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Commission On Unalienable Rights Ends

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he has disbanded the Commission on Unalienable Rights that was created under the discriminatory Trump administration. Elisa Massimino, Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress stated, “Secretary Blinken’s repudiation of this misguided commission is a welcome signal, not only that the Biden administration rejects the cynical use of human rights language to infringe on the rights of others, but that it embraces the essential wisdom that human rights are interdependent. Matching this clarity of intention with action will go a long way towards delivering on the administration’s promise to put respect for human rights at the center of its foreign policy. Last year, more than 30 faith leaders signed a statement expressing grave concerns about a draft report on human rights issued by the commission. The leaders—who included Catholic, evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh & Buddhist leaders, as well as former State Department officials—warned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s effort to elevate religious freedom & property rights above other human rights would weaken religious freedom itself & undermine the protections for the universal values of human dignity.” Christian evangelical Pompeo insisted that religious freedom was the single most important human right from which all other rights arose. He established the Commission on Unalienable Rights & held annual international religious freedom conferences that sanctioned discrimination against our LGBTQ community & others. Secretary of State Antony Blinken report concluded, "Other marginalized populations, including older persons, persons with disabilities & LGBTQI+ persons, experienced particular vulnerability. Human rights are also co-equal. There is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others."

ClexaCon Virtual 2021 LGBTQ Event


ClexaCon the largest multi-fandom media event for LGBTQ women & allies will take place online from April 16th through April 18th with a virtual pop-up convention. ClexaCon brings together thousands of diverse LGBTQ+ fans & content creators from around the world to celebrate positive representation for LGBTQ+ women, trans & non-binary communities in the media. Get ready attend a full weekend of fun with your favorite actors, creators, authors, podcasters & more. With special events including Queerly Beloved Revue, Trivia Night with Lez Hang Out, Craft Hour with Design Hive LA, Mediation with Winny Clarke & more opportunities to connect with your community. Over the next few weeks they will be guest announcements, ticket details & the full schedule of events. Team Clexacon stated, “Join us online next month for our virtual pop-up con, taking place April 16th to 18th! We will have a full weekend of panels with your favorite celebs & entertainment industry guests, special events & more. Tickets will be donation-based & all ticket holders from ClexaCon 2020 will have free access to the full event. During the event, some of our featured guests will be offering premium add-ons such as one-on-one videos sessions, virtual photo ops & signed autographs which will be mailed after the event. We’ll post updates soon about who will be offering add-ons, pricing & other details. Stay tuned to email, our social media accounts & our website for more ticket information & keep an eye out for guest announcements throughout the week. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!” For More Info… 

International Trans Day of Visibility

International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring on March 31st dedicated to celebrating transgender people & raising awareness of the discrimination faced by our transgender community globally as well as a celebration of their contributions to society. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) & the National LGBTQ Task Force will co-host a virtual panel on Wednesday March 31st at 6P EST to mark this day entitled “Fierce, Fabulous & Fighting for Our Lives: A Conversation with Transgender & Non-Binary Young People.” The panelists will included Actor/Producer Josie Totah, LGBTQ Reporter at 19th News Kate Sosin, Author, Activist, Life Coach & the 1st trans athlete on an NCAA D1 men’s team Schuyler Bailar, HRC Youth Ambassador and DJ Nico Craig, HRC Youth Ambassador & TikTok Influencer Ve’ondre Mitchell & Web Developer & Artivist Lala Shanks. Cathy Renna, National LGBTQ Task Force Communications Director stated, “With the pervasive attacks on trans youth happening across the nation & in the media, we wanted to give space to trans & non-binary youth, who are tired of being talked about & should be listened to, telling their stories & sharing their experiences.” Arkansas & Tennessee have become latest states to pass anti-trans legislation & there are a record number of bills targeting transgender people pending in state legislatures across this country with a significant number of these bills targeting our trans youth. This issue must be addressed so we can all move forward to a more humane & compassionate world. To RSVP this event email madeleine.roberts@hrc.org for instructions on accessing the livestream.

Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022

The Gay Games 11 Hong Kong takes place November 11th to 19th 2022 & for the first time in Asia, announced that the iconic global brands Marriott Bonvoy & YouTube have proudly pledged at their Platinum Level support for the Games, the largest inclusive sporting & cultural event of its kind. Bart Buiring, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Marriott International, Asia Pacific stated, “We are proud to be one of the main sponsors for the Gay Games 11. With Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of more than 800 properties & 24 exciting brands across Asia Pacific, our doors are always open to welcome all. This sponsorship is just one way we showcase our long-standing commitment to celebrate diversity & inclusion, inspiring travelers to be their true authentic selves whoever & wherever they are.” Christof Wittig, Director of Fundraising & Partnerships added, “Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 is happening & we’re thrilled to have this first slate of internationally renowned brands joining this historic project. Their support speaks volumes about the values these partners stand for & the immense opportunity for Hong Kong, regional & global businesses to partner with the Gay Games.” Expecting to welcome over 12,000 participants & 75,000 spectators from 100 countries the Gay Games promise to be a major event contributing to Hong Kong’s hospitality & tourism sectors. From hotel lodgings to shopping & local tourist attractions the estimated economic impact of the Gay Games in Hong Kong is expected to generate over HK$1billion in the city. It will be one of the biggest events to be held in Hong Kong as the region begins to recover & move onwards from the global COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the hospitality & tourism sectors particularly hard. For More Info...

UK £50 Bill Honors Gay Icon Alan Turing

It’s official the Bank of England has displayed its new £50 note featuring mathematician & computer science pioneer Alan Turing who helped win World War II with his code-breaking brilliance & then died after facing government persecution over his homosexuality. Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England stated, "Alan Turing was a gay man, whose transformational work in the fields of computer science, code-breaking & developmental biology, was still not enough to spare him the appalling treatment to which he was subjected. By placing him on this new £50 banknote, we celebrate him for his achievements & the values he symbolizes, for which we can all be very proud. Turing's pioneering work in computing and artificial intelligence has had an enormous impact on how we all live today." Peter Tatchell. Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation concluded, “This is a much deserved accolade for one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century. Turing’s Enigma code-breaking helped defeat the Nazis & thereby shortened the Second World War, saving millions of lives. As a pioneer of computing science, his theories laid the foundation of the modern world, including everything from the internet & email to mobile phones, space exploration & life-saving medical technologies.” Turing was arrested in 1952 & charged with “gross indecency” for homosexual acts that were illegal in England & Wales until 1967. Turing did not deny the charges & was convicted & sentenced to chemical castration. He died two years later at 41 after eating an apple laced with cyanide which is still debated by historians whether this was a suicide or accidental poisoning. The banknote will officially be in circulation on June 23rd Turing's birthday.

LGBTQ & Violence Against Women Act

When the House of Representatives passed an historic amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (VAWA) last week this established a first-ever grant program to support LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault & stalking with an emphasis on programs providing support to transgender women who are also Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). The grant program was established through an amendment to the law that was sponsored by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) & Congresswoman Marie Newman (IL-03). Ellen LaPointe, President & CEO of Fenway Health stated, “Fenway Health is grateful for the leadership shown by Congresswomen Pressley & Newman in championing this bill. Gender-based violence, domestic & intimate partner violence in the LGBTQIA+ community & maltreatment of transgender women, especially BIPOC women, by law enforcement & or emergency shelter programs are significant problems that require racially equitable & innovative prevention programming from community-based organizations.” VAWA was first enacted in 1994. When it was reauthorized in 2013 new language was added to the law to explicitly include people with gay & lesbian partners. The bill passed by the House last week explicitly includes, for the first time, transgender & gender diverse people. Lauren Kourabas, Program Director of Fenway Health’s Violence Recovery Program concluded, “There were more reported murders of transgender people in 2020 than in any previous year. Most of those victims were BIPOC women. Sadly, another 11 transgender women have already lost their lives to violence in 2021. This is an urgent crisis requiring immediate & on-going intervention.” The Senate must now act swiftly & pass this legislation to help protect all people in the United States from gender-based violence. For More Info…

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Dr. Rachel Levine Confirmed By Senate

