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LGBTQ Community Mourns RBG Passing

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion & consistent voice for fairness for women, for LGBTQ Americans, for people living with HIV & for correcting racial injustices. Rea Carey Executive Director National LGBTQ Task Force stated, "Today we have lost a giant of justice, a champion for equality & progress. Justice Ginsburg was an American hero & pioneer, a voice for so many marginalized people, leaving behind a legacy of courage, tenacity & historic impact in creating a better country & a better world for all of us. We are all so grateful for all Justice Ginsburg has done for LGBTQ people, for women, for our ability to control our own bodies, for all that seek to move freedom forward in this country." Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights added, “Justice Ginsburg was a warrior for freedom & justice & we were honored to fight alongside her. That struggle is more important than ever. We will celebrate her life & grieve her loss. But above all, we will honor her legacy by continuing her fight.” Kevin Jennings Lambda Legal CEO concluded, “Throughout her entire legal career, including her 27 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg fought for the rights of those on the margins. From her time as a lawyer with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project to her years on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg spoke with a clear & strong voice against inequality & gender discrimination. A long-standing ally of the LGBTQ community, her unwavering support, both on & off the bench, was a testament to her commitment to equality for all people.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Rest In Peace we will continue your work.

Campus Pride Board Chair Tom Elliott

Campus Pride the national nonprofit dedicated to building future leaders & creating safe college communities for LGBTQ people has elected Tom Elliott as their new Board of Directors Chair. Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride stated, “I am overjoyed that the Board of Directors elected Tom Elliott as the Chair. Since he joined the Board more than a year ago & became the Board Secretary shortly after, Tom has been a tremendous resource for me & the organization & I am eager to see how Campus Pride grows under his leadership.” Tom Elliott stated, “This is a pivotal moment for Campus Pride & yet in the middle of a global pandemic that altered the course of history & injected uncertainty in our lives, our mission remained the same. At Campus Pride, we aim to build future leaders & create safer communities for LGBTQ young people. We didn’t stray from that. Next year is the 20th Anniversary of Campus Pride’s founding, which presents a significant opportunity for us to implement a new strategic vision for the organization. It is an opportunity for us to re-align with the mission of the organization, as we see fit. It is an opportunity for us to develop new programming, or retool existing programming, that meets the needs of LGBTQ young people where they are today & in the future.” Elliott was a graduate of Campus Pride’s leadership camp in 2007 while he was a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Elliott is a founding partner of Acacia Consulting Group a strategic communications, public relations, and marketing agency based in Chicago, Illinois. For More Info: campuspride.org

Harbor To The Bay Cyber Friday Event

Harbor to the Bay’s 18th annual Cyber Friday is September 18th with their goal to raise $18,000 & for every $1 donated an additional $1 up to $18,000 will be donated to the H2B General Fund by Tim Stein in honor of Wayne Fette. Jim Morgrage, Harbor to the Bay President stated, “Tim has been a very generous sponsor of many of our participants & teams over the past 17 years & came on board as sponsor of the event last year. Tim in memory of his loving husband Wayne Fette set up a scholarship program for first time riders as a way of helping to grow our event, BTW it is NOT too late to apply for this year. Tim called me a couple weeks back saying, ‘I know things are very hard for Harbor to the Bay this year & I want to do more!’ So we worked together & Tim has made a challenge to all of our participants that if we can raise $18,000 on our 18th Cyber Friday on September 18th he will match that allowing us to raise $36,000 in a 24 hour period.” So far his year’s Harbor to the Bay virtual ride that has raised over $97,000. Rather than riding 125 or 68 miles together participants are encouraged to engage in whatever activity is safely accessible to them. This might mean several short bike rides doing 125 jumping jacks or dancing for 68 minutes so everyone is encouraged to get involved in a way that challenges themselves & promotes health. The H2B General Fund are divided 100% between their 4 beneficiaries; AIDS Action, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Community Research Initiative & Fenway Health as they continue providing critical care during the ongoing pandemic. For More Info: harbortothebay.org

