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Diversity Honors 6th Annual Gala Event

The globally renowned Diversity Honors celebration that benefits the Harvey Milk Foundation & The Pride Center at Equality Park that’s hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida will return on Saturday October 9th to recognize those who are transforming lives by living authentically & advancing inclusiveness. This year’s significant event will coincide with LGBTQ History Month & will honor stage & screen acting legend & philanthropist Julie Newmar (Catwoman, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar) with the DMK Harvey Milk Foundation ICON Award. Also social influencer Brian Christopher will be honored with the Harvey Milk Foundation Visibility Medal, Lithuanian filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas will receive the Harvey Milk Foundation LGBTQ Champion Award & Visit Lauderdale will be honored with The Pride Center at Equality Park Alan Schubert Award. Receiving the prestigious Diversity Honors awards are trail-blazing transgender activist Gina Duncan, attorney & activist Shenika “Nik” Harris, Executive Director for Legal Aid Service of Broward County Anthony J. Karrat & entrepreneur Linda Rae. Miriam Richter, a director of the Harvey Milk Foundation stated, “Diversity Honors was founded on one of Harvey Milk’s basic principles, namely, that we must encourage and celebrate visibility & authenticity so the world can know us and accept us. This is our goal in honoring local people & institutions as well as from all over the globe.” The celebratory evening will start with mandatory COVID-19 rapid testing at 4P & include a U.S. theatrical premiere of Director Romas Zabarauskas’ film, Advokatas (The Lawyer) at 5P followed by a Q&A with the director. The special event will be emceed by Jacey Birch, WPLG news anchor with awards presented by Stuart Milk as the co-founder and board president of the Harvey Milk Foundation. Virtual streaming tickets are also available. For More Info & Tix…

LISTEN:  Leslie Cohen Talks Memoir “The Audacity Of A Kiss”

Tribute Celebration Gala Goes Virtual

The Tribute Celebration a fabulous & inspiring evening honoring the achievements of community members & leaders in the fight to end HIV & will be presented virtually on September 18th live from San Francisco. This is an opportunity to tune in from the comfort of your own home with a virtual cocktail reception beginning at 7P PST. This year’s honorees are Google with the Corporate Pillar Award for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the HIV epidemic. Google has demonstrated a deep commitment to the Bay Area community with their unmatched support & advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community pushing the needle closer to achieving health justice. The Cleve Jones Leadership Award will go to Mayor London Breed for her decisive leadership during unprecedented times is a demonstration of her commitment to health justice. Breed’s ongoing support for ending both the AIDS epidemic & San Francisco’s opioid crisis has set the gold standard for leading with integrity. Tribute Celebration Co-chairs this year are Philip Hodges & Megan Minkiewicz. Co-hosting the event will be Juanita MORE! who over the past three decades has blitzed San Francisco with high glamour, drag irreverence, danceable beats, culinary delectables, civil rights activism & a philanthropic heart that has illuminated the entire city. Inspiring those around her to make a positive difference in their lives & in their communities doing it all with a timeless elegance & an innovative spirit. Joining Juanita will be Katya Smirnoff Skyy who has enthralled Bay Area audiences with her unique blend of opera, pop & booze. The countess spends her evenings crooning & drinking her way through the finer theaters, bars & bathhouses of America. All proceeds from Tribute Celebration directly support San Francisco AIDS Foundation. For Info & Tix…

LISTEN:  Leslie Cohen Talks Memoir “The Audacity Of A Kiss”

Ten Years After “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Modern Military Association of America is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” with celebrations on September 20th both in person & virtually. This is an opportunity to join servicemembers, veterans, their families & special guests from around the world to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) & to support the continuous fight for full inclusion for transgender & intersex servicemembers. Thanks to the repeal of DADT over the past decade lesbian, gay & bisexual service members have served openly & proudly in the Armed Forces without fear of being dismissed because of who they are or whom they love. The free virtual event takes place on Monday September 20th from 7P to 8P. Celebrate virtually with the leaders who led the fight for repeal in 2010. You’ll hear extraordinary stories from service members of all branches & learn more about the fight for the codification of transgender military service & the effort to lift the ban on service for intersex individuals & folks living with HIV. Keynote Speaker will include: Honorable Patrick J. Murphy, U.S. Representative — PA (fmr.), C. Dixon Osburn, Co-founder of Servicemember Legal Defense Network, Bree Fram, Space Force Lieutenant Colonel Bree Fram & President of SPARTA & Jennifer Dane, Air Force veteran & CEO of the Modern Military Association of America with additional speakers to be announced. Presenting sponsors are USAA, Comcast NBCUniversal & the Cerner Corporation. There will also be a number of in person events taking place in Washington DC on September 20th. For More Info...