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. Senate have voted to confirm Dr. Rachel Levine as the next assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. She is the first openly transgender American ever to be confirmed by the Senate to a position in the federal government. Adrian Shanker, Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center stated, “The U.S. Senate made history by confirming Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS but while this is certainly momentous, Dr. Levine is less interested in making history & more interested in making a difference. Now, she can get to work to improve public health for the American people. There is nobody better prepared for this role than Dr. Levine.” Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress concluded, “Dr. Rachel Levine’s appointment reflects her years of competent, effective stewardship as the top public health official in the state of Pennsylvania. A long track record of success, amid the largest public health crisis in a century, speaks to her unimpeachable qualifications for the job. Her confirmation also marks a historic milestone in the push for a federal government that reflects & celebrates the diversity of its citizenry. Dr. Levine’s status as the highest-ranking openly transgender official to hold a position in the federal government demonstrates that representation in public spaces matters. CAP applauds Dr. Levine’s confirmation & looks forward to her continued leadership on behalf of the American people.” I recorded this sound byte a few months ago with Winnie Stachelberg introducing Dr. Levine. LISTEN  

For More Info: bradburysullivancenter.org

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Sin City Classic Joins Sports Summit

Connect Sports has announced a partnership with the Sin City Classic that will ensure this year’s Connect Sports Diversity Summit will be the most engaging & productive in its five-year history. Sin City Classic will be the presenting partner of the summit to be held May 24th to 26th at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas. Connect Sports Diversity Summit includes three days of one-on-one appointments, networking, education & best practices, as well as memorable experiences unique to Las Vegas. Ken Scearce, Executive Director of the Sin City Classic stated, "We are excited to partner with Connect for the Diversity Sports Summit. This is a great opportunity for diversity sport planners to explore many great event venue options while also learning more about the specific needs & interests of the diverse LGBTQ+ community. It also offers a chance to network & discuss the challenges we’ll all face in pivoting back to live sporting events over the next few years." Patrick Higgins Connect Vice President concluded, “Sin City Classic is a leader in LGBTQ+ multi-sport events & its wealth of experience & knowledge will greatly benefit attendees at the Diversity Sports Summit. Not only will this partnership bring a record number of LGBTQ+ sporting event organizers to meet with cities, hotels & venues, but we’ll be offering some very impactful education & best practice sharing for our attendees as well.” Connect is a leader in the meetings, events, travel & tourism industry. As it has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Connect will implement safety protocols to ensure attendees can have peace of mind while getting back to business. For More Info…

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Equality Act New National Campaign

A new national campaign advocating for urgent passage of the Equality Act has been launched with support from hundreds of the nation’s top leaders in civil rights, faith, education, health care & advocacy. The Freedom & Opportunity For All campaign, with an initial investment of $4 million, will continue growing the nationwide effort that’s already supported by hundreds of the nation’s top business leaders advocating for the Equality Act. This historic federal legislation will modernize & improve our nation’s civil rights laws by including explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people, as well as women, people of color & people of all faiths. The Equality Act passed the House with bipartisan support last month & had its first-ever hearing in the Senate last week. Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund stated, “The lives of millions of LGBTQ people in this country & our families would be improved through the Equality Act.” Brian K. Bond, Executive Director, PFLAG National added, “Parents of LGBTQ+ people want for their children what all parents want for their children: The opportunity to live, learn, work, pray & play safely, fairly & free from discrimination, harassment & harm.” Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) concluded, “NCLR is proud to be joining a coalition of advocates from the LGBTQ, women, people of color, immigration, & faith communities who have all joined the Freedom & Opportunity For All coalition to urge the swift passage of the Equality Act in the Senate.” Freedom & Opportunity For All is co-founded & led by 16 of the nation’s leading advocates for equality. For More Info…

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Carole Pope & Church Of Trees (AUDIO)