Lambda Literary Virtual LGBTQ Festival

The 4th annual Lambda Litfest will go virtual this year & run from October 5th to 9th celebrating & defending Black LGBTQ Lives. Each night of the festival is centered around timely topics vital to Queer Black art-making including, including Politics & Activism, Black Aesthetics & Writing in Hollywood. The opening night will set the stage by bringing panelists Jordyn Jay founder of Black Trans Femmes in the Arts Collective, novelist George M. Johnson & others together for a discussion on Black Joy. The week will cap off with a discussion of Sex & the Body featuring Brontez Purnell, KOKUMO, Randa Jarrar & others. Additional featured speakers include Juliana Huxtable, Darnell Moore, Ianne Fields Stewart, t’ai freedom ford & many more. All events are free & offer audiences the opportunity to listen & engage in discussion via Zoom with some of the most crucial voices working today. Lambda LitFest is a program of Lambda Literary the nation's leading LGBTQ literary organization whose mission is to nurture & advocate for LGBTQ writers elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve their legacies & affirm the value of their stories & lives. Lambda Litfest resists the oppressive nature of a white supremacist, ableist, cisgender & heteronormative world by creating a space that uplifts & celebrates Black, Indigenous & POC folks in the LGBTQ community. This virtual event is supported in part by an Arts Grant from the City of West Hollywood as well as support from the California Arts Council & the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
For More Info: lambdaliterary.org
LISTEN: Rea Carey Talks LGBTQ Task Force Virtual Agenda

Pentagon HIV Policy Goes To Court

Lambda Legal & the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) have asked a federal district court to bar the Trump Administration & the Pentagon from discriminating against people living with HIV by denying them the opportunity to enlist, deploy or commission as an officer. In a hearing on two related lawsuits before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on September 14th lawyers argued the Pentagon’s categorical bar to the enlistment, deployment or commissioning of people living with HIV is unconstitutional & asked the court to order the Department of Defense to allow servicemembers living with HIV to deploy & to serve as officers. Scott Schoettes, Counsel & HIV Project Director, Lambda Legal stated, “Today, we asked the court to recognize what the government refuses to acknowledge, that people living with HIV are as capable, safe & healthy to serve in the military as any other person. It is discriminatory & unconstitutional to deprive these servicemembers from serving their country because of outdated science & continuing prejudice. It’s unacceptable that even in the face of tremendous medical advances, the Trump Administration is erecting new barriers to the military service of people living with HIV. These discriminatory actions deny important career opportunities & perpetuate stigma.” In the two lawsuits Roe & Voe v. Esper & Harrison v. Esper Lambda Legal & MMAA joined by pro-bono co-counsel Winston & Strawn LLP represent two Airmen facing discharge & a member of the D.C. Army National Guard being denied a commission just because they are living with HIV.
For More Info: lambdalegal.org 
LISTEN: Rea Carey Talks LGBTQ Task Force Virtual Agenda

LGBTQ Task Force Goes Virtual (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force about their upcoming virtual events & how The Task Force is adjusting to the new normal in these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. To begin with the 24th annual National LGBTQ Task Force Gala will stream virtually on Saturday October 3rd beginning at 8P EST in lieu of the customary gala held in Miami Beach, FL. This year’s theme is “The Power of US” which will focus on celebrating progress for LGBTQ people & their families. It will also emphasize the critical work of the National LGBTQ Task Force as they work to ensure that our LGBTQ community is counted through their “Queer the Census” campaign & the critical need to "Queer the Vote" in the upcoming election. The National LGBTQ Task Force Gala online event will be hosted by Latrice Royale of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame & the evening will include video messages from Pete Buttigieg, Alan Cumming, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Sam Champion, Jai Rodriguez of the original “Queer Eye” cast & George Takei among others TBA. The National Task Force Gala virtual event will also be more accessible nationally & globally for supporters & members of the Task Force family with no fixed ticket price this year so any donation will get you in. So put on your tux or your sweatpants & join in the fun that helps support this fabulous organization. The next virtual events after the gala will be “Queering Racial Justice Institute” on October 10th, 2020 & the Creating Change Conference from January 27th to 31st, 2021. I talked to Rea about what she hopes to accomplish with The Task Force, their upcoming virtual events & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN

