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Governor Brown At LPAC Virtual Event

EVENT POSTPONED TO JUNE 23rd
LPAC (Lesbian Political Action Committee) whose mission is to build the political power of LGBTQ women will be hosting a virtual conversation with Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Monday June 1st at 4P PT / 7P ET. Governor Brown made history in 2016 as the first openly LGBTQ person ever elected governor in the United States, a race that was endorsed by LPAC. Brown has received widespread praise for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also forcefully defended vote-by-mail against attacks from President Trump. Stephanie Sandberg, LPAC’s Executive Director stated, “In times like these -- which is to say, every day now -- you want to hear from leaders who not only stand up to this morally debased president, but light the way forward. Oregon Governor Kate Brown, whose leadership on containing COVID-19 & vote-by-mail make her expertise uniquely valuable today, was also the first openly LGBTQ person elected governor in the U.S. LPAC was proud to endorse her then & to be hosting her Monday June 1st as its next guest in our virtual events series. Please join us!” You can also register now for LPAC’s next Virtual Happy Hour on Thursday, June 18th at 4P PT with San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez & Washington State Rep. Beth Doglio. Both women are running for the U.S. House & are critical to LPAC’s goal of doubling the number of LGBTQ women in Congress. LPAC was founded in 2012 by a group of LGBTQ women seeking to create a place & voice at the power table for our community. LPAC has raised more than $6.3 million & endorsed more than 150 candidates & they’re just getting started.
For More Info: teamlpac.com
LISTEN: Filmmaker Wendy Jo Carlton Talks “Good Kisser”

Global Pride Draws Leaders & Royalty

Global Pride the worldwide virtual LGBTQ Pride event has announced the first wave of speakers appearing at the online event on June 27th that is expected to attract up to 300 million viewers. So far Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica which this week legalized marriage equality, Prime Ministers of Norway Erna Solberg & of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark & Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of India with more leaders will announced in the coming weeks. Entertainment including international musicians & bands will be announced throughout June. Kristine Garina, President of European Pride Organizers Association stated, “Every Pride organizer in the world can tell you a story of someone whose life changed when they visited Pride & so with so many Prides being cancelled or postponed, as organizers we felt we had a responsibility to come together & deliver Pride online. We’re tremendously excited for the potential for Global Pride to bring people together in the biggest Pride there has ever been.” Global Pride was launched by national & international Pride networks after hundreds of Pride events were cancelled or postponed due to COVID19. Organizers are planning a 24 hour stream of content created by Prides globally, together with speeches from world leaders, activists & human rights defenders, reflecting the organizers’ statement that though Pride events might be cancelled the spirit of Pride will live on. Throughout June daily announcements will build up the excitement as the Global Pride team drop the names of major artists & other contributors who’ll be appearing on June 27th.
For More Info: globalpride2020.org
LISTEN: Filmmaker Wendy Jo Carlton Talks “Good Kisser”

NCLR Anniversary Virtual Celebration

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is celebrating their 43rd anniversary on Saturday May 30th virtually from 6P PST as 1,500 of your closest friends will gather looking fabulous & feeling hopeful to be inspired enjoying the company of LGBTQ friends & allies. This year they’re welcoming NCLR’s new Executive Director, Imani Rupert-Gordon at her first NCLR Anniversary Celebration with special guests, signature cocktails, fabulous raffle items & so much more. Imani Rupert-Gordon stated, “This is my first NCLR gala as the executive director & my wife Derah & I are excited to be a virtual table host for NCLR’s Anniversary Celebration on May 30th! I'm so proud to be part of NCLR. The work we do makes it possible for us all to live in a more equitable world & in a more authentic way. We have a long way to go & NCLR is needed now more than ever. Please join my table & support NCLR!” This year’s Trailblazer Awardee is Katie Sowers, Offensive Assistant Coach, San Francisco 49ers & the Voice & Visibility Awardee is Gina Yashere. Special guests will include U. S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Billie Jean King, Cameron Esposito, Be Steadwell, Theo Germaine, Rhea Butcher, Gina Yashere, Katie Sowers, Chris Mosier, Layshia Clarendon, Ser Anzoátegui, Lizz Winstead, Representative Sharice Davids & more TBA. To join this fabulous celebration any donation amount will get you access to their private event link. I talked to Imani Rupert-Gordon about what she hopes to accomplish at NCLR in this exclusive audio interview. LISTEN  
For More Info: nclrights.org
LISTEN: Filmmaker Wendy Jo Carlton Talks “Good Kisser”