This week I talked with award winning Canadian rock icon Carole Pope about her new single “World’s a Bitch” a collaboration with the Canadian electro synth pop trio Church of Trees consisting of band members Bernard Frazer, Tara Hope & Allison Stanton. The song & music video relay a stirring sonic snapshot of the angst felt & coping mechanisms tapped when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic & the world’s desperate need for vaccine distribution. The song is mixed & mastered by Jordon Zadorozny whose credits include Blinker the Star, Courtney Love, Chris Cornell & Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. The pairing of Pope with Church of Trees came by way of former Spoons/Honeymoon Suite keyboardist Rob Preuss. While working directly but separately with each artist he had a light bulb moment & suggested Frazer write something that might suit Pope’s voice. With her hit “High School Confidential'' recently inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Carole Pope has won three Juno Awards (Canada’s version of the Grammy), a Genie (Canada’s Oscar) & multiple gold & platinum records to her credit. The award-winning vocalist of Rough Trade is also known for leveraging her iconic status to openly table discussions around LGBTQ sexuality in her lyrics starting in the ‘70s. “World’s a Bitch” is one of several musical projects Pope is currently working on including “Attitude: The Art Rock Musical” a stage production based on the life of her late brother Howard a New York-based musician who passed away of AIDS in 1996. I talked to Carole about what she hopes to accomplish with “World’s a Bitch” & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. For More Info..  LISTEN  

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Wicked Queer Film Festival Goes Virtual

Boston’s 37th annual Wicked Queer film festival will be once again recreated into a virtual event this year with 17 short film programs for the entire month of April. Then from April 8th to 18th they’ll be showcasing their fabulous feature film selections. All screenings will be available for your viewing pleasure on Xerb.tv. They will also be hosting their annual Splash Party this year on Gather Town on Sunday March 28th where you can get a sneak preview of trailers & chat with the Wicked Queer staff. In preparation they’re reaching out to let you know that they love bringing you this festival each year & that they are so thankful that you love having Wicked Queer here to bring these stories to reflect the voices & images of our LGBTQ community. They hope that because our community knows the importance keeping Wicked Queer Film Festival going, this year, next year & for many years to come & since this is an all volunteer organization that donating a little or a lot will help continue to tell our stories. Founded in 1984 by film programmer George Mansour, Wicked Queer is Boston's LGBTQ+ Film Festival is the 4th oldest running LGBTQ+ film festival in North America. So come be a part of Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Fest & be part of our ongoing story. Tickets go on sale March 27th but you can view the selection now. To participate in this year’s festival you can register to watch individual films or a variety of packages & because this is a unique viewing experience tickets will be available to purchase up until 3 hours before the program end times. For More Info…

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“On The Radio” Fabulous Virtual Event

Let the good times roll virtually with Krewe de Kinque King & Queen XVII Omar Kubian & Diana Wheeler as they present "On The Radio" KDK Bal Masque XVIII benefiting The Q Foundation on March 27th from 6P ET to 8P ET via Facebook & YouTube. They will be honoring legendary broadcaster & P.A. Announcer for the San Francisco Giants Renel Brooks-Moon as Celebrity Grand Marshal of the event. Everyone from around the world can view the two-hour tableaux show free from 3-5P with a 2:45P musical slideshow countdown on Facebook or YouTube with a suggested donation of $5-$10 with donations appreciated during the costumed extravaganza. From the National Anthem performed live and the Grand Marshal Second Line Parade, to the drag, dancers & musicians leading up to the crowning of the next King & Queen you'll enjoy classics from the era of Donna Summer, Disco, the Age of Aquarius & all things RADIO! San Francisco Bay Area residents have the option to purchase your VIP Reserved seat to watch the live stream while celebrating in the Castro in the decorated parklet at Poesia restaurant (4072 18th Street at Castro) with full bar & food waiter service, VIP Gift Bag, & restroom access. Founded in 2004 by Gary Virginia, the all-volunteer organization has raised over $130,000 for 30 causes ranging from HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, LGBTQ asylum, local housing & hunger programs including emergency relief for Oakland Warehouse fire victims, North Bay fire and flood victims, Hurricane Katrina, earthquake victims abroad & more. 

Overdue Gender Violence Protections

Bipartisan majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives have successfully passed both the long-awaited reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) & a joint resolution to advance ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) representing a critical moment in the fight to advance women’s rights & safety at a time when both have been undermined during the COVID pandemic. Wade Henderson, Interim President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights stated, “Gender-based violence, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has had devastating effects on survivors, their families & their communities. While every survivor needs support, survivors from marginalized or otherwise underserved communities are less likely to be able to access the services they need to heal & rebuild their lives. The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act provides crucial civil & human rights protections & promotes access to services for all survivors. The Senate must now act swiftly & pass this legislation to help protect all people in the United States from gender-based violence.” Jocelyn Frye, Center for American Progress’ Women’s Initiative Senior Fellow concluded, “The actions taken by the House today represent important progress in the fight to uphold women’s basic dignity & rights. Sexual violence is itself a pandemic—1 in 4 women experience domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault & stalking in their lifetime…It is essential to not only ratify the ERA but also to push for additional anti-discrimination policies that go beyond the amendment’s reach, to ensure rigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination laws & to hold politicians accountable for the ERA’s promise of gender equality.” 