LISTEN:  Leslie Cohen Talks Memoir “The Audacity Of A Kiss”

Memoir 'The Audacity Of A Kiss' (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Leslie Cohen about her new must-read memoir “The Audacity of a Kiss: Love, Art & Liberation” published by Rutgers University Press. This is an important read that tells the historic love story of a gay woman who broke through the oppressive roles expected for women in the 1950’s & 1960’s & came out on top in the 1970’s. Not only for women but remember in the 1950’s being LGBTQ was illegal & listed as an illness by the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). It was not until 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) finally removed the diagnosis of “homosexuality” from the second edition of its DSM. It was at this time that Cohen with three of her friends Michelle Florea, Linda Goldfarb & Barbara Russo created New York City’s first upscale women’s club Sahara that showcased women in art, politics & music. From May of 1976 to December of 1979 on Manhattan’s fashionable Upper East Side Sahara was the first club fronted by lesbian women instead of being controlled by Mafia Bosses. Creating a safe space for women attracted many celebrities and luminaries of the era including Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Pat Benatar, Ntozake Shange, Rita Mae Brown, Adrienne Rich, Patti Smith, Bella Abzug, Jane Fonda to name a few who performed & held special events at Sahara. This led to Leslie & her partner Beth Suskin becoming the models in 1979 for the iconic sculpture “Gay Liberation” in Greenwich Village that commemorates the Stonewall Riots & was declared a national monument by President Obama in 2016. I talked to Leslie about how Sahara changed the course of her life & her spin on our LGBTQ civil rights. LISTEN  

SAGE To Congress Pass The Equality Act


SAGE the world’s largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ elders will spend this week taking action urging Congress to pass the Equality Act. Now through September 17th LGBTQ elders & allies will use their voice to demand change asking their senators to vote yes on the Equality Act in support of LGBTQ elders across the country. The Equality Act would update current federal nondiscrimination laws to explicitly protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in key areas of life. This legislation is especially vital for older LGBTQ people who rely on services such as home-delivered meals, senior centers & ride-share services to get to the doctor. Without these protections our LGBTQ elders in 28 states across the country can legally be denied these services. Michael Adams SAGE CEO stated, “After facing a lifetime of discrimination & spending decades at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ movement, our community’s elders are long overdue for comprehensive protection under federal law. This legislation is vital for ensuring that all older LGBTQ+ people can access the services & supports they need as they age, regardless of what state they live in. Throughout SAGE’s LGBTQ+ Elder Week of Action, advocates across the country will speak out in support of this critical legislation, reminding Congress that they must act now. LGBTQ+ elders have waited long enough.” By passing the Equality Act Congress has the opportunity to ensure the more than 2.7 million LGBTQ people who are 50 years or older in the United States can age with health, dignity & respect. For More Info… 

 

Maria Sjödin New OutRight Appointment

OutRight Action International Board of Directors welcome Deputy Executive Officer Maria Sjödin as the org’s new acting Executive Director as longtime Executive Director Jessica Stern joins the Biden Administration as U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons at the State Department. Maria has over 20 years of experience advocating for LGBTQ equality serving as Executive Director of RSFL, Sweden’s largest LGBTIQ organization from 2005 to 2014. While in this position Maria established RFSL's international program & played a key role in ensuring that the human rights of LGBTQ people become ingrained in the Swedish government's agenda for development and foreign affairs. Maria also advocated for marriage equality & the abolishment of forced sterilization of trans people as a requirement for legal gender recognition outlawed in 2013. Jenny Pizer, Senior Counsel at Lambda Legal & OutRight Board Co-Chair stated, “Maria is the perfect person to steer OutRight during this time of transition. As Deputy Executive Director, Maria co-created many of OutRight’s greatest successes, while also leading the organization’s development & communications work through a period of extraordinary revenue growth & media visibility. We are extremely fortunate to have in Maria a world-renowned LGBTIQ human rights expert, a skillful manager & a deeply trusted face of the organization as our Acting Executive Director.” For over 30 years OutRight has served as a global LGBTQ rights organization with staff around the world. Its COVID LGBTIQ Emergency Fund has now released $3.2 million in grants to 310 LGBTIQ organizations on the frontlines in 102 countries around the world. Its annual conference OutSummit will take place virtually December 8th to 10th. For More Info…

