Programs added, “Palm Springs Art Museum is proud to present Touching History: Stonewall 50 to recognize this important moment in history. Together, the artists in Touching History honor the struggles & tenacity of the queer community, past & present, through drawing, collage & photography & visualize queer kinship & community through their works.” Organized by Associate Curator David Evans Frantz the exhibition brings together an intergenerational group of eight contemporary artists—Marcela Pardo Ariza, Stephen Barker, Robert Andy Coombs, Jess T. Dugan & Vanessa Fabbre, Jonathan Molina-Garcia, Kang Seung Lee & Joey Terrill—who explore queer kinship, care & community through the immediacy & intimacy of touch. The exhibition includes a selection of intimate collages by Joey Terrill, produced while the artist was active in Gay Liberation & Chicano activism during the 1970s. Marcela Pardo Ariza presents staged photographs of friends & collaborators interacting with life-sized images of everyday queer people. Kang Sueng Lee & Stephen Barker’s photographs covers the AIDS epidemic affirming the need for connection & community in the face of stigma & erasure.
For More Info: psmuseum.org
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LGBTQ Elders Stonewall Stories

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall StoryCorps has joined SAGE, the National LGBTQ Task Force, Griot Circle & GLSEN creating a coalition of partners preparing to launch Stonewall OutLoud a participatory initiative to gather the stories of LGBTQ elders before they are lost to history. Stonewall OutLoud will reach deep into LGBTQ communities across the country to ensure that as wide a collection of voices as possible are recorded & preserved. With special emphasis given to rural communities, communities of color & transgender elders, the initiative seeks to connect older & younger generations through the StoryCorps interview experience, preserve these stories for the future & share the voices of the LGBTQ community with a broad general audience through educational & broadcast partnerships. Dave Isay, President & Founder of StoryCorps stated, “We’re thrilled to be working with our partners over the month of June to ask the country to honor an LGBTQ elder with an interview & preserve this part of our history about which so little information exists. In the spirit of the Shoah project, which documented the stories of every living Holocaust survivor & Maya Angelou’s stirring words, ‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again,’ we hope that Stonewall OutLoud will be a beautiful, loving celebration of LGBTQ elders on this historic anniversary.” Each of these interviews will become a permanent part of American history at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
For More Info: storycorps.org
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WIFVNE Presents “The Luring”

Women in Film & Video New England is presenting the New England Premiere of “The Luring” produced in conjunction with The 45th Boston Science Fiction Film Festival on Thursday November 7th at 7P at the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA. A panel with director Christopher Wells, Director of Photography Amanda McGrady & cast member Rick Irwin follows the screening. “The Luring” is about a man tries to recover a lost memory by returning to his family’s Vermont vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child. The film stars Rick Irwin (The Upside, The Good Doctor, Enough Said), Michaela Sprague ("Boardwalk Empire," "Smash," The Night Before), Dan Berkey ("Boardwalk Empire") & Molly Fahey ("Missed Connections") & Henry Gagliardi (The Grief of Others, 7th Secret). Cinematographer Amanda McGrady is a WIFVNE Member. "The Luring" won Best Thriller Feature Film at the Motor City Nightmares Film Festival. Wells stated, “I actually directed a few horror short films prior to this effort. I particularly love to create weird & dark films with a little sprinkle of humor. I see a lot of the same monsters with the same jump scares in the horror genre space & I wanted to be more original. I didn’t want to regurgitate what’s already been done. I respect filmmakers who make something that hasn’t been done before because at least they didn’t sell out. That being said, I also wanted to write a story that was actually interesting with character development, mystery & of course some weirdness.” Tickets for the New England Premiere of "The Luring" are $15.
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Trump Attacks LGBTQ Healthcare

Once again the Trump-Pence White House has proposed a federal regulation that would strip away nondiscrimination requirements & permit all Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) grant recipients, notably adoption & foster care agencies to discriminate against our LGBTQ community & in many circumstances religious minorities & women & still receive federal funding. Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal Chief Strategy Officer & Legal Director stated, “HHS is charged with protecting the health & wellbeing of all people, but its actions today demonstrate once again its complete disregard for its mission. Today’s proposed rule rolls back critical protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity & religion & in doing so, puts at risk some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, including LGBTQ people who are poor or experiencing homelessness; LGBTQ seniors & LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care, including foster children in need of loving families, people living with HIV & many others. Furthermore, HHS’s announcement that it will immediately cease enforcement of existing nondiscrimination protections, rather than adhering to the established procedures for changing regulations such as these, once again demonstrates the Trump administration’s utter disregard for the rule of law.” Alphonso David HRC President concluded, “The Trump-Pence White House has proposed a horrific federal regulation that would permit discrimination across the entire spectrum of HHS programs receiving federal funding. This would permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, religious minorities & women in programs related to foster care, adoption, HIV & STI prevention, youth homelessness, refugee resettlement, elder care programs & more. The Trump-Pence White House is relying on the same flawed legal reasoning they’ve used in the past to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people & other communities.”
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Cybill Shepherd To Be Honored

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention & crisis intervention organization for our LGBTQ young people announced Cybill Shepherd as the 2019 recipient of the “Champion Award,” which recognizes the outstanding support of an ally & their commitment to supporting The Trevor Project’s mission. The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. will be the recipient of the “20/20 Visionary Award” presented to corporations supporting LGBTQ inclusion around the world. Both will be honored at the TrevorLIVE LA fundraising gala, November 17th at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. Shepherd stated, “For many young people in crisis, the affirming work of The Trevor Project can mean the world. In my work as an entertainer & activist & especially as a mother, I’ve seen the profound freedom that comes with giving someone permission to be themselves. I’m incredibly humbled to accept the ‘Champion Award’ at TrevorLIVE LA & will continue to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community as an ally fighting for a more inclusive place for the next generation.” Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project concluded, "Cybill Shepherd & the PwC Charitable Foundation consistently make a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ people across the country & we're excited to honor their commitment to The Trevor Project & LGBTQ young people.” Zazie Beetz (Joker) & Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) will host the event with Jane Lynch & EJ Johnson as presenters & Grace VanderWaal will performer. They join previously announced “Youth Innovator Award” honoree Hayley Kiyoko.
For More Info & Tix: thetrevorproject.org
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LGBTQ People Attacked In Uganda

LGBTQ activists in Uganda confirmed that on Sunday November 10th an LGBTQ+ friendly bar in Kampala was raided & 125 people arrested &a...

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