 

Senate Hearing For The Equality Act

Finally the Equality Act H.R.5 will have its day today March 17th starting at 10A EST before the U.S. Senate Committee. Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund stated, “Today we will witness history. This hearing will impact the lives of millions of LGBTQ people & we will all be watching. We are ready to fight for the passage of the Equality Act & welcome a full & fair discussion of how this will make the lives of LGBTQ people better & help this nation take one more step towards living its values of equality & justice for all. The National LGBTQ Task Force believes in the power, diversity & goodness of people & it is this that has led to our commitment to advocate for justice for all people & work to ensure our country actively respects, embraces & values all its people. The gift of this moment is to look deep inside of our collective selves & ask, ‘What are the limits of Love & Justice?’ We believe they are unlimited. Today, we can prove it.” Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National concluded, “As a gay man living with HIV, raised in rural America, with a deep faith in God & taught to have respect for all people, I have to pick & choose which businesses I frequent, where I choose to get healthcare, where I live, work & travel. When I have no choice, all I can do is hope to be served without discrimination. This is because, like all LGBTQ+ people, I am not protected under current federal law & depend on a patchwork of local laws to protect me. For hundreds of thousands of PFLAGers across the country, the Equality Act represents the opportunity for this country to live up to its promise of equality, liberty & justice for all.” Watch Here…

Pope Francis Sinfully Breaks Hearts

As Italy once again imposes a lockdown due to the increasing cases of COVID Pope Francis makes a decree declaring that the Vatican will not bless gay & lesbian unions calling them a “sin”. Great move to stir up hate in the time of a global pandemic by creating more homophobic PR for the Catholic Church. Another example of instead of bringing the world together in this time of crisis let’s continue down this destructive path of division. Cathy Renna, Communications Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force stated, “One step forward, then a few hundred years of steps back. A majority of American Catholic adults (nearly 70%) support marriage equality, my family amongst them. The hierarchy is so out of touch & Pope Francis, who may have tried to make some small amount of progress, is surrounded by a structure that is failing in it values & failing the people in the pews.” How quickly the Pope changes his position after less than a year ago he stated, "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They're children of God & have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered." Once again the Vatican also wrongly states that being gay or lesbian is a "choice" describing our LGBTQ community as sinful & that we "cannot be recognized as objectively ordered" to God's plans. Right we choose to be hated by you in order to live authentically. So now instead of evolving the Vatican is declaring that our entire LGBTQ community are not the children of God. An unbelievably ignorant stance coming from an institution that has paid out millions of dollars to victims because of their sinful predator behavior.

Mary Bowman Arts In Activism Award

The National AIDS Memorial has announced Isabel Fatima (Ima) Diawara of Los Angeles as the first recipient of the Mary Bowman Arts in Activism Award. The newly created & inspiring program is funded through a multi-year grant from ViiV Healthcare & offers support to artist-activists who are working & committed to making a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. John Cunningham, Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial stated, “We are honored that Ima has been chosen as the first recipient of this award. Her passion & work exemplifies the same pioneering spirit of Mary Bowman that uses art & activism to raise greater awareness about bigotry, stigma & social justice, particularly around the issue of HIV/AIDS.” The Mary Bowman Arts in Activism Award honors the life of Mary Bowman born with HIV who lived out her experiences of growing up & living with HIV & losing a mother to AIDS. Through her art the poet, advocate, author & singer she passed away in early 2019 at the age of 30. The award is funded through a multi-year grant from ViiV Healthcare & supports one young arts activist 27 years of age or younger, selected annually, to receive a $5,000 award. Marc Meachem, Head External Affairs North America ViiV Healthcare concluded, “This award supports young artists & activists like Ima who exemplify Mary Bowman’s passion for the arts, as the vehicle for their own HIV/AIDS community work & expression. Like Mary Bowman, Ima is using her own creativity to have a powerful impact in the community through honest conversations about issues that matter through art, expression & culture.” Applications for 2021 Award are now being accepted for social justice program funded through the support of ViiV Healthcare. For More Info...