Honoring 9-11 20 Years Later (VIDEO)

There are many untold stories of LGBTQ people who were involved or died on that infamous day in 2001. Here are a few we chose to tell twenty years later. Tom Ryan was a retired New York City firefighter who upon hearing of the attacks on World Trade Center called his firehouse & rushed to the scene. At the time Tom was the only openly gay firefighter in the FDNY. Father Mychal Judge was the gay Catholic priest who was killed by debris from the collapsing World Trade Center as he was caring for victims. Father Judge, 68, was a chaplain at the New York Fire Department & was known in the New York LGBTQ community for his work with AIDS outreach. His funeral Mass held at St. Francis of Assisi Church where he resided brought over 2,000 people. Tom Ryan was a pallbearer at Father Mychal Judge’s funeral. In the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan next door to the now closed St. Vincent’s hospital the LGBTQ Community Center offered immediate assistance to survivors & later counseling services for those grieving. More than 30 LGBTQ organizations held a memorial for victims of the World Trade Center attacks at the Center. In 2002 I produced & directed this music video tribute dedicated to those who perished on September 11th 2001. Michael Feinstein performs Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim's "Somewhere" from "West Side Story" with Keith Lockhart & the Boston Pops. Twenty Years Later... Let's Take a Moment to Reflect & Remember....

Discrimination Against LGBTQ Workers

Until we pass the Equality Act our LGBTQ workforce continues to face job discrimination according to a new study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. This isn’t really surprising but it is still shocking that in 2021 the report found that 46% of LGBTQ workers reported receiving unfair treatment at some point in their careers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity including being passed over for a job, harassed at work, denied a promotion or raise, excluded from company events, denied additional hours or fired. Even more upsetting is that many reported being denied a job or laid off in the past 12 months because of their orientation or identity. Progress is slow in coming for our LGBTQ workforce though there has been some progress. In North Carolina a wrongfully terminated a gay substitute teacher who was fired by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte when he announced that he was getting married will go to trial. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn said the Charlotte Catholic High School violated federal sex discrimination laws when it fired Lonnie Billard. Judge Cogburn stated, "Defendants cannot escape Title VII liability by recharacterizing Plaintiff's announcement of his engagement as "advocacy". If Plaintiff were a woman who posted on Facebook that she was getting married to her husband, Defendants would not have interpreted her announcement as "advocacy" for or against the Catholic Church. Plaintiff's engagement was only considered advocacy because of his sex." The Williams Institute study also reports there are approximately 8.1 million LGBTQ workers over the age of 16 in the U.S., almost half (3.9 million) of whom live in states without anti-discrimination laws protecting sexual orientation & gender identity.  Read Full Report…

NYC Anti-Violence Project Virtual Event

The NYC Anti-violence Project as part of AVP’s 40th anniversary is presenting “Courageous Conversations” that will address the impact of spiritual violence by some religious traditions towards our LGBTQ community. This will be a two-part live broadcast on September 23rd & 30th with community experts from AVP, Trinity Church Wall Street & their partners who will discuss spiritual violence against LGBTQ people, what can be done to address these wounds & how faith communities & anti-violence organizations can work together to stem this damaging rhetoric. Speakers will included; Rev. Liz Edmanis an Episcopal priest & political strategist, Rev. Kyndra Frazier an ordained Baptist clergywoman & licensed clinician, Rabbi Marisa Elana James Director of Social Justice Programming at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, J Mase III a Black Transgender queer poet & educator based in Seattle by way of Philly, Rev. Clint Schnekloth pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Lisa Stuart a 38 year old Christian trans woman who came to northwest Arkansas from south Mississippi ten years ago seeking a safe place to begin her transition, Darlene S. Torres, LMSW & the Director of Client Services at the New York City Anti-Violence Project & Rev. Matt Welsch who serves as Priest for Youth & Family at Trinity Church Wall Street. In 1980 the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) was born in the streets of Chelsea created by community activists in response to a series of brutal attacks against gay men. From the start they took to the streets, pushed back on the police & demanded safety & justice for our LGBTQ community at a time when few believed it was our right. For Info & Registration… 