Larry Kramer A Life Of Activism (AUDIO)

We were very sad to hear that the legendary activist Larry Kramer has died at age 84. He definitely had an amazing career as an award-winning playwright, author, filmmaker & LGBTQ rights activist. In 2015 at the Provincetown International Film Festival I had the opportunity to talk to Kramer about his career in this exclusive audio interview about Jean Carlomusto’s documentary “Larry Kramer In Love And Anger” currently on HBO. This must-see film is an intimate portrait of author, activist & playwright Kramer & is one of the best documentaries addressing the struggle of gay men in this country spanning over 40 years from Fire Island in the 70’s to achieving marriage equality. Kramer who was also the pioneering co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis & ACT UP talks about how his play “The Normal Heart” eventually found its audience & his frustration with this country’s national AIDS research policies. When I asked him back in 2015 what he would like to see happen for LGBTQ equality in the next few years Kramer talked about how he would like to see our LGBTQ community more united with a better & more forceful presence in Washington to lobby for our rights like everyone else does. Kramer also talks about his book “The American People, Volume 1” in which he rewrites the story of our country, passionately focusing on its homophobia & anti-Semitism in this historical novel. Though Larry has passed on his voice, words & hopefully his urgency to act will live on in all of us. Our condolences to his husband David Webster. LISTEN:
LISTEN: Filmmaker Wendy Jo Carlton Talks “Good Kisser”

“Good Kisser” New Lesbian Film (Audio)

This week I talked with award-winning writer/director Wendy Jo Carlton about her new feature film “Good Kisser” available now to purchase or rent on Wolfe Video. “Good Kisser” features an ensemble cast starring Kari Alison Hodge (Jenna), Julia Eringer (Mia), Courtney McCullough (Yuka) & the feature debut of Rachel Paulson (Kate), who is the younger sister of actor Sarah Paulson. “Good Kisser” is about Kate & Jenna who want to spice up their relationship by opening it up to a third & plan a date with the enchanting Mia. Jenna becomes enthralled with Mia’s sexual confidence & charm as they spend the evening dancing, drinking tequila & sharing secrets the women become entangled physically & emotionally. However, what was intended as a night of fun soon exposes the cracks in Kate & Jenna’s relationship redefining that one should be careful what you wish for. Wendy Jo Carlton who has been making female-oriented queer movies for two decades directing her first feature “Hannah Free” starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless in 2009. Her second feature “Jamie and Jessie are Not Together” is said to be the first lesbian RomCom musical & is listed as one of the “Top 100 Lesbian Movies of All Time”. Recently Wendy Jo Carlton served as an Associate Producer on the award-winning documentary “Circus of Books” executive produced by Ryan Murphy on Netflix. “Good Kisser” will have its DVD release next month on June 16th & will stream on a variety of digital platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play & more. I talked to Wendy Jo about what she hopes to accomplish with “Good Kisser” & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN:
For More Info: goodkissermovie.com

New Report Addresses Modern Family

A new report from the Center for American Progress sheds light on the ways the federal government has failed to adapt to modern understandings of what constitutes a family. Frank J. Bewkes, a former policy analyst for the LGBTQ Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress & author of the report stated, “What constitutes a ‘family’ in federal statutes has not evolved to reflect the diversity of this country’s families & this needs to change. Family, including chosen family, is a core part of the human experience. But it transcends blood, legal & housing ties. This is especially true in the LGBTQ community. When statutory definitions of family are too narrow to encompass lived realities, real families—both LGBTQ & not—are rendered invisible & excluded from benefits or services they should have access to by law.” Less than 20 percent of all U.S. families are comprised of two married parents with at least one child below the age of 18 & the marriage rate continues to fall. More than a third of all children in the United States have lived with a relative other than a parent or sibling before the age of 18. Narrow non-inclusive definitions of family can be particularly harmful to our LGBTQ community. Many children who identify as LGBTQ are met with rejection from their biological families contributing to 120 percent more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ children & even though marriage equality is the law of the land LGBTQ couples who live together are more likely to be unmarried than opposite-sex couples who live together.
Read Report…
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