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Totally Brilliant “It’s A Sin” HBO MAX

When it comes to entertainment this past year during the pandemic with movies theaters & music venues closed we’ve been left at the mercy of streaming networks & Zoom events. In search of a series that’s totally brilliant check out “It’s A Sin” on HBO MAX. Set in 1980s London this fabulous coming-of-age tale follows a group of gay friends leading up to the height of the AIDS crisis. “It's a Sin” was written & created by Russell T Davies who brought us “Queer as Folk” so get ready to enjoy a stellar series experience. The five episodes take place from1981 to 1991 in London & beautifully & authentically depicts our LGBTQ community & their friends during this ten year span coping with the HIV/AIDS crisis in the UK. Contributing to this honest portrayal & success of this series is the casting of only gay actors in the leading roles. The cast includes Olly Alexander as Ritchie Tozer, Omari Douglas as Roscoe Babatunde & Callum Scott Howells as Colin Morris-Jones. Lydia West as Jill Baxter, Nathaniel Curtis as Ash Mukherjee & David Carlyle as Gregory Finch together form the ensemble which the show focuses on most. Other actors cast were Keeley Hawes, Shaun Dooley, Tracy Ann Oberman, Stephen Fry & Neil Patrick Harris is memorable as a dry-witted elder mentor Henry. This is not a series to binge watch but to savor each episode. “It’s A Sin” is an education that our entire LGBTQ community, allies & beyond must watch & perhaps learn something about ourselves as we deal with our present global pandemic. For those who lived through the AIDS Crisis as I have this series provides a moment to reflect about the loss of friends & innocence in our community.

BGMC Encore 2021 Gala Goes Virtual

Boston Gay Mens Chorus is presenting their signature fundraiser event virtually this year on May 1st live from the Regent Theatre in Massachusetts beginning with the pre-show at 6:30P & the live stream at 7P. This fun & interactive experience will be hosted by Catherine Peterson, Immediate Past Chair of Chorus America & Executive Director of ArtsBoston. Craig Coogan, BGMC Executive Director stated, “We’re really excited to have an interactive live gala this year. We’ve got all of the fun elements (live auction, hat competition), fabulous entertainment (including The Boy Band Project) that supporters can participate with from the comfort of their homes. It’ll be a great night that will raise critical funds for the chorus so we can come back strong.” There will also be a silent auction beginning online at 8A Thursday April 22nd that will run until 7P Saturday May 1st followed by the live auction at the event. So don your best bonnet or fedora for the hat competition. All you have to do to participate is post a selfie on Instagram with your hat using the #BGMCDerby & a winner will be selected during the live stream event. Founded in 1982, the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is one of New England’s largest & most successful community-based choruses. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III the BGMC sings a wide spectrum of classical & popular music & creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of our LGBTQ community. Encore 2021 Gala tickets start at $100 & some of the ticket packages include the BGMC pod-pack with food, decor & everything to make ENCORE 2021 Fabulous! For Info & Tix...

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Texas Introduces LGBTQ Protections Bill


State Representative Jessica González & Senator José Menéndez have filed legislation that if passed during the 87th Legislative Session would ensure equal protections for our Texas LGBTQ community in employment, housing & public accommodations. House Bill 3860 & Senate Bill 1540 would add sexual orientation, gender identity & military veteran status to the state’s current nondiscrimination laws covering employment & housing. The Bills would also protect all Texans from discrimination in places of public accommodation based on race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or status as a military veteran. Rep. González stated, “Protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in Texas is the right thing to do & it’s long overdue. As a native Texan, I know the Texas spirit is to help & support our fellow Texans. We are driven to make Texas live up to its promise of freedom & prosperity. Let’s make Texas history & make sure every single Texan is treated with dignity & respect. Let’s send a message to all LGBTQ Texans – especially our youth – that their home values & respects them.” Senator Menéndez concluded, "It is time to pass comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation that will protect us all. Now more than ever, we should be embracing equality & helping our neighbors. Protections for our LGBTQ+ community are long overdue. Every day Texans, the business community & nationally, we know that our society thrives when we accept one another for who they are. Texas is far behind the curve. Please join us in supporting this legislation."