 

Texas Launches A New War On Women

Now that The Supreme Court has refused to block the obscene new Texas Law SB8 prohibiting most abortions that took effect September 1st, our country must acknowledge that Texas has formally launched a war on women. With Trump successfully packing the Supreme Court with anti-choice judges including at least two known predators it’s time to stop the American assault on women’s right to control their own bodies. In the midst of a pandemic with the country suffering from hurricanes & fires Texas declared that women in their state won't be able to get an abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy which is before many women even know they're pregnant. Texas already had extreme abortion restrictions that make it difficult to access safe, legal abortion in their state but this law makes things even worse. It also encourages private citizens to sue abortion providers as well as anyone who helps a woman access an abortion in Texas with a $10,000 reward. Vice President Kamala Harris stated, “Last night, the Supreme Court threatened nearly 50 years of legal precedent, dealing a significant blow to Roe v. Wade & the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies. Without a hearing or due consideration, the majority of justices effectively allowed a bounty law to go into effect in Texas & an abortion ban after about six weeks of pregnancy even in cases of rape or incest. This decision is not the last word on Roe v. Wade & we will not stand by & allow our nation to go back to the days of back-alley abortions. We will not abide by cash incentives for virtual vigilantes & intimidation for patients. We will use every lever of our Administration to defend the right to safe & legal abortion & to strengthen that right.” To Save Roe v. Wade…

Yucatán Increases LGBTQ Protections

Yucatán has become the 22nd Mexican state to modify its constitution to make marriage “the free & voluntary legal union of two people with equal rights, duties & obligations.” The state’s congress also banned so-called conversion therapy which falsely claims to alter individuals’ sexual orientation. Although marriage equality has been legal in Mexico since 2015 when the country’s Supreme Court (SJCN) declared it unconstitutional to prohibit marriage between gay & lesbian couples before this new ruling couples had to apply for a pardon to be married in the state of Yucatán. Mexico’s status as a popular LGBTQ-friendly destination has been reaffirmed in the past three months with the approval of marriage equality not only in Yucatán but in Baja California & Sinaloa as well. State Minister of Tourism Michelle Fridman Hirsch stated, “Making the legal process for same-sex marriages opens up the state of Yucatán to the opportunity to attract even more weddings to our destination a source of economic impact that is welcomed particularly with the pandemic. We celebrate the steps taken by our congress & look forward to continuing our work to offer our visitors a destination that is rich with culture, history, modernity & above all, welcoming and safe to all.” This constitutional change strengthens Yucatán’s potential to evolve into Mexico’s newest LGBTQ+ destination. Yucatán is home to lots of professional wedding planners who can coordinate all details of a gay & lesbian couple’s special day. The international airport of capital city Mérida offers nonstop flights from Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Diego & Oakland/San Francisco.

LGBTQ Equality Florida Smith & Wolf

Two Equality Florida staff members will serve on the United States Commission on Civil Rights’ Florida Advisory Committee for the next four years. The Commission announced the reappointment of Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director to her role as Chair of the committee & the appointment of Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida Media Relations Manager to the committee for the first time. The Florida Advisory Committee is one of 51 groups that advise the Commission on a range of issues impacting civil rights policy. Nadine Smith stated, “The work of safeguarding civil rights protections is critical to the future of democracy. It is an honor to be reappointed as Chair of this committee & to continue guiding these efforts over the next four years. The results of our in-depth investigation into voting rights exposed many areas that call out for leadership & action. We will continue sounding that alarm.” Brandon Wolf concluded, “It is an incredible honor to be called upon to serve the people of Florida in this capacity. Advancing civil rights protections for all Americans is a responsibility that falls on each of us. I look forward to giving voice to our community as we press forward on fulfilling the promise of our nation.” Established as an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency, the US Commission on Civil Rights’ mission is to inform the development of national civil rights policy & enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws. They pursue this mission by studying alleged deprivations of voting rights & alleged discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice. For More Info…