Costa Rica To Begin Marriage Equality

LGBTQ civil rights in Costa Rica will move forward as marriage equality begins on Tuesday May 26th as scheduled. Though homophobic lawmakers tried to delay it from happening using COVID-19 as an excuse, the Legislative Assembly rejected their bid by a vote of 33 to 20. Enrique Sánchez of the Citizen Action Party stated, “Equal Marriage is a legal reality in our country. That will not change. The Inter-American Court & the Constitutional Chamber have made this clear.” Official Luis Guillermo Chinchilla stated, “The Civil Registry has made significant efforts in adjusting all the computer systems in civil registry matters, with the purpose of managing these registrations in a timely & expeditious manner, always within the framework of suitable & effective registry security as usual by our institution.” In August 2018 the country’s Supreme Court finally ruled that it was unconstitutional to ban gay & lesbian couples from getting married. Then in November of 2018 the Costa Rica Supreme Court justices gave the country’s Legislative Assembly 18 months to act. May 26th marks that deadline meaning the court’s ruling overrides the ban on marriage equality. Of course celebrations will be limited since the coronavirus pandemic is preventing mass gatherings but Sí Acepto Costa Rica is marking the day with a special broadcast. The invitation for the events states, ‘Decades of effort & struggle for rights reach a historic moment on May 26 when Costa Rica becomes the first country in Central America to approve civil marriage for people of the same sex.’ In neighboring South America, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador & Uruguay already have marriage equality.
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

Trump Finalizing LGBTQ Discrimination

While the country deals with the onslaught of COVID-19 Trump’s Administration is reportedly finalizing its changes to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act also known as the Health Care Rights Law. These proposed changes will strip away protections for LGBTQ people & people for whom English is not their first or primary language. Mary Alice Carter, Senior Advisor, Equity Forward stated, “At a time when the need for health care access is so stark, when we need to be doing more to keep our neighbors, our communities & our country safe & healthy, Trump is removing discrimination protections for people seeking health care. While this has been on the Administration’s agenda for years, in an act of incredible cruelty, they are choosing the middle of a pandemic to go after LGBTQ people, people with limited English & people who need reproductive health care. ” Rule changes have been accelerated since Roger Severino a long time LGBTQ bigot was put in charge of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS. Severino has a history of attacking the ACA’s anti-discrimination rule since his time at the racial rightwing org the Heritage Foundation. Along with the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, the National Center on Transgender Equality & over 270 other organizations, Equity Forward issued a joint statement of concern over the finalization of the Section 1557 rules changes. Carter concluded, “Roger Severino has taken an office that was meant to be a shield for marginalized people & molded it into a sword. His long time campaign to erase trans people & to deny equal care to people based on their gender is coming to fruition. It’s abhorrent that the leadership at our nation’s health department, whose mission is to enhance the health & well-being of all Americans has made it so clear who they think matters & who does not.”
For More Info: civilrights.org
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