For More Info & Tix: thetaskforce.org

Equality California Equality Awards

Equality California is presenting the first ever virtual Golden State Equality Awards tonight Sunday September 13th at 6P PST. This fabulous event is going online to celebrate our community's achievements & honor the inspirational leaders whose selfless work helps create a world that is healthy, just & fully equal for all LGBTQ people. Robbie Martin, Equality California Director of Development stated, “From the most powerful woman in the country to TV & movie stars & from an All-WNBA player to an award-winning drag queen, each one of them has a special message just for us tonight!” This year's Golden State Equality Award recipients include Pete & Chasten Buttigieg receiving the Equality Trailblazer Award, the Equality Visibility Award goes to Disclosure the Netflix Original Documentary & the Ally Leadership Award will be presented to Norman Lear. There will be a Special Tribute to Rep. John Lewis with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Angelica Ross will host the event. Musical performances will be provided by Melissa Etheridge, Shea Diamond, Alex Newell, Robin S, Rufus Wainwright & Betty Who. Special guests include Laverne Cox, Gloria Estefan, Rita Moreno, Bob The Drag Queen, Sam Feder, Chelsea Gray, Keiynan Lonsdale, Tig Notaro, Conrad Ricamora, Amy Scholder & Zachary Quinto. This historic virtual event will start with regional pre-show programs celebrating LGBTQ & allied communities in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles & Palm Springs. Then everyone will come together from across California & beyond to highlight pro-equality champions & enjoy exclusive performances.
For More Info & Tix: eqca.org
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Wonder Women Tech Virtual Summit

Wonder Women Tech (WWT) Foundation, the nonprofit org dedicated to empowering women, girls, people of color, the LGBTQ community, the underrepresented & diverse communities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) are presenting their first Virtual Summit Diversity Career Fair & Expo that takes place September 16th to 19th. Lisa Mae Brunson, CEO of Wonder Women Tech stated, “We are excited to continue to revolutionize Wonder Women Tech & all the experiences we are bringing people by taking the summit & network online & offering scholarships for tickets. I want women, people of color & all underrepresented groups to feel they have a community supporting them, deeply committed to their success & growth to become changemakers.” The Virtual Summit Diversity Career Fair & Expo will include a mix of amazing speakers, innovative workshops & networking opportunities. Embracing the unprecedented COVID-19 landscape the summit will provide interactive experiences & inspiring speakers now accessible for everyone no matter where they are located from students to professionals including those with disabilities. The 2020 Wonder Women Tech Virtual Summit will feature over 100 speakers including Alexandria Butler, Founder of Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Fireside Chat with Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Former Astronaut & first Hispanic Woman in Space, Fireside Chat with Barbara Whye, Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Intel, Keynote Speech from Dr. Lisa Coleman, Senior VP for Global Inclusion & Strategic Innovation for NYU & Andromeda Peters, Miss United States 2018 to name a few. Wonder Women Tech (WWT) seeks to create a shift in diversity & inclusion within STEAM industries & entrepreneurialism by offering revolutionary content & impactful discussions & producing year-round programming & national & international conferences.
For Info & Tix: wonderwomentech.com
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Pentagon New Transgender Ban Rules

The Pentagon has issued new instruction entitled “Military Service by Transgender Persons & Persons With Gender Dysphoria” dated September 4th that replaces a temporary directive that reinstated the ban under President Trump last year. A new 40-page handbook outlines for commanders how the ban is supposed to work & attempts to justify why transgender troops should be banned on the basis of questionable assertions. It claims that “special accommodations for medical conditions requiring sustained medical intervention” would threaten deployability, readiness & lethality even though a panel of military professors debunked the Pentagon’s misleading claim that equal treatment for transgender troops is “special” treatment stating that “There were no ‘special accommodations’ provided to individuals with gender dysphoria” in the inclusive policy that was put into effect in 2016. Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center stated, “Donald Trump’s continued attacks on transgender Americans who are putting their lives on the line for this country illustrate a consistent pattern of a commander in chief increasingly isolated from his own military. Instead of honoring & supporting our troops, he is targeting them for discriminatory treatment, just as he has reportedly denigrated military members over many years. The guidance issued last week doubles down on a ban that deprives the military of qualified personnel & which military leaders & scholars have repeatedly indicated has no credible rationale.” For the record General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified that there were “zero reports” of problems with the inclusive policy for transgender troops that was in effect for nearly three years a claim echoed by all the service chiefs. The Palm Center is an independent, non-partisan research institute that conducts scholarly analysis of U.S. military personnel policy with an emphasis on LGBTQ populations.
For More Info: palmcenter.org
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Windy City Times Goes Digital Only