New Survey To Address LGBTQ Women

A group of seasoned activists & scholars have formed an independent national research project focused on the long overdue concerns of LGBTQ women. The initiative is spearheaded by veteran lesbian activist Urvashi Vaid one of the first women of color to lead a national LGBTQ organization. Over 100 organizations have joined on as partners seeking to center the concerns of LGBTQ women for policy-makers & advocates. Vaid stated, “We had to create an independent project to get this work off the ground. It’s outrageous that it’s 2021 & this will be the first national survey about the needs & priorities of LGBTQ+ women specifically. For queer women to advocate effectively we need this data to deepen the gender focus of our movements & to get the services & resources our community needs at a local, state & federal level” The trailblazing survey will look at all aspects of LGBTQ women’s lives from workplace issues & education to family life, from religious & political affiliation to & sexuality & gender expression. It will be housed at Emory University under the leadership of Professor Alyasah Ali Sewell. Dr Sewell is a highly respected & widely published sociologist on the political economy of race, neighborhoods & health. The survey launches in the context of an incredibly violent & challenging year for LGBTQ women. Jaime M. Grant, Research Director For The Project concluded, “How has this perfect storm of displacement, disease & increasing violence impacted LGBTQ women? As usual, nobody knows. Well, it is time we build that knowledge base together. Everyone in the community needs to take this survey.” Let's stop lesbian erasure & take the survey.

MBCC Bike For Prevention Virtual Event

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is hosting its first annual Bike for Prevention Bike-A-Thon virtually on a local & national scale from Monday April 19th to Sunday April 25th, 2021. Participants can ride one mile or more either outdoors on their favorite route or indoors on a stationary bike. For those interested who do not have a bike MBCC invites them to participate on foot & either walk or run any distance of their choosing. Cheryl Osimo, MBCC’s Executive Director stated, “We are proud & grateful to all of the MBCC friends who will help support this new event & raise funds toward MBCC’s focus on cancer prevention starting April 19th. Ultimately, these individuals along with all MBCC Bike for Prevention supporters are helping us to make the world a better place for our children, grandchildren & future generations.” MBCC is the only breast cancer non-profit working closely with a research & sister organization Silent Spring Institute to investigate preventable environmental causes of the disease. MBCC is currently working on crucial national health projects to address environmental causes of breast cancer including water testing & how PFAS enters groundwater from firefighting foams, wastewater & other pollution sources as well as their impacts on children’s health. This work is funded through annual fundraising events like its first virtual annual Bike for Prevention Bike-A-Thon. Registration for the Bike-A-Thon is $40 for individuals, $150 for families up to 5 members, $25 for students & registered participants will receive a free t-shirt. All proceeds from the Bike-A-Thon event will benefit breast cancer prevention. For Info & Registration…

Celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women's Day (IWD) celebrated on March 8th was originally called International Working Women's Day. The earliest Women’s Day observance in the USA was held on February 28th 1909 in New York in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Every year there’s a theme & this year it’s “Choose To Challenge” declaring that we all must choose to challenge & call out gender bias & inequality. We can all choose to seek out & celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change so let's all choose to challenge. First on the agenda in this country is to pass the Equality Act first introduced by U.S. Representatives Bella Abzug (D-NY) in 1974 & still 47 years later has not become the law of land nationally where protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation & marital status in federally assisted programs, housing sales, rentals, financing & brokerage services remains. Though the undated version has been reintroduced & passed once again by Congress it still has not been voted upon by the U.S. Senate. In the meantime for women equal pay is not yet equal. A woman makes 77 cents on a dollar & women of color make 67 cents. President Biden & Vice President Harris are vocal defenders of the Equality Act issuing a statement from the White House stating, “Every person should be treated with dignity & respect & this bill represents a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality & freedom for all." So let’s take the challenge & pass the Equally Act. 

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