“Reel In The Closet” Online Film Event

There will be a virtual screening of the award-winning feature documentary “Reel In The Closet” about home movies made by LGBTQ people dating back to the 1930s on Saturday May 23rd at 5P PST / 8P EST. "Reel In The Closet” takes a look at never seen before archival treasures that are tragically being thrown away by friends & family who aren't aware of the hidden history they hold or worse by homophobic relatives who don’t want the history of their family to be known. This rare & intimate film will take you into the personal & human moments of queer people who tell a more complicated story about love, friends, & their home life you might have been told before. “Reel In The Closet” that dates back over decades in the last century is about the importance to save & share the hidden history of the home movies & personal photos of LGBTQ people. Director Stu Maddux who has evolved into an outspoken activist for LGBTQ elders & honoring their experience, hopes that "Reel In The Closet” ignites a movement to preserve our LGBTQ history. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers Stu Maddux & Joseph Applebaum joined by cast member John Carr & more. The event is free but donations are encouraged & you must register. All proceeds help continue social-impact filmmaking during this critical time when messages of hope & change are needed most. I talked to Maddux about what he hopes to accomplish with “Reel In The Closet” in this exclusive chat. LISTEN   
For Free Registration…
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

San Francisco Pride 50 Virtual Events

 San Francisco Pride announced the official program for Pride 50 bringing the nation’s largest gathering of the LGBTQ community & allies completely online for its historic 50th anniversary. Fred Lopez San Francisco Pride Executive Director stated, “While this year’s landmark anniversary is very different from what we originally envisioned, we are grateful that we can share Pride 50 with our friends & allies around the world & we know the world is turning to San Francisco. Our online celebrations not only highlight the spirit of Pride but help us broaden our visibility as we continue to build solidarity in our LGBTQ+ communities during a time when we must be apart.” Carolyn Wysinger San Francisco Pride Board President added, “Our staff, board, production team & partners have worked hard to bring new & creative ways to commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride. At a time when there is so much uncertainty, the Pride 50 online events have the potential to touch millions of lives, providing joyful inspiration and highlighting the resilience in our communities.” San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed concluded, “Pride is one of my favorite times of the year in San Francisco & no one wants to celebrate with the entire community more than I do. However, we are in an unprecedented public-health emergency with an uncertain future & we must do everything we can to protect our entire community & put public health first. The City will continue to work with SF Pride to celebrate everything Pride stands for in the weeks & months to come & San Francisco will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever." San Francisco Pride will take place virtually Saturday June 27th & Sunday June 28th with live performances, speeches, reflections on 50 years of the Pride movement & more.
For More Info: sfpride.org
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

LGBTQ Students COVID-19 Resource

The National Education Association & Human Rights Campaign released a new resource for educators to help support LGBTQ students during COVID-19 & online distance learning. Lily Eskelsen Garcia NEA President stated, “NEA is proud to partner with the Human Rights Campaign to promote this valuable & timely checklist to support LGBTQ student during this COVID-19 pandemic. School buildings are closed for now, but the work of educators continues & during these challenging times, we need to make sure that we continue to provide a safe & affirming learning experience for LGBTQ students during distance learning.” By using a free HRC Zoom background or by visibly displaying LGBTQ-affirming posters when speaking on screen, educators can quickly send the message that the learning environment respects & affirms LGBTQ identities. Educators can also normalize pronoun use by adding their own pronouns to virtual platforms & allowing space for students to share their own. It is important to note that not all students will have access to private connections. This may impact the name or pronouns they use as parents/guardians could potentially listen in. Educators should also talk to their students about internet safety & suggest affirming online options where they can connect with their LGBTQ peers & can receive support from trained professionals. NEA is the nation's largest professional employee organization & is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state & in more than 14,000 communities across the United States. HRC is the largest national LGBTQ organization.
View LGBTQ Student Check List…
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