Chicago's only LGBTQ newspaper Windy City Times will move to a digital-only format starting in October. The Sept. 30th edition marking the paper's 35th anniversary will be its last print issue however their website will continue to be updated regularly. Tracy Baim who was one of the original founders in 1985 along with Jeff McCourt, Bob Bearden & Drew Badanish purchased Windy City Times in 2000 & became Windy City Times publisher. Baim who is majority owner of WCT joined the Chicago Reader as publisher in 2018. Her longtime staff took over WCT including Publisher Terri Klinsky, Executive Editor Andrew Davis, Managing Editor Matt Simonette, Art Director Kirk Williamson, Director of New Media Jean Albright & bookkeeper Ripley Caine. Tracy Baim stated, "I am very sad to see the print edition go away. Our staff, freelancers & drivers have given so much to Windy City Times over the years. I thank the team for really working hard to sustain WCT. Hundreds of people worked at & supported this company through so many difficult times. Windy City Times is not closing, but losing the print paper is painful. We know many people prefer the print model, but the economics are just not sustainable." Windy City Times was among only about two dozen weekly or biweekly LGBTQ newspapers left in the U.S. to hold on to print during the decline in advertising & support of newspapers in recent years but COVID-19 & its impact on the paper's core entertainment advertisers meant continuing a print paper was just not feasible. The Sept. 30th final print edition of Windy City Times will be a special collector's edition revisiting the last 35 years of its publication.
For More Info: windycitymediagroup.com
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

I'm From Driftwood Virtual Celebration

Celebrating eleven years of LGBTQ storytelling “I'm From Driftwood” is presenting a virtual event on September 16th from 7P to 8P EST on Facebook Live. This free fundraising event will feature a piano performance & chat with David Raleigh with a performance by Daphne Always & stories & interviews with Pearl Bennett, Arwyn Heilrayne & Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims to be hosted by Phil aka Corinne & Alex Berg. The event will kickoff the org’s 11th year anniversary fundraiser with a goal of raising $11,000 in 11 days & it's a Triple Match Fundraiser so for every $1 donated will be tripled. Nathan Manske, I'm From Driftwood Founder & Executive Director stated, “After being delayed twice due to global events, I'm From Driftwood has a new date to celebrate its 11-year anniversary on Wednesday, September 16th! We would love for you to join in the celebration from the comfort of your own home. We're going to have a Facebook Live event that will be jam-packed full of entertainment, including stories, performances & interviews with previous storytellers. Our message for 11 years has been to send a life-saving message to LGBTQ people everywhere: You are not alone. That message is more important now than ever before. This free event will be the kickoff to our 11-year anniversary fundraiser with a goal of raising $11,000 in 11 days. And here's the incredible news...it's a Triple Match Fundraiser made possible thanks to Tito's Handmade Vodka matching every dollar donated up to $11,000 & two generous donors matching the other $11,000. I look forward to celebrating with you on September 16!”
To RSVP...
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Rev. Dr. Gilbert H. Caldwell Passes

Rev. Dr. Gilbert Caldwell was an unstoppable force for justice. He was also co-executive producer & co-principal for the documentary "From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet?" & a retired United Methodist pastor, Civil Rights Movement foot soldier & LGBTQ ally. Marilyn Bennett, Director of "From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet?" stated, “Gil & I started our journey together while working together to change the anti-LGBTQ policies & practices of the United Methodist Church, including being arrested during a peaceful protest at the denomination’s 2000 General Conference in Cleveland, OH. In 2003 we engaged in a conversation between Gil, an older black, non-LGBTQ, retired pastor & Civil Rights Movement foot soldier & myself, a younger white, lesbian, author & activist. Our dialogue via letters addressed racial & LGBTQ topics, which led us to founding Truth in Progress. The documentary From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet? was released in 2016. What started as an exploration of the past & present Civil Rights Movement & the LGBT equality movement soon brought us to the stories of those who live in the intersection of these identities. For the past four years Gil & I have had the honor to travel to screenings throughout the country & engage with local activist organizations to continue the fight. At every stop, Gil inspired & empowered audiences with his keen, engaging, humor & intelligence… I believe he is now in the presence of the Divine, has exchanged his cane & freed both hands one for the Bible & the other for today’s New York Times. You have broken our hearts Gil with your departure but not our spirits. No, we are still here & will move justice forward with your presence ever near.”
For More Info: fromselmatostonewall.com
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Trump Targeting Transgender People