Susie Mosher Presents The Lineup

We caught The Lineup with Susie Mosher at Birdland in NYC & this spontaneous extravaganza every Tuesday is a must-see. On Tuesday August 31st The Lineup presents another unique nonstop musical performance that will deliver an unforgettable night of quintessential NYC entertainment from 8:30P to 10P. Actress/singer Mosher hosts this fabulous over the top LGBTQ friendly variety show event with musical director Brad Simmons, John Miller on bass & Clint De Ganon on drums at Birdland located at 315 West 44th Street in NYC. Mosher stated, “I am so lucky to be in a position to showcase a diverse & remarkable group of talented performers every Tuesday. Every week I feel like I’m throwing a party & I love picking the right collection of guests to make the evening special. Comedians, singers, dancers, it’s a recipe for a good time. This week we have JW’s Inspirational Singers of NYC, they were on America’s Got Talent and did quite well. Juson Williams puts this incredible group together & they are each amazing. So excited to have them. Then Farah Alvin is singing & she has a magical voice, she is a singers singer, well known to all in NYC. Also a young up & coming singer songwriter, Maddie Pizzarelli, who happens to be the daughter of Guitar Giant John Pizzarelli & Broadway star Jessica Molaskey, is a bright shining light who I am thrilled to have on the show. The whole Lineup is brilliant, if I do say so myself. Come see for yourself! Tuesday 8:30 at the world famous Birdland.” Tickets are $20 & there’s an additional $20 food or drink minimum per person so come for dinner which is a fabulous way to spend the evening & support this historic club which is a fully vaccinated venue. For Info & Tix...

 

The Dinah Is Back On Track (AUDIO)


This week I talked with Mariah Hanson, founder & producer of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend that’s celebrating its 30th anniversary & takes place September 29th through October 3rd in Palm Springs, CA. The Dinah is back on track for an exceptional 5-day event with an epic slate of Top Ten Billboard headliners, rising pop stars & celebrities in compliance with the City of Palm Springs COVID safety protocol. All attendees, entertainers & staff are required to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of full vaccinations to attend the festival. That said headlining The Dinah is Grammy-award winner Macy Gray on Saturday October 2nd at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Gray’s unmistakable rasp, unshakable grasp on soul & funky spirit has ensured Macy her status as a 21st century icon since her arrival with the triple-platinum How Life Is in 1999. Selling over 25 million total albums globally she has collaborated with everyone from Ariana Grande to Galactic with her voice consistently resounding throughout pop culture. Sharing the stage with Gray is another Grammy-award winner Yung Baby Tate. Making a splash at the Girl Spot Pool Party on Friday October 1st is leading non-binary artist & actor Kat Cunning with a traffic-stopping voice & powerful presence. The Dinah has discovered so many emerging talents that it’s excited to present two bands to watch in 2021 including Boi Band & Smeared Lipstick who will respectively headline the opening & closing parties at AsiaSF Palm Springs. I talked to Hanson about what she hopes to accomplish with The Dinah in these difficult times and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For More Info & Tix: theDinah.com 

 

New Southern LGBTQ Research Program

As I continue my road trip down to North Carolina for the week the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) has announced the launch of the Southern Equality Research & Policy Center (SERPC). This is a new program focused on conducting independent research & developing policy recommendations to promote the legal & lived equality of LGBTQ people in the U.S. South. Dr. Austin H. Johnson, Director of the SERPC at the Campaign for Southern Equality stated, “More than one-third of all LGBTQ+ people in the United States are Southerners – yet there has historically been a distinct lack of research on the population. Less than ten percent of social research on LGBTQ people has been focused on those in the South & these limited data underline significant disparities in key areas of life, including in families, workplaces, schools & public life. Through the Southern Equality Research & Policy Center, we aim to center these experiences through a data-driven lens that allows us to more fully understand & ultimately, better serve – LGBTQ Southerners.” Dr. Abigail Bowen, Deputy Director of the SERPC at the Campaign for Southern Equality concluded, “The South is home to sustained legislative efforts to undermine the dignity & equality of LGBTQ people. As we continue to push back against these attacks, one vital tool must be inclusive data collection & analysis to understand the lived experience of LGBTQ Southerners. We are honored that the Southern Equality Research & Policy Center will allow us to collect & explore data specific to our community so our movement can continue to refute myths, articulate the effects of policy & secure protections for LGBTQ people across the South.” Based in Asheville, NC, the Campaign for Southern Equality promotes full LGBTQ equality across the South. Their work is rooted in commitments to equity in race, gender & class. For More Info…