Provincetown Virtual Swim For Life

The 33rd Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla fundraiser is going virtual this year with “The Swimming in Place Challenge”. As we deal with the impact of COIVID-19 the public is invited to create a challenge in their home or in Provincetown & take part in a virtual online celebration on September 12th. This vital event raises funds for HIV/AIDS, women’s health & the community & is sponsored by the Provincetown Community Compact (The Compact). Jay Critchley Compact Director stated, “This year, more than ever, we hope with everyone’s help to continue the success of previous Swims for the benefit of our beneficiaries & our community. We thank all for choosing Provincetown for your generosity. The Swim for Life’s essence embodies Provincetown as a place of healing & compassion. We celebrate our community as one that not only cares about our local health and well-being, but also about Planet Earth, which faces unparalleled environmental challenges. Provincetown is a spiritual home to people across the globe. A place of hope and promise. Swimmers have come from France, Bulgaria, Australia, Mexico, Spain, UK, Canada & beyond. This global pandemic has no borders. Please show your longtime love of Provincetown in our time of urgency.” So invite your family, friends & coworkers to support you & pledge money while you are dancing, jogging, cooking, biking, sports in place, writing or creating on the beach, in a pond or pool or anywhere. In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims in Provincetown artist Duane Slick of Meskwaki Nation in Iowa with strong ties to Provincetown created this year’s special 2020 Swim design.
For More Info & Register…
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

The LGBTQ Center Virtual Garden Party

With the LGBTQ Community Center in NYC closed due to COVID-19 this year they’re going virtual bringing the Garden Party to you on Monday June 22nd at 6P with a celebratory evening of performances, stories, special guests & more. The Center has been a place of celebration & Pride for all LGBTQ New Yorkers since 1983 & this year’s Garden Party will be no exception. As you know with the Center canceling its annual fundraising dinner & other events usually held to kick off Pride week in June due to the pandemic a lot of people are feeling very isolated & it’s so important to stay connected. Jeff Klein, COO of The Center stated, “Community is the antidote to isolation, which affects the queer community rather uniquely, having felt isolated at various points in our lives & this situation can exacerbate it.” The Center has been a home & resource hub for the NYC LGBTQ community residents & visitors for decades. Typically at The Center there are 6,000 unique individuals coming through weekly & 300,000 over the entire year. They provide a place to connect & engage, find camaraderie & support & celebrate the vibrancy & growth of our LGBTQ community. Their mission is to empower LGBTQ people, building strong community to lead healthy successful lives, while celebrating our diversity & advocates for justice & opportunity. So don’t miss this virtual Pride kick-off to gather & experience the strength & resilience of our LGBTQ community. Registration is free & they’ll be updating regularly with all the elements you’ll need to pump up the party at home, including a curated food & a cocktail/mocktail menu with a stellar suggested playlist.
For More Info: gaycenter.org
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

International Day Against LGBTQ Phobia

Since its conception in 2004 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia is observed on May 17th to raise awareness of LGBTQ rights violations worldwide & is celebrated in 132 countries globally in recognition of leaders around the world who are fighting to advance equality for our LGBTQ community & for all people. Alphonso David HRC President stated, “The Human Rights Campaign is proud to celebrate & stand with the global leaders fighting to end human rights abuses against the LGBTQ community as we reaffirm that homophobia, transphobia and biphobia have no place in our societies. Every day, we see heartbreaking incidents of oppression, discrimination & terrible violence against LGBTQ people around the world. Human rights abuses against LGBTQ people anywhere are human rights abuses against LGBTQ people everywhere. The global leaders who are leading the charge to end human rights abuses against our community & all communities give us the hope that we all need to continue the fight at home & abroad." Jannat Ali, a Global Innovator from Pakistan concluded, “Humanity is facing an unprecedented crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic & the situation is more bleak for the transgender members of my community & that is why I am proud to be a part of campaigns urging the Pakistani government and civil society to extend priority assistance to transgender communities. Any & all relief efforts should be inclusive & equitable & that means making sure that we do not forget marginalized transgender communities in Pakistan.” The date was also chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