For the past six months millions of Americans have watched their financial situation rapidly decline due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result an unprecedented number of residents are facing housing instability. In the midst of this impending housing crisis the Trump administration has proposed a new set of federal rules designed to deny shelter for transgender people experiencing homelessness. The recently proposed rule change from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) seeks to undermine the 2016 Equal Access Rule that was put in place by the Obama administration. The new proposal attempts to strip away protections against gender identity discrimination & would allow shelters to deny transgender people equal access to sex-segregated shelters by limiting shelter access based on assumptions of a person’s biological sex & not their gender identity. Sharita Gruberg, Center For American Progress Senior Director For LGBTQ Research & Communications Project Stated, “People who are transgender or gender-nonconforming face tremendous difficulty accessing safe shelter. Rather than complying with its obligations under the law & the agency’s mission to build inclusive & sustainable communities free from discrimination, under the leadership of Secretary Ben Carson, HUD is pursuing a discriminatory agenda & with this latest proposal, sanctioning government-sponsored discrimination against transgender people.” Homelessness among transgender individuals has increased by 88 percent since 2016 & 63% of the transgender homeless population does not reside in a shelter or in transitional housing. A new nationally representative Center For American Progress survey found that 87% of transgender respondents reported it would be beyond challenging to find an alternative shelter if refused.
For More Info: americanprogress.org
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Capital Health LGBTQ Equality Leader

Capital Health joins 495 health care providers nationwide earning the "LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader" designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 13th edition of HRC's Healthcare Equality Index with a record 765 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey. Dr. Eric I. Schwartz, Vice President, Community Health & Transformation; Executive Director, Capital Health - Institute for Urban Care stated, "Capital Health's designation as an LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader affirms our commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion in the care we deliver to our patients, our relationship with the communities we serve & the support we provide for our employees." Alphonso David HRC President concluded, "From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the horrific incidents of racial violence targeting the Black community, the events of the past year have brought about so much pain and uncertainty. Yet, even during this moment of profound unrest, we are seeing more of our humanity & resilience come to life. For me, nowhere is that more true than through the tireless dedication of our health care providers and the intrepid support and administrative staff members by their sides that show up every day to ensure this life-saving work continues. The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also making it clear from their participation in the HEI that they stand on the side of fairness & are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all."
For More Info: hrc.org
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

Horizons 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala

Horizons Foundation is celebrating its fortieth anniversary with a virtual gala event on September 12th from 6P to 7P PST. Since 1980 Horizons has awarded over $49.2 million to over 2100 organizations including $641,500 in emergency grants to Bay Area LGBTQ organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though they can't celebrate in person this year they're marking this special anniversary the most meaningful way possible by supporting our LGBTQ community as they have since the beginning. Special guests will include Comedian Bowen Yang, Cecilia Chung from Transgender Law Center, Donna Sachet Activist & Entertainer, Imani Rupert-Gordon Executive Director NCLR, poet & writer Jewelle Gomez, Kris Hayashi Executive Director Transgender Law Center, Kris Perry & Sandy Stier Marriage Equality Pioneers, London N. Breed San Francisco Mayor, writer & performer Margo Gomez, Mark Leno Former State Senator, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy Founder House of GG & performer & actress Sandra Bernhard. There will be performances by Operatic Soprano Breanna Sinclairé & KB “Tuffy” Boyce Drag King of Blues. The event is hosted by Michael Tate & DJ Page Hodel will be spinning. By joining this fabulous virtual gala event you help support Horizons the world’s first community foundation by & for LGBTQ people that has made grants supporting our entire LGBTQ community. Their support is intentionally broad because the needs of our community are so many & run so deep. At the same time their venture philanthropy approach looks favorably toward innovative, grassroots solutions for our LGBTQ community's emerging needs, especially those of the most under-resourced segments of our community.
For More Info & Tix…
Listen: Film "Surviving The Silence" Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

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LGBTQ Community Mourns RBG Passing

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion & consistent voice for fairness for women, for LGBTQ Americans, for peopl...

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