New Short AIDS Film "Surviving Voices"

The National AIDS Memorial has released Surviving Voices Mini-Documentary "Substance Users, the Recovery Community & AIDS". The documentary focuses on the stories of people living with HIV overcoming addiction, fear, stigma & their triumphs, resilience & hopes featuring the voices of both AIDS survivors & advocates. The film tells the story of AIDS through the voices of survivors of the pandemic now in its 40th year. More than 700,000 U.S. lives have been lost since the first cases of AIDS were first reported in 1981. Today more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV with a disproportionate impact in communities of color & in southern U.S. states. Surviving Voices is screenings at several film festivals including Frameline45 & SF Queer Film Fest. John Cunningham National AIDS Memorial Chief Executive stated, "The National AIDS Memorial is honored to have our Surviving Voices mini-documentary featured at these influential film festivals. It speaks to the important work our organization is doing to share these powerful personal stories of hope, resilience & the journey of survivors around the issue of HIV/AIDS & addiction in an authentic and powerful way." The National AIDS Memorial's Surviving Voices mini-documentaries is produced & directed by Jörg Fockele & funded through a grant by Chevron a long-standing partner of the National AIDS Memorial. Community partners include the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, The Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network, Stonewall Project & the Castro Country Club. Jörg Fockele concluded, "I hope that these mini-documentaries will be as inspiring for current & future generations confronting their own challenges as they were for us when we filmed them." For More Info…

San Francisco Divas & Drinks Event

Get your motor running for the 45th Anniversary of Dykes on Bikes® to be celebrated on Friday August 27th from 6P to 10P at Divas & Drinks @ The Academy in the San Francisco's Castro. The event is hosted by Donna Sachet & featuring DJ Rockaway of PLAY & Olivia Travel. The celebration will also include an introduction of local LGBTQ women leaders by NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon. San Francisco Dykes on Bikes® Women's Motorcycle Contingent is an organization committed to creating a local, national & international community of women motorcyclists & friends of women motorcyclists. Their mission is to support philanthropic endeavors in the LGBTQ & women's communities & to reach out to empower a community of diverse women through rides, charity events, Pride events & education. The Academy is an LGBTQ+ social club open to all focusing on promoting genuine social interactions while offering engaging programming in collaboration with nonprofit organizations, local businesses & leading community members. The indoor/outdoor venue features a private back garden & guests will receive the second in their collectible series of shot glasses honoring legendary SF lesbian bars. COVID-19 safety regulations requires masks indoors as well as proof of valid vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours for those who wish to remain indoors. So get your motor running on August 27th for Divas & Drinks at The Academy “Dykes on Bikes 45th Anniversary” celebration! For this special event Dykes on Bikes will roar down to 2166 Market Street to receive well-deserved commendations. Tickets are $10. For More Info…

Trump Rollback Rule Will Go To Court

A federal court permitted plaintiffs to continue to pursue several claims in Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY) et al v. HHS a lawsuit challenging the Trump-Pence Administration’s rule that attempts to undermine healthcare nondiscrimination protections contained in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federal government had filed a motion to dismiss the case but the court allowed many of the claims to proceed while postponing consideration of others that are part of other court cases challenging the rule & dismissing only some limited parts of the suit. Ellen LaPointe Fenway Health CEO stated, “We are gratified that the court is allowing this lawsuit to proceed. Everyone deserves & is entitled to high quality health care that is delivered with compassion. No one should ever be denied access to care because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, reproductive health needs, HIV status, or limited proficiency in English. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that everyone – including the most underserved and at-risk people in our communities – is afforded access to quality health care.” The lawsuit was filed against the Trump-Pence Administration on July 9, 2020 asserting that the new rule violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The discriminatory rule was published on June 19, 2020 just days after the June 15, 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County which found that it is unlawful sex discrimination to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The lawsuit also asserts that the new rule will embolden discrimination & harm LGBTQ patients & people who are seeking or who have obtained reproductive health care, further stigmatize abortion & other pregnancy-related care. For More Info…