Boston Pride Virtual Fundraiser Event

With the impact of COVID-19 Boston Pride is postponing the celebration of Boston Pride’s 50th Anniversary to June 2021. However they are presenting virtual events throughout pride season starting with the Big Gay Home Bar Crawl – Virtual Edition a fabulous fundraiser on Sunday May 24th from 12:30P to 3P EST. There will be drag performances by Amanda Playwith, Rusty Hammer, Kris Knievil & Travis Tí with DJ Michael Giller. Local Bartenders will be on hand presenting drink demonstrations included by Melvin Geronimo from Blend! Linda DeMarco Boston Pride President stated, “In this time of social distancing, our community needs to come together now more than ever. We invite you to join our Boston Pride community online. Together we will come through this with a greater sense of connection, care, compassion & resilience.” Suggested Donation is $10 & will include a raffle ticket & all money raised will be directly donated to the Boston Pride Community Fund. With the postponement of these events, this Fund needs our help. The Boston Pride Community Fund was established in 2015 & is currently funded via the JP & Back Bay Block Parties, the High Heel Dash & the annual Big Gay Bar Crawl. In 2018 the board voted to donate 10% of sponsorship dollars towards the Community Fund. Once a year in support of their vision & mission they give back monies raised in the Community Fund to non-profit organizations & grassroots groups that are doing work within our community with an eye towards smaller organizations, new/innovative programs & intersectional proposals. The Big Gay Home Bar Crawl – Virtual Edition is sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
For More Info: bostonpride.org  
LISTEN: Adrian Shanker Talks New LGBTQ Health Anthology

'Bodies & Barriers' & LGBTQ Healthcare

This week I talked with Adrian Shanker editor of the new critically acclaimed anthology “Bodies & Barriers: Queer Activists on Health” that creates a road map for action that could improve LGBTQ health. Shanker is a specialist in LGBTQ health policy creating cutting edge promotional campaigns to advance health equity through behavioral, clinical & policy changes. With essays by 26 well-known & emerging LGBTQ activists “Bodies & Barriers: Queer Activists on Health” challenges conventional wisdom about healthcare providers & probes deeply into the roots of the health disparities that worsens health outcomes for our LGBTQ community. As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic this book couldn’t be more timely. Since the onset of HIV/AIDS in America LGBTQ people have struggled against healthcare bias & discrimination. Through stories by contributing authors including Alisa Bowman, Jack Harrison-Quintana, Liz Margolies, Robyn Ochs, Sean Strub, Justin Tanis, Ryan Thoreson, Imani Woody & more “Bodies & Barriers: Queer Activists on Health” addresses lessons learned with healthcare professionals, sympathetic policymakers & provides us with crucial information to fight for health equity through clinical, behavioral & policy changes. Though our LGBTQ community has experienced great strides toward civil rights in this country our health as a community still lags. “Bodies & Barriers: Queer Activists on Health” provides an indispensable blueprint for change by some of the most passionate & important health activists in the LGBTQ movement today calling on clinicians to up their game when it comes to caring for sexual & gender minority people. I talked to Adrian about what he hopes to accomplish with “Bodies & Barriers: Queer Activists on Health” & as the Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN
For More Info: pmpress.org

LGBTQ Virtual College Graduation Event

Campus Pride in partnership with PFLAG National will host a virtual “Lavender Graduation” nationally for LGBTQ & ally graduates of the Class of 2020 to celebrate & honor their achievements on Saturday May 23rd 2020. This is a free live streaming event to celebrate LGBTQ+ graduates will begin airing at 3P ET / 12P PT at Campus Pride’s website & across Campus Pride & PFLAG’s social media channels. Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride stated, “Everyone deserves to be recognized & to have the joy of graduating & this is one way virtually we can celebrate & honor these phenomenal LGBTQ & ally college students.” This is also the 25th anniversary of Lavender Graduation first organized at University of Michigan by Ronni Sanlo a pioneer of campus organizing for LGBTQ people within higher education. Since 1995 Lavender Graduations have been a commencement tradition for LGBTQ & ally college students & is included in many universities across the United States. Sanlo will be a featured speaker along with LGBTQ & ally graduates & notable leaders & celebrities to be announced. Since 2001 Campus Pride has been the leading national organization building future LGBTQ & ally leaders as well as creating safer communities at colleges & universities. The Campus Pride Index annually helps 80,000 people find LGBTQ-inclusive colleges & universities. PFLAG with over 400 chapters & 200,000 members & supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities & rural areas across America is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated & all people are respected, valued & affirmed.
For More Info: campuspride.org
LISTEN: Robert Lo Talks Alset App To Reboot Gig Economy

Trans Activist Aimee Stephens Dies

Aimee Stephens one of the plaintiffs in the trio Supreme Court cases that will determine the future of our LGBTQ employment rights has passed away. Stephens was the first transgender person to bring a civil rights case to the U.S. Supreme Court, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC & Aimee Stephens, in defense of the rights of transgender people. Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “Aimee Stephens just wanted to continue to do the job she was hired to do, that she was good at & that she was prepared to continue while living as her true gender. It is with heavy hearts that we at PFLAG mourn Aimee’s passing. Her fight will continue as we strive for equality for all, inclusive of sexual orientation & gender identity.” Aimee was fired from her funeral director position at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes after informing her boss that she was transitioning. In October at a Supreme Court press conference Stephens stated, “When I was fired, it made me mad, to say the least. That’s when it finally hit home that we weren’t treated the same as everybody else & it’s time that somebody stood up & said enough is enough.” Stephens died from long-term kidney disease. The pending Supreme Court cases could determine if the Civil Rights Act of 1964, under Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination in employment will extend to sexual orientation & gender identity. If the Supreme Court votes in favor of the employees this will bring nationwide employment protections for LGBTQ people for the first time in U.S. history. We’re anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court Decision. Aimee Stephens RIP.
For More Info: aclu.org
LISTEN: Robert Lo Talks Alset App To Reboot Gig Economy

USA #1 In COVID-19 Cases & Deaths

Unfortunately America is not number one in COVID-19 testing but instead we rate at nineteenth. However America is number one in this pandemic currently approaching 1.4M cases & 82K deaths with both on the rise. Though there seems to be an ongoing controversy about China & COVID-19, China stands at eleven in COVID-19 cases worldwide with 82,919 cases & 4,633 deaths. It appears there’s a major disconnect between fact & fiction with our national leadership so try to listen to rational leadership when you can find it. New York is number one in the USA with almost 338K COVID-19 cases & 22K deaths as Governor Cuomo's plans to re-open New York State focusing on getting people back to work & easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus. In Massachusetts we are close to China's COVID-19 stats though China is 473 times larger than Massachusetts with 78,462 COVID-19 cases & 5,108 deaths Governor Baker has the same human lives matter agenda announcing a four-phase approach to reopening the Commonwealth’s economy. It’s going to be a slow transition as we enter & create the new normal. Now to address how this pandemic is affecting our global LGBTQ community. Jessica Stern Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “COVID-19 & the surrounding containment measures affect everyone, everywhere. But those most marginalized feel it more. Even in the absence of a pandemic, LGBTIQ people experience higher levels of discrimination, violence & deprivation around the world. Now we are at a heightened risk of domestic & family abuse, we lack access to crucial HIV & gender affirming medication, get scapegoated for the pandemic & excluded from relief efforts, while being cut off from LGBTIQ organizations & support networks. For us the situation is dire. I fear how many LGBTIQ people will lose their lives because of the amplified vulnerability we face. We need immediate action from governments, the UN, and the philanthropic sector to prevent an LGBTIQ humanitarian crisis.” Stay safe & healthy, keep up your socials distancing & wear your masks in public.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
LISTEN: Robert Lo Talks Alset App To Reboot Gig Economy

Chicago Media Outlets Joint Fundraiser

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on businesses, in Chicago 43 independent media outlets have joined forces to raise funds in a month long campaign after facing drops of revenue as high as 85 percent. The for-profit & nonprofit organizations represent a wide cross-section of authentic community media in the city & nearby suburbs. Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago Reader & Windy City Times stated, “We who are in independent media find ourselves in a unique & dangerous economic situation. In response to COVID-19, national news outlets are tallying death tolls & assessing the situation globally. While that coverage is important, it leaves the average citizen confused & unsure of how to proceed within their community.” Yazmin Dominguez, CIMA project coordinator added “Local media outlets deliver authentic, community-driven journalism, reporting on the stories that matter most for communities largely affected by this & future, health crises. Unfortunately, community media outlets are not getting the resources they need & are thus facing the real possibility of closure. This includes media serving African American, Latinx, Asian American, immigrant, LGBTQ & other Chicago communities.” CIMA is a national partner with the Center for Community Media (CCM) at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in CUNY. While CIMA is focused on boosting local media it has the potential to inform the nation on Chicago’s media landscape via its partnership with CCM. The Chicago Independent Media Alliance is made up of more than 60 outlets covering the African American, Latinx, Asian American, immigrant, LGBTQ & other Chicago communities. CIMA believes there is no better way to reach the city’s most marginalized & underserved communities than through community media outlets for & by those communities. CIMA stands for information, accessibility & equity. The public can give June 5th 2020.
For More Info: savechicagomedia.org
LISTEN: Robert Lo Talks Alset App To Reboot Gig Economy