Campus Pride Announces Mini Grants


Campus Pride is celebrating its 20th anniversary year as the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to building future leaders & creating safer, more inclusive communities for LGBTQ people & allies at colleges & universities. As the preeminent resource for LGBTQ leadership development, diversity inclusion & advocacy within higher education they are awarding 10 Social Justice Mini Grants for Activism. These 10 grants form the inaugural class of projects supported by Campus Pride under a program launched in June 2021. Each grant is worth up to $600. Grantees represent schools from across the country working on projects ranging from producing an original play with trans artists to developing & lobbying administrators to adopt more inclusive policies to forming a mentorship program for LGBTQ+ students to an LGBTQ+ art installation on campus. The inaugural awards includes: William Paterson University, New Jersey - Creation of LGBTQ+ student mentorship program, University of Connecticut, Connecticut - Production of original play with trans artists, University of Connecticut, Connecticut - Development of legislation to be presented to school administration to protect LGBTQ+ students on campus, Brigham Young University, Utah - Support for BYU Pride for community event permitting, George Washington University, Washington D.C. - Development of a course focusing on crystal methamphetamine use in the Black gay community, focusing on safe & effective supporting care, George Washington University, Washington D.C. - Development of an LGBTQ+ sexual health class, University of Central Florida, Florida - Providing gender-affirming binders to trans students, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania - Creation of art installation featuring LGBTQ+ artists, with proceeds from ticket sales going to financial assistance for students’ gender affirmation surgeries, University of Maryland, Maryland - Support for care packages to LGBTQ+ youth homeless shelter & Baldwin Wallace University, Ohio - Installing menstrual product dispensers in gender-neutral campus restrooms. Campus Pride will continue awarding Social Justice Mini Grants for Activism throughout 2021. To Apply & More Info…

Pete & Chasten Buttigieg Are Adopting

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg & his husband Chasten announced they are adopting a child & becoming parents. Secretary Buttigieg is the first out LGBTQ person ever confirmed for a Cabinet level position by the U.S. Senate. Buttigieg spoke about wanting to have children on the campaign trail back in April 2019. On Twitter Pete Buttigieg stated, “For some time, Chasten & I have wanted to grow our family. We’re overjoyed to share that we’ve become parents! The process isn’t done yet & we’re thankful for the love, support & respect for our privacy that has been offered to us. We can’t wait to share more soon." Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute concluded, “On the campaign trail, Pete & Chasten upended stereotypes & transformed perceptions for millions of Americans less familiar with LGBTQ people & their lives. As parents, they will now shine a national spotlight on LGBTQ families, who often face daunting challenges because of outdated policies that narrowly define what families are. Their adoption is an opportunity to have a national dialogue about creating a legal & legislative framework that supports all parents & children. Yet this is primarily about love & family & we are absolutely thrilled for Pete & Chasten & know they will be fantastic fathers.” The LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve & sustain global equality through leadership development, training & convening to increase the number, expand the diversity & ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected & appointed officials at all levels of government. For More Info…

PFLAG Mourns Paulette Goodman

Paulette Goodman who served as PFLAG National President from 1988 until 1992 has died. Goodman was born in a Jewish family growing up in Nazi-occupied Paris until her family moved to the United States in 1949. When her daughter came out to her in 1981 she got involved with PFLAG eventually helping to found PFLAG Metro DC in 1983 serving as its first president. In 2019 Goodman stated, “When I found out about my gay child, I realized it was the same situation. You’re guarded about who you are, because you don’t know who’s going to be supportive...I didn’t want my child to go through what I went through, being in the closet is stifling.” Brian K. Bond PFLAG National Executive Director concluded, “Paulette Goodman showed the world what it means to be a loving PFLAG parent & ally. Her experiences as a Jewish girl growing up under Nazi occupation informed the work she did throughout her life & she brought that experience, that empathy, that drive to her work with LGBTQ+ kids & their families. PFLAGers everywhere can look to her as a role model, for once she went through her experience with her own child and got the support she needed, she used that experience to educate others & then advocate for the wellbeing and equality of all LGBTQ+ people. She was the embodiment of what we tell PFLAG members: ‘Once you no longer need PFLAG, PFLAG needs you.’ PFLAG needed & was so lucky to have Paulette Goodman. Our hearts are with her family & all who knew and loved her.” PFLAG is the first & largest organization for LGBTQ people, their parents & families & allies. For More Info… 

 

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Diversity Honors 6th Annual Gala Event

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