Lesbian Couple HHS Challenge Advances

As the Trump administration attempts to chip away LGBTQ equality, a U.S. District Court has denied the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) & the state of South Carolina from dismissing a lawsuit filed on behalf of Eden Rogers & Brandy Welch a married lesbian couple by Lambda Legal, the ACLU, the ACLU of South Carolina & South Carolina Equality. The couple was turned away by a government-funded foster care agency because of their sexual orientation. Brandy Welch & Eden Rogers stated, “We are very excited to hear our case is going forward in court. There are many children in South Carolina that need foster homes & we remain hopeful that couples like us can provide children a lovely home without being rejected or discriminated against.” Miracle Hill Ministries, South Carolina’s largest state-contracted foster care agency denied Eden & Brandy’s application to serve as foster parents after South Carolina requested & HHS granted a waiver of federal nondiscrimination rules for federally funded agencies. In doing so HHS & the State authorized & enabled taxpayer-funded foster care agencies to use religious criteria to exclude families based on their faith & sexual orientation. Currey Cook, Counsel & Director of the Youth In Out-Of-Home Care Project at Lambda Legal concluded, “This is great news & we look forward to Eden’s & Brandy’s day in court. No child in foster care who can’t safely be with their family should be denied the opportunity of a loving & nurturing foster home simply because the prospective parents don’t meet a taxpayer-funded agency’s religious litmus test. Eden’s & Brandy’s faith & sexual orientation have no bearing on their suitability to provide a home for children in need.”
For More Info: lambdalegal.org
LISTEN: Robert Lo Talks Alset App To Reboot Gig Economy

New Title IX Rule Jeopardizes Students

The U.S. Department of Education has finalized a rule that will put students at greater risk of sexual harassment & assault. Osub Ahmed, Senior Policy Analyst for Women’s Health & Rights with the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Initiative stated, “The rule does a grave injustice to survivors of sexual harassment & assault by forcing them to satisfy unreasonably stringent standards when trying to pursue their cases & making it easier for schools to ignore complaints altogether. By raising reporting thresholds & changing grievance procedures, schools will likely investigate fewer incidents of sexual harassment—an impact that the Education Department even acknowledges in its rules—which will have a chilling effect on reporting of sexual harassment & roll back the clock on efforts to ensure gender equity in schools. We know that 1 in 5 women report experiencing some form of sexual assault during their time in college & survivors have relied on the protections afforded by Title IX to safely report these incidents for decades. These rules deliberately undermine these vital protections & threaten the rights and safety of survivors.” Frank J. Bewkes, Policy Analyst for the LGBTQ Research & Communications Project at the Center concluded, “This is an unacceptable contraction of survivors’ rights that is especially concerning for the LGBTQ community. CAP research has found that allegations of harassment appeared more frequently in Title IX complaints based on LGBTQ identity than in the general population, with nearly 76 percent of such complaints alleging sexual or gender harassment. From her move to eliminate guidance on protecting transgender students to today’s rule, Secretary Devos has consistently demonstrated a clear refusal to uphold the rights of LGBTQ students. This rule is an attempt by Secretary DeVos & her Department of Education to further shirk their duty to enforce the protections Title IX offers for all students.”
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LISTEN: Robert Lo Talks Alset App To Reboot Gig Economy

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